Social Stain – Social Stain

Social_Stain_album_cover

Social Stain – Social Stain                                                                                         Self Released

Rock N Growl Promotions

Release Date:  13/01/2017                                                                            Running Time: 48.54

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

7/10

Seeing as my last couple of reviews have been power metal reviews (which I have NOT got a problem with. In fact, I love power metal) it was nice to review something of a different genre of rock, and Social Stain lived up to the challenge. For a start, I love the name of the band as it reminds me of many people I have met during my life who could be referred to as social stains but that’s another story! (and we don’t need to go into that here!)

Social Stain are a Finnish band, formed in Lahti in late 2014 by bassist Toni Broman (Damngod, ex-Before The Dawn) who needed an outlet for his hard rock songs and he soon hooked up with Teemu Kokkonen(vocals, ex-Disformed), Antti Kokkonen (guitar, Profane Omen) and Mika Tanttu (drums, Kill the Romance) to form the four-piece they are today.

Social Stain (the album) is their debut recording, released on the Social Stain label on 13th January 2017 and features a unique recipe of 90’s influenced hard rock with a touch of metal, a punky no-nonsense attitude and all-round solid musicianship.

Opening with a guitar solo on “Breakout” (showing this is a band who don’t conform to the normal rules!) the beginning of the album is pure old fashioned ballsy heavy rock and reminisces of the Load-era from Metallica and this carries onto the next track “Dead Man Talking”, while “Time to Bleed” and “Possessed” are very much influenced by Therapy?

But this doesn’t mean they are a two trick pony…oh no! With obvious influences including the likes of AC/DC, Alice in Chains and Guns n Roses as well as the aforementioned Metallica and Therapy? this band can seemingly change their sound with each and every track, proving just what a talented bunch these guys really are.

The best track on the album is “Walls” which was, funnily enough, the first track I heard (for some reason the stereo in my car decided to play that one first!) and what a track. If there was a song that had to sum this band up, then “Walls” would be the one to do it; punky, hard rock with oodles of attitude!

But what surprised me the most about this album was the track “At Peace”. With most of the album having a punchy, in your face attitude, five tracks from the end they decide to throw in a ballad! Yes, a ballad! This shocked me somewhat the first time I heard it as I wasn’t expecting anything like this to be on this album, some people might even think it doesn’t belong on there. BUT, they do it well, showing yet again, their diversity and talent.

With memorable hooks, heavy riffs and unforgettable choruses, this album is 12 tracks of pure, high-octane rock and roll. Social Stain have their roots firmly set in the 90’s era of hard rock and they don’t even try to deviate from this. They are not a revolutionary band, they will not try to steer you to a different genre of rock/metal you have never heard before and they certainly won’t be breaking any new ground with this album.

BUT, what you do get is 48-ish minutes of loud, old-fashioned rock and roll and I, for one, love it!!

When’s the next one out guys??

TRACKLIST

  •  1. Breakout
  •  2. Dead Man Talking
  •  3. Red Star Rising
  •  4. Good Old Days
  •  5. Joke’s on You
  •  6. (Ain’t Got) Time to Bleed
  •  7. Possessed
  •  8. At Peace
  •  9. The Unknown
  •  10. Walls
  •  11. Social Stain
  •  12. Backstabber

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/socialstain/

SC_Promo_2017_1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Accept – Restless & Live (2CD Version)

Restless And Live Cover

Accept – Restless And Live (2CD Version)                      Running Time CD1 71:16 CD2 68:15

Release Date 13-01-2017                                                                                  Nuclear Blast

Album Review by Rick Tilley

9/10

I first got into the great Accept back in late 1982 when a friend played me the ‘Breaker ‘ & ‘Restless And Wild’ albums and the first album I bought was 1983’s ‘Balls To The Wall’, which I still have on vinyl. Since then I’ve seen them live and purchased pretty much their entire back catalogue. I’m even a fan of the 1989 album ‘Eat The Heat’ which had David Reece on vocals! After a few ups and downs along the way the band decided to get back together in 2009 but Udo Dirkschneider wanted to concentrate on his successful solo band U.D.O (who I also love) so Accept had to, yet again, try and find a vocalist who could match Udo’s unique voice. In the end they chose TT Quick vocalist Mark Tornillo and the rest, as they say, is history. Since 2010, when the band thundered back into life with the stunning ‘Blood Of The Nations’ album they have gone from strength to strength. Mark is easily the best vocalist that this band have had in their ranks and although some will never see it as Accept without Udo, that’s not how I see it. After three cracking studio albums with Mark, a live release was always going to be on the cards and Accept duly released ‘Restless And Live’ back in January. I have the 2CD version to review although you can get a DVD and Blu-Ray which also include the CD!

Whereas the DVD/Blu-Ray concentrates on Accept’s 18 track set at the 2015 Bang Your Head Festival this 2CD collection is made up of 27 (YES, TWENTY SEVEN) tracks recorded throughout their 2015 World Tour and it’s absolutely fanbloodytastic! Having never seen Mark live with Accept, but knowing what a great voice he’s got, I was really looking forward to hearing how he handled the older material! If anyone still doubts his ability then listening to this is an absolute must. Quite honestly, and as much as I love Udo’s voice, this is the best I’ve heard Accept sound whether it’s new or old material. What’s better is that the newer songs such as ‘Stampede’, ‘Teutonic Terror’, ‘Stalingrad’ and many more fit seamlessly alongside classics ‘Flash Rockin’ Man’, ’Metal Heart’, ‘Son Of A Bitch’ and ‘Balls To The Wall’ as if they were written at roughly the same time.

It’s not all about the voice though because Accept wouldn’t be Accept without the guitar of Wolf Hoffmann. How underrated is this man? I did ponder that recently when reviewing his ‘Headbangers Symphony’ solo album and couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. It’s a terrible shame because his playing, including trademark Classical breaks, plus that of new man Uwe Lulis is fantastic. It also wouldn’t really be Accept without the bass of Peter Baltes! His thumping bass lines add an extra level of heavy into the live performances. New drummer Christopher Williams must also be applauded. You really wouldn’t think there were two fairly new members up on stage! Another thing that cannot be understated is the fine production and mix from Andy Sneap. He has pretty much steered Accept since their comeback and his input is, as usual, fabulous. I can count the number of producers on one hand that add a certain gravitas to a release and Andy is one of those!

Even though Accept could regard themselves as ‘old band’, with a more than substantial back catalogue of classics, this comeback has not been about just going out and playing what people want to hear. A lot of bands do that, and whilst it’s great to see them, deep down I’d like them to still be writing new material. Accept want to stay current and the fact they have released three studio albums since 2010, and that much of the material here is culled from those three albums is testament to that fact.

Whether you are a fan or not Accept deserve your attention and gratitude. They were one of a selection of bands that brought Classic Metal kicking and screaming into the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and have influenced a huge swathe of heavier artists that, arguably, might never have existed otherwise! It’s fabulous to see them enjoying so much success in 2017 and I’m really looking forward to the next studio album because, as this package clearly shows, they are firing on all cylinders!

TRACKLIST CD1

  • 1. Stampede
  • 2. Stalingrad
  • 3. Hellfire
  • 4. London Leatherboys
  • 5. Living For Tonite
  • 6. 200 Years
  • 7. Demon’s Night
  • 8. Dying Breed
  • 9. Final Journey
  • 10. From The Ashes We Rise
  • 11. Losers And Winners
  • 12. No Shelter
  • 13. Shadow Soldiers
  • 14. Midnight Mover

TRACKLIST CD2

  • 1. Starlight
  • 2. Restless And Wild
  • 3. Son Of A Bitch
  • 4. Pandemic
  • 5. Dark Side Of My Heart
  • 6. The Curse
  • 7. Flash Rockin’ Man
  • 8. Bulletproof
  • 9. Fall Of The Empire
  • 10. Fast As A Shark
  • 11. Metal Heart
  • 12. Teutonic Terror
  • 13. Balls To The Wall

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://www.acceptworldwide.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/accepttheband/
  • https://www.twitter.com/accepttheband
  • https://vk.com/acceptofficial
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uj56WZpo1E (‘Stampede’ From the DVD)

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Metal Gods TV. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

http://metalgodstv.com/accept-album-review-restless-live/

Final Drive – Dig Deeper

Dig Deeper Cover

Final Drive – Dig Deeper                                                                                Running Time:

Release Date 03-02-2017                                                                               DME Management

Album Review by Rick Tilley

7.5/10

‘Dig Deeper’ is the fifth full length album from St. Louis band Final Drive, who have been around since 2002, but it is my first experience of them so I’m not able to compare, at present, how their sound has changed or matured over the years! What I can tell you is that Final Drive have delivered an extremely solid album of Modern Heavy/Thrash Metal with Southern Groove!

From start to finish the riffs and solos of guitarist Nathan Easter are superb. His riffs are chunky and the tracks themselves really deliver in the groove and stomp department but when the solos arrive the songs just fly. His guitar sound is clean but very heavy and each note sounds like it’s meant to be in that exact place. There is definitely a feeling of Dimebag Darryl in his playing and it’s very welcome. Final Drive’s rhythm section also sound very accomplished and together. Alex Wheeler’s drums sound excellently produced, there is a real thump to them and he masters all the time changes very well and the bass of Raymond Tucker is also very full sounding and well played. What we are left with is the vocals of Jordan Gaw and this is where I have a slight problem, not because Jordan is a bad vocalist, he just ‘sings’ in a style that is not one of my favourites and, from a personal point of view, it mars what could be a superb album.

There have been several other reviews of this album that have praised Jordan’s vocals to the hilt and that’s what makes music so interesting because we all see and hear something slightly different. Jordan, as you might have guessed from my comments, provides mainly screamed vocals but he is what I call a shouter. Every song that requires him to really ’go for it’ just remind me of an angry man shouting as loud as he can in a monotone down a megaphone and requiring a lorry load of Halls Soothers to help his throat calm down afterwards! Again, I’m not being personal to him, there are thousands of modern metal bands applying the same techniques and that’s my issue. There are so many bands doing the same thing that I just cannot tell them apart, but because Final Drive’s music stands out to me to have it then diminished by the vocals is a shame.

When Jordan does deliver a little more light and shade and in few rare cases clean vocals then ‘Dig Deeper’ works so much better as an album and Final Drive really stand out but too often that’s not the case and if I had been provided with just the MP3’s and no Biog or Artwork it would be very difficult to pick them out of the 15-20 albums I get like this every week! There is no doubt very powerful and perhaps screamed vocals are what’s needed here but there is not enough variation. They cite Pantera as an influence and it’s an influence that certainly stands out but this isn’t Phil Anselmo!

Now, if you love this genre there is no doubt you will adore Final Drive, it is a damn good album, but, as I’ve gotten older and also because I listen to so much new music, I’ve obviously got a bit more picky than I used to be. What does stand out is the guitar work, those riffs and solos really do make me sit up. If there can be a bit more variation and a bit less irate shouting with the vocals on the next album then, personally, I’ll be singing its praises. Regardless of this issue I have to give ‘Dig Deeper’ a good mark because it’s still much better than a lot I’ve heard so far this year!

 

TRACKLIST

  • 1. This Is How
  • 2. Built To Break
  • 3. The Last Time
  • 4. Six Feet Down
  • 5. Want It All
  • 6. Life Decided
  • 7. Follow The Curse
  • 8. Beneath Us
  • 9. Of A Killer
  • 10. Black Out

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://www.finaldrive.org/
  • https://www.facebook.com/finaldriveband
  • https://www.twitter.com/finaldrive
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/finaldriveofficial

Promo Pic1 (8)

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Metal Gods TV. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

Bloodbound – War of Dragons

War Of Dragons Cover

Bloodbound – War of Dragons                                                                                 AFM Records

Release Date:  24/02/2017                                                                           Running Time: 45:09

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

7/10

 

During the beginning to mid-2000’s, all I ever listened to was power metal! Rhapsody of Fire, Blind Guardian, Therion, Sonata Artica, you name it I had it! Now fifteen years later, I thought my love affair with that particular genre of metal had fizzled out a long time ago. But that was until I heard this album by Swedish power metal band Bloodbound.

Formed in Bollnäs, Sweden, in the summer of 2004 by Tomas Olsson and Fredrik Bergh, they have not only released six studio albums and a live cd/dvd since then but they have also toured with the likes of Sabaton, Hammerfall and U.D.O as well as performed shows with Arch Enemy, Pretty Maids and Evergrey.

2006 saw the release of their debut album “Nosferatu”, which was very well received, but also saw line-up changes when singer Urban Breed left the band after they toured. Michael Bormann (ex-Jaded Heart) was brought in as a replacement and the band’s second album “Book of the Dead” was released in 2007, the first of their albums to enter the Swedish charts.

Bormann left the band after existing commitments meant he couldn’t devote the time needed and Urban Breed returned, recording a further three albums. But by 2010 he had left again and they finally found a new vocalist in Patrik Johannsson, who was not only a great singer and frontman, but he was also a friend.

Finally, some stability was brought to the band and “War of Dragons” is a continuation of 2014’s “Stormborn” but with faster-paced tracks, while not losing the anthemic feel the band is known for. Bloodbound are masters of combining melody with power and this albums displays perfectly the evolution the band has undertaken since “Nosferatu”.

So what of this album?

Generally, it is an over the top, cheesy, anthemic power metal album, with lots of infectious tunes and choruses that have been made the focal point of many of the tracks. BUT……it is also a fun album and one that you just can’t help but like! It is an epic, larger than life, mid 2000’s throw back, which ranges from moderately fast to a ridiculous frenzy of speed, but it is good. It is very good!

Two of the core elements of the Bloodbound sound are the guitar wizardry of the Olsson brothers with their in your face riff work and fantastic solos, and the attitude-based powerful vocals of Johannsson, a typical Euro-power metal vocalist but one with balls and a voice strong enough to also hit the high notes when needed. Mix into this the more than competent keyboardist, Fredrik Bergh, and drummer Pelle kerlind, immense orchestrations and massive vocal arrangements that culminate in a huge choral backdrop, and you have the perfect power metal sound. There is even a folksy, flute driven chorus on “Silver Wings” thrown in for good measure.

This is a relentless album that gives the listener no resting time with just a little over 45 minutes of full on POWER METAL! Now, reading back through this review I can see I have used the term “power metal” on many occasions and as a writer one of the things you DON’T want to do is constantly use the same words and phrases but there just is no other way to describe this album. Despite the band’s continuing change in sound they are a power metal band and this is a power metal album!

So, dig out your wand, climb aboard your dragon and fly to the nearest record store and purchase this fantastic album from the mystical, magical cd sellers.

Get one before all the goblins do!!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • New Era Begins
  • Battle In The Sky
  • Tears Of A Dragonheart
  • War Of Dragons
  • Silver Wings
  • Stand And Fight
  • King Of Swords
  • Fallen Heroes
  • Guardians At Heaven’s Gate
  • Symphony Satana
  • Starfall
  • Dragons Are Forever

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/bloodboundmetal/
  • https://www.twitter.com/bloodboundmetal
  • www.bloodbound.se
  • Also available on Deezer, YouTube, Spotify and TuneIn

Promo Pic2

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Emerald – Reckoning Day

Reckoning Day Cover

Emerald – Reckoning Day                                                                             Pure Steel Records

Release Date:  24/03/2017                                                                      Running Time: 1:09.23

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

8/10

 

Despite being around for over twenty years and with a back catalogue of six previous albums, I had never actually heard of Emerald until their new album “Reckoning Day” dropped into the Ever Metal inbox. This means I have nothing previous to compare this album to but this could have been a good thing as this release comes with a whole new line up.

Emerald were originally formed in Düdingen in Switzerland, founded in 1995 from the ashes of two local bands, Dark Crystal and Oppress and since releasing their last album “Unleashed” in 2012, they have changed their singer twice, now settling with Mace Mitchell (Silence Lost, Eddies Beast, The New Source), added a new second guitarist in the shape of Julien Menth (Six Pack) and brought in new bass player Vania Truttman.

“Reckoning Day” is their seventh studio album, released on 17/03/2017 in the UK (24/03/2017 worldwide) by Pure Steel Records and is over sixty minutes of heavy metal in its purest form. Pounding drums, heavy riffs and melodic leads, re-inforced with vigorous power metal vocals and strong production by V O Pulver (Gurd, Poltergeist, Destruction) give the band the “pure fucking heavy metal sound from Switzerland” sound that is proudly the tag line of their own website.

In essence, this could be considered two albums in one, or at least a double album, as it can be broken up into two distinct parts. The first half is just pure and classic heavy power metal, with the band sounding like bands such as Edguy, Avantasia or Helloween one minute then turning things up a notch or two to match the sound of Metallica or Iron Maiden the next. There is even a Bon Jovi-esque power ballad thrown in for good measure, although personally I don’t think belongs on the album. I love a good power ballad, but this changes their sound too much and I just don’t think it fits well with the rest of the tracks.

The second half of the album is a concept titled “The Burgundian Wars” that is based on the historical novel “Der Löwe von Burgund.” What many people won’t know is that this book was actually written, and published in 2012, by the band’s keyboard player Thomas Vaucher, proving there is more to this band than first meets the eye. Bookended by musical narration this part of the album could almost have been released entirely on its own and quite possibly should have been.

The core elements of the Emerald sound are twin guitar harmonies and leads, a solid and galloping rhythm section and clean, strong, assertive metal vocals. These fundamentals are then mixed with plenty of melody, harmony and groove, with a touch of synthesisers for orchestration to produce a power metal sound that has some fucking balls.

This is a classic heavy metal band with a very “keep it real” tradition, not afraid to mix it up a bit, while keeping their sound firmly in their roots.

There is much to like about this album, and lots to love. I personally would have released it as two separate albums but that’s just my humble opinion and incorporating it all onto one does nothing to take away from just how good it is. I could go on all night about this album but why listen to me singing its praises when you can go and purchase a copy and listen for yourself?

If you like power metal you’ll love this album, if you like thrash metal you’ll love this album…..hell, if you like classic heavy metal, you’ll love this album.

So, what are you still reading this for?? Get online and order yourself a copy…..now!!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Only The Reaper Wins
  • 2. Black Pyramid
  • 3. Evolution In Reverse*
  • 4. Horns Up
  • 5. Beyond Forever
  • 6. Through The Storm*
  • 7. Ridden By Fear
  • 8. Mist Of The Past
  • 9. Trees Full Of Tears
  • 10. Lament Of The Fallen
  • 11. Reckoning Day
  • 12. Reign Of Steel
  • 13. Signum Dei
  • 14. Fading History
  • 15. End Of The World*

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.emerald.ch/
  • https://www.facebook.com/emeraldmetal

Emerald Band Shoot by STEMUTZ.COM, 08.12.2016

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Snakewine – Serpent Kings

Serpent Kings Cover

Snakewine – Serpent Kings                                                                                           Phonector

Metal Message Global PR

Release Date:  31/10/2015                                                                              Running Time: 30.42

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

8/10

 

Over the years, Germany has produced some of the best rock and metal bands there has ever been, ranging from The Scorpions to Accept to Kreator and Helloween. And now it has produced yet another.

Snakewine formed in early 2014 and hail from Saalfeld, right in the centre of Germany. Serpent Kings is their debut full length album, released on 31st October 2015 and one question needs to be asked? Why the hell hadn’t I heard of them before now??

Described on their Facebook page as “pulse driven heavy rock” this is an entirely accurate description of these four guys. A mix of biker rock and good ol’ fashioned rock and roll, with a little bit of punk thrown in, this band certainly know how to make a BIG impact with this debut offering.

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Niklas Wenzel, this is one “hell of a rock and roll ride.” Opening up with “Breathtaker” the album is relentless from start to finish, and that is by no means a bad thing. At just eight tracks long with a total playing time of just a smidgen over thirty minutes long, this album will have you headbanging and/or bopping along for the entire time.

Combining a dirty, sweaty sound with funky beats and fantastic guitarwork this is like nothing I have ever heard before. The structure is simple with singalong choruses and heavy riffs and solos that will have you banging your head along with the music. There are no fillers on the album, so no time to catch your breath before you are launched headlong into the next round of heavy rock n roll, but that doesn’t mean that every song sounds the same.

The singer has a very distinct voice, with a hint of Ian Astbury from The Cult (albeit a little bit more gravelly) and, as far as I am concerned, this is what makes the band. Some people MIGHT not like the vocals but I love them. It gives the band their individuality and loud, full sound.

Each one of these guys is a very talented musician and sometimes it’s hard to believe there are just four of them. They complement each other perfectly and the album has obviously been recorded with energy and passion.

Stand out tracks for me are “Son of a Gun” and “Shipwrecked” but my favourite track on the album has to be “Mean Machine.” Its heavy, it’s hard and it has a wonderful rock and roll sound.

I love these guys on cd and I would love to see them perform live! Half an hour jumping around to this lot and I would need three pints just to recover!

There isn’t any ground-breaking stuff on here, everything is kept nice and simple, and I am sure that any people wouldn’t class it as album of the year. BUT, it is a fun album and it totally rocks so if there is one album you don’t miss out on this year, it would be this one.

I loved it and I am sure you would too!!

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Breathtaker
  • 2. Son of a Gun
  • 3. Brood of Vipers
  • 4. Mean Machine
  • 5. Serpent King
  • 6. Double Barreled
  • 7. The Devil You Know
  • 8. Shipwrecked

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/Snakewine/
  • https://www.twitter.com/Smakewine_Band

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’  King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Letters From The Fire – Worth The Pain

LFTF_WorthThePain

Letters From the Fire – Worth The Pain                                Sand Hill Records/Cargo Records

Rock n Growl Promotion

Release Date:  17/03/2017                                                                       Running Time: 51.46

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

8/10

 

I asked in another recent review whether women have a place in heavy metal music and the answer then was a resounding YES. Letter From the Fire are another female fronted band and, once more, the answer to my question would be yes!

Female fronted bands are on the increase and the women are showing they are just as much a force to be reckoned with as the men and, despite in the past being accused of jumping on the Nightwish bandwagon, many of the women now have made their own way and created their own sound, with a lot of them forsaking the operatic vocals of Tarja and preferring tough, gritty styles of singing.

Letters from the Fire are a five piece hard rock band hailing from the San Fransisco Bay Area of the USA and was founded by guitarist Mike Keller in 2007 under their previous name of Park Lane. The band had a turbulent origin and after a few line up changes re-introduced themselves to the musical world as Letters From the Fire. They suffered numerous vocalist problems before finding Alexa Kabazie, who nailed it right from the outset.

The band had early success on national tours with bands such as Fuel, Trapt, NonPoint, and Pop Evil and recording with Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody they even scored a few rock radio hits with “Zombies in the Sun” and a cover of “Eleanor Rigby”

“Worth The Pain” is the band’s debut full album and was released in Europe on 17th March 2017 and has really been a labour of love for the band to produce. “These are our stories our trials and tribulations. This is who we are,” says founder member and guitarist Keller and this phrase now serves as both a reminder of the band’s sometimes turbulent origins well as a rallying cry as the band moves forward.

Produced, engineered, mixed and mastered by Kile Odell (Motionless in White, Cursed Sails, Vanisher) the album is a “beguiling mix of melody and heaviness” packed with energy, killer riffs and passion.

The album opens with “Perfect Life”, packed with furious and unrelenting drums and a jaw dropping solo from Keller that would leave even the most skilled guitarists green with envy, and is the perfect opening to the awesome album.

I could go through all the songs one by one but, if you have read any of my reviews before, you would know that’s not really my style. The whole album is fantastic and is a mix of traditional, melodic hard rock and contemporary modern pop and groove along with heavy metal edginess, which results in something that sounds quite different and there really is something for everyone.

If you like the more ballady tracks then “Bruised” and “At War” are songs for you, while the drum heavy opening and intensive lyrics of “Living a Lie” give off a more venomous energy. “Last December” has a strong use of synthesisers and the hard and heavy “One Foot in the Grave” is packed with fast riffs and double bass drumming.

All in all this is a great album and if you like your female fronted bands then don’t give these a miss. This is definitely one to be added to your collection and I think should be up there along with the likes of Nightwish, Epica, Lacuna Coil and Evanescence (and if I’m honest I think its better than all of those!)

But don’t take my word for it. Go check ‘em out and see for yourself!

Track Listing

  • Perfect Life
  • Mother Misery
  • Give in to Me
  • Bruised
  • Live a Lie
  • My Angel
  • Last December
  • Holy Ghost
  • At War
  • Control
  • Worth the Pain
  • Scars
  • One Foot in the Grave

SOCIAL MEDIA

https://www.facebook.com/LettersFromTheFire/

http://www.lettersfromthefire.net/

https://www.instagram.com/lftfmusic

 

LFTF_Band_Photo

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Scare Tactics – Legion

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Scare Tactics – Legion                                                                                               Unsigned

Release Date: June 2015                                                                           Running Time: 49:33

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

8/10

Being of the “older” generation of metalhead, I’ve never done that typical “old” metalhead thing and stuck to what I know, never wanting to leave to confines of my preferred “genre” of metal just in case I might actually like something new. Ok, that is probably a bit of a sweeping statement BUT there are people out there like that.

I am always on the lookout for new sounds and new bands and I am glad I found this one (I say found, more like “given” to me but you get my meaning!)

Scare Tactics are a UK-based metal band, hailing from the northern city of Liverpoooool and have been together since 2010. In that time they have made a few demos and played a few gigs, including a couple of very prestigious ones, namely Bloodstock Open Air in 2012 and Download Festival in 2015, and from what I hear on this album, they very much deserved their spots.

Describing themselves on their own Facebook page as “a slice of old school metal with a whole new approach” this is very much an accurate description. With influences such as (deep breath here!) Pantera, Alice In Chains, Alter Bridge, Devin Townsend, Gojira, Lamb of God, Metallica, A Perfect Circle, Racer X, Ugly Kid Joe (you keeping up?) Dream Theater, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani to name but a few, they have a whole range of material to draw from while still making their sound their own.

Andy and Paul are absolute masters on their 6-strings and Stu is a maestro behind his kit, while Danny is a master on the bass. They combine (easily I might add) old school grooves and great riffs with fantastic vocals and perfect musicianship, creating an album that is crisp and clear, and that totally rocks.

I might be getting old(er) but I must say that I am enjoying a lot of the new talent that is coming through on the metal scene, which some people say is dying out. This is NOT the case. There is a lot of fresh, new blood coming through the ranks and some of it is actually really, very good. Scare Tactics are one such band. Bringing together “a mutual love of great music to create a blend of power, groove and that melody that encapsulates music lovers everywhere” these guys could be one of the next big things! They certainly have the right sound, the right attitude and they make damn good music.

Legion is their debut album that was released in 2015 and I am waiting with baited breath for the next thing they bring out. Keep up the good work guys and I’ll see you at a gig sometime \m/

TRACK LISTING

  • Discover
  • Remain
  • Little Time
  • The Sign
  • False Power
  • Drunk Fuck
  • Someone Else
  • LFW
  • Right Hand Man
  • We Live
  • Wrong But Righteous

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.facebook.com/scaretacticsuk/
  • http://scaretacticsband.com/
  • http://www.twitter.com/scaretactics_uk

This review was first published on Metal Gods Tv

http://metalgodstv.com/scare-tactics-album-review-legion/

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

God Shaped Devil – Creator of Sodom EP

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God Shaped Devil – Creator of Sodom EP                                                         Self Released

Release Date: 06/11/2015                                                                       Running Time: 21.06

Album Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King

8/10

 

One of the things I love about metal is the diversity of the genre and reviewing this diversity gives me access to elements of metal that I may never come across, or may never even think of listening to. A band such as God Shaped Devil could well have slipped beneath my radar and that would have been such a shame.

Formed in Manchester, England, in early 2015, God Shaped Devil are a Hungarian/English collaboration with Snake (Bécy Füzéri) on guitars and Lajos Borsi on bass from Hungary and Tony Smith on vocals and Luke Ellwood on drums from England.

Defined on their own Facebook page as “a heavy and thrash mix, with a touch of groove and doom brought together with intense energy” and I couldn’t agree more. The EP is full of intense riffs and grooves, solos from Snake that will melt your ears and pounding drums that rumble in your tummy.

Opening with Lobotomy, a heavy, riff-driven instrumental, the EP is set up well and the track is a great pre-cursor to what the rest is about. With four more groove laden tracks packed with heavy metal riffs and powerful vocals, this EP does not let you breathe from start to finish. It is a heavy metal assault attack in your ears that will leave you wanting to hear more.

Musically the guys are great with some fantastic guitar solos and those double kicking drums that I so adore. But what surprised me about the band is the vocals. The guy (Tony Smith) CAN actually sing and there is a mix of clean and dirty vocals throughout the EP, with growls and screams a-plenty. Now, I’m not normally a fan of these type of vocals always preferring to be able to actually hear what the singer is saying BUT, and this was the thing that surprised me……on this EP I actually preferred the dirty vocals, the screams and growls that fit so well with the music it’s almost a waste of time Smith singing ‘properly.’ He has a very powerful voice but it seems a bit lost when he isn’t screaming, making his voice seem a bit mediocre, which, of course, IT ISN’T!!

Rage Inside is the heaviest on the EP and probably my favourite with a great guitar solo from Snake. These guys have obviously worked hard to get where they are and I, for one, think they should keep the hell going.

Fantastic on cd, this band would also be great in a live atmosphere and I am sure they would whip the pit up into a hot, sweaty frenzy.

I will be keeping my ears and eyes open for anything else this great band come out with and I hope they do some shows too, I’ll be at the London one 😉

So, grab yourself a copy of this great EP and prepare to be lobotomised!!

TRACK LISTING

  • Lobotomy
  • Contiuum
  • Creator of Sodom
  • Rage Inside
  • Pray for Death

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.godshapeddevil.bandcamp.com
  • https://www.facebook.com/godshapeddevil/
  • https://www.twitter.com/godshapeddevil
  • Also available on YouTube and Spotify

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ and Metal Gods TV. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

http://metalgodstv.com/god-shaped-devil-album-review-creator-of-sodom-ep/

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Aggravator – Sterile Existence

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Aggravator – Sterile Existence (2016)                                                   Running Time 31:31

Release Date 19-09-2016                                                               Dead Center Productions

Album Review by Rick Tilley

7/10

Aggravator’s third album ‘Sterile Existence’ (released in September 2016) doesn’t hang around over the course of its thirty one minutes so I’ll not hang around too much with the review either. Formed in 2008 and residing in San Antonio, Texas, Aggravator are old school Thrash Metalheads and have produced a somewhat unoriginal album…BUT, before you all shout at me I’ll say that it doesn’t matter one little bit how original it is because it’s bloody enjoyable and this four piece are obviously more than competent musicians, having a great time gigging around the world ripping your heads off in the process!

‘Decapitators Temple’ starts the album off, with guitars and bass set to ‘eerie calm’, before kicking in with a thunderous riff and barrage of drums. It’ll have fans of classic Thrash bouncing around the place with the horns raised. It’s then that the vocals of Derek Jones start and they give Aggravator a slightly different feel. Jones has a harsher voice than your usual Thrash vocalist and it gives the band a more Death or early Black Metal feel, but it works perfectly. He also plays rhythm guitar and along with lead guitarist Jesse Lopez delivers a razor sharp performance. You can also say the same for drummer Mike Cortes who was obviously born with three arms and rolls around the kit at fantastic speed, reminiscent of Dave Lombardo. Thanks to the production, there is however, one person who stands out and that is bassist Tristan Hernandez. Throughout ‘Sterile Existence’, not content to follow the guitars, he plays some wonderful bass lines and it makes a pleasant change to hear the bass focussed on so much!

After Decapitators Temple comes to a close you get a further eight tracks of classic Thrash Metal played at medium or super speed and if you need comparisons then Destructor, Testament, Morbid Angel , Kreator, Slayer and Exumer spring to mind. Vocally you can also add in little bits of Venom and early Celtic Frost. ‘Transhuman Incorporeal’, ‘Abhorrent Point Of View’ and ‘Hacked Human Debris’ fly by in a blaze and stomp of napalm fuelled energy and it’s all pretty damn good.

As previously mentioned it won’t win any awards for originality but let’s face it, if you’re a Thrash fan or like any of the above named bands then that isn’t going to bother you. This does exactly what you want it to do and I’ll definitely be checking out Aggravator’s previous releases. I also hope I get to see them live at some point because I imagine it’ll be a chance to have a damn good mosh!

TRACKLIST

  • 1. Decapitators Temple
  • 2. Transhuman Incorporeal
  • 3. High Impact Homicides
  • 4. Subconscious Blind
  • 5. Abhorrent Point Of View
  • 6. Hacked Human Debris
  • 7. Sterile Existence
  • 8. Future Re-phased
  • 9. Target Obliteration

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • http://www.aggravatorofficial.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/aggravatorthrashmetal
  • https://www.twitter.com/Aggravatorband
  • https://www.instagram.com/aggravator.satx/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClAv_i1GX2c (Decapitators Temple)

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Metal Gods TV. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

http://metalgodstv.com/aggravator-album-review-sterile-existence/

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