Timeline

Vicious Rumors – Concussion Protocol

Vicious Rumors – Concussion Protocol
SPV/Steamhammer
Release Date: 26/08/2016
Running Time: 49:44
Review by Dawn King
9/10

Being a fan of Vicious Rumors for as long as I can remember, I jumped at the chance to review their forthcoming album “Concussion Protocol.”

Due for release on 26th August 2016 by SPV/Steamhammer, “Concussion Protocol” is the band’s twelfth studio album and marks a return to form for the California based heavy metallers.

The brainchild of guitarist Geoff Thorpe, who would hand out business cards in the name of Vicious Rumors at gigs and clubs before he had even brought together any musicians, the band formed in 1979 in the San Francisco Bay area, and have undergone several line-up changes over the years, none more so that the passing of vocalist Carl Albert in 1995.

But, as has been said many times about this awesome band, Vicious Rumors do not follow trends, they create them.

Their first two albums, 1985’s “Soldiers of the Night” and “Digital Dictator” from 1988, have become classic metal albums, full of hunger, passion and desire that helped formed heavy metal as we know it, and, although often classed as a thrash band, they were, in fact, pioneers of the power metal movement.

“Concussion Protocol” sees them return to their trademark sound of those first two classic albums and promises a “roller coaster ride of pure, unadulterated, cutting edge metal.”

As Thorpe, himself, states “the album is relentless and crushing in true, classic Vicious Rumors style but with many twists and turns. Believe me, you’re in for a treat!”

And what a treat this album is. The first concept album from the band, it tells the chilling story of an armageddon by a global killer asteroid and how humanity unravels in its wake. It is full of fast blazing guitar solos, pummelling drum sounds from Larry Howe, the only other surviving member of the original band, thick and heavy bass lines and a vocal range of singer Nick Holleman that could rival that of Halford, Tate and even King Diamond.

Nick, who joined the band in 2013, puts in a stunning performance, giving the already immense display of musicianship and talent something extra with his passion and conviction, and, along with thundery beats, fantastic guitar playing and drum assaults, this album really kicks you in the head, making your ears bleed.

This is old school, headbanging, brainwashing metal at its finest and is delivered at a break neck speed throughout, with just a temporary break in tempo with “Circle of Life”, at track number seven, before throwing you headlong back into an oncoming metal assault.

The stand out track for me was “Chasing The Priest”, its swirling guitar work, full on drumming and gritty vocals, reminding me just how damn good this band are, and always have been.

Vicious Rumors should be bigger than what they are and I would recommend them to any metal fan, young and old.

Go and buy this album, and then go and buy everything else they have ever done. If you like your music metal, and your metal heavy….then this is the band for you!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Concussion Protocol
2. Chemical Slaves
3. Victims Of A Digital World
4. Chasing The Priest
5. Last Of Our Kind
6. 1000 Years
7. Circle Of Secrets
8. Take It Or Leave It
9. Bastards
10.Every Blessing Is A Curse
11. Life For A Life

LINE-UP:
Geoff Thorpe – guitars, vocals
Larry Howe – drums, vocals
Tilen H – bass, vocals
Thaen Rasmussen – guitars
Nick H. – lead vocals

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King 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

Sixx:AM – Prayers For The Damned

Sixx:AM – Prayers For The Damned
Self-released
Release Date: 29/04/2016
Running Time: 49:30
Review by Dawn King
9/10

With members of Motley Crue and Guns n Roses, Sixx AM, a hard rock band from Los Angeles, were formed in 2007 and could have been classed as a bit of a supergroup, put together for publicity purposes. This record, however, shows that this is definitely not the case.

With Nikki Sixx finishing his final tour with Motley Crue and DJ Ashba leaving Guns n Roses, the band had more time to dedicate to their latest project, “Prayers for the Damned Part 1” and become the “real band” they have always had the potential to be.

They have not disappointed.

With Sixx on bass and Ashba on guitar, they are joined by the fantastic vocal talents of James Michael, and together they have produced one of the best albums of 2016 so far.

As the title suggests, this is the first part of a double album, with the second half due to be released later on in the year, and was released by Eleven Seven Music on April 29th 2016. At just under fifty minutes long, its eleven tracks are infectious anthems in the making, each having a sing-along-ability that would go down extremely well live. In the words of Nikki Sixx himself the album contains “songs that are designed to get a reaction from a live crowd as much as they are going to sound brilliant over your stereo.”

He was not wrong. Opening with “Rise” the first single from the album, and an obvious gig opener, the tone is set right from the beginning. Heavy riffs, ridiculously catchy choruses and adrenaline filled solos litter this album to the point you don’t want to turn it off.

Lyrically, it is very intense, with regular references to God and Jesus, and some hard-hitting themes. “Better Man” talks of dying and going to heaven to become the “better man” as mentioned, “When We Were Gods” deals with the constant clash between good and evil while “Everything Went To Hell” is obviously the story of every bad breakup that ever occurred. The album appears to be a journey of life and self-discovery, often making the listener question their own past, present and future. As DJ Ashba says, “we are on a mission to give our fans even more than they could have hoped for, musically and lyrically.”

This is a strong, honest and vibrant album, with guitar solos that would send tingles down the spine of all guitar lovers, vocals that make you sit up and bloody well listen and bass lines that make you realise Nikki Sixx is actually a superb bassist, coming into his own on “Belly of the Beast”, controlling the track with a funky, groovy bass line throughout.

Classed as fillers by a number of other reviewers, two of my favourite songs on the album are “When We Were Gods” and “Belly of the Beast” but the stand out song for me has to be the title track “Prayer for the Damned”, a song overflowing with sentiment, its powerful lyrics and emotional guitar solos hitting you right bang in the heart.

I loved this album from the moment “Rise” first blasted through the speakers and the more I played it the more I loved it. The only “bad” point I could find was that to some fans there might be too many ballady type tracks and not enough balls to the wall rock songs, but for me this was not a problem as there was enough power, rawness and emotion to keep the level of performance at staggering levels.

It is plain to see that each member has given 110% to the making and production of this album, even the cover was designed by Ashba, and I, for one, can’t wait or “Prayers of the Damned Part 2” to be released.

This is not the next great rock album but it is certainly one that will be played time and time again, and one that will give Sixx AM fans more great live gigs to attend.

Motley Crue this is NOT!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Rise
2. You Have Come To The Right Place
3. I’m Sick
4. Prayers For The Damned
5. Better Man
6. Can’t Stop
7. When We Were Gods
8. Belly Of The Beast
9. Everything Went To Hell
10. The Last Time (My Heart Will Hit The Ground)
11. Rise Of The Melancholy Empire

LINE-UP:
Nikki Sixx – bass guitar. backing vocals
DJ Ashba – lead guitar, backing vocals
James Michael – lead vocas, rhytm guitar, keyboards

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King 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

R.S.J – Giant Glenn

R.S.J – Giant Glenn
Three Sixty Music
Release Date: 23/09/2016
Running Time: 30:14
Review by Dawn King
7/10

I must admit, I kind of jumped into this review with my eyes closed. I had never really heard of R.S.J and had no idea what they sounded like….at all!! So, imagine my reaction, one Monday morning, when I plugged my USB stick into the car stereo for my journey to work, and Dan Cook’s vocals screamed back at me?? If anything was going to shake off those Monday morning blues, this album was!

R.S.J are a metalcore/grindcore band from Yorkshire, England and were formed in 2002 when they set about creating heavy, groovy noise metal. Their name comes from the construction item, “rolled steel joint” and is referencing “a good support and a piece of heavy metal.”

Their debut EP “The Day After” was released in September 2002 and their high-energy, high-impact live shows earned them support slots with bands such as Funeral For A Friend, Raging Speedhorn and Orange Goblin. Sheer hard work secured them as headliners on the Scuzz TV stage at Bloodstock in 2007, an opening slot on the Jägermeister stage at Sonisphere in 2010 and 2012 gave them their debut appearances at both Hammerfest and HRH: Road Trip to Ibiza. 2008 also saw them as opening act on The Unholy Alliance: Chapter III show in Wolverhampton alongside Slayer, Trivium, Mastodon and Amon Amarth.

So what of “Giant Glenn”, the fourth release by this underground metal band? Well, quiet is NOT a word that I would use to describe it.

From the outset the album is loud (very loud!), heavy and full of riffs, something, which I discovered whilst doing my research, this band are very good at, and there is an obvious brutality about it.

Much of the album has an abrasive nature, the screaming vocals of Cook, the frantic guitar work and outstanding drum and bass work subjecting the listener to a total sonic onslaught, a barrage of noise coming through the speakers.

There is no let up on the speed and ruthlessness for the first four songs on the album until “Dear Jane”, a melancholy guitar ballad, which gives the listener just a minute and a half respite, before “Hit The Road Jack”, the first single from the album, and which features the fierce guest vocals of John Loughlin (Raging Speedhorn) launches them full speed into the oncoming juggernaut that is the rest of the album.

The band is tight, all working together fantastically, and each is obviously a very talented musician, able to change tempo and direction at the drop of a hat.

This album will not appeal to everyone but for those who like their metal extreme, this should be on their shopping list.

I don’t know if they will make it as a more mainstream band, and to be honest, I don’t know if they would even want to, but over the past fourteen or so years, R.S.J have established their place in the underground metal scene and this album should cement them there.

But don’t take my word for it……Go get a copy and try it for yourself!!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Giant Glenn
2. Fuck Off Joe
3. Right Turn Clyde
4. Blood Mary
5. Dear Jane
6. Hit The Road Jack
7. Gordon’s Alive
8. Dear John
9. For Pete’s Sake
10. Play It Again Sam

LINE-UP:
Dan Cook – vocals / samples
Matthew Gamblin – bass / backing vocals
“Guff” Thomas – guitar / backing vocals
Dan Kentley – guitar / effects
Greg Parsons – drums / percussion

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King 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

Grand Magus – Sword Songs

Grand Magus – Sword Songs
Nuclear Blast
Release Date:13/05/2016
Running Time: 43:24
Review by Dawn King
8/10

Just the title of the album itself suggest that this latest offering from Swedish heavy metal band Grand Magus is going to be one of epic proportions and even after just one listen through it’s clear this is just what it is.

Recorded during the mid-winter months of 2015/2016 and produced by Nico Elgstrand, the nine track album is 35 minutes of beautifully crafted and bombastic heavy metal anthems. Released on 13th May 2016 by Nuclear Blast “Sword Songs” is the eighth studio album released by the three piece heavy metal band who hail from Stockholm in Sweden.

The band was originally formed in 1996 by former Cardinal Fang vocalist Janne “JB” Christofferson, bassist Mats “Fox” Skinner and first drummer Iggy, although he left the band in 1998 to be replaced by Frederik “Trisse” Liefvandahl, who was himself replaced by Ludwig “Ludde” Witt in 2012, so completing the present line-up.

Drawing influence from bands such as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Nazareth and Manowar, the band’s sound has evolved from its groove/doom origins to the mixture of blues, hard rock, heavy metal and doom they have today.

2014’s “Triumph and Power” saw a return to form for the band and “Sword Songs” has continued in much the same vein, only better, and to say that Grand Magus have excelled themselves this time round would not be an understatement.

Coming from Sweden, one of the most infamous origins of the Vikings, their lyrics revolve around Norse Mythology, paganism, pride and power, and instead of shying away from their influences they have totally embraced them, producing true heavy metal of the finest quality and an album that would be just at home in the 1980’s as it is in the present day.

In the words of “JB” himself: “we put all of our sweat, blood and tears into this new album and I think that you can hear that. For me, “Sword Songs” is the best Grand Magus album ever! The new songs are faster and more aggressive than on “Triumph and Power” and we have included some more extreme and harder stuff. I’m convinced there are some future classics on the disc.”

And he was not wrong. The album is glorious and anthemic, dynamic and heroic, with epic choruses that will lodge themselves in your sub consciousness, causing you to hum them out loud when you least expect to. There are cracking guitar solos and great vocals from JB, killer drums from Witt and the usual gnarly bass lines and tones from Skinner throughout the album, which contains no fillers and no bad tracks, each song an anthem in its own right.

This is a threesome that is, obviously, firing on all cylinders at the moment and could easily be described as one of the best metal bands around right now.

“Sword Songs” is a must for any metal fan so go get it and lets all hail ‘Viking Metal’ – (listen to the album and you will understand that particular reference!!)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Freja’s Choice
02. Varangian
03. Forged In Iron – Crowned In Steel
04. Born For Battle (Black Dog Of Brocéliande)
05. Master Of The Land
06. Last One To Fall
07. Frost And Fire
08. Hugr
09. Everyday There’s A Battle To Fight
Bonus Tracks (digipak only)
10. In For The Kill
11. Stormbringer (Deep Purple Cover)

LINE-UP:
Janne “JB” Christofferson – vocals, guitar
Mats “Fox” Skinner – bass, vocals
Ludwig “Ludde” Witt – drums

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King 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

Artillery – Penalty of Perception

Artillery – Penalty of Perception
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 25/03/2016
Running Time: 53:44
Review By Dawn King
8/10

Being not too familiar with the music of Danish band, Artillery, I jumped at the chance to review their new album “Penalty of Perception” which was released on 25th March 2016 by Metal Blade. Known for their highly energetic, riff-centric, and often fast paced music I knew I was going to enjoy this one.

Formed in 1982 in Tasstup, a suburb of Copenhagen, by drummer Carsten Nielsen and guitarist Jørgen Sandau, they took the name Artillery from the Tank track “Heavy Artillery” which featured on the “Filth Hounds of Hades” album, and have seen many line-up changes over the years, including the departure of both founding members in 2012 and 1989 respectively.

Now in their second reunion after reforming in 2007, this is the eighth studio album released by a band who are still a strong tour de force on the metal circuit, and, this time round, they have produced a traditional, classically driven thrash metal album, that really does kick you in the teeth, and then some.

Opening with ‘In Defiance of Conformity’, a song I think most of us as metal heads can relate to lyrically, the album is a gritty, technical and aggressive aural assault, packed with fast, intense, adrenalin-fuelled riffing, stylish up-tempo gallops and melodic harmonies, all mixed together with tight thrash rhythms.

At 53 minutes, considered too long by some, the continuing pace is relentless, only slowing slightly for “When the Magic Is Gone,” before “Cosmic Brain,” one of the best songs on the album, kicks in again with a thunderous roar. There are hints of many bands in their playing, in particular the very Dream Evil-esque “Deity Machine”, but they bring together the various elements of thrash beautifully.

The band is tight, the riffs of the Stützer brothers, Michael and Morten, defining their sound, the rhythm section of bassist Peter Thorslund and drummer Josua Madsen holding their own and singer Michael Bastholm Dahl choosing more melodic tones than the harsh, brutal ones favoured by some.

This is a sometimes powerful, sometimes straightforward album, with technical riffs and breakneck shredding but has just the right balance of melodic touches and hard-hitting sections.

This album doesn’t break any new ground for the band, following on from where 2013’s Legions album, which I also checked out along with this one, left off, their sound already well-established………

……….but it should secure their position as one of the most respected veterans of the genre.

Track Listing:
1. In Defiance Of Conformity
2. Live By The Scythe
3. Penalty By Perception
4. Mercy Of Ignorance
5. Rites Of War
6. Sin Of Innocence
7. When The Magic Is Gone
8. Cosmic Brain
9. Deity Machine
10. Path Of The Atheist
11. Welcome To The Mind Factory

LINE-UP:
Michael Bastholm Dahl – vocals
Michael Stutzer – guitars
Morten Stutzer – guitars
Peter Thorslund – bass
Josua Madsen – drums

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King 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

Brick – Faceless Strangers

Brick – Faceless Strangers
Scarlet Records
Release Date: 05/08/2016
Running Time: 36:06
Review by Dawn King
6/10

Recorded in the midst of the dark Swedish Småland forests and due to be released on the 5th August 2016 by Scarlet Records, “Faceless Strangers” is the debut full length album by Swedish metallers Brick.

Formed in Värnamo, Sweden, in March 2014 by Matte Lilja on guitar and Dado Hrnic on drums and percussion, the band expanded somewhat until they were six members strong. Four months later they had enough material to release the EP “Bagging Memories” which contained early versions of the tracks “Megan”, “Last Day”, “Bagging Rainbows” and “World of Lies”

The band started to tour but tensions built up resulting in guitarist Jon Eskilsson being asked to leave, throwing the band into a few months of uncertainty while they found a replacement. Stefan Bergstrand was eventually the man to fill the position and so complete the line of today.

Teaming up with Scarlet Records gave the band more confidence and “Faceless Strangers” was born. Originally influenced by Swedish hardcore legends such as The Haunted and At The Gates, later influences also include Pantera, Killswitch Enage and Lamb of God but listen closely and you can also hear the up-beat rock pop of the likes of Blink 182, Sum 41 and Good Charlotte thrown in for good measure.

Johan Huitgren’s vocals are easily compared to that of early heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Dio, but every now and then veering off on a tangent to something a bit more punky or industrial, giving the album a bit more diversity.

The music throughout the album keeps to a steady beat, providing a solid foundation for the riffs, drops and solos of each track, and the lyrics deal with a host of everyday themes, from the Middle East Crisis to the perks of drug dealing to the end of mankind.

Stand out tracks for me were “From My Hell & Back”, “Not Five Times or More” and “Last Day” but every track has its own merits, even the more punkier ones that might not appeal to a more seasoned heavy metal fan.

On the whole this is a very good debut album and I will definitely be keeping my ears out for anything this band put out in the future.

TRACKLISTING:
1. The Beast
2. Bagging Rainbows
3. Bloody Mistress
4. Faceless Strangers
5. Last Day
6. Not Five Times or More
7. From My Hell and Back
8. Love Song
9. World of Lies
10. Megan

LINE-UP:
Johan Hultgren – Vocals
Mattias Lilja – Guitar
Dado Hrnic – Drums
Stefan Bergstrand – Guitar
Erik “Gora” Göransson – Bass
Gustav Widerquist – Keyboards

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King 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

Alter Bridge – The Last Hero

Alter Bridge – The Last Hero
Napalm Records
Release Date: 07/10/2016
Running Time: 1:11
Review by Dawn King
9/10

With four full length albums under their belts, Alter Bridge, the American rock band from Orlando in Florida, are back in 2016 with their new album “The Last Hero” set for release on 7th October by Napalm Records.

Originally cited as a supergroup when they formed in 2004 following the disbandment of Creed, they have now secured their spot as one of the best live bands around and their uniqueness is clear to see with this release.

After singer Myles Kennedy spent much of 2015 touring with Slash and lead guitarist Mark Tremonti worked on two albums and a tour with his self-titled group, the band reconvened in late 2015 and, alongside producer Michael “Elvis” Baskette, started work on something that was darker and more political in nature than anything they had done before.

A 13 song masterpiece, “The Last Hero” kicks off with the first single release from the album “Show Me A Leader” a song that reflects a lot of people’s frustration at the state of the world and it is obvious this is the start of an epic journey.

With themes such as political leadership, global warming and heroism throughout, this is a bold rock album that portrays our troubled times. It is harder-edged and more focused with many aspects of previous albums replaced with a streamlined logo and political lyricism. “Writings on the Wall” is about people who deny the legitimacy of global warning, “Poison in your Veins” is about believing in oneself while “My Champion” is an ode to Kennedy’s parents whose encouragement drove him to achieve his dreams.

Musically, Kennedy and Tremonti continue to set the bar when it comes to their guitar skills. Their playing is incredible throughout the entire album and they constantly trade off one another with waves of heavy riffs and outstanding solos. The rhythm section comprising of Brian Marshall on the bass and Scot Phillips on the drums is powerful and solid, and mixed together with the amazing vocal range of Kennedy, the band truly are developing a sound that is quite unique to them.

The album finishes with the title track “The Last Hero” and, at an epic seven minutes long, rounds the album off on a high. This is an album that not only sounds bloody good, but makes you think too. The world as we know it is falling apart, and these guys know it. Political themes may not be to everyone’s taste, some people preferring just to rock out to some good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, but if we can bring world issues to the foreground using rock music, then surely that’s a good thing? Right?

Guitarist Mark Tremonti has previously been quoted as saying that “every time we do a record, my only goal is for people to simply think it’s better than the previous one.”

I think they succeeded…….but grab yourself a copy when its released on 7th October and see for yourself!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Show Me a Leader
2. The Writing on the Wall
3. The Other Side
4. My Champion
5. Poison in your Veins
6. Cradle to the Grave
7. Losing Patience
8. This Side of Fate
9. You Will be Remembered
10. Crows on a Wire
11. Twilight
12. Island of Fools
13. The Last Hero

LINE-UP:
Myles Kennedy – lead vocals and guitar
Mike Tremonti – lead guitar and backing vocals
Brian Marshall – bass
Scot Phillips – drums

LINKS:

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn ‘The Metal Priestess’ King 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

The Goatbox Rebels – Let Us All Bleed Integrity EP

The Goatbox Rebels – Let Us All Bleed Integrity EP
Northern Assembly Recordings
Release Date: 17/06/2016
Running Time: 19:54
Review by Dawn King

7/10

The Goatbox Rebels are a heavy rock trio from Toronto, Ontario. They were founded in Montreal in 2011 by guitarist Ivan Westley, who started out as a solo blues artist, and he was joined onstage from 2014 by Nate Finucci (ex-The Nursery / The Savilles) on drums.

Heavy influenced by 1970’s/1980’s rock and metal, the duo took a different direction with their music and they were soon joined by Colin James Gibson (The Stormalongs) on bass and vocals, so completing the line up.

“Let Us All Bleed Integrity” is the latest EP from the band, released by Northern Assembly Recordings on 17th June 2016.

So how do we define this 4 track recording? Well, as all good rock bands should be, it’s an assorted bag with strains drawn from many genres of music. Its dirty, hard rock mixed with heavy blues and a bit of punk thrown in for good measure. It has heavy sounds throughout yet with catchy tunes that should widen its appeal.

The EP is fast paced throughout, each track a full on rock assault. There are riffs aplenty, some catchy, some heavy, fantastic drum fills and the bass adds plenty of rhythm. This is an aggressive EP but it is obvious it has been put together by some very talented musicians.

Each track is different to the others, my favourite being the final song “Icarus”, and each deserves its place on the EP.

If you fancy listening to something a bit different, yet staying with the boundaries of rock and metal then this is the band for you. Get yourself a copy of “Let Us All Breed Integrity” and see what I mean.

If this EP is anything to go by, then the future is looking very bright for this bunch of guys and as quoted from the band’s website….”Sorry Monkey…..2016 is the year of the Goat”

……..and it very well just might be!!!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Black Tooth Grin
2. No Love Lost 4:24
3. Opium Dozer 3:51
4. Icarus

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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.

Beltfed Weapon – Raining Plague EP

Beltfed WeaponRaining Plague EP
Self-released
Release Date: 31/10/2015
Running Time:
Review by Dawn King

9/10

One thing I love about my job as a reviewer is the range of metal I have access to now, genres I would not normally listen to and bands that haven’t, as yet, come into my radar.

Beltfed Weapon was one such band. Having never even heard the name before, I probably would still be none the wiser to them if it hadn’t been for the power of social media and becoming friends with Frank Hetzel on Facebook and LinkedIn. Now, here was a guy determined to get his music out, sending me a hard copy cd in the post when all electronic methods let him down. And I am so glad he did.

Beltfed Weapon was formed by rhythm guitarist/songwriter Frank in Seattle, Washington in 1999 and they have since played alongside bands such as Overkill, Metal Church, Nile, Kreator, Nevermore, Obituary and Testament, to name but a few.

Frank put the band into a hiatus in 2009 after various line-up changes but relaunched it in 2014 and “Raining Plague” was released on 31st October 2015.

Featuring the talents of many musicians, this is a band who have expanded their sound with increased speed, precision and melody while keeping the aggression fans have come to expect.

Brutally thrashing yet melodic, punchy but groovy guitar sounds of Andy Beech on lead and Frank Hetzel on rhythm coupled with great guest solos from Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy, Nevermore) and Matt Wicklund (God Forbid, Warrel Dane), some of metal’s most impressive shredders, have given these thrash metallers a much more progressive sound than previous Beltfed Weapon releases, appealing to a wider audience, and the rhythm section of Steve DiGiorgio (Testament, Death) on bass and Frederik Widigs (still with Marduk) on drums feature in their own right and don’t just fade into the background.

Vocalist Dean Sternberg combines his clean vocals with rougher ones, normally more suited to death metal, and although I am not usually a fan of so-called ‘dirty’ vocals, the mix works well here.

All in all, I loved this 6 track EP. I have already featured my favourite track “Darkness Falls” on my radio show and I hope to play more in the future. I have seen this EP being called ‘a killer ep’ and I must say I have to agree. Each time I listen through it, I hear something different, so although it is in your face brutal thrash metal, it is also deep with lots of layers. It gives any metal loving fan everything they could possibly want, and all in six tracks.

So get yourself a copy and thrash til your head hurts. You know you want to!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Szcred Reprisal
2. Mind Rape
3. Darkness Falls
4. Black Matter Clarity
5. Spread Your Wings
6. Raining Plague

LINE-UP:
Frank Hetzel – Guitars
Andy Beech – Guitars (lead)

LINKS:


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.

Maranua-Storey Project – A Shoulder for the Crow

Maranua-Storey Project – A Shoulder for the Crow
Self-released (original) / Dr John Surgery Records (re-release)
Release Date: 2016(orginal) 16/09/2019 (re-release)
Running time: 48:01
Review by Dawn King
9/10

Personally, I love listening to music that cannot be defined into any one particular genre of metal and this is true of “A Shoulder for the Crow” by Maranua-Storey Project. As soon as the first song kicked in I knew this one wasn’t going to fall into a solitary category on the metal/rock spectrum.

Officially formed in September 2011, the Maranua-Storey Project is an anglo-indonesian collaboration between Uk based singer/songwriter Mark Storey and Indonesia based guitarist/producer Tommy Maranua, and “A Shoulder for the Crow” is their latest offering.

So, how do we pigeonhole this album? The answer is simple…..we don’t. Combining different styles and influences, a hard and heavy groove with catchy melodies and singalong choruses, the result is kick-ass rock with a very real ‘in-your-face’ attitude. These guys will play what the hell they want and they don’t care if you like it or not.

Siting bands such as Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Disturbed, Motley Crue and Iggy Pop as influences, this is very apparent in their sound. But this does not take away from the fact they have added their own unique twist. Throwing in a bluesy influence to their obvious rock and metal roots, they have developed a sound that is entirely their own.

With blistering guitar solos and tight drumming coupled together with Mark’s distinctive vocals, this is an album that will have you headbanging to its heavy riffs one minute and dancing around the living room the next. It is a highly energetic performance but one that is packed with raw passion and an evident belief in themselves.

Title track “A Shoulder for the Crow” could easily be played on Planet Rock, its listenability well suited to radio play, while opening track “Down in the Basement”, my favourite on the album, would be more appropriate for an underground, metal-orientated station, showing that these guys have a versatility that means the “only thing predictable about them is the fact they are going to deliver kick-ass tunes.”

So get yourself off to Planet S and get yourself a copy of “A Shoulder for the Crow.”

You will NOT be disappointed.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Down In The Basement
2. Dance Ourselves To Death
3. Price You Pay
4. Dirty Little Mouth
5. Glamoured
6. Voodoo Blues
7. Devil In Ya
8. Good Love
9. Wonderland
10. Play God
11. Again
12. A Shoulder For The Crow
13. Scatterbrain

LINE-UP:
Mark Storey – Vocals & Blues Harp
Tommy Maranua – Lead & Rhythm Guitar / Bass
Faried Badjeber – Drums

LINKS:

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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.