Reviews

Grand Magus – Sword Songs

grand-magus

8 OUT OF 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!!)

Track Listing:

  • 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)

Grand Magus are:

  • Janne “JB” Christofferson – vocals, guitar
  • Mats “Fox” Skinner – bass, vocals
  • Ludwig “Ludde” Witt – drums

Social Media:

  • http://www.grandmagus.com
  • https://www.facebook.com/grandmagusofficial
  • https://myspace.com/grandmagusrocks
  • https://twitter.com/grandmagus
  • Also available on Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn

 

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

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8 OUT OF 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

Artillery are:

Michael Bastholm Dahl – vocals
Michael Stutzer – guitars
Morten Stutzer – guitars
Peter Thorslund – bass
Josua Madsen – drums

Social Media:

  • https://www.facebook.com/ARTILLERY.DK
  • http://www.artillery.dk
  • http://twitter.com/artillerymetal

 

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

6 out of 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.

Track Listing:

  • The Beast
  • Bagging Rainbows
  • Bloody Mistress
  • Faceless Strangers
  • Last Day
  • Not Five Times or More
  • From My Hell and Back
  • Love Song
  • World of Lies
  • Megan

Brick are:

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

Social Media:

  • www.brickswe.com/
  • https://www.facebook.com/Brick.SWE/

 

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

9 OUT OF 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:

  • Show Me a Leader
  • The Writing on the Wall
  • The Other Side
  • My Champion
  • Poison in your Veins
  • Cradle to the Grave
  • Losing Patience
  • This Side of Fate
  • You Will be Remembered
  • Crows on a Wire
  • Twilight
  • Island of Fools
  • The Last Hero

Alter Bridge are:

  • Myles Kennedy – lead vocals and guitar
  • Mike Tremonti – lead guitar and backing vocals
  • Brian Marshall – bass
  • Scot Phillips – drums

Social Media:

  • https://www.alterbridge.com/
  • https://twitter.com/alterbridge
  • https://www.facebook.com/alterbridge
  • https://www.youtube.com/user/alterbridge
  • also available on: Deezer, Spotify and TuneIn

 

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

 

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THE GOATBOX REBELS

LET US ALL BLEED INTEGRITY

7 OUT OF 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!!!

 

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

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Beltfed Weapon

Raining Plague

9 OUT OF 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!

 

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

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Maranua-Storey Project

A Shoulder for the Crow

9 OUT OF 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.

 

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.

MEARFEST 4 at THE BORDERLINE

MEARFEST 4

THE BORDERLINE, LONDON

13TH AUGUST 2016

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I was approached by Brian and Claire Mear well over a year ago to dj their event, organised to help raise money for The Willow Group, a charity that provides support to parents of stillborn babies, and I jumped at the chance. Not only was this a great opportunity to support them in their grief, after losing little baby Molly, but what better way to gather a crowd of metal heads together to raise money for such a worthwhile cause than a day of NWOBHM?

A genre that is still very popular with a lot of metal fans, the day boasted four original NWOBHM bands in Troyen, Sacrilege, The Deep and headliners Desolation Angels, as well as Kaine, a younger band heavily influenced by the NWOBHM sound, and up and coming guys Not Fit For Humans.

Held at The Borderline in London, a downstairs venue with a capacity of 300, a bar at one end and a stage at the other, this was the perfect location for an event such as this, its cellar like qualities adding to the atmosphere.

Brian and Claire had a personal connection to this event, and that showed in how well run and organised it was. Having a curfew of 10:30pm, there was a strict timescale to stick to, and this was handled brilliantly by both Brian and the stage manager Kevin Riddles, each band getting on and going off when they were supposed to. The place had a great sound system, although I, personally, thought the microphones of some of the bands needed to go up a touch, and there was a fantastic vibe from the crowd that showed they were all there to have a good time in support of such a wonderful cause.

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The evening kicked off with Not Fit For Humans, a band who have featured in every Mearfest event since its conception six years ago. Although not a metal band, more a punk band, these guys put in a blistering performance for the whole twenty minutes they were allocated. A four piece, they describe themselves as “the best band to come out of Slough EVER!” and they were a great opener, playing a mix of covers and original songs, and as they said to me afterwards…you can’t go wrong with a bit of Motorhead, eh?

Next up were Kaine, a four piece originals band and these guys total brought the house down. Playing older tracks, songs from their latest album The Waystone and new tunes, they put in one of the best performances of the night. The bass player is simply superb and Rage Sadler is the perfect frontman, playing off the crowd as only a frontman should.

Troyen were the next band to take to the stage and I must say I didn’t really know too much about these, despite being friends with at least one of the band members on Facebook. Another four piece, this time hailing from Warrington, they put in a much more subdued performance than that of Kaine before them but this is still a talented band, with a great guitarist and I hope to see more of them in the future.

I had seen Sacrilege a few times before but I must say this was the best I had witnessed them. A crowd favourite, they were full of energy, playing the first half an hour of their set without a break. Bassist Jeff Rollins is the onstage character and Bill Beadle’s voice hit all the notes, even the high ones, every single time. This was another great performance, NWOBHM with a little bit of doom thrown in for good measure.

Five piece, The Deep followed next, kicking off with their version of “The Sound of Silence” as a tribute to Brian and Claire, before launching, steadfast, into their own material. Vocalist Tony Coldham has a fantastic voice, backed by great guitarists, another superb bassist and a young, but talented, drummer. These were another crowd favourite and finished their set with Prepare To Rock, a song written after the atrocities at the Battaclan in 2015.

So that just left us with headliners Desolation Angels. “Purveyors of melodic, face melting, heavy rock riffs” as stated on their Facebook page, these guys have been around since the early 80’s, albeit with various line-up changes, and this was my first time seeing them with ex-Midnight Messiah singer, charismatic frontman Paul Taylor. Playing tracks from their back catalogue, including previously released as a single Valhalla, Desolation Angels were the perfect headliner. Given nearly an hours playing time, they gave 100% to each song, putting in a performance they should be very proud of.

Mearfest

It was great to see a collection of bands working so hard to achieve what they have. If NWOBHM is a dying genre as some people believe, and after Mearfest 4 I seriously doubt that, then the guys in these bands are doing their best to keep it alive.

All in all Mearfest 4 was a total and utter success. Selling out the 300 capacity and raising £4,000.00 for The Willows Group, Brian and Claire Mear should be extremely proud of what they achieved. They have worked tirelessly for over a year to make sure this event was as great as it was, despite their grief and they truly have turned “loss into legacy”

Here’s to Mearfest 5!!

SETLISTS

Not Fit For Humans

Blitzkreig Bop (Ramones cover)

Let It Rain

Breaking The Law (Judas Priest cover)

Hell Has A High Price

Suffragette City (David Bowie Cover)

Fall River

Damage Case/ Overkill Outro (Motorhed cover)

Kaine

Heaven’s Abandonment

Iron Lady

A Night Meets Death

Justice, Injustice

Fall of Jericho

Afterlife

Voice In Hell

Quality of Madness

Troyen

Backlash

Dreams Never Lie

Finish What You Started

Don’t Send Me To War

Futures Friend

First Blood

Syrian Lady

Sacrilege

In The Arena

Ashes to Ashes

Running Scared

In Hell

Cry Of The Night

Live Another Day

Welcome To The Dragons Den

Rock n Roll With The Devil

The Wraith (we gotta get outta this place)

My Time To Die

The Deep

The Sound of Silence

Premonition

The Rider

All I Want

Night Stalker

Out Of Touch

When The Rains Came

Prepare To Rock

Desolation Angels

Doomsday

Fury

Medusa

Archangel

Valhalla

Only Time Will Tell

Dance Of The Demons

Evil Possessor

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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.

Electus! – The Dark

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ELECTUS

THE DARK

8 OUT OF 10

“Electus” are a hard rock band from the West Midlands in the UK formed in 2008 by vocalist and rhythm guitarist Russell Peake and it was him who approached me via social media to review their debut album “The Dark” which was released in 2015.

The album starts off with the ambient “Shelter”, an instrumental which, having a vocalist who also plays rhythm guitar, shows the talents of every member of this very gifted foursome. The song ends to the sound of rain and an air raid siren in the background before the album truly kicks off with the rock and roll riffs of “18”, a song about taking control of one’s own life.

“Aphrodite” has a blistering guitar solo and stand out song for me “Just For One Night” grabs you right from the start with its punchy riffs and catchy lyrics.

The pace slows down a bit with the more ballady “Sunflower” although this does build up again mid-song with Priest-like guitar work, and the album finishes with “Rider”, a bass-lead song that has some great riffs, a fantastic guitar solo and confident drumming. If the follow up album carries on in the same vein as this track, then the band are on to another winner.

This is not an intricate album but one that so obviously has some classic rock and metal influences. It has everything from gripping intros to heavy bass lines and catchy drum beats, bluesy in some places, dark in others. The vocals of Russell Peake, which have been compared to those of Scott Weiland in his Velvet Revolver days, give the band a distinctive sound that sets them apart from other hard rock bands.

And what this album does have is a ‘what you see is what you get‘ attitude, with hard rock songs written the way hard rock songs should be. It is a classic rock and roll album with a hint of grunginess and a pinch of country (a la Molly Hatchett).

In the words of “Electus” themselves, they “will always create music which conjures the full range of emotions and deliver a visual live performance that leaves the audience thinking ‘wow…more please!’”

I, personally, love the whole sound of this album and even after a week in my car, I never tired of it, re-visiting again to write the review.

“Electus” are an up and coming band who show just what sheer hard work can achieve and with some dates set for the rest of the year and, hopefully, another album in the pipeline, this is a band who are destined for much bigger things.

“The Dark” is available now for digital download from Googleplay.

 

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.

Svartnad – The Pete Flesh Death Trip

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THE PETE FLESH DEATH TRIP

SVARTNAD

8 OUT OF 10

Starting out on my review writing career I never thought I would veer away from the genres of metal that I knew and loved, but when Pete Flesh from The Pete Flesh Deathtrip approached me to review his new album “Svartnad” I thought why not give it a go?

Although Pete Flesh himself, ex-Flesh, Deceiver, Thrown and Maze of Torment, has been on the scene for much longer, his solo project The Pete Flesh Deathtrip was conceived in 2009 and was originally classed as a one man band, releasing first album “Morti Vivos Docent” in 2013.

“Svartnad” is the second album from the Swedish death metal outfit, and, released by Critical Mass Recordings in 2016, it is the first to feature a session drummer, namely Henrik Borg, with Mr Flesh playing both guitar and bass as well as providing vocals.

“Svartnad” is a very atmospheric album, dark and moody with the ability to get under your skin and stuck in your head. Melodies combine with beautiful riffs that are sometimes there just to compliment the lyrics, while at others, they can completely dominate the track.

The first track “In Ruinam Iniquitas” opens the album with pumping riffs, sounding almost thrashy in places, and the record maintains the same pace throughout, ending abruptly with a gunshot.

The album has a typical Scandinavian sound and, although it’s not the genre of metal I would usually listen to, it’s obvious this guy is a very talented musician indeed. There is great songwriting throughout, the guitar solos are fantastic and although the vocals are guttural growls, there are no dirty vocals and the lyrics can easily be understood, always a good thing in my opinion.

The stand out songs for me were “Winter of the Wolves”, which I also played on my radio show a few weeks back, and opening track “In Ruinam Iniquitas”

Even you are not a fan of death metal I recommend you give this album a whirl. I am a thrash girl at heart but I actually really enjoyed it, learning the lesson that you should never judge anything before you have actually listened to it.

This may be the work of just one man, but this is one man with the heart, feeling and talents of an entire band. Ignore him at your peril.

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.