Amon Amarth – Berserker

Beserker Cover

Amon Amarth – Berserker
Metal Blade Records (North America)/Sony Music (International)
Release Date: 03/05/2019
Running Time: 56:35
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

Amon Amarth’s eleventh full-length “Berserker” is a non-stop beast of an album with killer riffs, growling vocals and more energy than ten well known energy drinks and if you’re not headbanging by the end, I think you need to look into your choice of musical taste!

The band, which consists of Johan Hegg on vocals, Ted Lundstrom on bass, Johan Soderberg on guitar, Olavi Mikkonen also on guitar and Jocke Wallgren on Drums definitely knows how to pack a punch into an album.

Each track is its own mini story with awesome drumming and guitar riffs. Hegg’s gravel voice is epic, yet, unlike a lot of bands of this genre, you can still understand him which is a blessing as the power that goes into all the tracks would be lost and that would be a shame. These fast and heavy songs have brutal melodies whilst not missing a beat and go into some of the craziest riffs I have heard in a while.

The Swedish band recorded the album in Los Angeles with renowned studio guru Jay Ruston (Anthrax/Stone Sour) manning the controls and it was after recording several rounds for the new songs (initially with fellow Swedish metal icon Peter Tagtgren and later with Ruston himself) the band crossed the Atlantic to make the final recording in LA.

The track “The Berserker At Stamford Bridge” is a visceral but vivid historical tale, recounting the Vikings last stand against the English army in 1066 and with epic lyrics such as “Englishmen, I am waiting here, in my heart I know not one ounce of fear”, it conjures images in your head of a Viking stood tall and strong, wielding a axe not scared of death one bit.

Johan Hegg says that this is Amon Amarth 2.0 and I must agree. This album is so intense and powerful. Why would a band want to just keep going over and over the same things? Fans would soon wander off, so the fact they plan to explore themselves musically is only going to benefit us fans and they certainly are a band who wants to please the fans as well as themselves.

Hegg admits he has (and I quote) “the best fucking job in the word” and you can tell this by the album. They are not a band who just put lyrics to music and bang out album after album. There is a definite vibe in the album, a passion, a dynamic which has the hairs on the back of your neck on edge. It’s like listening to a metal story book and you need to keep listening to find out the next chapter.

Amon Amarth give it 100% and it shows, even the album cover is epic.

What can I say? Impressed? Yes! Love it? Hell yes! These guys give it hell.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Fafner’s Gold
02. Crack The Sky
03. Mjolner, Hammer Of Thor
04. Shield Wall
05. Valkyria
06. Ravens Flight
07. Ironside
08. The Berserker At Stamford Bridge
09. When Once Again We Can Set Our Sails
10. Skoll ans Hati
11. Wings Of Eagles
12. Into The Darkness

LINKS:
https://www.amonamarth.com/
http://www.facebook.com/AmonAmarth

https://www.instagram.com/amonamarth/
https://youtube.com/AmonAmarthOffical

 

Promo Pic

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Tsarina Wilson 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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Satan – Cruel Magic

 

cruel magic cover

Satan – Cruel Magic
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 07/09/2018
Running Time: 49:42
Review by Chris Galea
10/10

With a debut album released back in 1983, it was only after Satan’s 2011 reunion that the quintet started becoming relatively prolific as a recording band. Truth be told, Satan have been fairly consistent in the quality of their material, a fact complemented by a reputation for impressive live shows. With this “Cruel Magic”, the band notches 5 albums and therein lies the band’s dilemma: how do they retain the style that has gained them fame and admiration while not stagnating?

For a start the band has gone for a rawer, more ‘live’ sound. Regarding this aspiration, I read somewhere that in the recording studio they tried to resist the temptation to make too many takes, even if that meant leaving individual mistakes in the final product. And I have to say that’s certainly the impression I got from listening to the album. Rather than put me off, this approach was a masterstroke – it somehow gives the songs more appeal, makes them feel more genuine, more intuitive.

But the biggest achievement of “Cruel Magic” is that none of the songs feel boring and yet you know that they can only come from Satan. This is all down to the excellence of the songwriting. The riffs and vocals phrasings of ‘Into The Mouth of Eternity’ remind us that Metallica were one of the many bands influenced by Satan. ‘Ophidian’ is destined to be a classic in Satan’s repertoire. Besides having some blistering guitar solos ‘Legions Hellbound’ is notable for the smooth way the songs shifts from/to mellow and heavy parts.

I loved the guitar harmonies of ‘The Doomsday Clock’, a song about impending doom. ‘Ghosts Of Monongah’ is about the West Virginia mining tragedy of 1907 while in ‘Who Among Us’ Satan rise to the defence of Jesus Christ’s messages. You can see that even thematically, “Cruel Magic” is diverse, even though the songs seem to have a common thread of a foreboding doom. Suitably enough, the album ends with ‘Mortality’, a song where Satan play around with atmospheres and guitar sounds with interesting results.

Spot-on drumming, great melodies, inspired guitar solos, excellent songwriting….what more can one hope for? This is an album that I am liking more and more with each listen.

I’m generally hesitant to give full marks ratings but “Cruel Magic” is the archetype of all that is great about Heavy Metal.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Into The Mouth of Eternity
2. Cruel Magic
3. The Doomsday Clock
4. Legions Hellbound
5. Ophidian
6. My Prophetic Soul
7. Death Knell For A King
8. Who Among Us
9. Ghosts Of Monongah
10. Mortality

LINE-UP:
Brian Ross – vocals
Russ Tippins – guitars
Steve Ramsey – guitars
Graeme English – bass
Sean Taylor – drums

LINKS:
http://www.satanmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/officialsatanpage

https://satanuk.bandcamp.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuLTFfi-peM ‘The Doomsday Clock’ (Official Video)

promo pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea 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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath

Conqueror_s Oath Cover

Visigoth – Conqueror’s Oath
Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 09/02/2018
Running Time:
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

As many of you who have read my previous reviews will know, there are two genres of metal that I am particularly fond of. One is thrash, and the other is power metal, and Visigoth fall into the second of the two.

Now, being a power metal fan, I personally believe there are two distinct types of power metal, the first being the Hammerfall / Blind Guardian / Iron Saviour-esque metal that the Europeans and Scandinavians are so good at producing. The second could only be described as the cheesier type of power metal, you know, the kind that Manowar make…. hail to the king and all that?!

Well, Visigoth fall somewhere in between the two!

Formed in Salt Lake City, Utah in January 2010, they released their debut album “The Revenant King” in 2015 and earned themselves an underground following worldwide with their impassioned and electric live shows, performing at the highly esteemed Keep It True, Frost and Fire and Pounding Metal festivals, sharing the stage with Metal Blade legacy acts and inspirations Cirith Ungol and Omen.

In the words of their own press release, they have dedicated themselves to “worshipping at the ageless altars of heavy metal with a singular focus on writing music inspired by their favourite records,” and because of this, they wear their influences proudly on their sleeves.

Music to me is all about making the listener feel something and if an album can make you envisage a scene or storyline in your head, just like reading a book can, then the music makers have done their job.

This album is a typical “steel and glory” offering, the kind that conjures up images of hammers, axes and swords, of burnt and pillaged towns and of screaming and crying women and children, with heroic themes of conquest and adventure.

The booming baritone of vocalist Jake Rogers is the driving force of the band and, alongside the consistent drums and duelling guitars, with their savoury harmonies and meaty riffs, brings a larger than life energy to the songs.

This is an album of “8 iron-forged anthems of pure metal magick, guaranteed to satiate the hunger of the rock ‘n’ roll hordes.”

It was recorded at the Boar’s Nest with engineer extraordinaire Andy Patterson (Subrosa, Deathblow, Dreadnought) and mixed by Dave Otero of Flatline Audio (Satan’s Host, Nightbringer, Khemmis) The breath-taking cover artwork was designed by underground album art legend Kris Verwimp, whose work has also graced the covers of records by Absu, Bewitched, Desaster, Horna, Moonsorrow, Skullview, Arkona and many more.

This is a good, old-fashioned album full of solid heavy metal, from the slow and triumphant anthems such as Steel and Silver, the faster paced tracks like Warrior Queen. The band sound like they were formed decades ago, despite being a newish band, and although this album brings nothing new to the table, if you want to stick an album on and reminisce about the simpler times of heavy metal, then this is the album for you.

It is a juggernaut of pure American true metal done right. The only thing that really lets this album down is the track “Salt City.” Not because it is a bad song, I actually quite like it, but it doesn’t seem to fit in with things and it distracts you from the unstoppable march that has been the rest of the album.

This doesn’t, however, mean that you shouldn’t give this album a listen, because, if you are a power metal fan of any sort, you definitely should.

A mix of Manowar and Hammerfall with a hint of NWOBHM and traditional heavy metal can’t be all that bad now can it?

TRACK LISTING
01. Steel and Silver
02. Warrior Queen
03. Outlive Them All
04. Hammerforged
05. Traitor’s Gate
06. Salt City
07. Blades in The Night
08. The Conqueror’s Oath

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://en-gb.facebook.com/visigothofficial/
https://twitter.com/visigothslc?lang=en
https://visigothofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://instagram.com/visigothslc

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 adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Execration – Return To The Void

Execration return to the void cover

Execration – Return To The Void

Running Time 42:11

Released on 14-07-2017 via Metal Blade Records

6/10 – Review by Lee Preston

The fourth album from Norwegian death metallers, Execration has finally arrived. Clocking in at a concise 42 minutes, its short run time shouldn’t over stay its welcome. Unfortunately for every good thing there is something to annoy; it’s a shame as there are some great ideas which, when realised to their full potential, have some moments of brilliance, the case in point being the third track ‘Nekrocosm’ and fourth track ‘Cephalic Transmissions’.  Eerie guitar soundscapes give an uneasy oppressive vibe before the black metal influenced riffs kick in.

Unfortunately the rest of the album isn’t as convincing, the changing moods from quiet to loud don’t last long enough to make an impression and ideas seem unfinished and rushed without going anywhere. The vocals are the same, some varied styles from Chuck Schuldiner-esque growls and some black metal influenced screaming are functionary and get the job done.

Production-wise the bass has a great full, warm sound and is prominent in the mix without being overpowering, the guitars have a nice caustic cold tone similar to a lot of blackened thrash bands such as Aura Noir and Destroyer 666 and the drums are clear, albeit a bit thin and tinny sounding when things get a bit hectic on the faster material.

Overall, three great tracks, four potentially good tracks and two interludes. If you enjoy eclectic albums with a bit of prog, death metal and some black metal there is a lot to enjoy, if you want a straight head banging, aggressive release you’d be best looking elsewhere.

Execration promo pic

Track List –

  • Eternal Recurrence
  • Hammers Of Vulcan
  • Nekrocosm
  • Cephalic Transmissions
  • Blood Moon Eclipse
  • Unicursal Horrorscope
  • Through The Oculus
  • Return To The Void
  • Det Uransakelige Dyp

Links –

 

Disclaimer:  This review is the sole property of Lee Preston and Ever Metal.  It is strictly forbidden to reproduce any part of this review, unless you have the explicit permission of both parties; failure to comply will be treated as plagiarism and reported to the relevant authorities.