Warrant – Louder, Harder, Faster

Warrant-Louder-Harder-Faster

Warrant – Louder, Harder, Faster
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date:12/05/2017
Running time: 44:04
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I feel I was born too late where the rock and metal scene is concerned, many of my favourite bands being at the top of their game when I was too young to really appreciate them. This has meant that over the years there have been many bands that have passed me by and Warrant is one of them. Only really knowing their cheesy hit “Cherry Pie” through endless airplay on MTV and radio stations, I never really had much desire to check them out.

And what a mistake that was! With eight million records sold worldwide, two top ten Billboard albums, five top forty Billboard hits and five number one MTV videos, Warrant had the peak of their popularity at the end of the 1980’s and beginning of the 1990’s, forming part of the glam rock scene (another reason I am surprised they didn’t have that much effect on me to start with as I love that particular genre of metal!)

Formed in the mid 80’s by Erik Turner and Jerry Dixon, they released their classic debut album “Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich” in 1989 and, with extensive touring, sales exceeded two million records in the US alone!

1990 saw the release of their second album “Cherry Pie” and, produced by Beau Hill (Alice Cooper, Winger, Europe and Ratt) it featured hits “I Saw Red” and the anthem “Cherry Pie” which received massive airplay on MTV and still does to this day, making it probably their most well-known hit.

In 2008, their lead singer and songwriter Jani Lane quit the band and he was replaced by ex-Lynch Mob vocalist Robert Mason. Often referred to as one of the most prolific songwriters of the 1980’s, Lane died in 2011 from acute alcohol poisoning.

The band kept going and in 2011 released “Rockaholic” the first to feature Mason on vocals and the album that relaunched them as a force to be reckoned with in the 21st century.

Now, six years later, “Louder Harder Faster” has been released with a line-up of original members and is proving that Warrant are now stronger than ever!! With the production handled by Foreigner and ex-Dokken bass player Jeff Pilson, Warrant are sounding tighter and are playing better than ever and “Louder Harder Faster” remains true to the bands roots, full of rocking songs with some classic ballads thrown in.

Warrant have always had a catchy, very melodic style and that remains their signature sound even now, although they did experiment with a more grunge orientated album in the mid 1990’s to acknowledge the growing popularity of that genre.

Mason’s vocals are still a breath of fresh air and it is clear he was the best choice as a replacement for Lane. He has a swagger about him that gives new life to the band who are now “fired up and more inspired than ever musically.”

Stand out songs for me were “Music Man”, which starts off acoustically before crashing into a blues-filled rock song, title track “Harder Louder Faster” which sets the tone for the rest of the album from the outset and “New Rebellion” and of course, there is the customary rock ballad in “U In My Life.”

The thing I love most about the glam rock genre is the ability of the songs to make you dance around your living room like a complete nutter!! And this album certainly made me do that. Even sitting here, listening to it on my headphones, I am bopping away as I type. It is a real feel good album and one more suited to the summer. I can just imagine driving down the motorway, roof down (if my car had the ability to do that!) with the sun shining and this blasting from the speakers!

I just have one question now for the boys?……..when are you coming to play London because I will be first one there.

Classic Warrant, classic glam rock, excellent music!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Louder Harder Faster
02. Devil Dancer
03. Perfect
04. Only Broken Heart
05. U In My Life
06. Music Man
07. Faded
08. New Rebellion
09. Big Sandy
10. Choose Your Fate
11. Let It Go

LINE-UP:

LINKS:

WarrantPhoto

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King, Metal Gods TV 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

First published on http://www.metalgodstv.com

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metals Gods TV

Evyltyde – Rising

EVYLTYDE--Rising--Cover

Evyltyde – Rising
Self-released
Release Date: 27/03/2017
Running time: 44:26
Review By Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

Evyltyde are a London based band formed in October 2013 by Danny Merton, guitarist, and Hannah Delany, vocalist, and Rising is their second album released on 27th March 2017.

Since their conception, this female fronted band have performed extensively throughout the UK and have supported rock legend Graham Bonnet and were tour support for Accept/Bonfire/Bangalor Choir vocalist David Reece’s new band RPG. They state their influences as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Dio, Black Sabbath and Pantera, and these influences are clear from the onset.

Evyltyde are, as stated on their Facebook page, “one of London’s fastest rising metal acts combining powerful, melodic vocals with hard-hitting, edgy guitar riffs that create a unique and distinctive melding of numerous metal genres, from thrash to gothic” and I cannot think of a better way to describe them.

This ten track album is very mature and structured and its lyrical content emphasises some of the problems of modern day society and culture. With song titles such as “What You Believe”, “Medicated Generation” and “Edge of the World”, with the haunting line “when will we ever learn”, the album deals with a lot of ethical, political and personal themes.

The first track on the album is “Monster.” Depicting the fight between good and evil, its melodic chorus and great guitar solo, backed with heavy riffs, make this one of my favourite on the album. “I wish you could see, the monster isn’t me”, the final concluding line of the chorus would resonate with a lot of people. It certainly did with me.

“No Violet” is probably the heaviest track on the album and my second favourite. I love the way Hannah’s voice gets that robotic edge to it and the line “I don’t want to be a Cinderella” could actually be my mantra because life is, and will never be, a fairytale.

While I am on the subject of Hannah’s voice, this lady must be congratulated on a superb performance. Her voice is clear and crisp and compliments well with the powerful guitars. Always a fan of female fronted bands, I have, nonetheless, struggled with some of the extremes. Hannah’s voice, however, falls right in the middle. Powerful enough to compete with the pounding guitars, yet feminine enough to pull off ballads such as “Forever.” There is, also, a great mix with the gruffer male vocals that appear on some of the tracks.

Those of you who know me, will already know I am a huge fan of galloping riffs, those proper, meaty guitar riffs that echo through your belly, riffs how they should be! And I am pleased to say that this album has them in plenitude, one of the reasons I fell in love with it.

These guys are obviously all talented musicians and they work well together. Their sound is tight, there are fantastic guitar solos throughout and the rhythm section is strong and solid. It’s hard to believe that they have only been playing together for a few years, but they each bring their own talent and they complement each other very well.

Credit has to be given also to the songwriting skills and the production of this album and a self release it should not be.

I very much look forward to what this great band has to offer in the future and I sincerely hope they continue to produce material as good as this. As a result I will check out their first album and I also hope to catch them at a gig sometime soon.

The album is called “Rising” and that’s exactly what these guys are doing in the metal world!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Monster
2. Eye For An Eye
3. Dark Within
4. Medicated Generation
5. Forever
6. No Violet
7. Edge Of The World
8. What You Believe
9. Tomorrow May Not Come
10. Hand Of Fate

LINE-UP:
Danny Merton – Guitars
Hannah Delany – Vocals
Noah Scott – Bass
Phillip Tetlow – Drums

LINKS:

Evyltyde--PromoPhoto_02

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

Black Hawk – The End Of The World

The End Of The World Cover

Black Hawk – The End Of The World
Pure Underground Records
Release Date 19/05/2017
Running Time 46:46
Review by Rick Tilley
7/10

Black Hawk are a German Heavy Metal band and listening to them they really couldn’t be anything else and that, my friends, is a good thing! First formed in 1981, it wasn’t until 1989 that they actually released their first official EP ‘First Attack’ This was followed by a demo ‘5 By 5’ in 1995 and then the band split up in 1997. That’s hardly prolific is it? However in 2005 Black Hawk decided to reform and since then they have done a much better job of keeping their name in the loop by releasing five full length albums, the last of which was ‘A Mighty Metal Axe’ released in 2013!

Fast forward to 2017 and in May they released album number six ‘The End Of The World’ and it’s a good and solid forty five minutes of music without being ground breaking or exceptional. ‘Return Of The Dragon’ is the first thing you’ll hear, a slow, brooding instrumental introduction piece that you just get the feeling is going to lead into something faster and first track proper ‘Streets Of Terror’ doesn’t let you down. Wailing guitars, good riff, double bass drumming, audible bass and great solo all combine to make it a good opener. Vocalist Udo Bethke isn’t Michael Kiske but he possesses a good enough voice for Heavy/Power Metal of this nature. ‘Killing For Religion’ is next and it’s a mid-paced thumper that sounds a bit like U.D.O. the band. Actually Accept/U.D.O. is a pretty good reference point. Throw in Grave Digger, a little Gamma Ray and a few NWOBHM/Heavy Rock influences and that’s what Black Hawk are all about.

Guitarists Wolfgang Tewes and Günny Kruse are the musicians here that raise the quality of the tracks. Their solos are very good indeed and the production and mix add to that. Other tracks that piqued my interest were ‘Ruler Of The Dark’, ‘Scream In The Night’, ‘Legacy Of Rock’ (much more of a rocky number, with a simple but very likeable riff) and final track ‘Dragonride’17’ which is a re-recording of the title track from Black Hawk’s 2007 album!

All in all ‘The End Of The world’ ticks all the requisite boxes and Black Hawk certainly don’t let you down, but with the plethora of bands playing this type of music extremely well, especially in Germany, then there is a possibility of them getting overlooked. Black Hawk’s musicianship isn’t in question but it would help their cause if they could write some slightly bigger hooks!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Return Of The Dragon
2. Streets Of Terror
3. Killing For Religion
4. What A World
5. Ruler Of The Dark
6. The End Of The World
7. Scream In The Night
8. Legacy Of Rock
9. Just Like In Paradise
10. Dancing With My Demons
11. Dragonride’17

LINE-UP:
Wolfgang Tewes – Guitars
Udo Bethke – Vocals
Michael “Zottel” Wiekenberg – Bass
Günny Kruse – Guitars
Matthias Meßfeldt – Drums

LINKS:

Promo Pic2

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

Accept – Restless And Live (2CD Version)

Restless And Live Cover

Accept – Restless And Live (2CD Version)
Nuclear Blast
Release Date 13/01/2017
Running Time: CD1 71:16 CD2 68:15
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!

TRACKLISTING:
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

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

LINE-UP:
Mark Tornillo – Vocals
Wolf Hoffmann – Guitars
Uwe Lulis – Guitars
Peter Baltes – Bass
Christopher Williams – Drums

LINKS:

Promo Pic1 (9)

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

Final Drive – Dig Deeper

Dig Deeper Cover

Final Drive – Dig Deeper
Self-released
Release Date 03/02/2017
Running Time: 31:06
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!

TRACKLISTING:
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

LINE-UP:
Jordan Gaw – Vocals
Nathan Easter – Guitars
Alex Wheeler – Drums
Raymond Tucker – Bass

Additional Lead Guitars:
Charlie Bellmore
Pat Seymour

LINKS:

Promo Pic1 (8)

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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
Self-released
Release Date: 31/05/2015
Running Time: 49:33
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/

TRACKLISTING:
1. Discover
2. Remain
3. Little Time
4. The Sign
5. False Power
6. Drunk Fuck
7. Someone Else
8. LFW
9. Right Hand Man
10. We Live
11. Wrong But Righteous

LINE-UP:
STUART BARKER – Drums
ANDREW BARKER – Guitar / Vocal
MARTY VENTURA – Guitar / Vocal
DANNY WILLIAMS – Bass

LINKS:

scare-tactics-band.jpg

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.

This review was first published on Metal Gods Tv

God Shaped Devil – Creator of Sodom EP

God Shaped Devil – Creator of Sodom EP
Self Released
Release Date: 06/11/2015
Running Time: 21:06
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!!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Lobotomy
2. Contiuum
3. Creator of Sodom
4. Rage Inside
5. Pray for Death

LINE-UP:
Luyo – Bass
Luke – Drums
Becy – Guitars
Tony – Vocals

LINKS:

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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

Aggravator – Sterile Existence

36b Sterile Existence Cover

Aggravator – Sterile Existence
Dead Center Productions
Release Date 19/09/2016
Running Time 31:31
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!

TRACKLISTING:
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

LINE-UP:

Mike Cortes – Drums
Derek Jones – Guitars (rhythm), Vocals
Tristan Hernandez Bass
Jesse Lopez – Guitars (lead)

LINKS:

36c Promo Pic

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

High Spirits – Motivator

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High Spirits – Motivator
High Roller Records
Release Date 16/09/2016
Running Time 29:10
Review by Rick Tilley
8/10

Just take a look at the logo and artwork of High Spirits third album ‘Motivator’! Does it give you very nostalgic memories of late 70’s and early 80’s Metal and Rock releases? Well it certainly does to me and as Chicago based High Spirits are a new name on my radar it gave me hope that the music contained on the album instilled the same feeling! I’m very pleased to be able to tell you that it does indeed. ‘Motivator’ is a great, up-tempo, uplifting and feel good selection of tunes that skirt the NWOBHM / Hard Rock sound of that era. It may not be the most essential album you’ll hear but if you want a trip down memory lane, whilst listening to a band that manage to make the style feel fresh and fun then you won’t go wrong getting hold of ‘Motivator’!

High Spirits, formed in 2009, is the brainchild and solo project (at least in the studio) of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Chris Black. Chris has been involved in many projects over the years, most notably Pharaoh and Dawnbringer. Yes, everything on this album is done by one man but you certainly wouldn’t believe it from listening, it really does sound like five or six people playing. Of course whilst gigging, which High Spirits seem to do quite a bit of, Chris is joined by other musicians hence the promo picture below! Considering everything Chris does it’s difficult to know where he finds the time but this appears to be a man that can combine quantity with quality.

Musically ‘Motivator’ is a little gem and, at just shy of thirty minutes, is an album that leaves you wanting more. In an era where some bands are releasing EP’s longer than this and albums that barely fit on a CD, it’s tremendously refreshing to have a short and sharp selection of tracks that do exactly what they say on the tin! There are plenty of references to Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Nightwing and Foghat throughout. In fact, if you are old enough to remember the two ‘Metal For Muthas’ albums that DJ Neal Kaye compiled in the early 1980’s comprising of up and coming or underground bands then you’ll love High Spirits because they really do have that authentic feel to them!

Chris may not have the best voice you’ve ever heard but he is more than adequate, in fact it’s quite frustrating, in a nice way, to realise how good he is at every instrument. Some people are so damn talented! Production is also pretty good. Once again it gives the listener an authentic experience but still manages to sound up to date as well. Tracks such as opener ‘Flying High’, ‘Do You Wanna Be Famous’, ‘This Is The Night’ and ‘Thank You’ put a huge, cheesy grin on my face for all the right reasons and I nearly attempted to get back in my skinny jeans until I came to my 49 year old senses and avoided a hernia!

If you are fan of any of the above named bands or just fancy listening to an album that’s pure, unadulterated fun and obviously made with a lot of respect then ‘Motivator’ could be right up your street. I’m certainly going to check out High Spirits back catalogue

TRACKLISTING:
1. Up And Overture
2. Flying High
3. This Is The Night
4. Reach For The Glory
5. Do You Wanna Be Face
6. Haunted By love
7. Down The Endless Road
8. Take Me Home
9. Thank You

LINKS:

35c Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Metal Gods TV

Afterlife Symphony – Moment Between Lives

33b Moment Between Lives Cover

Afterlife Symphony – Moment Between Lives
Revalve Records
Release Date 09/09/2016
Running Time 57:29
Review by Rick Tilley
4.5/10

In more recent years there appears to have been a plethora of Metal and Rock bands emerging from Italy and, to my ears, a good majority of them in the Symphonic, Neo-Classical and Progressive genres are extremely good. Worldwide there has also been an explosion in female fronted bands and that can also only be a good thing, so when ’Moment Between Lives’ by Afterlife Symphony (a female fronted, Symphonic Metal band from Italy) appeared on the MGTV review list I said “yes, I’ll take that one”

I’ve now listened to the album about eight times, mainly in the hope that something will click and it will jump out at me, alas, I have to report that ‘Moment Between Lives’ is a mediocre album and Afterlife Symphony a band that are going to have to work at originality to stand out from the crowd.

At nearly sixty minutes in length ‘Moment Between Lives’ is made up of eleven tracks and on my first run through the album several of those did appear to contain pretty solid riffs (Courtesy of Eddy Talpo), some good orchestral sections and more than competent drumming from Antonio Gobbato, but rather than become more familiar each time they were listened to, they actually melded back into the rest of the album and the whole thing became one long, mid-paced and morose piece of music. What makes things more confusing is that this is supposed to be a concept album and the following quoted passage is taken from the record company’s website explaining the story!

“Moment Between Lives” is a concept album, a mystical journey between the esoteric and the vivid reality, between choices, dreams, loves, fears, anger and introspection. The circularity of the events, the continue question, the hunger for knowledge, these are the elements that form this album. Song after song, you advance, falling more and more in the comfort of the traveller.

” … Choose your life with care … “

Of course there are going to be some translation issues, but can anybody out there explain to me what is actually being said here? This is, at best, vague and unfortunately matches the music in its direction. Vocalist Anna Giusto has an ‘okay’ voice, it’s mostly in tune, but it lacks feeling and emotion and because most of the tracks are played in the same key and at the same speed it’s all a bit bland. On a couple of occasions she does come across sounding a bit Amy Lee but just when I think she is going to grab the music and take it up a level she falls short. Stefano Tiso plays good keyboards and piano and it’s his orchestral passages that make the best of the music available. In fact if it weren’t for those passages I’d be hard pressed to call this Symphonic Metal, It’s more standard metal with those pieces tagged on and as for bassist Nicolas Menarbin, he really doesn’t have much to do at all.

Only final song ‘Genesis Of Eternity’ shows any signs of really coming alive but it’s still not enough to get me more than mildly interested. If you think I sound mean saying all this then it’s because I’m frustrated. There is no doubt the five musicians here have talent but they are going to have to be much more convincing if there is to be another album. With so much excellent competition around these days, particularly in the Symphonic genre, then words such as mediocre, bland, samey and average really don’t cut it. I was expecting a lot more from Afterlife Symphony!

TRACKLISTING:
1. Half-Moon Light
2. The Abyss
3. Under The Sleeping Tree
4. My Existence To You
5. Broken Breath
6. Dreamer’s Paradox
7. Seventh
8. Last Hope
9. Novembre (Part I)
10. Novembre (Part II)
11. Genesis Of Eternity

LINE-UP:
Antonio Gobbato – Drums
Anna Giusto – Vocals
Nicolas Menarbin – Bass
Eddy Talpo – Guitars, Guitars (acoustic)
Stefano Tiso – Keyboards, Vocals

LINKS:

33d Promo Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley 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.

Reproduced here with kind permission  from  Metal Gods TV