Iron Angel – Hellbound

Hellbound Cover

IRON ANGEL – HELLBOUND
Mighty Music
Release Date 04-05-2018
Running Time 46:44
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9/10

Iron Angel is a band who formed back in 1980 but one that is very much still going strong, even though there have been some changes in line up throughout the band’s career to date and, with their sound and energy, I bet their live shows are something out of this world, leaving the fans just as much out of breath as they are.

The band was formed in Hamburg in 1980 and are known for the two classic eighties metal albums “Hellish Crossfire” from 1985 and “Winds of War” from 1986. The band have toured with King Diamond, toured South America in 2017, which was a great success and performed at Headbangers Open Air in Germany in 2015.

The band have now, finally, released their comeback album “Hellbound” through Scandinavian premiere rock label Mighty Music, and are looking forward to completing a North & South American Tour for the Autumn of 2018.

Started in the 80’s alongside bands like Judas Priest, Saxon, and Iron Maiden, they have had a long and successful career with a few changes in line up along the way.
In 2000 they went into the studio to record their album “The Rebirth” but before they could finish it then band member Peter Wittke sadly died in a tragic car accident. The band cancelled everything and remained that way for four years. In 2004 Dirk and Mike tried to recruit new members and worked on a new album for three years but couldn’t find the members they wanted to join them, so they decided to put things on hold again. As a parting gift to the fans they presented the EP “Back From Hell”, which was done in a different style than they had done before. Sadly, a couple of months after the split another band member, Sven Struven, died.

Today’s line up consists of Dirk Schroder on vocals, Robert Altenbach and Mitsch Meyer on guitars, Didy Mackel on bass and finally Maximillian Behr on drums.

They had a dip in their career around 2014, when Didy Mackel noticed there were a lot of people wearing Iron Angel T-shirts at a festival and got in touch with Dirk Schroder via Facebook. After getting together to chat, September 2014 was officially when Iron Angel were back rocking, and what a brilliant outcome for the fans. Without that initial contact we could have been denied such brilliant work and crazy speed metal.

Vocals by Dirk are just brilliant. They are gritty, powerful, and intense, almost storytelling. The guitar riffs are just insane, and the drums are crazy. I bet they are all shattered after each show they do, as it’s crazy how the hell they keep the pace up for one song let alone a whole show is beyond me, but they do and it’s no wonder they are the success they are today.

I must admit ‘Deliverance In Black’ has to be my favourite track. It’s non-stop all the way through. “Close your eyes for ever taste your destiny” – you must remind yourself these are not some young band in their late teens but slightly older than that, and with so much energy in their music, these guys make it sound so easy and effortless.
‘Blood And Leather’ must be about bikers as the lyrics “hear me coming, feel my roaring engine, chrome and steel my cradle and hearse” is definitely a biker’s chant if ever I heard one.

When I first took this review on, I listened to the first few minutes and thought ‘okay but now I need to listen to more and look into them more’, and what surprised me was just how addictive, to listen to, these guys are.

When I realised it was German Speed Metal, I was expecting screams and nothing else, but thank you guys! You totally and, yes, pleasantly surprised me! Yes, it’s fast, yes, there is a totally insane drum beat all the way through and yes, you will be in guitar heaven, but you hear every word and they don’t miss a beat from one track to the next. It’s almost like you listen holding your breath, get to the end and think ‘jeez now I can breathe.’

I seriously hope they come to the UK in the future, as I think they would be insane to see live.
TRACKLIST:
01. Writings On The Wall
02. Judgement Day
03. Hell And Back
04. Carnivore Flashmob
05. Blood And Leather
06. Deliverance In Black
07. Waiting For A Miracle
08. Hellbound
09. Purist Of Sin
10. Ministry Of Metal
SOCIAL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/IronAngel.hh/
https://www.instagram.com/iron._angel/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqOnjTi-ZEK84JF9Roo1c_Q
https://www.facebook.com/mightymusic666/
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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.

 

Toxikull – The Nightraiser EP

The Nightraiser EP Cover

TOXIKULL – THE NIGHTRAISER EP
Mosher / Firecum Records
Release Date: 23/03/2018
Running Time: 25:36
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

Anyone who knows me, knows that of all the metal genres that exist, the one I love the most is thrash, so when a thrash album landed in my inbox to review, I was all too excited to get it reviewed.

The offering was from Portuguese “fearless, taunting, leather-jacket wearing and maniacal” quintet, Toxikull, and they certainly play their metal HEAVY and FAST!

Formed in Cascais, Portugal, in 2016, the band is fronted by brothers Lex Thunder and Michael Blade and they are one of the most promising European underground bands when it comes to heavy/speed/thrash, displaying all the qualities of the genre; impressive vocals, a tight rhythm section, blazing guitar solos and carefully crafted melodies.

The band issued a full-length album “Black Sheep” in 2016 and this EP is their second release, and what an EP it is! At first listen, if I am honest, I didn’t really like it, but I persevered with it, giving it a few more go’s, and I am so glad I did, otherwise I would have missed a gem of an EP.

Says frontman Lex of the EP; “It’s an appeal to rebellion and some social criticism. Music wise this EP is a bit different from Black Sheep, it’s faster, stronger and more aggressive. The influences of the music from the past are also a bit different, this one’s more on the speed/heavy metal side.

In truth, it is a “relentless, sonic attack” that just doesn’t give up from start to finish and combines some of the best elements that made heavy, speed and thrash metal so popular. Despite only coming into existence in 2016, these guys have a sound like they are straight from the mid 80’s, taking you on a journey back to the time of bands such as Exciter, Agent Steel and Razor.

The EP is just over twenty-five minutes long and, along with five original recordings, it features a cover of rock and roll royalty Axl Rose’s early band Hollywood Rose’s song “Rocker.” Says Lex; “I always thought it was a killer tune, living off the spirit of rock and roll. Unfortunately, this brilliant song never got a proper recording, so we took the chance and did it ourselves, and recorded it the way we wanted it to sound.”

The cover work is painted by Italian artist Velio Josto and the art meets the bands idea of “something pure, actually painted in ink and without any digital effects.

All in all, this is a fantastic EP, and although I haven’t actually listened to the first album, I will make it my job to do just that. The vocals are out of this world, the guy hits every note and scream without any trouble, and the guitar solos are awesome. The rhythm section is tight and concise, and the production is great. It’s a little bit longer than what I would consider an EP but, due to the intensity and energy that comes from it, I think it’s actually the perfect length.

So, if you fancy a trip back to the 80’s, put on your leather jacket and go and get yourself a copy of this EP. You’ll be transported back in no time!!

 

TRACK LISTING:
Nightraiser
Surrender Or Die
Hell Master
Freedom To Kill
Satan Bloody Satan
Rocker (Hollywood Rose Cover)

SOCIAL LINKS:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ toxikull/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCOgab_PJ927_ bktNjdlEJ4w
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ toxikullmetalll/
Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/ artist/6SxegIsNxLM48Kt92WU6Wf
Bandcamp: https://toxikull.bandcamp.com
Record Label: www.mosherrecords.com

 

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

Shadowkeep – Shadowkeep

Shadowkeep Cover

SHADOWKEEP – SHADOWKEEP
Pure Steel Records
Release Date: 30/03/2018
Running Time: 55:01
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
6.5/10

I got excited when the latest album by Shadowkeep dropped into my inbox and, as it had also landed in the Ever Metal inbox, Rick said I might as well be the one to review it.

But, let me tell you a bit about the history of the band before we get to the album.

Shadowkeep are an English heavy metal band from Guildford in Surrey and were formed in 1999 by guitarists Chris Allen (ex-Intense and Sire) and Nikki Robson (also ex-Sire) and Belgian vocalist, Rogue Marechal (ex-Halcyon). They recorded their debut six-track EP at Thin Ice Studios in Surrey, England, in October 1999, an EP that was produced by fellow English rocker, Threshold’s guitarist and producer, Karl Groom, and a couple of albums followed.

Despite the longevity of the band, there have been numerous line up changes over the years and 2012 saw the appearance of the band’s TENTH incarnation! But now, 2018, sees them striking back with a new album, their 4th studio album and the first for ten years, and a new singer (this is the bit I got excited about!!)

None other than James Rivera, formerly of Seven Witches and currently of Helstar, has joined the quintet after they approached him to sing on their new album. But, with the addition of the 58-year-old Texan, comes a few changes to the band’s sound and dynamics. Previously compared to the more progressive bands, such as Queensryche and Crimson Glory, the new album takes them more in the direction of classic 80’s US metal, with James and his distinctive voice putting their stamp on the 11 new tracks.

So, what of the new album? I have listened to it numerous times and I still can’t make my mind up about it.

Musically, the guys are on top form. The duel guitar harmonies and riff based rhythmic work give the album an obvious aggression that all good metal albums should have, and Rivera’s voice is just as good as it has always been.

BUT……….

Having not really heard much of the band’s past music, I have nothing to compare this to, but what I have read while researching them, is that the previous offering was a lot more subdued than this. Now, I don’t know whether that is due to the introduction of Rivera, or whether the guys have just decided to do things differently this time round, but what it does mean, is that this album is dangerously close to sounding just like “any other Helstar album”.

Speed and power metal aspects are greatly emphasized is this album, the whole theme being Greek mythology and stories of other Mediterranean cultures (typical in the power metal scene). All, that is, except “Never Forgotten” which is a homage to the British soldiers of World War 1.

I have seen reviews of this album state that Rivera dominates while others say that he is nearly obliterated, (how interesting it is to see how differently reviewers see things), but my two pennies worth would be that Rivera has obviously had an influence over the album, although I am not entirely convinced that this is a good thing.

I like variety in metal, but this album sounds just like any other epic power/speed metal album. Although the songs are good, there is nothing on it that stands out from the rest and really grabs you by the balls. I couldn’t tell you my favourite song on it because I don’t really have one. I like and dislike them all just as much as each other.

If you like riff-laden, meaty, speed metal then this album will be right for you, but for those of you who are looking for that little bit extra…..well, you are not going to find it here!

But, I am just one of many and you might have a different opinion to me! Check it out. It’s not one of the best albums out there but it’s still a worthy addition to any metalhead’s collection.

 

TRACK LISTING

  • 1. Atlantis
  • 2. Guardian of The Sea
  • 3. Flight Across the Sand
  • 4. Horse of War
  • 5. Little Lion
  • 6. Angels and Omens
  • 7. Isolation
  • 8. Never Forgotten
  • 9. The Sword of Damocles
  • 10. Immortal Drifter
  • 11. Minotaur

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

  • https://www.shadowkeepmetal.co.uk/
  • https://en-gb.facebook.com/Shadowkeepmetal/
  • https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/62727?autoplay=true
  • https://myspace.com/shadowkeepuk
  • www.twitter.com/shadowkeepmetal

 

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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.