Altitudes & Attitude – Get It Out

Get It Out Cover

Altitudes & Attitude – Get It Out
Megaforce Records
Release Date: 18/01/2019
Running Time: 46:32
Review by Stephen Moss
8/10

Thrash Metal has what’s called “The Big Four”, Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer, so-called because they supposedly influenced all other Thrash bands.

Altitudes & Attitude is a collaboration of two bassists from “The Big Four”, Frank Bello from Anthrax who handles vocal duties, rhythm guitar and bass solos and Megadeth’s David Ellefson, who also plays rhythm guitar and bass. On the drums is Jeff Friedl from “A Perfect Circle” plus many guests who add their creative spin, including, Christian Martucci (Stone Sour), Ace Frehley (Kiss), Jon Donais (Anthrax/Shadows Fall), Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper/The Iron Maidens), Gus G. (Firewind/Ozzy Osbourne) plus Russ Parrish (‘Satchel’ from Steel Panther) and “Get It Out” is a follow up to their self-titled 2014 EP!

What Altitudes & Attitude do extremely well is develop their own sound. This is in no way, shape, or form simply a cut and paste replica of their original bands. Fans expecting an extension of Anthrax or Megadeth will be disappointed.

The point of side projects is to explore new musical paths, try new sounds that are not always the same as the members main band, take risks, and to experiment musically. Bello and Ellefson do just that. Bello pointed out that “It’s a perfect moment for fans to see other sides of us as artists — not just as musicians and performers, but as artists.

However, that’s not to say that there aren’t moments of good ‘ole thrash metal. For example, there’s a pretty shredding solo from Nita Strauss in the song ‘Part Of Me’ and ‘Out Here’, ‘Slip’ and ‘Late’ are all essential tracks! “Get It Out” is packed with solid rock tracks, catchy lyrics, and amazing artists. Personally, I think this album will appeal to old fans of “The Big Four” as well as younger Rock/Metal fans who appreciate the more current and less dated style.

One thing I found surprising is the overall tone of the album. Some songs have more of an upbeat feel to it yet Bello said about the album;

A lot of these lyrics are about the inner struggles of my life, and about the rage that has built up from my life experiences—my brother’s murder; my father abandoning my family when we were young, leaving us with no funds to pay the bills. The ups-and-downs of life in general. I’ve always had an anger inside that music really helps me deal with.”

These songs deal with some deep issues and I would expect music that deals with such dark and meaningful topics to be full of rage, emotion and have an overall heavier feel.

However, I found myself missing the seriousness of the tracks because many sound so upbeat and happy but, overall, I have really enjoyed listening to Altitudes and Attitude and “Get It Out” is and album I will definitely keep returning to!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Get It Out
02. Late
03. Out Here
04. Part Of Me
05. Slip
06. Talk To Me
07. Leviathan
08. Cold
09. Another Day
10. All There Is
11. Booze And Cigarettes
12. Tell The World
13 Here Again

LINKS:
http://www.altitudesandattitude.com/
https://www.facebook.com/altitudesandattitude/


https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNL8h-ibZ5sIBcFNZfFwC0g

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Stephen Moss 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.

Solitary – Nothing Changes: 20th Anniversary Edition

Nothing Changes, 20th Anniversary Edition Cover

Solitary – Nothing Changes: 20th Anniversary Edition
DOC Records
Release Date: 20/08/2018
Running Time: 56:44
Review by Dawn King
9/10

It was the mid-90’s, thrash metal was dying and the heady days of “The Big Four” were fast becoming fading memories. But, one man in the north of England wasn’t prepared to sit around and reminisce about the good old days.

Rich Sherrington had always had a dream to follow in the footsteps of his heroes, Xentrix, and in 1994, he formed his own band, Solitary, and against all reason and sense, started the thrash comeback!

The first Solitary album “Nothing Changes” was released in 1998 on Holier Than Thou Records and bristling with its snarling riffs and ready to fight attitude, even the press couldn’t deny the intensity and integrity of the album. They received positive reviews from major magazines such as Terrorizer, and they hit the road for two UK tours. The rest, as they say, is history!

In 2008 they released the album “Requiem” and in 2017, they released “The Diseased Heart of Society”, which was harder, faster and more focussed, and was welcomed with open arms by a society that was much more tolerant of thrash metal.

Now, twenty years later, they have re-released the album that originally set them on their road. There is new artwork, a host of bonus tracks, and a little injection of modern-day studio wizardry, to give the album a heavier and more aggressive sound and it is only available on CD, with NO digital platform whatsoever, so get your copy while you can!

For those of us who weren’t around the first time this was released, there are five bonus demo tracks tagged onto the end of the album, showing just how their sound has changed. Maybe they included these to tempt newer fans to their music or maybe it was just to give older fans a taste of what was, only the band will know that, but either way, I think they are a great addition to an already awesome album.

From the opening bass lines of first track ‘Within Temptation’ it’s obvious this band is not messing around. With chunky riffs and snarling, menacing vocals, these guys are every bit as good as the original thrash bands of the 80’s. With the likes of Metallica, Machinehead, Pantera, Testament and Slayer as influences, they should have been the forefathers of a new wave of UK thrash, so why do they only have just over 4,000 likes on Facebook? (and yes, I do know that Facebook likes is NOT an indicator of how good a band is, before anyone jumps on this comment!)

This no-frills album is fantastic from start to finish, just the type I could listen to repeatedly and still not be bored with it. If this album was their debut back in 1998, then what a debut! There are very few bands that crash onto the scene with a gem of a premier, but these guys should have done just that!

Being a thrash girl at heart, this album gives me everything that I need. The riffs are heavy and meaty, hitting you right in the belly, the trembling basslines and galloping drums are, in a word, superb, and the vocals have just the right amount of grit to give a gruff sound without descending into the dirty vocals that I so hate!

Stand out tracks for me would have to be ‘A Second Chance’ with its hints of Metallica and Pantera and ‘The Downward Spiral’ a brutal groove track that will have you banging your head from the very first note but, in all fairness, there is not a bad track on this album.

It was the advance of the Seattle ‘grunge’ sound that originally contributed to the downfall of thrash in the 90’s and, at the time, I was a huge fan of the grunge scene, thrash not really hitting my radar until later (I was in my late teens so don’t hate me!)

Looking back, I wish I was that little bit older so I could have appreciated this when it was first released. I am, however, now a huge fan and will definitely be buying anything else they have done.

Ever Metal recently reviewed a gig they did in Wrexham and I so wish I could have been there for that! But any time they hit the South East now, I will be in attendance!

These guys are simply awesome!!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Within Temptation
02. The Downward Spiral
03. A Second Chance
04. Bitterness
05. Nothing Changes
06. Clutching Straws
07. No Reason
08. Twisted
09. Fear
10. A Second Chance (1996 Demo)
11. The Bottom Line (1996 Demo)
12. What Price (1996 Demo)
13. No Reason (1996 Demo)
14. Fear (1996 Demo)

LINKS:
http://www.solitary.org.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/Official.Solitary/

https://solitary94.bandcamp.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/solitarypreston?feature=watch

 

Solitary 2018

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn 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.

Wreck-Defy – Remnants Of Pain

Remnants Of Pain Cover

Wreck-Defy – Remnants Of Pain
Self-Released
Release Date: 01/02/2019
Running Time: 44:58
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
8/10

When Rick asked me to do him a favour and squeeze a review in for him, there were six words in his message that stood out to me – “former members of Annihilator and Testament.” That was all I needed to say yes as I am a mahoosive fan of both, especially Testament, and I always love coming back to my roots.

Wreck-Defy are a thrash band from Thunder Bay, Ontario in Canada and as previously mentioned features former members of Annihilator, Testament and Demolition Hammer. They were formed in 2016 when Matt Hanchuck got together with his friend Justin Steer, who had agreed to do the vocals on the debut record “Fragments Of Anger”, which was released in 2017. Shawn Drover from Megadeth was brought in to play drums, and his brother Glen, also ex-Megadeth, agreed to mix and master the album.

Fast forward to 2019 and 1st February saw the release of their latest offering “Remnants Of Pain.” With a new line-up featuring Matt on guitars, Aaron Randall, ex-Annihilator, on vocals, and Greg Christian, formerly of Testament, on bass, they used studio session drummer Dave O’Neal for the album, but have since been able to recruit the amazing Alex Marquez from Demolition Hammer and Solstice for future shows and tours.

The album has been mixed, mastered and edited by Juan Urteaga, who has also produced for Testament, Heathen, Vicious Rumors and Dragonlord, to name a few!

So, what of the new album? Well, this is nothing short of a thrash-fest that will have you banging your head from start to finish!

It has all the hallmarks of a great thrash album, from the rumbling, frantic drums, to the faster than lightning guitars and raw, aggressive vocals. Says Matt; “the new record has a street level sound that is a throwback to the burgeoning thrash movement from the mid 1980’s with a more modern-day production value,” and this is exactly the reason why I love it so much.

I always said I was born too late as a lot of the music I listen to now was around before I was old enough to appreciate it, but I love the fact there are bands out there who want to bring this sound back again. For the young ones like me (!) it gives us the chance to live through something we would otherwise have missed and I, for one, would love to see a full thrash revolution happen now.

The album deals with a lot of social issues, says Matt; “lyrically, it’s about many of the negative aspects in life, such as war, addiction, tyranny etc,” and I would be keen to sit down with a copy of the lyrics as I listened to it. There are a lot of concerns that need dealing with in society these days, and if we can’t get these dealt with through other means, what better way than through music?

The two stand out songs on the album for me were ‘Broken Peace’, a track FULL of fast, frantic riffs and drumming, and ‘Looking Back’ which has a strong Testament feel to it, but there really are no bad tracks on the album. With nine tracks lasting just under three quarters of an hour, this truly is a feast for your ears!

If you love your thrash metal, as I do, then I highly recommend you go and buy this album. You would be missing out on a right little gem!

TRACKLISTING
01 Killing the Children
02 Broken Peace
03 Riverview
04 Looking Back
05 18oz of Chrome
06 The Divide
07 Art Of Addiction
08 Angels and Demons
09 Blackend Cloth

LINKS
www.facebook.com/Underground4560/
https://wreck-defy.bandcamp.com/releases

 

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.

Gama Bomb – Speed Between The Lines

 

Speed Between The Lines Cover

Gama Bomb – Speed Between the Lines
AFM Records
Release date: 12/10/2018
Running time: 35.07
Review by: Alun Jones
8/10

Hello and welcome to Thrash School. For todays lesson, you will need:

• Skin tight jeans (preferably with ripped knees)
• Faded Acid Reign t-shirt
• Studded leather belt and 1x studded leather wrist band
• White hi-top leather Converse
• Black leather jacket (denim vest over jacket optional)
• Baseball cap with “NOT” written under the peak

Because today we will be listening to the new album by Gama Bomb, entitled “Speed Between the Lines”.

These merry metallers have an uncanny ability to rewind the cassette of time to a simpler age. It’s like grunge never happened. Instead, we get twelve face-lacerating tunes that rush by in uncompromising fashion. This is thrash metal, kids, buckle up for the ride.

Eighties thrash was often pre-occupied with party bum-out vibes like nuclear destruction. Apparently, it’s a post-Cold War world though, so these boys don’t wallow in misery for too long. Not that they don’t have a social conscience: witness the admirable stab at the current political climate in “Alt Reich”.

But they’re just as happy dedicating an ode to Kurt Russell, which is perfectly justified in my opinion. Kurt is, of course, an icon of twentieth century popular culture. Not convinced? Go watch The Thing and Big Trouble in Little China and you can thank me later.

Back to the music. Although diversity isn’t Gama Bomb’s strong point – Master of Puppets this ain’t – the listener is rewarded with a dozen tracks that speed by relentlessly. The musicianship is amazing, with blitzkrieg lead guitar all over the place.

The occasional change of pace would add some additional colour, but you can’t fault the commitment and enthusiasm of this band. This album is the full package with cool themes and some of the best song titles I’ve heard in a long time (666teen? Give them an award NOW). The music is intense and exciting in equal measure, bringing to mind classic Overkill, Anthrax and Nuclear Assault.

So dig out your old Variflex skateboard and ask your big brother’s mate to buy you a two litre bottle of cider from the Co-op. With Gama Bomb you can party like it’s 1987. This history lesson is over.

Track listing:
1. Give Me Leather
2. A Hanging
3. 666teen
4. Bring Out the Monster
5. R.I.P. U
6. Motorgeist
7. Alt-Reich
8. Stay Rotten
9. We R Going 2 Eat U
10. Kurt Russell
11. World Gone to Hell
12. Faceblaster

Social Media:
www.gamabomb.net
www.facebook.com/gamabomb
dh@afm-records.de

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones 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.

Seven Sisters – The Cauldron and The Cross

cover

SEVEN SISTERS – THE CAULDRON AND THE CROSS
Dissonance Productions
Release Date: 13/04/2018
Running Time: 51:18
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
9/10

After having the opportunity to interview Graeme from Seven Sisters recently, I thought to myself that I really should give their new album The Cauldron and The Cross a spin, and why not give it a review at the same time.

Seven Sisters are a four-piece heavy metal band from London, who are, in their own words, forged from the same steel as the NWOBHM acts of yesteryear. Formed in 2013 by Kyle McNeil (vocals/guitars) and Graeme Farmer (guitars) in 2013, they are inspired by the likes of the Paul Di’anno era of Iron Maiden, Angel Witch and Virtue.

Says the band: “we have a mix of old school heavy metal (the NWOBHM movement in particular) and elements of power metal, thrash metal and things like that. We’re pretty progressive in places, but our songs are heavily melodic and hopefully pretty catchy too.”

The band have gained a reputation over the past few years as a stellar act in the heavy metal scene, playing shows all over the UK and Europe off the back of two independent releases, “The Warden Demo” in 2014 and “Lost in Time” 7” in 2015. They have since signed to Dissonance Productions and The Cauldron and The Cross is their second album.

With its main source of inspiration being a book written by Marion Zimmer Bradley called “The Mists of Avalon”, The Cauldron and The Cross is a concept album, a story that involves the two religions of Paganism and Christianity. With its myth and magical title tracks and a cover artwork depicting what looks like a scene from a fantasy film, this album has all the hallmarks of a typical power metal release.

But, this is power metal with a twist. Although, the power elements are unmistakably there, the thrash elements the band themselves stated were an influence can also be heard, but then so can the NWOBHM traits.

But that’s not all. On top of all this are the subtle prog influences too. I have never really been a prog rock/metal fan but the time changes throughout the individual tracks are clear to hear. Time changes are one of the aspects of prog music that turned me off the genre, but in this album, they seem to flow a lot better. And this, along with the changes in key, really does make it seem as if the music and lyrics are talking to you.

This is a band that obviously has an immense talent. Despite the relatively short time they have been together, they work so well and sound like they have been doing this for years. And that is something not found very often.

I read somewhere that the band intended on being a five piece, looking to recruit a singer to fill the fifth place and that Kyle was only a stand in singer. I can honestly say, that in my opinion, NOT getting that fifth person was the best thing for the band. Kyle is an absolutely fantastic singer with a voice that can cover a whole variety of ranges. He is ideally suited to the music the band play and I think that if they were to replace him now (please don’t) the whole dynamic of the band will change.

This album has everything from the speed metal of the opening track “Premonition” to the Maiden-influenced “Once and Future King” to the slower pace of “Blood and Fire.” There is also the ‘obligatory’ power ballad in “Oathbreaker” but this is, by no means, just a track that has been thrown in because people expect a ballad. It fits perfectly into the structure of the album and is one of the best tracks on it.

Stand out tracks for me, apart from “Oathbreaker” as mentioned above, are “Blood and Fire” and the double epic tracks “The Cauldron and The Cross Parts 1 and 2” at the end of the album, but my absolute favourite must be “The Turning of The Tide.” I could have that track on repeat for hours and not get bored with it.

So, should you go out and by this great album from this fantastic young band? Yes, you sure as hell do! This is a must for power metal fans, thrash metal fans, NWOBHM fans and traditional heavy metal fans alike.

I absolutely adored this album, and, for me, this is one of the best albums that has been released this year.

TRACK LISTING
The Premonition
Blood And Fire
Once And Future King
Partings The Mists
Turning Of The Tide
Oathbreaker
A Land In Darkness
The Cauldron And The Cross Pt.1
The Cauldron And The Cross Pt.2

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://sevensistersuk.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sevensistersheavymetal/

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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.