Avenger – The Slaughter Never Stops

avenger front cover

Avenger, Newcastle’s NWOBHM legends return with a new album! Associated with such acts as Blitzkrieg, Atomkraft and Satan, you know you’re in for something special. Add to this the band’s own old school heavy metal legitimacy and you’ve got an album worth checking out!

The album opens up with the atmospheric sounds of Mace Imperial, which builds up with pianos and strings before slamming into the awesome riffage of Race Against Time which was a little more modern sounding than I was expecting. This is in a good way of course; the band combines some real old school sounding vocals with some great heavy riffs.

For the audience:

People who like proper old school metal should eat this up. It approaches the 80s sound in a modern way, similar to Hell’s approach with heavy riffs meeting passionate and dramatic vocals.

There’s plenty to listen to here, and in just 46 minutes the band delivers an album full of great tracks. Fields Of The Burnt has a really awesome classic sounding riff that should make this one a real hit live, with some great guitar work and a super solid rhythm section! In Arcadia Go is another real powerful number, with some awesome hooks and some really well done vocals here! They’ve also chucked in a cover of the classic Maiden number Killers, which is a straight up cover performed really well, with special mention towards the vocals again which have a nice blend of both Di’Anno and Dickinson, with some nice souped up chunky guitars too.

The band also delivers a nice long track at 7 minutes long with Flayer Psychosis and it’s full of energy right from the get go, keeping at it throughout with hefty riffage and some great vocal moments meeting cool basslines and vocals!

The album ends on Midnight Mass Destruction which has another classic sounding riff given a modern makeover here, with a nice heavy sound on display. This ends the album nicely as one of the heavier tracks, but also has a nice clean bridge section that builds up nicely.

avenger photo black and white

For the artist:

This is a really solid album, with some great moments and some really good songwriting. The production is pretty good but feels a little dry in places. It’s not really a big problem and the music takes precedence here!

Overall this some really good stuff, here’s hoping the band keeps it up and delivers us plenty of live shows and new material!

The Slaughter Never Stops Is Released on 1st December via Rocksector Records

Check out Avenger at https://www.facebook.com/avengeruk1

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Psychostick – Revenge of the Vengeance



The latest studio album from comedy metal band psychostick was paid for via a crowdfunding scheme so they could build their own studio, within only a month they had all the funds they needed and began working! The album opens with a short movie trailer style intro which tells us their drummer has been killed and they are out for revenge! This then leads into one of the lead singles from this album “Obey the Beard”, a track with very groovy riffs which instantly have you nodding your head, along with plenty of chant sections which I imagine go down well live, the song also features a play on the song “Baby got back” and fans of the band may even spot the reference to one of their older songs “Beer”.
After tuning to “H-Flat” the band power into the track “So Heavy”, which features some light mockery of todays “brutal” metal bands. Following this is the song “Dogs like Socks” which has been a massive hit on youtube with 1.4 million views! (You can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swmuqGWgZCc)

Things calm down a bit with the track “Blue Screen”, a softer song in which singer Rob Kersey expresses his love for his dying computer, it features a melodic bass intro and verse from Matty J “Moose” Rzemyk before building up to a big melodic chorus with a great guitar riff which leads into a short guitar solo from Josh Key, which going with the theme of the song features some computer glitch style sounds!

When I saw the track name “Danger Zone” I thought “No, it can’t be.” But yes, it IS a metal cover of the Kenny Loggins track made famous by the film Top Gun, a pretty good one too! Also featuring a short acapella rendition of “Take My Breath Away” at the end of the track.

The album finishes off nicely with a bloopers reel of bad vocal takes and the band falling into fits of laughter and this album should leave listeners in a similar state!

For the audience:
Fans of the band will certainly not be disappointed with this album, every track is filled with lines which will get you laughing and riffs that will get your head moving! Tracks such as “Quack Kills”, “NSFW”, a track with some nice excerpts of classical music, although they are being sung with the word fuck. And “Choking Hazard”, a metal guide to first aid!
Many fans are probably feeling very proud to own this album if they were one of the people who supported the bands indiegogo campaign to build their own studio, good on you!

For the artist:
Once again you have brought a smile to my face and to many others, also my stomach hurts from laughing too much! I might have to wait a little while before I can survive a second run of this brilliantly hilarious album. Keep it up guys, looking forward to the next one!



Revenge of the Vengeance is released on 4th November 2014 via Rock Ridge Music

Check out Psychostick at https://www.facebook.com/Psychostick

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All Seeing Eyes – Trinity Road


All Seeing Eyes is a band I’ve been keeping an eye on for a little while, with promises of their upcoming album and free tracks on show for last few months. It’s been promoted really well, and now here we are – Trinity Road. Featuring Ben Colton from Neverworld joined by Kenny Fraser and James Thackway, this is a mammoth of an album at 18 tracks of full on progressive metal!

The album is set up perfectly with The Enlightened Ones, a track with some nice guitar harmonies before slamming into a really cool power/prog riff. This twisting, turning track provides a great start to the proceedings, with some fantastic lead vocals and harmonies too. The songwriting on display right away is great, with lots of nice dynamics within the very first track alone!

For the audience:

Prog aficionados are going to want to hear this album. It’s not often enough the UK produces a band like this, with such a strong sense of songwriting and some fantastic musical moments. Tracks like Haunted give us emotive soundscapes with some powerfully written melodies and some great piano playing with a Fates Warning/Redemption sort of sound channelled through a British musician’s sense of melody.

There’s a lot on offer with this album, as you may well expect from an album as long as this (or so you’d hope, many fall flat way before their end!) From solemn sounding tracks that evolve later on into weighty metal titans later on such as The Cube (which features Crimson Glory’s Ben Jackson) to some straight up heavy metal in the form of tracks like Break The Chains which has an old school Queensryche feel to it but again offering that little something different in the form of All Seeing Eyes’ trademark melodic metal sounds. Hunted is also a cool little number, featuring ex Neuronspoiler members Dave Del Cid and Dave Shirman for a mighty flurry of riffage with some real energy and impact.

All Seeing Eyes manage to write progressive metal tracks without falling too much into the temptation of lengthy songs for the sake of lengthy songs (there is Demons which is a fantastic example of how lengthy songs really ought to be done!) and the song on this album are all pretty focusses with powerful choruses and great riffs throughout.

The album closes with The Aftermath and this track really delivers that necessary final blow in a nice dramatic fashion, with a great build up and lots of nice light and shade on display, as I have come to expect from a project prominently featuring Ben Colton now.

Group 2

For the artist:

This is a really strong release, with some really solid production. The guitars sound really nice here, with some really great sounding solos and the vocals are produced fantastically throughout, both lead and backing. The guest performances featured have been equally mixed in really well and it all gels together so nicely! I would have liked a little more bass guitar in the mix but overall the mixing and mastering is totally solid to be honest.

My only slight issue is the programmed drums, but it’s not something that has a super negative effect on the album and the experience of it as a whole. It’s been done well enough that most listeners can’t really tell at all, and the drumming has been programmed really well, but nothing for me personally can beat what a human drummer can bring to a band’s sound. It’s really the only thing I can think of for this band to improve, I’d love to hear what they could do with a drummer powering the rhythm of the band, as good as the programmed beats already are!

Trinity Road is an astonishing debut album from All Seeing Eyes. The amount of work that has gone into this is crystal clear for all to see, with numerous really well done guest performances, songs that don’t drag the listener down into boredom territory even at its lengthy 108 minutes, which is a feat even for legendary artists to achieve! This is something to be proud of and something really worth checking out for fans of melodic progressive metal!

Trinity Road Is Released on December 1st

Check out All Seeing Eyes at https://www.facebook.com/ALLSEEINGEYESMETAL

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Album Front Cover

Plainview is a band made up of talents musicians from various projects, most notably David Smale from The Yardbirds and Chris Williams from Counterpoint. Their self-titled debut release has been featured with Metal Hammer and the band has certainly got a sound you won’t be disappointed by.

Opening up with Slip Through Your Fingers, the band shows off great versatility with some interesting use of dynamics, with soft verses that get heavier later on, and really cool chorus with some nice harmonies involved. There’s a good variety of musical moments on display, with some nice use of clean chords and a layered guitar sound too. The Last Word is a slower track that really shows off Smale’s vocal abilities, with some chunky guitar riffs backing him and a really powerful and to the point rhythm section really giving the track some groove.

The album has plenty to offer in its 40 minute run time. From slightly more upbeat numbers like Wasted Words to songs like Look Away which has a more melancholic feel to it, the band has managed to pull off a variety of different sounds without sounding like they “trying too hard.” This keeps the sound fresh throughout the album, and the band’s songwriting shines throughout.

Plainview Promo Photo

No Other Way is one of my highlights of the album here, with some borderline progressive riffage and a keen sense of dynamics on display, and some really great vocal melodies too. The band feels really tight here with some great playing all round. Take What You Want has a kind of similar approach and it would be cool to see the band expand on these heavy, proggy riff fests.

The album closes on The Writing’s On The Wall, which opens with some nice clean guitars and a soft vocal, before slamming into some mighty guitar chords. The dynamics on display are again quite impressive, and this song really solidifies what the band is about.

The production is pretty good here, and the vocals and guitars stand out the most for me. The drums and bass sound great but I feel perhaps they could have been given a little more presence in the mix at times. Overall it’s pretty great though, to be honest.

Plainview have crafted a really great sound with this album, I am especially impressed with their tightness, especially on a debut regardless of previous experience. Working with a new band is never just easy off the bat. This album is well worth your time.

Check Out Plainview at https://www.facebook.com/plainviewband

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Christopher Sampson – The Blood Of The Lamb II

Chris Sampson

Christopher Sampson is a talented young musician I discovered when I met him at a musicans meeting in Peterborough. I also saw him perform live as a bassist with fantastic local NWOBHM band Untamed, and I could see he was quite talented from the offset. His new EP The Blood Of The Lamb II is a progressive metal journey that although 4 tracks long is in fact about an hour of music in an EP!

Opening up with Welcome… Beast, straight away there’s a bit of a Queen influence before heading into classic prog synths with a vocal slightly reminiscent of Geddy Lee but with a bit more edge. This song is all over the place in a good way, with so many different twists and turns it would take a very long review to describe it all. The fact there is songwriting this strong right from the bat is a massive strength in Chris’ advantage! With heavy riffs meeting tight rhythm sections and well performed synth passages, this is definitely masterpiece, and the risky move of opening with an incredibly long number certainly pays off! There’s some great dynamics on display, from heavy sections to more calm breakdowns that build atmosphere with spoken word too. The vocal range for such a young singer is also very impressive, and the instrumental work on display is also equally impressive.

Follow The Spiders is next up, opening with a creepy atmosphere, before slamming into some awesome riffage with some screamed vocals by Emilio Alucard, contrasting with Chris’ lighter vocal. This song although shorter than that the preceding track is equally full of changes in dynamics, and has some great melodies throughout too. This one feels a little more like Coheed And Cambria and more modern progressive rock and metal, but still has some really cool old school sounding synths and some Dream Theater style riffage too.

A Kiss From The Lips Of Deceit/Climbing The Blue Mountain has a really nice chilled out vibe to begin with, with nice clean guitar chords, some great percussion building up an atmosphere and some vocals from Charlie Cassells providing a really well performed duet from her and Chris here. This is a really nice track, and offers something a little different from the two that came before. There’s some great guitar soloing later on, and yet again great use of dynamics here!

The EP closes with Dancing To The Melody Of Madness (and Drinking The Blood That Remains) and this is another epic at 28 minutes long. Opening up with delicate piano before ripping into a massive guitar riff with some great synth melodies layered on top. This is another track with a hell of a lot going on, even with some saxophone moments and even some stuff that borders on jazz in places! There are plenty of awesome riffs here, with really heavy sounding guitars in places meeting lighter sections later on. Tension is built and released really well throughout the track’s long runtime too! This song has lots of different parts in a very classic but highly appreciated prog rock methodology, telling an epic tale throughout.

I am told there are a lot of references to the genre of progressive rock itself. I must admit personally couldn’t them out on the whole, but at the same time wouldn’t really want to spoil it for prog rock fanatics, so for that reason as well as the music itself I certainly recommend checking this out!

The production is really quite good, with great studio quality and well recorded instruments throughout. Clearly a hell of a lot of thought and effort has gone into this release.

This is a fantastic release from Christopher Sampson, with the advent of him travelling to uni to study the art of music, I am definitely interested in seeing what happens next with this young man!

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 Twilight Messenger – The World Below


I don’t often get much Power Metal sent in for review, despite it being one of my favourite genres. As such I tend to review it for other sites rather than mine. With that, it’s nice to have been sent this release by Twilight Messenger! The band is a project comprising of two YouTube artists, Andrew Feehan and Juan “The Beast” Rodriguez from the UK and US respectively, and The World Below is the album that resulted from their collaboration with the addition of Chris Johnson on drums.

The album opens up with the moody synth sounds of the track Twilight Messenger. The song takes a heavier turn and when the vocals come in I am instantly reminded of Rob Halford, but way more aggressive in approach, with a bit more of a raspy delivery (not in a bad way, it’s definitely something a bit different on offer for power metal here.) The playing is fast and furious, with plenty of chugging guitars yet also some great melodies from both synths and guitars to counter this. The chorus here is pretty cool, with an impressive range and sense of harmony on display.

Sword And Steel (By My Axe The Beast Shall Fall) offers a much heavier outing than the previous track, with some really deep and meaty guitars meeting with a vocal that feels a bit angrier and more determined here. There are still some great melodies on offer despite this being a somewhat heavier song, and it delivers plenty of great moments over the course of 5 minutes or so.

The Archer, The Battlefield & The Silhouette is a track that really took me by surprise. Its restrained clean guitars and rhythm section support an awesome emotive vocal performance that has a completely different feel from the heavier voice that is then displayed later on in the track. This shows just how versatile this singer is which was really appreciated actually. The rest of the track is also awesome, with a really powerful chorus, some great melodies and well thought out structuring making this one of my highlights of the album.

The World Below has plenty on offer actually, from the super heaviness of tracks like Fireball which has some of the harshest vocal delivery I’ve heard in a power metal release bordering on more extreme metal with some very heavy guitar playing, to more sombre tracks like Embers Of A New Day with deep vocals and nice clean guitars before giving us a really powerful and heavy chorus.


Title track The World Below is another that really caught me, with a really powerful build-up and some more interesting vocals. The singing actually reminds me in places of David Bowie, strange though it may sound, but with a bit more of a metal timbre. The songwriting here is really powerful too, with big chords, mighty solos and some awesome drumming making this song really moving.

There are two really epic tracks back to back with each other, By Wings Of Destiny and Redemption (Rise Of The Golden Dragon) and they both offer a different perspective on writing those longer tracks. Both are well done, with lots of different movements throughout. These tracks shouldn’t be overlooked just because they’re close to the end of the album, as they offer some of the best moments of the album, with epic symphonic moments contrasted by some really heavy riffage!

The album ends on Lord Of The Dragons, a track that contrasts the last two by being less than half the length! This song is pretty cool, with some interesting sounds and a kind of doomy intro before slamming into a hefty main riff that has some blistering speed to it.

The production is pretty good here. It sounds a little digital in places but the vocals and drums sound the best here, as do the clean guitar moments. Not that the heavy guitars sound bad at all really, but at times they sound a little over saturated. This is mainly a personal taste thing though really! The bass is mainly a support to the overall sound here, so no particularly flashy bass playing but it is done well.

The World Below is a really strong album, especially for a relatively new band that doesn’t seem to have the biggest following just yet. They have really well thought out songs, great melodies, powerful choruses and strong musicianship. With this album, Twilight Messenger offers a more dynamic sound than many bigger power metal artists on the scene today.

Check out Twilight Messenger at https://www.facebook.com/twilightmessenger

The World Below is out now at http://twilightmessenger.bandcamp.com/

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Disposable – At The Foot Of The World


Scottish thrash metal act Disposable are on the verge of releasing their debut album At The Foot of The Word and after five years I’m sure it’s probably a long awaited release for the guys in the band! They have plenty of determination and energy and it shows in their sound. This is an album that shows thrash is alive and definitely kicking right now.

The album opens up with a cacophony of riffs with Existence. The vocals have that classic thrash rasp from old school 80s riffs, with a more modern thrash revival style chorus. The song has lots of dynamics, from speedy guitars to slower, heavier moments too. Addiction has some super heavy riffs and some mad drums, with some intricate playing throughout. The bass has some cool moments here too, and though generally taking a back seat to the rest of the band it seems, beneath all the thrashy guitars and vocals there is a talented bass player buried within.

Disposable is a band that shows that they definitely have a flair for songwriting, especially within the confines of Thrash Metal. Songs have plenty of dynamics and interesting melodies; it’s not all ball to the wall which I think is a good thing. Songs like Into The Water and Leave This Place show off what the band can do really well. Addiction (Reprise) shows a slightly softer side to the band, with some nice clean guitar chords and a bit of a different feeling to the track and some nice solos and bass melodies.


Title track At The Foot Of The World is a pretty cool track as well, with some really cool musicianship on display, and a furious feel overall. This one has plenty of stabbing riffs and results in a really cool track.

Now It Ends closes the album, and this one is full of angry riffage. This is straight up thrash to close the album, with some meaty guitars and the bass seems to have found a space properly here. The vocals are really well done on this track in particular as well, and it makes for a great finish to the album.

The production is pretty much spot on for Thrash metal, very much drums and guitar focussed with very aggressive punchy sounds and some well recorded vocals too. I’d like to hear a bit more bass next time but as usual this is probably a personal thing being a bassist myself.

At The Foot Of The World is Pretty damn good, especially for a debut album. The band has a flair for thrash metal, and plenty of fury to fuel their riffs for years to come hopefully!

Check out Disposable at https://www.facebook.com/DisposableThrash

At The Foot Of The World will be available 20th September

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