Tag Archives: 80s

Avenger – The Slaughter Never Stops

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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.

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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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All Seeing Eyes – Trinity Road

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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.

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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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Disaster Area – Let It Burn

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Glasgow’s Disaster Area are whipping up a storm in Scotland, with lots of shows supporting legends like Savage and the like. I actually ran into these guys whilst on tour with Monument and Kaine, and they opened the show with a glam rock style that I felt was tinged with a little of the band Nazareth’s style, especially in the vocals and classic rock meets metal approach to guitar. They peaked my curiosity and were kind enough to send in their debut EP for review!

The EP opens up with a subtle intro riff of “Dancin’ On The Edge” that then gets harmonised before busting out into a very old school style riff with some great vocals full of attitude, with lots of high notes too. The lyrics are equally rebellious sounding and it works really well, the song is full of youthful energy and is a good start to the EP, with a cool midsection that keeps things interesting!

“Queen Of The Web” opens up with another very 70s/80s sounding riff full of grit, with plenty of speedy riffs later on and a nice performance from the rhythm section overall on this one. “Getting Pretty Sick Of This” follows this up with a bit more of a midtempo rocker that has a little bit of an Alice Cooper vibe to it, with some cool lyrics and riffage that would have fitted in perfectly in that era, and a nice guitar solo tops this one off well before a bass break that works really well to build tension too.

The EP finishes up with “Let It Burn.” An old school drumbeat a little bit like something Queen might have done meets a heavier riff with a nice meaty groove to it that is helped along by the bass guitar here. The chorus here is really cool, another really old school vibe to it. Some cool stabbing guitar sections later on are met with a cool solo over the top and the main groove of the track keeps it rocking on to finish the EP with a good sense of style.

The production is really quite good, especially for an EP. It sounds very much like it has come from the era it is quite clearly influenced by, especially in the vocals and guitars. The drums sound nice and tight and the bass is nice audible, keeping down the groove nicely too.

This is a great little EP from a band that is clearly determined to keep at it; here’s hoping for an album of similar stuff soon!

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Toledo Steel – EP

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Toledo Steel is a Heavy Metal band from Southampton. Taking influence from classic acts like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, and even more modern acts like Cauldron, they have already established a reputation for great live shows across the country, and are now releasing an EP!

Opening with ‘Alcatraz’ the old school riffage is in full flow, with nice loud basslines and pummelling drums adding to the flavour of the track, along with the sound of a siren. A melodic lead vocal tops it all off with some great skill on offer and plenty of high notes too! This is a very dynamic song, with an awesome chorus and a great midsection to move things along too, with lots of guitar harmonies and old school basslines.

‘Black Widow’ helps to solidify the band’s sound with another great chorus, and a fantastic solo that is very reminiscent of the 80s! The introducing vocals on the song feature some great high pitched singing before hitting the meat of the verse. Lots of stabbing riffs meet with old school power chords and guitar harmonies that make this another great track.

‘Flames Arise’ finishes up the EP, with probably the most NWOBHM inspired track. Lots of harmonised guitars meet with powerful riffs, once again strengthened by the powerful lead vocal. There are lots of cool changes in this song, which help to keep affairs fresh throughout, and things are only topped off by an awesome chant about 3 quarters through the song, that is probably a lot of fun live. This is then followed by a solo backed by an awesome bassline!

The production is great for an EP, lots of 80s guitar tones, the bass is nice and audible as it should be in such a genre, and the drums and nice and powerful, keeping things moving onwards throughout. The Vocals are at the right level and don’t overpower the mix, and they have also been recorded very well!

Overall, this is a fantastic EP from Toledo Steel, although a little on the short side; another track or two would have been nice. But even so, what is here is more than just worth your time; this is another great part of the upcoming wave of British Metal bands.

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Monument – Runaway (Single)

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The Second Wave of British Heavy Metal carries on with Monument’s new single, ‘Runaway’ from their upcoming album ‘Renegades’ and what a track to get appetites whetted ready for a new disc!

Opening with a really classic 80s sounding guitar riff, the bass and drums seamlessly work together to bring the song into full motion. With a real groove to it, this is a track that really ought to get some heads nodding. The mighty vocals of Peter Ellis return to us once more, with all the power and awesome harmonies we’ve come to expect from the man, with lots of grooving licks in between to really drive the song along. The band have really come together on this record, with really tight playing overall! A great harmonised guitar solo rounds the whole song off and supports the track like any great guitar solo should. The song is perfect single material, with catchy melodies, great sense of pacing, and all without being too complex and potentially alienating some fans of heavy music.

The cover art is really cool, featuring the band’s Mascot jack fron and center, being chased by an exectioner, accompanied by a Female bulldog complete with long blond hair and lipstick! Quite humorous but depicts the song’s more serious lyrical content quite well!

The production is world class, nice and loud, crystal clear mix, with everything really nice and audible, all blending together really nicely. The track has the feel of the 80s, with all the modern edge that new production techniques have given us over the years. If ‘Runaway’ is anything to go by, the upcoming album is going to be the stuff of legend!

‘Runaway’ Is released digitally on 18th December via MGR Music.

Check out Monument at https://www.facebook.com/monumentuk

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