Tag Archives: Album Review

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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Toby Jepson – Raising My Own Hell


Toby Jepson, who you may know from his time in the popular band Little Angels, has now released a mini-album called ‘Raising My Own Hell.’ This is an acoustic-rock album featuring lots of passionate vocals and a real ‘in the room with you’ atmosphere.

Opening up with the title track ‘Raising My Own Hell’, an acoustic guitar sets things into motion. The drumming is nice and relaxed here and there are some nice keyboards and saxophones involved too. The vocals are really well performed, melodic yet full of attitude too, the prime example of a rock vocal really. The song has a great groove and vibe to it, with a nice chorus too.

‘Dear Mama’ is equally as raucous sounding as the previous track, with a more emotive chorus this time round. There are plenty more acoustic guitars and a great atmosphere to this one, with a grooving main riff and another powerful vocal performance from Jepson. ‘Patience Of A Saint’ has a bit of a darker feel to it, with a nice deep sound, and some rocking riffs, despite being on acoustic guitars as opposed to electric! There is a cool breakdown later on that adds a little variety to the proceedings too, with a cool build up as well!

‘Four Letter Word’ is an awesome track, starting off with a guitar part that really sets a dramatic scene, with Toby’s lead vocal providing a great story over the top with his really great singing performance.  ‘Shoes’ is a softer song with some great lyrics about looking through other people’s eyes, or rather… walking a mile in their shoes perhaps! This is a really nice and emotive song with plenty to offer, and being the gentlest song on an acoustic album must always be somewhat of a challenge at times!

The album finishes with ‘Shadow Boxer’, and this is a really cool way to end the release, with a nice jazzy feel to it, lots of brass instruments involved and a really swinging groove to it. This one certainly stands out for being very different from the rest of the mini-album, but it certainly doesn’t suffer for it, offering some variety to the already very cool album.

The production is good, considering the amount of different instruments used here. Everything stands out nicely and yet gels well together to form a really nice sound overall. The vocals are nicely recorded with plenty of clarity, and just a little grit.

Overall, this is a really cool release that fans of something a little different should appreciate.

Check out Toby Jepson at https://www.facebook.com/tobyjepsonofficial

‘Raising My Own Hell’ is out now via Townsend Records

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Dog Tired – Titan


Edinburgh based Dog Tired have been leaving their mark on the Scottish scene for nearly a decade now, having supported such big acts as Cauldron, Warbringer and Bonded by Blood they are on the right track. With this, their second album “Titan” the band intends to push even further onwards and upwards, and what a release to do it with!

‘Cthonic’ opens the album up with some white noise that is then overlayered with acoustic guitars before a harmonised lead guitar melody comes in, all building up to the next track ‘God Disease’ which is a fast and furious opening track full off riffs and breakdowns, with a furious lead vocal over the top that really lends itself to the sound very well. There’s very heavy guitars involved here, with a thick sound that really fills out the mix. Another thing that is quite awesome is that there are guitar solos, which can sometimes be rare in this heavier kind of music!

‘Iron Sky’ has a sound akin to the early sound of bands like Mastodon, with chunky riffs that sound almost apocalyptic in nature, that then opens up into a more groove metal sound, with swirling riffs and chords moving the song along. Definitely a standout track; very heavy and full of dynamics that would make this one very fun live too! There’s lots of technical guitar playing on show here, but without being too flashy, so it supports the song nicely at the right times.

‘The Colonel’ opens up with a jagged riff full of technicality and odd harmonies that works really well, before a drum fill leads us into the meat of the song, throwing more riffs than you can shake a stick at. The main verse riff is really quite something, because it’s quite a complex guitar riff yet it doesn’t get in the way of the lead vocal like you might expect. The vocal itself continues to perform solidly, with lots of angry and throaty sounds. This is also one of the longer songs, and it’s pulled off well with lots of differing moments, from quiet bass breaks to full on riffs.

‘The Digital Plague’ starts off with a riff you can really bang your head to before pushing forwards with some chugging riffs and plenty of cool guitar harmonies. This is a very heavy song with a really powerful chorus that the band really drives home as a unit. An awesome solo tops this song off in style, played over a groove that really supports it well.

‘Impact’ kicks things into motion with an awesome fast beat and plenty of guitar parts, helping this song to solidify what the band is all about, with more grooving riffs, hard hitting drums, a bassline that really lays down the foundation of the band and some angry-as-hell lead vocals! This is another dynamic song with lots of different sections to it that really keep things fresh.

‘They’ is another cool track, with quite a Pantera feel to the vocal delivery that works really well on the track, which involves lots of the riffs this band is clearly known for, with technicality meeting groove dead-centre and making a whole new beast.

‘Mad Jack’ opens up with a cool lead guitar melody before getting down to some heavy riffing that the band slams in on with a lot of skill. This is a dynamic song from the Scottish outfit that accomplishes a lot in its 6 minute running time.

‘Cronos’ finishes off the album in a style apt to its name, as the song as the longest on the album at nearly 10 minutes long! Beginning with clean guitars that build atmosphere up until a powerful guitar riff takes over with lots of stomping drums and a rumbling basslines that keeps things heavy. Though this song is long it’s by no means boring as some can be, it has lots of heaviness just like the rest of the album, and keeps things fresh throughout rather than sticking on one riff or section for too long.

The CD itself is really great looking; straight off the bat I looked at this and thought it looked highly professional, with great, high quality artwork of Viking in front of a giant throne. The production value of the CD is great, with high quality art throughout, and a nice booklet too featuring all the lyrics in a readable font.

The production of the album is spot on, with a big focus on guitar and vocals, both very heavy and upfront, whilst the bass and drums are more of a support, but no less strong for it, with plenty of powerful bass lines and moments where there is only bass guitar. This is a bassist that knows how to support the mix without overplaying as some might! The drums are mixed very well, with a kind of pummelling sound to it that really works with these songs.

Overall this is a fantastic second album from a band that should be pushing forwards very soon, with a lot to offer fans of heavy music. Look out for them!

Check out Dog Tired at https://www.facebook.com/dogtiredmetal

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