Tag Archives: Album

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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 Twilight Messenger – The World Below

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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.

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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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Sorrows Path – Doom Philosophy

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Greek doom metallers Sorrows Path is a band I’ve kept track of for a little while, so being sent their new album for review is pretty cool. Over their long career the band has endured through tough times (even death) and with Doom Philosophy their third album, the band really shows what they are made of.

First Beam Of Darkness Into Light is an introductory short track, building up tension into the first track Tragedy. What’s interesting about this track is its energy. It’s not just crushingly slow as you’d often get with more run-of-the-mill Doom metal. In fact it has a slight European power metal edge, especially in the vocals and the more up-tempo riffs. This song has a killer chorus and is a great start to the album, and it also features Edgar Rivera (ex-Solitude Aeturnus.) A Dance With The Dead is a bit more traditional, with doom laden riffs and a kind of “creep” atmosphere at time.

“Brother of Life” is another doomier track, with some interesting keyboard stuff and a powerful chorus; this one feels like it has quite a bit of emotion put into it as well. “Everything Can Change” features the legendary Snowy Shaw on vocals, and it’s a nice performance he has put in here, this track has plenty of doomy overtones and heavy riffs as well, the band supporting the vocals well yet also showing their own flair for metal too.

The King With A Crown Of Thorns begins as a sort of metal ballad, with some awesome clean guitar work and melodic soloing. The vocals feel nice and heartfelt here, and the rhythm section takes a backseat well, before the band smashes into heavier moments later on with the chorus and solo. This is a great dynamic track, and was one of my highlights. “The Venus And The Moon” is a speedier track with plenty of double bass and snaky riffs. This is a nice heavy one with a bit more energy and chunkiness, with some great vocal layering in the chorus.

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“Epoasis” feels in places, especially in the vocals, like some classic Black Sabbath but with more modern instrumentation, and a bit more focus in the songwriting, with much more modern sounds and some bits with more of the band’s own style. “Clouds Inside me” has a great sounding clean guitar to start things off with a kind of 80s vibe, and when the song gets heavier there are some cool melodies and some awesome vocal lines too.

“Darkness” is another of the heavier tracks on the album, with some really hard hitting riffs and a spoken word acted section that is somewhat entertaining in the way it plays out, before some awesome solos and some great metal riffs.

The album closes on “Damned (O)fish/L.S.D.” and this one’s actually mostly instrumental until right at the end, with some interesting progressive sounding guitar playing, and some clean moments that border a little on Opeth style stuff. This is definitely a different way to end the album, certainly unexpected and showcases the foundations of the band quite well.

The band chose to work again with Vangelis Yalamas (who has sound engineered Fates Warning live shows among other work) at Fragile Studios. The production is pretty good, you can hear everything that is going on, and it all gels together quite well! The drums and guitars shine out in particular, and there are some great moments with the vocals too.

Doom Philosophy is definitely an interesting album. The band showcases their talents and passion for songwriting well, with lot of dynamic songs yet in keeping with their core sound. This one will serve to strengthen their back catalog and hopefully see them to bigger things

Check out Sorrows Path at https://www.facebook.com/SorrowsPath

 

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The Tickturds – Tickturdius Maximus

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The Tickturds are probably one of my favourite punk bands, and with their debut album Tickturdius Maximus due for release imminently, hopefully more people are about to see why. A mix of ferocious punk beats, angry shouting vocals and some great riffs and basslines, this is something a bit different and interesting.

“Now Hear This You Tickturd” is an audio clip that gave the band their name, from Smokey And The Bandit, and leads us into the first proper track, Comfort Zone which has an awesome main riff and some cool stabbing guitars and drums too. The bassline is nice and “bouncy” with quite a classic punk feel to it. This is a slice of proper punk from the start. The double attack of “Monkey” and “Underdog” has been live hits from the band for some time now, and were featured on their live album “Insulting Your Eardrums.” It’s nice to hear these on a proper album, with their catchy main riffs and interesting basslines.

“C.T.S” is the first track on the album sung by bass player Luke Fisher. This is a punked up ska style track, with upbeat drumming and some great riffs too. We go back to Rik Spanner for “Eyes In The Sky” and this is another straight up punk track with furious vocals and some hard hitting drums.

“Revolution” is a nice dynamic track with some cool changes in rhythm and feel over the course of quite a short track, and with this one you can hear the heavy metal background behind James Balcombe’s drumming. “Player” is a track with some more awesome basslines, and some cool riffs as well. “Jesus Creepers” starts off quite slow but very quickly picks up the pace at the end with a mad tempo and some equally mad vocal delivery.

My God” is one of my highlights on the album, with some powerful riffs and interesting structure that shows there’s more to this punk band than meets the eye, with a sense of melody and lyrics that some may not expect. “Invasion Liberation” is a speedy track with some bluesy rock riffage and a nice call and response vocal too. This one almost borders on early heavy metal but has an attitude throughout that perfectly suits the Tickturds.

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“Nigel” is another track fronted by Luke with song angry interspersions from Rik. This is another highlight of their live set, and is often contrasted by Luke’s acoustic slowed down version opening up many a night. “Serious Loss Of Doubt” is the longest track on the album yet still only just over three minutes. This one has one of my favourite Tickturds basslines that makes use of some cool major triads, and overall one of my favourites with some great playing from the mighty Clive.

It’s good to see “Mr Angry” on this album as well, as this is yet another highlight (yeah, there’s more than a few on this album) with its hard rock main riff, frenetic drumming and a really cool bridge later on. It really suits it title and works really well here.

“Zombie Hen Blues” finishes up the album, with exactly as you’d expect from the title; some blues! This is a cool, well played track and offers something different to finish up the album.

I always feel that production should match what a band is trying to do, and with the Tickturds this has definitely been achieved with Tickturdius Maximus. It’s the best sounding release by the band so far, yet it still has that raw energy that defines the band (and their live shows) and really works in their favour really.

There’s plenty on offer with “Tickturdius Maximus” at a massive 14 tracks in just 31 minutes. Each track though short is done well and offers something a bit different. At its core this is some straight up punk exactly the way it should be, but listen deeper for some different stuff going on, bits of Ska, and even some speed metal perhaps. This is definitely worth checking out if you aren’t afraid.

Tickturdius Maximus is available to order now at https://thetickturds.bandcamp.com/album/tickturdius-maximus

Check out The Tickturds at https://www.facebook.com/TheTickturds

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Ross Mc Eneff – For All You Cowards

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Irish man of many talents Ross Mc Eneff has recently released an album titled “For all you Cowards” featuring variety of influences and classic sounds, this is a cool release from the artist. Recorded a while back, this still has a fresh sound and plenty of guts.

The album opens with the grooving sounds of “Infatuation”, with a sweet main riff and a really cool bassline. The vocals are very reminiscent of Ozzy Osbourne but with better pitch control. This is a good start to the album, with lots of different moments of tension and excitement, daring to be a bit different to the norm.

“Ego’s Taking Over” is a bit more of a straight up rocking tune, with more very Ozzy-esque mixed with cool backing vocals. The main riff is very old school in sound, and the track is performed well overall, and a great lyrical theme.

“Forbidden” takes things in a different direction, with acoustic guitars starting things off. Ross goes for a different vocal approach here that really is a stark contrast, but works really well, nice and emotive. The song picks up in pace and heaviness later on, but with plenty of diversity and change, further solidifying the style of the album.

“Spineless Excuse” has a kind of punk sound to it, with a short running time too. A pretty straight up song but nonetheless a good one, lots of layered vocals and lots going on despite the short length, and a great bluesy solo tops it all off here. “Deceit” follows this one up with a heavier sound with chugging guitars and a cool chorus too.

“Serenity” breaks up the album with some nice clean guitar sounds and synths; a short instrumental track that serves its purpose well and shows off Ross’ skills a little bit. “Devil’s Mistress” moves things on with some heavier riffs that give way to more mellow sections and another cool chorus.

The title Track “For All You Cowards” closes the album, and is also one of the highlights of the album, with a great main riff and a cool sounding chorus. There’s lots of heaviness here and it serves as a great conclusion to the album!

The production is pretty good for a debut album, the guitars are plenty heavy, the bass sounds great and the vocals are nice and clear. The drums are pretty good too. The songwriting is the main thing here though, with lots of nice short songs that make their mark pretty quickly and to good effect.

This is a good album from Ross Mc Eneff and it would be awesome to see a follow-up to this soon!

Check out Ross Mc Eneff at http://rossmceneff.bandcamp.com/album/for-all-you-cowards-2

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Jizzy Pearl – Crucified

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You may or may not know, but Jizzy Pearl is the frontman from the band Love/Hate, and has also become the frontman for the mighty Quiet Riot. This however is his new mini album, “Crucified”, and with its rocking sound it’s a great showcase for the frontman’s talents.

The album opens up with “Hanging You Out To Dry” which crashes in with a classic rock drumbeat that gets things into motion. This is a cool start to the album, energetic vocals punctuated by lead guitar licks and an awesome solo. The song has a great sense of groove to it, and has plenty of riffs and even a somewhat swinging section towards the end.

The second track, “I Don’t Want To Be Your Baby” is a change of pace straight away, with acoustic guitars setting the scene before drums and organs add to the atmosphere. An emotive lead vocal on this song really drives this one home, with an almost “Guns ‘n’ Roses” vibe to it but a bit better performed with some lovely guitar work.

“Love Is All” ups the ante a little bit with a slightly heavier sound than the previous track, still utilising acoustic guitars but with a bit more aggression to it and rocking out a bit later on. This moves the album along quite nicely!

“Sunny Day” is laid back sounding but heavy track with a cool chorus. Plenty more awesome lead guitar work here and a general good sound to it overall! There’s a great breakdown and build-up later on with nice vocal harmonies involved too.

“Too Late” follows on from the vibe of the previous track but is a bit more emotive and sad lyrically, this is another cool track though, with nice acoustic guitars and plenty of lead guitars again, supported by a great rhythm section.

The album closes with “You’re Making Me Nervous”, a song that start with some odd guitar chords (that work well) before the song gets a bit more rocking with some awesome tense chords that build a cool sound that the vocals are performed really well over. This is a really cool and dynamic track that closes off the album really nicely!

The production is very good with everything nice and clear in the mix and without anything being too overpowering in the mix! There are plenty of sounds from acoustic guitars to big sounding solos and riffs, but it has all been recorded and produced well.

Overall, this is a good album worth your time if you’re a fan of Jizzy Pearl’s work as a frontman, and even if you’re just out for some good rock ‘n’ roll this is definitely for you.

Crucified” Is Out Now

Check out Jizzy Pearl at www.jizzypearl.com

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Switchblade – Heavy Weapons

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Switchblade, an old-school Heavy Metal band from Israel, has been around since 2005. Battling a tough Metal scene, the band has just released their debut album, Heavy Weapons, and is ready to take on the scene with this release behind them.

The title track ‘Heavy Weapons’ opens up with a riff filled with classic style. A great melodic lead vocal rises up over the track, with plenty of power backing up those high notes, and giving us a great old-school chorus, with a blistering solo topping off a great initial statement on the album.

‘Euphoria’ brings a bit more of a modern grooving riff to the mix, with some awesome fast melodic sections too. Another powerful chorus carries the song forwards here, with some cool guitar harmonies that I can imagine the crowd singing along to live perhaps! ‘Metalista’ gives us a cool main riff, with a great groove to it, and a great solo that gives way to a great lead line reminiscent of Megadeth’s more melodic output.

‘Lost Lovers Unite’ starts off with nice clean guitars and an almost militaristic drumbeat, before opening up into an Iron Maiden style ballad, like something from their earlier years, that then gives way to heavier chords, whilst the vocalist is very able to keep up with the variety of styles on display in this song. This is a nice dynamic song with lots going on and lots of changes to keep listeners on their toes, with a great tight rhythm backing from the drums and bass.

‘The Lost Kingdom’ opens up with a nice technically minded riff, with some cool synth backing. This instrumental song is quite a bit different and quite short at just over 2 minutes long. ‘Infernal Paradise’ introduces us to some cool modern riffing and drumming that makes for a cool song, whilst ‘Curse Of The Father, Sins Of The Son’ blends old and new to present something that really works, with heavy chugging sections meeting power chord riffs reminiscent of the 80s.

‘Into The Unknown’ is a heavy tune with a great movement to it, with lots of nice Sabbath-esque basslines and more chugging riffs to solidify Switchblade’s style, and a great harmonised lead guitar line with lots of technical skill to it.

To finish, ‘Endless War’ is one of the more upbeat tracks on the album, almost bordering on a power metal sound and lyrical style. Lots of staccato riffs power the track along with plenty of double bass drumming and a mighty chorus to finish off a strong debut album.

The production on this album is pretty good, everything is well recorded and audible, and it all sounds pretty heavy, more than suitable for a debut album!

Overall a very strong debut album, as you’d expect from a band with this amount of history to it already! What I like about it is the mix of old and new that keeps things fresh throughout, and this approach is really working for a lot of bands right now! Here’s hoping ‘Heavy Weapons’ sets the band in good stead for the future!

‘Heavy Weapons’ is out now via Killer Metal Records

Check out Switchblade at https://www.facebook.com/SwitchbladesOfSteel

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