Tag Archives: British Metal

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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Osmium Guillotine

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From the depths of Essex comes a band steeped in traditional sounding riffs and full of attitude. Osmium Guillotine brings the thunder with their debut self-titled album, with a great sense of style, some fantastic musicianship and solid songwriting too!

Opening up with a symphonic style intro courtesy of Chris Saunders (Earthmass, Chestburster, 5 String Drop Out Band and many other projects) and this builds a nice atmosphere to get us started off here, with stabbing synths and cool sounding strings lending themselves to the excitement of the upcoming album.

This leads into the first track with the band is “Martyrdom” with a kind of eastern riff giving way to crushing power chords, before the chugging main riff crashes in. The vocals of Peter Keliris soar over the riffage, with powerful lyrics about religious extremism. The style on this one toes the line between Thrash and old school British metal, but the next track “D-Day,” a classic of the Osmium Guillotine live set, definitely leans towards the latter, with mighty guitar harmonies and awesome old-school riffs meeting with a great vocal performance a cold “gang-chant” style chorus.

“Phobophobia” was the first taste of the album we got in 2013, and it’s as powerful now as it was then, about “the fear of being afraid” with some more awesome vocals from Pete and a great heavy metal attack all around, with an awesome guitar harmony later on too! “Blight Upon Mankind” is another older song from the band, with ominous clean guitars and tense drumming leading way to some evil sounding riffs later on. This is a great track from the earlier days of Osmium Guillotine’s 5 year history and it still holds up on the album!

“City Of Chaos” begins with a great classic metal riff before the drums crash in and the riff grows in power with the backing of the rhythm section. This is a more politically charged song about the state of the country, and the song on the whole has a kind of speed metal meets thrash mentality, with crazy fast riffs and some great playing too! “Hobgoblin” is another live classic about the Ale of the same name, telling the tale of Wychwood. This a great song with a bit of a folky sound to it, and a main riff that you could probably dance a jig to.

“Goomba” takes things in a totally different direction, drop-tuning the guitars and introducing the track some fantastic bass playing from Dan Thurgood. This song has a real groove to it, feeling a little more 90s, and is about the enemy of the same name from Nintendo’s most popular series of games, but this one’s from the perspective of the Goomba itself and is quite clever! The song as a whole is a definite highlight of the album, with great guitar riffs, awesome vocal moments and some super solid drums from James Balcombe.

“Into The Battle” is another classic from the guys, with some great harmonised guitar riffs making it feel a bit more British, but then unleashing blast beats and some more black metal style playing in places, with some great riffage overall, and it’s nice to hear this one on the album as well! “Breathe It In Son” is the instrumental track of the album, and it keeps things interesting throughout with lots of fantastic melodies and guitar parts, with a cool bass solo later on in as well!

“Subhuman” closes the album with one last OG classic; this is quite a lengthy track, with lots of false endings and the like to keep listeners on their toes. It’s a good finish to the album, with some great guitar playing that will keep people listening to the end, and hopefully make them go in for another spin!

The production is pretty good on the album, the drums and vocals are particularly impressive, with lots of nice cymbal sounds going on and some aggressive sounding vocals mixed quite well. The guitar gel well with each other, and though the bass sounds great I feel it could have done with going up a bit in the mix personally.

This is a fantastic debut album from Osmium Guillotine, with the blend of attitude, style and musicianship only true British metal can deliver. There’s a new wave of metal on the way and this is exactly the kind of stuff that ought to be at the forefront of it, dark and heavy without being “brutal”, with great musicianship and songwriting.

Osmium Guillotine is released 6th June via MGR records

Check out Osmium Guillotine at https://www.facebook.com/osmiumguillotine and http://osmiumguillotine.com/

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Hamerex – “IX”

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“IX” is the second album from Wakefield based Heavy Metal band Hamerex, who have kept the flame burning for old-school British metal for a good 9 years now, and their experiences and the skills they have gained are all on show with this excellent new release.
With atmospheric whispers that send a chill through the spine, “IX Circles” is a haunting and heavy opener to the album, with keyboards and groove laden guitar and basslines. The song leads into the heads down rocker “Life Of Death” which combines Megadeth style guitar riffs with Maiden harmonies and a proper ballsy singer, the likes of which Metal has not seen in far too long. He belts out the vocal parts but does so in a tuneful way without going off key, a very skilled metal vocalist indeed.

The album has a very “80s” attitude, with lots of riffs setting the tone from the get-go. Various styles from Thrash to NOWBHM to a bit of Progressive Metal are covered here, all with the personal touch of the band themselves. Songs like “The Night Of Samhain” showcase this perfectly, with lots of changes in mood and sound that really drive the song onwards with epic choruses and stabbing riffs with lots of synths and prog-style chords, reminiscent of bands like Dream Theater, but channelled through a British perspective.

The band is full of great and passionate musicians, with Steve Blower on guitars bringing blistering riffs, solos and some intense backing vocals. A very competent player with a lot of classic metal style. Chris Moules on vocals is one of my favourites on the scene, and having played with them live back in February, I can assure you pulls it off live too. He has the ability to really belt out aggressive sounding vocals but he can also reign it in and sing cleaner when the songs require it. A really dynamic and interesting vocalist!

Andy Firth brings a very “Geezer Butler meets Steve Harris” vibe to the mix, with a lot of grooving basslines played with a high level of precision, and he is quite an active guy on stage too! Darren Kelsall brings a nice hard hitting attitude with his drumming, reminding me of an 80s Lars Ulrich but with a British edge.

What is great about Hamerex is that they don’t stick to just one approach. Songs like “The Extremist” and “Edge Of Madness” bring a Thrash element to the mix whilst songs like “The Mortuary” remind me of a much heavier Queensryche or Dio. “The Stranger” is also an amazing song, with a very “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” feel that then takes a completely different turn into pianos and acoustic guitars with powerful lead guitar.
One of the big standout tracks for me, along with “The Night Of Samhain” is the closer of the album, “Still The Wall Remains” with an emotional acoustic intro that opens out into something very much like Bruce Dickinson’s solo material with some really nice vocal passages, really nicely recorded too. The chorus powers through with multi-layered vocals that really bring the message of the song home.

Overall, this is a massive leap above the previous album “Rites of Passage” for me, which was already a great release. The production values have been upped compared to previous releases and everything is nice and audible, the vocal sound in particular stands out, with great sounding reverb in use on very well recorded takes.

The album is being released as a digipak and looks fantastic, the artwork is really reminiscent of an 80s metal band’s art, and is beautifully done, as a whole the package looks fantastic!

These guys are definitely worth your time, they have spent a lot of time crafting their material and they play live a hell of a lot too. This album will definitely please you if you are a fan of proper British heavy metal.

The second album from Hamerex ‘IX’ will be released on Monday 7th October 2013 on IX Music and Code7 Distribution.

Check out Hamerex at: https://www.facebook.com/hamerex?fref=ts

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Monument – “Rock The Night” EP

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Monument is a Heavy Metal band from East London, formed in 2011. These guys are easily the biggest band on MGR Records, formerly with Transcend Media, and they are at the forefront of the “2nd wave of British Heavy Metal” that is currently writhing beneath the surface of the metal scene at this very moment.

The talent on display here is incredible, from the mighty vocals of Peter Ellis, who you may recognise from fellow traditional metal heroes White Wizzard, as well as Peterborough metallers The More I See. I am of the opinion, however, that this is easily the best work he has been involved with, and with powerful harmonies, piercing falsettos and catchy choruses galore, this will definitely please a fan of the old school!

The current lineup of the band is completed by Guitarists Lewis Stephens (also of White Wizzard!) and Dan Baune, Bassist Matt “Mira” Scott and Drummer Matt C, some of whom are not on this EP as it was actually released a little while ago, but the music still stands up just fine, and the new lineup likely performs even better.

The EP itself consists of 5 tracks, getting right into the mood with title track “Rock The Night” with lots of Maiden style riffs with a modern twist and sound; a Fast and furious rocker to set the EP in full swing.

The best track on the EP for me was definitely “Midnight Queen” with a somewhat longer running time and a really epic bass break into a soaring harmony guitar lead, this song really stood out for me. However every track on this EP is worth your time, as the band has a lot to offer and displays a wide array of catchy choruses, deft lead guitar work and intricate bass work. Honourable mentions go to the lead single “Fatal Attack” and the song “Carry On” with its melodic yet heavy approach. “Blood Red Skies” brings a real Bruce Dickinson vibe to the mix with a proper groove that hasn’t been seen in metal for too long.

The EP itself is packaged very nicely. It is a card sleeve with fantastic artwork and properly printed CDS. The one I own is the reissue via MGR with a redesigned back cover that looks very stylish, I have seen the other as well and I prefer this one myself.

The production on this EP is immense, something you wouldn’t expect from most bands, especially on a debut release! Everything gels really well, with powerful drumming, audible and technical basslines (!) and guitars and vocals working perfectly with each other, with harmonies to please any fan of true British metal.

Overall, this band is one to watch out for, their new album is currently in the works and if it’s anything like this it promises to be something special! With these guys at the helm, the 2nd Wave Of British Heavy Metal will be… Monumental.

“Rock The Night” Is out now via MGR Records!

Check out Monument here:
https://www.facebook.com/monumentuk/app_2405167945

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