Thursday, 2 November 2017

LM Cooke - Nursery Rhymes For The Apocalypse (Album Review)


01. Poor Jenny
02. Yellow Eyes
03. False Lamkin
04. First interlude: Summer Is A-Coming In
05. (We Stand) Behind You
06. Murder Song
07. I Know A Place
08. How Do I Know
09. Blackbird Pie
10. Second Interlude: Winter Is A-Coming In
11. Moon Song
12. The North Wind
13. Stormwatch
14. End of the World

LM Cooke (Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Violin, Strings, Keyboards, Synthesizer, Programming)

Guests
Jo Luckett (Oboe, Violin) On ‘Moon Song’

Steven C Davis (Additional Vocals) On ‘(We Stand) Behind You’ and ‘End of the World’



Say Folk Music to most people and they will instantly think of bearded men in Arran jumpers singing traditional songs about maidens, death and ships sailing from port never to return, with one finger in their ear and the other hand grasping a pint of some awful warm brown liquid that may have some vague resemblance to a drinkable ale.
But this style of music that originated in the 19th century has also evolved into sub genres that include progressive rock and even some styles of extreme metal.
In the late 1960’s a style known as Acid-Folk emerged with bands such as Comus, Saturnalia and Dulcimer.
Over the last decade this style has found a new generation to mesmerize with artists as diverse as Galley Beggar, Circulus and Blood Ceremony.

So now we turn to LM Cooke, one time violinist/ main songwriter in Broadarrow Jack, then singer/ songwriter with the folk-rock band Crimson Clocks.
Not only a superb songwriter but a much respected author of dark fantasy/ science/ mythic fiction novels and short stories.
It now seems we must add multi talented instrumentalist, music producer, mixer and engineer, as she makes her solo debut.

While there are indeed songs of ships and traditional songs with new arrangements, there is a wealth of totally original songs with a dark and twisted edge that mixes the various sub genres of folk to include gothic, horror, psychedelic and acid in her own style.


We start with ‘Poor Jenny’ a ghost-ship song based on the story of the English schooner, the Jenny which in 1823 became frozen in an ice barrier complete with crew. This song was originally written when Miss Cooke was with Broadarrow Jack.
This updated and rearranged version has some haunting dual tracked vocals over a simple but highly atmospheric backing, the use of wind and water samples adds to the overall feel as if you were listening to it by the seashore.

Next up is ‘Yellow Eyes’ a song about a wolf, or is it I ask myself, “A wolf in your mind” as the lyric goes brings to mind a hint of Robert Calvert’s musical interpretation of Hesse’s ‘Steppenwolf’.
Imagine if early Bauhaus had a female vocalist, if you can then this would be the result, from its near proto industrial drum tracking to gothic guitar and echo vocals this one blasts through the speakers and then towards the end turns to pure acid folk. Stunning!

Time for a traditional murder ballad, ‘False Lamkin’, adapted from the version from Cambridgeshire collected by Cecil Sharp. The song is sometimes also known as False Lincoln or Long Lamkin, among other names, and verses vary depending on the version. You may know this if you are a fan of Steeleye Span, Shirley Collins or Fire+Ice.
Wow beautiful moody vocal over a harp like musical backing, traditional in its execution yet the clever production makes it modern.

The interlude I shall leave to one side at the moment and move on to ‘(We Stand) Behind You’. This is a dark and twisted nursery rhyme warning that not everyone is who they seem. It may start off almost upbeat, happy with cute sounding instruments but then as this song progresses it gets darker, twisted, nightmarish, the vocal tracking becomes more unbalanced and disturbed and the demonic laughs will make you look behind just to make sure there is nobody standing there.

Maybe it’s just me I don’t think that the ‘Murder Song’ is about crows, yes they are the lyrical theme but I sense a pagan witchcraft influence with a group of girls out to lure some poor soul before the crow king for sacrifice.
One that could be on the soundtrack of ‘Blood On Satan’s Claw’ or even an outtake from the Comus album ‘First Utterance’, traditional in delivery it maybe, but this has a catchy almost hypnotic vocal pattern and all in all creates a creepy horror folk mini epic.

Following on from ‘Yellow Eyes’ is ‘I Know A Place’ it continues that them of the inner wolf.
Showcasing an impressive vocal range and clever mixing and production this sounds like a choral quartet, dark harmonies flow through the speakers whilst the wolf listens intensely.

‘How Do I Know’ seems to be an anthem for the insecure, but there is also a hidden depth here, after all what if the crazy are really the sane ones? Is the reference to money really about money, the use of the “Pounds, Shillings and Pence’ in the lyric could be a nod back to the mid 1960’s where bands like the Pretty Things used the £sd to refer to LSD.

The basic drum pattern follows a similar rhythmic madness of the 1966 hit ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away’ by Napoleon XIV. The vocals are mad, the samples are madder and to cap it all off there is a great “Dr Phibes” sounding organ.


‘Blackbird Pie’ is perhaps as you might expect a new take on the 18th century nursery rhyme ‘Sing A Song Of Sixpence’. Miss Cooke has replaced the naughty boys or the more common blackbirds’ version and then added a beautiful element of plague and the black death! This is all wrapped up in a rather pretty little folk tune.

Another interlude, so perhaps I shall take a moment here and return to the first.
Thing is ‘Summer Is A Coming In’ at just under fifty five seconds and ‘Winter Is A Coming In’ at just over one minute, for me don’t work as separate pieces, I can’t help but feel that the opportunity to create one entire song with the other two seasons added would have worked better with the overall concept of the album being full songs.
Either that or the fact that both pieces have the same rhythm, when placed together they flow perfectly.

Pure poetry, perhaps even the moonlit ghost of Jim Morrison?
“the rivers of moon light flow into lagoons
Who dares to impugn her white-faced mis-tune
No song of the spheres is more inopportune”
The ‘Moon Song’ blends classical and folk influences that act as a perfect backdrop to, as I have already said, “Pure poetry”.

Adapted from the traditional nursery rhyme ‘The North Wind Doth Blow’, simply titled ‘The North Wind’. Beautiful piano and violin again give this a more classical feel and right at the end there is some orchestration that fades away all too quickly, I could have done with another two minutes of that before the fade out.

In 2010 Miss Cooke wrote a short story called Storm Watch A Tale Of the Sea, this was published in ‘Tales From The Asylum’ from Last Line Publishing House.
The song ‘Stormwatch’ is based on that story. As to be expected this is a lyric heavy piece with a near symphonic accompaniment.

What better way to end than ‘End Of The World’ a perfect apocalyptic tune, though I feel I should ask ‘Just wearing heels and vintage pearls?’ but there again why not it is after all the end!  With it’s overtones of Edith Piaf this cabaret-esque finale is almost uplifting in delivery, one may almost think Miss Cooke is quite looking forward to an impending apocalypse?

So aside from my ‘Interlude’ issue this is a brilliant album, it draws on folk and classical influences, throws in some gothic elements and creates an album full of atmosphere. Very well produced, clever mixing and attention to detail a solo album of some magnitude.


Rating 9.5/10

LM Cooke Music

Album available from


 A little promotional clip from Miss Cooke


Saturday, 23 September 2017

Weapon UK - The Rocker/Set The Stage Alight(2017) Review


Danny Hynes (Vocals)
Jeff Summers (Guitar)
Darren Lee (Drums)
Tony Forsythe (Bass)

1. The Rocker
2. Set The Stage Alight (2017)


So yes it has been awhile since the review was posted, but there are very few bands in the world that can being me out of health forced retirement and one of the most important to me is Weapon!

So let’s have a quick catch up and go back to 2014. They of course released the stunning album 'Rising from the Ashes’ this was followed by a brief UK tour. Towards the end of the year their drummer Ian Sweeting left and was replaced by Darren Lee (Ex Midnight Messiah).

The following year was another packed diary of live dates in the UK and an appearance at the Matarock festival in Barcelona, then another European tour taking in Holland, Germany and Belgium.
After the tour bassist PJ Phillips decided to leave the band.

In 2016 Angelwitch/Tytan bassist Kevin Riddles steps in to help the band out whilst they continued to search for a permanent replacement.

In August saw the re-release/repackaged '35 Anniversary Edition' of the 'Set The Stage Alight' album on Blood & Iron Records, which contains all the bands material from 1980/1 plus two live tracks from their appearance at The Headbangers-Open-Air Ball, Germany in 2005.

So at the beginning of this year a new bassist joined in the shape of the very talented Tony Forsythe, a name I knew well as he had worked with Gerry Laffy from Girl and had also played in a band with Rudi ‘The Boss’ Riviere from Sapphire.

After rehearsals they set off for a series of Swedish dates and not long afterwards entered the recording studio, which brings us right up to date.



The Rocker.
Cover versions can at times be a dangerous choice. On the one hand you have to capture the essence of the original and show total respect and at the same time you have to add your own sound and vision.
This version of The Rocker fits both those criteria; firstly they have bridged the original album version of 5 minutes and the single version of just 2 ½ minutes and created a fresh and crisp production of 3 minutes of aural perfection.

Set The Stage Alight.
This could also be considered a dangerous choice. Bands can often make the mistake of re-recording one of their own classic tracks and then manage to ruin the song’s legacy.
I confess I was a little reticent at hitting play; my original treasured vinyl copy still sits in my collection to this day and is interconnected with my love and respect for the band.
Any doubts were blown away from the intro onwards, the power of the original was not only respected but frankly updated to remind us that maturity does not mean watering down or destroying a legacy but re-nailing to the wall for all to see and hear.
Superb drumming and bass work power through the speakers, the guitar sound is alive and furious, the vocals are even, well produced and as soaring as the day the song was first conceived.

I have said this before and it still remains the case, Weapon are not a band who bask in former glories of the NWOBHM era and attempt to replicate a youthful sound, they are a band who never stood still or looked backwards, this is a relevant now to today’s rock and metal music scene as it has always been.

Let me put it this way; The Rocker is 44 years old, Set The Stage Alight (like the band) is 37 years old. Yet this release has the punch of a fresh faced teen heavy metal band! "

Rating: 10/10

The tracks will be digitally released on Thursday, 28th September 2017.
Available through CD Baby, ITunes, Amazon.
For more information go to:  http://www.weapon-uk.com/index.php

Thursday, 10 December 2015

TOP 14 ALBUMS OF 2015

STATEMENT ABOUT STU'S REVIEWS
There have been no reviews posted since October 6th, that is due to serious health problems which have left me in constant physical pain and resulting in a fair amount of depression, this is still ongoing.
All review copies sent to me since that date have been deleted and no further promos have been downloaded, this will remain the situation until my health returns, i have already spoken with a numer of record company pr people on this subject.
So until i can sort myself out, there will be no more posts after this one.


TOP 14 ALBUMS OF 2015
So been a good year for music, quite a lot of interesting and original albums being produced, these are my personal choices from what has landed in my inbox or been sent to me.

STU




01.GALLEY BEGGAR - SILENCE & TEARS


02.PYOGENESIS - A CENTURY IN THE CURSE OF TIME


03.WITH THE DEAD - WITH THE DEAD


04.THE DAY OF LOCUSTS - FROM THE GUTTER TO THE GODS


05.THE DEEP - PREMONITION


06.NORSE - PEST


07.LUCIFER - LUCIFER 1


08.VALENTINE WOLFE - THE NIGHTINGALE: A GOTHIC FAIRYTALE


09.SOLDIER - DEFIANT


10,AGUE - POWERED BY EFFLUVIA


11.AL B DAMNED - FOR OLD TIMES STAKE


12.DESERT - NEVER REGRET


13.MEKIGAH - LITLOST


14.ALBATROSS - FEAR FROM THE SKIES


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Rectified Spirit - The Waste Land (CD Review)


01.The Art Of War
02.Fireborn
03.Winter In Thine Eyes
04.The Green Goblin
05.Afterthought
06.Once Below A Time
07.Empire
08.The Waste Land



Rainjong Lepcha (Vocals)
Samudragupta Dutta (Guitar)
Dishankan Baruah (Guitar)
Himangshu Borah (Bass)
Nishant Hagjer (Drums)




Formed in August 2005, the band started performing in various gigs of the active metal circuit of their hometown Guwahati.
However, after a few years of being active in the circuit, some of the band members left the band due to various individual engagements, from 2009 onwards. Thereafter, founder member and guitarist Samudragupta Dutta and long term bassist Himangshu Borah reformed the band again in the year 2011 with guitarist and long term friend of both, Imtiyaz Alam.

'The Art Of War' is one helluva agressive opener, very chaotic vocals and screams over superb technical drum patterns, the second part of the song does manage to calm down for some clean vocals, however the next song 'Fireborn' is just a relentless onslaught of drum driven power from beginning to end!

It's not until we come to 'Afterthought' that we are allowed to relax and are treated to some more refined guitar playing, laid back drum rhythms and some melodic and gentle vocals.

But 'Once Below A Time' decides to kick us back into life with another assault on the ears and blows away any notion of "Melody" with this drum driven monster full of hate and agression.

'The Waste Land' starts with melodic guitar intro and then the drums come in, but this epic final song brings together a perfect blend of extreme power and melody, some stunning vocals and great guitar work all against this powerhouse backdrop.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Strapping Young Lad, Meshuggah, Periphery

Monday, 5 October 2015

Deathless Creation - Thrash´n´Roll (CD Review)


01.Stigma Of Degeneration
02.Personal Hell
03.As Long As There's A God
04.Reinvention
05.King Of The Lonesome Riders
06.Dominate
07.Break The Silence
08.Temptation
09.Endless Source Of Power
10.Escape The Prison
11.I Am The Devil
12.The Last War


Benne Rommel (Vocals/Guitar)
Vladimir Nikolov (Guitar)
Eric Arikan (Bass)
Stefan Schaubele (Drums)



Deathless Creation is raw power group from Bavaria formed in 2012. Cutting-edge Thrash Metal combined with Rock´n´Roll and all sorts of different influences and genres that the music world has to offer.
It´s all about the music, not an image, a certain scene or category.
Great music starts with fun and an open mind to everything. This is the message of this
band. Independent Metal, high-energy liveshows, honest music and a fresh concept that
exceeds the boundaries of the scene and the genre.




A mix of technical and classic thrash riffs on 'Stigma Of Degeneration' are driven by this great drum backing with some really tight pedal work, vocals are fairly typical of the genre in that they are yelled through the mic!

Another stand out track is 'As Long As There's A God', this is a wall of power and it smashes through the speakers, has "Slayer" written all over it.

Now 'Reinvention' is a different beast, the vocals are sung properly and the music is more relaxed, in fact it almost sounds like a different band, this is pure american style hard rock, unexpected and very good.

Now each subsequent song seems to bring out different and more refined elements than that initial thrash assault and becomes a much more genre integrated album, melody mixes with the agression and creates more complex songs, whilst the vocal styles vary to match.

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Slayer, Evile, Elimination, Breathless

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Ague - Powered by Effluvia (CD Review)


01.Risus Sardonicus
02.Fifty Drachms (To Kill A Man)
03.Apoplexy In Summer (Industrial Accidents)
04.Parker's Expedition
05.Ubersoldat (Gbe Age)
06.Fifteen Leagues To Providence
07.In Contempt Of Quinsy And Dropsy
08.Posing As Babalon
09.Hand Of Cinder, Hand Of Ash
10.Chapel Perilous

Half-Rats (Vocals/Instruments)

Guest
Steven C Davis (Narration on track 7)



Steampunk, Victorian Goth (Dreadpunk), there are many possible genres that could be named for this American one man band formed in December 1884, though i suspect that 2014 may be a closer date.
Multi instrumentalist Half-Rats explains: "Plain speaking...I'll say that my music is not about impressing the wrong quantity, it's about vexing the right one. Fulfilling all of the duties of my given office...such things as being the living conduit and messenger for a dead world, guarding the affects of the deceased and establishing a bastion in this time - availing myself of all resources provided here to awaken the masses; reconciling past and present to set into locomotion a vehicle to a better future."

He has created a clever "back Story" a shortened version:

In post-civil war Detroit; a man, an act existed, compounded of a singular deviancy of character and incongruity of thought in relation to the mode of its day. My presence here is owed to an unnatural power, an ancient and terrible force of primordial origin - held by ethereal beings known to me simply as the "Hellbourne". Prior to the discovery of this queer source of power, I lived, and it can be fervently argued, on the periphery of polite society - A rogueish Heir with friends of questionable moral character - both rubbing shoulders with and coming to blows with casuals, publicans and the insane...My music and lyrics treated the problems of the day, and in no sense was I welcomed even in the bawdiest of establishments - The act was certainly considered odious in the newly-reformed vaudeville shows - not due to tawdry seduction, but to the brash truth! Still, I stayed the course. If you have made the assumption that the singular event that changed my already calamitous lifestyle afforded me no opportunity for salvation - you would be correct.

Corrupt police, disease, finding myself accidentally transported to the year 1916, frictions with socio-political movements, supernatural forces, bar brawls, pistols, the malcontent back-alley butcher, mad professors, reanimated super-soldiers...It was all there for me to contend with.


A touch of swing meets classic americana and 'Risus Sardonicus' launches us into the complex and (as yet) unkown world of Ague. This light near acoustic opener is then followed by a much darker piece: 'Fifty Drachms (To Kill A Man)'. A great vocal performance that is not a million miles away from Rufus Wainwright or Danny Elfman, excellent guitar playing and some nice keyboard work in the mix as well.

With its carnival keyboards 'Apoplexy In Summer (Industrial Accidents)' is a happy sounding song with some great backing harmony vocals, yet somehow its a disturbing piece, reminiscent at times of the Stranglers 'waltzinblack'.

'Parker's Expedition' has this wonderful old fashioned feel to it, another stunning vocal performance, this one has more than a touch of the cabaret about it.

Cannot go wrong with some harpsicord and 'Ubersoldat (Gbe Age)' has a great intro by said instrument and it is present throughout the strange mix of drums and more harmonic backing vocals.

'Fifteen Leagues To Providence' takes us back to early 1950's jazz and rock n roll with its solid guitarwork and hand clapping style backing music. This has a dark, almost, New Orleans "night tripper" vibe!

The intro this eight minute epic 'In Contempt Of Quinsy And Dropsy' is spoken by Steampunk author Steven C Davis over a quiet keyboard backing, telling us the tale of Dr.Parker and the effergies of the songs title.
The music then takes over and treats us to an almost symphonic rock song, good use of keyboard orchestration, driving drum patterns and another solid vocal performance.

Up next is the surprising 'Posing As Babalon', i say that because it has some pretty heavy guitarwork and a dark gothic undertone. The ghost of proto-doom metal lurks here, added to the driving drums and guitar playing is a great old sound "farfisa" keyboard sound.

Once again 'Hand Of Cinder, Hand Of Ash' offers us some more in the way of heavier music, this is another well orchestrated piece with some punchy powerchords coming through, all this creates a dark gothic rock monster which at one point includes some pure demonic vocals that would not be out of place on a cradle of filth album!
Yet somehow this song manages to mix in some 1950's guitar riffs and have an operatic edge as well.

I wonder where this final track will go? Well 'Chapel Perilous' returns us to that jazz/swing sound, a perfect way to end a very clever album full of different styles and superb sound production.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Danny Elfman, Joe Black, Dr John, Midnight Syndicate, Juke Baritone, Wednesday 13

FACEBOOK: Ague Facebook


With The Dead - With The Dead (CD Review)


01.Crown Of Burning Stars
02.The Cross
03.Nephthys
04.Living With The Dead
05.I Am Your Virus
06.Screams From My Own Grave


Lee Dorrian (vocals)
Tim Bagshaw (Guitar/Bass)
Mark Greening (Drums)



With The Dead were formed on All Hallow’s Eve 2014 by the rhythm section of occultist Doom overloads Electric Wizard: guitarist/bassist Tim Bagshaw (also a current member of Serpentine Path) and drummer Mark Greening, a pair once notorious for the sheer brute heaviness of their bowel-shaking sound and early extra-curricular activities that involved excess, injury and low-level criminality (arrests for the theft of a crucifix from a church roof and drunkenly robbing an off-licence to name but two). Both have also played together in Ramesses.
Completing the triangle is frontman Lee Dorrian, co-founder of Doom pioneers Cathedral, former frontman with grindcore legends Napalm Death and owner of Rise Above Records, the UK’s finest independent purveyors of all sounds heavy and underground.




Atmospheric intro and then we launch into 'Crown Of Burning Stars' a slow, pounding six minutes of pure doom heaven (or should that be hell?).

'The Cross' adds more to the mix with some speech samples and a slightly more upbeat sound and some effects added to the vocals, wild and agressive!

Time for saome Sabbath worship with 'Nephthys' sounding like something off the Vol4 album, this one has a slight psychedelic undertone, it's maybe unfair of me to say but this sounds like classic Cathedral, but then it was kinda what i was expecting and hoping for.

'Living With The Dead' starts with a movie sample and then just crashes through the speakers, doom (obviously!) with some sludge thrown in and an almost punk attitude coming through with taht vocal scream and snarl.
It's the quiet, melodic breakdown that really gives this song some additional weight, great guitar playing, and then another huge scream and its more pure power to the end.

Not sure what instrument is making it, but 'I Am Your Virus' has this strange synth type sound running through the mix from speaker to speaker, its fucking awesome whatever it is, this is by far my fave so far, huge riffs, big drum rhythms, pounding bassline and Lee's stunning vocal performance all mixing together to make this huge out of this world psych/doom monster!

Opening to this reminds me of Triptykon's "Shatter", very slow rhythms played out on the intro and then they put their own stamp on it and 'Screams From My Own Grave' becomes this eight minute slow, painful downtuned doom sludge creature crawling it way inch by inch from the depths of hell until it reaches the surface.

Well this is nothing short of perfect doom, a masterclass from the masters, what did you expect?

Rating 10/10
For fans of: Cathedral, Electric Wizard, Witchsorrow, Moss, Reverend Bizarre

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Backstabbers - High Speed Rock & Roll EP (CD Review)


01.Ain't Going Home
02.Thundertrain
03.One For The Road
04.This Town



Jesperi Mommo (Guitar/Vocals)
Aleksi Tiainen (Drums)
Roope Tapio (Bass)



The Backstabbers are a Rock n Roll trio formed 2013 in the heart of Lapland in Finland.
In the last two years they have managed to play over 50 shows in Finland.
So far they have released 2 Ep's and a single on Cd.
In September 2015 the band moved from the countryside of Lapland to Helsinki, the capital of Finland in order to get things rolling the big way.



This is a great little EP, full of hi energy heavy rock n roll, like a combination of old school AC/DC and early 80's Motorhead.
Strong gruff vocals are backed by punchy basslines, solid drums and huge fun guitar riffs.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Motorhead, AC/DC, Airborne, Chrome Division, The Cumshots

Monday, 28 September 2015

Malphas - Occult Propaganda EP (CD Review)


01.Malphas
02.Occult Propaganda
03.Awaking Exelsi Luciferi

B (Vocals)
R (Guitar)
X (Guitar)
BW (Bass)
M (Drums)



Swiss Black Metal band formed in 2014.




Three pretty straight forward black metal songs, ticks the boxes with the modern take on the genre, though falls short of going the whole way with adding keyboards.
A bit dissapointed to be honest, was expecting Hellhammer type sounds.

Now thats not to say i didnt like it, because i did, its pure and honest, great guitarwork, nice timing changes and well produced.

Rating 8/10
For fans Of: Watain, Dissection, Marduk

Friday, 25 September 2015

The Silverblack -The Grand Turmoil (CD Review)


01.The Grand Turmoil
02.Anymore
03.King-Size Vandalism
04.Retaliation
05.Make It Worth The Grime
06.As Good As Dead
07.Attic Hime
08.Pyromanservant
09.Great Expectations
10.Might Get Worse Before It Gets Better
11.Fragmentary Blue

Alession NeroArgento (Guitar/Vocals/Synths/Loops & Programming)
Claudio Ravinale (Vocals)
Ivan King (Bass)
Rob Gaia (Drums)
Nisha Sara (Keyboards)



Brought to life by the devious minds of the multi-instrumentalist and producer Alessio NeroArgento and vocalist Claudio Ravinale, the Italian band "The Silverblack" is an industrial metal creature that quickly developed its own malicious sound, spitting out extremely catchy industrial metal tracks, mainly keyboard-driven and supported by a wide range of vocals featuring both sharp and aggressive passages and more atmospheric and eerie moments.

After releasing the self-titled debut album in 2014 and recruiting Ivan King (Vita Museum), Rob Gaia (5 Star Grave, Airborn) and the performer Nisha Sara to complete the line-up, the band has recorded 11 brand new tracks (produced as usual by NeroArgento at AExeron Studios) for the second album entitled "The Grand Turmoil".
The new tracks refine further the band's formula melting together industrial beats, rot'n'roll assaults, gothic parts and metal onslaughts, sharpening and enhancing to a higher degree the already unique band's venomous sound.
Developing a deep, complex and layered sound "The Grand Turmoil" employs aggressive beats, prominent lead synth lines, alluring choruses, heavy guitars, feral vocals, harsh and nihilistic lyrics and a dirty and scorched post-apocalyptic feel providing a new consistency and depth to the band's ever expanding soundscape, redefining their already personal approach towards industrial metal without boundaries or limitations whatsoever.



What comes over is the quality of the production of some quite complex music, a mixture of BPM dancefloor rockers to full on agressive industrial workouts.

Hints of Nine Inch Nails lurk in the various songs, from lyrical content to mix of traditional instruments to electronic sampling.

Hard to pick a fave track here, its all good!!!!

Rating 8/10
For fans of: Nine Inch Nails, The Defiled, Rob Zombie, Skinny Puppy

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Meuchelmord - Apathie EP (CD Review)


01.Einklang
02.Seelenfrieden
03.Jahr
04.Apathie
05.Regeneration



Cernunnos (Guitar/Vocals/Drums/Bass/Keyboards)




One man depressive black metal from Germany, began in 2011 and after three releases went away in 2013.Now returning with this new EP.


Beautiful piano opening to 'Einklang', starts to give way to almost industrial metal sounds before moving into a brief black metal blast and then after a bit more piano we come to some evil screams and 'Seelenfrieden', with its quite uplifting and melodic backing, driven by a catchy guitar riff and some timing changes this shapes up into a great almost symphonic styled piece, yes its rough around the edges but not that depressing at all!

'Jahr' with its distortion and downtuned, slow and pounding rhythms is almost into sludge metal, however the growl vocal and piano soon return this to a dark and moody song. Great backing vocal effects help give this a ghostly feel as well.

It's strange but 'Apathie' with its upbeat drums and happy sounding guitar playing, somehow still manages to be an overall downbeat song, maybe its when all hell breaks loose and the heavy guitar riff comes in over the screaming vocal?

'Regeneration' is more of a "pure" black metal piece, the piano really comes through on this one, subtle but near perfection.

Rating 9/10
For fans of: Castle, Triptykon, Balmog, Dryom, Axis Of Perdition

Monday, 21 September 2015

Mephorash - 1557 Rites Of Nullification (CD Review)


01.Riphyon- The Tree of Assiyah Putrescent
02.Phezur- Dissolving The Sea of Yetzirah
03.Cheidolun- Breaking The Blade of Beriah
04.Berberioth- Vandalising The Throne of Atziluth


Mishbar Bovmeph (Guitar/Bass)
Mashkelah M'Ralaa (Vocals)
Ayram Etaumiel (Guitar/Bass)
N.Tengner (Vocals)
Loqatzov Baasmu (Vocals)

Guests
Omega A.D (Vocals)
Archfiend DevilPig (Vocals)
Kaeffel (Vocals)



MEPHORASH, hailing from Sweden, has existed for five years and during this time they have gained a lot of ground. They have been working together with members of Ofermod, Malign, Embrace of Thorns, Acherontas, Fides Inversa and Hetroertzen. To mark this five year milestone they are now ready to unveil their best work so far "1557 - Rites of Nullification".

A review of the first epic, 'Riphyon- The Tree of Assiyah Putrescent' will stand as the same for all four songs.
Huge, epic well produced slabs of symphonic blackend metal, a mixture of influences throughout the music and death metal undertones.

With so many vocalists (all of whom seem to sound the same to me) i'm not quite sure why they needed so many?

Rating 6/10
For fans of: Ars Moriendi, Opera Diabolicus, Graveworm

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Chugun - Virus (CD Review)


01.Virus
02.Unholy Warrior
03.Sadistic Rites
04.Martyr
05.Futile
06.Fume
07.Fall Of Mankind
08.Print In Blood
09.Evil Whiskey



Denise Jani (Vocals)
Timur Sizov (Guitar)
Alexey Saprikin (Bass)
Yahel Goldstein (Drums)




Chugun (meaning cast iron in Russian) was formed in Tel Aviv, Israel in 2010.
By the end of 2013 they had recorded and released three demo tracks and began preforming.
After only four shows they were one of five bands selected to participate in the 'Wacken Metal Battle' Israeli Finals.
The band's musical style combines the speed and savage aggression of old school Thrash and Death Metal along with the rhythmic elements of modern metal, to create fast, aggressive and intense music.
Recently, they completed recording their debut album "Virus".

Highly technical and quite brutal Death Metal, delieverd at high speed with a few added Thrash Elements mainly with the powerchord and rhythms.
Now add to this a screaming female vocal that would give Arch Enemy a fright and you have a solid and well executed album.


Rating 6/10
For fans of: Arch Enemy, DevilDriver

Friday, 18 September 2015

Hellight - Journey Through Endless Storm (CD Review)


01.Journey Through Endless Storm
02.Dive In The Dark
03.Distant Light That Fades
04.Time
05.Cemetherapy
06.Beyond Stars
07.Shapeless Forms Of Emptiness
08.End Of Pain



Fabio De Paula (Vocals/Guitar)
Alexandre Vida (Bass)
Rafael Sade (Keyboards)

Doom metal band from Brazil formed in 1996. So with that huge amount of information from the PR department of their record company let's go straight to the review.


'Journey Through Endless Storm' has a very atmospheric start and quickly becomes this classical soundscape that decends into a slow, pounding doom monster with each thump of the drum or powerchord comes a high pitched keyboard note as well. The vocals whilst typical dark/growl and not as harsh as many from the genre and therefore easier on the ear.
Towards the end some pretty epic clean singing and some impressive guitar playing.

Fairly straight forward symphonic/doom with 'Drive In The Dark', lifted once more by some powerful vocals.

Taking an even darker route comes 'Distant Light That Fades' were it not for the uplifting guitar and keyboards towards the end then this would be more Funeral doom as opposed to what i would say has some gothic rock influence.

Nice piano intro to 'Time' which gives way to some more slightly high pitched keyboard notes, as this one goes on you start to get this great chorus backing and some near prog rock levels of song building.

'Cemetherapy' is more funeral doom, as is 'Beyond Stars', though the latter has some pretty heavy dual pedal programming towards the end.

'Shapeless Forms Of Emptiness' is very heavy and totally keyboard dominated like the proto doom bands of the early 1970's but with feet firmly placed in the now.

We end with a short near instrumental 'End Of Pain', with very classical overtones and a female harmony vocal, though i dont know who by?

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Doomed, Serpentine Path, Il Vuoto, Nortt

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Ohrenfeindt - Motor An! (CD Review)


01.Zeit Für Rock’n’Roll
02.1910
03.Die Hoffnung Stirbt Zuletzt
04.Nimm Die Kohle Und Renn
05.Gib Mir Mein Problem Zurück
06.Früh Oder Später
07.Motor An!
08.Aus
09.Für Rock’n’Roll Gebaut
10.Reich Würde Schon Reichen


Chris Laut (Bass/Vocals)
Andi Rohde (Drums)
Pierre "Keule" Blesse (Guitar)



German rock band formed in 1994.
It’s like a well-tried recipe that never gets old: Take three or four loud riffs, a pounding rhythm section, dirty guitars and the typical sound of the producer duo Olman Viper and singer/bassplayer Chris Laut, who once again worked successfully together on this album in the Hertzwerk Nullzwei Studios in Hamburg, Germany.
This time drummer Andi Rohde and guitar player Pierre “Keule” Blesse were also involved in the song writing process and the result is better than ever!
Three guys, two words, one mission: MOTOR AN! (Which literally means “Start the engine!”)




To be honest there is little i can add in terms of this review to the one i did for their previous album "Auf Die Fresse Ist Umsonst" back in july 2013.
It's an album of Ac/Dc meets Rose Tattoo with a hint of Hanoi Rocks, all sung in German (Not a problem for Rammsteins world domintaion).

This time around there doesnt appear to be any guest musicians, just the band themselves doing what they do best.

Rating 8/10
For afns of: Ac/Dc, Airbourne, Rose Tattoo