Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A FLOURISHING SCOURGE: metal show in Arlington, Washington state


by MMB
Demonic Slaughter (Poland): Haunted (Pagan Records)
Demonic Slaughter embraces black metal and its traditions: the necro sound, the kingdom of the tremolo riffing, and grim vocals. The information that I received says that the band detests those modern metal recordings, you know, the ones in which the drums are not live and not real, and in which computers have replaced, repaired, perfected and modified to such an extent that it is difficult to tell what the band played and what is a computer program. Demonic Slaughter calls all of those things "digital lies." This recording is an exaltation of primal black metal. The music is a lot more varied and memorable than I was expecting, but then, if you take into account that Demonic Slaughter, which was founded in 2006, has a total of nine recordings (albums, EPs), then it makes sense that it is a such a strong work. I happen to like tremolo guitar work and grim vocals, so this corresponds to what I want to hear. This band from Poland is new to me and I do not have their previous works. For this reason, I am not able to talk about their other music. On the other hand, these songs, in my opinion, work very well and the vibe is great, too. Don't let terms like "primitive" black metal fool you: this is a veteran band and if this work is anything to go by, you can be sure that they are professionals at their craft. Well done. I will listen more. www.paganrecords.com.pl


by MMB
Sacral Rage (Greece): Illusions in Infinite Void (Cruz del Sur Music)
Sacral Rage is a rare bird of traditional heavy metal with high-scream singing of the technical-progressive type, the kind that legendary names like Watchtower exemplified in the 80s. These Greeks bring to the table intelligence, highly skilled musicianship and an outstanding work ethic. Sacral Rage swims against the stream and their music speaks to their will to stand up for the metal that they defend in the face of low standards and low intelligence. Some people think that a band like Sacral Rage is elitist, but I think that if you ask this band if they are elitists, they perhaps would reject that notion because when you work this hard on making an album, you want everyone to listen to it, but it is good to realize that Sacral Rage music requires that the modern listener adjust her or his expectations somewhat. The singer is not ashamed to do high screams that go as high as possible, very much in the style of the “air raid siren.” The drummer puts on a veritable clinic on this album. As expected, even the bass is clear and you can hear it very well. The guitars bring everything that this style needs: riffs, solos and shredding that impress. Are the songs catchy?! Again, let's tell the truth: this is not something that you can understand fully with one listen. I did not. It takes time. They are excellent musicians that have worked hard to create something unique. If you would like to hear heavy metal with high IQ and high vocals, virtuoso playing in a somewhat thrashy context, then put Sacral Rage on your must-hear list. Recommended for those that long for the classic sounds of Realm, Helstar, Toxik, and of course, Watchtower. Prepare your ears for high screams.
Sacral Rage - Waltz in Madness


by MMB
Valdur (U.S.): Pathetic Scum (Bloody Mountain Records)
Now this is more like it; this is a Valdur that I can get on board with! Valdur has unleashed a raw black metal beast of an album. The band's previous album "At War with" (2013) was a competent death metal album, but this new album, "Pathetic Scum," I loved the vibe and energy immediately and I felt it. Whereas the 2013 album sounds like a band doing solid work, now Valdur is on fire! Whereas before they sounded like a band doing a fine job, now they sound like they are playing out of their minds! This is something I want.
The difference is that now they sound like they are not holding back, holding out on us, and now are letting their animal instinct fury kick into infernal high gear. This is how you do it; you have to put it all out there, play like your life depends on it. There are several changes that have taken place that I like. First, the production: the drumming sounds like it cannot be contained, the cymbals are loud and obnoxious, and sound magnificent, and I love it. I do not like plastic/clicky drumming, and this is barbarous blasting, with less computer tinkering. Great change. The guitars now rage and sound primal, not just tight and professional; the riffs are more intense, headbanging and easier to connect with, because “I’m a metalhead, not a physicist, dammit!” Less virtuosity, more headbanging. Yet, Valdur will still have something more to give us in the future: the vocals are appropriately brutal, but for instance, on a song like "Morbid Emanations," the last one on the album, the growling sounds ferocious, yes, but could definitely be wilder and more savage, with more primitive screams, chaos and insanity. Unleash the Kraken!
The change in sound suggests that perhaps there is a conflict in the band about the direction of Valdur. I have not heard all the Valdur works, but I have read that the band has been ambivalent about its sound. This means that the band is creating audiences that will prefer one direction over another, death metal over black metal and vice versa. In some ways, this could be detrimental for the band, to have divided audiences, perhaps, or maybe not, who's to say?
I think that for Valdur one thing should not be in doubt, though: in the U.S., death metal is king in the extreme metal underground, and it is an overcrowded field, with lots of fast, loud, intense, slamming bands that, at the end of the day, lack the quality in the songs, and for that reason do not stand out. (Every week and weekend in the U.S. there are “brutal death metal” bands playing bars, chugging away about zombies and dismemberment, and it’s all very interesting if you are 14 years old, but not so much when you are older and listen to metal obsessively every day.)
Now, Valdur has made an album that truly sets them apart, especially given that there are not that many bands today that play black metal this well and this primal. Plus, there are many people in the U.S. trying to mix black metal with hardcore (yuck!) or emo or postrock or punk or ...or … excuse while I vomit.
Ok, I feel better now.
Anyway, like I was saying, it's like nobody, or almost nobody, wants to play real black metal. Valdur should not look back and should continue down this "Pathetic Scum" road because this is what they do best. Do what you do best. This is it!
I, for one, can’t enough of this new Valdur.
listen to the new Valdur here:

Monday, June 29, 2015


Mystifier (Brazil): Göetia (Greyhaze Records)
Mystifier (founded in 1989, and active today) is a cult legendary name in international underground extreme metal and represents the Brazilian tradition of bestial black metal of the obscurantist ritualistic forms. This album is considered an excellent, classic work of black metal by many underground fanatics. Greyhaze Records is reissuing this 1993 album, the band's second one, which followed the 1992 album "Wicca," also reissued by Greyhaze. Given that this is a cult classic, I will get to the point right quick. Mystifier's sound is based on old, first-wave barbaric and evil black metal. The band plays that black metal that is all-encompassing: the music has an primitive, dark, horror atmosphere, and within that landscape the bands blasts brutally, does horror metal, invokes Lovecraftian vibes, brings mid tempo rhythms and the slow heaviness of doom, and it's all Mystifier occult black metal. This band is capable of anything on this album; they do it all in their amalgam of kingly majestic darkness. The atmosphere on this album is tremendous and the songs show Mystifier as masters of the realm of the original black metal. If you like underground extreme occult metal, this is a major gateway to Mystifier.
Mystifier - Beelzebuth
the old days


Lady Beast (U.S.): II (Infernö Records)
These wild acts of the heavy metal mania, such as Kaine, Night Demon, Osmium Guillotine, Züül and other bands, are crusaders on a march of the damned, bringing lightning to the nations with heavy metal thunder; these filth hounds of hades are running wild for the extermination day of false metal. Now, add Lady Beast to the demolition boys and the iron maidens! Lady Beast wants you to rock until you drop; they don't do it for fortune because they don't need your money, honey, they do it because it's electric!
From the beginning, Lady Beast wastes no time in getting to the classic-style heavy metal glory of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal sounds in 2015. The first Lady Beast EP is from 2012, and now they have this album. Lady Beast is 100% shameless, in-your-face heavy metal from the time when metal was young. You better submit to this classic-style heavy metal, otherwise the band will chase you down the street and you and your friends will be like, "Aw, snap, they're going to kill us!!" for not being metal. Lady Beast plays infectious songs and they let you hear all the instruments in the old school way because this is not robotic metal; it's human-made music. I have been listening to this album and wondering how these boys and girl managed to channel the spirit of classic metal. Listen to Lady Beast! "Do you dream of playing guitar or smashing up the drums? Maybe you can learn to play the bass. You can always
be a singer like" Deborah Levine “and front the band! When on stage they wait at your command.” High five!
Heavy Metal Destiny by Lady Beast
Lady Beast-Heavy Metal Destiny


Johansson & Speckmann: Mask of the Treacherous (Vic Records)
As you can tell from the name, this is death metal living legend Paul Speckmann (Master) and old school death metal songwriting mastermind Rogga Johansson, whose list of musical endeavors is beyond substantial (if you are curious, look him up on Metal Archives and get ready to be surprised). The cool thing about this album is that it is solid, strong and upfront death metal by people who are consistent, dedicated and reliable. These two men are incapable of fooling anyone because it is not part of who they are. They play old death metal, something along the lines of 80s/early 90s death metal for the present time. Their objective is similar to what Motorhead or Slayer/Overkill or AC/DC represent for their respective genres, except that these two men possibly have more impeccable résumés in terms of style consistency and stubbornness, in a good way. Now that we know all that, let's get to the specifics. First of all, the album sounds great, the Johansson death metal praxis in full force; heavy and memorable; Speckmann's bass is mean, nasty, loud and groovy; the drumming is handled by Brynjar Helgetun, a wilderbeast from the frozen forests of Norway, and has collaborated with Rogga on several projects, and Mr. Helgetun does a great job of keeping the heartbeat, while cooking up his own flavors of grooves and blasting for a rather speedy, banging album; and the Speckmann vocals sound as only Paul can: intense, full of personality, and disgusted with society, injustice and humanity's inhumanity. To conclude, with such trustworthy names in death metal, this album sounds very good, and it is as exciting as I was hoping it would be, and even better. Living legend + metal mastermind = this album!
Johansson & Speckmann - Mask of the Treacherous


Kingcrow (Italy): Eidos (Sensory Records)
Melodic progsters Kingcrow began in 1996. The band’s 2013 “In Crescendo” album was interesting because they sounded in tune with the idea that most listeners want songs. Most of us are not musicians and we listen to music to find something enjoyable. Kingcrow is rather radio- and ear-friendly; the music is not “in-your-face” loud and I imagine that this band does not care about genres. “Light prog metal,” anyone? Anyway, lots of people like this new album and you will find no shortage of accolades for Kingcrow. If anything, I will just my add my two cents here about why the band sounds so ear-friendly. It could be that the singing is pleasant, melodic, tuneful and not too extreme, not too loud, not obnoxious, not weird. The music “sounds” proggy, but “simple,” if that makes sense; I connect with the songs quickly. It could be that Kingcrow values emotion in the music, in the way that a band like Evergrey does (Evergrey is heavier, more soulful; Kingcrow writes bigger, more immediate hits that could be big with lots of non-metal and non-prog people). I recommend Kingcrow to listeners who are confident, those that don’t care about the genre and don’t get into big arguments with their friends about “true prog” and all those things. If you are able to relax and just listen, then give Kingcrow a chance. This is their new album, their sixth one.
Kingcrow - The Moth [OFFICIAL VIDEO]


Officium Triste (Holland): Reason (Vic Records)
Officium Triste started in 1994 and the band is still active today, with a recent album in 2013. Vic Records is reissuing “Reason,” the band’s 2004 album, considered a classic of melancholic doom by some. Given that this is not a new album, I want to get to the point very quickly: l will say that this is “elegant melancholic doom with growled vocals,” which means that some things stand out. First, the growling is pleasant, and not annoying/irritating screaming/yelling/barking. This growling manages to sound pleasing and I have no idea how they do it. It’s not aggressive/angry; it’s elegant. Second, the songs have melody, but it’s melancholy and that’s what this is all about. Third, the music is quality, and it’s for those into Slumber, October Tide, Daylight Dies, early Katatonia, early Paradise Lost and other such sounds. This album has nothing to do with "Southern-fried" rock, sludge, stoner/garage rock, core, ambient/post-rock, and those current “doom” trends. I cannot tell you anything else about Officium Triste’s other albums because this band is new to me (how ignorant!). This album, however, I can easily tell you that it is very good melancholic doom.
Officium Triste - The Silent Witness


Death Dealer: War Master (Pure Steel Records)
This 2013 album from Death Dealer—which involves Ross the Boss (Ross the Boss, ex-Manowar), Sean Peck (from Cage), and musicians from other bands—is hard-hitting traditional banshee-screaming heavy metal, modeled after the Judas Priest album "Painkiller" (1990), namely near-thrash/speed metal songs, tough-as-nails sound, pounding rhythms, and some midpaced moments here and there; it’s upfront traditional heavy metal, of the serious/no-happy type. It’s not a new album, but maybe you missed this one when it came out. By the way, Death Dealer will tour Europe in July 2015.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Wombbath (Sweden): Downfall Rising (Dark Descent Records)
According to Metal Archives, death metallers Wombbath formed in 1990 and did several recordings, eventually turning into death ‘n’ roll in 1994 and calling it quits around this time. Now, after a break of few years (some 20 years), the band’s only member Håkan Stuvemark from the old days, returns with a new cast to resurrect the "old Swedish death metal.” Skilled with a thick-as-a-brick superheavy guitar tone and deep, gruff vocals and a batch of old-style songs, Wombbath strikes while the iron is hot. The album, while heavy throughout, shows quite a few moods, blasting speeds, headbanging midtempos, slower moments and some dark melodies. The band has positioned itself to take advantage of their return to action with a strong album in the style of old-sound death metal that brought so much attention to bands from Sweden in the early 90s. Wombbath has done its best on this album to give you a taste of death metal as they understand it, and has delivered a representation that sets the foundation for the band to make a permanent return to the metal world.
Old Swedish death metal continues to resurrect. Those that want to hear the genuine article and are looking for the sounds of the classics, then put this one on your list. This album comes out in August 2015 and it is for the total fanatics of the sounds of the golden age done for the present.
WOMBBATH "Underneath The Rotten Soil"


Artizan (U.S.): The Furthest Reaches (Pure Steel Records)
What do you think of melodic heavy metal, in the sense of new-era Queensryche, Serenity or Kamelot?
Or, if you like melodic metal of an earlier time, what do you think about “Transcendence”-era Crimson Glory, “Time Will Tell”-era Fifth Angel, “Perfect Symmetry”-era Fates Warning, and/or “Programmed”-era Lethal?
Do you by any chance happen to know about the Colorado, U.S. metal band named Leviathan and its 1991 self-titled EP?
Even though all these bands have their own personality, in my view, they have one thing in common: they prioritize high-quality melodic metal songs above all. The school from which these bands come has taught them that you write songs for yourself but you also write songs so that other people can hear them and connect with them.
Artizan’s melodic heavy metal does not sound like any of those bands. (Well, it does sound a bit like the Leviathan 1991 EP, but there is a very good explanation for that, as I will tell you in a minute.)
Before going any further, let me just tell you now: If melodic heavy metal is a genre that you follow, I recommend Artizan to you as highly as possible because Artizan sounds “practically perfect in every way.”
When it comes to traditional heavy metal, once I determine that there are no major problems (or things that irritate me about the recording/band), I am looking for some specific things, such as level of professionalism/skill, songwriting (Do the songs connect with me?) and of course, the singing (some vocalists annoy me; some sound mediocre; some just don't sound good to me, even if they are famous metal millionaires). Artizan sounded incredibly good on a first listen, and soon with more listens I confirmed that the band has a special combination at work. As soon as the first song hits the ground it all sounds clear, professional, you can hear the instrumentation well, and everything sounds right. Song after song, the album's quality cannot be denied. All the songs sound like hits, meaning that any of these songs shows the quality of the band. Pick any of these songs and you will hear the class and elegance of Artizan. This album is produced by Jim Morris, which definitely helps to explain the quality of the recording. Jim Morris and the Morrisound name means a lot to many metal listeners, due to the long history of metal music associated with the name. By the way, there is also an edition of this album that has the bonus track “Come Sail Away” by Styx covered faithfully by Artizan.
While I’m at it now, I want to tell you about the previous Artizan album from 2013 “Ancestral Energy.” That is another album that I have heard a lot. It is another excellent, excellent album by the band. Of course, I have heard “Ancestral Energy” more than “The Furthest Reaches” because I have had more time with it. Both albums are total awesomeness of melodic metal. This now leaves me with a task: to investigate 2011’s “Curse of the Artizan” and 2009’s “Artizan” EP, which complete the Artizan discography.
Finally, the following information will be interesting to some people, perhaps to older metalheads from Colorado. Artizan’s singer (Tom Braden) and drummer (Ty Tammeus) are both former members of Leviathan from Colorado. The other members of Artizan are: Jon Jennings on bass, Bill Staley and Shamus McConney on guitars. Tom and Ty both played together on the Leviathan 1991 EP self-titled EP. Back in the day I read a positive review of that EP (probably in Metal Maniacs magazine) and I ordered the cd. Naturally, I still have the cd, which I received with a handwritten note from the band, and still listen to it.
Melodic metalheads, give Artizan a chance to charm you!
www.puresteel-records.com www.facebook.com/artizanmetal www.twitter.com/artizanmetal www.artizanmetal.com
Below are some interesting videos of Artizan!
Artizan- Into The Sun
ARTIZAN - The Guardian Official
Styx Come Sail Away - Cover by Artizan
This is Artisan playing the old Leviathan song "Leviathan."
ARTIZAN – Leviathan
This is a video of Artizan working with producer Jim Morris.
ARTIZAN - The Furthest Reaches - Studio Video Part 1

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Hollow Haze (Italy): Memories of an Ancient Time (Scarlet Records)
Have you noticed the good metal albums coming out of Italy in recent years? Take a look at Hollow Haze! Hollow Haze formed in 2003 and this is the sixth album. From the beginning the album sounds like an “epic power metal” concept album; the vibe is very good. I can tell you that if you like the feel of the Avantasia metal operas or the Rhapsody epic albums, you know, albums that sound huge, that show that the band wants to create something truly great for power metal audiences to love forever, then please consider this latest Hollow Haze album. This album features guest singers Mats Levén (from Candlemass), Rick Altzi (from Masterplan) and Amanda Somerville (AINA, Avantasia, Kiske/Somerville, and others) and it appears that Mats is the main singer on the album. Anyway, I don’t know much about the album, but it looks and sounds like a concept work. Whenever someone says “concept” or “opera” album, I wonder whether it’s going to be a bunch of slow and boring songs. Thankfully, this album is a good balance and the overall mood is rocking. I still feel like I will find more aspects and components with more listens, but the overall result is clear: the albums sounds wonderful for those that enjoy European epic power metal and metal operas of big choruses and sing-along tunes of glory. Recommended big time for power metal loyalists!
www.facebook.com/hollowhaze.music www.hollowhaze.com www.scarletrecords.it
Hollow Haze - Out In The Darkness & Rain Of Fire Lights (with lyrics)

Friday, June 26, 2015


Macabre Omen (Greece/U.K.): Gods of War – at War (Van Records)
“The best album of 2015!”
“Album of the year!”
“A masterpiece”
These and other such accolades continue to be showered upon Macabre Omen’s new 2015 album.
But why?
Does it have anything special going on?
Recently I told you about the band Sarpanitum and why its 2015 album, in my opinion, was so unique—as metal music, “unique” here doesn’t mean postrock or weirdo/experimental/ambient rock; I mean real metal music—that I have listened to it a lot this year because I liked it that much.
Now, I would like to tell you about another album that I have come across that is in that same category—that I listen to it many times because it is very interesting to me as metal music. This is Macabre Omen.
Macabre Omen started in Greece and the band’s first demo is from 1994. Today only Alexandros is left from those days, and Alexandros has worked with various people to create this album. Apparently, Alexandros plays guitars, keyboards and does vocals, but the drums are by Tom Vallely, who has several projects, too. The album has other instruments, but it’s not clear who plays what on it. According to Metal Archives, the previous album is from 2005, and there was a split release in 2006 and another one in 2007. Basically, Alexandros works and records music at his own pace and he has other musical projects that he has worked on, too.
Let’s get the genre out of the way. Macabre Omen is “epic black metal”; that’s what people seem to agree on, but let me tell you what this is not. This is not “epic” in the sense keyboard/ambient/symphonic sounds; it’s not a long-song album, either; it’s not folky music; it is black metal proper, but it’s not demo-like sound quality, nor is it simple-song black metal. I have noticed that for some people, Macabre Omen seems to be the epic metal of Bathory’s “Blood Fire Death” and the spirits of old Greek black metal’s dark melancholy, like old Rotting Christ. It is fast, tight and grim; it sounds ambitious; it has melody, but it’s melancholic-dark melody; it has room for slower moments, variety and moods, it’s multidimensional; it shows that Alexandros has possibly spent a long time thinking about how to construct these songs, and how to make them sound right and big.
In terms of sound, the album seems great to my ears. I observe that the drums do not sound like that awful, lifeless plastic sound that dominates in metal. I don’t know how the drums were recorded and how computerized they are, but they don’t sound overly processed. The guitar work gives the listener many things to absorb and to think about. The album sounds like it was a lot of work, not because it sounds super technical, but because it sounds like only the best ideas and riffs were used, while lots of other lesser ideas have been rejected. The vocals, too, demonstrate a lot of work; there’s a variety of extreme metal vocals, but also some clean voices, but it’s all done so well in the dark vibe that it makes me think about how much Alexandros has thought about the different types of vocals needed in the various segments of each song. It sounds like Alexandros put on himself no limits on the imagination; and it all works, in my opinion.
Finally, one last thing: I have to finish this review and I remind you that I highly recommend this album, but I am not done listening to it. The review is finished because at some point it is time to get done with the review, but this album has so much in it that I will be coming to it to understand it more. Macabre Omen does not put out new music often, and it seems that now we know why. From the sounds of it, it takes a long time to implement the musical ideas and make them sound this way.
Listen to the complete album here: www.macabreomen.bandcamp.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Black metal band Khaos-Dei have a new album on Osmose Productions.
"Tell Them Lucifer was Here"
1. Une descente
2. Dans l'enfer plombant
3. Puis le vide
4. Et l'univers
5. L'oeil
6. Mort naissance
7. Tout en bas
8. Le chant des marais
9. L'office du divin
10. Anéanti
Below you can find out more about the band for those into black metal.


Death metal band SULPHUR AEON has a new album in 2015 and it is out now. This is their second album of what some are calling Lovecraftian death metal or Cthulhu Mythos death metal. Death metal aficionados are liking a lot what they hear from this band.
Have you heard it yet? Check it out below.
SULPHUR AEON (Germany): Gateway To The Antisphere (Ván Records / Imperium Productions)
SULPHUR AEON's demo Sulphur Psalms, was released in August 2010, followed by the Deep Deep Down They Sleep 7”, released in May of 2012. The band’s debut album, Swallowed By The Ocean's Tide, was released in December 2012 through Imperium Productions.
This is the new one:
1. ... to Drown This World
2. Devotion to the Cosmic Chaos
3. Titans
4. Calls from Below
5. Abysshex
6. Diluvial Ascension - Gateway to the Antisphere
7. He Is the Gate
8. Seventy Steps
9. Onwards... Towards Kadath!
10. Into the Courts of Azathoth
11. Conclusion ...
Sulphur Aeon - "Diluvial Ascension - Gateway To The Antisphere"
Sulphur Aeon - diluvial ascension: gateway to the antisphere (drum recor...
www.facebook.com/SulphurAeon www.sulphuraeon.bandcamp.com www.van-records.de www.facebook.com/vanrecs www.vanrecords.bandcamp.com

DSG (David Shankle Group)

Pure Steel Records has a new album from David Shankle Group. This is what Pure Steel Records has to say about it:
Known for being a member of MANOWAR between 1988 and 1994, DAVID SHANKLE remains a world renowned super shred guitarist and instructor for all true metal fans - as heard by the upcoming third full-length offering by his band, DSG, titled 'STILL A WARRIOR.’ To be released on April 24th in Germany and April 28th worldwide via Pure Steel Records, the ten-track album is sure to please long-time fans of the fleet-fingered talents of Shankle.
"I'm very happy to say that I feel this is the best DSG record to date," says Shankle. "I also feel this is the best DSG band out of all three of them so far. I'm very proud of everyone of these guys great job they did on the record." Joining Shankle in DSG are vocalist Warren Halvarson, bassist Mike Streicher, and drummer Gabriel Anthony. "With new singer Warren Halvarson, new bass player Mike Streicher, and our new drummer Gabriel Anthony, this is by far the BEST line up to date."
For 13 years, Shankle has been enjoying a solo career, as evidenced by the two albums, 'Ashes To Ashes' (2003) and 'Hellborn' (2007). And 'Still A Warrior' does not disappoint, as it features both metallic anthems (the title track) and instrumentals ("The Hitman") with such guest artists as Michael Angelo Batio, Joe Stump, and Parker Lundgren from QUEENSRYCHE. Also, the "Demonic Solo” (from the movie 'Jezebeth') is being hailed as one of the fastest guitar solos in the world.
Shankle: "I think the new DSG record, 'Still A Warrior,' is a combination of the best from the 'Ashes to Ashes' and 'Hellborn' CD's. A lot of great melodic vocals and full neo-classical shred guitar in your face.” 'Still A Warrior' confirms: friends of US metal with a classical shred guitar influences will completely be satisfied by their old hero again!

1. Still A Warrior
2. Ressecution
3. Glimpse Of Tomorrow
4. Demonic Solo (From the movie Jezebeth)
5. Fuel For The Fire
6. Eye To Eye
7. The Hitman (instrumental)
8. Suffer In Silence (Agenda 21)
9. Into The Darkness
10. Across The Line
www.davidshankle.com www.facebook.com/dave.shankle www.twitter.com/DavidShankleDSG
DSG - Still a Warrior(2015)


doomsters DEMON LUNG have a new album that is already out. Demon Lung formed in 2011. This is their second album, and their fourth release overall.
For those doomheads that have not heard it yet, here's some info and below are a couple of songs to hear.
DEMON LUNG: A Dracula (Candlelight)
A Dracula Track Listing:
1. Rursumque Alucarda
2. Behold, The Daughter
3. I Am Haunted
4. Gypsy Cursem
5. Deny The Savior
6. Mark Of Jubilee
7. Rursumque Adracula
8. Raped By The Serpent
Behold, The Daughter
I Am Haunted


Hey, thrashers, did you happen to hear Bio-Cancer (Greece) yet? Bio-Cancer has a new album in 2015 and it's already out.
Just in case you have not, below is a song that you can hear.
Tormenting The Innocent
Release: 24 March 2015
Tormenting the Innocent Track Listing:
1. Obligated To Incest
2. Tormenting The Innocent
3. Bulletproof
4. Boxed Out
5. F(R)Iends Or Fiends
6. Think !
7. Chemical Castration
8. Haters Gonna...Suffer !
9. Life Is Tough (So Am I)
Bio-Cancer - Tormenting The Innocent


Mexican death doomsters MAJESTIC DOWNFALL have a new album coming up.
Majestic Downfall: ...When Dead (Pulverised Records Release: 7 August 2015)
The album was mixed and mastered by Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio, Sweden (Watain, Demonical, Repugnant etc).
MAJESTIC DOWNFALL have three full-length albums before this new one, which is the fourth one.
MAJESTIC DOWNFALL is the band of death metallers Zombiefication guitar player Jacobo Córdova (Mr. Jacko).
If you are into the slow and heaviness of death doom, this will interest you.
1. …When Dead
2. Escape My Thought
3. The Brick, The Concrete
4. Doors
5. The Rain Of The Dead
If you would like to get an idea of Majestic Downfall, listen to this older song. It gives a good idea of the vibe of the band.
Majestic Downfall - White Dark


grind band ORGAN DEALER will release Visceral Infection on July 14 via Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Organ Dealer is a grindcore/death metal band New Jersey and the formed in 2013.
If you like grind, below is a song that you can hear.
Organ Dealer - KPC-OXA48 (Organ Dealer - Visceral Infection)


Abyss is from the Toronto sector of the Canadian province of Ontario. ABYSS is working with Olympia, Washington’s 20 Buck Spin for the release of the faction’s first full-length album in 2015 Heretical Anatomy.
Below is some of the music for you to check out.
Abyss - Atavistic Decay
ABYSS-Nightmares In Skin


Whyzdom has a new album called Symphony for a Hopeless God (Scarlet Records).
Below is the band's bio and also some music for you to hear.
Think of a huge orchestra and a massive symphonic choir intertwined with powerful riffs and enchanting melodies from a clear and passionate feminine voice, and you'll get an idea of what WHYZDOM have managed to create. Their classical influences ranging from the romantic to the contemporary period, as well as the appealing melodies that drive the songs, make their sound utterly unmistakeable in an ever growing scene.
The project was founded by the guitarist and orchestrator Vynce Leff in early 2007, already well known in the progressive sphere having produced several successful albums for the British label Cyclops Records. After recruiting the band members, a first EP "Daughter Of The Night" was recorded less than 6 months from the band's inception. It got instant acclaim from reviewers and music fans around the world, as well as several awards and plaudits (Best French Band 2008 - Metalsymphonique.com, Best EP - HeavyLaw.com, etc).
Although still a young band, WHYZDOM were invited to play in several festivals in France - most of the time as headliner - and won the Metal Female Voices Fest Contest in Belgium in October 2008. They played in the 7th edition of this great Festival (17/10/2009) and also played as official support to DELAIN to launch their début album.
In June 2010, WHYZDOM lead vocalist left the band. Lisa Middelhauve, former XANDRIA singer, accepted to be "guest lead vocalist" for the band performance at the RAISMES FEST 2010 and for their concert in PARIS as support for TARJA.
Since then the band composed and recorded their new album "BLIND?" which was released on 30th October 2012 by the great European Metal label SCARLET RECORDS. Marie Rouyer became their new front woman in January 2013.
WHYZDOM - Tears Of A Hopeless God (Official music video)
WHYZDOM - While The Witches Burn - Album Symphony For A Hopeless God


Antigama is a grind band from Poland. Antigama formed in 2000 by guitarist Sebastian Rokicki and drummer Krzysztof Bentkowski, later joined by Lukasz Myszkowski on vocals and Macio Moretti on bass guitar. The band soon entered the studio to write and record material. Their first full length album, Intellect Made Us Blind was released in 2002.
Their 2015 album is called The Insolent (Selfmadegod Records).
current members:
Łukasz Myszkowski – vocals (2000–2008, 2009–present)
Sebastian Rokicki – guitar (2000–present)
Paweł "Paul" Jaroszewicz – drums (2012–present)
Sebastian Kucharski – bass guitar (2014–present)
Antigama - Data Overload
Antigama-The Land Of Monotony Single 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


by MMB
Elvenstorm (France): Soulreaper (Infernö Records)
Elvenstorm is one of the most exciting power metal bands right now, in my opinion. Their previous album, "Blood Leads to Glory," received a very positive review from me because I thought that the album has everything going for it. I also did an interview with Elvenstorm to find out more. Elvenstorm has a great admiration for classic Running Wild and early Helloween, and Elvenstorm proudly plays "Teutonic heavy metal," as they call it: fast, speed-metal heavy metal with hooks and melodies with traditional, melodic metal singing. It is fast, it is very memorable, with a lot of talent, and tightly executed. Now, the band has a new four-song EP (two new ones; two covers), which is a great way to remind us that they are working, and work this EP does. The band sounds as vibrant as ever, as exciting as always. The new songs keep the "Teutonic metal" flag flying high, and it is such a wonderful thing to hear a young band continue the mighty tradition of “Teutonic metal.” The two new songs rock big time! The third song “Tyrants” is a cover from German power/heavy deities Heavens Gate’s 1989 album “In Control.” [Always remember “Livin’ in Hysteria” from 1991, too!]. The fourth song is “Black Magic” (with a bit of “Hell Awaits” at the end) by Slayer. (Nice choice, too, the heavy/speed/thrash/black/NWOBHM-style metal Slayer of 1983-1985, before the dumbing-down/narrowing/commercialism took place in 1986 and after).
In short, get ready for more Elvenstorm because they are back!
This is a bit of the new music:
Metal Bulletin Zine interview with Elvenstorm www.metalbulletin.blogspot.com/2014/11/interview-with-elvenstorm-traditional.html


Southern Lord Recordings reissueS the As Heaven Turns To Ash… debut and subsequent I Am Dying EP from Massachusetts doomsters WARHORSE.
Out of print for many years, As Heaven Turns To Ash… was issued in 2001 with the band’s final two-track I Am Dying EP.
The band, for some, has cult status. Listen to this song and find out more at the links below.
Warhorse - Every Flower Dies No Matter The Thorns
www.southernlord.com www.southernlord.bandcamp.com www.twitter.com/twatterlord


ARCHAEA (Sweden) has a new album in 2015. Below is the band's bio and below that you can hear a song. Read on if you like to find out more this band's self-release.
Archaea was founded in 2007 by the Heidarsson brothers Hannes and Markus, on keyboard and guitar. After a few intense formative years in the Gothenburg underground scene, Archaea set its sights putting their songs to tape. During this process Archaea was radically reshaped, with half the original lineup making way for new talent in guitarist Magnus Lindegård, drummer Alexander Molnar, bassist Richard Mikulasi and former guitarist Nils Bossius Klintenberg switching to take center stage as vocalist.
Despite little studio experience, they built their own studio to record the first album Catalyst during 2014. With the help of Johan Treptow for mixing and mastering, and with original artwork by Demithréa Mikulasi, Catalyst has turned out to be a creation that surpassed expectations.
Catalyst is an album that showcases the current form of Archaea, as well as capturing material from throughout the band’s existence. Ranging from crushing darkness to brilliant melody, with sharp contrasts and fluently shifting dynamics, Catalyst constitutes an intense musical journey. Archaea is now eager to unleash their unique form of melodic death metal upon the world!
Archaea are:
Nils Bossius - Vocals
Hannes Heidarsson - Keyboard
Markus Heidarsson - Guitar
Magnus Lindegård - Guitar
Richard Mikulasi - Bass
Alexander Molnar - Drums


The folk metal band FUROR GALLICO (Italy) has a new album in 2015 called "Songs from the Earth"
If you have not heard this band, here are two songs for you to check out.
FUROR GALLICO - 'Song Of The Earth' official video
FUROR GALLICO - 'Wild Jig Of Beltaine' official lyric video


by MMB
Obtruncation (Holland): Abode of the Departed Souls (Vic Records)
The first demo from this brutal death metal group is from 1991. Their debut album is from 1997 and apparently they disappeared, but this is their 2014 album and they are back to return to the action with a nine-song 33-minute album. Upon their return, they have decided to continue their blasting, brutal 90s-style death metal, not too distant from old Cannibal Corpse or Suffocation or Sinister. The album is short, the solos are shredding and the songs get to the point right quick. One after another the tracks are exercises in death metal frenzy, but Obtruncation is brutality of the old school, not the tech-metal/deathcore/slam type. This means that the band makes sure that you can bang your head to these songs. The band is not trying to have a million riffs in the song, they are interested in heaviness, in having an immediate impact and in not wasting your time. They came here to deliver the metal action, and they do. Let’s hope that Obtruncation does not disappear again. We need for this type of death metal to continue alive and not be forgotten. Obtruncation will not do disappear one more time because too many old Dutch bands keep disappearing and nobody seems to know the why. Obtruncation stay.
Obtruncation - Abode Of The Departed Souls
OBTRUNCATION Live "Scream Bloody Scum Festival" 15-11-2014


by MMB
Ad Hominem (France/Italy: Antitheist (Osmose Productions)
The name of the album does not quite capture just how full of hate, negativity, anger, pessimism and nihilism this traditional black metal album’s lyrics are. Ad Hominem probably will not like anyone describing the music as fun, catchy and headbanging, but this is the fault of Ad Hominem and Ad Hominem alone: no one is forcing Ad Hominem to write such good songs, so full of great riffs, so filled with catchy tunes and so easy to headbang. Ad Hominem sounds like Kaiser—the band’s chief, big kahuna and jefe—has the mentality that Lemmy has about making music: this is not rocket science, man; it’s rock and roll; and black metal is rock and roll; make the music so that people can move.
Ad Hominem, of course, does not sound like Motorhead; this is tremolo-king black metal and blasting fury. So, yes, this is black metal; it is not “post-black metal” or anything funky like that; straight up, upfront blasting, furious black metal.
Also, if you are easily offended by politically incorrect lyrics, then don’t bother with this album because this is all about hatred for humanity. One song title that gives you an idea of the type of vibe going on here is “Go Ebola!” There are other titles that I could tell you about, but frankly some of these titles you are not supposed to say them in polite company. Everyone’s religious ideas will be offended by this band, which makes its goal to attack, insult and ridicule the humans.
Look into this band if you like latter-day Darkthrone’s catchy music, except that Ad Hominem sounds like metal, and not like garage-punk rock. In addition, the production is modern, and not garage-punk rock. What these two bands share in common is music that makes people rock out. Ad Hominem is not about complexity or intellectualism or experimentation or weirdness; just black metal and headbanging. Remember that this album is not a cave recording; it is meant to sound professional and clear.
Who is the audience for Ad Hominem? Well, first of all, if you are not offended by anti-religious and anti-human ideas, then people into black metal and thrash metal would be the obvious target audience (lots of thrashy riffs going on here). Or, perhaps if you are curious about the notion of a black metal band writing songs with the mentality of Motorhead, then give this album a listen. You might be surprised how much fun this album is. It took me one listen; with one listen, I felt the energy of the music and could tell the album would rock. After listening a bit more to the album, my opinion is the same: bang your head to Ad Hominem! By the way, if you like the black metal as interpreted by Impaled Nazarene, then check out Ad Hominem, too! They are musical cousins and they both hate the humans.
AD HOMINEM - Go Ebola!

NEWS: release SACRILEGE "Ashes To Ashes"

Pure Steel Records has issued this news about Sacrilege.
SACRILEGE were founded as NWOBHM band 1982 in the UK, but they made only a few demos and dissolved in 1987. Since 2007 mastermind Bill Beadle is active again.
Ashes to Ashes is a compilation which provides an outline of the early '80s to the present day. The heavy riffs and power chords coupled with catchy choruses is what Sacrilege’s early and actual trademarks are. Tracks such as "The Unknown Soldier" and title track "Ashes to Ashes" are absolutely timeless and popular live songs. Also worth mentioning are songs like "Rock and Roll with the Devil" and "Condemned" with its absolutely outstanding guitar solos. Through their activities, among other things on Reverbnation SACRILEGE are one of the most famous Underground heavy metal bands in London and in general in the UK.
For fans of classic NWoBHM this is an absolute must-have and soon the band will release a brand new album too.

NEWS: Blizzard Hunter (Peru)- Heavy Metal to the Vein (Official Video)

Blizzard Hunter has a new album out. Here's a bit of information about the band.
Pure Steel Records has this to say about Blizzard Hunter.
BLIZZARD HUNTER are a South American Heavy/Speed Metal band from Lima, Peru. They started in 2006 as tribute and cover band yet under the name Blizzard. In 2014 they released their first EP “Conqueror of Destiny” with three own compositions on a 100 pieces limited tape edition, which meanwhile is a rare collector’s item in the metal underground.
“HEAVY METAL TO THE VEIN” now is the first full album from BLIZZARD HUNTER, released by PURE UNDERGROUND RECORDS. On their debut the five Peruvians are celebrating Heavy/Speed Metal in the vein of the glorious 80th with pure dedication. BLIZZARD HUNTER have Heavy Metal in their veins, there is no doubt.
“HEAVY METAL TO THE VEIN“ will have to be loved by every true headbanger.
Blizzard Hunter - Heavy Metal to the Vein (Official Video)

Monday, June 22, 2015


by MMB
Black Trip (Sweden): Goin’ Under (Threeman Recordings)
Black Trip’s first demo is from 2012 and this is the 2013 album. Black Trip is late 70s-style metal, maybe similar to the more melodic bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. “No Tomorrow” may, in places, sound a bit similar to “Running Free” by Iron Maiden, for instance; other songs will give a similar sensation. This band has former members of Nifelheim, Necrophobic, Dismember and a big whole bunch of bands. The band seems to be led by Peter Stjärnvind, who has been in Entombed and is in Krux with Candlemass’ Leif Edling, and who basically can play any form of metal music, black metal, doom, death, black thrash and now neo-70s heavy metal. That pretty much completes the circle, then. Are you ready to travel back in time? Black Trip has a good ticket for it. Of all of Peter’s bands, this could be the most surprising because it is so different from the extreme metal for which he is known. As he gets older, Peter can’t run away from the metal of his childhood. Peter is running free, not confused about the sweet danger brought about by the lightning to the nations and the devil eyes, with their backs to the walls but still fit to boogie, still fit to rock and roll and ready to make a jailbreak when the boys are back in town.


by MMB
Ion Vein (U.S.): Ion Vein (Mortal Music)
What a perfect balance of metal Ion Vein is. The discerning metal audience into traditional forms of metal should notice many things about this album that are excellent and outstanding. One initial element to observe is how remarkably complete the album sounds: the experience and the skills shine through very well, and there is an overall vibe that the band has worked a lot on the album, showing that this work is the result of years of thinking about how to construct their art. This aspect—when an album sounds carefully crafted—is something that should be commended because it demonstrates respect for the music, respect for themselves as musicians and respect for the audience that will listen to this album. It is like the band knows that if the targeted listener hears this album, that listener—if that listener pays attention—will notice that this work is no hurry-up or minimal-effort project.
The perfect balance of Ion Vein consists of bringing the best elements and putting them to great use on this album: traditional heavy metal, prog metal, thrash, power metal, shred metal and classic rock. Listen, however, don’t misunderstand: Ion Vein sounds very smooth and not like some annoying mixture of different styles. Ion Vein does not sound like an irritating compilation album. Above all, Ion Vein sounds like experienced, intelligently crafted heavy metal.
Perhaps the greatest difference with Ion Vein is the sound of experience. For instance, the prog metal is there, but Ion Vein does not sound too proggy, like music for musicians. Ion Vein is heavy metal, but the musicians have been around the block and sound like it. It’s not like some bands that are happy that they can make their songs sound like Angel Witch or Blitzkrieg or whatnot. It’s not like, “Wow! Look, we can write songs that sound like Judas Priest!” This band could do that in their sleep. Seriously, this band could play those Priest-like riffs until the cows come home if they wanted, but Ion Vein is beyond the novelty aspect of heavy metal. Another example would be Ion Vein’s incorporation of thrash. In thrash metal, it is often the case that the bands seem satisfied and content that they have fast, galloping riffs, as if that is the main thing that is necessary for a song. The greatness of this Ion Vein album is to be found on how smooth the band makes the songs. To illustrate the point, I will not talk about any of the first eight songs. Why? Because bands tend to frontload the albums with the good songs upfront and leave the filler at the end, as if they figure that nobody will notice. This album has 12 songs, so, actually, I will not talk about the first eight songs at all, which all sound very good, by the way, excellent, actually, but let’s not talk about them now. Let’s go straight to the last four songs and let’s see if Ion Vein left the filler songs at the end of the album.
Let’s really put Ion Vein under the microscope and let’s see what we find! Is the band hiding the mediocre songs? Song number nine is called “Alone.” First of all, it sounds wonderful, perhaps a little bit like “Recreation Day”-era Evergrey working with Symphony X. It is heavy and emotional, and sounds like a hit. It is a hit with me! So, let’s get this right, Ion Vein left this excellent song for number nine? I like the soloing and the overall atmosphere, too.
Let’s go to number ten, then: “The Will of One.” This is a thrashy, heavy-metal-thunder headbanging song. What a nice contrast with the previous song, too; this is Ion Vein letting their hair down and rocking out. The band displays its heavy tone to the guitars, a bit downtuned thrash/prog. Number 11 is called “In the End” and the music displays not speed but rather feel. The band lays down some heavy prog/thrash rhythms and lets the singing take over the song with a catchy chorus. Number 12 is called “Twist of Fate” and with it the band has decided to go out with a bang, not a whimper. If you want to hear a heavy thrash, and even a bit of extreme metal guitar feel done in the context of Ion Vein, then check out this song. This is a headbanging song and how does it manage to sound like prog metal, too? That’s Ion Vein. Awesome-sounding soloing, too. The song is a nice little summary of the great consolidation of styles that is Ion Vein. It goes to show you that some heavy metal bands do pay attention to the metal music around them. Think about this: I did not even tell you about the first eight songs on this album. If I were to tell you about them, this review would be too long and it might as well be an essay.
The origins of this band reach back to the 1980s in Chicago and the musicians have been around the block more than a few times. As you can tell from this review, the band can play. The final thing I would like to mention is the singing. The vocals are both melodic and gritty, and sound strong and upfront. There is a great quality to the singing, it’s one voice, and it is not weird/schizophrenic, just traditional metal singing, but traditional in the sense that it sounds like one voice that has shades and nuances. The only question that remains is whether this band can deliver live. Being the curious George that I am, I went to YouTube and did not find a whole lot. However, I did find one video of the band performing “Fools Parade” (song number 1 from this album) in 2013 in Chicago. Upon hearing and watching the video, which sounds very, very good and very impressive (it shows that this band can, in fact, really bring home the bacon live), I wonder if this is the band’s live performance or was it enhanced in the studio. Hey, I am a skeptic! So, here’s the situation: to my ears, this live video sounds like great evidence that Ion Vein is the real deal. It means that this band, and this album should not be ignored by any serious metalhead into looking for quality and talent. It looks like Ion Vein can do it all, after all. I want to buy plane tickets to Chicago and witness this band live for myself because this band sounds that good.
Very, very highly recommended for listeners into quality metal of traditional forms.
ION VEIN - Fools Parade (Live at Metro Chicago - Feb 9, 2013)


by MMB
Dire Omen (Canada): Wrestling the Revelation of Futility (Dark Descent Records)
Dire Omen looks to keep the metal filthy and chaotic in the most extreme way possible. Dire Omen is keenly aware that they play metal that most metalheads will never understand, as if Dire Omen is sick of seeing their favorite bands mellow out or become the darlings of the metal media. That’s it, then, Dire Omen’s goal is make the music so chaotic and anti-fashion that the music itself sounds exceedingly hostile to the rules of metal music itself. The low-growled incomprehensible vocals and the sheer anti-everything of Dire Omen reeks of nihilistic extremes taken to the max, a wasteland that no casual “fan” will dare approach because this is unintelligible to the casuals. The old bands in the 80s used to talk about “no posers allowed” and whatnot, but their music had melodic and catchy riffs, even if it was thrash or death metal or grind. This is an altogether different beast. This is bitterly, vehemently hostile to the normal ear and most people won’t get it, they won’t wrap their heads around it. Most metalheads will dismiss it as “garbage” and Dire Omen sincerely hopes that that is exactly what happens, so that only those that can handle the filthiness and the grime can stick around until the album ends. The public into war metal, necro metal, primitive death metal and barbaric/savage metal in general should look into Dire Omen.

NightMare World

Metal Bulletin Zine here is reposting the review of NightMare World by Matt Spall, Man of Much Metal. If you would like to read of Matt's reviews and interviews, he has a blog and at the end of this review you can find the link to his writings.
NightMare World (U.K.): In The Fullness Of Time (Pure Legend Records)
by Matt Spall, the Man of Much Metal
Now this is exactly the kind of album that I want to feature on the Blog Of Much Metal; a strong record that deserves attention but which might not get the exposure it fully deserves. To be honest, had it not been for the inclusion of a certain musician that I follow via social media, it may never have even registered on my radar either. Thankfully it has because the music is too good to be overlooked and not brought to people’s attention.
By way of a bit of background, NightMare World are a British-based band, that came together with one sole aim, to create powerful, dynamic heavy metal. Comprised of guitarists Sam Shuttlewood and Joe Cleary, bassist David Moorcroft, keyboardist Nick Clarke and drummer Billy Jeffs. Oh and on vocals, the band features Pete Morten, that chap who plays guitar in Threshold and who is the singer, guitarist and principal song writer with My Soliloquy. ‘In The Fullness Of Time’ is the debut album following a well-received EP back in 2009 by the name of ‘No Regrets’. I reckon that, by now, I have the full attention of many, so let’s crack on.
I don’t think that the members of NightMare World will take too much offense if I suggest that the content of ‘In The Fullness Of Time’ doesn’t set the world alight in terms of out-and-out originality. Theirs is an approach that is relatively familiar in that it offers melodic power metal with lashings of synths and the odd foray into prog territory. However, crucially, where NightMare World really deliver and show their quality is in the song writing stakes. When it is well written and presented, this kind of music can be the kind of tonic that is infectious, addictive and something that will plaster a big smile on the listener’s face. This is exactly what NightMare World do and they should get great credit for it.
Benefitting from a great production job courtesy of Karl Groom (Threshold) and the mastering of Peter Van’t Riet (Symphony X, Transatlantic), there are many ingredients littered throughout ‘In The Fullness Of Time’ that combine to great effect. First up, each member of the band can really play their instruments. Everything is executed well, with a clarity and sureness of purpose to ensure that the compositions hit the mark from the very first note. The guitar tones are very nice; crunchy and crisp to accentuate the riffs and to play a perfect counterpoint to the softer keyboards that dip in and out with subtlety but also come to the fore occasionally via a well-placed solo or grand atmospheric sweep. The rhythm section lays a solid foundation with the drums in particular packing a punch. The progressive elements are not overplayed, meaning that the songs are never compromised by an ill-judged foray into overindulgence. This latter point is underlined by the fact that the album is a very succinct affair, with the nine tracks lasting for a total of 38 minutes. It means that NightMare World do not outstay their welcome; quite the opposite in fact. The band get in, do their thing and get out, meaning you’re left wanting more as the final notes fade.
And then, inevitably, there are the vocals. Those familiar with My Soliloquy will already be conversant with Morten’s delivery. Once heard, never forgotten. His delivery may be in the higher-pitched ranges but they remain powerful and never veer into screechy territory. Morten’s phrasings are always interesting and coupled together with his range, top the songs off in a very positive manner and help provide that je ne sais quoi that all bands need. With a vocalist like Pete Morten, there’s always the danger that he could have stolen the show and plunged the remainder of the band into the shade. The great thing is this never happens, such is the all-round quality on display.
In terms of my favourite moments on the album, I have to point initially to ‘In Memoria Di Me’. After the cinematic instrumental opener of ‘The Mara’, it wastes no time in delivering an up-tempo and groovy riff atop some sumptuous keyboards that maintain the theatrical feel. It then opens up into one of the best choruses on the album, a real earworm as I’ve discovered over the past few days. The slightly more melodic hard rock stylings of ‘Burden Of Proof’ are very welcome as are the quieter, darker and more brooding tones of ‘The Ever Becoming’. ‘The New Crusade’ is out-and-out power metal joy but the best is arguably saved for last in the shape of the closer, the truly epic and grandiose ‘Euphoria’ which is a part cinematic and part metal anthem.
In closing therefore, if you’re after a professional, highly competent and fun dose of melodic metal with prog touches, let NightMare World into your life.
The Score Of Much Metal: 8.0
www.facebook.com/nightmareworld www.purelegend-records.com


Starbynary (Italy): Dark Passenger (Bakerteam Records)
“Dark Passenger” is an album that will be interesting to the public that is committed to traditional prog metal. Overall, the music combines power metal melodies with prog metal vibes: the keyboards are prominent and the neoclassical elements are an important part of the sound; expect the keyboard/guitar shred moments. The vocals are on the high/melodic end of the spectrum. Starbynary is talent and intelligence, and it sounds like music for musicians. The band doesn’t sound like they are trying to compromise, which is a positive aspect for the dedicated prog listener. The album is over an hour long, which is almost like a rule for prog bands: the albums have to be long because they need that much time to get all the ideas out. This is the band’s debut and the band was formed in 2013, but this is an experienced band; it sounds very professional, skilled and the production sounds as professional as can be. Starbynary might be a new name, but for those devoted listeners of prog, this band should be a good find.


Bone Gnawer: Cannibal Crematorium (Pulverised Records)
Bone Gnawer is old-school 80s-type horror-movie/sick-humor death metal that features the growls of Kam Lee, known for his time in Mantas/Death and Massacre. Bone Gnawer is all about keeping the death metal simple: downtuned chugging/grooves, roaring growling, and rocking out. The music is meant to be fun, perfect for summertime metal barbecue parties or just hanging out and chilling. Kam Lee and friends stick to what is true for them: straightforward, primitive death metal, the kind that the Pantera and Slayer public might like if they gave it a chance because it is direct, to-the-point metal music, with a rock and roll mentality. Keep it heavy and make it simple, and give the listener some grooves. It’s hot-dogs-and-beer summer death metal.