Δευτέρα 31 Αυγούστου 2015

VARANG NORD – Fire of the North review

 VARANG NORD – Fire of the North
Metal Scrap Records
VARANG NORD is a newcoming band with only a year of experience and yet they feel ready to unleash upon us their debut EP titled “Fire of the North”. Well, I think mentioning the genre this quartet belongs to is redundant… a look at their moniker is more than enough to understand their music origins and orientation.

SILVERBONES - Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea review

 SILVERBONES - Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Demo 2014
SILVERBONES is a young band from Italy and I don’t mean the age of the band members. I say this because the band was formed somewhere in January 2013 in Italy and the purpose of its creation is to play traditional heavy metal music with medieval melodies and lyrics inspired by the life of the pirates. Almost a year after its formation, SILVERBONES have composed their first songs which were included in this demo somewhere in the midst of December 2014. So let us see what SILVERBONES have to offer to the listener (please grab a bottle of rum while you read this).

IN FLAMES - Reroute To Remain review

IN FLAMES - Reroute To Remain
Nuclear Blast Records
The change is so there, but if you take away expectations to the point to where musical direction is concerned and has been going, then you won't object to viewing this album in a negative connotation or have a false belief. Sure, it's different, it may not be totally melodic death metal, it does have its melodic death moments, but now it's meshed into 2 genres, maybe more. The guitars are still heavy, but the music/vocals rear into a different form. They do use more electronics and clean vocals, some to the extent to think this album is somewhat in the vein of metalcore but it isn't all like that.

Πέμπτη 27 Αυγούστου 2015

BIOTOXIC WARFARE – Lobotomized review

Slaney Records
It sounds like a joke, but I came across this band from Crete – Greece through Ireland. Let me explain myself. Slaney Records from Ireland sent me the new release of a band called BIOTOXIC WARFARE. While I was listening to the album, I did my research and I found out that the band comes from the beautiful island of Crete, they were created back in 2012 and they released an EP entitled “Baptized in Blood and Greed” in 2013. “Lobotomized” is their first full length studio album and I have the pleasure to present it to you.

IN FLAMES - Come Clarity review

IN FLAMES - Come Clarity
Nuclear Blast Records
I liked this one from the first time I heard it. I knew that after the release of “Clayman”, IN FLAMES was rearing towards these different styles/genres being that of melodic death/groove metal if you will. So what's to be expected here is just different, it has its moments musically, it features heavy songs with screaming, but the style is more laid back, less aggressive than prior releases even though their guitars are still tuned down a lot to I think B or C, guitarists (current) would know what they tune to on here. It is definitely more aggressive than their latest.

Σάββατο 22 Αυγούστου 2015

DYGITALS – Dynamite review

 DYGITALS – Dynamite
Mausoleum Records
It is obvious that the 80’s metal sound is back for good and not only because of the new young bands that play this kind of music, but also because old bands have reactivated or still release new albums. The DYGITALS from France are a band whose story starts back in 1984 and after many demo releases have managed to release their debut album back in 2003. “Dynamite” is their fourth album and although we have entered the new millennium for good, DYGITALS insist to play their 80’s oriented metal sound. So, the question that rises is how good or original do they sound in their new release?

IN FLAMES - Siren Charms review

 IN FLAMES - Siren Charms
Epic Records
While it's great sales upon being first released, the critics mostly give it a big thumbs down. That may be because these guys changed or have changed their style of music since their beginning. It is no surprise Jesper left the band probably because of that reason, they wanted to diversify and he wanted them to be what they started as which is melodic death metal. So be it as it is, this one by far no matter what critics say is a waste of a purchase. Don't buy it they say or use such things such as words like "it makes a good coaster for a cup."

Τρίτη 18 Αυγούστου 2015

COLOSSUS – Drunk on Blood and the Sepulcher of the Mirror Warlocks review

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

COLOSSUS – Drunk on Blood and the Sepulcher of the Mirror Warlocks
Killer Metal Records
COLOSSUS is an ancient Greek word and the origin of this word is really unknown. Some scientists believe that it is a borrowed word from the people who lived in the Aegean Sea before the invasion of the Ancient Greek tribes. The meaning of the word means a huge size human both literally or metaphorically and it is also used as a reference to the huge statue that was on the entrance of the port of the Island of Rhodes which now is lost. Also there are quite a few bands with the name COLOSSUS and all of them come from the U.S.A., but here I will present to you a traditional heavy metal band and their sophomore album. Actually this release is the compilation of their 2 EPs under the titles “Drunk on Blood” (2009) and “…And the Sepulcher of the Mirror Warlocks” (2012) that the band has released on its own. So let me tell you my impressions after listening to this release.

SYSTEM OVERTHROW – System Overthrow review

SYSTEM OVERTHROW – System Overthrow
Hell yeah! Insane, endless holocaust from the very first second! SYSTEM OVERTHROW are here to make a statement with their debut self titled album and they are here to make it loud! What this Dutch quartet is here to offer us is relentless top notch thrash metal that draws direct influences from American killer bands like AGENT STEEL, TESTAMENT, SLAYER, early ICED EARTH, METAL CHURCH and the likes.

Παρασκευή 14 Αυγούστου 2015

THUNDERHEART – Night of the Warriors review

THUNDERHEART – Night of the Warriors
Killer Metal Records
Everything in life goes in circles. The same law applies to art too. The question though is what kind of circles we do… The ones that hold us stuck to the same routine or the ones that help us reinvent ourselves and come back with fresh ideas? Heavy metal as a musical genre has passed through many stages and has sometimes experimented with effects and sounds that made it sound heavier with only purpose to create quick impressions. In our days we witness many new musicians that show interest for the 80’s metal sound and they create music which most of the times might be nothing more than a copy, but there are some that give their own character to their old school influences. THUNDERHEART from Spain is a traditional heavy metal band which was formed by three musicians two of which were members of the band STEEL HORSE (it has earned a cult status among the fans of traditional heavy metal) and the singer who is member of the band WILD (another band that is much appreciated in the underground heavy metal scene). All these look very interesting and I will try to give to you a clear image with this review.
THE COVER: The title of the debut album of the band is “Night of the Warriors”; A title that in my opinion could easily be a title of an 80’s adventure movie. I can imagine a movie like “Escape from New York”. This is the feeling of the cover too which depicts the 3 band members heading to a town (you can see the skyscrapers on the background). The cover art is beautiful and breathes out the 80’s heavy metal attitude of the band. There is nothing misleading here.
MUSICAL STYLE: Spain had an interesting scene in the 80’s metal and if you have the time then it will pay you back if you search it, but THUNDERHEART are mainly influenced by the heavy metal sound that was crafted in the early 80’s in Great Britain. I mean the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement which was essential for the further evolution of our sound. They do have though some European heavy metal elements in their sound too.
COMPOSITIONS: You will find here 10 compositions that are deeply rooted mainly in the N.W.O.B.H.M. sound. I think that you can find amongst their influences groups like IRON MAIDEN, SAXON, TYGERS OF PAN TANG and of course GRIM REAPER. There are, however, also some references to the German heavy metal scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s. There are times that the band made me think of groups like MSG and SCORPIONS. THUNDERHEART manage to combine all these influences in a creative way and instead of sounding like copycats they actually sound like a band that comes from that era.
CONCLUSION: I don’t know how original someone can be when he/she plays traditional heavy metal music, but the most important thing is to create songs that will make you listen to them and even love them and become your favorites. I think that THUNDERHEART have this ability and offer us an album that will travel us back, but also remind us that there are still bands that can produce good classic heavy metal music.
Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis

EVIL LUCIFERA – Lux in Tenebris – Divide et Impera review

 EVIL LUCIFERA – Lux in Tenebris – Divide et Impera
La Mazakuata Records
Approximately three years after her debut full length album, “Atrium Infernalis”, EVIL LUCIFERA strikes back only this time with a five track EP which contains four new compositions and an interesting cover to Mike Oldfield’s beautiful ballad “Moonlight Shadow”. Hearing this famous song turned into black metal is something I really enjoyed, but this isn’t the only thing I enjoyed in “Lux In Tenebris – Divide et Impera”. This Italian trio is fronted by a female vocalist, Evil Lucifera that leaves her personal stamp on the songs and really owns them. By that I mean that her singing style is great; her growls are intense and aggressive, they sound like demonic tormented howls and yet you can understand it’s a woman who’s doing the singing. I have to say I really like her performance which elevates the songs that move on pure black metal paths and by that I mean that we’re dealing here with straightforward old school black metal which is enriched by atmospheric keyboards that enhance the depth and beauty of the songs while at the same time offering them a majestic hue. Moreover, the production is as it should be and I mean that it’s clear and powerful giving you the opportunity to listen to everything going on in the songs and all this make “Lux In Tenebris – Divide et Impera” very appealing to all the black metal fans whom I urge to check it out! You won’t be disappointed!

Christine  Parastatidou

Κυριακή 9 Αυγούστου 2015

MAXXXWELL CARLISLE – Visions of Speed and Thunder review

MAXXXWELL CARLISLE – Visions of Speed and Thunder
Killer Metal Records
MAXXXWELL is a guitarist from the United States and he has been active as a solo artist since 2009. He is also a member of the legendary 80’s heavy/speed metal band HELLION. Actually he played the guitars in the last official release of the band under the title “Karma’s Bitch”. “Visions of Speed and Thunder” is his third full length album and it comes 5 year after the release of his sophomore album under the title “Speed Force” (as you have noticed MAXXXWELL has a thing for speed). 
THE COVER: The cover is something that the fans of science fiction will appreciate (I certainly do). It shows a spaceship with its rockets bursting out in front of a dark sun. I think that the cover is a good depiction of the band’s sound and also of the song “Visions of Speed and Thunder” that is included here.
MUSICAL STYLE: Well, most of the times I am “afraid” of the solo releases of virtuoso guitarists. Most of them forget they apply to people who might not know much about music except enjoy it and they create albums that mainly have a teaching value and they show off their skills instead of creating songs that we, the simple metal fans, will enjoy to listen to. MAXXXWELL, though, is not this kind of musician since he creates songs first and above all and uses his talent and technical skills only up to the point needed in order to give more depth and detail to his compositions. I can say that MAXXXWELL as a guitarist is closer to such guitarists like David T. Chastain, Criss Oliva and Chris Broderick (JAG PANZER). The compositions that are included here musically belong to the genre of U.S. heavy/power/speed metal. 
COMPOSITIONS: The album includes 11 songs from which 4 of them are instrumental (“Thunder Fortress”, “Duet for Electric Cello and Electric Guitar in A minor”, “Axis Accelerator” and “Speed Force”). Also there are some songs that were included previously in past releases of the artist and he decided to re include them here (I don’t know the reason, but I hope I will find out in an interview if we can do one). Musically now he moves on the path of heavy/power/speed metal and the trademarks of his sound are the screaming guitars, the melodies, the galloping riffs and the long yet needful solos. The listening of this album made me realize that MAXXXWELL builds his songs in the way that JUDAS PRIEST did in their amazing “Painkiller” album which means heavy and full of speed compositions with screaming and brilliant solos. Also I can recommend this release to fans of bands like HELSTAR, SEVEN WITCHES, CHASTAIN, CAGE and when they become more melodic like in the song “Thunder Fortress” to the fans of RIOT.
CONCLUSION: This album has all I need and want to listen to from a heavy/speed/power metal album coming from the U.S.A. It has speed, melodies, great riffs and almost in every note it screams out the words heavy fuckin’ metal… Also I loved the experimentation in the composition “Duet for Electric Cello and Electric Guitar in A minor” where MAXXXWELL manages to combine perfectly 2 different instruments that somehow find a common ground on the heavy metal sound. All in all this is a release that has it all and the more you listen to it the more you will love it.
Nick “Verkaim” Parastatidis

HEAVENS GATE – Best for Sale! review

 HEAVENS GATE – Best for Sale!
Limb Music
HEAVENS GATE has always been a favourite for me ever since I’ve listened to their 1991 hit album “Livin’ in Hysteria”. I really don’t know how many times I’ve played this album ever since I came across it. I just love it and I’m not a big power metal fan, but HEAVENS GATE have something you can’t ignore, something that magnetizes you. Their music is simply intoxicating. Their riffs stick to your mind and their choruses make you sing along endlessly! The heavy/power metal they deliver is tight, full of rhythm, excellently performed; it has some amazing guitar solos and is supported by one of the best vocalists according to my humble opinion. Thomas Rettke has a warm, powerful voice that can easily go up and down the climax and easily reach high pitches without ever overdoing it or showing off. What can I say? I’m not objective and when I saw that Limb Music was releasing a best of I grabbed the chance to present it so as to have the chance to listen to some of their best songs once again. This isn’t presentation time for me but rather party time! The compilation contains songs from the whole period of the band from 1989 and “In Control” till their last release in 1999 when they called it a day with “Menergy”. So, “Best for Sale!” is an amazing chance to have twenty killer tracks gathered together all of which are remastered. Enjoy!!!!
Christine  Parastatidou