Archive for Traditional heavy metal

Nomad Son’s about third album details revealed

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 20th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

30th August will see the release of Nomad Son‘s third studio album, titled The Darkening, via Metal On Metal Records. The Maltese trad. doom band, who were formed in 2006 by veteran Albert Bell (Forsaken), will bring high-octane doom fused with 70’s styled hard rock and classic heavy metal.

Three tracks, which are The Devil’s BanquetThe Darkening and Descent to Hell, are now available for streaming via Metal On Metal’s official website.

Jowita Kaminska-Peruzzi (ExodusWitchburnerArkham Witch) has once again created the artwork for the album. The CD is available for pre-order with discount from the Metal On Metal Records online store.

The Darkening tracklist:

1. Light Bearer
2. Age of Contempt
3. The Devil’s Banquet
4. Only the Scars
5. Descent to Hell
6. The Darkening
7. Caligula
8. The Orphaned Crown
9. Epilogue

Nomad Son online:

http://www.facebook.com/nomadsonmt

 

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Katana – Storms of War

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 14th May 2012 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: Katana
Release: Storms of War
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Traditional Metal
Label: Listenable Records

Sweden – Known to be the home of acts such as Arch Enemy, In Flames, Bathory and Abba. The last of which is probably the most known musical export from the Scandinavian nation. Yet Sweden is also home to the metal quintet that is Katana. The band have been described as being in the same vein as the early days of the NWOBHM era. Having only heard of them recently, in my dark corner of the interwebs, I have not set familiarised myself with their sound.

The Reaper is the starting track of the album and straight away the Paul Dianno-era Maidenesque riffs begin roaring blended with a deeper sounding style of Rob Halford-sounding vocals mixed with a slight hint of Manowar influenced vocal melodies. The drums race along the guitars, keeping that old school, hard rocking energy flowing. The solo is insanely played, making you want to bust out the air guitar and begin rocking out in your bedroom. As the track comes to its close, it’s finished off with the addictive classic screams, conjuring up fond memories of the golden days of the NWOBHM scene.

The intro for Wrath of the Emerald Witch sounds eerily like the main riff in Maiden’s song Wasted Years. The vocals take a new form, this time in the form of Yorkshire’s own NWOBHM heroes Saxon. The guitar sections morph, somewhat lycanthropically, into a more thrashier assault of riffs and crunchy bass work. The lyrics take up more of an early day power metal feel, fortunately without the extra side dish of cheese. The third track, Kubilai Khan, rings in a similar vein to Priest’s song Victim of Changes, only faster paced while the vocals have that power metal feel echoing through them. A lot of the riffs are catchier than the cold – the bonus being that they’re a damn sight lot better than having a snotty nose and feeling like death warmed up.

Lyrically, The Samurai Returns, fits in perfectly with the band’s name and the album art while musically and vocally, it almost embodies those old school attitude and sounds that the band demonstrate ever so well in their music. City on the Edge of Forever literally screams with NWOBHM era influences from Saxon and Maiden to Judas Priest and a tasty dash of Blitzkreig. The lyrics provide the paint and the music provides the canvas for what the vocals turn into a beautiful song that is so vibrant and powerful that very few songs can ever compare to it. No Surrender feels more chilled out compared to the other tracks yet it still brings a certain thundering war-like sound to the eardrums. The vocals certainly bring a charismatic tone to the song, blending creatively with the music.

The Land of the Rising Sun is one of the more creatively genius songs on the album, with the Asian styled riffs softer use of percussion yet I feel it doesn’t quite live up energy and magnitude of the rest of the album when it first begins. The vocals still do a great job at telling a story with masterfully penned lyrics. The song progresses, eventually, into a very Maiden-stylised piece, almost feeling like Katana’s own Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The most obvious difference being that it doesn’t last as long as the aforementioned song. The Asian based riffs make a second appearance in the song, keeping the concept of the song alive and kicking like an underdog boxer who refuses to go down.

The Gambit tears its way through, like a toned down version of Motorhead topped with the usual lyrics that dominated the 80s metal scene. Modesty Blaise is another song on the album bringing about the classic power metal musicianship. The bass work has a nice sounding twang to it, giving the song a very distinct appeal. And finally the album comes to a hard rocking halt with The Wisdom of Emond’s Field, that oddly sounds like the previous track before almost recreating a faster version of Tyr’s Hold The Heathen Hammer High. Fortunately, Katana soon bring the song back into its classic metal groundings with a brilliant use of melodic riffs and memorable hooks. The second half of the song brings about a vocal section similar to that of Maiden’s Charlotte The Harlot before morphing back into its old high energy anthem self.

In recent years, it seemed like the only good thing to come out of Sweden was Kopparberg. It would seem, that after listen to this album, I’ve been proven wrong. I’ve always liked classic and traditional metal and Katana have come so close to virtually perfecting the old school sound in one album, which is Storms Of Wars. I think Sweden now have their own Iron Maiden.

4.8/5

Nico Davidson

Soulflame – Heaven and Hell

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , on 1st February 2012 by underthenorthernstar

Band: Soulflame
Album: Heaven and Hell
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Blues Rock/Metal
Label: Unsigned

 Soulflame are a hull-based Rock/Metal band formed in 2003. They have released Debut album, “Heaven and Hell,” and established for themselves a loyal fan base and developed a staggering live reputation.

The band’s old school fusion of Blues and Metal with a Rock and Roll mentality is incredibly infectious; immediately, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy leap to mind. This is largely due to the band’s impeccable reproduction of the Old-school sound – through production as well as music. That said, there are moments, such as the riff on “Falling Hard” that are most definitely metallic in origin, Thrashy almost, and sometimes, it is more Mötley Crüe that infiltrate their sound, seen best on the title track. Musically, the band is more than sound, they are completely brilliant – despite being very clearly influenced by 70s/80s rock and metal, they maintain a significant high standard of originality. They’ve bypassed the bargain bin of second or third-hand riffs, and wear the guise of a band of a vintage far beyond their years.

Not a thing more could have been asked for with regards to guitar work – solos here are positively golden, especially on “Get a Grip.” The drumming is restrained but invigorating, and the vocals are earnest and classic. Lyrically, there’s not a whole lot that’s new… but let’s face it, nobody cares about that, they’re still brilliant. Their songs are clearly designed for the live show, a group of definite crowd-pleasers from start to finish, even the ballad “Sands of Time,” But the energy of that environment is captured excellently on record. It’s a testament to the band’s supreme talent.

Heaven and Hell is an amazing album, brought to the fore by a band with the sound of the legends of yesteryear and the energy of a hyperactive toddler. Just as loud too. With a truly disappointing lack of nationwide (Read “world”) success, I say get it sorted, Britain!

4.7/5

Alasdair Dunn of Norderobring

White Wizzard – Flying Tigers [2011]

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 19th August 2011 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Band: White Wizzard
Album: Flying Tigers
Release year: 2011
Genre: Classic Heavy metal


Though being a long time listener to Heavy Metal the album „Flying Tigers“ (released via Earache) is my first contact to White Wizzard which was founded in 2007 in Los Angeles. Before listening to the music I’ve tried to get some information about the band it’s history and it´s current members. My first attempt led me to the band’s homepage (http://whitewizzard.net/) and (surprise) there is almost not a single information to be found. So I followed the MySpace link that is placed on the homepage and (surprise again) the last update of the band’s MySpace-Site was made in October 2010. No further information wherever you look. Next I checked out Google and (why am I not surprised anymore?): no relevant hints.

Only Wikipedia knows little about the band, but I don’t want to bore you with it because it is hardly worth mentioning.
So finally I came to the conclusion, that White Wizzard is not the most lively band in the world.

But now let us take a closer look at the music now. After first listening to the album I thought it was a little boring. But being a great fan of fair play I decided, to give White Wizzard a few more listening sessions. And after one day of heavy rotation I knew it´s a little boring. White Wizzard play classic Heavy Metal. The songs are always melodic, some are faster, some are not. Thirty years ago they would have been exciting but nowadays they are only one among millions. Please do not misunderstand: The music is not bad, the songs contain a lot of sing-along tunes, the arrangements sound professional, the production is powerful (yet a little too polished), the musicians know how to play their instruments and the singer is really good. They play their music in the tradition of early Iron Maiden, Tygers of Pan Tang, etc., unfortunately without the rough and aggressive attitude that characterized those pioneer bands. And even the classic Heavy Metal has undergone some changes and developments (see Hammerfall, Edguy or Sabaton) and these influences seem not to have touched White Wizzard. If you asked me about any outstanding song on this album you could see me shrug. Sure, “Starchild”, “Demons and diamonds” (more than 9 minutes long), “Dark alien overture” (jazzy influences and great guitar works) and “War of the worlds” with a slightly oriental touch (by the way: the second half of the album is definitely the better one) are remarkable pieces of hard rock music but all songs lack the special something that makes them being a classic song.

So who should buy this album? I think it´s an album for all those who liked the early metal albums, especially those that were released during NWOBHM. If you don’t expect to discover a new “Frost and fire”, a yet unknown “Melissa” or another “Angel witch” you’ll probably be satisfied.

All other friends or pure Heavy Metal: At first try the originals.

3/5

Thorsten

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