Archive for January, 2016

Avantasia – Ghostlights

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 29th January 2016 by Pieni

Avantasia
“Ghostlights”
Symphonic power metal
Release: 29th January 2016
Via Nuclear Blast Records

avantasiaghostlightsd

It seems like yesterday that Tobias Sammet brought the term “metal opera” to a new level but it’s been 15 years already. And he keeps pushing the envelope.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what’s different from the previous albums, as the symphony-meets-power-metal is still the formula. But somehow the outcome this time is more… elegant.

Even the +12-minute “Let The Sun Descend Upon You” unfolds gracefully, making every minute worthy – I’m not big on lengthy songs, but with this one, time flew. Also, Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids) and Robert Mason (Warrant) brightened up the melody with their hard-rock-vibe vocals.

There’s also a somber and mysterious tone in both “The Haunting” and “Seduction Of Decay”, the first a bit creepy, living up to its title, the latter somewhat Middle-Eastern influenced. They’re both enthralling, the participation, respectively, of Dee Snider (Twisted Sister) and Geoff Tate (Operation: Mindcrime) the sweetest icing for such cakes.
I won’t talk of every guest on this record, but since we’re speaking of perfect fits, this review cannot go without mentioning the amazing job that Herbie Langhans (Beyond The Bridge and Sinbreed) did on “Draconian Love”. His deep voice makes of this track the closest to a goth rock one.

The sadness on the ballad “Isle Of Evermore” is pretty touching, while the happy speed of the title-track will make the day of the power metal fans. Yes, “Ghostlights” is a very thorough album, hitting all the right marks in diversity, style and spirit.

5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Savage Machine – Event Horizon (single)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 29th January 2016 by izaforestspirit

Savage Machine
Event Horizon (single)
Released 19th January 2016
Old School Heavy Metal
Self-Released

Savage Machine - Event Horizon

‘Event Horizon’ is the new single from the Danish heavy metal band Savage Machine. The band was formed in 2014 and has released an EP called ‘Through the Iron Forest’ prior to this. They are currently working on their debut album which is due later this year.

There’s only two songs on here so I’ll do my best to say something about both of them. The title track is the faster, more catchy one and I can see why they chose to make a video for it. It might be short in length but it’s a very well executed, head-banging friendly and packed catchy guitar riffs, piece of old school heavy metal.

Savior is the longer, more complex one of the two. This song puts more emphasis on the vocals which tell a story. The story-telling vocals made me think of Iron Maiden. The guitar work isn’t half bad either.

Overall, I like what I’ve heard from these guys so far. It’s difficult to judge a band based on just two songs. It would be interesting to hear the full album. Keep up the good work guys!

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

 

Rage – My Way [EP]

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 26th January 2016 by Pieni

Rage
“My Way” [EP]
Heavy metal
Released: 22nd January 2016
Via Nuclear Blast

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Nowadays, EPs and singles are mistaken for one another quite often. Rage’s “My Way” is one of those cases; at least I wouldn’t call EP to a 4-track recording comprised of two versions of the same song plus two new versions of 20-year-old songs. But it’s still worth saying a few words about it, as “My Way” is an upbeat, classy piece of heavy metal. Vibrant riffs upon a sturdy rhythm, an ear-worm chorus with a defiant attitude (“it is my way or nothing at all”) and a flowing, rich solo – everything a fan of the genre appreciates.

The aforementioned “new versions” are actually just re-recordings of “Black In Mind” and “Sent By The Devil”; nothing, or almost nothing, has been changed. Sure, the recording and production have a clarity now that wasn’t possible back in 1995, making the sound of each instrument much more distinct. But on the other hand, those rough edges were part of the era these songs were born in in the first place, and taking away that rawness wasn’t exactly necessary.

As for the Spanish version of “My Way”, by the name of “Apuesto A Ganar” (determined to win)… well, unless Spanish is your native tongue or you really like this Latin language, I don’t see a reason for you to not stick with the original version…

3 / 5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Royal Republic – Weekend Man

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 25th January 2016 by mickbirchy

Royal Republic
Weekend Man
Garage Rock, Alt. Rock
Released: 26 February 2016
via Spinefarm Records

The Swedish rockers, Royal Republic return with a new powerhouse of an album in the form of “Weekend Man”.  Such an appropriate title as I haven’t listened to an alt. rock album in quite some time that makes me want to just get up and dance as much as this one does. The energy is just contagious, the band sounds like they’re having the time of their lives while making this album and it really shows because I’m having so much fun just listening to it.  “Weekend Man” is for people who want to switch off and just have fun, with the crazy lyrics and the light production work so the music isn’t really in your face.  Also, the simple but incredibly catchy hooks will have you singing and dancing all night.

It feels like a Britpop album, in the way that the sound is very cerebral and impactful but at the same time it has that thumping beat that Euro-pop seems to favour.  All wrapped up in a rock’n’roll style sound.  So there are lots of layers here. With all that mix of styles it’s nice that the songwriting is so simple, standard verse-chorus structure with catchy hooks and a hefty amount of repetition, it all makes for an album that will stick in your head for a while.  Songs like “Walk!” and “My Way” bring that heavy garage-rock style that made them popular to start with. Yet, tunes such as “Kung Fu Lovin” and “ When I See You Dance With Another” have that pop style that makes them such a versatile band. “Kung Fu Lovin” in particular is an interesting specimen with its rock sound very much downplayed for an upbeat tone.  Come to think of it, there isn’t a somber moment in the album, it’s all very much get up and go.

My own personal favourite tracks and the songs I would recommend checking out are the title track “Weekend Man” and “Baby”.  Both of these songs are tunes that would give you a good insight into what this album, and indeed the band, is all about.  Upbeat fun tunes that you can bop and groove along to.  Thinking of these songs makes me realise how much the funk genre must have influenced their sound, as they have that mid-80’s disco funk sound to them as well. Really, I can’t sing this album praises enough.  In a time where most hard and alternative rock music is deep and brooding, Royal Republic have made a fun party album. Only a few songs really deviate from this on this album. “American Dream”, “Follow The Sun” and “On Any Given Sunday” all have a more serious tone to them.  It’s definitely not unwelcome, in fact it’s really where my Britpop comparison stems from.  These are the songs that carry that cerebral sound.  It also has a jangly college rock sound that’s pretty endearing.

This is a cracking album and something that I think may brighten up your day no matter what mood you’re in.  Superb music and something I would be comfortable recommending to anyone.

5/5

Mick Birchall

Toothgrinder – Nocturnal Masquerade

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 24th January 2016 by mickbirchy

Toothgrinder
Nocturnal Masquerade
Progressive Metal
Released 26 January 2016
via Spinefarm Records

The American prog-metallers hit us with their newest offering Nocturnal Masquerade and I’ll say this before anything else: this is one amazing record.  Never before have I listened to such brutality-meets-musical-brilliance like I have with this album.  At first it was a little jarring and I wasn’t too sure what to make of it, but I kept listening on and I really got into it once I knew where it was going.  

The album has a very mixed range of styles, as you would full well expect on a prog-metal album.  The opening track “The House (That Fear Built)”, like an overture, sets the mood pretty well for what is to come and the power and intensity is displayed throughout the whole album. The intricate guitar work makes for some great riffs and well crafted melodies. The broken riff patterns are great and coupled with the excellent drum work from Wills Weller; it creates a dynamic and powerful listening experience. The songs just have that hardcore and intense feel to them which is fun to listen to, being a fan of hardcore myself, at the same time the wonderful melodies just grab hold of you and the passion in Justin Matthews and Matt Arensdorff’s vocals just shine through so well.  To be honest, it’s hard to believe that there are only 4 members, there’s just so much going on.

For the more heavy of the performances on this album, Toothgrinder just really came together and created some spectacular tunes like “Blue” and “Coeur d’Alanse” which have this really relentless approach to them and I was left hooked. It really is difficult to fully grasp how interesting and diverse this album is, once you think you’ve got this band figure they go and add something into the song you just didn’t see coming.  Such as the odd quiet and unsettling moment before they kick straight back into gear, the anthemic clean vocals just cut off so suddenly by the rough guttural vocals.  This can be a little jarring and I did have a sense of tonal whiplash at times and this could throw some people off them.  

Overall, I have really enjoyed rocking out to this record and it has so many aspects that I love.  The technical mastery of the band is great and the music is so tight that it will just grab your attention and won’t let go. Fantastic work!

4.5/5

Mick Birchall

DevilDriver to support Ministry in the UK

Posted in News with tags , , , , on 20th January 2016 by Pieni

DevilDriver have finished their 7th studio album, “Trust No One”, which is set to be released on May 13th via Napalm Records. In order to promote it in the UK, the Californian groove metal band will hit the road in support of Ministry in August:

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Ministry and DevilDriver on the same bill , that’s a fucking concert worth showing up to! Al is a close and dear friend and Ministry is an iconic band for me and helped form my youth , I look forward to sharing the stage with one of the most legendary frontmen of all time! Thanks for having us aboard Al, let’s give em HELL!”, says Dez Fafara.

Pre-orders for “Trust No One” will be available shortly and tour dates announced soon.

facebook.com/devildriver

Two New Additions For Northern Symphony 2016

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on 20th January 2016 by Nico Davidson

Two more bands have been announced to join the likes of Theatres des Vampires, Old Corpse Road and Alwaid at the second edition of the UK’s leading symphonic metal festival: Northern Symphony.

Scottish suited-and-booted black metal corporation Maelstrom, who have supported the likes of Alestorm and Tyr in the past, have been announced to headline the Infernal Orchestra stage on 16th April this year. The band’s keyboardist Jaime Cross comments:

It’s a massive honour to have been picked to headline the Infernal Orchestra stage. We’re all excited about the festival and we always enjoy our shows in England. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Joining Maelstrom on the Infernal Orchestra stage are Ward XVI, who describe themselves as theatrical avant-garde rock. Mixing haunting melodies and female vocals with heavy guitar passages and the occasional segment of accordions, Ward XVI are an interesting addition to the festival.

Northern Symphony Festival will take place on Saturday 16th April at The Venue in Selby. In total, there will be 14 bands across 2 stages. The Midnight Waltz stage will be headlined by Italy’s legendary vampire-themed metal band THEATRES DES VAMPIRES.

Advance tickets are available for £15 from the festival’s BigCartel store.Further information is available at the festival’s official Facebook page.

Jeff Brown – 23 Years

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 17th January 2016 by izaforestspirit

Jeff Brown
23 Years
Released 13th November 2015
Melodic Hard Rock/ Classic Rock
Released via Mausoleum Records

’23 Years’ is the debut album from the British classic rock artist Jeff Brown (ex- Wildfire, ex- The Sweet, Cats in Space,The Tremeloes). This release reflects Mr. Brown’s passion for hard rock and classic rock music. He is joined by several renowned hard rock musicians including Peter Szigeti (ex- Warlock, U.D.O.) on guitar.

Whilst this is his first solo album, Jeff Brown has been active within the hard rock scene since the early 1980s back when he played bass with a band called Wildfire during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. So, how does all this affect his music? – you might ask… Well, the good news is that ’23 Years’ doesn’t sound like something straight out of a time capsule, still stuck in the same era and trying to re-live the good old, glory days.

There’s the occasional slow and melodic ballad on here such as When The Love is Gone or the closing epic that is Life Goes On but on the whole it’s the more cheerful, catchy songs that make this album memorable. Take Contagious for example, it might have a deceptively slow start with the acoustic guitar but once the electric guitars kick in at the start of the chorus, it’s difficult not to feel the positive vibe and sing along to the ultra catchy lyrics. Once In Every Lifetime is my personal favourite and with a chorus like that I can see it becoming a crowd favourite at the live shows too. If you don’t feel like air-guitaring, clapping or swaying along to this, then there’s something wrong with you.

In summary, what we have here is a very catchy, well-composed, guitar-driven album, which combines the best of classic rock and hard rock. There’s something here for everyone. Whether you’re into the heavier, more edgy hard rock, traditional heavy metal or the more melodic style of classic rock, ’23 Years’ is the album for you.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Devilment begin work on new album

Posted in News, Studio Report with tags , on 15th January 2016 by izaforestspirit

The British “Gothic” groove metal band Devilment, which features Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth) on vocals, has began working on a new album the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut ‘The Great and Secret Show’. The album title hasn’t been revealed yet but here are some of the song titles:

‘Shine On Sophie Moone’
‘Life (Is What You Keep From The Reaper)’
‘Hitchcock Blonde’ ‘
JudasStein’
‘Hell at My Back’
‘Plot Spoiler: There Will Be Monsters’

Here’s a studio update from their lead guitarist Colin Parks:

“The pre-production songs from the new album are all but done and dusted.

This new album is heavier than anything we have done before, yet with it more melodic, passionate and mature.

We have all worked very hard, both in the band and those directly working with the band on a different level.

I am so happy with how things are sounding at this early stage.
I truly believe this album will be the one to make all of our fans happy.

It brings massive brutality contrasted with progressive beauty.

Lyrically and musically it’s an album that will take you on a journey of emotions.

Devilheads prepare!” 

 

The new album will be release via Nuclear Blast Records and is expected to hit the shops later this year.

https://www.facebook.com/devilmentcorps/

http://www.nuclearblast.de/devilment

 

 

Hordes Of Belial announces Lifer and others for 2016

Posted in News with tags , , on 11th January 2016 by Paul Macmillan

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It’s that time of year again when annual, Dundee based metal showcase, Hordes Of Belial start rolling out the names, and 2016 is off to a great start.

The 7th edition of the event sees its first ever Welsh band in sludged up metal and rollers, Lifer, fresh off the back of their 2015 album Black Mountain Rising. They will be joined by, among others, a raft of bands from around Scotland, including Glasgow’s Seraph Sin and Blood Thread, as well as Excellent Cadaver.

Early bird tickets will be on sale soon, from www.wegottickets.com

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Liv Kristine: “I’d love to further cooperate with Simone”

Posted in Interview with tags , , , , , , , , , on 9th January 2016 by Nico Davidson

Nico interviewed Liv Kristine, the charismatic and Valkyrie-like frontwoman of Leaves’ Eyes in Sheffield on their UK tour, in support of the new album King of Kings.

Nico: Hi Liv, how are you?

Liv: Very good, how are you?

N: I’m great, thanks.

L: Good to see you again.

N: Good to see you too. How has the tour gone so far?

L: Really really well. We’re on the UK leg of the tour now and we have one third of the tour still to play. That’s going to be for the UK only. The first leg was for the rest of Europe which was really nice too. Paris: awesome, Belgium: awesome. But the UK is always something special, we have a very big and strong fan base here. We have fans and friends who follow us for every gig and that’s a privilege. I see that the market for our kind of music is growing here, and that’s maybe not the case in Germany. So it’s very good to be back, we’ve already played three gigs and it has been absolutely fantastic.

N: You’ve released a new album recently: King of Kings – which you’ve based on Harald Fairhair. Obviously Scandinavian history, old Norse history in general, is full of fascinating characters like Eirik Bloodaxe.

L: That’s one of Harald’s sons. You’ll find him in the first or second bonus track, it’s called Trail of Blood. That’s a song about him. So who knows what the next Leaves’ Eyes album is going to be about. We know that Harald had many sons and daughters.

N: There are so many other characters like Erik the Red or Leif Erikson. What is it about Harald Fairhair that stood out from the rest of all these great characters and infamous villains? What made you want to do an album based on his life and his legacy?

L: Because I grew up with the legacy of Harald Fairhair. The decisive battle that made him become the king of Norway took place in a fjord called Hafrsfjord, which is my birthplace. So Harald Fairhair has always been there. I’ve always been interested in history and it happened exactly two years ago, over a morning cup of coffee that Alex came up with this idea: what about king of kings? I started digging through all my books and I contacted my mother in Norway to collect stuff at museums and libraries. So it has been amazing to study Harald Fairhair’s life and to divide it into twelve chapters. Parallel to my studies, Alex and Thorsten composed songs at the studio. We’ve been very busy, it has been a very intense process but highly creative. We had so much fun and it means a lot to me to have this album released. It’s definitely a milestone in the career of Leaves’ Eyes. And as I said, it happened at my birthplace so.

N: I highly praised the album for Valkyrian Music..

L: Thank you very much! I read it, of course.

N:Good! Obviously it’s brilliant to see that you guys got back to how you originally started with tales of Viking warriors, going forth into battle, exploring lands and so on. How would you say that King of Kings compares to the rest of the Leaves’ Eyes discography?

L: I’d say King of Kings has a connection to The Vinland Saga, which was thematically about Leif Erikson and his discovery of America. So if there is a link to any other album, I’d say The Vinland Saga. You already mentioned the folky instruments and the folky touch and the orchestra and everything so it has been there all the time but every album has been different. Now King of Kings happened, it was great to see how everything came together. We worked on every song as if it were one individual piece of music. We added any instrument from London Voices to White Russian Orchestra, cello, flutes…everything. We worked on every song until all three of us, Thorsten, Alex and I being perfectionists, said okay let’s go for the mix, its fine.

N: On this album you added Simone Simons from Epica and Lindy-Fay Hella from Wardruna. What was it like working with those two women on the two tracks that they featured on?

L: Absolutely amazing. Of course I know of the series Vikings and I just thought the music is amazing, the soundtrack is amazing! Who is that girl singing? I found out she’s from Bergen! Through a common friend of mine and of Wardruna, I got Lindy-Fay‘s contacts. I contacted her and she said “of course, I know you and I would really like to work with you”. So I sent her Blazing Waters and we were blown away. A couple of weeks later I flew to Bergen and met Lindy-Fay. I presented her Blazing Waters and she loved it, it was definitely golden. She’s a lovely girl and a great musician.

Simone lives one hour away from us so it was about time to invite her to come to our studio. She’s been at our place before but it has been quite a while. She’s a mother now so she’s busy, but she came by and she listened to the song and…I’d say we are a perfect match. Lovely, lovely to work with her.

N: Obviously Epica and Leaves’ Eyes, despite falling into the symphonic metal genre, have got two completely distinct styles. Do you think there will be any sort of crossover between from the recent collaboration between you and Simone?

L: I don’t know. I have no clue, we’ll see. I love Simone and her work, she’s a lovely girl and we are both mothers… We live one hour away from each other so who knows. I’d love to further cooperate with Simone. It would be great.

N: Going back to Harald Fairhair. You obviously studied his saga, his life story quite extensively for the album. What would you say is the most fascinating aspect about the man?

L: We got a few facts about Harald through Snorri, but Snorri came about a couple of hundred years later. Next to that we got the sagas and the tales of the Norwegian kings, where you can find a lot of interesting written words about them to honor them. I think it is absolutely amazing to read the different approaches to his person, because he must have been exactly as unruly, wild like his son Eirik Bloodaxe. He must have been exactly like that himself. In many of the tales or poems about Harald it is told that he was beautiful and that he could have had any woman: he was very glorious. It’s fascinating to read other stories like the battle of Hafrsfjord; about blood being everywhere and the fjord burning or different sceneries, a different Harald.

N: He certainly sounds like an interesting figure. As a fan of both Vikings and Game of Thrones, which one do you prefer?

L: Vikings. Last time it would have been Game of Thrones but it’s Vikings now because of the music. Of course because of my friend Lindy-Fay who’s in there. Although it’s made in Hollywood, I think it’s very nice. It’s very nice to watch those great actors. I love it. And also because I’m Norwegian.

N: That’s very good. Thank you for your time. Have a lovely show tonight.

L: You’re welcome, thank you very much and thanks for coming.

Leaves’ Eyes online:

http://leaveseyes.de 

Njord Metal Fest announces first two bands

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 8th January 2016 by Nico Davidson

Njord Metal Fest – a new metal festival in the City of Culture 2017, Hull – has announced its first two bands on the line-up.

The headliners are Embers of Eden – a melodic metal outfit from southern England, who have played the prestigious Sonisphere Festival in 2014 and there will be a special guest appearance from Cumbrian metal pirates Iron Seawolf.

Further details can be found at this location and tickets, which are priced at £5, can be bought here. The event will take place at O’Rileys in Hull on 16th July this year.

Ben Blutzukker – Analog Blood

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 8th January 2016 by izaforestspirit

Ben Blutzukker
Analog Blood (EP)
Released 7h January 2016
Heavy Metal
Self-Released

‘Analog Blood’ is first EP from the German heavy metal artist Ben Blutzukker (ex-Jormundgard). All the tracks were originally released back in 2007 on an album called ‘Digital Blood’ by the artist’s dark electro project Blutzukker. This EP features the re-recorded metal versions of four original Blutzukker songs.

The transition from electronica or industrial to metal isn’t always easy but as demonstrated by a band such as Dawn of Ashes it can be achieved with good results. I happen to like both genres and so I decided to check out the original, dark electro versions of these Blutzukker songs prior to writing this review. This only made me even more curious as how you could make a metal song out of such dancefloor-friendly electronica…

Well, it seems that you can and if these four songs are anythng to go by, the transition between genres is not only relatively straightforward but almost flawless in its execution. Had I not known that Mr. Blutzukker originally recorded all four tracks without a single guitar or drum kit in sight, I would have just assumed that this guy has always played heavy metal. I guess that the four years Ben Blutzukker spent playing bass for Jormundgard has had a lasting effect on his style.

“Heavy Metal” is a good, albeit simplified way to summarize Ben Blutzukker’s new signature sound. The vocals made me think of Motörhead, Chrome Division and to some extent Dimmu Borgir. Also, if you listen closely you will discover elements of hard rock and black metal in the guitars on the tracks From Hell and Digital Blood.

Overall, this has been a really enjoyable EP. I like Mr. Blutzukker’s dark electro and having heard this, I’m looking forward to hearing more of his heavy metal music.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Wrath Sins – Contempt Over The Stormfall

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 6th January 2016 by Pieni

Wrath Sins
“Contempt Over The Stormfall”
Thrash metal
Released: 26th September 2015
Via Raising Legends Records

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Wrath Sins picked up the classic thrash metal, filtered the edginess with some prog and “Contempt Over The Stormfall” was born. It’s not exactly modern thrash metal; it’s thrash metal with a polished twist.

In the mix there’s also a graver tone of vocals, unlike the high pitches this genre has gotten us used to. It’s still clean and aggressive, like Bobby Blitz or Chuck Billy’s, but a notch lower than theirs. And then there’s the growling backing vocals, functioning as a spicy seasoning. Still they invited some “legends” of their hometown underground to enrich the outcome – Fernando Martins of Web sings in the straightforward “Textured Vengeance” while Miguel Inglês of Equaleft helps out in the groovy (what else?) “Solipsism”.

Musically/instrumentally speaking, “Contempt Over The Stormfall” is a pretty consistent, solid album, featuring beefy riffs (the title-track, ”To Where The Waves Break”) and classy guitar pieces (my favorite “Watching Time Collapse”, or “Paradox”). Well done, boys.

3,5/5

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Beholder release video for Frozen Steps Of Utøya

Posted in News with tags , , , on 5th January 2016 by Paul Macmillan

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Drawing its lyrical content from the horrific attack of school children on Utoya island, Norway, in 2011, this is the first glimpse we have of what will be Beholder’s third album, to be titled Reflections. Although musically un-mastered as of yet, it gives an indication of what seems to have been going on behind the scenes at the camp of Simon Hall and co; the familiar sound of The Order Of Chaos taken to a new extreme.

It’s certainly a statement of intent to make the introduction to this next release something which covers well known, yet lesser discussed events, which shook the public to the core, but got somewhat pushed aside by mainstream mass media in favour of other agendas. It would appear the plan is to go against the grain, and hard. So, who better to pull together a fitting visual representation than Very Metal Art, who have been providing fantastic, professional quality lyric videos for underground bands for a while now.

This has got the feathers all a-flutter in anticipation and excitement, and if the rest of the album matches this first peek, there are going to be Beholder shaped chunks knocked out of the musical landscape all over this year. For the time being, however, we’ll have to make do with this rather haunting and heavy offering. First week of 2016; well played!

Northwinds – Eternal Winter

Posted in Review, Uncategorized with tags on 4th January 2016 by Paul Macmillan

Northwinds
Eternal Winter

Released: July 10th 2015
Prog Rock/Trad Metal
Released via Black Widow Records

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It’s my personal opinion that some sub-genres have been expanded repeatedly to the stage where certain fringe elements are no longer a part of the original movement in any recognisable way. Some atmospheric black metal, to me, just isn’t ‘black’ in any shape or form. Likewise, and probably even more so, the ‘doom’ moniker has been diverted from what it means to me, and, I can imagine, to a vast number of metal aficionados. Northwinds are one of the bands that fall outside of the bracket they have self-chosen; the latter above-mentioned category of doom.

I can certainly see that, if you were to pick out a cross-section of young-ish metal fans of today, you’d find that the ones most likely to give this band a warm welcome would be those obsessed with the slow dirge of doom, but that doesn’t make them any more of a doom band than Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. That might sound like a slating, but it really isn’t. I love classic rock (another designation with moving goalposts), and that is most certainly what this is.

I can’t help but feel Northwinds are missing a trick by not playing on that a bit more. All the original bands who they bring to mind – Black Sabbath, Angelwitch, Rainbow, and the like – are slowly but surely coming to end, as much as we hate to hear it. Although those progenitors of metal were most certainly the founding fathers of the doom genre, Northwinds sound more like one of them than a band influenced by them. They are a fairly long-running band, but not quite that long-running.

This is a solid player, straight out of the 1970s, and if that’s what you’re looking for, this will most definitely hit the spot. Let’s face it, if you don’t occasionally feel like getting your trad metal fix, you probably don’t get metal in general, and Northwinds are tapping right into that old time vein.

3.5/5

Paul Macmillan

Rob Zombie reveals title and artwork for new album

Posted in Misc., News, Uncategorized with tags , , on 3rd January 2016 by izaforestspirit

The American hard rock artist and film maker Rob Zombie has recently announced that his new album, the long awaited follow-up to Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor’ will be entitled ‘The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser’.

Here’s a short teaser video of the title track:

 

You can check out the cover art here:

“Something is coming” on January 11th 2016

Stay tuned for more details.

http://robzombie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RobZombie