Spirit of Rebellion – Time for Global Refusal

Posted in Review with tags on 14th October 2021 by izaforestspirit
Spirit of Rebellion 
Time For Global Refusal
Released 28th July 2020
Death Metal
Released via PRC Music

‘Time For Global Refusal’ is the new album from the Quebec-based Canadian death metal outfit Spirit of Rebellion. They have been active since 2001.

As far as the genre goes, Spirit of Rebellion falls into the brutal and mid-paced variety with the occasional thrash metal riff thrown in. Most of the time it sounds like old school death metal and at times it reminded me of Cannibal Corpse. Having listened to the album a few times, I had some serious trouble telling the songs apart. A lot of them sound very similar. There are no real moments which would allow the listener to have a breather and relax for a while. It’s pretty much a full barrage of relentless drumming, ferocious guitar shredding and guttural growls from the moment that you hit the play button.

Collateral Damages caught my attention due to the thrash metal -style guitar work. The song itself is still very much in the old school death metal category with more brutal growls and more merciless drumming. Apart that none of the other songs really stood out.

Overall, ‘Time For Global Refusal’ is a decent old school death metal album. Sadly for me it doesn’t really offer anything dramatically new or exciting. If I wanted to listen to something similar I would probably listen to some Cannibal Corpse instead.

6/10

Iza Raittila

Sabaton reveal new album details

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , on 8th October 2021 by izaforestspirit

The well renowned Swedish power metal band Sabaton have recently announced that their new album the follow up to ‘The Great War’, will be entitled ‘The War To End All Wars’. Like its predecessor this one will also be focusing on World War I.

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

Sabaton - The War to End All Wars
  1. Sarajevo
  2. Stormtroopers
  3. Dreadnought
  4. The Unkillable Soldier
  5. Soldier of Heaven
  6. Hellfighters
  7. Race to the Sea
  8. Lady of the Dark
  9. The Valley of Death
  10. Christmas Truce
  11. Versailles

‘The War To End All Wars’ will be out in both physical and digital formats on March 4th 2022 via Nuclear Blast Records.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/sabaton

https://sabaton.bandcamp.com/

Ministry – Moral Hygiene

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 1st October 2021 by Mickelrath

Ministry
Moral Hygiene
Industrial, Nu-Metal
Released: 1st October 2021
via Nuclear Blast

Ok, this album is pretty intense. They have never been the sort to hide away from their views and thoughts on the world. On this album they really go for the jugular and hit home. Their unique blend of eletronica and metal is present and their industrial sound is very stylish and works well here. Ministry is one of those bands that I could never truly get into fully. They make music that is slightly out there music and it can be quite difficult to get into at times. I guess I just have to be in the mood for it. However, this new record Moral Hygiene is an interesting listening experience… in 2021. It really does feel that the band should’ve released this in Donald Trump’s presidency. As some of the lyrics are questionable.

As always with Al Jourgensen and his merry band of industrial insanity, the music is pretty heavy. Both in lyrical theme and in production. The production itself reminds me of all of the good things in the industrial genre. Heavy toned chords, electronica and heavy percussion that hits hard. The music is really abrasive and confronts you directly. It’s a Ministry album, to say the least. I really like how the album flows together from one song to another. Like the intro “Alert Level” goes straight into “Good Trouble”, which makes the album more bingeable, and allows the listener to go through repeat listens without too much stop, start. You can tell that Ministry has a clear influence in EDM as they integrate EDM into heavy metal quite well and pretty seamlessly. 

Lyrically, you can tell that the band wanted to put this album out during the Trump administration as quite a few lyrics seem to be directed to him and the support for the republican. It ultimately still works. Though it’s still jarring in 2021 after Trump is no longer in power. The same can be said for the previous album AmeriKKKant. It’s not bad but it makes the album pretty dated. Unlike other political rock albums they don’t really make much of an effort to make the songs timeless. An example of political albums that stood the test of time would be The Clash’s London Calling

Overall, not a bad album. Again, I’m not much of a fan of Ministry but this was a bit more listenable than a lot of their work that I’ve been exposed to. It’s a good album and for Ministry fans, it’s more to add to the back catalogue. 

6/10

Mick Birchall

Eyes – Perfect Vision 20/20

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 24th September 2021 by Pieni

Eyes
“Perfect Vision 20/20”
Melodic rock/Rock FM
Released: 4th June 2021
Via GMR Music

perfectvision2020

Remember Starship? Or the first three Bon Jovi albums? Or any other band/record with that catchy harder-than-pop-but-not-really-hard-rock eighties sound? There you go!

The tenacity of the bass in “Playing To Win” gives the song the attitude its title preaches, and that’s probably why it’s the opening track; still I think the bundle of mysterious keyboards and wailing guitars of “Turn Of Your Life” would make a bigger impact as an intro.

While the grace of the mandatory ballad, “This Is Us”, feels like a tribute to Whitesnake, the sharp gait of “Falling In Between (The Joker)” is for Eyes what “Addicted To That Rush” was for Mr. Big. Please mind that I’m mentioning all these other bands just as a reference, in order to give you context – I’m not even sure if they’re among Eyes’ influences. Yes, there’s a familiar note throughout this record but it comes from the aforementioned eighties/early nineties vibe, not from some kind of Xerox of someone else’s music.

The perky rhythm of “Never Back Down” or “Shot Down In Flames”, or the upbeat groove of “More Than Meets The Eye” and “Cry Another Day”, those are the kind of formulas used so many times before, and yet worthy of being used some more. Not exactly perfect as the title claims (although, given the band’s name, it was a brilliant choice), but good enough to be recommended to all melodic rockers out there.

7/10

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

New Hate album coming next month

Posted in Misc., News with tags , , , on 17th September 2021 by izaforestspirit

Polish blackened death metal band Hate have a new album coming next month called ‘Rugia’. This will be the band’s first album to feature their new drummer Daniel Rutkowski aka Nir-Sil (Neolith, Redemptor, Virgin Snatch) who replaced Pavulon after he was forced to leave to due to serious health problems.

The title refers to an old word for a German island on the Baltic sea currently known as Rügen. Here’s what their front-man Adam the First Sinner had to say about their latest opus:

“Generally, all the songs on the album are dedicated to the ancient Slavic world – great migrations, wars, battles, and the struggle for survival. But there is also a philosophical level to it, which is very important. Slavic mythology is a collection of universal stories touching upon fundamental issues that we all encounter in our lives. Therefore it is a frame that allows me to write about contemporary problems that I encounter myself from a different perspective. Along the way, I discovered my pagan soul and I encourage people to do the same. I think everybody has this deeper, more profound identity based on understanding our unity with nature, something that goes beyond all the civilizations we have built.”

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

Hate - Rugia
  1. Rugia
  2. The Wolf Queen
  3. Exiles of Pantheon
  4. Saturnus
  5. Awakening the Gods Within
  6. Resurgence
  7. Velesian Guard
  8. Sun of Extinction
  9. Sacred Dnieper

‘Rugia’ will be available in both digital and physical formats on October 15th 2021 via Metal Blade Records. In the meantime you can check out their new video ‘Resurgence’.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/HATEOFFICIAL

https://hate.bandcamp.com/

Iron Maiden – Senjutsu

Posted in Featured, Review with tags , , , , , , , on 7th September 2021 by Mickelrath

Iron Maiden

Senjutsu

Heavy Metal

Released: 3rd September 2021

via Parlophone

Like a lot of metalheads worldwide, my music taste was heavily shaped by Iron Maiden and the influence they’ve had on the metal world since. I feel safe in saying the majority of British metal bands were influenced by the iconic titans. Yet, like any other massive cultural media phenomena, the internet discourse seems to be rife with opinions about their output in recent years. I’ve met fans of the band that haven’t listened to them since Somewhere In Time, some stopped coming back to the band from Brave New World and others, like myself, have always stuck by the band and all their releases all the way to this latest release. Senjutsu is the seventeenth feature length album from Iron Maiden and, like all their releases of recent years, appears to have split the fanbase down the middle. Some proclaim this is a disappointing follow to 2015’s The Book Of Souls, some saying this is their best work in years and some dismissing the fact that they actually have put out a new album as they stopped coming back to Iron Maiden some time ago. So, what do I think?

I found Senjutsu to be a pretty pleasant listening experience. There’s that special quality to it that only Iron Maiden can seem to bring to an album. The lyrical themes that run through the course of the entire album. Music that complements the subject matter they’re singing about and guitar solos that still blow my mind in how they find complexity in simplicity. Obviously, the album is really well produced, at this point they have been through the album making process so much that you really can’t point to any glaring flaws. Also they brought Kevin Shirley back to produce, who has been working with them since Brave New World in 2000. So, obviously the album sounds amazing. Also, Steve Harris is behind all of the songs from a writing standpoint, and if anyone should know what Iron Maiden should sound like, Harris is really the guy. So for all things technical, this is, for lack of a better term, an Iron Maiden album. Yet, this album feels like such a different world from The Book of Souls, not bad, different.

To be honest, on first listening, not a lot feels that different. It feels like the grandiose music that they have been famous for so long. Yet, I couldn’t keep my enthusiasm going for the entire 80 or so minutes of the run time. Sure, there are a couple of standout songs. My personal favourites being “Days of Future Past”, “ Lost in a Lost World” and “Stratego”. However, I don’t think it comes together as an album that well. All of the songs run the same themes, concepts, and ideas, the songs are well written, but when put all together in an album the songs don’t feel like they naturally fall into place. That can really be blamed on the opening track, which is the title track “Senjutsu”. It’s a meandering plodding song that wears off it’s welcome pretty quick. Where I feel a song with a little bit more energy like the aforementioned “Stratego” would have worked better to hype you up for the rest of the album. And it keeps going like that for a little while. The whole album has some pacing issues and to listen to the album for the full run time, if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself dropping off it a little.

Still, I feel the song quality is there. Put some of the harder hitters into a live set mixed with some of the other Maiden standards and I think they’ll work pretty darn well. The powerful command of “The Writing on the Wall” would sound a lot better following something like “Wasted Years” and I think that’s ultimately the way I’m choosing to look at this album. More songs that they can interweave into their set lists rather than an individual listening experience unto itself. Iron Maiden has been in my life since I was a little kid and listening to them will always transport me back to being a little kid excited to discover their music. I will probably always get excited to hear new music from them because they always deliver that one special new song into my life that no other band will ever bring and for that, I will always love them. As for Senjutsu… Well, I can’t say it’s my favourite, nor can I fully dismiss it. It shows that even seventeen albums in, music is always a work in progress and no one has the formula fully nailed. Not even a band as immortal as Iron Maiden.

7/10

Mick Birchall

Ex Deo – The Thirteen Years of Nero

Posted in Review with tags , on 4th September 2021 by izaforestspirit




Ex Deo
The Thirteen Years of Nero
Released 27th August 2021
Symphonic Death Metal
Released via Napalm Records

‘The Thirteen Years of Nero’ is the new album from the Canadian symphonic metal band Ex Deo. This is the first release to feature their new drummer Jeramie Kling. For those new to the band, Ex Deo is the side project of Kataklysm’s Maurizio Iacono and their main themes are ancient Roman history.

I’ve been listening to Ex Deo ever since their first album so when it comes to their releases, I pretty much know what to expect. Each of their albums offers a symphonic death metal soundtrack to a lesson in ancient Roman history. The last one was about the Punic wars, this one is about the Emperor Nero.

Personally I think that the opening track The Fall of Claudius would have been better off without the movie sample at the start. The song itself is decent once it gets going but I was really tempted to fast forward the speech. Luckily the next track Imperator is much better. Iacono’s harsh growls and the abrasive guitar work offer a sharp contrast to the symphonic parts. Speaking of the orchestrations, as with the previous album, they were performed by Clemens Wijers, better known as Ardek from the Dutch symphonic metal band Carach Angren. I’m a fan of both bands so this is an absolute joy to hear.

Another track which got my attention was Boudicca- Queen of the Iceni feat. Brittney Slayes. The horns in the intro really sound like the start of a battle. The song is fairly melodic due to the guitar work and the orchestrations. Regarding the vocals, the duet between Maurizio Iacono and Brittney Slayes works surprisingly well, creating a balance between the harsh and melodic with some angry growls and shouts to contrast the symphonic orchestrations.

The Fiddle & The Fire deserves a mention. It’s the most melodic track on the album and the intro sounds like a start of a folk song. Yet despite the seemingly pleasant sounding intro, the song has a very eerie atmosphere and the orchestrations give it a certain melancholic feel. It’s easily one of the more memorable tracks on here.

In summary, it took me a few listens to fully appreciate ‘The Thirteen Years of Nero’. Thankfully my patience was rewarded. I discovered that it’s an enjoyable symphonic death metal album with skillfully executed orchestrations. I would recommend it to fans of Septicflesh and Fleshgod Apocalypse.

7/10

Iza Raittila

The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic II

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 29th August 2021 by Pieni

The Night Flight Orchestra
“Aeromantic II”
Rock
Release: 3rd September 2021
Via Nuclear Blast Records

Aeromantic II

I’m not sure if an “Aeromantic II” was in order when the first one came out, but it seems like the latter’s follow-up wasn’t supposed to be released so early: forced to cancel the “Aeromantic” tour due to the pandemic, all The Night Flight Orchestra could do, as a band, was write new music and record it. And voilá!

“Paying tribute to an influential decade”, revivalising the kind of music they grew up listening to… call it whatever you want, but the truth is that TNFO’s popularity simply lies on extraordinary artists who create stellar songs. They’re certainly not the only ones with this eighties vibe going on – as long as there are people enjoying a certain genre or musical formula, whether its golden age is long past or not, said music will never be so-called dead – but they’re definitely one of those doing it better. The triumphant beat of “Violent Indigo”. That groovy bass line and keyboard solo in “Midnight Marvelous”. The upbeat “How Long” (one of my favorites), worthy of a “Flashdance” kind of soundtrack, followed by the even catchier rhythm of “Burn For Me” (oh, the video they filmed for this!). The seductive main riff of “Chardonnay Nights” and the almost hypnotizing drums of “Change”. The fiery “White Jeans” contrasting against the sweetness of “Moonlit Skies”. Yes, all twelve songs will make you travel back in time to a pretty colorful era, but it’s how they make such journey possible that it’s of essence here.

As Lilith’s RevengePaula told me the other day, TNFO is the kind of band you never thought needed in your life, but when they show up, they turn you into a happier creature”. Word!

9/10

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Sorceress of Sin – Constantine

Posted in Review with tags , on 21st August 2021 by izaforestspirit

Sorceress of Sin
Constantine
Released 6th August 2021
Melodic Power Metal
Self-Released

Sorceress of Sin - Constantine

It’s only been a year since Sorceress of Sin released their debut album. Now the British melodic power metal quintet are back with their second studio effort ‘Constantine’. I’m always a bit apprehensive when a band releases an album within a year of the previous one as there is a big risk that it might seem rushed.

One of the great things that you sometimes get with a good power metal album is that it has the ability to take the listen away on some fantasy adventure. And this is precisely what you get here with front-woman Lisa Skinner acting as the narrator to a series of tales about mystical lands and sorcerers. As a lover of fantasy stories I’m keen to tune in. And straight away the intro ‘Necropolis’ sweeps you away to a mystical city of the dead with what sounds a series of spells before the heavy metal enchantress Ms Skinner begins her tale.

The powerful vocals might be the main focus here but the guitar work is also impressive and uplifting. Another catchy track that caught my attention is ‘Realms of Elysium’ which really shows off the singer’s stunning vocal range. ‘Pathogenic Parasite’ is the first track that really made me pay more attention to drums which dominate the intro right before the soaring vocals take centre stage. It’s great to hear the other band members getting their chance to shine as the album progresses.

Overall I loved the fantasy themes and this has been an entertaining album. I am pleased to say that there were no tracks that I had to skip. So another win for Sorceress of Sin. Keep on rocking!

8/10

Iza Raittila

Age of Rage – Wind Of The Wasteland

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Featured with tags , , , on 16th August 2021 by Mickelrath

Age of Rage

Wind Of The Wasteland Part I & II

Power Metal, Progressive Metal

Released: 29th March/ 30th June 2021

Self-Released

It’s been a weird year. I have been dipping my toes into the metal world but I’ve not fully been paying attention. So no wonder this album sneaked below my radar. I’m quite happy I got a chance to check this band out. Age of Rage has been around for some time now. Putting out a few releases every year since 2014 which is when the band really got going. I can definitely see how they’ve garnered a fan base of the years. The core line up is Nikita Piskov on bass, Anton Gruzinsky on vocals, Sergey Bunakov on drums and Ivan Nikolaenko on guitar. 

This year they put out their two-part mega album Wind of the Wasteland and I am super impressed. For self-released music, they don’t skimp on the production quality. This album sounds so impressive with bold and impactful choices that make every instrument sound crystal clear. The heavy metal elements roar to life with each and every track with Anton’s vocals sounding as clean as a whistle. I love the sheer force and passion that the band performs these songs with is stunning. It left me with my jaw on the floor. I mean I don’t speak Russian, so I’m relying on a lot of third party resources to translate it, yet I kept finding myself consistently invested in themes and ideas that were being presented. The albums are interesting listening experiences for sure. 

Both albums are fantastic companion pieces with the songs from part one flowing perfectly into part two. I loved the way the two albums connected. It feels like one continuous arc of themes, poetry and concepts. The music has a sharp and crisp tone. Nothing sounds muddy or distorted. It’s beautifully clear. Every note and every beat is felt and it’s effective. Not a second is wasted on the album at all. Overall. Wow, just simply wow. These albums took my breath away. It’s entertaining in all the right ways. I’ve not wanted to put this album down since the first listen.

8/10

Mick Birchall

World Of Damage – Invoke Determination

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on 15th August 2021 by Pieni

World Of Damage
“Invoke Determination”
Melodic Heavy Metal
Release: 11th June 2021
Via WOD Records

invoke determination

Every now and then, an artist comes up with a solo project and gathers a bunch of singers to participate in it; Chrome Division’s bassist Damage Karlsen thought it was about time to take his turn. And given the melodic heavy metal nature of the songs he’s releasing here – in contrast to the rawer approach of his other band – I believe he just wanted to make something else and not exactly play the frontman role.

I don’t know how the choosing process took place – buddies he wanted to work with, artists he admires? – but what you feel when listening to each song is that it was written to whoever’s singing it. A raspy tone and a strong growl to go along the cranking riffs of “I Will Not Conform”? Maurice Adams (Horizon Ablaze) and Shagrath will ace the trick. A delicate ballad in need of a powerful, emotional voice to sync up with the orchestral arrangements of “Breathe (Little Angel)”? Well, that spells out Roy Khan. A somewhat high, clean pitch for the anthemic catchiness of “Insanity”? Trust Athera (Susperia) to get the job done. Fiery and dynamic, to match the title-track? Who better than Björn Strid?

The heaviest, fastest track is “Unleash The Rage” and even though Shagrath would’ve been a nice option, the sharper pitch of Thebon does indeed sound better here.

I almost didn’t recognize Chrome Division’s Eddie Guz on the acoustic “Spoke Of The Wheel”, given the (heart)broken ring that I’m not used to. But Mr. Damage knows his bandmates, so he knew damn well what he was doing with this sad song of his.

I’m usually not a big fan of long instrumental tracks and I made a face when read “5:48” in front of “Black Moon (instrumental)”. Then I listened to it and surrendered to its beauty. I should’ve known, though. After all, the whole album was built on elaborate guitar foundations, all songs featuring rich solos, classy licks… The mandatory instrumental track on a guitarist project had to be a match to such great work.

8/10

Renata “Pieni” Lino

More details about the new Cradle of Filth album

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 11th August 2021 by izaforestspirit

British extreme Gothic metallers Cradle of Filth have recently announced that their latest album will be entitled ‘Existence is Futile’. This is the band’s thirteenth studio effort following ‘Cryptoriana – Seductiveness of Decay. This will be the first album to feature their new keyboard player Anabelle Iratni.

Here’s the cover art and track-listing:

  1. The Fate of the World on Our Shoulders
  2. Existential Terror
  3. Necromantic Fantasies
  4. Crawling King Chaos
  5. Here Comes a Candle… (Infernal Lullaby)
  6. Black Smoke Curling from the Lips of War
  7. Discourse Between a Man and His Soul
  8. The Dying of the Embers
  9. Ashen Mortality
  10. How Many Tears to Nurture a Rose?
  11. Suffer Our Dominion
  12. Us, Dark, Invincible

Cradle of Filth - Existence Is Futile

‘Existance Is Futile’ will be out worldwide in both physical and digital format on 22nd October 2021 via Nuclear Blast Records. ‘

For more info go to:

https://www.cradleoffilth.com/

https://www.facebook.com/cradleoffilth
https://twitter.com/CradleofFilth

Sepultura – SepulQuarta

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , on 7th August 2021 by Pieni

Sepultura
“SepulQuarta”
Thrash metal
Release: 13th August 2021
Via Nuclear Blast Records

Sepultura - Sepulquarta

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to a new reality regarding live music, with online streaming of concerts and such. Still I’m having trouble considering “SepulQuarta” a live album, whether its tracks have been part of podcasts or not – if the songs were recorded at each musician’s home, that’s about twenty studios… I consider this a compilation album, the treat being the guests instead of that one new exclusive track which will make the fans buy a best-of even if they already have the whole discography. And that’s the kind of thing that totally rocks my boat.

It’s not like Scott Ian made any significant tweaks in “Cut Throat” or David Ellefson added some extra bass line to “Territory”, for instance, but you must admit that just knowing they’re there, knowing you’re listening to “Sepultura feat. Anthrax” and “Sepultura feat. Megadeth (or former Megadeth…)” it’s something else.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of Danko Jones, but I understand why they wanted him for a “clean version” of “Sepulnation”: his voice makes a perfect combination with Derrick’s and the song gets a whole new life.

The doom-ish “Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering”, which already featured Emmily Barreto on its original version, gets a second round here, but honestly, it sounds pretty much like in “Quadra”. A little rawer, maybe, but really just a little. In my opinion, in terms of female guests, it’s the screaming – and chanting towards the end – of Fernanda Lira, Angélica Burns and Mayara Puertas in “Hatred Aside” that’s pure gold.

Despite what I’ve said before about Ellefson and Scott Ian – which applies to others like TestamentAlex Skolnick or Death AngelRob Cavestany – there are a few instrument players who make a difference, not jut the singers. João Barone and Charles Gavin add an extraordinary tribal drum solo to “Ratamahatta”, while Rafael Bittencourt replaces the drums in “Kaiowas” with his classic guitar, making a beautiful version of the instrumental track (am I allowed to say “beautiful” and “Sepultura” in the same sentence?).

“Mask” was the first promotional video for this album because, well, Devin Townsend is Devin Townsend. But don’t you think it’s more epic to have the original guitarist of a song you’ve covered 30 years ago playing it with you? I believe that’s why “Orgasmatron feat. Phil Campbell” is the last song on the record – to give it that “grand finale” touch.

9/10

Renata “Pieni” Lino

Vader – De Profundis

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 30th July 2021 by izaforestspirit

Vader
De Profundis
Released 30th July 2021
Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

Vader - De Profundis

As a long time Vader fan I’ve been really looking forward to this for some time. For those who are less familiar with the band, I would like to explain that this is not a new album but a newly remastered version of Vader’s second record which was originally released by Croon Records back in 1995. The record label is no longer active and the album has been out of print for decades. This year the remastered version was finally released by Nuclear Blast Records in limited edition CD, vinyl and digital versions.

This is the record that defined Vader’s signature death-thrash metal sound. It features some of the classic songs including Sothis, Silent Empire and Reborn In Flames, all of which are crowd favorites at Vader shows. There’s not a single moment on here where the listener gets a chance to relax and unwind with a slow ballad. Each track is packed with ferocious guitar riffs, Peter’s brutal guttural growls and Doc’s relentless drumming. Ready or not you better buckle up and prepare yourself for a rough ride as this is full steam ahead right until the end!

Sothis and Reborn In Flames are my personal favorites. Both are great examples of classic Vader with their impeccable thrash-tinged death metal guitar work. It’s so good to finally be able to enjoy them on this record.

In summary, ‘De Profundis’ is an absolute joy to listen to. It’s classic Vader doing what they do best. It has taken decades to finally get a remastered version of this album out but for Vader fans like me it has been well worth the wait. If you’re a new listener, this album is a great introduction to the band. If fast-paced death metal with thrash metal guitar riffs is your thing, then don’t hesitate to grab a copy.

10/10

Iza Raittila

Bloody News Online Fest: Insane Summer Gathering 2021 live stream next month

Posted in Festival, Misc., News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 28th July 2021 by izaforestspirit

Bloody News Metal and Globmetal Promotions are happy to announce the third edition of their live stream festival will take place next month. Bloody News Online Fest: Insane Summer Gathering 2021 will be streamed from their website on 27-28th August 2021. You can watch the event for free.

Check out the line-up here:

27th August

Soulbound
Anna KiaRa
Six Foot Six
PitchBlack
High $tatus
AquileA
Psycho Visions
Passengers in Panic

28th August

Obsolete Theory
STORTREGN
Vessel
X-Method
Mysterizer
King Baal
EAGON
Everlust

For more information visit:

https://bloodynews.ro/en/
https://www.facebook.com/events/513687719867942/





Iron Maiden return with ‘Senjutsu’ this autumn

Posted in Misc., News, Studio Report with tags , , , on 22nd July 2021 by izaforestspirit

It’s been six years since their last album ‘The Book of Souls’, now the world renowned British heavy metal band Iron Maiden have returned with their last studio effort. Bruce Dickinson and co are happy to announce that their new album will be entitled ‘Senjutsu’. Here’s the track-listing and cover art:

  1. Senjutsu
  2. Stratego
  3. The Writing on the Wall
  4. Lost in a Lost World
  5. Days of Future Past
  6. The Time Machine
  7. Darkest Hour
  8. Death of the Celts
  9. The Parchment
  10. Hell on Earth

Iron Maiden - Senjutsu

‘Senjutsu’ will hit the shops worldwide in both digital and physical formats on 3rd September 2021 via Parlophone Records. The band have also released a video for the title track called ‘The Writing on the Wall’.

For more information go to:

https://www.facebook.com/ironmaiden

https://www.ironmaiden.com/

https://www.youtube.com/ironmaiden

Darkthrone – Eternal Hails…..

Posted in Review with tags , , on 10th July 2021 by izaforestspirit

Darkthrone
Eternal Hails…..
Released 25th June 2021
Doom Metal/ Blackened Heavy Metal
Released via Peaceville Records

Darkthrone - Eternal Hails......

The Norwegian duo Gylve Fenris Nagell and Ted Arvid Skjellum, better known as Fenriz and Nocturno Culto, have been making heavy metal music as Darkthrone since 1987. I’m using the term heavy metal music deliberately as their style has changed a lot over the years. Though their first album was death metal, they are best known for the black metal albums released in the early 90s, some of which are regarded as the genre’s classics including ‘Under A Funeral Moon’. Since then they have experimented with a variety of genres including crust punk, thrash metal, hard rock and Motörhead-style heavy metal.

Personally I’m particularly fond of their black metal era. They are a band which I have continued to follow for many years. I can’t say that I enjoy all their works though, some of the more experimental albums are not to my liking. When it comes to Darkthrone, some things always remain the same. They have never followed any specific trends, they just play what they want and they never do live shows. So where do they stand in 2021 with ‘Eternal Hails…..”, let’s find out shall we?

The first two things that got my attention were the beautiful cover art and the song lengths. It is worth noting that there are only five tracks on here and the shortest one clocks in at just over seven minutes. The opener His Masters Voice has a varied structure starting off slow and atmospheric before the thrash metal style guitar riffs hit the spotlight later on. Then they mellow things down again at the end. It’s a decent start but nothing super memorable. Hate Cloak offers some old school Candlemass-esque doom metal with a bleak atmosphere and droning guitars. This might be great for those who love this style but I’ve never been a massive fan of the genre. While it may have the right atmosphere, over nine minutes of droning guitar riffs is a little too tedious for my liking.

Even when the pace picks up half way through the album, the only track that I actually enjoyed was Wake Of The Awakened. Not only does it feature slightly faster thrashing guitar work and less ponderous riffs but it is also the closest thing on here to their old black metal sound. Like most of the album, this one is very guitar-driven but it is more energetic than the others.

In summary, if you are a fan of doom metal then you will most likely enjoy ‘Eternal Hails…..’ In my case, I enjoyed ‘Wake of The Awakened’ and I like some of the thrash metal guitar parts in a few of the other tracks but on the whole the album is too cumbersome for me. I found the song structures difficult to grasp and it took some serious effort to stay focused.

6/10

Iza Raittila

Bridear – Bloody Bride

Posted in Editorial/Opinionated, Review with tags , , , , , on 21st June 2021 by Mickelrath

Bridear

Bloody Bride

Heavy Metal

Released: 7th May 2021

via Avex Trax

Hello Bridear! This album is a real treat to listen to. Every song is steller and sounds so damn good. First up though… Who is Bridear? Formed in Fukuoka, Japan in 2012, they are one of Japan’s premier heavy metal bands and now they are setting their sights on the global stage. After releasing the album in Japan on April 14th, they released it internationally on May 7th which is when I got a chance to listen to it. I was immediately blown away by this record. I’ve had a somewhat fascination with music from Japan for a long time. As part of the generation that was hit by the anime boom of the late 90’s, Japanese culture is always something I’ve loved and I, in particular, love the music that comes out of Japan. Bridear definitely feels more like a band that would feel at home in the European Power Metal scene. I got serious vibes of Dragonforce and Sonata Arctica while listening to this album.

The production is crystal clear on this record with every part of the production glistening. You truly feel the impact. The sound of the drums alone is so hard hitting, you really feel the impact of each drum kick and hit. The guitars glisten in the production and the riffs are so well performed. The music is instantly likeable and definitely accessible. If you’re into this sort of thing already then, then I would highly recommend giving them a chance. With sweeping melodies and excellent musicianship Bridear brings their A game to this record. Songs like “Daybreak” and the title track “Bloody Bride” are captivating with catchy hooks and insanely fun riffs that get stuck in your head. Then you have the vocal performance which is so stellar and sits right on top of the already impressive music. It’s power metal done right.

I have honestly been blown away by the presentation of this record. The women of Bridear are talented and clearly have a passion for their music. The sound is clean and clear. My favourite track from the album so far is “Ashes” with its slow build and then the song hits you with a straight up metal tune. It feels like a page ripped from the Iron Maiden guide to songwriting. This album just feels like the complete package. For me, this is one to check out this year and one I need to see live sooner rather than later…. When covid goes away and allows for live shows again!

9/10

Mick Birchall

Fear Factory – Aggression Continuum

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on 12th June 2021 by Pieni

Fear Factory
“Aggression Continuum”
Industrial Metal
Release: 18th June 2021
Via Nuclear Blast Records

Fear Factory - Aggression Continuum

Sometimes reading the news sideways – or just the headlines, I admit – results in bittersweet surprises. Last autumn, almost at the same time, Dino Cazares announced the 10th Fear Factory album would be released the following year and then Burton C. Bell quit the band. So when Nuclear Blast sent us the “Aggression Continuum” promo for reviewing, I was eager to listen to the new chapter… only to find out that Bell still sings all tracks. My curiosity will have to wait – but the reason for the waiting was worthy.

Some bands have such a characteristic sound/nature that if they try and deviate a notch in order to stop repeating themselves, they risk losing the aforementioned character. The opening track, “Recode”, is brilliant in pushing the balance envelope: it’s definitely a Fear Factory song, taking you back to the “Demanufacture” era, but along the familiar riffing you have synthesized orchestral arrangements adding a classy refined touch. Still brutal as hell, but also refined. And Bell’s voice has a rougher edge here, enhancing the whole same-but-different vibe.

Of course that “Disruptor”, having these arrangements only in the chorus – and even there their presence is subtle – and being overall a much more aggressive song, was the one chosen to promote the album on YouTube. Yes, it’s probably the heaviest – and hence single-material – song, but so many others here offer a better notion of the industrial metal FF are about. The title-track, for instance, with its sci-fi ambiance, or the slamming “Cognitive Dissonance”, just to name a few.

Then there’s a certain groove in “Collapse” and catchiness in “Purity” that feels somewhat refreshing and yet is not exactly new in their writing process. And the guitar solo in “Monolith”? What a treat, but it’s probably the dark-ish ensemble of the song that made it my personal favorite.

So whatever the future holds for Fear Factory, I hope it’s similar to this.

8/10

by Renata “Pieni” Lino

Steignyr – The Legacy Of Wyrd

Posted in Review with tags , , , on 7th June 2021 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Steignyr
The Legacy of Wyrd
Releases 23rd July 2021
Celtic Death Metal/Folk Metal
Art Gates Records

Hailing from Spain come Steignyr, a Celtic Death Metal warband, formed by vocalist and lead guitar Jon Thorgrimr Fjonir. With a handful of releases to their name already, and tours that have happened as far away as China, Steignyr have renewed their lineup and are set to return with The Legacy Of Wyrd, which already promises to be an interesting album.

The album opens with Prologue, a series of sounds setting the mood, before a solemn and mournful narration by Sarah Owen becomes the main focus of the track, accompanied by the sound of a quill scratching ink on parchment, and the sombre sound of ravens weaved within the haunting medleys. Mendo has a more up-beat sound, combining beauty and the beast vocals, with driving guitar medleys and jig-worthy folk instrumentation.

The Coming Of Aland sounds almost power metalesque in its delivery, presenting a grandiose, inspiring sound that is reinforced with darker lyrics and the bestial vocals of Fjonir. The orchestrated sections, with the folk elements, really shine through on this track. The dialogue between Kit Harington and Peter Dinklage with ethereal choir voices in the background are what really give this track its atmosphere. The title track, The Legacy of Wyrd, invokes a mystical sounding, focusing on the enchanting vocal work of Kathonya, as it dances with gentle yet staunch folk melodies and discreetly powerful orchestration. The track is essentially the eye of the storm within the album.

The Rise Of Death is a vigorous track, making use of Celtic-influenced passages, conjuring an urgency that can be heard through the vocal lines, whilst Edevane has the sounds of a slowed down sea shanty. Travellers comes across as quite chaotic sounding, as though there’s too much happening at once. Immortal Family begins with the alluring notes born of Celtic inspiration before bursting into a majestic onslaught of Fjonir’s guitars, with the staunch dual vocal workings that have been prominent throughout the album.

Rhythm of Time is a ravishing assault on the listener, mixing together beguiling vocals, and relentless guitar passages. The dual vocals work especially well on this track, like an enthralling chant. The Well Of Ice channels an inner primal energy throughout each note, resonating with the rhythm work of drummer Zelther. The Giant Pillar Of Rock really demonstrates a melodic aspect to Fjonir’s guitar playing, highlighting his skills especially well. The soaring folk elements help create a fascinating, dynamic sound on this track, complementing the vocals, and the bass work of Kilau, fully.

The forlorn soundings echo loudly throughout Everything Silent, seeping into every aspect of the song. Though it is a fast-paced and energetic track, the sorrow can be heard especially within the instrumentation, giving it a very powerful emotional feel. Coming towards the end of the album is Aftermath, another track that shows displays the more melodic side of Fjonir’s guitar playing, creating memorable passages throughout. The other instrumentation also comes across as robust, filling parts of different parts with fresh,and almost hypnotic sounds.

The Legacy of Wyrd finishes with Epilogue, a closing track similar to that of the opening one. It is filled with emotive sounds and the steely voice of Sir Ian McKellen, as he monologues about the end of the story throughout the album. His words are especially powerful, speaking of waiting in another life, as though his character is full of regret and mourning. Epilogue is truly the best way for the album to finish.

The guest appearances by the likes of Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage, and Sir Ian McKellen help add to the narrative of the story, and though the album could have worked without those appearances, they are a welcome sound. The Legacy of Wyrd is a noble offering of folk metal, though it does feel lacklustre in some parts but it still has the potential to be on the best folk metal albums to be released this year.

8/10

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Steignyr online:

https://www.facebook.com/Steignyr
https://www.instagram.com/steignyr/
https://twitter.com/steignyr