Thunderfuck and the Deadly Romantics – Dirty, Sleazy, Rock ‘n’ Roll

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , on 6th July 2019 by mickbirchy

Thunderfuck and the Deadly Romantics
Dirty, Sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll
Sleaze Rock, Hard Rock
Released: 26th July 2019
via Cargo Records

OK, I was not expecting what I actually heard on this album. Then again, I really didn’t fully understand what I was getting this one. I mean, what would you expect from a band called Thunderfuck and the Deadly Romantics? The band comes from Ontario, Canada and have spent quite a lot of time here in the UK. Everything that I’ve heard about them so far is relatively positive, with a great hype building behind them, consistent gigs and good feedback. It really feels like a band that has taken their time and grown on their own accord rather than forcing a quick fix to success. After taking a listen to this album, I have definitely thought about it and the first impressions were mixed to positive. However, now I have had some time to let this one settle, let’s talk about this one.

The album sounds decent from the get-go, great rock tone with well-produced instrumentation all the way through. The balance of the instrumentation is great with all of the instruments coming through clear. Then you get the vocals and, well I’m not a fan. Don’t get me wrong, if you like this style of singing then that’s awesome but if you’re like me, then it’s truly going to grate on you quite quickly. He’s not out of tune but the vocals are incredibly coarse and it doesn’t really fit in with the slick instrumentation. For me, it ruins the sound of the songs. Now, this is just me, I realise that there are people that like the way the rough vocals contracts with the slick and well-executed music. 

Most of the lyrics are about your typical rock ‘n’ roll topics such as sex, drugs, drinking and working-class life. Which is fine, I mean I don’t expect much from sleaze rock, in terms of lyrical content. Usually, sleaze rock mainly focuses on light-hearted, easy to grasp subjects that audiences can immediately identify. However, when one of your songs literally starts with a woman moaning in orgasm, I think you’re going to have a good sense of what album you’re getting into.

Overall, this is not a bad album. I can’t say I personally like the vocals but I can certainly understand the appeal. The rock is great and there are some damn catchy and fun tunes to listen to. If you’re looking for a band that delivers rough and dirty sounding rock music, then Thunderfuck and the Deadly Romantics are something to behold.

2.5/5

Mick Birchall

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Darkthrone – Old Star

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 5th July 2019 by izaforestspirit

Darkthrone
Old Star
Released 31st May 2019
Black Metal/Blackened Heavy Metal/Doom Metal
Released via Peaceville Records
Darkthrone - Old Star

My favorite Norwegian black metal duo are back with a new album. It is hard to keep track of all their releases. The one thing that I have always admired about them is that they do not follow any specific trend unlike many other bands in the extreme metal scene. Like where other black metal bands aim to shock, pile on more corpse-paint and act all grim and satanic; Darkthrone just do what they have always done. They play the style that suits them and they do not do live shows. If they release a music video, it might be a cartoon or just clips of Nocturno Culto or Fenriz hanging around in the woods or jamming the studio. Oh and they haven’t worn corpse-paint since the mid-1990s.

I enjoyed their previous studio effort ‘Arctic Thunder’, so I have high hopes for this one. These guys are no strangers when it comes to experimenting with other music genres. Even though Darkthrone are best known for the early black metal works, if you re-visit their discography you will find everything ranging from death metal, black metal to Motörhead-style heavy metal, speed metal to crust punk. Their latest piece of work bears some similarity to its predecessor ‘Arctic Thunder’, only this time there are some doom metal parts added to the mix.

Take the Alp Man for instance. It’s probably my least favorite track on here and one of the slower ones. It is a little too doom metal -inspired for my liking. While I have no problem with the odd droning guitar riff and slow drumming, this one just doesn’t seem to get going at all. It might have worked for bands like Tiamat or even Entombed in the past, it’s a little too slow for Darkthrone. Luckily the rest of the songs are much more to my liking. Overall, my favourite song is the opener I Muffle Your Inner Choir. I really like Nocturno Culto’s rocking guitar riffs on Duke of Gloat. The drum work on it is pretty good too. Then there is The Hardship of The Scots with its unique blend of doom metal, heavy metal and black-thrash metal to illustrate the other end of the spectrum. It took a while to get going, and I particularly enjoyed the rhythm guitar passage towards the latter half of the song.

In summary, ‘Old Star’ is another solid album from the Norwegian black metal duo. It has its flaws but overall I am pleased to say that it was worth the wait. I’m not sure what to call this style… “Blackened heavy, death metal with hints of doom metal…” To hell with genre categorization! It’s Darkthrone, doing what they do best. Rock on!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Moonlight Haze – De Rerum Natura

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 28th June 2019 by mickbirchy

Moonlight Haze
De Rerum Natura
Power Metal, Symphonic Metal
Released 21st June 2019
via Scarlet Records

It really is funny, if you follow the scene enough you start to see familiar names here there and everywhere. To the point that it will lead you to more music. This is very much my relationship with the Symphonic and Power metal scene in Europe. It’s a scene where everyone knows everyone, or at least it feels that way. Which is what lead me to Moonlight Haze.  I’ve been a fan of the singer Chiara Tricarico for a while, I first heard her singing in the band Temperance. I just find her vocals really enjoyable and pleasant to listen to and I’m a fan of pretty much any project she lends her name to, so when I heard she was starting a new band with Giulio Capone and includes members (and ex-members) of Temperance, Elvenking, Sound Storm, Teodasia and Overtures. You could probably have won a bet, that I would have taken the time to listen to it at some point. 

From my first listen I immediately gravitated to their music. Tonnes of energy, great production with charm and passion, De Rerum Natura makes a great first impression for fans of power metal who like that little more grandiose tone to the sound. The album wastes no time with engaging and commanding rhythm and tight sounding production that keeps you listening, track after track. The band sounds awesome, with great sounding instrumentation which is mixed really well. The guitars and drums, in particular, hit hard and the bass keeps the rhythm nice and tight and the keyboards set a really nice atmosphere that elevates the music to another level. As great power metal usually does. 

As for the vocal performance from Chiara, well, it’s excellent. As usual, she displays such excellent technique and it makes the lyrics just shine with personality. With this excellent vocal performance, it really brings the entire thing together really nicely. I love the mix of style on the record to with powerful and heavy rhythms and slick, well-executed guitar solos, all packaged in a great power metal experience. I quite like some of the more jazzy and groovy parts between the main parts of the songs, that little bit of intricacy really adds to the enjoyment of listening to this album.

I love the way the overall sound feels to listen to. It has this excellent energy and it’s entertaining from start to finish with lots of replay value. I will admit that I have been playing this album a lot since it’s release and plan one listening to it a whole lot more. If you like your power metal blended well with other musical styling, that also packs that little extra punch, then definitely give De Rerum Natura a listen.

4/5

Mick Birchall

Gravefields – Embrace The Void

Posted in Metal with tags , , on 23rd June 2019 by izaforestspirit

Gravefields
Embrace The Void
Released 7th June 2019
Death Metal/Blackened Death Metal
Released via Redefining Darkness Records

Gravefields - Embrace the Void

Embrace The Void’ is the debut album from death metal duo Gravefields. The band was originally known as Dirtyprotest and they have been around since 2006. They released one album under that name two years ago before re-emerging again as Gravefields. Throughout this time there hasn’t been any changes to the line-up. Gravefields comprises Irish multi-instrumentalist Alan Hurley and French vocalist known as DM.

It took me a few listens to fully get into this album and it turned out to be far more complex than I expected. I thought this was going to be your standard Death, Morbid Angel, Dismember (insert old-school death metal band name here)_____ -style death metal but that’s not the case. In addition to the pummeling drums, bulldozing blast-beat guitar riffs and growls, there is also some elements of black metal. The record is a mixture of the two styles. For example Sulphur Injection is a vicious piece of fast-paced death metal packed with aggressive blast-beats and ferocious growls. So far, so very typical death metal…

Then halfway through the album, things change. You get to Mind Leech and the black metal parts start to creep their way in. For a brief period, the growling becomes shouting and the guitars slow down a little, adapting a more medium pace with the occasional melodic guitar part. It actually reminded me of old Marduk at times. These guys never really slow down but songs like this one add some variety to their sound. Void also caught my attention due to the multi-faceted guitar structures and variation in pace, combining the best parts of both black and death metal.

In summary, ‘Embrace The Void’ is a well executed blackened death metal opus which ought to please fans of both genres. There is a lot more to this than just nine tracks of solid, fast blast-beats and growling, which is refreshing to hear.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Cannibal Corpse’s European summer tour

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , on 10th June 2019 by izaforestspirit

The American death metal outfit Cannibal Corpse have started their summer onslaught on Europe. They will be playing in Budapest, Hungary tonight (10th June 2019). Here is the rest of the schedule:

10.06.2019 (HU) BUDAPEST / A38
11.06.2019 (RS) NOVI SAD / Novosadski Sajam
12.06.2019 (RO) CLUJ-NAPOCA / Form
13.06.2019 (RO) BUCHAREST / Quantic
14.06.2019 (BG) SOFIA / Mix Tape 5
15.06.2019 (GR) THESSALONIKI / Principal Club Theater
16.06.2019 (GR) ATHENS / Piraeus 117 Academy
18.06.2019 (MK) SKOPJE / MKC
20.06.2019 (HR) ZAGREB / Boogaloo
21.06.2019 (AT) SALZBURG / Rockhouse
22.06.2019 (CH) AARAU / KiFF
23.06.2019 (FR) CLISSON / Hellfest
24.06.2019 (FR) LYON / Ninkasi Kao
25.06.2019 (IT) PARMA / Villa Del Fulcino
27.06.2019 (DE) LINDAU / Club Vaudeville
28.06.2019 (DE) GRAEFENHAINICHEN / Full Force
29.06.2019 (NL) DOKKUM / Dokk’em Open Air
30.06.2019 (DE) ASCHAFFENBURG / Colos-Saal
02.07.2019 (DE) BREMEN / Tivoli
03.07.2019 (DE) KIEL / Pumpe
04.07.2019 (CZ) TRUTNOV / Obscene Extreme
05.07.2019 (DE) STUTTGART / LKA Longhorn
06.07.2019 (FR) LIMOGES / CCM John Lennon
07.07.2019 (ES) BARCELONA / Rock Fest Barcelona

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For more information visit:

http://cannibalcorpse.net

https://www.facebook.com/cannibalcorpse

Rammstein – Rammstein

Posted in CD, Industrial, Metal, Rock with tags , , on 6th June 2019 by izaforestspirit

Rammstein
Rammstein
Released 17th May 2019
Neue Deutsche Härte/ Industrial Metal
Released via Universal Music

It’s been a decade since the world renowned Neue Deutsche Härte band Rammstein last released a studio album. For a long-time fan like myself that is a very long time to wait. Needless to say that my expectations for this were very high. After all it took them this long to record so surely it ought to be worth the wait right? Let’s see…

Well, we’re off to a good start with Deutschland. The video might be a bit too much for some people to handle but the song itself is an absolute gem. I cannot get enough of it. It acts like an anthem for the band, combining all the elements that make Rammstein so special. Till Lindemann’s powerful and emotional vocals, Flake’s delightful keyboard work and the guitars. The chorus works a treat too. What a tune; “Radio, Mein Radio…”, that’s about as much as I can make out from the lyrics without consulting a German dictionary or online translating service but that has never stopped me from enjoying this song. I have had that chorus stuck in my head for weeks. Radio is a wonderfully catchy piece of industrial metal that is bound to be a big hit both live and on the dance floors. Then there’s Ausländer with its disco-esque vibes and somewhat cheesy-sounding chorus.

Basically it’s all good until the fifth track comes along and things slow down a little. It is not so much that the rest of the album is bad, it is not. There are lots of well executed, emotional vocal performances from Mr.Lindemann, there is nothing wrong with guitar riffs or the keyboard melodies. And yet it feels a little lacking in energy. As much as I appreciate the dark lyrical themes and creepy music of tracks such as Puppe, Rammstein are capable of so much more. This suffers from the same issues as their mid-career period albums ‘Reise, Reise’ and ‘Rosenrot’, which have a handful of very good songs each and lots of okayish, but not particularly memorable tracks. The only exception is the ultra creepy and sombre-sounding Hallomann which seems like a fitting way to end the album.

In summary, I am sad to say that this album is a bit of a letdown for me. The first four tracks are great and I absolutely love them. Sadly the rest are a little too slow and ballad-like for my taste. It feels almost like Rammstein are tired of making this kind of music and they are preparing to move on to something new.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Vader – Thy Messenger

Posted in Metal with tags , , on 18th May 2019 by izaforestspirit

Vader
Thy Messenger
Released 31st May 2019
Death Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast Records

Vader - Thy Messenger

Polish death metal titans Vader are back with a new EP called ‘Thy Messenger’. For those who are not aware, Vader is a band that I have been following since my early teens. So needless to say as soon as I heard about this new release I simply couldn’t resist listening to it. These guys have a habit of releasing at least one EP before a new album. So just as the ‘Iron Times’ EP acted as a teaser for ‘The Empire’ I’m guessing that there will be a new Vader album coming in due course. ‘Thy Messenger’ clocks in at little over thirteen minutes and it includes one Judas Priest cover and a re-recorded version of ‘Litany’.

For those who are familiar with Vader, the band originally started out as a thrash metal act. Despite changing their style to death metal later on, they have always maintained a thrash metal tinge in the guitars. That is one of the main things that makes them unique. This EP is no exception. Kicking it off is Grand Deceiver, a short but ferocious beast of thrash guitar driven death metal. It’s full speed ahead from there until the very end. Emptiness is classic Vader doing what they do best; thrashing guitar riffs, powerful growling and relentless death metal drumming. I also enjoyed their cover of Judas Priest’s Steeler. That track is probably the closest they have come to returning to their old thrash metal style. It is also the catchiest song on here.

Overall, the only issue I have with this EP is the length. It’s way too short. I want more!! Come on Vader, when is the new album coming?

4/5

Iza Raittila