Archive for classic metal

Wolf Hoffmann – Headbanger’s Symphony

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 11th July 2016 by mickbirchy

Wolf Hoffmann
Headbanger’s Symphony
Heavy metal, Neoclassical metal
Released: 1st July 2016via Nuclear Blast Records

After nearly twenty years Accept guitarist, Wolf Hoffmann has finally returned to his solo project work. Headbanger’s Symphony is an album that Wolf has been working on for a few years now, while on a break from Accept. This is a really beautiful record, whilst much heavier than 1997’s Classical, it still has a calm dignity to it and the simple beauty of the music is worth the price alone.

The sheer scale of the production on this album is absolutely massive. Everything feels big and you really can get swept away in the beautiful sounds.  Wolf’s guitaring is simply amazing as well.  The subtle little tonal shift and the quick quivers are simple yet really effective. There is absolutely no space wasted on this record. The Czech National Orchestra sounds simply divine with every passing second creating a near-perfect framework for Hoffmann to play with and he utilizes the time well.  I had to compare to anything it’s like the instrumental prog-rock of the the early 70’s, just in it’s imagination and the wandering spirit of the music. The whole album just feels epic.  Headbanger’s Symphony takes classic works of art and plays around with the ideas and the end result is a feast for your ears.

At the same time, the album will appeal to metal heads just fine as well.  Don’t think that this is some high brow art form.  At the end of the day it’s a musician playing around with ideas and with the music. There is plenty of energy and intensity to keep you hungry for more long after this is over.  It’s an album that will take your imagination to some strange and wonderful places. With great use of familiar classical pieces and blends that with contemporary metal for a greater experience than either could provide on their own. If you’re at all into symphonic metal music, you owe it to yourself to check this out. If you just want to hear what Wolf from Accept get’s upto away from the band, this is worth checking out.  Me… I’m just a music nerd so this was kinda up my alley from the get go.  

4/5

Mick Birchall

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King Witch – Shoulders Of Giants

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , on 19th November 2015 by Paul Macmillan

King Witch
Shoulders Of Giants [EP]
Released November 09th 2015
Doom / classic metal
Self-released

King Witch - Shoulders Of Giants

Kicking off with an eerie intro to the title track, the real fun with King Witch’s debut EP, Shoulders Of Giants, starts when they cut to the chase with their strange concoction of slightly black, doomed-up, sludgy trad metal. Although this may leave you expecting a drawling beast of a record, lumbering on at tectonic velocity, there’s actually quite the rapid flow at times, and in shying from self-indulgence, King Witch make every shot count, never lingering in one territory for too long.

They also seem to have access to bottomless pockets of metal-ology into which to delve in the quest to keep things engaging. While Black Sabbath are riding high in the Shoulders… world, there is equally a shadow of Death looming ominous on the barren horizon, casting a prog-metal tone over the landscape. When you have three tracks of doom to state your case to the world, set to diverge at several musical tangents, it should be self-apparent why KW have seemingly made efforts to keep things moving along fairly swiftly.

The warlock on top of the mountain, however, we have still to address here. As some may already know, King Witch included the talents of long-term partners in crime, Laura Donnelly and Jamie Gilchrist, formerly operating in the much lauded Firebrand Super Rock. Where Gilchrist’s guitar work shines through as part of the musical character described above, Donnelly provides what is quite simply ultimate power, full blast, metal vocals; a classic delivery in the realms of Tony ‘The Cat’ Martin or Brittney Slayes, with the slightly cheesy undertones switched out for something altogether darker.

Although this is their first release, and they only formed in 2015, this is something special, and King Witch could well make a significant dent in the scene in 2016 if they keep up this level of work. There’s nothing quite like this kicking about at present, and it’s likely that any who tried to emulate it would fall far short of the mark. Powerful, professional and unique.

4/5

Paul Macmillan