Archive for NWOBHM

Wraith – Revelation

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , on 2nd August 2017 by izaforestspirit

Wraith
Revelation
Released 4th August 2017
Hard Rock/Melodic Heavy Metal
Released via Ice Rain Records/Cargo Records

Wraith is a British hard rock band that has been around since the late ’80s. They were most active in the ’90s, after which they had a long break between albums. It’s now been a decade since their last studio album was released and now Wraith are back with a new line-up and a new album called ‘Revelation’. This is also their first work to feature the new vocalist Ryan Coggin.

Ten years is a long time to wait for a new album. This is my first encounter with Wraith so I can’t really comment on how their style has evolved over the years. Rather than commenting on how this compares to their past albums, I will just focus on ‘Revelation’. Here we have ten tracks which range from Bon Jovi -esque melodic hard rock to NWBHM-style heavy metal. An example of the former is the slow ballad ‘Leaving Me Again‘ and the latter ‘No Respect‘ – an energetic, guitar-driven song. The vocals on it aren’t half bad either.

Then there’s the catchy, somewhat sleaze rock inspired ‘Human Hater‘ which reminded me of Mötley Crüe for some reason. This is probably one of the simplest songs in terms of lyrics, but who cares? After all, who needs profound lyrical themes when you can just enjoy a catchy chorus and headbang along to the twin guitar melodies?

In summary, ‘Revelation’ embodies the saying “..good things come to those who wait”. It’s been ten years, but now Wraith are back with a strong album that’s bound to please both classic heavy metal and hard rock fans.

4/5

Iza Raittila

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Rock Goddess – It’s More Than Rock and Roll EP

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , on 25th April 2017 by izaforestspirit

Rock Goddess
It’s More Than Rock And Roll EP
Released 19th May 2017
Heavy Metal/ Hard Rock
Released via Bite You to Death Records

‘It’s More Than Rock And Roll’ is the new EP from the London-based hard rock trio Rock Goddess. The band originally started out in the 1980s during the NWOBHM movement in The U.K. They were on a long hiatus in the mid-90s before reforming again with the original line-up in 2013.

This is a short EP, just three songs but it is enough to give an idea of what Rock Goddess is all about. The title track is an anthem, or manifesto if you like, stating what these ladies trying to achieve with their music. Their message is simple: they play good, old-school hard rock full of catchy guitar melodies and sing-along choruses. This is what they have always done and what they do best. Back Off is all about the guitar riffs while the closing track We’re All Metal sounds like a homage to the band’s roots with some honorable mentions of the famous bands from within both the hard rock and heavy metal scene.

In summary, ‘It’s More Than Rock And Roll’ serves as an (re-)introduction to Rock Goddess. It’s bound to please their old fans as well attracting some new ones, myself included. I can’t wait to hear more. Rock on, ladies!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 3rd July 2015 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Powerwolf
Hammer of The Witches
Released July 2015
Werewolf Metal/Power Metal
Released via Napalm Records

586_Powerwolf_CMYK

Powerwolf have rose to fame over the last few years due to their lyrics and imagery, both of which aren’t usually found within the power metal genre. Blessed & Possessed is the band’s first album to be released through Metal Blade (Providing you don’t include the History of Heresy releases) and the band’s sixth studio album.

The album is opened up immediately by the title track, Blessed & Possessed, which begins with a rather tragic introduction that would put even Shakespeare to shame. This introduction is followed by a flurry of riffs and organs with soaring vocals. The chorus is easily memorable, hooking itself into your memory. Dead Until Dark contains the typical Powerwolf lyrics but greets you with an onslaught of guitar melodies and poignant vocals.

The guitars and organs make for perfect dance partners in Army of the Night, with some very NWOBHM sounding passages. Armata Strigoi focuses on vampires and allegedly is Romanian for “Undead Army”. The intro comes across as very grandoise and majestic as the instruments parallel one another throughout the song. We Are The Wild has some similarities to Sacred & Wild, but it also has its differences. The vocals appear to march at a different pace to the instrumentation but this works out in the favour of Powerwolf.

Higher Than Heaven is a fast-paced, action-packed song that refuses to take prisoners as guitars are unsheathed and lay proverbial waste with their jumping riffs. Combat & Christ is a well coordinated attack between the guitars and organs, with reinforcements from the drums. The vocals have a commanding element to them, as a story is sung of the First Crusade. Sanctus Dominus (Latin for Holy Lord) is very much like a hymn during in the chorus but there is a dynamic use of vocals that echo throughout the track.

Sacramental Sister sounds like it was influenced by Iron Maiden‘s Hallowed Be Thy Name as the opening riff shares a common sound with that song. The track is composed of a masterful combination of instrumentation and vocals,  with some energetic moments here and there. All You Can Bleed displays a very poetic use of the band’s talents, release short but sweet fumes of darkness in preparation of the final song. The album closes with Let There Be Night. The song’s atmosphere is laid out by the orchestration and vocals, painting a dusky image with a sombre sound.

Powerwolf are still at the top of their game and Blessed & Possessed will show the world that the wolves of metal are still the alphas of the pack with no sign of slowing down. With elements borrowed from their previous releases and new sounds brought in, Blessed & Possessed is a highlight in Powerwolf‘s discography.

4.5/5

Nico Solheim-Davidson

Powerwolf online:

http://powerwolf.net 
http://facebook.com/powermetal

Hell unveil details on their new offering Curse And Chapter

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 28th August 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Risen from their own sinister legacy and having disbanded in 1987, Hell were reincarnated only two years ago with the addition of Andy Sneap to guitars and David Bower on vocals, joining original members guitarist and keyboardist Kev Bower, bassist Tony Speakman and drum machine Tim Bowler. Now the British quintet are about to release their follow up to their 2011 release Human Remains which was released via Nuclear Blast. The sophomore offering, titled Curse And Chapter, will also be released via Nuclear Blast on 25th November, later this year.

Curse And Chapter will also include a bonus DVD offering six songs from the band’s show at The Darwin Assembly Suite Rooms in Derby on 23rd February 2013. As the first lead-off single, Hell will release the Age Of Nefarious. Guitarist Sneap commented on the upcoming release:

We’ve been working solid on the album for the last couple of months between gigs, although we’ve been demoing to a good standard over the last year or so. This time around the album consists of around 50% old material 50% new. We really see this as a band that’s moving forward rather than a nostalgia trip, obviously there’s a lot of history within the band, but there’s also a whole world of ideas we want to get out. We have this week left tracking, 4 more vocals and bass to get down, 2 more songs of guitar and then mix. I’m super happy with how things are shaping up, it feels more like a band on this record to me than the first, which I guess is just a natural progression of everyone playing together a lot more over the last couple of years.

Vocalist David Bower added in, regarding the lyrical content:

Alongside some of our favourite themes of historical, political and religious persecution, intolerance and prejudice, you will find some good old fashioned myths and legends being invoked and reinterpreted in our own inimitable way. We also have some songs in which the listener will be implicitly invited to solve the clues contained in the lyrics in order to find the meaning of the stories for themselves. Being completely aware that many people interpret things in ways that writers do not expect as a matter of course, it seemed logical to take that idea a little further.

Adding on from that, Bower explains the album title:

It’s a hellish play on words of the English saying chapter and verse, and also a reference to a song lyric in The Age Of Nefarious, the opening track on the record.

Hell will also be playing the Metal Hammer ‘Defenders Of The Faith’ Tour alongside label mates Carcass and also Amon Amarth and Bleed From Within. Dates are as follow:

Nov 12 Birmingham o2 Academy
Nov 13 Manchester o2 Academy
Nov 14 Glasgow Barrowland
Nov 15 Bristol o2 Academy
Nov 17 London Forum

Hell online:

http://hell-metal-band.com
http://facebook.com/hellofficial

SPV/Steamhammer sign NWOBHM cultic act Battleaxe

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 9th July 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

SPV/Steamhammer have recently signed a worldwide deal with Newcastle’s NWOBHM cult act Battleaxe. The deal includes the release of Heavy Metal Sanctuary which is due in early 2014, as well as the deluxe re-releases of the classic albums Burn This Town (set to be re-released in October 2013) and Power From The Universe (scheduled for a 2014 summer release) with new covers, extended booklets and lots of bonus material.

The current line-up consists of the original members Dave King (vocals) and Brian Smith (bass) as well as Mick Percy (guitar) and Paul Atkinson (drums). Dave King and Brian Smith comment about the signing:

We think speaking for the whole band that we are all elated to be joining the SPV family. A label with great worldwide distribution and also featuring some of our favourite bands.  It is wonderful to have the opportunity to re-release our old classic albums again as well as introduce our fans to our new more powerful sound. After a long and hard struggle we have finally managed to complete our new album Heavy Metal Sanctuary which we know will delight our fans worldwide. We do not think it will disappoint in either the songs or the production, and we feel that although it sounds modern and 21st century, it is still classic Battleaxe! We thank all our loyal fans all over the world who encouraged us to reform (indeed some even demanded it), even though some of you were not even born when the original albums were first released. Now because of this new deal, we will be able to see many of you in 2014 on the European festival scene and possibly around the world.  Finally of course many many thanks to Olly Hahn and all the staff at SPV for making this dream come true!

SPV/Steamhammer A&R representative Olly Hahn adds:

Sometimes you have to do something… And I did. As a child of the NWOBHM due to the lack of information you had to buy by the cover. In some cases the covers were good but the music average. In other cases the cover weren’t really that good but the music was killer. This happened to me when I bought Burn This Town. The whole album, as well as the second one, Power From The Universe, are classics for me and I know for many metal fans too. And I heard the new songs which are really strong and will surprise a lot of people. Yes, the band is ready to deliver… So are we!

Battleaxe online:

http://www.battleaxemetal.com/
http://www.facebook.com/battleaxemetal
http://www.reverbnation.com/battleaxeband

 

Satan – Life Sentence

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , on 24th April 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson

Satan
Life Sentence
Released 29th April 2013 (Europe)
NWOBHM
Released via Listenable Records

Hailing from the city of Newcastle, in the north of England, come NWOBHM outfit Satan. Whilst staying near enough obscure throughout their career, the band are noted as being influential for playing a form of proto-thrash metal that was advanced by the standards of the early 80s. Following several European festival performances in 2011 and 2012, Satan are officially back, with their new album Life Sentence to be released in less than a week.

Straying from the usual sound of the NWOBHM, Satan shred through each track on the album with an unrelenting and unbridled fury that can only be found in the metal of the north, and a few subtler pieces of musicianship thrown in for good measure. The solos are memorable, much like the somewhat melodic guitar passages. The elements of thrash are noticeable, helping create an NWOBHM sound that’s morphed into something more sinister and packed with more bite. The vocal work is astounding, adding a different edge to the album. The guitars take on a quite primal form during the track, Testimony, before the catchier anthem known as Tears of Blood kicks in. The title track, Life Sentence, is a stand-out track due its poignant lyrics and staunch riffs. The album has what is made out to be a calmer, more dreary finale, compared to how it began but Another Universe soon changes gear and gets a bit more hard hitting.

With gritty but soaring vocals and thrashtastic (Is that even a word? No? Well, it is now) riffs, Life Sentence embodies all that’s good about the UK’s NWOBHM and thrash scenes, whilst displaying the brilliant musicianship of Satan.

4/5

Nico Davidson

Satan online:

http://www.satanmusic.com/
https://www.facebook.com/officialsatanpage
http://twitter.com/satanmusic_com

Satan’s album Life Sentence will be released 29th April via Listenable Records.