Archive for speed metal

Speed Metal Party

Posted in Festival, Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , , , on 11th August 2018 by izaforestspirit

Dethrone, Prestige, Razor
Klubi, Tampere, Finland
10th August 2018

Speed Metal Party is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. It was originally held in Tampere back in 1988 with local thrash metal legends Dethrone and Prestige. Now thirty years on, they decided to re-create the same line-up as it was back then with some new additions in the form of death-thrashers Dead Samaritan and Canadian speed-metal band Razor. For the Canadians, this was their very first show in Finland.

First up was Dead Samaritan, a female-fronted death-thrash metal band. They reminded me of mid-career Arch Enemy, a good mix of melodic death metal and thrash metal. It was good performance even if it started out a bit slow. 3.5/5

Next up was a local thrash metal band Menticide who haven’t played a live show since 1992. They were brought in from retirement specially for this occasion. I couldn’t really get into their show. The music sounded a bit demo-esque at times. The vocalist didn’t have much of a stage presence. 2/5

Dethrone have been around since the late 1980s. They keen to share some stories from the past and pay to their fallen brother, bassist Jouni Rinta. I really enjoyed their show, especially their cover of The Misfits ‘Last Caress’.5/5

Prestige was originally formed about the same time as Dethrone, then had a long-ish break but they are nowadays very much active again. They are one of the more established bands in the local thrash metal scene. By the time they came on stage the venue was packed and there was a mosh-pit forming. These guys don’t take themselves too seriously.They clearly like to add humour to their lyrics and crack a few jokes during the show. Maybe a bit too many jokes at times. I can’t fault the music though. It was a good show. 4/5

Then it was time for the night’s main headliners – Razor. As mentioned earlier, this was their very first time in Finland and I sincerely hope that it will not be their last. This was my favorite performance of the night. Top class speed metal. The highlight for me was when they played ‘Evil Invaders’. 5/5

 

 

In summary I had a great time at Speed Metal Party. I’m not that well versed in Finnish thrash metal but that didn’t stop me from enjoying Prestige and Dead Samaritan. Razor were excellent live. Happy Anniversary Speedy Metal Party! 30 years and still going strong…

Iza Raittila

 

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Helstar – Vampiro

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 18th August 2016 by izaforestspirit

Helstar
Vampiro
Released 26th August 2016
Heavy Metal/Power Metal with Speed Metal elements
Released EMP Label Group

 Helstar are veterans of the American heavy metal scene. The band was originally formed back in the early ’80s and they have released a number of albums including the critically acclaimed ‘Nosferatu.’ Their latest opus ‘Vampiro’ sees them return to the vampire theme with more tales of Dracula and other blood-suckers.

First they lure you in with a deceptively melodic intro to Awaken the Darkness – an eerie tale of Gothic horror brought to you with the aid some thrashing guitar riffs and high-pitched vocals. So that was the bait and now the real hunt begins. For what follows is Blood Lust – a much faster song with pummeling drums and aggressive guitar melodies reminiscent of the band’s early days back when they played speed metal. As for the vocals, singer James Rivera has an impressive range which incorporates all of the following: the clean, story-telling variety akin to the likes of Dio and Iron Maiden, the high-pitched style and the somewhat less pleasant screams.

From The Pulpit to The Pit is a slightly more complex track; featuring a progressive-style bass and drumming intro followed by some viciously fast guitar riffage and more pummeling drums. Yet it’s not all just thrashing and pummeling, this song also has some melodic parts to it, which are mostly audible in the guitars. Then there’s the Repent in Fire – a catchy power metal song packed with playful guitar riffs and powerful vocals which reminded me of Iron Maiden at times.

Overall, it’s great to see a band that’s been around for so long who can still produce something new and exciting. Rather than taking a stab in the dark in an attempt to produce something different or experimental; they have stayed true to their roots. ‘Vampiro’ is classic Helstar but with a new, modern spin on it.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Satan’s Fall – Seven Nights (demo)

Posted in Metal with tags , , on 20th April 2016 by izaforestspirit

Satan’s Fall
Seven Nights
Released 19th January 2016
Heavy Metal with elements of Speed Metal and Power Metal
Released via Underground Power Records

 

‘Seven Nights’ is the first demo from the Helsinki-based, Finnish heavy metal band Satan’s Fall. This release is available in digital format from the band’s Bandcamp page as well as a very limited edition CD via Stormspell Records, USA. I enjoyed their show in Tampere last weekend so I decided to check them out.

There’s only three songs on here, so I’ve decided to say a little bit about each one. First up is Poisonhead which features some fast, speed metal -style guitar riffs at the start. Then it switches to a slower, 80s classic heavy metal style with vocals. Oh, did I say 80s heavy metal…? What I meant more precisely was the early works of Ozzy Osbourne. Steel Highway has some impressive guitar melodies and it reminded me of Mercyful Fate for some reason. I can’t quite explain why, perhaps it’s the guitar patterns or the slightly high pitched vocal style. The final song Seven Nights is very guitar-driven and contains a catchy mix of fast speed metal and the more melodic power metal guitar patterns.

Overall, as tends to be the case with demos, it’s difficult to judge a band based on just three songs. As for as demos go, this is a promising piece of work. Satan’s Fall clearly wear their influences on their sleeves. You will find elements of classic heavy metal, speed metal and power metal in their music. So far I’ve enjoyed all their songs and I’m looking forward to their debut album.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Ranger live in Tampere

Posted in Gig, Live, Metal with tags , , , on 16th April 2016 by izaforestspirit

Steel Machine, Satan’s Fall, Ranger
Dog’s Home, Tampere, Finland
15th April 2016

The Dog’s Home is a pub located in Tampere’s city centre. I haven’t been there since the Two Witches’ show last spring. This time it was a little different because it was a metal gig, heavy and speed metal to be precise… Ultra, fast, adrenalin-fuelled metal music that is really fun to listen to and tends to sound great live.

First up was Steel Machine who are clearly big fans of Motörhead. Not only did their singer wear a Motörhead t-shirt during their performance, they also covered a Motörhead song at the end of their show. They also happen to sound like a raw, demo-esque version of the aforementioned, world-renowned British heavy metal band. 3.5/5

The Helsinki-based, heavy metal act Satan’s Fall are a new entrant to the Finnish metal scene. They were entertaining to watch even if they were not on stage for as long as the previous band. Their style is a mixture of 80s heavy metal with some power metal and speed metal elements. What I heard was only a handful of songs but I enjoyed all of them. 4/5

I’ve seen Ranger live twice before so I pretty much knew what to expect. They’re an energetic young band who play ultra fast speed metal. I liked their debut album so much that I listed it as one of my favourite metal releases of 2015. But enough of that and on to the show… They were just as good if not even better than the first time that I saw them live. The only issue I had with their show was the venue that they played in. They are perfectly suited for an open air festival and a slightly bigger concert venue. Dog’s Home however, is none of these things. It’s a pub with a very small stage that’s so low down that it puts the band practically at the same level as the audience. So as much as I enjoyed their show, it was actually really difficult to see them at times. 4/5

 

Overall, it was a good night and I enjoyed all three performances. It’s always nice to see some new bands appearing in the Finnish metal scene and it’s even better when they decide to visit my city.
Iza Raittila

 

Al Jourgensen’s new project Surgical Meth Machine

Posted in Metal, News, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 14th February 2016 by izaforestspirit

Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen has recently launched a new project called Surgical Meth Machine. The band’s music has been described as ‘industrial speed metal’ and Mr. Jourgensen stated that their songs have an average speed of 220bpm and “are not for the faint of heart”. The self-titled debut album is due to hit the shops on 15th April 2016 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The track-listing will be as follows:

1. I’m Sensitive
2. Tragic Alert
3. I Want More
4. Rich People Problems
5. I Don’t Wanna
6. Smash And Grab
7. Unlistenable
8. Gates Of Steel
9. Spudnik
10. Just Go Home
11. Just Keep Going
12. I’m Invisible

Check out the cover art below:

http://www.nuclearblast.de/en/label/music/band/about/4199926.surgical-meth-machine.html

https://www.facebook.com/surgicalmethmachine/

Lancer – Second Storm

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , on 25th May 2015 by mickbirchy

Lancer
Second Storm
Power/Speed metal

Release Date: 10 April 2015
Via Despotz Records

LANCER bring us something enjoyable and exciting with this new record ”Second Storm”.  Following in the footsteps of other Swedish giants such as Hammerfall and Sabaton, Lancer have made something that I have found to be captivating and fun.  With the same imagination that made the original metal sounds great, “Second Storm” is full of great riffs and fantastic melodies with influence taken from Iron Maiden and Helloween.  So before I go into any great detail let this be the underlying statement of this review. I love this record.

The album opens up  nicely with tunes like “Running From The Tyrant”, “Masters and Crowns”,  which are really catchy and fun tunes and outline what I love about this album.  It’s just fun. The riffs are fun, solos are fun and the tone is fun. It’s that old school sound that I’m partial to and I’m sure many other metal fans are too. The guitar work is great, with solos that make you want to air guitar the night away and riffs that make you want to headbang. I have a feeling that the band just wanted to make something that would fit in those early days of metal, with lyrics about tyrants, revolt and rebellion. Needless to say that it should keep old-school metal fans satisfied.

The next tune I feel is worth highlighting is “Aton”, a monster of a tune with a solid based riff and one killer solo. I think this maybe my favourite song on the record, with its twists and turns from being heavy and well balanced, to being wild and energised in the solo and, suddenly, moving to this smooth and mellow part like a ballad.  To say the least, it goes all over the place, but I feel this tune shows of the ability of the band. It just mixes all their best elements into one big tune. It really is amazing.

Another good point worth mentioning is the production quality. It’s pretty damn good, I mean it’s well balanced and fun to listen to.  I mean they could have made this guitar centric, which it sort of is, but it keeps everything together in one package.  The vocals are well defined and the bass lines are beautiful, all this framed by the great drum work.  Loving this sound so much.

In summary, I absolutely love this album. It feels like the sort of music I grew up with. If you’re a fan of Iron Maiden, Gamma Ray, or, you know, heavy metal – get this album, you will not be sorry.

5/5

Mick Birchall

Witches Mark – Witching Metal Ritual

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , on 20th August 2013 by izaforestspirit

Witches Mark
Witching Metal Ritual
Released 15th July 2013
Speed Metal/Power Metal/Thrash Metal
Released via Heaven and Hell Records

 photo witchingcover_zps6cc12be8.jpg

‘Witching Metal Ritual’ is the debut album from the Texas-based, American speed/power metal band Witches Mark. It is the follow up to their 2009 EP ‘A Grim Apparition’.

Straight from the start, we’re in for a joyride with the ultra fast and amusingly titled Bringers of Heavy Metal Death taking you on a journey filled with speedy guitar riffage, solos and old-school thrash metal style vocals. Yep, they don’t call the genre “speed metal” for nothing. This music will give you quite the adrenaline rush…

With Swarm we are treated to some of the power metal influences such as the vocals, which change to a more high-pitched, story-telling style akin to the likes of their fellow countrymen Iced Earth. Even the guitar sound more melodic on here compared to the previous tracks. Similar things can be said about the next track Slaves to Their Own Sin though this one has a slightly faster pace and reminds me a little of Mystic Prophecy and..dare I say it… Manowar?

Other noteworthy tracks include: Cauldron Born, which marks a return to thrash metal with the fast and furious guitar riffs and solos giving the track the energy that was absent from some of the slower songs and the short but extremely catchy title track.

Overall this album offers a bit of a mixed bag, full of highs and lows. It’s almost as though the band was still experimenting with which style suits them best. My advice to them would be: stick to the fast and energetic speed thrash metal and leave the power metal ballads to someone else!

3.5/5

Iza Raittila