Posts Tagged ‘Thrash’

Abrasive Audio 2020 Part Eight

black metal gif

Tis perilous and uncertain times in which we live. Most things have become uncertain, we are reminded to wash our hands on a constant basis (seriously who doesn’t do this anyway?) and give a six-foot berth to those we are unsure of. Isn’t this behavior dictated by manners alone. Regardless with all that’s transpiring we still have distractions. Thankfully metal is still one of them and artists are still busy composing, creating and carving that which makes out senses tingle in excitement. I’d like to dedicate this installment to them and their tireless, ceaseless dedication. Thank you! I cannot seriously cannot write those words in a large enough font. It goes without saying therefore to support your local artists and those who continue to brighten your day with the eventual realization and maturation of their endeavors.

Without further ado may I drop you abruptly into grammar atrocious as IO attempt to put into words my appreciation of that which has delighted my senses in the last week.

February Releases


Angellore (France) – Rein ne Devait Mourir
Release- February/14/2020
Finisterian Dead End/The Vinyl Division


A touch of Gothic, a touch of SM and a flourish of Avant Garde. Just what is it I’m letting myself in for? Regardless this is a stunning image with makes the mind wander.


A twenty-minute opener. Yes, you read that right. And this isn’t Doom. Well it is, but there’s infinitely so much more on offer that it can’t be classed as merely that. Atmosphere aplenty, Gregorian chants, a smorgasbord of vocal approaches, strings and the occasional dip into Black waters make this an audio landscape one can truly get lost within. Think early Theatre of Tragedy but amp up the emotion and classical elements, only then will you be somewhat close. Outstanding doesn’t even come close.


Whoa. This collection of Tracks runs quite the extensive gamut. In one instance symphonic majesty in another an uptempo Gothic rock outing of sufficient godliness to place a smile on Pete Steel’s face, in others yet a folk vibe is unmistakable. Often landscapes are drenched in melancholy and the emotion produced takes the listeners to depths rarely attained, no matter the genre. Although this is hard to truly categorize the quality on offer is far superior to that I would ever think possible in a release which exhibits as much varied influence as this. The composition is sublime, the flow exquisite and the arrangements breath-taking. This is quite the achievement, one which I can only image will be celebrated for years to come setting the bar for others to strive for. The minutes will fly when this envelops the senses, bathe in the glory of Angellore.

Favorite Tracks; Hypnotic throughout.

FFO; Moonspell, Theater of Tragedy, HIM.

March Releases


Shadowkiller (USA)- Dark Awakenings
Release- March/3/2020
Stormspell Records


Flinging open the doors a Dark Elf sees carnage and readies him(her)self for conflict. Awesomeness. An epic fantasy image hinting at audio of the same nature. Is it too early to say I’m sold?


A fantastical introduction and an Epic/Power metal style minus the falsetto vocals I was expecting. Top notch arrangements and a lyrical narrative I’m wholly intrigued by. I believe I’ve found a rarity here, but only time will tell…


Admittedly, this is the first I’ve heard of the band. The genre really isn’t my go to audio arena of choice. However, with that being said this offers a great deal to pique my interest. A stunning blend of Epic/Power/Speed and traditional Heavy Metal and lyrics basted in a fantasy vibe which only makes me wish I’d have tried harder at penning fiction of the same ilk. Shit, it even contains keyboard passages reminiscent of vintage Dio fronted Rainbow (my weakness). The vocals are thankfully more gravelly than falsetto though still firmly rooted in the traditional and are easily decipherable to the point of drawing the listener into the story which unfolds as the album progresses. The arrangements here are superb, complete with cinematic atmosphere which only adds depth to the albums lyrical concept. Rhythms and riffs are fluid and convey a wide variety of emotions effectively. I never thought I’d say this but I believe I’ve found an album in this arena I can preach about, honestly the first since Riot’s “Thundersteel”. If the genres mentioned above are to your liking you cannot allow yourself to miss out on this! As a non-genre fan, I’m loving it. I can’t imagine how much of an impact it’ll make on one whose penchants run to more the melodic and epic than extreme.

Favorite Tracks; Hypnotic and enchanting from the first to the last

FFO; Magnum, Iron Maiden, Rhapsody, Ancient Empire, Primal Fear, Savatage, Blind Guardian.


Dopelord (Poland)- Sign of the Devil
Release March/10/2020


A gloriously archaic/medieval styled image depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse but dressed in their everyday garb sans disguise.


Dangerously infectious Doom with Cathedral, Trouble and obviously Sabbath undertones. Drenched wickedly in classical horror themes this gives off a delicious vintage aura. I’m hooked where’s my Lazeboy at?


Pulsating, throbbing riffs with seemingly a life of their own, fuzz dripping, spesker shaking distortion and a smidgen of psychedelia. Sounds like most Doom releases, right? It does, but this is surprisingly varied in its approach whilst still hanging onto traditional parameters. Ranging from melodic, to synth laden to a track with a somewhat industrial motif and saturated in occult themes this has a great deal to offer both the Doom aficionado, newcomer and casual listener alike. I’m not typically a fan of the doom genre this however is heavy in my playlist rotation.

Favorite Tracks; infectious and varied throughout.

FFO; CoC, Cathedral, Black Sabbath.


Venator (Austria) – Paradiser EP


Just me or does the cover have a slight Quiet Riot struck by lightning vibe? Or Iron Giant (inhuman form) going slightly bonkers? This screams late 70’s early 80’s without any doubts whatsoever


Hard rock meets NWOBHM meets mid- era Judas Priest. This is addictively melodic with some wicked twitch the limbs riffs. But let’s not forget the delicious production which lends this a nostalgic edge.


This checks all the boxes I would hope for in a release slathered in vintage values. The rhythms on offer are ungodly infectious, the instruments clear, the leads and solos passionate but not overly so and the vocal style has just a hint of falsetto (in the right places, to mynliking anyhow) without going into overly dramatic realms and without losing any of its manly bravado. The tracks are offer we a fantastic taster for what’s to come, hinting at both fantastical lyric narratives and other themes which are more easily identifiable to those of us without a unicorn parked in the shed or a tattered DnD rulebook close at hand.

Favorite Tracks; Paradiser, Blind Ambition.

FFO; Judas Priest, Blitzkrieg, Tank, Dokken.


Virocracy (Germany) – Irradiation
Release- March/20/2020
Black Sunset/MDD


Strange that the sky and landscape are the same color. Chem trails, Pesticides, is that a mushroom cloud, or slightly perturbed smiley faces ? Insert your theory here but there’s definitely something afoot in this vivid apocalyptic themed image.


A typical of the genre ominous intro opens this album then it’s into familiar waters. Atmosphere and melody collide along with a progressive aura and rhythms ala Arch Enemy (this also sports impressive feral female vocals). Moving with dynamic twists and turns sans repetitive chuggery this track bodes for an impressive collection of Tracks in store. an impressive start.


The intro to “Rane” is an album highlight, sounds as if lifted from a ‘moneyshot’ scene in a Sci-Fi film and is, in part, eerily topical. The remainder of the album cannot truly be comfortably pigeonholed. It runs with a Progressive nature, arrangements which transform constantly to aid a concept narrative. The style also dips into Thrash realms and occasionally into Tech and Djent arenas based on its not relying on typical chuggery but rather melodies which are dynamic, exciting and rarely stagnant. Give this a shot, it’s a fantastic debut and bodes well for an act starting to find their niche.

Favorite Tracks; Rane, Solitude, Void of Heart.

FFO; Angela era Arch Enemy, mid era Death.

black phantom

Black Phantom (Italy) -The End is Near
Release- March/20/2020
Punishment 18 Records


A fantastical sludge-like monstrosity is depicted against a background drenched in an ominous nature (yellows and greens of a hue which brings to mind imminent doom). A vintage hourglass in the foreground, in the creature’s grasp, adds weight to the album’s title. Is he the Grim Reaper or merely a “Stranger in a Strange Land” without a battery-operated torch? Perhaps the music will help to answer these questions? Perhaps not. But I’m hitting play regardless.


Galloping rhythms, a traditional NWOBHM aura and a style which brings to mind both vintage Maiden and Wolfsbane. Add to that a vocal style akin to that which Bruce Dickinson boasts and you you have the start of a release which is promising indeed. Though might turn some off based on its approach.


Distinct bass, a familiar vocal style pulled off with significant ant range and an aura which screams Iron Maiden worship, but also that of others making waves around the same time. Dynamic rhythms, soaring leads, solos and undeniable fluidity throughout. At times Maiden esque, in others more akin to Dickinson’s solo material in feel, in others yet more a hard rock rather than a traditional metal approach. Whatever the case; this delivers. It shows creativity in its composition (this is familiar yet not to point of riff for riff plagiarism), sports intelligence in its lyrics and is sure to make an impression for those yearning for audio of undeniable quality with a distinct Maiden ‘edge’ (did I say Maiden enough here?)

In closing, I find it somewhat strange that an Italian act would make a German version of a track featured in the album but this seriously only adds to the intrigue this album sports. Did I mention I’ve listened to thus six times already? Nope? Well, it’s good. Discover it for yourself and tell me your thoughts.

Favorite Tracks; Redemption, Hordes of Destruction, The Road, Either You or Me, Hands of Time.

FFO; Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson (solo material), Iced Earth.


Graceless (The Netherlands) – Where Vultures Know Your Name
Release- March/27/2020
Raw Skull Recordz


This has an archaic apocalyptic vibe, Pompeii perhaps? And brings to mind Immolation (for one reason or another) complete with a smoldering lava aura the image invokes both despair, destruction and desolation. I’m left intrigued… hitting play.


The introduction seethes with a tribal and readying for war tone which soon transforms into a pulsing dirge. However, veins of melody and effective atmosphere add considerable depth to make this different than most. An intriguing start which although in tone is familiar is also oddly a mixture of influences making it quite unique.


It would be simple to merely label this as Bolt Thrower-esque material and be done with it; the unmistakable aura is there, the tone, the war motif. But this is slightly different and that’s what separates it from the herd (who apparently all seem to be riding the same coat tails). There’s undeniable presence (love that word!) here, a depth which only a rare few have managed to effectively capture. An epic nature only occasionally experienced in audio of this nature. And it’s the ease of execution which captures the senses, this doesn’t seem forced. Familiar, strangely so in some instances, yet flowing with a life of its own. And there’s even a spot of diversity, passages of groove, amidst a track designed to shake things up, to send the limbs a twitching. Prefer mid-tempo to face searing speed? Like a little sludge with your growling? It honestly doesn’t get much better than what’s on offer here. Sink in, allow this time and you might find it difficult to eject it from the playlist. You have been warned!

Favorite Tracks; Much like spending a distracted moment in quicksand this will eventually swallow your being. Nope. I can’t pick one, two or even, three tracks as favorites; this whole album rips!

FFO; Bolt Thrower, Vital Remains, Deicide, Memoriam, Hail of Bullets, Vallenfyre, mid era Slayer.

perdition temple

Perdition Temple – Sacraments of Descension
Release- March/27/2020
Hell’s Headbangers Records


I don’t think this is a meeting of the minds so much as a weekly event. A tabletop RPG convention of sorts perhaps or the Underworld Book Club? I’m only left wondering who’s left looking after the wee cherubs.


This track goes straight for the jugular, no glitter intros no atmospheric submergence into cinematic realms this hits hard, aims for the nearest major artery and grabs the attention instantly. Writhing rhythms complemented by bestial vocals and evolving galloping passages topped off by abrupt dousings of diabolical essence but my words don’t come anywhere near to doing this justice. Strap yourself in folks this is gonna be a bumpy ride!


Churning riffs and a mischievous diabolical nature sees one initially think vintage Morbid Angel worship slathered in an Incantation aura yet it isn’t just that and it isn’t quite that simple. Vicious intent rhythms put one in mind of Vader whereas maniacal solos and leads bring to mind early Slayer, vintage Witchery, as well the undeniable influence mentioned above, a prancing impish maniacal nature is injected throughout to the point that when playing this you can literally smell Sulphur and hear the tippy tap of cloven hoofs on hard packed dirt. An air of cloying menace blankets the experience and its one the listener will only want to punish their senses with again and again. This is top notch archaic elevator music (naturally it’s nothing like the drone elevator tunage most of us are accustomed to) wicked, unrelenting, maniacal and instantly appreciable this could well be the soundtrack to the decent into the office of the ‘Horned One’ himself. Honestly, this is hands down my favorite release of the year so far, each time this plays my torso is sent into spastic movements, which isn’t a pretty sight in the slightest.

Favorite Tracks; Blistering throughout this will not disappoint!

FFO; Incantation, Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel, Immolation, Goatwhore, Gravehill, Vader.

Left over from 19’


Remission (Australia)– The Tether’s End
Release – November/15/2019


I’m honestly not sure if that’s the Earth (I’m not sure how it could be) or the Moon in the Hangman’s noose, regardless it tells a great deal of what the band wish to convey. A primitive image which makes one think though doesn’t necessarily give much away in relation to the type of audio within.


Zero introduction here, this commences with rocket fuel propulsion straight from the gate. Wicked infectious rhythms coupled with melodic breakdowns and vocals typical of the ‘thrash drenched in death sensibilities’ genre. On its description alone this sounds similar to what the remainder of the genre offers though it has a certain something, a blistering and well-executed riff meets technicality element, which elevates it from the masses. A great start!


Think Thrash meets Death balanced precariously on the Deathcore border and you’ll be close to what this offers. Aggressive blistering rhythms, technical phrasing within dynamic arrangements which any fan of the genre is likely to fall ‘ass over tit’ for in appreciation. Complex and tight are key elements here although this is only partly Technical it hints at a style which could well transform that way completely at any given moment (in the future perhaps?) Flourishes of other styles are evident throughout this album also; Djent rears its head, Crossover influence pops up via gang vocals choruses as well Post (whatever that in fact is). Another element is the albums atmosphere, which is plentiful, alongside the other mentioned factors as well the fitting though strangely discernable vocal style it makes a fantastic companion to the albums (Thrash) foundation. Overall, and although this style isn’t really anything new the band have obviously done their homework for this delivers what fans of the genre demand; it has excitement, unpredictability, expertly-placed breakdowns and passages of abrupt whirlwind ferocity one can lose their shit too. This does more than entertain, it makes a bold statement (especially based on the fact it’s the band’s first full-length outing) Remission aren’t fukin’ around. Sit up and take note as if they progress in this fashion these guys might well be the next big thing.

Favorite Tracks; Mother War, Temples, Black Scorched Earth, The Tether’s End, Transcending Chaos, Forced Entropy,

FFO; Sylosis, Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium, Psycroptic.

And Now for Something Slightly Different

Rodrigo Y Gabriella

I’m not usually into acoustic music. However, after experiencing the first track listed here, I was of the mind that I should write a few words in appreciation.

Rodrigo Y Gabriella – Mettal (Ep)
Track listing;
Battery (Metallica)

Undistorted acoustic guitars can indeed be heavy and this proves it. Add a little Latin flavor, plucking, picking, fretboard manipulation godliness and a little creativity and this classic now has the presence to appeal to a new audience, one that possibly would’ve never heard this track otherwise. The perfect timing, phrasing and arrangement is what holds the attention here but it’s the talent and ingenuity (which more than make up for the absence of vocals) which makes this mesmerizing. An outstanding homage to the original though strangely with added oomph.

megadeth holy wars

Holy Wars (Megadeth)

Intricate, passionate and overflowing with energy whilst still remaining faithful to the original. I’m not sure how the pairing did it but this seems infinitely more grandiose than the original, this shines with an added sheen, a depth, a western aura but also a frenetic nature adding to the Tracks narrative (for those familiar, for those not do much it’s easy to figure out as the caliber showcased here invokes vivid tableaus) which is altogether hypnotic. Words fail me. Much like the ‘source material’ this demands discovery and showers of praise.

slayer seasons in the abyss

Seasons in the Abyss (Slayer)

It appears that I’m mentioning this more than I thought I would, however this is again an amazing example of the presence, power, depth and emotion one can bring to an already established track with only using acoustic instruments. In this case the air of sinister and ominous is palpable. As well as using traditional means the musicians here implement hands on the body of the guitar for added weight and boy does it work invoking images of dimly lit subterranean passages, flickering candles and archaic ceremonies (obviously “South of Heaven” in tone but I’ve always thought this track reminded me of that album). Again, there’s a certain Latin flavor here but it adds flair and bite making for another track which is undeniably astounding.

This three track EP showcases the brilliance and awe-inspiring adaptability of two seasoned musicians. In somewhat adapting (minutely to be fair) the three Tracks on offer they’ve undoubtedly introduced a whole new generation to acts they might never have heard otherwise and reminded long-time fans why the tracks chosen are so important to the genre. I honestly can’t say good things about the audio on offer here, I’m enthralled and can’t help but sing along. Admittedly it’s the first I’ve heard of the dueling guitar duo but it won’t be the last. Apparently, there’s more to discover, and I’m up for the challenge.

Animal - music is meant for sharing

Becus’ great music is meant to be shared!!

And that concludes another foray into the extreme audio realm. Stay safe out there folks. As always feel free to comment, share and/or suggest anything you think I might be interested in covering.

Yours, virus free (for now)


Abrasive Audio 2020 – Part the Third

black metal gif

It’s that time again. The earth has span enough to warrant my having a little time off in which to spew my thoughts on a myriad of audio (I’ve already posted a few film reviews in the past couple of days, what say I take a stab at a few audio outings?) Without further ado here are a few releases which garnered my attention. (Please stick around to the end there’s something of note If like to impart upon all whose eyes alight upon this.)

Left over from January

porta nigra

Porta Nigra (Germany) – Schöpfungswut

Release – January/17/2020

Soulseller Records


I’m honestly not sure what this is, even upon closer inspection (I probably need my eyes checked). But from what I can gather it’s a huge chalice of sorts overflowing with lifeless forms dripping crimson. Intricate, vivid and stark full of detail it leaves a lot for interpretation and isn’t typical if what one might imagine faced with a description which includes the words black metal. Although the words Avant Garde are also included, so there’s that!


It’s rare that a track has my complete attention as fast and as unwavering as this and to boot this isn’t even in a language I can understand. My German is rudimentary at best. Undeniable is that this seethes with brilliance, rhythms which are both majestic, ice cold and remarkably hypnotic. In effect the arrangements mesmerize nodding to remarkable knowledge of that which the scene offers but yet added to with ingredients which are hard to pinpoint.

An amazing start. Hold my calls!


Admittedly I balk at the merest mention of Avant Garde, in this instance however with the caliber of audio on offer I’ve somehow embraced the term. There’s no arguments here that this bursts at the seams with the darkest of metal influence (I don’t wish to type “Black Metal” adnauseum in this) but it also brims with a variety of other styles carefully interwoven in the mix as not to overpower in the slightest that which is on offer. Atmosphere is plentiful as too an ominous/sinister narrative (which I need to take the time to Google translate to make sense of). What might be surprising is that the concoction at times translates to a style which could easily fill the confines of a Gothic nightclub, I sense that fans of Rammstein and even early works by Moonspell might take more than a cursory glance towards this. Folk elements are also apparent as too a blend of styles which often brings to mind the more melodious side of blackened death outings. To keep this short, as my words fail me, this is an epic outing which sees time fly by as the listening experience enfolds. Without reservation I’d state it warrants curious ears upon it and all the praise it has amassed. In conclusion, occasionally a release comes along which shatters the misconceptions of what a certain genre offers whilst opening the eyes to insane diverse talent which seamlessly encompasses and incorporates a slew of styles into a fluid nature. This is one such release. Just bravo! This is sure to make an appearance again come end of year, I’d bet on it!

Favorite Tracks; outstanding and entrancing from start to finish!

FFO; Ruins of Beverast, Emperor, Moonspell and all manner of top-notch black metal outings which incorporate Doom and atmosphere into the mix.

February Releases

life taker

Life Taker (Germany) – Night Intruder

Release – February 2020 (digital)

March/13/2020 (physical)

Lower Class Kids/Black Omega Recordings


Menacing and certainly ominous. There’s someone (or something) lurking in the shadows with most probably dubious intents in mind. I’m thinking that’s a knife in his/her hand and not a flowerpot or a blank check.


Chaotic, menacing and multi directional. Grindcore colliding head on with extreme punk. If you’ve ever dropped a 2 liter of soda (fizzy drink, pop, soft drink for those across the pond or in different States) on its “head” and its top has come off it looks as this sounds, spinning erratically with undeniable pressure behind it affecting everyone in its wake (quite the comparison which I’m only hoping makes something of sense).


Much like a traditional grindcore/extreme release this sports tracks of brief length (a blunt and brutal approach reigns supreme here) which more often than not blend together with nary time for a breather in between. Vocals are fierce, force of nature/strip siding from the houses in the neighborhood vicious (there’s perhaps two throats involved but I’m not absolutely sure). The accompanying percussion is dense, dirge laden and often cataclysmic in its ferocity. What deserves mentioning, in every review I’d state, is the skill in the drumming department. Paired with both the guitars and vocals it serves to add another layer to the audio. Rarely settling down, it’s a whirling dervish, unpredictable salvo to say the least and I’d assume a marvel to witness in a live setting. Surprisingly the album displays a variety of emotion and pacing (even in instances groove and a pitch doom aura) and even steps away from the expected some might say traditional genre approach. But this is hardly traditional, rather an exquisite melding of a myriad of extreme styles to form a different beast entirely (reminiscent in part of the early British extreme scene) One which can ravage my ears whenever it wishes. Shit! I don’t even require a ‘safe’ word. I’m loving the way in which this tosses my form around like a possessed ragdoll!

Favorite Tracks; The whole album delivers!

FFO; Terrorizer, Brutal Truth, Between the Buried and Me (vintage) Chelsea Grin, No/Mas, Napalm Death.

starving for death

Starving for Death (China) – s/t

Release- February/3/2020

Cult of Osiris


Who is this frustrated fellow and who is he yelling at? A raw black and white image possibly showing the artist attempting to catch varied winged beasts with his mouth agape.


A classical and luxuriously ominous introduction leads the listener into raw and undeniably primal production realms showcasing melodious black metal, a touch of folk, with an underlying and rather unassuming malevolent synth accompaniment. An interesting mix leaving me curious for what’s to follow.


Yet another release from the mind behind Winter Dynasty and Star Devourer this sees the artist delve into more depressive (DSBM) waters incorporating emotion laden classical introductions, choruses, synth and epic soundscapes against a doom drenched black metal incantation bolstered by archaic production values, which (wait for it) strangely fit. The pace is varied throughout ranging from languid to swift with the vocal style adding to the dense atmosphere blanketed heavily in melancholia and hopelessness.

winter dynasty logo

This definitely isn’t a soundtrack to play at a family gathering and it probably won’t appeal to most within the metal scene looking for instant gratification. But for those who appreciate that which the genre offers it will hit the spot. It does however build (for those like myself unfamiliar with what the genre offers) in appeal the more its epic nature is allowed entry into the senses.

Favorite Tracks; Dark Winter Queen, Your Funeral, Embracing the Darkness.

FFO; Atmospheric/Depressive Black Metal.

kings never die ep

Kings Never Die (US) – Raise a Glass (EP)

Release- February/7/2020

Upstate Records


Blunt and to the point there’s no doubt who this is by as the moniker is plastered all across the image itself.


It’s been a while since I’ve listened to anything in this arena of the metal universe, but thankfully I took the leap here. This is a fist pumpingly infectious hardcore track which is difficult not to instantly appreciate even for those who are most recently strangers to the scene like myself.


Simplistic at times but hard-hitting this supplies a barrage of riffs which instantly connect. Gang vocals and the trademarked style traditional of the NY scene will perk the attention of any fan of the aforementioned leaving them eager for more.

Favorite Tracks; Before my Time, The Juice.

FFO; Pro-Pain, Agnostic Front, Sick of it All.


Amorphia (India) – Merciless Strike

Release- January/15/2020 Physical (Digital – February/15/2020)

Awakening Records


There’s a maniac at the Doomsday keyboard. Apparently hes clone himself either thatbor he has an evil super soldier army in mind. Ed Repka art? Regardless, this is awesome.


Vintage Sodom in tone even down to the “Angelripper” vocal similarity but with Vader on the throttle. Fast, aggressive and tight much like a meth addled nun in a Ferrari with the pedal to the floor. I’m all in!


Exactly what the Doctor ordered, thrash with attitude, pace and diabolical seasoning, most would call this “old school” and I would agree. No ballads just walk to wall neck crackin’ rhythms. Thrash the way it was meant to be!! Do not miss out on this!!

Favorite Tracks; the whole album rips!

FFO; Sodom, Slayer, (“Power and Pain”) Whiplash.

And a closer look at a couple of 7” (Keep that mind outta the gutter!)

orphan devil 7

Orphan Devil (Finland) – Victims of the Night/Drifting Away 7″

Release- February/21/2020

Gates of Hell Records


Black and White imagery depicting a robed figure cradling an infant (with horns…what?) and a lighted staff. Is this an alternate opening to a film starring a sword wielding Emperor defying fellow wandering the countryside with his infant. Hmm…


First track (Side 1; to be technical) is criminally melodious and oozes with a brilliant NWOBHM aura ala vintage Maiden, Thin Lizzy and Blitzkrieg. Twin harmonious guitar melodies, strong bass lines, an unpolished traditional vocal approach (which makes up a large part of this releases charm) distinct drum rhythms and even the tone screams undeniable influence. Climaxing with the trademark late 70’s cataclysmic finale this bodes well and has me tapping my foot like one with restless leg syndrome to the nth degree. The second track (Side 2) has somewhat a Highland jig feel to it and sports more the raw, unpolished vocal approach than the track before but is no less addictive. Overall this is growing on me like an intestinal bacterium which is most probably the cause of last night’s hasty horrid gas station snacking decision. If a full length is anything comparable to what’s on offer here fans of NWOBHM should be clamoring for the pre-sale order deets.

FFO; Di’anno fronted Iron Maiden, Blitzkrieg.

gravebreaker road warrior split

Road Warrior (Australia)/Gravebreaker (Sweden) Death in Heels on Wheels/Death Promise Split 7”

Release – February/21/2020

Gates of Hell Records


Larger than life characters, a mafia boss, huge guns, scars, skulls, a biker with a “I’m on a mission, nothing can stop me” look on his face and an explosion at an apartment block. This is gloriously Grindhouse complete with a comic book vibe all the way. I’m lovin’ it!

Gravebreaker – “Death Promise”

Hard rockin’ heavy metal with a dash of speed, rhythms which will leave the listener tapping their limbs, solid pairs with s 80’s electronic vibe, gruff vocals (aka “Carnage City State Mosh Patrol” Decimator) and the inclusion of brilliant synth soundbites plucked from a variety of raunchy cult celluloid. Think Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13” and “The Warriors” mixed with a Bronson character out for blood and justice.

What’s not to love? I could honestly listen to this all day and not get bored. How is it this is the first I’m hearing of this band? This is downright criminally infectious audio!!

Road Warrior – Death in Heels on Wheels

Is it really that hard to conceive that these guys are from Australia with a moniker like “Roadwarrior” …Not really? Moving on. Imagine if NWOBHM and traditional Doom collided, add theatrical vocals, a truckload of chugging riffs and a narrative seemingly yanked from a sexploitation flick doused in biker shenanigans and black magic elements.

At times this reminds me of King Diamond’s output on account of both the music and the vocal style. An intriguing track sure to garner the attention of those who have a penchant for a varied vocal range and the dramatic.


I’ve included links to each of the artists involved, as I was of the mind, I couldn’t find the release in question, alas at the last moment I uncovered its location.

winter dynasty ancient creatures of the east

The newest addition to the Winter Dynasty catalog of releases

In closing this installment my thoughts alight upon those less fortunate. In particular those ravaged by a virus which is sweeping its way across the globe at a faster pace than the insane appeal of the cute little package better known as Baby Yoda. My thoughts go out to Winter Dynasty at this time (who lives in China; one of the worst affected locations) as should yours and I’d like to dedicate this installment to him. Feel free to support him in his time of need to ensure his and his family’s safety and well-being. His Bandcamp is here and currently most of the releases therein are of a ‘Name your Price’ status so there’s no reason not to take the plunge and discover something that might normally be foreign to the senses (I’ve even imparted thoughts upon his newest release further up the page).

#SupporttheScene and those who create keeping it alive and thriving.