Silver Talon – Becoming a Demon (Review)

Silver Talon - Becoming a DemonThis is the debut EP/mini-album from US heavy metallers Silver Talon.

Do you remember Spellcaster? You should do – Night Hides the World was a great record. Why do I bring it up here? Only because Silver Talon features these same talented gentlemen producing some very tasty new music for us to lap up. Continue reading

Advertisements

Seven Sisters – The Cauldron and the Cross (Review)

Seven SistersSeven Sisters are a heavy metal band from the UK and this is their second album.

They say you should never judge a record by its cover, (do they say that?), but it was the album cover of The Cauldron and the Cross that made me want to listen to it more than anything else. Continue reading

Shotgun Justice – State of Desolation (Review)

Shotgun JusticeShotgun Justice are a German Heavy Metal band and this is their début album.

Shotgun Justice play a personable brand of Heavy Metal that incorporates elements of both Hard Rock and Thrash Metal into its upbeat delivery.

Despite a logo and album cover that might lead you to believe that the band play some form of contemporary Metal, this is music that’s resolutely Old-School and couldn’t care less. The songs reflect this, as does the low-key production.

Shotgun Justice have the feeling and attitude of the early-Metal era firmly nailed down, managing to reproduce the essence of the time quite faithfully. Although this can be slightly deceptive, as the Old-School swagger and production sometimes masks the more interesting and sophisticated elements of their sound, such as added female vocals and some nice moments of introspection, (such as The Scales of Justice), as well as some almost Progressive Metal influences, especially on the latter part of the album.

The male vocals have some presence and do their job nicely. On occasion these are joined by the aforementioned, and very impressive, female vocals, adding a different facet to the band; it’s a really nice touch.

If you’re in the mood for what is, (largely), a throwback to simpler times with some rocking good tunes then you could do a lot worse than this. Check them out and see if they hit the spot for you.

Relentless – Night Terrors (Review)

RelentlessThis is the second album by US Heavy Metal band Relentless.

Their first album, Souls of Charon, was a very enjoyable slab of Heavy/Doom Metal. This new release keeps the flag flying for Traditional Heavy Metal and all but drops the Doom Metal aspect of their sound.

In fact, Relentless seem to have gone further down the NWOBHM route on Night Terrors. The songs are upbeat rockers that value a chorus and are a lot rougher than their old incarnation, both in attitude and delivery.

The recording is grittier and less polished too. The band almost come off as some undiscovered garage Metal band, lost to the mists of Metal history.

The singer adds her own character to the songs and hearing her on this release is quite a contrast to her more laid-back style on their début.

The songs are proper Metal songs, full of swagger and upbeat energy. If you are familiar with Old-School Heavy Metal then this is quite the feast.

A change in direction, certainly; rawer, Traditional Metal with more attitude. I wonder, what will album number three bring for Relentless?

Twilight Zone – The Beginning (Review)

Twilight ZoneThis is the début album from long-running Heavy Metallers Twilight Zone, who are from Italy.

As I’ve said before, one of the most important components of bands like this is the singer; the vocals can make or break the band for me. Twlight Zone have a very capable singer with a strong voice and an able set of pipes, so I’m happily placated. The vocals are easy to enjoy and the singer hits the various highs and the lows without issue.

The music is Classic Heavy Metal with plenty of bluster and verve. Colourful leads and emphatic riffs are the order of the day and they have a decent amount of variety so that it doesn’t become too repetitive or one dimensional.

The band have a very slight Thrash influence to some of the guitars here and there as well as a bit of a Hard Rock style to their sound in places. Mainly though, it’s pure Heavy Metal.

The Beginning has a rather underground production for this style of music, but it does add an earthy earnestness and honesty to their sound. I really like the bass sound – it has an Iron Maiden-like presence and adds to the songs a fair bit; particularly noticeable on Death Swarm.

The songs are enjoyable and well written, with a good few hooks to snag the listener. If you enjoy this style then you could do a lot worse than checking out Twilight Zone for some resolutely Old-School Classic Heavy Metal.

Give them a try.

Involution – Evolution of Thoughts (Review)

InvolutionThis is the début album from German Heavy Metal band Involution.

This is galloping Heavy Metal with a good production and a singer who knows who to use his voice.

As I’ve opined about before, the singer can so easily make or break a band like this for me; a bad/sub-standard voice can easily let down what might otherwise be good music. No worries here though.

The singer of Involution has a clear, strong voice that fits well with the music. It’s largely more Heavy Metal than Power Metal, although the band do stray into Power Metal territory on occasion.

The songs are solid slabs of Metal with plenty of good riffs, leads, solos and energy. The band play like they really feel it and the overall songwriting is of a high standard. This is a band that seem to peel off hooks and catchy melodies with ease.

Involution seem to have an Old-School base for their brand of Metal but still manage to come off relatively fresh and exciting at the same time.

A focus on classic songwriting and song structures means that Involution have all of their bases covered; everything shines brightly on this album and Evolution of Thoughts is a bit of a stormer.

I love it when you find a really decent Heavy/Power Metal band like this. Involution have quality written through them in large, metallic letters.

Highly recommended.

Osmium Guillotine – Osmium Guillotine (Review)

Osmium GuillotineOsmium Guillotine are from the UK and this is their début album. They play Heavy Metal.

This is 80’s style Heavy Metal with a sexy guitar sound and plenty of attitude. The production is largely apt for this kind of band, although in a feat of differentiation Osmium Guillotine have a guitar tone that’s both thicker and heavier than most bands playing this genre and it works very well for them.

The music is played with passion and obvious zeal and everyone seems to know their job well. Nice solos too.

This is Old-School Heavy Metal that manages to encapsulate quite a few different feelings from early Metal and distil them into this release. Classic Metal is a given, but Doom Metal, Proto-Thrash and NWOBHM all get a look in. There’s even a touch of Punk to things now and again.

The vocals are great, and there’s not a hint of Power Metal to be seen. I love Power Metal as much as anyone, but it’s nice to hear a band like Osmium Guillotine who are just pure Heavy Metal without the more extravagant ostentation inherent in Power Metal. The singer here has a great set of lungs and possesses the charisma to do the tunes justice.

These are a strong set of songs with plenty of hooks and choruses to keep you coming back for more. Memorable melodies and good riffs flow freely and everything feels just as it should.

Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Anthrax…if these bands float your boat then Osmium Guillotine are a logical band to check out. Along with the recent stellar release from Johnny Touch this proves once again what any real music fan already knew – True Metal isn’t dead.

Great stuff.

The Order of the Solar Temple – The Order of the Solar Temple (Review)

The order of the Solar TempleThe Order of the Solar Temple are from Canada and play Heavy Metal/Rock.

This is Old-School with elements of Classic Rock, Doom Metal and Psychedelic Rock.

The band have a very warm, laid back sound that instantly makes you feel at ease like a welcome old friend.

The singer has an excellent voice; he’s soft and exquisite, or ultra-high and maniacal, or deep and melodramatic…He has character and personality that’s for sure and puts in a stellar performance.

Coming across as a mix of Blue Öyster Cult, (who they also cover), Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Merciful Fate, this is an enjoyable way to spend 45 minutes when you’re in that retro mood.

There really is some great material here! The singer has a forceful presence and some of these riffs are just epic in scope and feeling.

I thoroughly recommend you listen to this and experience the band first-hand. May you be drawn into their world…

Favourite Track: Aeon of Horus. Everything from the vocal delivery to the tense guitars to the understated bass…a stunner of a song.

Johnny Touch – Inner City Wolves (Review)

Johnny TouchThis is the début album from Australian Heavy Metal band Johnny Touch.

Just look at the album cover. I mean really – just sit and look at it. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Well, the music had better be something pretty damn good to match up to that cover I tell you.

So what do we have here then? Heavy Metal that sounds straight from the 1980’s? Yes. This has a good streak of NWOBHM about it and when you think about it it’s kind of odd that a bunch of Australians in 2014 can so faithfully recreate this kind of music from this era.

But recreate it they do, and faithfully, and well.

The band all play their parts perfectly and the solos/leads are particularly enjoyable. The vocalist has a very good voice that probably would have seen him become a superstar decades ago. In fact if this album was actually released in the era it hero-worships then it’s likely Johnny Touch would be a famous name to all Metal fans the world over. Unfortunately however it’s now 2014 and the market for this style of Metal is much, much smaller. Which is a crying shame as this album kicks serious behind.

By today’s standards this is relatively relaxed and not very extreme, but that’s missing the point. This is Heavy Metal to the blisteringly molten core and I doubt there’s a Metal collection anywhere that wouldn’t be improved by including this in it.

This isn’t a perfect album by any means, but it’s a bloody good one. It has an honesty and passion about it that’s just plain infectious, and that’s before you consider the catchy riffs, memorable choruses and top tunes contained within.

If you’re allergic to anything older than a couple of decades then this is not for you. However, if you appreciate the style of Metal that helped start it all off then you should definitely check out Johnny Touch.

Ha! This album makes me happy.