Burning Witches – Hexenhammer – (Review)

Burning Witches - HexenhammerHexenhammer are a heavy metal band from Switzerland and this is their second album.

Featuring a member of Ursinne, here we have 48 minutes of old-school heavy metal spiced up with elements of speed/thrash and power metal here and there. Continue reading

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Carchosa – Carchosa (Review)

CarchosaCarchosa is a one man Swedish thrash/death metal band. This is his debut album.

Featuring seven long songs and clocking in at just under an hour in duration, this album contains a blend of thrash and death metal, alongside a good helping of melodic and progressive elements. Continue reading

The Shape – The World Away (Review)

The ShapeThe Shape are a US metal band and this is their fourth album.

Mixing modern metal, metalcore, thrash metal, nu-metal, and groove metal into their sound, this is an enjoyable romp through a landscape that sees many different complementary influences touched upon. Continue reading

Alkira – Klotho (Review)

AlkiraAlkira are a thrash metal band from Australia and this is their second album.

You may recall Alkira from their 2014 debut album Juggernaut. This was a very enjoyable slab of aggressive thrash metal that I especially enjoyed as it seemed at the time that so much of thrash was doing the retro/ironic/humour/whatever version of the style, which is largely not for me; Alkira were, (and are), somewhat of a panacea for this. Continue reading

Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake (Review)

TestamentTestament are a legendary thrash metal band from the US. This is their 11th studio album, (12th if you count First Strike Still Deadly).

With the bigger bands in the metal scene it’s easy to say something like “and here’s a band that need no introduction”, but I feel this really is true of Testament. Where would you start? After decades of service to the Metal Gods they’re Continue reading

Systemhouse33 – Regression (Review)

Systemhouse33Systemhouse33 are a Metal band from India. This is their latest album.

Their previous release Depths of Despair was an enjoyable, albeit brief, romp through all things heavy and modern, and Regression continues the theme but ups the stakes.

At a slightly longer 30 minutes in length, the band have further refined their blend of modern Metal and Metalcore/Hardcore/Death Metal influences into a potent blend of muscular aggression.

The singer has a harsh snarl that fits well with the music and doesn’t allow for any compromise. He plainly means business and I like what he’s selling.

The songs chug, rumble and bludgeon their way through the playing time and there’s a decent amount of catchy riffs and heavy melodies involved.

Although I liked Depths of Despair this is an all-round more cohesive, focused and superior release; perfect for when you want some heavy, crushing, upbeat, groove-based music. Without too much extremity, but also without going the other way into commercial, sanitised waters, Systemhouse33 have hit the right spot and Regression is actually a positive move forward.

For fans of Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Whitechapel, Skinlab, Machine Head, Testament, Merauder, etc.

Product of Hate – Buried in Violence (Review)

Product of HateThis is the début album from US Metal band Product of Hate.

Product of Hate play modern Metal that incorporates elements of Thrash Metal and Metalcore into its makeup. This equates to some noticeable influences from the classic style, notably Kreator and Testament, as well as the more modern Metalcore style that was made so popular by the NWOAHM bands of the 00s. More European aspects appear sometimes too, reminding me of some of Darkane’s work on occasion.

Reading the above though it’s important to realise a few things; this is no retro-loving crap-fest; this is darker and harder than a lot of the more commercial bands playing a similar style; there are no radio-friendly unit shifters with sparkling clean vocals here – Product of Hate go in for the kill with all the aggression that they can muster.

Buried in Violence is a bit rough around the edges, but I think that’s the intent. You could easily imagine the busy riffs and even busier solos encased in a solid gold, ultra-polished production, but this is not the case; they have a large sound that suits the style, but it’s grittier and more earthy than most. This allows the band to get their hands dirty and focus on tearing things up with their assault.

The songs are quite catchy and memorable without being overly so; the band sound like they have tried to pen real songs that they are passionate about rather than one-dimensional sing-along, throwaway hits. This is all down to perspective, of course, and I can easily imagine Product of Hate getting written off by some as being just another Metalcore band with nothing to offer. This is a disservice I feel, but a somewhat inevitable one; it’s a shame as there are more than enough bands peddling the more commercial side of this kind of music, whereas Product of Hate are offering something a bit harder and more aggressive than most. Sure, it’s not Death Metal and it definitely exists on the more commercial side of the Metal spectrum, (relatively speaking, when compared to the more extreme end of Metal), but this is not the kind of thing you’ll hear on the radio any time soon.

Ultimately, Buried in Violence shows a band who clearly love their Metal and gathers together a collection of Metal anthems that just want to Thrash out and give the listener a good tune and a good bashing at the same time.

Oh, there’s also an Ozzy Osbourne cover.

Can’t complain about that.