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Milan-based Atmospheric/Gothic Metalers Lacuna Coil have managed to capture the attention of fans and music media through a string of highly successful commercial-sounding releases and through a really clever marketing strategy – one that takes full advantage of the fact that the band has in its ranks Cristina Scabbia who is one of the most beautiful looking women in the music industry. These very reasons, which brought many people closer to the band’s music these last eighteen years, were also the ones that steered me as far away from them as possible – I am not a great fan of the superficial. So, how did I end up preparing a review for the band’s sixth full length release “Dark Adrenaline”, one might rightfully ask? Believe it or not, something possessed me to actually ask the band’s label Century Media to grant me access to this release and I am truly happy to have done that as this has proven to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience!   more »
Ever since Amorphis first graced us with their presence back in 1990, Finland witnessed a slow but steady growth in its number of Heavy Metal bands, to the point that our beloved music is now in terms of popularity to the Finns what Lady Gaga is to the rest of the world! Throughout this process, the ‘land of the thousand lakes’ has enjoyed its own quite distinctive sound and scene so it is very strange to witness a new band such as Re-Armed looking towards neighbouring Sweden for inspiration. Anyhow, the fact remains that Re-Armed are about to release their debut album “Worldwide Hypnotize” through Massacre Records and what remains to be established is what this nine track album has to offer to Metalheads like you and me.   more »
View Article  RAGE – “21”
Germany has for many years been the “breeding ground” for some of the most impressive Metal bands around and even though naming the most important Teutonic Extreme Metal band of all time may well be a matter of personal choice, only a fool would doubt the fact that Rage, the Power/Thrash trio with Herr Peter “Peavy” Wagner at the helm for the last twenty years, may well be the most prolific of them all! Why? Simply because there are not many bands that I know from this part of the world who are about to release the 20th studio album of their career! Riding on the success of last year’s truly impressive “Strings To A Web”, the power trio prepared yet another album full of passion and raw energy – an eleven track opus entitled “21”.   more »
1987 was a very important year for me. Having been introduced to the likes of Metallica and Slayer through older acquaintances friends and the invaluable guidance of the Greek Metal Hammer, it did not take long before I realised that Thrash Metal was my genre of choice. That is when the epic task of obtaining every single Thrash Metal album available began – an almost impossible task, due to the fact that the distribution of the most obscure albums of the genre was almost non-existent in my beautiful country at the time. I cannot remember how and when it happened but at some point in the early to mid-90s a copy of “Go And Live…Stay and Die”, Vendetta’s 1987 debut album, finally landed in my hands and, even though the material on offer could hardly be described as innovative, these German thrashers made enough of an impression on me so as to be genuinely pleased when I found out that twenty five years later they are about to release their fourth studio album entitled “Feed The Extermination” – an album whose review you are now about to read.   more »
View Article  Enochian Theory - Life...And All It Entails
Formed in 2004 this is the band's second album and for a three piece they make a wide soundscape. The band's line-up is Benedict Harris-Hayes (throat/guitars/piano), Sam Street (drums/percussion) and Shaun Rayment (bass) plus the Lost Orchestra who add synths/sound FX (the Lost Orchestra is composed and arranged by Benedict). ...   more »
View Article  The Magnificent

 Released late 2011, the debut album from Sweden’s The Magnificent is aptly titled. The feel of the album sits somewhere between late ‘80’s Whitesnake and late ‘80’s/early ‘90’s Europe - big, polished and appearing to have used the latter’s “Prisoners In Paradise” album as a blueprint, what is not ...   more »

View Article  Mr Big “Live From The Living Room” (Frontiers)

Recorded in January 2011, whilst the band were playing promotional dates in Japan in support of their recent “What If...” album,  Mr Big are about to release new album “Live From The Living Room”.  Recorded in front of an intimate audience at Tokyo’s WOWOW TV studio, the set ...   more »

It really is no exaggeration to say that London-based NWOBHM combo Angel Witch is one truly unique band. Having formed back in 1977 (under the moniker “Lucifer”) by guitarist/vocalist Kevin Heybourne, Angel Witch went through quite a decent number of line up changes prior to releasing their 1980 classic opus “Angel Witch” – an album whose power and influence was such that it granted the band legendary status but also an album which, according to many fans and media reps, has not been surpassed to date by Heybourne and his numerous collaborators. The band’s story becomes ever so comlplicated as the years go by and even though quite a few releases managed to see the light of day along the way, the last studio offering was back in 1986 – a nine track album entitled “Frontal Assault”. Twenty five years later (!) and featuring yet another new line up, Angel Witch are about to finally release their fourth full length album “As Above, So Below” and the one thing that I am sure most of you are wondering, as I certainly did, is whether this is still a band whose work is worthy of attention from fans and media alike.   more »
One of the things that music journalists love to do, especially the ones involved in the ever expanding Metal scene, is to create new sub-genres and then christen them with all sorts of complicated names. While this tends to become an overty complicated and ever so confusing process, there are times when one could say that it is totally justified as there are numerous bands out there whose musical orientation can no longer be confined by the strict boundaries first set more than three decades ago. One such band that defies categorisation is the French duet Alcest – an outfit that has been under the spotlight for quite a few years now and whose third studio album “Les Voyages De L’ Ame” will soon occupy a prominent position on the shelves of record stores – real or virtual - around the world.   more »
View Article  Various - Hooked On Number Ones 100 Non-Stop Hits

The 80’s saw a raft of pop medley albums from Star Sound’s ‘Stars On 45’ through to the popular Hooked On…series, where the classical ones conducted by Louis Clark (of ELO fame) proved very popular. Then there is this one created by Geoff Morrow (from pop band Butterscotch) and Howard ...   more »

View Article  Tony MacAlpine - S/T

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View Article  Styx ‘The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight – Live’ (DVD)

 The DVD (also available on BluRay) version of the double live CD of Styx performing tow of their entire classic 70’s albums. The show was recorded at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis and includes a guest appearance by original bass player Chuck Panozzo.


Starting with a young kid ...   more »

View Article  This Uneven Sky

A band from Manchester featuring Noel Fraser (vocals, guitar, keyboards, mandolin), Andy Chemney (drums. backing vocals), Steve Ferguson (guitar, backing vocals) and Mark Murray (bass). They cover a multitude of musical styles from rock to folk and blues and they already have a fan in ‘Classic Rock’s’ Dave Ling.

 ...   more »

View Article  Various - Songs Of Anarchy: Music from Sons of Anarchy
A fifteen song compilation from the TV series 'Sons Of Anarchy' that like any compilation is a mixed bag. The Forest Rangers back-up most of the vocalists on here and the pick of the album are Paul Brady's version of the Stones 'Gimme Shelter' and the Lions who do a ...   more »
View Article  Michael Thompson Band – Future Past
View Article  Fiona “Unbroken”

“Unbroken” is the fifth album from Fiona, and comes 19 years after her last release. Big, polished and harking back to the ‘80’s in places, the album was produced by House of Lords main man James Christian- whose wife, Robin Beck, duets on the track “This Heart”.

The sound of ...   more »

View Article  WARP DRIVE - Something To Believe In
Warp Drive caused a stir with their debut album 'Gimme Gimme' back in the late 80's but then along came grunge and knocked them for six. This is their second album which they started to record back in 1990 but it never got released until now after those lovely folk ...   more »
View Article  Envy The Fallen - Hoist The Colours
Another emerging new British hardcore metal act, this time from Newquay. Envy The Fallen are exponents of fairly extreme metal core of the shouty vocal persuasion. It is fast and furious stuff from the off and over the six tracks on the EP they prove themselves more than capable.

Of ...   more »
View Article  Stemm - Crossroads
Stemm have been about in various forms for a number of years and have developed into a very tight and very heavy hardcore metal band. Their music was adopted early in the band’s career as the soundtrack to the Ultimate Fight Championship which suits their musical style to a T....   more »
View Article  Captain Black Beard - S/T
With a name like Captain Black Beard I was fully expecting some full-on, swashbuckling Pirate metal from this crew. This album though is less “Aaaaarrrrrrrrrrrr” and more AOR. The Captain and crew have been playing around the clubs of Stockholm for a couple of years and this is their first ...   more »
View Article  Human Temple ‘Halfway To Heartache’

 This is the band’s third album since starting out in 2004 and if you like melodic hard rock in the style of Treat, Pretty Maids, Edge Of Forever et al you need a copy of this CD. The opening salvo of ‘I Will Follow’ (check out the keyboard solo ...   more »

View Article  Scorpions – Comeblack

This is an unusual release for the Scorps, re-recording a number of fan favourite tracks after they announced their retirement…

Seven of the thirteen tracks are from their own catalogue, while the remaining six songs are covers!  Being a fan for well over 25 years I find this difficult ...   more »

View Article  HUGH LAURIE - Let them talk

Hugh Laurie is best known for his superb acting in “House”, but there’s a lot more to this Englishman than meets the eye: along with his love for motorcycles and motorcycle racing, he has a passion for the old blues.  He wants others to understand and love this genre ...   more »

View Article  Saracen - Marilyn

This is the band’s first release since the highly acclaimed “Vox in Excelso” and this, like its predecessor, is a concept album – this time about the life of Marilyn Monroe.

The songs are good, but not outstanding and this may be due to the production not bringing out the ...   more »

View Article  Ilium – Genetic Memory

Ilium is an Australian melodic/power metal outfit with four albums under their studded belts.  “Genetic memory” is the band’s fifth release and the third with vocalist Mike DiMeo, who did time with Riot, as well as Masterplan.

DiMeo’s voice is instantly recognisable, although it rasps more in places on ...   more »

View Article  Trillium – Alloy

Trillium is Amanda Somerville’s solo delving into the world of power metal.  Her previous album, “Windows”, had a far more pop/rock flavour to it but, as she’s been involved with projects like Aina and Avantasia, it seems to be a natural progression to produce something in this genre.

Ms ...   more »

View Article  SHY - Shy

It’s taken me some time to get to listen to this and the first thing that comes to mind is what took me so long?!  This is Shy’s reunion album after a six year hiatus…

As it transpires, the album, special as it is, provides extra meaning for fans ...   more »

View Article  Lee Small – Jamaica Inn (Escape Music)

Lee Small has the claim to fame of being the vocalist for Shy, as well as lending his vocals to Phenomena.  He teams up with guitarist Martin Kronlund (Gypsy Rose) for his first solo release.

This is a lovely slice of melodic rock with heavy classic rock influences, which ...   more »

View Article  Live at Montreux 2010

This release is Gary Moore’s last to be filmed/recorded and is the first to be released posthumously.  Gary Moore had returned to his rock roots and this set is indicative thereof.

His voice sounds a bit off in places, where he barks instead of singing, but his voice does ...   more »

View Article  STYX - Live: The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight
A double live CD featuring the band's current line-up plus original bass player Chuck Panozzo, performing the whole of tow of their classic 1970's albums - 'The Grand Illusion' and 'Pieces Of Eight'.
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View Article  Run From Robots - Rust
Pop punksters Run From Robots are about to release this, their debut album. The ten tracks on offer here will be familiar to anyone who has ever listened to Good Charlotte, Blink 182 etc, etc. The band go for the twin vocal approach as with most bands of this ilk ...   more »
View Article  SEP7EMBER - Strange Ways Of Going Home
This is the debut album from Sep7ember who are billed as a “rapidly rising new German melodic punk band”. With this information, I was expecting some high octane pop punk in the mould of Green Day but instead I got what sounds like a Bush tribute act.

Having said that, ...   more »
View Article  KLOGR - Til You Decay
Klogr are an Italian rock/ metal project which came together in 2010 under the watchful eye of frontman Gabriele “Rusty” Rustichelli who appears to have had a hand in several alternative projects in Italy. This album is part of a larger project involving 10 video presentations of the band’s sound....   more »
View Article  Danny Bryant’s Redeye band - Night Life Live In Holland
Danny Bryant started young on his chosen path, turning professional at the tender age of 18. Now 13 years on and still only 31, he has released 7 albums to date, and this, his latest offering, was recorded live in Rosmalen, Holland, on 17th Sept 2011 to be exact....   more »
View Article  CRIMES OF PASSION - To Die For

CRIMES OF PASSION ‘To Die For’ DR2 Records (2012)


Crimes Of Passion return with their second album and two new members – guitarists Charles Staton and Harry Griffths, after original guitarist Andy Lindsay left the band.


The band mix classic metal riffs with a more modern metal sheen, ...   more »

View Article  TENHI – “SAIVO”
Writing about music is an activity I have undertaken with much passion and devotion over the last decade and, as it happens with every occupation outside work, it does tend to occupy much of my free time. So to answer the question, “Why bother?”, I can point to the excitement at discovering ‘new’ and interesting bands, such as that of the Finnish atmospheric metallers “Tenhi”, for example, whose fifth studio album “Saivo” is to be released by the German specialised label Prophecy Productions.   more »
View Article  Lionsex - Get It

Lionsex’ debut album “Get It” is an interesting one, the band have a good sleazy look but when  the vocals from Jef Leppard (seriously!!) come in they are in a lot lower key than you would expect. Musically the songs are sleazy and move along quite nicely, but the ...   more »

View Article  Dirty Passion - Different Tomorrow

In vocalist Emil Ekbladh, Sweden’s Dirty Passion have a singer with a sound that is reminiscent of the early ‘90’s albums by that better known Swedish band Europe. This is not a bad thing but it is an observation that became apparent within the first few notes of opening track ...   more »

View Article  Aesthesia - Shattered Idols

 I was tempted to write “the most authentic Guns n Roses record since “Appetite For Destruction”” but that really doesn’t do Aesthesia’s newly released second album “Shattered Idols” the justice that it deserves. Yes this album is the closest thing I have heard to Axl Rose and the classic ...   more »

View Article  Down & Dirty - Taste of Rock & Roll

As a band Chicago’s Down & Dirty have an average age of just 18 years old- yet the influences they display on new album “Taste of Rock & Roll” are bands that had their heyday long before the boys were even born, yet they have created a record that could ...   more »

View Article  Wrathchild - Stakkattakktwo

 31 years since the band was formed, and 21 years since the release of their last album, ”Delirium”, Wratchchild have released their 4th album “Stakkattakktwo”, and with vocalist Gaz Psychwrath taking the place of Rocky Shades, the band really are firing on all cylinders.


Wrathchild were formed ...   more »

View Article  SEKS - Harder Than You

Norway’s Seks claim they are going to save us from radio dominated by Hip Hop and pop- and whilst that may never happen, they have released a debut album that harks back to ‘80’s arena rock and it is not a bad effort either.


The band members may include ...   more »

View Article  HOPSCOTCH - Straight From The Heart

 German band Hopscotch have self-released album number three, “Straight From The Heart”, a blend of heavy, sleazy, punk infused rock that reminds me of The 69 Eyes before they went heavily gothic.


Vocalist Markus Dangel has, for the most parts, a whisky stained, sleazy growl of a voice ...   more »

View Article  Drought - Untapped

“Untapped” is the debut album from Houston’s Drought. The album is a solid piece of modern rock that will appeal to fans of Nickelback, Shinedown, and Alter Bridge etc- in particular tracks such as “Pick and Pen” and “Look At Me”.


Opening track “One Night Stand” is Simple Minds ...   more »

View Article  D DRIVE - 3D

The 3rd album from New York’s D Drive, “3D” is released in an interesting 3D cover- which has actually been done quite well. Now that is out of the way, let’s concentrate on the album itself, 11 tracks of solid melodic rock- catchy, sing along choruses, hooks a plenty ...   more »

View Article  RIOTGOD - Invisible Empire

The CD is just what is needed to blow those winter cobwebs away. Featuring a solid rhythm section of  Monster Magnet’s Bob Pantella and Jim Baglino, the superb guitars of Garret Sweeney and the vocal talents of Mark Sunshine, Riotgod’s second album “Invisible Empire” is worthy of a major ...   more »

View Article  LEE SMALL - Jamaica Inn

 Fresh from his sterling vocal performance on last year’s excellent Shy album, Lee Small makes a splash with this solo album. He has previously sung with other bands including Cloven Hoof, Pride and appears on forthcoming albums from Phenomena and Gypsy Rose (two of the band – Martin Kronlund ...   more »

View Article  THUNDERSTICK - Echoes From The Analogue Asylum

 Finding notoriety with Samson (after a brief stint with Iron Maiden), the mask clad Thunderstick was perhaps better known for his image than his drumming skills, which is a shame because he’s actually quite thunderous.


After leaving Samson he formed his own band and recorded the Feels Like ...   more »

View Article  VENGEANCE - Crystal Eye

Solid Dutch metal with a stellar cast and a decent follow up to their 2009 album Soul Collector. Hard to believe this band have been going 30 years now, and they still sound good.


With vocalist Leon Goewie is bassist Chris Glen (MSG, SAHB), guitarist Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper) ...   more »

View Article  NITROGODS - S/T
A three piece band featuring former Thunderhead/Primal Fear guitarist Henny Wolter, Freedom Call's drummer Klaus Sperling (who was also in Primal Fear with Wolter) and on bass/vocals Oimel Larcher, who sang in former Motorhead guitarist's 'Fast' Eddie Clarke's band. Clarke guests on one song on the album and Larcher's vocals ...   more »
View Article  History Of Guns - Whatever You Do, Don’t Turn Up At Twelve
This is a confusing album. The band have been together for 16 years and although I follow music closely I had never come across the name before. This is History Of Guns' fourth album and looking at the bands Wiki page there have been plenty of singles and even a ...   more »
View Article  BEYOND THE BRIDGE - The Old Man & The Spirit
View Article  Dead Label - Sense Of Slaughter
Irish trio, Dead Label, formed in 2008, won a nationwide battle of the bands the following year and released an EP in 2010. This album release then is the natural progression for the band and one they hope will move the band up to the next rung on the ladder ...   more »
View Article  Vinterblot - Nether Collapse
A bit of Pagan death metal this time all the way from Bali in Italy. This is the debut album from the 5 piece although they released an EP back in 2010 to critical acclaim.

Brutal about sums up Vinterblot’s sound with riffs hitting you like a sledgehammer to the ...   more »
View Article  4 Arm - Submission For Liberty
Antipodean thrashers 4 Arm have been peddling their wares for the past 8 years and have gathered a good fan base and a number of equipment endorsements along the way. This is the band’s 3rd album, the others being 2005‘s ‘13 Scars’ and ‘The Empires Of Death’ from 2009 ...   more »
View Article  Fourth Autumn - Mock The Weak
Fourth Autumn are clearly a band with a with a sense of humour, all be it of the black variety. This is the Welsh death metaller’s debut album and the band describe their sound as a mix of Behemoth, The Black Dahlia Murders and Cradle Of Filth with, and I ...   more »
View Article  PRIMAL FEAR - Unbreakable
This is the ninth studio album from Primal Fear, a band I have never quite 'got' musically as I often found them to be too much of a Judas Priest copycat at times. I am very pleased to be proved wrong though as this album is one glorious metal ride!...   more »
View Article  Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes
Craig Finn, for the uninitiated, is the front man of American indie rockers The Hold Steady and this is his debut solo album shortly to be released.

Craig has left the more guitar driven sound of The Hold Steady behind for this album and instead has opted for a more ...   more »
View Article  ANVIL re-issues

Despite many years of exposure to the ...   more »

View Article  SANGUINE - S/T
Now here is a band that have garnered a bit of heavyweight support early in their careers. Slipknot’s Joey Jordison has waxed lyrical about the band’s talents and Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden was impressed enough to invite singer Tarin Kerrey to provide vocals for his solo album. Not bad ...   more »
View Article  SPOCK’S BEARD ‘The X-Tour Live’

SPOCK’S BEARD ‘The X-Tour Live’ Music Theories Recordings/Mascot


Recorded live at the Downey Civic Centre in September 2010 this live release will make the swansong of Nick D’Virgilio who left the band last year. They play all of the ‘X’ album on disc one save for ‘Their Names Escape ...   more »

View Article  HOUSE OF SHAKIRA - HoS
Five years on since their last album 'Retoxed' House Of Shakira are back. The band's line-up has changed radically as well with former Mind's Eye vocalist Andreas Novak joining the band, along with Basse Blyberg and Martin Larsson on bass and drums. These new members join the guitar duo of ...   more »
View Article  FORMER - The Kids Deserve Cable
Former hail from the home of country music, Nashville, but there is little of that city’s musical heritage evident in this the band’s second album. The band are billed as pop/rock and quote Cheap Trick, The Wildhearts and Elvis Costello as influences.

Their sound though owes more to Feeder than ...   more »
View Article  DARKER HALF - Desensitized
Darker Half are a heavy metal band from the land down under, Sydney to be exact, but their influences are most definitely from the northern hemisphere. The band owe a lot to early Maiden more than anything else with a raw metal sound, twin guitar delivery and screaming vocals. Just ...   more »
View Article  TARJA TURUNEN & HARUS - In Concert Live A Sibelius Hall
Tarja Turunen, as most people will no doubt know, was front women of Nightwish, a heavy metal band with major classical overtones. Tarja’s vocal delivery has always been very much in an operatic style, which was perfect for the majestic sound of Nightwish and on this DVD and CD package ...   more »
View Article  STRAYLINGS ‘Entertainment On Foreign Grounds’

The band released a debut EP in 2011 which received rave reviews and they release this, their full debut album in March. The Straylings are a duo consisting of vocalist Dana Zeera and guitarist Oliver Drake.


An album of definite interest to those who enjoy PJ Harvey and the ...   more »

View Article  BEGGARS & THIEVES - We Are The Broken Hearted

One of a number of excellent melodic ...   more »

View Article  JOHN DU CANN - The Many Side Of John Du Cann
Angel Air have done a sterling job over the past few years bringing rare, previously unreleased and out of print titles in John Du Cann's catalogue to the shelves again and this collection forms a good overview of the man's career, or maybe a good starting point should you be ...   more »
View Article  VIRGIN STEELE - Age Of Consent
In bemoaning the fact this album got overlooked upon initial release, vocalist David DeFeis explains his decision to remaster and revisit this album again.  A late 80s release it marked the band's fourth full length discs and in places certainly features some grand ideas that see rough edges smoothed by ...   more »