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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 »
View Article  PAIN OF SALVATION (Daniel Gildenlow) INTERVIEW
When I was guided by Pain Of Salvation’s label rep to the band’s tour bus to do an already scheduled interview with mainman Daniel Gildenlow, I expected to find the tall Swede his normal energetic self, not downing a hot bowl of soup and medication! Daniel of course, being the chatty and accommodating interviewee that he always is, ensured that our latest encounter was once again an enjoyable one, explaining along the way how we ended up witnessing another line-up change in the band’s history, the difficulties that he had to battle through on both a personal and professional level these last couple of months and also explaining the reasons that lead him to fight on at times when most mere mortals would simply have given up. If you are already a fan of this great band, this interview will offer further justification for your support and, hopefully, if you have never even heard of the Eskilstuna-based outfit before, it will give you an incentive to catch up on twenty one years of soulful and highly skilful music!   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  Krisiun / Malevolent Creation / Vital Remains Gig Review
I am sure that everybody is aware of the state of the world economy right now, so the fact that venues like the London Underworld which organise Metal shows are still reaching full capacity is both surprising and encouraging. Part of this success story is the understanding on the part of the music industry that for a normal working person to part with his/her hard earned cash, the spectacle on offer would have to be pretty irresistible. On the night of the 15th of February, North London experienced what can only be described as a Death Metal fan’s dream – a five band festival, entitled “Sounds Of Extreme Tour” which brought under the same roof three very influential bands – Vital Remains, Malevolent Creation and Krisiun.   more »
View Article  Rising Stars Revisited - Richie Rivera

What are you currently up to? (recording, gigs, plans etc.)

Wow, Jason, so much has happened since we last checked in, let me see if I can get it all out there in one breath.... Right now I’m fortunate to be working with a slew of ridiculously talented artists. My ...   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  Pain Of Salvation Gig Review
To say that changes on a grand scale have taken place in the Pain Of Salvation camp since they last visited London back in November 2011 as an opening act for fellow Swedes Opeth would be the understatement of the century. Having suffered the loss of guitarist extraordinaire and much loved member Johan Hallgren back in October, less than a month later it was keyboardist Fredrik Hermansson who announced his decision to leave the fold, leading many fans of the Eskilstuna-based outfit wondering over the band’s future. Whereas most bands would have opted for dissolution at this point, founding member and main man Daniel Gildenlow managed to employ the services of two musicians and, in a very short period of time, prepare them for a twenty nine day European tour – a tour that, luckily for us, made a stop at the Highbury and Islington’s Relentless Garage on the night of the 13th of February 2012.   more »
View Article  Goatwhore interview
The new album, Blood For the Master, is being released on Valentine’s Day. Was this intentional or sheer coincidence? Personally, I can think of no better Valentine’s gift than a new Goatwhore album.

Actually it is pretty much a unique coincidence.  Metal Blade has a release schedule and it just ...   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  JENNY GILLESPIE - Belita EP

Jenny Gillespie has released two albums to date and earned a fair few rave reviews along the way. As all things folk are big again she has the ideal opportunity to ride this wave with her new EP, which reminded me of Joni Mitchell in her jazzy moments coupled with ...   more »

View Article  10 Q's with Joseph Dunwell (The Dunwells)

 1. What are you currently up to?


We are currently planning our first US tour, touring our first album ‘Blind Sighted Faith’ and our first single ‘I Could Be A King’ (watch the video here: ). This is quite exciting as we are just at the start. ...   more »

View Article  THESE REIGNING DAYS - Changes
Three piece band formed by former Quails lead singer Dan Steer and this is their debut single. Full marks to a band with a plan as they have another single out in April and a third single, along with their debut album released in the summer. The song starts quietly ...   more »
View Article  THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE - Rather You Shot Me Down
I have never seen this gypsy blues, bop 'n' stroll collective but I would imagine they are a sight to behold and hear! This three song EP for Valentine's Day includes the slow burning title track from their last album and a rather spirited cover of AC/DC#s 'Hells Bells' (used ...   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  Anthrax/Testament/Death Angel: Round Two, Wish There Was A Round Three


So yeah, if you're keeping up, I just went to this same show a couple of months ago. And oh yeah, I would most certainly go again if I were able to. Pound for pound, this is the best metal package on tour right now. You have three classic ...   more »