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BADEN METAL COMPILATION VOL . 1 - RISE OF THE GRIFFIN

(Baden Metal)

Review by Spirit In Black

 

Karlsruhe, Germany based label Baden Metal comes with a good initiative of supporting the local Metal scene, a compilation album with bands from the region of Baden. “Rise Of the Griffin” was the first compilation of the label, released in 2008. After this (first) one, the record company unleashed two more compilations entitled “Flight Of The Griffin” (2013) and “The Griffin Has Landed” (2015).

 

“Rise Of The Griffin” has the songs a bit arranged on multiple Metal gems which works fine for me. The first four songs are in the style(s) of Heavy/Power Metal, most of these have keyboards on board so a melodic touch is unavoidable. One track stood out for me: 'Point Of No Return' of Bastard Nation. After this portion of Heavy Metal it's a big switch to the next song called 'Fairytales... Out Of The Dark' from a band called Shardless. They’ll bring you Gothic Metal as it should be, dark and raw.

 

Black/Death Metal maniacs will have a great time as from track 7 up to 11, be ready for a few compostions that has a symphonic and/or melodic arrangement involved. I'm not a big fan of Black Metal but Unlight's 'March Of The Funeral God' is a song I enjoyed a lot. Bitterness with 'Hatred Is My Virtue' is also a great band delivering a very performance… it might be in my favor that I already know the band. The last song on “Baden Metal – Rise Of The Griffin” is from Edgecrusher, they show us how to thrash raw with a song song called 'Forever Failure'.

 

Reviewing a compilation album from 2008 in 2015... the chance that some of the participating bands has split-up in between this timeline is pretty imaginable. Aside from that, I think “Rise Of The Griffin” has become a cool overview of what is (or was) going on the metal scene of Baden. http://www.baden-metal.de/

 

Dealing with a compilation album, I'll give no rating.

 

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BADEN METAL COMPILATION VOL . 3 - THE GRIFFIN HAS LANDED

(Baden Metal)

Review by Sloof

 

The current actors of the Badenian Region (a German area) present themselves on a third compilation album, named “The Griffin Has Landed – Vol. 3”. This homage to Saxon’ release ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ is packed with a nice front cover artwork. It is a drawing/painting by Gerd Uwe Geiger who refers to the griffin that can be found on the Neckar bridge in Heidelberg, Germany.

 

There were about 35 applications and the Baden Metal jury decided that they were cooperating with 14 new bands and 2 bands that are already familiar with the concept. The first band Lyfthrashyr was already on a previous compilation album, same goes for The Prophecy 23. The idea of releasing a compilation album is praiseworthy as it’s great that some people take time, effort and knowledge to support their area the best way possible, and if I tell you that you can order this 78 minutes disc for only 5€, there is no reason to refrain from purchasing. Check their website ( www.baden-metal.de )for addition info or mail shop@baden-metal.de

 

About the music on this disc, we have the following to add: Lyfthrasyr brings ‘Evolution’ which has an industrial approach. It seems like they need to catch a train as the tempo is deadly and mechanical at the same time. Fans of Fear Factory might be convinced, I’m having doubts. Nachtschatten recorded ‘Blitzschlag’ and this Death Metal song has some Hyposcrisy influences and sounds above the average. Even the German lyrics are inviting to raise the fist and scream along Blitzschlag!

Never knew that Chris Barnes resides in Germany nowadays as he seems to dwell around with the guys of Stillborn Inc. the song ‘War’ is a mixture of Chris his vocals throats with an Amon Amarth arrangement. Nice, but not extraordinaire as well. My expectations where not that high when I saw the name of the next band: Zombieslut. The guitars sound very mechanical but when the break sets in, things get better. After the degustation of ‘Revenge Of The Malevolent Unmade’, I must say that this band brings their metal well spiced! Convictors choose a direct approach. No intro, but a direct punch in the face and that pays off! ‘Proclivity’ sounds fresh, mean and interesting enough to give the track a few more spins!

 

The Last Days Of Fall recorded a track called ‘Sinners’ and the first notes of that arrangement causes a frown on my face. Really simple and compared with the nowadays standards, it’s a little outdated. Aeglos is a band that likes Doom Metal and Candlemass is surely an influence! Battlemage creates a Christmas atmosphere in my crib, and that’s not exactly my personal time of the year. So skip it! ‘Pit Laserbeam’ is a track from The Prophecy23 where all hell breaks loose! The Rump Shaking Rider Crew is another unusual band that likes their metal raw and heavy!

 

This compilation is a very nice initiative but I wonder why there are nog Symphonic Metal bands present. I know that the German scene is a very active scene and there are many bands that play outside the Death Metal, Power Metal circuit. Don’t tell me that Baden only has bands that play the traditional style, there must be more styles and directions in that underground! Perhaps next time, they will be able to deliver a wider overview of their scene. The only band that makes a difference on this compilation is Ajana with the track ‘In The Past I Thrive’, and perhaps, this is the most original band with the biggest chance to international success! Considering all other bands, I want to mention Blindfall as well, as the track ‘Ending’ is one of the highlights on this compilation.

 

All bands on this compilation album received a good sound and equal chances, so only the music makes a difference. For only a few Euros you help and support an important German area, so if you consider yourself a Metalhead, show it and order your copy today! 78 minutes of German metal will be delivered in your mailbox within short time and it all helps a good cause!

 

My rating: 80/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BANDEMONIC - FIRES OF REDEMPTION

(Steel Gallery Records)

Review by Sloof

 

BanDemoniC started in 2009 in the area of Ionnina, Greece and recorded a demo, an EP and a first full length album so far. On the EP ‘Chains’, there was a track (‘The Seeker’) that featured on a compilation album (‘Kill City Vol. 32’) as well and they re-recorded this song for their debut album once more. Besides this track, we can also find 9 songs that can be considered as equal material.

 

The band lives around the Ionnina Lake and I guess that the good weather conditions and tropical temperatures at the West Coast of Greece are in stark contrast with the lyrical themes of the material. Anyway, when I played this album for the first time, totally in limbo what the history of this band was, I must agree that the songs on ‘Fires Of Redemption’ caused me into a good mood!

 

There is a lot of American U.S. Metal to explore on this disc, so the fans of this genre will be pleased. Add some NWOBHM to the American Bay Area sound and give it a twist of the 80ies and you will get an idea what BanDemoniC is all about. For some, it might be a little confusing when vocalist George Manthos is exploring his vocal range, but once you get into his chords, you will have a ‘love it or hate it’ feeling. Personally, I’m into his vocal talent and I like it when he’s going into the higher regions!

 

I definitely want to mention the two guitar players of BanDemoniC as Erik and Ca are gifted to let the axes attack with full force! No desperation at all, as the strings of both axes are deadly and destructive! Besides a musical highlight, the songs are packed in an awesome front cover artwork! This one will draw your attention when you are in a record store. This album just screams for metal, and while you will be stunned by the ‘Fires Of Redemption’, you will be persuaded to purchase this metal shrapnel!

 

The songs that I liked the most are ‘Martyr’, ‘The Awakening’ and ‘Burn The Witch’, coincidentally songs that follow each other… but this doesn’t mean that this album is limited to 3 killers only! No, BanDemoniC assembled an album with variety and challenges and they are probably one of the best Greek newcomers!

 

My rating: 87/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BEYOND REASON - A NEW REFLECTION

(Arkeyn Steel Records)

Review by Stefan

 

In my own opinion, the undervalued Grunge scene has suppressed the almighty US Metal movement during the early 90s. Therefore, I still have a huge aversion across bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains among others… and actually this type of music could never tempt me at all ! As I’ve mentioned in my review for Uncertain Future’s “Shock The System” release, the market for all those awesome US Metal troops seemed to be closed because of the uprising these most famous Grunge bands and so many others. A disgrace for all aficionados of American steel those days but the good news is that The US Metal scene resurrected one step at a time. On the other hand, the Grunge scene crumbled as years passed by and I felt good about it, cynical or not? Hindsight I dare say with certainty that the US Metal community won the battle, we’re still in the running and guess who remains behind right now?!

 

Another brilliant US band who had to undergo the same fate was Beyond Reason, they came from Westchester New York regions, founded in 1986 by three soldiers of Metal named Peter Milo (guitars), Dave Kramer (bass) and drum sorcerer John Grasso. These guys’ had a mission, delivering US Power/Speed Metal but still they needed a singer. Ex Chilling Vision frontman Todd Giomesto completed the ranks after he removed from Pennsylvania to the city that never sleeps, New York. Officially, Beyond Reason was formed in 1989, full of ambitions and possessed by the forces of US Metal, this foursome went forward with full power and ambition. They were allowed to share the stage with killer US acts like WWIII, Gothic Slam, MeanStreak, Vicious Rumors, Non Fiction among others. All the then present maniacs were blazing enthusiast about the highly energetic live shows of Beyond Reason, their fan base grew day after day and the time was come to start the recordings of a very first demo that got the title “Distant From Reality” (1990), followed by “Best Of Change” (1993)… In between these two efforts, Beyond Reality also created three ‘unreleased’ songs in 1991.

 

Underground US Metal from the past is mostly hard to find these days but due to great labels like Arkeyn Steel Records, we all have the chance to relive the good old days of this fantastic style of music. A little while ago, I wrote the review for the mighty Uncertain Future cut entitled “Shock The System” that officially will be released on February 9th. 2015, actually the same date for Beyond Reason’s “A New Reflection” effort. Re-mastered by the band and loaded with lyrics, biography and never seen before cool images ! With this awesome release, the great Arkeyn Steel Records camp brings on a first candidate for my album Top 20 list of 2015. Perhaps a bit premature for some of you but these guys just give me the right feel while listening… get ready for the real stuff, US Power Metal the way it should be, all served in one piece and in the best possible conditions!

 

Especially the songs from their first demo “Distant From Reality” please me completely, even the cover from The Beatles ‘Day Tripper’ is able to captivate my heart and soul. It’s pleasurable to hear this way meeting between US Power Metal and 60 Rock and Roll, just funny but expertly played! It was the sixth track of the demo, about the first five songs I can only be excited ! A mixture of US Heavy, Power and Speed Metal supremacy with all elements on board that makes an old school US Metal fan very happy. The vocals in the vein of Rick Baez (Amulance), Jeff L’Heureux (Culprit) and both fallen heroes of US Metal, David Wayne (Metal Church) / John Leone (Attacker). Also musically, Beyond Reason fully meets my requirements. Fact is that this is all about pure US Power Metal delivered with so much talented skills, I just can’t get enough of these first demo songs. The hard-hitting drums to sound thunderous, the bass lines provide the right support and the guitar works ensuring the absolute climax while delivering powerplay riffs and fast, melodic solo’s in a technical mode. When you feel attracted by greats likewise Attacker (‘Second Coming” era), Amulance, Oliver Magnum, Culprit, early Helstar/Metal Church/Sacred Oath, Intruder, Coldsteel and stuff… you will be thrilled by Beyond Reason as well, these guys bring US Metal heaven into your living room.

 

Nothing but words of praise for the band’s first demo which doesn’t means the disapproval of the rest of the songs, hell no ! The songs from their “Beast Of Change” demo, plus the three unreleased tracks deliver the goods but does not reach the level of the almighty “Distant From Reality” tracks. There is less room for fiery, speed up rhythms, occasionally I can’t get a full grip on the lower vocal lines as well. This is not an underestimation but just a personal observation with regard to my own taste.

 

Within the ranks of Arkeyn Steel Records is the passion for US Metal still present and I can only be very pleased about that. Along with their newest releases from both Uncertain Future “Shock The System” and this one from Beyond Reason ‘A New Reflection”, the label belongs to the elite troops of US Classic Metal service. Both cuts are limited to 500 hand-numbered copies of which the first 50 copies will arise with pro-print promo picture so don’t wait too long, order on the double and be the proud owner of this rare, first class US Power Metal album… let it happen right HERE.

 

My rating: 90/100 (Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)

 

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BITE THE BULLET - WHEELS

(Target/Mighty Music)

Review by Sloof

 

Being a metalhead doesn’t automatically means that I don’t have ears for other kinds of music. The thing is, I personally get most satisfaction when a good voice is accompanied by some yelling guitars and when a band is delivering passion into the songs. Most of the time, Metal and Hard Rock in general charms me the most, but I have quirks as well, so perhaps it would be better to call me a misfit from now on…

 

Bite The Bullet is a Danish band that could be my cup of tea as well, not for everyday use, but occasionally they have something to offer. Their sound is sparkling fuzz-rock, mixed with psychedelic ingredients and a twist of rock’n roll. Metal seems to be banished, and even Hard Rock is not to be found. What we get instead is a melting pot of British 70ies rock with a contemporary spontaneity approach and a wink of the eye to legendary bands like Queen, Howlin Wolf and pop icon Mika.

It’s hard to write about the songs on this second album of the band, as I don’t have enough maturity on the matter. For me personally, it’s something transient, being there at the right time, in the right mood, and without restrictions.

 

Bite The Bullet delivers quality music that earns a spot on the radio, but I won’t become a fan. To do no shortage to the band and musicians, and with an honest view on their new album, I can only suggest to take a bite from the ‘Wheels’ album and see if they will be able to surprise you that much as well. Fans of Queen, Arid, will surely enjoy this album that brings pop closer to rock to bombast… https://www.facebook.com/BiteTheBulletRocks

 

My rating: 80/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BLACK BOOK LODGE - ENTERING ANOTHER MEASURE

(Target/Mighty Music Records)

Review by Sloof

 

This one is a hard nut to crack! Unusual riffs, contrariness all over and a sound that goes back to a few decades ago with a contemporary punch. The name of the band is Black Book Lodge and this album is their second release after ‘Tûndra’ (2014). It seems like the band doesn’t need much time to write and compose new material, and moreover, the style that Black Book Lodge deliver isn’t easy at all. Should it be possible that we encounter a bunch of utterly gifted musicians that write new songs like creating cars at the assembly line? After listening to their second album, due to be released June 8th. 2015, I have a very mixed feeling. Some fragments and parts are really awesome, but there are also parts that leave a bad taste in my mouth. It has nothing to do with the musicians nor skills, but the musical direction is rather unusual, peculiar and uncustomary.

 

The first song for example (‘The Martyr’), takes almost 10 minutes and there is a lot of atmosphere in the arrangement which tends to sound like our own Arid and Triggerfinger dudes. Others will say that there are King Crimson influences and Mastodon parts wreathe in the structure, but whatever the case is, the Danes of Black Book Lodge deliver material that breathes Led Zeppelin meets Haken meets Kyuss.

 

’27 Years’ is very mystical, unpredictable and with a dark edge, but I do miss the excitement part. The music evokes a certain feeling, and although there is a lot happening in the second part of the song, they don’t succeed in building some tension, in creating an atmosphere that lingers on. After the solo of Ronny Jonsson, the track continuous in a boggy rhythm and a sludgy style. If you want some accelerations from drummer Jakob Gundel, I advise ‘New Provenance’ where he’s responsible for a thorough change. Black Book Lodge consists of fine musicians, but their direction is not my flavor.

 

Reviewing bands like this isn’t simple as how would you rate spinach and cauliflower if you don’t like vegetables. I would give them 60/100 because the stimulus was omitted, but that wouldn’t be fair. People that dig this king of music will have a hell of a time with this ‘Entering Another Measure’ album so the only fair rating is 80/100 without compassion. https://www.facebook.com/blackbooklodge

 

My rating: 80/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BLACK TRIP - SHADOWLINE

(SPV/Steamhammer)

Review by Metalynne

 

Break out your lighters and spandex ladies and gentlemen, you are about to be taken back into a 70’s hair metal fans daydream!

 

Black Trip has proclaimed themselves to be a Heavy Metal band, I have to completely disagree with them being placed in that specific sub-genre of Metal. Whilst listening to the vast array of sub-genres that you can hear coming thru on the, “Shadowline” album...Heavy Metal was not one of them. I did however hear numerous flashes of Hair Metal, Speed Metal, and Hard Rock. Which made for a very interesting and somewhat dynamic musical experience.

 

The one thing that I have to say I appreciated the most about this specific album was the guitar and bass work done by Peter, Sebastian, and Johan. One moment you are listening to a very mellow and almost whimsical masterpiece reminiscent of Kansas or Blue Oyster Cult and then they are all shredding in unison and they sound very similar to the Scorpions or Pink Floyd. To say that these three men are talented would be doing them a disservice. They were pretty damn righteous to say the least.

 

As far as the vocal stylings go Joseph Tholl is very hard to listen to in my eyes. Do not get me wrong, he has a very clear and powerful voice. But, it is just not a voice I could see myself or very many other Metalheads listening to on a semi-regular basis. Unless you are still into the vocal stylings of throwback Hair Metal or Prog, Metal, then this is definitely a band you would enjoy having in your day to day playlist.

 

Additional band info at: http://www.blacktrip.se/ / https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Trip/184303701663532

 

My rating: 60/100 (Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate)

 

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BLASPHEMER - DEMO OF DARKNESS 2015

(Independent)

Review by Sloof

 

Never thought that the 7 gates of Hell were located in Dewsbury, UK, a place in the center of England, to the South of Leeds. A band named Blasphemer claims to hold the key to the very depths of Hell where Cerberus guards and Lucifer reigns. Since 1990, Blasphemer released and spitted venom and bane in the tape trading circuit of which I also was very active in, but the true old school Black Metal with blackened themes and very dark and brutal vocals stood the test of time and aims another vicious attack as the Demo Of Darkness 2015.

 

Two songs feature this demo and the total duration of almost 9 minutes leaves me behind as a slaughtered victim, gasping for breath, completely exhausted and totally destroyed. Never thought that songs like ‘Immortality’ and ‘Sarcastic Ideology’ could wreak such an impact and devastation. We must glorify members Arno Cagna and Mass Firth as these core members reformed the band and introduced us to their world, a world of darkness, mischief and calamity. Daniel Clarke sounds the blastbeat drums and bass player Dale Brown recently joined the lineup, ready to reform the band as the unholy quartet. If you like vocals in the style of Troy Dixler (Sindrome), I’m sure that Blasphemer will create the same effect as their ‘Rapture In Blood’ era. If you consider yourself a fan of extreme Metal, there is more good news to spread, as both songs are available as a free download for everyone.

 

The band has the intention to record new material soon, and burn the ‘Demo Of Darkness’ material altogether on one disc, to be released as a physical release. In the meantime, you can listen to both tracks that will appeal to ‘early Celtic Frost meet Autopsy’ addicts at this location: https://blasphemeruk666.bandcamp.com/album/demo-of-darkness-2015

 

Judging from these two songs, I’m hungry for more dudes, I must say that the UK Black Metal scene can embrace this band as they succeed in combining the rawness of the old school Black Metal with a 2015 approach! This is Sick.

 

My rating: 86/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BLEEDING - BEHIND TRANSPARENT WALLS

(Pure Rock Records)

Review by Sloof

 

When a band mentions Psychotic Waltz as an influence, alert feelers rise, as Buddy Lackey and his bevy are gods in my opinion. The band Bleeding from Germany aims high so their debut album ‘Behind Transparent Walls’ is being listened and reviewed with a magnifying glass! Afterwards, I must say that they are allowed to mention Psychotic Waltz as the music of Bleeding is a sophisticated and progressive trip and an absolute joy spree!

 

This is not a one take recording session or rehearsal, this is a titanic work that comes together, that finds its place, finally. Now, I understand why this band is called Bleeding, as they achieved a tormented piece of music packed with emotions, feelings and the deeper inner self. It’s like a puzzle, when you open de box, there is no obvious start, but perseverance results in an unique scene than can only be accomplished when you have the will and character to finalize it! That’s what ‘Behind Transparent Walls’ is all about, there are corresponding points and similarities, there is beauty behind arbitrary and random sounds. Words can’t tell what you will experience in an auditory way!

 

My rating: 86/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BLIND PETITION - LAW & ORDER

(Breakin' Records)

Review by Stefan

 

A long time ago, somewhere in 1974, a couple of Austrian lads came together as one to form the band Blind Petition. For me personally this year means a lot due to I started to get more and more fascinated by the Classic / Hard Rock scene from those days. A whole new world opened up for me and thanks to my older brother, I got to learn more and more bands, day by day. Those were the ultimate years where my musical quest began for real. The passion for Rock and Metal grew on and on, now 40 years later on I still think back to the good old days with a lot of joy… memories to cherish for the rest of my life !

Blind Petition debuted with a self-titled single back in 1980 followed by a whole package of other singles and LP’s. Up to 2007, Blind Petition scored 17 releases, a fact they really can be proud of ! On November the 14th., one of Austrians most legendary bands were back with their newest cut called “Law & Order”… a great album that brings out nostalgia, pure as can be. If you can continue as a band four decades of existence, I do think that we wholeheartedly can congratulate these guys for their everlasting faith in Rock music.

 

When I listen to the new output “Law & Order”, I come to the conclusion that they still are in good condition. Old school rockers definitely will have a great time checking out the 11 new tracks. Most of the works give me the opportunity to relive one of the best period in the history of music, the late 70s & early 80s Hard Rock movement. David Strohmeier delivers excellent vocals in the vein of good old Magnum/Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pearl Jam and Sammy Hagar fame… appropriate singer for a band of this calibre. The family Bartsch seems to be well represented, is this a matter of Like Father-Like Son? Hannes and Bertl on guitar, a younger guy named Harald on drums… great musicians anyway! Bass fiddler in charge is Thomas Gehrke, Alienne does the backing vocals.

 

The sound of Blind Petition is solid, without beating around the bush they serve hard hitting and guitar driven compositions, including a lot of melody actions. No fancy moves or tricks, just good old styled Hard Rock is waiting for your ears to please. Characteristic for music from this era, the song structures are quite simple but that makes it all so attractive to me. Thanks to the musical simplicity, this genre shines in all respects.

 

I’d like to recommend Blind Petition’s new album “Law & Order” to all those hooked on good old styled, timeless Hard Rock music and in some ways, Southern Rock enthusiasts. A great album that takes up a lot of memories for me, those were the days I’ll never forget. Brothers and sisters having a great time during the late 70s and early 80s Rock scene be encouraged to place an order right on, right HERE . Available as CD and double vinyl ! Check ‘em out via: www.blindpetition.com This type of music will never fade away !

 

My rating: 86/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BLIZZARD HUNTER - HEAVY METAL TO THE VEIN

(Pure Underground Records)

Review by Stefan

 

Like many others, also Peruvian Classic Speed/Heavy Metal act Blizzard Hunter (formed in 2006) played only cover songs (J. Priest, Kiss, Metallica & I. Maiden to name a few) in the early period of existence. During that era, the band called Blizzard and a first peak in their young career was to share, in 2009, the stage with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, the man who took my breath away while teaming up with greats like Winter’s Bane, Iced Earth, Beyond Fear, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force… he even screamed everything to shreds on both “Jugulator” and “Demolition” albums!

 

It seemed they have enough of playing only cover tracks, Blizzard changed their name to Blizzard Hunter and a first feat of arms appeared on the surface as a demo (2011) followed by the “Conqueror Of Destiny” EP, launched in 2014 and featured a new drummer and singer. The sound of Blizzard Hunter sounded better than ever before, a refreshing wind blew through the ranks and the final result of the EP (which was available as limited to 100 copies tape edition) was encouraging good. With a better sound and even bigger ambitions, they went on to a new level… to records a first full length effort entitled “Heavy Metal To The Vein”, recently released through German Pure Steel Records.

 

The new album sounds really good, filled with seven new songs and all the tracks from the EP are also added which is good news to those who missed the boat back then. Click your seatbelts tight and get ready for a wild journey through the musical landscapes of good old fashioned Speed and Heavy Metal, alternating with a lethal dose of NWOBHM. Bands that come to mind while listening to the entire “Heavy Metal To The Vein” output are: Early Iron Maiden/Hammerfall/Agent Steel/Sacred Steel, Jaguar (“Power Games” era), Savage (“Loose ‘n Lethal” period), Tokyo Blade during the “Tokyo Blade”/”Night Of The Blade” days and Abattoir (“Vicious Attack” period of time), Most songs are played with high speed velocities featuring cut throat riffs and awesome leads, brought with a great sense of melody !

 

Listening to the whole nine yard, I imagine myself back in the good old days of both US and European Speed and Heavy Metal music with high, sometimes extremely high vocals in the vein of Geoff Tate (ex-Queensryche), Mike Smith (ex-Savage Grace) or even Geddy Lee from legendary Rush fame ! Like this way of vocal delivery, Blizzard Hunter’s frontman ensures that chills run down my spine. Overall, the band consists of a very talented roster and because of their young ages I predict a good future for each one of the players.

 

The production is not too polished which suits their classic Metal music universally, a prize for originality is not committed to this album but I don’t care about that. This is a great effort made by a bunch of young, connected by true metalheads, who let their passion for old school Metal run free during the making of outstanding compositions… Blizzard Hunter’s new cut is all about flammable, well organized Metal music, fast as a shark and strong as solid steel ! Check ‘m out FB or Bandcamp. Order at right HERE . Young Metal dudes on the prowl for a thrill!

 

My rating: 85/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BLOOD REIGN - TROMMELFEURER

(Independent)

Review by Spirit In Black

 

Blood Reign hails from Mulhouse, France and plays Brutal Thrash Metal. The band started in 2010 and released their first EP 'Feel The Pain' in 2013. To promote that particular EP, they did a European tour. In 2015 Blood Reign is back with a new release, a full-length this time, called ‘Trommelfeuer'.

 

While listening to ‘Trommelfeuer’, in preparation for writing this review, I got many doubts what to write about. Is it that bad? Not at all! I’m probably a bit biased because I enjoy this style of metal very much. The issue is about what Blood Reign brings isn’t very original. The band’s bio stated that the members’ main influences are bands like old-Sepultura, Slayer and Demolition Hammer. That is something you can hear many times! Personally I don’t mind this but I can imagine that some are a bit annoyed by the fact that some parts sounds almost the same as let’s say, Slayer.

 

With that being said, it doesn’t mean Blood Reign is a total rip-off of the already mentioned bands. That won’t he fair to Blood Reign! The musicians are skilled and contribute more than enough of their own to make ‘Trommelfeuer’ a cool album. Pounding drums, killer riffs and solo’s, heavy bass lines and raw vocals makes the album what it is: A brutal one! It’s not only fast in your face Thrash Metal also some mid-tempo songs are represented and they are still brutal as f*ck. Songs like ‘Blood Reign Squad’, ’March Or Die’, ’Buried Alive’ are really worth to listen at. The song ‘No Man’s Land’ is a bit of an outsider on the album, actually not only an instrumental but also more melodic as the others songs on ‘Trommelfeuer’. Maybe this song is a little preview for the next effort becoming that might be more melodic?

 

If you like old-Sepultura, Slayer, Demolition Hammer and/or old school (brutal) Thrash Metal in general, make sure you check out ‘Trommelfeuer’! Check ’em out at: https://www.facebook.com/BloodReignBand?hc_location=ufi

 

My Rating: 75/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)

 

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BLOODROCUTED – Disaster Strikes Back

(Punishment 18 Records)

Review by Sloof

 

In a fit of ‘support your local underground’, I bought the debut album of Bloodrocuted ‘Doomed To Annihilation’ in 2013. These young Belgian thrashers released their first album independently but it was pretty clear that signing to a label was only a matter of (short) time. Punishment 18 Records from Italy got in contact with the band and 2015 is the date that Bloodrocuted releases their second album ‘Disaster Strikes Back’. The artwork on the first album was created by Mario E. López M., who lives in Guatemala and is an architect in daily life. He worked and created artwork for bands like Impaler, Kobra, Axe Battler, Game Over and also Evil Invaders their latest output ‘Pulses Of Pleasure’. Mario scored all the way, so it was a logical move to work with this artist again on the second release. This time, the main character is crawling out of a stream of lava while the winged assassin is lurking from above. Nice themes that could result in a comic full of tragedy, disaster, metal attitude and creatures out of hell…

 

Bloodrocuted starts with a threatening and imminent language, as the spoken intro has a Barack Obama sound and tone and guides us into the first track ‘Revolution Of The Enslaved’. The pace of this song is really constructive and accelerations in the arrangement succeed into a wild, ferocious and harum-scarum track full of Thrash Metal assaults! The guitars of Bob Briessinck and Jason Bond are present all the time and they are responsible for the main ingredient of the songs. Every track on this new album demand a lot from the guitar players, as the songs are composed and recorded with a huge focus on the strings. While Bob and Jason encourage their colleagues Gaetan (Drums) and Daan (Bass), the vocals of Bob spit venomous lyrics into the microphone, telling stories of the evil of men and crypts from the grave.

 

‘Burning The West’ opens very direct and deadly, and after only 30 seconds, the guitars change direction with a very interesting approach! The four members of Bloodrocuted are teens with a huge Thrash Metal legacy in their blood and veins. They play very intense, very old school and very dedicated and you get their message on every track on this new album. I’m sure that this is the final result of playing intense on stages and practicing a lot!

 

The bass of Daan Swinnen is present all over the album as he demands his spot in tracks like ‘Disaster Strikes Back’, ‘Burning The West’, and last but not least ‘Consumer Of Death’. This track has an arrangement that is built upon the bass debauchery of Daan. Outstanding riffing is far too little used in contemporary bands! Bloodrocuted proves that the bass is a very interesting and underestimated instrument in Thrash Metal!

 

The quirky accents of Nasty Savage, the aggression of Death Angel and the venom of Nuclear Assault, all combined in one mix, that’s what Bloodrocuted is all about! Some songs have influences of Death, mainly because the vocal chords of Bob have similarities with Chuck (R.I.P. brother). The track ‘Mors Indepecta’ is a good example of the mentioned bands and musicians. It has the same vibe as the classic hymns on Spiritual Healing, the Death album that was released 25 years ago. These youngsters are hungry and they want to spread their metal as much as possible on a stage. The tour that they did with Suicidal Angels all over Europe was only the beginning, as I’m convinced that Bloodrocuted is ready for much more! This is a band that is capable to bring the Thrash Metal scene back to life and can be considered as standard-bearers of Belgium! If you want some yelling and screaming guitars, you will be surprised a few times as the solos in the songs work up into shredding and whining strings that recalls memories of the early Slayer days! I just love it when an instrument like a Flying V or a BC Rich Warlock is begging for mercy! Listen to the solo in ‘Revolution Of The Enslaved’ and you will get the point! This is metal, this is mean, but at the same time perfectly dosed in aggression, melody and craftsmanship!

 

37 minutes of pure amusement is dripping out of my CD-player and the album is growing in strength, spin after spin. This is a top notch product of Belgian soil and we should be proud to have bands like Bloodrocuted in our scene. They have the talent and skills to make the difference, so put on your bullet belt, studs and leather jacket and raise that fist while banging heads and hailing that disaster strikes back! http://www.bloodrocuted.com/

 

My rating: 86/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BLOOD CULPRIT - SINISTER THOUGHT PROCESS

(Independent)

Review by Nathan McLeod

 

I worked really close with this 'Nashville, Tennessee' 'death-thrash metal' band a few years back. Mainly with 'Mitch Allen', one of the 'Blood Culprit' guitarists. Unfortunately 'Blood Culprit' was another artist that just seem to disappear from the 'metal' scene. A bit of a 'pity'.

 

'Sinister Thought Process' was 'Blood Culprit's' debut CDEP release. The material featured was a really great & honest attempt with a debut release. The material appearing on 'Sinister Thought Process' I'd say could go either way with a 50/50 'thought process'. (No pun intended).

 

I really do give 'Blood Culprit' an "A for effort"! They really did have the 'heart & drive' a band needs to succeed. And sure, for whatever reason or reason(s), a band calls it quits, throws in the towel.

 

The track I do dig the most on this EP is 'Embedded In Malice'. Firm belief that if 'Blood Culprit' had stayed the course as a band, released a 'full-length' CD, & quite possibly done something different in the 'vocal' department, "volia": some success!!

 

My rating: 70/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)

 

'Sinister Thought Process' track info:

1) Sinister Thought Process, 2) Nightmare In Which The Creature Lurks, 3) Semper Fi (Live Or Die), 4) Embedded In Malice, 5) Condemned & Forgotten; total time 18:58.

'Blood Culprit' line-up:

*Alex Stewart - Vocals

*Mitch Allen - Guitar

*Bryan Toll - Guitar

*Jason Darnall - Bass

*Chris Karchefski - Drums

*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Blood_Culprit/3540355060

*ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/bloodculprit

*Twitter: https://twitter.com/BloodCulprit

*Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BloodCulprit

*CD Baby: http://www.malevolence-records.us/Store.php

 

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BLOOD & IRON - VOICES OF ETERNITY

(Pure Steel Records)

Review by Officer Nice

 

Is this really a band from India? That’s bizarre… I would have never thought Metal made it up there in the land of Mahatma Ghandi. It means Metal really spreads around the world. I doubt India will ever know a true Metal scène but I suppose that’s not so difficult to predict. Nevertheless Pure Steel Records delivers us a band called Blood & Iron that might be the first Indian Metal band ever? No?

 

Blood & Iron isn’t actually a new band. In 2007 the debut saw the light of day and a follow-up album was released in 2009. I can’t say this formation is pure Indian because New Zealand born vocalist, Giles Lavery, is the leading man. You might know him from a band called Dragonsclaw. Also visitors of the mighty Keep It True Festival might also know him from his performance with US Metal legends Warlord in 2013. He’s a very good singer with a wide ranged voice and he fits this kind of music perfectly. He often reminds me of a mixture between Tim Ripper Owens and Michael Grant (R.I.P.) and let this be a huge compliment. The awesome high screams here and there are added for free and gives me at least the right kick!

 

Blood & Iron delivers good played US Metal with fantastic played guitars, awesome performances on the drums and of course the crystal clear vocals of mister Lavery, a man we might hear more from in the future. Along with Vikram Brains he’s the one who makes it really worth to watch for this record at the Internet! About Vikram Bains; he seems to be an unknown but very gifted guitar player and his intense way of playing leads is very well tasted. His talent can’t be kept a secret! Nothing but really nothing on this release makes you believe these guys are really heading from the Far East, but they do and I bow my head deep for it.

 

If you’re into traditional US Heavy Metal, with a blink of an eye to US Power Metal, we worship here at Metal To Infinity, than Blood & Iron is without any doubt something for you. This record is well produced and every song is varied enough to be enjoyable for the listener. This band plays their stuff with the right dose of Power, a balanced dose of skills and an overdose of great performed Metal! There’s a good harmony in the tempo changes and constantly good melodic lines are foreseen. I don’t hear any weaknesses and this one might even be the biggest surprise of 2014. Fans of Jag Panzer, Judas Priest, Metal Church, Tad Morose, Cypher Seer, Onward etc. are warned! This band is able to do much more in the future and only one spin is enough to prove me right. First class US Metal from out of India, awesome! I’m fond of this release! Check http://www.bloodandiron.com

 

My rating: 90/100 (Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)

 

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BOOTLEGS - EKKI FYRIR VIDKVAEMA

(Minotauro Records)

Review by Nathan McLeod

 

Due to what may think & 'unpopular' belief, there is as much a 'metal' scene in 'Reykjavík, Iceland' as there is 'volcanoes' that are 'active' & will ground 'European' airspace for over a week when they do erupt! In fact, these 'Icelandic' lads have been around since '1986'; believe it or not ladies & gentlemen.

 

This is taken straight from the 'Minotauro Records' website: The legendary thrash metal band from Iceland, Bootlegs is back with new songs and a new album after a 25 year hiatus. They're here to show you how thrash metal was done back in the day. Songs have strong lyrics influenced about everything that is happening in the world today. Sung mainly in Icelandic but a few songs are in English.

 

And: Bootlegs was one of the bigger names in Icelandic Metal history at the end of last century, between 1986-1991, playing pure old-school unadulterated Thrash Metal. During that time they released 2 full-length albums and had songs on couple of Compilation albums. The band played all over Iceland and toured in Denmark 1991, and Denmark has not yet recovered from that tour. At the end of 1991 themembers of the band all went their separate ways and some continued on with other projects. 1998 saw a comeback with a big reunion concert where most of the members that had been with the band in the early days came together. This was recorded and in 2006 a CD with the recordings was made public. 2004 the band started again with new drummer and played a few concerts around the 2010 one more comeback, but now with original members, the band joined few a big concerts, including playing the inaugural Rokkjötnar festival in 2012 and was welcomed again into the new world of metal. In 2014 Minotauro Records Re-Released both albums (WC Monster and Bootlegs) as Digipacks with bonus songs from the Live album. The guys went to studio to record new material (released July 2015) and followed with some live performances. Bootlegs are back and they are here to show how this was done in the old days. So watch out for the old farts, they still can play!

 

I lived in 'Reykjavík' for a brief moment 5yrs back or so, & am a bit 'unhappy' with myself that I did not get the chance to see 'Bootlegs'. Their brand of 'thrash-metal' is more IMO on the 'hardcore-punk-thrash' side of things. 'Bootlegs' very much has a 'Verbal Abuse', 'G.B.H.', 'Voivod' sound to them & style. I'd say 'less' intricate in terms of 'musicianship', but 'Bootlegs' play a style of 'thrash-metal' I really happen to like.

 

This is also another CD that doesn't have the 'greatest' production, but are able to capture an '80's' style, type, & vibe with their 'production'. most of the tracks appearing on 'Gervigledi er ogledi (Artificial Joy Is Nausea)' are sung in 'Icelandic', some are in 'English'. It really doesn't matter what 'language' to me 'metal' is sung in. If it's something great you are hearing, one will know.

 

These 'Icelandic's' really do stand up & deliver!!!

 

My rating: 85/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

'Gervigledi er ogledi (Artificial Joy Is Nausea) track info:

I) Gervigleði er ógleði (Not For The Sensative) II) Fullur á Facebook (Drunk On Facebook) III) KúkurPissOgÆl (PoopPissAndVomit) IV) Bootlegs fyrir börnin (Bootlegs For The Kids) V) Tribute To Thrash VI) Eitur naðra (Poison Adder) VII) Gjallarhorn (Megaphone) VIII) Fórnarlamb tískunnar (Victim Of Fasion) IX) Kjörkassasvín (Ballot Box Pig) X) Poser XI) Haleluja XII) SOD III XII) Ó Reykjavík (Oh Reykjavík) total run-time: 37:17.

'Bootlegs' contact info:

*Website: http://www.minotaurorecords.com/

*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Bootlegs/76699

*ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/bootlegsiceland

*E-mail: bootlegs.iceland@outlook.com

*Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bootlegsiceland

​'Bootlegs':

*Nonni - Guitar/Vocals

*Junior - Guitar/Vocals

*Elli - Bass

*Stjuni - Drums​

 

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BOOZE CONTROL - HEAVY METAL

(Kernkraftritter Records)

Review by Officer Nice

 

What a strange name for a record company. Never ever heard of them…. But they did send me a full CD and that always motivates to make a review. As above it is a very professional product, nice cover, good booklet and anything on it an old fashioned Metal fan really wants. So let’s give it a shot!

 

This band seems to come from Germany, still the leading country in Heavy Metal. Uncountable bands, from the underground to the mainstream… Even in every little town over there must be a Metal formation. This band is already a few years active and “Heavy Metal” is their debut. A bit, or should I say, lots of clichés in what I discover and ‘booze’ seems indeed being the biggest source of inspiration. For some reasons this have never attracted me, maybe this is the reason why I’m not a big Tankard fan. But with Booze Control I just hear some good old fashioned Heavy Metal, with a big respect for the traditions of the old school.

 

Booze Control plays their Metal in vein of the old bands, NWOBHM, old German bands, lots of bands who has formed the Heavy Metal scène a few decades ago. With some speed rhythms here and there, with good double leads, with hard hitting drums and with a vocalist who really makes this album enjoyable to listen to. I hear some high screams and Booze Control really knows how to please the listener. This isn’t the most technical stuff but the songs are good written and the arrangements, which are not original for a slice of a second, gives me a good feeling.

 

Booze Control mixes traditional Heavy Metal with Power Metal elements and for fans of these genres this must do. They will never lead the world but I suppose the True Metal movement, especially in countries like Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy, really adores this kind of music. It’s headbanging stuff that satisfies the listener and Booze Control certainly deserve a place on festivals like Keep It True or Headbangers Open Air. They would fit there perfectly as opening band and I’m quite sure the German public will adore them for sure. More isn’t really possible, let’s conclude this is a great underground band that will never be responsible for something shocking in the history of Heavy Metal.

 

If you’re into bands like Accept, Gravestone, Wolf, Ram etc. this band deserves your attention. They deliver good things and fans of the traditional Metal can’t do anything wrong wit purchasing this one. For some it will be too old fashioned, for others it will be too ‘middle of the road’ but I’m quite sure nobody will dislike it. Check https://www.facebook.com/boozecontrol / http://www.boozecontrol.de/

 

My rating: 78/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)

 

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BULLET TRAIN BLAST - SHAKE RATTLE RACING

(Target/Mighty Music Records)

Review by Sloof

 

Tue Madsen is besides a renowned producer also a musician who likes to add his own personal stamp on albums that he’s creating. Together with the band Bullet Train Blast, he produced their third album and played some guest solos and a keyboard part as a supporting role. I have to admit that the name of the band didn’t ring any bell, but when I flipped through the booklet, a few big names drew my attention. Henrik Jacobsen supported as producer and most people will know this man as guitar player of Hatesphere and Koldborn, but he’s also a member of this Danish band that describe their music as a mixture of ZZ Top and Van Halen to Foo Fighters. I’m not totally agree, as there are much more blues ingredients than the mentioned names. Anyhow, the catchy, melodic and rocking songs have a huge dose of energy and blistering guitar solos and that’s exactly what we are looking for.

 

When the album starts, we get a Bluesy injection with a little Blackfoot influence. The vocals of Martin Larsen have some high and hoarse elements, but very entertaining to listen to. All members are no longer teenagers and that reflects in the songs. They breathe adulthood and maturity and they radiate a certain grown-up attitude. 12 songs and a duration of 43 minutes is the trip and it’s nice that the members add variety as well. ‘Right Reasons’ has an Aerosmith approach, ‘Broken’ is a track that will convince people at live gigs and some songs have very emotional lyrics as well (‘I Think I’ll Stay’). If you want some heavy tracks, I’ll advice ‘Broken’ and ‘My Life Got New Meaning’ with an outstanding vocal performance on the latter. ‘Standing In The Darkness’ is probably one of the best songs on this third album and a track like ‘Rock’n ’Roller’ fulfills all expectations! The final track is called ‘The Fighter’ and with the addition of a shredding guitar in the beginning, it results in an very aggressive track!

 

My conclusion for this release is simple: we are dealing with a band that knows how to write good songs and adding some blues influences is a good move. They have the passion and the skills, and a lot of music adepts will love what they hear! Bullet Train Blast might be a difficult name but guarantees quality! http://www.bullettrainblast.com/

 

My rating: 84/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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BURNING BLACK - REMISSION OF SIN

(Limb Music)

Review by Sloof

 

Burning Black took a long period for writing new material after the release of their second album ‘MechanicHell’ (2009 by Limb Music), but it was worth the wait! The band evolved and especially the vocals of Dan Ainlay got a more mature approach. 5 years are a lot and consequent changes weren't a stranger for the band and members. But, hey, the wait is over and these Italians wants to go all the way to get their name spread! The new album is called ‘Remission Of Sin’ and the Power Metal that is present is executed with a lot of detail and an international impression.

 

‘Remission Of Sin’ is the audible proof that Burning Black are not resting on their laurels, instead following the chosen path into American influenced Power Metal, they chose a slightly different direction as they are heading into a more European touch and style. You simply hear that this band was raised on European soil and they don’t deny their origins.

 

The albums opens with the short instrumental track ‘Do Lung Bridge’ that refers to a scene in the ‘Apocalypse Now’ movie, and this symbolic gesture represents ‘the point of no return’. It’s the moment where the characters leave behind their morality and enter their new world, a world with several reasons for the war. The topic “war” seems to be a red threat throughout the album with tracks like ‘Mercenary Of War’, ‘True Metal Jacket’ and ‘Remission Of Sin’. What I like from the very first moments are the vocals of Dan! He has a hoarse approach, but at the same time a typical Power Metal throat that is able to go high, including a lot of variation! This dude knows how to sing and he’s exhibiting his skills all the way!

 

Some tracks have a Scorpions approach but with a darker style and arrangement. The higher parts in the chorus line of the title song are again outstanding and it proves that this band has the skills to combine heaviness with melody and give it a dark twist! ‘Flag Of Rock’ has again a very melodic chorus, but although it’s a sing along song, it still has enough variety to please the real headbanger!

 

‘Crucified Heart’ has a lot of Judas Priest influences, and also Riot isn’t that far away. The companion could be much worse! ‘Spaceman’s Theory’ is an instrumental track and I’m always curious as instrumental songs demand a lot from the musicians. Instrumental songs need catchy, defiant, innovatory and entertaining elements and the lack of a singer should be compensated by the craftsmanship of the musicians.

 

‘March Of The Crabs’ by Anvil is in my opinion one of the best instrumental tracks ever made, and thus far, never or rarely equaled. I guess that the instrumental ‘Spaceman’s Theory’ doesn’t live up all expectations as this track is too modest and calm to be considered as highlight.

 

But all in all, I had a really great time in listening and reviewing this album and it indicates once more that the Italian metalheads should not be underestimated. Hopefully, it won’t take another 5 years to get in touch with this band, and they are more than welcome to play the Belgian stages as well!

 

My rating: 85/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)