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CALIBRE ZERO - CON LAS BOTAS PUESTAS

(Pure Steel Publishing)

Review by Officer Nice

 

It was a long time ago I received some stuff from a band from out of Spain. Does the crisis has it’s negative effects on the Metal scène in the country of the oranges? I wouldn’t know to be honest and it’s been ages I have been there. Nevertheless I received an album from a band from out of this part of Europe, a formation that listens to the name of Calibre Zero.

 

This bans is active since 2005 and released several albums ever since. They didn’t shock the world and their new album won’t either. This band offers old-fashioned Heavy Metal, no surprises should be expected. This album knows a decent yet typical production and is foreseen from eleven tracks with Spanish lyrics. I don’t actually mind about it and it even gives this kind of bands something exotic.

 

If you’re into traditional Metal you should give this band a fair chance. Old Maiden, Demon, Elixir etc… You know what I am talking about? Let’s conclude you won’t get bored or excited by Calibre Zero. It’s the kind of band that one day might be invited to open those True Metal festivals in for example Germany. Check them at http://www.calibrezerorock.com.

 

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

 

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CANEDY - HEADBANGER

(Independent)

Review by Stefan

 

Carl Canedy began his quest back in 1978 as drummer/vocalist in the US Classic Heavy Metal band The Rods, a legendary trio formed by David ‘Rock’ Feinstein (the cousin of R.J. Dio)… first bassist Steve Starmer was replaced by Garry Bordonaro for the recordings of The Rods’ 3rd. effort called “Wild Dogs”.

 

Until now, Carl has a meritorious career behind him as renowned musician but also as a professional master in producing/engineering a whole lotta albums. First on, he played in bands like Jack Starr, Manowar (Demo ’81), Thrasher, Rhett Forester a.o. He produced the first few Anthrax albums as well as he produced good old stuff like Hestar’s “Burning Star”, Exciter’s “Violent And Force”, E-X-E’s “Stricken By Might”, Attila’s “Rolling Thunder”, the self-titled TT Quick album, “Seven Churches” from Possessed, Rhett Forrester’s “Gone With The Wind”, Canedy/Feinstein/Bordonaro & Caudle’s “Hollywaood”, Overkill’s “Feel The Fire” and the first six efforts from The Rods ! He also co-produced the “Beast Is Back’ (Megaforce Records) album from classic rockers Blue Cheer.

 

The Rods have released their latest ‘reunion’ album “Vengeance” (produced by David Feinstein) in 2011, loaded with 11 tracks, this cut brought back the good old days of US Heavy Metal. One song ‘The Code’ was a special one, it was written by Carl himself and featured a vocal performance by the best singer ever, Ronnie James Dio ! Significant fact to mention, the song is also added to the tracklist of Canedy’s debut solo effort “Headbanger”!!

 

Carl is starting out on a new chapter, he formed his own band by the name of Canedy and his solo debut album “Headbanger”, has been released October 24th. 2014. The total running time is 53+ minutes, features 9 studio recordings (including 2 instrumentals), ‘The Code’ (featuring RJ Dio), two bonus ‘demo’ songs plus a live recording of a mighty strong, bewildering drum solo delivered by the master himself. There is so much going on, especially if you like authentic US Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music. As always, Carl Canedy takes place behind his drum throne with a lot of dedication. Every move he makes speaks volumes, let it be clear that Mr. Canedy belongs to the elite troops concerning best drummers in the world. “Headbanger” is astonishingly good which is partly due to the many guest musicians surrounding him.

 

The vocals are mainly offered by two different type of singers named Mark Tomillo (TT Quick, Accept) and Joe Comeau (Overkill, Liege Lord, Annihilator, DuskMachine). David Porter (805) and Erin Canedy (Carl’s daughter) also participated in the vocal service on a restricted basis. World talented shred guitar vendors in charge are: Chris Caffery and John Hahn. On bass you’ll hear the following players: Nolan Ayres, Garry Bordonaro (The Rods), Gerry Chesick, John Hahn, Lincoln Bloomfield Jr and Rosane Galvao. Carl Canedy has managed to recruit a band of highly skilled musicians and the outcome strikes me like a bomb… without one single doubt, the debut album of Canedy is one that fascinates me enormously because of the high character of contained compositions.

 

The right tone of the album is immediately deployed with a quite short instrumental ‘The Calm Before – Into The Storm’, where melodic shred tactics reign supreme. Next ‘Cult Of The Poisoned Mind’ has an agonizingly, compelling rhythm and the vocals of Joe Comeau deliver the goods. Back in the days, Joe was, among others, the singer on Liege Lord’s “Master Control” and also shines on Annihilator’s “Double Live Annihilation”. Always been a great singer with a strong vocal line agility. ‘My Life My Way rumbled out of my speakers and it’s time for Mark Tomillo to take control of the vocals. Mark’s throat sounds rough, somewhat hoarse… he reminds me often to AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Wild Dogs’ Matt Mc Court and, of course Udo Dirkschneider (ex-Accept). Mark became the permanent vocalist for German Metal legends Accept for specific reasons you know. A worthy replacement for UDO, I will see Accept in August 2015 during the Alcatraz Metal Festival, Belgium.

 

I really like ‘No One Walks Away” and its Classic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal character, Joe Comeau takes over the microphone to spoil my ears with elegance. I want to mention again that the guitar duties, delivered by two masters Chris Caffery and John Hahn, really take my breath away ! ‘Heat Of The Night’ brings to life a unique collaboration between two different style of singers and the result exceeds the average. The pace on ‘Crossfire’ sounds peaceful and serene, I’d like to describe this one as a power ballad who knows how to touch me emotionally, again with awesome guitar solo’s! Fans of good old The Rods can point their right fist to the sky while keeping a big bucket of beer in the other hand, ‘Ride Free Or Die’ makes you going wild like hell! As already mentioned, ‘The Code’ (taken from The Rods’ latest cut “Vengeance” and featuring RJ Dio) gets the honour to close Canedy’s debut solo album “Headbanger” in style. Well, with all respect and dignity for all the other songs, this is my favorite one for sure, all because of the magical voice of this fallen Metal God. Ronny’s way of singing will always haunt me as long as my stay on Earth persists.

 

“Headbanger” is a real good and expertly produced album made by Carl Canedy who’s surrounded by exceptionally well skilled players which lend their professionalism all by the grace of US Classic Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music. Order your own hard copy right HERE. Stop by at Canedy’s official FB page while using THIS link.

 

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

 

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CELESTIAL SON - SATURN'S RETURN

(Target/Mighty Music Records)

Review by Sloof

 

It’s not the first time that I wrote very positive about the Danish scene, and I’m sure that there are many more bands in Denmark that I don’t know yet, but if you ask me about one common thing when we’re talking about that particular scene, I would say craftsmanship! It doesn’t matter if you play extreme or mainstream, if you are born under the sign of Satan or if you believe in peace, love and friendship. Danish bands have quality on board and Target/Mighty Music Records know how to support it!

 

Concerning Celestial Son, I must admit that they bring their music with a very 90ies approach, and I do miss an aggressive edge, but I can’t deny that the members of the band know what they are capable off. I wasn’t impressed about Tool, I’m not a fan of Nine Inch Nails (N.I.N.) and Grunge Metal wasn’t my cup of tea. That doesn’t mean that I’m not respectful for Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, but I simply didn’t dig their songs.

 

Same story for Celestial Son. I hear and notice that the band is playing on a high level and some songs are really cool (‘All I Ever Wanted’, ‘The Pitts’ and the instrumental ‘The Fortress’), others are simply fillers (‘The Moon’, ‘Not A Choice’), but that’s all a very personal impression. If you are into Alice In Chains, Nirvana and Grunge in general, this might be an interesting release, but I’m afraid it’s only suitable for a small group of people.

 

My rating: 73/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)

 

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CHABTAN - THE KISS OF COATLICUE

(Target / Mighty Music Records)

(Review by Sloof)

 

Chabtan is an unknown band from Paris, France, but with a very intense approach and a front cover artwork that sucked me into curiosity! They had the idea to create a modern French Metal album and after a few spins, I can only conclude that they did well. The quartet of Chabtan release their debut album with so much dedication and passion that a great future is ahead!

 

An industrial touch to the songs, a slightly Fear Factory whiff, but all in all passionate and dedicated musicians that want to start the digital revolution with aggression, blastbeats and deadly accuracy! Opener ‘The Nahual’s Omen’ starts really calm and fragile, but this is only meant to put you on the wrong track. This 40 seconds acoustic approach is probably the last resting time before mankind will be destroyed with 11 songs of brutality and a blend of violence, extermination and havoc!

The titles of the tracks also contains messages of ominous reports from the universe. Calamity is coming with ‘Astral Monsters’, ‘Follow The Darkest Way’ and ‘Obsidian Butterfly’. Tracks like ‘Visions Of The Snake’ brings little well, but all in all, I was really surprised how upcoming terror can taste that good! Chabtan is very precise, very accurate and despite the extreme music style, they are capable to bring all instruments in perfect positions. It’s not a mishmash of instruments, not a ‘try to sound as loud as possible’, it’s all dosed with such an exactness and particularity that mayhem tastes sweet!

 

Fans of Kataklysm have a European likeminded formation and if you want to listen to the best song at once, make sure not to miss the 5th track: ‘Anthropomorphic Beast’

 

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

 

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CHAEDRIST - GRANDEVALITY

(Independent)

Review by Officer Nice

 

I’ve told it before that Germany is the Mecca when we talk about Metal. In every little town, from the North to the South, from the West to the East you can find Metal bands. Every single day there are gigs, from little local bands but also from international formations. There are uncountable festivals and as good as anything is possible right there. I can’t say Black and Death Metal are the biggest success in Germany but also these subgenres has their popularity. From out of Munich I received a CD from a band called Chaedrist. I had never heard about them, but this is after all their debut. What I received was a professional package, great front cover and booklet for a private pressing.

 

Chaedrist is playing extreme Metal, sounding to me as Black Metal, at some points mixed with the more technical Death Metal in a blender with modern Metal sounds. Surely influenced by the bigger bands from out of Scandinavia but Chaedrist adds their own visions and sounds to it. The lyrics are German and English but in this kind of music you hardly hear the difference.

 

What I do hear is the fact that Chaedrist pumps up the volume and beats, the drum parts are often very fast as it is often demanded for this kind of music. Yet I also hear efforts to sound melodic and that’s a good thing. The arrangements are varied and Chaedrist often changes the tempo. They create a wall of sound which makes them sound overwhelming at some points. I can’t say this is exactly my cup of tea but I’m quite sure fans of extreme Metal, in particular Black Metal will like this band from out of Munich. The production is strong, maybe that will disappoint Black Metal adorers but I prefer a good sound. Check these guys out at http://chaedrist.bandcamp.com

 

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

 

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CHRIS ALLEN - THE POWER OF CHRIS COMPELLS YOU

(Independent)

Review by Nathan McLeod

 

 

'Guitarist extroardinaire'! Recently received an 'extremely' & VERY 'professional' promotional pack from 'Boston, MA.' native 'Chris Allen', consisting of '1-page typed & signed letter', an 'autographed photo', '4 custom guitar pics', & a '2-track promo EP' entitled 'The Power Of CHRIS Compels You' ... (People just don't often send promo out like this anymore) ... 'VERY IMPRESSIVE'!!!

 

Didn't take me long either being 'duly' as 'impressed' with 'Chris Allen's' '2-track' & under '12mins' EP, with the 'wide-range' of 'guitar-great/influences' ranging from 'Zakk Wylde', 'Yngwie Malmsteen', 'George Lynch' to our 'late/great' 'never forgotten legends' of 'Jimi Hendrix', 'Stevie Ray Vaughn', & 'Randy Rhoads'! ... (May You ALL Rest In Peace) ... A great 'nostalgic' intro/outro on 'All Day, Every Day' with that 'mimicing' 70's sound of dropping a needle onto an old LP, at the end dragging the arm of a record player across an LP giving off that 'infamous' 'scratching' sound. Beautiful!!!

 

Other 'guitar-greats/legends' may not be that of the 'stylish' sound found on 'The Power of CHRIS Compels You', but the 'immediate' & in my 'personal' belief 'Chris Allen' could of very easily stepped into the shoes of another 'American-born' guitarist: 'Tommy Bolan' (Deep Purple/James Gang) onto that of: 'Allen Collins' (Lynyrd Skynyrd) ... May the 'both' of you Rest In Peace as well. Rest assured, the 'bass & drums' backing 'Chris Allen' pack quite a 'punch', similar to that of the great: "Grand Funk Railroad". Could VERY easily 'incorporate' the guitar style of 'Mark Farner'.

 

Move onto the track 2, 'My Only Hope', this is a 'mix' between 'Joe Satriani/Double Trouble' 80's trio(s). Beyond 'numerous' guitar styles/influences, long list of, guitar 'ICONS' that can be heard with 'Chris Allen'. Briefly looking at some YouTube videos, can catch the 'duplication' of the 'Motor City Madman's' very own 'Terrible Ted Nugent's - 'Cat Scratch Fever'! 'Classic rock/blues defined, Southern rock, 80's power metal, modern day influential'. Can catch further 'clips' of 'Chris Allen's' - 'Rock Machine' & 'Trouble On The Horizon' via 'CD Baby'. Damn fine guitarist!

 

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

 

'Musicians':

*Chris Allen: Guitar

*Jeremy 'The Jerminata' Indick: Bass

*Ryan Healy: Drums

'The Power of CHRIS Compels You' track info:

1) All Day, Every Day, 2) My Only Hope; total run-time 11:24.

Recorded. mixed, & mastered at Rocket Dog Records & Cheap Mix Studios - Cambridge, MA. Artwork by Jon E. Allen @ www.joneallen.com ...

Chris Allen contact info:

*Website: www.thechrisallenpwertrip.com

*E-mail: TCAPT@comcast.net

*Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialCHRISALLEN

Additional Chris Allen info:

*CD Baby: www.cdbaby.com/Artist/CHRISALLEN

*ReverbNation: www.reverbnation.com/thechrisallenpowertrip

*YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9RWQVAQ7j8

*MySpace: www.myspace.com/CHRISALLEN

 

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CICCONE RITCHIE - WITHIN OUR PARAMETERS

(Independent)

Review by Officer Nice

 

Something I have never heard about is in front of me. A full CD, great front cover and a biography that makes me curious. Ciccone Ritchie is heading from Denmark, a country that is known for its musical talents. These guys don’t look like Metal heads but we all know in the present scène this isn’t an issue anymore. Although I was convinced a Progressive Metal CD was awaiting me, I needed to change my thoughts after the very first listen.

 

Ciccone Ritchie is the name of the band and not one of the members. I have no clue where the band name is coming from but does it really matter? I don’t think so. What I hear is some really fine and qualitative music. This isn’t pure Metal, it’s a diverse sound from different Rock influences on which the guitars and melodies are playing an important role. Ciccone Ritchie expresses lots of emotions and that’s the reason why this album sounds mature and diverse. From melancholy all over summer breeze sounds… I can find it all right here. Rock is the key word but because of the used distortion in the guitars and the technical skills, Ciccone Ritchie sounds closer to a Metal band, in vein of bands like Therapy? and Volbeat.

 

Although CR is a very new band which blow me away. I’m open minded in music and I believe this band has a future. The talent is way too big to stay unknown and the public for this kind of music is out there. What I said about ‘Progressive’ can’t be totally denied because these guys are able to play on a technical way as well. Yet the melody is more important and singer Bjarke Madsbøll really creates a great vocal sound. What I maybe miss are some leads, for some reason this kind of bands hardly uses them but to me, it’s mostly the ultimate point of emotional expression…

 

Don’t hesitate to give this band a chance if you’re an open minded Metal fan, a Rock fan or just a fan of good music. I’m pretty sure lots of you will purchase this one as it should! This band has a heart anyway (they’ve toured for charity) and deserves all respect back. Try them out at http://www.facebook.com/cicconeritchie.

 

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

 

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CIVILIAN - THE SECOND

(Independent)

Review by Sloof

 

A second seems nothing, but on August 6th. 1945 the world history was changed in one second in the Japanese city of Hiroshima. When the uranium gun-type atomic bomb named Little Boy was dropped, most of the dead were civilians, although Hiroshima had a sizeable military garrison. Civilian is a Flemish band that likes to mix different styles of music into an own identity, so expect Hard Rock with some Metal influences, but also a slight bit of groovy ingredients as well.

 

From the very first tones of ‘Zusammen’, the energy is bursting out of the disc! The members of Civilian seem to be in a rush as they bring their Rock meets Metal with a lot of sing-along attitude and I’m sure that the power of this track will be best expressed at live gigs! ‘Wrong Side Of The Road’ offers nothing special, it’s a very corny sequel and my expectations were a lot higher. The power of this track isn’t comparable with a nuclear attack at all, it’s rather a grazing shot. We continue with ‘Love In The Moshpit’, and in this track we get some Nuclear Assault influences. Although the track starts heavy and seems to be interesting, the chorus lines are totally inappropriate!

 

‘What happens in the moshpit, stays in the moshpit’ is a shameful adaptation of ‘What happens on tour, stays on tour’. It’s a stupid chorus, almost childish and infantile, and proves once again that lyrics and music are integral. A track like ‘Dead Man Walking’ brings something totally diverse. A modest beginning, vocals of Mark Van Luijk that sound really interesting and a song that has a perfect balance between heaviness and a dark atmosphere. ‘Stars Tonight’ has a Rock’n Roll twist where Danzig/Diablo Blvd. might be influential and the title track of this album needs to be mentioned as well.

 

‘The Second’ is a world attempt, although it’s not officially recognized as the shortest song ever put on a cd. British Grindcore act Napalm Death is still the official leader with their track ‘You Suffer’, which featured on their debut album “Scum”, and takes exactly 1.316 seconds. I can understand that this is impressing news anno 1987, but adds nothing more nowadays, so Civilian will have to find other ways to convince! And then, all in a sudden, the band seems to rise from average and mediocre to pre-eminent and egregious! ‘Digging A Hole’ is a really cool song with outstanding drums and a very dark vibe.

 

The next one ‘C.E.O.’ has a little Motörhead twist with a special nomination of Christophe Beliën his bass tracks. The guitar solos of David and John are engagingly and impressive and it seems like this band has kept their best tracks for the second part of the album. The fun and pleasure continues as ‘Tarantula’ has a very nice chorus line and the vocal part of Mark Van Luijk are breathtaking! ‘Closed Door’ is a ballade-like track with nice lyrics and a sensitive and emotional touch. Fantastic!

My conclusion of Civilian their new album is simple: the first part is substandard, the second part is outstanding! I would suggest to focus new material on the better structures and arrangements and although the song ‘Hallelujahland’ was a You Tube hit, it’s not the highlight of the band. They convince at the end, but it’s better to focus on 1 style instead of a hodgepodge of different styles. I’m curious if Civilian will evolve the upcoming years, and if they play in my neighborhood, I will check them out live, even if it was only to enjoy the live version of ‘Tarantula’ and ‘Digging A Hole’!

 

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

 

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COMPENDIUM OF METAL VOL. 8 - V/A

(Metal On Metal Records)

Review by Stefan

 

As every year, I once again have the honour to spread the word about Metal On Metal Records’ “Compendium Of Metal” album. This eighth edition is filled with 14 songs by 12 excellent bands. To me it's the annual feast on Metal stylistically related to Heavy, US Power Metal, Speed & Black Thrash Metal, Doom and Epic/ProgMetal. Metal On Metal Records’ motto is: “Old School Metal Or No Metal At All”, so with a statement like this, I’m sure that you’ll get the picture, right!? I've been working with them right from the start and my respect grew on and on, year after year. Throughout many years, Metal gets all the credit allocated in a very remarkable and professional way with regard to the sound quality and always very neat packaging. Also this year’s “Compendium Of Metal Vol. 8” is a must-have for all enthusiasts of extremely solid Metal music, completely disassociated from all the modern styles and genres. For only 6 Euro you’ll get a diversified compilation that runs for 74 minutes. I bet my head that many of the featured bands will surprise you positively while some other ones might not fulfill your musical needs… Anyway, here’s my point of view about the present troops of Metal:

 

DARK QUARTERER, formed in Italy in 1980, feature as a newcomer on the label with a track taken from their “Ithaca” album. They’ve released six studio albums since their inception, and thanks to Metal On Metal Records we came in touch with this great Epic/Progressive Metal act. Feel free to read MTI co-editor Sloof’s thoughts on “Ithaca” at: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_ABCD/darkquarterer_ithaca.html

 

STONEGRIFF ain’t no stranger at the house of Metal To Infinity, they stole my heart with the release of debut album “Prologus Magicus” in 2013, and on “Compendium Of Metal Vol. 8” the band offers us a song ‘Brother Cain’ from their new cut “Come Taste The Blood”. Name of the game: Traditional Doom Metal and, you can take my word for it, Stonegriff’s second album sounds brilliant! My rating on the band’s debut was high, about the score with regards to the new album, you can read all about my satisfaction at: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_QRST/stonegriff_cometastetheblood.html

 

RISEN PROPHECY, which formed in the UK back in 2005, means a lot to me! These young Power Thrashing maniacs just released their second album “Into The Valley Of Hinnom” in a breathtaking manner. Words fail to express how good these guys really are, read my verdict about the new album at: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_QRST/risenprophecy_intothevalleyofhinnom.html. The track ‘Risen Prophecy’ presented on this compilation got me by the throat right from the start until the very last second. Previously represented on both 2007 demo and debut album, it's been newly recorded especially for this compilation, and musically follows the good old tradition of US Power/Thrash Metal in the vein of early Iced Earth, Forbidden, Hellhound and Sindrome. My appreciation will manifest itself at the end of the year when MTI’s favourite album lists are added - Risen Prophecy will end up very high there for sure!

 

The next two tracks are by MELIAH RAGE, the legendary power/thrashers from the US, formed back in 1987. ‘The Lie’ is a new track, exclusively recorded for this “Compendium Of Metal Vol. 8” CD. This song proves that this band is still in good shape which is a good sign for the future and hopefully a brand new album. Actually there will be a new Meliah Rage album coming out via Metal On Metal Records soon, but it will feature only very early recordings, even from before they got their band name. In the meantime, you can listen to ‘Enter The Darkness’, a pre-Meliah Rage track recorded in 1986 when the band practised their fingers to the bone in the rehearsal room, and with a totally unknown frontman. Listening to the song, old memories cross my mind again and it feels real good. Pure US Power/Thrash Metal nostalgia to me, so I look forward to hear the compilation album entitled “Before The Kill” which will be loaded with nothing but the band’s earliest recordings. Very rare and must have for all Metal hunters and collector alike!

 

The sixth song of the compilation is by a newcomer on the roster of Metal On Metal Records - DOOMSHINE from Germany, formed in 2001. The had their debut album out in 2004 followed by a sophomore effort released through Massacre Records 6 year later. To be honest, I was unfamiliar with Doomshine’s Epic Doom Metal until the day I heard the song ‘The Alchemist Of Snowdonia’ (previously unreleased, and a not-final mix here). And yes, I was taken aback with these guys’ style which reminds me of the good old days of Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Forsaken and the likes. I’m not an impassioned fan of Doom Metal but still, there are a lot of cool bands I'm able to enjoy to the fullest. Gimme some well oiled Traditional or Epic Doom Metal and you will not hear me complain at all! The new album from Doomshine entitled “The End Is Worth Waiting For” will be released by MOM Records soon, and I look forward to it.

 

The next two songs are for all Manilla Road, Saint Vitus, Witchfinder General and very early Judas Priest fans. UK based ARKHAM WITCH have proven with their second album, “Legions Of The Deep”, what they are capable of and that’s quite a lot. These guys bring Heavy/Doom Metal with NWOBHM influences, and that’s fairly unique. The first song, ‘Skull Fuel’, taken from their new EP “Get Thothed Vol. I”, is actually a cover of the vocalist's and drummer's previous band, The Lamp Of Thoth. Metal To Infinity co-editor Sloof penned down his review of the effort which can be read at: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_ABCD/arkhamwitch_getthothedvolone.html. The second Arkham Witch track entitled ‘I Am Providence’ is a great and exclusive 2014 live recording with which they prove they are a very good live act as well. We have to wait a little longer for the studio version of this song, as their new album comes out somewhere at the end of 2015... keep an eye on it!

 

METAL LAW from Germany began their quest in 1997 and wave the flag of Traditional Heavy Metal. Their last cut “Lawbreaker” slapped me in the face because of its old school character. It was a perfect record for all those hooked on Metal in the vein of early Manowar, Accept, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Running Wild, among others. Now they are represented with a song called ‘Lord Of Evil’, taken from the same titled EP 2013. Once again, Metal Law show their strong commitment to old school Metal which is a good omen for their upcoming album “Hellrider”.

 

BLOOD ATONEMENT (featuring members of Warhammer!) is one of the newer bands in the house of Metal On Metal Records. They’re from Germany and are here to bring us a lethal dose of good old, wild and untameable Speed/Thrash Metal in the vein of early Sodom, Celtic Frost, Hellhammer, Outrage, Slaughter (Canada)… They started out in 2011 and had been dealing with some line-up changes for a long time, but finally seemed to have found the right members, and were ready to take the world of Thrash by storm with their debut album “Carcosa”. It was scheduled to be unleashed in November 2015, but unfortunately got delayed indefinitely because of more problems in the band. The song you will hear right now has got the appropriate title of ‘Speed Metal Militia’, and it was written by their guitarist back in 1988… This demo version has been recorded exclusively for this compilation!

 

Next we have Black/Thrash Metal veterans OUTRAGE with the song ‘The Elemental War’, taken from their “We The Dead” CD released in April 2014. This German quartet started out in 1983 and never lost their loyalty to old school Metal. My respect to such bands is sincere! The band is all about old school Black/Thrash Metal as it should be, reminiscent of early Sodom and Celtic Frost, Venom and Possessed. I would refer you to my review of their latest album, feel free to read it at: http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_2014/Outrage_Wethedead.html

 

MORTALICUM from Sweden bring a blend of Doom, Heavy Metal and Hard Rock music. From the three albums they’ve recorded so far, their latest effort “Tears From The Grave” seems to be their best one up to date. The level of their previous two albums, more 70s hard rock and up-tempo oriented, was exceeded. Each album makes me hungry to hear their new one which they have already recorded. Read my opinion with regard to Mortalicum’s latest effort at: http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_2014/Mortalicum_Tearsfromthegrave.html

 

Aficionados of Speed/Thrash/Punk Metal and bands like early Metallica, Megadeth, Exciter, Abattoir, Motorhead or even G.B.H. are urged to check out the four Italians from HI-GH’s song ‘Till Death And After’, taken from their second, same titled album released in November 2014. High velocities and the necessary dose of combustible energy and aggression is the keyword of the band. Fast like a bullet, still they’re able to keep technical skills on a high level. Most enjoyable. I invite you to read my opinion at: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_EFGH/hi-gh_tilldeathandafter.html

 

The last song, ‘At The Horns Of Hattin’ from Malta based ALBERT BELL’S SACRO SANCTUS, closes this compilation in a dignified manner. At the helm, the bassist of Doom Metal giants Forsaken and Nomad Son. This dark personality’s solo album, “Deus Volt”, caused chills rolling down my spine. A really unique album which manages to dissociate from many others, darker than the blackness of the night… Read my thoughts at: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_ABCD/albertbellssacrosanctus_deusvolt.html … and be ready for a brand new album to be out early 2016!

 

So this was my overview of all the bands which contributed to “Compendium Of Metal Vol. 8”, a varied compilation where the ancient tradition of Metal music reigns supreme. A meeting of familiar bands and new acts. I really had a great time listening to them all! Make sure to order your copy at: http://metal-on-metal.com/shop/#!/VV-AA-“Compendium-of-Metal-Vol-8”-CD/p/49810112/category=2707104

 

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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CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - IX

(Candlelight Records)

Review by Nathan Mcleod

 

'IX', (the Roman numeral for 9), the latest CD from Raleigh, North Carolina's one & only 'Corrosion Of Conformity'! Their 2nd release with their 'heavy-hardcore-punk-classic' 1985 ANIMOSITY line-up, to the previous 'self-titled' release of: 'Corrosion Of Conformity'! And 'IX' does definitely take you back in part, not in whole to 'Corrosion Of Conformity's' legendary ANIMOSITY era three decades ago. Who've seemed to 'persevere' despite several line-up changes since 1982, amongst several 'metal-genre changes' to add.

 

And yes, as of January this year, long time frontman & guitarist 'Pepper Keenan' has rejoined the ranks of 'Corrosion Of Conformity'. Whatever past qualms 'COC/Keenan' have had in the past seem to be squashed. Welcome back, 're-uniting' 'Corrosion Of Conformity's' twenty year old 'Deliverance' line-up. And is known to the 'masses' a 'bitter/sweet' union depending upon the 'Corrosion Of Conformity' era one is prone to liking to? Personally have seen both the 'ups & downsides' within 'Corrosion Of Conformity' line-up era(s). Have always know with or without 'Pepper Keenan' in the fold, that there "was" a 'Corrosion Of Conformity' before 'Pepper Keenan', & there "was" a 'Corrosion Of Conformity' after 'Pepper Keenan'.

 

With the release of 'IX', I'm in 'awe'! As well with their 'self-titled' release prior to 'IX'. I like the 'simple' NO BS fact that 'Corrosion Of Conformity' has wandered back to their 'roots' of the ANIMOSITY era! A bit into their follow up with 'Technocracy'. 'IX' just being with a less 'raw-heavy' sound of 'Corrosion Of Conformity's' legendary 80's era. Delivered on 'IX' is their own 'signature' brand of metal!

 

Crossed with some 'Southern-metal', 'Black Sabbath', 'Bad Brains' intense guitar/immense bass riffs, there's NOT one bad track appearing on 'IX'. Vocal shared 'Mike Dean/Reed Mullin' adds further 'dimension' to 'IX'. Something IMO 'Corrosion Of Conformity' had been lacking with the past absence of 'Reed Mullin', whom 'contributed' greatly in the vocal department, backing vocals: (Catch COC live). 'Mike Dean's' vocal 'range', 'depth' has NOT 'deviated' with 'Corrosion Of Conformity.'Woodroe' is 'Woodroe' on guitar! 'Exceptional' guitar-work on the 'instrumental' track 'Interlude'.

 

Not a 'bad' track appearing on 'IX' as stated. The 'more' catchier tracks though would definitely be 'Tarquinius Superbus', 'Kill Denmark Vesey', 'On Your Way'. 'John Custer' at the 'helm' with 'production' on 'IX', the saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies! 'Corrosion Of Conformity' hasn't with 'John Custer' in well over two decades of 'COC' releases.

 

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

 

'Corrosion Of Conformity' personal:

*Mike Dean: Vocals/Bass

*Woodroe Weatherman: Guitar

*Reed Mullin: Vocals/Drums

*John Custer: Vocals (Intro to The Hanged Man)

*Mike Dean: Guitar (Intro to The Hanged Man)

'IX' track info:

1) Brand New Sleep, 2) Elphyn, 3) Kill Denmark Vesey, 4) The Nectar, 5) Interlude, 6) On Your Way, 7) Trucker, 8) The Hanged Man, 9) Tarquinius Superbus, 10) Who You Need To Blame, 11) The Nectar Reprised; total run-time 42:15.

Produced by John Custer & Corrosion Of Conformity. Engineered by Mike Dean at SSP Maywood Studios - Raleigh, North Carolina. Mixed by John Custer & Mike Dean. Mastered by Brad Boatright at Audiosiege Sonic Engineering - Portland, Oregon. Layout & design: Jack DeVries.

More information regarding Corrosion Of Conformity news, updates, contact info:

*Website: www.coc.com

*Facebook: www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity

Additional Corrosion Of Conformity info:

*ReverbNation: www.reverbnation.com/corrosionofconformity

*Last.fm: www.last.fm/music/Corrosion+of+Conformity

*Metal Archives: www.metal-archives.com/bands/Corrosion_of_Conformity/246

 

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CREATURE - UPTOPIA IN FLAMES

(Independent)

Review by Sloof

 

Creature is a band from Belgium that originated around 1998, but despite the long existence, they were limited to arouse a whirlwind in the Belgian scene. In my opinion, they mainly abide low profile, but after reading their info sheet, I was surprised about their achievements thus far. They succeeded in supporting Manegarm, Rotting Christ and Suidakra and even played the Slovenian Metalcamp! It seems like I missed some of the occasions and after listening to their new EP ‘Utopia In Flames’ it’s a bloody shame! As it’s never too late to nullify lost opportunities, I’m taking my bets on this newcomer.

 

After the release of a demo (‘Apocalyptic Dawn’ in 2002) and an EP (‘Triumph Of The Unborn’ in 2003), they decided to enter the studio to record their first full length album in 2006. ‘Dying Nation’ was the final result and their post-apocalyptic Black Metal spitted 12 tracks of total warfare, including melodic elements and sound frames. Creature gained good reviews and waited almost 7 years to offer a successor, which is rather surprising.

 

The new output contains a very spherical intro and 6 tracks, with a total duration of 30 minutes. When the title track is bursting out, we hear a furious horde of hell hounds that unleash melodic Death and Black Metal with a contemporary twist. The songs have a ‘fuck you’ attitude but at the same time a technical accuracy like Enthroned meets Dying Fetus. The vocals of Tim are blackened and high pitched but in between furious and guttural writs we hear fragments of melodic and clean vocals as well. The next track ‘Bellum’ contains an Immortal approach as the general atmosphere of this song is imminent and bombastic. This is Abbath’ musical continuation with American bombast and technicality. I’m also excited about the squeaky and whining guitars that lift this song to a higher level! Female bass player Michaela a.k.a. Isis is torturing her instrument of pain while Wouter pounds his drums like hammers of doom! ‘Internection’ has a totally different approach by Tim, as he’s switching into clean vocals during some fragments. It adds something to the band, but I don’t know exactly if they should develop this way. Perhaps it’s best to limit this dissipation to an occasional moment. This track contains also Amon Amarth influences, (listen to time frame 01:17 to 01:55 and you will get the point) but instead of Johan Hegg bringing tales of diligent Vikings, we get a dose of aggression and mesmerizing thoughts of times long gone.

 

The track ‘Siege Of Storms’ is forging a grand sonic experience of valiant victory and anguish-laden defeat, just like we love it! All songs on this new EP breathe domination, demise and destruction to the end, and that’s a wonderful experience! Never thought that I would like the collapse of the world civilization that much, as it would be experienced as a glorious satisfaction!

 

If this band manages to bring this sound and accuracy on a live stage, they will have a great future ahead, but everything will depend on the punctuality and meticulous execution of the songs. Adding a second guitar player, Fannie El Man, is the first step to create an attentive and joyous live performance where Tim will be able to focus on his vocal input as well! Fannie is already familiar with the Creature material as he’s the former Creature vocalist who decided to rejoin and play the second guitar! Let this Creature dwell the stages, let them bring Armageddon and raise the flame, absolve their sins with fire, and set the skies alight (‘excerpts from the track Armageddon’)! Creature Official / Creature Facebook

 

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

 

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CREATURE - RIDE THE BULLET

(Karthago Records)

Review by Spirit In Black

 

After 10 years, a German Heavy Metal legend is back. Creature is active since the 80's and created (only) one album called 'Way To Paradise' (1989), re-released in 2005. Many years of silence within the camp of the Creature were recently wiped off the map. They’re back with a vengeance and brand new, second effort entitled “Ride The Bullet” ! Span-new output, still manufactured with a lethal dose of 80’s Melodic Heavy Metal and Hard Rock, pure as can be.

 

I can write a long epos about how every single song sounds like but fans of Creature and the 80s Metal genre in general know what to expect with the album. A couple of things does stand out such as, they have a male vocalist who takes the main parts of the singing but Creature has also two female vocalists mostly doing the background vocals. Without sounding soft and cheesy though, I think it's a nice add to Creature’s pretty good offered style of music. The guitar parts are really great… there are a lot of cool riffs flying around on the entire album.

 

I had a nice time listening to Creature’s newest recording “Ride The Bullet” and have to report that there is one song does really make me think: Yeah! I’m talking about the instrumental 'No Voice Rumours'… really like the title of the song as well.

I can't say it's original. Well, it's actually not bad either! I can be wrong on this: I think the band isn't aiming for the big success (anymore), they are doing this for the love of Heavy Metal which you can hear on 'Ride The Bullet'. Additional info at: http://www.creature.rocks/

 

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

 

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CRIMSON SUN - TOWARDS THE LIGHT

(Maple Metal Records)

Review by Metalynne

 

I have to say in the twenty-seven years I have been listening to Metal I have never heard an album that compares to, “Towards The Light”. Welcome to the wonderful and enthralling world of Melodic Heavy Metal colliding with Speed Metal with a hint of Classical undertones. This album is simply unparalleled..

 

Sini Seppälä is a powerhouse with an almost angelic voice. She brings out a gothic and almost mystical sound to the music while giving her voice that edge we are always aching for when it comes to Heavy Metal. This woman is a perfect example of how a voice can be utilized to invoke an entirely different experience from moment to moment. Watch out ladies of the Metal world! Sini is definitely a force to be reckoned with!

 

I have yet to find one song on this album that I would not listen to on a regular basis. But, I do have to say that my favorite song by far is, “Portrait Of A Ghost”. This song shows the dynamic, expertise, and absolute artistry behind this entire band as a whole. Joni Junnila comes in thrashing on his guitar with Antti Rantavuo crashing down onto the drums in unison with Jukka Jauhiainen on bass and Miikka Hujanen on keyboards. And I am left with my mouth gaping open and thinking, “Now this is how it is done!”

 

I cannot praise this album enough! It is exceptionally well put together and definitely will be my go to album when it comes to Melodic Heavy Metal. My horns are definitely up and I am giving my utmost respect to Crimson Sun!

 

 

My rating: 100/100 (95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !)

 

 

CRUCIFIED BARBARA - IN THE RED

(Despotz Records)

Review by Sloof

 

After the live appearance at the Graspop 2013 edition and a headliner position at Biesenrock 2014, the ladies of Crucified Barbara are ready to unleash their new album, or perhaps it’s more appropriate to let them give birth to their new baby. ‘In The Red’ is their fourth album and compared with their previous releases, it’s a straight slab in the face from the very first beginning. Not only the music is man-made-sounding, but the humor in the lyrics has a very special approach as well. Tracks like ‘I Sell My Kids For Rock’n Roll’, ‘To Kill A Man’ and ‘Don’t Call On Me’ can be considered as typical male topics, but Mia, Klara, Ida and Nicky know perfectly how to manage as well!

 

Female rock/metal bands always have a special glamour and attractive power to me. Be honest, which male headbanger doesn’t like metal chicks with leather pants, studs on their jacket and an occasional miniskirt? If those ladies know how to rock, if they know how to bring their songs with a sleazy, almost Lemmy-like boost, you will agree that looks can kill! Crucified Barbara from Sweden convinced already 3 times, and I have the idea that this new album tops all their previous releases! The songs have an accurate vibe, the songs are executed with the necessary ‘fuck you’ attitude, and every track is a little shrapnel on its own.

 

My personal favorite track is ‘Lunatic #1’ as it has a marvelous chorus line and a perfect arrangement! This track stands out of the album, and together with the next one ‘Shadows’, we must conclude that the second half of the album contains the strongest material. Of course, it’s all personal, as I’m sure that a lot of people will adore tracks like ‘I Sell My Kids For Rock’n Roll’ and ‘To Kill A Man’ as well! The track ‘Finders Keepers’ can be considered as loner, perhaps the one and only filler on this new album. Compared with the other material on ‘In The Red’, the whole track has a repetitive character and has no tendency to captivate. ‘Electric Sky’ has a bit the same arrangement, and the chorus lingers on and on, but for some reason, it has an attracting force, a kind of attractive power that will result best at live gigs.

 

The limited edition digipack also includes a patch, so real headbangers with an 80ies attitude know what to aim for! The releases of Crucified Barbara are well received so far, but at the end I know that the main power of this quartet is the live shows. They bring them with so much dedication and charisma that a new album is only a reason to go on tour again and again. It will bring the ladies all around the world and they will tear down the roof whether it’s on the East or West and albums like these are only meant to preserve the memories of those great gigs!

 

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

 

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CRYSTAL CROW - ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT DREARY

(Infinite Metal Promotion)

Review by Sloof

 

Crystal Crow is a German based metal band that likes to define their music as Gothic/Melodic Death Metal, and although they are alive and kicking since 2003, they only managed to release 2 EP’s and a first full length album in 2014. Some sources mention a 2006 release, titled ‘Unearth The Dark’, but I can’t confirm thus far.

 

The new album is titled ‘Once Upon A Midnight Dreary’ and contains 9 songs with a total duration of 52 minutes. It should be the symbiosis of aggression and hardness as well as melancholy and melody, referring to the comment of the label, and although they credit Moonspell and Paradise Lost as their personal influences, I must admit that you clearly hear that this is a correct description. They don’t have the charisma of Moonspell yet, and they don’t have the quality of Paradise Lost, but there are similarities in the structure of the songs, so that’s a good beginning.

 

After a few spins, I have a feeling of ‘above average’ in my mouth. Some songs are nothing special, as they are too mainstream, but there are also a few highlights like ‘World Of Lies’, ‘The Beast Within’, ‘The Raven’ and ‘The Call’. I would like to mention vocalist Dirk Binder as he has a lot of possibilities with his voice. Grunts, growls, you name it, you got it! Fans of Type O Negative will be amused with the material on ‘Once Upon A Midnight Dreary’, but will conclude at the same time that progression is an absolute must for the future of the band!

 

My rating: 76/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)

 

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CULTURAL WARFARE - RATTEN KRIEG

(Independent)

Review by Nathan McLeod

 

'Oakland, California's': 'Cultural Warfare' released their self-released debut EP 'Ratten Krieg' a few years back. Fronted by 'Belgian-born' 'Pascal Jeandebien', their 'Ratten Krieg' debut has made 'quite' an 'impact' in the 'East Bay, California' thrash-metal scene.

 

'Ratten Krieg' was an 'excellent' effort on 'Cultural Warfare's' behalf with a 'debut' release. 'Musically' VERY well written! 'Billy Garoutte' is a phenomenal guitarist!!! The intro-instrumental track 'P.T.S.D' is purely excellent guitar-work ...

 

'Pascal Jeanbedien's' vocals add a 'hardcore' edge to their style of thrash-metal. Thru out the rest of 'Ratten Krieg', the intensity from track to track, with a 'personal' feeling 'Cultural Warfare' find themselves 'musically' with 'Vermin Superstar', which is by far my favourite.

 

The 'production' does lack on 'Ratten Krieg'. Mostly in the drum department. It may just be my own ears, but I hear an increase of 'level's' of 'production' toward the end of 'Ratten Krieg'. Possibly a different recording time period, as 'Vermin Superstar' added as a 'bonus track'? Where the 'production' of 'Ratten Krieg' may lack, 'Cultural Warfare' DOES NOT 'live'! I've seen them 'live' a few times in 'Hayward, California' with 'Potential Threat SF', & more recently in 'Nevada' of all places.

 

'Cultural Warfare' is a MUST see thrash-metal 'artist' to truly appreciate their thrash-metal 'capabilities' & 'abilities'! The 'reviews' I do & write about are in 'particular' about the CD release when it was 'released'. Couldn't help but noticing on 'Cultural Warfare's' facebook page, that a), they're seeking a 'new' bass palyer, & b) 'Taunted' vocalist 'Jacques Serrano' has 'recently' joined ranks with 'Cultural Warfare'! I wish 'Pascal Jeanbedian' all the best in his 'future' endeavours as a 'vocalist/musician' ...

 

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

 

'Cultural Warfare' personal:

*Pascal Jeandebien: Vocals

*Billy Garroute: Guitar

*Terry Parizal: Bass

*Kevin Doughty: Drums

'Ratten Krieg' track info:

1) P.T.S.D., 2) Skin Trade, 3) Sick Molly, 4) White Chapel, 5) Vermin Superstar (bonus track); total run-time 21:29.

Recorded at East Bay Recordings, California. Recorded & engineered by Joel Gimbel. CD art & design by Tamara Luck.

For more information regarding Cultural Warfare news, updates, & contact info:

*E-mail: culturalwarfare@yahoo.com

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

Additional Cultural Warfare info:

*ReverbNation: www.reverbnation.com/culturalwarfare

*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Cultural_Warfare/3540355938

*E-mail: metalmama-k-hayward@comcast.net