ANNIHILATOR – Metal II

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.annihilatormetal.com/ The renowned Canadian thrash/speed/groove metal mongers Annihilator, which is masterminded by the hugely skilled Jeff Waters, were one of the groups that I grew up listening to, but I must admit that I have found quite a few of their later albums to be patchy affairs. “Metal II” is essentially…

NASSON – Scars

RELEASE YEAR: 2022  BAND URL: https://www.facebook.com/nassonchile Checking out new bands and debut albums is always something that I am looking forward to, and this one by the Chilean melodic heavy metal trio known as Nasson was no different. Actually, Nasson himself is the main man behind this project as well as the primary songwriter here, and…

MEMORIA AVENUE – Memoria Avenue

This Norwegian band is a new addition to the melodic rock scene and their self-titled debut effort is a rather slick and highly polished affair with roots firmly planted in 80s-inspired AOR. While these guys are obviously skilled musicians, the majority of songs on the disc are unfortunately somewhat forgettable and there is neither a…

GROUNDBREAKER – Soul To Soul

I found the self-titled debut album (2018) by these melodic rockers an enjoyable listen full of hooks and earworms, and so I was looking forward to this crisp-sounding new LP of theirs. Is it as good and memorable as its predecessor then? Well, the insanely talented Steve Overland (FM) is always right on the money…

SEVEN SPIRES – Gods of Debauchery

The US symphonic metallers known as Seven Spires released this lengthy opus of theirs via Frontiers not that long ago and its sixteen compositions are heavily influenced by bombastic black metal, gothic metal, and dark metal. In other words, this is a rather dynamic and musically varied piece of work in that it draws on…

BIG CITY – Testify

The latest album by the Norwegian outfit known as Big City marks a change in that new vocalist Jørgen Bergersen has entered the fold while the style and sound of the group has also turned slightly more aggressive compared to earlier on. What we have here is an energetic mixture of hard rock and heavy…

L.A. GUNS – Cocked and Loaded Live

"Cocked and Loaded Live" by renowned glam metal act L.A. Guns is one of those releases that I was truly looking forward to immersing myself in and reviewing because the fact is that these guys have made some great albums over the years and written countless tunes that work perfectly in a live setting and…

ICON OF SIN – Icon of Sin

Icon of Sin is yet another project shaped and put together by Frontiers Records and that kind of thing usually goes one of two ways, as you can probably imagine. These skilled Brazilian musicians dabble in 80s-inspired heavy metal with plenty of hard rock references thrown into the mix, but sadly, this is just one…

THE END MACHINE – Phase 2

The End Machine, which is comprised of past and present members from Foreigner and Dokken among others, offers riff-based hard rock that harkens back to the 70s and 80s but without sounding even remotely dated or like a relic from the past. In fact, the sound, production, and overall presentation of "Phase 2" are relatively…

MAGIC DANCE – Remnants

The New York act named Magic Dance recently released this eleven-track offering via Frontiers Records and as with previous releases by the skilled multi-instrumentalist that is Jon Siejka, we are treated to synth-heavy melodic rock inspired by the 80s electronic and synthwave scenes. The whole effort is well-produced and sounds crisp and pristine while still…

SUFFERING SOULS – True Godfucking Soulblight

The German one-man black metal outfit named Suffering Souls unleashed this eleven-track compilation via Schwarzdorn Production a few days ago and the cursed thing consists of mastermind Lord Esgaroth’s demo offerings from 1998-2000 as well as a previously unreleased tune from 1996 and an exclusive (and utterly dreadful) live track. Musically and stylistically speaking, these…

EREMIT – Desert Of Ghouls

Can you think of something more boring in music than a minimalistic sludge/doom nearly 70 minute long record? Yet that was precisely the case with Eremit’s debut "Carrier Of The Weight" (2018) album – 3 (too) long tracks of 1-2 riffs, spanning from 11 to a whopping 33 minute (!) length without a hint of…

AGENDA – Maverick

The German act named Agenda used to dabble in thrash and speed metal if I remember correctly, but this 5-track EP of theirs, which was released in early 2020, showcases a somewhat different sound and style in that “Maverick” leans much more towards classic heavy metal and hard rock. There is a raw and gritty…

ANDRALLS – Bleeding For Thrash

Sometimes a reviewer’s task is similar to the gold seekers after the gold rush: seek the precious ore though you shall find none. The Brazilian "fastthrash" outfit, as they call themselves may be bringing 6th album for your consideration, but they sound like debutants on the telling and pretentiously named "Bleeding For Thrash", so much…

WARDRESS – Dress for War

Following a rather ridiculous spoken-word introduction that sounded like a parody of sorts, the German outfit Wardress launches into their brand of old-school (and very traditional) heavy metal that leans toward such giants as Judas Priest, DIO, Iron Maiden (the Di’Anno era), Saxon, and Manowar. Thanks to a real solid production, their song material lacks…

FLYKT – Charnel Heart

The Swedish entity named Flykt was conceived roughly three years ago and this 8-track debut offering of theirs consists of fast-paced and intense black metal with heaps of tremolo-picked melodies and grim riffs to it. What let’s this album down is not so much its lack of originality and musical identity as it is a…

SPY # ROW – Blood Brothers

The German trio named SPY # ROW has been together for ages despite the fact that these guys are quite young. Apparently, they started jamming together when they were only kids, which explains why the promo sheet states that they are experienced musicians who have been at it for years. To be a bit more…

SNAKES IN PARADISE – Step Into the Light

Fronted by the hugely talented singer Stefan Berggren (Company of Snakes, Razorback, Grand Slam), Snakes of Paradise’s debut offering entitled "Step Into the Light" was something that I had been looking forward to for some time now, but unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations. In many ways, the album reminds me of…

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