CD & DVD REVIEWS 2015

CD & DVD REVIEWS 2015

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DECEMBER

ADLIGATE – New Blood Old Chapter (CD) Germany December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Groove Metal Running time: 32:02 (Tracks: 8)
Adligate's first. Starting off real slow with a nice and composed bit of mellow rocking, building up momentum, power and energy to climb the first full song Mountain, which they climb with Pearl Jam like tempos. From Sweet Revenge on it all gets a bit rougher. Groovy metal with hints of grunge, but you also get some Pantera and Machine Head thrown in regularly. It's not bad, but not spectacular either. It's all somewhere in between. They never let loose, and the songs dabble on just that bit too much. Once they decide to dare and let go of their inhibitions I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't improve immensely. Next time maybe?
Visit their website: http://www.adligate-band.de
Recordlabel: http://www.adligate-band.de
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adligate
ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/adligateband

65/100

ADRAMELCH – Opus (CD) Italy December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Progressive Rock Running time: 66:41 (Tracks: 12)
This is the fourth release of Adramelch, their last one to be released, but the first one to reach my ears. They've decided to call it quits. On the basis of Opus I really think that's a pity, as there's nothing wrong with the music Adramelch produces. Plus they've got a singer with a voice that really fits the music, so the package as a whole is fitting. With progressive music it's also about the compositions and I'm glad to be able to say that they're above par too. They're epic, they're progressive, and most of all the musicianship of the band really shines through. Opus is a real pleasure to listen to, and grows every time you do. Those are usually the albums that are keepers, maybe even future classics. At least this is a fitting and worthy finish to their career.
Visit their website: http://www.adramelch.com
Recordlabel: http://www.pureprog-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adramelch
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/adramelch

74/100

ALLTHENIKO – Fast and Glorious (CD) Italy December 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Power / Speed Metal Running time: 45:49 (Tracks: 10)
Spreading the Metal thru the Italian land since 2002 are ALLTHENIKO. Here they are with their 2nd release on Pure Steel Records called Fast and Glorious. After We Will Fight! (2006), Devasterpiece (2008), Millennium Re-Burn (2011) and Back in 2066 (Three Head Mutant Chronicles) (2012) this is already their 5th full-length record. And I must say that the title doesn't the load of the album. It better could have been Fast and Furious! Because from the first track Tank Of Death these Italian guys steps on the pedal to the metal. Fast, furious and sometimes even glorious the music is coming thru my speakers in my living room. Fast guitar riffs, powering drums, some high pitched vocals, it's all there. Marks are bands like Manowar, (early) Metal Church and Saxon. A mix by those bands and get an idea how ALLTHENIKO sounds on Fast and Furious. Just listen to the tracks Scream for Exciter, Power to Rebel and the title track and these Italians might convince you. Noteworthy is the last track Power and the Glory, a cover from Saxon that adds really nothing to the original. But the 8th tracks are worth listening to!
Visit their website: https://sites.google.com/site/alltheniko
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alltheniko

78/100

ARTIZAN – The Furthest Reaches (CD) USA December 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Power Metal Running time: 43:07 (Tracks: 13)
Artizan is on a roll. Since its birth almost 6 years ago, this American band has released one EP and three full length albums. All of them quality releases and this is my third Artizan review for MMM which means I have been monitoring the band's progress since its very beginning. And I think it's safe to say that this is their best release so far. Well crafted Fates Warning meets Iron Maiden meets Leviathan progressive metal. What I love about Artizan is that they don't need endless songs to unravel their beautiful themes. 5-6 minutes are enough in most cases and that doesn't tire the listener at all. Progressive metal is not about showing off skills or about endless instrumental parts after all. The songs definitely fall between power and progressive metal but with memorable parts that you will like to listen to again and again. This concept album will stick inside your cd player for good. Extra points for the crystal clear production.
Visit their website: https://www.artizanmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/artizanmetal

85/100

AXEMASTER – Overture to Madness (CD) USA December 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 56:49 (Tracks: 13)
Axemaster, this cult U.S. metal band from the 80s, is back after a brief change of name (released an album as Inner Terror in 2010). The stuff the band recorded back in the 80s was decent and simple heavy metal with power metal touches. I can't say that it was the best music out there but you could easily headbang to the songs and have a good time. The music the band produces 30 years later is still aggressive heavy meets power but I couldn't relate to the songs, couldn't find much to get me going. I actually found myself reliving the Inner Terror reviewing (you can find it in this site in the 2010 reviews section) and not much has changed. I respect Axemaster for being still around and recording music but this album isn't what I expected.
Visit their website: https://www.axemasterofficial.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/axemasterofficial
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thebandaxemaster

60/100

BILLY SHERWOOD – Citizen (CD) USA December 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Atmospheric Progressive Rock Running time: 69:48 (Tracks: 11)
Billy Sherwoood comes from a musical family, his father Bobby was a well-known actor and a band leader and his mother Phyllis was a well-known singer as well. His brother Mike is a great keyboard player who has worked with Toto, Lisa Loeb and many other artists. Billy is known for a great variety of musical composing and producing in the progressive rock-genre. He is the current bass player of Yes, following the late and great Chris Squire. Billy was the man behind Lodgic (great album in 1985), the first Worldtrade album (check this classic stuff!), the Circa albums, The Prog Collective, YOSO and a lot of projects with Yes and the members of this band.
His newest opus for Frontiers Records Italy, Citizen, is quite a unique affair. The albums opens with a six minute instrumental and the atmospheric structures of the other songs keep going on. Long panoramic songs with various hints from Alan Parsons, Peter Gabriel and new millennium-Yes form the mainframe of his album. The soundscapes are good and the list of guest musicians is impressive. You can hear Jordan Rudess, Steve Morse, Rick Wakeman, Steve Hackett, Jerry Goodman and Patrick Moraz. It's quite introvert and moody, Jon Davison sing the best track of the album, the last track 'Written in the Centuries '. The other guest vocals are provided by Alan Parsons and XTC's Colin Moulin. Most of the vocal tracks (Billy's voice remind me of Jon Anderson) and the other instrumental duties are done by Billy himself, he produces the album as well. The perspective of 'Citizen 'is the close view through historic changes. I'm very fond of Worldtrade, the early project of Billy Sherwood and Bruce Gowdy. It was a record that never got the exposure it deserved. This classic is very recommended. But this Billy Sherwood Citizen.......difficult to review, it's more introvert background music to me..
Visit their website: www.yesworld.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/billy.sherwood.54
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/billysherwoodhq

76/100

BLEEDING – Behind Transparent Walls (CD) Germany December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 44:28 (Tracks: 8)
When Marc Nickel starts singing 'm expecting something in the vein of System Of A Down, as his voice is quite similar to that of Serj. But a little later it all turns around into proper progressive metal, with hints of Nevermore mixed in from time to time. It's all quite explosive, but always in a controlled way. The songs make for good listening, as they've all got heads and tails, and something to say as well. Of course you'll hear many an influence, but which newly formed band can exceed in originality nowadays. After their first EP in 2012, simply called Bleeding, this is to be their first full length album. And like mentioned, Behind Transparent Walls doesn't disappoint. The real question here is whether it'll stand out enough to be noticed by those who need to know. Let's hope Pure Prog Records does their bit in this. It would be a waste otherwise.
Visit their website: http://www.bleedingmusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.pureprog-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bleedingband

72/100

BOREALIS - Purgatory (CD) Canada December 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Dark Melodic Metal Running time: 52:20 (Tracks: 12)
Canadian metallers Borealissay say they play Dark Melodic Metal. To my opinion it's much more than that. They combine the best of Evergrey, Kamelot, Pagan's Mind and Symphony X with sniffs of In Flames and Sonata Arctica. It's bombastic and powerful without boundaries. Borealis is an adventurous band and delivers high class stuff. “Past the Veil” opens powerful with intense drumming and clear, full vocals. Every member is skilled and the songs are versatile. During the songs the vocals of Matt Marinelli stand out and contribute to epic metal songs like “The Chosen One”, “Darkest Sin” and “Sacrifice”. Also the ballads like “Rest my Child” are more than worthy. There is a lot you can tell about this album, but listening to it is the best and simply the only way to get it through you. And when you do, the outcome is mired; you will like it!
Visit their website: http://www.borealismetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/borealisband

85/100

BURN THE IRIS – Ionosphere (MCD) The Netherlands December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Metal / Metalcore / Postmetal Running time: 23:20 (Tracks: 5)
Well, first of all….I never had heard of Dutch Metal/Metalcore band BURN THE IRIS before. The band is from Eindhoven, and the line-up on this EP exists of Jack Elbers (vocals; ex-SUBSTANCE, ex-LYSOGENIC CYCLE), Igor Schuller (guitar; ex-WASTE), Robin de Boer (guitar; also ROMPEPROP, ex-SUPPOSITORY), Mathijs Bodt (bass; also O.H.D., STIFF) and Erwin van Diessen (drums; ex-BRASSUM), was formed in 2007, and in that same year they already released their self-titled EP "Burn The Iris". In 2010 these guys released their second EP, titled "Sovereign". Now with "Ionosphere", which was released in September of 2015, the band is back with their third EP, and it's the first EP with new singer Elbers. I was really surprised with this EP when I listened to it for the first time. Only "Inherit The Earth" is a short and quiet song, which sounds nice, but all other four tracks, which are "Demobilization", "Prestigious Icarus", "Flashflood" and "Collapse" are all great songs. Well, to me the band reminded me of a mixture of FEAR FACTORY and LAMB OF GOD. I don't know how the band's previous singer sounded, but new vocalist Elbers sounds perfect to me. He sings very varied with as well brutal grunts as with melodic clean vocals or screams. Well, BURN THE IRIS is a fantastic band with a lot potential, that has delivered a brilliant third EP. Hopefully, after three EP's the next step will be a full length. Compliments guys, you really impressed me with "Ionosphere".
Visit their website: http://www.burntheiris.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/burntheiris

86/100

CRUIZZEN – Free Ride (CD) Germany December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 55:30 (Tracks: 13)
CRUIZZEN is a traditional Hard Rock band from Bavaria, Germany, that has released its second studio album "Free Ride" in December of 2014 on Pure Rock Records (a division of Pure Steel Records). The band's debut album "Hellrocker" was released in 2006. Anyway, I don't know if there have been line-up changes between the first and second album, but the line-up of CRUIZZEN on "Free Ride" exists of Alexander Mayer (vocals), Captain H. Forster (guitars), Michael Hennig (guitar), Markus Kerscher (bass) and René Baumann (drums). To me, "Free Ride" is my first acquaintance with CRUIZZEN, and the band is heavily influenced by the mighty AC/DC. Even singer Alexander Mayer sounds exactly like AC/DC's Brian Johnson, although on "It's Over" he sounds more like Axl Rose of GUNS N' ROSES. Well, not all the songs on "Free Ride" are even good, but the songs which in my opinion are the best are "Rock And Roll Generator", "Heaven Can Wait", the title track "Free Ride" and "Love Is A Sweet Torment" (of which the guitar riff reminds very much of BON JOVI's "Raise Your Hands" of the 1986 classic album "Slippery When Wet"). To me, the weakest song on "Free Ride" is absolutely the boring "Trouble". All with all "Free Ride" sounds not that bad, but it's not a very original and spectacular album as well. So my end conclusion is that "Free Ride" is nothing more than just a nice and average Hard Rock album.
Visit their website: http://www.cruizzen.de
Recordlabel: http://www.purerock-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cruizzen
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cruizzen

62/100

DAVID SHANKLE GROUP - Still a Warrior (CD) USA December 2015 Rob Claesen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 48:11 (Tracks: 10)
As a long time Manowar fan I'm always more than curious when David Shankle releases a new record. Still a warrior, DSG's third album, brings back memories to the time he played in Manowar: the 80's and 90's. The album title is well chosen, while all songs refer to classic metal as performed in former decades. All musicians know to play their instrument and the songs are well composed. The album has nothing new to offer, but it was fun to listen to. David Shankle may still call himself a Metal Warrior.
Visit their website: http://www.davidshankle.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dave.shankle

70/100

DEADLY CIRCUS FIRE – The King And The Bishop (CD) Germany December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Extreme Metal Running time: 56:55 (Tracks: 10)
Me likes! Great riffing, sometimes fast, always loud. Also, solid shouting, finely tuned songs, and all in vein to see if you'll go over the edge to follow Deadly Circus Fire in their quest. The music on The King And The Bishop even has some progressive influences in the music that is reminiscent of a mix between SOAD and Baroness. I know, a strange combo, but there you have it. The good thing about the whole album is that it's always groovy, it flows nicely, so however twisted it sometimes sounds, it always works out to stay very listenable. It never becomes ear-torture. I must admit that after a few listens I actually was looking forward to playing this again, because it's got everything you want of a good album. The only reservation is that it never blows me off my socks, it doesn't make my hair stand on end. But that's all, really.
Visit their website: http://www.deadlycircusfire.com
Recordlabel: http://www.deadlycircusfire.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deadlycircusfire
Bandcamp: https://deadlycircusfire.bandcamp.com

81/100

DEFCON ONE – The Perfection Of Slavery (CD) The Netherlands December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Death Metal Running time: 40:49 (Tracks: 9)
DEFCON ONE is a Dutch death metal band that was formed in 1998 by Ruud Bänziger. During the years DEFCON ONE had many line-up changes, but Ruud Bänziger (guitar, bass, synths) and Herman Søren (drums) always stayed together. In 2010 the band released its debut album "Fuck You, And Die!" and in 2012 their second album "Able Archer 83" was released. Both albums got positive reviews. Personally, this third album "The Perfection Of Slavery", which was released as a digi-pack on January 23rd of 2015 and as a digital download on February 6th, 2015, is my first acquaintance with DEFCON ONE. The line-up of DEFCON ONE on this album exists of Coen Hillekens (vocals), Wilbert Janssen (vocals) and the aforementioned members Ruud Bänziger and Herman Søren. And Dennis Schreurs is doing guest vocals on "Alpha Et Omega". Well, I was really surprised with "The Perfection Of Slavery", because the band plays high quality old school and technical Death Metal with a lot of atmospheric moments in it. To me, DEFCON ONE sounds like a mixture of BOLT THROWER, and the later (technical) DEATH and PESTILENCE. Really, there isn't any dull moment on this third album. All nine tracks are excellent compositions. In that case, Bänziger is a great musician and a marvelous composer. Vocalists Hillekens and Janssen have both a fantastic grunting voice. I don't have specific favourites, because I like all songs even much. The songs "Son Of God Daughter Of Men", "Beyond The Reach Of The Whip", "Mindraping Brainwaves From Iapatus" (instrumental), "Subconscious Seven", "Storms Of Cydonia", "Destroyer Of Worlds" (instrumental), the aforementioned "Alpha Et Omega", "Phi" and "History Is Written By The Victors" are all superb. Anyway, "The Perfection Of Slavery" is absolutely a real recommendation to all Death Metal fans. Compliments guys,
Visit their website: http://www.defconone.nl
Recordlabel: http://www.rvprecords.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/defcononeofficial

86/100

DEF LEPPARD – Def Leppard (CD) United Kingdom December 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 54:30 (Tracks: 14)
Aaaaaaah..... a new Def Leppard release! I saw the band this summer headlining the first day of the Sweden Rock Festival 2015 and they were great, performing strong songs from their heydays and their impressive back catalogue. I was very curious about this release. The latest releases by this Sheffield dinosaur weren't that spectacular and the former opus by this band was from 2008 (the mediocre Songs from the Sparkle Lounge). But I'm very pleased with the new album, simply called 'Def Leppard '. The album opens with a few songs in the classic Def Leppard style: multi layered vocals and guitars in a fat produced well composed structure! Harmonies and guitars and choruses rule the day, the formula will please any fan of the eighties 'Leppard! The song 'Dangerous 'is even an instant classic!
The second half of the album is less traditional Leppard. The songs are still good, but the feel has a great variety and atmosphere. I like the songs with a bit experimental approach like “Blind faith, Battle of my own, Broke 'n Brokenhearted and Forever young”. Still containing those huge Lep-characteristics, the songs have surprising elements. I say it's the best Lep-release since Hysteria! Go check them live. Leppard has started a huge tour in The States, I'll hope they will carry out and perform this album on European stages as well.
Visit their website: www.defleppard.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ear-music.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/defleppard
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/defleppard

85/100

DRAGONY – Shadowplay (CD) Austria December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Symphonic Power Metal Running time: 56:24 (Tracks: 11)
"Shadowplay" is the second album of Austrian Symphonic Power Metal band DRAGONY, who started in 2007, and was released on September 25th of 2015 on Limb Music. The debut album "Legends" (2012) of DRAGONY was reviewed by me in August of 2012 and got 73 out of 100 points of me. And also with the first listen to "Shadowplay", I already liked this second album. Okay, it all sounds not very special, because there are many other Symphonic Power Metal bands, but to me it doesn't sound bad at all either. This album is fantastically produced by Frank Pitters, and features eleven tracks, of which the last one ("True Survivor") is a bonus track. The line-up of DRAGONY on "Shadowplay" exists of Siegfried Samer (vocals), Simon Saito (guitar), Andreas Poppernitsch (guitar), Herbert Glos (bass), Frederic Brünner (drums) and Manuel Hartleb (keyboards). To me, Samer is not a superb, but just a good singer, and the rest of the band are excellent musicians. Zak Stevens (SAVATAGE, TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, CIRCLE II CIRCLE) is doing guest vocals on "The Silent Sun", a song which has a running time of 10:05 minutes. "Shadowplay" opens very strong with "Wolves Of The North". Other songs on this second album, which I like are "Shadowrunners", "Warlock", "Babylon", "At Daggers Drawn" and "Unicorn Union". My conclusion is that "Shadowplay" is nothing more than just a nice average Symphonic Power Metal album.
Visit their website: http://www.dragony.net
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/officialdragony

73/100

DRAKKAR – Once Upon A Time… In Hell! (CD) Belgium December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Power Metal Running time: 54:11 (Tracks: 14)
Although Belgian Power Metal band DRAKKAR already exists since the early eighties (1983, to be precise), my first acquaintance with the band was when I saw them live together with GUILTY AS CHARGED and FIREFORCE on July 31st 2015, at the Little Devil in Tilburg, Holland. I was the DJ that evening, and after all bands were finished, Mario gave me this album to review. Well, in 1988 the band released its debut album "X Rated", followed by the two demos "Drakkar" (1990) and "When Music Becomes Magic" (1999). And in 2012 the debut album was re-released (or even re-recorded, I don't know) under the title "X Rated Reloaded". Well, this album "Once Upon A Time…In Hell!" was released in October of 2014, so with this update of MMM, the album is already one year old. Anyway, the line-up of DRAKKAR on this album exists of Fabrice "Leny" Vanbellingen (vocals), Patrick Thayse (guitar), Thierry Delcane (guitar), Richard Tiborcz (guitar), Thierry "Tytus" Dupont (bass) and Jonas Sanders (drums). This second full length album starts with the intro "Enter The Darkness" and ends with the outro "Epilogue". And although I have listened several times to this CD, I couldn't get impressed by it. The only tracks which I like the most are the fantastic "Angels Of Stone" and "Scream It Loud". To me, the rest of the songs are sounding to moderate. And maybe the amount of 14 tracks is too much as well. And another thing, what an ugly album cover has this CD. Anyway, now that I've finished this review, I don't think I will listen to this album ever again. Sorry guys, but I like the bands GUILTY AS CHARGED and FIREFORCE you have played with in the Little Devil, Tilburg much more.
Visit their website: http://www.drakkarband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.nuclearblast.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/drakkar-belgium

59/100

END OF THE DREAM – All I Am (CD) The Netherlands December 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 50:07 (Tracks: 9)
End of the Dream is a new Dutch female fronted band which debut with this All I Am. Founded in 2010 by Armen Shamelian (keys and guitar), Robin van Ekeren (guitar) and Micky Huijsmans (vocals) and later on completed by Peter Driessen (drums) and Tim van den Hooven (bass). This debut is simply a good one. They bring music that reminds mostly of Evanescence. Fierce songs like opener “Follow the Angels” and title track “All I Am” are easily alternated with more catchy, radio friendly tracks like “Collide” and suburb epics like “Dark Reflection”. The musicians all know how to handle their gear and vocalist Micky sings easily and fluently in as well the high and low regions. End of the Dream is certainly a promising band. Let's hope this release doesn't drown in the over flooded sea of female fronted releases. So if you can, get this product or go see them live and let them enchant you.
Visit their website: http://www.endofthedreammusic.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/endofthedreammusic

80/100

EVOLVENT – Whatever Happens (CD) France December 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Symphonic Metal Running time: 40:07 (Tracks: 10)
No trace of any bio was delivered by this album. Pity because you have to trace everything on internet. It takes time, too much time. Elvovent is a French band which plays melodic, symphonic metal. They have already delivered some material so that should be a good point. During the years it has been a come and go of several musicians. The only stable one is founder Sébastien Latour. I'm not familiar with they're former stuff but listening to this product I don't want to either. It all isn't that bad but it lacks power and conviction. Overall the songs are pretty basic gothic like with a symphonic touch. Musically it's all done pretty well, vocally it becomes pretty irritating during the album. The high opera voice of Emma Elvaston doesn 't convince met one second. The articulation should be better and as sad after a few songs it irritates. It flattens the songs which ripple on like driftwood on a silent sea. It all needs some pepper and alternation. In this genre there's a lot better to get. Next time some more power in the songs as well in the production certainly wouldn't harm them.
Visit their website: http://www.evolvent-band.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/evolvent-official

50/100

EXORCISM – World In Sin (MCD) Switzerland December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Doom Running time: 23:28 (Tracks: 5)
EXORCISM is the project/band of Yugoslavian (now Serbia) born multi-instrumentalist and singer Csaba Zvekan. In the eighties Zvekan sung in bands such as SARDONYX and ROUGH ANGEL. And since 2009 he's a member of KILLING MACHINE and in 2011 he also founded the band RAVEN LORD. Anyway, with the first listen of this 5-track EP "World In Sin" I knew enough. This is great stuff. Musically and vocally all songs on this EP, which are "World In Sin", "Black Day In Paradise", "Virtual Freedom", "Sahara" and "Black Star" reminds me of BLACK SABBATH (with Ronnie James Dio and Tony Martin), JORN and DIO. Zvekan started in 2006 with composing songs for EXORCISM, and he made some demo songs available online. Eventually, in April of 2014 EXORCISM released its debut album "I Am God" on Golden Core Records. Now that I have this 5-track EP, it makes me very curious about that debut album. All tracks on this EP were written by Csaba Zvekan, and was produced by him as well. Well, Zvekan plays guitar, bass, keyboards and is a great singer. On this EP he got help from recording musicians like Andy Drake (guitar), Joe Stump (guitar), Biggie P. Phanrath (guitar), Logan Christopher (bass), Lucio Manca (bass), Mirkko DeMaio (drums), Garry King (drums), Alex Wind (keyboards). This fantastic EP is in a limited edition of 666 copies available through te band's website, and is also digitally available on all digital platforms. So, if you are into BLACK SABBATH (RJ Dio, Tony Martin era), JORN of DIO, be quick if you wanted to have a hard copy of this EP as well.
Visit their website: http://www.exorcism13.com
Recordlabel: http://www.dreamrecords.org
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exorcismband

78/100

FORKLIFT ELEVATOR – Borderline (CD) Italy December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Modern Metal Running time: 40:33 (Tracks: 11)
The intro of Borderline is a waste of space, as far as I'm concerned. They could have left that off, because once Misery starts you really get into the swing of things. I'm actually having trouble keeping my feet still, concentrating on typing this review, as my neck just wants to move back and forth whilst taking my head with it on its journey. An almost white-short-haired guy headbanging is what I've become. Damn, I shouldn't be hanging off the chandelier, as I don't think it'll hold me. And as I'm home alone, my moshpit must look very pathetic to the people walking by my window. Damn, that vase was quite expensive, but what the hell, let's go! Forklift Elevator isn't fast, but it does make you want to move, big time. And it makes me think of Machine Head from time to time. Thankfully they have built in slow parts and breaks, otherwise this middle-aged man would be hospitalised at the end. A few seconds later I'm on the move again, as if I'm 18 again. Ouch! Bring it on!
Visit their website: http://www.forkliftelevator.it
Recordlabel: http://www.forkliftelevator.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forklift-elevator

76/100

GUILTY AS CHARGED – Leap Of Faith (CD) Belgium December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal / Thrash Metal Running time: 32:34 (Tracks: 8)
GUILTYAS CHARGED is a Belgium metal band that was formed in 2008. The band exists of Jan De Vuyssere (vocals, guitar), Dempsey Derous (guitar), Hannes De Caluwe (bass) and Matthew Vandenberghe (drums), and these four guys released a 5-track demo-CD in 2009. And since that moment GUILTY AS CHARGED shared stages with bands such as SOULFLY, DEATH ANGEL, U.D.O., PRO-PAIN and HELLOWEEN to name a few. Anyway, somewhere in 2013 the band went back into the studio to record their debut album, which became "Leap Of Faith" that was released by the band themselves in june of 2014. After that release GUILTY AS CHARGED asked Mike de Coene of Hard Life Promotion if he wanted to help by doing the promotion for the band. And now I've got "Leap Of Faith" in front of me to review for MMM. Well, notable is that these Belgian metalheads are playing a mixture of Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal. "Leap Of Faith", which by the way has a great album cover, was mixed and mastered by the legendary Dan Swanö, and sounds fantastic. The album features 8 songs, of which one ("Elysium") is an instrumental track, and is just a nice instrumental one. Like I said, the band plays a mixture of Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal, and you can hear on this album ("I'll Never…", "Down") that METALLICA is one of the main influences of the band. And I also hear some EXODUS influences in a few songs. In my opinion the best songs of "Leap Of Faith" are "Preach To The Masses" (4:07), "Last Chance" (4:46), the title track "Leap Of Faith" (3:49), "I'll Never…" (2:15) which completely sounds like METALLICA (even De Vuyssere sounds like Hetfield), "Lack Of Control" (5:08) and "Down" (5:34). My conclusion is that GUILTY AS CHARGED are an interesting band, that has released an excellent debut album. Well done guys. Check this band out.
Visit their website: http://www.guiltyascharged.be
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/guilty-as-charged

80/100

HARBOUR OF SOULS – Mountain Of Fire (MCD) The Netherlands December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Heavy Metal Running time: 19:18 (Tracks: 4)
HARBOUR OF SOULS is a 5-piece Dutch Hard Rock/Heavy Metal band from Goes, Zeeland. It all started in 2010 as a studio-project of Jesper (guitar) and Martin (vocals, drums) to record some self-written songs in Martin's home-studio. The two guys got positive reactions, so they decided to form a real band, which eventually became HARBOUR OF SOULS. "Mountain Of Fire" is the first EP of the band (produced by Pieter Kloos in The Void studio in Eindhoven) and is released by the band themselves. I must say that the four songs on "Mountain Of Fire" are interesting tracks. The 4 songs on this EP are "Mountain Of Fire", "In For The Night", "Set The Children Free" and "Safe". The line-up of HARBOUR OF SOULS on this EP exists of Martin (vocals), Jesper (guitar), Daniel (guitar), Robbert (bass) and Lars (drums). The band exists of excellent musicians and Martin's voice reminds a little bit of IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickinson. Not that he is as good as Bruce, but so now and then he sounds a bit like Bruce. "In For The Night" has some DEEP PURPLE/RAINBOW influences, and in "Set The Children Free" and "Safe" you can hear some THIN LIZZY influences as well. Good EP and interesting band. Check them out.
Visit their website: http://www.harbourofsouls.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/harbourofsouls

75/100

HEAVENS GATE – Best For Sale (CD) Germany December 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Melodic / Power Metal Running time: 79:13 (Tracks: 17)
Best For Sale is a compilation album from the German Heavy Power Metal band Heavens Gate who existed from 1987 until 1999. So 16 years later someone found it necessary to bring out this Best For Sale album. I honestly think that the title covers the meaning of this album. But hé in 1992 we got the Hell For Sale! album, followed in 1993 by the Live For Sale! album so you could see this one coming. Once, when I was young and had long hear, Heavens Gate was a nice band from Germany with some nice albums. Now we have a compilation album with some nice tracks on it. This album is for the curious Metalhead and the fans. No more, no less.
Visit their website: http://truemetal.org/mastersofmetal/heavensgate.htm
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.com/heavens-gate-best-for-sale
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heavensgatemetal/

50/100

JOEL HOEKSTRA'S 13 – Dying to live (CD) USA December 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 51:31 (Tracks: 11)
The classical trained Joel Hoekstra is not a new six string phenomenon. He's getting a lot of press nowadays and he's a well-respected musician amongst his peers. He was the guitar player in the musical Rock of Ages, he is one of the main axemen on the winter tours of Trans-Siberian Orchestra en he was the sideman of Brad Gillis in Nightranger, before David Coverdale asked him replacing Doug Aldrich in Whitesnake. Joel has shared the stage with many artists like Eric Martin, John Waite, Amy Lee, Foreigner (filling the position of the absent Mick Jones). One month ago his fourth solo album was released on Frontiers Records and what a fine album this is. This time Joel has chosen to pen and to make an album with vocalists, instead of writing instrumental epic songs. Russel Allen and Jeff Scott Soto took care of the vocals and Vinnie Appice and Tony Franklin formed the big fat rhythm section. I like the vocal approach of the songs. Russel Allen is the Dio-like metal man with lots of power and Jeff Scott Soto is the aggressive melodic tonsil troubadour for the more melodic songs with firm hooks.
I like the instrumentation. It's technical perfection, and you'll get a great cocktail of muscle and melody. Both singers filling in their duties at best. Russel Allen has that thick metal voice in songs with a lot of seventies and eighties metal influences and the Soto-songs have a lot of references with his solo-stuff. But behind these vocal craftsmen I get the feeling the album could have been more cohesive when all the songs were sung by one vocalist. It's the only minor detail of criticism about this great album. Check this out!
Visit their website: www.joelhoekstra.com
Recordlabel: www.frontiers.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joelhoekstra13
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/joelhoekstra

85/100

KERA – Kera (MCD) France December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Progressive Death Metal 19:07 (Tracks: 3)
Only three songs to decide whether this is good? Is that enough? It damn well is, as this is quite pleasant. Death Metal? I'm not sure. Progressive? Definitely. Pleasurable? Sure. Put it all together and this is a great first encounter with Kera. The music is fierce, but also very well controlled, without feeling restrained. They've definitely let go where possible, and held themselves in where necessary. The 3 songs on the EP are quite long, an therein lies the danger, as it's not easy to keep the attention of many a listener up for such a time. They have succeeded this time. Let's just hope that when it comes to a full length, they can keep it up. As that is the only question mark I've got.
Visit their website: https://www.facebook.com/keraInvidia
Recordlabel: https://www.facebook.com/KeraInvidia
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeraInvidia
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kerainvidia

79/100

KEZIA –The Dirty Affair (CD) Italy December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 35:26 (Tracks: 8)
The Dirty Affair? Well, not exactly, as far as the songs are concerned. Maybe it's in their minds, and in the breaks, as they're not really standard. Kezia even stray into a bit of jazz and/or lounge when they feel the need. For the rest it's progressive music all the way. It does take a few times to fathom what these Italians are trying to say, and even then it doesn't always make sense. Maybe the feeling is so strong because I can't determine whether the 8 songs on the album are good or average. I at least know they're not bad. They just don't fulfil me with a sense that I'm listening to something special. Even after a week of listening I can't make my mind up. If you are of an adventurous disposition and love your music to go places, this might be right up your alley. If you're one of those who have their boundaries outlined in set stone, you might want to try and break through them and give The Dirty Affair a try. You might be surprised. I, unfortunately, wasn't.
Visit their website: http://keziaofficial.it
Recordlabel: http://www.logicillogic.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kezia2013official
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kezia_band

70/100

LETHAL SAINT - WWIII (CD) Cyprus December 2015 Rob Claesen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 43:24 (Tracks: 11)
Traditional heavy metal from Germany. That was my first thought when I listened to this album. Reading the bio learned me the bans is from Cyprus! If you like to get throw back in time to the mid 80's, you probably like this album. It includes all ingredients like punding drums and bass, catchy riffs, 'twin guitar harmonies and screaming lead vocals. And nothings wrong with that! None of the songs realy stands out. Neither in a negative or positive way. WWIII is a nice album to listen to.
Visit their website: http://www.lethalsaint.com
Recordlabel: http://www.pureprog-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lethalsaintheavymetal

73/100

LUNA SOL – Blood Moon (CD) USA December 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Stoner Rock Running time: 40:03 (Tracks: 9)
Hermano's guitarist David Angstrom debuts with his own band Luna Sol with a simply outstanding album. This “Blood Moon” contains highly contagious, gritty sounding rockers which are catchy as hell. So, this statement is set. The whole album listens away easy and enjoyable and never gets dull. Of course the album is drowned in a Queens of the Stone Age/Kuyss sauce and the contributions of John Carcia and Nick Oliveri only amplify that. That maybe so but Luna Sol also has their own distinctive qualities. Besides their musical qualities both ladies in the band (Shanda Kolberg on guitar and Shannon Fahnstock on bass) contribute on vocal support duties to David Angstrom himself who also delivers a damn fine achievement. This works wonderwel and it gives the songs a crazy, slight sinister twist. “Bridges” opens fierce and strong followed by the more modest but grooving “Death Mountain”. These are a fine anacrusis to the suburb “December”. Well, wake me up anytime for songs like this. It's simply phenomenal ! It rocks, it grooves, it simply brings you everything you need you desire in a fine rocker. Also “Leadville” and “Pretty Rotten” are sure worth mentioning. Last track, before you put the album on repeat because believe me, you will, is the pretty sinister “In the Shadows” which shows the versatility of this band. A wonderfull debut that longs for more but also sets their standard very high. This album will be hard to surpass. That's the only negative thing i can say about it.
Visit their website: http://www.lunasol.us
Recordlabel: http://www.cargorecords.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lunasolmusic

90/100

MAXIFUSION - WM (CD) The Netherlands December 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Symphonic Rock Running time: 20:17 (Tracks: 4)
Maxifusion is a relatively new Dutch band that was founded in 2010 by female guitar player Manon van de Winkel. Joined by Jack Reinieren (bass), Stefan Oome (keys), François Verschueren (drums) and Lynn Gees handling the female vocal duties they already released the demo Green (2011) and the ep Once Upon A Time (2013). Maxifusion plays Symphonic Rock in it's best tradition. This means that the ingredients dreamy, misty, storytelling sustained by fierce rock elements and atmospheric keys are all present. “When the End is Near” opens instrumently and smooth until the enchanting vocals of Lynn falls in. Lynn has a very distinctive voice which is very difficult to compare to any other voice. It's clear and also in the higher regions as in the middle parts it's very good. In a distance it reminds sometimes at Kate Bush. Lynn's distinctive voice makes it easy for the band to sound quite different from others but also musically the band offers enough variety to speak of a band who has a sound of it's own. “When the End is Near” is a fine opener with fierce guitars and spheric keys. Also the other tracks are colored in pretty well. Nothing's overdone and every track listens away pretty easy. ”Wish There Was” and “Winter” are damn fine mid paced rockers in which Lynn's voice stand proud and both have that contrast between a growling, sonorous sound, fine supporting keys and trendy guitars. The album ends with the beautiful “My Story Will Be Told”. An epic one which has also catchy as dreamy moments. A strong epos that with it six minutes is even too short for me. Maxifusion is a pleasant surprise and deliver a very good piece of music that longs for more. It sounds professional and promising. For those who like for example bands like Kingfisher Sky certainly worth getting themselves a copy of this Maxifusion.
Visit their website: http://www.maxifusion.nl
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/maxifusionmusic

80/100

NEOLITH – IZI.IN.KURNU-KI (CD) Poland December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Death Metal Running time: 39:02 (Tracks: 10)
Neolith was formed in 1991, and this is their fifth album to date. Somehow I haven't come across them before. The brutal death metal make is really fast, extremely furious and bloody angry. What puts them apart from many others is the of electronics in the songs, giving them that ambient/goth like feel, even if it is only for a few seconds. It prevents the music from becoming dreary, one-sided or even boring. Not that it is, not at all, but that little bit of extra does give it the extra layer of interest. What more is there to say, but that for the real death metal lover this is an album to listen to and cherish. If you can handle those electronics, that is.
Visit their website: http://www.neolith.pl
Recordlabel: http://www.non-serviam-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/neolith
Bandcamp: https://www.neoltih/bandcamp.com

81/100

NIGHTMARE WORLD – In The Fullness Of Time (CD) United Kingdom December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Progressive Melodic Metal Running time: 37:48 (Tracks: 9)
The UK have their own progressive metallers called Nightmare World. Having only released one EP before (No Regrets, in 2009), we are now presented with their debut album In The Fullness Of Time. They have done their homework and give us an album that takes me back to Operation: Mindcrime and Empire, as the sound as vein of the songs is very reminiscent to what Queensryche used to bring in those days. But also the unavoidable bits of Dream Theater and even Yes come drifting by on a regular basis. Although it is clear that Nightmare World are a little more commercial, in other words, easier on the ears. They don't go heavy, they use more keyboards and have lyrics that invite you to sing along to. Is that a bad thing? Not at all, as the songs do sound good, have a proper beginning, body and ending. The production is crisp, making showing off the quality of the songs quite easy. And with the pleasant voice of Pete Morten fronting the lot it makes In The Fullness Of Time a great album to listen to. Especially on a rainy day like today it lightens up your day.
Visit their website: http://www.nightmareworld.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.purelegend-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nightmareworld

81/100

NIGHTSHOCK – Nightshock (CD) Italy December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Raw Speed / Thrash Metal / Doom Running time: 30:18 (Tracks: 9)
From Italy comes NIGHTSHOCK, a band that exists of Lorenzo Bellia (vocals, guitar), Giulia Bellia (bass) and Simone Perchiazzi (drums), and that was formed in October of 2013 by Lorenzo and Giulia (who are brother and sister). This self-titled debut album "Nightshock" was released in April of 2015 on Iron Shield Records. The album features 9 tracks and has a running time op 30 minutes. The band plays a raw mixture of Speed and Thrash Metal. In the attached press-release is written 'The perfect stuff for fans of MOTÖRHEAD, VENOM, BULLDOZER and GEHENNAH!'. Well, I am not familiar with BULLDOZER and GEHENNAH, and I understand VENOM is mentioned. But this is totally different than MOTÖRHEAD. There are some moment in a few songs, that some vocal lines remind me a bit of CARNIVORE. Besides Thrash Metal, there are also some Doom moments as well. Anyway, NIGHTSHOCK sounds not that spectacular to me. The songs which I like the most are "Nightshock", "Faith And Dishonor", "Nothing Will Remain" and "Roots Of The End". Like I said, this is not spectacular, just nice for so now and them.
Visit their website: http://www.nightshock.bandcamp.com
Recordlabel: http://www.ironshieldrecords.de

68/100

NO BROS – Find Myself (MCD) Austria December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 20:07 (Tracks: 5)
This 5-track EP "Find Myself" of Austrian Hard Rock band NO BROS was released in 2014. It features 3 new songs, the ballad "Find Myself", "Back Again" and "A Night In Tough City", and a remixed version of "Ready For The Action" (originally on the "The Party So Far - The Best Of Fan-Edit. 1981-2006" album), and a remastered version of "Heavy Metal Party" (from the re-release of the album "Heavy Metal Party" that will be released in 2015). Since 2004 the band was reunited again, so the line-up of NO BROS on this EP exists of Freddy Gigele (vocals), Klaus Schubert (guitar), Michael Ausserhofer (bass), Franz Heumader (drums) and Andi Brunner (keyboards). The only song which I like less is the piano-ballad and title-track "Find Myself". But of the new written songs "Back Again" and "A Night In Tough City" are good traditional Hard Rock songs.
Visit their website: http://www.nobros.com
Recordlabel: http://www.karthagorecords.de

70/100

NO BROS – Heavy Metal Party (CD) Austria December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 60:25 (Tracks: 13)
I never had heard of Austrian Hard Rock band NO BROS in the eighties. Well, the band was formed in 1974 (under the name TARGET), and this live album "Heavy Metal Party", which was recorded during a NO BROS tour in Austria in 1981, was the band's first album released in 1982. The line-up of NO BROS on this album exists of Freddy Gigele (vocals), Klaus Schubert (guitar), Michael Ausserhofer (bass), Franz Heumader (drums) and Nik P. Opperer (keyboards). Musically, NO BROS is heavily influenced by the legendary Hard Rock band DEEP PURPLE, but also URIAH HEEP comes in mind. Anyway, after 33 years this live album has been released on CD for the first time on Karthago Records (which is a division of Pure Rock Records), and has also 5 bonus-tracks on it, which are 3 live tracks ("Good Morning Sir", "We Are Stronger" and "Reggae") of a Live Bootleg, an instrumental track ("Rough And Rare") and a version of "Heavy Metal Party" which is sung by Biff Byford of SAXON (originally on the "Schubert In Rock" (2013) album, which is a project of Klaus Schubert playing NO BROS songs which are sung by singers such as Tony Martin, Marc Storace, Byff Byford, Doogie White, Bernie Marsden and Joe Lynn Turner). Well, I've listened several times to this live album, but if I have to be honest, not all these songs on "Heavy Metal Party" aren't as strong as the songs on the band's follow-up studio album "Ready For The Action" (1982). The only songs which I like of this live album are "Holiday With HH", the title track "Heavy Metal Party" and "Metal Man". The rest of the songs sound to moderate to me. Well, my preference goes out for the band's studio album "Ready For The Action", which has also been released for the first time on CD (see also this months update).
Visit their website: http://www.nobros.com
Recordlabel: http://www.karthagorecords.de

67/100

NO BROS – Ready For The Action (CD) Austria December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 50:15 (Tracks: 13)
"Ready For The Action" is the second album and first studio album of Austrian Hard Rock band NO BROS, that originally was released in October of 1982. Also this album has been released on CD for the first time in March of 2015 on Karthago Records. To me, this studio album is way much better than their first album, the live album "Heavy Metal Party". On this album, NO BROS not only reminds me musically of DEEP PURPLE and URIAH HEEP, but also to the early SCORPIONS. The line-up of the band on "Ready For The Action" is exactly the same as on "Heavy Metal Party". Also this release of "Ready For The Action" has some bonus-tracks (4 to be precise). Three bonus tracks are songs from the in 2014 released EP "Find Myself" (see also this December update of MMM), namely the title-track "Find Myself", "A Night In Tough City" and "Back Again". The last bonus-track is a new version of "Ready For The Action" with Marc Storace (KROKUS) on lead vocals (which is originally from the "Schubert In Rock" (2013) album), and this a superb version. I always have been a fan of KROKUS and Marc Storace's great voice. Anyway, this is a nice Hard Rock album to which I will listen to more so now and then. The songs which I like the most of the original 9 tracks of "Ready For The Action" are the title track "Ready For The Action", "Speedy", the beautiful "Intoxication", "Backstage Queen", "Second King Of Darkness", "On Stage" and "Please Change Your Mind". And of the three new songs of the "Find Myself" EP, I like "A Night In Tough City" and "Back Again" (an applicable title for the band) the most. But my absolute favorite track of this entire album is the aforementioned new version of "Ready For The Action" with Storace on vocals.
Visit their website: http://www.nobros.com
Recordlabel: http://www.karthagorecords.de

75/100

NUCLEAR DETONATION - Living Dead, Sons of the Lobotomy (CD) Italy December 2015 Rob Claesen
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 34:38 (Tracks: 8)
Do you like old school thrash bands like Exodus, Anthrax or even Megadeth? In that case you should realy give Nuclear Detonation'd debut album a listen. The Italian band is formed in 2013 and they don't try to hide where their influances came from. I'm sure i've heard every riff before, but it never gets painful or anoying. Living Dead, Sons of the lobotomy is a promising debut. I will keep an eye on this band. Hopefully they will develop their own style.
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nucleardetonation

72/100

OMEGA CROM – Beyond Control (CD) Canada December 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Thrash / Power Metal Running time: 59:30 (Tracks: 10)
The demo To Arms! was the first sign of life from OMEGA CROM in 2003. Followed seven years later in 2010 by the debut album Blood, Steel & Fire. And now I have their 2nd album Beyond Control before me. And I can tell you that this album kept me going. From Thrash Metal to Power Metal to even some Death Metal. I admit, it's too much for me. Don't get me wrong here, because the ten tracks have solid arrangements and are well played by OMEGA CROM. Listening tips are Infiltrate The System and Shattered Illusions Of Reality. So if you're in for a heavy musical journey you might try out these Canadian guys. Let them surprise you!
Visit their website: http://www.omegacrom.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/omegacrommusic

60/100

ORANGE OUTLAW – Desert Wolf (CD) The Netherlands December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Modern Hard Rock / Metal Running time: 53:16 (Tracks: 11)
Well, I was really surprised with this debut album of Dutch modern Hard Rock / Metal band ORANGE OUTLAW. So far, I had never heard of the band before. ORANGE OUTLAW was formed in 2011, and they are from Amsterdam. The band, who exists of Sven Cornelissen (vocals, rhythm guitar), Dirkjan de Wit (lead guitar), Jeffrey Bryan Rijnsburger (bass, also in MARTYR) and Mark van Grieken (drums), released their first 3-track demo "First Shot" in 2012. Now this year, the band released its debut album "Desert Wolf" all by themselves. It was first digitally released in the Summer of 2015, and this hard copy was released in September 2015. But man, since I've got this album to review I already liked "Desert Wolf" with the first listen. And this debut album has made a lot of spins in my CD-player. Actually, ORANGE OUTLAW is, in my opinion, a band with real potential. All three songs of the demo "First Shot" ("Fast And Deadly", "Getting Paranoid" and "Glam On The Streets"), are on this album as well. There's one instrumental track on "Desert Wolf", which is the short instrumental "El Blanco", that is more an intro for "To Me You're Done". A quieter and very accessible song is "Nobody Wants Me Tonight". All other songs on "Desert Wolf" are good solid Rock songs. And also the production of the album sounds fantastic. The band exists of talented musicians, Bryan and Van Grieken are a good rhythm section, De Wit is a great guitarist (just listen to his guitar-solos), and ORANGE OUTLAW has in Sven Cornelissen absolutely a real good Rock singer. The songs on "Desert Wolf" which I like the most are the opener "Charger", "Glam On The Streets", "Point Of No Return", "Mary Jeane", "Your Game Is Killing Me" and "Running Again". If you are into good melodic (modern) Hard Rock / Metal, then you'll have to check this band and album out. Compliments guys.
Visit their website: http://www.orangeoutlaw.nl
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/orangeoutlaw

76/100

ORDEN OGAN - Ravenhead (CD) Germany December 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Power Metal Running time: 47:07 (Tracks: 11)
Ravenhead is the title of the last ORDEN OGAN record. It's already their 5th full-length album. And these German guys goes further where they left us with To The End in 2012. German Power Metal on its best. For those who do not know take a blender and mix Blind Guardian, Nightwish, Mystic Prophecy and Firewind and you have an idea how ORDEN OGAN sounds. Pretty cool if you ask me! On Here at the End of the World we hear Chris Boltendahl from Grave Digger and on Sorrow is Your Tale there is Joacim Cans from Hammerfall with a guest appearance. This a truly great European Power Metal album. Listening tips are Deaf Among The Blind, Ravenhead and the single F.E.V.E.R. is one song that you won't forget, ever ! Go check out this latest ORDEN OGAN album. In March 2016 the band is on tour in Europe, and the next thing we can expect is a dvd box called "Book Of Ogan". Let these Germans roll … !!
Visit their website: http://www.ordenogan.de
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ordenogan

81/100

PARALLEL MINDS – Headlong Disaster (CD) France December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal / Progressive Metal Running time: 68:01 (Tracks: 10)
From France comes melodic Heavy Metal / Progressive Metal band PARALLEL MINDS, who has released their debut album "Headlong Disaster" in May of 2015 on Brennus Music. The band exists of Stéphane Fradet (vocals), Grégory Giraudo (guitar, bass) and Franky Costanza (drums; also DAGOBA). The band plays some melodic powerful Heavy Metal, with also some Progressive Metal influences in their songs as well. The album also has 2 bonus tracks on it, which are a cover version of the SCORPIONS classic "Comin' Home" (from the "Love At First Sting" (1984) album) and a cover version of IRON MAIDEN's "Only The Good Die Young" (from the 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" (1988) album). Both are just nice cover versions. Anyway, the band had worked 2 years on this debut album, and I must say, to me it's not a superb album, but just a good one. The songs which I like the most are "I Am", "Into The Void", "Migdal Bavel (Myth Of Babel)", "Ghost Of Sparta" and the longest track of the album, the 20 minutes lasting fantastic "Hyperion". Fans of Melodic Metal / Prog Metal, check this band and album out.
Visit their website: http://www.parallelmindsofficial.com
Recordlabel: http://www.brennus-music.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/parallelmindsofficial

75/100

PROWLER – Stallions Of Steel (CD) Germany December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 47:13 (Tracks: 9)
German traditional Heavy Metal band PROWLER shows their love for the NWOBHM sound of the '80's on this fine debut album "Stallions Of Steel", that was released on Pure Steel Records in February of 2015. These young metalheads from Leipzig, Saxony, Germany formed PROWLER in 2008. The band that exists of Ronny Dietrich (vocals), David Junold (guitar), Clemens Richter (guitar), Marvin Mehrländer (bass) and Michael Czernik (drums) had already released their 5-track EP "Hard Pounding Heart" in 2012 all by themselves. Three songs of that 5-track EP are also now on this debut album, namely "Motorcycle Of Love", "Out Of The Night" and "Prowler". Anyway, although it's all not very original, it sounds just fantastic. It really brings you back to the early eighties. To me, there's just one song on "Stallions Of Steel" which is the least track of the album, and that is "Mind And Might". The rest of the tracks are really fantastic traditional heavy metal songs. And the aforementioned "Out Of The Night" reminds musically very much of JUDAS PRIEST, just listen to the twin guitars. I like this album very much, and it will absolutely make a lot more spins in my CD-player after this December 2015 update of MMM. My favorite tracks are without a doubt the great opener "Motorcycle Of Love", "Freedom", the title track "Stallions Of Steel", "Out Of The Night" and "Paranoia". If you are into the NWOBHM era, check this band and album out.
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/prowlersteel
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/prowlersteel

78/100

RAGING DEAD – Born In Rage (MCD) Italy December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Horror Metal Running time: 20:54 (Tracks: 6)
Raging Dead is Italian easy listening heavy metal with a horror basis. Whilst listening to their mini cd Born In Rage my body involuntarily and rhythmically starts swaying from left to right. The intro and five songs that fill this cd are alright, but have one major flaw: they're very predictable. As are the vocal lines and lyrics. Does that matter? Well, that's up to you. For me Born In Rage is good for some 20 minutes of forgetting the world around you and shouting along as hard as possible, Nothing more, nothing less.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ragingdead

67/100

REBEL COLLECTIVE – Middle Age Famous (CD) Sweden December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock / Metal Running time: 32:02 (Tracks: 9)
REBEL COLLECTIVE is a Swedish Hard Rock / Metal band that was formed in 2009. In 2012 the band released their debut album "Middle Finger Famous" on Spotify. Personally, I wasn't familiar with REBEL COLLECTIVE, so this second album "Middle Age Famous" (very original title, not), which was released in May of 2015, is my first acquaintance with the band. But to be honest, I don't like the entire album at all, simply because REBEL COLLECTIVE can't impress me with these 9 songs. The members Genz (guitar), Een (bass) and Otto (drums) play their instruments well, but in my opinion, the weakest link of the band is singer Haze. He's absolutely not a great singer, and to me he sings not always in tune. I've listened a few times to "Middle Age Famous", but with every listen I still didn't like any song of it. The enclosed biography ends with the text ""Middle Age Famous" is a guarantee for PARTY TIME!". Well, not for me. Okay, everyone has his own taste, so there will be absolutely people who will like this album a lot, but to me this second album "Middle Age Famous" is nothing more than a very weak and moderate album. I'm gonna feed my garbage can with this CD, so my garbage can has a party time!
Visit their website: http://www.rebelcollective.se
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebelcollectiveband

56/100

RENEGADE – Thunder Knows No Mercy (CD) Italy December 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 44:47 (Tracks: 8)
Hailing from Italy are the guys from RENEGADE. From 2006 they put regularly full-length albums on this world. Thunder Knows No Mercy is already the 5th in a row. Although the last one Can't Stop The Fire was a sort of compilation album. I think that 90% of the Italian Power Metal bands are focussed on the European style of this genre. But this is not the case with RENEGADE. Here we get some Traditional Heavy Metal with even progrock influences. Mix some Iron Maiden, Lanfear, Lizzy Borden and Fates Warning. Eight new tracks on this album ranging from fierce tight songs like Nobody Lives Forever and The World is Dying 'till some complex song structures like Awaiting the Storm and the epic Trail of Tears. RENEGADE, a band to look forward to!
Recordlabel: http://www.pureunderground-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thunderknowsnomercy

79/100

REVENGE - Harder than Steel (CD) Colombia December 2015 Rob Claesen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 44:28 (Tracks: 10)
Maby I am getting old, bored or maby I have heard too much metal albums in my life. Listening to Revenge's fifth full length album immediately gave me the feeling I get a lot reviewing todays albums: I've heard it before, but much better. The Colombian band steels riffs and licks and shamelessly makes them their own. All musiscians know how to play their instruments, but lack their own style and personality.
Visit their website: http://www.revengespeedmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/revengespeeed666

50/100

RUTHLESS – They Rise (CD) USA December 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 60:38 (Tracks: 14)
The rebirth of old bands is a common thing during the last few years. Both the fans and the musicians get nostalgic and want to revive the 80s metal feeling. I won't currently judge if it's a good thing or not. I will focus mainly on the music produced and the quality of the albums recorded. They Rise marks the studio return of the 80s legend Ruthless after almost 30 years (the band reunited for a 2009 live appearance at Keep It True festival)! The question is do they still possess the ability to write great music and is They Rise an album that can stand beside Metal Without Mercy and The Discipline of Steel? The answer is that it's a decent album that will be appreciated by the fans of the band and U.S. metal in general. It can't reach the band's previous glory though. And since Metal Without Mercy is included as bonus, the comparisons are inevitable. They Rise won't disappoint you if you don't expect a classic but a good headbanging metal album instead.
Visit their website: https://www.ruthlessmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ruthless-metal-official

74/100

SACRILEGE – Ashes To Ashes (CD) United Kingdom December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 78:47 (Tracks: 14)
Somehow I'd only heard of the French band Sacrilège in the early eighties, so these English blokes got by me unseen. Even though they were active from 1982 up to 1987, and came back together in 2007. Thankfully that wrong has been set right, as this is quite pleasurable NWOBHM. Ashes To Ashes provides you with all that they have released in the past, and I'm certainly not complaining. Although the frequent use of keyboards is something that didn't happen too often in the early eighties, it fits what Sacrilege are doing. Don't expect world class music, as if that would have been the case they certainly wouldn't have gone unnoticed in the first place. So if the new album Six6Six tickles your fancy, have a listen to this one. It shows where they're coming from. And with almost 80 minutes of good NWOBHM you can never go wrong.
Visit their website: http://www.sacrilegenwobhm.com
Recordlabel: http://www.karthago-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sacrilegerock

71/100

SACRILEGE – Six6Six (CD) United Kingdom December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 51:12 (Tracks: 11)
Sacrilege were active from 1982 up to 1987, and have released some stuff in those days. They have been back since 2007. All music of that period is available on the album Ashes To Ashes. That review should be straight above this one. Now they've decided to release a new album called Six6Six. NWOBHM that varies in Doom to Mid-tempo speed, with a solid sound and well written songs, giving the whole album a bit of an Ozzy/Black Sabbath style sound. Just listen to In Hell. What a great song! As Six6Six is 51 minutes long, it is a long ride, but songs with brilliant riffs like Forever After prevent the listening experience from becoming boring. I'd really like to see this live!
Visit their website: http://www.sacrilegenwobhm.com
Recordlabel: http://www.karthago-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sacrilegerock

73/100

SHADOWBANE – Facing The Fallout (CD) Germany December 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Power Metal Running time: 46:39 (Tracks: 10)
Ladies and Gentleman here is SHADOWBANE from Germany with their debut album Facing The Fallout. Power Metal as it should sounds. SHADOWBANE style isn't European Power Metal but lines directly to the, much appreciated by me, US variant. From the 2010 EP Dystopia there are 3 tracks on it namely Last Division, Source of Grieve and Dystopia. But that is no problem because I missed that one. So 10 new tracks for me and I like it a lot. SHADOWBANE does remind me of bands like Vicious Rumors, Iced Earth and Hellstar. Just listen to tracks like Traitor and Last Division. For all your US Power Metal adepts … this one is for you!
Visit their website: http://www.shadowbanemetal.de
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shadowbanemetal

83/100

SKINFLINT – Nyemba (CD) Botswana December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 33:11 (Tracks: 8)
For the third time running I'm reviewing Skinflint, and it never becomes a chore. Not because they are that good, but because they have their own take on what heavy metal should be and how it should sound. Nyemba actually is quite an improvement on their former album Gauna. Not only are the songs much better, the performances are tighter, the vocals blend with the music and the production is at least a dimension above anything they've released before. I actually like this. No, it's still not earth shattering, but everything seems to fit this time. Even the Iron Maiden riffs they insist on using are brought in such a way that they enhance the enjoyment of listening to Skinflint. And they've left out all the odd bits they'd normally leave in. As Nyemba is only 33 minutes long, you're left with the good parts, not the expendable ones. Well done, folks. Now please, don't let us wait for another 3 years.
Visit their website: http://www.skinflintmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skinflintmetal
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/skinflint123

77/100

SLEEPERS GUILT – Road of Emptiness (CD) Luxembourg December 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 28:32 (Tracks: 6)
Why the hell I have to review stuff that has been released in 2013 …. I really don't know, I don't like it and normally it contributes nothing. But okay, I got the album and will do my duty because there are two reasons for it. The first one is that a new album from these Luxembourgers is coming out in February next year. The second one is that this is simply a bloody good record. Not familiar at all with this stuff and this band they really stole my metal heart with this ep According to themselves they play Melodic Death Metal, but for me it's more Dark Melodic. Personally I wouldn't categorise it under Death Metal because it offers a wide variety as musically as vocally. As said this album contains only very good songs in which the alternation between the raw, grunting vocals and clean vocals not only stand out but contribute each other. All tracks sound great from the pumping opener and title track “Road of Emptiness” till closer and Depeche Mode cover “Never Let Me Down Again” which sound pretty different from the original and also confirms this band's greatness. In “Slave” and “One Last Shiver” we here more atmospheric inspirations alternated with pure on compromised metal. “Leviathan” is a damn fine, more Gothic like track with clean vocals and grunts in the chorus. In “Echoes of my Silence” it's enjoyable how to hear the excellent guitar work combine with catchy vocal lines. Those who are into Dark Tranquillity or Paradise Lost certainly must listen to this. For me I hope the coming album reaches my desk much sooner. Excellent band.
Visit their website: http://www.sleepersguilt.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sleepersguilt

85/100

STARGAZERY – Stars Aligned (CD) Finland December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 51:42 (Tracks: 13)
STARGAZERY is a melodic Heavy Metal band from Finland, that has released its second full length album "Stars Aligned" in January of 2015 on Pure Legend Records. So far, the band has already released the single "Dying" in 2007, and their debut album "Eye On The Sky" in 2011 (also on Pure Legend Records). The line-up on this album exists of Jari Tiura (vocals, formerly of MSG), Pete Ahonen (guitar), Jukka Jokikokko (bass), Jussi Ontero (drums) and Marco Sneck (keyboards). Notable to me is that the song "Invisible" reminds me very much of the VENGEANCE song "Arabia" (from the 1989 album "Arabia"). There's also a cover version of CHER's "Dark Lady" (of the 1974 "Dark Lady" album) on "Stars Aligned", and the bonus track, which is titled "Tumma Nainen" is nothing more than the same cover version of CHER's "Dark Lady", but then sung in their own mother tongue. If I have to be honest, to me the first half of the album is the strongest. The songs which I like the most on "Stars Aligned" are the opener "Voodoo", "Missed The Train To Paradise", the aforementioned "Invisible", "Absolution", "Painted Into A Corner" and "Warrior's Inn".
Visit their website: http://www.stargazery.com
Recordlabel: http://www.purelegend-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stargazery
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/stargazeryband

70/100

STEEL PROPHET – Continuum / Into the Void (2CD) USA December 2014 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 85:42 (Tracks: 15)
Steel Prophet is a band that never had the chance to savour the success it deserved. With a 3 decade career on its back, the band released numerous albums, all of them of high quality. The fans though think that the first 3 cd releases were the best and I tend to agree. What I am reviewing here is the reissue of Continuum (1996) and Into the Void (1997). Two classics that followed the stellar The Goddess Principle debut in 1995. The band appears in top form, delivering storming heavy power metal with doom and epic moments. Some of the best songs of the band like the magnum opus Death or the scorcher Of the Dream (also known as In the Dream and brought from the band's demo years) are included in these releases, making their purchase a one way road for those who missed the first and now hard to find pressings. The sound has been enhanced too.
Visit their website: https://www.reverbnation.com/steelprophet
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/steelprophet
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/steelprophet

85/100

SPACE VACATION – Cosmic Vanguard (CD) USA December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Old School Heavy Metal Running time: 44:07 (Tracks: 11)
This was actually released a year ago, so we're a little behind on reviewing Cosmic Vanguard. Our sincere apologies to Space Vacation. And judging by the music I'm hearing, I won't even let it get to the point of waiting for such a long time. Old school US metal mixed with some NWOBHM of the highest quality. The songs have pace, rhythm, emotion and power and they are led by the great voice of Scott Shapiro. Ex Vicious Rumors guitarist Kiyoshi Morgan, bassist Mark Shapiro and drummer Cubby Baumann complete the line-up. If you're into eighties metal with melodic voices, good tunes and great production, you'll love Space vacation. I actually can't find fault on Cosmic Vanguard. Superb.
Visit their website: http://www.spacevacationrocks.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/spacevacationmusic
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/spacevacation

84/100

SYSTEM OVERTHROW – System Overthrow (CD) The Netherlands December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Speed / Thrash Metal Running time: 28:20 (Tracks: 8)
SYSTEM OVERTHROW is a Dutch Speed-, Thrash Metal band that was formed in 2011. The band exists of Willy van der Kaa (vocals), Luc de Warem (guitar), Els Emonds (bass) and Roel van Helden (drums). In 2013 the band released their first self-titled 3-track demo "System Overthrow", which featured the songs "System Overthrow", "Lycanthropy" and "Fallen Angel". On this demo the rhythm section existed of Ruud Haan (bass) and Erik Verheij (drums). Anyway, two years later, SYSTEM OVERTHROW is back with their self-titled debut album "System Overthrow". So far, I've seen the band twice, the first time on July 4th, 2013, when they were the support act of TYRANEX in Little Devil, Tilburg (MMM-show), and the second time was also in Little Devil during the Incubate festival on September 19th, 2015 (with also BLOODROCUTED, RAIN, IZEGRIM and PICTURE, also MMM-show). So, when I saw SYSTEM OVERTHROW the second time, this debut album was just one month released (in August 2015). This self-titled debut album "System Overthrow" features eight tracks of which three of them are the above mentioned tracks of the demo. The band exists of really good musicians and Van der Kaa is a good singer, who's sings with high-pitched vocals. Well, since the first time I saw the band, I was immediately impressed. In my opinion "System Overthrow" is a strong debut album. In fact, I like the entire album very much. To me, there isn't any weak song on it. The songs "System Overthrow", "Cry Or Die", "Raining Death", "Rise From The Ashes", "Horror", "Pit Fighter", "Lycanthropy" and "Fallen Angel" are all excellent compositions. SYSTEM OVERTHROW is absolutely a band with a lot potential. If you haven't heard of seen them so far, well, check them out. Fantastic band.
Visit their website: http://www.systemoverthrow.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/systemoverthrow

86/100

THINK OF A NEW KIND (T.A.N.K.) – Symbiosis (CD) France December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Extreme Metal Running time: 32:02 (Tracks: 12)
TANK are angry. That much is clear. Is this melodic death metal? They claim it is, but with structures that are a mix between In Flames and Textures I'd say that this is modern extreme metal. So now you know in which area to look for. The thing is, the songs are quite choppy and djent-like, but easily change into a proper Swedish death metal riff. And as the voice of Raf Pener is right in between those musical styles too, with his grunts as well as his clean vocals, it only enhances my belief. The question I need to ask myself is whether this is good. The songs may float around from all angles, they do sound good. And proper. The production is quite transparent, making it easy to distinguish all that is being played. I like it. And now I have my answer: yes, this is quite good. But then again, in the ever going flow of heavy releases TANK will have a hard time being noticed. Especially with bands like Textures, Gojira, Soilwork and In Flames who all keep on making great records. Only time will tell, I suppose.
Visit their website: http://www.thinkofanewkind.com
Recordlabel: https://myspace.com/symbolmuzik
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thinkofanewkind
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/tgmetal

70/100

TRAUMA – Rapture And Wrath (CD) USA December 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: US Metal Running time: 52:24 (Tracks: 10)
Yes, this the Trauma that Cliff Burton played with before joining Metallica. He is present on their first demo from 1982. They also released an album in 1984 called Scratch And Scream, and a second demo in the same year. Then they called it quits. 30 years after disbanding the band have decided to give it another go. The first thing that springs to mind is that the production is quite flat and cloudy. That's a pity, as the high pitched voice of Donny Hiller, as well as the quite fast but melodic song structures deserve better. Now it really sounds like it was recorded in the eighties on the Shrapnel label. As mentioned, the tunes on Rapture And Wrath are quite good. US metal at its finest, with all the trimmings and drama. Even though this album is over 52 minutes long, it never gets boring. In every song there's something to hold your attention. Conclusion: good album. Could have been great with a proper production. Pity.
Visit their website: http://www.traumametal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/trauma-usa
ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/traumametal

72/100

UGLY KID JOE – Uglier Than They Used Ta Be (CD) USA December 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Rock / Hard Rock Running time: 48:27 (Tracks: 11)
Everyone who's older than 25 and is into Rock music should know or knows the two biggest hits UGLY KID JOE had in the early nineties, namely "Everything About You" and the cover "Cat's In The Cradle" of the band's debut album "America's Least Wanted" (1992). Well, personally I only know these two hits from the radio. I liked those two hits, but at that time I never had the need to buy or check out that debut album. In that case I was not so much into UGLY KID JOE. So, I am totally not familiar with the albums that UGLY KID JOE had released in the '90's, which are "America's Least Wanted" (1992), "Menace To Sobriety" (1995) and "Motel California" (1996). Now, after 19 years singer Whitfield Crane & Co. are back with their fourth studio album entitled "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be", and was released in September of 2015 on Metalville Records. This 4th studio album features eleven tracks of which two tracks are covers, namely, the MOTÖRHEAD classic "Ace Of Spades" and the RARE EARTH cover "Papa Was A Rolling Stone". MOTÖRHEAD guitarist Phil Campbell is not only playing guest guitar on "Ace Of Spades", but also on "My Old Man" and "Under The Bottom". Quieter songs on "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be" are the acoustic "Mirror Of The Man" and "Nothing Ever Changes", and are songs which I like less. The first few times that I listened to this album, I didn't like it that much. But I have to admit that the more I listened to "Uglier Than They Used Ta Be", the more the album in my opinion grew. Okay, one thing is for sure, I never will be a real fan of UGLY KID JOE, but to me this is just a nice album to which I can listen to. It's absolutely not bad what these guys do. The songs which I like are the opener "Hell Ain't Hard To Find", "Let The Record Play", "Bad Seed" and "Under The Bottom". And of course the "Ace Of Spades" version, which is nicely done by these guys.
Visit their website: http://www.uglykidjoe.net
Recordlabel: http://www.metalville.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/uglykidjoetheband

75/100

VOODOO CIRCLE – Whisky Fingers (CD) Germany December 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Bluesy Hard Rock Running time: 50:30 (Tracks: 11)
Voodoo Circle is the brainchild of Alex Beyrodt, famous guitarist from Primal Fear, Silent Force, Sinner and many other German acts. Alex wanted to form a band in the Rainbow, neo-classical Yngwie Malmsteen, Deep Purple and Whitesnake-vain drenched in heavy blues. His companions in Voodoo Circle share(d) these dreams and this passion for music for four albums long (thus far). Alessandro Del Vecchio (yes, it's the Frontiers Records keyboard man and composer, producer of a great variety in melodic rock acts) joined the band and former UDO-drummer Francesco Jovino might be new in the band, but the backbone (musically virtuoso interpreted by Alex Beyrodt, David Readman and Matt Sinner) has never disappeared and they never lost sight of their mainframe. Whisky Fingers (named after a quote from Steve Stevens) is the fourth album by Voodoo Circle and it's a killer album! Voodoo Circle has evolved in my opinion. The Yngwie Malmsteen-vibes (the first two albums had that nods to the neo-classical output of the Swedish axeman) have gone and you'll hear a Whitesnake, neo-Rainbow sound with lots of references to the seventies (Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Montrose).
It's a record David Coverdale would be longing to make and would lend his voice to. The album, distributed by AFM Records, contains eleven songs. Three songs are balladesque, but the band has always shown a good sense for heavy ballads and this time the ballads make room for beautiful axe work and vocal parts as well. The band will start a tour in March in Germany. Go check them out!Great album!.
Visit their website: http://www.voodoocircle.de
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/voodoocircle
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/voodoocircleband

87 /100

WRETCH – Warriors (CD) USA December 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 58:29 (Tracks: 13)
Ohio's Wretch was formed back in the 80s but never made it to an album release and disbanded. Almost 20 years after its birth, the band reformed and presented its debut through Cleveland's legendary Auburn label. A compilation and a self financed EP followed and eventually led to Warriors. All the previous works bearing the Wretch name contained traditional U.S. heavy power metal and I had no reason to believe that Warriors would be any different. The album wears the Wretch colors with pride, honoring the legacy of the band and bearing hope for a bright future if the band doesn't lose momentum. Warriors reminded me of the recent Jack Starr's Burning Starr albums with a strong dosage of recent Metal Church since Ron Emig's voice is close to Ronny Munroe's (now ex-Metal Church). Wretch are not destined for greatness and superstardom but are real soldiers of metal which serve our beloved music with decency and pride. I had the honor of meeting the guys when they visited Athens for a couple of gigs and can surely testify to that particular statement.
Visit their website: https://www.wretchmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wretchmetal

77/100

ZANDELLE – Perseverance (CD) USA December 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 59:03 (Tracks: 11)
If I remember correctly, this is my fourth Zandelle review for Mario's Metal Mania! The first one was for Vengeance Rising 9 years ago! Time flies but Zandelle remains the same and that is surely a compliment. Still pounding hard, still power metal, still melodic, still traditional. George Tsalikis has maintained a steady band profile despite the frequent line-up changes. Drummer Joe Cardillo is the only remaining member since Flames of Rage (2009) but it is obvious that Tsalikis IS the band and Perseverance is his middle name. Thumbs up for delivering another classic Zandelle album filled with power metal balancing between U.S.A. and Europe. If Helloween were influenced by Manowar and lived in New York, they would be called Zandelle!
Visit their website: https://www.zandelle.net
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zandelle
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/zandelle

80/100

JULY

ASTRALION – Astralion (CD) Finland July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Melodic Power Metal Running time: 63:10 (Tracks: 11)
Melodic Power Metal from Finland! In the vein of the once mighty Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and Helloween. That's the debut album from ASTRALION simply called Astralion. The opening track Mysterious & Victorious is fast and furious, where after the slow a bit down with The Oracle and At the Edge of the World. To put the pedal to the metal back on with When Death Comes Knocking. And so this album continues for more than one hour. An debut album to be proud of in mine opinion. So if you're into the Meloldic Power Metal European Style you might check out this ASTRLION. It's not original but you can hear that it is played with an intense and eager enjoyment!
Visit their website: http://www.astralion.org
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/astralionband

75/100

BLIKSEM – Gruseome Masterpiece (CD) Belgium July 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Heavy / Thrash Metal Running time: 51:44 (Tracks: 10)
Some say Bliksem is a thrash band. That's selling them short, as they do such a lot more. Just like Flotsam & Jetsam, a band they're actually touring with! Of course Gruesome Masterpiece thrashes around at times, but it also has heavy and even stoner influences flying around whenever necessary. Their first EP Bliksem and first full-length album Face The Evil already demonstrated that they knew what they were doing, but both lacked that little bit of oomph to give it that extra push. Well, they've added that now. When they fast, it's just that little bit faster than before. When they want to be melodic, they are just that bit more convincing. But mainly, whatever they do, it's always controlled, always directed in such a way that it keeps your attention undivided. And that's the big plus.
Visit their website: http://www.bliksemmusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.iron-will.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bliksemmusic
MySpace: https://myspace.com/bliksem666

81/100

BORN OF FIRE – Dead Winter Sun (CD) USA July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Progressive Power Metal Running time: 42:35 (Tracks: 10)
This is the 2nd full-length album from BORN OF FIRE. They originally where formed in 1998. Their first demo saw the light in 1999, while the full-length album, Transformation, was a fact in 2000. After another demo in 2001 it went quiet with Born Of Fire. In 2012 there was suddenly a compilation album called Anthology of course. And now, in a completely changed line-up is their new effort Dead Winter Sun. It's progressive US Power Metal with influences from great bands like Iced Earth, Iron Maiden and the newer Fates Warning. Listen for example to the tracks Last Goodbye and Cast the Last Stone. It's not easy to put Born Of Fire in a specific metal genre, so that might be a compliment in these days. If you dig some good Progressive Power Metal, Born Of Fire might be just the “new” band for you. I enjoyed this Dead Winter Sun album which is of course also available on vinyl through Pure Steel Records.
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/born-of-fire

80/100

CAIN'S OFFERING – Stormcrow (CD) Finland July 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Melodic power metal Running time: 57:34 (Tracks: 11)
Cain's Offering was formed by former Sonata Arctica members Jani Liimatainen and Mikko Härkin, Stratovarius singer Timo Kotipelto, Norther and Wintersun bass player Jukka Koskinen and drummer Jani Hurula. Their debut album “Gather the Faithful” was released in July 2009 through the Japanese label Avalon.All music and lyrics were written by Liimatainen. The album got rave reviews and many listeners agreed: Cain's Offering is the missing link between Stratovarius and Sonata Arctica. For the second album, of which a review copy is spinning round here, there were some problems. Guitar player Jani Liimatainen didn't have time to focus on a new album, but I'm glad he definitely took the time to gather his talents and join forces with his bandmates and with newcomer Jens Johansson (famous keyboardplayer for Yngwie Malmsteen and Stratovarius). The album is better than the first one, in my opinion; it has more focus, more grandeur, more balls. The powermetal-songs are majestic and great, full of musical adventures and tempo. But Cain's Offering has also a cheesy side I don't think powermetallers will like. But most of the album rocks hard, very hard. Too bad the lyrics are very simple and there isn't much depth in the song-themes. Powermetalland, just grab a copy of this album, released by Frontiers Music, Italy!
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cainsoffering
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/cainsoffering

80/100

CALIBRE ZERO – Con Las Botas Puestas (CD) Spain July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 37:45 (Tracks: 11)
Hailing, since 2005, from Spain are CALIBRE ZERO. This is their 4th album since 2008, including a compilation album in 2011. And now we have Con Las Botas Puestas. Music with some Motörhead vibes through it sang in the Spanish language. So rough sounded vocals with some “sleazy dirty melodic” played Heavy Metal. Songs titles like 'Si No Es Ahora Cuando', 'Preva De Un Nuevo Amacener' and 'Dejadnos Vivir En Paz' makes you think you're somewhere on the costa in Spain. But Ricardo Lázaro screams you out that dream and bring you back to reality with his bandmates. So if you dig some sleazy dirty and mean Hard Rock and you like the Spanish language check out this 4th chapter of Calibre Zero simply called “Con Las Botas Puestas”.
Visit their website: http://www.calibrezerorock.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/calibrezero

67/100

DANGEREGO – Autopsy (CD) Italy July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Alternative Rock Running time: 44:09 (Tracks: 10)
This is the re-release of the 2011 Autopsy album from DANGEREGO. What you get is Alternative Rock with influences from Audioslave, Stone Temple Pilots and Alter Bridge. This Autopsy album listens nicely if your speeding on the highway for example. Some nice tunes on it like Hell's Rage, Light or Darkness and the last track Prison's Escape which include a surprise track . It's not my piece of meat but If you're into the this kind of rock I would certainly recommend you to give DANGEREGO a chance with their Autopsy!
Visit their website: http://www.dangerego.com
Recordlabel: http://www.atomicstuff.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/dangerego

70/100

DARKOLOGY – Fated to Burn (CD) USA July 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Power Metal Running time: 61:40 (Tracks: 12)
After 6 hard years the second Darkology album is finally out! The Harris brothers, Michael and Brian, with an impressive three decade career and a bio including albums with Thought Chamber, Arch Rival, Chastain, Leather etc. are back as if nothing changed. Mike Neal still handles the bass duties and of course the vocal powerhouse Kelly “Sundown” Carpenter is once again unleashed upon us. Fated to Burn picks up from where Altered Reflections left off. Still dark, heavy and powerful, progressive but not tiring, contemporary and fresh without venturing outside the heavy metal borders. Console overlord Chris Tsangarides is behind the mixing, capturing the intensity of the band and harnessing its raw power. Michael Harris is on fire but Carpenter rises above with his extraordinary performances. This is not the kind of music that can make a band great commercially. Unfortunately the progressive metal Darkology has to offer is not for the masses and I fear few will support their rightful metal cause. Let's hope I will be proven wrong and Darkology will eventually bite its big chunk of fame and recognition.
Visit their website: http://www.darkology.com
Recordlabel: http://www.prime-eon.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/darkology-official
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/darkologymetal

82/100

DEVIL'S TRAIN – II (CD) Greece July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Heavy Blues Rock Running time: 48:46(Tracks: 13)
The 2nd attack from DEVIL'S TRAIN is simply called II. If you are familiar with their debut album you won't find any surprises on this album or it has to be the covers Born To Be Wild (Steppenwolf) and Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin). Although the fact that Devil's Train plays covers on their album wouldn't be a surprise either because on their debut album they put American Woman from The Guess Who. Musicians from well-known bands are into Devil's Train. We have R.D. Liapakis (v) who plays in Mystic Prophecy, Jörg Michael (dr) played in Running Wild and Stratovarius and Jari Kainulainen (b) plays in Masterplan and was once a member of Stratovarius and Evergrey and on guitar we find Lakis Ragazas from Mystic Prophecy. So musicians who know where the bell tolls. With Devil's Train they play a different kind of music then with the bands mentioned here above. Devil's Train is some good Blues Orientated Hard Rock with the pleasant voice of mr. R.D. Liapakis from Greece as a warm sauce over it. So don't expect some European Power Metal on this 2nd album from Devil's Train. But be prepared for one of the best Blues Hard Rock albums of 2015 so far! Listening tips are Hollywood Girl, Mr. Jones and Rock Forever. Go check them out if you want some catchy Blues Hard Rock !!
Visit their website: http://www.devilstrain.com/home.php
Recordlabel: http://www.ear-music.net/en/news
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/devilstrain

80/100

DIAMANTE – Ad Vitam Reditus (CD) Italy July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 40:20 (Tracks: 9)
The 3th record of these Italian band DIAMANTE is called Ad Vitam Reditus. I have to say that the whole thing rocks like a pair of titties. With influences from Deep Purple, UFO, Uriah Heep and some folk-rock this might be something for the “older” rockers among us especially when you dig the Italian language. That's probably the thing that the most of you didn't hear form DIAMANTE. Atomic Stuff Records is trying to get their music across the Alpes in our direction. So if you in to the above called bands and you like the Italian language, you might check out DIAMANTE.
Recordlabel: http://www.atomicstuff.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/diamanterock

60/100

DIMINO – Old Habits Die Hard (CD) USA July 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: USA Hard rock Running time: 46:58 (Tracks: 11)
Anybody remembers Frank DiMino? Dimino was the former singer and frontman of Angel. Angel was discovered by Kiss bass player Gene Simmons performing at a nightclub in 1975 and was eventually signed to the same label as Kiss, Casablanca. Angel's image of dressing in all white was a deliberate contrast to Kiss, which wore black. Angel sported an androgynous image and elaborate stage sets. They were slammed by rock critics and other musicians (like Frank Zappa), Angel never achieved mass commercial success, but acquired a following as a cult band. Frank Dimino and guitarist Punky Meadows left the band in 1981. Frank was singer in the Paul Raymond Project and can also be heard on various soundtracks, of which Flashdance is the most known and famous one. In the last two decennia Frank was a singer in various rock cover bands, but he kept connected to the LA and the Vegas rock musicians from the heydays of the eighties. When he was signed to the Frontiers Music label, he picked up his guest - and friends-lists to perform on his songs and record his newest solo album. On this album you can hear furious riffing by Oz Fox (Stryper), Rick Medlocke (Blackfoot,Lynyrd Skynyrd), his former Angel bandmate Punky Meadows, Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), Danny Miranda and Paul Crook( from Meat Loaf, on bass guitar and guitars) and Jeff Labansky (Black 'n Blue).The songs on the album are rocking, heavy, dry and fat. The production of Paul Crook is typical underground eighties, but fair and open, I like the album, for me it has a typical eighties vibe. It has balls enough and the songs are easy to follow and nice to bang your head on! Just grab a copy of this album, released by Frontiers Music, Italy!
Visit their website: https://www.facebook.com/frank.dimino
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/frank.dimino
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/frankdimino

81/100

DREADFUL MINDS – Love/Hate/Lies (CD) Germany July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 64:38 (Tracks: 14)
DREADFUL MINDS has delivered their goods from 1995 until 2007 with some demo's , an EP and a full-length album before they quit. They reformed in 2011 and it was Pure Steel Records who picked them up and put them on their rooster. So here is their new album Love/Hate/Lies which isn't completely new to be honest with you. Nine tracks also stand on their first full-length album Broken (2006) and Caught In Illusion goes back to their demo days. So four new tracks on Love/Hate/Lies. It's nice melodic hard rock in the vein of UFO, Ten and Grand Illusion. Some good song writing although sometimes I miss the kick of the pedal to the metal. But if you're in the mood for some good melodic hard rock you must check out these Germans from DREADFULL MINDS. You won't regret it!
Visit their website: http://www.dreadfulminds.de
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dreadfulminds

71/100

EXORCISM – World In Sin (CD) Serbia July 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 23:24 (Tracks: 5)
Exorcism is a brand new entry in the heavy metal realm. With a debut album under its belt just a year back, the band returns with a 5 track EP. Vocalist Csaba Svekan of Serbian descent is behind this part project part band ensemble. Since I was not familiar with this band, I read the press release to gather some information. The description for Exorcism was that of a mixture between Dio era Sabbath and Martin era Sabbath. I found it a bit exaggerating but once I gave the album some spins I was able to spot the resemblance. Svekan owns a powerful voice, driving the slow paced, doom oriented heavy metal songs. Now I am curious to listen to the debut too! This was definitely a nice surprise. There are not many bands going down that particular path.
Visit their website: http://www.exorcism13.com
Recordlabel: http://www.dream-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exorcismband

80/100

IN AEVUM AGERE – Limbus Animae (LP) Italy July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 21:19 (Tracks: 4)
Pure Steel Records brings us an vinyl EP from IN AEVUM AGERE limited in 300 copies. IN AEVUM AGERE is an Italian Doom Metal band founded in 2005 around Bruno Masulli who already released their debut album „The Shadow Tower“ through Pure Steel Records in 2012. Now I have in front of me their new EP „Limbus Animae“. These guys are influenced by the genre pioneers Candlemass, Memento Mori and Solitude Aeturnus. Four really nice Doom Metal songs are blasting into my living room. The tracks Awaiting, Damnatio Memoriae and Anto-Inferno/Limbus Animae are the foreplay for the final track "Solitude" which is of course a homage to the legendary Swedish band Candlemass. Only 300 copies, so have to hurry up if you want some good old-fashioned Doom Metal!
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/in-aevum-agere

75/100

ISSA – Crossfire (CD) UK / Norway July 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Melodic Female Hardrock Running time: 46:00 (Tracks: 11)
Norwegian-turned-Brit, Issa has her fourth solo album out on Frontiers Records, Italy. Her former album was filled with classic AOR covers from mostly classic and obscure AOR-bands from the late eighties of the former century. She did receive great reviews, but listeners and reviewers weren't fond of her image, her style and the way she was marketed. Her former albums ( I like the debut album a lot!) had a few fillers and the quality of her songs was not constant. But the revenge is there for Issa, with this mighty fine Crossfire-album. The songs are patchty, smooth, full of hooks and anthemic, but the overall quality is stable and the musicianship is very good. John Greatwoord took care of the production and the band ( featuring the Martin Brothers, members of Vega and Newman) sounds great as well. Theirs is also a guest- vocal –role for the great Steve Overland (FM) Fans of female fronted melodic rock and straight forward classic AOR with a Scandi/British twist should fall over themselves to get a hold of this. Overall, Issa's Crossfire is probably her strongest effort to date. Issa has matured significantly as both a singer and a songwriter since her debut, Issa sounds more enthusiastic and filled with fire. Crossfire is a great, radio friendly release. Very recommended!
Visit their website: https://www.facebook.com/Issassite
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Issasite
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/issabelloversveen

83 /100

KENN NARDI – Dancing With The Past (2-CD) USA July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Technical Metal Running time:152:44 (Tracks: 25)
You might know the band Anacrusis. This was a progressive speed/thrash metal band in the last century with four full-length albums on her name. The key man behind Anacrusis was Kenn Nardi. Anacrusis came together for some festivals and gigs the last ten years but further then only one new recorded song “This Killer is in my House”, which is also on this album as on the compilation album Silver (2012), did the reunion not last. Kenn Nardi isn't the guy that easily gives up. So in 2013 he promised there will be some new music but it's gonna take a little longer than expected. At the end of last year the mastermind of Anacrusis kept his word and the new album is called Dancing with the Past. This new double album is of course in the style of Anacrusis. But not only that. No, Kenn Nardi has put his whole soul into this album with 28 songs on it. And a lot of them are 5 till 7 minutes long. So you might say that this a musical experience on which Kenn Nardy takes you with this Dancing With The Past. Except for a few guest spots, Kenn Nardi performs every instrument on this album including the vocals. What you will hear is an combination of acoustic progressive elements mixed with heavy metal and the typical speed/thrash metal Anacrusis's way. You will also discover the vocals of the sensitive Kenn Nardi (on for example 'Symbiotic', 'A Little Light' and 'The Runt”) and the 'angry' Kenn Nardi (on 'Blinding Lies', 'Fragile' and 'Await The Setting Sun'). So this is a musical journey with Kenn Nardi that you must undergo yourself. Go on the Dancing with the Past trip and I know that you will love it. There are of course enough Anacrusis influences on this album. I would guess that even some songs besides “This Killer is in my House” have been written for Anacrusis. Just listen to the tracks 'Fragile', 'Made' and 'Lament in Rust' and you hear what I mean. Next year Kenn is on the Keep It True festival in Germany. I'm curious who will be the other band members. In the meanwhile check out this masterpiece Dancing With The Past!
Visit their website: http://www.anacrusis.us
Recordlabel: http://tribunalrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dancing-with-the-past
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kenn.nardi.official

90/100

NELSON – Peace Out (CD) USA July 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 43:18 (Tracks: 12)
When the Nelson twins burst onto the music scene with the Billboard No. 1 hit "(I Can't Live Without Your) Love & Affection", in 1990, they set a Guinness World Record by being the only family to have three generations of No. 1 hits on the charts! NELSON went on to release a half dozen rock albums selling nearly 7 million records, beginning with the multi-platinum "After The Rain". But after that great release the twins didn't succeed in continuing their musical (and commercial heydays). In 2010 the Nelson brothers signed to Frontiers Records, Italy, and inspired by this deal they brought out four albums, that were no match for their eponymous debut, but the albums had their moments ( their Lightning Strikes Twice-album is an absolute winner). “Peace Out” is their fourth album and it's a slight return to well-crafted form, their explosive power-pop anthemic period at the beginning of the nineties of the former century. Gunnar Nelson wrote most of the songs and he's the one responsible for the production, the mixing, the bass playing and half of the lead vocal and backing vocal parts. I like the vocals a lot, both brothers have pleasant voices. But the production could have been better. Fatter, bigger and richer. The drum sound (a drum machine?) is very thin and too sharp, too bad. On the other hand, the guitar sound is recognisable controlled, giving away a big eighties' feel. I like the songs. They're chunky, without taking too many risks, with various references to the late eighties, Beatlesque stuff and very melodic. Fans of the Nelson Twins, fans of melodic power-pop, this is absolutely an interesting release.
Visit their website: http://www.matthewandgunnarnelson.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matthewandgunnarnelson
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/officialnelson

82/100

NOZOMU WAKAI'S DESTINIA - Requiem For A Scream (CD) Japan July 2015 Ronny Elst
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 56:19 (Tracks: 11)
As a teenager Nozomu Wakai was strongly addicted to Deep Purple, which pushed him to start playing instruments. At that time he also became heavily involved in stylistic glam/L.A. Metal and favored Japanese metal. Nozomu was also very attracted by the style of legendary Blizard guitarist Toshiya "Ran" Matsukawa, aka the Japanese version of Randy Rhoads. Nozomu released cd's with several bands before joining other bands like The Powernude and Rushmore. Later he also recorded songs for other bands too. In 2013 he finally started his own band, Destinia. On his debut album "Requiem For A Scream" we can hear legendary vocalist Rob Rock on 3 songs. On the other tracks are 2 Japanese vocalists singing. The music on this debut album are mainly up-tempo melodic metal songs, always topped off with great guitar solo's from Nozomu. Like most Japanese guitarists Nozomu also got an excellent guitar-technique, comparable with the style of Kuni. "Requiem For A Scream" is an excellent melodic (power) metal debut album, with great songs, very good vocals and superb guitar playing of Nozomu!!
Visit their website: http://www.guitarofzorro.com
Recordlabel: http://www.kingrecords.co.jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wakai.nozomu

91/100

PETERIK / SCHERER – Risk Everything (CD) USA July 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Melodic Rock / AOR Running time: 58:00 (Tracks: 11)
After his Survivor heydays, Jim Peterik kept on writing songs for The Doobie Brothers and The Beach Boys and as a musician he was involved in many musical projects. With his wife he started Lifeforce, translating Survivor songs and classic themes into smooth jazzy easy listenings stuff. He brough this first band Ides of March back to life and he was involved in melodic rock projects like Pride of Lions (with Toby Hichcock on vocals). Now he's back again, joining forces with former jeweller Marc Scherer, who discovered his beautiful singing and songwriting in his late thirties. Together and backed by his former Pride of Lion-band they've made a fantastic album, released by Frontiers Music, Italy. The album is full of crispy , typical melodic, hookladen songs, that form the vehicle for Marc Scherer's clean vocals. A lot of songs on the album are kept at a mid-tempo groove, '80s infused keyboard sound upfront and juxtaposed with rich lead guitar work ( like “Chance Of A Lifetime,” “The Dying Of The Light,” “Cold Blooded,” “Brand New Heart”). There's also a threepack of charming, open atmospheric ballads (“How Long Is A Moment,, “Broken Home”) in between. “Desperate In Love” is a track with a variety. “Thee Crescendo” is a moody track with progressive overtones. And “Milestones” brings us back to “Eye of the tiger”. A very classy album. Fans of AOR and melodic rock, this is the one to get!
Visit their website: http://www.jimpeterik.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialjimpeterikr
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/jimpeterik

85/100

RAVEN – Extermination (CD) United Kingdom July 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 62:15 (Tracks: 15)
Talk about a return with a vengeance. Raven have just issued on. Of course you've already got the Extermination album. It's mandatory, obligatory! This is the best they've sounded for ages. Their comeback album Walk Through Fire was a step in the right direction, but this one is pulling out all the stops. It actually delivers on all fronts. Whether you want fast, slow, hard, heavy or exciting, Extermination has got it all. I can keep on writing what's good about it, but if you love the Raven that started it all in the early eighties, you'd be a fool not to go wild for this. I'm only going to add that they've done a tribute to Bon Scott called Thunder Down Under. And they've finally decided to do a bitty in their own Geordie language: Malice in Geordieland. It's hilarious, and you'll need proper English skills to understand it all. Unless you're a Geordie, that is.
Visit their website: http://www.ravenlunatics.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/raven
Twitter: https://twitter.com/official_raven

87/100

SOLDIER – Defiant (CD) United Kingdom July 2014 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 43:57 (Tracks: 10)
Dogs Of War was one hell of a headbanging record by Soldier. It captured you immediately, drew you in and had you thrashing around like a maniac. It was so bloody good that no-one would have objected to Soldier repeating that process and releasing a kind of DOW Part II. Well, they haven't! Defiant couldn't be further from its predecessor if it wanted to. This is melodic metal. Yes, still rocking, but with many a peaceful moment thrown in where necessary. If you want comparisons, think of Heavy Pettin's first album. But with heavier guitars. And again brilliant songs. I must not forget to give singer Richard Frost a special mention, as his voice lifts the songs even further. You will also hear some Iron Maiden and Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath, especially the first times you are spinning Defiant around. This Soldier album does take some listening to before it really sticks to you. The songs become more and more familiar, adding to its coherence, losing the influences you heard at the start and making them Soldier's. Defiant will get better by every listen, I assure you. It's till happening to me, after all those listens!
Visit their website: http://www.soldiernwobhm.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.discogs.com/label/741865-starhaven-records
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soldiernwobhm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Soldiernwobhm

78/100

STEVE FOGLIA – Steve in Wonderland (CD) Italy July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 52:02 (Tracks: 11)
STEVE FOGLIA 2nd album with the cult title Steve in Wonderland. Steve Foglia has tried to create some old skool hard rock with influences from Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and even the mighty Dio. Let me directly fall with the door in the house as we say in the Netherlands, or come directly to the point as in the rest of the world. The mix of the album isn't that good, or you must prefer the Synthesizer on front in the mix. The songs aren't that remarkable also, but I lost every interest to try the album for the 2nd time because of the mix of the album and if you listen for example to the track “numbers” I think you might agree with me that you might find a better way to spend your money than this Steve in Wonderland album.
Visit their website: http://www.stevefoglia.com
Recordlabel: http://www.atomicstuff.com/stevefoglia.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/steve-foglia-battero

40/100

SUNLIGHT REALITY - Perpetual Motion (EP) Russia July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Melodic Death Metal Running time: 21:01 (Tracks: 5)
Hailing from Nizhny Novgorod in Russia is SUNLIGHT REALITY. In 2012 they made their first demo and the debut album Through the Rings of Darkness. In 2013 the EP Scanning Your Mind saw the daylight and I have here now their new EP called Perpetual Motion. Sunlight Reality plays very melodic death metal. The death metal part comes from singer Stanislav Verichev, who is also the new lead singer of the Thrash Metallers Nuclear Sushi from Tilburg in the Netherlands. Yes, you can do a lot these days with the internet and all the other communications networks. Normally I'm not so into the Death or Black metal scene but I must say that these 5 tracks of Sunlight Reality are not a crime for my ears. There's a lot of good musicianship aboard these Russians and Stanislav makes it sounds really heavy with his voice. So if you like Melodic Death Metal check out these Russian guys!
Visit their website: http://www.sunlightreality.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sunlightreality

80/100

THE DEEP – Premonition (CD) United Kingdom July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 54:57 (Tracks: 10)
THE DEEP …. How NWOBHM do you wanna get it? I mean they started in 1982 with a demo and some live gigs which are available as bootlegs nowadays. Unfortunately, due to internal friction, the band split up. Thirty years later the 1982 line-up of Deep Machine got together again for a blast in a rehearsal studio. They were all amazed at how good it still sounded and four of the members decided to re-form the band (disappointingly, after a short while with the band, Andy Wrighton was unable to commit to the project because he was already heavily committed to working with Tokyo Blade). At this point the band was now unable to use the name Deep Machine because it was already taken, so they instead adopted the name The Deep. Just for the history of this cult band here are the former bandmembers incl. the bands they play, or have played in: Tony Harris (guitar Ex-Burn, Deep Machine), Andy Wrighton (bass Ex- Deep Machine, currently with Tokyo Blade), Kevin Riddles (bass Ex-Angel Witch, currently with Tytan), Bob Allen (bass) and Phil Reeve (bass). The current members are Tony Coldham (vocals Ex-Minas Tirith, Deep Machine, Ocean, Strutt, Airrace), Paul Smith (guitar Ex-Janine, Deep Machine, Strutt, Shattered Hearts, Bug-eyed Starfish), Mick Feleppa (guitar Ex-Great British Heroes, Havoc, Ash, Strutt), Don Whiberley (bass Ex-Equinox) and Steve Kingsley (drums Ex-Omega, Deep Machine, Rogue Male, Vardis). The 10 songs on this self-produced and financed album are from the 1980's. It's NWOBHM old skool with more melody in the song writing than for example Deep Machine. Live is the band even better than on this album as I witnessed on the Very 'Eavy Festival in Holland. From the great vocals of Tony Coldham and the great Maidenesque twinguitars from Paul and Mick together with the tandem Steve and Don this album Premonition is value for your money if you're into the NWOBHM. Just listen for example to 'The Rider' with a Saxonesque intro or the title track on which it all falls together. I love this band, now it's up to you! Go check them out, you won't regret it!!
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedeepuk

88/100

THE STICKY FINGERS LTD. – The Sticky Fingers Ltd. (CD) Italy July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Rock Running time: 43:25 (Tracks: 10)
THE STICKY FINGERS LTD. from Italy with their debut album simply called The Sticky Fingers Ltd. Hard Rock in the vein of Guns 'N' Roses, Bang Tango, Quire Boys with some sidesteps to southern rock. Some good played songs with a nice voice for this kind of rock. It's not that they have reached the premier league like the bands mentioned here above. But the beginning of THE STICKY FINGERS LTD. is promising. Listen for example to (Do You Feel My) Sticky Fingers, Jailhouse Tonight and Serial Killer to get your own impression from these guys out of Italy.
Recordlabel: http://www.logicillogic.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestickyfingersltd

70/100

TOTO – XIV (CD) USA July 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Adult Orientated Rock Running time: 55:59 (Tracks: 11)
About ten years ago, Toto decided to split and then to restart with their former singer Joseph Williams. It was a tough decision to part ways with Bobby Kimball, original singer for Toto, but after hearing recent live takes from Kimball, I think Toto made a good choice. The band rehearsed and replaced bass player Mike Pocaro (RIP), suffering from ALS, by Nathan East. Their tours were successful and a new disc with new songs (the fourteenth album with new songs) marks the return of Lenny Castro on percussion and David Hungate on bass after a thirty year coffee-break. The longstanding drum-successor of Jeff Pocaro, Simon Philips, has left the band as well, being replaced by Keith Carlock (former drummer with Steely Dan, Sting, John Mayer and many more acts). And what a monster album this is! The album has a fair, open and bright production and mixing, courtesy of C.J. Vanston, who also played synths and co-wrote some of the songs. It's the main vehicle for the brilliant technical playing and singing. I think Toto has returned to form, but I realize that the classic, anthemic feel of the seventies 'and eighties 'Toto will never be reached. The album starts furious and heavy with Lukather' penned songs, thick riffing and socio-political lyrics. The second half of the XIV-album is filled with David Paich' written songs. They are a bit more laid back, more mellow, more balladesque. But the band has a lot to offer and the musical guest-contributions are mighty fine as well ( just listen to the great bass parts of Leeland Sklar, Tal Wilkenfeld, the fine keys and synths by CJ Vanston and the beautiful backing vocals of Michael McDonald and Amy Keyes). I saw Toto concerting at Sweden Rock Festival this year and they were amazing. Tight, strong, intense and full of enthusiasm, playing songs from their rich catalogue, combining old and new stuff. That is just typical for this album. You'll recognize a lot of themes, structures of songs, but the new vibe tastes good as well! Frontiers Records, Itlay, has released this album recently. The album hitted the charts of many West-European and Asian countries! Get it!
Visit their website: http://www.totofficial.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/totoband
MySpace: https://www.myspace.com/toto99

84/100

TOURNIQUET – Onward To Freedom (CD) USA July 2015 Hans van Peppen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 48:01 (Tracks: 12)
My first tunes of Tourniquet came of the still mighty “Microscopic View of a Telescopic Realm” album from 2000. Fifteen years later Tourniquet is still alive and kicking. Although it is now the drummer Ted Kirkpatrick, who is Tourniquet. With this new effort, “Onward To Freedom”, in the giant history of this band Ted has a statement for the world. It's an “anthem for the voiceless.” This is a plea for compassion; a call to rise and stand up to animal cruelty and injustice. So 11 new songs and one remake in the shape of 'Stereotaxic Atrocities' which comes from the album Psycho Surgery (1991). There are lots of guest musicians on this album. Names like Michael Sweet and Mattie Montgomery, also Marty Friedman, Chris Poland, Bruce Franklin, Tony Palacios,, Rex Carroll and Aaron Guerra & Luke Easter (both Tourniquet!) you will find on this album. It starts with “the prelude” that goes over in “Onward To Freedom” on which you recognize Michael Sweets voice out of thousand others. Also Mattie Montgomery plays a part in it, but the next track, “The Slave Ring”, serves him better. Together with Chris Poland he steals the show. And in “The Noble Case for Mercy” is the message clear. The metal continues with “Let the Wild just be Wild” with a beautiful voice from the 16 year old Gabbie Rae. In the meanwhile let us not forget the skills from mr. Kirkpatrick himself. The riffs are again sublime, listen for example to “No Soul” and “If I had to do the Killing” and the drumwork is killing me sometimes. On “Stereotaxic Atrocities” you hear Marty Friedman and Luke Easter and this is a real Tourniquet song in optima forma with tempo changes, breaks etc. But as said before it's a remake of 1991. In “Drowning in Air” Ted's drums are a sign for a more than six minutes angry heavy metal song and on the last song, “Cage 23”, Gabbie Rae gets all the space to convince you again that this girl got excellent vocal talent. So this new Tourniquet album is very divers. It's not a typical Tourniquet album but with the partaking of Aaron Guerra, Luke Easter and Ted Kirkpatrick it sounds sometimes close. From the other guest musicians I like the input from Michael Sweet, Gabbie Rae, Chris Poland and Marty Friedman. I'm not into that metal core thing so that doesn't do it for me. The message is clear and I think that is the most important thing Ted wants to achieve with it. If you dig Tourniquet or you like some of the guest musicians go check out this “Onward To Freedom”.
Visit their website: http://www.tourniquet.net/index.html
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/tourniquet

77/100

VIRGIN STEELE – Nocturnes of Hellfire (CD) USA July 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 79:28 (Tracks: 14)
A new album from Virgin Steele is always a huge deal. I am talking about one of my all time favourites and their music has accompanied since the very beginning of my 25 year long metal journey. I have to admit though that the level of the material released since the era of the first act of House of Atreus is considerably weaker. That is somehow the case of the new album too. I would like to talk about the negative stuff first. The production has a homemade feel to it. Midi synths, less volume than desired and weaker vocals. Pursino's guitars (I adore this man's playing and unique tone) are considerably lower in the mix or at least lower than my own expectations. The orchestrations are less majestic and imposing. It is a pity though because the compositions have great potential. Songs like Persephone of Luzifer's Hammer deserve an equal place among the Virgin Steele pantheon beside songs from Marriage of Heaven and Hell and Invictus. My humble opinion is that with an unbiased producer behind the console, things would be much better. Defeis also revisits his past, in this case there are a couple of Exorcist songs reworked to fit a Virgin Steele album. Nothing wrong with that though, he has done it several times before and it is always a pleasure listening to him reinventing some tunes previously locked in his amazing musical treasure chest. Mixed emotions yet for another Virgin Steele release but my respect and devotion are ever present and cannot fade away. This band still produces music that others cannot even dream of.
Visit their website: http://www.virgin-steele.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/virginsteeleofficial
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/virginsteele

70/100

WORLDVIEW – The Chosen Few (CD) USA July 2014 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 51:16 (Tracks: 10)
Dear Brother and Sister-In-Law,
I'm writing you this letter because I've found a common denominator in your liking. It's an American band called Worldview.
Dear Sister-In-Law, if you don't like the opening song Mortality within 20 seconds, you might as well skip the Ayreon part in your name, because if any song shouts that too obviously, it's this one. Dear Brother, if you don't like the voice and the way it's used on The Chosen Few, you might as well remove that tattoo on your shin. If any man can sing in his own tone and be reminiscent of a younger Geoff Tate, it's Worldview's singer Rey Parra.
So, that's the introduction done. Of course it's not all about the bands I've just mentioned. There's also a lot of AOR and other melodic rock mixed in, but I believe you get my drift. This is good, very good actually. Worldview have looked and listened around, and made their own amalgamation, creating a melodic sound with surprisingly rough and heavy guitars. On the other hand, after listening to the whole album, it's all just that bit too similar. Well, for me it is. It doesn't have enough exciting moments to lift it to the absolute heights I feel these guys are capable of. If Worldview continue with this quality and make their music just that little more adventurous, I'm in for the ride. Again.
Visit their website: http://www.worldviewmetal.com
Recordlabel: http://mauce.nl/site/tag/m24-music-group
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/worldviewmetal
Twitter: https://twitter.com/worldviewmetal

80/100

MARCH

A LIQUID LANDSCAPE – The Largest Fire Known To Man (CD) The Netherlands March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Alternative Rock Running time: 46:08 (Tracks: 8)
Surely everyone remembers the brilliant self-titled Stabbing Westward album? Mix that with a voice that also has some John Waite in it, tone it down a bit and you've got A Liquid Landscape. I'm really impressed, as this cuts through you like a hot knife through butter. This might not rock your socks off, but it hits you exactly where it matters most; in your heart. Bloody hell, I just can't turn this off. These guys also have mastered the trait of writing good songs that are overflowing with emotions and intensity, making this one of my most favourable least heavy records for a long time. Maybe I'm biased, but if The Largest Fire Known To Man doesn't reach your inner you, you must have shut your emotions off. And yes, if you like this, please find that Stabbing Westward album. That one's next on my playlist. Thank you!
Visit their website: http://www.aliquidlandscape.nl
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aliquidlandscape
MySpace: https://myspace.com/aliquidlandscape

89/100

AVENGER – The Slaughter Never Stops (CD) United Kingdom March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 46:23 (Tracks: 11)
Back in the day I wasn't exactly a fan of Avenger. I thought they were mediocre, below par, so to speak. Since I saw them live at Ages Of Metal 2013 in Belgium I have had to change my view, as they played a blinder of a set there. I loved the energy, the power, the conviction and the voice of singer Rodney. Unfortunately the good man has left, and has been replaced by the legendary Ian Swift. Although I know a lot of people think otherwise, for me he's not the most obvious choice. Reasons being the convincingly off key live performances he used to give in the eighties. But, being the forgiving type, I'll gladly give him a chance to redeem himself. Now there's a new Avenger record with Swifty and I'm the first to admit that it all fits. The Slaughter Never Stops is very strong musically, and the wavering voice actually increases the feeling that this is how it's supposed to be. Pure, unadulterated NWOBHM with a strong Maiden vibe, but undeniably Avenger. Headbang music in optima forma. The songs are really strong, take you back to the days of back when every rocker despised disco music. The sound however places Avenger very much in the 21st century. Love it! Nice surprise: The brilliant rendition of Killers. Yes, that one!
Visit their website: http://www.avengeruk.com
Recordlabel: http://www.rocksector.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/avengeruk1
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/avengeruk1

81/100

BATTALION – Only the Dead... (CD) Belgium March 2015 Kees Schijven
Style: Death Metal Running time: 49:03 (Tracks: 11)
Active since 2001, BATTALION has grown into a well oiled war machine producing high quality death metal inspired by the horrors of war and ongoing global conflict. That self destructing mechanism that defines mankind is a sombre theme that runs through all of their albums, from the promo recordings of 'Warstorm' (2002) and 'Nuclear Devastation' (2003), through the albums 'Winter Campaign' (2006) and 'Welcome to the Warzone' (2008). BATTALION has now more elaborately incised a critic view of war, religion and society on their third album 'Only the dead have seen the end of War''. As I am not familiar with BATTALION, nor their music, but was curious about them, it was a nice surprise I got to review their new album. This album is one I can get really happy about, true, gutwrenching death metal! The first song is actually more an intro, to prepare you for the mayhem that is coming with 'Sacrifice to the Nuclear Cross'. A brutal assault on your ears, some fine death metal tunes with a perfect sound production and abominal drumwork, and super heavy riffs. 'Hellcommander Reign', 'This Cancerous Rot' and 'Volcanic Death' are some titles that tell you what you are dealing with! This album contains some top of the ranks brutal melodic death metal, they can easily be compared with bands like Bolt Thrower, Obituary, Grave or even Bloodbath! Enough variation and melody to keep one interested until the end, like in 'Orb of Alteration' for instance, or 'Another Taste of Carrion' which has a lower, heavier pace and awesome heavy riffs. This album makes me curious for their previous albums, cause it seems I mist something....As I know Belgium has some great bands, and now I discovered another one of Belgium's best! Hopefully their next album won't take another 6 years!
Visit their website: http://www.battalion.be
Recordlabel: http://www.shiver-records.com
MySpace: http://www.facebook.com/battalionsquadcamp

81/100

BLEED – Seven Billion Demons (CD) The Netherlands March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 44:45 (Tracks: 13)
The start of Seven Billion Demons is very strong. From the word go Bleed are making sure that you know that they mean business. Thrash Metal with Metalcore and Hardcore influences is always a winner in my book. That is, if the songs are strong. And there's the thing with Bleed: you need to be patient. It'll probably take you more than one listen before the whole amalgamation of styles starts to sink in. Until then you'll like what you hear without being overwhelmed. But once it all makes sense Seven Billion Demons will show you it's real character. Brutal, but also well thought through. Maybe this isn't going to blow you away when it comes to speed of brutality, but it should do on intent and craftmanship. So please, give these guys a chance, and Bleed with them. You do realise you are one of those Seven Billion Demons. Or don't you?
Visit their website: http://www.bleedtheweak.com
Recordlabel: http://www.bleedtheweak.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bleedofficial
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/bleedofficial

76/100

BLIND PETITION – Law & Order (CD) Australia March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 47:58 (Tracks: 11)
Apparently these Austrians started off some 40 years ago. Listening to Law & Order I'm pretty sad I haven't heard of them before, as this sounds great! Blind Petition have quite an extensive list of releases, and you can be sure that I'll be looking for several of them. This rocks old school style. Hard Rock at its finest, with people that can write a proper song and perform it as it should be done. If you're a melodic rock fan you'll love the power they add to the melody, to the rough edges that prevent this from being a soft release. Singer David Strohmeier and backing vocalist Alienne enhance the feeling of a pleasant sound, as their voices really work well together. You'll be drawn in to the Law & Order world of hard rocking tunes, and once in there's no way out. Trust me, I've gone through it. And about being original; I couldn't really tell you which band sounds very much like Blind Petition. Enough said.
Visit their website: http://www.blindpetition.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/blindpetition
MySpace: https://myspace.com/blindpetition

81/100

BLOOD & IRON – Voices Of Eternity (CD) India March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 49:09 (Tracks: 9)
The high pitched scream combined with the Yngwie-like guitar sounds that start opener Eternal Rites start with take you right back to releases of the eighties. But that is the case for all songs on Voices Of Eternity. This is for those people who always reminisce about the good old days, who just can't get enough of the US style power metal of that era, as that's what Blood & Iron remind me of. I could give you names, but it's a different one on each song. I will mention Hatrik and Dr. Mastermind, but please don't take those likenesses too literally. Is this as good as it all was back then? Well, I honestly don't know. Sometimes I think it is, but on other occasions I feel it's lacking that last bit to pull me in definitely. All that combined makes Voices Of Eternity into quite an interesting listen. The sound is good, the songs make sense and the band plays well. So the jury's out on this one. I'll just say that you are a real fan of the eighties you need to give this Blood & Iron album a listen or two. You won't dislike it, might even love it. Oh, and let us at MMM know what you think!
Visit their website: http://www.bloodandiron.in
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bloodandironx
MySpace: https://myspace.com/bloodandironx

71/100

BULLETSIZE – Numb (CD) Sweden March 2015 Kees Schijven
Style: Modern Death Metal Running time: 34:27 (Tracks: 8)
Bulletsize started the year 2004 in the depths of Sweden. First as a thrash-metal band, but has now evolved to a faster, angrier and heavier combination of oldschool thrash and modern death-metal. This is their third full lenght album after 'Bulletsize' in 2008, and 'Apokalypse' in 2012, called 'Numb'. The band plays a modern mix of death metal with metalcore and dark metal, sometimes on a slower pace or midtempo mostly. This album has a heavy good quality production, and sounds great, the music is full of variation and melody. Great drumwork, nice intermezzo's in the songs, like in 'Titans'. Although not really my cup of tea, they deliver a fine piece of work, although in my opinion the term death metal is a little overrated and mainly covers the vocal style. While their Music is really melodic with nice arrangements, and in some parts even Amon Amarth comes to mind. Sometimes clean vocal parts are used in songs, but mainly it's good quality metal, no more, no less.
Visit their website: http://www.bulletsize.se
Recordlabel: http://www.sliptrickrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.facebook.com/bulletsize

72/100

BURNING BLACK – Remission of Sin (CD) Italy March 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 48:59 (Tracks: 11)
Burning Black where formed in Italy in the middle of the past decade and this is their third album and the second one for the LMP label. LMP describes Burning Black as U.S. power metal but I have my objections. U.S. metal is what I would call “my field of expertise” and I don't get that vibe from Burning Black. For me they are closer to the Primal Fear sound and what I would call “contemporary European melodic power metal”. The previous album Mechanichell was a solid effort with both power metal and melodic metal moments and Remission of Sin is in the same vein despite the change in vocalist's Dan Ainlay style who has switched gear from high pitched screams to a lower register. It is an enjoyable effort but I could not be captivated by the songs or commit to numerous listening sessions. Decent but not great overall.
Visit their website: http://www.burningblack.com.com
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/limbmusic
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/burningblackband

70/100

CADAVERIA – Silence (CD) Italy March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Horror Metal Running time: 47:21 (Tracks: 11)
Since I witnessed the 2012 MFVF performance of Cadaveria and plunged myself into their Horror Metal I have a weak spot for this band. Their former release “Horror Metal (Undead Edition)” presented some damn fine tracks which still belong to my favourites. (for more info please read my review in MMM December 2013). “Silence” is the follow up and it will be no surprise that the tracks aren't silent at all. On “Silence” they again present their tasty, obscure mixture of Black/Gothic/Doom with alternating clean and haunting vocals by lady Cadaveria herself. The main difference i hear is that it's more doomy and by ways more gothic with more clean vocals then their previous attack. Also the sound is more spartanic and old school and that takes some habituation. Nevertheless opener “Velo (The Other Site of Hate)” kicks off without any mercy. A brilliant brutal black metal track that represents the Horror this band wants to spread. Follower “Carnival of Doom” offers, not surprisingly, the more doomy side of the band. Again the strong vocals (clean as harsh) of the lady herself are breath-taking. A damn fine track which is brutal as delicate at the same time. “Free Spirit” is worth mentioning because it again represents another style. It's more melancholic and 80's sounding then the rest. Not bad, but it takes some time to get used to it. For example “Out Loud” knows no compromises. A fast, brutal, heavy and furious mixture of Thrash and Death metal with that typical Cadaveria guitar sound. For more sinister, slower Doom you have the tracks “Death Again” and “The Soul That Doesn't Sleep” while most other tracks combine almost all ingredients that Metal represents. So despite the sometimes beautiful, piano introductions you always can expect the alternation with brutal Trash/Black/Doom or Gothic melancholy. Cadaveria walks some new paths on this “Silence” and that makes them more versatile. The finest tracks for me are the already named “Velo (The Other Site of Hate)”, “Carnival of Doom” and the suburb more Gothic orientated album closer “Strangled Idols” which is for me one of the best tracks of 2014. Cadaveria brings some more new elements in their music. That keeps it fresh, but gladly it doesn't lack their brutal, hypnotizing approach to music. When they put together a set list which should combine the best of “Horror Metal” (“The Days of the After and Behind” , “The Oracle (Of The Fog)”, “Whispers of Sin” and ´ Hypnotic Psychosis” to name a few) and “Silence” I would have the time of my life. Again a big thumbs up for this band.
Visit their website: http://www.cadaveria.com
Recordlabel: http://www.scarletrecords.it
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cadaveria

83/100

CAN OF SOUL – Hearreality (CD) Italy March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 54:40 (Tracks: 12)
I really didn't have a clue what to expect when I first put this cd in my player. What strikes me straight away is that the voice sounds Eric Wagner at one time, has a Sisters Of Mercy vibe to it next time and a Billy Idol likeness as well. And it all is fitting with the music played. His nickname is Tomrocker, so it could be anybody. I do love the fact that the sound is very raw, that the roughness around the edges has been preserved and that they're not afraid to mix electronic and industrial sounds into their mix of stoner, doom and old fashioned heavy metal. So there you have it, Can Of Soul is a bunch of Italians playing what they want when they want, throwing your senses around as quickly as a basketball game at its fastest. But it's always coherent, never out of sync, and sometimes even brilliant. If you're not someone who takes changes easily, Can Of Soul is not your band. If organised chaos is your thing, Hearreality could really be an album for you.
Visit their website: http://www.atomicstuff.com/canofsoul.html
Recordlabel: http://www.atomicstuff.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/canofsoul
Twitter: https://twitter.com/canofsoul

73/100

CIVILIAN – The Second (CD) Belgium March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Groove Metal Running time: 36:12 (Tracks: 12)
These Belgians have their work cut out. I'll explain why. Musically they've got their shit together. The Second rocks, grooves and swings like mad. And it's bloody contagious as well, making Civilian a promising prospect. And yet, they've done it wrong. The odd one out is singer Mark van Luijk. He's not bad at what he does, but he regularly doesn't fit in with the music played. Opener Zusammen is one example of his adherence with the music. On the other hand, Love In The Moshpit is the opposite, that's where you can hear music and voice gel perfectly. And there's more on both sides of this spectrum. And it's a real pity, as I do love the album as a whole. I just would have liked it a whole lot more if the coherence was obvious in very song. So there's where Civilan has some work to do.
Visit their website: http://www.civiliantheband.be
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/civilianpage
Instagram: https://instagram.com/civiliantheband

63/100

COMBAT – Mission Of Mayhem (CD) USA March 2015 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 44:27 (Tracks: 13)
A new release, but not a new album by veterans from COMBAT, all material on this release was written between 1983 and 1989 by members of COMBAT/NAPALM and performed by current COMBAT line up Chris, Jeff & Rex. The band resurrected in 2000, and is going on since. This release is dedicated to their friend Chris “Metal Beer Horror” O'Brien, who passed away 26th. Of December 2013 and includes his favourite COMBAT tune 'Freedom Day'. They really did a hell of a job, and made this an awesome thrash back catalogue of COMBAT! Fast and furious oldschool thrash, makes sense, cause it is old! The production sounds perfectly for their music, it even sounds oldschool in a good way! It's also cool to read the liner notes to the songs, how they came up and stuff, just great! This is what thrash metal should be, the real deal, with a hardcore/punk attitude. Songs like 'Tunnel Rat', 'Immoral Society', 'Attack on America' or 'Mind Melt' are all classics, and show what COMBAT is about, these guys are thrash metal! Evil Speak! Just love this stuff, also a track on here which was on the NAPALM 'Cruel Tranquility' album in 'Devastation'. Every thrash fan should have this in my opinion!
Visit their website: http://www.combattheband.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hthproductions

90/100

CORNERS OF SANCTUARY – Axe To Grind (CD) USA March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 37:24 (Tracks: 11)
CORNERS OF SANCTUARY is an American Heavy Metal band that exists of Frankie Cross (vocals), Mick Michaels (guitar, keyboards), James Pera (bass) and Sean Nelligan (drums). So far, the band has released the following products: the 6-track EP "Forgotten Hero" (2012), the debut album "Breakout" (2012), the 5-track EP "December Wind" (2012), the second album "Harlequin" (2013) and the 7-track EP "Epilogue" (2013). Personally I am not familiar with these three EP's and two previous albums. Well, according to the info sheet, CORNERS OF SANCTUARY improved a lot since their debut album, and the band's third album "Axe To Grind", is so far their best album. "Axe To Grind" is released on La Mazakuata Records, and Pure Steel Promotion (a division of Pure Steel Records) are doing the promotion for this album. Anyway, I really had to get used to "Axe To Grind". At first, I didn't like it that much, but the more I listened to it the more I began to like the album. Okay, it is still not a spectacular album, but just a nice and enjoyable one to listen to. After a few listens the band even reminded me musically of MANILLA ROAD, but also JUDAS PRIEST came in mind during listening to "Axe To Grind". And by using keyboards in the songs, the band creates, in my opinion, a nice atmosphere as well. Anyway, "Axe To Grind" features eleven tracks, but actually there are nine songs on it, because the album starts with the intro "Axe In" (1:07) and ends with an outro "Axe Out" (1:03). The songs which I like the most are "On The Hunt" (4:04), "A Fist Full Of Vengeance" (4:10) that reminds, because of the guitar riff, of JUDAS PRIEST, "Shadow Soldiers" (2:49) and "Heart Of Stone" (3:26). The album has in "Victoria" (2:59) a bonus track (which is originally on the "Epilogue" EP), and I like that song as well. Fans of MANILLA ROAD, JUDAS PRIEST and the NWOBHM-era should check this band out.
Visit their website: http://www.cornersofsanctuary.com
Recordlabel: http://www.purerock-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cornersofsanctuary
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/cornersofsanctuary

74/100

CREATION'S END – Metaphysical (CD) USA March 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Progressive Metal Running time: 60:15 (Tracks: 12)
Creation's End hails from New York city and is fronted by ex Riot, Ilium and Masterplan vocalist Mike Dimeo. Having debuted in 2010 with the album titled A New Beginning, the band returns after a 4 year period to solidify its place in the progressive metal universe. Dimeo is accompanied by some accomplished NYC musicians such as guitarist Marco Sfogli (James Labrie), and ex Zandelle members Joe Black and Rudy Albert. The band's style is obviously close to Dream Theater, meaning contemporary progressive metal but with a bit less complex song structures. Symphony X is also a second name that comes to mind. Dimeo though is far from his signature melodic singing style and has a more raspy approach. I wouldn't recognize him if I didn't know he was part of the band. Metaphysical is clearly a more enjoyable effort than most of the recent Dream Theater albums. The progressive metal fans will not be disappointed at all.
Visit their website: http://www.creationsend.net
Recordlabel: http://www.pureprog-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/creationsend
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/creationsendnyc

75/100

DESMA – Identita Anonime (CD) Italy March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Heavy Rock Running time: 35:21 (Tracks: 9)
My first thought when Identita Anonime starts is: Marilyn Manson? No, it's Italian they're singing, and they keep that up all through the album. So Desma it is. And they do mix the industrial feel of MM with old fashioned heavy rock. And it sounds interestingly groovy. And solid, rendering Desma a band with a proper identity of its own. I just wish I knew what the hell Albert Gobbi was singing about. The guitar solos are the bonus on Identita Anonime, as they're all of a very high standard, lifting the rather average songs just high enough to keep me listening. Once when I stop analysing what I hear and start listening as a metal fan, I realise that it's not doing anything for me. The songs aren't sticking around in my head or for that matter anywhere else. Unfortunately.
Visit their website: http://www.desma.it
Recordlabel: http://www.atomicstuff.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/desmarock

65/100

DISASTER – Blasphemy Attack (CD) Colombia March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 38:06 (Tracks: 10)
I'm just hoping the band name doesn't say it all. Disaster play proper thrash with a singer that seems be halfway between Black Metal and squashed balls in tight trousers.. It takes some getting used to, and I haven't mastered that art yet. He sounds like a failed replica of Dan Beehler. Musically it's also quite poor, not to say substandard. Of course, the real underground thrash metal fan will love this to bits, but I look for more than just an under-accomplishing sound and quality. But it's all I'm getting, so I'll have to make do. What does rock my boat is when Disaster really let it rip, like on Evil Mind, Burning Alive and Satan's Spy. That's when Blasphemy Attack does make sense. At those times they even sound like the first two Exciter albums. I only wish they'd do that more often.
Visit their website: http://www.disasterthrashmedellin.tk
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/disaster.thrashmedellin
MySpace: https://myspace.com/disasterthrashmedellin

61/100

DRAGONSCLAW – Judgement Day (CD) Australia March 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Power Metal Running time: 41:25 (Tracks: 9)
Aussie metallers Dragonsclaw debuted in 2011 with the impressive Prophecy album. The band literally came out of nowhere and surprised the power metal fans. Featuring singer Giles Lavery, known also as a member of the recently reanimated metal legends Warlord (a cover of their classic tune Lucifer's Hammer is included), the band delivers high octane power metal similar to Iced Earth and fellow countrymen Ilium and Black Steel with keyboards playing a significant part in the orchestration. There are also some noticeable guest appearances by the American guitar hero Jack Starr (Burning Starr, ex Virgin Steele) and singer David Reece (Bangalore Choir, ex-Accept). Overall Judgement Day fails to make the same impact as its predecessor but that doesn't mean that this is a week effort. It's just difficult to surprise twice using a very similar approach.
Visit their website: http://www.dragonsclawband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.killermetalrecords.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dragonsclawofficial

73/100

EDEN'S CURSE – Live With The Curse (CD) Germany March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Hard Rock / Melodic Metal Running time: 101:41 (Tracks: 20)
Wow, a live album from Eden's Curse. That's a surprise, but what a pleasant one it is. Eden's Curse is one of the finest bands lately in the Melodic Metal Scene after releasing their awesome fierce 2011 record “Trinity” (see review in MMM April 2011) and their more Melodic 2013 “Symphony of Sin” (see review in MMM september 2013). With this great live album you'll get a perfect summary of their 4 albums with an accent at their last one. Not surprising because that album marked the entrance of new vocalist Nikola Mijic after the departure of Michael Eden. This album is simply more than 100 minutes pure enjoyment. The show is recorded during their Glasgow show in Paul Loque's homecountry Scotland. With a great sound, splendid musical craftmanship and a cheerful crowd this really rocks your balls out ! It simply is one hell of a live experience. Gladly monstrous tracks from the “Trinity” album like the phenomenal headbangers “Black Widow”, “Trinity” and “Jerusalem Sleeps” are present and vocally performed well by Nikola, who's voice on album is less heavy then Michael's but live also got a raw edge. Furious guitars, pounding drums, atmospheric keys and powerful bass makes it a splendid sounding live performance. There is really nothing wrong with this album. The only thing I can imagine that would be better was playing the whole “Trinity” album, but you can't have it all. Still there is an amazing set list with great performances of “Masquerade Ball”, Breaking the Silence” etc. so this is an album that you'll have to get. It's simply a stunning good one and offers the band at their best. Rock the roof off with this great record, it simply won't get better.
Visit their website: http://www.edenscurse.com
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/edenscurseofficial
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/edenscurse

88/100

EXPLORER – Shout In The Fog (CD) Italy March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Speed / Thrash Metal Running time: 32:21 (Tracks: 8)
Italian Speed-, Thrash Metal band EXPLORER was formed in 2004 from the ashes of several local bands, with the intention to play covers of Heavy Metal classics. In 2005 the band recorded a 4-track demo with cover versions of OZZY OSBOURNE ("Crazy Train"), IRON MAIDEN ("Iron Maiden"), SCORPIONS ("Rock You Like A Hurricane") and RAINBOW ("Long Live Rock 'N Roll"). During the years the band had several line-up changes and in 2010 EXPLORER released a 5-track EP titled "E.P. 2010". One year later, in November of 2011, the band released its debut album "Sober Deserve To Die!!"on Moonlight Records. And now I have to review the second EXPLORER album "Shout In The Fog", which was released in September of 2014 on Iron Shield Records. The line-up of EXPLORER on "Shout In The Fog" exists of Billy (vocals, bass), Jack (guitar) and Niki (drums). Well, I can be very short about it, because after listening for the third time to this album, I already had enough of it. There isn't any song on "Shout In The Fog" which I really like. To me the 8 tracks which are on this album are just to moderate. Well, of course there will be metalheads out there, who will absolutely like this second EXPLORER album and enjoy of songs such as "Tell Me (What You Want)" (4:18), "Into The Pub (With No Exit)" (3:33), "Maggots Of Evil" (4:14) or "Hidden In The Dark" (3:54). But for me, this weak album disappears in my garbage can. Sorry guys. Anyway, if you like Speed-, Thrash Metal and you are still curious about this second album of EXPLORER, well check it out yourself.
Recordlabel: http://www.ironshieldrecords.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/explorerofficial
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/explorerband

50/100

FIREWOLFE – We Rule the Night (CD) USA March 2015 Kostas Kounadinis
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 46:02 (Tracks: 10)
Back in 2011 I had the pleasure of reviewing the Firewolfe debut album. 3 years later the band returns with its successor, having inked a deal with the accomplished LMP label. Not many things have changed besides some line-up changes. The band continues in the same path delivering heavy metal with melodic touches. The choruses are big and memorable and that seems to be the main goal of the band. To deliver heavy music with some commercial character. We Rule the Night is equal to its predecessor, a step in the same direction. They didn't let me down after all and they won't let down all those who invested in their debut album.
Visit their website: http://www.firewolfe.com
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/firewolfeband
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/firewolfeband

76/100

FIRST AID – Nursed (CD) Germany March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 39:33 (Tracks: 10)
Well, first of all, although German Thrash Metal band FIRST AID exists since 1999, I never had heard of the band before. These Thrashers from Berlin started in 1999 by paying tribute to the great Thrash Metal bands of the eighties. In 2003 the band released their first album "Prisoner Of Hell" and in 2007 their second album "Infection" was released. During the years the band had several line-up changes. The current line-up of FIRST AID exists of Christoph Carl (vocals), Johannes Scheffler (guitar), Stephan Kern (guitar), Sascha Habel (bass) and Max Scheffler (drums). This third FIRST AID album, titled "Nursed", was released in November of 2014 on Iron Shield Records, and features 10 tracks. Okay, I have to admit, during the first listen to "Nursed" I thought, "well, this is again one of the many new Thrash Metal bands who are playing old school Thrash Metal". As with many other newer Thrash bands, originality is hard to find, and mostly it all sounds very predictable as well. So, also with the ten songs on "Nursed". But don't get me wrong, what these German Thrashers are doing sounds still great. In that case, I've heard Thrash bands which are much worse. In the meantime "Nursed" has made a lot of spins, and I must say that the album grows with every listen. I'm sure with these songs FIRST AID will absolutely get many moshpits during their shows. FIRST AID even opened at the Tilburg Headbangers Festival on September 29th, 2007 in Café Extase, Tilburg, Holland which was co-organized by MMM. Personally I missed that festival (with also ALTER EGO X, ONE BULLET LEFT, GUN BARREL, HYADES, EMERALD (NL), CRUSTACEAN and INNERWISH). Anyway, my favorite tracks of "Nursed" are "Horror Of War" (4:38), "Chained To Die" (2:39), "Lifetime Torment" (3:47), "Suicide Moshpit" (3:42) and "Dead Again" (4:43). The band also pays a tribute to actor and martial artist Chuck Norris with the track "Missing In Action" (3:28) (which is the title of the 1984 action movie "Missing In Action" Norris played in). If you are into Thrash Metal and like, of course the great Thrash bands from the '80's, but also newer bands such as MUNICIPAL WASTE or GAMA BOMB, then you'll have to check this album out. Maybe Mario is going to book FIRST AID again for in the Little Devil, Tilburg, with some other good Thrash bands!!!!
Recordlabel: http://www.ironshieldrecords.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/firstaidmetal

75/100

GANG – Inject The Venom (CD) France March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 53:45 (Tracks: 12)
GANG is a traditional old school Heavy Metal band from France, that already exists since the early nineties. So far, the band has released the following products: the debut album "1993" (1993), the demo "Brainwashed Man" (1994), the albums "Unknown But Surely Evil" (1995), "Piece Of War" (2002), "Dead Or Alive" (2007), "V" (2010), the 7-track EP "HM-666%" (2012, with a cover of SAXON, SCORPIONS, BLACK SABBATH, MOTÖRHEAD and MERCYFUL FATE) and the live album "Heavy Metal Road 666 - Live In Fismes 2012" (2013). Well, the current line-up of GANG exists of Bill (vocals), Steve (guitar), Biggy (guitar), Philty (bass) and Malo (drums). "Inject The Venom", which is the band's sixth studio album, is my first acquaintance with GANG. And, after several spins in my CD-player, I must say that there are just a few songs on "Inject The Venom" that I like. Well, in my opinion the album has actually too much fillers on it. Maybe 8 or 9 tracks instead of 12 would be enough. Vocalist Bill, who sings with high pitched vocals, is just an average singer to me. Overall, it strikes me that GANG are pretty much influenced by the mighty JUDAS PRIEST. The album has one instrumental track, which is titled "Midnight" (2:55), only the basic riff of the song reminds me very much of SCORPIONS' "Coast To Coast" (from the 1979 "Lovedrive" album). Only, instead of "Coast To Coast", "Midnight" sounds very boring. GANG also did a very nice cover version of TOKYO BLADE's "If Heaven Is Hell" (from the 1983 debut album "Tokyo Blade") on this album, which also features guest vocals of TOKYO BLADE's singer. "Behind The Gate" (1:54) is the intro for "All The Fool Around" (4:43), which is the last track of the album. Anyway, the songs which I like the most of "Inject The Venom" are "Primal Reign" (4:10), "Dying World" (4:08), the TOKYO BLADE cover "If Heaven Is Hell" (6:05) and "The King Became A God" (3:22). Overall I can't say I am that impressed by this album of GANG, so to me "Inject The Venom" is nothing more than just an average Heavy Metal album.
Visit their website: http://www.gang.believeband.com
Recordlabel: http://www.emanesmetalrecords.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gang51

62/100

GORY BLISTER - The Fifth Fury (CD) Italy March 2015 Rob Claesen
Style: Death Metal Running time: 35:51 (Tracks: 9)
The Fifth Fury (What's in a name) is the fifth full length album of this Italian death metal band. I have never listened to any previous recorded albums, but I will shure check them out after listening tot this one. Gory Blister has put out an album full of brutal, technical, Swedish oriented death metal. My personal favourite is the fifth song and titeltrack. Anyone who is into well played, old school death metal, should give this album a try. The only reason the rating isn't higher, is because of the poor production. The songs don't pop out of the speakers as they could have.
Visit their website: http://www.goryblister.com
Recordlabel: http://www.sliptrackrecords.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goryblister

79/100

GRAI - Mlada (CD) Russia March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Folk Metal Running time: 46:10 (Tracks: 11)
Grai hails from Russia and already has some fine products on their conto. Formed in 2005 this band plays folk music with metal elements formerly based on flute. For some of the metalheads this may sound to “nice” but that doesn't mean this 2014 release “Mlada” is a damn good record. I'm not really into this stuff but Grai is simply a very pleasant surprise. It's an enjoyable, fresh sounding record with lots of folk instruments and fitting female vocals. The first two tracks, “Beard” and “Hunt” however are with the grunts of bassist Yri, the rest are wit Irina and Aliya handling vocal duties and are completely without growls. So you can say the first two songs misled a bit. Nevertheless the musical craftsmanship drips of songs like “Hay Harvest”, “Get Back”, “Hugging the Storm” ,“Beard” and the instrumental “Fortress”. Flutes, bagpipes, kaljuka, violins it all comes by, mixed perfectly with classic metal elements into cheerful songs about nature and the soul of the native land. Don't expect something like Arkona, this band sounds much “sweeter” but certainly no less. The bonus tracks “In the Arms of Mara” (new version) and the funny `Fish` belong to their best stuff so i´m glad they´re put on the album. With its irresistible happy sound this is a damn catchy album that will put a smile on your face. Worth mentioning is the beautiful package with enclosed lyric booklet in Russian and English. Grai may be very proud of this album. Dive yourself into authentic folk and let the music enchant you.
Recordlabel: http://www.noizegate.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/grai.folkrussia

84/100

HELL CITY - Victorious (CD) Belgium March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 34:49 (Tracks: 9)
Belgium band Hell City began in 2007 as a coverband. In 2009 their first EP “Here Comes The Sin” was presented in the underground metalcircuit. With vocalist Michelle Nivelle handling vocal duties their first full length "Demons To Rest” came out in 2012 and was received very well. This resulted in playing Graspop that year and in 2013 they were present at the MFVF. At his festival I sae the band performing live and for me they were one of the most pleasant surprises. Old school Heavy Metal mixed with classic Hardrock and some slight Stoner Grooving elements. The band played very energetic and the female vocals of Michelle fitted in perfectly. I got myself their debut full length “Demons To Rest” and that album presented itself as pretty good. Don't get me wrong, the album was good but it lacked the more heavy, energetic sound they present live. Follow up “Victorious” sounds better but still for me live they are at their best. After the threatening instrumental “Thriumph Is Turmoil”, “Lies” immediately shows the bands qualities. Great, clean vocals with a raw edge, harsh guitars and fine solo's. Nothing wrong with the musical craftsmanship so this band certainly has enough potential. Single “Ice Cold Rage” follows and is one of their best songs. Vocally Michelle delivers an outstanding job. The song has more balls and it really “bites”. This track is present in an acoustic version as well and also then it stands out. The album has it's resting point in the semi-ballad “Running In Circles” but overall it presents catchy Heavy Metal tracks interwoven with fast and furious guitar solos by Vincent Noben like “Burning Irony”, “Rockalypse” and the fetching “The Fight”. Best track however is the awesome, slow banging. title track “Victorious” with a mean sounding Michelle. The album overall is a bit short with it's playing time of 35 minutes including an intro and an acoustic version but better short and put it on replay instead of deleting some tracks which are hardly worth listening. Fans of old school Metal/Rock certainly have to take a shot of this.
Visit their website: http://www.hellcity.be
Recordlabel: http://www.spinalrecords.net
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hellcityband

83/100

HIDE THE KNIVES – Silence The Youth (CD) Sweden March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Hard Rock Running time: 35:01 (Tracks: 10)
Wow, I was really surprised by this album of HIDE THE KNIVES, because I never had heard of this band before, and didn't know what to expect. But with the first listen to "Silence The Youth", I already knew enough, this is a good band and a really fine album. Anyway, one year after the release of the band's debut and breakthrough album "Savior For Sale" (which was released in February of 2009), all members, except singer Glen Gilbert, left the band. But in 2014 Gilbert started the band again, so he could record the band's second album "Silence The Youth" (which was released in October of 2014). The line-up of HIDE THE KNIVES on this second album exists of Glen Gilbert (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Norberg (guitar), Micke Holm (bass) and Olle Töpel (drums). To me, all songs on "Silence The Youth" are very good compositions, and are very accessible and catchy. The band exists of very good musicians, and Gilbert is a very good singer as well. "Silence The Youth" was produced by Jimmy Norberg, Glen Gilbert and Svein Jensen, and sounds excellent. This is an album that will visit my CD-player more often. Although I also like the songs "Care" (3:51), "Deception" (4:01), "Light" (3:44) and "Brothers" (3:47), my favorites are absolutely "Darkest Hour" (3:06), "Our Hearts" (4:01), "Savior For Sale" (3:52), "Holy Banner" (3:19), "Honey" (2:28) and the title track "Silence The Youth" (2:48). Fantastic band and an excellent album.
Recordlabel: http://www.gain.se
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hidetheknives

80/100

HIGHWAY DREAM – Wonderful Race (CD) Italy March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 44:11 (Tracks: 10)
Highway Dream is an Italian band who play Hard Rock with a Metal and Melodic touch. The band is formed in 2008 and after some EP stuff by “Born to be..” this “Wonderful Race” is their full length debut album. It sounds pretty good but not earthshaking. That's because there are so many bands bringing this kind of rockswingers to a bunch of bikers in your local bar. Amusement guaranteed, that's for sure, certainly with a good looking lady handling the microphone. That lady Isabella delivers a fine job and provides the songs with a certain punch. What I like is that in some songs they add a low bass driven metal feel like in “Many Reasons”. Musically it's all in order, the tracks are brought energetic and some songs have a nice unexpected twist. As said, not earthshaking but a nice rockin' record, nor more, no less.
Visit their website: http://www.highwaydream.it
Recordlabel: http://www.streetsymphonies.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/highwaydream

72/100

JORN – Swing of Death (CD) Norway March 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 45:38 (Tracks: 10)
Swing of Death is the new album of Jorn Lande backed up by his friend a guitarist Trond 'Teeny 'Holter, former guitarplayer for Wig Wam. The new album is based on the Bram Stoker novel about Prince Vlad III, The Impaler, who sold his soul to the devil. The inner struggle of Vlad Dracul(a), the balance between true love and devilish feelings, is the main theme of this album. The music on this album has a great variety in moods,in the musical structures, in the songs, but the phenomenal vocals of Jorn shines troughout this album and I am very fond of the guitars of Trond Holter, his heavy, dark sounds are amazing, just listen to “Queen of the dead “, “Walking on Water” and “Under the gun”, the closing track on this album. There is an instrumental track as well, featuring Trond's guitar playing, the mysterious “True love through blood “, that reminds me of John Norum and Michael Schenker.The rhythm section is thick and strong, with Per Morten Bergseth on drums and Bernt Jansen on bass guitar.The girls'roles in Vlad's life are sung by Lena Fløitmoen Børresen. She has a strong, beautiful voice and the Norwegian songbird takes hold of the flame in the duets (there are four of them), swapping beautiful vocal lines with Jorn. I like the album, it has an Ayreon – feel and you can hear traces of Alice Cooper, Meat Loaf, Epica, Savatage and the darker Whitesnake- sounds. Special song is “The Masquerade Ball, a great track with many suprises, it gets better and better after each spin. Nice album, check this one out!
Visit their website: http://www.jornlande.com
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jornlande
MySpace: http//:www.myspace.com/realjorn

81/100

KELLY SIMONZ'S BLIND FAITH – Blind Faith (CD) Japan March 2015 Ronny Elst
Style: Neo-classical Hardrock Running time: 54:58 (Tracks: 13)
I've been following this Japanese guitarist/songwriter since many years. At the end of the 90's he blew me away with his debut album "Sign of the Times"! That was a neo-classical hardrock masterpiece, combined with melodic hardrock. My nephew and I mentioned Lasse Mattsson from Lion Music about Kelly, which resulted in an European deal. After "Sign of the Times" (1998), two other good albums followed ; "Silent Scream" (1999) and "The Rule of Right" (2002). After these albums Kelly even toured in Europe with the Hughes Turner Project in 2002. He continued to play in Japan, contributed to many guitar clinics and even played in a death metal band. Kelly also released a "best of" and a" cover" album (of his favourite bands). Now he's finally back with his fourth solo album!! "Blind Faith" is for me a return to his best album so far, "Sign of the Times". The new album is filled again with neo-classical rock/metal, melodic rock, acoustic guitar, and a few instrumental neo-classical masterpieces. Kelly Simonz is not a copycat of Y.J. Malmsteen, okay there are several influences from Yngwie, but Kelly combines that with better songwriting, and a mix with melodic (hard)rock. Kelly likes besides Yngwie also Gary Moore, John Norum, Sing/The Police and 80's U.S. hardrock like Winger and Dokken, so his songs are a cocktail of all this. For sure a very good neo-classical/melodic hardrock release!!
Visit their website: http://www.kellysimonz.com
Recordlabel: http://www.kingrecords.co.jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kellysimonz

93/100

KHAøS – Risen (CD) Switserland / USA March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Alternative Rock Running time: 63:36 (Tracks: 12)
The sound is impeccable. Khaos have nailed that aspect of the music, and with the music they play that's half the battle won. Multi layered vocals can only come out fine when the production is appropriately done. So no complaints there. Risen also a fine album musically, as the songs available on this disc have a proper structure. But they're also very predictable, and I can't imagine that having been done intentional. Every band likes they're music surprising people, catching them off guard. So there are no surprises on offer here. Having said that, they are quality. And for many, that will be more important than being amazed by every turn or break the songs entail. To those people I will honestly love to recommend Risen.
Visit their website: http://khaos-risen.com
Recordlabel: http://www.plastichead.com/mrrrecords
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Khaos2012
Twitter: https://twitter.com/khaos_rising

73/100

LEVEL 10 – Chapter One (CD) USA March 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Melodic Metal Running time: 54:59 (Tracks: 12)
It's supergroup-time! Level 10, Frontier's newest project , features the German top notch-musicians bassist Mat Sinner (Primal Fear, Sinner), guitarist Roland Grapow (Masterplan, ex-Helloween), guitarist Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force, Primal Fear) and drummer Randy Black (ex-Primal Fear). But the musicians share their music with Russel Allen (Adrenaline Mob, Symphony X) and their founder and composer mastermind-keyboardist Alessandro Del Vecchio (way too many projects to name). And the project has a briljant guest list to be jealous of as well. Magnus Karlsson, Carsten Schulz, Sander Gommans and Amanda Somerville joined forces for this project and their offspring, named 'Chapter One'. The bar is raised and the expectations are high enough, but does the album live up to these expectations? Well, I can say that Level 10 has made a great album full of headbanging melodic metal. If you are a fan of acts like Primal Fear, Pretty Maids, Masterplan, Sinner and the Allen-Lande-discs, you won't be disappointed. Russel allen shows what a fine singer he is, with his strong vocal powerness and variaton between melodic structures and the brute force he has. The other musicial stars shine as well, i like the strong guitars on this album and the majestic soloing.The album is full of potent rockers, with a thick based rhytym section and crunchy guitars.The production is fat and solid, with a prominent role for the axe work and the vocals. The only minor point is that the album hasn't got that the instant hit-factor, there are no instant classic hits that stick like glue or fit like a glove. The albums as well is a real smasher, not far away from Primal Fear's latest album and again a vehicle for the top players and the top singer in the land of heavy power metal. Check this one out!
Band: Russell Allen (v), Mat Sinner (b) (v), Roland Grapow (g), Alex Beyrodt (g), Randy Black (d), Alessandro Del Vecchio (k)
Visit their website: https://www.facebook.com/sirrussellallen
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/matsinnerofficial
MySpace: http//:www.myspace.comofficialrusselallen

83/100

MORTICIAN – Shout For Heavy Metal (CD) Austria March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 41:56 (Tracks: 10)
MORTICIAN is an Austrian traditional Heavy Metal band that has been formed in the early eighties. The attached info sheet tells that, since many years, MORTICIAN got a cult status in their own country. Anyway, in 1987 the band released their demo "Street Warrior", and in that same year MORTICIAN also released the 3-track EP "No War". And the band's second demo "Break The Rules" was released in 1989. The "No War" EP was re-released with bonus tracks in 2009 via Pure Steel Records, and was re-titled in "No War & More". In 2011 the self-titled debut album "Mortician" was released on Pure Underground Records. Personally, I am not familiar with these aforementioned products of the band. So, this second full length album "Shout For Heavy Metal" is my first acquaintance with MORTICIAN. Don't ask me if the line-up of MORTICIAN, which are Daniel Khan (vocals), Thomas Metzler (guitar), Patrik Lercher (bass) and Alex (drums), is still the original line-up or that the band had a lot of line-up changes during the years. Anyway, since I got this album to review, I've listened several times to "Shout For Heavy Metal", but to me it's just nothing more than an average Heavy Metal album. It sounds absolutely not bad, but it's not that great as well. The band plays eighties Heavy Metal with so now and then also some Thrash influences in it. Bands which comes in mind while listening are JUDAS PRIEST, ACCEPT, SAXON, DIO et cetera. Even the riff of "Rock Power" (3:08) sounds like, or do I have to say "is stolen from" DIO's classic "Stand Up And Shout". And halfway the song "The Devil You Know" (4:46) the band reminded me even a bit of OVERKILL. The songs which I like the most, and which are in my opinion the best songs of the album, are the openings- and title-track "Shout For Heavy Metal" (4:37), "Eagle Spy" (5:09), "Black Eyes" (4:26) and "Inner Self" (4:27), which has more Thrash Metal influences in it. Altogether, "Shout For Heavy Metal" is, like I already said above, not a bad album, it's just a nice average Heavy Metal album. Check it out if you are intested.
Visit their website: http://www.mortician.at
Recordlabel: http://www.pureunderground-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mortician.austria
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/morticianaustria

68/100

MOTÖRHEAD – Stage Fright (re-release Blu-Ray DVD) United Kingdom March 2015 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 209 minutes
This is a re-release from the DVD that was originally released in 2005. Now its re-released as a Blu-Ray DVD with a lot of extra footage!! As extra's they added, beside the 20 songs from the original DVD, some testimonials, a making of, a photo gallery, a few doku's and so on.... This is real great stuff for the die hard MOTORHEAD fan and a welcome surprise for my private collection! Check this out if you love MOTORHEAD as much as I do!
Visit their website: http://www.imotorhead.com
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de

--/---

NIGHT DEMON – Curse of the Damned (CD) USA March 2015 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 209 minutes
Hailing from the city of Ventura an hour north of Los Angeles, Night Demon is a classic metal trio comprising Jarvis Leatherby on bass and vocals, Brent Woodward on guitar and Dusty Squires on drums. The band unites the three members' musical inspirations and influences ranging from old-school metal greats such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Diamond Head, Angel Witch, Riot and Saxon to punk legends The Misfits. But whilst Night Demon's music proudly exhibits these roots, it does so in a manner contemporary with modern times in every aspect, and even in Night Demon's short tenure as an active band since 2012, this quality has compelled first-time listeners to take notice and has made an indelible impact on them. I was already familiar with the bands self released MCD which is already sold out these days. I saw the band for the first time on the Keep it True festival and later that year, 2014, I managed to book the band for a clubshow in my seconds livingroom; Little Devil club, Tilburg, The Netherlands. After that 2 shows it was already clear for me; this band has all the ingredients to become a big band! Well SPV records also heard about the positive feedback from the band's visitors and deciced to offer them a contract! Well finally the album is finished and man; its a damn good one again!!! Very enjoyable hardrock 'n roll in the vein of bands like (mostly) Thin Lizzy, Vanderbuyst, UFO & also Dead Lord (also Thin Lizzy adorers). The band manages to deliver some pretty fine rock tunes with a swing! Live this band is also worth checking out! The band is doing an european tour at the moment and will, again, play a show @ the Little Devil bar in Tilburg, The Netherlands!! Ofcourse organised by........just check them out!!!
Visit their website: http://www.nightdemon.net
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de

85/100

ORDEN OGAN - Ravenhead (CD) Germany March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Power Metal Running time: 48.28 (Tracks: 11)
Orden Ogan definitely may call themselves a “big” band in the Power metal scene after releasing their third “bull's eye” record in a row. Although this is their 5th release their status is rising rapidly since the highly acclaimed predecessors “Easton Hope” (2010) and “To The End” (2012). The band perfections their bombastic Power Metal with great choirs and a fantastic orchestral sound album after album into tracks that sound like stand alone musicals. I must admit you'll have to be into this kind of stuff, but the thing is that's it's all so well done. After the instrumental opener “Orden Ogan”, “Ravenhead” opens fierce and powerful with Blind Guardian/Running Wild influences. Even better, and for me the best Orden Ogan track until now, follows named ”F.E.V.E.R.” Orden Ogan has become one of the best at impact choruses and they come no better than what you will hear on “F.E.V.E.R.” The song and sound reminds me strongly to that of the amazing Dawn Of Destiny album “F.E.A.R.” (is this pure coincidental ?) Nevertrheless, it rocks, kick's ass and man, what a great bombastic bass/drum performance by Niels and Dirk. ”The Lake”, “Evil Lies In Every Man” and “Here At The End Of The World” follow in the same high quality. Although sometimes Orden Ogan may began to sound a bit cheesy they get away with it simply because of their musical craftmanship. The only thing I have to nag is that to the end the high level increases a bit so the album goes off like a fizzled. If you are into fierce and friendly sounding bombastic Metal with melodic hooks, a powerful sound, catchy songs and sing along choirs all of high level this is the band and album for you.
Visit their website: http://www.ordenogan.de
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com//ordenogan

83/100

OVERDRIVE – The Final Nightmare (CD) United Kingdom March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: NWOBHM Running time: 45:25 (Tracks: 9)
As a visitor of the Brofest (Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) and Very Eavy (Stadskanaal, NL) festivals I think I'm allowed to call myself a proper NWOBHM fan. I actually enjoyed that period quite intently, as I was in my late teens when it all kicked off. I was very aware of a lot of the bands, but did realise that it was quite impossible to experience all the bands from the UK, being Dutch. So I've never heard Overdrive before. And I would have liked to have, as they sometimes really sound great on The Final Nightmare. For instance Twice Shy sounds like early Tygers Of Pan Tang, who were a real sensation of Wild Cat. This also goes for many of the other songs Overdive have put on this record: the vibe is unmistakable NWOBHM, with an old fashioned sound to match. What makes them different from many other bands from that era is the use of a Hammond Organ. It adds another layer on top of the good music on The Final Nightmare. This is proper headbanging stuff for those who are still discovering that the NWOBHM had more to offer than they encountered back then.
Visit their website: http://www.overdriverockband.co.uk
Recordlabel: http://www.purerock-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/overdrive-nwobhm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/overdrivenwobhm

80/100

PANTHEON - Intervention (MCD) United Kingdom March 2015 Rob Claesen
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 17:25 (Tracks: 4)
As soon as I opened the package, I was very curious because of the professional way the EP is presented. To be honest: the music doen't live up to the given expectations. The musicians know their way around their instruments, but I've heard the song a thousand times before. And much better. The four songs on the EP give us a glimp of any future potential, but firts Pantheon has to work on their own identity.
Visit their website: http://www.pantheonofficial.com

50/100

RED CIRCUIT – Haze Of Nemesis (CD/DVD) Germany March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Progressive Metal / Power Metal Running time: CD: 53:14 (Tracks: 11) / DVD: 63:18 (Tracks: 12)
"Haze Of Nemesis" is the third album of German melodic Progressive- / Power- Metal band RED CIRCUIT and was released in October of 2014. Personally I am not familiar with the debut album "Trance State" (2006) and the second album "Homeland" (2009) of the band. Anyway the line-up of RED CIRCUIT on this third album exists of Chitral "Chity" Somapala (vocals, ex-FIREWIND, ex-DOMAIN, also CIVILIZATION ONE, REKUIEM), Christian Moser (guitar), Thomas Schmitt (bass), Michael Stein (drums) and Markus Teske (keyboards). "Haze Of Nemesis" features eleven tracks, of which two songs are cover versions. The third track is a cover version of PETER GABRIEL's "Digging In The Dirt" (from the 1992 album "Us"), and the last track, which is a bonus track, is a cover version of DEEP PURPLE's "Soldier Of Fortune" (from the classic 1974 album "Stormbringer"). Only I don't like the "Digging In The Dirt" (4:33) song that much. But I do like the cover version of PURPLE's "Soldier Of Fortune" (3:04). And the ballad of the album, which is "My World Collides" (3:51), is a duet with Amanda Somervillle of AVANTASIA. Well, this is my first acquaintance with the voice of Chitral Somapala, and I must say that he's just a good singer. RED CIRCUIT exists of good and skilled musicians, and I really enjoy of Moser's guitar solos on this album. The songs on "Haze Of Nemesis" which I like the most are "My Lonely Hearts" (4:58), "Believing A Lie" (4:46), "Spear Of Fate" (4:29), "Serpent's Smile" (4:39) and "Silent Roaring" (4:16). As a bonus with this CD, there's a DVD with a full concert of RED CIRCUIT which is filmed when the band played at the Progpower festival in Atlanta, U.S.A. on September 17th of 2011. And I must say, it's a nice concert to watch. During the concert at the Progpower festival, RED CIRCUIT also played two new songs, which are on this new album, namely "Spear Of Fate" and the title track "Haze Of Nemesis". Other songs on this live-DVD which RED CIRCUIT played at the festival are "Under The Sun", "Through The Eyes Of A Child", "Homeland", "The World Forgotten Sons", "You Can Sleep While You're Dead", "The Veil", "See The Light", "Absinth" and "Sun Of Utopia". And the DVD ends with a bonus video of "Oceans Apart", which is the opening track of "Haze Of Nemesis". Anyway, if you like bands such as THRESHOLD, DREAM THEATER, KAMELOT or you are already familiar with the first 2 albums of RED CIRCUIT, then you will like this album as well.
Visit their website: http://www.redcircuit.de
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/redcircuitgermany

77/100

SANCTUAIRE – Sainte Mort (CD) France March 2015 Kees Schijven
Style: Heavy Metal Running time: 44:27 (Tracks: 9)
SANCTUAIRE is a French heavy metal band, started by Florent B. Manquat (Necrowretch/Ex Aldaaron) in Grenoble in 2008. The band is influenced by eighties French metal bands like Sortilege, ADX, H Bomb...After their 'Un autre enfer' demo, the band signed with Emanes metal records. On this label they released their debut album 'L'Empreinte de Lucifer' and promoted it on the Up The Hammers festival in Greece, with Raven, Vanderbuyst etc...the band got the play live with bands like Wizard, Elvenstorm, Vulcain, Blaze Bailey and lots of others.
The line up of SANCTUAIRE consists of members from Necrowretch, Aldaaron and Nocturnal Depression. And now here's their follow up to their debut album 'Sainte Mort'. The music of SANCTUAIRE is oldschool French heavy metal, with high pitch vocals in French language. Nice melodic metal tunes, in the veins of ADX, Trust and you name em, not really outstanding, but certainly not bad either. Production sounds well, good songs and guitarwork on here, if you don't mind the French lyrics, you have a very good heavy metal band to enjoy, who brought out a nice second album, not the most original, but well done eighties style heavy metal, if this was their goal, I would say mission accomplished! Maybe more outstanding and original on the next album would be a good idea, I know they are capable enough!
Visit their website: http://www.myspace.com/sanctuaireforce
Recordlabel: http://www.emanesmetalrecords.com
MySpace: http://www.facebook.com/sanctuaire

74/100

SORROWS PATH – Doom Philosophy (CD) Greece March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Doom Metal Running time: 57:00 (Tracks: 11)
Sorrows Path is Greek Doom Metal band that already exists since 1993. Very productive they are certainly not because this “Doom Philosophy” is their second (!) full length release after their 2010 “The Rough Path of Nihilism”. I'm not familiar with their former releases but this one certainly isn't bad. Sorrows path plays melodic Doom Metal with some sniffs of prog notable in a few tracks like for example the (almost) instrumental close “damned (O) fish – L.S.D. Most inspired by bands like Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus and most of all the melody of Memonto Mori they deliver an enjoyable record in this genre. All ingredients are present and more for a fine hour of melancholic Doom with surprising breaks, good instrumental control and deep vibrato vocals. After the fine instrumental opener “First Beam Of Darkness Into Light” you already get the best songs in line. Just listen to “Tragedy”, “A Dance With The Dead” (with haunting vocals), the darker and heavier “Brother Of Life” and “Everything Can Change”. Very good songs with enough variety and more than promising. There isn't a bad song on this album but sometimes they repeat themselves. Guest appearances are made by Snowy Shaw (vocally) and Edgar Rivera (guitars) so they are already noticed by some big names in the genre. The band certainly deserves to be heard, musically and productionally it's all pretty good stuff. Good album which tastes for more.
Visit their website: http://www.sorrowspath.net
Recordlabel: http://www.ironshieldsrecords.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sorrowspath
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/sorrowspathmusic

78/100

SOULHEALER – Bear The Cross (CD) Finland March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Melodic Heavy Metal Running time: 43:06 (Tracks: 10)
In October of 2013 I reviewed the second album "Chasing The Dream" of Finnish Melodic Metal band SOULHEALER, which got 72 out of 100 points from me. "Chasing The Dream" was the band's first album released on Pure Legend Records. In October 2014 these five men released their third album "Bear The Cross", and was again released on Pure Legend Records. Well, the line-up of the band on this album hasn't changed, so it's still Jori Kärki (vocals), Sami Mikkonen (guitar), Teemu Kuosmanen (guitar, backing vocals), Pasi Laakkonen (bass) and Jani Nyman (drums). Also musically there hasn't changed much. SOULHEALER still treats us on fine melodic Heavy Metal / Hard Rock like we already know from the mid-eighties. In my review of "Chasing The Dream" I wrote that I didn't like the vocals of Kärki that much. Well, on this new album I don't have problems with his voice anymore. So, I think he has made some progression. To me, "Bear The Cross", which has a very nice album cover, is in my opinion in its entirely a better album than its predecessor "Chasing The Dream". So also musically the band has made progression. The ten songs on this album are again sounding really nice. I'm sure so now and then this album will make some more spins in my CD-player. Anyway, if you like melodic Metal / Hard Rock like during in the eighties, or you already liked the previous albums of SOULHEALER, then check this album out. I'm sure you will like it. The songs which I like the most on "Bear The Cross" are the fantastic opener "Unleash The Beast" (4:26), "The Journey Goes On" (3:43), "Fall From Grace" (3:34), "The Viper's Kiss" (4:16), "Revealed" (3:38) and the last track of the album "Settle The Score" (5:45). My end conclusion is that "Bear The Cross" is a good melodic Metal album.
Visit their website: http://www.soulhealermusic.com
Recordlabel: http://www.purelegend-records.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/soulhealermusic
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/soulhealermusic

74/100

STUD – Rust On The Rose (CD) Finland March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Hard Rock Running time: 45:43 (Tracks: 11)
STUD is a Finnish melodic Hard Rock band that was already formed way back in 1986. At that time the band chose to sing in Finnish, which resulted in the band's first single "Mä Haluun Elää" / "Viimeinen Yö" that was released in 1986. At some moment they decided to start to sing in English. In 2012 the original line-up of the band came back together, which are Ari Toivanen (vocals), Mika Kansikas (guitar), Matti Jalonen (bass) and Stenda Kukkonen (drums), and they finally recorded the band's first album "Out Of The Darkness", which was released in 2013. In March of 2014 the band started to recorded their second album, which became this one titled "Rust On The Rose", and was released in October 2014 through Cranksonic. And Metal Revelation is doing the promotion for the band. And I must say, I was really surprised with this second album of the band. The band plays heavy guitar orientated melodic Hard Rock, and they reminded me mostly of DOKKEN. It's just like you are listening to DOKKEN without singer Don Dokken, and even the great guitar solos of Kansikas are sounding like George Lynch (ex-DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB). Also the production, which was also done by Kansikas, sounds fantastic. To me, all the songs on this album are excellent compositions, and most of them are very catchy as well. Although "Poor Man's Buddy" (4:45) is a good song, to me it's the least track of the album. And the last track of the album, "Playing To Win" (4:57), is a nice semi-ballad. I like the songs "Raise Your Fist" (4:32), "Promised To Be Mine" (3:25), "Freedom Call" (4:21) and "I Don't Know" (3:36), but my favorite songs of this album are absolutely "Rock 'N Roll World" (4:02), the title track "Rust On The World" (4:13), the superb "We're Gonna Strike" (3:35), "Break The Chains" (4:01) and "Dangerous" (4:11). "Rust On The Rose" is a very good Melodic Hard Rock album, and is a real recommendation to anyone who likes Hard Rock / Metal from the eighties.
Visit their website: http://www.stud.fi
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/studofficial

78/100

SWEET / LYNCH – Only to Rise (CD) USA March 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Melodic Rock Running time: 49:21 (Tracks: 12)
Huh…..another supergroup in the Frontiers's landscape? After Level 10 this Sweet / Lynch-project is another collaboration of 'the who is who' in melodic rock. This time Stryper's Michael Sweet returns after his amazing solo album released in 2014 joining up with legendary shredder George Lynch (Lynch Mob, ex-Dokken, bassist James Lomenzo (ex-Megadeth, Black Label Society, White Lion) and drummer Brian Tichy (ex-Whitesnake, Foreigner and guitar player behind the beautiful curves of Sass Jordan in SUN) on to round out a band. The fruits of their writing, playing and producing (the album was produced by Michael Sweet) is a thirteen track album that showcases the extreme talented gifts of the musicians involved in the project. The vocals of Michael shine throughout this album and the fat crispy soloing of George Lynch is a return to his legato-phrased solo's, sweet arpeggio's and his spicy riffing we've missed from him. Brian Tichy hits the drums at his best and the smooth bass lines of James Lomenzo are fat and groovy. The album is full of choruses and hooks, i like it a lot. The production is is crispy, clear and the balance is good.The vocals lay in the mix right in the “sweet” audible spot, there are layered vocals lines as well ( just listen to “Time will tell”, “Me without you”, filled with great backings!) . Sometimes the guitars are put away a little backward, they sound a little tempered in favour of the vocals, too bad. But the energy level is high enough and there are enough songs to please the fans of Stryper, Dokken, Pride and Glory (that dark bluesy edges can also be found in this music) and Lynch Mob.Sweet & Lynch is a rock-solid addition to anyone's collection of music. Opening with “The Wish” and ending with “Only to Rise” ,the title track, fans are going to love Sweet & Lynch. Band: Michael Sweet – lead vocals, guitars, George Lynch – lead guitars, James Lomenzo – bass guitar and Brian Tichy – drums Track Listing: 1. The Wish 2. Like A Dying Rose 3. Love Stays 4. Time Will Tell 5. Rescue Me 6. Me Without You 7. Recover 8. Divine 9. September10. Strength In Numbers 11. Hero-Zero 12. Only To Rise
Visit their website: www.michaelsweet.com/
Recordlabel: http://www.frontiers.it
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sweetlynch
MySpace: http//:www.myspace.com/michaelsweetrocks

86/100

TELLURION – Tellurion (CD) The Netherlands March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Modern Metal / Industrial / Djent / Metalcore Running time: 46:52 (Tracks: 9)
TELLURION is a Dutch Modern Metal band from Oostburg (Zeeland), that was formed in 2009 or 2010 and started by playing covers of PANTERA, LAMB OF GOD and MACHINE HEAD to name a few. The band had released their self-titled debut album "Tellurion" in March of 2014 all by themselves. TELLURION did actually their own promotion so far, but at the end of 2014 they asked Mike de Coene from Hard Life Promotion if he wanted to do the promotion for the band. So Mike agreed, and now I've got that self-titled album "Tellurion" to review for MMM. Well, I liked the album immediately. With the first listen TELLURION reminded me of a mixture of LAMB OF GOD, FEAR FACTORY PERIPHERY and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. The band, which exists of Elton Boussen (vocals), Brennan Caboor (guitar), Benjamin Moll (guitar), Marvin Marteijn (bass) and Matthijs Quaars (drums), leaves with this debut album a perfect visiting card behind. Really, all nine tracks, which are "Apex Predator" (4:54), "Left For Dead" (4:26), "Stones Break The Water" (6:15), "The Architect" (4:52), "Mountains Crumble" (4:34), "Portal Of The Sun" (6:35), "The Gift" (5:22), "22-7" (4:17) and "Ruined" (5:34), are sounding great and are fantastic compositions. To me, there isn't any weak song on "Tellurion". The band exists of excellent musicians, and they have the perfect singer in Elton Boussen. Also the production of this album, which was done by the band themselves, sounds fantastic. Once again, I like the entire album very much, and this album will find its way to my CD-player much more. Superb album and awesome band, who, in my opinion, really deserves a record deal. If you like the above mentioned bands, you really have to check this band out. I'm sure you will like TELLURION too. Thanks guys for this excellent album. Hope to see you play someday at the Little Devil bar in Tilburg, and I'm already looking forward to the second album.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tellurion

82/100

THRASH BOMBZ – Dawn (MCD) Italy March 2015 Kees Schijven
Style: Thrash Metal Running time: 21:19 (Tracks: 6)
THRASH BOMBZ was born in December 2007 in Sicilia from the ashes of Necrosis. The line-up consisted of Giuseppe Peri on rhythm guitar/bass and Salvatore Li Causi on lead guitar/drums. With the help of Tony Frenda on vocals they recorded their 'Sicilian Way of Thrash' demo which was released in 2012. In the meantime they found a frontman in Leonardo Botta, and recorded a new demo ep early 2013 'Mission of Blood'. In april of that year the line-up was completed by Angelo Bissanti on bass, and Vincenzo Lombardi on drums. And now there is a new (short) thrash attack as a four piece, since Leonardo needed to leave the band, and Angelo taking over the vocals. This new release starts off with an intro called 'Unknown' after which 'Presence' bursts loose in total oldschool thrash attack, this brings back the feel of the eighties, but with a modern day sound. The music of THRASH BOMBZ is ultra fast and heavy thrash metal from the heart, and this release is just way too short!! Time for a full length album!! Other tracks are 'Drown in your Misery', 'Eternal Punishment', 'Dawn', the last title track of this release is a longer instrumental song, showing the skills of THRASH BOMBZ musicians. After this 'Human Obliteration' ends this release in a thrash explosion, great stuff for sure!
Visit their website: http://www.thrashbombz.bandcamp.com
Recordlabel: http://www.puresteel-records.com
MySpace: http://www.facebook.it/thrashbombzofficial

82/100

UDO – Decadent (CD) Germany March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Metal Running time: 59.30 (Tracks: 12)
2015 starts damn fine with the release of a new U.D.O. album. Udo Dirkschneider doesn't need no introduction at all. This flesh made “Metal Machine” always delivers high levelled albums within two years and never forsakes his roots. “Decadent” is the 15th studio release and the second one with his renewed band. This band even sounds tighter and more solid as on the previous “Steelhammer” so it will be no surprise that this one's even better. Don't expect any real surprises because U.D.O. simply delivers what he does best; serving you dynamic metal in optima forma. 80's based rockers like “Meaning of Life”, “Pain”, and “Rebels of the Night”, up tempo stuff like “Speeder”, a power ballad by “Secrets in Paradise” and hard hitting foot stompers like “Decadent”, Untouchable” and the awesome “House of Fake” (fantastic riff work and solo's ). On every album there is room for a song which is just a bit different. This time it's the threating, dark and sinister sounding “Mystery” which is one of the finest tracks on the album. A welcome alternation and a splendid try out that fits the band like a glove. “Decadent” simply is a great, damn fine record with enough solid stuff to be heard live and loud. The band deserves a metal statue for bringing out this constantly high levelled albums. Not many bands can be named to do so. Great sound, great mastering, great band, great album. Just as simple as that, so go a get it !
Visit their website: http://www.-udo-online.de
Recordlabel: http://www.afm-records.de
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/udo-online
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/udoonline

86/100

UFO – A Conspiracy of stars (CD) United Kingdom March 2015 Manfred Werger
Style: Hard Rock / Bluesy Rock Running time: 50:30 (11 tracks)
Ah…. A new UFO- album! UFO, my absolute favourite band in their heydays from 1974 to 1980, making albums that left trademarks in my memory and in my soul and providing the best album ever: their live-opus 'Strangers in the night'. 'A conspiracy of stars ' is the eagerly awaited follow up to 'Seven Deadly '. The album was produced by Chris Tsangarides, who was involved in UFO's first album with Michael Schenker, Phenomenon in 1974, as an assistant engineer. The production is fatter, better and more open than the former UFO albums of recent years.The new UFO album gives away what their music al all about these days. Bluesy edged hard rock with many nods to their very, very rich back catalogue. Vinnie Moore is Michael Schenker's 'remplacant' in UFO for about ten years, but the former Shrapnel-shredder is in a great mood and responsible for the beautiful axework on this album. Phil Mogg, founder member of the band and in it for passion and love since 1969 (!), shines on this album. He can't reach the high notes, but his bluesy tone, his evocative lyrics, his timing and phrasing are still great to listen to. Paul Raymond is still the mastermind on keys and guitars and the rhythm section, good old Andy Parker on drums and Rob De Luca on bass guitars, provide that crunchy, thick layered, bluesy relaxation grounds where the other members can flow. The album has a rocking relaxed feel with good songs. There are no lows on this album and that makes it very hard to pick a favourite. There are a lot of nods to the heydays of the seventies of the former century ( Precious cargo, Run boy run, Sugar cane, King of the hill, Devils in the Detail), but also the eighties'period of the band ( with Paul Chapman on guitars) comes in mind.Great album by these veterans!
Visit their website: http://www.ufo-music.info
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de

85/100

UFO – Showtime (re-release Blu-Ray DVD) United Kingdom March 2015 Mario van Dooren
Style: Hard Rock / Bluesy Rock Running time: 209 minutes
This is also a re-release (like above reviewed Motorhead's Stage Fright) from the DVD that was originally released in 2005. I reviewed that DVD in April 2008. So now its re-released as a Blu-Ray DVD with a lot of extra footage!! As extra's they added, beside the 16 songs from the original DVD, 6 studio songs, a making of, several interviews, a few doku's and so on.... This is real great stuff for the die hard UFO fan and a welcome surprise for my private collection! Check this out if you love UFO as much as I do!
Visit their website: http://www.ufo-music.info
Recordlabel: http://www.spv.de

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VCPS – VCPS (CD) Sweden March 2015 MetalWim van Grunsven
Style: Rock Running time: 19:31 (Tracks: 6)
Formerly known as Vietcong Porn Surfers the band has apparently decided that if they want to reach more people they'd better use the abbreviation of their name to try and achieve that goal. And I sincerely hope they'll succeed, as VCPS do make me smile when I listen to their music. They've got a bit of Andrew WK, without the cheap party vibe, and some Black Train Jack, without the hardcore influences. You could even say they're just like those old fashioned Glam rock bands, but thankfully without the exaggerated female impressions. But most of all they're a feel good band with very strong songs. Even these six short tunes make me want to jump, sing along and lift my spirit up a notch or two. This rocks, this bangs, this has proper groove, but the main thing is that everything you hear sticks to your brain like super glue. And that is what makes a good (mini) album better: songs you remember instantly! Please, I want to hear more!!
Visit their website: http://www.vcpsofficial.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vcpsband
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/vcpsoffical

83/100

VEXILLUM – Unum (CD) Italy March 2015 Frans Neelen
Style: Folk Power metal Running time: 46:25 (Tracks: 9)
Vexillum from Italy brings Power Metal with a fierce portion of Folk. It's something they do very well. Their previous and second album “The Bivouac” showed some pleasant, clean Power Metal and showed a healthy portion of ambition and quality. For more info about that album and more background information I refer to my review in MMM from January 2013. Was their former album a long shot with over 67 minutes, this one is rather shot with it's 46 minutes because it includes 2 covers of Tazanda and Slade. To begin with the covers, well ehm, let's say they really add nothing at all. If I was them I never had added them at all because they do a lot more harm than good. Just forget them because “Unum” is a really good album. “Unum” is a story telling concept album and for that you need some vocal characters. The guest singers enlisted for this include Chris Bay (Freedom Call), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Maxi Nil (Jaded Star) and Mark Boals (Ring of Fire) who each take on the role of a character in this tale. These contributions are fine but the music is the thing that impresses most. The folky elements like bagpipes etc. have a supporting role and don't dominate. The fine metal listens away very easily, the songs sound full of adventure and the musical skills of the band are beyond any doubt present. The sound is a bit clean and sometimes lacks a bit of “thunder” but overall it's more than acceptable. Fans from Blind Guardian, Elvenking and Rhapsody of Fire certainly must give this band a chance because they perform no less comparing to those bands. Italy again surprises with a good product. With bands like for example Cadavaria and Amberian Dawn Italy performs way better than a few years ago. Vexillum paints a Folky Power Metal landscape in which it's pleasant to stay in. Well done again.
Visit their website: http://www.vexillumband.eu
Recordlabel: http://www.limb-music.com
MySpace: http://www.facebook.vexillumofficial

80/100

WOLFEN - Evilution (CD) Germany March 2015 Rob Claesen
Style: Power Metal Running time: 56:13 (Tracks: 10)
If you like bands like Iced Earth or Primal Fear you should definitely listen to Evilution of Wolfen. Their third album contains 10 well written songs which include al the ingredients that characterize the genre: pounding drums and bass, screaming vocals, heavy riffing and melodic guitar solos. But what's more important: Wolfen has developed it's own unique style. Listening to Evilution feels like a trip back in time, but the band surely lives up to today's standards.
Visit their website: http://www.wolfen-metal.de
Recordlabel: http://purelegend-records.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wolfenmetal

84/100

WRONG ERA – The Wrong EP (MCD) Italy March 2015 Ad van Osch
Style: Different Metal / Alternative Metal Running time: 23:55 (Tracks: 6)
First of all I hated when Italian bands have their press release with their promo-CD or their biography on their website or Facebook completely in Italian. And secondly I also don't like it when the songs are sung in Italian as well. Not everyone is familiar with the Italian language, you fools. Now in front of me, I have the promo-CD of the 6-track EP "The Wrong EP" of Italian band WRONG ERA. The band, who are from Mantove, Italy, was formed in 2014, and exists of Marco Nicoli (vocals, bass, midi), Lorenzo Zagni (guitar, backing vocals) and Gianluca Montanari (drums). The songs on this EP are titled "Perfect Li(v)es" (4:27), "Skepticism" (5:11), "Vittima & Carnefice" (2:59), "Wrong Era" (3:31), "Non Son Torpore" (4:02) and "System Failure" (3:40). And to tell the truth, the only song which I, musically, like the most is "Skepticism". The rest of the songs are really crap to me. Okay, I have to admit that these guys play their instruments well, but with that all's said. They really can't hold my attention with the rest of the songs on this EP. Actually, for me this EP is just a real waste of my time, so after a few spins I already had enough of it. I can't imagine that, outside Italy, there are people who really are into Italian bands who sing in their mother-language. And another thing, I also hope that Italian bands began to realize/understand that not everybody is familiar with the Italian language. If press releases, or their biography etc. on their FB-page or website are written in English, it's all clear to everybody. If it's still written in Italian, well then anyone who's not familiar with the Italian language, can't read it. Well, it's very clear to me, the WRONG ERA are just the WRONG BAND for me.
Recordlabel: http://www.atomicstuff.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wrongeraofficial

47/100

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