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“Neurotic” 2012 CD & DVD


I have seen this release listed in some places as a demo and in others as an album. I personally lean towards demo tag as it is self-released and only has 4 songs but the bands site calls it an album. It is also packaged so professionally and presented with a DVD so I will give it the benefit of the doubt calling it an album. H-George travels to our ears all the way from Italy and call their sound “Alcoholic Thrash Metal”. Which I am not sure really describes their sound that well. As it kind of conjures up images (in my mind) of a raunchy, raw, loose sort of band with party / non-serious lyrics. But the fact of the matter is they play a really controlled power heavy metal thrashy type sound with a tight crisp performance and quite serious thoughtful emotional themes to the lyrics. It is honestly almost a little too in control and over produced for me. But there is no denying the talent displayed in George’s writing with some really solid riffs and well crafted meandering and entertaining guitar solos. This band is really George’s work and George’s baby and he has brought in Carlos in to play drums and Trevor in to handle the vocals. Carlos does a fine job on the kit, solid and professional and Trevor puts in a pretty gritty late 80s sounding sort of thrashy gruff performance. The vocals are good but buried in the mix and less prominent than one would expect for his aggressive style and performance. I would have liked to see him be brought a little more up front. In fact the aforementioned intangible raunchiness the music tag summons up is just what this release could use to put it over the top. Just a little too controlled and over analyzed. I bet this material comes off better in a live setting. That all makes it sound like I do not like this release. Which is far from the truth, as this is a nice release but it could go to another level, if it had not been gone over so much with a fine tooth comb and just let it all hang out a little more? The actual material itself on here is pretty killer. Now on to the DVD... It is about 30 minutes long and is pretty well done. It basically has interviews with the guys that recorded this record as well as studio personnel. They talk about their history / tastes in metal, their motivation and about the making this record. There is some various studio footage as well as some sprinkled stuff of the members out and about in Italy. It is pretty cool to see and it does give you a respect for what went into this recording. The DVD is all in Italian but there are English subtitles so no worries there.  – Dale

www.h-george.com   www.myspace.com/hgeorgemetalbeer    




“Anatomical Inferno” 1998 CD

(Morbid Records)


Yes! Killer grindcore with heavy death metal influence played with immense energy and conviction - in short it will tear you apart! The compos are to the point sick, heavy, and brutally catchy with super disgusting and tortured vomitous vox. All death/grind fanatics feast your ears on this 14 track ball of phlemetic mayhem!  - Dale

Morbid Records, Postfach 3, 03114 Drebkau, GERMANY




“Kingdom Of The Hammer King” 2015 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Records)


Hammer King are a German band, and they play majestic bombastic power metal, in the tradition of the of old days. There is some great catchy riffing on here, sweeping passages and melodramatic choruses. It is all good, but the emotive nuanced guitar playing and soaring silky vocals really stand out for me. The Hammer King are heavily influenced by Manowar, with other more mild influences sprinkled in remind of bands like Iron Maiden, Blind Guardian, Hammerfall, Bruce Dickinson solo stuff (“Accident Of Birth”) etc… You know I had the Manowar comparison in my head upon first listen, it is an obvious one and a healthy one, but I did not realize until a few listens later, that the vocalist from this band, is also the vocalist of ex-Manowar members solo band Ross The Boss. Anyway, this is a damn good power metal album, a fairly unoriginal and at times slightly predictable listen, yet it through all of that it is good. Now, I should warn you, the theme runs through the entirety of the album. You think it is a little much to have the band name repeated in the album title? That is only the tip of the iceberg, put it this way, if you made a drinking game for every time on this record they said the words “Hammer King”, you would be drunk by the 4th song. If you drank for every time you, separately or together, heard the words “Hammer” and “King”, it would then take about 1 ½ songs and you can pick any two songs on the album! Haha! Oh man, do they over do it! That may bug some people. But if you don’t mind not having the most own sounding band, and can not enough killer power metal in your collection, then you will need to get this record immediately.  - Dale

http://www.hammer-king.com/   http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/  




“King Is Rising” 2016 CD

(Cruz Del Sur Records)


The German power metal kings of saying the word king more than any other band, in that they work it into their name, album title and pretty much all of their songs! Haha. No, they do not spare the cheese quotient, in the lyrics and concept. These guys are not resting on their laurels; it seems like only a couple months ago, I was reviewing their debut album “Kingdom Of The Hammer King”. This record pretty much picks up right where the last one left off, which is energetic, uptempo melodic music that is a little on the lighter more airy side heavy metal, but still possessing the earmarks of the old traditions. I still hear influences like Manowar, Blind Guardian, Hammerfall, Grave Digger etc… The vocals are very good, as you need for this style; the vocalist has some good range and control over his pipes. Honestly, like I said just check out my last review, as this is really is totally a continuation of their last album (though now with more flute J), so if you liked that one you will not be disappointed in this follow up record. If you have never heard them, I think I have given a decent idea of what to expect. But in my view, they do everything very well, it is enjoyable for me, but in the end it is pretty predictable stuff and not too essential to more discerning or picky fans of this style.  - Dale

http://www.hammer-king.com/   http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com/      




“Legacy Of Kings” 1998 CD

(Nuclear Blast America)


Well, if you read issue # 1 or 2, you know how much I love this band on their early material. My only knock on their amazing power/heavy metal style is that they sounded too much like their heroes and not possessing an identity you could call Hammerfall. Well they have taken a step towards that with this mighty classic slab “Legacy Of Kings”. Joacim Cans has stepped up his performance further putting in a superlative, first-rate vocal display. He makes it seem so easy and effortless as he goes right through all the ranges with silky finesse. Time honored traditional metal with class the makes my inner flame rise! Hammerfall have still not reached their peak potential but they are perilously close with this album.  - Dale




“Split” 2017 CD & LP

(Cruz Del Sur Music)


Hands start things out with four of the first five tracks on this album, The Wandering Midget has, as you would expect, the longest track on the record, despite that Hands of Orlac’s opening song is no lightweight clocking in at just over 14 minutes long. The band is originally from Italy, now residing in Sweden, I can hear some of that Italian influence in there with certain elements of their sound reminding me of stuff like Death SS, Paul Chain and even a touch of Mortuary Drape. Hands of Orlac play pure hard rock & metal classic doom metal of the ‘70s / early ’80s style. I heard some of their old stuff with faster, more heavy metal guitar featuring more in your face production. I must say this more laid-back sound and production really suits them so much better, in addition to an obvious self-assured maturity now creeping into their songwriting over the years. The vocals of frontwoman The Sorceress suit the music very nicely, they are also in the old style and have a really soothing, spellbinding quality to them which reflects back and adds to the depressive trippy atmosphere of the music so well. The vocalist also plays and the band incorporates the flute (a fair bit yet not to excess), but in a way I can dig, it is kind of slightly lower and obscured in the mix (past releases the flute was far too loud/high in the mix for me) giving off more of a cool ‘70s atmospheric, hypnotic and melancholy vibe. That first song, “Curse Of The Human Skull” is a minor masterpiece, in my opinion. They follow up that fourteen minute marathon beauty, with a six minute song (featuring some more upbeat rocking sections) and two interlude pieces, all of which keep the quality level on the up tick. Their side is worth the price of the record alone! I am now in love with Hands Of Orlac, here is to hoping this is them finding their stride and window into the sound they will carry forward into future releases. Next, we move to The Wandering Midget, who appears with only one song “Where We March The Vultures Follow”, which features the mammoth running time of 18 plus minutes!! This is the first release for Wandering Midget in nearly five years so there is excitement for it. We are treated to some really good dark classic doom metal, but not as much rooted in the ‘70s as Hands Of Orlac, no they are modern sounding and owing more to bands like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus. The guitars are more up front, and slightly more biting, but just enough of the requisite fuzzy doom edge to them. The song starts slow and melancholic, eventually building tension until the band explodes with an emotional outburst I found quite poignant and powerful, they then slowly bring us back down while maintaining their triumphant depressive gloomy aura all the while. The classic vocals are really freaking good and are filled with emotion, matching the music in every way and sometimes, somehow, even surpassing it. This is a truly a fantastic split album, of which, all classic doom metal hounds should strive to add to their collection.  - Dale

https://handsoforlac.bandcamp.com    https://www.facebook.com/TheWanderingMidget   




“Deception Among Birds” 2011 CD

(Seventh Rule Recordings)


Harpoon is a three piece band hailing from Chicago, Illinoise. I immediately thought of the band Cavity when I hit play. Though Harpoon are far more polished sounding, more controlled and their use of feedback on the guitars is more subtle than those maniacs. The songs are well crafted and there is actually a lot going on, despite not sounding cluttered. The vocals of Toney Vast-Binder are harsh, pissed off sounding yells with a lot of conviction and energy put into the delivery. The pacing of the music is nice as well, it has some speed at times, but also is painfully slow and grinding sludge drone at other times, creating some nice dynamics and emotion. I was skeptical when I read they used a drum machine, but I must admit this is one of the finest examples of hiding that fact I have come across. Deception Among The Birds is the type of album that you will keep finding new nuances you missed previously upon repeated listening. The album is not bogged down in a million time changes or far too busy for its own good. No Harpoon have really mastered a balance between intricacy and subtlety on here but never forgetting the emotive quality of their music, which is what gives it its real personality. Controlled chaos thinking metal is what I would call it, this is my first experience with the band and I am pretty impressed.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/harpoonrockin4u  http://www.seventhrule.com/   




“Vortex Of Death” 2011 CD

(Abyss Records)


The Hat keep the old Norwegian classic black metal traditions alive. I never tire of this sound, style no matter how many times I hear it again and again. It is probably only fair that you know that about me – I worship old school black metal. You can tell listening to this that Hat themselves have listened to and possess great reverence for the old bands on their early works like Darkthrone, Immortal, Emperor, Graveland etc… It is just so hateful, cold, cutting you to pieces with cruel torture. Yes I do not tire of their archetypal obscure bm rasp vocals, tremolo picking and hypnotic driven drumming. Vortex of Death is really well done and you can just feel the men behind it are dedicated to what they are doing. I simply can not resist recommending this album highly to you.  – Dale

http://www.officialabyssrecords.com/  http://www.myspace.com/Evighat  




Order Of The Enslaved” 2014 CD

(Blast Head Records)


Coming out of the Canadian death metal scene, is Hate Division, playing some great brutal death death metal. On display are some ultra fast guitars, which are all over the place, with some killer solos and riffs. The drums are fast as hell blast beats with some slower mid-paced drumming. The vocalist does a good job with some excellent death growls. If you are a fan of brutal death metal then this is a band you should check out soon.  - Patrick

http://hatedivision.bandcamp.com/   http://www.blastheadrecords.com/       




“Hoarse Industrial Viremia” 2008 CD

(Vendlus Records)


So Havoc Unit hail from the mighty lands of Finland. They recently changed their name from …And Oceans. Now I do remember …And Oceans but it was from their early days in the late 90s. Back then, they played solid, yet, pretty forgettable symphonic black metal. So these days they are playing industrial death metal hey? Interesting… Well it is good to see a band change their name when this sort of about face happens – more bands should follow this example. I would not call myself a huge industrial death fan. But I do like some of the bands and have followed it virtually from its inception as a genre. Early stuff like Skinny Puppy to Malhovoc to Pitchshifter to old Fear Factory and others have all graced my collection over the years. Havoc Unit is a pretty straight forward band. To be honest they are sort of monotone and lacking any real punch or diversity in their song writing. Under their previous moniker they played average but pretty good sympho black metal and now 10 years later they are still pumping out the same quality level. Just in another genre these days. They do little to stand out or have much staying power to my ears and instead just blend in with the pack. It is worth a listen if you worship this style and if not then your money is best spent elsewhere.  – Dale

www.vendlusrecords.com   www.myspace.com/havocunit 




“Virus” 2006 CD

(AFM Records)


If you want the cliff notes version this is basically the French version of Halloween mixed with Gamma Ray. I hate to over paint them with that brush. Yet the fact of the matter is they wear their influences on their sleeve to the point it is hard to say they have much of a sound of their own. Coupled with the fact they play a style where you kind of need some sort of unique identity to stick out from the crowd. It is not like they are death metal and just make sure they are brutal to make up for the fact they are unoriginal. By deduction I do suppose the next question would be is it well done at least? For my liking it is a touch too clean, synth heavy and over produced but on the whole it is well done, yes. Some engaging riffs and sweet guitar leads. Vocalist Ben Sotto just bleeds Halloween vocals but he sounds excellent doing so, hitting all kinds ranges and high registers along the way. That is something Heavenly really has going for them, in this genre you need to have a strong vocalist and they have that part covered. If you are a fanatic of this style and can never get enough then by all means pick this up but otherwise just break out your “Keeper…” records instead. – Dale 




“Parasite Of Society” 2008 CD

(Candlelight Records USA)


Well some years back we had the re-formation of the classic thrash band Destruction. During his hiatus from Destruction, mainman, Schmier formed a band called Headhunter. A band which spat out a demo tape and 3 albums from the early 90s to the middle 1990s. Now he has come back full circle and both bands are going full steam at the same time for once. The other two members of Headhunter are Uwe Hoffman (Talon) and Jorg Michael (Rage, Running Wild, Grave Digger, Mekong Delta and a bunch more bands) whom many or most will know about. They play classic heavy metal. Schmier definitely has that clean and classic 80s sort of vocal style down pretty well and it is kind of cool hearing him do this style. The music is traditional heavy metal and it is pretty catchy and memorable. The song “Silverskull” is tattoo’d on my brain now and is a good example of catchiness and staying power I mentioned. It is pretty simplistic stuff overall but sometimes that is for the best in this style. There are some solid emotional guitar solos / fills that really grabbed my attention and unlike some bands they do not come off as forced or out of place. Headhunter like to mix up the dynamics every couple of songs (energetic and fast to brooding and etc…) and it makes for a pretty good, interesting listen. I can recommend this album. But I must mention that the Skid Row cover kind of sticks out like a strange sore thumb. Placing it right in middle of album (rather than the end) amongst the rest of the tracks seems unnecessarily disruptive to the overall flow and it is too. I could see that really annoying some people.  – Dale

www.candlelightrecordsusa.com    www.official-headhunter.com/en/




“Last Station On The Road To Death” 2010 CD

(Debemur Morti)


We have some dense churning black metal heaviness from France. The vocals kind of sound an evil husky growling biker that crashed his hog a couple times and does not believe in helmets. For me the album starts off decently and creates a heavy brooding sort of mood. Before long it becomes unraveled and disjointed and progressively worse. This is not a good thing when it was not that amazing to begin with. I am a huge GG Allin fan, despite what some say, he did made some great music and was not all shit and piss. So without looking at the song titles first, it surprised me hear a GG cover coming out of my headphones. I suppose they do an alright job on the cover, though it could have been better. But in the context of the whole album it stands out as a sore thumb and does not help the flow one bit. This is further highlighted by the fact that this cover is in the middle rather than a bookend to the record. I will be honest and cut to the chase. This is just not that good and definitely not up to the usual Debemur Morti caliber of release. It seems all of the members of this French band are in about half a dozen other bands as well. Which leads one to think it is hard to do all of them right and that appears to be the case here. Especially considering most of their other bands are of much better quality (such as Antaeus, Mutiilation, Arkhon Infaustus etc…). The most creative or stand out thing about this release is the album title that kind of tells the whole story right there.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/hell_militia   http://www.debemur-morti.com/




“Aura Damage” 2012 CD

(Hellthrasher Productions)


We have more Polish metal goodness courtesy of Godz Ov War! Hell United are motherfucking bruuutaaal death metal that will batter, beat and brutalize you into submission. Yes, Hell United continues to prove Poland has one of the best death metal scenes on the planet. I love that so many of these bands champion the old great death metal ways and sound. The band does slow it down briefly, at times to add a brooding dynamic, but most of the time they attack with heavy vicious riffing and high intensity speedy tremolo riffing. The vocals are very well done traditional dm growling with some higher end nasal growling accents and the combination works well. The production on here is excellent and if you like death metal in the old glorious way, hell has indeed united to give you want you want to hear.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/hellunitedofficial  http://www.hellthrasher-distribution6.home.pl/    




“Inevitable Dementia” 2006 CD

(Great White North Records)


This album is nearly 2 years old and unfortunately, for the band the label, which released it is now defunct. Yet the band must live on and keep fighting. Hellacaust is doing just that and sent “Inevitable Dementia” in for review to keep their name out there, while they brew some new material. Hellacaust residing often quiet metal east coast of Canada. They play a really interesting mix of black, death and thrash metal. I can hear influences from everything from early Mayhem & Immortal to Exhumed, Angelcorpse & Napalm Death to Kreator, Slayer and Megadeth. One large melting pot but they know how to smelt it all together into a solid and cohesive whole which is not an easy feat by any means. I think we have all heard a band or ten who attempted this sort thing, only to fall flat on their collective faces. Hellacaust keep it evil sounding but never afraid to rumble forward with some sick militaristic head banging sections in most songs, not to mention some smoking guitar solos brief but regular appearances. The vocals alternate between death metal bellows and black metal rasps and are well done. This is a flat out a very good album. I do not see Hellacaust being label-less for very long.  – Dale

http://welcome.to/hellacaust   http://www.myspace.com/hellacaust 




“Bloodrust Scythe” 2010 CD

(I Hate Records)


Well we have some German thrash and yes, in case you were wondering, it is of the classic old style of their homeland. There are so many influences you could throw out there, but a few that come to mind, which are influences for HC are Poison (yeah you know which one I mean), Iron Angel, Kreator, Sodom, and especially Slayer and even a newer band like Desaster. You can just feel how much these guys love thrash metal through they’re playing. Bloodrust is a really excellent record, not a lame retro attempt, but all the same very clearly rooted in the days of old and they do manage to bring something substantial to the genre. You can even hear some little nuances going on at times that remind me of classic Priest or Maiden. This is pretty unrelenting stuff with a plethora of memorable riffs and headbanging parts to get your blood boiling. I dig those frantic Slayer-esque guitar leads that pop up now and then. Hellish Crossfire is not all full speed ahead all the time though. There are slower moody moments, sort of like a brooding tank slowly creeping along, barrel simmering with smoke, searching for victims of their next assault. Those brooding ominous moments definitely add a little more depth and personality to flesh out the bands sound. The vocals complement the music nicely with their classic early Slayer and Kreator tendencies. All that is left to say is, if you like to thrash, then you will love Bloodrust Scythe, it is as simple as that.  – Dale

http://www.ihate.se   http://www.myspace.com/hellishcrossfirethrash 




“The Kutna Hora” 1998 Split CD

(Rhetoric Records)


More metal, sludge-core from the fine people at Rhetoric. Hellchild are cool crusty metal with bludgeoning riffs, clear/growly vocals. This band is tops in my books for doing the dirtiest Venom cover of “Witching Hour” ever - Yeah bitch!! I reviewed Kilara last issue and here we have more of the same grungy, Sabbathy metal with a hardcore flavor. These new tracks are a bit more catchy in a laid-back sorta way - Rockin’ stuff. $8US/$12 World for the vinyl version & $10 US/$12 World for the CD. - Dale

Rhetoric Records, P.O. Box 82, Madison, WI. 53701, USA




“The Spectre Of Lonely Souls” 2018 CD

(Unspeakable Axe Records)


For those not in the know, Unspeakable Acts is an imprint label, under the mighty Dark Descent Records. It is where they indulge mainly in their love of old thrash and thrash mixed with black and death metal. Hellish are from Chile and thrash to the fucking hilt they are! These guys put their foot on the gas and rip shit up, in an extreme ‘80s thrash metal manner flaying your skin and peeling the paint off the walls, with their vicious sonic attack! I can definitely hear some early influences from bands like Exodus, Razor, early Death Angel, Destruction, Kreator, Sodom etc… They have some great killer melodies injected into the speedy riffing, and it is an exclamation point, when they hit one of those blazing short frantic guitar solos. The vocals are classic thrash screams, but they possess influences of the gruff classic mainstay style, with hints dripping down the edges of black metal rasping and a slight death metal growl. Yet, those vocals in the sub-genre’s tradition always stay very decipherable, where you can make out everything being sung just fine. Now comes my only nitpick, and I am usually not that picky with regards to the recording, I mean the production overall is decent, but everything could be a little beefier and heavier, but it is the drums I have an issue with most. Do you know when you hear a song that has been ripped into mp3 at terrible quality setting like 112 or 128 kbps? Where everything gets really tinny and has slight high pitched whine sound, thankfully that is not present on everything here but when the drummer hits the cymbals, which is often, it sounds like that big time. That is the only nitpicky thing I can say about an otherwise great old school thrash metal album! South America proves once again to me at least, it possesses probably one of the top 5 best extreme UG scenes in the world in recent years!! Get this if you love thrash metal done the ancient way.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/Hellishchile    http://www.unspeakableaxerecords.com   




“Tormentore” 2018 CD

(P2 Records)


It seems like very little is known about The Heretics Fork, something that seems to be very much by design. Which often makes one wonder if it is members from bigger bands that do not want to be officially affiliated with the style this side band plays or they could just be extremely private guys I suppose, I could understand it if that was the case. So let’s get on to the music, which is what they want us to focus on here. ‘Tormentore’ is the bands debut record featuring eight songs of intense and brutal metal, with influences from both the ‘90s US brutal scene and newer brutal dm bands. The vocals are low, guttural growls that fit the bands style very nicely. The guitar work is done with a mix of both slower and heavier guitar patterns, but there is plenty of extremely fast and vicious guitar chords. If you are a fan of bands like Mortician, Devourment, Brodequin etc… then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of ‘Tormentore’ as soon as it is released.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/p2loggia    http://p2omerta.blogspot.com/   




“Death Scroll of Seven Hells and Its Infernal Majesties” 2012 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


This is a new band to my ears, and it's not a bad listen at all. Hellvetron play a very dark, heavy mix of early 90's death/doom with slow pounding drums, crushing guitar chords. Hellvetron kind of remind of skepticism, disembowelment etc. To give you an idea of their sound, it is a very dark atmosphere intertwined within the death/doom to kind of give it a black, dark metal atmopshere. Vocals are deep, slow almost talking like vocals that fit perfect with the slow, bleak music. Hellvetron are definitely not for every metal fan out there but if you enjoy bands like Skepticism, Disembowelment, or slow death/doom in general, they might be your cup your of tea.  - Patrick

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/hellvetron/  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/    




“Beyond The Boundries Of Sin” 2012 CD

(Shadow Kingdom Records)


This is a side band of Mark “The Shark” Shelton, the singer of the mighty Manilla Road. Hellwell is definitely different than Manilla Road, much more punchy and dramatic. In fact, to be quite honest for my tastes it is overly dramatic. It sort of feels like Shelton wanted to write an exaggerated musical stage play, that is the feeling I get listening to Beyond The Boundries Of Sin. I mean do not get me wrong there are some fantastic sections and some quality music on here. Just the style and direction he took that material does not tickle my fancy, so to speak. The vocals follow suit with the music, they are pretty animated with real emphasis certain parts of each sentence, coming off sounding very staged and theatrical dialogue influenced to me. Think of a metal soundtrack to Phantom of The Opera or something like that. Also there is a lot of punctuated for maximum flair keyboards (and some Hammond organ) use which also contributes that feelin. I don’t know some parts of tracks I really kind of dig here and there, but as a whole it is just not working for me. There is no doubting the talent that is behind this album though. I think Shelton was going for a real horror vibe, but missed the mark a little bit if this is supposed to sound really evil or creepy, it is more of a Dark Shadows tv show melodrama atmosphere, rather than being bone chilling and malevolent. The production and everything is top notch, nothing to complain about technically or with regards to execution. I guess it is all boils down to do you like stuff like dark and over the top stage plays and metal mixed float your boat? Not mine it is sinking rapidly, time to push stop and move on to the next review.  - Dale





“Praising Satan” 2010 CD

(Soulseller Records)


Well it is odd to me at least that these guys have been around for 15 years and this is the first I had recall hearing of them. Praising Satan is apparently some sort of best of / compilation release that apparently is celebrating “15 Years Of Ultimate Satanic Sleaze”. I can not seem get a handle on whether this is supposed to be a joke band or something serious. Obviously the logo is a homage or simply mocking the logo of Beherit. I seen an interview online and the guy in the interview acted serious in it and said he was a devotee of Beherit, Barathrum, Mayhem, Root, Darkthrone. So I guess I will give the benefit of the doubt there is supposed to be some sort of serious intent behind the band. The whole presentation of the band, album and song titles such as Horns of Hell, Thunderbelial, Pure Goat Glorification, Black Metal Overlords had me wondering though. The music itself is decent for what is, and is simple sloppy punk rock with a metal undertone and some definite Venom worship. Which is always a good thing in my books, being a Venom maniac myself. Nothing amazing here, but I could still appreciate it. Obviously any black metal fans who pick it up that are looking for pure bm or sympho type crap and do not care for punk, will be easily and quickly disappointed. They are certainly unique that is for sure. I would say fans of raunchy punk, Venom and Piledriver type stuff will like this.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/hereticmaniacs  http://www.soulsellerrecords.com/  




“Tormentore” 2018 CD

(P2 Records)


It seems like very little is known about The Heretics Fork, something that seems to be very much by design. Which often makes one wonder if it is members from bigger bands that do not want to be officially affiliated with the style this side band plays or they could just be extremely private guys I suppose, I could understand it if that was the case. So let’s get on to the music, which is what they want us to focus on here. ‘Tormentore’ is the bands debut record featuring eight songs of intense and brutal metal, with influences from both the ‘90s US brutal scene and newer brutal dm bands. The vocals are low, guttural growls that fit the bands style very nicely. The guitar work is done with a mix of both slower and heavier guitar patterns, but there is plenty of extremely fast and vicious guitar chords. If you are a fan of bands like Mortician, Devourment, Brodequin etc… then do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of ‘Tormentore’ as soon as it is released.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/p2loggia    http://p2omerta.blogspot.com/   




Daemonarchrist - Daemon Est Devs Innersvs” 2014 CD

(Paragon Records)


Wow Paragon strikes again with another great band from Italy. Heretical {formerly Immolator} play a very interesting style, of brutal black metal, with some atmospheric black metal mixed in some of the songs. The guitars are fast and extremely well played, with some slower parts mixed in, so it's not all speed riffs. The drumming is done with a lot of fast blasting, but they do slow it down, to a mid-pace on some tracks. The vocalist does a good job of black metal screams, mixed with some clean vocals and even some chanting on one song. Heretical are one of the best black metal bands I've heard in awhile.  - Patrick

http://hereticalofficial.bandcamp.com/   http://www.themetalunderground.com/     




"Rovdjur & Northern Might” 2018 Digipak CD

(Wolfspell Records)


Surprisingly, to me at least, this is the first time I am listening to this Swedish one man band. As this Rafn since 2012 has released no less than seven full-length’s and over twenty ep’s, splits and a demo! I mean talk about having a seemingly inexhaustible well of creativity, not to even mention time invested recording and releasing it all. This release represents two ep’s Hermóðr have released this year, combined into this one disc, previously only available digitally. There are only two songs on this release, yet the total run time is around the 35 minute mark! As you can tell they are both very epic tracks. Hermóðr play a very flowing, long form style of black metal that is both extremely atmospheric and depressive, but in a longing somber fashion, not in the wallowing in suicidal depression sense of depressive black metal term. The music is pretty sparse with one long gracefully flowing riff played continuously in a very monotonous style. Which sounds like a negative, but it is quite the opposite for me, as it is a majestic quality somewhat melodic riff in each song that mentally carries you on a journey. There are some slight change ups, used sparsely, as well as some secondary guitar or synth accents also quite meagerly employed strictly as accent support for the main riff. The drumming is also very low key, again subtle, but a well timed counterpoint for the winding stream that is the great main riff. These two releases are nearly instrumentals, though there are some excellent obscure yelling rasps in “Northern Might”, which may remind you of a more subdued version of the vocals on early Burzum releases. Actually, I think you could say a lot of the music on here is like the early Burzum, especially the longer epic sections with a little more emphasis on atmosphere. Everything here is well done, but I do suppose you may have to be in the right sort of reflective, meditative mindset to truly enjoy this release as I was and did. The cover artwork is very fitting, the music on here makes me think of one of my pleasures, which is standing and staring or strolling through mysterious misty mountain landscapes. This is not hard for me to imagine personally, as I live on in the valley on a mountain with multiple mountain peaks closely surrounding my home and are often covered in mist and fog. But the great music on this disc makes me mentally feel like I am the mist caressing and flowing around this magnificent darkly imposing creation of mother earth. Since I have only heard these two epic songs from Hermóðr, I have a hard time imagining this man creating an album full of short songs. But, that is apparently exactly what he does on his albums, so I am very much looking forward to finding out what that is like very soon as I have some catching up to do!  - Dale

https://hermodr.bandcamp.com/    https://www.wolfspellrex.com/       




“Where The Ravens Fly” 1998 CD

(Red Stream Records)


This is an interesting find for Red Stream. With a choice production backing them, Himinbjorg present some of the best emotional and blazing metal in recent memory! Similar in sound to acts like (early) Ulver, Immortal, Dark Funeral, and a bit of Marduk. They posses a flair for creating brooding yet uplifting atmospheres of sound that will soon release itself from your grey matter. There are acoustics and keys in spots but are utilized in such a way not to force themselves ahead of the structure or beyond the materials general intent. I can fully recommend this to fans of brutal atmospheric black metal that will inspire visions of battlefields filled with pagan pride.  - Dale




“Chaos and Brutality” 2007 CD EP

(Selfmadegod Records)


I possess nothing but respect for Katon W. De Pena and Hirax. They continue to just rage after all of these years. I mean to stick to your roots, for literally decades, is amazing and a mean feat all of its own. What we have here is a mini-album. I am sure this is just a stop-gap to keep the die hards from dying of thirst until the next full length brew comes out. So yes “Chaos and Brutality” is short but still a fine piece of work and worth owning. With the 4 tracks here Hirax explode out of the gates right off the first note and do not let up with their face ripping thrash attack until the disc stops spinning. Hirax pack punch after punch of fast headbanging riffs rhythms backed with De Pena’s wails sounding off like a siren of successive growls. ARGH! Once it is over though you have to hit the repeat button as this is just too short to hear just once. We need a new full album now and the sooner the better. – Dale

www.selfmadegod.com   www.hirax.org 





Split 2007 CD

(Bestial Onslaught Records)


Hirudinea – Are one frenetic death metal band. On these 4 tracks they employ a set of dual vocals. The main set of pipes, sort of remind me to the vox on the “Clandestine” album. The other set of vocals are harder to pinpoint and are more frantic, angst filled volleys that remind me a bit of old Ministry, of all things. I do not hear a lot of bands playing this style lately. That is to Hirudinea’s benefit.

Watchmaker – The Boston, Mass clusterfuck. If you are searching for some catchy head bang riffs, actual song structuring and depth. Then look somewhere else. It is no surprise, keeping with these comments that Watchmaker used to have an Anal Cunt member. Because the 7 tracks on this split are nothing short of a chaotic wall of thrashing white noise. Their only purpose seems to be to play as fast and in as in your face as they can, from a dead run, start to finish. They destroy everything in their path. It is actually pretty good stuff but you really have to be in the right mood for it, if you know what I mean?  – Dale





“Envaatnags Eflos Solf Esgantaavne” 2005 CD

(Woodcut Records)


My deep and lasting obsession with Horna began somewhere around the beginning of 1997. I received their first masterpiece of a record “Hiidentorni” from their then label Solistitium records out Germany. Incidentally this lead to an interview I did with them way back in issue # 2 of Canadian Assault (I have put in a request for a new interview in this issue, no word whether it is happening or not, as of yet). It was during this period, the second wave after the rise of Darkthrone, Immortal, Burzum etc… came to be and they have stood the test of time as the best black metal band from this mid-90s era. This band has never let me down, releasing album after album, seven inches, LP and split vinyls at an alarming rate and each and every release has been a quality work, a new splash of darkness across the UG scene. Over the years the horde have managed to evolve and devolve in interesting ways but never betraying their roots, never scarring their devoted followers and never having to look themselves in the mirror with anything but pride and dignity. They may make your head bang with some devilish catchy riffs but they shall never stray far from the epic melancholy longing and cold, evil sorrow that is the foundation of their profound heartless cruelty. A very select few, a diabolic elite, if you will, have the ability to create so many emotions within the black metal realm, whilst relying upon on traditional instrumentation. That includes Horna, they have the uncanny ability to channel simultaneously through their music emotions such as disgust, hate, sorrow, melancholy, introspection, elation, adrenalized odium all while sweeping you away on a journey.  A vast journey outside of this pathetic existence, an epic walk through fields of pain blanketed by black night. Horna have always had some of the sickest rasps in black metal bar none and nothing has changed in this respect with “Envaatnags…”, despite member changes, the cold heart of Horna, Mr. Shatraug lives on, in the infamous black metal conjurer. Almost a decade later and Horna continues to haunt me!  – Dale





“Askel Lahempana Saatanaa” 2013 CD

(World Terror Committee Productions)


I am wondering if Satan himself is looking out for me, he found a way to get the new Horna album in my hands and by an interesting route too. WTC Productions as near as I can tell are run by an Absurd member and are based out of Germany, yet this package of WTC releases was sent to me from Portugal? I am not one to look a gift demon in the mouth. It is no secret I worship this band, as can be evidenced not only by the many glowing reviews I have given the band over the years, but also by the fact I interviewed them twice (once in 1998 & again in 2006) for Canadian Assault. Simply put Horna belong to the elite of the second wave of black metal from the early 90s. Horna have been creating cryptic, freezing evil black metal hate consistently year after year, for nearly two decades now!! For me they are the crown jewel of the Finnish black metal scene along with old Impaled Nazerene and early Beherit. Askel Lahempana Saatanaa continues their tradition of harsh black metal holocaust, it changes slightly from album to album, but at the core it is always the same sound, a rare band that has been around for a long time and always stayed true to their roots. I have a ton of respect for that, nearly everyone else falters, crumbles and stumbles, but Horna stands triumphant. I would not call this album one of Horna’s best, but it is still very good and very much quality Horna as usual.  - Dale

http://horna666.com/  http://www.w-t-c.org/     




“Hengen Tulet” 2015 CD

(W.T.C. Productions)


The mighty Horna return with their ninth album to date entitled “Hengen Tulet”. Horna really know how to create and execute their signature style of chaotic and fast black metal darkness. The guitars are played with fast crazed cold riffs, but do know when to slow down the pace to a more controlled middle pace range. The drumming is done, with a lot of great drum patterns, going from heavy medium speed beats, to a more vicious blast beat attack. The vocals are raw black metal screams and shrieks, with some whispering voices put in a few of the songs. If you are a long time fan of Horna’s music, then don’t let this pass you by, and if you are new to the band, and enjoy violent raw black metal then get this masterpiece today!  - Patrick

http://horna666.com/Abyss/   http://www.w-t-c.org/      




“Horror God/Techne” 2017 Split CD

(Lavadome Productions)


Coming out of the Russian death metal scene is Horror God, who supply three brand new songs here, as well as a cover of Purulence’s “Sinking Into Transparency”. This is my first experience listening to the band, they play a solid form of death metal, but they are not afraid to explore and add other genres of metal within the mid paced death metal mainstay they create. The musicianship features a lot of creativity, and well written and played performances on their instruments. Horror God play their own style of death metal and do a very good job of it. Techne are up next, they play a progressive death metal style of music. The band does add in some excellent progressive metal elements and early rock influences within their music. This is a band that plays a very good brand of progressive death metal, yet I still just can not get into this, but if you like the idea of a split with two quite different sounding bands you might want to pick this one up.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/horrorgod    http://lavadome.org/  




“Odd Ethics” 2012 MCD

(Abyss Records)


Hmm I am not really sure what direction Italy's Humangled are taking {or wanting to take for that matter} on the new EP. The band seems to be mixing in technical death metal, thrash and some varied guitar patterns. I will give the band credit for attempting to try something different and combing the different metal elements but it just doesn’t seem to be working. Because by the end of the four tracks there really isn’t anything that sticks out that is that memorable on Odd Ethics.  - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/humangled  http://www.officialabyssrecords.com    





Never Ending Nightmares” 2012 CD

(Dead Beat Media)


Humanity Delete is the band formed by none other then Rogga Johanson {Paganizer, Revolting,among many others}. The band was started originally in 2003 but put on hold until 2012 when Rogga began writing music for the debut Never Ending Nightmares. The lyrics were handled by Rogga's friend and underground legend Jill Girardi. Musically Humanity Delete and Rogga plays fast, aggressive death metal. Whirlwind, insane guitar riffs with some really good solo's. The drums are blast beats before slowing down to a mid paced beats. This is a impressive death metal release and worth checking out if you enjoy straight forward, no frills death metal.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/humanitydelete  http://deadbeatshop.tripod.com/    




“Face The Disaster” 2009 MCD

(Nebiula Production)


First I just wanted to send out a greeting to Bear Bee, the vocalist of Humiliation for sending this in personally. It is always good to get a release from Malaysia. I used to have a tape trader in Malaysia, he turned me on to a lot of great old dedicated Malaysian UG bands like Sil-Khannaz, Brain Dead, Langsuyr, and Suffercation. There is some straight forward but solid death metal to be found here. The riffing is often mid paced and heavy with the odd speedy bursts that I am sure induce some nice headbanging live. I can maybe hear some old Bolt Thrower or Malevolent Creation type stuff, the bands is keeping it old school, which is just fine by me. The vocals are deep dark shouted growls with a little bit of an obscure texture to them. Those vocals again remind me a lot to the very early 90s death metal approach. A pretty good first release from a young band and I think there is room for some improvement. I am left wondering why no demos or anything were released before the mini disc? Either way this short player leaves me wanting to hear something more. And I am in luck as Bear Bee has sent me the follow full length album as well!  – Dale

nebiulaprod@gmail.com  humiliationband@gmail.com 




“Dawn Of Warfare” 2010 CD

(Nebiula Production)


Humiliation pick right up where they left off the year before on their mcd. They were only in year one as a band as I understand it with that first release. Now year two sees them already storming back with their debut full length. Despite that short period between releases and their infancy as a band, one can already hear a little maturity creeping into their songwriting. They are still brutal and heavy, their riffing and general song flow are smoother and pack more punch this time around. I have seen the Bolt Thrower comparisons and it is hard to deny that. They sound a lot like them and it is in a good way. I think I can detect some early Death influence on the music as well as the vocals and maybe a touch of Benediction (one of my fave dm bands, quite underrated). I am not sure if I can add much more than I have in this review and the one above. Some killer death metal for fans of Bolt Thrower and the great 90s British death metal bands. The one question I do have is why neither the label (which has been around a long time) nor the band seems to have a website? I remember my old friend from Malaysia some years back said the Malaysian government was harassing labels that distributed any metal music that was related to gore or satanic / occult themes etc… Some of them seemed to be keeping a real low profile. I am not sure if that is the reason or not?  – Dale

nebiulaprod@gmail.com  humiliationband@gmail.com 




“Seek To Survive” 2011 CD

(Ultra Hingax Productions)


The prolific Malaysian death metallers return to the pages of Canadian Assault! It was a welcome sight to see this disc in my mailbox. For me the Malaysian scene in recent years seemed to go down a bit, but Humiliation is helping to breathe life back into the scene. Like a fine wine Humiliation, a relatively young band, keep getting better with age. You see the development in their song structuring and feel for the emotion needed. They are not afraid to have some brooding moments more often that create a great atmosphere and lend that much more power to the speed and brutality. Yes this is early to mid 90s brutal death metal done the way fans of the genre love. You can hear homage in their music to all the great dm scenes of the day back then, from the Florida (Malevolent Creation, Death) sound to the British sound (Bolt Thrower, Benediction). I am starting to hear the Holland scene creeping in like Asphyx or Sinister. Yes I think Humiliation is still searching a bit for their own sound with this album, but also on Seek To Survive they are showing signs of finding it and creating something of their own. The vocals range from eerie whispers in the gloomy parts to piercing growling screams that always feel old school and I like them. The sound on this album is fantastic and everything is professional, while never forgetting the UG spirit. This album made me bang my fucking head! Hail Malaysia!  – Dale





“Strength To Strength” 2012 CD

(Ultra Hingax Productions)


These guys keep an impressive pace and are always releasing new and quality material. I mean they have only been around since 2009 and in those three years they have released 3 albums and 2 eps. I think that is the definition of hitting the ground running! The album title these Malaysians chose is a great one, as it really does describe what they have been doing, which is continually improving and churning out quality year after year, from strength to strength indeed. This album is no different as Humiliation roll out menacing song after menacing song, similar to tanks rolling in formation as they head into battle. The band has a penchant for writing classic sounding, catchy yet heavy and brutal riffs. Yes they strive for a sound of their own, but will still give you nostalgic feelings of classic days of dm genre. I still hear influences from old bands like Malevolent Creation, Bolt Thrower, Asphyx etc… They keep it extreme but also give you some rhythm you rock with and bang your head. The vocalist Bear Bee has a nice raw, sort of yelled growl that reminds me to the early days when thrash was developing into death metal. I seen a review mention Martin Van Drunen and that is probably not a bad comparison. Those vocals suit the music very well. I could not find a website to list for Ultra Hingax, who are a label that has been around for a long time, still no website? The exciting news for some will be that Humiliation have just signed with American label Deepsend Records (see their site below) – congrats to vocalist Bear Bee and the rest of band on the signing. Definitely recommended.  - Dale

http://www.humiliation.my/  http://www.deepsend.com    




Turbulence From The Deep” 2013 CD

(Deepsend Records)


The Malaysian death metal war horde returns for their fourth attack. It is heavy, mid paced guitar riffs with a thick bass crush. The drumming is excellent and equally as heavy with some mid-paced and faster aggressive parts. The vocals are deep death growls and fit perfectly well with Humiliation's style of crushing straight forward death metal. Fans of early to mid-nineties death metal will want to pick this brutal slab of death as soon as possible.  - Patrick

http://www.humiliation.my/  http://www.deepsend.com/     




“The Serpent’s Lust” 2009 MCD

(Hells Headbangers)


The mini-bio nails it when they mention Bathory as an influence. I can hear a lot of “Blood Fire Death” on this short player (clocking in at barely 21 minutes). I admit I have a bit of a soft spot for Aussie bands and their filthy, dirty, wicked old school ways. Hunters Moon is a little rough around the edges, but they know how to create a strong atmosphere with their music, that provokes emotion in the listener. The music manages to be both epic and flowing while juxtaposed with a certain cruelty and barbaric thrashing (especially evident on the Angel Witch cover of the song Baphomet). I like the vocals from Lust, yet at times they seem not to always fit the music and tend to fade into the background of the mix. Not entirely certain if that was intentional or not? Upon repeated listens though, I find myself not noticing or caring as much about the vocals, which originally struck me as a problem. All in all, I enjoyed this platter and find myself curious to hear their full length debut. Assuming of course that is in the plans.  – Dale

http://www.huntersmoon.cjb.net/   http://huntersmoon.hellsheadbangers.com/




“Angst” 2013 CD

(Deepsend Records)


Spain’s Hybrid waste no time clobbering you over the head with their high energy brutality. There are some clean sung & deep death metal vocal accents, but the mainstay vocals are the hyper, insane yelled variety that some extreme hardcore type bands have. I like them though. The music is going to be a little harder to pin down, but I will try to simplify it a bit, if I can. Okay think of the heavy sounds of something like the old Sludge band Cavity, mix it technical death metal ala Cynic and the spastic oomph grinders Nasum, then add nuanced, emotional break downs that incorporate things from all the spectrum from Jazz bits to ambient to acoustic guitar to a bit of piano or reed music or something and all in between. You see what I mean? I think that is about as much as I can simplify their sound while avoiding pompous poetic waxing. Everything is masterfully pulled off though, there is great musicianship on display and also some talented song arranging. The death metal purist will probably be turned off, but everyone else that appreciates innovation, brutality, speed and adventure in their death metal, if you can limit it to that term, then you need to get this album now.  - Dale

https://myspace.com/hybridmetal  http://www.deepsend.com/     




“Horror Infernal” 2012 CD

(I Hate Records)


I had a surprise when I hit play on this disc, I am so used to I Hate focusing on doom metal lately, that the violent thrash metal that exploded out my headphones was a shock to the system, a pleasant shock. Another pleasant surprise was seeing the old classic “Speed Metal” symbol made legendary by the great old Canadian label Banzai Records, who released all the classics back in the day from Venom and many other classic bands for Canada. Surprising since this a Swedish bands album but I loved that, would love to hear the origins of that. Hypnosia are sadly split up these days and as you may have guessed this a compilation album, which features tracks from the bands ‘96/97 demos, ’99 Mini-album and a couple bonus tracks to round things off. As I said this is ripping, dirty and violent thrash metal that would probably turn on fans of the classic thrash/death band Demolition Hammer. I guess I could call Hypnosia thrash/death as well, as they do have partially yelled thrash vocals mixed with a dm type growl and the guitars have some dm influence as well. But overall this is just a mean and brutal thrash metal album and it is fantastic! Horror Infernal is 16 songs and 50 minutes of head bang inducing metal you should check out.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/hypnosiathrash  http://www.ihate.se/   


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“Menthell” 2012 CD

(Death To Music Productions)


Just like every other reviewer out there I throw the nothing new or you have heard this before tags around. Well I really can not pin that tail on this donkey, this is not something I have rarely heard before, it is pretty original and eclectic, to say the least. This day and age original is rare, but original on it’s own does not necessarily make it good. But in this particular case Menthell (lame album title though haha) case it is good and it is well done. Unlike most bands that try to sew a big patchwork quilt of different influences and genres, it does not sound forced and most importantly the album does have a semblance of flow to it. I see the black metal label put on this band at times, there are certainly elements from that genre but I would not call that their base sound. They mix in everything thrash, death, progressive rock, jazz, funk (I know I think lame when I see that but it is well done and as an accent). The vocals follow the music and are all over the place with whispers, growls, strained clean vocals, yelling etc… there is enough emotion in the delivery to pull it off. This is not one for the purists that like their metal straight ahead. Even I admit some of it a little outside of my taste range, but it is so well executed, it is hard not to like it. If you like inventiveness, talented playing, and genre variations in your extreme metal then you can do much worse than Poland’s Iblis.  – Dale

http://www.reverbnation.com/ibliskrk  http://www.deathtomusic.com/   




“Haunted By Rock & Roll” 2017 CD

(EMP Label Group)


I am new to Ignitor here. I was a little surprised to see that this is no less than their sixth full length record, since they hit the scene in 2004, with a self-released full length recording. Also of interest to me, this EMP Label Group, which upon a little digging I came to find out this is the record label run by Dave Ellefson from Megadeth! Dave has quite an extensive roster of heavy metal, thrash, black, death etc… bands, he is also in the process of reviving Combat Records, as a sub-label to EMP. Anyway, sorry back to business at hand, Ignitor I was interested to find out features a member of Witches Mark and two members of Agony Column. Anyone remember Agony Column? They made noise and some name recognition, as a Metal Blade Records band, at the end of the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Agony played heavy metal mixed with southern rock, the music was pretty good I thought, though the southern rock thing (visual and musically) came off a bit gimmicky to me at the time. I would say Ignitor for the most part, does not sound like Agony Column, it only really rears it’s head for a moment or two on tracks like “Leather Forever” and “No Sanctuary”. Ignitor is a different style of heavy metal and/or old school power metal compared to A.C. To me, they are more akin to the classic period of bands like Grave Digger (I hear them a lot as an influence), Accept, Mercyful Fate and Judas Priest etc… The band writes and performs, some very good catchy and weighty riffed heavy metal, which is backed up with plenty of experience and maturity. I really dug some of the stylish, tasty solos and guitar fills, which are sprinkled throughout these emotive ripping songs. What really pulls the whole album together is the stellar work by Jason McMaster (original Watchtower vocalist), who gives a lively, soaring tour-de-force classic heavy metal as fuck performance, bringing to mind the vocals of bands like classic Grave Digger, Dio, Raven and the like. The band wraps up the album with a very faithful and energetic cover of Raven’s “Hung, Drawn & Quartered” which I found quite enjoyable. This is a good album made for die hards of early to mid 1980s classic heavy metal, nothing new here, but it is not meant to be, it is designed to hold up the old traditional metal ways and kick some ass while they do it.  - Dale

https://www.emplabelgroup.com/    https://www.ignitorband.com/   




“Blight Upon Martyred Sentience” 2017 CD

(Profound Lore Records)


Impetuous Ritual’s recent release Blight Upon Martyred Sentience begins like a storm: the drums and guitar are thunder claps that ominously resonate overhead as the atmosphere approaches like a noisy curtain of rain tumbling into the composition. The ambiance is all encompassing, enveloping you into a murky reality that will be your home for the 43-minute duration of this album. Cavernous production quality is a mainstay here, similar to the assembly of Teitanblood and Grave Upheaval, although Impetuous Ritual utilize this aesthetic in a way that is very much their own. They allow their instruments and deep, intimidating vocals to seep through the mesh as the listener gets to feeling more and more acclimated to the album’s environment. The further the album progresses, the more the listener’s eyes adjust to seeing the figures in the surrounding darkness: shrieking guitar leads that are composed in such a way as to feel tumultuous while still being tightly executed, for example. In the track “Apoptosis”, this element occurs overtop the tenacious drumming from Necros Craigos, which provides an extra layer of dimension to sink into past the outer layer of the overbearing production quality. Then comes one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Synchronous Convergence”, which bears similar attributes, but arrives at a point where the listener feels completely oriented to the established setting of the album. Vocals come through clearer on this track, the guitar work is slightly more distinguishable from the mixing, and the drumming feels slightly more methodical. “Sullen” winds the album down to its near closing with a slower approach to the familiar characteristics of the album, and rings a foreboding bell to cue the finale. Overall, Blight Upon Martyred Sentience is a fantastic album from the Australian atmospheric death metal band that has been consistently unleashing exceptional albums onto the scene since their conception.  – Aaron

https://www.facebook.com/ImpetuousRitual/   https://profoundlorerecords.bandcamp.com       




"Damnatio Ad Bestias” 2019 CD

(Dark Descent Records)


My history as an Imprecation listener goes back a long, long way. It stretches back to the early/mid ‘90s, when I was an avid tape trader (I had regular traders all over the globe) I traded for the bands “Ceremony Of The Nine Angles” 1992 demo tape. I was getting so much stuff back in those times, it took a really good band to stand out for me, which Imprecation did with their distinctive brand of blackened death metal just dripping with atmosphere. I have been a fan of Imprecation’s early works ever since. Imprecation was active from ’91 to ‘95ish(?) I want to say, and then as many old bands do they reformed around 2009. I must confess having said all of that, I have not followed the re-incarnation of the band as closely as the original incarnation, of which two original members remain, that being the vocalist and drummer / keyboardist yet the band sounds very much today like they did back then. So, also not to worry when you see keyboards, they are no where near wall to wall and are used as a sparsely, used as an accent for added atmosphere which, in my opinion, this is the only way they should be used in extreme metal. The music on this release is damn good, dark & sinister death metal that drips with a gloomy, necro aura alternating with speedy tempos and gloomy slower sections. The vocals of this band courtesy of Dave Herrera (Christ Dismembered, ex-Bahimiron) are that evil roiling ‘n broiling growl with that certain tonal charisma underneath, which only a small percentage of death metal vocalists just naturally possess in their voice. Yeah, the vocals fucking kill…period! Which, then in turn helps result in a tremendous record that I am proud to place in collection, alongside their now classic compilation album Theurgia Goetia Summa. Die hards that love dark death metal done in the ancient tradition need to get this as soon as possible.  - Dale

https://imprecation666.bandcamp.com/    http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/      




Wrath Of The Apex Predator" 2013 CD

(Hells Headbangers Records)


Australia's Impious Baptism is a one-man band consisting of J. Who is no stranger to creating and playing in quality metal bands. In the past, J. Has performed with the legendary Destroyer 666 and Destruktor before creating Impious Baptism. Impious Baptism is filthy, raw old school blackened metal with some death metal influences in the guitars. The music features uncompromising whirlwind fast guitar riffs with some really well played riffs and solo's that stay in the fast/mid paced range. The drumming is in the same vein as the guitars, fast pummeling with some mid-pace breaks. J's vocals are raw, deep growls and screams. Fans of early Beherit, Sarcofago, and filthy raw old-school black metal should check out Impious Baptism today you won't find another band/musician playing the style better then J. and Impious Baptism. - Patrick

http://www.myspace.com/impiousbaptism  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/  




“Into The Ritual Chamber” 2015 Digipak CD

(Greyhaze Records)


Brazil’s Impurity were one of the first black metal bands from this great countries scene. “Into The Ritual Chamber” was originally released in 1996, but if you have the original cd or cassette, do yourself a favour and get this one as well, as Greyhaze and the band have included 7 bonus songs on here. If you are new to Impurity, like myself and you are a fan of the early days of black metal then you definitely need to get on this now. The songs are played with mid to fast paced guitars that are all over the place, in terms of both skill and intensity. The drumming is in top form, going from fast and chaotic patterns, to more controlled middle paced beats. It is no surprise this classic early material has gotten once again.  - Patrick

http://impurity.bandcamp.com/   http://greyhazerecords.com/     




"Satanica Mundi” 2019 CD

(Mystyk Productions)


Billed by the label as death/black metal, In Hell sounds like a band coming into its own sound by fits and starts. At times they remind me of Diabolic or Monstrosity, especially in the blast-beaten, Floridian-inspired sections of their songs. Vader comes to mind as well, with the amount of super-fast alternate picking they do over certain rhythms. They add a bit of melody here and there with a few freezing black metal riffs that do not detract from the heaviness - this is essentially a death metal band playing with diverse influences. The vocals excel at being monstrous, and weirdly enough remind me a little of Abhorrence/old Amorphis vocals - sick, low, gurgly, yet with good diction, with a more hurried and spastic delivery. Occasionally an impressive (because that shit ain’t easy to do, trust me) super-high scream is added, along the lines of the singer from Razor - a shriek which Dani Filth from CoF has emulated time and again, just so you know what sound I’m describing. Often the band plays what I affectionately call “circular riffs,” which means you can easily windmill-headbang to them, hair whipping like fuckin’ crazy! Or in my case, just my head. I’m fuckin’ bald. While France may be more notable for its contributions to black metal overall, there are quite a few excellent death metal bands active there right now, and this is one of them.  – Andrew Parrish

https://www.facebook.com/inhellofficialband    http://www.mystykprod.com/       




“Strange In Stereo” 1999 CD

(Misanthropy Records)


Should be “Lame In Stereo”. I liked this once (as in formerly) black metal bands demo “Isle Of Men” back in the day. Now they are no black metal, hell they are not even metal anymore! This sounds like the new Ulver disc minus the industrial parts. Maybe the two bands are incestuous lovers!? Would explain a few things.  - Dale




Vanquish In Vengeance” 2012 CD

(Listenable Records)


One of the longest running and most respected death metal acts returns after a six year silence. Wasting little time the members of Incantation start the assault on Vanquish In Vengeance with their trademark heavy, fast guitars that will leave you breathless and begging for more. John McEntee's death metal growls/vocals sound amazing and fit Incantation's brutal style perfectly. The production is done really well, not as raw/primitive as early Incantation releases but also not over-polished/produced like so many. If you are a long time of these death legends well take a sigh of relief Vanquish In Vegeance is pure Incantation in all their death metal glory!! it's great to see bands staying true to their roots.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/incantation  http://www.listenable.net/   




“This Will Decay” 2014 CD

(Horror Pain Gore Death Productions)


We have the newest album, from this Floridian band, which has been around since the mid ‘90s. Inferion play a brutal, yet tuneful brand of black death metal, they never forget the dominating brutality. But also, a large part of their sound is elements of melodic death metal, which as it was taking shape in the middle 1990s, which of course was when the band was born. As far as the melodious side of things goes, think of stuff from the early days of Dark Tranquility, Arch Enemy, Carcass “Heartwork”. But all mixed, with a lot of biting riffs and speed, the Polish band Behemoth comes to mind quite often with this element of their sound. There are moments, of slower brooding music, but it is usually surrounded by high velocity violence, the same could be said about the more melodic elements, which rarely dominate things, and are used as more of a prominent accent, an approach I appreciated. As I am not the biggest melodo dm fan, generally (with some notable exceptions), so the fact that they use it to add dynamic and depth, to the greater aggressive whole, pleases my sensibilities. There is some cool guitar solo / fills, peppered in here and there, the drumming is epic, and the vocals are a classic mixing of black and death growl and rasp. If you can not tell, I quite like this album; my only complaint is it is nearly an hour long, it does tend to drag in the middle, heading towards the finish. That would be my only gripe that, they could have easily shortened tightened things up, cut some material here and there, maybe eight to ten minutes worth, and had a more focused, sharpened album. But honestly, that is a nitpick; otherwise this is an excellent album most black death fans would get into. Check it out.  - Dale

http://inferion.bandcamp.com/   http://www.horrorpaingoredeath.com/     




“Gniew” 2011 CD

(Wydawnictwo Muzyczne Psycho Records)


Well then try saying that labels name three times in a row quickly. I am guessing it sounds a little smoother if you actually speak Polish. We have some more American styled death metal from Poland here. Infernal Death play in the tradition of Incantation, old Death, Resurrection type death metal, but I also hear hints of countrymen Vader in that sound. All the lyrics are sung in the bands native language, the growling vocals are very deep, so I am not sure a lot of the time, that it would make that much difference. I am sure it is smoother and more natural for the band to write and perform though. This was originally released in 2011 by the band itself, but WMP Records re-released it with their demo tacked on the end, the sound discrepancy between the album and demo recording is huge and jarring at first. But the demo tracks are really pretty cool. Nothing to amazing or special here, just some good solid death metal for the fanatics, who can not get enough of this genre.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/infernaldeathpl  http://www.wydawnictwopsycho.com/     




“Ex | Ist” 2011 CD

(Debemur Morti)


The first thing that springs to mind is for a one man band, just how full and fleshed out the sound is. As well as how competent that one man must be at all of his instruments. It definitely takes some vision for one person to map all of this out and execute it. I guess technology these days helps you do this sort of thing more easily than in the past. Infestus play slick black metal in the newer way, generally speaking that is not something that interests me overly much. When they are so overproduced like most modern black metal and melodic death style bands, it just seems to lose much of its originality and feeling and starts to feel more like a product mass produced rather than being built on emotion and feeling (see a Famine for an example for the opposite of Infestus). As I said I can really appreciate that one man managed to put this all together, but that alone does not necessarily make this a great album. It is just an okay album for me and that is all.  – Dale

http://www.infestus.com/  http://www.debemur-morti.com/ 




“Cyberspace” 1998 CD

(Shindy Productions/Tentamen Records)


Grindcore with death influences from the Czech Republic. This is a cool album of straight on, head down grind with maniacal vocals. The production on here is very solid and fits to the music. 18 tracks (12 on the cassette version) of music that is not thrilling but solid and enjoyable nonetheless. See Shindy address elsewhere.  - Dale

Tentamen Records, P.O. Box 61, 67801 Blansko, CZECH REPUBLIC




“Subversions Of The Psyche” 2015 CD

(Grind Ethic Records)


Scotland’s Iniquitous Savagery have released their debut cd, filled with a cacophonous brutal metal assault. The guitars are extremely well played and written, with both heavier riffs and some semi-technical faster parts. The drumming is done with a lot of fast, speedy drum patterns, but the drummer does know how to slow it down to a more midpaced range, before going into hyper blasting speeds. The vocalist employs some nice deep death metal growls. If you are a fan of brutal death metal, then you will definitely want to give Iniquitous Savagery a listen today.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/iniquitoussavagery   http://www.grindethic.co.uk/     




“Into The Infernal Regions Of The Ancient Cult” 2010 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


Inquisition probably are a band you will totally fall in love with or you will hate with every fiber of your being. I don't think their will be that much in between. The music is in the vein of early to mid 90's european black metal and is not horrible but I have heard much better and the vocals are annoying and don't really fit the music. I personally would say pass on this band as Hells Headbangers have a lot more great bands worth checking out. This is a re-release of their 1998 debut album. Also Hells Headbangers have out the US version of their new album Ominous Doctrine…  – Patrick Schroeder

http://www.myspace.com/inquisitionusa  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/




“Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm” 2011 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


The South American band that has changed locations, changed musical styles, and has survived amongst the sea of underground black metal artists. This newest release from Inquisition reminds me of late 90's black metal. A solid production really helps this album. While I don't like to compare bands in reviews, the vocals and many of the music aspects remind me of latter day Immortal. Froggy vocal delivery, time changes, memorable riffs, etc. At the end of the day, I always ask myself, would I listen to this again? In Inquisition's case, the answer would be yes!  - Mark Sugiyama

http://www.myspace.com/inquisitionusa  http://www.moribundcult.com/ 




“The Quantum Theory of Id” 2010 CD

(Forgotten Path Records)


A dual debut, the first album of the band and the initial release of Forgotten Path, with both entities hailing from Lithuania. Despite this being the labels start up release, they have not gone the cheap route, you get a beautiful looking digi-pak with a sixteen page booklet inside. Inquisitor are billed as progressive black metal and they have a penchant for epic length songs, all but one clock in at over 9 minutes long. I think I would call them more of a straight symphonic metal band, as honestly there is not much in the way of black metal elements and the music is not that dark. I would say only the vocals which are dark whispers with a hint of the bm croak underneath would be your only link to that style of music. Inquisitor employ a lot of piano and keyboards, but I will at least say this much for them, they do not fall into the trap of so many bands of letting the synth dominate the mix and drown out the other instruments. The song structures as you might guess from the self professed progressive moniker, are quite avant-garde and free flowing. It is no secret I am not the biggest fan of keyboards, but I will give Inquisitor credit for employing them in a tasteful way that furthers the song development. They do not come across as forced, in the old we need to be atmospheric so we will insert and force them in in unnatural ways even if they do not fit the song structure or mood. I suppose the only thing I can fault the band for is with the length of the songs. It almost seems like in order to keep it all free flowing at times, they let some of the songs meander on a little longer than necessary. Not normally my cup of tea very often, but The Quantum Theory of Id managed to win me over to an extent, it can be an enchanting and addictive listen. I think fans of things like Arcturus and the like might find this of interest. The bio states “The CD is released under ‘Creative Commons’ license – you are free to copy and share the music without any commercial purposes”. So apparently, if I understand correctly, if you find this review of the band interesting, as long as you use for personal use, you have permission to go find it and download or copy it.  – Dale

http://www.myspace.com/inquisitorlt  http://www.forgotten-path.lt/   




Death After Death” 2013 CD

(Hells Headbangers Records)


Hells Headbangers have done it again and found another lost gem within death/thrash scene from years past. This time it is California's Insanity 1994 debut Death After Death, the band could not have picked a better band name with their sound. They mix in crazed thrashing guitars and drumming that is chaotic but also well played and written patterns. The band do change it up with some very somber, slow instrumentals that are really well done and show that this band is not all about the brutal and speed aspects of metal playing. The vocalist is gruff with more cleaner screams that fit very well with both the music and the gruff vocals. Fans of late 80's, early 90's U.S thrash/death metal should definitely like this release a lot if you missed it the first time around.  - Patrick

http://www.reverbnation.com/oldschoolinsanity  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/    




“Anointed With The Blood Of Chaos” 2009 MCD

(Ahdistuksen Aihio Productions)


Insidious Omen are from Canada and more specifically from the area I grew up and spent the first 25 years of my life. So immediately the band peek my interest. As near as I can tell this release was released as a 7 inch vinyl a couple years ago and there has been nothing added on here as bonus. The recording definitely reminds to me to some of the old low-fi recordings from the late 80s and early 90s before everyone could record on their computer and use that pro tools shit. Those that love a crisp, full sound on their releases will immediately want to avoid. Think of Blasphemy on their Fallen Angel of Doom record, where it sounds like they are in a cave and someone is holding a microphone in the air outside the cave. I like it and some of my fave old releases sounded much like this. I mean who does not love early Beherit and the like?! There are only 3 songs on here but they are long songs ranging from the 8 to 10 minute mark. I think I have also thrown out some comparables to give you an idea of their sound. Like I mentioned early Beherit, Blasphemy, Conqueror possibly mixed with a little more ambient sounds and interludes ala Acheron on Rites of The Black Mass, though without the incantations and evocations. They also employ some more somber, reflective sections in between the bombardment. I enjoyed this and I am sure ardent fans of the warring metal style will also, but at the same time this is far from essential stuff.  – Dale

http://insidiousomen.blogspot.com/  http://www.ahdistuksenaihio.com/ 




“Catatonic” 2015 CD EP

(Big Bad Wolf Records)


These boys hail out of The Netherlands, offering us up their debut ep, it is called an ep, but all the same it clocks in at 27 minutes which is nearly a Deicide album haha. I guess their local label really believes in the band, to be releasing something by them as their first ever official release of any kind. There are apparently no demos or anything to speak of prior to “Catatonic”. I will give them this, for a band just releasing their debut there is clearly some talent and skill on display here, which kind of belies the bands age. Insurrection play melodic death metal with some thrash underpinnings. The band write some good riffs and melodies, the drumming is spot on, and the vocalist I really enjoyed, he reminds of the some of the great distinct growling vocals of the early to mid 90s. I must admit, there are times listening to this, where I find myself thinking damn that is really good there, and then it fades too soon. I think they probably could use a little more of something to get more yield out of this section or that section. Maybe this speaks to them still having some room to improve in the writing and arranging department and that should hopefully come as they mature as a unit. Because the talent is most certainly there, the quality raw material and ideas are there, it just needs a little refining and tweaking at times by my ear. My only other complaint is I think I would have enjoyed this even more, if the production was not so clean and sanitary, their sound and style would really benefit from a little grimier, slightly obscured, slightly dirtier sound. Having said all of that, this is a good debut, and I am sure like a fine wine, the band is only going to get better with age.  - Dale

https://www.reverbnation.com/insurrectionofficial   http://www.bigbadwolfrecords.nl/       




“Rock ‘N Roll Hellpatrol” 2013 CD

(Hells Headbangers)


I dig the Vincent Price movie clip intro, following that with we are hit with some raw blasting guitars. If you want to know what Intoxicated are all about lyrically and as a band, it is simply all about fornication, alcohol and Satan! So turn your crosses upside down, swig from a bottle of Jack in between puffs on your cigarette and keep on fucking your bitch in the ass. The music is an amalgamation of straight up ripping metal (at times reminding me of the riffing on Kill ‘Em All melted together with early Motorhead) mixed with raunchy and loose punk rock chaos. It is really just a good time listening to this album, kicking back and just have fun headbanging. So check it out if that sort of thing does it for you.  - Dale

http://www.myspace.com/intoexicated  http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/     




“Destroyer Of Mankind” 2017 CD

(Abyss Records)


It was a nice surprise to receive this disc in the mail. I was a fan of the band’s first two records, especially the second one “Berserk Artillery Barrage”. So much so, on the strength of that record, we interviewed them in Canadian Assault back in the print days, believe it was issue 6 or 7. Despite it being about 15 years since then, the band has picked right up where that second record left off, continuing with that style / sound that made me like them. Invasion has melds a large dose of catchy melodicism within death metal extremity, but it feels like they may have turned said ingredient up even further on “Destroyer Of Mankind”, as this record is as catchy as all fuck. I still hear that early ‘90s Swedish death metal guitar sound and style I love so much, however I feel like they toned that element down a tad, with other influences from the same time period via other parts of Europe (ala Bolt Thrower, Benediction, early Sinister) and the US have asserted themselves more prominently. There is a little more refinement in the material, aside from the high tunefulness mentioned above; there are some great underlying guitar fills and patterns that are pure class. I can hear an example of it right now, as I write this, on the killer song “A Satisfying Death”. Main man of the band bassist / vocalist Peter Clemens has his death growling pipes in fine form, as he puts on a commanding performance consisting of mostly decipherable bestial growling, which is sure to frighten even a raging bear into turning tail. I see Peter is still obsessed with World War II, as with past albums, it is largely or even solely based upon that epic war. I can not blame him there is a ton of material to be mined (no pun intendec) from that war, and as a bit of a classic war buff myself, it is the war I probably find the most fascinating as well, not sure if my grandfather fighting in that war and on D-Day might have something to do with my personal interest in the subject. But Invasion do it justice, the lyrics on WWII are passionate and visceral (with various audio clip samples to aide in setting the scene), even rather moving and has me reaching for my Band Of Brothers dvd set, since it now has an alternate soundtrack courtesy of Invasion. Well done boys.  - Dale

https://invasion2.bandcamp.com/    http://www.officialabyssrecords.com/   




“Another Scheme Of Life” 2014 CD

(OHM Resistance)


Invertia are a two man band out of the New England metal scene. The music is a blend of metal riffs and industrial music .The guitars are heavy, with some mid paced riffs in their own style. I hear a little black metal influence, but mostly death and industrial as the mainstay. The guitars are fast with some breaks in there at times. The vocalist has some raspy screams, with some deeper death growls, personally I wouldn't listen to this all that much, but there are some good songs and great riffs to be found. If you’re a fan of death metal, mixed with industrial, you should check this one out.  - Patrick

https://www.facebook.com/invertiamusic   http://www.ohmresistance.com/    





“Self Titled” 2014 CD

(Mortal Music Records)


Due to line up changes and obvious stretches of inactivity, this is actually their first album, to be released in just over ten years! Ion Vein plays really pounding, heavy power metal style music, with some prog elements. For me, a prerequisite for this style is to have a very good singer; I will just say I think Ion Vein chose well with their new vocalist. He is not a siren exactly, but is smooth and clear, has decent range and has that intangible, un-teachable charisma to his vocal style. This band is about song flow and driving energy, which I think is why the progressive sounding elements and technical bits are spread out and used judiciously. As when bands go heavy, in those areas, it inevitably interrupts the flow in song writing and the ability to just rock. Which, as I stated, are clearly important elements for Ion Vein disseminate. The songs rock, but are varied, possessing emotional segues and hot nuanced guitar fills, that really give you something to grab on to when not just nodding in headbang. This is a fantastic record, which I really enjoyed; I would recommend it to fans of things like Queenryche “Operation Mindcrime” or Fates Warning. - Dale

http://www.ionvein.com/   http://ionvein.bandcamp.com/     




“Extermination Camp” 2019 Cassette EP

(Doomday’s Today Records)


Are you a fan of crazy noise (or as sometimes referred to as noise core) in the vein of Agathocles, Unholy Grave or Anal Cunt? If yes, then you will probably like IPV then because they are right up that up the same anal cavity, maybe a touch sloppier and looser though, but still very similar. There are a few other bands that I am tempted to cite as influences to give you a better idea of their sound, but I hesitate, as outside the first song on here those other bands have heavier death metal sounding guitars and mix in bigger doses of dm and grindcore into their noise. I do like listening to stuff like this once and while, but not often, it can definitely be an acquired taste, even for extreme UG metal fans to get into. But, if you do like powerviolence and noise with some grind thrown in to the musical tornado you might want to check out this tape. The packaging and everything, as always with Doomsday’s Today is top notch and professional looking. Feel free to send orders of physical copies of this tape to either of the following: Doomsday Today Records, Eternal Darkness Creations, c/o Keith Dempe, PO Box 268, Coraopolis, PA. 15108 and also thru Ralph's Records, c/o Doug Stapp, 3322 82nd St., Lubbock, TX. 79423, USA  http://www.RalphsRecordsTX.com  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/ipvgrind/    https://ipvgrind.bandcamp.com/      




“Among The Dead” 2016 CD

(Crime Records)


Iron Fire are back, with their eighth full length to date, featuring twelve songs of power metal mixed with traditional heavy metal. The guitars are written and performed with a lot of skill and maturity, presenting a lot of class and interesting patterns. The guitars range between faster and more controlled mid paced ranges, with some very well composed and great sounding solos mixed into the music. The drumming as well is top notch, with a varied drum style going from a semi-fast drum style and sound, to a more mid tempo style. The vocals are a mix of screams and hollering, to a more well sung, heavier power metal vocal fashion. This album is a really good power / heavy metal band, so if you are a fan of this genre, then be sure to pick up a copy of this album today.  - Patrick

http://www.ironfire.dk/    https://shop.crimerecords.no/   




“Beyond The Void” 2019 CD

(Crime Records)


I did not realize just how long this Danish band has been around, not to even mention how prolific they have been as well. The band started out at the very end of the ‘90s releasing a demo, and then released two albums on Noise Records, followed by no less than five more albums on Napalm Records. Which brings us up to the current day with ‘Beyond The Void’ being the bands 9th full-length and second album on Norway’s Crime Records. I have say this heavy / power metal band has a lot of tools that are of very high quality, from the excellent raw material, to the superb song crafting, to the individual members skill and on down to the actual performances on this album. There is very little that I can critique here, I mean even the vocalist is fantastic and his smooth vocals are performed with very good control and impressive range. This album has just about everything you hope for in a power metal record with catchy songs, memorable lyrics, some great riffs, brief smoking guitar solos and powerful drums. The only even slightly negative thing I could say, and is this even negative when it is just personal taste? I wish at some points they kept things ripping along on the heavier side of things and did not include some of those slightly commercial hard rock touches here and there. Beyond that, I can not say anything besides this is an impressive record that should please the hell out of die hards of German heavy / power metal ala the best material from bands like Halloween, Grave Digger, Running Wild etc…  - Dale

https://ironfire.bandcamp.com/    https://shop.crimerecords.no/     




"Excalibur” 2018 CD

(Shadow Kingdom Records)


Shadow Kingdom Records has a very track record with me, we seem to be on the same wavelength much of the time with regards to old school heavy metal, thrash and doom in particular. So, this time around they introduce me to the United Kingdom’s Iron Void, by presenting us with their third full-length album. Iron Void come more from the epic late ‘70s / early ‘80s heavy metal and doom marriage side of things, along the lines of bands like Manilla Road, Cirith Ungol, Pagan Altar, Realm Builder type of style. As opposed to the more crushing, heavy classic doom sounds of stuff like Black Sabbath (not that every doom band on the planet doesn’t possesses a little Sabbath because they do), Trouble, The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, Solitude Aeturnus approach. Within the doomy, somewhat downtrodden and musically triumphant context, I.V. manages to write some very memorable and infectious melodies that enchanted my ears. I also love it when, every now and then, for a brief spark like in the song “The Grail Quest”, they just let their hair down and fucking rock out with a headbang riff and ride it for a little stretch. That element, when worked into the valiant yet laidback mainstay vibe really stands out and adds, like I said, a certain spark or dynamic; I would not mind them doing that a little more often. There is some really classy and thoughtful song crafting here, all pulled together into an emotional and flowing musical collective. As I am sure you guessed from the album title, this is essentially a concept album that is re-telling the King Arthur legend. It is up to you whether you like historical re-telling albums lyrically or not. For me, it is a fair enough backdrop to write your music around, but I am more into the music itself and not the lyrics (maybe the intricate and expertly woven stories in Game of Thrones have spoiled me on quality levels of medieval tales), but they have done an impressive job of attempting to write a soundtrack to that old legend. Because, musically speaking the album succeeds by transporting you, on a flowing epical journey of doomy heavy metal goodness. If you are a fan of style I described above you should definitely give this classy piece of artwork a listen.  - Dale

https://www.facebook.com/ironvoid/    https://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com/