All posts by Heavy Metal Overload

The HMOverlord

New Releases – 16th March 2018

All hail this week’s new releases. There’s only a few tickling my fancy today… kind of.

Paradise Lost – Host

Normally Paradise Lost equals must-buy but I’m not feeling too enthusiastic about this, a reissue of one of their lesser albums. Originally released in 1999, Host was a controversial progression into melancholic electropop. I like that the band are still behind this, even though they’ve since returned to their extreme metal roots. But, apart from a couple of songs, I was never a fan of this one. Some bonus tracks would sweeten the deal… but there aren’t any. Miserable bastards!

Godthrymm – A Grand Reclamation

This is a debut EP featuring former members of My Dying Bride, Vallenfyre, Solstice and Malediction. Promising stuff, big thick sorrowful riffs, epic vocals… should definitely appeal to fans of the previous bands and fans of Candlemass type stuff. That should be everyone. I’m sure it’ll be available at all the usual places but you can buy direct from the band here.

Saxon – The CD Hoard

This is a reissue of last year’s The Vinyl Hoard box set… but on CD! This has The Eagle Has Landed II and III on it as well as Live At Rock Sound Festival from 2006 (the audio from a show on their DVD To Hell And Back Again). Looks like a nice package, but I’ve got everything on it already. Good value if you don’t though!

And that’s the lot for me. What are you lot buying today? Any fans of melancholic electropop out there?! Reveal all in the comments!


New Releases – 9th March 2018

Honestly, you wait ages for some interesting new releases and then three of them all come at once.

Judas Priest – Firepower

I wasn’t overly fussed about Redeemer Of Souls so I’m taking all the “best since Painkiller” chat I’m hearing about Firepower with a big pinch of salt. And that’s not exactly lofty praise anyway! That said, the advance tracks I’ve heard have been decent enough… definitely a big improvement in the production department. At the end of the day, I could hum and haw until the cows come home. But it’s Priest – might be the last Priest! – and I’ll be buying it.

Pestilence Hadeon

I never got into these Dutch death metallers until a few years back but I’ve only heard their old stuff, none of the music they released since returning in 2008. Now Pestilence head honcho Patrick Mameli is back with a new lineup and an album that reportedly gets back to their more brutal earlier style. Been reading good reviews too… intrigued.

Drudkh – They Often See Dreams About The Spring

I’m hellishly late getting round to this secretive Ukranian black metal band. I checked out their song Nakryta Neba Burym Dakhom and definitely want to hear more. Throw in a rave review in the latest ZT Mag and this looks well worth a spin. Liking that cover too.

And that’s about the lot really, with an honourable mention for Nevermore’s The Complete Collection box set which looks pretty spiffing too. Happy hunting and, as always, please leave a comment and let everyone know what you’re hoping to buy today.

W.A.S.P. – The Last Command (Review)

W.A.S.P. The Last Command (1985)

Frontman Blackie Lawless might be flying his shock rock flag high on the cover but the only things worth rallying behind on 1985’s The Last Command are a few decent songs and Lawless’ unique howling rasp of a voice. W.A.S.P.’s eponymous debut was a superbly untamed slice of evil filth but on this second album, the band’s songwriting is sliding into the unremarkable. The free-spirited opener Wild Child and the debauched Blind In Texas are the must-hear tracks but for every song like the fun-but-silly Ballcrusher or the mean, moody Widowmaker there’s a banal Jack Action or the humdrum title track. But, while the balance between the filler tracks and the good ones is dangerously unbalanced, the band’s delivery and that voice manage to just lift the album out of the realm of the ordinary. It’s a good enough time if you’re in the right mood, a bore if you’re not. OK for occasional plays but not regular revisits. At the end of final track Sex Drive, Lawless rolls over and asks “tell me that don’t hit the spot”. Well, it was good fun but I’d be lying if I said the earth moved.

HMO Rating: 3 out of 5

[W.A.S.P. – Wild Child]

New Releases – 2nd March 2018

Not a lot going on this week but the release schedule is not totally devoid of intrigue. There is a new album The Banished Heart from gothic doom types Oceans Of Slumber and the new album Resurrection from Michael Schenker Fest. Neither are must-buy slam dunks for me but definitely worth checking out.

And, not a new release as such, but HMO-faves Voices have unveiled a new track entitled Dead Feelings. During the week the band FINALLY announced the details of the follow-up to their colossal 2014 album London. It’ll be out on April 27th and will be called Frightened. You will be.

That’s all the excitements for this week, let me know in the comments if there’s anything you’re all hyped about today. Some big releases next week. See you then.

(Voices – Frightened: Pre-order CD/LP/MC here)

Manowar – Sign Of The Hammer (Review)

Manowar – Sign Of The Hammer (1984)

Finding their label Music For Nations wanting, presumably puny, Manowar used the budget they were given to record their third album, 1984’s Hail to England, but used it sparingly: covertly working up an additional batch of tracks which they then used to win a record deal with Virgin/Ten Records. Sneakiness aside, Manowar achieved a heroic feat. They had recorded two of the very greatest albums in the history of heavy metal… at the same time.

So here’s the second of those peerless works, Sign Of The Hammer. It’s pure heavy metal, but Manowar’s explosive and idiosyncratic idea of what that might be. Joey DeMaio leads from the front with his humungous bass riffs and leads but the whole band is on stellar form. Eric Adams sings with absolute authority and commitment, Ross The Boss’ wild, off-the-cuff guitar solos are impossibly exciting and Scott Columbus pounds out the drum equivalent of shouting “FRESH HORSES” at the top of your voice. The songwriting is also godly, with opening lines like “black clouds on the horizon” and “burning embers of the second death will come in the night” 100% guaranteed to give all but the false true metal stirrings.

The album is near flawless. All Men Play On Ten and Animals kick the album off like KISS-on-steroids. Thor (The Power Head) is as thunderous and warring as its title suggests. Mountains is elemental in its epic scope and the black wind conjured up in The Oath and the Sign Of The Hammer tips the album into sheer aural chaos. There’s only one chink in the armour here and that’s the bass noodling of Thunderpick. It’s extremely skippable but, as always with Manowar, there’s mad genius at work as the workout proves to be an effective overture to the sublime album closer Guyana (Cult Of The Damned). Eric Adams excels here, delivering an account of mass suicide with chilling and heartbreaking sincerity.

This album has hopped around the top spot of my favourite albums of all time for decades now, vying with that other work of genius Hail To England. There are times when I seriously wonder if I’ve wasted my time listening to other music when I could have been listening to this and, listening to it again now, I reckon I probably was.

HMO Rating: (All Men Play On) 10 out of 5

[Manowar – Thor (The Power Head)]

New Releases – 23rd February 2018

It’s time for my intensely selective look at the day’s new releases. I’m all about the reissues today but, before we get to those…

Solstice – White Horse Hill (Download)

Not technically one of today’s “new releases” but it did only just appear on Bandcamp a couple of days ago. And, as this is an extremely exciting and long-awaited release, I thought I might just include it anyway! Anyone desperate for a shot of epic doom folklore (and that’s really everyone, right?) should definitely check this out. The UK band have put out some splendid releases in the past and it’s been twenty(!) years since their last full length*. CDs and vinyl will be released soon but I have no exact release date at the moment.

Kreator – Coma Of Souls (2CD), Renewal, Cause For Conflict and Outcast (2CD)

Noise Records continue their busy, and excellent, reissue program with this second batch of Kreator albums. I thoroughly enjoyed the last batch so I’m well up for these. There’s a good bunch of bonus tracks to be had here and a couple of albums I haven’t heard before too. Might not buy them all in one swoop but I’ll definitely buy them all eventually.

Venom Prison – Animus (Deluxe Edition)

This British death metal band made big waves with this debut album back in 2016. Now it gets an expanded reissue with bonus live tracks. I couldn’t quite bring myself to buy it first time round. Almost did a couple of times but, even when it was only £8 in HMV, I couldn’t quite commit. Dunno why. Glad I didn’t now.

And that’s the lot. Anything you’re interested in today? Let me know in the comments.

*I originally wrote 5 years but I forgot their last release was an EP, not an album.

New Releases – 16th February 2018

I relaunched these New Releases posts with the intention of being ruthlessly selfish in my coverage, only highlighting the new stuff that I’m genuinely interested in. I told myself that I would know I was doing this right if there were weeks where there was absolutely nothing worth covering. So, just a few weeks into the relaunch, it seems I’m doing it right. Cause there’s hee haw bugger aw* out today!

The quandary then is, what do I do when this happens? I reckon I’ll just post a tune or two. So here’s a fantastic song from In Solitude’s Sister album. I mentioned this album in my recent review of Tribulation’s Down Below and it occurred to me that some folk might not know about it. Sister was my top album of 2013 (before I started posting about such things). I reckon it’s an overlooked masterpiece that not enough people know about. Although, in fairness, the band didn’t exactly help matters by splitting up not long after it was released.

[In Solitude – Pallid Hands]

Any new stuff you’re interested in today? Let me know in the comments. Hope you all have a great weekend.

[Gamma Ray – Free Time]