Category Archives: Hard Rock

Seven Devils Moonshine – Epic Virgin Steele Box Set To Be Released In Nov 2018

HMO heroes Virgin Steele have announced they will celebrate their 35th Anniversary(!) by releasing a brand new box set called Seven Devils Moonshine. It will be released through SPV/Steamhammer on November 23rd 2018 and will include 5 CDs (a total of 88 songs) as well as a sticker and a 24 page booklet with new lyrics and photos by frontman David DeFeis.

The band have been doing extended album reissues for quite a few years now and were planning to reissue the two albums Hymns To Victory and The Book Of Burning together as a deluxe set with extra material. But they started recording some new stuff to put on a bonus disc and in typically overblown Virgin Steele style they ended up with three albums worth of new material! So as well as the two reissued albums the set will include 3CDs worth of new songs, orchestral versions, cover versions… you name it. Looks like a great value package and a must-buy for fans. As I wrote recently, their last studio album wasn’t the best but I love this band and I’ll take as much of this stuff as they’ve got.

Advertisements

Now Playing: Anthrax – For All Kings

Some albums are so OK you have to buy them twice.

Funnily enough, after reading an article about Anthrax’s Scott Ian (reportedly) behaving like an arsehole, I ended up going on a big Anthrax kick and buying another copy of their last album For All Kings. Goes to show all publicity is good publicity!

I wasn’t all that impressed by For All Kings when it was released back in 2016 but after hearing some of the songs live on the recent Kings Among Scotland release, I felt like revisiting it.  And ended up not only listening to it again but enjoying it enough to add the ‘Tour Edition’ to my collection (for its extra disc of demo versions). Some great tracks here like You Gotta Believe, Suzerain, Evil Twin and the title track. I’d prefer the sound to have more attack and I find songs like Breathing Lightning and This Battle Chose Us a bit too slick for comfort but, judged on its own merits as a We’ve Come For You All kinda album, it’s a solid and memorable release. Just don’t ask Scott Ian to sign it for you.

New Releases – 14th September 2018

It’s time for more new releases. In today’s special themed post I’ll be overusing the word “legends”.

Deicide – Overtures Of Blasphemy

The satanic, squirrel-shooting death metal legends are back with another new album. Not heard the whole thing but songs like Seal The Tomb Below sound great. Got me thinking this might be an old-school victory along the lines of last year’s Immolation album. And Overtures Of Blasphemy also comes hot on the heels of news that Hammerheart Records are lining up reissues of the band’s back cat too… good times! Praise Jesus!

Abhorrence – Megalohydrothalassophobic EP

The legends of filthy Finnish death return with a surprise new EP. It’s their first new music since 1991 and seems to be a subterranean, Lovecraftian affair about the catastophic ecological end of the human race. Typical. You wait years for a new Abhorrence release and then the catastrophic ecological end of the human race happens just as you get your hands on it.

Virgin Steele – Virgin Steele and Guardians Of The Flame

Cool new reissues on CD and vinyl of the first two Virgin Steele albums with Jack Starr on guitarr. Not the best stuff these legends ever put out but still well worth a listen and they’ve been out of print for a while too so if you don’t have them already, now’s your chance! Lots of bonus tracks but I think I’ve got it all on previous editions already. But it’s neither here nor there cause these are getting bought again anyway.

Twisted Sister – You Can’t Stop Rock N’ Roll

Legends legends legends. Deluxe reissue of the band’s second album with some bonus tracks added and a live bonus disc of the 1983 Marquee show too. The Marquee show has been released in the past so I don’t think there’s anything new here for diehards but I don’t have the Marquee show so I’ll bite. The album and the Marquee show disc are getting separate LP releases too for all you vinyl-loving legends out there.

Elsewhere, Blasphemy’s 1989 demo Blood Upon The Altar gets spruced up and reissued by those legends over at Nuclear War Now! Conan’s Existential Void Guardian should satisfy anyone that can’t go a whole week without some new doom metal. And there’s even a new Uriah Heep album! Legends all.

But that’s really about the lot for this week. Happy hunting and hope you all have an awesome weekend full of exciting new music.

New Releases – 31st August 2018

There’s only a couple of new release that I’m interested in today.

Thou – Magus

Thou released three EPs this year in the lead up to this new album. I like all three but haven’t had time to take them all in as much as I’d like so I don’t feel as ready for this new album as I’d like to be. But no big deal, one listen to new song The Changeling Prince was enough to get me thoroughly excited for Magus. And Thou’s digital back catalogue is “name your price” over at Bandcamp too so I’m going to get stuck into that as well.

Alice Cooper – A Paranormal Evening At The Olympia Paris

Only mild interest in this one. Not been a big fan of Coop’s stuff since Brutal Planet and this is mostly all songs that have been done and heard a million times already. That said… Coop is always great live and those songs are still those songs so I might just end up treating myself to this anyway.

Righto. I think that’ll do me for this week. See you next time for more new release bollocks.

Now Playing: Wolfsbane – Live Fast, Die Fast

Wolfsbane – Live Fast, Die Fast (1989)

Last week’s “wee break for some Wolfsbane” has turned into this week’s “listening almost exclusively to Wolfsbane and not much else”. In fact, the last three albums I’ve listened to have been this one, Live Fast, Die Fast. There’s quite a lot wrong with these wicked tales of booze, birds and bad language. The slightly over-smoochy pop metal track I Like It Hot, the bizarre ballad Tears From A Fool, the frankly fuck-witted production job from Rick Rubin and the worst drum sound of all time on Killing Machine. But the happy story is that this album is 100% magnificent despite all those things. Even the over-smoochy and bizarre songs! Even the one with the shit drums! It’s brilliant. Bastards. Glory booouuunnnddd…

[Wolfsbane – Greasy]

It’s going to be a bumpy night
I bought it on CD too…

 

New Releases – 24th August 2018

Time for some more new releases chat.

Alice In Chains – Rainier Fog

Third album for the post-Staley lineup of AIC. I did enjoy the first outing Black Gives Way To Blue but it didn’t get me hankering for more exactly. Quite liked the new song Never Fade but not that fussed about some of the other stuff I’ve heard. Still haven’t bought their last album so I can’t see myself rushing out to get this.

Mantar – The Modern Art Of Setting Ablaze

I never bothered with this German punk sludge duo because… punk sludge! But I gave their new song Taurus an arms-folded “impress me” kinda listen and I actually got quite into it. Top quality punk sludge. I love that stuff. I’m gonna just call it pudge though cause I’m super efficient.

Solitary – Nothing Changes (20th Anniversary Edition)

The UK thrashers (recently featured on the Contract In Blood box set) caught my attention with 2017’s rather good The Diseased Heart Of Society and keep the momentum going by reissuing their 1998 debut album with extra demos. Definitely want to hear more of this band’s stuff and, if you like thrash, you should too.

Skull – No Bones About It

Double helping of boaby here! Skull’s 1991 debut album, their only album, gets an absolutely bonus-laden 2CD reissue. Features Boaby Kulick (ex-just about everybody) and Boaby Rock (ex-Vinnie Vincent Invasion). Don’t know about these guys at all but you can’t beat a bit of boaby.

And that’s about the lot, a week dominated by pudge and boaby. Let me know what you’re tempted by today and let me know if you’ve heard of Skull! Were they as good as Blackthorne, that’s what I want to know.

Virgin Steele – Nocturnes Of Hellfire & Damnation (Review)

Virgin Steele – Nocturnes Of Hellfire & Damnation (2015)

I’m not a big fan of the most recent Virgin Steele album Nocturnes Of Hellfire & Damnation but I still occasionally hanker for it. The opener Lucifer’s Hammer is classic chest-beating metal and Persephone is a grand retelling of the Greek myth that ranks up with the band’s best material. And do any of you remember the mysteriously anonymous 80s speed metal band Exorcist? Well, it turns out they were Virgin Steele all along and on this album they finally own up to it, reworking two Exorcist songs Queen Of The Dead and Black Mass in power metal fashion. It’s great stuff and a lot more rifftastic than the preceding VS album The Black Light Bacchanalia. But that album had a romantic, overblown grandiosity that proved fascinating and rewarding and Nocturnes Of Hellfire & Damnation has none of that richness or consistency. The shifts from the Exorcist tracks to piano balladry like Hymns To Damnation to bizarre raunch metal like Demolition Queen and Glamour make for a disjointed listen and the overlong arrangements and dark, moody atmosphere means promising tracks like Delirium and Devilhead come across as dreary. If you’re a Virgin Steele acolyte like me there are just enough bright spots here to make it worth your time but everyone else will find Nocturnes a long, colourless night that will most likely send them to sleep.

HMO Rating: 2 out of 5

[Virgin Steele – Devilhead]

Deluxe Edition with bonus CD