Now Playing: Memoriam – The Silent Vigil

Memoriam – The Silent Vigil (2018)

I initially thought Memoriam’s second album The Silent Vigil was a weaker repeat of their debut album 2017’s For The Fallen but I’ve been drawn back to it a lot in the last couple of weeks and it’s clicking with me now. The authentic old-school death metal sound is a thrill (even if the inconsistent production from song to song can be a bit distracting) and I just love the whole world-weary character of the music, from Karl Willetts’ weathered, crusty vocals to Scott Fairfax’s earthy, war-torn riffs. It’s not quite as memorable or as well-executed as the debut but, like the ominous tree-thing on the cover, it’s a grower. There’s such a deep and powerful vibe here, I know there will be times when this will be the only album that will do. And when there are a gazillion extreme metal albums competing for your attention every week that’s no mean feat. Pay your respects.

CD Edition – with bonus track

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New Releases – 7th September 2018

A shitload of new stuff out today so enough of my yakkin’, whaddya say? Let’s boogie!

Allfather – And All Will Be Desolation

You can’t call your album And All Will Be Desolation unless you’re going to reduce everything to rubble. And Allfather’s second album is precisely the kind of bruising, burly, bearded, fuck off racket that will do precisely that. Blackened sludgy goodness for fans of High On Fire, The King Is Blind, old Mastodon.

The Skull – The Endless Road Turns Dark

The ex-Trouble outfit returns with their second album of psychedelic doom. I’ve not kept up with all the Trouble and ex-Trouble activity but I found The Skull’s new track Breathing Underwater pretty compelling. So I’d like to check this out. Not to be confused with the much-loved Bob Kulick band Skull.

Satan – Cruel Magic

Returning NWOBHMers Satan are back with their third post-reformation album. Not too sure about the new song The Doomsday Clock. Hope the album will be a bit better… they get extra points for the brill album cover though. And for being called Satan.

Saxon – Thunderbolt (Tour Edition)

Saxon reissue their latest album with a couple of bonus live tracks of Thunderbolt and Nosferatu (The Vampire’s Waltz). Not quite enough of a bonus to make me want to buy it again. I imagine there will be another live album before long anyway. There always is with Saxon.

Fart jokes ahoy! as members of Asphyx, Autopsy and Hail Of Bullets team up in Siege Of Power and release their death/doom debut Warning Blast. Exciting on paper but not too fussed by what I’ve heard. And there are also new albums from Clutch, Cauldron, Krisiun, Suicidal Tendencies and on and on and on. What were all these bands thinking bringing their albums out on the same day as Allfather? Stupid tossers.

Happy hunting everyone! See you next week for more new release shenanigans.

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.

Now Playing: Venom Prison – Animus

I’ve been listening to this pretty solidly this week (with a wee break for some Blackfoot and some Wolfsbane). Animus is an incredibly powerful debut and I’m excited to read that the Welsh band is back in the studio now recording the follow up. If Eliran Kantor’s depiction of a rapist being fed his own dismembered boaby isn’t enough to give you the… err… willies, then Venom Prison’s punishing mix of death metal and hardcore will. The muscular, groovy and inventive riffing is driven home with tight editing, tasty melodic guitar lines and Larissa Stupar’s intense vocals. Real force of character here and I can’t wait to hear what they come up with next.

Best death metal act to come out of Wales since Shakin’ Stevens

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

… and classic rock too!