Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Kut-Valley Of Thorns

Criminal Records/Cargo Records
2018

The brainchild of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Princess Maha, The Kut is a female alternative rock/grunge band that will release it's full-length debut on May 4th, 2018. With ten tracks in all, "Valley of Thorns" is a strong release that finds Princess Maha handling all of vocals and instruments. In a live setting (which more than likely offers a sweet sonic assault to the eardrums!) it is Princess Maha and a few of her female friends. With that piece of information out of the way, "Valley Of Thorns" deserves it's time in the spotlight. Let's take a look at the tracks one at a time. Starting things off we have the single "Mind Games" (see official video below). Falling somewhere between Melissa Auf der Maur's first solo album and a poor man's Hole, this three minute plus number wouldn't be my first choice to open an album, but it is decent enough to get the job done. From there we jump straight into the punk rock and roll track, "Hollywood Rock n Roll". Now this is more like it! Clocking in at just shy of three minutes, "Hollywood Rock n Roll" is a damn fun number that I could easily see G N' R covering! It's short and it's sweet. Slightly more punk than dirty rock and roll, this wicked little jam would have been my first choice to open the album. Next up we have "No Trace"". No doubt inspired by the band Hole, this one runs close to four minutes in length. It's a so-so number that is followed by "I Want Your Maniac". This one has L7 written all over it. From there we move on to "Rush Hour". Weirdly enough this rock song reminded me of Chrissie Hyde. As someone who likes her solo work and the cool stuff that she did with  The Pretenders, "Rush Hour" offered a nice change of pace. "I am Vain" is next and we are treated to L7-styled grunge rock that almost crosses over into heavy metal territory. The Hole meets The Murderdolls/Marilyn Manson track, "Alekhine's Gun" comes next. Personally I've got mixed feelings about this one, but I honestly see a lot of people liking this twisted track. Moving forward we have "X-Ray Eyes". Here we have classic Hole merging together with Soul Asylum and (early) Goo Goo Dolls! That might sound bad on paper, but in real life it is a vintage-sounding rocker that most certainly would have charted back in the day! "Bad Man" comes on next and it is a blast!! Take Motörhead and cross it with The Runaways. Next up you'll want to give it a bit of a modern vibe. Finnish it off with some harsh vocals that take a step or two the punk/hardcore scene and you get a number like "Bad Man". Towards the end this heavy rocker cranks up the urgency and the anger! All in all this one slays!! The last track is called "Mario". This one starts off with some love for Lemmy and the boys before it turns into a grunge-light rocker with a rather boring chorus. Ultimately it never really goes anywhere. While that is a shame, "Valley Of Thorns" has more going for it than against it. There are some fantastic riffs on this album and Princess Maha is a killer lead vocalist. As someone that just loves powerful women who know how to rock the living daylights out the stage and studio, Princess Maha's alter-ego gets major props for their first full-length album. This one gets a 7 out of 10 with the added bit about how I simply cannot wait to hear more!!


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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Eryn Non Dae.-Abandon Of The Self

Self-Release/Indepepednet
2018

French metal band Eryn Non Dae., formed in 2001 as END and currently comprised of Mathieu Nogues (vocals), Franck Quintin (guitars), Yann Servanin (guitars), Mickaël André (bass), and Julien Rufié (drums), makes their long-awaited return with "Abandon Of The Self". It was back in mid-December of 2013 when I first covered this dark & experimental metal band (link). . It's taken them close to five and a half years to release a follow-up to "Meliora". Released on March 9th, 2018, "Abandon Of The Self" is the group's third full-length album and their most haunting release to date! Once again mixing in elements of post-rock, depressive rock, sludge rock (mostly in regards to the gnarly guitar riffs!), post-metal, modern metal, and extreme metal, Eryn None Dae. (now coming at you with an extra period at the end!) strikes back at a scene that has dared to forget about them! Heavy, harsh, and as abrasive as ever(!), this bleak and extremely-atmospheric album never loses it's focus...even as it comes crashing towards you like a runaway train possessed by the devil himself!! Comprised of seven wicked wasteland songs, with the shortest one ("Eclipse") clocking in at 4:31 and the longest one ("Halo") running past the 10 minute mark!, "Abandon Of The Self" is like every nightmare I have ever had-only 1,000 times as EXTREME!! As someone who doesn't mind the zombie themes, demonic appearances, and slasher filled moments that constitute an avenge night's rest for me*, that apt-description comes with crocked smile and a pair of devil horns throw high up in the air!! Available on compact disc, vinyl, as a digital download, this 7-track recording is the absolute best studio release that this French outfit has ever released! Dark & dreary, angry, and filled to the tilt with apocalyptic-like rage, "Abandon Of The Self" gets a 10 out of 10 grade and comes with my highest recommendations!!


*I take several medications that are known to cause vivid dreams. At this point in time I have grown so accustomed to the extreme nightmares that it more surprising when I don't have one!

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Killing Tyranny-Church Of The Twisted Prophet

Twisted Prophet
2018

Killing Tyranny is a socially-conscious/politically-inclined heavy metal/power metal band from California that is fronted by George Gregory (ex-Outraged, ex-Ironworks). Active since 2013, this San Diego-based outfit's first appearance on Heavy Metal Time Machine was way back in early June of 2015. Having covered the band's absolutely-stellar album "Martyr", "Church Of The Twisted Prophet" showed up in my mail with high expectations. Once the disc's opener kicked in ("The New Covenant") I knew that it was all good and that everything was right where it should be when it came to this five-piece band. Once more taking their cues from traditional heavy metal (Judas Priest, Armored Saint, Halloween, Iron Maiden, Metal Church, etc.), power metal/thrash (Annihilator, Defiance, Helloween, Lääz Rockit, Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Toxik, etc.), and extreme/groove metal (Pantera and to a lesser extent Exhorder), Killing Tyranny has crafted their own masterpiece! Everything that was great about "Martyr" (the strong song-writing, expert- performances, perfect-production, etc.) is on full-display here. Only this time around it's even better! Thanks to incredibly tight performances, intelligent lyrics, and George Gregory's great set of pipes, "Church Of The Twisted Prophet" not only picks up where "Martyr", but it improves upon perfection!! Overall the lead solos are better and so is the rhythm section. Lyrically-speaking, Killing Tyranny has matured a lot in the three years between albums. And those vocals of George Gregory? Last time around I said that he sounded like the "long-lost step-cousin of James Hetfield". On "Church Of The Twisted Prophet" Gregory has grown as a vocalist. Slowly but surely he has developed his own sound and this time around it is something special! There is nothing better than an incredible front-man just doing his thing! Especially when said front-man is backed-up by one monster of a metal band!! Now in their fifth year together, U.S. heavy/power metal band Killing Tyranny is no long the up-and-coming metal band that I previously covered. Here in 2018 this (tech-savvy!) bashing & thrashing metal group has the feel of a long-lived veteran outfit. This California band is as good as it gets and it is long-past time that the rest of the world acknowledges that! Available on CD and in digital format, "Church Of The Twisted Prophet" was a long-time coming, but the wait for so worth it!! As with their 2015 album "Martyr", this incredible CD will find me shouting from the rooftops about how amazing Killing Tyranny really is!  You'll want to have this CD handy for when some young kid walks up to you and asks "What is metal all about?"!!!

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Clouds Taste Satanic-The Glitter of Infinite Hell

Self-Release/Independent
2017

Formed in 2013 and calling Brooklyn, New York their home base of operations, Clouds Taste Satanic is the most underrated doom metal bands of our generation! Released on October 31st of 2017, Clouds Taste Satanic's latest album, "The Glitter of Infinite Hell", offers all the proof necessary to make such a bold proclamation. The hour-plus album serves as the follow-up to 2016's "Dawn Of the Satanic Age" and finds band members Sean Bay (bass), Steven Scavuzzo (guitars), Brian Bauhs (guitars), and Greg Acampora (drums) transforming doom metal into the devil's own apocalyptic soundtrack! With mountain size riffs that could easily crush small cities, this four-song release is the stuff that hardcore doom metal fanatics dream about!! The average length of each track is 18 minutes and thanks to some truly unholy guitar work it is every bit as nightmarish as it's sick artwork suggests!! For the life of me I cannot understand why this instrumental doom act is not more well known. Really all it would take is one listen to a track like "Treachery" to rope more fans in! Limited to a mere 100 CD copies, "The Glitter of Infinite Hell" is the best release so far from Clouds Taste Satanic. It is extremely tight, well thought out, and chock full of incredible moments that will make you fall in love all over again with doom metal! If this masterpiece of a recording isn't in your personal music collection then you have no right to call yourself a doom metal fan! This golden gem is a 10 out of 10/ A+ release!!  

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Current Playlist

SAXON-Thunderbolt-LP

It's April already although it still feels like Winter where I live. Anyways here is my current list. Feel free to add yours in the comments. As always we are always interested in hearing what everyone else is into these days.

Listening to-
Lots of Saxon
Lots of Exodus
Judas Priest-Firepower
Dogs D'amour-King of thieves
Sons of angels
Skinless-Savagery
Goat Worship-Shore of the dead
Vomitor-Pestilent death

Reading-
books for work

Watching-
The Rockford Files the complete series
Soon to be watching the NHL playoffs.

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Monday, April 09, 2018

Crime Scene-Vengeance EP

Self-Release/Independent
2018

Cologne, Germany's Crime Scene plays a hard & heavy brand of (somewhat sleazy) rock and roll on  "Vengeance EP". Starting off with the heavy rock of "Hey", this four-track EP almost sounds as if it could have come from Los Angeles, California...circa 1985. For those of you who might not get the reference point, Crime Scene could have been Germany's answer to Guns N' Roses. It's not a perfect match, but at nearly 17 minutes in length, "Vengeance EP" certainly tips it's hat to Axl and company! From the looks of things this brand new EP appears to be Crime Scene's studio debut. It might not be perfect, but thanks to the strength of numbers like "Hey", "Sex Drive", and "Back To Cologne" it is a fun listen. This one is recommended to anyone that likes like hard rock with a little bit of sleaze and muscle.

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Free Metal Monday: Blood Curse-Angel Witch

Self-Release/Independent
2018

Blood Curse is a heavy metal band from Caneyville, Kentucky that is comprised of Aaron Franks (vocals/guitar/bass) and Olivia Franks (drums). Active since 2016, Blood Curse has one demo and two singles to it's name. The group's latest release is a name-your-own-price cover of Angle Witch's theme song. It is taken from the group's forthcoming debut album (which is due to drop this summer!) and is a must-have for fans of traditional heavy metal and N.W.O.B.H.M. Pumped up with metallic passion and some true appreciation for the classic British metal band for which it is named, Blood Curse's cover of "Angel Witch" is a bit more raw than the original version, but kick ass all the same! Hopefully come summer I will be covering this band's debut...

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Thursday, April 05, 2018

Demon Head-The Resistance

The Sign Records
2018

Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, Demon Head is a five-piece band that self-describes itself as "Diabolic Rock". The group is fronted by Ferreira Larsen (Alucarda, Scavenger Brats) and they have been active since 2012. On April 20th, 2018 this (spooky/sinister) hard & heavy rock/doom metal outfit with release the EP "The Resistance". Limited to a mere 500 copies, this atmospheric 7" includes the songs "River of Mars" and "The Resistance". That is the running order on my promo link so we will tackle the two tracks in that manor. With truly inspired lyrics and eerie rock music to match the mood, "Rivers of Mars" is the first single from this EP and arguably the better number of the two tracks. As the promo material correctly explains, this four minute plus song will haunt you long after the EP ends! Blessed by a vocalist that would make Glenn Danzig crack a crooked smile, Demon Head has constructed a true masterpiece with "River of Mars! This two-track release is well-worth it's weight in gold for that number alone!! With that being said, the title track of this 7" is great in it's own right. The aptly-titled "The Resistance" is a slow & steady (classic rock-infused) goth rocker that (ever so slightly) flirts with doom rock and vintage psychedelic rock. There's also a little bit of jingle-jangle guitar playing going on with the title track. When you put these two cool tracks next to each other you get a slick soundtrack for this retro outfit that is bound & determined to make it's own mark in the world. Serving as my first official taste of Denmark's Demon Head, "The Resistance" is a 7" that I plan on adding to my personal collection. For anyone that likes (seventies-inspired) hard & heavy rock/doom rock I would highly-recommend that you do the same thing too.  

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