Sonntag, 25. Februar 2018


(Running time: 55:56 minutes; 12 songs)
("Spinefarm Records"; 2018; CD):
At the 19th of January of 2018 Zakk Wylde's BLACK LABEL SOCIETY releasesed their newest and also already 10th full-length-album via "SPINEFARM RECORDS" titled "GRIMMEST HITS" and here and now you finally get my record-review on it. I always thought that the BLACK LABEL SOCIETY does sound like a bastard out of OZZY OSBOURNE (surely also especially vocal-wise), CORROSION OF CONFORMITY (think about their "DELIVERANCE" period), LYNYRD SKYNYRD (for the huge guitar driven Southern Rock taste), and a bit of DOWN, BRAND NEW SIN and also aslight bit PANTERA (due to that very special grooving guitars with that singing 'southern flair'), and then all mixed through with some good dirty 1970's and also a bit 1980's inspired Classic Rock or Vinatge Rock with some very slight Blues notes in it and here and there some old/early ALICE IN CHAINS reminiscences and all served very self-contained, yes, and that's exactly the way how their "GRIMMEST HITS" rock and groove in a really heavy and (sort of) 'down-tuned' but still and nowadays first-and-foremost always very smooth and also nicely melodic way out of the speakers. And while I sit here and having listened to BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's "GRIMMEST HITS" for nearly countless times since last month (I bought it right when it was finally released) and again listen to it one more time and probably for many more times to come, yes, Ireally haven't that much to say and with what I have said so far and with what I'm going to say adding to it with the next three or four sentences it will be all what I have to say to/about it and not because this would be anyhow anything like a weak album or anything like 'unspectacular' or what the hell else ever, nah, it's just... I really damn like this album a lot but beside saying this and pointing out that this very one here will be probably one of the heaviest and deepest but yet all the time also one of the smoothest and one of the most soul- and playful and also one of the most hymnal (in a pretty much absoultely clichee-free way) albums in Hard Rock we all will experience being released in 2018 I haven't that much more to say simply because BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's "GRIMMEST HITS" simply completly speaks for its own and this in its own tongue'n'tone. But maybe you now already all that you have to know? Maybe there's no need to 'extend' this very one here and now? In this particular case here I feel so. And so let me close this review with pointing out that the songwriting is very intense and atmospheric and filled with so much honest emotions and being 'music-wise' extremly playful and also soulful that you will nothing but sink deep and deeper into this fabulous songs; with pointing out that the damn charismatic heartfelt vocals really shine bright, the guitar work is one of the very best you will ever experience, the (hammond) organ adds a lot of special flavour to it all, and the rhythm section is a just very damn massive and decent force; and with pointing out that this album will give you goosepimples again and again. If there would be maybe only one or two a bit 'faster paced' songs to shake it one or two times maybe a little bit up then my rating would maybe be even a bit better... but after I especially love the ballads "THE ONLY WORDS", "THE DAY THAT HEAVEN HAD GONE AWAY" and "NOTHING LEFT TO SAY" I am maybe also not so sure about that after all... how-ever, strong lyrics, a fantastic (and also sort of pretty ironical or humouristic) artwork, and a perfect warm, dirty, earthy, and heavy production sound round it all finally up. Nothing left to say, if I would be you, I would make sure to get my hands on a copy of BLACK LABEL SOCIETY's "GRIMMEST HITS" (finally) as soon as possible.
(8,5 of 10 points) (-the link to the homepage of the band)


Freitag, 23. Februar 2018


(Running time: 21:16 minutes; 6 songs)
("Massacre Records"; 2018; CD):
Hey guys, yes, seems like I hopefully managed to leave my influenza behind and after a long walk in the bitter cold but incredible sunny weather out there I just came back home recently and decided why not give you a new record-review load and so now I am about to do right now; respectively so I (will) do right now and so so here's now my review on the brandnew VICTORIUS Mini-CD "DINOSAUR WARFARE: LEGEND OF THE POWER SAURUS" and it's been recently released via the legendary "MASSACRE RECORDS" label and it offers in shortly 22 minutes six new songs of/by the german Speed Metal 'nerds'. 'Nerds'? Why 'nerds'? Well, that's simple: If the albumname for you isn't already saying it all then let it be known that this is sort of a concept-album about the 'holy war' of the Dinosaurs against Alien Invaders from outta space and it reminds me quite a bit of the glorified and glorious "Dino Riders" and the (al)mighty "Power Rangers", thematically and lyric-wise, and so, yes, 'nerds'. And after I am (my)self a damn huge 'nerd' that by me is definitely sort of a huge compliment. And also the glorious and just gorgeous artwork that's designed in the tradition of old "Streetfighter" and "Mortal Kombat" video games only adds up to the 'nerd' character and also only adds up to my enthusiasm. And with in-working in a just brilliant way the undying great "Power Rangers" title score into their smasher "LEGEND OF THE POWER SAURUS" is just a totally mindblowing element and a huge surprise and if I imagine how damn even greater the "Power Rangers" movie would have been with this Mini-CD as its soundtrack, whoooaaa, my hearts beats faster. And what about the music, the most important 'thing', you now rightfully may ask. Makes the music my heart also beat faster and what do we get anyway? What do we get, like already above mentioned, is Speed Metal. Melodic Speed Metal with healthy portions of Power Metal in it, carrying really huge refrains to us, and with some sprinklings of Symphonic Metal in it as well. This is, so you may can say, symphonic and melodic and very powerful Speed Metal of the german kind and so maybe German Speed Metal or Teutonic Speed Metal are pretty good terms to describe VICTORIUS pretty accurate. If you now may don't know what this in particular means then let me say that VOCTORIUS rage on full throttle somewhere in the metallic realms (in)between GAMMA RAY, HELLOWEEN, and (earlier) BLIND GUARDIAN and they do it already very strong (already because for all what I've read this Mini-CD is so far only their second release with their debut being released last year in 2017, correct me if I am wrong, and before you ask, yes, VICTORIUS were unknown to me before this mini-album) and what I personally like a lot is that VICTORIUS push straight ahead forward and that they cut off the by times too 'out-swallowed' epicness of especially BLIND GUARDIAN and maybe (to surely) also GAMMA RAY and so VICTORIUS come without any circumlocution straight to point and this in combination with the pretty high pitched and fast yet very clear, melodic, and forceful sung lead vocals and the often pretty surprising fresh and 'nerdy' guitar leads and melody lines helps VICTORIUS a lot to build momentum and to create an already pretty strong own character that will hopefully only grow on and on and get/become even far more 'prominent' (so to say) in (the) future. The songwriting also offers a lot that will surely entertain especially any fans of (so to say) (Teutonic) Speed Metal instantly but I am pretty sure that the full-throttle fast paced songs with the rousing arranged verses and the huge anthemic refrains, the loud widescreen 'power-choirs', the quick delivered and forceful changes in the rhythm structures and the compositorial arrangements of the songs, the in parts already pretty fantastic melody work, and the fresh and naughty ideas will also heavily please most to any Heavy/Power/Speed Metal fans in general. Expect swift as an arrow delivered symphonic singing and powerful onwards pushing full throttle and no breaks guitars, huge lead vocals and widescreen backing choirs, and a 'weasel-nimble' rhythm section with a lot of force behind it all, yes, and expect this all to be done on a surely high qualitylevel by strong musicians. This Mini-CD only leaves me hungry for me and I think I will also check out their last year's debut (?) release that carries the title "HEART OF THE PHOENIX" in the future. VICTORIUS deliver us here on "DINOSAUR WARFARE: LEGEND OF THE POWER SAURUS" also great lyrics, cool and entertaining and so far very unique (and if you don't take everything and anything including yourself all the time oh so bloody serious then I see no reason why you shouldn't enjoy the lyrics here as well anyway), an absolutely amazing and beautiful artwork with that I fell in love right at first sight, and a very powerful production sound to back it all up impressively. So, yes, if you are anyway anyhow into the above mentioned bands and genres then by any means I would definitely say that you need to check out VICTORIUS' "DINOSAUR WARFARE: LEGEND OF THE POWER SAURUS" or better get it promptly and instantly. If VICTORIUS keep 'this thing' going then I am pretty sure that we can expect something really big in the (soon) future. And anyhow, yes, here and now you have my clear recommendation in terms of this little gem here.
(8 of 10 points) (-the link to the homepage of the band)


Donnerstag, 22. Februar 2018


(Running time: 58:53 minutes; 12 songs)
("EAR Music"/"Edel Germany GmbH"; 2018; CD):
Hey guys, yes, right back again and so here now comes my latest/newest record-review for you and we will also stay for/with this very one here in the department of Heavy Metal with this very one here and now being on the second full-length-album of/by HEAVATAR titled "OPUS II: THE ANNIHILATION" released very recently via "EAR MUSIC"/"EDEL GERMANY GMBH" at the 16th of February of 2018. Yes, normally it takes me quite a bit longer before I feel prepared enough to do a respectful record-review on an album (no matter if I like it or not) but after I'm currently a bit struck down by this damn influenza I have a lot of time and so I can't really tell you how often I now have already over the last days listened to HEAVATAR's second born "OPUS II: THE ANNIHILATION" since it's out and so now my record-review on it will now be up very soon after the album was released only a few days ago, hm, maybe also not that bad after all. First of all HEAVATAR were totally unknown to me before (as quite a bit of bands lately how I realized over the last months... just too damn many music out there to know it all) and the predeccesor album so is (also) unknown to me. For all what I understand this is sort of a ''project-band'' that Stefan Schmidt who otherwise is a member of VAN CANTO (what-ever-band that may be) formed with three other guys of whom the probably best- or most-known is Jörg Michael at the drums who you might know from RUNNING WILD, GRAVE DIGGER, AXEL RUDI PELL, RAGE, STRATOVARIUS, and many more. And by looking at the title of the album that carries the word/term 'opus' in it and this also at a very prominent position you might already got the correct impression that Classical Music plays a pretty important role in and for the music of HEAVATAR, yes, and by all my other ramblings so far you should already know that we talk here about (Heavy/Power) Metal, yes, and so this is definitely sort of a Metal meets Classic affair. If you now think "Whooaaa, what the fuck...?!?" then that's your problem and just wait for the next record-review and skip the rest of this if you think you should 'need' to... but you would be missing out on something really damn good if you would do so, point and fact. This whole Metal meets Classic stuff (just to name it this way) is normally also not really my sort of proteinshake and it's been a while since I put my last Classic Music record on but I fell in love with the cover artwork and so I decided to risk an ear and after here and now you get my record-review on it you may already guess that what I listened to really surprised and convinced me and so I took the album with me home and so now here we are. The classic instrumentation and orchestration is clearly there as well as in general 'classy' composed arrangements are surely to be noticed but this is all worked into the whole flow of the songs in a damn great way so that it not only turns out to be a very strong and organic 'symbiose' that also 'not the biggest fans of Classic Music' (like me, myself, and I) can enthusiastically enjoy with much pleasure but also it flows all nearly perfectly together and it all sounds very natural and in now way forced and artficial and this is just all damn fine with me. So HEAVATAR deliver us powerful and forward pushing Heavy Metal or Power Metal that draws inspirations from BLIND GUARDIAN as well as MANOWAR and also some HELLOWEEN and so you see that the whole Classic Music 'stuff' aside the Heavy Metal or Power Metal definitely is the order of the day and HEAVATAR also offer here and there slight flirtings with Epic Metal and also here and there maybe some (very) few Speed Metal and it also shines with a huge and sort of bombastic approach and also with very strong and also cool fresh rhythm'n'groove-work and some sort of modern tones especially to the guitars and their rhythm work so that probably also fans of bands like SERIOUS BLACK or ORDEN OGAN should definitely become instantly fans of HEAVATAR, hm, and just to mention it the songs are also structured very rousing and arranged in a damn strong hymnal way with a bit of medieval marks and 'folkloristic' elements in it all and even sweetest female co-lead-vocals are worked in it in an amazing strong way at one part. And don't get any wrong impressions because even with clear to notice and proudly shown influences (like with the honestly very good MANOWAR cover "METAL DAZE", not that it comes any close to the original but who would have thought or even expected that) HEAVATAR offer a pretty big and very own character and not only because of the Classic Music influences in it all but also due to a very own guitar tone, the fantastic, multifaceted, and charismatic vocals, and the general compositorial approach to put tons of huge epicness even in a four minute song. And so you may have already guessed that the songwriting is very rich, multi-layered, and like the vocals multifaceted, too, and offers a huge load of greatness to be discovered by us the listeners while at the same time it's all incredible well flowing so that you won't find any breaks or holes or blank spaces in it all, hell yeahr, and all is delivered and done by high(est) skilled musicians. The biggest trademarks are for sure the amazing lead vocals, the very diverse, heavy and yet damn melodic guitars, and the fantastic drumming, all enriched by the classic orchestration and a beneath the surface power adding bass work. Pretty good and cool, mostly (at first look) Fantasy lyrics and a gorgeous and beautiful artwork we get on top of it all, yes, as well as a very sadly only semi-optimal too clinical production sound that especially takes too much power away from the drumming. If that wouldn't be my rating would probably be even a bit higher. Don't ask me for any listening advices because the whole album comes without any fillers even surely "PURPOSE OF A VIRGIN MIND" is (from my point of view) probably the biggest hit and is also meant to be exactly that. So, okay, I really think that now you should know all what you have to know about HEAVATAR's "OPUS II: THE ANNIHILATION" and I will now leave you here and now with my honest and clear recommendation(s) and so best stop thinking and just go out and get it, period.
(8,5 of 10 points) (-the link to the homepage of the band)


Mittwoch, 21. Februar 2018


(Running time: 61:04 minutes; 9 songs)
("M-Theory Audio" & "Riffs of the Rose"; 2018; CD):
Damn it, February 2018 is really damn silent and quiet... and not only up here... starting off stressful and work-intensive and culminating in a fucked up influenza currently that's striking me down since last Wednesday. I hate this crap. But it seems that 'things' starting to get finally better again and so I decided to finally leave the bed one more time this day and start finally on working some new stuff again up here and so here now comes my or the next post which means the next new record-review is now aiming at you and this time it takes us all back into the world of Heavy Metal and/or Power Metal and so here's my record-review on the (brand)new WHITE WIZZARD full-length disc "INFERNAL OVERDRIVE" released (still pretty/very recently) via "M-THEORY AUDIO" in cooperation with "RIFFS OF THE ROSE" (the two labels were totally unknown before this CD to me). "INFERNAL OVERDRIVE" was and/or is my first experience with the American Heavy Metal powerhouse WHITE WIZZARD from Los Angeles, California/U.S.A. and so don't expect any comparisions to their earlier works and also don't expect any notes about their (so it seems) ever-changing band members, yes, and with that out of the way here we go: Here we get very crisp and sharp'n'heavy hitting and yet very melodic and very, very playful and definitely sophisticated and (sort of) 'proggy' Heavy Metal with here and there a clearly epic approach to it and with really strong NWOBHM influences namely especially IRON MAIDEN had a huge impact on WHITE WIZZARD's "INFERNAL OVERDRIVE" and also JUDAS PRIEST here and there a good and heavy bit (especially the very strong and harsh and stunning opener and title-track "INFERNAL OVERDRIVE" rages on with nice "PAINKILLER" reminiscences). What I really love is that WHITE WIZZARD also manage to 'in-work' a bunch of nice'n'strong modern notes and influences in their own way and so they keep it nicely fresh and also they maintain a pretty good'n'strong own character/identity. A very diverse and rich songwriting that really offers one hell of an exciting ride with ever varying paces/tempi and rhythms, good to fantastic songarrangements with mostly damn strong verses as well as mostly really mighty refrains, formidable riffs, good to great fresh and pretty 'modern' grooves and a lot of grapping twists'n'turns all along the ride and all is very fresh, playful, and soulful, yes, and all is delivered by very skilled musicians, hell yeahr, that's all marking WHITE WIZZARD's "INFERNAL OVERDRIVE" heavily and strongly. Sometimes I would just wish that they would cut some of the all to 'epic'n'proggy' parts so that the songs would 'come more to point' and that the absolutely amazing and outstanding lead vocals would have (even) more room to shine. But that's mostly or basically my only concern here with WHITE WIZZARD's "INFERNAL OVERDRIVE". The absoultely amazing sharp and powerful, clear and melodic, highly charismatic lead vocals I simply love and the multi-layered and diverse guitar work is just pure platinum (even sometimes a bit 'rampantly' arranged'n'done), the truly walking'n'talking bass is very present and the drumming is just stunning and adding a lot of heavy weight to the songs. My personal favorites are "INFERNAL OVERDRIVE", the damn catchy and true anthem "STORM THE SHORES" that's a true through'n'through hit , the massive and epic "VOYAGE OF THE WOLF RAIDERS", the sharp cutting PRIEST-like Banger "CRITICAL MASS", and the epic masterpiece "THE ILLUSION'S TEARS". This is a demanding and sort of challenging album (in all the right ways and for all the right reasons - or mostly) and definitely not your ordinary run of the mill Power Metal album, yes, and so give it more than one try if it may not convinces you right from the get-go. We also get very strong and 'suprisingly fresh' lyrics, a very cool artwork, and a hard hitting production-sound on top of it all. Not all is gold, but a lot is gold, pure gold. I can only recommend WHITE WIZZARD's "INFERNAL OVERDRIVE" to anyone of you into Heavy Metal and so I will now leave you with my, yes, clear recommendations to give it a try or better buy it promptly. And more soon again up here, yes, trust me and take my word(s) on it.
(8 of 10 points) (-the link to the facebook site of the band)


Donnerstag, 8. Februar 2018


(Running time: 34:43 minutes; 8 songs)
("His Master's Noise" & "Century Media Records" / 2018 / CD):
Hey guys, yes, finally the first new post for February 2018 is right here and right now aiming @ you and coming for you, so far and so good, and in this case this means that here'n'now the next load'n'dose of record-review(s) awaits you and here and now it will be all about the new WATAIN full-length-album "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE" released very recently this year last month in sort of a 'collaborating way' (in)between the to me unknwon "HIS MASTER'S NOISE" label and the veterans of "CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS" and it is released in various different formats and I have the normal CD edition and so my review right now and right here will also be solely on the standard version of the CD release, just that you know that, and btw this was the first brandnew 2018 release that I bought last month and so this very one here is now also my first record-review on a 2018 release so far (more I have also already in store). Before we will dive into the new onslaught delivered by/of WATAIN just let me say one or two general things, yes, because I have not a single clou how I much I will get done up here this very month (it's a very stressful month so far with a lot of work to do in 'real life' and so it's currently pretty hard to find the time'n'space to get new proper stuff up here) but anyhow I've already started working on some 'new projects' up here so that I think latest from some day next month on also other stuff than 'only' record-reviews will find their way up here again, finally. Okay, and now straight into the action a.k.a. finally straight and direct to WATAIN's "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE": Straigt and direct is sort of the perfect opening line of/to/for this very record-review here'n'now and this simply due to the fact that this is fast and harsh, stunning and aggressive, ice-cold-blistering and screamingly rattling staright and direct into your face threshed Black Metal probably of the most pure and true kind you will get delivered by such a 'big' band these day'n'age right now. After the experimental and probably for a lot of oh so trve Black Metal die hards very controversial predecessor these days in 2018 on "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE" WATAIN deliver aggressive and extreme, raw and violent Black Metal that's damn pure and of course pretty to very true and that also comes with some healthy doses of chaotic raging disorder right from the get-go. WATAIN's "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE" is filled with ice-cold-blistering blizzard guitars that really shine with their bitterly and icy, nihilistic aggression and the deadly and life-denying atmosphere that they create especially with their raging leads and their pure chaos solos as well as with a lot of very melodic and (sort of) 'folkloristic' parts, yes, and for sure they offer also pretty strong and harsh riffs and a such rhythm work and they also don't shy away to deliver pure 'moshy' Thrash Metal parts (even this patrts are painted anyhow very black anyway), and if you ask me that's all pretty to very good. The rhythm section is backing the guitars very strongly up and especially the crushing and devastating drumming really adds tons of bulky and beefy meat to the backbone of WATAIN's "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE" (and like sort of in best Black Metal tradition there's mostly really anyhow no need to talk about or even of any bass work in general, if you get what I say). The vocals are bestial and diabolic, harsh and nasty and extreme screams that reach from high pitched hysteric screeches to a more deep and 'shouty' delivery and deliver pretty much as many variations that one can probably only get this days from a pure and true Black Metal band and album. Despite the over-all very straight forward(s) and onwards into war charging approach the songwriting is anyhow still pretty diverse and anyway decent and the songs really offer a lot and also a big bunch of pretty impressive twists'n'turns all along the ride and nice little surpsises and even really catchy arranged vocal lines worked into it all if you work yourself only a little bit deeper into the hellish raging pure hate set to musick, yes, and that the guys in/of WATAIN are also very strong'n'skilled musicians anyhow should probably need no further explanation here and now. So, yes, it's all good and fine... but... yes... but I have a very serious but concerning or affecting WATAIN's "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE" and this is: This very album leaves me damn cold. It simply don't moves or touches or straightens'n'errects and arouses me like it should and this due to the fact that despise all its hellish atmosphere and the chaotic, aggressive, violent, bestial'n'diabolical, and hatefilled, life-denying, and extreme approach of this shredding wrath and blasphemic/satanic nihilisim set to musick it lacks some good to huge doses of intensity so that a bunch of the songs turn despite all the blast speed and all 'the stuff' to sort of a 'easy-listening-music' playing in the background - and by any means but probably especially Black Metal was never meant to be something like this, point and fact. Don't get me wrong with songs like for example the nearly perfect "NUCLEAR ALCHEMY" or "A THRONE BELOW", "TEUFELSREICH" and "THE FIRE OF POWER", to name this four ones, an album can never be bad but with songs like for example the totally lame and stale "TOWARDS THE SANCTUARY" I really catch myself thinking about how I may structure my tomorrow-day and what food I may buy on Saturday for the next week instead of listening or being anyhow or anyway aroused or excited by the music... and, okay, I think you get what I am trying to say. With all this said maybe don't believe blindly all the hype wafting around WATAIN's "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE" and give it a good try before you buy it blindly expecting the newest majestic masterpiece spitted out of hell directly by the horned one himself. But if you don't expect something 'instantly-legendary' and just look for a new and (very) decent, pretty good Black Metal album then the "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE" of/by WATAIN should serve your needs very, very well. Some 'nice' Black Metal lyrics, a gorgeous artwork, and a rough and yet anyhow very powerful production sound round it all finally up. If you are into Black Metal or if you currently work yourself into Black Metal and if you have a faible or start to develop a faible especially for acts like MAYHEM, DISSECTION, MARDUK, and maybe also some BURZUM then WATAIN's "TRIDENT WOLF ECLIPSE" should also make you pretty to very happy. A decent album, yes, definitely worth checking out, yes, even I miss 'something' to/about it... but maybe that's also just me, who knows... anyhow and anyway, okay, you now know 'the deal' so that I can now calmly close this very one right now and right here. We will read us again, sooner or later.
(7,5 of 10 points) (-the link to the homepage of the band)