Delivering the most intense Heavy Metal release of 2017, today we have Germany’s Accept and their latest full-length release “The Rise of Chaos”. Having resuscitated back in 2009, Wolf and Mark Tornillo have led this band to release some of their strongest album in the last decade. Featuring over 45 minutes of music distributed in ten tracks, the band cranks out some of the most anthemic songs of the year, so be prepared to be blown away.
Opening with the relentless “Die By the Sword”, we get signature Accept guitar leads and vocal arrangements that will make you want to drop everything that you are doing and start headbanging from start to end. Other epic songs like “Hole in the Head” and “The Rise of Chaos” showcase the band’s knack for crafting soaring vocal melodies and superbly catchy chorus sections. Wolf’s guitars are on point as always, and deliver some killer leads as showcased on “Koolaid”.
As one of the most unique and diverse releases we received in the last few months, today we have Project Nightscape and their 13-track opus “To Sin against our Mercies”. In a similar fashion than Ayreon and Beto Vazquez Infinity, this album is a concept release and features a very wide variety of musicians allowing for very diverse styles to be played. Mostly varying between Progressive Rock/Metal, this release has very memorable tracks that are quite catchy and expertly crafted.
With the lyrical/story concept crafted by David W. Edwards and the guitar work crafted by other than Tony Gaglio, this release opens with the hard rocking “(Living in) Sacred Time” and the Heavy Metal anthem “Only Reason”. Continuing the album’s story after an interlude, we have proggy Rush-like “Now Silence!” and the ballad-esque “Inmortuorum Memorias”. As you could tell, the music varies from track to track but the songs are very well aligned to match the album’s lyrical progression.
Hailing from Australia, today we have Doom/Heavy Metal battalion Lucifer’s Fall presenting their sophomore full-length release “II: Cursed & Damned”. Crafting over 55 minutes of music, the band delivers a very catchy mixture of heavy Doom riffs with lively traditional Heavy Metal and NWOBHM influences. Filled with epic vocals are solid melodic passages this release is highly recommendable for people that like Doomy bands that are quite engaging and lively.
The album opens with the superbly catchy “Mother Superior”, a song that starts with killer riffs and instantly showcases the vocal versatility of Philip Howlett aka Deceiver. The band continues to deliver crushing riffs on tracks like “Damnation”, “The Mountains of Madness” and “Cursed Priestess”, all while creating very thick atmospheres to surround the soaring vocal arrangements and punishing bass guitar lines.
Perfectly marketed as a no-bull Epic Doom Metal outfit, today we have Sweden’s Void Moon and their sophomore full-length release titled “Deathwatch”. Presenting the listeners with nine brilliant tracks full of melancholy, this band focuses on epic soaring vocals and sorrowful riffs. Drawing comparisons with bands like the epic Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, this album will surely keep any fan of the genre at the edge of the seat.
Leading with the mournful riffs of “Rivers of the Moon”, the album instantly showcases the brilliant vocals of Jonas Gustavsson. The overall tempo of this track is brilliant, allowing the punishing riffs to brilliantly offset the clean vocals. By featuring such a clean and professional production, tracks like “Where the Sleeper Lies Awake” and the Pentagram-esque “Assassin of an Age”, the band allows to have a timeless sound while being quite clean and direct.
As one of the wackiest releases of 2015, today we have Vhöl and their sophomore release “Deeper than Sky”. Featuring members of Agalloch, Hammers of Misfortune and YOB, this is one super group with enough musical chops to make even the weirdest sound great. IF we had to categorize their music, we would say that they play Avant-garde Heavy/Thrash Metal, due to the mixture of genres surfacing thought this release.
Opening with the Deathklok-esque “The Desolate Damned”, the band delivers an intense music with some brilliant guitar wizardry, which interestingly enough have Mike Scheidt handling vocal duties while John Cobbett handles the guitars. After an unconventional opening, “3AM” feels a bit more like a traditional Heavy Metal song with some funky drumming, courtesy of Aesop Dekker. Mike’s vocals are very versatile, as anybody that listens to YOB can attest, and they perfectly fit each track’s unique level of madness.
Heavy Metal amazon Jill Janus and crew returns with yet another solid and superbly catchy release with “Static”. Featuring a more mature sound, Huntress has clearly evolved over their meteoric rise in the last 5 years and with this release they aim to solidify their status as one of the premier modern Heavy Metal bands. Pleasing fans and luring bystanders into their sound, this release is one fin example of Huntress and their power.
Quickly blasting away with superbly catchy and energetic tracks like “Sorrow”, “Flesh” and the soaring “Brian”, Jill Janus is again the most iconic feature of the band, but the riffing also entices the listener. The band specializes in crafting catchy and simple tracks that are full of melodic guitars and a very upbeat tempo that makes you want to start headbanging. The uber catchy “I Want to Wanna Wake Up” has that old-school Heavy Metal vibe that some of the NWOBHM band brought to the scene back in the day.
Featuring a very unique combination of almost every genre in metal, minus all the ‘heavier’ ones, France’s Eltharia delivers their sophomore release “Innocent”. Delivering 11 songs filled with memorable moments and solid musicianship, this band has been around since 2001 and only released two full-length releases in the process. Luckily, all this experience translates in a very solid and well-crafted release that has high replay value.
Opening with the Power Metal anthem “Third World War”, the band sets a pretty high bar for this release. Moving into more Progressive territories, “Spite Still Remains” gives us a very interesting mixture of soaring clean vocals and growls in a Stratovarius-like environment. The band’s ability to mix styles is quite good as they produce some very memorable tracks, such as the epic album title track “Innocent” and its excellent guitar leads.
Instantly a top contender for the catchiest and most engaging release of 2015, today we have Finland’s The Grammers and their release “Journey”. Delivering 11 tracks of vibrant Hard Rock, this band has a very playful and engaging sound that instantly grabs your attention.
Expertly selected to kick off this release, “Journey” has a superbly engaging chorus section that will stick in your head for days. The track is quite moody and very well crafted, similar to the approach that Crimson Tears used to take in their music. As the band pummels through the catchy “Brother” and the superbly executed “Hey Mama”, we instantly notice the band’s very positive energy and great deal of fun they seem to have when delivering such lively songs.
Greatly improving over their 2011 release “Infected”, today we have Hammerfall and their signature Heavy Metal with “(r)Evolution”. In this release, the band continues to push forward with their quest of the perfect Heavy Metal album and they get a bit closer thanks to their refined sound. Nearly 50 minutes of high-octane music make this release one of the best of 2014 so far.
Leading with the catchy chorus section of “Hector’s Hymn”, the band gives this release a very epic spin since the opening song. The band’s Heavy Metal pedigree is instantly audible in this intense track. As Joacim Cans vocals lead another epic onslaught with the album title track, we are quickly taken by surprise on how quickly this album grows on you. The majestic guitar leads of Oscar Dronjak greatly elevate this song to the next level.
As one of the songs in this release mentions, Accept is one of the last of a dying breed of hard rocking bands that constantly deliver quality over quantity. Wolf Hoffmann and company manage to set the bar even higher after their most recent scorcher releases “Blood of the Nations” and “Stalingrad: Brothers in Death”. With their newly found singer, Mark Tornillo, the band is soaring higher than ever before and “Blind Rage” is a testament to that.
Opening with the no-bullshit onslaught led by “Stamped” and the super catchy “Dying Breed”, the band continues to do what they do best: deliver epic Heavy Metal songs without complications. Being consistent is one of the Accept’s best assets and through songs like “Dark Side of My Heart” and “Fall of the Empire” we can hear the band’s signature sound greatly enhanced by a modern production.