Arriving from Italy, today we have Manach Seherath and their excellent self-titled demo. Featuring three tracks of brilliantly composed Symphonic/Melodic Heavy Metal this release will surely blow you away by the excellent composition skills behind the songs. While the production is not up to par with the quality of the music, the band does a great job in delivering 16 minutes of epic music that will grab your attention in an instant.
Opening with “Arti Manthano”, the band showcases their melodic/symphonic chops instantly with a very well-crafted first impression. The only (and biggest) issue with this demo is the very poor production behind it, the drums sound completely wobbly and greatly take away from the desired effect of the band’s music. The keyboard structures are pretty solid but need some work in terms of the production (and maybe using better equipment), but they are still a vital component of the sound of the band.
Arriving today from Greece, we have Bandemonic and their EP “Chains”. Playing a very traditional and well-crafted Heavy Metal, this band delivers that great old-school vibe with a certain modern context and a whole lot of attitude. At first glance, the cover of this release looks like a mixture of some Dethklok scene and the band’s logo on Iced Earth typography, however, the music is far from cheesy since it is actually pretty solid.
The EP opens with powerful distorted guitars that nicely resonate in the background as George Manthos delivers his powerful vocal lines. The song structure is quite typical of the genre, but the nice combination of catchy riffs, tight drumming, and charismatic vocals immediately command attention. The magic continues with the EP title track, providing interesting tempo changes and George showing his true Heavy Metal range in this one.
Delivering five tracks of balls to the wall Heavy Metal, today we have Sons of Lioth and their latest EP “Large Hadron Collider Spider”. Filled with attitude and a very retro vibe, this Belgian band rides the wave of bands like Enforcer, and can be categorized New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal, which is a deviation of NWOBHM and Sleaze Metal. In this short but sweet release you will be taken back in time with an excellent and dynamic soundtrack.
“Merry-go-round” delivers the first blow of hyper catchy retro Heavy Metal with a very sweet chorus section and a plethora of vocals that nicely keep things fresh and entertaining. The main vocalist, Kristof Van Den Bergh, is quite talented and immediately puts his signature on every track that the band presents. The riffing is very engaging and keeps things very entertaining for any old-school Heavy Metal fan. On the track “Large Hadron Collider Spider” we are treated to some awesome solos and excellent melodic structures that keep the headbanging flowing.
After taking the scene by surprise with their excellent 2012 release “Spell Eater”, today we have Huntress and their latest monumental Heavy Metal release “Starbound Beast”. While many bands get away with shitty music just by having attitude and image, Huntress delivers the whole package lead by Jill Janus and the band’s very classic and powerful music. For over ten tracks the band greatly improves over their debut full-length and manages to raise the bar a few notches with this album.
Doing a 180 switch on the opener/intro “Enter the Exosphere”, we can hear Jill’s classically trained vocals morph into screams. The first dagger has been delivered and as soon as “Blood Sisters” opens we get to hear the band’s catchy and very timeless Heavy Metal sound. The track’s energy is quite similar to old-school Heavy Metal, attitude and everything. The band produces one of the best chorus sections on “I Want to Fuck You to Death” in the last fear years, and we can totally picture legions of fans chanting that particular section at live shows.
Bringing forth a relentless guitar driver aural assault, today we have Enforcer’s “Death By Fire”. Lead by Olof Wikstrand, this Swedish band packs a lot of punch in their nine-track 36-minute NWOBHM infused Metal. Combining a crystal clear production and that intensity of the hay day of the genre, this release is one hell of a nostalgic trip.
Immediately after the typical intro, “Death Rides This Night” blasts away with super catchy guitar riffs and very the very sharp vocals of Olof. The whole vibe of this song is very 80’s with memories of Saxon and Motörhead immediately coming to mind. The party keeps going with the hyper fast “Run For Your Life” and epic “Take Me Out Of This Nightmare”. This last track is probably our favorite one of this release thanks to its very traditional structure filled with catchy passages and awesome guitar leads.
Dave Starr and London Wilde (and the other dude) return with another excellent hard-rocking release that will be quite hard to equal by all the newbie bands trying to play straight up Melodic Metal these days. In “A Tale Tell Heart”, the band delivers a ten song dosage of excellent Metal anthems that greatly showcase London’s gifted singing talents and Dave’s master abilities to craft engaging melodies filled with epic melodic moments.
Since the opener “Immortal”, we are let into the band’s world of traditional Metal with epic vocal lines, killer guitar work, and superb drumming. Led by epic riffs, tracks like “Transformis Ligea”, “A Perfect Storm”, and “Valkyrie Cry” blow past the listener pounding on your speakers like the good old Metal albums from back in the day. Even epic ballads like “Last Holy King” deliver that much needed infusion of true heartfelt metal that bands are missing these days.
Arriving today from Pitch Black Records we have Access Denied and their weird mixture of Gothic Rock with some Heavy Metal elements. Hailing from Poland, the band deliver nine tracks that the more we listen to them, the more we can’t really get into them. With a very linear and predictable style, this band’s release sounds very hollow and quite dull since the first few songs.
Opening with a quite deceitful intro track that leads you to believe you are in for a treat of epic proportions, the band really brings the standard way down with the childish “Messenger of Death”. In this song we get some insipid guitars alongside some of the flattest female vocals we have heard in quite a while. They do have a few interesting changes, but they might be accidental since the ideas of the song seem all over the place.
The queen of Metal Doro Pesch is back with yet another killer release that comes very close to trumping Accepts “Stalingrad” as the top Heavy Metal release of 2012. Doro is one of the most active and fan devoted musicians in Metal and the collection of heavy hitting hits delivered in “Raise Your Fist” is a true treat for anybody that has been following her since her days with Warlock.
Opening with the heavy-hitter “Raise Your Fist In The Air”, Doro sets the bar very high which such an energetic and catchy song. We can totally picture thousands of people raising their firsts and going crazy with this epic anthem on a live festival show. While ALL the songs in this release are excellent, the next highlight comes under the name of “It Still Hurts”, a power-ballad duet with none other than Lemmy from Motörhead. While we don’t get to hear his traditional raspy vocals, we still get a pretty unique and different side of his talents alongside Doro, what more can we ask for.
Led by Luca Princiotta of Doro fame, today we have Clairvoyants and their excellent Power/Heavy Metal release titled “The Shape of Things to Come”. Delivering eleven tracks of brilliantly crafted old-school Power/Heavy Metal, this is one hell of a catchy and enjoyable release. With 10 our 11 tracks composed by Luca, we have a very solid Power/Heavy Metal foundation that can compare to any big-name band in the scene.
With a very catchy chorus section, “No Need to Surrender” opens this release showcasing the band’s firepower. The guitars are very solid, the drumming is well crafted, and the singing is pretty ok for a Power/Heavy Metal band. Luca clearly knows how to open and album and with this epic anthem, “The Shape of Things to Come” is off to a great start. “Endure and Survive” is the next super catchy song in this release thanks to some meaty riffs and, again, a very catchy chorus section. This track also reminds us more of older Heavy Metal songs than any Power Metal we have heard in the last few years.
Delivering an excellent hard rocking release, today we have Sweden’s Crucified Barbara and their third full-length release “The Midnight Chase”. Featuring eleven songs of Hard Rock with some Metal elements, this release is very well written and extremely catchy. The band’s attitude since the opener “The Crucifier” is very determinate and quite effective in delivering powerful Thrashy riffs with more traditional drum structures.
Mia Coldheart’s vocals are raspy enough to have that early Motorhead vibe, giving the band’s sound that old-school vibe that other bands would kill for. The melodic aspect of the band’s music is also quite excellent, on tracks like “Shut Your Mouth”, and “Into the Fire” there are very cool melodic passages that add diversity to the band’s sound. The tempo changes like on “Rules and Bones” add depth to the band’s musical arsenal, but ultimately the killer guitars and catchy lyrics are what make the songs an excellent listening experience.