The tone is set to heavy with Gates of Slumber’s latest album; the riffs crawl along at a sludge-like tempo with an eeriness weaving in and out of the pattern. Moving away from their usual theme of swords and sorcery and into the real world was a wise choice for their part as well the pick for new drummer, J “Cool” Clyde” Paradis. His drumming has a vibe to it that sounds like it made even vocalist Karl Simon and bassist Jason McCash step up their game a bit.
After being kicked in the balls last year with the modern Heavy Metal classic “Blood of the Nations” by Accept, this year Hell and their debut album “Human Remains” will have the same effect on you. While Hell never had the popularity or acceptance of Accept and similar band, heck, they didn’t even release a full-length album back in their hay day, the band’s music quality is amazing and on this re-recording of their old demo stuff, you will notice this quality.
Featuring super talented guitarist/producer Andy Sneap taking on the guitar duties left vacant by the death of the original vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Dave Halliday. The band’s debut album (after 25 or so years) feature re-recordings of some of their older demo stuff, and by only enhancing bits and pieces of the songs, they still managed to deliver a very impressive release. Featuring a great 80’s vibe this music is what true Heavy Metal/ NWOBHM used to sound like, and we completely love it.
Hailing from Pennsylvania, today we have Forgotten Legacy and their 2009 demo “The Oracle”. If you are a fan of old-school American Power/Heavy Metal you will find this release very enjoyable.
Featuring 5 songs, the band quickly gathers momentum with the opening track “2012”. In this song we are treated to very effective riffs and powerful vocals. The production is evidently weak, but this does not diminish the abilities presented by the band. The song is very catchy, the riffs are well crafted and the drumming is very effective.
Hailing from Germany today we have Tangent Plane and their undercooked second full-length release “Project Elimi”. The band plays Progressive Heavy Metal with some nice elements, but with an overall dullness that will put you to sleep after a couple of songs.
We usually don’t go around trashing bands, but this album feels like it needed more time to fully develop into a better one. The band’s musical abilities are very good, but they lack creativity and emotions behind the 8 songs presented in this release.
Keeping the Heavy Metal flame alive, today we have newcomers Fireforce and their debut album “March On”. With the old-school vibe oozing from this album since the first riff, the band will surely take you down memory lane with a very fitting soundtrack.
For 12 tracks, Fireforce will take you on a cliché ridden Heavy Metal trip that will surely please fans of this genre that never have adjusted to more modern sounding bands. The band does a great job in creating that traditional Heavy Metal vibe, but does nothing to add something of substance to the genre.
When we first started listening to this album we noticed that it sounded a bit dated and ‘older’ for some reason, little did we know that it was originally recorded in 1999 and very limitedly released back in 2000. Taking that into consideration, we are even more amazed on what sound this band had back in those days and can’t help but wonder where it would have taken them back then.
If you are a fan of Epic Heavy Metal and you like bands like While Heaven Wept, Equinox ov the Gods, Fates Warning, etc, then Quicksand Dream will surely grab your attention. The band mixes Heavy Metal elements with some Psychedelic rock influences and the overall Epicness of the band’s sound is greatly enhanced by the vocals of Göran Jacobson.
Just a few short months after the release of the amazing “The Clans Will Rise Again”, we have Grave Digger providing us with an EP featuring 5 songs that would have been best fitted in a special edition version of the band’s previous album. However, these 5 songs provide a different (and very interesting) look to a few of the songs of the band’s latest full-length release.
Featuring two versions of their epic ballad “The Ballad of Mary”, this EP packs enough heat to surely satisfy the band’s fans. In the first version of this song we have Doro and Van Canto providing vocal support, making this song considerably better. In the ‘extended’ symphonic version (which is actually 20 seconds shorter than the Doro version of the song) we have symphonic elements that add to this song a very acoustic/classical feeling to this dramatic song.
For the super fans of Doro, AFM Record put together a very special ultimate collector’s edition of the metal queen’s “Fear No Evil” release. Here we will talk about the extra goodies presented in this lush collector’s edition boxed set, but if you want the full review of the album you can read it here.
In the first CD we get the full “Fear No Evil” and two new bonus tracks: “All we are (2007)” and “On My Own” as well as new cover art. The second CD has the “Celebrate” EP that includes 3 different versions of the song, the ‘original’ version, the version with Biff Byford (very good in our opinion) and the full Metal female version which includes some of the best female metal vocalists in the scene. This song it-self is what makes the EP worth having for any female-fronted Metal fan in the world. The remaining two songs are “The Night of the Warlock” and “Rescue Me”.
Celebrating 30 years of the band’s existence, Grave Digger comes at us with one of their most impressive releases in their career. With “The Clans Will Rise Again”, the band goes somewhat back into their “Tunes of War” era and continues to sing about Scotland. Since the first song with the bagpipes, you get the feeling this album will be nothing short from epic.
Chris Boltendahl vocals are as characteristic as always and greatly keep the Grave Digger sound alive. As the only remaining original member, he brings to the table all the experience of kicking ass and taking names over the span of 30 years. The rest of the band does a great job in capturing the old-school vibe of the genre and keeping it fresh with interesting keyboard sections and brilliant guitar riffs/solos.
The German Heavy Metal monsters are finally back with their first studio album in 14 years and with a new vocalists that while not as good as respected as Udo, he holds his own at the helm of such a legendary band. Accept has managed to combine some of their old day’s magic with a fresh sound that sounds better than anybody else in the Heavy Metal scene.
For the first time in years we can notice that Wolf Hoffmann and Peter Baltes managed to get their shit together and craft an epic album worthy of the Accept moniker. And by recruiting Mark Tornillo as the vocalist they managed to get a vocalist that we are sure nobody, except the hardcore Udo fanboys, will be complaining about since his performance is better than expected.