I never used the opportunity to speak with Witherfall in the wake of their self released debut album, “Nocturnes And Requiems”, neither did I bite when Century Media re-released the same product a bit later, but when the follow up, “A Prelude To Sorrow” was ready, in November last year, I finally got a chance to speak to the band. Usually it’s just one guy you get at the other end, but this time, both guitarist Jake Dreyer as well as singer Joseph Michaels contributed to this interview. Continue reading
Norway isn’t exactly known for producing a lot of outstanding speed metal acts. In fact, we’re not known for producing bands performing speed metal at all. When Oslo-based Black Viper released their demo a couple of years ago, you got a sense that the number of outstanding releases within this genre was about to grow significantly. Now that the debut album, “Hellions Of Fire” has arrived, it is safe to conclude that Black Viper has produced a world class album inspired by the likes of Agent Steel and Holy Terror. Hail Norwegian speed metal! Hail Black Viper! Continue reading
1. TERMINUS ”The Reaper’s Spiral” (Stormspell)
– Wait until you hear this one. Old songs are improved, new ones slay! If you don’t enjoy this one, you are simply not into heavy metal!
2. STARBORN ”The Dreaming City” (Stormspell)
– Speed, melodies and power blended very well together. Huge improvement on their demo. Continue reading
1. IRONSWORD ”None But The Brave” (Shadow Kingdom)
– First impression: Very good, but better than their two last masterpieces? I don’t think so.
2. RAVENSIRE “Rehearsal Demo 2015”
– Out of the blue. A raw demo recorded pretty much live in the studio. Three strong songs in the vein of the material on “We March Forward”.
1. SACRAL RAGE “Illusions In Infinite Void” (Cruz Del Sur)
– Riffs and vocals straight out of the US school of metal. The best Greek band ever! Interview coming very soon.
2. SORCERER “In The Shadow Of The Inverted Cross” (Metal Blade)
– High quality power doom with superb vocals. Interview coming soon! Continue reading
1. KENN NARDI “Dancing With The Past” (Tribunal)
– 28(!) songs that sounds like a natural follow up to the last Anacrusis-album. Monumental and emotional.
2. TRIAL ”Vessel”(High Roller)
– A band that is still growing, still improving. Close to dark heavy metal perfection! Continue reading
1. OUTCAST “Outcast” (Heavy Chains)
– Working man’s heavy metal with a punk undertone. Great!
2. SOLITARY SABRED ”Redemption Through Force”(Self released)
– A huge step forward from the last album. Very good epic metal.
1. CROSS VAULT “Spectres of Revocable Loss” (Eyes Like Snow)
– Huge, slow, melodic and crushing doom metal in the vein of Warning.
2. RANGER “Shock Skull” (Full Contact)
– New 7″ from one of the best speed metal bands of today, both on stage and on record. Believe they performed both songs at KIT. Continue reading
1. DEMON BITCH “Death Is Hanging…” (Dying Victims)
– So far only available on tape.Not that far away from the sound of fellow Detroit-outfit Borrowed Time. Unique vocals and a nod to bands like Mercyful Fate and Helstar too. Four really cool songs!
2. STONE DAGGER “The Siege Of Jerusalem” (Electric Assault)
– With the release of this 7″ inch, finally the tape can get some rest. One of the most promising new epic metal bands for a long time. Believe the hype!
1. DARKEST ERA ”Severance” (Cruz Del Sur)
– Grey and melancholic with more identity than on the first one. Lots of atmosphere and some great melodies too. Interview coming up!
2. THE DAGGER “The Dagger” (Century Media)
– A huge surprise. Very seventies inspired from these (mainly) death metal musicians. Influences ranging from Black Sabbath, via Deep Purple to Judas Priest showing clearly in the material. Interview coming soon.
1. FALCONER “Black Moon Rising” (Metal Blade)
– Might not be the most popular band around here, but I’ve had a really weak spot for this band since the debut. “Black Moon Rising” might be the best record they’ve released since “Falconer”.
2. NOBLE BEAST “Noble Beast” (Tridroid)
– What is it with me and the more melodic stuff this time? Extremely catchy, singalong European metal done by an American band, doesn’t sound like my stuff at all. Noble Beast blends Blind Guardian with Running Wild and Iron Saviour. A huge surprise!
1. BATTLEROAR “Blood Of Legends” (Cruz Del Sur)
– With Gerrit singing, this sounds quite different, still very cool. Needs a bit of time.
2. PORTRAIT ”Crossroads” (Metal Blade)
– Can’t stop spinning this one. So many storng songs and exciting parts. Vocals not as upfront as on the last one.
1. BELOW “Across The Dark River” (Metal Blade)
– Very pleasant, warm and melodic doom in the vein of “Chapter VI”-era Candlemass
2. PORTRAIT “Crossroads” (Metal Blade)
– A bit more laidback and relaxed musically/vocally than the last one?
1. NOCTURNAL ”Storming Evil” (High Roller)
– The first thrash highlight of 2014. Catchy as only the Germans can be!
2. COBRA “To Hell” (Austral Holocaust)
– Cool, old school heavy metal with some hard rock thrown in and the usual Southern American charm. Continue reading
1. SLOUGH FEG ”Digital Resistance” (Metal Blade)
– Will this band ever disappoint? Quality as we come to expect it from Mike Scalzi & Co. Simply put – a metal institution!
2. DARK FOREST “The Awakening” (Cruz Del Sur)
– Awesome twin guitars and some really huge choruses. Is it diverse enough to stand the test of time? Continue reading
1. REALMBUILDER “Blue Flame Cavalry” (I Hate)
– Their best effort so far. Still weird and original, but also a bit easier to get into.
2. STONE DAGGER “Demo” (Self released)
– Epic metal with the singer from Magic Circle. Tape only, 7″ coming up!
1. SOLSTICE “Death’s Crown Is Victory” (Self released)
– EP with two killer long tracks as well as two cool instrumentals. Long enough to convince, short enough to leave you wanting more.
2. RAVENSIRE “We March Forward” (Eat Metal)
– What an improvement on the EP! Raw, epic and heavy. It doesn’t get more metal than this! Continue reading
1. Borrowed Time “Borrowed Time” (High Roller)
– A refreshingly different take on pure heavy metal. Some cool ideas. Lots of identity.
2. In Solitude “Sister” (Metal Blade)
– Great album, but so far I prefer the more metallic approach of the last album.
1. Argus “Beyond The Martyrs” (Cruz Del Sur)
– Early days, but this could very well be their best one so far.
2. Atlantean Kodex “The White Goddess” (Cruz Del Sur)
– Right now, I prefer the debut, but as expected, this is high quality stuff. Continue reading
1. Stone Magnum ”From Time…To Eternity” (RIP)
– Solid songwriting, heavy riffs and a extremely good singer make a great doom metal-album. Great to see the RIP-logo as well. Love those old October 31 and Skullview-releases.
2. Hürlement “Terreur Et Torment” (Emanes Metal)
– Sold out when I wanted to buy it on CD at KIT, forgot about it until it was released on vinyl recently. I have a soft spot for pure HM sung in French!