Chelsea

Chelsea Interview

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  1. What inspired the name of the band and what are your influences?

 

The name of the band came from the place in London. Chelsea was a happening place in the 70’s, punks would hang out on the Kings Road, go to Malcolm’s shop SEX and buy records from Kensington market.  The name of the band summed up the scene and the attitude of the time.

  1. Has your approach to recording and performing changed over the years?

The recording process is still the same as it was 30 or 40 years ago, the machines have changed from tape to digital but the formula is still the same.   It’s like making a cake, we start with the drums laying the foundations then layer bass & guitars on to the tracks which is the icing on the cake.  The vocals are usually last to be recorded and are the cherry on the top.  For our live show, we’ve always been an active band on stage.  All 4 of us across the front of the stage play hard, we’re not ones for just standing there and strumming away, Gene has his iconic stance.    

 

  1. What sort of things inspire your musical content?

The great thing about Chelsea is we all listen to different stuff so there’s lots of different flavors in there.  Collectively as a band we all read from the same page and being a part of Chelsea is a natural thing to us.  A lot of people wouldn’t be able to hack what we do but it’s what we do best and we live for that hour on stage.  We don’t try and sound or look like anyone else because we areChelsea.  We write about things that are going off in the world, how we feel about shit going down and personal things that happen to us.  The latest albums SATURDAY NIGHT SUNDAY MORNING and the new one MISSION IMPOSSIBLE were written with lots of collaborations.  Nic & James wrote a track together, James & I wrote with Gene, Gene & I wrote tracks, Nic & I wrote a few together, we adopt each others songs and put our own stamp on the tracks.

  1. What plans do you have for the future?

The new album Mission Impossible was released in October which has been getting some awesome reviews.  We just finished a tour promoting the album release in France & Spain and plan to play UK shows in April and tour Europe in June 2018.  We have a promo video shoot planned for one of the tracks off the new album and are discussing a possible new live album for next year. 

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Monolord

Monolord Interview

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  1. What inspired the name of the band, and what are your influences?

The name comes from a guy we know (Christer from Mammoth Storm). He got his hearing damaged on one ear, therefore he can only hear in Mono. AND he is freaking huge so that is why he is the Monolord.

 

  1. What was the process behind recording Rust?

The process was more or less the same as the other albums. I write most of the stuff in my home studio and record it. After that we meet up at the rehearsal space and try it out and arrange it. When we have enough good songs we decide to record it. We do everything ourselves. Recording, mixing and mastering.

Some of the songs like Forgotten Lands and At Niceae are written at the time from where we wrote Vænir but didn’t fit there.

 

  1. What is the song Dear Lucifer about?

It is about saying good bye to a dear friend. It is still fun to provoke people with an inverted cross or an image of a burning church but if you acknowledge one god, you acknowledge the opposing side of that god too. And that we do not. There are no gods.

 

  1. What plans do you have for the future?

More touring. Some headline tours and hopefully some direct support tours for bigger bands. If we get material for a new record we will work on that too. The future is now. No rest for us.

 

 

Scars of Armageddon

Scars of Armageddon-Dead End

Based in Chicago and playing that often loved and derided genre of metal, power metal, Scars of Armageddon have teamed up with Pure Steel Promotion to release their second album Dead End. The album cover is solid power metal, with skulls and mystical imagery dotted all over the place. It makes for an intriguing image when listening to the record.

Starting with the aptly named Prelude, anticipation builds and is met with a firm riff and drum onslaught in title track Dead End. The movement continues circling through the songs as Lockdown, Wasteland and Elf Revolution show off the guitar and vocal skills of the band. Painting an image of desolation, hope and revolution within the palette of the songs that they have crafted, Scars of Armageddon do not let up. They continue to craft songs built on hooks, melody and solid riffs throughout the album, and for that, they deserve credit and platitude.

This album is one that I think will stand the test of time and ensure that Scars of Armageddon get the recognition that they deserve. A solid album. It is released on Friday, 15th December. 8/10.

Vendetta

Vendetta-Hate Review

Vendetta was formed in Germany in 1984, as part of the seminal and defining thrash metal movement, that emerged in that country. They released two albums in 1987 and 1988 before the hands of fate forced them apart. Hate, was their come back album, and boy what a come back it is.

Songs such as Hannibal, Lying Society and Prepare Yourself For Hostility demonstrate quite clearly why Vendetta are among the pioneers of the German thrash movement. There is a lot of raw power in the tone of the guitars and the rhythms of the drums. The vocals are filled with anger and a taunting edge that helps differentiate the band from others in the genre.

Hate is an album that all lovers of thrash metal should purchase and play on repeat. Young guns should learn from the legends and ensure that they know just what is and isn’t possible. The album is released on 24th November. 8/10.

SEAX

SEAX Speed Metal Mania/ To The Grave

In the modern music world, metal has often been pushed to the back, it has been ridiculed and called all sorts of things. For speed metal and thrash, that is also the case. Amongst the metal community, it takes a lot to get a band noticed and recognised for doing something fresh and new. SEAX is a band who are unafraid of showing their hand and going full pelt, here on Speed Metal Mania they show just what they’re made of.

Songs such as Speed Metal Mania, Forged By Metal and Leather and Spikes really highlight the skill and technique that the band have. It is easy to play songs fast, punk rock showed that, but to be able to play songs at a fast tempo and with skill and dexterity and to keep everything in sync? That takes skill, a skill that Seax have demonstrated in spades throughout the nineteen songs on the record.

With nineteen songs, one might think it an ode to opulence and grandstanding, but it works. Each song brings new and fresh things to the speed metal table and ensures that the listener is not left short staffed or without something to fit their palette. A great album that is sure to bring the band a great many listeners. Released on 8/12/17 be sure to purchase it. 9/10.

Klaymore

Klaymore-It’s Alive 5th Anniversary Edition

Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Klaymore is an independent metal band infused with elements from the power, speed, and thrash subgenres. A mixture of memorable melodies, concise songwriting, technical prowess, a hint of humor, and riffs for days has culminated to form their “New Breed” of heavy metal.

Opening track It’s Alive is a beast of a song, with heavy riffs, pounding drums and solid vocals by vocalist Lee Prisby that show off his range and the depth of the feeling within the song itself. A good solid opener and one that will definitely bring the fans packing into venues, and drive them toward all kinds of mania. Matriarch starts off with pounding drums and a solid riff, followed by a quick solo, and then harmonised guitars. The vocals come in painting a picture of some sort of fell beast in the matriarch who is there to hinder you and leave you nothing more than a shell. Another beast of a song, and one that is sure to become a classic.

Temple of Dagon starts slowly, with a clean lick to begin with. The heavy tone of the rhythm behind the main lead and the robotic voice add to a sense of intimidation and fear for the listener, creating atmosphere. Then there is the riff, the key part of any good song. It starts with flavour getting the head moving. Prisby comes in with some sweet ass vocals, painting the image of a beast protecting the lair it has worked so hard for.

Swallowing Razors is an acoustic number, thoughtful, and a song that really shows off Prisby’s vocal abilities. This is a number that could well bring the lighters out at a concern to get people singing along.

This E.P. is a gem, it shows the raw talent of the guys in Klaymore and has allowed them to demonstrate just how much of a punch they pack. There are songs on here that will stand the test of time and should rightfully become metal classics. 10/10.

 

Crom

Crom-When Northmen Die

 

Crom are one of the few bands who can truly pull off the Viking heritage, power metal brand without coming across as cheesy or desperate, and that is down to their authenticity and their desire to put their heart into their music. That shows on their new album When Northmen Die.

Behold The Lights is a roaring song, a cracking opener, one that makes one want to go drinking and fighting to earn a place in Valhalla. Epic guitar riffs, epic choruses and epic everything. All Alone starts slowly with an acoustic intro before moving into heaviness, and plain epicness once more. Shields of Gold is another fine song, a proper drinking song, to celebrate the life of a hard fighting Viking. Dear Father is an acoustic number that is thoughtful and reflective, a slow change of pace toward the normal happenings.

Betrayal is next, heavy guitars, harmonised guitars, the soaring chants of Bathory are apparent here,  moving into fast moving, tremolo picked riffs and soaring vocals, Bathory would be proud. I’m With You starts acoustically,  before moving into heaviness, with grit and determination. Gods of Glory is another acoustic number, a drinking song, one that could easily be featured on Vikings before they venture forth into battle. One Step To The Lake Below is one of the heaviest songs on the record, with fast rhythms, soaring vocals, and a hook after hook.  Sentenced To Death is another epic number, Crom have hit a jack pot here.

Rain is a thoughtful acoustic number, displaying anthemic tendencies, a song that is sure to get the crowd singing along. When Northmen Die is epic. Layered and detailed, it is simply fantastic. Farwell Song is aptly named, mournful, haunting, a fitting closer. The Millenium King is a bonus track and is heavy, a song that can be used to get a mosh pit going.

With When Northmen Die, Crom have found the perfect balance between moderation and heaviness, epicness and chants. This is a masterful album. 10/10.

Vojd

Vojd-Behind The Frame Review

On Behind The Frame, Vojd provide good old school rock and metal tunes. Starting with the title track, Behind The Frame starts with riffs and continues on the monster pathway with soaring vocals, epic choruses and beating drums. The heartbeat of rock, so often feared lost, I think has been found again with this solid rocker of a number. There are no pretentions here, simply good old school rock.

Funeral Empire is another classic rock/metal song, screaming guitars, ballsy vocals and lyrical content, an anthem in the making. Both songs will be hits when played live and that for sure is going to provide Vojd a huge following.

Be sure to keep an eye on the band, I know I definitely will be.

Sadauk

Sadauk- A New Dawn Review

Sadauk, a blend of styles mixed into a portion of epicness, with an amazing front cover for their new album A New Dawn.

Overture, is the perfect start to the album, thoughtful, organic, with strings and synths to set the tone just right. Melhinis Death is song two on the record, starting with a rhythm pattern of moving notes, with a synth backing, and drums that follow the pattern, it moves into the symphonic heaviness that has become hugely successful throughout the metal community bringing dark vocals. Cursed Land starts with the guitar build up and moves into the heavy territory that suggests that there is more to come. Battle A God follows a similar pattern as Cursed Land and is just as epic. Funeral Among The Roses, is a slower number, more reflective, with a female vocal lead, which makes one stop and reflect on all that has happened.

Eleannas Prophecy moves things into a huge number, driving guitars, heavy drums and soaring vocals which make the build-up previously seem well worth it. Vikingagillets Kvade is a one minute interlude and seems to be setting the scene for a Viking mosher of a song with the callback and forth, the gang chant and spoken vocal really builds anticipation for what is to come. Sailing Away meets that description quite nicely, big guitars, heavy drums, melodic interludes abound. As They Sleep Beyond The Horizon starts with a clean guitar melody, it moves into the driving rhythm and vocal melody lines that one has come to expect, mythical lyrical content explored in full. Tears of The Sun seems to be the ballad of the record, slow, ripping solo, slow guitar melodies, heavy vocal leads, with mournful overtones.

Who Is King In Paradise, is heavy, big guitars, roaring solos, and quick drum beats all add to the sense that this, this number right here is to be the epic live song that gets the crowd going. Hourglass has an acoustic melody interlaced with the playings of a harp, with female vocals, a thoughtful and considerate song. Sage and Jester is another rip roaring song from the band, and another song that will go down in metal legend.

A New Dawn is heavy, melodic and inspired. Another album to add to your collection when 8th December rolls around. 10/10.

Stormhold

Stormhold-Salvation Review

The first thing one notices about the album Salvation, by Stormhold is the front cover. A picture of a man in a plague mask, made famous in Venice during the Black Death of the 14th century, and the scarred and bandaged remains of two people. A clear sign that this album is going toward the historical and the mythical, something that has already peaked the interest here.

Heart of a Hero is the opening track on the record, a quick, vibrant number detailing the life and exploits of Joan of Arc, it is a really cracker, a brilliant song to start an album. Black Death is next, and the heavy crunch of the guitars and the soaring vocals provide an epic point of proof for just how grim and dark the actual Black Death was. The Stranger starts with a soft acoustic melody before moving into a driving, staccato riff, and a brilliant vocal line.

Exile contains harmonised guitars, a driving rhythm section and has the hallmarks of a metal classic in the style of Iron Maiden. Path of No Return contains an acoustic lick, that brings elements of Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne to mind, whilst the spoken word over the top, adds to this feeling of ominous foreboding. God’s Crusade is next, with big guitars, a galloping rhythm, this is a song that will get people moving when played live.

Edge of The World brings harmony to the fore once more, before moving into the driving rhythm that Maiden have made famous throughout their time in the metal community, another stand out song, on an album filled with class. We March shows off the bass talent within the band, before showing off the heaviness and speed with which the band can shift through tempos and lyrical content. We’ll Never Fall begins with the title sung in harmony, before moving into the gang chant and bass led licks that stir sense of camaraderie.

A brilliant album, and one that all metal fans should pick up when it is released on 8th December. 10/10.