National Napalm Syndicate

National Napalm Syndicate-Time Is The Fire Review

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Hailing from Finland National Napalm Syndicate are back with their new album Time Is The Fire. Starting with Pig Moon Rising with the winds howling, the vocals creating the atmosphere of tension, the listener feels the hair stand up on the back of their neck. The guitars and drums create a sense of discord, that is met amply by the next song. Obey The System is fast, but with melodies and direction, something that other such songs sometimes lack. A strong performance from vocalist Ilkka ‘Ile’ Järvenpää. In The Dead Of The Night is a mix of Metallica style riffs, and Judas Priest style leads, the guitars shine on this song and rightly so, this is a song that will bring the crowds singing when performed live. Kuolema is a mix of Black Metal tremolo picked riffs and something a bit more mainstream, the vocals are fitting for the style of the song. Harsh and discordant.

Bringer of Pain is fast, whilst retaining the sense of melody that the band is known for. The guitars shine through, the vocals create the right sense of anticipation within the listener. Knife Against My Throat has swagger and drive, a song that could well become a thrashy moshpit style song in the future. Drowning starts with a bass line from hell, creating a moody and heavy song, that carries with the guitars and the vocal lines. Fallen Gardens is epic, a masterpiece in the craftsmanship of songwriting, carrying synths and guitars and drums that fit the vocal lines of the song perfectly.

Original Sin continues the trend, building into the narrative, with clean guitars, building a sense of anticipation before moving into an outright heavy territory, the vocals soar as the song develops, and the guitars shine throughout. Ken Tasta Kay is a mix of harmonised guitars and straight up brutalised metal that would make Kerry King’s jaw drop. The riffs are on point and the vocals are brutal. Animal Is Out Of Control is fast, and furious. Unholy Madness is the orient pearl within the record, riffs in the chromatic scale that create the image of a crusading army, as the frenetic pace of the guitars and drums continues a story is told.

Welcome To Tomorrow has driving riffs and a pounding rhythm section, before moving into proper thrash territory. Faces start off clean, before moving into the heavy territory that would make a band like Bathory proud. The Worm Moon is a spoken word outro that builds into the next song. Blood and Iron is fast and furious a brilliant way to close out the album.

Be sure to purchase this album when it is released on 18th May via Iron Shield Records.

 

 

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Mindwars

Mindwars-Do Unto Others Review

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Dark thrash metal, the name itself paints an image of the sort of music listeners can expect from this third album from Mindwars. Starting with The Fourth Turning, the listener knows they have not been disappointed. Guitars chug along, the vocals speak of something sinister approaching and the music is on fire. Followed by the darkness of I am The One is the perfect storm of thrash within a record. Blacklisted is heavy, fast and gritty the guitars shine through and the drums beat a battering rhythm.

Conspiracy is thumping, pounding and driving, everything that a good thrash metal song should be. In God’s Name brings the drums of doom and the guitars of doom to the fore, bringing new elements in and ensuring they continue producing the goods without fail. Allegiance to Death is black thrash at its best, solid, chronic and without a doubt an absolute belter of a song. Wall of Fire is brooding and chaotic, a brilliant take on the old school thrash classics, expect to see mosh pit galore.

The creepiness of Kill or Be Killed is reflected in the haunting and downright terrifying opening laughter or mournful crying in the introduction. Peace Through Violence brings mediation and solidness a gallop of drums and riffs that coalesce into one thing or another and bring something like a solid eight to the record. New World Order is heavy, and chaotic, and simply everything that that song title suggests it should be. Take it All Away starts with the wah of the guitar, before moving into throttle, chaos and sadness wrapped into one, a brilliant finisher.

Be sure to purchase this record when it is released on 13th April via Dissonance Productions.

Nergard

Nergard-Memorial For A Wish

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In 2013, Andreas Nergard released his debut solo project, and five years later he’s back with a new improved and revisited version. With songs such as Angels and Haunted showing that time has aged them well, the vocals are on point, soaring and crescendoing through the stratosphere, the guitars and other accompanying instruments seem to fit well within the circle of things. Hell on Earth is chaotic, frantic and desperate, the vocal melodies reflect this and the instrumentation is the right level of dark and angsty to keep the listener hooked.

Stay has a mix of elements as well, hopeful, and also sad, the vocals reflect the tone of the song accurately, and this could well be a highlight when performed live in this version. A Question of God is thumping, heavy and powerful, a sure starter live. An Everlasting Dreamscape is ethereal, moving with the tide and something that is sure to get a lot of people interested.

Nightfall shifts through the tenure of a song that brings about mixed images, a number that carries weight and shows that the album still has legs. Requiem is moving, thoughtful and outright sinister in places. Inside Memories the closing track is brilliantly done, a movement of sounds and feelings and imagery, a brilliant closing track and one that will get appreciation.

Be sure to get this record when it is released on 20th April via Battlegood Productions.

Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters Interview

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Kyle, the guitarist and vocalist for Seven Sisters today:

 

  1. How did you come up with the name of the band, and what are your influences?

 

“I saw the name Seven Sisters on a tube train, and thought it was a pretty cool name. There was the link to mythology in Ancient Greece, Pagan mythology, and other such things so that was pretty cool. We’ve all got our influences from things such as extreme metal, death metal, black metal, and of course Thrash Metal and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Myself and our other guitarist Graham are into that sort of music as well so it helps.”

 

 

 

  1. What’s the process for writing and recording music for the band?

 

“We’ve got a tried and tested method. I write most of the lyrics, the melodies and the music, though on the second album Graham wrote some of the lyrics. I’ll come up with an idea, record the skeleton track, send it to the guys, we’ll go away and learn our parts and then come together to record it.”

 

 

  1. What was your approach to writing the songs for your new record?

 

“So bands like Queensryche, Mercyful Fate, Danger Danger bands with big choruses and hooks was something that really influenced us this time around. And of course with the record being a concept album about the Mists of Avalon which is something that both myself and Graham really like, it made sense to go for a more melodic sort of feel. The Lyrics were the last thing that was written for this record, so they sorted of fit in.”

 

  1. What plans do you have for the future?

 

We’re playing an album release show on the day the album comes out which is the 13th April at Blackheart in Camden. We’ll likely be playing the full album at that show and then choosing certain songs to play from there. We’re going to be playing shows in London, Manchester, Scotland, then heading to Ireland, and doing another UK Tour before heading to France and Germany.”

Tomorrow's Outlook

Tomorrow’s Outlook-A Voice Unheard Review

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Starting off with a bass lick, Within The World of Dreams quickly builds into a frantic song, smashing through the riffs and the chords and the progression from slow to fast within a blink of an eye, a fantastic opener. Descent has the makings of an epic song, slow bass lick followed by soaring vocals and the roar of the guitars. Through Shuttered Eyes has the swagger of a song that would go down like a treat live. Bringing groove, riffage and balls to the fore.

A Voice Unheard starts with acoustic guitars, the electric coming in for a lead part, that creates the sense of something greater and grander about to happen. As the song speeds up and hits the verse and the melody, you can tell that this is a song that will get the crowd moving live. Outlaw starts with harmonised guitars, anticipation fills the air, and the guitar melody brings the sense of the old west, cowboys and Billie the Kid. Times of War has an eastern feel, the song structured in such a way to create the chaos and the horror of war within the listener. The Enemy is a slower more thoughtful song that is just as heavy as those that have gone before it, indeed the slower tempo of the song makes it all the more epic.

One Final Prayer begins with the guitar ripping a solo over the drums of war, as the harmonies kick in, the anticipation builds, the gallop comes and the song continues through the sense of epicness is unrivalled. Fly Away is a gallop that continues the awesomeness of One Final Prayer with the melodies and the changing licks and twists. Nothing Shall Remain is an epic closer, a song that verges between the truth and the minute change within tempo. A song that allows the band to shine.

Finishing with two cover songs, Tomorrow’s Outlook have written a master class album and one that is sure to garner a great many followers. Be sure to get the album when it is released on 6th April via Battlegood Productions.

Cameltoe

Cameltoe-Up Your Alley Review

Cameltoe, the name is hilarious, the music is top notch. Starting with Delusional the band is treated to a solid riff that gets the listener moving, the vocals are on point and things are looking good. Screaming My Head Off continues where Delusional left off, big riffs, brilliant vocals and a solid rhythm section, that keeps things going, a brilliant song. Never What It Seems has echoes of eighties Dokken, something of a Paris is Burning, In My Dreams feel to it, and Vocalist Ben Rodgers delivers a brilliant performance. Tank Commander is epic, big vocals, big choruses, everything is big and that is what makes the music so good. I Always Cared is a lament, fit for the 21st Century, soft, sharp, to the point, brilliantly executed.

Twisted Fister is a mix of a call to arms and a banger of a rock song, the guitars truly sing out on this song and make it seem perfect. Coming Home is another tribute to the journey of a rock band and their desires to return to where they come from, a brilliant song and tribute. Devil’s Soul is haunting, dark, and melodic all at once. Rocky Road begins acoustically and continues, building anticipation before building to the crescendo at the end. Spread My Wings is dark, haunting and shows off Ben Rodgers vocal talents, as well as the skills of the guitarists Aune and Bakken. A brilliant closer to the album.

Be sure to get this masterpiece via Battleground Productions.

Angel Heart

Angel Heart-Angel Heart Review

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Starting with Burning Desire, Angel Heart show why they are hear to stay. The song is big, bombastic and anthemic, a perfect start to the album. Run Away With Me contains symphonic elements in the introduction, before moving into marching territory with the guitars and the drums. I Don’t Need Love is bombastic and ballad esque whilst remaining true to the tones set beforehand. Forever Free is Maiden, with peak vocals and rhythm performance. She is Strong is an anthem, empowering and strong.

My Spirit Will Live On is powerful, the piano compliments the vocals perfectly. Rock Friends is very eighties rock and roll with the driving guitars, and the powerful vocals, anthemic. Worth the Wait is dark, brooding and produces some of the best performances from the band. Sailing Against The Wind is the perfect closing song on the record, a mix of brooding, soaring guitars, and climatic vocals. A perfect finisher for a perfect album.

Be sure to get this album when it is released on 18th May via Mighty Music.

Sandberg

Sandberg-Monster

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Hailing from the home of Vikings, Sandberg bring their A game with the opening track Strigoi, a song that has a haunting intro, before moving into gear with a driving riff and a solid vocal line. A song that gets the blood pumping, with big choruses. Let It Fade Away is a softer, slower more thoughtful song that still packs a mighty punch, with the guitars in overdrive, and the drums pounding. We Can Steal Your Life is fast, furious and absolutely metal. Solid guitars, pounding vocal lines and a secure rhythm section. Circle of Anger starts with a clean lead, that plays during the start of the song as the heavy riffs kick in, creating a sense of desperation and the vocals are precise and fit the desperation within the song.

You Don’t Own Us is a mix of heavy and a taunt, the music reflects the vocal performance, suggesting that this is a call to arms, a call out song and one that would get the crowd moving quite massively during their time seeing the band live. King Father moves with the times, breaking into different modes, slow, sometimes fast, but always heavy. The Man Without a Face is quick paced, moving quickly, silently and filled with rhythm, a song sure to get people moving. Title track Monster is eerie, and precise, and downright scary and fast, a fitting closer to the record.

Be sure to get the record when it is released on 18th May, via Mighty Music.

Blackwater Holylight

Blackwater Holylight-Blackwater Holylight Review

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Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Blackwater Holylight have got something different about them, there are the traditional heavy music connotations thrown in with elements of folk, psychedelic and prog music. Songs such as Willow and Wave of Conscience are jazzy, epic and groovy all at the same time, not since early Sabbath has a band managed to achieve something this rocking at the same time. The vocals are chilling and would go down well at Winterland circa 1967. Babies is just as chilling, moving through the haunting vibrations of guitars, drones and psychedelic music that would make Hawkwind proud. Paranoia is an apt name for this song, with the shifting melodies the chaotic grooves and the haunting vocals.

Sunrise begins with the back and forth of the guitars building up as the drums kick in, the vocals take on the nursery rhythm, before kicking into gear. A blinder of a song. Slow Hole is truly psychedelic music, with elements of Floyd, Wishborne Ash and other greats thrown in over the haunting guitars and vocal lines. Carry Her is a mix of pop and straight up fudge, an interesting mixing. Jizz Witch with its brilliant name is a haunting, epic and heavy closer, throwing together, the haunting vocals of yore, the creeping riffs of Sabbath and the heaviness of Bluee Cheer.

This album is an interesting blend of new and old, and carries weight, expect great things from Blackwater Holylight, and be sure to get their album when it is released on 6th April via Riding Easy Records.

Nale

Nale Interview

I had the opportunity to speak with Matthias from Nale today:

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

 

The name of the band comes from a Swedish joke for one ale, came up with it on a night out, and sort of combined it with the drink Newcastle Brown Ale. As for influences, I grew up listening to old school rock, my older brother got me into Guns n Roses and Metallica, and then from there I branched out to Pantera, Sepultura and Punk Rock. Nowadays I still enjoy the old classics, but in my view as you get older, your taste ages, becomes more complex, like wine and cheese. Now, I listen to anything, it depends on my mood.”

 

  1. What’s the process behind writing and recording your records?

 

“Always becomes more than we planned for. For the first album we followed a traditional process, we wrote the songs, we rehearsed the songs over a few years so we were well versed in them by the time we came to record them. This album was different, our producer Lawrence had changed studios I believe, and so he wasn’t sure what his availability would be. So, what we did was we wrote riffs and we jammed, and created the foundations. Then we did everything ourselves individually, and emailed them over to one another, the drums were done with Lawrence. After the album was done we decided that for our next record we want to return to our original process.”

 

  1. What songs off of the new album are you looking forward to performing live?

 

“The album’s been done for about a year already, so we’ve had the chance to perform a few of the songs. Songs like Slither, Filth, Exit and Pigs have already been performed and gone down well with the crowds. As have songs like Dead Man’s Song, Smasher and Death, Skulls and Satan, so we will likely be adding them to setlist regularly. When it comes to choosing songs, there’s not set process, it’s more about seeing how it flows during rehearsals and developing it organically, rather than forcing it.”

 

  1. What does the future hold?

 

“We’re going to be going out on tour once the album is out. As its coming out kind of late, we’ve missed the festival season, so will be doing odds and ends during the summer, before doing a proper tour during the autumn.”