Flotsam and Jetsam, Uncategorized

Flotsam and Jetsam-The End of Chaos

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Thrash Metal titans Flotsam and Jetsam return with a new album. The End of Chaos. And by jove is it a cracking album.

“Prisoner of Time,” starts things off with rapid riffs and a pounding drum beat. The melodies keep things interesting and they drive the song throughout. A great opener. “Control,” is a barrel and a half of pounding thrash metal at its finest. “Recover,” a rocker with a solid thump and a push that leaves no one in any doubt that Flotsam and Jetsam mean business. “Prepare for Chaos,” continues the drive downward, and produces some seriously classic riffs and melodies. “Slowly Insane,” another riff monster that is sure to get people moving in the pit. “Architects of Hate,” is another song that slowly brings the groove together and ensures that the listener is hooked.

“Demolition Man,” continues the charge, relentless and demonic, it is a perfect demonstration of classic thrash metal. “Unwelcome Surprise,” pounds its way to the front and does not let go, ensuring that all and sundry are left rocked. “Snake Eye,” a grievous and powerful song with the thrashing sensibilities to go with it. “Survive,” continues this trend and ensures the listener is left hooked and demand more. “Good or Bad,” delivers a thunderous performance. “The End,” is fast and furious and finishes the album off in style.

The album is out now via AFM Records.

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Angeles, Uncategorized

Angeles-Time Of Truth

“Pain,” is a thumping rocker with some fascinating groove and bite. “Not Here To Play,” another interesting number that shifts the bounds and takes charge at the right moment. “Hollywood,” is a swaggering machine. “Trouble,” a rock and roll riff charger. “Goodbye,” slows things down and adds a touch of irony and sadness to proceedings. “We’re No Angels,” is another fast rocker.

“Are We Ready For Our Sins,” takes a commanding stranglehold over proceedings and ensures that the listener is hooked. “Lonely Road,” amps things up even more, with some powerful switching. “Band Plays On,” takes it to a whole new level. “Shiver Me TImbers,” a thundering rocker. “God, Country and King,” the perfect finisher.

The album is out now via Bongo Boy Records.

Uncategorized, West Bound

West Bound-Volume 1 Review

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“Never Surrender,” is a rocker, bringing the riffs to the fore, and delivering the goods. A seriously good opener. “Dance Of Life,” a heavy bluesy number that delivers pace and grit. “Ain’t Gonna Drown,” snaps back and delivers a punch and pull. “Beautiful Dream,” snaps to the front with the slowed down rhythm and then snarls into life. “Nothing,” a slower number, with the piano taking the lead. “Roll The Bones,” a thumping rocker.

“On My Own,” another thoughtfully arranged song that veers this way and that. “Keeper Of The Flame,” a rocker with added gut punch. “Turn To You,” a rocker with the greatest melodies that it could possibly have. “No Room For Sympathy,” a ball busting rocker. “Traveller,” a rip roaring ricochet that delivers the thumping goods.

The album is out on February 22nd via Frontiers Music.

Uncategorized

Meridian-Margin of Error

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“The Devil Inside Us All,” is huge. Big fat riffs, and a pounding melodical backdrop, providing the edge, to allow for the melodies to drive home on the vocals. “Off To War,” a galloping marathon that shows off the Iron Maiden potential, and shows just how good the band are. “Second Best,” a filtering through of power and grace, set to the tone of an edge. “Margin of Error,” the title track moves with grace and power. Slowly setting down the tempo. “Fragments of A Life,” is epic, with big soaring guitars, and a powerful melody.

“Circle The Drain,” powerful and emphatic, it takes a turn and then moves through, without pausing for a second. “In Nothingness,” huge melodies and vocal power combine to make this one hell of a song. “Drowning The Miracle,” slows things down, but the riffs just get heavier and more robust. “The Fate of Atlantis,” is haunting and slowly constructed to ensure that the song sparks at the right moments. “Disconnect,” heavy and melodic without the edge being lost. “Scream for Me,” is galloping brightly.

The album is out on 22nd March via Mighty Music.

Sichgart, Uncategorized

Sichgart-Chest’Ta Krov Review

“Synerhiia,” is dark and foreboding, slowly moving into the darkness whilst making the listener think that there might be a chance of light shining through.  This theme continues with the next song “Boii,” which brings some serious heaviness to the fore. “Stalevyi Bii,” continues bringing breakneck riffs to the masses. “MH17,” a force for nature, about the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down by Russians. “Forpost,” another brutal onslaught.

“Ostannii Son,” slow and moving within reach and breaking time. “Zhnyva,” is brutal thrash to groove to. “Kriz Viky,” Another mover and shaker. “Grad,” slow and dark. “U Vogni,” dark and moving.

The album is out now.

Onkel Tom, Uncategorized

Onkel Tom-Bier Ernst Review

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“Ich Ste.” comes barrelling in with some solid riffage and pounding grooves. “Flasche,” pounds the literal shit out of the listener’s ear drums, ensuring that the listener is hooked from the get go for this opus. “Wir Tri,” another song that has some interesting hooks and melodies, dancing upon the ground and getting the crowd going. “Bier Bi,” filled with swagger, and an ode to Bier, that fine beverage. “Durst I,” pounding and heavy, a true groover. “Hatten,” dangles the bait with the trumpet intro, and then it moves into overdrive, with the drinking song melody. “Was Sin,” slithers along the pathway, ensuring that the listener has another dose of fist pounding metal. “Jacky C,” slows things down somewhat, a cowboy song in the chains. “Durst W,” picks things up, blinding delivery. “Trunken,” a swaggering drinking song, that is sure to get beer swilling. “Bier Bi,” another classic tribute.

“Prost,” another song that slows things down, taking the hype down a notch, but also producing some fascinating little sing alongs. “Ich Fin,” pure metal coming out of the stream, and a blinding light for all to see. “Todgewe,” driving and pounding and filled with energy. “Ich Mus,” fast hell raising and ground pounding. “Egal,” groove orientated and based on energy and grit. “Von Ars,” a song that takes a turn and a twist, and produces some fascinating melodies. “Zwische,” an anthem and a half that builds from an intriguing place and goes from there. “Auf Dun,” swagger filled riffs, and energy based on the halves. “Das Bla,” a rocker and a half, swaggering around like a beast. “Polizis,” another song that finishes things off quite well with flair and grit.

Bier Ernst is out on September 28th via Steamhammer/SPV.

Black Alice, Uncategorized

Black Alice-Endangered Species Review

No Warning begins with the guitars beating out a nice rhythm and melody, the vocals come whispering into being changing and growling as suits. Rat Catchers Eyes is fierce, dark and growling, a true rocker. Running Hot, Running Wild drives and springs, moving through the gears, bringing some serious energy to the fore. Hell Has No Fury is good old fashioned metal, big bold riffs, and a pounding rhythm. Wings of Leather is slower, more Black Sabbath than Ac/Dc and that works just fine, producing a shredder of a song. In The Hall Of Ancient Kings is another epic number, with the pounding bass, and the soaring vocal line, carrying the song through. Psycho is fast and brutal.

Roll The Dice has some seriously bitchin’ riffs, a grooving chorus and vocal line and enough to really shift the groove and tone of things. Blade of Slaughter moves up and down, shifting between truly badass and epic with enough groove to ensure the listener is never left wondering. Power Crazy comes howling into being, with a strong riff and an even stronger vocal line. Hellhouse follows a nice bluesy groove, slithering and dancing around whilst the vocals tell an intricate story of a hellhouse. Man Of Metal has another bit of swagger to it, slanting and dancing around all the while. Knightmare follows a nice interesting change of pace, with an acoustic lead and a soaring vocal line.

The album is out 28th September via Karthago Records.

Uncategorized

Night Demon-Live Darkness Review

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A live album in this day and age is just as bold and brave as it was back in the 1970s, back then they were a rarity, now they’re a standard set piece, but getting the quality and the feel right is just as important, if not more so. Night Demon deliver 23 tracks of unfiltered metal and rock and roll on this live album.

Welcome To The Night is filled with energy, the guitars are focused, the vocals are fierce and the band sound as if they’re having a lot of fun. Full Speed Ahead delivers fierce pace and energy, snarling right out of the gate. Ritual has a little bit of that fun and go side to it, a nice hooky riff that gets the crowd moving. Curse Of The Damned is a nice little call and response, with an infectious beat, and a slamming riff and groove. Dawn Rider hammers itself home, beating the literal shit out of the listener’s eardrums. Save Me Now is slower, filled with energy and harmonies.

Hallowed Ground is an interesting shift, filled with energetic riffs, the energy purely bounds up and down, reflecting the energy within the band themselves. Maiden Hell is led by an absolutely irresistible riff, filled with energy, soul and fire. Mastermind is another absolute belter of a song, brimming with energy. On Your Own starts with solid drum patterns and continues with energy and grace. Life On The Run has a fierce riff, and some serious groove. The Howling Man is fast, energetic, melodic and filled with subtle variations making it one hell of a song.

Black Widow comes barrelling out with the harmonised riffs, the soaring melodies, and the dancing grooves, promising so much and delivering it all. Ancient Evil is a good old fashioned rocker, moving, shaking and grooving with the best of them. Satan is a classic rocker, moving with big riffs and snarling through on the vocals. Evil Like A Knife is fast, a song that gets the crowd going. Stranger In The Room is slower, more anthemic, and definitely a great song to be played live.

Screams In The Night, call and response, frenetic riffs, blistering energy all throughout. Flight Of The Manticore moves with energy and grace, the riffs dancing throughout. The Chalice is slower, more thoughtful and just as menacing. Darkness Remains starts soft and then gets gradually heavier, reflecting the nuance of the song on record perfectly. Heavy Metal Heat pounds its way through. Night Demon is energetic and a fitting closer.

The album meets all the criteria for a good live album, energetic, audience participation and authenticity. The album is out August 10th via Steamhammer/SPV.

Sign Of The Jackal, Uncategorized

Sign Of The Jackal-Breaking The Spell

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Reagan is the start of this seminal album, an organ with demonic undertones, or overtones, with the manic riffs that underlie it. It moves into the fast and pounding Night Curse, with its frantic riffs and sledgehammer drums, to ensure that things are kept interesting, the vocals are sharp and impressive. Class of 1999 is a good old rocker and shocker, right to the point with the impressive riffs and rhythms of good old numbers.

Mark Of The Beast is big, thrashy and quick, producing the sort of metal awesomeness that was commonplace throughout the eighties. Heavy Rocker is another anthem, Judas Priest is written all over this song, and it is sure to be a hit when played live. Nightmare is big, pounding and grooving, the guitars sing, the drums make the listener move their head and the vocals tell a fascinating story.

Terror at the Metropol is dark, cinematic, and a horror song in the waiting, with its absolutely ripping guitar riffs and grooving rhythms, the story and stage are set for the vocals to really tell the story of the terror. Beyond The Door is oldschool thrash with pounding guitars, fast rhythm and a screecher of a vocal. Headbangers is fast, moving and an absolute shaker of a song a great way to end the album.

The album comes out on 9th June via Dying Victims Productions.

Uncategorized

The Right and Left Divide In India: Does It Exist

The terms right and left have not always existed, indeed, they are by historical standards recent terminologies. They developed during the French Revolution, where those in favour of changing the system of government sat on the left, and those who favoured order and keeping things the same, sat on the right of the monarchy. Since then, both terms have been used to describe anyone who might hold a view that fits in roughly with either side of that original divide, regardless of their more ingrained and personalised views. As a phenomenon that started in the Western World, it makes sense that with the advent of colonialism, these two terms were brought onto the new lands that countries such as Britain, France, Portugal and Spain would colonise and make their own. In many countries, the terms have largely been adapted and accepted as fact, however, there remains one country where perhaps it is not completely clear whether the terms are truly applicable. With India being the country with the second largest population in the world and the largest democracy in the world, it would make sense that there would be a slight lack of clarity over whether the right and left wing labels truly fit. It can be argued that the presence of the more socialist Congress party and the more nationalist BJP, would suggest that yes, the labels can be applied here. However, further investigation reveals that everything is not as clear cut as one might hope it to be.

Following India’s independence in 1947, there was a common consensus amongst many of the new elites, to follow the method of governance championed by Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehru who from 1947-1964, served as India’s first Prime Minister, advocated a heavy role for the state, he favoured rapid industrialisation and he wished for all sides to work together. The Nehruvian model as it came to be known, brought initial good fortune to India, seeing heavy industry outgrow any other industry in Independent India, which did put the country on a solid footing. It also achieved that rare thing of cross party consensus, with many politicians seeing it as a good thing. However, toward the end of Nehru’s life, the model which he had so passionately championed had begun to become more of a burden than a boon. India became heavily reliant on foreign aid to fulfil its actual input needs, and for a country which had so recently found independence from foreign powers, this chafed. It can be noted that this was the first time that divisions on traditional right and left lines began to emerge. Nehru and his supporters wished to remain true to his model, whilst others such as noted Indian economist B.R. Shenoy argued that either India must open its markets to foreign investment, or it must invest in other sectors to bring a proper economy to bear. Nehru died in 1964, and his successors largely pursued the same policies as him, until the 1980s where his grandson Rajiv Gandhi finally decided to open the Indian economy to foreign investment and business. A move which has seen India become one of the fastest growing countries in the world.

Gandhi’s move to open the Indian economy brought with it some consequences that were perhaps unintentional. Congress has always been a party that sought to use vote banks, and bring in as many voters from minority backgrounds as possible, especially from the Muslim population. Consequently, there have been times when Congress has sought to put in place policies that would benefit these groups, such as bringing in LGBT rights and allowing the Triple Talaq- a way for Muslim men to divorce their wives by saying the phrase Talaq (meaning divorce) three times- policies which have at times been unpopular with other members of the Indian nation, and have seen more conservative elements turn to more radical fringe groups.

For many outside observers, with its Hindu Nationalist outlook the BJP is the very definition of right wing, the BJP has not always been the most forward thinking of parties. It is made up of conservatives who wish for minimal government interference and the hand of the free market, and radical Hindu nationalists who fear the growing Muslim presence within India and the growing erosion of Hindu culture. Indeed, the current leader of the BJP and the current Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat was at the helm during the vicious riots in Gujarat in 2002 which saw thousands killed, most of them Muslims. His lack of a response to the riots, had led many to accuse him of Islamophobia and actually advocating for the murders that occurred. A stain that has yet to remove itself from his person, and has, in the eyes of many put him firmly in the side of the radical fringes of the grassroots BJP movement, the RSS.

There are clear dividing lines here, however, as mentioned before, when one looks deeper into the matter of right and left, there are some things that become more readily apparent. For example, though the RSS might espouse a clear vision of a Hindu dominated society,  they are also one of the few groups within Indian society to espouse a clear abolition of the caste based system, which has harmed India for so long.  They also have worked to remove much of the stigmatisation from groups such as the Untouchables and the Naxals and tribals, all groups which one would think would be under the purview of the more ‘left wing’ Congress, but have suffered under the burdens of discrimination that Congress failed to remove. The election of Ram Nath Kovind a man from the Dalit caste, as President of India, under the nationalist government of Narendra Modi, would suggest that the BJP are actually more forward thinking than Congress, who never considered such a man during all their years in power. Furthermore, Congress which has traditionally been socialist, and as the party of the five year plans in India, contains many members who favour more free market operations than their forbearers would’ve thought bearable. There are members of the BJP who are also in favour of the Free Market, but many of their members are wary of the unrestrained hand of the market, and just how damaging such a hand was to India under Congress. Especially in lieu of the corruption scandals and graft cases that hit during the last few years of Manmohan Singh’s tenure as Prime Minister.

To conclude, after much research and thought it would appear that the right-left divide in India does exist, in that there are clear dividing lines over things such as LGBT rights, and other social issues, but that in other matters there seems to be some overlap. Such an overlap is to be expected due to the size of India, and the broad voting base that is available for either of the two large parties in Congress and the BJP to tap into. Consequently, there will always be push and pull and switching and taking of policies between these two parties as long as it is politically beneficial to them.