PANDEMIA – AT THE GATES OF NIHILISM (Target/Mighty Music)
Review by Sloof
About 15 years ago, I attended a gig in a local bar in Belgium and the band that was going to play was Pandemia. The band arrived in a little van, played with 200% energy and blew the roof off. I didn’t see such a brutal force and such an energy before and afterwards I got in touch with the Czech members for a beer and a chat. I stayed in touch with guitar player Alex Marek who left the band in 2005 who also supported Hypnos at live gigs. Years went by, contacts were broken and life goes on.
Until today. ‘At The Gates Of Nihilism’ arrived at my desk and believe it or not, but my heart started beating faster! There was energy in the air, and it took only a few nanoseconds to get the disc in my player and push the play button. It wasn’t necessary to previse a door sign ‘do not disturb’ at the door handle, as the volume was immense loud while the sound waves where spreading until the neighbors’ porch. Pandemia was in da house, and I had a few things to celebrate!
It took 6 years since the previous album ‘Feet Of Anger’ was released until now, and they recruited a new guitar player for this new album. Vitaly Novak is welcomed in the Pandemia family since 2011, and with original bass player Jarda Friedrich and drummer Pavel Kouba, he’s unleashing hell in all its forms! Behind the microphone, we encounter Jirka who spits venom since 2008, and his voice will make sandpaper jealous!
The first track on this fifth album is called ‘Rotting In Mold’ and the Death Metal that they present is in optima forma! Excitement all over, galloping strings and a panzer division on drums and bass will do the job! This is Death Metal with a European twist but at the same time with American precision. Obituary’s Trevor Peres meets Olavi and Johan from Amon Amarth to add a melodic twist. The guitars on ‘At The Gates Of Nihilism’ are so demanding, so massacring, that the fear of a pandemic is the only bright spot in this nihilistic world. The pace on this new album is not always ‘at full force’, but believe me, this band is even deadlier when they slow down a bit. The heaviness drops from my speakers, the death threat becomes a blessing and while the musical instruments of pain and torture fulfill their tasks, the butcher awaits to guide you to the gate of nothingness…
It really feels good to know that Pandemia is still alive and kicking and they are ready to spread their pandemic all around the globe! Never been so happy that global extermination would taste that sweet! http://www.pandemia.cz/
My rating: 88/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
PARALLEL MINDS – HEADLONG DISASTER (Metal Revelation)
Review by Sloof
Since a few years, I’m surprised about the quality of French metal bands, as there is a lot of quality present and many albums blew my speakers. Things aren’t changing right away, as another raging thunder arrived at our desk, and I’m still dazed after I spent some time with Parallel Minds. Jesus, this is an awesome band! I almost feel ashamed that I’m not familiar with them as they come like a bolt from the blue. Metal attacks without mercy, there is nothing better to compare, but Parallel Minds did it with full force, strength and conviction! It seems like this country is very active in the Heavy Metal scene but more and more bands succeed in escaping the underground world and present themselves as the new highlight, the one that will put France on the metal map again!
Still having doubts? Well, recently, I enjoyed albums from French bands like Deathtronic, Fairyland, Mörglbl, Sanctuaire, Solekahn, Wolf’s Gang, Temnein, Thrashback, Drawers, Elvenstorm, No Return, Chabtan and Unsafe, and I’m sure that there are much more to be discovered!
Now, we focus on Parallel Minds who release their album in a wonderful, colorful artwork, despite the negative message that they spread. ‘Headlong Disaster’ is their debut album, but the trio has already a long career throughout different bands, and that’s exactly what this album is reflecting. You simply hear that these are no rookies. They have the passion, maturity and skills to write, perform and convince people that Parallel Minds is here to stay. Vocalist Stéphane Fradet was a decade vocalist of Falkirk, Guitar player Grégory Giraudo is also a member of Coexistence and last but definitely not least is drummer Franky Costanza who gathered experience in bands like Outburst, Imperial, Vise Versa, Seasons Of Pain, Emma-O and of course Dagoba! This trinity gathered, wrote, reworked, planning and filing the songs to a maximum perception, and here it is, the final result ‘Headlong Disaster’.
‘I Am’ a perfect song to open an album. It has a good acceleration, the guitars and bass is in ‘attack mode’ and the drums sound like thunder from heaven. When the throat of Stéphane Fradet takes his part, you will be surprised and stunned at the same time. He’s a fabulous vocalist with a lot of possibilities. Some resemblances with Peavy from Rage now and then, but lesser nasal. The songs are breathtaking, backbone-chill-providing-quality and you can randomly choose from a long cumshot (‘Hyperion’-20 minutes! and ‘Migdal Bavel (Myth Of Babel)’- 8 minutes), or just a quickie like ‘Reborn Through Hate’ or ‘A 1000 Minds Away’. The quality is present in every track, in every frame, in every layer and in every second! This is an album that needs to be discovered as there is so much to reveal.
When you add a few covers on your album, you better take care and control that you made the right decision. Well, celebrating the Scorpions isn’t a bad idea and even if you chose a rather calm track like ‘Coming Home’ from their original album “Love At First Sting” – 1984, and you add an own personal touch to the original, I can only applause that decision! And fans of Iron Maiden will be happy to hear a classic tune like ‘Only The Good Die Young’ in a 2015 version, with only one thing to add: Up The Irons! Horns up for Parallel Minds, but they don’t need covers at all to make impression!https://www.facebook.com/parallelmindsofficial / http://parallelmindsofficial.com/
My rating: 91/100 (Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)
PATRIARCH – RAGE OF GODS (Independent)
Review by Sloof
Belgian metal since 1988, and their earlier days (from 1983-1988) as Pariah! Only guitar player Fred Mylemans is the remaining original member, but on this new album, he made a temporary pact with his son who took care of the drums during the recordings. At this moment, they have a permanent drummer in the lineup (Luc Seeuws), who succeeded in jumping in before the end of the recording process, so you can hear this dude on one track ‘The Red Cord’. Luc already joined the band from 1992 ‘till 1995, so he’s familiar with older material of the band. Patriarch encountered a lot of lineup changes through the years, so we can consider this as setbacks in their career. Luckily, perseverance conquered, so it’s really great to hear the band alive and kicking on their new album “Rage Of Gods”, which is released since the beginning of March 2016.
This Thrash metal outfit is still unsigned, but in the beginning they released their debut album on Shark Records. I still have a nostalgic feeling when I think about ‘Prophecy’, which was released in December 1990. Times are changing, people grow older and with the addition of new members (read: fresh blood), it’s obvious that the band evolved through the years. Their current vocalist Kevin Vangelooven (ex-Native Instinct), and his vocal cords fit perfectly to the musical style and direction of Patriarch. The only comment (be it rather small) is the somehow dated sound that the album has. Compared with nowadays releases, I’m sure that a first class producer could have done more with the material, but I guess this was only a matter of money.
The musical influences are very varied! I can name Pantera, but at the same moment Testament. And what about Iced Earth in the more sensitive parts? Patriarch stands for quality metal where breaks and hooks are well placed. If I have to point out my personal favorites, I would say ‘The Sealed Tongues Of Wisdom’ and the title track, but also ‘The Red Cord’ is an appetizer!
‘Rage Of Gods’ is an independent release, and that’s a good move, as they have the opportunity to hold all strings in own hands. No labels that run with the money, no obligations concerning merchandise, only freedom and independency, so every Metalhead that likes Thrash metal and want to support their local scene should buy this album. Patriarch deserves respect, and demonstrates that a determined vision is the only thing that counts! They are metalheads from our region, and I’m damn proud about what they achieved! https://www.facebook.com/PatriarcHMetalband/
My rating: 83/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
PAVILLON ROUGE – LEGIO AXIS KA (Dooweet Records)
Review by Sloof
Everybody has preferences, so it’s impossible to appreciate every album that arrives on our desk, and even if we try hard, with an open mind, and an objective view, things can become hard and almost impossible.
Believe me, I went to the extreme, and my efforts were limitless, but I can only conclude that Pavillon Rouge and their new album ‘Legio Axis Ka’ isn’t my cup of tea. This doesn’t mean that the musicians are bad, unprofessional or simply worthless, but the musical structures of the songs start to annoy very fast and I simply miss direction, variety and titillation.
A very bombastic and industrial beginning with ‘Pris Me Vers l’Odyssee”, and that’s how the trip continues until ‘Klux Santur’. ‘Mars Stella Patria’ opens like a light version of Industrial Metal. It’s like a Metal band that goes acoustic, an Industrial band that switches into a softer version. The song drags forward at slower speed but the next track is increasing the pace again. The rhythm section has a disco layer in the beginning, but when the guitars start shredding, Armageddon is on the rise again! All these things can’t contribute to a different view. I still keep missing the necessary slap in the face. 47 minutes and 9 tracks of Industrial Metal that reminds me of Static-X, which I saw live at the Graspop 2009 edition. The only difference is, the presentation, as Static-X succeeded in convincing me, this band doesn’t.
I must admit that I don’t hear many differences in between the songs. Most of them have a very staccato rhythm what makes it sound like one gruel or mush. It all tastes the same, no matter how many spoons you take… https://fr-fr.facebook.com/LuxDiscipline
My rating: 62/100 (Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate)
PERSONA NON GRATA – CONFIRM YOUR HUMANITY (Steel Gallery Records)
Review by Stefan
Mastered and mixed by legendary producer Chris Tsangarides, Athens-Hellas’ Progressive Metal act Persona Non Grata have unleashed its third album “Confirm Your Humanity” on March 10th. 2016 through Greek label Steel Gallery Records. Formed back in 2003 by keyboardist John Ioannidis and guitarist Chris Gatsos, I wasn’t familiar with this band but already had heard some good critical acclaim in relation to their previous albums “Shade In The Light” and “Quantum Leap”. The only way to assess PNG is to give their new effort “Confirm Your Humanity” a couple of spins myself as I did for several times until now. And I can tell you right on that I’m quite impressed with this way final result… This is something really good !
Throughout a duration of more than 52 minutes you will be presented with Progressive Metal to the extreme. With regards to this type of music, most of the songs are made with all sort of musical movements. Progressive Metal allows a band to run wild his own imagination that, mostly, results in pleasant, sophisticated compositions. In the case of Persona Non Grata, well they are able to let come the term ‘progressive’ even more to its own. I would like to label them as one of the most impressive/oddball bands of the moment as they offer an impressive blend of Progressive Rock and Metal to the masses.
Vasilis Axiotis, the lead singer takes me by the throat right from the start. He has a fantastic timbre and delivers a stunning falsetto which he can send in all directions, hassle free. Vasilis can immediately apply to big bands like Queensryche, Heir Apparent, Fates Warning, Lethal among others. Absolutely great frontman! Chris Gatsos is the only one guitarist within the PNG ranks, somewhat unexpected but I can guarantee you all that there are no deficiencies relating to the guitar works, both riffs and leads are manufactured with a serious knowledge of detailed, technical perfection …absolutely like to hear this way of guitar actions. 99 % of all progressive acts have a keyboardist on board, not my favorite instrument but okay, it belongs to the overall package and John Ioannidis delivers the goods. Bass lines by Chris Colias are performed on a well-prepared and qualified way, his musical background seems more than successful. Last but not least we have Akis Gavalas, ‘session’ drummer for PNG’s new effort titled “Confirm Your Humanity”, a person who let me enjoy of his musical abilities reaching a high status.
There are eight songs in the queue and many moments of progressive intensity will not escape your ears. All purebred intelligent works with a lot of emotional, somewhat melancholic and dark minded character traits. Persona Non Grata manages to stand out from the typical contemporary ProgMetal scene and that’s a good point to me. Don’t expect a ‘Tour De Force’ type of album, just insert the silver disc and listen attentively to a masterful performance offered with a rehearsed passion for a quite unusual type of Progressive Metal, alternating with fusion-esque elements as well.
Persona Non Grata’s third, new album “Confirm Your Humanity” is a not everyday/ variable-to-the-bone pearl that gives the world of Progressive Metal a somehow different dimension. A very well done performance by natural born musicians who have found their vocation in making ultra Progressive Metal definitely. All things considered, this jewel box package masterpiece should be ordered by each adherent of the progressive genre right away ! Fans of early Shadow Gallery/Dream Theater, Evergrey, Pain Of Salvation, … purchase on the double right HERE. Additional band info at:http://personanongrata.info/index.html / https://www.facebook.com/PersonaNonGrataband/
My rating: 89/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
POLARIZED – WESTERN HYPNOSIS (Target/Mighty Music Records)
Review by Sloof
One of the biggest surprises of last months! Out of the blue, but they succeeded in hitting the nail hard on the head! Polarized is an ensemble that teamed up with members from Bosnia, Sweden, Italy and USA! This Euro-American outfit delivers quality with a capital Q and originality with capital O. Nowadays, Polarized can be considered as a New Haven, CT (USA) act that will create a stir in the underground circuit! They remind me to the early Pantera albums, as they have a similar stiffness in the arrangements and that original approach makes them stand out of the crowd!
‘The Seventh Sin’ opens very direct and from the first moments, the typical ingredients of this band occur: they are willful and that reflects in their compositions. Some moments I have Exodus/Hatriot in my head, and that’s because the musical style has a lot in common with the deadly riffing of Gary Holt and Lee Althus. The vocals of Daniel Botti add a little extra to the outstanding classy thrash riffing that they play and this whole album is going to give you diverse angles of great bands!
‘Wish ‘Em Well’ continuous as venomous as possible and in this song you will agree that Jon Oliva, the Mountain King of Savatage, is lurking behind the curtains! That’s so awesome that it’s like Polarized is a contemporary band that melts the best parts of Exodus with Savatage. Never thought that I would be able to listen to a band that combines this melting pot in one great album. ‘Recipe For Death’ is a short headbanger with shredding guitars and subdued energy until the riffing starts. This is inhuman!
‘Black Loyalty’ opens totally diverse, but when the pace is increasing, we hear a band that is eagerly waiting to strike! The chorus line in this track is addictive and while John Oliva, sorry, Daniel Botti is screaming and yelling, we hear the musicians in a self-opinionated modus! ‘Rise’ is another highlight on the album, and that’s exactly how this disc is making its way to my ears. ‘Western Hypnosis’ emphasizes the Exodus elements in the arrangement. Skilled guitar players accelerate with deadly riffing and while the song is increasing in tempo the vocals of Daniel add the necessary extra.
Wonderful arrangements, original and refreshing all the times that you listen to “Western Hypnosis”, and the quality seems to increase spin after spin. The title track is another headbanger pure sang! Keep your neck muscles in shape as Polarized is going to ruin them!
My rating: 91/100 (Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)
POTENTIAL THREAT SF – 2012 CIVILIZATION UNDER THREAT PROMO (OSM RECORDS)
Review by Nathan McLeod
Often referred to as a ‘demo’, which this is definitely NOT! ‘Potential Threat SF’ released a ‘4-track’ promo CD in 2012 to their 2013 sophomore CD release of ‘Civilization Under Threat’ on ‘OSM Records’. A bit of a ‘preview’ to come as a ‘quartet’ line-up, with the addition of ‘Daniel Sheridan’ on guitar & ‘Damien Sisson’ of ‘Death Angel’ on bass. The ‘production’ of this ‘4-track’ promo CD was ‘flawlessly’ done up with that of ‘Juan Urteaga’ at the helm! With ‘outstanding’ cover art, that of ‘Mark DeVito’. In ‘both’ instances would be applicable to ‘Potential Threat SF’s’ – ‘Civilization Under Threat’ CD!!!
‘Exceptionally’ written material, with a thrash-metal style “basis” of the late-80’s ‘Testament’. With ‘much’ better vocals of ‘Mike Noble’ compared to ‘Chuck Billy’s’. Add in a VERY ‘parallel’ style of bass-playing of ‘Damien Sisson’s’ to the late ‘Cliff Burton’! (Rest In Peace). Rounding out with the ‘addition’ of a second ‘axeman’, ‘Daniel Sheridan’. (which was MUCH needed IMO).
Believe the ‘readers’, ‘masses’, ‘media’, & ‘fans’ alike need to further any ‘comparison’s’, by listening to ‘Potential Threat SF’s’ debut CD ‘A New Threat Level’ & their ‘2.0 EP’ releases, moving onto ‘Civilization Under Threat’! And do so much more ‘in belief’ that ‘Ken & Mike Noble’, ‘veteran’s’ of the ‘Bay Area’ thrash-metal scene of the late-80’s, have the ‘capability’, ‘ability’, ‘talent(s)’ taking ‘Potential Threat SF’ to a ‘Whole Different Threat Level’ with a follow-up release. ‘Potential Threat SF’s’ “OFFICIAL” ‘Destroy & Dominate’ video can be caught on YouTube.
My rating: 78/100 (Decent but best previewing)
‘Potential Threat SF’:
*Mike Noble: Vocals/Guitar
*Daniel Sheridan: Guitar/Backing Vocals
*Damien Sisson: Bass/Backing Vocals
*Ken Noble: Drums/Backing Vocals
*Mehl Meinhardt: Additional studio guitar leads
*Rob Cavestany: Guest appearance
‘2012 Civilization Under Threat Promo’ track info:
1) Intro, 2) Destroy & Dominate, 3) Edge Of Insanity, 4) Written In Blood; total run-time 19:23.
Recorded, produced, & mastered by Juan Urteaga at Trident Studios – Pacheco, California. Cover artwork by Mark DeVito & Metal Babies – El Cerrito, California.
More information regarding Potential Threat SF news, updates, & contact info:
Additional PT SF info:
Metal Archives: www.metal-archives.com/bands/Potential_Threat/40158
POWERPLAY – ALL THOSE YEARS (Target Records)
Review by Stefan
Disappeared from the radar for more than two decades, Copenhagen-Denmark based PowerPlay are back on the rails to offer a brand new effort called “All Those Years”, released by Target Records. This album, with the appropriate title, has 10 songs in promotion for all those into uncorrupted melodic rock, better known as AOR or Arena Rock. A type of music on the rise since the mid 70s, those days pioneering by bands like a.o. Foreigner, Styx, Journey, Survivor, Toto, Saga, Dare, FM, Magnum and still up and running at the moment.
PowerPlay was founded in 1987 by Simon Dalberg (drums), singer Erik Thomsen, Kurt Lundgaard as guitarist, Peter Gjedde took place behind the keyboard instrument. Bassist Philip Stricker joined the band later on, he brought new ideas to the band basically. Songs were made and the band hit the road playing numerous gigs, especially in their home country Copenhagen. Systematically they more notoriety and even won a Music Award called “Let’s Rock” in Trommen, connected to the award as ‘Best Performing Band’ was a record contract at Werner Studio in Copenhagen. What really happened back then I don’t have a clue, sad fact is that PowerPlay never created that album, they even called it quits back in 1992. In other words, their fifth anniversary was abruptly aborted… now 20+ years later on, they’re back with a vengeance, and with the original line-up, and with a brand new album !
Still ambitious as they were back in the late 80s, PowerPlay’s newest cut “All Those Years” proves that they have not been idle during their absence. I have to say that the end result of this new effort indicates a high level of musical skills spread across 10 excellent produced songs by Thomas Brekling and the band itself. The recordings took place at the Granny Studio and Media Sound Studio.
My own satisfaction factor reaches a relatively high value, especially the more up-tempo songs like opener ‘City Of Love’, ‘Powerplay’, ‘Why Are You Running Away’ and ‘Cry Freedom’ do completely justice to the term AOR. Related flawless and crystal clear vocals which are currently the harbinger of very pleasant song structures… watch out for the well done service of mighty strong bass, drum and melodic guitar works. You will hear a few ‘softer’ songs coming through your speakers as well, compositions slightly a tad too commercial in my opinion but in fact, these ‘easy on the ear’ works has also to do with AOR/Arena Rock. I have no problem with this kind of music but when some of the tracks to be played in a too soft, tender and cheesy manner like on ‘Going Home’, I tend to quit. Just a matter of personal taste, nothing more-nothing less! During the final numbers ‘Climb A Mountain’ and ‘God Knows You’re A Bad Bone’, these Danish veterans seamlessly achieve the typical AOR as I like the most of all once again.
After so many years, they succeeded to release the long-awaited album, a long-term mission they have endured with much devotion. “All Those Years” is the perfect meal that will satisfy the hunger of every defender of AOR music longing to be thrilled by the sound of legendary grandmasters likewise Toto, Journey, Marillion, Starship and Survivor mainly. More info at: www.facebook.com/thepowerplaydenmark / http://www.thepowerplay.dk/ Order at: http://targetshop.dk/uk/365377/Powerplay/All_Those_Years/
My rating: 84/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
POWER THEORY – DRIVEN BY FEAR (Pure Steel Records)
Review by Sloof
An album that is full of authenticity, energy and power, that’s what the label promises with the promo of Power Theory. Of course, every label, every manager and every promotor uses only praise to get the attention of their product, but now and then, they have it completely right! I guess that Power Theory is such a band!
“Out Of The Ashes” was released in 2011 and the band tried to get hold on the European audience. Not such an easy task if you live in Pennsylvania, but once more, it proves that Pure Steel have perfect talent scouts, so a contract was offered. This first cooperation resulted in their second album ‘An Axe To Grind’ which received critical acclaim worldwide! It took 3 years to complete the third album, but the wait is over, and ‘Driven By Fear’ is ready to conquer the world. The lineup changed a bit, new vocalist Jeff Rose was welcomed, and the overall sound of Power Theory changed a little, luckily not drastic. Their musical direction is US Metal with a slight dose of Thrash Metal, but all captured in songs where the vocals are utterly important.
The album opens with the track “Spinstress” and in this track you will hear a little Biff accent. I like this track a lot, but although the quality is present, I still miss a spark. “Long Hard Road” decreases in pace, but again, the vocals of Jeff Rose are breathtaking! From then on, the quality increases with tracks like ‘Driven By Fear’ where angelic vocals open and a lot of breaks and hooks. Some of the tracks are familiar with Blaze Bayley, it all depends on the chorus lines that Jeff has to sing. I must say that there are worse competitors… If you want a quick preview on this album, I would suggest tracks like ‘Cut & Run’ and ‘Don’t Think Twice’, al must be said that the final track ‘Beyond Tomorrow/After The Fall’ is another highlight on “Driven By Fear”.
Drummers are very often in the background, but I want to mention the capacities of Nick Bunzck as he’s delivering outstanding moments. He’s constantly switching pace, giving some extra punches on the skins in between the riffing of the guitar. He’s comparable with Rob Reiner of Anvil on their “Hard’n Heavy” album. Totally insane what he achieves! https://www.facebook.com/POWERTHEORY1/timeline?ref=page_internal
My rating: 84/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
PREMORTAL BREATH – THEY (Independent)
Review by Sloof
A German band with the idea of starting a fresh-sounding, heavy, yet melodic metal band but with the occasional lineup problems in their biography, that’s what Premortal Breath is all about. They originated in Rauenberg around 2010 and recorded a demo with two tracks on it. Being still unsigned, they decided to enter the recording studio and get 8 tracks onto their debut album. ‘They’ was released in July 2014, and after a few listens, I’m quite sure that this album won’t be mentioned in metalheads their favorite albums poll; It’s all too average, it’s all too predictable. Let’s have a closer look on this 40 minutes disc…
The album starts with a traditional riff and when vocalist Thomas Greulich threatens us with ‘I Will Be Your Ruin’, the song reveals as an average Hard Rock track with a slight Heavy Metal approach. The chorus in this track is rather commercial and melodic, which results that ‘My Ruin’ has a rather pleasant taste instead of a threat. I don’t think that this is the whole meaning, as the lyrics don’t coincide with the arrangement of the song in general and the text doesn’t have the perspective to hunt to terror. The recurring phrase ‘facing my own Nemesis’ seems to be a fruitful encounter instead of a conversation or a meeting with a personified vengeful fate with a remorseless goddess, a spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris.
‘Fuck My Brain’ contains an aggressive impression in the lyrics, and thanks to the good arrangement, it could be the best track of this debut album. There are some resemblances with Metallica when Thomas is bringing his lyrics and it seems like the band woke up finally. But, it’s unfortunately only valid for a short time…‘Pain’ has a melodic chorus line, and will pay off at live gigs, but isn’t more than an average song, sigh, again. Title track ‘They’ has good riffing from the guitar players Sebastian Herbold and Tobias Eymer, but again, the vocals don’t follow simultaneous in quality. The next one is ‘Pleasure’ and has a good pace from start till finish! ‘Trapped’ opens totally different and this variety was a necessitivity! But shortly after, the same monotonous approach continues and that’s a pity. This band has good musicians, but need a little extra, they have an average singer, but he should work on variety and the overall impression leaves nothing more than ‘average’.
If this band wants to stand out of the crowd, they need to work on an own identity and make sure that the lyrical content reflects in the songs as well. The titles of the tracks have a threatening and a shocking angle from time to time, so we also expect the same aggression in the arrangements. It’s a good beginning, but there is still a lot of work ahead! Adding some firecrackers wouldn’t be a bad idea…
Peavy, the voice of Rage is a significant comparison as the timbre of the vocals is comparable, but at the same time, I wonder if one Peavy isn’t enough for Germany… ?
My rating: 68/100 (Rather moderate)
PRIME EVIL – BLOOD CURSE RESURRECTION (Infernö Records)
Review by Spirit In Black
It’s almost hard to believe, this band got a first demo out in 1987 and released their first full-length album in 2015! In between the first demo and the full length, New York based Prime Evil released a couple of more demo’s. A blood red coloured 7” called “Terminal Dementia” in 1992 and a compilation CD “Unearthed” featuring all their demo’s and rare recordings, in 2002. After a short hiatus, they reformed in 2010 and released an EP called “Revilution” the same year.
Back to the new one “Blood Curse Resurrection” which is a solid old school Death Metal album with an occasionally thrash part. Based on that, you can hear in some of the guitar riffs and/or solo’s. While listening to the album, many bands fly through my head: Death, Cannibal Corpse, Pestilence, Obituary, Slayer, Kataklysm, Krisiun and similar bands. With that said, Prime Evil do not copy exactly the bands listed, it only sounds familiar. Well, maybe some small parts but who cares?
The songs are new and well written. The combination of fast, blasting parts and the slower, heavier other half, fits really good together. I would not be surprised if they used a riff or a drumpart here and there that was still lying around from the band’s 80’s era. Guitars, bass, drums, everything sounds tight. Vocal wise, I can’t make more of it that it’s a normal death metal voice and it’s a good one.
When you enjoy the above mentioned bands and appreciate old school Death Metal in general, check “Blood Curse Resurrection” for sure… highlights: all songs! http://www.primeevil.net/ / https://www.facebook.com/real.prime.evil Order at: https://www.inferno-records.net/
My rating: 80/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
PROPHETS OF ADDICTION – REUNITE THE SINNERS (Target/Mighty Music Records)
Review by Sloof
Prophets Of Addiction (POA) comes from Seattle, USA and they are into the Glam rock scene. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I gave it a try, as every band and artist deserves a fair and honest review. Well, the trip left me with an average feeling, as the band didn’t succeed in surprising me, and that has various reasons.
The song writing is rather poor, and after several spins, I must conclude that only the track ‘Kings And Queens’ has an added value. CC Deville featured on lead guitar on this song, but the main reason why I point at this track is because of the sensitiveness and the honesty that is radiated. CC might be known as the guitar player of the American Glam Metal band Poison and in his early days, he also joined Lace Slip, St. James and Roxx Regime (changed their name afterwards into Stryper). The main man of POA is vocalist Lesli Sanders, formerly of Pretty Boy Floyd and City Girls’ Boys, and touring bass player of Marky Ramone (The Ramones), so you will get the picture what his main influences are.
If you add bands like Lords Of The New Church, Hanoi Rocks and even Iggy Pop, you will get a better idea. If some of the mentioned bands appeals to your personal taste, I would suggest to check POA’ “Reunite The Sinners”, but if none of the names gives you goosebumps, I’m afraid that you will end with the same result as mine. Average all the way, with only one highlight, and that’s not enough for a nowadays release. https://www.facebook.com/TheProphetsofAddiction/ Order at: http://www.targetshop.dk/uk/370646/Prophets_Of_Addict…/Reunite_the_Sinners/
My rating: 66/100 (Rather moderate)
PROWLER – STALLIONS OF STEEL (Pure Steel Records)
Review by Sloof
‘Stallions Of Steel’ with an applicable front cover artwork is the debut album of Prowler, a German band that resides in the Leipzig, Saxony area. They recorded a few, mainly unreleased, demos and a first EP (‘Hard Pounding Heart’) in 2012. The band’ main inspiration of their sound is ‘tradition instead of innovation’, and I absolutely agree. Nothing new to explore, no bells and whistles but pure, straight forward riffing with lyrics that lean into dullness.
It’s all very average and old school and I wonder myself how many times I listened to albums like this. It won’t blow the cobwebs out of your speakers, on the contrary, and I hope that the members of Prowler aim for fun in the first place. This is not a ticket for international success, this is local amusement only. Now and then, there are musical highlights (‘Mind And Might’ and ‘A Maiden’s Funeral’), but these moments are rather rare.
Prowler is a band that worships the early Heavy Metal and brings their songs in a contemporary sound and production. All this is fine and praiseworthy, but if you want outsiders to be convinced, stronger arrangements are necessary and indispensable! Let’s finish by saying that this debut album is a first attempt, a professional effort and try, but the Richter scale didn’t react at all. https://www.facebook.com/Prowlersteel/info?ref=page_internal
My rating: 65/100 (Rather moderate)
PRO-PAIN – VOICE OF REBELLION (Steamhammer/SPV)
Review by Nathan McLeod
Another ‘addition’ for ‘New York’s’ hardcore-metal artist ‘PRO-PAIN’ will be ‘unleashed’ this month via ‘Steamhammer Records’, entitled ‘Voice Of Rebellion’! ‘New York’ has always been a ‘mecca’, ‘home to’, serving up ‘phenomenal’ hardcore ‘artists’ such as ‘Agnostic Front’, ‘Biohazard’, ‘Attica7’, ‘FEAR’, onto ‘PRO-PAIN’ & ‘countless’ more!
Often compared to ‘San Francisco’, the ‘innovators’ of “Thrash Metal” as is ‘New York’ to “hardcore-metal”! And even ‘moreso’ with ‘New York’s’ invention/introduction to “crossover” with ‘S.O.D.’ in the mid-80’s. “THANK YOU NEW YORK!”
With over a ‘dozen’ releases to date since the early-90’s, ‘PRO-PAIN’s – Voice Of Rebellion’ release has “not” been easy to review & rate. Been quite ‘daunting’ actually. Quite frankly, there’s ‘too’ much material, discography under ‘PRO-PAIN’s’ belt that I had not ‘physically’ heard to draw any ‘cross-comparison’s’ of past material. Even more of a ‘daunting task’ with numerous other ‘great’ hardcore-metal artists outside of the ‘New York’ are across the pond into ‘Europe’ & back again to the ‘East Bay, California’ (EBCH) hardcore scene.
So, given the ‘extensive’ information from ‘Steamhammer Records’, (circa 1984), listening to the new ‘Voice Of Rebellion’, ‘PRO-PAIN’ sure does live up to the ‘reputation’ as depicted by ‘Steamhammer’s’ press release! ‘PRO-PAIN’ is definitely in a ‘class’ & ‘league’ of their own …
The more ‘notable’ tracks on ‘Voice Of Rebellion’, (where I’m in disagreeance with Steamhammer’s press release), are ‘DNR (Do Not Resuscitate)’, ‘Enraged’, & ‘Voice Of Rebellion’. It is though of the following in their press release: “Aggressive, meticulous, passionate, righteous – all distinguishing traits that have come to symbolize the fundamentals of metal/hardcore pioneers”.
I actually do look forward to the ‘physical’ release(s) of ‘Voice Of Rebellion’! Hope to catch ‘PRO-PAIN’ “live’ in support of their ‘Voice Of Rebellion’ release in 2015! I’d ‘very’ much like to see/hear if ‘PRO-PAIN’ can ‘deliver’, ‘enact’, ‘duplicate’, “live” in terms of what Corey Williams ‘production’ capabilities are studio-wise? I ‘trust’ they can! With the ‘addition’ of some ‘bonus’ live tracks, it’s proof-positive. After listening to ‘Voice Of Rebellion’, it will leave listeners as if they’ve just been cracked across their cranium with a bier bottle!
My rating: 87/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
‘Steamhammer Records’ ‘Voice Of Rebellion’ press release info: Aggressive, meticulous, passionate, righteous – all distinguishing traits that have come to symbolize the fundamentals of metal/hardcore pioneers PRO-PAIN. Since their crushing 1992 NAIRD nominated debut album Foul Taste Of Freedom, PRO-PAIN have become a staple in the diets of heavy music listeners around the globe. Their successful and enviable career has perpetually prospered throughout its course, and yet they still manage to find room to improve, and more importantly, impress. Each and every PRO-PAIN album is a paragon of intensity, inspiration, honesty and unwillingness to compromise. Their latest (and 15th) studio effort entitled Voice Of Rebellion is a testament to those very same qualities.
Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Corey Williams at Sound Lounge Recordings (Venice, Florida), Voice Of Rebellion features 14 punishing tracks which are sure to satisfy die-hard fans and new fans alike. Production credits are shared by Williams and PRO-PAIN mainman Gary Meskil. “This time around, I decided to get back into assisting with certain aspects of production, and we are thrilled with the end result. Corey is a young and talented engineer/producer, and the sonic brutality we collectively achieved speaks for itself (in my opinion)” says Meskil.
The album kicks off with a blistering and infectious title track (which is destined to become a PRO-PAIN classic). Songs like No Fly Zone and Age Of Disgust take the listener back to the bands groove laden glory days, while new ground gets forcefully broken with tracks such as Hellride and Souls On Fire. The entire spectrum of the bands musical influences are proudly displayed and are tastefully explored within the contents of this explosive album. Lead guitarist Adam Phillips states: “The writing process for Voice Of Rebellion was a complete collaborative effort, unlike it’s predecessor. So, the end result is a multi-dimensional onslaught of heaviness”. Meskil adds, “This is a definitive album for PRO-PAIN, as it speaks very well for us with regard to who we are and what we represent as a band”.
Formed by vocalist/bassist Gary Meskil (ex-Crumbsuckers), New York-based PRO-PAIN have over the years benefited from substantial support from an ever-growing and loyal fan base, the Metal Press, Hard Rock Radio, and MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball. With band mates Marshall Stephens (Rhythm Guitar), Adam Phillips (Lead Guitar) and Drummer Jonas Sanders, the band are set to tour the US and Europe extensively in support of Voice Of Rebellion, as their collective catalog sales surpass one million units sold!
STEAMHAMMER / SPV / NEW CD RELEASE:
*Scandinavia: June 17th, 2015 – *Germany: June 19th, 2015 – *Europe: June 22nd, 2015 – *USA/Canada: June 23rd, 2015.
*PRO-PAIN website: www.pro-pain.com
*PRO-PAIN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/PRO-PAIN-OFFICIAL-PAGE/215861125115781
*Steamhammer website: www.spv.de
The new ‘PRO-PAIN – Voice Of Rebellion’ will be available in the following format(s):
standard jewel-case edition, limited edition digi-pack (with 3 bonus tracks & double sided poster), limited edition vinyl LP in red colour, digital download.
‘Format’: CD plus 3 bonus tracks – ‘Packaging’: digi-pack incl. poster. ‘Format’: CD – ‘Packaging’: jewel-case. ‘Format’: LP + CD (paper sleeve) – ‘Packaging’: printed inner sleeves, coloured redvinyl. ‘
Tracklisting CD DigiPak:
1- Voice Of Rebellion 2- No Fly Zone 3- Righteous Annihilation
4- Souls On Fire 5- Take It To The Grave 6- Age Of Disgust 7- Bella Morte 8- Cognitive Dissonance
9- Blade Of The Cursed 10- Crushed To Dust 11- Enraged 12- Hellride
13- DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) 14- Fuck This Life 15- Bonus / Johnny Black 2015
16- Bonus / Stand Tall – Live 2013 17- Bonus / Make War (Not Love) Live 2013
Tracklisting Jewel Case:
1- Voice Of Rebellion 2- No Fly Zone 3- Righteous Annihilation
4- Souls On Fire 5- Take It To The Grave 6- Age Of Disgust 7- Bella Morte
8- Cognitive Dissonance 9- Blade Of The Cursed 10- Crushed To Dust 11- Enraged
12- Hellride 13- DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) 14- Fuck This Life
Tracklisting LP: Side A
1- Voice Of Rebellion 2- No Fly Zone 3- Righteous Annihilation 4- Souls On Fire
5- Take It To The Grave 6- Age Of Disgust 7- Bella Morte
1- Cognitive Dissonance 2- Blade Of The Cursed 3- Crushed To Dust 4- Enraged
5- Hellride 6- DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) 7- Fuck This Life
03.07. D-Roitzschjora – With Full Force Festival
04.07. B-Antwerpen – Antwerpen Metal Meeting
08.07. D-Pfarrkirchen – Bogaloo
11.07. F-Longwy – Rock N´Roll Train Festival
12.07. NL-Leiden – Werfpop
09.08. GB-Derbyshire – Bloodstock Festival
20.08. D-Alsfeld – E&L Rocknacht
03.09. CZ-Cheska Lipa – Kulturni dum Crytsal
04.09. D-Fraureuth – Open Air
More dates will be added soon
PSYCHOSIS – BY OUR HAND (Independent)
Review by Nathan McLeod
Founded in the ‘late-80’s’ in ‘LA,CA’ by guitarist ‘Kragen Lum’, this CDEP is #4 of 5 ‘releases’ from ‘Psychosis’. And for those whom don’t know of ‘Kragen Lum’? ‘Founder’ of ‘mid-90’s’ LA ‘progressive-metal’, ‘axeman’ opposite ‘Lee Altus’ of ‘Heathen’, & ‘Exodus’ live the past ‘couple’ years, ‘assuming’ when ‘Gary Holt’ is busy with ‘Slayer’.
I’d honestly never heard of ‘Pychosis’ til several years ago when ‘Kragen’ had joined ‘Heathen’, got to know the guy a bit, & ‘interested’ in his ‘other’ bands. ‘Kragen’ is one (1) ‘helluva’ ‘shredding’ ‘virtuoso’ ‘guitarist’!! I am looking back at the ‘years’ of ‘Psychosis’ ‘existence’, & know that from the ‘late-80’s’, the ‘thrash-metal’ scene ‘worldwide’ was coming to an ‘abrupt’ end shortly thereafter, which had played a ‘role’ probably in not having ever heard ‘Psychosis’ then.
Now with their ‘By Our Hand’ releases, it’s a rather ‘solid’ EP carved out by ‘Psychosis’. A tad bit slow in the ‘beginning’ with the 1st couple of tracks as it ‘climbs’, ‘plateau’s’ a bit @ ‘Last Breath’, dips a bit back ‘down’ with track four (4), then ‘steadily’ evens itself out at the end with ‘Cannibalize’. And would say that ‘Last Breath’ is the one (1) track that stands out the most.
‘Psychosis’ are a solid band. Some ‘struggling’ a bit wit the ‘vocals’ & ‘production’ on ‘By Our Hand’. But is some ‘fine’ ‘thrash-metal’. Definitely worth giving a ‘listen’ too, ‘bought’, & or ‘reviewed’. Have not had the ‘honour’ nor ‘opportunity’ yet to see ‘Psychosis’ live yet, but would really love too. Keep up the good work.
My rating: 82/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
‘By Our Hand’ track info:
I) By Our Hand II) The Soon Dead III) Last Breath IV) No Right From Wrong V) Cannibalize – total run-time 22:41.
*Bruce Hall – Vocals
*Kragen Lum – Guitar/Vocals
*Vince Levalois – Guitar
*Jason Mirza – Bass
*Jimmy Schultz – Drums
Produced by Psychosis. Engineered, mixed, & mastered by Vince Levalois @ Utopia Studios – North Hollywood, CA. Add’l engineering by Kragen Lum & Mike Bear. Cover art by Travis Smith @ Seempieces. Design & layout by Travis Smith & Psychosis. Logo & symbol art by Marco Antonio Velasquez, III @ Mavartworx. Band photo by Steve Tweed @ buzz-radio.net
‘Psychosis’ contact info:
*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Psychosis/448