“British Steel- The Rising Force of British Heavy Metal” compilation to be released in September

 

As a heavy metal fan, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal will always be one of the most important movements in the genre’s history. However in the modern day we see yet another legion of young and hungry bands coming from Britain and that is exactly what this compilation is all about. Featuring some of the best up and coming acts such as Seven Sisters, Amulet, Wytch Hazel and many many more, this album will be an amazing representation of the return of British Traditional Heavy Metal in all it’s glory. I am excited for this release personally as the NWOBHM gave me some of my favorite artists of all time and this feels like my generations answer to that. The album will be released September 22nd, 2017 through Dissonance Productions and Back On Black records.

Track listing

01. Amulet – Highwayman

02. Aggressive Perfector – Harlot’s Spell

03. Eliminator – Lost To The Void

04. Dungeon – Queen Of Sin

05. Dark Forest – Where The Arrow Falls

06. Toledo Steel – Rock Nights

07. Vuil – Iron Witch

08. Seven Sisters – The Witch’s Eye

09. Insurgency – Destined For Death

10. Neuronspoiler – Slay The Beast

11. Wytch Hazel – Freedom Battle

 

Headbanging Highlight of the Week: Stereo Nasty- Twisting The Blade

Welcome to another addition of headbanging highlights of the week where I show you guys what I currently have had on the turntable, cd player or tape deck. This week I have been constantly playing the new album by traditional heavy metal group entitled “Twisting The Blade”. This is the groups second album and expands on the sounds of their first with production values remaining mostly the same with a very even production how their songwriting skills have gotten a bit sharper.

I listened to both albums back to back and while both are great, I like this album a bit more. With grooving tunes like “Near Dark” with a solid mid paced guitar riff and the gritty 80’s like vocals are very infectious. The title track is one of my favorites as it sounds like its playing on a radio in the beginning but turning into a full fledge metal tune that would sound right at home on an early Dokken record but the vocals make it its own thing with more grit not uncommon among more thrash like vocalists. There are some great softer and more melodic ridden songs such as “Vengeance” with a great atmosphere with some great synthesizers throughout. There honestly isn’t a bad song in the bunch. The band know how to keep the same sound however they know how to utilize it to keep making fresh music that has hooks aplenty. The band sounds very tight and don’t try to phone it in and that makes this is another true to form Heavy Metal release you need to own this year. The album currently is up for digital download in the link below but I really hope their is a cd or vinyl release for this album somewhere in the future.

Stereo Nasty Bandcamp

https://stereonasty.bandcamp.com/

 

Album Review: Jack Starr’s Burning Starr- Stand Your Ground

 

“Stand Your Ground” is the seventh studio album from Power Metal group Jack Starr’s Burning Starr and is to be released August 25th, 2017 via High Roller Records. If I am being honest I am sorta new to the band as up to this point I had heard only four albums from them. However, from what i have heard this band is a powerhouse and a must if you are a fan of Power Metal in general. Jack Starr himself has a reputation also being in Virgin Steele prior to forming Burning Starr in the mid 80’s and is a hugely underrated guitarist as well. So here we are with a release six years after their last album, does it stack up against their solid discography or does it fall flat?

Track Rundown

1.Secrets We Hide- Opening with some great solid drum rolls by Kenny “Rhino” Earl, this song hits hard right out of the gate with a solid upbeat power metal riff and one of my all time vocalists today Todd Michael Hall really belting it out. His voice is just as strong as some of the greats in Heavy Metal history. The chorus is a big stand out and is definitely made for a live crowd with how catchy it is. The solo works very well being equally heavy and melodic showing off Starrs capabilities and that he really still has a solid lead tone. Overall, this is a grad A power metal opener for the album.

2.The Enemy-The beginning of this song almost sounds like an old school slayer riff but goes into a straight melodic galloping rampage. This is one of my favorites on the album really for the sheer power it packs and I feel that has something partially to do with how well the production is on the album. It feels very live and natural with a lot of bass mixed with the drums it just sounds so organic. The chorus is full of so much melody it soars and is very infectious. Another total barn burner of a song that packs a lot of punch.

3.Stand Your Ground- Damn this is quite an epic song being over ten minutes long. It definitely never lets up with a lot of cool melodic riffs that adds a lot of character to the song. The chorus goes for more of a melodic fist pumping mid tempo that i cant help but sing to even three listens through. The solo is probably my favorite on the album with Starr going all out for this song. Overall, this is definitely one of the best on the album with band showing a bit of a progressive side that definitely feels very original.

4.Hero-The main riff for this song is very interesting. It definitely has a progressive metal feel to it until the verses start with a traditional galloping to it. The song definitely has character and works very well for what its going for. As for the chorus, this song has one of the best on the album it just screams classic to me. This is another great song that deserves multiple spins.

5.Destiny- I almost get a more modern feeling when this song began and almost a bit of a hard rock edge as well. This song sticks to a more mid tempo and up beat chord progression and it works and is one of those songs you just play as loud as you can. This is another track that would work very well live. The hooks are just all over this song. One of the most melodic and infectious songs on the album.

6.The Sky Is Falling-This is another very epic tune that sticks to a similar tempo as the last but has a bit more chugging guitar in it. The bridge to the chorus feels a bit disjointed here or lacking a bit of power but once it gets to the actually chorus it works very well. The solo or the song is actually very well done as well. Compared to the last five songs this one falls a bit flat in parts but overall it isn’t an overly badly written track.

7.Worlds Apart- This song is definitely more ballad like than any of the last but those leads are great and have a lot of feeling in them. I really like this song because it gives off a great melodic and soft yet heavy atmosphere. The guitar soloing is definitely the biggest highlight overall for how much feeling they have any deserve a lot of repeat listens and show how well of a player Jack Starr is.

8.Escape From The Night-This track has a great build at the beginning and goes into a more maiden-esque kind of gallop but still retains a more power metal feel with Hall’s vocals still holding up well and fresh this far into the album. I really enjoy the epic chorus here as well. This is definitely one of the best mid tempo songs on the album.

9.We Are One- This is another softer song on the album which shows more variety throughout the record….well it opens that way. This song caught me off guard as it goes into of this almost Gothic sounding power metal kind of song with some almost ominous riffing that takes repeat listens to really get a grip on. I wasn’t sure why but it helped me understand the chord progression more. This is definitely one of the most unique songs on the album just for the interesting sound it has with almost these subtle little note changes that catch you off guard at least on the first listen. It definitely isn’t bad though as it still packs a lot of power and melody throughout.

10.Stronger Than Steel- This song goes for more of that traditional faster power metal feel and is my favorite track on the album overall. the pacing is solid and the chorus is definitely the highlight on the album. It is just pure old school fist pumping heavy metal. Another reason it is one of my favorites on the album is that it includes a very interesting guest vocalist(sorta). Rhett Forresters old demo vocals are included on the track which is one of the coolest inclusions on any record ive ever seen. Rhett Forrester was always my favorite vocalist for Riot and to hear a tribute to him here is amazing and just makes the song even more worth it. Even if it is very rough and is included at the very end its very cool.

11.False Gods- This is one of the heaviest tunes on the album with a lot chugging guitars through the verses leading into a monumental chorus. This song is very well done especially this far into the album, it doesn’t feel forced or generic. A very solid headbanging track.

12.To The Ends- The final song on the album and it ends in true power metal fashion with a very infectious mid tempo riff and soaring song a long vocals. This is a very solid closer that I would hope the band plays live because this song is another that is meant for crowd participation. It does sort of go by the books but the band really put their heart into it with Starr adding some nice melodic guitar solo’s in to make it feel more original. Overall a pretty solid closer to the album.

Overall, I give the album a solid 8 out of 10. While the middle of the album does fall a bit slow, the original that the band put into writing these songs cannot be denied. They definitely put their all into the playing on this album. Every member sounds like they are really giving it their all and have created a very modern power metal album that will satisfy the old school and new school crowds alike. I definitely recommend this album as it will definitely make my top 10 for the year and once i get my hands on the vinyl edition, it’l definitely be on the turntable quite a bit.

Headbanging Highlight of the Week: Blue Cheer-What Doesn’t Kill You

 

Welcome to another headbanging highlight of the week where I tell you guys what I am currently listening to and what you should check out! This week we are going back a decade to 2007 with an album that I personally think is quite overlooked from a band that was considered one of the heaviest bands of their time. Blue Cheer who formed in the mid 60’s releasing their ear splitting 1968 classic “Vincebus Eruptum” which was essentially the bluesy styles of the trio Cream taken to it’s logical extreme at the time. The band released a few more albums before imploding in the 70’s before coming back with a straight forward heavy metal record entitled “The Beast Is Back” in the mid 80’s and retaining a more heavy metal style through a few more records and tours until 2007 when the group released “What Doesn’t Kill You” which was their last before band leader and founder Dicky Peterson passed away shortly after. Blue Cheer have always been one of my favorite trio’s but unlike groups such as Cream, they never really got the recognition I always felt they deserved. Well i’m going to tell you exactly why their final album was just as heavy as most bands that were releasing albums at the same time.

 

Now this album  features only two out of three original members with Peterson and drummer Paul Whaley being them with Andrew Mcdonald joining on guitar who does a great job. a more stoner rock style with fuzzier guitars grooving riffs and Petersons now very gravely vocals which are battered to hell but work and add a layer of dinginess to alot of these song. From the straight heavy blues metal opening “Rollin Them Bones” which is one of the quintessential songs about weed to the calmer and more melodic “Young Lions In Paradise”, The album definitely is one that I play a lot. The production is very well done with every instrument mixed fairly well together. The soloing has a lot of grit but is still clear and that is something I really enjoy. Peterson’s vocals like I said are very beat up which is noticeable in songs especially like “Gypsy Rider” which is actually my favorite and one of the heaviest songs on the album with a very Black Sabbath feel in the main riff of the song. You also have some vintage sounding fuzz guitars found in grooving songs like “Maladjusted Child” which give off that heavy 70’s feel a lot. The album more so in the second half is very consistent blowing off bluesy hard rock number one after another which does feel quite monotonous however the really good songs detract from the album becoming dull. I would suggest the first half over the second but if you are a fan of stoner rock, heavy 60’s fuzzed out rock music or anything in that Heavy 70’s style, then you should pick up this final album from one of the most underrated trio’s of all time.

Venom Inc. release new song “AVE SATANAS”

 

 

Venom Inc have released the second single for their new upcoming album “Ave” out this august. The track “Ave Satanas” has the same mid tempo as their first single but the riff is even more infectious. The song reminds me a lot of the track “Prime Evil” especially in it’s pacing. Dolans vocals are very on point and pack alot of power and grit. My favorite thing about this track is Mantas’ solo and how loose he plays it yet it works so well. So far between this track and “Dein Fleisch”, i’m very excited for the album, it is a very different sound than I thought they were going for but it works as its quite infectious and catchy and doesn’t try to sound like early Venom at all. They clearly have their own original ideas and this track shows that this is going to be a very different but interesting metal record than what a lot of others were expecting. I fully embrace it but what do you think? like it? hate it? Let us know!

Vescera release new video “In The Night”

 

 

Well here is something pretty cool for you melodic metal fans! Heavy Metal group Vescera led by acclaimed singer Michael Vescera have released a new video for their song “In The Night” off their barnburning new album “Beyond The Fight” released April 7th with the vinyl edition coming soon this month. I definitely think they chose a good song off the album for this video as it shows the whole bands versatility and the interesting sound they managed to create with a lot of melodic edge but very big hooks that alot of US power metal bands utilize. The album is definitely one to check out but don’t take it from me, listen below and see what you think! I would love to see these guys come to Chicago some day and definitely think their debut is a strong record to tour on over here.

 

Order the album here!

http://www.puresteel-shop.com/VESCERA-Beyond-The-Fight_1

Album Review: Walpyrgus- Walpyrgus Nights

“Walpyrgus Nights” is the debut album from American Heavy Metal band Walpyrgus and was released June 6th, 2017. This album was definitely on my most anticipated list this year because ever since I heard the first Walpyrgus e.p. I was hooked with how these guys didn’t just have that traditional metal staple to them, but just how they also had this almost horror punk aspect to them it almost seemed like especially in the vocal work. They are definitely one of the most melodic bands out there and after seeing them crush Legions of Metal, I was so excited to finally get my hands on this album. So is it work the hype?

 

Track Rundown

1.The Dead Of Night-Opening with some heavy melodic guitar lines and those soaring melodic vocals that are a trade mark of the band. The song has a relatively simple melody and chord progression but it is done in a very tight way and I also have to admire the production with how clicky and up front the bass is but still lets the guitars shine. The melody of this song is extremely strong and works very well as an opener it really gets you singing along. The keyboards are also a nice addition giving the song some added atmosphere.

2.Somewhere Under Summerwind- The overall progression of this song has a very Michael Graves era Misfits style to it yet played in a more metal style. It is a very easy melodic song to sing to with a very strong solo with a lot of feeling to it as well. Definitely one of the strongest songs on the album.

3.Dead Girls- This song has the punk feeling right up front with the standard punk chord progression going on but it works with the melodic guitar lines that are as infectious as a lot of Iron Maiden guitar lines are. The lyrics are straight up Misfits meets King Diamond and it works very well and gives the album this feeling that makes me want it to be October. Avery simple but very infectious metal tune with an awesome organ solo that comes out of nowhere.

4.Lauralone-Opening with the toll of a bell against hanging guitars going into a bouncy metal riff, this song has more melody like the last songs but has almost a progressive feel to the riff with it bouncing up and down but changing up a lot. The chorus is quite infectious as well and I think at this point this album has that going as the biggest thing for it. The band know how to make a song get stuck in your head. The guitar solo on this song is also my favorite on the album as it is very intricate and fast when the song take a more mid tempo feel.

5.Palmystry-Thus song opens similarly like Iron Maidens “Running Free” but with a lot more melody to the guitars going into a more simplistic approach in the main progression of the song. It has a very similar feel to “Dead Girls” but the more chugging chorus saves it from sounding like a repeat of another song. The quick slower parts are nice but at first listen, they feel a bit disjointed like they just happen but you soon forget about that as you hear it more and more.

6.She Lives- The opening riff has a very Mercyful Fate feel to it with with this being one of the more slow songs (at first) on the album but still having that mid point between heavy and melodic. The chorus feels like it should be a slight faster tempo as well possibly because the song ends up at a more galloping tempo but kind of abruptly ends.

7.Light Of A Torch-The opening on this song i think drags a bit but damn the riff it leads into pays off. This is overall probably my favorite on the album as the band really homes in on their craft and creates a very high energy melodic classic metal song with an enormous chorus as well. Overall this is an amazing tune that has its melodic edge but still has this dark tone about it.

8.Walpyrgus Nights- I love the synths on this song and how they just engulf your speakers as they give just a great even heavier atmosphere to the song. Thus us essentially the bands magnum opus on their debut. This is definitely one that is  meant for a live crowd as it has so many parts that beg for an audience to sing along to. As the song stay in the slower tempo, it really works as an atmospheric closer to the album akin to bands like Night Demon and the like. However, at the end it really picks up with some intense catchy vocal work and soloing. It really ends the record on a high note.

 

Overall, I give the album a solid 7.5 out if 10. I am overall happy with how Walpyrgus’ debut has come out. It has the dark atmosphere with the more horror punk mixed with mercyful fate type song writing but with the band really making it their own. From going from more simplistic riffs to more intricate twin guitars, the album is very solid with giving the listener what they came for. Besides a couple of parts that felt a bit disjointed, this was a good debut from a band that I would definitely recommend!