Headbanging Highlight of The Week: Night Flight Orchestra- Amber Galactic

Amber Galactic

This weeks highlight is the third album from classic rock throwback group Night Flight Orchestra entitled “Amber Galactic” and was released May 19th, 2017 via Nuclear Blast. This group harks back to the days of classic AOR and FM radio rock but with a few touches. The most interesting thing to me as well when I first heard this band was that they feature members of both Arch Enemy and Soilwork. I thought “How could these guys write classic rock just as good as modern day metal?”. Well after hearing this album I was pleasantly surprised.

The album opens with “Midnight Flyer” and right off the bat the production really catches you with very lush keyboards into a very high energy riff with lead singer Bjorn Strid who hits high soaring notes with ease. The more rocking songs such as this one and “Space Whisperer” have a very oldschool Graham Bonnet/ Alcatrazz feel to them and I even get a hint of Gillan as well. However, the album holds so much more with tracks like “Gemini” featuring a very catchy shimmering chorus soaked guitar riff, the funky disco-like “Domino”, and my favorite song being “Something Mysterious” which is so 80’s and so authentic it will be a song that sticks with me for a long long time. The album isn’t very heavy in terms of most of the artists I mention on here but every single song has monumental hooks. Even the more ballad songs with a more Journey feel such as “Josephine” or even the cheesy but catchy “Jennie” are just so fun and fresh to listen to. The album is really a feel good summer album that you have playing very loud driving through the hot summer heat and like I said before every song is a swing hit and this is easily going to make it not only on my top list of the year but way into the top 10’s as well. The band really nails that early 80’s/late 70’s sound here and if you are a fan of classic rock with big hooks , you are in for a very fun and powerful album. I also recommend looking up the bands previous two releases as well, they are definitely worth a listen!

Album Review: DOYLE- Doyle II:As We Die

“Doyle II: As We Die” is the sophomore album from Horror Punk/Metal supergroup DOYLE composed of most notably legendary Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein and Cancerslugs Alex Story and was released in May 2017. So finally another Doyle album is out. After falling in love with the first album “Abominator” and having it be one of the first albums I ever reviewed,  I was hoping the band would do another record. Finally I have my hands on it so lets delve into this album and see if it stacks up against the first.

Track Rundown

 

1.Kiss Me As We Die- Opening with a very doomy sounding riff but soon the song goes into a bouncy heavy riff with Alex Storys very angry vocals coming in to complete the bands sound. His cleaner vocals work well on this track as an opener having the chorus be less in your face and more hauntingly melodic which works. The song has a really good chugging pace that DOYLE used on the first album but the production here also feels like a slight step up although i feel like Alex’s more melodic vocal parts he seems a bit buried in the mix. Overall this is a good  opener and shows what the band is all about. Horror punked out metal and the solo was a nice addition as it feels more like an actual guitar solo. Alissa from Arch Enemy is a nice little surprise on there as well.

 

2.Beast Like Me- This song has more of a straight punk vibe to it with Doyle doing more pitch harmonics adding a pantera flair to the songs. The band has a lot of big riffs that get stuck in your head and I feel like this song isn’t bad but the main riff kind of falls flat for some reason. However, the chorus is alot more powerful and I feel makes the song. Overall, not a bad tune with some cool solo interludes as well.

 

3.God Of Flies- I love the more Pentagram feel of the riff in this song, Doyle just pulls of the slow doom riff so well. The song goes right into a more mid pace and its pretty catchy as it has some more melodic hints in the verses. This is one of my favorites on the album as it is a very heavy song yet it has an accessible sound in mainstream heavy metal music today.

 

4.Run For Your Life- The pace of this song is quite interesting as the drums are doing alot of different tempos and starts and stops. The new drummer the band has really works hard to keep the songs sounding heavy as hell. This tune also has one of the biggest and catchiest chorus’ on the album as well its just so good. This is another song i turn to a lot on the album as it has the heaviness yet the really catchiness in the chorus.

 

5.Darkside- The opening single string playing sounds like it could be on a Danzig album as it almost has a goth feeling to it. In fact the whole song has this Gothic undertone to it. Possibly due to the chord progression combined with Story’s more haunting vocals on this one. Not a bad tune at all.

 

6.Witchcraft- This one has a real bounce to it with the riff being very infectious and easy to headbang to with Story giving more of  a Michale Graves sounding performance in his vocal style. The song has a metal tone but the melody feels very much like a classic horror punk song with those hints of 50’s rock n roll. I really like it because both styles mesh pretty well.

 

7.King Of The Undead- There is almost a more thrash feeling in the riff if this song but still retains a mid paced kind of tempo with plenty of pitch harmonics. The song really is one you have to play multiple times as the tempo is kinda all over the place. It isn’t a bad tune but I feel like the vocals are still a bit too quiet on this song and arent out there as much as I feel they should be.

 

8.Virgin Sacrifice- I really like the more swinging pace of this song especially in the drums very much like “Cemetery Sexxx” did on the first sing. The rhythm with the more swaying vocals I feel makes the song really hit as hard as it does. The chorus has a lot of viciousness to it especially in the vocals as well. Overall, this is another one of my favorites on the album as well.

 

9.We Belong Dead- This is one of the slowest songs on the album with a started and stop chugging riff making up most of it and having more of a doom pace as well. I tis also one of the most simple on the album not offering a lot of changes but that chorus is a total classic 90’s misfits chorus. I could almost see this song appearing on “Famous Monsters” if not for the way heavier sound of the band overall. I really have to say that I am happy that Doyle is adding more of his horror punk roots into his music more.

 

10.Show No Mercy-Thus song has more of that chunky groove that Doyle utilizes heavily throughout this album and the first one as well. The song is very heavy although very basic. It does exactly what its suppose to. The band plays very tight on this one and is another where i can praise the drum work with a lot of starting and stopping throughout. A good tune with a good groove.

 

11.Dark Gods Arise- The overall feel of this song is between a mid tempo and a more punk beat. I really like the lower almost whispering vocals and how Story utilizes them as well. The chorus is also one of the best on the album as well with a big part that you cant help but sing along to.

 

12.Blood On The Axe-  This is definitely one of the fastest songs on the album with a lot of very tight jagged riffing from Doyle and blood thirsty vocal work as well. The song does have some slower grooving segments as well that make it one of the best on the album. Overall, this is a major highlight as it shows the band at full throttle.

 

13.Night Of Sin- The album definitely ends with a faster tune that definitely has more of a punk mentality to it but also has some melodic moments throughout the chorus as well that I really dig. It is definitely one of the most frantic songs as well with a lot of galloping drum work that is done very well. This is a fantastic and high energy closer to the album.

Overall, I give the album a fair 8 out of 10. With their second release, Doyle continues to do more of what they did on the first record but with subtle improvements. With guitar solo’s being more present and the uses of some of the horror punk formula, the album manages to have songs that surpass some on the first album. However, some of the songs are not as memorable and seem too simplified here especially in the middle where it suffers from what a lot of punk music suffers from with monotony. But overall, the record as a whole is a good second album from the band and still is a fun time all around. Definitely if you are a horror punk fan or even just a more metal fan, I am sure their is something both sides of the spectrum could find to their liking with this release.

Jag Panzer announces new album to be released in september

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One June 10th, legendary Heavy Metal act Jag Panzer announced online that their next album entitled “The Deviant Chord” will be released on September 29th, 2017. The album will be distributed through SPV worldwide as well. This is the first album from the band since their last entitled “Scourge Of The Night” released in 2011. Personally I think this is a great time for the band to reappear on the scene. With a lot of the more obscure bands on the spectrum releasing material, this hopefully give them a chance to spark up some good ideas once again. Are you excited to see Jag Panzer return?

Album Review: DUEL- Witchbanger

 

“Witchbanger” is the second full length album from Texas Heavy/Stoner Rock band DUEL and was released on April 28th, 2017. After last years stellar “Fears Of The Dead” this Texas quartet returns to offer up another slab of 70’s inspired heavy metal. I can’t believe it has taken this long to get to talking about this album, but finally here we are. So lets see if DUEL were able to expand on the first album or if they fall into the dreaded sophomore slump.

 

Track Rundown

1.Devil-Opening with the sound a guitar plugging right into a simplisitic dirty blues based riff and Tom Franks’ heavy and very powerful vocals, the song has this almost “power-doom” vibe to it that makes it heavy but singable to with a catchy and very rock solid chorus. I really like the production it is very much like their first album but the vocalist seem to pop a bit more and have a bit more grain to them. The soling is smooth and faithful to the genre with a lot of groove being the main focal point. This is a great opener and shows the band being even more up front than they were on the first album.

2.Witchbanger-This is one of the most grooving tunes on the album with the  main riff in the verses following the melody of the vocals. One thing that Duel manages to capture is their ability to sound really tight but be really loose in their style at the same time where it feels like they are jamming in a garage somewhere. The chorus riff always gets stuck in my head but the weird vocal melody before that riff hits is a little weird, it just feels a bit out of place. The song is definitely a good number and one that would work very well live if I had a chance to catch these guys.

3.The Snake Queen- This tune has this almost classic rock aka early KISS feel until the hazy vocals come in which do work very well. The vocal melodies I think help the band establish more of a signified sound for themselves and gives the song more of it’s doom vibe as well. The song is a bit more laid back but the chorus really hits hard as it comes more up front with a more straightforward riff sludging all the way through. The song does eventually hit that more grooving tempo DUEL like to use in a lot of their songs and even though it is a shorter part, it works quite well and gives the track some extra flavor.

4.Astro Gypsy- One of my favorites on the album for sure. It has that Sabbathy Jazzy feel to it with some wah’ed out guitar riffing going on the slower bits. This is a tune that shows the more creative feeling of the band and has a very ZZ Top vibe as well. Definitely a highlight on the album.

5.Heart Of The Sun- I almost get a Witchfinder General feeling from this tune, it has a very melodic presence especially in its composure and it really works against the heavier songs on the album. It also shows bits of the progression within the bands songwriting capabilities also. Thus song also has one of the best solos on the album as well.

6.Bed Of Nails-This tune has an interesting riff to it as you think the melody is going to go one way, but the band tweaks it a bit and it works. However, as this song does have some of those melodic moments as the last track did, I don’t feel like it is as strong as “Heart Of The Sun” but still has some good qualities about it with some tasty solo guitar work throughout.

7.Cat’s Eye- This is another tune that has a mores simplistic approach to it with a heavy chugging riff through the verses and the chorus as well. As far as a straight forward heavy doom/rock song it works quite well. The solo is one of the heaviest on the album as well as it kicks in right after a break on the song. It is pretty short but it works for what it is.

8.Tigers and Rainbows- This song has a groove that works very well and sports one of the strongest choruses throughout as well. This song takes alot more turns than the last few do similar to the last track on their debut with the softer mid section in the song. The song does end with this more psychedelic heavy jam which works but also feels like the half of two songs combined into one it just feels a bit disjointed but isn’t a bad closer either.

Overall, I give the album a fair 7 out of 10. While this album does have a few problems with some of the songs being a but too simple or disjointed, the songs that are good are really freakin good. DUEL have definitely expanded their songwriting with added melody and more intricate sections within their songs. While their are things that this album do better than their first , the first does some things better than this one does. However, this album I still would give a spin as it definitely has sustainability in any collection of the lovers of heavy rock or doom metal.

Venom Inc release new track “Dein Fleisch”

 

Venom Inc have released the official video for their new song “Dein Fleisch” for their new album entitled “Ave” out on August 11th this summer. Personally the song has a very almost Rammstein sound and pace to it with a more 90’s riff heavy sound to it. After a few listens i’m starting to dig it more and more and this is a good tease for what is to come on the album. I do hope they do have more fast paced like moments as well though.

Headbanging Highlight of the week: Evo-Warfare

 

This weeks headbanging highlight is the newest album from legendary Warfare drummer/vocalist Paul Evo entitled “Warfare” and was released May 26th, 2017 via High Roller Records. While this is a solo album , it definitely shares the punk attitude that made up the original sound Warfare had. However, there are some interesting spoken word parts on the album most notably with opener “Screaming At The Sea” being a very calm spoken word section. I remember the first time i put this album on I was almost like “is the whole album going to be like this?” I mean it really caught me off guard. However, the album really takes off once “Cemetery Dirt”and the real meat of the album comes at you full force. The TANK-like playing hits hard throughout the album with Evo coming out full force with his Lemmy-like vocals keeping the album at the punk/metal crossroads. The production is also pretty damn raw but in a good way. Unfortunately some of the guitar solo’s I wish would pop more as they feel a bit buried in the mix. Although Evo does play most of the instruments, there are some cool guest spots on the album. Lips from Anvil makes an appearance on the highlight track “This Man Bleeds Hate” and plays one of his dirtiest sounding solo’s i’ve heard in awhile. One of my all time favorite guitarists “Fast” Eddie Clarke also plays on the track “Misanthropy” and it sounds just like it was ripped off the “bomber” album and is one of my favorite moments on the album.

Overall, the album sees a great return from Evo. While it isn’t a mind blowing record or anything of that nature and has some issues with the production being a bit muddy at points, it is definitely a fun heavy album that is great to listen to blaring down the highway.

 

Jack Starr’s Burning Starr to release “Stand Your Ground” in August

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Legendary heavy metal group Jack Starr’s Burning Star are to released their brand new full length album entitled “Stand Your Ground” on August 25th, 2017. Announced by the band earlier this afternoon, the album will be available through High Roller records on CD, double LP and as a digital download. The album was produced by Bart Gabriel, mixed by Kevin Burnes and mastered by Patrick Engel with artwork done by the legendary Ken Kelly. This is their first album since “Land Of The Dead” in 2011.