Thursday, 31 March 2016

BLACKRAIN ‘Released’ Review


French rock music for some reason or another has never made a dent on the world stage although Gojira in terms of metal have and are leaving an indelible mark on that stage, however just in terms of music you’ll probably come up with Daft Punk who last year absolutely ruled the charts. 

Yet, here is Blackrain. A group of French rockers who on appearance take their influence from largely 80’s rock and metal, they have spent 10 years, 10 years honing their craft with 4 self produced albums and a slew of tours with the likes of Europe, Steel Panther and Scorpions to name but a few. 

So `Blackrain’s’ album entitled `Released’ is the first contact that I certainly have had with the French quartet and straight out of the gate this is a party rock band with the first track `Back In Town’ setting pretty much the tone for the entire album. It’s extremely bouncy, energetic and has a definite swagger about it. 

However for myself and this maybe that variety is the spice of life unless your AC/DC or Motorhead who etched their path many years ago when rock was fresh meat on the party player yet with this effort from ‘Blackrain’ feels very formulaic and not that fist pumping, rebellious and frankly fuck you attitude that Lemmy and his ilk forged. 

Each song comes and just feels like the one that’s come before and if you didn’t quite know you’ve just listened to 5 songs that all sound virtually exactly the same. Not much here stands out. 

The vocals on the album do however stand out for the wrong reasons, they sound very scratchy and high pitched resulting in irritation all to quickly and it would have been great to see well hear what else this gentleman can conjure up. 

Saying that a couple of little glimmers do appear, firstly a couple of the intros add that little bit of spice to those tracks although they pretty quickly fall back into the unchanged formula. There is also a rather tasty solo on `Words Ain’t Enough’ that really does grab you by the dangling chestnuts and makes you think this band could be so much more than a one trick pony. 

Overall, I really feel this band could be so much more and offer much more variety in their song writing and even in the world of this 80’s inspired party rock album you can add more than just 13 songs that are all identical barring a few glimmers but ultimately unless they turn potential into reality it feels like `Blackrain’ will be another casualty of what could have been. 

Stand out tracks: 
‘Back In Town’ and ‘Word’s Ain’t Enough’ 

4.5/10- A one trick pony, yet hope may remain 

Track Listing: 
Back In Town 
Mind Control 
Killing Me 
Run Tiger Run 
Puppet On A String 
Words Ain’t Enough 
Eat You Alive 
Home 
For Your love 
Fade To Black 
Electric Blue 
Rock My Funeral 
One Last Prayer 

Places on the net: 

ASKING ALEXANDRIA REVEAL FILMED TRACK BY TRACK




ASKING ALEXANDRIA -'The Black'. OUT NOW via Sumerian Records. 

To finish up a successful release week the band have revealed a filmed track by track of members Denis Stoff and Ben Bruce talking through each track on the critically acclaimed new album.

Watch it here: 

Asking Alexandria also recently announced two intimate shows ahead of their scheduled appearances at READING & LEEDS festivals this summer. The band will give die hard fans the chance to see them up close and personal at two shows in Southampton and London on 15th and 16th August. 

The band’s latest single, ‘The Black’, was added to the BBC Radio One INMWT playlist. Check out the video – which has racked up a staggering 8 MILLION views already – here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1RKaRgVFKk

The band also released a video for ‘Let It Sleep’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7appuMrrn7U

ASKING ALEXANDRIA LIVE IN THE UK IN AUGUST
15th August Southampton Engine Rooms
16th August London Koko
26th August Reading Festival Reading
27th August Leeds Festival Leeds


ZAKK WYLDE DEBUTS "SLEEPING DOGS" MUSIC VIDEO


Guitar icon ZAKK WYLDE today has debuted an all new music video for the track "Sleeping Dogs" from his forthcoming solo LP. Long-time collaborator Justin Reich was welcomed back to direct. "Black Label Brethren O' Doom Father Justin Reich did another amazing job directing the video,"says Wylde. "I asked Father Justin to capture the sights, sounds, smell and feel of the first day my parents dropped me off at kindergarten. Watching the video made me realise why I'm so fond of reading and vegetables.”

You can check out the video here: 

Grammy nominated SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR front-man COREY TAYLOR appears on the "Sleeping Dogs" album version as well. Wylde continues, "Having Father Corey Taylor's brilliant voice sing on 'Sleeping Dogs' fulfilled my vision of the two of us as the modern day Simon & Garfunkel. We may not be as legendary, talented or as handsome as those two, but we've eaten at some of the same restaurants as them."

"Sleeping Dogs”, "Tears of December" and "Lost Prayer" are now available as iTunes instant grat tracks, meaning fans who pre-order the album on iTunes will get the single immediately. 


Zakk Wylde will release “Book Of Shadows II” on April 8th, 2016 via Spinefarm Records, his first solo release in 20 years. This release is the highly anticipated follow up to 1996’s “Book Of Shadows”LP, a classic album Wylde released between his work with Ozzy Osbourne that has since become a fan favourite.

The fearlessly introspective melancholy and melody of “Book Of Shadows” helped to make its follow-up one of Rolling Stone’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2016. As fierce and diverse as his work in Black Label Society and as large as his accomplishments as lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne have been, “Book of Shadows II” offers an even richer look into the spirit and psyche of one of the most beloved pillars of the hard rock community. Brand new tracks like “Sleeping Dogs”, “Tears of December”, “Darkest Hour”, “Harbors of Pity” and “The King” are bold proclamations of intense feeling and powerful catharsis. 

Zakk Wylde’s powerful pipes, mayhem-inducing charisma, mischievous humour, and instantly recognisable pinch-harmonic-driven blues-based histrionic guitar shredding have made him the world’s most beloved American Guitar Hero.

Keeping up with the road dog reputation Wylde has accumulated over the decades, he is treating 2016 no differently. Having just wrapped up a successful stint on the 2016 Axes and Anchors Cruise, Wylde wasted no time in announcing a run of European dates from May 25th through June 19th in support of “Book Of Shadows II”. The tour – including headline shows & festival appearances – will see Wylde perform music from his extensive catalogue and vast spectrum of hits, with full band accompaniment. 

Tour dates:
05.25 UK, London, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
05.26 France, Paris, Cabaret Sauvage
05.27 Netherlands, Haarlem, Philharmonium
05.28 Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Den Atelier
05.29 Switzerland, Zurich, Komplex 457
05.31 Germany, Stuttgart, Theaterhaus
06.01 Austria, Linz, Posthof
06.03 Poland, Lodz, Wytwornia
06.04 Czech Republic, Plzen, Metalfest Open Air
06.06 Slovenia, Ljubljana, Kino Siska
06.07 Croatia, Zagreb, Tvornica Club
06.09 Italy, Milan, Teatro Degli Arcimboldi
06.10 France, Grenoble, La Belle Electrique
06.11 France, Bordeaux, Le Rocher de Palmer
06.13 Spain, Madrid, La Riviera
06.14 Spain, Barcelona, Sala Barts
06.15 Spain, Bilbao, Santana 27
06.17 Belgium, Dessel, Graspop Metal Meeting
06.18 Germany, Munich, Circus Krone
06.19 Germany, Nuremberg, Serenadenhof

“Book of Shadows II” Tracklist:-
1. Autumn Changes
2. Tears of December
3. Lay Me Down
4. Lost Prayer
5. Darkest Hour
6. The Levee
7. Eyes of Burden
8. Forgotten Memory
9. Yesterday's Tears
10. Harbors of Pity
11. Sorrowed Regret
12. Useless Apologies
13. Sleeping Dogs
14. The King

DEATH ANGEL stream new track 'The Moth'


San Francisco Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel's new album 'The Evil Divide' is due for release on 27th May via Nuclear Blast. To whet the appetite of eager fans, the band have released the first single from the album. 

Listen to 'The Moth' over on YouTube: https://youtu.be/FRW1mdm3CaI 
Pre-order 'The Evil Divide' here:
Limited Edition CD/DVD Digipack, CD & Limited Etched Vinyl (inc free A1 poster) at Recordstore: http://bit.ly/DeathAngelPoster
Limited Edition Etched White Vinyl at the NB UK Store: http://bit.ly/DeathAngelVinyl
Digital Album at iTunes: http://bit.ly/DeathAngeliTunes

Artwork for the album was created by renowned tattoo artist Bob Tyrrell.

"Both Mark and I had been tattooed by Bob, and when the subject of album artwork came up," commented guitarist Rob Cavestaney. "We approached him to create the design. We wanted an image that would represent the idea of 'The Evil Divide'; something beautiful, yet simultaneously wicked, hence the death moth. Bob realised our vision with mere pencil and paper, and now we proudly present to you the cover artwork for our 8th studio album, 'The Evil Divide'."

'The Evil Divide' was recorded at AudioHammer studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Jason Suecof (Trivium, Deicide), who previously worked on 2010's 'Relentless Retribution' and 2013's 'The Dream Calls For Blood'. Mastering duties were handled by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York City.

Three decades into their celebrated career, Death Angel remain as hungry as ever. As a result, uncompromising urgency and unpredictability define the Bay Area thrash quintet’s eighth full-length album,'The Evil Divide'. The group - Mark Osegueda (vocals), Rob Cavestany (lead guitar), Ted Aguilar (guitar), Will Carroll (drums), and Damien Sisson (bass) - satiate the appetite for buzzsaw speed riffs, double bass mayhem, and scorching vocals over the course of ten new anthems.

'The Evil Divide' stands out as the culmination of thirty-plus years of music for Death Angel. Their career kicked off with legendary debut, 'The Ultra-Violence', in 1987. The classic 'Frolic Through The Park' began to cement their legacy and even earned the distinction of landing on Loudwire’s list of the 'Top Ten Thrash Albums NOT Released by The Big 4'. The group broke up following 1990’s 'Act III' only to reunite in 2004 on'The Art of Dying' for the next generation.

In 2008, Death Angel teamed with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Rush, Mastodon) for 'Killing Season' recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606. In 2010, 'Relentless Retribution'boasted a cameo from virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela, while 2013’s 'The Dream Calls For Blood' bowed at #72 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 5,400 copies first-week and earning the group’s first-ever entry onto that respective chart.

Beyond continued public praise from the likes of James Hetfield of Metallica and Robb Flynn of Machine Head, the band’s music has popped up everywhere from Carl’s Jr. commercials to 'Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III'. Their fire burns brighter than ever in 2016.

PRE-ORDER 'THE EVIL DIVIDE':
Limited Edition Etched White Vinyl available exclusively from the NB UK store - http://bit.ly/DeathAngelVinyl
CD, CD + DVD or Etched Black Vinyl plus FREE poster from Recordstore.co.uk - http://bit.ly/DeathAngelPoster

MORE ON 'THE EVIL DIVIDE':
ALBUM TRAILER #1: Artwork reveal: https://youtu.be/QiLvkze3gQk 

ALBUM TRAILER #2: Watch as Rob and Mark discuss their forthcoming monolithic release and the team who worked on it with them, here: https://youtu.be/XBkIraeKfa8 

ALBUM TRAILER #3: Watch as the guys discuss returning to Audiohammer Studios to record the new album, here: https://youtu.be/bzidP0lXzT4 

NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS UK

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

AL JOURGENSEN discusses the music industry then and now


MINISTRY main man Al Jourgensen's new project, SURGICAL METH MACHINE, inked a deal with Nuclear Blast Records for their debut album recently. The self-titled offering, which was recorded primarily at Jourgensen's home studio in Burbank, California with his longtime engineer Sam D'Ambruoso, will be released on April 15th worldwide. In support of the forthcoming album, Al has recorded a series of album trailers, with the fourth one being posted online today. 

Watch as he shares his thoughts on the music industry now and how it was back in the day, here: https://youtu.be/f3WNCXPqmbI


Listen to new track, 'Tragic Alert': https://youtu.be/ljgs9Bbe_wU

Al commented: 
"I hope you enjoy this soundtrack to the New World Order...you should, y'all helped create it!"

Pre-order Surgical Meth Machine on Limited Edition Neon Pink Vinyl exclusively from the Nuclear Blast UK store: http://bit.ly/SurgicalMethVinyl


The track list for 'Surgical Meth Machine' racks up as follows:
01. I'm Sensitive
02. Tragic Alert
03. I Want More
04. Rich People Problems
05. I Don't Wanna
06. Smash And Grab
07. Unlistenable
08. Gates Of Steel
09. Spudnik
10. Just Go Home
11. Just Keep Going
12. I'm Invisible


In an October 2015 interview with In The Loop magazine, Jourgensen stated about how the idea for SURGICAL METH MACHINE came about: 
"You know, [guitarist] Mikey [Scaccia] died a couple of years ago, from MINISTRY, and I just figured, like, nah, it's time to quit. I don't want to have John Bonham's kid playing drums for us and having replacement parts forever; that's just not my scene. So I just figured, 'All right, let's stop this. Let's do some other stuff.' And not only that. I found that it was really unburdensome to not have the MINISTRY moniker or expectations and just do something like whatever the fuck we want. I mean, the band's name is SURGICAL METH MACHINE. It's not like we're gonna be on Top 40 radio and on 'The Voice' and 'American Idol'. [Laughs]"

He continued: 
"I understand it's not a real commercial project for us, it's not gonna put bank in my wallet, but it was a lot of fun to do, in that sense — of just not having the constraints of the expectations of what you've done for twenty years. So this is… It's kind of new stuff. It's pretty cool. It sounds like kind of MINISTRY, but it's a different level. It's like I literally just put my foot on the gas pedal for this record."

According to Jourgensen, the sound of SURGICAL METH MACHINE's debut release leans heavily on the aggressive side, but fans can also expect to hear a few surprises. "There's a couple of real poppy things on there, which brings me full circle, because, literally, I don't give a fuck anymore", he said. "So I'm actually almost acknowledging that first horrible pop record I did in 1983. I'm crooning on some songs, I've got some pop songs on there, and then there's just brutal assault for the rest of it. It's a very dichotomous record, but it's me, and I'm acknowledging everything that's been me through, like, the last 35 years. Let's just throw my balls on the table and hope somebody doesn't have a meat cleaver running."

MORE ON 'SURGICAL METH MACHINE':
ALBUM TRAILER #1: Watch as Al discusses signing to Nuclear Blast and how this project differs to Ministry: https://youtu.be/6R-AZkADwyM

ALBUM TRAILER #2: Watch as Al discusses the album artwork and the band's name: https://youtu.be/Gnd7FrPlra8

ALBUM TRAILER #3: Watch as Al discusses the drumming on the new album, working on music without his Ministry comrades and more: https://youtu.be/wQv10VmwFtI

NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS UK

BABYMETAL UNVEIL NEW SONG AND VIDEO FOR ‘THE ONE’


Japanese phenomenon BABYMETAL have posted a new song from forthcoming album ‘METAL RESISTANCE’, released this Friday April 1st aka FOX DAY via EarMUSIC/Edel. ‘THE ONE’ is an epic power ballad, clocking in at over seven minutes. The accompanying video serves as the perfect teaser to this Saturday’s headline show at Wembley Arena – the first by any Japanese band at this legendary venue – showcasing the scale and enormity of a BABYMETAL live show. 
Check out the video here:

‘METAL RESISTANCE’ will be released in three different formats, with a CD, 2LP and special limited edition box set with exclusive T-shirt available. The tracklisting for each format is as follows:

CD & Limited Boxset incl. CD + exclusive T-shirt:
1. Road Of Resistance
2. KARATE
3. Awadama Fever
4. YAVA!
5. Amore
6. Meta Taro
7. From Dusk Till Dawn
8. GJ!
9. Sis. Anger
10. No Rain, No Rainbow
11. Tales Of The Destinies
12. THE ONE - English ver. -

2LP : 
Side 1
1. Road Of Resistance
2. KARATE
3. Awadama Fever

Side 2
1. YAVA!
2. Amore
3. Meta Taro

Side 3
1. From Dusk Till Dawn
2. GJ!
3. Sis. Anger

Side 4
1. No Rain, No Rainbow
2. Tales Of The Destinies
3. THE ONE - English ver. –

Tickets for the Wembley show are available at www.myticket.co.uk andwww.seetickets.com

Pre-order bundles of the new album, featuring special, exclusive merchandise, are available here: http://www.mflstores.com/mfl/babymetal.html

iTunes Preorder is here and features ‘KARATE’ as an instant grat track:https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/metal-resistance/id1087055715

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

DORO The undisputed queen of heavy metal releases new track + video


DORO is set to release her new single Love's Gone To Hell on April 1st and has released an official video in support of the track. Filmed in the renaissance castle Bückeburg, the video showcases DORO as you've never seen her before -

DORO states: "'Love's Gone To Hell' is a magical song, a big anthem - and for myself it's on the same level as the all-time favourites 'All We Are', 'Love Me In Black' and 'Für Immer'."

The digital EP contains the following tracks:
1 Love's Gone to Hell (Radio Version) 
2 Love's Gone to Hell 
3 It Still Hurts (feat. Lemmy Kilmister) 
4 Rock Till Death (Live) (feat. BLIND GUARDIAN's Hansi Kürsch)
5 Save My Soul (Live) 
6 Love's Gone to Hell (Original Demo Version)
Digital Booklet - Love's Gone to Hell 

Order Love's Gone To Hell on iTunes: http://nblast.de/DoroLoveGoneToHellIT

NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS UK

DEATH ANGEL discusses returning to Audiohammer Studios


San Francisco Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel recently announced their new album 'The Evil Divide', which is due for release on 27th May via Nuclear Blast. The band have been posting some studio updates since the announcement and today sees the release of the third album trailer. Watch as the guys discuss returning to Audiohammer Studios to record the new album, here: https://youtu.be/bzidP0lXzT4

Pre-order 'The Evil Divide' here:
Limited Edition CD/DVD Digipack, CD & Limited Etched Vinyl (inc free A1 poster) at Recordstore: http://bit.ly/DeathAngelPoster
Limited Edition Etched White Vinyl at the NB UK Store: http://bit.ly/DeathAngelVinyl
Digital Album at iTunes: http://bit.ly/DeathAngeliTunes

Artwork for the album was created by renowned tattoo artist Bob Tyrrell.

"Both Mark and I had been tattooed by Bob, and when the subject of album artwork came up," commented guitarist Rob Cavestaney. "We approached him to create the design. We wanted an image that would represent the idea of 'The Evil Divide'; something beautiful, yet simultaneously wicked, hence the death moth. Bob realised our vision with mere pencil and paper, and now we proudly present to you the cover artwork for our 8th studio album, 'The Evil Divide'."

'The Evil Divide' was recorded at AudioHammer studios in Sanford, Florida with producer Jason Suecof (Trivium, Deicide), who previously worked on 2010's 'Relentless Retribution' and 2013's 'The Dream Calls For Blood'. Mastering duties were handled by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound in New York City.

Three decades into their celebrated career, Death Angel remain as hungry as ever. As a result, uncompromising urgency and unpredictability define the Bay Area thrash quintet’s eighth full-length album,'The Evil Divide'. The group - Mark Osegueda (vocals), Rob Cavestany (lead guitar), Ted Aguilar (guitar), Will Carroll (drums), and Damien Sisson (bass) - satiate the appetite for buzzsaw speed riffs, double bass mayhem, and scorching vocals over the course of ten new anthems.

'The Evil Divide' stands out as the culmination of thirty-plus years of music for Death Angel. Their career kicked off with legendary debut, 'The Ultra-Violence', in 1987. The classic 'Frolic Through The Park' began to cement their legacy and even earned the distinction of landing on Loudwire’s list of the 'Top Ten Thrash Albums NOT Released by The Big 4'. The group broke up following 1990’s 'Act III' only to reunite in 2004 on'The Art of Dying' for the next generation.

In 2008, Death Angel teamed with producer Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains, Rush, Mastodon) for 'Killing Season' recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606. In 2010, 'Relentless Retribution'boasted a cameo from virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela, while 2013’s 'The Dream Calls For Blood' bowed at #72 on the Billboard Top 200, selling 5,400 copies first-week and earning the group’s first-ever entry onto that respective chart.

Beyond continued public praise from the likes of James Hetfield of Metallica and Robb Flynn of Machine Head, the band’s music has popped up everywhere from Carl’s Jr. commercials to 'Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III'. Their fire burns brighter than ever in 2016.

PRE-ORDER 'THE EVIL DIVIDE':
Limited Edition Etched White Vinyl available exclusively from the NB UK store - http://bit.ly/DeathAngelVinyl
CD, CD + DVD or Etched Black Vinyl plus FREE poster from Recordstore.co.uk - http://bit.ly/DeathAngelPoster

MORE ON 'THE EVIL DIVIDE':
ALBUM TRAILER #1: Artwork reveal: https://youtu.be/QiLvkze3gQk

ALBUM TRAILER #2: Watch as Rob and Mark discuss their forthcoming monolithic release and the team who worked on it with them, here: https://youtu.be/XBkIraeKfa8 

NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS UK

Monday, 28 March 2016

Bonfire ‘Pearls’ Album Review


30 years old and counting, Bonfire have certainly been around and had their fair share of issues over that time. Let me give you a bit of back story before running into the new album ‘Pearls’, originally the band changed their name from Cacumen to Bonfire way back in 86 and have had numerous line up changes and record company issues which have littered their career including one such label not wanting to release anything without the original voice of the band. 

As this is a double CD we will divide and conquer, the first CD `Rock Pearls’ opens in spectacular fashion with a Judas Priest inspired track `Strike Back’ where the vocals is a definite nod towards Halford and his peers in a devastating fashion, as is the same with the 2nd track `Under Blue Skies’ which showcases the more epic crowd pleasing songs that bands like Maiden and Priest hold in their arsenals. 

However and maybe this is just my own tastes here but it turns rather sour and cheesy in the respect that it moves from a rather good NWOBHM inspired album to an all out 80’s arena rock fest and I don’t mean the good stuff. There’s a shit tonne of ballad’s and really the main thing that these guys need to kind of realise is they are a just too late for the party for them to really matter which is a shame as they would have hit big with tracks like `Proud Of My Country’ and `Down To Atlanta’. AOR has come and gone for most bands except for those bands that fill arenas with their multitude of MTV hits but Bonfire certainly seem to be one of the causalities of that era. 

CD 2 `Classic Pearls’ is pretty much solid version of `Rock Pearls’ full of 80’s ballads, which again just doesn’t quite cut the mustard in this modern era. If this was a best of Guns N Roses or Motley Crue it would be justified, it feels like we are meant to know these tracks as they are `Classic Pearls’ but they just feel like carbon copies of other more recognisable tracks and it gets dull rather quick. 

‘Pearls’ opens in an interesting affair, its classic metal with a classic rock feel and a good dash of NWOBHM added in which feels like Judas Priest kinda forgot about these as they hid in the back of a cupboard well that’s kind of the case for the first few tracks on the album. However for the rest of the album is to me a very dated album and something which yes is unfortunate considering how good the musicianship on most of these AOR bands can be and but it’s the lack of magic that bands like Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, Scorpions, AC/DC etc etc etc have in abundance. So after a few runs through it felt cheesy and very much pin pointed to a time when Rock ruled the world and then crashed and burned in a spectacular manner. 

Stand out tracks: 
`Strike Back’ and `Under Blue Skies’ 

4/10- Great openers then overblown with cheese, very dated. 

Track Listing: 
CD 1- Rock Pearls 
Strike Back
Under Blue Skies 
Diamonds In The Rough 
Sweet Home Alabama 
Proud Of My Country 
Don’t Go Changing Me 
Sweet Obsession 
American Nights 
Good Time Rock `N’ Roll 
Heat In The Glow 
Can’t Stop Rocking 
Down To Atlanta 
Loaded Gun 

CD2- Classic Pearls 
You Make Me Feel 
Give It A Try 
Who’s Foolin’ Who 
I Need You 
Good Night Amanda 
Southern Winds 
If It Wasn’t For You 
Why Is It Never Enough 
Let’s Fly Away 

Places on the net: 

Friday, 25 March 2016

Amon Amarth ‘Jomsviking’ album review

The Viking mythology and culture to this day captures our attention through new reimagining’s on TV and Film defining what we know about the Viking way of life and Amon Amarth have never been shy utilizing their Swedish heritage on their aesthetic. Now for their latest album ‘Jomsviking’, Johan and company have delved into their cultural heritage to create their first concept album based on the `Jomsviking’ a band of mercenaries available to the highest bidder. 

A concept album? I hear you cry, yes its a concept album yet fear not, `Jomsviking’ is truly a landmark album for Amon Amarth. 
You will be replaying this album in it’s entirety on repeat until you wear those iTunes tracks out, ok well not possible but your PC or whatever device may get heated from the sheer amount of Viking pouring out of the speakers. 

From the get go you are being sliced, diced and hacked by each song in spectacular fashion, opening with `First Kill’ which perfectly delivers the key ideals of the album, simple yet crushing and memorable all in one killer blow. 
Throughout the album Johan’s growling and precise vocals will take you down a journey of bloodshed, war and honour without leaving the confines of your armchair. With songs `Wanderer’, `One Against All’ and `The Way Of The Vikings’ you do believe that if Vikings of the 10th Century had guitars they would have regaled grand sagas in the Amon Amarth method. 
One of the best examples where Amon Amarth are musically driving towards is `At First Dawn’s Light’ with its moderately apparent Maiden inspired guitar leads coupled with Johan’s barking vocal delivery they appear to be boarding the divide between death metal and more classic metal in their sound. Now compare that to Behemoth for Black and Death metal in blurring the lines between beloved sub-genres. 

`Jomsviking’ definitely marks the next stage in Amon Amarth’s evolution, both musically and lyrically it’s not a huge leap but if it feels simplified but its more honed, crafted and purposeful. Amon Amarth have in my opinion created an album that will stand the test of time, in all parts its memorable, destructively heavy and will conjure up images of the cold medieval north for this is The Way Of Vikings. 

Stand out tracks: 
`First Kill’, `At Dawn’s First Light’ and `A Dream That Cannot Be’ 

10/10- Breathing taking from the Viking Warriors, a top 10 heavy weight. 

Track Listing: 
First Kill 
Wanderer 
One A Sea Of Blood 
One Against All 
Raise Your Horns 
The Way Of Vikings 
At Dawns First Light 
One Thousand Burning Arrows 
Vengeance Is My Name 
A Dream That Cannot Be 
Back On Northern Shores 

Places on the net: 

DISCHARGE JJ and Bones discuss songwriting and hometowns in new album trailer


UK hardcore punk legends DISCHARGE are set to release their new album 'End Of Days' on April 29th via Nuclear Blast. We caught up with JJ and Bones to discuss how the band go about writing material, what it's like for JJ being in the band and their respective hometowns of New Jersey and Stoke. 
Watch the trailer, here: https://youtu.be/xM21nnPH90U

Listen to new track 'Hatebomb' over on YouTube: https://youtu.be/DY_8qghAuQ4 

The band commented on the track: "No thought provoking lyrics on this song, just 2 minutes and 8 seconds of anger, play it loud."

Pre-order End Of Days on Limited Edition White Vinyl or as a Limited Edition T-shirt and CD bundle exclusively from the Nuclear Blast UK store: http://bit.ly/DischargeStore​

Or alternatively, pick up the CD or standard vinyl from Recordstore to receive a hand-signed insert with your order: http://bit.ly/DischargeSigned

The track list racks up as follows:
01. New World Order
02. Raped And Pillaged
03. End Of Days
04. The Broken Law
05. False Flag Entertainment
06. Meet Your Maker
07. Hatebomb
08. It Can’t Happen Here
09. Infected
10. Killing Yourself To Live
11. Looking At Pictures Of Genocide
12. Hung Drawn And Quartered
13. Population Control
14. The Terror Alert
15. Accessories By Molotov (Part 2)

LP track list:
Side A
01. New World Order
02. Raped And Pillaged
03. End Of Days
04. The Broken Law
05. False Flag Entertainment
06. Meet Your Maker
07. Hatebomb
08. It Can’t Happen Here

Side B
01. Infected
02. Killing Yourself To Live
03. Looking At Pictures Of Genocide
04. Hung Drawn And Quartered
05. Population Control
06. The Terror Alert
07. Accessories By Molotov (Part 2)

Catch DISCHARGE live on the below dates:
15.04. UK Liverpool - The Magnet
16.04. UK Birmingham - Rainbow
25.06. UK Preston - The New Continental
16.07. UK Leeds - The Brudenell Social Club
23.07. UK Coventry - The Arches
04.08. UK Blackpool - Rebellion Festival
10.09. UK Cardiff - The Moon
17.09. UK Watford - TBA

Watch a trailer with JJ and Bones discussing singing to Nuclear Blast: https://youtu.be/KNZPzawhRe4

PRE-ORDER 'END OF DAYS':
Limited Edition T-Shirt & CD Bundle or White Vinyl available exclusively from the Nuclear Blast UK store - http://bit.ly/DischargeStore

MORE ON 'END OF DAYS':
The band's career has spanned an epic 40 years so it's no surprise they have influenced quite a few bands along the way. One musician who is known for his love of the band is SOULFLY frontman Max Cavalera. We spoke to Max about how he discovered Discharge's music and how they have influenced him musically - 
watch the interview here: https://youtu.be/hBJqxiCKQZQ

NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS UK

GRAND MAGUS stream new track 'Varangian' online

Swedish riff lords GRAND MAGUS are set to release their new studio album Sword Songs on May 13th but until then, the band are teasing fans by releasing new track 'Varangian' online. 
Listen over on YouTube: 

Viking metal master JB commented:
 "Metalheads! Grand Magus are back. We are proud to unleash this iron-clad anthem. We give you...VARANGIAN!"

'Varangian' will be available as digital single on March 25th.

Sword Songs was produced by Nico Elgstrand at Studio Supa in Stockholm, where the guitars, vocals and bass were recorded too. The drums were recorded with Roberto Laghi at Top Floor Studios in Gothenburg. The album was mixed by Roberto Laghi (Oral Majority Records, Gothenburg) and mastered bySvante Forsbäck (Chartmakers, Helsinki).

Pre-order Sword Songs now on Limited Edition Gold Vinyl exclusively from the Nuclear Blast UK store: http://bit.ly/MagusSwordVinyl

Alternatively, you can order the album on CD or Vinyl from Recordstore to receive a hand-signed insert FREE with your order: http://bit.ly/GrandMagusSigned

The track list racks up as follows:
CD
01. Freja's Choice
02. Varangian
03. Forged In Iron - Crowned In Steel
04. Born For Battle (Black Dog Of Brocéliande)
05. Master Of The Land
06. Last One To Fall
07. Frost And Fire
08. Hugr
09. Everyday There's A Battle To Fight
Bonus Tracks (digipack only)
10. In For The Kill
11. Stormbringer (Deep Purple Cover)

LP
Side A
01. Freja's Choice
02. Varangian
03. Forged In Iron - Crowned In Steel
04. Born For Battle (Black Dog Of Brocéliande)
05. Master Of The Land
Side B
01. Last One To Fall
02. Frost And Fire
03. Hugr
04. Everyday There's A Battle To Fight
Bonus Tracks
05. In For The Kill
06. Stormbringer (Deep Purple Cover)

PRE-ORDER 'SWORD SONGS':
Limited Edition Gold Vinyl exclusively from the Nuclear Blast UK store: http://bit.ly/MagusSwordVinyl
Pre-order the album from Recordstore to receive a hand-signed insert FREE with your order: http://bit.ly/GrandMagusSigned

NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS UK