Posts Tagged ‘Heavy Metal’

Cover art

Vaultwraith seems to have born out of a desire to bring the horror metal of early King Diamond and Mercyful Fate to a more extreme and bloodthirsty audience. Searching in amongst the ruins of ancient castles, these Missourians have found rituals and arcane magic that brings to life the ghosts of Nocturnus, Celtic Frost and Bathory, weaving a classic heavy metal streak through them to create ‘Death is Proof of Satan’s Power’. Hells Headbangers is dropping this on Halloween.

First to rise from the grave is ‘The Vaultwraith’ and the band’s eponymous track is a perfect encapsulation of what is to come, with galloping thrash riffs meeting scowling vocals and insidious melodies to create something defiantly old school. Haunting keyboards hover in the distance, enhancing but never overpowering. Imagine ‘Ravaged in the Crimson Mist’ as a Judas Priest song, but dipped into the murky black waters of Sodom, or Bathory. Vaultwraith’s true talent lies within their ability to create a collection of songs that are both catchy and still raw and filthy.

You’ll be humming every nasty riff and throaty growl, air keyboarding when the ethereal notes seep through this blackened thrash nightmare. The rumbling menace of ‘Open Grave Rape’ and the ethereal grimness of ‘High Priestess of the Wolf Coven’ mixes the raw thrash of the early tracks with a more measured, horror-induced style that really stands out. ‘Death is Proof of Satan’s Power’ is an album that unlocks its majesty slowly, drawing you in with temptains of headbanging and then meanders through your mind, enslaving you to its ghostly horrors. Stunning.

https://vaultwraith-us.bandcamp.com/album/death-is-proof-of-satans-power

https://www.facebook.com/vaultwraith/

http://www.hellsheadbangers.com/

Advertisements

Swedish heavy metallers Night have just released their third record, ‘Raft of the World’ through The Sign Records, and it sees them heading towards a bit of a more overt hard rock direction, despite retaining their classic heavy metal edge. Get ready to head back to those early heydays where rock and metal were beginning to split apart.

Opener ‘Fire Across the Sky’ oozes with a classic 80s charisma, from the land of Priest and Dio with a dose of grandeur and no little catchiness. Instantly gratifying, the songs are melodic and have dashes of Angel Witch about them which I’m all about. The driving ‘Surrender’, the anthemic ‘Under the Gallows’ and the soaring, psychedelic ‘Time’ are a stunning trio that would take on any three song grouping in classic metal without fear. ‘Strike of Lightning’ is an instant hit, while the ghostly power balladry of ‘Coin in a Fountain’ is the perfect set up to the moody closer ‘Where Silence Awaits’.

The amalgamation of the earliest days of hard rock/NWOBHM and some Seventies proto metal has given ‘Raft of the World’ a wonderful organic feel. It feels like four guys sitting jamming in a room, kicking out great classic metal songs with joyful abandon, not a Pro-Tools attempt to recapture the glory days. Built for the stage, but crafted for the soul, Night are kicking ass on this and you deserve to hear it.

https://www.facebook.com/nightbandofficial/

http://heavymetalinthenight.com/

http://freighttrain.se/sv/the-sign-record/night-raft-of-the-world-pre-order.html

Japan’s Coven are a classy piece of heavy metal that’ll hook you straight in with their new release ‘The Advent’, a set up four track EP in preparation for their upcoming full length debut next year. This duo takes obvious influence from the likes of Maiden and Mercyful Fate, and it creates something just a bit special. Heavy metal is fucking great sometimes.

Opener ‘Brave Warriors’ provides instant gratification to that heavy metal itch we all need scratched now and then, with beautiful guitar harmonies and infectious melodies immediately planting seeds in your mind. The production has given this a wonderful, ‘Killers’ style feel about it, and that NWOBHM feel continues through ‘The Advent’. ‘Karma’ is a little King Diamond-esque with some soaring theatrics, and a soulful solo making the invisible oranges almost mandatory. Closing with a great 80s style metal power ballad in ‘Scream for Tomorrow’, Coven find more and more ways to make you fall in love with them.

‘The Advent’ is a mere appetiser for what is to come, but I really don’t want to have to wait very long for more. This is a fucking killer EP, with songs that bring you back to that heady early 80s period when heavy metal was coming into its own. I can’t wait for the full length!

https://www.facebook.com/Coven.Japan/

https://www.svartrecords.com/artist/coven-japan/

https://coven.bandcamp.com/

From the home of rock and roll Memphis, Tennessee, comes Namazu, whose debut album ‘Works Cited’ is a blistering combination of hardcore and heavy metal, in the style of Black Tusk or Red Fang. Typhoon Killer Records is dropping the record at the end of September, and it definitely seems to be worth your hard earned cash.

Immediately infectious, Namazu come across as a hybrid of Mastodon and Clutch, with a soulful heavy metal riffing style encased in rough guitar tone. Songs like ‘Gunwhale’ drive onwards, like a melodic river under a sun scorched sky, and the chunky ‘Bright Boys’ kicks like old Torche. It is immensely satisfying when you read that a band sounds a bit like a lot of your favourite bands, and then not only does it turn out to be true but that they are more than just your average copycats. Namazu take bits and pieces from all their influences and carve their own sound from them. Tracks like spiralling, Kylesa-esque ‘The Sportswriter’, or the progressive leanings of ‘Waterwalkers’ are a little off kilter, and it just makes them all the better.

Namazu are a welcome addition to that subgenre of sludgey hardcore that is full of infectious melodies. They’re here to kick your head in and make you sing along at the same time. I can imagine their live shows are awesome, as ‘Works Cited’ possesses a thrilling energy about it.

https://www.facebook.com/NAMAZU666/

https://namazu666.bandcamp.com/releases

Chilean duo Crime have exploded out of the rock and roll underground in South America with their debut tape ‘First Crime’, out now on Shadow Kingdom Records. Three tracks of energetic, punkish heavy metal invade your ears, inspiring the raising of horns and the thrashing of necks.

Opener ‘Highway Robbery’ takes a while to get going thanks to a lengthy and creepy intro, but once it kicks into high gear it provides delightful Venomisms with some killer hooks. Galloping leads mesh with a squealing solo that invokes fond memories of early German thrash, while raspy vocals match up perfectly. Same with the infectious ‘Give Your Life to the Ruin’, where the urge to air guitar furiously increases with every minute.

Closing with the rampant ‘We Shall Destroy’, it is amazing how a short sharp burst of raucous energy can really reinvigorate your love of heavy music. Crime may steal every trick in the book, but ‘First Crime’ is a love note to the genuine roots of the genre and therefore you can be forgiven all of your sins when you make us all remember how fun metal used to be.

https://shadowkingdomrecords.bandcamp.com/album/first-crime-2

https://crimesofheavymetal.bandcamp.com/

solitude-album-cover

Japanese trad metal heroes Solitude are representing TRUE METAL in all caps. ‘Reach for the Sky’ is now available further afield after a Japanese only release in 2015, and is bringing the riffs in spades. If you like the sound of NWOBHM brought into the 21st century via some Exodus and Tank, then I think Solitude are going to be right up your alley. Test Your Metal Records are handling the North American release, while you’ll find their older stuff on Spiritual Beast.

Opener ‘Venom’s Angels’ is full of killer riffing, awesome hooks and galloping melodies. You can feel how deep that classic Maiden influence runs, all the while being complimented by Bay Area thrashing sensibilities. ‘Blow’ is another kick ass track, prompting fist pumping and headbanging aplenty. You can tell instantly that Solitude would be a killer live act to go see. I love the intro to the title track, and there’s loads of moments on ‘Reach for the Sky’ where your love for heavy metal can be reignited.

The Bay Area thrash of ‘Don’t Need Mercy’ is classic, as well as the Saxon-esque ‘You Got My Mind’ and the elegiac ‘December’. ‘Reach for the Sky’ is an album steeped in tradition and, most importantly, enthusiasm and dare I say, joy. Joy in the simple happiness of heavy metal’s existence. Solitude’s record is a celebration of galloping guitars, massive hooks and killer solos. Something we all need to remember to celebrate now and again. Thoroughly recommended.

http://testyourmetalrecords.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/solitudejapan

Image may contain: 2 people

Atlanta, GA’s old school thrashers Death of Kings are putting out their full length debut this year on Boris Records, and to whet our appetites a little they’re dropping this two track 7″ vinyl single at the end of March entitled ‘Hell Comes to Life’. This is resolutely old fashioned thrash and heavy metal mixing with potent results.

With the flesh tearing opening to the title track, you straight away can feel the influence of genre luminaries like Exodus and Testament, shot through with a pure dose of liquid riff. Spiralling solos wail over awesome galloping riffs in this salute to old school values. It’s fast, it’s fluid and it’s fucking great. Same can be said for the secod track ‘Hell Patrol’, a turbo charged Judas Priest classic that benefits greatly from a gnarly thrash coating.

Death of Kings is going to blow up this year, if this EP is anything to go on. The musicianship is top notch and their grasp of what made old school thrash and metal great is spot on. Grab a hold of this band and don’t let go!

http://boris-records.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deathofkingsmetal/

https://deathofkings.bandcamp.com/