Monday, 28 September 2009

VENOM - BLACK METAL 2009 Remastered Edition (Cd Review)

01.Black Metal
02.To Hell And Back
03.Buried Alive
04.Raise The Dead
05.Teacher's Pet
06.Leave Me In Hell
08.Heaven's On Fire
09.Countess Bathory
10.Don't Burn The Witch
11.At War With Satan
12.Bursting Out (60 min+ version)
13.Black Metal (Radio One session)
14.Nightmare (Radio One session)
15.Too Loud for the Crowd (Radio One session)
16.Bloodlust (Radio One session)
17.Die Hard (12" version)
18.Acid Queen (12" version)
19.Bursting Out (12" version)
20.Hounds of Hell (outtake)
21.Bloodlust (7" single a-side)
22.In Nomine Satanas (7" single b-side)

Cronos (Vocals/Bass)
Mantas (Guitars)
Abaddon (Drums)

Remastered and repackaged this is one of the most important albums ever made in the history of heavy metal.Originally released in November 1982 to a hail of abuse from the critics who dismissed it as badly played rubbish whilst they raved over def leppard!
Without knowing it the Newcastle trio's second album was to launch a genre of metal that would sweep the world, although it has to be said that "Black Metal" became something very different from this album, it was however the starting point.
Starting with the opening noise of a drill or something it goes into a motorhead like riff and off we go leading to the line that goes "lay down your soul to the gods rock and roll", come on you know it!
Its a non stop onslaught, a wall of power, the most metal album of its time.Okay 'Teachers Pet' is a bit childish and doesnt exactly fit the satanic styled lyrics that lead us to to the final song "At War With Satan".
Titled as an intro to the next album it is a stunning 2 minutes of sound efects and some great speech by Cronos.
Now this repackage has added some great stuff with the misleading 60 minute verson of 'Bursting Out' which is about 4 minutes, the friday rock show session, and the second and third singles and one studio outtake.
If this isnt enough for yer money you get a bonus dvd which has the full Hammersmith Odeon debut gig.An awesome performance and one which i witnessed myself, when those flame throwers went off you could smell the singed hair and someone was carried out!
Aside from that there are three promo videos, not the greatest ever made, but pretty damn cool i have to say and ones i never saw first time around.
All in all a superb value for money package!

Rating 666/666

For Fans Of : Warfare, Tank, Hellhammer, Motorhead, (Early) Bathory, Mayhem


Saturday, 26 September 2009

'77 - 21st CENTURY ROCK (Cd Review)

01.Gimme Rock N Roll
02.Hardworking Liar
03.Big Smoker Pig
04.Shake It Up
05.Wicked Girl
06.Your Game's Over
07.Less Talk (Lets Rock)
08.Let The Children Hear Rock & Roll
09.Double Tongued Woman
10.21st Century Rock

Armand Valeta (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar)
LG Valeta (Lead Guitar)
J.T. Dolphin (Drums)
Raw (Bass)

Alber Alone (Backing Vocals)

'77 are a Spanish band who have recently based themselves in London and have non stopped gigged since they arrived, building up a solid fanbase and wowing everybody with their amazing and highly energetic live performances.

What we have here is ten slabs of pure old school Ac/Dc worship, this is Bon Scott era circa 1977, hence their name.

There is no point in pulling out a song to review here, because if you love ac/Dc then you love this band.They have managed to retain such originality despite sounding so much like Bon and his crew, yet songs like "Your Game's Over" could be off High Voltage.

Look simply put this is just fucking awesome, go see them live and get a copy of the cd from them.

Rating 10/10

For Fans Of : Ac/Dc (Bon Scott), Airbourne, Rose Tattoo



01.Goi Rode Goi
04.Na Moey Zemle
06.V Tsepiakh Drevney Tainy
07.Tropoiu Nevedannoi
08.Liki Bessmertnykh Bogov
09.kolo Navi
14.Nebo Hmurde, Tuchi Mrachniye

Masha Scream Arhipova (Vocals)
Sergej Lazar (Guitars)
Ruslan Kniaz (Bass)
Vlad Artist (Drums)

Allow me to introduce to you Arkona, a Russian band who were formed in 2002 by members of local pagan community "Vyatichi"with the intent of creating music that reflected their individual philosophy and musical taste.
Emerging from the Russian underground they made their high profile debut at the
"Yazycheskaya Rus'" festival.By the summer of 2003, ARKONA was ready to record their debut, but disinterest in the band by some of its members saw the band disappear from the scene as quickly as it had arrived.
Eventually they recorded their debut album "Vozrozhdenie” in March 2004.
The album’s release placed them as a contending force back on the scene and with a
new line up return to the circuit in 2005.

The next album "Vo Slavu Velikim” saw a change in musical direction dropping the use of
synthesized sounds, replacing them with authentic folk instruments.
As such, the list of guest musicians grew considerably including the renowned folk musician Vladimir Cherepovskiy as well as members of Svarga and Alkonost.

More albums followed as did european tours at a major festival appearence at the 2008
Ragnarok Festival.
Back at home, they decided not to take a break but to immediately begin working on
their 5th album.
In order to top their previous effort, the band aimed to create a very unique album eventually usuing over 40 musicians and a full-fledged chorus and a string quintet for the first time in their career.

The centrepiece to this album is the 15-minute saga 'Na Moey Zemle' which relates the
adventures of a Slav in European countries. This epic features the voices of members of
'Manegarm', 'Menhir' , and 'Heidevolk'.
Starting with some fantastic harmony vocal and with strings, pipes and chorus it moves into this wonderful drum driven symphonic piece like Turisas jamming with Tristania, Rammstein and Dimmu Borgir, it is awesome!

The next stand out song is 'Tropoiu Nevedannoi'mixing as it does medieval instruments, melody and full on black metal assault, the superb vocal delivey is, as throughout the whole album, sung in Russian,which is difficult to get your head around, but then i sing along to Rammstein so i and you will get used to it.

'Korochun' is a great traditional instrumental,could be from the soundtrack of the Dark Crystal which then leads into this really up beat sing-a-long called 'Pamiat'.

The final song is a big 10 minute ballad, again it is the traditional instrumentation that lifts this way above the average, and in the middle of the song it switches to an ambient soundtrack of birdsong and a flowing river, its weird because its strangley relaxing and i found myself being drawn in, because i sort of jumped when this flute came playfully through the speakers and it plays out to the end.

This is a stunning album, superb production and the quality of musicianship is unquestionable, it's one of those albums where word like "epic" just aint enough!
Rating 10/10
For Fans Of : Turisas, Tyr, Korpiklaani, Clannad, Tristania, Skyclad

Thursday, 24 September 2009


01.The Baddies Are Coming
03.The Room
05.The Cow Jumped Over The Moon
06.Swing accident
07.Arthur R Nevilleson-Robertson-Brown
08.Harbour Cone

Jordan Tredray (Drums/Vocals)
Nick Baldwin (Bass/Fx/Vocals)
Leah Hinton (Guitar/Keyboards/Vocals)

Dave Kempton (Trumpet)

It is difficult to place this New Zealand band in any one genre, having been based here for nearly two years and playing on the mainly metal scene, they have built up a cult following, yet they are pretty unique musically and go far beyond metal.

For want of a description i would suggest that if the Bonzo Dog Band were a black metal band then they might sound like this!

So throwing caution to the wind i hit play........
'The Baddies Are Coming' starts with a full on metal riff then goes into this nice happy tune, then more metal, its rhythmic and awesome, superb guitar playing and death metal vocal.

'Bungface' is fairly generic death metal, but with great breakdowns.

Some quite dark and disturbing lyrics accompany 'The Room', "There's no escape from this nightmare of boarded up windows" the music is outstanding, just brillianly composed and executed.

'Composting' is a song about, well, compost, it screams like a satanic metal song but its about gardening!

Were comic legend Spike Milligan to have written one of his funny poems about a cow and set it to avante garde rock then 'The Cow Jumped Over The Moon' would be the result.It has a gothic tone about it like an old Siouxie & Banshees track.

'Swing Accident' has Leah sounding like Angela Gossow over a brooding powerchord heavy song, but then of course we get a weird nice jazzy bit thrown in for good measure.

The next song is a long masterpiece about a man and his slippers !Nothing short of genius writing wise and musically this is a quintessential El Schlong song in that it has all the different musical elements in one place.

We come to the last song which i think is about climbing a hill or something like that.
Again such wonderful lyrics and great music and some remarkable trumpet playing.

Rating 10/10

For fans of : Primus, Mr Bungle, Frank Zappa, Isis, System Of A Down



02.Critical Mass
03.The Puppeteer
04.Suicide Bomber
06.Sweet Tooth

Phil Honey-Jones (Guitar/Piano/Vocals)
Tjay Tarantino (Bass)
Adam Lewis (Drums)

As its Tjay from Blood Island Raiders and he told me this was psychedelic i was expecting a sort of 'Magic Muscle' type sound, how wrong was i.
This is a complex mix of goth and industrial influences together with stoner and psychedelic music, but in many ways is more than all this.

Track one starts off with a jazzy rhythm which flows throughout the song just sounds like something Black Rebel Motorcycle Club might have knocked out a few years back.

'Critical Mass' is a much better piece, sure its Led Zeppelins 'Dazed & Confused', but it has great guitar work and some pretty outstanding bass and drums as well, no vocal to get in the way of the mood.

After a short instrumentle we come to 'Suicide Bomber' an almost techno rock piece very Bauhaus and very good, this is followed by yet another instrumentle which is just percussion.

'Sweet Tooth' bugs me, because it reminds of some old song and i cant remember what!
Its quite slow and "nice" could be from a late seventies Pink Floyd album.

After yet another short instrumentle we hit 'Sacrifice' a song that seems to meld together so many influences that id be here listing them for 10 minutes!

All in all this is top notch musicianship, great vocals and thousands of ideas all expertly put together to create one helluva cd!

Oh and the untitled track is yet another short instrumentle.

Rating 8/10

For fans of : Bauhaus, Can, (Early)Tangerine Dream, (Early) Black Sabbath, Japan, Pink Floyd


Wednesday, 23 September 2009

I.C.O.N - NEW BORN LIE (Cd Review)

01.Cold Divide
02.Inside The Out
03.Seven Second Warning
05.Messiah Complex
06.Shotgun Karma
08.New Born Lie

Mark Sagar (Vocals)
Scott Knowles (Guitar)
James Henderson (Drums)
Ross Adams (Bass)

Note : Adams does not play bass on this cd.

Jason Shuttleworth (Bass)
Roy Bright (Backing Vocals)

Formed around 2005, the Burnley based band set about creating classic british heavy metal.
Right from the outset this just screams class, its full on metal in the 'Down' style.

Its not till we get to 'Ultraviolet' that we get a rest, and this is a slow moody metal mutha! that reminds me of Danzig's 'Cant Sleep' and ends with some great acoustic guitar.

Next up its a return to the metal onslaught and some more outstanding guitarwork and some cracking lyrics, "are we all martyrs to a cause we dont see" good stuff.
'Prizefighter' has to be the stand out song here, it just has it all from big vocal delivery, a catchy as fuck chorus, when you hear this you'll be screaming "Step Up Step Up" at the top of your voice.
Outstanding bass line, drums and more of that great guitarwork, its metal, its got a doom like middle bit, and more metal at the end!!!!!!

The last song also continues with a doomier feel, and it has a real good riff holding it together.

Rating 9/10

For fans of : Blood Island Raiders, Black Label Society, Black Sabbath, Down, Cathedral


Tuesday, 22 September 2009



The Scala, Kings Cross 18.09.09

The other bands on the bill.

Okay i missed Imma completly, when feral were on i was talking buisness and only came back in time to catch the last song truth is lies and heard singer martin singing lady gaga over the riff! (or was i drunk??) and as for richard christ, well come on please give me some credit!


Came in half way through their set and i must say they looked at home on such a big stage, another good performance carried with style from frontwoman Kit and her solid band.

Really just need that ep to come out so more people get to hear their stuff!


First time they played the scala Adrian was in Mexico with Brujeria, so at last he gets to play and behind the special nemhain branded kit as well!

Despite being (rock n roll) plagued by sound problems they absolutly hammered there way through a fast, furious and chaotic set, sam and lakis were pacing and at times running from side to side, i have never seen lisa move so much and on more than one occasion seemed to almost want to jump into the crowd.

Amber attacked the vocals like never before whilst adrian tried his best to break the drums by hitting them so hard!

We were treated to another new song tonight, as well as the classics like 'Heroin Child' and 'Speed Queen'.

Ultimatley its the cover of 'Die Die My Darling' thats still sends the audience wild, but then they have made it their own!


Kicked off with 'Murder Rock N Roll' and then it was a masterclass in organised chaos, they really do explode on stage with every member contributing energy even at half past two in the morning.

That vocalist Max had a throat infection did not show at all and he screamed and sang his dark soul out to the gathered masses.

Generation Graveyard are a fun band who put everything into their performance, it makes them exciting to watch and with great musicians a pleasure to listen too.




HOSTILE DAWN, 9BLIND, STAND UP GUY, I.C.O.N, DUSTEROID Live At The Gaff 18.09.09 (Gig Review)


The Gaff, Holloway Road 18.09.09

Awesome doom/stoner rock of the finest order!
The power that comes through from this trio is stunning, just think Cathedral/St.Vitus and blam you have it.

Some brilliant guitar solos mix with intricate bass playing and some great Keith Moon style drumming.

Returning for a second time to london and this time armed with their debut album as well.
The northern metallers put on a headline show great riffs and soaring vocals, this is NWOTM at its finest, this nods back with respect to the glory days of heavy metal when frontmen flicked the horns and took their music to the audience.
These guys deliver 100% pure metal entertainment with some amazing songs that get the crowd going, guitarist scott not content with the stage takes his headbanging riffage right into the audience.

Irish band who have been making headways on the mainland with a mini tour, ended up in the gaff and blew the roof off with their unique take on metal.
They pulled off a 40 minute set with ease and won over the whole audience, there was great melody in their songs and some awesome metal moments.

Wow were these guys on form tonight, a much more aggressive set than the last time i saw them
and bassist joe seemed somewhat possessed and kept jumping into the audience.
Its a good mixture of metalcore influence and well constructed rock songs, hey any vocalist who wears a Doors t-shirt is alright in my books !

Heavy fucking metal with a capital "B" for beer.
The lads know how to have fun and joke in between songs, they are infectious, the music is in your face hardcore metal with shouty vocals and the quality is uncompromising.
They are masters of their craft and perform to high standard not normally associated with this genre.









Drew (Vocals)
Dany (Guitar)
Kiran (Guitar)
Nick (Drums)
Anthony (Bass)

So here we are another one track promo given away at one of their gigs.
First of all it should be noted that the Mercy House guys have the right idea here by giving these away, after all you see them live and like them its great to come home with a free gift!

This time the band have gone for an almost power metal feel thanks to a great riff holding the song together, plenty of harmony parts as well just to remind you who you are listening too.

It has a catchy and infectious little chorus, but the star with this song is the guitarwork and the overall structure of the song, there is a lot going on in this four minutes and it all fits together very well indeed.

Rating 10/10

For fans of : Cavalar, Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Roxville

MERCY HOUSE, '77, XENOCHORD Live At The Gaff 17.09.09 (Gig Review)


The Gaff, Holloway Road 17.09.09

There is now something very infectious about the Hungarian absinthe drinking rockers, they are utterley entertaining and totally commited to producing the finest prog tinged death metal you will hear in london.

Each time they seem to improve, now with the new drummer they seem more solid, faster and very confident.

The songs have now become like great friends they bring a smile to your face and are always welcome.

Spain's answer to old school Ac/Dc make their second visit to the Gaff even more exciting than their first.
It is pure rock n roll fun, delivered with total conviction and despite the very obvious Ac/Dc sound and influence they make their own statement with a degree of originality that shines through.

The rock just dont stop!
That the Mercy House are an awesome sight to behold goes without saying, the songs are brilliant and the musicianship of all band members is top notch.

I have said it before and i will keep saying it... Their vocalist Drew has "THE" voice of classic rock, but his ability to perform is just as electric and he has no trouble with jumping into the audience to "give it some", i just wish he'd look a bit happier on stage, i think he takes it too seriously.

There is nothing to worry about, any band who can perform and entertain this well should be grinning from ear to ear.





Sunday, 20 September 2009


01.The Pill
03.The Picture
04.Kill Me Again

Samara Kain (Guitar/Vocals)
Marcella Crivellaro (Vocals)
Martin Drees (Drums)
Dave Silver (Lead Guitar)
Sasha Cron (Bass)

Formed at the beginning of the year by former Nemhain guitarist Samara, Catfight are rapidly emerging as not only a great live act but a band who produce outstanding songs.
This EP features guest appearences from british melodic thrashers Savage Messiah's Dave and Sasha whose contribution is simply stunning.

We start with 'The Pill' a full on Motorhead influenced rocker driven by drums and Marcella's superb vocal delivery, its fast and furious!

'Amia' kicks of with a 60's sounding guitar riff which has a Hendrix/Beck feel that just ripps through the whole song.Its a catchy muthafucker of a song with, crazy vocals, drums and pounding bass join to create an awesome tune that will have you singing "aiyeeah, ama ama ama" wheather you like it or not.

Next up is the first song the band wrote, 'The Picture'.
This is a grungy/fuzzy piece with some great lyrics, its what i call a "head nodder" cause you cant stay still when this is on.

Finally we arrive at 'Kill Me Again', a song that i must have played a 100 times already, i cant get over this song its just brilliant.It starts with an emotive bass line that punctuates the entire song, im not even sure how a bass line can carry such feeling but it does, its awesome and is a credit to Sasha that he can take a couple of chords and produce this quality.
The guitarwork has it all from some lovely slide on the opening to the little riffs and a neat solo.
Martin's rhythmic drums go from strength to strength driving the whole song to its crescendo.
Now to the vocals of Marcella and Samara who duet throughout, the best female vocal performance i have heard for a very long time, again the emotion that comes through is stunning and the harmony is perfect.
The whole song is moody and put over in such a way when the girls sing "i cant believe you're gone and its all my fault" that you actually believe it.The production on this track by Andy Brook is electrifying his abilty to allow the feeling to come through on this is genius.

A perfect EP, a release date has yet to be set, but when it is announced order yourself a copy you will not regret it.

Rating 10/10

For Fans Of : L7, Hole, Nemhain, Mudhoney, Motorhead, Mallory Knox.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009



THe Gaff, Holloway Road 11.09.09

The enfield rockers always put on a good show and tonight was no exception, however thhe make up was gone and the band seemed a little subdued.I found out later that the band are about to split up, which is a real shame.Tyheir infectious take on post grunge metal was always delivered with style and originality.Stand out song was a cover of Dead Or Alive's you spin me round.

London debut for an outstanding band who have already sealed their reputation up north bu supporting the likes of Hanoi Rocks and L.A.Guns.With a vocalist who looks like Phil Anselmo i was expecting agressive metaal but he sounds like Tamie Downe from faster Pussycat!The lead guitarist could have been in some goth band from the way he dressed but its pure Slash that rings out from his six strings.In between song banter was as entertaining as their highly professional set.

Rapidly becoming "The" band to catch live with their riot grrrl/grunge punk sound taking London by storm at the moment.Essentially still a three piece band they were joined by Martin from Feral on lead guitar and Dave from Savage Messiah on bass and considering they had only a couple of rehersals together you would think this was the permanent line up, such was the professionalisim of the set.

Covers of Blitzkrieg Bop and Shit List join some credible originals such as 'The Pill' the very catchy 'Aimia' and show stopper 'Kill Me Again' a song that will take them far when released.
A solid set without fault, amazing vocals from Marcella who is clearly possessed as she stalks and screams her way on and off stage, great guitar and backing vocalds from Samara and very powerfull drumming from Martin.

Kerrang in a recent review stated that their debut album may be the British rock album of 2009, and live they could grab an award for most entertaining as well!
This is in your face, on the bar, in the audience and through the entrance into the street rock as vocalist Mitchel uses the entire venue as his stalking ground, often armed with a water pistol.
Its a strong set with plenty of humour, great metal tunes, and even some disco samples, the whole thing ends with a mass audience participation to 'Viva La Discotech'.

The thrid act tonight with an in your face front person, this was their first gig with a new bassist and he'd only had a couple of rehersals but played like he'd been with them for years.Its a strong performance fuelled by punk agression and catchy songs.






Friday, 4 September 2009


02.The Devil's Eyes
03.Wild Flower

Martamaria (Vocals)
Daniele Panza (Acoustic Guitar/Vocals)

Most of you should know the first track in its symphonic rock version as it was on a free cd given away with metal hammer a few moths back, somehow this version brings a new element to it and that is real emotion.

This same emotion is in 'Devils Eyes' along with some amazing high notes from Marta and brilliant guitar work from Dan with a definate classical influence showing through.

This is a highly chraged and very dark song summed up by the line "i dont want your body, its only dust".

There is no question in my mind that this is nothing short of perfection, it rates along side Kristen Hershes 'Your Ghost', All About Eve's 'Marthas Harbour' and Led Zeppelin's 'Battle Of Evermore'.

Next up is the rockiest track, its a guitar driven piece and again showcases Dans superb playing.

Finally we come to 'Hunted', this falls into the classic folk rock field, its a tale of a hunter a cold hearted man and is reminiscent of those old Sandy Denny/Jacqui McShee songs from the late sixties.

What can i say ?
Great guitar and very subtle backing vocals from Dan and the most amazing vocal performance from Marta go to make this the best acoustic ep i have ever heard.

Rating 10/10

For Fans Of : Achilla, Nightwish, Fairport Convention, Pentangle, The Trees


Wednesday, 2 September 2009


01.All Your Rage
02.The One To Be Pleased
03.The Score Of All Time
04.Up In The Air
05.Grand Northern Evil
06.Through The Demons Door
07.Cant Deny You
08.Genocidal Minds
10.In Fear
11.Hell Is Blue
12.No Second Plan
13.The Outsiders
14.No Mans Land

Luca Ravasio (Vocals)
Daniele Panza (Guitar)
Max Torres (Bass)
Arnaldo Rogano (Drums)

Having formed in 2004 they have worked hard on the live circuit building up a solid fanbase and of course released the best selling album 'As A Metal Of Fact' in 2006 (Re-issued in 2008), it drew comparisons with black sabbath and a host of classic rock bands.
But last year it was apparent that the band wanted to evolve musically and take a much heavier approach and lyrically a darker edge.

This is a different beast altogether, Cavalar means in Portuguese 'super charged' and 'excessive' and believe me with this album they are highly charged and have gone way beyond normal limits to create 'Recoil'.
Everything about this album screams modern heavy metal with a power metal influence, this becomes clear right from the start with the Helloween'ish "All Your Rage" an incredibly powerful song with full on guitar work, pounding bass and drums and Luca's amazing vocal abilities.
Track 2 hits like you wouldnt believe, could be a Zakk Wylde song, Dan's guitarwork is really heavy and the vocal is again powerful with some great harmony in the mix.
"Up In The Air" is a powerful piece and really stands out with a modern Zepp feeling and a great guitar solo.
The next few songs just keep moving in the same feel, let seems to be no let up in the force that comes through the speakers!
From the acoustic intro of "Cant Deny You" we are treated to the longest track on the album, this is followed by the shortest track and possibley the heaviest track on the album "Genocidal Winds" a song derstined to be a classic, as the song "The Outsiders".
The final track "No Mans Land" is a real drum driven track and once again is packed full of great guitar and vocal delivery.

I should point out that this album is not available yet, you should check their myspace page for updates.

Rating 10/10

For Fans Of : Helloween, Black Label Society, Blood Island Raiders, Viking Skull


Tuesday, 1 September 2009


Right straight after this gig go to the scala and you will catch mallory knox,nemhain,generation graveyard and feral.