John Jackson

Apr 152019
 

As anyone who follows metal knows, Brazil has produced some great bands and has an active metal scene.  After an extended hiatus since 2012, Prelúdio X from Recife, Brazil have released Triunfo da Vida which is actually re-recorded tracks from a 2009 project Origem with their new lineup.

I do question by bands feel the need for intro tracks that are not full on band instrumentals, especially on an ep, but  Triunfo Da Vida opens up with Gênesis, a moody atmospheric keyboard piece that has some waves crashing or thunder in the background.  The full band portion of the ep starts with “Origem” and from the opening riff and keyboards establishes this as being within power metal.  From a production standpoint, everything is clear but the Portuguese vocals a bit muted.  Within power metal, guitars and vocals are really the components of the sound that stand out and in this case, the guitars are more prominent due to the quieter mix on the vocals.  Musically, “Origem” has a nice flow as one would expect in a power metal song and there are some brief guitar flourishes that add interesting elements,  but they do seem a bit abrupt and short. Continue reading »

Apr 142019
 

While releasing the More Love More Power fundraiser ep for the Skip Brooks family, Thumper Punk Records found a previously unreleased collection of tracks from All Hail the King, the worship band from Rise Above Ministries where Skip Brooks was pastor.  Much like More Love More Power, this collection of songs showcases the band’s ability to reinterpret classic songs through a rock lens in a way that doesn’t  seem contrived or take anything away from the original songs.

Pastor Skip Brooks passed away on November 25, 2018 following a battle with cancer, a loss felt by many within the Christian punk scene as it is.  I can still remember the first time I heard one of Skip’s bands, Our Corpse Destroyed, roaring through Black Flag’s “Rise Above”.  Being a Black Flag fan since high school in the late 80’s, the opening bars of the song instantly grabbed my attention.  As I followed the song and wandered into the sweaty, steamy tent at Cornerstone Festival, I was blown away with the whole scene, from the spot on performance, to the intensity that poured from the stage.  I was hooked and just to make sure I wasn’t hearing things, I dragged others to their other sets and they were similarly blown away.  To this day, my OCD albums are among my favorites as there’s no getting past that incredible punk rock guitar tone and lyrics that really hit home.  I only really got to meet Skip once and that was just before his Crush the Enemy project became public and I still remember that chat and the sincerity in what he was saying.  Skip was pastor at Rise Above Ministries in San Antonio and the songs on this fundraiser are a recording from All Hail the King, the worship team at Rise Above. Continue reading »

Mar 302019
 

Thumper Punk Records has made available a recording by All Hail the King the worship band for Rise Above Ministries as a benefit for Pastor Skip Brooks’ family following his recent passing.  The recording was previously only available at Cornerstone Festival in 2008 and as one might expect has a definite punk feel on these worship tracks.

Pastor Skip Brooks passed away on November 25, 2018 following a battle with cancer, a loss felt by many within the Christian punk scene as it is.  I can still remember the first time I heard one of Skip’s bands, Our Corpse Destroyed, roaring through Black Flag’s “Rise Above”.  Being a Black Flag fan since high school in the late 80’s, the opening bars of the song instantly grabbed my attention.  As I followed the song and wandered into the sweaty, steamy tent at Cornerstone Festival, I was blown away with the whole scene, from the spot on performance, to the intensity that poured from the stage.  I was hooked and just to make sure I wasn’t hearing things, I dragged others to their other sets and they were similarly blown away.  To this day, my OCD albums are among my favorites as there’s no getting past that incredible punk rock guitar tone and lyrics that really hit home.  I only really got to meet Skip once and that was just before his Crush the Enemy project became public and I still remember that chat and the sincerity in what he was saying.  Skip was pastor at Rise Above Ministries in San Antonio and the songs on this tribute are a recording from All Hail the King, the worship team at Rise Above. Continue reading »

Mar 262019
 

On the heels of their re-mastered, re-issued debut album, Fear Not are back with a new vocalist and solid hard rock ep chock full of stadium rock choruses, blazing guitar solos and deep, soulful vocals that will remind a lot of listeners of the late 80’s hard rock/metal scene.

Fear Not trace their origins back to 1991 and originally were known by a different name, Love Life, under which they released an album on a label that wasn’t sure how to actually promote them.  Enter in a new guitarist not long after and the band turned heavier and changed their name to Fear Not and then signed to a new label, Pakaderm which released the debut from Fear Not, sometime around 1993.  In 2017 Roxx re-mastered and re-issued the debut.

Whenever older Christian rock bands reunite, I’m often left thinking that these are the bands I wish I would have heard back in those days, but at least we have them now.  I’ve moved on a bit toward the extreme side of things as I’ve aged, but For the Wounded Heart is a solid ep, if a bit toward the nostalgic side of things.  Opening track “Don’t Want None” is in the perfect spot to introduce a new audience to Fear Not.  Drum line, joined by a dirty riff and then the rest of the band comes in until the verse starts and the guitars go clean.  Continue reading »

Mar 252019
 

Brazil and metal conjures up thoughts of Sepultura and Doomsday Hymn brought that on their debut back in 2015 and these two new digital singles show the band has further matured their sound…and fury.

Doomsday Hymn out of Curitiba, Brazil formed in late 2013 with Gil Lopes (vocals) and Jarlisson Jaty (drums), and then other band members being added to create the original 5 piece lineup.That lineup would record an ep and album that solidified the Doomsday Hymn sound and garnered the group critical praise.  Since 2015, the band has retained only Gil Lopes on vocals and now are a four piece and despite the changes, the sound is an evolution of the one from the original lineup.

“Sujo/Imundo” is one of those songs that is filled with fury and metal and an underlying groove, which goes into overdrive and if you’velistened to Sepultura at all the style will sound familiar.  Gil Lopes vocals bark out in rapid fire and Jairo Messias drums punctuate things like machine gun fire at times and then in other parts of the song meld with the bass line to produce an undeniably catchy groove. Continue reading »