Jul 042019
 

The band recently playing to huge crowds at Graspop and Hellfest, Gloryhammer, also recently released their third album Legends Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex, which has already climbed charts in the EU as well as US and Canada as fans have been waiting for more of the epic power metal Gloryhammer is known for.

The Scottish band Gloryhammer started by Alestorm vocalist Chris Bowes (keyboards here) largely as a way to explore symphonic and epic metal and is seen as one of metal’s favorite sons as they manage to take as many metal clichés as possible and use them in song in such a way that everyone is in on the joke and yet somehow  it all embodies everything metalheads love. The band released Tales from the Kingdom of Fife in 2013, Space 1992: Rise of the Chaos Wizards in 2015, and now the conclusion (?) to the trilogy, Legends from Beyond the Galactic Terrorvortex in 2019.  Unfortunately, due to space constraints, I can’t go into the overall story except to say that it spans time and dimensions, but it’s worth the time to listen and hear the epic tales.

The track “Gloryhammer” might be the best introduction to the band and the album one could imagine as it captures everything that sets them apart and makes them so entertaining, especially in a live setting I would imagine.  Fortunately, the band made a video for the track which helps add to the image as well.  Following a gang yell of “Glory…hammer” an riff reminiscent of Rammstein’s Du Hast kicks in but is accented by some keyboards  that sound like something out of late 80’s Rainbow and that contradiction initially throws you off but works brilliantly.  Continue reading »

Jun 242019
 

Shadow Puncher is a brutal death metal solo project founded in 2016 by Max Kevin Ølstøren who plays the guitar, programs the drum and provides vocal and bass duties. The band began as a death metal/black metal project out of Trondheim, Norway in Europe, releasing demos with hand drawn art. The first album, “To Victory we March” was released on the 14th of March 2019.

The project and label announced on August 20, 2018, that they were releasing a compilation of all three independent EPs titled One Path to the Heavenly Kingdom. The project is currently working on their first full-length album, a cover of Cannibal Corpse with Symphony of Heaven, a song coming on a compilation between The Bearded Dragon Productions and Love Your Enemies Records, and will appear on a split album of Symphony of Heaven, Bismoth, and Timōrātus, providing backing vocals for the final band. The band will also be releasing a cover of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” through The Bearded Dragon Productions and Rottweiler Records.

The album has an impressive set of 15 songs spanning across an hour, so without further ado lets jump to it.  The album opens up with the ambient soundscapes of “Interlude” which paints a vivid image as you hear, keys, viola and marching drums giving a grand introduction to the album. Next up, with “Visions” Max starts off with an ambient hymn, which transfigures into heavy guitar chugs with an odd time signature. The guitar tones are really low and muffled that accentuates the guttural vocals and gives out a djent feel to an otherwise death metal song. Continue reading »

Jun 222019
 

Two man project Mystic Winter bring their diy ethic to bear on the ep Tergiversating Blasphemies

Mystic Winter arose from the ashes of the band Haloed Patriots in the woods of Indiana and the early material sprang from two band members realizing material they had did not fit the previous band’s identity.  In March of 2018, Mystic Winter released the single “Withered”,  with Tergiversating Blasphemies coming in 2019. With musical influences including black metal icons like Antestor, Crimson Moonlight, Horde, and Vials of Wrath, one might expect a project filled with black metal and explorations into the ambient side of the genre.

The ep opens with “Exordium” a haunting mostly ambient, keyboard and horror movie sound effect laden track with some deep, growled spoken word over the top.  Suprisingly, the next track “Nomadic Tumor” also starts out with the atmospheric keyboard intro,  instead of the usual explosion of riffs and blastbeats common to the genre.  Unfortunately, while the keyboards sound as if they were recorded normally, once the rest of the music comes in it sounds more like it was recorded in metal box a ways away from the microphones.  The songs is muffled echo-driven noise separated by cleanly recorded keyboard sections.  Ambient black metal noise seems a fitting description. Continue reading »

Jun 142019
 

Thumper Punk Records has released a 3 song ep of previously unreleased songs from the OC punk outfit Rogue Anthem as a benefit for the family of singer Myke Augustat who passed away in 2012.

The debut album by Rogue Anthem, What to Believe, was released at a benefit show for the Augustat Family in November 2012.  Tragically, singer, guitar player and founder, Myke Augustat (ex-Call to Glory) passed away earlier in the summer of 2012.  Rogue Anthem was founded to carry a message to the forgotten and the underdog, a message railing against the evils of society today from materialism to greed to apathy.  As was the case with the album, all profits from the album will be donated to the Augustat family, the wife and three children who miss Myke every day. Continue reading »

Jun 062019
 

Back in 2005, Living Fire began as a project without a fixed lineup other than Luis Carlos on vocals and bass as he just wanted to make music and record to have music to listen to..never realizing that the lyrics in English would ever have an impact due to his accent.  In 2011, the cd was recorded with the opening track “Jesus is Not Dead” and a couple of covers leading to the band signing to Thumper Punk Records in 2012.  A couple of videos later and a couple of years, saw the band release Dead to Sin in 2014.  Since then the band has released a couple more cd’s, Eternal Now in 2016 and Every Saint has a Past, Every Sinner has a Future in 2017, which saw the band veer away from a hardcore sound and more toward a Blink-182-like sound.  During recording of Eternal Now, founder Luis Carlos shifted to only vocals and the band brought on Raphael Alcantara to handle bass duties and as a result of this change, the band suddenly had more creative input to their sound.

In full disclosure, I did like the band’s early material which was a bit more like melodic old-school hardcore and I pretty much lost interest in their more recent releases as the change in sound just didn’t fit into what I like to listen to.  With The Flame Still Burns, if it wasn’t for Luiz Carlos’ distinctive vocals and tone, I would have thought it was a different band.  So much more aggression and heavy, fast guitars and drums on this release.  While their last one was more like Blink-182, I would put this one more toward bands like Downset and dare I say some hints of Sepultura.    “Eternal Love” opens innocently enough with some howling wind and a crying baby but then Luiz Carlos comes in with a rap-like delivery and chunky guitar and bass riff with some gang vocals thrown in for good measure until  the song shifts into a more melodic chorus section filled with some nicely layered in guitar leads.  I get all sorts of influences showing up here, early TFK, POD, and the great funky bass work by Raphael Alcantara really helps bring the song along.  Great start to the album and I did go back and check to make sure I had the right album playing. Continue reading »