Sunday, 8 November 2015

GIG Events Sun. November. 8th, 2015 NY

Martyrdoom 4 presented by Signature Riff & Metal Kingdom: Mortuary Drape, Demonomancy, Black Anvil, Phobocosm, and Sangus at Saint Vitus

Swamp, Satyagraha, Seeing Snakes, Goddamnit at The Grand Victory **ALL AGES MATINEE**

Man Overboard, A Loss For Words, Northbound, Watermedown, Mirror Eyes at The Studio at Webster Hall

New Releases: November 8th, 2015

November 8th, 2015

Tötal Harmönic Distörtion - 'Madkind' - Full-length

АрК - 'Сквозь времена'  - Full-length

Anoxia- 'Blackened Spell' - Full-length

Cult of Occult - 'Five Degrees of Insanity' - Full-length

Album Review: Frosttide - "Blood Oath"- Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Band Name: Frosttide
Title: Blood Oath
Date of Release: 2015
Record Label: Noiseart Records
Genre: Folk Metal

Album Review Format: Youtube stream

Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1. Prologue 2. Blood Oath 3. Gates Of The Asylum 4. Fate Redefined 5. Traitor Within 6. Foreshadow 7. New Reign 8. Winds Of Winter's Call 9. Apache 10. One Night In Bangkok

Frosttide, if you have yet to hear of them, hails from the cold lands of Finland and in 2011 received their homeland vote of confidence when they received an award for the 2011's best underground act. in 2013 the band dropped their debut full length. It is important to mention the 1st album because Blood Oath is sort of a prequel/companion piece to the original release. Although you can listen to this album without knowledge of the previous effort, certainly having it will add to the experience.

These Finnish Musicians definitely pay homage to bands like Wintersun, and Ensiferum as well as balancing their songs between melody and aggression. They certainly could have gone in a power metal direction with different vocals. Folk metal has it's detractors because, like power metal, is often viewed as indulgent and over orchestrated. If you are not of this mindset however you will find their instrumentation to be grand, providing plenty of atmosphere and bombast. Guitars are melodic, and the music shifts between tempos in a well timed manner. I am disappointed that in the mixing of this album vocalist Joni Snoro seems to have been pushed into the background somewhat. As the album progresses you begin to notice that his vocals are not as powerful as you would expect, the instruments seem to overwhelm him rather than working in tandem as the previous release.

Still all in all I have to say that Frosttide has produced and album that stands well on it's own, even if maybe a half step back from their initial release, it's still a very good entry into the folk metal genre.

7 of 10 horns.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Album Review: Spellbound - 'Nothing But The Truth' - Reviewed by: Fury

Band Name: Spellbound
Title: Nothing But The Truth
Date of Release: February 13th, 2015
Record Label: Bret Hard Records
Genre: Thrash Metal

Reviewed by: Fur

1. New World Puppet
2. Leave This Dream
3. Forgotten And Gone
4. Shapeshifter
5. Dying In The Dirt
6. Warcult Of Fire 
7. Broken Hope Society
8. The Alliance Of Spellbound
9. Xecution Wave
10. Of Long Forgotten Wars
11. Invasion Blue Beam
12. Fireball (Bonus)

Spellbound started in 1999 as death metal with some black metal and thrash metal influences and over time switched over to thrash. Their first demo 'First Contact' was released in 1999. They released three demos in total before their debut album, 'Incoming Destiny' in 2005. Their previous album 'Nemesis 266' goes back to 2007 on their former label Armageddon Music and took a few years because Spellbound was on hold for a while. Founder and guitarist Dave Maier moved to Nuremberg and in 2012 assembled a new line-up with lead axe player Phil Carroll, Eldo Prosch on drums and bassist Domi Merz (ex SOUL DEMISE / ex FINAL BREATH) and they unleashed an intense, furious third album, "Nothing But The Truth" on Bret Hard Records.

Their album cover was created by the iconic artist Ed Repka (Death, Venom, Possessed, Nuclear Assault, Whiplash, Megadeth, Atheist and many others). Another masterpiece that has been created with legacy of the mighty elders of Thrash Metal, Death Metal and Black Metal.

The album starts strongly with 'New World Puppet’ which combines sharpened guitar lines with riffs that demand to be heard. You can hear them throw in a Latin sounding interlude piece that was catchy and stood out. The solos are wicked and shows the skillful guitar abilities of the German Metal commandos of the late 80’s. This song reminds me more of a technical instrumental that will put metal heads in the pit into a massive frenzy while others can sing along to the chorus.

Sometimes an album will start off strong and some songs that follow are weaker, but not in this case. The opener is followed by a strong track, 'Leave This Dream'. Great drumming is displayed within this song along with multiple guitar solos that blew my mind away. The vocals sent thrashing chills down my neck, especially the lower background vocals that some would miss out on when not fully focusing on each section of the song. You can also hear some excellent high speed tempos within the song, 'Forgotten And Gone'.

'Shapeshifter ' begins with a spoken word section that sounded familiar but I could not pin point it at first. It took a while before I come to realize it was a section taken from 'Necronomicon Ex-Mortis', also known as 'Book of the Dead' and 'Naturom Demonto' in the original Evil Dead script. What a brilliant idea and piece they selected.

"Nothing But The Truth" is an impressive, strong and solid album that has tracks that many will find memorable while their catchiness is fully head-banging material. Their musical arrangements, smashing thrash riffs, solos that at times sound acoustic, licks and vocal harmonies are to be noted in my metal books as old-school thrash. The aggression and sheer hatred have met my expectations as one hell of a great album for 2015.

Album Review: Demolition Train 'Unleash The Hordes' - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Album Review Format: Digital Stream

Band Name: Demolition Train
Title: Unleash The Hordes
Date of Release: January 2015
Record Label: No Remorse Records
Genre: Neo NWOBHM

Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1. Wrecking Crew 2.Unleash The Hordes 3.Kill Your Boss 4.Exploder 5.Metal Mayhem 6.Chase Your Blues Away 7.Hell On Earth 8.Headcrush 9.Demolition Train 
10.All Hell Is Breaking Loose

Demolition Train is a 4 piece projecting their power from the land of Zeus and Apollo, that's right Greece! They Join the new wave of NWOBHM worshiping bands like Visigoth, and Night Demon. Fitting right in with either their contemporary old school revivalists or their elders from the heydays of Jean Jackets and Hightops.

It would be a bit easy just to classify Demolition Train as NWOBHM worship, their enthusiastic and bombastic sound definitely fits. However the album also pays large dividends in homage to the mighty Motorhead, and the Bay Area Thrash sound as well. 

Once in a while an album comes along on which the musicians sheer enthusiasm in what they are doing comes through and makes your index fingers do the walking to find your very own copy right then and there. Despite a lack of diversity among the song presented here, the absolute energy and passion pulls you right along in it's wake. Fans of Saxon, Tank, Judas Priest, and Motorhead will consider this album well worth the purchase and will probably share it with friends saying, "DUDE YOU HAVE GOT TO HEAR THESE GUYS".

So throw on your patched up vest, crank up your turntable....errrr cd player and throw a kegger with your friends in your parents backyard, Demoltion Train will fit right in. A sure fire hit for genre fans for those willing to Unleash The Hordes.

9 of 10 horns

Album Review: Necropsya - 'Bandas Fora Da Garagem' - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Album Review Format: Digital Stream

Band Name: Necropsya
Title: Bandas Fora Da Garagem
Date of Release: 2011
Record Label: independent
Genre: Thrash
Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1.We're At War 2.Holding On 3. Determinacao 4. Reddened 5.Prisoned

Brazillian Thrash veterans Necropsya put out a lot of sound for a power trio. Henrique Vivi - Vocals/Bass, Henrique Bertol - Guitars, and Celso Costa - Drums. Now in their 15th year these guys are still pounding the underground with their brand of Thrash Metal.

Plenty of traditional thrashing riffs which occasionally slow down to midpaced thrash, that's about the best way to describe the output of Necropsya. Vocals remind me much of Venom and similar ilk. Not afraid to mix up picking styles and creative riffing, Necropsya also mixes in some what i would assume are traditional brazillian instruments that I do not recognize, and fills in the sound with guitar related effects.

If you give Necropsya a chance I'm sure you will like them, my head banged through the entire ep. The guys are not just blunt hammers pounding the nail, but have interesting arrangements and aren't afraid to mix in the occasional beautiful moment. I completely enjoyed my trip to the world of Necropsya, I'm sure you will too.

8 of 10 horns

Album Review: Eversin - "Trinity:The Annihilation" - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Album Review Format: MP3 digital
Band Name: Eversin
Title: Trinity:The Annihilation
Date of Release: 2015
Record Label: My Kingdom Music
Genre: Thrash
Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1. Flagellum Dei 2. Fire Walk With Me 3. Chaosborn 4. We Will Prevail 5. Crown Of Nails 6. Beneath The Atomic Sun 7. Litanies Of War 8. Trinity

Eversin is a 4 piece Thrash band made up of vocalist Angelo Ferrante, six stringer Giangabriele Lo Pilato, Ignazio Nicastro holding down the low end, and skinsman Danilo Ficicchia. The group hails from Agrigento which is located on the southern coast of Sicily, Italy.

Trinity: The Annililation is the 3rd album from Eversin. Behind the Cover art, which features a destroyed city, that for some reason immediately brought to mind a black and white version of something from Fist Of The North Star, lies 8 tracks with intriguing titles like Litanies Of War, and Flagellum Dei. Eversin proclaims 3 of the big four as influences as well as Aniihilator, Death Angel and Testament.
I can certainly hear some touches of all those bands on these tracks, but by far the most obvious influence is Slayer. Ferrante's delivery and vocal style borrows heavily from Tom Araya, as he growls out his dissatisfaction with politics and society, and there is a pummeling approach to the riffing that is undeniably Slayer. The Bass and drums hammer at the listener and provide a good foundation for the band. All in all the songs create the sensation of being strapped to a juggernaut plowing through the streets of some unfortunate city leaving nothing but destruction in it's wake.

There does seem to be a bit of murkiness to the production but if anything I think this amplifies the effect of the band. Of course that's my opinion, but certainly we learned long ago that rawness in a recording often makes for a more intense experience.

Some songs seem to be over too quickly, but I think that is more because they are an enjoyable listen and not because they are short. Eversin keeps the songs interesting and don't artificially make them longer just for the sake of length. The result is an album that you will not tire of quickly, and surely provides for a good, possibly great, live experience.

Certainly this album makes me want to find the previous Eversin releases and hear more of what they have to offer, and I recommend that you grab this release.

7 out of 10 horns \m

Album Review: WOE - "...It's Woe Time" - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Band Name: WOE
Title: It's Woe Time
Date of Release: 2015
Record Label: Rambo Music
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw
Track listings: 1) Numbers 2) WOE Time 3) Bad Situation 4) Pick You Up 5) Wolfman 6) All Alone 7) No Shame 8) Personal Hell 9) Poetical Justice 10) What You Need

WOE Or WOE Gothenburg is a hard rock band formed in Gothenburg Sweden. A four piece band made up of Jonny Zasella (Vocals), Ronny Lodin (Guitar), Nicke Janson (Bass), and Anders Jacobson (Drums) WOE is a straight ahead rock band, they claim influence from Rage Against The Machine, Foo Fighters, and BLS. While these influences are hard to dispute the first things I thought during the 1st strains of the album opener "Numbers" was the much maligned Nickleback. That initial reaction however faded for the most part as the album progressed, although I hear less R.A.T.M. and BLS than Foo Fighters, and am more likely to liken their sound to Adrennaline Mob.

"It's Woe Time" will please listeners looking for a no frills hard rock album, straight ahead pleasing hard rock is their bag and are adept at producing exactly that, the songs are across the board quality, with none that seem to be filler. Frontman Jonny Zasella definitely has a comfort zone with his vocals and deosn't stray outside the box, focusing on barked verses and sung choruses. It would be nice to hear him mix that formula up a little bit with some vocal dynamics, or sung verses. Guitar solos could be a little more out there too, a good screaming solo would add to their down and dirty style and bring a little more of the blues flavor they cultivate forward.

I am sure that this band plays well live, and their sound is definately tailored toward a party concert crowd, so I say with some confidence that a ticket to one of their shows would not disappoint. Despite the lack of variation in the vocal performance that would take these songs to the next level, it is a pleasing if not inventive listen, and worth owning for any hard rock enthusiast.

6 of 10 horns

Obscure Chaos Fanzine - Upcoming Interviews - 11/2015

Sunday, November 8, 2015 Nole full band 8pm-10pm ESt  
Monday, November 9, 2015 Midnite Hellion Drummer Drew 8pm - 10pm Est
Thursday, November 12, 2015 -DiRiGiRi - Guitarist, Gene Olivarri 
7pm-10 pm Est/Texas time 8pm-11pm
Saturday, November 14, 2015 - Conducting two live interviews see below

Christfuck with Yngve (Drums) US time: 16:00 - 17:00 (4pm -5pm Est)

Mortuus Sum 5:30 pm - 7 pm Est
Monday, November 16th, 2015 The Easy Outs  
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 Ashen Wings with M. - Vocals/Guitar 6pm-7 pm Est
Monday, November 30, 2015 Asphyxiato
FRANK "Arte Mortifica" GARCIA: Guitar 8pm -10pm Est / 7 pm to 9pm CTM

Album Review: Exercitum - 'Exercitum' - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Album Review Format: MP3 
Band Name: Exercitum
Title: Exercitum
Date of Release: 
Record Label: Independant
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal

Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1. Eternal Nightmare 2. Driving With The Devil 3.Metal And Lace 4. Every Second Of Silence 5. Take Me Home 6. War Cry 7. Anubis 8. Save Me From Myself

Exercitum is a 4 piece and hails from Queens, NY. They consist of James Ryder as front man and gutarist, Joey Pagano playing guitar, Jack Draven (no relation to Eric) on Bass, and C.K. Reed swinging the sticks.

The band claims their influences to be among others Preist, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Sabbath and Van Halen. Although they probably wouldn't want to admit it (and really few among us would), there is also more than just a little hair band in their metal and roll.

An energetic group, they are still working out their sound, there is some genre different approaches between songs. Some tunes are more metal and others are more rock. They have a bombastic approach that I'm sure plays well in front of a crowd. Straight ahead rock riffs and soloing firmly rooted in blues rock that will interest fans of 80's rock and hair metal. Vocalist Ryder tends to favor keys that are slightly minor and atonal, which gives the songs a heavier feel than would be otherwise.

There seem to be a few missteps in recording, maybe due to time constraints or perhaps just due to inexperience. A stray bit of guitar solo or other part that seems out of place, unrehearsed, or perhaps just needing another take appear here and there within the album. These are the exception though and not the rule.

Production on the album is not bad for what I assume was self produced, the quality is very good for a self produced and released album. Guitar, vocals and drums tend to stand out while the bass gets a bit lost in the mix. The 2 songs that stood out for me were War Cry and Anubis. With the strong start Anubis has it might have been better placed at the beginning of the album and I would rank it as the best song on the album.

Exercitum has a lot of potential. With a producer or someone to push them in the right direction sonically their next offering should begin to see that potential pay a dividend. This disc is worth the buy, it could very well end up a collectors item in your collection next to the labeled releases. You'll definitely want to learn the lyrics so you can sing along when you see 'em live.

6 of 10 horns \m/

Album Review: Gundriver - 'What's Inside' - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Band Name: Gundriver
Title: What's Inside
Date of Release: 2015
Record Label: Gundriver Records (self release) 
Genre: Hard Rock

Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1. Rip It 2. What's Inside 3. Make Her Mine 4. Rage 5.Trapt 6. Rockin' 7. Let Me Rock You 8. Battlezone 9. Before The Sun

Gundriver is a classic blues based hard rock band band in the vein of AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, and more recently Airbourne. Throw in just a touch of the 80's hair band scene and a single track that hails from the doom laden sound of Black Sabbath and you have Gundriver's sound.

A power trio comprised of founding guitarist Tom Potter, Alex Rivas on Drums, and Crazy Tomes on Bass and Vocals, Gundriver most likely plays very well in a live venue. There are some driving riffs and blues based soloing that is the trademark of the genre, as well as a front man who's vocals are rough and ready and calls to mind the late Bon Scott.

Lyrically Gundriver treads the well worn path of sex, drugs, and rock and roll without a lot of inventiveness, and lacks the tongue in cheek humor that make the likes of AC/DC must haves. Retread titles like Rip It, Make Her Mine, Rockin', and Let Me Rock You make up most of the 9 tracks.
The standout track for me was the Closing track, Before The Sun. A doomy tack with spoken word lyrics that recall a Phil Anselmo spoken performance. Unfortunately the discs production seems to stand in the way of what could have been a much better album. Instrument levels seem to be relatively flat and are easily overwhelmed by the vocal performance, it took some effort to listen to the actual music in combination with the vocal tracks. When Tomes is singing, the rest of the song gets pushed to the side, which all in all makes for less than inspiring album. 

As I said before, these songs probably play very well in a live setting, but the album itself is a less than stellar representation of the potential power that the band has. 

\m/ 5 \m/

Monday, 2 November 2015

Album Review: Biotoxic Warfare - "Lobotomized" - Reviewed by: Fury

Band Name: Biotoxic Warfare
Title: Lobotomized
Date of Release: January 19th, 2015
Record Label: Slaney Records and Static Tension Recordings for North America
Genre: Thrash Metal/Death Metal

Reviewed by: Fury

1. Mors Indecepta
2. Proclaim The Gospel Of Lies
3. Baptized In Blood And Greed
4. Dsyphoric Reality
5. Lobotomized
6. Lust For Hate
7. Parastic Life
8. As We Rot (Promises of Heaven)

Now, its your time to lace up your boots, throw on your denim jacket filled with band patches or even your MC and dive into one hell of a great album that will turn you into a fan immediately.

The Greek thrash metal scene seems to be consistently coming out strong with numerous bands following in the combat boot steps of their American and German roots. It is hard to become leaders in the thrash metal scene and get noticed like the bands from the 80's and perhaps the early 90's who have stampeded this genre to high levels; today many fall short or become too similar to the forefathers of thrash metal and lose your interest.

But Biotoxic Warfare have-fulfilled my appetite having a heavy European thrash influence with their aggressive riffing. This shows a taste of an American style of thrash metal. That the vocals can strongly go with German thrash with its angrier and lower end vocal style is refreshingly original. They are obviously committed to what they have learned from such legendary influences as Kreator, Sodom, Obituary, Slayer, Metallica, Dark Angel, Sepultura, Beneath The Remains and even Dissection. They have created and honed their own identity and stand on their own battleground.

Hailing from historical Heraklion, on the north coast of the island of Crete, Greece, Biotoxic Warfare play death metal-influenced blackened thrash. They began in October 2012, and had a few different lineup changes at the start of their career. While coming from a country where blasphemy laws still exist, that hasn't stopped them from leaving a huge impression on the Crete and Athens live scenes. They found themselves playing tons of live gigs supporting Enforcer and Suicidal Angels. In April of 2013 they released their first EP “Baptized in Blood and Greed” and gained more notice worldwide with news traveling fast on the internet from fanzines and fans who embrace European and American thrash along with a dash of death and black metal. You will need to discover this on your own as you take a full listen a few times.

One final lineup change in 2014 saw the current line-up of vocalist Mike Kavalos, lead guitarist George Dimitrakakis, rhythm guitarist Stelios Sfendilakis, bassist Panagiotis Polioudakis, and drummer Orestis Drapaniotis. Biotoxic Warfare released their debut full-length, Lobotomized, on January 19th, 2015 via Slaney Records. and later this amazing album was released in North America on June 23rd, 2015 via Static Tension Recordings.

The epic intro solo of their first track, 'Mors Indecepta', gives a taste of what’s to come. Then the album explodes into thrash chaos. The intro sounds more Black Metal to me, but I was fully impressed already. The leading master is guitarist George 'Dimator' Dimitrakakis and his solo work is killer, while rhythm guitarist Stelios Sfendilakis joins in the brutal riffing during this opening instrumental. The guitar work starts building up at a moderate pace and kicks into speed with sinister guitar attacks that can seem intimidating and completely mind blowing. It is definitely not your average 'intro'; the three minute introduction contains the quality of musicianship you witness second by second and minute by minute.

Mike Kavalos clearly wants to make a strong vocal statement as he arrives on the next track, 'Proclaim The Gospel Of Lies'. His bestial growl and scream are vicious and a brilliant surprise. This song is also filled with alluring grooves, driving riffs and rhythms adding dynamic, brutal hooks with a somewhat doomy vibe.

'Proclaim The Gospel Of Lies' could be the next massive thrash anthem. with its amazing acoustic sections leading into a mixture of thrash and speed metal riffs within “Baptized In Blood And Greed” and “Dsyphoric Reality”. ‘Dysphoric Reality’ is catchy thrash while evoking classic metal memories with some big chugs, bridging groove, and bass plunking cutting through the abyss that will last for decades. While “Dysphoric Reality” happens to be one of my favorites thus far, I'll add the last track, 'As We Rot...(Promises Of Heaven)' into my thought for a moment before I forget to write it down, Both these songs show different elements because of the tremolo picking and vocal styles that will crush your heart. I cannot forget to mention the vocal snarl in “Baptized In Blood And Greed” that we often do not fully hear with conviction these days.

The title track, 'Lobotomized' starts with acoustic guitars and layered semi-clean guitars which gives you that crunchy thrash metal sound, just like early nineties thrash. The melodic twists and the marvelous leads caught my attention. Focusing on every lyric of 'Lobotomized' is intriguing while sitting in the dark with only the moonlight bringing light to my metal throne. The vocal pattern lines delivered by Kavalos in the chorus were extremely catchy. I could see them having a huge impact on fans singing along with their horns held up high in a live setting. Take a good listen to the vocal trades between Kavalos and Dimitrakakis; they are blazing with energy and fury.

Track six, 'Lust For Hate' offers gripping savage riffs I highly appreciate. It reminds me of the first time I've heard Metallica’s “Battery”. Fast, heavy and strong. They tackle war, religion, and insanity within this album. While “Parasitic Life” tells a dismaying tale from the point of view of a malevolent life form growing inside a doomed victim. The lyrics are brilliant and sick at the same time.

'As We Rot...(Promises Of Heaven)' also features Andreas from Blessed By Perversion. The song has powerful raspy vocals and Kavalos drops into a growl summoning a demonic terror massively channeling t from the darkness. A fantastic guitar solo brings the album to a roaring and thunderous close. 

Horns Up!

Dimator on lead guitar and Stelios on rhythm guitar are an unreal six string duo to listen to. They do not always focus on speed, they use death metal tinged tremolo riffing and various other tempos which complement the chugging, aggressive choppy riffs. At times they will show their melodic side. George ”Dimator” Dimitrakakis’ lead guitar work is extremely impressive and I wouldn't mind getting some guitar tips from him. The riffs are downright menacing and endeavor to fiery guitar work. Kavalos is potently backed vocally by Dimitrakakis which fits the music well. The vocals of Mike Kavalos show plenty of aggression and a touch toward death metal growling which I found impressive. The rhythm section of Panagiwtis on bass is fierce and the double-bass drum groove created by Orestis round out this project. I would have liked to hear the bass more and it could perhaps have been upgraded during the mixing. But do not let this bring you to ignoring this release. This album may rank in my top ten as one of my favorite thrash metal albums from this year.

The songs are well composed and the complete duration is under forty minutes. This will provide you with something magically evil as it shreds you to pieces. Each musician involved deserves notice for their skills in creating this grotesque release.

Album Review: Darktribe - 'The Modern Age' - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Band Name: Darktribe
Title: The Modern Age
Date of Release: July 2015
Record Label: Scarlet Records
Genre: Power Metal

Track listings: 
1. Humanizer 
2. Red House Of Sorrow       
3. My Last Odyssey 
4. The Modern Age               
5. A Last Will 
6. No Train To Earth             
7. Holy Water Day 
8. Wild Call 9. Rainwar    
10. Anthem For A Planet 
11. Darkside Of Imagination

Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Darktribe hails from France and consists of vocalist Anthony Agnello, Guitarist Loic Manuello, Bruno Caprani providing the low down, and skinsman Julien Agnello. 

To simply describe them as power metal is both accurate and dismissive. Once in a while a new band comes along that epitomizes what a genre should be, and does it in a way that is not derivative. Many times power metal can fall into a boring repetition of musical themes that sounds like every other power metal band out there. However this cannot be said of Darktribe. Fantastic riffing, great solos, powerfully driving drums and stunning vocals make up the genre....but Darktribe breathes new life into the formula and provides and amazing album in "The Modern Age".

Manuello shifts effortlessly between rhythm and lead guitar work, displaying exceptional technical ability, and the vocals have tone and range that are simply masterful. The drums are driving and exceptionally powerful, and the bass work is also of high quality. To call one of these musicians the star would be to ignore the incredibly tight team that they make up, and do a disservice to them all.
Without a weak track on the album, if you are a melodic power metal fan than this is one album that you absolutely must make part of your 2015. If you are not a fan of the power metal genre I would still encourage you to give it a listen if for nothing more than to appreciate the lush and dense arrangements and killer riffs.

\m/ 9 \m/

Album Review: Titans Eve - 'Chasing The Devil' - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Band Name: Titans Eve
Title: Chasing The Devil
Date of Release: June 2015
Record Label: Self-Release
Genre: Thrash
Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1. We Defy 2. War Path 3. No Kingdom 4. Another Day 5. Chasing The Devil 6. The Grind 7. Stranded 8. The Endless Light

Four piece outfit Titans Eve drops, this their 3rd release, "Chasing The Devil" after having recorded it at Warehouse Studios with Eric Mosher (AC/DC, SYL, Senses Fail) and then being mastered by the legendary Jeff Waters of Annihilator.

The band was formed in 2008 and is comprised of brothers Brian and Kyle Gamblin, who both provide Guitar and vocals, they are joined by Bassist Jesse Hord, and Drummer Casey Ory. After 7 years together with the same lineup, during which they spent quite a bit of time performing live, they display a lot of chemistry which makes the album a strong offering.

Chasing The Devil's 8 tracks stick to a ferocious mid paced thrash sound, with a touch of modern metal. The dual guitar team displays not just tasty riffs but intertwining dual harmonies, which sometimes call the mighty Iron Maiden to mind, as well as settling into a deep comfortable groove when called for. Add in the down low and percussion and you've got one hell of a sound.

Unfortunately as powerful as the instrumentation is, the vocals seem to be of secondary concern. While tonally they almost invoke the work of Chuck Billy on Formation Of Damnation, they lack his power or dynamics. Remaining stagnant within a very small vocal range, They keep to a standard chanted delivery and phrasing across every song. This does nothing to push the song to the next level, and may in fact hinder the potential they have. Despite this, the vocals fit what the band does, so it's not unpleasant even if it's uninspired. 

There were 2 tracks that stood out for me in particular, are neighbors on the disc and cap the album off, Stranded and The Endless Night. Stranded sees Titans Eve switching pace entirely and settling into a mellow and haunting instrumental that would not be out of place in a film soundtrack. The album reaches it's climax with The Endless Light, which after the previous track kicks off with a lively riffed intro that has a strong maiden groove and keeps the energy high throughout. These two songs in tandem support each other and create a platform for them both to shine.

Titans Eve will certainly continue to gain momentum. I do hope that they expand the vocal template in future offerings, which will only serve to give them an even more powerful presence!
\m/ 7 \m/

Album Review: Distant Sun -'Dark Matter' - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Band Name: Distant Sun 
Title: Dark Matter
Date of Release: May 2015
Record Label: Metalism Records
Genre: Thrash/Power

Track listings: 1. Prophet Of The Mean 2. Kill The Fremen 3. Dark Matter 4. Dark Matter 5. Matrix Hacked 6. Shattered Empire 7. Gifts Of Journey 8. Apocalypto 9. Healer Of Souls 10. Zero To Hero

Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Established in 2011 Distant Sun is made up of Alexey Markov - guitar/vocals, Artem Molodtsov - bass/guitars and Erland Sivolapov - Drums. In case you hadn't guessed by the quality of the members names, they do indeed hail from Mother Russia, claiming Moscow as their home town. They are not to be confused with the Irish indie rock band of the same name.

Upon first listening to the album I was struck immediately by the heavy thrash tinged by modern metal sound the band has. I was struck by the efficient power metal format they obviously enjoy. Uhhhhhh...hold on, here is a bardic ballad that would make Blind Guardian sit up and take notice.....wait we're back to thrash...sort of...maybe.

Here in lies the issue with Distant Sun, they are either brilliantly combining songs in completely different genres of metal in order to tell a story arc in a complex and interesting way within a concept album, or they have an identity issue and haven't found their direction yet. After spending some time on the web trying to ascertain if the album is indeed a concept album, and if it is I suspect it revolves around the classic Frank Herbert Dune story, I came up with nothing. I was unable to find a main website, and the facebook is not overly helpful. So lets just assume they are brilliant.

Assuming that they are brilliant would not be unfair, as they are all very talented musicians, with technical and emotive skill. Plenty of windmill inducing neck wrecking riffs await you within this album. Also fist pumping power anthems, and the aforementioned traditional ballad complete with bardic vocalization, all in all a varied and interesting listen if you are willing to take the disjointed ride.
Vocally the album leaves a bit to be desired. It is obvious that Alexey has more range and ability than is evident on this album. There are hints at the ability to crank out some high notes and to add additional dynamics and power to his performance. However he seems to concentrate on keeping a certain gruffness in his voice, which prevents him from putting more power behind his note choices especially in the lower range. His note choices tend to all gather in the downward direction and thus become somewhat predictable. Adding a few more tools to his kit, such as increased breath control, would give the songs more power and make these songs truly amazing.

The album contains no truly weak songs, although with the disjointed directions of the individual tunes it is hard to say that there is a standout song, the quality is good across the board. I will definitely be interested in hearing more from Distant Sun, and look forward to seeing if this combining of genres is truly what they intend to be their trademark!

\m/ 7.5 \m/

Album Review: Blind Spite - 'Extinction Event' - Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Album Review Format: Digital Stream

Band Name: Blind Spite
Title: Extinction Event 
Date of Release: 9/2014
Record Label: 
Genre: Blackened Death Metal 


Reviewed by: Geoff McGraw

Track listings: 1. Extinction Event 2. Doubt 3. ∞ 4. Construct

Hailing from the UK this 5 piece presents a 4 song 23 minute 13 second EP. Now recently I have complained about too short EPs. If you are going to present an EP it should at least fall somewhere close to 20 minutes, and anything less than 15 is a tragedy. Not a problem here. 

Atonal melodies and off kilter atmospheres mark this releases instrumental side, while absolutely brutal vocals come ripping through like blunt razors tearing tissue paper. However you will find that Blind Spite has some balance amongst the brutality, scattered amongst
 the blasts are some well composed counter weights to the ripping oppression. 

I would like to hear a little more outside the box playing. The drums seem to be mixed a touch high in comparison to the guitars and bass which may contribute the sensation that the songs appear to be a bit too reliant on standard tremelo picking and scales. This takes away a bit from the overall experience, but not enough to bore. 

I would like to see what Blind Spite could do with a longer format full length album, Definitely enough here to make the listener come back for more. If blackened death metal with a bit of doom is your thing than you should give this Ep a go.

7/10 horns