ALBUM REVIEW: White Magician – Dealers In Divinity

Consisting entirely of musicians from the eccentric Demon Bitch with equally esoteric pseudonyms, Detroit’s White Magician settles firmly into the world of heavy Occult Rock on their first full-length album. “The Agents Of Fortune”-esque cover art is enough to indicate that any comparisons to Blue Öyster Cult are likely intentional; the band exercises a similarly freerolling attitude with an ominous undercurrent. But while Dealers Of Divinity (Cruz Del Sur Music) gambles on a well-trod formula, the group seems to have a couple of aces up their sleeves.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Hatebreed – Weight Of The False Self

 

In a year which has seen a global pandemic, mass protests and rioting, explosions, fires, floods, earthquakes, and even fucking murder hornets, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about what final cruel tricks 2020 might still have left up its sleeve, and just have something nice and dependable to enjoy? 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Stan Bush – Dare To Dream

 

If the ’80s were your decade, then you’ve probably heard at least one song by Emmy winning US singer-songwriter Stan Bush, possibly without even realising it. From giving Jean-Claude Van Damme kung fu flicks Bloodsport, and Kickboxer a surge of synth-enhanced adrenaline with ‘Fight to Survive’ and ‘Never Surrender’, to giving criminally overlooked Charlie Sheen sci-fi ghost car movie The Wraith an extra helping of AOR cheese with ‘Hearts vs Heads’, Bush is arguably most famous for his musical contribution to 1986 animated classic Transformers: The Movie – ‘The Touch’. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Ellefson – No Cover

Cover songs can be tricky. A balancing act that often results in calamity. Lean too far one way and be accused of musical blasphemy; keep things too safe and be reliably informed you shouldn’t have bothered in the first place. So with that in mind, surely an album consisting entirely of cover versions is just asking for trouble, isn’t it? Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Suidakra – Lupine Essence

The early nineties was an exciting experimental and developmental time for the genre of Folk Metal. The German outfit SuidAkrA took on this evolving style and meshed it up with Black Metal on their debut album, Lupine Essence that was released in 1997. They were able to uniquely harmonize the two genres and create a memorable and meaningful record that is still considered with reverence in the Black/Folk/Celtic Metal scenes. Now the band is re-releasing their early work with original member Arkadius Antonik remastering each track himself. With new artwork, bonus tracks, and its first release on vinyl, these multi-genre metal veterans are getting a chance to properly present their initial material.    Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Eternal Champion – Ravening Iron

It”s been four years since Eternal Champion unleashed The Armor Of Ire in 2016, but the hype has only intensified with their sophomore full-length. Ravening Iron (No Remorse Records) continues the Austin group”s Epic Metal aspirations as the coarse but melodic guitar work casts a dungeon friendly atmosphere and the vocals forever echo Manilla Road”s Mark Shelton (RIP) with their nasally yet bombastic character. Thankfully, there are enough alternate approaches explored that keep this album from feeling like a retread. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Dark Tranquillity – Moment

Melodic Death Metal pioneers, Dark Tranquillity, release their twelfth studio album Moment (Century Media Records). The twelve-song album began recording shortly after founding member Niklas Sundin announced his departure from the band (Editor’s note: although he is still involved with the band behind the scenes) on their social media platforms, after touring members, Christopher Amott (ex-Arch Enemy) and Johan Reinholdz (Andromeda) formally joined Mikael Stanne, Anders Jivarp, Martin Brändström, and Anders Iwers as part of the official dT lineup. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Black Stone Cherry – The Human Condition 

 

After the bluesy Southern Rock of 2018s rollicking Family Tree and the two blues covers EPs Back to Blues comes The Human Condition (Mascot Records) – out and out hard rock upon which they built their career. Like Clutch, Black Stone Cherry do not make bad albums and this new one – their seventh – is another example of this. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: AC/DC – POWER UP

 

After months of rumours fuelled by glimpsed sightings and blurry photographs taken outside recording studios, the worst kept secret in rock was finally confirmed at the end of September this year. With a sudden flurry of activity on their website, the announcement was clear. AC/DC was back.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Death Dealer – Conquered Lands

Former Manowar guitarist Ross the Boss returns with all guns blazing on Conquered Lands (Steel Cartel), the third full-length release from his subtly named Death Dealer project. In a gloriously predictable manner, the riffs come thick and fast as gods, blood, battles and all other true metal necessities rain down like exploding magma from the skies.

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