It’s probably fair to say that when Venom Inc. released full-length “debut”, Avé in 2017, expectations weren’t too high. Formed by guitarist Mantas (aka Jeff Dunn) and frontman Tony “Demolition Man” Dolan in the wake of the duo’s former band M:Pire of Evil, Venom Inc. appeared to some as a simple rebranding. A change of name with little hope of successfully rekindling past glories. They were wrong.
Hailing from the land of Hans Christian Andersen, Vikings and Lego, Danish melodic death metal act Defacing God exist in the world of witchcraft and the occult, their debut album The Resurrection of Lilith (Napalm Records) a monstrous slab of European extremity with a heavily symphonic touch.
Founded in 2006, Finnish melodic death metal overlords Brymir didn’t break ground until their debut five years later. Therefore, it’s easy for them to be overlooked within the bloated landscape from that half-decade. Consider the releases from around that time: Kalmah’s The Black Waltz (2006), Dark Tranquillity’s Fiction (’07), Amon Amarth’s Twilight Of The Thunder God (’08), and Be’lakor’s Stone’s Reach (’09), to name but a few.
Although lockdown was undeniably a desperate time for the entertainment business, for some, the time spent in isolation actually created opportunities. With schedules and timetables suddenly emptied, many long-standing ideas and projects, that for whatever reason, looked set to never get off the ground, were finally able to grow and develop into something more than a mere hopeful nucleus of an ideaContinue reading →
One of the most influential thrash metal acts of the eighties, progressive Canadians Voivod have never been content with sitting back and churning out the same record over and over again. A constant desire for change and reinvention has meant the quartet from Jonquière, Quebec has had to endure much unnecessary and often ludicrous pigeon-holing over the years. Post-Thrash. Punk. Speed. Proto-Industrial. Avant-Garde. Progressive. And even Nuclear Metal (whatever that is).
North Carolina’s Wailin Storms are intriguingly described as shapeshifting, atmospheric noise rockers, and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that particular epithet at first. However, within the first few minutes of their latest album The Silver Snake Unfolds, (Gilead Media), I got the idea, and after subsequent listens I knew exactly what they meant. Continue reading →
Continuing down the same nihilistic and misanthropic path of their previous releases, southern England’s Grave Lines are back with their third bouncy and joyously upbeat full length, Communion (New Heavy Sounds). Taking the doom of Neurosis, the post-punk rock of Killing Joke and gothic punk tendencies of Bauhaus, the perpetually disgruntled four-piece return with a little more ambient experimentalism which, however momentarily, relieves at least some of the crushing isolation.Continue reading →
After making a name for themselves in the local Brighton scene playing the small venues and intermittently releasing fuzzy rock singles, Sick Joy are here to introduce themselves to the rest of the world with their debut album. Having been described as being one of “British rock’s most promising young bands”, there’s a lot to be proved in this release.
Kvitravn — First Flight of the White Raven (ByNorse / Sony / Columbia Germany) is a special release for Norwegian dark folk outfit Wardruna; it follows in the footsteps of 2021’s studio release Kvitravn (“white raven”) and documents a live-streamed lockdown concert that took place in the same year. The live album’s setlist contains only four tracks from Kvitravn itself, with the remainder of the 74-minute record comprising pieces from Wardruna’s earlier output.Continue reading →
While it’s damn near time to call a moratorium on the “bands affected by the pandemic” introduction to review pieces, it does seem particularly prevalent to do so in reference to Halestorm, for whom life on the road seems such an integral and core part of who and what they are. That isn’t to say that a fifth album wouldn’t have been coming around now, just that the circumstances and unplanned quiet time wouldn’t have dictated the methods of its creation.Continue reading →