EXCLUSIVE ALBUM STREAM: Deadline – “High Tops and Bullet Belts”

South African Trad heavy metallers Deadline are back with a brand new album! The band has released High Tops and Bullet Belts, the follow-up to their debut, Black Wolf City. With their triple-guitar assault, they bring the old school heavy metal vibes and the swagger done right, with a few twists and turns for good measure. Ghost Cult brings you the full album stream today! Continue reading

King Diamond – Songs For The Dead LIVE

It came as quite a shock when legendary Danish frontman King Diamond had to step away from music in 2010 to undergo triple heart-bypass surgery. Thankfully, just a couple of short years later, the rejuvenated frontman returned to the stage in all his corpse-painted, theatrical grandeur, choosing to keep his focus on touring rather than making an immediate return to the studio. Continue reading

GHOST CULT ALBUMS OF THE YEAR 2018 – Senior Editor Steve Tovey

Minimal waffle, maximum music – I’m very aware that there is too much music and not enough time! I’ve had close to 1,000 albums pass through my inbox this year alone (I’ve probably only been able to listen to about a third of them), and what I’m presenting are my favourite albums of 2018, the albums that I’ve connected most with, that matter most to me, one way or another.

Hope you find something new to get into…   Continue reading

Accept – Symphonic Terror: Live At Wacken 2017

Playing to a packed out Wacken Festival, German Metal legends Accept pulled out all the stops last year by performing a two-hour long set of purest classic teutonic Metal. Split into three separate acts, the band tore through a collection of greatest hits and instrumental surprises for the gathered long-haired faithful Continue reading

RAISE YOUR FIST! Heavy Metal Album Reviews Round up: Royal Hunt, Satan, Beyond The Black, Cauldron, and more

As summer swings round towards autumn, there are no shortage of odes and tributes to the Gods of power and glory that brought us traditional and classic Heavy Metal. Ghost Cult dives in amongst the raised fists and studded wristbands to round-up the latest album releases.

Continue reading

Megadeth – Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good: The Final Kill

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The back-story of Megadeth’s debut album, released in 1985, is possibly even greater than the impact that the album itself would go on to have. Possibly. For this is a damn fine and damn influential album. Fired and wired, Dave Mustaine set out to make a faster, more technically proficient, and a better album than anything his former employers Metallica had done. He was also hell-bent on proving them wrong in their assertions that he was too hampered by his vices to perform his six-string duties. And perform his six-string duties he did, indeed. However, his and band’s mass consumption of alcohol and other less-than-legal substances put such a dent in the budget of the recording of the album that the producer was fired, and the band produced the record themselves. The results were, aurally, insufficient – even with added funds to try and save the recordings. Continue reading

Chrome Molly – Hoodoo Voodoo

 

The case of Chrome Molly is a bit of a curious one. Perennial never-weres in the mid-to-late 1980’s, a few profile support slots aside, they never muscled their way into the conscious of the masses. Shuffling quietly into the ether with four albums under their belt in 1991, Hoodoo Voodoo is their second album (both earMUSIC) since returning in 2009 and theirs remains a style untouched by any musical development that has occurred post-1986. Continue reading

Accept – Restless and Live!

Since their 2009 reunion Accept have released three stellar albums, with 2014’s Blind Rage (Nuclear Blast) reaching number 1 in the charts of their native Germany. Long term guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes rejoined the fold but sadly original frontman Udo Dirkschneider did not, his replacement the American Brian Johnson lookalike Mark Tornillo. Restless and Live (Nuclear Blast) comes in a variety of formats including a double album recorded throughout Europe and a live DVD. Continue reading

Grand Magus – Sword Songs

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A long time ago, Swedish three-piece Grand Magus were primarily a doomy stoner band. In the years since their 2001 self-titled début, an increasingly large proportion of their sound has been dedicated to bombastic heavy metal. With the release of their eighth album, Sword Songs [Nuclear Blast], the transformation is basically complete.

Magus can still write a chunky riff, the solos still invoke the best kind of air guitar and JB’s vocals still have a Dio-esque quality about them, but there’s a worrying sense that every new album is case of diminishing returns. The songs aren’t bad; far from it, but it’s lacking the heaviness or the spark that made some of their previous work so enjoyable.

There are occasionally occasional great moments; opener ‘Feja’s Choice’ is classic Magus; thick slabs of doom combined with wailing choruses and a heavy dose of guitar solos. The latter half of ‘Last One to Fall’ is heavy with a tinge of Iron Maiden running through it, ‘Born for Battle (Black Dog of Brocéliande)’ mixes a rocking stomp with another epic sing along chorus, while closer ‘Every Day a Battle to Fight’ is probably the album highlight; a mid-paced belter that shows off the best of what the band can do.

But there’s plenty of forgettable or just plain naff moments. Lead single ‘Varangian’ is a perfectly passable sing along number that will no doubt get the fists pumping live, but there’s a definitive aura of cheesy heavy metal about it. ‘Forged in Iron – Crowned in Steel’s chant of “Viking Metal” is probably the worst example of over-egging the Viking aesthetic. It just doesn’t sound like their hearts are in it a lot of the time.

Sword Songs feels like an album to drink mead and sing along to. But as fun as it is, there’s a real lack of memorable songs, the Vikings and war shtick is overplayed, and ultimately it’s definite step down from some of the band’s past glories. Go listen to Iron Will instead.

7.0/10

DAN SWINHOE

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Fozzy – Nonpoint: Soundcontrol, Manchester (UK)

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Despite a typical rainy evening in Manchester, the rock and roll spirit of tonight’s crowd cannot be dampened as a night of rousing heavy metal is to follow. Tonight’s headliners Fozzy have continually brought their high energy show to England, acquiring a credible reputation for their unforgettable performances.  Still reveling in the success of their 2014 opus Do You Wanna Start A War (Century Media) they are back and ready to ignite the ardent crowd that awaits them.

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Sumo Cyco. by Rich Price

Sumo Cyco, Canadian rocking punkers, kicked things off to a reasonable response, before Nonpoint take to the stage and despite my unfamiliarity with their material, they leave a lasting impression. Their upbeat, passionate delivery makes them an ideal support, front man Elias Soriano in particular shines with strong vocals and enthralling stage presence. A cover of Phil Collins ‘In The Air Tonight’ is unexpected but oddly works and provokes a big reaction from the crowd. Track ‘Bullet With A Name’ emerges as a fan favorite, bursting with nu-metal nostalgia, it’s undeniably catchy.

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Nonpoint, photo by Rich Price

Much to the crowds delight, Fozzy burst on stage with vigor, kicking straight into ‘Do You Wanna Start A War’. Frontman Chris Jericho lights up the room (literally) with his signature glowing jacket. Energy is instilled from the get go, as Jericho electrifies the crowd with his dazzling stage presence, executed with ease and confidence. What is so commendable about Fozzy, is the passion in their performance, despite playing a small-ish venue in Manchester they bring their all as if they’re performing at Wembley Arena.  The crowd is grateful, demonstrated by the chants of “Fozzy Fozzy Fozzy” between every song. Popular hits such as ‘God Pounds His Nails’ and ‘Enemy’ go down inevitably well, but it’s the sleazy anthem ‘She’s My Addiction’ that I personally favor. Clearly the night of bizarre cover versions as Fozzy put their own spin on ABBA’s ‘S.O.S’.

Concluding proceedings with M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold collaboration ‘Sandpaper’ and Krokus cover ‘Eat The Rich’, the crowd look disappointed that tonight’s festivities have come to a close. Aside from Chris Jericho’s individual prominence as a wrestler, Fozzy as a band once again prove why their live performances are immensely popular.

 

WORDS BY HEATHER BLEWETT

PHOTOS BY RICH PRICE