EP REVIEW: Four Stroke Baron – Monoqueen

When I first heard Four Stroke Baron, I had no idea they were going to be one of my favorite finds of the year. “What kind of a name is that?” I thought, bracing for the worst. Man, was I floored by what I found. A pummeling barrage of progressive metal with crushing riffs and a blazing 1980’s synth crescendos that just don’t quit, yet really lit my fire was the vocals. Bucking the metal cliche of trying to come off as heavy and bröötal as possible, vocalist Kirk Witt delivers powerful lyrics in a meek and almost anxious style that puts you on edge and adds a sense of forlorn urgency to many of the tracks.

Continue reading

EP REVIEW: Midnight Dice – Hypnotized – Underground Power Records

Coming off a self-titled demo in 2019, Midnight Dice’s first EP, Hypnotized (Underground Power Records/Hoove Child Records), sees the Chicagoans continuing to build their momentum. Comparisons to the musicians’ previous band Satan’s Hallow remain inevitable as Hypnotized rides on a similarly anthemic Classic Metal style. However, there are also developments that show the band beginning to carve out a more distinct identity. Continue reading

SPLIT RELEASE: Shrieking / Puddleglum Split

2020 has already been a busy year for San Diego electronic darkheart Shrieking. Debut album Let the Galaxy Burn (Self-Release) was released in January; a single, Truth About Demons (Self-Release) appeared at the beginning of May, and is closely followed by this Split (Self-Release) with St. Louis Dungeon Synth project Puddleglum. It’s a curious and enticing prospect, enhanced by both bands weighing in with a healthy representation of the material. Continue reading

Joyous Wolf – A Place In Time

Once in a blue moon does a band come barreling onto the music scene that makes every person who hears them go, “If Heaven had an in house band, it would be these guys”. Joyous Wolf is a once in a blue moon band, no-foolin’. The band’s debut EP, A Place In Time (Roadrunner Records), is proof positive that Rock and Roll is not just alive and well, it is kicking ass and taking names.  Continue reading

Hamferð – Ódn

Apart from being a staple of the UK shipping forecast and consistently failing to progress from the qualifying stages of the World Cup, the Faroe Islands are still a relatively unknown quantity for many people. However, proving that Metal really does occupy some of the least charted territories of the globe, the little archipelago located 200 miles north of mainland Scotland is actually home to several bands, most of whom are located within the walls of its capital, Tórshavn. Continue reading

Manowar – The Final Battle I

Seven years after their last (original) studio release, the irrepressible Manowar returns to the hall (well, two original members and two new guys anyway) atop their mighty steeds, gripping a new EP firmly in their gloves of Metal, and celebrating their latest epic touring adventure. Continue reading

Thousand Thoughts – Thousand Thoughts EP

Making it in Hollywood hardly seems realistic but if you were to look closely the story of a Thousand Thoughts, is a Hollywood story. In just a year Ethan Smith, Jack Botterill, Matt Morrell, and Jed Johnson have made their mark the music scene in North London. And now, the quartet is ready to conquer the emo/Alternative world with their self-titled four-song EP on Marshall Records. Continue reading

Delain – Hunter’s Moon

The final part of a trilogy which began with the Lunar Prelude EP and continued with the Moonbathers full length, Hunter’s Moon (all Napalm Records) is the latest EP by Dutch Symphonic Metal act Delain. Comprising four new tracks and a selection of live cuts recorded on the 2017 ‘Danse Macabre’ tour in Utrecht, the live show is also included as a Blu-Ray disc. Continue reading

Starve To Survive – Have Me To Waste EP

Newcastle’s latest Hardcore reprobates Starve To Survive are back after a whole three years with a new EP, Have Me To Waste (Caliber), hoping to make their own statement of intent and garner some of the attention that the northern Hardcore scene generates, specifically Loathe and God Complex who have been turning more than a few heads over the past year. Continue reading

Cane Hill – Kill The Sun EP

When Cane Hill came onto the scene in 2014 they were classified as nu-Metal. They were introduced as a foursome from New Orleans trying to make the highly criticized genre relevant. They are staying relevant with their second EP, the stripped back Kill The Sun EP (Rise Records). Continue reading