Eleven long years after their last full-length studio release, Floridian act Solstice makes a glorious comeback with Casting the Die (Emanzipation Productions), reuniting founder members Alex Marquez and Dennis Munoz for the first time since 1995’s Pray (Steamhammer SPV).
Armed to the teeth with more riffs than you can shake a Howitzer at, Danish thrashers Artillery return with X (Metal Blade Records), their self-explanatory and succinctly titled tenth album. Sadly, guitarist Morten Stützer, brother of fellow founder member and co-guitarist Michael Stützer, passed away in 2019 meaning the band were forced into a change in personnel. His replacement, Sacrificial axeman Kræn Meier, pulls off an excellent job under the darkest of circumstances and this latest record stands as one of their strongest to date.
With a gap of eight years since their last studio album and boasting a new, reshuffled line-up, UK thrashers Evile are back with an absolute vengeance on their fifth full-length release. And as its title suggests, listening to Hell Unleashed (Napalm Records) is much like letting an angry, unfed Rottweiler loose in a roomful of overweight and particularly slow-moving children.
It should be clear by now that inertia and complacency are words that simply don’t exist in the vocabulary of French progressive death metal act Gojira, and with the latest album Fortitude (Roadrunner Records) the band have made some of their biggest and most diverse strides to date.
Recorded in front of twelve thousand rabid fans at the Berlin Velodrom in December 2012, Louder Than Noise… Live in Berlin (Silver Lining Music) is the sound of British rock legends Motörhead doing what they did best. Playing rock ‘n’ roll at the loudest possible volume and making lots of drunk people bang their sweaty heads until they either threw up or passed out. Motörhead shows were fantastic, weren’t they?
Recorded towards the end of 2020, Paint The Sky With Blood (Napalm Records) was meant to signal the beginning of a new era in the career of Bodom After Midnight frontman Alexi Laiho. His first release since leaving the groundbreaking Finnish melodic death metal act Children of Bodom the previous year should have been the beginning of an exciting new journey. Instead, his tragic death in late December means it ultimately becomes an epitaph.
If there’s one thing the last twelve months or so have taught people it’s how to adapt, and fans of live music have been no exception. With no shows to attend, the number of people paying to watch their favourite bands – or just any band – performing special quarantine sets has been steadily on the rise.
Back with another album cover deemed unsuitable for public consumption, it’s nice to see death metal legends Cannibal Corpse still shocking the squeamish and easily offended. Having to replace controversial artwork with something a little more palatable had almost become a tradition at one time but the new record Violence Unimagined (Metal Blade) is the first time the band has actually been deemed worthy of censorship since 2012.
With no less than twenty-two studio albums behind them, NWOBHM legends Saxon are back again but with something a little different this time. Instead of just rummaging around in the attic for an old live recording, or throwing together a contractually obliged “Best Of…”, Barnsley’s finest have taken their time during lockdown to produce something a little more imaginative. Looking to the past, the band has recorded Inspirations (Silver Lining Music/Militia Guard), a collection of songs by artists who made an impact on them at the start of their musical journey. Continue reading
Exploding with lurid technicolour noise and flooding your brain with nightmarish, acid-fuelled cartoon imagery, musician/director/writer/artist/sideshow freak Rob Zombie is back with his latest exercise in restraint and understatement, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy (Nuclear Blast).