ALBUM REVIEW: Ensiferum – Thalassic – Metal Blade Records

Concentrating on a specific thematic concept for the first time, Thalassic (Metal Blade), the eighth full-length release by Finnish folk metallers Ensiferum, finds the band obsessing over – as the Greek translation suggests – the subject of things related to the sea. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Powerwolf – Best Of The Blessed

When the wolfsbane blooms, and the moon is full, the time will come for Powerwolf to release a compilation album. Yes, after the hugely successful The Sacrament of Sin (Napalm Records), the German lycanthropes bridge the gap until their next studio release with Best of the Blessed (Napalm), a “Best Of…” with a difference. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Cro-Mags – In The Beginning

Having successfully secured the Cro-Mags name after a year-long court battle with former members John Joseph and Mackie Jayson, frontman and general hardcore legend Harley Flanagan follows up last year’s From the Grave and Don’t Give In EP’s (Victory Records) with In the Beginning (Mission Two Entertainment/Arising Empire), the first full-length release from the celebrated New York act in twenty long years.  Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Beyond The Black – Hørizøns

Continuing to shrug off their symphonic metal tag, German five-piece Beyond the Black have stepped further into the realm of Europop based metal on their fourth full-length release, Hørizøns (Napalm Records). Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Lamb Of God – Lamb Of God

Every now and again, a record captures the mood of an era with such frightening accuracy that even though it might not be the greatest thing you’ve ever heard, it resonates so profoundly that you have no alternative but to sit up and take notice. Not since the ’80s, when the burgeoning thrash scene was fuelled by a world living in fear of murky politics and the threat of nuclear war, has the timing been so perfect for such a scathing indictment of present times. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Wounded Cross – Our Future Is Dead

In existence for just three years, the life of Midlands act Wounded Cross was extinguished before its time. Unable to release anything while they were still a going concern, the band’s first (and only) demo recordings have finally been mixed and released onto YouTube three years after their split. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: BPMD – American Made

Named after the four members, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, Mike Portnoy, Mark Menghi, and Phil Demmel, supergroup BPMD is here with their debut release, a covers album by the name of American Made (Napalm Records). As the title suggests, every cut on the record was originally recorded by an American artist, and each revitalised track sounds nothing short of tremendous. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Foetal Juice – Gluttony

After a sequence of splits, EP’s and singles, the second full-length release from Mancunian death metal mob Foetal Juice finally exposes the band’s darkest secret – that underneath all the songs about bodily fluids, blue waffles, and human waste, lurks a group of serious musicians. Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEWS: Alestorm – Curse Of The Crystal Coconut – Napalm Records

We’re only here to have fun, get drunk and make loads of money!”. Thus begins the admirably honest chorus to ‘Treasure Chest Party Quest’ the latest Alestorm party anthem, which opens latest album Curse of the Crystal Coconut (Napalm Records). Continue reading

ALBUM REVIEW: Grave Digger – Fields of Blood

Marking the 40th anniversary of the band, the latest Grave Digger album is a serious return to form and arguably their best release since the glory days of the eighties. Delivering a fresh injection of power metal straight from the highlands of Scotland (where some of the album was even recorded), Fields of Blood (Napalm Records) is a strong statement from a band who have appear to have been taking some of their cues from military-obsessed Swedes Sabaton. Continue reading