The last live show I attended was on February 22nd, 2020 watching Opeth at the Apollo Theater in New York City. It was a magical night, but little did I know that was going to be the last live music I was going to be watching perform in a year. I miss live shows, as I’m sure every single one of you does as well and I was particularly reminded of this since the beginning of last week. Having said that, when The Ocean Collective announced that they were going to play a live stream show of their amazing album Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic (Pelagic Records) in its entirety, I immediately jumped to my feet and said: “I NEED to watch that”, I knew it was going to be magical as everything the German band does.
As fitting for such an enigmatic entity, the sixth album from Speed Metal legends Agent Steel has been released under some rather bizarre circumstances. In addition to being the first album to feature their original vocalist John Cyriis since 1987’s Unstoppable Force, he also ends up being the only original member left in the band after the fallout of their last reunion. Subsequent live festival debacles and his eccentric responses to preemptive concerns regarding this album’s quality certainly haven’t helped matters, leaving fans to wonder whether it will be a return to form or an insane conundrum.
Despite promising to move away from Heavy Metal in favor of a Post Punk sound in marketing materials, Lunar Shadow’s third album still features many of the band’s established quirks. The guitar tone’s lessened distortion promises a less in-your-face attitude, but the actual playing is still based around intricate sweeps and trills. The drumming also continues to mix in some aggressive fills and double bass patterns with the more upbeat rhythms while the vocal delivery still consists primarily of a shrill wail with some variation for mood.
Cave of Swimmers’ first album isn’t much longer than the two EPs they’ve previously released, just barely hitting thirty-two minutes long. However, Aurora (BroomTune Records) serves as a dramatic leap forward for the Miami duo. The songs are rooted in the same hyperactive Heavy Psych last seen with 2015’s Reflection but there is more time devoted to exploring their more in-your-face influences. The resulting hodgepodge of Stoner Rock, Prog, and Classic Metal ends up being somewhere between Hammers Of Misfortune and Galactic Cowboys with a bit of King Gizzard for flavor.
Nashville-based Hard Rock band True Villains are back with their anthemic new single and video “Dig Your Grave” and Ghost Cult is excited to share the premiere with you today! The track is the bands’ third Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Halestorm) produced track the band has released, following “Blood In The Water” and “The Villain.” The Adam Ewbank directed clip blends a storyline with a band performance for a cool presentation too! The track is killer and highlights their innate sense of groove and ability to write great hooks. Check out the video now!
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).
It’s been all change in the Orden Ogan camp recently, and while obviously playing it’s part, not all of it due to the current Coronavirus situation. Firstly, because of a hand injury sustained in 2018, frontman Sebastian “Seeb” Levermann was forced to perform a series of summer dates minus his guitar, fronting the band as vocalist only. Realising he actually prefers performing this way, Levermann has chosen to step back from six-string duties, recruiting guitarist Patrick Sperling to take over in his stead.
Funny, before writing this review I had just finished a very interesting conversation about Swedish bands with someone as passionate as I am for Swedish music and we concluded that there must be something about being born in Scandinavia that automatically increases your chances of being good at making music. Spelljammer proves this point with their latest effort Abyssal Trip (RidingEasy Records). An equally catchy, beautiful, heavy, and dark album that brings a scenario that can be only compared as being a collection of BlackSabbath’s darkest, twisted tracks but heavier and more melodic. And it’s impossible not talking about Black Sabbath when talking about a Stoner/Doom Metal band, but this Swedish trio can easily be in the same conversation.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, Heavy Metallers Katana Cartel is prepping their new album for release, The Sacred Oath! You can check out the band’s explosive new single “Air Raid.”
James Durbin may have been the “metal guy” during his season on American Idol, but it’s been an uphill battle for him to get any sort of street cred in the actual scene. His subsequent solo albums seemed noncommittal in terms of style and his brief stint singing for Quiet Riot felt more like an odd novelty than a real step forward. It’s hard to tell how the reception towards The Beast Awakens (Frontiers Records srl) will compare but at the very least, it’s a notable turning point on his path to Heavy Metal legitimacy.