REVIEWS ROUNDUP: Haunt, Witchseeker, and Significant Point


HauntBeautiful Distraction

Having released six full-lengths and other assorted releases in just five years, it’s only inevitable for Haunt’s output to start getting samey. Their first (and probably not last) album in 2021, Beautiful Distraction carries on the polished, synth-laden variant of Heavy Metal last seen on 2020’s Mind Freeze and Flashback. Fortunately, the formula is still enjoyable with tracks like ‘In Our Dreams’ and ‘Face Of Danger’ offering uplifting hooks while ‘Imaginary Borders’ hits. It’s rather strange to see new versions of ‘Hearts On Fire’ and ‘It’s In My Hands’ considering their appearances on prior albums, but their later placements in the track order ultimately amount to inoffensive inclusions. As interchangeable as these albums have become lately, fans will still find their favorite pleasantries on full display.

7 / 10


Witchseeker Scene Of The Wild

Like 2017’s When The Clock Strikes before it, the second album from Singapore’s Witchseeker offers high octane Speed Metal with a certain Hard Rock sensibility. That latter element is especially pronounced on Scene Of The Wild (Dying Victims Productions) as songs like ‘Rock This Night Away,’ ‘Sin City’ (Not an AC/DC cover), and ‘Tokyo Nights’ among others are packed with catchy singalongs and frolicking beats. Fortunately, there’s still enough rawness to go around with the tempos often opting for total intensity, the vocals having an endearingly untrained quality and a filthy as hell bass tone. It may not be a serious gamechanger but another fun listen for fans of Enforcer and White Wizzard.

8 / 10

Significant PointInto The Storm

Significant Point’s debut album follows in the footsteps of their countrymen in groups like Loudness and Anthem, but their approach to Speed Metal ends up feeling more German than Japanese. Songs like the opening ‘Attacker’ and ‘Riders Under The Sun’ show strong influence from Running Wild and Walls Of Jericho-era Helloween with their blazing guitar runs, flamboyant harmonies, relentless drumming, and unhinged yet melodic wails.

There’s also room for more Classic Metal leaning fun with ‘You’ve Got The Power’ and ‘Night Of The Axe’ offering some in your face optimism. The more epic touches on ‘Running Alone’ also make for another highlight of a closer. Into The Storm (Dying Victims Productions) may be rather rough and tumble for some fans, especially when it comes to the vocals, but comes strongly recommended to those who like their Power Metal with extra grit.

8 / 10

CHRIS LATTA


Helloween Shares Their New Single and Video for “Skyfall”


Fotograf, Photographer, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Heidelberg

Helloween has shared the first single and video from their upcoming new album, Helloween, due out on June 18th via Nuclear Blast Records. “Skyfall” is out now and features with the current lineup of Andi Deris, Michael Kiske, Michael Weikath, Kai Hansen, Markus Grosskopf, Sascha Gerstner, and Dani Löble, the Pumpkins United World Tour lineup. Pre-orders are also live at the links below!

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Helloween Announces New Album, Teases New Single


Fotograf, Photographer, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Heidelberg

Helloween has announced they will release a new album, Helloween, due out on June 18th via Nuclear Blast Records. and the first single, “Skyfall” is due out on April 2nd, 2021. 35 years in the making and with the current lineup of Andi Deris, Michael Kiske, Michael Weikath, Kai Hansen, Markus Grosskopf, Sascha Gerstner, and Dani Löble, the Pumpkins United World Tour lineup, they are as excited as the fans are for new Helloween songs! Watch the teaser trailer here:

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ALBUM REVIEW: Crystal Viper – The Cult


Although the brand of epic European power metal that Crystal Viper performs is most definitely up my street, I must preclude this review by admitting that aside from hearing the odd song here and there, I have had no real exposure to them on a studio album level. The Cult, is the Polish act’s eighth full-length release in a legacy that has thus far lasted eighteen years. At face value, a band that maintains that level of consistency would have me assume they have nailed down a singular style and were comfortable releasing records in said style without a whole lot of variation. It is therefore with a great sense of irony that my first review of their noise is of a disc which caught me completely off guard by occupying a different scene entirely. The sweetly epic elements the band is known for are certainly present in The Cult, but the power metal is largely downplayed in favour of a more classic but simultaneously epic style of heavy metal, one that calls back to the days of bands like Accept and Saxon without ever sounding derivative of either.

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NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: September 4th New Music Releases


Purchase And Stream All The New Music Released Today!

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ALBUM REVIEW: Primal Fear – Metal Commando


Sometimes a title is all you need. And, as it unleashes a victorious scream of power metal majesty heard three townships away, Metal Commando (Nuclear Blast Records), the latest album from Primal Fear, is absolutely one of those titles. Continue reading


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


Helloween’s “Pumpkins United” 2020 European Tour Has Been Postponed


Helloween’s acclaimed “Pumpkins United” 2020 European Tour has been forced to postpone its previously announced European “United Alive World Tour Part II” due to the coronavirus pandemic which is sweeping the globe. The trek was scheduled to kick off on September 26 in Zvolen, Slovakia, and run through October 31 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Earlier today, Helloween released the following statement via social media (video below): “With a heavy heart we herewith announce that we are forced to postpone our United Alive Part 2 European Tour 2020. Initially scheduled to take place from the end of September until mid of November 2020, we now rescheduled the tour from April to June 2021. Tickets will remain valid.

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ALBUM REVIEW: LOVEBITES – Electric Pentagram


Released in Japan and the UK earlier in the year, other territories have had to wait until now to hear the latest album by Japanese power metallers, Lovebites. Every bit as impressive as their previous records, Electric Pentagram (Victor Records) even draws inspiration from the likes of Slayer for their latest release, the appropriately titled opening track, ‘Thunder Vengeance’ having been conceived after watching the legendary thrashers at Download Festival Japan in 2019. Not that you’d be able to tell from the chorus, which carries a hook so beefy you could eat it for Sunday lunch.Continue reading


NEW MUSIC FRIDAY: October 4th New Music Releases


Purchase and stream all the new music released today!

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