RAISE YOUR HORNS! Heavy Metal Album Reviews Round-up

There is more life in the old dog of Traditional Heavy Metal now than at any time since the glory days of the early eighties, as a whole new generation of Classic Metal loving reprobates are making their mark in the world, while the original protagonists continue to release new material. Ghost Cult runs the rule of the best of the latest releases, including a new EP from Gatekeeper and full-lengths from Traveler, Rhapsody Of FireLast In Line and Matt Harvey‘s Pounder while also taking in Vision Of Atlantis’ new live album, and it is the hot new puppies that are taking the plaudits… Continue reading

Abyssic – High The Memory

Funeral Doom Metal has always been a curiosity. To the average music fan, listening to music inspired by the tragedy and sorrow of a funeral isn’t exactly high on their list. However, like everything, it has its place and when it’s done well; it can paint powerful musical imagery which can invoke powerful emotions. With a name like Abyssic, gothic, dark and ancient images come to mind. However, as shown throughout High The Memory (Osmose Productions), darkness and light have their place in the context of such an emotive genre. After all, the spectrum of human emotion is not measured in absolutes. Continue reading

Aenimus – Dreamcatcher

Technical Death Metal feels like such an unnecessary term. The cornerstone of Death Metal, outside of the cartoonish violence depicted in lyrical content, is a virtuosic musical ability. How exactly do you make something already technically proficient even more extreme in its dexterity? Fortunately, bands like Aenimus are here to provide the answer. Continue reading

Seer – Vol. 6

It’s a curious business when an album isn’t bad, isn’t great, or isn’t even average either. How to review it? Give it a proper slagging? This is the challenge Vol. 6 (Artofact Records), by Vancouverian Doom Metal peddlers Seer, poses this critic. In a sense, it’s hard to fully categorize. Listening to this album is like appraising a beautiful ice sculpture, only it’s a little too far away to see, it’s snowing, and you’re only wearing your underwear. This is a roundabout way of saying that the album is very easy to admire, but very hard to actually like. Continue reading

Powerwolf – Amaranthe: Live at The Mill, Birmingham (UK)

Following the previous night’s splendidly named Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse, a still virtually full moon hangs in the sky over Birmingham, accompanied by rapidly falling temperatures and icy gusts of snowy wind. So, what better way to keep warm on a wintry January evening than with some werewolf themed German Heavy Metal. Continue reading

Architects: Live at Wembley Arena, London

And so, to Architects at Wembley Arena. You start off with one of those angel/devil on your shoulder conversations about how this could be a really great way to spend a Saturday night or, conversely, rather like Roger Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon, you find yourself wondering whether you really are getting too old for this shit; a feeling that seems to continue as you take the tube northbound, past semi-frozen shoppers heading to warm homes and warm food, to the glorified cattle shed that is the SSE Arena, or Wembley Arena, as most of us still know (if not love) it. Continue reading