Speed and heavy metal tend to go hand in hand, so it comes as no surprise that Almanac guitarist Victor Smolski (formerly of German legends Rage) also has a sideline in motor racing. A runner-up in the Supercars division of German Rallycross in 2018/19, Smolski has taken his love of burning rubber and hit the accelerator on the band’s latest album Rush of Death (Nuclear Blast Records). Continue reading
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Ambient music is tricky. Get it right and you can create some of the most mind-blowing, expansive, forward-thinking art imaginable. Get it wrong and you’re left looking like a pretentious mess. It’s very difficult to ride the line of pretension and come out on the right side when making anything that forsakes a conventional song structure, but by album six, you’d think K-X-P would be pretty adept, right? Continue reading
Channeling the fierce soul of bands like Anal Cunt, Righteous Pigs, Negative Approach, Tantrum Mantra has come from Los Angeles to destroy you. The side project of Spirit In The Room frontman Dennis R. Sanders, Tantrum Mantra has a new song and video today for their track ‘Guilty Fucker’. You can hear it only at Ghost Cult, below: Continue reading
From The Very Depths (Spinefarm), the fourteenth entry in the Venom canon, sees Cronos and company delving into the roots of underground punk and heavy metal, resulting in some satisfyingly atavistic blasts of noise. No squeaky clean production values are present to water down or blight the impact of the crunchy thrash riffage and relentless aggression present here.
Cronos’ spiteful delivery on ‘Temptation’ exemplifies what Venom have always been about; a gritty, go for the throat approach which requires little deviation from their original blueprint of crust covered heavy metal. ‘The Death Of Rock N’ Roll’ sounds like recent Darkthrone covering Mötorhead and with only one number on the album exceeding the five minute mark, things are kept nice and concise, as is the rough-shot blast of first single ‘Long Haired Punks’. The tongue in cheek old school hokum may not work for actual black metal fans but these japing Geordies were never ‘grim’ or ‘kvlt’ to begin with; luckily Cronos appears aware of the ridiculousness of his lyrics as he barks on the former “Line up the Marshall stacks! We’re killing King Creole!” while axeman Rage churns out some pumping speed metal riffage. ‘Evil Law’ rides a crushing mid-paced ostinato but overt repetition certainly kills its momentum, and the wah injected ‘Smoke’ is a questionable entry.
At fourteen tracks, this opus feels fleshed out in places with the elaborate intros of ‘Eruptus’ and ‘Ouverture’ adding nothing to proceedings, but luckily the album adopts a ‘play it straight’ ethos and is, for the most part, shorn of the modern influences or ham-fisted experimentation which has made their recent outings rather ponderous.
Creating menacing vicious heavy metal is what Venom is about and any deviation from this simple formula feels unnatural and forced. All the elements of the bands classic sound has been recalled in what may be the current line up’s finest work since the late nineties, although if you are looking for material of a quality akin to Black Metal or Welcome To Hell (Neat) then you will be found wanting.
A decent, if unspectacular, entry that preaches to the converted.
A quick history lesson in regard to Lingua Mortis Orchestra before we move on to their new album LMO. It was 1996 when German heavy metallers Rage, after a dozen years of unleashing their own distinct brand of power metal rioting, decided to investigate a classical/orchestral imagination with the cooperation of a classical symphony orchestra. Releasing the album Lingua Mortis, it opened a potent seed within the creativity of the band. From an acclaimed orchestral show at the German Rock Hard Festival 2010, Rage unveiled their ‘alter-egos’ the Lingua Mortis Orchestra to follow this classical path. With Peavy Wagner (vocals/bass), Victor Smolski (guitar, keyboards, cello), and André Hilgers (drums) alongside vocalists Jeannette Marchewka and Dana Harnge, as well as the addition of two orchestras from Spain and Belarus, LMO, band and album, has created a classical experience themed by a true story of witch-hunting in the medieval town of Gelnhausen in 1599. Continue reading
Rage guitarist and main composer Victor Smolski can be described as something of a Renaissance man. Besides having a flourishing career in metal and classical music he’s also known for being an accomplished racing driver. Ghost Cult caught up with him to probe his mind about Lingua Mortis Orchestra, Viktor’s latest musical endeavour. Continue reading