Album Reviews



Review: LABYRINTH – ‘Architecture of a God’ [Official Videos]

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Labyrinth is one of those bands that doesn’t need an introduction. They quickly became one of the kings in Powermetal in the late 90’s – early 2000’s. They were founded all the way back in 1991 in Tuscany, Italy. They have been through some lineup changes but this lineup is stronger than ever! On the lead vocals we have Roberto Tiranti, Olaf Thorsen & Andrea Cantarelli are both lead guitarists, Nik Mazzuccuni is the bass player, on the keyboard we have Oleg Smirnoff and on the drums we have John Macaluso. If this isn’t the perfect lineup then I don’t know what is, they complete each other like no one else can. They started out with their EP ‘Midnight Resistance’, after this they released 2 more EP’s we know as ‘Piece Of Time’ & ‘Timeless Crime’. In 1998 the band released their signature album called ‘Return To Heaven Denied’. This album moved the whole Italian metal scene and also created a big push for the band’s career. Up to this date it’s still classified as a classic piece of work in the genre. They released more albums after that such as ‘No Limits’, ‘Sons Of Thunder’, ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Freeman’, ‘6 Days To Nowhere’ and ‘Return to Heaven Denied Pt. II: A Midnight Autumn’s Dream’. ‘Sons Of Thunder’ for example is a concept album written about King Louis XIV’s obsession with a woman named Kathryn. Last year the band members received a call from Frontiers asking the founding members Cantarelli and Thorsen to discuss with Roberto the possibilities of a return to form comeback from the band. After a lot of talking the band finally agreed to make an album and also make a special appearance at the first annual Frontiers Metal Festival, where they performed the album ‘Return To Heaven Denied’ for a future home video release. This year they finally released a new album, ‘Architecture Of A God’. The supreme quality of the album doesn’t come as a surprise to me. It’s beautifully written and it only makes you want more. And to make it even better it’s mixed by DGM’s Simone Mularoni and labeled by Frontiers Records s.r.l. Continue reading

Review: GLOOM – ‘Solaris’ [Official Videos]

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Gloom creates a style you have never seen or heard before. It’s hard to point down but the combination is truly remarkable. Bill Calomiris does vocals, Dante Dalton is the guitarist, Jason Sayell is the bassist and on drums we have Albert Born. They are signed to the label eOne Music/Lifeblood inc and about to release their debut album ‘Solaris’. Their EP ‘Gloom’ got out in 2014 and got produced by Wretched drummer Marshall Wieczorek. It got instantly sucked up by one of the biggest metal sources on the internet Metal Injection. This created a path for the band to walk and also a swing in the right direction. They are even on the list of the Best Metal Songs of 2014 on Loudwire. Right next to big names like Eyehategod and Mastodon.

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Review: FLOATING WIDGET – ‘The Sounds Of Earth’ [Album Stream]

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Floating Widget hail from the great north of Montreal, Canada. The band first made waves in 2004 with their debut ‘Praises To The Riff Monolith’. The debut was a tribute to the early days of riff heavy stoner rock. Even the title conjures up religious symbolism revolving around the beauty of the riff. By now I think you can grasp that Floating Widget truly are riff’tastic. The band has just dropped their sophomore release in the form of a 5 track EP titled ‘The Sounds Of Earth’. Yes, you heard that right, this EP is the first release from the band in 13 years. The album released March 2, 2017. ‘The Sounds Of Earth’ was recorded, mixed & mastered by Jef Fortin (Anonymus) at Bad Ass Studio. There is also a special treat on this album as well. The concluding track “Spiderzilla” features guest vocals from none other than Voivod’s Snake. Floating Widget is also playing the prestigious Montebello Rockfest alongside veteran acts like Queens Of The Stone Age, Rammstein, Iggy Pop, Megadeth, A.F.I. and a ton more. If you have the opportunity to catch this show make sure not to miss the heavy stoner riffs of Floating Widget. Continue reading

Review: SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY – ‘Aliens’ [Official Videos]

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Photo by Bisse Bengtsson

SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY are the incredibly addictive, blunt rock band your ears have always craved. The Stockholm based trio formed in May of 2006. They released their self-titled debut album late 2009. A week later they were nominated in the Best Rock category at the Swedish P3 Guld Awards, and the singles “Missy” and “Heartbreaker” were played regularly on the radio. The now award winning band went on to release ‘Who Do You VooDoo’ in 2012 which included the single “Karma Babe” which was voted into the national radio station’s hall of fame by listeners. By this time the fans were flocking to the unique sounds of SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY. Their third release again was on the up and up. ‘Animal Man Woman’ hit stores in 2014. The album took the band back to their energetic style which was showcased on their debut. SATAN TAKES A HOLIDAY mixes rock n roll, 60’s garage rock, and 70’s groove into their own unique blend of sounds. They have also been a must see for festival and concert goers as well. Opening up for various bands like Mustasch, Juliette Lewis and Nicke Andersson’s Imperial State Electric. The list doesn’t stop there. In 2013 they supported living legends KISS at Sweden’s new national arena in front of an audience of 30 000 people. Following the release of ‘Animal Man Woman’ Svante Nordström (drums) left the band and was replaced by Danne McKenzie (Truckfighters, Mustasch). Danne’s natural high energy level and stage charisma helped to further elevate the already amazing live performances. High on the inspiration stemming from this new line-up, work on new material started and in September of 2015 production got underway on what would ultimately become Satan Takes A Holiday’s fourth album – ‘Aliens’. In August of 2016 the band signed to Despotz Records. ‘Aliens’ is essentially an album that deals with alienation, anxiety and powerlessness – feeling out of place in contemporary culture, in social contexts as well as in oneself. To be standing in the center of the present only to be asking oneself: ’how the hell did this happen!?’ ‘Aliens’ was released on February 23, 2017. Continue reading

Review of Night Demon’s Killer, Band Defining “Darkness Remains”

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Night Demon is:

Jarvis Leatherby: vocals and bass guitar

Armand John Anthony: guitar

Dusty Squires: drums

Night Demon has been a universal favorite among our staff members for quite some time now. When I was fortunate to see them for the first time with Anvil and Graveshadow last month (Review), I was simply blown away. I loved their music before, but after seeing them, Night Demon has damned near become an obsession that eventually landed us a copy of Darkness Remains, to be released April 21st, 2017 on the Century Media record label. Needless to say, this CD has been worn… the… hell… out!

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Review of the Incredible “Building Castles in Air” by Lucid Fly

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Lucid Fly is:

Nikki Layne – vocals
Doug Mecca – guitar

Aaron Ficca – drums

Often described as a dark and epic cross between Evanescence and A Perfect Circle, Lucid Fly has been together since 2001. Founded by vocalist Nikki Layne and guitarist Doug Mecca in Orlando, FL, the band found its name, interestingly, from a headline in the paper, reading: “Lucid Flies Into The Record Books” that documented the record breaking time in space by astronaut Shannon Lucid. Once cementing their staying power in the Orlando music scene and growing their fan base, Lucid Fly released their debut LP entitled Adapting to Gravity in 2005. With almost universal acceptance and mounting acclaim, Lucid Fly continued to play in and around FL, but they had their sights set on a bigger prize and moved to the West Coast. Once landing in L.A., drummer Aaron Fica, who had been touring with Macy Gray, was given an honorary spot behind the kit. As a follow up to their 2009 release of The Escape Stage, a three song EP entitled Stasis was released in 2015. As their fan base has continuously expanded and critical acclaim has come in droves, demand for new music thrust the band, once again, into the studio. Once their successful crowdfunding campaign that raised in upwards of $13K for what would become Building Castles in Air, Lucid Fly, were one of only seventeen bands invited by Mike Portnoy to play at the 2014 Progressive Nation at Sea event along with other noteworthy bands including Periphery, Haken, Riverside and many others. After great care and thoughtful songwriting, Building Castles in Air was recently released in November, 2016 and is deserving a prominent spot in any music fans’ collection. Continue reading

Review: OF THE SUN – ‘Before A Human Path’ [Album Stream]

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Texas shredders Of The Sun have finally released their long awaited sophomore album ‘Before A Human Path’.  Their first release ‘A.M. Radio’ came out back in 2009 so long time fans have been left waiting for many years for this record. ‘Before A Human Path’ was self released by the band last Friday on April 14th. Describing themselves as “Southern Progressive Metal”, Of The Sun brings a creative new sound by being very experimental in the progressive and thrash genres while maintaining an extremely heavy groove in each track. The band has played with the likes of Intronaut, Devin Townsend, and Gorguts so you know they are serious. This 5 track album contains no filler and gets straight to the point of grabbing your attention. You can buy the record on Bandcamp or stream it below. See what the band had to say about the record below. Step into the world of Of The Sun now.

With Before a Human Path, we pulled from personal extremes to convey a more colorful and varied storyline within the span of each song. Ultimately shunning conventional songwriting formula, we really dug in to unearth something we felt isn’t currently being done. We’re beyond excited to share it with you!.”

With only 5 tracks on ‘Before A Human Path’, the trio wastes no time diving into superb craftsmanship and songwriting with “The Tightrope Mile”. Several time changes are applied and trade offs between clean vocals and screams are transitioned flawlessly. The song will at times will be peaceful as if you are sitting on a beach before once again shooting you back into the slamming, tortured sounding verses in purgatory. “Nebulamorphous” begins with a beautifully composed shredding guitar intro from Patrick Duvall that could paint a song on its own. Of The Sun continues their large experimentation on the record here with several guitar effects and fervent drumming from Johnny Reed. David Duvall shows out with an equally impressive bass solo and keeps it flowing with the rest of the song. The groove that they bring while still being heavy as all can be is incredible and hard to find in metal. “Cantos” presents yet another side of the band with more clean vocals and creepy guitar melodies to give the listener another perspective of the band and how proficient they are at creating original material. The fourth track “A Soliloquy” is a rather angst-filled song with complicated rhythms. The song has several layers, constantly evolving and becoming heavier as it continues. I’m not usually a fan of breakdowns but Of The Sun makes it work here with the guitar and bass battling each other to produce an enormous sound. ‘Before A Human Path’ draws to a thunderous close with “The Limbless God”. This song holds massive weight on the record with the fierce riffage and impassioned screams from Duvall. Reed is unrelenting on the bass drum while David Duvall continues to grind out robust bass lines as we exit the world of Of The Sun. In just 5 tracks, this trio has proved they are here to stay in the metal universe and will wreck havoc at their shows. Be sure to check out the album below and to follow Of The Sun on Facebook.

Of the Sun is:
Patrick Duvall – Lead Vocals/Guitar
David Duvall – Bass/Vocals
Johnny Reed – Drums

‘Before A Human Path’ Track List
01. The Tightrope Mile
02. Nebulamorphous
03. Cantos
04. A Soliloquy
05. The Limbless God

Review: WOODHAWK – ‘Beyond The Sun’

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Artwork by Mark Kowalchuk

Just this Friday, Calgary, Alberta band Woodhawk released ‘Beyond the Sun’ independently. They dropped their first EP in 2014 and are now here with their first album. With slamming, groovy riffs, the band’s first full length record brings you back to the early 70s rock n roll sound with several different lyrical themes to keep it interesting. The trio recorded this album at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver BC. It was mixed by Jesse Gander, mastered by Brad Boatright, and produced by Gander and the band. The album artwork was created by Mark Kowalchuk. You can purchase ‘Beyond the Sun’ on Bandcamp or stream it below.

‘Beyond the Sun’ leads us in with a relaxed intro from the title track before taking off into a space-like dimension of riffs to prepare us for what is in store for the rest of the record. “The High Priest” (music video below) is a hard rock anthem filled with remarkable instrumentals and catchy choruses from Turner Midzain. Woodhawk continues to pack a huge punch in their sound with the thunderous “Living in the Sand”. This track features guest vocals from Kevin Keegan (Dead Quiet, ex-Mountain Dust, ex-Barn Burner). It’s a six minute epic with a full dose of 70s hard rock storming into your door with power and emotion overflooding your stereo.  “Magnetic North” is a slow tempo, bluesy with booming bass from Mike Badmington and is plentiful of riffs that will put the listener into a trance. The album picks its pace back up with “Lawless” shredding through with that classic rock sound with a psychedelic edge. “Quest For Clarity” has an marvelous bass intro before exploding into another musical adventure with splendid work behind the drum kit from Kevin Nelson. The more relaxed guitar solo near the end is a beautiful work of art and builds tension before roaring back into the chorus. “A New Hope” has a  neat guitar echo effect and obviously rotates around the theme of Star Wars. It doesn’t get much better than rock’n’roll about Star Wars! “Foresee the Future” is a slick two-minute instrumental with a desert-like tone to set the mood for the final song on the record. “Chrononaut” is definitely the most rifftastic song on the album with these huge sounds rushing to you at the speed of light. It takes a more mid-tempo turn towards the middle before closing out in dramatic fashion. Woodhawk has released a killer 9-track debut record not to be forgotten soon by fans of stoner rock. Make sure to follow Woodhawk on Facebook at the link below.

‘Beyond the Sun’ Tracklist
1. Beyond The Sun (3:57)
2. The High Priest (4:46)
3. Living In The Sand (6:03)
4. Magnetic North (4:13)
5. Lawless (3:06)
6. Quest For Clarity (4:14)
7. A New Hope (4:49)
8. Foresee The Future (2:12)
9. Chrononaut (5:19)

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

 

Review: THREE LANE ROAD – S/T [Single Streaming]

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Three Lane Road don’t care if you call them a classic rock, an 80’s band or hair metal. They aren’t worried about labels at all. The Texas based rockers are happy with their sound and want to spread it to the masses. The band formed in 2015 and have been chugging along ever since. Melodic vocal lines sang by Wayne Brito coupled together with tastefully driven guitar leads with both Allan Davis and Wayne Brito bring to life a nostalgic rock feel. It certainly drives home the old school feel of rock and the goose bumps are included at no additional charge. The bottom end rhythm section of bassist Steve Musket and drummer Chuck Geisel sear together the sound that is Three Lane Road collectively. The band draws inspiration from bands like Journey, Dokken and Skid Row. Like their influences the band doesn’t only create amazing music, but they capture your soul with their lyrics. Three Lane Road have released their self-titled debut. Recorded at Empire Sound Recording Studio in Carrollton, Texas and was produced by Alex Gerst. It was mastered by Derek Taylor at Milo Studio. Continue reading

Review: ENTERPRISE EARTH – ‘Embodiment’ [Official Video]

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Photo Credits: Through It All Photography

Enterprise Earth got its name after researching the Illuminati and conspiracy theories. It got researched by the band’s frontman named Dan Watson. He was the former vocalist of one of the most brutal bands we know, Infant Annihilator. Byron Sampson plays the guitar as well as Yusef Johnsen, Gordon McPherson does bass and Aaron O’Toole is the drummer. After the band was finished with the vocalist of Attila they moved to his record label Stay Sick Recordings, leaving former label We Are Triumphant behind. ‘’XXIII’’ is the name of their first ever EP which has been a big hit. As stated by the band itself “Spread like wild fire on the internet and quickly became very talked about”. 1 year later they released their first album ‘’Patient 0’’. On the 14th of April they spit out this massive chunk of heaviness we know as ‘’Embodiment”, mixed/produced and mastered by Buster at Impact Studios.

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