Album Reviews



Review of Arcade Messiah’s “III”: The Status Quo Defied

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Artwork by Michael Kerbow (michaelkerbow.com)

Arcade Messiah is a solo project spearheaded by cult Hasting band, Kingbathmat frontman John Bassett who currently resides in Sligo, Ireland. Born in Walthamstow, London, Bassett was raised by his ex-convent nun mother and meter reading father, who fed and looked after him as long as they could. By sixteen, he quit school and left home with little more than the clothes on his back. This left his employment opportunities limited to dull and mundane tasks; guitar and songwriting being his primary source of solstice. His love of music developed at a young age after picking up an acoustic guitar in the family home. Once able to figure out and play along with a number of songs, he found a guitar teacher in Tottenham to assist with chording. What John discovered was that he was playing a right handed guitar left handed, even though he was, in fact, right handed. Playing backwards was simply more comfortable. With this straightened out and a proper, left handed guitar was purchased, chords became natural and progressed directly into songwriting that has evolved into a life long passion.

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Review: DESTINOVA ‘Nameless Goat’ [Video]

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Destinova began in 2007 in Leverkusen, Germany and their music has evolved more between then and now than most bands do in a lifetime. The band has had a couple name changes, lineups and style changes along the way. The band originally started as a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band. When that didn’t seem to gel the band quickly turned to original songs. Tim took over vocals and guitar, Sandro, who used to play a bit just for fun, became the drummer and Thomas took the bass guitar. During that time the bands name was Think Twice and their intent was to write songs you had to think twice about. They decided to do away with the name as their was already a band using the moniker and they just wanted something new. The name then became Poetry Fact. Then their musical style progressed and they was born again with the current name DESTINOVA. The band had very little experience when they started, and there has been a learning curve, but their music has really came together and they have truly found their sound. In 2012 they added Stevo on guitar and additional vocals. The bands upcoming release is “Nameless Goat” is a follow up to their self titled EP. The album is set to release December 1st. The album was recorded at Mario Dahmen’s Liquid Aether Audio in Germany. Mario Dahmen (Betray Your Idols, Scarscab, Bloodattack) also produced the album. Continue reading

Review: GALACTIC PEGASUS’ “Phantom Of The Hill” [Stream]

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Hailing from British Columbia, with one of the best band names ever, Galactic Pegasus is here to deliver their first full length album, “Phantom of the Hill” on Famined Records. Forming in 2011, the band manages to mix metalcore and djent together very well. They’ve even toured with the likes of Black Tongue. After releasing some strong EPs like Mirages and Pariah, the time has finally come for a full album, and it’s awesome. It was released November 18th, 2016. Continue reading

Oni’s “Ironshore” Sets A New Standard For Technical Metal!

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Oni is:

Jake Oni – vocals

Martin Andres – guitars

Brandon White – guitars

Chase Bryant – bass

Joe Greulich – drums

Johnny D – Xylo-synth

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Oni is one of those rare bands that pulls you in with an iron grip and refuses to let go as you get more acquainted with the music that they offer. So heavy, so complex and so unbelievably well played by musicians that not only play, but are masters of their chosen instruments. Hearing only a couple songs off of their upcoming release of Ironshore on Metal Blade Records due out appropriately on Black Friday, November 25th, I was not even a little prepared for the musical spectacle awaiting me when Oni opened for Max and Igor Cavalera’sReturn to Roots Tour” a couple of months ago. Talk about being floored! There is simply no weakness in this band. As over-the-top complicated as their songwriting skills demand, these guys play unbelievably well together, sitting just outside the void of potential chaos lesser bands would yield to while remaining accessible to mere mortals like myself. Thus began my almost obsessive quest to take in all that Oni brings to bear. Now that I have had a pre-release copy of Ironshore for some time, I remain in absolute awe every single time I listen to it. Already hitting my list of best albums this year, here are my thoughts…

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Sonic Syndicate Takes a Different Turn With the Release of “Confessions”

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Sonic Syndicate is:

Nathan J. Biggs – Lead Vocals

Robin Sjunnesson – Guitars

Michael Bärzén – Bass

Sonic Syndicate has been around since 2005, when guitarist Robin Sjunnesson was only sixteen years old. Shortly thereafter, the band released its debut, Eden Fire on Pivotal Reckordings September 13, 2005. Two years later, after being picked up by Nuclear Blast records, they released Only Human on May 18, 2007. With solid backing, Sonic Syndicate was able to tour non-stop and sharing the stage with international sensations like Nightwish, In Flames, Soilwork and many, many others. As a result, they were awarded Best Newcomer by the Swedish Metal Awards and Bandit Rock Awards 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Review: DOMKRAFT ‘The End of Electricity’ [Stream]

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I’ve always been big on Swedish bands and that does not change here with Domkraft. Domkraft, hailing from Stockholm, Sweden have outdone themselves with this splendid new release. They manage to take that doom/stoner feel and grab you by the throat, asking for your full attention for the complete duration of the album. The End of Electricity, coming out on November 11th on Magnetic Eye Records, is a stellar follow up to their debut self-titled album released in October of 2013. The group continues to get better, and this is no exception, it is a very powerful, gripping record. Continue reading

Review: No Gods No Masters ‘Fear In a Handful of Dust’ [Stream]

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No Gods No Masters was formed in 2013 in the Netherlands. By the sound of the band you may think that they are from the swamps of Louisiana, as most sludge bands hail from. However, these guys aren’t lacking anything when it comes to sound. The band has brought sludge to the Netherlands. They aren’t your ordinary sludge band, they know what they do and they do it well. The band released a self-titled EP in January of 2013 and it received rave reviews. That EP was released via Torn Flesh Records. Recently, No Gods No Masters have finished recording their debut album ‘Fear In a Handful of Dust’. At the moment the band does not have a label but is negotiating with labels and plan to release on a label in the upcoming months. The album was recorded by Michiel Toenink (Total Infection, Devious) and Olaf Skoreng been mixed and mastered by JB Van Der Wal (Herder, Korpse, Ditch) at the Hewwetover studio. The album released March 4th, 2016. Don’t let the above picture of these gentlemen fool you in their nicest attire, their music is pure gritty, dirty sludge that we all know and love. Continue reading

Colin Tench Project: “Hair In A G-String (Unfinished But Sweet)”, The Prog Mad Hatter!

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A domino falls and strikes another, causing a chain reaction that continues until there are no dominoes left to fall. Such is the case with this review of Hair in a G-String (Unfinished but Sweet) by the U.K. artists in the Colin Tench Project. Mr. Tench is also known for his work with Corvus Stone and, wait for it, Coalition. There it is! The first domino! After recently reviewing Coalition’s spectacular new release, Bridge Across Time, I was offered a listen to Colin’s solo project, which is due for CD release on the 28th of November. Refuse new music that is related to a newly found gem? Nah, I’ll pass… Yeah right! Keep believing that! Hell yes I am interested. In a single listen, I was sold. Killer guitar? Check. Good song-writing skills? Absolutely. Entertaining? In freaking spades and in a manner few albums have been able to. So, as he so eloquently puts it on his website: “Who the hell is Colin Tench?”

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We Explore Animals As Leaders “The Madness Of Many”

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Formed in 2007 by guitarist Tosin Abassi, Los Angeles native, Animals as Leaders’ music has become a staple among instrumental/instrumental guitar-based heavy Progressive Rock fans throughout the world. The collective chins of guitarists everywhere simultaneously hit the floor when their self-titled album hit the presses in 2009 which elevated Animals as Leaders into the spotlight as one of the premiere instrumental bands in the world. Upping their game in 2011, Weightless was released to critical and fan acclaim everywhere. Staying on schedule with an album release every three years, The Joy of Motion was released in 2014 which put them on the Billboard charts in position 23, a whopping jump of 69 spots from the previous album’s placing. An extremely impressive showing for any band, much less from a band sans vocalist and bass player. This successful run is about to continue with Animals as Leaders release of The Madness of Many on November 11, 2016 on Sumerian Records and also saves fans an additional year’s wait for more of what they have grown to love.

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Oblivion’s “Cyclogenesis: Songs from the Apocalypse”: Breathing Fresh Fire Into A Twenty Year Old Dragon

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Recently, Divebomb Records had the brilliant idea of remastering and re-releasing all-but-lost Metal gems from the eighties and nineties in their Bootcamp Series. Albums like Aftermath’s Killing the Future, Holosade’s Hell House, Intrinsic’s “lost album” entitled Nails, Swedish Thrash Metal masters Apocalypse for their debut and Faithless albums, Skeptic Sense’s Mind Versus Soul: The Anthology, Miasmal’s third album, Tides of Omniscience (first time it has been made available in North America) and many, many others seeing the light of day once again, with plans to continue these releases well into the future. Many of these bands have, unfortunately, disappeared into obscurity, broken up and been usurped into other bands or even gotten back together; picking up where they left off years ago. One such band that falls into the third category is Oblivion, who recently released their double CD Cyclogenesis: Songs from the Apocalypse as Divebomb Boot Camp Series #27. What was once old, becomes new again and, in this case, lightening strikes twice as brightly!

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