According to German metal band, VELVET VIPER, you don’t leave before wintertime. Fresh off from their spring released by GMR Music Group, ‘Respice Finem’ is the new album from the German metal band, VELVET VIPER. Formed in 1990 by blues vocalist, Jutta Weinhold, VELVET VIPER released two albums, “Velvet Viper” (1991) and “The 4th Quest For Fantasy” (1992), before the band split up in 1993. It’s been 26 years since VELVET VIPER’s last album and come to 2017, when Jutta Weinhold reformed the band with a brand new line-up. With Fabian Ranft plucking the bass, Micha Fromm shredding the guitar, and rounding up the band is Holger Marx keeping the backbeat on drums, VELVET VIPER is as relevant as ever and they’re ready to concur the metal scene once again.
Classic rock trio The Vintage Caravan caused an earthquake in the heavy music scene with their self-released debut album “The Vintage Caravan” (2011), and their sophomore record “Voyage” (2012; re-released in early 2014). In 2013 the band was officially signed with Nuclear Blast. Also their reputation as a powerful live band soon got around and gave them numerous possibilities to open up for acts such as Blues Pills and Grand Magus.
After the amicable departure of Gaz Jennings (Cathedral, Death Penalty, Septic Tank) in 2016, the future of Lucifer was up in the air. Determined to keep the Lucifer rising, vocalist Johanna Sadonis found a new songwriting partner in Nicke Andersson (Exhumed, Imperial State Electric, The Hellacopters). Through Nicke’s musical background in death metal and pop driven rock and roll, these two fans of 70s heavy rock could find common ground. While this sophomore release Lucifer II is still the Lucifer you know and love, there is a fresh energy in these new songs.
The ever-prolific KATAKLYSM have returned with a new full album, ‘Meditations‘, with Nuclear Blast Records. Through a few lineup changes the band is now Maurizio Lacono on vocals, JF Dagenais on guitar, Stephane Barbe on bass, and Oli Beaudoin on drums. This 10-track album was recorded at their own studio in the forest of their home country of Canada.
Maryland’s Hostile Array are here with their politically charged post-hardcore self-titled debut. Finding inspiration from their own political beliefs vocalist Brendan Fray explains, “I don’t consider myself to be very liberal or conservative, but I am passionate about addressing issues of corruption on both sides of aisle. Our hope is to motivate others to question the status quo and never compromise when it comes to demanding justice in our system.” Keeping their message nonpartisan, keeps a skeptic eye on both sides of the aisle.
Coming May 25 via Napalm Records is the new EP: ‘House of Doom‘ from legendary doom metal band ‘CANDLEMASS!’ Clocking in at under 30 minutes, ‘House of Doom‘ is a quick but thoroughly enjoyable listen! We start things off with the title track which for my money has everything that an old school Doom Metal fan could ask for: Insanely catchy riffs, powerful vocals, and Sabbath style rhythm! This is easily the best Doom Metal anthem since “Doom over the World” by the now defunct ‘Reverend Bizarre.’
Swedish Metal is the unsung hero of the Metal genre. Rarely do you see so many game changing extreme Metal bands arise from one area as you do with Sweden. You have pioneers of various forms of Death Metal like Entombed, At The Gates and Dark Tranquility who all contributed massively to the genre by contributing buzz saw guitar tones and melody mixed with insanely heavy riffs. Fast forward to today and you still have a healthy amount of bands emerging from the area! One of the most notable would be LIK who have just released a new album that is a worthy successor to bands like Dismember, Entombed and Bloodbath!
“Loam & Sky,” the forthcoming release by San Fernando Valley, California prog outlet, THE ELEPHANT PARALLAX, is the follow up to their May 2010 self titled release. This EP ‘Loam & Sky’ is taking all of the elements of their first release and maximizing them in prolific fashion; combining aspects of funk, sludge, and progressive instrumentals, THE ELEPHANT PARALLAX aim to bring genre defying, mind opening melodies that will have you at attention the entire twenty four minutes you listen to it.
They are undoubtedly at the forefront of innovation in the world of progressive metal and often recognized for early movements in the djent scene. UK-based five piece, TesseracT, are about to grace the world with their fourth LP, ‘Sonder.’ As an experiment founded in 2003 by guitarist Acle Kahney, the band continues to push the boundaries of what it means to be a modern progressive band. ‘Sonder’ will be singer, Daniel Tompkin’s second album back after his 2011 departure and subsequent return in 2014. Kscope will release this album on April 20, 2018. It was recorded at 4D Sounds, Celestial Sounds and Project Studios. TesseracT, alongside Aiden O’Brien, engineered ‘Sonder’ while mastering was completed by Kahney.
The mystery that shrouds any band’s upcoming album, especially of a band that is well versed with diversity in their music, is certainly not nonchalant. I wasn’t aware RIVERS OF NIHIL would be coming up with their third studio effort, ‘Where Owls Know My Name‘ this year until a few weeks back. As soon as the news dawned upon my conscience, I knew I had to request the album for a review, cause I remember their 2015 album, ‘Monarchy‘ had impressed me so much, it left me wanting for more. Fast forward to March 16th, 2018, the Pennsylvania quintet will be dropping their third full length in what could possibly be their best effort and certainly one that will garner itself a place in the top ten album listing by this year’s end.
Releasing on Metal Blade Records this 16th, RIVERS OF NIHIL have set the bar high when it comes to discovering uncharted territories that transcends your musical comfort zone. One of the most recently emerging and forward thinking artist in the metal sphere, the band has always managed to drop jaws with their progressive yet ferocious music. Not to forget, the wide array of experimentation the band has delved in their work, which makes RIVERS OF NIHIL truly an artistically elite band. So, with all the teasing I just did, do I make it look like ‘Where Owls Know My Name‘ easily surpasses what its predecessor achieved? Let’s find out!