Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lustre "Still Innocence"

    In a growing world where people will build housing developments without any consideration for the natural world, Lustre’s new album, “Still Innocence,” is an offering of sound to remind listener’s of the majestic powers of nature that we should appreciate more often.

    Lustre is a name in the world of atmospheric black metal that many fans of come to admire and consider to be one of the most innovative acts around. Whereas Summoning takes listeners away to the lands of Middle Earth, Lustre takes listeners on a journey through the natural world in vivid dreamlike fashion. The sole mastermind behind Lustre, Nachzeit, has established himself as one of atmospheric black metal’s most creative composers whose catalog is vast and full of impressive releases. “Still Innocence,” marks the Swedish based musicians 6th studio album and continues to explore the spiritual sounding synth landscapes of atmospheric brilliance.

    As with all Lustre recordings, you find yourself letting go of this modern world’s chaos and becoming one with the sounds of soothing atmospheric wonder. The drum arrangements matched with the main keyboard parts construct such an uplifting and harmonious sound. Opening the album, “Dreaded Still,” serves as the introduction to what will become a journey through the atmospheric sounding world given to us by Lustre. The next song, “Nestle Within,” brings about a sense of innocence amongst the cathartic musical environment.

    Where I live Fall is just beginning and the song, “Let Go Like Leaves of Fall,” happens to be a great soundtrack for the season. The overall tone is relaxing, cosmic and layered with solemn sounds to fill your ears. I highly recommend listening to the song while out for a hike, because you might feel a special connection with the natural world around you.

    Track number four, “Reverence Road,” is a longer piece that utilizes more guitar sound to create a wall of distortion that the keyboard follows along to with a trail of melodic notes. Lustre is known for writing long piece of music which contain many different layers and atmospheric structures. However, I would consider this track to not match up with some of my favorite Lustre songs such as “Amongst the Trees,” and “Echoes of Transcendence.” For this album though I do believe, “Reverence Road,” is a solid song when relating to the album’s overall theme.

    The final song, “Without End,” is yet another splendid piece of glorious sounding atmospheric music. You feel a sense of positive closure after an album that took you away from the insanity of a modern world so hellbent on forgetting that without nature our planet will become a massive heap of garbage.

    In the end Lustre once again brought to life the beauty of nature through atmospheric sounding compositions. Is this the greatest Lustre album to date? Open for debate of course, but I will say that this is one of the most well produced and enjoyable albums to come out this year. I believe from start to finish that if you enjoy atmospheric black metal, you will be intently listening to this therapeutic work of outstanding musical talent.

Preview Lustre "Nestle Within" below:

Make sure to order your copy of the album through Nordvis Produktion:

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Game Over "Claiming Supremacy"

    Game’s Over new album, “Claiming Supremacy,” is a thrash metal assault looking to make claim over the metal world by unleashing distorted riffs of headbanging ravenous fury. Also, I believe this could be the band’s best release to date, which is saying something because I do not think their previous releases are to be overlooked.

    I am quite familiar with these Italian thrash metal musicians as I remember reviewing their second album, “Burst into the Quite,” which was released through Scarlett Records. Ever since I reviewed that album I have reviewed every new Game Over release. On each new album I hear the band getting even better, especially pertaining to songwriting and musicianship. The band knows how to compose some catchy riffs along with vivid lyrical content that takes control of your metal mind.

    Out of the ten tracks you will not find one throw away song, because Game Over is not a band to write a generic piece of worship rubbish. As I said before, the band keeps building off previous releases and finds new ways to utilize their vicious and ravenous thrash sound. The opening instrumental piece, “Onward to the Blackness,” contains an eerie synth part like something from a John Carpenter film and then demonstrates the solid guitar talents that this band has to offer. The chord progression matched with the epic lead part towards the end made this one of the most well produced intro’s I have heard in a longtime.

   The second song, “Two Steps in the Shadows,” begins where the opening instrumental finished and explodes into a furious jam of riff insanity. There are some killer bass lines and the drumming adds such a devastating impact at times. Game Over’s vocalist lays down some raw shouts of unapologetic rage that compliment the vicious guitar parts. Track three, “Last Before the End,” hits your ears with some bombastic drumming and crushing riffs. The next song, “My Private Nightmare,” tears through more speed demon like thrash riffs and has a very old school thrash sound.

    The song, “Blessed are the Heretics,” is a song I have heard before when I reviewed the Ep by the same. That track was a great preview of what this album would sound like and I think the lead guitar playing on the song showed how Game Over is really coming along in terms of technicality. The songs “Eleven” and “Broken Trails,” are gritty cuts of thrash that make you just want to bang your head and run into the pit. Adding some variation to the album, “Shattered Souls,” is an instrumental piece of classical acoustic guitar. Game Over has done this before with the acoustic guitar composition thrown in on previous releases and I think it really shows how they are extremely talented musicians.

    Track number nine, “Lysander,” has a very raw sound and the chorus in the song is well presented by the vocalist with his unforgiving bold style of singing. Finishing the album in explosive thrash style is, “Show Me What you Got.” There are numerous catchy riff sections that you find stuck in your head once the song is over.

    After listening to Game over's new album, I am reminded why I keep reviewing each new release from these guys. The production was top notch, the riffs were killer and the music reminded you of old school thrash, yet was presented in a distinct and original manner. Game Over’s “Claiming Supremacy,” is an album to definitely check out and the band is sure to be releasing more material based on their past record. When it comes to new thrash metal music, the game is never over for Game Over...they just keep music coming!

Game Over Facebook Page:

Sunday, September 10, 2017

On Top "Top Dollar"

    Provocative album covers and some down and dirty eighties hard rock and metal music seems to be On Top’s formula. These Philadelphia rockers bring the loud guitar attack along with those songs that remind you of LA in the eighties and when Chris Holmes still had a liver that was sort of functional.

    This trio has crossed my path before with their previous EP appropriately titled, “Topless,” which featured the backside of a naked tattooed vixen. I do feel that their new EP, “Top Dollar,” is a slight improvement to where band is trying to break out of that generic hard rock and metal worship category and are climbing towards the peaks of being a strong act. Still, there are areas where I feel the band could improve.

    Now, the musicianship from this power trio should not to be overlooked. The guitar playing is exciting and the riffs on the new EP really grab your attention. Also, the production isn’t to shabby, especially the drum sound and bass tone. On Top’s sound is tight and the production for the album is definitely welcomed. On Top’s singer has a unique style that compliments the instrumental compositions by being less melodic and more ballsy with plenty of pissed off sounding attitude.

    The EP contains four songs of rock and roll fury with “Lovin’ the Devil,” “Walk the Walk,” “Everything,” and “This Way.” The band stays extremely consistent on each track and musically there is little variation. I guess you can take that as a positive if you are looking for a consistent and solid rock release, however, don’t expect some dynamic twenty minute epic if that is what you are searching for musically. I really enjoyed, “Lovin’ the Devil,” the most and the intro guitar lead was a great way to begin the song. The guitarist has a great tone and sort of steals the show by laying down plenty of killer riffs.

    Track number two, “Walk the Walk,” is a decent track and the lyrical presentation is strong. The singer sounds pissed off as if someone has taken his beer and his money then tricked him into signing a record deal where he has lost all the rights to his music. I thought track number three, “Everything,” contained a catchy main riff along with a feverish main rhythm. “This Way,” ended the album with yet another ripping hard rock attack and was really not much different is structure to the previous tracks.

    Overall, I am torn when deciding how to give a final assessment of this EP. I think if this was the first time hearing On Top I would not be as impressed, but because I have reviewed an EP of theirs before I definitely applaud the improvement. The guitar playing was taken to another level, which I think the band should build off of with their next release. Maybe incorporate some more variation into the songs and always work towards crafting songs with substance. In the end, these guys are doing a solid job and I look forward to their album cover pissing off those SJW feminist types. You never know, these guys might bring back the Sunset Strip days by releasing a killer album, although I don’t think Chris Holmes’s liver will ever return to normal.

On Top "Lovin' the Devil" :

Monday, August 28, 2017

Recommendation: Graveland "Thousand Swords"

    After wanting to own a physical copy of Graveland’s “Thousand Swords” for many years, I was finally able to acquire the album on vinyl from Hells Headbangers. “Thousand Swords,” is one of my favorite black metal albums and in my opinion features some of the most profound black metal recordings one can find. I've decided to write a recommendation in hopes of getting more people to check out this classic black metal release that I find to be extremely enjoyable.

    Released in 1995, the album was the band’s second full-length album following their debut, “Carpathian Wolves,” along with a handful of killer demos. When comparing “Thousand Swords” to their previous works one can hear where Graveland finally forms their unique musical identity. Rob Darken the main driving force behind Graveland composed what I consider to be the soundtrack for an assault on Christianity by a Pagan army of merciless warriors. Along with drummer, Capricornus, the songs contain a raw and unholy sound of distorted bombastic terror.

    The album’s intro builds up great anticipation for the first song, “Blood of Christians on My Sword,” and once the main riff begins you feel drawn into the harsh sounding assault of musical carnage. There are some clever tempo changes that demonstrate how the band does not just come up with straightforward tremolo picking black metal riffs. The next song, “Thousand Swords” continues the war like theme with more fearsome sounding riffs and drum parts. There are these horns that blare  over the music as if signaling for an attack upon a helpless village and adds to the albums strong theme.

    “The Dark Battlefield” and “The Time for Revenge,” maintain that raw black metal sound by unleashing more extreme sounding pieces of distorted grim chaos. I also find Darken’s vocals to be some of the most haunting black metal vocals and they work well with the instrumental compositions. On “Born for War,” you can hear the unapologetic attitude of the band come through the vicious main verse section. “Black Metal War,” is a short yet aggressive sounding track and declares war against those who are the enemies of this type of music. The final song, “To Die in Fight,” features some powerful lyrics that tell of falling in battle and awaiting the journey to that hall up high with the other fallen warriors.

    Overall, I find “Thousand Swords” to be such an underrated black metal release that deserves more attention. We have given too much exposure to the Norwegian black metal scene and all there albums, and I feel it is important to focus on the accomplishments of Graveland who have been very influential over the years amongst the underground black metal community.

    I also want to bring attention to how I am disgusted my Antifa and all those SJW morons who have labeled Graveland’s music as racist and a tool for promoting white supremacy. These groups don’t have a clue, because not once on “Thousand Swords” do you hear the band trying to promote Nazi ideology. The music is about paying homage to their European Pagan ancestors, so the whole they are Nazi sympathizers needs to stop. In conclusion, check out this album if you have not and remember to ignore those Antifa jerks who are the real fascist... and pieces of shit.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Paralysis Album "Life Sentence"

    Usually when I think of New Jersey and thrash metal two bands come to mind right away, those two being Overkill and Whiplash. After listening to Paralysis and their debut full-length release, “Life Sentence,” it looks like there is another band from the Garden State that knows how to deliver some cranium crushing thrash metal music.

    Paralysis is a young band with tons of potential and the music on this debut full-length demonstrates great crossover thrash talent. There are too many bands who rush their recordings and release in my opinion generic worship music which shows no imagination and consideration for quality. The production quality and the songwriting are two areas where I felt Paralysis did very well, especially considering this is their first full-length album. Although they are not reinventing the wheel, these guys are keeping that brutal crossover thrash style alive and kicking.

    “Life Sentence,” contains ten songs of headbanging aggression with raw thrash riffs that will conjure instantaneous mosh pits of relentless brutality. The opening track, “Ignorance,” brilliantly builds up anticipation with a killer bass riff and the slower tempo eventually explodes into a tornado of thrash chaos. I really liked the singers vocal style and he delivers the lyrics with an aggressive and unapologetic attitude. Plus, the vocals were extremely well recorded, so the lyrics vividly standout during the song. The second song, “Your Will,” contains some catchy riffs that fans of old school thrash will feverishly enjoy.

    Songs like the title track and track number four “Misery,” don’t stray far away from the traditional crossover thrash formula, but these guys do not write boring recycled riffs of monotonous garbage. Other tracks I want to mention would be, “Deepest Void,” “Nothing But Death,” and “Karma.” The lead guitar part at the end of, “Deepest Void,” sounded great when matched with the overall composition. “Nothing But Death,” contains an adrenaline pumping verse riff that makes way for a classic sounding eighties thrash chorus section. The final song on the album, “Karma,” hammers out some intense sounding riffs that are as fast as a blood craving shark. I really hope their live shows bring about the same level of energy which they offered up on this album, because I bet the venue would be decimated after their set.

    I find when evaluating young metal bands you need to understand that even though their style of music is nothing new, at least they are breathing new life into the genre and keeping the music alive. Paralysis showed that they know how to write some vicious sounding riffs, lay down some tight drum parts and can get the job done by recording some good quality crossover thrash. In the years to come we shall see where Paralysis will take their music, but I hope they always maintain their solid raw and unforgiving sound. Like with all those bands who came before, it is about crafting a sound that can stand the test of time. I do believe Paralysis is on a good path and I think the world of thrash will begin to take more notice with the release of this new album.

Paralysis "Life Sentence" :

Paralysis Facebook Page:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Toxik "Breaking Class"

    Highly respected for being a pioneering force in the world technical and progressive thrash, Toxik is seeking to conquer 2017 with some epic new material. The band will be releasing a new three song EP called, “Breaking Class,” August 4th and there is talk of a full-length album to be out around the end of the year.

    Although Toxik may not receive the same mainstream recognition as Metallica, the band has a strong cult following who will lose their metal minds once they hear Toxik is releasing new material. Toxik’s first two albums, “World Circus” (1987) and “Think This” (1989) are brilliant releases that pushed thrash into a more technical and progressive world back in that mid-eighties to late-eighties period. I have friends who play in bands that worship Toxik and work on crafting their music in a similar fashion by being progressive with thrash instead of just copying the same old generic song structures.

    The new EP, “Breaking Class,” features three songs that continue to fuel the minds of thrash fanatics with insane lead parts accompanied by thought provoking lyrics. Josh Christian, guitarist and founding member of Toxik, is an unbelievable player with such a tremendous technical style that crafts some wicked riffs. Singer Charles Sabin who joined the band for the “Think This” album, delivers a killer vocal performance and I think he is one of the best singers in the thrash/speed metal genre. Toxik has always been about high caliber musicianship, so one should expect that this new music is far from basic and simplistic.

    The opening song, “Stand Up,” starts out with an eerie sound clip of children singing “America the Beautiful” and then explodes into a furious thrash assault. Josh lays down some vicious riffs of blistering fury and his leads are extremely well executed. He demonstrates that playing fast does not mean shit if your solos can’t compliment the music. All around the band’s sound is impactful and each musician contributes an equal amount of monumental energy to the song.

    The second track, “Breaking Class,” definitely maintains that rapid fire tempo of technical thrash madness with crushing drum parts and blazing guitar riffs. Some of the riffs even reminded me of something you would have heard on, “World Circus.” Instead of just hammering out recycled riffs, Toxik strives to add a refreshing variety of clever sounding instrumental compositions. The final song, “Psyop,” is probably my favorite song off the EP. There are plenty of dynamic compositions that fans will be frantically banging their heads along to when listening at max volume. Musically you just can’t complain and the song keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

    Even though there are only three songs, fans of Toxik are going to want to pick this up when it is released. Also, I am definitely looking forward to a full-length release from Toxik. Unlike some bands who return after a long hiatus, Toxik is not hastily rushing to throw an album together. These guys take pride in their music and the new tracks show a desire to offer fans some brilliant technical and progressive thrash metal. Plus, I think right about now is a great time for Toxik to return since the world is truly becoming a World Circus! …Just look at the news! ...Don't do that actually, but instead listen to Toxik!

Toxik "Stand Up" :

Toxik Facebook:

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Phylactery "Necromancy Enthroned"

    Hellish death thrash devastation invades the metal world with Phylactery’s debut full-length release, “Necromancy Enthroned.” These Canadian extreme metal musicians take the relentless speed of thrash with the unforgiving brutality of old school death metal and create some terrorizing sounds of unholy proportions.

    Phylactery happens to be yet another band from Unspeakable Axe Records that does not disappoint and knows how to construct solid extreme metal music. Their debut album features eleven tracks of vicious riffs, thunderous drumming and demonic sounding vocals of unworldly terror. For their first album I think the band did a solid job crafting a unique raw and brutal sound that simply does not fall into the category of generic metal garbage.

    Each track on the album runs about the same length of time and the songs are usually about two to three minutes long. I think length of each song is just perfect for the band to deliver their merciless death thrash assault. If the songs were longer I believe the band would be recycling riffs to the point of complete and unbearable redundancy. The opening song off the album, “Risen Restless Dead,” wastes no time by thrashing away at a flesh tearing riff. Even though the song is short there are plenty of distinct riffs that are vicious yet extremely catchy. The band’s nonstop aggression continues on the second track, “Wisdom of Heretics,” with bombastic drumming and lightning fast guitar parts. I really liked the guitar solo, because the lead guitarist composed something that actually complimented the song instead of being a random hurricane of obnoxious shredding. Don’t get me wrong, I like shredding when it has a purpose and is not just an excuse to show how fast you can play through scales.

    Out of the elven tracks I find choosing a favorite to be a difficult task, but I will name some of the ones that I think standout a little more than the others. “Morbid Existence,” is a furious cut of metal music with insane sounding verse sections accompanied by haunting vocal parts. “Where I Dwell” contains some bone crushing guitar riffs and the bass sound adds an extra explosion to the distorted fiery chaos. I have talked about this before in previous reviews and still want to stress the importance of having a strong bass sound. There are some bands who turn the bass volume down to where I question if the bass player even showed up during the recording process. The final song I want to mention is, “Enslaved by the Dawn.” On this track the band delivers some nasty riffs of raw thrash attitude. I want to try and compare them to other bands, however, it is hard because their sound takes from so many different extreme metal elements.

    For their debut album I think Phylactery did a great job being themselves and leaving room for them to take their music into an even more unforgiving and brutal level. Some bands want to hit home runs for their first album, but sometimes just offering a consistent brutal sound is enough to peak the interest of listeners. Highly recommended for people who desire some vicious thrash and raw old school death metal blended together into one diabolical concoction. Also, I recommend people check them out because they are signed to Unspeakable Axe Records. I trust Unspeakable Axe Records more than I trust the people in charge of running the state I live in…

Phylactery "Unholy Empire" :

Phylactery Facebook Page:

Unspeakable Axe Records Facebook: