Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wyld/Stoned/2014 EP Review

  Wyld  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  mixture  of  heavy  rock  and  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  release d 2014  ep  "Stoned".

  Am  radio  sounds  start  off  the  ep  before  going  into  a  heavy  70's  rock  style  riff  along  with  some  fast  and  energetic  vocals  which  leads  up  to  some  classic  rock  style  vocals  and  the  band  also  takes  a  proto  style  of  metal  and  makes  it  sound  more  modern  and  after  awhile  blues  style  guitar  leads  are  added  into  the  bands  musical  sound.

  The  following  track  sees  the  band  adding  in  military  style  drum  beats  before  going  into  a  heavier  direction  which  is  more  close  to  sludge,  stoner  or  southern  metal  which  they  also  mix  in  with  a  blues  rock  sound  and  the  following  track  starts  out  with  pot  smoking  before  returning  back  to  a  heavy  rock  direction  while  the  last  song  sees  the  band  bringing  in clean  guitars  as  well  as  being  a  short  instrumental.

  Wyld  plays  a  heavy  style  of  rock  that  brings  in  the  heaviness  of  metal  and  while  it  is  not  completely  original  the  songs  still  sound  very  great  and  contain  the  best  element s of  this  genre,  the production  sound s very  professional  for  being  a  self  released  recording  while  the  lyrics  cover  pot  smoking  and  real  life  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Wyld  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  heavy  rock  and  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Venomous  Poison"  and  "Stoned".  8  out  of  10.  



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Rise Of The Northstar/Welcame/Repression Records/2014 CD Review

  Rise  Of  The  Northstar  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  mixture  of  thrash,  manga,  metalcore  and  hardcore  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Welcame"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Repression  Records.

  Acoustic  guitars  start  off  the  album  along  with  a  melodic  guitar  lead  before  going  into  a  more  heavy  metalcore  direction  along  with  some  blast  beats  and  aggressive  screams  which  leads  up  to  some  spoken  vocals  which  go  into  a  more  hardcore  direction  along  with  back  up  gang  shouts  and  breakdown's.

  All  of  the  musical   instruments  on  the  recording  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  after  awhile  melodic  guitar  solos and  leads  find  their  way  into  the  music  and   the  band  has  a  musical  style  that  goes  back  to  the  early  90's  style  of  hardcore  while  also  having  the  aggression  of  thrash  metal.

  You  can  hear  a  little  bit  of  hip  hop  being  mixed  in  with  the  hardcore  elements  at  times  and  they  also  bring  in  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts  and  on  some  of  the  later  tracks  clean  singing  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  after  awhile  more  modern  elements  of  metalcore  can  be  heard  in  the  bands  musical  sound.  and  as  the  album  progresses  you  can  hear  some  death  metal  influences  being  added  into  the  bands  musical  sound.

  Rise  Of  The  Northstar  takes  the  90's  style  of  New  York  hardcore  and  mixes  it  with  the  aggression  of  thrash  metal  and  adds  in  element s of  metalcore  to  give  their  music  a  more  modern  day  sound,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  samurai  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Rise  Of  the  Northstar  are  a  very  great  sounding  mixture  of  thrash  metal,  hardcore  and  metalcore  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "What  The  Fuck"  "Samurai  Spirit"  "Tyson"  and  "Blast  'Em  All".  8  out  of  10.     

Friday, July 25, 2014

XII Boar Interview

   1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?   We are XII Boar (pronounced ‘Twelve Boar’) from the small town of Aldershot in the south of England, UK. We play no bullshit, straight to the point, adrenaline-fuelled metal n’ roll.   We're a three-piece who all met a while back through a mutual love of metal, boozing and 90’s wrestling. Having jammed together in a few bands for a number of years, it wasn't until around late 2010 that we got it together and formed the band you see today. Since then it’s just been going from strength-to-strength and we've been making serious waves in the stoner scene.  

  2.So far you have released a 7 inch and 2 ep's how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on all of the releases and also how do they differ from each other?   Musically I’d say we’re a catchy blend of punishing southern-fried grooves, intense thrashing energy and low down dirty riffs. Basically, pure unadulterated fun. We’re not ashamed to play music that makes you want to get up and enjoy yourself. There’s far too many ‘serious’ bands out there who wouldn't dream of playing anything other than blast beats and songs about their ex-girlfriend.   Our first EP ‘XII’ was a good indication of our roots; metal, thrash, stoner, groove. The production is raw and the songs are frantic, but in the best kind of way. I think it wasn't until our second EP ‘Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof’ that we really hit our stride. We stepped everything up ten notches – song writing, production, lyrics. It definitely helped shape how the XII Boar sound can be described as today.   Recently we released the 7” single ‘Truck Stop Baby’ which continues the precedent we set ourselves. It follows a more traditional hard rock structure but with a mammoth groove and swagger, which is definitely the direction we’re headed with our future songs. We’re actually just about to head into the studio to record our debut LP, which will blow your minds, trust me!  

 3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?   Jeeez, well where do we start?! Obviously we've got songs about sleazy girls and hard liquor, but we've also got songs about Mayan prophecies, flying snakes and three-eyed monsters! We’re not limiting ourselves to one area, each song definitely is a journey unto itself.  

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'XII  Boar'?   The name XII Boar is basically derived from a 12 bore shotgun. But because we’re clever we used Roman numerals and a wild pig. You could read into it and say that the name reflects the power and ferociousness of our music, but really it just sounds cool.  
 5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?   We really pride ourselves on our live performance, we've always considered it to be a ‘show’ and at a show people want to be entertained. We see so many bands who just stand still on stage and play their songs one after another, it’s just lame! Our mentality is that if we’re enjoying ourselves then the audience will, and if we’re jumping off drum risers, spinning across the stages and tearing it up like a motherfucker every night then we can’t lose.   We recently supported Corrosion of Conformity at The Underworld, London which was immense! It’s incredible to be able to share a stage with some of your idols, so we certainly brought our A-game that night. Other highlights have got to be Bloodstock 2013 and Hard Rock Hell 2012, but some of the best shows are usually the ones that you think will be the worst. Viva la Scunthorpe!    

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?   Plenty! In a couple of weeks we’re travelling across to Germany to support the mighty Crowbar, which we cannot wait for! Then in early September we’re flying out to both Spain and Norway to make our mark over there. Beyond that we’ll be ploughing through the UK scene making booties shake all over the place.    

7.Currently you are unsigned, are you looking for a label or have received any interest?   We certainly are, as previously mentioned we’re about to go into the studio to record our first full-length album so we’ll be looking for a label to put it out. We've had some interest already but we’re not jumping the gun just yet…    

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of stoner, sludge and metal?   The response has been amazing really. Right from the get go, we had people downloading, reviewing and listening to our music from all over the globe. We constantly ship out merchandise to countries beyond our own and to now be invited to these places to play a live show is just a dream come true.   I think our sound appeals to quite a range of music fans; the stoner rockers like our fuzz and grooves, the metalheads dig our aggression and double kicks, the oldies like our banter and 70’s rock vibes – the feedback we get is constantly great, even my Mum likes it!  

 9.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?   The full length is written it’s just a matter of recording it, which is happening mid August this year. Once it’s done we’re aiming to have it released by the end of the year. This album has it all really, everything you’d come to expect from XII Boar and more.  

 10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?   Well we’re definitely influenced by stuff like Sabbath, Crowbar, High on Fire, Clutch, Deep Purple, ZZ Top, The Sword - but we all grew up listening to metal of some description. We’re not really limiting ourselves to taking influence from somewhere though, I mean Tommy listens to a lot of reggae and hip-hop whilst I like my death metal and doom. As long as it floats our boat in some way then we’ll give it a listen.  

  11.What are some of your non musical interests?   Our shared interests include - jazz mags, weight lifting, swearing loudly, Co-op pasties and bigfoot.  

 12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?   Cheers for all the support, check us out on FB and come say hi at a show. Peace!

Skyconqueror/Under The Pentagram/2014 CD Review

  Skyconqueror  are  a  band  from  Germany  that  plays  an  old  school  form  of heavy  metal    and  this  is  a  review  of  their  self  released  2014  album  "Under  the  Pentagram".

  A very  dark  and  distorted  sound  starts  off  before  going  into  a  more  NWOBHM  style  direction  along  with  some  melodic  vocals  and  the music  sounds  like  it  could  of  easily  been  recorded  in  1981  and  after  awhile  you  can  hear  some  elements  of  speed  and  power  metal  in  the  bands  musical  sound  when  they  start  adding  in  more  fast  parts.

  All  of  the  musical  instruments  on  the  album  have  a  very  powerful  sound  to  them  and  the  solos  and  leads  the  band  uses  brings  a  very  dark,  evil  and  melodic  sound  to  the  bands  musical  style  while  still  keeping  the  traditional  metal  feeling  alive  and  after  awhile  clean  playing  and  spoken  word  parts  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording.

  There  is  a  great  amount  of  melody  in  the  guitar  riffing  along  with  some  heavy  parts  that  have  almost  an  early  thrash  feeling  to  them  while  the  music  sticks  closer  to  more  of  a  traditional  metal  style  and  one  of  the  later  tracks  sees  the  band  adding  in  a  brief  use  of  acoustic  guitars  along  with  a  power  ballad  before  returning  back  to  a  harder  direction on  the  following  tracks  along  with  some  12  bar  chords  being  utilized  on  the  title  track  and  some  of  the  later  songs  also  see  the  band  adding  in  elements  of  70's  metal  as  well  as  bringing  in  a  small  amount  of  back  up  gang  shouts,  a s the  album  gets  closer  to  the  end  there  is  an  instrumental  added  onto  the  recording  and  they  close  the  album  with  a  couple  of  proto  speed  and  power  metal  tracks.

  Skyconqueror  goes  back  to  an  era  where  heavy  metal  was  heavy  metal  and  there  where  not  many  sub  genres  and  you  can  hear  a  lot  of  what  later  evolved  into  speed  and  power  metal  in  the  bands  musical  sound  and  while  this  is  a  younger  band  from  the  modern  days  all  of  their  music  sounds  30  to  35  years  old  that  is  how  perfect  they  got  this  sound  done,  the  production  has  a  very  old  school  yet  professional  sound  while  the  lyrics  cover  a  variety  of  many  different  occult  topics.  

  In  my  opinion  Skyconqueror  are  a  very  great  sounding  heavy  metal  band  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  this  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  album.   RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Demon"  "Horseman  Of  The  Grail"  "Under  the  Pentagram"  and  "Blade  Of  Black".  8/5  out  of  10. 

Crystal Eyes Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new album?

We finished the recording in August last year and then Stefan left the band after 12 years of drumming so we had to find a new drummer. It actually didn't take long because our old drummer from 20-years ago was just waiting for this opportunity and he fitted in the band right away. Me and Niclas had also been playing with him in the same Judas Priest tribute band Defenders Of The Faith  since 2001 so we knew he would make it. We mixed and mastered the CD in Studio Fredman in November but didn't get a release date until the 25th of July. We've been practicing like hell and are   now ready to play all over the world.

2.Recently you have released a new album, how would you describe the musicla sound that is presented on the new recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

The main difference is obviously the vocals which seem to be praised by everyone and I guess I should have sung the last 3 records instead of Daniel and Nico. Song wise it's probably more straight to the point than before but it's still in the vain of the great Heavy Metal from the eighties with bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept, Dio, Ozzy, Helloween etc. The focus is always on the melodies and great guitar riffs. I'm really proud of this new record which already received great reviews.

3.The band was formed in 1992 when there where not many bands playing a more traditional style of metal back then, do you feel this genre has made a huge comeback over the years?

When me and Niclas started the band in 1992 Heavy Metal was pretty much dead. I think Bruce Dickinsons return to Iron Maiden in 2001 was a big change in all this and the real music has grown since then. Even though I don't think the songs have the same class or standard as in the eighties I'm  glad that grunge is dead =)

4.This is the first album to be released since 2008, can you tell us a little bit more about the 6 year gap between releases?

After “Chained” was released Nico left the band because of time issues so I took over the vocals once again. Then there was trouble with Paul so he left and Niclas came back. When we had just finished the recording of “Killer” Stefan left and Martin came back. I guess you could say we've had a real member shifting circus during the last years. Beside this we all have regular jobs and families and it's not always easy to find time or get inspiration to write songs. At least we did a 20-years anniversary show 2 years ago with old members playing songs from all records and that was great fun. Right now everything feels perfect with the new line-up so things are looking very bright.

5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the new release?

I always write about things in real life but try to not make it to obvious and with I kind of fantasy touch just like Dio did. It's usually not about what you think it is =)

6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Crystal Eyes'?

There's no meaning at all. We had a bunch of ideas for a band name and we just thought this sounded best.

7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

I have some great memories opening for Blind Guardian when we were still a demo-band and then playing before Yngwie Malmsteen after our second record. The Sweden Rock Festivals gigs 2003 and 2005 are also something I never will forget. It's not easy to describe our live performance so you just have to see it for yourself.

8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new release?

We're negotiation with a booking agency right now so we just have to wait and see.

9.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your newer music by fans of heavy and power metal?

Extremely overwhelming. The reviews just started to end up on the internet a week ago and it looks like we've made a Killer record!

10.What is going on with some of the other musical projects these days that some of the band members are involved with?

Me, Niclas and Martin are still in Defenders Of The Faith which we started in 1993 to pay tribute to the gods of Heavy Metal: Judas Priest. This is just a band with old friends having some fun and doing some gigs every now and then. We actually played at Sweden Rock Festival in 2008 the day before Judas Priest. We made it to the final in a tribute band competition were we ended up number 3. For myself I made a guest appearance on Azoria's debut record and it turned out to be the single video a couple of months ago.

11.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

I've written all Crystal Eyes songs on all records but I never now where I'm heading before I start writing. I don't think of it as a record when I write because it's all about the song in the beginning. It can be influences from anything from Def Leppard – Pyromania to Judas Priest – Painkiller. A god song is always a god song but right now I have no idea.

12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your newer music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

I'm still listening to what I was listening to in the eighties. I always go back to Priest, Maiden, Sabbath, Accept, Dio, Helloween, Manowar etc. Of course I'm looking for new music all the time but it's very rare to find anything god these days, it feels like no one cares about the songs or melodies anymore.

13.What are some of your non musical interests?

My family is my only interest beside music.

14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?

Buy Killer if you're into real Heavy Metal.


Big Black Cloud/Lessons In Fuck You 2/Eolian Empire/2014 CD Review

  Big  Black  Cloud  are  a  band  from  Portland,  Oregon  that  plays  a  mixture  of  punk,  hardcore  and  noise  rock  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Lessons  In  Fuck  You  2"  which  will  be  released  in  August  by  Eolian  Empire.

  Distorted  slide  guitars  start  off  the  album  before  the  music  goes  into  a  more  heavier  direction  along  with  some  shouting  vocals,  melodies  and  all  of  the  musical  instruments  sounding  very  powerful  and  the  music  style  is  more  closer  to  a  noise  rock  direction  while  also  having  the  energy  of  punk  rock.

  Psychedelic  sounds  can  be  heard  in  certain  sections  of  the  recording  and  there  is  a  garage  rock  feeling  being  displayed  in  all  of  the  tracks  that  are  present  on  this  recording  and  there  are  also  a  good  amount  of  guitar  leads  and  diversity  being  present  throughout  the  recording  and  the  band  also  brings  in  a  good  mixture  of  both  vocal  and  instrumental  tracks.

  Big  Black  Cloud  creates  a  very  original  sound  that  is  hard  to  categorize  and  brings  in  elements  of  punk,  post  hardcore,  noise  rock,  garage  and  psychedelia  to  create  the  sound  that  is  present  on  this  recording,  the  production  sounds  very  professional  while  the  lyrics  cover  science  fiction  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Big  Black  Cloud  are  a  very  great sounding  mixture  of  noise  rock,  punk  and  garage  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical  genre,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Black  Sunday"  "Satellites"  "Hate  in  Outer  Space"  and  "Saturn".  8  out  of  10.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pord/Wild/Solar Flare Records/2014 CD Review

  Pord  are  a  band  from  France  that  plays  a  mixture  of  noise  rock  and  metal  and  this  is  a  review  of  their  2014  album  "Wild"  which  will  be  released  in  September  by  Solar  Flare  Records.

  Powerful  sounding  bass  guitars  start  off  the  album  along  with  some  fast  rhythm  guitars  and  a  few  seconds  later  aggressive  vocals  are  added  into  the  music which  leads  up  to  a  more  heavy  noise  rock  direction  which  also  utilizes  some  distorted  and  melodic  leads  and  the  musical  style  is  more  in  an  early  90's  direction.

   You  can  hear  a  decent  amount  of  punk  rock  elements  in  the  bands  musical  style  along  with  the  heaviness  of  metal  and  as  the  album  progresses  the  band  brings  in  a  couple  of  long  and  epic  in  length  tracks  along  with  some  shouting  style  hardcore  vocals  and  at  time s you  can  also  hear  the  guitars  alternating  between  clean  and  heavy  parts  as  well  as  the  influence  of  post  hardcore  being  utilized  at  times  and  the  music  also  uses  a  good  mixture  of  slow,  mid  paced  and  fast  parts.

  Pord  plays  a  style  of  noise  rock  that  takes  the  energy  of  punk  and  hardcore  and  mixes  it  in  with  the  heaviness  of  metal  and  while  their  is  not  much  in  the  way  of  originality  presented  in  the  music  the  band  are  still  very  good  at  what  they  do,  the  production  sounds  very  heavy  and  old  school  while  the  lyrics  cover  real  life  themes.

  In  my  opinion  Pord  are  a  very  decent  sounding  mixture  of  noise  rock  and  metal  and  if  you  are  a  fan  of  those  musical genres,  you  should  check  out  this  band.  RECOMMENDED  TRACKS  INCLUDE  "Staring  Into  Space"  "What  Are  Tuesdays  For?"  and  "On  The  Couch".  7/5  out  of  10.