Album Review – Exterminated / The Genesis of Genocide (2021)

It’s time for total extermination to the sound of the skull-crushing Death Metal blasted by this unrelenting duo hailing from the Philippines.

3.0rating

exterminated-the-genesis-of-genocide-2021Beneath the soft skin of the human animal seethes a mass of venom and vitriol, a ravenous beast that constantly tests the chains of restraint that bind it. That’s the core essence from the infernal music blasted by the duo Myke Pardo (Anal Fissure) on vocals and Ace Estandian (Anal Fissure, Guillotined) on the guitars, known as the ruthless Brutal Death Metal/Deathslam two-headed beast Exterminated. Forged in the fires of Dasmariñas, a city located in the province of Cavite, in the Philippines in 2016, Exterminated have just unleashed upon us all their first full-length album, entitled The Genesis of Genocide, the follow-up to their 2018 EP Elements of Obliteration, being highly recommended for fans of Cerebral Bore, Chancroid, Guttural Secrete and Pathology. The Genesis of Genocide is an intimidating explosion of feral hate that taps into the vein of lust and violence that runs through the human condition like a seam of black blood, representing a new high in their career as Exterminated push the limits of sonic extremity and skull-crushing Death Metal to the breaking point.

The duo’s gruesome Death Metal attack begins in full force with Systematic Holocaust, where Myke sounds like a deranged beast on vocals, vomiting the song’s lyrics while Ace slhreds his stringed axe nonstop, not to mention how organic and primeval the programmed drums sound and feel, and continuing their path of devastation it’s time for the Deathslam extravaganza Impulsive Decimation, where they need less than three minutes to pulverize us all with their infernal music, once again inviting us to smash our cranial skulls into the circle pit. There’s not a single second to breathe as Exterminated fire another Brutal Death Metal tune titled Detrimentum, showcasing the trademark guttural roars by Myke accompanied by the sick riffage by Ace, and let’s keep slamming to the sound of Murderous Intent, where the song’s demented beats will hammer your heads mercilessly while Myke keeps doing what he does best, which is barking the song’s sick words viciously.

Myke’s roars get deeper and more bestial in the pulverizing Grave for the Slaughtered, where Ace doesn’t stop delivering sulfurous riffs, therefore resulting in a lecture in raw, primeval Deathslam tailored for admirers of the genre; whereas in Inevitable Annihilation we’re treated to some wicked backing vocals which enhance Myke’s putrid performance even more, while the instrumental pieces go straight to your jugular. Are you tired already? Because those Filipino death metallers will keep crushing your souls in Chaotic Dimension of the Insane, perfect for headbanging to the sound of the ass-kicking riffs by Ace, and there’s no sign of them slowing down, as Ace continues to kill on the guitar while Myke growls and gnarls in great Death Metal fashion in Abyss of the Dead, also offering some interesting breaks and variations, and  the duo offers us sheer madness and violence to properly close the album with The Art of Mutilation, again displaying a dynamic (and vile) alternation between deeper growling and demonic screeches.

exterminated-2021Although Brutal Death Metal is not usually recommended for the average rock and metal listener, the music by Exterminated might be exactly what you need to get your first taste of such distinct subgenre of extreme music, heading into the circle pit like the true metalhead that you are. Hence, don’t forget to show your support to those talented and unrelenting Filipino metallers by following them on Facebook, and by grabbing your copy of The Genesis of Genocide from Comatose Music’s BandCamp page or webstore, as well as from Monster Music & Movies. Myke and Ace are not among us to only prove Filipino extreme music can be just as brutal and visceral as the classics found in North America and Europe, but also to provide us another excellent soundtrack for the inevitable end of the world as we know it, or maybe I should say the genesis of the extermination of the human race.

Best moments of the album: Impulsive Decimation, Grave for the Slaughtered and Chaotic Dimension of the Insane.

Worst moments of the album: Detrimentum.

Released in 2021 Comatose Music

Track listing
1. Systematic Holocaust 3:51
2. Impulsive Decimation 2:49
3. Detrimentum 3:19
4. Murderous Intent 3:05
5. Grave for the Slaughtered 3:46
6. Inevitable Annihilation 3:32
7. Chaotic Dimension of the Insane 3:11
8. Abyss of the Dead 3:33
9. The Art of Mutilation 4:11

Band members
Myke Pardo – vocals
Ace Estandian – guitars, drum programming

Album Review – Ildaruni / Beyond Unseen Gateways (2021)

A spiritual journey to the mysteries untold in the form relentless, epic Black Metal infused with ancient folk melodies, masterfully brought forth by this emerging Armenian raging force.

3.5rating

ildaruni-beyond-unseen-gateways-2021Having emerged as a raging force from the depths of the Armenian underground metal scene in 2016, Yerevan-based Pagan Black Metal horde Ildaruni (which by the way is the ancient pagan name of the second largest river that flows through Armenia, currently known as Hrazdan River) represents a blend of relentless, epic Black Metal and ancient folk melodies, forgotten from times immemorial, exploring the height of the Urartian domain through the cognitive machinations of a bygone age and the esoteric apprehension of ancient pagan occultism. Recorded by Armen Shaverdian and Mark Erskine at Armen Shaverdian’s Guitar Clinic Studio, mixed and mastered by George Emmanuel (Lucifer’s Child, Rotting Chris) at Pentagram Studio, and displaying an ominous artwork by Mark Erskine (Erskine Designs), the band’s debut opus Beyond Unseen Gateways is a hymn to the blazing light that sank into shadowy shrines, to the wild darkness that covered the debris of Ardini, and to the bygone flame that enlightened the sanctum of Haldi, introducing an authentic sound and a spiritual journey to the mysteries untold masterfully brought forth by frontman Artak Karapetyan, guitarists Robert Meliksetyan and Mark Erskine, bassist Garbis Vizoian and drummer Arthur Poghosyan.

Atmospheric and epic from the very first second, the intro Haldinini Baushini, Imsheini Tariani will transport you to the fantastic realm ruled by Ildaruni, with the tin whistle by guest Arthur Atayan adding an extra touch of mystery to their music, before Robert and Mark begin slashing their guitars in the Epic Metal tune Treading the Path of Cryptic Wisdom, presenting beautiful hints of Folk and Pagan Metal while Artak roars and growls lie a true demonic entity; followed by the also imposing Perpetual Vigil, showcasing an obscure, sinister intro led by the tribal beats by Arthur and morphing into a headbanging beast crafted by this talented Armenian horde, living up to the legacy of Melodic and Pagan Black Metal. And get ready for over eight minutes of infernal blast beats, incendiary riffs and venomous growls in the Black Metal aria Boundless Numen: Gardens of Ardini, a lecture in extreme music spearheaded by the sulfurous vociferations by Artak that will haunt your soul for all eternity.

Once again blending the epicness of Pagan Metal with the heaviness and fury of Black Metal, the quintet fires the demolishing musical journey Towards Subterranean Realms, not to mention how thunderous the bass jabs by Garbis sound in paradox with all background orchestrations; and there’s no time to breathe as those Armenian metallers keep embellishing the airwaves with their bold and dense sound in Exalted Birth, another explosion of modern-day Melodic Black Metal with the band’s guitar duo stealing the spotlight with their wicked riffage supported by Arthur Atayan’s hypnotizing bagpipes. They still have fuel for another ass-kicking Black Metal onrush entitled Arakha, with Arthur setting the tone with his tribal, massive beats, accompanied by the strident sound of the guitars and the always vile roaring by Artak, and right after an imposing and stunning start Ildaruni come ripping in Whence Ravenstone Beckons, providing us fans eight minutes of impressive Black Metal where Arthur sounds more devilish than ever on drums while also featuring guest vocals by  Anna Hovhannesyan, with the music flowing darkly until the end.

ildaruni-2021I must say that listening to Beyond Unseen Gateways is indeed a unique sonic experience, or a “spiritual journey” as the band itself mentioned, and the hybrid of Black Metal with folk elements and paganism matched flawlessly with the stories told throughout the album’s impressive 52 minutes of first-class metal music. Having said that, let’s all show our total support and respect to the guys from Ildaruni by following them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know info about the band, by streaming their awesome creations on Spotify, and obviously by purchasing a copy of Beyond Unseen Gateways from their own BandCamp page (or simply click HERE for all locations where you can buy or stream the album in full). The ominous flame now burns stronger as Iladruni have just unleashed their long-waited cryptic incantations in the form of their incendiary debut effort, appealing to fans of renowned acts the like of Kawir, Rotting Christ and Windir. And may the gates of genesis reopen and herald forth an epoch of exaltation anew.

Best moments of the album: Treading the Path of Cryptic Wisdom, Boundless Numen: Gardens of Ardini and Exalted Birth.

Worst moments of the album: Perpetual Vigil.

Released in 2021 Black Lion Records

Track listing
1. Haldinini Baushini, Imsheini Tariani 3:38
2. Treading the Path of Cryptic Wisdom 6:23
3. Perpetual Vigil 6:02
4. Boundless Numen: Gardens of Ardini 8:10
5. Towards Subterranean Realms 7:50
6. Exalted Birth 6:05
7. Arakha 6:34
8. Whence Ravenstone Beckons 7:58

Band members
Artak Karapetyan – vocals
Robert Meliksetyan – guitars, keyboards
Mark Erskine – guitars, keyboards
Garbis Vizoian – bass
Arthur Poghosyan – drums

Guest musicians
Arthur Atayan – tin whistle on “Haldinini Baushini, Imsheini Tariani,” “Treading the Path of Cryptic Wisdom,” and “Towards Subterranean Realms”, bagpipes on “Exalted Birth”
Anna Hovhannesyan – vocals on “Whence Ravenstone Beckons”

Album Review – Unflesh / Inhumation (2021)

A lecture in Blackened and Melodic Death Metal made in the United States, delving into the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or humanity.

4.0rating

unflesh-inhumation-2021Showcasing an incredible amount of new growth from a group already brimming with abundant talent as is, Inhumation, the brand new opus by Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based three-piece Blackened Melodic Death Metal entity Unflesh, is not only the perfect follow-up to their 2018 album Savior, but also a bold statement by the band confirming they’re among us to stay. Mixed and Mastered by V. Santura at Woodshed Studios and featuring a killer artwork by Junki Sakuraba, Inhumation will show you why vocalist and guitarist Ryan Beevers (Solium Fatalis), bassist Orin Hubbard (Excrecor) and drummer Jeff Saltzman (Aversed, Allegaeon, Continuum, Solium Fatalis) have everything it takes to conquer the world of extreme music with their wicked creations. “Inhumation delves into the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or losing one’s humanity so to speak. The title itself is used in a metaphorical sense, as the actual definition of the word ‘Inhumation’ is the action or practice of burying the dead. For album purposes, the title is used on a more spiritual and emotional level. Each track on the album is a bit of a meditation on different aspects of the primary concept. When the listener gets to the last song on the album, the totality of the album will have taken form,” commented Ryan about the band’s newborn spawn.

The acoustic guitars by Ryan ignite the intro Behold Nightfall, gradually growing in intensity until all hell breaks loose in the devastating Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers, where Ryan vociferates the song’s devilish words manically (“Spawned from scales of iron / Demonic icon of fear / Bathing in the draining blood / From the steel / Emotionless / Orchestrating blasphemies / Of hundreds and thousands / Their putrefaction is my crest”) accompanied by the crushing drums by Jeff. To Renounce Flesh and Blood is another demonic and very technical creation by Unflesh blending the fury of Death Metal with the obscurity of Black Metal, not to mention Orin’s bass jabs will make your head tremble, followed by the title-track Inhumation, bringing to your ears over seven minutes of breathtaking riffs and bass punches, intricate beats and all of the elements that make Technical Death Metal so compelling. In addition, Jeff sounds truly bestial behind his drum set, while Ryan keeps roaring like a demonic entity from start to finish.

Unflesh keep decimating our senses in the hellish extravaganza titled Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell, displaying an amazing job done by Ryan with his visceral Black Metal riffage and growling, therefore adding an extra touch of malignancy to the overall result, whereas putting the pedal to the metal the trio brings forward the explosive Blackened Death Metal tune Holocaust of Stars, where Orin and Jeff are on fire with their thunderous kitchen generating a reverberating ambience that will ruthlessly smash your cranial skull; and featuring a sick guitar solo by guest Jim Gregory (Solium Fatalis), The Sepulchral Depths is just as violent and sulfurous as its predecessors, offering us fans an ass-kicking portrait of the band’s trademark hybrid of Blackened and Melodic Death Metal. Not only that, Jeff is once again a stone crusher on drums, taking the lead with his blast beats and fills for our total delight. And last but not least, Unflesh bring forth nine minutes of sonic savagery, acoustic and atmospheric passages, enraged roars and endless obscurity in the form of Dehumanized Legion, where the trio is unstoppable and vile throughout the entire song, putting a beyond demolishing end to this precious gem of Extreme Metal.

unflesh-2021After all is said and done, I’m sure you’re more than eager to put your hands on Inhumation, which is by the way available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, and in order to do that simply go to the band’s own BandCamp page, to Apple Music or to Amazon, and don’t forget to also show your support to such promising act by following them on Facebook and on Instagram, and by subscribing to their YouTube channel. Ryan and his henchmen Orin and Jeff did a superb job in Inhumation, beautifully translating into eight multi-layered, dense Blackened and Melodic Death Metal compositions exactly what Ryan mentioned as “the concept of desensitization and losing one’s soul or losing one’s humanity.” This is exactly how dark and extreme music should always sound, with the band’s new album being a strong contender to feature among the best albums of the year, consequently pointing to a brilliant future ahead of those multi-talented musicians.

Best moments of the album: Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers, Inhumation and Holocaust of Stars.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Behold Nightfall 2:21
2. Vast Forest of Impaled Cadavers 5:21
3. To Renounce Flesh and Blood 5:26
4. Inhumation 7:20
5. Amongst Horrors Must I Dwell 6:37
6. Holocaust of Stars 4:42
7. The Sepulchral Depths 5:27
8. Dehumanized Legion 9:01

Band members
Ryan Beevers – vocals, guitars, acoustic guitars, orchestrations
Orin Hubbard – bass
Jeff Saltzman – drums

Guest musician
Jim Gregory – guitar solo on “The Sepulchral Depths”

Album Review – KLEE Project / Screaming Out Loud (2021)

This talented Italian act is ready to rock and scream out loud once again with their brand new album of old school Southern and Hard Rock.

3.5rating

klee-project-screaming-out-loud-2021Almost three years after the release of their debut album The Long Way, Rome, Italy-based Southern/Hard Rock act Klee Project is finally ready to rock you like a hurricane once again with their brand new album Screaming Out Loud, showcasing all the passion for our beloved rock music by vocalist and guitarist Roberto Sterpetti, guitarist Chicco Gussoni, bassist Lorenzo Poli and drummer Daniele Iacono. Recorded and mixed at Memphistudio in Rome by Frank Altare and Roberto Sterpetti, mastered at Elephant Mastering by Riccardo Parenti, and featuring lyrics by Jessie Galante and a stylish artwork by Antonella Regi, Screaming Out Loud is a lesson in 80’s Hard Rock that will certainly please all fans of the genre. “Screaming Out Loud was composed in a difficult period and we want to remember it as a sign of confidence, a strong reaction in the face of critical moods. The new album is this, a sense of optimism and hope for the future,” commented frontman Roberto Sterpetti.

The guitars by Roberto and Chicco set fire to the music in Another Man, accompanied by the classic Hard Rock beats by Daniele and the rumbling bass by Lorenzo, also presenting hints of Southern Rock and Metal in their core sonority; and continuing their rockin’ path the quartet offers the electrifying Heaven, living up to the legacy of Italian Rock N’ Roll. Moreover, it’s impressive how their guitars sound so dirty and melodious at the same time, not to mention the old school vocals by Roberto, whereas investing in a stronger Southern Rock vibe, it’s time for the headbanging feast titled Wicked Soul, where the band blends 80’s Hard Rock with the modernity of Godsmack, and the final result couldn’t have been better, led by the slashing riffage by Roberto and Chicco. And One Time is another old school, straight-to-the-point creation by KLEE Project where Lorenzo and Daniele provide Roberto a solid base for his raspy vocals, keeping the energy level of the album as high as an eagle flying in the sky.

Razor-edged riffs are the main ingredients in the Rock N’ Roll party Back on in Love Again, with Daniele kicking some serious ass with his pounding drums while Roberto declaims the song’s 80’s Glam Metal-inspired lyrics (“Here we go / Here we go again / Our love keeps sitting on the fence / You’re playing me / Over and over / Want you to move in a little closer”). It’s then time for a classic Hard Rock ballad by those Italian rockers titled One Word, presenting a decent instrumental spiced up by a soulful guitar solo by Chicco, albeit not as exciting as the rest of the album, while back to a more intense musicality the quartet fires the somber and harmonious Right Now, with the band’s stringed trio being in absolute sync from start to finish while Daniele dictates the song’s catchy pace with his classy beats. The title-track Screaming Out Loud is a classic Hard Rock extravaganza where Roberto leads his crew with his vibrant vocals in the name of our good old Rock N’ Roll, with Chicco once again stealing the spotlight with another in-your-face guitar solo, and lastly we have You’re My Champion, an atmospheric ballad where Roberto fires some inspirational words supported by the enfolding sound crafted by his bandmates, putting a beautiful ending to the album.

klee-project-2021You can easily find more information about KLEE Project, their music, tour dates, plans for the future and other shenanigans on Facebook and on Instagram, and don’t forget to also subscribe to their official YouTube channel and, above all that, to purchase Screaming Out Loud from Apple Music or from Amazon, and to stream the full album as many times as you want on Spotify. The Italian rockers from KLEE Project are waiting for you to join them for a kick-ass Rock N’ Roll party to the sound of their new album, and I bet as soon as you hit play you’ll be banging your head, screaming out loud and rockin’ like there’s no tomorrow together with the band and your loved ones, just the way things are supposed to be in our lives filled with rock and metal music.

Best moments of the album: Wicked Soul, Back on in Love Again and Screaming Out Loud.

Worst moments of the album: One Word.

Released in 2021 This Is Core

Track listing
1. Another Man 2:44
2. Heaven 3:07
3. Wicked Soul 3:02
4. One Time 3:18
5. Back on in Love Again 3:03
6. One Word 4:07
7. Right Now 3:08
8. Screaming Out Loud 3:15
9. You’re My Champion 4:07

Band members
Roberto Sterpetti – vocals, guitars
Chicco Gussoni – lead guitars
Lorenzo Poli – bass
Daniele Iacono – drums

Guest musician
Corrado Pirri – additional guitars

Album Review – Sahara / The Curse EP (2021)

One of the most celebrated cult acts from the Argentinian scene is back with a brand new EP, offering us all a rusty-cage raw, drugged-out and dark fusion of Stoner, Sludge and Doom Metal.

3.0rating

sahara-the-curse-ep-2021A cult band in the Stoner and Doom Metal scene, Paraná, Argentina’s own Sahara released two celebrated studio full-length albums as well as a live album and a split with Mephistofeles before involuntarily disbanding in 2019. However, with the help of Mephistofeles members Gabriel Ravera on bass and Ivan Sacharczuk on drums, Sahara’s founder, vocalist and guitarist Martin Ludi decided to continue with the band, firing on all cylinders now in 2021 with a brand new four-track EP fittingly titled The Curse, the result of what Sahara have become and a hint of what the future holds for the band. Recorded at Evil Fidelity Studios on tape by John Follador and mixed by Dangerous, The curse offers fans of the genre a rusty-cage raw, drugged-out and dark fusion of Stoner, Sludge and Doom Metal that sounds at he same time punkish and impossibly catchy, proving the band’s comeback is not a curse, but in fact a blessing to the South American underground.

Vile and dirty from the very first second, the trio smashes their instruments flawlessly in the 70’s-inspired opening tune Hell on Earth, showcasing an amazing job done by Ivan with his old school drumming while Martin fires at the same time devilish riffs and Ozzy Osbourne-ish vocals; whereas the low-tuned, crude bass by Gabriel kick off the venomous Altar of Sacrifice, bringing to our ears more of their classic Doom Metal (not to mention the sick guitar solos by Martin), being tailored for admirers of damned and sharp doom. Following such obscure creation, Gallows Noose has a mysterious and hypnotizing vibe found in the music by Black Sabbath and Candlemass while also presenting elements from Psychedelic Rock, with Martin and Gabriel being in absolute sync with their stringed weapons by darkly jamming like there’s no tomorrow. Lastly, closing the EP it’s time for an instrumental extravaganza in the form of the title-track The Curse, where the bass punches by Gabriel will smash your heads mercilessly accompanied by the Stoner and Doom Metal beats by Ivan.

sahara-2021Like a violent phoenix arising from the ashes, Sahara are back in action stronger than ever with their newborn spawn The Curse, reclaiming their throne as the kings of doom in the Argentinian scene and, of course, aiming at spreading their damned wings and reaching new heights in the world of heavy music. Having said that, don’t forget to start following Martin and his henchmen on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates (if we’ll ever have those again, of course), more of their music and other nice-to-know info about the band, and above all that, to grab your copy of The Curse from the Regain Records’ BandCamp page or from the Shadow Records’ webstore, showing everyone you’re a true servant of doom and, therefore, allowing Sahara’s Stygian curse to haunt your soul for all eternity.

Best moments of the album: Hell on Earth.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Regain Records

Track listing
1. Hell on Earth 4:57
2. Altar of Sacrifice 3:00
3. Gallows Noose 6:13
4. The Curse (Instrumental) 2:53

Band members
Martin Ludi – vocals, guitar
Gabriel Ravera – bass
Ivan Sacharczuk – drums

Album Review – Juliet Ruin / Dark Water EP (2021)

Bang your heads to the new EP by this amazing Canadian Modern Metal crew, reflecting a turn to darker sounds and grittier vocals while still preserving the spirit of what makes the band who they are.

3.0rating

juliet-ruin-dark-water-ep-2021Formed in 2015 in Edmonton, the capital city of the Canadian province of Alberta, from the ashes of a previous project named Fiction of Fate with the desire to fuse a metal sound with clean technical vocal stylings in a way that is both beautiful and beastly, Modern Metal outfit Juliet Ruin has just unleashed upon us all a new EP titled Dark Water, following the band’s 2019 critically-acclaimed album Old Stardust, Love and Chaos. Comprised of Jess Fleming on lead vocals, Kent Geislinger and Wesley Rands on the guitars, Cody Reid on bass and Jesse Bauman on drums, Juliet Ruin are highly recommended for fans of the music by Jinjer, Infected Rain, The Agonist, Butcher Babies and so on, with their new EP reflecting a turn to darker sounds and grittier vocals while still preserving the spirit of what makes the band who they are, all spiced up by the first-class production, mixing and mastering by Diego Fernandez (who also plays the guitar as a guest in the title-track, by the way) and the enfolding artwork by Brandy Black. “The listening experience we are going for is a hard-edged, but catchy experience with lyrics you can shout in anger, but also it leans positive on message,” said the band about their newborn child.

The vicious bass by Cody sets the tone in the Alternative Metal hurricane Dark Water, with Jess bringing forward a fusion of the pop vocals by Shirley Manson (of Garbage) with visceral Melodic Death Metal growls, boosted by the awesome guitar job by Kent, Wesley and guest Diego Fernandez. Then sheer poetry flows from the celestial lyrics (“Banish me like burned down planets / Write my fate with sparkling lies / I am the universe you’re just one sky”) found in Cosmic Vertigo, while Jesse smashes his drums in great Alternative Rock and Metal fashion, therefore inviting us all to headbanging together with the band; followed by Fake Stigmata, considerably heavier and darker than its predecessors, with Jess being on fire with a passionate vocal performance supported by the massive and groovy wall of sounds by her bandmates, in special Cody and his metallic bass jabs. Lastly, it’s time for more of their hybrid of Groove Metal with Metalcore and Alternative Rock in Might, showcasing a delicate but at the same time grim side of the band, with Kent and Wesley firing classic, incendiary riffs throughout the entire song.

juliet-ruin-2021When Jess and the boys from Juliet Ruin said their new EP Dark Water would bring forward an edgier and angrier side of the band, they were not kidding at all. This talented Canadian quintet made sure the EP title was not chosen in vein, investing in a much darker sound and pointing to a bright future ahead of them. Hence, if you want to know more about such up-and-coming crew hailing from Canada, go check what they’re up to on Facebook and on Instagram, stream more of their music and watch their videos on YouTube and on Spotify, and above all that, grab your copy of Dark Water from their own BandCamp page or from Apple Music, showing your utmost support to the Canadian underground. Juliet Ruin are inviting us all to sail through darker waters together with them in their new EP, and based on the high-quality of each of its four tracks I’m pretty sure that journey with the band will not only be thrilling, but it will also (and fortunately) last for a long time.

Best moments of the album: Dark Water and Cosmic Vertigo.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Independent

Track listing
1. Dark Water 4:47
2. Cosmic Vertigo 4:08
3. Fake Stigmata 4:54
4. Might 4:16

Band members
Jess Fleming – vocals
Kent Geislinger – guitar
Wesley Rands – guitar
Cody Reid – bass
Jesse Bauman – drums

Guest musician
Diego Fernandez – guitars on “Dark Water”

Album Review – Blaze Bayley / War Within Me (2021)

The man who will live for a thousand years returns with the 11th studio album in his undisputed career, inspiring us all to fight the war within us and to take our future in our own hands.

In celebration of our 1000th review here at The Headbanging Moose, there’s nothing more appropriate than reviewing the brand new opus by the man who will live for a thousand years, the indomitable Heavy Metal fighter Blaze Bayley. Moving forward from the success of his Infinite Entanglement trilogy released in three consecutive years (Infinite Entanglement in 2016, Endure And Survive in 2017, and The Redemption of William Black  in 2018), Blaze and his loyal Absolva henchmen Chris Appleton on the guitars, Karl Schramm on bass and Martin McNee on drums are unleashing upon humanity the awesome War Within Me, the 11th studio album in his extensive solo career which started with his legendary Silicon Messiah album in the year 2000. Mastered by Ade Emsley at Table of Tone Mastering Ltd., and featuring another striking artwork by Spanish artist Alberto Quirantes of Akirant Illustration, War Within Me is not a concept album but does include a positive thread throughout. In Blaze’s own words, “This is an album that I want to put on and feel very positive about. Whatever song you choose there’s some good feeling about it. As fans of metal music we tend to be damaged, strange and different in some way and this album is (as I say in my live intro to the song ‘Futureal’) about taking your future in your own hand. It’s one of the things that really connects with people at my live shows.”

The slashing riffage by Chris ignites the high-octane, pure Heavy Metal anthem War Within Me, with Blaze powerfully declaiming the song’s meaningful and inspirational words as usual, resulting in a sensational option for singing it along with Blaze & Co. while hitting the highway. Following such powerful tune, we have the also breathtaking 303, inspired by the No. 303 Squadron RAF, one of two Polish squadrons to fight during the Battle of Britain along with squadron 302, of 16 total Polish squadrons in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Musically speaking, it’s another metallic feast where Karl and Martin kick some serious ass with their rumbling kitchen, not to mention the trademark guitar lines by Chris. And more of Blaze’s incendiary and energetic metal music comes in the form of Warrior, where Chris and Karl make a dynamic duo with their stringed weapons in a straightforward Heavy Metal extravaganza with some welcome Power Metal elements; followed by Pull Yourself Up, a rhythmic and stunning metal hymn from the bottom of Blaze’s heart to all metalheads out there, inviting everyone to walk and sing with him, accompanied by the sharp riffs by Chris and the marching beats by Martin. Then the entire band is on fire in another classic display of old school NWOBHM entitled Witches Night, where it’s impossible not to raise our fists together with Blaze during the song’s chorus, also showcasing a slashing performance by Chris on the guitars.

18 flights, 15 shows, 6 countries, 1 earthquake. That’s the story Blaze masterfully tells us in 18 Flights, narrating his adventures in January 2019 when there was an earthquake while the band was on stage at a very special gig organized by fans in Coquimbo, Chile called Blaze Fest. What a fun and thrilling way to tell that story through his undisputed Heavy Metal, I might say, whereas in The Dream of Alan Turing the unstoppable Blaze pays homage to the famous English scientist highly influential in the development of theoretical computer science and, of course, the music couldn’t have sounded more exciting, with Chris piercing our ears with his sick solos. Then it’s time to pay another tribute, this time to Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla, best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system, with The Power of Nikola Tesla, a kick-ass tune where Blaze and his bandmates generate an electrifying ambience that matches perfectly with the song’s theme. And how about one more tribute to a great personality the likes of English theoretical physicist, cosmologist and author Stephen Hawking? That’s what Blaze has to offer in The Unstoppable Stephen Hawking, investing in a more epic, galloping rhythm, with the pounding drums by Martin dictating the pace while Blaze delivers his trademark vocals in great fashion. And last but not least, a final message of hope and positivity from the band is provided to us all in the closing tune Every Storm Ends, starting in a melancholic, acoustic way before evolving into a dark and metallic feast that flows smoothly until its delicate finale.

There’s no excuse not to follow the man who would not die Blaze Bayley and his talented bandmates on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course to stream all of his vast catalogue on Spotify (like I enjoy doing a lot on my free time). However, War Within Me is such a great album of classic Heavy Metal that it truly deserves to be part of the collection of anyone who considers him or herself a true headbanging bastard, and you can add it to your personal pile of ass-kicking albums by purchasing it from Blaze’s own webstore, as well as from an array of locations including Napalm Records, Season of Mist, HHV, Record Shop X, EMP, Apple Music and Amazon. Having said that, what are you waiting for to fight the never-ending war within you alongside Mr. Blaze Bayley? The time is now to fight for what’s yours and to take your future in your own hands, as Blaze himself likes to say, always to the sound of our beloved Heavy Metal.

Best moments of the album: War Within Me, 303, Pull Yourself Up and 18 Flights.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Blaze Bayley Recordings

Track listing
1. War Within Me 4:12
2. 303 3:19
3. Warrior 3:45
4. Pull Yourself Up 4:45
5. Witches Night 4:57
6. 18 Flights 3:45
7. The Dream of Alan Turing 2:47
8. The Power of Nikola Tesla 3:11
9. The Unstoppable Stephen Hawking 6:00
10. Every Storm Ends 5:08

Band members
Blaze Bayley – vocals
Chris Appleton – guitars, backing vocals
Karl Schramm – bass, backing vocals
Martin McNee – drums

Album Review – Chainsword / Blightmarch (2021)

These vicious Polish troopers are ready to spread the flames of war and conflict in a death and doom inferno armed with their brutal debut opus.

Founded in 2016 in Warsaw, Poland with the sole purpose of waging war, a five-men Death Metal squad known as Chainsword is ready to spread the flames of conflict in a death and doom inferno armed with their debut opus, entitled Blightmarch, living up to the legacy of renowned acts the likes of Unleashed, Bolt Thrower and Benediction, among several other Death Metal giants. Mixed, mastered and reamped by Haldor Grunberg at Satanic Audio, and displaying an old school, warlike artwork by Argentinian draftsman and painter Wilson Germán Arrieta, Blightmarch will invite you to head into the battlefield alongside vocalist Herr Brummbär, guitarists Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad, bassist Wutender Ente and drummer Herr Feldgrau, turning into ten first-class Death Metal tunes all the darkness, hatred and violence of war.

And those troopers are ready to pulverize us all with their heavy artillery in the opening tune Ost Front 1943 – Stalingrad, where Herr Brummbär vociferates like a demonic entity while Herr Feldgrau blasts his drums in great Death Metal fashion, kicking off the album on an infernal note; whereas in Spinehammer the band’s guitarists Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad fire unrelenting Thrash and Death Metal riffs for our total delight, resulting in a fulminating tune perfect for slamming into the pit (not to mention Herr Brummbär sounds even more demented on vocals), followed by Horus, the Chosen Son, where we’re treated to austere words barked by Herr Brummbär (“The foundation of terror / The shadow of torment / When hate consumes / the souls of man / It now is my mission / My final conquest / The right hand of chaos / That I become”) accompanied by the thunderous kitchen by Wutender Ente and Herr Feldgrau. More of the sick riffage by Sarin Spreizer and Herr Hornad permeates the air in the obscure Death Metal hymn Ost Front 1942: Moskau, with the rhythmic beats by Herr Feldgrau inviting us all to crack our necks headbanging like maniacs, and another Stygian wall of sounds smashes our senses in the vile Dead Hand Call, where Chainsword’s guitar duo not only keeps delivering sheer violence through their riffs, but also through their sick solos.

Bringing elements from Thrash and Groove Metal to their core malevolence, Chainsword will destroy anyone who crosses their path in Exterminatus, a lesson in Death Metal showcasing a brutal drumming by Herr Feldgrau amidst tons of groove and harmony blasted by the band’s stringed trio, and there’s no time to breathe as they continue their ode to violence and war in Daemonculaba, a true headbanger where Herr Brummbär roars and growls manically, always supported by the visceral riffs and bass jabs by his bandmates. Then featuring guest guitarist Cheesy Dude (aka Piotr Sadza of Belzebong and Weedpecker) and guest vocalist Nun (aka Lech Kowal of Sun No More), the title-track Blightmarch is as vile and demonic as its predecessors, keeping the album at a high level of animosity, whereas their war-like Death Metal keeps crushing our skulls in Dreadquake Mortar, sounding heavier-than-hell and demented from start to finish, with Herr Brummbär stealing the spotlight with his grim guttural lines. Lastly, we face 06.08 9:15, with the name of the song representing the date and time when the American B-29 bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945 at 9:15am. Musically speaking, it’s another old school, vicious Death Metal onrush to end the album in the heaviest and darkest way possible.

In case you’re curious to know how Chainsword’s hybrid of Death Metal and war sounds in Blightmarch, you can stream the album in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you consider yourself a true Death Metal soldier you should definitely purchase the album from Chainsword’s BandCamp page, from the Godz ov War Productions’ BandCamp page or webstore, or from Apple Music. Also, in order to properly enlist in their army of extreme music, simply follow them on Facebook and on Instagram for more of their music, news, tour dates and everything else surrounding Chainsword in the battlefield. Having said that, what are you waiting for to put your dirty hands on such pulverizing album of Death Metal made in Poland? Let’s all join the attack!

Best moments of the album: Spinehammer, Exterminatus and Daemonculaba.

Worst moments of the album: Horus, the Chosen Son.

Released in 2021 Godz ov War Productions

Track listing
1. Ost Front 1943 – Stalingrad 4:03
2. Spinehammer 3:30
3. Horus, the Chosen Son 4:24
4. Ost Front 1942: Moskau 4:19
5. Dead Hand Call 3:37
6. Exterminatus 4:56
7. Daemonculaba 4:31
8. Blightmarch 3:42
9. Dreadquake Mortar 3:51
10. 06.08 9:15 5:15

Band members
Herr Brummbär – vocals
Sarin Spreizer – guitar
Herr Hornad – guitar
Wutender Ente – bass
Herr Feldgrau – drums, vocals

Guest musicians
Cheesy Dude – guitars on “Blightmarch”
Nun – additional vocals on “Blightmarch”