Album Review – Böllverk / Heading For The Crown (2022)

Get ready to bang your heads nonstop to the debut album by this Bavarian act, offering powerful Teutonic material forged in the gloriously timeless style of early Accept, Warlock and Running Wild.

Formed in 2018 in Aschaffenburg, a city in Bavaria, Germany, and after a few lineup changes, the talented Heavy Metal squad Böllverk has finally unleashed their debut effort, entitled Heading For The Crown, offering pithy, refreshing and powerful Teutonic material forged in the gloriously timeless style of early Accept, Warlock and Running Wild for the old school-addicted battlevest banger fraction. Currently comprised of Svenja on vocals, Zahn and Raphi on the guitars, Tim on bass and Angelo on drums, Böllverk are on absolute fire in Heading For The Crown, with the classic artwork by Bastian Kraus and the sharp recording, mixing and mastering by Rolf Munkes at Empire Studios giving an even stronger vibe to the entire album, inspiring us all to head into the battlefield together with the band in the name of our beloved old school Heavy Metal.

The incendiary guitars by Zahn and Raphi kick off the pure, unfiltered Heavy Metal tune Ask The Angel, Listen To The Devil, an awesome way to start the album with the galloping drums by Angelo walking hand in hand with the 80’s-inspired vocals by Svenja, and more of their fusion of the classic music played by Iron Maiden, Accept, Judas Priest and Warlock is offered to us all in Let’s Ride Till Dawn, with the band’s guitar duo dictating the rhythm with their spot-on riffs and solos. Good Morning Rock’n’Roll is one of those “breakfast songs” highly recommended for all metalheads worldwide, bringing forward a beautiful hybrid of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock where Svenja’s piercing vocals are complemented by the raspy, Motörhead-infused roars by Zahn; whereas the title-track Heading For The Crown is an in-your-face, straightforward metal extravaganza led by the crushing drums by Angelo, supported by the rumbling bass by Tim.

Zahn’s evil roars boost the high-pitched screams by Svenja in The 7th No (IS A KO), another Hard Rock feast where the sound of the guitars will slash your ears mercilessly, and it’s time to bang our heads nonstop together with Böllverk in Master Of Thunder, another sharp, no shenanigans creation by the quintet showcasing a heavy and melodic kitchen by Tim and Angelo. Then venturing through the realms of Southern and Stoner Metal the band offers us all Live Fast, with Zahn taking the lead on vocals. It’s a good song, but it lacks the epicness of the rest of the album, though. Zahn keeps screaming in Next Level Of Service while Svenja fires her trademark Doro-inspired vocals lines, all spiced up by another round of their flammable riffs and thunderous bass lines, and last but not least, we’re treated to more of their rumbling Heavy Metal in the form of Someday We Will Die, clearly inspired by the classics from the NWOBHM and, therefore, ending the album on a thrilling note.

You can get to know more about Böllverk by following those Teutonic metallers on Facebook and on Instagram, staying up to date with all of their news, tour dates, plans for the future and so on, and you can also send them your feedback about their music as I’m sure the entire band would love to hear from you. In addition, in order to show your support and appreciation for ass-kicking underground German metal you should definitely purchase a copy of Heading For The Crown from the band’s own BandCamp page, as well as stream the album in its entirety on Spotify. Böllverk didn’t need to reinvent the wheel with Heading For The Crown to sound awesome, showing how powerful Heavy Metal still is and, of course, not only pointing to a bright future ahead of the band, but also providing us metalheads with one more excellent reason for keep banging our heads until the very end.

Best moments of the album: Ask The Angel, Listen To The Devil, Good Morning Rock’n’Roll and Someday We Will Die.

Worst moments of the album: Live Fast.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. Ask The Angel, Listen To The Devil 6:05
2. Let’s Ride Till Dawn 3:27
3. Good Morning Rock’n’Roll 4:25
4. Heading For The Crown 4:49
5. The 7th No (IS A KO) 4:37
6. Master Of Thunder 6:26
7. Live Fast 4:20
8. Next Level Of Service 3:56
9. Someday We Will Die 5:50

Band members
Svenja – vocals
Zahn – guitars, vocals
Raphi – guitars
Tim – bass
Angelo – drums

Album Review – El Pistolero / Mexican Standoff (2021)

These German gunslingers are ready to draw their weapons and invade the airwaves with the fusion of depravity, booze and rebelliousness from their rockin’ debut album.

A bunch of Rock N’ Roll animals, dirty, loud and mean, are on their way to give the world what it needs, a rockin’ bastard which sounds as if Motörhead and Airbourne had an illegitimate child together. Founded back in 2012 in Mannheim, a city in southwest Germany, El Pistolero (which translates from Spanish as “the gunslinger”) are ready to take the world of rock music by storm with their debut full-length album, entitled Mexican Standoff, bringing forth a straightforward fusion of Rock N’ Roll and Hard Rock à la Motörhead, Rose Tattoo, AC/DC and Airbourne. Mixed and mastered by Rolf Munkes (Empire, Crematory) at Empire Studios, Mexican Standoff is a lesson in depravity, booze and rebelliousness, showcasing all the undeniable talented and filthy passion for all things rock by frontman Alex ‘Nighty’ Blochmann, guitarists J.C. Müller and Chris Kaczynski, bassist Willy Krug and drummer Andy Hornef, inviting us all to dance the night away to each of the album’s vibrant compositions.

In the frantic and depraved opening track Sticky Fingers we’re treated to inebriate lyrics declaimed by Nighty and his raspy vocals (“I went drunk to a bar and claimed to be a star / Always want to take it for free / A girl to the left and a girl to right / That`s just the way that I love, that’s me / Bad girls like it – good girls love it / In rows they’re gonna follow me”), while the music is a hybrid of the Hard Rock played by AC/DC and Airbourne with the band’s own German twist. Then venturing through the lands of the badass Rock N’ Roll blasted by Motörhead, J.C. and Chris slash their guitars mercilessly in Desert Road while Willy showcases all his respect and admiration for the menacing bass by the iconic Lemmy Kilmister (R.I.P.); whereas in Stormbringer it’s beyond clear the band loves to tell stories of drinking and fighting in their lyrics (“Another day fallen up the stairs / A game of poker with two pairs / Someone rich, someone poor / See them lying on the floor”), not to mention you better get ready to party and dance nonstop to the crushing beats by Andy. After that, the band’s guitar duo seems to have a deal with the devil, firing pure evil and adrenaline through their riffs in Fear The Reaper while Nighty continues to vociferate in great fashion, supported by the song’s absolutely catchy backing vocals.

Then El Pistolero deliver a solid Hard Rock and Heavy Metal feast entitled Seeds Of Evil with hints of Southern Rock added to their core sonority, and after a short and eerie intro it’s time for more of their Motörhead-infused sounds in Machine Gun Preacher, perfect for slamming into the pit to the metallic riffs and bass jabs by J.C., Chris and Willy. Andy then pounds his drums nonstop in the title-track El Pistolero, a pub brawling tune bringing forward classic Hard Rock backing vocals and riffage, perfectly representing everything the band stands for, and let’s keep banging our heads to their visceral sound in the sonic extravaganza Down Under, with Nighty declaiming the song’s words while J.C. and Chris add fire to the music with their stylish riffs and solos. The quintet keeps putting the pedal to the metal in the musical train Still Riding, where the piercing sound of their guitars walks hand in hand with Andy’s old school drumming; and get ready to be smashed by El Pistolero in Five Bullets Come In Peace, accelerating their pace and turning up the heat, with the band’s guitar duo being on absolute fire. Liquor & Tits is an electrifying, deviant fusion of Hard Rock and Rock N’ Roll where Nighty leads his rockin’ crew with his raspy vocals while Andy delivers endless stamina through his beats; and lastly, closing the album the band offers our ears the short and sweet Punk Rock-ish tune Painkillers, once again showcasing razor-edged guitars, rumbling bass jabs and El Pistolero’s trademark insubordination.

These German gunslinger are more than ready to rock your world to the sound of their insane debut effort, and in order to join them in their quest for old school rock and metal music you can start following them on Facebook and on Instagram for news and tour dates, subscribe to their YouTube channel and stream their music on Spotify, and of course click HERE for all locations where you can buy or stream their alcohol and sex-infused album. In the end, although Germany might be thousands and thousands of kilometers away from the infamous American Wild West, that didn’t stop the guys from El Pistolero at all from crafting their ass-kicking album reeking of rye, bourbon, tequila, tits, blood and pure Rock N’ Roll, proving not only that rock music knowns no frontiers, but also that anytime, anywhere is a good place for a Hard Rock standoff.

Best moments of the album: Sticky Fingers, Fear The Reaper and Liquor & Tits.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2021 Metalapolis Records

Track listing
1. Sticky Fingers 3:22
2. Desert Road 2:32
3. Stormbringer 3:03
4. Fear The Reaper 5:17
5. Seeds Of Evil 2:49
6. Machine Gun Preacher 3:37
7. El Pistolero 3:07
8. Down Under 3:52
9. Still Riding 4:29
10. Five Bullets Come In Peace 3:47
11. Liquor & Tits 5:06
12. Painkillers 2:20

Band members
Alex ‘Nighty’ Blochmann – vocals
J.C. Müller – guitar
Chris Kaczynski – guitar
Willy Krug – bass
Andy Hornef – drums

Guest musician
Carsten Schulz – backing vocals