Album Review – Cage Fight / Cage Fight (2022)

It’s time to get into a bloodsoaked cage fight to the sound of the thrilling debut album by an up-and-coming London, UK-based Hardcore outfit.

Featuring the stunning French vocalist Rachel Aspe, known for her time with the iconic French Neo-Metal act Eths, and TesseracT guitarist James Monteith, London, England-based Crossover/Hardcore unity Cage Fight have just unleashed upon us mere mortals their debut self-titled effort, one of the most furious records to emerge from the UK in years. The anger and frustration of the band’s debut album is the perfect catharsis for our times, not only showcasing all the talent of the aforementioned Rachel and James together with bassist Jon Reid and drummer Nick Plews, but the artwork itself, a grabbing hand with the Cage Fight logo tattooed on the palm, visually portrays the violent rage at the core of the band’s music. Legitimately tattooed by Rachel, a tattoo artist by trade, the process of creating the image is as impactful as the final artwork itself, giving you a very good idea of how ruthless and austere the album sounds. “I cherish the ability to channel my anger through this outlet. In a world full of uncertainty and frustration this type of music was the only thing I found solace and balance in. These songs have a deep meaning for me and I hope this is something that other people can relate to,” commented the multi-talented Rachel about such outstanding album.

Featuring Jeremy Sylvester, a highly influential and prolific Garage and House producer from the UK, the album begins with a modern, electronic Intro that sets the stage for The Mirror Shattered, a bestial Hardcore tune with Punk Rock elements led by the venomous guitars by James while Rachel roars manically, therefore living up to the legacy of bands such as The Exploited and Ratos de Porão. There’s no time to breathe as Nick keeps hammering his drums in Killer, another excellent composition showcasing a high-octane fusion of Crossover Thrash and Groove Metal where once again James is infernal armed with his axe. Rachel sounds possessed by a demonic entity throughout the entire album, and it couldn’t have been any different than that in the awesome Hope Castrated, a massive, in-your-face Hardcore feast where Jon’s rumbling bass and Nick’s furious beats will make your head tremble, and it’s then time to slam into the pit and raise our horns in the name of rebelliousness and rage in Make A Decision, absolutely fast and furious thanks to another flawless performance by Nick on drums while Rachel showcases her trademark she-demon screams for our total delight. Their Punk Rock vein pulses stronger than ever in Guillotine, with the slashing, piercing riffs by James walking hand in hand with the bass punches by Jon, not to mention Rachel even fires some gruesome, vile Brutal Death Metal screeches.

The MMA entrance-inspired interlude Cage Fight! warms us up for the metal battle entitled Shine Don’t Fade, sounding and feeling pulverizing from the very first second thanks to the dynamic and evil sounds blasted by James, Jon and Nick, perfect for breaking your neck headbanging; whereas in One Minute the quartet plays at the speed of light in a great hybrid of classic Thrash Metal the likes of Anthrax with the more ferocious music by Lamb of God. In Tell Me What Real Is, less visceral but still heavy-as-hell, dense and demonic, Rachel keeps screaming inside our heads while her bandmates extract sheer animosity form their sonic weapons, whereas in Respect Ends there’s absolutely no sign of tiredness by the band, with James once again kicking ass with his riffage while Rachel delivers an insane dosage of animosity through her growls. Then we have Eating Me Alive, featuring guest vocalist Trevor Strnad (The Black Dahlia Murder), who sadly died on May 11 at the very early age of 41, bringing an extra touch of violence to the overall result by making an awesome vocal duo with Rachel; followed by My Dreams, which starts in a somber manner before exploding into the band’s modern-day Crossover Thrash. Moreover, Rachel leads her henchmen for over six minutes of aggressiveness, dementia and fury. And lastly we’re treated to their cover version for Body Count’s Bitch In The Pit (check the original song HERE), a sensational rendition by Cage Fight with Rachel stealing the spotlight with her enraged, she-wolf roars, turning her into the undisputed “bitch in the pit”.

In a nutshell, Cage Fight more than nailed it with their debut opus, providing us headbangers with a very good reason for raising our horns nonstop and slamming into the circle pit like there’s no tomorrow. Hence, don’t forget to stream the album in full on Spotify, to follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news and tour dates (and believe me, you don’t want to miss their live performances if they take your city by storm), and of course, to purchase your favorite version of such intense album of European Hardcore by clicking HERE. As you might have noticed, Rachel, James, Jon and Nick are waiting for you inside the cage for an ass-kicking metal fight to the sound of their debut opus, but you better be prepared to have your ass kicked in the name of Hardcore and Thrash Metal, of course.

Best moments of the album: The Mirror Shattered, Hope Castrated, Guillotine and Bitch In The Pit.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Candlelight Records

Track listing
1. Intro 1:25
2. The Mirror Shattered 2:34
3. Killer 3:17
4. Hope Castrated 2:54
5. Make A Decision 3:15
6. Guillotine 2:32
7. Cage Fight! 0:58
8. Shine Don’t Fade 3:15
9. One Minute 4:04
10. Tell Me What Real Is 3:18
11. Respect Ends 3:03
12. Eating Me Alive 3:37
13. My Dreams 6:16
14. Bitch In The Pit (Body Count cover) 3:05

Band members
Rachel Aspe – vocals
James Monteith – guitar
Jon Reid – bass
Nick Plews – drums

Guest musicians
Jeremy Sylvester – samplers on “Intro”
Trevor Strnad – vocals on “Eating Me Alive”

Collectibles Review – Funko Pop! Rocks: Iron Maiden (Wave I)

The amazing first wave of Iron Maiden Pop! Vinyl figures is gonna get you, no matter how far.

5.0rating

funko-pop-rocks-iron-maiden-wave-iOur second special review (after Iron Maiden’s Red ‘N’ Black) in preparation for the release of Iron Maiden‘s  seventeenth studio album Senjutsu on September 3, will be dedicated to the first wave of Eddies from the Funko Pop! Rocks: Iron Maiden collection, something that took way too long for Funko to release (and even longer for The Headbanging Moose to review it). After probably tons and tons of requests sent to Funko in the past few years to create a series of Funko Pop! figures in honor of the most beloved mascot in the history of Heavy Metal, they finally launched what they called “wave one” back in 2020 with the classic Eddies from the band’s first four albums, and the final result is beyond what we all could’ve expected.

Measuring around 3 ¾ inches tall (or 9.5 centimeters tall if you prefer) and packaged in a window display box, each one of the Iron Maiden Pop! Vinyl figures released, those being IRON MAIDEN, KILLERS, THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST and PIECE OF MIND, is a thing of beauty, a mandatory item in the collection of any Maidenmaniac, and the perfect gift to any metalhead from all ages. The quality of the material is outstanding and all Eddies are extremely well-crafted and detailed, not to mention Eddie looks badass even as a cute Funko. My favorite one is undoubtedly the Piece of Mind Eddie due to its uniqueness compared to the others (as I’m a fan of the bald Eddie), and my one and only complaint is the fact the little devil that comes with The Number of the Beast Eddie doesn’t stand properly like the main Eddie, but who am I to complain about that? They could’ve simply ignored the devil, right? So, as an add-on, it’s quite cool (even if it keeps falling all the time).

funko-pop-rocks-iron-maiden-wave-i-02You can also try your luck to grab your Funko Eddies from several online and physical retailers such as Pop In A Box, Amazon, Hot Topic, Mind Games, Sunrise Records, and EB Games,  among many others all around the world, but keep in mind that due to their very fair prices, which vary from 8 to 15 US Dollars, and due to the fact it’s Eddie, which means people don’t think twice to buy an item like that, the Eddies from the first wave might be either sold out or being sold by a much higher price, some even higher than 40 US Dollars. Furthermore, get ready as the second wave of Iron Maiden Pop! Vinyl figures is coming later this year with another round of awesome Eddies for us fans (and that will certainly mean another review on The Headbanging Moose), which usually means the first wave will become even more difficult to find anywhere. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to buy your Funko Eddies from the first wave and proudly display them together with your other memorabilia? They look cool anywhere you place them, even if it’s inside your shower I might say. Invest some of your disposable income into all four of those cute big-headed, little Eddies and… UP THE IRONS!

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