Album Review – Oathbringer / Tales of Glory (2022)

Let’s head into the battlefield together with this promising Serbian band armed with their debut opus, offering us all an overdose of pure, unfiltered Heavy Metal.

Formed in the city of Kragujevac, Serbia at the end of 2019 as a project of guitarist Lazar “Berserker” Zakić under the name Riddle of Steel, the incendiary Heavy Metal army currently known as Oathbringer is set to release their debut opus, entitled Tales of Glory, bringing to our metallic ears an overdose of pure, unfiltered metal music. Recorded at Studio Coolijana, produced by Marko Petković Petko, and displaying a dark, heathen artwork by Velio Josto, known for his work with bands such as Vulture, Enforcer, Riot V, Iron Angel and Warlord, Tales of Glory offers the listener a selection of classic Heavy and Power Metal songs carefully brought forth by the aforementioned Lazar “Berserker” Zakić on the guitars together with his bandmates Miloš “Priestkiller” Stošić on vocals and bass, Petar “Axxer” Đorđević also on the guitars, and Bora “Helldiver” Petrović on drums, pointing to a promising future ahead of those Serbian warriors.

Simply hit play and the epic intro Arrival will invite you to the world of Oathbringer before the band comes ripping in Odin’s Call, where Lazar and Petar rev up their engines to the sound of their stringed axes while Bora dictates the pace with his classic beats, not to mention how powerful Miloš sound with both his vocals and bass. More of the band’s old school Heavy Metal infused with groovy and dirty sounds is offered to us all in Hail to the King, a headbanging party led by the raspy vocals by Miloš with Bora pounding his drums like the hammer of Thor (as the guys from Manowar would say); whereas putting the pedal to the metal it’s time for the quartet to head into the battlefield to the sound of Stand or Fall, a high-octane Heavy and Power Metal hymn where the band’s guitar duo is on absolute fire with their raw, visceral riffs and solos.

Venturing through Hard Rock lands the band inspires us to raise our horns to Alone in the Night, bringing to our ears another thrilling performance by Lazar and Petar on the guitars; and an acoustic, ethereal start to the melancholic vocals by Miloš kick off the Lord of the Rings-inspired ballad The Ring, sounding utterly beautiful from start to finish and, of course, very enfolding and epic. Then back to their heaviest mode it’s time for the breathtaking Shayol Ghul, with Bora kicking some serious ass behind his drums while also reminding me of the fastest tunes by Stratovarius with a Power Metal twist. The band continues to blend the heaviness of Thrash Metal with the epicness of the music by Manowar in Moria, which should work really well if played live due to its headbanging rhythm and catchy chorus, ending in a classy way to the sound of a piano. In addition, as a bonus the band offers us all the demo version for Under the Spell, from when the band was still called Riddle of Steel. As it’s “just” a demo it’s not as detailed as the rest of the album, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as powerful and in line with the band’s core sound.

After all is said and done, you’ll certainly feel the urge to grab your sword and shield and head into the battlefield together with the guys from Oathbringer, and you can start doing so by following them on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other cool info about the band. Furthermore, don’t forget to show your utmost support to the Serbian underground by purchasing the excellent Tales of Glory by clicking HERE, keeping the fires of classic Heavy and Power Metal burning in the beautiful country of Serbia. Oathbringer were capable of turningtheir tales of glory into first-class metal music in their first full-length album, and I’m sure that when their sophomore album is released they’ll sound even stronger, more focused and more powerful for our total delight.

Best moments of the album: Hail to the King, Stand or Fall and Shayol Ghul.

Worst moments of the album: Under the Spell.

Released in 2022 RTR Records

Track listing
1. Arrival 0:50
2. Odin’s Call 4:20
3. Hail to the King 3:49
4. Stand or Fall 3:46
5. Alone in the Night 4:16
6. The Ring 4:02
7. Shayol Ghul 5:29
8. Moria 6:01

Bonus track
9. Under the Spell (demo) 4:32

Band members
Miloš “Priestkiller” Stošić – vocals, bass
Lazar “Berserker” Zakić – guitars
Petar “Axxer” Đorđević – guitars
Bora “Helldiver” Petrović – drums

Guest musician
Luka Milošević – guitars on “Under the Spell”

Album Review – Greyhawk / Call of the Hawk EP (2022)

Flying higher than the sky and spreading their wings all over the world, these American metallers are back with a thrilling new EP of old school Heavy and Power Metal.

Equal parts traditional Heavy Metal, Power Metal and shred, Seattle, Washington, United States-based outfit Greyhawk blends the best parts of these styles together to create a high energy, dynamic heavy metal music that fans of Dio, Yngwie Malmsteen, Racer X, Manowar, Visigoth and Judas Priest will rejoice in. Having released their debut EP Ride Out in 2018 and their first full-length album Keepers of the Flame in 2020 to acclaim from both critics and fans alike, the band comprised of Rev Taylor on vocals, Jesse Berlin and Jacquelynn Ziel on the guitars, Darin Wall on bass, and Nate Butler on drums is back with a new EP, entitled Call of the Hawk, continuing the epic metal stylings of the previous releases while also adding some fresh new elements to their music. Mixed and mastered by Deron Daum, recorded by Deron Daum and Shana Daum at MagicMix Studios, and displaying a kick-ass cover art by GrimuzzA, the EP has everything we love in metal music, from blazing guitar solos and driving rhythms to soaring operatic vocals, harkening back to the golden years of Heavy Metal.

Jesse and Jacquelynn begin slashing their stringed axes in Steelbound, generating a classic, metallic atmosphere accompanied by the rumbling bass by Darin, feeling like a fusion of Queensrÿche and Saxon while Nate dictates the song’s imposing pace with his beats. The title-track Call Of The Hawk  brings to our avid ears an old school, in-your-face sonority inspired by 80’s Heavy Metal, with Rev declaiming the song’s epic words in great fashion while the band’s guitar duo stuns us all with their refined riffs and solos; whereas in Demon Star the band offers us all a galloping pace thanks to the awesome job done by Farin and Nate with their thunderous kitchen, presenting elements found in the music by Iron Maiden, Helloween and Iced Earth. Moreover, Rev’s soaring vocalizations sound very theatrical, always supported by his bandmates’ backing vocals. Then we have Shattered Heart, even more melodic and powerful than its predecessors, or in other words, a lecture in 80’s Heavy and Power Metal by Greyhawk showcasing epic vocal lines, reverberating bass and pounding drums, all spiced up by the razor-edged guitars by Jesse and Jacquelynn. Lastly, it’s time for more of their sharp riffs and rhythmic beats in the form of Take The Throne, a very pleasant mid-tempo tune led by Rev’s vocalizations.

In summary, Call of the Hawk, which is available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, keeps the talented and hardworking Greyhawk flying higher than the sky, spreading the band’s wings all over the world with their classic fusion of Heavy and Power Metal. Hence, in order to show those American metallers your utmost support, don’t forget to follow them on Facebook and on Instagram, and of course to purchase their first-class new EP from their own BandCamp page, from the Fighter Records BandCamp page, or from the Xtreem Music webstore. And after an array of excellent albums, I’m sure it won’t take long for Greyhawk to invite us to fly once again on their metal wings with more of their thrilling creations.

Best moments of the album: Call Of The Hawk and Shattered Heart.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2022 Fighter Records

Track listing
1. Steelbound 4:10
2. Call Of The Hawk 3:56
3. Demon Star 4:07
4. Shattered Heart 3:26
5. Take The Throne 6:40

Band members
Rev Taylor – vocals
Jesse Berlin – guitars
Jacquelynn Ziel – guitars
Darin Wall – bass
Nate Butler – drums

Album Review – VOLDT / Vandalism (2022)

A trio of German rockers will attack your senses with their debut album, offering us all 42 minutes of an amalgamation of rock and metal styles that will please all metal enthusiasts with a taste for innovative songwriting.

Raw and sinister, yet diverse and melodic, Hamburg, Germany-based Progressive Metal/Rock band VOLDT has risen from the ashes of several projects to conquer the stage with their bold interpretation of modern metal with an old school vibe. Formed of Al Shirazi on vocals and guitars, Johannes Horas on bass and Wanja Gröger on drums, the trio is ready to rock our world with their first ever full-length album, entitled Vandalism, the follow-up to their 2019 debut EP Voken. Recorded, mixed and mastered by Fabian Großberg, and displaying a Punk Rock-inspired artwork by the band’s own Johannes Horas and Al Shirazi, Vandalism brings to our ears 42 minutes of an amalgamation of rock and metal styles that will please all metal enthusiasts with a taste for innovative songwriting, proving how versatile and dynamic those three German rockers can be.

A wicked laugh by Al kicks off the rocking tune The Great Command, where Johannes fires Primus-inspired bass punches for our total delight while Wanja dictates the pace with his rhythmic and at the same time demolishing beats; and Al continues to slash his stringed axe in Headless Haunting Hound while he declaims the song’s poetic lyrics, blending the melody of Progressive Rock and Metal with the insanity found in Groove Metal. Then enhancing their rage and heaviness it’s time for Killing At the Speed of Light, where Wanja crushes his drums nonstop in the name of Heavy Metal, not to mention Al’s classic riffs, whereas we’re treated to over six minutes of progressiveness in the form of music in Symphony of Suicide, with Al and Johannes hammering their respective guitar and bass from start to finish and with Al once again delivering his Doom Metal-inspired vocal lines.

The groovy bass jabs by Johannes will hit you hard in the head in Monsters Of the Sea while Wanja keeps pounding his drums; it loses its grip after a while though, despite being a good composition. Back to a more visceral and frantic mode the trio offers us all Teachings, a song that exhales madness and groove with Al kicking ass with both his sharp riffage and obscure vocalizations, or in other words, it will surely ignite some fun mosh pits if played live by the band. Their second to last blast of Progressive Rock and Metal is entitled Servant, a song that will inspire you to bang your head together with the band or simply close your eyes and enjoy Al’s vocal performance, and lastly, let’s raise our horns one final time to Shame or Glory, presenting hints of 80’s Heavy and Power Metal and an amazing job done by Wanja with his intricate beats and fills.

The talented VOLDT crew is waiting for you on Facebook and on Instagram, where you can get more details about their career, their music, tour dates and so on, as well as on YouTube and on Spotify where you can stream all of their wicked creations. In addition, don’t forget to show them your utmost support by purchasing their new album from their BandCamp page sooner than you can scream “VOLDT!” In  nutshell, Vandalism is not only a very entertaining album of rock and metal music, but a statement by those three unstoppable musicians from Germany telling us all that they’re among us to stay, always ready to vandalize our ears with their incendiary and innovative music.

Best moments of the album: Headless Haunting Hound, Symphony of Suicide and Teachings.

Worst moments of the album: Monsters Of the Sea.

Released in 2022 Blood Blast Distribution

Track listing
1. The Great Command 4:36
2. Headless Haunting Hound 5:33
3. Killing At the Speed of Light 4:09
4. Symphony of Suicide 6:33
5. Monsters Of the Sea 5:25
6. Teachings 5:18
7. Servant 5:37
8. Shame or Glory 5:14

Band members
Al Shirazi – vocals, guitars
Johannes Horas – bass, backing vocals
Wanja Gröger – drums

Album Review – Emetropia / Equinox (2022)

This imposing Swedish metal band is ready to hypnotize us all with their breathtaking debut concept album.

Formed in 2017 in the city of Linköping, Sweden, Symphonic Metal act Emetropia is set to release their debut album, entitled Equinox, bringing the full Equinox Saga which was teased in their 2018 debut EP Procession of the Kings, with all EP tracks also being “re-imagined” and re-recorded. While many bands in the genre choose to lean towards a gothic, dark theme, Emetropia instead focus on delivering energetic and dynamic metal driven by big orchestras and choirs carefully brought forth by Lisa Wallenberg on vocals, Olle Renius and Jonatan Jakobsson on the guitars, Kristoffer “Bobo” Pynnönen on bass, Liam Strand on keyboards and orchestrations, and Oscar Heikkinen on drums. Mixed and mastered by Michele “Meek” Guaitoli and displaying a stunning artwork by Jani Stefanović, Equinox “is a story about a small boy who finds himself captivated by a story told by the fireplace at night. In this tale, the kings of Summer and Winter rage a never-ending battle for the throne. Saddened by the fact that they are trapped in a cycle of bloodshed and suffering, the boy sets out to convince the Fey King and Frost King to make peace. However, while the Great Wheel turns, can it ever stop spinning?”, as explained by the band’s vocalist and lyricist Lisa.

Liam kicks some ass from the very first second with his striking keys in the re-imagined version of Seasonal Warfare, while Olle and Jonathan begin their guitar duel in great fashion in a classic Symphonic Metal feast for admirers of the genre. Then in the also re-imagined version of A Summer Breeze, Oscar dictates the song’s epic pace with his thunderous beats supported by the rumbling bass by Kristoffer and the magical orchestrations by Liam, not to mention how powerful and hypnotizing Lisa’s operatic vocals sound; and this six-piece squad keeps embellishing the airwaves with their unique Symphonic Metal in That Fateful Night, with all backing vocals enhancing the song’s impact and epicness considerably while Lisa beautifully tells the story proposed. In the re-imagined version of Lord of the Blizzards we’re treated to the angelic vocals by Lisa in paradox with harsh growls, turning the song into a metal opera  with the rhythmic drums by Oscar and the riffage by Olle and Jonatan guiding us on Emetropia’s musical voyage; whereas the stunning piano notes by Liam kick off the whimsical The First Leaf Falls, absolutely epic and bringing to our ears over six minutes of classic Symphonic Metal with a cinematic approach.

The visceral riffs by the band’s guitar duo set fire to the music in Fall’s First Storm, offering us all an electrifying wall of sounds spearheaded by the crushing drums by Oscar while providing Lisa with all she needs to shine on vocals, and it’s time for a classic Melodic Metal tune with symphonic nuances entitled The Old Gods, as if Stratovarius and Nightwish had a child together, and with Liam and Oscar once again stealing the spotlight with their respective instruments. The re-imagined version of Procession of the Kings is another Nightwish-inspired tune by those Swedish rockers that will put you to dance while you enjoy Lisa’s mesmerizing vocal performance, resulting in a top-of-the-line composition flawlessly brought forth in the name of metal music. Finally, prepare your senses as an 11-minute voyage through the realms of Symphonic Metal is about to begin in His Final Endeavour, full of breaks and variations and feeling like the score to an epic movie blending the band’s core essence with Heavy and Power Metal elements. Furthermore, Olle and Jonatan are bestial with their guitars, all of course spiced up by the stunning vocals by Lisa until the song’s smooth and climatic finale.

The talented musicians from Emetropia are waiting for your feedback on their music on Facebook and on Instagram, and don’t forget to also subscribe to their official YouTube channel and to stream all of their creations on Spotify. “Equinox represents everything about Emetropia. After half a decade of songwriting and developing as musicians, we’ve finally completed an album that sounds just like we envisioned it. There will be straight forward power metal, there will be mind-boggling progressive metal, and there will be bombastic symphonic metal over the course of its 53 minute run time! In the end, Equinox provides listeners with nine diverse and unique songs, all displaying the different sides of Emetropia to look forward to. We can’t wait to finally unveil the complete Equinox Saga,” commented Liam about the band’s new opus, which will be available for purchase from their BandCamp page, and I’m sure you’ll be beyond thrilled to join Emetropia in their quest for Symphonic Metal to the awesome music found in Equinox.

Best moments of the album: Fall’s First Storm, Procession of the Kings and His Final Endeavour.

Worst moments of the album: That Fateful Night.

Released in 2022 Independent

Track listing
1. Seasonal Warfare (Re-Imagined) 4:00
2. A Summer Breeze (Re-Imagined) 5:47
3. That Fateful Night 5:27
4. Lord of the Blizzards (Re-Imagined) 5:31
5. The First Leaf Falls 6:29
6. Fall’s First Storm 5:14
7. The Old Gods 4:29
8. Procession of the Kings (Re-Imagined) 4:54
9. His Final Endeavour 11:06

Band members
Lisa Wallenberg – vocals
Olle Renius – lead guitars
Jonatan Jakobsson – rhythm guitars
Kristoffer “Bobo” Pynnönen – bass
Liam Strand – keyboards, backing vocals
Oscar Heikkinen – drums

Album Review – Battle Beast / Circus of Doom (2022)

Welcome to the circus ruled by the one and only Battle Beast, featuring ten tracks that blend true Heavy Metal with pop and rock vibes.

Since their inception in 2005 in the city of Helsinki, Finland, the Heavy/Power Metal and Hard Rock bulldozer known as Battle Beast has been on an unstoppable ride, releasing an array of albums that can already be considered metal classics such as their 2015 opus Unholy Savior, and contemporary gems like their 2017 album Bringer Of Pain. Now in 2022 our beloved frontwoman Noora Louhimo and her bandmates Joona Björkroth and Juuso Soinio on the guitars, Eero Sipilä on bass, Janne Björkroth on the keyboards and orchestrations, and Pyry Vikki on drums are back in action with Circus of Doom, the follow-up to their not-so-good 2019 album No More Hollywood Endings. Recorded, produced, engineered and mixed by Janne Björkroth at JKB Studios, mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox Studios, and displaying a classy artwork by Jan “Örkki” Yrlund of Darkgrove Design, Circus of Doom features ten tracks that blend true Heavy Metal with pop and rock vibes, putting the band back on track and showing us all why they’ve become one of the most important names of the current European scene.

A quick circus-inspired intro evolves into the melodic and wicked title-track Circus of Doom, showcasing classic Power Metal lyrics declaimed by Noora (“The lions are hungry / And filled with rage / Afraid and angry / Locked in a cage / Ah / The circus is coming to town”) spiced up by the whimsical keys by Janne, whereas Wings of Light can be considered a journey back in time to their Bringer of Pain sound, with Pyry dictating  the song’s headbanging pace while Joona and Juuso keep slashing their guitars in the name of Heavy Metal firing riffs and solos that exhale pure electricity. Master of Illusion, one of the first singles of the album, brings forward the band’s more recent creations, mixing heavy music with pop in a theatrical manner, and once again it’s Noora who steals the spotlight with her powerful voice; followed by Where Angels Fear to Fly, another tune where the band focuses a lot more on their Hard Rock vein than on Heavy Metal while Janne kicks ass with his keys and orchestrations from start to finish. Then happy, strident riffs permeate the air in Eye of the Storm, an upbeat metal tune spearheaded by Noora’s soaring vocals and Pyry’s rhythmic drumming.

In Russian Roulette, witty words are powerfully sung by Noora (“In this game of Russian roulette / The room is filled with sin, would you let me in? / Tonight might be the night / As troubles disappear, the moon seems so near / Beneath electric starlight”) while her bandmates deliver a solid balance of Heavy Metal, Disco and Rock N’ Roll, whereas Freedom is an imposing, pounding composition that will please all fans of the early days of Battle Beast, bringing to our avid ears the galloping drums and bass by Pyry and Eero, respectively, not to mention how epic the backing vocals sound. The Road to Avalon sounds and feels extremely melodic, inviting us all to dance together with those Finnish rockers while Eero’s rumbling bass goes hand in hand with the old school riffage by the band’s guitar duo, and sharp vocalizations ignite the groovy and exciting tune Armageddon, bringing forward another striking performance by Noora on vocals supported by the stylish riffs and solos by Joona and Juuso. Last but not least, it’s time for a Power Metal feast entitled Place That We Call Home, where the sound of the guitars makes a potent paradox with the keys by Janne, putting a climatic ending to the album. As a matter of fact, if you go for the Digibook edition of the album you’ll be treated to two excellent bonus tracks, The Lightbringer and Tempest of Blades, both definitely worth the extra investment.

You can enjoy Noora’s soaring vocals and the thunderous Heavy Metal played by her henchmen in Circus of Doom in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, and of course purchase a copy of the album by clicking HERE. In addition, don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel (if you haven’t done so yet, of course). Battle Beast might not sound as metallic as in their early days, but they managed to find an awesome balance between Heavy Metal and pop music that turns their more recent releases (with the exception of No More Hollywood Endings) a beyond enjoyable listen to any fan of good music, it doesn’t matter if that person is a metalhead or not, and that only contributes to elevate their name in the metal scene even more. In other words, welcome to the circus of Heavy Metal by Battle Beast, and don’t forget to bang your head nonstop to each one of the “attractions” of the show.

Best moments of the album: Wings of Light, Freedom, Armageddon and Tempest of Blades.

Worst moments of the album: Where Angels Fear to Fly.

Released in 2022 Nuclear Blast

Track listing
1. Circus of Doom 4:57
2. Wings of Light 4:07
3. Master of Illusion 4:08
4. Where Angels Fear to Fly 3:56
5. Eye of the Storm 4:26
6. Russian Roulette 4:16
7. Freedom 3:44
8. The Road to Avalon 4:30
9. Armageddon 3:43
10. Place That We Call Home 3:47

Digibook bonus tracks
11. The Lightbringer 4:23
12. Tempest of Blades 3:32

Band members
Noora Louhimo – vocals
Joona Björkroth – guitars, backing vocals
Juuso Soinio – rhythm guitars
Eero Sipilä – bass, backing vocals
Janne Björkroth – keyboards, orchestrations, backing vocals
Pyry Vikki – drums

Metal Chick of the Month – Adrienne Cowan

So sin ‘til you win, let your demons out! Lady Lightbringer!

It’s time for a true metal opera this February on The Headbanging Moose, courtesy of our multi-talented metal lady of the month. A metal vocalist, poet, vocal coach and musician best known for being the frontwoman and composer for American Symphonic Metal band Seven Spires, among several other amazing metal bands and projects, Adrienne Elizabeth Catli Cowan, who goes by her stage name of Adrienne Cowan, will mesmerize you with her unique vocals, both extreme and classic Heavy Metal clean vocals. In other words, she can sing pretty much any type of metal and non-metal music, from the Symphonic Metal of Seven Spires to Death Metal, Deathcore and Dark Jazz, and I’m sure you’ll have an absolute blast with Adrienne after knowing more about the life and career of such skillful artist.

Born on January 28, 1995 in Houston, the most populous city in Texas and the fourth most populous city in the United States, Adrienne is formally trained in classical and most contemporary styles as a graduate of both Berklee College of Music (with a degree in Music Composition) in Boston, Massachusetts and the Academy of Contemporary Music in the UK, although she was also self-taught in both extreme clean vocals for many years before finally finding a perfect vocal coach in Swedish singer David Äkesson. Her connection with music started a lot earlier than that, though, as since she was a child she was already taking part in choirs and taking piano lessons, performing in musicals and then entering music school, and from there starting to compose her music and to expand her knowledge and skills, especially as a singer. For instance, Adrienne had her first performance as a vocalist at the age of three at an event at the church her family attended, beginning her piano lessons after that at the age of six and being mainly into choir and darker popular musicals such as Phantom of the Opera throughout elementary and middle school. Not only that, her parents pulled her out of high school so that she could attend a music school full-time, so through that show of support she already had a good feeling about her potential skills.

When she was still living in England, in 2012, Adrienne was making demos by herself for a dark and theatrical project she had yet to debut, and after moving back to the United States in 2013 she met Jack Kosto in a bookstore in her first week at Berklee and told him about her project and songs. From there Seven Spires were born, with all band members having extensive musical knowledge and studies, therefore drawing on their backgrounds to express themselves musically without limits of genre or technique. Seven Spires released their first album in 2014, the EP The Cabaret of Dreams, with all of its songs representing half of their 2017 full-length opus Solveig, where not only Adrienne was responsible for all vocals, keyboards, lyrics and songwriting, but also for the production and vocal engineering, showcasing all her talent and professionalism. After Solveig, the band released the full-length albums Emerald Seas, in 2020, and Gods of Debauchery, in 2021, and if you want to enjoy all of the band’s epic creations you can find Seven Spires on Spotify and on YouTube, where you can also have a visual orgasm with their official videos for the songs Lightbringer, Succumb, The Unforgotten Name, The Cabaret Of Dreams, Drowner Of Worlds, Bury You, The Paradox, This God Is Dead, Silvery Moon, The Cursed Muse, and Dare To Live, as well as some live footage, making of’s, behind the scenes and other awesome videos by Adrienne and her crew.

Apart from her career with Seven Spires, you can also find Adrienne and her powerful vocals in distinct bands and projects such as International Power Metal band Light & Shade, with whom she recorded the vocals for the 2016 album The Essence of Everything; International Power Metal/Hard Rock band Sascha Paeth’s Masters of Ceremony, with whom she recorded the vocals (and piano for one track) in the 2019 album Signs of Wings; and American Symphonic Deathcore band Winds of Plague, with whom she recorded the keyboards and backing vocals in the 2017 album Blood of My Enemy. In addition, Adrienne was also part of American Melodic Heavy Metal band FirstBourne from 2016 to 2018, having recorded the vocals and keyboards in their 2016 album Riot and in the 2017 acoustic single Home, and of Frontiers All Stars in 2020 and Riot Underground between 2012 and 2013.

You can also find her singing and playing live with German Symphonic Power Metal band Avantasia since 2018, with American Heavy Metal band Mike Kerr from 2015 until 2018, and with American Power/Thrash Metal band Sonic Pulse. Not only that, Adrienne was also a guest musician in an array of bands and projects, those being vocals for the song I Declare War from the 2020 album The Journey, by German Melodic Death Metal band Deliver the Galaxy; vocals for several songs from the 2021 album The Metal Opera by Magnus Karlsson, by Swedish Symphonic/Melodic/Power Metal band Heart Healer; vocals for the song My Guide My Hunger from the 2018 album As Above So Below, by Italian Melodic Death Metal band Hell’s Guardian; vocals for the song The End of Innocence from the 2017 album Reflections, by American Neoclassical Heavy Metal artist Jimi Mitchell; vocals for the song Mammoth from the 2017 album Pianometal, by American Symphonic/Progressive Metal artist Kyle Morrison; vocals for the song The Truth of the Lion from the 2015 album The Truth of the Lion, by Mike Kerr; harsh and clean vocals for the songs Conjunction of Souls and The Restitution from the 2020 album Pile of Priests, by American Progressive Death Metal band Pile of Priests; vocals for the song Let It Go from the 2018 album Re-Animated, by Italian Power Metal band Trick or Treat; and vocals and lyrics for the 2018 album Lights in the Murk, by Italian Symphonic Black Metal band Yass-Waddah. Do you want more? Because our she-wolf was also responsible for the songwriting for the song Hold Tight from the 2016 EP Dirty Lyxx, by American Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Dirty Lyxx, and she also sung vocals in Black Science’s Freedom (Or Die Trying), featured in the outro of one Camp Camp episode, and sang both a duet with Casey Lee Williams in the RWBY Volume 6 credits song Nevermore, and in the song War of Volume 7. Adrienne has also been a part of the Freelance Orchestra in their RTX 2016 (where to her surprise she ended up in the RWBY music panel) and 2018 concerts, plus Anime Boston 2018, and you can always have a great time watching her own videos on her official YouTube channel.

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Adrienne got into the world of metal music around the age of 11 when her uncle showed her Metallica and Scorpions, but it wasn’t until she found out about musicians the likes of Alexi Laiho, Janne Wierman and Yngwie Malmsteen that she really started to feel at home listening to Heavy Metal. She mentioned it appealed in some way to her classical background, and watching live Children of Bodom videos was quite inspiring. However, she’s not only into metal, but showcases a wide variety of influences in her life. “I’m not a one-dimensional person – I’m a human – so I’m allowed to like other stuff”, she said in one of her interviews. “I’m not a huge K-pop fan or anything, but I really like good pop writing. From a technical standpoint, as a songwriter, I’m like: damn, good for you guys. And there’s a certain sassy energy – it just speaks to me in a way that a lot of metal doesn’t.” Another influence on our beloved diva as a writer are painters of the Romantic period, with German painter Caspar David Friedrich and Russian painter Ivan Aivazovsky being two of her main inspirations. “I’m also a big fan of (the English composer) Edward Elgar – he does this piece called ‘Sospiri Op. 70,’ which is the most beautiful thing, it sounds like the pain of falling in love. It was something I listened to a lot when we were writing this record. And of course, Chopin,” she said, also finding inspiration under night skies and in the darker depths of the human condition to write her lyrics. Adrienne also nurtures an amazing openness with her fans on social media, which she credits to her experience as a My Chemical Romance fan back when she was younger. “This one interview with them came out, and I remember one of the guys in the band saying basically, ‘We say these things in our music, we are a bunch of fucked up guys, and it helps our fans know… you’re not alone.’ That really made me feel less alone when I was a sad teenager, and then when I grew up into a sad adult, I thought, damn, I could be that for somebody else.”

Regarding her singing style, technique and how she maintains her vocal cords in great shape, Adrienne mentioned in one of her interviews that she likes to meditate before shows and uses her instincts to decide what she’ll sing or scream either high or low. “The low death metal style is more present and more grounded and more angry and earthier in a way. The higher black metal screams are more spiritually pitched or spiritually empty — when there’s black metal themes and nihilistic lyrics, of course I’m probably going to scream with that high tone”, said Adrienne. In addition, when she was enrolled at The Academy of Contemporary Music at the age of 16 she joined an after-school club where all metalhead students gathered to jam on a new song every week, opening her eyes to the rest of the metal world and challenging her to vocally try different styles of each subgenre of metal. She also mentioned that she has studied many techniques of singing including theatrical belting, Speech Level Singing, bel canto and even some throat singing, with the hardest part being unlearning things previous teachers had told her in order to properly approach whatever new technique she was learning, and with the very high Power Metal “scream” being one of the styles that took her the longest to develop. In order to maintain her vocal health, she mentioned that she basically has to just mind her sleep and hydration levels, trying to stay out of the direct blast of heaters or air conditioners, and trying not to get sick or allergic. However, at the end of the day, even dehydrated or sick the show must go on, which forced her to develop alternate techniques to sing through sickness.

A huge fan of Lord of the Rings, all forms of art, Gothic style, cheesy Sci-Fi, vampire shows, coffee and fantasy games, Adrienne enjoys mountain hikes, spending time by any shore, and playing JRPG’s (Japanese Role-Playing Games) and games with friends between her musical ventures. “After a long tour, I like to sit at home and sleep in my own bed, play video games, maybe think about going out… If I get to go on a little holiday or something, I love road trips and anywhere remote with alpine forests and quiet waters. Wyoming is great for this, as are many spots on the West Coast. Anything to get me away from people and out of my regular world,” commented Adrienne, who despite being very fond of animals cannot take care of a dog or cat due to her lack of space and time to do so. And when asked which hobbit from Lord of the Rings she would choose to be part of her band for the rest of their days, she provided a curious and fun answer to that. “Either Sam or Pippin, I think. Because I think I’m a Frodo, and I need a support system like Sam. But also I need a Pippin to just make me laugh all the time no matter what, and just help lighten the mood, and tell me to eat my carrots and mushrooms.”

Last but not least, our raven-haired vocalist also had a few interesting words to say about the whole pandemic and how it has been impacting her life on the road with Seven Spires. “All of this resulted in connecting more with our fans online. So although it’s super frustrating to not know exactly when we’re going to be able to play live again, we have found a way to do the online equivalent of hugging people at the merch table and listening to their stories,” said Adrienne, who also mentioned she keeps working hard to entertain and stay in touch with her fanbase, also teaching online, private vocal lessons and running a weekly workshop on everything from orchestration to arranging to songwriting techniques, all of which you can find on Linktree and on Patreon. “Mostly I teach tools for people to be able to express what they have in mind, and I teach from a really emotional standpoint.” And if you want to know more about Adrienne, her likes and dislikes, her inspirations and so on, there are countless interview online with her such as this one to Rock Titan or this one called RichardMetalFan Interviews! Ep. 33: Adrienne Cowan of Seven Spires/Winds of Plague/Avantasia, where she talks about her journey with music from where she started until now. Having said all that, what are you waiting for to let Adrienne reach deep inside your heart and take you on a breathtaking musical voyage to the sound of her stunning vocals?

Adrienne Cowan’s Official Facebook page
Adrienne Cowan’s Official Instagram
Adrienne Cowan’s Official YouTube channel
Adrienne Cowan’s Official Twitter
Seven Spires’ Official Facebook page
Seven Spires’ Official Instagram
Seven Spires’ Official YouTube channel
Seven Spires’ Official Twitter

“I know that if I’m just stagnant and sitting on my ass, I’m not going to be happy. So if I want to be happy, I have to do something about it.” – Adrienne Cowan

Album Review – Flames Of Fire / Flames Of Fire (2022)

Hailing from Sweden, Norway and Finland, these fired up musicians will rock your world to the sound of their debut album of old school Heavy Metal.

Formed in the spring of 2021 by vocalist Christian Liljegren (Narnia, The Waymaker, Audiovision) and guitarist and composer Mats-Åke Andersson (Zaragorn), but with its history going back to 1987 when the duo met for the first time in their hometown Jönköping, a city on the shores of Lake Vättern, in southern Sweden, the newborn Heavy Metal entity known as Flames Of Fire is ready to show us all what they got with the release of their self-titled debut album. With multi-instrumentalist Jani Stefanovic (The Waymaker, Solution .45, Miseration), bassist Per Schelander (House of Shakira, Astrakhan, Royal Hunt, Pain of Salvation) and guitarist Stephen Carlson (Brotthogg, Peter Carlsohn’s The Rise, Tales, Viva) completing the line-up, this Sweden/Norway/Finland-based squad is highly recommended for admirers of the music by Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force and Dio, among others, delivering the awesomeness of metal music in their new album while also displaying a crystal clear and very professional overall production and sound quality.

The sinister intro New Dawn warms up Flames of Fire to strike us all with their high-octane sound in Gloria, with Jani dictating the pace with his fierce drumming while at the same time he embellishes the airwaves with his classy keys, all of course spiced up by the powerful vocals by Christian in an old school, no shenanigans Heavy and Power Metal hymn by the quintet. Mats-Åke, Jani and Stephen keep slashing their guitars in the battle song that carries the name of the band, Flames Of Fire, supported by the thunderous bass by Per. Needless to say, it will inspire you to keep fighting for heavy music no matter what; whereas Madness brings to our ears classic Melodic Metal with that trademark European harmony, also presenting a pleasant pace with Jani kicking ass with his rhythmic beats. Then in I Am the band drinks from the same mystical fountain as bands like Helloween, Blind Guardian and Iron Maiden, while Christian’s soaring vocals add an extra touch of magic to the musicality accompanied by the galloping bass by Per.

It’s time to bang our heads to the electrifying fusion of Melodic and Power Metal found in Time To Live, showcasing traditional guitar riffs and solos, a breathtaking pace and the always visceral vocals by Christian, not to mention Per’s stunning bass lines. Are you ready for 10 minutes of epicness and a deep passion for metal music? That’s what the band has to offer us all in Solution, a heavy-as-hell aria by Flames of Fire where Christian darkly declaims the song’s wicked words. Moreover, it has a strong Black Sabbath vibe from their Dio-era, resulting in almost a metal opera with the massive drums by Jani making your head tremble mercilessly. The band has one final metal onrush for us all in the form of Soldiers Of The King, tailored for diehard fans of the genre, with their guitar triumvirate Mats-Åke, Jani and Stephen being on absolute sync until the very last second, flowing into the outro End Theme, which puts an atmospheric ending to the album.

After carefully listening to Flames of Fire, you’ll easily notice how professional and focused those Scandinavian metallers are, which explains why the album sounds so thrilling from start to finish. Hence, in order to show them your support and admiration, you can start following the band on Facebook for news, tour dates (if they will do that one day, of course), plans for the future and other nice-to-know details about them, and purchase your copy of the album from the Melodic Passion Records’ webstore or by clicking HERE. Having said all that, are you ready to rock and bang your head in the name of Heavy Metal together with the guys from Flames of Fire? You won’t get disappointed at all, showing you once and for all that Scandinavia is and will always be a fantastic source of heavy music for your metallic heart.

Best moments of the album: Flames Of Fire, Time To Live and Solution.

Worst moments of the album: Madness.

Released in 2022 Melodic Passion Records

Track listing
1. New Dawn 1:25
2. Gloria 4:15
3. Flames Of Fire 3:16
4. Madness 3:55
5. I Am 4:31
6. Time To Live 4:07
7. Solution 9:58
8. Soldiers Of The King 5:05
9. End Theme 1:32

Band members
Christian Liljegren – vocals
Mats-Åke Andersson – guitars
Jani Stefanovic – guitars, keyboards, drums, backing vocals
Stephen Carlson – guitars
Per Schelander – bass

The Year In Review – Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2021

“I wanted to play drums because I fell in love with the glitter and the lights, but it wasn’t about adulation. It was being up there playing.” – Charlie Watts

And there goes another year without a single metal concert in Canada. Another year full of uncertainties, fears, polarization, restrictions, and everything else we “love” so much. I honestly don’t know what to say about 2021 apart form the fact it was undoubtedly much better than 2020, but that means nothing considering the total nightmare that 2020 was. We lost a lot of huge names in the rock and metal scene such as Joey Jordison, Dusty Hill, Mike Howe, Johnny Solinger, Marsha Zazula, Alexi Laiho, John Hinch, John Lawton, Charlie Watts and Hank Von Hell, among many others. Tons of festivals including Download, Wacken Open Air, Hellfest, Bloodstock Open Air, Sweden Rock Festival and Dynamo MetalFest were scheduled to return this year after the 2020 editions of those festivals were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but unfortunately Sweden Rock, Hellfest, Download and Wacken Open Air were once again cancelled. With that said, why do we metalheads still believe in a better future? Is it because, despite all adversities, our favorite bands released some of their best albums from the past few years?

Hence, as new lockdowns are being imposed upon us in a never-ending pandemic loop, there’s not much we can do but enjoy The Headbanging Moose’s Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Albums of 2021, excluding EP’s, best of’s and live albums, keeping us sane until this madness is finally over. Or maybe I should say if it will be over one day, of course. There’s a bit of everything for all types of fans, from classic Heavy Metal to the brutality of Death Metal, from the modern nuances of Melodic Death Metal to old school Thrash Metal, and so on, and in my humble opinions one of the most interesting facts about several albums launched in 2021 is their duration, with many of those surpassing the one hour barrier such as Senjutsu, Helloween, Persona Non Grata, Existence Is Futile and Blood on Blood, not to mention the over four hours of music from the Lordiversity boxset, which for me proves how much the bands responsible for those albums love their fans by offering them a lot of new music to enjoy during such difficult times. I would say that even if there are ZERO metal albums launched in 2022, we’ll still have a lot of great music to enjoy throughout the year thanks to all the amazing records released in 2021, don’t you agree?

1. Iron Maiden – Senjutsu (REVIEW)
Behold another masterpiece by the one and only Iron Maiden with its 82 minutes of tactics, strategy, war, resilience and determination.
Best song of the album: Hell on Earth

2. Helloween – Helloween (REVIEW)
A dream come true for all generations of “Happy, Happy Helloween” fans from all over the world.
Best song of the album: Skyfall

3. Trivium – In the Court of the Dragon (REVIEW)
It’s time to join Trivium in the court of the dragon to the sound of their magnificent new opus.
Best song of the album: Like a Sword Over Damocles

4. Exodus – Persona Non Grata (REVIEW)
Don’t be a “persona non grata” in the world of heavy music and get into the circle pit to the sound of this newborn thrashing beast.
Best song of the album: Lunatic-Liar-Lord

5. Cannibal Corpse – Violence Unimagined (REVIEW)
State of the art Death Metal played with passion and breathless precision by the most violent and unrelenting band of all time.
Best song of the album: Surround, Kill, Devour

6. 1914 – Where Fear and Weapons Meet (REVIEW)
Ukraine’s own doom infantry is back into the battlefield with another masterpiece, telling the gruesome tales of World War I.
Best song of the album: Pillars of Fire (The Battle of Messines)

7. Motorjesus – Hellbreaker (REVIEW)
Let’s drive through the fires of hell together with one of the best bands from the German rock and metal scene.
Best song of the album: Hellbreaker

8. Nervosa – Perpetual Chaos (REVIEW)
A deadly and thrashing lesson in perpetual chaos by four metalheads hailing from Brazil, Italy, Spain and Greece
Best song of the album: Time to Fight

9. Gojira – Fortitude (REVIEW)
Let’s all face up the world to the sound of the new masterpiece by one of the most dynamic bands of the current metal scene.
Best song of the album: Amazonia

10. Blaze Bayley – War Within Me (REVIEW)
The man who will live for a thousand years is back, inspiring us all to fight the war within us and to take our future in our own hands.
Best song of the album: Pull Yourself Up

And here we have the runner-ups, completing the top 20 for the year:

11. Running Wild – Blood on Blood (REVIEW)
12. Lordi – Lordiversity (REVIEW)
13. Cradle of Filth – Existence Is Futile (REVIEW)
14. Diabolizer – Khalkedonian Death (REVIEW)
15. Angelus Apatrida – Angelus Apatrida (REVIEW)
16. Moonspell – Hermitage (REVIEW)
17. Lutharo – Hiraeth (REVIEW)
18. Unflesh – Inhumation (REVIEW)
19. Scarlet Aura – Genesis of Time (REVIEW)
20. Coiled Around Thy Spine – From The Ashes (REVIEW)

In addition to all that, let’s bang our heads with our Top 10 EP’s of 2021 to prove once and for all that not all great albums of the year have to be so long. The EP’s from this list are simply awesome, showcasing the band’s talent and their ability to sound epic even if the music lasts for only a few minutes.

1. Eonian – The Nomad (REVIEW)
2. Lady Beast – Omens (REVIEW)
3. The Agonist – Days Before the World Wept (REVIEW)
4. Tantivy – Eyes in the Night (REVIEW)
5. Grale – AGITACIÓN (REVIEW)
6. Bouquet of Dead Crows – Hemispheres Part 2: Cerebral (REVIEW)
7. Kadavereich – Radiance Of Doom (REVIEW)
8. Wolvencrown – A Shadow Of What Once Was (REVIEW)
9. Juliet Ruin – Dark Water (REVIEW)
10. Black Hole Deity – Lair Of Xenolich (REVIEW)

Do you agree with our list? What are your top 10 albums of 2021? Also, don’t forget to tune in every Tuesday at 10pm BRT on Rádio Coringão to enjoy the best of classic and underground metal with Jorge Diaz and his Timão Metal, and every Thursday at 8pm UTC+2 on Midnight Madness Metal e-Radio for the best of underground metal with The Headbanging Moose Show! And if you lost some or most of our special editions of The Headbanging Moose Show, including our Top 20 Underground Albums of 2021 – Parts I and II, go to our Mixcloud page and there you have hours and hours of the best of the independent scene, sounds good?

Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year! See you in 2022!

And before I go, I’ll leave you with some touching words by Mr. Lordi and his crew of monsters…

Something something blah blah to you
All the sincere wishes come true
I put vengeance on my wish list
And that’s what Santa brought
So have a merry something and a happy blah blah blah

Album Review – Emerald Rage / High King (2021)

Raise your horns to this triumphant and epic album of pure Heavy Metal crafted by three young American musicians, paying homage to the glorious medieval times, King Arthur and tales of pagan folklore.

After four intense years releasing a bunch of demos, EP’s and singles, Akron, Ohio-based Heavy/Power Metal unity Emerald Rage has finally unleashed upon humanity their debut full-length album, entitled High King, a fun and admirable sonic rollercoaster as the band successfully explores the melodic sense of the NWOBHM and all the explosive leads that come with the baggage, being highly recommended for admirers of the music by Skyclad, Falconer, Iron Maiden, and so on. Paying homage to the glorious medieval times, King Arthur and tales of pagan folklore, the album sounds and feels absolutely triumphant and epic, showcasing all the talent and passion for old school metal music by Jacob Wherley on vocals and guitars, Patrick Kern also on the guitars, and Erik Curry on bass, supported by session drummer David Hardesty.

Frantic riffs and beats ignite the metal extravaganza titled Into the Sky, a beautiful and electrifying tribute to the golden years of Heavy Metal with Jacob kicking ass on vocals accompanied by the galloping bass by Erik. In Wrathful Eyes the rumbling bass by Erik offers exactly what Jacob needs to declaim the song’s wicked lyrics (“You think the morning fog hides all the lies you’ve told / But I see through the dismal gloom straight to your blackened soul / Your forces they stand line by line grumbling to themselves / They know their leader is a thief, a craven and a fool”) in another high-octane display of classic metal music, whereas a more epic, thunderous vibe permeates the air in High King, spearheaded by the tribal beats by David while Jacob and Patrick extract sheer electricity from their guitars in the best Manowar style. Then telling a story of a pagan warrior, the band blasts the traditional Heavy and Power Metal tune Heart of a Pagan, showcasing an excellent guitar attack together with the unstoppable bass jabs by Erik.

In Dire Wolves the band delivers a solid hybrid of classic Heavy Metal with 80’s Hard Rock that reminds me of some of the most thrilling creations by Axel Rudi Pell, with their striking guitar riffs and solos penetrating deep inside your mind; and adding elements from Thrash Metal to their core sonority, Erik and David bring the groove to the music in White Stag while Jacob and Patrick keep slashing their stringed axes with tons of feeling and dexterity. Then inspired by the badass Rock N’ Roll by the unparalleled Motörhead, those young metallers will put you to bang your head and slam into the pit in Empress, with even Jacob’s voice displaying hints of the grumpy vocals by Lemmy, followed by Goddess Freya, which albeit not as exciting as the rest of the album still has its good moments, with Jacob doing another great job on vocals supported by his bandmates’ backing vocals. Last but not least, Emerald Rage bring forth the rumbling tune Wings of Solitude, sounding very stylish with its strident riffs in paradox with the low-tuned, metallic bass by Erik, also full of breaks, variations and endless stamina for our total delight.

You can join Emerald Rage in their metal voyage through the glory of the medieval times by streaming High King in its entirety on YouTube and on Spotify, by following the band on Facebook and on Instagram for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details, and above all that, by grabbing your copy of their thrilling debut installment from their own BandCamp page, from the Stormspell Records’ Big Cartel, from Apple Music, from Amazon or from Discogs. Now that those young rockers have finally released their first full-length album, let’s wait and see what’s next in their career and to what period in time they’ll take us with their refined Heavy Metal, sounding like true veterans and, consequently, keeping the fires of old school heavy music burning bright wherever they go.

Best moments of the album: Into the Sky, Dire Wolves and Empress.

Worst moments of the album: Goddess Freya.

Released in 2021 Stormspell Records

Track listing
1. Into the Sky 5:30
2. Wrathful Eyes 4:26
3. High King 5:37
4. Heart of a Pagan 3:25
5. Dire Wolves 3:29
6. White Stag 3:54
7. Empress 3:21
8. Goddess Freya 3:56
9. Wings of Solitude 5:35

Band members
Jacob Wherley – lead vocals, guitars
Patrick Kern – guitar, backing vocals
Erik Curry – bass, backing vocals

Guest musician
David Hardesty – drums (session)

Album Review – Running Wild / Blood on Blood (2021)

The German pirates of Heavy and Power Metal are back with what’s unarguably their strongest album in over 20 years.

The German pirates of Heavy and Power Metal, collectively known as Running Wild, are finally back with an album that lives up to their own legacy, the excellent Blood on Blood. Produced, recorded and mixed by the band’s own mastermind, vocalist and guitarist, the one and only Rock N’ Rolf (aka Rolf Kasparek), and displaying an old school artwork by Jens Reinhold of Zenz-Art, the seventeenth studio album by one of the most important names of the German metal scene to emerge in the early to mid-80’s puts the band back on track after a few bland albums, offering us fans the power and the glory of fantastic albums such as Under Jolly Roger, Death or Glory, Black Hand Inn, Masquerade and The Rivalry. Put differently, if you’re into stories and tales of piracy, or into songs about riding your motorbike wildly and freely, then Rock N’ Rolf and his crew comprised of Peter Jordan on the guitars, Ole Hempelmann on bass and Michael Wolpers on drums have exactly what you’re craving in heavy music with their new opus.

Rolf and Peter begin their incendiary riff attack in the title-track Blood on Blood, an upbeat Heavy Metal tune will put you to headbang within 20 seconds without a shadow of a doubt, whereas Wings of Fire sounds even more traditional than the opening track, with Rolf being on fire with his trademark raspy vocals while Michael dictates the song’s pace, inviting us to hit the road to the sound of such rockin’ tune. Say Your Prayers is another thrilling mid-tempo song mixing old school Heavy Metal with badass Rock N’ Roll, with Rolf’s piercing voice being effectively supported by his bandmates’ backing vocals; followed by Diamonds & Pearls, where albeit their pirate-inspired lyrics might be too cheesy (“Setting all gear, no doubt and no fear / Trailblazers stories were told / Sliding the waves that cover the graves / Of seamen and ships in the cold”), they go along really well with their straightforward Heavy Metal instrumental parts. There’s no time to breathe as Rolf and his crew keep kicking ass in Wild & Free, another fast song about riding free in the name of rock and metal music, with Ole making the earth tremble with his sick bass, not to mention the slashing riffs and solos by Rolf and Peter. Then soulful guitars set the stage for the quartet to shine with their Pirate Metal in Crossing the Blades, showcasing an addictive chorus (“Crossing the blades / Flashing the steel / We will ride, and united we stand / Flashing the blades / Crossing the steel / One for all, and all for one, in the end”) amidst a prancing, beer-drinking, sword-fighting sonority.

Running Wild Blood on Blood Deluxe Box

I personally believe Running Wild shouldn’t try to do any ballads, and One Night, One Day is the ultimate proof that those do not match with their core essence, getting tiresome and bland after a short while, falling flat and sounding way too generic, especially if compared to the rest of the album. Fortunately they get back to a much more thrilling vibe in The Shellback, where Rolf leads his crew of buccaneers inspired by the band’s own early days, with Ole and Michael bringing the groove to the overall result. It’s then time for another rockin’ tune with a powerful vibe that will inspire you to hit the road with your metal brothers, entitled Wild, Wild Nights, where Rolf and Peter are precise as usual with their razor-edged riffs, before the band invites us to join them in an epic journey through The Iron Times (1618-1648), showcasing stunning passages, sharp riffs and solos and pounding beats, all spearheaded by Rolf’s dark, storytelling vocal lines, flowing like an arrow on fire in total darkness until its epic finale. In addition, if you go for the Japanese edition of Blood on Blood you’ll be treated to three very special bonus tracks, those being Stargazed, their cover version for KISS’ classic Strutter (which you can check the original one HERE), and my favorite one Ride on the Wild Side, all worth the investment in this unique version of the album.

As aforementioned, if you’re into Heavy and Power Metal with a strong pirate vein you’ll have a really good time listening to Blood on Blood, which is available for purchase from the Steamhammer Records webstore or as a very special deluxe box from the Napalm Records webstore, strictly limited to 666 units and including the digipak CD and tape versions of the album, a flag, a pendant, a patch, an autograph card and a chain, or simply click HERE for all locations where you can buy or stream the album. “We all know the difficulties the cultural sector was faced with during the lockdown. On the other hand, it also gave me and many other artists some extra time since most releases had to be postponed. I used that time to fine-tune every little detail of my new material. The result is an album that in my opinion is probably the best in Running Wild’s career to date. Every one of the ten songs sounds exactly as I had it in mind when I composed it. I’ve never been happier with a Running Wild record before,” said Rock N’ Rolf himself, and although he might be exaggerating when saying it’s the best Running Wild album ever we must agree it’s indeed a sharp, exciting and detailed piece of work by those German pirates, who are by the way waiting for you to join their crew on Facebook and on Instagram. As the title track says, “one for all and all for one, blood on blood, we stand as one!”

Best moments of the album: Wings of Fire, Say Your Prayers, Crossing the Blades, Wild & Free and The Iron Times (1618-1648).

Worst moments of the album: One Night, One Day.

Released in 2021 Steamhammer Records

Track listing
1. Blood on Blood 4:07
2. Wings of Fire 3:57
3. Say Your Prayers 5:14
4. Diamonds & Pearls 4:44
5. Wild & Free 5:28
6. Crossing the Blades 6:00
7. One Night, One Day 4:59
8. The Shellback 6:11
9. Wild, Wild Nights 4:30
10. The Iron Times (1618-1648) 10:29

Japanese Edition bonus tracks
11. Stargazed 3:40
12. Strutter (KISS cover) 3:05
13. Ride on the Wild Side 4:05

Band members
Rock N’ Rolf – vocals, guitars
Peter Jordan – guitars
Ole Hempelmann – bass
Michael Wolpers – drums