Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Reign of Fury - Death Be Thy Shepherd

Any dedicated record collector will deny that old adage "You can't judge an album by its cover" and then tell you a story about the album or albums that they bought solely because of the cover and then they found out that the music was also solid and the purchase was worth it for more than just the artwork. From the moment I laid eyes on the cover of the second album from UK band Reign of Fury, I didn't know whether it would be death or thrash metal but I suspected it would be right up my alley and knew it would be one of the two metal sub-genres. Reign of Fury are not death but straight up no-nonsense thrash metal.

The band's sound is very much 80's metal. There's a little bit of "And Justice For All" Metallica here and there. At times vocalist Bison Steed sounds like a youthful James Hetfield. A number of the all-in shouts hark back to Tesament's "Practice What You Preach" which followed the Metallica blueprint that countless bands were following back in the day. Remember UK metallers Onslaught's "In Search of Sanity" album? Metallica had a song called "Frayed Ends of Sanity" and Reign of Fury have a song called "Gates of Sanity". Reign of Fury clearly aren't looking to reinvent the wheel and just want you to headbang along to their thrash and with songs like "Hypnotise the Masses" they succeed at their goal. Bison's vocals are melodic although not in the Joey Belladonna style and fit the band's Bay Area style of thrash. The bridges work well and the band are tight as hell.

"All is Lost" is the obligatory ballad. Haha, remember on "Practice What You Preach" that Testament simply named theirs "The Ballad". Reign of Fury's ballad does speed up into more traditional metal territory. For straight out thrash, it's difficult to go past "The Love of a Dying God", with its speedy intro and all-in shouts. The tempo does slow down a little but it's only so the band catch a small breath so that they can speed up again. The band works the slow/fast dynamics really well in this particular tune making it one of the album's highlights. "Sorrow Made Flesh" cops a number of Metallica riffs but it isn't quite paint by numbers as Reign of Fury manage to inject a little of their own style there largely due to Bison's vocals. The title track "Death Be They Shepherd" is the longest track on the album and clocks in at over ten minutes. Fortunately the band knowing when to speed up and when to slow down doesn't make the song seem quite that long

Reign of Fury might not be setting any new ground but in this day and age, what recent thrash metal band does? Reign of Fury and "Death Be Thy Shepherd" should be checked out for those looking for decent late 80's style thrash metal or just solid thrash metal. The full album is streaming on the bandcamp link below so check it out.


Reign of Fury on Facebook

Reign of Fury - Death Be They Shepherd on bandcamp

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mojo Waves - 7x7 single

The more observant among you may recall Mojo Waves who featured in this blog a couple of years ago back when posts came a lot more regularly. For a memory refresher read the album review here.

The band have released a single with a new album entitled "All The Right Parts Fit The Wrong Way" due out on May 11th this year.

Download the single.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Amplifires - Life's A Gamble

It doesn't seem that long ago that I reviewed a Danish band called Fuzz Manta. The lead singer of that band had a voice that was comparable to both Janis Joplin and Grace Slick. Sharon Clancy, lead singer of UK band Amplifires voice immediately reminded me of that album. The band are certainly no slackers but their sound is definitely based around their singer's vocals.

"Watching the Walls" is a nice and solid little head bobber of a rock tune. "Don't Turn Around" has a haunting start and walks a similarly hard rock stroll to Concrete Blonde. Both the opening title track and the closer bring The Bellrays to mind due to the hard rocking band playing fast and the accompanying female vocals being strongly belted out. If I had to choose standout tracks it'd be these two plus "Watching The Walls". The fact that there is more than one standout puts The Amplifires head and shoulders above many others.

Some of the songs on "Life's A Gamble" finish a little too quickly for my liking but I'd imagine fans of Janis Joplin, The Bellrays, Jefferson Airplane, Concrete Blonde, Fuzz Manta and Concrete Blonde will find a lot of enjoyment from The Ampifires if they take the gamble.


The Amplifires on facebook

The Amplifires reverb nation link

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Osmium Guillotine - Osmium Guillotine

Ever watched any episode of Doctor Who? The British doctor travels in a phone box through time and space. There are many options to capture the feeling of time and space travel through music. One option is to check out older albums and close your eyes and imagine traveling through space and also picturing the time the album was released. Another option is to pick up a new album by a new band covering old ground. With metal, this is easy with retro-thrash and death metal bands playing the old-school style.

An obvious comparison to make with Osmium Guillotine and Doctor Who is the fact that they're both from the United Kingdom. Osmium Kingdom have their feet partially entrenched in the New Wave of British Metal however there are also elements of the original wave of thrash metal so the band's music voyages through metal's past despite being in the present. The vocals of Pete Keleris are of the clean and clear variety with no high pitched screaming. The drumming and bass playing are solid throughout the album. Lance Steele's guitar work really shines through whether he's soloing or Osmium Guillotine are playing as a unit.

The instrumental opener with its quiet build really gives no indication of what's to come but still works as an attention getter like a first song should. The follow-up tune "Martydom" let's the listener know that Osmium Guillotine mean business with their crunching riffs and quick rhythm that brings both early Maiden, Metallica and Anthrax to mind. Opening with a very traditional British metal sound, "D-Day" then becomes much faster paced with the guitar and bass reaching slamming speed. There is a slight hint of Joey Belladonna in the vocals on "Phobophobia" which could be due to the song's near blistering pace. Those who ran screaming when Metallica released the Black album will want to skip "Blight Upon Mankind" due to its slow tempo. "City of Chaos" however will bring a smile to thrash metal fans face. "Hobgolin" opens with a spoken part then the metal is slightly folked up. Whether it is done knowingly or not "Breathe it in, Son" recalls the early days of the crossover between metal and hardcore as there is a riff that is very similar to D.R.I.'s "Five Year Plan".

The only gripe with this album is the song "Subhuman" is too long. There's enough variety between the songs for multiple listens. Osmium Guillotine have released a very good debut album and are a band definitely worth keeping an eye on. Click on the bandcamp link below and give the album a listen for yourself.


Osmium Guillotine on Bandcamp

Osmium Guillotine on Facebook

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jesus Crøst - 1986

Jesus Crøst are a two piece grindcore who have added other underground elements to their music. The duo have added death metal and power violence to create a ferocious brutally fast noise that slows down from ramming speed just a little now and then before angrily pummeling once again at full throttle. There are 22 songs in 15 minutes and all the songs are named after Soccer players. There are a few samples taken from soccer games of days long gone. Well worth checking out.


jesus crost on facebook

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tears of Martyr - Tales

Spanish band Tears of Martyr are musically very much in the same symphonic metal band mode as Nightwish and Leave's Eyes. A major factor of the band's present sound is the female soprano singing style of Berenice Musa. She's not the only vocalist but is her voice that contributes to a major factor of the band's sound.

When a male vocalist enters the picture in "Golem" there is a nu-metal feel fortunately it's only a small snippet of the sound. The vocal delivery in "Mermeid and Loneliness" is incredibly operatic and the whole band don't come across very well. It's difficult not to imagine the "Metal or Die" crowd running for cover with their fingers in their ears when the band plays this song live. The contrast of the dirty male and cleaner more operatic female voice works well on "Vampires of the Sunset Street" as does the spoken word interlude, which gives the song a fairy-tale feel. "And Ravens Born" uses the same techniques and it comes across really well as the spoken male voice adds a doom metal element.

The operatic style doesn't always mix well with the band's more metallic leanings. If you want to sell your Grandmother on metal, this album would be the one to convert her with. Fans of Nightwish, Leave's Eyes and other female fronted symphonic metal bands will want to give this one a look into. However, those seeking grittier metal will want to stay well clear. That the band actually has their own website is a huge plus in this day and age.


Tears of Martyr website