Alright, so the singer sounds like the offspring of John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats and Charles Nelson Reilly doing an impersonation of Accept’s Udo Dirkschneider, but fuck it, it works. At least when the dude sings “Burn Them All” he sounds like he damn well means it. And it doesn’t hurt that his point is hammered home by some seriously ripping 80s metal bombast rammed down at a full-throttle speed metal pace and fueled by a healthy dose of thrash-leaning solo shredding. There’s even a bit of hard rockin’ motor boogie blues behind the retro-metal riffage, and the whole thing comes together as a fiery gallop into the mouth of heavy metal madness by a band of German metalheads rocking at the top of their game.
Ultima Ratio Regis is out now via Massacre Records. Check it out here.
I’ve been waiting for this one ever since I saw The Dead Space fucking crush it at Trailer Space Records one sunny afternoon during this year’s SXSW. Apparently the band had already been around for a bit at that point and it showed, as it does on their debut lp Faker. Featuring deep, dark vocals and loaded with ominous, hyper-melodic bass lines locked in with propulsive drums and punctured and punctuated with shards of guitar squall, all of which come together in crashing, anthemic choruses, the album might easily be filed away as yet another Joy Division-indebted, post-punk platter. But the band’s foreboding grooves are so fucking tight– yet loose enough to let the guitar drift out then cut back in, ripping and tearing at the melody before grabbing hold and driving the whole thing forward– that it’s clear these ain’t just a bunch of hackneyed revivalists. The Dead Space got the goods and deliver them with the kind of raw, guts-on-the-garage-floor intensity that only comes from motherfuckers who mean it.
The rockin’ good folks at Cruz del Sur Music know a thing or two about releasing damned fine albums by retro-minded metalheads like Pharaoh, Slough Feg, Pagan Altar, and new los grillos favorite Darkest Era to name just a few, and the latest from the UK’s Dark Forest carries on this tradition. With folk-metal leanings, epic dual guitar leads, and the volitant vocals of new front man Josh Winnard, The Awakening gallops and soars with the best of its classic metal ancestry, doing its headbanging heritage proud.
The Awakening is out now via Cruz del Sur Music. Check it out here.
The godfather of goth shows up with a crushing fucking album to remind all the current crop of goth and post-punk and no wave and cold wave and whatever-the-fuck wave revivalists why he remains such a looming icon and influence. This thing is an artistic statement that brings together Murphy’s past and present in a completely fucking epic collection of songs that cut to the core. “Hang Up” was released as the first single, and it’s a fantastic slice of arena-ready goth pop, but grab the album and check out centerpiece “Compressor”. Fucking slays. Sweeping and aching and angry and Murphy stretching that golden voice until it rips and cracks and breaks, tearing a hole in the sky and soaring right through it.
Though I’m not necessarlily all in for the name BattleRoaR, I suppose it’s not any worse than, say, Manowar. And like Manowar, it’s a name that lays it all out there, saying pretty much exactly what you’re gonna get when you rock their tunes– songs that play more or less like the soundtrack to a Manowar album cover. Tales of epic battles and mythical beasts, stormy seas and vengeful gods set to thunderous, hard-charging riffs spaced by a few quieter moments to allow reflection on the bloodshed and what it all means. Imagine if Aragorn had started a band to save epic metal instead of a fellowship to save Middle Earth. So who the hell am I to question the name BattleroaR when it announces exactly what I want to hear? I’m definitely all in for songs that trade angst for battle axes and slay.
Blood of Legends is out now via Cruz Del Sur Music. Grab a copy at the Cruz Del Sur Bandcamp site here.