A Decade of Dio: 1983 – 1993 Box Set Announced

A Decade of Dio boxed set

The late Ronnie James Dio left Black Sabbath with drummer Vinny Appice to pursue a more mainstream, vocal-driven hybrid of hard rock and heavy metal that laid the groundwork for later vocal-driven, power metal. Rhino Entertainment has announced a remastered box set of Dio’s first six albums on CD and LP for everyone who wants to buy them again.

Dark Fury – This Story Happened Before (2016)

Dark Fury - This Story Happened Before - front cover

Dark Fury present a mid-paced black metal work of catchy lead melodies atop generic power chord metal riffing. These leads are never jaw-dropping or profoundly clever but mostly effective in the context of the songs. This Story Happened Before‘s problem is that many of the best leads send out a sense of déjà entendu and are only occasionally progressed to fitting melodic conclusions; Dark Fury rely too much on highly-structured rock song formats with bridges and breaks almost making the album a riff salad. Many of the rhythm riffs are the sort of filler power chord chugs used by death metal bands and the few war metal bands that actually care to occasionally have metal riffs such as Diocletian. Dark Fury too often use this as a songwriting crutch.

Continue reading Dark Fury – This Story Happened Before (2016)

Аспид – Кровоизлияние Released on Bandcamp

aspid cover

Аспид’s (Aspid) lost early 90s technical speed metal album, Кровоизлияние (Extravasation), has been released as a pay as you go, CD-quality lossless FLAC digital download on Bandcamp by Metal Race. Prior to Metal Race’s recent CD from the original DAT tape of the mix supplied by the band that was hard to get outside of Russia, Кровоизлияние was only available on the extremely limited original LP and a horrible sounding CD from a secondary source that was slightly sped up. Listeners worldwide may now enjoy some of the best post 1980s speed metal, resembling a more progressive Destruction.

Master’s Hammer – Ritual (1990)

Master's Hammer - Ritual

Ritual is the pinnacle of the Central European black metal style characterized by continuing the riffing tradition of traditional heavy metal and strict adherence to speed metal song structure; Hellhammer, Mercyful Fate, Slayer, and even Megadeth influences are easily heard along with Bartók’s folkishness and Chopin’s romanticism. While their compatriots Root presaged the Hellenic scene, Master’s Hammer’s operatic use of the mellotron inspired the divergent atmosphere Emperor employed on In the Nightside Eclipse.

Continue reading Master’s Hammer – Ritual (1990)

Bulldozer Vinyl Repress

bulldozer the final separation

Bulldozer’s first two albums of drunken Motorhead, proto-underground metal in the style of Venom and Sodom are being repressed on vinyl from the original tapes for the first time in thirty years by F.O.A.D Records. Neither of these albums ever had good CD releases (the CDs sound like compressed needle drops) so fans of beer-fueled, 1980s first-wave black metal might want to check these  out.


Memoriam Announce New Record Out Early 2017 on Nuclear Blast

Memoriam nuclear blast

Memoriam, the new project of Karl Willets and Andy Whale from Bolt Thrower with former Benediction members Frank Healy and Scott Fairfax, have signed to Nuclear Blast Records and announced an upcoming album for early next year. Since they’re on Nuclear Blast, fans should expect a sterile production even though Andy Whale doesn’t use triggers. From Nuclear Blast’s press release:

Nuclear Blast proudly announces the signing of MEMORIAM, the death metal band founded by Karl Willetts (BOLT THROWER) and Frank Healy (BENEDICTION)!

MEMORIAM was primarily developed to fill the void that was left following the tragic death of Martin ‘Kiddie’ Kearns, the drummer from BOLT THROWER, back in September 2015. BOLT THROWER subsequently placed all activity on hold for the foreseeable future, which gave vocalist Karl Willetts an opportunity to develop a new project with friends, that had expressed interest in forming a band for some time.

Comments the band:
“The war rages on… It is with great pleasure that MEMORIAM announces that we have signed a recording contract with Nuclear Blast Records.

“Throughout our long careers, 30 years to be precise, within the music industry and specifically within the death metal scene we have witnessed the growth of Nuclear Blast Records to become the number one record company within our genre.

“When we started MEMORIAM back in January 2016 we intended just to form a band to go into the rehearsal rooms to jam out some cover versions of old classic songs that had influenced us in the past along with some cover versions from the bands we had played with over the years, and maybe eventually do a few low key gigs.

“With the introduction of Scott Fairfax into the line up all this changed, Scott has brought with him a wealth of killer riffs and new ideas which has totally changed things around from our original intentions. Very soon we decided to scrap the idea of being a covers band and to formulate our own songs using these riffs and ideas that Scott introduced to us, and from this we developed a whole load of new crushing brutal old school death metal songs which we are very proud of and can’t wait to unleash upon the world!

“When we started developing the songs we talked about the possibility of signing to a label and releasing an album, at that point we all decided that if Nuclear Blast approached us we would sign to them. This is because amongst all the labels out there none have a better relationship with the bands on their roster, none communicate better with both the bands and the fans of the music. None care as much about the music and the scene as Nuclear Blast Records.

“Nuclear Blast currently boasts the best artist roster of all the labels within the death metal genre, we are proud and honored amongst this list! 2016 is the year of MEMORIAM. Let the resistance begin…”

Markus Staiger, CEO of Nuclear Blast, adds:
“Being a lifetime fan of both BENEDICTION and BOLT THROWER, it is with great pride that I announce that the new band of Frank Healy and Karl Willets has now joined the Nuclear Blast family! Following the first news regarding the band, I have been keeping a close eye on them and was very curious to hear their material.

“Besides me, a lot of metal magazines have been in touch with the band even before they had heard a single note of music, while the band has also received many invitations to play several summer festivals. After hearing their first demo songs I was completely sold and knew that I had to get in contact with Frank and Karl to seal the deal. MEMORIAM will please all the fans of old school death metal and especially the worldwide fan base of BOLT THROWER and BENEDICTION! With bands like MEMORIAM, Nuclear Blast remains the no # 1 in extreme metal!!”

MEMORIAM maintains the standards set by their previous bands, focusing on the themes of death, loss and war. Initially, the band members got together to play covers of songs that had influenced them throughout their careers within the death metal scene. However, it soon became apparent that the new songs they had created were of a superior quality and that they needed to be heard. Currently the band is tentatively scheduled to release their debut album in early 2017 via Nuclear Blast Records.

MEMORIAM is:
Karl Willetts (BOLT THROWER) – vocals
Frank Healy (BENEDICTION, SACRILEGE) – bass
Andy Whale (ex-BOLT THROWER) – drums
Scott Fairfax (ex-LIFE DENIED, BENEDICTION) – guitars

The upcoming record probably won’t be as good as the prime period of Bolt Thrower’s career so enjoy For Victory!

Kaeck Prepare to Play Under the Black Sun

Under the Black Sun schedule

Kaeck, the creators of Death Metal Underground’s 2015 Album of the Year Stormkult, are playing the upcoming Under the Black Sun festival outside of Berlin next Saturday. Kjeld are opening right before Kaeck,  making a €35 Saturday only day ticket a good opportunity for German fans to catch some of the best Dutch black metal bands live while avoiding most of the beer metal, funderground festival atmosphere. Kaeck posted a rehearsal of “De kult” on their Funbook page:

#Metalgate: Bestial Evil Throws in the Towel

Bestial Evil's restaurant bathroom

Baltimore-based social justice warrior crustcore band Bestial Evil USA have finally stopped attempting to play metal music claiming “…we are done being slandered and we’re done being associated with hate shit.”

Hello to friends and fans…

Bestial Evil has ended its reign.

Thanks for the support over the years.

Bestial Evil’s reign over their graffiti and needle-ridden back alley came to an end when the chef fired them for taking too many cigarette breaks in-between busing tables. Good riddance.