Tagged: Napalm Records

 

Artist: Stalker

Album: Black Magik Terror

Date Of Release: 30th October 2020

Label: Napalm Records

 

Track Listing:

1. Of Steel And…

2. Black Majik Terror

3. Setenced T…

4. Stalker

5. Holecene’sEnd

6. Demolition

7. The Cross

8. Iron Genocide

9. Intruder

 

Review:

One of the complaints I hear over and over again about the heavy music scene at the moment is “everyone is making music that sounds like what everyone else is already doing.” Well if that is your beef time to flush out those cobwebs with the new album from Kiwi band Stalker.

Stalker is a band with a sound so unique I am convinced that no one has even produced this sound before… and nobody ever will in the future. Yes it is extremely unique and I love it.

There are certainly no second album blues for Stalker with their latest offering Black Majik Terror. Opening with a scream that any 1980s glam metal band would be proud of the opening track tells you everything you need to know about the band’s style and sound – it is a raw mix of glam screams and harder fast-paced metal that wins you over within seconds.

Showing a lot of growth since there last releases Stalker show throughout the album that they are always willing to try something new. Title track, “Black Majik Terror” opens with some good old fashioned Sunday organ playing before unleashing a brutal and to the point sound that reveals them to be one of those bands that you are going to want to tell your mates about.

What comes through loud and clear on this album though is the musicianship on the album. Daif’s vocals might be something like you have never heard before but also rearing its head this time around is the stunning guitar playing of Chris. Yes, this dude is one of the finest guitar players in the heavy music scene and this is the album where that is revealed for all to hear. Take one listen to “Iron Genocide” and you’ll see that he is a definite guitar maestro who has created some of the finest riffs in modern day metal.

The highlights on this album though are “Holocene’s End” and “The Cross.” The former is like a descent into madness armed with devil like cries from Daif and the result is a track that certainly hints at a much darker side to Stalker. Then there is “The Cross” a track with a long instrumental opening that strongly reflects a prog sound before exploding into life with amazing Stalker sheer brutality.

Lots of people use the term ‘next big thing.’ Black Majik Terror does more than that for Stalker though. This is the album that is going to expose them to a legion of new fans and have the whole heavy music world talking. Sensational instrumental work and a lead vocalist with a style nobody can emulate Stalker are the band that everybody needs to know about.

 

Rating (out of 5):

 

 

Album: Unleash The Archers

Date Of Release: 21st August 2020

Label: Napalm Records

 

Track Listing:

1. Waking Dream

2. Abyss

3. Through Stars

4. Legacy

5. Return To Me

6. Soulbound

7. Faster Than Light

8. The Wind That Shapes The Land

9. Carry The Flame (feat Andrew Kingsley on vocals)

10. afterlife (feat. orchestration by Francesco Ferrini)

 

Review:

Imagination! It is probably something so many of us needs in 2020 as we try to escape a reality that for many of us has been something a lot harsher than we would ever have expected. That imagination is also something that fuels the creativity behind Unleash The Archers brand new album Abyss.

Once again the album sees the listener carried to the world of the Matriarch and the Immortal, the world that we were first introduced to on the band’s previous album – Apex. This time around the Immortal returns and the journey goes into space… once again revealing the amazing story-telling ability that the band has, led by Brittney Slayes original concept.

What makes that story come to life even more is the magnificent musicianship which comes to the fore on Abyss. There is a new found maturity to Unleash The Archers on this album. With that maturity seems to come the courage to be a little bit more experimental with their sound this time around. The result is an album where you never really know what you are going to get from track to track.

A preview of that is there on the opening track – “Waking Dream” – which opens with a gentle folk metal vibe that is then blown away by the amazing vocals of Slayes. From there the album meanders its way through the story touching on a number of genres as it does.

The faster pace of “Abyss” reaches an epic level that remains for most of the album while the band also gives a fair few nods to the bands that have inspired them over the years as well. “Through Stars” has a definite old school metal feel to it while the very theatrical “Carry The Flame” is a direct nods to bands like Scorpions.

What leaves you marvelling with Abyss though is the band’s way they marry the newfound metal sound with the old school. “Return To Me” sees Unleash The Archers deliver gruffer vocals that at times turn guttural. The track is sheer modern day brutality but also seems to capture that old school sound made famous by bands like Iron Maiden.

This really does feel like an album where everything comes together for Unleash The Archers. The work of guitarists Andrew Kingsley and Grant Truesdall on this album is nothing short of amazing. Their work on tracks like “Legacy,” “Soulbound” and “Faster Than Light” places them amongst some of the best guitarists in the world, while the band is brought together by the amazing vocals of Slayes which seem even stronger than ever.

Perhaps Abyss as an album is best summed up by its final track – “afterlife.” Like the album itself it is brutal at times and then drifts into a smooth folk metal sound that closes out the album and the story at hand. It is power metal perfection, just like the album it is on.

Abyss is a stunning album that I cannot wait to see brought to the stage. Stunning musicianship and a concept that really draws you in finds Unleash The Archers releasing their best album to date.

 

Rating (out of 5):

Top-charting heavy rock/metal machine MUSHROOMHEAD recently made their prodigious return with the announcement of their upcoming full-length oeuvre, A Wonderful Life – the eighth release of their benchmark career – scheduled for release on June 19.
A Wonderful Life clocks in at a whopping 70+ minutes with its four bonus tracks – leaving a total of 17 stellar compositions in its wake for fans to devour. Today – after impacting at Active Rock radio with the first of those compositions to be released, the single “Seen It All”, and garnering over a million views on its accompanying music video in only a matter of weeks – the band has dropped another official music video for a new track “The Heresy”, released last week to the acclaim of fans and critics alike.

Hair-raisingly dynamic and socially-inclined, “The Heresy” is a melodic, haunting rally cry featuring the stunning lead vocals of Ms. Jackie, which were recorded at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London. The new music video sees the band continue their tradition of releasing cinematic music videos of the highest quality, this time taking place inside of a post-apocalyptic bunker! Vocalist J Mann described the track as, “The soundtrack to a dystopian delirium, cinematic and surreal!”
MUSHROOMHEAD mastermind and drummer/percussionist Skinny says about the video:
“We wanted to do something a little more thought-provoking this time around. With the current state of the world going to Hell in a hand basket, we wanted to incorporate something that delivered the swift transportation of certain doom. The manufacturing of war power and the stockpiling of faith. The willful destruction of the past, the future, and ultimately humanity.”

Available in several enticing formats (see HERE), A Wonderful Life is accented by the sharp production of band mastermind/drummer Skinny, as well as the standout mixing prowess of Matt Wallace (Faith No More3 Doors Down), also recognized for his work on the band’s standout album, XIII.

At its start, an ominous choir invites the listener into A Wonderful Life – introductory track “A Requiem For Tomorrow” smoothly shifts into an industrial-metal inspired, grooving punch to the gut juxtaposed with a melodic, synth-laden chorus. This sets the stage for stocky, chant-worthy anthems such as “Seen It All” and hair-raising, politically-inclined tracks like “The Heresy” and “Carry On”, both featuring the sinister multi-voice attack of new full-time vocalist Ms. Jackie and returning longtime vocalist J Mann, with an extra strike from aforementioned new vocalist Mr. Rauckhorst on the latter. Tracks like “What A Shame”“I Am The One” and “Madness Within” will prove a treat for new and diehard MUSHROOMHEAD fans alike – providing the macabre inspiration followers have come to crave with a weighty dose of galloping drums and bone-rattling guitars, to boot.

MUSHROOMHEAD attacks track after track with a refreshed focus, delivering a carefully-curated selection of certified future hits. A Wonderful Life re-cements the band’s position as one of the most consistently impactful heavy bands of our generation.

 

Artist: Me And That Man

Album: New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1

Date Of Release: 25th March 2020

Label: Napalm Records

Track Listing:

1. Run With Devil (feat Jorgen Munkby from Shining NO)

2. Coming Home (feat Sivert Hoyems from Madrugada)

3. Burning Churces (feat Mat McNerney from Grave Pleasures)

4. By The River (feat Ishahn from Emporer)

5. Mestwo

6. Surrender (feat Dead Soul and Rob Caggiano from Volbeat)

7. Deep Down South (feat Johanna Sadonis from Lucifer and Nicke Anderson from Entombed)

8. Man Of The Cross (feat Jerome Reuter from Rome)

9. You Will Be Mine (feat Mat Heafy from Trivium)

10. How Come? (feat Corey Taylor from Slipknot/Stone Sour and Brent Hinds and Rob Caggiano from Volbeat)

11. Confesson (feat Niklas Kvarforth from Sining SE)

 

Review:

There is just something about blues, folk and country that seems to go hand-in-hand in metal. Artists such as Nick Cave has shown over the years that there is a darker side to blues and folk that needs to be explored while for generations country singers have been singing about oppression and murder. It was therefore no surprise that when Nergal (who many would know as the Behemoth frontman) formed his dark blues/folk side project Me And That Man that their debut album worked so well.

That brilliance that stunned the music world with Songs Of Love And Death back in 2017 once again rears its head on New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol. 1 and album that I get the feeling I will be playing over and over for a great many years to come.

One of the joys of listening to a Me And That Man album is the album takes you on two very different journeys. The first being a story-telling journey, if you sit and actually listen to the lyrics of each of these songs you will see that each track tells a story in itself, it’s like dark poetry or a Gothic short story. The second journey is the one the listener is taken on as the array of musicians that lend their vocals to the album each bring their own tone and mood to the ‘story’ that we are listening to at the time.

This isn’t an album that is all about the vocalists though, no, even musically things change here quite quickly. For example opening track “Run With The Devil” is a foot-stomping, catchy blues driven rock track complete with saxophone. Then there is the gospel sounding “Surrender”, while the banjo, piano and harmonica infusion on “Deep Down South” makes it sound like it was recorded at a good old fashioned jamboree at a Western Tavern.

Nearly every track on this album is worth listening to on repeat but there are some stunning highlights. The dark folk nature of “Burning Churches” makes it sheer brilliance while the amazing vocals of Ihsahn on “By The River” are only bettered by the stunning guitar work.

Then there is the smooth “How Come” – a rock track with the brilliant Corey Taylor at the helm, but the highlight for me is the violent love song “You Will Be Mine” which features vocals by Matt Heafy. Not since “Where The Wild Roses Grow” has there been such an intriguing murderous love ballad.

There is a beautiful, moody darkness that comes from listening to Me And That Man. The atmosphere created by the music on New Man, New Songs, Same Shit Vol 1 is simply perfect for this global lockdown. It is the soundtrack to this period of time that we need. Hauntingly beautiful and a song-writers dream this album is true genius.

Rating (out of 5):