LACHRYMOSE – CARPE NOCTUM (Pure Steel Publishing)
Review by Spirit In Black
Lachrymose saw the light of day in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2013. The legendary Blackmass of Rotting Flesh, along with fellow axeman Mancer joined forces with former partner in crime named Kerk, to form a new alliance. Signing a pact with Hel (the band’s shadow whisperer) the line-up was completed.
Lacrhrymose describe themselves as a Dark Melodic Doom Metal act, an accurate description in my opinion. I have to admit: the vocals are a bit of an issue for me, I’m very picky about vocals and this particular one isn’t really my taste but isn’t bad at all… it fits the dark music really well. Here and there you can hear a male grunt as well, whether or not in combination with the female vocals… a nice add to Lachrymose’s style of music.
Their debut entitled “Carpe Noctum” is filled with mostly mid-tempo songs that have a really heavy dark vibe sometimes. That was obviously the meaning of this band and it worked out pretty good! Even the faster songs have a touch of darkness. The sound is rather clean and with regard to this type of music, I must say that the production could be a bit rawer/darker but that is personal, I know. Also, the vocals are a bit too loud in front of the mix, maybe the band wanted it to be like this?
Aside from my bit of criticism, I think “Carpe Noctum” turned out into a decent album! Songs I personally enjoy are: ‘My Shadow (A Revelation)’ (this one is really awesome!),’Face of Horror’, In A Reverie’ (which is a duet with Thomas Vikström of Therion, ex Candlemass and is a very cool song), ‘Thyella’.
If you enjoy Dark Melodic Doom Metal with (mostly) female vocals you might like “Carpe Noctum”. It’s worth to check this Greek band out at: https://www.facebook.com/Lachrymose.band.official/
My rating: 79/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)
LADY BEAST – II (Infernö Records)
Review by Spirit In Black
Lady Beast’s “II” is the second album from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania US based metallers Lady Beast. I must admit I haven’t heard the band’s debut Lady Beast from 2013 so I jumped totally blank into this album.
The whole album has a strong vibe of NWOBHM, 80’s Heavy Metal, Hard Rock. The production sounds a bit raw and I don’t know if that’s on purpose, it does sound good. The album is filled with well-arranged songs. Some fast, some mid tempo or a combination of both. Although the style is the same through the whole album, it never gets boring. Each song has that specific melody, riff and/or rhythm to keep it interesting.
Lady Beast has a female vocalist who hasn’t an outstanding voice but her vocals fits perfectly with the music. A good combination! One thing that really stands out for me, are the guitars. Many times I really liked what I heard! Some highlights of the album are ‘We Are The Witches’ (great guitar work), ’Heroes Of Our Time’ (cool mid part) and ‘Banshee’ (sounds angry).
My rating: 70/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)
LARS LIND – SOUL KICKER (Shredguy Records)
Review by Officer Nice
Norway! A nation that stands high on my list to visit one day and this for several reasons. Also Sweden is high on that list but it seems the situation isn’t always that healthy over there…. thanks to the politics of Europe! Both countries have something special, something I can’t describe but it surely attracts me. Anyway it is a long time ago I’ve heard some Metal from out of Norway but I suppose that’s because of me and not because of them. Thanks to our Facebook page I received a message from a man listens to the name of Lars Lind, asking to review his album. Of course we do, we support good musicians in the (Hard) Rock and Metal scène from all over the world. Looking at this man’s page I discovered he is married with a very – yes very – beautiful lady, Lene Lind, who also seems to be a musician….a singer. I also noticed this lad is a guitar teacher but there isn’t a specific band we should know him from. As far as I understood he plays in a few tribute bands but nothing more.
That’s a bit bizarre because of the reputation of the Metal movement in this part of Europe. As I’ve told you before it seems like every single Scandinavian is born to be a Metal head. Okay, I am exaggerating but you know what I mean…. There is so much musical talent over there, so many first class bands. After a few spins of this record it surprises me even more we’ve never heard about Lars Lind before. This guy really is an outstanding guitar hero and I suppose any band from out there wants a guitarist so much skills in its ranks with.
This man found a few friends to compose and record “Soul Kicker” and for fans of instrumental guitar music this really is a ‘must have’. I have always liked this kind of Metal, allow me to label it this way, since the very first Yngwie Malmsteen. In that era a whole lot of guitar heroes released albums from which a few really are ‘Classic Ones”. Jason Becker, Marty Friedman, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Patrick Rondat, to name a few, have deserved several spots in my CD-collection. Once and a while you can still find their oldies in my CD-player, ‘Flying In A Blue Dream’ was even on last week and I still worship this record. But, and that’s a fact to, you have to be a fan to adore this kind of music. If not it can sound boring but that is for a big part the story of Progressive music. Fans listen to it because of the love for the music, in particular the guitars.
Well, Lars Lind understood that last sentence very well and delivers us a very good record in this particular style. Influenced by the Seventies and early Eighties Hard Rock and Progressive Rock sounds, and of course under the spell from the axemen I mentioned before, this man created an album that really is worth listening to. I witness some outstanding guitar tunes and this man is able to play with the right kind of intensity. In every note you will hear this man’s love for playing guitar. The effect is a very technical record on which also the bass and drums are incredibly good, a release on which the keyboards are playing in a subtle role although they deliver the right mood. There are no doubts that some first class musicians released with “Soul Kicker” a pretty Heavy melodic instrumental album. The line with real Heavy Metal is very thin, awesome!
“Soul Kicker” is a record that can hook up with the better releases in this kind of Metal. This kind of music is actually never that easy to rate but if you adore fast fingered and intense played leads you should give this one a try. Lars Lind created this one with the right melodic lines and that makes it very enjoyable to listen to. I admit this one has been in my CD-player for a few days! Lars Lind is able to do more and should be picked up by a bigger international band who’s looking for an extreme talented guitar player. Check http://larslind.com/index.htm /http://www.shredguyrecords.bigcartel.com/product/lars-lind-soul-kicker-cd
My rating: 87/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
LEAVE SCARS – CHAINS OF REDEMPTION (Spinal Records)
Review by Stefan
Last week, during my review for the great new Ethernity album, I made up my displeasure about the fact that several excellent Belgian Metal bands still not been approached by a label to offer a record deal. Unfair to me but a fact’s a fact, yet I can bring the good news about Turnhout-Belgium based thrashers Leave Scars’ first full-length album called “Chains Of Redemption” that saw daylight late March 2015 through Belgian record label Spinal Records (Hell City, Drakkar, Deepshow, Powerstroke). Good bands deserve a record deal and that’s it, thumbs up to Spinal Records anyway !
Leave Scars were launched back in 2005 by singer Kristof ‘’Dizzy and guitarist Filip ‘Mo6’ Verstappen (both ex-D.O.A. members), other guys (ex-Sanitarium / Hard Resistance members) were recruited but a stable line-up was not addressed. Some players decided to leave the ranks, some others entered and the good news is that Leave Scars has never lost its faith in Thrash Metal, they fought for every single inch and that’s the one and only, right spirit in my opinion. They’ve created a few demo’s and played several live performances (WOA 2009, GMM 2013, Metal Over Oostrozebeke 2013… to name but a few). Leave Scars also functioned as support act for well known bands like Fueled By Fire, Violator, Martyr, Rotting Christ, Five Finger Death Punch, Toxik and many others… every time they played to a live audience, all hell broke loose !
Benny & Marre from Metal Over Oostrozebeke and Nathan McLeod from US based Malevolence Records worked together for the release of “Perseverance 2013”, a compilation filled with songs from a.o. Kaos, T.C.F, Sanity’Rage and Leave Scars,… all bands walked the stage during the festival. The two tracks from Leave Scars entitled ‘Trapped’ and ‘The Arrival’ were just awesome and gave extra energy to every thrash fancier. Leave Scars’ way of thrash can be classified as Bay Area styled and I’m very pleased with that. Those were the days (read early 80s) this type of Metal came into my life like a ten ton hammer smashed me in the head and I still do not regret at all so far . Truth is that, when I start listening to Leave Scars’ newest effort “Chains Of Redemption”, the good old thrashing memories of yesteryear reappear and that gives a wonderful feeling within my heart and soul.
Kristof Van Eyck still provides the vocals, Mathias “Ath” Annys (Warbeast Remains) is on bass, guitar players in charge are Djoni Tregub (Temptations For The Weak) and Paul Aerts. Kris ‘Uncle’ Boenders still threats his drumheads with merciless sledgehammer blows. I hear a lot of enthusiasm, a good mutual interaction and witness a very good knowledge of old school Thrash Metal. The song structures reflect quality of workmanship and the guitars grab me by the throat while delivering fast, trenchant and quite technical tactics… damn right, this is Thrash Metal as it should be ! The vocals fit perfectly with this genre Metal but it would be better to get rid of the so called standard singing parts. As long as Kristof sings from the top of his lungs without reluctance, all goes perfect. The cleaner vocal use lingers on an average value and could be better in my opinion. Therefore, my advice to Leave Scars’ frontman would be: get rid of those standard vocal passages and use your throat only and predominantly in a more vigorous, coarser or aggressive manner. Most of the tracks on the new album prove that this way of singing suits him most of all and there’s no doubt he’s a real good Thrash Metal vocalist.
Leave Scars treats us to a 41 minutes long thrash feast spread across eleven tracks I enjoy to the fullest. The production (by Leave Scars) is rather dull, not too polished which accentuates the 80s character even better, my alley for sure ! Also, the cover artwork, done by Colin Marks of RainSong Design looks fantastic ! Leave Scars’ full length debut album “Chains Of Redemption” is an honorable proof that little Belgium has a big significance when it comes to worthwhile Thrash Metal albums. Spinal Records have offered this band a contract and they will not regret it at all. Killer effort recommended for fans of Slayer (Hell Awaits), Sacrilege BC (Party With God), EvilDead (Annihilation Of Civilization), Gammacide (Victims Of Science), Death Angel (The Ultra Violence), Metallica (Ride The Lightning) among others. Order possibilities via their official homepage: http://www.leavescars.com/ or via FB at: https://www.facebook.com/Leave.Scars . You can also order the album in the US via my brother in Metal called Nathan McLeod, CEO Malevolence Records right HERE.
My ratings: 86/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
LEAVE SCARS – CHAINS OF REDEMPTION (Spinal Records)
Review by Nathan McLeod
I shall VERY soon conducting an ‘interview’ with drummer ‘Kris Boenders’ & guitarist ‘Djoni Tregub’ of ‘Leave Scars’ here at ‘Metal To Infinity’! Meantime I’m taking the ‘opportune’ time as a ‘co-Editor’ here at ‘Metal To Infinity’ to give “Leave Scars” a re-review of their ‘sophomore’ release of ‘Chains Of Redemption’.
My thoughts, feelings, & opinions regarding ‘Chains Of Redemption’s’ ‘Metal To Infinity’ review in April 2015 are NOT too far off base, hitting well-deserved/numerous key ‘point(s) & expression(s)’.
‘Chains Of Redemption’ is an ‘extreme’ heavy, ‘raw’ thrash-metal CD! Talking ‘Gene Hoglan / Tom Hunting-type’ ‘heavy-pounding’, ‘hard-hitting’ thrash-metal with ‘Blistering’ guitar solo duo’s !!! If there had been ‘any’ doubts from this Turnhout, Belgian-based artist, with the ability to take it to another level from their ‘debut’ release of ‘The Arrival’; you’d be proven wrong!
If you like thrash-metal in the ‘essence’ of ‘Dark Angel’s – Darkness Descends’, ‘Forbidden’s – Twisted Into Form’, ‘Destruction’s – All Hell Breaks Loose’, ‘Kreator’s – Endless Pain’? ALL your ‘fundamental’ but ‘explosive’ element(s) can be found on ‘Chains Of Redemption’: adding a ‘signature’ but very ‘unique’ vocal style that of ‘Kristof Van Eyck’s’.
Don’t believe anyone thus far in ‘other’ review(s) of ‘Chains Of Redemption’ had pointed out the ‘Randy Rhoads’ (Rest In Peace) ‘classical-guitar’ work ‘capability’ on the instrumental track ‘Redemption’?! It’s definitely there. Aside from the track ‘Redemption’, other’s that do stand out are ‘Stay Down’, ‘P.B.D.’, ‘Devil’s Room’, noting the heavy-crunchy ‘rhythm’ held during the news-media exerpt of the ISIS group in the middle of ‘The New Great Game’.
A recently uploaded ‘Final Chance’ track/video can be seen on the ‘Leave Scars’ YouTube channel. An older ‘Metal To Infinity’ review of ‘The Arrival’ can be also read right here: http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS/Leavescars_Thearrival.html . And of course, the April 2015 review of ‘Chains Of Redemption’ can be read right here from the ‘Metal To Infinity’s’ “official” home page: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_IJKL/leavescars_chainsofredemption.html
My rating: 91/100 (Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)
‘Leave Scars’ is:
*Krystof Van Eyck: Vocals
*Paul Aerts: Guitar
*Djoni Tregub: Guitar
*Mathias Annys: Guitar
*Kris Boenders: Drums
‘Chains Of Redemption’ track info:
1) P.B.D., 2) Final Chance, 3) The Faceless, 4) People Lie, 5) Chains, 6) Redemption, 7) The New Great Game, 8) Devil’s Room, 9) Believe Is Gone, 10) Stay Down, 11) Taste Of Blood; total run-time 41:45.
Recorded at Atomika Studios – Vossem, Belgium. Produced by Leave Scars. Engineered, mixed, & mastered by Marc De Keyzer & Timo De Prins at Atomika Studios – Vossem, Belgium. Cover art by Colin Marks of Rain Song Design – London, England. Layout by Celine Corbie, Bianca Sommen, & Kris Boenders.
‘Chains Of Redemption’ purchasing info:
Up to date Leave Scars news & contact info:
Additional Leave Scars info:
*Metal Archives: www.metal-archives.com/bands/Leave_Scars/109775
LEAVE SCARS – THE ARRIVAL (Independent)
Review by Nathan McLeod
‘Bloody’ fucking heavy! Action does speak louder than words when it comes to ‘Leave Scars’ from ‘Turnhout, Belgium’ & their brand of ‘thrash-metal’. I’d been meaning to review their debut CD ‘The Arrival’ for quite some time now. Better late than never. But back to the ‘bloody’ fucking heavy! ‘The Arrival’ is ‘extremely’ ‘heavy’ & ‘brutal’ as ‘thrash-metal’ should definitely be.
Taking a ‘listen’ back to their ‘Unit 731’ demo & forward to their ‘Chains Of Redemption’ CD, I’d say ‘The Arrival’ is the ‘utmost’ heaviest of the three (3) releases from ‘Leave Scars’. My belief with ‘Unit 731’, ‘Leave Scars’ was ‘inventing’ themselves musically, years later with their ‘Arrival’ CD & letting all ‘Hell’ break loose, onto their ‘Chains Of Redemption’ CD & more ‘defining’ themselves. Yet though having the ‘ability’ to maintain ‘composure’ with each release.
As I had mentioned in their review of ‘Chains Of Redemption’ with some musical ‘description(s)’ of ‘Destruction & Kreator’, there is an ‘immense’ presence of ‘German’ ‘thrash-metal’ appearing on ‘The Arrival’, moreso than on ‘Chains Of Redemption’. Additionally I hear more ‘Obituary’ influnces with this CD.
What I had mentioned ‘musically’ about ‘Leave Scars’ on the ‘Chains Of Redemption’ CD review, it all is ‘applicable’ on ‘The Arrival’. There’s a bit more of an ‘intense’ ‘hard-core’ edge with ‘The Arrival’. Say a bit of ‘Nuclear Assault’ here. End of the day, long of the short, ‘Leave Scars’ delivers 3/4 of an hour of “brutal-kick ass-in your face-intense-fucking heavy-thrash metal” with ‘The Arrival’!
Normally I’d have some ‘qualms’ over ‘gritty’ sound & or ‘unpolished’ production, but ‘Leave Scars’ take this ‘gritty’ type sound they have ’emulating’ the ‘old-school’ ‘thrash-metal’ sound of the 1980’s heard on ‘We Have Arrived’, ‘Welcome To Hell’, ‘Flag Of Hate’, & ‘Eternal Nightmare’. And happen to enjoy this ‘old-school’ sound.
I know ‘Leave Scars’ are presently writing new material for a ‘follow-up’ CD to their ‘Chains Of Redemption’ release. I truly cannot wait to hear some new material from these guys as we are ‘rapidly’ approaching the end of 2015.
A 2013 ‘Metal To Infinity’ review of ‘The Arrival’ can be viewed here:http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS/Leavescars_Thearrival.html … Recent ‘Metal To Infinity’ review(s) of ‘Chains Of Redemption’ can be viewed here: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_IJKL/leavescars_chainsofredemption.html &http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_IJKL/leavescars_chainsofredemption2.html … A recent ‘Metal To Infinity’ interview with ‘Djoni Tregub’ & ‘Kris Boenders’ can be viewed here: http://metaltoinfinity.be/INTERVIEWS/leavescars_2015.html … And a 2013 ‘Metal To Infinity’ interview with ‘Kris Boenders’ can be viewed here also:http://www.metaltoinfinity.be/INTERVIEWS/Leavescars_2013.html
I basically can’t say there is one (1) ‘bad’ track on ‘The Arrival’. If I’d have to give the ‘viewers’ what I believe are the more ‘notable’ tracks? A bit hard, but here ya go: ‘Kill Your God’, ‘Trapped’, ‘Reason To Kill’, ‘The Arrival’. Slainte,
My rating: 88/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
‘The Arrival’ tracks:
I) Intro II) Painted Scars III) Reason To Kill IV) Unit 731 V) The Son VI) Pulverize VII) Plague VIII) Trapped IX) World Betrayer X) Kill Your God XI) The Arrival – total run-time 44:02.
‘Leave Scars’ is:
*Dizzy – Vocals
*Djoni – Guitar
*Paul – Guitar
*Ath – Bass
*Nonkel – Drums
Produced, mixed, artwork & design by Benjamin Peters. Photography by Katrien Versmissen.
*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Leave_Scars/109775
LETHAL SAINT – WWIII (Pure Steel Records)
Review by Sloof
Pitch Black Records forwarded me their debut album ‘Lethal Saint’ in 2010, but for the new output, the band was signed by Pure Steel Records from Germany. I don’t know if this change in label results in a huge difference as I have the idea that both Pitch Black as Pure Steel are respecting their bands and supporting their artists the best way possible. There might be a change in organization and possibilities as Pitch Black was domestic, while Pure Steel resides in Germany, and that’s called as the main capital for Heavy Metal bands in Europe. Anyway, after the release of the debut album, the band recorded a demo (‘Saint Strikes Back’) and released a single by Emanes Metal Records, but now it’s time for the successor, named ‘WWIII’. I guess that all of you know that this means World War 3…
‘The Curse’ is an intro that guides us with a mysterious atmosphere into ‘Merciless Decay’. From the very first moment, I was intrigued by the old school sound of the album. While the guitars of Andreas Kasapis and Chistoforos Gavriel interact with each other, they keep the pace in the songs and the solos come from all directions. The vocals of Andreas Pouyioukkas are a little hoarse, but have a very ‘metal sounding’ approach as well. Nice accent, nice interpretation and a front man who knows how to handle his skills! ‘Prophecy Of War’ continues at high speed and again, I have an Obsession feeling, as the songs have some resemblances with the “Marshall Law” era. Those that want it a little slower but heavier will be pleased with ‘Order To Defend’ and ‘Thorns Of Existence’ while speed freaks will go wild with the songs ‘Ascend To Power’ and ‘Prophecy Of War’. At some moments I had Iced Earth in my mind as the vocal lines have the same voice timbre as Matt Barlow and Stu Block, and this is good company to spent with!
Lethal Saint evolved through the years, the songs have more maturity and I’m sure that this band is ready for their next level. See if you can find ‘WWIII’ in your local record shop and take a good listen to songs like ‘Ascend To Power’ and ‘Merciless Decay’. I’m sure that you will grab your wallet to buy this piece of metal! http://www.lethal-saint.com/https://www.facebook.com/lethalsaintheavymetal
My rating: 86/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
LICH KING – DO OVER (Evil Eye Records)
Review by Nathan McLeod
‘Do-Over’, “songs we didn’t get right the first time”. I think ‘Lich King’ should have left these tracks alone. Honestly had a problem getting into this ‘Do-Over’ CD. I did like a lot of the ‘older’ ‘Lich King’ material. Their material was ‘superb’ 5-10yrs ago. What I am hearing A LOT of is too much of the same & repetition over & over with each ‘Lich King’ release. Things are just sounding too much the same & blending all together.
Production is ‘great’ on ‘Do-Over’! Artwork is also ‘great’ with the ‘replica’ of the ‘D.R.I. Guy’! (LOVE IT) And props to ‘Lich King’ & their ‘Van Halen’ cover of ‘Hot For Teacher’!!! I would really recommend the ‘viewers’ & ‘listeners’ alike to look at ‘Lich King’s’ older material 1st / beforehand purchasing a copy of ‘Do-Over’. And unless you want a good ‘laugh’? Stay away from this release: ‘Super Retro Thrash’. ‘Seriously’, it is meant to be a bit of a joke.
Here is some YouTube of ‘Vio-lence’s – Eternal Nightmare’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrusYj5oOfo&feature=autoshare cover by ‘Lich King’. Not too shabby. ‘Sean Killian’ of course & NO doubt will always be ‘Sean Killian’-‘Tom Martin’ will be ‘Tom Martin’.
With this ‘Do-Over’ CD, I really can go ’50/50′ with a rating. ‘A’ for effort.
My rating: 71/100 (Decent but best previewing)
‘Lich King’ personal:
*Tom Martin – Vocals
*Rob Pellegri – Guitar
*Nick Timney – Guitar/Bass
*Joe Nickerson – Bass
*Brian Westbrook – Drums
*Joe Gettler – Guitar
*Dave Hughes – Bass
Recorded, mixed, & produced by Brian Westbrook @ PDP Recording – Greenfield, MA. Mastered by Nick Dragoni @ M-Works – Cambridge, MA.
1) Mascot War, 2) Thrashssacre, 3) Predator, 4) Toxic Zombie Onslaught, 5) Hot For Teacher (Van Halen Cover), 6) Black Metal Sucks, 7) Crossover Songs Are Too Damn Short (Demo); 28:13.
*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Lich_King/75426
LIKE ANIMALS – FERAL (Independent)
Like Animals are not a bad prog rock/metal band hailing from Ontario, Canada. Their Feral CDEP is also not a bad release. The immediate feeling I received from Like Animals, was a bit of a John Frusciante-Red Hot Chili Peppers, 90’s era influence. Even a bit of Dave Navarro-Jane’s Addiction & Les Claypool-Primus. Like Animals have that vibe musically. Vocally, hinting on Dave Williams of Drowning Pool. (RIP)
Granted, prog rock/metal are really not my cup of tea when it comes to music, Like Animals though have an esoteric sound to them. Some great melody. For the most part, some rather easier listening. They’re not boring, but nor do I find them over the top. Some heavier elements appear here & there, although there are I’d say more rock ‘n’ roll influences displayed.
Production is nicely done up, not a shabby job at all. If you happen to like some good prog rock/metal? You’ve got almost 20mins of some excellent material appearing on, Feral. You can watch/listen to their Feral video here on YouTube:https://youtu.be/87RGdI7qwhg …
I’d really like to hear what a full-length CD release would sound like from these lads. Thanks to Jon Asher & Asher Media for the CD. Keep the great music coming.
My rating: 81/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
*Jamie Haffenden – Vocals, Guitar
*Myke Caouette – Bass
*Will Tennant – Drums
Feral track info:
I) Feral – II) The Lion’s Share – III) Lounge Lizard – IV) Laterwaul – V) Jungle Book Of Love – total run time 19:47
Recorded @ Mojo Studios – Barrie, Ontario, Canada by Neil Devereaux. Artwork by Danielle Caouette. Layout & design by Julie Tennant @ James Handmade Design.
LIONHEART – LOVE DON’T LIVE HERE (BDHW Records – Gordeon Music Promotion)
The band members of Lionheart found their own label LHHC Records as there are too much fuckers on this world that they consider as washed up try-hards, sketchy promotors, fake-ass managers, dick riding bands and no-talent industry scum that is trying to make a dollar that isn’t theirs to make. To get the material to their Asian and European fans, they needed a little help from BDHW Records, so from January 22nd. 2016 on, you can consider this as a worldwide release. ‘This new album represents everything we ever wanted to do with our music,’ says vocalist Rob Watson. ‘It’s heavy, it’s pissed, it’s original, and it’s honest, something that is missing in a lot of music nowadays.’ Who am I to say things otherwise or contrary. What Rob states reveals at the same time a lot of the dedication that the members of Lionheart put into their songs. The new album radiates their messages, the new material on ‘Love Don’t Live Here’ are quotes from everyday life, from issues that everyone on the street has to deal with and all this displeasure and dissatisfaction is melting together with 11 songs straight from the (Lion)heart.
The album starts with the rocket ‘Pain’ that has an average pace but with vocals like a hurricane. When you work three jobs just to pay the rent, pain is the crack in your heart from all the love lost, are the main topics in this song and is only a beginning of what’s to come. Ravenous drums by Jay, powerful and gesticulating vocals by Rob and an extremely dangerous back section to get the things on the right track. The new Lionheart opens with a wonderful song, but this is only a preview of other goodies to come. The band is playing at top level and can be considered as one of the best hardcore bands in activity! That expresses in songs like ‘Bury Me’, ‘New Enemies’ and ‘Dead Wrong’ (awesome lyrics, featuring Richard Mathews), just to name a few. It took 4 years to get the new material on a disc, but all frustrations and all the passion is still alive and kicking. It’s a vivid way of saying ‘fuck you’ to society and all this anger tastes fantastic.
The album was engineered by Cody Fuentes at Rapture Recording Studio, California, and he succeeded in creating many layers in the songs, which is essential to hear this material at full power. The sound is open and direct, but at the same time utterly powerful and aggressive! If you compare this material with their previous albums (‘The Will To Survive’ – 2007, ‘Built On Struggle’ – 2011, ‘Undisputed’ – 2012), we can easily say that the new material evolved in maturity. The songs have a ‘lesser is more’ approach and that pays off in the end. A direct sound with lyrics that are understandable gives you a comfort zone to enjoy this product at full intensity. I’m also charmed with the guitar sound and enthusiasm that is added to the songs as Cam and Nick deliver the goods with a lot of passion and virtuosity.
This metallic hardcore is only attainable if you live on the streets, if you dwell the earth constantly with intensive touring and playing gigs in front of adepts. When you listen to the title track, it has a very emotional touch, although the song is a brutal slap in the face. It’s emotionally touching as the vocals of Rob contain so much passion and disappointment at the same time. Fans of Madball, Terror, Hatebreed, you have only one mission now and that’s get your copy to start 2016 with a bang! https://www.facebook.com/lionheartca/
My rating: 88/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
LITA FORD – TIME CAPSULE (SPV/Steamhammer)
Review by Sloof
My metal heart melts totally when I check the photo on the back of this new album. What an attitude, what a great looking silhouette, and if you are honest it’s really exciting to see a leather chick with an Metal guitar around the neck. She has balls, she’s got the girl power, and if some shows on TV are looking for an X-factor, well, Lita has them all! For those that aren’t familiar with Lita, she had a major worldwide hit with ‘Close My Eyes Forever’ (1988) in a duet with Ozzy Osbourne, the one and only Prince Of Darkness. Before this ballad, she was a member of The Runaways together with Joan Jett from 1975 ‘till 1979 as lead guitarist. She also released some solo albums and ‘Out For Blood’ is undeniably a milestone in her career. From time to time, she enters the studio to record new material, but this time, it all went a little different. She took some time to collect unreleased material from the 80’s, and things were literally stored on her attic.
“Time Capsule” couldn’t fit better and the material that is stored on this new album contains really great guitar solos (as expected) and a sensitive, personal touch from private life affairs (also as expected). I want to mention the front cover as well, as this “Time Capsule” has a collage of memorabilia of her career. There is also a personal note on the booklet: ‘not one thing was fixed, covered up or re-recorded/changed in any way! These tapes are still as I found them’.
After a stupid intro, spoken by Chris Holmes and totally ridiculous, we get a wonderful, emotional track ‘Where Will I Find My Heart Tonight’, where the voice of Lita is supreme! She’s very mature, very Rock/Metal sounding, but at the same time emotional, sensitive and very female. The male guest on this track was Jeff Scott Soto, so it’s needless to say that he always delivers a great job! This is definitely a great song that has all ingredients that Lita Ford represents. ‘Killing Kind’ is a bit slower, lesser emotional and with a lot of attention to the backing vocals in the chorus line, this time we hear some members of Cheap Trick. ‘War Of The Angels’ opens very modest with a fantastic bass line, performed by one of her guests Gene Simmons, Greg Babushio or Billy Sheehan. It’s not really mentioned who plays exactly in which track, but I’m sure that all musicians have their own quality and charisma (especially Gene from KISS).
‘Black Leather Heart’ has a lot of references with her old time classic band The Runaways where songs like ‘Cherry Bomb’, ‘Wild Thing’ and ‘Queens Of Noise’ are etched in my mind. ‘Rotten To The Core’ is again a slowly dragging song where she likes to mention all things that Lita dislikes! Every song on this album has nice and blistering guitar work and Lita’s got some help by Bruce Kulick (and Not Bruce Klick, wrongly mentioned in the booklet), Joe Taylor and Blues Saraceno. It’s obvious that she knows all the big names in the scene and perhaps, that would expect a leverage to more charismatic material. The songs are all typical Lita Ford, but I missed some killer tracks like ‘Out For Blood’ where the magic was present all the time.
This is an album that you will enjoy when you want to have a quieter moment, when you want to have some subdued feeling. As she is going to play at the upcoming Alcatraz Metal Festival in Belgium, it’s a good thing to refresh the memory, but I do hope that she’s going to focus on her highlights prior to the material on this album. Order via Lita’s Official Homepage at: http://litafordonline.com/
My rating: 82/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
LORDS OF THE TRIDENT – FROSTBURN (Online Metal Promo)
At least an unusual band with an attitude that might refer to comics, or a Gwar version meets the beauties of Lordi and add some fantasy atmosphere to get the job done. Sometimes I wonder why they have a kind of despise as the music of LOTT is much more mature and professional compared with the outfits of the members and the charisma in general. They transfer their songs into a fantasy world where knights and dungeons were daily topics, while the enchanted forest unleashed dragons and myths. It’s like a good song is transposed to a gimmick world and that’s totally unnecessary.
‘Knights of Dragon’s Deep’ is a perfect opener for an album, as it’s inviting to dive into the metal of LOTT for the upcoming 45 minutes. Guitars produce Heavy Metal arrangements while the vocals sprinkle a melodic approach to the heaviness. ‘The Longest Journey’ is slower but at the same time heavier with a lot of outstanding riffing from beginning on. The vocals are more ‘sensitive’ but things work out very well.
There is a video for the track ‘Winds Of The Storm’ and this song captures all ingredients that are typical for LOTT. Well driven, good pace, outstanding vocals (‘erupted from a volcano of metal and steel at the beginning of time’, so they say), and guitars that are executed with a nice shredding effect. Again there is interaction between the faster songs on this album and the slower ones. ‘Manly Witness’ is heavy as hell but at the same time a track with an encouraging chorus line. It has an 80ies feeling and approach and leads us into the calm intro and ballad-esque beginning of ‘Haze Of The Battlefield’. The album continues with another portion of action after this rather slow moment with ‘Kill To Die’, one of the heaviest and fastest songs on “Frostburn”.
Fang von Wrathenstein has all necessary elements to be considered as ‘a good metal vocalist’ as he’s leading his voice from heights to depths, but never exorbitant. After listening to this album for a few times, I must admit that I had several times the ‘Europe’ feeling. The songs have the same maturity but at once also the property that a melodic touch can match to a heavier layer.
My rating: 85/100 ( Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)
LUCER – BRING ME THE GOOD NEWS (Target/Mighty Music Records)
The band is a trio so they added Johathan Norgaard as drummer and together they want to capture their well know live-energy in every bit and their melodic hook lines and catchy choruses will fit to national radio stations, but I must admit that I miss a bit power and heaviness.
Songs like ‘Go Easy On Me’ has a good vocal presentation, but the song in general misses balls. ‘I Don’t Wanna Know’ is a ballad that will appeal to a lot of rock fans, but again, strength is rather poor. The title track of this album is a very positive tune where the guitars have a priority part and where they also introduce the band as a great backing band as well. They toured already with Mike Tramp, and I understand this move, as they will appeal to the same audience.
If you are looking for guitar solos, I advise the title track as well, but in general there are no shocking parts on this album. This is a band that will fit on teenager bedrooms where females will cover the walls with posters. The album entered the Danish sales charts at an impressive no. 24 – best position for a National debut rock band in ages, and I guess that this says it all. Lucer FB: https://www.facebook.com/lucerofficial Order “Bring Me The Good News” at:http://www.targetshop.dk/uk/370627/lucer/Bring_Me_Good_News/
My rating: 69/100 (Rather moderate)
LUTECE – FROM GLORY TOWARDS VOID (Dooweet Agency)
Review by Officer Nice
I can’t remember I purchased some Black Metal last year but the fact I had a personal difficult time has a lot to do with it. I didn’t really need music to get me into a darker pit, that’s probably the reason I welcomed Pop music to get into my life. And I enjoyed it, I really did.
I am NOT the biggest fan of Black Metal but Immortal was able to seduce me a few years ago to become open minded about this extreme kind of Metal. Ever since I heard some outstanding albums, but I also heard some thing that made me wishes my ears to fell of. What I like about this genre is that ultra darkened atmosphere that gives me as a listener the creeps. Black Metal is more, than other genres, able to have this kind of impact. I’d like to imagine things when I listen to music and Black Metal always brings me time after time, in my mind, to those dark forests in Norway. I imagine some satanic fanatics dancing around a camp fire with some naked women who… Crap, I must be sick.
Lutece isn’t a band from the North of Europe but is heading from France. The awesome front cove attracted me at once and it didn’t take long to give this one a shot. The good production of this record is a bonus and to be honest, this kind of Metal obliges a strong mix. Black metal is a music style that isn’t that easy to get into but certainly bad produced albums are to me a reason to throw the silver disc out of my CD-player to smash it against the wall. But, with Lutece, you will have a qualitative product and also musical wise this band has something to offer. The band delivers varied Metal on good played rhythm sessions and the darkness will drip out of your speakers, obliging you to gear the volume button. Lutece produces at some points a true wall of sound and it really makes me adore this record. Although the biography says this band is influence by the traditional Eastern and Swedish Black Metal they’re at some points very close to Death Metal as well. Lutece is a rather technical band and to me, that’s a personal point of view, which lifts Black Metal bands up to a higher level.
Lutece doesn’t deliver undefined rhythm sessions, as many Black Metal bands did in the past and it’s clear some musical brains are behind this band. “Labyrinth Of Souls” for example is a very slow track that easily pulls the listener into the dark energy of this band. This song knows different breaks and the riffs are really extraordinary. But within the same track you will be blown away by the fast beats behind the powerful guitars. This is only one example because also the other tracks have their secrets and I really adore the calm pieces that are often weaved into the music. Maybe that’s the reason why I adore Bathory and Immortal so much…. The fact Hesgaroth, the singer, uses grunts might be the reason this formation stands close to Death Metal. My message is that Lutece is a varied band that should please any fan of extreme Metal. Okay, for the old fashioned Black Metal fans, who are still torturing themselves or their pets everyday in front of a pentagram and black candles, this might be too sweet but for music fans this will be a goodie. Letuce delivers awesome Black Metal from a very good level. “Melted Flesh”, “Architects of Doom”, the title track and “The Last Standing Flag” are really worth listening to.
I repeat I am not the biggest Black metal fan and to be honest I don’t know this genre as good as I know traditional Metal or US Power Metal. So I don’t know if I am the right person to make a review about this kind of albums. What I do know is that I am pleased by the energy of the band, the tracks and that dark mood that is constantly present on “From Glory Towards Void”. Fans of modern Black Metal and even Death Metal fans really should give this one an honest try. Some of you will really like what they will hear. Additional info through: http://www.facebook.com/lutece.horde. Order at: https://dooweet.bandcamp.com/album/from-glory-towards-void
My rating: 86/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)