Friday, December 9, 2016

Evil Priest-Demo Ep (2016)

Evil Priest mixed the relentless thrashy aggression and riffage of floridian death metal with a healthy dose of swedish death metal. This demo kicks in with a brutal song... then you hear it... that GUITAR TONE. Damnit, this band has one of the best guitar tones ever heard in death metal in 2016. It's heavy as fuck, really low-tuned and sounds more evil than any actual metal band. Then the three songs carries on, with sheer brutality attacking you from every corner, while singer vomits his inhuman old-school growls without allowing you to breathe. Riff after riff, there is no stop to this monster of a demo. The drumming is top-notch as well; Really powerful and aggressive blastbeats that go along with a great technique. Incredible. Evil Priest manage to be relentlessly aggressive and atmospheric at the same time, without decaying in melodic death metal. The guitar work is damn good. Overall, this demo is an essential piece on the Peruvian death metal puzzle. You like death metal? Then OWN IT, it will destroy your fucking skull !!
facebook.com/EvilPriestDeathMetal
www.cavernaabismal.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Sacred Gate-Countdown to Armageddon (2016)

This album is one massively impressive dose of metal, mixing equal parts traditional, power, and prog, creating a work that is easily powerful. You see, the charming thing about Sacred Gate is that they really are a traditional metal act espousing hints of progressive tendencies - how many times have you heard that and found it to be utter crap? Sacred Gate no means a clone of anything. A very solid release.Things are kept interesting via a varying tempo, so you've got your mid-paced tunes, your double-bass-fueled ones, and so on.  It's obvious these guys are very talented. If you like melodic bands like Jag Panzer, Iron Maiden, Hammerfall, and Iced Earth you would like this.
facebook.com/sacredgatemetal
metal-on-metal.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Metal Law-Hellrider (2016)

I recently came across Metal Law and realized that they're a kick ass band. If you're looking for screaming, raging heavy metal , this is what you're looking for. There's some really cool riffs thrown throughout, a lot of killer drumming, and consistent vocals. These are the kinds of musicians I admire, what they do do is show they have raw energy and actual talent. If you admire raw energy and plodding riffs then you will probably like this, a lot. Metal Law is a strong band for metalhead's who admire really good music. Pick this up and embrace the metal warrior in you!
www.facebook.com/metallawmusic
metal-on-metal.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Attacker-Sins of the World (2016)

Cutting-edge straightforward Heavy Metal. Fresh and energetic. The production is crisp and clean, but still Heavy. The musicians are very skilled, the fellow who plays bass for Attacker definitely knows how to work a bass guitar.The drummer is also excellent, this dude can bash the skins!! The voice is killer, and the two guitar players are also VERY good. I like guitar players who have the ability to switch back and forth during solos. The writing is also good. The songs aren't about how many women they may have banged, or how much whisky they drank. Topics are all good stuff. The musicians in this band show their talent. If you like good metal musicians and a CD that can be played at the highest volume from start to finish, I recommend purchasing this disc. Oh, yeah, this CD has one of my favorite cover illustrations. Definitely cool! Trust me, if you like DIO, Judas Priest, or Iron Maiden, you'll love this album!
www.facebook.com/AttackerBand
metal-on-metal.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Metal Massacre 14-(2016)

I sit here with beer in hand enjoying this compilation and writing this review. Bands here are amazing. Metalian is an awesome Heavy metal, Noctum is good , Gatekeeper rules here, Assassin's blade sounds awesome with their traditional heavy metal, Cobra is a killer speed metal band, Stone dagger is decent heavy metal, Crypt Sermon is doom in the vein of Candlemass, Savage Master is awesome heavy metal to the vein, Outcast traditional heavy metal, Corsair is another amazing band here , great musicianship. Overall, if you are looking to see what underground metal is all about, pick this up. There's some underrated and overlooked gems on this, powerful vocals and riffing. Another fantastic collection of vintage heavy metal by Metal Blade Records. Good job guys !!
www.metalblade.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Primordial-Gods to the Godless-Live at Bang Your Head Festival/Germany 2015

The songs on offer here are instantly just that little bit different to the original versions, a decent amount of energy and really does roll things on brilliantly. If you're like me and enjoy live albums of bands that you like, then this is for you. The band has perefected the art of playing live, or at least on this live record. That is they have perfected playing imperfectly. Some bands can't reproduce what they have 30 takes in a studio live and end up just slaughtering their songs. Some bands play to well, to the point of perfection, where the songs on the live album are so similiar to the songs on the studio album.This album combines the greatness of the songs, with live imperfection and energy making one great experience. The tracks on this album offer something different than on their respective studio albums they are found on. In short this is about as good as it gets for a live album –  there are some quite good versions of damn good songs on here, so enjoy.
www.metalblade.com
www.facebook.com/primordialofficial
Review by Paul Caravasi

Downfall of Gaia-Atrophy (2016)

Clean production solely for the purpose of enhancing the musical experience, something that I personally rarely enjoy, maybe even only in the case of Black Metal. Anyway…it seems to me that if even one single note or drum beat were different the whole thing would fall together and fail completely for the listener. This is an album one does not merely listen to, one is just fascinated. Fascinated by the incredible precision, the atmosphere of this CD,  the guitars turn to a furious fusion with the drums and bass, the vocals....just really “imperial”, fabulous riffs I have ever endured in BM, accompanied by the drums, the songs flows from one riff to another, in perfect harmony with incredible musicianship, this is furious and very emotional....a ferocious outburst of musical fireworks and uncontrollable emotions. Higher up I mentioned that this CD clearly isn’t for everyone - in fact, I believe it can only be fully appreciated by the chosen few who can understand it. Its so complex and varying at times. I think it can only be loved by those who really feel extreme music in their veins. This is by no means a “light” album. So, I come to the conclusion that this CD is sheer genius, great overall atmosphere and musicianship, yet clearly not for all, I’d like to finish this review with first off saying that this album kicks fucking ass. “All mortals should respect bands like this, not make into a trend!”.
www.metalblade.com
downfallofgaia.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

King Diamond-The Spider Lullabye ( 2015-Remaster)

I have to say this is the most melodic release from King Diamond. But i guess the lack of recognition of this album is mainly due it not being a full concept album and the fact that the story itself is pretty straight forward and uncomplicated as opposed to his previous releases like Abigail and "Them". Still, I think the songs here are beautifully done well and the keyboards are utterly fantastic.
From The Other Side - You have no choice but to keep your ears glued to the speaker. If not for the solo, I'd have to say that the amazingly melodic and catchy chorus is the main highlight here.
Killer - Man, King's vocal harmony on that line is godly. Yes, that's the kind of vocal harmony that forces the listener to stay focused on the music and just simply be amazed.
The Poltergeist - This song just plain out rules you in everyway. And this song has the highlight of the entire album, which is during the lead break. What sounds like a squeaky door opening is actually the sound of the guitar, which fools you for a few seconds into thinking it's actually the sound of a squeaky door until it leads into the solo. Man, that is some killer stuff right there! Not something that occurs very often in music.
Dreams - Probably the weakest track on the album.
Moonlight - Another one of King's best song. His vocals on this one are constantly in falsetto form through out the entire song.
Six Feet Under - Yet, another catchy chorus that stays stuck on you.
The Spider's Lullaby - This is a very doom-ish tune in the vein of 70s Sabbath, mixed with eerie keyboard work and the insane laughs and vocals of the King. King really goes over the top in trying to sound insane with this one, what exactly does a spider sound like?? I don't know, but I do know that the guitar definatly sounds like one. You'll have to hear for yourself.
Eastmann's Cure - Another cool speed metal song , though a little more melodic and very soft in some places.
Room 17 - This song is much longer than it should be, over 8 minutes. I guess you can say it's pretty catchy at first but it's a little too long.
To The Morgue - Another doomy song,  a perfect album closer to a bone chilling tale....for those of you who are afraid of spiders.
This edition features a bonus disc with these demo versions: Moonlight, From the other side, The spider lullabye and Dreams. Remastered by Andy La Rocque !
www.metalblade.com
www.kingdiamondcoven.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Cadaveric Poison- S/T (2016)

This is one of those records that you can listen to from beginning to end without any filler forced down your throat. The riffs are simply vicious and they are excessively developed within each track. The lyrics, while somewhat stock, really shine through in combination with the deep and throaty Paul Speckmann growls. The growls themselves are deliciously enjoyable, this album  stands out among many others that simply tried to imitate old sound bands. I really enjoy this CD for being one of the more aggressive Death/thrash Metal CD’s out there that never weakens or bends to any form of “commercial” idealism...yet still highly enjoyable. The production is dense.I say that this CD is GREAT. If you like the OLD school of classic death metal this is a CD you simply MUST own. Beers for these men!!! Now GO…BUY IT!!! On a closing note I also want to express my admiration of the demonically majestic cover art by Mark Riddick. Bravo Cadaveric Poison, Bravo!!
facebook.com/C.P.DeathMetal
metal-on-metal.com/bands/cadaveric-poison
Review by Paul Caravasi

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Lord Almighty-Paths (2016)

One thing that stand out on this album is the rock-like style. Now this isn’t a bad thing , but it's a different sounding.The music could be described as having the characteristics of black metal, though the sound is very rock-like. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is still black metal, and it’s sound unique, though it has elements of rock in the music.The guitars are fine. They have a unique sound and while nothing special, they suit this album. The vocals are done incredibly well – they have a cold feeling to them and it fits this album fantastically. Drums are good, although a little simplistic at times. There isn’t a constant blast of drums on this album, though considering the sound and tempo of the album, that’s a good thing, enjoy this album; just take it for what it is: an individual album.Overall, Paths is a fantastic album ,  vocals are harsh yet suiting, it has a fair play-time, mind-blowing.A highly recommended purchase.!
www.facebook.com/lordalmightymetal
www.facebook.com/clawhammerpr
lordalmighty.bandcamp.com/album/paths
Review by Paul Caravasi

Crator-The ones who create:The ones who Destroy (2016)

Progressive death metal music. Well, Necrophagist were considered the band that was unique in this genre ( i don't know why) and after the release of this record I believe Crator is not bad at all. This album takes enormous influences from both technical/progressive as well as neoclassical music and the result is complex,to any listeners - you must give this album several chances. Multi-layered guitar parts, odd-time signatures as well as searing shred guitar, this record is full of tricks. The drumming is absolutely perfect and not just mindless blast beats. This is admirable, extremely versatile and doesn't hesitate to slow things down to give the band some breathing space. The bass is very expressive and unlike 90% of death metal records, it's pretty persistent throughout the entire album. This is difficult to absorb. There are so many parts to each song - overlapping guitar pieces and bass interludes - which I can imagine are extremely difficult to play live. Secondly, there is a real emphasis on being as musical (not melodic!) as possible, and focused on being very fast or unpredictable. This is technical music whilst remaining elegant, symphonic, and actually listenable. expect that they continue to release highly musical and dexterous material. Well done!
www.facebook.com/cratorUS
Review by Paul Caravasi

Cropsy Maniac-Further Than Fear (2016)

This record is stunning. It is pure, unbridled cruelty channeled into metal. The production is grimy and haunting; the guitars roar like rusty chainsaws, the bass is vile and well chosen and the vocals are..... we will need a new paragraph to talk about the vocals. Upon listening to this debut album, there is no denying that the sheer subhuman brutality these vocals posses is staggering, and provides an invaluable aesthetic template for extreme metal. It is the riffing that stands out for me. Forget all the fretboard wankery you often hear in modern death metal: what we get here is pure, primitive savagery. There is absolutely no chugging, which is a great thing these days, when every other band seems to prefer to bore us senseless with endless breakdowns, rather than thrashing out like a real metal band should. The riffs, in-fact, have a real flavour of crust punk, as well as the more primitive of death metal bands. The fact that these influences can be so easily discerned is part of what I love about this band. I mean, a lot of new death metal bands can send me to sleep pretty quickly, but this album is barbaric and disgusting. These fkn maniacs create a terrifying symphony of unease and gore. Criminally overlooked and underrated, This album is a must hear for fans of Impetigo, Frightmare, Macabre and death metal and extreme music in general. No wimps allowed!!
www.facebook.com/cropsymaniacgrind
www.facebook.com/deadbeatmedia
Review by Paul Caravasi

Nefarious-Demo Cassette (2016)

I discovered this band a month ago thanks to my friend Franco demoniaco who sent me this demo tape. I don’t know, maybe it’s something about the primordial sound or the guitar, but I love it. Listening it on cassette is pure orgasm for a person like me who worships anything in this genre. They take influences mostly from mighty Venom, Possessed with that Slayer component, essential in giving the thrash metal impact and songwriting. The production is really underground, with that “basement attitude and style” that is great to give this demo a more rare and characteristic touch. The main work is done by the restless guitar, that along the whole demo tape. The riffage is fast, compact and the drums are constantly on raw up tempo. I can only imagine these songs in a live gig…what a massacre! The solos are fast with high pitched whistles and sudden tremolo picking. The vocals are Venom style with a rough tonality that sometimes goes through heavier tones and passages. The traditional metal influences in the guitars and the Venom patterns are so evident. On the other hand, we can find totally worshipping Hellhammer influences as well. All in all, a great debut made of raw but catchy songs with lots influences; showing levels of malevolence that the band will be able to reach again in the future. Brutal as fuck !!
www.facebook.com/NEFARIOUSDEATH
Review by Paul Caravasi

Monday, October 31, 2016

Dark Forest-Beyond the Veil (2016)

Incredible vocal performance. Very well done. VERY well structured songs . Fast paced riffings as well. Great stuff. Beautifully integrating melody and neoclassical metal- two things that rarely work so well together. The guitarwork is inventive and excellent. The songs are expertly crafted, and hold their own. To summarize this album, It really is a great Heavy Metal album. The timing is also excellent, as the frequent changes in speed illustrate. Most recommendable if one is a fantasy fan and Once you turn up the volume, the guitars will sound as fast as you could possibly desire and you'll definitely have and epic feeling. So turn it up to 11 and enjoy this album.
www.facebook.com/Darkforestuk
www.cruzdelsurmusic.com
www.facebook.com/clawhammerpr
Review by Paul Caravasi

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Whisptriker-Only filth will Prevail (2016)

Whipstriker from Brazil is a great blend of Black Metal with Thrash Metal. The vocals are harsh but there not exactly screamed. There almost a mix of early Venom, Slayer, Possessed and Darkthrone. There also some catchy choruses layed out in the album. The drumming is simple. It's typical Thrash Metal drumming. The riffs are speedy and evil. Sure the guitars don't really pull of anything crazy but there are some pretty good solos. "Only filth will prevail. The speed is matained through out the album and there are no songs with slowed down parts. Pure fucking evil war thrash metal!!! It's a damn evil mix in the end, for any fan of old school death, thrash and black metal, as well as appeal to crust fans. It doesn't slow the fuck down and I can guarantee this would be a wild pit if it made it to stage dominion. Nonetheless, Whipstriker offers us some fast exxxecutioner tunes on this. Blackened thrash fans would never destroy this. One of my favourite Southamerican products to date in the eyes of thrash!!! If you're interested in Black/Thrash Metal, get this right away!
www.facebook.com/whipstriker
www.facebook.com/morbid.tales.7
Review by Paul Caravasi

Cardiac Arrest-Promo 2016

These new songs has a much more structured and varied approach. Upon first listen, things seem to have been more primitive as before. This Promo has a lot more in common with old school death metal, there is not too much grind going on here. The production on these 3 songs are thick and full. The drums, guitars, vocals, and bass are all very clear. The music is still very much old school metal. Like I stated before, the songs are much more together and extreme than before. Morbid death riffings, insane gurgling and growling, and perfect drumming, memorable. It's an audial representation of the sickest sound of extreme Metal ever made. Being a major fan of extreme music. I utterly adore this new approach of deranged filth. This is for Death metal freaks out there only!
facbook.com/cardiacarrestdeathmetal
card.arrest@gmail.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Monday, October 3, 2016

Devotion (Spain)-Necrophiliac Cults (2016)

Ladies and gentlemen of the underground metal scene, I would like to introduce you to "Necrophiliac Cults" quite possibly the greatest death metal album of 2016. The atmosphere, the guitars, the slamming drums, crushing bass, the brutal lyrics, and the spine tingling vocals all come together so perfectly, hence, creating this album, a memorable and mesmerizing gem in the death metal scene. To me, the most amazing thing about this entire album is the absolutely astounding vocalist. The vocals are so different, so horrific, so inhuman, that you cannot help it but to be drawn into it. Vicent Riera ( Ex Obscure-Nadir) puts in more of a puking kind of noise to his vocals, which, in my opinion, add to the intense atmosphere of the album. The guitar work as a whole is killer , heavy as fuck. Not too technical, not too simple. Though Devotion is not the most technical of bands out there, Devotion from Spain still manages to pull out some incredibly original, melodic, intense guitar riffs. The solos in this album are also absolutely incredible and flawless. They are intense, fast, and do have a pretty thick groove to them at times. The guitar style used in this album really reminds me of the guitar work in Massacra, which, of course, is definitely a good thing. The bass in the album adds a whole new meaning to the word "crushing." The bass in this album, though not as noticeable as some other aspects in this album, the bass still adds a crushing effect that can leave a non-death metal listener crying. It is like when someone huge is yelling in your face, and you submit to the ground to him. Yes, it is that crushing. Last and not least, the drum work in this album is amazing. The drum work in this album mainly consists of mid tempos and touches of synths, they manage to have this drum style fit perfectly with their musical style, making the drum work and synths in a brutal way and that's another plus for this album, so fucking heavy as well. In conclusion, this album is an absolute masterpiece, no questions asked. Every song, every second, every moment of this album is absolutely flawless and amazing. If you are to listen to one song on this album, listen to "Risen Ghouls" which is probably the greatest song on this album. It has the most interesting structure, guitar work, vocals, and not to mention, some of the greatest death metal lyrics I have heard in my fkn life. Basically, if you like death metal, you need this album. If you don't like it, you're a dick and would be better off listening to metalcore shit !
www.facebook.com/Devotion-Death-Metal-824792247614716
Review by Paul Caravasi

Sunday, August 21, 2016

INTERVIEW WITH LEE AARON

                                     
THANKS TO JYM HARRIS AND BALLBASTER MUSIC FOR SHARING THIS INTERVIEW WITH SOULGRINDER.


ANOTHER BALLBUSTER EXCLUSIVE! THIS TIME WE HOOKED UP WITH THE METAL QUEEN HERSELF, LEE AARON, TO TALK ABOUT HER PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE! ENJOY!

JYM HARRIS - I think it's fair to assume that many American headbangers like myself became aware of your music in the early 80's. How did you initially get into the business? Were you singing professionally at a really young age?
LEE AARON - Well I don't know if you'd say sort of 'professionally'. I joined a band when I was in high school, when I was 15 years old and I'd been singing in some theater productions locally and a bass player from a local band saw me in a production and said "man we want you to come and audition for our band" and my father drove to this rehearsal space because he was like "there's no way I'm letting my young daughter go into this basement rehearsal space with boys" right? They were older... I think I was only in grade 10 at the time? They were some guys from grade 12, from the music program at my high school and another neighboring high school, and there was sort of all this skepticism like "what are you doing having a girl come and audition for a band?" but I got the call back and I guess they didn't find a male singer who could sing the way I could so I got to join this band when I was 15 years old and we started out playing some small all all ages local gigs and that sort of evolved into... the biggest concert of our career was the summer that I graduated I was 17 years old and we played at the local band show in the local park where we lived in a Toronto suburb and the gentleman that became our first manager saw us there and was like, "Wow I really want to work with you guys!" He ended up putting us on the road and I wasn't even old enough to be in bars and I had scholarships to go onto university at that point I told my family like, "A couple of years and if this doesn't work out then I'll go back to college". Our keyboard player was 20 and he officially signed on as my chaperone. So I was just very young to answer your question.

Wow! That leads me into the question, I read somewhere that first band that you joined was actually called LEE AARON before you joined and that's where the stage name came from. Any truth to that?
LA-That is correct. It's was like Max Webster or Jethro Tull... just a name. I joined and was in for a very short period of time and it just became synonymous with myself. People thought I was Lee Aaron so it was kind of easier. I had some issues especially in the early days of my career with... what's a polite way to put it? Very very passionate fans, or we could call them stalkers I guess. So just having the anonymity provided by having the stage was really beneficial so I just ended up keeping the name.

Wow. That's a great story! Well everyone knows you have this really powerful vocal style. Who were some of your influences at the beginning?
Well throughout my younger years I was kind of schooled on jazz and blues and sort of Broadway standards because I did a lot of theater. And studied and learned about proper projection, but a couple of things happened when I was 17 years old...my father who worked at a college in Toronto called Humber College...Their college radio station was getting rid of their vinyl since they were switching formats, and he showed up with this trunk full of vinyl albums and up to that point I had very limited exposure to Rock. My parents weren't really into it, you know growing up here in Canada we heard a lot of Canadian content so I was hearing BTO and the Guess Who on the radio, but in this pile of records were The Runaways and Heart and Fleetwood Mac... they blew my mind because I had never really listened to women in a rock band before so those three were super influential when I was quite young. As well, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin... My first band, they were listening to heavier stuff like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. we covered some Sabbath, some Deep Purple, some Joplin, stuff like that so when you start digging deep and start listening to some of those bands, especially like Zeppelin, you know those guys stole from Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf which sort of explains when I went back in my career and started researching more of the history of Rock and Roll you realize, well, I heard a great quote on, well I watched the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame special and one of the artists that got up said that 'roots and blues had a baby and it's name was rock n roll' and I went 'it's true' you know?

Yeah of course! I saw that in the early 80's you were compared to a female Ronnie James Dio. I don't know if you ever got that.
Yeah, people said that because I had a strong vocal style without being like a screamer. Cause that was Dio, you know, kind of his thing.
Cause you sound operatic and trained while still kind of affecting your voice a little bit, at least for the early material, like the 'Metal Queen'-era...
LA - Yeah. For sure!

JH - And you said that the song "Metal Queen" wasn't autobiographical and that it maybe unfairly pigeon-holed you, stylistically? I was wondering when you broke into the music business after doing theater and all that; was it your intention as a young artist to become kind of a Heavy Metal rocker?
Haha! No! Not all, actually. And it is not that I don't enjoy that genre of music. I still really like some heavy stuff, but it wasn't like I lied in bed awake at night dreaming I would become an icon in the Hard Rock world. It was almost sort of an accident. You have to remember that the 80's were this era where people were signed to big record deals, there were huge record budgets, everybody had a role or a job. I mean independently the way people do things now, a lot of it is a one person operation but back then, the vision for the album, they thought this song 'Metal Queen' could be a single and that got handed over to the art department, and an art director decided "what is an image that we can create here that would go good with that song?" then that gets handed off to the video director and there's a stylist on the shoot, so everyone had these roles. I remember showing up for the "Metal Queen" album cover shoot, and see all this... It was loosely discussed that they wanted to create a real powerful female image for me but I was really envisioning a Xena costume, haha. That's kind of what the whole thing got fashioned around. I mean, no complaining! It was a real fun time in my life and I think it complimented the song quite well. I had no idea that it would create this iconic kind of legacy for me in the Hard Rock world though. That wasn't really the intention, and at the time I guess I was having fun with it. It was a little more like being Alice Cooper where, we all know Alice Cooper's a really cool normal guy but Cooper is this persona, it's a lot of role playing, and for me at that time that's kind of how I looked at it.

Sure. At first, I saw that video when it came out. They've got you chained up and swinging a sword. You got the spider and the snake and the dove and all that which leads me to the question as a female artist do you find it difficult to have to be sort of feminine and sexy while also being expected to appear kinda strong and somewhat masculine in Rock music?
It is a double edged sword, isn't it? Haha. It's like yeah, that's interesting you say that because in the 80's when people were signed to big records deals and there's hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on production and marketing. There was definitely an awkward dynamic to deal with. You know if you were not that attractive and overweight they just looked at you like there was zero marketability for you. There was a real emphasis on the fact that you needed to be attractive, and we needed to be able to market you that way...a lot of the images that were put out there for female artists were such very sexualized images. Let's be honest. It put you in the position of sometimes feeling like "well is this eclipsing the merit of what I'm doing artistically here?" I often felt that the fact that I was a singer and a songwriter I remember being in my manager's office when my 6th album came out, "Some Girls Do" him taking this phone call from a big Canadian publication called "The Record". At the time it was a big industry magazine. And them asking, "Who wrote this hit for Lee?" And he was like. "She wrote it". I remember thinking, "Man, I'm on my sixth album and people don't even know that I write my own songs yet! There's something wrong with this picture!" And I put a lot of that down to the marketing. There was just a lot of emphasis put on how you looked and creating a pin-up girl image. But you know it is interesting. I remember a VP at my records label in the 80's saying, "We want to create something where men want to be with you and woman want to be like you." And I went, "Oh, ok." Haha, so yeah, you had to carry your weight in terms of strength to compete in that world but there was definitely an emphasis on sexualizing women, I think. And I mean that happened with men in the industry at that time too. Look at those Aerosmith and Bon Jovi, all those videos they all had oiled up women in very, very minimal clothing, right? That seemed to be the way the way of the world back then.

Right. Well I understand that early on you were quite a bit more successful in some of the European countries. I mean more so than in North America, right? By the late 80's I had heard that "Bodyrock" went nearly triple platinum?
I did not truly break big in Canada until my 5th album. But I had a tremendous amount of success in Europe with my 2nd and 3rd record. I toured with Bon Jovi actually in '85. Right around the time of the release of my 3rd album "Call Of The Wild" and we were signed at the time to a very small label out of, I think it was Belgium called Road Runner. I don't think they are so small anymore. By the end of that tour we had sold 100,000 albums in a short period of time. To the point that some of the reviews were kinda suggesting that Bon Jovi was opening for me. It was very awkward, haha. Yeah, I had a lot of big success. I had a top 40 hit in Canada with my 4th album with a song called "Only Human" so I broke with radio play but that did not really translate much into album sales but what really broke things wide open for me in Canada was the "Bodyrock" album in 1989. It was right around the time that MTV and Much Music in Canada had really peaked in terms of their power to sell artists visually so video had become paramountly important. I had hit videos at that time and they were in heavy rotation up here so that did a tremendous amount to catapult my career.

By the early 90's though you were all over the world and supporting your albums on Attic Records, but then didn't you release an album on your own label? Was it Hip Chick Records? Do I have that right?
Yeah, I've had 3 different label various incarnations of my career. I left the record label in 1992. And kinda went independent. I was actually one of the first artists in Canada to do so and started a label called Hip Chick Music and I put out the album "Emotional Rain" on that imprint, and then I started another label called Spastic Plastic later in the 90's I put out another album on that.

Was that the 2Preciious album?
Yeah that's correct.

I actually wasn't that familiar with that album. Wasn't that kind of a grungy alt-rock kind of a vibe?
It was kind of a project record. I had hired the rhythm section to play on my "Emotional Rain" album in 1994. Those guys were from a Canadian alt band in the 90's called the Sons of Freedom. Amazing band, if you ever get a chance check out their stuff. And I was just in love with that band so I hired the rhythm section, brought them out and we all got along like a house on fire! And they said if you want to do something really different come over to Vancouver and let's write a record together. It would be fun! Traditionally I have liked challenges like that and I have reinvented myself a few times and taken some risks so I was like, "Yeah let's do it!". So I get on a plane and came out here and we wrote this album and we wrote under the nom de plume 2Preciious and that album got really good critical reviews. Unfortunately it was kind of a commercial failure because my name wasn't attached to it. Kinda like being a brand new band again.

Oh, you were using your real name?
Yeah, I actually still to this day really love that album. I think it was some of my best work. I think it's almost out-of-print now. If you find it online, it's very rare.

I noticed in the late 90's a lot of the Hard Rock & metal bands changing direction due to the climate in the music business. Something I didn't know until recently was that you were exploring Jazz and Blues at that time and you were successful with that as well. Tell us about the transition from Rock to Jazz.
Well, I had to go bankrupt in 1996. A lot of people don't know that. The state of the music industry. Grunge came in full force. Basically anyone's name who was attached to any AOR Rock from the 80's, music trends shifted so dramatically. You couldn't get arrested! I am not the only person who has this story. It was a very, very difficult for hard rock bands who had had success at that time. Because we were displaced, basically. So...

No, I remember. I remember clearly.
So my manager took a job working as a foreign licensing rep for a big US label and my lawyer kinda jumped ship. I kind of showed up one day in Vancouver there were all these banker boxes on my doorstep and they had been sent from out East, and I was going through them going "oh man! I'm in like $450,000 worth of debt here" that I wasn't even completely aware of, with other people managing my affairs. It was a tough time but it was probably the best thing I could have done was just go bankrupt and start with a clean slate. I took a year off through because, I am going to be honest, I was somewhat depressed and I wanted to figure out what I wanted to do with myself. but I had a lot of people urging me to get back on stage and sing. And when I decided to do that I was just like "I cannot be part of the pop culture meat grinder". It was just too brutal. I just thought "I'm just gonna start singing some music that I like" so I kinda went back to my roots. Right? For me, some people thought jazz and blues was a very dramatic shift away from Rock but really what I was doing I felt was exploring the history of where the music that I loved came from. Like we said, jazz and blues had a baby and it's name was Rock n Roll. So I went back and I had put together this band and I was covering all this old cool Dinah Washington and Nina Simone stuff and old Billie Holiday and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. I mean, she was one of the first gospel singers and guitarists that accompanied herself. This woman was completely bad ass, let me tell you. Some of the female guitarists like Bonnie Raitt and Lita Ford and Joan Jett and Nancy Wilson, they owe a huge debt to her. It was really a great experience and it led to me making an album in 2000 and then getting invited to go across Canada doing a bunch of jazz festivals. Again, I didn't really expect it to be successful. But I got quite a few really great reviews so that ended up being what I was doing right up until 2004.I had just cut another album, "Beautiful Things", again, independently. It was kinda like a Pop/Jazz. It was moving a little more in a Pop direction cause "Slick Chick" in 2000 was Jazz covers this one was original material. And it was very heavily Jazz & Blues influenced. But my inclination, I feel, as a songwriter, what I feel I do best, is Power Pop. Like Pop with huge guitars. That album was sorta Jazz/Pop. And then I found out I was pregnant with my daughter and I was on tour. I finished my tour in Newfoundland at the very far East end of Canada, seven months pregnant. Got on a plane, came home. I had my daughter in 2004 and my son in 2006. I don't know if I was anticipating such a huge life hiccup having children and I don't mean that in a negative way. My kids are an absolute blessing. I love them. They are amazing, but it sucks a lot of your creative energy, trust me. So I took a decade away from doing a studio album.

Well you did return to Rock music at least in a live setting in about 2007... weren't you playing some shows with Heart?
That's correct.


Yeah. At that point were you eager to get back to playing Rock music?
Well, I was still getting offers to go out and do a live Rock show every summer. And said no several times. And it wasn't until I got the offer to play with Heart that it was really worth it to me. These gals are my idols. I was like, I cannot turn down this opportunity. So I put my Rock show back together and when I got on the stage it was like "Ooh Yeah! I forgot how fun this is! I need to be doing this again!" So from that point forwards I did go out periodically. I do pockets of dates. That's kind of how I've made it work with my life and my family and also with the intention of supporting "Fire & Gasoline", my new album, is to do targeting pockets of dates. I'll call my agent and go ok we're gonna go to Southern Ontario in September, we put together 5 or 6 shows. Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Niagara Beach we will do that. And I will come home for a couple of weeks. I'll go back out and I'll do Albert. The person who gave me that idea was Nancy Wilson. We had this great conversation backstage, because her twins at the time were still quite young. And I said "How do you do this? How do you be a rock mom? I'm really trying to figure this out!" And she said, "Oh yeah, you just become a weekend warrior!" I'm like a "Weekend warrior? What is that?" and she said "Yeah, you just go out like every other weekend and do like 4 or 5 shows and come home. Do it that way." And I am like, "Right on. Ok, that's doable. I can do that. " And so that is how it started for me to go out and do some shows.

So mentioning "Fire and Gasoline", that appears to draw a bit of influence from your entire career. I gotta ask, how is this records different from your back catalog? I understand you wrote a lot of material without any songwriting partners?
Well, I did write in the past but I almost always had a songwriting partner. One of my former label's agendas was to fly me around and have me work with other writers. It's just what they do. Try to pair you up with the hit factory, right? So I flew to Nashville, LA, New Jersey a bunch of times and worked with different people. Can be a very awkward situation. Sometimes you find yourself in a room with this complete stranger, going ok...let's write a hit! This whole songwriting process is quite vulnerable... you know you're putting yourself out there, your most vulnerable self right? I did write quite a bit of material for 'Fire And Gasoline' on my own, which I'd never done in the past but with digital technology, I've got this project studio down there so I now have the tools and the capability to do almost whatever I want on my own, it's like OK I need a drum beat? I can pull this loop and put this here and be a drummer right now and then get my real drummer to play it. And then I co-wrote five songs with my guitarist Sean Kelly. He's from Toronto and I'm from here but again with modern technology...and when I say that I don't mean I flew tracks out there for him to put guitar parts on, he would send me like an I-phone memo and go "I've got this cool riff, what do you think?" and I'd go "Yeah! Here let me work that up in the studio! Let me see what I can do with it" and then I'd write a top line and maybe a couple other parts to go with it and send it back and he'd go "Yeah I love the direction we're going! What about adding this part?" and we'd bounce ideas back and forth like that but when it came time to trying actually to record the album, my whole band was here and we recorded in the former Little Mountain Sound here in Vancouver. And we recorded live off the floor and what else is different is that it's the first Rock album that I produced by myself. I produced a couple of my former albums..my jazz album in 2000 and 'Beautiful Things' in 2004. In some ways I think it's more authentic than anything I've ever done.

You know it sounds a little bit like you draw influence from multiple parts of your career and kinda all put it together on the new record. I mean, am I hearing that right?
Yeah. Well, cause I know when I write on guitar. My inclination is to draw off of my Joan Jett and my Chrissy Hynde type of influences because I am no virtuoso on the guitar. So you hear that on say "Wanna Be" and "Bad Boyfriend" And then when I write on the keyboards I'm drawing a little more off my jazz and roots influences. So I think some of that has to do with the instrument I am writing on and where my head is at during that time. Yeah, I definitely think I draw on everything. But at the same time I think it all belongs on one record. It's a Rock record. I know growing up for me, I loved seeing what an artist like David Bowie was going to do next. I am not comparing myself to the brilliance of David Bowie by any stretch of the imagination! ...You knew that you weren't just going to get a cookie cutter version of the album before. Those are my favorite kind of artists. I kind of picture myself that way. What's wrong with change? What's wrong with being influenced by what you are loving in the moment?

Yeah, there's almost like a Pop/Danceable quality to some of the tunes? But like you said it is all cohesive, and it all belongs on the same record, right?
Yeah, I mean, I have used this example a few times. Fleetwood Mac, "Rumors" is like that for me. I still go back and listen to that album again and again. It is such a masterpiece! You have Christie McVie singing a really tender piano ballad. On one track you've got, "The Chain" which is a sort of heavy blues rock. And you've got, "Secondhand News" which is almost bluegrass. And then, "Dreams" which is a pure pop song. And it is all on the same album because there are different writers in the band. All influenced by different things. But it definitely all sounds like it belongs on the same album. It takes you kinda on a musical journey. And you never get bored listening to it. You know what I am saying?
Yeah, of course.

Because on no song do they sound like cookie cutter versions of each other.
Sure. So the last couple of questions for you here. Being a rock singer and songwriter for so long, what's your secret? Do you have a routine? What keeps you in shape physically and vocally?
For the last decade, running after my kids has kept me in shape! (laughter) Gee, at the risk of sounding shallow, I don't have a trainer that comes by twice a week...like a movie star or anything like that. I am an outdoorsy kind of person and I enjoy physical activities like hiking and biking, because I've got a young family, right? I've become quite vigilant about taking care of my voice now that I have gotten older and more mature. Because I think I used to really abuse it when I was younger. Four years ago I caught this bug from my son and it just kept getting worse and worse because I was just plowing forward on the hamster wheel of everyday life. You know taking care of my family but not taking care of myself. And I got really, really sick and it took me quite a while to get over it. And for the back half of that I lost my voice for several weeks. I was freaking out. I though man, like am I never going to sing again? I had an infection on my vocal chords. And I had to go see a specialist here in Vancouver. It was all resolved and it was all 'tickety-boo' but it was sure made me go, "Wow. I really need to be valuing this gift that I have and taking care of it better. So the last 4 years of my life I have become sort of a Whole Foods junkie. I don't really eat anything that's got preservatives and junk in it. I am very particular about what I am putting into my body. And I also got myself an in-ear monitor system so I can take better care of those vocal chords. Yeah, so like other than that, I don't really know what to say. So yeah, just trying to take good care of yourself. Everything in moderation, right? You know I still love music! I still get inspired by so many things. Have you discovered Courtney Barnett yet?
No
Oh my gosh, she's so cool! She's from Australia. She's kinda like a modern day punk Bob Dylan. I am just so inspired by her and by new artists that I discover! I am always listening to music. Always allowing myself to be open to be influenced by things. You know, that's important not get stuck, right?

Yeah! So lastly, I understand that early on in your career there were some professional decisions made that you didn't necessarily agree with. What kind of advice would you give to a upcoming female musician?
Well, a few things. Find your own voice. Don't be a copy cat. It's good to be influenced. And I guess sometimes what you have to do covering lots of other stuff before you find your own voice. Being different is what is going to get you noticed. Being the same is not. So many people try to emulate other people. Be like other people, you know? There's a reason the Rolling Stones are the Rolling Stones and The Beatles are The Beatles. Cause nobody sounds like them. And work at being different not being the same. Don't trade on your sexuality to get noticed. It's not necessary. Keep your clothes on. I mean it might seem very odd for someone like me to be giving that kind of advice but I think I can speak from a place of feeling somewhat exploited when I was young. Some of that made it hard. I had to fight for musical credibility which I feel I now have. You can be sexy and keep your clothes on. Miley Cyrus would hate me for saying that but I think it is true. Showing skin does not make you edgy. It makes you just like everybody else. I was talking with someone the other day. You know, back in the day, having a tattoo meant something significant like you fought in a war or you have been in the navy or you have lost someone important to you. Now it just means you have gone to the mall.
(laughter) Right!
It's true! So like, be different! Don't be like everybody else. Take the time to learn how to use a bit of recording equipment because it will go a long way. Don't be a dummy. Read your music industry books. Learn how to use decent recording equipment so you can get your ideas down. It's really important. That's the advice I would give.

Yeah it's seems that there's this message over the years that I've heard you talk about. The first single from the new album is "Tomboy", right? The way I understand it is it has that sort of classic "Metal Queen" thing with female empowerment. And the video has your kids? Or your daughter?
Well they're not all my kids! Haha... I have a son and a daughter. My daughter is in the video. She's the little blondie on the guitar.

Yeah. They're your back up band!
Yeah. I thought it would be really cool to have an actual band of tomboys. The inspiration for that song came from my daughter. Who at the time was 10 years old. You know you just look at those young girl. I just love that age. Where they are not self-conscious yet. They are not affected by all of the beauty culture images that is foisted upon our youth. Upon us all really. They're not affected by that. They are comfortable in their own skin. 'I love to climb trees. I'm just as good as a boy' and I love that energy! "Tomboy" was meant to capture that. But I also realized for me I sometimes don't understand what a song is fully about until it's finished. What I realized through the process of writing it and entering in to making the video with her and her friends was that the song is empowerment for anybody out there who felt that they had to conform to a stereotype or an expectation that they weren't comfortable with. You know, trying to be something that you are not. Or the expectation that you be something that you are not. The song is about being comfortable with the individual that you are and being proud to be that person. I think too when a woman goes through those years of life, with 'I'm not as pretty as the next girl.' Or 'I need be this or do that or I need to look like that'. You have your kids and you enter into the ickyness of motherhood and you sort of move all past that. You get comfortable in your own skin again. And I kind of feel like I am there as well. We're sort of sharing a bit of the same attitude. So yeah, it's a song for everyone, really.

It seems that is the case with you whole album and your return to rock. It's embracing your back catalog and everything you've been through and being comfortable in your own skin.
If that comes across, then I guess I've been successful. Thanks!


It absolutely comes across like that. Awesome! So thank you so much for talking to me. I'm just going to ask do you have any last thoughts?
Well, no. I am just really excited that this album...even though you can really buy everything online now. I couldn't really tell you which brick and mortar stores you might be able to find "Fire and Gasoline" but I am just excited that this album is finally available to an American audience. So people can get it on Amazon.com. If you want to know more about me LeeAaron.com is my site but I am also on Facebook at Lee Aaron and the Lee Aaron fan page and on Twitter @LeeAaronMusic. I'm really excited and one thing we are going to get down to the Western seaboard for some tour dates in the near future. I hope I get to make it to Oregon.
So do I! We look forward to seeing you live. Like you mentioned you won't be touring like you have in the past. Do you have some festival dates that are already in place right now?
We have some festival dates that are here in Canada for the summer. That was sort of our first order of business because the album came out here first. Right now we are looking at doing some dates in Europe and the United States. It may be that we come and do an LA and a New York showcase to start and see where that leads.
Sure. That would be awesome!
Yeah. Excited!
Interview by Jym Harris
ballbustermusic.com

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Faethom-Fury of The Scorned Witch (2016)

A sort of intro in the vein of King Diamond "Them" came on, when suddenly it came to life with a hellish torrent of noise like the scream of a demon and proceeded to steamroll forwards on a darkly churning riff. I hadn't noticed it before, but that was my introduction to "Slaves to the Dawn" and the album "Fury of The Scorned Witch". There is a lot of power held inside the underrated vaults of this release. I actually think that this album is much closer to black metal. However, the influences come more from Heavy, Thrash , and like i said BM. which tended to be more diverse than the current BM bands these days. The faster songs, particularly those that stick to a simpler format, take a killer route. You will either like or dislike this album depending on whether the atmosphere takes hold of you or not. For me this album is more mature than their early works and it rules. Great melodies, plus the additions of keyboard and female vocals by Mariela Muerte, both of which is a lethal combination in the way she delivers.  For me, the atmosphere works because it isn't exactly your typical black metal atmosphere, the weird hints of disturbance are evil; this is like watching yourself plan to assault and mutilate a stranger, the faster parts of the album work well, with slightly more complex riffs and a rushing, euphoric feeling to them, which perhaps resembles the feeling when you step back into your own mind to deliberate those acts of knowing cruelty. Faethom follow a path in many different directions: perhaps the general style of the album may be a surprise. They focus on creeping atmospheres and avalanching riffs. Don’t compare it to other bands; just take it for what it is: an individual album. Good job !
www.faethomweb.com
www.facebook.com/faethom
Review by Paul Caravasi

Skeleton Wolf (2016)

What a tremendous piece of thrash work! The shouty vocals give the album an agressive feel. And fast and heavy is the norm for the drums. Expect mosh pit and headbanging joy with this one kiddies, because this album rips. Fast riffing and drumming. I'm not going to try to break this album up too much in this review, and it will stay fairly simple. As stated above, every minute of this album just feels like one massive riff, and it's a damn good one! Every song on this album has a very hard-driving rhythm to it, and makes you wanna bang your head with regularity. To add to this amazing feeling, in every single song on this album, there's at least one riff that changes the pace notably, be it faster or slower (but always heavier) that gives me goosebumps every time I hear them. Every moment here is brilliant. If you don't have a sore neck when you're done listening to this album, listen to it again!
www.SkeletonWolf.com
www.facebook.com/skeletonwolfmusic
www.facebook.com/Clawhammerpr
Review by Paul Caravasi

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Striker-Stand in the Fire (2016)

Cast your minds back to about 1986-1988, during a period of time when heavy metal was cool. Striker from Canada will have you breaking out that well worn air guitar and denim cut off vest once you hear this blistering album. The album cover has that good versus evil factor with the corpses battling a sole warrior, classic heavy metal imagery. So far so good. The moment that “Phoenix Lights” opens with its speed metal double kick you know you’re in for a metal hell ride. Most opening songs on heavy metal albums begin with a fast one and this is no different as the riffs and vocals are crystal clear, possess depth of character and emotive supremacy. The test for albums like this is the guitar solos which show considerable promise on the starting tune, highly melodic, matching the core of the song exceptionally well. So it’s a good start which only improves on “Out for Blood” NWOBHM worship, though Striker like to bolster their songs with double kick similar to prime time Priest from “Defenders Of The Faith”. The riffs are amazing, as again the vocal delivery is exceptional, and I guarantee you will sing the chorus of this album that is wonderful and missing from far too many heavy metal songs these days. There is nothing wimpy about having a chorus which makes your hair stand on end, sends your skin into goose bumps and makes you want to clench that hand into fist; Dio made a career out of it so why the hell not. Every single tune on this album probably merits a mention. However there is so much 80's heavy metal bands running through the molten metal fluid of this album that to deny it would be criminal, to ignore it would be ridiculous and to use it to berate the album would be insane. This is a stupendous album in every single way. To quote a well worn cliché this is thunderous heavy metal that will set your heart on fire.
www.facebook.com/strikermetal
www.facebook.com/ashermedia
ashermedia@gmail.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Grotesque Ceremonium-Demonic Inquisition(2016)

This was a truly awesome listening experience. I must say, those words have never been truer. Brutal Death Metal bands try to be over the top and too technical for their own good, however in the case of this One man Turkish death metal band called Grotesque Ceremonium, he creates something extremely brutal but not over the top and too extravagant for it's own good. Each track on this album has at least one fantastic guitar shred solo if not more. The drums  pummel through your ears like a heart attack. Something truly relentless here. Instead of rehashing the same thing over and over again like so many Death Metal bands do these days. It is difficult to tell any highlights on this because it's very consistent but i think "Demonic Inquisition" density, "Barbaric Apostasy" catchiness, "Crushing morbid death" brutality and "Agonized screams of the damned" doomy sound are the best of this.
www.facebook.com/ashermedia
ashermedia@gmail.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Friday, June 10, 2016

Cough-Still they pray (2016)

Upon first listen this isn’t what I would consider boilerplate doom (plodding tempos, waif-ish vocals, and slow, chunky riffs that don’t really go anywhere), but rather taking the slow, dragging approach into a sound that is purely experimental. The overall performance is just as old-school sound-wise, bringing crushing guitars, avant-garde synth dabblings, wah-wahing solos and bleak vocal work to life with a scratchy analog sound for that extra “classic” touch. So in the end I really dug this. Maybe...time will have to tell me if i'll enjoy more stoner bands. But until then I'll have this little wonder to enjoy to my blackened heart's content.
www.facebook.com/Cough666
bob@relapse.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Psychic Possessor-Nos somos a america do sul (1989)

"Nos somos a america do sul" is a fucking incredible hardcore album. It's like getting ramshafted by a charging bull... IN THE ASS. If you can tolerate punk, crust or extreme metal for that matter, Psychic Possessor delivers the goods on a silver platter of splatter HA! All tracks are an all out assault and are blastbeat overkill. Hardcore is hardly known for it's pristine production, but this reissue sounds great. It rules. All in All this album is perfect, if you have any interest in this band or extreme music in general, pick this album up and give it a spin, you won’t be disappointed.This album is not recommended for: pregnant women, Rob Halford, fans of Whitesnake or catholics.
greyhazerecords.com
www.cogumelo.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Zamak-The dark of the Sun (2015)

Simplicity and toned down brutality. This is an extremely straightforward record and does not have the intensity of your average death metal album but the riffs have a heavier emphasis on melody and harmony rather than brutality. The vocals are a major highlight of this album. Rather than using the bellowing growls of regular death metal Lindberg employs an abrasive, almost black metal-like scream. What makes Antonio Ruiz screams so effective are undeniably his power behind them. He literally sounds as if he has been stabbed in the stomach with a hunting knife and is spitting out blood as he screams. A vocalist with emotional expression in the genre. The guitar work is the centerpiece of the album and the riffs as well. It could be odd for a death metaller to hear a death metal album with such an emphasis on melodic riffs and guitar harmonies.The riffs are rather simple in terms of structure, but are extremely catchy. They are, in essence, über melodic thrash metal riffs. Despite their simplicity they work quite well, creating catchy and great songs. I cannot say that that there are any standout tracks since they all sound very similar. The album is consistently good. To bring this review to a close this is definitely a good album. I recommend this for anyone who is new to extreme metal since its a decent starting point before moving on to heavier and/or more technical bands. Good job Zamak !
www.facebook.com/zamakmexico
Review by Paul Caravasi

Nuclear Assault-Pounder (Ep 2015)

Still very solid – the new guitar player is definitely a worthy addition to the line-up and it’s still 100% Nuclear Assault. This Ep is aggressive. It simply sounds tighter, there are no actual weak songs on "Pounder", everything sounds very homogeneous from start to finish and it  has to be listened to in its entirely to be really appreciated. The bottom line is that this is a highly recommendable Thrash Ep. Quite excellent…NUCLEAR IS FKN BACK !!
www.facebook.com/NuclearAssaultOfficial
Review by Paul Caravasi

Repulsive Death-Putrid acts of depravity (2016)

A festering zombified nightmare that is "Putrid acts of depravity" may convince the listener that this album would have been a heinous and fitting death-metal soundtrack to a zombie flick. The opening track, reaches the imagination of the listener, sick riffs are intentionally putrid and  heavy.  The drumming quality adds a suspensful feeling of something(s) hideous this way coming. Tying this stinking, maggot-infested, centuried package together is the savage growled voice of Tomil, which has an unrepentant and inexplicably whispery quality to it throughout. In conclusion, Repulsive Death from Costa Rica is an old school death metal spectrum. It could stay in the middle of the road, though being an excellent work on its own. So, we better don’t argue about the categorization and just enjoy this record for what it is: a good piece of horrific extreme metal, created by a band which i think possesses a vision about horror imagery, and brought it to life in a consistent and personal way, influenced by tons of old school death metal bands. However, if you want to hear extreme music, you should purchase “Putrid acts of depravity”. It should definitely be checked out by an metal head wanting to hear death metal and horror lyrics before it shambles horribly to your doorstep and gets you.
E-mail: psychorgrindcr@gmail.com (costa rica)
nekrolegions999@gmail.com (usa)
Review by Paul Caravasi

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sungayan-Garud nin Metal (Demo 2016)

Fast, furious blackened thrash driven by a minimalist punk approach to the concept. The two songs on this demo are just pure hate with a dirtier production. The drumming drives the riffs along with dedicated simplicity. The riffing is the highlight. It contains an usual quotient of thrashy headbanging fun. If you're new to Thrash Metal this is as good a place to start as any, just be forewarned that the production isn't clear but it deserves a listen because it is fkn cool. Can't wait to hear their next demo or full lenght album.
sungayanph@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/dethronerecords
Review by Paul Caravasi

Comatose-Thy Mighty Conquest (Demo 2015)

A brutal display of extreme metal. The swirling guitars, howling barks that pass for vocals and the heavy-handed drumming all spin together to create a massive vortex of violence. For me, this is awesome, they hammered in a black metal styled bashing in the vein of early Sodom and Slayer and why not early Sepultura ( Bestial devastation era). It works well to bring forth the entire concept of chaos that is Comatose. If you consider something worthy of being titled "metalhead", or like anything that has to do with the word "rule", then get this demo.
www.facebook.com/666comatose
www.facebook.com/dethronerecords
Review by Paul Caravasi

Militant Attack-Attack, Kill & Thrash (2015)

This album rocks, plain and simple. Highly effective. Attack, Kill and Thrash carries more visceral intensity than your average brutal band. This band does not relent from tearing bodies to pieces does not hurt matters one bit. Militant Attack doesn’t seem to posses tremendous instrumental abilities, but what they do posses is the talent to craft one hell of a memorable riff. Throughout the entire album, we observe the band pumping one flesh-shredding riff after another. These riffs are indeed your typical open string to power chord relief thrash riffing, but what makes them so effective is a certain, uncanny sense for melody. What makes each riff highly addicting is in their ability to unveil attention grabbing hooks. Each riff is more memorable than the last, and one will find themselves constantly returning for more thrashing. This album is highly recommended. The only few flaws are perhaps the lack of variation. After seven songs of the similar formula it can lapse into slight tedium. There is also a certain lack of originality, all the riffs appear vaguely familiar. Also, perhaps Militant Attack could be criticized for being nothing more than a brainless thrashing exercise; but who cares! Nevertheless, purchase this album, especially if your just getting into metal.
www.facebook.com/militantattack
www.facebook.com/dethronerecords
Review by Paul Caravasi

Legion-Righteous Killing (2015)


Legion holds true to the Death Metal formula on this album, the drums are played so quickly as well as the guitars that you just can't help it. The evil atmosphere seems most prevalent on this album as well. This is a sinister, brutal record with delightfully unconventional arrangements and soloing, something not very common and noteworthy in death metal. They create a raw but clear sound that is easy so each instrument is actually heard. They have succeeded, as this sounds very heavy and crystal clear, without the clinical sound that so often comes with modern death metal of today. It's very difficult for me to pick album highlights as every song is worthy of praise and the album should definitely be listened to in its entirety. All hail Legion!
www.facebook.com/dethronerecords
Review by Paul Caravasi

Dreaded Mortuary-Vulgar Way To Die (2015)

Here is a band from Philippines with a female on vocals with a sound reminiscent of D.R.I., Suicidal Tendencies, and a lot of the more straight razor US 80s thrash/speed metal acts, they sound like they're having a blast. I'd say they are a little less riff oriented than a Municipal Waste, but it's still that same, fun style. There are 10 tracks, a pastiche of good old 80s thrash topics are covered in the lyrics. Gang shouts, alcoholic lyrics, it's all here, so if you have a fetish for Violence, Tankard, and all the wild beer crazed thrash and punk of that amazing decade, you may really want to check this out. I had a fun enough time listening once through the album once. The riffs and solos and energy are perfectly adequate for the style. However, if you just want a good time, or something to skate or shred to, and you're riding this recent nostalgic wave of crossover bands, then this is for you.
www.facebook.com/DreadedMortuarythrash
http://www.rockstakk.com
www.facebook.com/dethronerecords
Review by Paul Caravasi

Funeral Hymn-The Meaning Of Destruction (Ep-2016)

Uncompromising Thrash Metal from Mexico ready to tear everything apart. Anyway, who could resist reviewing a Thrash Metal album? These guys have managed to create a pretty interesting, yet totally old school mixture of Thrash Metal with Crossover touches as well. The guitars are razor sharp, the pounding drumming kicks ass and the not so melodic gang vocals are bringing back memories of the old days, when Metal music was coming straight from each musician's heart and passion. That's all that has to be said, nothing more. If you are looking for some good Hirax meets Exodus and D.R.I, then these Mexican guys can surely do the work for you! Hold the flag of Thrash high you crazy motherfuckers! We are waiting for your next assault!
www.facebook.com/FuneralHymnOfficial
funeralhymn.bandcamp.com/releases
Review by Paul Caravasi

Swine Infection-Culinary Ritual (Cassette 2015)

This cassette possesses a very unique and distinctive sound, featuring tons of schizophrenic death riffs, it possess an absurdly gloomy and horrific vibe, managing to sound intense, expressive and consistent supported also by a pretty fucking sick guitar tone, totally unique even for death metal; also there’s a strong tendency to vicious punk up-tempos. Tom Richards sounds exactly like a fucking sadistic maniac escaped from a maximum-security sanitarium, hungry for fresh blood of young female victims, and his voice fits perfectly the music, things sound almost like he’s manipulating the music itself, turning it into a schizophrenic mess; there’s something “magical” about it, but it’s undoubtedly the blackest kind of magic. This is pure extreme metal rawness, the experimentation with horror atmospheres that the band is pursuing is a weird and unique opus made of majestic musical constructions, excellent taste for creepy/morbid melodies, some obvious hints of dark/sadistic humor and, most of all, a lot of inspiration and focus on a certain musical vision. I really highly recommend this band : brilliant and genial. If you're a fan of bands as Necrophagia you'll enjoy this release !
www.facebook.com/Swine-Infection-156316651177447
www.facebook.com/crushing.humanity
Review by Paul Caravasi

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Gaf-Gore 'n' Feast (2016)

A lot of fast hardcore punk into the realm of grindcore. And they do it well!  But, there are not really blast speed drums as we know it. Not with the snare on the first beat that is Gaf blast speed still follows the Hardcore beat rules. And personally, I quite like this approach. I makes the fastest parts still sound tighter than other grindcore bands these days. This album is, indeed, Raging Hell! The average grindcore fan will know what I’m talking about. It’s pretty hard to come up with a final score for killer records such as these. It would be easy to say “this album is enormously important so here’s 99 points”. I could do that. But in 2016, how does an album stand out. Compared to most modern day grindcore this album sounds extreme, brutal, refreshing and especially energetic. And fortunately Grindcore is a subgenre in which having a better production isn’t always a good thing. This album does not suffer from its old school sound and in fact only gets better with very listen. Yes, this album is sheer class!
www.facebook.com/gafgrind
www.splatterzombierecords.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Wombstomp-Passion to Abort (2016)

An album with excessively schizophrenic riffs and growls that would make basement-dwelling, chronic masturbators sneer in disgust. This album is an intriguing mutation of Grind and some Death Metal riffs and it's quite charming to see a band take a 'same but different' approach to a genre that is up to it's tits in generic copycats. It has all the qualities required for this style of music and even has a sense of humour (the artwork for example). I recommend "Passion to Abort" because it's a balls out extreme metal album. Give it a listen !
www.facebook.com/Wombstomp
www.splatterzombierecords.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Vhs-Screaming Mad Gore (2016)

What an amazing mix of styles and genres including death, grind and thrash Vhs has created an awesome fucking album. There is so much diversity here that literally anyone can enjoy it. Nothing ever sounds out of place. Grind/death and then goes right into a thrash attack. Sounds weird but it flows so well and sounds so good and that really give the album replay value. The vocals are really good, but nothing new or different. Got your growls and screams and all that. Fits with the music well. What do you expect from a goregrind band? Everything played on this album is really good but for my the guitars are the highlight for me. I could listen to it all day, it's still stuck in my head. To sum up this album... BUY IT! It is well worth your money. The songs rule, the musicians who play them rule and even the lyrics rule! They're all about slasher flicks and brutal stuff. That's just good clean blood splattering fun. If you want a good listen, this is the right place to find it. I highly recommend this to anyone who just wants to hear some good Metal. You should get this album, just get it!
Guest appearances:
Nev (vocals on Stomped)
Kam Lee (vocals on Hairspray and Bloodspray)
Kevin Reece and Aaron Whitsell (vocals and lead on Demons)
Stevo (vocals on Island of Death)
www.facebook.com/vhsthunderbay
www.splatterzombierecords.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Paralysis-You Can't Win (2016)

The cover art here is fkn cool. I'd also like to state that this may just be the finest hour for New Jersey speedsters Paralysis. The later Ep had some memorable tracks, but this new Ep is just so fast and fun, for the most part. Quite intense tracks, catchy riffs like a wilder, uncouth early Metallica meets Whiplash. You can't win sounds as it should, razor sharp guitars playing quite fast through much of the material. Energetic Thrash Metal, as most of the songs are quite good. Definitely a good American young band, makes it absolutely irresistible if you like your music fast fast fast. The simplicity is scandalous and truly effective!
Special guest appearances:
Gerre (Tankard): Vocals on Track 1 ("You Can't Win")
Josh Christian (Toxik): Lead Guitar on Track 3 ("Transgression")
Bobby Gustafson (Satan's Taint, Ex-Overkill): Lead Guitar on Track 4 ("Scars")
www.facebook.com/paralysisnj13
Review by Paul Caravasi

No Salvation-Defiling Verses (2015)

You will be hard-pressed to find a more menacing piece of death metal than No Salvation's Defiling Verses. By menacing, I do not mean to say alienating or disturbing, emotions conjured up by Morbid Angel's Blessed Are The Sick for instance. No, by menacing, I mean this is an authentic attempts to convey in a death metal album the feeling that you are about to be crushed by a tank. No Salvation achieve this sense of menace in every track by resorting minimally to melody (and even in the guitar solos, melody is not the primary consideration), and instead focusing on simple, aggressive, downtuned riffs frequently played at high tempos, backed by viscerally audible bass and fierce drumming that alternates between blastbeats and slower rhythms, and gutteral yet discernible vocals that complement the music perfectly. Defiling Verses must stand as their great achievement, this is intense, significant  formula of calculated brutality that is on display here. Listen to this album and tell me that you do not feel like killing someone...by rolling over them with a fucking tank.
www.nosalvation.pl
facebook.com/nosalvation666
www.metalrules.pl
Review by Paul Caravasi

Sakrilejist-Malum In Se (2016)

This album doesn't becomes repetitive. This album has a crude production which is cool, it keeps the true vibe of what metal is all about.. and flows flawlessly with it's raw riffing. However, this album could have been better with two guitars. It could sound like a real onslaught though it's still doesn't sounds bad at all. Some highlights includes 'Calling The Void' with it's blasting riffage and dark vocals and chorus, ''Born of Night" for it's fucking catchy chorus and overwhelming riffs "Bile of the God" for being the most aggressive track with the most brutal riffs, and the closer 'The curse of Lucifer' for it's great sstructure and marvelous rhythm. Overall, get this. This is a total riffing ownage which can't be ignored by any true Metalhead. It's a cool album which sounds pretty unique for this time, and one kick ass debut of Extreme Metal. Wel done guys !
www.facebook.com/sakrilejist
aaroncelsus@gmail.com
Review by Paul Caravasi

Friday, May 13, 2016

INTERVIEW WITH STEEL BEARING HAND

Interview with Steel Bearing Hand by Japan Nick (Nick Perkel) took place outside of New York City's The Acheron on March 14th 2016.

Can you each introduce yourselves and tell me how your songs come together?
Matt Preston(Drums)
It's just me and him, We write this shit together. We have had a lot of different members in the past. I'm Wyatt, Burton I play Guitar and do the vocals.  We pretty much do all the songwriting on the album. Me, Matt, and another dude started the band under a different name. We ended up parting ways with the other dude and named ourselves Steel Bearing Hand. It's pretty much just been me and Matt, with lineup changes along the way.

You guys are from the DFW area in Texas which birthed some really amazing legends, what is it like being in an extreme metal band down there right now?
Wyatt-The metal scene down there right now is really amazing. It made a pretty strong comeback.  There are a few really cool venues like Blitzen, Reno's Chop Shop. It's getting better. Matt- There was pretty much nothing  when we started our band. We came out of the punk scene. A lot of people were saying, "Why are you starting a metal band that isn't going to do anything." There was a big following since we started towards our band and a lot of other bands in the DFW area.

How often do you get to hear about the stories of legendary shows with bands like Rigor Mortis, Gammacide, and Watchtower?
Wyatt- Truthfully, not a whole lot. Most of the people that go to shows now are much newer and there is a lot of younger kids now. We don't see too much of the old guard.  We did play with Wizards of Gore (aka Rigor Mortis) once or twice. That was pretty cool.

So what's the score with you guys these days?
Matt- We got two band members, a new guitar player, and a new bass player. Alex he plays in another great band called House of Harkonen. Chris he plays in a band with Wyatt called Tolar. He used to play in Wild Tribe and Unit 21. Those guys rip. Aside from teaching those guys the new tracks, we have been working on some new stuff.
Wyatt- Mostly it's been getting them up to speed to be ready for this tour. As soon as we get back we will start working on new stuff.

Your most recent release was a 5 song ep which included some older songs of yours that were rerecorded and a few new ones I am not familiar with, can you tell me about some of the changes you put into the older songs like Usurp the Hidden Throne?
Wyatt- We didn't really do a lot of changes to any of the old stuff. It was more like a rerecording of it. That two song ep that was just a tour demo we did where we went through the whole country. We just wanted to get a new release out for that so we went into the studio because at that time we had an ep out and we wanted something else.
Matt- We wanted it to heavier than the demo.  Disenchant is more like the 1st wave of new stuff that we started writing.
Wyatt- It was the one from that 2 song tape and we just redid both of those. I think the way we rerecorded it for the album sounds much better on both sides.

With Kneel Before the Steel that song is about how some of the old guard bands have turned their back on the initial inspiration of metal and lost sight of the hunger and integrity toward it.
Matt jumps in Or super popular bands like Megadeth and Metallica.
Wyatt- Even Darkthrone to an extent because they talk about how they don't like playing live. Really they say that is because they don't want to be worshipped as gods. No musician in metal is the god. Metal is the god. That is what we trying to say. Metal is the secret force. We wield that force with many others. We kneel before the steel. We hope that everybody else that likes metal kneels before the steel as well.

Tell me about what studio this was recorded at and the staff that were involved in putting this release together?
Matt -Our buddy Travis in Austin, Texas.
Wyatt- The studio is called the Diamond Factory.  It is pretty much just him that set everything up. He ran the board, and was super easy to work with. He was a really cool guy.
Matt- We took a trek out there for a weekend and just recorded it.
Wyatt- It was about 5 days, we spent a week out there.
How did your song the Charnel God come together?
Wyatt- That comes from our love of Swedish death metal. Internment, Crematory, even  Harmony Corruption era Napalm Death, We like death metal, so that is our ode to that song.  It is based on this Clark Ashton Smith story of the same name. It is called The Charnal God. There is this setting called Zothique. It takes place in the far and distant future where technology is eroded and it goes back into a fantasy type setting. It's about this god Mordiggian in this city, Zul-Bha-Sair.


I'd say I liked Tyrannical Shadows the best, since it is so monstrously long, and I really miss a real vicious long ass song. What kind of imagery do you want to invoke in people when they hear that song?
Wyatt Today we live in a world where we are ruled by select elites that are super duper uber rich that are so rich...
Matt- There are people that have nothing to do with the style of life that we are living...
Wyatt- They are obscured in tyrannical shadows.
Matt- These are also the people that are controlling everything.

When it comes to DFW and Texas as a whole what are some cool radio shows as well metal zines and newspapers that are friendly to the extreme music scene by you?
Wyatt-There is KNON, they have a bunch of different blocks they do. They have a Black/death/metal show called the Dungeon. They have been real supportive of us. The main dude is this guy named Raven, it runs Saturday night midnight to 4am.  There is also Thrashing Alan but he does more of thrash and groove.  The only zine I know of is Under the Sign of the Lone Star.  It's run by this guy Jake, he plays in this band called Plutonium Sword. He is a really cool guy. He knows every band in Texas. It is solely dedicated to Texas Metal.
http://underthesignofthelonestar.bigcartel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/underthesignofthelonestar/

Final Words
Matt New York was fun as fuck. We had a good show tonight.
Crush Shit. Fuck Shit up. All Day All Night.
Wyatt- Kneel before the steel!
www.facebook.com/steelbearinghand666
Interview by Nick Perkel