Friday, April 29, 2016

The End A.D-S/T (2016)

If you start to listen closer  you will realize not only are the instrumentals tight and well written, but the vocals match up with them perfectly.  It may seem that what’s being done on it has been done a thousand times before, but you must consider that these guys are from the 80’s  Philly Thrash and Hardcore scene. This album is just strictly Metal, nothing else. It consists of fast and uplifting beats, crushing and speedy riffs, godly and all around the place bass playing, and angry yet clever vocals. The solos are good too. One thing that strikes me as odd is that you can actually hear the bass on this album. And not only can you hear it, but it is actually very loud, and also all over the place. Sometimes it will be playing nothing like what the guitars are playing, but it fits in tight and perfectly. The tone is very clear and has a cool crunch to it that fits the thrash style rather well. I will tend to use the word “tight” a lot in this review because overall that’s the best word to describe how it sounds, as the instruments all exist in perfect harmony. There are some really cool thrashy sounding riffs here. The guitar tone is very thick and heavy, and the chromatic guitar playing creates a very cool mood. They don’t really slow down at all but that’s how the music is supposed to be. This album receives a high score for its originality, tight playing, and never ending energy. I bet you can always listen to it and never get bored of it, it can’t be overdone. Good job guys !
Review by Paul Caravasi

Anger As Art-Ad Mortem Festinamus (2016)

A fkn angry thrash Metal band, and they thrash hard, and that's something special. Its heavy and fast, full of consistency. If your a fan of Old school but looking for a fresh sound as well this is definitely for you. There are no bad songs on this album, all are good. All the songs reach the level of 10. Other than that its an amazing album. Anger As Art prooves that U.S Thrash bands can still keep thrash alive and not sell out. A great consistency, moments of greatness, loads of attitude, make this the perfect album. "Ad Mortem Festinamus" cd pulls you right into headbanging with a great thrashy riffs. The guitars on this album are very catchy and memorable. Drums can get very fast, and are always heavy and loud, and work well with the rest of the music, being in rhythym with the rest of the band. The band delivers ferocious music that is supported by a great production job. If you want to get into Anger As Art, this is the place to start, and once you've listened to a bit of them, this album will quickly grow on you. A relentless attack of chainsaw like riffs, thunderous drumming and vocals that aim for high decibel levels !
Review by Paul Caravasi

Them-Fear Them (Limited edition tour cd)

A bunch of musicians that pulled forces to bring us the amazing sound of Them. First I will hit on the talent in this group. First rate musicians from beginning to end. I was particularly taken by the guitar work on here and vocals, only three  tracks here and are mind blowing.  And on a side-note, the production is excellent. The guitars here they are both equally discernable and complement each other rather than fight each other. The voice is also well blended in with the music and don't drown out the background, which is amazing. In conclusion, if you like Heavy or Power Metal in general, you must get this album. If you enjoyed King Diamond or Avantasia, you must get this. And if you like the other bands that the members of this project are in (Symphony X, Suffocation, Lanfear, Sylencer, Lanfear and Coldsteel) you must get this cd. No more excuses, start saving up those hard earned dollars or euros that you get for breaking rocks all day and invest it in a piece of artistic genius. Looking forward to hear their upcoming debut album  !
Review by Paul Caravasi

Hexfire-S/T (2015)

A vicious, thrash/death monster so wonderfully executed on this piece. What we have here is a brutal release from Hexfire, a four piece band, brilliant crunchy guitars leads more and a great level of brutality, this is pure raw power, so crazy and almost technical; this album is a fucking awesome headbanging material right from the beginning.  The guitars sound wonderfully distorted and crunchy, giving the songs an added heavy sound. Drumwork is killer, as he knows when to use blast beasts at the appropriate moment and doesn't really overpower all the other musicians. Vocals are somewhat of an acquired taste, very different, the vocals are not a growl, but a very harsh bark or roar. I can also sense a level of anger/hatred in his vocal attack and delivery, which brings his vocals up a notch or so. There's also a very savage cover of Slayer " Postmortem. I highly recommend this album to anyone into death/Thrash metal, even thrash or hardcore fans will enjoy this album. It's a perfect hybrid album. Buy this!
Review by Paul Caravasi

Hell City-Chaos Has Never Stopped (2015)

Hailing from China. Hell City is a crossover band, a genre which started to take off in the 80's. This band captures the intensity of hardcore and the aggression of thrash. Imagine the bastard love-child of Exploited and Slayer, and you might have an idea what this sounds like. This album is sloppy, disgusting, and it's definitely got balls. The riffs are simple, catchy, and fast-paced and the drumming is typical punk. The lyrics range from ultra violence and Bruce Lee. But a hell of a lot of fun. Don't expect complex songwriting or musical virtuosity, for there's none of it here. Attitude is what Hell City are all about. However, you owe it to yourself to check this one out: I promise you won't be disappointed.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Hate Beyond-Verge Of Death (2016)

This is not an exaggeration, Hate Beyond "Verge Of Death" easily is  a true Thrash metal attomic bomb. Right from the start, it had the makings of a masterpiece. An arsenal of brutal riffs,technical but pounding as fuck. The drumming is something else. The screams to terrifying growls can put most death metal vocalists to shame while merciless chugging guitars are propelled by the thick grooves of the rhythm section. This is flawless. The opening song bludgeons listeners with its thrashing blastbeat. This is one of those albums that has absolutely no faults. Hate Beyond have forged the perfect combination of heaviness, hooks, speed, and musicality. I hope this band remains true to their commitment to metal. If you don’t go out and buy "Verge of Death" I’ll have these guys from Japan suplex your sorry ass onto concrete. Wow, I think Hate Beyond just schooled everyone !
Review by Paul Caravasi

Thy Blood-Just War (2014)

As "Polizei" erupts from whatever speakers you're listening to, you can think these guys are pure american metal, well think again, these guys are from China and they rule. The production on this album is good, but I believe they were looking for a raw sound for a raw band. Every instrument is present here and you can hear them clearly, and also you can hear the heavy parts or breakdowns in the songs. The drums are phenomenal, the guitar tones are more unique than your typical cookie-cutter metal band stuff. It is very refreshing. Blistering riffs and the album ends  perfectly with an excellent cover of Testament (Into the Pit). Other than that if you're looking for a fresh Thrash Metal sound- go and get it.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Sunday, April 24, 2016

S.C.O.D-Speak Chinese Or Die (2014)

If you´re looking for expert musicants, don´t touch this one. S.C.O.D. from China delivers raw crust punk. If you like Napalm Death´s Peel Sessions, then you should also check this one out. Well, as said, this is intense stuff. The sound of the record is very strongly stressed on guitars that leave almost everything behing. Behind the guitars one can hear very intense yet techically unperfect drumming. Actually, it is hard to tell, what the drummer is beating, so insane is his style. The guitars are, as I said, loud, sounding raw yet not losing their power. Primitive and straight forward. There is no escaping the dual-vocals thing. First we go a guy who shouts and growls, then we have another guy who screams. This is  worth checking out - But be warned, this is raw stuff.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Enthean-Priests Of Annihilation (2016)

This album by Enthean is a crushing machine. "Priests Of Annihilation" is ultrafast, ultraviolent and still damn catchy.  You can't sit or stand still when you hear this. You just have to scream along with vocalist, it's that catchy. The album is totally unpredictable, brutal, well-structured. From start to finish. This is a piece of art. After listening to this album for about 10 times i have know a pretty good idea of what this album is about. First of all the production of this record is brutal as well the musicianship but not monotonous like some Death Metal are. The guitar work is technical and destructive. The drumming is fast and precise and everything fits perfectly alltogether with awesome bass-work. So far this band could give such brutal destruction and at the same time be so technical. If you like "Satanica" by Behemoth, you'll enjoy this one for sure. Satan would be scared...if he hears this one.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Anticosm-ST Full Lenght (2015)

This is an amazing time for metal. It is the time when the diversity of evil is clearly recognized and who said Thrash metal was supposedly dying?, purists and critics claimed there's lack of innovation, no fresh blood for the genre. Anticosm obviously think otherwise. With the release of their third effort, these NJ thrashers added a new element to the metal scene. The vocals give the songs a really old school feel, and if you can stop headbanging for a second, you might feel compelled to sing along! Fans of Thrash metal should notice how much more dynamic the music is. This album is loaded with riffs. I mean loaded like a 44. There are no compromises, and melody compliments brutality in an unrelenting listening experience. Enlist with Anticosm and prepare for a royal ass kicking in the mosh pit. Anticosm has to be one of the most underrated and amazing thrash Metal bands from Jersey. There is something to bang your head too, to sing along, and........ Bottom line, get this album.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Gracepoint-Echoes (2016)

Is it too clean? Well, It's good stuff, but I really need to be in the mood to hear it. This is a very Fates Warning like piece, with sparkling acoustics that slowly build into a steady, captivating bass and mechanical guitar chords. This is a a winner if you are a fan of Queensryche's smash hit Empire with an excellent guitar pattern that plays off the central rhythm. It feels like Fates Warning sent an Parallels outtake to Gracepoint to see what they could do with it, a familiar pattern with the melodic, urgent chords over the potent, but understated rock beat. It's a decent album, and in particular I enjoy it. A high quality recording with a lot of good hooks in its gills. The songs are just carefully crafted. If you are a fan of the progressive rock of the 80s and 90s this album may be your gateway into the band. Interesting Musicianship. Very Interesting !
Review by Paul Caravasi

Atala-Shaman's Path of The Serpent (2016)

Really in all honesty I just can't enjoyably listen through this whole album. I'm a big fan of doom metal, and bands such as Saint Vitus and Pentagram are truly great. And there are elements of this album I enjoy, but they're constantly overshadowed by annoyances and unacceptable aspects of the music. But it's not all bad news. Atala can still deliver some impressively heavy riffs and here and there some great and very noteworthy doom metal. Still, Vocals just aren't my cup of tea. Death metal grunts would have worked just perfectly for this album. In my opinion doom metal is capable of so much more.There is so much better, more filthy and sluggish demented doom available from this era. But if that's not what you're looking for, maybe this is.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Casket Robbery-Evolution Of Evil (2016)

A mix of death metal influences to their music. Changes in the riffing and a different approach in terms of composition show the band facing music from other perspectives apart from this genre of extreme music. Also, they don’t fear to venture into thrasher territories and they come up with brutal stuff to their music. The production of the drums, contributes with energy that compliments the work of his band mates. This can particularly be heard during the first half of the album, the blast-beats are predominant. The vocalist doesn’t do anything else than scream and spit the truth about the reality we live in. If I have to recognize something about these lyrics, is the intention to tell people to open their eyes about what’s happening rather than saying 'fuck the government, the government is shit, fuck it!'. I won't go into a detailed analysis of the lyrical content in this album as it is not the main point of the review, I'm trying to give a general vision of it, but I encourage anyone to read his lyrics, they’re really worth it. All in all, Casket Robbery succeeds at something that is quite difficult these days, that it is to remain consistent without losing the essence of the extreme metal sound. This is an album that you won’t get tired so easily of. Even if you didn't like this album at first, I would suggest listening again because it really is a grower.
Review by Paul Caravasi

The Erkonauts-I Did Something Bad (2016)

This album is insanely technical. From the start to finish. The Erkonauts shows off its technical prowess.  I bet this is one of those bands who get a crap-load of praise and a crap-load of criticism by metalheads. Heavy, Thrashing technical, robotic riffs, and inhuman barks and growls, with subtle, yet powerfully difficult, drumming. This is an album that cannot be copied. It hits you in such a way that you find yourself saying, "Wow, what did I just experience?". Whether you like the album or not is a completely different story, but you cannot override its importance to the actual metal scene. A fkn fresh sound, not evil, not lyrics about satan and stuff , pure musicianship to another level in Metal terms.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Ravensire-The Cycle Never Ends (2016)

A kick ass 80's Heavy metal style. Dark and aggressive style of playing, surprisingly enough without losing any of their epic power and sheer awesomeness of this style of music. This is the album where  simply introduces softly a skullfucking number of destructive tracks. This is an album where the songs will come by, fulminate your upper brain functions and make you bang your head as if up from the dead. And then some more. This is the album you play when you're ready to go on a murdering spree with a 2 meter long sword wearing black leather and spikes while stomping on kittens at the same time. There's 8 songs of sheer metal bowel raping and riff slaughtering and by song number 3 you're already bleeding out of all of your orifices. A musical, lyrical and vocal metal fest is what you get in the end and it's a great album of Heavy Metal that Ravensire can deliver.
"Hear the tales
Of bliss and woe
Time to learn
And know....."
I learned that Ravensire from Lisboa is amazing and the world needs to know about them. If you don't own this, you're nothing, if you can't appreciate it... you're better off dead. You can't get more epic, powerful or amazing than this !
Review by Paul Caravasi

Savage-Live N Lethal

The band’s enthusiasm in this live recording is both astounding and commendable. Just shows how good a live band can be. In all makes for a very enjoyable listen. A lesson in Heavy metal precision. The performance is honest, they deliver a cleaner, and accurate performance. So a seminal NWOBHM document and this is a cool one. An absolutely mandatory purchase for those with an interest as to why traditional Heavy Metal kick unexplainable amounts of butts.
Review by Paul Caravasi

Septagon-Deadhead Syndicate (2015)

High quality technical Thrash metal album. There is no problem in the riffing department fact things can be learned from the riffing on this album. Vocals are in high gear here...The song structure is good...well balanced between mid-paced riffing and high energy riffing....great soloing and tons of memorable melodies...particularly found in the chorus. The album starts out with a short clean instrumental entitled "Ignite The Apocalypse" that carries an awesome melody. This is an interesting specimen of the outstanding song structuring put forth by Septagon on this album. Cool riffs....awesome melody and cool fucking vocals. This album completely rips. Get your hands on it at all costs.....and hold on to your testies....they will attempt to cower into your pelvic region upon hearing this Thrash Beast!!!
Review by Paul Caravasi

Evil Army-Violence and War (Ep-2015)

I'd first like to note that "Violence and War" is a great album title, and the cover art here is wonderful. I'd also like to state that this may just be the finest hour for speedsters Evil Army. Memorable tracks, and this Ep is just so fast and fun, for the most part.  "Army Of Doom" is the first metal injection of the disc, and it's quite intense, catchy riffs like a wilder, uncouth Destruction. "The Assault" returns to a blood-crazed frenzy thrash barrage, breaking for speed riffing amidst the chug and crash of its verse rhythm. This new Ep sounds as it should, razor sharp guitars playing quite fast through much of the material, fast bass player and keeps the single-minded shred of Rob Evil anchored. The drums  are energetic for their day, and all of this combined makes Evil Army hold up well in today's metal clime. The lyrics are quite violent as most of the songs are quite good. This Ep stuck to the same basic style and it's a bit more cohesive as a whole and has a thicker guitar sound. This new release is absolutely irresistible if you like your music fast fast fast - get your fix of Violence and War NOW!
Review by Paul Caravasi

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Estigma-Revenge (2016)

Powerful, Death/thrash metal called Estigma. Paul Pinto has proven to be one hell of a drummer; and this lineup is probably the best Estigma  line-up. I'm ecstatic to see the band back to the familiar form of a hungry, extreme metal machine. The album kicks off with "Revenge", a tremendously speedy riff galloping perfectly into my sensory chamber. Vocals are solid, what I find most engaging are the guitars - fast and furious, yet stylish with some great hooks - and I'm even more enthralled to find that this isn't a one or two-off occurence; the album is rife with such moments of musical lucidity. We seem to get a taste of old school metal but with a fkn solid production. Aside from a stellar production and revitalized musicianship, the added flavor of this album is the lyrical content. Social segregation, hate, pain, and a degenerative society are all covered with a swift, yet finely-crafted energy that never falls into trite predictability. The title track is destined to become an instant Estigma classic. After hearing this album I keep reminding myself that Estigma is back with a rancorous vengeance, my friends. What has happened to Estigma over the last years is a familiar sandtrap that too many bands fall into (family, jobs, etc....). I can't state any more emphatically how good this Estigma album is from start to finish and that makes me feel damn good. Estigma is a large part of my life, i remember i got their demo back in the late 90's when i moved to United States and listening that demo helped me thru hard times. See them return is both illuminating and thrilling. 11 killer tracks including songs from their early demo. I sincerely hope that the core of this line-up stays around for a while. For me, I think this album is fkn killer. Good job by these Peruvian maniacs!
Review by Paul Caravasi

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Condition Critical-Extermination Plan (2016)

Face-melting, spine-wrecking, neck-snapping, bone-crunching, head-crushing, skull-fracturing, ass-kicking, gut-wrenching, mind-blowing … I could basically trot out all the tired clich├ęs that are meant to explain just how hard something rocks and they would still go only halfway toward describing how insanely, utterly heavy this one is. Pure thrash Metal here, and yes, I am a thrash metal maniac. In all fairness, it must be said that Condition Critical did their homework with the release of this new album. Everything here sounds just perfectly crystal clear and extra crisp without ever appearing sterile or over-produced. Heaviness, speed, and brutality. I mean, listen to the entire album and tell me this doesn’t rip your face right off. Overall, the musical performance on this album is nearly flawless – the band plays as tight and precise as a piece of well-oiled machinery, even though they are not exactly masters of technicality and they're young guys. New Vocalist Ryan (also in Solstice) shouts are pretty impressive as well, conjuring up images of some mentally deranged wino who’s about to get loaded only to have his booze taken from him – in other words, he sounds seriously pissed off and very menacing. Tony Barhoum does a great job on guitars along with Ryan Taylor. Oh, and as far as the drums are concerned, what a killer drummer Ryan donato is. Just like the guitarists he doesn’t necessarily wow you with finesse and exotic timing patterns, but he can seemingly hit his snare faster than a machine gun spews forth bullets, Bass player Mike Dreher kick your ass and you're here for even more mayhem. Well, heaviness and brutality are obviously here and are the ingredients needed to create a great album. they have secured a place in the metal scene right now as one of the heaviest thrash outfit of 2016. This ain't for the kiddies. You mallcore kids may want to avoid this & stick with whatever shit is currently brOOtal for your sensitive little ears. Leave stuff like this to us adults who can handle it and the new generation of true metalheads. Pure fucking headbanging mayhem. 100% hands down, one of the best thrash metal albums of this year. If you don't have it, GET IT! Wholeheartedly recommended. Best tracks: the whole damn thing, from beginning to end !
Review by Paul Caravasi

Savage Master-With Whips and Chains" (2016)

Savage Master is a traditional heavy metal with female vocals, Stacey Savage is a very powerful singer and a joy to listen to. "With Whips and Chains" is a killer track, actually catchy and fun to sing along with. The guitar melody is very 80's at times. This is a good song to play when you're thinking about your worst enemy, well in case you have one? ,maybe my favorite song on the album. Stacey sounds very aggressive here which gives a great overall feel to the song. "Path of the Necromancer" is a killer tune as well, keeping their traditional heavy metal sound. So when it comes to the music, well, it is basically great sounding metal with enough heaviness. One thing this band has is the amazingly well-composed guitar playing. The style of Savage Master is nothing we haven't heard before but it's definitely good for some headbanging. So if you're a fan of old school metal you'll enjoy listening to this album. Well done guys !
Review by Paul Caravasi