Posts Tagged ‘SPV’

Slavior – S/T

Sometimes you just want to like a band. I felt that way when I pulled this CD out of the envelope. I liked the name. I liked the logo. I had high hopes for this record after seeing the lineup: former Fates Warning drummer Mark Zonder, MSG guitarist/keyboard player Wayne Findlay, Steve Vai bassist Philip […]

Gamma Ray – Land of the Free II

It’s a tried and true formula. You’ve put out a couple of records that were slightly different in style and perhaps not as good as earlier records, a few fans grumbled. You want to make it clear you’re returning to your old style, so you name your new record after one that’s widely considered by […]

Raging Speedhorn – Before The Sea Was Built

Since their last album, 2005’s How The Great Have Fallen, Raging Speedhorn has gone through a bit of a change. They added two new members, Bloody Kev (vocals) and Dave Thompson (bass), and apparently suffered some deep psychological trauma. That would be the only thing that could explain the vibe on the latest album Before […]

Helloween – Gambling With the Devil

It’s always nice to be surprised. I’ve only followed Helloween’s career sporadically since the 1980s, and have never really found anything in their catalog that impressed me as much as the first two Keeper records. I didn’t expect to find it here, but they had me from the first true song on the record. As […]

Sodom – The Final Sign of Evil

A re-release of sorts, The Final Sign of Evil is a re-recorded version of Sodom’s debut EP, In the Sign of Evil, with the line-up of that album intact (Tom Angelripper on vox/bass, Grave Violator on guitars, and Chris Witchhunter on drums), and seven bonus tracks that were written in that time period, but never […]

Axel Rudi Pell – Diamonds Unlocked

The cover record needs to die. I realize it’s an easy way to put together an album quickly and make a few bucks, but can you really name one all-covers record that just blew you away? No, you can’t. That’s because rarely are the covers as good as the original. Still, it seems we’re doomed […]

Iced Earth – Framing Armageddon

Albums with expectations are always interesting, and this one has plenty. First, fans have been waiting for it since 1998 when the original trilogy of songs appeared on Something Wicked This Way Comes, regarded by many as the band’s best record. The expectations were boosted over the summer when the band released the first single […]

Hatesphere – Serpent Smiles and Killer Eyes

If there’s one thing you can count on from the Danish death/thrash band Hatesphere, it’s consistency. Five albums in now, showing absolutely no signs of wearing or watering down their tried and true sound, though are beginning to display a bit more versatility, incorporating some slower, more groove oriented songs into the mix on their […]

Annihilator – Metal

Jeff Waters is to Annihilator was Dave Mustaine is to Megadeth. The Main Man. The Chief Dude In Charge. The Head Honcho. When the High Exalted Potentate of this mighty Canadian Thrash Legend that is Annihilator chose to utilize “guest appearances” on his new album, aptly titled, Metal, the decision was met with groans & […]

Iced Earth – Overture of the Wicked EP

Jon Schaffer offers fans a nice little teaser for Iced Earth’s upcoming album Framing Armageddon coming in the fall. Since 1998’s Something Wicked This Way Comes and Schaffer’s promise to expand on the “Something Wicked Trilogy” fans have been waiting for him to follow through as he delivered a horror-themed record and a very personal […]

Unleashed – Midvinterblot

I think most (except Johnny Hedlund himself according to a recent botched interview), would agree that Sworn Allegiance was this legendary Swedish death metal/Viking act’s real comeback album, and that Hell’s Unleashed was a sick joke. Either way, with a change in label, these Swedish stalwarts are truly, truly back with a blistering album far […]

Axel Rudi Pell – Mystica

This is a really good record ‘ for 1985. I have to admit that I struggled a little with this review because there was a time in my life when I would have hailed this as some of the best stuff I’ve ever heard. But that was a long time ago, and Mystica, while very […]

Quill, The – In Triumph

I’ve found myself listening to a lot of 1970s Aerosmith lately, so it’s really probably not fair to review this album at this point. It’s hard to judge a blues-based hard rock band with the echoes of the best still rattling around in your head. But Sweden’s The Quill manage to stand up to the […]

Sepultura – Dante XXI

To be honest, I really haven’t had a whole lot of interest in Sepultura since they split with guitarist/vocalist Max Cavalera in the mid-1990s. I boughtAgainst just to see what the “new” Sepultura was like and wasn’t really that interested in keeping up with them after that. They’ve done a few things here and there I’ve […]

Annihilator – 10 Years in Hell DVD

Sometimes it amazes me how the music industry has kept itself alive this long. Think about it for a minute. Think about all the great bands you know that have been left to languish in obscurity, and then think about all the crap that gets pushed on listeners by the record companies. I pondered this often […]

Various Artists – Blessed by the Night 1

Subtitled The Dark Metal Compilation, this double-disc European compilation collects the top acts in goth metal and others who’ve forsaken their heavy roots for the love of money. Aesma Daaeva’s “O Death (Rock Me Asleep)” is reminiscent of old Paradise Lost but colder and with female vocals. Tiamat and resident freak Johan Edlund check in […]