Sunday, January 21, 2018

Shadow Kingdom-The Reflection

Self-Release/Independent
2018

Shadow Kingdom is a up-and-coming/buzz-worthy heavy metal band from Milford, Connecticut that is lead by vocalist Robert Slater (Fear Apparent). The five-track EP, "The Reflection", is the debut offering for this five-piece metal band that features two highly-skilled guitarists in Anthony Quintiliano (M.S.W.) & Greg Alfonso (ex-Sick from Hate, ex-Sounds from Hell, ex-Necromansy). Nino Zazzarino (bass) and Carlos Zazzarino (drums) round things out for this killer Connecticut metal band that splits the difference between really heavy metal EP and U.S. power metal. With strong song writing skills and a cool metal sound that is both modern and vintage, Shadow Kingdom is a hot metal outfit that should do great things! So far this is only a digital release. As such you can find "The Reflection" on iTunes.

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Boogie Hammer-First Blood (Demo Tape)

Fuck The Mainstream - We Are The Mainstream Records
2017

Boogie Hammer is a wildly reckless & fun as fuck rock and roll band from from Vienna, Austria. This six-song EP serves as the group's proper introduction to the world at large, but damn it man, is this piece of shit planet of ours deserving of such an honor? The answer of course is no. Seeing as that is the case, Boogie Hammer* is gracious as fuck for gifting us this freaky little jam fest! Starting off with the aptly-titled "Chainsaw", "First Blood" cracks the sky wide-open with it supersonic rock and roll sound and yes, it is orgasmic! Self-dubbed "Speed Boogie", the four members of Boogie Hammer perform a great public service as they give us five original compositions and a cover of the Scorpions song, "Speedy's Coming". That might seem like a weird cover choice for a crazy band like this, but it actually works rather well given the circumstances. Not quite punk rock or garage heavy metal, Boogie Hammer exists in their own world where both the Stray Cats and Motörhead are considered prime examples of grade A classic rock! With a full-length album reportedly in the works for later on in 2018, Boogie Hammer is fuzzed-over & feedback-drenched fun for the whole family to enjoy!! You can download this cool demo for free by heading here.
As for psychical copies of this instant classic? Try heading to this page to buy your own copy. That's the good news. What is the bad news? Well, the cassette release of this demo is limited to a mere 50 copies. For a smashing gem like this that is absolutely criminal! This is a classic case of getting the goods while they are hot and fresh. You snooze on this one and you are going to lose out BIG TIME! As one rock fan to another, Boogie Hammer is the real deal. In all the best ways possible(!), "First Blood" is real, down n' dirty, sleeves rolled up & work shirt unbuttoned riff-rock and roll for the under-payed and under-appreciated working class. Grab yourself a beer and kick off your work boots. This EP is for you.



*According to Facebook the group's line-up is as follows: D. "Süpürgesi" Vacuum (guitar, vocals), Luke Remington (guitar), Ricky Switchblade (bass), and Dave Dagger (drums).

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dam-Age "Thirteen Bullets in My Head"

Self-Release/Independent
2018

Dam-Age is a thrash metal band from Ukraine, Kharkov whose line-up is unknown. The recently-released "Thirteen Bullets in My Head" seems to be the group's debut, but that is only a guess on my part. Seeing as there is little information to go by when it comes to these underground thrashers, Dam-Age could be a brand new act or one that has been around for awhile. Who really knows? Certainly not Facebook or the Metal Archives. They were no help when it came to the who, what, when, and where of this (wreck-inducing) merchants of metal. And I didn't have any luck with the time honored tradition of doing a "google search". So yeah, Dam-Age are a bit of a mystery. At any rate, one dollar is all that it costs to purchase this 4-track EP. In my eyes that it a steal. Here's why. With "Thirteen Bullets in My Head" you get this underground take on (early) Megadeth and it's all from a band that is (slightly) rough & raw around the edges. It's almost as if you were to take a really solid garage metal band and then you mixed in elements of  gripping thrash and vintage Megadeth. Whoever they are, the members of Dam-Age know what they are doing as far as songwriting and overall musicianship goes. The production is perfectly suited to this type of metal and there are no real complaints as far as the mix is concerned. Topped off by some sick lead vocals and great guitar solos, Dam-Age's new EP is a fun listen that lives up to it's wicked album art! To quote a line from 1987's Robocop, "I'd buy that for a dollar!".

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Legendarium-Legendarium

Independent/Self-Release
2017

Based in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, Legendarium is Laurence Kerbov (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, writing and production) and Stefano Vaccari (drums). This six-track EP is the group's debut release. It was suggested to me by a friend who lives and breaths all things punk metal. I am going to be extremely honest when I say that I'm not exactly sure where to begin when it comes to this band's self-titled release. Yes, it does mix together elements of punk rock and traditional heavy metal. Along with the punk metal, "Legendarium" toys with horror punk, goth rock, garage metal, power metal, and (oddly-enough) "Master of Puppets"-era Metallica! While that in and off itself might not sound too strange, "Legendarium" leans heavily on the keyboards and it features some of the weirdest vocals out there! Laurence Kerbov's vocal style is never going to suite all tastes. Especially when you consider that he sounds an awful lot like the Richmond character from the the British TV series, IT Crowd! For those of you who are not familiar with the character here is a short clip of him talking about Cradle of Filth.


Now, take that voice and add it to a punk metal band and you have got Legendarium! This is either a good thing or a bad thing (depending upon your view of life and whether or not you like to march to the beat of your own mad drummer!). To these ears it is just "odd". With a better vocalist, Legendarium could be onto something unique and refreshing. As it stands now, Laurence Kerbov's voice is likely to turn a lot of people away. Either way I highly suggest that you give this EP a listen. The EP isn't that long and with it's odd construction and exotic ingredients, "Legendarium" will keep your interest!

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Monday, January 15, 2018

hell bent-EP

Self-Release/Independent
2018

Formed in 2015 and comprised of current & former members of Dropdead, Ulcer, Paindriver, Straight to Hell, Neon Bitches, and Hard Drug, hell bent is a thrash metal/(hardcore-tinged) crossover band from Providence, Rhode Island. The self-explanatory "EP" is the latest release from this (d-beat-infused) fierce as fuck outfit. It is a six-song EP that clocks in at just under thirteen minutes. Other than perhaps the EP's length*, hell bent's new recording is fault free from start to finish! With it's old school-street metal & (hardcore-tinged) crossover meets underground thrash metal, "EP" is a great introduction to this tough as nails group. In addition to being a digital release, "EP" is available to purchase on cassette tape. That's rather fitting and all seeing as this EP has the feel of a underground gem from the heyday of tape-trading! If gritty and raw street-legit thrash metal/crossover/hardcore is your bread and butter, hell bent is bound to be your jam!


*As good as these guys are, hell bent's debut should have been a full-length LP!

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Damn Youth-Breathing Insanity

Cospe Fogo Produções
2018

Damn Youth is a raw thrash/crossover band from Caucaia, Ceará, Brazil that has been in existence since 2013. Fronted by Elton Luiz, Damn Youth made it's debut in 2015 with the 3-track demo "Skate in Hell". In 2016 the band released a split with Lei do Cão and the 3-track EP, "No Mercy to Nazi Sympathy". Both the split and the EP came out on cassette tape. In addition they both featured cover songs. The split saw the group cover a track by Vio-Lence while "No Mercy to Nazi Sympathy" features a cover of "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" (Dead Kennedys). In a very real way both of those bands (Vio-Lence and The Dead Kennedys) show up to play on Damn Youth's latest recording. Released on January 9th, "Breathing Insanity" might not feature any cover tunes, but the influence of vintage thrash and old school punk/hardcore runs wild on this full-length album! Available as a (name your price) digital download by clicking here, "Breathing Insanity" is what you get when you take the crazier side of the thrash metal movement (Vio-Lence, Forbidden, Exodus, Toxic Holocaust, Slayer, etc.) and mix it with crossover (D.R.I., C.O.C., Suicidal Tendencies, Cro-Mags), punk/hardcore (the aforementioned Dead Kennedys, The Exploited, Discharge, etc.), street metal (Zoetrope), and rough & real garage metal. With 13 wickedly fun tracks in all, "Breathing Insanity" has a great underground vibe going for it (even if one cannot ignore the exceptional skills of these mad musicians!). At the end of the day it is an absolute steal as a name your own price download. That said, Damn Youth might be onto something by offering it for next to nothing. If it helps spread the word about this Brazilian band then it will all be worth it. For now, why not jump aboard this bandwagon while it's still within sight?

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dinosaur Eyelids-Left Turn on Red

Independent/Self-Release
2017

New Jersey's Dinosaur Eyelids issued their 5th studio album back in late November of 2017. With it's tongue-in-cheek title of "Left Turn on Red", I had this CD arrive unexpectedly at my door. With 11 tracks in all, "Left Turn on Red" is the long-anticipated  follow-up to 2014's "Bypass To Nowhere". From what I have read, "Bypass To Nowhere" was well-received by both the fans and the critics. While I cannot vouch for their last album, "Left Turn on Red" is an absolute winner in my book and the exact kind of rock album that I would stop the presses for! Opening with four straight rock and roll gems in a row, "Left Turn on Red" is the gripping story of a five-piece garage band that works through it's personal struggles by plugging in & kicking out the jam. Influences seem to range from Ween, The Stooges, Dinosaur Jr., The Replacements, and Sonic Youth all the way up through Nirvana, Soundgarden, Black Sabbath, and Kyuss. On this excellent album you are just as likely to witness the influence of Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young and The Who as you are Blind Melon and Saigon Kick! As an example of the wide array of influences let's check out two song. First we have "L.A. Lady". This semi-ballad is rock and roll all the way though, but it also has a bit of a late eighties/early nineteens hair metal vibe to it. Dinosaur Eyelids perfectly executes this cool number which could have easily been a hit for any number of L.A. glam metal bands. On the other end of the spectrum we have "Making Up Memories". On an album where (heavy) rock and roll rules the day, "Making Up Memories" sounds like a hard rock take on Jane's Addiction (without all the drama naturally). It is a great song, but then again, "Left Turn on Red" is nothing but one great track after another. As part of the alternative rock scene, Dinosaur Eyelids might have a hard time breaking through all of the preconceived barriers that come from closed minds. Whatever you do, do not fall for such a trap! At it's core this is a rock and roll album that demands to be played "Loud & Proud"! An album like "Left Turn on Red" is just as likely to appeal to the alternative/indie rock crowd as it is those of us in the hard & heavy scene. You can and most-certainly should check out this heavy rockin' release by by heading here. Be forewarned though. These NJ alt-rockers are a loud bunch! As such this album is all kinds of LOUD. You can try turning it down, but ultimately it needs to be played at maximum volume. That's what you do for any great rock recording and this gem is no different!

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