Category: CD Reviews

Puppy – ‘Pure Evil’ (Rude Records)

Over the last year or so, Puppy have been a group that has repeatedly come up either in news articles Jase W has been reading, with singles announcements, tour announcements (and their subsequent rescheduling) and most recently their latest album; ‘Pure Evil’. The three-piece, from London in good old Blighty, label themselves in their Facebook’s About section as simply “Heavy Metal”, which after checking this album out and it being JW’s first introduction to Puppy in lieu of catching them on the Manchester stop of their current tour, seems to undersell the pretty varied sound they have on ‘Pure Evil’.

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The Courettes – ‘Back In Mono (B-Sides & Outtakes)’ (Damaged Goods)

One of last year’s most distinctive albums was ‘Back In Mono’, the third album from Denmark’s The Courettes, which combined fuzzed up psyche rock with a Phil Spector ‘wall of sound’ ’60s pop vibe to great effect. The album was highly acclaimed, and now to compliment it comes a new mini-album ‘Back In Mono (B-Sides & Outtakes)’, containing new tunes, B-sides and rarities from around the time of the original album.

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Thy Kingdom Will Burn – ‘The Void And The Vengeance’ (Scarlet Records)

Finland – the country with the most metal bands per capita (at a whopping 42.6 per 100,000). There just seems to be something in the water that results in metal bands just sprouting out of the ground deep in the Finnish forests! So, it’s really of no surprise that this latest album I’ve picked up hails from that very country, but what is perhaps more surprising is that this is a sophomore release within one year of their debut album. Those guys in Thy Kingdom Will Burn have certainly been busy over the last year, but will ‘The Void And The Vengeance’ be the polished product of a creativity surge, or a rushed job to maintain momentum? Naturally the only way to find out is for Jonny B to give it a spin…

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Mortal Thrall – ‘A Path To Fire’ (Trepanation Recordings

Baroque-influenced, post-black metal duo Mortal Thrall was forged in September 2020 by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Todd Harris (ex-Oubliette, Battle Path). Spontaneously conceptualized, written, and recorded over lockdown, the press release describes ‘A Path To Fire’ as “an emotive fresco of intertwining guitar lines, stunning chord progressions, passionate vocals, textural synth, and martial drumming which evolved from Harris’ obsession with Renaissance paintings”. Sounds interesting so far…

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Vaamatar – ‘Medievalgeist’ (Iron Bonehead)

Traditional styled black metal is a scene Alex M very much has a love it or hate it relationship with. When it’s done well it’s some of the finest extreme metal out there blending atmosphere and aggression perfectly and giving you an excellent soundtrack to cosplay Gandalf in the forest to. The other side of this is “if I hear one more asshole or group of assholes in panda makeup try to recreate Transilvanian Hunger or Panzer Division Marduk I’ll stick a screwdriver in my ears”. Fortunately, Vaamatar have given him a reason to spare his ears for another day.

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The Über Rock Singles Club – Mayhem In May (Volume Two)

Welcome to the latest edition of the Über Rock Singles Club. We have managed to keep the Club up-and-running despite the numerous Covidications which we all have had to endure over the past 24 months, in order to bring you the hottest new sounds around. And once again we have another hitlist of superb sonic experiences to tickle your sonic senses, with a selection of my favourite tunes to have found their way on to the ÜRHQ deathdecks over the past few weeks… Bearing in mind that we took a bit of a longer break between clubs this month, we received more than 600 submissions since we last fired up the trusty death decks, it was not an easy task to whittle them down to this all-too-short playlist of just a handful musical gems…

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Anvil – ‘Impact Is Imminent’ (AFM Records)

Back in 2020, Canadian metal legends Anvil released ‘Legal At Last’, one of their strongest albums in a while, but the onset of the pandemic meant they couldn’t complete the tour to promote it. So, like a lot of bands unable to tour, they forged ahead with writing and recording another one, and the result is the band’s 19th studio album, ‘Impact Is Imminent’.

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Big Muff 68 – ‘Swing Metal’ (Mas-Kina Recordings)

Do you ever find that your reception to music varies depending on your mood? Jonny B certainly found that recently nothing was really tickling his pickle so he chalked it down to having a rough patch and decided that he would give this album another chance once the clouds lifted somewhat. The combination of a ridiculous band name, I mean who could not resist at least trying Big Muff 68 (you know why they call it a 68? It means you go down on me and I’ll owe you one), and the promise of pioneering a new genre called “swing metal” had built up high expectations. So, when JB played it through and found himself completely underwhelmed, he decided a second chance was in order and this is the result…

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Insidious Void – ‘Entropy’ EP (Self-Released)

In the immortal words of chef Gordon Ramsey “It’s fucking raw”. Our new EMC – that’s “extreme metal correspondent” – Alex Montgomery thinks that’s the most apt descriptor for the debut EP from Insidious Void: cooked on the outside but raw on the inside. They have the imagery and vibe down pat but in terms of real substance our latest recruit feels its like the three (four if you count the intro) songs here really needed more time in the sonic oven.

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Helsott – ‘Will And The Witch’ (M-Theory Audio)

Formed in 2010, Helsott, meaning “fatal illness” in Old-Norse, are a pagan death metal band from southern California. The band proudly pay homage to pagan cultures and ancient mythologies while keeping true to their American influences.  This latest album is a concept record that tells a fictional story about how Billy The Kid became the fastest gunfighter in the wild west. The album was mixed and mastered by J-F Dagenais and features special guests Tim “Ripper” Owens, Vladamir Reshetnikov (Arkona), Freddie Vidales (Ashes Of Ares), Lethien (Elvenking), Kevin Storm (Kalmah, Shining), Bjorn Friedrichsen, Mikey Muller and Whistlin’ Rick Story. So quite a line up of special guests.

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The Imbeciles – ‘Imbecilica’ (Cadiz Music)

With the original incarnation of the band having imploded fairly quickly after their self-titled debut album in 2019, Anglo-American post-punk merchants The Imbeciles spent lockdown 2020 putting a new line-up together, re-imagining their music and getting back on track. They’ve just completed a successful ÜK tour supporting Killing Joke on their ‘Honour The Fire’ tour in March, which has done their profile the world of good, and now they release their second album ‘Imbecilica’, a record written with and produced by Killing Joke’s Youth.

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Hit The Ground Runnin’ – ‘Lost In Translation’ (Pride & Joy Music)

Having reviewed (and quite liked) the re-release of their long out-of-print debut, ‘Sudden Impact’ in January, Monk thought David O might like to take another listen to this compilation of previously unreleased songs from the band. His original comments about the music being of a time still stand. However, having listened to this selection makes him wonder if the band really knew what they wanted to be at the time. The press release calls it “an eclectic mix of genres”. That it most definitely is and some of it should have remained unreleased. David doesn’t like to be wholly negative, but he’s sure the band must have realised before this release that it was as disparate as Madonna and Meat Loaf.

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