The last of these before the holidays, it’s only a short one this week. However, there is still some great new music released, so let’s look at it!
Green King: Hidden Beyond Time
Firstly, this is a damn good debut album. Surprisingly enough, this won’t be the first time I’m saying that this week, either.
This is a great combination of heavy metal sounds. There’s a lot of NWOBHM in there, some sludgy stoner/doom stuff, and a LOT of early Metallica thrash. His voice reminds me a lot of a young Hetfield. But then the riffing, while a bit more upbeat, remind me of a combination of Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Tracks like ‘Gates of Annihilation’ and ‘Steel and Ice’ are definite highlights, but it’s also just a strong album overall. If you’re going to listen to them, check out the whole album. At only 7/8 tracks and just over half an hour long, you have no excuse!
If you’re a fan of any of the bands or genres I’ve named above you need to check this out, you won’t be disappointed. 8/10.
Adam Warner: What We’re Known For
Time for some country now, which seems rare in winter. Adam‘s third album is his most ambitious yet, and looks set to catapult him to new heights. His country/blues swagger is on full display on tracks like the title one, ‘Catchin’ Hell’ and ‘Got Started’, while tracks like ‘Split a Beer’ and ‘Like Daddy Did’ shows off his slower, balladier side. And of course single ‘Reason to Redneck’ is a massive highlight, being infectiously catchy and surprisingly well written given the lyrics. Also, of course his cover of the Charlie Daniels Band’s incredible ‘Long Haired Country Boy’ is amazing, too.
Unlike a lot of country albums these days, too, it’s incredibly well structured and balanced. It’s not overly long, just 12 tracks and 35-minutes. And there’s a pretty decent ratio (and spread out too) of ballads and rockier tracks. This is one of the better country albums that I’ve reviewed by far, and I’ll be listening to this a lot over the next few months! 9/10
Highway Queen: Bitter Soul
Another great debut album this week. Opening straight into the foot-stomping, hard rock anthem ‘Hey!’, it sets the tone and pace right from the offset. From the dark heaviness of ‘Get on Your Knees’ and ‘?’ to the more AOR-leaning, melodic ‘Here I Am’, the band clearly have a lot of talent and wear their inspiration on their sleeves. There’s some fantastic riffs and a lot of amazing melodic vocals throughout the entire album, and it’s one hell of a debut. The title track and the slow, epic closing track ‘Own Will’ are also massive highlights to a great album. 8/10, the band have a new big fan in me!
The heaviest band to close out the year, how fitting. It’s a great thrash album and VERY Slayer. The opening and title track of the album could be ripped straight off South of Heaven and I love it. However, it does also have some awesome Gojira like riffs thrown in there for good measure, too. ‘Unhinged’ is just over a minute of thrash awesomeness and ‘Infectious’ was a more hardcore punk track, and a lot of fun. Plus, their cover of Bad Brains’ ‘How Low Can Punk Get’ is awesome and fun too! A great follow-up to their debut and I’d highly recommend them for anyone into the faster stuff! 7.5/10.