Tag Archives: thrash

New Music Mondays: Elder, High Command and More!

For the first time in the year plus of New Music Mondays, we’ve finally reached a week where I’m not particularly familiar with any of the bands on the list. Six almost completely unknown bands put out albums, so I’m excited to dive in and hopefully find some new great bands to be obsessed with!

Elder: Innate Passage

There are two types of prog music. There’s the ever changing, constant insanity of bands like Rush or Iron Maiden’s epics, throwing in different riffs and parts every couple of minutes. Then there’s the type that stretch an entire riff out for a solid ten minutes and squeeze every last drop out of the same concept before moving onto the next. This is an example of the latter.

Time for me to feel and sound like a hypocrite. While I typically like it when bands play around with the same riff and get different sounds out of it all. But five one-riff tracks spanning 54 minutes is a little too much for even me. The talent of the band is clearly on full display and very high, it just got a little too much and repetitive for me. Ironically, ‘Endless Return’ was a highlight track of the album, though! The clean riff is awesome and it builds perfectly for over two minutes into the great heaviness. 5/10 I’d not stick it on optionally much, but I also wouldn’t skip a track!

High Command: Eclipse of the Duel Moons

I’ve not heard an album open on such a punch to the teeth since Vugar Display of Power. The title track is a tour de force of power and aggression. Also, this band were one of the few I’d heard the name of previously, but I don’t know why I didn’t know they were crossover thrash. I had a lighter sound in mind, but I’m very glad they sounded like this instead.

Again, it’s a collection of incredibly talented musicians making great tracks together. The slower, proggy awesomeness that is ‘Imposing Hammers of Cold Sorcery’ is a definite highlight, as is the similarly paced ‘Chamber of Agony’. It turns out, although I do like balls-to-the-wall thrash too, I clearly enjoy it when the bands do things a little different and create some dynamics in their tracks, even just for parts of it. I love ‘In the Court of the Dragon, but ‘Shadow of the Abattoir’ is my favourite track on the album. ‘The Four Horsemen’ is one of my favourite Metallica tracks because it combines both thrash and slower elements together masterfully. It’s the same with these tracks.

I don’t want to crap on the other tracks though, the faster, thrash tracks are also amazing. This is a damn good album, and I’d highly recommend it if you’re into the heavier side of metal. 7.5/10, good stuff.

Finnegan’s Hell: One Finger Salute

Described as Sweden’s answer to The Pogues, as well as being the leading light in the New of Swedish Celtic Punk movement (something that I didn’t know existed but will have to check out more of now), the band return with their fourth album. It’s about exactly what you’d expect from the genre, and a lot of fun.

The anthemic, straight-to-the-point title track is a clear highlight. The opener is also great, some of the vocal melody even reminding me of some more recent Bruce Dickinson stuff. ‘I’ll Make it Up to You’ is also typical Celtic punk awesomeness. It’s honestly nice that after two albums of proggier writing, we have an album that’s ten tracks and only 25 minutes long. Heck, only one song clocks in at over three minutes. It was the perfect pallet clenser.

I’ve always loved the genre, and this is a great album to add to it. It’s packed full of great, fun tracks and in no way overstays its welcome. I feel like this band would be a lot of fun to see live, especially playing a few of these tracks! 7/10

Black Paisley: Human Nature

The latest band to put out an album into the rather saturated NWOCR scene, Black Paisley still put out a damn good album for their fourth release. The Swedes are clearly good songwriters, with tracks like ‘Not Alone’, ‘Mojo’ and ‘World’s Turning’ all being great. It’s a good album and the band definitely deserve more recognition, especially over here where the NWOCR movement has taken over half of the underground scene.

However, there is so much ‘classic rock’ out there these days and we’ve covered so much of it over the last year and a half that I’m starting to get rather burnt out from it. Like there are a lot of bands in the scene that do things different and mix up the formula in their own way, think Ward XVI or Mason Hill or South of Salem, that I LOVE> But it just means that straight-up classic rock doesn’t do much for me currently. I’ll probably come back around and absolutely love this album in the new year, and I’m definitely going to be listening to it again and checking out their older stuff. However, for now I’ll give it a 6.5/10. Sorry guys.

The Riven: Peace and Conflict

When this album started I was very tempted to write some extended version of ‘see above’. However I’ll be damned, this band really won me over, and quickly! ‘The Taker’ is a fantastic, high-energy anthem while slower tracks like ‘Sorceress of the Sky’ are amazing and show off great versatility from the band. Plus, who cannot be impressed by the sheer brilliance of musicianship on display in ‘La Puerta del Tiempo’?

It’s nothing mindblowing, but it’s a damn good hard rock album and one I’ll definitely be listening to some more. 7/10

Mother Vulture: Mother Knows Best

Another band that I knew pretty much by name only, thanks to being on festival bills I’d been to or toured with other bands I’ve checked out. However I had never had the chance to check them out properly. I regret that massively. This was fucking awesome.

A fuzzy, desert/indie rock take on classic rock, this was amazing from start to finish. From the anthemic opening track to other radio-rock bangers like ‘Honey’ and ‘Shifting Sands’, this album is made to be played hard and loud in front of thousands of screaming fans. I named those three tracks while, in honesty, the whole album is its own highlight. Whether you’re into rock, indie or metal, check this out, as you will for sure find something to love. These guys blend all of it together masterfully with this album, and honestly, if given the right marketing, it could and should catapult them into the stratosphere. 9/10 CHECK THIS OUT.

Derby Alt Fest 2022

Derby Alt Fest is the biggest metal festival to hit Derby city in maybe ever, we just had to cover it, right? Go and check out the line-up now if you haven’t already, it’s insane. Liam has put on one hell of a bill for everyone this year at the famous, already nearing packed-out Hairy Dog, and we’re here to give you a taste of what to expect!


‘Thrash Thursday’, as it has been dubbed, plays host to six of the very best in the genre in the UK scene right now. From Elyrean, Helgrind and our good friends at Thrasherwolf, it’s a damn strong opening to the day and the festival. We managed to get a few words from the frontman of the latter band, sharing his thoughts on the festival:

“Hi wolvers! Dan from Thrasherwolf here! Just to say we can’t wait to bring the pack down to ALT FEST and get some good old-fashioned violence started! We hope you’re ready for the carnage that night because you won’t be leaving the same way you came in! 🤘😝🐺

The evening then continues on its brutal ways with All Consumed and Hellfekted. Both are fantastic bands which you have to see live to get the full brunt of their energy and force. Then we reach the headliner of the evening, the mighty Cage Fight. The band have gone from strength to strength in the last few months since dropping their monster of a debut album, and this writer in particular cannot wait to be in the pit for them! They’re all worth the price of admission alone, and we still have two days left!

Check out us talk about the album here.


The more alternative day on the wonderfully odd Dacara. The band bring their big hooks and huge guitar tones to the Dog to open up a stellar day of music. Medusa Touch bring an air of old-school, NWOBHM sound to the proceedings while WarlocK A.D. bring the power metal in spectacular fashion.

Then we reach possibly the most interesting band on the line-up, Luna Kiss. They are the lightest on the bill by quite a margin, being the only real rock band on the bill. Despite that, the band seem more than excited to be playing:

“Wil here from Luna Kiss. We’re stoked to be playing on the bill at this years Alt festival at the Hairy Dog. We’ve got a beast of a set planned and it’s going to be a good ’en’”

They are going to be a band not to be missed, and I’m curious to see how the crowd will react!

The insane local boys, Raised by Owls, are up afterwards, sharing their own brand of craziness and heaviness with the attendees. The guys have been going years at this point and have perfectly honed their craft with a show that should definitely not be missed.

Then we reach the awesome headliners of the evening, the death metal legends at this point themselves, Evil Scarecrow. The comedic, heavy band are possibly the biggest to ever grace the Alt Fest stage, and always bring with them one hell of a stage show to entertain their audience with. Not to mention, their songs are incredible, and they are all at the top of the game at what they do.

We managed to get a few words from the band too about their sure to be legendary set:

“Evil Scarecrow are so excited to be back at The Hairy Dog for the first time in a long time and looking forward to be returning back since the big room was opened. So get them crab claws, karate moves and robotic dancing at the ready as we look forward to seeing you all on the Friday night!”


The final day is packed full of incredible bands, with a whole afternoon and evening of great music. OATHS bring the heavy straight away with some great deathcore while Past the Fall are set to follow them with their own brand of brutality. The crushing heaviness continues with the likes of Beyond Extinction, Worship the Sacrifice and Hounds before Abduction give us a more black metal tint.

Inhuman Nature bring it back to the thrash sound again but with an extreme edge while Monasteries look to blast everyone away with their heaviness and insane talent. Fairly local band The Five Hundred return to blow the roof off the Dog as they always do, while crowd favourites Osiah pile on more insane brutality to the proceedings.

Then we reach the headliner and final band of the festival, the incredible Martyr Defiled. What more could you ask for? They are the perfect way to close out a heavy festival. Huge, heavy, at the top of their game and ready to put on an insane show to a roaring crowd. This is going to be a fantastic set, I’m sure, and one that I cannot wait to see!

We also managed to get a quick interview with the organiser and Unearthed main-man Liam about the festival, which you can check out below!

How did you decide on the bands?

Alt fest has always been as alternative as I can make it. It used to be a lot more difficult when I had just one day to smash as many genres as we could into it but now, we can really experiment. For this year I’ve based it on Thrash Thursday, Alternative Friday, and Heavy Saturday, so then I built it around that model.

How long does it take to plan an event like this and how many people are involved?

Planning pretty much starts when the previous year finishes, you look at what went well and what might have not and then begin building from there, looking at potential headliners and then opening applications and seeing who’s about. I have to shout out my guy Harry who I run Unearthed with, he’s not only helped structure the line up with me this year but also done all the graphics internally, and also everyone at The Hairy Dog, for continuing to allow me to put as many bands as physically possible on over the weekend and looking after us all.

What’s the history of Derby Alt Fest?

I actually started it as a standalone in 2016 to go along with my old bands EP release show, and it really just spiralled from that. I’ve tried to make it bigger and better every year and to not only bring bands back who have become fest favourites but also bring bigger bands who have never played. Were now in the sixth year of the event.

What can we expect at the festival this year?

Every day is going to be different. The style of bands make the shows great as standalones as well as forming into the three-day weekend. Thursday we have Cage Fight who are just rising at a rapid rate, and after just smashing Bloodstock second stage I can’t wait to see them destroy the Dog. Friday really is mental thinking about it, EVIL SCARECROW. I’ve seen this band on huge stages in the past and it’s going to be an incredible show. The Saturday is just going to be flat out brutal from start to finish. Headlined by Martyr Defiled.

New Music Mondays: Electric Callboy, Behemoth and More!

Another huge week of New Music Mondays, with everything from metalcore to… well… The Proclaimers. Now that I have your attention, let’s dive into it!

Electric Callboy: Tekkno

The band that have taken 2022 by storm with the growing anticipation of this album thanks to their singles. We loved all of them and just had to review the album fully. You can check it out, alongside our review for it, here.

Behemoth: Opvs Contra Natvram

I’ve tried for years now to get into Behemoth, and it’s just not happened. I have heard tit may happen if I see them live. I feel like it must do, because this album did nothing for me. Those who read these regularly know that I don’t really get black metal, and it turns out big, well produced black metal still isn’t my thing. Sorry to any Behemoth fans out there, I know you’re quite the devoted lot. I really tried, listening to the entire album in one sitting. It just seemed like noise; I couldn’t pick out a highlight track. 3/10… please don’t cancel me…

Clutch: Sunrise on Slaughter Beach

Now, this is more my sort of speed. The stoner rock band have been consistently great for years now, and this is no exception. From the opener, ‘Red Alert’, the tone and quality of the album is set and it doesn’t waiver at all. I don’t understand how this band aren’t bigger than they are, given how fantastic tracks like ‘Slaughter Beach’ and ‘Nosferatu Madre’ are. Hopefully tracks like the ones I just named will finally help push them to greater heights.

If you are into blues or stoner rock at all I can guarantee you’ll love this, and it’s maybe one of the best albums the band themselves have done so far. Each track is amazing, it’s had to pick specific highlights. 8.5/10

Marco Mendoza: New Direction

Yep, we’ve been busy this week and given you TWO full reviews of albums before Monday. Aren’t we good? Check out our review of the awesome new Marco Mendoza album here.

The Devil Wears Prada: Colour Decay

In a world where bands that have been around for a while (especially in the metalcore scene) either go lighter and more pop or heavier after complaints from fans, The Devil Wears Prada laughed, flipped them of and said ‘we’ll do both’. I remember checking out the ZII EP last year and while none of this is quite as heavy as ‘Nightfall’, it’s still a heavy album. ‘Watchtower’ and ‘Exhibition’ for the most part might as well be deathcore tracks. But then at the same time we have plenty of clean vocals and tracks like ‘Salt’ and ‘Broken’. It’s an amazingly diverse album, and both sides of the coin are very good.

From the riffs to the INSANE breakdowns and both types of vocals, it’s all amazing. This is the best I’ve heard the band sound in years and is up there with some of my favourite work by them. This album will be on a lot in the Griffiths household over the next few weeks and months, as it really does have something for nearly every emotion. Another 9/10. A solid week so far!

The Mars Volta: Self-Titled

A complete change of pace now as we get to the US prog rock band’s seventh album. I have a confession to make; I don’t think I’ve heard a track by the band before. I know the name but have at least never gone out of my way to check them out. So I guess where better to start than with the band’s first album in a decade, since their breakup and recent reformation.

They’re weird… but I kinda dig it. It took me a couple of tracks to get into the groove with them, but by the time ‘Graveyard Love’ finished I was all in. The remind me of a darker Scissor Sisters, giving me a big nostalgia kick as I loved that band as a kid. While some of it isn’t typically the sort of thing we’d cover or that I’d like too much, there is enough awesome upbeat stuff to keep me entertained. Tracks like ‘No Case Gain’ and ‘Equus 3’ are strangely awesome. It’s not all for me, but I certainly wouldn’t be opposed or turn it off if the album was on again at some point. 6.5/10

The Proclaimers: Dentures Out

Yes, they haven’t just done ‘500 Miles’ and that song from Shrek. They do in fact now have 12 studio albums, and I have to say, this new one is fantastic. The opening and title track is one of my is one of the best soft rock songs I’ve heard in years. ‘Feast Your Eyes’ is a fantastic, epic ballad with a good point and seniment behind it. And ‘Praise’ is almost a surfer rock track with that riff. There is plenty of great stuff to sink your teeth into here if you like it softer and, while there could have been another faster track or two, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely be listening to it again! A surprisingly great album from a band I’m sure most haven’t listened to in years. 7.5/10

No Devotion: No Oblivion

This was not at all what I was expecting. Given the name and album artwork, I was thinking I was in for heavy, not alt/indie. While I’m sure it’s great to the band’s fans, I wasn’t too into it. There was some fun, catchy synth and some interesting vocals, but I felt this was a bit of a slog to get through. I feel like/hope it’ll grow on me as they are all very clearly talented musicians and songwriters and I feel like I should get it, but I currently do not. 4/10 at a push, I’m sorry.

Starcrawler: She Said

This bands image doesn’t quite fit with their sound. From their artwork and pictures, I went into this expecting glam. This was not glam. I have to admit, I’m a little disappointed. It wasn’t bad by any stretch, built I’d have preferred glam or NWOCR over the punk/old school rock I got. It is interesting to hear an American indie tinge to the British punk rock sound, but I found it didn’t do much to hold my attention. Having said that, ‘Stranded”s chorus did seem vaguely familiar, and it was a definite highlight of the album. Not a bad album by any stretch and I feel like it might grow on me with another couple of listens., it just didn’t catch my attention immediately. 6/10

Sinnery: Black Bile

This is right up my street. Heavy-ass death/thrash metal, filled with big fast riffs that will break your neck after the full 50-minute album. Having never heard of them before, ‘The Burning’ was as fantastic introduction to them as any. Between the huge riffs, hardcore screams, gang vocals and filthy lows, it’s a highlight for sure. However, the album goes HARD for its entire run, giving the world some of the best the genre has to offer in 2022. ‘Sever’ and ‘Bleak’ are also highlights of a very strong album. I honestly feel like they are the second coming of Slayer, they are that good and heavy. I can see them getting the same cult following, and I am definitely going to be in there in it! 8.5/10

Somehow Jo: Scales and Details

Tool’s crazier child are back with their third studio album. Heck, just the two fantastic opening tracks, ‘Fata Morgana’ and ‘Freind’, channel so many different styles and genres it’s insane. From prog to folk to death metal to whatever the hell people classify SOAD as, there is something for everyone. Both are insanely impressive track and easily make the playlist, and there’s another seven tracks still!

I have to say though, every track had me hooked from start to finish. This was a damn good album full of some of the best playing I have heard in a LONG time. I have not a single negative thing I can say about the album, and I am desperate to see the band live now. Check this out if you are into any sort of music at all, you won’t be disappointed! 8.5/10

Dead City Ruins: Shockwave

This is what I was expecting Starcrawler. Just good old-fashioned hard/sleaze rock. I’ve been a fan of the band for a few years now after checking them ahead of a HRH (They unfortunately didn’t end up playing) and after the album being postponed a little, I’m excited to finally hear it.

It’s really good. Unfortunately, you’re wanting me to write more than that, aren’t you? Fine… It’s honestly as good as anything the rest of the NWOCR scene is putting out at the minute, and that’s saying something as the scene is currently at its peak. Opening track ‘Preacher’ feels like a fan-favourite live right off the bat and the album honestly doesn’t slip on quality afterwards. ‘Vision’ is another huge highlight. ‘Madness’ and ‘Speed Machine’ are both also awesome. ‘Rain’ gives me Alice in Chains vibes in the best way, and also makes the playlist with a bunch of other stuff on this album.

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this album. It’s the best they’ve put out so far and may be one of my favourite albums of the year. CHECK THIS OUT! 9.5/10

New Music Mondays: State Champs, Misery Index and More!

A slightly slower week this week, with no absolutely massive releases or a huge amount of albums out. But still, there was some great new music from the rock and metal world released this week, with six new albums out. Let’s check them out!

STATE CHAMPS: Kings of the New Age

New Yorkian pop-punkers State Champs put out their fourth album last Friday. I have to admit I know the name and have probably heard a track or two, but I never really got much into the modern wave of pop-punk.

However, having said that, this is a pretty damn good album. It’s a little heavier than traditional pop punk, but I also thinks it adds a more anthemic feel to it all. It’s arena pop-punk, and I am shocked it’s taken me this long to listen to it. Obviously the singles are all amazing, but there isn’t a bad track on the album really. I need to check out more from this band and genre ASAP, I think! 8/10

Misery Index: Complete Control

The Maryland based death metal band put out a DAMN heavy death metal album last week. And it’s great. Before Overtone I would never have even attempted to listen to this album, but it’s opened my eyes to a lot of fantastic death metal, this included. The riffs are brutal, crushing awesomeness and the gang vocals means that a few of the tracks are even pretty catchy. Just check out ‘Infiltrators’, it perfectly encapsulates the bands sound and attitude in just two short minutes. Great stuff! 8/10

Cage Fight: Self-Titled

The new band seem to go by so many different labels, be it punk, thrash, metalcore. Either the latter or metalic hardcore is probably the closest to their sound. Either way, it’s fucking fantastic. From the first track of the album I was hooked, and I stayed hooked throughout. I love that we are starting to get more and more female screamers these days as they are showing they can do it just as good as the guys. I also have to gush over just as smooth the transitions between the tracks are. At times I didn’t realise a new song had started until like 30 seconds in. It’s the sign of a great album as it flows perfectly. I was going to say the first X amount of tracks were fantastic, but honestly it just kept rolling with great track after great track! This is a ridiculously strong debut album and they have found a new fan in me! Not a bad track on the album and damn, I need to see them live soon! 9/10

Moon Tooth: Phototroph

The Prog Metallers have been around for a decade now, constantly wowing audiences with their talent and songwriting skill. That continues with Phototroph. Their new music may be their best yet. The guitaring in the opener and ‘Deathwish Blues’ is a technical masterclass, combining both lead and rhythm together perfectly. There are times even the vocals somehow sounds both completely separate from the instrumentation but also the perfect accompaniment. ‘O My Isle’ may be my favourite of the bunch, combining light, catchy sounds with a pretty heavy riff. Another band that I need to check out more of! 8.5/10

Visions of Atlantis: Pirates

It’s like if Nightwish and Alestorm had a lovechild. Symphonic metal about pirates is something I never knew I needed until now, and yet also I’m surprised there isn’t more of. All of it is great, but ‘Master the Hurricane’ is on a level of its own. Unquestionably epic from the string-heavy opening to the massive closing riff, it is how you do symphonic/power metal at its very best. A highlight on an album that also includes the likes of ‘Wild Elysium ‘ is an impressive feat and should hopefully set Visions of Atlantis up to be the next big thing in the sub-genre. 7.5/10

Check out our Powerwolf review here.

Morgue Supplier: Inevitability

If anyone was here last week, you know what’s coming here. It’s death metal. What more do you expect. Granted, this had slightly more groove to it than the typical blast beat and ‘AHHHHH’, but it still didn’t do a great deal for me. As such, I don’t feel qualified to give scores to death metal, as I am just not going to like it enough to give it a good rating, no matter how good at the sub-genre the band is. I’mma give it a 4/10 and hope that works!

Thrasherwolf: ‘every time I’d be greeted with the “James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine’s illegitimate love child” thing!’

Thrasherwolf are, if you couldn’t have guessed it, a thrash band from the UK. The band have been tearing through the underground scene the last couple of years and created a real buzz around themselves, with their debut album definitely helping! We managed to sit down with them just after Derby ALTFEST to talk about the gig, their music and their future!

How was Derby ALTFEST?

Derby ALTFEST was a fantastic event and the crowd were absolutely mental, we had the absolute pleasure to open the event and even though we were the openers there was still a really decent crowd waiting for us. Even got the pleasure of going up on stage with Devestator and doing backing vocals with our Tri-fecta brother Liam from Hellfekted on Devestators cover of “Venom’s – Countess Bathory”! Such a brilliant festival and Liam Barlow our manager and head of Unearthed Music as well as Harry Warren from Beyond Your Design both did a bang up job making sure it all went ahead and all went off without a hitch, for that they both deserve a massive round of a applause. Its only going to get bigger and better next year so people would be fools to miss it!

What’s it been like getting back to gigging after so long being away from it? 

Its honestly been such a relief to get back gigging, shaking off the rust has been an arduous task and having a tour come up sooner than we could shake all the rust off was tough but ultimately one of the best things we have ever done. The Tri-fecta tour forced us to be good, forced us to pull out the big guns and really get tight! There was certainly no more rust after that tour let me tell you! Lockdown may have hurt gigging opportunities but what it really did was give bands the opportunity (whether they’d taken it or not) to work on their online social presence which has only helped us in the long run especially upon our gigging return knowing we had a strong a loyal fan base through our social media coming through into gigs and seeing them in person.

How would you describe your sound?

We’ve been told we sound like quite a few bands that strangely enough could or even could not be called influences, for instance there are times people tell us we sound like a British Kreator whilst the most recent one described us as a dead ringer for venom! Then at most London gigs, every time I’d be greeted with the “James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine’s illegitimate love child” thing which is more than flattering haha
Overall I’d say our sound Is technically old school thrash with modern thrash cross over elements, we deal in all types of Thrash but doesn’t mean we wont be heading in a particular direction later on.

What was it like releasing an album over lockdown and not being able to tour it?

Strangely enough as a band just starting out releasing an album over lockdown was more of a blessing rather than hindrance as it gave us the time to be able to focus on the finer details such as building our online presence on our socials and the careful planning of the PR campaign we had set in place while working with “Imperative PR and MetalMoose/MetalCoffeePR” both of which were a big help in helping us really spread the word about the new album. Not being able to have an album release show or tour it did suck though.

Was the album written and recorded pre-lockdown?

The album itself was written in parts a number of years ago and recorded the year just before Covid hit, I tend to write a lot more than I really should, we currently have 40+ new song guides from which to pick our next few albums from… won’t stop me writing even more though! We were lucky to have everything pretty much ready before the world went to shit.

Are you working on new material yet or still just savouring finally playing the album?

Album 2 is already in the works to be recorded and TRUST ME its gonna be mad! Gonna take everything we are good at and everything people loved from the second album and just times that by a hundred!

If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?

We are already collaborating with the artists we love in Hellfekted and Blacklist, the other members of the Tri-fecta. Other than our Tri-fecta brothers the ultimate dream would be collabing or touring with Kreator. The Ultimate thrash gods!

If you could have written one song, what would it be?

If I could have picked a song I wish was written by us it would be Kreator’s ‘Enemy of God’, love that song to death…I definitely wouldn’t have written the son anywhere near as good though. Kreator are god tier!

Anything to plug? Website, socials, future gigs etc?

We’d love to give shout-outs to the legends that are our management Unearthed Music and the legend that is Liam Barlow as well as our Tri-fecta brothers, all the guys from Hellfketed and Blacklist and also give huge shout-outs to the other bands we have loved sharing the stage with: Devastator, Beyond Your Design, Enquire Within, Dethonator, Detoxen, Bangover, 1000 Scars and so many more. Thank you everyone we have ever worked with who have helped us on the way. Other than that we’d like to ask everyone reading to please like our Facebook and Insta pages and please follow us on Spotify and Bandcamp and help yourself to the tasty merch we have on there as well as keep up with the exciting new merch we have coming! Join our pack today and see you at Thrashchester!

Did you enjoy our interview? Keep up to date on all of them from our Facebook page here.

Arrows in Words from the Sky: Can Robb Flynn and friends regain the fans’ favour after a turbulent few years?

Machine Head has put out some of my favourite music of this millennium, having an almost unmatched run of form in their album output between Through the Ashes of Empires and Bloodstone and Diamonds. However, since the latter album, they have dropped rather dramatically in quality, with 2018s Catharsis being widely shunned by fans due to the change in style and lyric writing. This has also carried over into their singles; from 2016 to now I have found myself cringing at at least a couple of the lyrics in each of them (especially ‘Do or Die’s attempt at calling out his own fanbase) and gone is the epic-lengthed, modern thrash feel of it all, instead stripping back and becoming more basic and lighter, favouring commercial success over quality. However, having not checked out their new EP before this review, I have seen a LOT of people saying it is their best work since The Blackening. A HUGE statement to make, given the quality of Locust and Bloodstone, as well as Blackening itself. I had little hopes for this EP when it was announced and had pretty much given up on Machine Head since Phil Demmel wasn’t allowed to write anymore so left, but these statements have at least piqued my interest. I shall waffle no more; let’s get into the review!

I guess it could be considered the lead single from the EP as it is the one getting pushed the hardest on social media, but ‘Become the Firestorm’ opens it up. Straight away we get a huge drum roll as the guitars slide down into a crazy fast riff reminiscent of ‘In Comes the Flood’. Robb’s powerful scream is immediately present too, the one thing that I can still praise the man to no end for, his voice is fantastic and perfect for this sort of music. It stays pretty heavy and fast throughout the verse, a pretty decent guitar riff and blisteringly quick drums fill out the sound pretty well behind Robb’s surprisingly not cringy lyrics, even if they are a little cliché. We get some pretty interesting backing vocals in the chorus, being a lot more highlighted than they used to be, and Robb’s repeated line makes it pretty catchy. Not the best chorus they have done by a long stretch, but not bad! We get a sick trebled guitar riff coming out of the second chorus as the song slows down, a great bridge that could lead to either a breakdown or guitar solo. It’s the first one. We get an awesome slow breakdown, having an almost nu-metal feel to it with the high notes mixed in there. Robb’s vocals are present throughout most of it, only adding to the heaviness. However, it does lack a little of the emotion that I feel like he used to be so good at injecting into them. Coming out of the breakdown we get a great harmonised guitar riff/solo, showing off their Iron Maiden influence that they like to do pretty often. It then suddenly speeds up into a blistering solo from both Robb and Wacław Kiełtyka, this definitely giving off the Blackening vibes that I have so far not heard. Both guys did fantastically, it being the highlight of the song by far as the music changed just enough multiple times behind the soloing to keep it interesting and give them something new to work with. We get a final double chorus to close things out, a rather needless key change coming out of nowhere for the second half of it. However, it didn’t take too much away from a pretty decent track overall. Playlisted!

‘Rotten’ opens on another big few notes before dropping back down for just a massive-sounding guitar riff and vocals for the verse. It builds pretty perfectly throughout the verse, the lyrics being dark but fitting to the mood, all leading to it dropping out for the last line and sounding awesome. We’re then hit by a surprisingly steady but still heavy riff for a few seconds before it speeds up a fair bit for a brief chorus. It’s again pretty catchy, even if it is simple and far too short in this writer’s humble opinion. It almost gives off punk vibes instead of metal. We get a great little bass solo riff for a bar or two coming out the second chorus before in comes a HEAVY slow guitar riff and maybe one of Robb’s best growls to date, low and powerful. I loved it. It stays crazy heavy with the slow breakdown riff and some heavy screams from Robb before his cleaner singing voice comes in for the second half, sounding great and adding some nice dynamics into it. Another guitar solo comes a little sudden and out of nowhere, but is still pretty quick and technical, again fitting the music behind it pretty well. It wasn’t quite as good as the previous song’s I don’t think, though. We get a nice return of the riff to act as an outro/final chorus, going on a little too long in my opinion, but then again it does fade out so it makes sense, I guess. It’s at least pretty slow and heavy, reminding me of the Davidian outro in that respect. While not as good as the first song, it was still good and I’ll definitely be listening to it again in the coming weeks.

The title track and closing track of the EP is a ballad. Just wanted to put that out there before we got any further with this. Make of that what you will, Machine Head has done some great softer, slower songs before, but they’re usually at least coupled with either some heaviness or so basic that it’s just Robb with some simple backing behind him. This is not that, for the most part. Robb’s vocals come in pretty quick over a nice, clean guitar riff, but his vocals have some pretty interesting, VERY nu-metal/post-grunge effects over the top that I don’t think was necessarily needed. It drops into a pretty nice, distorted guitar riff for the second verse, the effect being taken off the vocals and making it sound a lot better. Robb’s cleans sound better than ever, too. The chorus is kind of nothing, there isn’t too much to it and there is little variation between it and the verses, to the point where I struggled to distinguish the two parts before the song title line being sung. However, the use of backing vocals and harmonies through this are fantastic, adding an epic feel to it all and making me want to hear if they can pull it off live. The pretty heavy riff after the second chorus was fantastic, especially with the whispered vocals and all of the harmonics from the guitars. The lower whispered/growled vocals that join in were awesome too, giving it an almost evil, demonic feel to it, maybe my favourite part of the song. We get a slower, very fitting guitar solo after the breakdown, it being filled with emotion and maybe my favourite on the album, it had a little bit of everything. That crazy low scream from Wacław is back afterward, blowing my mind again as we head into another breakdown. This is heavier than I was expecting from a ballad. However, just as I type that, the song drops out to just clean vocals and a very simple guitar riff, turning light faster than a Poppy song. It turns out it is part of a dynamic double chorus, the second half being distorted guitars again before the clean opening riff takes us home again. This was fantastic, and just this song alone deserves a fair amount of the praise it has been given. Easily playlisted.

Overall: I fall somewhere in the middle with this EP. It was definitely better than anything since Bloodstone, but I wouldn’t put it up there with The Blackening by any stretch. The first two songs felt like a band unsure, trying to find themselves again after a couple of failed style changes and the fans wanting them to stick to the same formula. They were good but felt a tad forced at times. However, that closer was a banger and honestly one of the best slower songs the band has ever produced. I’m interested to see where the band goes from here, as if they build on this for a full-length album in the future, I feel like I’d definitely enjoy it. Just please, Robb, no more rapping or posturing, you’re better than that.

The Score: 6.5/10

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