Judas Priest: Redeemer of Souls
Written by Michael McGeehan    Sunday, 27 July 2014 21:29    PDF Print E-mail

Judas Priest: Redeemer of Souls
Written by Michael McGeehan


THE PRIEST HAS RETURNED! Back with their first release since 2008, the metal gods have put out an album that might be the metal album of the year with "Redeemer of Souls," the bands 17th studio album to date. Rob Halford has never sounded better. The album has that classic Judas Priest sound that had been missing on the band’s previous opus, "Nostradamus." The first track, "Dragonaut," starts off this masterpiece with ripping guitars and bombastic drums from Glenn Tipton and Scott Travis respectively. And it doesn't stop there. Any song on here has that "Screaming For Vengeance" or "Defenders of the Faith" feel to it. "Down in Flames" is evidence enough of this. It's like a time warp and I'm back in 1986 listening to this album. "Secrets of the Damned" could be "Victim of Changes" part two and is quite possibly my favorite on this album. Tipton and newcomer Richie Faulkner, who replaced retired guitarist K.K. Downing, trade off guitar parts and make this song sound perfect. A big surprise on this album is the ballad "Beginning of the End," the last song on this release. Halford, now 62, quite simply is ageless and his voice is incredible on this song. The deluxe version of this album comes with five bonus songs that did not make the original album for whatever reason, but as the true Judas Priest fan that I am, I opted for this version for a total of 18 new songs. It's only August, I know, but I do not see another release this year as my personal best album of the year. Now … GO AND GET THIS, METALHEADS!

Within The Ruins: Phenomena
Written by Steve Wass    Tuesday, 01 July 2014 09:36    PDF Print E-mail

Massachusetts’ metal band Within the Ruins' new album "Phenomena" is a bit of a strange beast. There are undeniable deathcore, progressive, and electronic elements - we get breakdowns, harsh vocals (some, like “Eternal Shore,” are even reminiscent of Lamb of God), sweeping solos, and what I swear sound like chiptunes. The first thing I thought was that if you are into video games and VG remixes, you may really dig this album, particularly the instrumentals. Yes, that's right, not one, but two instrumentals that were oddly placed one after the other. They would provide excellent background music for fighting your way through a dungeon (again, not a bad thing). The eerie synthesizers (check out album closer "Calling Card"), combined with the rather technical guitar and driving bass really make this album unexpectedly smooth. The album really flows, and I think the synth, in particular, really brings everything together. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised how the music was not just cookie cutter, simple and predictable deathcore. There is something else going on here than just breakdowns and attitude ... and I like it.
The Sonic Creeps: A Future Dead
Written by Mike Rocha    Tuesday, 01 July 2014 09:19    PDF Print E-mail

There are many soaring musical genres in Baltimore, but one that really stands out and sometimes seems to be overlooked is horror punk rock. One band that stands out in the genre is The Sonic Creeps.  With very solid music and horror-laden lyrics, The Sonic Creeps’ release of “A Future Dead” shows that this is a subgenre with lots of life in it. With a mix of punk, thrash, and just straight up rock and roll, “A Future Dead” delivers! From the opening marches of “March of the Mutants” to “20 Million Miles to Earth,” the music is a nonstop assault of blazing guitars, killer drums and soaring lyrics. The vocals are very top notch and very reminiscent of Michale Graves. The drums are brutal and fast and keep the pacing and timing with the songs. But, with the famous Dr. Chud of the late ‘90s-era Misfits, would you expect anything less? The production is well done, and you can tell a lot of time was spent to make sure that the quality of the music was made to be a top studio recording!

U.D.O.: Live From Moscow
Written by Steve Wass    Tuesday, 01 July 2014 07:36    PDF Print E-mail

U.D.O.'s new "Live From Moscow" album is a 102-minute long solid slab of metal from ex-Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider and his band. There is only one Accept classic ("Metal Heart"), which makes for a lovely showcase of his underrated solo material instead of being pigeon-holed into playing the same Accept tracks over and over (U.D.O.'s last live offering, "Live in Sofia," boasted six Accept tracks). There really aren't any weak points sonically on this night: Udo's distinctively gravelly goblin voice is still going strong, and his backing band plays their brand of straight ahead metal pretty flawlessly. There's not too much crowd noise and singing along, which is a bit odd for a live album. All in all, there's nothing groundbreaking here, just meat and potatoes metal, but certainly nothing to scoff at. If you haven't been able to catch U.D.O. live, then listening to this should be a fitting testament to their sound.

Doyle: Abominator
Written by Jay Oakley    Tuesday, 10 June 2014 18:52    PDF Print E-mail

The mystique around Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein continues to grow. The legendary Misfits' axe-man has had a few different projects since his departure from the band. His band Gorgeous Frankenstein was heavy, heavy metal and a far departure from the horror punk/metal sound of the previous two eras of the Misfits. Unfortunately, some promotional flaws proved that most fans didn't even know Doyle had a new band, so he wasn't exposed and didn't get the attention he rightfully deserved for having a really stellar band. After multiple personnel changes, but with a solid line-up finally in place, a band decision was made to change the band's name to Doyle's namesake to allow the fans to know exactly what they were getting.

With Doyle on guitar, "Left Hand" Graham on bass, Dr. CHUD on drums and Alex Story on vocals, this band brings an amazing new level to horror metal nostalgia and blows your head off. The animalistic howls of Alex are the sounds that create nightmares and his delivery is absolutely amazing. The vocalist’s ability to write and deliver killer lyrics that make a person say, "Did he just say that?" are incredible and are laid down perfectly. Graham and CHUD are such a stellar rhythm section and they have styles that mesh seamlessly with Doyle's guitar and Alex's vocals. Doyle's playing comes screaming through this record. His riffs are so recognizable that there's no way to listen to this record and not say, "That's Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein on guitar."

With the second record in the can and the third mostly written, we can be ready for much more Doyle in our future. Be scared and be excited.

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