Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

el puerto records

CD review MISSION IN BLACK "Anthems of a Dying Breed"

Veröffentlicht am 29. April 2018 von Markus W. in Mission In Black, Anthems of a Dying Breed, El Puerto Records, Power Metal, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review

CD review MISSION IN BLACK "Anthems of a Dying Breed"

(7/10) Mission In Black is a rather new metal outfit hailing from Germany. Now 'new' might not be fully correct since it was in 2010 when a first demo has been recorded, followed by some shows, supporting bands like Brainstorm and Mystic Prophecy. 

It's five musicians that started their 'mission in black'. Becky Gaber (v), Daniel Tschoepe (g), Andy Flache (d), Martin Grimm (g) and Hannes Jäger (b), that's Mission In Black and some names sound probably familiar. Some guys have been part of South German thrashers Spellbound while Martin Grimm played at Mystic Prophecy. 

The quintet inked a contract with German El Puerto label and finally, eight years after their "Black Infect" demo, the debut is ready to be shipped to the record stores. The longplayer consists out of 13 songs that the label info describes as thrash metal. This is definitely the case but there's also a strong power metal influence present through-out. Listening to the melodies and leads reminds me more of Mystic Prophecy than thrash. The latter comes more forefront with the straight-on "Judgement Day".

What stands out are the hoarse vocals of singer Becky Gaber. It took me a while to get used to it. That Gaber has good vocal skills is what becomes obvious with the clean vocals sections, but it's the husky parts that become a bit annoying over time.

Besides this smaller side note "Anthems of a Dying Breed" became an aggressive and powerful debut that also benefits from a proper production and a well-crafted sound. Good music in known territory.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Premonition of Chaos
  2. Welcome the Apocalypse
  3. Cold Wings of Vengeance
  4. World on Fire
  5. Judgement Day
  6. Mission in Black
  7. Oceans of Blood
  8. Into the Flames
  9. Godless
  10. Where Demons Sleep
  11. God Forbidden
  12. The Beast Within
  13. First Comes the Blood

 

Label: El Puerto Records

Genre: Power/Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: May 5th, 2018

 

 

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UNDERTOW announces new album for late summer 2018

Veröffentlicht am 25. April 2018 von Markus W. in Undertow, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, El Puerto Records, News

Photo: Markus Wolf (El Puerto Records Promo)

Photo: Markus Wolf (El Puerto Records Promo)

UNDERTOW want to know it again!
For that reason, they signed a "worldwide deal" with  El Puerto Records last week!

Guitarist Markus Brand is sure:
"After 25 years of underground, it is time to take a big step forward and El Puerto want to and will support us actively. We're glad incredible on joint work and hungrier than ever. This will be clearly heard on the new record! "

Also on label side one is fully convinced:

Torsten Ihlenfeld is „As proud as punch on our latest signing! With UNDERTOW, one of my alltime favorit and long running german metal band signed to EL PUERTO RECORDS! Welcome to the team guys!“


The first details of the new CD will be released shortly. Release date will be in September 2018.

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CD review ALIGHT "Spiral of Silence"

Veröffentlicht am 23. April 2018 von Markus W. in Alight, Spiral of Silence, News, El Puerto Records, CD Review, Melodic Metal, Symphonic Metal, Dark Metal

CD review ALIGHT "Spiral of Silence"

(7/10) It was the 90’s peak of gothic metal and the evolving female-fronted symphonic metal some years later that acted as a source of inspiration for South Tyrolean drummer Mirko Montresor to start a band that he named Alight. This happened in 2005 and since then the release of the band’s debut and some line-up changes took place. The latter has been the hinder for using the debut and several tours as a springboard for reaching a wider crowd of fans.

It looks like the stormy days are over here and now. The band from Bozen, Italy signed a contract with El Puerto Records and it’s the sophomore album “Spiral of Silence” that will be available in the record stores almost nine years after the debut hit the shelves.

The band’s second album features ten new songs, representing the earlier mentioned roots and inspiration. Tracks like the opener “Spiral of Silence” are good melodic metal tunes. Alight never gets too soft and sugar sweet. There is enough firepower for metalheads embedded in each of the songs without getting too heavy either. Guitars are present as well as keyboards create a melodic foundation for songs like “Psiche”.

The album doesn’t need a lot of loops to reveal some beauty. Tracks like the catchy “Lost in the Past” bloom immediately since one thing is for certain – the band has a great sense for harmonies and hooks. Last but not least the entire album sounds quite modern and I was reminded more than once of Swedish Drain STH in their “Simon Says”-days as well as I had to think of Lacuna Coil.

All in all I can conclude that “Spiral of Silence” is gloomy rocking record with songs that will not win an innovation award, but catches you with hooks and melodies, both hard to resist.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Spiral of Silence
  2. The Portal
  3. Psiche
  4. Lost In The Past
  5. Walk To the Line
  6. Roses in the Dusk
  7. The Shame
  8. Look Closer
  9. Absence of Essence
  10. Let Me Touch the Horizon

 

Label: El Puerto Records

Genre: Gothic Metal

Release Date EU: April 27th, 2018

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UNDERTOW signed with El Puerto Records

Veröffentlicht am 18. April 2018 von Markus W. in Undertow, El Puerto Records, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, News

UNDERTOW signed with El Puerto Records

German metal powerhouse Undertow inked a deal with El Puerto Records. Really good news and hopefully a new record soon :) Stay tuned.

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CD review STEPFATHER FRED "Enhancer"

Veröffentlicht am 13. April 2018 von Markus W. in Stepfather Fred, News, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Rock, El Puerto Records, CD Review, Hardrock

CD review STEPFATHER FRED "Enhancer"

(8/10) The first things that stand out from a lot of other bands is the name. I can’t tell you who inspired Stepfather Fred for choosing such a name, but it’s for sure an unusual one in rock and metal.

The first time I was confronted with the name was during Brainstrom’s release show for the “Scary Creatures” album. The ‘stepfathers’ have been the opening act that night and the first impression wasn’t a too band one. Even their music is slightly different from the powerful metal supplied by Brainstorm but the guys could score and also deserved the warm applause.

The debut was released some months later and another two years further down the road it’s time for the next strike. Stepfather Fred is into alternative rock and metal. That’s what they offered on the debut and that’s what is captured on “Enhancer” too.

The first recognizable thing with the new album is the fact that it sounds much tighter compared with the debut. One thing leading to a dense sound if, next to the production, the extensive touring. The German quartet ignites a musical fireworks that’s actually pretty impressive. ‘Youth gone wild’ could have been the credo for the four-piece band during their time in the studio.

Things start wild and furious with “I Have to End” which is definitely a starting point more than an end. Rock vibes are in focus with “Alone in the Ground” and it’s the calmer tone that show the entire width of Stepfather Fred’s sound. Mentioning ‘calmer tones’ doesn’t mean that the latter is ballad. Not at all. It’s more a moderate paced song with a calmer verse and an energetic chorus, a combination that makes the song to one of the best ones on the entire album.

Another song I would like to mention in this context “Cut My Strings” that reminds with its bassline very much of Nirvana. Not that it’s a copycat. The song is really different from Kurt Cobain and mates, but the four string is for sure inspired by songs like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

What benefits the mentioned three songs but also the other ten tracks on the album are mainly two things. It’s the coarse voice of frontman Sebastian Schuster that gives each tune on the album a harsh expression, helping a lot in making this album to a rocking one. These great vocals in combination with some six-string firepower, provided by Simon Schweiger, gives Stepfather Fred the dynamic needed.

“Enhancer” is the second album of a band that progressed a lot over the last years. This album is an entertaining alternative metal release, build on pure passion and enthusiasm.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. I Have To End
  2. Alone In the Ground
  3. This Is Me
  4. Prime Time
  5. Die Hard - Live Fast
  6. Full Metal Jacket
  7. Cut My Strings
  8. Speed of Life
  9. One Second Alive
  10. Take Control
  11. Halo
  12. Focus
  13. My Way to You          

 

Label: El Puerto Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: April 27th, 2018

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CD review SOULDRINKER "War is Coming"

Veröffentlicht am 15. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Souldrinker, El Puerto Records, News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, CD Review

CD review SOULDRINKER "War is Coming"

(8/10) Sometimes it’s interesting what comparisons are mentioned in conjunction with a new release. In this case Pantera and Amon Amarth brought up and I wonder where the idea comes from. Souldrinker has, in my humble opinion, nothing to do with thrash metal a la Pantera, nor I could find any link with Swedish Vikings of Amon Amarth. What gives a good idea about Souldrinker’s sound though is by taking a glimpse into the history of co-founder Markus Pohl. The guitarist has been part of Mystic Prophecy, a clear indication of what to expect.

Souldrinker, active already since 2012, is a power metal outfit that released two EP’s and finally got the chance to ink a deal. It was Swabian El Puerto Records, home of bands like Witchbound, who signed this powerhouse from Stuttgart with the debut being in the starting blocks as we speak.

“War is Coming” is the name of the debut that comes with ten energetic power metal tracks, all including a good sense for melodies and hook. Next to harsh and mighty riffs it’s singer Iris Boanta who’s a win for these songs. Her energetic and raspy metal voice is a perfect match with this kind of metal, enriching songs like the moderate "Promised Land" and "Final Stand", which is a true power metal anthem. All this couldn’t fly if there wouldn’t be a rhythm section that’s pushing hard. Chris Rodens and Steffen Theurer do their best to give the album the right punch, an aim they scored with when it comes to “War is Coming”.

Last but not least I would like to mention the powerful sound the album comes with. Tom Mueller  took care about the production while Eike Freese was at the helm when it comes to mastering. Both guys gave the album a hefty sound that underlines to joy of power metal.

Souldrinker’s debut is a rock solid album. It’s a positive surprise, an album that sticks out of the mass by its metal ingredients. But as so often, it’s not only the ingredients you use that make the difference, it’s also the way how you out them together, the latter being something Souldrinker definitely succeeded with too. Good stuff from Swabia.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Let the King Bleed
  2. Souldrinker
  3. Promised Land
  4. To the Tick
  5. Take My Pain
  6. Like Rain…
  7. Raise the Flag
  8. Fire Raiser
  9. Voices
  10. Final Stand

 

Label: El Puerto Records

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: November 3rd, 2017

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