Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013


CD review SEPULTURA "Machine Messiah"

Veröffentlicht am 5. Januar 2017 von Markus W. in Sepultura, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Hardcore, News, CD Review, Nuclear Blast, Heavy Metal

(8/10) My level of curiosity rises when Brazilian thrashers Sepultura announce a new longplayer. The excitement comes less from the question if the new album comes closer again to the earlier releases. It’s more based on the fact that the band constantly improved their sound over the last years, leading to some really good longplayers such as “Kairos” and “The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must be the Heart”.

What sounded a bit bumpy in the early phase of the post-Cavalera era became more and more a strongly smashing metal outfit again. Derrick Green is fully integrated, not a too big of a surprise considering that he joined 19 years ago. Not to forget in this context drummer Eloy Casagrande who joined in 2011. His power of youth added another energy boost to Sepultura.

“Metal Messiah” is the newest record done by the Brazilian quartet, an album that picks it up where the guys ended with “The Mediator…”.

The title track kick-starts this heavy sound experience. To my surprise it begins dark and slow. Green is singing and the riffs are slow and heavy, all with a certain Alice In Chains melody line. The song builds up to a gloomy thrasher while staying in a slower tempo. It’s a good and brave opener that’s followed by a typical Sepultura track called “I Am the Enemy”. This number is pushing from beginning to end. It’s rock-hard and not intended to take prisoners.

Song number three, “Phantom Self” pays attention to the “Roots”-days. Even though there are some oriental samples added, the tune reminds of “Roots Bloody Roots”, esp. when it comes to the chorus.

“Iceberg Dances” is a cool instrumental that refers to the South American roots, “Resistant Parasite” is a grooving metal monster and “Silent Violence” is everything but not ‘silent’. This track is loud and a musical smash in your face. Towards the end Sepultura shifts gears. “Vandals Nest” is an up-tempo number that shows no mercy before the creepy “Cyber God” rounds off an album that contains great thrash metal.

The fourpiece band from Belo Horizonte manages the balancing act of making use of the band’s heritage while developing their sound further onto a next level. The result is a excellent contemporary thrash album that is very well done.





  1. Machine Messiah
  2. I Am The Enemy
  3. Phantom Self
  4. Alethea 
  5. Iceberg Dances
  6. Sworn Oath
  7. Resistant Parasites
  8. Silent Violence
  9. Vandals Nest
  10. Cyber God 


Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: January 13th, 2017

CD review SEPULTURA "Machine Messiah"

CD review SISTER "Stand Up, Forward, March!"

Veröffentlicht am 27. November 2016 von Markus W. in Sister, Hardcore, Sleaze Rock, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock

(7/10) Wohoo. What a storm breaks loose on Sister's new album "Stand Up, Forward, March!". "Destination Dust" is more than an opener. This song is a wake-up call. The Swedish metal gang from Stockholm obviously didn't choose for a slow start into their third longplayer. A mixture of sleaze, metal and punk pushes things forward and the opener is a perfect example for it.

"Stand Up, Forward, March!" is kept dark and grim. Already a quick look at the cover shows that we are miles away from the sunny Hollywood Boulevard. Songs like "Trail of Destruction" are gloomy ones that sounds like a mixture of Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie with a well-done guitar solo in the middle section. Even the softer moment, like the beginning of "Carry On", are, based on Jamie Anderson's coarse voice, everything but not romantic and soft. This guy screams as there would be no tomorrow.

"Let it Bleed" is another song that is worth to be mentioned. The tunes stands very much for this dark mood with bringing a Rammstein vibe together with the mentioned harsh voice and a slowly but merciless pushing beat, all together making the song to a creepy rock beast.

As mentioned earlier, Anderson's voice is special and you either like it or not, but in the end it's the passion and energy that make this album to a good release. For the rest we can conclude that the band doesn't re-invent hardrock and metal music, but they support keeping a "Swedish" hardrock sound alive that was developed by bands like the Backyard Babies and Co. many years ago.





  1. Destination Dust
  2. Carved In Stone
  3. Lost In Line
  4. Trail Of Destruction
  5. Carry On
  6. Unbeliever
  7. Let It Bleed
  8. Liberation Song
  9. Dead Man's Dirt
  10. Endangered Species
  11. Piece Of Shame


Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: November 25th, 2016

CD review SISTER "Stand Up, Forward, March!"

New IRON REAGAN album in February

Veröffentlicht am 17. November 2016 von Markus W. in Iron Reagan, News, Crossover, Thrash Metal, Hardcore, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, Punk

American crossover punks Iron Reagan are planning the release of their next album. "A Dying World", that's the title of the longplayer and here is the tracklist:

01. A Dying World
02. You Never Learn
03. Grim Business
04. Dead With My Friends
05. No Sell
06. Condition Evolution
07. Fuck the Neighbors
08. Power of the Skull
09. Crossover Ministry
10. More War
11. Blatant Violence
12. Parents of Tomorrow
13. Bleed the Fifth
14. Megachurch
15. Shame Spiral
16. Dogsnotgods
17. Eat or be Eaten
18. Twist Your Fate


The album will hit the shelfs on February 3rd and comes via Relapse Records.

New IRON REAGAN album in February

CD review SICK OF IT ALL "When the Smoke Clears"

Veröffentlicht am 13. November 2016 von Markus W. in Sick Of It All, Hardcore, Punkrock, Punk, News, CD Review

(8/10) Fans can look back on three decades of Sick Of It All - an anniversary the band celebrates together with their fans by releasing a new EP with five tracks that are reflecting Sick Of It All with 100%.

The New York hardcore dinosaur stays true to themselves. These five songs don't deliver epical soundscapes. The total running time is 11 minutes which stands for brutal hardcore reduced to its essence.

The first two minutes are used by the grooving opener "When the Smoke Clears". This song belongs to the best ones the band has published up till now. With "Black Venom" this get even more aggressive, showing a band that is still hungry.

Compared to the more metallic expression of "Black Venom it's "Doomed Campaign" that reflects Sick Of It All's punk influences with a melodic chorus included that makes it stick to your mind in no time.

Things continue with the intense "Blood & Steel" before "Fortress" rounds of an EP that includes everything fans of the band want to listen to. Aggressiveness, groove, shouts, riffs and unstoppable energy, all boiled down to five songs that are a pleasure for supporters of the band as well as giving newcomers a clear overview of what to expect from all the earlier studio releases of the genre-influencing band.

This was the musical section of "When the Smoke Clears", but fans get even more since there is a 60 pages booklet included in this release. The CD provides you with sonic overview of 30 years of Sick Of It All and it's the booklet that visualizes the years between 1986 and 2016. It's filled with a lot of great photos and some liner notes, all in all a comprehensive documentation featuring the various steps of one of the most important hardcore bands.





  1. When the Smoke Clears
  2. Black Venom
  3. Doomed Campaign
  4. Blood & Steel
  5. Fortress


Label: Century Media

Genre: Hardcore

Release Date EU: November 4, 2016


CD review SICK OF IT ALL "When the Smoke Clears"

CD review WAKRAT "Wakrat"

Veröffentlicht am 11. November 2016 von Markus W. in Wakrat, RATM, Prophets Of Rage, Crossover, Punk, Hardcore, News, CD Review, notmypresident

(7/10) As already reported earlier, Wakrat is the name of a cooperation of one American and two Frenchmen. Tim Commerford is the bassplayer of this trio, known from the iconic Rage Against Machine and the ground winning Prophets Of Rage. The four-stringer teamed up with drummer Mathias Wakrat and Laurant Grangeon on guitar to work on an album that is coming with raging songs that all have a message.

It's not a coincidence that the digital version of this longplayer was released on November 9 - election day in the US. The three guys speak up, addressing topics such as a corrupt system going hand in hand with social unjustice. Wakrat has something to say and these guys just shout it out into the world.

The music on this album has a similar energetic and anarchic expression as known from Rage Against The Machine. Wakrat merges it with a more aggressive punk attitude and a hardcore vibe, all captured in nine songs.

Things start spot-on with "Sober Addiction" followed by the hard hitting "The Number" and song titles like "Generation Fucked" don't need much more of an explanation. A smasher you should listen to is "The Thing" with its power and groove, reminding of the earlier Helmet.

"Wakrat" is a debut album that comes with a message, one that is even more needed since a few days. This album is wild, raging and angry. The youth needs to speak up and this longplayer provides the soundtrack for it.





  1. Sober Addiction
  2. The Number
  3. Generation Fucked
  4. Nail in the Snail
  5. La Liberté Ou La Mort
  6. The Thing
  7. Knucklehead
  8. New Car
  9. Pigs in a Blanket


Label: Earache

Genre: Crossover

Release Date EU: November 11, 2016

CD review WAKRAT "Wakrat"

"Choosing Death - Die Unglaubliche Geschichte von Death Metal und Grindcore geht weiter..."

Veröffentlicht am 27. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Book, Death Metal, Grindcore, Punk, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal, Hardcore, News, Review

When death metal and grindcore started in the mid 80's things began slow, but not easy. And it wasn't a silent start either. These extreme styles in heavy metal have been like a blast wthin the existing metal scene, adding a new shade to heavy music.

Author Albert Mudrian took these genres and did a deep dive into the history of death metal and gringcore. The result is an impressing book that starts with the very early days when hardcore, metal and ounk merged to a new sound that grew over time.

The new version of "Choosing Death" is a entirely re-worked version that includes three extra chapters which mean 100 additional pages. A nice xtra comes at the end when a discogrpahy lists the most influencial longplayers - starting with Possessed's "Seven Churches" up to records like Hate Eternal' "Infernus" from 2015.

All in all this book is well-done, fact-based and entertaining. If you always wanted to know more about the roots and the history of death metal and grindcore, then you should read this book that could be a nice Christams present too.


"Choosing Death - Die unglaubliche Geschichte von Death Metal und Grindcore geht weiter.."

I.P. Verlag

Release Date EU: September 19th, 2016

376 pages and 399 photos/illustrations


"Choosing Death - Die Unglaubliche Geschichte von Death Metal und Grindcore geht weiter..."

First teaser from the upcoming LIFE OF AGONY album

Veröffentlicht am 17. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Life Of Agony, Alternative Metal, Modern Metal, News, Hardcore, Groove Metal, Heavy Metal

Brooklyn's hard rock legends Life Of Agony recently signed a worldwide record deal with Napalm Records. They are currently hard at work on their new album and Napalm Records debut A Place Where There's No More Pain, which is due in early 2017. The first audio sample from A Place Where There's No More Pain are available to listen to in an exclusive album teaser courtesy of Rolling Stone HERE.

Life Of Agony returned to the stage and performed on multiple festival dates in Europe over the summer of 2014. The famed River Runs Red line-up, of vocalist Mina Caputo, guitarist Joey Z, bassist Alan Robert and drummer Sal Abruscato were excited to take the stage together once again after a three-year hiatus.

Stay tuned for more.

First teaser from the upcoming LIFE OF AGONY album

CD review HEAVEN SHALL BURN "Wanderer"

Veröffentlicht am 18. September 2016 von Markus W. in Metalcore, CD Review, Heaven Shall Burn, News, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Hardcore, Death Metal

(9/10) My first Heaven Shall Burn moment was "Endzeit". For many years this was, at least for me, one of the best songs the band ever released. "Endzeit" includes this apocalyptic rage, translated into a music experience that was and is outstanding.

2016 is the year that I had to revise this perception. "Wanderer" is a true competition for "Endzeit" since the album, their eighth release, is a terrific one. I even would go that far saying that "Wanderer" is the strongest release of the five-piece. The guys put the hardcore and metalcore a bit aside which, as a counter effect, strengthens the metallic parts on their new longplayer. "Wanderer" became a blistering sonic attack that shows the entire spectrum of Heaven Shall Burn.

"The Loss of Fury" begins silent and harmonic, almost as a kind of embedded intro. But it doesn't take too long before the song turns into a slowly creeping track that's dominated by Marcus Bischoff's vocals and heavy riff by Maik Weichert and Alexander Dietz.

"Bring the War Home" means shifting up at least one gear. It's a highly dynamic metal track that includes some metalcore parts by, in general, moving more towards death metal. The harmonic guitars reminded me partly of Amon Amarth.

A relaxed prelude marks the beginning of "Passage of the Crane" which is the next highlight on the album. Also to mention "Downshifter", a brutal six minutes masterpiece with a perfect mix of anger, despair, power and groove. Very well done I would say.

"Prey to God" instead is the most uncompromissing tune on the album, a song that gets, with it's grunts and growls, very close to pure death metal.

"My Heart is My Compass" is a kind of halftime break before "Save Me" kicks-off the second part of "Wanderer". And in case you have the idea that these songs are less demanding you're wrong. The quality, the power, the message and the brutality continues. Best song on the 'b-side' is "Corium" which comes with a more moderate pace and a true death metal expression. The embedded melodic parts give extra spice to this track.

The end is close whenh the first notes of "The Cry of Mankind" reach your ears and mind. With seven and a half minutes it's by far the longest track on the album. It's a My Dying Bride cover with a guest appearance of Sólstafir's Aòalbjörn Tryggvason who joined Heaven Shall Burn for some vocals. The tune is a dark and progressive one. It has a certain melancholy included, sounds slightly different than most of the tracks and is still 100% Heaven Shall Burn. Some parts of this interpretation made me think of German doom thrasher number one, Undertow. It's the way how the clean vocal parts are arranged which gave me this impression. However, these moments are just a few while the track a slow paced death metal masterpiece that is a champion on an album full of winners.

Also to mention the great artwork, done by photographer Christian Thiele. The contrast and the common features of the visual expression and the musical outburst couldn't be done better. The peaceful calmness of the artwork and the raging energy of the music go together as a statement for the wandering through chaos, change and clarity, finding some more inner peace.

"Wanderer" is big. It's a milestone in German metal, done by a band that belongs to the most important ones these days. Hats off!





  1. The Loss of Fury
  2. Bring the War Home
  3. Passageof the Crane
  4. They Shal Not Pass
  5. Downshifter
  6. Prey to God
  7. My Heart is my Compass
  8. Save Me
  9. Corium
  10. Extermination Order
  11. A River of Crimson
  12. The Cry of Mankind


Label: Century Media

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: September 23rd, 2016

CD review HEAVEN SHALL BURN "Wanderer"

CD review BENT LIFE "Never Asked for Heaven"

Veröffentlicht am 1. September 2016 von Markus W. in Bent Life, Hardcore, News, CD Review, Thrash Metal, Groove Metal, Punk

(7/10) After having released several singles and EP's Bent Life recently finalized work on their debut album "Never Asked for Heaven" which was published a few weeks ago. Bent Life is Andy Voorhees (v), Brock Stephens (g), Chanse Goetz (d) Chris Miller (g) and Nick Miller (b). This five-piece band recorded 10 songs that they put on their first longplayer.

The guys from Nebraska didn't appear on the scene for making compromises. Their hardcore is straight-forward, coming with a lot of anger and rage. It's furious songs that are mostly around two minutes long, with one main exception. "Cheating Death" has an almost epical length of four minutes and is kept on slower pace. There are some metal riffs included and in general the track has an enormous groove. It's one of the tracks on this release that belongs to my favorite ones. Another tune that's done in this fashion is "War" and it reminded me of Pantera.

But next to these slower paced songs there are the fast ones too and it's the first half of this record that includes more of them. After a metal-influenced opener "Introduction" hell breaks loose with "Lock". Less then two minutes means compressed power, leading to the pure essence of hardcore. "Stab Me' is done similar even though it has a break halfway with things getting more groovy. It's a bit of Hatebreed that's included in this number.

"Permanence", the closer, is a heavy and uncontrolled bulldozer that rolls over everything that could withstand the noise attacks up till then.

"Never Asked for Heaven" is an angry hardcore album with metal links. It's a 100% energizer that sounds good and feels good.





  1. Introduction
  2. Lock
  3. Thanks for Nothing
  4. Hands of Lead
  5. Stab Me
  6. Cheat Death
  7. Kick
  8. Painless
  9. War
  10. Permanence


Label: Bridge 9

Genre: Hardcore

Release date EU: August 5th, 2016

CD review BENT LIFE "Never Asked for Heaven"

New SUICIDAL TENDENCIES album in September

Veröffentlicht am 7. August 2016 von Markus W. in Suicidal Tendencies, Hardcore, Punk, Skatecore, News, Dave Lomardo, Mike Muir

"World Gone Mad" is the name of Suicidal Tendencies' next studio album that will be released on September 30 via Suicidal Records.

Some new musicians joined the band for the recording session but also for touring activities. No less than Dave Lombardo takes a seat behind the drum kit while Ra Diaz on bass completes the rhythm section. Last but not least Jeff Pogan joins as guitarist.

Bandleader Mike Muir describes the collaboration with Dave Lombardo: "It's interesting, because a lot of people, obviously, associate Dave with the Slayer sound. When you hear how he literally attacks the various STyles on this album, you're instantly blown away at not only how insane of a drummer he is, but also how tremendously diverse a drummer he is. Dave is a true legend, but I believe even a lot of his most hard core fans will be blown away at what he’s brought to this record."

Dave Lombardo states: “I think it's very typical and very traditional Suicidal Tendencies. It's that unforgettable style. It's Mike Muir. He is a legend and has a very special style in which he writes his music, his lyrics and his structures. And I love it; I love it. It takes me back to how it all started, which was that punk attitude. I'm very happy to be a part of his organization. I feel very welcomed. I feel very much appreciated, and there's a lot camaraderie and respect amongst the musicians. We have a really good time together. We hang out as a band, which is very important. I'm honored to be a part of Mikes legacy and can't wait for this album to drop."

New SUICIDAL TENDENCIES album in September

CD review RINGWORM "Snake Church"

Veröffentlicht am 7. August 2016 von Markus W. in Ringworm, Hardcore, Thrash Metal, News, CD Review, Punkrock, Groove Metal

(8/10) Two years after having released “Hammer of the Witch” Cleveland, Ohio based Ringworm comes with a new album called “Snake Church”. For the ones of you that never heard of the band I can describe their sound as a mixture of hardcore and thrash. You can think about Hatebreed, which gives you a good reference.

However, the quintet is already in business since 1991, having had a short break between 1994 and 1999; and actually things became more focused in the ‘second era’. Five out of six records have been published in this period, followed by the next longplayer.

“Snake Church” is Ringworm’s next strike and it’s more focused. The guys never wrote songs with an epical length, but on the new album things became even more concentrated. With the exception of three tunes all tracks are kept under three minutes level. This means that there is no space for all the bells and whistles. “Snake Church” is like a hit in the face, fast, hard, aggressive and uncompromising.

Eventhough the longer songs are a minority on this album they are still belonging to the best ones. Ringworm has more potential than just shooting some fast tracks into the metal orbit. “Shades of Blue” is a slow doomy track that includes some sludge elements. Which isn’t a too bad mélange. Another number from this category is the title track with some spoken words as an intro. Also this number has a more moderate pace in the beginning before it builds up to a brutal hardcore smasher.

Next to these tracks there are the straightforward ones like “Angel of War” or “Destroy or Create”, songs that are aggressive, groovy and with a lot of anger. I guess that Ringworm heard some Slayer during the songwriting process since “The Apparition” has more than one link to Tom Araya and gang, or is it only me that had to think about “Raining Blood” while listening to this song?

“Snake Church” might not be a milestone in metal history, but it’s a longplayer that is well done, has cool songs and gives you 32 minutes of distilled energy.





  1. Snake Church
  2. Brotherhood of the Midnight Sun
  3. Fear the Silence
  4. The Black Light of a Living Ghost
  5. Destroy or Create
  6. Shades of Blue
  7. Innocent Blood
  8. The Apparition
  9. Believer
  10. The Razor and the Knife
  11. Angel of War
  12. Temple of the Wolves


Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Hardcore

Release Date EU: July 29th, 2016

CD review RINGWORM "Snake Church"

New tour dates from LIFE OF AGONY

Veröffentlicht am 15. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in Life Of Agony, LOA, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Thrash Metal, Hardcore, Modern Metal, Groove Metal

As mentioned in an earlier post, LOA drummer Abruscato was injured causing the band to cancel their upcoming European tour dates. Sal will be fully recovered soon and the band will be returning to Europe this November. The European jaunt kicks off November 13th in Vienna, Austria and runs through December 10th in Aalborg, Denmark.


Here are the dates for Europe plus two North America shows:

LIFE OF AGONY Northeast Dates:

9/30: Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall

10/2: Lakewood, NJ @ Rock Carnival Festival

LIFE OF AGONY European Tour:

11/13: Vienna, Austria @ Simm City

11/15: Gdansk, Poland @ Stary Manez

11/16: Warsaw, Poland @ Progresia Music Zone

11/18: Aschaffenburg, Germany @ Coolste

11/19: Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Klokgebouw

11/30: Saarbrucken, Germany @ The Garage

12/1: Bochum, Germany @ Zeche

12/3: Augsburg, Germany @ Kantine

12/4: Herford, Germany @ TBD

12/6: Hamburg, Germany @ Markthalle

12/8: Stockholm, Sweden @ Fryshuset Klubben

12/9: Gothenburg, Sweden @ Sticky Fingers

12/10: Aalborg, Denmark @ Aalborg Metal Festival

Photo: Napalm Records (Promo)

Photo: Napalm Records (Promo)


CD review TRUE LOVE "Heaven's Too Good for Us"

Veröffentlicht am 14. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in True Love, Hardcore, Punkrock, Punk, News, CD Review

(7/10) In case you're only reflecting on the name of the band and the title of the album you might end up in total shock and confusion. What looks like a compilation  of love songs is basically the total opposite. True Love has only one 'true love' and that's for hardcore.

The straight-edge band from Detroit releases their awaited debut called "Heaven's Too Good for Us" which features 13 songs that are all a sonic punch in your face. The record comes with a playing time of 17 minutes which means that there is for sure no space for frills and decoration.

Each of the numbers on "Heaven's Too Good for Us" is a musical blast that is not intended to take prisoners. This longplayer is spot-on and demands a lot from the listener. Like in a twister you're pushed around over 17 minutes and in the end you're spit out, not knowing what exactely happened to you. This is "Heaven's Too Good for Us".

From the first note of "Piece for a Piece" to the last tone on "Stay True" True Love pushes the pedal to the metal; the latter reaches with two minutes an almost epical length.

"Heaven's Too Good for Us" stands for energetic hardcore, angry shouts and many breaks. 





  1. Piece For a Piece
  2. Your Side
  3. Out in the Streets Pt. 1
  4. Kill For That
  5. Midnight People
  6. Young to Die
  7. Where It Ends
  8. Chained Melody
  9. The One and Only
  10. Out in the Streets Pt. 3
  11. Meant to Take
  12. Énouement
  13. Stay True


Label: Bridge 9

Genre: Hardcore

Release Date EU: July 1st, 2016

CD review TRUE LOVE "Heaven's Too Good for Us"

CD review BURN "...From the Ashes"

Veröffentlicht am 13. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in Burn, Hardcore, News, CD Review

(6/10) Burn started before I was really interested in hardcore music. It was in 1989 when the guys released their self-titled debut before the band hibernated for a few years after singer Chaka Malik left the band. Burn never officially disbanded but it took  them till 2001 to come back with an new EP.

"From the Ashes" is the next sign of life and it's again an EP. Three songs made it on this disc and provide you with nine minutes of hardcore. The songs are quite different. The opener "Drums of War" is a weird number that feels more like different fragments that are combined but don't really fit. I listened to the tune a few times, but it never brought me to a real 'wow' moment.

"You Can't Stop Me" is number two in the batting order and it's better than the opener. It's a fast and basic hardcore number that sounds more oldschool. Things get more groovy with "We Don't Stand a Chance" which takes again a while to grow.

"... From the Ashes" is probably a good title for this EP that features a triple of hardcore songs that are special and that you have to get used to.





  1. Drums of War
  2. You Can't Stop Me
  3. We Don't Stand a Chance


Label: Bridge 9

Genre: Hardcore

Release Date EU: July 15th, 2016

CD review BURN "...From the Ashes"
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