(7/10) Nuclear Assault is one of the those metal dinosaurs that are an essential part of the metal scene by still being not that very well known. They are the underground.
Dan Lilker and band mates have been around already since 1985. The guys have been one of the flagships of the New York metal scene in the 80's. Together with Anthrax, S.O.D. and Overkill the quartet belonged to the most important representatives of east coast metal. The bands debut from 1986, "Game over", is still a classic when it comes to a mix of hardcore and thrash metal.
A few more records later the band decided to disband in 1994, before they came back again in 2002 for some live shows. Another three years later "Third world genocide" was published and it took Nuclear Assault another ten year to release the new EP "Pounder".
The EP comes with four new songs that represent all the Nuclear Assault trademarks. "Pounder", the title track, is an raging thrash metal track with a merciless pushing rhythm section. It's a fast metal anthem that also could have been on "Game over" too.
"Lies" takes over. The tune is kept a bit slower and is built on a heavy riff. Again, oldschool thrash that doesn't focus on musical perfection. It's the raw power that Nuclear Assault embedded in the four new tracks.
The more hardcore/punk like "Analog man" is the next station on this energetic journey before the slower "Died in your arms" closes the EP. This song starts slow with some vocal lines that are different from the rest of the album. It almost sounds like being inspirend by Danzig. An interesting track, even though the other three ones are better.
Nuclear Assault is definetely back. This EP is the best I heard from the band since "Game over' and I hope the guys have the chance to record a full-length album pretty soon. So far enjoy this EP. A real 12" 'pounder'.
Genre: Thrash Metal
Release date EU: Already released
(7/10) After having had released an album with dark rocker Darkhouse Gary Meskil is back with his own band Pro-Pain and a new album. This time it is fourteen new songs that the four-piece from New York recorded and pressed on the longplayer. "Voice of rebellion" is the name of the new disc and it became a typical Pro-Pain record.
On their 15. studio record the guys go back to their roots and their old strength. If you know the band already from the previous releases I can tell you that you will also get pure Pro Pain with "Voice of rebellion". It is typical raging Pro Pain hardcore that is spread out over fourteen new songs.
Meskil's angry vocals, the pumping bass and heavy riffs are the trademarks of the band from New York City and you will find them all on the newest release. This continuity could easily seen as something boring, since it is repetition. But it's not. Pro Pain's sound is exciting enough so that smaller nuances makes each new record interesting. Also this one. In one or another way it's the same thing only different - and this is OK. It's those small things like the guitar solo on "No fly zone" or the forceful double bass in "Enraged" that make the difference.
What I like with Pro Pain is the unbounded energy the guys transfer with every song. Having this power in their songs combined with an major groove like in " "Cognitive dissonace" and " Hellride" makes "Voice of rebellion" to another cool record of the four-piece band.
Pro Pain is Pro Pain. Meskil and band mates keep it clean. Other musical ambitions and influences will be let out in other cooperations like the mentioned Darkhouse.
If you're a fan of the band you can easily go for this album.
(9/10) Hardcore titans Agnostic Front have worked on a new album. It's out now and Roger Miret and band mates kick-ass.
The legendary band from New York has still a lot to say and there are a many things that needs to be addressed.
Already the intro with the various samples make clear that the band is still the voice for bringing up social injustices. Even though the band is already three decades in business and they are well established, they never became a part of the establishment. The guys are still angry and pissed which made them write aggressive hardcore anthems like “Police riot” and the harsh “Social justice”.
My personal highlight on the album is the declaration of love to their hometown New York. “The greatest city of the world, but just don’t feel the same. I miss the old New York” says it all. Things changed in the Big Apple since money is taking over and wipes away step by step this divers melting pot of creativity. Next to that the songs also is written in an excellent way. Some spoken worlds take the role of an intro to a melodic, but heavy hardcore song. It sticks immediately and you can’t stand still while listening to it.
What support the music of the five-piece is the great productions. This album is an energetic blast and regardless if it’s the fast tracks “No war fuck you” or the more grooving ones “Test in time” – you just want to jump. Freddy Cricien did an excellent job here and created the foundation for the songs to shine.
Agnostic Front are still belonging to the major league of hardcore and the band proves that ages doesn’t matter if you’re passionate and dedicated in what you’re doing. Well-deserved nine points.
Label: Nuclear Blast
Iron Reagan is on tour in Europe and here are the dates:
April 30 - Dunkerque, FR - Les 4 Ecluses
May 01 - Meerhout, BE - Groezrock Festival
May 02 - Nantes, FR - Nantes Hardcore Festival
May 04 - Bourg en Bresse, FR - La Tannerie
May 05 - Schweiz, DE - TBC
May 06 - Koln, DE - Underground
May 07 - Osnabruck, DE - Bastard Club
May 08 - Berlin, DE - Cassiopeia
May 09 - Andernach, DE - JUZ Live Club
Jun 18 - Copenhagen, DK - Copenhell Festival
Jun 19 - Haarlem, NL - Patronaat
Jun 20 - Hiausterdyk, NL - Dokk'em Open Air Festival
Jun 21 - Clisson, France - Hellfest Festival
Jun 23 - Lyon, FR - Warm Audio
Jun 24 - Sadenia, IT - TBA
Jun 25 - Milano, Italy - Solomacello Festival
Jun 26 - Roma, IT - Traffic Club
Jun 27 - Bologna, IT - Freakout Club
Jun 28 - Nova Gorica, SK - Mostovna
Jul 01 - Antwerpen, BE - TBA
Jul 02 - Tilburg, NL - Hall of Fame
Jul 03 - Munster, DE - Vainstream
Jul 04 - Tabor, CZ - Mighty Sounds Festival
Jul 08 - Bristol, UK - The Exchange
Jul 09 - Newcastle, UK - Think Tank
Jul 10 - Glasgow, UK - Audio
Jul 11 - Manchester, UK - Star & Garter
Jul 12 - London, UK - The Underworld (co-headline w/ Terrorizer LA)
Jul 16 - Giedrius, LT - Devilstone Festival
Jul 17 - Viveiro, ES - Resurrection Festival
Jul 18 - Albi, France - Xtreme Festival
(7/10) The Cancer Bats add a new album to their discography. "Searching for zero" is the name of the longplayer from the Ontario, Canada based band. It is the first studio record of the band since three years and it comes with ten new tracks plus a bonus song in the iTunes version.
Cancer Bats play hardcore influenced punkrock and metal that is heavy and quite angry. But it's also your aural coffein shot - a real enegrizer.
The new album has a song called "No more bull shit" - and this was according to singer Liam Cormier also the motto for this album. And after listening to the new tunes a few times I have to say that they achieved what they wanted.
Already the opener "Satellite" shoots you into another orbit. Drums and the typical "ohohoho" sing-a-long kicks off the song, before it turns into an angry punkrock song. The tunes finds the right mix between heavyness, melodic vocal lines and furious shouts.
With "Ture zero" the journey continues. The song stands out by a heavy metal riff that reminds in the beginning partly even to doom bands. "Arsenic in the year of the snake" is a typical hardcore/punk hybrid before it becomes again slow-mo with "Beelzebub". The song is build on a mean riff and is more very much metal. It's an appreciated break half way.
"Devil's blood" is obviously very aboiling since the track is very fast and almost the opposite of "Beelzebub".
Time for some more groove. "Cursed with a conscience" is a track with a strong bass line. The hypnotic ryhthm and the vocals show some parallels to Warrior Soul.
The by far fastest track in the album is "All hail". It's a less than two minutes noise orgy that leads to "Buds" - a song that shows some Southern influences. Pantera and Crowbar seem to belong to the faves of Cancer Bats. A cool track.
"Dusted" and "No more bull shit" finalize a cool longplayer that has many difference nuances - from punk rock to metal. Maybe it's a bit too much diversity, but "Searching for zero" sounds cool. Ontario rocks.
Label: BMG Rights Management
Genre: Punk Rock
(8/10) Twenty years ago a few guys from Anchorage, Alaska started a band and named it 36 Crazyfists - as the Jackie Chan movie "The 36 crazy fists".
Their musical inspiration came from thrash metal bands like Metallica, but also groups like the mighty Deftones triggered some sound ideas. 36 Crazyfists combined all this to their own style which reflects the mentioned bands together with a big spoonful of hardcore.
The guys released in the twenty years six records and the seventh longplayer turns around the corner in a few days. "Time and trauma" is the name of the new disc, that is the first one after a 5 years waiting time.
The tracklist contains twelve songs which are all highly energetic. They catch your attention immediately.
The start into the album is called "Vanish" - a riff-based angry song with a quite melodic approach. This might sound like a contractiction, but it isn't. The tune is well down. Down-tuned guitars open "11.24.11." combined with metalcore parts that go over into Deftone-like moments.
"Lightless" is the shortest track on the album. It's a faster one with a certain catchiness before the mighty riff from "Time and trauma" takes over. The title track is in moderate speed with a heavy guitar sound that belongs somewhere into the intersection of post-rock and post-hardcore.
A cool groover is "Silencer" which everything but not silent. It's in my point of view even the hardest track on the album and belongs to the highlights on "Time and trauma". I like esp. the guitar sound that reminded me to Tool.
"Swing the noose" is a melodic rocker and is probabaly the most commercial track on the album. But don't get me wrong; we are still talking about 36 Crazyfists and the song isn't a soft one.
The last song is slightly different since it is an semi-acosutic one. Singer Brock Lindsow shares the vocals with a female singer (What's here name?) which shows a new side of the band. The chorus is really rocking while the verse is kept more fragile. Both together makes the song to a real anthem that rounds off an album that is stronger than I have expected.
36 Crazyfists' new album is as cool as Alaska. Another fresh breeze is coming southwards. Check it out.
Label: Spinefarm Records
Genre: Post Hardcore
(8/10) Some of you might heard already about Hotrod Mayhem. The band is excisting since 2008 and there are two well known names being part of Hotrod Mayhem. Joschi Baschin (g/v) and Oliver Riegler (d) from Undertow founded the band together with Michael Gerstlauer (Dryrot) (g). Gerstlauer left the band in the meantime and was replaced by Roger Grüninger. Hotrod Mayhem completed the line-up with MKS (v) and Andreas Hund on bass.
While Undertow focusses more on melancholic doom metal, Hotrod Mayhem plays an exciting mix that combines thrash metal, punk and hardcore to a brutal groove machine. It sounds like a mix of Pantera, Crowbar and bands like Soulfly. The music sticks directly. Each of the ten songs hits the target, meaning listener, immediately.
Five of the ten tracks have been released already earlier on the demo of the band from Heidenheim, Gemany. The highlight is for sure the mighty groover "Slaves". The song can make you addictive. It is the enormous power which makes it special. But also the screaming guitars on "Contamination overdose" are a Christmas present for each metal fan.
The new tunes are all on the same high level as the older tunes. The opener "We are at war" is a fast song that sets the tone of voice. Already the scream "We are at war" in the beginning is a cool start into the album and a clear statement too. "Reaktored" instead is reducing pace a bit. It's build on a slow and mean riff that reminded my to Crowbar. Once started to listen to the song there is no escape anymore. Your locked in this 5 minutes metal machine.
The passion for punk shines through in the closer of the album. "Where do you go" is a two minutes bouncer that is simple and to the point. The punk attitude represented by this track fits the band very well.
"We are at war" was recorded in the Studio 141 in Schwäbisch Hall and got a heavy and brutal sound. So all done right here.
The lyrics are also well thought through. Critical and accusingly Hotrod Mayem wrote about relevant current social and political topics. Three of the songs for example take care about the usage and risks of nuclear power plants.
This album is awesome and Hotrod Mayhem has the potential of becoming at least as big as Undertow. Well done guys. I hope that the album will get a broader recognition. Check it out. For me one of the top 3 debut records in 2014.
Genre: Groove Metal
(8/10) That the songs on this record do not have an epical length goes without saying. Cretin's pedal hits the metal. "Stranger", the new album, comes with fourteen tracks which are stylewise somewhere between death metal and grindcore.
Now I must admit that grindcore isn't my very preferred style, but in this combination I like a lot what I hear. Cretin plays very fast but there is enough space in their music for a decent groove.
But let's start from the beginning. Cretin is a band coming from San Jose, California and they started already in 1992. But the four-piece disbanded in 1996 and it took five years for them to find together again.
From this moment on the band started to release relevant demo tapes and EP's before the debut album was published in 2006. "Stranger" is the second longplayer von Cretin. The current line-up consists out of Matt Widner (b) and Marissa Martinez (v, g) - both being part of the band from the beginning. Furthermore it is Col Jones behind the drumkit and Elizabeth Schall on the second guitar. Schall is the newest band member since she joined in 2013. Having her in the band added something to the music of the Cretin. It gives more space for sharp guitar solo that improve the songs of Cretin quite a lot. Eventhough each of the songs follows the same pattern there is more diversity in the music.
The vocals from Marissa, formely Dan Martinez, are as aggressive as we know them from "Freakery". She screams out all the anger accompanied by a brutal guitar sound and an enormous punch. As said already - the album is very fast, but not only build on highspeed. There are interlligent tempo break and mosh parts in several songs. An example is the very groovy middle part of "Knights of the rail".
"Stranger" is an album that is also interesting for non-grindcore fans and is worth to be listened to.
Label: Relapse Records
Genre: Feath Metal / Grindcore
Here comes the first video from Sweet & Lynch. Behind these names there is nobody else than Michael Sweet from Stryper and George Lynch. Both teamed up and worked on an album thst will be released in the beginning of 2015. The first revealed song is called "The wish" and is a great appetizer for more
Punk rock from New Zealand? Why not. The Jury And The Saint is the name of the band and they will release their new album via SPV. Here is with "Focus" alsready a first song from the upcoming album.
Ivan Beets gives also a few more informations about the new record:
"As a band we have always captured our ideas quickly, we want the driving force of a song, or a live show, to be the initial creative spark - this album was no exception. The songs were written in New Zealand with a focus on capturing the most energetic, intense and real album that we could. SPV introduced us to Alex Lysjakow who ended up producing the album over a 2 week period (in the middle of a European tour) at SoundArt Studio in Germany. Due to living in different countries we didn’t have much time to get to know Alex so there was as lot of trust involved, which we feel really helped the whole process. Because everyone was focused on working hard and getting things done, decisions were made based on gut instinct rather than lengthy discussions. Throughout this process, Alex's background of rock production helped us achieve the energy and authenticity that we were after. Playing live is a huge part of who we are, so it was crucial that the songs and the recordings captured the raw energy and life that we want people to feel when they watch us at a show. We always want our audience to feel like they are part of what we do, and this record reflects that intent with songs that are easy to connect with. We don’t care about making a technical album, we care about making music that translates both in the studio and live, music that hopefully moves people, music that makes you have to sing, music that connects because its coming from a place of energy and honesty.”
(8/10) Talking about Sick Of It All means having it over 28 years of hardcore on a very high level. Already this fact is very remarkabale. It becomes even more outstanding while thinking about the fact that the band from New York never had a real dip.
The hardcore quartet kept the enegry level over all those years and still spreads this rebellious spirit that makes them so authentic.
"Last act of defiance" shows again, that the band didn't get tired. They burned 14 new tracks on the album and non of them is a weak one. All of them are standing strong as a rock. And all of them have an irresistable groove that just forces you to move. You can stand still while listening to their music. A good example herefore is "Get Bronx" with the mosh elements.
The album has also the more punky momnets like the fast "Outgunner" and "Beltway getaway" - both anthems that can lead to great moments for the coming live shows. "DNC" is another song in this category. Melody, riff and vocallines just blows you off your feet.
Another hardcore anthem that is worth to be mentioned is "2061" with an pounding bassline and hammering drums. Sick Of It All got also support from a guest on one of the tracks. It is Mad Joe Black from Wisdom In Chain that is joining in on "Facing the abyss"
On top of all that the album got an excellent production. Tue Madsen did a very good job and gave the hardcore legend a tight and electrifying sound that just fits.
Sick Of It All proves again that hardcore can be very diversified without denying the roots. An album that shows a very experienced band that kept the spirit of their youth and combined it with mature dedication. Thumbs up.
Label: Century Media
(8/10) Here comes the new strike by Iron Reagan. Started in 2012 the trip of the Richmond, Virginia based five-piece band continues. Iron Reagan is a side project of Municipal Waste members. It's Landphil Hall on guitar and Tony Foresta (v) from the thrash band and the line-up is completed by Rob Skotis (b), Ryan Parrish (d) and Mark Bronzino (g).
The project released already one full length album in 2013 which got the name "Worse than dead" followed by their newst record "The tyranny of will".
The music of the band reflects the older crossover heroes from Gang Green and D.R.I up to Nuclear Assault. At least those are the bands which popped up in my mind when I heard "Tyranny of will" the first time. It's the mix between thrash like from Municipal Waste, hardcore and some punk elements. The whole package isn't very new, but it feels good to hear this kind of music again.
The title track "Tyranny of will" opens up the album, followed by typical crossover anthems like "I won't go" and "Eyeball gore". This is a starting triple which revitalises the old crossover days. The shortest song has just 14 seconds and is called "Your kid's an asshole" followed by the 21 seconds track "Patriotic shock". The tunes are right to the point. No decoration - just raw unleashed power.
All songs aren't longer than 2 minutes and something. All the songs? No wrong. The bouncer "Four more years" has with 4 minutes an almost epical length. It's a heavy groover which rounds of "Tyranny of will". But the strength of the album is when it's fast and compromisless.
If Municipal Waste is the rebirth of 80's thrash metal, than Iron Reagan is the pendant for crossover fans. If D.R.I., M.O.D. and Gang Green are your favorites you should check out "Tyranny of will".
Label: Relapse Records