August 2018 Blasts

And so, another month, another selection of short reviews. As always, it’s an eclectic selection, taking in a dark abmient soundtrack by Guillermo Pizarro; classic speed metal from Wardance; a reissue of some occult black metal, courtesy of Shaidar Logoth and Sentient Ruin; retro-rock from Wheel in the Sky; stomping hardcore from Peace of Mind; and some crushing death metal in the shape of Skeletal Serpent‘s self-titled EP. Enjoy!

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Review: Lizzies – On Thin Ice

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Label: The Sign Records

You know the old saying about not judging a book by its cover? Let’s apply that to the new album by Spanish hard-rock/heavy metal band LizziesOn Thin Ice might have some of the worst cover art I’ve seen this side of Goatlord, but, as anyone who heard first album Good Luck would surely expect, it contains some of the most kick-ass proto-metal to be released this year (and yes, I’m including the Saxon reissues in that list). Lizzies might be a relatively young band, but they understand all that is good about heavy metal – the riffs, the vocal hooks, the melodies; but more than all of that is the way that Lizzies make the listener feel like they’re on top of the world, with On Thin Ice being a massively empowering and confidence-boosting album.

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Five of the Best – Olivia Neutered John Influences

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Grind is protest – well all know this. But sometimes, other than a vague sense of “society is bullshit” style slogans, it can be unclear exactly what a band is protesting against. That’s not the case with Olivia Neutered John. The London-based project focuses it rage on how society treats women, flipping the typical gendered dynamic of death and goregrind lyrics on their head. Ahead of the release of Complete Castration – a compilation that will bring together previous releases The Toxic OrgyTransphobia Annihilation Squad, and Kill All Men (Starting With The White Ones), and will include several new tracks – we asked mainman Dick Weeks about the five biggest influences on the project. Some might be what you’d expect from a death-grind band, but some are perhaps a bit surprising; yet, within the context of Olivia Neutered John’s sound and lyrical aims, they all make complete sense. Here they are, in the words of the mainman himself.

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Album of the Day: Spiral Skies – Blues For A Dying Planet

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Label: AOP Records

Blues for a Dying Planet is an album for those who like their metal to remember where it came from. The debut album from Spiral Skies is rooted in the sounds of yesterday, but manages to take its classic influences – with early metal being a prime part of that, but also folk and blues featuring prominently – and create occult rock that sounds exciting, invigorating these old sounds with new lifesblood. It’s a hugely enjoyable record, packed full of catchy hooks, strong melodies, and incredibly charismatic vocals.

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Review: Black Moth – Anatomical Venus

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Label: Candlelight Records

Retro-rock can be a pretty uninspiring place. How many bands that sound like Black Sabbath does the world actually need? And yet occasionally a band will come along, clearly recalling the masters of old, whilst managing to put their own spin on a long-established sound, making it sound fresh and urgent once more. Black Moth showed hints of their potential on previous albums The Killing Jar and Condemned to Hope, which took the retro stoner/doom template and added a garage rock, almost punk sense of energy to the sound. But with Anatomical Venus they have recorded a record that sees them step out of the shadows, feeling more confident than previous efforts, casting a dark spell via the medium of psychedelic soundscapes and classic rock riffs, all tied together with some of the strongest hooks this side of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. In other words, it’s catchy,  heavy, and really rather good.

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Album of the Day: Demon Head – Thunder on the Fields

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Label: The Sign Records

Modern bands playing classic rock place themselves in a precarious position. Sure, their music might be great, but how do you hold the listener’s attention without making them think they’d be better off just listening to the classics by Sabbath/Deep Purple/Thin Lizzy/and so on. The answer, as demonstrated by Demon Head on Thunder on the Fields, is deceptively simple – write songs that are strong, that demonstrate your own character, and are played with enough passion to put thoughts of the old masters as far out of the audience’s head as possible.

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