ALBUM REVIEW: Apocalyptica – Plays Metallica Vol 2.


Everybody loves covers! Especially covers of iconic songs by great bands. What is better than a single cover version of a classic track, but an entire album of them? What’s even better than that? Well, how about two albums of covers of a bunch of classics!

Yes, we’re talking about Apocalyptica, and we’re talking about Apocalyptica covering Metallica, which they did to great effect on their debut album twenty-five years ago! They have made a career of covering classics in Thrash Metal, introducing thrash fans to classical music on a new scale. while slowly creating their own repertoire of incredible original music, including a few hits along the way. What we often say about cover songs is that there are two approaches to take; a direct copy just redone beat for beat, or making those songs truly your own. Obviously and speaking of the classical metal masters of the Cello from Finland, we are talking reinterpretation. But they ratchet that up significantly on the sequel to their classic debut, Plays Metallica Vol 2., which is releasing via their own new imprint, Throwdown Entertainment.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Göden – Vale Of The Fallen


Violins will and should always belong in various subgenres of Metal, and when done right, the addition of a classical string instrument can transport listeners to vast transcendent landscapes – see Dawn Ray’d (RIP).Going even further and introducing new or grossly underutilized techniques can (and often does) represent a beacon of freshness for both the musicians and fans alike.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Einstürzende Neubauten – Rampen


Throughout their 44-year career, Einstürzende Neubauten has upheld a commitment to making musical art, with little interest in vapid radio hits. They continue this tradition with Rampen (Mute Records). As one of the first industrial bands, it could be easily argued that the genre owes more to these guys than Throbbing Gristle. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Jah Wobble – A Brief History of Now


 

John Joseph Wardle aka bass legend Jah Wobble started his career with post-Punks Public Image Limited (teaming up with a certain John Lydon), playing on the albums Public Image: First Edition, Metal Box, and the Paris Au Printemps live record. After his departure from that band, Jah would embark on a highly eclectic solo career exploring all manner of musical styles and collaborations far too extensive to list here. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Divide and Dissolve – Systemic – Invada Records


 

 

The duo of Divide and Dissolve are passionate about their beliefs. The question we shall explore here is does that equate to effectively making memorable music?  Many musicians have strong beliefs that they feel drives their passion to create and having a conviction about those beliefs is admirable. 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Outlanders – Outlanders


 

When an album features Al Di Meola, Trevor Rabin, Vernon Reid, Joe Satriani, and Marty Friedman you know it’s going to be a corker. To make this reviewer squeeze with joy is that Outlanders is actually Tarja Turunen. Tarja is accompanied by Torsten Stenzel.  

 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Imperium Dekadenz – Into Sorrow Evermore


Into Sorrow Evermore (Napalm Records) marks the return of the German Black Metal two-piece Imperium Dekadenz, who wears the influence of the Norwegian second wave firmly on their sleeve, along with the inspiration of their Black Forest surroundings. The album is their seventh full-length release and dives deep into a landscape of atmospheric black metal, written as a symphony of aggressive yet uplifting music, woven around sweeping and mesmerising guitar riffs.Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Green King – Hidden Beyond Time


 

Helsinki-formed outfit Green King’s debut album, Hidden Beyond Time (The Sign) encourages you to Travel Back In Time, to the NWOBHM – in a good way. It’s all expertly done, all great fun, and, as a long-playing calling card, introduces a quality band that obviously have a grasp of several genres while strongly suggesting there is much more still to come.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Dystopian Future Movies – War of the Ether


 

Metal in its various forms has a reasonably long-standing practice of making concept albums based on historical events, and the latest album from Dystopian Future Movies, War of the Ether (Septaphonic Records) continues that trend with what is almost certainly the most intense musical experience I have ever had.  

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