You ask most Lebanese (myself included) what they think about their country and they’ll tell you about its immense beauty and potential. Despite the countless tragedies and constant state of crisis, the average Lebanese stays positive and full of humor. That’s what Nightchains represent to me – the tenacity of Lebanon.
…A band quietly releases an album that sonically sits somewhere between the influences of Bathory, Nifelheim, Tormentor, Dissection, and Mercyful Fate, which successfully conjures the evil atmosphere of spending a night in an abandoned castle in Transylvania where shadows play mind games to trick you that you will never see the sunrise again while wolves are howling outside. And the album goes completely unnoticed, standing against all modern fads and trends, waiting to be discovered.
There’s a subset of heavy metal albums that are must listens, albums so masterful and important that they almost transcend the genre itself. No metal journey is complete without listening to them. I’m sure you’ve just thought of a few; Powerslave, Stained Class, Master of Reality, Don’t Break the Oath, etc. Today I’d like to discuss an album that I strongly feel belongs in this category – Artillery’s By Inheritance.
Named after the iconic Slayer song, Great Britain’s Aggressive Perfector channel the same carnal energy found on Slayer’s early material. Aggressive Perfector originally formed back in 2014 and put out an aptly titled demo called Satan’s Heavy Metal just a couple of years later. Now the stage is finally set for their debut album – Havoc at the Midnight Hour.
With over a decade of high quality releases, Spain’s Iron Curtain have established themselves as one of their country’s finest traditional metal bands. From day one their no frills, zero prisoners approach to music has captivated the metal underground. With partnership from our friends over at NWOTHM Full and Dying Victims Productions, we are excited to present you the opening track to their upcoming fourth album – “Wildlife”!
When we think of the past, we tend to focus on the brighter bits while ignoring the bad parts that characterized it. This feels truer than ever in a genre like metal, where the bulk of classic releases for all the main genres were released in the 80s/90s. For this reason, there is a desire for many bands to emulate the sounds of the past and to relive the glory days.
A bloodstained murderer with a schizophrenic look on his face, waves his machete towards unsuspected bystanders ,as he runs the streets at night. He is set on a murderous, manhunting path that will not stop unless he is killed because his thirst for blood cannot be sated. If that was the intro scene for an 80s slasher film, then Vulture’s latest album, “Ghastly Waves & Battered Graves” would be the perfect soundtrack.
Some bands, such as Oblivion or Enchanter, make me scratch my head at the fact that they’re completely unknown, as they rule extremely hard and are similar to some more well-known bands (Sanctuary and Fates Warning, respectively). Clearly some metalheads just aren’t willing to go the extra mile and find the hidden gems – because plenty of people would go apeshit over those two acts, I’m pretty confident. A band like MaelstroM though – their obscurity is no surprise whatsoever – in fact I’d be surprised if they were well-known. Not because they suck, but because they’re so absurdly esoteric; neoclassical power/speed/thrash with extremely progressive song structures, random acoustic segments, and proto-death metallish yells alternated with really, really fucking strange and off-putting cleans. Add in songs that average around 7 minutes in length, and you have an inaccessible demo by some no-name power/thrash band.
Keep it True is a German metal festival focused on the traditional side of things. Started in 2003, they have been keeping the flame alive for over 15 years now and during one of the lowest points in the genre. Over the years, Keep it True has grown to become the leading festival in the world for traditional heavy metal. The festival has been directly responsible for reuniting legions of older bands as well as highlighting and kickstarting the career for many of the new generation. This year’s Keep it True is no different in this regards and may be the very best iteration of the festival yet. The line up for Keep it True 2019 features highlights such as: a reunion of French legends Sortilège, Japanese band Anthem’s first European show, a tribute to the legendary Mark Shelton, and a big show by the originators of epic doom metal themselves, Candlemass.
Under The Spell is the perfect bulldozer of USPM, and if you have to know one thing about Hexx, that’s enough. That’s not to say it’s necessarily the best album to do it, though if someone said it was, I certainly wouldn’t argue, but it perfectly encapsulates everything you want from USPM and more. For those unfamiliar, Hexx was given birth as a fast as hell band from San Francisco that formed in 1983 and almost immediately put out a really good speed/power record, No Escape, on Shrapnel Records the following year.