It’s been 8 years since the last Metallica studio album (2008’s Death Magnetic), and over twice that length of time since I bought one of their records. The last Metallica release I paid to listen to was 1996’s controversial Load album. (more…)
“Life’s a bitch and then you die!”
NWOBHM veterans Vardis originally called it a day in 1986 before reforming in 2014. This album comes in the wake of the tragic death of their bass player Terry Horbury last year. Horbury had been with the band on and off since the early 1980’s and is replaced by Martin Connolly (ex- Rick Wakeman, Paul Fox). The cover art was painted by legendary horror artists Graham Humphries (Evil Dead, Death Waltz Recording Company) and features the band as disembodied heads (with red eyes of course) and Horbury is depicted, which serves as a fitting tribute to him. (more…)
“People reject us. They will never know the answer to the question that we carry in our hearts.”
The Vision is the debut album from these Italian blues-doom rockers. The album is the follow-up to last year’s Black Magic Man EP, and offers nine tracks of smoky, classic blues rock with occult-themed lyrics. Singer Virginia Monti delivers said lyrics in a suitably witchy style, and manages to sound like she means it. That’s because she does! (more…)
Birmingham’s Quartz, were a hard rock/heavy metal band who counted long-running Black Sabbath keyboard player Geoff Nicholls among their founding members. Formed in 1974 under the less than metal name of Bandy Legs, the band played club gigs and released a single (‘Bet You Can’t Dance’) for Jet records in 1976 before changing their name to Quartz (sounds a lot cooler doesn’t it?).
“Humanity is doomed.”
Quaternity is the third album from Sabbath Assembly, a bizarre rock band that formed to recreate the hymns of apocalyptic 1960’s religious cult The Process Church of The Final Judgement. Their first record (Restored to One) caught my attention because their original singer was Jex Thoth, which was enough of an endorsement to at least check them out, even if they did sing about God and seemed more than a bit ‘churchy’. Spend a little time with this band, though, and you will soon discover that there is nothing traditionally Christian about their music or philosophy.
As the 40-second preview video above shows, the band haven’t deviated from their usual horror-film inspired lyrical themes, and with any luck, they never will. All 9 tracks on offer here stand up to their previous releases and while they don’t do anything amazingly different, they manage not to sound like they are aping their earlier material (even though they are, like AC/DC and Iron Maiden have done for 30-odd years, but it’s still possible to enjoy listening to them).
Iron Hearse don’t do anything unique, but they do play some of the best straight up pub doom-rock you’re ever likely to hear. We’ve heard it all before, but now it’s heavier, the playing is tighter and everything is a bit louder than last time. (more…)