Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Singles: Devolve-"Refuse To Die"

Independent Ear Records
2015
 
Available for free by clicking on this link, "Refuse To Die" is the debut single from the four-man metal wrecking crew known as Devolve. It was released on February 3rd, 2015 and at a little over four minutes in length it manages to PLOW down your door and do the old smash em', thrash em', and bash em' without even raising a sweat! Sounding somewhat like a less groovy & more hardcore Pantera that's all hopped up on rage-inducting steroids, Devolve gets your blood pumping and your head banging with the hard as a rock "Refuse To Die". For this Rockford, IL-based METAL band a cool as fuck song like "Refuse To Die" is a great first step and it's the perfect way to introduce yourself to scene. Now all we need is a full-length album....

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Current Playlist

It's been a crazy two weeks or so here at the headquarters of Heavy Metal Time Machine. I've been dealing with two sick teenagers (and multiple doctor visits!), a shit ton of body ache and more stress than I can remember having in a l-o-n-g time! There was so much going on in fact that I completely forgot to post one of these last week!! But anyway, here it is and as always I look forward to seeing what everyone else has been into this past week or two...

Listening to:

Haywire-Private Hell

Insanity Defense - Epitaph 1982-1985

Omen-Hammer Damage (Possible review coming later today!)

Picture-Traitor

Von Helsing-Demo 1987

Joe Bouchard-The Power Of Music (Review coming this week)

Circle Jerks-Group Sex

Wytch Hazel-Prelude (For review and pleasure!)




Watching:

I'm still working my way through the TV show Dexter on Netflix

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Darkage-Tales From Obscurity

Self-release/Independent
2016

Darkage is a traditional heavy metal band from Rome, Italy. The band was founded in June of 2008 by guitarist Dario Laurenzi, bassist Domenico Cannatà, and former drummer Nino. Lead singer Domenico Sepe has been with the band pretty much from the start and since 2012 the group has been rounded out by drummer Gianluca Polito. In 2011 the band released it's first demo, "The Night Calls", and the five song EP, "Tales From Obscurity", was just released back in mid-March. Interestingly enough the EP opens with the track "The Night Calls" and one would have to assume that it is a updated version of the same song that appeared on Darkage's demo. From there you have "Raw", "D.O.G.", "Evil Creatures", and "The Bells" and it all runs slightly over 28 minutes in length. As far as Darkage's take on traditional metal goes classic metal is the name of the game with the bulk of this underrated EP sounding as if it could have come from the golden era of tape trading! Naturally that is meant as a HUGE compliment and so is the admission that I simply cannot put my finger on this band's influences. In other words, Darkage sounds like no one else on the recommended "Tales from Obscurity" and that is an absolutely thrilling concept!! Other than the actual music itself (which I guess I would describe as a cross between underground eighties metal, N.W.O.B.H.M., doom, occult rock, dark metal, and classic heavy metal) the one thing I really like about Darkage is their lead singer, Domenico Sepe. Just like some of the all-time greats, Domenico Sepe has a certain presence about him and he helps give Darkage a vintage metal vibe that is simply out of this world! While I would never put him in the same class as someone like Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) I would point out the effectiveness of Sepe's haunting and somewhat evil voice. With someone like Domenico Sepe on the mic you could easily transform a normal metal band into something awe-inspiring. Thankfully in the case of Darkage there is already a great foundation in place so there's never a point where Domenico Sepe has to carry the load. As this kind of vintage metal is all the rage I would not be surprised to see this Italian band scoped up in a year or less. And to that end I would LOVE to hear what Darkage could pull off on a full-length album. I've got a feeling it could be nothing short of magical!!

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Book Review: Swords of Steel Vol. I & II

DMR Books
2016


The excellent "Swords of Steel" and it's worthy 2016 follow-up, "Swords of Steel II", are collections of short stories, poems and even an essay from some of the heavy metal's best writers. They were both sent my way some while back and in all honesty it has taken me longer than I expected to get through them. Given the sheer depth of these two books that is understandable, but even so I would like to apologize to DMR Books for the delay. Of course it should probably be mentioned that by "sheer depth" I am not talking about the overall size of these two paperbacks, but rather the overwhelming quality and in-depth nature of the source material at hand. In book one you have amazing stories from members of Bal-Sagoth, Manilla Road, Twisted Tower Dire, Cauldron Born, Walpyrgus, Funeral Circle and Solstice (to name just a few!) and it is topped off with a great introduction from writer David C. Smith (author of the Red Sonja and Oron novels)! Meanwhile book two features a stand-out short story from The Lord Slough Feg's Mike Scalzi and a solid introduction by David DeFeis of Virgin Steele fame! Some of the same talented authors from book one show up and in book two (E.C. Hellwell, Howie K. Bentley, Byron A. Roberts, and Scott Waldrop!) and that makes for a nice and consistent reading experience. Each volume features tales of "of terror and heroic adventure" (their words) or if you will "sword-play and ass kicking adventures!" (my words!). Again, as far as the quality of these stories and poems is concerned both "Swords of Steel" and "Swords of Steel II" offer plenty of bang for your buck. The fantasy and horror elements that you will find in these two paperbacks are great and the stories are easy to comprehend and follow. In other words they are both highly enjoyable and they make for great reading no matter if you are old or young! I know this because not only did I read through these two well-assembled paperbacks, but so did my two teens! For me at least the only downside was the small print of "Swords of Steel II", but that has more to do with my failing sight than anything else! A better pair of glasses on my end would easily fix that small concern, but in no way WHATSOEVER does that take away from how good these collections are! Hopefully there will be a part three to this series as this is such a great idea. You can find both anthologies by visiting DMR Books Storeny page and as a final word of praise I'd just like to add this little tidbit. These short stories come from artists that have already given us some incredible traditional and epic metal songs so if you like the actual song lyrics of some of these unbelievable bands then chances are you will love what these musicians have to offer as far as storytelling goes.


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Last Insane-Demo 2016

Self-Release/Independent
2016


Last Insane is a unsigned three-piece garage rock/alternative rock band from Vallejo, California. The group  is comprised of three longtime friends and the four-track EP "Demo 2016" looks as if it is Last Insane's only release to date. Words like "lose" and "laid back" come to mind when listening to "Demo 2016" and as far as I see things this unsigned trio it could easily be a part of the garage rock revival scene that is now flourishing throughout the US and Europe! While their one song, "Narce", reminded me a bit too much of Jet's "Are you Gonna Be My Girl", Last Insane's "Door", "My Feet Smell", and "You Drive Me Insane" make up for this small misstep thanks to the wonderful combination of witty lyrics and enthusiastic garage rock. For a first effort this short EP certainly hits plenty of high notes and it does this while simultaneously achieving this young band's goal of bring old fashioned rock and roll back to the forefront where it belongs! With "Demo 2016" Last Insane is off to a promising start....

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Interview with Corners of Sanctuary's Mick Michaels




Corners of Sanctuary is a traditional heavy metal band that hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has  three EPs and four full-length albums to it's name. Released in mid December of 2015, "Metal Machine" is the band's most recent album and it comes across as a love letter of sorts to fans of old heavy  metal. Just recently I had the chance to sit down and talk with band member Mick Michaels. I want to thank him for the opportunity and I would encourage our readers to check out "Metal Machine" when they have the chance.
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Andy (A)-Would you please introduce the members of your band and tells us how you came about?

Mick Michaels (MM)-The band is Frankie Cross (vocals), James Pera (bass & backing vocal), Sean Nelligan (drums & backing vocals), and Mick Michaels (guitar & keyboards). Sean, James and I were working on short term reunion project with the band Seeker back in 2010. Seeker was a band we were in back in the 80’s. During that time, Sean and I discussed starting a new project where the focus would be on our roots. We wanted to write songs that we wanted to hear. Before long we started rehearsing together and about six months later we brought James aboard. Sean was handling lead vocals at the time. However, we realized pretty early on that someone was needed to fill the lead singer position full-time. So Frankie was brought into the fold in 2013.

A-Corners of Sanctuary is an interesting choice for a name. Is there a story behind it?

MM-"Corners of Sanctuary" are places that each of us can to go to get away, where we can be who we really are... free of judgment or ridicule from others. They are places we can just exist where we feel safe and where we can be free. They can be anything or anywhere – real or imaginative. For us, music is a "corner of sanctuary". Our hope is that our music can serve as a "corner of sanctuary" for those who listen.

A-I like that explanation and I feel as if it adds another layer to your band. Might I ask what bands influenced you early on?

MM-Judas Priest, Accept, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Kiss, Savatage... That’s a few but there are so many. We are still being influenced by these bands today. Plus there are current bands that also offer influence as well... like Huntress, Disturbed and Avenge Sevenfold. It is impossible not to be influenced. We embrace our influences and take stock in what they have provided us as a musical blueprint.

A- How much would you say the band has grown between the 2012 EP, "Forgotten Hero", and your latest release?

MM-Musically, the band has definitely defined its focus. We know exactly what we are looking to achieve with the sound and presentation. And because of that, it has offered us a freedom to just create and enjoy the process.

A-Speaking of "Metal Machine", how has the reaction been from fans and critics? 

MM-Overall the reception of the new album has been great, especially here in the United States. The record has something that connects with people. Maybe it’s the classic sound and approach that reminds people of another time or place or the way the lyrics are relatable on multiple levels depending on one’s interpretation. Either way, we are happy people are listening. We are very proud of "Metal Machine".

A-You should be! I really like how "Metal Machine" has an old-school hard rock and heavy metal vibe to it. Was that a purposeful choice on the band's part?

MM-Absolutely! This is the style of music that started it all and resonates strongly with us and which influenced a generation. That particular sound is in our blood and feels so natural to us. It’s part of who we are. Keeping the sound alive is our way of paying homage to the music and those who came before us – they both have given us so much.

A-Very cool! Do you have any fave moments on the new album?

MM-We really enjoyed making this album. For me, one of the highlights when making this album was being in the studio when Frankie was laying down his vocal tracks. It was during that time everything just seemed to make sense and pull together. The vision we had for the record was truly taking shape. It was an exciting moment and in the end, it was more than what we could have hoped for.

A-Just by scanning over your tour schedule it sure looks as if you guys keep busy. What does the rest of this year hold in store for your band?

MM-For us, busy is good. We have a Midwest US tour scheduled for May. We are covering five states on this excursion. This summer we will be performing as part of the Metal Eternal Fest Tour. In the fall we are schedule for a West Coast US tour. In between all that we will be releasing a new video for "Tomorrow Never Comes", making a "Best of" compilation available and in several weeks we start working on a new album which we plan to release next year.

A-I'll have to keep an eye out for the new video and then the "Best Of" release. Where can our listeners find out more about your band? 

MM-for everyone thing COS, visit our official website at  www.cornersofsanctuary.com. You can also join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CornersofSanctuary.

A-Thanks. Last thoughts? I always let bands have the final say. 

MM-Thanks so much for giving us this opportunity to share Corners of Sanctuary with your readers. We greatly appreciate the support. We hope to see you at a show! COSnROLL! \m/\m/ 

A-I'd like that!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Demon Bitch-Hellfriends

Skol Records
2016

Demon Bitch is a up-and-coming traditional heavy metal band from Detroit, Michigan that was formed in 2011 by three life-long friends: guitarist Mars Weston (aka: Lord Mars-Isenblåst, White Magician), lead vocalist Logon Saton (aka: Logon-Joint Custody, White Magician), and drummer Samuel Ceckowski (aka: Reverend Ceckowski-White Magician, ex-Dungeon Beast, ex-Borrowed Time). The group made it's studio debut in late June of 2012 with the release of "Demon Bitch" and that limited-edition cassette demo proved to be hit with fans and critics alike. After rounding out it's ranks with bassist Brian Buckmaster (aka: B. Beastmaster-Isenblåst) and second guitarist Derek DiBella (aka: D.B. Cooper-Isenblåst, Joint Custody, White Magician, ex-Borrowed Time {live}) the group would go on to release the highly-regarded 2014 EP "Death Is Hanging..." and the rest is history! Now signed to Skol Records, Demon Bitch offers up their best material to date on their first full-length album and with "Hellfriends" further demonstrating this five-piece band's love of all things classic there is very little standing between this Detroit metal band and world-wide conquest! In Demon Bitch you get a band that is not only influenced by eighties metal and the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene, but seventies hard rock and progressive rock! Throw in some underground speed metal from the early days of U.S. metal and a little bit of vintage Mercyful Fate and you have one hell of a fucking party on your hands! On "Hellfriends" Demon Bitch has clearly captured the sounds and the overall appeal of yesteryear's metal scene and even though that is the crowd who will most likely benefit from such a soundtrack this is still a metal release for metal fans. Vintage metal aside, "Hellfriends" is very much a heavy rockin' affair and with it's speed-tinged solos thickening the plot this soon to be released album should be able to find a lovely home within the hearts of today's traditional heavy metal crowd. As this is only their first full-length album and it is so strong Demon Bitch could easily grow into something huge and influential before our very eyes! For the time being be sure to mark your calendars down as this album will drop in June. Until then you can check out (and if you so desire) download a copy of the title track for free by clicking here.

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CrashDollz-Punks In Amerika

RadicLea Records
2016

Detroit, Michigan is the home turf of CrashDollz and "Punks In Ameriika" is this wild band's brand spanking new album. I first covered this female-fronted punk rock n' roll/metal band in one of my Free Metal Monday features and to this day the group's self-titled album never fails to amaze me! Now lead vocalist Nikki Darling and crew are back with a vengeance on their first album for RadicLea Records. Available in digital format as well as on CD, "Punks In Ameriika" was produced by Scott Lea (The Fiendz) and band guitarist' Rachel Rekkit. CrashDollz sophomore outing features 11 killer cuts including a new version of "Novocaine" (from the band's self-titled debut) and a choice cover of Prodigy's "Smack My bitch Up". Bassist Kevin Krank (Damien, ex-Bones Garage, ex-Chastian, ex-Vainglory) and drummer Rob Brug (Halloween, Warrion, ex-Damien) round out the line-up on "Punks In Amerika" and all four-musicians sound freaking fantastic on this fierier follow-up to the ever so cool "CrashDollz"! The album starts off strong and stays that way with opener "Hellcat" setting the pace for the rest of this attitude-filled disc! As one sweet as fuck track leads into another you'll find yourself drawn to lead singer vocalist Nikki Darling's strong presence and the simmering leads of CrashDollz' underrated guitarist, Rachel Rekkit. There's no sign whatsoever of a sophomore slump for these Detroit punk metal rockers on "Punks In Amerika" and with lyrics that point towards the strength of women in music this album is as positive as it is powerful! If anything the band's new album improves upon the material and the messages of "CrashDollz" and that is really saying something considering how classic this band's debut was!!  I have zero doubt that fans of "CrashDollz" will just LOVE this 11-track release, but then again so should collectors of classic punk & followers of female-fronted punk-metal. To the members of CrashDollz I say congrats on the release this power rockin' disc and PLEASE keep on doing what you're doing because the music scene of today really needs you to straighten it out! And to our faithful readers I say go out and secure your own copy of "Punks In Amerika" in order that you can support the further adventures of this amazing band! And if you have the chance then by all means be sure to catch this Detroit act out live! From what I've heard you won't be disappointed!!!!

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Free Metal Monday: Mist-Demo 2013

Self-Release/Independent
2013


Here's another Free Metal Monday feature that I'm hoping everyone will enjoy. This time around we have the young Slovenian occult doom metal band Mist with their 2-song debut, "Demo 2013". This very cool band was formed in July of 2012 and they take their cues from the likes Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Candlemass, Coven, and Saint Vitus. The band is lead by the remarkable Nina Spruk and so far in their brief time together they have played with band's such as Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Saint Vitus, Mount Salem, Avatarium, Manilla Road, Forsaken, Kadavar, Helstar, Officium Triste, Ophis and Cauchemar. Mist has also toured all over Austria, Italy, Malta, Germany Belgium and the Netherlands and their overlooked gem here has apparently been re-issued on CD three times(!) due to great interest! Thankfully you can download a copy of  it for free by clicking on the link above.

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Free Metal Monday: Murkocet-"The Beginning" Single

Self-Release/Independent
2015

Murkocet's "The Beginning" was actually released back on October 8, 2015, but having just covered this band as part of my Saturday Singles I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share more from this BRUTAL Arizona quartet! If you didn't read Saturday's posting then you can check it out here , but more of less what we are talking about is one HEAVY ASS band that seems to have been custom-built for fans of Lamb Of God and Parkway Drive! Unfortunately it seems as this group only has a few singles to it's name, but if Murkocet keeps putting out cool stuff like "The Beginning" somebody is bound to take notice and scoop them up for a full-length or two!

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Free Metal Monday: White Hornet-White Hornet




Self-Release/Independent
2015
White Hornet is a traditional heavy metal/thrash group that hails from Baltimore, Maryland and has been active since 2010. Originally conceived of as a one-man project by multi-instrumentalist Matt St. Ours, White Hornet has grown into a full-fledged band and a damn-fine one at that if we are to go by their latest release here! These guys seeming worship the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene as well as old-school metal and thrash and it really makes for a nice vintage-vibe of this self-titled EP! Sadly the vinyl versions of "White Hornet" are long sold-out, but at least you can snag a digital copy of it for free by clicking here!

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The Black Heart Gospel-Wasteland America

Self-release/Independent
2016


Based in New Jersey (and comprised of four musicians who are long-time veterans of said scene!), The Black Heart Gospel is a up-and-coming modern hard rock/heavy metal band that has shared stage with the likes of Quiet Riot, Life of Agony, Overkill and even Buckcherry(!) and has one studio release to it's name in "Wasteland America". The group's line-up includes Todd Knowlden (vocals), Stan Chan (guitar), Mark Ramsey (bass), and Pete Colvin (drums) and all four tracks on this gripping EP ("Before My Eyes", "Scary", "The Growing Unknown", and the title track) are re-worked numbers from the band member's past projects. And by "re-worked" we are talking about some seriously-fierce material that has been purged of any imperfections and then re-shaped in order that it can take the form of one to stellar fucking debut! With "Wasteland American" you get four songs that are lyrically-strong and insanely well-constructed  and seeing as they all fall under the four-minute they are all perfectly suited for today's rock radio crowd! Now, considering the fact that this (recommend) EP was put out shortly after this band first came together one would have to imagine that any new material is even better. Or at least we can all hope as much! Available on sites like CD Baby and iTunes, "Wasteland American" makes the case that we could be looking at one of the next big things to come out of New Jersey! And given that scenes success that is really saying something! 

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday Singles: Murkocet-Strip Club Massacre

Self-Release/Independent
2016

This Saturday Single moment will be as short and direct as it's subject matter is. Murkocet's groove-heavy "Strip Club Massacre" is the theme song of the upcoming horror film of the same name and it's sure to be a crowd pleasure for fans of Parkway Drive, Bloodsimple, and Lamb of God. While I won't comment of the the actual quality (or lack thereof) of the movie after which it is named, "Strip Club Massacre" is a powerful slice of pure heavy f**kin' metal that is awarded extra points for it's Motörhead-inspired bass lines (courtesy of one Brandon Raeburn) and the fearsome vocal delivery of lead singer Richie Jano!  Drummer Mike Mays and guitarist Nate Garrett round out this Chandler, Arizona' foursome that can be found online by heading here. Meanwhile you can find "Strip Club Massacre" on the group's bandcamp page or at places like iTunes.

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Saturday Singles: Project Aegis- "Angel In The Ashes" (Charity Single)

Ulterium Records
2016


"Angel In the Ashes" is a melodic power metal single where all of the profits raised will go towards feeding homeless and refugee families in Greece. This charity single was composed by Theocracy songwriter and lead singer Matt Smith and it was recorded with the help of a all-star cast. In addition to Smith himself, "Angel In The Ashes" features vocals by Rob Rock (Solo, Impellitteri), Daísa Munhoz (Vandroya, Soulspell), Vasilis Georgiou (Sunburst, Black Fate), and Leah McHenry (LEAH). The song (which can be purchased by clicking on the link above) runs over five minutes long and it includes a guitar solo by Gus Drax (Sunburst, Black Fate). Fans of progressive and melodic power metal should appreciate everything that "Angel In the Ashes" has to offer, but seeing as it is a charity single I would like to suggest it to all of our regular readers. ..

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Saturday Singles: Black Leaves of Envy-"Forget What You Know"

Self-Release/Independent
2016

Black Leaves of Envy is a up-and-coming heavy rock/metal band that is based in Helston, Cornwall and comprised of Lewis Cunnningham (vocals/rhythm guitar), Cerys Plenty (vocals/bass), Adam Jones (vocals/lead guitar), and Dylan Plenty (vocals/drums). This young and talented band was formed back in November of 2013 before making their studio debut some two years later with the release of a demo single entitled "I Can't Trust You". Released on April 14th, "Forget What You Know" is this group's latest studio output and it was recorded and produced by Dare Mason at the VIP Lounge. The single follows in the footsteps of a 2015 EP, "Living In The Aftermath", and it shows the natural growth and progression of this underground English rock/metal band. Even though the young members of Black Leaves of Envy list groups & artists like Royal Blood, Biffy Clyro, Lower Than Atlantis, and Mallory Knox as their primary sources of inspiration the catchy "Forget What You Know" shows of the skills of one high-school aged band that has it's own thing going on! And we all know how hard that can be!! It is going to be very interesting watching this young band evolve and I for one simply cannot wait to see what the future has in store them. In the meantime be sure to support young rock and heavy metal bands like Black Leaves of Envy as they are the ones who will carry on the flag for all things LOUD and PROUD. Oh yeah, you can find this slightly-addictive single by heading here....

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