New Heavy Metal Album Reviews: October 9, 2013
Ratings are on a 5 star scale.
The Answer – ‘New Horizon’ (Napalm)
Genre: Classic Hard Rock
In the glory days of cassettes and FM radio when only Grandmaster Flash beat the white lines of things to come, a band like Northern Ireland’s The Answer would’ve been a fresh breeze into a musty room.
New Horizon is the fourth attempt to capture a razor sharp update on Aerosmith, AC/DC and those dozens of Marshall Tucker Band sound-alikes that snuck into the classic rock radio playlists of the day. Every song from “New Horizon” to “Scream A Louder Love” are precise gems that sparkle with tight well-seasoned playing. Comfort tunes for trying times.
Beaten to Death – ‘Dodsfest’ (Mas-Kina)
After listening to Dodsfest, the second studio album from Norway’sBeaten to Death, that’s pretty much how you’ll feel. BtD’s grinding hardcore lays a serious beatdown on every sense you have.
For just over 19 minutes, scathing screams and guttural barks command the adrenaline fueled madness. The energy and passion pouring forth is impossible not to get caught up in. Vocal hooks and giant riffs compel listener involvement in the cathartic process. Killswitch Engage style melodies can also be found all over Dodsfest. Recorded 100 percent live, it’s honest and humorous and quite possibly the most engaging 19 minutes you’ll experience this year.
Blood Of The Martyrs – ‘Completionist’ (Self)
For their second album, the Christian metal band Blood Of The Martyrsteamed up with producer Jamie King (Between The Buried And Me) and brought aboard some high profile guest vocalists.
Their brand of metalcore is intense and punishing, with ample breakdowns and some electronic flourishes, but no melodic vocals. Karl Schubach of Misery Signals makes an appearance on the crushing “The Action Man,” and Oh, Sleeper’s Micah Kinnard guests on the more eclectic “Colonel Gentlemen.” The band’s aural intensity is complemented by a potent lyrical message. You can get your skull crushed and your soul renewed at the same time.
Earthless – ‘From the Ages’ (Tee Pee)
Tee Pee Records
Genre: Stoner/Desert Rock
From the Ages is the first album from spaced-out San Diego stoner rock trio Earthless since 2007. Like its predecessors, this album is full of thick, serpentine instrumental jams take that hurtle the listener along on a psychedelic joyride.
The band is at its best on the opening song, “The Violence of the Red Sea.” Isaiah Mitchell is one of the few guitarists currently playing who can shred for 20 minutes straight without draining the listener’s patience — at least not too much. Those who like their psychedelic journeys a little shorter and more structured might check out Mitchell’s other band, Golden Void.
(Karen A. Mann)