Thursday, 23 August 2012

Heavy Metal Album Review : Luca Turilli's Rhapsody - Ascending to Infinity

Luca Turilli's Rhapsody - Ascending to Infinity
Nuclear Blast
Rating: 7/10

After 15  years of being part of Rhapsody of Fire, Luca Turilli and Alex Staropoli amicably decided to part ways to move in different directions artistically. Due to the immense contributions both had made to Rhapsody of Fire both Luca and Alex are continuing the word of their former band but on different branches, with Alex retaining the original name and Luca now using Luca Turilli's Rhapsody in order to release Ascending to Infinity.

The album is a strong power metal record produced by Luca himself and Christoph Stickel, with the end result being an excellently produced and beautifully arranged album. Power metal records can at times sound like one track broken into many parts, but little twists and subtle differences throughout this record prevent it becoming tired as the tracks progress. Alessandro Conti's lead vocals have such strength and range that when lent support by the choir produce a barrage of vocals that both compliment the underlying music and add strength to it.

"Quantum X" and the tribal beat that underscores it, opens the album. While a good track it is not as strong start as the album arguably deserves. Hot on it's heels "Ascending to Infinity" lifts the album up with faster paced percussion and more prominent guitars.

The next two tracks "Dante's Inferno" and "Excalibur" are my favourite two tracks on this album. "Dante's Inferno" starts with a slow, tension building lead up before launching into great guitar riffs and solos. "Excalibur" has stronger vocals with the lead and chorus building up to crescendos regularly through the track, creating what can only be described as an epic vocal sound. This track also has some good guitar riffs and solos but perhaps not as good as those on "Dante's Inferno".

The remaining tracks continue in the vein of the largess of the vocals and guitar riffs shining through from the music underneath while managing to add their own variations. "Tormento E Passione" is the first track the keyboards take more prominence and the contrast of male and female vocals works really well. "Dark Fate of Atlantis" has a much more eastern and oriental feel to it, "Clash of the Titans" has musical parts that almost sound like battle scenes and the closing track, at almost sixteen minutes in length, is an onslaught of sounds from eerie atmospheric music, to keyboard sounds and sinister spoken words.

"Luna" is really the only disappointment to me on the album, the soft female voice that starts the track rings clear, however the overall sound of the track is more something that you would expect to hear in the background, for example in an advert. This is a shame as the remainder of the album really draws you into the music and holds its own in the foreground. The track does build to a stronger sound but leaves you with the feeling it never quite got there.

"Luna" aside Ascending to Infinity is an excellent album for fans of Rhapsody of Fire, Therion and perhaps to a lesser extent Blind Guardian and some of Devin Townsend's more experimental work will really enjoy this album. The only thing that leaves this album short of higher accolades is the disappointment in "Luna" and despite the grandiose sounds and sheer depth of musical layering it would be nice to see something a bit more ground breaking coming out of this genre.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Heavy Metal New Blood EP Review - Bleeding - Bleeding EP

Bleeding - Bleeding EP
Rating 7/10
Words By Jack King

When the buzzword "Djent" inevitably dies out and the world is full of heavy tech metal style bands, the prog-metal world will cry out for something atmospheric and creative once more. That's when Bleeding can capitalise. Bleeding are a "metal project" from Germany who ooze of progressive metal and experimentalism.

We see the ambience that Bleeding create instantly with an odd electric beginning to the opening track "Tempest Of Colours", this digital intro quickly turns into a heavy thrash style riff that would make a Slayer fan smile. Haye Graf's vocals sound as operatic as Devin Townsend but at times can become strained like Joey Belladona's, they can sound awkward and out of place detracting from the atmosphere. The song writing is great and clever, with a sneaky "Master of Puppets" reference.

"Voices" the second track on the EP has the same electronic and ambient elements. In this song the guitarists show of their talent more so than the first track, however, the solos can seem forgettable compared to the monstrous riffs on the EP.

The title track "Bleeding" comes in third on the album with a slower pace adding tension to the atmosphere and shows  a beautiful guitar tone playing the best riff on the EP. This slower track leads into the fast and brilliant "Soul Dancer".

Bleeding do a lot of things right; they create an atmosphere and operatic feel with their music, and producing an album to sound huge. Songs like "Souldancer" genuinely feel like they come from a blockbuster soundtrack. The one detraction from this atmosphere can be the vocals, although in "Souldancer" there is so much going on and so much to pay attention to that the vocals are less distracting.

This EP will provide a lot of enjoyment for those who liked Opeth's last album. Bleeding are definitely one to watch for the progressive metal junkies.

Track Listing:
1. Tempest Of Colours
2. Voices
3. Bleeding
4. Souldancer


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Interview with Steve "Zetro" Souza on Hatriot's New Album

Steve "Zetro" Souza - Vocals
Kosta Varvatakis - Guitars
Michael Esparza - Guitars
Cody Souza - Bass
Alex Bent - Drums

Zetro may be a familiar name to many of you with an impressive pedigree including Exodus and Legacy (Testament) and he returns to us now the guise of Hatriot all set to start recording their debut album "Heroes of Origin" in August this year.

Combining Zetro's experience of the old school thrash scene with some new blood contributing to ensuring the music is still relevant today, this will be an album to look out for. Heavy Metal Bullet caught up with Zetro to find out some more about what to expect from the upcoming album.
"I am like their fearless leader"
Heavy Metal Bullet (HMB): With an impressive history behind you what do you think will make Hatriot stand out from the other bands you have been a part of?
Zetro: I think my experience and my name will obviously give Hatriot a head start with everything. Actually the youth that comes with this band is what will set Hatriot apart from my other projects in the past. I am like their fearless leader. Every practice is a lesson, I tell them what to expect when this thing gets rolling. We never had that in Exodus or Legacy because we were all young and just learning as we went. Now I can take the youth and guide them so we don't make any mistakes. It's a really cool thing.

HMB: Do you think there are expectations placed upon this record considering the bands you have been a part of before?
Zetro: I expect it to be killer, I won't let anything else go out and my past history speaks for itself. The fans know what to expect from me as far as my vocal style goes, that hasn't changed. What has changed is the band is a lot heavier than a lot of what I have done, the music is more aggressive, the lyrics are sicker than ever. This album is going to kick your ass, I can promise that.

HMB: Where did the name Hatriot come from?
Zetro: The Hatriot name came from the Exodus song "Scar Spangled Banner". The band is the natural "next step" from what I was doing during my last run with Exodus, so the name Hatriot kind of ties my history with them to the new band. Plus it sounded pissed off and aggressive, just like a thrash metal band should be, so I went with it.
"The music is more agressive, the lyrics are sicker than ever. This album is going to kick you ass"
HMB: What should people expect from the upcoming record?
Zetro: Expect ten songs of straight up kick your ass thrash metal. The record is going to be called "Heroes of Origin" and it will be all killer no filler. I only put my name to music that I think is top notch, and the new Hatriot record is definitely that. I haven't strayed from the vocal style the fans expect to hear when they listen to something from me, so it will be familiar, yet fresh at the same time.

HMB: Do you have any routines/rituals prior to recording or are you more of a take it how it comes person?
Zetro: I listen to the music extensively, almost relentlessly. Like right now I am memorising the material and we are rehearsing five times a week. So I guess that's the way I prepare for it. I take the music home with me and just drill it over and over.
"We didn't realise the club was run by the Mafia over there"
HMB: Who would you say has influenced the music of Hatriot?
Zetro: I would say the old school thrash scene is obviously the biggest influence, but with the guys in the band being younger they bring in a lot of new elements as well. You will hear a lot of triplets in the music, maybe some blast beats from time to time. I think it's a perfect mix of the old sound and the newer, modern sound.

HMB: What or who would you say got you into metal music?
Zetro: I've always liked hard rock and metal music. I always tell the story of when I was eight years old my father took me out to buy a Led Zeppelin record, that was the beginning of it. In the 70s I listened to mostly hard rock but by the 80s it was definietly all metal. I listened to the most extreme music that was out there.

HMB: Anny funny band related stories you can share?
Zetro: Ummm... let me give you one from England. We (Exodus) trashed a dressing room at the Hummingbird in England. We didn't realise the club was run by the Mafia over there, the Jamaican Triad. The venue had messed up our rider and we were trashing the place to retaliate, not realising these guys were literally going to try and kill us. Sure enough, these Jamaican guys showed up with guns. Our manager told the godfather guy what had happened and that it was nothing against them and that we would pay for it. So they hunted down the guy who didn't hold up the end of the bargain, the guy who stiffed us, and they kicked his ass! The next time we came to England we played a different club and these same Mafia guys came out and they loved us. But they wanted to kill us the year before!

While you wait in eager anticipation for the release of "Heroes of Origin" why not use the time wisely, click on any of the links below and find out some more about Hatriot for yourselves!

Hatriot Website

Friday, 27 July 2012

Heavy Metal Album Review : Seven Deadly - The Allegiance EP

Seven Deadly - The Allegiance EP
Rating: 6.5/10
Words by Jack King

Seven Deadly are a metalcore mob who "rose from the ashes of Panic Cell" and intend to raise hell with their EP "The Allegiance". They show promise but will need to work hard in order to surpass their former band.

The first track kicks off with a speedy riff that turns into an ultra heavy introduction. After an aggressive scream the song hits with hard rock melodies mixing with metalcore riffs and heavy vocals. The whole thing blends together to create an interesting beefy tune. 

Moving on though the next few songs seem to lose that interesting spark and become average metalcore songs with a lack of hooks or big choruses that make bands like Killswitch Engage seem larger than life. The lyrics seem cliché and lack depth whilst the clean vocals seem relatively weary without the hard rock hooks that worked so well in the first track. The tracks "Blood on Your Hands" and "From this Darkness" are patched with chugging riffs that bring back some much needed character to the EP. "From this Darkness" also features the catchiest chorus and it is easy to understand why it was chosen for the band's debut single.

Having said all of the above this still isn't a bad EP, however, it's nothing new or interesting after the first track. The heavy vocals have a great blend of passion and aggression and if you're a huge metalcore addict then there is no reason why you won't enjoy this EP, but for someone who owns every Chimaira album this is an EP that will probably not be missed.

The band definitely has potential, this is clear, but it would be good to see Seven Deadly become more that just another metalcore band. If they manage to develop this sound into something that we haven't heard before then they could easily be better than Panic Cell.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Heavy Metal New Blood Profile: Want For Destruction

Want For Destruction:
Rob Brown : Vox
Gary Durrant: Guitar
Luke Brown: Guitar
Andy Appleton: Drums
Duff Valley: Bass

I had the pleasure of watching these metallers from Great Yarmouth earlier this year (check out the review here) and they have been firmly on my radar ever since.

Formed in 2010 when brothers Rob and Luke joined forces with Gary and Andy and the rest as they say was history...

With influences from Pantera and Machine Head to Johnny Cash Want For Destruction write tracks with heavy groove based riffs and crushing breakdowns. Want For Destruction are currently working on a new release but you can check out their EP "This is the End" on their facebook page (details at the end).

Heavy Metal Bullet caught up with Want For Destruction to find out a bit more about the band and it's members:

Heavy Metal Bullet (HMB): How did the name Want For Destruction come about?
Luke Brown (LB): We had band practice one night and randomly Rob said he wants destruction at our first gig, just destroy the crowd, the venue and all other bands (in a musical sense)

HMB: Would you consider yourself as part of a specific genre and if so which one?
Duff Valley (DV): We don't really like to bracket ourselves into a genre. We are just a kick ass live Metal band.
Andy Appleton (AA): I consider us Groove Metal
Rob Brown (RB): I don't care to be honest, as long as people like our stuff it doesn't matter. We don't do genre bollocks, we write what we like.
LB: Norfolk Metal, it's new and it's the future
Gary Durrant (GD): I agree, we said from the start we will play what we like and let everyone else put us in a genre, we are Metal.

HMB: What's the strangest thing you've ever seen at a gig?
DV: At a gig in London in bad weather,  a cyclist was hit by a car. Not too badly as he then got up and ran to the car, pulled the driver out and kicked the crap out of him.
AA: I always like the coked up middle aged woman who likes to "wave" dance... never gets old
RB: Probably out friend Alex, completly destroyed, getting thrown from a pit doing a javelin head straight into the side of the stage we were playing. How his neck didn't snap is beyond me, he was a mess that night, in fact we all were.

HMB: Any funny band related stories you would like to share?
RB: Not even my band knows this one haha! I ripped my jeans during a gig in Norwich, and played the last few songs with a ball hanging out LOL. I'm gonna get shit for that one now. The funny bit was me trying to go through the photographs Monday morning, trying to make sure my ginger ball wasn't plastered all over facebook. I got lucky there. I also do get a sick laugh out of getting a crowd to shout "POW" in honour of our manager Simon, I know he hates it... Probably hates it even more now that it's stuck!
AA: This is EASY! Duff needing to piss desperatly, it was snowed up, barely moving and it was roughly 16 miles to the next service stop. He moaned like hell for us to pull over but we couldn't and caused mass panic by getting his dick out and threatening to piss in a bottle, which he did... I have a recording of this panic, would be happy to post it..
HMB: I'm thinking the mental image is enough for now!

So go ahead and check these guys out, that being an order rather than a request!


Sunday, 15 July 2012

Heavy Metal New Blood Album Review: Rex Shachath - Sepulchral Torment

Rex Shachath - "Sepulchral Torment"
Rating: 8.5/10
Release Date: 7th Sept 2012
Lable: Hostile Records

Northern Irish metallers Rex Shachath are set to release their debut EP "Sepulchral Torment" later this year but Heavy Metal Bullet has had the change to review this EP.

The EP Starts with a short intro that builds the tension before the full frontal attack from the title track that begins the EP as it means to carry on.

Throughout the EP therw is no let up, the ferocity of the guitars supported by a wall of sound from percussion and topped off with some brutal death metal vocals carries throughout and results in a strong debut EP that is definitely worth a listen.

For fans of old school death metal this is one to keep an eye out for when it is released in September this year. Check out the video below for "Seven Serpents" taken from the EP and then find out below where to get more info on Rex Shachath

Pre-orders for the album (special pre-order package) available at Big Cartel

And you can check out more from the band at all these places:

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Heavy Metal New Blood Band Profile : Orylyus


Andy Joinson - Vocals
Ashley Guest - Drums
Matt Ensor - Guitar
Colin Trent - Guitar
Jason Riggs - Bass
iPod (black 160gb) - Backing Track

Formed in 2010 Birmingham based metallers Orylyus released their six track EP "Stories Heard... Yet Not Recalled" in December 2011 and Heavy Metal Bullet had the pleasure of reviewing it, you can check that out right here

The band class themselves as purely "Metal" but with influences from the Industrial and Melodic Death scenes, and in a view reminiscent of this writer believe "the idea of all these sub-genres is becoming a bit silly... like electro mass murder happy flowercore"

The band is currently going through an image change as they don't want the metal scene to think they are black metal (face paint) so there will be a new, but still faithful to the old, image, logo and a new beginning for the new EP. New releases will take a harder hitting approach to the music and the band warn to be ready for melodic noise.

And then onto the Heavy Metal Bullet questions, and I can say without doubt this is definitely a band with personality!
"I bloody legged it up the road to my train station... in a kilt"
HMB: How did the band name come about?
Orylyus: Well the name is a made up word created from around about 3 words (English and Foreign), with the final meaning being "Put the Fear back into the Fearless"

HMB: What's the first Heavy Metal Album you bought?
Andy: Well the closest to heavy metal I first received was Skid Row's "Skid Row", what a great fuckin album!! First I bought was Korn's self titled debut.
Ashley: The first CD I bought was Korn's "Follow the Leader" I then went on to buy Metallica's Black album

HMB: What's the most recent Heavy Metal album you bought/downloaded?
Andy: Woods of Ypres "Grey Skies and Electric Nights"... Amazing band.
Ashley: Hahahaha the last CD I bought... erm... its been a while since I've bought once from a store... I'm poor. Romeo Must Die, that's it the latest one "Hardships in Season" for £2... Bargain! Go see them live they do crazy things like announcing they are selling their album for £2 haha
HMB: Having seen Romeo Must Die I would totally agree you should go see them live!

HMB: Do you have any albums in your collection you would be embarrassed to tell a metal head you own?
Andy: Ok... nothing I'd be too embarrassed to show anyone really... I know I'm into some dreadful stuff lol... so Aqua!! That's gonna be the one I say here lol... trust me give it a chance
HMB: (coughs discretely) and moving on...
Ashley: No but I've got plenty of Metal I'd be ashamed to show a pop fan!

HMB: Strangest thing you have seen at a gig?
Andy: Mortiis
Ashley: Pints for £2.50!! Girls at a Rush gig!

HMB: Any funny band related stories?
Andy: I'll leave this one to Ash...
Ashley: Myself and our bassist Jason were in Frankfurt for the weekend to see Rush. After the gig we went out for many a drink and I parted ways with him at 5.30am to go home. After narrowly avoiding being beaten up I decided to get a McDonalds. So I was walking down the street with my Big Mac in hand and a rather dirty looking prostitute started shouting at me in German. I decided to ignore her, as you do, but she was having none of it and tried to grab my food. I was having none of that so pushed her away from me only for her to stumble backwards and fall over a bin (in a rather comedic fashion I may add). Leaving her with her legs up in the air and not wanting to be beaten up by any pimps I bloody legged it up the road to my train station... in a Kilt
Andy: See, I have stories but I can't beat that...

So go check out the album and you will not be disappointed and want to know more about the band then you can check out these handily placed links right here!
My Space