Review: Chalice – s/t (War On All Fronts 2014 MC)

The Irish fanzine War On All Fronts have expanded into a label, and their first release is this debut EP of Chalice, hailing from Montpelier, Vermont. Musically, I'd describe this as heavy metal with doom and folk influences. A more heavy metal-, rather than rock-oriented Blood Ceremony is a good comparison. Parts of the first Witchcraft(Swe)-album another, especially the last song "Her Sisters They Were Weak" has got a medieval atmosphere that's very reminiscent to the one of Chalice.

The closing Raise Your Chalice draws way more towards traditional power/speed metal than the rest, indicating that this is a very multi-talented band capable of achieving high quality stuff regardless of metallic sub-genre. Classic female-fronted bands like Chastain comes to mind. An incredibly epic and powerful song, I'd love to see them develop more in that direction, still keeping some fragments of their present folk-inspired sound though. A very promising EP, it'll be interesting to see what the future holds for this band. 7/10 /H


Review: Children Of Technology – Future Decay (Ripping Storm 2014 LP)

From one bunch of Italian metalpunx to another, Children Of Technology have returned with a 27-minute assault that crushes most in its way. Capturing the very essence of both genres, this is an album that shouldn't pass anyone by. I constantly get reminded of stuff like early Motörhead, Metallica and Voivod.

 It's hard to find anything to complain about really, I might seem a bit overenthusiastic about this. Of course you can always go with the old usual “not bringing anything new”-shit, but it even feels a bit original as well, much because of the Italian accent of the vocals. This turned out to be quite a short review, but don't really feel any the need to write anything more. Get this shit! 8/10 /H


Review: HI-GH – Till Death And After (Metal On Metal 2014 CD)

 HI-GH is a speed metal/punk hybrid from Italy, and this is their second album. These guys just won't stop throwing solely high paced compositions aimed at your face, of which some hits, and some misses. Something that's good throughout is the musical performance, which is constantly very tight with riffs and solos sounding very well written. Thankfully they don't fall into the technical excessiveness of modern thrash metal either, everything is kept old school, but with a fresh production.

 What brings it all down a bit are the lyrics. Some might find them perfect, but I just don't get along with them at all. Sure, there are definitely those who are able to pull the whole sex, drugs & rock n' roll approach off, but it's a thin line between geniality and ridiculousness. Unfortunately, HI-GH are on the wrong side of it way to often. The right instinctive feeling is simply crucial, and when it's not there, it just gets kind of annoying.

 With some lyrical improvements though, preferably drawing more towards satan, war and insanity (or whatever), this is a band that has got some serious potential. Really hope they get it right on the next album. 6.5/10 /H


Review: Heavy Nukes - s/t (Rawmantic Disasters 2014 LP)

 While we're talking about the projects of Ced Forsberg, let's not forget Heavy Nukes. This is 11 minutes of raw punk insanity that deserves to be mentioned as one of 2014's highlights just as much as Rocka Rollas or Breitenhold. I might not be as acquainted with the punk-scene as when it comes to heavy metal, but I'm definitely able to tell that this is some great stuff.

 Regardless of genre, this guy seems to have some kind of super power to achieve a production more or less authentic to which ever part of the musical history he may wish his bands to sound as. The sound of this LP immediately takes you back to when you heard the early stuff of Anti Cimex or Shitlickers for the first time. Adding the super effective straight to the point-songwriting and merciless riffs, the result is one of the rawpunk highlights this year. 7,5/10 /H