RAWAGE: Triumph of Sin: CD

RAWAGE was started back in 2009 in Loimaa, Finland and musically RAWAGE is influenced by black, thrash and death metal which you can hear on this three song EP.

These five guys have laid down some heavy songs that make you want to get into the pit and mosh your ass off. They aren’t shy with the songs either, I mean, you can’t get more obvious than “Jesus Sodomized”. The songs are gone before you know it and it leaves you wanting more from them, which is a good thing, always leave them wanting more. Good production and mix, nice and loud with a close, tight feel to it. The vocals are deep and growling throughout, the band is just brutal in their playing and it has the feel of a band that has been around for a while, but still has bite to them.

They are a young band with a long future ahead of them. Grab a copy and blast it loud.

https://www.facebook.com/rawage   http://www.violentjourneyrecords.com/

DEATHMARCHED: Spearhead Of Iron: CD

This old school death metal band from Finland is composed of three ex-members of PUTRID and GOD FORSAKEN and one ex-member of BLOODRIDE who have been together since 2009. They have their debut album out now on Violent Journey Records.

Spearhead Of Iron is eleven heavy, mid-paced death metal songs with a short instrumental opener. The leads are nicely done and not overpowering the songs, the bass and drums pummeling behind and the growling vocals, that you can actually make out the lyrics to. The songs are produced and mixed well, clear and concise, no fluff, just to the point and heavy. The pit will be rocking with this album, especially with my favorite song “Massmurderer”, a song that could almost fit into a hardcore band’s set. Lots of good songs and great playing from these four guys on this album, it stands out from a lot of the bland death metal and brings back the good old days.

This was a nice change of pace from a lot of mediocre death metal and really should get these guys some international notice which they deserve.

https://www.facebook.com/deathmarched   http://www.violentjourneyrecords.com/


ANTAGONIST ZERO is a five-piece metal band from Porvoo, Finland, formed in 2010 whose members have been in bands such as ADASTRA, CAVUS, COPROLITH and LOST IN TEARS.

They call their music catatonic metal which includes elements from different types of metal genres, such as doom, death and black metal, but they also have some melody in that mix as well as some classic hard rock/metal in the guitar work and some of the vocals which are very melodic at times. You get the growling vocals of course, but the melodic vocals make it stand out. On their five song debut album, these five guys have done an interesting job of mixing things up, although the very long songs tend to drag a bit, there are nice atmospherics on this album and the band are really good players. If they trimmed a bit of the excesses in time, they would have been higher on my list, but they still will do a good job of scaring the normals in your neighborhood if you play this loud, which is the only way to play it in my opinion.

Not a perfect album, but a lot of promise from this Finnish five piece band. I will keep an ear out for more from them in the future.

https://www.facebook.com/antagonistzero   http://www.violentjourneyrecords.com/

VALONKANTAJAT: Tuomittu Elämään: CD

VALONKANTAJAT is a band from Uusimaa, southern Finland that plays heavy metal with lyrics completely in Finnish on this ten song album.

The songs are pretty heavy with some nice melodic vocals mixed with more gruff vocals. Lead guitar work is pretty good throughout, and the double bass drum keeps things moving along. The album is pretty heavy, but still manages to have a lot of melody and the aforementioned lead guitar work shines in places. This has a nice chunky, thick feel in places and has a bit of a METALLICA sound in the vocals at times, but not too much, which is good. They wanted to sing in their native language to represent the feeling of living in the north and this debut album shows a lot of promise and talent from these guys. They have got a lot of fast tunes on here to get your head banging and a few slower, but not slow songs as well, to change the pace of the album a bit and it’s a nicely mixed and produced album.

These guys should get your head moving, the only thing that may hold them back are the length of some of the songs because I wanted more concise songs, but without knowing the language, I may be missing why they are long and of course, the language itself. It may limit the fan base out of their native country, but give them a try and you may be surprised.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Valonkantajat/154609347929737   http://www.valonkantajat.com/   http://www.violentjourneyrecords.com/

STONE MAGNUM: Self-titled: LP

Formed in the fall of 2010, Michigan City, Indiana’s STONE MAGNUM has released their debut album of epic doom metal.

This carries on where the good BLACK SABBATH albums left off. These guys take from that template and have made an album that is heavy, plodding, but in a good sludgy way and added some faster parts and ran with it. The first song “Fallen Priest” has that SABBATH with OZZY fronting them sound and it rocks! This album is loaded with mid-paced doom, the guitar has some great leads, the drums and bass are nice and thick and the singer has a great growler of a voice on some songs and more melodic on others. The production is dense, but you can still hear the leads in the background on the heavier songs.

This is an album of some epic and heavy music, which has a classic sound and feel to it. This truly is a band that can play with some of the classic bands and hold its own.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stone-Magnum/182549458436679  http://stonemagnum.bandcamp.com/   http://www.stonemagnum.com/#!__bio   http://www.restinpeacerecords.us/

DIRT: Rock’n’Roll Accident: CD

This is the sophomore release from this German metal band and I’m really digging it! This band has a great mix of hard rock, metal, some groove rock, some blues and some southern rock thrown in.

I know, I know, it sounds like a crazy mix, but these five Germans really can pull it off and make you amazed that it holds up so well. The guitar has some great leads thrown around the album, so you will be able to air guitar like a nut job, the drumming is clear and impressive for all you air drummers to learn, and the bass mixes in really well. “Seven Days”, has smooth yet tight drum beats then into chugging guitar…fantastic! Songs like “Nice to See You” and “Crush are super catchy. Most of the songs are pretty fast rock with one ballad thrown in near the end and a cool blues based tune, “Never Change My Ways” on here as well. The vocals suit these songs so well, with some soaring vocals mixed with more melodic singing. These songs are just so damn catchy that I had to play it a couple of times to get my fill.

This is the kind of rock music that I wish that I could hear on the radio instead of the crap that passes off as hard rock nowadays. This is a release that will get played a ton of times and I’m going to bug my friends to check out.

https://www.facebook.com/dirtmetal   http://www.dirt-music.de/   https://www.facebook.com/massacrerecordseurope   http://www.massacre-records.de/


PIG IRON is back with ten brand new tracks that have a more bluesy sound than their previous albums, but they still are a band to be reckoned with. They are signed to Hear No Evil Records which is a subsidy of Cherry Red Records on this album.

They welcome new guitarist Dan Edwards from Sons Of Merrick, and add a good dose of harmonica on here as well as more of a classic rock sound this time around. You get a ton of great guitar work like on, “Horseshoes & Hand Grenades, which has some great harmonica work on it as well. The song, “Chapter 6” is a very short, but really well done mid pace instrumental which lightens up the proceedings a bit, then you get, “Bootlace Noose” to bring the rock back with a nice long track that you can bob your head along to. The last three songs bring the album to a mellow end, with two being more mellow, slower songs and the last song, “Grave’s End” being another super short instrumental track.

This band really brought a feeling of timeless quality to this album, it has the feel of an album that you’ve heard before and loved, but it still feels fresh. PIG IRON really have put a lot of love and care into this release and it really shows with how well of an album that they have given us. It really is great to see bands making classic sounding albums like this and not falling into the trap of doing something modern to try to fit in, these guys went and did an album that they wanted to do, and to hell with trying to force something they weren’t into just because something is cool now, this is an album that will be played now and later and still be good, not trendy. They have given us a great album with really good production that isn’t so crisp that it sucks the life out of the songs, but not dirty enough to bury anything, like I said it feels like and should be a classic album.

https://www.facebook.com/PIGIRONMC   http://www.pigiron.info/home.html   https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords   http://www.cherryred.co.uk/


This five song EP from Perth, Scotland’s WE CAME FROM WOLVES has put out a really cool bunch of songs that have massive potential for getting a room full of people to sing along with them.

You can hear the Scottish accent in the vocals which was a nice thing to hear for a change since most vocalists try to sing without an accent, I think that it added something to the songs, some personality that’s missing from a lot of other bands doing rock music nowadays. The band puts out a great rock sound with some modern touches and a bit of a punkish underbelly, but never veering too far that way. The songs are very melodic and catchy and will be getting played more often in my car so I can sing along and soak up the energy and love that they’ve put into the music. The title track “Cope” draws you into the album with energetic and melodic choruses and great lyrics and vocal hooks.The band is really tight and have the groove locked down which is great for such a relatively young band. The drummer is doing such a good job bringing the right amount of thump to the songs, the guitar is nice and sharp, with great bass playing as well.

I really thought that the band put a lot of effort into this release and it shows with how well the entire package was, from production, songwriting, and the playing. This is a definite winner.

https://www.facebook.com/wecamefromwolves   https://www.facebook.com/engineerrecords   http://engineerrecords.bandcamp.com/   http://engineerrecords.com/

MAKER: Self-titled: CD

MAKER is a five piece band from Springfield, MA that plays basically a mix of modern rock, post hardcore, and some almost screamo elements all mixed together. They put out their self-titled five song EP and it has a lot of energy and a lot more melody than I was expecting.

The vocals have a screamo feel at times, but they temper that with more subdued and melodic vocals in their songs which is really nice. The guitar work is nice and crisp, the drums are thumping away nicely in the back and the bass is fluid throughout the EP. The songs are actually fairly catchy which made the EP stick with me after I stopped listening to it. “Shadows” and “You Know Who You Are,” are catchier than the songs on the previous release, which was an interesting change, if this is where they are going on their future releases, it should be very cool.

These guys have taken a turn toward evolving their sound since their last release Mirrors and it really works for them. It should be interesting to see where they go from here, hopefully going in this direction and still keeping the power and excitement that they brought to this release.

https://www.facebook.com/MAKERMA  https://www.facebook.com/engineerrecords   http://engineerrecords.bandcamp.com/   http://engineerrecords.com/


THESE DAYS play modern rock with a bit of pop flair mixed into their songs. This four piece from England put out their debut album with ten tracks of punchy and engaging music on it.

These guys formed in mid 2011 from a collective of various Salisbury bands DANCE KARATE, DROWNED BY OCEANS and I MET NATURE. The album starts off fairly relaxed with the song “Only You”, which has some nice vocal harmonies on it and keeps getting better as it goes on. The band has touches of pop in the instrumental pieces in some of their songs and with the catchy vocals which keep the harmonies going along the album. The album is chock full of hooks and the more you listen, the more they stay with you. The band steadily gets harder and faster as the album goes on, but not too hard to wreck the vibe that they lay down. The guitar work is full and the drummer takes care to bash away with just enough verve to make you nod your head along without going too hard, and the bass is very fluid and bouncy in places.

It took me a couple of listens, but I really got into this album, and really like it. Grab a copy and check them out.

https://www.facebook.com/TheseDaysrock   https://www.facebook.com/engineerrecords  http://engineerrecords.bandcamp.com/    http://engineerrecords.com/