ACCEPT: Russian Roulette: CD

The final release in the classic quartet of mid-period Accept, Russian Roulette, an album that proved if you wanted crunchy metal, nobody did it better. The band has been around since 1976 and this was to be their final album with lead vocalist Udo Dirkschneider until 1992.

The Cherry Red reissue finds the original ten tracks joined by a further three live songs which can originally be found on the 1990 live album, Staying A Life. “T.V. War” roars from the start, setting up a killer intro to this under-rated album. “Monsterman” keeps the high quality of the album going, “Russian Roulette” showcases gang vocals and builds into a massive track. “It’s Hard To Find A Way” is a more restrained track that has intensity and great vocals, “Walking In The Shadows” is a thick and heavy track that has incredible guitar playing. “Aiming High” is a definite highlight with a chorus that grabs you and doesn’t let go.

This excellent reissue from Cherry Red has a full sound, with mastering courtesy of Andy Pearce, and adds excellent liner notes by Malcolm Dome which feature contributions from drummer Stefan Kaufmann and guitarist Wolf Hoffmann, as well as vintage pictures and the three live tracks add value to this great album.

NEW JACOBIN CLUB: Soldiers Of The Mark: CD

Champagne Ivy cover art

Since forming in the mid-90’s as a three-piece, New Jacobin Club has shared the stage with KMFDM, Voltaire, The Groovie Ghoulies, Nashville Pussy, and The Nekromantix and gotten more interesting as time passed. By incorporating an electric cello, keyboards, synthesizers and even a theremin, The New Jacobin Club created an unique sound that bounces back and forth between the genres of punk, goth, hard rock, and metal.

“The Mark” kicks things off and has a tight mix of metal and goth with a touch of punk that really gets you in the mood for a hard-hitting collection of songs. The dual vocals really add to the song, as well as the theremin giving a nice spooky touch to the song. “Champagne Ivy” has a great groove and the band brings in the male / female vocals to a great harmonizing effect. The song just picks you up and pushes you into the more punk side and really stands out. “Angel MMXIV” has a great female vocal lead that gives the album a different feel, but still has that edge to it that makes you want to hit replay on. “Garthim” is the only song that I hit the skip button on, the song is interesting as a mood piece, kind of like Jolly Tambourine Band’s “Apple Strudel Man,” but just not as interesting.

The band hits hard and heavy, giving you a kick to the forehead and making you notice them and the great talent that is on display here. This is an album that brings different sounds and genres together to make a glorious racket.

CHURCH OF THE DEAD: Vol. 4 Meet Me In The Tomb: CD

Finnish death metal that combines d-beat and punk attitude that feels like old school death metal, but is fresh and super tight. This is the fourth brutal release and in four songs, they will crush you.

Started off with an incredible first song, “Bedlam,” the EP gets things going with a song that  goes from frenzied attack to a slow grind and just kills. “The Gallows Pole” has a nice punk / thrash feel to it that gets the head banging right away. Great guttural vocals and some screamed vocals combine to an amazing effect. “The Reckoning (Abyss pt. 2)” just continues the assault with chugging guitar playing mixed with tight leads, thick bass, and pounding drums that are fantastic. Last song “Masturbating on the Grave of Everything” is a short, fast attack that kicks up the thrash and will make the pit a fun place to be in when these guys play live.

Four songs, not one song wasted, just insanity from the get go with a bit of diversity to break things up and show the skill that these guys have, This band has not recorded a clunker yet, buy all of their releases today!