GMA - Vol149 - Winter Haze, Arise, F**khammer, Citadel Besieged, Wintercold, F.O.B., Nadir, Wrath Of Fenrir, Mosfet, Toranaga
Last year Italian Symphonic Power Metallers Winter Haze unleashed their first ever EP 'Silent Deception' as the sucessor to their debut album 'The Storm Within', how apt is it then this year they have been going for 10 years. 'Silent Deception' carries on that much beloved sound of theirs, the majestic layering of female power metal vocals on electronic symphonic elements and adding pinches of melodies along the line, this is what Winter Haze is all about, creating a musical sound that defines their own thoughts and they have done it once again. 'Silent Deception' is an EP that should garner them more attention across the European continent, if you love angelic vocals, epic symphonies, powerful drums and guitars, then 'Silent Deception' by Winter Haze is for you.
Download This: "Cross The Sea"
For Fans of: Within Temptation, Epica, Nightwish
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Don't Worry Be Happy!' + Live DVD'
Japan is not usually known for Thrash Metal and so when quartet Arise make their long awaited debut the response is astounding, 'Don't Worry Be Happy!' features a plethora of tracks that explicitly demonstrates the burly ferociousness of the Japanese Thrash Metal scene. 'Don't Worry Be Happy!' delivers the classic style Thrash Metal, fast and heavily brutal and something that Slayer fans will be pissing themselves over for the foreseeable future. However for Arise they are an interesting bunch, this is a unique style of Thrash that plucks in Hardcore influences and yet does not fully reach either side, so you could call it crossover Thrash, whatever you call it the fact remains that Arise are an absolute gem.
Download This: "Bitch's Trap"
For Fans of: Slayer, Nuclear Assault, Agnostic Front
As for the DVD, it features live footage of the band's two songs 'Life Domination' and 'No More Pain', it also features various shots and photos of the Japanese lands, the countryside, downtown Tokyo and bizarrely a rollercoaster and various shots of a car race going on a windy road through the mountains. With special effects like the photos and videos changing color intermittently, it is the perfect accompaniment to the album 'Don't Worry Be Happy!'.
 + [7.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Hammered To F**k'
Yeah well wait for the vocalist to reach the recording studio and then the band can begin the real recording, let's face it F**khammer (asterisks are there for obvious reasons) aren't exactly anything special nor are they really going to go far, come on their style of Sludgey Crust / Death Metal is as poor as Justin Bieber belittling a tog. Their demo 'Hammered To F**k' may well have music on it, but it is no way anything good, if the lads stopped drowning themselves in the pub and actually thought about this, they would nail it. The guitars and drums are perhaps the only best thing about this release.
[3.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Creation / Damnation'
Last year saw the second album by Indiana's Citadel Besieged being released, 'Creation / Damnation' carries on more of the classic heavy metal the band laid out on their debut album, this time some of the songs have a much slower presence, such an example is the song 'Between The Shadows And The Dawn' where the fast pacy rhythms of a general heavy metal song become slowed down and thus adding a darker and sadder atmosphere to the affray. 'Creation / Damnation' is one of those releases that will appeal to any heavy metal fan, whether you prefer the fast pacey speed of Iron Maiden or the doom-like depressive sounds of Black Sabbath, Citadel Besieged's 'Creation / Damnation' had something for everyone.
Download This: 'Between The Shadows And The Dawn'
For Fans of: Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Mors Solum Inceptum Est'
The latest album by one-man Gothic / Doom Metal project Wintercold has finally dropped, 'Mors Solum Inceptum Est' is the product of mastermind musician Satanic Tony (who also owns Salute Records), the Swedish musician has summoned once again the best of his musical abilities to unleash a blackened torrent of depression and Gothic atmospheric music. Sure 'Mors Solum Inceptum Est' is as raw as previous releases, but that adds to the whole doom effect and as the album progresses, listeners will fall further and further into the unknown as the album is intended to do. 'Mors Solum Inceptum Est' is certainly an acquired taste and is not for anyone who wants clean production, not for the faint of heart either.
Download This: "The Dragon's Breath"
For Fans of: Black Sabbath, Tiamat, Celtic Frost
 RHYS STEVENSON
'Reap What You Sow'
There is a storm brewing over the Czech Republic and it isn't pretty either, perhaps the floods in Central Europe were down to the sheer magnitude F.O.B. exerts with their epic mix of Death / Thrash Metal and an equated balance of harsh and soft melodic vocals. In fact their 2013 album 'Reap What You Sow' should earn them international attention and possibly GMA's Czech album of the year. This is how Death / Thrash Metal should sound, technically trippy drums, machete-sharp riffs and punch-in-your-face vocals that will make you spew blood until you choke on your own bloody spit. 'Reap What You Sow' is by far one of the best albums to emerge out of the Czech Extreme Metal scene and with this effort now in the open, F.O.B. deserve nothing more than to be asked to play major European Metal festivals, let the apocalypse commence.
Download This: "Missed Violence"
For Fans of: HateSphere, Scarred In Beauty, Legion of The Damned
 RHYS STEVENSON
Let's be honest Hungary is not a country you would associate with Deathcore, Death Metal yes, but Deathcore? Ah who cares, Nadir are a ten-legged machine of whom unleashed torrential hell with their fifth full length 'Exitus' released last year. Menacing riffs grapple the intense vocals that lead this album forward to mass apocalyptic proportions whilst the drumming serves as a warning sign to those weak hearted people that 'Exitus' is only for those that can withstand an atomic explosion of pure Hungarian Death Metal / Deathcore. For a band that has nearly been around 10 years, it's about time they exploded on the international scene and rock the apple cart of over-produced American Deathcore. Nadir are flying the flag for the Hungarian Metal scene.
Download This: "Plunderers Of The Earth"
For Fans of: Job For A Cowboy, Bring Me The Horizon, Unleashed,
 RHYS STEVENSON
WRATH OF FENRIR
'Wrath Of Fenrir'
On the battlefields of the land down under, a tribal group paved the way for the darkness and folk bards to make their mark, that group is Wrath of Fenrir. Hailing from Western Australia, the quartet battle their way onto the scene with their war-torn variation of the already popular Black / Folk Metal. Their self-titled 2012 EP delivers what is expected of such a band, bouncy and flamboyant music and vocals during the folk sections, shifting into the bitterly cold shrieking Black Metal vocals, almost as if this band is bipolar (it happens). The great thing about this release is that one listen and you're hooked, sure it does not reach the same level as the Eastern European lot, heck it's not even in the same ball park, but it serves well as a piece of Australian Extreme Metal.
Download This: "Wolfshead"
For Fans of: Ancient Rites, The Furor, Winterfylleth, Arkona
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
'Deathlike Trash 'N' Roll'
At first listener's will be confounded to what music style Mosfet is aiming for... and by the end of the listening session they still will be confounded. After all the band's second album 'Deathlike Trash 'N' Roll' is hardly convincing enough to even reckoned as a serious metal album, all-in-jest. The truth is, the Austrian's second album seriously shifts music style too often and too quick. With that in mind, they aim for a mixture of Death / Thrash Metal with Rock 'N' Roll, unfortunately it seems they went the wrong way about it. I wouldn't say avoid it at all costs, just be wary it is a release that seems more rushed than someone running for the bus, if they got their organization right it would sound better, much better.
Download This: "A Rowdy's Warfare"
For Fans of: F**k knows?
 RHYS STEVENSON
25 years. One word: impressive. Toranga have been pillaging the countryside for the past quarter century and as they prepare to unleash their latest release 'Righteous Retribution' it is evident why. Producing the distinctive classic hard rock / heavy metal matrix that was laid out by the gods themselves, Toranaga summon up a sound that makes them stand out from the rest of the classic metal armada. However much has changed and as two new guitarists join the ranks, what could Toranaga conjure up next? Well given their upcoming album 'Righteous Retribution' carries on their chosen sound with a sharper focus and more aggressive attitude, they may as well become a band that sadly never made it, had they not signed to Chrysalis they may well be gods now, wait they are gods in their own right and so here is to another decade or so to Toranaga!
For Fans of: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica
'Righteous Retribution' is out 2nd September 2013
 RHYS STEVENSON
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