Finnish speed metal cult Excuse premiere the new track "Blade of Antichrist" at Decibel magazine's website. The track hails from the band's highly anticipated debut album, Prophets From the Occultic Cosmos, set for international release on August 2nd via Shadow Kingdom Records. Hear Excuse's "Blade of Antichrist" in its entirety exclusively HERE.
One of Finland's hottest newcomers, Excuse began to make a name for themselves with their EP Goddess Injustice. Released to critical acclaim in 2016 by Shadow Kingdom, Goddess Injustice largely introduced the fierce foursome to the international metal underground - with a nuclear-powered bang! A finely honed missile of speed metal majesty, Excuse's sound on that EP in many ways recalled the classic Canadian gods Sacrifice and Razor, but there were hints of greater glories to come. And at last, they've arrived with the presciently titled Prophets From the Occultic Cosmos.
Whereas Goddess Injustice suggested some darkly melodic leanings, Excuse's first full-length expands that arsenal considerably. Here, the six songs comprising Prophets From the Occultic Cosmos stretch out to epic lengths - one even hitting double digits, the climactic 10-minute closer "Watchtower of the Trans-Dimensional Pathway" - and take the listener on a wild, winding ride. The evil 'n' sleazy surge on which Excuse made their name still exists, but has now been finesse into a wholly more dynamic beast, able to reflect haunting moodiness and spacey horror alike. Suitably, co-guitarist Oskar Lindström's vocals have a conspicuous amount of echo placed upon them, suggesting the inter-dimensional struggles of a narrator literally lost in space. Likewise, fellow guitarist Anselmi Ahopalo's leads take centre stage here and weave an almost storytelling aspect, much in the way that classic heavy metal songwriting should, evoking both triumph and tragedy but remaining equally hummable throughout. Completing the totality is album's production, which locates the perfect balance between grit and gleam.
So many young bands blow their proverbial wad during the demo/EP days and peter out by the time their debut album comes. Not so for Excuse, who have been able to transform their earlier youthful energy into enviably advanced maturity with Prophets From the Occultic Cosmos. Behold these Prophets' coming!
The next herald of that coming can be heard with the new track "Blade of Antichrist" exclusively HERE, courtesy of Decibel, North America's only monthly metal magazine. The first herald of that coming is the previously revealed video for "Sworn to the Crimson Oath" HERE. Also hear that track HERE at Shadow Kingdom's Bandcamp, where the album can also be pre-ordered.
Italian obtuse metallers Barbarian premiere the new track "Hope Annihilator" at heavily trafficked web-portal NoCleanSinging.com. The track hails from the band's highly anticipated fourth album, To No God Shall I Kneel, set for international release on June 7th via Hells Headbangers. Hear Barbarian's "Hope Annihilator" in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Since signing with Hells Headbangers in 2016, Barbarian have truly hit their stride. First came their third album, Cult of the Empty Grave, which found the power-trio in fiery form, taking all the rudiments of their first two albums and exploding the band out of the underground. Then, a year later, came a self-titled 7", which offered an even rowdier take on their now-trademark blackened traditional metal. It also saw them touring the United States for the first time, spreading their dark gospel to untouched heathen shores.
Now arrives the ever-aptly-titled To No God Shall I Kneel, arguably the grandest distillation of the Barbarian aesthetic yet. Still deadly committed to the eternal riddle of steel, Barbarian's sound continues to find a unique balance between the ancient and the fresh, but without once ever stinking of falseness or modernity. Timeless to the very end, To No God Shall I Kneel takes that characteristically sweat-drenched symbiosis of early Running Wild and '80s Manowar, grinds it through the gravel of classic Celtic Frost, and finishes it off the panache of likewise-classic Venom. If the critically acclaimed Cult of the Empty Grave eclipsed such a hypothesis, then To No God Shall I Kneel goes further into the realms of ballsy boisterousness, unapologetically OTT and Alpha at every turn, and simply takes no prisoners nor offers any safe spaces. Cult of the Empty Grave spelled it out with the track "Absolute Metal"; here, Barbarian tell you in no uncertain terms that you're now dealing with "Obtuse Metal." Wanna pose? Leave the hall!
With cover art courtesy of Acid Witch's Shagrat, Barbarian continue to hail & kill, because To No God Shall I Kneel! Bow before their hailing & killing majesty with the new track "Hope Annihilator" exclusively HERE, courtesy of NoCleanSinging.com. Also hail & kill with the previously revealed track "Birth and Death of Rish'ah" HERE at Hells Headbangers' Bandcamp, where the album can also be pre-ordered.
Chilean speed metallers Sins of the Damned stream the entirety of their highly anticipated debut album, Striking the Bell of Death, at Legacy magazine's website. Set for international release on May 3rd via Shadow Kingdom Records, hear Sins of the Damned's Striking the Bell of Death in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Formed in 2013 in the city of Santiago, Sins of the Damned have become a cult institution in their homeland of Chile, itself a hotbed of heavy metal mania. The band self-released their first couple of demos, totally DIY but 100% professional, and prodigiously perfected their craft with subsequent short-length releases every year since. And now, at last arrives the full distillation of Sins of the Damned's eternal, unyielding aesthetic: the full-length Striking the Bell of Death!
For a debut album, Striking the Bell of Death does everything it should: consolidate all of Sins of the Damned's strengths, unveil previously hinted-at elements, and deliver them in a powerful production. The beauty (or is that ugliness?) of Sins of the Damned is that the quartet maintain such a classic sound, drinking deeply of metal's rich history, and yet exude a freshness of approach that results in something legitimately, respectably modern. Striking the Bell of Death is full, furious proof of that, exhibiting absolutely masterful songwriting - hooks, energy, passion, EVERYTHING - while roughening it up in a manner almost blackened (but not too much!). As such, the record comes highly recommended to maniacs of classic Razor, Whiplash, Exciter, and Deathrow (Germany) as well as current torch-bearers like Desaster, Gospel of the Horns, Deathhammer, and Italy's Barbarian.
Hark! Do you hear that sound? It's Sins of the Damned Striking the Bell of Death - and they're coming for YOU! The full tolling bell of doom can be heard exclusively HERE, courtesy of Legacy, Germany's defenders of the true. Pre-order info can be found HERE at Shadow Kingdom's Bandcamp.
Canadian speed metallers Chainbreaker stream the entirety of their highly anticipated debut album, Lethal Desire, at heavily trafficked web-portal CVLTNation.com. Set for international release on February 15th via Hells Headbangers, hear Chainbreaker's Lethal Desire in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Chainbreaker formed sometime in the frigid depths of 2013. The band began as a three-piece in Al Chambers' garage, with Al taking care of vocal duties and drums, Ian Chains on guitar, and band friend Craig Rose on bass. Initially, the band was just an excuse to cope with winter by get hammered and playing Razor songs. Eventually, a solid line-up came together (Rob Ouellette on vocals, Curtis Faux on bass) and the Constant Graving demo tape was released in early 2014 to coincide with the band's debut gig at the now-defunct Izakaya Sushi Bar. A handful of shows were played in Eastern Canada in support of the tape, as well as a brief US tour with now-labelmates BAT in the summer.
The following year, three songs were recorded for the Enslave Your Masters 7” single that has yet to be released, but has since been made available online. In the spring of 2017, the debut full-length Lethal Desire was recorded at Lincoln County Social Club (Cauldron's main recording haunt) in Toronto, and was mixed and mastered by Toxic Holocaust frontman Joel Grind. It's also the first Chainbreaker recording to feature new bassist Phil Zeller (Rammer/Toxic Holocaust) and will be the first release for the band on Hells Headbangers.
For a band featuring current and former members of Cauldron, Toxic Holocaust, and Rammer, it's not surprising that Chainbreaker suitably specialize in lean 'n' mean speed metal that pays respects to their '80s Canadian forebears like Razor, Sacrifice, Piledriver, and Slaughter whilst honourably adding to that classic canon. All that was crude 'n' rude about said canon - the locomotive rush, the raw-blooded intensity, the emphasis on simple yet exclamatory hooks - is dragged kicking and screaming into the present, under the oh-so-fitting title of Lethal Desire. Poisonous yet endlessly fun, the album unleashes one mini-anthem after another, each one more rivet-headed than the last, but always in service of the eternal glory of heavy metal. And a dozen of those mini-anthems fly by in a compact 35 minutes, making Lethal Desire the perfect soundtrack to beer-drinking and hell-raising.
On lethal evidence of the long-desired Lethal Desire, in the succinct words of Chainbreaker, "2019 is the year of broken chains!" Break all the chains exclusively HERE, courtesy of CVLTNation.com. Pre-order info can be found HERE at Hells Headbangers' Bandcamp.
Portuguese speed metallers Toxikull have just released the teaser for their upcoming video for the song "Freedom to Kill". The video will be out on September 16th.
Lex Thunder comments: “This video exposes the primal bloody desires of the Human being, how they are guided, moulded and controlled by the evolving society. Any attempt of revolt is chewed up and used against you!”
You can watch the teaser here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUPUqIDMULM&feature=youtu.be
Shadow Kingdom Records has set November 23rd as the international release date for Blackrat's highly anticipated third album, Dread Reverence, on CD, vinyl LP, and cassette tape formats.
One of the underground's best-kept secrets, Blackrat have been skilfully skirting the often-fine lines among metal-punk, thrash, crust, and traditional speed metal. Formed in 2012, this Canadian power-trio to date have delivered two cult full-lengths, 2013's rough 'n' rowdy Whiskey and Blasphemy and 2016's far-more-epic Hail to Hades, laying on the line exactly what Blackrat's all about. Big fans for years, Shadow Kingdom had no other choice but to scoop up the band, and now they've arrived with their ultimate statement: Dread Reverence.
More metal, more punk, darker, catchier, wilder and more finesse, just more of MORE: Dread Reverence is the sound of Blackrat firing on all cylinders. Wrapped in a rough-yet-clear production that allows the dirt to bleed and the chrome to glisten simultaneously, Dread Reverence positively explodes with a timelessness that's impossible to deny. It's as fresh as 2018 and as old as 30 years before that (if not more!), and it's all done effortlessly and without any trace of self-consciousness. Simply, this is who Blackrat are and what they do, and they're doing it better than ever - and better than just about anyone around. Plus, there's faint traces of death-rock that surface across the album, underlining further that the band are in a league of their own.
Up from the gutters and into the graveyard, Blackrat hereby bring you Dread Reverence! In the meantime, hear the new track "Into the Ebony" HERE at Shadow Kingdom's Bandcamp, where the album can be pre-ordered.
Speed metal cult Speedclaw stream the entirety of their highly anticipated new mini-album, Beast in the Mist, at Legacy magazine's website. Set for international release on April 20th via Shadow Kingdom Records, hear Speedclaw's Beast in the Mist in its entirety exclusively HERE.
Following hot on the heels of their debut EP, Iron Speed - which Shadow Kingdom released on cassette to widespread critical acclaim earlier in 2017 - now Speedclaw strike while the iron's white hot with Beast in the Mist! Taking all the electricity and excitement of that debut short-length, this new short-length sees this Croatian force of nature increasing their power and professionalism in equal, no-less-devastating measures. Just like that first record, Speedclaw still embody all the energy of the early '80s, when the NWOBHM was in full steam and speed metal was in its early days, and take their hooks and heaviness even higher into the night.
Here, no doubt bolstered by the rich 'n' robust production, these four maniacs more patiently ply their bolder and more epic songwriting whilst not losing an ounce of engaging immediacy; if anything, they're going even harder and faster for the throat. Then again, Beast in the Mist plays out its drama in a darker manner, letting Speedclaw dig their nails in deeply and differently than Iron Speed. But make no mistake: Speedclaw are their own masters, and totally heavy metal to the bone! Beware the Beast in the Mist!
In the meantime, stream Beast in the Mist in its entirety exclusively HERE, courtesy of Legacy, Germany's defenders of the true. Additionally, view the previously revealed video for the title track "Beast in the Mist" HERE. Pre-order info can be found HERE.
On April 21st - aka Record Store Day - Motörhead will be issuing a 7" picture disc of their runaway hit cover version of David Bowie's "Heroes", with the art featuring a new "sketch" take on the classic war-pig. The flip-side features "Heroes (the Wacken Family Choir Mix)" with previously unheard audio of the crowd at 2017's Wacken Festival singing along to the single as it was being officially launched via the festival PA, an emotional moment of celebration and tribute which can now be shared globally.
"It's such a great Bowie song, one of his best, and I could only see great things coming from it out of us," said guitarist Phil Campbell, whilst drummer Mikkey Dee added, "Lemmy was very, very proud of it, not only because it turned out so well, but because it was fun!"
Motörhead remain one of the true premier giants of rock n' roll, continuing to be celebrated by fans worldwide despite the tragic passing of leader/founding member Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister in December 2015. Their last studio album, Bad Magic, reached the top 20 album charts in 17 countries worldwide, including a #1 spot in Germany. Their latest album, Under Cöver, was a top 20 album in both Germany and the UK.
Portuguese speed metal act Toxikull will release their new record, “The Nightraiser”, on march 23rd via Mosher/Firecum. Clocking in at 26 minutes and six songs, the successor of 2016’s “Black Sheep" features a cover of Hollywood Rose’s “Rocker”.
“The Nightraiser” is a relentless sonic attack that evokes the best elements that made heavy, speed and thrash metal so popular: impressive vocals, a tight rhythm section, blazing guitar solos and carefully crafted melodies.
Frontman Lex Thunder (also vocalist for Midnight Priest) states about the new CD: “It’s an appeal to rebellion and some social criticism. Music-wise, this EP is a bit different from ‘Black Sheep’ - it’s faster, stronger and more aggressive. The influences of the music from the past are also a bit different, this one’s a more on the speed/heavy metal side.”
Recorded at Ultrasound Studios Moita (Hugo Andrade), “The Nightraiser” features a Hollywood Rose cover (“Rocker”), a demo from the early career of rock n’ roll royalty Axl Rose: “I always thought it was a killer tune, living off the spirit of rock n’ roll”, Lex says. “Unfortunately, this brilliant song never got a proper recording, so we took the chance and did it ourselves, and recorded it the way we wanted it sound”.
The pace is high and Toxikull promise to take no prisoners during the promotion for “The Nightraiser”. An advance single will be released this month, and an official video-clip will come shortly afterwards.
The fine jewel-case edition will be available for pre-order through Mosher Records and Firecum Records websites, and the digital version can be streamed or bought through the most popular digital platforms and marketplaces.
About the cover:
Painted by the Italian artist Velio Josto, the art meets the band’s idea: something pure, actually painted in ink and without any digital effects. The choice for Josto was a no-brainer after the Toxikull members saw the artist’s work for the band Vulture, and were very pleased with what they saw.
The cover’s story is deeply connected with the record’s first track “Nightraiser”, in which the creature takes charge: “it represents the night, the rise of pure and bloody justice taking its toll on the fake spotlights of the day life; the night swallows the dawn and its false sins”, says frontman Lex Thunder. “It’s not a creature that kills for pleasure or without a motive. It’s a cleansing a universe in which death comes in its natural habitat, the night, and undresses all souls of their essence, eliminating those who live in the blindness of the daylight. We can say it’s a social metaphor, and yet another call to rebel against abusers and false entities, be them persons, institutions or even tendencies”, he adds.
The buzz surrounding legendary metal band Judas Priest’s forthcoming album, ‘Firepower,’ is undeniably growing louder - on the strength of the video clip for the track “Lightning Strike,” as well as many of the attractive/limited edition purchasing options made available for fans via PledgeMusic already being sold out. And it will soon reach a fever pitch with the unveiling of another new killer track, plus another limited edition of the forthcoming album being made available for purchase.
Fans can now hear the title track from ‘Firepower’ via this link [smarturl.it/Firepower], and can purchase a metallic silver-colored cassette version of the album on PledgeMusic via pledgemusic.com/projects/judas-priest, and is being issued in an extremely limited pressing of only 300. And if judging from how quickly some of the previous limited edition bundles sold out via the site (such as signed guitars from Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, various colours of autographed vinyl, etc.), this rare cassette version will be an instant rarity and collector’s item. If you haven’t checked out the “Lightning Strike” video or pre-ordered the album, you can do so now by visiting the follow respective links: smarturl.it/Firepower and smarturl.it/JPLightningStrikeVid
Set for release on Friday, March 9th, 2018 via Columbia Records - the album is comprised of fourteen tracks of pure and highly inspired metal. To mark the occasion Priest (singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and Richie Faulkner, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis) has reunited with producer Tom Allom (the man behind the board for all of the band’s releases from 1979-1988, including such stellar classics as ‘Unleashed in the East,’ ‘British Steel,’ ‘Screaming for Vengeance’ and 'Defenders of the Faith') and with Grammy Award-winning producer Andy Sneap also helping to raise the sonic bar even higher.
“Tom Allom has got this classic metal thing,” explains Halford. “And Andy is a bit more of a ‘modern metal producer’ but his thinking is a little bit different to Tom’s. And I think to get this balance between that classic old school metal to what Andy’s world is was just a remarkable coalescence.” “Tom Allom has been with us since 1979, so his knowledge of ourselves and our music in general is immense,” adds Hill. And according to Travis Priest returned back to a recording method that worked incredibly well on the band’s earlier classics - “We went back to the organic way of recording where it’s all of us in a room and we got to play together.”
With the impending arrival of ‘Firepower’ and its ensuing tour (which kicks off on March 13th), THE PRIEST IS BACK!
Global Metal Apocalypse