Tag Archives: heavy metal reviews

Music Review: Antioch Album: III: Wings and Warlocks


Label: Rapid Fire Records

Available: NOW

Official Websites:




Here is cool little band coming out of Canada I heard about from an email I received from their record label.  Antioch is no nonsense band that plays straight ahead heavy metal that resembles a bit of Manilla Road, NWOBHM and more currently a little bit of Visigoth.

With the opening track ‘Wings of Pterodactyl Fire’ the band is hitting on all cylinders both musically and vocally.  This song is a pure classic heavy metal song and should be a classic for the band as their career progresses.  It is fast, catchy and head banging great.  The next two songs, ‘Culling of Souls’ and ‘Forged in Light’ carry on along the same vein with a galloping or catchy riffs and traditional metal fist pumping action.

It is when we get to track four where the pace changes a bit with ‘The Stand of Time’.  The band REALLY slows down on this one.  I guess every album has to have a slow one it and this is it.  However, for me this track does nothing for me though there may be others who like it.

After this we are offered the song ‘Return of the Warlock’ which seems to have either a second vocalist, a guest vocalist or the main singer really has a DYNAMIC range because the vocals on this track are nothing like the previous tracks.  The vocals here hit very high pitch to more a guttural sound.  So this one is a bit different.

Overall, this is a great old school heavy metal album from a group of guys who get what old school heavy metal should be about and not just a band who records with an analog sound and think they are staying true.

Do yourself a favor and go to the band’s Bandcamp page and give them a listen and strap on your spiked glove and pump that fist high in the air!


Music Review: Beast in Black Album: Berserker

BY: TJ Fowler

Label: Nuclear Blast

Available: Now

Official Websites:




Power metal has really struggled for the better part of a decade and half with, in my opinion, being distinctive and creative.  While usually the vocalists in such bands have high octaves and range and the guitarists can solo and noodle…the songs themselves always were very barebones, one note droning with little to no melody hooks and double bass drumming with no variation while the singer just sings over everything.  Long gone are the days where bands like ACCEPT, Helloween, Manowar, Hammerfall and old Blind Guardian were at the forefront of the genre.  So to be a power metal band and distinct is a major feat these days.

Then along came a band called Battle Beast that I felt really encapsulated what power metal should be and could be and I felt they had the genre in the palm of their hands.  That was until and ugly breakup with founding member of Anton Kabanen and the rest of the band ruined that opportunity and future.

This left the main and only songwriter of that band out on his own and on a mission to put together another band.  The result of this is the multi-national band Beast in Black which has members from Finland, Greece and Hungary.  The first output from this conglomeration is the album ‘Berserker’.  From the start it is obvious Anton and Company have set out on a mission to prove themselves as stand outs in the power metal genre.

The main strengths of ‘Berserker’ are first and foremost the amazing vocals of Yannis Papadopoulos.  His amazing skills are most evident on the amazing ‘Blind and Frozen’ song where his voice soars higher than I would think humanly possible but also can go low and have a gritty metal vibe.  All the while everything remains in control and fits the music and lyrics fantastically.

This leads to the second part of the album I feel is its strongest point, the melodies and musical composition of the songs.  While one of the greatest weaknesses of power metal is very little musical variation until a solo i.e. one note shredding, this weakness is to a minimum (or at least not used to just be lazy) on ‘Berserker’ thanks to the great songwriting on Anton Kabanen.  While Anton is a fan of power metal he is also first and foremost a fan of well written songs and composition.  I think part of this is due to his appreciation of music outside of power metal such as musical composers of film soundtracks who can not rely solely on one note monotony for entire compositions. Lyrically, Anton is also very skilled in his writing and he knows how to make it all fit together coherently.

This isn’t to say there isn’t a few of the power metal weaknesses that crop up here in there on the album but they are minimal and even then there is still a lot of depth to the bands talent and musicianship from all members of the band.

If you are a fan of power metal but feel the genre has become stale, Beast in Black’s ‘Berserker’ should reawaken your interest in the genre.  The album is energetic and has some great classic tunes on it.  If anything you should listen to it for Yannis’s vocals alone.  The man must be part alien to have a range like he does.  Hopefully it didn’t take an anal probe to get that voice!

Music Review: Dead Soul Communion Album: MMXVII


Available: NOW

Label: Self Released/ Def2Music Records

Official Websites: 



Ok I am bit late with this one.  I apologize to Dead Soul Communion for this review taking as long as it had but…well….here is the review now!

It is a bit rare to hear a band that mixes doom elements, some modern, albeit minor elements of modern emo bands and also have a very nice clean production.  Rarer still is for such a mixture to all actually come together in a nice accessible package.  However after listening to Dead Soul Communion’s ‘MXVII’ the band really has put together a nice musical offering that should engage and purist metal head while also maybe bringing in a more ‘modern’ audience.  The best I can describe the band is that they have traditional doom elements, perhaps like my co=worker thought Paradise Lost and some goth sounds like The 69 Eyes.

The band hosts ex members from several other bands such as 13 Candles, Pain Control, Organ Grinder and several others. To be honest, I have no idea about those other bands or what they sound like.  But if those bands are similar to Dead Soul Communion they might be something worth checking out as I feel Dead Soul Communion really put out a really solid album that is real joy to listen to.

Another thing I have to really give credit to the band on is that for an independent band their production on this album is really something to be envied.  I have heard more professional acts have shittier sound.  So my hats off to the producer and band.

If you have a chance to listen to ‘MMXVII’ or check out Dead Soul Communion live I really think you need to jump on that boat and give these guys a chance.  Great stuff to be heard here.

Music Review: Crazy Lixx Album: Ruff Justice


In today’s world there are so many ways of discovering new bands and metal without having to rely on the opinions of a major media outlet, i.e. MTV.  Now with everything so interconnected with the internet and technology a person can seek out, and in my case, get lucky and stumble upon cool bands by pure accident while enjoying a cool new video game.

The band I speak of is Crazy Lixx. A glam/hard rock outfit coming out of Sweden that if a person didn’t know better, would think they were a band that literally came out of the 80’s since they re-create that Sunset Strip glam rock sound so well.  The video game I speak of is the new Friday the 13th The Game which was recently released by Gun Media.  Both Crazy Lixx and Gun Media paired up to make some music to be included in the game that can be heard when camp counselors turn on radios to distract or trick Jason, before they get their head chopped off.  The main song the band contributed to the game is ‘XIII’ which is fantastic and really captures the feel for the game and the movies it was based on.  In fact if you have seen Friday the 13th: Jason Lives and heard Alice Cooper’s ‘He’s Back, the Man Behind the Mask’ Then you will know kind of what to expect from this song.  There are also two other songs included on Ruff Justice that are based around the F13 theme, these are ‘Killer’ and ‘Live Before I Die’.  Both of which are excellent songs.  ‘XIII’ and ‘Live Before I Die’ are more fast paced songs while ‘Killer’ is more slow tempo. Continue reading Music Review: Crazy Lixx Album: Ruff Justice

Music Review: Testament Album: Brotherhood of the Snake



Available: October 28th, 2016

Label: Nuclear Blast Records

Official Websites:



               Anyone who has been a metal fan for very long, know well the influence of Testament on the genesis of thrash metal coming out of San Francisco.  Through the years Testament have went through a few style changes such as in the 90’s when the band dabbled a bit in the death metal style vocals.  A few years ago the band released ‘Dark Roots of Earth’ this is when the band seemed to again transform itself again…into a true heavy metal juggernaut.  The band sounded fresh, heavy and relevant.  Continue reading Music Review: Testament Album: Brotherhood of the Snake