Band: MAD PARISH
Country: Canada
Title: Procession
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2014
Style: Heavy Metal

Review:
I knew from the very first track that this album is one of those that will keep my player busy for long time and here I am, a few hours later, still spinning these 11 tracks from Mad Parish's debut album, Procession. Although the band was founded back in 2006 and they don't look like teenagers either so they might have some previous experience underbelt, too, this is only their debut full-length effort, selfreleased last year, so again we're dealing with a not so productive band when it comes to releasing records. These 11 tracks are a testimony of what (good) Heavy Metal used to sound back in the '80's, in my opinion a mix of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept and even some Metal Church, a highly epic, catchy and memorable piece of Metal that fanatics of retro Heavy Metal will definitely go nuts for. I'd say it's a traditional melodic Heavy Metal with parts of Epic Power Metal and even some hints of AOR here and there, but 100% Metal, that's for sure. This album was released by the band in CD (digipak that is) and vinyl (2 versions), pick any but make sure you don't miss it! The absolute only thing I found they could have improved here was the production, I think a tighter, more aggressive sound would have been even better for this outstanding record. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
www.madparish.com

Band: NECROTIC WOODS
Country: Germany
Title: The Nameless Dark
Label: Bret Hard Records
Year: 2015
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Usually German Black Metal bands use native tongue lyrics, or if not, they use such uncomprehensive shrieks as vocals that it's impossible to get anything from their lyrics unless you read them along, but this band is an exception, Necrotic Woods use English lyrics for their songs, and at the same time the vocalist has a tone that allows you to simply listen and understand what's he singing about; I know, this has nothing to do with the quality of music, but it's a damn huge asset when it comes to the young generation, the real music fanatics (high-school or even younger kids), embracing this style of music, being able to identify themselves with the music or at least with part of it, and I'm sure this will be the biggest highlight and interest point in this Necrotic Woods' second album's success. The music is quite traditional Black Metal with lots of rhythms, clever riffs, very good production and correct atmospheres (think of the new Black Death trend, Necrotic Woods' sound is no less powerful), so everything is done as it should be, the music is good enough for any standards, but nowadays there are lots and lots of similar "high quality" bands, so everyone needs a niche or something to be original with, and in this case the vocals are. This is the band's second album, and since the first one was self-released and this one out on a respectable label as Bret Hard, I'd say they have a pretty good chance to becoming an important name in the scene.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
www.facebook.com/necroticwoods
www.brethard.de

Band: OMHETEN
Country: Sweden
Title: Sjalv
Label: Unexploded Records
Year: 2015
Style: Depressive Suicidal Black Metal

Review:
Here's a proud continuer of this genre called DSBM, a genre that has reached its peak of popularity in recent years and became somehow a fashion driving lots of such bands to change their genre labelling to other stuff just to be dissociated with the trends, and for good reason too. Omheten seem to be proud of this moniker and that's how they should be, the music on this debut album, released 3 years after the band's formation, introduces us a very skilled and talented ensemble capable of reaching the tops of their craft. Sjalv is made of 6 tracks each one lasting for 6:06 minutes. The compositions are both repetitive to a point they mesmerize you and complex avoiding any weak points in captivating the listener's attention, it is very expressive and shows the band spared no efforts in working on this album that in my opinion has only one fault, but one that's pretty important, it fails to induce a depressive state to the listener, most of the time the instrumental part seems more inclined towards being clever and well balanced, forgetting about being ugly and depressive, at most it's melodic and melancholic at times, but there's a long road till suicidal / depressive. Anyway, definitely a very, very good album you should give a chance to. 
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
www.facebook.com/Omheten
www.unexplodedrecords.com

Band: POLARIZED
Country: USA
Title: Western Hypnosis
Label: Mighty Music
Year: 2015
Style: Thrash Metal

Review:
Here's a new band made of not so new members (with experience from Carnal Forge, Rosicrucian, Node or Gory Blister) from Sweden and Italy who apparently met in New Haven, Connecticut, and decided to start a new project 2 years ago. Here's their debut full-length album, an 8 tracks effort clocking almost 40 minutes of classy, perfectly executed Thrash Metal with a deep Progressive and Technical edge, just imagine a mix of Megadeth, Testament and Death and add on top the best of nowadays Modern Thrash Metal plus an excellent, top notch production. The tracks are catchy and easy to follow, and although the general impression is that the band follows traditional patterns without many "outside" influences, the music is fresh, open-minded and very, very promising. Taken individually, each musician in this band is great, strongly influencing the final outcome, so I couldn't pinpoint a highlight, they are all working towards the same result. I've spinned this at least 5 times already and I'm still not bored, that's why I warmly recommend it to you too. Definitely a band to keep an eye on, and a very well done debut album that will visit my CD player again often.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
www.polarizedthrash.com
www.mightymusic.dk

Band: POSSESSION
Country: Belgium
Title: 1585-1646
Label: Iron Bonehead / Invictus Productions
Year: 2015
Style: Black Death Metal

Review:
Only one year after the promising Ep Anneliese, these four belgians are back with a Mini LP called 1585-1646. After some researches, these two dates correspond to the dates of birth and death of Adrienne Heur, a woman who was burnt to death in France for witchcraft. After Anneliese Michel, it's now a new feminine character victim of the witch hunt to whom Possession is paying tribute. Therefore, the four tracks :  Obscurity – Visitation – Ceremony – Guilty et Ablaze are each going to illustrate a precise step. With Obscurity, we have a track separated in three parts. The first one servs as an introduction where one can hear samples of wind, rain, bells and monastic chants. Then a sly riff appears in the second part which extends over several minutes before the third part really starts the track. We find what characterized the previous releases of the band being inspired Black/Death Metal. More than ever, the riffs are captivating and repetitive. Some people will find this repetitive side of the riffs redundant but for me, I see a will of the musicians to hammer the listener. The track guilty is a good example for that. Compared to the previous Ep, Possession accelerates the tempo. The riffs, as for them, are always inspired and the breaks contrast with these repetitive moments. Mestema's vocal is always so machiavellian however he seems to use less reverb, but this fact takes nothing away from the quality of his vocal especially as it is supported by backing vocals. The Mini Lp ends with Mestema declaiming again and again the sentence : « The devil walks with me... » which resounds in a alienating way. To illustrate the whole, the band granted itself Chris Moyen's services. The cover illustrates perfectly the musical content with the devil in armour holding by the feet a child ready to be sacrified. These belgians come up to the expectations and deliver an opus inhaling authenticity, devotion and death...
Reviewed by J.

Band: RADOGOST
Country: Poland
Title: Dziedzictwo Gór
Label: Art of the Night Production
Year: 2015
Style: Folk Metal

Review:
New album of folmetallers from the mountain Radogost are really amazing! „Dziedzictwo Gór” („Heritage of Mountains”) is deep thought slavonic heathen folk metal album. This melodic folkmetal mixed with aggressive growl and ballad singing, smart lyrics, a lot of changes rhythms, great violin sounds are another big step of Radogost’s musicial progress. Balance between melodic folk and metal ferocity here are ideal! The band also reached the nineteenth century Polish poetry of Tadeusz Micinski - dedicated to Slavic legends and beliefs. This album is a really great and really important album in Polish folkmetal. Radogost also developed their own distinctive sound. I’am impressed after listening this stuff!
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 9/10

Band: RUNIKA
Country: Poland
Title: Demo’15
Label: selfreleased
Year: 2015
Style: Folk Metal

Review:
Runika is a new folkemetal project of ex. Lesne Licho singer Aminae. This stuff is five tracks demo but sounds are really interesting! In my opinion Aminae is the best female vocal in Polish folkmetal, which fits perfectly to the Runika’s lyrics: great mix of slavonic legends and fantasy. „Demo’15” is a specyfic tribute to the old, good heavymetal 80th. Contemporary young folkmetallers grew up in the cities on the metal and not on traditional folklore, however now they are fascinated by folklore. This cultural mix of village and town music is a quintesence of Runika. One of tracks called „Biesiada” is a fantastic metal cover of banquet song. This demo is really great, Demo great, I'm looking forward for the official Runika’s album!
Reviewed by Vilcin
Rating: 9/10

Band: RUSTY PACEMAKER
Country: Austria
Title: Ruins
Label: Solanum Records
Year: 2015
Style: Alternative Doom Metal

Review:
Alternative Doom Metal is just a label I would give to Rusty's music simply because it sounds like Doom Metal but with the production and range of an Alternative Metal release on one hand, and on the other hand an extremely weird take on vocals, like the guy really doesn't care for this element in his music. The instrumental part is excellent, very atmospheric and emotional, mesmerizing at times, ranging from doomy and calm rhythms to more metallic, aggressive ones headed by powerful guitar riffs. But the vocal part is weird, as I said the first time, very atipic for such professional instrumentation, it seems like Rusty has nothing in common with vocals, but there are some part on this and the previous album where he proves to have an excellent tone and rhythm ranging from warm clean vocals to Black Metal screams; the bottom line is that he chose to sound completely out of tone and childish here and most probably that's what he was after, to come up with something unique. Don't get me wrong, if you listen to this CD (same as the previous) a few times and really take your time to get into it, it will grow on you and you'll discover something intaresting and professional, but the problem nowadays is exactly the oposite, the lack of time, I don't know how many will get this from a few tracks listened online.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10

Contact:
www.rustypacemaker.com

Band: SLOWTORCH
Country: Italy
Title: Serpente
Label: Self-released
Year: 2014
Style: Blues Rock Stoner Metal

Review:
Well, I'm not sure what to think of this band's decision of releasing this album in a limited edition of 100 hand-numbered Digipak CDs only, but my guess is they'd use it to hook a suitable label to take things further, or at least that would make sense, they're not an obscure Black Metal band interested in preforming only for the "trv". Slowtorch is is actually a quite experienced band with 10 years of activity underbelt and 3 EPs plus a demo released so far; this one I think is their debut album, an 11 tracks effort clocking 36 minutes of groovy, bluesy, stoner blend of Rock and Metal with slow and laid back to mid-tempo and metallic rhythms that at times remind me of Black Sabbath. It would need some more hooks, something to be more memorable, but all in all it's a very good audition for all fans of Stoner-like Rock & Metal I'd say, just give it a try.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
www.slowtorch.com

Band: SPASMODIC
Country: Sweden
Title: Mondo Illustrated
Label: Unexploded Records
Year: 2013
Style: Brutal Death Metal

Review:
Here's a band that features members from Diabolical, October Tide or Centinex but has quite little to do with their somehow melodic style and follows a much more brutal and disgusting way opened back in the '90's by Deranged. And indeed Spasmodic's music resembles with the titand of Swedish Death Metal, but to get a more accurate picture you should throw in some Napalm Death, Gorefest, Dying Fetus, UK Death Metal and even some Sepultura (last works with Max Cavalera) at times. Although the band was formed back in 2002 and released a full-length album as Metaphor, they got this new moniker in 2005 and haven't been that active so far on discographic level this being their debut album, but man I tell you their maturity formed in all those years shows without a doubt on it. The 13 tracks featured here last for less than half an hour, they are short, concise and to the point, you absolutely can't get bored by this material, but that's also due to the band's potential to create brutal but at the same time highly calculated and clean sounding Death Metal, there's no nonsense here. If I'd to come up with a single word to express what's happening here I'd choose: tight. The CD comes with a 20 pages booklet featuring all their insane lyrics and an artwork that in my opinion doesn't rise to the level of the music.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 8/10

Contact:
www.spasmodic.se
www.unexplodedrecords.com

Band: TORCHIA
Country: Finland
Title: Ending Beginning
Label: Selfreleased
Year: 2015
Style: Melodic Death Metal

Review:
The fuck just happened here? 3 tracks, 14 minutes, as energetic (and melodic at the same time) as it all starts it continues and ends the same way: fast, aggressive, technical, ingenious and catchy, one of the most interesting Melodic Death Metal demos / EPs I've heard in a while. The guitarists are some excellent composers and instrumentists, rivaling at any time with their countrymen from Children of Bodom, the drums are intensive, progressive and groovy, the bass lines are like bulldozers, and the vocals typical for this type of music, but good and powerful enough to keep pace with the instruments. All in all we have a highly skilled, very promising act to keep the flame buring in this niche coming out of Finland, give them a chance.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
www.facebook.com/Torchiaband

Band: VALDUR
Country: USA
Title: Pathetic Scum
Label: Bloody Mountain Records
Year: 2015
Style: Black Death Metal

Review:
If it's Valdur and also if it's Bloody Mountain Records we're certain to get only ugly, disgusting, horrifying music, and once again this custom proves to be respected by both the label and the band, the new, fourth, full-length release from Valdur is a definite declaration of war, a display of brutality and merciless assaults on all your senses. If this band is not a kult band yet I'm sure they will be soon as they are some of the best purveyors of US forged Black Death Metal, the ugly, absolutely devastating kind of Black Death Metal that makes you feel the same emotions as Metallers 25 years ago had when they were listening to the first Black Metal spawns. The production is dirty yet alowing some atmospheres to carry the listener away, and somehow I feel this is the absolutele perfect production for such a music, I wouldn't get the same feelings with a polished, high class studio work. If you like your Black Death Metal as terrifying as it gets you should not miss Valdur's latest offspring, this is slowly becoming one of my fave US Black Metal bands alongside Sxuperion and Famine (even if I haven't heard from them in a long while).
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 9/10

Contact:
www.valdur.bandcamp.com
www.bloodymountainrecords.com

Band: V-ANGER
Country: Italy
Title: In Shovel We Trust
Label: Sliptrick Records
Year: 2014
Style: Hardcore Thrash Metal

Review:
Here's another band that sounds 100% influenced by Max Cavalera's work, starting with the guitar riffs, sound, rhythms and ending with the vocals, everything springing from Max Cavalera's influence along the years, and I mean here all his bands, not only Sepultura. V-Anger was formed in 2012 and this is their debut album, a 13 tracks effort totalling a bit over 40 minutes of playing time. Ranging from straight, traditional Hardcore to American Power Thrash, to catchy and energetic Thrash Metal, In Shovel We Trust is a well done record that lacks only in originality, except for that the vocals are tight, the instrumental part quite catchy, and the production is classy as well, so I have nothing bad to say about it. I'd mention the vocals and the demolishing bass lines as the highlights of this band, at least on this record, and as minuses I'd say the puzzling album title, the cover artwork and their too obvious influences, but I'd say if you're into stuff like Max Cavalera's work, Hatebreed, Slayer, Soilwork, you should definitely give this a try.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10

Contact:
www.vanger.it
www.sliptrickrecords.com

Band: VARANG NORD
Country: Latvia
Title: Fire of the North
Label: Metal Scrap Records
Year: 2015
Style: Folk Viking Metal

Review:
Following paths already paved well by the likes of Amon Amarth, Turisas, Finntroll, or countrymen Skyforger, Varang Nord was founded last year, or better said re-founded after a 2004-2008 period when it was active under a different moniker and even released a full-length album, and they've already scored a deal with Ukrainian Metal Scrap Records which re-released their debut EP, previously self-released by the band. 6 tracks, a bit over 20 minutes of playing time, offering a solid slice of Viking Metal with highlights on the accordion parts. A heavy, well rhythmed Metal with heavy influences from Melodic Death Metal, with native tongue lyrics, I guess this one will do well in their home lands but all in all I think it needs something more to break the ice internationally; it's good they've tested the seas with an EP rather than throwing out a full-length, but now it's time to prove what they are worthy of. Fire of the North will probably catch the attention of abovementioned bands, but it's only the beginning, the music needs more hooks and the accordion parts need more personality in order to impress, on this EP it's a nice surprise, but it's influence on the general music is still not as important as it should be. I like the fact the lyrics are translated in English, too, the listener will get a closer insight of their music.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7/10

Contact:
www.facebook.com/varangnord
www.metalscraprecords.com

Band: VARGSANG
Country: Germany
Title: In The Mist Of Night
Label: Obscure Abhorrence Productions
Year: 2014
Style: Black Metal

Review:
Originally, Vargsang was part of the german horde Graven. He decided to left the band in 2002 to form his own project called Vargsang. After eight years of silence, the german strikes back with a new album. It starts with an intro from whom we can hear a funeral bell before Vargsang continues where he stops eight years back. He takes us through the darkest spheres of his mind. This means pure fucking Black Metal ! Of course, there are a lot of bands playing in this vein but Vargsang manages to extricate oneself from the mass. His experience of more than 20 years makes the difference ! Don't expect sweet melodies or other shit here, this bavarian spreads vicious riffs with a raw production. In this type of Black Metal, the quality of the riffs is primordial.  And these are good enough to catch the attention of the listener. Here and there are light synth touches but playing in the right way to emphasize the song structures. In The mist of the night ends with the excellent  The Chains of Life which close the album in an impressive way. After years of hiatus, Vargsang is back as if nothing had happened and stays true to a diehard Black Metal. 
Reviewed by J.

Band: WATCH OUT STAMPEDE
Country: Germany
Title: Tides
Label: Noizgate Records
Year: 2015
Style: Post-Hardcore

Review:
New release that's out of our target, meaning not part of the genres we usually cover and are specialized in. Watch Out Stampede's new album is some sort of mix between Melodic Post-Hardcore and Metalcore, most definitely a modern type of Metal kids of Today will embrace with no doubts, and the good part about it is the fact that the compositions are a blend of Modern techniques with traditional Metal patterns and lots of feelings, the record oozes feelings, from anger to despair, and from hope to energy, from this point of view Tides is a complete album. The instrumental part is also complex and carefully executed, I have no objections whatsoever; the vocals are mainly screams (not the annoying type though) backed up from time to time by melodic clean vocals. What can I say, I think WOS are a really, really good band, but I have no idea how are they situated among the similar breed of bands, so if you're a follower of the abovementioned styles give them a chance.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: -/10

Contact:
www.facebook.com/WATCHOUTSTAMPEDE
www.noizgate.com

Band: WELTERING IN BLOOD
Country: France
Title: Rise of the Necronaut
Label: Ossuaire Records
Year: 2015
Style: Black Death Metal

Review:
A few tracks into this album and I was about to loose interest, I tell you, but all of a sudden it started to grow on me, if you listen carefully I have no doubt it will happen the same to you, too. This is the debut album of a one man band with Fog also known from  Aurvandil, Norman Shores, Obscurité or Ulfberht, as the main man, a project started in 2013 that sees, after not even 2 years the release of its 10 tracks (almost 50 minutes in length) as a debut full-lenght by Ossuaire Records. As I said, at first I thought it was a bit too dull and betting more on the atmospheres rather than the actual playing; don't get me wrong, atmosphere is the first thing I look for in any release, it has to be as expressive as possible in order to catch my interest, but in this case I felt like the guy is trying to be as dark and mysterious as possible forgetting about the real music. I was about to be contradicted by the evolution of this record, basically it remains as dark and mysterious as it starts, but it's adds a bit of epic touches, melodic riffs, Death Metal influences, demolishing bass lines and the vocals become a bit more versatile to a point where you'll hear Pagan-like clean vocal choirs, too. In the end I think the porduction is a bit too stuffed, but the overall impression is very good, I could listen to this again and again and still find new things to like.
Reviewed by Adrian
Rating: 7.5/10

Contact:
www.ossuairerecords.fr

Email: contact@pestwebzine.com