|Acer||Abolishment of Hate  ||Blood'n'Fire|
|Acoustic Torment||Armor of God  ||Boanerges|
|Akeldama||Bodi Hodge  ||Bride|
|Anaemia||Crimson Moonlight  |
|Arise Eternal||Pastor Brad|
ABOLISHMENT OF HATE - Abolishment of Hate
This band consists of one member called Jeff Lewis. Some of you may recognize his name since he has played guitars in Mortification. On this 4-track instrumental cd Jeff shows a heavier side than he showed in Mortification, cause what we have here is is some crunchy grinding death metal. Jeff is a competent guitarplayer which he also shows. The tunes are wellwritten and contain plenty of variation and timechanges. On the negative side all drums are programmed. With a real drummer this cd would have rule. Nonetheless an interesting release that gives hope for the future.
ACER - C.I.A
Acer is a new swedish band and C.I.A. is their first release. C.I.A. stands for Christians In Action. The cd contains 4 tunes with real 80s Metal. The album is selfproduced but in despite of this the production is still ok. Stylewise Acer reminds of another swedish band called Simson if anyone remember them. The music is moving and crunchy glam metal with many hooks. It's this kind of music that makes you glad! The track Messiah has a cool guitarsolo, would love to hear more of that! The lyrics are straight ahead and inspiring. On the negative side they need to work more with the vocals, but as always practice is the key to perfection.
If they give the guitars more space and the keyboards a bit less and also add a bit more heaviness to their sound they will definately go far. But they sound promising already and this release really gives good hope for the future. I'll give C.I.A a 3+. Good work dudes!
ACOUSTIC TORMENT - My Hope Is In You
Death Metal from Germany this is. Stylewise they remind a lot of older Mortification mixed with a hint of Horde. The cool thing with this band is that their music is a combination of brutal and classical acoustic parts. That gives them an unique sound. Vocals are mostly dark and growling which fits good with the music.
Environmental disaster has a cool intro that turns into a fast grinding tune. Good crunchy death metal. Lyrics are really Christ centered and the title tune is about the hope we have in Jesus Christ. Their lyrics also deals with subjects like the destroying of the nature and the atomic threat. Most tunes are really crunchy, varied and enjoyable. This is the best new death band I have heard in a long time! The tunes varies from fast and crunchy to slow and harmonic which makes them interesting and enjoyable. Production is good and the musicians are tight.
The cd ends with 8 bonus tracks from their demos. Since they are demos it's also demoquality on the production. Despite of the production a few of these tunes is still enjoyable. One is ultrafast and sounds exactly like Horde. Cool. To sum it up, I really like this cd and if they just had traded the demo tunes with real ones I would have given it a 4 but now I only give it a 3+. A promising band indeed, keep your eyes on them, they can go far...
AKELDAMA - s/t
Here we have a new band that plays Classic Metal with lots of melodic hooks. They have a good guitarist that really knows how to play beautiful melodic leads! Akeldama's sound is quite unique but reminds a little of Saint in some of their tunes. All in all I think it's a pretty good debut. The production could have been a lot better though especially in the tune Nobody and they can be tighter but it's good nevertheless. Some of their tunes are boring and never make it for me but the one's that do are very good. They truly got some hit-songs on their album.
And the best thing with this album is that it's a real annointing in it! I have been very blessed thru it. The lyrics are
straightforward and that's something I really like. It's good to see a band that isn't ashamed of the Gospel
of Christ! All in all I would give them a 3+. It's not a classic but it's a good debut from a promising band.
References: If you like Classic Metal with lots of Melody this could be something for you.
ANAEMIA - The Second Incarnation
Anaemia released an incredible good demo years ago called Spiritual Chaos. Since I totally loved it I was really looking forward to hear this cd. Sorry to say it wasn't as good as I hoped. One thing that has changed a lot between the demo and cd is Kim's singing. Now he is shouting more and it doesn't sound half as good as his earlier way of singing. They have also made the music more technical and more difficult instead of just letting loose which they did on the demo. On the positive side they got a great guitarist in Chriss Sundqvist. There are also some very tasty melodic choruses and harmonies but I want more of them. Less experiments, more fast thrash rhythmes, more melodic harmonies and a more melodic singing is the direction I would advice this band to go. Still the music on the cd is for the most part enjoyable. The lyrics are biblical and straight to the point.
To sum it up, it's a ok cd but not as good as I hoped. They can much better... Check it out if you are into metal and especially if you like thrash.
ANTIDEMON - Demonocídio (Death to demons)
Brutal Death Metal is what this brazilian band delivers. The voice is brutal and the music is heavy, variable and got plenty of crunchy thrash rhythmes. They manage to get the music extremely heavy but still remain melodic. Really good stuff! This is some of the best I have heard when it comes to death metal. It reminds of Schaliach but faster and not as happy sounding. The total time is 62 minutes and they have 27 tunes!! Some are very short, two of them are only 1 second long! There are a some tracks that gets repetitive and never make it to me but most do. But when you got this many tunes that ain't no big thing.
There is just one major thing I don't like and that's the cover showing a demon. When demons are pictured like this they should have a sword through their head etc to CLEARLY SHOW that they are conquered. But when it comes to this picture you have to look very hard to see that that's the case.
The lyrics are very biblical and are both in english and portugese. Antidemon knows what they are doing and have a great ministry and they have seen many come to know Christ at their concerts. I wish them all the best, we need more bands like this that are rooted in the Word, skilled musically and totally devoted to Jesus Christ.
ARISE (ETERNAL) - Demo April 00
This is another norwegian band. But unlike many others from this country they play thrash metal a la old Vengeance Rising. Ahh, finally some fresh thrash to enjoy! :-) All instruments and vocals on this 5-tune cd are done by one person Johnny Myrland. The music is reminding a lot of Vengeance and I also hear a Believer influence. They even have included the Vengeance cover Herod's Violent Death, vocals are not in class with Roger but the tune is still really enjoyable. Lyrics are totally biblical. Weak point is the vocals at times. He should try to sing a bit lower or find another singer. But the music is great tight thrash and has lots of variation and nice melodies. The future looks bright for this band. With improved singing Arise (Eternal) will definately go far. I give it a 3+. Thrash it up dudes!
ARISE ETERNAL - Set It On Fire
This cd includes all the tunes on the demo cd from April 00 plus two new cuts. One of the new tunes is a nice instrumental. The other tune Prisoner of Darkness is a real thrash tune with plenty of crunch. Vocals sounds better now as well. Great stuff overall. If you love thrash you should definately give this a try.
ARMOR OF GOD - Out of Egypt
This is a melodic hardrock band from the USA. Lyrics are very Scriptural and thoughtprovoking that shows that the band is really on fire for the Lord. I just wish the music was just as good as the lyrics. There are way too little guitarsolos and hooks to grab me. Vocals also sounds somewhat weak. Production sounds thin. But I do have some favourite tracks that I really like. They are I Wish You Well and Rise Up Old Church. Especially Rise Up Old Church stands out. Hopefully the band will do more tunes in the same calibre of these two in coming albums.
Melodic hardrockers that love bands like Rosanna's Riders can give this a try.
ARVINGER - Helgards Fall
Norway is known for it's many black metal bands. Arvinger is a new band in this genre destined to spread light in the darkness. Arvinger loves vikings and it shows both on the cover and the lyrics. "Once again vikings leaves the harbour. With victory in the name of Jesus. Long ago we were feared but now a message of salvation we bear" They manage very well to combine the message of Jesus and the boldness of the Vikings. A way cool combination! All lyrics are in norwegian and besides vikings and salvation the lyrics tackles issues like idols and the importance of repenting from sins. My favourite track is Hyllest which is a praise song to God. Fanget av vinden is another of my fave's with it's crunchy and heavy rhythm.
One thing I really like with the music is that it's very atmospheric and majestic. Vocals are done in true black metal style. They have also included some beautiful female vocals which fits perfect in this style of music. Closest comparisons musically and vocally are Antestor and Vaakevandring. Production is not over the top but ok to be an independent release. For coming releases they need to spend more time with the production. They also need to improve the songwriting and incorporate some more harmonies to the tunes as well as more variation. With that said this is all in all a really promising debut from a cool band. Keep going dudes, I'm looking forward to your next release.
ATONEMENT - Demo 1 - 2001
Demo, demo, demo. This is what this. It's on cd but it do smells demo-garage productionwise. This is their first demo, and it shows. The bad soundquality truly destroys this cd all over. But I do hear some really good guitarplaying, but the bad production doesn't do it justice. One thing they need to improve is the vocals, they need to get them to fluent more with the music and it needs to get more of an edge, more aggressiveness. The vocalist Jose also needs to variate his voice a lot more or leave all singing to Randy the other vocalist instead, cause now it sounds terrible repetetive! I'm not saying this to put him down, but I have to be honest with you and also to help the band to improve themselves.
The band also needs to variate the music more, it's too repetetive as it is now. The only tune I like is Warped. Great guitarplay on this one! I only wish the rest of the tunes were this good. :-( If it wasn't for the the great guitarplay I would have given this CD a one star rate but now it gets two. Lyrics are Christ-centered so it's good to see that they got their focus right, but good focus is not enough they need to work more with the music or people won't listen to the message either.
Well dudes, you have to practise more and do more tunes in the caliber of Warped if you want to go to the top. And please please spend much more time in the studio so the production won't be as bad next time.
BELIEVER - Sanity Obscure
This is complex thrash with lots of timechanges and crunchy guitars. This is thrash when it's at it's best! The musicians are all very technical and really shreds. The lyrics tackles issues like drugs, pollution and the importance of choosing to follow Christ.
References: I can really recommend this album for all that like early Deliverance and early Vengeance Rising. Also If you like secular bands like Kreator this is definately something for you.
BLOODGOOD - To Germany With Love
This is Bloodgoods last album that was recorded 1993 during their tour in Germany. Soon after the tour ended this cd was released in 1000 copies only and has since then been very hard to get. But now it has finally been rereleased! The cd has a total of over 70 minutes music with tunes from all their albums! From Anguish And Pain, Crucify and Seven to Let My People Go and All Stand Together. To say it short it's a good mix from all Bloodgoods cds. The music has the typical Bloodgood sound with nice guitarsolos and melodies that stays in your head and won't let go. Paul Jackson is a really good guitarplayer and he shreds on and on.
BLOODGOOD - Rock Theatre DVD
Bloodgood fans rejoice! Finally there is a DVD available with this great band. First thing that strikes me is the cool packaging. This is by far the coolest and best DVD package I have ever seen! Inside the package are two DVDs containg the same material as was on their VHS videos Alive in America and Shaking The World.
Musically the DVD shows Bloodgood at their best with classics like Out of The Darkness, The Messiah, Seven, She's Gone, Black Snake and many many more. Something outstanding with this DVD is all the actors that help to portray the message in Bloodgood's tunes. The most heartgripping moment is the crucifiction and resurrection of Christ. It's so amazing that God loved us so much that He was willing to send his Son to suffer and die in our place so we can have our sins forgiven and have eternal life with Him. Bloodgood and the actors make a great job in showing what Christ did for us, playing all the roles from Christ to Pontius Pilate.
This is an outstanding release both musically and visually and with a message that will touch your heart. Bloodgood made a fantastic job doing this cool release and I'm glad they finally made it available on DVD.
BLOOD-N-FIRE - Messiah
Blood'n'fire is an american band and this is their 2nd release. While their first release sounded like a mix of Barren Cross and Precious Death, this release is more diverse and has more harmonies. Characteristic for Blood'n'fire's sound overall is that it's mostly groovy and melodic. The track Warfare reminds a lot of Bride (Snakes/Kinetic-era). One of the tunes is a cover of Petra's classic tune Judas Kiss. It's not as fast and heavy as One Bad Pig's version but it's still pretty cool. Favourite tunes are Jenny, Simple Prayer and Warfare. Lyrics are bold'n'clear and shows a lot of spiritual insight. The cover is a painting of Messiah (Jesus) that is crying over a world that's is hurting and has turned away from him.
On the negative side some tunes on this cd are way too slow and repetitive and makes me wanna hit the skip button. I want more harmonies and hooks from this band. They have the ability, they just need to show it more.
All in all this is a decent album that definately is a step forward in the right direction. If they do more melodic hooks and guitar solos, gets heavier, keep the groovy sound and speed up the tempo, future releases will be really interesting.
BOANERGES - Senales Antes Del Fin
Guitarmetal from Argentina isn't that common but here is a band that knows to handle their instruments well. Boanerges means Sons of Thunder and their guitars are truly flashing. The first real tune is repetitive and boring and they shouldn't had put it first on the album. But then it becomes better and the fourth and 7th tune are amazingly good! Wow, what a guitarplay, man!! The band has two guitarists and they totally shred. Carl-Johan Grimmark (Narnia), Rex Carrol (Whitecross), Yngwie and Chris Impellitteri (Impellitteri) better watch up! Amazing leads is what this band delivers. And that is not all, they got a message behind it too. The lyrics are very biblical and thinkable. They are on spanish so you might have a problem to understand them, but the band was kind enough to translate them to english for me so now I know better what they are talking about. :-)
This band is really talented but they should let loose more and and don't be so complex. The songwriting can definately be more fluent and melodic. This is the only thing that keeps them back. But I'm sure they will improve this too, and if they do they will definately be as good as Narnia and Impellitteri. The guitarists are totally outstanding so with better songwriting this band will go to the top. If you love guitar solos you shouldn't miss this album.
BOANERGES - Más Allá del Umbral
Finally after much waiting this talented band from Argentina releases some new material! Héroes en Soledad is the first tune on the disc and it's also the best. Would love to hear more tunes in this caliber. Great melodic metal with flashing guitars and a crunchy rhythm. Wow! Truly a fantastic track. La Gran Batalla follows next. A good tune as well with a crunchy rhythm. Castillo Fuerte is a short and beautiful track where the band sings a capella. Imperios y Reinos is next tune. It's not as catchy as the first two.
Lyrics are in spanish so you might have a problem to understand them but I think they flow well with the music so that's not a big problem, to me anyway.
As bonus track on this 5-track cd they have added a cover of Stryper's classic tune Soldiers Under Command. Musically it's good but Gabriela has some problems with singing in the english language. As a result the vocals aren't as fluent as they could be. As an extra bonus the band has added plenty of short videos from the studio as well as an amazing live video with the tune Héroes en Soledad.
On the negative side I found the cd too short. Would love to hear a new fullength cd. At times they also make their music too complicated, it's better if they incorporate more hooks/harmonies and write more direct. But all in all a cool release. I give a 3+. Boanerges is a very talented band and with more tunes in the same caliber of Héroes en Soledad next release can be a real masterpiece. Looking forward to next relase. Hasta La Vista Boanerges!
BODI HODGE - Evilution & A Candle In The Darkness
These two hardrock cds are made by the one-man-band Bodi Hodge. Lyrics are great, Christcentered and very Biblical. The problem with the cds is the music. First of all, it doesn't sound tight. Secondly, production is really bad. Thirdly, Bodi has problems with holding the tone when he sings. All these things together make it very hard for me to appreciate these two cds. What I would like Bodi to do is involve some others in this project, spend more time arranging the tunes, take vocal lessons, spend much more time on the production and to incorporate much more hooks and harmonies.
Bodi has some work to do, but he has the right focus, so that's a good start. I wish him good luck.
PASTOR BRAD - Rock You Up
Rock You Up is the second cd for the rock guitar player and Pastor Brad Windlan. Since he is Pastor he has put a lot of energy into the lyrics that are loud'n'clear. I just wish he had put just as much effort into the music as he has put on the lyrics. Cause the big problem with the cd is that it isn't consistent in quality. Some really great tunes are mixed with tunes that are boring and repetetive. What's great though with this cd is the guitarplay that is really promising and definately above average. Another good thing is that the music has plenty of 80s influences. Still I miss something to lift the cd above the average. I hear talent and great focus but what I would like to see more of in coming releases is more variation, more hooks, more guitarsolos and also improving of the vocals. It would also be good if Brad hired a producer next time to be able to lift the production to the next level.
BRIDE - Snakes In The Playground
Thought it was about time to review this classic cd since many (me included) consider this album to be Bride's best. Bride has changed their sound a lot so you may be surprised when you hear this cd. Cause what we have here is quality groovy Hardrock/Metal reminding of Guns'n'Roses but much much better! Dale has a great raspy screamy metal voice that fits perfect to this kind of music. His screamy vocals and the groovy music makes this to a real metalfeast. The only weak tracks on this cd are Picture Perfect and Love, Money. The rest just shreds! This is truly Bride at their best. My favourite tracks are Rattlesnake, Psychedelic Super Jesus, Don't Use Me and the beautiful ballad I Miss The Rain. Lyrically Bride talks about problems in the society and about people that have a hard time. But they are not focusing on the problems but on the solution which is Jesus Christ.
BRIDE - Live at Cornerstone 2001
Bride fans look here! Last Summer this classic band returned to their metalroots (finally!) for a gig at Cornerstone. And the great news is that they also recorded this gig on this cd. Yes! So now we can all enjoy their classic metal tunes again! Dale screams just like he did on the early albums. Finally we can once again enjoy tunes like Hell No, Until The End We Rock, First Will Be Last, Fool Me Once and more... Finally Bride do what they do best again and that's METAL! The quality is really good on the recording, almost like studio quality, which makes the tunes even more enjoyable.
As bonus tracks on the cd they have added some hardrock versions of tunes like Amazing Grace and I Have Decided. These versions are really cool even though I would rather have heard more of their own classic tunes. That's one of my very few complaints about this cd. I also miss a few of my favourite Bride tunes but as always you can't get everything. Personal fave's on the cd are Until The End We Rock and First Will Be Last. To sum it up, this is a very good cd that I highly can recommend, so if you like Bride's early material you should definately get it, while it's still available. You better be quick since the cd is limited to 1500-2000 copies only...
CRIMSON MOONLIGHT - Veil of Remembrance
Looking for brutal metal? Then this can be exactly what you are looking for. Crimson Moonlight have always been an extreme band and with this release they take it a notch higher. Compared to previous releases this is both faster and more brutal. Musically I also hear a definitive influence from Extol. Pilgrim's voice sound better than ever and now he has broaden his voice and even growls at some tracks. As I said this is really fast and brutal and nothing for your grandma :-) Lyrics are darker than previous releases while still pointing to the Eternal Emperor, the Lord Jesus Christ.
So, what do I think about this release then? Well, I think it's really good but I still prefer The Covenant Progress to this album, mainly because Covenant Progress had some more harmonies in it. This album gets a bit repetitive. But productionswise and vocalwise this is by far the best Crimson Moonlight ever done.
CRIMSON MOONLIGHT - Eternal Emperor
Crimson Moonlight have really improved a lot since their demo! This mini-cd is tons better than their demo so if you was dissapointed with the demo, this is sure to please your ears. Their style has developed to atmospheric blackmetal with lots of harmony and brutality. Lots of nice doublekick on the drums. They mix slow atmospheric parts with fast and crunchy parts which makes it very enjoyable. I would even say that this is the best black metal I have ever heard! The only letdown is the third tune that is a keyboard instrumental. It's just too slow and soft. I have nothing against keys in an intro or outro but to have a whole keyboardtune in the middle of a black metal album just doesn't fit. At least not in my ears. Besides that, this 5 tune CD shreds and leaves you hungry for more! The lyrics are straight to the point and they make no bones in that they stand for Jesus Christ.
CRIMSON MOONLIGHT - The Covenant Progress
Crimson Moonlight fans rejoice! Finally they are here with a new release. Gone is the keyboarddominated atmospheric metal and it has been replaced by brutality and heavy harmonies. Another change with this release is the tempo, which is much faster than on Eternal Emperor. A good thing is that they manage to keep the tunes melodic eventhough they are very brutal. There are many tempochanges and lots of variation on the album that keeps the tunes interesting. Included on the disc is also a new version of Eternal Emperor that is faster than the old one.
On the negative side there isn't much to say. There are only a few tracks that I can't really get into. One of them A Thorn In My Heart could be much more direct and melodic than it is. Last track The Covenant is way too slow and long. Parts of other tracks are also too complex to my taste. Besides these few remarks this album just shreds!
One of the best things with this release is that it's so good musically so it can beat any black metal band out there, christian or secular. The big metal magazine Rock Hard from Germany gave this cd the rating 9,5 of 10! Who needs Darkthrone, Satyricon and other evil bands when Christian bands like Crimson Moonlight just blows them away, both musically and lyrically? Crimson Moonlight just improves with each release, I'm really happy to recommend this band and album to all you black metallers out there that are looking for a quality band with a clean message about the Eternal Emperor, Jesus Christ.
Cruciferae - The Light Prevails
Cruciferae is a new band hailing from Finland. This is the first thing I hear from this band and I have to say that I'm impressed! The music is very tight and they vary beautiful harmonies with crunchy thrashy rhythmes. You can say that it's a combination between Classic Metal and Thrash. Last tune is instrumental and it shreds! The lyrics are loud and clear. Tormentor of Souls have a lyric I really love. It goes like this: Satan deceives, do not believe. You can be free, it's your choice. Jesus delivers, why not believe? You can be free, it's your choice. The EP contains 3 tunes and leaves me hungry for more! Some people might have a problem to appreciate the singers voice, but when the music is this good I don't really care.
References: Highly recommended to fans of Heavy Metal and Thrash aka Preacher, Eternal Decision early Deliverance and early Metallica.
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