Although ‘World On Fire’ is the debut release from Californian metal band Sea of Snakes, the musicians involved are anything but fresh faced players just starting out. The core of the band have been fixtures on the stoner metal scene for years, but with ex-Saul of Taurus vocalist Tracy Steiger joining forces with Motorsickle guitarist Jim McCloskey and The Shrine’s Jeff Murray on drums, this is a band with the potential for outgrowing its roots. Sea of Snakes’ debut EP has moments that are far more intense than the gathered musos’ previous works allowed.
In an era where digital singles and playlists have gained as much traction as full albums, American death metal band Eye of The Destroyer have promised “new music once a month for the foreseeable future.” This could be a good move for the band, since at a time when gigs are still off the table, it keeps them out there in the minds of underground metal fans.
When The Almighty opened the Donington Monsters of Rock Festival in 1992, they sounded like a band ready to take on the world. Their second album, 1991’s ‘Soul Destruction’ had been hugely popular among UK rock fans and despite a key line-up change that saw guitarist Tantrum replaced by Alice Cooper sideman Pete Friesen, their third album – the soon to be released ‘Powertrippin’ – further showcased a band that seemed absolutely unshakable.
…And indeed, upon its release, the reviews for ‘Powertrippin’ were hugely positive. With its heavier stance and some brilliantly crafted songs, it quickly became a fan favourite. Peaking at #5 on the UK album chart, it also became The Almighty’s biggest commercial success. It clearly wasn’t successful enough for the label bigwigs, though, as Polydor Records dropped the band the following year.
Hungary’s The Hellfreaks have gone through a few musical changes throughout the past decade. Their early work showed an affinity with the classic psychobilly sounds of Necromantix and Long Tall Texans; by the mid ’10s, they’d refined themselves as a punky/metal hybrid and albums like ‘Astoria’ saw their fanbase grow. By the time of 2020’s ‘God On The Run’, the metallic edges had been bolstered further and tracks like the Marilyn Manson-esque ‘Witches Heal’ showcased a band with a lot of power.
At the beginning of 2021, Callous Hands were still a relatively new band. They’d played a handful of gigs and shared a few digital singles via their Bandcamp site, but hadn’t yet released a full debut recording. Plans had been made to record an album during 2020, but – like most other bands without swanky home studios – the lads had their plans derailed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Determined to make their mark in a rapidly failing world while dealing with line-up changes, the Brummie heavyweights still managed to record three tracks during the spring and summer, resulting in the ‘Earth Mover’ EP.