To look at Gabriel and The Apocalypse, you could be forgiven for thinking they’d be a band who valued style over content, especially when taking into consideration the fact that their videos have been heralded as hugely stylish, visual feasts. An image means nothing if the material isn’t good enough to back it up; there are a lot of gothy and industrial bands out there guilty of spending far too long cultivating an image and then forgetting to invest the same kind of importance into their song writing. Luckily, that doesn’t apply here: Gabriel and The Apocalypse’s 2019 LP ‘Alpha Bionic’ was a fine work. Its ten songs fused goth, metal and industrial grooves with massive choruses and served up something almost guaranteed to please old fans of Orgy and early Disturbed, as well as offering lovers of Lacuna Coil an interesting alternative. A heavy-ish cover of Midnight Oil’s ‘Beds Are Burning’ peppered with vaguely industrial beats and retro synths added something instantly familiar to a selection of already great material.
At the beginning of 2021, Black Pistol Fire released their sixth album ‘Look Alive’. A hugely welcome return for the garage/blues rock duo, it was their most commercial recording to date with a fuller sound drawing more influence from The Black Keys than their previous Jack White obsessions.
A new band for 2020, The Loose Chains brings together the talents of drummer Sergio Benedi (previously of the band Gunpowder) and singer songwriter Jimina Villena, a performer who has previously shared her recordings on social media. With a really meaty sound and a couple of hook laden rock numbers, this debut release marks a huge step forward for both artists.
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.