LORD – Undercovers Vol. 1

Covers albums can be a hit and miss prospect. For every band willing to take risks, there are three dozen hacking out uninspired versions of other peoples’ songs in the name of a quick buck. As proven by Jorn Lande, metal based covers albums can be an even trickier thing to pull off successfully, since not everything needs – or even suits – being “heavied up” in the name of entertainment. In fact, the experience of hearing Lande wail his way through Don Henley’s ‘New York Minute’ could be enough to put you off metal oriented covers albums for life…

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SEA OF SNAKES – World On Fire EP

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.

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Listen to ‘Retinal Deprivation’, a new track from Eye of The Destroyer

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.

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THE ALMIGHTY – Welcome To Defiance: Complete Recordings 1994-2001

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.

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