HEREAFTER – Fires Of The Flame EP

Formed during the global pandemic, US metal band Hereafter is a side project for two members of Corners of Sanctuary. As with all good side projects, it marks something of a shift for the musicians involved. Despite still sticking within the metal realm, this project trades in Corners of Sanctuary’s high octane, traditional 80s sound for something slower, groove laden, and almost doomy in places.

The four piece band teams Corners’ Mick Michaels and Mad T (guitars and drums, respectively) with ex-Blood Feast vocalist Chris Natalini and Burned In Effigy bassist Robert Bigler to create a heavy sound that values a steady riff above all else. To ensure an even bigger shift from the members’ day jobs, the songs even employ a very stylised vocal to accentuate a lot of the music’s very rhythmic heart.

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FISSURE OF RIDDLES – The Marble Realm

Four years on from their ‘Nemea’ album, UK progressive sludge merchants Fissure of Riddles make a particularly intensive noise on their 2022 release ‘The Marble Realm’. Four of its six songs take a very long time to sometimes do very little, but for fans of such a slow and oppressive style, that moody and methodical approach to a riff results in the kind of album that’s almost guaranteed to make an impression.

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PAUL DI’ANNO’S BATTLEZONE – Killers In The Battlezone (1986-2000)

Paul Di’Anno’s contributions to the first two Iron Maiden albums would be enough alone to secure him a legendary status. His rough edged, almost punky style did so much to give those now classic recordings a real energy, and both ‘Iron Maiden’ and ‘Killers’ have continued to receive a massive amount of love, even decades after fans heard them for the very first time.

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REBEL PRIEST – Lesson In Love EP

Canadian rockers Rebel Priest made their first breakthrough in 2015 with a self titled album that introduced listeners to their world of sleazy riffs, combining elements of old school metal, bluesy rock and no-nonsense grubbiness. The following years saw the band sharing stages with Lordi and Diamond Head, and their work likened to AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue, despite not always sounding too obviously like some of those legendary acts.

Their 2022 release ‘Lesson In Love’ continues their unashamed voyage through a world of dirty riffs, sleazy lyrics and – as you might suspect from a release with an arse on the cover, painted blue or otherwise – old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll attitudes. For those who loved them previously, the short four song assault will bring plenty to love; for those not enamoured with the retro rock sound and attitude, obviously, the chances of being won over are slim to none.

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TURN COLD – 2022 EP

In September 2021, Turn Cold’s debut EP ‘Break Your Faith’ introduced a band with a lot of spirit and a very old school approach to almost everything. Their combination of a riff heavy sound and no-frills production style had much in common with many second division thrash bands from the late 80s, and for many, that was enough to suggest this was a band with a lot of potential.

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