WAR CLOUD – Chain Gang EP

With their 2017 debut release, US metal titans War Cloud championed a very old fashioned style of music.  In tracks like ‘Red Witch’, their debt to the roots of Black Sabbath seemed obvious, while in faster paced material it was easy to trace influence directly back to ‘Stained Class’ era Judas Priest.  What the record lacked in originality, it made up for with musical chops and a lot of enthusiasm.  2019’s ‘State of Shock’ gave the world more of the same, but cranked up the energy.  By chucking in the odd riff borrowed from Diamond Head and Kiss, the band mined classic rock’s rich past a little further with some very retro results.  Understandably, by this point, those who liked War Cloud seemed to really love them.

Although a global pandemic ground the world to a halt in 2020 and put an end to live gigs for the foreseeable future, War Cloud maintained their presence with a pair of releases.  ‘The Earhammer Sessions’ presented choice cuts replayed live in the studio and, although a strong career overview, didn’t really provide much of an alternative to the original recordings, while ‘Chain Gang’ – a two song stop-gap EP – gave fans something more to enjoy while the band considered their next move.
Continue reading

ANGELIC DESOLATION – Quorum Of Unspeakable Curses EP

By fusing a truckload of old-school death metal riffs, a pinch of black metal vocal and the relentlessness of grindcore, US extreme metallers Angelic Desolation create a sound they’ve dubbed “American Razorgrind”.  Their third release, the catchily titled ‘Quorum of Unspeakable Curses’ delivers three more relentless slabs of riffery, coupled with the kind of vocal that could clear a room of any listeners not so keen on demonic growls. It doesn’t do much that genre fans won’t have heard before, but between some amazing technical abilities and a lot of force, Angelic Desolation still have plenty to offer the world of extreme metal.

Continue reading

POWERMAN 5000 – The Noble Rot

It must be hard having an older brother who is more famous than you. For Powerman 5000’s Spider One – younger brother of the legendary musician and film-maker Rob Zombie – it has meant constantly playing second fiddle in the rock press. Powerman have received some absolutely scathing reviews over the years – and most of them unfair. They’ve recorded some great work. Their ‘Blood-Splat Rating System’ full length (reissued as ‘Mega! Kung Fu Radio’ with the addition of a couple of earlier EP tracks) featured some cracking songs, even if it showed signs of a band still in need of some refinement. 1999’s mega-selling ‘Tonight The Stars Revolt’ remains an alternative metal classic; its riff heavy and hook heavy style could easily go head to head against Rob’s best work, and its sci-fi obsessed lyrics really helped to give PM5K a strong identity. Had the follow up ‘Anyone For Doomsday?’ not been pulled from release at the eleventh hour, the band’s quest for world domination would have been assured, but with shifting line-ups and varying musical styles dominating the next couple of releases, Powerman became very much more of a cult band.

Continue reading

MOTHS / THE STONE EYE – Split EP

In terms of split releases, this EP is very impressive. It ticks all of the boxes that a great split should in that, firstly, it introduces listeners to two great bands they might have missed and, secondly, it pairs some interesting original material with some well chosen covers.

Continue reading