Taking their name from the classic Entombed album from 1990, Romanian metallers Left Hand Path are the kind of band you’ll only have to hear once to realise they mean business. Their self-tited release from 2019 is a monstrous, riff-heavy disc that will gain an instant love from fans of the heaviest end of groove metal, as well as from those listeners whom aren’t about to let an obtuse vocal stand in their way of riff-based enjoyment.
Formed at the tail end of 2017, Hembree And The Satan Sisters was borne from frontman Zachary M. Hembree’s desires to record more punk oriented material. Teaming up with ex-members of Guff and Burns Like Fire, The Satan Sisters finds Hembree (ex Nuclear Blast signings Toro) opting for speed and crunch over traditional heaviness and their debut release is…immense. Packing nine tracks in under twenty minutes, the EP format suits the band extremely well, allowing their music to greet the listener with a genuine sucker punch.
2018 was a landmark year for UK art rockers The Fierce And The Dead. The release of their third full length album really caught the imaginations of those at Prog magazine and their readership. Always progressive rather than prog, TFATD really branched out on that record. Some of its material (‘Truck’,’48K’) showed the band in a slightly heavier mood than before, while other bits seemed more commercial…without actually being commercial, if that makes sense. Whatever, the album and its subsequent coverage found the band in a position of strength. With an army of new fans, they could now legitimately call themselves a cult band.
The lead up to ‘The Euphoric’s release was first documented on ‘Field Recordings’, a live album recorded in 2016 at the second Rambin’ Man Fair in the UK. This second live release captures the band a year later at Rosfest 2017 during a rare visit to the US. But…with not that much time since ‘Field Music’, is there any real need for a second live release?
New York’s Gotham Rockets are first and foremost a party band. Representing so much you loved about the mid-late 70s and recycling it for a twenty-first century audience, their debut EP features four feel good tunes, heavy on the saxophone and even heavier on high octane good vibes. The production values are a little ragged, but its songs provide a good old rock ‘n’ roll injection that’ll appeal to fans of the band’s label mates The Dirty Truckers and Nat Freedberg along with a few other retro sounds from yesteryear.
Indie pop band Janice Prix weren’t exactly accepted by their local crowd at first. Deciding to create synth heavy sounds with clean vocals and big pop hooks didn’t exactly endear them to their neighbourhood and a scene full of metal oriented bands. If there’s something the Swedes have always been good at, though, it’s creating good pop hooks…and so Janice Prix continued on their quest undeterred. Their debut EP ‘Nobody Would Know’ says so much about their determination as their talent. Its five songs are layered in synths and punchy drum loops, yet at the same time, there’s a huge sound and just enough guitar to endear them to the kind of people who expect their pop to deliver a bit more than a quick sugar fuelled hit.