Archive for the ‘Album Reviews’ Category

Venom should be no stranger to this site. What I refer to as their triumvirate – Black Metal, At War With Satan, and Welcome to Hell are must haves in any record collection. Two of the three are available in my store right now. But keep in mind, there’s no room for the meek or the mild!

80smetalman's Blog


Thank God that my local record store back in the mid 1980s had the foresight to have a heavy metal import section otherwise I might not have heard of Venom for at least two more years from when I did. While Venom came out with all the other great NWOBHM acts in 1981, they didn’t quite enjoy the commercial success of the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest or Saxon. This was in spite of the fact that commercial radio didn’t totally suck at that time. There was a genuine danger of them slipping beneath my radar totally but fortunately they didn’t and I got to hear great metal delights like their debut album “Welcome to Hell.”

After my obligatory listen, twice, to “Welcome to Hell,” I have come to the conclusion that Venom were actually ahead of their time. True, some people worried that rock music was the devil’s…

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It’s not often that the first words out of a listener’s mouth is, “Who produced this album, it sounds amazing!” That is the case, however, with Revocation’s new long-player, Deathless. For the record, it was produced by Zeuss at Planet Z studios. Not only has Zeuss captured the brutality of Revocation’s live shows, but he has cleaned the sound up just enough that everything is crystal clear without being over-produced.



It’s difficult to discuss Decapitated without at least a sleight mention of the tragedy that befell the band. Starting the band as teenagers, Decapitated slugged it out in clubs and van tours, until one night the van went off the road. One member died and one ended up in a coma. What does a band do in this situation? In the case of Decapitated, they recruit new members and soldier on to carry the banner for their fallen comrades.


Album Review: Bullet – Storm of Blades

Posted: September 15, 2014 in Album Reviews


I’ve been following Bullet for over a decade. Their Heading to the Top album was the best AC/DC album that AC/DC never recorded. Singer Hell Hofer is Brian Johnson’s vocal doppelgänger even though he possesses none of the typical frontman features. Hofer is a heavy-set, robe wearing behemoth of a man that harkens back to the pre-MTV era. Co-lead guitarists Hampus Klang and Alexander Lyrbo riff just like the Young brothers even aping the intro to For Those About to Rock on many tracks in the band’s catalog. The rhythm section is tight, letting the guitarists do their thing.



The Cannibal Corpse sound hasn’t changed much over the past twenty years. Horror movie lyrics, growled over heavily distorted guitar work, and punishing drums. That describes pretty much every album the band has released. What the band does, however, they do extremely well and this album is no different. The guitar riffs just keep adding up until the listener feels that there can’t be any more……and then another riff comes along. As much as one might try, it’s nearly impossible not to bob your head along to each song. It’s only natural, correct? Riff, pummel, repeat. It seems as simple as that, but Cannibal Corpse always brings a little something new with each record, and A Skeletal Domain is no different.



Disclaimer: I’ve always been hit or miss with In Flames. Sometimes it’s the songs and sometimes it’s my mood. They’ve always been polarizing for me.

Taking in Siren Charms, people need to understand one thing: this isn’t the same In Flames that recorded The Jester Race or Colony. In Flames answer to a new evil overlord now, and it’s not the evil one fans wish for. Now the band answers to Sony – a label much more evil than most people can imagine. Taking the new master into account, In Flames is no longer a metal band. They now reside in the no man’s land of corporate rock and roll, so they are essentially the genre brothers of Godsmack minus the stateside success. But hey, at least In Flames are more attractive and less douchey.



There has been a new wave of traditional heavy metal bands coming up as of late that have a strong work ethic, killer riffs from guitarists Chris Segger and Tim Brown, and the soaring vocals of Dan Cleary. These bands are providing a fresh take on the genre and adding a much needed breath of fresh air to the genre. Among the leaders of this renewed movement is Canada’s Striker. The five-piece band resurfaces with their third album for Napalm Records and first new recording in two years.



The Swedes in Wolf attack with full force in an apparent effort to top the Teutonic terror that is Accept. The guitars are exceptional when riffing, but any other guitar work is uninspired and downright boring. The biggest problem, however, is the vocals don’t hold up to the riffs and the rhythm section gets completely lost in the battle between guitarist and singer. All that being said, the album isn’t a complete waste of time, but it would have worked better as an EP.



Iceland’s Solstafir are post-metal’s answer to their homeland’s most interesting musical export Sigur Ros (Bjork and the Sugarcubes don’t count because, basically, they sucked and Bjork still does.) Otta, Solstafir’s new album is as intriguing and unique that is more and experience than just an album. Singing in their native tongue, and including piano as one of their main instruments, the band bring’s Iceland culture to the listener.




Since it’s a holiday here in the US, I’m running a review I wrote awhile ago, but never ran.  So, here you go, enjoy!

Being on Hell’ Headbangers has it’s benefits. In this day and age, record labels are the last real taste-makers in existence. Terrestrial radio lost that claim over a decade ago, many blogs have hidden sponsors that question integrity via their advertising, and satellite radio has never been the savior many had hoped for. So that brings us back to Hell’s headbangers. They consistently release grimy, dirty, punk fueled metal that has the label’s fan base constantly clamoring for more.