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Dave McCallum

Old enough to know better. I have been a metalhead for a long time, I am a lifelong collector of vinyl and cds, the more the better.

Contrarian – Their Worm Never Dies

This is the third album by this bunch of progressive death wizards. Featuring on vocals and drums George Kollias of Nile fame. From the very start this is high octane jawdropping musicianship straight from the school of Death and Atheist.  That is where the comparison ends to an extent. The …

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Queensryche – The Verdict

Queensryche need little introduction and it is great to see them continuing an excellent run.  The media hype around the big rift with Geoff Tate at last seems to be subsiding and giving both parties the chance to get on with what they do best. “The Verdict” sees another original …

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Downfall of Gaia – Ethic of Radical Finitude

Hailing from Germany and formed 2008, they present their 5th album. Downfall of Gaia are a melting pot of influences, taking pieces from many different genres and making them blend into a seamless onslaught which is full of unexpected twists and turns. There are several long pieces on this album …

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SAOR- Forgotten Paths

Every so often an album comes along that is immediately enveloping. This is a record that deserves undivided attention. With each spin new sounds and interwoven melodies start to appear. Mainman Andy Marshall hails from Scotland and has moved forward his unique vision which is steeped in the Culture and …

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Zealot Cult – Spiritual Sickness

Formed in 2008 hailing from Ireland, Zealot Cult have built themselves a reputation based on hard work and attention to musical detail which is presented here on their first full length in all its glory. The title track arrives with a bang, no intro, no false sense of security – …

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Behemoth – A History of Controlled Chaos

Now that the dust has began to settle with the release of the oddly titled “I loved you at your Darkest”, it is an opportunity to explore the history of Behemoth which starts back in 1991. It really is only in the past 5-8 years that Behemoth have come into …

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Lacuna Coil -The 119 Show – Live In London

The passage of time becomes very apparent  when sitting down with this sprawling cd set. It is strange to hear thank-you for 20 years, I would not have pegged it at anything like that much time. Admittedly I lost touch with Lacuna Coil around the Karmacode album during their ascent. …

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Deicide – Overtures of Blasphemy

Deicide have been with us almost 30 years with 50% of the original band still intact which is quite a feat in this day and age. This is the 12th studio album and first with new guitarist Mark English ex-Monstrosity. It is surprising to find that “In the Minds of …

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Mantar -The Modern Art of Setting Ablaze (2018)

Mantar came across the radar 2 years back when they had just released “Ode to the Flame”, whilst heading between stages at Hellfest and heard this unholy racket coming from the Valley stage. From the screens I could see 2 people knocking the life out of a drumkit and guitar. …

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Pagan Altar – The Room of Shadows

Approaching what will be the last new music we will possibly ever hear from Pagan Altar with the enigmatic Terry Jones on vocals is not a task to be taken lightly. Formed in 1978 and virtually forgotten about until 1998 when their debut album (recorded in 1982) was finally given …

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Hour of 13 – Salt the Dead: The Rare and Unreleased

Hour of 13 – Salt the Dead: The Rare and Unreleased. Hour of 13 are one of those bands held in high reverence in underground circles and always create a stir when there is news of the band. Formed in 2006 and with a history that is less than straight …

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Apostate Viaticum – Before the Gates of Gomorrah

Another chapter in the history of Irish Death metal has been opened up in the shape of Apostate Viaticum, which features amongst its ranks ex-members of veteran Irish band Morphosis. Formed in 2014 they have kept a low profile until unleashing this slab of confrontational death metal. It is refreshing …

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Rock Goddess – It’s More Than Rock And Roll

After 30 years Rock Goddess have returned with ‘It’s More Than Rock And Roll’; a hard hitting slice of Hard Rock/Metal.  They have delivered a statement of intent of what I hope we can expect more of in the not too distant future. When Rock Goddess released their debut album back …

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Life of Agony – A Place Where There’s No More Pain

It has been 12 years since Life of Agony‘s last record and many question marks as to whether or not we would ever see another one. The re-energised band hit the festival circuit a few years back and proved without a doubt they were still a force that could cut …

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Kitshickers – 111.0

Not a new band, one with quite a history and now unleashing their 7th album. Originally formed in Luxembourg in 1997 and evolved through time from a grunge quartet to become the very different animal that is presented here on this beautiful self-released  Double White Vinyl. The opening track “Birth. …

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Rotten UK – That is not Dead

Hailing from Rochester, New York and trying to bridge the gap between uk82 and 2016 is somewhat of a tall order. Being on the Hells Headbanger’s label the expectation was something a lot more vicious and unruly.  Instead what we have got is a rounded take on the old uk …

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Spiritus Mortis – Year is One

Finland has always been a breeding ground for outstanding doom bands and Spiritus Mortis are no exception. The band formed in 1987 and has an impressive array of demos and split releases along the way – this is actually only their 4th full length release. It has been 7 years …

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Testament – Brotherhood of the Snake

Testament have always been a staple of the worldwide thrash scene, first introduced to the world supporting Anthrax in 1987.  This is the 11th studio album, unfortunately their history has been fraught with continuing line-up changes, illness and the general fickleness of the music industry. Throughout this, Testament have continued …

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Coroner – Autopsy

It was such a rush to hear that Coroner had comeback in 2011 to play some live shows. They are one of the most lamented bands from the 80s thrash scene. Unfortunately Coroner made no promises of new material when they reformed it was enough that they were giving us …

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Charred Walls of the Damned – Creatures Watching Over the Dead

It has been 5 years since the last record for this group of supreme players that includes Steve Di Giorgio (Bass) (Testament, Sadus, Death) and Ripper Owens (ex Judas Priest, Iced Earth) (vocals). The voice however is what makes this band instantly recognisable. It is a shame Ripper hasn’t been …

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