Mars Red Sky – Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul)

By Andrew Bansal

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French psychedelic stoner rock trio Mars Red Sky have been in existence since 2007, and first landed on Metal Assault’s radar in 2012 through a random exploratory Bandcamp session. It’s incredible how hard rock/heavy metal music is supposedly ‘dead’ and yet people can still discover such great hidden talent if only they tried. Mars Red Sky’s 2011 eponymous debut LP left an indelible impression on Metal Assault, and their stature was further heightened by the 2014 follow-up album ‘Stranded In Arcadia’. Now, the band is ready to release their third full-length ‘Apex III (Praise For The Burning Soul) on May 20th 2016 in North America via Listenable Records, and just like their previous efforts, promised to be quite the hallucinogenic trip down psychedelic pastures. Continue reading

Spell – For None And All

By Andrew Bansal

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When it comes to modern-day traditional heavy metal, hardly anyone can deny or argue against Canada’s status as world leaders in the genre, with bands like Striker, Skull Fist, Cauldron, Axxion, Iron Kingdom and many others marching triumphantly in their respective conquests to keep the old school alive. Adding to the crop of such bands, Vancouver BC trio Spell existed as Stryker for a few years before changing their name in 2013 and releasing the debut Spell full-length ‘The Full Moon Sessions’ in 2014. Now they are ready to release the follow-up LP ‘For None And All’ on May 27 2016 via Bad Omen Records, another potential treat for old-school metalheads constantly seeking new bands with the old sound. Continue reading

Kvelertak – Nattesferd

By Andrew Bansal

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Norwegian six-piece Kvelertak have garnered the hard rock/heavy metal world’s attention with their eclectic blend of rock ’n roll, extreme metal and hardcore punk, portrayed excellently on their 2010 self-titled debut LP as well as on the 2013 follow-up ‘Meir’, and presented with tremendous energy on stage. The band released their third full-length ‘Nattesferd’, on Roadrunner Records in May 2016. It takes an open mind to be fully appreciate Kvelertak’s music, and the band’s fans expect the unexpected from them. But ’Nattesferd’ takes even their most loyal, die-hard and open-minded fans by surprise. Continue reading

Death Angel – The Evil Divide

By Andrew Bansal

Death Angel - The Evil Divide - Artwork

In an era where thrash metal is on the decline, the so-called ‘new wave’ of thrash that surfaced a decade ago having almost completely died down and the sub-genre being kept alive mainly due to the efforts of a handful of old bands, San Francisco veterans Death Angel have surged ahead as thrash’s true saviors. The band made a comeback in 2001 after being absent for the entirety of the ’90s, and proved that their comeback was no nostalgia trip, with albums like ‘The Art Of Dying’ (2004) and ‘Killing Season’ (2008). But through their recent work on ‘Relentless Retribution’ (2010) and ‘The Dream Calls For Blood’ (2013), they left no one in doubt that they’re right at the top, ruling the modern-day thrash universe. Besides, their rip-roaring live performances have further cemented their stature in metal. Death Angel are ready to release their eighth studio album ‘The Evil Divide’ on May 27 2016 via Nuclear Blast. While the previous two albums were similar in every aspect, right down to the cover artwork, ‘The Evil Divide’ breaks away from the pattern and injects fresh blood into the band’s repertoire. Continue reading

Striker – Stand In The Fire

By Andrew Bansal

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Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, Striker have been a band since 2007 and with each of their past three full-length studio albums and touring cycles, they’ve won the hearts of metalheads all over the globe, the then first-time listeners that now constitute their ever-growing cult fan-base. The Canadian quintet first caught Metal Assault’s attention with their stellar second LP ‘Armed To The Teeth’ (2012), came out with a great follow-up ‘City Of God’ (2014), and established themselves on the website’s radar permanently by blowing their headliners Artillery off the stage on a US support run in early 2015. In 2016, they present their newest full-length ‘Stand In The Fire’, which promised to be their best effort yet, and at the very least, another fun-filled set of tunes that retains their reputation. Continue reading

Savage Master – With Whips And Chains

By Andrew Bansal

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The old-school metal ways of the ‘70s and ‘80s have made quite the resurgence in recent years, and one would be in complete denial to say it isn’t so. The internet and the easy access to music has led to the current generation of teens and twenty-somethings discovering bands from several decades ago, and in turn seeking modern-day bands that pursue similar musical styles. The fan-following for traditional heavy metal, a la Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Saxon, Satan, Angel Witch and Witchfinder General, is truly global, with kids everywhere from the far East to the far West spinning records, wearing denim battle vests and banging their heads to the music of traditional metal stalwarts old and new. The impact of these bands has certainly been felt in the U.S. as well, thanks also in part to America’s own old-school metal legacy comprising the likes of Riot, Armored Saint, Manilla Road and Iced Earth, and this not only applies to the big cities but to every corner of this vast country. One wouldn’t associate Louisville, Kentucky with old-school metal, but then came Savage Master to put this town on the metal map. The quintet released their debut full-length album ‘Mask Of The Devil’ in 2014, gained quite the cult following mainly because of their live performances and visual stage antics, and have now unleashed their second LP ‘With Whips And Chains’, which comes as a highly anticipated release in the traditional metal circles. Continue reading