Havok – Point Of No Return EP [9.5 out of 10]

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

Last year, Denver-based thrashers Havok impressed one and all with their sophomore album “Time Is Up” and the subsequent touring that followed it. It was great seeing them perform on stages across North America with the likes of Forbidden and Revocation, but they weren’t on that bill just to make up the numbers. They truly managed to hold their own alongside a veteran thrash band like Forbidden, and as a result, gained a new fan base for themselves. Based on the strength of the album and these tours, the band went briefly went into songwriting mode again, came up with two new tracks, and recorded two cover tunes in addition to the new songs to put the four together to create the “Point Of No Return” EP. Continue reading “Havok – Point Of No Return EP [9.5 out of 10]”

Six Feet Under – Undead [9 out of 10]

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

Four years after the release of their last studio album “Death Rituals”, Florida-based death metal veterans Six Feet Under are back to start afresh with a new album and a new lineup. “Undead”, the band’s ninth studio album, will feature new members Rob Arnold on guitar & bass and Kevin Talley on drums, along with founding member and frontman Chris Barnes, and longstanding guitarist Steve Swanson. Barnes has called this album a rebirth for the band and promised to treat the fans with a rejuvenated Six Feet Under. They lived up to the promise as a live band, putting on some crushing performances during last year’s Summer Slaughter Tour, and it only remained to be seen whether the new album delivers to the same extent. Continue reading “Six Feet Under – Undead [9 out of 10]”

Album Review: Royal Thunder – CVI [9.5 out of 10]

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, Royal Thunder is a four-piece that plays blues-infused rock. They started out in 2007, released their self-titled debut EP on their own in 2010, and have been an actively touring band throughout the five years of their career so far. With the captivating style of music they showcased on the debut EP, it wasn’t long before they started garnering praise and admiration from all over the place. Subsequently, they signed to Relapse Records, and with some solid touring experience under their belts, they are now ready to release their debut full-length album “CVI”, which comes out on May 22nd and is already available for pre-order. Even though the self-titled EP created a great first impression and was an amazing piece of music in itself, I think “CVI” brings forth an even better effort from the band, and sees them take a giant leap in their musical journey. Continue reading “Album Review: Royal Thunder – CVI [9.5 out of 10]”

Album Review: Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65 [9 out of 10]

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

It’s been 17 long years since the last time Saint Vitus put out a studio album, and 22 years since Scott “Wino” Weinrich featured in one. The wait is finally over, as the doom veterans release their eighth studio album “Lillie: F-65”. With Dave Chandler on guitar and Mark Adams on bass, the nucleus of the band remains the same as that on the “Born Too Late”, “Mournful Cries” and “V” albums, and drummer Henry Vasquez is the only new addition to the lineup. While this is a fresh start for the band after such a long hiatus, they’ve definitely eased into it by performing shows during the past couple of years, giving people a taste of the new album by playing songs like “Blessed Night” and a couple others. So the buildup towards this release has been great, and it has only heightened fans’ anticipation. At the end of 2011, I called this the most awaited album release of 2012, and obviously, my expectations from it were quite high. Continue reading “Album Review: Saint Vitus – Lillie: F-65 [9 out of 10]”

Album Review: Philm – Harmonic [10 out of 10]

By Aniruddh “Andrew” Bansal

Philm is an LA-based trio consisting of Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, along with Gerry Nestler on guitar & vocals, and Pancho Tomaselli on the bass. The band started out in early 2010, playing some powerfully intimate shows at small venues like the Troubadour, the Roxy, the Whisky, and I consider myself rather fortunate to have lived in LA during that time, witnessing the rise of Philm. The band didn’t put out any recorded material, and developed their cult following the old-school way, putting a 100 per cent into their live performances and garnering support through word-of-mouth. Subsequently, they did a mini-tour of the US supporting Rob Halford’s solo band in late 2010, and since then they’ve worked around Slayer’s touring schedule to write and record material for their debut full-length, while still playing one-off Hollywood gigs. The long-awaited album is titled “Harmonic”, and is now ready to hit the stores. Even before listening to the album, I knew one thing. If the album succeeds in capturing the vibe of a Philm show, it’s going to sound absolutely killer. And I can safely say, it really does. Continue reading “Album Review: Philm – Harmonic [10 out of 10]”

Retrospective: Judas Priest’s “Sin After Sin” Turns 35

By Avinash Mittur

Thirty-five years ago on April 23, 1977, Judas Priest unleashed their third studio album, Sin After Sin. As many know, Priest’s studio output during the 1970s is considered to be some of the most influential heavy metal ever recorded. Even though it has its flaws, Sin After Sin made a major contribution to the development of heavy metal and remains an important stepping-stone in the evolution of the genre.

In 1977 Judas Priest was a frighteningly different band compared to the one they became only a year later. Instead of leather and studs, singer Rob Halford was more likely to be wearing a matching white frilly outfit, and the rest of the band could easily be mistaken for the countless hard rock musicians of the seventies. On Sad Wings of Destiny, the band would be unafraid to follow a monstrously heavy track like Genocide with a melancholy piano dirge like Epitaph, or to cover an artist as different from themselves as Joan Baez. Simply put, Judas Priest circa 1977 was one very weird band. Continue reading “Retrospective: Judas Priest’s “Sin After Sin” Turns 35″