Viking Skull – “Cursed By The Sword”
Ah yes, Viking Skull is their really anything wrong with some good time hard rock? I don’t think that there is. That is just what Viking Skull has brought to the table with their eighth release “Curse By The Sword”. From the opening riff of “Five Fingers of Steel” you know that this album is going to be a rocka-rolla good time. The band has been reformed and reenergized since recruiting members of The Bloodhound Gang and CKY, the most notable being Jess Margera. Now normally I don’t go for bands that anybody in the Margera family are associated with but I can’t help but enjoy how fun this album is. From start to finish it is full of heavy riffs, groovy bass, and fun times.
Nightmare – “The Burden of God”
This is the first time I had even heard of Nightmare and It is all thanks to Spotify. It’s well documented on Metal Delirium that when I see a power metal band I have to listen to a few sings, especially when I haven’t heard of them before. “The Burden of God” does not disappoint in anyway. If you are a fan of power metal then this is an album for you. The band took a ten year hiatus in the 90’s and returned with a new lineup and a new style. I intend to dig deeper and find out more about them. Tracks like “The Crimson Empire” and “The Dominion Gate(Part III)” are exactly what hooked me into the band. Fast, metallica metal with melodic hooks that you can’t help but want to sing a long with, nothing wrong with that! For a band that has been around thirty years(hiatus or not) this music is still fresh and sounds like a band that still has fun together.
Before the Dawn – “Rise of the Phoenix”
I have heard Before the Dawn off and on over the years and I have always liked what I heard and “Rise of the Phoenix” is no different. Melodic death metal might be my favorite sub-genre of death metal and Before the Dawn can be considered the experts on it. The opening track(sans the intro) “Pitch-Black Universe” kicks off the album with a sound that continues until the last track, “Closure”. There isn’t much to say about a stand-out track because they all mostly have the same sound with little variation; but that is what I love about the band. They have a great sense of groove and melody and I love Tuomas Saukkonen as a vocalist, some of the best death growls in the genre.
Huntress – “Spell Eater”
What do you get when your vocalist is a former Playboy model, certified opera singer, and a metalhead? You get Jill Janus, one of the best female vocalists to hit the metal genre in many years. On “”Spell Eater” Huntress combines elements of thrash metal, power metal, and some classical metal influences like Priest and Maiden to create one hell of an eclectic sound. Songs like the first single “Eight of Swords”, “Aradia” and “The Tower” show off not only Janus’s impeccable vocal range but also the talent level and musical style of the band. Maiden-esqe gallop riffs with soaring vocals not unlike that, that you could expect from King Diamond. Huntress lays it all on the line and show off just how great they really are. Janus being one of, if not the best female vocalists today, and providing that neo-classical style of music into metal that I always find myself drawn into!
God Forbid – “Equilibrium”
I have sat down so many times attempting to listen to God Forbid, and I always find one or two songs per album that I think are great and then the rest of the album will falter out on me, this time I don’t think that it was that bad. “Equilibrium” shows a band that has a new guitarist with the loss of Dallas Coyle from its ranks. It might just be me but the band sounds much more melodic than it has in the past with more polished songwriting. Songs like the title track “Equilibrium” and “Pages” that focus heavily on melodic parts and clean vocals, more so than on past God Forbid albums, are a welcome change and create a diverse sound for the album. My personal favorite was “My Rebirth” who doesn’t like the fast paced, in your face elements of a good song? That’s what My Rebirth brings to the table, not to mention the random high notes that Byron Davis hits. This is the best and most complete album God Forbid has put out so far and ones that fans should be listening to for years to come.