This week we review and rate the latest releases from Eisbrecher (pictured) and the multi-faceted Divinity.
There’s a cracking slab of old skool metal in the shape of the new record by German heroes Kissin’ Dynamite.
And we take a look at the mysterious October File before delivering our verdict on Sundial.
There’s a real danger this hard rocking throwback to the mid 80s will be viewed as a heavy metal Steel Panther and there’s no doubt KD wear their cliches on their sleeves.
But if you can find room for a little unadulterated pleasure in your life then this German quartet are designed to deliver – their schoolboy lyrics and explosive riffs making for the most obvious soundtrack to an optimistic summer.
Think a male version of all-girl metallers Hysterica and you’re halfway there with the title track – featuring Udo Dirkschneider – a glorious statement of intent. Run For Your Life is another raucous anthem stuck somewhere between IronMaiden’s Seventh Son… and any Anvil track you could care to mention and this is 100% smile-on-your-face metal.
An oddly irksome version of the Damn Yankees classic High Enough sounds out of place and often out of tune but thankfully Hysteria is an original composition and Kissin’ Dynamite don’t destroy Def Leppard for good measure. In The Name Of The Iron Fist and closer Metal Nation are further evidence that this band couldn’t give a f**k about their image or integrity. It’s all about having the best time ever – listen to this and you will!
rushonrock rated: 9/10 Pure Dynamite
Buy this record and you get it twice – the same album, track for track, with different producers. It’s a bold decision. Especially as only the most devoted October File fan would want this record once.
The vocal delivery is akin to a pretty angry Lemmy but Our Souls To You lacks the charm of your average Motorhead record. This is billed as even heavier and more direct than predecessor Holy Armour From The Jaws Of God but in plain English that means it’s been dumbed down – a lot.
Not that you’d imagine so as nine-minute epic Dredge launches its unrelenting assault on your senses. This should provide October File with a showcase for their supposed talents and yet it simply sounds like a series of ill-conceived ideas thrown together and milked for as long as is humanly possible.
Once you’ve ploughed your way through this slew of metal lowlights you’re left wondering what the future holds for a band which, for all its ambition and bravado, falls flat time and time again. The cover’s awesome, by the way, but it simply hides the sorry truth.
rushonrock rated: 4/10 File Under ‘Failure’
Everyone needs some Canadian prog metal in their lives and the delightfully dark Divinity fill that void. This is sonically impressive stuff from start to finish and has a strangely addictive quality that demands you just keep on coming back for more.
Instrumental-led opener Abiogenesis is an incredibly powerful prelude to a series of carefully crafted and neatly delivered tunes perfect for the heavier end of the prog market. The growls may deter some from exploring Divinity’s true depth but don’t be put off – the snarling lyrical touches work well with a series of uplifting melodic highs.
The six minutes-plus Transformation is where singer/songwriter Sean Jenkins and his crew really deliver their full potential with its sprawling soundscape, tight twists and unexpected turns. Slap bang in the middle of Singularity, it’s the glue which binds a brilliant body of work together.
rushonrock rated: 8/10 Singularly Superb
Mix Pendulum with Rammstein and the result could well be Eisbrecher. The German band’s industrial dance metal is punchy, pacy and even, occasionally, poppy.
Eiszeit doesn’t break down too many rock barriers but its focused brutality – underpinned by the growling Teutonic lyrics – certainly hits the spot. Especially if that spot is some underground club in Berlin populated by leather clad maidens and pierced skinheads.
Opener Bose Madchen is a belter and the title track follows hot on its brooding heels. By now it’s clear this is a little bit special and the bouncy, rhythmic beats of Bombe carry the album into a meaty mid-section.
Only one of the songs on Eiszeit nudges over the four-minute mark and this is like listening to a Stock, Aitken & Waterman production on steroids. It’s incredibly catchy and could be huge. Watch this space.
rushonrock rated: 8/10 Eis Cool
Around the mid 90s Sun Dial were huge and this self-titled return to form, as the band celebrates 20 years of stoner rock heroics, suggests the good times can roll again.
Opener Storm Coming is angry, articulate and absolutely relentless. In other words it’s typical Sun Dial and there’s every reason to expect this will sit comfortably alongside anything else from the band’s brilliant back catalogue if and when they tour again.
Lock And Load is another gutsy growler of a track with a piercing riff and a crushing chorus. But this is a record oozing attitude as a series of concise but colourful tracks span psychedelia, grunge and, of course, stoner rock.
With 20th anniversary anthology Processed For DNA winning rave reviews and this 13-track blitz of new material to prove they’re still current it seems nothing can stop Sun Dial in 2010. We wouldn’t dare to try.
rushonrock rated: 7/10 Dial Rock