And today we review and rate new music from German upstarts Rebellious Spirit (pictured), trad metal devotees Huntress and Viking warriors Manegarm.
There’s melodic metal courtesy of Austrian veterans Edenbridge and Argentinian rock n roll from 42 Decibel.
British band Lost Weekend unleash new album Evermore. Plus we check out Extol‘s latest.
Every Sunday we reveal the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK.
And we round up the very BEST OF THE REST.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Genre: Hair Metal/Sleaze Rock
With Reckless Love, Jettblack, H.E.A.T. and Kissin’ Dynamite blazing a trail for retro 80s metal it’s little wonder there’s a new breed of bands jumping on the ‘genre revival’ bandwagon.
And if Germany’s Rebellious Spirit are a little rough around the edges then this sparky debut is dripping with sleazy goodness. Sweet Access Right blends Ratt with the Runaways and Lights Out is vintage Motley Crue.
Boasting an average age of just 18 it’s clear this quartet’s best years are ahead of them but Gamble Shot proves they’re on target to make a serious noise on the dirty rock scene.
Throwing in the Poison-esque ballad Don’t Leave Me for good measure, Rebellious Spirit prove the well’s far from dry when draining the very best of hair metal’s spandex-clad golden era. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Shot In The Arm
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Heavy Metal
Delivering their debut Download set, hooking up with metal royalty Lemmy and successfully inoculating themselves against ‘second album syndrome’ – 2013 has been a breakthrough year for hotshots Huntress.
Starbound Beast is a belter of a record and its doom-laden grooves, magical imagery and trad metal zeal perfectly complements last year’s spanking Spell Eater debut.
Jill Janus has grown significantly as a vocalist able to punch her way through the most powerful of metal anthems and still retain the femininity required to give Huntress the edge.
The Sabbathy title track, singalong I Want To F**k You To Death and prog metal masterpiece Spectra Spectra scream diversity, commercialism and retro cool. Beware, Huntress are coming for you. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Beast Of A Record
Genre: Hard Rock N Roll
42 Decibel have left nothing to chance with the title of their classy debut. Hard Rock N Roll does what it says on the tin: if you’re a fan of Slipknot, Rammstein, One Direction or Rita Ora it’s probably not for you.
The most entertaining thing to come out of Argentina since Diego Maradona, the slick South Americans pay homage to AC/DC, Airbourne and The Answer with a blend of bar-room rock and bluesy grooves.
Take Me is old school ‘DC while Born To Ride Alone is rock n roll by numbers – in a good way. 42 Decibel don’t try to reinvent the rock wheel but ride it with supreme confidence and a good deal of swagger.
Bonus track Gimme A Drink sounds like Bon Scott fronting Status Quo and sets the seal on the perfect summer party record for fans of a certain three chord vintage. There’s nothing new in this generic debut but the old ones are always the best. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Decibelieve…
Genre: Melodic Metal
Austria is hardly famed for producing standout metal bands and Edenbridge don’t do anything to enhance the reputation of a nation.
Along with fellow countrymen Serenity and Visions Of Atlantis they encompass an unholy trinity of desperately dull melodic dirge that represents everything that’s wrong about a genre in freefall.
Singer Sabine Edelsbacher can hold a tune, for sure, but on Star Crossed Dreamer it’s clear she’d rather be starring in Les Miserables at an opulent Viennese theatre than standing centre stage in a sweaty Klagenfurt metal club.
Epic closer The Bonding represents 15 minutes of ambition sadly lacking in the previous eight songs but it’s too little (even at a quarter of an hour), too late. Edenbridge have been treading water for far too long and it’s time to shape up or ship out. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 5/10 Bridge Of Sighs
Genre: Melodic Rock
Classic British rock bands cut from the same cloth as Bad Company, Free and Thunder are few and far between.But Lost Weekend produce the same bluesy melodic rock that’s become synonymous with the UK scene over four decades short on quantity but rich in quality.
Fans of FM, Journey and Magnum will love everything about Evermore as the album’s signature dual guitar sound dovetails perfectly with Paul Uttley’s unique vocals and Irvin Parratt’s keys.
Love Will Find You is the place to start when dipping into a record founded on strong melodies and an even stronger sense of heritage.
It’s blindingly obvious Lost Weekend’s various members have been plying their trade for 35 years but there’s nothing tired or dated about a fresh and vibrant album that deserves a wider audience. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Evermore Please
Genre: Viking/Black Metal
Four years is the greatest period of time between any of Mangarm’s seven studio albums but on this evidence it’s time well spent.
Following 2009’s Nattvasen, Legions Of The North represents a new dawn in many respects. The first Manegarm album to carry an English title, it’s also the band’s most expansive release.
Tor Hjalpe delivers five minutes of intensely melodic Viking metal fury and must rank alongside I Evig Tid and Sigrblot as one of their finest compositions to date. It’s a mid-set highlight that bristles with intent.
Still leaning heavily on the folk metal that has become a big part of the band’s diverse sound, Legions Of The North is a serious tilt at mainstream success. You’ll be singing – or shouting – along to Sons Of War all summer and the future live anthem is just one of a clutch of new Manegarm classics. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 North Stars
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
While death metal is right at the heart of Extol’s sound, it’s the Norwegians’ prog elements that really capture your attention on this self-titled opus.
Their first full-length since 2005’s The Blueprint Dives, this an intriguing album which may well appeal to fans of Opeth or Enslaved – becauselike those Scandinavian outfits, Extol’s ability to mix heavyweight passages and soaring, melodic moments can be breathtaking.
Open The Gates, A Gift Beyond Human Reach crystallise this approach, but Extol boasts exciting twists and turns throughout. Wastelands, for instance, is a true gem, crushing and lulling with equal measure, and Behold The Sun brings to mind to mind the tech-death excursions of Floridian legends Cynic and Atheist.
Definitely in the ‘grower’ category, Extol takes a while to sink in, but give it time, and your patience will be rewarded. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Virtuous