Tomorrow’s releases include the return of Aussie prog masters Karnivool and Brazilian power metallers Hibria.
Ex-Metallica man Jason Newsted unveils new band Newsted (pictured). And there’s a gritty debut from Brit upstarts CB6.
Plus we review and rate Mercenary‘s take on melodic death metal.
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: Heavy Metal
Looking for a record that doesn’t mess about, gets right to the heart of the matter and does exactly what it says on the tin? Welcome to Newsted debut Heavy Metal Music.
Those bands who spend weeks and months mulling over ultimately ridiculous album titles must be pulling out every last strand of long and tousled hair. There’s absolutely no doubt where this record sits in terms of 2013’s hottest releases.
At the grand old age of 50 Newsted might have suffered a bout of ‘walking pneumonia’ but he’s also found the perfect platform for his undeniable talent. Singing as powerfully as he plucks, the former Metallica man underpins one of most assured metal albums of the year.
Whether leaping headfirst into action with the hellish Heroic Dose or making a play for commercial acclaim with the brooding Above All (boasting a cheeky Smoke On The Water riff) Newsted – the band – nail it.
There’s nothing fancy here but that’s not to say Heavy Metal Music isn’t a monstrous body of work. It’s the glorious sound of a griseled veteran who’s honed the metal sound to perfection. And it will be massive as a result. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Music To Our Ears
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
During the past two decades Danish mob Mercenary have proved themselves most adept at making the kind of noise designed to fuel mosh pits everywhere: their mix of raw aggression, chiseled melody and unwavering pace perfectly attuned to the modern metal fan’s most basic of demands.
Through Our Darkest Days maintains a steady evolution that began a decade ago with the introduction of pianist Morten Sandager. These days Mercenary are more a pin-sharp hard rock machine than a blunt-edged metal tool.
Elements of the band’s trademark melodic death metal/thrash sound remain but Through Our Darkest Days is a more rounded album capable of drawing in fans of power metal, trad metal and even symphonic metal.
Starving Eyes offer up five minutes of precision-crafted modern metal boasting vocals that could burn your face off and fretwork dripping with molten fury. It’s the standout track and only serves to highlight the overriding sterility of Forever The Unknown – uniquely limp within a set of fist-pumping future anthems. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Happy Days
British metal is enjoying a robust rebirth and if standard bearers Bring Me The Horizon and Bullet For My Valentine continue to dominate the mainstream then there’s plenty of passionate wannabes bubbling under.
Take CB6. In no mood to wait for that elusive label deal, the bone-crunching quartet fired off Succession in less than a week and the intense, as-live feel of a brutal debut reflects a band battling time and budget.
This self-released blast might be as raw as a plate of fresh sushi but there’s much to be said for Matt Hyde’s (Slipknot, Machine Head, Gallows) canny mix and master. Succession is the sound of drenched gutter rats clawing their way to the top and, as such, serves CB6 well.
Opener Perfect is far from it but that’s the key to this Southend crew. Polishing the rough gems buried within Succession would be am absolute disaster. For as long as CB6 sound this angry sympathisers will surely flock to support their cause. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 CB6 Appeal
Genre: Prog Metal
If Airbourne represent Aussie rock at its most banal and basic then fellow countrymen Karnivool offer evidence of a more cerebral scene Down Under.
The follow-up to 2009’s stylish Sound Awake is a mesmerising collection of dark and light, heavy and soft with vocalist Ian Kenny seemingly equipped to tackle any style, any time.
The Refusal is a bombastic brute of a track that contrasts sharply with Karnivool’s quieter moments. It’s metalcore-meets-prog sounds uncomfortable in the context of a more polished record but reflects where the Perth crew have come from in the last five years.
Sky Machine could be System Of A Down at their teasing best and Asymmetry is incredibly difficult to place in the genre-obsessed world of metal. That’s both its creative strength and its commercial weakness. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Vool’s Gold
Genre: Power Metal
It’s only a year until Brazil host the World Cup and in three years Rio will be home to the Olympics. The Pope’s just preached to thousands on the Copacabana and it seems there’s no better place to party.
Porto Alegre’s Hibria are clearly determined to soundtrack one of the most exciting periods in their country’s history with more fist-pumping power metal and Silent Revenge could well be the most foolish title in rock.
There’s nothing quiet about this full-on assault on the senses with Lonely Fight and Deadly Vengeance taking the fight to the masses with an impressive zeal.
Walking To Death reflects the band’s love of traditional thrash metal while the unplugged version of ballad Shall I Keep On Burning wouldn’t sound out of place on a Mr Big record!
Hibria are far from one dimensional but fast-paced metal is what they do best. And Silent Revenge is full of the stuff. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 Silent Assassins