4/29/2016

Facebook page for Heavy Metal Underdogs up & running

It's seldom that I talk here about things regarding this blog but I feel that today may be a good time to introduce you guys out there to the Facebook page I opened up for the Heavy Metal Underdogs.

I think in these days many people like to be able to follow their favorite internet content the way they prefer it. It's of course possible to follow this blog through a Google account or the RSS feed that can be found on the very top of the page. But since many people often use Facebook and keep their stuff organized over there I've decided to open up a site on this social network.

The coverpicture for the Facebook page of the Heavy Metal Underdogs

If you decide to follow us through a click on the like button you'll be notified of selected site updates such as album reviews or interviews but moreover I'll post stuff on Facebook that's not up here.

It will be mostly smaller updates that don't fit in here or are only availabe for a short time. This includes musician market (looking for band members), previews to upcoming releases, links to livestream and TV events and other goodies that I come acrosse every here and there. So don't hesitate and join us on Facebook. :-)

4/27/2016

Brutai annouce show at Bloodstock 2016 plus club shows

Brutai show is a very good way how modern songrwriting is done in today's heavier range of music. After showing off their first single "Deep" to the public the band has spread the word that they will be part of the line up of this years Bloodstock festival alongside the likes of Slayer, Gojira, Mastodon and more, and will perform on the Sophie Lancaster Stage on the Friday.

The flyer for the Bloodstock Open Air 2016, (c) by Bloodstock Open Air, used with kind permission

They're also heading out on some dates with The Five Hundred in a couple of weeks. You can check out The Five Hundred's single 'Come Closer' here.

The poster for the clubshows, (c) by the Origin Agency, used with kind permission
Friday 6th May - Bantam Northampton
Saturday 7th May - Bar 42 Worthing
Sunday 8th May - Sticky Mike's Frog Bar, Brighton
Friday 13th May - Sound Circus, Bournemouth
Saturday 14th May - The Gryphon, Bristol
Sunday 15th May - Sanctuary Live UK, Basingstoke

The debut release of Brutai has been set for the end of 2016. If you've not heard / seen the band before here's their single "Deep".

Also make sure to mark their social accounts with a like or follow so you won't miss out on the further developments via Facebook or Twitter.

4/25/2016

CD Review: Angerhead - Fueled By Rage EP (2016)

A oldschool thrash EP with slightly mixed in elements of other styles such as hardcore and classic metal. If you prefer your metal heavy and brutal like in the old days when thrash was directly going all on it without any ado then this recording is all for you.

Short Introduction

Angerhead is a San Jose, California based band that was started in February 2011 by Guitarist Eric Beard (Dr.Chunk, Xzanthus) and Vocalist Paul Hastey (Plaster), who expertly blend elements of Bay Area Thrash, Metal, Punk and Hardcore into the music they write.The band is rounded out by Bassist Jim Pegram (Mudface, Imagika, Skinner) and drummer David O'Neal (Stormy Strong).

In 2013, Angerhead went in the studio and recorded a 3 song EP, which featured the title track "Angerhead" with Paul sharing vocal duties with Steve "Zetro" Souza (Exodus, Hatriot).

In 2014, they entered the studio once again, this time with Juan Urteaga (Machine Head, Testament) and recorded the "Headful of Hate" 4 song Ep which has gained the bands even more fans.

2016 sees the band releasing their new new 5 song "Fueled by Rage" EP, once again with Juan Urteaga at the helm. The EP is currently available for free download from the band's Reverbnation page.

The cover of the "Fueled By Rage EP", (c) by Angerhead, used with kind permission
Summary

This EP comes directly to the point. No long debate, no questioning around - Angerhead are going in straight and make CLEAR what's on their mind. This is one of the kind recordings that fits best when you're filled with agression and negativity and need to let go of it. "Fueled By Rage" will help you to do so.

Sometimes in all the heavyness you'll witness potions that are mixed in of other styles of the heavy genre. But those elements are few and perfectly fit to the track. There is some variation in on this EP, it's not all just fast forward. So in all the obvious brutality that is perfectly expressed by the vocals and the heavy production you'll always have spots to discover. That's something that's not easy to get by. You need some rounds to come around all of those diamonds mixed in. Not many records out there have this.

For instance "So cold" obviously is a very heavy and straight number but the refrain is set in a bit slower form and tonality and gives some variation into the number. "Face the fear" is another good example for this. Typically direct to the point but the track is a bit more relaxed in it's structure and the refrain well worked into the way the hole song is build upon. The package is greatly rounded by a proper cover of Motörheads "Iron Fist" in Angerheads own formula - very cool yet very faithfull to the original.

Player / Purchase Link

It's a little sensation: a band put's out a brand new EP and gives it away for free as a download. It's hard to believe. I remember times where stuff like this one was up for purchase and it was the normal way to buy it if you wanted to own a copy. So without any further ado here's the link to Reverbnation where you can get your free download or stream the whole mini album directly from the player below.
Maybe you can reward the band with buying some merch or going to one of their shows. Remember that music needs your support to survive - it's your vote that counts.

Contact Data 

Stay in touch with the band by having a look on their homepage from time to time or let yourselves notify through Facebook about news from the band. 

4/22/2016

Helion Prime release uplifting video for "Life Finds a Way"

"Music is healing." (Author unknown)

I found this quote some time ago on Facebook. I totally belive in this. Why?

If you look and hear videos like this brand new one of the powermetal band Helion Prime I'm sure you can't resist the positive vibes that flow through the music. It's like the melodies can make you fly, as if the vocals of Heather Michele can break through the all and every wall of negativity there is in life.

As for me it's crushing down a lot of bad feelings with it's superb melodies, riffing and rhythm and it has this sort of uplifting effect for me. It takes me away from feeling bad and brings me into a state of power. It pushes me to carry on with all the things in my life. Do you feel the same?


The song is taken of Helion Prime's self titled debut cd which has been independently released on February 15, 2016 and can be ordered as either a physical or digital copy at the band's Bandcamp website. The cover alone has teased me enough to take a closer look upon this release. Make sure to listen to the whole record on the Bandcamp page. A diamond no one should oversee in my eyes.

The cover of the first Helion Prime album. (c) by Helion Prime, used with kind permission

If you decide to pick up a physical copy you'll receive a booklet with lyrics, additional artwork, and credits.

Make sure to follow the band further on through their own website or mark their Facebook page with a like.

4/19/2016

Progdeathmetal band Infernal Outcry release foreboding filmclip

I always wonder how far even female voices are prepared to go. This one here is from the more brutal end of the metal spectrum. It's the progressive death metal band Infernal Outcry who gifts us with a special filmclip. And one word in advance: the music is just great! A perfect balance between progressive elements and straight death metal passages while the vocals are for sure set in the deep region but nevertheless they are understandable and express the message with agressive and fitting vocal lines.

The video itself comes around as an epic Five and a Half minute short film. The clip shows a man's struggle with time and humanity's reckless destruction of the Earth via it's nonchalance and ignorance. A man literally out of time. A foreboding message about the over-population of the Earth and the reluctance to care for the Planet which sustains us... but for how long?

Infernal Outcry’s debut "Mass Extinction Requiem I" was produced by legend of the Australian Metal scene, Joe Haley (Psycroptic) and released on 18th March 2016, thanks to a grant from Tasmanian Regional Arts Fund. You can purchase the song of the video as well as the full EP both digitally and as a physical copy in the shop of the band's website or on Bandcamp.

The band Infernal Outcry from Tasmania, (c) by Infernal Outcry, used with kind permission
Also make sure to stay in connection with Infernal Outcry using the social outlets on Facebook or Twitter. 

4/15/2016

CD Review: Van Halst - World of Make Believe (2016)

A album showing how it sounds if you put your whole heartblood, feelings and musical abilities on one disc.The female voice of Kami van Halst is going through all the various regions you could imagine. A symphonic metal album showing how different songs can be if you want them to be this way. Don't miss out this wonderfull recording.

Short Introduction

Edmonton, AB's Van Halst is a fierce, empowering force of hard rock fused with metal.  A project, which began as a solo artist for whom the band is named after -- Kami Van Halst, has since become a full group producing socially conscious, lyrical tracks that focus on disenfranchised and marginalized populations.

The band’s influences stay true to goth rock with Kami Van Halst demonstrating an agile vocal delivery in combination with pummeling growls. Lyrically, the band draws from black metal due to its focus on people suffering from isolation and rising to overcome the preconceptions of a judgmental society. In This Moment’s industrial fusion remains a primary influence for Van Halst, employing a sampler, synthesizer, and distorted vocals.

Their debut album 'World of Make Believe' is available as of March 4th 2016.

The front cover of "World of Make Believe", (c) by Van Halst, used with kind permission




Summary

This album is on my mind for some time now. Why? It's simply because you can feel so deep that it comes from musicians expressing their pure emotions and views of the world in such compositions that it's practically impossible to get them out of your heart. The album has this special something that only few recordings come with. It's symphonic metal in all it's variations and all it's beauty it can be.

It's like a ocean. Sometimes it's fast and wild like on the tracks "The End". On other times it's going up and down in itself just like on "Save Me" with it's variations between rougher and softer parts changing all the way through the track but never missing redemptive elements in them. It has epic, slower moments like with "Ryan's Song" as well as straight rockers like the title track that comes with a lot of pumping energy.

Finally there are also great balladesque songs on "World of Make Believe". "Questions" and "Denying eyes" are good example but "Plastic Smile" tops them all. A riffed melody that slowly builds up all the way through the song just to explode at the very end. What a outstanding song - it made me speechless.

Player / Purchase Link

The album is available as a digital download from Bandcamp and iTunes. It's priced at 10 Canadian Dollars on Bandcamp which is a bit more than 6 Euro. A download on iTunes comes around for 9,90 Dollar. Please take the time to prelisten to the album from the player below. I think you'll quickly re-feel what I've described in my summary.

I've seldomely heard a more diverse and intense album ever before. Since this is a self release you'll support the artist directly with your purchase. You have a mighty vote with what you buy - every time you open your pockets you'll set a sign that you want more of this. Artists will reward you with beautifull music taking you far away from your everyday worries and often help your to find the strength to overcome them. That's worth a lot in these troubled times in my eyes.


Upcoming gigs and Contact Data

Van Halst has two shows coming up on

Apr 29     Overtime Sports Bar     Calgary, Canada             
May 28    Hard Rock Cafe     Toronto, Canada

Keep in contact with the and using social tools such as Facebook, Twitter or make use of the good old traditional way visiting them on their own website. 

4/12/2016

Eternal Voyager reveals upcoming album details & tourdates

The power metal band Eternal Voyager came as a fine surprise to me. Their old school attempt on metal music and the way they produce their tracks feels great to me in this often overloaded soundscapes of today.

The band logo of Eternal Voyager, (c) by Eternal Voyager, used with kind permission

The band is currently in the studio to record their second album and let's us sneak inside with the following statement from Vocalist / Guitarist Brian Blake:

"We are well on our way into the recording process of our upcoming new second album titled "Darkened Times", which will be mastered by guitarist / producer Stu "The Hammer" Marshall (Death Dealer / Blasted to Static / Zephaniah / Vanlade / Corners of Sanctuary) at his Frontier studio in Sydney, Australia.

We are hoping to release this monster ripping album during this upcoming summer or at the latest in fall 2016. It just depends on when we can record additional drum tracks, even though we have our own studio now, we are not set for drum recordings as of yet.

We also have plans to shoot one or two music videos during the coming months for the songs "Winds of Fire" and possibly the title track "Darkend Times", so we are currently very busy."

In addition the band is going to do a couple of shows starting already in a few days, here are the exact dates:

Eternal Voyager upcoming shows

4/15/16 - The Hexagon - Minneapolis,Minnesota

4/16/16 - EveryBody's Bar & Grill - Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

5/29/16 - The Hexagon - Minneapolis,Minnesota (supporting Iron Kingdom)

The band from left to right: Mike Durenberger, Jeff Igelsrud, Brian Blake, Micah Devereaux, Kurt Johnson, (c) by Eternal Voyager, used with kind permission
Make sure to follow the next steps of the band by taking a look on their website from time to time or connect with them via Facebook.

If you haven't heard them before here's a track taken from the first album "The Battle Of Eternity" to give you a idea of the band's sound.

We at Metal Underdogs also had the chance to talk to Brian Blake a while ago about the first album and how the band came together. You can find the full interview right here.

4/09/2016

Angerhead offer free download and insight from upcoming EP

How will things continue in the thrash sector in the upcoming months? The year is still young and for sure you thrash metal heads out there can't wait for brand new stuff to check out. :-)

Angerhead who are based in San Jose are currently working on their next EP with Juan Urteaga who is well known for his work with legends such as Machine Head and Testament. The output will be entitled "Fueled by Rage" and the band has released a nice preview into the record these days along with a free download of the Motörhead classic "Iron Fist" which will be part of the EP.

The cover of the upcoming EP "Fueled By Rage", (c) by Angerhead, used with kind permission

Angerhead guitarist Eric Beard previews the tracks of "Fueled by Rage" in a breakdown for each song:

"We decided to go back in with Juan Urteaga (Machine Head, Testament) for the new EP. He worked with us on our 2nd EP “Headful Of Hate”. Juan is metal through and through. He has worked with a lot of Bay Area bands and friends so its a good fit for us.

The EP starts out with "So Cold". This is probably our most sludgy song and also the last song in our live set. Downtuned, full of twists and turns, It is a definitely crowd pleaser and is heavy as fk!

The second song is one of oldest song I’ve written, "Face The Fear". The song has been a staple with me for a long time. I've done it in a few different ways and with other projects. I've even done it with a jazz feel and the song still holds up!! haha. I really enjoy the Angerhead version of it.

The 3rd song is called "Legacy of Hate". This is the longest song we’ve ever written. It was one that came together fully as a band and one of the favorites of the new EP.

The 4th song is "Take Me As I Am" and its a barnburner, kicks your ass from start to finish.

The Last song on the EP is a cover of Motorhead’s "Iron Fist". Paul and I loved this song, even before Ace of Spades when we were growing up, so we decided it was right. We have been seeing a lot of bands doing Ace Of Spades and wanted to do something different. RIP Lemmy. A True Legend!!"

You can download the track for free right here.

Make sure to stay in touch with the band about the upcoming release through their official Angerhead website and Facebook page.

For all streaming fans here's the Reverbnation player with the song:



4/07/2016

Strangelet calls it quits - new band SpiteFuel takes over

At the beginning of this week the sad and surprising information reached me that one of my favorite upcoming bands called Strangelet have decided to call it quits. As they said on Facebook about the split in their own words "(...) So we have to announce, that we chose to say “Good Bye” and break up with STRANGELET because we’re no longer able to create and live the music together.(...)".

The good point in all this sadness is that the spirit of the band will continue to live on in a new band. Three members who were already active in Strangelet ( Stefan Zörner - Vocals |  Tobias Eurich - Guitars and Finn Janetzky - Bass) will also play in the new bands and perform on the same instruments.

The new band SpiteFuel, (c) by SpiteFuel, used with kind permission

The lineup will be completed by Timo Pflüger - Guitars as well as Björn-P. Hessenmüller on the drums (both known of the band Devils Darling). Most of the gigs that Strangelet have announced in the past months will be taken over from SpiteFuel. Here the exact list of shows the new band will play in Germany in 2016:

07. Mai - W:O:A Warmup Party, Ochsenfurt
22. Juli - Summernight Open Air, Mühlenpark Mechernich
22. Oktober - The Ranch Festival, Hechingen
05. November - Bonfire Support, ROFA Bad Friedrichshall

SpiteFuel also plans to hit the studio in summer 2016 to record the debut album which will be released via MDD Records later on.

If you want to follow the further band activities join SpiteFuel on Facebook.

4/04/2016

Surroundings show the importance of family in storybased video

Surroundings came first to my attention when they released a strong video for the track "Elizabeth" which talked about love and if it is able to recover it once it is lost.

Now the band has spread a new single entitled "Jane". This time around the video is completly storybased. You cannot spot the band playing the track but instead you'll be confronted with pure emotions packed in intensive pictures, filmed with modern style yet these remain authentic.

Speaking about the meaning the band points out on Facebook: "(...) The song is about the importance of family and what it means to have a strong role-model. The video was directed by our guitarist Drew Kendell, and reflects his love of true storytelling. Jane was produced and mixed by our bassist Matthew Templeman.(...)"

As for me this is one of the most intense videos I've seen in a long time now. The strong message and story behind it is outworked very well in the pictures. The song fits perfectly to the visuals and make's them even more special with it's various moods and changes. Videos like this prove that moving pictures can have a superb power to express what's on your mind.

If you'd like to have a copy of the song you can purchase the single at Bandcamp and iTunes.

The band has social sites up and running if you'd like to get in touch with them. Just make sure to see their Facebook page or follow them via Instagram.

4/01/2016

CD Review: Amoth - Revenge (2016)

A young progmetal band from Finnland unafraid of offering their own style of progressive music. With a solid production suporting the tracks Amoth change the style and tonality inside each track within a moment without any further ado.

Short Introduction

The brand new album "Revenge" is a continuum to their 2011 released debut "Crossing Over", which got great reviews around the globe. One common factor among critics was the "uniqueness" and "own sound" of Amoth's music. This time around they keep paving their own path and prove that they belong to the forefront of Finnish progressive metal scene. With new singer on the line-up and experience from the first album all the pieces truly lock into place.

The cover of Amoth's Revenge album, (c) by Amoth, used with kind permission

Summary

The power of this record sources of the originality of the ideas and the inconstant structure of each and every track on the album. There are times where the band pushes on forward with raw power ("Die Young" and "...And So They Fueled These Veins With Chaos") bringing out the heavier taste of the band for prog music. On other times like the both excellent singles "Tattered Wings" and "Shadow Of The Beast" they show their fine sense for details and sensible song structures. Both tracks breathe a sheer blast of emotions with them which gives the listener a lot of moving moments and sometimes a sort of ghostly feeling with it.

The accoustic ballad "For The Moon And Mercury" somehow gives a moment to get back some breath and leads over to the second album part. This see's us listening to even more diverse and mostly fast album tracks. The sounds change even faster and the spontanous style change in them often amazes the reviewer. Finally the title track put's a crown upon this record. It features all the strenghts of the previous efforts in one, long track.

The production is kept down to earth which is a good choice in my eyes. You feel it's not overworked and the sounds not expanded on postproduction to the bitter end. Instead you can listen to a direct sound which let's you feel the joy the band may had while recording. Most of all the album remains followable and the pure sound gives it some purity with it. That's a good feeling in my ears. The album's rounded out by a remarkable album sleeve that adds a mysterious feeling with the golden bird and the horizon in various dark but also partly warm colors.

Player and Purchase Link

The full "Revenge" album can be heard via Spotify.

For all those who don't have a Spotify account I've added the two video singles for a quick check out. Both videos are also strongly recommended by me also if you've listented to the audio before. "Tattered Wings" has a strong redemption feeling with it. The breaking waves give it somewhat of a moving moment to the listener/watcher. And that's a good feeling.

You can purchase the whole album through the band's record company Inverse Records. Another chance is to download the record from Amazon as a mp3 file. For fans living in Finnland it's notable that you can also order the album at Recordshopx.com or cdon.fi.



Contact data

The band has a own website and is present of social pages such as Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.