Sticking to Europe and especially Britain for this one with two unsigned British acts and one German act too. Lets get too it!!!
The Filth Hounds: Release The Hounds (Self Released)
Straight out of the North East of England come The Filth Hounds and they play dirty, rock n roll mixed with some top notch melodic metal. The band have been around since 2011 and they are similar in style to Attica Rage as they are filled with big heavy rock n roll riffs and from the Motorhead styled opening track Nowhere To Go they start things off in style as this song breaks down in to a final section that is very NWOBHM with Diamond Head being a particular influence on the track. There is also elements of punk on Good Love Calling and sleaze rock too with the dirty Too Damn Good having the same kind of sound as those 80's gutter snipes from LA, I Can't Hide has a slightly modern alt-metal tinge to it but it's the NWOBHM vibe that proceeds everything with the sounds of Raven, Jaguar and even Angel Witch so prevalent in the bands riffs, solos and Bryan McGill's vocals. The rest of the band are great too with the rhythm section of John Allom's bass and Damien Donelly's drums giving the songs their thumping bottom end, on top of which McGill and Nigel Pickett riff like hell. They also show their softer side on So Blue which shows of McGill's voice excellently with it's slowed, melodic, bluesy vibe that evokes early 90's hard rockers Little Angels and Thunder. You can tell that this band are one that do everything themselves, the production is rough and ready, but it suits the album perfectly as it gives them an early 80's authenticity. This is a thumping debut from The Filth Hounds who live up to their name with 7 tracks of filthy, rock an roll with a nod to the 80's metal scene as well where punk and metal mixed together so well. Hooked On Love is another NWOBHM influence track and the thirteen minute final track The Trilogy is worthy of any Maiden album with it's light and shade dynamics, big guitar hooks, drama filled lyrics and slow burning delivery. This is a hell of an album that is not a revival record its a band playing new music that harks back to their influences rather than copying them. Well done chaps!!! 8/10
Iron Void: Iron Void (Barbarian Wrath)
Doom, something we Brits excel at, could it be the weather? I don't know but we revel in being miserable from Cathedral to Paradise Lost the usually plucky British have always been very happy to play brooding, slow, down tuned riffs with lyrics about death and misery. This three piece from Wakefield are pure doom to the ground, big crushing riffage from Steve Wilson on guitars, who does his best Iommi throughout, and Jon "Sealey" Seale who is the big, bad, bass driving the heavyweight gloominess along with Damien Park's crashing percussion. This is authentic, old school doom with the slow creeping riffs that Messrs Iommi, Dorrian and indeed Albert Witchfinder and their not-so-merry band of men peddle. From the creeping doom of Black Sabbath style Those Who Went Before to the rampaging Own Worst Enemy which is prime Orange Goblin, we then go through Candlemass and Revered Bizarre especially on The Burden Of Regret which features Seale's howling vocals on top form over it's fuzzy riff. This is an album full of serious British doom metal harking back to the late 60's early 70's with the songs and indeed the production all evoking the true doom of that era. If you like Goblin, Cathedral and indeed Sabbath this album will be for you rich with riff after riff of prime British doom. A cool album from these young doomsters, get the album quick as it is limited to 666 copies. Great stuff indeed!! 8/10
Craving: Craving (Apostasy Records)
Craving are a true world of metal in one band!! The 10 songs on this album are in their native German as well as Russian and English, because of that this album is never samey, each song has it's own style and delivery but as well the band fill their musical passages with furious blast beats from Maik Schaffstädter who drums relentlessly on this album bringing a wall of noise to proceedings. Released in 2012, the band have a black/folk metal style that is mixed with the Gothenburg melo-death. so imagine Moonsorrow mixed with Children Of Bodom, In Flames and little pinch of Amon Amarth thrown in. The guitars ring with folk tendencies, see the intro to Lug Und Litanel and also it's synth outro that has a real Celtic edge but they also riff mightily Thorsten Flecken and Ivan Chertov wielding their axes with aggression on every riff and solo, ah yes solo's there too many to mention, the fret wankery is rampant and that mixed with the rasps and roars of Chertov and guest vocalists Helge Stang and Sole Genua who battle it out on the final track. As for the rest of the album opening track Lord Of The Flames is straight out of an Amon Amarth album with it's almost Viking Metal feel and super speed drumming before the guttural roars come in and this folk metal continues on By The Blowing Wind which could be Turisas quite easily. The Nameless is solo's galore. Yes the band have a massive folk influence on their music that infects every song separating them from the normal melo-death sound. The production of this debut is also good and it stands the band in good stead for their future releases. A strong debut album from this German metal monster!! 8/10