Year Of The Goat: The Unspeakable (Napalm)
They say the devil has all the best tunes, well with the recent surge in more occult bands like Ghost, Lucifer, Death Penalty, Avatarium, Blood Ceremony, Orchid, Electric Wizard becoming more widely known it's time for those sinful souls to worship at the altar of Year Of The Goat. The Swedish (of course) band had long gestation before their debut and yet again they have taken their time creating this paean to Lucifer and all things demonic. As the whispered chants start off All He Has Read the track builds with Marcus Lundberg's, Don Palmroos' guitars picking up pace before Fredrik Hellerström's drums and Tobias Resch's bass let the rhythm infect your soul, it's almost four minutes before the song kick in proper but as it does we have the guitars providing satisfying leads on top of the driving bottom end and Pope adds mellotron and organ flourishes that bring a sound not to dissimilar to fellow countrymen Ghost, the track then slows in it's final part which lets Thomas Sabbathi's vocals show off their summoning style conjuring images of His Infernal Majesty.
With a lot of the occult bands Sabbath is probably the go to influence but in YOTG's case they are more settled in the psychadelic style of occult music with lots of trippy keys and synths adding to the sturdy lates 60's and early 70's rock base, think Blue Oyster Cult on Vermin (which even features cowbell) Mercyful Fate on terrifying Carnival doom of The Emma. They have a Doors-like vibe to The Wind, a country style chug on Black Sunlight (which is one of the best tracks on the record) but mostly they continue to promote the distilled sound of the more modern neo-pagan, occult rock bands like Graveyard, Ghost, The Devils Blood and Purson with songs such as Pillars Of The South, The Sermon both of which rattle along driven by some superb percussion and guitar licks The percussive nature of the music continues on songs like World Of Wonders which is possibly the albums most psychedelic and hypnotic track as the mellotron bubbles under the surface as the pagan chants of Sabbathi's unique voice and Hellerström's metronomic drumming lead the way. Year Of The Goat have yet again made a great record, personally I found their first album second hand in a record shop and after the first spin I was in love with the band, this second release on solidifies what the first album made me feel, Year Of The Goat have danced with the devil and they make it sound like real fun indeed, Devil has the best tunes? You bet he does and happily most of those songs belong to Year Of The Goat! 9/10
Voodoo Vegas: Hypnotize (Self Released)
Voodoo Vegas are a hard working good time rock and roll band from Bournemouth, they plied their trade across the country touring with everyone they could find, this meant that they honed their craft under the likes of Y&T and Status Quo before embarking on a PledgeMusic campaign to fund the recording of their debut album they went on to raise a jaw-dropping 344% of the figure the band first aimed for. The Rise Of Jimmy Silver was that debut and it led to the band having yet more exposure and yet more tours, relentless touring their ballsy hard rock all around the world. The debut album was very well received and on the back of that acclaim the band have given their fans a taster of their next album on this four track EP. Hypnotize continues the story of their debuts title character Jimmy Silver almost setting a prequel for the debut. The band ply their trade with hip shaking, rock and roll in the style of Aerosmith, Guns & Roses with a bone rattling rhythm section coming from the four strings of Ash Moulton and the sticks of Jonno Smyth. As the opening title track kicks things off with sleazy style before things speed up on Tied Up which shows off the guitar prowess of Merylina Hamilton and Jon Dawson while all of the songs are bolstered by the fantastic vocals of Lawrence Case especially the heavy final track of Killing Joke. This is a strong teaser from Voodoo Vegas, four powerful tracks that give a real overview of Voodoo Vegas' sound, on the basis of this album number two could be a stormer! 8/10
Messerschmitt: No Dread To Kill (Independent)
The Messerschmitt BF 109 "Was one of the first truly modern fighters of the era, including such features as all-metal monocoque construction, a closedcanopy, and retractable landing gear. It was powered by a liquid-cooled, inverted-V12 aero engine." They were one of the most famous planes in German military history and have been forever ingrained in metal history by coming out of the sun in Iron Maiden's Aces High. So for a German metal band to name themselves after these war machines would take a lot of balls, luckily Messerschmitt do their flying metal namesake justice as they play good old fashioned speed metal with high tops and bullet belts galore, these denim and leather clad rockers roar through nine tracks of twin guitar wielding metal driven by Kristian Tamm and Florian Piwek's thrash metal drum and bass playing; however unlike a lot of thrash bands there is nothing simple about Messerchmitt they weave a frenzy of distortion moving between time signatures like a fighter jet as the guitars of Christian Fass and Maik Jegszenties swoop in with rapid trade offs and nimble soloing. Messerschmitt have managed to hark back to the glory days of the early trash era, equally indebted to Kreator and Megadeth as they are to Judas Priest and Venom. So have they done the jet justice? Well with a flash, bang and hell of a lot of noise Messerschmitt make their impact felt beating you into submission with every note. 7/10