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Saturday 5 January 2013

Reviews: Kreator, Babylon Fire, Walking Papers

Kreator: Phantom Antichrist (Nuclear Blast)

Teutonic Thrashers Kreator return with their 13th album and true to form it is an unrelenting explosion of violent neck snapping heavy metal. The slow building atmospheric intro of Mars Mantra breaks into the excellent title track which is full of the speed driven metal with the unmistakable snarling vocals of Mille Petrozza who is the last remaining original member, the album then moves onto the progressive Death To The World which has a lot of light and shade before From Flood Into Fire brings the head banging with its Amon Amarth style melodic metal assault before exploding into some sublime soloing. This album is full of the metal Kreator have become the top of their game in the trio of Teutonic thrash with a small break towards the end of the album with the anthemic United In Hate and The Few, The Proud, The Broken before Victory Will Come picks the pace back up again. This is classic Kreator album but with a lot of modern metal influences that have grown into thrown in which is bolstered by the crisp modern production from Jens Bogren. 8/10

Babylon Fire:Dark Horizons (Rocksector Records)

Babylon Fire are from Manchester and mix classic metal of Maiden with lots of modern thrash and groove of Five Finger Death Punch or Machine Head. This leads to a very heavy and modern sounding record with lots of light and shade. Riffage is tight, precise with some storming soloing from Rishi Mehta which is backed by Trivium-like drumming from Marc Cooper (on Cycle Of Addiction). The key to Babylon Fire's sound are the dual vocal assault with Mark Dunfords clean Blaze Bayley-esque croon and the guttural roars of bassist Ryk Swillo this brings another level to the bands metal ferocity meaning that they can explode with full metal riff-fests like The Clarion Call, Rise Of Addiction, Shattered Crown and Darkness Draws Me In, through to the more groove based Demonocracy, Stripped Away and even with the acoustic flourishes thrown in throughout Babylon Fire produce a solid modern metal attack that is not to dissimilar to Panic Cell or Beholder with its chunky metal riffage, powerful vocals good songs. 7/10

Walking Papers: Walking Papers (The Boredom Killing Business)

Walking Papers are a super group of sorts; however it is really the project of Jeff Angell of The Missionary Position who handles vocals and guitars and Barrett Martin of Screaming Trees on drums. From the off you can see that this album is something special as it kicks off with the percussive chant of Already Dead before the walking man blues of The Whole Words Watching shows off Angell's great guitars and his rough and ready vocal delivery as much as the opening track shows off Martin's subtle but powerful drumming. From these two tracks you get a whole host of emotion, power, melody and most of all passion. This album exudes passion from the two main men who are aided and abetted by Benjamin Anderson on keys, who is at his best on Your Secrets Safe With Me and Duff McKagan on bass, who sits back and lets the other men have their fun, Seattle son Mike McCready provides extra guitar duties. The sheer scope of this album is immense bringing together rock, blues, folk with lashings of grunge and punk and some extra touches of the horn section on Red Envelopes, the Springsteen-like acoustic story telling of Leave Me In The Dark and the dark carnival melodies of The Butcher. I could go on about how good this album is but I'm sure any fan of rock will find something that they like on this subtle, rocking, superbly written and most of all simply stunning album. 10/10

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