The Doomsday Kingdom: Self Titled (Nuclear Blast)
The Godfather of Doom (Doomfather-Ed), Leif Edling is back with another side project, this time the magnificent The Doomsday Kingdom. Formed in 2016 Edling is joined by Andreas Johnson (Royal Hunt) on drums, guitarist Marcus Jidell (Avatarium/Soen) and vocalist Nikolas Stalvind (Wolf). It is a mighty fine affair, full of crashing doom filled riffs, very much in the Candlemass vein but with a slightly sprightlier feel. Opener Silent Kingdom sets the scene before the enormous The Never Machine crashes in.
With his history in Candlemass, surely the forefathers of Swedish Doom and his other side project, the fabulous Avatarium (whose new release is amongst the most anticipated of the year), Edling's pedigree is unquestionable. Eight tracks, with a couple of weighty monsters such as the atmospheric The Sceptre and the epic closing track The God Particle give ample time to demonstrate Jidell's excellent guitar work whilst Stalvind's vocals fit perfectly. If you like haunting doom combined with a fresh metal edge then get yourself along and pledge allegiance to The Doomsday Kingdom. Utterly compelling. 9/10
Chaos Trigger: Degenerate Matter (Self Released)
Few bands come at you harder than South Wales's Chaos Trigger. With their industrial technical sound conjuring up comparisons with the brutality of Meshuggah, Gojira and Fear Factory, Degenerate Matter simply flattens everything in its path. The futuristic intro Skineaters segues into opening track Binary and it is then all hands to the pump as Ben Duffin-Jones snarl and growls his way through another 10 tracks of utterly destructive groove laden metal. Rust is just mind crushing, Paul Cremin and Mark Llewellyn slicing holes with their quite frightening guitar work. As the album progresses you get a sense of the power with some massive riffs and an absolute battery of drums courtesy of Bradley Kaler. It's aggressive, powerful and quite honestly just terrific. An essential listen for anyone one who loves their metal dripping with groove, and strong enough to crack concrete. 8/10
Sinner: Tequila Sunrise (AFM)
Way back in 1982 a band from Stuttgart, Germany released their debut Wild N' Evil. 35 years later Sinner, one of the main outlets for Mat Sinner (also Primal Fear) have released album no 18, Tequila Sunrise, the follow up to 2013's Touch Of Sin 2. Far removed from the speed and power of Primal Fear, Tequila Sunrise is a pedestrian affair, full of 1980s Germanic rock riffs stolen from Scorpions and Accept back in the day.
Lyrically, it's typically routine metal with Dragons and House Of Rock particularly insipid. Throw in the mandatory acoustic ballad, in this case the awful Dying On A Broken Heart and what you have here is a band that for whatever reason continue to plough their heavy metal blueprint regardless of time, fashion or record sales. In another year of top quality releases, you may wish to give this the swerve. 5/10