Swedish hard rockers Dynamite are back with their third album Big Bang and it's safe to say that if you are a fan of AC/DC there's plenty you are going to love here. If you are looking for originality however there is nothing for you here. Dynamite are clear fanboys of AC/DC as they very much emulate their sound on Big Bang with inspiration coming clearly from the Bon Scott era of the band. If you know your AC/DC you know exactly what you're getting and that is short, sharp and simple hard rock tunes which are damn catchy.
It's impossible not to tap your foot to tunes such as March On (To The Beat Of Your Drum), Turn Up The Heat, Big Bang and All Bark No Bite. It is impressive how Dynamite and other AC/DC-alike bands such as Airbourne can take a formula set down over 40 years ago and still get original songs out of it but it's the complete and utter lack of originality which sets this album back. Overall though this is a great and fun hard rock album which is bound to bring a smile to your face. 7/10
The Lurking Fear: Out Of The Voiceless Grave (Century Media)
The Lurking Fear are a death metal supergroup featuring a veritable feast of members from Swedish extreme metal royalty. The band features Tomas Lindberg (At The Gates) on vocals, Fredrik Wallenberg (Skitsystem) and Jonas Stålhammar (The Crown) on guitars, Andreas Axelsson (Edge Of Sanity & Tormented) on bass and Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates & The Haunted) on drums. Out Of The Voiceless Grave is their debut album and as to be expected with a line up this good it is a killer album. It is very much a throwback to the early days of death metal with some nice influences from thrash metal, crust punk and d-beat mixed in.
11 songs of savage ferocity with the throat shredding vocals of Tomas Lindberg, a bludgeoning display of drumming and some truly nasty riffs with highlights including The Starving Gods Of Old, Upon Black Winds and The Cold Jaws Of Death. With Out Of The Voiceless Grave, The Lurking Fear haven't released anything special but it is five incredible musicians paying homage to the music they love and putting out an album of disgusting old school death metal. One or two songs miss the mark a bit but overall if you like your death metal dirty and horrible then you can't go wrong with this album. 8/10
Black Messiah: Walls Of Vanaheim (SMP/Trollzorn Records)
Walls Of Vanaheim is the seventh album by German band Black Messiah and it's a concept album based around The Aesir/Vanir War in Norse mythology. This was the first time I had heard Black Messiah and unfortunately it wasn't the best of first impressions. Black Messiah play an epic sounding mix of melodic black metal, folk metal and symphonic metal which on paper sounds amazing and something right up my street. Unfortunately the reality is that this album is exceedingly boring. The majority of the songs sound virtually identical, are similarly paced and contain very little that sticks in your mind after listening.
The album is also way too long lasting 72 minutes in total and half the tracks on the album are spoken word interludes to progress the story. These interludes are simply tedious and on the whole cringe inducing. Onto the positives now the playing on the album is impressive with the lead guitars and violin playing being of particular highlight. There are one or two songs which stand out from the rest such as Satisfaction And Revenge which incorporates some nice clean vocals and The Walls Of Vanaheim with it's more speedy and ferocious approach. This was a very disappointing album as the premise sounded good but was let down by subpar songwriting and irritating interludes. When it's good though it shows amazing promise. 5/10