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Tuesday 19 November 2019

Reviews: Denner's Inferno, Mammoth Mammoth, Cyhra, Edge Of Paradise (Matt & Paul H)

Denner's Inferno: In Amber (Mighty Music) [Matt Bladen]

In Amber is the debut album from Denner's Inferno, the new band formed by ex Mercyful Fate/King Diamond guitarist Michael Denner. Now for those expecting the over the top 80's speed metal sound of The Fate/King Diamond and even his previous Denner/Shermann project with his axe slinging Mercyful Fate cohort, you'd be sadly mistaken. In Amber has its roots in 70's hard rock the bouncy opener Matriarch has a nod to Lizzy, while Fountain Of Grace is a bit more Sabbath, with it's doom sound and crunching riff. Denner had to get a band for this record and he's chosen his old friends Flemming Muus (bass) and Bjarne T Holm (drums) as the engine room for the band, on vocals he hasn't gone for a high pitched screamer of previous acts, here he's opted for New York vocalist Chandler Mogel of Outloud.

His soulful classic rock tinged vocals fit this more retro sound ideal for tracks such as Taxman (Mr Thief) which has bubbling organs that permeate through much of the record, as well as Run For Cover and Pearls On A String, two atmospheric tracks  It's odd to hear Michael Denner playing music like this as there are currently a whole host of bands playing a similar style of retro proto-metal who would have been inspired by Denner's playing with Mercyful Fate, so this is almost like the master paying it forward while also saluting his heroes. Great piece of retro heavy music well worth your time. 7/10

Mammoth Mammoth: Kreuzung (Napalm Records) [Paul Hutchings]

We’ve covered a couple of this band’s filthy scuzzy releases in recent years. The Aussie outfit blasted the craniums with 2017’s Mount the mountain, when I eulogised that one could quite easily get spannered whilst enjoying a set by this powerful Melbourne outfit. Well, the buggers are back with their latest piece of filth, Kreuzung, which picks up where they left off. New members Marco Gennaro and Kris Fiore join Mikey Tucker and Frank Trobianni on the band’s fifth album. It’s greasy, it’s dirty and it’s full on rock n’ roll. Tracks include Motherfucker, Tear It Down and God’s Gonna Hate Me. They are all full-on stomping mud hole types, demanding you crack open a brew or two and come party. It may be badged as stoner, but I’d say most of this album is too fast to wear that badge. Instead, enjoy the punk fused Motörhead style of Mammoth Mammoth for what it is. A rocking rollercoaster onslaught that kicks as hard as that ole’ government mule. 7/10

Cyhra: No Halos In Hell (Nuclear Blast) [Matt Bladen]

Back in 2017 I reviewed Cyhra's debut album Letters To Myself, back then I gave the band formed by ex-Amaranthe vocalist Jake E, ex-In Flames guitarist Jesper Strömblad along with drummer Alex Landenburg (Rhapsody & Annihilator), a not-so-great 6/10. So has this second record done anything to change the score of the debut, has there been any improvement? Well actually yes, a heavy start on the Out Of My Life, a punchy fist pumping rocker along with the title track which has more melody to it, the first part of this record is full of arena ready anthems that are dying to be sung back to the band by ranging crowds. The curse of too many ballads creeps still lingers and when this happens things get weaker musically in the middle of the album.

However the folky Blood Brothers is an absolutely brilliant track that washes away any maudlin from the ballads, Elsewhere numbers like I Am The One and Bye Bye Forever are heavy nodding to Jake's previous work in Amaranthe as the electronic twitches are part of the heavy rhythms, there's even a bit of melodeath on Hit Me which will appeal to those who want a bit of that old Jesper Strömblad magic. I will also say that Jake E.'s lyrics have improved a lot since the debut album, making this a much easier on the ears than the first albums simplistic sound, though Hit Me is very uninspired. All in all much better from this Swedish powerhouse, it's modern melodic metal ripe for live stages. 7/10

Edge Of Paradise: Universe (Frontiers Records) [Paul Hutchings]

US hard rock/metal outfit Edge of Paradise are currently on tour supporting Sonata Arctica in Europe, promoting their latest album Universe. If I had a ticket, I’d probably stay in the pub until the main act. Elements of symphonic and industrial metal means plenty of loops and samples within their sound, something I’m becoming increasingly challenged by. Margarita Monet’s auto tuned vocals, her high-pitched poppet delivery is something that you either love or hate. The title track is ghastly, a blend of Eurovision and rock pop which leaves no memory. Better stuff awaits on occasion, with the guitars of Dave Bates and David Ruiz at least heard on Alone but those vocals. Oh dear. Possibly fans of In This Moment, Halestorm and Paramore may like this but its sugar coated, glossy, polished and generic in every way, there is little to commend. Produced by Mike Plotnikoff (Halestorm, Three Days Grace) and mixed by Jacob Hansen (Amaranthe, Volbeat, Pretty Maids) tells you just about all you need to know. A late entry into my top ten worst of 2019 3/10

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