Unearth, Sodom + Vandenberg’s Moonkings
Check out some of the new albums that drop today:
Unearth – Extinction(s)
Like any other wave of music, specifically hard rock and metal, you’ll always find detractors. Metalcore is no different, you’ve got your flag bearers like Killswitch Engage, Soilwork, and Unearth, and then various waves of imposters that are nowhere near as good. After putting out the highly praised Watchers Of Rule, the band has decided to kind of turn the clock back, and take some of the best elements from their past and offer them up on Extinction(s).
Apparently, Watchers Of Rule was well received but critics and fans alike, but in the live setting, the songs were not going over as well, which is why they have decided to dip back into the well. With that said, the material is as strong as ever, and further cements their legacy as one of the premier metalcore bands. It’s obviously them, and although there may be things that harken back to their earlier albums, it doesn’t feel like their phoning it in, or just regurgitating music from their past. There is enough of a spin on things that it will make you feel that it is a continuation of what they do.
Sodom – Partisan EP
This EP marks a new chapter in the band’s history. After the controversial firing of two members that had been with the band for a few decades, mainman Thomas “Angelripper” Such decided to bring back Frank “Blackfire” Gosdzik into the fold, and add a second guitarist, Yorck Segatz.
They have also welcomed new drummer “Husky” Huskens, and thus the trio becomes a quartet. Instantly you’ll notice a beefier guitar sound that presents a cool mix of the past, with something new, so you get that classic Sodom barrage, while still being different enough for fans to appreciate and not say “oh no, not more of this”. Only three tracks, two of which are new.
Blade Killer – High Risk
This year has been full of great heavy metal that harkens back to all of those bands you loved growing up. So yet another reason to tell that knucklehead friend that always says “there is no good new music, there are no good new bands” to shut their trap.
If you’re even remotely a Maiden fan and are tired of the endless nonsense they seem to think is prog on their last few albums, check out Blade Killer who is heavily influenced by the first two Paul Di’anno fronted Iron Maiden albums. The L.A. band’s first full length will surely give you your fill of NWOBHM influenced metal.
Mark Zavon – Mark Zavon
Although Mark has been around for some time, I didn’t really get acquainted with him until the first Kill Devil Hill album. To me, Mark was kind of the glue that kept the band together, much like what a Pete Townshend or Jimmy Page did in their respective bands. Especially that first, self-titled album by the band, which I still play songs off of all the time. That album was mostly written by Mark and Vinny Appice, and it is one of the strongest releases of the last decade in my opinion.
The second album however is another story, as it seems that Rex Brown had a lot more input into what the band was doing, with a much more radio-friendly sound, thus making the album nowhere near as good in my opinion. Appice would leave the band shortly after its release, so that kind of says it all. This is a release that I’ve been chomping at the bit to hear since it was announced that David Ellefson had signed Zavon to his EMP Label Group. Zavon does everything on the album except for drums which are handled by a series of ridiculous players, Brian Tichy, Mike Duda, and the aforementioned Black Sabbath legend, Vinny Appice.
Vandenberg’s Moonkings – Rugged And Unplugged
Most people know Adrian Vandenberg from his time in Whitesnake, as a result, everything he releases will be compared to his time in that band, (hint, hint the 1997 album Starkers In Tokyo). This album is everything the title says it is, an acoustic album that consists of Adrian and leadsinger Jan Hoving traversing Adrian’s career.
These songs are all ballads and showcase both artists’ talent perfectly. Although Hoving isn’t David Coverdale, he is still a very strong singer, to the point where you aren’t begging for Coverdale to be the singer of the project. The album is very intimate, and listening to it on a good set of headphones or speakers will make you think that you have the Moonkings performing right in front of you.
Here are some other releases that may be of interest:
Accept – Symphonic Terror: Live At Wacken 2017
The Night Flight Orchestra – Internal Affairs Reissue
The Night Flight Orchestra – Skyline Whispers Reissue
Virgin Steele – Seven Devils Moonshine Box Set
Article by Victor M. Ruiz of Mars Attacks Radio & Podcast, and Galaxy Of Geeks Podcast. Connect with him on Twitter: @vmr907