Friday, October 31, 2014

Last Day's Pay-Pink Slip


Punk rock, cheap beer and sniffing panties. It's the small things in life that count and help ensure that rad rockers like Last Day's Pay are able to keep on keeping on. Now, thanks in no small part to the band's James Couts-produced 14-track album and the fact that it's every little boy and ghoul's favorite spooky holiday of the year(!), each and everyone one of us can partake in the sugary sweet treat that this Ohio four-piece has to offer! For the unlighted amongst you, Last Day's Pay are a Canton-based punk rock/alternative rock band that was formed in the summer of 2013 (hence the group's love of cheap beer and pantie sniffing as those two things are staple items when you are talking about Ohio's few sunny months!) and is made up of vocalist/guitarist Randy, guitarist/vocalist Chris, bassist/vocalist Joe and drummer Jake. "Pink Slips" is this (no last names please) band's first stab at the big time and given the wide range of influences that show up to party here (it's not just punk rock and alternative rock, but classic rock, hair metal, grunge, blues and so much more!) this is one debut album that really keeps you on your toes! Opener "Away" is all about 90's alternative rock and catchy pop punk as is the angrier "Identity". And angry just about sums up the Blink 182 meets old-school punk number "Home Is Where The Heartache Is"!  Then there is "Pubcrawlers Anthem" where these Ohio natives converge in Dropkick Murphys/Flogging Molly. That's just the first four tracks mind you so "Pink Slip" is anything but dull! Officially-speaking and all Last Day's Pay  run down the likes of Rancid, Ramones, Sex Pistols, NOFX, Alkaline Trio and Billy Idol (as well as 80's hair metal, heavy metal and the blues) as influences but if that's not enough of a hint as to what is in store when it comes to an album like this one then I'll toss out a couple of  other names as reference points. Like Sum 41, Green Day, The Cure, The Misfits and Mucky Pup? You say that's just more punk? How about Jimi Hendrix then? Yes, that is the kind of extremes we are talking about with "Pink Slip" and that goes from opener "Away" to this album's rock-steady closer, "With Our Past". Hell, with a few twists of the old nob and the spit-shined overinflated sense of self-worth that comes from being a radio rock artist a number like "With Our Past" could be a real hit for someone like Staind! Thankfully Last Day's Pay offer integrity as opposed to a made up image which makes a record like "Pay Day" pass the smell test and live up to it's title! You can check this one out for yourself friends right here:

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Good Guy Dies-"Hit Me Back" Single


Good Guy Dies are a up and coming new act whose fashionably fresh and absolutely fierce sound has all but rocked the UK music scene! Made up of vocalist Cherry Makej and guitarist Joe Hodgson, with the one and only George De Angelis (Seal, Rod Stewart, LeAnn Rimes) sitting in the producer's chair when it comes to the duo's first album, Good Guy Dies are a tasty cocktail comprised of classic rock, punk-pop and electronica. While the duo's upbeat and urgent music will no don't quench the thirst of rockers and hipsters alike it's actually the powerful message behind "Hit Me Back" that should be taken to heart. The band's new single (which is more like a battle cry!) deals with the subject of domestic violence as it encourages women worldwide to stand up and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Vocalist Cherry Makej wanted to highlight this message in part because of an old Russia saying which is "If he hits me, he loves me". "Hit Me Back" is music with a sincere message and it's a message that all women should hear! Really it's a message that EVERYONE should hear as physical abuse is never OK whether the perpetrator is a  man or women! And neither is emotional abuse for that matter. Love and violence simply do not mix folks so here's the deal folks. While you lose yourself in these beats please stop and consider the message of "Hit Me Back" don't be afraid to stand up for yourself or friends and family that you suspect might be the victims of abuse. It's never too late to do the right thing!

 "Hit Me Back" can be heard here (Video to follow soon!):  


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Win a Mausoleum Gate t-shirt from Cruz Del Sur Music and Heavy Metal Time Machine!

Cruz Del Sur Music and Heavy Metal Time Machine are teaming up to give one lucky reader this exceptional Mausoleum Gate T-shirt! For those who don't know the name, Finland's Mausoleum Gate are a amazing new band whose N.W.O.B.H.M.-inspired take on 70's hard rock and traditional heavy metal is by far one of the sweetest sounds to hit the heavy metal scene in a very l-o-n-g time! This XL shirt features the same demon head character that appears on the group's self-titled LP (review link posted below along with a recent interview with the band) and all you have to do for a chance to win it is to send your name and address to: The contest will remain open until 11/2/14 and on 11/3/14 I will randomly draw the one entry and announce the lucky winner right here at Heavy Metal Time Machine. In the meantime be sure to check out the band here:
and you can find all kinds of other fantastic Mausoleum Gate merchandise here:

Review of  Mausoleum Gate's self-titled debut album:

Interview with Mausoleum Gate:

Be sure to get your entries in as there are only a few days left!

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Thursday, October 30, 2014


Artist Station- eOne

Thomsen is a German heavy/power metal band that is named after guitarist, composer and bandleader René Thomsen. Formed in 2006, with the band's debut album, "Let´s Get Ruthless", appearing in 2009, Thomsen is essentially René Thomsen and an assembled cast of heavy metal veterans. That's how it was with "Let's Get Ruthless" and that's how it is here on "Unbroken". This time around guests include the likes of Udo Dirkschneider, Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven & Hell), Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Fates Warning, Sebastian Bach, Riot), David Vincent (Morbid Angel), Mathias Don Dieth (U.D.O.), Andre Hilgers (Rage, Sinner) and Helge Engelke (Fair Warning, Dreamtide). On top of all that heavy metal goodness guitarist René Thomsen has enlisted a studio band featuring Iron Fate's Denis "Iron Ivan" Brosowski and Robert Soeterboek (Van EE, Wicked Sensation, ex-Erik Norlander, ex-Highway Chile, ex-Star One (live), ex-Tempter, ex-Vulture) on vocals, guitarist Michael Pesin (Magistarium), bassist Ingo Lühring and drummer Max Dietzmann. That is a lot of star power/potential egos gathered together in one place and to René Thomsen credit he is able to get everyone of the same page when it comes to the overall feel of "Unbroken". And "Unbroken" feels like a solid heavy power metal album with some of the band's past N.W.O.B.H.M. influences (Saxon, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden just to name a few) still present and accounted for, but less apparent than they were on "Let´s Get Ruthless". While the Udo Dirkschneider number "We Made It" unsurprisingly sounds like U.D.O and later day Accept the rest of  "Unbroken" is fairly consistent with René Thomsen's vision of creating flawless power metal closer than ever before! Thomsen's latest album is just like the title suggests-unbroken. It's competitive power metal for a scene which has quite obviously exploded in the past 20 or so years. "Unbroken" is René Thomsen and guests offering their answer to the question of whether or not power metal as a whole can still offer something moving and worthwhile. If you're a fan of  the U.S. power metal scene with it's meatier riffs and more straight-forward/guitar-friendly approach to creating moody metal (ie: killing it without the use of keyboards!) then  this one is definitely going to be a keeper!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Giggitys-Songs In the Key Of Awesome

Loserheart Records

For as far-back as anyone can recall (we're talking about the swinging-seventies at the very least kids) Cleveland and Akron have been involved in a ménage à trois with punk rock. As a matter of fact my home-state the of Ohio as a whole can lay claim to such legendary artists as Devo, The Dead Boys, The Cramps, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, Rocket From The Tombs, Pere Ubu and electric eels. And that's just to touch upon a  few of the more recognized names to come riff rocking out of our ever-expanding scene! If you really want to see how deep down Ohio's punk rock roots go you should over to the following link (, but that's after we get done talking about punk rock's new darlings The Giggitys! Formed out of the blood and guts of legendary Akron, Ohio punk band The Nimrods, with Ric Nimrod himself handling vocals and guitars(!), this cleverly-titled band takes it's name from Family Guy character Glenn Quagmire's catch-phrase while their sound is old-school punk rock 101! Prior to this fun full-length album the band released a demo version of the pop-punk instant classic "Balls Deep In Love With You", but it's actually the Ramones-tinged "Not With You (Winter Moon)" that gleefully opens The Giggitys debut offering! But it's not just The Ramones that The Giggitys pay homage to on this ten-track album. Everyone from All to Zero Boys gets a subtle shout-out with "Songs In The Key Of Awesome" carrying on much of the same joyous racket as these top-tier punk bands once did! Fuzzed-out craziness is on full display with "Goodbye Cruel Girl" as is classic, mid-eighties melodic punk while "15 minutes" is the uglier side of yesteryear's crusty punk scene! Through-out the album the band effectively utilities background chants as easily as buzz-saw guitars with "Talk To The Hand" finding that sweet common ground between The Ramones and Sloppy Seconds! "Don't Think" is gnarly L.A. punk while "Take Control" has New York City written all over it! Craving punk that's a little snotty? How about taking "She's Gone" for a ride? This short and sweet number channels The Misfits just as easier as a few other songs here on "Songs In the Key Of Awesome" echo the likes of 7 Seconds and Fear! And speaking of snotty numbers do you remember that pop-punk instant classic "Balls Deep In Love With You" we were just chatting about? Yeah? Well here it is in it's glorious LP version and it's a total kick in the ass my friends! "Balls Deep In Love With You" (along with "Not With You (Winter Moon)" and this album's rabble-rousser closing number!) have all the hallmarks of classic scene of old all but transforming The Giggitys into tomorrows newest punk rock hero squad! What's more we find The Giggitys taking on the failed promises of yesterday as "Total D" is actually where a lot of us wish a certain "Dookie" band would have gone next (here's a hint, it's got grit and integrity unlike the modern day spank fest that is Green Day!). All of which brings us to this album's real deal of a closer and my new favorite love song, "It's Not Me, It's You". I can think of a few "special" ladies from my past who could benefit from this song's timeless message, but that's another story for another night friends! With it's splendid mixture of all things classic punk and modern day pop punk "Songs In the Key Of Awesome" is as good as it gets kids! Hear it right here ladies and gents:

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Clouds Taste Satanic-To Sleep Beyond The Earth


Well, I feel like a dick. I realize that's not much of a way to open a review, but seeing as this was released back in July and I just stumbled upon it in my email this past weekend its a reasonable enough response on my part. Better late than never I suppose. Although it's got to be said that when it comes to this New York instrumental band the cooler months of October, November and December do seem to offer up more suitable environments when listening to a modern day doom metal band with a "post rock" past like Clouds Taste Satanic. And while I can't be entirely sure about the name of this Brooklyn band (seeing as I've never had the experience of tasting clouds for myself!) I will say that the title of this band's first full-length LP is all the more fitting given the fact that Clouds Taste Satanic wears it's influences on it's sleeves! "To Sleep Beyond The Earth" is a debut album where the love of Earth and Sleep is but the first step taken in this band's personal journey towards self-discovery with some Sunn O))) and those "post rock" roots acting as stimulants for these passionate performers! Said performers include Steve Scavuzzo and David Weintraub on guitars with Sean Bay (bass) & Christy Davis (drums) rounding out this party. Music-wise you can expect to find yourself  transfixed by the cold stare of Clouds Taste Satanic with the album "To Sleep Beyond The Earth" methodically creeping and crawling towards the listener with outstretched skeletal hands of doom. All told it's 45 minutes of stretched-out soul crushing material, but as they often say slow and steady wins the race. Made up of "To Sleep Beyond the Earth (Parts I & II)" and "To Sleep Beyond The Earth (Parts III & IV)" this is one of the ultra rare instrumental albums that actually seems to work better without vocals muddying up the mix. Available as a digital download at the link below, with Kinda Like Music handling the  vinyl and CD versions of the excellent "To Sleep Beyond The Earth", the debut full-length from Clouds Taste Satanic is sinister sexy and should be viewed as a must-have for fans of Earth and Sleep!

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Part hard rock and part alternative rock, with 90's grunge making a much-appreciated appearance here on "Witchingseason" in order to serve as the well-traveled bridge which connects those two long-lived and long-loved genres together, London trio Witchingseason will finally satisfy the cravings of their fans once this self-titled release hits the scene on or around November 10th. Preceded by the singles "Spiders" (a number that I previously covered here: and "Codeine" ( this four-track EP finds Witchingseason once again tearing down heavy rock's highway with the likes of Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, The Doors,  The Stooges, Queens of the Stoneage, Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr. loudly blaring from the speakers! With guitarist/vocalist Tom Reynolds sounding all the more like Chris Cornell's illegitimate child and the pair of  James R Willans and Wayne Summers (bass and drums respectively) soaking up the sunshine and radiation that is everything hard and heavy from a post-Black Sabbath/post-Nuke 'Em And Let God Sort 'Em Out wasteland this London trio knocks it out the ballpark with the new song "False Light". Meanwhile "Mechanical Failure" is anything but a failure thanks to it's wide-open structure and the overall crafty way that Reynolds, Willans and Summers combine the mid-late eighties alternative rock scene, heavy  garage rock and the likes of Mother Love Bone and King's X into one clever cut! Even "God's Waiting Room" with it's  Bush-like vibe has plenty going for it making "Witchingseason" a gold mine for fans of grunge, nineties hard and heavy rock and the darker side of the alternative rock scene! For more information on this up and coming London rock band be sure to check out any of the links posted below.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Steel Inferno-Arcade Warrior 7"


Steel Inferno are a 80's-inspired heavy metal/speed metal band that my friend and fellow blogger Emil Öhman indirectly turned me onto thanks to the fact that I follow his music feed on bandcamp. Formed in 2012, with this 7" serving as the band's second overall release, Steel Inferno is based in Copenhagen even if the various members of this female-fronted band originate from Greece, France, Poland and Denmark. Lead vocals are capably handled by Karen (aka Karen Collatz Christensen) with this female-fronted heavy metal/speed metal act rounded out by speed-worthy guitarists Lars (Lars Lyndorff Krelskov ) & Patrick (Patrick Thomsen Mantzouridis ), bass player Thierry and drummer Krzysztof. Musically-speaking Steel Inferno offer up the likes of Accept, Slayer, Savage Grace, Agent Steel, Iron Maiden, Omen and ADX as influences, but here on the tasty "Arcade Warrior" it's all dished out pipping hot with a fresh slice of originality serving as the mouthwatering side dish! With only two numbers though this 7" from Denmark's Steel Inferno will likely leave you longing for more so it's a damn fine deal that earlier this year the band also released a recommended demo* right? Online you can find these speed-tinged metal maniacs at this link ( while you can sample "Arcade Warrior" by heading here:

And as for the band's other release? The one that turned me onto Steel Inferno in the first place? Well, that particular piece of classic hard & heavy speed entitled  "Demo 2014" can be downloaded for free by heading here: All in all you can never get enough killer female-fronted metal if you ask me so band's like Steel Inferno will always be welcome here at HMTM. Especially when they are just as capable of rocking out as they thrashing out like this five-piece is! What? I didn't mention this band's capacity to "rock out"? Where are my manors today? I must apologize as sure enough  the members of Steel Inferno have hard rock additives running through their veins. And when you take hard rock's sensibilities and you tangled it up with heavy metal-infused speed you get a band that is all the more capable of hitting you from all these different directions at once! The scene needs more band's like
Steel Inferno. The type of bands which are not afraid to get their hands dirty by digging up a little of everything spice-wise in order to make their brand of metal all the more flavorable! Needless to say I'm slapping my seal of approval on "Arcade Warrior" as well as "Demo 2014"! Two great releases from one female-fronted metal act in the same year? I can't think of the last time I've seen that happen!

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Interview with Julia Roberts

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing local musician Julia Roberts. As the founder/chief songwriter/guitarist and vocalist of  traditional heavy metal/power metal band Global Warning (a ready for the prime time cult Ohio band who bizarrely haven't been snatched up yet even as they are a sure thing!) this phenomenal guitarist/front-woman has thus far remained one of Ohio's best kept secrets. With all of that bound to change before you know it (!) I was grateful to have the opportunity of talking with this remarkably-talented and super-approachable artist! I want to thank Julia for taking the time to talk with Heavy Metal Time Machine and I would like to encourage all of our readers to check out Global Warning and their stone cold-killer take on heavy/power metal! 

Andy (A)-Would you please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your current band?

Julia (J)-Julia S. Roberts, guitarist first, lead vocalist and songwriter, and founder of my current band (Julia Roberts') Global Warning.  At this point, I have "fill in" band members for touring/shows, and they are Tim Frederick (Wretch, Eternal Legacy, Vindicator) on Bass, and Tim Seale (Bound by Fate) on Drums.  I will be on the look out for more permanent bandmates going forward.

A-How did you get started in the music business Julia?

J-I made my debut with my first original band Driven Steel back in 1989 in Southern California.  I was the Guitarist and main songwriter, and later became the lead vocalist as well in 1992. Our first gig was at Goodies in Fullerton, CA in 1989, not sure of the month!  Myself and Kelley Heckart (Bass, Co-Songwriter) founded the band, and through several lineup changes (except the two of us), we kept the band going until 1995.  So, even though I'm from Cleveland, Ohio, I really got my start in music in Southern California.

A-How old were you when you first starting playing guitar and when did you first realize that this is what you wanted to do with your life?

J-I get foggy on exactly when I started, but I believe I was about 10 or 12 years old.  It was right around when Van Halen's first album came out in 1978.  Eddie Van Halen blew me away, as he did everyone at that time, and he became my main guitar hero.  My dad had a homemade Sears Harmony amplifier and guitar that I used to play here and there, and he ended up giving them to me.  He also bought me an Ibanez Tube Screamer distortion pedal shortly thereafter.  I realized that I wanted to be in a band, when I used to go to rock concerts as my friend (who lived down the street from me) had a mother who belonged to Belkin Productions ticket club where she would get floor seats all the time.  One of the first concerts I saw up close (3rd row) was Def Leppard and Billy Squier, back in 1983 at Richfield Coliseum in Ohio.  I thought to myself, "man it looks like a LOT of fun up there, I can do that!"  Seeing those bands up close and personal like that really made me want to be onstage and perform.

A-Ah yes, the Richfield Coliseum. What a cool place that was! I went to my fair share of great shows there and to this day I miss the place. It's always fun to meet other people with fond memories the Richfield Coliseum. Well, that covers live shows so how about actual albums? Could you tell us about your early influences and do you remember what the first heavy metal album you ever bought was?

J-I would say my earliest guitar influence was probably Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, as my mom and dad would get these compilation albums such as "Superstars of the 70s" and I remember hearing "Whole Lotta Love" and thought that was such a cool heavy guitar riff!  What a great sound!  And then when Van Halen's first album (self titled) came out in 1978, that was definitely a game changer.  My other 2 biggest influences on guitar would be Randy Rhoads (Ozzy) and Yngwie Malmsteen.  I'm pretty sure "Van Halen" was one of the first albums I bought.  I can't remember exactly which one was first.  I know "Flight of Icarus" by Maiden was one of the 45s (single) that I couldn't stop playing too.

A-That's some excellent stuff right there Julia! I know my first hard rock album was AC/DC's "Who Made Who" while my metal one was "Kill 'Em All". All of which brings up a good question. Let's say a kid walks up to you and asks "What's heavy metal all about?". What would you tell the kid and as a follow-up question what album would you hand him and why?

J-I would tell the kid that heavy metal is all about getting your aggression out in a constructive way by escaping into the world of great music, with heavy bass and drums that knock you into tomorrow, with usually intricate guitar work, screaming leads and vocals that send your mind into a frenzy!  It's not about being safe, but facing reality head on, even though it provides an escape from the mundane, it hits a chord (literally) with people in a way that is totally relatable.  There are many facets of heavy metal, you can have a "feel good party song" and then a brutal "WTF" moment, it's the beauty and ugliness of all metal.  And it feels damn good.  It's like beauty and the beast.  I would say an album for me that really defines heavy metal is "Master of Puppets" by Metallica.  It's all in there.

A-I wholeheartedly agree with you there! It doesn't get much better then "Master Of Puppets"! So tell me Julia If you could play with any band for one show only who would it be?

J-There are so many bands I would want to play with.  But I think because they used to be my all-time favorite band, and that they are back with David Lee Roth, it would be Van Halen.  Eddie is my all-time guitar hero.  But I would say it would be better with Mike Anthony back in it.

A-Let's talk about your current band shall we? What's Global Warning all about?

J-Global Warning is something I came up with when I started the band, and it's a play on "global warming" because it's such a hot topic right now.  Not everyone believes it's happening, and it's a big controversy.  I like controversy.  I thought it sounded menacing and big at the same time, very metal but not stupid or weird.  It's like "Warning! Will Robinson, Warning!" from "Lost in Space".  Think of the robot.  We are here to warn the world that my brand of female-fronted metal is big and menacing, and it will take over the world!!! 

A-If that's the case I couldn't ask for a better ending or a better world conquer! LOL! But seriously, what made you decide to finally form your own band after all these years?

J-I quit for a long time because metal really took a nose dive back in the mid 90s, especially in Southern California.  I felt what Metallica must have been feeling in the early 80s when they moved to San Fransisco because they hated the fickle L.A. scene.  Me and co-founder Kelley Heckart (former bassist, songwriter of Driven Steel) were really sick of auditioning drummers, and the music business period.  It wore me down, unfortunately.  Stripped my dreams away (temporarily).  So, for a while I just thought I wasn't meant to do this.  But then it was weird, inspiration just came back to me in 2008.  I started getting to know people in the Cleveland scene, metal seemed to be making a comeback.  That Metal Show was getting more airtime on VH-1, and I just kept hearing more bands on the radio, and with metal channels on XM and Sirius satellite radio, more festivals, it inspired me to pick up the guitar again.  I started meeting the right people, made a 2-song demo, got airplay on college radio, and my former singer actually found me.  I was listening to my old Driven Steel demos and thought, "I'm not going to die with my music still in me.  This is too important."  So, my mission was to find great local musicians, and get my music out there finally.  No holds barred.

 A-No holds barred is appropriately enough the way in which I would describe the live show I saw you put on! If I'm not mistaken that was your first show in sometime correct?
J-Yes, it has been several months since my last show because I had some unexpected band changes earlier this year, and I had to go back into the recording studio to re-record the vocals and re-mix everything to finish the album.  Now, all that needs to be done is mastering, and it's ready to go.  I also had to find some musicians to fill in for upcoming shows, and rehearse.  It's a process!  It takes determination and preparation to get things done right.
A-Do you have more shows lined up? I know fans are glamoring for more live dates from Global Warning!
J-Since the other musicians have other bands, I am working around everyone's schedule.  We are in the process of setting up some shows that make sense in the next few months, looking to bring our show to other cities such as Akron.  We should have some shows firmed up in the next few weeks.

A-That's awesome to hear! I've just got to say that your dedication to your craft is as obvious live as it is on tape! What fuels that passion and your drive Julia?
J-Thank you Andy!  I really love making music, performing and recording it, as well as creating it.  My music personally means a lot to me, and I know it touches others as well, so my passion and drive are fueled by the need to get the music out to the masses in the best way possible.  That's why I need backing, the right label who can give me the support needed for getting this album finished and released, tour support, proper promotion/PR, and then on to the next one to I can keep the momentum.  I just don't have the means to do this by myself.  Plus, I feel females in metal are now getting more of the spotlight, and overall the quality isn't there - it's still about the image, more than the musicianship.  So, I want to change that and gain real respect out there.  Be more of an inspiration to other females, as well as males!

A-Without going into specifics you've come to having your music released before. What are you looking for in a label or representation now?
J-As I said before, I need a record label with the real means to take this to the next level and get it out to the masses, so people actually know about it and can get excited.  So, I can get on some great music festivals as well as tour with the right bands, because I'm really ready to make this happen and dedicate myself to this life.  And get the right musicians to back me up and commit.  The label will need to really believe in the music and what I'm about - not try to change me into a cookie cutter "female fronted" sexy little number that the guys can jack off to.  Fuck that shit.  It's about the music to me and really putting on a performance of real musicianship and dedication to the craft.  Not tits and ass.  Although I'm not opposed to being a little sexy.  I mean, I do like guys you know.  LOL

A-As a father of a teenage girl who is into drama and choir I can really appreciate where you are coming from when you say that you want to be taken at face-value as a person and not an "image". And really your brand of metal speaks just fine by itself and if there is one thing Global Warning does not need it is a makeover! And speaking of Global Warning, where can our readers find you online Julia and what can fans do to help support you and your band?
J-We're in the process of getting some dedicated websites put together, as well as new photo shoots and the like.  But for now, they can find us on Reverbnation and Facebook.  I'm also updating Fandalism and Soundcloud websites.

A-I always like to give artists the last word. Is there anything you would like to address that we did not cover? Is there anything you would like to say to your fans or even detractors? The mic is all yours Julia!
J-I'm very excited and grateful that I now have a second chance to be part of the music world as I had always dreamed.  I feel that everyone has a purpose in life.  Truly, I feel that my purpose is to make music and perform it around the world, be a part of something bigger, a worthy cause.  To further the dreams of girls everywhere who have the desire to make meaningful metal music and not be afraid to show that aggressive, angry, and strong side of them that I know exists in so many but don't have support.  Women are more than just sexual objects.  It took me a while to realize that I'm meant for this, and I had to do quite a bit of soul searching, but better late than never!  Age is just a number, and I'm in a position in my life to really make this happen.  I still believe in dreams coming true.  Looking forward to people joining me on this heavy metal journey, and I won't let you down!  To quote a lyric in my song "Soul Satisfaction," Insane and crazy is how it all seems, but how can you judge what a person perceives?  No one believes me, not a word that I say, but I have the vision, so get out of my way!"

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Nubian Rose-Metal Revolution

Limewire/Cargo Records

It's a well-known secret that I harbor a deep love of female-fronted rock, hard rock and heavy metal. That much should be said before I submit to you, the regular readers of my numerous rants and ramblings (otherwise known as reviews!) my coverage of  Nubian Rose's "Metal Revolution". But least you think that statement gives any band with a female vocalist an easy pass you would be mistaken. Like their male counterparts, female vocalists can range from great to ghastly. They can reach new heights of excellent or establish new lows for the genre. And obviously they can fall anywhere in-between those extremes. Women can do anything on the mic that men can and we are well past the point of that idea even being a subject that should be discussed. All of that brings me around to the struggle I had with this album. Or if you will the coverage of this album. Some wonderful people that I highly respect have brought up the point as to whether or not there should be "female-fronted" metal and "regular metal as opposed to simply "metal"? Should we as fans and critics alike really be making the distinction or is there still something to be gained by way of the classification "female fronted"? This is in no way a cop out on my part, but I can see the benefits and flaws of both arguments. For example take Stockholm's Nubian Rose. By dubbing the band "female-fronted" we are all at once painting them into a corner while also highlighting what makes them so special to begin with and that would be Sofia Lilja's amazing voice! It's a catch 22 as you don't want to take anything away from the fact that Sofia Lilja is absolutely brilliant on the mic (thus making "Metal Revolution" a hell of a radio-friendly melodic hard rock masterpiece!), but you also don't want to bypass the solid-rock standing that is Nubian Rose as a group. And make no mistaken about it friends. When it comes to the music on "Metal Revolution" this Swedish rock band is smoking hot! Guitarist Christer Åkerlund leads a smoldering line-up of talented musicians including Thomas LIndgren (guitar), Henrik Uhrbom (bass), David Algesten (drums) and Fredrik Åkerlund (keyboards) and with 80's bands such as Whitesnake, Dio, Scorpions and Michael Schenker (their listed influences) mixing it up with the likes of Van Halen, Kiss, Def Leppard and Guns 'N Roses (other influences not mentioned, but nonetheless there) the one feeling that you take away from an album like "Metal Revolution" is joy! Collectively Nubian Rose is a fresh, young and upcoming band that is chock full of yesterday's hard rock and heavy metal's attitude. But then again, Nubian Rose is remarkably a band that isn't afraid to let melody and the fundamental elements of rock and roll flow unrestricted through the course of their music. Taking all of that into account then does it really matter how we label acts like this? In the end isn't it more important how a band actually sounds then whether we call them "female-fronted" or not? Or is it all an argument better saved for another day? I'm leaning towards the latter as it simply doesn't get any better then a band like Nubian Rose and that goes for Sofia Lilja's enchanting voice and the first-rate Swedish musician's who surround her! For more information on Nubian Rose and their can't miss sophomore album "Metal Revolution" be sure to check out the band's official website here:  Meanwhile the band's Facebook page can be found here:

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Amulet-The First

Century Media Records

Active since 2010, London's Amulet made their debut with the 2011 demo, "Cut the Crap". Independently released on cassette with a limited run of 222 copies (22 yellow, 25 red and 175 white) that recording would eventually see a limited release of 100 copies as part of a CD/DVD package before it was released as a 7" by Mordgrimm Records (100 white, 400 black-now sold old!). Somewhere in-between all of that chaos the four-track demo in question was magically transformed into a digital download and that would proved to be my first exposure to this spellbinding British heavy metal band. Like many before me I was hooked with "Cut the Crap" all but turning me into an obsessed Amulet fan! And now we are gathered together to behold the glory that is "The First". Released this past September, "The First" is exactly how I imagined it would be. Without mincing words, "The First" by Amulet is partly A) A tribute to the likes of  Diamond Head, Blitzkrieg, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Tokyo Blade (with a few sparkling glimpses of Budgie) as evident by the first half or so of this 14-track album and  B) Ozzy/Ronnie Black Sabbath appreciation day as heard the clearest on "Talisman"/"The Sacrifice" and expressed lyrically with this album's theme of black magic, mysticism and warning's about "preachers and fools" ("Wicked 'n Cruel")! Along the way you might pick out some highly appreciated affection for Italy's one and only Goblin (the instrumental "The Flight" is spectacular!), but musically this dark and spooky LP is all about the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene and occult doom metal. The CD version at least contains a cover of Coven's "Wicked Woman" all but furthering that particular agenda and if there's any fault to be had with "The First" I certainly haven't found it yet! Jamie Elton's vocals elevate the mood and if his bewitching voice (all but snatched from the windpipes of many a great lead vocalist with Ozzy and Dio merely heading that pack!) isn't enough Elton's backing band features a guitar great in the making by way of 'Nip' Blackford! Who knows where this guy has been hiding, but one simply rule out the involvement of the black arts as 'Nip' comes across as another time traveler plucked from Britain's truly glorious heavy metal past and deposited in London's post-N.W.O.B.H.M. landscape! And that is simply two of the five members who were involved with making this memorable debut album! As the title suggests this is just the beginning for Amulet and if "The First" is this desirable one can only imagine what these Londoners might have up their sleeves for a sophomore outing!

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Free Metal Monday: Here's The Metal-October 2014

"Here's The Metal" is a free digital sampler featuring the likes of Exodus, Sister Sin, Fit For A King, In Flames, Decapitated and more. With 13 tracks in all this release from Google Play and Here's the Metal is bound to bring a smile to those suffering the terrible side effects that come courtesy of another Monday morning! Enjoy!

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Kreyskull-Tower Witch

Inverse Records

Kreyskull is four-piece band from the south-east parts of Finland that is made up of ex-members of Demonic Death Judge, Kaihoro and Total Devastation. "Tower Witch" is the band's sophomore album and it serves as the follow-up to 2012's "Year of the Octopus". With a line-up that features Kari A. Killgast on lead vocals, Saku Hakuli on guitars, Timo "Ringo" Karvonen on bass and Timo Karvonen on drums this "heavy doom rock" band from the Kymi-Poitsila area defies easy explanation. On one end influences for this 70's-influesed hard rock/heavy metal band range from Black Sabbath/Trouble to Rush with even the sounds of ZZ Top getting in on the act! On the other end of the spectrum you've got flashes of psychedelic rock and jazz seeping into the mix with some groove and stoner rock riffs applied here and there as finishing touch-ups. Brawny and robust lead vocals and great, riff-happy and garage rock-worthy guitar solos add the requisite cherry to the top of this delicious treat and while it all might sound incredibly odd on paper (and lord oh mighty does it ever!) it's an entirely different matter all together when you hear the enthralling music of Kreyskull in the flesh! More fun and explosive than a barrel full of dynamite-wielding monkeys, "Tower Witch" is a righteously fun time with this very cool & slick Finnish four-piece offering up a sparkling fresh/buzz-worthy take on seventies-era hard rock & rock and roll! "Tower Witch" is easily one of 2014's most engaging LPs and it's one of those albums that I recommend with giddy schoolboy enthusiasm! For more information on Kreyskull be sure to head either here: or here:


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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Metal Machine-Free Nation

Dream Records

For the uniformed, Metal Machine was a traditional heavy metal band that was fronted by seasoned vocalist Csaba Zvekan (Exorcism, Zvekan, Raven Lord, ex-Emergency, ex-Sardonyx, ex-Killing Machine, ex-Calling Toy, ex-Rough Angel, ex-Warpdrive ). The (short-lived?) group managed to secure support slots for the likes of AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Soulfly and even Alice Cooper(!) and for these live appearances Metal Machine was rounded out by guitarist Peter Scheithauer (Killing Machine, Stream, Temple Of Brutality, ex-Belladonna), bassist Jari Kainulainen (Masterplan, ex-Stratovarius, ex-Evergrey) and drummer Jon Dette (Iced Earth, ex-Slayer, ex-Testament). By all account audiences were receptive Metal Machine and there was even demo material recorded. For those recordings Csaba Zvekan was joined by his live band-mate Peter Scheithauer. With Csaba providing A SHIT LOAD of Rob Halford-like vocals (through much of this album he comes across like a hyperactive clone of the "Hell Bent For Leather" master himself!) it was up to Peter to take care of the guitar parts and drum programing. "Free Nation", which was mastered by TMS Studios, collects those recordings with the final track-listing looking something like this: 

1. Skull And Bones 
2. Nailed To The Cross 
3. Detox 
4. Morning Star 
5. World Of Temptation 
6. Hellraiser 
7. Lord of War 
8. Black Sun 
9. Free Nation 

So, what does it all sound like? Well, how about if we go back to that track listing once more and we'll jot down a few notes and pass out some grades. Sound good? OK....

1. Skull And Bones-Judas Priest anyone? How about "Painkiller"-era Judas Priest? How about just "Painkiller" rewritten? While it is a good opener it's a straight-up rip-off. If you can overlook that you'll dig it. Even with it's muddy mix (which BTW runs through the whole album!) A for the intensity, but this one gets a D for barely trying to cover up how much it rips off a superior track!

2. Nailed To The Cross-Decent enough traditional heavy metal with some modern touches. More Judas Priest love. B-

3. Detox-Pantera meets Iron Maiden? Craziness I say! Not bad though for what it is....B

4. Morning Star-Falling somewhere between Slayer and Mercyful Fate with Judas Priest as the connecting source of energy. Good stuff. If only the mix was better. B+

5. World Of Temptation-Here's a long lost Alice In Chains track apparently!  B-

6. Hellraiser-Dio-ear Black Sabbath as interpreted by Judas Priest. B-  

7. Lord of War-Sludgy Judas Priest C-

8. Black Sun-A 90's heavy metal ballad? Huh? C

9. Free Nation-God awful drum beats and speed metal guitars are not a good combination. And then it turns into a 90's hard rock number where the Judas Priest love continues. Odd doesn't even start to cover it! C+

And there you have it. Final verdict? Well, there are some choice cuts here on "Free Nation" but the awful mix nearly ruins everything. No lie folks it is rough. As in demo quality rough. If you can move past that painfully obvious trait  and/or you are a die hard Csaba Zvekan fan then go for it. For everyone else though I'd take a pass on this one.

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