Tag Archives: metallica

Review: Tempestora’s The Battle Begins

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It’s not often we get to delve into the world of thrash metal at UK Scumscene so I revelled at the opportunity to review Tempestora’s ‘The Battle Begins’ which takes the modern thrash archetype made famous by bands like Evile and mashes it together with melo-death in the style of later Carcass and even manages to add speed metal elements that remind us of Blind Guardian songs like ‘A Voice in the Dark’. ‘The Battle Begins’ might be a thrash record but it’s taking a fair share of its influences from outside the thrash world and for that reason alone it makes for an incredibly engaging listen.

Album opener ‘Relentless’ manages to showcase all the aforementioned stylistic choices in its four and a half minutes and it’s a wonderfully engaging listen. Vocalist and bassist Sam Shiers screams his way through a barrage of speed metal riffing from guitarist Jason Deakins, while drummer Alex Hawes absolutely abuses his bass drum with an impressive display of Dave Lombardo-esque double-bass drumming. When the song brings it’s wonderfully indulgent breakdown into effect you then begin to get a taste of the melodic death metal influences the band are channelling. There is a definite Carcass stamp on the lead guitar work which adds some seriously memorable hooks to the band’s sound; a definite plus for a band with exclusively harsh vocals.

Speaking of lead guitar, Deakins gets to showcase some incredibly impressive solos like the one on ‘A New Age Dawns’. Deakins is an absolute godsend and a supremely talented guitarist who deals in technicality and melody with finesse. The performances of this one man on ‘The Battle Begins’ is award-worthy and I really hope that the man begins to get the attention he deserves.

The real highlight of the record comes in the form of ‘Halls of the Slain’ which is hugely memorable for its amazing guitar work. The band find themselves in Slayer territory and put together a series of the best riffs put to record and add another amazing Deakins solo which screams, “KIRK HAMMETT!” Metal-heads are really in for a treat when this six minute, thrash behemoth rears its head. Mark my words; there will be no heads left to bang by the end of it.

We haven’t even had a chance to mention the beautiful production work which compliments Tempestora’s accuracy and aggression perfectly. There is no doubt the band are extremely tight musicians and the clarity of the production work heightens this element perfectly. A special mention has to be given to to Hawes’ drumming which has been given a wonderfully raw mix which allows the listener to hear every snare, tom and bass-drum thump but without drowning out the cymbals which is often the case in metal production of this type. Hats off to the band and Craig Daws who have found an amazing balance of clarity and grit. How often do you get to say that about a production job?

Tempestora are an extremely exciting young thrash band who now have an album worthy of their talents. ‘The Battle Begins’ is an undeniable master-work of thrash metal that deserves so much more attention. Tempestora have managed to make an album drenched in extreme metal influences and it sounds brilliantly cohesive with the whole record delivered via the band’s wonderfully tight song-writing. Just get this album and tell all your friends. Tempestora might be the next great hope for British metal and I can’t wait to see this band get the opportunity to showcase their talent on a big stage. They truly deserve it.

9/10

Watch Tempestora’s ‘A New Age Dawns’ music video but BE WARNED there is a lot of flashing imagery.

Tempestora’s ‘The Battle Begins’ is available to buy now from Casket Records.

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Review: MG & The Juggernaut’s Tool

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‘Tool’ is the sophomore EP from Bournemouth hard rockers MG & The Juggernaut and it showcases a musical style that can only be described as Breed77 and One Minute Silence meets Metallica. It’s an interesting blend of riff-based rock music and it allows vocalist and guitarist Simon Miller a chance to let loose with some brilliant guitar licks.

The guitar work is the biggest draw on ‘Tool’ and opener ‘Battlefield’ showcases this perfectly with its thrash metal riffing. The song instantly grabs your attention and pulls you in but sadly the EP has a hard time bolstering Miller’s guitar work with decent rhythms and song structures.

Miller’s vocals also play a part in this and the man’s delivery is very uninspiring to listen to. All the vocals on the EP stay in the mid-range and don’t have an awful lot of power behind them. If Miller flexed his pipes a little bit or even added some screaming to beef up the aggression of some of his riffs these songs could have really shone. The only time things change in the vocal department (for better or for worse) is during ‘Crushed to Pieces’ where Miller starts putting those James Hetfield-esque inflections onto his lyrics. It certainly helps diversify the vocals but I’m not sure we should be celebrating a vocalist for simply aping the style of another vocalist.

As we’ve already mentioned, some of the riffs on ‘Tool’ (like the one that opens ‘Crushed to Pieces’) really impress and this is where MG & The Juggernaut should have focussed their efforts. If the band continued to fill this EP full of memorable guitar melodies they would have created a record which would have satisfied the many fans of arena rock, but sadly the song writing just isn’t up to scratch. Most of the songs on ‘Tool’ lack a big chorus and without these focal points it can become a bit of a drag listening to the record.

MG & The Juggernaut definitely have talent and Simon Miller can occasionally conjure up some brilliant thrash riffs. Unfortunately the band suffer from lacklustre vocals and generally can’t pull together songs that really stick in your head. The band really need to focus on structuring their songs to be more catchy so their audience has a decent hook or chorus to latch onto. At the moment MG & The Juggernaut definitely show potential but it hasn’t been realised. Yet.

5/10

MG & The Juggernaut’s ‘Tool’ EP is out now and available to buy on CD direct from the band.


Review: Die No More’s Blueprint

Oh boy. Right, let’s address the elephant in the room; Die No More like Metallica. A lot. They also like the “Rock-tallica” era of the band’s career as well. I’m telling you this because Die No More’s Blueprint EP takes so many cues from everything Metallica have done since The Black Album that I dare say the band are ripping them off.

I don’t want to label a band a straight rip-off and Die No More could’ve gotten away with simply being a decent heavy metal band, but vocalist and rhythm guitarist Marc Farquhar adds some rather Hetfield-esque inflections to his vocals and it means his band aren’t going to escape the Metallica comparison any time soon. Nightmares is so painfully close to Metallica’s signature sound (just listen to those woahs) that you could easily mistake it for a Metallica b-side.

This is a massive shame as well because Die No More have chops. The songs on Blueprint are full of great riffs and melodies that showcase the band’s superb song writing. The real shining light comes in the form of lead guitarist Kev Smith who pulls off some incredible solos. My jaw was on the floor when the Council of War solo kicked into gear. Mr Smith is an extremely talented guitarist who I can see making a big name for himself in the future. Watch this space.

But as mentioned before, Die No More sound far too close to the band they’re clearly the most influenced by. Everyone likes to pay tribute to their heroes but Die No More are just too close in style to Metallica to justify being a different band. There isn’t much the band need to do in order to differentiate themselves either. If Farquhar just tweaked his vocals in a way that made him sound more like himself then Die No More would instantly avoid the Metallica comparison, but as the band are now they simply won’t avoid being labelled a rip-off and that’s a damn shame as Blueprint showcases a huge amount of potential.

6/10

Die No More’s Blueprint EP is released digitally on the 9th of September.