This column is for those in the mood for something heavy.
Heidevolk are purveyors of some wonderful pagan-folk metal from the Netherlands. Batavi is heavy as it is melodic. The melodic nature of the music makes it easy to get into, which can be tough with this sort of band. This album isn’t exactly something for the masses but it does reward repeated listens. Then again, I have a soft spot for this sort of metal.
Lonewolf hover on the border between heavy metal and Motorhead-like speed. In fact, the only thing that makes them not sound like Lemmy & Co. is the fact that they are French. Army of the Damned is pure biker metal and makes no allowances for anything melodic or modern. For what it is, this could be no better. Interestingly enough, their last release was far more power metal than this.
Then we see a cult band that was much missed by many until their return a few years ago. On the strength of this album, Intersections, Mekong Delta surely have satisfied even their most critical of fans. Always good to see a much loved band not resting on their laurels and producing damn good metal. In this case it is technical thrash goodness.
Moonspell have not done much for the past four years, but have returned with a suitable slab of metal called Alpha Noir. The band, from Portugal, have managed to produce a dark metal album that is worth your time. It is far less extreme than some of their releases and thus easier to get into. The gothic tinge adds a pleasant touch of melody to the heaviness.
Mystic Prophecy drift between power and thrash metal with ease. This release contains at least one rather dire and unnecessary cover which lets it down. However, Ravenlord is worth it for the kicking title track. It is anthemic and destined to be a hit live. Can’t help think a bit more consistency would have not gone amiss.
Speaking of much loved technical thrash metal, there is a new release from Prong. Carved Into Stone is what you would expect from this bunch. It is yet another master class in how to keep the genre fresh, yet not lose old fans. It is a great release from start to finish and I am sure fans will not be disappointed.
Have a good week and stay safe out there.