Metal Massacre – XV

John delves into the latest offering from the legendary Metal Massacre Series –

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

Well, 1982 and Los Angeles to be precise, metal mogul Brian Slagel gathered together some tracks from the best unsigned acts on the L.A. metal scene and so Metal Massacre was born. Here we are 39 years later with the latest and 15th Metal Massacre offering. 

Masked and Deadly- Midnight. 

A dirty old school thrash vibe, great riffs, love the whole feel of this track. If Venom and Motorhead is your thing then Midnight have you covered. 

Demon Wind-Poison Ruin

When you have a 4 minute slot on a showcase compilation it takes balls to use a track with a 1.5 minute intro, so you better be able to back it up. Poison Ruin back it up with gusto. Black metal production of N.W.O.B.H.M. Brilliant track. 

Master of Extremity-Fuming Mouth

Fuming Mouth kick off with a brutal DM opening then let the beat drop and proceed to batter the listener into submission. 

All the subtlety of a brick in a sock. Face smashing music at its best. 

The Trees Die Standing-Many Suffer

Black Metal is not my cup of tea but this beautifully melodic and atmospheric track is an amazing piece of work. 

Leave The Light Behind-Temple of Void

I can’t and probably shouldn’t categorise Temple of Void, they deserve their own little genre Beautifully weird metal. 

I LOVE THIS TRACK. 

Bone Ritual-Ripped to Shreds

Hell of an intro then a moment of calm to gather yourself before Ripped to Shreds unleash a head banging, head stomping barrage of riffs and blast beats at you. 

Omega-Rude

Well crafted progressive death metal riffs with modern touches. 

Starblind-Midnight Dice

For lovers of old school Heavy Metal with a new twist. 

THIS IS A FUCKING AMAZING TRACK

Warrior Witch of Hel-Smoulder

Superbly structured riffs, almost bluesy at times. A solid slab of Doom Metal

In Somber Dreams-Mother of Graves

To end, some slow tempo Melodic Death to tug at the heart strings. Gorgeous tempo shift on the outro. 

Over the years Metal Massacre has showcased Slayer,Overkill,Armored Saint,Ratt, Amon Amarth and not forgetting Metallica, and now, with MM XV, Metal Blade are highlighting some of the new generation of metal bands. 

This album is a great listening journey though some of the contrasting and differing genres in Metal music today. A great album and definitely worth spending your pennies on. 

Metal Massacre XV was released last Friday 21st May on Metal Blade

Trial –Sisters of the Moon

Back in 2017 I reviewed Trial’s third album, Motherless for another publication. I was less than complimentary about the Swedes, describing the vocals of Linus Johansson as ‘nails down a blackboard’.

Well, I’m pleased to say that Mr Johansson is no longer singing for Trial, and his replacement Arthur W. Andersson (ex-Air Raid) has a much kinder delivery. So far so good and with this two-track single Andersson makes his recording debut with the band.

It’s a brave and unusual record. Now, what readers of UK Thrashers will think about a Fleetwood Mac cover and a Black Sabbath cover is open to debate. Recorded as everything is these days in lock down, the choices are most interesting. Sisters of the Moonis a well-known song from 1979’s Tusk and Trial certainly give it a good effort. Much harder edged than the Mac original, the biggest challenge is for Andersson to get anywhere near the smoky tones of the fabulous Stevie Nicks. Thankfully, Trial don’t even attempt it, instead hitting a hard rock version that at times echoes their countrymen Ghost. The soaring vocals and blistering guitar solos work effortlessly, the tempo pitched right and overall, it’s a sensitive and solid cover.

Sticking more to the traditional format for the second track, Trial givesa legendary metal track a real good go. Die Youngfrom1980’s Heaven & Hellissuch a massive track that anyone who even considers covering it must have cojones of elephant proportions. Trial stick close to the original, and it’s a decent attempt, with the impossible challenge of filling RJD’s vocal boots provingthe biggest sticking point. Andersson just doesn’t have the vocal dexterity of the former Elfalthough he certainly doesn’t devastate the track by any means. Musically the band are tight, adding their own elements, twists,and tweaks. A brave attempt that truly demonstrates how bloody good Sabbath at that time. This doesn’t fill me with dread about the next release. There are plenty of positives from this record, and Andersson’s performance is promising. It’ll be interesting to see if the next album realises the potential that is displayed here.

Trial – Sisters Of The Moon is released on Metal Blade Records on the 29 January 2021