Album Review – Sepsiss / Badd Blood EP (2019)

Bang your head to the debut EP by this emerging American outfit that plays uncompromising metal combining a more traditional sound with modern rhythms and urban hardcore.

Founded by vocalist Melissa Wolfe and guitarist William Savant in 2011 in Manchester, a city in the southern part of the U.S. state of New Hampshire, the incendiary female-fronted Hard Rock and Alternative Metal band that goes by the name of Sepsiss has been wowing crowds across their home state since their inception, playing uncompromising metal that combines a more traditional sound with modern rhythms, light synths and a blend of urban hardcore. Now in 2019 this five-piece outfit comprised of the aforementioned Melissa on clean vocals and William on harsh vocals and on the guitar, accompanied by Cam Loud also on the guitar, Mr Goodbarz on keyboards and Robbert Pann on drums is unleashing a very dynamic and fun EP entitled Badd Blood, offering fans of modern metal music eight unique tracks which prove that female-fronted metal bands can offer some of the most powerful, intriguing and diverse sounds in the genre, just like what bands such as their rock heroes Heart and more recently Evanescence have always done.

A cinematic intro evolves into a feast of modern-day Hardcore and Alternative Metal entitled Fair To Say led by Melissa’s classic vocal lines, giving life to the song’s lovesick lyrics (“You are my favorite vice, / The way you’re squeezing me tonight. / The way you’re screaming songs slice the sky for me… / I fell in love with your void, / I filled it up on my own accord. / And you’re bored with being broken… / SO I’LL BREAK US UP!!!!”), as if Green Day met Evanescence. Then with William making a flammable vocal duet with Melissa we have To Write Hate On His Arms, showcasing straightforward and precise beats by Robbert while Mr Goodbarz adds a touch of delicacy and madness to the background with his keys, resulting in what’s in my humble opinion the best track of the EP.

William and Cam bring tons of heaviness to the band’s modern Hard Rock in Sky Is Falling, a song that’s considerably faster and more dynamic than its predecessors, with the music remaining vibrant and fresh for over five minutes in an interesting fusion of different styles like Metalcore, Melodic Death Metal and contemporary Hard Rock; followed by The Swarm, where the band switches their gears to a more alternative sonority with Mr Goodbarz and Robbert keeping the atmosphere as modern as possible in perfect sync with the guitar riffs. Black Light Invasion follows a similar pattern, with Melissa’s vocals getting sexier as the music progresses, sounding groovy and catchy from the very first second and, therefore, being highly recommended for hitting the dance floor while both William and Cam kick some serious ass with their riffs and solos. And in Falling Unloved the band accelerates their pace to a frantic fusion of the music by Evanscence with Hardcore, Punk Rock and even Ska, crushing their instruments mercilessly and offering their fans a good reason to crack their necks headbanging.

And their Rock N’ Roll party goes on in Force You To Lay Down, where the vocals by Melissa sound inebriating and captivating, while her bandmates make sure the energy level doesn’t go down not even a bit by pounding their instruments nonstop. Last but not least, Eyes Of Empathy closes the album with five minutes of first-class Hard Rock, showcasing lyrics that are as catchy as they can be (“Eyes of empathy can never reason why… / It could never mend the things I’ve seen tonight… / Forever quell the screams of your denial… / I won’t ever wake.”). Not only that, Melissa is on absolute fire on vocals, with the amount of electricity and rage brought forth by William, Cam and Robbert being beyond outstanding.

Do you have what it takes to enter the alternative and metallic lands ruled by Melissa, William & Co.? You can certainly show your total support to such up-and-coming band by following them through their official Facebook page, by subscribing to their YouTube channel, by listening to their music on Spotify, and obviously by purchasing Badd Blood from the band’s own webstore as a regular physical version or as an autographed edition. And let’s hope Sepsiss keep on rocking and inspiring more and more women to follow a similar musical path not only in their home state, but anywhere else in the world where good music is appreciated, all in the name of Rock N’ Roll.

Best moments of the album: To Write Hate On His Arms and Eyes Of Empathy.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2019 Independent

Track listing
1. Fair To Say 3:54
2. To Write Hate On His Arms 3:20
3. Sky Is Falling 5:17
4. The Swarm 2:27
5. Black Light Invasion 3:58
6. Falling Unloved 3:55
7. Force You To Lay Down 3:37
8. Eyes Of Empathy 5:03

Band members
Melissa Wolfe – vocals
William Savant – vocals, guitars
Cam Loud – guitars
Mr Goodbarz – keyboards
Robbert Pann – drums

Album Review – Blood Red Saints / Pulse (2019)

Enjoy this great album of Hard Rock highly recommended for anyone whose heart beats faster and whose veins pulse harder whenever good rock is played.

When British Melodic Hard Rock band Blood Red Saints was formed back in 2014 in the city of Manchester, having their name inspired by a semi-legendary motorcycle speedway team called The Blood Red Saints, formed in the late 1920’s in Brooklyn, New York, their main goal was to offer fans of our good old Rock N’ Roll a huge dosage of catchy choruses, groovy riffs and endless electricity, culminating with the release of their debut album Speedway, in 2015, followed by their sophomore installment Love Hate Conspiracies, from 2018. Now it’s time for this talented UK band comprised of vocalist and bassist Pete Godfrey, guitarists Lee Revill and Neil Hibbs, and drummer Andy Chemney to strike again with their third full-length album, titled Pulse, presenting a more modernized but still very melodious sound.

Featuring 11 tracks all written by Pete and Lee, Pulse has a more contemporary edge than the band’s previous efforts, pushing the boundaries of their trademark Melodic Rock and traditional Hard Rock. And the band summarized what you can except from Pulse in some very straightforward but meaningful words. “This album is more personal, dealing with life events of the past year but still maintaining a positive stance, everybody brought their best to this recording, no compromises, no excuses, simply the best 11 songs we could write and we are proud of the results, after all, without music and fun, what is there?” With that said, are you ready to rock with Blood Red Saints to the music from their brand new and well-balanced album of modern-day Rock N’ Roll?

Serene piano notes kick off the groovy and stylish Believer, with both Lee and Neil blasting raw but at the same time very melodic riffs in a feast of Melodic Rock infused with Southern Rock and even Sludge Metal elements, being absolutely fantastic for open air concerts; whereas Animals is highly inspired by 80’s and 90’s Hard Rock, sounding at times like a more Rock N’ Roll version of bands like Motley Crüe and Bon Jovi, with Andy keeping the energy level high with his precise beats (not to mention how piercing the guitars sound). Then, even more Bon Jovi-inspired than its predecessors, the ballad Cross To Bear has a romantic vibe led by Pete’s passionate vocals, being a born-to-be-a-radio-hit Hard Rock tune that also presents a soulful guitar solo to add an extra kick to its overall sound.

In the excellent Invincible we’re treated to a movie-inspired beginning that gradually morphs into a pleasant and very melodic display of contemporary Hard Rock, or in other words, it’s 80’s music with a modern twist led by Pete’s spot-on vocals and the fiery riffs and solos by the band’s guitar duo Lee and Neil. Then putting the pedal to the metal and sounding more hardcore and punk-ish the band offers us I’m Your Devil, a dancing and heavy tune where the backing vocals are exactly what Pete needs to boost his vocals; and after such thrilling ride it’s time to slow things down with another classic ballad by the quartet entitled Crash Into Me, a good song with heavy guitars intertwined with acoustic moments that unfortunately falls flat after a while. Things get back to normal (and by “normal” I mean “awesome”) with the title-track Pulse, a headbanging creation by Blood Red Saints that will please all fans of contemporary rock music, with its backing vocals once again being extremely effective from start to finish.

Message To God is another song perfect for enjoying a cold beer in the name of Rock N’ Roll, with both Lee and Neil slashing their strings beautifully, presenting more complex and progressive passages as well as the best guitar solo of the entire album in my humble opinion, while Warrior is an inspiring ballad showcasing a precise Andy on drums and another touching performance by Pete on vocals, with the sound of guitars bringing that always-welcome extra touch of epicness to the music. In the heavy What Have We Become the band goes full Southern Rock, but still maintaining their Hard Rock core essence intact, resulting in another one of those heavier-than-usual songs that could easily be played on any radio station worldwide, before the ballad Bring Me To Life closes this entertaining album of Hard Rock on a high note by providing the listener a beautiful amalgamation of heavy and acoustic sounds with Lee and Neil being in total sync and, therefore, allowing Pete to simply nail it on vocals.

In a nutshell, Pulse might be exactly what you’re searching for in the alternative rock scene, bringing all elements from past and present in a very compelling and neat package. Hence, go grab your copy of such nicely crafted album (available for a full listen on Spotify) directly from the band’s official website, from the AOR Heaven webstore, from the Nuclear Blast webstore, from iTunes or from Amazon, and don’t forget to follow them on Facebook for news, tour dates and other nice-to-know details. Blood Red Saints sound modern, fresh and vibrant, but at the same time always loyal to the foundations of Rock N’ Roll, turning Pulse into a beyond recommended options for any fan of rock music whose heart beats faster and whose veins pulse harder whenever some high quality, very melodic Hard Rock and Rock N’ Roll music is played.

Best moments of the album: Invincible, I’m Your Devil and Message To God.

Worst moments of the album: Crash Into Me.

Released in 2019 AOR Heaven

Track listing
1. Believer 3:57
2. Animals 3:54
3. Cross To Bear 5:10
4. Invincible 4:34
5. I’m Your Devil 4:00
6. Crash Into Me 4:16
7. Pulse 3:13
8. Message To God 4:36
9. Warrior 5:08
10. What Have We Become 4:13
11. Bring Me To Life 4:07

Band members
Pete Godfrey – vocals, bass
Lee Revill – guitars, backing vocals
Neil Hibbs – guitars, backing vocals
Andy Chemney – drums, backing vocals

Album Review – Burial / Unholy Sedition (2016)

Profane, rebellious and vicious music for all diehard lovers of Black Metal, piercing your ravenous ears directly from the UK.

Rating5

CD DigiPak 4 Panel 1 TrayThe good old city of Manchester, England might be known worldwide by the everlasting rivalry between Manchester City and Manchester United, two of the biggest soccer teams in the world, but since 2005 the city has also become a synonym to extreme music due to the scalding Blackened Death Metal forged by an up-and-coming power trio that goes by the name of Burial. After releasing a demo in 2008 named Shadowed by Satan, the EP Dissidence in 2010 and more recently their debut full-length album Beneath the Light in 2013, those black metallers are back with their second opus, entitled Unholy Sedition, a must for lovers of Black Metal, nuns, beer and Satan.

Fans of the music played by bands like Satyricon in their early days will have a great time listening to what this underground British act is capable of offering, being visceral but extremely technical at the same time. In addition, if you already know Burial you’ll notice a slight change in their musicality from their previous album, dropping part of the Death Metal sound and delivering an all-out Black Metal assault. In case this is your first contact with the band, get ready for 30 minutes of brutality in the form of the short, fast and devastating tunes found in Unholy Sedition. You won’t regret being blasted by the band’s ferocious music, I should say.

After a quick distorted intro, the opening track Infernal Spirit brings forward brutal Black Metal led by the bestial beats by drummer David Buchan, while lead singer and bassist Derek Carley varies his vocals from devilish screams to cavernous growls; and without a break they start firing the following tune, entitled Malevolent Possession, displaying some pulverizing riffs by guitarist Richard Barraclough. Not only that, even when they slow down a bit during this enraged song their heaviness remains at an outstanding level. Their malignancy keeps flowing in Satanic Immolation, a sick Black Metal song with hints of Death Metal where it’s amusing how violent the band can get in less than three minutes, with Derek’s vocals sounding exactly as many old school Black Metal vocalists.

Burial Band photoIn the high-speed havoc Coven of Death, David is unstoppable behind his drums, providing Richard the support he needs to craft his blazing riffs before we’re treated to Nothing Awaits, where a Blackened Doom-inspired intro powered by the gruesome vociferations by Derek suddenly explodes into vile Black Metal, with highlights to the metallic guitar lines by Richard. This is perhaps their best song to date, an excellent composition sounding as three distinct songs in one, and therefore showcasing the band’s highly developed abilities with their instruments. And in the rhythmic and dense Defile The Sacrament, right after a somber intro that goes on for almost two minutes, we have a furious fusion of Black and Death Metal with Derek barking like a rabid beast.

Cast To The Flames can be considered the most old school Black Metal of all tracks with the blast beats by David being its guiding “star”, never letting the level of dark energy go down; whereas Beyond Redemption seems to be the most Death Metal of all mainly due to the deep guttural growls by Derek, with its beats at the speed of light demolishing everything and everyone that stands in their way. Before Uholy Sedition comes to its end, Burial offer us all more of their putrid growls and a heavy atmosphere in the Black Metal hymn Devoured By The Earth, displaying sheer violence and gore in the form of music with highlights to the groovy and boisterous drumming by David. And lastly, we have the remarkably short but sensational Extreme Metal anthem Nun Fucking Black Metal, which not only has a beautiful name but also pays homage all things Black Metal, concluding the album on a high note with amazing performances by all band members.

In case you want to know more about the music by Burial, go visit their Facebook or ReverbNation pages, and if you’re interesting in putting your hands on a copy of Unholy Sedition, you can find the album for sale at the UKEM Records’ BandCamp page or webstore (it’s out of stock according to the website, though), or at the band’s official Big Cartel page, where you can also find a nice exclusive bundle including a physical copy of the album and a T-shirt for a very decent price. It’s profane and rebellious Black Metal for diehard lovers of the genre, and also a great option for newcomers to get introduced to the world of extreme music.

Best moments of the album: Satanic Immolation, Nothing Awaits and Nun Fucking Black Metal.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2016 UKEM Records

Track listing
1. Infernal Spirit 3:03
2. Malevolent Possession 4:00
3. Satanic Immolation 2:22
4. Coven Of Death 2:07
5. Nothing Awaits 3:35
6. Defile The Sacrament 4:14
7. Cast To The Flames 2:55
8. Beyond Redemption 3:57
9. Devoured By The Earth 3:47
10. Nun Fucking Black Metal 1:12

Band members
Derek Carley – vocals, bass
Richard Barraclough – guitar
David Buchan – drums

Album Review – Inconcessus Lux Lucis / Crux Lupus Corona EP (2014)

This very talented band from the UK is offering us what they call “Saturnian Black Magic”. Are you going to accept the darkness inside you, eager for this type of music?

Rating5

IVR037_INCONCESSUS_LUX_LUCIS_Crux_Lupus_Corona_front_cover_1500pxSome people will call it Occult Black Metal, others will prefer referring to it as Blackened Heavy Metal, but according to British band Inconcessus Lux Lucis themselves, the music they play is a mix of Black Metal with the aggressiveness of 80’s Heavy Metal and the grooves of 70’s Hard Rock, resulting in what the band beautifully named as “Saturnian Black Magic”. Thus, if you’re curious to actually know what Saturnian Black Magic sounds like, you must take a shot at the new EP by this Manchester-based band, entitled Crux Lupus Corona.

After releasing their debut album Disintegration: Psalms Of Veneration For The Nefarious Elite earlier this year, Inconcessus Lux Lucis (which I’m almost sure means something like “forbidden light”) is releasing this new EP inspired by the constellations Crux, Lupus and Corona (the Cross, the Wolf and the Crown, as per the 88 Modern Constellations) and all their occult significances. If that’s not weird or complex enough for you, well, just listen to their music and you will fulfill your inner desire for all things mystical.

Crux Lupus Corona kicks off with a 2-minute intro called Via Dolorosa, which already inspires the listener for more of the band’s modern music with a 70’s vibe, followed then by the first “constellation”, Crux, with its mesmerizing riffs, harsh vocals and very rhythmic drumming highly influenced by old school Heavy and Thrash Metal. It’s an amazing track, enhanced by its excellent eerie lyrics (“Now slowly undress / Sweet seed of life which you possess / And softly caress / The fruit from which I ate / A sword spins counter-deosil / Its hilt marked 358”).

Inconcessus Lux Lucis band picThe second “constellation”, Lupus, sounds like the dark side of Hard Rock clashing with demonic Black Metal, alternating slower and somber passages with faster 70’s Rock N’ Roll. Not only that, the excellent guitar solo at the end actually makes the whole song even more solid. And last but not least, we have Corona: the third “constellation” is a more melancholic tune with some outstanding instrumental, with its lyrics (“O hollow temptress, I call to thee – Fuck me! / Come, join the slow dance, with maggots, shit and entropy!”) making it easy to understand what the band wants to say with “Black Magic”, just like if they were a distant cousin of Black Sabbath with an even more bizarre attitude.

The freakish album art, created by English artist Bethany White, follows the same distinctive pattern established by the band’s music, complementing the EP in a very cohesive and interesting way. You can listen to the entire Crux Lupus Corona HERE, purchase the unique music by this very talented band from the UK, and accept the darkness inside you, eager for more devilish music.

Best moments of the album: Crux is my favorite song of the EP, although all others are pretty interesting and consistent as well.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2014 I, Voidhanger Records

Track listing
1. Via Dolorosa 2:09
2. Crux 5:05
3. Lupus 5:06
4. Corona 4:55

Band members
Malphas – guitars, drums, vocals
Baal – bass