Speed Metal

Wraith – Undo the Chains Review

Wraith – Undo the Chains Review

Sometimes reviewers live with regrets. “Was I too hard on Wraith?” wondered reviewing machine Charcodadentron or whatever his fucking name is. “Do they still say mean things about me at band practice?” Fortunately, he’s had another shot to Undo the Chains of his self-doubt. Yeah, you know you want to read it.

Hellsword – Cold Is the Grave Review

Hellsword – Cold Is the Grave Review

“Like most blackened speed metal bands, Hellsword channels classic acts like Venom and early Bathory to form the base of their sound, but they also take a few steps into thrash territory, occasionally sounding a bit like debut-era Slayer. Hellsword are just now delivering their debut full-length despite forming way back in 2009, and this extended time together shows in their songwriting maturity.” Blades and Beelzebub.

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree Review

Black Mass – Feast at the Forbidden Tree Review

“Is it just me, or is Redefining Darkness Records on somewhat of a tear lately? We’ve covered thirteen of the label’s releases since late 2018, and all thirteen have received a score of 3.0 or better. I’ve handled three of those reviews in 2021, and I’ve found them to be good, very good, and fucking awesome. So when the promo for Redefining Darkness act Black Mass came along with its epically sinuous artwork, I threw my head back, cursed the sky, and feasted upon its forbidden fruit.” Rise of the Tree Eaters.

Nightshadow – Strike Them Dead Review

Nightshadow – Strike Them Dead Review

“Sometimes a band comes along that seems to have rummaged through your brain to find all the stuff you love and then cobbled together an album designed to appeal to you specifically. Nightshadow are currently under suspicious for such a mind ransacking as I spin their full-length debut Strike Them Dead. With a sound steeped in 80s speed and trve metal then coated in a thick layer of technical, neo-classical polish, Nightshadow leave no wank unwanked in their effort to bring high-octane metal to the filthy masses. If I had to describe them concisely, it would be as it would be as a sped up, really pissed off Witherfall.” Wank til struck dead.

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

Bunker 66 – Beyond the Help of Prayers Review

“There’s something so alluring about the melding of two genres like black and speed metal. When executed correctly, these seemingly disparate styles join forces to create a noxious stew altogether stronger than the sum of their individual parts; powerful, bombastic and able to dissolve your stomach lining. Bands like Blackevil, Bewitcher, Hellripper and a cornucopia of their spike-and-denim clad contemporaries prove what transpires when icy BM and the meat-and-potatoes chug of 80s speed form their unholy union. Bunker 66 are no strangers to this format, and are eager to continue the sacrilegious scourge with their new album Beyond the Help of Prayers.” Bunker busters.

Insane – Victims Review

Insane – Victims Review

“My door is always open for 80s-inspired speed metal. You see, all you younger folks merely adopted the speed. I was there when it first broke through the ground and started hunting for scalps. I was raised by it, molded by it. I owe it a debt. And so I grabbed the promo for Insane‘s sophomore outing based on a sample I heard that sounded like the ugly stepbrother to classic Canadian speedsters Razor. I expected knuckle-dragging, saliva spraying acts of rapid-fire depravity on Victims. In this I was not disappointed, though the method of delivery had some surprises in store for me.” Wictims ov changes.

Lucifuge – Infernal Power Review

Lucifuge – Infernal Power Review

“When I reviewed Lucifuge‘s last effort, The One Great Curse, it was a different age. OK, it was February 2020 but it feels like it was a different age. I remember sitting in riverside bar – indoors, no less – sipping a craft beer, while tapping out my thoughts on what was the third full-length in as many years from this Germany-based four piece. Well, one year (and a global pandemic) on, and Lucifuge is back with fourth offering, Infernal Power.” All the power, 100% less Danzig.

Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom Review

Bewitcher – Cursed Be Thy Kingdom Review

“I’ve given out a 4.0 or twenty-one in my time, but this is the first time that one of 4.0ldeneye‘s highly 4.0nored 4.0nies returns 4.0me for yet another s4.0t at glory. Just under two years ago, Portland, Oregon’s Bewitcher released Under the Witching Cross, their sinister sophomore platter of blackened speed metal tunes, and I still haven’t been able to locate my socks after the resulting off-blowing. That record was oozing with attitude, and every track was a killer. I was stoked to hear that the band had been picked up by Century Media for follow-up effort Cursed Be Thy Kingdom.” Cursed by great expectations.

Agent Steel – No Other Godz Before Me Review

Agent Steel – No Other Godz Before Me Review

“Ah, the never ending Agent Steel saga sprouts a new, fantastical chapter. As a youthful metal maniac when Agent Steel‘s 1985 debut, Skeptics Apocalypse entered orbit, I was blown away by their Judas Priest on Super Soldier formula sound and the stratospheric, air raid vocals of the enigmatic Jon Cyriis. To this day I still hold that album and 1987 follow up Unstoppable Force close to my heart, mostly due to the over the over-the-top vocal performance of Mr. Cyriis. After Unstoppable Force, the band hit the skids, with the mercurial Cyriis leaving, returning, leaving, being adducted by aliens, and other sorts of drama and Machiavellian conspiracies unfolding.” Gross encounters of the worst kind.

Witchseeker – Scene of the Wild Review

Witchseeker – Scene of the Wild Review

“Wild and rowdy speed metal from Singapore with a penchant for earwormy hooks? Don’t threaten me with a good time! And Witchseeker is all about letting the good times roll on sophomore platter Scene of the Wild (ESL Slip o’ the Month). Taking heavy inspiration from early 80s speed acts Like Oz and Raven and newer bands like High Spirits and especially Enforcer, Witchseeker aim for that sweet spot between manic speed and rocking party anthems that stick on first exposure.” Wild boys.