Spreading the Disease

Indefensible Positions: Steel Druhm Defends Stomp 442

Indefensible Positions: Steel Druhm Defends Stomp 442

Every once in a while the metal scene collectively pisses on a band or record and someone needs to step up and defend why they like it. I normally don’t spend a lot of time defending shitty records, but sometimes genuinely interesting or good records get lampooned by an overly conservative heavy metal scene and that calls for a professional contrarian to defend it! If ever there was a professional contrarian, it would be me. So here I am to re-hash a record from my past that I still love that everyone else seems to have soured on (or never liked in the first place). This time it’s Stomp 442 by Anthrax.

Mortillery – Origin of Extinction Review

Mortillery – Origin of Extinction Review

“In the sea of mediocre re-thrash that was 2012, the unheralded debut by Canadian upstarts Mortillery was one of the few life rafts of quality. Murder, Death, Kill was tongue-in-cheek fun and had all the flavor of the second wave of ’80s thrash while incorporating just enough traditional metal and punk elements to keep things interesting. You could feel the youthful exuberance and hunger in the band’s music and they greatly benefited from the exception vocals of Cara McCutchen and the axe slinging acumen of Alex Scott and Alex Guitierrez.” Steel Druhm happily trotted out the skull tank of rethrash for 2012s Mortillery debut, and now they’re back with a follow-up! Will that tank start up again after sitting all year?

Anthrax – Worship Music Review

Anthrax – Worship Music Review

Wow, the Thrax is finally back! After endless bullshit, drama and ridiculous delays, the revolving door of vocalists that saw John Bush and Joey Belladonna coming, going and coming again is over (for now). In the peculiar saga that saw John Bush depart so Anthrax could record an entire album with unsung voice Dan Nelson, only to scrap it for planned re-dubs with Bush and then later with original singer Joey Belladonna, we finally get the refinished product. Confused? Yeah, me too. So after an eight year wait, is Worship Music worth the metallic soap opera and histrionics fans had to endure? Well, the hype circus is already in full swing, with the band themselves saying its their best material and some early reviews comparing the quality favorably to genre classics like “Heaven and Hell” and “Stargazer.” Well, allow me to take a step back and simply say, NOT! It’s good and definitely interesting, but Steel Druhm shall not be among the throngs of metal press that hail this as some crowning triumph or the best work of their long career. While it isn’t in the same league as their classics, it’s enjoyable and finds them trying new things without completely ditching the classic Thrax sound. Despite a few excellent songs, Worship Music isn’t the release of the year that many (myself included), hoped it would be.

Stormzone – Death Dealer Review

Stormzone – Death Dealer Review

Neal Kay, for those who don’t know, is widely credited with discovering and championing Iron Maiden way back in the day. Well, if that wasn’t service enough to the metal world, now he has helped bring us Northern Ireland’s classic metal masters Stormzone and their new album Death Dealer. This is no small accomplishment because, quite simply, this album is an absolute masterpiece of classic metal and full to the brim with top quality metal anthems. Stormzone is a band deeply entrenched in the early NWOBHM style and composed of musicians like vocalist John “Harv” Harbinson, with ties to bands of that era (Sweet Savage, Fastway). All the trappings of the British metal invasion are here and fans of that sound and seminal masters like of Saxon and Grim Reaper will immediately hear it in the sound and attitude exhibited on Death Dealer.