Sunday, November 30, 2014

CD Review: Hot New Releases From Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records finishes up November with some exciting new releases, including the first ever complete retrospective of King Diamond. Also coming out at the end of the month was the latest albums from the prog-metal band Primordial, German hardcore masters Cripper and heavy metal keyboardist Thomas Giles.

The new King Diamond set is entitled "Dreams Of Horror" and it divides the two-disc set between his Roadrunner Records and Metal Blade Records releases. The first disc features his early recordings, beginning with the haunting sounds of "The Candle" and "The Family Ghost." His band in the early days, which consisted of Mikkey Dee (Motorhead) on drums and Andy LaRocque on guitar laid the perfect backdrop for King Diamond's high vocal range. Songs like the eight-minute "Black Horsemen" and the nine-minute adventure of "At The Gates" is where the band would strive as you felt trapped inside a horror story with an amazing soundtrack. After five years between albums (1990-1995) King Diamond released his sixth album "The Spider's Lullabye" through his new record label, Metal Blade. The second disc begins with "Dreams" which shows a harder edge to King Diamond's mystical metal sound, while "Waiting" is a straight-up metal rocker. The title-track of his 1998 concept album "Voodoo" shows King Diamond more involved in the album's story, than the song's impact. He returns to the dark creepy metal of "Spirits" as he sounded rejuvenated with "The Puppet Master." The double disk set closes with "Never Ending Hill" and "Shapes Of Black" from his last studio album, 2007's "Give Me Your Soul...Please." This set should serve as a reminder of how good of a performer, singer, songwriter and metal legend King Diamond was. To find out more about this new release, please visit

European metal is alive and well according to the latest releases from Primordial and Cripper. Both bands are building upon past career topping albums as Primordial look to push their sound to a more heavier, live feel.  Their new album "Where Greater Men Have Fallen" are eight songs that are great epic numbers, beginning with the eight-minute title-song. The shortest song "The Seeds Of Tyrants" clocks in at five-and-a-half minutes and comes at you at blistering speed that just looks to overpower you, while the nine-minute "Born To Night" takes its time building with intensity and strength. To find out more about the new album from Primordial, please visit Now, Cripper has been finding new fans everywhere they have been heard since their debut in 2007. Their latest release "Hyena" is a power blast of guitar riffs, energetic drum fills and growling vocals. The new eleven-song release is German hardcore metal at its best. The youthful grasp of "Tourniquet" and "7 inch" shows a band looking to conquer the European metal market, then the world. The hardcore sound of "The Origin" and adrenaline-fueled drumming and electrifying solo of "Patterns In The Sky" make Cripper stand-out amongst other hardcore metal bands. To find out more about their latest release "Hyena," please visit their Facebook page at

To change gears, we get the latest solo release from Between The Buried And Me's keyboardist and vocalist Tommy Giles Rogers entitled "Modern Noise." This follows his Metal Blade Records 2011 debut "Pulse" and establishes Rogers as one of the great young talents of progressive rock music. The new twelve-song release ventures further away from the long, extended jams and features a more concise and direct approach to his music as shown in "Mutilated World and "Siphon The Bad Blood." He begins to jam a little on "I Appear Disappear" and experiments with the rhythm of "We Wander Lonely," before returning to the straight up hard rock of "M3." He displays his keyboard skills in the quietness of "Noise Upon," before closing with the electronic rock of "Modern Noise." To find out more about Tommy Giles Rogers and his latest release, please visit his Facebook page at

No comments: