Blog Archives

Roundtable Review: Lancer – Second Storm

Lancer-CoverArt-DimitarNikolov.psdLabel: Despotz Records

Release Date:  April 10th, 2015

Songs:  9

Length: 51 minutes

Genre:  Power/Speed metal

Studio Albums: Purple Sky EP 2012, Lancer 2013

Location:  Arvika, Sweden

Recommended for fans of: Iron Maiden, Avantasia, Helloween, Edguy

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Sonic Cathedral’s female-fronted roundup for January

SC logoOne of our innovations for 2015 is an alliance with Sonic Cathedral, the website that specialises in reviews of albums by female-fronted bands. Collectively, the Sonic Cathedral team is probably the best team of experts in the world on the types of female-fronted music we at Metal State don’t cover too often, notably symphonic metal and Gothic metal. SC covers a lot more ground than that, however, featuring FF albums in various genres of rock and harder metal as well.

We’ll be presenting a highlights roundup of the Sonic Cathedral reviews every month. Our coverage will include the album details, an intro from SC, and a link to the full (and often extremely comprehensive) review on SC’s website.

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Album Review: Lord Dying – Poisoned Altars

poisonedaltars_1500Album:  Poisoned Altars

Release Date:  27 Jan 2015 (US); 23 & 26 Jan 2015 EU and World

Label:  Relapse

Songs:  8

Length:  37 Minutes

Genre:  Sludge / Doom / Metal!

Sounds Like:  Crowbar / Mastodon / High On Fire / Red Fang / Black Tusk

Location:  Portland, OR USA Read the rest of this entry

Roundtable Review: Kobra and the Lotus – High Priestess

katl_HighPriestessCoverLabel:  Titan

Release Date:  24 Jun 2014

Songs:   10

Length:  45 Minutes

Genre:  Just Heavy Metal

Studio Albums:   This is their 3rd studio album

Location:  Canada Read the rest of this entry

Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 2002 / #15 – #13

MetalCatAnother week, another metal year. This time machine is fun. I’ll have to buy one. At the end of my year-by-year hit parades I have to give this one back to Hertz Era Hire.

My 2002 kicks off with folk black, heavy and melodic power metal.


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Roundtable Album Review: Johnny Touch – Inner City Wolves

Johnny_Touch_coverLabel: Shadow Kingdom Records

Release Date: 19 August, 2014

Songs: 8

Length: 38 minutes

Genre: Heavy Metal

Studio Albums: This is their debut album

Location: Australia


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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1995 / #6 and #5

MetalCatDark Metal Cat says I should post only the intro to my hit parade stuff on the home page and put the songs on a turn-page so that (a) I don’t use up the first three screens of the home page and (b) he can be on the home page.

I had 1995’s #10 and #9 yesterday. I am not skipping #8 and #7. I did them last week by mistake because of solar flares and asteroid belts and the Oort Cloud and such phenomena.

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Mammal’s 21-Year Hit Parade: 1994 / #2 and #1

It’s 1995 this week. The only reason it starts with the end of 1994 is that I cunningly posted part of 1995 instead of 1994 one day last week. How that happened can only be explained as one of the paradoxes of time travel.

1994, #2: The 3rd And The Mortal – Death Hymn

Album: Tears Laid In Earth
Country: Norway
Genre: Atmospheric Doom Metal


1994, #1: Megadeth – À Tout Le Monde

Album: Youthanasia
Country: USA
Genre: Heavy/Thrash Metal


Mammal’s Merry Memories: Ozzy Osbourne – Thunder Underground (1995)

Since Ozzy needs no introduction, here’s a quick anecdote instead. A journalist friend who reviewed lighter music gave me her review copy of Ozzmosis in 1995 because it was way too heavy for her taste. A few days later some old buddies came to visit and one of them happened to ask, “Do you think Ozzy’s still got it, or is he a has-been?” I played this song. My mate withdrew his question.


Album Review: Under Siege by Castle

Stitched PanoramaThirty minutes.  That’s all it took for Castle to come in, make their siege, and completely conquer anything else I had planned on listening to for the past week.  In thirty minutes, Castle delivers one of the most concise, beefy, and enjoyable records I have heard this year.  And due to its quick run time and incredibly catchy songs it makes for a record that I just want to listen to over and over again.  The clichèd saying ‘all killer; no filler’ rings incredibly true here.

Following up 2012’s outstanding Blacklands (which landed on my list of favorite albums of 2012), Castle have taken their doom metal laden hard rock style to the grinding wheel and polished out one hell of a diamond.  Infusing a bit more of a traditional heavy metal feel with their groovy and slightly quirky riffs and an even better sounding vocal performance by Liz Blackwell each track on this record is so well done any of them could easily work as a lead single.

Castle (1 of 1)Throughout the record you will hear some heavy influence to classic metal bands like Black Sabbath, Manilla Road, Candlemass, and Iron Maiden, yet through some great songwriting and top-notch production nothing feels verbatim nor just another retro band that can’t stop worshiping the bands of days yore.  Songs like the opener ‘Distant Attack’ deliver a direct assault of galloped riffing and barrages of solos as the unique and sultry voice of Ms. Blackwell is constantly delivering catchy vocal hook over catchy vocal hook.  And then you have tracks like ‘Pyramid Lake’ and ‘Powersigns’ where mood and direction is always in flux while never meandering away from their intended purpose of rocking your fucking socks off.

I really have to commend the massive step in lyric writing on this offering.  While not incredibly poetic, each track excels in the story-telling department.  The words really add a nice punch to the music as they work in tandem to create some detailed and moody settings.  This especially rings true on what is easily my favorite track on the album, ‘Labyrinth of Death’.  Here the strut of the rhythm section, the winding of the guitars, and the lyrics about, well… a labyrinth of death, really work to suck you into an inevitable bout with the Minotaur.  And it all comes to a culmination as the mood takes a darker turn as the chase nears its end.

I can not speak highly enough of this record nor stop listening to it.  Concise, catchy, outstanding performances, incredible songwriting, and overall a damn good feel; what else more could one ask for.  Go grab this album now, you can thank me later. 5/5

You can stream Under Siege here courtesy of Terrorizer.

Under Siege releases May 16th, 2014 through Vàn Records in the EU and May 19th through Prosthetic Records in the USA.