USA

Iced Earth – Festivals of the Wicked

Now after watching this thing twice I’ll bet anyone who would argue that Matt Barlow is not the one and only true vocalist for this band. His performance on the Metal Camp festival show is flawless. Such emotion and passion in his delivery, it will have you punching your fist in the air. Highlights are “Declaration Day” and “Dracula”. He hits the highs effortlessly and really knows how to command the stage. The band sounds as tight as hell and really proves that they are the premier power metal band in North America bar none.

The Body’s in The Shop. Parts and Labour: $10

Tomorrow nite, Rhode Island sludge/doom duo The Body are playing, fresh from their appearance at Montreal’s Mountains of Might fest. The gig was supposed to be at The Garage (The Body’s in The Garage!) but being weary of Sunday nite noise complaints, they switched venues. Thing is, The Shop was already booked, so this one’s an early start. Doors at 5 pm, and the gig’s done by 9, unless you wanna stick around for whoever’s scheduled to go on afterwards…

Invasion – Orchestrated Kill Maneuver

I’m not familiar with Invasion but I want to be! This album is pulverizing right out of the gate. Sonically, it’s intense and to a degree, even a little painful! Intercut with news reports from WWII, Orchestrated Kill Maneuver is brutal and unrelenting.

Dawnbringer – Nucleus

I feel this band always had this kind of album in them and now have fully realized their potential in Nucleus: a glorious heavy metal album that should put a shit-eating grin on every metal head’s face.

Zoroaster – Matador

While this is a pretty decent record in its own right, I’m somewhat saddened that Zoroaster has moved away from its own unique take on
southern sludge towards a sound that can be filed next to Farflung, The Atlas Moth, and countless other bands.

Riotgod – Riotgod

Much like what the duo of Bob Pantella and Jim Baglino brought to Monster Magnet’s latest record Mastermind, the groove on this album is killer. You’ll find yourself nodding along, grooving in your seat when you didn’t even realize you were paying attention.

Sweet Cobra – Mercy

Mercy is a brave step forward for Sweet Cobra; it’s the sound of a band evolving from the damn-and-blast hardcore of its origins, and progressing into something more powerful in the dynamism that this newfound maturity brings with it. An incredible album.

Kamelot – Poetry for the Poisoned

It’s a real testament to the song-writing ability and musicianship of a band when they can have superstar guests on their album but don’t really need them. Poetry for the Poisoned features such notables as Bjorn ‘Speed’ Strid (Soilwork), Simone Simons (Epica), Jon Oliva (Jon Oliva’s Pain, Savatage, Trans Siberian Orchestra) and hotshot guitar player Gus G. (Firewind, Ozzy) but all of the songs would have done just as well without the famous help.