SPV / Steamhammer

  • Sodom - 1982 (2023)


    Breathing new life to older classics from the band, Sodom is ready to unleash on CD and vinyl, re-recorded versions of earlier songs and a brand new one on that style. However, they are not done in a modern and clean way, but rather have a retro vibe with crunchy guitars and the attitude of back in the day, creating a very pummeling and yet old-school vibe. Strictly for fans of the band and 80’s Thrash Metal, this EP is full of nostalgia.

  • The Unity - Rise (2018)


    Unleashing over 55 minutes of superbly catchy hard rocking music, today we have Germany’s The Unity and their sophomore release “Rise”. Featuring members of Gamma Ray and Love.Might.Kill, this release delivers a very interesting mixture of traditional Hard Rock with Power Metal elements, allowing for the band to delivering brilliant technically proficient passages, while maintaining a lively mood and a high level of catchiness. If you like bands like Stratovarius, Warlock, Helloween, etc., but also like something more easy to digest and to sing along, then definitely check out this release.

    After a dramatic atmospheric opener, “Last Betrayal” instantly cranks up the intensity and the catchiness up to 11. This track kicks off with dramatic vocals by Jan Manenti and a very hectic pace. The chorus sections are just brilliant, allowing this track to be stuck in your head for a while after the first listen. The first standout track is the intoxicating “You Got Me Wrong”, which is definitely one of the most engaging and memorable songs we have heard in quite a while.

  • Sodom – Decision Day (2016)


    Arriving from Germany, today we have the legendary Sodom and their latest Thrash-tastic master piece “Decision Day”. Showing no signs of slowing down and with a thirst for blood, the band delivers 11 relentless tracks that will blow you away from start to finish. If you like old-school Thrash Metal and don’t mind a clean and crisp modern sounding production, this release will blow your socks off.

    Opening with the pummeling “In Retribution”, Tom Angelripper and company fire on all cylinders delivering vicious riffs and tight drums crafting a very sinister mood. The band quickly sets an insane level of intensity as they pummel through pieces like “Rolling Thunder”, “Decision Day” and “Caligula” and its cool chorus sections. Picture the cleanliness of Accept’s sound paired with the Thrash grittiness of bands like Destruction and Death Angel, this is exactly what this release sounds like.

  • Lacrimas Profundere – Hope is Here (2016)


    Slowly evolving into their current highly melancholic form, today we have Lacrimas Profundere and their 11th full-length release “Hope is Here”. As one of the marquee names of the Gothic Metal/Rock genre, this German band continues to improve with each release. The band does a great job in crafting twelve very bleak and gloomy pieces which are some of the most inspired songs the band has released in several years.

    Opening with the mellow “The Worship of counting down”, the band is charismatically led by Rob Vitacca’s signature vocals and Oliver Nikolas Schmid’s guitar leads. This album instantly feels very dark and cold, drawing comparisons to the latest releases of bands ranging from Katatonia to To/Die/For. Keeping things interesting, the band always mixes up gloomy passages with hard rocking sections, allowing for tracks like “Hope is Here” and “Aramis” to keep things fresh and interesting.

  • Darkhaus – My Only Shelter (2013)


    With tons of unusual (read: non-Metal) stuff making it to our Infernal Masquerade review queue lists, we bumped into Darkhaus and their uber catchy debut release “My Only Shelter”. Playing a very mellow and yet well-constructed Synth-Rock/Pop with some Gothic Rock/Electro influences we were quite shocked to learn that PRO-PAIN members: Gary Meskil and Marshall Stephens are even part of such a different band. Letting the band members credentials aside, this is one very interesting release that covers a wide variety of sounds and will have you fully enjoying it in a matter of minutes.

    Opening on a very high note with “Life Worth Living”, we get a very well structured track that is designed to be catchy and never leave your head… for a few days. Vocalist Kenny Hanlon has a very distinctive style and a perfect signature for the band to be recognized in the future. The music varies from Synth-Rock/Pop structures to Gothic Rock and some Dark Wave / Electro elements thrown into the mix. Tracks like “Ghost” a very good example of said mixture of elements.

  • Tides From Nebula – Eternal Movement (2013)


    Ever since catchy Tides From Nebula at the WGT in 2011 we have been amazed by their cinematic Post-Rock/Instrumental Rock music. In “Eternal Movement”, the band’s third album, they keep delivering lush atmospheric and emotional songs that transport the listener to beautifully crafted soundscapes fit for the soundtrack of an indie mute film. Greatly maturing since “Aura” and “Earthshine”, this is one release that elevates the band’s sound to new heights.

    Opening with the emotive “Laughter of Gods”, the band’s lush layered guitars and atmospheric elements greatly set the tone for an excellent journey. Filled with amazing tempo and mood changes, tracks like “Only With Presence” and “Satori” elevate the listener’s spirit with a wide palette of aurally pleasing sounds. The band’s strength lies in being able to build up from dark and moody passages into full-on smile inducing happier moments, a perfect example of this is the rich “Emptiness of Yours and Me”.

  • Sodom – Epitome of Torture (2013)


    Constantly releasing relentless albums since 1981, Sodom returns today with another fine example of in-your-face German Thrash Metal with “Epitome of Torture”. Contrary to normal patterns, this German outfit keeps getting more punishing with age and on this release they deliver an intense 40 minutes of crushing music. Keeping things simple and direct, Tom Angelripper and company are at the top of their game and they make a very clear statement with “Epitome of Torture”.

    Breaking in new drummer Makka in the opener “My Final Bullet”, the band shows the same ferocity and intensity they have since the 80’s. This track is quite direct and at some points (on the song and album) Tom even sounds a bit like Tom Araya from Slayer. For all familiar with the band’s sound over the years, tracks like “S.O.D.O.M” and “Epitome of Torture” are the perfect example of the high-octane Germany Thrash Metal that the band has been perfecting with each release.

  • Kamelot – Silverthorn (2012)


    Bouncing back from losing their signature vocalist Roy Khan, today we have Kamelot and their tenth full-length release “Silverthorn”. In this album, the band shakes off the loss with twelve epic tracks of very Symphonic Progressive Power Metal fronted by their new vocalist Tommy Karevik and a wide varied of guest vocalists (female) as well as some killer choir arrangements. The band’s sound seems bit more dark and gothic in this release, but the change of vocalist has really been minimized by Karevik’s excellent singing abilities and the band’s music writing skills.

    With keyboards and orchestrations in charge of Oliver Palotai, the band opens with a the very symphonic “Manus Dei”. In this intro track, the band indeed sounds more like Epica or Therion than Kamelot. Thomas Youngblood’s riffing is finally felt on the opening of “Sacrimony (Angel of Afterlife)”, a track that actually sounds a bit like Within Temptation in their “Mother Earth” era. This changes once Karevik’s vocals come into play, but interestingly enough the band goes into some choir sections very quick, leaving his vocal appearances in this track to be less than the choir parts.

  • Lita Ford – Living Like a Runaway (2012)


    Delivering the first ‘Lita Ford’ album, as she has claimed, since her return back in 2008, “Living Like a Runaway” is an excellent musical journey to the past of Heavy Metal / Rock. Featuring ten super catchy and well-crafted songs, this release is probably one the few albums that we can say has no filler tracks and only features high-quality music.

    Taking a very ‘back to the basics’ approach, the opener “Branded” delivers high-octane guitar riffing and catchy vocal lines. The structure of the music is very basic, and this makes it work even better by having that nice old-school vibe that traditional Heavy Metal fans like in their music. The guitar work is top notch and nicely enhances the overall sound with some subtle solos. In a more Glam-like approach, “Hate” has a super catchy chorus section that will have you humming it in your head for the rest of the week.

  • Frames – In Via (2012)


    Delivering their highly anticipated second full-length release “In Via”, today we have Frames and their cinematic brand of instrumental Post/Art Rock. If you like nice and relaxing musical trips, this album will surely be of your interest. With a striking similarity to bands like Poland’s Lebowski and God is an Astronaut, Frames is set to captivate audiences with their excellent musical abilities and melancholic songwriting style.

    Opening with the mysterious intro “Entrance”, the band fully explodes into full ‘out of this world’ mode with “Departure”. The trippy guitars and powerful bass guitar line help make this song very ethereal and transport the listener to a different place. With “Encounter” the atmosphere sets a very nice mellow mood, and the occasional beats make things more interesting. The power of the guitars is nicely used to fully develop atmospheric passages in a very brilliant manner.


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