An Inbox Overflowing With Metal #4


“metal runneth through my fingers” painting by Elizabeth Polfus


Quite the classical picture to start off this instalment. I hope you aren’t expecting my prose to follow the same parameters, as it most certainly won’t (beware all who enter here the garden of horrid grammar is overgrown, runs wild and hasn’t been tended to in eons). With that omission out of the way let me start with a rant that’s been a long time coming. For those of you that don’t know me, a short introduction. I’m a metal head and a lover of all that is grim, jaded and deliciously crimson soaked. And wait for it. I have children. Who to my knowledge are sane, saner than yours truly but there’s no great reveal.

My youngest is perilously close to nine months, crawling, talking back to me and offering me the bird in answer to my request that she add more green vegetables to her diet. A huge part of raising a child is sacrifice, obviously, schedules be damned, free time transpires into something more treasured than a vacation. Because of this fact my scribbling output has been drastically reduced. But it’s all worth it, she’s a miracle, every day brings new exciting experiences, new sounds and truly gives meaning to an otherwise dull and pathetic existence. But enough about me, let’s get this rant up and out of the starting blocks (did I hear someone utter ‘is was a review piece? Or a stream of consciousness diatribe?). One of the most important elements in raising a child is finding distraction for them, if just to keep your own sanity, at times duties are akin to watching over a drunken homeless dwarf with no sense of hygiene. Seriously it’s as if infants have no regard for their own life. Oh, look stairs. I can’t walk but I bet I can traverse the intricacies of getting to the bottom step, let’s give it a go!

I seem to have become distracted, nothing new. One of the distractions I employ is the Disney channel and a show entitled Little Einsteins. Honestly it isn’t half bad, its educational and introduces viewers (young and old – me!) to the arts through classical music and paintings (one episode boasted an Andy Warhol print). The introductory theme song isn’t horrid, my lil un loves it so much it will tear her from a crying stupor to a state of bliss almost instantly. All’s well and good, but then someone decided to remix it, surprisly it wasn’t Jay Z, and extend it to ten (count them) freakin’ hours in length!

For your listening pleasure.

A part of me can understand, at a stretch, the need for this, but ten hours. WTF! After the first hour I’m humming along, after the second I’m singing along, after the third I’m dialing through a cavalcade of character voices, grunts and howls to amuse myself. At the four-hour mark, I’m pulling my hair out in between pummeling the nearest hard surface with my face. Suffice it to say I haven’t made it to hour number five yet. I’m deliberating on putting a call in to the FBI and CIA. Let them fight amongst themselves in order to utilize this as a form of punishment, one that far exceeds waterboarding, an afternoon at Aunty-uses-Facebook and-hates-everyone’s-house and a Keeping up with the Kardasians marathon complete with the unedited playboy shoot featuring Katylin Jenner.

Well that’s about it. I’m spent until next time. Onwards to new and exciting tunage.

First Up;

The cover really gives nothing away as to the style found within


Henry Metal – So It Hath Begun (USA)

Against PR

Release – May/31/2017


A teaser of what’s in store

Henry who-? Yes, the first thing to pop out is the band’s name a play on words as too, is the album title. One might detect a tongue in cheek element and they’d be spot on. So It Hath Begun drips with sarcasm. But wait for it, it also thankfully oozes with surprising talent.

The opening track is a wonderful introduction to the bands style. Part homage, part satirical You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet bounces at a delightful pace far from the thrash, speed, death or even black spectrum. Part of me wonders why I like this as much as I do and so early on. Truthfully, this is hard to dislike, the riffs are crisp, the melodies exciting and the vocals are impressive, powerful and clean, running the gamut of numerous styles honed by celebrated icons of the scene who are instantly recognizable, sporting lyrics that will incite a smirk on even the straightest of face. An early example of this stands out. I’ll smash your kitchenette with my bayonet (wait what?)

It shouldn’t take very long for a listener to come to a stark realization, this is an album not to be taken too seriously. Much like works by Tenacious D, GWAR and also in theory, rather than style, SOD and Lawnmover Deth (that’s going back a few years, unfortunately an act who garnered only a niche audience) it has a purpose, it makes you perk up, take note, muse on a plethora of acts whom Henry Metal is tipping their hat towards – so many to list – and most importantly it makes you smile. Admittedly the album is ridiculous at times, but wholly enjoyable from start to finish. Tracks like Butthead Maven will have you chortling while Henrys Saga might have you shaking your head pondering on some of the daftest lyrics set to music as you strain to keep your appendages from thumping in time.

Fans of, an underrated British band, Wolfsbane (Blaze Bailey at his peak before Iron Maiden) will devour God You’re So Hot. Fluid melodies and an electric fuzz nature also take me back to Dokken (Nightmare on Elm Street 3 – Dream Warrior, anyone?) and my many unsuccessful attempts at growing out my hair. Henry Metal have nailed the whole “hard rock” but not quite metal thing (seriously, donned in headbands, spandex and eyeliner this can still be considered hard rock?) with this track.

Other notable tracks cover such subjects as motorists that suck, Terrible Driver, an Irish man spitting his disdain for his boss under his breath, Workin’ For the Man and the perils of being held hostage in a controlling relationship, The Boss of Me.

Overall the album enchantments as it effortlessly weaves numerous styles spanning several decades across a handful of notable genres.

Difficult to categorize, even harder to explain Henry Metal are so utterly likable on account of the familiarity they preach, musical excellence they perform and hilarity they pitch at your unsuspecting senses.

Do not miss out on this talent!!!

*Shit, even the wife admits to liking this!



Next Up;

As always use this as merely a teaser, please toss the talented some green in support that they might continue

Running Death – Dressage (Germany)

Global PR – MetalMessage

Release – May/26/2017

Punishment 18 Records

A Carnival of strangeness and Riffs await under the Big Top.


Time for some traditional thrash folks, for it’s been a while since I’ve dipped my toes into more melodic waters.

Very early on it’s clear that Running Death do not fuck around. The riffs in Courageous Minds (the opening track) are plentiful, fluid and as catchy as influenza in an overpriced daycare (if you have infants at home you might appreciate this, but not the long sleepless nights and sniffles associated with).

Simon Bihlmayer pulls vocal and lead guitar duties. His accent lends a rasp to the style, at times slightly reminiscent of Lemmy (RIP) otherwise decipherable fitting the music perfectly.

Delusive Silence blasts like a rabid horse out of its starting blocks dislodging its jockey across the track swiftly with its faster than a locomotive tendency (enough allegories for you yet?). A comparison to vintage Annihilator early on is justified as this is a style also shot through with humor, one must look no further than Numbers for an example albeit one with a splash of punk. Several guitar passages throughout Dressage lean more towards heavy metal than the traditional speed associated with thrash but this aspect only adds a certain depth in my opinion and bodes well for the creativity and talent pool of the band. As it is Running Death operate as a three piece very efficiently delivering tracks of a length sufficient enough you can sink your senses into and more explosive content than a handful of other acts with substantially more members and a longer history. Dressage is only Running Death’s second full length, in thirteen years, but it oozes with the experience of an act with many more an album under their belt.

An instant standout is Anthems of Madness, a stunning instrumental that points to Annihilator influence found somewhere between Neverland and Alice in Hell.

Overall Dressage is an excellent introduction to a tight three-piece blazing talent with a bright future in their sights.



Next Up…

Damn cool cover!

Dead Ranch – Brumation (Canada)

As always use this as merely a teaser, please toss the talented some green in support that they might continue

Release – April/4/2017 (digital) June/9/2017 (tape)


Hailing from Nowheres-ville Winnipeg, Manitoba Dead Ranch bring a concoction to the table that is somewhat tricky to pigeonhole.

In Brumation, their second full length, the guitars are front and center, loud and obnoxious pungent with the overpowering stench of punk, sludge and crust influence. With a little something ‘else’ thrown in to the mix to throw off all, like myself, who wish to state they sound very much like blah, blah, blah. They don’t! In moments, I’m reminded of another act who are also very much genre undefinable, Brutal Juice, always unpredictable and surprisingly even more entertaining live. Jucifer are similar, though sport a style that’s a tad heavier one that often collides with the gates of black and death metal borders.

Part of the allure of Brumation lies in the varied vocal approach. Chad Alsop (guitars), Andre Cornego (guitars) and Alana Mercer (bass) respectively take on these duties with drastically varied results delightfully assaulting the auricles in between rhythms backed up by a fantastically outspoken drum barrage that precariously balances on the precipice of hardcore anthem and anything but lethargic distorted sludge torture.

Give this your full attention with an open mind. This will make you move.



Next Up…

As always use this as merely a teaser, please toss the talented some green in support that they might continue

Wolfbrigade – Run with the Hunted (Sweden)

A new patch for the denim jacket, anyone?

Release – April/28/2017

Southern Lord

Having given this a cursory listen several months ago I was left stunned, after browsing my history icon for another injection of the same I came away with naught. So search I did (where for art thou Yoda?) and here you are!

Wolfbrigade are not new to the scene though have changed monikers over the last twenty or so years from Wolfpack to avoid any association with a Swedish neo-Nazi prison gang carrying the same name. Unfortunately, the bands history is mired by incidents, lack of motivation and line-up changes, oddly a solitary listen (to Run with the Hunted) is all it takes to think otherwise.

Stylistically if one was to think of an unholy union between Motorhead (warts and all) and Swedish crust punk pioneers Discharge in a landscape reeking with an old school grindcore/death with a splash of Hardcore ambiance then you might be pretty damn close. Wolfbrigade strangely offer nothing new to the scene, it’s that they deliver their take on the style with such whipcord precision and soul shuddering rhythms that will make any Christian want to dismember an unborn. Naturally the harsh attitude and venom don’t impede the overall aura.

In part the attraction comes by way of the vocal style, courtesy of Tomas Jonsson, and a familiarity that any fan of the genre will instantly be able to center in on, the reason why I had previously mentioned Motorhead. Lucid Monomania is a track that could well have featured on a vintage Motorhead album without anyone being the wiser.

I’ll leave out the track by track narrative on this album report and replace it with a warning. One listen will be all it takes to become hooked, this is beyond dangerously addictive audio.

A must own, and before this I’d not previously heard of Wolfbrigade.

10 – Stretch before tossing this in the CD player.



Prepare for a right wicked head bangin’ session

Hellripper – Coagulating Darkness (Scotland)

Against PR

Release – April/14/2017

Granite Records, Barbarian Wrath, Diabolic Might Records

Has that satyr got a stiffy for that gent of the cloth?


An album whose promotion material boasts a mixture of speed and black metal, ok I’m intrigued. Tell me more. An album constructed/created by a solitary person…now I’m getting stumulated. Keep it up don’t let me down here. Ah, Metal from Scotland… It’s not often you hear of this, now I’m hooked, line and sinker!

James McBain is the brainchild and talent behind Hellripper. A cursory glance through his discography and it’s plainly obvious that he is obsessed with producing extreme music. Hellripper has three splits, an EP, a compilation and this, Coagulating Darkness their first full length, to their name and all in the space of about three years. That’s not including his Lock Howl (Gothic, post-Punk) output and various other projects in the works.

So, what am I to expect from an person/act whose output is manic, to say the least. I’m keeping my expectations low, I’ve been sorely disappointed in the past.

No need. Hellripper tears the gate off its fuckin’ hinges as soon as the album starts.

Bastard of Hades tips a hat to NWOBHM influence, namely the melody associated with Blitzkrieg, Motorhead and early Maiden. Infectious audio stuff indeed and so early on. I’m impressed! But then, in the second track, the style takes a sharp left into ‘speedville’ to be more specific bang yer’ freakin’ head off territory wherein reigns Violence and Force era Exciter, Show no Mercy era Slayer, Destroyer 666 and very early Anthrax (Howling Furies, Metal Thrashing Mad). Of course, a similarity to Venom must be mentioned as the lyrics revolve more around Hell, Satan and The Underworld than merely death and destruction. Anneliese is three minutes and fifty – four seconds of pure bliss, a catastrophic event to consume as I drive as it leaves me more than slightly distracted, sweaty and appearing much like a fat child after being told he’s gotten a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory (too ‘pop culture’ of a reference perhaps?)

The remainder of the album plays out as a devoted fan of the old school would hope, each track delivers leaving the listener digging deep for the name of acts who this style reminds them of, listening to this really is like winning the metal lottery. Mr. McBain has a fantastic panache when it comes to composing, the tracks are simple, recognizable yet dangerously addictive. His vocal chops, are thankfully more akin to a vengeful rasp, with the occasional growl, than anything remotely close to a “singing” style associated with traditional speed metal (no falsetto notes, or ballads. Thank the Dark Lord!). An excellent complement to the music hinting at vintage Sodom, Kreator and Bathory roots with a splash of Witchery thrown in for good measure.

I’m buggered if I can name a favorite here. I’m exhausted. The last thing I want to do is think when I listen to this unholy collection of tracks.

Fuckin’ ace about covers it! Make space for this in your collection.



Well that’s about enough metal for this installment. In the very near future I’m honored to be able to bring you an interview with the genius behind Hellripper, Mr James McBain himself. Until then I’ll continue to scour the internet and my overflowing Inbox for more fantastic examples of metal in all of it varied forms.


-Cult (@cultmetalflix on twitter)

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