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ANVIL - review
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ENGULF - review
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VOIDS OF VOMIT - review
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WECKÖRHEAD - review
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THE PSALM - review
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BEST OF 2017 -... - special
(December 31, 2017)
MARDUK - review
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MONOLITHE - review
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DEVASTATION - review
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FUNERAL NATION - review
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UNDERGANG - interview
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MYSTIFIER - review
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AOSOTH - review
(December 25, 2017)
DAMNATIONS HAMMER - review
(December 23, 2017)

IRON KOBRA
IRON KOBRA
Dungeon Masters
(Dying Victims Productions)
49:12min

The accented intro calls to mind images of high fantasy: Conan the Barbarian holding his blade to the sun, monsters and mazes lying in wait - quite the opener for this German band’s first album. Journeying into a dungeon replete with black magic and foul denizens of the dark sounds like it could easily be a bleak, white-washed Black Metal album, but don’t worry, what you get here is straight up German Heavy and Speed Metal. Intense and, yes I dare to say it, fun! “Dungeon Master” starts the adventure: a massive Speed Metal from the mid 80s (HELLOWEEN, DARKNESS) and an IRON MAIDEN-inspired melody is what you’ll get here. There’s another influence at work here: plain old Rock and Roll. Going back to the NWOBHM style, the song 'Valhalla Rock' impels the listener to throw up a fist (preferably a fist clutching a beer). Rocking though it is, there’s no doubt fans of faster, uglier bands won’t appreciate this song as much. But, you never know, it sure is catchy, and has a crushing rhythm, too. As if that weren’t enough, 'Metal Rebel' ratchets up the heaviness and shows great versatility in the vocalist. What started off as very high pitched banshee-like singing is now rougher, more street, bellowing and it works very well indeed (in the higher notes he often reminds me of Peavy from RAGE in their early, "Reign Of Fear" days - Frank). The album moves to a more celebratory mood with songs like 'Heavy Metal Generation'. It’s always good to hear a band sing Metal’s praises. One of those things that never gets old. Perhaps the most aggressive song, 'Black Magic Spells', blisters along, the title inevitably bringing early SLAYER to mind though the song itself doesn’t seem to be influenced by them, however songs like 'Speedbiker' bring RAZOR to mind and it does sound influenced by Canada’s great band. This album is nothing short of an enjoyable, headbanging journey through dungeons, streets, and motorways. All further info at: www.facebook.com/cultofthesnake, www.myspace.com/cultofthesnake, www.dying-victims.de

Nathan Shapiro

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