Quick Jabs for October 2020

Spread the metal:

This is a new monthly section where we will post an assortment of shorter reviews for albums that we have checked out or may have missed out on previously.  The reviews are short and to the point, thus the tile “Quick Jabs”.

Black Tractor – The Wonders Of The Invisible World
August 2019 / Self-Release
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

I came across these guys scrolling through some recent promos. It seems as if this Cincinnati, Ohio has been tearing up the Midwest since the early 2000’s. Black Tractor have a sound that is a blend southern groove to good old-fashioned heavy metal. Upon first listen, first comparisons that come to mind are Texas Hippie Coalition and Brand New Sin, and a little bit of Mobile Deathcamp. After several listens, the same still applies. This looks to have been released a year ago, but I wanted to help spread the love as this is a kick-ass album.

Black Sun – Silent Enemy
September 4th, 2020 / Rockshot Records
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

Black Sun are from Ecuador. They play a style that is a mashup of a strong power metal mixed with a NWOBHM sound. And I do mean a mix in all meaning of the term. This is the band’s 3rd full-length album. There will be moments from one track to the next where I found myself checking to see if my player was in scan mode due to the fact that from one song to the next I felt I was listening to a different band. Weird at first, but cool that this band has more in their wheelhouse than most. I think I am really going to like this one for some time to come. Even more than I do now.

Every Hour Kills – Re:Awaken
October 9th, 2020 / New Fury Media
Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

Here we have the latest from Canada’s own Every Hour Kills. This to me took a couple times to listen to. Even for a Quick Jab. While the musicianship is top-notch, I could not fully get into this right off the bat. There are some cool passages throughout. They tend to have a sound that is reminiscent to that of Scar Symmetry, Soilwork, and In Flames only with a more atmospheric approach to the songs. I will need some more time to embrace this one personally. It now needs your attention to override mine. Check it out.

Valvera – Cycle Of Disaster
August 28th, 2020 / Brutal Records
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

Brutal Records has got to be proud of this release. The 3rd full-length by these Brazilian power thrashers is out now. Fueled with plenty of angst of societal and political hot topics, Valvera has produced a blistering South American trash opus here. Nothing in terms of total originality, but good, nonetheless. After just the first spin, Seputura, Slayer, Pantera, and Megadeth comes to mind. After the second, still the same influences can be heard throughout. Good stuff!


Velvet Viper – Pilgrimage
August 21st, 2020 / Massacre Records
Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

This album was originally released in 1989 under the moniker of Zed Yago, which at the time was a very promising German power metal band. As with most bands, egos and artist differences led the band to split in the early ‘90’s. This is a reissue / reimagined effort containing the original 11 tracks with 4 bonus tracks giving you just over 70 minutes of some cool sounding dramatic power metal. While not leaning as much on the heavy or power side of the spectrum, it is powerful all the same.

Veritas – Threads Of Fatality
August 28th, 2020 / Self-Release
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

THREADS OF FATALITY is the debut full-length by Veritas from Kansas City, U.S.A. This album follows closely behind their self-titled EP last year. Veritas play a straightforward brand of what I would deem as a prog influenced power metal. Their EP was compared to bands like Queensryche, Fates Warning, and Dream Theatre. I can hear some elements of those bands throughout this album, but not many. Veritas has a good and unique sound that sets their sound apart from those comparisons. The influence is however there.

Armageddon – Master Of Peace
July 7th, 2020 / Tmina Records
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Reviewer: John Haseltine

Armageddon, hailing from Serbia have been in one form or another churning out music since their inception in 1987 with a slew of demos, Eps, compilations, and albums. MASTER OF PEACE is the band’s 4th full-length effort. Described under a moniker of a Sympho Metal Orchestra, Armageddon are an incredibly talented progressive/symphonic metal band. This album could be revisited a bit more in depth down the road here, but in brief, what I have listened to a couple times now just needs to be checked out by all. There is a lot of greatness going on here.

Marilyn Manson - We Are ChaosMarilyn Manson – We Are Chaos
Released: 2020, Loma Vista Recordings and Concord Music
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: EvilG

It’s been a while since the days when Manson was the “Antichrist Superstar”. His music has evolved, and in an interesting way over the years. On more recent albums things sound more mellow and moody. I’m sometimes reminded of David Bowie, but much more gothy. The new album follows in that vein and provides a smooth easy listening goth-rock ride for us metalheads that sometimes want to hear something that’s not balls to the wall metal. A country music dude was a part of the writing sessions, but don’t worry, this isn’t a country album, otherwise I wouldn’t of liked it at all. If I had one wish, it would have been for a couple heavier songs with some roaring guitars. It would have fit in with the flow of the album and made it even better. But remember, I’m coming at this from a metal perspective, and not a goth rock fan.

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