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Alice In Chains ‘Facelift’ - finally starting to get along with this after lengthy periods of struggle.  I think it is one of Cantrell’s better contributions to the discography from both a songwriting and a guitar playing perspective.  Definitely more alt-rock than pure grunge to my ears in places but still entertaining enough.

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Eluveitie - 'Ategnatos'. This has been the soundtrack to my days and nights this week. Seeing them tomorrow and I can't wait. Last time I saw them was 11 years ago with a totally different line-up and no 'Ategnatos' album. It's game on motherfuckers!!!!

Marduk - 'Heaven Shall Burn When We Are Gathered'. Partly because it's awesome, but mostly because it's one of only four metal CDs currently downstairs next to the stereo where I am. (For anyone interested, the other four CDs here are Dark Funeral - 'The Secrets of the Black Arts', Darkthrone - 'Transilivanian Hunger' and Warrant - 'Cherry Pie'.)

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Blind Guardian - A Twist In The Myth   ...seeing this pop up in the BG thread reminded me of how quickly I turned my back on this album when it came out. My taste has definitely changed; maybe not as gripping as some of their old stuff, but I definitely enjoyed it this time around.

Howling Sycamore - "Initiation"  ...promo track from the upcoming album. Very much in the vein of their last album, which I loved, and maybe a little darker. Hell yeah. Kevin Hufnagel guest appearance is icing on the cake.

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    • Whichever tier of thrash metal you consigned Sacred Reich back in the 80's/90's they still had their moments.  "Ignorance" & "Surf Nicaragura" did a great job of establishing the band, whereas "The American Way" just got a little to comfortable and accessible (the title track grates nowadays) for my ears.  A couple more records better left forgotten about and then nothing for twenty three years.  2019 alone has now seen three releases from Phil Rind and co.  A live EP, a split EP with Iron Reagan and now a full length.

      Notable addition to the ranks for the current throng of releases is former Machine Head sticksman, Dave McClean.  Love or hate Machine Head, McClean is a more than capable drummer and his presence here is felt from the off with the opening and title track kicking things off with some real gusto.  'Divide & Conquer' and 'Salvation' muddle along nicely, never quite reaching any quality that would make my balls tingle but comfortable enough.  The looming build to 'Manifest Reality' delivers a real punch when the song starts proper.  Frenzied riffs and drums with shots of lead work to hold the interest.


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