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Other Recent Reviews
1349 – Massive Cauldron of Chaos
Author: adg211288
Rating: 84

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Autopsy - Macabre Eternal
Author: UMUR
Rating: 75

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Axenstar – Where Dreams Are Forgotten
Author: adg211288
Rating: 72

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Judas Priest - Point of Entry
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 60

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Code – Augur Nox
Author: UMUR
Rating: 80

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Slayer - Implode
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Autopsy - The Tomb Within
Author: UMUR
Rating: 80

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Judas Priest - British Steel
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 75

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A Sound of Thunder – The Lesser Key of Solomon
Author: adg211288
Rating: 98

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Holy Grail – Ride the Void
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Autopsy – Retribution for the Dead
Author: UMUR
Rating: 80

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Judas Priest - Killing Machine
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 85

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Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails
Author: adg211288
Rating: 98

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Autopsy – Severed Survival
Author: UMUR
Rating: 70

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Augury - Fragmentary Evidence
Author: UMUR
Rating: 75

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Judas Priest - Stained Class
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 90

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Augury - Concealed
Author: UMUR
Rating: 90

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We All Die (Laughing) - Thoughtscanning
Author: adg211288
Rating: 43

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Attic – The Invocation
Author: UMUR
Rating: 75

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Judas Priest - Sin After Sin
Author: 666Sharon666
Rating: 70

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Welcome
Welcome to Heavy Metal Haven, the open-minded heavy metal forums!

Recent Reviews
PursonIn the Meantime
Genre: Heavy Psych
Release Date: October 12th 2014
Label: Machine Elf Records
Author: adg211288

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In the Meantime (2014) is an EP release by UK heavy psych act Purson. This is their first major release since their debut album The Circle and the Blue Door (2013) and it features a new line-up compared to that of the album.

The Circle and the Blue Door was a very late 2013 discovery for me, in fact it's only been a couple of months since I first heard of Purson. I'm pretty sure that if I had discovered the band in a more timely manner I would have given them accolades to the tune of one of year's best new bands/debut albums come the start of 2014. It's certainly proven to be an addictive release for me this last couple of months. While a second full-length album from Purson is high up on my wishlist, In the Meantime provides four tracks of excellent tide over material.

Even within the constraints of being an EP the different moods of Purson's music are covered really well on In the Meantime. In that sense this is a good set of introductory songs for someone to discover Purson for the first time. I'd say there's also evidence of new ideas being tried to. Chief among those is the opening track Death's Kiss which shows off a folksy side to the band which I find very effective; it's one of my favourite tracks from the EP. The other three tracks tread more familiar territory with Danse Macabre turning the previously quite light music towards the core heavy psych sound of the band. The last track I Will Be Good (another favourite of mine) in my opinion has a claim on being Purson's heaviest song yet (the other contender would be Wool from the EP Rocking Horse (2012)). I Will Be Good and the last as yet unmentioned track Wanted Man also add a progressive flair to the proceedings. In the Meantime may not even last a full twenty minutes but there's a lot packed into such a short space.

Overall, as is usually the case with even a good EP like this, the prior album The Circle and the Blue Door is ultimately more worth your time and money but In the Meantime is excellent complementary material for those of us sitting in anticipation for Purson's second album. It's equally addictive, shows off growth as a band and loses none of the magic that made their debut so great. You can't ask more of an EP in my opinion. 90/100

:star: :star: :star: :star: :halfstar:


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WinterhordeUnderwatermoon
Genre: Progressive Black Metal
Release Date: July 30th 2010
Label: Twilight Vertrieb
Author: 666Sharon666

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Israeli black metal act Winterhorde really pulled out all the stops for their 2010 sophomore effort Underwatermoon, creating one of the most progressive black metal records I’ve ever heard. I’m a firm believer that you can in fact do pretty much anything with black metal, and Winterhorde show themselves here to be a band that doesn't care about any rules.

You’ll mostly hear melodic/symphonic black metal ideas here to form the base of the album’s sound, but Winterhorde throw in a lot of complex playing too as well as unusual song structures. They draw on folk music a little bit and mix the usual black metal shrieks with deeper, more death metal-like growling as well as clean singing, which ranges from epic to downright mournful. The acoustic guitar playing used is one of the most effective things they do though, creating some great melodies. There’s perhaps no finer example of that than Wreckages Ghost. The individual songs are all amazing (even the interludes are done well) and have their own identities, but Underwatermoon is the sort of album that deserves and commands your attention from beginning to end; to give it anything less really ought to be a criminal offense. I seem to recall people talking about the releases of Alcest and Agalloch as the best black metal albums of 2010, but right here is an album that, at least in my opinion, outshines both of them. 100/100

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star:


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Severed LimbsIn Each Scenario You Die
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: August 9th 2013
Label: Sevared Records
Author: UMUR

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In Each Scenario You Die is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Severed Limbs. The album was released through Sevared Records in August 2013. Severed Limbs is yet another death metal project featuring prolific Swedish musician Rogga Johansson. Some of his other projects count Demiurg, Paganizer, Ribspreader and The Grotesquery, but that´s only a small portion of the acts he is involved in. In 2013 alone he has released albums with Paganizer, Dead Sun, Johansson & Speckmann (with Master frontman Paul Speckmann), Down Among the Dead Men (with former Benediction and Bolt Thrower frontman Dave Ingram) and of course with Severed Limbs (and I might even have forgotten a couple of releases, that´s how prolific Rogga is). On this project Rogga Johansson performs growling vocals, bass and guitars while Matthias Fiebig handles the drums.

Stylistically the music on In Each Scenario You Die is more or less classic Rogga Johansson death metal. Which means old school Swedish death metal. This time around with gore themed lyrics/imagery and the occasional use of faster paced drumming. The latter isn´t a feature you´ll find on all his projects. He usually favours mid-paced brutal grooves, slower doomy rhythms or D-beats.

The musicianship is not surprisingly solid, and the sound production powerful and raw, which suits the music well. The material is relatively well written although few tracks stand out as extraordinary. And that´s actually how many of his releases are. They are damn solid and enjoyable while they play, but very few stand out as something really special and I usually end up rating them somewhere between 3 or 3.5 stars. In Each Scenario You Die is in the category of his releases that deserve a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating. 65/100

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Judas PriestScreaming for Vengeance
Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date: July 14th 1982
Label: Columbia
Author: 666Sharon666

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After the disappointment that was Point of Entry Judas Priest returned to more familiar and altogether more metallic territory for their eighth album Screaming for Vengeance in 1982. And for me given that Point of Entry has always given the impression that it's anything but a really worthwhile Judas Priest release that's definitely a good thing.

Many fans of the band seem to uphold Screaming for Vengeance as one of Judas Priest's very best albums. That's not a sentiment that I find I agree with but this one is most certainly a very redeeming effort to follow Point of Entry. I would also say it's one of the best album's the band released during the 1980's (though my personal 80's Judas Priest preference is to the following Defenders of the Faith) but overall I can't associate Screaming for Vengeance as a masterpiece. Sure it has its share of the Judas Priest classic tracks like the opening duo The Hellion/Electric Eye as well as fantastic title track but I do not think that level of quality is matched by the whole album. A very good return to form for the band, but nothing more than that. 80/100

:star: :star: :star: :star:


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Album of the Month
MindMazeBack From the Edge
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Release Date: October 24th 2014
Label: Inner Wound Recordings
Author: adg211288

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Back From the Edge (2014) is the second full-length album by US metal act MindMaze. Having released their debut album Mask of Lies (2013) independently the band have moved up in the world and Back From the Edge is released through Inner Wound Recordings. The band have also added bassist Mike LePond to the line-up, a notable musician best known for none other than the mighty Symphony X among others. Additionally the band has garnered some high profile guest appearances such as Jens Johansson of Stratovarius adding a keyboard solo to Moment of Flight and Matt Johnsen of Pharaoh adding a guitar solo on The Machine Stops.

I'm going to take a little time out from my usual review structure to apologise to my readers, as I had made the promise to try and cover some other genres for a time after realising that a good majority of my current group of 2014 release reviews were for power metal albums. A follow-up to the excellent MindMaze debut Mask of Lies was always high on my personal hype list for the rest of this year, but I thought I'd be safe with my promise when a promo for the album came my way, as in my opinion Mask of Lies was mainly a traditional heavy metal album with power metal and progressive metal leanings, more so the latter than power metal. Turns out though that Back From the Edge is not a heavy metal album, but a progressive power metal album. So sorry readers, the promise is going briefly on hold.

Wait...I'm really not all that sorry about that, for in Back From the Edge MindMaze have produced an album that is possibly the best case of genre evolution I've ever heard, changing the band from a good heavy metal band to an excellent power metal band.

While there are some moments on Back From the Edge that are more like straight-forward power metal songs, such as the lead single Dreamwalker, the album is mostly made up a perfect blend of power and progressive metal ideas so while you'll be getting plenty of those speedy power metal riffs to propel the music along the guitar playing by Jeff Teets in particular has a tendency to veer off into more complex ideas, with the occasional use of keyboards adding another layer to the sound, though the band usually stick to a typical song structure, with most on the album clocking between the four and six minute marks.

At the other end of the spectrum though there are a couple of longer tracks, namely The Machine Stops and Onward (Destiny Calls II). The latter is obviously a follow-up to the closing track from Mask of Lies. It's these longer songs of course that really bring the progressive side of the music out, and Onward (Destiny Calls II) is especially impressive, even including some flute usage that gives the song a very slight folksy vibe. This is the most progressive song on the album and is probably the only one here that I'd call a progressive metal song over a power metal song and despite being the power metal maniac I am, it's also my favourite.

Back From the Edge is quickly impressive for the same reasons that made Mask of Lies such an great debut, but the difference is where Mask of Lies seemed a little unsure about what the band wanted to be, Back From the Edge is a focussed piece of work with strong musicianship all round, amazing energy, and powerful vocals by Sarah Teets. MindMaze have been a pretty unknown entity on the metal scene up until this point, but Back From the Edge is the album that sets out to change that, and will if there is any justice in the world.

I mentioned earlier about trying to leave off power metal reviews for a while because of the large amount I've done this year, but what I neglected to say is that only one of those albums was awarded a top tier score, and folk-power metal albums like that one (Elvenking) are nearly always more recognisable as folk metal releases so really Back From the Edge is the first power metal from 2014 that is a power metal album before it is something else (in this case progressive metal) that I've felt the need to go up to the top tier for. Back From the Edge is really everything fans of female voiced power metal could want, and I don't feel like I'm overhyping it by putting up a perfect score. Consider me blown away by the massive progress MindMaze has made in such a short time since their debut. 100/100

:star: :star: :star: :star: :star:


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