Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Can Of Soul-Hearreality

Atomic Stuff Records

Can Of Soul is the new solo project from Tomas Toffolo (otherwise known here as "Tomrocker"). As one of the resident vocalists of Rock Against Cancer and a founding member of both the doom thrash metal band Stygma and the hard rock band Why Out this well-traveled and extremely seasoned musician has already covered a lot of ground. He performs in a Black Sabbath cover band and was also the co-founder of the hard rock cover band Black And Purple. For Tomas, who incidentally enough also studded classical piano for some 8 years(!), it sure seems as if nothing is out of reach and that includes Can Of Soul's debut release which was produced by Tomrocker himself! A well-thought out and down-right compelling concept album the story behind "Hearreality" is as follows: A world dying because of the solar radiation hosts a civilization that is looking for new habitable planets to preserve its species. Once identified a “Land”, very different compared to our continuum, the aliens get ready for the invasion by extracting and preserving the “souls” from the bodies to accomplish the space leap without damage. On this assaulted planet there are also mystical entities with supernatural powers who will fight alongside the humans to fend off the invaders whose commanders, once defeated, will be imprisoned. As colorful and rich as that story-line is it would be a real disservice if the music at play on "Hearreality" was anything but exceptional. To that end Tomrocker is backed up by mainstream and underground rock and metal musicians including;

Silvio Masanotti www.silviomasanotti.com
Alex "Dynamitale" Motta www.facebook.com/dynamitale
Alessandro "Ajeje" Petrone www.ajeje.it

And yes, I snagged that bit off of the band's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/canofsoul ) as the actual list of guest musicians that is included with this CD's promo pamphlet is quite long and varied all but ensuring the expansive nature of this large-scale project! As referenced above our main man Tomas Toffolo has seen and done it all which is an important thing to point out given the various genres at play here. On the debut release from the Italian band Can Of Soul it's hard not to feel a little overwhelmed when it comes time to describe the sounds at work on "Hearreality". Though listed as a hard rock band or even as a alternative hard rock act the fact is Can Of Souls is so much more. Everything about Tomas Toffolo's past comes into play with individual tracks offering pieces and parts of doom metal, classic rock and hard rock. That is just the tip of the iceberg though as electronic elements creep in the mix as well as the aforementioned alternative rock and hard rock additions! To be sure it is a crazy thing to try to decipher everything going on here as more than one number had me envisioning a bizarre mash-up of Last Crack, Voivod, Deep Purple and the primitive origins of  both rock and roll and black metal! Minus the black metal shrieks that is! It all sounds offensive I realize, but Tomrocker and his guests pull the rabbit out the magician's hat and in the process have ended up making a fantastic and fully adventures LP that all metal fans with an eye set towards creative innovations should grab hold of! Released back at the end of November, "Hearreality" is a real winner on all fronts except for perhaps it's rather dull album art. Actually, "Hearreality" might very well suffer indifference as a result of this Italian band's name. In no way whatsoever does Can Of Soul hint at what's in store when it comes time to play this phenomenal recording! Thankfully the label's YouTube channel allows interested parties the chance to listen to the samples of "Bette Davis Eyes" (http://youtu.be/PYpRlU6tsjI) and "Mystic' (http://youtu.be/X3e6lfVrv_Q). What? You say I didn't mention the cover track? Well, the choice to cover "Bette Davis Eyes" might seem a tad weird at first, but it REALLY works in this context. And it simply is fantastic! For the record here is the official track listing of this inspired debut album from the soon to be legendary Can Of Soul:
01. We Hate the Sun
02. This Order #5
03. Mystic
04. Solid Conviction
05. My Queen
06. Bette Davis Eyes
07. Demon Eater
08. Peaceful Snake
09. Dealing
10. Beyond My Wayward Zen Garden
11. Outro
12. DGRZ (bonus track)

When you add all of these songs together the result is a near masterpiece for the ages! Both dark and moody, "Hearreality" is a Sci-Fi story with the perfect soundtrack being provided from a band that pays homage (musically at least) to artists as diverse as Black Sabbath is to Goblin! This is one album that needs a bigger audience especially one outside of the group's native country! Be sure to head over to the group's Facebook page for more information or head to Atomic Stuff's online page here: www.atomicstuff.com/canofsoul.html As a wrap-up to this report I'd just like to point out that "Hearreality" is (digitally) available on both Amazon and iTunes.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Greensleeves-Inertial Frames


Active since 1993, with this hour plus release offering proof positive that when it comes to high-quality progressive metal Europe and North America do not have the market cornered(!), Brazil's Greensleeves makes their triumphant return to the heavy metal scene with the Victor Schmidlin-produced album, "Inertial Frames". No strangers to the writers of Heavy Metal Time Machine (or for that matter to fans of top-tier progressive metal of the melodic persuasion!) this skilled five-piece previously appeared in these very pages thanks to their full-length debut-album, "The Elephant Truth"*. That particular album offered a unique mash-up of all things hard and heavy with the added benefit that it fell under the blanket of progressive/power metal and it was reviewed here by the one and only Metal Mark. The thing is that was way back in November of 09! Incidentally that was also the last time that fans of Greensleeves were able to wet their whistles with new studio material. So, naturally this new album is a long time coming. But, thanks to talents of guitarist Victor Schmidlin (ex-Dynahead) and his overall exceptional band-mates the long wait appears to have been well-worth it as this band has returned with a fine example of how to make a progressive metal album that is immensely technical while simultaneously hard-hitting and down-right enjoyable! Sounding for all the world like a heavier Dream Theater or possibly even Symphony X (only with a bit more attitude and more of a sense of urgent energy), "Inertial Frames" offers everything fans of the genre could ask for from well-thought out and moving passages to thunderous riffs and even some hearty take-downs that border on power metal! Unfortunately very few things in life are absolutely perfect and to be fair there are a few faults to be found with the band's sophomore album. On occasion there are ideas that don't sound as if they were thoroughly followed through but this could be attributed to the time off between albums and the fact that even the best of bands can be rusty right out of the gate. Also the mix on album number two can be a bit uneven at times with the vocals of one Gui Nogueira all but suffering as a result. Again, it's not a every-track occurrence but when it happens you notice it. For a self-produced affair though it's a minor complaint as this album certainly comes across as a labor of love from Greensleeves to their fans. And trust me when I say that the good times far outnumber the bad times on "Inertial Frames". There is way more to love about Greensleeves these days and man alive it is just so good to see that this band is still going at it after 20 or so years! For more information on this Brazilin act and to find out how to secure a copy of their new album for yourself be sure to head over to the link that follows! 


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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Black April-Lunitics-Demo 2014


Local artist alert. And by local I mean Ohio local! Because it's all about the home-pride as I always preach.  In this case it's Black April from Cleveland Twinsburg, Ohio with their "Lunitics-Demo 2014". And no my friends and fellow lovers of all things loud and proud that is not a misspelling. If anything it just points closer to the overall insane aspect of this raw and ready death/thrash four-piece that has thus far shared the stage with the likes of Vindicator, Eternal Legacy, Arsis, Exmortus and many more! Featuring the mad skills of vocalist/bassist Sean Kratz (Benighten Empire, Lucian The Wolfbearer, ex-Eviscerated ), guitarist/vocalist Josh Nally, lead guitarist Max Zotti and drummer Nathan Karns (Benighten Empire, ex-Eviscerated) and taking their cue from bands as wide-ranging as Carcass is to Carnivore the guys in Black April take no prisoners as well as no shit on songs such as "Archwing ( Political Warfare and Damned )" and "Balls Deep". A live version of "Gravedigger" rounds out this late October release and for a band that sounds as if it really only came together in late 2013 with the arrival of lead guitarist Max Zotti they sure seem promising!  Rage-worthy and gnarly enough to peel the wallpaper right off of your bedroom walls at any given moment, "Lunitics-Demo 2014" is one of those lovely recordings that recalls they heyday of tape-trading when underground heavy thrash/death metal like this* was worth it's weight in gold!

Gloriously it's a name-your-own-price download, but as always why not throw a few coins in the fountain as it were? If for no other reason then maybe just to buy this motley lot a few beers? I'd wager a bit or two myself that performing this kind of extreme metal makes one mighty thirsty for blood an adult beverage! Either way here's hoping that this isn't the first and last that we hear from Black April as who doesn't love skull-splinting death thrash like this!!!!!


*You know the kind of late eighties/early nineties metal where Slayer was worshiped on the exact same alter that had previously served as a sacrificial area to Chuck Schuldiner's Death? Here it is kiddos. Only difference is Black April is unmistakeably Cleveland thrash and proud of it! 

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Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Wrong Era-The Wrong EP

Atomic Stuff

"The Wrong EP" is the debut offering from Italy's freshly-assembled Wrong Era. Formed earlier this year out of the remains of Italian hard rock band Sutuana, with this recently released EP containing four new tracks in addition to two remakes of old Sutuana songs, Wrong Era is made up of bassist (and now lead vocalist!) Marco "Sappa" Nicoli (Sutuana, Instant Karma, ex-Midnite Sun, ex- The Unripes), guitarist/vocalist Lorenzo Zagni (Sutuana, Lola Stonecracker) and drummer Gianluca Montanari (Sutuana). Recorded and mixed at SappaLand RockLab by band member Marco "Sappa" Nicoli, "The Wrong EP" is being promoted by the fine folks over at Atomic Stuff in another win-win situation for artist and record label! This match made in hard rock/heavy metal heaven has only helped to establish the key factoid that this very slick, six track EP is available for free download and streaming directly from Wrong Era’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/wrongeraofficial. Though it was initially presented to me as "rock in Italian" there is
a lot more to be said of this talented trio than that simple description or the above black and white artwork might suggest! A crackling fusion of heavy rock, alternative, post-grunge and the 1970's hard and heavy sound-scape, "The Wrong EP" is clearly in the right with this Italian rock band energized and amplified
by the presence of electronic elements! As much as the "lyrics ooze of discomfort" the music at hand is often times just as unnerving (if not more so!) with distorted vocals and studio trickery paving the way for band's one and only track "Wrong Era" to all but frighten the listener on an emotion plain! To be fair that bit of heaviness is the more extreme side of Wrong Era, but it does exist and it carries it's own distinctive attitude thus giving this rock trio's first piece of studio recording a fine and frightful edge upon which to build a more solid (and hopefully long-term!) foundation. You can find more information about Wrong Era at: http://www.facebook.com/WrongEraOfficial

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Heavy Metal Time Machine is closed until further notice....

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

It is not easy for me to write this, but as of now I am stepping down and taking time away from Heavy Metal Time Machine. I wish that I had better news to post today, but alas this is something that I feel I must do as fatigue and exhaustion has crept into my life. As our more faithful readers will recall I took over this blog from Metal Mark and as much as I have loved it from the very start I know feel the need to bow out until further notice. Due to a myriad of health problems brought on from being born with only one (dinky and deformed!) kidney I have found myself at a all-too familiar point in life where once again my weakened immune system is wrecking havoc on day to day activities. As such I need time away to sort things out and (lord willing) find my strength and drive again. I won't be gone for good as I hate to say never again and there are still a few bands that I will continue to throw my support behind and try to help out from the sidelines. After all I have always said that I am a fan first and a writer second. But otherwise friends I am afraid that Heavy Metal Time Machine will be closed until further notice and that's just how it's got to be. With that said folks always keep it loud and proud.....


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Heavy Metal Time Machine is under quarantine!


OK, it's nothing that serious, but I've been under the weather for the past couple of days and I'm not my usual perky self! After attempting to write up a couple of reviews over the last two days I've seen the error of my ways (the articles were a hot mess kids!) and it's back to bed for yours truly. I'm hoping to be up and about by the weekend, but at this rate I'm still super tired and feeling the effects of what has been a nasty bug. Granted it does not help when your immune system is all but shot, but either way it's bed rest I need and bed rest that I shall get! In the meantime be sure to keep it heavy and keep it loud friends! As Arnold says "I'll be back"!!!!!!!

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Free Metal Monday:"I Kill for Metal" Compilation

Here's a nice compilation from Online Metal Promo and Germany's Killer Metal Records. "I Kill for Metal", is a free download compilation featuring a mix of 40 current, advanced and unreleased original songs from established and up and coming Online Metal Promo and Killer Metal Records artist roster bands from the United States, UK, Portugal, Australia, Germany, Canada, Sweden and Poland. The band's included are: 
1. Annihilated
2. Archetype
3. Armory
4. Chris Violence
5. Colossus
6. Crimson Reign
7. Cyanide Scream
8. Damien Thorne
9. Dark Mirror
10. Diamond Lane
11. Dire Peril
12. Dragon’s Kiss
13. Dragonsclaw
14. Edge of Thorns
15. Enceladus
16. Fallen Angel
17. Hellscream
18. Hessler
19. Lords of the Trident
20. Maxxxwell Carlisle
21. Metalhead
22. Predatory Violence
23. Ravensthorn
24. Rezinwolf
25. Ritual Steel
26. Ron Keel
27. Seventrain
28. Shallow Ground
29. Skinner
30. Stu “The Hammer” Marshall
31. Taipan
32. Testor
33. The Loving Tongue
34. The Order of Chaos
35. Unity
36. Vanlade
37. Veritate
38. Virus
39. Witchcross
40. Zephaniah
Download the free songs, compilation artwork and track listing at the following location:

Or you can find it here:

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Savage Master-Mask Of The Devil

Skol Records

Last week I was thrilled to introduce our readers to Kentucky N.W.O.T.H.M act Savage Master (link provided below). Now it is my extreme pleasure to report back to all of you that I have heard the band's full-length debut album in it's entirety and yes, it is EVERY bit as good as I had hoped it would be and then some! That speaks volumes about everyone involved in the creation of Savage Master's first official recording, but before we talk about the people who were tasked with magically transforming Savage Master's larger than life stage sound to studio tape let's fill in a few more facts about this female-fronted/occult-driven band. Co-founded by Adam Neal (guitars) and Stacey "Savage" Peak (lead vocals), with the band's theatrical live show inspired in part by Mario Bava's 1960 gothic horror classic "Black Sunday" (look it up kids as it's a real doozy!) and perhaps even The Mentors(!) and the rest of the band soon filled out by various musicians that Adam Neal knew and worked with in the past, Savage Master has remarkably enough only been existence for a little over a year! And yet in that small time frame this overtly satanic band has made the leap from unsigned underground favorites to securing a deal with Skol Records. And of course everyone should already know that Skol Records is responsible for several albums which I  have previously covered and have since made a part of my personal music collection such as Taist of Iron's "Ressurrection", Robespierre's "Die You Heathen, Die!" and Nitro's "Lethal Dose" so this particular signing makes a great deal of sense. That doesn't mean that the black arts were not used in one fashion or another to speed up this band's musical evolution LOL! It merely means that Savage Master shares more than a few of the same great qualities that made those previously mentioned three artists so good to begin with so this musical relationship looks like a match made in heaven...or hell if you will! Especially seeing as Savage Master's sound harkens back to the "good old days". Sonically-speaking it's bands like Exciter and Venom that initially come to mind when it comes to Savage Master. In no way is that a bad thing, but like the band members behind this project there is so much more to "Mask Of The Devil" once you take the time to really listen. As diverse as lead vocalist Stacy Peak is when it comes to her vocal inspirations*, Savage Master as a whole seems to be inspired by not just Exciter and Venom (musically and lyrically F.Y.I.!), but eighties metal (Brocas Helm, Dark Wizard, Gotham City, Lizzy Bordon, OZ, Warlord, Stormwitch and even Taist Of Iron(!), traditional heavy metal and doom (Accept, Malice, Halloween, Black Sabbath, etc.) and the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene (Blood Money, Avenger, Grim Reaper, Cloven Hoof, Pagan Altar, Witchfinder General, Witchfynde, Desolation Angels and Hell). Incidentally that is a hell of a lot of enchanting charms  for a release which ends up clocking in at under 30 minutes! But damn if it doesn't just fit all snug and tight! Which brings us all the way back around to the beginning and the crew responsible for laying all of this sinister metal to tape! Co-produced by Michael Kent O' Bryan and Savage Master members Stacey "Savage" Peak and Adam Neal, "Mask Of The Devil" was engineered and mixed by Michael Kent O' Bryan at Wax & Tape Studios before it was mastered by the Bart Gabriel at Skol Records Studio. Collectively this lot has given fans of occult metal and N.W.O.T.H.M. plenty to get excited about as "Mask Of The Devil" is as classic a debut album album as one can get! If there's a downside to be had it's the album's short-length. At not even 30 minutes a album like "Mask Of The Devil" disappears as quickly as it appears. If you walk out of the room for even a few minutes you are likely to miss a great deal of the action. There's that and then there is the lyrically content of "Mask Of The Devil". More often than not Savage Master hits things out of the ballpark thanks to some truly evil and downright spooky material. However there are times on Savage Master's debut when the possibility arises and one just has to ask the question that should NEVER be asked. And that is "You didn't happen to go to a songwriting workshop taught by Cronos did you?"! All lyrical-cheesiness aside, "Mask Of The Devil" is a fun, throwback metal kind of album with bewitching female vocals and a vibe which will remind more than a few people of the early punk-infused British metal scene (Iron Maiden's first two albums, Venom, Tank, etc.). It's also a great debut album for a band that is still young and growing and poised for bigger and better things in the years to come! You can find Savage Master online here: https://www.facebook.com/savagemaster666 and for more information on Skol Records be sure to check out the labels Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/skolrecords

*While waiting to receive a promo copy of "Mask Of The Devil" I took the time to do further resource on this spook-fest of a band. I can across an interview that Stacey did where she said that besides Rob Halford (vocally-speaking) it was bands such as Witchfinder General, Warlock, Candlemass, Danzig, Angel Witch, Diamond Head and Coven (to name a few!) that influenced her as an artist.


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