• Emil


Updated: Jan 14, 2019

At the beginning of last month, on September 8th, I had the privilege to attend HELLOWEEN’s “Pumpkins United” concert at the Hollywood Palladium. While I saw the band fronted by Andi Deris, a couple of times in the past, this was my first time witnessing the kings of speed metal in a formation which included the legendary Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, along side Weikath, Grosskopf, Gerstner, Löble & Deris. With the show leaving a profound impression, the band’s 1987/88 “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” (part I & II) LPs spent ample amounts of time on my turntable, during the month of September 2018. Another LP that was allotted turntable time was the Spanish heavy metal act LORDS OF BLACK, fronted by the Ronnie Romero, the Chilean vocalist enlisted by Ritchie Blackmore to perform in the most recent years with Rainbow. The band’s new (2018), third installment, featuring the renowned guitarist and co-founder Tony Hernando, “Icons Of The New Days” was produced, mixed and mastered by Roland Grapow (Masterplan, Helloween). An anticipated September release was the sophomore effort by THE SKULL, “The Endless Road Turns Dark”. Formed in 2014, The Skull features co-founders Eric Wagner (vocals) and Ron Holzner (bass), former members of the doom metal pioneers, Trouble. The band’s name is derived from Trouble’s second album, “The Skull” (1985). Originally released in 2016 HEXECUTOR’s full-length debut album “Poison, Lust and Damnation” was rereleased at the end of 2017 on vinyl. Hailing from the Brittany region of France, the hyper thrash metallers offer an unique concept album with a sound to match, reminiscent of the early/mid 80s thrash metal production. Praised as one of the top death metal albums of 2009, OBSCURA’s “Cosmogenesis”, received many accolades from fans and critics, ever since, found its way back to my turntable numerous times. This technical death metal masterpiece, Obscura’s second album, features the Dutch fretless bassist Jeroen Paul Thesseling. Till next time!

HELLOWEEN Keeper Of The Seven Keys: Part I (2015 reissue, LP, BMG/Sanctuary, BMGRM062LP) Keeper Of The Seven Keys: Part II (2015 reissue, LP, BMG/Sanctuary, BMGRM063LP)

LORDS OF BLACK – Icons Of The New Days (2018, 2xLP, Frontiers Music, FR LP 861)

THE SKULL – The Endless Road Turns Dark

(2018, LP, limited edition, Tee Pee Records, TP-205-1)

HEXECUTOR – Poison, Lust and Damnation (2017, LP, Dying Victims Productions, DVP 77)

OBSCURA – Cosmogenesis (2017 reissue, LP, Relapse Records, RR7032)

Originally published on Blessed Altar Zine.

© 2018 by Emil Chiru