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Album Reviews Reviews Short Sharp Shock

Short Sharp Shock #37: The Heaviest of Metals and the Hardest of Rocks

Welcome to the latest edition of Short Sharp Shock, where we take a look at some of the shorter metal releases that are out there.

Jam-packed with the heaviest of metals and the hardest of rocks, this edition of Short Sharp Shock will get your fist pumping and headbanging like never before. Don’t miss out, say YES to metal!

Haunt - Mosaic VisionBand(s): Haunt
Title: Mosaic Vision
Style(s): Heavy Metal
Duration: 17 minutes
Release date: January 18, 2019

I’ve heard a lot of positive things about Haunt, but this is my first time actually listening to them. Apparently recorded during sessions for the band’s debut EP Luminous EyesMosaic Vision is classic heavy metal with a melodic streak, and I like it very much indeed. This is very easy to listen to, and both the music and the vocals seem to move with a liquid fluidity through the airwaves. This release has previously been featured in the Vault once already, but good music always deserves a second plug.

Black Tree Vultures - Black Tree VulturesBand(s): Black Tree Vultures
Title: Black Tree Vultures
Style(s): Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
Duration: 14 minutes
Release date: April 19, 2019

Putting the hard rock into heavy metal, these three songs are catchy, anthemic, and boast plenty of confident attitude. Combining Metallica’s non-thrash songcraft with AC/DC groove and Iron Maiden’s melodic nous, Black Tree Vultures are an impressive and enjoyable proposition. There’s a hearty classic rock energy here amidst the crunchy metal too. Each track is instantly memorable and makes a good impression, and the more you listen to this EP the more you realize how notable it is.

Hartsbane - As Summer DiesBand(s): Hartsbane
Title: As Summer Dies
Style(s): Heavy Metal
Duration: 19 minutes
Release date: April 20, 2019

Hartsbane’s style is that of the classic metal of Iron Maiden and Dio, only updated for the modern age. Recorded live, but then, (presumably?), enhanced after the fact, these songs are catchy and melodic modern takes on the traditional heavy metal formula.

The singer has a very good voice for this sort of material, combining the qualities of singers from bands such as Iron Maiden and Queensrÿche quite naturally. He is definitely the focal point of this band, although that shouldn’t be taken as a disparagement of the music itself; Hartsbane know how to pen a good tune, (with some damn good melodies and solos to boot).

There’s a lot to enjoy here. This is music with a real feel-good factor, and it’s hard not to smile and get dragged into the band’s infectious enthusiasm for their music. Quality stuff.

Visigoth - Bells of AwakeningBand(s): Visigoth
Title: Bells of Awakening
Style(s): Heavy Metal
Duration: 10 minutes
Release date: May 24, 2019

This new EP from Visigoth gives us two brand new tracks to enjoy. This is classic heavy metal, played in Visigoth’s infectious and entertaining manner. The band have proven many times that they know how to write a good song, and these two new ones are no different. ‘Fireseeker’ is bold and confident, with nicely metallic guitars and a rousing chorus. ‘Abysswalker’ is more energized, with epic vocals and engaging soloing. Both are very satisfying slabs of metal, although I think my preference is for the second song overall. Whatever your preference, this is a very worthwhile short release from this well-regarded band.

Gunpowder Gray - Lethal Rock and RollBand(s): Gunpowder Gray
Title: Lethal Rock and Roll
Style(s): Hard Rock
Duration: 13 minutes
Release date: June 19, 2018

We’ll end with this slightly older release that seems to be doing the rounds again. Gunpowder Grey play old-school hard rock with some lashings of metal and a touch of punk. This is firmly for fans of bands such as Motörhead, Alice Cooper, Danzig, Kiss, AC/DC, and Thin Lizzy. It’s catchy, memorable, and has the type of songwriting that you probably thought had gone extinct in 2019. Not the case, and Lethal Rock and Roll is s suitable high point to wrap up this latest edition of Short Sharp Shock.

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