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  • Writer's pictureThe Metal Mayan

The Metal Mayan Mixtape - 15 March, 2024



Aborted - Vault of Horrors (Nuclear Blast Records)

"The box...you opened it....they came...and they'll tear your soul apart."


With a nearly thirty year career of brutality, the beasts of Belgium, Aborted have long challenged any metal fan to stomach their brand of death-grind. But with their twelfth release, Vault of Horrors, there is a very strong possibility that many will be crushed under the album's immense weight.


Containing ten tracks, each inspired by revered horror films (ex. Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), the already stellar lineup of Aborted is joined by a unique guest vocalist on every song. Joining the already terrifying pipes of Sven de Caluwé, keep your ears peeled for Ben Duerr (Shadow of Intent) in "Dreadbringer", Francesco Paoli (Fleshgod Apocalypse) in "Condemned to Rot" and Alex Erian (Despised Icon) in "Death Cult".


Assuming listeners survive these tracks and the merciless drums and searing guitars, the backend of the album is even less forgiving. The final gauntlet comes in the form Archspire's Oliver Rae Aleron ("The Shape of Hate"), Signs of the Swarm's David Simonich ("Naturom Demento") and Ov Hell's Ricky Hoover ("Malevolent Haze").


Truly an all out assault from all-star cast, Vault of Horrors is a masterwork of death metal and stands as a strong contender for anyone's 'Best of 2024' list, even this early in the year.




Alestorm - Voyage of the Dawn Marauder (Napalm Records)

"The black sails of Alestorm fly over you - prepare to have your ship boarded."


Pull up a chair lads and lasses, and I'll tell ye a tale: it be of the marriage of folk metal and power metal, an unholy union officiated by speed metal. And from this pairing came many, many offspring all across the land, from which one did emerge from Scotland; it was a peculiar child of the pirate metal sub-genre, and it was called Alestorm!


Still hot on the tail of their 2022 release, Seventh Rum of a Seventh Rum, the U.K. buccaneers aren't letting fans wait long for new material with their highflying EP, Voyage of the Dread Marauder. Easily one of the finest pieces, the album's title track is catchy and epic, and paired perfectly with the incredible guest vocals of Patty Gurdy (who has also joined the band as a live members as of this year).


Sure to command audiences to grab a partner and dance the night away, "Uzbekistan" displays Alestorm's iconic folk infused sound. Likewise, "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" and "Cock" are both cheeky tunes to incite a ruckus at any venue or bar.


Coming ashore in the U.S. and Canada March through May with support from Elvenking and Glyph, Alestorm's show is not one to be missed.




Dragonforce - Warp Speed Warriors (Napalm Records)

Break the sound barrier with the fastest band in the land!


If the power metal was an automobile, it would be plastered over with speeding tickets for how often it shatters the speed limit. And arguably, of the countless incredible bands within the sub-genre, many of these tickets would be billed to Dragonforce. Holding down and staunchly defending their title as 'the world's fastest band', the group's ninth album, Warp Speed Warriors, once again keeps the crown in London, England, with ten lightspeed tracks.


The light turns green and the starting gun fires as "Astro Warrior Anthem" sets the pace. Backed by the dual leads of ax men Herman Li and Sam Totman, and the galloping rhythms of bassist Alicia Vigil and drummer Gee Anzalone, vocalist Marc Hudson's soaring voice welcomes listeners to the realm of Dragonforce.


Like any joy ride down the highway, Warp Speed Warriors is packed full of fun and catchy numbers. Channel your inner Top Gun with "Space Marine Corp", launch your rocket beyond the stars on "The Killer Queen", and, of course, journey to Hyrule with "Power of the Triforce" - because no power metal album is complete without a reference to The Legend of Zelda.


Sealing the deal as an album for the masses, Dragonforce is proud to close the show with a cover of Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams". A far cry from the slow, melancholy tone of the original, the affectionately referred to ((Taylor's Version) Dragonforce's Version) is simply delightful and a great companion to an enjoyable opus.



Advanced copies courtesy of Freeman Promotions, Napalm Records and Secret Service PR

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