Monday, November 11, 2013

DIVEBOMB BOOTCAMP RELEASES - Featuring Manta Ray, Inner Sanctum, Firstrike, Ministers of Anger

This collection of unheralded and relatively unknown metal bands is something that any fan of metal should hear. The bands are hungry, raw, and powerful. From Manta Ray's crushing progressive vocals to ministers of Anger's explosive thunderous gallop, these bands are truly the unsung voices of American underground metal. It is awesome that in these corporate driven times of mediocre, one hit wonders and clichéd song clones; that this label has the balls to put out some great music by bands that received less of the limelight. Some of this music has not seen the light of day for over 20 years. Take a journey inside some uncorrupted metal music. It's like opening a time portal back to a better musical age. An age of excitement and fun. An age of metal!

MANTA RAY - Visions Of Towering Alchemy

     Manta Ray is one of those progressive metal acts that just tears away at your mind from behind the speakers. Algebraic equations of stellar metal cry out from the audio library of classic riffs and power vocals. Here we find a band that knew its direction early on.

"Lords Of Atlantis" is one of my favorite tracks. Pure power metal aggression here that segues into a progressive metal vocal similar to early queensryche. Guitar is driven and insane in its calculated attack. The production is crisp and clear. " Guilty" is also a great tune. Here we see the band come together in a full on metal onslaught. Included in this song are elements of early thrash, progressive fates style, and the drums are incredible on this track.

 Fans of metal like Crimson Glory, vicious rumors, fates warning and queensryche will be overjoyed with this release. This is an album that you simply must have in your collection!

INNER SANCTUM - Knowledge At Hand

"Regression" was the first song I heard. Its ominous beginning did not prepare me for the metal onslaught that followed. Incredibly diverse and loud. The vocals alone are earth shattering.

This band hailing from the UK has got to be one of the most intense bands I have heard. Thrashy power metal. They are in your face. Standout songs include "Static Veins", "Regression","Sensorium".

 So many good things about this album. The feel is very progressive yet intersects with a thrashy hard rock element. I like the way the band allows the songs to breathe. There is a unified theme throughout the album that kicks you right between the eyes. Metal bands like this are too far and few. Metal bands like this deserve to be heard. Stellar out of this universe vocal power mixed perfectly. This album is damn good.

FIRSTRIKE - Deadly Voltage

First Strike is a band that exemplifies early American progressive thrash. This is overkill, and early Anthrax. Untouched and yet polished. I hear so many influences. The vocals are raw and powerful. This is relentless metal.

 "Hells Kitchen", and "Sell Your Soul" stand out as my favorite, killer metal tracks. What I like about this band is the brutal honesty in the presentation. This is another act that truly understood their audience and their convictions. This disc would stand up with anything Testament put out early on. It is that good.

 Production on the recording is superior to most well known bands. Anyone who wants to catalog early American thrash and metal has to include this band.

WEAPONS - Reflections Of A Troubled Mind

     A thrash powerhouse here. This is another band that has incorporated what I like to call that "New England" metal sound. Maybe it is the cold winters or the humid summers, This area always delivers classic sounding metal bands. Weapons is one of those bands. Thrash at its finest.

 There is a moment listening to "Walls Of Defense" that I forget what year we are living in. This is the age of thrash. The smell of leather. The clash of steel. The guitar attack and the blitzkrieg of drums. My brain is assaulted mercilessly by this American founding thrash band and yet I find that I love it. I crave more weapons.

 In your face...dedicated to their craft..aware of what they are capable of. Production could be better but what the hell it's still a great sounding band.


      I am blown away by this band. Simply put this is one hell of a record. "Fields Of the Dead" sounds like a left over track from the Anthrax, "Among The Living" sessions. They are an incredible band. I think I just hit replay three times on that song alone. Some of the production, especially on the bonus tracks, is a little thin but overall a great album. Strong,thrashy yet melodic. It does coast in between the metal genre labels.

 I am hearing Exodus, early Twisted Sister. I mean this is a release of power aggression and profound love of the art of metal that should have catapulted them to mega stardom. In any event the loss of the music industry here is our gain. I can attest to the mind numbing power of the tracks contained within. There is a modern edge to this band. I can't quite place it. But it is good. It is loud and it is in your face from the first track to the last. Awesome.

10 horns up

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