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Author Andy Barker

I guess I got into Metal by accident at 7 years old when I was given my brother's old record player with ONE record. His mates had told him that Black Sabbath sounded just like Status Quo...he didn't agree so Black Sabbath's debut was that one record. I never looked back. Got a battered old 4 piece drumkit when I was Ten years old and by 14 I had vowed to make my fortune as a Rock Star.
The next fifteen years included a few years as the drummer in Holosade, plus stints in Company Of Wolves, Dominion, Diamond Dogs and Intense, eventually dispelling that ambition, so I ended up running a specialist Metal CD/Record/T-Shirt shop in York for 7 years. £40 grand a year in rent for a shop in York means I am now solely an online trader...
I still turn up every now and again playing drums, bass or guitar in the odd band, be it live or in the studio, because once you have been a musician...or a drummer...it's difficult to stop that creative urge.
When I write a review I remember what it was like to read a review of something I had been a creative part of. My opinion is just my opinion, and I try to be constructive. I believe that if a musician has taken the time to record his or her ideas then it has merit to someone and deserves respect. Music is all about personal taste, and if someone has taken the time to create it, the least I can do is take the time to listen.

Shaman Elephant – Wide Awake But Still Asleep (Karisma Records)

May 2020 has been quite a progressively influenced month for me on Ave Noctum. It all started with the unique melancholic progressive flavourings of Green Carnation, Thoughts Factory were next with traditional Progressive Metal, Horisont came at it next, chucking… Continue Reading →

Horisont – Sudden Death (Century Media)

Horisont are a band I have had the pleasure of seeing grow and develop into a diverse and unique act over the last 10 years. I actually purchased their debut at the same time I got fellow retro Swedish band… Continue Reading →

Thoughts Factory – Elements (Melodic Revolution Records)

With the cover art and a name like Thoughts Factory, it was always going to be a bit of a surprise if this German band turned out to be brutal Death Metal. Nope, Progressive Metal of a high standard is… Continue Reading →

Green Carnation – Leaves Of Yesteryear (Season Of Mist)

It was a sad day back in 2007 when Norwegian Metal band Green Carnation decided to call it a day. No-one before or since has ever truly captured their progressive avant-garde dark metal style in the same way, yet bowing… Continue Reading →

Nightwish – Human II Nature (Nuclear Blast)

The release of a new Nightwish album is always a focal point in the Symphonic Metal calendar. Well, they don’t happen very often nowadays do they? Incredibly this is only the second Nightwish studio album to feature fantastic vocal powerhouse… Continue Reading →

Fallen Arise – Enigma (Rock Of Angels Records)

Fallen Arise are a Greek Melodic Symphonic Metal band who are now fronted by fabulous British Vocalist Fiona Creaby. Also the vocalist in in Apparition, her classy, note-perfect, mature vocals show right from the start that her introduction into the… Continue Reading →

Spell – Opulent Decay (Bad Omen Records)

Spell are an interesting 3 piece band from Canada on their third album. Purveyors of retro flavoured hard rock/metal and with two members of the band (the bassist and the drummer) sharing vocal duties. Aha! Just like fellow Canadians Triumph… Continue Reading →

Witches Of Doom – Funeral Radio (My Kingdom Music)

Italian Metal band Witches Of Doom certainly have a difficult sound to pin down. The name suggests maybe an Electric Wizard style Doom, maybe a St. Vitus style, or at the very least an orange-amped fuzz-laden retro outfit, but Witches… Continue Reading →

Dexter Ward – III (No Remorse Records)

So yes, it would be a little less formulaic if a band named their fourth or second album “III”, just to mess with people, but in the cynical world we live in the joke would no doubt backfire on the… Continue Reading →

Solitary Sabred – By Fire and Brimstone (No Remorse Records)

Appearances can be deceiving. Two bands embarking on their third album, released on the same day, on the same label with the same artists artwork, from the same part of Europe…and reviewed at the same time by yours truly –… Continue Reading →

Wolf – Feeding The Machine (Century Media)

Wolf are a band that somehow still sound as fresh and exciting as they always have, many years down the line. They are instantly recognisable, yet play such a traditional form of straight-edged Heavy Metal revered by fans all over… Continue Reading →

Victor Smolski’s Almanac – Rush Of Death (Nuclear Blast)

It’s true that guitarist Victor Smolski is probably best known for his time in Rage, where he pushed the band into different musical territories, encouraging the German 3 piece into previously unthought-of dimensions…something that some fans loved and some didn’t…. Continue Reading →

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