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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.

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 →

Nachtterror – Judgement (Hypnotic Dirge)

Symphonic Black Metal band Nachtterror…no, hang on, merely using the term “Symphonic Black Metal” does not do Nachtterror justice. OK, as labels go, it’s not a million miles away and yes there are plenty of Symphonic Black Metal elements to… Continue Reading →

Ritual King – S/T (Ripple Music)

Mancunian Metal anyone? OK, there’s more to Ritual King than mere Metal, but “Mancunian Heavy Psyche Stoner Rock with Retro Doom Metal Moments” isn’t a very punchy, attention-grabbing way to open a review is it? But the broadened description fits… Continue Reading →

Demons & Wizards – III (Century Media)

I suppose a couple of preconceptions can easily be attached to this long-awaited album from Demons & Wizards. It’s called “III”…it’s their third album – an obvious one. It’s a project by Jon Schaffer and Hansi Kürsch so it will… Continue Reading →

Stråle – Bourbon Souls (FDA Records)

It might come as a surprise to those who frequent the hallowed pages of Ave Noctum to see yours truly doing a review for a band on F.D.A, a renowned Death Metal label. Not least myself. But as the description… Continue Reading →

Dzö-Nga – Thunder In The Mountains (Avantgarde Music)

“Thunder In The Mountains” is the third full-length album from American Avant-garde (naturally) Extreme Metal band Dzö-Nga. It admirably continues the bands lyrical journey through Native American folklore (“Thunder In the Mountains” is lyrically based on on H. W. Longfellow’s… Continue Reading →

Dominia – The Withering Of The Rose (MSH Music Group)

Melancholy, inescapable heartache, night of despair, loss, exhausting, plaintive tears, velvet darkness. Just a few of the buzz-words in the promotional information that the record company kindly arms us writers with when preparing to do a review of this latest… Continue Reading →

Lotus Thief – Oresteia (Prophecy)

When dealing in Avant-garde and Progressive Metal it is of course important to be both of those terms and carve out your own niche therein. With their third release this highly talented American band do just that. Opening your album… Continue Reading →

Brothers Of Metal – Emblas Saga (AFM)

This Swedish 8 piece (yes, eight piece!) Epic Melodic Power Metal band do not hang about! Eager to capitalize on their debut released via AFM just a year ago, this band of Metal brothers (with one sister) are ready once… Continue Reading →

Mystic Prophecy – Metal Division (Rock Of Angels Records)

It’s taken a year or so, but up and coming Greek Metal label Rock Of Angels finally get to wheel out their big guns with a new album by German Metal powerhouse Mystic Prophecy. Having already shone in Steel Prophet… Continue Reading →

Rage – Wings Of Rage (Steamhammer/SPV)

Veteran German Power Metal band Rage (because I reckon even Rage main-man Peavy will be OK with the ‘veteran’ term after 37 years in the business delivering 23 studio albums, not to mention all the EPs and live stuff) return… Continue Reading →

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