Dark Heart – Dark Heart

New Wave of British Heavy Metal band Dark Heart originally formed in 1983, out of the ashes of Tokyo Rose, releasing a very good debut album “Shadows Of The Night” in 1984 on Roadrunner Records. Unfortunately, as happened with so many bands back then, it somewhat flew under the radar and the band eventually fizzled out in 1987. However, if you are a collector of such albums, it’s well worth getting hold of.

Fast forward to 2017 when original guitarist, and sole remaining member of the line-up Alan Clark, revived the name and at the end of 2021 Dark Heart released their second, self-titled album. Alan recently, and very kindly, sent me a copy of the album and after many listens I’m here to tell you it is a damn good piece of Classic Heavy Metal/NWOBHM with modern production.

Alan Clark now handles lead vocals/keyboards and I have to say, WHY hasn’t this man been fronting bands for years? He has an excellent voice and it is perfect for this style of melodic but thumping Metal. He is joined here by extremely good guitarist Nick Catterick, who lets fly with some impressive solos and riffs throughout, ex Eden’s Curse drummer Pete Newdeck (who has also done a fine job producing and mixing) and, the always good, Josh Williams on bass.

Kicking off with ‘Darkest Eyes’ is a fine move as it’s an up-tempo stomper of a track, showcases everyone’s ability, got me air drumming and nodding my head immediately and ends with a blistering solo that I wanted to go on for at least another two minutes as I was enjoying it so much. ‘Cast In Stone’ begins with an almost Pink Floyd guitar vibe before kicking into a crunching mid-tempo track that screams Tony Martin era Black Sabbath, which is a fine thing as far as I’m concerned as I always think the albums Tony Martin did with Sabbath are unfairly overlooked. ‘Edge Of Dreams’ continues that feel but other influences creep in. ‘Degrees Of Separation’ is up next and is another good track, even if the main riff sounds a little too close to Dio, but they aren’t the first band to do that and won’t be the last. It still contains an awesome guitar solo. ‘Wings Of The Night’ brings the tempo down and it’s the nearest thing there is to a ballad on the album. “Dark Heart” the album, continues in this vein across the eleven tracks. It mixes up the tempos, every song, fast or slow, is catchy and the, nearly one hour running time goes by pretty damn quickly.

I’m predominantly picking up the 80’s Sabbath/Dio influences the most and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are others and I’m sure you’ll hear your own, but, Dark Heart have managed to release a great album that sounds like Dark Heart! It’s not saying anything new but this is the type of stuff I was brought up on and I think they’ve done a bloody good job

‘Alan, can you not wait another 38 years until we get album number three please?’ Thanks!!

Track List

01. Darkest Eyes

02. Cast To Stone

03. Edge Of Dreams

04. Degrees Of Separation

05. Wings Of The Night

06. House Of Usurer

07. Break The Chains

08. Time To Fly

09. K.O.T.D.

10. Night Won’t Let Me Go

11. Shadows Of The Night

Band Members

Alan Clark – Vocals, Keyboards

Nick Catterick – Guitars, Keyboards, Backing Vocals

Pete Newdeck – Drums, Backing Vocals

Josh Williams – Bass

This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and The Metal Asylum

Black Lakes– For All We’ve Left Behind

Welsh band Black Lakes recently released their debut album “For All We’ve Left Behind” and for a band that, musically speaking, ply their trade in a Modern/Post/Nu Metal & Rock way, a style I listen to less, they have really made me sit up and listen because this album is loaded with twelve hard hitting but hugely melodic tracks of high quality.

What you notice immediately, when pressing play, is how well produced this is for a debut. Yes, I know it’s easier to get a more decent sound these days but you still need someone good behind the scenes to give the music that final professional sheen and to help project the message. Believe me, I’ve heard some good music this year that has been let down with shoddy production but that is certainly not the case with Black Lakes. This sounds huge and that bodes well for a young band.

As you might expect from this style of music it is, lyrically, on the depressing side but we’ve all been through a pretty tough time over the last 2 ½ years so it’s not unusual for bands to be in that mind-set when writing material. Black Lakes themselves say “For All We’ve Left Behind represents the bands shared experiences of loss, depression, suicide, deception, and deceit. There are also moments of light to counterpoint these strong negative emotions. The culmination of our work over the last three years is 12 songs that we feel speak of the struggles of the human condition disarmingly honestly, but with hope for a different future for all”. That is a very honest assessment of the music presented here and, perhaps, it is something I have been able to connect with more than I usually would, due to my own personal struggles recently.

Even though there is no theme or connection this is another body of music that feels well put together and thought out rather than just a selection of standalone songs. After a number of years where bands seemed to throw everything including the kitchen sink on an album and in an age when many just download 1 or 2 favourites off a release, there now seems to be a rediscovering of the essence of flow. There isn’t any padding or filler here, every song is where it should be and it feels complete.

There is much to discover here and repeated listens opened up facets that I initially missed. Even though I very much liked this on the first spin, there are some really great riffs and groove laden songs here, the album keeps giving, meaning it’s a grower and a mature one. I’ll say again that this doesn’t sound like a debut.

I suspect many ‘traditional’ Metal/Rock ‘fans’ will pass this by without giving Black Lakes a chance and that is why I dislike genre tags. “For All We’ve Left Behind” is a fine album and one that should be experienced fully by actually listening to it before passing judgement! I shall be following them with interest!

Track List

01. Exordium

02. Avarice

03. Dissident

04. Fragments

05. Verity In Flames

06. The Divide

07. Landslide

08. Ghosts (Of Our Memories)

09. Deathrone

10. Break The Silence

11. For All We’ve Left Behind

12. Black Days Come

Band Members

Will Preston – Vocals

Scott Brashaw – Guitars

James Rowlands – Guitars

Dylan Burris – Guitars

Lee Harris – Bass

Dafydd Fuller – Drums

This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and The Metal Asylum

The Metal Asylum – 06/12/2020 – The Metal Mash Up

This week we decided to mix it up a bit…..and that turned into a Metal Mash Up. Featuring tracks from across the genres and across the decades. Enjoy!!

  • Seven Witches – Metal Asylum
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Suicide Solution
  • Crystal Viper – When The Sun Goes Down (Queen Of The Witches – 2017)
  • Deep Purple – Demon’s Eye (Fireball – 1971)
  • Hollywood Undead – Day Of The Dead (Day Of The Dead – 2015)
  • Darkthrone – The Hardship Of The Scots (Old Star – 2019)
  • Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes (All The Young Dudes – 1972)
  • Metallica – Welcome Home (Sanitarium) (Master Of Puppets – 1986)
  • Grand Funk Railroad – Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother (Closer To Home – 1970)
  • Adema – The Way You Like It (Adema – 2001)
  • Paradise Lost – Crucify (Tragic Idol – 2012)
  • Neil Young – Old Man (Harvest – 1972)
  • Mayhem – Chainsaw Gutsfuck (Death Crush – 1987)
  • Marc Bolan and T-Rex – The Groover
  • Slipknot – My Plague (Iowa – 2001)
  • Pink Floyd – See Emily Play (The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn – 1967)
  • Watain – Waters Of Ain (Lawless Darkness – 2010)
  • Kiss – King Of The Night Time World (Destroyer – 1976)
  • Avantasia – Mystery Of A Blood Red Rose (Ghostlights – 2016)
  • Spineshank – New Disease (The Height Of Callousness – 2000)
  • Rush – Tom Sawyer (Moving Pictures – 1981)
  • Nile – Sacrifice Unto Sebek (Annihilation Of The Wicked – 2005)
  • Bring Me The Horizon – Avalanche (That’s The Spirit – 2015)
  • Cinderella – Gypsy Road (Long, Cold Winter – 1988)
  • Molly Hatchet – Gator Country (Molly Hatchet – 1978)
  • Amon Amarth – Death In Fire (Versus The World – 2002)
  • Of Mice And Men – Unbreakable (Defy – 2018)
  • Type O Negative – Be My Druidess (October Rust – 1996)
  • Death Angel – The Dream Calls For Blood (The Dream Calls For Blood – 2013)
  • Threshold – Disappear (Dead Reckoning – 2007)
  • Slayer – Captor Of Sin (Haunting The Chapel – 1984)
  • Dawn Of Demise – Awaken The Aggressor (A Force Unstoppable – 2010)
  • Linkin Park – Crawling (Hybrid Theory – 2000)
  • Poison – Fallen Angel (Open Up And Say….Ahhh – 1988)
  • Hell – The Quest (Human Remains – 2011)
  • Ghost – Rats (Prequelle – 2018)
  • Led Zeppelin – Stairway To Heaven

Aired on Metal Devastation Radio on Sunday 6th December 2020

The Metal Asylum – 06/12/2020 – The Metal Mash Up

This week we decided to mix it up a bit…..and that turned into a Metal Mash Up. Featuring tracks from across the genres and across the decades. Enjoy!!

Aired on Metal Devastation Radio on Sunday 6th December 2020

The Metal Asylum – 29/11/2020

Here is the playlist for the show that was aired on Sunday 29th November 2020. Enjoy!

  • Seven Witches – Metal Asylum
  • Creedance Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
  • Kiss – Black Diamond
  • Kult Of The Skull God – Judas Is My Priest (The Great Magini – 2020)
  • Steel Panther – The Shocker (Feel The Steel – 2009)
  • Oldblood – Nuclear Blues
  • Machine Head – My Hands Are Empty
  • Michael Schenker Group – Assault Attack (Assault Attack – 1982)
  • WASP – Ballcrusher (The Last Command – 1985)
  • Vixen – I Want You To Rock Me (Vixen – 1988)
  • Hexx – Wrath Of The Reaper (Wrath Of The Reaper – 2017)
  • Airbourne – Animalize (Black Dog Barking – 2013)
  • Rainbow – Eyes Of The World (Down To Earth – 1979)
  • Gothminister – Ich Will Alles (The Other Side – 2017)
  • Nervosa – Surrounded By Serpents (Agony – 2016)
  • Testament – As The Seasons Grey (The Ritual – 1992)
  • Corrosion Of Conformity – Great Purefication (Blind – 1991)
  • Violator – Deadly Sadistic Experiments (Annihilation Process – 2010)
  • Krokus – Screaming In The Night (Headhunter – 1983)
  • Mercyful Fate – Into The Coven (Melissa – 1983)
  • Slayer – Die By The Sword (Show No Mercy – 1983)
  • Blitzkrieg – Armaggedon (A Time Of Changes – 1985)
  • Hirax – Black Smoke (Immortal Legacy – 2014)
  • Manowar – Fast Taker (Battle Hymns – 1982)
  • Forbidden – Inhuman Race (Omega Wave – 2010)
  • The Treatment – The Doctor (This Might Hurt – 2011)
  • Iron Maiden – Out Of The Silent Planet (Brave New World – 2000)
  • Sword – Runaway (Metalized – 1986)
  • Generation Kill – Born To Serve (We’re All Gonna Die – 2013)
  • Feinstein – Regeneration (Third Wish – 2004)
  • Megadeth – Lucretia (Rust In Peace – 1990)
  • Iced Earth – The Hunter (The Dark Saga – 1996)
  • Heavatar – Born To Fly (Opus I All My Kingdoms – 2012)
  • Pyramaze – Knights In Shining Armour (Epitaph – 2020)
  • Onslaught – Strike Fast, Strike Hard (Generation Antichrist – 2020)
  • Judas Priest – One On One (Demolition – 2001)
  • Ozzy Osbourne – I Just Want You

Aired on Metal Devastation Radio on Sunday 29th November 2020

The Metal Asylum – 29/11/2020

There was no theme or title this week. Just three hours of metaltastic tunes to get you headbanging around the living. This week we brought back The Time Tunnel, three tracks and a bucket load of headlines from one year, you just have to guess the year!

Aired on Metal Devastation Radio on Sunday 29th November 2020

The Metal Asylum – Underground – 22/11/2020

Here is the playlist for our Underground show that aired on Sunday 22nd November 2020. Hope you see something you like!

  • Seven Witches – Metal Asylum
  • Random Black – Witch Daughter (Under The Cross – 2020)
  • Let The Wolves In – House Of Cards (Loose Ends – 2020)
  • Stim – Asylum (Primal – 2015)
  • Ctrl + Alt + Delete – Slowly
  • Elimination – In The Name Of Violence (Of Gods And Beasts – 2020)
  • Unknown Refuge – Shadows (From The Darkness – 2021)
  • Votov – Pacify The Enslaved (I.X.X.I – 2020)
  • Cathedrals Fall – How Far We Fall (Harmonic Dissidence – 2020)
  • Prophet And The Cowboys Of Apocalypse – Kate (Last Days In Paradise – 2021)
  • Badgered – Future Oncoming (Planet Absurdic – 2020)
  • Justice Theory – Fade Into The Night (Fade Into The Night – 2020)
  • Bastyon – Eternity’s End (Bastyon – 2020)
  • Endbringer – The Used (yet to be released EP)
  • MX The American – Finding My Way
  • Deveria – Suicide Forest (Self Titled – 2021)
  • Gravehuffer – Causes (Necroeclosion – 2021)
  • The Spectre Beneath – As The Crows Peck At Your Bones (The Downfall Of Judith King)
  • Slammer – Tenement Zone (The Work Of Idle Hands – 1989)
  • Bloodrust – For Those We’ve Left Behind
  • Bonded – Sweet Murderer (Rest In Violence – 2020)
  • Black Wolf Mountain – Retribution (Retribution – 2020)
  • Stud – In My Tragedy (War Of Power – 2020)
  • Red Cain – Snake Bouquet (Kindred Act I – 2020)
  • Beyond The Grey – Men Of War
  • Kardinal X – Heretic
  • Snakeblade – Scavenger (The Kingdom – 2020)
  • Vessel Of Light – Last Ride (Last Ride – 2020)
  • Raider – Guardian Of The Fie (Guardian Of The Fire – 2020)
  • Brute Allies – Nemesis (Ash & Nails – 2020)
  • Salem’s Childe – The Dream Is Dead (The Sin That Saves You – 2020)
  • Thrashwall – Insanity Alert (Thrashwall – 2020)
  • Kult Of The Skull God – Judas Is My Priest (The Great Mangini – 2020)
  • Torch – All Metal, No Rust (Reignited – 2020)
  • Incursion – Fade To Black (The Hunter – 2020)
  • Fatal Sin – Fatal Sin (Episodes – 2020)
  • Dangerous Times For The Dead – Dangerous Times For The Dead (Dangerous Times For The Dead – 2020)
  • Beyond The Circle – Lost Within The Stars

Aired on Metal Devastation Radio on Sunday 22nd November 2020

Brainstorm – Midnight Storm (2018)

Another of my reviews previously posted to Ever Metal

Being just over forty years of age but preferring a lot of the older bands, I was always late to the party where many bands were concerned. Brainstorm were one of these such bands. I first heard them one night when I was browsing through YouTube. They appeared as a “recommended bands” on the right-hand side of the screen so I thought I would check them. And I am glad I did. From the very first track I listened to, I loved them. They were just the sort of metal that I loved.

But, then they kind of disappeared from my radar.

So, when Rick sent me the new album, I just had to review it to see if they are still as good as I remembered. And they are!! But first a little history!

Brainstorm are power metal band from Germany (where else? All the decent power metal bands seem to come from Germany!) They were formed in 1989 (hence why I was late to the party with these guys. I was only 12!) by guitarists, Torsten Ihlenfeld and Milan Loncaric, and drummer Dieter Bernert, and are known for playing a somewhat darker style of music than most power metal bands.

During their early years they built up a solid groundwork with several demo releases and live appearance. They signed their first record deal in 1997 and the self-produced album “Hungry” was released, to great reviews. Chart entries in many European countries followed and their intense live performances were catapulting them into the champions league of or metal, resulting in the band being asked to perform at many of the big festivals.

And now on to their new album “Midnight Ghost”. This is the band’s 12th studio album (man, I need to buy some of their back catalogue), produced by Seeb Levermann and recorded at the Greenman Studios. It was released on 28th September 2018 by AFM Records.

Although not a concept album in the strictest sense of the word, there is a thematic thread running through the tracks…the fear of ghosts, monsters under your bed, the bogeyman in your wardrobe and wild beasts in the night….all fears that many of us have had since childhood and this is all depicted magnificently in the cover artwork produced by Gyula Havancsak (who has also worked with the likes of Accept and Stratovarius).

This album has a sound that it bound to delight all power metal fans and was even a surprise for the five band members themselves. Says vocalist Andy P Franck; “It’s pretty unusual that musicians still get the shivers down their spines when they listen to the new material after a long and energy-sapping production. In this case, we can really say that all Brainstorm musicians are total fans of our new recording. Midnight Ghost is the album we want to be measured by in the future.”

From the anthemic opener “Devil’s Eye” to the driving “When Pain Becomes Real” to the punchy “Haunting Voices”, Brainstorm more than live up to the term ‘melodic power metal.’  They deliver the full range of their typical trademarks, awesome melodies, dynamic grooves and extremely heavy, pounding guitar riffs. The galloping drums that I so love are there too, and of course, magnificent vocals. One of the things that made me fall in love with this band the first time I heard them was Andy P Franck’s voice. Strong and powerful yet able to carry off a huge range that adds dimension to the band’s sound and this he still has in abundance!

All the tracks are fantastic in their own right but together they make up an awesome album that should be in any metal fan’s collection. Not only do they bring the power element that they are so good at, but there are elements of thrash, traditional and speed metal too.

Says Andy P Franck; “Midnight Ghost is faster, more melodic and at the same time also tougher than all our previous releases.” And I couldn’t agree more. Why stick to one genre or aspect of metal when you can combine many and achieve a sound like this?

I can’t fault this album really and I really don’t want to take it out of my car. But, alas, needs must for the next review!

All I can say though is, when are you coming to England guys!!?


01 – Devil’s Eye

02 – Revealing The Darkness

03 – Ravenous Minds

04 – The Pyre

05 – Jeanne Boulet (1764)

06 – Divine Inner Ghost

07 – When Pain Becomes Real

08 – The Four Blessings

09 – Haunting Voices

10 – The Path




Reproduced with kind permission from Ever Metal

Behind The Smokescreen – Scars Within EP

Another one of my reviews that was originally posted to Ever Metal

One thing we are proud of at Ever Metal is the diversity and range of music that we review. My last three reviews couldn’t have been any more different if I tried. I have gone from a progressive rock band to a 60’s/70’s influenced psychedelic band and now to this new EP from Greek band Behind The Smokescreen, an aggressive / groove metal outfit.

Formed in Ioannina, Greece, in 2013, the band is made up of Nikonas Tsolakos on vocals, Nasos Drougas on rhythm guitars and backing vocals, Kyriakos Magdalis on drums, Evaggelos Roukos on bass and Dimitris Lucas on lead guitars. The EP was mixed and mastered at Crown Audio Conspiracies by Achilleas Kalantzis and the cover artwork was designed by Giannis Tagmatarchis.

This is a band who wear their influences on their sleeve and have maintained a great respect and admiration for bands such as Pantera, Machinehead, Lamb of God and Black Label Society. I’m sure they would be the first to admit they are not trying to break any new ground with this EP, but it is still a stonking recording none the less.

The EP kicks off with ‘Too Ambitious’ and I absolutely loved the opening intro with its galloping guitars and heavy riffs that rumble in your belly. I was expecting really growling vocals to kick in (probably because experience has shown me that if I really love the music, I am going to hate the vocals!) but was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t. The vocals are aggressive and in your face, but at least you can still hear what the singer is singing and is even quite melodic in places.

The guitar work is fantastic throughout the EP and the solos are out of this world. The rhythm section is solid, and everybody seems to fit together perfectly. I do think a lot of the heavier bands are accused of “just making a noise” but it takes a lot of talent to be able to make a noise and it be as good as this EP!

My head was banging, and my foot was tapping the whole way through this and I just wished it lasted longer! I think these guys would be immense in a live setting so if I hear they are visiting London town at any point I will be there, with bells on! (well ok studs and buckles but you get my drift!)

I hope these guys are going to put out a full-length album soon but, in the meantime, I will go and check out their previously released album “Age of Corruption.” I suggest you all go and do the same!

As the famous Oliver once said…. please sir, can I have some more?!


1 Too Ambitious

2 Broken Is The Word

3 Future Re-Set

4 Shelter In I (Bonus)






Originally posted on Ever Metal – Reproduced here with kind permission