Christmas Gift: Are you ready to rock Vol. 3 sampler

Merry Christmas to each and everybody out there!

There are many bands I was able to write about in 2017. But as always time is short so it's not possible to have a post about all the great bands out there. 

Happily ONLINE METAL PROMO (United States), BREATH FRESHER webzine (Japan) and MARIC MEDIA (Australia) have joined forces to offer a free online digital download promotional music compilation titled "Hello Tokyo...OMP, Are You Ready To Rock?" featuring 53 songs from some of the hottest established and rising rock / metal bands from the United States and Australia.

The front cover for the free online download compilation "Are you ready to rock Vol. 3"

This package is a good and easy way to discover some of the new band's for yourselves. Here is a list of the band's that are featured:

ARTERIES - Australia
AZRAEL'S BANE - United States
BLASTED TO STATIC - Australia / United States
BURN RIVER BURN - United States
CAGE - United States
CANEDY - United States
COBRA - Australia
CROSSON - Australia
CROWN OF EARTH - United States
DEADSPACE - Australia
DEATH DEALER - United States / Australia
DIAMOND LANE - United States
ENVENOMED - Australia
FRANKENBOT - Australia
GODS OF EDEN - Australia
HELD HOSTAGE - United States
HELLEVATE - United States
HELLSCREAM - United States
HEMINA - Australia
IN DEATH - Australia
LOVE N WAR - United States
LUNAR - United States
MALICE - United States
MASQUED - United States
MATREKIS - United States
MEGA COLOSSUS - United States
NIGHT LEGION - Australia
NIVIANE - United States
NUCLEUST - Australia
OUR LAST ENEMY - Australia
PETER GRAIGS - United States
RAVAGE - United States
RIFF RAIDERS - Australia
SALEMS LOTT - United States
SCARS OF GRACE - United States
SCREAMKING - United States
SHALLOW GROUND - United States
SPACE VACATION - United States
ST. JAMES - United States
SYNAESCOPE - Australia
THE RODS - United States
THEM - United States / Germany
TO AN END - Australia
TOWER OF BABEL - United States / Europe
TUBEFREEKS - United States
VANLADE - United States
YUGEN - Australia

Download the free songs, compilation artwork and track listing directly at this Dropbox link.


Single Review: Drop Oblivion - Damaged Goods (Thrash, 2017)

The last days of the year are running but there's still something going on. This time it's a brutal piece of heavy music coming our way giving a idea of how 2018 could sound like.

The single cover for "Damaged Goods" without background and title, (c) by Drop Oblivion, used with kind permission

Drop Oblivion is the brain child of UK based solo composer Ian Mortimer. After getting into the local Metal scene in 2006 performing with various bands over the years, he started an outlet in 2014 for his own heavy creations with Drop Oblivion.

Originally conceived as a “just for fun” project, Ian began working with other musicians on some initial demo tracks,  and created an entire album of material over the course of a few days. As Ian progressed and focused on performing with his other ambient project “Skin For A Canvas”, Drop Oblivion took a back seat for a few years until 2017 when new demos were taken into full production at his home studio in England. The first single taster track for the new album was released in December 2017 titled “Damaged Goods”. The completed album is expected for release late 2018.

It's a plaesure to see that one man can give heavy music a push into a new direction. The fine thing about this single track is it's continous push it gives. I like the constant going of the drums and the overall song-structure as composed to sound as one piece. Guitars are riff-oriented but not too loud making the listening experience smooth.

It's also fine to hear that the vocals take part on this journey and also it remains sounding as one bold metal track it also changes in it's way of dark tonality. There are many various undertones of the dark vocals that are presented with various pressure. The end comes a bit surprising with a guitar solo offered as part of the song structure instead of forming a own part as usual.

Track-Stream & Purchase-Link
If you're into experimental heavy, let's say mostly thrashy music this one is a ear to keep upon. Devin Townsend came to my mind but also slight comparsions with Trivium rushed in every here and there. Expect raw heavyness mixed with little surprises and lot's of riffs with modern sound well produced for your listening pleasure.

Pick up a copy from the digital plattforms such as Bandcamp, CD Baby and Spotify
Have a listen by checking the visual video below.

Make sure to follow Drop Oblivion on Facebook. The full album is set for release late 2018.


Dirty Machine lift the mood up with Rock and Eat video performance

Recently I felt down and was in need to find something to lift me up again. Happily music has the power to cheer you up many times. This time around it was Dirty Machine's video for "Built" that gave me back my power.

It's this seamless and not-stoppable riff and rhythm power going down in one piece that lays the basics for my good mood. On top of that the vocals are top notch and I love to hear that there are two vocalists who take down the stuff so solid and heavily trained that you can't do anything elese but feel good again.

Plus the vid shows how small place you need to perform. The band picked a packed restaurant to perform. It often feels to me as if the smalest location can be filled with life if only there's a few space for a live band.

Be sure to follow the band on Facebook or the band's website. They have some great stuff comin' like a free show on December the 18th at the Whisky A Go-Go. Don't miss out your chance to have a good time!


Salems Lott surprise with unplugged part in power track

This band has made something very unusual. They've included a unplugged guitar part inside a very powerful track. The song itself is build a classic way those Hard Rock tracks are set up.

It's going straight into the heart and soul with it's fast and straight forward headbang-along uptempo. Next comes the solo section with all of it's guitar fury. Just seconds later you'll spot this great unplugged insert.

Directed by Ian Moore and produced by UWOWI, the video features an original interpretation of a cult classic originally featured in the classic Horror film "Fright Night". The video depicts the dangers of succumbing to darker temptations in contrast to sublimating and accepting those same "beastly" aspects of humanity and channeling them into creativity.

The band logo of Salems Lott, (c) by Salems Lott, used with kind permission
The song appears on part one of a album series the band has just started with. To purchase a copy of Salems Lott - Mask Of Morality, visit iTunes or Spotify.

For more info on the band just visit the band's website.


Interview with Liar Thief Bandit (2017)

Swedish rockers Liar Thief Bandit are currently on the rampage touring through Europe. Today the german leg starts in Rostock. Further stations will see the band also perform in Lingen on 21.12.2017 at the Bul Bar & Lounge as part of the Lingen Volume concert series. Through the show announcement for Lingen I got to know about them.

My first introduction to their music was the official video for "Lease On Life" and that made me so curious that I asked for a interview to find out more about the band. We had the pleasure to speak with vocalist Mike Jacobson how the band started, how the outstanding vocals changed over time and which unexpected meetings you can have while being on the road...

A bandshot of Liar Thief Bandit, Photo Credit:
Dan Leo Lindeberg

Heavy Metal Underdogs: Do you remember the first time the band did rehearse back in the day? What happened?

Mike Jacobson: I remember the first time we rehearsed. It was a little special because our drummer William and I had started to work on one of my earliest ideas for the song “Moving On” that ended up on our debut album later on. We had gotten to know each other through our former bass player since we both played in his solo project and when he later joined us for our second or third rehearsal the magic started happen and the band formed for real. Those first steps were very important and I am happy that we took them!

Are many of your songs inspired by your own real life experiences or what else inspires you to write songs?

I write all the lyrics and they are inspired by both my own experiences and my own thoughts about things happening in my surroundings but also in the world at large.

The songs doesn’t always represent me but they always represent something I can relate to and I think that is important!

Do you have any anecdote of strange things that happened recently playing a show or traveling around?

We got a last minute show on our first European tour in April this year. This was in Slavonice, Czech Republic on a Sunday and we didn’t expect much. The show was outside a small town on the countryside, the place was like a barn. The show was pretty early in the evening and it was packed with people! Very unexpected, especially when a guy who was introduced to us as "an old punk rocker” came there by horse from his home 20 km away - he smoked some pot and asked if I wanted to trade my Orange guitar amplifier for his horse. I did not, but I loved that we got to meet this unique human being!

The vocals stand out of the sound of Liar Thief Bandit. Do you think your voice evolved and changed over the years?

My vocals have definitely evolved since we started. I have gotten way better at singing and I think it’s mainly because we have played so many shows, it really helps you to find the core of the voice when it’s exposed to so many different situations.

Your website is great - fast and easy to navigate. Was it your intention to go a different way than the usual overloaded websites you can find nowadays?

Thank you! Yes, this was intentional. I think that today people don’t really visit websites as much as before but when they do, it’s important that they find what they are looking for as fast as possible. I think we got that one right.

Futher tourdates and information on Liar Thief Bandit can be found on the band's Facebook page as well as the mentioned homepage.


St Nicholas Day gift: Missiles Of October - Better Days

It's the day again where you should give your wishlist and add some bread for the journey of St Nicholas. As for me it feels as if the list of wishes get's smaller with every year because those things can not be bought in shops....

But Missiles Of October left a nice present for all of us. Their album "Better Days" is a kicking mixture of raw vocals, pounding rhythm and dirty rough guitars. It feels great and helps a lot to let some pressure burn. It's stuff like Helmet used to craft back in their prime days I also feel slightly reminded of the anger level of Motörhead recordings - this also goes for the direct sound the recording offers.

The download is available for free but please consider to give a little to this band based in Bruxelles, Belgium. Every little bit helps them to keep on the road and play a show near you or to be able to record more music for us in the future.

You may also pick a CD or vinyl. The CD comes with nice stickers in a cool package. Just have a look at the cover - think of putting one of the cats to your next letter. Wouldn't that look cool? You can order directly via Bandcamp. A detailed list of additional retailers is at the bottom of the same Bandcamp page.

Missiles Of October Better Days album cover, (c) by Missiles Of October, used with kind permission
Finally make sure to stay tuned with the band through a Facebook connection.


CD Review: Antidote - The Truth (Progressive Thrash, 1992/2017 re-release)

Usually the Underdogs is glad to be able to check out new releases and let you know how they turned out. This one originally comes from way back in 1992. Why is it worth reviewing it anyway?

It's because Antidote were one of the first bands that added progressive elements to the classic thrash formula and dared to go new ways in this sector. This re-release came to me without warning out of nowhere.

The cover of Antidote's "The truth" album, (c) by Antidote, used with kind permission

The first disc offers the full classic "The Truth" as a remastered edition. The vocals are held in the screaming regions so it's oldschool all the way. If you've heard the "Mind Alive" album before this record this fact may surprise you but this style fit's the far more agressive material of the early days of the band perfectly. The songs often go straight, raw and with lot's of drive but with slight elements of progression so it's great to be able to see how the band evolved over the releases with this re-issue.

Another pro for this CD is the fact that finally you don't need to hunt it down heavily in second hand shops etc. for high prices anymore. In addition to that this edition comes with a bonus disc. I think not many people have heard the stuff pressed on this silver disc. It contains the two demo tapes the band made ("Epoch Of Insanity" and "Spaced Out") that came out before the band reached for bigger aims.

It's those tunes that bring the most fun. In today's context where most productions are heavy weight it's great to hear the simpicity of demos of back in the day. No need to follow complicated structures and layers just lay back and enjoy tracks going straight. It's those noise that makes this double treat as stuff to be remembered.

In addition those demos were never before available at least here in Germany so it was for me as if the band released a brand new album. The tunes itself lay it down heavy and fast most with compact song structures. At some points you'll spot some great experiments on the guitar worked in (just listen to "Spaced Out" with those high guitar notes inside - it put's a real spotlight on the song).I love the printing on Demo CD - it reminds me so much of back in the day when I used to collect demos myself.

Grab the double disc while it's up for purchase (looks like it is limited to 500 copies). So far I've only been able to find it on the web as physical release at the webshop of Minotauro Records. Alternatively you can buy it from the Bandcamp shop of the record company.

Contact Data
The band has a Facebook account talkin' a lot about the memories of back in the day so you may want to follow those stories with the famous "Like"-Click.