2017 Reviews

Published on May 20th, 2017 | by Justin G.

Masters of Metal Vol. 4 (Divebomb)

The Divebomb label’s Masters of Metal series, which puts overlooked metal demos on CD for the first time, is back with three new installments to shine a light on some exciting bands that may have escaped our attention the first time around.

Masters of Metal Vol. 4 showcases four bands: Substratum, Outcast, Sahara Snow and Volcana. Here’s what it includes:

Substratum – This Seattle-based traditional heavy metal band has a classic Judas Priest sound and a female singer with a tough, somewhat raspy voice. They’re catchy, heavy and melodic, and are a great fit if you’re into bands like Widow, Night Demon, Raven and Axxion. We get their 3-song 2015 Substratum demo and their 3-song 2017 Rough Rider demo here. Both had previously only been available on cassette.

Outcast – The Australian band’s 4-song 2014 Outcast EP is included here. This is simple, straightforward, hard-charging heavy metal that’s really hard to resist. It reminds me of the early Night Demon and Visigoth EPs, as well as classic NWOBHM bands like Jaguar and Savage.

Sahara Snow – The mysterious UK band has their 5-song Sahara Snow EP here. It’s a solid, heavy mix of traditional and doom metal. Candlemass and Grand Magus appear to be their influences. I like the songs like “Leviathan” and “Iron King” that have a more epic, doomy feel, but the other songs lose me.

Volcana – US heavy metal band Volcana closes out the collection with their 2-song 2016 release A Lion Among Jackals, which was previously only available as a 7”. Volcana features members/former members of Warbringer, Seven Witches and Vindicator, and their two songs definitely leave you wanting more. There’s a thick stoner groove thing going on, with massive riffs and heavy, doomy vocals.

This is another first-class collection of overlooked heavy metal from the Divebomb camp. All four bands were new to me, and I’m definitely going to be digging further into at least three of them. If you’re looking to discover the best metal from the underground, this series is a great asset.

Masters of Metal Vol. 4 (Divebomb) Justin G.
Album Rating

Summary: Another great collection of underground metal.


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