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   Don your patch-jacket and raise the horns for the raw and classic sound of Conquest of Steel.  About to release their fourth opus Of Fire and Steel, Yorkshire’s heavy metal veterans have returned and continue to expand their impressive discography. A tribute to the gods of classic metal, the quintet have wowed audiences across Europe with their fiery performances and booze-fuelled rocking. Their intense and energetic sound is much welcomed in a scene that has largely forgotten the traditional ‘80s styles. For almost fifteen years, they have been determined to put heavy metal back on the map - spreading the metal madness through relentless touring.

   Holding the flag for the more brutal side of No Face Records are Liverpudlians Evanesce, whose caustic and violent brand of melodic death metal is a sound to behold. Razor riffs, frantic drumming and inane growls are the order of the day for the band. Their 2006 release Secure the Shadow matches aggression and depravity with raw production. Their melodic edge is still prevalent, however, inspired by the likes of Iron Maiden and Saxon, which adds variety to the chaos. The seasoned death metallers have since disbanded, but their catalogue is still worth investigating for those who prefer their music extreme and unrelenting.

   Halifax doom masters The Prophecy released their 2007 record Revelations on No Face. Delightfully mournful and depressive, the hour-long epic showcases the talent of a then-underground band rising through the ranks of metal. The journey is heavy and bone-breaking at times, as well as slow and melancholic at others. Their stint on No Face propelled them out of obscurity and they have shared the stage with legends such as Mourning Beloveth, My Dying Bride and 3 Inches of Blood. They have further cemented their hometown Halifax – and Northern England – as the go-to region for quality slabs of oppressive doom.

Hailing from Edinburgh, stoner/doom purveyors Man of the Hour brought their sophomore release Destroy the Machines of Slaughter in 2007. With traditional guitar work, hints of thrash, power and groove metal, as well as an impressively diverse range of vocal styles, MOTH blends a smorgasbord of different metal with tongue firmly placed in cheek. Their eclectic nature and evident musicmanship makes for an entertaining listen – being undeniably brutal one moment and melodic and catchy the next.

   Mathias bring innovative yet classic heavy metal to the table. Their self-titled and Blue albums are packed full of catchy riffs, gruff vocals and undiluted energy. Mathias began the legacy of No Face Records, and so is the epitome of the fresh, underappreciated metal that the project is based on. Fusing groove, bite and heaviness with progressive elements – along with a clear yet coarse production - renders the band as an acquired taste of the best kind.

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