29.06.2014 - 'Dorian Gray' on the 'Official The Willow Festival CD'

Courtesy of the Willow Festival 2014 and the Cherry Tree Studios.


12.06.2009 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on Devolution Magazine


05.02.2009 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on GET READY TO ROCK

From the "Pure Metal" section of
Visit for more metal reviews and interviews.

"Untamed were formed in September 2000, playing in and around the pub and club circuit collecting along the way a very strong following, starting out playing mostly covers but have since matured into a very tight outfit playing more of their own tracks than others. The band consists of Jon Sampson (Vocals), Colin James (Lead), Darren Macer (Lead), Graham Michael (Bass) & Paul Skinner (Drums).

"Insanity Bound" is the second outing for the boys after the much loved and self released debut album "Nature's Messiah" The album starts off in true Metallica style with guns, planes and bombs blazing with the awesome "Blood Soldiers" a true classic rock pounding anthem showing Jon's vocal talents to the full, the tight guitar licks would have even the shyest of us headbanging in the aisles.

"Broken Silence" is a breath of fresh air bringing excellent lyrics, guitar riffs and the true drumming skills together to produce a very good track. If you like the classic "Rush" then the start of "Fallin" will please you, as the track continues you can see that it is a true Untamed track with haunting vocals and that trademark guitar break.

The title track "Insanity Bound" continues the high standard already set with an excellent mixture of powerful drumming, vocals and true classic guitar riffs with an anthem like chorus. "No Compromise" is exactly that, a powerful no nonsense rock track.

The next track for me is a classic before its time "Dorian Gray" brings together all that is good about Untamed, excellent meaningful lyrics performed as though they mean every word. "Dance Of The Lycanthrope" and the haunting "A Million Miles" culminate what for me has been a truly excellent album to review.

I recently saw these guys live (for the umpteenth time) and can say that they sound just as good live as in the studio, they play their own stuff along with the classic tracks from the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Ozzy etc and always bring the house down. Whether it's in the smallest pub or the larger venues they show true professionalism and give an awesome performance every time - these guys are a true British Metal band and with the right exposure should be at a festival near you very soon."

The Unforgiven he say - 5/5*
© Dave Morris
Rating ***** (5.0/5.0)"

14.01.2009 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on the SLEAZEGRINDER

by Stu Gibson

"Another one in the breech following the recent(ish) resurgence of interest in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal this Southern (UK) bunch pack enough rifferola equitable to the ceaseless number of rounds in a blockbuster action movie characters chamber. Savaging like Saxon, redeeming like Priest, they even pack in a Maiden style epic in Dorian Gray, a kind of combination of Remember Tomorrow and Phantom Of The Opera, the twin guitar thrust should allay, if not utterly alloy, any doubts at the occasionally too tame vocals and such adherence to stance and standards belying their roots as a NWOBHM covers band. However, along with the everything comes full circle every twenty to thirty years theory, maybe it's no coincidence that this brutal, finger-pointing, deceptively moralistic (ok, at times) style is again in focus what with the current economic calamities."

16.12.2008 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on Classic Rock Society Magazine

Bit taken from Alistair Flynn's "Grave Yard Shift"


04.12.2008 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on MTUK METAL 'ZINE

by Paul Maddison

"Real British Metal is back, it has been for a few years now, whether it be a nostalgia trip, a younger generation appreciating it or the industry realising they should never have cast it aside in the first place. In any case, it is more than welcome by myself. 'Untamed' are from Peterborough in the East of England, from recent memory, this appears to be a hotbed of a town in terms of great British metal bands. Twin lead guitars and real vocals are in full force. Having been born out of a NWOBHM covers band, 'Untamed' now on album number two, unleash this one on an unsuspecting public.

'Blood Soldiers' comes across as something of a baton being pounded repeatedly into your skull, it sounds fresh and renewed, even with the 'retro' sound recreated. The mid section is a particular slice of classic NWOBHM mania. Whilst 'Broken Silence' displays some 'Dirty Deeds'-isms, classy vocal sound from singer Jon Sampson, the twin guitar attack of Colin James an Darren Macer compliments each other and the rhythm section ambles away backing things up as a cool full package. However, the single riffs sound very hollow with a lot of treble, yet when all the band play and curiously the solos, it is boosted to the max. This change in the mix is the only downside to this album, sometimes its perfect, but other times it becomes disjointed. Having said that, it is an overall accomplished recording.

The title track of the album starts off with all the atmospherics associated with some 'Iron Maiden' tracks. Bouncy, crushing riffs lay waste to the listener, and on this one the bass is loud and in your face! The mid section in 'Dorian Grey' (possibly inspired by the Oscar Wilde published novel 'The Picture of Dorian Grey') is total 'Maiden-First album' worship; I have a smile gleaming from ear to ear and my head nodding instantly. Damn this is good, and the solo tops this section off perfectly. Closing ballad 'A Million Miles' is quite a haunting tune; the melody fits this feeling just right and is a perfect ending for the album.

My only question would be is where the hell have these guys been hiding? We also need some live shows on offer to back up this wondrous British metal album. I am a fan with first album and t-shirt already purchased. Anyone with a love for all things metal - riff-driven guitars, real singers and general all round hell raising would do well to check this album and this band out."

03.12.2008 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on Kerrang - oh well, can't win them all...


01.12.2008 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on PowerPlay Magazine, Issue 105, Dec 08/Jan 09


26.11.2008 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on Live 4 Metal Magazine

by Strawb
Live 4 Metal Magazine

"Peterborough. What a shithole. I know, I've lived in the area for a long time. Two things were good about Peterborough; The Park venue on its metal nights and the signs telling you that finally you were leaving. As I have travelled far and wide, the question 'where do you come from?' is often asked, and giving the reply 'Peterborough' is a sure fire conversation ender. Either that or there is a pause for the visual inspection to check for a second head, or the surreptitious look at your knuckles to check the depth of the scrape marks.

But as often is the case [see the origins of Black Sabbath], from the least likely area, and in the face of adversity, good things can arrive. Enter stage left, Untamed. This is the third line-up of a band formed in 2000. Originally a covers band, they had the talent and ability to move on to their own compositions and continue in this vein with the eight track Insanity Bound CD, recorded at Pravda Studio, Leeds with Andy Hawkins, who is the bands producer of choice.

The band are tagged as NWOBHM. I was there for it back in the day and whilst the influences of its better bands are evident here, the band are not limited to this niche, their music deserves a wider metal audience. They are a band of the twenty-first century; fresh, loud and fucking enjoyable. Power chords abound, riffs highlight every track, heads bang to the beat, and to be honest, I want more. Mrs S has a love-hate relationship with my reviewing, often being forced to endure a long car journey or a noisy evening in listening to music she otherwise wouldn't wipe her arse on [metaphorically, obviously, no shiny disk will ever replace soft, strong and long in this house]. But she has nothing but praise for this album, no matter how often it has been played - and it has been given a lot of airtime, the platitudes have flowed from even this critic.

The opener, Blood Soldiers, begins with an almost comical battle scene, weapons firing. It could be a rip from any bad episode of the A Team. But this is the only criticism I have to offer, and from the opening bars which follow it, I am hooked, lined, sinkered. Jon's vocals hit me where I live, not the biggest range, but strong and not a duff note there. Graham's bass drives each and every track, and for the purists out there, the claim is to using an 'ancient 1972 Marshall 100 watt bass stack (I love the sound of valves)', so be it that or just a love of doing it, it works. The other driving line is provided by Paul on the drums. His biog, in the way of drummers, is much briefer. He favours exercise and running. Always have been a funny bunch, drummers. The twin guitar attack of Darren and Colin be it in synch or in contrast is as accomplished as I've heard recently.

The track Dorian Gray is readily available on the web, so give it a listen and then fork out your hard earned for the full monty, Insanity Bound deserves a place on your system. So, now there are three good things about Peterborough."

30.10.2008 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on Rock of Ages

by BL
Rock of Ages

"This albums brings back a number of memories, not just in the music they are so clearly influenced by and in the eight original tracks on this disc recreate superbly, but also of a trip out to Kettering one night many years ago. Taking the journey over there for a Gwyn Ashton gig that was cancelled without notice, we wandered around the town looking for a likely pub, only to hear from one establishment a band sound-checking with (if I recall correctly) "The Trooper". Venturing in, we witnessed covers band "Untamed" deliver a set full of classic metal songs with, I seem to recall, maybe one of their own songs thrown in too. Sadly, I thought nothing more of the band and never followed their progress but here they are now, releasing a follow-up to a 2003 self released album... and just like the vague memories I have of that gig, very impressive it is too. (I just hope my assumption that it must be the same band doesn't prove incorrect!)

The excellent opener "Blood Soldiers" and its successor "Broken Silence" both have elements of Judas Priest in the sound and the first track especially proves a marvellous introduction in a set that would have gone down especially well in the nwobhm era alongside bands delivering similar guitar driven but not un-melodic music. The breakdown of "Broken Silence" sees some early Iron Maiden similarities slipped in too with a nice melodic piece of guitar interplay.

It's not the only time that positive comparison to "The Irons" is warranted either. The ambitious later track "Dorian Gray" echoes many of the traits in Steve Harris's storytelling method, with the music restrained, quiet and melodic in support of the verses then growing to a big Maiden-esq chorus. Surprisingly singer Jon Sampson's delivery actually reminded me of Neil Young at times on this one... but it works! Of course if your going to do Maiden style metal you need to explode into galloping guitar riffery at some point and Untamed don't disappoint when three and a half minutes in they erupt into a flurry of guitars guarenteed to get the head banging.

There are a couple of tracks reminiscent of Metallica too, namely the hard hitting "Insanity Bound" and the shorter, staccato guitar attack of "No Compromise". Sitting side by side at tracks four and five it's a brief change from more classic British sounding metal elsewhere... although on second thoughts perhaps it's a nod to Diamond Head?

Overall, as an album its derivative but what the hell when it's done well? Sure, you'll play the "that sounds a bit like" game as you listen, but with the exception of a few moments that for one reason or another don't work quite as well as they might, you'll probably enjoy this album as much as I do. Especially if you have any love for the bands mentioned above, as these guys clearly must have."

Highlight: Dorian Gray
Score: 3/5

20.10.2008 - "Insanity Bound" reviewed on Blogcritics Magazine

by Marty Dodge
Blogcritics Magazine

"If you are of a certain age this lot immediately evoke a memory of Metallica's Lars Ulrich faves Diamond Head. Then one realizes the band learned their chops as a New Wave of British Heavy Metal covers band before striking out with their own material. This is their second release and shows a band that is sure of itself and knowing full well what they want to do. As a band they have supported NWOBHM faves Tygers of Pan Tang and the rump Saxon with Oliver and Dawson.

Some might have a go at them for some of the clichés that abound in their lyrics, but that seems petty when the playing is this good. Just check out the middle either in 'Blood Soldiers' if you want to hear some great playing. The band rather straddle the line between heavy metal and more mainstream thrash of say Metallica and Megadeth. That sensibility can be found on tracks like 'Dance of the Lycanthrope' which sounds familiar yet new. This album is full of tracks that will appeal to the youngest to the oldest of metal-heads.

It's a might better to listen to than some of the new wave thrashers these days. You know the ones who try way to hard and just sound a bit like a poor version of a band that has gone before?"

Nov 2007 - Art n' Soul Magazine Issue 8, p 10

Art And Soul

Sep 2007 - Disclosure Records Press Release


We are very proud to have signed with Disclosure, and what this means for us, is not only does someone have faith in us, but also, we will be given the chance to promote ourselves and our music to a much greater audience than ever before! Here is what Disclosure have to say on the news...

* * * *


' The most famous band you have never heard of '

' In a natural state; not tamed or domesticated '

Ok, so let's do a press release, to announce that Disclosure records are thrilled to have added Untamed to the roster, but I tell you what, let's not bore you, dear reader with a pile of words about blah blah blah.

Instead, let me tell you a few things about the band, and rather than letting you make your own mind up, I will make it up for you.

This is classic British Metal, at its very best and it kicks like a furious donkey. It's classic in reference, but modern and contemporary in its delivery. Imagine the thrill of hearing your first ever NWOBHM track back all those years ago, listening to this album by Untamed will give you that self same rush of blood. The molten elements which make up the very core of this band come together to form pure solid British Metal and suddenly everything makes sense.

This is metal - 2008 style.

Disclosure won't really release this album, in the true traditional sense of the word, we plan to let it escape, and grow its own horns. The legions of Untamed fans who have already witnessed the shows, and begged for more, know it, anybody who has ever listened to the band know it, and very soon, the wider metal world will know it.

What will they know?

They will know that 'Untamed are the most famous band you have never heard of.

* * * *

Jul 2007 - Art n' Soul Magazine Issue 4, p 31

Art And Soul

03.03.2007 - Live Show Review

by independent reviewer Gaby Abrahams
Gaby's Rock Reviews and Listings

"This was a band that I was looking forward to seeing for a long time but alas with so few live gigs planned (which is a great shame) they were proving elusive until this particular Saturday night in that packed den of all fun things - The King Billy in Northampton.

Needless to say I was not disappointed. Untamed play their own particular brand of Rock/Metal that stems from the harder side of rock from the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica, Ozzy and Judas Priest to name but a few as well as a snippet here and there of their own really good stuff.

This was no run-of-the mill 80's hair metal covers band that just tried to imitate their musical heroes but rather a band that paid true homage to a time in rock/metal music history that simply poured out classic tunes by the bucket full and that even today in what often appears to be a bland decade of a musical desert it still has it's own unique influence as significant today as it was back then.

Untamed are one of those rare breed of creatures that refuses to let the music gather dust and they play it with true hard edged brilliance and imagination that is both infectious as well as a joy to listen to.

On vocals was the wonderful Jon Sampson who has a voice that I believe is a cross between Vince Neil of Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne and which perfectly complimented their wide, long and varied set.

On guitar was the exceptional Colin James who you could be forgiven for thinking had 4 arms playing on 2 separate guitars as he effortlessly inter-wove from rhythm and lead in a blink of an eye and gave the crowd a set of sounds that were as sweet as treacle and hot as chilli.

On bass was Graham Michael who gave what I thought was a brilliant performance of understated but highly effective low notes and lastly on drums was Paul Skinner who, be not mistaken, was no bespoke drum monkey but rather a male silverback gorilla of a drummer who thumped those heavy beats out with sheer skilful and talented abandon. This was a guy who loved to play and at times I really thought he was going to disappear inside his own drum kit with sheer dynamic enthusiasm!

In essence this was one hell of an exciting, fresh and talented band with class and style who never let attitude get in the way of what really matters - the music. They delivered a performance that was great to listen to and an absolute joy to watch.

My only complaint - more gigs please guys! You can't hide rock/metal treasure like this away. The rock world needs ya!"