Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review SCORPIONS "MTV Unplugged - live in Athens"

Veröffentlicht am 30. November 2013 von Markus W. in Scorpions, Rock, Acoustic, CD Review, News

(5/10) After their final 'Farewell' world tour the Scorpions are still in business. In cooperation with MTV they went to Athens and played an acoustic show in the Lycabettus theatre.

The question is: Why? Christmas is coming closer, another "Best of..." album would have been too boring, so let's make an acoustic album. A perfect marketing opportunity.

The band invited few guests for that show. Also here we have the question about the 'why'. The guests are German female singer Cäthe, Johannes Strate from Revolverheld, Morton Harket (ex a-ha) and a string ensemble.

Actually for some songs the acoustical arrangement works pretty well. For example "When the smoke is going down" became a good acoustical version of a great song. The same goes for "Wind of change" and "Still loving you" - the last mentioned one in a completely piano supported version.

But there is also the other side. Classics like "In trance" and "Big city lights" became just boring. "Passion rules the game" doesn't have any passion and "Rock you like a hurricane" doesn't rock at all. And to play an heavy metal anthem like "Blackout" in an acoustic version is totally unnecessary. Who needs that?

The production and the sound are very good - as expected I would say. Actually it is bit too good. A few more edges could have been good.

This album might be needed by some 'hardcore Scorpions collectors' who needs to have everything from the band. All the ones who want to have a good Scorpions overview - go for "World wide live". And everybody who wants to listen to a good acoustic album I recommend Tesla's "Five man acoustical jam". Fore sure a better investment.

 

(5/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Sting in the tail
  2. Can't live without you
  3. Pictured life
  4. Speedy's coming
  5. Born to touch your feelings
  6. The best is yet to come
  7. Dancing with the moonlight
  8. In trance
  9. When you came into my life
  10. Delicate dance
  11. Love is the answer
  12. Follow your heart
  13. Send me an angel
  14. Where the river flows
  15. Passion rules the game
  16. Rock you like a hurricane
  17. Hit between the eyes
  18. Rock'n'roll band
  19. Blackout
  20. Still loving you
  21. Big city nights
  22. Wind of change
  23. No one like you
  24. When the smoke is going down
  25. Where the river flows

 

Label: RCA Deutschland

Genre: Acoustic rock

CD review SCORPIONS "MTV Unplugged - live in Athens"
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A new video from AVATARIUM

Veröffentlicht am 30. November 2013 von Markus W. in Avatarium, Video, News, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal

Swedish metal band Avatarium released another video from their fantastic debut. The songs called "Boneflower". Lay back and enjoy.

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CD review HAMMER FIGHT "Chug of war"

Veröffentlicht am 30. November 2013 von Markus W. in Hammer Fight, Thrash Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) I didn' know Hammer Fight before I got this CD and I haven't had any idea what to expect. The cover, with the axe and the tankard looks a bit like thrash and that assumption was also right.

The band is from New Jersey, released already an untitled EP in 2011 and "Chug of war" is their debut album. The album contains energetic thrash metal which is combined with a bit of Motörhead. The album got  a good production which makes it sound powerful.

"Chug od war" contains 13 songs. All of them are good and some became my faves. The opener "Ruben's ride" is one of them. It is a faster thrash metal song with a good riff and a good groove. "Sleeping with the enemy" is anorther song I like. It has some hardcore elements it a great bassline in the middle. Cool. "Get wrecked" has some Motörhead inspiration and when I listened to "Made in rock" I had to think about German beer thrashers Tankard.

Hammer Fight is loud and heavy. "Chug of war" became a good debut and I'm curious what we will hear from the band in the future.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ruben's ride
  2. I didn't feel like drinking
  3. Disas-tour
  4. Foot chase
  5. Ginger rails
  6. Get wrecked
  7. Sleeping with the enemy
  8. Queer eye for the scene guy
  9. Down the line
  10. Made in rock
  11. Hella weights
  12. Stellar mass
  13. Bar room bully

 

Label: Horror Gore Death Pain Productions

Genre: Thrash Metal

 

 

 

 
CD review HAMMER FIGHT "Chug of war"
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CD review IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC "Reptile brain music"

Veröffentlicht am 30. November 2013 von Markus W. in Imperial State Electric, Hardrock, Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) If you listen to Imperial State Electric than you can’t imagine that Nicke Andersson started Entombed many years ago. And that he is busy with Death Breath.

Imperial State Electric has nothing to do with death metal and it also has nothing to do with The Hellacopters. The ones of you who are familiar already the earlier “Pop war” release know what I mean. Imperial State Electric play 70’s rock in the tradition of bands like T-Rex and The Sweet - and they do that in a cool and refreshing way. On their new record called “Reptile brain music” these influences got even more dominant.

The good thing with the band is, that the members are excellent musicians. This is shown already by the fact, that all of them can sing, like bassplayer Dold de Borst on “Reptile Brain” and all of them can play several instruments too. Remember that Nicke started in Entombed by playing the drums.

The fast rocker “Emptiness into the void” kicks off the album. An excellent start with speed, power and passion. Rock’n’roll pure. I also like “Underwhelmed” a lot. It is a mid tempo track with a great melody and a chorus which you can’t forget easily. A pure rock experience. “Repitle brain”, the title track’, is another song which I can recommend. I like it. Your body just want to move when you listen to these songs. The good thing with all the twelve songs is, that they are with 2:30 and 3:30 minutes to the point. With "Dead things” the album also has a ballad, which is far away from cliché. It is just a good song to listen to. Time for rock again? Sure. Just listen to “Born again”. Chuck Berry would be so happy if he could hear the track.

Those were just a few examples, but in the end all the tracks are from a high quality and the album makes fun to listen to. And I could imagine that the band can even top this in their live shows.

Another good album for Imperial State Electric which will strengthen the Imperial Army.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Emptiness into the void
  2. Underwhelmed
  3. Faustian bargain
  4. Reptile brain
  5. More than enough of your love
  6. Dead things
  7. Apologize
  8. Stay the night
  9. Eyes
  10. Born again
  11. Nothing like you said it would be
  12. Down in the bunker

 

Label: Psychout Records

Genre: Rock

CD review IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC "Reptile brain music"
Photo: Linda Åkerberg

Photo: Linda Åkerberg

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CD review FATE "If not for the devil"

Veröffentlicht am 30. November 2013 von Markus W. in Fate, Hardrock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Fate is back. And they came back surprisingly loud and heavy. When I heard that the band will release a new record I was thinking about another American hardrock oriented album  with some AOR elements. Of course the new disc “If not for the devil” is still very melodic, but also quite heavy and guitar oriented. The band, in which Pete Steiner is the only original band member, turned back the keyboards. That means that the songs aren’t that bombastic anymore. They are more back to the roots and grounded. The keyboard is building more a kind of background foundation while the guitars got more space on the new album. Torben Enevoldsen, which some of you might know from Section A, got the chance to really let the guitar rock. This leads to pretty good song, which still have a positive vibe, just with a few edges. The sound is more natural and less polished, which also is beneficial for the entire album. Jacob Hansen (Pretty Maids, Volbeat) did a great job.

"Reaping" is the opener and for me one of the best songs on the album. It's a fast track with heavy guitars and and good groove. A fantastic start. Also the title track "If not for the devil" starts with a solid riff which dominates the song already from the beginning. "Feel like making love" feels more like the older Fate, since the song is very melodic and the guitars are a bit more in the background. The song is good and catchy, but a bit more AOR than the ones mentioned before. "Gambler" is a good hard rocker and is followed by the ballad of the album. "Hard to say goodbye" is the name of the song and it's one of the better ballads. Good harmonies and a great solo part, but also a bit cliche lyrics. The album also has with "Taught to kill" a song which spreads a more darker atmosphere, at least related to other Fate songs. It has even a touch of their Danish colleagues from Pretty Maids. The last song "Gimme all your love" is again a typical Fate hardrock track. Not really extraordinary, but solid.

As said in the beginning already - “If not for the devil” became a bit harder and more guitar oriented than I have expected. It fits good and I hope that Fate continues going that road. A positive experience.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Reaping
  2. If not for the devil
  3. Bridges are burning
  4. Feel like making love
  5. Gambler
  6. Hard to say goodbye
  7. Made of stone
  8. Man against the wall
  9. My world
  10. Turn back time
  11. Taught to kill
  12. Gimme all your love

 

Label: Avenue Of Allies

Genre: Hardrock

CD review FATE "If not for the devil"
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Live review BLACK SABBATH Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, 28-11-2013

Veröffentlicht am 29. November 2013 von Markus W. in Black Sabbath, Live Review, News, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal

Who has thought about seeing Black Sabbath in almost the original line-up on stage again? This was honestly beyond my imagination. But after the band released earlier this year the fantastic "13" album there was hope. And they are back - with Ozzy, Tony and Geezer. Only Bill Ward was not part of the band and the tour. He was replaced by Tommy Clufetos who also played already with Alice Cooper and Ozzy Osbourne. 

On 28.11.13 the band arrived in Amsterdam for playing a show in the Ziggo Dome. What could we expect from the gig? Would it be a great experience? Would Ozzy be OK? Would he be fit enough for a good show?

I can answer all this with a clear "Yes". It was a fantastic show. Ozzy was in a great mood and showed all his entertaining skills. It was around 20:30, the black curtain still blocked the view on the stage, but you heard Ozzy already. He coudn't wait. "I can't fuckin' hear you" filled the Ziggo Dome. A first storm of applaus was the reaction. After this intermezzo the light went out, the curtain was opened  and the band started. 

The first song was "War pigs". The classic was a great choice. These kind of songs are the reason why a lot of people came to the show. The sound was good and the party got started. Next to the opener the setlist covered all the highlights of band. Esp. "Black Sabbath" is to mention in that context. This song is just a killer. It is already excellent in a CD version. But hearing the song live makes the whole experience even more intensive. The rain in the beginning and the chiming bell creates already a very dark atmosphere. And as soon as the riff and the vocals take over your just lost. The prince of fuckin' darkness at it's best.

But also other classics like "N.I.B.", Paranoid" and my fave "Children of the grave" have been part of the show and were celebrated by the audience. Next to these songs also new songs from "13" have been played by Black Sabbath. The amazing thing is, that songs like "God is dead" and "End of the beginning" have the same quality as the earlier mentioned tracks. Talking about quality- the sound was perfect. During "War pigs" Ozzy was struggeling here and there but already with "Into the void" everything was as it was supposed to be.

And another good thing. As mentioned earlier, the band was really excited and good in shape. Ozzy was an excellent entertainer and he showed all his passion for the band and the music. But also Tony had a lot of fun. It seems that rock'n'roll helps to fight cancer. Next to these two icons I also want to mention Geezer and Tommy. Both gave the sound of the band the solid foundation on which Tony could play his riffs. Esp. Tommy had a punch which was awesome. I think, that he was more than a replacer for Bill Ward. I think, that he brought vitality and an extra energy boost into the band.

The band played 2 hours before they left the stage the first time. They came back for one encore. Of course "Paranoid". The crowd went crazy and used the last energy buffer.

Than it was done. Sad, but true. With a huge applause the band left the stage and we hope, that this was not the last time. If they continue that way we want to see and hear more of them also in the future (and first European dates for 2014 are announced already). I can just recommend to take the chance and go there. It is a living legend  on stage which everybody should have seen.

Thanks for a great Thursday night.

 

Setlist:

  1. War pigs
  2. Into the void
  3. Under the sun / Every day comes and goes
  4. Snowblind
  5. Age of reason
  6. Black Sabbath
  7. Behind the wall of sleep
  8. N.I.B.
  9. End of the beginning
  10. Fairies wear boots
  11. Rat salad
  12. Iron man
  13. God is dead
  14. Dirty woman
  15. Children of the grave
  16. Paranoid

Location: Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date: 28.11.2013

 

 

Thanks also to Paul Barendregt for the great pics.

Check his webside as well: http://paulbarendregt.nl

 

 

 

Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt
Photos: Paul Barendregt

Photos: Paul Barendregt

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Pre-listening of UNDERTOW's "In deepest silence"

Veröffentlicht am 29. November 2013 von Markus W. in Undertow, News

Undertow will release their new album "In deepest silence" in December. Via rockhard.de you can already listen to the songs, which are fantastic.

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BLACK SABBATH live in A'dam

Veröffentlicht am 28. November 2013 von Markus W. in Black Sabbath, Video, News, Heavy Metal

Black Sabbath played in Amsterdam on 28.11.. Here comes "Children of the grave".

BLACK SABBATH live in A'dam
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SAXON video "Frozen rainbow" unplugged

Veröffentlicht am 28. November 2013 von Markus W. in Saxon, Heavy Metal, Video, News

Saxon released a video from "Frozen rainbow" in an unplugged version. Sounds great.

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New PRETTY MAIDS album in spring 2014

Veröffentlicht am 26. November 2013 von Markus W. in Pretty Maids, Heavy Metal, News

Danish metal act Pretty Maids will release a new album called "Louder than ever" in spring 2014. 'New' is not totally correct, since it will be mainlt re-recordings from older song from the era between 1995 - 2006. That means unfortunatley no re-recordings of the first two records :o(

 

But read here their offical announcement from Facebook:

"PRETTY MAIDS NEW ALBUM LOUDER THAN EVER. Release date spring 2014. The album will consist of re-recorded songs from the era between 1995 & 2006. The reason for doing this project is to give those songs a different spin with the band and producer we have now. It is an in-between album until the band completes the next studio album with new tunes. This Album will ALSO consist of brand new songs and a bonus DVD."

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CD review ANGELICA "Thrive"

Veröffentlicht am 25. November 2013 von Markus W. in Angelica, AOR, Hardrock, CD Review

(7/10) Have you heard already earlier from Angelica? I haven’t. She is Swedish and is/was singing in The Murder Of My Sweet. Now she has taken the step to record and release her first solo album. She got her inspiration from singers like e.g. Robin Beck and Ann Wilson from Heart. This becomes also obvious on her album. The songs are typical AOR tracks. Keyboards built the base and the songs have great melodies. Some of them might be a bit too sticky.

Angelica wrote some songs herself or was at least involved in the song wrting process. She got support form guys like Harry Hess , Daniel Flores (who also produced the album), Alessandro del Veccio and Anders Wigelius as well as from some guitarists like Jesper Stromblad from In Flames and Magnus Karlsson from Primal Fear.

I like songs like "Riding out the storm" and "You will never win" most. Eventhough they have a very chachy melody they also still have some rocking elements.

Angelica released a good AOR debut – not more, but also not less.

Has actually somebody thought already about sending her to the European Song Contest?

 

(7/10)

 


Tracklisting:

  1. Breaking My Heart
  2. Am Strong
  3. To Your Rescue
  4. Can't Stop Love
  5. Nothing Else You Can Break
  6. Riding Out The Storm; Rain On My Parade
  7. Losers In Paradise
  8. You Will Never Win
  9. This Kiss Is Just For You
  10. I'm Not Waiting
  11. Take Me To Your Heart

 

Label: Frontier Records

Genre: AOR

 

CD review ANGELICA "Thrive"
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CD review ROYAL HUNT "A life to die for"

Veröffentlicht am 25. November 2013 von Markus W. in Royal Hunt, Melodic Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Danish melodic rockers Royal Hunt are back with a new album. “A life to die for” is already record number twelve in the bands long history. Actually next year will be the 25th anniversary (not considering the time when they played under the banner Apart”) – can we expect a surprise for the 25th anniversary? We will see.

The new album follows the earlier “Show me how to live” from 2011 and is a logical continuation. Royal Hunt sticks to their melodic rock/metal with some prog elements. But this time they also added more symphonic elements to their songs which make the album more varied. Royal Hunt worked with a number of classical musicians in the studio as well as with a choir. It feels like a very organic mixture. Nothing sounds constructed. It fits really good to the sound of Royal Hunt and it shows Andersen’s classic pianist background very well. Next to the strong songs it is the voice of DC Cooper which makes the album special. The album contains a tracklist of 7 songs. But since those are between 5 and 9 minutes the album has a normal length when it come to playing time.

My favorites one the album are the eopical opener called "Hell comes down from earth", "A bullet's tale", which reminds me a bit to Avatabtasia and the eight and a half minutes long title track which combines all Royal Hunt elements in one song.

The album also have a good production. Band founder Andre Andersen was responsible for it and did a good job. For me not a big surprise since he knew exactly what he wanted to achieve.

“A life to die for” should be checked out by all fans of melodic metal.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Hell Comes Down From Heaven
  2. A Bullet’s Tale
  3. Running Out of Tears
  4. One Minute Left to Live
  5. Sign of Yesterday
  6. Won’t Trust, Won’t Fear, Won’t Beg
  7.  A Life to Die For

 

Label: Frontier Records

Genre: Melodic Metal

CD review ROYAL HUNT "A life to die for"
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CD review GENERATION KILL "We're all gonna die"

Veröffentlicht am 23. November 2013 von Markus W. in Generation Kill, Thrash Metal, CD Review, News, Exodus

(8/10) Rob Dukes is not only the frontman of Exodus. He is also part of Generation Kill. And Rob was already the first surprise when I heard the album. Knowing him from Exodus I expected a lot of aggressive screaming. But no, this is different here. Rob shows his real talent with Generation Kill. The range of his voice is much bigger - from very soulful singing up to aggressive rough vocals. I had even to look twice if it is really him. Great job and I wish he also would use this talent more with Exodus.

Next to Rob the band members are Rob Moschetti on bass and Jim DeMaria behind the drum kit. Both build with their punch a strong foundation for the songs on the album. The entire album has a great drive and even the slower parts are still damn heavy. The guitars are played by Jason Velez and Jason Trenczer. Last mentioned one we still know from Mutilation. Both are responsible for the heavy riffing and Jason's soli are just perfect - fast and furious. The whole setup was rounded of by the production of Zeuss, who already worked also with bands like Hatebreed and Sepultura.

The opener makes no enemies. "Born to serve" has a pushing beat, is fast and has a great riffing. Rob's vocals are aggressive, but already in this song it's less screaming than with Exodus. I like that. With "Prophets of war" the band shows already the first surprise. In acoustic beginning with Rob really singing before, after a while, the riff kills the silence. It's actually the breaks between acosutic and heavy which makes the song exciting. "Death comes calling" shows the same pattern. Enough with acoustic parts. "Friendly fire" is fast, heavy and starts with a great guitar solo. Probably the song on album which comes closest to Exodus. A amusement part intro kicks off "Carny love". The verse is built in an almost hypnotic beat and vocal line before the heavy riff leads into the chorus. The song has a really dark atmosphere and sounds threatening. "Vegas" is another powerful track with excellent soli which is followed by the intense  "There is no hope". If you listen to the song you can almost feel the lack of hope. The title track "We're all gonna die" is the last song of an intesive and diversified thrash metal album. A fast, less than 3 minutes long song - again with amazing soli.

Generation Kill released one of the best thrash records I have heard this year. Cool stuff and I like it.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Born to serve
  2. Prophets of war
  3. Death comes calling
  4. Friendly fire
  5. Carny love
  6. Vegas
  7. There is no hope
  8. We're all gonna die

 

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Thrash Metal

CD review GENERATION KILL "We're all gonna die"
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CD review EAT THE GUN "Stripped to the bone"

Veröffentlicht am 23. November 2013 von Markus W. in Eat The Gun, Hardrock, Alternative Rock, News, CD Review

(8/10) Eat The Gun was founded already in 2002 and released in the meantime four records. I wonder why I missed all of them :os

But that changed now with the bands latest release. "Stripped to the bone" found its way in my CD player and I have to say that I like(d) what I heard. Eat The Gun plays cool rock which is partly influenced by bands like the Backyard Babies with a bit of Die Toten Hosen and the Foo Fighters here and there plus some H-Blockx. That sound melange feels really good and should be check out by each of you. The album sounds young and fresh. It is full of energy and you can't stand still by listening to these songs. All of them have a high entertainment factor and I could imagine that it is even better to see the band live (Unfortunately I haven't had that experience so far). Since there aren't any fillers on the album it's also hard to pick some highlights.

But one of them is the first single release called "Loner". The driving beat and the powerful chorus are great. For sure a good choice to use this song for the single. The bluesy "Apocalyptic blues" is another song which is worth to mention. I like how the song is structured and also the melody of the song. " Bad memories" has bit more punk attitude and "Made of stone" is a straight rock'n'roller. But again all songs are good.

Eat The Gun is one of the bigger positive surprises for me this ear. I like them.

(8/10)

Tracklist:

  1. At the end of the day
  2. Loner
  3. Wake me up
  4. Additction
  5. Apocalyptic blues
  6. Bad memories
  7. Made if stone
  8. Won't let you down
  9. Hot blood
  10. Small dose of death

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Alternative rock

CD review EAT THE GUN "Stripped to the bone"
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