Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

DVD review BRIAN MAY & KERRY ELLIS "The candlelight concerts - live at Montreux 2013"

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2014 von Markus W. in Brian May, Kerry Ellis, Rock, CD Review, DVD review, News, Queen

(9/10) It was in July 2013 when this DVD was filmed. Queen's guitarist Brain May played a show in Montreux, Switzerland together with musical star Kerry Ellis. In the Stravinski Auditorium the duo played a set full of Queen classics, ballads and cover version. 

The whole show as well as the earlier concerts in 2012 and 2013 have been named as the Born Free tour. 'Born Free' is the conservation and animal rescue organisation founded by Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers. Brian May is supporting 'Born Free' and by having the shows he together with Kerry Ellis created a bigger awareness for the organisation and animal welfare. It's good to see that people like May and Ellis use their popularity for these kind of social engagements. My respect.

The acoustical show is just May and Ellis supported in the background by keyboards. The songs are well chosen and are a good mix between silent and rockin ones. There are the Queen anthems like the awesome acoustic version of "'39" and "Love of my life". This just timeless music and it's always a pleasure to listen to these songs. The stripped down "Tie your mother down" got a totally new dress which makes the song even more attractive. "We will rock you" is the hymn which we know for so may years. Great to hear the tune with female vocals. Kerry does this in a perfect way and it shows the range of her voice.

Than there are other tracks like "The kissing me song" which was written by May shortly before the 2012 shows. It's a song with a faster pace, an awesome hookline and a chachy chorus. Ellis' voice fits perfect to this 'rocker'. With "Something" the duo interprets a song which George Harrison wrote for the Beatles and with "Last horizon" May wants to find out "how much noise he can make with this little baby", which his guitar. A cool instrumental moment showing the capability of the famous Queen six stringer and also how much noise he can make.

Kansas' "Dust in the wind" became a beautiful acoustic version which makes you dreaming. It's an wonderful interpretation of the classic rock ballad. "Born free" is a tune which is specially written for the 'Born free' foundation. The video in the background emphasis the importance of wild life and animal rescue. Thumbs up.

"Crazy little thing called love" rounds off an awesome evening in Montreux. I hope that this duo will do a few more shows and maybe even releases a album. There seems to be a magic between the two of them which is difficult to describe, but you can feel it.

I could continue writing about the DVD, but it's much better if you stop reading and watch this show. Great music performed by experienced and passionated musicians. This is a pleasure for your ears and eyes. Enjoy the show.

 

(9/10)

 

The CD, which is part of the package, was recorded already earlier. This concert happened in autumn 2012 and also contains a slightly different setlist, which makes the entire package exciting.

A nice package from the legendary Queen six stinger and the "first lady of West End". Beautiful music which is the perfet soundtrack for a relaxed Sunday.

 

 

Tracklist DVD:

  1. I who have nothing
  2. Dust in the wind
  3. Born free
  4. Somebody to love
  5. Nothing really changed
  6. Life is real
  7. The way we were
  8. '39
  9. Something
  10. Last horizon
  11. Love of my life
  12. The kissing me song
  13. Tie your mother down
  14. We will rock you
  15. No one but you
  16. Crazy little thing called love

 

Tracklist CD:

  1. Born free
  2. I love a butterfly
  3. I who have nothing
  4. Dust in the wind
  5. The kissing me song
  6. Nothing really has changed
  7. Life is real
  8. The way we were
  9. Something
  10. Love of my life
  11. I'm not that girl
  12. I can't be your friend
  13. In the bleak midwinter
  14. Crazy little thing called love
  15. No one but you (only the good die young)

 

Label: Eagle Vision

Genre: Rock 

DVD review BRIAN MAY & KERRY ELLIS "The candlelight concerts - live at Montreux 2013"
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New album "White devil armory" from OVERKILL

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2014 von Markus W. in Overkill, Thrash Metal, News

New Yorks thrashers Overkill revealed the cover from their coming record "White devil armory". In addition - here is the tracklist:

 

Tracklist:

01. Freedom Rings 
02. Where There's Smoke...
03. Pig
04. Amorist
05. Down To The Bone
06. Bitter Pill
07. King Of The Rat Bastards 
08. Another Day To Die
09. It's All Yours
10. In The Name

New album "White devil armory" from OVERKILL
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SICK OF IT ALL tour dates

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2014 von Markus W. in Sick Of It All, Hardcore, Tour, News

Hardcore legend Sick Of It All is on tour in Europe this summer. Here are the dates:

18.07.14 (D) Dieburg - Traffic Jam Open Air 
19.07.14 (B) Dour - Dour Festival 
20.07.14 (B) Cuxhaven - Deichbrand Festival
22.07.14 (H) Budapest - Budapest Park 
23.07.14 (A) Graz - P.P.C. 
25.07.14 (D) Essen - Nord Open Air 
26.07.14 (D) Bausendorf - Riez Open Air 
27.07.14 (D) Paaren - Greenville Festival 
29.07.14 (F) Bartenheim - Caf'Conc des 3 Fronti貥s
01.08.14 (E) Viveiro - Resurrection Fest 
02.08.14 (F) Biarritz - Atabal
03.08.14 (F) Albi - Xtreme Fest 
05.08.14 (I) La Spezia - Spazio Boss 
06.08.14 (SLO) Tolmin - Punk Rock Holiday
07.08.14 (D) Munich - Free & Easy 
08.08.14 (D) Torgau - Endless Summer Open Air 
09.08.14 (CZ) Jaromer - Brutal Assault Festival

 

SICK OF IT ALL tour dates
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CD review PRONG "Unleashed in the West - Live in Berlin" - official bootleg

Veröffentlicht am 30. März 2014 von Markus W. in Prong, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Thrash Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) While eveybody is waiting for the new album "Ruining lives" from Prong, the groove metal guys from New York released via Bandcamp a kind of "best of..." official bootleg which deserves to be mentioned.

The band recorded this album in Berlin in the Trixx Studio in a break between two summer festivals in 2013. The entire album is recorded live and hasn't got any filters. The whole session didn't take longer than three days. That means that you have to do it with a raw and basic sound in a very good bootleg quality. 

From the songlist point of view nothing could have been done better. All the band's highlights and classics are on the list. The playlist is also very similar to the current tour setlist of the band. Therefore it's a good souvenir for all fans who have seen the trio live this spring.

Cool stuff which bridges the waiting time till the new album which will be released in April.

 

(8/10)

 

The bootleg was recorded in the line-up:

Tommy Victor - guitar and vocals

Jason Christopher - bass and backing vocals

Alexei Rodriguez - drums and backing vocals

 

 

Tracklist:

  1. For dear life
  2. Beg to differ
  3. Unconditional
  4. Lost and found
  5. Cut-rate
  6. Rude awakening
  7. Broken peace
  8. Another worldly device
  9. Power to the damager
  10. Close the door
  11. Dark signs
  12. Prove you wrong
  13. Third from the sun
  14. Steady decline
  15. Snap your fingers, snap your neck
  16. Whose fist is this anyway?
  17. Irrelevant thoughts

 

Label: via bandcamp

Genre: Groove Metal

 

 


 

CD review PRONG "Unleashed in the West - Live in Berlin" - official bootleg
CD review PRONG "Unleashed in the West - Live in Berlin" - official bootleg
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CD review LAYMENT "Of Gods and goats"

Veröffentlicht am 30. März 2014 von Markus W. in Layment, Power Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) Layment is a German heavy metal band which releases in these days their third album called "Of Gods & goats". You haven't heard about them earlier? No problem, we change this right her and right now.

Since their last album "Traces" the band had a change in their line-up and brought with Matthias Schweiger a new drummer into the band. The band from Herne, Germany has already a longer history. Starting in 1996 the band went through several line-up changes, released a few demos before they had their real full-length debut in 2007 up and running. 

What music are the six guys playing? I would describe it as classical heavy metal with catchy melodies. Songs like the real heavy and melodic "The seafarer" makes fun to listen to. The song is a bit in the tradition of Blind Guardian. "I am Kolossos" is a power metal tune per excellence which combines riffs and hooks to a great result. "This convenant" is another song you should check. Starting slow and acoustic the track builds up to a heavy beast with a very fast soli, doublebass parts and a great melodic chorus. The fastest track "Rejected son" hits you right into your face with a wall of guitars and a pumping beat which pushes the song on and on and on.

The production, done by Christian Köhle in the Sound-Of-Steel Studio, is heavy and strong, eventhough the drums could have been done better. But however the album got a real dense sound.

Also remarkable is the voice of singer Marosh Schmidt. This guy has an impressing range by doing the vocals. 

Hopefully this album will not be drowning in the sea of new all the new releases. I'm curious if we will hear more from the band in the future. They deserve it. Thumbs up!

 

(8/10)

CD review LAYMENT "Of Gods and goats"

Tracklist:

  1. Another road
  2. To the ravens
  3. The seafarer
  4. This convenant
  5. Beauty beast
  6. Rejected son
  7. I am Kholossos
  8. Of Gods and goats
  9. Homewards
  10. Long lost forever

 

Label: Yonah Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review LAYMENT "Of Gods and goats"
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CD review STEEL PANTHER "All you can eat"

Veröffentlicht am 30. März 2014 von Markus W. in Steel Panther, Hardrock, Sleaze Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) The new album of hardrock 'satirist' Steel Panther is called "All you can eat" and continues the journey which was started two records ago in 2009 with the debut "Feel the steel".  Steel Panther always remind me to a song from the earlier Whitesnake which is called "Wine, women and song". This goes actually very much for the band from L.A.. It could be their motto.

 
The lyrics are again focussing on party, women and sex. Steel Panther continues using their very explicit language, which is still a controversial thing. For me personally I have to say that it was a funny satirical approach on their debut, it gave another smile on "Balls out", but it starts now to get boring. It's like listening three times to the same joke. At a certain moment the story is told and it would be good to see the band on the next record with some more lyrical surprises.
 
Besides this fact the music is awesome. Much better than on the last record, Steel Panther found back to their old strength. This is writing straight-forward hardrock song, which are for sure on the same level as the ones from the glam bands of the 80's. Bands like Ratt and Mötley Crüe didn't write better tunes than the California quartet. The high quality of the music can be also recognised by the constantly growing amount of fans. Steel Panther gets more and more successful and are accepted by fans from many different metal sub-genres. It is the good time rock'n'roll which is highly appreciated by a lot of people. This approach is also the strength of the new album "All you can eat". My faves are e.g. "The burden of being wonderful". It's a half ballad with great hooks. Poison couldn't have done it better. I just say "I'm the Maserati in the world of KIA's". And there is the great sleaze rocker "Party like tomorrow is the end of the world". You have the feeling that the eighties are alive and the party is still ongoing. The ballad "Bukkake tears" has a lot of Bon Jovi while "Ten strikes you're out" is based on a typical ZZ Top beat and a bluesy six string. "B.V.S." is another musical highlight (not from the lyrics) of the album. The fast grooving hardrocker is right to the point and kicks ass. This is how we want rock'n'roll. Again "Wine, women and song" seems to be the leading cliche.
 
To sum up: "All you can Eat" is a cool hardrock album with excellent songs, mainly annoying lyrics and a perfect soundtrack for a good time.
 
 
(8/10)
 
 
Tracklist:
  1. Pussywhipped
  2. Party like tomorrow is the end of the world
  3. Gloryhole
  4. Bukkake tears
  5. Gangbang at the old folks home
  6. Ten strikes you're out
  7. The burdon of being wonderful
  8. F***ing my heart in the ass
  9. B.V.S.
  10. You're beautiful when you don't talk
  11. If I was the king
  12. She's on the rag
 
 
Label: Open E Music
Genre: Sleaze Rock 

 

CD review STEEL PANTHER "All you can eat"
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CD review Various Artists "RONNIE JAMES DIO - This is your life"

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2014 von Markus W. in Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Metallica, Saxon, Judas Priest, Doro

(*/10) Time is flying. It was already four years ago when one of the biggest voices in heavy metal lost the fight against f**king cancer. A sad day for all real metal fans and friends. Dio was not only a singer with an awesome and unique voice, he was also one of the most honored musicians in the entire scene. How big the impact of the small man with Italian roots was shows the list of musicians on this tribute album. The list of contributers sounds like the who is who of heavy metal - new and old.

Songs which are known from earlier releaes already are "Egypt (The chains are on)" performed by Doro Pesch, Killswitch Engaged's version of "Holy diver" and Adrenaline Mob, who take care about "The mob rules".

Next to those known tracks there are really cool new interpretations. Anthrax recorded a very impressing version of "Neon knights". The mosh kings stick very much to the original version - and Joey's voice fits perfect to this song. Also Corey Taylor's more modern version of "Rainbow in the dark" is a cool track. 

But the real exciting songs are from the 'old' guys. The Scorpions recorded a beautiful version of "The temple of the king". And the same goes for Glenn Hughes emotional interpretation of "Catch the rainbow". The are slightly different from the original by spreading the old magic.

The real highlight is Metallica's medley. They combine "A light in black", Tarot woman", Stargazer" and "Kill the king" to a nine minutes long super song which is just outstanding. They managed to bridge the gap between 'stick to the original' and 'make it yours'. The songs are from Dio, but they sound Metallica. This is professionalism, passion and experience.  It's the best thing I have heard from the thrash veterans since years. Guys, please take this energy and make use of it while recording the next studio album.

Songs which are OK, but don't reach the other covers are "Straigh through your heart" from Halestorm. This was a surprise to me since they had already two excellent EP's with cover songs. The desaster in my point of view is Tenacious D with "The last in line". You might say that this is a special version of the classic, but for me it just awful - with a flute solo part. OMG.

But however, the album contains 14 excellent tunes (expect the mentioned "The last in line" version) and is a MUST in your collection. And last but not least you are doing also something good with buying this record, since you directly support the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout fonds. A real 'win-win'.

 

(*/10)

 

PS: "This is your life" also makes one thing obvious. Dio stays Dio and the songs sounds best when they have been sung by the master himself with his charismatic voice. The album shows how big the loss was and is.

 

 

Photo: Gene Kirkland

Photo: Gene Kirkland

Tracklist:

1. “Neon Knights” – Anthrax*

2. “The Last In Line” – Tenacious D*

3. “The Mob Rules” – Adrenaline Mob

4. “Rainbow In The Dark” – Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci,

                                        Jason Christopher*

5. “Straight Through The Heart” – Halestorm*

6. “Starstruck” – Motörhead with Biff of Saxon*

7. “Temple Of The King” – Scorpions*

8. “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” – Doro

9. “Holy Diver” – Killswitch Engage

10. “Catch the Rainbow” – Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo,

                                       Scott Warren*

11. "I” – Jimmy Bain, Oni Logan, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy*

12. “Man On The Silver Mountain” – Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson,

                                                    Scott Warren*

13. Ronnie Rising Medley – Metallica*

14. “This Is Your Life” – Dio

15. "Buried alive" - Jasta*

 

* unreleased versions

 

Label: Rhino (Warner)

Genre: Heavy Metal

CD review Various Artists "RONNIE JAMES DIO - This is your life"
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CD review PILGRIM "Void worship"

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2014 von Markus W. in Pilgrim, Doom Metal, News, Black Sabbath, CD Review

(6/10) Doom metal from the US. Rhode Island based Pilgrim released their new album "Void worship" which is their second release. 

The album opens with an intro before the first real songs starts. Slow riffs are the base for this 10 minutes long epical track. The tune is kept on a very slow pace and has an almost hypnotic beat. The "repetitive hypnosis-including dirges" (statement from the band) are planned but for me the song is a bit too long . Or in other words, there are too little surprises. It's a tough thing to pay attention to "Master chamber" all ten minutes long. Happy enough the speed increases with "The paladin". Down tuned guitars blow out of the speakers and remind to the earlier Sabbath days. For me the best song on "Void worship". There are two other pretty long songs on the record. The title track and the closing "Away from here" are tranferring 9 minutes full of sadness and depression. From the structure the songs are similar to "Master chamber". Heavy doom guitars are the base for both songs. But also hear a bit more varation and surprises would have been good in order to break the pattern of the song. 

"Void worship" is not a bad record. The production is powerful and the songs OK. For me the weak point of this album is, that I constantly had the feeling that I have heard all that stuff already earlier. What are the typical trademark of Pilgrim and how do they differ from bands like e.g. Pentagram? I haven't found the answer on this album. Maybe next time.

(6/10)

Photo: Metal Blade Records  (Promo)

Photo: Metal Blade Records (Promo)

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Master chamber
  3. The paladin
  4. Arcane sanctum
  5. In the presence of evil
  6. Void worship
  7. Dwarven march
  8. Away from here

 

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Doom Metal

CD review PILGRIM "Void worship"
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Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2014 von Markus W. in Prong, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Live Review, News

The Patronaat is a nice venue in the city center of Haarlem in The Netherlands. The smaller of the two halls can handle 350 spectators and was almost sold out. Prong is still known and has a lot of fans. That was a good signal, since I have seen a few shows from other bands in the last months which played in half filled venues. 
 
Before the trio from New York entered the stage it was time for their support band. It was KLOGR (spoken: 'Kay-log-are') from Italy who got the opening slot for this tour. I haven't heard from the band before eventhough they are not totally new i the business. The main guy behind these guys is  Gabriele "Rusty" Rustichelli on guitar and vocals. The music of the band has an modern metal touch and I had to think about bands like Adrenaline Mob and Drowning Pool. Klogr did a great job as an opener and prepared the scene for Prong very well. This was also obvious due to the fact that the venue was already filled quite well during their show.
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
But of course everybody came to see the groove metal guys from the US. After a short break (quite nice to see the stage covered with a curtain during the stage preparations) PRONG started around 21:30. This was the beginning of an one and a half hour long show which was pure rock'n'roll. It was a journey though 19 songs which have been full of riffs, power and energy. No signs of jetlag from the guys (they arrived two days before the show), just pure passion.
 
The start couldn't have been chosen better. "For dear life" and "Beg to differ" from the album with the same title set the tone of voice. Heavy riffs and a lot of groove pumped a lot of energy into crowd. The setlist in general was well chosen. Doubtless, there have been the band's classics like "Beg to differ", "Broken pieces" and "Snap your fingers, snap your neck". But also the powerful "Revenge best served cold" from the last record found the way on the setlist and is of course a perfect live song. But Prong also decided to add two new tunes to the gig. It has been the opener of the new CD called "Turnover" and the title track from the coming album "Ruining lives" (release date: 25.4.14). Both songs work perfect in a live show, esp. since Prong played them much harder than they are on the coming album. 

All band members obviously enjoyed the show. Tommy was constantly in motion and in contact with the audience. The same goes for the guy on the bass. Jason Christopher did a great job eventhough he looked pretty absent during the first 2-3 songs ... due to whatever. But the stage acting afterwards was excellent and the trio delivered a great show. This led to a highly enthusiastic audience and a great atmosphere during the show. This is entertainment as it should be.

After around 90 minutes the first tones of "Prove you wrong" filled the venue and it was clear to everybody that the end is near. Prong hammered this song into crowd and finished a great show. 
 
 
 
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
 
To mention also the very good accoustics of the show. Not only Prong, but also Klogr got a clear, heavy and dense sound which fitted perfect to this kind of music. Well done and a (loud) gift for the ears.
 
All in all it was a great evening with a cool support act and a mighty headliner. Next time again!
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014

Setlist Prong:

  1. For dear life
  2. Beg to differ
  3. Irrelevant thoughts
  4. Unconditional
  5. Eternal heat
  6. Lost & found
  7. Ruining lives (new track)
  8. Third from the sun
  9. Cutrate
  10. Rude awakening
  11. Turnover (new track)
  12. Revenge best served cold
  13. Broken piece
  14. Another worldly device
  15. Whose fist is this anyway?
  16. Snap your fingers, snap your neck
  17. Power of damage


Encore:

  1. Carved into stone
  2. Prove you wrong

Location: Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Date: 27.03.2014

Setlist Prong:
  1. For dear life
  2. Beg to differ
  3. Irrelevant thoughts
  4. Unconditional
  5. Eternal heat
  6. Lost & found
  7. Ruining lives (new track)
  8. Third from the sun
  9. Cutrate
  10. Rude awakening
  11. Turnover (new track)
  12. Revenge best served cold
  13. Broken piece
  14. Another worldly device
  15. Whose fist is this anyway?
  16. Snap your fingers, snap your neck
  17. Power of damage

Encore:

  1. Carved into stone
  2. Prove you wrong
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
Live review PRONG/KLOGR, Patronaat, Haarlem 27.03.2014
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CD review GAMMA RAY "Empire of the undead"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2014 von Markus W. in Gamma Ray, Speed Metal, CD Review, Heavy Metal, News

(9/10) The pre-conditions for the new Gamma Ray album haven't been really good. You all heard about the disaster which happened in Hamburg. In November last year a fire destroyed the entire Hammer Studios in Hamburg. What a shock. And I guess it was even a bigger shock for the band being on tour in South America at that time.

The only good thing was that the first recording for the new album haven't been destroyed. The same goes actually for most of the equipment and Hansen's guitars. Since the own studio wasn't existing anymore Gamma Ray decided to record in the Chameleon Studio in the Hansestadt. In the end Kai Hansen's reflection is that all the sad experience made the band even stronger.

Photo: Alexander Mertsch (Promo)

Photo: Alexander Mertsch (Promo)

Let's have a look into the new songs. The beginning is already a surprise. Not that many bands are brave enough to open with a more than nine minutes long epos. But Gamma Ray don't care about those details and have with "Avalon" an excellent first song. An tune which is convincing. I was reminded in some part to the band classic "Heading for tomorrow". The contrast to "Hellbent", which is also the first single release, could be bigger. Tune number two is a straight to the point speed metal track which includes all trademarks of the band like heavy riffs, fast soli and an awesome melody. The chorus reminds to Judas Priest "Hell bent for leather" which is not only based on the fact that the songtitels sound similar. "Pale rider" follows another pattern. The track grooves like hell, is kept on midpace and reminds from the guitars to Accept. "Master of confusion" is another fave of mine (actually I like all the songs). It's a song Helloween never wrote again after the famous "Keeper..." records. It also shows how important Hansen was for the songwriting of the pumkins gang. "Empire of the undead" just blows you away. High speed metal with exciting riffs and screaming guitar. It's like a tornado of tones. The first moment to breath is when you reached "Time for deliverence". After all those smashers also a needed break. The song is a beautiful half ballad which builds up along the way and becomes more rocking towards the end. The last three songs are also pretty good, but stand a bit back behind the earlier mentioned tunes. Most of the other bands in this genre would wish to have those songs on their albums, but for Gamma Ray it almost feels a bit like standard stuff. But those songs can't limit the very positiv impression of this record. Not at all.

"Empire of the undead" proves again that Gamma Ray doesn't get stuck in stereotypes. The album convinces with great songs and a big variety of styles by not denying the trademarks of the band. Gamma Ray has it's own identity and strengthen it even more with "Empire of the undead".

I'm very happy that after all the difficulties in the last weeks and months Gamma Ray managed to create a really strong record. "Empire of the undead" shows that Hansen was right when he said that the distaster made the band stronger. They are championsleague. An album which will end up in a lot of Top 5 albums charts in 2014 polls.

Just one aish in the end: COME TO HOLLAND ;o)

 

(9/10) 

CD review GAMMA RAY "Empire of the undead"

Tracklist:

  1. Avalon
  2. Hellbent
  3. Pale rider
  4. Born to fly
  5. Master of confusion
  6. Empire of the undead
  7. Time for deliverance
  8. Demonseed
  9. Seven
  10. I will return

 

Label: ear Music

Genre: Speed Metal

 

 

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CD review GOTTHARD "Bang!"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2014 von Markus W. in Gotthard, Hardrock, CD Review, News

(9/10) Album number two of 'Gotthard 2.0', or in other words: the second record with Nic Maeder as singer of the well known Swiss hardrock band. The question was, how the new album will sound. Will it be a continuation of "Firebirth" or will it sound very different? How big was the influence of Nic when it comes to the new songs. And last but not least Gotthard decided to collaborate with Charlie Bauerfeind, who is more known for metal sounds than for hardrock.

"Bang!" proves that Gotthard made everything right. The album is a logical next step after the "Firebirth". It is maybe a bit less hard than the last disc, but it rocks much more. And Gotthard tried out new things on the record. With the title track, which opens the album, the five guys play for the first time a fast boogie based song. It sounds really cool and is a great chosen opener. And there are more rockers on the album. For example "I won't look down", which is very much classic rock influenced and reminds party to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". Next to those hard rocking tunes the band also put a duett on the album. The song's called "C'est la vie" and Nic sings together with the unkown, but very talented Melody Tibbets. And there is for the first time in Gotthard's history a song on the album which extends the 10 minutes border. It's the last track on the album and it's called "Thank you". The 10 minutes epical track includes orchestral arrangements and is a thank you to all mothers. Interesting to know, that original idea wasn't to write such a long song. In the beginning it was a typical Gotthard ballad. But parts and pieces have been added and the puzzle was set together. In the end it became a highlight in the bands discography.

Photo: Martin Hausler

Photo: Martin Hausler

I mentioned already earlier that Charlie Bauerfeind was part of the production. Actually it was Leo and Charlie together, who are responsible for the sound. And they did a good job. "Bang!" got a clear and very powerful sound. Leo and Charlie gave the album a rocking sound, which fits perfect. Obviously a good cooperation.

I like the new album since it rocks. It's a good soundtrack for the coming summer. And it's very divers too, which makes it very entertaining. Thumbs up.

(9/10)

CD review GOTTHARD "Bang!"

Tracklist:

  1. Bang!
  2. Get up 'n move
  3. Feel what I feel
  4. C'est la vie
  5. Jump the gun
  6. Sread your wings
  7. I won't look down
  8. My belief
  9. Maybe
  10. Red on a sleeve
  11. What you get
  12. Mr. ticket man
  13. Thank you

Label: G.Records/PIAS

Genre: Hardrock

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CD review WE ALL DIE (laughing) "Thoughtscanning"

Veröffentlicht am 24. März 2014 von Markus W. in We All Die, Black Metal, Prog Metal, Death Metal, CD Review, News

(6/10) This album is difficult to describe. If you want to have a first indication I would say that you should compare it with e.g. Ghost Brigade, Opeth and Shining. We All Die (Laughing) plays a mix between art rock, black metal, prog metal and death metal. It is this mix which is pretty unique. But it's also the track(s) on the album. Actually the entire album is one track with 33 minutes plus a cover version from an Amy Winehouse song.

"Thoughscanning" is a half hour long journey through all seamy sides of life. Dark and mean the growls express all the aggression which lead to doublebass instrumental parts before clean vocals take over, supported by melodic soundscapes. Fear, sadness, melancholy, depression and anger rule on this album.

For me it's a bit too much of everything. I don't want to say that it is not good music. It just feels like the band wrote several parts and put them together into one extremly long song. It feels to me a bit unfinished and the link between the different parts doesn't fit. If this was meant to settle the listener it worked with me. 

As an add on We All Die covered with "Back to black" an Amy Winehouse songs, which they better would not have done. This has nothing to do with the band. To cover a song from such a unique person with an incredible voice just can go wrong. Unfortunatelly this cover version proves the theory.

I appreciate the willingness of Arno Strobl and Déhà to experiment and express pure emotions. But it's not really my cup or tea. Maybe it's because spring is coming.

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Thoughtscanning
  2. Back to black

 

Label: Kaotoxin Records

Genre: Progressive Black Metal

 

 

 

 

CD review WE ALL DIE (laughing) "Thoughtscanning"
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CD review DRAWERS "Drawers"

Veröffentlicht am 24. März 2014 von Markus W. in Drawers, CD Review, News, Stoner Rock, Doom Metal

(6/10) In German "be placed in a certain drawer" means that you literally place something in a drawer for storing it. But there is a second interpretation which means that you catagorise something. This was the first thought when I heard about Drawers ... actually a quite strange name for a metal band. But that's my own reflection. So in which drawer do we place Drawers? They play a mix of stoner, sludge and doom. 

After an EP and a full-length debut the band released their new album called "Drawers". If I look into the info sheet of the record company it says that Drawers songs have "heaviness, catchiness and a killer sense of groove". I wish I could agree with this statement. After I listened to the album I can confirm, that the band is heavy. Down tuned guitars play massive riffs, supported by pounding basslines and drums which creates a raging rhythm. 'Catchiness' I can't agree. Of course we are talking about sludge and not AOR, but still. With the groove it is similar. The good production creates a massive wall of sound but most of the songs aren't really grooving compared to what I read on the info sheet.

Songs I liked on the album are "It's all about love" with its almost Machine Head part in the middle and "Words", a song which IS grooving. Those are really cool tracks.

I could imagine that "Drawers" will be liked by sludge fans. For all the others it's probabaly better to check bands like Masterdon and Crowbar first.

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Once and for all
  2. Mourning
  3. It's all about love
  4. Bleak
  5. Take stock
  6. Shadow dancer
  7. Words
  8. Detour

 

Label: Kaotoxin Records

Genre: Sludge- / Stoner Metal

 

CD review DRAWERS "Drawers"
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CD review BRAINSTORM "Firesoul"

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2014 von Markus W. in Brainstorm, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, CD Review

(8/10) It's always a pleasure to listen to a new album from Swabian power metal institution Brainstorm. This has for me mainly two reasons. First of all the band released always excellent records with straight forward heavy metal tracks. Secondly Brainstorm has its origins in my hometown - Heidenheim. 

"Firesoul" is the name of the new album from five guys and I think that the title couldn't have been chosen better. It seems to me that the metal flame is still burning in the heart and soul of the Swabian metal band. They managed to keep the fire burning through the 25 years history of Brainstrom.

"Firesoul" is record number ten in the bands discography. As we mentioned earlier, discs from Brainstorm have been always very relevant. This continues also on the new album. "Firesoul" takes care about the typical Brainstrom trademarks. Massive riffs from the guitar duo Ihlenfeld/Loncaric, great vocal lines by Andy B. Franck and a solid rhythm foundation by Bernert and Ieva are the guarantor of powerful metal songs.

To use an old cliche: 'the album has no fillers, just killers'. The ten tracks are real aural treats.

Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

Photo: AFM Records (Promo)

Already the opener "Erased by the dark" is pure power. A typical Brainstorm song which includes also a smaller orchestral instrumentation in the beginning. "Firesoul", the title track, choses the same direction. The song is build on an immensive riff and a melodic chorus. No time to beathe, since the next tune screams for your attention. The fast "Descendants of the fire" shows the heavy roots of the band.

I could continue like this since all the songs are from excellent quality. "What grows inside" is another example. the song comes slamming out of your speaker and hits you directly.

Cool album and if I should say it in the Facebook language: "I like"

(8/10)

CD review BRAINSTORM "Firesoul"

Tracklist:

  1. Erased by the dark
  2. Firesoul
  3. Descendants of the fire
  4. Entering solitude
  5. Recall the real
  6. Shadowseaker
  7. Feed me lies
  8. What grows inside
  9. The chosen
  10. ... and I wonder

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Power Metal

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