Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review KISS "40"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Kiss, Hardrock, Rock, CD Review, News

(*/10) There will be no special introduction of the band this time. If you never heard about Kiss so far you should stop reading anyhow.

Kiss became 40 this year and this is for sure a great moment to celebrate the unbelievable career of the band. It was in 1973, when the first signing took place with Casablanca Records. This was the beginning of a rising star. They released their debut "Kiss" in 1974 which was the beginning of the "hottest band in the world". In the following years and decades Kiss sold millions of records, became 28 times gold for their releases and they are still in business. Their latest studio album "Monster" also showed, that they still breath rock'n'roll. Age obviously doesn't matter. 

So, Kiss celebrates their birthday with a compilation album, simply called "40". You could question why another compiation album is needed. The quartett released already quite some of them, next to a certain amount of live albums.

First of all you get value for money with this record. In total 40 songs (what a coincident) reflect the entire career of the band. Hits from the debut like "Strutter" and "Firehouse" are part of the tracklist as well as brand new material so as "Hell or hallelujah" from "Monster". Regardless of masked or unmasked, plugged in or unplugged, every period is reflected on "40". Also the more controverse discussed mainstream phase in the eights is is part of the album. And I still think that "Reason to live' is a great song.

The album also contains tracks, which haven't released in such a version earlier. "Deuce", "Cold gin" and "Crazy nights" are previsouly commercially unreleased live recordings and with "Reputation" the compilation also contains an unreleased demo version from 1977. 

"40" provides an excellent overview over fourty years of KIss. For collectors for sure a 'must'. All the others need to decide if they have a need for another compilation from the "Hottest band on the earth". Based on the tracklist the answer actually should be 'yes'.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

CD1:

  1. Nothin to lose
  2. Let me go, rock'n'roll
  3. C'mon and love me
  4. Rock and roll all night (live)
  5. God of thunder (demo)
  6. Beth
  7. Hard luck woman
  8. Reputation (demo - previously unreleased)
  9. Christine sixteen
  10. Shout it out loud (live)
  11. Strutter '78
  12. You matter to me
  13. Radioactive
  14. New York groove
  15. Hold me, touch me
  16. I was made for lovin' you (single edit)
  17. Shandi
  18. A world without heroes
  19. I love it loud
  20. Down on your knees
  21. Lick it up
  22. Heaven's on fire

 

CD 2:

  1. Tears are falling
  2. Reason to live
  3. Let's put the X into sex
  4. Forever (remix)
  5. God gave rock'n'roll to you II
  6. Unholy (live)
  7. Do you love me? (MTV unplugged)
  8. Room service (live)
  9. Jungle (radio edit)
  10. Psyche circus
  11. Nothing can keep me from you
  12. Detroit rock city (live)
  13. Deuce (live 2004)
  14. Firehouse (live 1999/2000)
  15. Modern day Delilah
  16. Cold gin (live 2009)
  17. Crazy crazy  nights (live 2010)
  18. Hell or hallelujah

 

Label: Universal Music

Genre: Hardrock

CD review KISS "40"
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CD review TESLA "Simplicity"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Tesla, Hardrock, Sleaze Rock, Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) It was in the second half of the 80's when a new band entered the scene. They had a pretty interesting sound and already their debut album "Mechanical resonance" didn't take prisoners. Their second album "The great radio controversy" became their next highlight. But for me it's still "Five men acoustical jam", a live unplugged album, which is the icon of the band.

The trademark of Tesla is the 'scratchy' and rough voice of singer Jeff Keith. The grapevine says, that Keith trainind his voice by singing to songs played on the radio during long truck rides. However, the vocals are standing out and makes an Tesla song immediatley recognisable.

With some up's and down's the band from Sacamento is in the meantime almost 30 years in business and releases in June 2014 their new studio album called "Simplicity". It took the band 6 years ("Forever more" was released in 2008) to come out with this album. The result shows, that it was worth waiting.

Tesla wanted to produce an album which goes straight back to their roots. They produced it in the same way as they did with "Into the now" from 2004 and I think they succeeded. "Simplicity" has no real title track, but the opener "MP3" could be seen as being the one. The tune is kept in mid-tempo with a typical Tesla melody line. The lyrics are about the modern world and all the missing simplicity which is connected to it. "Rise and fall" is another cool track. Starting with a pumping bass and the vocals from Keith, the song stays on a slow and ballade-like level with acoustic guitars. And Tesla can still give these kind of songs the necessary rock'n'roll feeling. The same goes for the following track "So divine". One of the heaviest songs on the album is called "Flip side!". It starts with a powerful guitar riff, the verse is acoustical before the tune explodes again in the chorus. Another well-crafted track is "Break of dawn" which is based on the guitar sound and the deep groove rhythm a real headbanger. My personal fave is the piano based "Life is a river' which comes with very intelligent lyrics. The song spreads a cool atmosphere amd the captivating chorus is the cherry on the cake. You need another heavy tune? Here you go. "Time bomb" serves you with what you need. The song is a bad-ass-headbanger with a snappy beat and down tuned guitars.

All in all I can state that Tesla is still around after so many years. "Simplicity" became a grooving and rocking album which shows, that simplicity is a virtue. A must for all rock fans.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. MP3
  2. Ricochet
  3. Rise and fall
  4. So divine...
  5. Cross my heart
  6. Honestly
  7. Flip side!
  8. Other than me
  9. Break of dawn
  10. Burnout to fade
  11. Life is a river
  12. Sympathy
  13. Time bomb
  14. 'Til that day
  15. Burnout to fade (writing demo version)

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Hardrock

 

CD review TESLA "Simplicity"
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CD review BLACK ANVIL "Hail death"

Veröffentlicht am 30. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Black Anvil, Death Metal, Black Metal, CD Review, News, Thrash Metal

(7/10) Black Anvil, that's black metal from New York. The band was founded in 2007 and was born out of the ashes from Kill Your Idols, an New York based hardcore band. The band started as a trio before the second guitarist Sos joined the band in 2012. Black Anvil released already two albums in the past. The last one was "Triumvirate" and came out in 2010. Now, four years later, the band is back with their new record called "Hail death".

The first recognisable thing with this record is the length. Black Anvil delivers really value for money which means in this case 10 songs with a total playtime from more than 70 minutes. The core of the album is probabaly the 11 minutes long "Next level black". It's an epical black metal anthem. which from the riffing also contains some thrash metal elements. The tune comes with interesting breaks and tempo changes. It starts midtempo with a grooving riff, before later in the song the doublebass drumming gives ignition for high speed metal. In general I must say that the song is very entertaining. This has also to do with the really slow, sometimes acoustic part in the second half of "Next level black".

Talking about acoustic; also the opener "Still reborn" starts with an acoustic guitar part. This can be seen as the silence before the storm, since after one minute the song becomes a mean and threatening black metal anthem. It's a good coice for an opener, which remnded me to Watain. The most thrash oriented track is "Seven stars unseen". Except from the vocals the sngs shows that the band has also some faves in the thrash metal scene. Partly you can think about the earlier Metallica what breaks through here and there.

To sum up: "Hail death" became a surprisingly good black metal album. I like the variations in the tunes. This makes the record exciting and entertaining. Maybe it is not very unique, but I like it.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Still reborn
  2. Redemption through blood
  3. Eventide
  4. Seven stars unseen
  5. G.N.O.N.
  6. Until the end
  7. My hate is oure
  8. N
  9. Next level black
  10. Under the rose (bonus track)

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Black Metal

CD review BLACK ANVIL "Hail death"
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Live review NINE INCH NAILS, Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 27.05.2014

Veröffentlicht am 29. Mai 2014 von Caroline K. in Nine Inch Nails, NIN, Live Review, News, Industrial, Modern Metal

Nine Inch Nails known for their industrial heavy weight awing performances came back with a vengeance. An epileptic inducing graphic light show did not disappoint and was totally in sync with their thunderess sounds.

 

Surprisingly the show was not sold out. Reznor stage presence added shadows of himself to the graphic light wall. Hunched over the mic, he spitted out his unique vocals in a quality that entwined into the music to a pumped moshing sweaty crowd. The heat in HMH was off the scale whereby Trent’s own body fluids contaminated his own synth but the show continued with a “fuck it”. Thankfully in front we were sprayed with water by one of Trent’s bodyguards with an attempt to cool us a little. This was gratefully accepted especially when given water to drink. The set list was career spanning including "Head like a hole", "Disappointed", "Closer", "The Frail & the Wretched", "Copy of a", "March of the pigs" and ending with powerful rendition of "Hurt". Every song detonated the crowd into a full-scale rock assault. The musical ferocity left the audience with what they came for after so many years without.

 

Not to forget Cold Cave, who opened up for NIN and warmed up the crowd. 

 

 

 

Set list: 

Me, I'm Not 

Copy of A 

1,000,000 

March of the Pigs 

Piggy 

The Frail 

The Wretched 

Gave Up 

Sanctified (with Sunspots riff) 

Closer 

Find My Way 

The Warning 

Disappointed 

Came Back Haunted 

The Great Destroyer 

Eraser 

Wish 

Burn 

The Hand That Feeds 

Head Like a Hole 

 

Encore: 

The Day the World Went Away

Hurt

 

 

 

Location: Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date: 27.05.2014 

 
 
(Author: Caroline Kube)
Photos: Caroline Kube
Photos: Caroline Kube
Photos: Caroline Kube
Photos: Caroline Kube
Photos: Caroline Kube
Photos: Caroline Kube
Photos: Caroline Kube

Photos: Caroline Kube

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CD review ANATHEMA "Distant satellites"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Anathema, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Rock, CD Review, News

(9/10) Finest prog rock from the UK – that’s what Anathema stands for. It’s amazing what kind of change the band made. Some of you maybe can still remember the early days of the band ("Serenades") when they played a mix of doom and gothic metal. They even went on tour with Bolt Thrower and Paradise Lost. This was in the beginning of the 90’s.

In the meantime the band became a constant factor in the prog scene. Anathema underlines this with their new record „Distant satellites“. The release date fort his thrilling new record is June 9. A day you should mark in your agendas.

The heart of the new album ist he trilogy „The lost song“. It was in 2009 when Danny Cavanagh wrote a riff, which could have become a great song at that time. But unfortunately the riff disappeared from the computer and was lost. Lost forever? Probably yes. All rescue actions didn’t succeed. The riff was gone. The „Lost song“-trilogy on „Distant satellites“ is the attempt to recall it and get the idea back. But it didn't came back.

The good thing is, that it inspirened the band to write three new high standard song. Listen for example to the opner. It’s an almost six minutes long masterpiece of prog rock. It shows the high level of energy which goes with the band, but it also shows the more silent and fraglie side too. All combined in this song. Or listen to the swinging „part 3“ of the „Lost song“ story. The melancholic melody is enchanting. The album has with „Anathema“ also for the first time a tune which gave the band their name. It’s a silent track, it’s slow and it carries a lot of emotions. Another remarkable tune is the short „Firelight“. The song is purely based on keyboards and makes you dreaming. Rock music or not; this track is just great. You could see it also as an longer intro for the title track. There is an almost seamless transition. "Distant satellites“ is a passionted and relaxed track which shows the beauty of melody and harmonie.  

The production of „Distant satellites“ is beyond each doubt. The record was produced and mixed by Christer-André Cederborg in his own studio in Oslo, Norway who did an excellent job.

The album is rounded off a typical Anathema cover. This time it was created by a Korean guy. His name is Sang Jun Yoo and he a new media artist. Coinsident or not; the red color reminds a bit to „A natural disaster“ and „Hintsight“.

All Anathema fans will love the new album. It’s an album which will probably also bring new fans to the band. If you never heard about Anathema yet I also can recommend you the latest live album (see link), which gives a good overview about the songs and music of the band.

Music for earphones.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The lost song – part 1
  2. The lost song – part 2
  3. Dusk (Dark is descending)
  4. Ariel
  5. The lost song – part 3
  6. Anathema
  7. You’re not aone
  8. Firelight
  9. Distant satelitte
  10. Take shelter

 

Label: Kscope

Gerne: Prog Rock

CD review ANATHEMA "Distant satellites"
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CD review URIAH HEEP "Outsider"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Uriah Heep, Hardrock, Rock, Classic Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Mick Box and his guys did a great job. The have written and recorded a new album with eleven awesome hardrock tunes. This is one of the records that clearly states that rock'n'roll has nothing to do with age. It's about passion and dedication. Uriah Heep has obviously both.

The band from England is already 45 years in business. Hits like „Easy livin’“ and „Lady in black“ are still milestones in the history of hardrock. „Outsider“, that’s the name of the new disc, is already record number 24 in their long history and still rocks. The other day I read a quote which said „Live is music. That’s why your heart has a beat“. I think, that this is more than valid for Uriah Heep.

The opening package "Speed of sound" and "One minute" doesn't take any prisoners. Strong and powerful music, that's what you get. It's seems that the band went through a fontaine of youth since a few albums. The first track which takes out speed a bit comes in middle of "Outsider". "Is anybody gonna help me" starts slower than some of the earlier tracks, but builds up to a riff based rock tune. The typical Uriah Heep keyboard sound gives the song a dense base on which vocals and guitar can shine. To keep the tension Uriah Heep placed one of the fastest tracks directly next. "Looking at you" is the name and the song breaths true rock'n'roll spirit. Last but not least the closer is also a tasty rock tune too. A thumbing bass and pounding drums are pushing the song forward and we should hope that "Say goodbye" is only relevant till the coming live shows and the next album.

Uriah Heep releases with "Outsider" a solid and rocking hardrock album. It's well crafted, got an excellent sound and makes fun to listen to. Thumbs up.

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Speed of sound
  2. One minute
  3. The law
  4. The outsider
  5. Rock the foundation
  6. Is anybody gonna help me?
  7. Looking at you
  8. Can't take that away
  9. Jessie
  10. Kiss the rainbow
  11. Say goodbye

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Hardrock

  

 

 

 

Mike Box and his guys did a great job. The have written and recorded a new album with ... awesome hardrock tunes. This is one of the records that rock'n'roll has nothing to do with age. It's about passion and dedication. Uriah Heep has obviously both.
The opening package "Speed of sound" and "One minute" doesn't take any prisoners. Strong and powerful music, that's what you get. It's seems that the band went through a fontaine of youth since a few albums. The first track which takes out speed a bit comes in middle of "Outsider". "Is anybody gonna help me" starts slower than some of the earlier tracks, but builds up to a riff based rock tune. Keyboards are giving the song a dense base on which vocals and guitar can shine. To keep the tension Uriah Heep placed one of the fastest tracks directly next. "Looking at you" is the name and the song breaths true rock'n'roll spirit. Last but nit least the closer is also a tasty rock tune. A thumbing bass and pounding drums are pushing the song forward and we cannhope that "Say goodbye" is onlyeant till the live shows and the next album.
Uriah Heep released with "Outsider" a solid and rocking hardrock album. It's well crafted and it makes fun to listen to it. Thumbd up.

(8/10)

 

CD review URIAH HEEP "Outsider"
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New album from the GUANO APES

Veröffentlicht am 29. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Guano Apes, Alternative Metal, News

Three years after the Guano Apes released their 'reunion' album "Bel Air" it's time for another record. The band from Göttingen, Germany wrote ne material and recorded the album "Offline" which will be released in May this year.

According to singer Sandra Nasic the band tried to let loose from the past. According to het the new album should be again more rough and rocking. Let's see/hear what this means as soon as the album is out. The new single "Close to the sun" sounds promising.

Guano Apes also plans to go on tour with the new album. They will play a small Russian tour and some festivals during summer. The band will be than on a bigger European tour in autumn.

 

PS: Don't miss the review (see link)

New album from the GUANO APES
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CD review BLOODY HAMMERS "Under satan's sun"

Veröffentlicht am 28. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Bloody Hammers, Black Sabbath, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Anders Manga is the man behind Bloddy Hammers.  He is the mastermind of the Transylvania County based band. I have to admit that I haven't had the band on my metal radar so far, but this changed with their third album. The name of the disc is "Under Satan's sun" and it contains in total 10 songs.

Everything fits together on this record. The music is a melange out of doom metal, some stoner rock and psychadelic elements too. You could also describe it basically as a mix between Black Sabbath and Lake Of Tears (just listen to the opener). It's astonishing how much Manga's voice sounds like the one from Daniel Brennare during some tunes like e.g the opener "the town of dreaded sundown". Sometimes there are also small references to the good old Type O Negative - not regarding the music; it's mainly about the atmosphere of certain tracks.

The songs of the album are short little horror stories. The cover of the album fits perfect into this context since the entire record could also be a soundtrack for an 70's or 80's horror b-movie.

The album spread a darker and creepy atmosphere, but the ten tracks are highly melodic and have some chatchy chorus too. Highlights are the slower and threatening "Death does us part", the Marilyn Manson like "Moon-eyed people" and the fast "Dead man's shadow on the wall". But actually also the other 7 tracks would be worth to mention since they reach the same quality level.

If we still consider the third album as an important one when it comes to further success, I can see a glorious future of the band. "Under Satan's sun" is good food for your CD player.

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The town that dreaded sundown
  2. Spearfinger
  3. Death does us part
  4. The moon-eyed people
  5. Second coming
  6. Welcome to the horrow show
  7. Under satan's sun
  8. Dead man's shadow on the wall
  9. The last alarm
  10. The necromancer

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Doom Metal

CD review BLOODY HAMMERS "Under satan's sun"
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CD review NEIL YOUNG "A letter home"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Neil Young, Rock, CD Review, News

(9/10) If you have achieved a status like Neil Young did you have the total freedom to experiment and unleash your creativity. This is what happened with his latest album "A letter home". This record will lead to some controversial discussions, but I think it became a great one - eventhough it's maybe not really heavy. But it's damn cool.

So what happened. Neil Young visited Jack White in his studio in 2013. What he discovered there was a kind of old phonebox. The special thing with this box is, that it's a voice-o-graph. This means that you can record audio messages and press those on vinyl. Young was so fascinated that he decided to use it for recording some song. So he put himself, incl. guitar and harmonica into the box and taped tunes.

The result is a very based and low-fidality record. The sound is like from a early vinyl album with all the acoustic noise and the cracks. And this is the cool thing with "A letter home". An analog recording in low-fidelity fits so good to the songs Neil Young is playing on this album. The organic and warm sound is fascinating. Something we lost in this highly digital world with those partly overdone productions.

The songs are all cover versions. But this doesn't matter since the versions are very unique due to the before mentioned. Young interprets song from Gordon Lightfoot as well as from the Everly Brothers, Bruce Springsteen ("My hometown") and "On the road again" from the legendary Willie Nelson.

Again, I know, that this album isn't heavy, but it's so unique, that it's worth to share it on my blog. If you are a bit openminded you should give it a try. Maybe even for a second and a third round. It's worth it. "A letter home" is a unique experiement and it's 100% authentic music.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. A letter home (Intro)
  2. Changes
  3. Girl from the north country
  4. Needle of death
  5. Early morning rain
  6. Crazy
  7. Reason to believe
  8. On the road again
  9. If you could read my mind
  10. Since I met you baby
  11. My hometown
  12. I wonder if I care as much

 

Label: Reprise (Warner)

Genre: Rock

CD review NEIL YOUNG "A letter home"
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CD review DUST BOLT "Awake the riot"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Dust Bolt, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) German thrashers Dust Bolt are back with a new album. They proof again that there is more than Lederhosen and Volksmusik in Bavaria. What you get with "Awake the riot" are in total 12 thrash anthems with a total running time from almost an hour.

As with the debut Dust Bolt sticks to their style. The focus is on oldschool thrash metal. This is maybe not very innovative, but it sounds very good.

The opener sets already the scene for the album. "Living hell" offers fast guitar riffs which could be also from Bay Area legends like Slayer. Or listen to the scream of the next tune "Soul erazor". Tom Araya couldn't do it better. Another highspeed tune is "Agent thrash". The title track is a real highlight on the album. Based on heavy guitars riffs and leads the song hammers out of the speakers. Some parts also reflect the east coast metal from bands like Nuclear Assault. So it's oldschool in the broadest meaning of the word. Well done . But Dust Bolt can also reduce the speed. "The monotonous - distant scream" is one of those moments. It's together with the close "Future shock" one of the longest tracks on the "Awake the riot". Starting with accoustic guitars only the song builds up to a Metallica-style rocker with a furious middlepart. Interesting are also the hoarse vocals from singer Lenny B. which are sometimes pretty extreme.You just hope that the guy doesn't loose his voice.

The music of Dust Bolt is, based on all the mentioned issues, not really new. You have the feeling, that you have heard everything already earlier from other bands.

But what I like with the album is the straight forward thrash metal, which reminds to bands like Kreator and Sodom. It's young and fresh on one side and traditional on the other. And Dust Bolt plays their songs with a lot of passion, which is remarkable too.

All in all an exciting metal album which is worth to check out.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Living hell
  2. Soul erazor
  3. Beneath the earth
  4. You lost sight
  5. Agent thrash
  6. Living a lie
  7. Awake the riot - The final war
  8. Eternal waste
  9. Drowned in blind faith
  10. Worlds built to deceive
  11. The monotonous - Distant scream
  12. Future shock

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

 

CD review DUST BOLT "Awake the riot"
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CD review MOTHER ROAD "Drive"

Veröffentlicht am 26. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Mother Road, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, CD Review, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Blues, News

(7/10) Mother Road is the successful result of an US/German cooperation. It was singer Keith Slack (Steelhouse Lane & Michael Schenker Group) from Austin, Texas and guitarist Chris Lyne (also Soul Doctor) from Berlin, Germany who had the idea to start with Mother Road. And it seems that it was a fruitful collaboration.

The band is completed by drummer Zacky Tsoukas, Frank Binke at the four strings and last but not least the almost omnipresent Alessandro Del Vecchio on the keyboard.

What the band does, is bringing you back in time. It's a road into the history of rock. This has to do with the sound of Mother Road. The band is highly influneced by classic rock bands like Deep Purple ("Feather in your hat" and "Dirty little secret") or Whitesnake ("Poor boy" and "Blue eyes"). I wouldn't say that they are a copycat of those bands, but sometimes there are quite many parallels existing, which aren't by coincidence. The only time they have gone too far is "These shoes" and "Dangerous highways". The first mentioned track makes use of all Whitesnake trademarks you can imagine and shows no own identy at all. This wasn't necessary since they can write btter songs. Mother Road proof it on this record. "Dangerous highway" almost copies in the beginning "Child in time" and "Perfect strangers" from Purple. Fortunatelly the rest of the song gets a bit more personality.

I was surprised how much the voice of Keith sounds like Ian Gillan or David Coverdale. Sometimes I had the feeling that I could hear one of them singing. But it was Slack, who was behind the mic.

Next to those classic hardrockers the album also has partly some Southern Rock influences which come back in tunes like "The sun will shine again" - the opener of the album. But also the slower "Drive me crazy" reflects this. Based on a rocking riff the song it's the organ and the vocals which give this track an own identy. The song I like most on the album is "Still raining". It's a piano based blues song, which partly shows some references to Gary Morre in his blues period. This goes mainly for the guitar of Chris Lyne. Also the hammond solo from Del Vecchio half way is excellent and pushes you back in time. 

"Drive" became a good and solid rock album. The music is not really new and inventive, but the songs are well done and excellent perfomened. A clear seven for Mother Road. Not more, but also not less.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The sun will shine again
  2. Feather in your hat
  3. Drive me crazy
  4. Out of my mind
  5. These shoes
  6. Dangerous highway
  7. Poor boy (long way out)
  8. Dirty little secret
  9. Blue eyes
  10. Still raining
  11. On my way

 

Label: AOR Heaven

Genre: Hardrock

CD review MOTHER ROAD "Drive"
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CD review CROWBAR "Symmetry in black"

Veröffentlicht am 26. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Crowbar, Pantera, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal, Sludge, News

(8/10) Three years after "Sever the wicked hand" has seen the light of day it's time for a new release from Crowbar. Kirk Windstein and his three companions cleared out their agendas and focussed on the new album called "Symmetry in black". Windstein even cancelled his participation in the latest Down EP.

The result of all this are 12 doom anthems which are on Crowbar's thenth album. Each new song from the New Orleans based quartett shows the typical trademarks of the band. Slow, mean and heavy riffs are the base. Listening to the tunes makes you almost feel the southern heat. In addition to that you have Windstein's hoarse vocals which are on the one hand full of energy, but also sometimes almost fragile ("Amaranthine"). Crowbar seems to be like wine, the older the better.

Sometimes even some older Type O Negative and Carnivore elements shine through the song structure ("Symbolic suicide", Symmetry in white").

Already the opener "Walk with knowledge wisely" gives you clear indication of what to expect in the coming almost 50 minutes. The title track is called "Symmetry in white". Yes, it's the right name. It seems a little bit playing with words here. It's Kirk Windstein charismatic vocals which dominates the song. However, it seems that the focus of the band members on Crowbar is reflected in the songwriting. The entire album stands like a rock. I couldn't find a song which doesn't live up to the high standards - no fillers.

Actually "Symmetry in black" has even an acoustical intermezzo. Half way the New Orleans guys put "Amaranthine" on the tracklist. It's a quite nice break after the riff orgy you heard before. The tune spreads a great atmosphere and is full of emotions. But again, this is only a small break before the next groove monster "The foreboding" hits you directly. 

For me it's the expected great new Crowbar record. New Orleans sound at it's best and for me one of the top three releases of the band. Stop reading, start listening.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Walk with knowledge wisly
  2. Symmetry in white
  3. The taste of dying
  4. Reflection of deceit
  5. Ageleass decay
  6. Amaranthine
  7. The foreboding
  8. Shaman of belief
  9. Teach the blind to see
  10. A wealth of empathy
  11. Symbolic suicide
  12. The Piety of selfloathing

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Doom Metal / Sludge

CD review CROWBAR "Symmetry in black"
CD review CROWBAR "Symmetry in black"
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CD review SERPENTINE PATH "Emanations"

Veröffentlicht am 23. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Serpentine Path, Death Metal, Doom Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Doom-/Death Metal from New York. That's what you can expect from Serpentine Path. Founded already in 2011, out of the ashes of Unearthly Trance, the band released their debut in the same year. "Emanations" is the second crushing album of the band and will be in the stores on May 23.

The new record comes with seven song, most of them between 5 and 7 minutes long. Tunes like "Claws" and "Treacherous water" are acousitcal versions of the neverending maelstrom which swallows everything around. Brutal and slow guitar riffs combined with a merciless working rhythm section are the base for each track. It's doom metal on a quite high level. The rough, almost growling vocals of Ryan Lipynsky adds the death metal compontent to those heavy tunes. A cool combination.

What I miss with this record is the diversity. The seven tracks sound pretty similar and also the pace of the songs is very much of the same. This makes album, but also some song a bit lengthy.

Otherwise the album became a good release with an aggressive, but still clear sound.

I like to combination of doom- and death metal on the album. I have partly the feeling that this combination makes metal even more heavy. If the band would manage in the future to also add a few more diverse elements into their songs I could foresee a glorious future for the five guys.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Essence of heresy
  2. House of worship
  3. Treeacherous waters
  4. Claws
  5. Disfigured colossus
  6. Systematic extinction
  7. Torment

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Death Metal

CD review SERPENTINE PATH "Emanations"
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CD review SONIC STATION "Next stop"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Sonic Station, AOR, Rock, CD Review, News

(5/10) Sonic Station is the another AOR band from Sweden. In this case the guys are coming from Stockholm. The main man behind Sonic Station is guitarist Alexander Kronbrink. He is also the main composer of the band, which names the westcoast AOR sound as their main inspiration. This is also what you can hear back in the tunes of the new album. Some parallels with bands like e.g. Toto are obvious.

"Next stop", that's the title of the new album, has some good and bad parts.

Starting with the positive things: The album got a really good sound. The tracks sound powerful and energetic - from a production point of view. Another thing which stands out are the vocals from Johan Bodling. His crystal clear voice fits perfect to the AOR/Rock music which Sonic Station plays. On three tracks Marika Willstedt, well known in Sweden, is responsible for the lead vocals. Those are OK as well, but to me a bit more flat than the Boding songs.

My problem with the album are the songs in general. I took the effort to listen to the album several times, but I have to say that none of the tracks really stands out. None of the tunes really sticks to you mind. They feel more like an never ending flow. Not that they are really bad, but they are lacking excitement. I don't want to be too harsh, but it feels for me a bit like background music. It doesn't disturb, but it also doesn't really catches your attention. It's just there.

AOR fans which call bands like the earlier mentioned Toto to their faves should give this album a chance. Unfortunatelly I never found the right way into this "Next stop".

 

(5/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Amelia
  2. Catch me if you can
  3. Brighter after dark
  4. Fool for your love
  5. Stopped beating
  6. Where are you now?
  7. Half of my heart
  8. Broken man
  9. Loce clash
  10. Last goodbye
  11. Hide and seek

 

Label: Avenue Of Allies

Genre: AOR

CD review SONIC STATION "Next stop"
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