Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review EINHERJER "Av oss, for oss"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Einherjer, Viking Metal, Heavy Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) The waves break on the beach, some acostic guitar sounds take over and orchestra samples join in - the introduction to the new Einherjer album couldn't fit better. The percussion sound gives the rhythm for the rowing viking ship that comes across the ocean. What a start.

As one of the dinosaurs of viking metal Einherjer is around already since quite some years. The Norwegian guys started already mid of the ninties and released their debut in 1995. After a longer break the band returned in 2011 with "Norrøn". Now, three years later, the next album is ready. "Av oss, for oss" is the name of the silver disc that contains eight songs.

The tracks are based on the Norse heritage. It's adventures, craftsmen and poets that inspred the trio. And all is coming back in their songs. There are the melodies that could have been written by the poets, there is the power that is crucial for the craftsmen and the self-confidence of the adventurer that come back in each of the viking anthems from Einherjer.

What I like with their music are the rough vocals of Frode Glesnes and the simple but effective song structure which brings each of the tracks right to the point. My personal highlight on the album is "Nidstong" - a track that lives from almost endless repetitions making the song almost hypnotical.

What I think is a bit of a downer with "Av oss, for oss" is the fact that the songs sound very similar. Einherjer doesn't really leave their general pattern. Each song itself is a good one, but since it is too much of the same the music loses the attractivness. It seems that the vikings are just cruising in the Baltic Sea. But in reality they also have been the first ones in North America. This ambition of discovering new worlds would have been also benefitial for "Av oss, for oss".

However, a good album with a mystical expression and avoidance of too much (troll-) cliches. Heritage inspired authentic viking metal, played rough and mean.  A solid album with hopefully a few more experiments next time.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Fremad
  2. Hammer i kors
  3. Nidstong
  4. Hedensk oppstandelse
  5. Nord og ner
  6. Nornene
  7. Trellsom
  8. Av oss, for oss

 

Label: Indie Recordings

Genre: Viking Metal

CD review EINHERJER "Av oss, for oss"
Kommentare

CD review KHAOS "Risen"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Khaos, Hardrock, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Alter Bridge, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Khaos is a Swiss/American cooperation with the drivers Chandler Mogel and Mark Rossi. They have founded the Khaos in 2012 and have released with "Risen" a new longplayer. The band, actually it's a project, plays alternative rock/metal and the name should represent their aim of ultimate creativity without being steered by external influences. Probabaly this ambition was a very high one since there are bands like e.g. Alter Bridge which I think had an impact on the music of Khaos. But I also think that the guys did what they wanted to do. The album and the music sound honest and real.

The album has really great moments. There in total twelve of those. Well crafted tracks that really rock. I mentioned Alter Bridge already. The first two songs show what I meant with this comparison.

But it's not only pure alternative metal. The music from Khaos has also the more hardrock oriented songs. "Loaded question", a riff based melodic rocker, is one of those. Eventhough we can't talk about real innovation here the tune rocks very well and convinces already during round one on the turntable. "Static window" is another tune that fits into this category.

"Ride the chain" is probably the hardest tune on the album. It starts with a dark and crunchy riff before the melodies come a bit more into focus. Also here some Tremonti parallels are obvious, but the vocal line reminded me in the verse also to Saigon Kick. Talking about the vocals - the chorus contains some wild screams in the background. I guess a nice gimmick.

The softest tune on the album is the obligatory ballad. Khaos gave it the title "Exalted" - a song that is OK, but didn't lead to the big 'wow-effect'.

Khaos will not win a price for being one of the most innovative bands. But their music still makes fun to listen to since the songs find the right mix between heaviness, catchiness and rock. A solid album. Not more, but definitaly also not less.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. After the silence
  2. Crisis factor
  3. Exalted
  4. Loaded question
  5. End of daze
  6. Merchants of Khaos
  7. Ride the chain
  8. Hung the moon
  9. Imagined danger
  10. Static windows
  11. As far as we go
  12. The breathing room

 

Label: MRR Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

CD review KHAOS "Risen"
Kommentare

CD review GHOST BRIGADE "IV - One with the storm"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Ghost Brigade, Dark Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(9/10) Ghost Brigade celebrates almost their tenth birthday. The band was founded in 2005 in Finland and is back with a new record. The title "IV - One with the storm" states already that it is the fourth full-length longplayer in their discography.

The release date for the new album couldn't have been chosen better. "IV-One with the storm" fits that perfect in the grey autumn season with little daylight, fog and rain. The melancholic vibe of Ghost Brigade's music delivers the perfect soundtrack for this time of the year. It's the mix of dark elements, melancholy and mighty noise attacks that transposts the beauty of darkness.

As said earlier, the album is number four for the band from Finland. It follows the superb "Until fear no longer defines us" which put the level quite high for the new material. Already at this stage of the review I can tell you that Ghost Brigade lives up to all these expectations and has with "IV-One with the storm" an album that at least reaches the level of the predesessor.

One of my personal highlights on the record is the opener. Starting with a powerful riff and the rough vocals from Manne Ikonen the songs becomes a dark anthem with a lot of identity. Another really heavy nothern riff monster is called "The knife". It is one of the more straight forward song with less prog elements. The vocals stay massive thoughout the tune that doesn't take any prisoners.

Ghost Brigade has also the more silent songs on their album which partly sound like a mix of Katatonia and Anathema. "Disembodied voices" is one of them. Esp. in the beginning the track is almost fragil before it turns into a dynamic  metal track with melodic guitar lines. "Electra complex" follows the same pattern. Small difference - the last mentioned track is a 10 minutes long anthem that is done very well. Even with this length the track can keep the excitement from beginning to end. Towards the end riff becomes, due to repetition, almost hypnotic.

"IV-One with the storm" became a great album where Ghost Brigade pick up the thread from "Until fear no longer defines us" and bring their music to a next level.

My hope is that the album will help Ghost Brigade to get the attention they actually deserve.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Wretched blues
  2. Departure
  3. Aurora
  4. Disembodied voices
  5. Electra complex
  6. Stones and pillars
  7. Anchored
  8. The knife
  9. Long way to the graves
  10. Elama on tulta

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Dark Metal

CD review GHOST BRIGADE "IV - One with the storm"
Kommentare

DEVIL YOU KNOW has to cancel the European tour with MACHINE HEAD

Veröffentlicht am 30. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Devil You Know, Machine Head, Thrash Metal, News, Tour, Heavy Metal

DEVIL YOU KNOW, the creative union of Howard Jones (ex-KILLSWITCH ENGAGE), Francesco Artusato (ALL SHALL PERISH) and John Sankey (DEVOLVED), have announced that they will no longer be part of the upcoming European MACHINE HEAD headlining tour starting on November 7.

The band has issued the following official statement:

"It is with much regret that we are forced to announce the cancellation of our upcoming U.K. and European dates supporting MACHINE HEAD due to business issues far beyond our control.

We want to personally extend our apologies to the MACHINE HEAD guys and their entire camp and thank them for offering us such a great opportunity.

To our fans, the last thing we want to do is let you down. We are devastated that we can't perform for you all and be part of an amazing tour with one of our favorite bands. As musicians, the five of us have a job we love to do and we are ready to get onstage and do it, but unfortunately the cancellation of this tour is completely unavoidable despite every attempt by us to make it happen.

The business side of this industry is very ugly at times and this is one of those unforeseen instances where the band has to suffer. To put it mildly, we are extremely agitated by this situation and right now our hands are tied, but we are going to deal with it and forge on! We WILL tour Europe and the U.K. as soon as we possibly can and make it up to you all.

Sincerely, Howard, Francesco, John, Ryan, Roy.”

 

Source: Nuclear Blast

DEVIL YOU KNOW has to cancel the European tour with MACHINE HEAD
Kommentare

CD review CAVALERA CONSPIRICY "Pandemonium"

Veröffentlicht am 30. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Cavalera Conspiracy, Sepultura, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Modern Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) What was it for a big moment in 2007 when the Cavalera bothers founded the Cavalera Conspiracy. And the whole thing became even more exciting when they released the debut "Inflikted" one year later. It was the time when thrash dinosaurs Sepultura have been still searching their new direction and also Soulfly was a stagnating. "Infliked" was the big 'relief' since it sound brutal and fresh. Eleven songs, eleven hits and a groove monster like "Ultra-violence".

The second album "Blunt force trauma" was build on the same pattern eventhough it couldn't live up the the outstanding debut. And with "Pandemonium" its not that much different. It seems the be the 'curse' of the Cavalera Conspirancy is that their reference album is their debut.

"Pandemonium" isn't a bad record, don't get me wrong. But it feels like they have replaced the freshness and the surprising variations from the debut with speed and pure aggression. The ones of you who read regularly my reviews know that pure speed doesn't necessarily mean to me to become more heavy. In this case it leads to predictable songs that all follows a similar pattern. This doesn't really work very well for my ears. On top of that the sound of "Pandemonium" is a bit dull and not that clean and powerful as in the earlier days.

Eventhough the review so far sounds very critical the album also has it's highlights. If "Infliked" was the hurricane, "Pandemonium" is still a metal storm and no breeze. Tracks like the raging "Scum", the grooving "Not loosing the edge" with the infernal guitar lines and the more experimental "Porra" are aural assaults, performed very well.

A lot of other bands would be happy to call such an album their own, but from experienced guys like the Cavalera brothers I have expected a bit more. 

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Babylonian pandemonium
  2. Bonzai kamikazee
  3. Scum
  4. I, barbarian
  5. Cramunhao
  6. Apex predator
  7. Insurrection
  8. Not losing the edge
  9. Father of hate
  10. The crucible
  11. Deus ex machina
  12. Porra

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

CD review CAVALERA CONSPIRICY "Pandemonium"
Kommentare

ANATHEMA tour dates

Veröffentlicht am 29. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Anathema, Prog Rock, Rock, News, Tour

Prog rockers Anathema are still on tour in Europe and there are a few more dates coming. Here they are:

ANATHEMA tour dates
Kommentare

MAGNUM tour dates

Veröffentlicht am 29. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Magnum, Hardrock, Rock, Thrash Metal, News

Melodic hard rockers Magnum are touring through Europe this autumn and here are the dates:

 

MAGNUM tour dates
Kommentare

CD review KORZUS "Legion"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Korzus, Sepultura, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Thinking about thrash metal and Brazil it is first of all Sepultura that comes to ones mind. But if we look back in time there have been more bands in the late 80's / early 90's that started with oldschool thrash metal. Next to Sepultura it was Executer, Sarcófargo and Korzus that released records which gave them more international attention.

Korzus is still in business after 30 years and has been in the studio to work on their seventh full-length release. "Legions" is now out in the stores and delivers thirteen thrash songs. 

"Legions" contains classic thrash metal. Compared to Sepultura they haven't changed their music a lot. It is 'right to the point' oldschool metal. A musical wrecking ball that reminds to the 'good old times'. Maybe it is not very innovative music, but it is highly entertaining. 

My favorites on the album are the grooving "Broken" with the aggressive shouted chorus and the spoken words parts. But also the blazing fast "Lamb" leads to some excitemnet. It's a two minutes aural assault that doesn't take any prisoners. It sounds like a mean hybrid of thrash and hardcore. And last but not least it is the mighty "Time has come" with the haevy riff, the galloping rhythm and the immense power when it comes to vocals.

The songs got a full and dynamic production. It is oldschool music in modern production appearance. 

I enjoyed listening to the album. It makes fun and gives you a good time. A recommendation for all oldschool thrashers.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Lifeline
  2. Lamb
  3. Six seconds
  4. Broken
  5. Vampiro
  6. Die alone
  7. Appartus belli
  8. Time has come
  9. Purgatory
  10. Self hate
  11. Bleeding pride
  12. Devil's head
  13. Legion

 

Label: AFM

Genre: Thrash Metal

CD review KORZUS "Legion"
Kommentare

CD review BULLETRAIN "Start talking"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Bullettrain, Hardrock, Sleaze Rock, Rock, CD Review, News

(7/10) Helsingborg is a smaller town in the south west of Sweden with a nice smaller venue called 'Tivoli'. And Helsingborg is the hometown of Bulletrain. The band founded in 2006 by Mattias Persson (g) and Joan Tillheden (d). The guys completed the line-up and started to work full speed ahead on their first EP. That was in 2007. After some ups and downs over the years Bulletrain finally released the long expected "Start talking" via AOR Heaven. And what comes out of the speakers is something I like.

The music of Bulletrain is very much influenced from 80's hardrock. Band like Skid Row, Def Leppard and Poison come to my mind when I heard the album a couple of times. "Start talking" rocks very well.

"From the bottom of my heart" is e.g. one of the highlights on the album. In the verse a bit of Skid Row, the chorus could be almost from Def Leppard's "Hysteria". All combined with a screaming guitar solo in the middle.

But also the pounding opener "Nothing but trouble" is a great tune to listen to. What I like most is the catchiniess together with the heavy riff.  More silent tones can be found in "Even with my eyes closed" and "Bad blood" while the title track "Start talking" adds the blues to the musical 'color palette' of Bulletrain.

Bulletrain doesn't reinvent the wheel. The guys from Sweden delivered a hardrock album that awakes memories from the good old days. And what the are doing, they are doing good. Skane rocks.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Nothing but trouble
  2. All for one
  3. Dark days (Dark nights)
  4. From the bottom of my heart
  5. Even with my eyes closed
  6. Start talking
  7. Out of control
  8. Phantom pain
  9. Bad blood
  10. Dicing with death
  11. Take me to the sun
  12. Joannes secret

 

Label: AOR Heaven

Genre: Hardrock

CD review BULLETRAIN "Start talking"
Kommentare

GHOST BRIGADE streams the new album

Veröffentlicht am 28. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Ghost Brigade, Heavy Metal, Dark Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, Doom Metal, News

Ghost Brigade streams their entire new album. I can tell you already that it is more than worth to listen to. The review will be soon on my blog and the rating will be quite high.

GHOST BRIGADE streams the new album
Kommentare

CD review FLYLEAF "Beneath the stars"

Veröffentlicht am 28. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Flyleaf, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Rock, CD Review, News

(6/10) Flyleaf from Texas have a new record in the pipleline which is listening to the title "Beneath the stars". The band that was founded in 2002 can look back on a very successful history. Already their debut, simply called "Flyleaf", was sold more than million times and went platin.

Also the two following records have been quite successful eventhough they didn't reach the level of the debut.

The exciting thing with the new disc was the fact that Flyleaf singer and founding member Lacey Sturm was leaving the band and was replaced by Kirsten May. Eventhough Kirsten was to hear already on the EP "Who we are" I was curious how she influences the music of Flyleaf on a full-length record.

Next to that I think that the album could be also a milestone for the band since they had their biggest success with the debut and never could live up to this again. Will "Beneath the stars" bring back the band  to former strength?

First obvious thing - you get volume for money. 14 songs are taped on "Beneath the stars" plus four bonus add-ons.

So, how is the quality? Unfortunately the new album doesn't reach the level of the good debut. "Flyleaf" convinced with heavy sounds that have been a mix between alternative metal with some grunge elements. The dynamic which characterized the debut is missing on the current release.

There are some tracks that are quite OK. "Home" with the heavier riff in the verse is one of the better tracks on the album. And also the opener rocks very well. A songs that has a warm groove is "Platonic". It is very catchy but still entertaining.

On the other hand there are songs like "City kids" which are almost 'pop'. Also the loud section towards the end of the song can't change the impression of triviality. Nothing against 'pop', if it's well done. But here it's just boring. The same goes also for the following "Blue roses".

I also must say that I liked the vocals from Lancey Sturm better. Those have been a bit rougher and more rocking.

"Beneath the stars" is not the expected coup that brings the band back to where they have been. I think, a missed chance.

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Set me on fire
  2. Magnetic
  3. Traitor
  4. Platonic
  5. Head underwater
  6. Sober serenade
  7. Thread
  8. Marionette
  9. Well of lies
  10. City kid
  11. Blue roses
  12. Home
  13. Avalanche
  14. Ship of fools
  15. Tied to the broken (Demo)
  16. City kids (Live)
  17. The hunted (Bonus track)
  18. The wedding (Bonus track)

 

Label: Loud & Proud Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

CD review FLYLEAF "Beneath the stars"
Kommentare

CD review NITROGODS "Rats & rumors

Veröffentlicht am 28. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Nitrogods, Rock, Hardrock, Blues, CD Review, News, Motorhead

(6/10) That the Nitrogods have a preference for Motörhead became already quite obvious with their debut. And the guys continued that way. I don't want to go that far to say that they are a copycat of the the mighty trio, but they are at least VERY inspired by them.

Already the opening double "Rats & rumors" and "Get pride" sounds like Lemmy and his mates. Fast boogie based rock'n'roll blows out of the speakers and Motörhead delivered more than just a blueprint. Tracks like "BMW" and "Lite bite" follows the same principle. 

But it's not only Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey who are the 'inspiration' for Nitrogods. The Clash delivered with "London calling" the prototype for "Irish honey", "Automobile" follows The Bosshoss with some country-based rock, "There is a bit of Aerosmith in "Nothing but trouble", and last but not least "Back home" comes with some Thin Lizzy melodylines.

And eventhough the music is for sure not innovative and unique I must admit that the album is done very well. If you like the above mentioned bands and if you're a bit open-minded you could find some fun in this album.

"Rats & rumors" is a 'tribute album' to mainly Motörhead based on some own songs. Music that works live very well and it's up to you if you want to invest in the CD. Probably better to see them live.

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rats & rumors
  2. Got pride
  3. Irish honey
  4. Automobile
  5. Damn right (They call it rock'n'roll)
  6. Nothing but trouble
  7. Back home
  8. Dirty old man
  9. Ramblin' broke
  10. BMW
  11. Lite bite
  12. Nitrogods
  13. Whiskey supernova

 

Label: SPV

Genre: Rock'n'roll

CD review NITROGODS "Rats & rumors
Kommentare

GHOST BRIGADE - review soon on MHMB

Veröffentlicht am 27. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Ghost Brigade, News, Heavy Metal

GHOST BRIGADE - review soon on MHMB

Cool album. The review will be soon on the blog.

Kommentare

CD review DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT "Z2"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Oktober 2014 von Markus W. in Devin Townsend Project, Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal, Symphonic Metal, CD Review, News

(9/10) Devin Townsend is almost possessed by music. The passion and dedication with which the guy from Canada produces and releases records is I guess unique. 

Basically "Z2" comes with two discs. The first one got the title "Sky bue" and the second one takes care about "Dark matters". The new record can be seen as a continuation of "Ziltoid" from 2007 - just much bigger. And it is again a very long one as you can imagine. Both discs together gives you 23 songs from guitar wizard.

"Z2" became another masterpiece in Townsend's long discography. The album became big and bombastic.

"Sky blue" is the more epical side of "Z2". It reminded my the his latest release "Epicloud" which I liked a lot. The songs have a dense sound and are mainly build on big arcs of melodies. Keyboards and several samples play an important role in the songs and "Sky blue" fits very well as the title for the record. I could remember the video projections during his show in Eindhoven as part of the Distortion festival 2012 when "Epicloud' stood in focus. Those blue skies and the nature which visualized the gig found an acoustical counterpart on this disc. 

What is also remarkable is the fact that Townsend worked again together with singer Anneke van Giersbergen. It is amazing how good the voices fit together. It feels like a natural match that gives the vocal parts a certain ease. The "Sky blue" part is like the morning dawn with some dew on the gras. A fresh start into a sunny day with a 'sky blue'.

Time to enter the darker side of "Z2" and the return of Ziltoid. Already the narrator makes clear in the beginning of "Z2" that Devin Townsend stages this part of the album as a rock opera kind-of.

This disc contains awesome songs, spoken word sequences from a narrator and different characters - all under the umbrella of complex music with choirs, heavy guitars and great melodies. Also here Annette van Giersbergen is part of the show like in the brilliant "From sleep awake". It is a slower song with a very dramatic appeal that ends again with the narrator. The choir takes over in the beginning of "Ziltoidian empire" and the journey through outer space continues. 

The CD contains with "Ziltoid goes home " also a very fast and brutal track. It is one of the heaviest songs on the album and esp. in verse it is raging. The chorus became more melodic, before it turns again into a metal beast.

This metal attack is followed by "Through the wormhole" which is a full spoken word track. The difference couldn't be bigger and still the album stands like a rock.

The entire story has eleven chapters, so to speak, and ends with "Dimension Z".

Devin Townsend has the gift to create multilayered and complex music that has a lot of identity. His songs are always on the edge of drifting away into a cosmos of chaos. But in the last second he  brings them back, which makes it again possible for the listener to follow.

"Z2" is in my point of view one of the best records from Devin Townsend and it can have many many rounds on the recordplayer without getting annoying or boring.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

Disc 1 "Sky blue"

  1. Rejoice
  2. Fallout
  3. Midnight sun
  4. A new reign
  5. Universal flame
  6. Warrior
  7. Sky blue
  8. Silent militia
  9. Rain city
  10. Forever
  11. Before we die
  12. The ones who love

Disc 2 "Dark matters

  1. Z2
  2. From sleep awake
  3. Ziltoidian empire
  4. War princess
  5. Deathray
  6. March of the poozers
  7. Wandering eye
  8. Earth
  9. Ziltoid goes home
  10. Through the wormhole
  11. Dimension Z

 

Label: InsideOut

Genre: Prog Metal

CD review DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT "Z2"
Kommentare
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 > >>