Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review AC/DC "Rock or bust"

Veröffentlicht am 25. November 2014 von Markus W. in ACDC, Rock, Hardrock, CD Review, News

(8/10) To be honest, I haven't thought that we will ever get a new album from the Australian hardrock legend. Especially after the news was out that founding member Malcolm Young had to stop with AC/DC due to dementia I had the idea that this was it. Maybe another tour, maybe a few other shows, but a new album?

But things went differently, Malcolm was replaced by his nephew Stevie Young and with "Rock or bust" the band worked on their 15th studio record. In a few days the album will see the light of day and it will contain eleven new hardrock anthems.

I guess that all of you have a clear expectation when it comes to the sound of the new album. And I can tell you already that those most probabaly will be met. No doubt, AC/DC have their sound since 1973 and stick to it till today. All the bands trademarks are present on "Rock or bust". There are the crispy guitar riffs from Angus Young, that howling vocals from Brian Johnson and a powering rhythm section that makes your head banging.

The album starts with a double package that includes the two best tracks on the album. "Rock or bust" deserves the privilege to be the eponym for the album. The tune comes with an awesome rock hook that sticks from the very first note on. Great stuff and a typical AC/DC riff rocker. The song has a huge live potential.

Also the first single is worth mentioning. With not even three minutes the track isn't too long, but it transports a lot of energy. It's not a surprise that "Play ball" was revealed during the World Series 2014 and I can imagine hearing the song much more often in the coming baseball season all over the world.

A song I like as well is the slower "Dogs of war". It has a darker vibe and grooves like hell, esp. in the chorus. The bluesy side of AC/DC gets more obvious with the brilliant "Hard times" and also in "Rock the house". You just can't stand still by listening to those tracks.

Another tune with a huge drive is called "Baptism by fire". It's one of the faster tracks on "Rock or bust" and is pounding AC/DC anthem.

Two songs which I think can't keep the high level of the other ones is "Miss adventure" and "Emission control". At least I had some trouble to find my way into the songs.

Something that sticks out is the quite short running time. The longest track is 3:41 minutes and there are quite some with less than three minutes. According to Angus this was done by purpose to keep the songs as tight as possible in order to maximise the excitement. And I must say that it worked.

The sound of the album is perfect - as we're used to from the Australian rock dinosaurs. It was Bredan O'Brien, who produced "Rock or bust". O'Brien was also responsible for the production of the last album "Black ice" and did again a great job in giving AC/DC the warm and organic rock sound they need.

"Rock or bust" is another good album from a band that belongs to the icons in rock. AC/DC stick to their sound during the last 40 years and also the new release reflects all their trademarks. "Rock or bust" is a very entertaining record with great and distinctive rock songs that 'shake you all night long'. A proof that rock'n'roll isn't a matter of age.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rock or bust
  2. Play ball
  3. Rock the blues away
  4. Miss adventure
  5. Dogs of wat
  6. Got some rock & roll thunder
  7. Hardr times
  8. Baptism by fire
  9. Rock the house
  10. Sweet candy
  11. Emission control

 

Label: Sony Music

Genre: Hardrock

CD review AC/DC "Rock or bust"
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Live review SLASH feat. MYLES KENNEDY & THE CONSPIRATORS / MONSTER TRUCK

Veröffentlicht am 25. November 2014 von Markus W. in Slash, Hardrock, Rock, Live Review, Alternative Rock, Alter Bridge, Guns'n'Roses, Monster Truck

The man with the hat and the sunglasses had a stop in Amsterdam last night. Very well known guitarist Slash is on tour at the moment in Europe and had a stop in the Heineken Music Hall in The Netherlands.

But before the six-string legend entered the stage it was up to Monster Truck to bring some energy into the crowd. The four-piece band from Hamilton, Ontario was founded in 2009 and their mix of classic rock and Southern rock sounded very good.  They have released so far two EP’s and their debut “Furiosity” came out last year. Of course the audience came to see Slash, but looking on the reactions Monster Truck did a very good job. They ‘warmed-up’ the fans with the eight songs they performed. It was a good start into this evening and I can imagine that Monster Truck shows in smaller clubs are even more intense.

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

Then it was time for Slash feat. Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators. The guys seem to have a German tour manager since it was exactly 21:00 when the lights have been turned down and the show started. An impressive lightshow together with amusement park music samples has been the intro before the five musicians entered the stage and started directly with “You’re a lie”. From the first moment on it was clear that this will become a great evening. The band was in a very good mood . Agile and constantly performing in an excellent way Slash and his band mates offered a potpourri of Slash solo highlights, “Slither” from Velvet Revolver and some Guns’n’Roses stuff have been performed as well.

Three things have been really remarkable. No doubt, Slash is one of the best rock guitarists in these days. He played an excellent show and the solo parts have been breathtaking. In the middle of “Rocket queen” he had a 20 minutes solo that was really fascinating. And eventhough Slash got 50% space on stage he is still a teamplayer with not forgetting the rest of the band.

Myles Kennedy (also Alter Bridge) is one of those guys. His voice is just great and also this night he managed to hit every note. The way how he performed the Guns’n’Roses songs was a highlight of the evening since he did a much better job the Axl Rose. Really good. And next to that Kennedy is an agile and charismatic frontman too. He really entertained the crowd and I think it’s the combination of Slash and Kennedy that makes this line-up so special.

But not to forget the rest of the band. Todd Kerns (b), Brent Fitz (d) and Frank Sidoris (g) created the foundation for Slash and Kennedy. They built the base for the lead guitar to shine. And not to forget the fact that Kerns is a good singer too. He actually sang two songs in the middle of the show – “Dr. Alibi” and the Guns’n’Roses cover “You’re crazy”. The bit rougher and smoky voice of the Canadian bassplayer fitted very well for those tunes and gave the show almost a kind of basic punk note. With his long black hair even Joey Ramone came to my mind.

120 minutes later the first notes of “Paradise city” have been played. It was actually the second song in the encore. Something that shows, that the band enjoyed the night as well. By normally just having one encore they added in Amsterdam “Wicked stone” to the list. I guess that this wasn’t planned since Slash talked to his guys after re-entering the stage. However, after two hours “Paradise city” was a glorious closer of a fantastic show. An evening of rock’n’roll that was an excellent start into a new week.

Photo: Caroline Kube

Photo: Caroline Kube

Setlist:

  1. You're a lie
  2. Nightrain
  3. Standing in the sun
  4. Avalon
  5. Back from Cali
  6. Stone blind
  7. Doible talkin' jive
  8. Ghost
  9. Docor alilbi
  10. You're crazy
  11. Shadow life
  12. Beneath the savage sun
  13. Mr. Brownstone
  14. Rocket queen
  15. Bent to fly
  16. World on fire
  17. Anastasia
  18. Sweet child O'mine
  19. Slither
  20. Wicked stone (Encore)
  21. Paradise city (Encore)

 

Location: Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date: 24.11.2014

Photos: Caroline Kube
Photos: Caroline Kube
Photos: Caroline Kube

Photos: Caroline Kube

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SLASH live in Amsterdam - review soon on MHMB

Veröffentlicht am 24. November 2014 von Markus W. in Slash, Hardrock, Rock, Blues

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

Photo: Caroline Kube

Photo: Caroline Kube

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CD review ENGEL "Raven kings"

Veröffentlicht am 24. November 2014 von Markus W. in Engel, In Flames, Modern Metal, Heavy Metal, Death Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) Niclas Engelin must be a busy man in these days. First the new album from In Flames, than the big tour with the Gothenburg metal institution and parallel the release of the new Engel album - a lot of things to do.

The band, that was founded in 2004 by Engelin, has a new album ready to be released. It is called "Raven kings" and is the 4th longplayer of the Gothenburg-based band. And it is the first record via Gain Muisc.

In total there are eleven tracks on the record. All of them not too long which leads to a total playing time of less than 40 minutes. I would say that this is really the minimum nowadays. However, better 40 minutes of great music than more than an hour of boring metal. 

In this case I would say that Engel is going more towards the first part in the statement. The tracks on the album are melodic death metal with some modern metal crossreferences. You have read something similar also in my In Flames review? True. For me there are many similarities between the sound of In Flames and Engel. Of course, Engelin is playing in both bands and therefore it is not a too big surprise. But "Raven kings" sound a bit like the small mean brother of the Gothenburg quintett. What do I mean with that?

First of all I must say that the music is pretty good. I have the feeling that the songs are more to the point and more straight-forward. The album is full of crispy riffs by Engelin and Sunesson, the vocals of Michael Sehlin find the right mix between growls, schouts and clean singing and the rhythm section creates a grooving foundation for each track. The album has the harsh metal tracks like e.g. the opener "Salvation", but also has tracks with mostly clean vocals like "Fading light". Even an acoustic track with a lot of melancholy is on the album. "I am the answer" is the name of the song.

The ones of you who thought the the last In Flames record was too commercial should give Engel a chance. It's an album that will be loved by fans of melodic death metal and modern metal.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Salvation
  2. Your shadow haunts you
  3. Denial
  4. Fading light
  5. My dark path
  6. I am the answer
  7. When the earth burns
  8. End of days
  9. Sanctuary
  10. Broken pieces
  11. Hollow soul

 

Label: Gain Music

Genre: Modern metal

CD review ENGEL "Raven kings"
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CD review POSTHUM "The black Northern ritual"

Veröffentlicht am 22. November 2014 von Markus W. in Posthum, Black Metal, Death Metal, Dark Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(8/10) This album is pitch black. Posthum is a Norwegian black metal band from Nannestad. The three piece band started in 2004 and released a few days ago their third album called "Black Northern ritual". It follows the 2012 release "Lights out" which was already well recieved.

Posthum plays black metal with a really mean vibe. But they do it in a quite smart way by adding a ambient style to it. Their songs are brutal but not highspeed black metal. The build quite impressive soundscapes for a black metal band. There are almost some prog elements embedded in their aural assault. This becomes obvious in the epical long final track on the album. "North" is a ten minutes song that is kept in midpace. The sound reminds a bit to the earlier Enslaved and the tune is quite melodic. But the counterpart are the brawly vocals of Jon Kristian Skare. It's almost like he's screaming out all the frustration and pain of the world. A very intense counterpoint compared with the melodic guitarlines.

Next to this extraordinary piece of black metal music we will find also shorter and mean black metal eruptions on "The black Northern ritual". "Condemned" is one of those tracks. It's a four minutes black metal inferno that is played quite fast. The pace changes in the track makes adds the spice to it. Also the title track "The black Northern ritual" is a remarkable song. It is characterized by the aggressivness in certain parts on the one hand, but also by slower and more atmospheric elements in the middle section.

I was impressed by the album. This longplayer is one of the black metal highlight this year and could become also a fave for people who normally don't prefer this genre.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Demon black skies
  2. Condemned
  3. To the pit
  4. The black Northern ritual
  5. Vinter
  6. A disappearering sun
  7. North

 

Label: Indie Recordings

Genre: Black Metal

CD review POSTHUM "The black Northern ritual"
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MOONSPELL on tour in spring with SEPTICFLESH

Veröffentlicht am 22. November 2014 von Markus W. in Moonspell, Septicflesh, Death Metal, Dark Metal, Heavy Metal, News, Gothic Metal

Moonspell will be on tour with a new album in spring 2015. Support will be Septicflesh and the whole thing sounds like a pretty cool package. Don't miss your chance. Here are the dates:

MOONSPELL  on tour in spring with SEPTICFLESH
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News from the coming MOONSPELL album

Veröffentlicht am 22. November 2014 von Markus W. in Moonspell, Dark Metal, Heavy Metal, Gothic Metal, Death Metal, News

News from Portugal. Dark metal rockers Moonspell has announced the tracklist from their coming album. The name of the record is called "Extinct" and will be released in March via Napalm Records.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Until we are no more (Breathe)
  2. Medusalem
  3. Funeral bloom
  4. Domina
  5. La baphomette
  6. The last of us
  7. A dying breed
  8. Malignia
  9. Extinct
  10. The funeral is dark

 

 

 

Photo: Edgar Keats

Photo: Edgar Keats

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CD review RAUNCHY "Vice, virtues, vision"

Veröffentlicht am 21. November 2014 von Markus W. in Raunchy, Modern Metal, Death Metal, Industrial, CD Review, News, Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal

(8/10) Raunchy from Denmark are a constant factor in the metal scene. Eventhough they never had a real breakthrough they are constantly releasing new records based on pure passion for what they are doing.
The band started in 1992 and released till now six records. Number seven is available in the stores since a few days and is called "Vice virtues visions". As it has been with the other albums as well also the newest kid in town shows all the Raunchy trademarks.
But there are also a few new details with this album. Next to the fact that "Vices virtues visions" is the first one that comes via Massacre Records it is also the new singer Mike Semesky that created curiousity. How will he fit into the sound of the band?
I can say that I like what I hear. He fits perfect in this mix of thrash metal, industrial metal and death metal of Raunchy. The album has this typical mix between clean vocals and growls that works together very well. I also have the feeling that the new singer brought some extra energy back into the band. "Vice virtues visions" has much more crunchy riffs and a more powerful sound compared to the predecessor "A discord electric". It makes fun to listen to this album. For me it is the best one next to the first two releases.
Having been the Danish counterpart to the mighty Fear Factory in the beginning, Raunchy changed their sound during time and added more samples and keyboards to their music. It seems that they perfectionized this switch with the new album since there are the raging parts like "Digital dreamer" (still combined with clean vocals and keys). But there are also more modern metal songs a la In Flames ("Clarity") and the catchy tunes like "The singularity heart" where the clean vocals dominate and also the keyboards are very much in the front - fortunatley without becoming too pop oriented.
All in all the new album of Raunchy is a really good one, that can be recommended too everybody who likes modern, melodic, catchy death metal with an industrial touch. 


(8/10)


Tracklist:

  1. Eyes of a storm
  2. Truth taker
  3. Digital dream
  4. Never enough
  5. The castway crown
  6. Anesthesia throne
  7. Luxuria
  8. I, Avarice
  9. Frozen earth
  10. Clarity
  11. The singularity heart



Label: Massacre Records
Genre: Modern Metal






 

CD review RAUNCHY "Vice, virtues, vision"
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Update: KISS will play some shows and festivals in Europe in 2015

Veröffentlicht am 21. November 2014 von Markus W. in Kiss, Hardrock, Tour, Rock, Classic Rock, News

Their 40th anniversary brings Kiss also to Europe. During summer 2015 the four guys will play several shows and festivals. Here are the date:

29.05. Rockavaria Festival, Munich, Germany

29.05. Grüne Hölle Festival, Nürburg, Germany

02.06. O2 Arena, Hamburg, Germany

03.06. O2 Arena, Berlin, Germany

04.06. Leipzig Arena, Leipzig, Germany

06.06. Rock In Vienna Festival, Vienna, Austria

08.06. O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic

11.06. Verona Arena, Verona, Italy

14.06. Download Festival, Derby, UK

16.06. Le Zenith, Paris, France

18.06. Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam (new)

19.06. Graspop Festival, Graspop, Belgium

Update: KISS will play some shows and festivals in Europe in 2015
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1st new FAITH NO MORE song since 17 years!!!

Veröffentlicht am 20. November 2014 von Markus W. in Faith No More, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Crossover, News, Rock, Modern Metal

The legendary Faith No More published a new song via the the Rolling Stone magazine. The track is called "Motherfucker" and it is the first new release since 17 years. Amazing and cool. It is the first single from the new album which is expected in 2015.

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CD review HEART "Heart & friend: Home for the holidays"

Veröffentlicht am 20. November 2014 von Markus W. in Heart, Rock, CD Review, News, Sammy Hagar

(8/10) The Wilson sisters, better known under the header Heart, have played a show on December 12th 2013 in the Benaroya Symphony Hall in their hometown Seattle.
It was a remarkable moment since it was the only show like this. Ann and Nancy Wilson decided to play some holiday/Christmas classics, some of their own hits and personal favorites of the band. The result was a very special show, since the two ladies also invited some friends. Richard Marx, Shawn Colin, Sammy Hagar and Pat Monaham (Train) have joined and performed some songs together with Heart.
What happened on this magic night can be watched on DVD and listened to on CD. Frontiers Records released this show, which was a good decision.
Since I only have the CD I can't say anything about the visual impression. So let's focus on the music.
The setlist covered many different songs. There are typical holiday/Christmas tunes on the album. Most of them are more silent ones as you might also expect. However "Love come down on Christmas" and "Please come home for Christmas" are great songs. The more rocking Christmas was also part of the show. "Santa's going South" is such an example where also rock voice Sammy Hagar contibutes. I pretty cool version.
Next to those seasonal highlights the live Album also contains THE Heart hit "Barracuda" and the Led Zeppelin cover "Stairways to heaven".
The production of the album is great which means that from a sound perspective everything has been done right. It's a pleasure to listen to it.
"Home for the holidays" is a great soundtrack for Christmas time. Everybody who is fed up with the traditional versions of Christmas songs and also Wham's "Last Christmas" should go for this album.


(8/10)


Tracklist:

  1. The river
  2. Seasons
  3. Rocking (feat. Shawn Colvin)
  4. Love come down at Christmas
  5. Poem
  6. All through the night (feat. Richard Marx)
  7. All we need is an island (feat. Sammy Hagar)
  8. Santa's going South (feat. Sammy Hagar)
  9. Please come home for Christmas (feat. Pat Monaham)
  10. Remember Christmas
  11. Barracuda
  12. Even it up
  13. Stairway to heaven
  14. Ring them bells



Label: Frontiers Records
Genre: Rock

 

CD review HEART "Heart & friend: Home for the holidays"
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CD review CRAZY LIXX "Crazy Lixx"

Veröffentlicht am 20. November 2014 von Markus W. in Crazy Lixx, Hardrock, Rock, CD Review, News, Def Leppard, Kiss, Motley Crue

(8/10) Crazy Lixx are big fans from bands like Kiss, Mötley Crüe and Aerosmith. At least listening to their music gives you this impression. The band from Malmö, Sweden plays sleaze rock that brings you back to the glorious days in the 80's. Not for nothing one of their tracks is called "Girls of the 80's". Sounds like red lips, short skirts and curly long hair
Founded in 2002 by singer Danny Rexon, Vic Zino and Joel Cicera Crazy Lixx released in total four records. The latest one is called "Crazy Lixx". According to Danny Rexon none of the other proposed names fitted that well as doing a self-titled album. It represents the band and their music best. So why not calling it simply "Crazy Lixx".
The eleven songs on the album are pure hardrock anthems like the opener "Hell raising women". The start into the album couldn't be better. The five-piece band doesn't take any prisoners. The crunchy guitars and a anthemic melodies are a real kickstart for the album. "All looks, no hooks" follows the same pattern. The song might not 'look' but has definitely some hooks. And those stick. The same goes for "Ain't no rest in rock'n'roll" which, I guess, will become a standard part of their live setlists.
But Crazy Lixx also has a more melodic rock side. "Heroes forever" is one of those tracks. The track got a catchy melody and a chorus that is made for sing-a-long.
The album doesn't have the obligatory ballad that you might expect. It's full of rock'n'roll and even "Outlaw", with the more silent parts, rocks pretty well.
And last but not least the already mentioned "Girls of the 80's" that sounds like a merge of Def Leppard, Poison and Kiss (in this time).
I like the album since it has a high entertainment factor. Music that comes over as real and fresh. An energizer in autumn.


(8/10)


Tracklist:

  1. Hell raising women
  2. Sound of the loud minority
  3. Outlaw
  4. Girls of the 80's
  5. I missed the mark
  6. All looks no hooks
  7. Ain't no rest in rock'n'roll
  8. Call to action
  9. Heroes are forever
  10. Psycho city
  11. Wrecking ball crew



Label: Frontiers Records
Genre: Hardrock

 

CD review CRAZY LIXX "Crazy Lixx"
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SOLSTAFIR extends European tour

Veröffentlicht am 19. November 2014 von Markus W. in Solstafir, Heavy Metal, Tour, New, Dark Metal, Doom Metal

Solstafir extends their Europea tour with a few more dates in 2015. Here they are:

SOLSTAFIR extends European tour
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CD review RATED X "Rated X"

Veröffentlicht am 19. November 2014 von Markus W. in Rated X, Joe Lynn Turner, Hardrock, Rock, CD Review, News, Heavy Metal

(8/10) I think that the term 'supergroup' is overused and I also think that Rated X isn't one of those. But they are a bunch of very experienced and passionated musicians that have proven their musical capabilities in many hardrock/metal projects.
Karl Cochran played with Ace Frehley, Tony Franklin on bass is known from Whitesnake and the legendary Blue Murder, Camine Appice worked together with Ozzy Osbourne and last but not least there is Joe Lynn Turner who is looking back on successful days with Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen and Deep Purple. All four guys teamed-up and started Rated X.
The album has a fulminant start. "Get back my crown" rocks very hard and it reminds me in the chorus to the later Rainbow days. And what a cool keyboard part followed by a tasteful guitar solo. An entry into the album that has a lot of drive and shows all the passion. 
With songs like "This is who I am" and "Devil in disguise" the four-piece shows its more groovy side. The tunes have the typical blues/hardrock touch and are highlights on the album.
And last but not least there are the more AOR based songs like "Maybe tonight" and "You are the music". The good thing is that even those tracks are not trapped in cliche. The last mentioned track reminded me the way how it's build up actually a bit to Foreigner.
The longest song on the album is called "Lhasa". It is a seven minutes long track that starts, of course, with some Tibetan sound samples. The first guitar riff joins in after a minute and the song turns into an impressive rocker. With a slow, almost hypnotic, rhythm "Lhasa" is for sure one of the pearls on the album. And it is a track where Joe Lynn Turner can show his vocal range in a good way. 
The album is produced by Alessandro Del Vecchio. That means that it got an excellent sound too, by still sounding different than many others of his releases.
Rated X brought us one of the hardrock highlights in 2014 and I hope that this isn't just a one time thing'.


(8/10)


Tracklist:

  1. Get back my crown
  2. This is who I am
  3. Fire and ice
  4. I don't cry no more
  5. Lhasa
  6. Devil in disguise
  7. You are the music
  8. Peace of mind
  9. Maybe tonight
  10. On the way to paradise
  11. Our love is not over
  12. Stranger in us all



Label: Frontiers Records
Genre: Hardrock

CD review RATED X "Rated X"
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