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CD review THREE TRAPPED TIGERS "Silent Eartling"

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2016 von Markus W. in Three Trapped Tigers, Prog Rock, Rock, News, CD Review

(7/10) Oh boy, those three guys gave me a hard time? No, not because their music is a desaster, not at all. I was more thinking about how relevent Three Trapped Tigers are for the readers of my blog. However, I decided to post a review and here it is.

Three Trapped Tigers are from London, England. The guys aren't rookies since they actually started already back in 2007. Tom Rogerson, Adam Betts and Matt Calvert, that are the names of the three 'tigers' who play instrumental rock.

Three Trapped Tigers' sound isn't that easy to describe. I would say that it is rock music, that includes a lot of electronic finesse and samples. In addition there are some prog structures showing up, merged with some louder noise parts. In the end it is very interesting music the three guys put on their new album "Silent Earthling" which is the bands first album for Superball Music.

Having said this, Three Trapped Tigers didn't release a lot of longplayers up till now. "Silent Earthling" is their second album, following the debut from 2011 named "Root One or Die". Instead of having published more longplayers the trio release a few EPs, simply called "EP", "EP2" and "EP3".

Anyhow, enough of looking back, let's focus on "Silent Earthling". The album features nine instrumental tracks, starting with the title track.

"Silent Earthling" is a tune full of electronica that interacts with some more chaotic noise rock structures. Songs like "Kraken" follow the same pattern by having a slightly different expression. These are doubtless interesting numbers, but my favorites on this intensive longplayer are the tunes that brings the noise more to forefront. "Blimp" is on of these tracks that has a quite 'noisy' middlepart. The start is pretty melodic and maybe even catchy, something that changes after a while when the sound gets more heavy and dynamic.

Then there are also tracks like "Engrams" on the album that have been a bit annoying to listen from beginning till end. It's a track that is confusing and hard to diguest. I never found my way into this song.

As said in the beginning, "Silent Earthling" might not be that exciting for some of you guys, but if you like progressive music you should give this longplayer a fair chance. "Silent Earthling" might feel a bit confusing in the first run, but it develops over time and that's what it needs - time.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Silent Earthling
  2. Strebek
  3. Kraken
  4. Blimp
  5. Engrams
  6. Tekkers
  7. Hemisphere
  8. Rainbow Road
  9. Elsewhere

 

Label: Superball Music

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: April 1st, 2016

 

CD review THREE TRAPPED TIGERS "Silent Eartling"
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CD review THE TREATMENT "Generation Me"

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2016 von Markus W. in The Treatment, News, CD Review, Hardrock, Sleaze Rock, Rock

(8/10) The first time I have heard songs from The Treatment was in 2011 in Zoetermeer, Holland when the guys opened for Alice Cooper. The Treatment wasn't that well known at that point in time but I liked the energy and the sound of the band. Now, 5 years later, The Treatment releases their next longplayer called "Generation Me".

"Let It Begin" is the opener and the title couldn't be chosen better. It's vigogrous song that brings your lazy bones into motion.

That AC/DC is one source of inspiration is a statement proven by "The Devil". But instead of just sticking to an AC/DC blues riff the guys take a wider approach by adding more shades to their hardrocking sound.

The Treatment shift up a gear with "Tell Me the Truth" which is a headbanger per excellence.

Even catchy songs like "Backseat Heartbeat" aren't cheesy. The Treatment is never losing themselves in standard mainstream. Even though some tracks are a bit more polished than others, the guys still had enough dirt under their fingernails during the songwriting which makes even the commercial songs crunchy and rocking.

All in all "Generation Me" contains tracks that aren't really innovative rock science. But they are steady hardrock anthems that contain a true rock'n'roll vibe that reflects power and passion.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Let it begin
  2. The Devil
  3. Tell Us The Truth
  4. Generation Me
  5. Backseat Heartbeat
  6. Cry Tough
  7. We Are Beautiful
  8. I Know She Knows
  9. Bloodsucker
  10. Better Think Again
  11. Light The Sun

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: March 18th, 2016

CD review THE TREATMENT "Generation Me"
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CD review PORT NOIR "Any Way the Wind Carries"

Veröffentlicht am 30. März 2016 von Markus W. in Port Noir, Alternative Metal, Tool, News, CD Review, Rock, Prog Metal, Prog Rock

(8/10) Port Noir sounds French, but the guys are Swedish. This trio comes from Södertälje, outside of Stockholm, and Port Noir stands for drummer Andreas Wiberg, singer and guitarist Love Andersson and Andreas Hollstrand on guitar and backing vocals.

The roots of Port Noir are back in 2011 when the three guys found some common ground. They started with a first song, accompanied by a video which brought In Flames singer Anders Fridén on the agenda. He signed the band for his label Razzia Records, followed by the band's debut called "Port".

Now, 3 years later, the new Port Noir album is in the starting blocks. "Any Way the Wind Carries" is the name and the question is: what's so special with this trio?

I think it is this mixture of wistfulness, rock and metal that sounds really interesting. I was thinking about bands to compare Port Noir with. I didn't succeed in this. The band that comes closest to the sound of this Swedish trio is Tool. Some of the vocal melodies and intonations are similar to the guys from Los Angeles, but I think that Port Noir's portfolio is wider than just this.

If I take "Black From the Ink" as an example - the song is build on a simple but effective riff which is the general base for this mid tempo number. On top of this you'll hear the intensive and expressionist vocals of Andersson. The way he sings is not only performing some lyrics. It feels like the guy unveiling his soul in these tracks.

Another song, same story. "Fur, Rye" is kept more silence, at least in the beginning, and the vocals will give you the shivers.

"The Sleep" instead will lead to some insomnia. It's another highlight on "Any Way the Wind Carries" with, again, a Tool based melody line and, partly, some modern metal riffing.

One of the most advanced tracks on the band's second album is the closer "The Oak Crown". This number, no, this composition has an almost epical depth. The song never get's really loud, but it's this underlaying intensity that just keeps going.

I have missed the first album of the band. The more I'm impressed of the second longplayer. In case you missed the debut too, check out "Any Way the Wind Carries". You will not regret it.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Any Way the Wind Carries
  2. Earth
  3. Vous et nous
  4. Black From the Ink
  5. Onyx
  6. Diamond
  7. Beyond the Pale
  8. Fur, Rye
  9. Exile
  10. The Sleep
  11. Come What May
  12. The Oak Crown

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: March 25th, 2016

CD review PORT NOIR "Any Way the Wind Carries"
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CD review ENSIFERUM "Two Decades of Greatest Swords Hits"

Veröffentlicht am 30. März 2016 von Markus W. in Ensiferum, Folk Metal, Pagan Metal, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal

(*/10) Also this "Best of..." album will not answer the question about the 'why'. It might make sense for collectors and rookies, but each fan normally calls the regular records already their own.

This time it's Ensiferum that releases a "Best of..." album to celebrate their 20st anniversary. But actually the album doesn't look back on the entire career of the band. "Two Decades of Great Sword Hits" is only featuring songs from the first five records of the finnish warriors, a time when they had Spinefarm as their label. This means there is no song from the latest record on this longplayer, since "One Man Army" was released via Metal Blade.

Anyhow, what to say you don't know already. Classics like "Token of Time" found a spot on the tracklist as well as 'newer' songs such as "In My Sword I Trust". Each of the tunes that made it on this album is well chosen and it reflects in my point of view the journey of Ensiferum very well.

It would have been nice though, if there would have been one or two new songs on this longplayer too. Or it would have been even better to enrich this release with a live DVD. At least something extra would have been great for the fans.

Not having this included in "20 Decades of Great Sword Hits" means, that there isn't anything new for Ensiferum fans. Therefore I can sum it up like that: great band with great songs, produced in an excellent way...but nothing new at all. And since all this is a fact I recommend the regular releases.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. By the Dividing Stream
  2. Heathen Horde
  3. One More Magic Portion
  4. In My Sword I Trust
  5. Token of Time
  6. Dragonhead
  7. Twilight Tavern
  8. Burning Leaves
  9. Treacherous Gods
  10. Lai Lai Hei
  11. Two of Spades
  12. Iron
  13. From Afar
  14. Victory Song

 

Label: Spinefarm

Genre: Folk Metal

Release Date EU: April 1st, 2016

CD review ENSIFERUM "Two Decades of Greatest Swords Hits"
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CD review DESERT MOUNTAIN TRIBE "Either That or the Moon"

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2016 von Markus W. in Desert Mountain Tribe, Monster Magnet, News, CD Review, Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Stoner Rock, Alternative Rock

(9/10) Before I listened to this album I had a hard time to imagine a combination of sounds that reflects psychedelic rock a la Monster Magnet, UK indie rock the Oasis style and Coldplay's mainstream rock, all spiced up with some Beatles-based roots.

But Desert Mountain Tribe proves that this mission isn't a 'mission possible' and the result is really mind-blowing. Now, reflecting on the above mentioned influences it isn't a too big of a surprise that the band comes from the UK. London is the homebase for this quartet that embarked on their journey of rock a few years ago.

The first release was an EP that came out in 2013, followed by the band's first European tour. The full-length debut was released a few days ago and is named "Either That or the Moon".

Desert Mountain Tribe recorded eleven songs that made it to this longplayer, each of them a thrilling surprise. Since I missed the starting days of this four-piece, I haven't had any specific expectations. As open-minded as possible I pressed the 'play' button and already the first song showed me that the upcoming 60 minutes will become quite interesting.

"Either That or the Moon" contains songs that are really great, tracks you want to listen to over and over again. I can't count anymore how often I have listened to the psychedelic "Way Down" with it's hypnotic groove. This tune is one of the best ones I have heard since quite a while. Simple Minds meets Monster Magnet, that's what it is. You think this is impossible? Check it out.

"Heaven and Hell" is another number that comes with a psychedelic vibe, this time kept darker than the mentioned "Way Down". "Runaway" instead is a pretty straight-forward indie rocker that at least reminded me of Oasis, just a bit harder.

One of the more silent moments on this album is named "Interstellar" which has a lot of Coldplay in it. I like this nine minutes intergalactic trip that shows again all the capabilities of these guy.

Desert Mountain Tribe" released a 2016 highlight that for sure will get more rounds in my player. Really good stuff which I can recommend.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Feel the Light
  2. Take a Ride
  3. Midnight Sun
  4. Heaven and Hell
  5. Runaway
  6. Enos in Space
  7. Way Down
  8. OC Dream
  9. Interstellar
  10. Coming Home
  11. Leave it Behind

 

Label: Membran

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Release Date EU: March 4th, 2016

CD review DESERT MOUNTAIN TRIBE "Either That or the Moon"
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LP review PLACEBO "Sleeping With Ghosts" and "Meds" (vinyl re-issue)

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2016 von Markus W. in Placebo, News, Rock, Alternative Metal, CD Review, Vinyl

(*/10) Worldwide successful alternative rocker Placebo took two of their records and remastered them. The 2003 release "Sleeping With Ghosts" and the next longplayer, "Meds", released in 2006, will be reissued by Universal Music and the releases are planned for Fenruary and April,

All the songs, of both albums, have been remastered and Placebo publish them in 180 gramm black vinyl. 

The first of the two vinyl releases is "Sleeping With Ghosts". Originally published in 2003, the album was Placebo's next step on the ladder to success. Partly more electronic than the predecessor the trio reached new levels with their sound. 

The ones of you that call the original record their own know what I'm talking about. Songs like the aggressive opener "Bulletproof Cupid", a tune that is a well design noise orgy, but also the darker title track belong to the spearhead of alternative rock, embedded in a commercial framework. To round off the musical spectra of Placebo I also need to mention the complex "Something Rotten" with its gloomy vibe. This song is special and intersting. It doesn't belong to my faves on the album but it shows the musical width of the band very well.
For me Placebo are best when they unleash their special guitar sound that climaxes in indie rockers like "Plasticine".
 
The second record that made it on vinyl is "Meds" which led to first number one chart positions in countries like Austria and Switzerland. But also in their 'homeland' England Placebo entered the top 10. "Meds" it brought back to the bands origins with a sound that reduced the electronic elements dramatically. While the guitars got back into the spotlight it's Brian Molko's special vocals that are the consistant element in Placebo's sound. 
I think that it was a good decision to honor those two albums with a vinyl re-issue. "Sleeping with Ghosts", as well as "Meds", have been the crucial releases that decided on Placebo's musical future in the middle of the century's first decade. Those two records ensured the continuation of a successful indie rock journey that started in 1994 more or less coinsidentally and that isn't finished yet.
Definitaly stuff for collector and fans, but also for people that might missed the original releases.
 
(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

Sleeping With Ghosts

Side A:

  1. Bulletproof Cupid
  2. English Summer Rain
  3. This Picture
  4. Sleeping With Ghosts
  5. The Bitter End
  6. Something Rotten

Side B:

  1. Plasticine
  2. Special Needs
  3. I'll Be Yours
  4. Second Sight
  5. Protect Me From What I Want
  6. Centrefolds

Meds

Side A:

  1. Meds
  2. Infra-Red
  3. Drag
  4. Space Monkey
  5. Follow The Cops Back Home
  6. Post Blue
  7. Because I Want You

Side B:

  1. Blind
  2. Pierrot The Clown
  3. Broken Promise
  4. One Of A Kind
  5. In The Cold Light Of Morning
  6. Song To Say Goodbyeds

Label: Universal Music

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: "Sleeping With Ghosts" February 19th, 2016

                            "Meds" April 8th, 2016

LP review PLACEBO "Sleeping With Ghosts" and "Meds" (vinyl re-issue)
LP review PLACEBO "Sleeping With Ghosts" and "Meds" (vinyl re-issue)
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CD review HAMMER FIGHT "Profound and Profane"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2016 von Markus W. in Hammer Fight, News, Thrash Metal, CD Review, Rock, Heavy Metal

(8/10) It was three years ago when I heard of Hammer Fight the first time. The four-piece from New Jersey released their "Chug of War" album which wasn't too bad. Actually it was quite good tharsh metal that was raw, with a certain kick-ass attitide.

In the meantime a few years went by, Hammer Fight signed with Napalm Records and the new album is ready for the fans, waiting for the final release.

"Profound and Profane" is the title of the bands second full-length album and it's a big step forward. Like on the debut also this record is reall food for headbangers. What sounded a bit half-baked on the debut found its next level on this album.

There is for example Hammer Fights 'interpretation of "West Side Story", a song that is a raging thrasher. No, actually it's a thrash-hardcore crossover - the perfect soundtrack for a serious circle pit.

Another highlight is for sure the fast "Good Times in Dark Ages". This tune is a mean thrash rocker that includes some dirty Motörhead combiuned with the raw energy of hardcore. 

After aving listened to the first tracks on "Profound and Profane" you can't believe what you listen to when "Low & Broken" starts. This songs starts acoustic and ... it stays acoustic. But it's the rough vocals of Drew Murphy that keeps the song far away from any 'ballad' approach and it states, that acoustic doesn't mean soft and cheesy. A brave number that is jaw-dropping.

The pattern partly comes back with "The Crate", but here the acoustic intro turns into a metal beast with an exciting guitar solo.

There might be some tracks on the album that can't keep the high level of the mentioned tracks ("Cell Mates") but in the end this album offers a lot of great stuff that you should check-out. 

Two steps forward, no step back from Hammer Fight. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Picking Up Change
  2. Target Acqured
  3. Into the Dark
  4. Good Times in Dark Ages
  5. Gods of Rock'n'Roll
  6. Low & Broken
  7. Private Stock
  8. The Ultimate Sacrifice
  9. Cell Mates
  10. West Side Story
  11. The Crate
  12. Cult of Conceit

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: March 25th, 2016

CD review HAMMER FIGHT "Profound and Profane"
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CD review RIDEAU "Rideau"

Veröffentlicht am 27. März 2016 von Markus W. in Rideau, Punkrock, Punk, News, CD Review, Hardcore

(8/10) Maybe it's only me, but till a few days ago 'rideau' didn't mean anything more to me than being the French word for 'curtain'. Then I got an album of a band named Rideau and the level of curiosity was raising. No idea what to expect; a feeling that even got stronger by listening to the hypnotic intro entitled "Eye Closure". If you follow the title and you close your eye, then you fell like laying on the couch of a psycho therapist, getting closer and closer to hypnosis. So far so good. But what does all this has to to with rock and metal?

"Ecstacy" isn't the final answer to this question, but the song shows, that the guys from Örebro are surprisingly good. "Rideau" creates a sonic cocktail that includes punk, hardcore and rock'n'roll. Asked about the influnces of Rideau, the guys mention bands like The Hives and Swedish Refused by adding a bit of Kvelertak. I think, that this describes their music very well and it gives you an idea about what to expect.

Another full force track is called "Shameday" which is a rude punk rocker that is spot on, introduced by a short instrumental called "Dvala". 

A song that stand out from the rest is "Reverend Bob", a tune which is a slow pace groover that feels like a song taken from a Tarantino soundtrack. Even though the song is special and extends the general pattern of "Rideau", I have to admit that it doesn't really belong to my faves. 

Most of the numbers on this debut are between two and three minutes long. All the more surprising is the fact, that the closer "December" is an almost 10 minutes long track. The song starts slowly and, how you expect it from a December day in Sweden, it's a dark number that step by step turns into an energetic postcore/alternative rock song. Some parts reminded me of Tool while the long instrumental section towards the end got a jazzy expression, not least because the saxophone gives the tune a new twist. Things get more silent again along the way and you get the impression of the song getting closer to its end. Wrong assumption because of a mighty wall of sound that rouse you from slumber and accompanies you till the final end of "Rideau".

"Rideau" is a quite good debut that is build on the revolutionary energy of the youth. Not that things are totally new on this album but it's the mixture of punk rock and Swedish musical capabilities that gives the album and the band an own identity.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Eye Closure
  2. Ecstasy
  3. The Bull and the Dove
  4. I Guess it's so
  5. Mayday
  6. Reverend Bob
  7. Stand Still
  8. No Ait, No Food, No Luck
  9. Bloodshot
  10. Dvala
  11. Shameday
  12. An Act of Revolution
  13. December

 

Label: Mutiny Records

Genre: Punk Rock

Release Date EU: April 1st, 2016

 

CD review RIDEAU "Rideau"
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CD review METAL CHURCH "XI"

Veröffentlicht am 26. März 2016 von Markus W. in Metal Church, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, News, CD Review

(9/10) Years before grunge became popular it was a bunch of metal bands from Seattle that made the rainy West Coast city to a real rocking one. Queensryche has their roots in the North West of the US of A and also the mighty Metal Church call Seattle their hometown.

Their debut, simply called “Metal Church”, was and is a milestone in metal, followed by “The Dark”, an album that could easily keep the same high level as the debut.

After having published those two outstanding records the band had to deal with a line-up change. Frontman David Wayne left the band and it was Herectic singer Mike Howe, that took over. Metal Church managed this change in an excellent way since "Blessing in Dishuise", “The Human Factor” and “Hanging in Balance” could help the band to continue their successful journey.

Then came the earlier mentioned grunge period that made it hard for metal bands to survive and also Metal Church stopped their activities for some years.

In the new century Metal Church came back with a partly new line-up and some interesting records, but it was the announcement of Mike Howe 'coming home' to Metal Church that went viral in the metal scene; and the fact that Vanderhoof and Howe worked on new songs and a new album even increase the leven of excitement.

“XI” is name of this impatiently awaited album that features eleven new tracks. After having heard the disc several times I can tell you that each of the tracks sounds like as time would have stood still for two decades. “XI” picks it up where Metal Church ended with “Hanging in Balance”.

Kurt Vanderhoff pulls heavy riffs out of the metal hat as if it would be the easiest thing on earth and Mike Howe might got older, as we all, but his voice is still a true metal siren that enriches each of the eleven tracks on "XI".

Songwise "XI" includes everything you want to get from Metal Church. The opener "Reset" is a fast track that includes all the band's trademarks, followed by "Killing Your Time" which feels like a trip back to "The Human Factor". Metal Church had always tracks where they include some acoustic guitars. "Signal Path" is one of these tracks on "XI", starting unplugged before Vanderhoff adds the first riff to this moderate paced metal smasher. 

A definite highlight on "XI" is entitled "Blow Your Mind". The slow and creepy beginning is leading to goosebumps. The tune, step by step, builds up a to a slow and mean Metal Church track that fits perfectly to Howe's voice. He isn't only singing, he blows life into this track.

All those tunes are good stuff, but one of the best songs is coming at the end. "Suffer Fools" is the closer of this tremendous album. It's a fast and aggressive tune that is a true bouncer.

I mentioned often mainman Kurdt Vanderhoof and Mike Howe, but the album wouldn't sound that good if not Rick Van Zandt (g), Jeff Plate (d) and Steve Unger (b) would do a great job too. Metal Church stands like a rock when it comes to the new album. This record isn't a 'solo show', this longplayer is teamwork.

"XI" is the long awaited return of the mighty Metal Church. This album is 100% Metal Church, this album is metal, this album can compete with the early classics and this album needs to be part of all serious metal collections. Thanks you.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Reset
  2. Killing Your Time
  3. No Tomorrow
  4. Signal Path
  5. Sky falls in
  6. Needles & Suture
  7. Shadow
  8. Blow Your Mind
  9. Soul Eating Machine
  10. It Waits
  11. Suffer Fools

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: March 25th, 2016

CD review METAL CHURCH "XI"
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CD review JESUS CRÜSLER SUPERCAR "35 Supersonic"

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2016 von Markus W. in Jesus Chrüsler Supercar, News, CD Review, Rock, Punkrock, Thrash Metal, Doom Metal

(7/10) Sweden's car industry had a problem over the last years. Saab isn't existing anymore and Volvo's ownership isn't 100% Swedish anymore. But there seems to be a new brand gaining momentum at the moment, Jesus Chrüsler Supercar.

OK, even though the name sounds very much like a new car brand we are talking about a Swedish trio, playing an interesting style mix consisting out of metal, punk, doom and some garage rock.

"35 Supersonic" is already record number two, following the band's debut from 2013, which I missed. Anyhow, the new album is a eleven cylinder metal engine that comes with quite some horse power.

Tracks like "Let it Roll" and "Backfire" are energising metal'n'roll tracks that do a perfect job as a soundtrack for your next party.

"Get this and get straight" marks the beginning of a doom rocker named "Down, Down, Down", but it could be the header for the whole record too. "35 Supersonic" is not build on technical finesse and academic song structures. This longplayer is build on the spirit of rock'n'roll which Jesus Chrysler Supercar archived on this album in various ways. Just listen to "Death Street 16", a number that starts with a creepy Black Sabbath riff, before it transforms into a mean punk rocker, putting the pedal to the metal.

"35 Supersonic" is a thrilling record from a Swedish band we might her more from in the future. Let the engine roar.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Let It Roll
  2. From Hell
  3. I Can Get It
  4. Backfire
  5. Digging My Grave
  6. Down, Down, Down
  7. Death Street 16
  8. For Sale For Satan
  9. Eternity's Cold Black Night
  10. Feed the Flies
  11. I Gotta Go

 

Label: Rodeostar / SPV

Genre: Metal'n'Roll

Release Date EU: March 18th, 2016

CD review JESUS CRÜSLER SUPERCAR "35 Supersonic"
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CD review NOVEMBRE "URSA"

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2016 von Markus W. in Novembre, Dark Metal, Death Metal, News, Heavy Metal, Doom Metal

(8/10) For the ones of you being scared of some first sun rays announcing spring, there is some cure, in case you want to continue with a greyish winter blues. Novembre releases there new album that features ten melancolic chapters which feel literally like November returning.

The guys from Rome release with "URSA" (stand for 'Union des Répubiques Socialistes Animales' which is the French translation of George Orweel's masterpice 'Animal Farm') their eighth album which brings a period of nine years without any record to an end. "The Blue" dates back to 2007 which feels like ages ago. 

Novembre used the years for a renewal. In the end it is only Carmelo Orlando that is still part of the line-up, from the early days till nowadays. He is, together with guitarist Massimiliano Pagliuso, the driving force behind the band. The two guys completed Novembre's line-up by adding Fabio Fraschini (b) and drummer David Folchitto. Actually there is also a guest appearance on "URSA". Katatonia's Anders Nyström supported with some vocals on the swinging "Annoluce" - swinging in the terms of Novembre, since it is one of the catchier tunes on "URSA".

Talking about Katatonia, I think it's not a coninsident that Nyström has a guest appearence. There are some parallels between the two bands. It's the same melancholic wistfulness both bands have in common, even though the musical expression of those emotions slightly differs.

However, Novembre has the melodic moments they burned on this album, but they come with heavily downtuned guitars too. "The Rose" is far a away from a scentful flower. This rose must be a black one, at least if I listen to the Paradise Lost-like riffing and the deep growls. That Novembre isn't afraid of also including 'non-metal' instruments is obvious with songs like "Oceans if Afternoons", a number that ends with a well placed saxophone part.

The title songs instead is a raging death metal anthem with some melodic guitarlines and clean vocals, both in a constant interplay with brutal growls. It's those contrapoints that make the music of "URSA" exciting from song one to song ten.

The sound of Novembre's newest kid in town is nothing to complain about too. Knowing that Dan Swanö was in charge of the production means the result being a treat for each metal ear.

Like mentioned in the beginning, people that are afraid of sun rays, breaking the winter period, will love this album. But also each fan of bands like Katatonia and Paradise Lost should seriously consider buying this longplayer.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Australis
  2. The Rose
  3. Umana
  4. Easter
  5. URSA
  6. Oceans of Afternoons
  7. Annoluce
  8. Agathae
  9. Bremen
  10. Fin

 

Label: Peaceville

Genre: Dark Metal

Release Date EU: April 1st, 2016

CD review NOVEMBRE "URSA"
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CD review WALLS OF JERICHO "No One Can Save You From Yourself"

Veröffentlicht am 24. März 2016 von Markus W. in Walls Of Jericho, News, Hardcore, Punkrock, CD Review

(8/10) Regardless if you like hardcore or not. This album is just damn cool stuff delivered by Walls Of Jericho. "No One Can Safe You From Yourself" is not about long songs that includes a lot of bells and whistles. It's also not about complex song structures that demands a lot from you as a listener.

This record is a real neckbreaker and a musical punch into your face. Walls Of Jericho's newest longplayer, their 5th so far, is a brutal hardcore masterpiece, build on mighty riffs and merciless pushing drums, all enriched by Candace Kucsulain's angry shouts. It seems that the eight year lasting break of Walls Of Jericho has been well used. It looks like if there was a lot of frustration going on that was growing over time and finds with the new longplayer an ultimate outlet.

It's hard to pick some songs since the entire longplayer stand like a rock. Walls Of Jericho create wall of sound that is massive. "Fight the Good Fight" is one of these hardcore masterpieces that is written for live shows, but also the ultra heavy "Relentless" is one of the best hardcore tracks I have heard since quite a while. This tune isn't written to take prisoners. This song is a raging anthem with a mighty chorus that invites for joining.

That "Wrapped in Violence" isn't a love songs gets obvious by the title and also the more 'melodic' "Anthem" with some metal references isn't a moment to relax and lean back.

Walls Of Jericho are back, they found with Napalm records a new homebase and all together led to an oustanding hardcore album that is a real highlight. Wow, what al blast. Let's start the pit.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Illusion of Safety
  3. No One Can Save You From Youself
  4. Forever Militant
  5. Fight the Good Fight
  6. Cutbird
  7. Relentless
  8. Damage Done
  9. Reign Supreme
  10. Wrapped in Violence
  11. Anthem
  12. Beyond All Praise
  13. Probably Will

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Hardcore

Release Date EU: March 25th, 2016

CD review WALLS OF JERICHO "No One Can Save You From Yourself"
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CD review THE ENID "Dust"

Veröffentlicht am 23. März 2016 von Markus W. in The Enid, Hardrock, Rock, Prog Rock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review

(8/10) When I got The Enid's new album on my desk I was thinking for a second if this is really something to review for my blog. It's not really heavy stuff and it's not metal either. On the other hand it's damn good music that is worth to check-out. So, to make a long story short, here is my impression of "Dust" (not to confuse with the upcoming Tremonti release).

The Enid is a British progressive rock band that some of you might not have heard about yet. The roots of this band goes back to the seventies when Barclay James Harvest composer Robert John Godfrey started the group. The guys had a quite successful period in the seventies and the eighties before they actually disbanded in 1999.

After having found some common ground again in 2007, the founder, who is still part of The Enid, is nowadays accompanied by Joe Payne, Jason Ducker, Max Read, Zachary Bullock, Nic Willes and Dave Storey (who has been part of The Enid already in the early days of the band). Those seven guys have been in the studio and recorded the new record which is their fourteenth release.

"Dust" is a conceptual album that combines progressive rock with almost musical like sounds, adressing the story of seven pointed stars, symbolising a broken symmetry. There is 'secular' and 'sacred', there is wealth' and 'poverty' and last but not least 'environment and consumerism'. In case all of these dichometies are balanced out there is only one thing that remains, which is 'love'. Each of the seven tunes reflects one of those mentioned themes.

From a musical perspective I must say that there are songwriters and composers. Godfrey definitely belongs to the latter. The seven numbers on "Dust" are more than 'just' songs. The album contains compositions that are coming with big melodies, tunes that are demanding and laid-back all in one. A band that I had to think of while listening to "Dust" was Queen in the "Innuendo"-days, not least because of the vocals of singer Joe Payne.

The Enid's "Dust" is an album that asks for an open mindset. These songs have a lot of emotional depth, contain technical expertise and orchestral sections while still spreading a certain ease. In case you're looking for some more silent moments to balance headbanging, than you can easily go for this longlayer.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Born in the Fire
  2. Someone Shall Rise
  3. Monsters
  4. 1000 Stars
  5. When the World is full
  6. Trophy
  7. Heavy Heart

 

Label: RSK Entertainment

Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: April 1st, 2016

CD review THE ENID "Dust"
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CD review SOTO "Divak"

Veröffentlicht am 22. März 2016 von Markus W. in Jeff Scott Soto, Hardrock, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Symphonic Metal

(8/10) Jeff Scott Soto is one of the best hardrock and metal singer. No doubt. The guy from New York can look back on great cooperations he did with guitar wizards such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Axel Rudi Pell and Brian May. But also his contribution to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra was a real highlight and stays unforgotten. 

It was in 2015 when the singer with the awesome voice started something new under the banner of Soto. "Insight the Vertigo" was the first album and I was surprised about the heaviness of this release.

One year later the iconic singer publishs his second longplayer that continues the heavy trip, that was kicked off by "Insight the Vertigo". "Divak" is the name giver for this album and it's also the first song on this record. But instead of being a 'real' number it's a bombastic intro, followed by "Weight of the World". Listening to this song clearly states, that this disc isn't containing softened hardrock. "Divak" is heavy and powerful with the opener acting as a first statement.

"Freak Show" comes next, a track that was chosen to be the first single release for the new longplayer. The song has a really good chorus, but comes also with a certain complexity. It took me a few rounds to discover the full joy of the "Freak Show".

In case you want it a bit slower and more soulful you should check out "In My Darkest Hour". This powerful half ballad is a highlight on "Divak". After such a laid-back moment it's time for some more rock. "Suckerpunch" has an alternative rock/metal expression before the mighty "Time" takes over. Even though the chorus is again quite catchy the song comes with a gloomy vibe and slowly rolls over you. I would say that Southern metal meets hardrock.

The album has with "Cyper Masquerade" and "Unblame" also two tunes that can't live up to the high level of the rest of "Divak". However, all the other tracks can easily compensate for this and in the end Soto releases a melodic metal album that, already based on his voice, can easily compete with other releases in this genre.

But one question remains: Who or what is 'Divak'?

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Divak
  2. Weight of the World
  3. Freak Show
  4. Unblame
  5. Cyber Masquerade
  6. In My Darkest Hour
  7. Forgotten
  8. Suckerpunch
  9. Time
  10. Misfired
  11. Fall from Grace
  12. Awakened

 

Label: earMUSIC

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: April 1st, 2016

CD review SOTO "Divak"
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