Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review PHIL CAMPBELL & THEBASTARD SONS "Live at Solothurn"

Veröffentlicht am 7. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons, Phil Campbell, News, Hardrock, Punkrock, Nuclear Blast, Motörhead, Heavy Metal

CD review PHIL CAMPBELL & THEBASTARD SONS "Live at Solothurn"

(8/10) After all these fantastic years with Motörhead, guitarist Phil Campbell had to go for something new after the band came to an end by the passing of the legendary bandleader Lemmy Kilmister. The six-string guitarist teamed-up up with his three sons and vocalist Neil Starr, forming a group named Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons. This cross-generation recently inked a new deal with Nuclear Blast and right off the bat a new EP became a joyfull release for fans of rough-edged hardrock. 

Actually it is a live album that can be see as an appetizer for some new studio material. The tracks of this mini album have been recorded at a show the guys did in Solothurn, Switzerland with three cover versions as being one part of the disc. "Nothing Up My Sleeve" and the uptempo "R.A.M.O.N.E.S." are song from the legendary Motörhead while "Sweet Leaf" stands for Campell's passion for traditional Heavy Metal a la Black Sabbath.

"Big Mouth", "Spiders" and "Take Aim" complete this record, a release that represents the ultimate energy the guys bring live on stage. "Live at Solothurn" shows the potential of Phil Campbell and his gang and we can, with full excitement, look forward to a full-length album.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Big Mouth
  2. Nothing Up My Sleeve 
  3. Spiders
  4. Take Aim
  5. R.A.M.O.N.E.S.
  6. Sweet Leaf

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: June 23rd, 2017

 

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CD review RIVERDOGS "California"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Riverdogs, Rock, Hardrock, News, Frontiers Music, CD Review, Blues, Vivian Campbell

CD review RIVERDOGS "California"

(8/10) Sometimes it’s the unpredictable things spicing up life and the new Riverdogs album is such a moment. The quartet started back in 1989 and the self-titled debut followed a year later. Hardrock had a peak moment at that time before grunge took over. One more Riverdogs album, “Bones”, saw the light of day in 1993, having been the last studio release for 18 years.

After such a long hiatus the band had a comeback in 2011 with “World Gone Mad” and I was wondering at that time if this is the start of a second era. Since there was a lot of radio silence over the last years I didn’t count on more records to come, but … here is a new one. “California” is the title of Riverdogs forth studio album and it comes with eleven well-crafted hardrock songs. And not only that we can enjoy a new longplayer, it’s the original band members that did “California”. This is almost a promise for good rock music and after having heard the songs I can confirm the guess.

“California” stands for down-to-earth hardrock. Riverdogs always had the songs more in focus than egos or unnecessary decoration. Brophy, Campbell, Danzeisen and Lamithe know their business and the combination of it leads to great rock anthems, all available on this release. “California” includes everything the heart desires. Grooving songs like the opener are present on this album as well as bluesy tunes such as “Something Inside” and even the calmer moments like “Golden Glow” and “The Heart is a Mindless Bird” are entirely cliché-free songs. As a counterpart to these more ballad-like tracks Riverdogs added an uptempo rocker “Searching for a Signal” to the tracklist and also “Catalina” brings Campbell’s swinging guitar more into the forefront. But in the end this album isn’t about guitar, bass, vocals or drums only. It’s this well-done balance of a powerful rhythm engine, a gently rocking guitar and awesome vocal lines.

Riverdogs’ newest release brings the Californian sun right to you. “California” is an ambitious and easy-going album – all in one. It’s highly entertaining and the right soundtrack for a brilliant summertime.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1.  American Dream
  2.  The Revolution Starts Tonight
  3.  Something Inside
  4.  Golden Glow
  5.  You're Too Rock And Roll
  6.  The Heart Is a Mindless Bird
  7.  Searching For a Signal
  8.  Welcome To the New Disaster
  9.  Ten Thousand Reasons
  10. Catalina
  11. I Don't Know Anything

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: July 7th, 2017

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THE DIRTY DENIMS unveiled a new video

Veröffentlicht am 6. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in The Dirty Denims, Hardrock, News, Video, Rock

Here comes a new video from Dutch rock powerhouse The Dirty Denims. "Back With a Bang" is the title track from their latest release and is a pure rock'n'roll fireworks. Party on.

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CD review BLIND GUARDIAN "Live Beyond the Spheres"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Blind Guardian, News, Live, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Prog Metal, Speed Metal, Nuclear Blast, Symphonic Metal

CD review BLIND GUARDIAN "Live Beyond the Spheres"

(9/10) To introduce Blind Guardian is like carrying sand to the beach. The German four-piece band is well known all over the world with extremely successful songs and longplayers. Ten studio albums are part of the band’s track record and also live albums have been released, capturing the fantastic vibe and sphere of a Blind Guardian show.

As we speak the next live release will hit the shelves. “Live Beyond the Spheres” is the fourth live album (not counting the video release from 2004) and I think that it fully lives up to expectation. In total 22 songs are a delight for each fan of this iconic band, enjoying with more than 2 hours of excellent metal music that combines musical finesse and energetic metal to a greater total.

I have to admit that I’m very much into the early Blind Guardian days. “Battalion of Fear”, the band’s debut, was and is an excellent metal album that paved the way for Blind Guardians success. It was the first countable step on a journey that finds another climax with this new live album. As being a fan from the beginning I was very happy to see classics like “Majesty”, “Valhalla” and “Banish from Sanctuary” on the tracklist of this 3 CD package. These songs stand for a time when Blind Guardian was more perceived as a speed metal band. Overtime the quartet developed their sound by adding various layers to their music. Never losing the roots and foundation of the typical Blind Guardian sound, the band became more progressive with adding various structures to their songs. Blind Guardian is one of these bands that found the right formula for merging complexity, melody and heaviness to something unique, a trademark that makes the guys from Krefeld very recognizable up to date.

I run off the track a bit, so, back to this release. “Live Beyond the Spheres” offers a well-chosen overview of the bands musical achievement. I mentioned the older songs already but there’s also more than enough material on the album that will be loved by fans that ‘discovered’ the band more recently. Regardless if it’s “Fly”, “Twilight of the Gods” or “The Ninth Wave”, each of these newer songs fits perfectly together with the older material, leading to a comprehensive Blind Guardian experience for fans and rookies.

It goes without saying the sound and production of this live release is done in a perfect fashion, connecting 22 songs that have been recorded at various shows of the 2015 tour. Choosing such an approach includes the risk of scattered live compilation – not in this case. “Live Beyond the Spheres” stand as a rock and will be a joyful experience for every metal passionistas.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Ninth Wave
  2. Banish From Sanctuary
  3. Nightfall
  4. Prophecies
  5. Tanelorn
  6. The Last Candle
  7. And Then There was Silence
  8. The Lord of the Rings
  9. Fly
  10. Bright Eyes
  11. Lost in the Twilight Hall
  12. Imagination from the Other Side
  13. Into the Storm
  14. Twilight of the Gods
  15. A Past and Future Secret
  16. And the Story Ends
  17. Sacred Worlds
  18. The Bard’s Song (In the Forest)
  19. Valhalla
  20. Wheel of Time
  21. Majesty
  22. Mirror Mirror

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: July 7th, 2017

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CD review KISSIN' DYNAMITE “Goodbye Generation – Dynamite Nights”

Veröffentlicht am 5. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Heavy Metal, Hardrock, Live, AFM, Kissin Dynamite, News, CD Review, Power Metal, Melodic Metal

CD review KISSIN' DYNAMITE “Goodbye Generation – Dynamite Nights”

(8/10) Not only that the summer period is the time of the year that’s filled with festivals and open airs, it also feels like quite some bands releasing live albums as we speak.

Swabian power outfit Kissin’ Dynamite is one of them, having their first live album in the starting blocks. The Youngsters, even though they are in the meantime in their mid 20’s, can look back on a longer history in metal. These guys started as kids and I guess that nobody could see the rise of Kissin’ Dynamite, maybe with one exception. German metal dinosaur Udo Dirkschneider supported the band already at an early stage, what at least brought a bit more media attention to their first records than usual.

Kissin’ Dynamite is around since ten years and what’s more logical than celebrating this anniversary with a live show, preferably in a home game environment. This show took place beginning of December last year when the quintet played a show at the sold-out LKA Longhorn in Stuttgart. It goes without saying that this gig became a euphoric metal show with fans getting wild and crazy. Playing this concert was more a metal party than just a show – a real anniversary party.

Kissin’ Dynamite can draw on a rich amount of songs, being released on five longplayers and spread out over the last decade. The setlist covered all these phases with the unfortunate fact that the focus was on the latest longplayers. Not that these records contain bad songs. “Hashtag Your Life” and “She’s a Killer’ are well-crafted melodic metal songs that were celebrated by an excited crowd. However, for me the first two longplayers feature the best stuff the band wrote and fortunately at least Priest-inspired metal hymns like “Made in Swabia” made it one the setlist.

All in all we can conclude that “Goodbye Generation – Dynamite Nights” is a good live album (also be released as DVD/BluRay) showcasing a young and hungry band with fans sharing the same passion. It also comes with an excellent sound and the fact that you get 25 songs means quantity and quality - all in one.

"Stuttgart. Es war ein wunderschöner Abend..."

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Goodbye Generation
  3. Money, Sex & Power
  4. DNA
  5. Highlight Zone
  6. Running Free
  7. Love Me Hate Me
  8. If Clocks Were Running Backwards
  9. She’s a Killer
  10. Deadly
  11. She Came She Saw
  12. Somebody to Hate
  13. Operation Supernova
  14. Only the Good Die Young
  15. Out in the Rain
  16. Against the World
  17. Masterpiece
  18. Supersonic Killer
  19. Sex is War
  20. Hashtag Your Life
  21. Steel of Swabia
  22. Ticket to Paradise
  23. Six Feet Under
  24. I Will Be King
  25. Flying Colours

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: July 14th, 2017

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CD review PRONG "Zero Days"

Veröffentlicht am 4. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Prong, SPV, Steamhammer, Crossover, Thrash Metal, Hardcore, News, CD Review, Groove Metal, Heavy Metal, Punk, Alternative Metal

CD review PRONG "Zero Days"

(8/10) After having had a first career high in the beginning of the 90's its New York-based powerhouse Prong who had a fantastic comeback in the 2010 years, starting actually with "Scorpio Rising" and the following "Power of the Damager" album in 2007. These two longplayer brought Tommy Victor and band back in business and it was "Carved Into Stone" that re-established the power outfit.

The newest sonic assault from New York is called "Zero Days" and as with the predecessors also this record is full of typical Prong songs, combining metal, riffs, groove and hardcore to an intensive experience for fans. As with the earlier longplayers also the newest one doesn't take prisoners. Victor, Kirkland and Parsons placed 13 songs on this album and each of them is an uncompromising harsh and loud piece of music.

"Zero Days" features brute and forceful songs. The opener "However it May End" with its mighty riffs, but also "Forced Into Tolerance" are merciless metal tracks, showing the band in an excellent shape and form. It feels like this line-up grew together over the last years, becoming a tight performing unit. These three guys perform like smoothly working cogwheels, keeping this intense metal machine up and running at its best.

What distinguishes the trio is the amount of shades they add to their sound. Songs like "Divide and Conquer", with all its embedded aggressiveness, still includes melodic parts that adds excitement. Another tune, coming with similar pattern, is "The Whispers". This track could be a melodic left over of the "Snap Your Fingers..." days, at least in parts.

To sum up: "Zero Days" will be very welcomed by Prong fans. It's an album that comes with all trademarks you know from Tommy Victor and Co.. Bold riffing, a intense groove and a well-done balance of melody and heaviness is what Prong is about and what the new album covers in a perfect fashion. Good stuff for your ears.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. However it May End
  2. Zero Days
  3. Off the Grid
  4. Divide and Conquer
  5. Forced Into Tolerance
  6. Interbeing
  7. Blood Out of Stone
  8. Operation of the Moral Law
  9. The Whispers
  10. Self Righteous Indignation
  11. Rules of the Collective
  12. Compulsion Future Projection
  13. Wasting of the Dawn
  14. Reasons to be Fearful

 

Label: SPV/Steamhammer

Genre: Groove Metal

Release Date EU: July 28th, 2017

 

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CD review AMPLIFIER "Trippin' with Dr. Faustus"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Amplifier, Rock, Hardrock, News, CD Review, Prog Rock, Grunge, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Rockosmos

CD review AMPLIFIER "Trippin' with Dr. Faustus"

(8/10) Amplifier still belongs to one of the most underrated bands when it comes to alternative rock music. Even though having release five full-length record, accompanied by some EP’s and three live recording, Amplifier never reached a wider audience. This is a pity since Amplifier’s albums contain excellently crafted songs which are a treat for ears and mind.

“Trippin’ with Dr. Faustus”, their new product in the offer, is rooted in 2011 when Amplifier released their “The Octopus” album. “Silvio”, a song on the new album, was meant to be a part of the band’s third record but didn’t make it on the tracklist since, according to Sel Balamir, it didn’t really fit into the universal themes of this longplayer. However, the idea kept on growing with being the base for a whole story around it.

The new album of the Manchester-based rock outfit features nine more songs, so ten in total. Generally spoken Amplifier sticks very much to their sound even though I have to say that the prog parts got a bit less, while the psychedelic elements moved more into the forefront, supported by a harsher sound expression that’s spot-on. The album is kept in melancholic mood that is widely interpreted. Songs like “Feakshow” stretches the borders a bit with some more psychedelic moments, including a Sabbath-inspired instrumental section half way down the road. “Horse” instead, also coming from an earlier moment in Amplifiers career, is kept calmer than other tunes in this release. It’s a well-done track that still includes some riffs while the overall pattern is a more soulful one. These bigger soundscapes are even stronger when it comes to "Supernova" and also the acoustic "Anubis" contributes to a wider range of sounds. As mentioned, the prog parts are less present, however there are more complex tracks on the album too. One of them is the multi-layered “The Communion (Big Time Party Maker)”, also pleasing the listener with a powerful drum beat.

“Trippin’ with Dr. Faustus” became an interesting rock album, done by a band that deserves more attention. The music on their sixth longplayer definitely supports such a step and let’s see if fans will pick it up. For sure it’s good psychedelic rock music for fans of Soundgarden, Monster Magnet,...
 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rainbow Machine
  2. Freakzone
  3. Kosmos (Grooves of Triumph)
  4. The Commotion (Big Time Party Maker)
  5. Big Daddy
  6. Horse
  7. Anubis
  8. Supernova
  9. Silvio
  10. Old Blue Eyes

 

Label: Rockosmos

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: July 14th, 2017

 

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CD review POWERFLO "Powerflo"

Veröffentlicht am 2. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Powerflo, downset, Cypress Hill, Fear Factory, Worst, Biohazard, Crossover, News, Alternative Metal, Nu Metal, Hardcore, Modern Metal, Dino Alone Records

CD review POWERFLO "Powerflo"

(8/10) It feels like Crossover’s gaining more and more of a momentum again. There are the Prophets Of Rage being on a successful tour through Europe right now and there’s a new player in the starting blocks too – Powerflo. Having a deeper look behind this name unveils well-known musicians. Cypress Hill’s Sen Dog as part of the ‘Flo’ as well as downset guitarist Rogelio Lozano and Billy Graziadei from Biohazard, Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and Worst drummer Fernando Schaefer. The musical background of the involved also describes very much the sound of this debut. The quintet celebrates a crossover style that brings together some metal with hip-hop, punk and rock.

Powerflo took a very inclusive approach rather than an exclusive one. Everything started with a jam session, leading to a vibe that was kept throughout the entire album. Powerflo’s songs don’t feel forced or planned. Powerflo’s album grew more organically which also means that, even though ‘Crossover’ is the overarching style, the disc comes with wider variation of styles combined.

“My MO” is the grooving starting point into this longplayer, a song that shows the whole beauty of crossover. Hip-hop meets metallic riffs in an excellent way. “Resistance” adds another level of aggressiveness to Powerflo's sounds before melody and heavy riffs dominate “Where I Stay”.

One of the best songs on the album is the punky “Less Than Human” that also, in parts, reminds of downset. After such a blast the moderate “The Grind” shows the entire spectrum of styles on “Powerflo”, followed by a Biohazard-inspired smasher called “Victim of Circumstance”.

Let’s take this album for what it is: a cool longplayer with well-crafted crossover songs that catches attention. If you like the “Judgment Night” soundtrack or if you call one of the earlier mentioned bands your favorite than you should also get into the ‘powerflo’.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. My MO
  2. Resistance
  3. Where I Stay
  4. Crushing That
  5. Less Than Human
  6. The Grind
  7. Victim of Circumstances
  8. Made it This Way
  9. Finish the Game
  10. Up and Out of Me
  11. Start a War

 

Label: Dino Alone Records

Genre: Crossover

Release Date EU: July 7th, 2017

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CD review CELTIC FROST "Innocence and Wrath"

Veröffentlicht am 1. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Celtic Frost, Noise lebt!, News, CD Review, Black Metal, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Extreme Metal

CD review CELTIC FROST "Innocence and Wrath"

(*/10) My door opener to Celtic Frost was the band’s third longplayer “Into the Pandemonium”. I read the positive articles in some fanzines and in addition the album was highly recommended to me too by a friend of mine. OK, if there was such a buzz around this longplayer it couldn’t be a bad one. And wow, it blew me away when I heard the songs for the first time. This was extreme metal, at least for me at this specific moment in time. Already the opener “Mexican Radio”, a cover version of the Wall Of Voodoo song, put a spell on me but also “Mesmerized” and “Caress Into Oblivion” have been mind-blowing experiences for me, listening to this fantastic album. Based on such a positive impression of “Into the Pandemonium” curiosity was rising which brought me to the first two longplayers – “Morbid Tales” and “To Mega Therion”. What should I say? These records have been at least as good as their third one. Especially “Morbid Tales” had this anarchic vibe that made it such an extreme experience for ears and mind. In one or another way it seemed like these songs don’t know any boundaries or limits while on the other hand none of the tracks ended up in chaos. They all followed an own structure, all leading to this typical Celtic Frost sound. “To Mega Therion” picked things up where the band left of with the debut. Still being a harsh and evil piece of music, Tom Warrior and his gang fine-tuned their music, leading to smashers such as “The Usurper” and “Circle of Tyrants”. With each of these songs written and released another trademark of Celtic Frost was hammered into brains of metalheads. If someone can claim copyrights on “UUUhhhhh”, than it’s Tom G. Warrior. This guttural moment came and comes back in quite some songs and belong to Celtic Frost with 100%.

The big disappointment came with “Cold Lake” which was the band’s fourth album with Celtic Frost moving away from their roots and it’s not too bad that this release isn’t part of the current re-issue series. What is part though is the next longplayer of Swiss-based metal pioneers - “Vanity/Nemesis”. This album can’t handle a comparison with the first three ones, but it shows the band catching up again. “Vanity/Nemesis” is more an album showing the experimental side of Celtic Frost with opening their music also for other influences – like gothic and more traditional metal. At that time the fifth album was a mixed bag and it took me a while to find my way into it. I think it has to do with expectations. Approaching it in a way of comparing old and new leads to disappointment. Seeing it as a 'stand alone 'piece of music instead, allows finding the details and tweaks that are weaved into the songs, making “Vanity/Nemesis” to an interesting album.

This was my story around Celtic Frost, a band that was more than influential for extreme metal music, picked-up by many bands and further developed up to date. These guys initiated a genre that added another shade to metal music and their first three records are classics that should be part of every collection. Fortunately the “Noise lebt!” campaign brings back all these highlights in a re-issued edition. “Innocence and Wrath” is the compilation that covers the highlights of the mentioned records, while each of these cornerstones is also available individually as CD and vinyl. If you grew up with Celtic Frost these releases are a welcomed journey back in time and if you’re a younger metalhead who missed these early days you can easily catch-up with these discs.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

1. Human (Intro)

2. Into the Crypts of Rays

3. Morbid Tales

4. Procreation (Of the Wicked)

5. Return to the Eve

6. Nocturnal Fear

7. Innocence and Wrath

8. The Usurper

9. Dawn of Meggido

10. Circle of the Tyrants

11. Fainted Eyes

12. Necromantical Screams

13. Jewel Throne

14. Eternal Summer

15. Suicidal Winds (Emperor’s Return EP)

16. Visual Aggression (Emperor’s Return EP)

17. Mexican Radio

18. Inner Sanctum

19. Tristesses de la Lune

20. I Won’t Dance (The Elders’ Orient)

21. In the Chapel In the Moonlight

22. The Inevitable Factor (Alternate Vox)

23. The Heart Beneath

24. Wine in My Hand (Third from the Sun)

25. Wings of Solitude

26. Nemesis

27. Journey Into Fear (Emperor’s Return EP Recording Sessions)

 

Label: BMG/Noise

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: June 30st, 2017

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