Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review TANKARD "Hymns For the Drunk"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Tankard, News, CD Review, Compilation, Hymns For the Drunk, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, Speed Metal, AFM

CD review TANKARD "Hymns For the Drunk"

(*/10) There is a lot of Tankard these days. Noise/BMG re-released the first seven Tankard album, incl. the "Alien"-EP and the Tankwart cover album - all with a great booklet and liner notes, showing a passion for details. These seven CD cover Tankards 80's and 90's highlights before the guys left Noise and went to Century Media for two albums. 

In the beginning of the new millennium the quartet from Mainhatten inked a deal with AFM Records for some recordss and it's these years that are combined on the "Hymns For the Drunk" compilation. 

"B-Day" was the first longplayer that came via AFM Records and it's tracks like "Rectifier" and "Need Money For Beer" which represent the 2002 longplayer. The last album for the label was "Vol(l)ume 14", a record that included thrashers such as "Time Warp" and "Rules for Fools". I would have appreciated "Black Plague (BP) being part of the compilation too, but you can't get it all. 

You might wonder why there are songs like "Zombie Attack" and "The Morning After" on this releases since the songs are from the Noise-years. The thing is that Tankard re-recorded these classics for the 2007 "Best Case Scenario: 25 years in Beer". This album was published by AFM and that's why the tracktlist contains the classics too. 

All in all "Hymns For the Drunk" is a comprehensive compilation that shows German thrash metal warriors in their post Noise years, enriched with some classics no Tankard fan should miss. 

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rectifier
  2. Need Money For Beer
  3. New Liver Please!
  4. Slipping From Reality
  5. Die With A Beer In Your Hand
  6. We’re Coming Back
  7. We Still Drink The Old Ways
  8. The Beauty And The Beast
  9. Metaltometal
  10. Zombie Attack
  11. (Empty) Tankard
  12. The Morning After
  13. Medley (Alcohol, Puke, Mon Cheri, Wonderful Life)
  14. Octane Warriors
  15. Stay Thirsty!
  16. Time Warp
  17. Rules For Fools

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: January 12th, 2017

Kommentare

CD review ANVIL "Pounding the Pavement"

Veröffentlicht am 30. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Anvil, Pounding the Pavement, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal, News, CD Review, Steamhammer, SPV

CD review ANVIL "Pounding the Pavement"

(8/10) The story of Anvil is an emotional rollercoaster, the story of a band that never gave up, following their passion. These guys are a role model for staying true to themselves and fighting for what you live for. Anvil is more than just a a band. Anvil is a matter of heart. 

Records like "Metal on Metal" and "Forged by Fire" have been excellent metal longplayers before the 90's made life difficult for the trio from Toronto, Ontario. Anvil went through some tough times, all summarised and documented in a perfect fashion in "Anvil: The Story of Anvil". This documentary is a masterpiece, focussing on Lips and Ro Reiner and their willpower when it comes to metal and Anvil.

It was this film that marked a turning point for the Canadian trio. Anvil were all of a sudden talk of the town with a lot of attention for the band and positive reactions for the documentary. Things started to turn into something more positive and Anvil got the chance to make hay while the sun is shining. The guys started to work on new songs and released a next longplayer in 2011. "Juggernaut of Justice" was the first one after the trio inked a deal with Steamhammer with "Hope in Hell" and "Anvil is Anvil" following, both excellent metal record too with a lot of firepower.

"Pounding the Pavement" is Anvil's next hammer blow that contains twelve new metal smashers per excellence. As with the earlier albums also the newest one isn't built on any compromises. The trio presents another excellent longplayer that proves the fact that metal has nothing to do with age.

Tracks like the merciless "Ego" belong to the best Anvil ever wrote and recorded. A song can't be more spot-on than this awesome piece of music. Anvil pushes the pedal to the metal more than once. The Motörhead-inspired "Black Smoke" is one of the songs that clarifies why Anvil belongs to the first generation of first speed metal bands.
Next to these furious songs Lips, Rob and Chris also put a foot on the break here and there. Mid-tempo stampers like "Bitch in the Box" and "Nanook of the North" are awesome riff monsters, sonic beauties for every true metal fan. Furthermore the spirit if rock'n'roll is the foundation for the well-done "Rock That Shit" and it's the grooving "World of Tomorrow" that rounds off a more than well-crafted metal record.

"Pounding the Pavement" became a superb longplayer of a band that lives for metal music. A metal collection without this longplayer isn't one.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Bitch in the Box
  2. Black Smoke
  3. Doing What I Want
  4. Don't Tell Me
  5. Ego
  6. Let it Go
  7. Nanook of the North
  8. Pounding the Pavement
  9. Rock That Shit
  10. Smash Your Face
  11. Warming Up
  12. World of Tomorrow

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 19th, 2018

Kommentare

CD review SHIT THE COW "Cavelord"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Shit The Cow, Cavelord, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, News, CD Review, Stoner Rock, Noise, Self-Released, Fuzz, Garage

CD review SHIT THE COW "Cavelord"

(8/10) It was few years ago when a mail reached my mailbox, talking about a band with a very unusual name - Shit The Cow. That such a name creates attention is no-brainer but do these guys have more in the offer than a crazy name? They do.

Before we go deeper into the new longplayer we need to stand still for a few more seconds with the band's name. The origin of this moniker is based on one of the first songs the band wrote. It was a track about a character that was half man and half cow, called 'Shit' by everyone. And since it was such an absurd story and such an unconventional name, the guys decided to use it for their band. Shit The Cow was born.

After having released some EP's, of which "Rissna" is still the best one, it's "Cavelord" that acts as the debut album of the guys from Mid-Sweden. I was curiously looking forward to this album and after having given the album some loops I must say that it easily lives up to expectations. 

"Cavelord" comprises nine new songs, all with a kick-ass attitude. What I like with this longplayer is the liveliness that comes with it. "Cavelord" is build on passion for music that's authentic and real. Shit The Cow isn't about music that's written for commercial success or a wide fanbase. These four guys follow their dedication for heavy rocking music in their own niche of rock, stoner, garage and alternative. 

The band describes the album as being" heavier, noisier and more melodic at the same time", a statement I can agree with a 100%.

The starting point is called "Resolve / Resist", a song that reminds during the first seconds of Metallica. After such a start it's a roaring bass that pushes this noisy tune to its limits. "Twist and Shout" follows, representing the stoner aspect of Shit The Cow's sound. The fact that the vocals are shared, with Alexandra Lindqvist supporting the guys, gives the number some new nuances before the title songs unveils the band's furious side. Talking about furious songs means also to mention "You Bought a Knife". This is the hardest tune I've heard of the band up-to-date. A hardcore vibe characterises this merciless number which is almost a counterpart to the calmer "Shelter" which is the final track on the album. Acoustic guitars kick off the tune before some noise outbursts break the silence. The two things that are fascinating with the closer are the simple but effective groove of "Shelter" and the saxophone part which adds another dimension to Shit The Cow's sound. 

"Cavelord" became an excellent full-length debut. Shit The Cow is a damn cool rock outfit from Sweden. These guys celebrate rock music which each tone played. "Cavelord" feels like an album they did for themselves and if there are more people out there, appreciating the effort it's more an extra win than the original aim. Cool stuff.

 

(8/10) 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Resolve / Resist
  2. Twist and Shout
  3. Cavelord
  4. Burning Man
  5. The Gathering
  6. Changing of the Gods
  7. You Bought a Knife
  8. Gamma Sunrise
  9. Shelter

 

Label: Self-released

Genre: Stoner / Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: December 7th, 2017

 

Kommentare

CD review TANKARD reissues - Noise lebt!

Veröffentlicht am 28. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Tankard, Noise Lebt, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Power Metal, Reissue, CD Review, News

German beer and Äppelwoin passionists Tankard started their thrash attack back in 1986 with their debut "Zombie Attack". The guys started four years prior to their first release as Avenger before they changed into Vortex the same year. Last but not least Gerre and Co. introduced Tankard as the bands moniker in 1983 and since then the guys are a constant force in metal. Uniting thrash metal and an unbound fun factor made Tankard to a unique band that released excellent metal albums without taking music and life too serious.
As part of the Noise Lebt! campaign also Tankard's 'Noise years' get a revival with the first seven longplayer being reissued.
CD review TANKARD reissues - Noise lebt!

Zombie Attack (Release Date: November 24th, 2017)

Tankard's debut hit the shelves in 1986. Entitled "Zombie Attack" the album is a raw piece of metal music. This album isn't about musical filigree. This longplayer is a soundtrack for a rock solid metal party, featuring songs that are mainly taken from the "Alcoholic Metal"-demo. It was the demo that led to a contract with Noise Records, the start of a cooperation that went on for many years. "Zombie Attack" is a wolfish mixture of punk and metal, showcasing a band that didn't accept any limitations and boundaries.


Tracklist:

  1. Zombie Attack
  2. Acid Death
  3. Mercenary
  4. Manic Forces
  5. Alcohol
  6. (Empty) Tankard
  7. Thrash Till Death
  8. Chains
  9. Poison
  10. Screamin' Victims
CD review TANKARD reissues - Noise lebt!

Chemical Invasion (Release Date: November 24th, 2017)

The debut brought some first attention. The fact that "Zombie Attack" was well-received acted as a motivator for working on the sophomore longplayer. "Chemical Invasion" is the name of the band's second record, featuring songs that are still furious but also include some more musical evolvement. Nine new songs, sandwiched between an intro and outro are merciless thrash anthems. Tankard is based on fun and passion for metal and beer. These guys never focussed on commercial success and it was this authentic dedication that gave them the credibility needed. What was surprising with "Chemical Invasion" is the fact that the longplayer includes with "For a Thousand Beers" and "Traitor" two almost epical songs with seven minutes of length. These songs showed the potential of the band and are a first sign that Tankard is more than just a bunch of metal ruffians. Last but not least Tankard began also with cover songs that ended up on their early records. It's Gang Green's "Alcohol" that found a spot on the tracklist and Tankard's version is at least as good as the original from Boston's drinking companions.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Total Addiction
  3. T antrum
  4. Don't Panic
  5. Puke
  6. For a Thousand Beers
  7. Chemical Invasion
  8. Farewell to a Skut
  9. Traitor
  10. Alcohol
  11. Outro
CD review TANKARD reissues - Noise lebt!

The Morning After (Release Date: November 24th, 2017)

Twelve months after "Chemical Invasion" underlined Tankard's status it was "The Morning After" being the crucial third longplayer. 1988 was an iconic year when it comes to German thrash metal. Bands like Kreator, Tankard and Sodom faced a constantly growing fanbase and it was Tankard that completed this new wave of German thrash metal.
"The Morning After" still belongs to the best the guys from Frankfurt ever released. Tunes like "TV Hero", "The Morning After" and "Help Yourself" are excellent thrash anthems with pure riff-power. The guys developed their sound to a level that gave them more options when it comes to song writing without losing the initial power signature that made and still makes Tankard to a legend in thrash metal.
As with "Chemical Invasion" also the third album includes a cover version, showing the bands passion for hardcore. This time it's "Try Again" from German/American powerhouse Spermbirds that got a metallic expression and as with "Alcohol" also "Try Again" paid tribute to the original, sticking to the initial sound by adding a fresh punch to these killers.

After having lived a life on the fast-lane for some years the quintet decided to release an EP for bridging the waiting time till the next studio longplayer. "Alien" was published in 1989 and comprises five songs, including the Rose Tattoo cover "Remedy". It also introduced the 'green alien', the little monster that's alive as a mascot up-to-date.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Commandments
  3. Shit-Faced
  4. TV Hero
  5. F.U.N.
  6. Try Again
  7. The Morning After
  8. Desperation
  9. Feed the Lohocla
  10. Help Yourself
  11. Mon Cheri
  12. Outro
  13. Alien
  14. 666 Packs
  15. Live to Die
  16. Remedy
  17. (Empty) Tankard
CD review TANKARD reissues - Noise lebt!

The Meaning of Life (Release Date: January 26th, 2018)

Building on the achievements of the 80's Tankard went into the new century with "The Meaning of Life". The horror theme, which was present on the debut, slowly disappeared and the passion for beer remained. Songs like "Beermuda" and "Space Beer" are excellent metal tracks, spreading a fascination up till now. Next to these 'trademarks' also some political messages got more space on "The Meaning of Life". Tankard wasn't and ins't a political band who's 'preaching' a message. However, the artwork and also tracks like "Dancing on Our Grave" prove that Tankard records are more than booze and party.
This reissues also contains five live songs, recorded at the 'Thrashing East Festival' which took place on March 4th, 1990 at Werner-Seelenbinder-Halle in East Berlin.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Open All Night
  2. We Are Us
  3. Dancing on Our Grave
  4. Mechanical Man
  5. Beermuda
  6. The Meaning of Life
  7. Space Beer
  8. Always Them
  9. Wheel of Rebirth
  10. Barfly
  11. Wonderful Life
  12. The Morning After (Live)
  13. Commandments (Live)
  14. Alien (Live)
  15. Open All Night (Live)
  16. Maniac Forces (Live)
CD review TANKARD reissues - Noise lebt!

Stone Cold Sober (Release Date: January 26th, 2018)

During the 90's life didn't become easier for metal bands. Grunge gained momentum, giving many traditional metal bands a hard time. Some bands slightly adjusted their sound while Tankard sticked to their guns. The Frankfurt-based band delivered with "Stone Cold Sober" another brutal thrash metal album. Still being rough and wild the guys continued added a meaning to their songs and lyrics. "Juristiction" is about justice that's only existing for people with money while the small ones always get caught. Also "Sleeping with the Past" is a very political song. The quintet got mature over time without losing the fun of life and their twinkle in the eye.
Gerre & Co. also sticked to the tradition of having a cover song on the album. This time it was "Centerfold" that got a thrashy expression a la Tankard.
Last but not least "Stone Cold Sober" was the first album that included a song with German lyrics. "Freibier" is the name of the song that was pretty unique in 1992 but also inspirend the band to do some more stuff in their native language.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Jurisdiction
  2. Broken Image
  3. Mindwild
  4. Ulgly Beauty
  5. Centerfold
  6. Behind the Back
  7. Stone Cold Sober
  8. Blood, Guts and Rock'n'Roll
  9. Lost and Found (Tantrum Part 2)
  10. Sleeping With the Past
  11. Freibier
CD review TANKARD reissues - Noise lebt!

Two-Faced (Release Date: January 26th, 2018)

Tankard‘s sixth studio album saw the light of day in 1993. The recording took place at Musiclab Studios in Berlin and it was again Harris Johns being the producer for "Two-Faced". Like with the latest records Tankard tried to take things in a wider context than purely being reduced to beer and drinking. The artwork, done gain by Sebastian Kruger, mirrors the title in an excellent fashion. On the one hand there is the boringly traditional business man while there is the dark monster too, bringing the freak into the forefront. The title track itself is one of the best Tankard songs to date and hopefully the guys will put the classic back on the their setlists. The fun factor is captured on "Two-Faced" as well, thinking about "Cities in Flames" which is full of metal cliches - from beginning to end.
Sticking to the concept demands another cover version. This time it was "Ich brauch' meinen Suff" from German punk band Strassenjungs, combining the bands passion for punk and continues with the German lyrics experiment.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Death Penalty
  2. R.T.V.
  3. Betrayed
  4. Nation Over Nation
  5. Days of the Gu
  6. Cities in Flames
  7. Up From Zero
  8. Two-Faced
  9. Ich brauch' meinen Suff
  10. Cyberworld
  11. Mainhattan
  12. Jimmy B. Bad
CD review TANKARD reissues - Noise lebt!

The Tankard / Aufgetankt (Release Date: January 26th, 2018)

The Noise years came closer to an end and it was "The Tankard" that stands for the final chapter of this era. The band from 'Mainhattan' was well-known for the excellent artwork and therefor it was a horrible experience to see the one that made it on "The Tankard". Sebastian Kruger did a fantastic job and it was his fine pieces of art that gave Tankard also a visual identity. And since Kruger didn‘t have time for this album things ended up badly.
Next to the horrible packaging the band became a quartet with Axel Katzmann leaving due to health issues. It‘s this loss that‘s one of the reasons why "The Tankard" became a very melodic album. The opener "Grave New Wold" is a very catchy track with some Metallica cross-references but it's the distracting "Poshor Golovar" that marked a low-point. This album was the end of an era, showcasing a band that was in a state of transition. The huge successes in the 80's pushed Tankard right into the spotlight and the years that followed helped the band to evolve. The guys got mature without losing the fun factor in life and music. Now it was time for something new, a new chapter in a new context.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Grave New World
  2. Minds on the Moon
  3. The Story of Mr. Cruel
  4. Close Encounter
  5. Poshor Golovar
  6. Mess in the West
  7. Atomic Twilight
  8. Fuck Christmas
  9. Positive
  10. Hope?
  11. Liebesspieler
  12. Pogo in Togo
  13. Hurra, hurra, die Schule Brennt
  14. Herr D.
  15. Sternenhimmel
  16. König von Deutschland
  17. Elke
  18. Skandal im Sperrbezirk
  19. Billiger Slogan
Kommentare

CD review MAGNUM "Lost on the Road to Eternity"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Magnum, Bob Catley, Tony Clarkin, Hardrock, Rock, Melodic Rock, Classic Rock, Steamhammer, SPV, CD Review, News

CD review MAGNUM "Lost on the Road to Eternity"

(9/10) Introducing Magnum feels like carrying sand to the beach. I can't imagine that there are fans of rock and metal that never heard at least the name of the British hardrock legend. Guitar wizard Tony Clarkin and singer Bob Catley began in 1972 and what followed was an impressive journey through rock that comprises many successes, highlight and milestones. Magnum became a role model for a genre that ignored all trends with its down-to-earth approach.

My entry-point when it come to Magnum was back in 1985 with the legendary "On a Storytellers Night". Songs like "How Far Jerusalem", Les Morts Dasants" and the title track pout a spell on me. Each of these tunes kept its fascination over all the years up to date and belong to the best British rock music brought up to surface.
Magnum never published an album that disappointed and even the "Rock Art" longplayer, released right before the split, featured some well-crafted numbers.

After having went to on hiatus for almost one decade Magnum returned in the beginning of the new century. "Breath of Life" marked the beginning of a next chapter that turns out to be as successful as the earlier days. Records such as "Into the Valley of the Moonking" and "Sacred Blood "Divine" Lies' are timeless masterpieces in melodic hardrock and the next strike, "Lost on the Road to Eternity", doesn't need to stand back behind the mentioned classics.

The 20th longplayer features eleven new songs which reflect Magnum's iconic sound with 100%. Actually these tunes belong to the best I have heard from the band since may years with the excellent opener "Peaches and Cream" being one out of eleven pieces of pure ear-candy. Melody, a rocking beat and excellent vocals by Catley provide Magnum fans with all ingredients expected. "Show me Your Hands" is the name of the next highlight, featuring some nice keyboard sequences, done by Rick Bento who recently joined the band. Talking about new band members; Lee Morris became Magnum's new drummer, following Harry James who left the band in 2017.

Some first calmer notes can be listed to with "Storm Baby" before the tune builds up to a typical Magnum anthem. It's hard to highlight some of the tunes since they are equally good. However, the title track is special, mainly due to a guest appearance. Magnum frontman Bob Catley is since may years a constant factor in Tobias Sammet's Avanatasia, enriching the epical songs with his brilliant voice. Now it was time to give something back, leading to Sammet sharing vocals with Catley. Both voice go together in a great fashion and it's the soulful arrangements that gives this sing a real wow-factor.

What more? The single release "Without Love" belongs to the Champions League of rock and it's "King of the World" acting as the Grande Finale of a superb longplayer.
Next to the songs it was always the artwork that made Magnum records immediately recognisable for fans. Also "Lost on the Road to Eternity" doesn't change this pattern. It was Rodney Matthews who was responsible for an artwork that reflects Magnum's mysterious world of fantasy and legendary creatures.

"Lost on the Road to Eternity" showcases a band that combines decades of experience, with a great sense for melodies and hooks, all kept together by a passion for melodic rock music. This album is jaw-dropping good.


(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Peaches and Cream
  2. Show Me Your Hands
  3. Storm Baby
  4. Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret
  5. Lost on the Road to Eternity
  6. Without Love
  7. Tell Me What You've Got to Say
  8. Ya Wane Be Someone
  9. Forbidden Masquerade
  10. Glory to Ashes
  11. King of the World

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: January 19th, 2017

Kommentare

CD review SINISTRO "Sangue Cassia"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Sinistro, Doom Metal, Dark Metal, News, CD Review, Season Of Mist, Gothic

CD review SINISTRO "Sangue Cassia"

(9/10) The new year starts gloomy. Portuguese doom master Sinistro release their newest strike „Sangue Cassia“, an album I was very much looking forward to after having seen the band on stage, being the opening act on the latest Paradise Lost tour. It was sweeping to see their show and I guess the guys could score far more than just some new fans on that tour.

Like with the predecessor also the new record is mainly kept in slo-mo. „Cosmos Controle“ kicks it off. Hefty riffs are the solid foundation of a song that comes with more than just a sinister approach.  This tune is a somber cornerstone of the album. To also break things up, the five piece from Lisbon added a calmer middle section with Patricia Andrade‘s vocals in the forefront. It‘s this mixture of loud and calm that adds a lot to this song - and the longplayer in its entirety. 

Sinistro isn‘t a band that keeps it short and spot-on. The opener is an eleven minutes tune that‘s followed by „Lotus“, getting close to eight minutes of essential melancholy. A dramatic beginning slowly evolves to a low-paced metal monster with an immense level of intensity. 

Compared to these two epic masterpieces it is „Petalas“ that comes as a short and atmospheric number. „Vento Sul“ finishes the first half of the album and if you still wait for some light-hearted tunes from sunny Portugal you have to stop reading here and now. „Abismo“ continues in darkness, being a next heavy tune with a lot of riff-power included. Again it’s the interaction of harsh guitars and almost fragile vocals that creates the magic with this album. Sinistro kept another epic smasher till the end. „Cravo Carne“ takes you on a 10 minutes trip through wistfulness and melancholia, leaving the listener with a strong need for light and life.

“Sangue Cassia“ is the first highlight of a new year in rock. These guys know how to add emotions and intensity to their expressive music. The album fits perfect into the winter grayness and is for sure not done for sun worshipers.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Cosmos Controle
  2. Lotus
  3. Petalas
  4. Vento Sul
  5. Abismo
  6. November
  7. Gardenia
  8. Cravo Carne

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Dark Metal

Release Date EU: January 5th, 2018

Kommentare

Live review THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA, De Helling, Utrecht, 13.12.2017

Veröffentlicht am 22. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in The Night Flight Orchestra, News, Live, Tour, Classic Rock, Rock, Hardrock, De Helling

Live review THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA, De Helling, Utrecht, 13.12.2017Live review THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA, De Helling, Utrecht, 13.12.2017

Even though Utrecht, The Netherlands doesn't have an airport there was a first flight that left from the Holland's 5th largest city. It was The Night Flight Orchestra that invited for a flight from Utrecht with De Helling being the airport and starting point for an exciting trip.

Boarding started at 19:30 and went smoothly. Things were well arranged and step by step the room get filled with people, all having in common some excitement about this thrilling event.

The Night Flight Orchestra's crew includes eight members: Björn Strid, Shalee D'Angelo, Jonas Källsbäck, David Andersson, Sebastian Forslund and Rikard Larsson. This six-piece line-up gets support by two 'stewardesses' adding some great background vocals to the total.

Departure was scheduled for 20:30 and things started on time. The Night Flight Orchestra took off for a 90 minutes flight through the world of classic rock. Of course it was the excellent third album "Amber Galactic" that stood very much in  focus and songs like "Midnight Flyer" turned the venue into a glamorous rock'n'roll party, incl. everything from headbanging to dancing. Tunes like the highly melodic "Domino" are true earworms that generated even more enthusiasm in the room.

After one and a half hours flying time the journey came to an end with a rock solid touchdown in form of the 'classic' "West Ruth Ave". Even though it was a rainy and stormy night, it looked like nobody regretted having joined this journey in rock. 'Flights' with The Night Flight Orchestra are rare but extremely joyful. I would recommend to regularly check their 'flight' schedule since it is a trip you will remember in a very positive way.

 

Location: De Helling, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Date: 13.12.2017

The Night Flight Orchestra, De Helling, Utrecht, 13.12.2017
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Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017

Veröffentlicht am 20. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Undertow, Cindy Kay, Live, Doom Metal, Thrash Metal, Tour, Heavy Metal

German metal powerhouse Undertow performed a show at Stage in Schwäbisch Hall a few days ago. Next to old classics the quartet 'tested' some of the new smashers in live set. The new songs will be on the highly anticipated next album which hopefully will be released in 2018.

Photographer Cindy Kay was behind the lens in Schwäbisch Hall and provided Markus' Heavy Music Blog with some great live shots of an intense show.

Undertow on Facebook

Undertow Homepage

Setlist:

  1. Canvas Ghosts
  2. Bitter Taste
  3. Burdened
  4. Stomping
  5. Crown Of Scars (new song)
  6. Boxshaped
  7. Crawler
  8. Zero Type X (new song)
  9. Reap The Storm (new song)
  10. Smoke Garden
  11. 3 Double Chime
  12. File Under Unexpected
  13. In Deepest Silence
  14. Beyond dreaming (Encore)
  15. Trails for the Blind (new song) (Encore)
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
Live pics from UNDERTOW, Schwäbisch Hall, 16.12.2017
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CD review AUDREY HORNE "Blackout"

Veröffentlicht am 20. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Audrey Horne, Blackout, Hardrock, NWoBHM, Rock, Classic Rock, CD Review, Napalm Records

CD review AUDREY HORNE "Blackout"

(9/10) Audrey Horne, hailing from Bergen, Norway, can hark back to some excellent longplayers and energetic live shows. Their hunger for hard rock music obviously can’t be fully stilled which is great for fans of classic rock music - in this case since it leads to a brand  new longplayer.

Three years after having pushed “Pure Heavy” into the open it’s “Blackout” that is the next delight for fans of well-crafted rock music. Toschie, Arve, Kjetil, Thomas and Espen added an album to their discography that shows again why these five Norwegians can constantly add new folks to their fan base.

“Blackout” comprises ten new songs that stand in the tradition of the earlier releases. Audrey Horne built the new longplayer on some classic rock roots and metal influences from the 70’s/early 80’s.

The five Norwegians start into the album with a song that most of you might have heard already. “This is War” was unveiled a while ago as video to promote the upcoming release. The tune is a lively one, done in a typical Audrey Horne fashion. It’s an uptempo track that combines the power of rock and catchy melodies, leading to a real earworm experience.

The next number on the album is built on a heavy bassline by Espen Lien. “Audrevolution”, which is the title of this song, has a punky expression. The joy of this tune is the straight forward approach that shows the beauty of simplicity. Next song, next variation. The title track “Blackout” refers to the 70’s rock roots and it’s bands like Thin Lizzy that came to my mind while listening to “Blackout”.

Compared to these energizers the gently swinging “This Man” feels more like a welcomed break before “Midnight Man” marks the next energizer on “Blackout”. The uptempo “Light Your Way” is a typical Audrey Horne smasher before “California” reveals again some classic rock passion. The tune, known from the last tour, is a heavily grooving one, kept in a moderate pace – a song that works perfect in a live context.

“Satellite” shows a bit of a new aspect of the Norwegian quintet. The number, that is still 100% Audrey Horne, is very rhythm-based with drums and bass getting a lot of attention. I like this tune since it widens the frames and feels like a successfully done experiment. Next to the moments that stretch the borders it is the flow of songs on the album that is done in a good manner. Almost in contrary to “Satellite” it’s “Naysayer” that honor the NWoBHM with some riffs reminding of the earlier Maiden days. Instead of ending up with a scattered picture with all these variations it’s the band’s sound signature that keeps every together very well, leading to a Gesamtkunstwerk.

It’s the galloping “Rose Alley” that rounds off another excellent Audrey Horne album. “Blackout” underlines Audrey Horne’s position in rock. This album is more than just some songs on a record. It showcases a band that has a distilled rock’n’roll vibe running through their veins, leading to another album with a real ‘wow factor’.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. This is War
  2. Audrevolution
  3. Blackout
  4. This Man
  5. Midnight Man
  6. Light Your Way
  7. California
  8. Satellite
  9. Naysayer
  10. Rose Alley

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: January 12th, 2018

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FATES WARNING announces European tour dates

Veröffentlicht am 13. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Fates Warning, Tour, Live, Prog Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, Heavy Metal, News, InsideOut

FATES WARNING announces European tour dates

Prog metal pioneers Fates Warning announced some tour dates for Europe.

All of the upcoming European shows will be recorded for a live release to be mixed by Jens Bogren, who last worked with FATES WARNING on their “Theories Of Flight” studio album. The band commented the live release plans as follows:

“It's been 20 years since we released our only live album, “Still Life”. It's time for an update! In January we'll be recording a series of shows in some of our favorite European cities. The best of these will be included in a live album to be released in 2018. While we haven't decided on the final set list yet we're planning on about a 2 hour set with as little overlap as possible with the “Still Life” album. Hope to see you all there!” – Jim Matheos / FATES WARNING

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CD review GHOST "Ceremony and Devotion"

Veröffentlicht am 13. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Ghost, Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review, Live, Spinefarm, Loma Vista, Ceremony and Devotion, Heavy Metal, Papa Emeritus III, Ghoul

CD review GHOST "Ceremony and Devotion"

(*/10) Seven years of Swedish rock outfit Ghost can be summarized as a roaring success story. The band, being the brainchild of Papa Emeritus III (Tobias Forge), began as Ghost B.C. back in 2006 and a debut that was published four years later. “Opus Eponymous” was the name of an album that got immediately good reactions from media and fans. The album was the starting point of an extremely successful journey in rock with two more longplayers cementing Ghost’s importance in rock. Even a name change to Ghost (without ‘B.C.’) couldn’t stop Papa Eponymous and The Nameless Ghouls.

What was missing so far in Ghost’s discography was a live album, a gap that will be closed as we speak (CD and LP mid-January 2018). “Ceremony and Devotion” is waiting in the starting blocks, ready to be released. The Swedes recorded the album during their North America tour in summer 2017 and will feature 15 songs (plus 2 extra tracks on CD & LP). Even though it was the ‘Popestar’-tour, it has been the highly successful “Meliora” and “Infestissumam” that stood in focus during these live shows. Songs like the opener “Square Hammer”, but also “Cirice” and “Year Zero” have been performed in front of enthusiastic fans, an atmosphere that’s captured on the album very well.

“Ceremony and Devotion” is a comprehensive summary of Ghost’s achievements up-to-date, provided with an excellent sound that reflects the live spirit in a good fashion. This album is a completion for fans and an interesting starting point for Ghost-newcomers.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Square Hammer
  2. From The Pinnacle to the Pit
  3. Con Clavi Con Dio
  4. Per Aspera Ad Inferi
  5. Elizabeth (Bonus)
  6. Body and Blood
  7. Devil Church
  8. Cirice
  9. Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
  10. Year Zero
  11. Spoksonat
  12. He Is
  13. Mummy Dust
  14. Secular Haze (Bonus)
  15. Absolution
  16. Ritual
  17. Monstrance Clock

 

Label: Loma Vista / Spinefarm

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: Digital – December 8th, 2017

                            CD & LP – January 18th, 2018

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CD review AUTOPSY "Puncturing the Grotesque"

Veröffentlicht am 12. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Autopsy, News, Death Metal, Extreme Metal, Thrash Metal, CD Review, Peaceville

CD review AUTOPSY "Puncturing the Grotesque"

(9/10) It was three decades ago when one of the most influential death metal outfits appeared on the scene - and the guys came to stay. Even though having had a break along the way, it's 2017 being a year to celebrate. Autopsy is 30 years around and it’s a new mini-LP that will act as a bloody anniversary feast.

Chris Reifert, Eric Cutler, Danny Coralles and Joe Trevisano deliver another rotten metal meal, that’s served in seven steps.

The quartet didn’t loose any intensity and impact over time. As if the debut would have been releases yesterday, the guys created another vicious release that combines slow-paced riffing and extreme metal in a way only Autopsy can do.

It’s a rolling bassline that kicks of “Depths of Dehumanization”, acting as a creepy intro for what’s next – “Puncturing the Grotesque”. The title song is a merciless death metal anthem with the pace kept high, showcasing the band as a well-oiled death machine. There is no way to escape. This song hits you like a ten-ton hammer.

“The Sick Get Sicker” follows and it’s another ruthless riff monster with some tempo breaks making this song so good. Starting fast and furious it’s the foot on the break halfway that acts as a well-placed disruption before a savage solo brings back the tempo. These changes built the general pattern for this exciting hymn. It’s a sonic avalanche that rolls over you and you can’t do anything about it.

Was it so far only breaks that brought some doom up to surface it’s “Gas Mask Lust” that entirely built on slo-mo. “Corpses At War” and “Gorecrow” don’t need to stand back behind the other songs and it’s the crazed “Fuck You!!!” that rounds off an excellently done mini-LP.

Gore legend Autopsy was and is belonging to the spearhead of US death metal, again underlined by this new EP.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Depths of Dehumanization
  2. Puncturing the Grotesque
  3. The Sick Get Sicker
  4. Gas Mask Lust
  5. Corpses of War
  6. Gorecrow
  7. Fuck You!!! (Bloodbath cover)

 

Label: Peaceville Records

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: December 15th, 2017

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CD review MOONSPELL "1755"

Veröffentlicht am 11. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Moonspell, News, Napalm Records, Dark Metal, Gothic, Heavy Metal, Symphonic Metal, CD Review

CD review MOONSPELL "1755"

(7/10) Portuguese dark metal powerhouse Moonspell released a few weeks ago their twelfth longplayer. „1755“ is the title of this album that shows Moonspell from another angle. The newest output from Portugal’s finest is a concept album with the devastating earthquake from 1755 being the thematically center piece. „1755“ aims for reflecting the entire impact of such a force of nature in ten new songs.

 A glimpse on the tracklist shows the first difference to other Moonspell releases. The entire album is kept in Portuguese which fits very well to the topic, but also makes it difficult to follow this dramatic story line. Therefor let‘s focus on the music that has to do the job.

„Em Nomen Do Medo“ is the starting point. Being dark and oppressive, the tune is an intro to this musical interpretation of a natural disaster. Bombast and drama are already a substantial element of the opener, leading you to the title track „1755“, which is a heavy song with a cinematic expression, mainly due to the choir that‘s included in this number.

Moonspell uses orchestral elements and the mentioned choir to increase the intensity of the newest longplayer and they succeed. „1755“ comes with an impressive density which is also an achievement of the production, done by no less than the well-known Tue Madsen.

All the mentioned describes a longplayer that gets out of the speakers very well, but I also have to say that the five piece band had already stronger releases in the past. Moonspell had always great songs that have been part of the earlier releases (like „Await” and „Opium“) but also the last album „Extinct“ comprised more than one true highlight being part of the tracklist.

„1755“ is in this context different. The album can be seen as a Gesamtkunstwerk but misses real highlights with a few songs that stick out a bit. It almost feels like Moonspell got lost in bombast, frills and details. Less would have been more. Even though there are with „Ruínas“ and „Abanão“ two tracks that get closer to the highlights of the predecessors, these numbers are in general more the exception than the rule.

Moonspell doesn‘t listen to the echoes of the past and decided to go for a partly new approach with „1755“. The ten songs include the typical Moonspell trademarks and showcase a successful endeavour that still has some room for improvement. „1755“ is a good album, but Moonspell has better ones in their impressive discography.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Em Nome Do Medo
  2. 1755
  3. In Tremor Dei
  4. Desastre
  5. Abanão
  6. Eveto
  7. 1 De Novembro
  8. Ruínas
  9. Todos Os Santos
  10. Lanterna Dos Afogados

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Dark Metal

Release Date EU: November 3rd, 2017

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