Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

CD review CAMELTOE "Up Your Alley"

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2018 von Markus W. in Cameltoe, News, CD Review, Melodic Metal, Hardrock, Battlegod Production, Heavy Metal

CD review CAMELTOE "Up Your Alley"

(8/10) Don’t ask me how you can give your band a name like Cameltoe. It must have been a fantastic party night that brought this name to people’s mind.

Anyhow, Cameltoe is the name of a band that hails from Trondheim and fortunately it’s the solely the name that is weird and ridiculous. At the end it’s the music that counts and here things are exquisite.

“Up Your Alley” is the band’s first album, following an EP from 2017. I haven’t heard of the band earlier in time and therefore I was looking forward with full curiosity to what will reach my ears with this ten-track longplayer.

The label info sheet compares Cameltoe with bands like Dokken and Ratt. What sounds like a daring comparison actually nails it down pretty well. More than once I had to think of Dokken in their earlier days.

Cameltoe combines heavy guitars, solid riffs and melodic vocal lines to something that works in a perfect fashion. Each of the songs sticks right from the beginning and it doesn’t take you too much effort to get into this longplayer.

The disc doesn’t know a bad song. Check out for example the heavy pounding “Never What It Seems”. How great would it be if Dokken could still right this kind of songs? It’s an amazing dynamic that comes with this song, being a rocking power engine.

Also the calmer tones are charming. “I Always Cared” is the name of such a well-crafted ballad that impresses with a lot of feel and the great vocals by singer Ben Rodgers.

“Up Your Alley” is a positive surprise this year. These five guys from Trondheim inhaled the 80’s melodic metal spirit and transferred it into the here and now. Good stuff, which I like - and maybe a name-change could help to gain more solid ground.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Delusional
  2. Screaming My Head Off
  3. Never What It Seems
  4. Tank Command
  5. I Always Cared
  6. Twisted Fister
  7. Coming Home
  8. Devils Soul
  9. Rocky Road
  10. Spread My Wings

 

Label: Battlegod Productions

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

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CD review DEATHROW "Riders of Doom" / "Raging Steel" / "Deception Ignored" - re-issues

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2018 von Markus W. in Deathrow, Raging Steel Riders of Doom, Deception Ignored, Thrash Metal, Speed Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Noise lebt!, BMG

(7/10), (8/10), (8/10) German thrash metal from the mid 80's seems to have a revival these days. Bands like Exumer and Accuser released new longplayers during the last couple of years, the eight first Kreator records have been re-issued as being part of the 'Noise lebt!' campaign and now it's Deathrow that gets back on the radar.

Deathrow started as Samhain in 1984. Milo, Thomas Priebe, Sven Flügge and Markus Hahn recorded a first demo in 1985 and one year later the debut was complete. At the same time the band changed name from Samhain to Deathrow, mainly due to Glenn Danzig's band with the same name.

CD review DEATHROW "Riders of Doom" / "Raging Steel" / "Deception Ignored" - re-issues

"Riders of Doom" is the first album from the Ruhrpott-based quartet and it was originally released as "Satan's Gift". Even though Deathrow stood in the mighty shadow of bands like Kreator, Sodom and Destruction, the debut was highly acclaimed by fans. The quartet stood for authentic thrash metal that was raw and rough around the edges. The album achieved a cult status in the metallic underground and was more than just a decent result of hard work. In addition to this merciless aggressiveness Deathrow's sound included quite impressive guitar work with furious leads and solos. Songs like "Riders of Doom" and "Satans Gift" are still well crafted Teutonic thrash metal tracks that didn't loose any power over the last three decades. The re-issue of the album also includes some extras in the form of three demo songs and three songs from the rehearsal room.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Winds Of Death
  2. Satan’s Gift
  3. Riders Of Doom
  4. Hell’s Ascent
  5. Spider Attack
  6. Slaughtered
  7. Violent Omen
  8. Dark Tales
  9. Samhain

Bonus Tracks

  1. Hell’s Ascent (demo)
  2. Samhain (demo)
  3. Riders Of Doom (demo)
  4. Night of The Wolf (rehearsal)
  5. Run (rehearsal)
  6. Screams of Pain (rehearsal)

 

CD review DEATHROW "Riders of Doom" / "Raging Steel" / "Deception Ignored" - re-issues

The sophomore album, "Raging Steel", followed twelve months later and showcased a band that developed sound and musical skills. Still being as unpolished as the debut "Raging Steel" came with improved song writing and a better production. Songs like two parts of "Scattered by the Wind" are thrash metal anthems from the underground, built on influences of bands like Possessed. As with "Riders of Doom" also the second longplayer includes some extra songs - in this case demo tracks and a live version of "Yigael's Wall".

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Dawn
  2. Raging Steel
  3. Scattered By The Wind (Part 1)
  4. Scattered By The Wind (Part 2)
  5. Dragon’s Blood
  6. The Thing Within
  7. Pledge To Die
  8. Mortal Dread
  9. The Undead Cry
  10. Beyond The Light

Bonus Tracks

  1. Intro (demo)
  2. Slaughtered (demo)
  3. Violent Omen (demo)
  4. Riders Of Doom (demo)
  5. Samhain (demo)
  6. Yigael’s Wall (live)
CD review DEATHROW "Riders of Doom" / "Raging Steel" / "Deception Ignored" - re-issues

The triple of releases gets completed by Deathrow's "Deception Ignored". The longplayer was released in 1989 and marks the last album the thrash powerhouse unleashed for Noise Records. Even though Deathrow's sound is still built on thrash the third longplayer shows a big step forward when it comes to songwriting and complexity. The raw and harsh sounds of the debut evolved to a progressive metal album that finds a peak in "Narcotic", which is a 9 minutes progressive epos that impressive with complex sound structures and intricate elements. This album includes just a single bonus track, which is the so far unreleased "Bureaucracy" which comes from the recording session for "Deception Ignored"

These three longplayers made Deathrow to a legendary underground band from Germany and the re-issues make the albums available for fans of 80's thrash metal. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Events In Concealment
  2. The Deathwish
  3. Triocton
  4. N.L.Y.H.
  5. Watching The World
  6. Narcotic
  7. Machinery

Bonus Track

  1. Bureacrazy
Kommentare

CD review CHAOSTAR "The Undivided Light"

Veröffentlicht am 31. März 2018 von Markus W. in Chaostar, The Undivided Light, Classic, Rock, Ambient, News, CD Review, Season Of Mist, Prog Rock

CD review CHAOSTAR "The Undivided Light"

(*/10) Chaostar is an outfit, hailing from Greece. The band is the brainchild of Septicflesh guitarist Christos Antoniou who founded Chaostar in 1998. The band was meant to be a side project since the main effort and time went into Septicflesh. Over time the project turned into a band that released so far four longplayer that were as genius and distracting.

Chaostar is differs quite a lot from the main band. The quartet is far more experimenting with sound, getting far deeper into classic music. Screaming guitars and furious solos aren’t what you should expect of “The Undivided Light”. The album, as well as the earlier releases, is orchestral and experimental, all framed by a classic approach that includes some rocking elements.

The guitarist is an academy trained composer who finished his study of classic music with honours and distinction. Antoniou contributes with these skills to a certain extend to Septicflesh songs but Chaostar gives him a far wider playing field for new sounds.

To pick out a few songs of this unconventional album is a mission impossible. The album needs to be seen as a holistic piece of music, featuring intensive and expressionist music. The four musicians stretch the boarders and built their songs on orchestral arrangements and Androniki Skoula’s mezzo-soprano. String instruments and horns are no strangers to Chaostar, enriching songs like the 10 minutes masterpiece “Silent Yard”. Also the heavy drumming, that’s part of this tune shows the width of Chaostar’s sound.

“The Undivided Light” is a counter project to mainstream. This music has nothing to do with cheesy melodies and catchy choruses. This longplayer is a distinctive one that leads to irritation and euphoria. You have to be open-minded though since this album takes time and attention. “The Undivided Light” is no musical fast-food, being served on a 43 minutes car right. It’s a tasteful composition that unveils its beauty step by step.

 

(*/10) (Since the album is far beyond standard there's no rating)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Tazama Jua
  2. Blutbad
  3. Stones and Dust
  4. The Undivided Light
  5. Mέμνησο
  6. Silent Yard
  7. Ying & Yang

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Classic Ambient Rock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

 

Line-up:

Christos Antoniou: trigger, synth, orchestration

Androniki Skoula: vocals, lyrics

Charalampos Paritsis: electric violin

Nikolaos Velentzas: drums, percussion

Guest musicians:

Kiara Konstantinou: cello

Vahan Galstyan: duduk

Stella Valasi: santur

George Emmanuel and Greg Eleutheriou: guitars on "Ying and Yang"

Nikolaos Velentzas: guitars on "Blutbad"

Margarita Stadler: girl's voice on "Blutbad"

 

Kommentare

CD review BONFIRE "Temple of Lies"

Veröffentlicht am 30. März 2018 von Markus W. in Bonfire, Temple of Lies, News, CD Review, Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Melodic Rock, Heavy Metal, AFM

CD review BONFIRE "Temple of Lies"

(8/10) Since a few years Bonfire is gaining more and more momentum again. The latest releases have been all pretty good, showcasing a band that found their way back into the spotlight.

Bonfire these days is very much Hans Ziller, founding member and main driver of the Bavarian metal outfit that celebrated bigger successes in the late 80’s.

Four years ago Ziller had to face a major line-up change. Singer and founding member Claus Lessmann left the quintet from Ingolstadt, Germany and was replaced by former Accept singer David Reece. In 2016 Reece left Bonfire and it was German vocalist Michael Bormann who should have become Bonfire’s new frontman. Due to legal reasons a certain time period needed to be bridged and it was Alexx Stahl who took over vocal duties for the time needed. Unexpectedly things worked more than well and Stahl’s voice fit so good to Bonfire’s sound that the singer became a fix member of the five-piece band. The quintet recorded with “Temple of Lies” their 16th studio album and it’s the first one with Stahl at the mic.

An intro, entitled “In the Beginning”, sets the stage. It feels like a mixture of Manowar and neo-classic metal that welcomes you before title song takes over. “Temple of Lies” is the first surprise since it blows the speakers with heavy riffs and Stahl presenting his pure metal siren capabilities. I had to get used to the high-pitched vocals since I haven’t expected such a powerful beginning, but already with the second spin I started to really like the tune.

After such a start it’s “On the Wings of an Angel” that brings back the hard rocking Bonfire vibe and it’s the slowly rolling “Feel the Fire (Like the Bonfire)” that could become a classic on Bonfire’s setlist.

These tracks stand pretty much for what you can expect of “Temple of Lies”. Hans Ziller and crew wrote good melodic rockers like “Fly Away” and also “Love the Way You Hate Me” belongs to the specularities on a good rock album. While listening to the album I had to think several times of Axxis since Stahl has partly a similar voice than Bernhard Weiss. And talking about comparisons/influence: am I the only one that hears some Queensryche guitarlines being part of “I’ll Never Be Loved By You”?

Anyhow, “Temple of Lies” is an excellent melodic metal /hardrock album that might not bring a lot of new to the table but satisfies listeners and fans with great melodies, well-crafted hooks, pure power and a really good singer. If you like melodic metal you will like “Temple of Lies” too. The album might not be able to compete with the early Bonfire classics, but it’s getting pretty close.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. In the Beginning
  2. Temple of Lies
  3. On the Wings of an Angel
  4. Feed the Fire (Like the Bonfire)
  5. Stand or Fall
  6. Comin’ Home
  7. I’ll Never Be Loved by You
  8. Fly Away
  9. Love the Way You Hate Me
  10. Crazy Over You

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: April 13th, 2018

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Final line-up and running order for ROCK HARD FESTIVAL announced

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2018 von Markus W. in Rock Hard Festival, News, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Hardrock, Festival, Live, Tour, NWoBHM, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Gelsenkirchen

Final line-up and running order for ROCK HARD FESTIVAL announced

Final line-up for this year's edition of Rock Hard Festival are announced. The festival will take place between Friday May 18th, and Sunday May 20th and it will be the following bands that will deliver a lot of riff-power during Whit weekend.

 

Friday 18.05.2018

SODOM (First show in new line-up!)

TIAMAT („Clouds“- und „Wildhoney“-Set)

DIAMOND HEAD

DOOL

ATTIC

DAWN OF DISEASE

 

Saturday 19.05.2018

OVERKILL („Feel The Fire“ & „Horrorscope“-Set)

AXEL RUDI PELL

MARDUK

CIRITH UNGOL

LEATHERWOLF

THE NEW ROSES

NOCTURNAL RITES

TRAITOR

 

Sunday 20.05.2018

SAXON

ARMORED SAINT

BACKYARD BABIES

CORONER („Only German festival show 2018!“)

ULI JON ROTH („Scorpions Revisited“)

NIGHT DEMON

MEMORIAM

THUNDERMOTHER

Kommentare

CD review BARREN EARTH "A Complex Of Cages"

Veröffentlicht am 29. März 2018 von Markus W. in Barren Earth, Death Metal, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, News, CD Review, Century Media, A Complex if Cages

CD review BARREN EARTH "A Complex Of Cages"

(8/10) Finnish Barren Earth aren’t a newcomer in metal. The band, hailing from Helsinki, Finland, debut in 2010 after having inked a deal with Peaceville Records. “Curse of the Red River” was the first out of three longplayers the guys released up to date.

Three years after “On Lonely Towers” hit the shelfs, it’s “A Complex of Cages” that will be a delight for fans of progressive metal as well as for death metal supporters. The new album is number two for Century Media, featuring nine new songs of epical length. Barren Earth isn’t looking for a quick and easy knock-out. The sextet focusses on longer songs that unite progressive influences from the 70’s with harsh growls.

Just listening to the music gives an impression of listening to bands like Dream Theater. Guitars and keyboards create big soundscapes that are melodic and full of dynamics. Hard-hitting drums and a booming bass create the solid foundation and it’ the partly clean vocals that doesn’t make you think about death metal. To balance the feeling of complex harmony Barren Earth adds deep growls to their sound. These moments add arcs of suspense to the mix and act as a wake-up call in case you lost yourself in multi-layered song structures.

The cornerstone of the new album is entitled “Solitude Pith”, which is a ten minutes song. Sami Yli-Sirniö, also known from Kreator, and Janne Perttilä can show all their virtuosity on the six-string while singer Jón Aldará is still a lucky strike for the outfit from Helsinki. This guy is a real master of his trade.

This centerpiece is surrounded by not less exciting tunes like "Zeal" and Spire". I wouldn’t say that the differences between the new album and “On Lonely Towers” is huge. Barren Earth continues what they can do best – merging two styles into something excellent. It is more that the new longplayer is a kind of natural next step and it’s the details that shine.

Barren Earth’s premier on Century Media is a good one. Fans of bands like Paradise Lost and Opeth should check out this album – if you don’t have it on your list already anyhow.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Living Fortress
  2. The Ruby
  3. Further Down
  4. Zeal
  5. Scatterprey
  6. Solitude Pith
  7. Dysphoria
  8. Spire
  9. Withdrawal

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Progressive Death Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

Kommentare

CD review LIGHT THE TORCH "Revival"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2018 von Markus W. in Light The Torch, Devil You Know, Metalcore, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, News, CD Review, Nuclear Blast, Revival

CD review LIGHT THE TORCH "Revival"

(7/10) You might hear the name Light The Torch for the very first time, but if you’re into metal the name Devil You Know sound far more familiar. Now, Light The Torch and Devil You Know are the same. After going through some rough times in 2016 the band unveiled in 2017 their new name, followed by the first Light The Torch album as we speak.

The powerhouse from Los Angeles, CA consists out of Howard Jones, Francesco Artusato and Ryan Wombacher with Mike Sciulara who took place behind the drum kit.

“Revival” is the title of Light The Torch’s debut, comprising of 12 songs that bridges metalcore with modern metal and melody.

After spinning the album several times I must say that I like what I heard. What’s the thing though too with “Revival” is that I miss the some surprises, these jaw-dropping good moments that you haven’t expected.

No doubt, riffs are heavy (“Raise the Dead” and “Virus”) and brutal outbursts, like “The Sound of Violence”, are well done. Great craftsmanship, in general on a very high level, isn’t something unexpected, knowing the musical vita of the quartet. The album sounds to me like a first step of four guys to get back into a productive mode after some rougher days, weeks and month. Many ideas, that probably grew over the last years found a spot on this longplayer - a true 'revival'. 

To sum up: “Revival” is a well-done modern metal album with some metalcore references here and there. It doesn’t provide many moments of wow and it doesn’t push the listeners out of the comfort zone either. The album is very much according to the book, which isn’t necessarily something bad. If you’re looking for solid and powerful modern metal record it’s “Revival” that can still your hunger.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Die Alone
  2. The God I Deserve
  3. Calm Before the Storm
  4. Raise the Dead
  5. The Safety of Disbelief
  6. Virus
  7. The Great Divide
  8. The Bitter End
  9. Lost in the Fire
  10. The Sound of Violence
  11. Pull My Heart Out
  12. Judas Convention

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

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CD review EARTHLESS "Black Heaven"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2018 von Markus W. in Earthless, Black Heaven, News, CD Review, Nuclear Blast, Classic Rock, Rock, Hardrock, Krautrock, Psychedelic Rock, Stoner Rock

CD review EARTHLESS "Black Heaven"

(8/10) Earthless, a rock band hailing from San Diego, California, started in 2001 by Isaiah Mitchell, Mike Eginton and Mario Rubalcaba. The trio shared a common passion for psychedelic rock music and German Krautrock, which built the base for a debut that was published in 2005.

The trio released two more records and also has live recordings on their list of releases to date. The most popular one is “Live at Roadburn” when the band performed a 90 minutes set with knowing that the show was recorded. This gave the album a very authentic touch, an approach that maybe should be used more often.

Even though Earthless is in business already for such a long time the guys still premiers when it comes to a few things on the new longplayer “Black Heaven”. First of all the newest longplayer will be released via Nuclear Blast, which is the first newness. Secondly the trio, that usually is an instrumental one, added vocals to the new songs.

The album comprises of six songs, all benefiting of a warm and organic sound that was done at Rancho de la Lune with Dave Catching (Eagles Of Death Metal) at the helm. With the exception of “Volt Rush” tracks are rather long. Earthless incorporates all their experience and passion for jamming into each of the tracks on this disc. Longer instrumental parts clearly reflect the roots of this psychedelic rock outfit. It gives the album an unpredictable dynamic with the vocal lines adding the structure that holds together the creative instrumental section in a good way.

“Black Heaven” is great next album for Earthless and fans of psychedelic rock music. The album weaves together classic rock, Krautrock and some jazz to a great total that sounds authentic and won-to-earth. This is music for people with a passion for well-crafted and organic rock music that comes without frills and gimmicks.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Gifted by the Wind
  2. End to End
  3. Electric Flame
  4. Volt Rush
  5. Black Heaven
  6. Sudden End

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Psychedelic Rock

Release Date EU: March 16th, 2018

 

Kommentare

CD review ESCAPE THE FATE "I am Human"

Veröffentlicht am 27. März 2018 von Markus W. in Escape The Fate, News, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, Metalcore, CD Review, Eleven Seven Music, Post-Hardcore

CD review ESCAPE THE FATE "I am Human"

(6/10) "I am Human" is Escape The Fate's 6th longplayer. The album will be released on March 30st which means that fans had to wait a bit longer since the release day was moved by a few weeks. However, here it is.

"I am Human" is slightly different. "Empire", unveiled as a video a while ago, gave already a first indication of what to expect. The band from Pahrump, Nevada always added a solid portion of melody to their postcore/metalcore songs, but this time the go one step further. Elements of pop music found their way into most of the songs on "I am Human", with synthesisers that are close to the edge of becoming cheesy. "Broken Heart" is such a song that has the bigger masses in focus and "Resistance" is more of a friendly 'No' rather than real 'resistance'.

Last but not least there is an acoustic ballad on the tracklist. "If Only" is the title of the distracting track that immediately brings up the question of why this song ends up on an album of a former post-hardcore band. 

Some better moment, even though still being far away from post-hardcore, are the heavy "Digging My Own Grave" and harder "Recipe For Disaster". "Riot" is not too bad either and reflects the sleaze influences in a dominant way. 

With having all this in mind I can't give more than points to an album that includes songs that are a bit too much mainstream-based. I can't get rid of a thinking that commercial success was steering too much and that's why the band played safe with "I am Human".

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Beautifully Tragic
  2. Broken Heart
  3. Four Letter Word
  4. I Will Make It Up to You
  5. Bleed for Me
  6. Do You Love Me?
  7. I Am Human
  8. If Only
  9. Empire
  10. Recipe for Disaster
  11. Riot
  12. Digging My Own Grave
  13. Resistance
  14. Let Me Be

 

Label: Eleven Seven Music

Genre: Melodic Metalcore

Release Date EU: March 30st, 2018

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CD review THE SWORD "Used Future"

Veröffentlicht am 26. März 2018 von Markus W. in The Sword, News, Spinefarm Records, Rock, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, CD Review

CD review THE SWORD "Used Future"

(8/10) The first time I got the chance to listen to The Sword was back in 2009 in Antwerp, Belgium when the band opened for no less than Metallica. I still remember that I liked their sound and songs, but their at that time more traditional metal was also something I haven’t expected as opener for thrash icons Metallica and their special guest Machine Head.

Anyhow, in the meantime we are 9 years further down the road and The Sword is an established rock band. The new album “ Used Future” is available as we speak, a longplayer that comprises of 13 new songs, showing a continuous move towards classic rock.

John Cronise, founder and main songwriter, crafted the album together with his band mates “Bryan Richie (b), Kyle Shutt (g) and Santiago Vela (d), showcasing a mature rock outfit that found their sound.

“Used Future” is an exciting album that’s built on classic rock, stoner elements and some Sabbath-inspired doom moments. The work result is the most creative record the quartet released to date, stating wide range of sounds.

A prelude is guiding towards the opener “Deadly Nightshade”, a thrilling song that includes all the earlier mentioned. It's this retro vibe, embedded in the thes tune, that reminds of the early days of rock, referring to bands like T-Rex and Led Zeppelin.

Tracks you shouldn’t miss on “Used Future” are for sure the cool 70’s reminding title track, the grooving “Sea of Green” and easy going “Back of Thoth”, followed by “Brown Mountain” which is a terrific instrumental with a bit of a Pink Floyd feel included. It's a cornerstone on this album.

"Used Future" became an well-done rock album that satisfies by its cool sound, relaxed vibe and cool expression. Thumbs up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Prelude
  2. Deadly Nightshade
  3. Twilight Sunrise
  4. The Wild Sky
  5. Intermezzo
  6. Sea of Green
  7. Nocturne
  8. Don’t Get Me Too Comfortable
  9. Used Future
  10. Come and Gone
  11. Back of Thoth
  12. Brown Mountain
  13. Reprise

 

Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

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CD review SAXON "Saxon" / "Wheels of Steel" / Strong Arms of the Law" - re-issues

Veröffentlicht am 26. März 2018 von Markus W. in Saxon, Reissue, News, NWoBHM, Heavy Metal, Wheels of Steel, Strong Arms of the Law, CD Review

CD review SAXON "Saxon" / "Wheels of Steel" / Strong Arms of the Law" - re-issues

(8/10) (10/10) (9/10) I few weeks ago I could witness Saxon live on stage. The five-piece from Birmingham played a fabulous show at 013 in Tilburg,  a set that featured classics like "747 (Strangers in the Night)", "Heavy Metal Thunder" and Wheels of Steel". To enjoy these songs also at home and while being on the road, BMG reissues the first three longplayer of the NWoBHM legend.

The debut, simply entitled "Saxon", was originally released in 1979 and was the start of an impressive career in rock. NWoBHM started to gain momentum at the end of the 70's and had an impact on Saxon sounds. The band, that belongs to the pioneers of metal, combined this new rising metal style with glam-rock and progressive influences, leading to songs like "Judgement Day" and "Backs to the Wall". What's the real benefit of this re-issue is the comprehensive booklet that comes with the CD and it's additional bonus tracks that enriches this release. Five songs from the demo are part of the re-release plus songs that came out of a BBC session in 1980 and a live recording from Donington, recorded in the same year.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rainbow Theme
  2. Frozen Rainbow
  3. Big Teaser
  4. Judgement Day
  5. Stallions Of The Highway
  6. Backs To The Wall
  7. Still Fit To Boogie
  8. Militia Guard

 

CD Bonus Tracks:

  1. Big Teaser (demo 1978)
  2. Stallions Of The Highway (demo 1978)
  3. Backs To The Wall (demo 1978)
  4. Rainbow Theme (demo 1978)
  5. Frozen Rainbow (demo 1978)
  6. Backs To The Wall (BBC session 1980)
  7. Stallions Of The Highway (BBC session 1980)
  8. Motorcycle Man (BBC session 1980)
  9. Still Fit To Boogie (BBC session 1980)
  10. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (BBC session 1980)
  11. Judgement Day (BBC session 1980)
  12. Still Fit To Boogie (Live at Donington 1980)
  13. Backs To The Wall (BBC session 1980)
  14. Stallions Of The Highway (BBC session 1980)

 

Label: BMG

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

CD review SAXON "Saxon" / "Wheels of Steel" / Strong Arms of the Law" - re-issues

One year later, Saxon released their sophomore longplayer "Wheels of Steel" which belongs to the shining pearls in metal. The record was a break-through for the quintet from the UK with entering the single charts twice. Furthermore the album achieved gold-status and tunes like "747 (Strangers in the Night)", "Motorcycle Man" and "Wheels of Steel" are indispensable parts of present live sets. Like with the others re-releases also "Wheels of Steel" comes with an extensive booklet that features photos, lyrics and additional background information when it comes to band and album. The special treat is again some demo versions and live recording from this early era of one of the most influential heavy metal bands.

 

(10/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Motorcycle Man
  2. Stand Up And Be Counted
  3. 747 (Strangers In The Night)
  4. Wheels Of Steel
  5. Freeway Mad
  6. See The Light Coming
  7. Street Fighting Gang
  8. Suzie Hold On
  9. Machine Gun

 

CD Bonus Tracks

  1. Suzie Hold On (1980 demo rehearsals)
  2. Wheels Of Steel (1980 demo rehearsals)
  3. Stallions Of The Highway (Live B-side)
  4. Motorcycle Man (Live at Donington 1980)
  5. Freeway Mad (Live at Donington 1980)
  6. Wheels Of Steel (Live at Donington 1980)
  7. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (Live at Donington 1980)
  8. Machine Gun (Live at Donington 1980)

 

Label: BMG

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

CD review SAXON "Saxon" / "Wheels of Steel" / Strong Arms of the Law" - re-issues

Biff Byford and bandmates have been extremely busy and productive in 1980. The highly acclaimed second longplayer saw the light of day, the band performed at the legendary Monsters Of Rock festival and Donington and last but not least it was the third longplayer that came out after summer. 6 months after "Wheels of Steel" arrived at the record stores it was "Strong Arm of the Law" that followed. In times when some bands work for years on their next release it's amazing that Saxon could do such a job in half a year by not compromising on quality at all. It proves that if you're bursting to do something in short time and with enormous passion you can achieve it. As with the predecessor also "Strong Arms of the Law" features songs that are a standard at any Saxon show. Classics such as the title track and "Dallas 1pm" are part of this disc that established the band in heavy metal. Bonus tracks are part of this re-release too, as with the other two albums. 

Saxon's first three longplayers, actually all their longplayers, are a 'must' for any seriously meant metal record collection. If you missed them to date, this is your chance to close the gap. 

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Heavy Metal Thunder
  2. To Hell And Back Again
  3. Strong Arm Of The Law
  4. Taking Your Chances
  5. 20,000 FT
  6. Hungry Years
  7. Sixth Form Girls
  8. Dallas 1PM

 

CD Bonus Tracks

  1. 20,000 FT (BBC session 1982)
  2. Dallas 1PM (BBC session 1982)
  3. The Eagle Had Landed (BBC session 1982)
  4. 747 (Strangers In The Night) (BBC session 1982)
  5. To Hell And Back Again (Abbey Road mix)
  6. 20,000FT (Abbey Road mix)
  7. Mandy (Early version of Sixth Form Girls)
  8. Heavy Metal Thunder (Abbey Road mix)

 

Label: BMG

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: March 30th, 2018

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

Photo: Markus Wiedenmann

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CD review AURI "Auri"

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2018 von Markus W. in Auri, News, CD Review, Rock, Folk, Celtic, Nuclear Blast, Nightwish

CD review AURI "Auri"

(9/10) Even though two third of Auri is known from Finnish symphonic metal giant Nightwish the music of this trio sounds very different. But let’s take things step by step.

Auri is a trio consisting out of vocalist Johanna Kurkela who, together with Nightwish mastermind Tuomas Holopainen and Troy Donockley, founded Auri. Being driven by the vision of virtuous imagination and big soundscape the trio started the project with the debut being the beautiful outcome of a very creative period.

“Auri” has nothing in common with metal and even rock music is only one part of this divers musical puzzle.

The eleven songs on the album are atmospheric anthems, which are a soundtrack for dreaming away into a world full of magic, melancholy and beauty. The base for each of the songs is Celtic inheritance that leads to extraordinary tracks. If you close your eyes you can ‘see’ a foggy coastline with dreams covered in mist. Multi-layered sounds create an atmosphere that is imagery and fairytale in one.

The Northern expression gets spiced-up by songs like “Skeleton Tree” which adds an oriental vibe to the mix. And it’s tracks like “Night 13” that gives this longplayer a special feel. The partly fragile and partly energetic tune stands for almost everything “Auri” represents.

“Auri” is a cinematic milestone that’s built on the books of author Patrick Rothfuss. It’s the ‘Kingkiller Trilogy’ that acts as a source of inspiration and it’s Auri, one of the female characters, that gave this trio its name.

The idea to do “Auri” was born already some years back. In 2011 first thoughts came up and it was the experimental time between then and now that created the magic that’s weaved into these 56 minutes of very well-done epical music.

“Auri” is an unusual album that shines with its perfection and emotional depth. Heavy guitars and harsh riff is something you will not find on this longplayer. It’s the cinematic infinity that gives this album a beauty and bloom. Lay back and allow yourself an hour-long journey through mystery and fairytales. Your mind creates the movie and the album delivers the soundtrack.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Space Between
  2. I Hope Your World is Kind
  3. Skeleton Tree
  4. Desert Flower
  5. Night 13
  6. See
  7. The Name of the Wind
  8. Aphrodite Rising
  9. Savant
  10. Underthing Solstice
  11. Them Thar Chanterelles (feat. Liquor in the Wall)

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

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Photo report TRIVIUM/POWER TRIP/VENOM PRISON, Patronaat, Haarlem, 10.03.2018

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2018 von Markus W. in Trivum, Venom Prison, Thrash Metal, Power Trip, News, Live, Live Review, Metalcore, Modern Metal, Heavy Metal, Deathcore, Patronaat, Haarlem

Photo report TRIVIUM/POWER TRIP/VENOM PRISON, Patronaat, Haarlem, 10.03.2018
Photo report TRIVIUM/POWER TRIP/VENOM PRISON, Patronaat, Haarlem, 10.03.2018

Beginning of March I had the chance to witness a powerful metalcore package that's on it way through Europe at the moment. Trivium, Power Trip and Venom Prison embarked on a tour and I did some photos of the show for my friends of Zware Metalen. I don't want to withhold the photos from you, my dear readers. Therefor enjoy the photo-report and, if you have any chance, visit the show. It's worth it.

 

More photos on FLICKR

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CD review FM "Atomic Generation"

Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2018 von Markus W. in FM, Hardrock, News, Atomic Generation, Rock, AOR, Classic Rock, CD Review, Frontiers Music

CD review FM "Atomic Generation"

(7/10) British rockers FM have been really productive since the band reunited in 2007. After having brought their first era to an end, meaning a split in 1995, it was in 2007 that FM performed again on stage for the first time in13 years. It was the starting point of a next era of this melodic rock outfit from the UK.

FM released six longplayer between then and now, including the 2016 release of "Indiscreet 30", celebrating the 30th anniversary of FM's fabulous debut. On March 30th, the quintet will unveil their next longplayer, entitled "Atomic Generation". 

The 11th record features 11 new songs which are all well-crafted melodic rockers. What definitely works as a benefit for the album is the stable line-up the band maintains since 2008. The five guys know each other very well, which leads to a dense and balanced sound. 

"Atomic Generation" is built on melodies and great hooks, leading to melodic rockers like "Too Much Of a Good Thing" and "Do You Love Me Enough". These songs are well-done but I like the moments when FM leaves the standard path by varying their sound.

The opener "Black Magic" is such a moment, a song in which the band presents their more edgy side with a heavy rocking guitar and an excellent sing-a-long vocal line. What also works very well is the horns that are embedded in the cool swinging "Playing Tricks on Me" and also the Foreigner-like  "Follow Your Heart" satisfies with good hooks and catchy melodies.

FM stays true to their principles of merging rock music with easy to grasp melodies. This album doesn't need many loops to show its beauty. Fans of melodic rock will love what they get served and FM will appreciate this album anyway.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Black Magic
  2. Too Much of a Good Thing
  3. Killed By Love
  4. In It For the Money
  5. Golden Days
  6. Playing Tricks on Me
  7. Make the Best of What You Got
  8. Follow Your Heart
  9. Do You Love Me Enough
  10. Stonger
  11. Love is the Law

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: AOR

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

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