Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

alternative rock

CD review MAN WITH A MISSION "Dead End in Tokyo"

Veröffentlicht am 29. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Man With A Mission, Alternative Rock, Rock, Modern Rock, News, Century Media, CD Review

CD review MAN WITH A MISSION "Dead End in Tokyo"

(5/10) OK, you can like this stuff but you don’t have to. I guess this summarizes Man With A Mission very well. There’s nothing wrong with stretching the borders and there’s also nothing wrong with combining music and styles to something mind-blowing new. But there's also the risk that this approach doesn't lead to pure excitement. Such an endeavors can easily end up at a place where you getting lost in the sounds and styles, resulting into something that feels forced. Man With A Mission is one these bands that mixes two main genres – alternative rock and electro pop to something that sounds like pure sonic sugar. And as it is with sweet stuff, you actually don’t want it but after having started you literally stick to it. The same goes for the songs that are included on Man On A Mission’s newest album “Dead End in Tokyo”.

I have to grant the band starting with live shows, including an American tour in 2010 which led them to some club shows in the U.S. of A. After such a start on stage the band began to record songs ending up on several releases up to day.

The newest album is called “Dead End in Tokyo” and I guess it will not be a dead end for the band. Due to the catchy electro-pop elements the music has the potential to reach the mainstream quite easily. However, the music of Mission Of A Man is far too predictable, has no surprises and is far too much dressed for success. Maybe the intention of the quintet was and is different, but the result gives the mentioned impression.  And I don't want to bother you with the ‘wolf-masks’ they are wearing,incl. the entire story around the ‘why’.

One good thing though. Man On A Mission are easier to digest than the other hype coming from Japan, Baby Metal. I guess the days when bands like Loudness stood for Japanese metal are either over or ended up in lala-land.

If you’re a ‘man on a mission’, looking for new stuff with an open mind, you can check out this album. But watch out, you might stick to it.

 

(5/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Dead End in Tokyo
  2. Hey Now
  3. Brave it out
  4. Raise Your Flag
  5. Seven Deadly Sins
  6. Dog Days
  7. Survivor (Live from the Worlds on Fire tour)
  8. Give it Away (Live from the Worlds on Fire tour)
  9. The World’s on Fire (Live from the Worlds on Fire tour)

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Modern Pop Metal

Release Date EU: June 23rd, 2017

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CD review STONE SOUR "Hydrograd"

Veröffentlicht am 20. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in News, CD Review, Stone Sour, Coery Taylor, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Rock, Punkrock

CD review STONE SOUR "Hydrograd"

(9/10) End of June marks the return of Stone Sour, having a new album right in the starting blocks. The 15 songs containing longplayer is entitled “Hydrograd” and comes via Roadrunner Records.

The bands achievements over the last 1,5 decades is pretty impressive. The group has its roots back in 1992 when Stone Sour was founded by Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor. After some first demos the band went on a hiatus in the late 90’s, just to return with even more powerful in the beginning of the new millennium. The debut “Stone Sour” was the starting point of a success story that’s ongoing up to date. The quintet won the ‘Revolver Golden Gods’ Award as well as they have been nominated three times for the Grammy Award. Their latest release “House of Gold & Bones” dates back to 2012/2013 and was released in two steps, followed four years later by the new smasher “Hydrograd”.

The new album covers a lot of styles and genres. Typical Stone Sour alternative metal melts more and more with rock and traditional heavy metal with even some punk influences that can be found on the new record. The first thing you get to hear is a song/intro called “YSIF” which reminded me party of Faith No More. “Taipei Person – Allah Tea” is the first ‘real’ track’ and it's a tune that comes in the typical Stone Sour fashion. The verse is modern metal-based while the chorus stands for a well implemented melodic counterpart.

Things continue quite heavy with “Knievel Has Landed” while the title track “Hydrograd” puts groove into the center. “Song #3”, which actually song number five on the tracklist, shows some more American punk influences. The tune is one of the first singles releases of the album and looking on the airplay potential I guess it’s a good choice. “Fabuless” is a darker song that’s angry and party depressive, building a good contrast to the before mentioned easy-going “Song #3”.

After those heavy tunes it’s the right moment to break the noise with some partly calmer tones. “The Witness Trees” is such a song. Not being a ballad at all, the track provides a moment to take a deep breath before the up-tempo “Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song is Dumb & So I Am)” and also “Thank God it’s Over” act as the next energizers. However, the album comes with a ballad too. “St Marie” is the silent hymn on “Hydrograd”.

Towards the end of this fantastic longplayer things get harder again. “Whiplash Pants” is a pushing modern metal song and “Friday Knights” unveils an enormous intensity build on a moderate pace. One of the best tracks on the album is the raging “Somebody Stole My Eyes”. This tune is not made for compromises and hits bulls eye. It’s the powerhouse that’s need at the end of a pretty long tracklist and with the closer the silent tones are back. “When the Fever Broke” is an atmospheric song that is touching and intense. This beautiful number rounds off an album that will strengthen Stone Sour’s top-of-the-list position in modern rock and metal music.

Corey Taylor and Co. add another milestone to their impressive discography, showing a band that found their own style, which includes a variation of sounds and elements, all fitting together in an excellent manner, creating this masterpiece.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. YSIF
  2. Taipei Person – Allah Tea
  3. Knievel Has Landed
  4. Hydrograd
  5. Song #3
  6. Fabuless
  7. The Witness Trees
  8. Rose Red Violent Blue (This Song is Dumb & So I Am)
  9. Thank God It’s Over
  10. St Marie
  11. Mercy
  12. Whiplash Pants
  13. Friday Knights
  14. Somebody Stole My Eyes
  15. When the Fever Broke

 

Label: Roadrunner Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: June 30th, 2017

Photo: Travis Shinn (Promo)

Photo: Travis Shinn (Promo)

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CD review ANATHEMA "The Optimist"

Veröffentlicht am 17. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Anathema, News, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Rock, Kscope, CD Review, Alternative Rock

CD review ANATHEMA "The Optimist"

(9/10) Quite some years ago Anathema went through a meta(l)morphosis, moving step by step from being doom death outfit to one of Europe's finest alternative rock bands. Albums like "Alternative 4" and "A Natural disaster" belongs to the best the band ever released with the new longplayer fitting perfectly into this context.

"The Optimist" is the name of the new studio output, a masterpiece featuring eleven new compositions that are jaw-dropping good. Anathema's music is more than just songs, all together leading to the tracklist of an album. Each of these tunes in itself is a little treat for ear, mind and soul.

The starting point to this new story is a location well-known by Anathema fans. "32.63N 117.14W" are the coordinates of Silver Strand Beach, the place where the optimist disappeared at the end of the 2001 release "A Fine Day to Exit". In this sense the new disc bridges a period of 16 years, continuing in the here and now with beautiful soundscapes and big arcs of melodies.

"The Optimist" is not just and album. These songs are art, music that comes with an enormous emotional depth and a high level of inspiration. Regardless if it's the rocking songs like "Leaving it Behind", the beautiful title track or the light-hearted "Can't Let Go", things are done just in perfection by the Cavanagh brother and band mates. This album use more than the standard fashion. Here we are talking about cinematic music being a kick start for your own product of  imagination. What supports this approach is the contribution of soundtrack composer Paul Leonard Morgan who was brought into picture by producer Tony Doogan. It feels like this collaboration added an extra layer to Anathema's soulful music, captured on "The Optimist".

To sum up: "The Optimist" is the highly anticipated new album of Anathema, a band that belongs to the best alternative rock music can offer. This album is everything but no musical fast-food. This record comes with a rich offer which makes it to an exciting one, underlining the importance of the band in contemporary European rock music.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. 32.63N 117.14W
  2. Leaving it Behind
  3. Endless Ways
  4. The Optimist
  5. San Francisco
  6. SpringfieldGhosts
  7. Can't Let Go
  8. Close Your Eyes
  9. Wildfires
  10. Back to the Start

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: June 9th, 2017

 

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BLACK SPACE RIDERS back in the studio

Veröffentlicht am 20. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Black Space Riders, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Prog Rock, News

German alternative metal outfit Black Space Riders will start recording their upcoming album in July this year. As singer/guitarist JE states, the band has enough songs, in various styles, to easily fill a double disc release. The album is planned to hit the record stores beginning of 2018.

Photo: Promotion

Photo: Promotion

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CD review SOLSTAFIR “Berdreyminn”

Veröffentlicht am 19. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Solstafir, News, CD Review, Season Of Mist, Heavy Metal, Rock, Alternative Rock, Atmospheric Metal, Iceland Metal

(10/10) Unfortunately I never made to Iceland. This place seems to be one of the most exciting ones with an impressive landscape of glaciers, volcanoes and hot springs. Almost like planet earth unveiling it’s full inside beauty, the island is a mystic place. Why do I mention all this? Solstafir calls Iceland their homebase and what the guys release on their sixth album “Berdreyminn” could be the soundtrack for a documentary of this beautiful Northern island.

Eight songs offer a very impressive journey through atmospheric rock music. The four guys create a lot of excitement by playing around with almost fragile moments that within a second turn into harsh hymns with heavy guitars and intense vocals. In case you never heard something from the quartet you only need to listen to the opener “Silfur – Refur”. This track includes all you can expect from the band. The gloomy beginning of this tune almost reminds a bit of a western movie before the song builds up slowly to a mighty piece of music that rolls on and on. Ibjörn Tryggvason’s vocals make things even more intense since he strengthens the emotional depth of the track very much. But be careful; listening to this tune means becoming hooked on Solstafir’s sound. This music casts a spell over you and you can't let loose anymore.

No worries, there are seven more songs, to satisfy your demands, all between seven and eight minutes, revealing the beauty of rock music. Solstafir doesn’t write songs. These guys create touching acoustic moments that reach your heart and soul. Closing the while listening to anthems like “Dyrafjordur” are “Naros” immediately start the mental cinema –it feels like a flight across Iceland, an experience that’s filled with impressive moments and views. “Berdreyminn” is bringing this moving moment right into your living room.

The eight songs are for sure no musical fast food. These tunes, even though showing their beauty from the first time listening to them, need time and focus. There are so many details weaved in that the joy of listening to “Berdreyminn” remains an endless pleasure.

Solstafir’s previous longplayer “Otta” was already a great album that gets overtrumped by their new one. Regardless what genre of rock or metal belongs to your favorites – if you like great music you have to listen to this mind-blowing release. It’s hard to see an album in 2017 that was or will be better than this one. It’s a masterpiece.

 

(10/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Silfur – Refur
  2. Isafold
  3. Hula
  4. Naros
  5. Hvit Saeng
  6. Dyrafjordur
  7. Ambatt
  8. Blafjall

 

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Atmospheric Metal

Release Date EU: May 26th, 2017

CD review SOLSTAFIR “Berdreyminn”
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CD review HELL OR HIGHWATER "Vista"

Veröffentlicht am 15. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Hell Or Highwater, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, Alternative Rock, News, Spinefarm, Rock, CD Review

(6/10) Hell Or Highwater is  side project of Atreyu drummer/singer Brandon Saller. The first release is from 2011 followed by an EP entitled "The Other Side". The sophomore record "Vista" will is in the starting blocks as we speak, a longplayer that comes with twelve songs

This album feels a bit like 'come hell or high water'. There's basically nothing wrong with this release. The songs benefit from a proper production and the artwork doesn't give any reason for complaints either. It's more the songs on this album that come without real ups and downs. There are no downers on this longplayer but the search for smashers stays unsuccessful too. "Vista" has something of a river with a constant flow that carried some energy without bursting out of the riverbed. 
 
The most energizing track on the album is the opener with its heavier guitar sounds, all reminding of melodic modern metal. After such a forceful start the disc has with "Don't Hate Me" another little highlight before the rest of the album drifts away in well-done anonymity.
 
After having listened to the album several times I have to conclude that things on "Vista" are done professionally and if you're in favor of modern rock music you can surely decide to go for this longplayer. It's though a but fluffy and what I miss are the thrilling moments that make the difference.
 
 
(6/10)
 
 
Tracklist:
  1. Colors
  2. Walk Out in the Rain
  3. Don't Hate Me
  4. Another Good Time
  5. Lighter Than Air
  6. Blister
  7. Don't Stop. Get Up.
  8. Dame
  9. Washed Away
  10. Pieces
  11. I Want It All
  12. Revolution

 

Label: Spienfarm Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: May 19th, 2017

CD review HELL OR HIGHWATER "Vista"
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CD review SEETHER "Poison the Parish"

Veröffentlicht am 11. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Seether, Post Grunge, Grunge, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, News, Spinefarm, CD Review

(8/10) "Poison the Parish" is Seether's seventh album and it's a strong one. Three years after having had "Isolate and Medicate" out there in the shops the new longplayer comes with twelve new songs that are all excellent rockers.

"Stoke the Fire" is the opener and it immediately ignites the fire of hard rocking music. Post-grunge meets modern riffs, all leading to an aggressive song that will work perfectly in a live environment. There are more of these tracks on the album. "let You Down" is one of them and also "Nothing Left" is a raging outburst of power.

But these loud moments are just one aspect of what Seether offers on this longplayer. One of the best tunes on the album is called "Something Else". The beauty of this anthem is the combination of melody, harsh guitars and soulful moments that are in constant interaction; a mixture that also makes the following "I'll Survive" to a real treat. It's Nirvana that shimmers through a bit in the verse, while the melodic chorus catches you directly.

Talking about soulful moments - "Against the Wall" is the name of another one on "Poison the Parish". It's the track that's probably best for widening the fanbase. It's a ballad that's not really coming from another planet and it might live up to certain standards, but it's drowning in the deep sea of cliches.

I have to admit that Seether was for a long time a kind of side note for me, but I start enjoy their music and songs. Especially the last two longplayers feature tracks that belong to the best post-grunge can offer these days. If the quality of an album can be described by how often you listen to it, than "Poison the Parish" is a damn good one.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Stoke the Fire
  2. Betray and Degrade
  3. Something Else
  4. I'll Survive
  5. Let You Down
  6. Against the Wall
  7. Let Me Heal
  8. Saviours
  9. Nothing Left
  10. Count Me Out
  11. Emotionless
  12. Sell My Soul

 

Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: May 12th, 2017

CD review SEETHER "Poison the Parish"
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CD review WHEEL "The Path" EP

Veröffentlicht am 2. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Wheel, Prog Metal, Prog Rock, Alternative Rock, Alternative Metal, News, CD Review, Umbrella Artist Productions, Rock

(8/10) Here comes some prog power from the North. Finland is the home base of Wheel, a metal outfit that started 2 years ago. “The Path” is the first countable result of their work – a three track EP that provides 23 minutes of surprisingly good progressive metal.

Recorded at 5by5 Studios in Helsinki the disc can be seen as an appetizer for next release which is planned for late 2017. “Farewell” is the first tune, featuring heavy riffs that blends with melodic vocal lines. Especially the beginning, with the strong groove, brought bands like the mighty Tool to my mind. The song is a constant interplay between loud and harsh on the one hand while also being more silent at other moments. These six minutes should be checked out by fans of modern progressive metal.

After such an energetic opener the beginning of “The Change” feels like a quiet and harmonic entry point into a song that slowly gains heaviness; standing for the second strike on this three-track EP. Last but not least there’s the title track that’s the closer at the same time. It’s a more complex number that comes with a multi-layered approach. The emotional aspect is more in the forefront and there is a silent melancholy that’s weaved into the track.

Wheel is an interesting newcomer for fans of progressive metal and their first EP will definitely help them to largen their fan base.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Farewell
  2. The Change
  3. The Path

 

Label: Umbrella Artist Productions

Genre: Prog Metal

Release Date EU: April 21st, 2017

CD review WHEEL "The Path" EP
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CD review FARMER BOYS "You and Me" 7"

Veröffentlicht am 25. April 2017 von Markus W. in Farmer Boys, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, Crossover, News, Live, CD Review

(8/10) After some years of absence German alternative metal outfit Farmer Boys is back. Alex Scholpp, Matze Sayer and the rest of the gang have been pretty much in the spotlight during the 90’s. It was a time when the band released the debut “Countrified” which was followed by three more longplayers. “The Other Side”, released in 2004, marked the beginning of the end, or at least the start of a hiatus. The band’s status was always a bit blurry since activities decreased dramatically and with the expectation of a handful of live shows the Stuttgart-based metal powerhouse slowly slipped off the radar.

13 years after having released the latest studio album Farmer Boys are back with a big bang. Next to Scholpp and Sayer also founding member Ralf Botzenhart is back with Farmer Boys; a line-up that’s completed by Richard Due and Timm Schreiner.

The first countable output of this Swabian quintet is a 7” that was released a few days ago. Supported by a video clip it’s “You and Me” that brings Farmer Boys back to business. The title track is a melodic alternative rock song that brings creates a modernized 90’s vibe. It comes with some good hooks and the catchy expression is opening the gate to a wider group of rock music enthusiasts.

The second song, “Revolt”, acts as a kind of counterbalance. This tune is harsher and more metallic and explodes in the chorus. The verse though is more of an ease and pretty melodic. Both songs together are an excellent ones to give people, who missed the band's first era, an understanding of what Farmer Boys and their music is about.

The last song, which is actually number one in the batting order, is “Emperor”. It’s more an intro that starts silent and evolves to a cinematic instrumental.

The band can be also experienced live on stage since they have planned three shows in Germany:

27.04. Hamburg, Hafenklang
28.04. Köln, Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld
29.04. Stuttgart, Longhorn

All this are first teasers and the 7" is the precursor for a full-length studio album with a release date planned for later this year. Welcome back Farmer Boys!

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Emperor
  2. You and Me
  3. Revolt

 

Label: Eat The Beat Music

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: April 21st, 2017

CD review FARMER BOYS "You and Me" 7"
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CD review LIFE OF AGONY „A Place Where There’s No More Pain“

Veröffentlicht am 18. April 2017 von Markus W. in Life Of Agony, Hardcore, News, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Punk, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Napalm Records

(9/10) The history of Life Of Agony is a really exciting one. Like a rollercoaster the band went through ups and downs, all leading to their newest album „A Place Where There’s No More Pain“.

But let’s take it one by one. It was in 1993 when an album almost turned the metal world upside down. „River Runs Red“ was the name of the debut, released by a four-piece band hailing from Brooklyn, New York – Life Of Agony. It was this energetic mixture of hardcore, metal and rock that created a lot of excitement and the record is still one of my personal faves. Songs like the title track, „This Time" and „Through and Through“ are intense songs with an intensity the band never reached again to such an extend.

„Ugly“ the successor, was a good album too even though it couldn't reach the class of the debut. The beginning of the end, the first end, was in 1997 when singer Keith Caputo left the band, being replaced by Ugly Kid Joe singer Whitfield Crane. Two years later the band announced their split and the first chapter of Life Of Agony was closed.

The second era started in 2003 with two sold-out shows in New York, followed by a new studio album entitled „Broken Valley“ but after a few more years the disbanded for a second time at the end of 2011.

It looks like the four guys can’t let loose of the band since it was in 2014 when Life Of Agony has been re-vitalized and lucky enough the quartet wrote and recorded new songs that ended up on their fifth longplayer. Life Of Agony found a new home with Napalm Records and end of April fans can finally hold some new stuff of the NY-based metal gang in their hands.

Comparing the new longplayer with the debut wouldn’t be fair. Times changed and things evolved. However, „A Place Where There’s No More Pain“ became an excellent album that I haven’t expected to be that strong and energetic. It feels like the hiatus had a positive impact – a period in which the quartet got hungry again for heavy alternative metal that includes all Life Of Agony trademarks – excellent vocals by Mina Caputo, razorblade-sharp riffs by Joey Z. and a groove machine that consist out of Alan Robert and Sal Abruscato. This original line-up unveils an album that is filled with ten highlights. I couldn’t indentify any filler on this longplayer that is bursting with energy.

„Meet the Maker’ kicks it off with a modern riffing and vocal lines that are a 100% Life Of Agony. There is a certain melancholy embedded in the opener that’s balanced with a great melody. Another song I would like to stand still for a moment is the title track that is build in a thrilling fashion. With a moderate paced verse and a more upbeat chorus the song is a treat for ears and mind.

„Dead Speak Kindly“ is a darker song with a reduced tempo before „A New Low”, with a dominant bass line, slowly creeps into your mind. A thrilling break is the pepperoni on this metal pizza, making things even more tasteful.

The catchiest song on the album is „Bag of Bones“. ‚Catchy’ in this context doesn’t mean commercial. It just sticks after the first time listening to it, before „Walking Catastrophe“ dominates the scene with heavy riffs. The end of the longplayer is a quiet one. „Little Spots of You“ is a wistful piano ballad that includes a lot of pain as well as some light-hearted moments. But even these lighter moments are covered in grey shades flowing round your soul. This song is very unusual as well as it’s a great experiment with a ‚deadly’ end.

„A Place Where There’s No More Pain“ became the expected awesome new Life Of Agony longplayer that shows that band in great shape and form. This album is the best one since „Ugly“ maybe even since „River Runs Red“. The four piece kept the intensity in their music that became more mature but for sure not less loud. This album is a ‚must have’.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Meet My Maker
  2. Right This Wrong
  3. A Place Where There’s No More Pain
  4. Dead Speak Kindly
  5. A New Low
  6. World Gone Mad
  7. Bag Of Bones
  8. Walking Catastrophe
  9. Song For The Abused
  10. Little Spots Of You

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017

CD review LIFE OF AGONY „A Place Where There’s No More Pain“
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Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017

Veröffentlicht am 16. April 2017 von Markus W. in Pain Of Salvation, Port Noir, News, Live Review, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Gebr De Nobel

Swedish metal Easter part one – that’s how the header for this years metallic Easter time could look like. Gebr De Nobel in Leiden hosts two shows with Swedish/Finish bands. Before Gothenburg’s melodic death metal pioneers Dark Tranquillity will hit the stage on Monday it was a prog metal package that enchanted the audience on Saturday night. Prog metal band Pain Of Salvation is on tour through Europe, promoting their newest longplayer “In the Passing Light of Day” and stopped for three shows in 'tulip country'. Together with their support act Port Noir, a band from the greater Stockholm area, the main act ignited a metal fireworks that included all facets progressive metal music could include.

The band that was supposed to break the first ground was Port Noir. Already before the show started, it was a photo in the middle of the stage that created some question marks in people’s minds – at least with the ones not knowing the background. The photo showed a portrait of Port Noir’s former live bassist Kalle Ojala who passed away a month ago and it was the photo that made him present during this show.

With such a heavy burden Port Noir hit the road and after having seen the concert I can report that it was more than worth the effort. The trio nailed down a show that was very well received by the audience. I’m not sure how many fans came for the opener, but Port Noir took everybody’s heart by storm. That the Swedes have great songs in their backpack is something we know already from the latest studio longplayer “Any Way the Wind Carries”. It was more the energy the guys unleashed that was impressive. It almost felt like they wanted to get out of this sadness mode of the last weeks by playing each of the tunes so heavy and loud. At the end of their 40 minutes set the trio received a more than warm applause from an adrenalized crowd.

Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017
Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017
Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017

That means that fans were prepared for the main act and after a short break Pain Of Salvation filled the room with the first notes. “Full Throttle Tribe” from the latest album was a perfect entry point for a two-hour show that was highly entertaining. As not expected differently it was the “In the Passing Light of Day” album that built the core of this show including all highlights of the latest longplayer. Enriched by some earlier tacks from “Remedy Lane” and the two “Road Salt” records, the set showcased pretty much all the periods of Daniel Gildenlöw and band. Each of the twelve songs that have been played that night were real highlights, also showing the development of the band over time. While all of the tunes being a 100% Pain Of Salvation, it has been the newer tracks that showed a level of intensity that was (and is) simply jaw dropping.

It wasn’t that much talking that night and it was the music that was the main point of interest. However, the moments Gildenlöw used for talking to the fans were special too. With a twinkle in the eye he mentioned the sadness of an Easter day like this with Jesus dying that day, followed by another, more serious moment of sadness when the frontman talked about the recent drop of the ‘Mother of all bombs’ and one thing was crystal clear: Pain Of Salvation fans are no Donald Trump supporters.

Time was flying and the show came closer to an end. Normally a band plays two to three songs as the encore. In Pain Of Salvation's case it was one track, but that one had a length of 15 minutes. Gildenlöw announce the closer as a song that everybody should experience in its entirety by though away all the mobile phones and just listen to a terrific version of  “In the Passing Light of Day”, a song that was true grand finale of a show that featured the full spectrum of what progressive metal music stands for. The show included heavy, sometimes almost brutal riffs, moving emotional moment and fragile sequences in which you could have heard a pin drop.

I can't imagine anybody leaving this how with unmet expectations. These 120 minutes belong to the best ones spend in concerts so far in 2017.

 

Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017
Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017
Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017
Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017
Live report PAIN OF SALVATION / PORT NOIR, Gebr. de Nobel, Leiden, 15.04.2017

Setlist:

  1. Full Throttle Tribe
  2. Reasons
  3. Meaningless
  4. Linoleum
  5. A Trace of Blood
  6. Rope Ends
  7. Beyond the Pale
  8. Ashes
  9. Silent Gold
  10. On a Tuesday
  11. The Physics of Gridlock
  12. The Passing Light of Day (Encore)

 

Location: Gebr. De Nobel, Leiden, The Netherlands

Date: April 15th, 2017

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CD review CORRODED "Defcon One"

Veröffentlicht am 13. April 2017 von Markus W. in Corroded, Despotz, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Modern Metal, Melodic Metal, News, CD Review

(7/10) Swedish alternative metal outfit Corroded is back with a new longplayer which is the first one after a period of 5 years. Half a decade without a new album seems to be very long in fast-moving times, carrying the risk of being left behind – and things can change over time.

“Defcon Zero” is the fourth album of this quartet from Sweden and it includes a line-up change. Guitarist Peter Sjödin left the band in 2015 and was replaced by Tomas Andersson. I can’t really tell you to what extend this impacted the new album but what I can say is that the expression of “Defcon One” is slightly more ‘light-hearted’ than the earlier releases. We are still not talking about happy metal and the sirens in the beginning of “Gun and a Bullet” speaks a clear language, but there is some more hope weaved into the some of the tracks.

The width of Corroder’s sound is quite wide. There are mighty alternative riffs that bolsters songs like the mentioned “Gun and a Bullet”. “Fall of a Nation” is another number that comes with a similar pattern and also “Burn it to the Ground” is a strong riff based metal track that convinces with hardness and a rough appeal.

To not become too one dimensional Corroded added some more silent songs in the middle section of the album. “Day of Judgement” is rooted in alternative rock. It’s in general more quiet than most of the other songs even though it still rock very well. “A Note to Myself” takes things even further with being a silent and reflective tune that can be described as a typical alternative rock ballad. It’s a nice track but Corroded sounds better when hitting hard; a thought that becomes even stronger while listening to a more standard ballad.

I can’t say that “Defcon One” is a bad album. Most of the songs on this longplayer are entertaining, well-done and supported by a solid production. The only point of critic is that Corroded’s new record misses this ‘wow’ –factor and moments of unexpected surprise. “Defcon One” is very much down-to-earth, with all the good and bad that comes with it.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Carry Me My Bones
  2. Gun and a Bullet
  3. Retract and Disconnect
  4. Fall of a Nation
  5. Vessels of Hate
  6. Day of Judgement
  7. A Note to Me
  8. Burn It to the Ground
  9. DRF
  10. Feel Fine
  11. Rust and Nail

 

Label: Despotz Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: April 14th, 2017

CD review CORRODED "Defcon One"
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CD review ART OF ANARCHY "The Madness"

Veröffentlicht am 13. April 2017 von Markus W. in Art Of Anarchy, Hardrock, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, News, Century Media, Rock, Disturbed, Guns'n'Roses, Votta, Scott Strapp

(7/10) The term “super group” is tossed around very loosely these days. Some people probably consider Art Of Anarchy as such a super group with musicians that have a strong identity. Artist being well-known from bands like Guns’n’Roses (Ron ‘Bumblefoot Thal) and Disturbed (John Mayer) plus Jon and Vince Votta means high expectations. And the fact of Scott Stapp takes over the role as singer for Art Of Anarchy increases curiosity and interest in the band. 

The debut was release in summer 2015 with Scott Wieland doing the vocals and two years later the sophomore release “The Madness” follows. The band doesn't take the easy way out when choosing their frontmen. We know how it ended with Weiland, while Art Of Anarchy is, after Creed and his solo releases, he first band for Stapp after many years of ups and downs.

But let's talk about the album. The beginning of "The Madness" sounds quite thrilling. "Echo of a Scream" comes with a massive rhythm line and a chorus that's catchy, but not soft, sweet and lazy. Also "1000 degrees' is, what else should it be with such a title, pretty hot and loud. It has an almost hypnotic beat that's pushing hard. Things get gloomier with "No Surrender", a song with a well-crafted too and includes a cool chorus.

Unfortunately there are tunes on "The Madness" that might be good rock songs, but also more average ones. "Won't Let You Down" sounds like Creed 2.0 and also "Changed Man" comes out of the speakers like something I've heard many times before.

Fortunately there are some real sonic crackers in the second half too. "A Light in Me" and slowly grooving "Dancing With the Devil", the best track on the album, can be earmerked as real winners.

"The Madness" is a solid album; a record that has its highlights when the guys play loud and heavy. All in all it's an entertaining way to spend 40 minutes and there is the chance of pressing the 'Play'-button again.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Echo of A Scream
  2. 1000 Degrees
  3. No Surrender
  4. The Madness
  5. Won't Let You Down
  6. Changed Man
  7. A Light in Me
  8. Somber
  9. Dancing With the Devil
  10. Afterburn

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: March 24th, 2017

CD review ART OF ANARCHY "The Madness"
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CD review ROYAL THUNDER "Wick"

Veröffentlicht am 3. April 2017 von Markus W. in Royal Thunder, Classic Rock, Hardrock, Rock, Alternative Rock, News, CD Review, Spinefarm Records

(9/10) The first time I took notice of Royal Thunder was two years ago when the four piece band from Atlanta. Georgia released an album called “Crooked Doors”. I was very impressed of what I got to hear. Royal Thunder released an album that was build on a sold foundation of classic rock with a singer, Mlny Parsonz, who was not only singing some lyrics – she was living each and every singer note in these quite personal songs.

Almost to date two years later the anticipated third album will be shipped to the record stores and it’s named “Wick”. The longplayer comes with twelve new songs that can easily live up to the quality of the sophomore record “Crooked Doors”.

Royal Thunder songs are not fully written and arranged before the band enters the studio. Actually it’s a lot of creativity that evolves to great tunes while recording the album. On of the songs though that was almost finished before starting the recording was the first single release. As it fits to the release date it’s “April Showers” that is an impressive and powerful track, belonging to the highlights on an excellent done longplayer. As with the earlier release its; Parsonz powerful vocals, with a lot of feel included, that enriches each of the 12 songs. Another song I want to stand still for a second is “Plans”. Based on an idea of bass player Will Fiora the song belongs to most intense ones on an album that’s full of climaxes. Acoustic guitar, vocals and a powerful drumbeat dominate the scene, giving the number a different appeal than the rest of the numbers of “Wick”.

Actually I could mention each of the tunes since they are all good. However, “Wick”, the title track” is another one I would like to mention. It’s an emotional song with strong lyrics. The song gives a wider range of interpretation. Besides that it was Mlny’s frustration during the songwriting that lead to these lyrics and you can feel the angriness on the one hand with a ‘don’t give up’-energy level that comes with it too.

“Wick” is an album that is mind-blowing in a sense that it comes with songs that gets under the skin. It’s the musical masterpiece that comes with lyrics that are more than just words. These songs are like a photo of a band at this very moment in time.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Burning Tree
  2. April Shower
  3. Tied
  4. We Slipped
  5. The Sunking Chair
  6. Plans
  7. Anchor
  8. Wick
  9. Push
  10. Turnaround
  11. The Well
  12. We Never Fell Asleep

 

Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: April 7th, 2017

CD review ROYAL THUNDER "Wick"
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