Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

alternative rock

CD review DUNDERBEIST "Tvilja"

Veröffentlicht am 30. März 2017 von Markus W. in Dunderbeist, Classic Rock, Rock, Hardrock, Alternative Rock, News, CD Review, Indie Recordings

(7/10) Norwegian rock and metal outfit Dunderbeist worked on a new EP that hits the shelfs in March. This disc is the highly anticipated successor of the 2015 release “Hyklere", an album that received very positive feedback from fans and media.

"Tvilja", the new EP of the six Norwegians, comes with five tracks. Based on classic rock, Dunderbeist embarks on a dark trip that sounds pretty good. "Kometen Kom" is the first track and it the title indicates the fact that the lyrics are kept in Norwegian. Since my Norwegian isn't existing I can't tell you a lot about what the tunes are about. What I can say though is that the opener is a melodic rocker, mostly kept in mid-pace and spiced-up with a good melodic approach.

Things get darker with "Terpentin" before "Vakum"'covers the scenery with melancholy. You might have a need for a more uptempo track and you'll get it. The title track feels almost light-hearted compared to what you got served beforehand. "Isvind (grå gås)" is already the last song on this EP and brings back the mournful vibe, even though the chorus got a slightly different expression.

Dunderbeist's new EP is a well-crafted piece of creation. It will not turn the world upside down but it comes with almost 30 minutes of good music that's worth to be checked out.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Kometen Kom
  2. Terpentin
  3. Vakum
  4. Tvilja
  5. Grå gås (Isvind)

 

Label: Indie Recordings

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: March 10th, 2017

CD review DUNDERBEIST "Tvilja"
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CD review MASTODON "Emperor of Sand"

Veröffentlicht am 28. März 2017 von Markus W. in Mastodon, Alternative Metal, Stoner Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Alternative Rock, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, News, CD Review

(9/10) My Mastodon trip started with their sophomore album „Leviathan“. This disc made more than an impression and still belongs to my all-time-faves. This was 13 years ago and in the meantime the Atlanta-based band released many more records with an constantly growing supporters base.

„Emperor of Sand“ is the newest work of art, an album that was recorded at The Quarry Recording Studio, produced by Brendan O’Brien who did already the 2009 release „Crack the Skye“. The band uses the story of a wanderer, who’s on a journey through an hostile to life desert and what sounds like a fantasy story is actually a metaphor for the effect and suffering of long-term sicknesses like cancer. In these kind of situations time gets very important, asking the first question: How much time do I have. Mortality becomes all of a sudden a beast that tries to catch hold of you.

The newest longplayer is the most mature one up to date. The four-piece band makes use of so many different styles, bringing them all together on an album that stands with 100% for Mastodon.

"Sultan's Curse", a pounding song, acts as the opener for the album. It's a mid-pace number that has quite melodic vocal lines, interacting with a guitar sound that alternates between heavy riffing and melodic leads. The latter brings a certain classic rock feeling to the table that's well embedded. The next masterpiece is entitled "Show Yourself" which is surprisingly melodic - almost a bit too catchy for my taste. It comes with an alternative rock expression that fits very well; for me the song is the one that’s the easiest accessible on the album.

A track that is very straight-forward too is called "Precious Stone", blending  heaviness and melancholy; all with a kind of late 90’s grunge factor. And if there was any ease in some of the earlier song, this is gone with the first riff of „Steambreather". The almost swinging approach of some of the earlier songs turns into a darker and gloomier one. A hypnotic riff builds the base for the track that belongs to the best ones on the album. You can almost feel the desert heat, making life of the wanderer to a threatening experience between life and death. The song is like a sonic Fata Morgana and belongs to the pearls on this record.

What comes next got the name of "Roots Remain" and it feels like the band going back to the roots. The number is harsher than the earlier ones and especially the beginning feels like going back to the band's roots. The rougher vocals, that makes this tune to heavy pounder, underlines this too. But Mastodon is more than all the mentioned. The band incorporates progressive elements as well. „Candestiny“ is such a song that uses a 70’s progrock vibe, strengthened by the inclusion of a Moog. And as of it should act as a brutal counterpart, it’s „Andromeda“ that stands for the most brute song on the album.

„Scorpion Breathe“ combines hard-hitting drums with immense riffs; all build on a pumping bass, before the first notes of „Jaguar God“ introduce the ending of this awesome album. An acoustic guitar starts off a song that gains intensity with getting really mighty towards the end. It’s a closer that shows again the potential and capabilities of a band that was constantly growing over the last years, permanently increasing their fan base.

“Emperor of Sand” is the expected big shot of a band that developed over time to one of the most influential ones in rock and metal.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Sultan's Curse
  2. Show Yourself
  3. Precious Stone
  4. Steambreather
  5. Roots Remain
  6. Word to the Wise
  7. Ancient Kingdom
  8. Candestiny
  9. Andromeda
  10. Scorpion Breath
  11. Jaguar God

 

Label: Reprise/Warner

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: March 31st, 2017

CD review MASTODON "Emperor of Sand"
Photo by Jimmy Hubbard

Photo by Jimmy Hubbard

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CD review ONE OK ROCK "Ambitions"

Veröffentlicht am 24. März 2017 von Markus W. in One OK Rock, Modern Rock, Rock, Alternative Rock, News, Warner, Hardrock

(6/10) It's always good to have ambitions in life. These bring us further, supporting our development and individual growth. I guess the guys of One OK Rock have ambitions too, individually and as a band. I don't know what these ambitions are, but listening to the album feels like the band wants to play safe with not too much put the head above the parapet. It feels like the appetite for risk isn't too big.

"Ambitions" is the bands seventh album and it features eleven new songs. Talking about 'ambitions', it wasn't an ambition to create a long album since it's with 38 minutes on the rather short side.

What the band succeeded with is to create catchy songs that are made for a mainstream audience. Each of the tracks comes without any rough edges. I would call their sound alternative bubblegum rock with songs like "American Girl" that are more pop/rock than anything else. What I miss with this album is the human factor and an own identity. The sound of the album feels like heard many times before and it's the unique trademarks that's missing. However, the production is done well, leading to a powerful sound.

"Ambitions" is an album that is sticky sweet - for the good and the bad. One OK Rock sounds professional, aiming for a bigger audience, but if this is what metalheads are looking for is something I doubt.

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ambitions -Intorduction-
  2. Bombs Away
  3. Taking Off
  4. We Are
  5. Jaded
  6. Hard to Love
  7. Bedroom Warfare
  8. American Girls
  9. I Was King
  10. Listen
  11. One Way Ticket

 

Label: Warner

Genre: Modern Rock

Release Date EU: January 13th, 2017

CD review ONE OK ROCK "Ambitions"
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LP review "IRON MAGAZINE "Queen of Hell" EP

Veröffentlicht am 21. März 2017 von Markus W. in Iron Magazine, Danko Jones, Alternative Rock, Prog Rock, Hardrock, Modern Rock, Ektro Records, CD Review, LP Review, News

(8/10) Iron Magazine isn’t a new rock magazine. It’s the name of a band/project that describes themselves as ‘boundary-crushing-finno-canuck hard-prog team-up’. It might sound a bit crazy, but it is what it is and it’s the right description of what you can expect from “Queen of Hell”. Iron Magazine are four guys – Danko Jones, John Calabrese, Tomi Leppännen and Jussi Lehtisalo.

What this four-piece recorded is as weird as it's cool; and it doesn't really remind of Danko Jones. It might aim for a similar target group, thinking about the title track, but it’s far less approachable than what Danko Jones does with his band. This EP comes with a much wider approach. Iron Magazine mixes various styles and genres to a crossover sound that takes a while before the beauty starts to bloom.

"665" is one of these crazier songs that blends hardrock, classic rock a la Alice Cooper and unusual keyboard passages.

The next one on the batting order is entitled "Foes to Fire", which is a tune that's slower than the first two ones and it reminded me of Faith No More, at least partly. This has to do with the keyboards that are embedded as well as the phrasing of Danko Jones, something I haven’t heard of him before.

"Rise of the Death" comes last and belongs again to the more up-tempo tracks on the album. It's another confusing number that demand some time.

"Queen of Hell" is an outfit with Danko Jones, which not necessarily means that fans of the Canadian rocker also like what they get to hear on this EP. Iron Magazine is a rock project that gave creativity all the space needed, not aiming for the mainstream at all. But it can be very entertaining if you allow yourself to get into it.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Queen of Hell
  2. 665
  3. Foes to Fire
  4. Rise of the Deth

 

Label: Ektro Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: March 17th, 2017

LP review "IRON MAGAZINE "Queen of Hell" EP
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CD review BLACK MAP "In Droves"

Veröffentlicht am 14. März 2017 von Markus W. in Black Map, Alternative Rock, Post Metal, Alternative Metal, News

(8/10) The Bay Area stands for more than just being the cradle of thrash metal. Also alternative rock/metal has a home in San Fransisco, California and one of the protagonists is Black Map. The trio has released first EP and the debut some years ago and followed by the sophomore „In Droves“ which will be released in March.

The album starts heavy. After a short intro named "Transit 1" it's the first single release "Run Rabbit Run" that also acts as a wake-up call on the longplayer. Next to the special title it's the alternation between loud and catchy that makes this tune to a cool one. It's almost like a harder version of Mando Diao that meets angry screams in the chorus, followed by another melodic part. This interaction keeps the suspense level pretty high and marks a great start. 

After getting out of the starting blocks so powerful it's 'Foxglove' that needs to prove consistency. Even though the outbreaks of the opener aren't there anymore it's the hypnotic rhythm that fascinates.  

To round off the starting triple means mentioning 'Ruin', a straight-forward rock song with a modern appeal. 

Things continue that way. Black Map has well-crafted songs in their portfolio and even the 'Transit' intro is picked-up again with a short interlude named 'Transit 2' and a closing chapter 'Transit 3'.  

Black Map puts out a longplayer that is full of cool alternative rock songs that are dynamic and up-to-date. Their music can reach mainstream without being mainstream which shows  a basic strength of the guys.  

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

 

  1. Transit I
  2. Run Rabbit Run
  3. Foxglove
  4. Ruin
  5. Heavy Waves
  6. Dead Ringer
  7. Octavia
  8. Transit II
  9. No Color
  10. Indoor Kid
  11. White Fence
  12. Just My Luck
  13. Cash For The Fears
  14. Transit III
  15. Coma Phase

 

 

Label: Long Branch Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: March 10th, 2017

CD review BLACK MAP "In Droves"
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CD review KXM "Scatterbrain"

Veröffentlicht am 10. März 2017 von Markus W. in KXM, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Ratpak Records, Prog Metal, Rock, Ska, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Korn, Lynch Mob, Kings X

(9/10) I try to limit the use of the word(s) ’super group’ as much as possible, but in this case it just fits to what KXM is about. This trio from the US is definitely a super group. George Lynch (Lynch Mob, Dokken), dUg Pinnick (Kings X) and KoRn drummer Ray Luzier are well known in metal, covering various angles of rock music. These three guys created with KXM an outlet for music, which is a mélange of progressive music and heavy metal with a modern touch.

The trio released their debut in 2014. The self-titled album immediately got attention and received very good feedback from media and fans. It even landed at #31 in the Billboard Top 200.

Having such a success with a debut is doubtless a motivator for adding another chapter to this success story. A word and a blow. KXM wrote 13 new songs and recorded them at the Steakhouse Studio in North Hollywood, California. They are all combined under the banner of “Scatterbrain” which is the title of this sophomore record.

As with the debut, the trio stress and stretches the limits of rock. One fact that makes this longplayer to a really good one is that, besides all the musical brilliance, each of the songs includes a certain ease, which makes it easier for listener to follow. A tune that reflects this very well is the first one on “Scatterbrain”.

The title track has been chosen to set the scene for the album and it directly includes all of KXM’s features. Furious guitar leads, and powerful drumming and a grooving bass line. It comes with a certain level of layers that are weaved together in this number. A certain scattered approach is present but dots are connected. It's a great song with twelve more to follow, each of them being on the same high quality level.

The groove is even more intense with “Breakout”, which in my opinion belongs to the real highlights on an album that’s full of great stuff. A number that show a slightly different side of KXM is “Not a Single Word”. Including some ska and funk element feels like a well-placed distraction half way – and it shows the wide range of sounds KXM embeds in their music.

Songs like the before mentioned doesn’t mean that “Scatterbrain” is a fully easygoing album. It’s not. This record actually comes with a darker vibe that’s reflected in “Noises in the Sky”. And also the slower paced “Panic Attack” belongs to this category. The tune is covered in an ominous sphere, which reflects the uncomfortable feeling of a panic attack very well.

KXM’s new album became an excellent one. This album contains music that is modern, innovative, multi-layered and rocking. What else could you wish from a KXM album?

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Scatterbrain
  2. Breakout
  3. Big Sky Country
  4. Calypso
  5. Not a Single Word
  6. Obsession
  7. Noises in the Sky
  8. Panic Attack
  9. It’s Never Enough
  10. True Deceivers
  11. Strand
  12. Together
  13. Angel

 

Label: Ratpak Records

Genre: Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: March 17th, 2017

CD review KXM "Scatterbrain"
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DANKO JONES tour dates 2017

Veröffentlicht am 1. März 2017 von Markus W. in Danko Jones, Hardrock, Rock, Punkrock, Alternative Rock, News, Tour, Live

"Wild Cat" is the title of Danko Jones newest longplayer and it's more than just an album title and a banner for the upcoming tour. Danko Jones will unchain the 'wild cat' while touring though Europe in spring 2017. HERE are the dates.

Special guest for most shows on this tour are Norwegian Audrey Horne which makes this package to a very powerful one that you shouldn't miss.

DANKO JONES tour dates 2017
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NEW MODEL ARMY documentary and tour dates

Veröffentlicht am 27. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in New Model Army, News, Rock, Indie, Alternative Rock, Live, Tour

New Model Army will release a documentary entitled „The New Model Army Story: Between Dog and Wolf“. Release date of the DVD / Blu-ray will be March 3rd via earMUSIC.

New Model Army will be also on tour in March and here are the dates:

  • 02 March Lille, Le Splendid
  • 03 March Rennes, L'Etage
  • 04 March Vaureal, Le Forum
  • 05 March Lyon, Ninkasi Kao
  • 07 March Lausanne, Les Docks
  • 08 March Pratteln, Z7
  • 09 March Vienna, WUK
  • 10 March Budapest, Barba Negra Music Club
  • 11 March Wörgl, Komma
  • 12 March Regensburg, Mischwerk
  • 14 March Augsburg, Kantine
  • 15 March Ravensburg, Oberschwabenklub
  • 16 March Karlsruhe, Substage
  • 17 March Aschaffenburg, Colos Saal
  • 18 March Dortmund, FZW
  • 19 March Bielefeld, Ringlokschuppen
  • 21 March Rostock, Mau Club
  • 22 March Stockholm, Debaser Strand
  • 23 March Göteborg, Sticky Fingers
  • 24 March Oslo, John Dee
  • 25 March Malmö, Babel
  • 26 March Kiel, Max
  • 28 March Bremen, Aladin
  • 29 March Hengelo, Metropool
  • 30 March Rotterdam, Maassilo
  • 31 March Norwich, The Waterfront
  • 01 April Bilston, The Robin 2
  • 02 April Northampton, Roadmender
  • 04 April Glasgow, The Garage
  • 05 April Newcastle, Riverside
  • 06 April Sheffield, Corporation
  • 07 April Southampton, Engine Rooms
  • 08 April Durbuy Rock Festival (BE)
  • 27 May Bearded Theory Festival (UK)
  • 21 July Mainz, Frankfurter Hof
  • 27 August A New Day Festival (UK)
  • 28 August Castell Roc, Chepstow Castle (UK)
NEW MODEL ARMY documentary and tour dates
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CD review DANKO JONES "Wild Cat"

Veröffentlicht am 26. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Danko Jones, Heavy Metal, Punkrock, News, AFM, Hardrock, Toronto, Alternative Rock

(8/10) Toronto, ON is a great city. The Blue Jays, the Waterfront area with the lake and the CN Tower, all exciting things to watch and experience. It’s a vital city with a positive vibe that makes you feel home very easily. It’s not a surprise that the city comes with a great music scene too and Danko Jones is a part of it.

The charismatic singer and guitarist is a steady part of rock and metal too, with a bunch of studio records in his musical backpack.

Not only that Danko Jones release good records, it’s his passion for music that makes his live shows even more intense than what comes on a regular longplayer. However, new songs are important too and after having released “Fire Music” in 2015 the Canadian musician puts a new disc on the market. This time he’s inspired by the energy of a wild cat and as a logical consequence, the title for the record was found – “Wild Cat”.

The opener "I Gotta Rock" is an energizer in the typical Danko Jones fashion. Spot on and to the point, that's what the tune is about, followed by the hammering "My Little Rock'n'Roll". A more melodic number, entitled “Going Out Tonight”, a song that combines a great rock’n’roll vibe with a punk simplicity, rounds off this starting trilogy. "You are My Woman" is reminding in parts of Thin Lizzy before "Do This Every Night" focuses on a mighty beat and a grooving bassline. With "Let's Start Dancing" the frontman moves into a fast and furious mode. This tune is more like a melodic riot than a proper dance song.

What's next? The title track. It reminded me in some way to Blackfoot since the tune has a certain Southern expression while still being 100% Danko Jones. The rest of the album can easily live up to the mentioned songs. Danko Jones can maintain a high quality level throughout.

As with the predecessors also "Wild Cat" is a powerful rock beast that will create extra excitement in the group of Danko Jones fans. And in case you missed the Canadian axeman so far, you should give this longplayer a chance. Excellent music and great entertainment. Stay hungry, stay wild, become a "Wild Cat".

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. I Gotta Rock
  2. My Little Rock'n'Roll
  3. Going OutTonight
  4. You Are My Woman
  5. Do This Every Night
  6. Let's Start Dancing
  7. Wild Cat
  8. She Likes It
  9. Success in Bed
  10. Diamond Lady
  11. Revolution (But The We Make Love)

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: March 3rd, 2017

 

CD review DANKO JONES "Wild Cat"
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CD review PYOGENESIS "A Kingdom to Disappear"

Veröffentlicht am 15. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Pyogenesis, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Death Metal, News, CD Review, Rock, AFM

(8/10) Swabian powerhouse Pyogenesis belongs to the group of bands that don’t care about what’s hot and what’s not. Flo V. Schwarz and his gang started in the 90’s, a decade in which real metal bands had a hard time. Pyogenesis began as a death metal outfit before they moved towards gothic metal, a genre that was in the starting blocks at that time. And last but not least the band gave their sound another twist. “Love Nation Sugarhead” from 1996 had a strong alternative rock touch, a certain pop appeal included.

After a 13 years period without new longplayer Pyogenesis came back in 2015 with a next full-length album and now it’s “A Kingdom to Disappear” that’s delighting fans of the group.

An intro that's called “Sleep is Good" is the beginning and it's an unusual one. However, what comes next feels like a big step back in time. "Every Man for Himself and God Against " shows some raging guitars and deep growls. I seriously had to check if I've chosen the right album. The more melodic chorus helps to get the dust settled, meaning Pyogenesis as we know them the late 90’s are shining through more and more. However, the death metal moments still spicing up the brutal and thrilling opener.

After such a well-done musical tornado the rest of the album feels like a refreshing breeze. One exception though. “Blaze by Northern Flame” brings back the growls, something you actually can expect from a song with such a title. These two songs are real highlights. This doesn’t mean that the rest of the album can’t live up to the standard. Not at all. None of the … tracks on the album is a weak and bloodless piece of music. Each song includes quite some excitement and even the acoustic break “New Helvetia” is a nice moment of leaning back.

“A Kingdom to Disappear” became a solid alternative rock/metal album that bridges the early days with the here and now by including all the different phases of this special band. Good stuff and good to have them back.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Sleep Is Good (Intro)
  2. Every Man for Himself and God Against All
  3. I Have Seen My Soul
  4. A Kingdom to Disappear (It’s Too Late)
  5. New Helvetia
  6. That’s When Everybody Gets Hurt
  7. We (1848)
  8. Blaze, My Northern Flame
  9. Everlasting Pain

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: February 24th, 2017

 

CD review PYOGENESIS "A Kingdom to Disappear"
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CD review NICK OLIVERI "N.O. Hits at All - Volume one"

Veröffentlicht am 11. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Nick Oliveri, Stoner Rock, Punkrock, Alternative Rock, News, Acoustic, Rock, Heavy Psych, CD Review

(7/10) Most of you know Nick Oliveri from his Kyuss-days and his contribution to Queens Of The Stone Age. However, the musician was involved in many other projects too and had various guest-appearances as well.

Heavy Psych took this as an opportunity for starting a series called “N.O. Hits at All”. “Volume One” came up to surface an few days ago and the album includes six tunes with Oliveri guest performances.

The musician from Palm Springs, California did the vocals on “Lockdown” which is a pretty cool stoner rock song from Eindhoven-based Komatsu. The short tip continues acoustically with “Anything and Everything” by Death Acoustic, followed by the raging punk rocker “Revenge” (Winnebago Deal).

Svetlanas’ Motorhead cover “Speedfreak” includes Oliveri’s vocals as well as the second Death Acoustic song “Time to Think / Surf & Destroy”. Things come to an end with psychedelic grooving “Eccentric Man”.

All in all this album, actually it’s more of an EP, contains almost 20 minutes of great independent songs which are gathered under the header of Nick Oliveri.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Lockdown
  2. Anything and Everything
  3. Revenge
  4. Speed Freak
  5. Time to Think / Surf & Destroy
  6. Eccentric Man

 

Label: Heavy Psych

Genre: Stoner Rock

Release Date EU: January 27th, 2017

CD review NICK OLIVERI "N.O. Hits at All - Volume one"
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CD review JOHN GARCIA „The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in John Garcia, Napalm Records, News, CD Review, Rock, Alternative Rock, Stoner Rock, Acoustic, Unplugged, Kyuss, Unida, Slo-Burn

(7/10) If there's one voice that stands for stoner rock like no-one else than it's ex-Kyuss singer John Garcia. The guy from Arizona has his own phrasing and  a timbre that makes him to an outstanding vocalist. Regardless if it was with the mentioned Kyuss or later on with bands like Unida and Slo Burn, Garcia’s voice was a trademark for each of those groups.

Over the last months the singer worked on his new solo album named „The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" which will be available on January 27th.  

This longplayer reduces any electrical support and comes with a strong acoustic expression - in fact it's entirely unplugged. That doesn't mean that the tunes are powerless. The rocking opener "Kylie" states this very well. "Green Machine" is next in the batting order, a number that shows the emotional side of Garcia. A silent tune with a lot of feel is what you get with this song. 

It's these two numbers that give you an idea about the width of sounds on this album. Garcia’s tunes are all kept within this framework and the expression of the entire album puts more of a focus on the quiet songs.  

„The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" is partly putting me between a rock and a hard stone. One the one hand it has its fascinating moments but after a while it also feels lengthy. It stays in a generic mood and pattern that misses some peaks here and there. Maybe an EP with the highlights of this record, like the smashing opener, would have been a better option. 

(7/10)

 

 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Kylie
  2. Green Machine
  3. Give Me 250ML
  4. The Hollingsworth Session
  5. Space Cadet
  6. Gardenia
  7. El Rodeo
  8. Argleben II
  9. Court Order

 

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: January 27th, 2017

 

 
CD review JOHN GARCIA „The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues"
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CD review SOEN "Lykaia"

Veröffentlicht am 4. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Soen, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, News, CD Review, Hardrock, UDR

(9/10) The moment I listened to Soen’s third longplayer for the first time was with earphones on a flight. I didn’t do this by purpose but in fact it turned out to be a great momentum. This has less to do with being on a flight. It was more the intensity of this longplayer that comes across best with earphones, a situation that makes you entirely focus on the music. There was no distraction at all and the chance of paying full attention to each of the eight song on “Lykaia” helped a lot to discover all the aspects of this awesome release.

“Lykaia” is Soen's  album number three and it’s the most mature one up to date. Martin Lopez and companions wrote more than just songs. Each of the tunes is a composition that is well thought through by still being vital and dynamic. This album is a hybrid including technical finesse, progressive creativity and a melancholic mood. Such a combination results in eight songs with every single one of them being very well crafted. The excitement for the listener couldn't be much higher, considering the passion for details on this album together with a certain hardness, a mixture that works from beginning to end.

From the moderate paced opener "Sectarian", via the Tool-like "Orison" and the alternative rocker "Sister" to the excellent closer "Paragon", it’s Soen offering a musical kaleidoscope that contains music done for fans who are fascinated by big soundscapes and emotional depth. Pink Floyd's shimmering through here and there as well as the mentioned Tool. The band unties these influences and own creativity to an outstanding blend in rock music.

"Lykaia" isn't like shooting from the hips. This album is aiming for perfection that includes a weaved-in ease which makes the album organic and soulful. This longplayer is a true highlight of this current year 2017 and I am not going out on a limb assuming that this disc will pop-up in quite some of the 2017 top ten lists. Two thumbs up for Soen.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Sectarian
  2. Orison
  3. Lucidity
  4. Opal
  5. Jinn
  6. Sister
  7. Stray
  8. Paragon

 

Label: UDR

Genre: Alternative Progressive Metal

Release Date EU: February 3rd, 2017

CD review SOEN "Lykaia"
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