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cd review

CD review GAZPACHO "Soyuz"

Veröffentlicht am 14. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Gazpacho, Soyuz, News, CD Review, KSCOPE, Rock, Prog Rock, Art Rock

CD review GAZPACHO "Soyuz"

(9/10) Norwegian progressive sound architects Gazpacho are prepared for releasing their newest studio album entitled “Soyuz” in May this year. “Soyuz” follows the 2015 release “Molok” and offers again a firework of sounds from beginning to end.

The Norwegian sextet convinces again with extraordinary soundscapes and big melody lines. The combination of both, together with high musical skills, lead to 48 minutes of progressive rock music that shows the entire beauty of this genre.

Kept in a bit of a melancholic undertone songs like “Soyuz One”, the epic “Emperor Bespoke” and calm “Fleeting Things” stand the entire spectrum of Gazpacho's sound. Each of the eight tunes has so much feel weaved in, with the music being the emotional carrier of a story that comes with each of the tunes too.

Gazpacho decided to go for a holistic approach that includes more the only music. The band builds a story around their releases and it’s the newest treat that comes with the philosophical thinking of beautiful moments that can’t be kept. “Soyuz” is the capturing of different stories, all living up to the mentioned theme, which they have in common. The doomed space capsule Soyuz is one of the stories, also being the name-giver for the entire album, while it’s “Sky Burial” that addresses the Tibetan Buddhist funeral practice. These are just two examples out of eight chapters that are all worth to dive into. 

“Soyuz” is art rock with an inclusive approach. Music, lyrics and sound go together in a collaborative way, leading to a beautiful sonic journey that offers a lot for ears and mind. “Soyuz” stands for the complete picture of Gazpacho’s music, songs that stand-out by their emotional depth and musical perfection. Gazpacho- and prog-rock fans welcome this release already and I can recommend it too; also for fans that normally prefer music to be loud and heavy.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Soyuz One
  2. Hypomania
  3. Exit Suite
  4. Emperor Bespoke
  5. Sky Burial
  6. Fleeting Things
  7. Soyuz Out
  8. Rappaccini

 

Label: KSCOPE

Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: May 18th, 2018

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/Gazpacho.Official.BandPage

www.gazpachoworld.com

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CD review DIZZY REED “Rock’n’Roll Ain’t Easy”

Veröffentlicht am 13. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Dizzy Reed, News, Hardrock, Rock, Sleaze Rock, Guns'n'Roses, CD Review, Golden Robot Records

CD review DIZZY REED “Rock’n’Roll Ain’t Easy”

(8/10) Dizzy Reed is no less than the keyboarder of Guns’n’Roses, which he joined in 1990. He was part of the two legendary “Use Your Illusion” releases and is the meantime, next to Axel Rose himself, the most consistent member of Guns’n’Roses. Next to being part of this iconic rock band, Reed also worked with bands like The Dead Daisies, Slash’s Snakepit and many more.

After all this extraordinary contribution to other bands and their music time is ripe for a solo album of this highly skilled and experienced musicians from Illinois. “Rock’n’Roll Ain’t Easy” is the title of Reed’s solo debut, featuring 12 thrilling rock songs that are all charged with pure rock power.

Dizzy Reed recorded the album together with some friends who supported him on this journey. Well-known names like Ricky Warwick, Chuck Wright, Jeff Duncan, and many more contributed to this excellently done rock record that’s a treat for your ears.

Since Reed is a pianist and keyboarder you could get the idea that the album is very focused on these instruments, which isn’t the case at all. “Rock’n’Roll Ain’t Easy” comprises of rock songs with blistering guitars, a grooving rhythm section and excellent vocals. No doubt, keys might get a bit more focus than with other releases by still getting across as a natural part of the song rather than being the center of everything.

The album, that faced a digital release already Mid-February, is a pure power pack. Tunes like the thrilling "Mother Theresa", the soulful "Fragile Water" and the catchy "Reparations" are cool songs. No doubt, listening to the album of course reminds of Guns'n'Roses. How could it be different. However, these songs are far more down-to-earth than what we got offered by the mothership. Dizzy Reed's solo album is much livelier and breathes the spirit of rock'n'roll.

“Rock’n’Roll Ain’t Easy” became a great rock album that shows the entire beauty of this kind of music. Energy, dynamics, agility and vitality – all these keywords are a fundamental part of what you get to hear on this album. Even though rock’n’roll might not be easy it’s the ease, embedded in the songs, that helps to make the album to an easy approachable one with songs that stick to your mind right away.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. This Don’t Look Lik Vegas
  2. Mother Theresa
  3. Cheers 2 R Oblivion
  4. Fragile Water
  5. Dirty Bomb
  6. Mystery in Exil
  7. I Celebrate
  8. Understanding
  9. Crestfall
  10. Forgotten Cases
  11. Reparations
  12. Rock’n’Roll Ain’t Easy

 

Label: Golden Robot Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: June 1st, 2018

 

https://www.facebook.com/DizzyFnReed/

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CD review ANGELUS APATRIDA “Cabaret de la Guillotine”

Veröffentlicht am 12. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Angelus Apatrida, News, Thrash Metal, Century Media, Power Metal, CD Review, Heavy Metal

CD review ANGELUS APATRIDA “Cabaret de la Guillotine”

(7/10) The first thing that I have to face when starting a review is the name of the band I‘m writing about, esp. when it‘s about bands haven‘t had on the radar till now. Angelus Apatrida is such a band. With all respect, the name is a curveball to me, hard to keep in mind - „Angel.... what“. Maybe it‘s only me older brain that struggles with keeping the name in mind.

As said, I missed the guys from Spain up till now and you might have the same. The starting point of Angelus Apatrida was back in 2000 – a new millennium, a new band. The guys premiered in 2006 with “Evil Unleashed” and four more deliveries followed to date. 2018 is the year of Angelus Apatrida’s next strike, entitled “Cabaret de la Guillotine”.

Angelus Apatrida is, according to the label info sheet, a thrash metal outfit. Now doubt, aggressive metal riffing, is a crucial pillar for the band‘s sound.  Songs like „Ministry of God“ are excellent tracks, reminding partly of thrash metal icons like Testament and Destruction.

Next to pure sonic aggression, Angelus Apatrida builds in some melodic power metal moments, like in „The Die is Cast“. However, the majority of songs ignite a thrash metal inferno with blistering leads and harsh vocals.

The thing is though that the approach isn‘t really new. I never got the feeling of something really unique but I also must say that I haven‘t missed ‘new’. The energy provided by this powerhouse is the real benefit and that‘s what‘s count. I would say, good work in known territory.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Sharpen the Guillotine
  2. Betryaed
  3. Ministry of God
  4. The Hum
  5. Downfall of the Nation
  6. One of Us
  7. The Die is Cast
  8. Witching Hour
  9. Farewell
  10. Martyrs of Chicago

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018

 

https://www.facebook.com/angelusapatrida/

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CD review LORD VIGO "Six Must Die"

Veröffentlicht am 11. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Lord Vigo, News, Six Must Die, Doom Metal, Heavy Metal, Epic Metal, No Remorse, CD Review

CD review LORD VIGO "Six Must Die"

(8/10) After having released two excellent records, spread out over the last years, expectations were pretty high when it comes to „Six Must Die“. Already at this early stage of this review I can tell you that Lord Vigo doesn't disappoint doom metal supporters and fans.

Mighty doom riffs hit you already with „Doom Shall Rise“. Nomen et omen. The song follows a kind of intro that helps to get listeners into the right mood. „I Am the Prophecy“ is next and strengthens the positive impression of „Six Must Die“.

All these songs are very good doom metal tracks, all being part of a dramaturgic setlist that finds its peak in the title track. „Six Must Die“ is an epos with 13 minutes in length. The tune is the real hero if the album, reminding of bands like Lake Of Tears and Count Raven with a bit of Rammstein when it comes to the keyboard sounds. Lord Vigo manages to tell this 13 minutes story in a perfect fashion. There is no single moment you‘re tempted to press the ‚skip‘-button. Excellent soundscapes, hard riffing, embedded samples and a cinematic approach are the fascinating main elements of this milestone in the bands rather short history.

Lord Vigo might not reach the big masses and I even think they shouldn‘t. Of course I don‘t begrudge Lord Vigo big success. It‘s more that the sound of their music covers more of a niche and it‘s the unbound underground vibe that makes this album so vital. Lord Vigo builds their music on creativity and passion and it would be a pity if this would be replaced by reproducing a simple success formula. The underground is, thanks to bands like Lord Vigo, very much alive. Horns up.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Elizabeth Dane
  2. Doom Shall Rise
  3. I Am The Prophecy
  4. Thul-Rar
  5. Thal Mum-Rar
  6. Evil In Disguise
  7. Six Must Die
  8. 21 April 1880

 

Label: No Remorse Records

Genre: Doom Metal

Release Date EU: May 25th, 2018

 

https://www.facebook.com/LordVigo666/

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CD review SPOCK'S BEARD "Noise Floor"

Veröffentlicht am 10. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Spock's Beard, News, Hardrock, Rock, Prog Rock, Prog Metal, Noise Floor, CD Review, InsideOut

CD review SPOCK'S BEARD "Noise Floor"
(8/10) Spock’s Beard was founded in 1992 by the Morse brothers, Neal and Alan. It was in 202 when Neal Morse left the band, focusing on some other projects he had in the pipeline. The 2003 release “Feel Euphoria” was the first one with Nick D’Virgilio on vocals and the question at that time was, if Spock’s Beard could continue with the winning streak the band had during the first era. The answer is: ‘yes’. Spock’s Beard never unveiled any bad album and the prog outfit was always a sight for sore eyes on bigger festivals like Sweden Rock and Prog Festival at Lorely, Germany.  However, the records from the first era had a wider commercial reach with a same level of quality included.
 
Spock’s beard records are a treat for ears and mind with the new album not starting a different pattern.
 
“Noise Floor” is the title of the next Spock’s Beard record, an album that comes as a double CD. While disc number one is about “Noise Floor” it’s the “Cutting Room Floor” that adds another four tunes to the total on disc 2. 
 
The band doesn’t change direction when it comes to the 13thstudio album. It is more that the quintet developed their sound and trademarks step by step without deciding for dramatic changes. One thing though is very different compared with the predecessor. Earlier mentioned founding member Nick D’Virgilio, who left the band in 2011, is back and next to the regular line-up Spock’s Beard stretched their sound by adding violins, a cello player and an English horn to the mix, giving their songs a wider frame and some nice twists.
 
To zoom in on some songs only is not what should be done with "Noise Floor". It's the entirety rather than a specific tune that creates enthusiasm.
 
However, to describe a bit of what can be expected of this Spock's Beard release, I will use "What Becomes of Me' as an example. The ticking of a clock introduces the tune, followed by some soulful guitar melodies. Sometimes I had to think about Deep Purple while there were other moments that reminded me of Pink Floyd. As with the earlier releases also this time songs are used for transporting feelings and the fact that we have skilled musicians at work widens the spectrum and adds possibilities to do so. Adam Morse and band mates always put the focus on songs and songwriting, in which all musicians are included. Spock's Beard was never a band that put the spotlight on individual skills and experience. It is the passion for music, the willpower to write excellent songs and the emotional depth that creates a base for this album as well as for the earlier releases.
 
‘13’ might be a sort of unlucky number for some, but definitely not for Spock’s Beard. Their 13thlongplayer showcases again the high level of musical skills when it comes to each of the band members and the band itself. It also feels like the return of D’Virgilio added some extra enthusiasm to the band, which makes “Noise Floor” to an exciting progressive rock album fully in line with earlier releases. If you’re a Spock’s Beard fan, the new album will be another highlight in your prog rock collection and folks that are passionate about well-crafted and approachable progressive rock music will like this album.
 

(8/10)
 
 
Tracklist:
 

Disc 1 - Noise Floor

  1. To Breathe Another Day

  2. What Becomes Out of Me

  3. Sombody's Home

  4. Have We All Gone Crazy Yet

  5. So This is Life

  6. Box of Spiders

  7. Beginnings

Disc 2 - Cutting Room Floor

  1. Days We'll Remember

  2. Bulletproof

  3. Vault

  4. Armageddon Nervous


 
Label: InsideOut Music

Genre: Progressive Rock

Release Date EU: May 25th, 2018
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CD review MOTOR CITY MAYHEM "Shitfaced and Outta Luck"

Veröffentlicht am 7. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Motor City Mayhem, Shitfaced and Outta Luck, Hardrock, Sleaze Rock, News, CD Review, Metalapolis

CD review MOTOR CITY MAYHEM "Shitfaced and Outta Luck"

(8/10) Shotgun Express was a rock band hailing from Stuttgart, Germany. What rose out of the ashes of Shotgun Express is a new rock outfit – Motor City Mayhem.  The five-piece from Mercedes City carries on the legacy of Shotgun Express, sending blues driven hardrock into the world.

Motor City Mayhem, that’s Van on vocals, Scott and Johnny on guitar, Armin handling the four-string guitar and Robin providing the heartbeat with a powerful drumming. These five guys recorded an album that features street rock which is loud and authentic.

Being inspired by bands like MC5 and The Stooges it’s Swedish rock icons like backyard Babies and Gluecifer the added some blueprints for what Motor City Mayhem offers on their debut.

If you want to check out this album by testing some of the tunes you basically can’t chose anything wrong. The longplayer doesn’t include fillers. Each of the ten tracks hits bull’s eye when it comes to power and credibility. It’s a drum roll that kicks of “Hey C’mon” which is the first energetic rock’n’roller on the album. What follows is a 34 minutes firework with “Burn In Hell” being the final cracker. Time flies while listening to “Shitfaced and Outta Luck”.

After spinning “Shitfaced and Outta Luck” several times I must say that I was positively surprised of what reached my ears with this debut. Honest and dirty street rock is what you get. It combines the energy of punk rock with a bluesy hardrock vibe that almost gives you the idea that Stuttgart is in Cali. This record offers good music that is down-to-earth and spot on. In case you’re looking for a soundtrack for your next party, this album should be on your list.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Hey C’mon

  2. The Road

  3. When We Were Kings

  4. Bad Friends

  5. Eat the Rich

  6. Dead City

  7. Outlaws (…On the Run)

  8. Bad Habit

  9. Psycho Ward

  10. Burn in Hell

 

Label: Metalapolis

Genre: Street Rock

Release Date:  May 25th, 2018

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CD review SEVENDUST "All I See is War"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Sevendust, Modern Metal, CD Review, News, All I See is War

CD review SEVENDUST "All I See is War"

(8/10) Atlanta, Georgia based Sevendust worked hard on the successor of the band's 2015 release "Kill the Flaw". In the meantime things progressed and the next record is ready to be shipped to the record stores.

"All I See is War" is Sevendust's 11th longplayer and the first one for their new label Rise Records. In an interview with All That Shred guitarist John Connelly talked about the creative process for the new record. The band wrote far more songs than what ended up on the tracklist. In total 50-60 songs have been the pool to choose from and in the end 12 new tracks ended up on this excellent longplayer.

The new album starts with "Dirty", which is a heavy grooving track with a certain Tool-expression. With a bit more than 3 minutes of length the tune is spot-on and helps the album to get out of the boxes very easily. After such a great start into the album it is "God Bites His Tongue" that continues the winning streak. "Medicated" is rounding of the starting triple and all three songs together showcase Sevendust's great sense for heavy modern riffing and well-executed melodies. These two ingredients, together with a merciless pounding rhythm section, can be seen as the most important elements of Sevendust's sound, on earlier records and on "All I See is War".

I couldn't identify any weak spot when it comes to the tracklist. To use a standard term: No fillers, just killers. Regardless if we are talking about the exciting interplay of loud and calm in "Monuments", the catchy "Descend" or the aggressive "The Truth" - each of these tunes is very well-crafted and it's a joyful experience, listening to this longplayer. 

Spring 2018 is obviously a great time for fans of modern alternative rock and metal. Godsmack releases a new album and so does Shinedown. Last but not least it's the new Sevendust longplayer that will be a delight for fans of this genre. I like "All I See is War". It's the energy, dynamic and great melody lines, making this longplayer to a true highlight and a treat for your ears. It's an album to recommend.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Dirty
  2. God Bites His Tongue
  3. Medicated
  4. Unforgiven
  5. Sickness
  6. Cheers
  7. Risen
  8. Moments
  9. Nor Original
  10. Descend
  11. Life Deceives You
  12. The Truth
  13. All I Ready Know (Bonus)
  14. What You Are (Bonus)

 

Label: Rise Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: May 11th, 2018

 

Sevendust on YouTube

Sevendust on Facebook

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CD review DEWOLFF "Thrust"

Veröffentlicht am 4. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in DeWolff, Thrust, News, CD Review, Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Mascot Group, Provogue

CD review DEWOLFF "Thrust"

(8/10) DeWolff is a psychedelic rock outfit, hailing from the Southern parts of The Netherlands. The trio isn’t a new player in the fields of rock even though their biggest fan base is located in their home country. DeWolff is quite big in The Netherlands with a constant enlarging group of fans.

The trio was founded in 2007 with a debut that saw the light of day ten years ago. As mentioned, things evolved in positive direction with additional records that followed. 2018 is the years for DeWolff’s seventh longplayer, comprising of eleven well-crafted rock songs.

Things start with „Big Talk“ which isn‘t ‚big talk‘ at all. The song is an exciting opener that lives by its rock‘n‘roll spirit. It‘s an excellent start into a well-done album. „California Burning“ is the next tune, unveiling a cool classic rock vibe that has its roots on the seventies, before „Once in a Blue Moon“ reveals the band’s passion for calmer tones. The soulful vocals and gently singing Hammond add a lot of feel to this touching track and its great mood.

These three songs, all in pole position of this tracklist, gives you a great idea about what to expect of the rest of this release.

The big strength of DeWolff is the spirit and feel that's embedded in songs like the grooving „Tombstone Child“.  Another track you shouldn’t miss on this album is entitled „Freeway Flight“. Rock and blues compliments each other in an excellent fashion, making this emotional song to a true highlight of „Thrust“.

If music is about emotions, DeWolff scores a big win. „Thrust“ is a 47 minutes long journey that is touching and fascinating. DeWolff has inhaled the spirit of rock music, resulting in a terrific longplayer that‘s dynamic and organic. This album is the right soundtrack for balancing superficial modern life. Take a deep dive into the emotional depth and connected vitality of „Thrust“. It's worth it.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Big Talk
  2. California Burning
  3. Once In A Blue Moon
  4. Double Crossing Man
  5. Tombstone Child
  6. Deceit & Woo
  7. Freeway Flight
  8. Tragedy? Not Today
  9. Sometimes
  10. Swain
  11. Outta Step & Ill At Ease

 

 

Label: Provogue/Mascot Label

Genre: Classic/Psychedelic Rock

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018

 

https://www.facebook.com/dewolfficial/

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CD review DIMMU BORGIR "Eonian"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Dimmu Borgir, Eonian, Black Metal, Melodic Black Metal, News, Nuclear Blast, CD Review, Bombastic Black Metal

CD review DIMMU BORGIR "Eonian"

(6/10) In a time when first Dutch tulips start to spread their joyful colors all over Holland, it's the darkness from the North that enters Europe via the backdoor. Norwegian black metal pioneers Dimmu Borgir started a new  mission to shade the brightness of spring with a new album the trio has in the pipline.

"Eonian" is the title of Dimmu Borgir's 10th longplayer, an album that features ten new songs. Considering the fact that "Abrahadabra", the predecessor, was published seven years ago gives the idea of a lot of time for working on new inspiring material.

Unfortunately I have to conclude that "Eonian" isn't the powerful album I expected. I was spinning the album several times, always hoping that it unveils a dark beauty I haven't discovered the previous round. Allow me a metaphor from baseball - bats stay cold when it comes to the new Dimmu Borgir record. The album might include some base hits, but definitely no homerun.

"Eonian" is like the endless flow of water, forced to stay in the riverbed. There isn't any wildness and what you get is the same thing only different. There is a lot of orchestrated bombast added to the album which camouflages a certain lack of inspiration. "Eonian" spreads a feeling of monotony. I haven't expected this at all, which made the disappointment even bigger. To be clear, I really like the earlier releases and I think that records like "Death Cult Armageddon" belong to the milestones of bombastic black metal. The new album though can't live up to these highlight from the North. Black metal is more than some uptempo parts and hoarse vocals by Shagrath. The longplayer misses the energy and enthusiasm of earlier albums. It feels like "Eonian" isn't a matter of heart. It sounds more like a 'must' to fulfill and also the well-done sound, with Jens Bogren at the helm, doesn't make any difference. 

"Eonian" is the first real disappointment in 2018 and even if you're Dimmu Borgir fan I recommend to check out the album first. 

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Unveiling

  2. Interdimensional Summit

  3. ÆTheric

  4. Council of Wolves and Snakes

  5. The Empyrean Phoenix

  6. Lightbringer

  7. I Am Soveriegn

  8. Archaic Correspondence

  9. Alpha Aeon Omega

  10. Rite of Passage

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018

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CD review MISSION IN BLACK "Anthems of a Dying Breed"

Veröffentlicht am 29. April 2018 von Markus W. in Mission In Black, Anthems of a Dying Breed, El Puerto Records, Power Metal, Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review

CD review MISSION IN BLACK "Anthems of a Dying Breed"

(7/10) Mission In Black is a rather new metal outfit hailing from Germany. Now 'new' might not be fully correct since it was in 2010 when a first demo has been recorded, followed by some shows, supporting bands like Brainstorm and Mystic Prophecy. 

It's five musicians that started their 'mission in black'. Becky Gaber (v), Daniel Tschoepe (g), Andy Flache (d), Martin Grimm (g) and Hannes Jäger (b), that's Mission In Black and some names sound probably familiar. Some guys have been part of South German thrashers Spellbound while Martin Grimm played at Mystic Prophecy. 

The quintet inked a contract with German El Puerto label and finally, eight years after their "Black Infect" demo, the debut is ready to be shipped to the record stores. The longplayer consists out of 13 songs that the label info describes as thrash metal. This is definitely the case but there's also a strong power metal influence present through-out. Listening to the melodies and leads reminds me more of Mystic Prophecy than thrash. The latter comes more forefront with the straight-on "Judgement Day".

What stands out are the hoarse vocals of singer Becky Gaber. It took me a while to get used to it. That Gaber has good vocal skills is what becomes obvious with the clean vocals sections, but it's the husky parts that become a bit annoying over time.

Besides this smaller side note "Anthems of a Dying Breed" became an aggressive and powerful debut that also benefits from a proper production and a well-crafted sound. Good music in known territory.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Premonition of Chaos
  2. Welcome the Apocalypse
  3. Cold Wings of Vengeance
  4. World on Fire
  5. Judgement Day
  6. Mission in Black
  7. Oceans of Blood
  8. Into the Flames
  9. Godless
  10. Where Demons Sleep
  11. God Forbidden
  12. The Beast Within
  13. First Comes the Blood

 

Label: El Puerto Records

Genre: Power/Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: May 5th, 2018

 

 

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CD review SHINEDOWN "Attention, Attention"

Veröffentlicht am 28. April 2018 von Markus W. in Shinedown, Rock, Hardrock, Post Grunge, News, CD Review, Atlantic, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Modern Rock, Attention Attention

CD review SHINEDOWN "Attention, Attention"

(9/10) Shinedown’s story in rock is an impressive one. What began in 2001 in Knoxville, Tennessee evolved to one of the most influential rock acts in the here and now. The debut “Leave a Whisper”, released in summer 2003 and produced by no less than Bob Marlette, went right into the charts and marked a first step of Shinedown’s rise.

Brent Smith and bandmates didn’t slow down after such a successful start and new longplayers followed. Over time the band established themselves as an important factor in alternative rock music and became a big seller when it comes to records and live shows.

Three years after “Threat to Survival” entered the Top 10 of the US-charts it’s “Attention Attention” that asks exactly for this – ‘attention’. The band’s sixth longplayer comprises of 13 songs and an intro entitled “The Entrance”. After you entered to the door to “Attention Attention” it’s a powerful drum beat that marks the beginning of “Devil”. The tune that was unveiled a few weeks ago as a first single comes with an oppressive vibe. It’s a well-done statement that gives an outlook on what to expect of the new longplayer. What stands out in specific with “Devil” is the unpredictable rhythm of the track, building the base for this well-crafted opener.

“Black Soul” is next, starting with some keys and vocals. The song evolves to an alternative metal anthem that lives by the dynamic generated by loud and calmer moments. The title track is next on the batting order. What comes with “Attention Attention” is a dark expression and a hypnotic beat, ending up in a catchy chorus and shows the band’s sense for hooks without entering the fields of cheesiness.

None of the songs on “Attention Attention” is a boring one. Each of the 13 tunes generates excitement, regardless if we talk about the excellent “Pyro” or the gloomy “Monsters”. “Creatures” is the only tune that shows a bit more of standard approach, followed by the heavy grooving “Evolve” which brings back the hard rocking Shinedown.

Next to the terrific songs on the album it’s the lyrics that are more than just embellishment. Shinedown addresses topics like social media (“Kill Your Conscience”), the fight against depression (“get UP”) and for truth (“The Human Radio”).

Shinedown’s sixth longplayer has all the ingredients in place to compete with earlier successes. It’s an energizing and dynamic alternative rock album with catching hooks, great melodies and heavy rocking guitars. Alternative rock without mentioned Shinedown is a mission impossible and the new album strengthens the band's position in modern rock music.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Entrance
  2. Devil
  3. Black Soul
  4. Attention Attention
  5. Kill Your Conscience
  6. Pyro
  7. Monsters
  8. Darkside
  9. Creatures
  10. Evolve
  11. Get Up
  12. Special
  13. The Human Radio
  14. Brilliant

 

Label: Atlantic / Warner Music

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: May 4th, 2018

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CD review BLACK STONE CHERRY "Family Tree"

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2018 von Markus W. in BSC, Family Tree, News, CD Review, Mascot, Rock, Southern Rock, Hardrock, Black Stone Cherry

CD review BLACK STONE CHERRY "Family Tree"

(8/10) It was back in 2001 when a new rock band entered the scene, hailing from Edmonton, Kentucky. The name of this outfit – Black Stone Cherry. The roots of the band go back even longer. It was in high school when singer/guitarist Chris Robertson and bassist Jon Lawton met for the first time. Rather quickly John Fred Young (d) and Ben Wells (g) joined the duos, which marked the starting point for one of the most successful Southern rock bands to date.

 

2018 is the year with Black Stone Cherry releasing their newest longplayer entitled Family Tree”. The album follows the extremely successful 2016 record “Kentucky” which could score some excellent chart positions in North America and Europe.

“Family Tree” needs to compete with this fruitful predecessor and I think it can compete. Album number six comes with a tracklist that includes songs, all being rocking anthems in the fields of classic- and Southern rock.

 

Black Stone Cherry takes the musical heritage of bands like Led Zeppelin and Cream, transferring the spirit and vibe into the here and now.  The new album get’s out of the boxes very well with “Bad Habits”. The opener, that includes some Led zeppelin influences, has a bluesy vibe, something that’s also picked-up by “Burnin’”.

 

Next to the rocking tracks there are the soulful moments that are touching. “My Last Breath” is an emotional ballad that contains a lot of feel and it’s a moment of calmness before the wild ride continues with the grooving “Southern Fried Friday Night”. “Dancing in the Rain” is next in the batting order and it’s the first out of two songs with additional support. Warren Haynes has a guest appearance on “Dancing in the Rain” while it’s Chris Robertson’s 5 years old son singing backup on “You Got the Blues”.

 

All in all “Family Tree” became a really good Southern rock album that can connect to earlier successes. Each of the songs benefits from an excellent production and sound while still coming across as being authentic with an organic sound. It proves that professionalism and a true heart for rock music aren’t two poles that never find each other. “Family Tree’ shows a well executed combination of both, making the album to a real spring/summer soundtrack for your ride into the sunset.

 

 

(8/10)

 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Bad Habit

  2. Burnin’

  3. New Kinda Feelin’

  4. Carry Me on Down the Road

  5. My Last Breath

  6. Southern Fried Friday Night

  7. Dancin’ in the Rain

  8. Ain’t Nobody

  9. James Brown

  10. You Got the Blues

  11. I Need a Woman

  12. Get me Over You

  13. Family Tree

 

 

Label: Mascot Label Group

Genre: Southern Rock

Release Date EU:  April 19th, 2018

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CD review MICHAEL SCHINKEL'S ETERNAL FLAME "Smoke on the Mountain"

Veröffentlicht am 27. April 2018 von Markus W. in Michael Schinkel, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Neo Classic, News, ROAR, Smoke on the Mountain, CD Review, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal

CD review MICHAEL SCHINKEL'S ETERNAL FLAME "Smoke on the Mountain"
(8/10) Eternal Flame released two longplayers at the end of the 90’s / beginning of 2000 before the band announced their disbanding. Ten years after the second album “King of the King” was released it was singer/guitarist Michael Schinkel and Helmut Kohlpaintner who re-ignited Eternal Flame. Another six years later the metal world can welcome Eternal Flames next longplayer “Smoke on the Mountain” and I don’t think that the title, combining “Smoke on the Water” and Man on the Silver Mountain”, is a coincidence. 

„Ignition“ is the narrative intro to the album and is followed by the title track. Uptempo guitars and furious leads remind of new-classic metal a la Yngwie Malmsteen. The song is an excellent opener, helping the album to get out of the boxes extremely well. What also stands out are the excellently done vocals by Schinkel, going together with his guitar play very well.

The neo classic vibe continue through-out the entire album but it‘s the opener that unveils the source of inspiration the best. Step by step it‘s classic rock and metal that takes over the scene. Here and there I had to think of the later Rainbow („Got a Rock’n’roll Fever“ & „Close to the End“), Deep Purple („Queen of the Hill“ and „Dreaming“). Jonny Logan‘s „Danger Zone“ sounds like having been the inspiration for the beginning of „Whatcha Gonna Do“. 

„Smoke on the Mountain“ might not re-invent the wheel. It‘s the execution that‘s convincing - from a song writing aspect as well as from a production point of view. „Smoke on the Mountain“ is a great album for friends a traditional metal that‘s built on well-crafted hooks, excellent leads and melodic vocals. Worth to spin this album.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ignition
  2. Smoke on the Mountain
  3. This is My Life
  4. Queen of the Hill
  5. You Can Save Me
  6. Whatcha Gonna Do
  7. I Believe in This Miracle
  8. Got a Rock‘n‘Roll Fever
  9. Out in the Dark
  10. Dreaming
  11. Take Me There For a Night
  12. Tease My Love
  13. Close to the End

 

Label: Rock Of Angels Records

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: May 18th, 2018

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CD review GATEKEEPER "East of Sun"

Veröffentlicht am 25. April 2018 von Markus W. in Gatekeeper, Omen, Savatage, East of Sun, Cruz Del Sur Music, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, Epic Metal, CD Review

CD review GATEKEEPER "East of Sun"

(8/10) Cruz Del Sur Music is known for having a portfolio of exciting bands when it comes to more traditional and epic metal. A new addition to it is Canadian metal warriors Gatekeeper. The band was founded in 2009 as a solo project by guitarist Geoff Blackwell. Some EP’s have been recorded and released but the debut was long in coming.

After having inked a deal with Cruz Del Sur Records things gained speed and here it is: “East of Sun”. The debut album features 10 songs of which the last two are covers. Let’s start with those. It’s the legendary “Hall of the Mountain King” (Savatage) and “Death Rider” (Omen) that have been slightly re-arranged and recorded for “East of Sun”. Gatekeeper sticks very much to the original version of these two power metal classics. Of course it’s hard to compete with the originals and I don’t think that it was Gatekeeper’s ambition either. What quintet did though in an excellent way is to keep the spirit alive, adding also some extra power to the classic.

The reason we I started with these two song is, because they reflect very well the influences when it comes to Gatekeeper and their sound. Blackwell and bandmates are into traditional metal that has a stronger epic metal aspect weaved in. While listening to songs like the awesome opener “Blade of Cimmeria” or the uptempo “Warrior Without Fear” reminded me of bands like the mentioned Omen but also Manilla Road came to my mind.

I tune you shouldn’t miss is entitled “Ninefold Muse”. It represents the entire spectrum of Gatekeeper’s sound. Starting slowly and with an epic riff the songs builds up to a heavy rocking metal anthem that will be a delight for fans of powerful metal.

The Canadians, hailing from Vancouver, did a great job when it comes to the debut. “East of Sun” is a great album that mixes melodies and strong riffing in a more old-school fashion without sounding outdated. This album is good stuff for the underground.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Blade of Cimmeria
  2. North Wolves
  3. Warrior Without Fear
  4. Ninefold Muse
  5. Bell of Tarantia
  6. East of Sun
  7. Swan Road Saga
  8. Oncoming Ice
  9. Death Rider (Omen cover)
  10. Hall of the Mountain King (Savatage cover)

 

Label: Cruz Del Sur Music

Genre: Epic Metal

Release Date EU: April 27th, 2018

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