Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

grunge

ALICE IN CHAINS unveils a new song

Veröffentlicht am 6. Mai 2018 von Markus W. in Alice In Chains, News, Video, Grunge, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock

Photo: Promo

Photo: Promo

Alice In Chains (Singer/guitarist Jerry Cantrell, drummer Sean Kinney, bassist Mike Inez and singer/guitarist William DuVall) release “The One You Know”, the first new song of the quartet in five years. It's the first song from the upcoming, so far untitled,  new album. Click HERE for the video.

Furthermore Alice In Chains is on the road in North America and Europe and here are the dates:

May 4 – Charlotte, NC – Carolina Rebellion

May 5 – Virginia Beach – WNOR Lunatic Luau

May 7 – New York, NY - Hammerstein Ballroom

May 8 – New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom

May 10 – Atlanta, GA – Coca-Cola Roxy

May 12 – St. Louis, MO - Pointfest

May 13 – Somerset, WI - Northern Invasion

May 15 – Chicago, IL - Riviera Theatre

May 16 – South Bend, IN - Morris Performing Arts Center

May 18 – Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range

May 19 – Philadelphia, PA - WMMR BBQ / BB&T Pavilion

June 16 – Leeds, UK – O2 Academy

June 17 – London, UK – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire

June 20 – Stockholm, Sweden – Grona Lund

June 21 – Halden, Norway – Tons of Rock Festival

June 22 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Copenhell

June 24 – Clisson, France – Hellfest

June 25 – Zagreb, Croatia – INmusic Festival

June 28 – Padua, Italy – Sherwood

June 30 – Bezirk-Landstrasse, Austria – Arena Open Air Wien

July 1 – Budapest, Hungary – Budapest Park

July 3 – Berlin, Germany – Huxley’s Neue Welt

July 4 – Cologne, Germany – Live Music Hall

July 5 - Werchter, Belgium - Rock Werchter

July 7 -Montreux, Switzerland - Montreux Jazz Festival

July 8 – Belford, France – Les Eurockeennes 30

July 10 – Milan, Italy – Ippodromo Snai San Siro

July 13 – Madrid, Spain – Mad Cool Festival

July 14 – Lisboa, Portugal – NOS Alive

July 17 – Tel Aviv, Israel – Caesarea

July 18 – Tel Aviv, Israel – Caesarea

Aug 22 – Vancouver, BC – Queen Elizabeth Theatre

Aug 25 - Seattle, Washington - White River Amphitheatre

Aug 26 - Portland, Oregon - Sunlight Supply Amphitheatre

Aug 28 – Paso Robles, CA – Vina Robles Amp

Aug 29 – Los Angeles, CA – Palladium

Aug 31 – Riverside, CA – Riverside Municipal Auditorium

Sept 1 – Las Vegas, NV – The Pearl

Sept 3 – Tucson, AZ – Tucson Music Hall

Sept 4 – El Paso, TX – Abraham Chavez Theatre

Sept 6 – Austin, TX – ACL Live

Sept 7 – Houston, TX – Revention Music Center

Sept 8 – Dallas, TX – Pavilion @ Toyota Music Factory

Sept 10 – Tulsa, OK – Brady Theatre

Sept 11 – Kansas City, MO - Midland Theatre

Sept 13 – Denver, CO – Fillmore

Sept 14-16 - San Diego - KAABOO

Sept 15 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre

Oct 14 - Sacramento, CA - Aftershock Festival

Oct 21 - Durant, OK - Choctaw Grand Theater

Kommentare

CD review STONE TEMPLE PILOTS "Stone Temple Pilots"

Veröffentlicht am 17. März 2018 von Markus W. in Stone Temple Pilots, STP, News, CD Review, Grunge, Post-Grunge, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Rhino

CD review STONE TEMPLE PILOTS "Stone Temple Pilots"

(8/10) Grunge was invented in Seattle and that's where iconic bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and many more came from. In parallel a rock outfit was formed in San Diego, California that started with a similar sound. Scott Weiland, Dean DeLeo, Robert DeLeo and Eric Kretz began under the banner of Mighty Joe Young, which was changed to Stone Temple Pilots rather quickly. The quartet successfully surfed on the grunge wave with their debut entitled "Core", which was published in 1990. This first album pushed the band from zero to hero in no time. "Core" had chart entries in the US and Europe, including brilliant songs like "Sex Type Thing" and "Plush". "Core" is still the best album the band ever released, at least in my humble opinion.

What followed was a period of ups and down and luckily fans can welcome the band's seventh album this year. Simply entitled "Stone Temple Pilots" the new album features twelve songs of which "Meadow" was the first single that was unveiled in November last year. The interesting thing with the name of this longplayer is the fact that it's the second one in a row that comes with the bands name only on the cover. I guess that this is something really unique and I can't remember a band that did something like this before.

"Stone Temple Pilots" is the first album with new singer Jeff Gutt and the first one without the band's original vocalist Scott Weiland who passed away in 2015. "Stone Temple Pilots" doesn't look back so much. The quartet looks forward and the self-titled album expresses this approach very well. "Stone Temple Pilots" (the first one) closed an era of the band and the second strike starts a new one.

"Middle of Nowhere" is the grooving opener of the record with the slower paced "Guilty" being the next hit on the list.  Grunge roots are partly included in the latter even though the tune itself comes with a wider style expression. "Meadow" is the earlier mentioned first release from the album and has some hit potential, while "Six Eight" brings back the rocking foundation. The gently swinging "Thought She'd Be Mine" takes over and also "The Art of Letting Go" represents a calm moment on the album with a solid portion of melancholy weaved into the tune. The end of this longplayer gets closer and it's the acoustic "Reds & Blues" that ends an album that presents well-crafted alternative rock music.

"Stone Temple Pilots" doesn't get close to the iconic debut and the sophomore "Purple" record. However, it's a strong rock album that finds a good balance between rock bursts and soulful moments.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Middle of Nowhere
  2. Guilty
  3. Meadow
  4. Just a Little Lie
  5. Six Eight
  6. Thought She's Be Mine
  7. Roll Me Under
  8. Never Enough
  9. The Art of Letting Go
  10. Finest Hour
  11. Good Shoes
  12. Reds & Blues

 

Label: Rhino / Warner Music

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: March 16th, 2018

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CD review AMPLIFIER "Trippin' with Dr. Faustus"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Amplifier, Rock, Hardrock, News, CD Review, Prog Rock, Grunge, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Rockosmos

CD review AMPLIFIER "Trippin' with Dr. Faustus"

(8/10) Amplifier still belongs to one of the most underrated bands when it comes to alternative rock music. Even though having release five full-length record, accompanied by some EP’s and three live recording, Amplifier never reached a wider audience. This is a pity since Amplifier’s albums contain excellently crafted songs which are a treat for ears and mind.

“Trippin’ with Dr. Faustus”, their new product in the offer, is rooted in 2011 when Amplifier released their “The Octopus” album. “Silvio”, a song on the new album, was meant to be a part of the band’s third record but didn’t make it on the tracklist since, according to Sel Balamir, it didn’t really fit into the universal themes of this longplayer. However, the idea kept on growing with being the base for a whole story around it.

The new album of the Manchester-based rock outfit features nine more songs, so ten in total. Generally spoken Amplifier sticks very much to their sound even though I have to say that the prog parts got a bit less, while the psychedelic elements moved more into the forefront, supported by a harsher sound expression that’s spot-on. The album is kept in melancholic mood that is widely interpreted. Songs like “Feakshow” stretches the borders a bit with some more psychedelic moments, including a Sabbath-inspired instrumental section half way down the road. “Horse” instead, also coming from an earlier moment in Amplifiers career, is kept calmer than other tunes in this release. It’s a well-done track that still includes some riffs while the overall pattern is a more soulful one. These bigger soundscapes are even stronger when it comes to "Supernova" and also the acoustic "Anubis" contributes to a wider range of sounds. As mentioned, the prog parts are less present, however there are more complex tracks on the album too. One of them is the multi-layered “The Communion (Big Time Party Maker)”, also pleasing the listener with a powerful drum beat.

“Trippin’ with Dr. Faustus” became an interesting rock album, done by a band that deserves more attention. The music on their sixth longplayer definitely supports such a step and let’s see if fans will pick it up. For sure it’s good psychedelic rock music for fans of Soundgarden, Monster Magnet,...
 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rainbow Machine
  2. Freakzone
  3. Kosmos (Grooves of Triumph)
  4. The Commotion (Big Time Party Maker)
  5. Big Daddy
  6. Horse
  7. Anubis
  8. Supernova
  9. Silvio
  10. Old Blue Eyes

 

Label: Rockosmos

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: July 14th, 2017

 

Kommentare

CD review NICOTINE NERVES "Nictotine Nerves

Veröffentlicht am 25. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Nictotine Nerves, Rock, Grunge, Punkrock, Punk, News, CD Review

CD review NICOTINE NERVES "Nictotine Nerves

(7/10) Aarhus - Rock City? OK, this is a bit overdone, but there seems to be a vital rock scene in Denmarks second biggest city with Nictotine Nerves being a part of it. The Danish duo released their debut album a few weeks ago, featuring eight rock songs with various roots.

Garage rock, Ramones-influenced punk and some grunge are the main incredients of this rock outfit. None of the tracks on this album reaches an epical length. Most of what you get to hear is around two minutes long and right to the point. Nicotine Nerves' music comes without frills and decoration. Tunes like uptempo "Skin Tight Shoes" and anarchic "Rad" are great stuff, coming from a band enjoying their youth. Each of these tracks get out of the gates pretty well and even the calmer moments, like "Melted Waves" with some Nirvana references, makes fun.

Don't expect a musical revolution. This album is just fun to listen to, enjoying the wildness and freedom of youth. For older guys, like I am of, a nice energy boost and reminder of the 90's.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Skin Tight Shoes
  2. Redwine and Cigarette Butts
  3. Shoot Me Dead
  4. AAEOAA
  5. Melted Waves
  6. Nervous
  7. Rad
  8. People

 

Label: Middle Ear Recordings

Genre: Garage Rock

Release Date EU: May 5th, 2017

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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 NAVARONE "Oscillation"

Veröffentlicht am 2. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in Navarone, Hardrock, Rock, News, CD Review, Alternative Rock, Grunge

(8/10) A colleague of mine mentioned Navarone quite a few times and I haven't done anything with this information - up till today. Things changed with getting the new album from Dutch-based rockers.

Navarone is the brainchild of singer Merijn van Haren and guitarist Kees Lewiszong. The guys started under the banner of Overthrow back in 2008. They got some attention from Dutch rock dinosaurs Golden Earring and it was their front man Barry Hay who came with the idea of renaming the band. The initial idea was to call the group The Guns Of Navarone based on a movie with the same title. For some reasons the name got a bit shorter and Navarone became the final header of this five-piece from Nijmegen.

The quintet released already two albums, of which the debut saw the light of day in 2012 followed by the sophomore ‘Vim and Vigor’ in 2014. 'Oscillation’ is the highly anticipated third longplayer that hit the stores a few days ago.

The opener 'Snake' is a good choice. It is a tune that is builds on a very solid rhythm foundation combined with some exciting vocals. A slower and dark verse interacts with a melodic chorus; both irresistible.

Song number two is the constant hammering "Lonely Night" with a heavy drum beat and an exciting chorus. Things get slightly faster with "Showtime" before "Free Together" acts as a counterpart. The acoustic track is belonging to the most emotional songs on this record and is a well-done melancholic ballad. Thumbs up for the silence.

But also grunge isn't unknown with Navarone. "Step by Step" includes some obvious Nirvana cross-references. Just to be clear, we're not talking about a copycat at all. Navarone weaves them into this song that's still 100% covering their own identity.

"Oscillation" is Navarone's third longplayer and it really rocks. The quintet bridges styles between alternative rock, grunge and rock which leads to pretty good songs. I finally understand why the band was recommended to me. This record is a modern and dynamic one that makes fun from beginning to end.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Snake
  2. Lonely Nights
  3. Showtime
  4. Free Together
  5. Soon I'll Be Home
  6. Shadow
  7. Step By Step
  8. Chrome
  9. Unmistakably Everything
  10. Days of Yore
  11. Don't Belong

 

Label: Rodeostar

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: January 20th, 2017

CD review NAVARONE "Oscillation"
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CD review THIRD ISLAND "Dusk" EP

Veröffentlicht am 13. August 2016 von Markus W. in Third Island, News, CD Review, Post Metal, Post Rock, Doom Metal, Grunge, Stoner Rock

(7/10) Third Island are three guys from Ireland with a passion for doom metal, which they combine with a lot of post-rock. The result of their work is a new EP called "Dusk". Liam O'Connor, John Quill and Seamus Quaid recorded three songs which are all extraordinary long.

The opener is called "Thawed My Skin" and starts slow and gloomy. The track is covered in acoustic shades of grey. There is a constant melancholy that builds the base for this eleven minutes long start into "Dusk". The trio kept this track almost monotonous with a lot of repetition. Fortunately this doesn't end up in boredom. It actually results more in a kind of hypnotic journey.

"Come Now" is next, a tune with nine minutes and a dark and oppressive vibe. Post rock dominates this number that includes some grunge cross references. It's especially Nirvana that came to my mind when I listened to the middle part of this intensive track.

The grunge parts are included in "It's Moving" too, which is another 11 minutes song. Third Island follows the same pattern used for the opener which makes also track number three to a pretty good tune.

My only concern is that the three songs are a kind of the same thing only different. What works for an EP could easily become too much for a full-length album. Third Island shows some potential and if the guys can get more variation into their songs, I could imagine a debut being not too far away from now.

Up till now, a good EP that is worth to be checked.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Thawed MThird Islandy Skin
  2. Come Now
  3. It's Moving

 

Label: Self-released

Genre: Post Metal

Release Date EU: already released

CD review THIRD ISLAND "Dusk" EP
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CD review RICHARDS/CRANE "Richards/Crane"

Veröffentlicht am 15. Juni 2016 von Markus W. in RichardsCrane, Ugly Kid Joe, Godsmack, News, Acoustic, Rock, Blues, Grunge, CD Review

(7/10) Hmmmm. What to write about this album? Not easy and even after quite some rounds of listening I'm not hundred percent sure when it comes to "Richards/Crane".

Richards/Crane is the first album out of a cooperation of Godsmack's Lee Richards and Ugly Kid Joe frontman Whitfield Crane. Both guys benefit from a lot of experience with their bands, something that actually should be a good base for such a cooperation.

So, how does it sound when these to guys collaborate? The ten songs on the album neither reflect one of the two 'mother bands'. Richards and Crane release an acoustic album that focusses on silent moments, nice melodies and a lot of feel. Sometimes I was reminded of music played while sitting around a campfire while other moments sound like the MTV unplugged session of grunge icons Alice In Chains ("Someday").

All this is actually quite positive and the fact that the duo get's support by Myles Kennedy on "Black & White" gives the album even an extra. However, you can feel already the 'but' that's coming. The fact that each of the songs in itself sounds good doesn't mean that the totality is great as well. After a while I had the idea that I hear the same thing only different. The album doesn't contain any peaks or breakouts. Each of the ten numbers follow a kind of the same scheme which leads to a certain state of boredom halfway. Richards and Crane forgot to release the hand break which means that the album stays in the same gear all the time.

Anyhow, good songs, good idea and next time please a bit more variation and peperoni.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Homeward
  2. Everyone
  3. Here in the Light
  4. Black & White
  5. Someday
  6. Lost
  7. Waiting for a Prayer
  8. Rainy Day
  9. Don't Cry for me
  10. World Stand Still

 

Label: Metalville

Genre: Acoustic

Release Date EU: May 27, 2016

 

 

CD review RICHARDS/CRANE "Richards/Crane"
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CD review RAW IN SECT "Blue Haze"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Mai 2016 von Markus W. in Raw In Sect, Alternative Metal, News, CD Review, Psychedelic Rock, Psychedelic Metal, Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock, Grunge

(7/10) Raw In Sect is a still fairly new band from Athens, Greece. Even though their history goes back to 2011, the band hasn't released more than a demo and the debut album. Their first record was followed by quite some live shows with various acts. 'Various' really means 'various' since also stylewise there was quite some diversification - from Overkill to Immolation. And interesting enough these bands sound all different from what Raw In Sect serves you.

The music on "Blue Haze" is hard to describe. Sometimes the guys take it more relaxed, like on "Abeer Quassim Hamza", sometimes the partly remind of bands like Down ("On the Run") while "Black Stoner" is what it is, a stoner rock number and "All Instincts Trip" has some parts reminding of Helmet.

Compared to the second half of the longplayer the first songs are the harder ones. Looking into the second part, the title track and also "High on Waves" are not silent once either but they are stressing a bit more the psychedelic side of Raw In Sect. And if this wouldn't be enough there is with "Drowning in the Norm" even an Alice In Chains inspired number on the album.

All in all I think that "Blue Haze" is a solid album with a wide range of sounds. It feels like the guys are still searching a bit for the bands identity, but besides this, OK stuff to listen to.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. On the Run
  2. All Instincts Trip
  3. Cutting My Skin
  4. Black Stoner (Part I & II)
  5. Abeer Qassim Hamza (A Glowing Shade)
  6. Blue Haze
  7. Migraines
  8. Drowning in the Norm
  9. High on Waves
  10. 10th Circle
  11. Υттατία

 

Genre: Psychedelic Metal

Label: Aural Music Group

Release Date EU: April 29th, 2016

CD review RAW IN SECT "Blue Haze"
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CD review NOTHING "Tired of Tomorrow"

Veröffentlicht am 5. Mai 2016 von Markus W. in Nothing, Post-Rock, Rock, Alternative Rock, Modern Rock, Grunge, CD Review, News

(8/10) Nothing's second strike is called "Tired of Tomorrow". The band from Philadelphia released their debut "Guilty of Everything" two years ago and I was already at that time impressed by the quality of their songs, something that raised the expectation when it comes to the second album of this four piece.

After having heard the album several times I can assure you, that "Tired of Tomorrow" became at least as good as the debut. I actually think, that it's a bit better since the band grew over time which enabled them to get even more out of their alternative rock sound.

Domenic Palermo and his gang starts with "Fever Queen". It's a robust wall of sounds that marks the beginning of this tune. What follows is a melancholic rock song that implements a picture of fragile beautiness in your mind. The song is reduced to it's minimum, something that doesn't go for the sound which is rich and organic. "Fever Queen" is creating with little means a feeling of trance, that includes a warm expression.

Another song, another mood. "Vertigo Flowers" is a bit faster than the opening double. Here we are talking about a swinging and almost light-hearted rock song that comes with a good melody. What both mentioned tracks have in common is the wide soundscapes Nothing creates. Actually this is something they do with each of the tracks on "Tired of Tomorrow".

A steady drum beat kicks-off "Nineteen Ninety Heaven", something that continues through the entire song, accompanied by a gentle guitar and soulful vocals.

But also grunge comes back in the sound of Nothing. Esp. "Curse of the Sun" and even more "Eaten by Worms" bring back a certain Seattle-vibe, not in the silent moments, but the downtuned guitar parts show some parallels with Nirvana & Co.

The title track is the last one on Nothing's second longplayer. I can understand that the guys have chosen this song as the name giver for the record. The number is great and special. It is an intensive composition that is mainly build on piano and vocals. This tune is the one, that has probably the most emotional depth. It catches you immediately with its beauty, covered in grey shades.

Nothing started successfully with their debut and the four-piece continues their journey on the new album "Tired of Tomorrow". With such an album the guys do not have any reason for being 'tired of tomorrow'. They should approach the future with full energy and curiosity about what's supposed to come.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Fever Queen
  2. The Dead are Dumb
  3. Vertigo Flowers
  4. ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder)
  5. Nineteen Ninety Heaven
  6. Curse of the Sun
  7. Eaten by Worms
  8. Everyone is Happy
  9. Our Plague
  10. Tired of Tomorrow

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: May 13th, 2016

CD review NOTHING "Tired of Tomorrow"
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CD review VALLEY OF THE SUN "Volume Rock"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Mai 2016 von Markus W. in Valley Of The Sun, Stoner Rock, Grunge, Garage Rock, Hardrock, News, CD Review

(8/10) The title of this album couldn't be chosen much better. "Volume Rock" describes exactly what you get with this longplayer. Valley Of The Sun releases with "Volume Rock" an album that hits bulls eye. The guys from Cincinatti, Ohio push the pedal to the metal and the result are nine fuzz/stoner rock songs that are highly entertaining.

It's actually the first time that I recognize that Valley Of The Sun sounds partly a bit like Volbeat. "Wants and Needs" is one example and it's the vocal lines that reminds me, in parts, of Poulsen.

Anyhow. The new songs are fuzz rock, stoner rock and garage rock with an essence of grunge, all in one. The tunes on "Volume Rock" are sometimes around 2 minutes and spot on, like the fabulous "The Hunt", while "I Breathe the Earth" is a slow moving beast that brings back the good old Kyuss sound.

One of the weirdest songs on the new longplayer is named "Speaketh the Shaman". It's a cool smasher that unveils some irresistable grooves after a while. This song demands a few times of listening before it reveals its hypnotic pleasure.

The stoner influence comes also back in the last tune. "Empty Visions" belongs to the real winners of the album.

"Volume Rock" should be listened loud. Turn on the amplifier and push your speakers to the limits. This album demands the full capacity of your equipement (and some tolerance from your neighbors).

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Eternal Forever
  2. Wants and Needs
  3. The Hunt
  4. Land of Fools
  5. I Breathe the Earth
  6. Speaketh the Shaman
  7. Beneath the Veil
  8. Solstice
  9. Empty Vision

 

Label: Fuzzorama Records

Genre: Stoner/Fuzz Rock

Release Date EU: April 29th, 2016

CD review VALLEY OF THE SUN "Volume Rock"
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Interview: MARK TREMONTI talking about the current tour and the upcoming TREMONTI and ALTER BRIDGE records

Veröffentlicht am 26. Dezember 2015 von Markus W. in Tremonti, Alter Bridge, News, Interview, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Grunge, Post Grunge, Slash, Myles Kennedy

Markus' Heavy Music Blog met Alter Bridge and Tremonti mainman Mark Tremonti for an interview before he entered the stage in Tilburg, Holland for a sold-out show with his solo project. The iconic guitarist talked about the current tour that led the band through Europe. Mark Tremonti also explained a few more details when it comes to new albums of Tremonti and Alter Bridge. Read here what the guitar player and melody writer has to tell.

 

Markus' Heavy Music Blog (MHMB): You are on tour in Europe right now, and there are two more shows to go. How was it?

Mark Tremonti (MT): It was great so far. We love touring in Europe since we have some of our real die-hard fans over here.

 

MHMB: You played, as you do today , in smaller venues. Some of those venues had been sold out rather quick. Have you guys underestimated the popularity of the Tremonti project?

MT: There are a couple of instances that led to this situation. One of them is that we changed agents in the middle of booking this tour. By the time we had our new agent on board some of the large rooms were taken already. This venue (Mark is referring to the 013) specifically, we were trying to get into the larger room but another band had booked it and they wouldn’t switch. We actually played the larger venue the last time we were here and we sold that one out too. But it wasn’t available this time, so we decided to go anyway and play the smaller venue. The same thing happened in Scotland where the show sold out really quickly too.

 

MHMB: I could imagine that the smaller sold out venues have a kind of special magic, that can’t be compared with the big stages. Does it make any difference for you if it’s a smaller venue or one of the bigger stages?

MT: Actually I like them both, and I like to switch between the two, as long as the stage isn’t too small, so that we can move. Sometimes smaller venues can also be really loud so that it hurts your ears a lot. Something you have less with bigger ones. But this one here, is a perfect little mix. It’s not too small, it’s not too big. It’s a fun, high energy type looking venue.

 

MHMB: You come back to Holland quite often. You recorded an Alter Bridge show in Amsterdam for a DVD release, you played the Melkweg in Amsterdam earlier this year and now, you have two shows with Tremonti before Christmas. It seems you like playing in Holland.

MT: Indeed. We’ll never come over to Europe without playing here. There are certain countries we not going to miss. It will not happen that we will not go to England or Germany; and the same goes for Holland. It’s just one of the key places for us.

 

MHMB: Next to playing the guitar you’re also the singer for Tremonti. How does this double function work for you, especially during live shows?

MT: It actually had strange effect on my guitar playing. When I toured Alter Bridge I’m highly focussed on everything around guitar which sometimes makes you play worse. Now, with Tremonti, when I’m less concerned about the guitar and more concerned about singing, I play better. I think it was Bill Murray who once said that “Don’t take yourself too seriously. Just let it happen“. So, doing the solo project has really let me open my eyes on how to approach guitar playing. I used to go over solos over and over again before each show. Now, I just go on stage and improvise which makes the flow much easier.

 

MHMB: What brought you to the decision of being also the singer? Was it something consciously decided or something that just happened and felt right??

MT: No, I wanted to sing. I was already in two bands with other singers. I have been a songwriter since I was a young lad and I love melodies. You could say I’m a melody writer, that’s why I wanted to sing this time. One of the biggest frustrations in my career is that people see me as a guitar player. I’m a songwriter and a melody writer That’s why it was good to find a way to also sing.

Interview: MARK TREMONTI talking about the current tour and the upcoming TREMONTI and ALTER BRIDGE records

MHMB: How do you make a distinction between songs for Alter Bridge and those for your solo band? I guess at a certain moment you have an idea that could become a song … and then?

MT: Well, the only thing that really separates it is, if it is super heavy metal sounding, something that sounds like a speed metal kind of idea, it goes towards Tremonti solo stuff. Some other song ideas are more atmospheric with a lot of space for a big vocals. Those I save for Myles because he can do it more justice. He is great at the big atmospheric soaring songs. So sometimes the songs with the big arrangements and a lots of space I would like to leave for Alter Bridge.

 

MHMB: Tremonti songs are quite different. “Armed yourself“ is almost speed metal, “Dark Trip“ is kept quite slow and partly quiet while „Flying Monkey“ reminds of Soundgarden. Is this width of style reflecting your influences?

MT: I love Soundgarden. But, I would say it starts early on with listening to what my folks were listening to. We listened to Rod Steward and Gerry Rafferty - all this oldschool 70’s soft rock, which I still like a lot. As I got older, bands like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains became my favorites. Also, the first Nirvana record really blew me away. Those are the most mainstream kind of albums. But, my main influences are Metallica, Slayer, Celtic Frost and Black Flag. So, I love the heavy stuff but I love the melodic stuff as well.

 

MHMB: Talking about Grunge, it started with Creed and continued with Alter Bridge that your sound is described as 'post grunge'. Would you describe it the same way or are you annoyed by this term?

MT: I would say it’s true in the Alice In Chains / Soundgarden department. But what frustrated me most, is when people compared us with Pearl Jam, because I sound nothing like Pearl Jam, on the guitar or songwriting-wise. I think it is just because people heard a connection between Scott’s voice and Eddie Vedder’s voice. But, if you listen to the music, it sounds nothing like Pearl Jam. That really annoyed me. As far as it is about Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, those are two of my most favorite bands ever. I consider Soundgarden as being less grunge and more as an alternative / punk / rock sound. I can’t really explain it better, but they have their own sound. With Alice In Chains I love the melodies a lot. I think that Jerry Cantrell is one of the greatest melody writers and I love what he does.

Interview: MARK TREMONTI talking about the current tour and the upcoming TREMONTI and ALTER BRIDGE records

MHMB: Two more shows to go and then I guess you’re going back home. How will you celebrate Christmas?

MT: Yes. I will go back home to Orlando/Florida to celebrate Christmas with the family.

 

MHMB: What can we expect from Tremonti and Alter Bridge in 2016?

MT: First of all there will be a new Alter Bridge album. I’m writing everyday on it and after the holiday period Myles will fly in second half of January. We start writing together, get into the studio and record through till April. When April hits, we will drop our next Tremonti record “Dust“, the new album that’s already finished. When we went into the studio last time, we recorded 20 songs and split them up into two, ten songs albums. After having released the album we will come back to Europe to tour on “Dust“. Then, I go home, I turn right around, 're-learn‘ all the Alter Bridge stuff and go on tour with Alter Bridge.

 

MHMB: That means, it will become a very busy 2016. Great to hear that there are new records coming in the new year.

MT: Yes, and maybe Myles will release his solo record too. Who knows.

 

MHMB: With such a full agenda, it sounds like co-ordinating times and dates is more than a challenge.

MT: We are just going to make sure that, once we get back on the Alter Bridge schedule, we will have an eighteen month period with having this band as the first priority. There will be other activities too in this period, but, Alter Bridge always comes first. And then, once this cycle is over, it will turn around where Slash and Tremonti is in focus for the next eighteen months.

 

MHMB: Now, while having the chance of talking to you, I have to ask you the question about Creed. There are rumors of a Creed reunion. Is there any truth in it?

MT: Right now I just don’t have time, you know. I look two years into the future and I’ll still be busy. So, if it would happen it would have to be in some time from now.

 

MHMB: Mark, thanks for your time and  we're looking forward to 2016.

MT: Thanks for having me.

 

 

 

Thanks to Diane Bale for support.

Interview: MARK TREMONTI talking about the current tour and the upcoming TREMONTI and ALTER BRIDGE records
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Live review TREMONTI / THE RAVEN AGE, 013, Tilburg, 19.12.2015

Veröffentlicht am 21. Dezember 2015 von Markus W. in Tremonti, The Raven Age, Rock, Alternative Metal, Modern Metal, Grunge, Post Grunge, Live Review, News

It feels like Mark Tremonti having a good relationship with The Netherlands. I can't remember him touring through Europe without having at least listed one show in the Holland. Also this time the tour stopped in the Benelux country and it has been second to last before the band goes into a well deserved x-mas vacation period.

Before playing Zwolle the day after it was the 013 in Tilburg that hosted the band on this Saturday night. Unfortunately Tremonti only played the smaller hall, which was sold out in no time. The attempt of moving to the bigger hall failed, which was a pity for everybody that couldn't get a ticket. But for the ones being part of the show, this concert became an awesome one in a quite intimate sphere.

But before Mark Tremonti and his gang could enter the stage it was up to The Raven Age to heat up the audience. The guys from London are around since 2009; at least this is when the Dan Wright and George Harris founded the band. It took till 2013 to get things more shaped, which was also the year when the band published their debut EP - the only release till this day.

However, The Raven Age has played many shows, supporting e.g. Masterdon and Delain. That the guys learnt a lot during those past shows was clearly visible in Tilburg that evening. The five dudes played a really good show that was very much appreciated by the fans. Even though must of them came for Tremonti, The Rave Age rocked the 013 and got a lot of applause. Their powerful modern- / alternative metal was perceived very well and the venue was already quite packed while the London-based five-piece played their set. 

For the ones who might missed the guys, there is a new chance, since they will be the opening act for Iron Maiden's "Book Of Souls" world tour. Knowing that George Harris' family name isn't coinsidentaly the same as the one from the might Maiden bass player, Steve is his father, not a too big surpise.

After a not too long break it was time for the master himself. Mark Tremonti and his band entered the stage. The beginning couldn't have been more furious than with the title track "Cauterize". Tremonti seems to enjoy releasing the metal beast with his solo project. Not that Alter Bridge, his main band, playing soft stuff, but the really heavy songs are reserved for Tremonti.

"Flying Monkeys" for example sounds already brutal on the album, but the live version was even harder. What a riff, man! Soundgarden in their earlier days came to my mind immediately. Talking about grunge influences, also the more moderate "All I Was" from the debut was played and sounded damn cool. OK, there was actually no number on the setlist that wasn't a treat for a true metalhead's ears.

Regardless if it's the more melancholic "Dark Trip" or the speed metal influenced "Arm Yourself", both from "Cauterize", these songs just rock. Those tunes just turned the venue into a madhouse and if you would have asked the fans, this show could have gone forever.

And even though Mark Tremonti is the mainman I also want to mention the band that supported him. Eric Friedman, Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Keegan build with their excellent play the foundation for this wall of sound that night in Tilburg.

But after 15 songs and around 80 minutes playtime, things came to an end. "Wish You Well" marked the end of a fantastic show of a great musican that stand with both feet on the ground. Cool guy, cool show, cool musician.

I'm already looking forward to early summer 2016 when we can expect Tremonti back in Europe, than even with new songs in the backpack.

Live review TREMONTI / THE RAVEN AGE, 013, Tilburg, 19.12.2015

Setlist Tremonti:

  1. Cauterize
  2. You Waste Your Time
  3. All I Was
  4. So You're Afraid
  5. Flying Monkeys
  6. The Things I've Seen
  7. Radical Change
  8. Dark Trip
  9. Brains
  10. All That I Got
  11. Arm Yourself
  12. Decay
  13. Another Heart
  14. Sympathy
  15. Wish You Well

 

Setlist The Raven Age:

  1. Uprising
  2. Promisded Land
  3. The Death March
  4. Trapped Within the Shadows
  5. Eye Among the Blind
  6. Merciful One
  7. Salem's Angel (Intro by a drum solo)
  8. Angel in Disgrace

 

 

Location: 013, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Date: 19.12.2015

 

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CD review SAINT ASONIA "Saint Asonia"

Veröffentlicht am 19. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Saint Asonia, Stained, Three Days Grace, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, Post Grunge, Grunge, CD, News

(8/10) I have the feeling that 'supergroups' spring up like mushrooms at the moment. Maybe this has to do with the start of the autumn season or whatever.

Saint Asonia is the name of one of those 'supergroups'; this time in the field of alternative metal. So, what's so super with the group. Basically Saint Asonia are four guys that you might have heard about already in another context. Adam Gontier (v,g) played also for Three Days Grace, Mike Mushok is on lead guitar and known from Stained, Corey Lowery (Eye Empire) is on the four-string and the drumkit is in hands of Rich Beddoe, former part of Finger Eleven.

Saint Asonia was formed by those guys back in 2014 in Toronto, Canada. The band/project wasn't really meant to be a supergroup. It is more a constellation of musicians, sharing the same musical taste, that found a new channel to express their creative output.

The first single of the self-titles debut album is "Better Place" which was also chosen to be the opener for "Saint Asonia". It's a lusty rock song that clearly shows the alternative metal and post-grunge roots of the different band members. The fourpiece sounds surprisingly heavy, which is a for sure benefit of the album. Far away from bands like Nickleback the four guys make some noise and build a lot of songs on massive guitar riffs.

More quite tunes ensure a diversity on this debut album. "Even Though I Say" is one of this slow songs that are soulful by still having rougher components too. And even "Waste My Time, the obligatory ballad on the longplayer, is a well-done and bitter sweet moment on "Saint Asonia". I have to say that the second half of the record became a bit softer anyhow. Not that those tunes can't keep the level of the early ones. However, the acoustic guitar gets more into spotlight, like in the soulful "Try To Catch Up With the World".

"Happy Tragedy" is bringing back the the crunchy riffs, at least partly, before with "Leaving Minnesota" the next slow tunes starts - and actually finishs the album.

"Saint Asonia" is a highly professional alternative rock/metal album that manages the balancing act between mainstream and heaviness. The excellent production is hereby the cherry on the cake. Saint Asonia can reach with their album post-grungers as well as the younger fans; something that will make the album to a commercial success.

In my point of view we got a great debut from this band, with the small sidenote that the second have been a bit harder. Maybe next time.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Better Place
  2. Blow Me Wide Open
  3. Let Me Live My Life
  4. Even Though I Say
  5. Fairy Tale
  6. King of Nothing
  7. Waste My Time
  8. Dying Slowly
  9. Trying To Catch Up With the World
  10. Happy Tragedy
  11. Leaving Minnesota

 

Label: Columbia (Sony Music)

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release date EU: October 23rd, 2015

CD review SAINT ASONIA "Saint Asonia"
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