Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

heavy rock

CD review GOZU "Equilibrium"

Veröffentlicht am 20. April 2018 von Markus W. in Gozu, News, CD Review, Metal Blade, Stoner Rock, Heavy Rock, Hardrock, Alternative Rock

CD review GOZU "Equilibrium"

(8/10) It isn’t an easy thing to place Boston, MA-based Gozu into a certain category when it comes to style and sound. The quartet builds their music on various sources of inspiration, leading to songs that are exciting from beginning to end.

2018 is the year of Gozu’s newest delivery. The album is entitled “Equilibrium” and features eight songs. What doesn’t sound like a lot of songs still leads to a running time of almost 50 minutes due to the length of each of the tunes.

Mentioning the length of song immediately brings us to the last track on the album. “Ballad of ODB” is with eleven minutes an epic closer of this record, showcasing all the influences Gozu builds their music on. The general vibe of this well-crafted epos is a psychedelic one. Especially in the first third of “Ballad of ODB” some calmer 60’s classic rock dominates the sonic pattern. The tunes gets louder along the way with the general mood being the link that keeps things together.

Moving from finish to start means talking about “Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat”. It’s a killer riff that kicks-off the track and the album. It’s stronger stoner rock breeze that comes with the opener while the solo parts are reminding of classic rock. The tune is an excellent start into the album and is followed by the slower paced “The People vs. Mr.T.”. By the way, song titles of this longplayer are really unusual ones, but you probably recognized this already.

Another track that comes with a doomy vibe is the really cool “Manimal”. The tune is a slowly grooving riff monster that peaks in a melodic chorus.

“Equilibrium” is an album that brings joy by its warm and organic expression. Nothing feels forced on this longplayer, with eight songs securing a brilliant flow. It’s the totality of 50 minutes being the pleasure of an album that should also be listened to from beginning to end. Each of the songs is a little highlight in itself, but it’s all together that creates enthusiasm.  This album contains honest music for fans of hand-crafted rock music with an irresistible ease.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat

  2. The People vs. Mr. T

  3. King Cobra

  4. Manimal

  5. They Probably Know Karate

  6. Prison Elbows

  7. Stacy Keach

  8. Ballad of ODB

 

Label: Metal Blade Records

Genre: Stoner-/ Classic Rock 

Release Date EU: April 13th, 2018

Kommentare

CD review EISLY/GOLDY "Blood, Guts and Games"

Veröffentlicht am 4. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Eisly-Goldy, Blood, Guts and Games, Hardrock, Heavy Rock, News, CD Review, Frontiers Music, Craig Goldy, David Eisley

CD review EISLY/GOLDY "Blood, Guts and Games"

(7/10) Like we know from some of Frontiers Music's earlier releases also Eisely/Goldy is built on a combination of singer and guitarist, starting up for a new project leading to a longplayer.

This time it's Californian singer David Eisely, known from his time with Guiffria, and guitarist Craig Goldy, who enriched Dio albums such as "Dream Evil". Since Goldy was part of Guiffra too both guys share already a common history and it's the here & now that brings them together in a new constellation.

It was Goldy who took the initiative. Visiting Eisely at home for a 'surprise visit' lead to some first talks about making music together. This happened in 2014 and it resulted in having this new longplayer out in the record shops in December this year.

"Blood, Guts and Games" is the title of the longplayer that, next to the two mentioned, also includes Ron Wikso on drums.

In case you expect heavy rock sounds known from Goldie's Dio-days I have to disappoint you. If you want to listen to those you need to join one of the 'Dio Returns' shows later this year, of which Goldie is part of. The Eisley/Goldie album comprises some tracks though, like "No More Prayers in the Night", which are done in a harder fashion, and also "Wings of a Hurricane" includes a good punch. Next to these powerful rockers it's in general terms melodic rock you get offered, tunes that avoid too much edges.

It's songs like the opener "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" and "Love of the Game" that stands for rock music, done with good craftsmanship. The guys aren't into risk-taking and play it safe. What they added though to this approach is a good sense for melodies, a lot of experience and a solid production. "Blood, Guts and Games" comes with a dense sound that gives songs like "Soul if Madness" the right kick.

"Blood, Guts and Games" is a good (hard-)rock album that fits perfect to Frontiers' portfolio. This album might not be rocket-science but it provides a good vibe in grey autumn times.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
  2. I Don't Belong here Anymore
  3. Lies I Can Live With
  4. No More Prayers in the Night
  5. Love of the Game
  6. Wings of a Hurricane
  7. Life, "If Only a Memory"
  8. Soul of Madness
  9. Track Thirteen
  10. Believe in One Another

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Rock

Release Date EU: December 1st, 2017

Kommentare

CD review LYNCH MOB "The Brotherhood"

Veröffentlicht am 8. September 2017 von Markus W. in Lynch Mob, News, Hardrock, Rock, Blues, Rat Pak, CD Review, Sleaze Rock, Classic Rock, Heavy Rock

CD review LYNCH MOB "The Brotherhood"

(8/10) To name an album “The Brotherhood” must have a meaning and it does. Basically it emphasis the fact that the line-up worked together in different constellations over the last years with George Lynch and singer Oni Logan being the key factors. Band leader and singer started their cooperation already in 1989 when Lynch Mob took off, followed by many 'in and out moments' over time. Since 2014 both of them work together again on a consistent base and the new album reflects the strength of it very well. “The Brotherhood” sounds tight and straight-forward, standing as a rock in the ocean of new releases. What’s rather new to Lynch Mob is the powerhouse, represented by Jimmy D’Anda (d) and Sean McNabb (b), both joining in 2015 and being well-integrated in the band.

This four-piece band recorded Lynch Mob’s eighth studio album that features 12 new songs, all in the fields of rock and blues. “The Brotherhood” rocks from the first to last note played, with “Main Offender” being a grooving opener that shows the extra class of Lynch and his band mates. Songs on the new record are quite hard and come with a darker vibe which is also reflected in the artwork.

The guys do best when they combine hard rocking sounds with some blues roots, reflected in songs like “I’ll Take Miami” and “Where We Started”, the latter being a heavy pounding smasher.

To balance the heavy songs Lynch Mob embedded half-way down the road an acoustic highlight entitled “The Forgotten Maid’s Pearl” before hooks and riffs take over again with “Until the Sky Comes Down” and “Black Heart Days”. Towards the end the record contains with “Miles Away” a ballad that might fit perfect into the flow of the album but is on the other hand not leading to endless excitement.

Last but not least it’s the very rhythmic “Until I get My Gold” that closes another Lynch Mob album which is built on the creative collaboration of guitarist and singer. George Lynch and Oni Logan seems to challenge each other enough for writing well-crafted hardrock songs that are a treat for fans and enthusiasts of rock music. Hopefully the brotherhood atmosphere will remain when it comes to the coming years.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Main Offender
  2. Mr. Jekyll and Hyde
  3. I’ll Take Miami
  4. Last Call Lady
  5. Where We Started
  6. The Forgotten Maid’s Pearl
  7. Until the Sky Comes Down
  8. Black Heart Days
  9. Black Mountain
  10. Dog Town Mystics
  11. Miles Away
  12. Until I Get My Gold

 

Label: Rat Pak Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: September 8th, 2017

Kommentare

CD review THE QUILL "Born From Fire"

Veröffentlicht am 5. September 2017 von Markus W. in The Quill, Metalville, Stoner Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Doom Rock, Heavy Rock, Rock, News, CD Review

CD review THE QUILL "Born From Fire"

(8/10) Swedish rock and metal has, to a big part, a homebase in either Gothenburg or Stockholm. The Quill doesn’t call any of these cities their home. The guys founded the band in Mönsterås which is smaller town at the Swedish East coast.

The guys aren’t new and you’ve heard of them quite regularly. The quartet was founded back in 1990, after having been around four years under the flag of Quil. Things started to increase in speed during the mid 90’s when stoner rock gained momentum with bands like Kyuss being the spearhead of this genre. In their wake other bands got into the spotlight too and The Quill was one of them.

The debut came up to surface in 1995 and six more longplayers lined up, with Tiger Blood”, the latest record, being released in 2013. Four years later the next The Quill beauty delights fans of stoner rock as well as it’s a treat for ears of heavy rock fans.

“Born From Fire” is the title of the eighth studio album and it features twelve entertaining songs that combine the best of stoner and heavy rock. Regardless if it’s the mighty rockers like “Keep it Together”, the Sabbath-like “Spirit and the Spark”, the psychedelic “Set Free Black Crow” or the uptempo  “Snake Charmer Woman”, each of them gets out of the blocks very well and rocks in a spot-on manner. These songs outnumber and can easily compensate for the weaker “Revelation”.  Next to the well-done songwriting it’s also the sound of the album that’s powerful. Guitar and bass are forceful booming, which gives the album a warm and organic swing. It’s hard to not get caught by this album.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Stone Believer
  2. Snake Charmer Woman
  3. Ghosthorse
  4. Keep it Together
  5. Spirit and the Spark
  6. Skull & Bones
  7. Set Free Black Crow
  8. Electric Sons
  9. Hollow of Your Hand
  10. Unchain Yourself
  11. Revelation
  12. Metamorphosis

 

Label: Metalville

Genre: Stoner Rock

Release Date EU: August 25th, 2017

Kommentare

Interview with Toschie & Arve from AUDREY HORNE

Veröffentlicht am 2. August 2016 von Markus W. in Audrey Horne, Classic Rock, Interview, News, Rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, Dynamo Metal Fest

Interview with Toschie & Arve from AUDREY HORNE

Markus’ Heavy Music Blog: We are here at the Dynamo Metal Fest in Eindhoven. When you hear these two words ‚Dynamo‘ and ‚Eindhoven‘, what comes to mind?

Toschie: There is a club here in Eindhoven called Dynamo and we played that club Of course, I have also heard about this festival way back.

Arve: I think it was much bigger in the past?

 

MHMB: True. It was much bigger and had a revival last year with this new location.

Arve: OK. So we heard about it in the past but today was the first time that we played this festival.

 

MHMB: Audrey Horne went on stage pretty early today as the second band. How was that?

Toschie: Yeah, it was special, but there were a lot of people that early. When we do bigger festivals, for example in France or Germany, we are sometimes early too and sometimes late on the billing list. Especially for the early shows we are always nervous in the sense of 'will there be anyone out there?'. But it's always really packed, also the early shows. If you would do this in Norway, being the second band on a festival, no one would be there. People often come for the last three to four bands and hang around on the festival camp for the rest of the day. You hear people say "show starts, let's go there".

Arve: I think that this is also one of the good things with a one-day festival. People show up and going for the whole festival. I mean, if you go for 3 or 4 days, people start to get tired and you might want to sleep longer.

 

MHMB: Today we have nine bands and the festival is, as you said Arve, a one-day event. I have the feeling that those huge festivals have become a kind of general entertainment event while a smaller festival like this one is more focused on the music. How do you see this as a band?

Arve: Let's say, for us it's different. As you said, this one is better for the music, because people are really focussed on the music. I haven't had a walk around here yet, but I guess there is not that much more to do here than listen to the music. And we like this focus on the music, which is definitely a good thing for us. But I also think that if the festival is for more than one day, people also need something else to entertain themselves than only music.

 

MHMB: The last time I saw Audrey Horne live was in the Baroeg in Rotterdam, which is a rather small venue. How is it to be on such a big stage like the one here at Dynamo?

Arve: I actually love both. On smaller stages you can get far more intimate with the audience and you can connect far better. The bigger stage instead provides more space to move. So, both have good things with it.

Toschie: They are two different things. I personally, I get more of a kick out of club shows. Festival shows are cool in the sense that you have a lot of room and you have the chance to play for a bigger audience, which is always beneficial. The first time we played Helfest made Audrey Horne more popular in France. So many people saw us, most of them for the first time, and we got a huge response from France which gave us the opportunity to play a club show tour in France. So, being on the main stage of a festival is like perfect marketing for a band.

Arve: Another thing is that at smaller venues you are creating the atmosphere and the energy together with the audience, while on bigger stages you more or less have to do it between ourselves. However, both are fun.

 

MHMB: If I look on the billing of today, you guys stand out a bit. Between all the power metal, death metal,... you guys are into classic rock with Audrey Horne.

Toschie: I love to be the dark horse. I remember when we first started to play metal festivals I felt sort of out of place. I felt almost like I don't belong here. But then, after I while, I noticed that fans are actually listening to us. In between all the brutal metal we serve something 'sexy' with our music and people like it. It's almost like sitting around a table of half empty beer bottles and somebody puts down a bottle of champagne - that's us. An interesting thing that I noticed in Europe in general is that most festivals are themed, like a traditional metal festival, a black metal festival and so on. In Norway things are different. There they take very different music which leads to billings that include Behemoth and R.E.M. playing at the same festival. That's something very normal in Norway. Just before I came here, I was in the more northern parts of Norway to visit family. They had a festival up there where they had bands doing German-like Schlager music following Danko Jones. That is also one of the reasons why people don't go to a show at the festival too early. It is more a happening where you go to have a drink with your buddies and maybe watch a show of a band later.

 

MHMB: Let's have a bit of a look into the future. You guys will play a few shows in Norway during the summer, but the main question is: when will there be a new Audrey Horne album?

Toschie: Yes, that's right. We will do some festivals in Norway and I think this is pretty much it, what we will do live this year.

Arve: The next Audrey Horne album is actually our biggest focus at the moment. Right now we are writing new songs.

Toschie: So we need some time at the moment. We will be in the rehearsal room and in Arve's studio for the pre-production. Hopefully in January/February 2017 we'll start recording the new album.

 

 

Interview with Toschie & Arve from AUDREY HORNE

MHMB: Can you tell us already a bit about how the new album will sound?

Arve: To be honest, we don't really know yet. We have been writing for a while and we have a bunch of ideas. Some are more like classic hard rock as on the last two albums while some other stuff is slightly different. We haven't put it together yet and it still can go in all directions.

 

MHMB: A totally different question. You guys are from Bergen which is probably the most important metal town in Norway. What is the secret of Bergen producing so many good rock and metal bands? It can't only be the rain, or?

Arve: I actually think that it has a lot to do with rain. You can't do many things outdoors due to the weather so you do indoor stuff, like playing music.

Toschie: I also think it has a lot to do with the size of the city. In Oslo you have, for example, the garage rock bands that stick to themselves and you have the black metal bands sticking to themselves and so on. Bergen instead isn't a big city nor is it a small village. So when we go out we hang around with musicians from the jazz scene, from the indie rock scene, from the black metal scene and so on. We have friends in all kind of genres which makes it easy for people to get influenced by each other. Based on that there are a lot of crossover things happening in Bergen, something that makes music far more interesting and innovative.

 

MHMB: That was all my questions. Thanks guys for spending some time with Markus’ Heavy Music Blog.

Arve and Toschie: Thanks for having us.

Interview with Toschie & Arve from AUDREY HORNE
Kommentare

CD review ARCTIC "s/t"

Veröffentlicht am 18. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in Arctic, Stoner Rock, Rock, Heavy Rock, News, CD Review, Doom Metal

(7/10) Normally it's not that cold in California and maybe it is the heat that inspired the guys of this band to name themselves Arctic. However, Oceanside, CA is the homebase of this trio. Figgy, Nuge and Frex are obviously fans of Black Sabbath, something that more than inspired their music.

This album, actually it's more an EP, features five songs that are all instrumental, with the exception of "Burnt Ice" which contains some vocals which are actually more spoken words than singing.

"S/T" is Arctic's first release and it doesn't sound too bad. Yes, there are a lot of stoner bands around at the moment and it feels like the market being overrun by new bands. However, these three pro-skaters are worth to listen to since their five songs reflect a certain freedom and down to earth approach.

My personal fave on this release is the really heavy "Cryptic Black Sun" that transfers an extra orinary amount of power, but also the more nuanced "Daewon" is a cool track that includes some interesting twists.

Arctic isn't as cold as expected. The music of these three guys is actually quite hot and in case you like stoner music and doom metal you should check this release.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Over Smoked
  2. Cryptic Black Sun
  3. Burnt Ice
  4. Daewon
  5. Higher

 

Label: Outer Battery

Genre: Stoner Rock

Release Date EU: June 24th, 2016

CD review ARCTIC "s/t"
Kommentare

CD review BLESSED HELLRIDE "Bastards & Outlaws"

Veröffentlicht am 2. April 2016 von Markus W. in Blessed Hellride, Black Label Society, Rock, Heavy Rock, Southern Rock, News, CD Review

(7/10) The first thing that comes to your mind if you hear 'Blessed Hellride' is the Black Label Society album "The Blessed Hellride" from 2003. I don't know if this record was the initial spark for Blessed Hellride to start as a band, but name and sound of this five-piece suggests the assumption.

Blessed Hellride comes from Trier, Germany, a city that is better known for wine and old Roman history. But it seems that also sweaty Southern rock made it to Trier. At least this is the sound the five guys are playing on their debut album "Bastards & Outlaws".

The biggest asset of Blessed Hellride's sound is the energy, embedded in a strong groove. Each of the 12 songs (I don't count the intro) hits bulls-eye. It's mighty guitars riffs that makes songs like "Helldorado" to true headbangers.

And since tough guys have a big heart also this album contains a ballad. "Dead Man's Blues" shows the more silent aspect of Blessed Hellride. This rough powerballad gives a well deserved break on the trackless, but it's also not really rocket science.

Anyhow, Blessed Hellride's mission isn't to build in as much as possible finesse into each of their tracks. These guys want to rock and they want to have a good time, a vibe the got into this album and something they can transfer to the listeners. "Bastard & Outlaws" is no musical revolution, but it can cause severe neck problems due to intense headbanging.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Intro
  2. Helldorado
  3. Devils Ride
  4. Goddamn Hippie
  5. Papa Joe
  6. Blessed Hellride
  7. Blood Red River
  8. Moonshine Saloon
  9. Overdrive Junkies
  10. Dead Man's Blues
  11. Gevatter Tod
  12. Shame on You
  13. Bastards & Outlaws

 

Label: Rodeostar

Genre: Heavy Rock

Release Date EU: March 18th, 2016

CD review BLESSED HELLRIDE "Bastards & Outlaws"
Kommentare

CD review BANQUET "Jupiter Rose"

Veröffentlicht am 13. März 2016 von Markus W. in Banquet, Classic Rock, Retro Rock, Heavy Rock, CD Review, News

(6/10) Banquet are a quartet based in San Fransisco, CA. Eric Kang, Doug Stuckey, Damon Lockaby and Brandon Chester call the music, at least according to the FB side 'rock'n'roll'. This term fits actually pretty well since the four guys are inspired by the 70's rock music. Classic rock is the basic incredience, spiced-up with some psychedelic moments and typical retro feeling.

Unfortunately the sonic meal is a bit tasteless. The various components are present and also quite trendy at the moment. Retro rock and classic rock are still in a revival phase, but the way how Banquet outs together all the incrediences doesn't lead to a mindblowing result.

There are a few tracks that sound quite OK, like the partly Rainbow inspired "Run to You" and also the heavier "Touching the Grave" is belonging to the good numbers on "Jupiter Rose".

But in the end this isn't enough to fully convince. Tunes like "Sword of Damocles" aren't leading to final excitement, they actually lead more toward the opposite.

Last but not least the album is with seven songs not too long, to say it nicely. This is album is actually more an EP for the price of an LP - a real downer.

All in all Banquet's "Jupiter Rose" is quite OK, but there is far more out there which is a more tasteful treat for your years.

 

(6/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Mastermind
  2. Sword of Damocles
  3. Run to You
  4. Set me Free
  5. Burning Bridges
  6. Touching the Grave
  7. Jupiter Rose

 

Label: Heavy Psych Records

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: February 28th, 2016

 

CD review BANQUET "Jupiter Rose"
Kommentare

CD review VOODOO HILL "Waterfall"

Veröffentlicht am 13. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Voodoo Hill, Glenn Hughes, Dario Mollo, Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Heavy Rock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review

(8/10) And again it's Frontiers Music that brings together some genre icons to work on a new album. Voodoo Hill is the name of the cooperation out of guitarist Dario Mollo and singer legend Glenn Hughes. Having those two guys working together rose my expectations when it comes to "Waterfall"; the new album of Voodoo Hill.

So, CD into the play, pressing 'start' and looking forward to an exciting journey; that was the plan. But the first two tracks didn't knock off my socks. The opener "All That Remains" is a more complex track that isn't easy to access, even though it has a cool groove. "The Well" instead felt for me like the guys stayed in second gear by having five gears available. It's Glenn Hughes voice that safes the song from being too trivial. After such a beginning the question vame to my mind if I have had too high expectations.

No, I haven't. Fortunatly from track three on "Waterfall" becomes really exciting. "Rattle Shake Bone" is build on a really cool riff that shakes your bones. No comparison to the opening double.

The slow grooving "Underneath and Down Below" is next, a song that's located somewhere between the 80's Rainbow and Deep Purple. Also "Waterfall" has this classic rock expression that goes partly back to the 70's, by adding a modern touch to it.

Again, you have to go though the hard times in the beginning of this album in order to enjoy the rest. Numbers such as "Evil Thing" and the bluesy "White Feather" compensate for this and make "Waterfall" to a superb heavy rock album that lives up to the earlier mentioned high expectations.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. All That Remains
  2. The well
  3. Rattle Shake Bone
  4. Underneath and Down Below
  5. Waterfall
  6. Karma go
  7. Evil Thing
  8. Eldorado
  9. White Feather
  10. Sunflower
  11. Last Door

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: October 16th, 2015

CD review VOODOO HILL "Waterfall"
Kommentare

CD review GHOST "Meliora"

Veröffentlicht am 5. August 2015 von Markus W. in Ghost, Doom Metal, Occult, Rock, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, Heavy Rock, CD Review, News

(8/10) Unrevealed names of musicians isn't something original but it still gives extra attention. A can remember the hype about Mekong Delta in the late 80's when there was a lot of guessing about who stands behind this name. Ghost follows the same principle since many years. And eventhough there are some hints from time to time it is amazing that you can keep those kind of things as a secret for so many years - in a time when the digital world brings a lot of things up to surface. At least the role of Tobias Forge seems to become clearer, eventhough nothing was clearly outspoken.

However, let the music talk. "Meliora" is the third longplayer of the Swedish musicians and it follows the 2013 release "Infestissumam". And "Meliora" is a logical continuation of where Ghost ended with the predecessor - with a few exeptions.

The first thing that is recognisable is the fact that the new longplayer became a bit harder and tighter compared to the predecessor. The retro factor got a bit more into the back and the new songs come with a pretty good punch.

I guess that producer Klas Åhlund played an important role in this. The man that is also known for his productions for Madonna and Ketty Perry gave "Meliora" and flawless sound that contributes a lot to the positive expression of the longplayer.

With "He is" the record comes also with a special song. Special in the sense that Ghost wrote this number already back in 2007. But they never really found a way to get a real Ghost song out of it. Also here Åhlund was the final helping factor by having a clear idea - the result came on "Meliora" and it is for sure a highlight in the third longplayer.

I like "Meliora". It has all the typical trademarks and can be immediately recognised as being from Ghost. But the band also developed further and added new compontents to their sound which makes their music even more exciting. Ghost fans will love the new disc, while new fans might get interessted by listening to this record. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Spirit
  2. From the pinnacle to the pit
  3. Cirice
  4. SP ksonat
  5. He is
  6. Mummy dust
  7. Majesty
  8. Devil church
  9. Absolution
  10. Deus in absentia

 

Label: Spinefarm

Genre: Classic Rock

Release date EU: August 21st, 2015

CD review GHOST "Meliora"
Kommentare