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LP review ENSLAVED " Roadburn Live"

Veröffentlicht am 20. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Enslaved, Roadburn, ByNorse, News, CD Review, LP Review, Live, Viking Metal, Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal

(8/10) In 2015 Bergen-based metal Vikings Enslaved embarked on a trip to The Netherlands. The purpose for this trip was the bands participation at Roadburn 2015 and even more – Enslaved guitarist Ivar Bjørnson curated this years festival edition.

The band performed twice, with the concert that was recorded for this release featuring the show on April 11th, 2015. "Roadburn Live" is by the way the first live album that Enslaved released up till now and stands for another highlight in the band's rich musical history. The guys from Norway played eight songs that night, each of them paying attention to the newer material of the band. Special highlight, next to the awesome tunes, is the guest appearances. No less than Waldruna’s Einar " Kvitrafn" Selvikfor “Daylight”, as well as Aðalbjörn Tryggvason from Sólstafir and Per Wiberg added some part to the total with their involvement leading to an extra when it comes to expression and intensity. Selvikfor also did some vocals on “Convoys to Nothingness” and in the end of the gig Enslaved included a cover song which was as also done with a guest. Led Zeppelin’s classic rock masterpiece “Immigrant Song” was performed as the closer of this show, supported by Focus’ Menno Gootjes. It's the first time ever that Enslaved recorded a cover version and we can conclude that the experiment worked out well. All these highlights are captured on this vinyl version that was released on record store day in conjunction with this years Roadburn festival.

The limited vinyl version came as gatefold with two golden records. Maybe ‘golden’ is a bit of a big word since it’s more a kind of yellowish beige rather then a shining gold color. However, that doesn’t limit the joy of listening to each of these eight songs after having hung up the A3 poster as additional wall decoration. This album contains great songs that have been performed in a special scenery - all in front of enthusiastic fans. And the fact that Jens Bogren did that mastering with  Iver Sandøy doing the mix means aso a perfect sound level when it comes to live recording. "Roadburn Live" is a very-well done release that's exciting for fans and rookies

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

Side 1:

  1. Building with Fire
  2. Death in the Eyes of Dawn

Side 2:

  1. In Times
  2. Daylight

Side 3:

  1. Convoys to Nothingness
  2. As Fire Swept Clean the Earth

Side 4:

  1. Isa
  2. Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin cover)

 

Label: By Norse Music/Roadburn Records

Genre: Progressive Viking Metal

Release Date EU (Vinyl limited edition): April 22nd, 2017

Release Date EU (CD): May 19th, 2017

LP review ENSLAVED " Roadburn Live"
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LP review "IRON MAGAZINE "Queen of Hell" EP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

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

 

Label: Ektro Records

Genre: Alternative Rock

Release Date EU: March 17th, 2017

LP review "IRON MAGAZINE "Queen of Hell" EP
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LP review PINK FLOYD "Animals" - re-issue

Veröffentlicht am 19. November 2016 von Markus W. in LP Review, CD Review, News, Rock, Classic Rock, Prog Rock, Pink Floyd, nwk_media_hh

(*/10) Almost to the date four decades ago the legendary Pink Floyd released with “Animals” and album that belongs to the milestones in the band's rich discography. The record is now, after twenty years, available again in a vinyl version and is the last one in a series of three re-releases. “Wish You Were Here” and “The Dark Side of the Moon” have been published already a few weeks ago, now followed by “Animals”. Compared to the latter, the first two albums aren’t new versions as they have been part of the 2011 retrospective. “Animals” instead went through a full remastering of the original mastertapes.

For all the younger readers who might not know the album, “Animals” is Pink Floyd’s tenth studio album and with a concept that is loosely based on George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. The album contains an intro and an outro called “Pigs on the Wing”, framing the three elementary tunes “Dogs”, “Pigs” and “Sheep”. Each of these animals stands for a certain social class. While the ‘dogs’ stand for greedy people that are just aiming for their own profit, benefit and money, it’s the ‘pigs’ that are the moralists, preaching water and drinking wine. And then there are the ‘sheep’, which stands for the wide mass of people that are just following and don’t want to be bothered with things. Eventhough the original release of the album was in the end of the 70’s; looking on the last year’s political and social developments the topic is more than relevant up to today.

Pink Floyd also kept this album harder and rougher than the predecessors. Keyboard based soundscapes are gone on “Animals” and it’s mainly David Gilmour’s guitar that’s building the base for the three songs.

The re-issue of this classic in a vinyl version is more than a collector’s piece. Eventhough I like the new digital way of listening to music I also think that there are records screaming for a vinyl version. This one belongs to this group and I guess that fans of progressive rock music will enjoy this re-release that comes in a fantastic gatefold version. 

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Pigs on the Wing (Part one)
  2. Dogs
  3. Pigs (Three Different Ones)
  4. Sheep
  5. Pigs on the Wing (Part two)

 

Label: Pink Floyd Records

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: November 18th, 2016

 

 

 

LP review PINK FLOYD "Animals" - re-issue
LP review PINK FLOYD "Animals" - re-issue
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LP review CLUTCH "La Curandera"

Veröffentlicht am 2. November 2016 von Markus W. in Clutch, CD Review, News, Stoner Rock, Rock, Alternative Rock, Hardrock, LP Review

(7/10) "La Curandera" is the newest output from Clutch and it features eight songs of this four-piece which have been released already earlier in time. It was in 2015 when this record hit the market, at that time being meant as a support for a beast cancer prevention campaign. 
However, detailism. The songs captured on this disc are cool stuff that's waiting for you to be checked out; in case you don't know the songs yet, since eaxch of them was already released
earlier 
The title track is a fantastic stoner rock song that makes the desert even glowing hotter. "Black Umbrella" is a well-done rock song that includes some roots of rock'n'roll and faster tracks like "Cyborg Bette", taken from "Earth Rocker", goes hand in hand with more midpace numbers. "Oh Isabella" belongs to the latter and is belonging to the best tracks on the special release. It's also the last strike before the live version of "The Dragonfly" closes this new chapter of Clutch. 
All in all "La Curandera" is an interesting Clutch record that comes as download and vinyl only.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Cypress Groove
  2. La Curandera
  3. Black Umbrella
  4. Struck Down
  5. Cyborg Bette
  6. Night Hag
  7. Oh Isabella
  8. The Dragonfly (Live)

 

Label: Weathermaker Music

Genre: Stoner Rock

Release Date EU: October 7th, 2016

LP review CLUTCH "La Curandera"
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LP review DAMIAN WILSON "Built For Fighting"

Veröffentlicht am 7. September 2016 von Markus W. in Damian Wilson, Threshold, Headspace, News, CD Review, LP Review, Rock, Hardrock, Prog Rock, SingerSongwriter

(9/10) Many of you know Damian Wilson as being the frontman of fantastic metal bands such as Threshold and Headspace. Some of you might also be familiar with the fact that the singer is part of the acoustic Iron Maiden cover band Maiden UniteD and maybe even less metalheads are aware of Wilson's solo releases which show the calmer rocking moments of the charismatic singer.

Damian Wilson published already four longplayers and, after 10 years of waiting, the next one is in the starting blocks, ready to be released. "Build For Fighting" is the title of the newest solo output of the UK-based singer on which he, together with musicians like Harry Rowland, Bill Shanley, Binzer Brennan and many more, put twelve brilliant songs that covers a range from catchiness to rock to fragility. Not to forget in this whole line-up is of course Wilson's Headspace buddy Adam Wakeman who plays a major role in Wilson's solo albums.

"Build For Fighting" is actually a title that sounds very aggressive, but the album isn't reflecting this at all. I think it's rather the fight against the usual, a constant battle between life plans and chaotic surprises. But these are more my own interpretations of the album after I have heard it several times.

The first single is also the opener for a great rock album. Wilson always wanted to get one of his songs into the playlist of BBC's Radio 2 and he managed. The swinging "Thrill Me" is the name of this tune that is pure ear candy. The song includes a rocking expression and a great melody, a combination that is really 'thrilling me'.

Another highlight is the partly silent "Fire" that sounds more like an homage to light but also includes expressing the inner fire of 'burning' for something. The romantic "Somebody", a Wilson-arranged Depeche Mode cover, is next, which is a well-done version with some string arrangements embedded in the chorus. It's another example of Wllson's great way of singing and the width of his vocal range. He manages to blow life into heavy tracks like the ones from Threshold and he can interpret singer-songwriter tracks in an emotional way too, songs that just grab your attention.

The B-side of the longplayer starts with "Can't Heal War" which is one of the harder tracks on the album. It's addressing a more serious topic with well done lyrics. To underline the lyrics Wilson arranged this tune with heavy moments that make this number to a true experience for listeners. "What Have We Done" is acting as a kind of musical counterpart to the previous track since it's kept quiet and reflective. A new song another expression. "Written in Anger" comes next on the tracklist. The tune starts with an acoustic guitar and develops into a beautiful hymn that is perfectly done.

One of the best songs on "Built For Fighting" comes at the end. "I Won't Blame Life" is on of the best bal;ladic songs I have heard since quite a while. This anthem comes with a lot of emotional depth and an intensity, embedded in easiness, that is mind-blowing. It definitely belongs to the best three tracks on an album that is filled with winners anyhow.

Damian Wilson's new longplayer is a true highlight and is a diamond that shines for fans of rock music as well as for singer/songwriter enthusiasts. And also metal fans should give this album a change since it shows one of the best singers in metal in a different environment.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist

Side A:

  1. Thrill Me
  2. When I Was Young
  3. Impossible
  4. Fire
  5. Somebody (Depeche Mode cover)
  6. Sex & Vaniilla

Side B:

  1. Can't Heal War
  2. What Have We Done
  3. Written in Anger
  4. All I Need
  5. I Won't Blame Life
  6. Battlelines

 

Label: Blacklake

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: September 9th, 2016

 

LP review DAMIAN WILSON "Built For Fighting"
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LP review STEVEN WILSON "Transience"

Veröffentlicht am 27. September 2015 von Markus W. in Steven Wilson, Porcupine Tree, Prog Rock, Rock, News, CD Review, LP Review, Vinyl

(*/10) You might wonder if the header is a typing error. No, it's not. This album is an LP only. "Transience" is a double album, yinyl only, that comes with 13 songs from the master of progressive soundscapes. As Steven Wilson states in the label info he always resisted to do compilations, but this time he couldn't resist.

The thirteen tracks on "Transience" have been written between 2003 and 2015. The tunes are spread out on three sides of the double album. The fourth side is reserved for 'etching' of the original handwritten lyric sketches for "Happy Returns" - one of the tracks on the album. Already this is something that makes the longplayer to a sonic goody for all fans and collectors.

But "Transience" isn't only for die-hard fans. Quite in contrary. Also for new fans, the ones that have been always 'afraid' of Wilson's complex and multilayered songs, it's this vinyl that offers thirteen great entrypoints into the musical world of Steven Wilson. Each of the tunes is easier to diguest than some of the other compositions of the dedicated musician and the tracks are also kept shorter too. The song itself gets the attention by still keeping the passion for arcs of suspension a la Wilson. Big soundscapes meet outstanding melodies that provides you with an hour of dreamful music.

Next to Steven Wilson songs the album also contains "Lazarus" from Porcupine Trees in a 2015 version that is based on a live recording from the current Steven Wilson line-up.

"Transience" is special and a beautiful piece of music. This album deserves, no, it demands vinyl. If you love rock music and if you have a passion for big melodic compositions you have to call this record your own.

 

(*/10) 

 

Tracklist:

Side 1:

  1. Transience (Single version)
  2. Harmony Korine
  3. Postcard
  4. Significant Other
  5. Insurgentes

Side 2:

  1. The Pin Drop
  2. Happy Returns (edit)
  3. Deform to Form a Star (edit)
  4. Thank you

Side 3:

  1. Index
  2. Hand Cannot Erase
  3. Lazarus (2015 recording)
  4. Drive Home

Side 4:

Etching

 

Label: Kscope

Genre: Prog Rock

Release date EU: September 25th, 2015

 

 

LP review STEVEN WILSON "Transience"
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