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CD review NIGHTWISH "Decades"

Veröffentlicht am 5. März 2018 von Markus W. in Nightwish, Symphonic Metal, Heavy Metal, New, CD Review, Decades

CD review NIGHTWISH "Decades"

(*/10) Introducing Finnish symphonic rockers of Nightwish feels like carrying sand to the beach. Tuomas Holopainen and band are more than 20 years in business, a good moment to look back on all the band's achievements of two decades.

"Decades" is such a retrospective that covers the years between 1996 and 2015, a "Best of" album that's comes as a 2 CD release. All songs are remastered original versions, providing new fans a brilliant overview of Nightwish's creative milestones. 

A glimpse on the tracklist shows the songs ordered in a chronological way. It's the 24 minutes masterpiece "The Greatest Show on Earth", taken from the latest record "Endless Forms Most Beautiful", that acts as the entry-point for this comprehensive Nightwish album. 

The compilation comprises of all hits, arranged in a 'batting order' that goes from new to old, with a demo version of "Nighwish" being the closer of "Decades". In between, fans find all songs that needs to be on such an album. "Nemo", "Amaranth", "The Kingslayer" and "Wish I Had an Angel", all these classic are present on the tracklist that consists out of 22 songs in total.

The double CD doesn't include any new song or bonus track and it was a conscious decision to not re-record older tracks with Floor and Troy. Nightwish's sticks to their history and heritage and the aim was to transfer it in the most authentic way.

"Decades" is what the title professes. It's a well-done summary of Nightwish's creative work up-to-date and a good release for bridging the wait till the next album will hit the shelves.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Greatest Show on Earth
  2. Elan
  3. My Walden
  4. Stortime
  5. I Want My Tears Back
  6. Amaranth
  7. The Poet and the Pendulum
  8. Nemo
  9. Wish I Had an Angel
  10. Ghost Love Score
  11. Slaying the Dreamer
  12. End of All Hope
  13. 10th Man Down
  14. The Kingslayer
  15. Dead Boy's Poem
  16. Gethsemane
  17. Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean
  18. Sacrament of Wilderness
  19. Sleeping Sun
  20. Elvenpath
  21. Carpenter
  22. Nightwish (Demo)

 

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Symphonic Metal

Release Date EU: March 9th, 2018

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CD review EARTH CALLER "Crystal Death"

Veröffentlicht am 31. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Earthcaller, Crystal Death, Hardcore, Metalcore, Thrash Metal, New, CD Review, eONE

CD review EARTH CALLER "Crystal Death"

(7/10) Melbourne-based hardcore gang Earth Caller is a young hardcore outfit, inspired by bands like Madball and Terror. The five-piece powerhouse released their debut in 2015. "Degenerate" went right into the AIR charts with Earth Caller gaining quite some national attention. 

It was US major label eONE that signed the quintet for recording a second album which was unveiled some days ago. "Crystal Death" is the sophomore longplayer, featuring eleven songs. Earth Caller's second disc stands for well-done hardcore that doesn't solely focusses on riffs, breakdowns and shouts. These ingredients are present, no doubt, but there is a solid amount of melody weaved into songs like "No Forgivness" and "Dying Beside You". And as if the guys wanted to create a counterpart to these tunes the album also contains songs like the raging "Exposed", a track that's mainly build on a lot of anger and brutal riffing.

"Crystal Death" is an album that lives by the unbound energy of youth, good songs and a rock solid production. I guess we will hear more of these guys from Down Under.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Pipe Dreams
  2. Sucka
  3. No Forgiveness
  4. Exposed
  5. Dying Beside You
  6. Never in Never Around
  7. A Ghost
  8. Fall (ft. Sophie Jest)
  9. Mirror
  10. May 16
  11. Hold On (ft. Taylar Paige)

 

Label: eONE

Genre: Hardcore

Release Date EU: January 19th, 2018

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CD review GENOCIDE PACT "Order of Torment"

Veröffentlicht am 19. Januar 2018 von Markus W. in Genocide Pact, Relapse Records, New, Order of Torment, Death Metal, Doom Death Metal, Thrash Metal, CD Review

CD review GENOCIDE PACT "Order of Torment"

(7/10) Genocide Pact, hailing from Washington DC, are a rather new band. Founded in 2013, the band released their debut "Forged Through Domination" in 2015. Three years later it's high time to come with a new album and here it is. 

The sophomore longplayer "Order by Torment" will be shipped to the record stores on February 2nd, featuring eight new death metal anthems. The length of these tunes already states that Genocide Pact aren't solely fans of speed and high pace. At least half of the songs crosses the 5 minutes line, leading to a total running time of intense 40 minutes.

If you want to get and idea about how Genocide Pact sounds like you can take "Decimation Grid" as a good example. It's the shifts from uptempo to slo-mo parts that characterizes the album in a good way. Faster moments are followed by doom death sections in which the band reduces tempo a lot. This gives space for ferocious riffs and an extremely powerful groove. On top of this there are deep growls by frontman Tim, adding additional sinisterness to the album.

"Order of Torment" might not be a revolution in death metal. The album is more of a well-executed death metal release that is loud, noisy, brutal and evil. Horns up.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Conquered and Disposed
  2. Decimation Grid
  3. Spawn of Suffering
  4. Pain Reprisal
  5. Ascendancy Absolved
  6. Structural Dissolution
  7. Authoritarian Impulse
  8. Blood Rejection

 

Label: Relapse Records

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: February 2nd, 2018

 

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CD review DANIEL CAVANAGH "Monochrome"

Veröffentlicht am 23. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Daniel Cavanagh, Anathema, Anneke van Gieersbergen, Anna Phoebe, New, Rock, Prog Rock, Kscope

CD review DANIEL CAVANAGH "Monochrome"

(9/10) Sometimes you don‘t have to be loud to get heard. Sometimes it‘s the calmer tones that reaches your ears and hit your soul. It‘s not only frantic riffs or a grooving rhythm section that makes the difference. Piano and a gentle singing acoustic guitar can do an excellent job too, reducing music to its essence.

Anathema‘s Danial Cavanagh knows all this and went through all the mentioned phases. Starting in the territory of death metal with Anathema many years ago the musical fate led him to areas where the beauty of soulful sounds shines in the spotlight.

This time the British musician doesn‘t release songs with Anathema. He took the challenge of working on a solo album entitled „Monochrome“. A glimpse on the artwork shows the musician with a sort if grim face expression, without any reasoning since the album should lead to a smile of satisfaction.

„Monochrome“ is built on seven songs, all being actually very colourful. Closing the eyes enable the listener to dive into beautiful pictures drawn by the sound of music.

What gives the album a wider approach is the inclusion of Anneke van Giersbergen and Anna Phoebe. Giersbergen’s powerful but also  soulful female voices make songs like „This Music“ and „Soho“ to terrific compositions with touching emotions and it’s Phoebe’s violin that adds another dimension to “Soho”, “The Silent Flight of the Raven Winged Hours” and Dawn”. In this context I also would like to mention the well-crafted interaction between loud and sensitive, being a crucial factor for adding a positive tension to the album.

„Monochrome“ is a fantastic album with seven gigantic compositions. Things end far too early with the cinematic closer „Some Dreams Come True“. Even though this song stands for the end of the album it also allows the listener to go back to start for a second, third, fourth,... time for another round of this exciting trip through the beauty of music.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The Exorcist
  2. This Music
  3. Soho
  4. The Silent Flight of the Raven Winged Hours
  5. Dawn
  6. Oceans of Time
  7. Some Dreams Come True

 

Label: Kscope

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: October 13th, 2017

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CD review EKTOMORF "Warpath (LIve and Life on the Road")

Veröffentlicht am 18. August 2017 von Markus W. in Ektomorf, Thrash Metal, Groove Metal, New, Live, CD Review, AFM Records, Heavy Metal, Modern Metal

CD review EKTOMORF "Warpath (LIve and Life on the Road")

(7/10) Ektomorf is basically the brainchild of Hungarian metal maniac Zoltán Farkas who started the band in 1993. The guitarist had to go through a rough time in the beginning and it was his willpower that kept him going. Ektomorf released in the meantime 15 records with their fifth album, "Destroy", being a milestone for Farkas and the band. The longplayer, produced by Danish mastermind Tue Madsen at the helm, lead to appreciation of fans and media.

Ektomorf's energetic groove metal combines thrash, metal and punk to a powerful total that reminds of bands like Soulfly. It was in 2016 when the quartet played the unique Wacken festival. The guys made us of the opportunity to record the show and almost 12 months later the CD/DVD hits the shelfs. 

The enitre set was build around the latest studio album "Aggressor" and the 2006 output "Outcast", spiced up with up with some older classics. The setlist is a well-balanced mix of old and new with Tue Madsen handling the audio mix for this release.

The DVD comes with a documentary entitled "Live and Life on the Road" which provides an entertaining 60 minutes behind-the-scene glimpse. "Warpath (Live and Life on the Road" is a proper live album, reflecting on almost 15 years of Ektomorf. For sure interesting for fans of the band and grooving thrash metal.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

CD:

  1. Aggressor
  2. Move On
  3. Ambush In The Night
  4. Holocaust
  5. Black Flag
  6. Evil By Nature
  7. United Nations
  8. Leech
  9. Fuck You All
  10. I Know Them
  11. Outcast

DVD:

  1. Aggressor
  2. Move On
  3. Ambush In The Night
  4. Holocaust
  5. Black Flag
  6. Evil By Nature
  7. United Nations
  8. Leech
  9. Fuck You All
  10. I Know Them
  11. Outcast
  12. Live And Life On The Road (documentary)

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Groove Metal

Release Date EU: August 25th, 2017

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Metal Blade reissues the 1st two AMON AMARTH records on vinyl

Veröffentlicht am 3. Dezember 2016 von Markus W. in Metal Blade, Amon Amarth, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Heavy Metal, New, Vinyl

Metal Blade reissues the 1st two AMON AMARTH records on vinyl

No doubt about Amon Amarth being one of the biggest metal bands in the World right now. The Swedes have a long history with Metal Blade that goes back to January 1998 when they released their debut album "Once Sent From the Golden Hall" via Metal Blade!

19 years later it's time for a vinyl re-issue of this album as part of the Originals-series! On the same date Metal Blade releases the 2nd Amon Amarth album "The Avenger", also as an original! 

 

Euro versions:

"Once Sent From the Golden Hall" 'Originals-Series' LP-reissue (EU)
-- 180 g black vinyl
-- Opague-orange-marbled vinyl (limited to 500 copies)
-- Khaki-marbled vinyl (limited to 300 copies - EMP-exclusive)
-- "Fire"-splattered vinyl (limited to 200 copies - Euro ebay-exclusive)

 

"The Avenger" 'Originals-Series' LP-reissue (EU)
-- 180 g black vinyl
-- Opague-bloodred-marbled vinyl (limited to 500 copies)
-- Steel-grey-marbled vinyl (limited to 300 copies - EMP-exclusive)
-- "Fire"-splattered vinyl (limited to 200 copies - Euro ebay-exclusive)

US versions:

"Once Sent From the Golden Hall" 'Originals-Series' LP-reissue (EU)
-- 180 g black vinyl
-- Orange vinyl (limited to 200 copies)
-- Transparent vinyl (limited to 200 copies)

"The Avenger" 'Originals-Series' LP-reissue (EU)
-- 180 g black vinyl
-- Red vinyl (limited to 200 copies)
-- Transparent vinyl (limited to 200 copies)

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CD review SOULBURN "Earthless Pagan Spirit"

Veröffentlicht am 23. November 2016 von Markus W. in Soulburn, Asphyx, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Black Metal, New, CD Review, Heavy Metal

(8/10) Soulburn’s and Asphyx' history are closely connected. Not only that the band was founded by Eric Daniels (g) and Bob Bagchus (d) in parallel with their main band, Soulburn was also put on ice after Asphyx arose again in the beginning of the new century. So there is a unqiue link between both bands that almost feels confusing.

Anyhow, it was in 2014 when Soulburn returned again with a strong release called "The Suffocating Darkness”, an album that’s now followed by the new “Earthless Pagan Spirit”. This third album features eight new songs which provides the listener with almost an hour of blackened death metal that feels like hellish lava coming right from out of hell. Songs like “The Blood Ascendant” are slowly creeping riff monsters that, step by step, find there way into your ears and mind. And right before you get lost in hypnotic riffings a well placed break brings you back to reality, shaking you up with furious solos and raging vocals.

Something that’s remarkable on this output is the length of each of the tunes on “Earthless Pagan Spirit”. Except the final track, each of the songs crosses the five minutes borderline. This feels long and it is, but Soulburn creates such an excitement that these long tracks don’t become annoying after a while. There are enough twists and tweaks build into each of the numbers, like the female vocals that are part of “Withering Nights”, which adds an extra entertainment factor.

“Spirited Asunder” is the longest track on “Earthless Pagan Spirit” and it’s a sonic steamroller that runs over you. The pace is kept somewhere in between moderate and slow, the riffs are hypnotic and the rhythm is just forcing the listeners to bang their heads. This tune is a highlight on Soulburn’s new longplayer, a record that’s full of powerful songs, all close to spiritual abyss.

The album ends with a song that’s more like an outro. It’s the three minutes long “Diary of a Reaper”, a number build on gloomy spoken word, accompanied by a drum beat and some eerie samples.

All in all I can fully recommend this longplayer that belongs to the real good releases in 2016.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Where Splendid Corpses are Towering Towards the Sun
  2. The Blood Ascendant
  3. Howling at the Heart of Death
  4. As Cold as Heavens Slain
  5. Withering Nights
  6. The Torch
  7. Spirited Asunder
  8. Diary of a Reaper

 

Label: Century Media

Genre: Death Metal

Release Date EU: November 18th, 2016

CD review SOULBURN "Earthless Pagan Spirit"
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CD review WOVENWAR "Honor is Dead"

Veröffentlicht am 30. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Wovenwar, News, Metalcore, Melodic Metalcore, New, CD Review, Modern Rock, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal

(8/10) Wovenwar got on my personal radar when they opened for In Flames on their 2014 tour. That was almost to the point two years ago and I can remember very well the power the guys unleashed. Their music electrified the audience in the 013 in Tilburg.

24 months later the guys from San Diego are back with their sophomore record named “Honor is Dead”. The band that rose from the ashes of As I Lay Dying continues their energetic metalcore endeavor with eleven new songs.

This longplayer begins with the mighty grooving "Confession". This song is a good choice for kicking off this album. It's hard, it's fast, it's grooving and it has a melodic chorus that perfectly fits to Wovenwar's wider approach. "Censorship" is the next strike that adds an additional level of brutality before the title track pays more attention to a melodic expression. This doesn't mean that "Honor is Dead" became a catchy song. It's still loaded with razorbalde-sharp riffs and raw power the Wovenwar-way.

In general I must say that "Honor of Dead" carries on what the band started with their debut. The mixture of the three 'm', melody, metal and metalcore, is exciting enough to open doors to a wider group of metal fans. Wovenwar unites these styles to a unique sound without making too many compromisses.

Even songs like the silent "Compass" add something to the bigger picture. Next to the fact that Wovenwar added a lot of emotion and lifeblood to this tune it still represents the band in a good way. It's actually a well placed moment on this energetic album that allows the listener to take a deep breath before the seong half demands again a lot. There's another moment though that takes things from a more relaxed point of view. "Silhouette" follows the same pattern as "Compass", showing the gentle side of Wovenwar. 

Wovenwar's "Honor is Dead" comes without any filler. This longplayer is the bands next step, an album that will strengthen their position in melodic metalcore. This album is modern, dynamic and powerful - simply good stuff for your ears.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Confession
  2. Censorship
  3. Honor is Dead
  4. Lines in the Sand
  5. World on Fire
  6. Compass
  7. Stones Thrown
  8. Cascade
  9. Silhouette
  10. Bloodletter
  11. 130

 

Label: Metal Blade

Genre: Melodic Metalcore

Release Date EU: October 21st, 2016

CD review WOVENWAR "Honor is Dead"
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Special ENSLAVED shows in Oslo in December

Veröffentlicht am 15. Oktober 2016 von Markus W. in Enslaved, News, Death Metal, Black Metal, Pagan Metal, Folk Metal, New, Tour

'Oslo by Norse' features three shows of Norwegian metal icons and Grammy award-winners Enslaved, performing three nights in a row with different sets. The shows will take place at Blå, Oslo, from December 6yh to December 8th.

Enslaved will perform songs from their entire career, supported by bands like Oblieration, Virus and Maraton. Furthermore there are workshops included like the one from Einar Selvik from Wardruna which is about ancient Norwegian instruments and also an exhibition with pictures by Kim Holm is part of this three days event.

Ivar Bjørnson says: "London is already a most dear memory, New York has been long time announced. Now it is time to reveal the first Norwegian By Norse event; Oslo By Norse!
It will mark the beginning of the end; of a fantastic year where we have marked 25 years as a band. We will do three unique sets, divided by periods Beginning-Mid periods Later day Enslaved.
The special guest bands are of the "pinch me, I must be dreaming"-type; Obliteration, Virus and Maraton!?!? Is all these first-choice guys accepting the invite some kind of sick joke? If not, it has got to be one of the best billing ever. Subjectively speaking. Ugh!
There will also be an intimate workshop with our brother-in-arms Einar Selvik (followed by a panel led by yours truly), ink by poking (tattoo the Viking way) set up in the venue (!) by the legendary Ihuda Tattoo and live graphic art by the eternally young Kim Holm. I almost wish I were not playing so I could just experience this. Then again I would go crazy from not working. Hope to see you all at Oslo By Nors
e!!!"

Special ENSLAVED shows in Oslo in December
Special ENSLAVED shows in Oslo in December
Special ENSLAVED shows in Oslo in December
Special ENSLAVED shows in Oslo in December
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CD review RUNNING WILD "Rapid Foray"

Veröffentlicht am 20. August 2016 von Markus W. in Running Wild, News, Heavy Metal, German Metal, Pirste, New, CD Review, Power Metal, Melodic Metal

(8/10) There were times when I was almost convinced that the flagship of pirate-style metal disappeared in the endless ocean of metal - forever. But obviously there is still life in the old dog yet and it would be very wrong to write off Running Wild.

"Rapid Foray" is Running Wilds's newest album and it became a strong one. Running Wild is sailing close to the wind and with full speed ahead. Rock'n'Rolf and his crew deliver eleven new songs which are much better than expected. After being in a calm for several years, the band found back to some strong winds that pushes them hard. Running Wild's new record benefits from a lot of back-wind, somethings that's already reflected in the opener "Black Skies, Red Flag". We are talking about a song that covers all trademarks and it could easily fit on one of the earlier releases.

The title track is another well-done tune on the new longplayer. It is based on a vigorous rhythm and some traditional guitar riffs with he melodic vocals lines are the cherry on the cake.
Two more tracks are sticking out their heads from the rest. "The Depth of the Sea (Nautilus)" is an entertaining instrumental that fits very well into the context of "Rapid Foray" and the masterpiece is coming at the end. It feels like each of the ten songs has the simple task to prepare the listener for the epical "Last of the Mohicans". With more than eleven minutes length it exceeds each of the other tunes by far. The start is a very soulful one with some spoken words and an acoustic guitar. It sounds a bit like WASP in the "Crimson Idol" days. The tunes gains pace and power after a while and turns into a moderate paced Running Wild anthem. The chorus is melodic, the guitars are adding some heaviness and the rhythm section build a rock solid foundation. Only little remark though is the question if the song became too long. I think that 6-7 minutes would have done the job as well since there isn't that much variation included.
However, what started with "Resilient" finds its continuation on "Rapid Foray". Rock'n'Rolf brought the pirates back into the water lane, set sails and goes full speed ahead. This album belongs to the bigger surprises in 2016.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Black Skies, Red Flag
  2. Warmongers
  3. Stick To Your Guns
  4. Rapid Foray
  5. By The Blood In Your Heart
  6. The Depth Of The Sea – Nautilus (instr.)
  7. Black Bart
  8. Hellestrified
  9. Blood Moon Rising
  10. Into The West
  11. Last Of The Mohicans

 

Label: SPV/Steamhammer

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: August 26th, 2016

CD review RUNNING WILD "Rapid Foray"
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CD review Q5 "New World Order"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in Q5, Hardrock, Heavy Metal, Classic Rock, NWoBHM, CD Review, New, Power Metal

(7/10) I can't imagine that the songs on "New World Order" will lead to the like. This album is more a step back into the past when the NWoBHM rose and bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon gained momentum. It's especially the latter I had to think of for more than once while listening to Q5's newest output.

Knowing that Q5 started in 1983 it's not a too big surprise that the guys are rooted in this kind of traditional metal music. What is surprising though is the fact that Q5 are releasing a new album. It's actually their first release since 1985, not considering the 1986 single "Living on the borderline".

It was in 2009 when Nightshades, the successor band of Q5, was asked to perform at the Headbanger's Open Air in Germany, something the band did under the banner of Q5. Things got more concrete after Q5 performing at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2014. What was meant to be a 'one off' show became the start of a renewed cooperation - with "New World Order" being the result of it.

This longplayer features 14 songs that are melodic metal with a well-done oldschool expression. What's fortunately less dusty is the production that is powerful and crystal clear. This means eighties metal with a moderized appeal achieved by a well done production.

Like said in the beginning, this album doesn't lead to a 'new world order', but it provides you with a lot of very entertaining music that you at least should give a chance, esp. if you like Saxon.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. We Came here to Rock
  2. One Night in Hellas
  3. The Right Way
  4. New World Order
  5. Tear Up the Night
  6. Halfway to Hell
  7. A Prisoner of Mind
  8. Unrequited (A Woman of Darkness and Steel)
  9. Just One Kiss
  10. Fear is the Killer
  11. Land of the Setting Sun
  12. A Warrior's Song
  13. Mach Opus 206 (instr.)
  14. Get Next to You

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: July 8th, 2016

CD review Q5 "New World Order"
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CD review ZODIAC "Grain of Soul"

Veröffentlicht am 21. Juli 2016 von Markus W. in Zodiac, Hardrock, Blues, Classic Rock, New, CD Review, Muenster

(9/10) Zodiac belongs to this bunch of exciting bands from Muenster, Germany that entered the rock scene a few years ago, getting more and more successful by delivering good music rather than by antics and gimmicks.

Zodiac started their journey in rock not too long ago. It was in 2010 when Nick Van Delft and Janosch Rathmer kicked it off, work that resulted in a first EP in 2011.

From this moment on things just moved the right direction. The debut "A Bit of Devil" received good reactions from fans and media. The appreciation of the next two records has been even higher and I guess that this trend will continue with the newest output of the Muenster-based gang.

The music on "Grain of Soul", the title of the new longplayer, picks it up where "Sonic Child" ended. The joy of a new Zodiac album isn't that the band changes bigger things when it comes to their sound. It's more a constant development and improvement of their trademarks that gives each new longplayer a nuanced new appeal. "Grain of Soul" is no exception.

In total eleven new songs are a treat for everybody that's interested in the overlap of blues rock and classic rock. Compared to the last studio release "Sonic Child", Zodiac gets more to the point with "Grain of Soul". While the predecessor came with some longer tunes that scratched a 10 minutes length, songs on "Grain of Soul" are in general between three to four minutes.

One crucial criteria for Zodiac's success are the vocals of Van Delft. Not only that he's a really good singer, he also has a voice that is recognizable and stands out from many other singers. He has a vibe and timbre in his way of singing that covers a range of warm, soft and heavy. Songs like "Follow" and "Down" are prefect examples. Especially the latter with the strong blues expression belongs anyhow to the pearls on an album the is pure gold.

Another highlight I want to mention is the fast "Animal" that shows Zodiac from the rocking angle, enriched by some breaks that makes the whole song to a true smasher. The same goes for "Like the Sun". Also with this tune the four-piece takes the foot off the break, supported by a dominant rhythm section that gives this number an irresistible groove. It's almost a dirty rocker that marks a kind of counterpart to the epical tracks on "Sonic Child".

The final number is the title song. It's build on a heavy riff and interesting vocal lines that stand united in perfect harmony. Partly the tune sounds like a post grunge one, having a stoner vibe too. In the end it's another facet of Zodiac's sound and a well chosen title track.

If you liked the earlier releases of Zodiac you will also be happy with "Grain of Soul". And in case you haven't listened to these guys yet you should definitely start doing this with this longplayer. Close the gap.

"Grain of Soul" is an album that is joyful for more than just a few days. This album has a depth that provides the listener with music that grows over time. It's the small details, also supported by the superb production by Arne Neurand, that gives this album an exciting kick. Very well done and highly recommended.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Rebirth by Fire
  2. Animal
  3. Follow You
  4. Down
  5. Faithless
  6. Crow
  7. Ain't Coming Back
  8. Get Out
  9. Like the Sun
  10. Sinner
  11. Grain of Soul

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: July 29th, 2016

CD review ZODIAC "Grain of Soul"
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CD review KISSIN' DYNAMITE "Generation Goodbye"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Juni 2016 von Markus W. in Kissin' Dynamite, Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal, Sleaze Rock, CD Review, New

(8/10) "Money, Sex and Power" was a bit of a downer a few years ago and fortunately things got better again on the successor "Megalomania". Now Swabian metal youngsters Kissin' Dynamite need to prove that this trend is a sustainable one.

"Generation Goodbye" is that album that should do this job, and it does. Actually I must say that the guys are going back one more step towards their roots. Kissin' Dynamite are back in straight forward melodic metal and all the added frills belongs to the past.

The title tracks and the first single release "Hashtag Your Life" give a clear direction for "Generation Goodbye". I can't really say that the band is back, since they were never gone, but for sure they found back their old strength. These two tunes include everything I expect from the quintet - melodic metal that has its base in the late 80's, spiced-up with a modern sound which makes the album fresh and dynamic.

My personal preference goes more for the faster and heavier tracks on "Generation Goodbye". "She Came, She Saw", Highlight Zone" and "Under Friendly Fire" are just some of these anthems that invites immediately for a sing-a-long. And even though the melodies are quite catchy, things get never too sift and cheesy. Guitars and a hard hitting rhythm section are constantly pushing.

There are some more moderate moments on this album too. If Clocks Were Running Backwards" is one of them. Being far away from a ballad the tune starts more silent before it builds-up towards a powerful metal track.

There is a powerful ballad called "Masterpiece" on the album too. Hannes Braun shares vocals with, I guess, Jennifer Haben from Beyond The Black, something that adds a new expression to Kissin' Dynamite's sound. In the end it's only "Utopia" that stands back a bit behind the other ten songs.

Kissin' Dynamite got over their "Money, Sex and Power" phase. "Generation Goodbye" is their best album since having published "Addicted to Metal".

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Generation Goodbye
  2. Hashtag Your Life
  3. If Clocks Were Running Backwards
  4. Somebody to Hate
  5. She Came She Saw
  6. Highlight Zone
  7. Masterpiece
  8. Flying Colours
  9. Under Friendly Fire
  10. Lager Than Life
  11. Utopia

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: July 8th, 2016

CD review KISSIN' DYNAMITE "Generation Goodbye"
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CD/DVD review STEVE HACKETT "The Total Experience - Live in Liverpool"

Veröffentlicht am 17. Juni 2016 von Markus W. in Steve Hackett, Genesis, News, Rock, Prog Rock, New, CD Review, DVD review

(8/10) Steve Hackett, known from bands like Genesis and GTR, will release a live album that is a well-crafted retrospective on the immense discography of the UK-based guitarist. After having published the latest studio album "Wolflight", Hackett got the opportunity of recording one live show on the British leg of his 2015 tour. Since the guitarist did already live recordings in London, it was his ambition to go for another show in the UK and the winner was Liverpool, the home of The Beatles.

Next to this it was the venue, the Philharmonic Hall, that was the right scenery for recording a show that included Hackett's solo highlights as well as some Genesis pearls he was part of. In total 23 songs have been performed which led to three hours of finest (prog) rock music, played by Hackett himself with support of genre icons like e.g. Roine Stolt on bass.

The sound on this live album is excellent. Not only that Ben Fenner did an really good job, also the venue itself supported a dynamic and diversified sound, for the softer as well as for the more rocking parts of the set.

Talking about the set, the first half was filled with Hackett's solo material, including very early numbers like "Ace of Wands" from the solo debut plus "Every Day" and the title track from the 1979 release "Spectral Morning". This half was spiced-up with new songs like "Wolflight" from the mentioned latest studio album. 

The second part of this outstanding prog evening paid attention to Genesis, at a time when the band was deep into prog rock and far away from mainstream chart hits of the later years.

One thing I was missing though is a song from GTR. "The Hunter", as one example, would have been a great complementation of this retrospective of one of the most influencial guitarists in UK-rock music.

The acoustic version of this release is already an pure enjoyment that deserves focus and earphones. But also the visual capturing is well done and completes a very positive image of this special show.

Paul Green, who was responsible for the filming, did a brilliant job, capturing the unique moments of this evening in Liverpool. The scenery was kept puristic. It's the music and the musicians that are literally in the spotlight. Still, even though there aren't any frills and decoration, it's a pleasure to watch this show on DVD.

"The Total Experience - Live in Liverpool" is what it is, the full Steve Hackett experience. This release draws a (almost) full picture of Hackett's oeuvre, music that influenced generations of other musicians and guitarist. This man is a real artist from the good old times and far away from these 'service providers' that are around today so often. Well done and a 'must' for fans of excellent rock music.

 

(8/10)

 

CD 1:

  1. Corycian Fire Intro (1:17)
  2. Spectral Mornings (5:39)
  3. Out of the Body (2:29)
  4. Wolflight (9:13)
  5. Every Day (6:46)
  6. Love Song to a Vampire (8:50)
  7. The Wheel's Turning (8:08)
  8. Loving Sea (4:13)
  9. Jacuzzi (4:13)
  10. Icarus Ascending (8:08)
  11. Star of Sirius (4:37)
  12. Ace of Wands (6:28)
  13. A Tower Struck Down (4:31)

CD 2:

  1. Shadow of the Hierophant (11:48)
  2. Get 'em Out by Friday (9:12) *
  3. Can-Utility and the Coastliners (6:01) *
  4. After the Ordeal (6:47) *
  5. The Cinema Show (11:00) *
  6. Aisle of Plenty (1:29) *
  7. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (4:47) *
  8. The Musical Box (12:15) *
  9. Clocks (5:54)
  10. Firth of Fifth (10:21) *

* Genesis song, co-written / co-composed by Steve Hackett

DVD 1:

  1. Corycian Fire intro
  2. Spectral Mornings
  3. Out of the Body
  4. Wolflight
  5. Every Day
  6. Love Song to a Vampire
  7. The Wheel’s Turning
  8. Loving Sea
  9. Jacuzzi
  10. Icarus Ascending
  11. Star of Sirius
  12. Ace of Wands
  13. A Tower Struck Down
  14. Shadow of the Hierophant
  15. Get ‘em Out by Friday
  16. Can-Utility and the Coastliners
  17. After the Ordeal
  18. The Cinema Show
  19. Aisle of Plenty
  20. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway 21 The Musical Box
  21. Clocks
  22. Firth of Fifth

DVD 2:

Live in Liverpool Behind the Scenes Documentary Somewhere South of the River Rehearsal Documentary Videos:
Wolflight / Love Song to a Vampire / Corycian Fire

 

Label: InsideOut Music

Genre: Prog Rock

Release Date EU: June 24th, 2016

CD/DVD review STEVE HACKETT "The Total Experience - Live in Liverpool"
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