Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013


CD review GODSMACK "When Legends Rise"

Veröffentlicht am 20. April 2018 von Markus W. in Godsmack, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, News, Spinefarm, When Legends Rise, Rock, Hardrock

CD review GODSMACK "When Legends Rise"

(9/10) Godsmack isn't a band having a massproduction approach when it comes to producing longplayers. The band started in the second half of the famous 90's with a self-titled debut that hit the scene in 1998. From then till now five additional records followed in a kind of four year frequency. 

Knowing that "1000hp" was unveiled in 2014 nurtured expectations for a next longplayer in 2018 and Godsmack sticks to their release pattern and delivers. "When Legends Rise" is Godsmack's seventh longplayer and it's a blast. Sully Erna and band mates crafted eleven new songs that ended up on the new longplayer.

The quartet stays true to their sound, bringing riff-oriented alternative metal to your place. 'Melody' is no stranger too when it comes to the newest strike of the Boston-based powerhouse and it's this mixture of elements that characterises Godsmack. It's not that the four-piece band is the only outfit that counts on such a formula for success. It's more the ease and authenticity that makes the band's sound special and attractive for all kind of rock and metal fans. Influences from bands like Black Sabbath and Metallica makes the band to an interesting one for metalheads while some grunge references act as springboard for the alternative rock scene. Last but not least it's the catchy hooks that opens doors for chart-oriented rock fans.

"When Legends Rise" includes all these trademarks and it would not be a suprise if also the seventh album will enter top chart positions. 

"Bulletproof" was the first song revealed from the new album, supported by a highly entertaining video clip. But also lasering in on music shows the entire potential of this band. We are talking about a catchy rock songs that stick immediately and still have enough potential being spun many times. "Bulletproof" is framed by the short and crispy opener "When Legends Rise" which deserves to be the title track for the new album. The song has a strong drive and an irresistible chorus, standing for a great start into the album. "Unforgettable" follows "Bulletproof" and is a mid-paced rock song that reminded me partly of Volbeat, just better.

Godsmack focusses on the essence when it comes to songs that ended up on their seventh delivery. None of the tunes can be seen as lengthy or epic. Most of the tracks have a three minutes of length setup. Even the powerful half-ballad "Under Your Scars" tells the story in less than four minutes. Still, or maybe because of this focus, this hymn belongs to the best ones I've heard since quite a while.

"When Legends Rise" gets out of the boxes very well and the guys manage to keep a quality throughout. Also the second half of the album keeps a good level of excitement. Tunes such as the darker "Just One More Time" and the easy going "Let It Out" are vital rock songs and a treat for your ears.

Godsmack's new offer is a strong delivery that showcases the band being highly creative, rocking and heavy. Alternative metal can't sound much better and more professional than what you get with "When Legends Rise". You need to decide for yourself if Godsmack are the 'legends' the album title refers to. However, the album is an excellent one that I definitely can recommend.





  1. When Legends Rise
  2. Bulletproof
  3. Unforgettable
  4. Every Part of Me
  5. Take it to the Edge
  6. Under Your Scars
  7. Someday
  8. Just One More Time
  9. Say My Name
  10. Let it Out
  11. Eye of the Storm


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release Date EU: April 27th, 2018





CD review GHOST "Ceremony and Devotion"

Veröffentlicht am 13. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Ghost, Rock, Hardrock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review, Live, Spinefarm, Loma Vista, Ceremony and Devotion, Heavy Metal, Papa Emeritus III, Ghoul

CD review GHOST "Ceremony and Devotion"

(*/10) Seven years of Swedish rock outfit Ghost can be summarized as a roaring success story. The band, being the brainchild of Papa Emeritus III (Tobias Forge), began as Ghost B.C. back in 2006 and a debut that was published four years later. “Opus Eponymous” was the name of an album that got immediately good reactions from media and fans. The album was the starting point of an extremely successful journey in rock with two more longplayers cementing Ghost’s importance in rock. Even a name change to Ghost (without ‘B.C.’) couldn’t stop Papa Eponymous and The Nameless Ghouls.

What was missing so far in Ghost’s discography was a live album, a gap that will be closed as we speak (CD and LP mid-January 2018). “Ceremony and Devotion” is waiting in the starting blocks, ready to be released. The Swedes recorded the album during their North America tour in summer 2017 and will feature 15 songs (plus 2 extra tracks on CD & LP). Even though it was the ‘Popestar’-tour, it has been the highly successful “Meliora” and “Infestissumam” that stood in focus during these live shows. Songs like the opener “Square Hammer”, but also “Cirice” and “Year Zero” have been performed in front of enthusiastic fans, an atmosphere that’s captured on the album very well.

“Ceremony and Devotion” is a comprehensive summary of Ghost’s achievements up-to-date, provided with an excellent sound that reflects the live spirit in a good fashion. This album is a completion for fans and an interesting starting point for Ghost-newcomers.





  1. Square Hammer
  2. From The Pinnacle to the Pit
  3. Con Clavi Con Dio
  4. Per Aspera Ad Inferi
  5. Elizabeth (Bonus)
  6. Body and Blood
  7. Devil Church
  8. Cirice
  9. Ghuleh/Zombie Queen
  10. Year Zero
  11. Spoksonat
  12. He Is
  13. Mummy Dust
  14. Secular Haze (Bonus)
  15. Absolution
  16. Ritual
  17. Monstrance Clock


Label: Loma Vista / Spinefarm

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: Digital – December 8th, 2017

                            CD & LP – January 18th, 2018


CD review TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN "Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown"

Veröffentlicht am 17. November 2017 von Markus W. in Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown, Classic Rock, Hardrock, News, CD Review, Rock, Snakefarm, Spinefarm

CD review TYLER BRYANT & THE SHAKEDOWN "Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown"

(8/10) As the band moniker pretends it’s guitarist Tyler Bryant who’s in the lead of this band from Texas. Together with his band mates Caleb Crosby (d), Graham Whitford (g) and Noah Denney (b), the band leader carved for an album that's build on pure passion for hardrock and blues.

The debut "Wild Child" dates back to 2013 and created some first attention. 2 Years later an EP, entitled "The Wayside", followed and it was in 2016 when the opportunity was offered to the band to get their sound out to the world, opening for less than the mighty AC/DC. The quartet also shared stages with Aerosmith and Deep Purple which was another great moment of getting their sound into peoples minds. Now it’s time to also get out a next album and here it is.

After the search for a new label in early 2017, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown found a new musical home at Snakefarm, the newly founded label. With this new deal in their pockets the final obstacle for releasing the second longplayer was cleared out.

The self-titled longplayer is on its way to the stores and it features 11 songs. Things start with "Heartland", which is also the first single taken from the new album. It's a grooving start into 39 minutes of pure rock power. That the musical approach is wider than straightforward rock only is getting obvious with "Jealous Me". The tune is kept calmer than most of the other track but comes with an extreme level of intensity.  For me it's a highlight on a brightly shining album. After such an intense  moment it's the pumping "Backfire" that shakes you again. "Ramblin' Blues" comes with, what else, a lot of blues while "Wheel and Weepin'" shifts gears. The uptempo song is a dirty rocker with Bryant's furiously singing guitar as the final dot on the 'i'.

Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown transfer the 70's rock'n'roll vibe into the here & now. Listening to the album is a joyful experience, also because of the creativity that's embedded in these 39 minutes. The band found their own sound that allows the quartet to vary by still sticking to a uniqueness. Good stuff.





  1. Heartland
  2. Don' Mind the Blood
  3. Jealous Me
  4. Backfire
  5. Ramblin' Bones
  6. Weel and Weepin'
  7. Manipulate Me
  8. Easy Target
  9. Magnetic Field
  10. Aftershock
  11. Into the Black


Label: Snakefarm/Spinefarm

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: November 3rd, 2017


CD review CYHRA "Letters to Myself"

Veröffentlicht am 20. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Cyhra, Modern Metal, Alternative Metal, CD Review, Spinefarm, Melodic Metal, In Flames, Amaranthe

CD review CYHRA "Letters to Myself"

(8/10) CyHra is the new outfit of ex-In Flames guitarist Jesper Strömblad and ex-Amaranthe vocalist Joacim Lundberg, both finding together via the idea of creating an individual solo album each. But what’s better than combine forces and take everything together for one record. CyHra was born and by adding former In Flames bassist Peter Iwers as well as Alex Landenburg the line-up was completed.

The longplayer comprises 13 songs of which you might have heard “Karma” earlier since it was the first single release from the album. As not expected different CyHra is playing melodic metal that is still very riff based. Strömblad’s guitar sound was already a substantial element of In Flames and it’s awesome to listen to his riffing and solos again. His signature is very present which goes together with Lundberg’s clean vocals very well.

CyHra, that's about melodic contemporary metal, never becoming harsh and unpolished. The guys have a great sense for hooks that are catchy and harmonic, balancing the poles of heaviness and melody in a good fashion which makes the record to lively one.

The first single also acts as opener. The song is a perfect choice since it represents the longplayer very well. Melody meets a dense sound meets well done guitar lines meets excellent performed vocals. However, the real highlights are songs like „Letter to Myself“, with Strömblad’s typical guitar signature. This song fires on all cylinders and I would have wished to get more of it. But it is what it is, with the more melodic „Holding Your Breathe“ also belonging to the best the genre can offer these days. Each of the 13 tunes slowly unveils its beauty with songs like "Heartrage" making it impossible to stand still.

CyHra‘s sound is often kike a thrilling ride on the borderline. The risk of taking a step too far, ending in triviality, is constantly present. Fortunately the guys are experienced enough to avoid such a fatal step.

CyHra‘s album grew with every spin on the record player. Even though it‘s catchy it took a while till I could discover its full fascination. These songs and esp. the hooks find a way into your mind and stay there - if you want it or not.





  1. Karma
  2. Heartrage
  3. Here To Save You
  4. Muted Life
  5. Closure
  6. Letter To Myself
  7. Dark Clarity
  8. Holding Your Breath
  9. Rescue Ride
  10. Black Wings
  11. Inside A Lullaby
  12. Dead To Me
  13. Letters To Myself


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: October 20th, 2017



CD review MICHAEL MONROE "Best of..."

Veröffentlicht am 8. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Michael Monroe, Hardrock, Sleaze Rock, Punkrock, News, CD Review, Spinefarm, Classic Rock, Rock

(*/10) If you didn’t live under a rock for the last three decades the name Michael Monroe rings a bell. The charismatic singer of Hanoi Rocks started his career as part of the Finnish glam rock outfit back in the late seventies. Monroe and Hanoi Rocks have been real trailblazers for a style that was highly influential for the next generation of glam and sleaze rock bands. Groups like Guns’n’Roses wouldn’t be where they are today without having soaked up what came from Finland at that time.

In parallel and still ongoing after the final split of Hanoi Rocks, Monroe also released solo albums that haven been at least as successful as the records done with Hanoi Rocks. In total we’re talking about a 30 years solo career that was filled with excellent music, extrovert shows, great singing, a never-surrender attitude and a lot of passion for harder rock music. As a logical consequence of such a successful career a “Best of…” album helps to recall the past and give younger rock fans the chance to get a comprehensive overview of Monroe’s impressive creative achievements.

“Best of…” is an album that covers all the different aspects of Monroe’s career and comes as a well-done compilation with each of the songs going through a remastering by Svante Forsberg and Monroe himself.

The remastering isn’t the only benefit of this double header. Monroe’s passion doesn’t allow him to just refresh some existing old stuff and that was it. No way. This release comes also with some extra treats for fans – old and new. One special on the album is “It’s a Lie” which is a duet of Monroe and Dead Boys frontman Stiv Bators, a recording that was done back in 1985. Next to this pearl it’s Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” that also made it on this two CDs release. This version is a real beauty, coming from the “Coneheads” soundtrack session Monroe and Slash did together in 1993.

Last but not least there are previously unreleased songs on this compilation too. “Fist Fulla Dynamite” and "Simpletown” are from the “Blackout Stakes” days while with “One Foot Outta the Grave” a new tune that get out of the gates very well. This “Best of…” is a massive release, giving a great overview of Monroe’s musical life. It’s a perfectly done retrospective with a small glimpse into the future. Go for it.





CD 1:

  1. Dead, Jail Or Rock `N’ Roll
  2. Man With No Eyes
  3. It`s A Lie (Remastered) (feat. Stiv Bators)
  4. Nights Are So Long
  5. Can`t Go Home Again
  6. Nothin`s Alright (Remastered)
  7. Hammersmith Palais (Remastered)
  8. You Crucified Me (Remastered)
  9. Deadtime Stories (Remastered)
  10. Where`s The Fire John? (Remastered)
  11. Make It Go Away (Remastered)
  12. Life Gets You Dirty (Remastered)
  13. Self Destruction Blues (Remastered)
  14. Stranded (Remastered)
  15. Telephone Bills`s All Mine (Remastered)

CD 2:

  1. Trick Of The Wrist (Remastered)
  2. ’78 (Remastered)
  3. All You Need (Remastered)
  4. Ballad Of The Lower East Side (Remastered)
  5. Eighteen Angels (Remastered)
  6. Stained Glass Heart (Remastered)
  7. Old King`s Road (Remastered)
  8. Goin’ Down With The Ship (Remastered)
  9. Keep Your Eye On You (Remastered)
  10. One Foot Outta The Grave
  11. Fist Fulla Dynamite
  12. Simpletown
  13. Get On (Remastered)
  14. Magic Carpet Ride (feat. Slash)


Label: Spinefarm

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: June 9th, 2017

CD review MICHAEL MONROE "Best of..."

CD review FLOGGING MOLLY "Life is Good"

Veröffentlicht am 3. Juni 2017 von Markus W. in Flogging Molly, Folk, Rock, Punkrock, News, CD Review, Hardrock, Blues, Spinefarm

(8/10) What fits better to a sunny late May afternoon than listening to some good music with a solid punch and excellent melodies? I could enjoy this experience while listening to Flogging Molly’s newest album “Life is Good”

The California-based band with some Irish roots released already five studio records, which include songs being built on Irish folk and some punk. This explosive mixture unleashes quite some energy, a fact that makes Flogging Molly records to a good-time listening experience. The punk adds some anarchic energy to the tracks while the folk elements stand for the band's roots and the catchy melodies make each song to a danceable one. ‘Danceable’, in this context, is meant as something very positive, since I can imagine that anyone can keep the feet still on the ground while Flogging Molly fires their songs into the crowd.

The new album “Life is Good” doesn’t make a difference. Violin, mandolin and accordion play a dominant role throughout, accompanied by rocking guitars and a grooving bass.

“Life is Good” features everything you could wish from a new Flogging Molly longplayer with fast songs like “The Hand of John L. Sullivan” being my personal highlights on this record. With its galloping groove the track is made for being played live. But also the next number, “Welcome to Adamstown”, spreads a good vibe with a horn section that adds a Mexican expression to this well-composed tune. But also the calmer moments on “Life is Good” spread a lot of intensity. The rocking title track is one of those before the soulful “The Last Serenade (Sailors and Fisherman)” gives you the shivers.

Actually I could stand still by each of the ten tracks because the album doesn’t know any filler. Every song recorded is relevant and adds to the very positive impression I got while listening to the disc several times.

‘Life is good’ while listening to “Life is Good”. This album sounds mature, rocking, dynamic and Irish. I can definitely recommend it.





  1. Ther’s Nothing Left Pt.1
  2. The Hand of John L. Sullivan
  3. Welcome to Adamstown
  4. Reptiles (We Woke Up)
  5. The Day We’ve Yet to Meet
  6. Life is Good
  7. The Last Serenade (Sailors and Fisherman)
  8. The Guns of Jericho
  9. Crushed (Hostile Nations)
  10. Hope
  11. The Bride Wore Black
  12. Until We Meet again


Label: Spinefarm

Genre: Folk Punk Rock

Release Date EU: June2nd, 2017

CD review FLOGGING MOLLY "Life is Good"


Veröffentlicht am 15. Mai 2017 von Markus W. in Hell Or Highwater, Modern Metal, Modern Rock, Alternative Rock, News, Spinefarm, Rock, CD Review

(6/10) Hell Or Highwater is  side project of Atreyu drummer/singer Brandon Saller. The first release is from 2011 followed by an EP entitled "The Other Side". The sophomore record "Vista" will is in the starting blocks as we speak, a longplayer that comes with twelve songs

This album feels a bit like 'come hell or high water'. There's basically nothing wrong with this release. The songs benefit from a proper production and the artwork doesn't give any reason for complaints either. It's more the songs on this album that come without real ups and downs. There are no downers on this longplayer but the search for smashers stays unsuccessful too. "Vista" has something of a river with a constant flow that carried some energy without bursting out of the riverbed. 
The most energizing track on the album is the opener with its heavier guitar sounds, all reminding of melodic modern metal. After such a forceful start the disc has with "Don't Hate Me" another little highlight before the rest of the album drifts away in well-done anonymity.
After having listened to the album several times I have to conclude that things on "Vista" are done professionally and if you're in favor of modern rock music you can surely decide to go for this longplayer. It's though a but fluffy and what I miss are the thrilling moments that make the difference.
  1. Colors
  2. Walk Out in the Rain
  3. Don't Hate Me
  4. Another Good Time
  5. Lighter Than Air
  6. Blister
  7. Don't Stop. Get Up.
  8. Dame
  9. Washed Away
  10. Pieces
  11. I Want It All
  12. Revolution


Label: Spienfarm Records

Genre: Modern Metal

Release Date EU: May 19th, 2017


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.





  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"

CD review BROTHER FIRETRIBE "Sunbound"

Veröffentlicht am 19. April 2017 von Markus W. in Brother Firetribe, AOR, Hardrock, Rock, CD Review, News, Spinefarm

(7/10) After a grey and dark winter time some sunrays are very welcome.  The need of sunlight in Scandinavia, in this case Finland, seems the even stronger and right in time Brother Firetribe released a longplayer that includes 'sun' in the title as well as it brings a light-hearted vibe right to your place.

A sticker on the CD cover explains best what you can expect of "Sunbound". There you can find the words 'Hard Rock', AOR', 'Good Vibes' and 'Massive Sound'. Each of these four statement hits bulls-eye.

The title track is actually an intro to the album. Starting with a piano, followed by rocking guitars the tune leads you to "Help is on my Way". The songs gives the listener a good idea of where Brother Firetribes strength are - big melodies, great hooks and a very professional production. The best moments on the longplayer are the ones when the quintet rocks hard, with guitars being more in the forefront. The upbeat "Give Me Tonight" is one of these tracks and also "Shock" with the hypnotic beat belongs to the real winners on "Sunbound". The following "Strangeled" finds a good mix between mainstream and melody too, but there are some songs that takes things a bit too far.

"Heart of the Matter" isn't more than a well-produced average rock song and also "Restless Heart" doesn't really increase my heartbeat. Also the end isn't what it could be. "Phantasmagoria" is a big song, at least that's how it should come across. There is some drama and bombast weaved in, but in the end it doesn't knock your socks off either.

"Sunbound' includes a lot of light and sunny moments. But where's sun, there's also some shadow. 'Hard Rock', AOR', 'Good Vibes' and 'Massive Sound' - that's what "Sunbound" is about; sometimes more and sometimes less exciting.





  1. Sunbound
  2. Help is on the Way
  3. Indelible Heroes
  4. Taste of a Champion
  5. Last Forever
  6. Give me Tonight
  7. Shock
  8. Strangled
  9. Heart of the Matter
  10. Restless Heart
  11. Big City Drea
  12. Phantasmagoria


Label: Spinefarm Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: March 24th, 2017

CD review BROTHER FIRETRIBE "Sunbound"