Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

steamhammer

CD review BULLET "Dust to Gold"

Veröffentlicht am 9. April 2018 von Markus W. in Bullet, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, News, CD Review, SPV, Steamhammer, Dust to Gold

CD review BULLET "Dust to Gold"

(7/10) There isn't that much distraction in Småland in general and also Växjö isn't the center of entertainment either. So what should you do in order to not waste your time and having fun rather than hanging out. Indeed, you start your own band. This could have been the thinking of Hell Hofer and bandmates before starting Bullet.

The band was formed in 2001 and in the meantime some full-length longplayers got up to surface with the newest one waiting to be shipped to the record stores. "Dust to Gold" is the promising title of Bullet's newest strike, a record that comes with 12 powerful metal anthems.

One of the bands highlights for for sure their tour with the mighty AC/DC. It's more than obvious that the rock legend from Down Under had an impact on Bullet's sound, esp. in the past. But Bullet is more than that. The band is generally inspired by oldschool heavy metal. 

"Dust to Gold" is an uncompromising record and songs are mainly kept fast and furious. "Speed and Attack" breaks first ground and is an opener per excellence. Judas Priest could have delivered the blueprint for this metal anthem. The AC/DC links became less over time and Bullet shifted their sound more towards traditional heavy metal. The mentioned Judas Priest are just one of these influencing factors but also records of German metal warriors Accept must have span many times in Växjö. 

If the entirety of all songs has enough potential to turn 'dust to gold' is something future will tell. What I miss a bit is the variety of sounds. Each of the tunes on the album is a well-crafted one. But after a while things became a bit lengthy by following the same pattern from beginning to end. Anyhow, Bullet's new longplayer is a dynamic one. "Dust to Gold" sound authentic and down-to-earth. It's the essence of metal you get served with this longplayer and that's worth enough to give this album a loop on your record-player

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Speed And Attack 
  2. Ain't Enough 
  3. Rogue Soldier 
  4. Fuel The Fire 
  5. One More Round 
  6. Highway Love 
  7. Wildfire 
  8. Screams In The Night
  9. Forever Rise 
  10. The Prophecy 
  11. Hollow Grounds 
  12. Dust To Gold  

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: April 20th, 2018

 

Kommentare

CD review CREMATORY "Oblivion"

Veröffentlicht am 5. April 2018 von Markus W. in Crematory, Oblivion, News, Steamhammer, SPV, Dark Metal, Dark Rock, CD Review, Goth, Melodic Rock

CD review CREMATORY "Oblivion"

(6/10) It's not easy to write a review for this album. Normally I don't want to be influenced by anything more than by listening to an album a few times in a row, which shapes a picture about the release and the included songs. What makes it less easy this time is a Facebook post from a few days ago in which the band addresses with dramatic words the sales situation of CD's and vinyls compared to streams and downloads, linked to the financial effect. Furthermore the pre-sales for the upcoming shows doesn't seem to by very satisfactory and it was mainly statements like: "That will only happen, have you fans get off your lazy asses and start buying tickets for the announced shows." that created irritation with fans of the band and fans of metal in general. I think it's never a good thing to insult your own fan base, how tricky things are.

However, let the music do the talking since great music will always finds friends. "Expectation" is an intro that leads to "Salvation", the opener of Crematory's 14th studio record. It's a melodic song, kept gloomy in the verse and catchy in the chorus. The tune is easy approachable and belongs to the positive moments on the album. "Ghost of the Past" is a song that combines gothic, riff and beat in a good way and also the heavier "Cemetery Stillness" has moments of dark joy.

Where's light there's normally darkness too. The extremely boring "Stay With Me" might benefit from mainstream catchiness, but doesn't include any specific feature that wasn't heard earlier in time and in a much better fashion, something that also goes for the title track. "Oblivion" feels like nomen et omen since the tune could fall into oblivion by its standard expression and trivial melody.

To sum up: If you should buy the album, stream the album or ignore it is something each of you need to decide for yourself. I can only tell you that "Oblivion" has some better moments of dark gothic rock, which are mainly the ones with guitars in the forefront. However, also the good attempts aren't mind-blowing and there's nothing new or surprising to expect with "Oblivion". I assume fans will like "Oblivion", but it's a tough thing to gain new fans with this longplayer. Let's see what the future will bring.

Kommentare

CD review THE AMORETTES "Born to Break"

Veröffentlicht am 20. März 2018 von Markus W. in The Amorettes, Born to Break, News, Hardrock, Steamhammer, CD Review, Rock, Classic Rock

CD review THE AMORETTES "Born to Break"

(8/10) The Amorettes, that’s Gill, Hannah and Heather; the latter two being sisters. This trio has already three albums out there in the record shops with the latest on, "White Hot Heat”, being a really great one.

What’s the beauty with The Amorettes is their straight-forward approach. These three girls are on fire when it comes to traditional hardrock. The ladies from Scotland don’t ogle trends nor do they want to impress with frills and gimmicks. The trio is on a journey through handcrafted rock music that comes with a down-to-earth approach and a lot of authenticity.

All this is a rock solid base for a good album, but there has to be good songs too in order to make the entire package to something that’s above standard. The Amorettes do have all these ingredients in place, not only with the earlier releases but also on their newest longplayer entitled “Born to Break” things just work as planned.

The McKay sisters provide a great groove to each of the 12 songs that found a spot on the tracklist, while singer and guitarist Gill Montgomery adds the screaming guitar and excellently done vocals. “Can You Feel the Fire” is the opener. It’s the first wow-moment on the album, followed by eleven additional songs that are equally as good as the energetic opener. Tunes like raucous title track, the uptempo “Coming Up the Middle” and the rumbling “Hell or High Water” are exquisite rock songs. The final chapter of the record is entitled “I Want it Bad”, which is kept a bit slower. The track has a hypnotic beat and is equipped with hooks that catches the listener from beginning to end. It’s a cool way to end an album that belongs to the 2018 releases with a lot rock'n'roll power.

If you want to listen to some good music you will not manage to avoid listening to this album. This disc needs only one spin on your record player to unveil its entire beauty. As soon as this happened you will give “Born to Break” many more loops - for sure.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Can You Feel the Fire
  2. Hello and Goodbye
  3. Everything I Learned I (Learned From Rock And Roll)
  4. Born To Break
  5. What Ever Gets You through the Night
  6. Hell or High Water
  7. You Still Got Rock And Roll
  8. Easy Tiger
  9. Bat Shit Crazy
  10. Coming up The Middle
  11. High on Your Energy
  12. I Want It Bad

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: April 6th, 2018

Kommentare

CD review AXEL RUDI PELL "Knight Call"

Veröffentlicht am 15. März 2018 von Markus W. in Axel Rudi Pell, Knight Call, News, CD Review, SPV, Steamhammer, Classic Rock, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal

CD review AXEL RUDI PELL "Knight Call"

(8/10) „Knight Call“ is the title of the next brilliant longplayer of German guitar wizard Axel Rudi Pell. Pell is a hard working ‚craftsman‘ in the fields of classic rock and metal. Over almost 30 years the blond six-string player released many excellent records, not even talking about his perfect contribution to Steeler's two classic longplayers.

The new album follows the 2016 release „Game of Sins“ and features ten new songs that are all done in the typical Axel Rudi Pell fashion. It‘s not that the album surprises with unexpected twists. It’s more the small details that make a difference. What‘s maybe seen as working with a cookie-cutter approach is actually something totally different. It‘s Pell‘s passion for music that sparks his constant search for small details and improvements.

As not expected different also the new longplayer comprises of traditional metal and hardrock that gets its inspiration from band like Deep Purple and Rainbow. This means that things will stay as they were and that‘s good news. Pell doesn‘t reinvent his sound and keeps his success formula alive and kicking. The blond guitarist isn‘t looking for innovation. He‘s looking for perfection and he succeeds.

„Knight Call“ is the next well-crafted rock, released from the German riff master. Pell sticks to his roots, meaning that the album features music that goes hand in hand with earlier releases. It‘s good music, done by passionate musicians who avoid all trends and fashions. Pell lives rock music and it’s the authenticity of him and his band mates that makes this longplayer to a treat for fans of classic rock music.

 

(8/10)

CD review AXEL RUDI PELL "Knight Call"

Tracklist:

  1. The Medieval Overture (Intro)
  2. The Wildest and the Young
  3. Wildest Dreams
  4. Long Live Rock
  5. The Crusaders of Doom
  6. Truth and Lies
  7. Beyond the Light
  8. Slaves on the Run
  9. Follow the Sun
  10. Tower of Babylon

 

Label: SPV/Steamhammer

Genre: Classic Rock

Release Date EU: March 23rd, 2018

Kommentare

CD review ANVIL "Pounding the Pavement"

Veröffentlicht am 30. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Anvil, Pounding the Pavement, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Speed Metal, News, CD Review, Steamhammer, SPV

CD review ANVIL "Pounding the Pavement"

(8/10) The story of Anvil is an emotional rollercoaster, the story of a band that never gave up, following their passion. These guys are a role model for staying true to themselves and fighting for what you live for. Anvil is more than just a a band. Anvil is a matter of heart. 

Records like "Metal on Metal" and "Forged by Fire" have been excellent metal longplayers before the 90's made life difficult for the trio from Toronto, Ontario. Anvil went through some tough times, all summarised and documented in a perfect fashion in "Anvil: The Story of Anvil". This documentary is a masterpiece, focussing on Lips and Ro Reiner and their willpower when it comes to metal and Anvil.

It was this film that marked a turning point for the Canadian trio. Anvil were all of a sudden talk of the town with a lot of attention for the band and positive reactions for the documentary. Things started to turn into something more positive and Anvil got the chance to make hay while the sun is shining. The guys started to work on new songs and released a next longplayer in 2011. "Juggernaut of Justice" was the first one after the trio inked a deal with Steamhammer with "Hope in Hell" and "Anvil is Anvil" following, both excellent metal record too with a lot of firepower.

"Pounding the Pavement" is Anvil's next hammer blow that contains twelve new metal smashers per excellence. As with the earlier albums also the newest one isn't built on any compromises. The trio presents another excellent longplayer that proves the fact that metal has nothing to do with age.

Tracks like the merciless "Ego" belong to the best Anvil ever wrote and recorded. A song can't be more spot-on than this awesome piece of music. Anvil pushes the pedal to the metal more than once. The Motörhead-inspired "Black Smoke" is one of the songs that clarifies why Anvil belongs to the first generation of first speed metal bands.
Next to these furious songs Lips, Rob and Chris also put a foot on the break here and there. Mid-tempo stampers like "Bitch in the Box" and "Nanook of the North" are awesome riff monsters, sonic beauties for every true metal fan. Furthermore the spirit if rock'n'roll is the foundation for the well-done "Rock That Shit" and it's the grooving "World of Tomorrow" that rounds off a more than well-crafted metal record.

"Pounding the Pavement" became a superb longplayer of a band that lives for metal music. A metal collection without this longplayer isn't one.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Bitch in the Box
  2. Black Smoke
  3. Doing What I Want
  4. Don't Tell Me
  5. Ego
  6. Let it Go
  7. Nanook of the North
  8. Pounding the Pavement
  9. Rock That Shit
  10. Smash Your Face
  11. Warming Up
  12. World of Tomorrow

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 19th, 2018

Kommentare

CD review MAGNUM "Lost on the Road to Eternity"

Veröffentlicht am 27. Dezember 2017 von Markus W. in Magnum, Bob Catley, Tony Clarkin, Hardrock, Rock, Melodic Rock, Classic Rock, Steamhammer, SPV, CD Review, News

CD review MAGNUM "Lost on the Road to Eternity"

(9/10) Introducing Magnum feels like carrying sand to the beach. I can't imagine that there are fans of rock and metal that never heard at least the name of the British hardrock legend. Guitar wizard Tony Clarkin and singer Bob Catley began in 1972 and what followed was an impressive journey through rock that comprises many successes, highlight and milestones. Magnum became a role model for a genre that ignored all trends with its down-to-earth approach.

My entry-point when it come to Magnum was back in 1985 with the legendary "On a Storytellers Night". Songs like "How Far Jerusalem", Les Morts Dasants" and the title track pout a spell on me. Each of these tunes kept its fascination over all the years up to date and belong to the best British rock music brought up to surface.
Magnum never published an album that disappointed and even the "Rock Art" longplayer, released right before the split, featured some well-crafted numbers.

After having went to on hiatus for almost one decade Magnum returned in the beginning of the new century. "Breath of Life" marked the beginning of a next chapter that turns out to be as successful as the earlier days. Records such as "Into the Valley of the Moonking" and "Sacred Blood "Divine" Lies' are timeless masterpieces in melodic hardrock and the next strike, "Lost on the Road to Eternity", doesn't need to stand back behind the mentioned classics.

The 20th longplayer features eleven new songs which reflect Magnum's iconic sound with 100%. Actually these tunes belong to the best I have heard from the band since may years with the excellent opener "Peaches and Cream" being one out of eleven pieces of pure ear-candy. Melody, a rocking beat and excellent vocals by Catley provide Magnum fans with all ingredients expected. "Show me Your Hands" is the name of the next highlight, featuring some nice keyboard sequences, done by Rick Bento who recently joined the band. Talking about new band members; Lee Morris became Magnum's new drummer, following Harry James who left the band in 2017.

Some first calmer notes can be listed to with "Storm Baby" before the tune builds up to a typical Magnum anthem. It's hard to highlight some of the tunes since they are equally good. However, the title track is special, mainly due to a guest appearance. Magnum frontman Bob Catley is since may years a constant factor in Tobias Sammet's Avanatasia, enriching the epical songs with his brilliant voice. Now it was time to give something back, leading to Sammet sharing vocals with Catley. Both voice go together in a great fashion and it's the soulful arrangements that gives this sing a real wow-factor.

What more? The single release "Without Love" belongs to the Champions League of rock and it's "King of the World" acting as the Grande Finale of a superb longplayer.
Next to the songs it was always the artwork that made Magnum records immediately recognisable for fans. Also "Lost on the Road to Eternity" doesn't change this pattern. It was Rodney Matthews who was responsible for an artwork that reflects Magnum's mysterious world of fantasy and legendary creatures.

"Lost on the Road to Eternity" showcases a band that combines decades of experience, with a great sense for melodies and hooks, all kept together by a passion for melodic rock music. This album is jaw-dropping good.


(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Peaches and Cream
  2. Show Me Your Hands
  3. Storm Baby
  4. Welcome to the Cosmic Cabaret
  5. Lost on the Road to Eternity
  6. Without Love
  7. Tell Me What You've Got to Say
  8. Ya Wane Be Someone
  9. Forbidden Masquerade
  10. Glory to Ashes
  11. King of the World

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: January 19th, 2017

Kommentare

MAGNUM tour dates for Europe

Veröffentlicht am 27. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Magnum, Tour, Live, Steamhammer, Hardrock, Melodic Rock, Rock, Classic Rock

MAGNUM tour dates for Europe
Kommentare

New MAGNUM record in January 2018

Veröffentlicht am 27. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Magnum, Rock, Melodic Rock, News, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Steamhammer

New MAGNUM record in January 2018

Melodic rock dinosaur Magnum will release their new album entitled "Lost on the Road to Eternity" on January 19th via Steamhammer/SPV. It will be the band's 20th studio reocrd and it's the first one with two new band members Rick Benton (key) and Lee Morris (d).

The album will include eleven songs of which the first single will be "Without You". Stay tuned for more news.

Kommentare

ANVIL will kick-start 2018 with a new album

Veröffentlicht am 14. Oktober 2017 von Markus W. in Anvil, Heavy Metal, NWoBHM, Speed Metal, Thrash Metal, Steamhammer

ANVIL will kick-start 2018 with a new album

Canadian metal veterans Anvil worked on a new album. The longplayer is entitled "Pounding the Pavement" and will be released on January 19th, 2018 via Steamhammer/SPV. In total it is twelve new metal anthems that will kick-start another metallic year.

Here's the tracklist:

  1. Bitch In The Box 
  2. Ego 
  3. Doing What I Want
  4. Smash Your Face 
  5. Pounding The Pavement 
  6. Rock That Shit
  7. Let It Go 
  8. Nanook Of The North
  9. Black Smoke 
  10. World Of Tomorrow
  11. Warming Up 
  12. Don´t Tell Me  
Kommentare

CD review JAG PANZER "The Deviant Chord"

Veröffentlicht am 14. September 2017 von Markus W. in Jag Panzer, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, News, Steamhammer, SPV

CD review JAG PANZER "The Deviant Chord"

(9/10) One of the most exciting news this year was the one of Jag Panzer working on a new longplayer. The power metal legend, that released ground breaking records like “Ample Destruction”, had a second peak period in the beginning of this century before radio-silence took over after their latest record entitled “The Scourge of Light”. With the exception of a boxed set in 2013 nothing new has seen the light of day. This period finally finds an end on September 29th, the release date of “The Deviant Chord”.

Things didn’t look too positive between 2011 and 2013 with band members leaving the band which almost led to a breakup. Due to an extremely strong fan base and a still big request for the longplayers things reached a turning point, leading to a comeback album which is the first one in a six years period.

The first good news with this album is the fact that the ‘old’ folks are back in the line-up since 2013 and “The Deviant Chord” is the first longplayer after many years that includes next to Mark Briody, John Tetley, Rikard Stjernquist  and Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin also guitar wizard Joe Tafolla.

“The Deviant Chord” gets out of the blocks very well. “Born on the Flame” is an uptempo track with ‘The Tyrant’ at his best, surrounded by sharp guitars and a powerful rhythm section. The galloping “Far Beyond All Fear” follows and adds a more multi-layered approach to this longplayer.

It’s the sound of a musical clock that starts the title track. Some acoustic guitars take over, together with Conklin’s soulful vocals. After almost two minutes a mighty riff breaks the harmony, introducing the heavy pounding part of this excellent tune. Another highlight, amongst all the other good stuff on this album, is the spot-on “Blacklist”, merging power and melody into great total.

A number that stands out from the rest is “Foggy Dew” in which Jag Panzer adds a Celtic folk vibe to their metal sound which actually works very well. This song has the potential to become a part of a Jag Panzer live set and will create more than a good mood. After this little excursion “Divine Intervention” brings back the ambitious power metal we know from the band, before the band adds with “Long Awaited Kiss” a cinematic anthem to this longplayer. Calmer sections alternate with bombastic parts, all in a way that it fits together, leading to one of the best tracks on the album. To show the full width of sounds also in the second half of the album, Jag Panzer added with “Salacious Behavior” a straight-forward number to the tracklist. The songs is heavy and melodic and reminds, with the melodic leads, of Iron Maiden. Also ‘Fire of Our Spirit” and the moderate paced “Dare” fits perfect into the context, rounding off an exquisite metal record.

“The Deviant Chord” is the band’s tenth longplayer and, as with the others, it's again a milestone in power metal. The quintet is back in old strength and power. Passion and dedication, that’s what can be heard on the new longplayer and I have the feeling that this album gives the band a similar boost as it was with Metal Church when Mike Howe rejoined. It’s good to have one of the spearheads of US metal back in business, releasing new valuable songs that create a demand for seeing the band live on stage again.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Born of the Flame
  2. Far Beyond All Fear
  3. The Deviant Chord
  4. Blacklist
  5. Foggy Dew
  6. Divine Intervention
  7. Long Awaited Kiss
  8. Salacious Behaviors
  9. Fire of Our Spirit
  10. Dare

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Power Metal

Release Date EU: September 29th, 2017

 

Kommentare

CD review CREMATORY "Live Insurrection"

Veröffentlicht am 8. September 2017 von Markus W. in Crematory, Dark Metal, Hardrock, Rock, Live, Steamhammer, Gothic

CD review CREMATORY "Live Insurrection"

(*/10) It's amazing to see how long German goth metal oufit Crematory's in business already. The sextett started 26 years ago and even though they could never celebrate a real break-through the band could build-up a strong fanbase that's extremely loyal. Otherwise it wouldn't have been possible to release 13 studio albums and also the new live record would have turned into a mission impossible without fans and supporters.

Summer festivals are not only a great opportunity for fans to see many of their favorite bands, there are also chances to record a live album. Crematory is one of the bands that took this possibility during last year's Bang Your Head festival. The CD/DVD covers the band's entire passionate show in a good quality when it comes to sound (couldn't watch the DVD, but I guess visuals are good as well). 

Looking on songs and setlist shows a focus that was put on Crematory's latest longplayer "Monument" with the addition of some of highlights from earlier releases that saw the light of day earlier this century.

"Live Insurrection" is a live album that comes round the corner in a solid manner. Fans of gothic metal and dark rock can doubtless go for this release. It's good work of a band that's authentic and real.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

 

CD

1. Intro

2. Misunderstood

3. Fly

4. Greed

5. Tick Tack

6. Instrumental

7. Haus mit Garten  

8. Ravens Calling

9. Pray

10. Everything

11. Instrumental

12. Shadowmaker

13. The Fallen

14. Höllenbrand

15. Die So Soon

16. Kommt näher

17. Tears Of Time

 

DVD

Live:

1. Intro

2. Misunderstood

3. Fly

4. Greed

5. Tick Tack

6. Instrumental

7. Haus mit Garten

8. Ravens Calling

9. Pray

10. Everything

11. Instrumental

12. Shadowmaker

13. The Fallen

14. Höllenbrand

15. Die So Soon

16. Kommt näher

17. Tears Of Time

Monument – Videoclips

1. Misunderstood

2. Ravens Calling

3. Haus mit Garten

4. Everything

 

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

 

Genre: Dark Metal

 

Release Date EU: September 8th, 2017

Kommentare

CD review TRAVELIN JACK "Commencing Countdown"

Veröffentlicht am 5. September 2017 von Markus W. in Travelin Jack, Steamhammer, SPV, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Blues, News, CD Review, Rock, NWoBHM

CD review TRAVELIN JACK "Commencing Countdown"

(8/10) A band that’s swinging a hot bat at the moment is Travelin Jack from Berlin. The four-piece band that was founded in 2013, inked a deal with Steamhammer/SPV earlier this year and the first countable result of this cooperation is the anticipated sophomore release “Commencing Countdown”, which hits the shelves early September.

Travelin Jack fits perfectly into the classic rock retro trend that ongoing since quite a while. The quartet brings rock from the 70’s back to life, with bands like Thin Lizzy, Scorpions and Deep Purple being mentioned as source of inspiration. But I think things can be taken from a wider angle since the album also includes a certain vibe that reminds me of bands like Jingo De Lunch.

“Commencing Countdown” features 10 songs, delivering an entertaining length of 42 minutes with things getting out of the box pretty well. The triple “Land of the River”, “Metropolis” and “Keep on Running” give a great idea of what Travelin Jack is about. Warm and organic riffs are aligned with a powerful beat, with Alia Spaceface’s vocals acting as the icing on this delicious hardrock treat. Strong basslines (“Keep on Running”) are part of Travelin Jack’s sound as well as calmer blues tones that come with “What Have I Done”. A singing Hammond creates the base for this excellent performed tune that includes a lot of feel. Or listen to the blistering solo that comes with "Miracles", reminding of some earlier NWoBHM - all good stuff for your ears.

To conclude: this longplayer is an excellent example how classic rock can be transferred into the here and now without losing the original vibe and spirit. Travelin Jack celebrate this music very authentically. These guys are driven by passion for this music and the aim of creating a sound that exactly matches with their idea of classic rock and metal. “Commencing Countdown” is an album you should have heard as being a fan of hardrock and classic rock.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Land of the River
  2. Metropolis
  3. Keep on Running
  4. Cold Blood
  5. Galactic Blue
  6. Time
  7. Miracles
  8. What Have I Done
  9. Fire
  10. Journey to the Moon

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Classic Rock / Hardrock

Release Date EU: September 8th, 2017

Kommentare

CD review ALPHA TIGER "Alpha Tiger"

Veröffentlicht am 12. August 2017 von Markus W. in Alpha Tiger, Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Rock, Heavy Metal, Power Metal, News, CD Review, Steamhammer, SPV

CD review ALPHA TIGER "Alpha Tiger"

(8/10) "Alpha Tiger" is the self-titled fourth longplayer of the Freiberg, Germany based metal outfit. After having published "iDENTITY" in 2015 things evolved. While the third album was more a wild horse it's the new longplayer that reflects a more mature depth. 

"Alpha Tiger" is still metallic but it also includes more rock segments and a wider variety when it comes to sound and songs. Being produced in an analogue fashion the album sounds warmer and more organic than the band's last strike. This adds to a positive impression of the new record.

All this wasn't a given since Alpha Tiger had to go through some stormy times with their former singer leaving the band right at the beginning of an era of growing attention. Fortunately a successor was found rather quickly and it's a good one too. Benjamin Jaino joined the quintet and had to jump in at the deep end right after his start. Just a few weeks after being a permanent band member he went on a tour with Alpha Tiger, a situation that helped to integrate the 'new kid in town'. 

Being a strong unit, formed on tour, the band went into the studio, recording their most diverse longplayer to date. As with the predecessor also the new longplayer comes with energetic metal tracks. "To Wear a Crown" belongs to them as well as "Comatose" and "If the Sun Refused to Shine". But "Alpha Tiger"'s spectrum of sounds is wider than only these songs. 

"Singularity" benefits from an exciting beat, followed by the calmer "Aurora" with a gently singing Hammond. Another highlight is the grooving "Welcome to Devil's Town" with its unexpected ending. Spanish guitars take over in the last third which turns the tune into a direction which was not to foresee.

After a going through stormy waters in 2015 Alpha Tiger is back on solid ground, releasing an album that is joyful, hard and rocking. You could gain the impression that the band starts into a new era with this self-titled album. 

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Road to Vega
  2. Comatose
  3. Feather in the Wind
  4. Singularity
  5. Aurora
  6. To Wear a Crown
  7. Vice
  8. Welcome to Devil's Town
  9. My Old Friend
  10. If the Sun Refused to Shine
  11. The Last Encore

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: August 25th, 2017

Kommentare

CD review REX BROWN "Smoke on This"

Veröffentlicht am 23. Juli 2017 von Markus W. in Rex Brown, Hardrock, Pantera, Down, Blues, Southern Rock, Rock, CD Review, News, Steamhammer, SPV

CD review REX BROWN "Smoke on This"

(9/10) I guess that the name Rex Brown makes you immediately think about the legendary Pantera and the mighty Down. Brown was/is bass player in these two metal outfits and in the meantime he also worked on his solo debut. Now, in case you expect a sludge masterpiece or a hard hitting thrash album, I think you need to re-calibrate your metal-system. Rex Brown breaks new ground with “Smoke on This”.

The first things that’s different is Brown handling the six string guitar which he does as professional as he does the bass. Secondly he also took over the vocals and these are surprisingly good. His loudly and sometimes rough and hoarsely vocals fit perfect to the Southern rock style music that you get with “Smoke on This”.

Rex Brown goes back to his roots when it comes to the new album which makes it feel very authentic and tangible. It’s the lighter that’s introducing the opener. “Lone Rider” is the first highlight of the album, being a rolling spot-on track with a good riff and great vocals. Things just fit together perfectly on this longplayer. I like songs that tells the message. Without even checking the title I had to think about a huffing and puffing train while listening to the song for the first time. In that sense the tune is excellently done, seeing the powerful transcontinental locomotive right in front of you.

Also the half-acoustic tunes are a treat. ”Buried Alive” is one of them, coming with a kind of Soundgarden reference. The calmest song is “Fault Line”. This ballad comes with a lot of emotional depth and it feels very personal. It’s a listener you get goose bumps while listening to it. Another songs that’s worth to be mentioned is “Grace”, reminding me of Alice Cooper. Partly light-hearted the tune still includes a creepy overtone that makes it special.

This album is full of good stuff and there’s no single filler present. Brown recorded songs that came right from the heart, making “Smoke on this” to a real and honest masterpiece. I must admit that I haven’t expected such a great album. A positive stunner. This album kick ass.

 

(9/10)


Tracklist:

  1. Lone Rider
  2. Crossing Linbes
  3. Buried Alive
  4. Train Song
  5. Get Yourself Alright
  6. Fault Line
  7. What Comes Around
  8. Grace
  9. So Into You
  10. Best of Me
  11. One of these Days

 

Label: Steamhammer/SPV

Genre: Hardrock

Release Date EU: July 28th, 2017

Kommentare
1 2 > >>