Markus' Heavy Music Blog

My world of music - est. 2013

unplugged

CD review JOHN GARCIA „The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues"

Veröffentlicht am 6. Februar 2017 von Markus W. in John Garcia, Napalm Records, News, CD Review, Rock, Alternative Rock, Stoner Rock, Acoustic, Unplugged, Kyuss, Unida, Slo-Burn

(7/10) If there's one voice that stands for stoner rock like no-one else than it's ex-Kyuss singer John Garcia. The guy from Arizona has his own phrasing and  a timbre that makes him to an outstanding vocalist. Regardless if it was with the mentioned Kyuss or later on with bands like Unida and Slo Burn, Garcia’s voice was a trademark for each of those groups.

Over the last months the singer worked on his new solo album named „The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" which will be available on January 27th.  

This longplayer reduces any electrical support and comes with a strong acoustic expression - in fact it's entirely unplugged. That doesn't mean that the tunes are powerless. The rocking opener "Kylie" states this very well. "Green Machine" is next in the batting order, a number that shows the emotional side of Garcia. A silent tune with a lot of feel is what you get with this song. 

It's these two numbers that give you an idea about the width of sounds on this album. Garcia’s tunes are all kept within this framework and the expression of the entire album puts more of a focus on the quiet songs.  

„The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues" is partly putting me between a rock and a hard stone. One the one hand it has its fascinating moments but after a while it also feels lengthy. It stays in a generic mood and pattern that misses some peaks here and there. Maybe an EP with the highlights of this record, like the smashing opener, would have been a better option. 

(7/10)

 

 

 

Tracklist:

  1. Kylie
  2. Green Machine
  3. Give Me 250ML
  4. The Hollingsworth Session
  5. Space Cadet
  6. Gardenia
  7. El Rodeo
  8. Argleben II
  9. Court Order

 

 

Label: Napalm Records

Genre: Rock

Release Date EU: January 27th, 2017

 

 
CD review JOHN GARCIA „The Coyote Who Spoke in Tongues"
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CD review EMIL BULLS "XX"

Veröffentlicht am 24. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Emil Bulls, Alternative Metal, Alternative Rock, News, CD Review, Acoustic, Rock, Unplugged

(8/10) Time flies if you have fun. German alternative metal band Emil Bulls is in business already since 20 years which is a great moment to celebrate all achievements. And the guys from Munich do celebrate this anniversary.

The quintet took a look back in time on their discography that includes nine longplayers. The guys took the most important tracks from the various periods and re-arranged them. Songs like "Leaving You With This" from 2000 release "Monogamy" up to "Hearteater" from "Sacrifice to Venus" have been turned into soulful acoustic tunes that show the band from a totally new angle.

It was in November last year when the band took those numbers and went on a tour which they called the "Candlelight and Hellfire tour". The acoustic set was played in various cities all over Germany, supplemented by some 'Hellfire'-shows in some bigger cities like Hamburg. The latter have been the plugged-in gigs that included basically the same setlist, just with full power.

With "XX" it's almost the same. The core package is build on the acoustic versions of Emil Bull's highlights. CD 2 (available only in the digipak) instead contains the original version with full force.

All in all "XX" is a cool idea for celebrating the 20th anniversary. It's a carefully done retrospective of the last two decades of Emil Bulls. Happy Birthday.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Here Comes the Fire
  2. The Jaws of Oblivion
  3. The Way of the Warrior
  4. Hearteater
  5. The Most Evil Speech
  6. Close to the Wind
  7. Worlds Apart
  8. Nothing in This World
  9. Gone Baby Gone
  10. Not Tonight Josephine
  11. When God Was Sleeping
  12. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
  13. Dear Sadness
  14. Dancing on the Moon
  15. All For You

 

Label: AFM Records

Genre: Alternative Metal

Release date EU: Januray 29th, 2016

CD review EMIL BULLS "XX"
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'New' AMARANTHE album

Veröffentlicht am 10. Oktober 2015 von Markus W. in Amaranthe, Heavy Metal, Symphonic Metal, News, Unplugged

Sweden-based metal band Amaranthe announced another release. It's a b-sides compilation called "Breaking Point: B-Sides 2011-2015". The album comes with two songs from the earlier days of the band plus acoustic songs.

Furthermore the band will post a new video for "True"; a song that is, as an accosutic version, also on the album.

"With the high-octane energy of singles/videos 'Digital World' and 'Drop Dead Cynical,' we wanted a slightly more mellow third single," Olof explained. "The choice fell upon 'True,' which provides a great contrast with its hopeful yet melancholy lyrics and style. To match this with the perfect video, we once again turned to mastermind Patric Ullaeus, and the result is an inspiring and engaging take on how your dreams and visions don't always turn out the way you planned. But instead, there might be something greater than you hoped for down the line, as long as your heart stays true."

 

Track Listing:

  1. "Hunger" (Acoustic)
  2. "Afterlife" (Acoustic)
  3. "Amaranthine" (Acoustic)
  4. "Burn With Me" (Acoustic)
  5. "Trinity" (Acoustic )
  6. "True" (Acoustic)
  7. "Breaking Point"
  8. "Splinter In My Soul"
'New' AMARANTHE album
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CD review KATATONIA "Sanctitude"

Veröffentlicht am 27. März 2015 von Markus W. in Katatonia, Rock, Unplugged, Dark Metal, Prog Rock, News, CD Review, DVD review

(9/10) It was year ago when Swedish Katatonia played a few shows in Europe in an unplugged setup that was based on the "Dethroned & uncrowned" release from 2013. I had the chance to see the concert in the P60 in Amstelveen, Netherlands and I was impressed.

10 month later Katatonia releases a live recording from a show, captured on this tour. It was the gig in London's Union Chapel that will be released as a live CD/DVD/BluRay. By having a look on the location you can see already that the show wasn't only acoustic. The band has also chosen very special locations that provided the right ambient for those special concerts.

Since I only heard the album so far I can't refer to the concertfilm and the documentary called "Beyond the chapel", but already listening to the album clearly states the intense expression of the show.

Katatonia played in total 17 songs in an (half-) acoustic setup, taken from albums like "The great cold distance", "Dead end kings",... A look on the setlist also shows that the band performed some songs that they have never played live before. "Gone" for example and also "The one you are looking for is not here" are two fo those anthems; the last one also included a guest appearence of Silje Wergeland from The Gathering.

Talking about guest appearences - Katatonia had a few line-up changes upfront of the shows. Therefore the band has been quite nervious and Jonas Renske expressed this also a couple of times. But it has been those changes that allowed the band to invite The Pineapple Thief frontman Bruce Soord to join the tour. And this was a great add-on.

All in all I can highly recommend this atmospheric album Great musicians are performing excellent song, somewhere between rock and prog, in an unique environment. This album is the sonic version of some sunrays that break though the grey November sky. Enjoy it.

 

(9/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. In the white
  2. Ambitions
  3. Teargas
  4. Gone
  5. A darkness coming
  6. One year from now
  7. The racing heart
  8. Tonight's music
  9. Sleeper
  10. Undo you
  11. Lethean
  12. Day
  13. Idle blood
  14. Unfurl
  15. Omerta
  16. Evidence
  17. The one you are looking for is not here

 

Label: Kscope

Genre: Rock

CD review KATATONIA "Sanctitude"
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Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands

Veröffentlicht am 10. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in Katatonia, Live Review, Anathema, Unplugged, Rock, News, Messenger

After quite a while Swedens dark metal band Katatonia decided to go on tour again. I think it is the first time since 2011 that the band plays a few shows. In the meantime things changed, last but not least even the line-up of the band. In a renewed constellation the five guys had a look into their songs and decided to re-arrange some of them. They made semi-accoustic versions which they present now live on this tour. So you can say that it is a logical continuation of what they have started last year with the fantastic "Dethroned and uncrowned" album.

If I look on Katatonia's development I see parallels with Anathema. Also they started with death metal influenced dark metal, before their sound became more and more relaxed, partly accoustic with a bigger prog rock orientation.

However, the evening in Amstelveen, Holland started with the UK rockers from Messenger. The five guys play a melange out of prog rock, some smaller folk element and some psychedalic influences. Their sound fitted perfect and listening to them was entertaining. Not more and not less.

After a short break the highlight of the evening was ready to go. Katatonia entered the stage for a 15 songs long set with some real highlights. Encased in sphereful blue and red light the band started with "In the white" into the evening. While talking about the light; the stage was done very basic, as it should be for an accoustic show. The focus was on the music, which was good. The only extra from a visual point of view have been the obligatory candles on stage and some light bulbs from the ceiling. That was it. 
These unplugged shows have been very special for the band. Jonas Renske and Anders Nyström mentioned a couple of times that they have been nervous before the show, since it was just the second accoustic gig. But the little stagefright was not recognisable. A bit introvert and reflecting the band created a magic atmosphere of vulnerability and melancholia. It shows the potential of the songs that they can be re-arranged in such a way. 
A look on the setlist also shows that Katatonia played tunes which they haven't played ever live, like "Gone" and "The one you are looking for is not here". Next to these two tracks the guys from Stockholm also added songs to the show which they haven't played live for many years. The last time songs like "Day" and "A darkness coming" have been performed was many years ago. Time was flying and it was far too early when Renske announced the last song. But the fans have been fascinated by the performance and demanded an encore. Katatonia came back for one more song. But after the final note of "The one you are looking for is not here" was played the light went on and the moment of magic was over. 70 minutes was definitely too short for such a show. That was a real downer. You could see this also in the faces of the fans. This time it was quality instead of quantity. Maybe next time it is both.

To sum up. It was a cool and chilling evening with very sphereful music from two good bands. A succesful experiment which can be done more often. But of course Katatonia also should not forget to rock ;o)

Katatonia continues the tour with a few more shows in Germany, Switzerland, France and UK. All concerts will take place at special locations which emphasis the ambience. Check it out.

 

Setlist:

  1. In the white
  2. Ambitious
  3. Teargas
  4. Gone (live premier)
  5. A darkness coming (first performance since 2004)
  6. One year
  7. Racing heart
  8. Tonight's music
  9. Sleeper
  10. Undo you
  11. Lethean
  12. Day (first performance since 1997)
  13. Idle blood
  14. Unfurl
  15. The one you are looking for is not here (live premier)

 

Location: P60, Amsterlveen, The Netherlands

Genre: Rock (semi-unplugged)

Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
Live review KATATONIA (unplugged), P60, Amstelveen, The Netherlands
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