Monday, December 31, 2012

Tin Foil Phoenix - Age of vipers

Tin Foil Phoenix - Age of vipers (2007) Independent
Produced by Brandon Friesen
Tracks : 1.Maybe I shouldn´t drive 2.Not how the west was won 3.Hurry home 4.Have a nice day 5.Age of vipers 6.Stick it to the man 7.Insomnia 8.I never knew you 9.Picked up the pieces 10.the stuff 11.At least I have my health 12.The snake is eating itself 13.Man of constant sorrow
3,5 out of 5

I have had this album in my collection for 5 years but didn´t listen to it until now, don´t ask me why. I know it´s stupid. I did a review of Tin Foil Phoenix´s first album "Living in the shadow of the bat" (2004) at and thought it was a good groove rock album. For fans of Crazy Town and Lenny Kravitz. That album was released on Chad Kroeger´s label 604 Records but the 2nd album "Age of vipers" is self released, and to my surprise also stronger than the debut. If you´re new to this band, TFP was formerly known as Sonic Bloom before signing with 604 Records. You should check out their 2001 album "Hurry", a really good album too. It´s been quiet around this band ever since the "Age of vipers" album but I´m glad I listened to it because this is quality rock from Canada. Not as groovy as "Living in the shadow of the bat" but   more of a timeless rock album. Imagine Blessid Union of Souls meets Everclear. Thumbs up!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Transition - Get there

Transition - Get there (2006) Floodgate Records
Produced by Mike Herrera
Tracks : 1.Excusable 2.Down at the harbor 3.The issue 4.Winter 5.Air we breathe 6.Count me out 7.A letter from Dallas 8.Carolina 9.Give and take 10.Get there 11.Tune in
2,5 out of 5

Still a few albums from 2006 to review where some are considered to be old but fresh, and if Pittsburgh based pop punk band Transition´s last album "Get there" would´ve been an EP instead. I would without doubt give this album more than 2,5 stars because some songs do sound fresh and I truly enjoy their feel-good vibe but the major part of the album soundalike. It´s hard to seperate one song from the other, perhaps this was also the reason this band didn´t breakthrough either. I don´t mind listening to songs like "Excusable", "The issue" and "Count me out". A little more edge to their sound should´ve done it.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Tripdavon - The enlightened operative

Tripdavon - The enlightened operative (2006) Independent
Produced by Jim Wood / Sylvia Massy Shivy
Tracks: 1.Rusted teeth 2.Numbing down 3.Never let you go 4.Far from grace 5.Four hundred lives 6.Resonate 7.Unwoven 8.Nothing at all 9.More than I can bear 10.Lithia breeze 11.Lifeline
3 out of 5

California based rock band Tripdavon released their self titled debut album in 2004 and followed up with "The enlightened operative" in 2006 which is produced by Sylvia Massy Shivy (Tool) and Jim Wood. Their 3rd album "Sketches from silence" came out in 2009 and they are currently working on the 4th album. We´re talking post grunge/rock here in the same vein as Smile Empty Soul, 12 Stones and The Trews. This is a competent band that has supported great acts like Whitesnake, Fuel and Dishwalla. Perhaps, they sound a bit average but they´re great performers where songs like "Never let you go" and "Rusted teeth" would do justice on an album by 12 Stones for example. "Nothing at all" has a nice groove and it reminds a bit of Incubus, anyhow it´s enough with one album from this band. I don´t need all 3.

Piggy D - The Evacuation Plan

Piggy D - The Evacuation Plan (2007) Black Victory Records
Produced by Matt Montgomery
Tracks : 1.Brave or faithless 2.Mr Anxiety 3.For my revenge 4.Roll call 5.Die young 6.Last man on Earth 7.Ladies night 8.The dare 9.Smoke and mirrors 10.3 chords 11.No one knows you´re alive 12.Chemistry
3,5 out of 5

Piggy D ain´t exactly the best artist name around, Matt Montgomery could´ve chosen another band name for his first solo album "The Evacuation Plan". Who is Matt Montgomery? Well, he´s the guitarist for Wednesday 13 and bassplayer with Rob Zombie, Matt has also co-written and produced songs for Alice Cooper. In 2012, he also released the singles/remixes collection "Repeat offender" containing 5 new songs. I must say that I expected a more heavy 90´s metal sound on this album, perhaps even industrial-like but what we get is melodic hardrock in the late 80´s/early 90´s style. Similar to albums like Danger Danger-Four the hard way, Night Ranger-Feeding off the Mojo and Winger-1. This is a great album where the highlights are "Ladies night", "Roll call" and "Smoke and mirrors". Way to go Matt!

Radiant - We hope you win

Radiant - We hope you win (2006) Independent
Produced by Radiant
Tracks : 1.That girl 2.Kid with a knife 3.Magician 4.Oceans 5.Sound of splitting atoms 6.We hope you win 7.The way you make me feel 8.Mostar 9.Golden hour 10.She´s alright 11.Got you where I want you 12.If I had known 13.Everybody, are you with me?
2,5 out of 5

When I did a review of Dallas based Radiant´s debut "The sound of splitting atoms" EP from 2003 at, I gave it 3,5 stars and described them as Manic Street Preachers meets Kent. We still get a huge dose of melancholic rock on their last studio album "We hope you win" from 2006, but the Kent-like vibes are pretty much gone on this record. Radiant sound more Britrock than American radio rock, just take "Magician" that could´ve been an unreleased Oasis song. The 2 singles "That girl" and "The way you make me feel" are both very nice, I also dig "Kid with a knife" where I can hear the lovely instrument Mellotron. Yes, I´m excited because it was mostly used by 70´s progrock bands. The instrumental "Mostar" bring thoughts to Flickerstick with it´s atmospheric sound, but there are just too many slowtempo songs on this album and it puts me to sleep.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Strangeway - My best friend

Strangeway - My best friend (2006) Fil-Am Records
Produced by Walter Ino
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.Golden rule 3.If I choose you 4.Inside your head 5.My best friend 6.Sometimes I curse 7.Dream song 8.Whatever happened to the day 9.Mother Mary 10.Peace and love me 11.Turn it on 12.Someday 13.Beautiful
3 out of 5

The band Strangeway is not to be confused with AOR band Strangeways, the Pittsburgh based modern rock band Strangeway was formed by guitarist/singer Walter Ino in 2003. Walter came from the Atlantic recording artists 7th House with the album "412" released in 2000, the Strangeway debut "Turn it on" came out 3 years later and the follow up "My best friend" was released in 2006. Since then, silence. If you´re into late 90´s modern rock a la Greenwheel, Foo Fighters and Mercury, this album´s for you. It´s a solid 13 track album with no fillers but no killers either, the album´s comfy all the way through so to speak. Songs like "Whatever happened to the day" and "Inside your head" would do just fine on the TV series "Friends" back in the 90´s.

Wired All Wrong - Break out the battle tapes

Wired All Wrong - Break out the battle tapes (2006) Nitrus Records
Produced by Wired All Wrong
Tracks : 1.15 minutes 2.Elevatin 3.Nothing at all 4.Medicate 5.Let me go 6.After all 7.Lost Angeles 8.You´re freaking me out girl 9.Make a fool 10.End of all things
4 out of 5

Wired All Wrong is an one album band featuring producer duo Jeff Turzo of God Lives Underwater and Matt Mahaffey of Self, they have produced bands like The Sounds, Hellogoodbye, Forever The Sickest Kids and The White Tie Affair. Their only released album "Break out the battle tapes" came out in 2006 and it´s a really great electronic rock album with traces of 80´s pop and even funk. Imagine Prince in the same studio with Orgy and Dan Reed stopping by to put some flavor to it. I don´t dig the hip/hop smelling "You´re freaking me out girl", but other than that song, this album is cooking. With some airplay, songs like "15 minutes" and "Elevatin" could´ve been big hits but it was dead on arrival which is a shame. Get yourself a copy as a late christmas present.

Vivian - Vivianism

Vivian - Vivianism (2007) Fastball Music
Produced by Vivian
Tracks : 1.Paradise 2.Maybe please 3.Bad creation 4.Streets on fire 5.May 6.Whenever you´re gone 7.Time 8.Perfect world 9.You might be wrong 10.All fall down 11.Step back 12.My flavour
3,5 out of 5

This album was reviewed by Juha at when it came out a few years ago, he gave it 3 stars and thought it was a pretty good powerpop album. I would rather say it´s more of a melodic rock album with traces of powerpop, imagine Kane meets Reamonn with hints of Weezer and you´ll get the Swiss band Vivian. There are even songs that flirts with Bon Jovi (their 90´s era), "Vivianism" from 2007 is a strong album where the best songs are at the beginning and the end of the album. The first 3 tracks are awesome, my favorite track is "Bad creation". That one belong on a mixtape for sure. The band Vivian is lead by Roger Vivian on Lead Vocals/Guitar and they have toured with Status Quo, other albums available are "V" (2001), "Dont look down" (2006), "Alive" (2007) and "Nordic hotel" (2009).

3milehigh - 3milehigh

3milehigh - 3milehigh (2006) Global Music
Produced by 3milehigh
Tracks : 1.Always watching 2.United states of England 3.Adrenalin 4.1+1=3 5.Powerless 6.Sunshine in a bag 7.Plastic superstar 8.Cardboard world 9.Love me when you sleep 10.Skin
3 out of 5

Wohoo, I just found a dozen of CD´s from 2006-2007 that I haven´t listened to yet. During this time, I had so many review requests at that it was impossible to write about all albums I received so let´s get down to business and start with the Leeds based rock band 3milehigh. Their only release was this self titled album from 2006 and then I guess they split up, no info over at myspace from what I can see. They made a video of the single "Always watching" that sounds like a mix between Foo Fighters and Billy Idol, I like that song. The following "United states of England" is more of a classic rock tune in the same vein as Little Angels. There are actually more Aussie rock vibes over the rest of the album than a typical Britrock sound, just listen to "1+1=3" that bring thoughts to Noiseworks. A good album worth checking out.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Asylum Pyre - Fifty Years Later

Asylum Pyre - Fifty Years Later (2012) Massacre Records
Produced by Asylum Pyre
Tracks : 1.Will you believe me 2.Dead in Copenhagen 3.The frozen will 4.These trees 5.The Herd 6.Fisherman´s day 7.Against the sand 8.Any hypothesis 9.Just before the silence 10.Fifty years later
2 out of 5

The French symphonic metal act Asylum Pyre formed in 2003 and released their debut album "Natural instinct" in 2009, for the sophomore album "Fifty years later" they recruited the new singer Chaos Heidi. You can tell they´re heavily influenced by bands like Epica and Nightwish, perhaps not as opera-like but more of a modern symphonic metal sound. Unfortunately, Asylum Pyre doesn´t belong in the same division as Epica and Nightwish. The French female fronted band pull off some great songs like "These trees" and "Against the sand" but there are a few mediocre songs as well such as "The Herd", "The frozen will" and "Dead in Copenhagen". This should´ve been an EP instead.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Remedy Drive - Resuscitate

Remedy Drive - Resuscitate (2012) Centricity Records
Produced by Peter Kipley
Tracks : 1.Better than life 2.Lost cause 3.Resuscitate me 4.God I hope so 5.What are we waiting for 6.Dont forget 7.Make it bright 8.Crystal sea 9.Glory 10.Hold on
3 out of 5

The word resuscitate is new to me as a Swede, I checked it out and the translation is "cause to regain consiousness". It´s also the title of Christian contemporary rock band Remedy Drive´s new album, this time they´re on a new label with a new line up. Only keyboardist/singer David Zach is left from the original line up, their previous album "Daylight is coming" was released on Word Records in 2008 but now they´re signed to Centricity Records. This band has released several independent albums between 1998-2006, but I´m not familiar with those albums. "Resuscitate" is a safe record, I thought "Daylight is coming" was stronger. There are some good songs on the new album however, like the rocker "Make it bright" and the single "Better than life". The worship rock of "Glory" could be something from a Hillsong album, perfect in a church. The title track "Resuscitate me" sounds like a mix between Switchfoot and MuteMath, great groove.

Paper Tigers - Safe in words

Paper Tigers - Safe in words (2012) Independent
Produced by Romesh Dodangoda
Tracks : 1.Summer on blossom street 2.Vignettes 3.Back to you 4.The whistleblower
3,5 out of 5

What would be labelled as pop/punk a decade ago, is now being filed as pop/rock and the same goes with emo, whatever.......the new British pop/rock band Paper Tigers are just as much pop/punk as Good Charlotte but never mind. Today, it´s more appropriate to compare them to bands like All Time Low, Boys Like Girls and Young Bones. Their debut "Safe in words" EP is pretty good though, well it´s really good. With catchy choruses, almost singalong anthems, Paper Tigers are here to stay. This time, they picked "Back to you" as the first single but the band could´ve gone for any of these 4 songs because they´re all equally strong. If they tour hard to promote this EP, I bet it´s just a matter of time before they´re up there with the same fame as Lostprophets.

Echo Effect - The beauty in disaster

Echo Effect - The beauty in disaster (2012) Independent
Produced by Wally J
Tracks : 1.Face of the girl 2.The violence between us 3.Seven 4.Vanity 5.Push over 6.Only in the movies
3,5 out of 5

"The beauty in disaster" is the debut album from Minnesota based hardrock band Echo Effect, a new band featuring lead singer/guitarist/producer Wally J of Crash Anthem and Skywind. And they are giving it away for free during the holidays, just visit their website and download it. If Wally J delivered progressive metal with Skywind and then focused on modern rock in Crash Anthem, this time his new band Echo Effect is totally into riff oriented hardrock with a 90´s vibe. You´ll hear traces of grunge and numetal in their sound but this is mainly a hardrock album, no doubt it´s a strong release where my favorite songs are "Seven" and "Push over". Thumbs up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Evermore - Follow the sun

Evermore - Follow the sun (2012) Independent
Produced by Jon Hume
Tracks : 1.Shines on everyone 2.Follow the sun 3.A world without you 4.Hero 5.Run away 6.Hey my love 7.Pieces 8.That´s the way 9.Sometimes it´s easy 10.We will meet again 11.We´ll fly 
Bonus EP : 1.Beautiful 2.Drawn into the flame 3.Honey please believe 4.More than anyone 5.Night is over
3 out of 5

I have followed this band from their first album "Dreams" (2004) and the following 3 albums where the 2009 album "Truth of the world" was a masterpiece. The Hume brothers of Evermore became more artsy for each release and I loved it, we still get quality pop from this trio on their new album "Follow the sun" but this time they sound a bit too much like Coldplay for their own good. There has always been similarities with Keane and Coldplay on their previous albums but just a small bit of their atmospheric Aussie pop sound. The title track is very good and a few tracks on the bonus EP caught my attention as well but there are too many tracks that doesn´t move me the way I hoped. This is their weakest album to date but that doesn´t say it´s a bad album, the other albums from Evermore are way more classy.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Stonefield - Bad reality

Stonefield - Bad Reality (2012) Wunderkind Records
Produced by Stonefield
Tracks : 1.Bad reality 2.Move out of my shadow 3.Ruby skies 4.Who are you 5.Black water rising 6.Yes master
3 out of 5

Stonefield is a new rock band from down under with 4 sisters, heavily influenced by late 60´s and early 70´s rock. They debuted with the "Through the clover" EP in 2010 and also played at the Glastonbury Festival in England. This fall, their follow up "Bad reality" is available and the listener truly gets a major dose of guitar oriented rock. The title track "Bad reality" bring thoughts to Lenny Kravitz while the single "Ruby skies" can be described as Aussie rock with a 70´s feel, a personal fave on this EP. "Black water rising" will appeal to fans of Black Crowes and Led Zeppelin, I really dig the groove in this record. A solid affair all the way through.
Other famous all female bands worth mentioning : The Bangles, 4 Non Blondes, The Runaways, Girlschool, Vixen, Antigone Rising, Drain, Crucified Barbara, Sahara Hotnights, The Donnas, Rock Goddess, Vanilla Ninja, Phantom Blue.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jorn - Symphonic

Jorn - Symphonic (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Jorn Lande / Lasse Jensen
Tracks : 1.I came to rock 2.Rocknroll children 3.The world I see 4.Burn your flame 5.Man of the dark road 7.Time to be king 8.Black morning 9.Like stone in water 10.Vision eyes 11.War of the world 12.Behind the clown 13.A thousand cuts 14.Mob rules
4 out of 5

Although this ain´t no album with new songs from Jorn Lande, "Symphonic" pretty much feels and sounds like a new album mostly because of the orchestral arrangements of all the songs. Don´t expect a Best of album because Jorn has chosen the most personal songs and has given them a total facelift, I mean I wasn´t much of a fan of his latest studio album "Bring heavy rock to the land" but the 6 tracks taken from that record sound so much better here. "Black morning" and "The world I see" sounds like brand new Jorn songs and how cool is it that Jorn once again, gives the fans another Dio cover of "Rocknroll children". Great version! Other masterful versions are "I came to rock" and "Burn your flame", not to mention the powerful cover of Black Sabbath´s "Mob rules". Respect! Is there a greater rock singer in Scandinavia these days than Jorn? I doubt it!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Crashdiet - The Savage Playground

Crashdiet - The Savage Playground (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Crashdiet
Tracks : 1.Change the world 2.Cocaine cowboys 3.Anarchy 4.California 5.Lickin´ dog 6.Circus 7.Sin city 8.Got a reason 9.Drinkin´ without you 10.Snakes in paradise 11.Damaged kid 12.Excited 13.Garden of Babylon
2,5 out of 5

For the first time, Swedish sleaze rock band Crashdiet stick with the same singer for two albums in a row. Frontman Simon Cruz debuted on the 2010 album "Generation wild" which was a solid record that took ´em out on tour to support Motley Crue and Ozzy. The band aren´t taking any chances and deliver 13 songs in the same vein as the previous albums, I just don´t think the hooks are there. The majority of the songs feel average and some riffs are built on cliche´s, sure there are some great moments like the melodic "California" and the riff rocker "Circus" but the single "Cocaine cowboys" and the opener "Change the world" which are supposed to set the standard of the album, only feels ok. The drumproduction is lousy and songs like "Lickin´ dog" and "Damaged kid" are nothing but b-sides. Nah, Crashdiet can do better.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pink Cream 69 - Ceremonial

Pink Cream 69 - Ceremonial (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Dennis Ward
Tracks : 1.Land of confusion 2.Wasted years 3.Special 4.Find your soul 5.The tide 6.Big machine 7.Let the thunder roll 8.Right from wrong 9.Passage of time 10.I came to rock 11.King for one day 12.Superman
3,5 out of 5

Has it already been 6 years since PC69´s last studio album "In10sity"? Time sure flies by fast, the German hardrock band releases their 11th full length album in early 2013 and this time they´ve recruited the new drummer Chris Schmidt (SunStorm, First Signal). I´m not at all a huge fan of PC69 but I do like their early albums and I welcome the new album "Ceremonial" with open arms because it sounds fresh and very melodic. The production from bassist Dennis Ward is topnotch and singer David Readman impress me more and more for each time I hear him, he´s got both the power and the sense of singing with passion. This album doesn´t sound so dated either, PC69 still deliver classy hardrock with strong hooks but with traces of 90´s hardrock and even some modern vibes. The opening track "Land of confusion" is not a cover of the Genesis hit if you thought so, I don´t see it as a typical opener either because the 2nd track "Wasted years" is so much better. Other great tracks are "Big machine" and "King for one day".

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snakecharmer - Snakecharmer

Snakecharmer - Snakecharmer (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Snakecharmer
Tracks : 1.My angel 2.Accident prone 3.To the rescue 4.Falling leaves 5.A little rocknroll 6.Turn of the screw 7.Smoking gun 8.Stand up 9.Guilty as charged 10.Nothing to lose 11.Cover me in you
4 out of 5

Supergroup has become a term that some use for just about any project of less famous musicians these days but in this case with Snakecharmer, it´s appropriate and justified. This new band features Micky Moody-Guitars (Whitesnake), Neil Murray-Bass (Whitesnake), Chris Ousey-Vocals (Heartland), Adam Wakeman-Keyboards (Ozzy), Laurie Wisefield-Guitars (Wishbone Ash) and Harry James-Drums (Thunder).
I must admit that I didn´t have any expectations about their debut album, but to my surprise they have truly delivered a really strong album of classic rock tunes in the same vein as early Whitesnake, Bad Company and even Foreigner (at times).
This must be Chris Ousey´s best vocal performance ever, he sounds like a deadringer for Eric Martin but we shall not forget the classy songwriting from Moody and Co. I just adore songs like "My angel", "A little rocknroll" and "Stand up". What a great start of 2013.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Chair Warriors - A thousand words

Chair Warriors - A thousand words (2012) Universal Music
Produced by Glen Robinson
Tracks : 1.Ateurnus 2.Lifelines 3.Death men poetry 4.Pill 5.Ruby rain 6.Silent child
3,5 out of 5

Chair Warriors is a trio from Montreal, Canada. The line up of Brandon Mignacca - Vocals/Keyboards, Rob Flis - Guitars and Ryan Flis - Drums, formed in 2009 and are influenced by varied genres such as classical music, grunge and melodic rock. Their debut EP "A thousand words" contains 6 well crafted progressive modern rock songs in the same vein as Red but with a Muse vibe, if you check out their facebook page you can listen to their cover of Adele´s "Skyfall". So this band ain´t afraid to do anything unexpected, just like these songs that feels a bit artsy. The single "Lifelines" is more of a traditional modern rock song and it can be viewed at youtube, the softer "Death men poetry" is very beautiful and will appeal to fans of old school prog. "Ruby rain" bring thoughts to Matthew Good so hats off, my favorite is the smart rock of "Pill" where the crescendo is awesome. A band with lots of potential.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Blondfire - Where the kids are

Blondfire - Where the kids are (2012) Independent
Produced by Blondfire
Tracks : 1.Where the kids are 2.Hide and seek 3.Waves 4.Walking with giants
3 out of 5

New York based indie pop duo Blondfire features brother and sister Bruce and Erica Driscoll, their sound can be described as Nina Persson of The Cardigans singing with Owl City. Electro flavored indie pop so to speak and it´s a winning formula because they have signed with Warner Music, their major label debut "Young heart" will be out in 2013. This 4 track EP is very nice, the music is kinda relaxing and I really dig Erica´s soothing voice. The title track along with "Walking with giants" are the highlights here, perhaps they should look more into the variation of different tempo´s within the songs for their next release or else it might get a bit monotone. Also available with Blondfire is the 2008 album "My someday".

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bob Pressner - King of nothing

Bob Pressner - King of nothing (2012) Platunum Pit Records
Produced by David Grow / Jim McGorman
Tracks : 1.King of nothing 2.Next summer never came 3.iGirl 4.The blue has left your eyes 5.Too old to die young 6.Washed away 7.Looking back 8.Renaissance man 9.Water water 10.I´m not that guy 11.Thinking man 12.Honor among thieves 13.Here at the western wall
4 out of 5

When I did a review of Bob Pressner´s previous album "Honor among thieves" (2010) at, I wrote that it was his debut album but that´s totally wrong. Bob Pressner has released 5 albums now including the new one "King of nothing". I compared him to Neil Young meets Dan Lucas on the latest album and it was a good one too, however the new record is stronger. The songs have depth, passionate vocals and beautiful arrangements. The listener gets a variety of rootsrock, midwest ballads and working class melodic rock, his voice is reminiscent of Gowan and Ray Wilson but with the sound of The Jayhawks and Shawn Mullins. I love songs like "Here at the western wall", "iGirl" and "Too old to die young".
This is the kinda album that grows on you, "Next summer never came" is another great song that is handmade for radio. Not to mention, the Peter Gabriel-esque "I´m not that guy", just lovely.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Broken Door - Time for changes

Broken Door - Time for changes (2012) Warner Music
Produced by Broken Door
Tracks : 1.Final destination 2.In the shadow 3.Angel 4.Hey you 5.Beauty comes from within 6.Time for changes 7.Somebody to love 8.I miss u 9.Towards the light 10.Unless we defeat 11.Lover of life
2 out of 5

The ballad "Angel" was a huge hit in Sweden in 2010, the duo Broken Door had landed and wasn´t gonna leave. The following singles "Hey you" and "In the shadow" didn´t manage to score the same success but that didn´t stop the band from writing more songs and finally releasing the debut album "Time for changes". This duo featuring Tobias Östlund and Pier Schmid (DaBuzz), doesn´t take any chances and has recorded an album with comfy pop/rock songs, the title track is really good and I also dig the opener "Final destination" but the album feels too safe and very predictable. It´s like you´ve heard the choruses before, this is so mainstream that even mainstream music sound daring. Yes, I can hear the guitar in there somewhere in the mix but it should´ve been a helluva lot louder.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Jupiter Tide - The Jupiter Tide

The Jupiter Tide - The Jupiter Tide (2012) Independent
Produced by Jamie King
Tracks : 1.This is us 2.Surface tension 3.Chaos theory 4.Figure A 5.Lydia 6.Regret nothing
3 out of 5

If you take big slice of numetal and blend it with 80´s metal, you´ll get the North Carolina 5 piece The Jupiter Tide´s debut album. There´s no doubt The Jupiter Tide is influenced by bands like Godsmack, 10 Years, Megadeth and Disturbed. This is mainly 21st century metal but I like the idea of mixing it up with classic heavy metal, we´re talking serious headbanging anyhow.
The EP opens with "This is us" which the best track here but also thumbs up for the real heavy "Figure A" where the riffs are awesome. The artwork is rather anonymous though, they could´ve gone for another album cover I think.

Stria - Stria

Stria - Stria (2012) Skies Fall Records
Produced by Ben Kasica
Tracks : 1.The real me 2.Rise from the ashes 3.Alive 4.Control 5.Say
3,5 out of 5

I must say that the artwork of Stria´s new self titled EP is very cool, I love their logo too. This Florida based rock band released their debut "Chimera" in 2009 which was more of a numetal affair. The band changed line up and headed into a new direction soundwise for the next release which ended up in these 5 tracks. They still deliver aggressive rock but flavored with electronica and radio ready choruses, the single "Rise from the ashes" is a smash! Stria worked with Skillet guitarist Ben Kasica so it´s not so strange that the production sounds luxurious, all 5 songs are really strong and you can sense the 30STM vibes in a song like "Alive". I think Stria would be perfect as a support act to let´s say Linkin Park.

Moments Apart - Collision

Moments Apart - Collision (2012) Independent
Produced by Moments Apart
Tracks : 1.Selfish control 2.Medicated collision 3.Let you drown 4.For you 5.Reveal 6.Escape
3 out of 5

Moments Apart is a 4 piece rock band from Melbourne, Australia. Heavily influenced by modern rock a la Daughtry and Evanescence but also with a hardrocking attitude, their debut "Collision" EP is well performed with 6 solid songs where "For you" stand out as a nice duet featuring Nelli Scarlet. The band is currently working on their debut full length to be out in 2013. Moments Apart focus on melodies and crunchy guitars which is a much welcome formula if you ask me, now they only need that killer track that will put them high on the charts.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Deceptor - Chains of delusion

Deceptor - Chains of delusion (2013) Shadow Kingdom Records
Produced by Deceptor
Tracks : 1.Transmission I 2.To know infinity 3.Heatseeker 4.Transmission II 5.Sentient shackles 6.Oblivions call
2 out of 5

If you´re into old school thrash metal a la Metal Church, Megadeth (80´s era) and the Metal For Muthas compilations. Then I suggest you take a note of U.K based trio Deceptor´s new mini album "Chains of delusion" that will be out in early 2013. Listening to their new songs feels like being sent back in a time machine to 1983, I don´t mind new bands raising the flag of old school metal and the artwork is pretty cool but I´m not that impressed by their songwriting skills. Perhaps, Deceptor would´ve been a cult band back in those days but the only track that sounds great is "Sentient shackles".
They´re good musicians anyhow.

Corsair - Corsair

Corsair - Corsair (2012) Shadow Kingdom Records
Produced by Corsair
Tracks : 1.Agathyrsi 2.Chaemera 3.Falconer 4.Gryphon wing 5.Path of the chosen arrow 6.Mach 7.Of kings and cowards 8.The desert
3 out of 5

With a sound dated to classic rock, the Virginia based band Corsair´s debut album could´ve been released in 1975. This album´s good, no doubt. At first, I thought the production sounded a bit naked but then again, it suits them. Many songs are heavily influenced by Thin Lizzy, the Nightlife/Fighting era but a bit more progressive not far from the Rush clones Shiva and also with a touch of NWOBHM a la Diamond Head. The highlights are "Path of the chosen arrow", "Chaemera" and "Falconer". I think Phil Lynott would´ve been proud over "Chaemera", or is it a lost Thin Lizzy song? Heck, I don´t know. 3 instrumental songs out of 8 might seem a bit too much but the instrumental pieces are quite good, "Mach" is my favorite.
Real nice.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Infernal Poetry - Paraphiliac

Infernal Poetry - Paraphiliac (2013) Bakerteam Records
Produced by Infernal Poetry
Tracks : 1.Preliminaries 2.Stumps 3.In glorious orgy 4.Hypertrophic jellyfish 5.Everything means I 6.Barf together 7.Cartilages 8.The copy paste syndrome 9.The miss treated 10.Paraphilias
2 out of 5

The Italian death metal band Infernal Poetry formed in the mid 90´s and has released 4 full length albums including the latest one "Paraphiliac" which is their first for Bakerteam Records. The new album also has traces of extreme metal and hardcore, it is well performed and well produced but the songs lack of interesting songstructures and tend to go for maximum force all the way through. Thumbs up for the great guitar harmonies though, a song like "Barf together" really caught my attention but unfortunately it´s one of few highlights here. Fans of this band might be easily flirted by "Paraphiliac" but I think 3 turns in my stereo is enough.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Outline In Color - Jury of wolves

Outline In Color - Jury of wolves (2012) Independent
Produced by See Jay Cochran
Tracks : 1.The kindling 2.Follow me to sleep 3.A jury of wolves 4.Hope in the wrong hands 5.The chase scene 6.Charlie machine 7.Karma made me an arsonist 8.The good in me 9.A fracture, A fallout 10.I´ve had this dream before 11.I ain´t afraid of no ghost
3 out of 5

It´s becoming quite trendy to blend hardcore and R&B, not long ago I reviewed the band Issues that did this successfully and now also Oklahoma based Outline In Color. Their debut album "Jury of wolves" will appeal to fans of post hardcore that doesn´t mind traces of pop and R&B, OIC is fronted by 2 singers where one is in charge of clean vocals and the other is the screamo guy. I´ve heard the melodic "The good in me" before and it´s also one of the highlights along with the new single "The chase scene", it´s really cool that they wrote a song with the title "I ain´t afraid of no ghost" inspired by the 80´s Ghostbusters movie. This album is hardly groundbreaking and the songs tend to soundalike halfway through the album, but the band deliver a few strong tracks like "Follow me to sleep" and the ones mentioned above. Not included on this 11 track album is their nice cover of NSYNC´s "It´s gonna be me", it´s worth checking out because it´s a smash.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wise Girl - Wise Girl

Wise Girl - Wise Girl (2012) Independent
Produced by Chris Fasulo
Tracks : 1.Set in stone 2.Wishful thinking 3.Roles are reversed
3 out of 5

Wise Girl is a female fronted powerpop band from New York, their debut 3 track EP will be available on iTunes soon. They´re influenced by Weezer, The Ramones and 60´s girl pop. The lead single "Wishful thinking" bring thoughts to a more rocking The Bangles and it´s quite charming, I think they´ve got potential and especially lead singer Abby Weitz that might steal the spotlight from the others in the band. Wise Girl recently opened for The Dollyrots and Prima Donna and will release their debut full length in 2013 so they´re off for a good start. The refreshing "Set in stone" just need a bright and sunny video on youtube and everything´s set on the green light.

Paper Tongues - Crowd surfing

Paper Tongues - Crowd Surfing (2012) Rockmen Music Group
Produced by Paper Tongues
Tracks : 1.Horse on fire 2.Triumph 3.Crowd surfing 4.Notorius 5.Life is ok
3,5 out of 5

North Carolina based dance rock band Paper Tongues gives the listener a C-vitamin dose of soul, R&B, rock and modern pop on their new "Crowd surfing" EP. They collaborated with Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D on their latest single "Amen" that I can highly recommend, this is not their first release however because PT debuted already in 2009 with the awesome "Ride to California" EP and followed up with the self titled full length in 2010. It´s really hard to seperate all these Paper name bands such as Paper Route, Paper Zoo, Paper Tigers and Paper Tongues but the others doesn´t sound anything like this band. You can find traces of The Killers in their sound but also Prince and Pulp. Very good and very danceable.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Vega - What the hell

Vega - What the hell (2013) Ninetone Records
Produced by Vega
Tracks : 1.Carnival of lost souls 2.White knuckle ride 3.What the hell 4.Not there for you 5.Cry 6.Raise ya game 7.Fade into flames 8.You can´t run 9.Bless my soul 10.She walks alone 11.Turn it on 12.Saviour 13.It´s gonna be alright 14.Hand in the air
3,5 out of 5

The British AOR band Vega featuring Nick Workman - Lead Vocals, Tom Martin - Guitars, James Martin - Keyboards and Daniel Chantrey - Drums, are back with their 2nd album "What the hell" in January 2013. This is the follow up to the critically acclaimed debut "Kiss of life" from 2010, Vega takes the safe route and continues where the debut left off with traditional 80´s AOR where each song could be released as a single. This time they´re also signed to their new label Ninetone Records that has focused on modern rock and metal till now, the first taste of this album is the single "White knuckle ride" which is a really great AOR smash. If you´ve heard that song, you know what to expect from the rest of the album. There are no surprises along the way but a bunch of quality AOR that could´ve been featured in the Rock of Ages musical. The title track "What the hell" is a personal fave but I also dig "You can´t run" a lot, the Def Leppard vibes are all over this album. Nothing new under the sun but what the´s damn good.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Crown The Empire - The Fallout

Crown The Empire - The Fallout (2012) Rise Records
Produced by Joey Sturgis
Tracks : 1.Oh, catastrophe 2.The fallout 3.Memories of a broken heart 4.Makeshift chemistry 5.The one you feed 6.Menace 7.Graveyard souls 8.Two´s too many 9.Evidence 10.Children of love 11.Johnny´s revenge
3 out of 5

I expected more from Crown The Empire´s debut full length "The Fallout", I was impressed by their first "Limitless" EP that showed a very promising and hungry band. Unfortunately their new album feels a bit safe and less artsy, CTE is caught in the mainstream and has lost a bit of their unique sound from the EP. This is still a good album with some great songs like "Makeshift chemistry" and "Menace", but I can´t stop thinking about how good it could actually have been. The production sounds expensive and I bet they will still make a name of themselves, however I want some more of those unpredictable songstructures on the next record.

Woe, is me - Genesi(s)

Woe, is me - Genesi(s) (2012) Velocity / Rise Records
Produced by Woe, is me
Tracks : 1.D-day 2.F.Y.I 3.A story to tell 4.With our friends behind us 5.Nothing left to lose 6.The walking dead 7.I saw I came I conquered 8.Call it like you see it 9.I´ve told you once 10.Family first 11.Nothing left to lose (acoustic version)
3,5 out of 5

Atlanta based Woe, is me released their debut album "Number(s)" in 2010 and everything was looking good for the band but due to personal indifferences between the two singers Tyler Carter and Michael Bohn and the band, Tyler and Michael left and started their new band Issues. Would that be the end of Woe, is me? Not by far, because they´re back with a bang and two new singers in Hance Alligod and Doriano Magliano. Their new album "Genesi(s)" sounds like a destroyer, the guitars walk you over like a caterpillar and when you think it couldn´t get any heavier, they turn it up to 11. I really love their mix of metalcore and pop punk, and I´m not alone since "Genesi(s)" is currently on the top 10 on the iTunes rock chart in U.S.A. The song "Nothing left to lose" gets stuck in the head like superglue and I also enjoy the acoustic version at the end of the record. Woe, is me ROCK!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Strangers - Persona Non Grata

Strangers - Persona Non Grata (2012) Permanent Records
Produced by Tom Larkin
Tracks : 1.Red brick 2.Closer to nowhere 3.Bred for breathing 4.Medication 5.Persona non grata 6.Far too late 7.Searching the low 8.Heiress 9.Glitter kids 10.The yearly drag 11.Long snake moan
3 out of 5

Strangers is a new cool band from Sydney, Australia with roots in 90´s rock where their biggest influence must be Foo Fighters. The debut album "Persona Non Grata" will also appeal to fans of Aussie rock a la Shihad and Grinspoon, it´s a good album where the highlights are "Heiress", "Bred for breathing", "Medication" and "Persona non grata". What I miss though is a killer track that I want to hear over and over again, on the other hand, I can´t find any fillers either. If you want a well performed rock album and don´t care that much about the high Foo Fighters factor, you should look no further because Strangers rock. However, Dave Grohl play in a much bigger league.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sonic Boom Six - Sonic Boom Six

Sonic Boom Six - Sonic Boom Six (2012) Xtra Mile Recordings
Produced by Peter Miles
Tracks : 1.For the kids of the multiculture 2.Virus 3.Karma is a bitch 4.S.O.S 5.Gary got a gun 6.The high cost of living 7.Who will survive 8.Keep on believing 9.Flatline 10.Karma is a lady
4,5 out of 5

The U.K based dance rock act Sonic Boom Six formed in 2002 and has released 4 albums but I believe their new self titled album will be their ticket to success, this band could very well be the next big thing from U.K. They deliver groovy riffs, dance beats, rap and melodic male/female vocals on their first album for Xtra Mile Recordings. This is fun music and I just can´t enough of songs like "S.O.S" or "For the kids of the multiculture", imagine t.A.T.u meets Extreme with an 80´s party flavor and we´re close to the sound of their new album. The new single "Virus" is a smash, not to mention the rocker "Karma is a bitch". That songs rocks. Good heavens, what a great band!

Urban Cone - Our Youth

Urban Cone - Our Youth (2012) Universal Music
Produced by Urban Cone
Tracks : 1.Kings and queens 2.Urban photograph 3.Searching for silence 4.Burned 5.Kids and love 6.The prom 7.Freak 8.We should go to France 9.Winter´s calling 10.Our youth
4 out of 5

The debut "Our youth" from Swedish indie pop band Urban Cone is very charming and quite irresistable, the songs are infectious and their sound has that feel-good factor all over. Think of them as a mix of Keane, Owl City, The Killers and Salem Al Fakir. A lot of Salem Al Fakir too. They´re right on spot with the electro pop flavored indie songs "Kings and queens", "Urban photograph" and "We should go to France". This is a perfect soundtrack for the next summer, but why wait? Listen to it during the winter as well.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Khoma - All erodes

Khoma - All Erodes (2012) Independent
Produced by Khoma
Tracks : 1.In ruins 2.Just another host 3.Dead seas 4.Give it meaning 5.Death throes 6.Winter came upon us 7.Armo 8.Eyes to the sun 9.All like serpent (remix)
3,5 out of 5

I´m a sucker for melancholic rock and a huge fan of the Swedish band Khoma, their 3 previously released albums "Tsunami", "The second wave" and "A final storm" are all excellent and a must if you´re into heavier Kent-esque rock. The new album "All erodes" features 7 unreleased songs written between 2002 and 2012 plus a remix of "All like serpent" from "A final storm" and "Death throes" from "The second wave". The tracks that caught my attention are the unreleased ones such as "Winter came upon us", "Eyes to the sun" and the hauntingly beautiful "In ruins". This is a great collection but not as great as their 3 official studio albums.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Killbot - Sound Surgery

Killbot - Sound Surgery (2012) Dim Mak Records
Produced by Killbot
Tracks : 1.Sound surgery 2.Feel alive 3.Wrecked 4.I´ll fuck it
3,5 out of 5

Killbot is a new side project from Jonathan Davis (KoRn), Tyler Blue and Nick Suddarth (aka Sluggo). I remember Matthew Bellamy of Muse saying dubstep is the new metal and I bet Jonathan Davis is heading the same way since KoRn worked with Skrillex on their latest album "The path of totality" (2011). Still, it was pretty much a numetal album so with Killbot, Jonathan Davis went all the way with heavy dance beats and a huge dose of metallic electronic sounds. This is an exciting trio so let´s hope it doesn´t end with their debut "Sound Surgery" EP because I can see myself listening to a full length album of these Transformers-like sound effects. "Wrecked" is really heavy even though there are no guitars in sight.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Slowdown - A

The Slowdown - A (2012) Independent
Produced by The Slowdown
Tracks : 1.Acting strange of late 2.Wanderlust 3.Runaway 4.A mirror A torch 5.Tears from the compound 6.Left home 7.Segue 1 8.To wonder 9.Visitor 10.Aim for the heart 11.Wardance 12.Segue 2 13.All gone 14.Keeping you 15.Unable to 16.Whispering lights
3 out of 5

Kansas city based The Slowdown ain´t your average rock band, even though they´re influenced by bands like Radiohead, Killing Joke and Led Zeppelin, I think The Slowdown´s got a unique sound. There are traces of psychedelic 70´s rock on their debut album "A" but also a huge dose of 90´s postrock and pieces of experimental music. The lead vocals feels a bit low in the mix but it´s kinda cool anyhow, the opening track "Acting strange of late" bring thoughts to Ken Andrews and Failure. It´s also the best track on the album along with the single "A mirror A torch", which takes the listener all the way back to the glory days of Cream and Led Zeppelin. The more artsy "Tears from the compound" is the most prog-ish track on the album and I would´ve loved to hear more of this style because some songs on the 2nd half of the album feels a bit too complex. It´s a lengthy but solid album.

Sticky Boys - This is rocknroll

Sticky Boys - This is rock´n´roll (2012) Listenable Records
Produced by Francis Caste / Sticky Boys
Tracks : 1.This is rocknroll 2.Rocknroll nation 3.Bang that head 4.Great big dynamite 5.Girls in the city 6.Big thrill 7.Miss Saturday night 8.The world don´t go round 9.Night rocker 10.Fat boy Charlie 11.The way to rocknroll
2,5 out of 5

One thing for sure, without AC/DC there would be no Sticky Boys. The French hard rock trio has done a decent debut album with "This is rocknroll" and I bet they´re a great party covers band at the local pub if you want your daily dose of AC/DC rock. Sticky Boys has recorded a few really cool 3 chord rockers like "Rocknroll nation", "The world don´t go round" and "Girls in the city", well performed and catchy rocknroll.
But "Bang that head" sounds like a carbon copy of AC/DC´s "Jailbreak" and some of other tunes cannot match the greatest AC/DC clones in the world like Krokus, Airbourne and Trash. I wouldn´t mind seeing Sticky Boys live since they know how to rock but whenever I´m in the mood for some straight ahead rock on CD, I think I´ll go for the real thing instead.

Music is Love - A singer songwriter´s tribute to the music of CSN&Y

Music is Love - A singer-songwriter´s tribute to the music of CSN&Y (2012) Hemifran Records
Produced by Peter Holmstedt / Ermanno Labianca / Fransesco Lucarelli
Tracks : CD 1 1.Ron LaSalle - For what it´s worth 2.Steve Wynn - Triad 3.Judy Collins - Hopelessly hoping 4.Liam O Maonlai - Lady of the island 5.Sucarcane Jane - Bluebird 6.Elliot Murphy - Birds 7.Bonoff Cowan Szczesniak and Waldman - Guinnevere 8.Sony More - You don´t have to cry 9.Bocephus King - Down by the river 10.Venice - After the gold rush 11.Sadie Jemmett - Teach your children 12.The Coal Porters - Fallen eagle

CD2 1.Willie Nile - Rockin´ in the free world 2.Cindy Lee Berryhill - It doesn´t matter 3.Clarence Bucaro - Out on the weekend 4.Neal Casal - Hey you (looking at the moon) 5.Carrie Rodriguez - Cortez the killer 6.Marcus Eaton - Bittersweet 7.Eileen Rose and The Legendary Rich Gilbert - Just a song before I go 8.Nick Barker - Long may you run 9.Michael McDermott and Heather Horton - Southern cross 10.Andy Hill and Renee Safier - Thrasher 11.Louis Ledford - Wasted on the way 12.Mary Lee´s Corvette - Tracks in the dust 13.Jenai Huff - I´ll be there for you 14.Ian McNabb - Music is love
3 out of 5

Music is love is a song by David Crosby from his solo album "If I could only remember my name" (1971) but it´s also a 2 CD tribute album to the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The legendary folk rock band well known for their classic concert at Woodstock Festival 1969. They only released 3 studio albums as CSN&Y and 5 studio albums as CSN (without Neil Young), but the members released plenty more solo albums where Neil Young has had the most successful solo career of these 4. This tribute album is packaged with a beautiful 36 page booklet with lots of info about the artists performing the songs and the albums the songs are taken from, a real treat I must say. You can tell CSN&Y started their careers in the summer of love in the late 60´s because these songs are filled with hope and love, something we truly need in these hard times of economic crisis and wars. I won´t go into each and every song on this 27 track double album but the tracks I enjoy the most are "Music is love", "Hey you (looking at the moon)", "Rockin´ in the free world", "After the gold rush", "Hopelessly hoping", "Love the one you´re with" (performed by Stephen Stills daughter Jennifer), "For what it´s worth" and "Guinnevere".

Friday, November 16, 2012

Vera Mesmer - Orphans

Vera Mesmer - Orphans (2012) Heart Chord Records
Produced by Christopher Mesmer / Sean Beavan
Tracks : 1.It takes one to know one 2.Back from the dead 3.Over and out 4.The starlet 5.Logical song
3,5 out of 5

Hollywood based Vera Mesmer is made up of the married couple Christopher Mesmer - Lead Vocals/Guitar/Keyboards (Reveille) and Nadia Mesmer - Bass (Coal Chamber). Their debut "Orphans" EP is a very classy modern rock affair where my thoughts go to Kill Hannah and Lostprophets, we´re talking quality here where the first single "Back from the dead" stand out but I also love the beautiful "The starlet". It comes as a surprise that VM has picked the Supertramp classic "The logical song" to cover, and they do it good too. The only complaint I have is that this should´ve been a full length album instead, 5 tracks passes by too fast and I want to hear more.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Issues - Black Diamonds

Issues - Black Diamonds (2012) Velocity / Rise Records
Produced by Kris Crummett
Tracks : 1.Black diamonds 2.King of Amarillo 3.The worst of them 4.Princeton Ave 5.Love sex riot 6.Her monologue
3,5 out of 5

"Black diamonds" is the debut EP from Issues that features Woe Is Me members Tyler Carter - Clean Vocals and Michael Bohn - Screamo, plus AJ Robello - Guitars/Bass and Tyler Acord - Keyboards/Programming. You better be prepared for a musical ride and mish mash of electronica, hardcore, numetal, hip hop and pop/rock. This is a very entertaining EP where the songs are varied and rich of nuances, the production is crispy but really heavy too. The band deliver both groovy rhythms and melodic choruses along with megaheavy riffs and deathmetal growls. It´s hard to get tired of hearing tunes like "Love sex riot" and "Princeton Ave", not to mention the single "King of Amarillo". Thumbs up!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rhyme - The seed and the sewage

Rhyme - The seed and the sewage (2012) Bakerteam Records
Produced by Rhyme
Tracks : 1.Manimal 2.The hangman 3.Blind dog 4.Slayer to the system 5.Fairytopia 6.Party right 7.Brand new Jesus 8.World underground 9.Nevermore 10.Victim of downturn 11.Wrong
4 out of 5

Rhyme is a hard rock band from Milan, Italy that is heavily influenced by 90´s metal, grunge and melodic rock. There are lots of traces of 80´s sleaze rock in their sound a la Tesla but performed with the suit of grunge in the same vein as Alice in Chains and the melodic metal of Soulbender. "The seed and the sewage" is the follow up to their debut album "Fi(r)st", but the new album is the first one I get to hear from this promising band. They rock, indeed, they rock. The track "Blind dog" could´ve been featured on Kings X´s "Dogman", brilliant tune. The opener "Manimal" is another highlight with some hard hitting riffs, just turn it up.
There are moments when Rhyme bring thoughts to Jason Bieler´s bands Saigon Kick and Super Transatlantic, well I´m glad I listened to this album because there aren´t any fillers on it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nektar - A spoonful of time

Nektar - A spoonful of time (2012) Purple Pyramid Records
Produced by Jorgen Engler / Chris Lietz
Tracks : 1.Sirius 2.Spirit of radio 3.Fly like an eagle 4.Wish you were here 5.For the love of money 6.Can´t find my way home 7.2000 light years from home 8.Riders on the storm 9.Blinded by the light 10.Out of the blue 11.Old man 12.Dream weaver 13.I´m not in love 14.Africa
2,5 out of 5

The English progrock band Nektar has been around since 1969 but parted ways in 1982 until they got back together in 2000, they have released 11 studio albums and are still just as active. The original members Roye Albrighton - Vocals/Guitar and Ron Howden - Drums have teamed up with Billy Sheerwood - Bass and Klaus Henatsch - Keyboards (Jane) and recorded a covers album of classic 70´s hits except for Toto´s 1982 hit "Africa". There´s also an amazing list of guest performers on "A spoonful of time" like Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe, Geoff Downes, Rod Argent, Ian Paice, Jerry Goodman, Derek Sherinian, David Cross and many more. I often find these covers albums rather boring but this one´s ok, it´s hard to fail with such classic tunes from bands like Alan Parsons Project, Manfred Mann´s Earth Band, Rush, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, The Doors, Steve Miller Band, Gary Wright etc.
Nektar doesn´t do anything extra to these versions, they are very close to the originals and it works quite well except for the Rush song "Spirit of radio". Not a good version, no no. But thumbs up for the Alan Parsons classic "Sirius" and Gary Wright´s hit "Dream weaver", I like it.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

All That Remains - A war you cannot win

All That Remains - A war you cannot win (2012) Razor and Tie Records
Produced by Adam Dutkiewicz
Tracks : 1.What if I was nothing 2.You can´t fill my shadow 3.Intro 4.Just moments in time 5.Not fading 6.Calculating loneliness 7.A war you cannot win 8.Down through the ages 9.Sing for liberty 10.Stand up 11.A call to all non believers 12.Asking too much
3,5 out of 5

"A war you cannot win" is the 6th studio album from metallers All That Remains and this band doesn´t really need any introduction since they sold more than 900,000 albums and played at both OzzFest and Download. The new album is once again produced by Killswitch Engage guitarist Adam Dutkiewicz who has worked with the band on all their albums except one, "A war you cannot win" contains 2 instrumental pieces, a few really melodic songs and the rest is thundering metal. I love their mix of metalcore and active rock, one moment they sound like Breaking Benjamin and in the next, more towards In Flames. The best tracks are "What if I was nothing", "Not fading" and "Stand up", but on the other´s a bloody great record.

Otep - Sounds Like Armageddon

Otep - Sounds like armageddon (2012) Victory Records
Produced by Otep
Tracks : 1.Battle ready 2.Filthee 3.Crooked spoons 4.Blood pigs 5.Confrontation 6.My confession 7.Rise, Rebel, Resist 8.T.R.I.C. 9.Ghostflowers 10.Fists fall 11.Breed
3 out of 5

"Sounds like armageddon" is the first ever live album from numetal queen Otep Shamaya, it was recorded in 2012 and features the line up of Otep - Vocals, Markus Estrada - Guitar, Rani Sharone - Bass and Gil Sharone - Drums. Otep is not only a singer/songwriter, she also writes poems and handles both growls, rapping and clean vocals excellent. She has released 5 studio albums where the major part of the songs on "Sounds like armageddon" are taken from the Capitol Releases "Sevas Tra" (2002) and "The ascension" (2007), we only get one song, "Rise, Rebel, Resist" from the successful "Smash the control machine" (2009) and one song, "Fists fall" from the latest album "Atavist" (2011). Her vocal style reminds a bit of Perry Farrell (Jane´s Addiction) and when the band takes on their rapmetal suit, Otep bring thoughts to Rage Against The Machine. Especially with the political lyrics. The production is raw and the band sound really tight, the album ends with the Nirvana cover "Breed" but it´s not the best song here. I prefer tracks like the punk-flavored "Rise, Rebel, Resist" and the doom-ish "Blood pigs".
This is good stuff!

The Seeking - Yours Forever

The Seeking - Yours Forever (2012) Razor and Tie Records
Produced by Colby Wedgeworth
Tracks : 1.Only a moment 2.Yours forever 3.Restless 4.You won´t bring me down 5.Narrow lines 6.So cold 7.Change my ways 8.Take it from me 9.How did you know? 10.Alone
3,5 out of 5

California based The Seeking has made an impressive debut album with "Yours forever", this album is filled with infectious choruses and mammoth strong riffs. They blend melodic metal with hardcore and pop, the first single "Restless" is just one fine example of their strength in quality songwriting. Another great song is "How did you know?" that is available on youtube, that songs show pretty much how The Seeking sounds like. One of my personal faves is the title track where the chorus gets stuck like superglue in your head, and don´t worry - they´re more metal than pop.
Highly recommendable!