Saturday, November 30, 2013

Filter - The sun comes out tonight

Filter - The sun comes out tonight (2013) Wind Up Records
Produced by Bob Marlette / Richard Patrick
Tracks : 1.We hate it when you get what you want 2.What do you say 3.Surprise 4.Watch the sun come out tonight 5.It´s got to be right now 6.This finger´s for you 7.Self inflicted 8.First you break it 9.Burn it 10.Take that knife out of my back 11.It´s my time 12.It´s just you
4 out of 5

Welcome to the fold! One of the best modern riffs ever written, taken from "Title of record" (1999).
Here´s Filter and 14 years later.........
Their 6th album "The sun comes out tonight" marks the return of producer Bob Marlette who also produced the previous "The trouble with angels" (2010) and he´s back like a true hero for Filter´s best album since "The Amalgamut" from 2002.
The new album is also a better seller than "The trouble with angels" but it´s no way near the 2 million sold copies of the 90´s albums "Short bus" and "Title of record", but I guess it´s almost impossible in these Spotify times to sell million records. Well if you´re not called One Direction that is.
I think "The sun comes out tonight" reminds a lot of "The amalgamut" which pleases me a lot since it´s my favorite Filter record, here we get fantastic new songs like "We hate it when you get what you want", "Surprise" and "Self inflicted".
We have to thank Richard Patrick´s new songwriting partner and guitarist Jonny Radtke (ex.Kill Hannah) for the wonderful songs on the new album, he´s got a big part of this success.
Other bands to check out if you like Filter : Army of Anyone, The Embraced, Life on Planet 9, South of Earth.

David Lee Roth - Greatest Hits

David Lee Roth - Greatest Hits / The Deluxe Edition (2013) Friday Music
Produced by Ted Templeman / Bob Rock / Nile Rodgers / David Lee Roth / Steve Vai
Tracks : 1.California girls 2.Just a gigolo 3.Easy street 4.Coconut grove 5.Just like paradise 6.A little luck 7.I´m easy 8.Tobacco road 9.Goin´ crazy 10.Yankee rose 11.A lil´ aint enough 12.Sensible shoes 13.You never know 14.Hot dog and a shake 15.Land´s edge 16.No big thing
4 out of 5

There´s no arguing with David Lee Roth being one of the best frontmen on this planet, I´ve seen him twice in concert. First with Van Halen in 1984 and solo in 1991, he´s a master of starting a rock and roll party live. You´re always in a good mood leaving a DLR/VH show.
The new "Greatest Hits" album is the 2nd compilation with Diamond Dave, it´s almost identical with "The best" from 1997 except for a couple of tracks. "Greatest Hits" features the entire "Crazy from the heat" EP and a few tracks from "Your filthy little mouth" (1994) along with some selective hitsingles. But I do miss some hits like "That´s life" and "Stand up" here, and they could´ve at least included the bluegrass version of "Jump" from the Van Halen tribute "Strummin´ with the devil" from 2006.
One cool thing about this new compilation is the 2nd disc which is a DVD filled with all his great promo videos, while "The best" from 97 featured one new track "Don´t piss me off" - it´s a shame DLR couldn´t give us a new song on "Greatest hits".
But I won´t complain because it´s great to hear all these wonderful classics once again, I just love songs like "Just like paradise", "Yankee rose", "Goin´ crazy", "California girls" and "A lil´ aint enough".
Let´s RothNRoll!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Rudhira - Bodies

Rudhira - Bodies (2013) Pug-Nose Records
Produced by Rudhira
Tracks : 1.Bodies
3 out of 5

The new single "Bodies" from Norwegian progmetal band Rudhira is their best song so far, this time they´re standing with one foot on alternative metal ground and the other in progressive metal. The song is both dark, diverse and compelling. It takes a few spins to get the whole picture but I do welcome the Devin Townsend-like harmonies and Karnivool sounding riffs, check out the video on youtube to get your own opinion but I´m sure you will dig the song if you´re a fan to Tool or Devin Townsend. Good stuff.

Starsoup - Bazaar of wonders

Starsoup - Bazaar of wonders (2013) Sublimity Records
Produced by Evgeny Vinogradov
Tracks : 1.Angels 2.Ain´t no superman 3.Try 4.Cradle of war 5.Rumours of better life 6.Past bites 7.The city and the stars 8.Bazaar 9.Voices of the wind 10.Road to sunset 11.Perfect loser 12.Rain in the desert
2,5 out of 5

Starsoup is a Russian progmetal project led by singer/guitarist Alexey Markov and he´s joined by musicians from bands like Timesquare, Catharsis and Crime of Passion.
The album "Bazaar of wonders" will take the listener through a varied soundscape of progressive rock, heavy metal and melodic rock. The music is filled with nuances and I can´t complain about the musicianship either except for Markov´s accented vocal performance.
There are some cool moments within these 12 tracks but the entire album is way too uneven with a few dull moments too, the instrumental "Bazaar" should please fans of Ayreon and I really enjoyed it as well. The laid back "Rumours of better life" has a strong chorus and it´s also the highlight of the album.
"Perfect loser" opens in a majestic progmetal way but the rest of the song is a disappointment, the more melodic "Road to sunset" could´ve been an unreleased Opus song. It´s ok but nothing to get excited about. You can hear other influences like Avenged Sevenfold and Dream Theater in songs like "Angels" and "Ain´t no superman". Rather predictable if you ask me but I do lift my eyebrows to the slightly pompous ending of the short piece "Voices of the wind".

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lisa Lim - Lisa Lim

Lisa Lim - Lisa Lim (2013) Spin Dog Records
Produced by Thomas Johansen
Tracks : 1.Superstitious mind 2.My perfect world 3.Broken promise blues 4.Distant second 5.Perfect fit 6.Denial 7.Please, please don´t go 8.I got you 9.Our river 10.Letter 11.Let go 12.Manic energy
3,5 out of 5

I love women that rock, there are too many Rihanna copies coming up around the world and the music business needs ladies with guitars instead of half nude women showing their butts all the time. Virginia based rocker Lisa Lim isn´t interested at all in making shallow MTV pop, her songs have depth and even more important - they´re performed by real musicians.
You can´t beat the feeling of hearing a band play and Lisa is treating her guitar like a baby, with tender and care. She´s got the same feeling as Orianthi when she plays and her voice reminds a bit of Lita Ford and Joan Jett at times.
The music can be described as Joe Bonamassa meets Procol Harum with a touch of The Creeps and ohyes, I like it!
Highlights : Letter, Please please don´t go, Superstitious mind

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I Surrender Records Presents : Our Voices

I Surrender Records Presents : Our Voices (2013) I Surrender Records
Produced by Adam Lazarra / Anthony Raneri / Chris Conley / Vinnie Caruana
Tracks : 1.Adam Lazarra - Because it works 2.Anthony Raneri - String me along 3.Chris Conley - Diamonds and white gold 4.Vinnie Caruana - Sick down to my heart
3 out of 5

This is the first in what the label I Surrender Records hopes will become an ongoing series of EP´s featuring original solo tracks from the members of some of the biggest and most influential punk and indie bands.
"Our voices" contains brand new songs from Adam Lazarra (Taking Back Sunday), Anthony Raneri (Bayside), Chris Conley (Saves The Day) and Vinnie Caruan (I Am The Avalanche).
I must say that this is a great idea from I Surrender Records and I look forward to what they come up with in the future, you never know if it´s going to be a new solo song from your biggest idol.
These four songs on the first release are more indie rock flavored music than punk rock, Vinnie Caruana is the one who deliver the rocker here and it´s a good song too. Anthony Raneri´s contribution sounds like an unreleased Jack´s Mannequin song, very cool.
Adam Lazarra is in his best Bob Dylan mood, not my cup of tea but it´s an okay tune.
So what´s next then? Perhaps new songs from Chris Carabba (Dashboard Confessional), Jeremy Enigk (Sunny Day Real Estate), Ben Jorgensen (Armor For Sleep) and Jim Adkins (Jimmy Eat World).
Well, I´m only kidding around here but it would be fun.

Royal Hunt - A life to die for

Royal Hunt - A life to die for (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Andre Andersen
Tracks : 1.Hell comes down from heaven 2.A bullet´s tale 3.Running out of tears 4.One minute left to live 5.Sign of yesterday 6.Won´t trust, won´t fear, won´t beg 7.A life to die for
3,5 out of 5

The 2011 album "Show me how to live" marked the return of lead singer DC Cooper and lots of Royal Hunt fans around the world could sleep well at night again.
Bandleader and main songwriter Andre Andersen show no signs of resigning just yet and have instead written some of the band´s most bombastic songs so far on their 12th studio album "A life to die for". It´s really cool to hear a large choir on several songs on the new album, this is a fine piece of work where the fans will get new favorite songs. Even though Andre recycle some songstructures, he gets away with it mostly because of the strong melodies and the luxurious production.
Highlights : One minute left to live, Running out of tears, Won´t trust won´t fear won´t beg

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Nutopians - Lennon Re-Imagined

The Nutopians - Lennon Re-Imagined (2013) Red Engine Records
Produced by Tom Dean / Rex Fowler
Tracks : 1.You´re gonna lose that girl 2.No reply 3.Beautiful boy 4.Dear Prudence 5.Instant karma 6.Cry baby cry / Bungalow Bill 7.I´ll be back 8.And your bird can sing 9.Revolution 10.If I fell 11.Please, please me / It won´t be long 12.Love / Oh my love 13.All you need is love
3 out of 5

"Lennon Re-Imagined" is the 2nd album from Tom Dean and Rex Fowler´s Lennon tribute band where they cover John Lennon songs, the first album "Lennon Imagined" was released as The John Lennon Song Project but Yoko Ono suggested they should call themselves Nutopians.
I did enjoy the first album and the new one ain´t any different, Dean and Fowler´s band pull off some really nice folk rock versions of Lennon´s classic tunes. I´m glad they not only perform the most popular Beatles hits but also pick a few lesser known songs too, just like the setlist on the first album. I listened to "Re-Imagined"all day at work and I must say that the day passed by really fast.
Thumbs up for their cool covers of "Instant karma", "You´re gonna lose that girl", "Cry baby cry / Bungalow Bill" and "Dear Prudence".
This is music for comfy moments.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Angelica - Thrive

Angelica - Thrive (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Daniel Flores
Tracks : 1.Breaking my heart 2.I am strong 3.To your rescue 4.Can´t stop love 5.Nothing else you can break 6.Riding out the storm 7.Rain on my parade 8.Losers in paradise 9.You will never win 10.This kiss is just for you 11.I´m not waiting 12.Take me to your heart
3,5 out of 5

The main team behind symphonic metal band The Murder of My Sweet truly deliver one of this year´s biggest surprises, Daniel Flores (drums, keyboards, producer) and Angelica Rylin (lead vocals) has created a great AOR album released as Angelica´s debut solo "Thrive".
Angelica wrote or co-wrote several songs on the album with contributions from Harry Hess (Harem Scarem), Robert Sall (Work of Art), Alessandro Del Vecchio (Edge of Forever) and Anders Wigelius.
Flores has produced other AOR albums earlier with Wigelius and Find Me but Angelica´s solo is his best effort so far, besides TMOMS that is.
I am thrilled over songs like "Nothing else you can break" and "To your rescue", pure AOR heaven. The first single "Breaking my heart again" is classic 80´s AOR and would´ve been a huge hit back in 1988, another one of my favorite songs is "Can´t stop love" with a huge dose of Alien over the chorus. Lovely!
The vocal performance from Angelica is faultless, I´m a big fan. How about you?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Benedictum - Obey

Benedictum - Obey (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by John Herrera
Tracks : 1.Dream of the Banshee 2.Fractured 3.Obey 4.Fighting for my life 5.Scream 6.Evil that we do 7.Crossing over 8.Cry 9.Thornz 10.Die to love you 11.Apex nation 12.Retrograde
2 out of 5

California metallers Benedictum releases their 4th album "Obey" this fall and the new album feature the new line up of Veronica Freeman - Vocals, Pete Wells - Guitar, Rikard Stjernqvist - Drums (Jag Panzer) and Aric Avina - Bass.
They still deliver timeless heavy metal and there are some good songs on "Obey" such as "Scream", "Retrograde" and "Fractured" but the previous album "Dominion" is stronger.
I don´t think the production is that heavy and several songs don´t move me at all, the band just doesn´t sound dangerous enough so to speak.
Former Black Sabbath singer Tony Martin is guesting on "Cry" but the song feels like an album filler I´m afraid, I expected more from Benedictum.
Recommended if you like Savatage, TT Quick, Warrior.

REO Speedwagon - Live at Moondance Jam

REO Speedwagon - Live at Moondance Jam (2013) Frontiers Records
Produced by Sarah Brock
Tracks : 1.Don´t let him go 2.Keep on loving you 3.In your letter 4.Take it on the run 5.Keep pushin´ 6.Golden country 7.Can´t fight this feeling 8.Like you do 9.Time for me to fly 10.Back on the road again 11.Roll with the changes 12.Ridin´ the storm out 13.157 Riverside avenue
2,5 out of 5

The line up of REO Speedwagon has been intact since 1989 with the classic members Kevin Cronin - Vocals, Neal Doughty - Keyboards, Bruce Hall - Bass and long time members Dave Amato (Ted Nugent) - Guitar, Bryan Hitt - Drums.
REO Speedwagon is considered to be one of the first AOR bands along with Styx and Kansas and they have sold 40 million albums worldwide, the new live album "Live at Moondance Jam" opens with the hits from their most successful studio album "Hi Infidelity" from 1980 and the band sound vital and hungry. But the mix feels a bit poor so it cannot match their two live albums "Live, you get what you play for" (1977) and "Arch Allies" (2000).
However, it´s good to hear them perform songs from their early era between 1971 and 1978 as the second half of "Live at Moondance Jam", but I do miss hits like "Keep the fire burnin´" and "In my dreams" on the new live album.
Thumbs up for 62 year old Kevin Cronin who still sings like really great, that was the highlight of this new CD/DVD.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas - Loveless fascination

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas - Loveless fascination (2013) Loud and Proud Records
Produced by Jeff Pilson
Tracks : 1.It´s not the same as love 2.How do you sleep? 3.Loveless fascination 4.What did I ever do 5.Technicolor black and white 6.Where did we go wrong 7.How will I get by 8.You never know 9.You deny me 10.Nothin´ can keep me from you
3 out of 5

Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Starship feat Mickey Thomas feels like the bold and the beautiful of rock. There´s a bit of drama within all these line up´s and you have to read the band´s biographies more than once to understand who is who and what is what?
But to keep one thing clear, the new album from Starship entitled "Loveless fascination" only feature one original member from Starship and that is lead singer Mickey Thomas.
Jefferson Starship is a completely different band that you can still catch touring, with members from Jefferson Airplane.
When you think of the releases we´ve been given from Mickey Thomas the past decade, all from the terrible "Over the edge" to the covers album "Marauder" and one blues album. I do think "Loveless fascination" it´s the best he´s been involved in since "Love among cannibals" (1989).
Mickey still sings like a true vocal hero and there are songs that has that 80´s Starship vibe like "You never know" and the new single "It´s not the same as love".
The best song however is the gospel-like "Nothin´ can keep me from you", I love the huge chorus here. Other songs like "Technicolor black and white" and the title track "Loveless fascination" are quite ok but not in any way near the 80´s era of albums like "Knee deep in the hoopla" or "No protection".
Guitarist John Roth (Winger) replaced Mark Abrahamian who tragically died of a heart attack in 2012, Mark´s last endevour as a musician is a fine piece of work that is worthy the name of Starship.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tribune - Tales

Tribune - Tales (2013) Corpse Corrosion Music
Produced by Tribune / Jesse Gander
Tracks : 1.Tales 2.Insectoid 3.The butterfly effect 4.From funeral to funeral 5.Horror 6.King of Ithaca 7.Vengeance 8.Red crescent 9.The bleakest shore
2 out of 5

I don´t know what to make of this album from Canadian metallers Tribune, I do welcome their will of getting away from the standard formula of average metal but the mishmash of genres gets me all confused. They´re great musicians and pull off some serious riffs once in a while but the production could´ve been a bit better. Tribune are influenced by bands like Volbeat, Mastodon, Down and Lamb of God. You can expect anything from classic heavy metal to thrash and even traces of death and progressive metal. It´s not a bad album but the music feels a bit shattered, in one moment they sound like Black Sabbath and in the next, Iron Maiden, just to take a visit in Venom land and then land in a Volbeat-like soundscape. You can´t blame ´em for being boring which is nice but I´m afraid "Tales" only leads to a new headache.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Breached - Left behind

Breached - Left behind (2013) Independent
Produced by Mike Langford
Tracks : 1.Left behind 2.Piece by piece 3.All we need 4.Brighter days 5.Here with me
3,5 out of 5

Are you up for some hard hitting modern rock in the same vein as Hoobastank, My Darkest Days and Staind? Then stick around and read my review of Canadian band Breached´s 3rd EP.
The band is Bobby Noakes - Vocals, Ryan Alexander - Bass, Mike Diesel - Guitars and Neil Uppal - Drums, their self titled EP was released in 2010 and it was followed by "Revolution sessions" in 2011 that featured acoustic versions of the debut EP. This fall they return with 5 brand new songs, filled with hooks and groovy riffs. The title track and first single "Left behind" is like earcandy with it´s infectious chorus, handmade for active rock radio.
My favorite is "Here with me" with the tasty delay effect on the guitar, I love the change from midtempo to upbeat between the verse and the chorus. Not to mention the killer riff after the 2nd chorus, play this one loud folks.
Rocknroll is supposed to put you in a good mood and Breached has succeeded with their purpose.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lamb of God - As the palaces burn / 10th anniversary edition

Lamb of God - As The Palaces Burn / 10th Anniversary Edition (2013) Razor and Tie Records
Produced by Devin Townsend / Lamb of God
Tracks : 1.Ruin 2.As the palaces burn 3.Purified 4.11th hour 5.For your malice 6.Boot scraper 7.A devil in god´s country 8.In defense of our good name 9.Blood junkie 10.Vigil 11.Ruin (previously unreleased demo) 12.As the palaces burn (previously unreleased demo) 13.Blood junkie (previously unreleased demo)
3 out of 5

Originally released in 2003, Lamb of God´s 3rd album "As the palaces burn" now gets a makeover with 3 bonus tracks. The album is remixed by Josh Wilbur who has been the band´s producer since 2006 and it sounds fresh but still with a nod to 90´s thrashmetal and bands like Slayer, Pantera and Sepultura. "As the palaces burn" is considered by many to be a modern metal classic and it´s good no doubt, I especially dig tracks like "Vigil" and the title track "As the palaces burn".
They´re definitely great riffmakers but in my world, these songs really can´t compete with albums like Slayer´s "God hates us all" or Flat Face Down´s "Exitium verum".
The poor sounding demos are faster versions of the original album tracks and only for the die hard fans, they didn´t do much for the 10th anniversary edition in it´s entirety I´m afraid.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Geoff Tyson - Inominandum

Geoff Tyson - Inominandum (2013) Moplh Music
Produced by Geoff Tyson
Tracks : 1.Last dance with the universe 2.Angel dust 3.New religion 4.On top of the world 5.Monkey love 6.Amsterdam 7.Crazy 8.The bridge 9.Inominandum 10.100 million motherfuckers 11.Propaganda 12.Over the bridge
4 out of 5

2 decades has passed since the amazing T-Ride album, lead singer/bassist Dan Arlie left the music business while drummer Eric Valentine became a famous record producer. Guitarist Geoff Tyson continued to write songs and has released albums with Stimulator and now as a solo artist. His first solo album came out in 2008 which was followed by a 6 track EP in 2010, he is one of the most underrated guitarists on the planet and I suggest you check out his new album "Inominandum" right away because it´s lovely.
I love the crossover of genres from classic singer/songwriter pop/to the slow prog of Kip Winger´s solo albums as well as a touch of Robert Plant´s groundbreaking rock.
This is without doubt his best work up to date with amazing songs like "On top of the world", "100 million motherfuckers", "Inominandum" and "Last dance with the universe".
Just listen to the bass groove of "Crazy", you don´t get any closer to T-Ride than this.
Highly recommendable!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Blackfield - IV

Blackfield - IV (2013) KScope Music
Produced by Aviv Geffen
Tracks : 1.Pills 2.Springtime 3.X-Ray 4.Sense of insanity 5.Firefly 6.The only fool is me 7.Jupiter 8.Kissed by the devil 9.Lost souls 10.Faking 11.After the rain
4 out of 5

The band that once started out as a side project for Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, has now turned into his bandpartner Aviv Geffen´s solo band. But fans of Blackfield´s 3 first albums should not worry because Aviv is not a fool and continue to deliver amazing progrock true to the sound of the first albums. Even though Steven Wilson is focusing on his own solo career, he made a guest appearance on "IV" singing lead vocals on the songs "Pills" and "Jupiter".
It´s also nice to see guest appearances from other singers like Brett Anderson (Suede), Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev) and Vincent Cavanagh (Anathema) on the tracks "Firefly", "The only fool is me" and "X-Ray".
I take off my hat and bow to Aviv´s brilliant and laid back progrock songs in the same vein as Camel, Pink Floyd (David Gilmour era) and with a flirt to Paul McCartney in a few moments.

The Oddfathers - Double Live 45 RPM

The Oddfathers - Double Live 45 RPM (2013) Rocksteady Records
Produced by The Oddfathers / Jason Orris / Rob Osterlin
Tracks : 1.Another tear goes dry 2.Whisper in my ear 3.Don´t cry Delilah 4.Bleeker street
3,5 out of 5

The Oddfathers, what a cool bandname and what a cool band. Their debut EP was recorded live in May last year and released on Vinyl but also available digitally on bandcamp. The band feature Brynn Arens - Vocals/Guitar (Flipp), Casey Gooby - Guitar/Vocals, Krys Baratto - Bass/Vocals and Tom Cook - Drums/Vocals. I´ve always been a huge fan of Brynn Arens and his previous band Flipp and thought it was great that he and Brad Sinsel (TKO) formed the band American Standard which resulted in a few singles in 2009. But now, Brynn has a new band called The Oddfathers and they´re rocking for sure. Too bad we only get 4 songs here because this EP leaves me wanting more. Get yourself a copy if you´re into bands like New York Dolls, Tom Petty and Mott The Hoople. The first two songs "Another tear goes dry" and "Whisper in my ear" stand out here but I also dig "Bleeker street" a lot, that song is a grower.
Now, put on that suit and be classy......just like The Oddfathers.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Protest The Hero - Volition

Protest The Hero - Volition (2013) Razor and Tie Records
Produced by Cameron McLellan
Tracks : 1.Clarity 2.Drumhead trial 3.Tilting against windmills 4.Without prejudice 5.Yellow teeth 6.Plato´s tripartite 7.A life embossed 8.Mist 9.Underbite 10.Animal bones 11.Skies
4 out of 5

Forget about traditional metal here, the Canadian band Protest The Hero´s 4th album "Volition" is as unpredictable as life. It´s their first album for Razor and Tie Records and the highest charting album so far with a #1 position on Billboard´s independent chart in the U.S.
I really loved their 2nd album "Fortress" from 2008 but the new one is even better, they´re still technical and very progressive but also melodic. You could say their mix of post hardcore, progressive metal and thrash is irresistable. One second, they´re artsy and in the next, PTH deliver furious machine gun metal and I love it.
Highlights : Clarity, Underbite, Skies.
Recommended if you like The Fall of Troy, Peace´d Out, All That Remains.

Torgny - Oil panic

Torgny - Oil Panic (2013) Telemachus Music
Produced by Torgny
Tracks : 1.Gronn extra 2.Oil panic 3.Nights 4.Fire in you 5.Galactic 6.Stronger now 7.Salty 8.Gone 9.All that jazz
2,5 out of 5

Norwegian artist Torgny Amdam started his musical career in the hardcore band Onward in 1990 and then moved on to form the punk rock band Amulet in 1993 where he released several albums up to 2007.
In 2010, he went solo and headed for a new sound with his debut "Chameleon days" which was followed by two EP´s in 2011 and 2012. This fall, Torgny releases his 2nd LP "Oil panic" and he is joined by Maria Due on three tracks.
The new album opens really strong with the first 6 tracks but the last 3, "Salty", "Gone" and "All that jazz" feels more like the studio being the playground for special effects where the lack of melodies are too obvious.
The songs tend to go from 80´s synth to modern electronica and even club music, I think songs like "Oil panic", "Nights", "Galactic" and "Stronger now" are quite charming where the sound can be described as sci-fi pop.
Recommended if you like The Chemical Brothers, Iris, Nasa.

Mahogany Head Grenade - Return to the point of departure

Mahogany Head Grenade - Return to the point of departure (2013) Independent
Produced by Sterling Winfield / Mahogany Head Grenade
Tracks : 1.Return to the point of departure 2.Trouble for trouble 3.Vinedresser 4.Elude war machine 5.Venetian bricks
3 out of 5

Don´t be fooled by the genre on this album if you´re allergic to instrumental guitar masturbation because the Dallas trio Mahogany Head Grenade could easily have had recorded vocals on these 5 songs on their first album "Return to the point of departure".
I think of their songs as more classic hard rock rather than long boring solos, of course you get your share of some really nice guitar solos but not as an overdose. I do like their odd bandname but if they use the word "Rush" on a future album title, I bet Frank Marino would give ´em a call. Hahaha.
What about the music then? Well, take 33% early Van Halen, add 33% Joe Satriani and spice it up with the remaining percentage of Michael Schenker and you´ll get MHG.
This is an entertaining album where my favourite tracks are "Vinedresser" and the title track "Return to the point of departure", not to mention that Dan Hyer is a brilliant guitarplayer.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Chronos Zero - A prelude into emptiness, the tears path

Chronos Zero - A prelude into emptiness, the tears path (2013) Bakerteam Records
Produced by Simone Mularoni
Tracks : 1.Spires 2.Breath of chaos 3.Shadow´s lair 4.Lost hope, new hope Pt 1 5.Lost hope, new hope Pt 2 6.The creation 7.Sigh of damnation 8.Hearts into darkness 9.At the gates of time 10.Sorrowful fate
3 out of 5

If the debut from Italian band Chronos Zero was a book, it would have been written by H.P Lovecraft. "A prelude into emptiness, the tears path" has a bit of everything from horror to fantasy and dream-like sequences. And like the movies based on Lovecraft´s books, the music in this album really has a lot to offer. I discover new things every time I listen to "A prelude into emptiness", it´s bombastic where the band deliver excellent musicianship.
They call their music extreme progressive metal and I agree, the songs are most often eventful but perhaps a bit lengthy as well. The tracks that stand out are "Breath of chaos", "Lost hope, new hope Pt 2" and "At the gates of time".
Recommended if you like Opeth, Division by zero, Ram-Zet.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Face All Fears - The breaking point

Face All Fears - The Breaking Point (2013) Autumn + Colour Records
Produced by Face All Fears
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.Tried and true 3.All for nothing 4.The fault line 5.Rat race 6.Exposure 7.Underhanded 8.The breaking point 9.Lessons 10.Believers
2,5 out of 5

Non compromising and massive metal from Georgia´s own Face All Fears, "The breaking point" is the follow up to their debut "Two years to live" EP and the new album contains 10 popkillers that can be described as Prong meets Attila. We´re talking 90´s thrash on a clash with metalcore for fans of Thick as blood, Desolated and Jungle Rot.
I really tried to get into this album since I like their wall of sound where the guitarwork stand out in songs like the title track "The breaking point" and "Lessons", but some songs soundalike and I just cannot find a way out of the monotone lane.
However, when the album´s good - it´s quite good.

Heretic´s Dream - Walk the time

Heretic´s Dream - Walk the time (2013) Videoradio Records
Produced by Heretic´s Dream
Tracks : 1.Outcasted 2.Chains of blood 3.Behind the mirror 4.Dream´s falling 5.I believe in you 6.Shockwave 7.Fighting time 8.Connections 9.The broken silence 10.Before the storm 11.The next level
2 out of 5

The female fronted band Heretic´s Dream moved from Rome to London where they are located today, I guess they have no problem with the rainy weather.
Their 2nd album "Walk the time" is the follow up to the debut "The unexpected move" and even if I do find some unexpected moves in their music, the weak vocal performance from Fransesca Di Ventura takes down the overall impression a bit.
They go from heavy moments to more laid back sections and it works from time to time, some good examples are the radio ready "Fighting time" and the heavier "Chains of blood". I also like the riffs in "Dream´s falling" and there´s a nice vibe over "Shockwave".
For fans of Lahannya, The Loving Loss, Evanescence.

Broadcast - Guidelines

Broadcast - Guidelines (2013) Snapping Fingers Snapping Necks Music
Produced by Broadcast
Tracks : 1.Deviants 2.Hopeless endeavour 3.Guidelines 4.History, for what it is 5.Came here to live
3 out of 5

Take the melancholic rock of Khoma, blend it with the emotional hardcore of Blindside and then stir it up with the later era of Underoath and you will get the debut from Swedish band Broadcast. Formerly known as Walking With Strangers that moved from being a metalcore band to a compact hardcore band instead. "Guidelines" is a well produced EP where especially the drums sound stellar, no doubt this is a solid start for a promising band. Just listen to "History, for what it is" that grows for each time I hear it or the majestic "Deviants", what a great opener!
November is not only dark and cold, it comes with the warmth by the release of some nice guidelines.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Switchblade - Heavy weapons

Switchblade - Heavy Weapons (2013) Killer Metal Records
Produced by Switchblade
Tracks : 1.Heavy weapons 2.Euphoria 3.Metalista 4.Lost lovers unite 5.The Lost kingdom 6.Infernal paradise 7.Curse of the father, sins of the son 8.Into the unknown 9.Endless war
2,5 out of 5

The time stopped at the year 1984 for Israeli heavy metal band Switchblade, they´re obviously heavily influenced by NWOBHM and bands like Saxon, Tokyo Blade and early Iron Maiden.
You can add a touch of Accept-like riffs into the mix as well.
I don´t find the entire album amusing but there are a few really cool songs like "Lost lovers unite", the instrumental "The lost kingdom" and the single "Metalista", plus it´s really neat to hear a heavy metal band from the Middle East.
Perhaps this is the kind of heavy weapons that might cause peace in that part of the world.
Music unites for sure.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Men - This way

The Men - This way (2013) The Men Industries
Produced by The Men
Tracks : 1.If tomorrow comes 2.St Kilda beach 3.Looking for Swedish men 4.Mr BBQ 5.My new black sailing shoes 6.All time high 7.Heartaches and headaches 8.Anyone will do 9.Back to square one 10.Get out 11.Don´t 12.Dreams in colour 13.Nobody talk
3 out of 5

If you want your coffee black and prefer your music to be performed live in the studio, then the Swedish band The Men is the answer to your prayers. There´s definitely no sugar added here and forget about samplings and autotune vocals because this band loves to record their songs just the same way as their heroes in the 60´s like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Small Faces.
Some of these songs on their 4th album "This way" are written in Australia when they headlined a festival in Melbourne recently, imagine a soup of 60´s pop, soul and garage rock and you´ll get these 13 new tracks. I don´t fancy the entire album but most of it where the highlights are "All time high", "St Kilda beach" and "My new black sailing shoes".
For fans of Blur, Beady Eye, Holy Sexy Bastards.

The Wyld - Abstract

The Wyld - Abstract (2013) Independent
Produced by The Wyld
Tracks : 1.Odyssey 2.Always on the run 3.Confusion 4.Wake up 5.Walk away 6.Revolution
2,5 out of 5

The members of the New Zealand based trio The Wyld comes from three different parts of the world with rapper Mo Kheir from Sudan, singer Brandon Black from USA and guitarist Joe Pascoe from New Zealand. They combine their musical backgrounds of hip hop, kiwi rock and electronica that sounds like Beck meets Fugees with traces of Gorillaz. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn´t.
Their new "Abstract" EP is uneven but there are a couple of great songs on it such as "Odyssey" and "Revolution", I love the chorus of "Odyssey" plus Pascoe´s Sting-like vocals on "Revolution" is very cool.
Also available if you´re interested in this band, the 2012 album "Preface".
For fans of Outlandish, Kevin Rudolf, Crazy Town.

Walking With Giants - Walking With Giants

Walking With Giants - Walking With Giants (2013) Independent
Produced by Clint Lowery
Tracks : 1.Inside out 2.Answers 3.Another life 4.Perfect 5.Crashing down 6.The end
3,5 out of 5

Is this the arrival of your new active rock heroes? Walking With Giants debut EP could very well be what you´ve been searching for if you´re a die hard fan of bands like Breaking Benjamin, Cold and Love Like Gravity. This 6 track EP is produced by Clint Lowery (Sevendust) who also is handling some guitars together with bandleader Gary Noon, they make a great team but from what I read on their website - Gary is now looking for new musicians to build a real band. And they´ve got some pretty big shoes to fill since Scott Phillipps (Alter Bridge) is playing drums here too.
I love Gary Noon´s voice and he´s a talented songwriter too, songs like "Another life" and "Crashing down" are surely worth their spots on the active rock charts.
It´s always nice to get a dose of true quality when it comes to modern rock.

Teodasia - Reflections

Teodasia - Reflections (2013) Independent
Produced by Andrea Bezzon
Tracks : 1.Back to the past 2.Where I belong 3.Mirrors 4.Reflections 5.Land of memories Part 1 6.Land of memories Part 2 7.Stay 8.Infinity 9.Windy night
3,5 out of 5

The Italian band Teodasia are currently the opening act on Taria Turunen´s Colours in the dark tour where they probably are gaining new fans each show. Their new "Reflections" EP is both comprehensive and film-ish, performed with a gentle touch and in a warm sound. And even though there are traces of both Nightwish and The Murder of My Sweet in their music, Teodasia doesn´t feel like copycats either. I think they´ve got something unique going on here, it was certainly a great move to do a metal cover of Sash´s 1997 dance hit "Stay". The orchestral instrumental pieces do lighten up this EP, just sit back and relax to the beautiful songs "Back to the past", "Mirrors" and "Infinity".
The new single "Land of memories" is more traditional symphonic metal but it´s good, but I prefer the bombastic "Where I belong" or the magical "Windy night".
Great band.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Carfax Abbey - Caustic revolution

Carfax Abbey - Caustic revolution (2012) Independent
Produced by Carfax Abbey
Tracks : 1.Dyatlov 2.Disappointed to death 3.Infect / dissect 4.Bestial 5.Sum of me 6.Dyschordia 7.Are we the only ones 8.Proving ground 9.Retaliate 10.Wetwork 11.Atypical
3 out of 5

You might remember Carfax Abbey´s excellent cover of "Cry little sister" from 2004, originally released on the Lost Boys soundtrack in the mid 80´s. I found their gothic rock quite amusing on the debut "Second skin" and 3 years later, their 2nd album "It screams disease" came out but then silence....until last year when their 3rd effort "Caustic revolution" was released.
I didn´t know of this album, it was my good friend Heldesjo who told me about it so I listened to it a few times on Spotify and I like it. They haven´t changed their sound so if you dig their dark and synth oriented rock from the previous albums, you will be pleased to sink your teeth into this one as well.
The album opens with the Pink Floyd-esque "Dyatlov", an odd way to open an album but it works. Songs like "Bestial" and "Dyschordia" bring thoughts to Deadsy and Orgy, the best track however is the moving "Are we the only ones". You really get the feeling you´re the last person on earth.
Perfect for the Halloween.