Friday, February 28, 2014
InDirections - Clockworks (2014) InVogue Records
Produced by InDirections
Tracks : 1.Clockworks 2.Enemies 3.Defiance 4.Surface 5.Reflections 6.Breathless 7.Secrets 8.Throne 9.Illumination 10.Sleepless
3,5 out of 5
So here they are, Dallas based rock band InDirections with their explosive debut album "Clockworks" that will be the album of the week here at Palace of Rock next week.
As a successful recipe combining numetal riffs with popmelodic choruses and on top of all, really aggressive hardcore screamo vocals and atmospheric keyboards.
The production is Godzilla heavy and I love how they touch the elements of electronica, this is a war machine loaded with mindblowing metal that will leave any hardcore fan in awe.
Best track : "Defiance".
Oh and something else, also try their 2012 EP "Through transitions".
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Before The Murder - Dharma (2013) 10th Legions Records
Produced by Before The Murder
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.The beginning 3.Leaving town 4.The teacher 5.Adieu! 6.Always present 7.The old wise man 8.Modern life disease 9.Everything went black 10.The answer within 11.Coming home
2 out of 5
I get the feeling Slovenian hardcore band Before The Murder write songs about an age of decadence, we´re talking modern metal flavored hardcore with screamo vocals full of despair and anger here.
There´s no denying in the band´s capability of energy and tightness but the lack of memorable songs makes this album difficult to get into, only "The teacher", "Coming home" and "Everything went black" stand out as something extra. Increase the volume to the supermelodic "Coming home", because this one rocks!
For fans of Dayseeker, The Acacia Strain, Famous Last Words.
Ferreira - V (2014) MelodicRock Records
Produced by Marco Ferreira
Tracks : 1.Hit the door 2.Heaven is her name 3.You´re no friend of mine 4.Night to remember 5.Midnight Romeo 6.Don´t let go 7.Leaving town 8.That´s the way it is 9.Superstitions 10.Sometimes love´s not enough 11.In the end
3 out of 5
It´s like going back in a time machine to the early 90´s when I´m listening to Ferreira´s 5th album simply called "V", you might remember the British melodic rock label Now and Then Records and their first release of Gary Hughes (Ten) self titled album in 1992. That label focused on 80´s melodic rock in the same vein as Ferreira and most often with the same low budget productions, as a matter of fact - "V" sounds like a demo. Compare it to Harem Scarem´s demo album "The early years" and you´ll notice the similarities.
I´ve got nothing to complain about the songs because Ferreira is a solid songwriter where the music bring thoughts to Nelson, Ratt and Firehouse.
There are some great choruses on this album like "Night to remember", "Heaven is her name" and "Sometimes love´s not enough". Well, I kinda enjoyed this album even though it deserves a better mix.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
German alternative rock band The Intersphere will release their new album "Relations in the unseen" on March 7th, the band supported Karnivool on the German tour.
Their new single "Panic waves" is out on iTunes now.
Stan Bush - The Ultimate (2014) MelodicRock Records
Produced by Stan Bush / Lenny Macaluso
Tracks : 1.Something to believe 2.The ultimate 3.Heat of the battle 4.Love again 5.Stand in the fire 6.Unstoppable 7.Thunder in your heart 8.The journey 9.Memory of you 10.If I´m not lovin´ you 11.The touch (power mix)
3 out of 5
The title of melodic rock icon Stan Bush´s 12th album "The Ultimate" sounds like it´s a Best of but it´s not, Stan deliver a set of brand new songs in the classic Stan Bush & Barrage style but unfortunately with a weaker production.
I´m glad to hear Stan capturing the soundtrack AOR spirit of the 80´s with songs like "Something to believe", "The ultimate" and "Heat of the battle". The ballad "Love again" bring thoughts to John Waite which puts a big smile on my face, it´s really neat to hear Stan reinventing the AOR smash "Thunder in your heart" here. You might remember that it was originally recorded by John Farnham for the Rad soundtrack from 1985.
Once again, we get yet another version of the Transformers killer song "The touch". But this time around, it´s a remix and pretty cool one too.
But I get the feeling, Stan should let this song rest now.
A good album that could´ve been a lot better with a stronger production.
The rustic regions of the Tallgrass Prairies hold a myriad of veiled gems, and budding with roots along the Illinois River is Flannel Mouth, a four-piece rock ensemble with high aims in sight. Hailing from Glasford, a town only a thousand strong, Flannel Mouth has emerged as a vengeful small town.
Flannel Mouth released single, “Oh, Bastard” back in November 2013 and now have added a lyric video to accompany the track’s bouncy, melodic bass lines, telling the story of a boy born to parents with other priorities and the ultimate fates of anyone involved.
Michael Paynter - Weary stars (2014) Independent
Produced by Matt Wallace / Michael Paynter / John Fields
MODERN ROCK / AOR
Tracks : 1.How sweet it is 2.Another you 3.Love the fall 4.Weary stars 5.Let go 6.Are you alive 7.Ordinary 8.Burning Alive 9.Novocaine 10.Going under 11.Weary stars (live) 12.The way you make me feel (live)
4,5 out of 5
It´s been a long time coming for Michael Paynter´s solo debut to arrive, he was signed to Sony Music but was dropped from the label and had to record the album twice. The first version was supposed to be titled "This welcome diversion" but now when the album´s finally being released, the official title is "Weary stars".
The album contains his previous hit singles "How sweet it is" and "Love the fall", along with the brand new smash "Weary stars". This Aussie star has been compared to John Farnham and I can clearly see the similarities, Paynter has a clear pitch and a very powerful voice where he proves just to be as good live on the live versions of the Michael Jackson cover "The way you make me feel" and the title track "Weary stars".
This is an upbeat album filled with top quality modern rock/AOR that will wipe the floor with most released in the same genre in 2014.
Dallas based alternative rock/metal band Little Sisters of The Poor, featuring former Moving Atlas singer Dunagin Gaines, recently released their new single "Truckstop heaven" on iTunes.
Monday, February 24, 2014
Monsters Of Surf, a new surf compilation available now digitally and coming out in CD format on February 18th from DingDong Records. Monsters of Surf is a compilation of 22 tracks by surf bands from Europe, North America, and South America - the collection highlights a fresh strand of heavier, more progressive, fringe, and experimental surf being created today. Check it out below, starting with the thunderous psycho-surf of Daikaiju, of whom Pitchfork says "[Daikaiju has] clearly got more up its sleeve than a few Trashmen 45s and tablature print-outs for 'Rabble Rouser'".
The album is available for streaming here:
"The complete studio albums 1974-1986" is a box set with hard rock pioneers UFO, available on March 14th.
Including the cd´s:
1.Phenomenon 2.Force it 3.No heavy petting 4.Lights out 5.Obsession 6.No place to run 7.The wild, the willing and the innocent 8.Mechanix 9.Making contact 10.Misdemeanor
"Giants and gems : an album collection" is the ultimate box set with punk rock heroes The Stranglers, out on March 24th.
Including the discs:
1.Rattus Norvegicus 2.No more heroes 3.Black and white 4.Live x-cert 5.The raven 6.The gospel according to the meninblack 7.La Folie 8.Live at the Hope and anchor 9.Off the beaten track 10.Suite XVI 11.Giants
The mighty Winger release their 6th album "Better days comin´" on April 22nd.
1.Midnight driver of a love machine
4.Better days comin´
7.So long China
8.Storm in me
9.Be who you are now
10.Out of this world
"This is your life" is a metal tribute to Ronnie James Dio, featuring several heavy metal legends.
The album will be released on April 1st.
1.Anthrax - Neon knights
2.Tenacious D - The last in line
3.Adrenaline Mob - The mob rules
4.Corey Taylor - Rainbow in the dark
5.Halestorm - Straight through the heart
6.Motorhead with Biff Byford - Starstruck
7.Scorpions - The temple of the king
8.Doro - Egypt
9.Killswitch Engage - Holy diver
10.Glenn Hughes - Catch the rainbow
11.Oni Logan - I
12.Rob Halford - Man on the silver mountain
13.Metallica - Rising medley
14.Dio - This is your life
ProgressiveXperience - Inspectra (2013) Sweet Poison Records
Produced by ProgressiveXperience
Tracks : 1.1958 2.Madness off illusion 3.Something like death 4.Velvet sky 5.Inspectra 6.San Fransisco 7.Silent secrets 8.Trial of fear 9.Into abeyance 10.Somewhere in time 11.Black clouds 12.Deafening silence 13.Cellar door 14.The end of a day
2 out of 5
The Italian progrock band ProgressiveXperience are heavily influenced by 70´s prog but added a hi-tech touch to it on their 3rd album "Inspectra", their singer Giovanni Valente left the band for personal reasons during the recordings on the more metal oriented 2nd album "21st century brain damage" but has returned to the band for their new album.
"Inspectra" is a well performed heavy progrock affair but with weak vocals I´m afraid, the production is ok and there are a few good songs like the title track "Inspectra", the slightly epic "San Fransisco" and the acoustic "Black clouds".
At times, they remind of Frameshift which is nice. This would´ve been so much better with better vocals.
Music From Home - Home is where the heart is (2014) Hemifran / Paraply Records
Produced by Peter Holmstedt / Klas Qvist / Joakim Lövgren / Åke Strömberg
FOLK / COUNTRY / ALTERNATIVE POP
Tracks : 1.Pontus Swanberg - Returning home 2.Citizen K - Our town 3.Pelle Johansson - Bring down the clouds 4.A sister or two - Spiders 5.Tobias Bäckstrand - Sometimes we get lost 6.Mick Richard - Please, blame me 7.Klas Bohlin - My bluesy fire 8.Mikael Persson - Home to be 9.Jag Andra - All these passing strangers 10.The Fantastic People - Song of October 11.Mudfish - What you say 12.Ulrik Arturen - Playboy 13.The Stomping Academy - Row 14.Cina Samuelsson - This country girl 15.Rambling Nicholas Heron - I begin to softly cry 16.Filip - You are my home 17.Berra Karlsson - I´m sorry
3,5 out of 5
The previous "Music from home" compilations from Hemifrån / Paraply Records featured European and American artists while the brand new compilation "Home is where the heart is" only contains Swedish artists from the city of Borås.
I like the variety of genres as always with these collections from 70´s pop to country and folk rock.
There are some familiar names on this album like Mikael Persson, Citizen K, The Fantastic People and Ulrik Arturen but also a lot of new bands.
The album opens with some guitar acrobatics from Pontus Swanberg, a short instrumental piece that I dig a lot. A song that grows for each time I hear it, is Mick Richard´s "Please, blame me" where the listener gets a huge dose of Beatles-esque harmonies.
Mikael Persson is a deadringer for David Bowie in his slow and almost haunting "Home to be", a very cool song indeed.
If you close your eyes to The Stomping Academy´s "Row", you will feel the taste of Southern comfort and Banjo playing men from the film "Deliverance".
You can always count on Ulrik Arturen to bring quality to this project, his piano driven "Playboy" bring thoughts to Salem Al Fakir and I couldn´t be more pleased.
Jill Johnson is not the only Swedish woman who knows how to sing country, Cina Samuelsson deliver some mighty fine Dolly Parton-like country music with "This country girl".
If you like Rodriguez´s songs from the documentary "Searching for sugar man", you will dig songs like "I begin to softly cry" by Rambling Nicholas Heron and "Sometimes we get lost" by Tobias Bäckstrand.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Unwise - One (2013) Moonhouse Records
Produced by Unwise
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.R.E.M 3.The vision 4.Safe and sound 5.Cold comfort 6.Madding crowd 7.Place for thoughts 8.Metamorphosis 9.Lulla buy 10.Shades of doubt 11.One way out 12.Zero 13.One
3 out of 5
The Italian band Unwise only feature one guitarist but I guess they need 3 guitarists on stage to be able to perform their debut album "One" live, the orchestration of guitars makes this album quite enjoyable to listen to and it´s also the strong side of "One".
I love that diamond sharp sound and the music is well crafted and highly professional but it would´ve been neat if they worked equally hard on the vocal part, Luca Zontini is a solid singer but the melodies never lift.
However it´s a good album that should appeal to fans of Queensryche (their 90´s era), early Fates Warning and even a tiny part of Rush´s "Vapor trails" album.
Dinner Music For The Gods - Beautiful and treacherous (2014) Independent
Produced by Dinner Music For The Gods
JAZZ ROCK / HEAVY METAL
Tracks : 1.Beautiful and treacherous 2.Sofia 3.Kashmir 4.Winterfell 5.Wind through the trees 6.The tower 7.Queenshead 8.Ghost troopers in the sky
3 out of 5
These guys could give Dream Theater a match of virtuoso musicianship, the Las Vegas quartet Dinner Music For The Gods are excellent musicians that could back up Al DiMeola anytime.
I think it´s so cool to play a fusion of 80´s metal and jazzrock with a touch of Flamenco here and there, they even pull off an eccentric cover of Led Zeppelin´s epic "Kashmir".
DMFTG are Darrin Pappa - Guitar, Andy Hellman - Guitar, Jimmy Pappa - Bass and Matt Muntean - Drums. Especially bassist Jimmy Pappa´s fingers are moving up and down the fretboard like a harp player, just amazing.
Fans of Iron Maiden might be rather pleased to hear the entertaining "Ghost troopers in the sky" that sounds like a hybrid of Maiden´s "The trooper" and a filmscore by Ennio Morricone.
Highlights : Queenshead, Beautiful and treacherous, Kashmir
Fathom Lane - Fathom Lane (2013) Longplayer Records
Produced by Michael Ferrier / Zachary Hollander
AMERICANA / POP
Tracks : 1.Lazy 2.Sugardown 3.Dream her name 4.Perfect day 5.Ache me 6.Waltzing blue jeans 7.The nightshade 8.Grey dress 9.Jack knife 10.Golden delicious
3,5 out of 5
I wasn´t much of a fan of Fathom Lane´s first album "Down by half" from 2012, a dark and melancholic folk rock affair that didn´t move me at all.
But they sound like a completely different band on their self titled new album, I wonder if bandleader Michael Ferrier went to the Pink Floydian institute of space rock where the teachers are Brian Eno of Roxy Music and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan.
Ferrier graduated in the class of how to fuse 70´s California pop with psychedelic rock, their beautiful cover of Lou Reed´s "Perfect day" truly speaks for the entire album.
But let´s not forget Ferrier´s own compositions like the jazzy "Lazy", the odd "Ache me" or the charming "Dream her name". They´re all pieces to make a perfect day so do yourself a favor and purchase Fathom Lane´s new album.
Friday, February 21, 2014
Jacob Latham - Midnight train (2013) Independent
Produced by Paul Mahern
FOLK ROCK / AMERICANA
Tracks : 1.Pay attention to the rain 2.Where do we go from here 3.Midnight train 4.Don´t let them in 5.John Brown
3 out of 5
19 year old Jacob Latham is a talented singer/songwriter from Indiana with influences from legendary artists like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. It´s hard to believe he´s that young because he sings like he has the experience of a lifetime, there´s a warm production on his debut EP titled "Midnight train" that suits the music just fine.
The song "Don´t let them in" bring thoughts to Johnny Cash while the other 4 tracks can be described as a mix between The Proclaimers and Ted Russell Kamp.
Highlights : Where do we go from here, John Brown
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Kid Felix - Rivals (2014) Independent
Produced by Kid Felix
MODERN ROCK / GRUNGE
Tracks : 1.Counting sheep 2.Jericho 3.Alone now 4.Million dollar man 5.I am the river
3 out of 5
Did anyone tell Philly rockers Kid Felix that we´re in 2014 now? It sounds like they´re stuck in the late 90´s with their blend of grunge and modern rock, somewhere between Candlebox, Foo Fighters and The Juliana Theory so to speak.
But good music is good music no matter what, and Kid Felix´s 3rd EP titled "Rivals" contains 5 good songs that were spinning over and over again last night at my late night shift.
This band has a dynamic sound where they go from holding back the energy to releasing it full force, their singer Jake Falana is really good and he truly shines in songs like "Counting sheep" and "I am the river".
Joie de Vivre / Prawn - Split EP (2014) Topshelf Records
Produced by Mark Gustafson / Prawn
Tracks : 1.Joie de Vivre - Martin Park 2.Joie de Vivre - Tenspopet 3.Joie de Vivre-Good morning Mr.Franklin 4.Prawn - Why you always leave a note 5.Prawn - Fracture
2 out of 5
Topshelf Records is a label that truly are sailing against the strong currents of the sea, they sign and release new emo bands even though the music climate for this genre in 2014 means sudden death.
Their new split EP feature the bands Joie de Vivre from Illinois and Prawn from New Jersey, we get 3 new songs from the quintet Joie de Vivre and 2 new songs from Prawn.
It´s hard to seperate these two bands soundwise, they both perform laid back post-rock flavored emo with an almost fragile sound.
I think it´s a decent split where Prawn´s "Why you always leave a note" stand out a bit more than the rest, both bands have more albums available at bandcamp if I have ignited a spark of interest in you.
Cayetana - Hot dad calendar (2014) Tiny Engines Records
Produced by Cayetana
Tracks : 1.Hot dad calendar 2.Ella
1,5 out of 5
Cayetana is a girl trio from Philadelphia that sounds a bit like a female version of The Hives but with less good songs, these girls take their influences from both punk and garage rock and even if I do appreciate girls starting a band. These ladies have a lot to learn, their new two track single "Hot dad calendar" sound amateurish and the songs lack of hooks.
Perhaps they should recruit another singer as well.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
W.E.T - One Live - In Stockholm (2014) Frontiers Records
Produced by W.E.T
HARD ROCK / AOR
Tracks : CD 1 1.Walk away 2.Learn to live again 3.Invincible 4.I´ll be there 5.Love heals 6.Rise up 7.Bleed and scream 8.Bad boy 9.Still unbroken 10.Broken wings 11.I´ll be waiting
CD 2 1.If I fall 2.Shot 3.Comes down like rain 4.The great fall 5.What you want 6.Brothers in arms 7.Mysterious 8.One love 9.Poison (bonus track) 10.Bigger than both of us (bonus track)
3,5 out of 5
The debut gig from W.E.T actually took 4 years after their self titled first album from 2009, to take place in Stockholm on January 17th, 2013.
It was recorded and will be released on both 2 CD´s and a DVD this week, the band performed songs from their two studio albums along with some favorites from their other bands Work of Art, Eclipse and Talisman. These live versions are definitely more hard rocking than the polished AOR sound on their studio albums, it´s nice to hear they pull off "Bleed and scream" from Erik Mårtensson´s Eclipse and "The great fall" from Robert Säll´s Work of Art. But I´m not too overexcited to hear that old Talisman hit "I´ll be waiting" even though the crowd loved it.
What I do like about this live album are the brilliant versions of "Love heals", "If I fall", "Brothers in arms" and the heartfelt "Comes down like rain" which is dedicated to Marcel Jacobs.
As a bonus we get two unreleased tracks from the "Rise up" sessions, recorded in 2012. The rocker "Poison" that sounds like something Talisman could´ve released and the powerballad "Bigger than both of us", a solid song for sure.
"One Live - In Stockholm" is a must for W.E.T fans.
Rage of South - I see, I say, I hear (2013) Red Cat Records
Produced by Leonardo Tancredi / Gaetano Catania
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.Sheep 3.Silence 4.Prayer 5.Stay down 6.That fear about me 7.Reflection 8.That falling down 9.Theme of Juliet 10.Let me die 11.Approved
2,5 out of 5
To create a great numetal album, you need the riffs, the hooks, a lot of aggression and a Mammoth heavy production to go with it.
The Sicilian band Rage of South are halfway there, they´re like a well oiled, efficient riff machine that yet never got into gear. Most often, the songs start promising but I´m waiting for the band to explode into a huge riff that never comes. Well, they rock kinda hard in "Reflection" and there are a few more moments on their first album "I see, I say, I hear" that feels ok.
But I can´t get rid of the feeling that there´s something missing.
For fans of early KoRn and 6 Gig.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Vanden Plas - Chronicles of the immortals / Netherworld / Path 1 (2014) Frontiers Records
Produced by Vanden Plas
Tracks : 1.Vision 1ne 2.Vision 2wo : The black knight 3.Vision 3hree : Godmaker 4.Vision 4our : Misery affection prelude 5.Vision 5ive : A ghost´s requiem 6.Vision 6ix : New vampyre 7.Vision 7even : The king and the children of lost world 8.Vision 8ight : Misery affection 9.Vision 9ine : Soul alliance 10.Vision 10n : Inside
3 out of 5
Vanden Plas has established themselves as one of the leading progmetal bands in Germany from the strong debut album "Colour temple" in 1994, to the 7th studio album "Chronicles of the immortals - Netherworld" 20 years later.
In 2012, the band collaborated with Germany´s biggest selling author, Wolfgang Hohlbein, to create the rock opera Bloodnight. Lead singer Andy Kuntz and Co composed 19 songs for the stage production which now will be released as two studio albums : Chronicles of the immortals - Netherworld - Path 1 and Path 2 that follows in 2015.
There´s no mistake in the classic Vanden Plas sound here, the fans will be pleased to get 55 minutes of extremely well played progmetal where the production sounds like it was sponsored by George Lucas or Steven Spielberg. So far, so good. I kinda like the atmosphere of the entire album where the songs connect to eachother but the music doesn´t lift, although I do enjoy several songs - it´s almost impossible to say something as a bad criticism to this opus. The music don´t give me any goosebumps either.
Monday, February 17, 2014
House of Lords - Precious metal (2014) Frontiers Records
Produced by James Christian
Tracks : 1.Battle 2.I´m breaking free 3.Epic 4.Live everyday (like it was your last) 5.Permission to die 6.Precious metal 7.Swimmin´ with the sharks 8.Raw 9.Enemy mine 10.Action 11.Turn back the tide 12.You might just save my life
4 out of 5
After 4 almost identical albums with House of Lords, from the 2006 album "World upside down" to the previous "Big money" (2011). James Christian thought it was time take back the band´s sound to the early stadium hard rock of the first album from 1988.
He´s still joined by long time members Jimi Bell - guitar and BJ Zampa - drums but on their 9th album "Precious metal", the spirit of Greg Giuffria lies even heavier than it was on "The power and the myth" (2004) that Giuffria actually played on.
I´m glad the new album is a bit more rocking than the ones before, some songs sounds like they could´ve been featured on the superb "Demons down" album from 1992.
There´s no doubt these new songs are strong as precious metal, get yourself a huge dose of classy melodic rock in the new single "Battle", the grandiose "Epic", the beautiful "Precious metal" or "Raw". Not to mention the outstanding "Enemy mine" where Christian´s wife Robin Beck is guesting on.
Soulfallen - The promise of hell (2012) Grave New Music
Produced by Aapeli Kivimäki
Tracks : 1.The birth of newfound death 2.Questions and answers 3.Ghosts 4.Scars aligned 5.The silence of the storm 6.Cold beneath the sun 7.Dead and dying 8.Bring me my demons 9.At the heart of dying
2,5 out of 5
The Finnish dark metal band Soulfallen´s latest album "The promise of hell" is the final part of a trilogy, a concept album where the story circles around life and death that has united in a way never seen before. Humanity is trapped in a hell where even death cannot save those already dead.
Not a hopeful story eh?!
But I do sense some brightness in their music, I like this hybrid of black metal and symphonic rock that is well arranged where especially the orchestral pieces lift the songs.
I guess you could call it horrormetal too, imagine if Alice Cooper wrote the lyrics to the music of Before The Dawn with Cronos from Venom on vocals - you´ll get "The promise of hell".
The opener "The birth of newfound death" is by far the best song on the album, the musicianship is excellent here.
When the music takes a dive into the deep abyss of darkness, I´m not equally impressed but the entire album is ok.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
The Falls - Into the fire (2014) Verve Records
Produced by Tony Buchen
FOLK / POP
Tracks : 1.Please 2.Girl that I love 3.Home 4.Hollywood 5.Hey 6.Into the fire
3,5 out of 5
You can hear the echoes of legendary songwriters like Paul McCartney and Paul Simon in the Australian duo Falls debut EP, but there´s also a connection with contemporary folk rock artists like The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons.
I get the feeling I´m sitting on the porch on the countryside, watching the spring rain falling down on the horses outside the stable while listening to "Into the fire".
The music is very passionate and beautiful, songs like "Girl that I love", "Home" and "Hey" have found their place in my heart.
I´m pretty sure this ain´t the last time we hear about The Falls, a promising debut indeed.
Hagel Stone - Where is your god now? (2013) Sweet Poison Records
Produced by Hagel Stone / Luca Comedi
Tracks : 1.Apocalypse 2.Hunting ground 3.The anvil 4.Razzo rosso 5.Under the ice 6.The avenger 7.Hey, can you tell me? 8.Hagel storm 9.Army of chaos 10.The power of flesh
2,5 out of 5
When the Italian band Hagel Stone look up to their musical heroes, I assume they bring out the records with Manowar and Judas Priest from their collection.
With songs about war, vengeance and metal - it´s easy to draw parallels to the defenders of real metal, Manowar. I think the production is topnotch on Hagel Stone´s new album "Where is your god now?" and I love how clear everything sounds like and still, the music´s heavy.
But I´m no fan of Dario Riz Ricci´s vocal performance, his almost operatic voice gets on my nerves after a while. What the heck, put on your denim and leather and forget about your daily routines for a moment. Hagel Stone´s epic metal is quite cool.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Klem - Ritagli di Tempo (2013) Atomic Stuff Records
Produced by Klem
Tracks : 1.Scacco matto 2.Specchi infranti 3.Quando cogli un fiore 4.Date 5.Mobile classico 6.Poi si fermerá 7.Sfera di cristallo 8.Fluo 9.2 10.Acqua, Terra and Fuoco
3 out of 5
Does rock music in Italian sound like something I can tempt you with? Well, the Italian trio Klem likes to give the listener a ride of groovy rock with a crossover of genres such as pop, funk and punk. Imagine standing in front of a jukebox blender where you can make your own albums if you just pick 3 different albums to create the new record, Klem´s debut album "Ritagle di Tempo" is the result if you mix Alien Ant Farm´s "ANThology", Danko Jones "Sleep is the enemy" and Umberto Tozzi´s "Il Grido".
Since my Italian is lousy, I used google translate for Ritagle di Tempo and google gave me "Clippings of time" but you´re free to correct me.
I kinda enjoy this album where especially the guitarsound is awesome, it´s always cool to hear the use of acoustic and electric guitars in several songs on the album but check out track 9 "2" that is my personal fave.
Other highlights : "Scacco matto", "Specchi infranti".
DangerEgo - Autopsy (2013) Atomic Stuff Records
Produced by DangerEgo
Tracks : 1.Biting cold 2.Hell´s rage 3.This madlove 4.Runaway 5.Hallucination 6.Light or darkness 7.Wings of freedom 8.Ultimate judgement 9.You belong to me 10.Prison´s escape
3 out of 5
There was a time between when grunge was going away and before modern rock conquered the charts in the late 90´s, when rockmusic had a bit of postgrunge and alternative hard rock in it´s veins. That´s where Italian rockers DangerEgo are stuck soundwise, their biggest concern ain´t writing hit choruses but instead playing honest rocknroll.
Their debut album "Autopsy" was originally released in 2011 but they have signed with Atomic Stuff Records for a re-release and you should seriously check out this band because they rock.
It was track 3 "This madlove" that caught my attention because DangerEgo sounded almost like a carbon copy of 90´s rockband Crossroad Jam, this self produced album sounds crispy and nice so if you´re a fan of bands like Operator, Red Halo and Audioslave - this Autopsy will only do you good.
Heart - Fanatic Love from Caesars Colosseum (2014) Frontiers Records
Produced by Heart
Tracks : 1.Fanatic 2.Heartless 3.What about love 4.Mashallah! 5.Even it up 6.59 crunch 7.Straight on 8.Dog and butterfly 9.Walking good 10.These dreams 11.Alone 12.Dear old America 13.Crazy on you 14.Barracuda
3 out of 5
Almost 4 decades in rock music and the Wilson sisters are still going strong with no signs of retiring just yet, these days they focus on their 70´s catalogue with a few selected hits from the 80´s as well as songs from their latest studio album "Fanatic" from 2012.
Their 6th live album "Fanatic Live from Caesars Colosseum" was recorded in 2012 where the fans got to hear the band perform classic Heart songs like "Heartless" from the Magazine album (1977), the monumental ballads "What about love" and "Alone" plus the encore of the timeless "Barracuda".
The 5 tracks taken from their latest album "Fanatic" might not reach the same standard as their 70´s and 80´s era but I do like "Mashallah!" a lot, Ann Wilson still has a set of pipes that touches my heart.
Conspicious with this live album is that no songs are taken from the albums between "Brigade" (1990) and "Red velvet car" (2010), but still a safe buy.
Goodnight Tonight - Watch the rain (2013) Independent
Produced by Mike Brown
POP / ROCK
Tracks : 1.The only thing I knew 2.Poison 3.Thunderstorm 4.Because of you 5.Lieutenant James 6.Back on my feet again
3 out of 5
The trio of Emily Gambone - Lead Vocals/Guitar, Holly Camp - Bass and Logan McNeal - Drums/Vocals has been playing together since 2008, formerly known as Noize From The Basement with the LP "Bird´s eye view" released in 2011 - these teens deliver their brand new "Watch the rain" EP under their new moniker Goodnight Tonight.
I think it´s a solid EP with a couple of catchy songs like "The only thing I knew" and "Poison", at times they sound a bit like a rocking The Bangles but a more appropriate way to describe Goodnight Tonight is the link to bind together Paramore and Pat Benatar.
1985 meets 2010 so to speak.
Brian Vodinh - Little mirrors (2014) 578 Music
Produced by Brian Vodinh
Tracks : 1.Blood red sky 2.And the beat goes... 3.The comedown 4.Transfusion 5.Meet my ghost 6.Far away from here
3,5 out of 5
Brian Vodinh is a multi instrumentalist and also the drummer for 10 Years, his debut EP is a collection of songs written over the last year that certainly don´t fit in with his band´s sound.
Vodinh´s songs on "Little mirrors" aren´t as dark and progressive as 10 Years but they are still rock oriented and he truly shows what a talented songwriter he is with mighty fine tunes like "Blood red sky", "Meet my ghost" and "And the beat goes...".
This is without doubt a great start if Vodinh would pursue a solo career, my thoughts go to bands like Blue October and Crash Karma while listening to these 6 tracks.
"Little mirrors" brings hope in a computerized music business.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Kill Ritual - The Eyes of Medusa (2014) Golden Core Records
Produced by Steven Rice
Tracks : 1.The eyes of Medusa 2.Hair trigger 3.Never get me 4.Ride into the night 5.Weight of the world 6.Writing on the wall 7.Just another sin 8.My little sister 9.Unleashed 10.Agenda 21
4 out of 5
Although I really enjoyed thrashers Kill Ritual´s debut album "The serpentine ritual" from 2012, I must say their follow up "The eyes of Medusa" is even better. This ain´t your average heavy metal album with a load of headbanging songs, there´s thought behind the songstructures and the riffs are mindblowing.
The music isn´t complex in any way but it feels intelligent, this band has truly grown as songwriters if you ask me. The sound on their new album bring thoughts to 80´s metal like Armored Saint and Warrior but also German metallers Rage, there´s only one way to listen to "The eyes of Medusa" and it´s LOUD!
Way to go.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Hundredth - Resist (2014) Mediaskare Records
Produced by Bill Stevenson / Jason Livermore
Tracks : 1.Wake 2.Shelter 3.Resist 4.Demons 5.Manifest 6.Wage
2,5 out of 5
South Carolina based Hundredth deliver the companion EP "Resist" in March which is the follow up to the dark and heavy "Revolt" EP from 2013. According to the press release, the new EP shows a melodic and more laid back side of the band. I haven´t heard "Revolt" so I cannot compare these two EP´s but I do like a couple of tracks on "Resist" such as the dynamic "Wage" and the new single "Demons".
The other songs doesn´t move me that much but the production is really good, Hundredth may be your cup of tea if you´re into old school hardcore.
For fans of Fall City Fall, Silver Snakes, Gallows
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
The Prestige - Ecotone (2014) Mediaskare Records
Produced by Antoine Lussier
METAL / HARDCORE
Tracks : 1.Memento 2.Breach the walls 3.World at my feet 4.The quiet war 5.Ghost of our lives 6.Onwards 7.Can´t you hear the hungry wolves 8.Dismantle 9.Trinity 10.The diamonds 11.Freefall 12.Constellations
3,5 out of 5
No limitations must be this band´s motto when they write music, Quebec based The Prestige can be as heavy as a death metal band if they want to be but also very catchy with a contemporary sound. They´re standing with one foot in the post hardcore genre while the other takes a firm step in the melodic death metal scene of Gothenburg, a cool thing about their new album "Ecotone" are the singalong choruses in the best 30 Seconds To Mars style.
The riffs will cut through asphalt like a machete through the rainforest, except for the electronic oriented "The diamonds" where the band shows yet again that there are no limitations for how far they can go.
If you´re a fan of modern pop metal like Dead By April and think this album sounds like a tasty bit, don´t bother because The Prestige are way more aggressive and will make DBA look like Backstreet Boys.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Carl Franklin - Been a while (2013) Couch Flight Music
Produced by Carl Franklin
JAZZ / FUNK
Tracks : 1.Waiting for the summer to come 2.Drive my car 3.Chain reaction 4.Boogie groove 5.False profit 6.Big butter and egg man 7.The Titanic 8.Time bomb 9.Out of your way
3 out of 5
Back in the 70´s, genres like funk, westcoast and California pop were big and it was easy to sell records but it´s the other way around today. However, that doesn´t stop Carl Franklin from making the music he wants to play. He is normally a member of the Franklin Brothers but is taking the solo route with his first solo album "Been a while", -it´s all about the groove, Carl said, when he started jamming with his band to get this music party started.
The music on "Been a while" can be described as a mix between early Chicago, Average White Band and Michael Ruff. I think it´s a nice album where Carl´s jazz/pop cover of The Beatles "Drive my car" is awesome.
Guitar legend John Scofield is guesting on the fusion trip of "Chain reaction", one of the reasons you should check out this album if you´re a fan of jazz and funk.
Monday, February 10, 2014
"This is the first set of music that we have all been truly satisfied with,” says Robin Adams, vocalist of UK progressive metal trio Red Seas Fire; “This new release is, to us at least, the first record that shows what we are truly capable of.”
The new release in question is ‘Confrontation’, the latest strike of the Bristolian’s sprawling creative vision, which will eventually be combined with its predecessor ‘Exposition’ and a third E.P ‘Resolution’ (set for release later in 2014) to create the band’s next full length.
Confrontation will be out April 7th.
Download their latest "Exposition" EP for free at:
Sunday, February 9, 2014
Vandenberg´s MoonKings - S/T (2014) Mascot Records
Produced by Adrian Vandenberg
Tracks : 1.Lust and lies 2.Close to you 3.Good thing 4.Breathing 5.Steal away 6.Line of fire 7.Out of reach 8.Feel it 9.Leave this town 10.One step behind 11.Leeches 12.Nothing touches 13.Sailing ships (feat. David Coverdale)
4 out of 5
I guess most fans thought Adrian Vandenberg had retired from music for good but some started hoping in 2011 when Adrian was asked to write a stadium rock song for his hometown´s football club, FC Twente. He wrote the song "A number one" but needed a band to perform the song in front of 60,000 which would become the birth of his new band MoonKings, their debut album is actually the first release from Vandenberg since the "Restless heart" album with David Coverdale in 1998.
Soundwise, the MoonKings album is a bit different compared to both his time in Whitesnake and the Vandenberg albums between 1982-1985.
This time around, Adrian focus on 70´s rock with inspiration from bands like Free and Led Zeppelin but with a modern sound. If you add a touch of Aussie rock a la Jimmy Barnes into the mix, you´ll get MoonKings. I just love the vocal performance from Jan Hoving who is a really great rocknroll singer and perfect for this type of music.
I couldn´t ask for a better return from Vandenberg, songs like "Breathing", "Good thing", "Out of reach" and "Feel it" have their special place in rocknroll history.
As a bonus, we get a beautiful rendition of "Sailing ships" featuring David Coverdale but it´s Jan Hoving who steals the show here.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
PANIC ROOM will bring their stunning, award-winning music to venues across the UK and Europe in 2014 as they tour to promote their highly-anticipated new album : 'INCARNATE'
The music of Panic Room is difficult to define - as any new music should be.
But when trying to describe the band, reviewers have reference artists including:
Muse, Manic Street Preachers, All About Eve, Jeff Buckley, KT Tunstall, Kate Bush, Led Zeppelin (but with a female Robert Plant at the helm!)...
Marillion, Rush, Sigur Ros, Mahler, and Goldfrapp!
Listen to the album sampler at: http://www.reverbnation.com/PanicRoom
Nai Harvest - Hold open my head (2014) Topshelf Records
Produced by Bob Cooper
INDIE ROCK / EMO
Tracks : 1.Rush 2.Hold open my head 3.Pastel 4.I don´t even know
3 out of 5
Emo ain´t dead.....yet.
Growing up in the same hometown as Def Leppard doesn´t mean you start a band and play Leppard covers, just ask the two guys in Sheffield based Nai Harvest.
Their musical roots can be found in 90´s rock, indie and emo - where their heroes probably are Failure, Further Seems Forever and Dashboard Confessional.
The sound on their new EP is quite naked but also warm and mellow, I really dig the Ken Andrews-like harmonies of "Rush" which is the best song here.
The other three songs can be described as if you would send indie rock band Sherwood back to the 60s with a mission to perform emo music to the masses, check out their bandcamp page for more releases.
Miracle Master - Tattooed woman (2014) Golden Core Records
Produced by Miracle Master / Axel Heckert
Tracks : 1.Come alive 2.Fly away 3.Stay with me 4.Forgive yourself 5.Miracle master 6.Will to survive 7.Why religion 8.Tattooed woman 9.Highway to heaven 10.Tear down the walls 11.We all touch evil
3,5 out of 5
If you think melodic hard rock combined with modern metal sounds like a winning recipe, then you´re in good hands of Danish/German band Miracle Master and their debut album "Tattooed woman".
This band is rising out of the ashes of hard rockers Pump that teamed up with new singer Oliver Weers with a powerhouse voice that will make Grizzlies turn back.
I bet Ronnie James Dio is smiling on his pedestal in heaven when he hears about Miracle Master, the song "We all touch evil" would make Dio proud.
Best tracks : "Fly away", "Miracle master".
For fans of Jorn Lande, Sebastian Bach, Tainted Nation.
Saivu - Endings (2013) Ahkku Records
Produced by Ben Grosse
Tracks : 1.Binary 2.I bleed 3.It´s ok, it´s alright 4.Kings and queens 5.Virus 6.Iron curtain 7.Shadows 8.Fix me 9.Confliction 10.Goodbye
3,5 out of 5
To work with producer Ben Grosse (Fuel, Thirty Seconds To Mars) and Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo must have been a dream come true for Sami Norwegian duo Saivu.
Their debut album "Endings" sound expensive but there´s also something beneath this luxurious wrapping paper, namely great songs from Lasse Kvemmo and Jan Ole Kristensen.
I think they have created a strong formula of electronic and melancholic modern rock that sounds like a mix between Filter, Black Light Burns and Apoptygma Berzerk.
The single "I bleed" is the main course on this menu but other songs that will make my knees weak are "Iron curtain" and "It´s ok, it´s alright". This is an album I want to return to many times.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Craving Strange - A life exceptional (2014) Horian Records
Produced by Jimi Tassone / Rob Jacobs
Tracks : 1.Dirty rock 2.Your last day alive 3.Here & gone 4.A life exceptional 5.Do you remember 6.Break the skin 7.More than myself 8.Denial 9.Incomplete 10.Would you do the same 11.Angeline 12.Breathe 13.Your last day alive (clean)
2,5 out of 5
At last, I finally get connect something else to Amityville than the classic horror movie The Amityville Horror from 1979. It´s also the hometown for rock band Craving Strange with 2 albums released, including their new one "A life exceptional". They are influenced by 80´s rock and modern rock, like a mix between Firehouse and a light version of Buckcherry.
I think the production on their new album could´ve needed a little more edge, but it´s not always easy if you have a limited budget to record with.
They are decent songwriters where songs like "Here & gone" and "Angeline" stand out, the first one is a great rock ballad. The guitar intro of "Do you remember" bring thoughts to Nightranger´s "Don´t tell me you love me" which must be flattering for Jack Blades and Co.
The chorus of "Denial" is pretty good too so there are some sunny moments on this record.