About Me

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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Jean Beauvoir - 'Rock Masterpieces Vol 2' Review

Jean Beauvoir – Rock Masterpieces Vol 2

Back in June I reviewed Vol 1, and what a treat it was for one of rocks true icons, Jean Beauvoir. Well, now AOR HEAVEN is currently gearing up to release Vol 2 and was one of the soundtracks of the Summer. Vol 2 features more songs from his solo career, including his International multi-platinum debut "Drums Along the Mohawk" album, from his band Crown Of Thorns, his band Voodoo X, which also made music and video history, some fan favorites. As with Vol 1, Vol 2 songs will also be remastered. 

Beauvoir is also working with best selling British author Simon Cox (Cracking The Da Vinci Code) on a new book which will capture his storied career in music and entertainment. The iconic Blonde Mohawk of Jean Beauvoir has been an ongoing major influence on US and International pop culture in music, sports, film and TV; including several cartoons; influences that are still being seen and heard today. As a member of the Plasmatics, the most outrageous, controversial, successful Punk band ever and a longtime songwriter and producer for the Ramones, hailed as the greatest Punk band in the world, Jean Beauvoir is forever linked to two of the most revolutionary bands of the twentieth century. He was a member of the Plasmatics during their most successful and revolutionary time in music and is the only member of the Plasmatics who went onto a successful solo, production and writing career with over 40-million records sold to date and featured on over 240 albums.

Music from his solo debut album 'Drums Along the Mohawk' was hand picked by Sylvester Stallone for the film Cobra which led to Beauvoir making a deal with Al Teller (President of Paramount Pictures). Through working closely with Branson, Stallone and Teller, Cobra received the highest advertising budget for a Hollywood film to date at the time featuring the single "Feel the Heat" as its title track. 

Thank heavens for ‘No Limits’, a BBC show from one of the major importers of melodic rock/AOR, Jonathan King. This show was better than a lot of TV shows at the time (the UK had yet to receive the mecca of all music, MTV) so we got our hits in small doses through Top Of The Pops, ECT, and The Tube. King was ahead of the curve, introducing me as a 17-19 year old to bands such as Guiffria, Warrior, (Patti Smyth), and songs we would never have heard of from the likes of Lou Gramm, Sammy Hagar, Y&T, and Jean Beauvoir. This was my first interaction for his single ‘Feel The Heat’. I thought it was fantastic, a song that went against my rock upbringing on bands like Rainbow, Rush and Whitesnake to name just three. The guy had a huge mohawk, a great voice, and in FTH a huge chorus. I was in for the long run.

Thanks to grunge and music at that time having little to excite me in the way of music, bands like Crown Of Thorn’s passed me by until I heard ‘Hike It Up’ at a rock disco in Wigan. Yes, Wigan! I turned to my esteemed colleague to ask who it was. Once explained I picked up the phone (internet was still shite) and snapped up their debut about 3 yrs after it was released. It was that good, it filled a gap that had been missing. It was superb.


Vol 2 picks up where Vol 1 left off, and its all systems go with the opening salvo of Crown anthems, ‘The Healer’, Lost Cathedral’, and ‘Live and Die’. If you're a JB fan already, I don't need to sing the praises of these 3 songs. If not, where the fuck have you been and buy this album!!

There’s a few songs that are new to me – mainly the Voodoo X ones. ‘I’m On Fire’ is a rip snorter of a tune, a killer riff competing with one of the best vocalists in the business. Fast and frenetic from beginning to end – typical Beauvoir! ‘A Lover Like You’ was co-written with Paul Stanley and has KISS DNA running right through it, and I'm pretty certain that's Stanley chipping in with background vocals, and is another gem of a song.

This Is Our House’ from ‘Drums..’ is about as lite as JB gets, and still manages to be anthemic. ‘Motorcycle Loretta’ is one of the best songs from Lost Cathedral, and is built around some splendid riffage. ‘Missionary Remedy’ Is as late in the day as it gets for a COT appearance. Its OK, but its nowhere near the same standard as anything from the COT debut. ‘Never Went Down’ is pure saccharine soaked pop rock, and sounds as if it was destined to be in an 80s flick, the type of song that John Hughes used to pepper his films with.

Winterland’ is probably in my top 3 all time JB songs, the type of song that just cheers me up, from the opening few bars, to the killer riff, and the awesome chorus it never fails to hit the spot. It always gets cranked up in the car. ‘Same Song Plays |On and On’ has US hit written all over it. And reprises some of the same sound from ‘Feel The Heat’, either that or I’m losing the plot. ‘Searchin’ For A Light’ couldn't be any more eighties if I was sat here decked out in spandex and leg warmers and takes you back to the heady days of MTV. From the debut are a couple of songs, the balladic ‘Till The End’ but its the attitude laden ‘No You Don't’ that gets my vote. Its Voodoo X that closes out Vol 2 with ‘Happy Birthday’. If you're fed up of the one 30 billion people know, try this one next time outrageous

Volume 2 answered my questions from Vol 1, with COT songs making up over half the album

The PR info states “Today, Jean Beauvoir is also recognized as "One of the Most Influential Black Rockers of All Time". In my eyes it should read ‘Influential Black People of All Time” Period.

This is essential for anyone that like their music with a huge slab of riffage and big anthemic, melodic choruses. I cant think of many better anthologies that showcase an artistes talent more than these two. If you're already a fan, then there probably not a lot here for you, but it does put all the good stuff in one big collection. If Jean Beauvoir is a guy that passed you by and you are in the market for some killer tunes, buy Vol 1 and 2, and whilst you are at it, get the COT debut.

8/10


The Healer (COT Debut)
Lost Cathedral (COT Lost Cathedral)
Live and Die (COT Lost Cathedral)
This Is Our House (JB Drums…)
Motorcycle Loretta (COT Lost Cathedral)
I Wont Wait (COT Breakthrough)
A Lover Like You (Voodoo X The Awakening)
Missionary Remedy (COT Destination Unknown)
I’m On Fire (Voodoo X)
Never Went Down (JB Drums..)
Winterland (COT Debut)
Same Song Plays On And On (JB Drums...)
Searchin’ For A Light (JB Jacknifed)
Till The End (COT Debut)
No You Dont (COT Debut)
Happy Birthday (Voodoo X)

Vandenburg's Moonkings - 'Rugged and Unplugged' Album Review

Vandenburg’s Moonkings - ‘Rugged and Unplugged’

Rugged and Unplugged’ is a stripped back acoustic album which features songs from Adrian Vandenburg’s career. 
 
For me, the sign of whether a song is good or not, is whether it still stands up when its completely stripped down to the bare essence of it’, says Vandenburgh, and I for one categorically agree with this statement. He continues, ‘What I find with acoustic versions of songs you already know, is that they can touch you in a different way than the full band and even orchestral versions. You don’t get ‘impressed’ by big guitars, drums and even orchestras. As a performer you csn’t hide behind all that, so whats left is the emotional content of the performance of the actual song’.

Back in the early 90s, Tesla took a steal on the market and brought out their ‘Five man Acoustical Jam’ and it was awesome. But then, every bugger was at it, MTV went through an unplugged phase and there were some cracking performances – Queensryche and Pearl Jam being personal faves. Its taken a back seat of late, but I'm happy to see someone give it a go and revive the format.

Basically, despite Adrian Vandenburg having a decent back catelogue, most of the songs are Moonkings ones, with only one Whitesnake song (‘Sailing Ships’) and one Vandenburg song (‘Burning Heart’, obviously) making the cut. Early Vandenburg fans may feel a little short changed and slightly miffed, especially as the album is only the eight songs long.

Jan Hoving’s vocals still sound as if he’s singing a full electric vocal of ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’, but I wont hold that against him, and he has a nice tone and timbre to his sound. ‘Sailing Ships’ is where most will draw comparisons as he is singing a Coverdale song, and the very first line of ‘Sailing Ships’, you know Coverdale’s legacy is in good hands as Hoving even sounds like Coverdale, not too much, but just enough. This is a Whitesnake classic, and is performed very well indeed, but its Coverdales blood running through it and few can match the master for tone and quality. Its almost the same version that is on the Moonkings debut album, and it does make you hanker for the original.

Burning Heart’ is the other biggie on offer here. Its stripped right back to the bare bones and does fall on Hoving’s emotion to carry the lyrics. ‘Out Of Reach’ isn't a great deal away from the original, so why not pick something that would be better suited as an acoustical interpretation. I’m beginning to see a pattern, an acoustical album based on songs that are not too far removed from the original! ‘One Step Behind’ and ‘Breathing’ are the first songs I can really get behind acoustically as they are different from the originals, but there should be more like this, surely?

Up last is a brand new song, ‘Sundown’ - you guessed it, a 90 second acoustic instrumental.

For seven songs, and a new one, I was expecting a little bit more. Maybe a couple more Vandenburg, another Whitesnake song. Theres a saying when actors aren't trying, that they are dialling in their performance, I feel a liitle bit the same about 'Rugged and Unplugged' as it could have been soooo much better. In fact check out Hellsongs, they do the metal cover better than most!

6/10

Tracklist
What Doesn’t Kill You
Sailing Ships
Out Of Reach
One Step Behind
Burning Heart
Walk Away
Breathing
Sundown

Monday, 5 November 2018

The Three Tremors - 'When The Last Scream fades' Video Release


THE THREE TREMORS release 'When The Last Scream Fades' single and lyric video, taken from their new self titled debut album which is set for release on 18th January.



Band quote on the lyric video:
"The Three Tremors song, When The last Scream Fades is a straight ahead heavy metal rocker that paints a tale of a post apocalyptic world from prophecy and lore.  Harry Conklin says, " We have been having a great time playing this one live at rehearsals.  It starts out with a somber dark vibe then takes off."
Peck says " There are a lot of bases covered on this record - all styles of metal are represented pretty much.  The diversity of the songs and deliveries makes it a fun record to perform all the way through like we will be doing starting September 26th."


THE THREE TREMORS
release their storming self titled debut album on 18th January 2019 via Steel Cartel Records.

“Three times louder than a sonic boom, three fingers on the hand of doom!” is how the Three Tremors is being described. And when you find out the stellar line-up, there is no denying the mighty vocal power that the newly formed outfit possesses - Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, DIO DISCIPLES), Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin (JAG PANZER, SATAN’S HOST, TITAN FORCE), and Sean "The Hell Destroyer" Peck (CAGE, DENNER/SHERMANN, DEATH DEALER)

And on January 18th 2019, metal-heads worldwide will be able to behold the power of the Three Tremors, when their self-titled debut album will be unveiled (with a full tour following immediately thereafter).

"One of the all-time great power metal albums!"
KNAC.com

Pre-orders can be made here: https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/the-three-tremors

Sean's band, Cage, opened for Judas Priest on the ‘Jugulator’ tour in San Diego - that is where I first met him,” recalls Ripper. “He hit me up about resurrecting the idea and actually doing a record, and then a band, to put this out in the live setting also, and I thought it sounded really cool. The record came out really strong and I think the fans deserved to have a thing like this actually exist. We performed 2 of the songs live already when I was out in San Diego shooting the video for the first single, and it was a blast.

It was about 5 years ago, I was camping and thinking about the whole Three Tremors urban legend from long ago and what a shame it was that it never happened,” says Sean. “Then I started thinking about if there was a resurrected 2018 version of it, who would I get, and Tim and Harry were at the top of my list. I immediately reached out to Tim, who agreed to embark on this adventure and Harry quickly joined next. It took a long time to put it together, create the right songs, and get it properly arranged, but the results are beyond my wildest expectations. I think the fans are really going to freak out on what we have done with this record, and live it’s going to be almighty I assure you!"

“Sean and I ended up at a party together in Germany, where we were both playing the same festival, and he told me about the Three Tremors album he was putting together and asked if I would be into it
,” adds Harry. “He described the concept and how he wanted to bring this old idea to actual life and I said I was in. Once I started hearing the songs that were being sent over for me to record, I knew this thing was going to be really powerful. Then when I got sent the final mixes with all three of us on it, my jaw hit the floor on how well it all came together. For heavy metal fans, this is the ultimate.”

The Three Tremors nourish in heavy metal anthems, and feature the illustrious chops of guitarist Dave “Conan” Garcia, whose tenacity fuels the fire, allowing the music to naturally flow in complimentary tone. Second guitarist Casey “The Sentinel” Trask picks up the pace and really pushes the boundaries alongside bassist Alex Pickard, who highlights a melodic sensibility giving character to the overall tonality. On drums, the thrash machine Sean Elg adds in his perfectly placed fills and signature double bass patterns.

The Three Tremors self-titled debut highlights artwork ingeniously created by renowned artist Marc Sasso (Dio, Halford, Adrenaline Mob, Death Dealer, Cage), to showcase an apocalyptic battle between demonic hyper-wolves and the Three Tremors, who marched into an underworld overshadowed by evil forces only armed with bullets powered by heavy metal sorcery to reclaim the dystopian lands.

The self-titled debut album will feature 12 new songs that depict monumental stories of time honored heavy metal themes as written by Sean Peck, focusing on original concepts to highlight three of the most revered and relentless voices in heavy metal.

The Three Tremors will court you in to an entirely new atmosphere unlike any group before. Prepare for the most thrilling heavy metal record to date!
THE THREE TREMORS ALBUM TRACK-LIST
01: Invaders From The Sky
02 Bullets For The Damned
03: When The Last Scream Fades
04: Wrath Of Asgard
05: The Cause
06: King Of The Monsters
07: The Pit Shows No Mercy
08: Sonic Suicide
09: Fly Or Die
10: Lust Of The Blade
11: Speed To Burn
12: The Three Tremors (Bonus Track)


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BILLYBIO - 'Feed The Fire' Album Review

With BillyBio, it’s 100% me. No influence from anyone else. This is who I am and what I’ve become. I’m a product of everyone I’ve met, talked with, shared my stories with…and a bit of their stories as well.” - Billy Graziadei

During the years of touring with BIOHAZARD, Graziadei collaborated with many different musicians. As a result of this the later friendship with Cypress Hill singer SenDog, turned in 2016 into the Supergroup POWERFLO along with bassist Christian Olde Wolbers (Ex-FEAR FACTORY) and guitarist Roy Lozano (DOWNSET). While Graziadei continues to work on new POWERFLO songs as he tours around, he decided that the time finally has come for his solo venture: Billy Graziadei is BILLYBIO.

Even the 12secs intro could not prepare me for what was about to hit me in the form of ‘Freedoms Never Free’;  An entourage of speed, aggression and anger is everything I would expect from Billy. Whoa, hold on!! ‘Feed The Fire’ has just totally confused me! We have now gone to a more mainstream rock track. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but these two opening tracks sound like two totally different bands! But I like it. Both songs so far have had a speed break mid-song and I think these breaks make songs. It’s something I always put in Carnage’s songs. It always works.

‘Apologies No Regrets’ now heads over towards the ‘S.O.D & M.O.D’ era. Awesome speed, great bass breaks and thumping beats that will send a live crowd into a frenzy. Crackin' stuff!!!! The songs are nice and short too as we head into ‘Generation Z’ and the thrashy ‘Sick And Tired’. This song does not relent and reminds me of 1980’s Metallica and Testament. It’s galloping chorus just oozes class.

‘Sodality’ has even more class, with its heavy opening riff and rapping-style verse. V is very Sum 41 (Fat Lip). It has lots of speed changes in this track which makes it one of the album’s highlights. ‘Rise And Slay’ with it’s Anthrax-style juggery just confirms what I was thinking that this album is getting better and better as it goes along. There’s no pause for breath as we hammer through ‘STFU’ until ‘Trepidation’. What a beautiful couple of minutes. A quiet mellow symphonic jam with electronic wording splattered in the background. It was needed.

The opening riff of ‘Untruth’ hits you like a steam train. This song has everything. Dark riffs, rapping verses and a galloping chorus. 'Feed The Fire' is damn fine album which begs to be heard. I would love to see Billy live on the back on this superb album. We finish with ‘Enemy’ and album stunner ‘Disaffected World’.

The photos included with this album show Billy trying to get a message across to us. I think he’s done that. Biohazard fan?? Buy it. Billy fan? You will be.


Score 9/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track listing:

1. Freedoms Never Free
2. Feed The Fire
3. Apologies No Regrets
4. Generation Z
5. Sick And Tired
6. Remedy
7. Sodality
8. Rise And Slay
9. STFU
10.Trepidation
11.Untruth
12.Enemy
13.Disaffected World

Monday, 22 October 2018

Sumeru - 'Summon Destroyer' Album Review



A band known for their passionately fierce and ear crushing live shows, Sumeru’s onstage energy is exerted with an almost fanatical dedication that it verges on a cult-like rite of sonic exorcism and visceral upheaval. Add in the long-crafted musicianship of each member of this Sydney 5 piece, their ability to peel subconscious layers off of their audiences was apparent since their inception in 2009. Having shared the stage with foreign imports and domestic legends such YOB, Torche, Nick Oliveri (back up band & support), Windhand, Nails, Blood Duster, Beastwars, IEXIST and Lo! Sumeru now stand firmly grounded in the Australian heavy music underground as a defining force of pure riff fury and indomitable low-end groove.

This is right up my street!! I’ve never heard an album start with such a haunting and frightening intro. I’m talking Evil Dead-esque! ‘The Temple’ gets us back on track. There’s lots of Pantera on offer here, and if you love Pantera, you will love these guys. Its moody heavy riffs and some angry vocals make this a very enjoyable track. Title track ‘Summon Destroyer’ a 7 minute epic, edges us away from the doom metal to a more upbeat rock anthem, and is still heavy in it’s own right. There are speed changes galore here, and why not? And before you know it we are back hammering out the heavy stuff. Its truly  is intense and perfect.

‘Embrace The Cold’ gives us a Manowar-style galloping riff which works well, and lyrically here it’s very Nirvana. Every now and then I can hear Holy Terror. These guys influences are clear to hear. ‘Kala Ratri’ is a one minute long acoustic jam, which to me would have been better being the intro for ‘Durga!Durga!’ and not a separate track. There’s some absolute stunning intensity going on with this track. These guys I imagine will be amazing live. Intense, dark, angry, in your face. ‘Durga!Durga! has a riff in it that’s an absolute steal of S.O.D’s ‘March Of the S.O.D’.

As we reach ‘Rivers Of Lethe’, I can only describe this as a pure out and out hard rock track that hits you in every spot. And so we reach ‘A New Ritual’, a 10 minute album closer which can only be described as a comforting, confusing track. The string crunching riffs have been replaced by mellow tones, and the angry vocals have been replaced by some proper singing. Diversity. It’s anthemic in every way, intense in every way, and keeps you gripped right up until about 7 minutes in when the guys suddenly unleash a brutal Black Sabbath style riff on you. Suddenly we are back to the anger, but I don’t know where’s it’s come from. These guys have built it up so cleverly. Its amazing stuff and a brilliant album finisher.

I have got to catch these guys live.


Score 9/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track Listing

1. Inanis Kultus
2. The Temple
3. Summon Destroyer
4. Embrace The Cold
5. Kala Ratri
6. Durga!Durga!
7. Rivers Of Lethe
8. A New Ritual

Line-Up

Matt Power – Vocals
Peter Bursky – Guitar
Chris Wilson – Guitar
Pat taylor – Bass
Andres Hyde - Drums

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Loimann - 'A Voluntary Lack Of Wisdom' Album Review

Italian Post Doom metallers LOIMANN just recently unveiled the hotly anticipated details about their upcoming third studio album 'A Voluntary Lack of Wisdom', which is set to be released on November 9th 2018 with Argonauta Records!
 
Formed in 2001 under the major influences of desert rock bands alike Kyuss, Fu Manchu or Monster Magnet, LOIMANN's sound evolved over the years for a more doom and heavy psych approach. Recorded at O.F.F. Studios in Torino during the summer of 2017 with Paul Beauchamp and Salvo Arico (Marmore/Khoy), the band's new work partially changes the direction compared to the previous records, with a more direct and easy listening sound while never losing their heaviness.

„The Songs are shorter, more “in your face” (no keyboards at all this time) and with less complex songwriting“the band explains. „On the other side we think we managed to obtain a more extreme result, with more growls and screams, concerning vocal parts and blackened post-core breaks coming out from doom/sludge riffs and atmospheres. The lyrics are centered on how human race is slowly approaching its extinction thanks to wars, pollution and thanks to how many human beings are becoming sort of involute individuals, thanks to the predominance internet has in their lives.“ 

Another band that I had never heard of lands on my doorstep, and another band I wish I had heard a long time ago.  ‘Slaughterhouse no.5’ kicks off the album through sheer brute force. There’s a punky feel to it. It reminds me of my teens when I’d be moshing on the floor to the likes of Bomb Disneyland and Carcass and the like. ‘I Own The Right To Tear Me Apart’ confirms that what I’m about to get sucked into is an intense hour or so of piercing thrash and doom metal mixed into one, so I’ll hold on to my hat. The speed changes in this track are quite remarkable and there’s a beautiful tone to the bass when it solo’s. ‘For Those About To Sink’ has a more melodic feel to it but still manages to gallop along when required. There’s some nice bridge riffing in this.

The songs I’ve heard so far seem to be pieced together with different sections and it works really well and makes the songs very enjoyable. ‘Living In Fear Of Death,Dying In Fear Of Life’ turns the melodic side of Loimann straight on its head as the crunching opening riff hits you like a steam train, and then slides into a doomy, intense verse. I can imagine these guys being brutal live. ‘Mass Redeemer’ starts off slowly and moodily and slides into a deep dark intro which had me hooked all the way through as it eventually kicks into a verse which has a strange mixture of melodic singing and growling which I still cant work out whether it works or not. ‘Moral Dismemberment’ starts with a very clever and laid back intro which takes you away on a tangent if you close your eyes for long enough, and then presents us with a classic Kyuss riff for its verse.

It’s a great album this and very well produced.’ V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (Vacuity. Ignites. Tremendous. Riot. Inside. Our. Lives)’ kicks in with an awesome late / Napalm Death style doom riff but that quickly vanishes into a fast-paced verse. Probably the best start to a song on this album. ‘They Live’, followed by ‘Outro’ close this brilliant effort. Outro for a few seconds sounded like the opening intro on Pearl Jam’s debut album ‘Ten’……………….but only for a few seconds. Overall very enjoyable album and would love to catch these guys live.

Score 8/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track listing:

1. INTRO – SLAUGHTERHOUSE n°5
2. I OWN THE RIGHT TO TEAR ME APART
3. FOR THOSE ABOUT TO SINK
4. LIVING IN FEAR OF DEATH, DYING IN FEAR OF LIFE
5. MASS REDEEMER
6. MORAL DISMEMBERMENT
7. V.I.T.R.I.O.L. (Vacuity. Ignites. Tremendous. Riot. Inside. Our. Lives.)8. THEY LIVE
9. OUTRO - No Prayer for the Living

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Ross The Boss, Eleven, Stoke On Trent, 11.10.18



Having reviewed Ross The Boss ‘By Blood Sworn’ album a few months ago on this site, I was super-excited to be going along to see the guys live in what seemed to be (prior to getting there) a very intimate venue.

What a fantastic set-up ‘Eleven’ have. It’s intimate, personal, and a perfect size to watch and get close to the guys you’ve come to see. Prior to the gig, we were treated to a free ‘Meet & Greet’ session with Ross, as he gave out guitar picks, posed for photos, and was a general fantastic, friendly and loveable guy. He had some great stories to tell, and made sure he spoke to us all. Brilliant.
 
And that’s exactly what followed on stage. It was a very disappointing crowd of only around 40 people, but this did not stop the lads putting on a perfect and professional display of superb tunes, great crowd interaction and non-stop metal. Whether the capacity of 250 or the reality of 40 people, RTB performed no different and it was a night to remember. Performing Manowar classics, the gig kicked off with ‘Blood of the Kings’, followed closely by ‘The Oath’, and the guys seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as the crowd, drummer Steve Bolognese donning a constant beaming grin through each song. Brilliant to see.

Talk about making the most out of a challenging situation, Marc Lopez showed us all what an icon and presence he is on stage. Continuously moving, getting close to the crowd and getting everyone involved. As the band powered through classics such as ‘Sign of the Hammer’, ‘Hatred’, and ‘Blood of my Enemies’ it was clear as crystal what was going on here. Myself personally, I came to hear songs from RTB latest album ‘By Blood Sworn’, but the crowd were just revelling in the Manowar classics, and after this gig, I get it, totally. The tracks were played with such stunning power it was just too good, too, too good.
Next came ‘Kill With Power’ and ‘Each Dawn I Die’. 

What a singer Marc Lopez is. This current line up I believe is the best Ross has had. It just gels, especially live. ‘Hail to England’ got us all singing and is just an absolute stunner live. ‘Great Gods Glorious’, ‘Fighting The World’ and the absolutely stunning ‘Battle Hymn’ followed. The latter being one of my highlights of the night. Marc Lopez providing some superb vocals.
 
The guys finished with ‘Thor (The Powerhead)’ and the amazing ‘Hail and Kill’, with it’s almost 5 minute unreal blues jam. It’s been an absolute pleasure tonight seeing these guys bring such a huge show to the small stage, in a small venue, to a small crowd.
‘Hail and Kill’ tonight showed the strength and diversity of this band. My heart bleeds for them for such a small crowd. But tonight I will be so proud to be part of a bunch of people who got to see such an amazing band up close and personal. Next time, I’ll be there again. Hail & Salute RTB!! Thank you guys. xx




Score – 10/10

Reviewed by Sty

Setlist

Blood Of The Kings
The Oath
Sign Of The hammer
Hatred
Blood Of My Enemies
Kill With Power
Each Dawn I Die
Hail To England
Great Gods Glorious
Fighting The World
Battle Hymn
Thor (The Powerhead)
Hail And Kill

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Brainstorm - 'Midnight Ghost' Album Review



The chain of circumstantial evidence is long and speaks for itself: Brainstorm’s new album, Midnight Ghost, is a veritable milestone. There are plenty of reasons for this, starting with the initial compilation of ideas through the meticulous development of the song arrangements and concentrated production at Sebastian ‘Seeb’ Levermann’s (Orden Ogan) Greenman Studios to the atmospheric cover artwork courtesy of Gyula Havancsak (Accept, Stratovarius). All the cogs have obviously meshed and produced a result that’s bound to delight all power metal fans and has even surprised the five band members themselves. “It’s pretty unusual that musicians still get shivers down their spines when they listen to the new material after a long and energy-sapping production. In this case we can really say that all Brainstorm musicians are total fans of our new recording,” says vocalist Andy B. Franck, adding: “Midnight Ghost is the album we want to be measured by in the future.”

Are there special reasons for this creative avalanche that was kicked off almost two years ago and has now culminated in ten new songs?

I’m asking myself the above question whilst listening to what I thought was a pretty poor opener in ‘Devil’s Eye’. A potentially good song seems to be drowned by the relentless double bass drums. But the disappointment didn’t last long as we hit into ‘Revealing The Darkness’, which again starts with the double bass drum, but soon turns into a very nice verse with some great guitar licking, together with a killer bridge. Proper metal this, with hints of Accept thrown in for good measure.

If you’re into your melodic / hard metal then this album will be for you. I do feel like these guys are stuck a little in the 80’s which admittedly isn’t a bad thing I suppose, just not quite for me. Some people move on, some don’t. There’s no right or wrong in that whatsoever. As we reach ‘Jeanne Boulet 1764’, which starts in a very Tenacious D way, we are treated to a far more in-depth effort of what this band can do. A dark, melodic, synth filled anthem which is by far the best effort on this album so far.I’m loving the start of ‘Divine Inner Ghost’ with it’s driving riff, a great verse to the song but unfortunately it doesn’t last long when the chorus kicks in. I’m finding the chorus here all seem to be a bit too melodic for me. We’ve got good openings to tracks and verses and then we are let down by the chorus.

Overall a good album for the metalheads out there. Me personally, I prefer a little more diversity but I’ve heard a lot worse.


Score 6/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track Listing

1 – Devil’s Eye
2 – Revealing The Darkness
3 – Ravenous Minds
4 – The Pyre
5 – Jeanne Boulet 1764
6 – Divine Inner Ghost
7 – When Pain Becomes Real
8 – Four Blessings
9 – Haunting Voices
10 – The Path


Line-Up

Andy B.Franck – Vocals
Torsten Ihlenfeld – Guitars
Milan Loncaric – Guitars
Antonio Leva – Bass
Dieter Bernert - Drums

Monday, 3 September 2018

Dream Child - 'Until Death Do We Meet Again' Album Review


Dream Child – Until Death Do We Meet Again

‘more Dio than Dio!’

Dream Child is a band comprising of some 80s heavyweights in Craig Goldy (ex-Dio, Guiffria), Simon Wright (ex AC/DC, Dio, Operation:Mindcrime) and Rudy Sarzo ex-Quiet Riot, Ozzy, Whitesnake and Dio). Along for the ride are Wayne Findlay (ex-MSG) and Diego Valdez (Helker). As you can see these guys all have form. 

Craig Goldy says, "the band Dream Child was conceived during a brainstorming session with Serafino (President of Frontiers) and I one day while discussing other matters. I had been listening to my favorite bands a lot recently, Deep Purple and Rainbow's “Rising" album, among others in that style and had noticed that many people who also love those bands often have the very same comments as one another: "They don't make music like that anymore!" Even though I said that in passing, Serafino asked me a question that would forever shape my future. He simply asked, "Well, can you?" and I said.....”YES!!!"

During the very first public memorial for our most beloved Ronnie James Dio, I had mentioned that whenever I do start writing original material again that I would utilize everything that I had learned from working side by side with the Master for so many years in such a way that I would hope to make him proud....and here it is! The name is inspired by one of his lyrics on the "Dream Evil" album and the nickname he gave me at the time, Dream Child!

The video for opener ‘Under The Wire’ has been available for some weeks now, and it just hammers home the Dio legacy that they are aiming for. Spookily the opening tinkles are very close indeed to a part of Tubular Bells, or many may know it as the theme to The Exorcist. ‘You Cant Take Me Down’s’ opening draws on Dio’s Sabbath era and is very ‘Sign Of The Southern Cross’ before Valdez wails and channels his inner Ronnie. If you try to write an 80s classic sounding album in 2018 then the Dio references will come thick and fast due to him having three of the best albums of this period. I can even see Valdez in my minds eye spinning his mic stand as he bangs it out. The guy is a very decent Dio foil indeed. Goldy goes straight for the Strat and the solo is typical Rainbow! So far, so good by me. 

‘Games Of Shadows’ does what it says on the tin, another Sabb-Di-bow construction. My ears prick up at the 2:15 point in ‘It Is What It Is’, and I’ll tell you what it is, it’s the exact same riff from Rough Cutt’s ‘Take Her’. Its not even ‘tweaked’ to sound similar. In fact, bands have been sued for less. ‘Playing With Fire’ is the first deviation where the vocals are at a higher register, and with its decent riff and drumming make it different from the norm. The title track ‘Until Death Do We Meet Again’ is Dio by any other name, its like a mix of the ‘big number’ that Ronnie had on all of his albums – Last In Line, Sunset Superman, All The Fools Sailed Away, and is the meat in this sandwich and is huge in sound, scale and length. 

The next three songs leave me a bit perplexed – ‘Washed Upon The Shore’ has a lengthy into but doesn’t lag for it, but when the vocals do kick in, it’s the one song where they don’t match the high standard of the riff.  It’s a song that doesn’t quite know if it wants to be an epic length instrumental (which it should have been) or a song. I could have done without it. ‘In A World So Cold’ is standard fare for them now, but is nothing special. ‘Weird World’ is a bit of a, well, ‘weird’ song compared to the rest of what’s on offer here. Then finally we are onto another lengthy 9 minuter, in ‘One Step Beyond The Grave’ where they redeem themselves from the last few songs. Its got Sarzo’s pounding bass, atmospheric keyboards, and a punchy riff similar to ‘Egypt (The Chains Are On)’. It climaxes with Craig Goldy wringing every last note out of his guitar to the fade out.

As an album there’s nothing new here for you, but as a sound harking back to the great days of the 80s, it nails it smack in the middle, and I think that’s what Goldy wanted to do. It transported me to the early 80s. Ronnie would be proud at Goldy’s sentiments, as aside from them doing a tribute album covering his songs, an album produced in a ‘classic rock sound’ doesn’t get much better than this. I could have done with 2-3 fewer tracks towards the end as I feel as if they wanted to fill every second available to them on a CD.

Fair dues to all the guys here as lets face it, they could have phoned in their bits from the old rockers care home in Hollywood. Thankfully they have all stepped up to the plate and made it one hell of an enjoyable album, and isnt that what music is all about?

Score 8/10

Tracklisting –
Under The Wire
You Can’t Take Me Down
Games Of Shadows
It Is What It Is
Playing With Fire
Light Of The Dark
Midnight Song
Until Death Do We Meet Again
Washed Upon The Shore
In A World So Cold
Weird World
One Step Beyond The Grave

BAND MEMBERS: 
Craig Goldy – Lead and rhythm guitars, keyboards and bass
Rudy Sarzo – Bass 
Simon Wright – Drums
Wayne Findlay – Keyboards
Diego Valdez – Lead Vocals and background vocals

PRODUCED BY :  Alessandro Del Vecchio & Craig Goldy
Special honourable mention to Rudy Sarzo, Diego Valdez and Wayne Findlay who engineered the studio recordings of their own amazing performances captured on this album!
Simon Wright’s drum recorded at:
STUDIO: The Boom Room
RECORDED BY: Christian Hogan
MIXED BY: Alessandro Del Vecchio & Craig Goldy
MASTERED BY: Alessandro Del Vecchio

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