Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Giuntini Project - IV (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Melodic Rock
Label - Escape

Track listing:

01. Perfect Sorrow

02. Born In The Underworld
03. Shadow Of The Stone
04. Cured
05. I Don't Believe In Fortune
06. If The Dream Comes True
07. The Rise And Fall Of Barry Lyndon (Instrumental)
08. Bring On The Night
09. Not The Jealous Kind
10. Saint Or Sinner
11. Your Love Is Killing Me (Japanese bonus track)
12. Last Station: Nightmare (Instrumental)
13. How The Story Ends
14. Truth Never Lies

Since he started the project twenty years ago, guitarist Aldo GIUNTINI has been releasing one consistent album after another, taking his time between them to polish the material and going over every fine detail. Yet it still seam's hard to believe that it has been over six years since part 3 of his Giuntini Project was put out!
One again, as on II and III lead vocals are handled by the one and only Tony Martin (Ex-Black Sabbath, Empire, Mollo/Martin, Rondinelli, Silver Horses, M3, and Solo artist) which bodes well for the projects stability and continuum. 
So how does project IV compare with its predecessors? Pretty darn well to be honest.
The album opens with Perfect Sorrow, a fairly fast tempo ed track that would have fit very well onto the previous album III. Born In The Underworld slows the tempo down a little next, with its dark almost grinding riff. This track would have sat comfortably along side the rest of the tracks on the classic Project II album, a really great song Shadow Of The Stone follows, and proceeds to tell the tale of what happened after the events of The Headless Cross. A slightly more melodic track with a mid tempo ed with a classic Rainbow feel to it, especially during Aldo's guitar solo's. (To my ears anyway!) Another great song.
Cured is up next. Another track that could have fitted well onto Project II, another mid tempo ed track with a kind of grinding riff that is driven by the venom in Tony Martins vocal delivery. One of my favourite songs so far. I Don't Believe In fortune follows, a great up tempo blues track that is quickly followed by If the Dream Comes True which is a great up tempo melodic rocker.
The Rise And Fall Of Barry Lyndon is up next, a four and a half minute instrumental that starts with some grandiose keyboards before the guitars come bursting in. A nice change of pace.
Bring On The Night follows, a great mid tempo ed rocker which sees Tony Martin sharing lead vocals with Liz Vandall for what makes a great duet!
Not the Jealous Kind, slows things down slightly, another favourite track, which sees Tony Martin deliver some great vocals, along with some terrific vocal harmonies.
Saint Or Sinner, sees the guys return to a blistering tempo, that has a few twists and turns along its journey. A great rocker that I imagine would go over really well in a live environment.
the albums second instrumental track is up next, the five minute and twenty second Last Station:Nightmare. A great atmospheric piece that showcases Aldo's ability as an instrumentalist.
How The Story Ends follows. A truly great song which seems to have a Megadeth feel to both its main riffage and the vocal melody. It has a brisk tempo and a bellyful of venom. This is definitely my favourite track on the album!

Truth never Lies closes out the album proper. A fast tempo ed track with a typical and familar Giuntini Project feel to it. Another great song!
Your Love Is Killing Me is included on the Japanese editions of the album as a bonus track. Its a strong song, maybe not as strong as the rest of the album, but a good track non the less, not the usual throw away track.
Theres not a single song that could be classed as a filler here. Aldo's guitar work is precise and toneful, the vocals, as you would expect from Tony Martin, shine. The keyboards add just the right amount of atmosphere and texture in the right place's and the rhythm section stands tall to serve the purpose providing a solid foundation for the songgs to spring from. When you match up musicians to their proper strengths, the outcome usually is compelling and this is the case with "IV".

The line up for the album includes:
Tony Martin: vocals

Aldo Giuntini: guitars
Fulvio Gaslini: bass
Fabiano Rizzi: drums
Roberto Gualdi: drums
Dario Patti: keyboards
Liz Vandall: vocals on 'Bring On The Night'

Very Very Highly Reconmended     Rating 10/10

Monday, 3 June 2013

Airbourne - Black Dark Barking (2 CD Deluxe Edition) 2013

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Hard Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01. Ready To Rock

02. Animalize
03. No One Fits Me (Better Than You)
04. Back In The Game
05. Firepower
06. Live It Up
07. Woman Like That
08. Hungry
09. Cradle To The Grave
10. Black Dog Barking
11. Jack Attack [deluxe bonus track]
12. You Got The Skills (To Pay The Bills) [deluxe bonus track]
13. Party In The Penthouse [deluxe bonus track]

Special Edition bonus CD : Live At Wacken 2011

01. Raise The Flag
02. Born To Kill
03. Diamond In The Rough
04. Chewin' The Fat
05. Blackjack
06. Bottom Of The Well
07. Girls In Black
08. No Way But The Hard Way

### Not my review but a pretty accurate view of the album as a whole ####

"Australians AIRBOURNE are supposedly the next best thing to AC/DC. Having never admitted to reinventing Angus and the band, although riffs and performances come more than close, Airbourne do one thing very well and that is to have you pumping your fist with classic riffs. Their previous two releases were OK, but nothing special for me.
However, the band's new album "Black Dog Barking" is a more polished affair both in playing & production, and even though is loaded with clichés and riffs you've heard somewhere before, now I finally can dig Airbourne's style and enjoy the entire listening of one of their CDs.
"Black Dog Barking" is balls to the wall kick ass boogie rock 'n roll, a one-dimensional but heavy-duty batch of songs delivered with ageless and tireless uniformity. But what consistently saves the Warrnambool quartet is the electrifying verve with which they attack their joyously simplistic songs, and this time, helped by a more clean, and as said, polished production.
Huge riffage collide with fun tales of partying, chicks and the noble art of kicking ass come through all these hot rockers.
From self-explanatory opener "Ready To Rock" to the snarling and snotty title track, this demands to be played at life-threatening volume while you drink a cold beer with your friends. There's some variation and a clear indication of the more refined, radio friendly approach in "Animalize" (with a Def Leppard smell), but basically the full album is a high energy, hard-boggie-rock fueled stomper.
"Black Dog Barking" it's only rock 'n roll, pure testosterone party music plenty of booze and immense swagger.
Call it more of the same, AC/DC clones or whatever, but it freakin' rocks.
Load up a case of your favorite brew, grab your gal and gang, roll the top down, put the pedal to the medal, and hit the beach. That's the only intention of Airbourne, and this album does the job.

This deluxe edition contains three bonus tracks as well as an additional 8 track live disc, featuring a set recorded at Wacken 2011 festival."

Let there be Rock.

Rating 9/10

The Poodles - Tour De Force (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Hard Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01. Misery Loves Company
02. Shut Up!
03. Happily Ever After
04. Viva Democracy
05. Going Down
06. Leaving The Past To Pass
07. 40 Days And 40 Nights
08. Kings & Fools
09. Miracle
10. Godspeed
11. Now Is The Time
12. Only Just Begun
13. En För Alla För En (bonus track)

Tour De Force is the fifth album to be released by Swedens daftest named band, The Poodles.

The Poodles like to play for pure enjoyment, throwing reasonably basic party rock anthems at you, full of riffs and melodies. The formula has always been rather simple - even if the songs are not - for The Poodles: big rock groove, strong melodies, hooks in lyrics & arrangements and ripping guitar solos wrapped up in metal edged melodic hard rock. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Period.

If you've ever heard a Poodles album before then yoiu should pretty much know what to expect. "Tour De Force" will not bring many surprises to the table. What you're looking for is an album that is strong enough to carry the Poodles name, and this one certainly does that job well.
"Misery Loves Company" is up first and it's a fantastic way to kick things off, and if you are new to The Poodles’ charm then you will be in for a treat with this barnstormer of an opener which is part D-A-D part Motley Crue, but 100% Poodle rock. In saying this though the sound of the whole record is very much of that late '80s / early '90s Scandinavian scene where acts such as Treat and Swiss Gotthard all flourished in, however the sound is mixed in with a healthy dose of the current music scene to make things contemporary.

The catchiness follows with the fun, tongue in cheek "Shut Up" and the bouncing "Happily Ever After". "Viva Democracy" in particular is a thumping heavy groove rocker (by The Poodles standards anyway), lyrically tackling the current dire situation the world finds itself in.
"Going Down" meanwhile reminds me of some of the aforementioned early '90s European hard rock bands attempts to harden up their sound but here it sounds and feels like the right thing for the band to be doing, rather than simply being a forced attempt to move with the times.
"Tour De Force" continues rocking in good way with consistent tunes in "Going Down", "Kings & Fools", "Now Is The Time" and "Miracle", complete with some eighties cowbell. Then "40 Days and 40 Nights" finds them settling down with a more commercial, poppy radio flair.
The Poodles have really done themselves proud with their fifth album "Tour De Force", a CD faithful to the band's trademarks: powerful guitars and pumping bass/drums combined with sweet melodies and some equally harmonic vocals that – all of them – eventually build a sold strong record that jumps from Scandi Melodic Rock to powerful Hard Rock and vice versa.

Add to this the songs which have their own spirit enhanced by a punchy production and what you get is a rocking album that shall sound appealing, as the rest of their discography, to any fan of the genre.

Very Recommended.

Rating 9/

The Quireboys - Too Much Of A Good Thing (Single) 2013

Genre - Classic Rock
Label -

Track listing :

01 - Too Much Of A Good Thing

Taken from the forthcoming new album, Beautiful Curse, Too Much Of A Good Thing provides fans with a sample of the new modern Quireboys sound. Don't panic! They haven't abandoned their classic roots and gone all emo on us or anything like that, far from it. Judging by this excellent new single we are in for a real treat when Beautiful Curse is released, as the production is awesome! The song on offer here is destined to become a classic and is sure to please any existing fans, but with the new production giving the guys a slightly more modern sound they could very well be attracting a whole new generation to their wicked tales.

Rating 10/

White Pigeon - Property Of White Pigeon (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Glam / Sleaze / Pop
Label -

Track listing:

01 - Party
02 - Sea Devil
03 - The Hunt
04 - Kentucky Pie
05 - Rock Me
06 - Ladies
07 - Don't Get Too Close (Squash Song)
08 - Get Me Outta Here
09 - Gladiator
10 - White Pigeon

What would you get if you crossed a little Steel Panther, Tenacious D, Whitesnake and The Darkness. Well I would guess that the result would sound pretty much like White Pigeon.
Less punky than Spit Like This, but in a very similar vein none the less. Property of... is their debut album, featuring revisited, re-mixed, and re-mastered tracks of their now rare first EP as well as five brand new tracks, the release seizes the ear from first note to last to provide an energetic brawl of fun and music, its first track Party the perfect title for the feisty and enjoyable encounter. The opener takes no time in feeding the ear hot guitar melodies and primes riffs driven by infectious vocals and warm inviting keys. The vocals from Nugent and the twins ignites hunger to join the revelry whilst the sounds control the feet and directs their responses to the anthemic lures eagerly at play with masterful efficiency. You know from this opening track that these guys have their tongues planted firmly in their cheeks!
The album continues in much the same vein, only occassionally missing the mark on tracks such as Ladies and Get Me Outta Here, but on a whole its a great fun romper stomper of an album from a young British band!

Rating - 8/10

Burning Rain - Epic Obsession (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Bluesy Rock
Label - Frontiers Records

Track listing:

01 - Sweet Little Baby Thing
02 - The Cure
03 - Till You Die
04 - Heaven Gets Me By
05 - Pray Out Loud
06 - Our Time Is Gonna Come
07 - Too Hard To Break
08 - My Lust Your Fate
09 - Made For Your Heart
10 - Ride The Monkey
11 - Out In The Cold Again
12 - When Can I Believe In Love
13 - Kashmir (Bonus)
14 - Heaven Gets Me By (Acoustic Version) (Bonus)

The following are not my words by I couldn't agree with them any more, so I replicate them here -

"Guitarist extraordinaire Doug Aldrich is mostly known for his time as member in Dio's band and current employers Whitesnake, but he'd been in the music business for more than thirty-five years recording for other artists or as part of Lion (Transformers The Movie theme song) and Bad Moon Rising.
In the second half of the nineties Aldrich founded BURNING RAIN, releasing two stupendous bluesy melodic hard rock albums. Then the band was put on hold as he went on to fame and fortune with Ronnie and later the 'Snakes.
But now, after 13 years, tempted by Frontiers Records Doug is back with Burning Rain presenting the long awaited third release called "Epic Obsession".
This new Burning Rain incarnation features original singer and Aldrich's long time friend Keith St. John, but the duo recruited a completely new rhythm section in Sean McNabb (Dokken, Quiet Riot, XYZ) on bass guitar and backing vocals along with Matt Starr from Ace Frehley band on drums. The album does also features several guest musicians, the most notable being Brian Tichy and Jimmy D'Anda (Bullet Boys).
"Epic Obsession" captures all the elements that built Burning Rain's reputation: well worked riffs, virtuoso solos, a melodic voice and a bright sound. Like a good wine that remained some time in the cellar, it's a pleasure to listen to this record.
Unsurprisingly, there's a healthy amount of modern day Whitesnake, Led Zepp, Coverdale/Page, classic US Hard Rock and '80s like acoustic power ballads - the comfort zone of the foursome crew, and it sounds amazing. Keith St. John’s vocals are in top form, a mix of Coverdale and Plant but with an American touch, and Aldrich is ripping the hell of his Les Paul with melodious, punchy riffs and solos.
Opening with the groovy "Sweet Little Baby Thing" this is a great little rocker to kick start proceedings. "The Cure" meanwhile has an opening riff to die for and Aldrich very rarely gets to show off his chops off like he does here. This is the kind of song that Coverdale should be doing right now, but to be truthful I doubt his voice could pull it off.
"Till You Die" begins with a Nuno Bettencourt-esque intro before settling into a Bulletboys/early Van Halen groove, followed by the first of the slower songs, "Heaven Gets Me By", which in this case features the long forgotten hair metal balladesque with natural drums / percussions and electric & acoustic guitars in the first House Of Lords vein.
"Our Time Is Gonna Come" is a killer midtempo driven by a moster groove, the melodic "Too Hard to Break" flirts with American AOR (some Foreigner here), while "Ride the Monkey" echoes modern day Whitesnake.
There are a couple of bonus tracks as well, with the Burning Rain cover of Led Zeppelin's classic "Kashmir" (nicely done) and an acoustic version of "Heaven Gets Me By".
"Epic Obsession" is a solid third effort by Burning Rain. There's definitely a particular energy and one can feel that Doug and Keith are happy to work together again. Oh, and they were very productive: there are 73 minutes of music in total.

This is somehow sophisticated (Melodic) Hard Rock music. Burning Rain songs are not in the average bluesy rockin' style, it's not that easy. For example, the choruses won't be repeated on and on, and as a result not many tracks remain in the head after listening only once. There's more meat here. Several plays reveals how rich are these compositions and all their subtleties, and you realize how good they are."

Strongly Recommended.

Rating 9/10

Voodoo Six - Songs To Invade Countries Too (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Modern Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01. Falling Knives
02. All That Glitters
03. Lead Me On
04. Sink Or Swim
05. You Don't Know
06. Your Way
07. Sharp Sand
08. Stop
09. Brick Wall
10. Waiting In Line
11. Higher Ground

Songs To Invade Countries Too is Voodoo Six's third album and the follow up to 2011's excelent Falling Knives Ep. Inspired by classic British traditional bluesy Hard Rock and boasting the raw energy of '70s / '80s bands with modern stylings thrown in, Voodoo Six make for one helluva band!.

Songs To Invade Countries Too, opens up with the hard rocking stomper "Fallen Knives" a song that is driven along by a catchy groove and distinctive bass line. Then the guitar that joins in drags you into the album as soon as it starts, you have no choice but to continue to listen. One thing that you instantly notice is just how well crafted these songs are. There seems to be a lot of depth and thought involved within the song structures in this album, and you can hear the band trying to expand their traditional territories giving you pleasant surprises throughout.
This become even more evident on third track "Lead Me On" which is a quite elaborated ballad / midtempo tune complete with strings subtly meandering away in the background. Lots of sweet guitar sounds coming from both guitarists with a simple, catchy chorus and nice phrasing from Purdie. The song ends with a nice cello on pair with clean guitars.
"Sink Or Swim" rocks again in a traditional way, but then in "You Don't Know" Voodoo Six go for a more heavy funky groove which is very catchy and surely a future live favorite. The intro of "Your Way" starts with a slightly southern feel but soon changes into a different kind of animal. This one has a lot of angry gravely vocals, nice flowing heavy riffs, thunderous drumming and a meaty guitar solo to boot.
"Sharp Sand" is another clattering mini-anthem, that was debuted on 2011's EP, a song that gallops into the room on the twin guitar attack of Matt Pearce and Chris Jones, and in Joe Lazarus the band clearly have a warhorse of a drummer whose style perfectly suits this bruising style of hard rock.

"Stop" is one of the more interesting tracks in this recording. It starts with a lot of heavy bass and funky groove (Tony Newton is a noteworthy bass player who adds extra weight to the album) mixed with classic rocking riffs which almost seem a bit jazzy in places. The bridge had gentle backing ooooh vocals which to me was a nice little element to throw in. There is bits and pieces mixed into this album that shows V6's intentions to evolve musically.
The song immediately after, titled "Brick Wall", is another highlight. A classic bluesy hard rocker where all the musicians get carried away through a really live vibe. Another muscular rocker featuring driving guitars and solid drums with a strong seventies feel to the proceedings.
The album finishes in a pedal-to-the-metal fashion with "Higher Ground", a simple yet huge hard rock stomper sporting a smokin' solo. Purdie mesmerises with his raucous vocals and although he does make it seem effortless, it's clear a lot of effort was put in creating this recording and it does show.

With Songs To Invade Countries Too, Voodoo Six show how they have become a mature Hard Rock monster, capable of  delivering a bunch of groovy, punchy, unstoppable rockin' tunes with a traditional feeling whilst still managing to obtain a modern sound that allows it to fit in with the 21st century's rock and metal scene.

Very Highly Recommended.

Rating 10/10


New Device - Here We Stand (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Modern Rock
Label -

Track listing -

01 - Here We Stand
02 - Away From Here
03 - New York
04 - On Your Knees
05 - Do Or Die
06 - Another Life
07 - Feel The Wrath
08 - Save Your Life
09 - Waiting For A Deadman
10 - Wreckage Of Me
11 - End Of Hope

NEW DEVICE are a Hard Rock band from South East England, UK. The band was formed in London in October 2007. Their first album "Takin' Over" was released in 2009 which they now follow up with their second album "Here We Stand.” The best way to describe the band's style is that it is strongly rooted within the limits of classic 80s Hard Rock / Metal, influenced by bands such as AEROSMITH, SKID ROW and GUNS 'N' ROSES. Dont get me wrong, Im not saying that the band sound like the above legends, by no means are they attempting to copy an established format, No, they have a modern sound that combines their influences into their own dynamic sound thats filled with a raw energy. Infact there is a youthful energy within their performance on every song on offer here, twinned together with a solid and proffessional execution and a dynamic production. the album is full of variety, from the catchy, "On Your Knees", to the vigourous "Waiting For A Deadman" and "Feel The Wrath." There are quieter more subtle moments too such as "End Of Hope" and "Wreckage Of Me".
All in all a very solid album that is well worth checking out!

Rating - 9/10

Tyla J. Pallas - Devils Supper (Acoustic Sessions) 2013

Genre - Hard Rock / Acoustic
Label - King Outlaw Records

Track listing:

01 - All Alone
02 - Yeah!
03 - It Aint Over Yet
04 - In Another Life
05 - Falling Into The Arms Of Some God
06 - Nobody Superstar
07 - The Meaning
08 - Bible Black
09 - One I Love
10 - Broken Home
11 - Ode To Jackie Leven

Dog's D'Amour frontman, Tyla J. Pallas, returns with his latest solo offering, an acoustic versions of his forth coming album, Devils Supper.
Here we have eleven great stripped back acoustic tracks, all of them heartfelt and superbly well written, very much in the vein of the original Dogs D'Amour release of A Grave Yard Of Empty Bottles.
Tyla has become an old hand at this kind of stuff, he has been putting music out like this for years, yet this seems to be one of the best rounded releases of his in years. There simply just isn't a bad track on here!
Highlights would have to include, opener, All Alone, Falling Into The Arms Of Some God, One I Love, Yeah! and Bible Black (which has nothing to do with the Heaven & Hell track by the same name released a few years ago!).
Again these songs sound impressive here in this stripped back format, and wets the appitite for what the full blown electric versions will sound like, personally I can't wait!

Highly reconmended for fans of Tyla and The Dogs D'Amour, or any music fans just looking for a good well rounded acoustic album to chill out too!

Rating - 9/10

The Scaramanga Six - Phantom Head (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Indie / Alternative / Pop
Label - Wrath Records

Track listing:

01 - I Will Crush Your Heart
02 - I Am The Rain
03 - The Bristol Butcher
04 - Blunt Force Trauma
05 - The Spider
06 - We Are The Blind
07 - They Put You On A Pedestal
08 - Twist The Knife
09 - Missing
10 - The Cardinal
11 - It's Just A Matter Of Time
12 - The Stepford Bands

OK so I have to admit to the shame of despite knowing of the bands existence for many years, mainly through their connections with Eureka Machines main man, Chris Catalyst, up until know I had never actually heard any of their music. Damn what a mistake!
After hearing this album I quickly wanted to hear more from their rather extensive back catalogue (well these guys have been around since the late 1990's!) and they have quickly become one of my new favourite bands!
There is a definite quirkyness to this band and their music, which puts them right up my street. Kind of a early eighties Alice Cooper meets Frank Zappa meets Adam Ant meets The Cardiacs meets Random John Poole, a truly magnificant combination!
All twelve songs are superbly written and executed to perfection which when combined with a sublime production makes for a great sounding album. I swear that everyone should own at least one Scaramanga Six album.
Standout tracks? Well as I said all twelve are great songs but if I had to choose three I would have to go for, The Spider, It's Just A Matter Of Time and Blunt Force Trauma

Very highly reconmended

Rating 10/10

Exit State - Let's See It All (2013)

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Alternative / Modern Rock
Label - Rocksector Records

Track listing:

01 - Pull The Thread
02 - Sun In My Eyes
03 - Let's See It All
04 - The Pain I Demand
05 - Sugarcoat
06 - Lenny
07 - Die Zombie
08 - Elastic
09 - Save Us From Ourselves
10 - This Part Of Me
11 - Crystalline

 Exit State return with their third album in the form of Let's See It All, the worthy follow up to 2011's Black Veins. Jam packed with fresh, punchy catchy riffs and hooks to die for, Let's See It All may very well be the album that see's these UK rockers break through into the big leagues. This album contains eleleven cracking songs, executed to perfection. The vocal's from Rob Bright are truly outstanding, at times reminding me a little of former Voodoo Johnson vocalist, Kevin Bayliss, with some great lyrics throughout. The band are tight and intricate at times, but never at the expense of loosing sight of what the song is all about.As I said all eleven tracks are really strong and showcase just how much the band have grown as song writers since 2010's debut Death Of A Rockstar.
The albums production really is top notch, and wellto be honest this really is a cracking album that should appeal to fans of all types of loud music be it hard rock, heavy metal, alternative, indie, punk or modern rock.
Let's See It All really is a shining example of just how a modern rock album should sound.
A future classic? Could very well be!

Rating 10/10