Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Red Dragon Cartel - Red Dragon Cartel (Japanese Edition) (2014) Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Melodic Rock / Modern Rock
Label - Frontiers Records

Track listing:

01 - Deceived

02 - Shout It Out
03 - Feeder (feat. Robin Zander)
04 - Fall From The Sky ~ Seagull
05 - Wasted (feat. Paul DiAnno)
06 - Slave
07 - Big Mouth (feat. Maria Brink)
08 - War Machine
09 - Redeem Me (feat. Sass Jordan)
10 - Exquisite Tenderness
11 - Feeder (Acoustic Version) [Japanese bonus track]

Guitar legend Jake E. Lee, the man behind Badlands and one of Ozzy Osbourne’s most famous albums, Bark At The Moon, is back after almost two decades out of the spotlight with his new band RED DRAGON CARTEL, and their self-titled debut to be released by Frontiers Records.

Clearly standing out from his countless contemporaries, Jake E. Lee first rose to international prominence as Ozzy Osbourne's sideman during the raucous '80s hard rock movement. Lee's signature guitar work and songwriting contributions on such million-selling albums as Bark At The Moon and The Ultimate Sin helped further to cement Osbourne's credibility during that decade, while Lee, himself, soared into the stratosphere as rock's latest guitar hero.
Following his tenure with Ozzy, Lee went on to create arguably his best and most compelling music in the late '80s and early '90s with the short-lived hard blues based outfit Badlands with short term former Black Sabbath vocalist ray Gillan. In recent years, the reclusive icon has resurfaced only occasionally appearing on various tribute records and solo releases.
In 2014, the famed guitarist returns with his new project, Red Dragon Cartel.
Recorded at the Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, the self-titled debut from Red Dragon Cartel was produced by Lee and bassist Ronnie Mancuso (Beggars and Thieves), then mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (Hinder, Ozzy). The band is completed with front man Darren James Smith and drummer Jonas Fairley.
However, the recording session was also gifted with some guest talent including singers Paul Di’Anno (ex-Iron Maiden), Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, as well as females Sass Jordan and Maria Brink (In This Moment), and Five Finger Death Punch’s Jeremy Spencer adding vocals.
And how do Red Dragon Cartel sound?
Simply put, pretty damn fine!
Red Dragon Cartel's sound is generally straight up melodic heavy rock with a modern tone, The music being driven by Lee's wall of riffage and wicked guitar solos. Additionally, underneath all this is some serious groove getting your toe tapping, while you're banging your head.
Perhaps the only Ozzy-like track on the disc is opener and lead single "Deceived" (a highlight), which possesses a no-holds-barred Bark At The Moon melodic energy. You really could imagine Ozzy singing the lead on this one! Paired together with "Shout It Out", these two hooky, guitar-driven groove monsters make for a powerful pair of openers. Plus Shout It Out has a real modern singalong feel to it that just makes it irresistible.
But even if the album revolves around Jake E. Lee’s endless talent, this is no guitarists solo album and it proves interesting to see how each of the guest artists are able to somehow slice off a bit of the Lee pie to showcase their wares. For instance, Zander on the track "Feeder" shines with an almost psychedelic feel and Maria Brink provides a Joan Jett-like moment that is a nice change up on "Big Mouth".
Haunting and melodic, "Fall From The Sky" is another stand-out, as is the bona fide pedal-to-the (old school) metal nugget "Wasted" featuring first Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno.
"Fall From the Sky" is fantastic ballad with superb instrumentation, centred on a strummed guitar pattern while vocalist Smith shines and gives his most passionate performance.
Another power point, "War Machine", lies stylistically somewhere between classic Black Sabbath and modern metal. Additionally, Sass Jordan's guest vocal on "Redeem Me" helps it to stand out from the rest of the hard-hitting pack as a straight-up and gritty blues rocker - one that's fabulously reminiscent of Badlands.
However, Lee's most vicious and enticing riffs (possibly) ever are heard on "Slave", which is another highlight here. You can hear a terrific palm muted fast picked riff that blends into an atmospheric verse before slamming into a fist-pumping shout along chorus.
Red Dragon Cartel's self-titled debut record is an impressive amalgam of Lee’s past output mixed with a modern spin. Blues inspired killer riff driven hard rock with melodic vocals is still the blueprint that Jake Lee works too. Great musicianship, asce production and some cracking songs!

Very Highly Recommended.

Rating - 9/10

Primal Fear - Delivering the Black (Japanese Edition) (2014) Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Label - Frontier Records / Soulfood

Track listing:

01 - King For A Day

02 - Rebel Faction
03 - When Death Comes Knocking
04 - Alive & On Fire
05 - Delivering The Black
06 - Road To Asylum
07 - One Night In December
08 - Never Pray For Justice
09 - Born With A Broken Heart
10 - Inseminoid
11 - Man Without Shadow (Bonus Track)
12 - When Death Comes Knocking (Single Edit) (Bonus Track)
13 - Born With A Broken Heart (Edit Version) (Bonus Track)

German metallers PRIMAL FEAR return with their 10th slab of metal, in the form of new album "Delivering The Black" to be released by Frontiers Records / Soulfood.

Bassist and co-founder Mat Sinner handles the production duties and delivers what is easily one of the band's most explosive records to date. Guitarists Magnus Karlsson and Alex Beyrodt are in simply phenomenal form, with sharp, resonating riffs and melodic spiraling solos throughout the entire album!
The production has been helped immensely by the the pairing of Jacob Hansen at the mixing with Achim K√∂hler mastering which along with the watchful of Mat Sinner overseeing the entire process as producer, has made this new album from Primal Fear somewhat more bombastic than ever.
Generally,  the bands traditional sound has been magnificently maintained by Jacob Hansen - though a contemporary edge has been added, especially the modernized guitar sound, which really stands out on "Delivering The Black".
The album kicks off in blazing style with a barrage of crisp riffage and chugging rhythms on the album opener, “King for a Day”. Sinner's bass and Randy Black's drums are like a locomotive while the dual guitar leads soar and ensnare the listener. An anthemic hooky chorus and Scheeper's gritty vocal delivery seal the deal.
A dramatic intro sets the tone for “Rebel Faction” which quickly turns into a speedball of rapid-fire double bass and speed-riffing that will rattle teeth and vibrate bones.
This leads us into the album's debut single, “When Death Comes Knocking”: a blasting melodious piece which begins with an acoustic intro and a mid-tempo riff. Built for arenas, this beast has a massive feel to it and an undercurrent of Arabian nuances, particularly in the bridge. Scheepers’ performance gives the song an epic melodic feel.
The title cut as well as “Road to Asylum” are speeding juggernauts of pounding razor riffs and rhythms. Infectious melodies make them among the record's most memorable tracks.
The tolling of the bell and cawing birds lead into an emotive piano melody on the intro to the album's near ten-minute cinematic piece, “One Night in December”, which is, if I have it right in mind, the longest song Primal Fear ever released. The track has a sumptuous sound and orchestral elements, and a lot of variations and arching melodies which makes it really special.
You almost could say that a fierce album like this also needs a ballad. Sometimes these ballads are overloaded with cliche... but not in the case of Primal Fear. "Born with a Broken Heart" is a great song, an emotional ballad featuring Leaves Eyes' female vocalist Liv Kristine doing some fine backing vocals. Scheepers hits a poignant mark with his inspired delivery, and once again the guitars dance and spirit the song to new heights.
Closing out the album proper is the battering-ram rampage that is “Inseminoid”, propelled by Black's lightening quick feet and more fancy-fret axe-work by Beyrodt and Karlsson.
We then have the three bonus tracks, two edits of pre-existing album tracks and "Man Without Shadow", a great melodic rocker, that although a great track, doesn't really fit anywhere within the constraints of the album proper, and it is therefore understandable that it is used as a bonus track. Still a great song though!
"Delivering The Black" is easily Primal Fear's best all-around album in years, a really true return to form, packed with every bombastic element a metal / hard rock fan could hope for, "Delivering The Black" not only delivers - as the name suggests, it propels you into the centre of the arena, leather clad and head-banging.

A must have for any metal fan!

Rating - 10/10

Pavic - Is War The Answer? (2014) Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Modern Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01 - Is War the Answer?

02 - In Your Eyes
03 - Song for the Rain
04 - Your Own Misery
05 - Notorious
06 - Every Time I Die
07 - Strong Enough
08 - Welcome to My World
09 - Free Fall
10 - Once Again

#### This is Not My Review but I simply couldnt have put it any better therefore I have reproduced it here! All credit to the orignal reviewer and publisher! ####

Marko PAVIC and his self-named band from Italy released two interesting Hard Rock albums during the last decade, both quite well received but failed to make them an established act.

After some turmoils in the line-up and the departure of vocalist Chris Catena in 2010, PAVIC was put on hiatus but in early 2013 the band was revived with a new drummer and a new lead singer but mostly, a new dynamic, improved sound which is moving into a more straight and contemporary direction, as it's heard on they new CD "Is War The Answer?"
Since the first seconds of the opening, title track, you can hear the musical change: edgy, post-grunge Americanized modern hard rock with an anthemic feel, a quite promising start to this disc which introduces us to the very accessible and decent vocals of the heavily tattooed Joe Calabro.
Calabro is the perfect candidate for helping the band to uplift themselves with some vocals inflexions that can recall James Michael James (SIXX AM) or Chris Cornell (Soudgarden). The fresh, updated sound of Pavic is enhanced with some sharp riffing by Marko perfectly placed in a sound canvas courtesy of Rick Beato (Furyon) who engineered and mixed the whole recording at Black Dog Sound Studios, USA.
"In Your Eyes" flows in similar style, hard rocking Americana and, again, comes out on top, while "Free Fall" rocks with in a modern style with synths in the background and raspy vocals / melodic chorus upon a staccato riffage.
The ballad "Song For The Rain", although a tad modern radio friendly, is a stormer of a song which I'd rather listen too than half of the usual duff that gets played time over and again so it's another tick in the box.

"Your Own Misery" and "Strong Enough" stomps it up again with good mix between energetic down tuned guitars and more progressive elements. The faster they play, they more fluid they become – this is obviously where the band feels more comfortable and it's a winning combination that they've struck upon.
You want a band to take chances every now and again – sometimes it works, sometimes it's something the band will forever regret – so to stick Duran Duran's "Notorious" slap bang in the middle of this disc is a gamble. For me, this unexpected cover song is one of the highlights of the CD, the guitar work is highly skilled and the solo spot by Marko Pavik is short but impressive, something in coherency all along the disc.
On their new album "Is War The Answer?" Pavic tries to blend classic hard rock melodies with American mainstream, modern rock radio anthemic tunes, and they succeed for the most part.
I don't believe they will break up the charts with this 'new style', but this fresh CD it's a more than interesting recording fusing the best of both worlds, something appealing for many listeners. The production of Rick Beato is polished and powerful, really well balanced and with a crisp output.
"Is War The Answer?" is also worth to investigate for those curious minds who ask themselves how the Modern American Rock is digested in Europe, made and crafted by an European band.

Rating 8/10

Fireroad - I Got Sound (2014) Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Modern Rock
Label - Habit Formed Records

Track listing:

01. I Got Sound

02. Find a Way
03. Leave My Heart
04. Line Me Up
05. Before the Matinee
06. Never Wrong
07. Falling Down
08. Sundown
09. Swinging Brick
10. Knock It Away
11. Rain Water

Debut albums don't come along like this very often. Rock at its best, in your face but with a few subtleties thrown in. I Got Sound is a full on balls out old fashioned rock album, great guitar driven classic rock but with a very contemporary edge. Their bio says, Great Band, great songs, great fun, and to be honest you just can't disagree.
Just imagine John Mellencamp fronting Foo Fighters jamming with Cinderella and then you get a good idea of what Fireroad sound like.
Fireroad are a 4 piece rock band based in the South Wales. They were formed in 2012 by Richard Jones, the band’s lead singer and songwriter, the band is completed by Tim Jones, Gavin Davies and Matt Whitney.

Richard Jones, has a long history of performing within the local rock scene. In his youth he played with the Tragic Love Company, whom later evolved to become South Wales most well known band the Stereophonics. After leaving, he pursued other avenues whilst maintaining a close friendship with the Kelly Jones, Richard Jones and the late Stuart Cable.
I Got Sound is probably the perfect title for this album, because it sure does. Eleven excellent tracks, lovingly crafted together and brought to life by one hell of a band. The production here too is really top notch.
There isn't really a stand out track on here, but you really do have to check out Find A Way, I Got Sound, Line Me Up, Never Wrong and the beautiful Rain Water.

A truly outstanding debut

Rating - 10/10

Klogr - Drawer Closer Single (2014) Review

Genre - Heavy Metal / Alternative Metal / Modern Metal
Label - Zeta Factory / Believe

Track listing:

01 - Drawer Closer (Radio Edit)

Italian alternative metal five peice Klogr (pronounced Kay-log-are) release a brand new single, Drawer Closer, taken from their forthcoming secong album Black Snow, on February 2nd.
The song is a really neat piece of work, intense and heavy riffing combining together with some great prog rock leanings in places with a great use of melody throughout. If this is an indication of what the album holds in store then we should be in for a real treat.

Rating 9/10

Catch Klogr live as they provide support for the one and only Prong on their Uk Tour.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Ginger Wildheart (Band) - Albion (Pledge Edition) 2014

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Pop / Punk / Metal
Label - Pledge Music

Track listing:

01 - Drive
02 - Cambria
03 - The Road To Apple Cross
04 - The Order Of The Dog
05 - Chill, Motherfucker, Chill
06 - Burn This Town Down
07 - Body Parts
08 - The Beat Goes On
09 - After All You Said About Cowboy's
10 - Grow A Pair
11 - I Need You
12 - Capital Anxiety
13 - Into This
14 - Creepers
15 - Albion

Albion is Ginger Wildhearts latest venture with the fan funded Pledge Music system, building upon the huge success of the 555%, Mutation and Hey! Hello! projects, and what a monster of an album it is. Albion has been recorded primarily by the lineup that Ginger put together for the live shows to support the 555% albums, hence the Ginger Wildheart Band monica and what a line up it is featuring the talents of Ginger Wildheart (The Wildhearts / Mutation / Solo / Hey! Hello! / Michael Monroe Band / Courtney Love Band / SilverGinger5 / Clam Abuse / Supershit666 and more), Chris Catalyst (Eureka Machines / Sisters Of Mercy), Denzel (Ginger Wildheart Band / Barbarossa / Young Legionnaire / Horsefight) , Rich Jones (Ginger Wildheart Band / The Loyalties / Bassknives / Michael Monroe Band), Victoria Liedtke (Ginger Wildheart Band / Hey! Hello!), Random Jon Poole (The Wildhearts / Goddamn Whores / Cardiacs), and Bryan Scary (Evil Arrows) with Kevin Vanbergen handling production duties.
Firstly I have to say that despite its familiarity (hey this is the sixth albums worth of material Ginger has released in less than two years!) Albion is not an instant album, its very much a grower, giving up more and more layers with each listen, and having lived with it since just prior to Christmas here goes for a track by track review.

Drive -  a typically schizophrenic power-pop/rock song, that although a great song, takes a spin or two before it really grabs you, but boy when it does its a blinder!

Cambria - a song that comes across as a cross between a Mutation track (it would have fitted easily onto The Frankenstein Effect) and one of The Wildhearts more edgy tracks, say Chutzpah! or an Endless Nameless track with its blast beats and in your face lead vocal, (which are offset at times by Victoria's vocals to amazing effect

The Road To Apple Cross - A belter of a track that seems to blend all of Ginger previously released styles into one song) and could have easily have made it on the Chutzpah! album by The Wildhearts, with Gingers alternating vocal styles and its monster riffs. Truly a great song and one of the albums many highlights.

The Order Of The Dog - begins with a lovely mellow introduction almost fooling you into thinking that this is going to be an instrumental track. Again the song has many twists and turns and takes us, the listener on a great journey. Would have easily fitted onto 555%. A great song and another album highlight.

Chill Motherfucker, Chill - A light and relatively mellow rocker that would not have been out of place on 555%. One of my favourite songs on offer with the great lyric, "Sometimes you are the shit, sometimes you are the pan, this you must understand". Just simply awesome!

Burn This City Down - Co-written with Chris Catalyst, (something that is evident throughout this album is that although its clearly gingers baby, the other band members have been heavily involved at all stages), a great song with a real energetic feel to it.  This song really does bode well for any future Ginger / Catalyst collaborations. Definitely an album highlight!

Body Parts - A real up beat pop rocker, and obvious choice for a lead single / promotional track. 

The Beat Goes On - A real gem of a track, with a more upbeat version of the feel found on some of Ginger's earlier solo work, say on Valor.... A real good song with a nice commercial feel to it.

After All You Said About Cowboy's - This song was originally recorded as part of the 555% sessions but Ginger wasn't happy with the way it turned out, too far removed from the feel vision of the original demo, so he decided top shelve the song in order to re-record it at a latter date. Nows that date, and the song is beautiful. It really does have a Market Harbour era kind of feel to it, a really great song with some great pop elements. Another album highlight.

Grow A Pair - A fairly uptempo pop / rock n roll track similar in feel to Begin From Within with some great vocal exchanges between Ginger and Victoria. this song could have made a great Hey! Hello! or even Silverginger5 track. Love it!

I Need You - Gingers ode to the fans (I think lol). An uptempo pop / rock track with a great sing along chorus, going to be amazing in a live setting!

Capital Anxiety - Fast aggressive punky track. Could be fun live but feels a little out of place here, and one of the tracks that I imagine will be dropped from the eventual ten track commercial release of the album. (I'll come to that later!)

Into This - A mellow laid back poppy rocker. Another song that wouldn't have been out of place on the 555% triple album, but also one of the weakest tracks on offer here and one I'll probably be skipping a lot in future, that despite having some great lyrics, yet a weak chorus by Gingers standards.

Creepers - An uptempo melodic rocker that goes through many twists and turn (and tempo changes), a fun song. Victoria probably provides her longest lead vocal here, not the albums strongest track, and a little prog rock in places but still a bloody strong song that inbeds itself further into your brain with each and every listen.

Albion - The albums epic title track, what can I say. Ten and half minutes long, with so many twists and turns that it could give the mighty Sky Babies a run for its money. A really nice touch having the Drive riff re-enter things hear during the song as it gives a sense of the album coming full circle. Awesome, simply awesome.

So what can I say? Well Albion is very much a companion album to the 555% triple album set, and I say companion and not successor as the two releases sit so comfortably side by side. This Pledge Edition of the album also contains fifteen songs, something that will change for the commercial release which will only be featuring ten of the fifteen, (and I would hate to be the person charged with choosing which five tracks have to be cut!) Therefore if you want to get a hold of all of the songs here you will need to pledge quickly (the entire album is available for immediate download for just £8).

This album (as with the bulk of Gingers back catalogue) is very, very highly recommended!

Rating - 10/10

BLACKWOLF - The Hunt (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Blues
Label - Self Release

Track listing:

01 - Mr Maker
02 - Keep Moving On
03 - Moving Mountains
04 - Faith In Me
05 - Trouble
06 - Only Said In Silence
07 - House Of Emerald Wine
08 - Raised On The Sun
09 - Black Hole Friend
10 - Dragging Ghosts
11 - Releif
12 - Sleepwalking
13 - Sea Of Mercy

Blackwolf are a five piece classic rock band hailing from the Bristol region of the UK. The soulful, hard and heavy rock’n’roll sound of BlackWolf, along with their energy and determination, has seen the band’s successful ventures grow from the small intimate stages of their local Bristol scene in 2010 to those of the main stage at O2 Academy Newcastle, Nottingham’s Rock City, Manchester Academy, O2 Academy Islington and many more.

Now Blackwolf are releasing their debut album in the form of The Hunt, “Sonically we wanted ‘The Hunt’ to sound like a contemporary record being made today but with some of the elements and flavours that all the great classic rock albums have." something that they have acheived here!
The huge guitars, fast hooks and loud drums provide the perfect landscape for vocalist Scott Sharp to wrap his tonsoils around, and that he does, bringing to mind many of the genre's greats as he does.
The production does a great job of capturing the vibe of each song without ever being too perfect. It remains just raw enough as not to dilute anything from the songs, a wonderful job accomplished by Jeff Rose (together with the band).
The Hunt is a very strong classic rock album, with high tempo fast paced rockers like, Mr Maker, Trouble, slower groovers like House Of Emerald Wine, melodic atmospheric tracks like Raised On The Sun, Releif, Sleepwalker and the softer songs like Faith In Me.

A really great album and amazingly strong debut album

Blackwolf release The Hunt on 2nd March 2014, grab a copy Very Highly Reconmended

Rating 9/10

Catch Blackwolf on the road

February UK Shows

WED 05 London O2 Academy 2 Islington
FRI 07 Leicester O2 Academy 3
SAT 08 Newcastle Trillians
SAT 22 Bristol The Exchange
FRI 28 Cardiff BBC Club

and as support on The Answer UK Tour - March 2014

8th - O2 Academy - Oxford
9th - Sub 89 - Reading
10th - Brook - Southampton
12th - Phoenix - Exeter
13th - White Rabbit - Plymouth
14th - The Live Rooms - Chester
15th - Sin City - Swansea
17th - The Globe - Cardiff
18th - Kasbah (formerly The Colosseum) - Coventry
19th - The Sugarmill - Stoke
20th - O2 Academy - Liverpool

The Brew - Control (2014)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - Jazzhaus Records

Track listing:

01 - Repeat
02 - Eject
03 - Mute
04 - Pause
05 - Shuffle
06 - Fast Forward
07 - Skip
08 - Stop
09 - Play
10 - Rewind

The Brew have proven themselves to be one of the finest classic rock bands in the world over recent years, and one of the UK music scenes greatest exports. "With Control we wiped the slate clean and went for a raw and live feel" claims the bands promo sheet, and to be honest they have pulled it off superbly! The production, by the one and only Toby Jepson (Little Angels / Gun / Fastway / Dio's Disciples) captures that raw live feeling and really brings the songs to life. And speaking of songs, don't let those single word titles fool you into thinking you are getting a grunge type of album, on the contrary, the songs on control are exploding with life and atmosphere.
For a three piece The Brew sure do manage to make one hell of a noise. Jason Barwick's vocals are soulful and full of passion, whilst his guitar work is powerful and restrained, always making the song the highlight (and not how great a player he is!), in the vain of many of the genres greats. Tim Smith's bass playing gives a warm and full sound to each and every song, whilst Kurt Smith's drums provide the strong and solid foundations that the songs are built upon.
It is damn near impossible to pick out a standout track here, they are all absolutely brilliant, but I suggest you give opening single Repeat a spin or two as to give you a feel for just how great this album truly is!

Control is released Feb 20th, make sure you grab a copy, you wont be disappointed!

Very highly recommended

Rating - 10/10

Seven Deadly - Obliviation (2014)

Genre - Melodic Heavy Metal
Label - Self Released

Track listing:

01 - Play The Game
02 - Life Begins To Fade
03 - From this Darkness
04 - Posthumous
05 - Blood On Your Hands
06 - Obliviation
07 - Remain At Peace
08 - Pure Steel
09 - Allegiance
10 - Remember
11 - The Wrath
12 - Time Ghost

UK metal heads Seven Deadly serve up their highly anticipated debut album after wetting out taste buds with their Allegiance EP previously, and you know what? They don't disappoint!
Seven Deadly deliver up a great dose of metal, combining elements of heavy metal, groove metal, metal core, thrash and classic rock, into a truly unique and brilliant sound. I really do believe that this band are destined to just get bigger and bigger, the world really is their oyster as there really aren't many bands out there today producing albums of this strength and quality, and I'm including many of the established "big" bands in that comment.
One of Seven Deadly's strongest attributes has to be the range and versatility of vocalist Archie Wilson, as he effortlessly straddles the various genres and styles that each song, (yet alone the album!) passes through. The guitar work is outstanding, brutal, exciting and restrained when required, always allowing the song to breath and showcase itself brilliantly. The rhythm section are the solid foundation that each of the songs are built upon, and to be honest Murillo Rassi and Rob Hicks could give any rhythm section in ANY band a bloody good run for their money!
There is not a bad track to be found anywhere on this album, but if I had to pick a couple that really do stand out as future metal classics then title track Obliviation, Remember, Remain At Peace, From This Darkness, Blood On Your Hands and opener Play The Game would have to be among them!
Combine the great songs, a band that really are at the very top of their game with a top notch production and Obliviation could damn well be the best metal album released in 2014!
Now lets get them onto some festivals.

Very highly recommended

Rating - 10/10

Day Of A Thousand - Infinity EP (2014)

Genre - Progressive / Technical / Melodic Metal
Label - Glasstone Records

Track listing:

01 - Intro
02 - Ignite
03 - Elephant Bird
04 - Life Astray
05 - Dazed & Desolate
06 - Contigent

Day Of A thousand are a young (their average age is apparently just 16 years old!) Bristol (UK)based metal band who play with a confidence and maturity that is way beyond their tender years.
Infinity opens up with a great little instrumental intro, which brings to mind Mark Snow (composed The X-Files theme) to start with before the guitars burst in towards the end. Ignite follows, and if Im honest its awesomely intense and sets the scene well for what is to come.Elephant Bird sees the band take their foot off of the intensity peddle for a moment or two during the chorus where vocalist Josh Gallop shows just how versatile his voice is, with some great melodic lead and harmonic vocals. The quality performances and songwritting is maintained as the band storm through Life Astray, and Conigent, albeit whilst throwing in a few twista and turns along the way. The biggest stand out here for me has to be Dazed & Desolate, a beautiful track where the band really do lay off the agression and allow the melodies to provide the intensity. A great track, and the Ep's ballad if you will.
Day Of A Thousand manage to comine the best elements of the melodic metal / metalcore sound with some awesome electronica elements, giving them a rather inique and refreshing sound. Almost Fear Factory meets Mark Snow for a jam! Infinity is a very strong statement of intent from such a young band that are showing tons of potential to become one of the big players in the future metal scene.

Rating 9/10

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Schubert In Rock - Schubert In Rock (2013) Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Heavy Metal
Label -

Track listing:

01. Second King Of Darkness (feat. Tony Martin)
02. Heavy Metal Party (feat. Biff Byford)
03. Cavalry Of Evil (feat. Joe Lynn Turner)
04. Ready For The Action (feat. Marc Storace)
05. Good Morning Sir (feat. Doogie White)
06. Lady Of The Tower (feat. Doogie White-Joe Lynn Turner)
07. Black Jack Billy (feat. Joe Lynn Turner)
08. Young Free And Deadly (feat. Tony Martin)
09. Don On Fire (feat. Don Airey)
10. Stairway To Hell (feat. Doogie White)
11. Three Horned Dragon (feat. Biff Byford)
12. Perfect Body (feat. Marc Storace)
13. Davi (feat. Doogie White)
14. Holy Ground (feat. Bernie Marsden)

Schubert In Rock: A fusion of great Rock-musicians recording an album with Klaus Schubert from Austria. featuring a fantastic line up that includes: Klaus Schubert (Guitars) Bernie Marsden (Guitar) Nail Murray (Bass) Don Airey (Keyboard, Hammond) Vocals: Joe Lynn Turner (ex. Deep Purple, Rainbow) Tony Martin (ex.Black Sabbath) Doogie White (ex.Rainbow) Biff Byford (Saxon) Marc Storace (Krokus)

Ok so with such a prestigious gathering of rock music's top musicians you would expect this album to be something a little special, and it is. The musicianship is Divine,as you would expect from such a line up, buts so cohesive, almost as though these guys had been playing together in the same band for the last twenty years. The songs are solid and some of the vocal performances are simply awesome, from Tony Martin on "Young, Free and Deadly" to Biff Byford on "Heavy metal Party" to Doogie White on "Stairway To Hell" and the albums most standout track, "Davi"

"Schubert In Rock" is a great classic hard rock album that displays the talents of all those involved very well.

Well worth checking out!

Rating - 9/10

JAMES LaBRIE - I Will Not Break EP (2014) Review

Genre - Heavy metal / Hard Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01 - I Will Not Break

02 - Unraveling (Digipack bonus track)
03 - Why (Digipack bonus track)
04 - Coming Home (Alternate Mix)
05 - Jekyll Or Hyde (Original demo - Japanese bonus track)
06 - Just Watch Me (Original demo - Japanese bonus track)
07 - I Tried (Jason Miller Remix)
08 - Over The Edge (Mutrix Remix)
09 - Euphoric (NeonGenesis Remix)

(All credit to the original author)

"Monster singer JAMES LaBRIE has been a bit of a workhorse lately, with Dream Theater's eponymous album and his solo disc ‘Impermanent Resonance’ both having hit shelves in 2013. Now, he's set to release a nine-song digital EP entitled "I Will Not Break" on January 6 in Europe and January 14 in North America via InsideOut Music.
While the opening title track is the album version taken from James last solo album, the rest of the EP boasts a number of gems and unheard remixes that fans will surely love to get their hands on.
"Unraveling" and "Why" were exclusive Digipack bonus tracks from the physical release of ‘Impermanent Resonance’.
"Coming Home" features an alternate mix and the original demo versions of "Jekyll or Hyde" and "Just Watch Me" were all featured as bonus tracks on the Japanese release of LaBrie's 2010 CD ‘Static Impulse’.
Things get a real turn since track 7, as three songs also from James' previous album, "I Tried", "Over the Edge" and "Euphoric" have undergone the re-mixing process courtesy of US based electro DJ's Jason Miller, Multrix and NeonGenesis respectively.

Each artist put a unique electronica spin on their track, which will offer a fresh and interesting interpretation of songs we've all come to know and love.

Really good material."

Well worth checking out

Rating - 8/10

Jizzy Pearl (of Love/Hate) announces March UK Tour

Jizzy Pearl UK Tour 2014

Mar 06: Norwich Waterfront
Mar 07: Belfast Diamond Rock Club
Mar 08: Aberdeen Moorings Bar
Mar 09: York Fibbers
Mar 11: Edinburgh Bannermans
Mar 12: Edinburgh Bannermans
Mar 13: Newcastle Think Tank at Digital
Mar 14: Bradford Gasworks
Mar 15: Sutton Diamond
Mar 16: TBC
Mar 17: London Underworld
Mar 19: Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
Mar 20: Ebbw Vale Institute,
Mar 21: Buckley Tivoli
Mar 23: Northampton Attic

Jizzy Pearl (Love Hate) - Crucified EP (2014) Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Sleaze / Glam / LA Rock
Label - Self Released

Track listing:

01 - Hanging You Out To Dry
02 - Sunny Day
03 - You're Making Me Nervous
04 - I Don't Want To Be Your Baby
05 - Love Is All
06 - Too Late

So this was originally intended to be released as a Love/Hate product, but due to legal reasons Jizzy has opted to release it as a solo release. The reasons for this he explained in a recent Metal Sludge article,

"  Why did I change the Love/Hate record to a Jizzy Pearl record?

Simply put, because dealing with ex-members isn’t worth the hassle. I don’t want to spend thousands fighting over a band that makes hundreds. This isn’t Queensryche, or Great White, we’re not talking about a band that makes $12,000.00 or $20,000.00 a night. You know why the 2 L.A.Guns didn’t sue each other? It wasn’t worth the money to sue each other, period. Now cut that money in half and you get Love/Hate. But there are some people out there who still think Love/Hate is the “Golden Goose,” Some people think that Love/Hate sells T-shirts like Iron Maiden or Motorhead. Some people still think MTV plays videos…unless you’ve gassed up the van and done the tours Bang-Tango style like I have then I guess you don’t really know.
So here’s the deal–I’ll do this last and final tour as Jizzy Pearl’s Love/Hate or Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate, whatever fits, the fans will know who is and who isn’t in the band. After that we’ll put the whole thing to bed and I’ll never play with any of these ex-members again. And to prove how lucrative it is touring in a van I invite all the Love/Hate ex-members to form their own Love/Hate’s, why should I have all the fun eating at Waffle House breakfast lunch and dinner, driving for hours every day hung over and getting ripped off by promoters? C’mon get off the couch, put on those old leather pants from the ‘Blackout’ video and come ‘Live the Dream’.
If there can be two Great White’s and two Queensryches why can’t there be four versions of Love/Hate! It’ll be like the four KISS records.
As for me I look forward to a great 2014 with a great new band, great guys, great stages, great production and food that doesn’t come out of a tube.
I love Love/Hate–The fans are great, the music was superb but in the end ex-members just aren’t worth the hassle…
Jizzy Pearl"

The Ep opens with "Hanging You Out To Dry" which has a typical Love/Hate feel to it, maybe the vocals are a little too high in the mix for me, but a solid song that brings back memories of Blackout....and Waysted In America. "Sunny Day" is up next, with a slightly more polished sound, still very much with that Love/Hate feel. "You're Making Me Nervous" follows, and this is one of my favourite tracks on this ep. It really does capture that old Love/Hate magic, a great song that reminds me of the likes of "Don't Fuck With Me" et all. "I Don't Want To Be Your Baby" is the Ep's ballad, or should that be anti ballad? A great song.
"Love Is All" is up next with its exotic eastern intro. this is a real classy track and again one of the strongest songs on offer. I Love it!
The Ep closes with "Too Late", another classy well polished song. A real gem.

But dont just take my word for it, here is what Jizzy has to say about the Ep, track by track!

"Jizzy Pearl on 'CRUCIFIED'

Hanging You Out To Dry - “A song about the infamous Hollywood Sign stunt from the viewpoint of the Crucifee himself. The vibe is simple, I tried to get back to the start, a bunch of young kids banging out loud musical joy in a little room and the singer in the middle, one microphone, testifying to the World.”
Sunny Day - “A love song to my girlfriend, plain and simple. Usually I had to break up with my girlfriends to get a good song out of them but not this time, thankfully. Sunny Day is old School Love/hate psychedelia."
You’re Making Me Nervous - “A fictional account of every man’s idea of a bad date. The lyrics come straight from the horse’s mouth as he watches his Friday night fantasy crash and burn."
I Don’t Want To Be Your Baby - “This is a twist on the traditional Power Ballad where the guy not only doesn’t get the girl, he doesn’t want the girl."
Love Is All - “My Led Zeppelin roots come out on this one, all those Kashmir days and nights huddled around the peace pipe. I got to stretch out a bit and do some cool things musically that you can’t normally do in a 3 minute pop song.”
Too Late - “A song about someone near and dear to me who f**ked up. You can’t go back to high school, you can’t go back to those glory days of youth. You just—can’t—go—back.”

Its a problem about the legal issues, and the original band members not being able to put their differences aside, but here Jizzy delivers an Ep that is truly worthy of the Love/Hate stamp of approval, lets just hope thast the Love/Hate fans, and indeed all rock / sleaze fans give "Cruicifed" the chance it deserves as there are some real gems on offer here

Rating - 9/10  (one point deducted for the mix, would have loved the music higher in the mix on the firth couple of tracks!)

Catch Jizzy Pearl On Tour!

Jizzy Pearl UK Tour 2014

Mar 06: Norwich Waterfront
Mar 07: Belfast Diamond Rock Club
Mar 08: Aberdeen Moorings Bar
Mar 09: York Fibbers
Mar 11: Edinburgh Bannermans
Mar 12: Edinburgh Bannermans
Mar 13: Newcastle Think Tank at Digital
Mar 14: Bradford Gasworks
Mar 15: Sutton Diamond
Mar 16: TBC
Mar 17: London Underworld
Mar 19: Wolverhampton Slade Rooms
Mar 20: Ebbw Vale Institute,
Mar 21: Buckley Tivoli
Mar 23: Northampton Attic


Toby Jepson - Raising My Own Hell Ep (2013) Review

Genre - Acoustic Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01 - Raising My Own Hell
02 - Dear Mama
03 - Patience Of A Saint
04 - Four Letter Word
05 - Shoes
06 - Shadow Boxing

I feel a little guilty about how long it has taken me to review this Ep, it was released last year, and Toby has just completed a short acoustic tour to promote it, but its a real gem of a release so here goes... Former Little Angels, Gun, Fastway and Dio's Disciples frontman Toby Jepson returns with "Raising My Own Hell". Somehow managing to find the time to write and record this Ep whilst fulfilling producer duties for the likes of The Answer, Saxon and The Virgin Marys. Here he opts for a stripped down acoustic sound. The Ep features six wonderful songs which really do showcase his songwriting well. "Raising My Own Hell" opens up proceedings and sets the scene well with its raw acoustic guitar / vocal driven feel. A good solid start. "Dear Mama" is up next, with its lush Hammond layers. Another great song, could make a great full blown electric rock track! A side note, this song has a real Little Angels feel to it for me, and that's got to be a good thing! "Patience Of A Saint" follows, a more melodic track, with a slower tempo and a lyrical theme that may raise a few eyebrows. Again another great song, I love it. "Four Letter Word" is up next, a great song with a Toby delivering a great vocal, not a really a ballad, but it has a real laid back feel to it. "Shoes" follows, this is the ep's most gentle and melodic track, its ballad if you will. A beautiful little song with some heartfelt lyrics. "Shadow Boxing" closes out the ep, a great song, I can imagine that this must have gone down a storm on Toby's recent acoustic tour.
This is a real gem of a release as I said earlier. Essential for any long term fans of the versatile singer / songwriter and producer, and a great introduction for anyone curious in the former Little Angel.

Highly Recommended

Rating - 10/10

Johnny Lima - My Revolution (Limited Edition) 2014 Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Melodic Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01 - My Revolution

02 - Happily Ever After You
03 - You're The Drug I Wanna Get High On
04 - Fill You Up
05 - Blame It On Love
06 - I Cant Love You Any More
07 - Tell Me Lies
08 - Couldn't Be The One
09 - Nowhere Left To Go
10 - Dirty Girls
11 - Show Them Who You Are
12 - Into The Light
13 - Deeper Into You
14 - Maybe You're Right, Maybe It's Wrong
15 - Naturally Beautiful

Its been a long time since we last had the pleasure of a new album from Johnny Lima, in fact its been five years since he released 2009's "Livin' Out Loud". Finally he now follows that excellent album with a fan funded release in the shape of "My Revolution", and what a strong album it is too! The album kicks off with the title track "My Revolution" - a pounding rocker which sounds quiet epic at the beginning. A great start for the album with a huge chorus. The following songs "Happily Ever After You" and "You're The Drug I Wanna Get High On" (feat. Julian Angel on lead guitar) can hold that high level very easy.
When the fourth track "Fill You Up" starts we have some something new. Johnny experimented here with some electronic sounds, quite different from his regular formula, and results quite well if you ask me.
Next, "Blame It On Love" is highlight. A full-blooded melodic rocker just screaming 'hit'. In a perfect world, this cut should be played on all rock radio stations.

We then have the albums first ballad; "I Can't Love You Anymore" - and this is another winner. On Lima's previous album I missed the big old-fashioned power ballads, but here we find one of the best I've heard from Johnny's pen. The chorus is pure magic.
With two amazing hits in a row the next track "Tell Me Lies" I find this track to be solid, but compared to the others it sounds a bit generic. The next amazing tracks are on the way. That includes the enjoyable "I Couldn't Be The One", the very melodic "Nowhere Left To Go" (with great guitar fills in the beginning) and the rockin' "Dirty Girls".
On the latter I even hear some Steel Panther influences with a cool glammy hook, which is followed by another anthem: "Show Them Who You Are".
That seems to be the official part of the album, to be pressed on CD and released in 2014, but this Limited Edition offers more to enjoy...
The first 'bonus track' is the dreamy ballad "Into The Light" and believe me: you won't miss this song! It's one of the best on the record. Every lover of pure melodic rock music will cry tears of joy. Amazing tune.
"Deeper Into You" leaves also a smile on my face and makes me sing-along. Johnny has the talent to write ear worms on the assembly line. Don't know where he gets this great melodies from.
Next song "Maybe You're Right, Maybe It's Wrong" is a calm piano-ballad, where Johnny's voice is the star. He has grown in his mid-range register, coming out more mature and warm. This is probably my favourite track on the entire album, it just touches something inside of me, pure simplistic brilliance.
The Limited Edition closes with another gem: "Naturally Beautiful" chock full of Melodic Rock bliss with another outstanding riff / chorus.
"My Revolution" stays true to Johnny Lima's pedigree: Melodic Rock from the heart.
Johnny's voice still sounds uncannily similar to Jon Bon Jovi's, and at times the music does come across as a perfect balance of Bon Jovi and Def Leppard, only a lot rockier! The songs are very strong, and if I'm honest I cant remember when either Bon Jovi or Def Leppard released an album as strong as "My Revolution"
Production-wise everything sounds very clear and enjoyable, putting the right spot of brightness required for a modern Melodic Rock record. Johnny Lima always delivered high quality work when it comes to production and "My Revolution" is no exception. The musicianship is also excellent, hot and tight.

Highly Recommended.

Rating 9/10

Screaming Eagles - From The Flames (2013) Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01. All The Way
02. Down The River
03. Hungry For More
04. Fight The Fire
05. Vampire
06. Devil In The Dust
07. Rock N Roll Soul
08. One Man Revolution
09. Blood
10. Take My Time

SCREAMING EAGLES are a young four-piece combo from Northern Ireland, and despite being formed only one year ago their debut "From The Flames" shows a band plenty of cohesiveness professionalism and maturity.
Inspired by classic rock acts, (the first comparison that immediately comes to mind after listening "From The Flames" is AC/DC), the band deliver that classic rock sound only with an added sophistication that makes their sound very contemporary.
I hear several affectations in Screaming Eagle's sound, like Foghat, Free, the bluesy side of more contemporary acts such as Little Caesar or Airbourne, and of course Bad Company, fundamentally from Chris Fry which sounds like a cross of Paul Rodgers and Chris Cornell.
This band really do have a solid back line with the bass and drums locking together like cogs in a well-oiled music machine, providing the concrete foundation for which guitarist Adrian McAleenan rocks through on many an occasion with some hot finger work and complimenting the tracks with consistent tone and chunky riffs.
The music in "From The Flames" is direct, straight hard rockers in the very traditional way. Nothing new, but all really well played and arranged in a catchy way, with a lively feeling that so few acts manage to capture today.
The energy is unleashed from the go with "All The Way" introducing us to the powerful and bluesy pipes of Fry. "Down To The River" rocks in a hard-boogie swag, while a total raw passion outcrop through the darkness of "Devil In The Dust".
These in your face hard rockers are driven by the intense riffage of McAleernan, who finds more room for soloing primarily in "Fight The Fire" and "One Man Revolution". There is a strong Rolling Stones essence within the penultimate track "Blood" which gives us a glimpse of the rock 'n roll these boys have in their veins.
"From The Flames" offers 10 classic hard rock tunes full of energy and rip-roaring attitude, but quite 'polished' in its delivery.
Screaming Eagles deliver in "From The Flames" an album stuffed with well written executed songs, showcasing the talent of the musicians involved, excellent for such a newly formed band!
Recorded in Ireland but mastered in California, the production in "From The Flames" is fabulous for an independent self-managed product, to be honest far superior to many major releases.
Really Good Classic Hard Rock, nothing more, nothing less.

Very Highly Recommended

Rating 10/10

Cage The Gods - Favourite Sin Ep (2013) Review

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label -

Track listing:

01 - Favourite Sin
02 - From The Start
03 - Wake Up
04 - Sacrifice (Acoustic Version)
05 - Bruce Willis (My Time Is Now) [bonus]
06 - Sacrifice - Electric Version - [bonus]

"Favourite Sin" is the debut EP from CAGE THE GODS, a new and exciting, young British Hard Rock four-piece that manage to fuse together rock ‘n’ roll culture from all of the four corners of the UK. Irishman Peter Comerford on vocals, Scotsman Jam on guitar, Mitch Witham on bass from Wales and then English sticksman Colin Jones.
CAGE THE GODS have already toured with Pretty Maids, The Answer, Tainted Nation and most recently they were supporting The Treatment.
The Ep opener and title track “Favourite Sin”,  is a fast and energetic opener with some good sleazy guitar riffs and bouncy drumming. The bass is heavy and domineering, and Comerford's vocals soar above in fine style. The radio friendly chorus is infectious and catchy. A great opener and song ta boot!
“From The Start” has some funky sounding bass and bluesy guitar lines,  with a slower and more restrained tempo than the first song. It's a highly rhythmical track driven by a cool riff.
Next “Wake Up” is one of the strongest numbers on this EP. Again a song with a slower tempo, but the excellent guitar riffs and different tones used throughout are really, really nice, and the chorus is dramatic with such an epic feel. This could become a classic hard rock song in years to come!
“Sacrifice” ends the official release strangely presented in its acoustic form, warmly done.
We then come to the bonus tracks to be found on some formats, one of them is “Sacrifice”, but a full blown  electric version. This rocker acquires a new dimension fully amped up, and rocks hard.
The other track is called “Bruce Willis (My Time Is Now)”, great title eh? This one was originally chosen to be the single and main title of the EP, but they left the track off the album. Honestly I don't understand why, because it's a killer hard rocker with a strong live vibe.
Cage The Gods’ debut release "Favourite Sin" shows a band with tremendous potential, with enough variation in both pace and style to please any demanding classic hard rock fan. Definitely a band to keep your eyes (and ears!) on.

Very Highly Recommended listen.

Rating 10/10

Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Wildhearts + Hey! Hello! on tour 2014

The Wildhearts are to tour in April featuring Scott Sorry on bass and supported by Ginger’s sideproject Hey! Hello! featuring Victoria Liedtke

Says Ginger: “The Wildhearts always seem to regroup when the timing is absolutely right for everyone. I absolutely cannot wait to get back onstage with the lads, and we’re all excited to be playing with our brother Scott again.”

Scott Sorry: “After a four year long break, I am excited as hell to hit the road again with The Wildhearts. April couldn’t come soon enough.”

Tue 8th April Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall

Wed 9th April Bristol, Academy 1

Thu 10th April Manchester, Academy 1

Sat 12th April Nottingham Rock City

Sun 13th April Newcastle, Academy 1

Mon 14th April Glasgow, ABC

Wed 16th April Cambridge, Junction

Thu 17th April London, Electric Ballroom

Tickets for all shows go on sale at 10am on Friday 22nd November.

Eureka Machines Announce Uk Tour

Heavens Basement Announce Uk and European Tour Dates

Voodoo Six Announce March Tour Dates