Band:CHRIS APPLETON Title:Restless Genre:Heavy Metal Year:2015 Label:Rocksector Records Sunday, October 4, 2015 : 0 Comments
Chris Appleton is known for his vocal and guitar work in FURY UK and ABSOLVA. But also on a solo level, the man seems to write and compose songs. According to Metal-Archives.com he first released an EP in 2005 prior to his latest achievement, “Restless”, which came out in February 2015. For this new album, which consists entirely of acoustic songs, Chris got the help of his brother Luke (FURY UK, ABSOLVA, ICED EARTH) on guitar and Wizz Wizzard (same-named band) on guest vocals. “Restless” was recorded in Lotenhulle, Belgium, which is also where the annual Wizzfest takes place. The album was produced by Chris and engineered by Bart Wyns, who also mixed and mastered it.
Next to six new songs, the tracklist is completed with three covers. Well, 2 “covers”, since “Only When It’s Over” (a ballad, off ABSOLVA’s “Flames Of Justice” album, 2012) and “I See Red” (which rocks more, obviously, on FURY UK’s last album, “A Way Of Life”, 2010) are songs which Chris has (co-?)written. It’s nice to hear such songs in a purer, organic version. The album concludes with the OZZY OSBOURNE classic “Mama I’m Comin’ Home”, a rendition that is very well executed. (more…) More info at https://www.facebook.com/chrisappletonuk
Band:KNOCK OUT KAINE Title:Rise Of The Electric Jester Genre:Hard Rock / Rock 'n' Roll Year:2015 Label:Rocksector Records Monday, August 10, 2015 : 0 Comments
KNOCK OUT KAINE is a British Hard Rock band, formed in 2009 or maybe a little earlier, as they won Kerrang’s “Best New Unsigned Act” competition in that year. This led to gigs with ADLER’S APPETITE, playing at Download Festival, and sharing the stage with STATUS QUO. 2012 was the year of the band’s debut album, “House Of Sins”. Anno 2015 the follow-up was finally released under the title “Rise Of The Electric Jester”. KNOCK OUT KAINE’s music is said to please fans of AC/DC, VAN HALEN, MÖTLEY CRÜE, STEELHEART and many more.
The album begins with “16 Grams Of Heart Attack”. The start reminded me a little of IRON MAIDEN, in that they have a similar kind of melodicness. Once it’s time to take off, it’s time to rock ‘n’ roll! Add the typical greasy vocals and you’ve got a recipe that can’t fail. Full power is reserved for the chorus, as backing vocals are added. The obligatory solo cuts the song in two. The intro theme returns at the end, giving the song a classic head and tail. “Fire & Smoke” starts in a groovy, Bluesy manner. Very catchy, indeed. There’s even room in this song for acoustic touches. Although this song is shorter than the first, the music prevails. (more…) More info at https://www.facebook.com/knockoutkaine
Band:BLACK WHISKEY Title:Heavy Train Genre:Classic Rock Year:2015 Label:Rocksector Records Friday, June 19, 2015 : 0 Comments
The British Classic Rock band BLACK WHISKEY was formed back in 2012. The band consists of former XENTRIX and HELLFIGHTER vocalist Simon Gordon, Kev Ingles (guitar / ex- 3 STATE BLUES and WEAPON), Mark T. Parkin (bass, legendary producer Steve Booker’s band) and Rich Bannister (drums / ex-NAKEDIUM). I haven’t heard of any of those bands, save XENTRIX, since I’ve got some of their albums. Simon Gordon was vocalist in XENTRIX from 1994-1997, during which time the band toured and released the album “Scourge”. In 2008 he formed HELLFIGHTER with former XENTRIX bandmates Kristian Havard and Dennis Gasser, releasing the album “Damnation’s Wings” in 2009.
But now, anno 2015, BLACK WHISKEY is here to present their debut album, “Heavy Train”, released on 9th February 2015. A UK Tour is planned for November and meanwhile the band have confirmed a UK festival appearance at Rock and Metal Circus on 14th September and are special guests with NWOBHM legends CHROME MOLLY on 25th October at the Rock Den in Hatfield. (more…) More info at https://www.facebook.com/BlackWhiskeyUK
Band:TYSONDOG Title:Cry Havoc Genre:Heavy Metal Year:2015 Label:Rocksector Records Sunday, June 14, 2015 : 0 Comments
TYSONDOG is a British Heavy Metal band from Newcastle. The band was formed in 1983, when NWOBHM was going strong. Via the well-known label Neat Records they released their debut album “Beware Of The Dog” in 1984. Cronos (VENOM) produced it. The following year TYSONDOG released the EP “Shoot To Kill”, preceding the sophomore album “Crimes Of Insanity”. Years later (in 2002) a compilation was put out.
I had never heard of TYSONDOG until I got a review copy of their latest album, “Cry Havoc”, a few months ago. The album was released in April 2015 and contains twelve tracks. It all begins with a police scene (shooting, cars, …) in “Cry Havoc”. The bass comes in, playing the main rhythm, leads join to create some tension, after which everything erupts into firm Heavy Metal. The vocals reminded me, somehow, of Blaze Bayley, albeit in a lighter version. Musically you get the kind of music that is similar to IRON MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST, BLAZE BAYLEY, and even, one way or another, IRON SAVIOR. The chorus is catchy, with those rhythms and melodies. Of course, with this kind of music, the guitar solo is a must. Coming back to the vocals, and that counts for the entire album: Was there and effect to them? Were the recordings like this? Did he sing behind a screen or something? The singing doesn’t sound or come out like it should. Or was this “effect” done on purpose? (more…) More info at http://www.tysondog.co.uk/
Band:KLOGR Title:Make Your Stand Genre:Alternative Rock / Metal Year:2015 Label:Zeta Factory Records Sunday, May 24, 2015 : 0 Comments
The Italian band KLOGR, formed in 2011, has recently released the EP / live album “Make Your Stand” in a few days: the 13th of May. Fronted by vocalist/guitarist Gabriele ‘Rusty’ Rustichelli, the Alternative Rock / Metal formation released its debut album, “Till you Decay”, in 2012 and it was in that same year that I got know about them. Not only because I won the album through a competition on Facebook, but also because they participated in a competition to play at Power, Prog & Metal Fest in Mons, Belgium, and played a gig in Charleroi for that.
After the EP “Till You Turn” (2013), made with the lads from TIMECUT, work was started for a second full-length. For this the band set up a crowdfunding campaign via MusicRaiser.com. That’s also how I got to expand my collection with more KLOGR music. The album, “Black Snow”, showed a KLOGR that was ready to take on the world. It also led to a European tour with PRONG that same year. KLOGR isn’t one of those bands who often come to Belgium, so I had to be there. And it was great! (more…) More info at http://www.klogr.net/
Band:ELDORADO Title:Babylonia Haze Genre:Hard / Classic Rock Year:2015 Label:Self-release Sunday, May 3, 2015 : 0 Comments
I got to know about the Spanish rockers from ELDORADO back in 2008, when they released their debut album “En Busca De Eldorado”. See my review here. I liked their tunes so much that the follow-up, “Dorado” / “Gold” (2009), was also sent to me for examination. See the result here. However, I found it, at the time, not as strong as the debut album, mainly because it didn’t rock as much. But overall, ELDORADO proved to be a band to reckon with. Since that release, the band has put out Spanish and English versions of their works. This also counts for the third album, which I didn’t (get to) review: “Paranormal Radio” / “Antigravity Sound Machine” (2012).
Now, since the 20th of February 2015, album number four is available: “Karma Generator” / “Babylonia Haze”. To achieve this result, the band set up a crowdfunding campaign last year. This is becoming a very popular means to bring out albums: have fans pay a certain amount and reward them with perks (the album, shirts, guitar picks, etc…). According to the band, this new release is, compared to their previous albums, the most influenced by their live performances. It’s also a darker album, and I quote: “introspective and unsympathetic, both with oneself and with the others, it deals with our own capacity to destroy and rebuild in a modern Babylon dominated by lower instincts, of the responsibility for our own destiny through our actions, all closely linked to the oriental belief of Karma. Action-Reaction.” (more…) More info at http://www.eldoradorockband.es/
Band:OSTROGOTH Title:Last Tribe Standing Genre:Heavy Metal Year:2015 Label:Empire Records Sunday, April 12, 2015 : 0 Comments
OSTROGOTH is Belgium’s pride in the world of Heavy Metal. The band doesn’t really need an introduction, since even James Hetfield from METALLICA knows the band. OSTROGOTH saw the light of day in 1980. Three years later, a demo was put, containing two tracks. That same year, the EP “Full Moon’s Eyes” was unleashed upon the masses. This release contained four songs. The band was on a roll, as the following years three full-length releases were added to their curriculum vitae: “Ecstacy And Danger” (1984), “Too Hot” (1985) and “Feelings Of Fury” (1987). In 1988, things got too hot and feelings of fury – by manner of speech – caused the band to split.
They came back together in 2002 for the celebration of 20 years Mausoleum Records, for which the songs were recorded for the special live release of the label. But that same year, the plug was pulled again. Until 2010, when the drive to entertain the Metal population was popping up again. One thing let to another and after a series of gigs, it was time to make another recording. On a side-note, the band also has had its number of line-up changes, for various reasons. The last one being in 2014: guitarist Rudy ‘Whiteshark’ Vercruysse lost the battle with cancer. His wish had always been that, when he would have to step down (for whatever reason), Geert Annys (MYSTERY, STAINLESS STEEL, THUNDERFIRE, …) would be his replacement. And so it happened. (more…) More info at http://www.ostrogothofficial.com/
Band:ASTRALION Title:Astralion Genre:Power Metal Year:2014 Label:Limb Music Records Saturday, March 14, 2015 : 0 Comments
ASTRALION is a Finnish Melodic Power Metal band that was formed in 2011, after the demise of OLYMPOS MONS in 2010. The new band consists of members of OLYMPOS MONS (defunct), HUMANGOD, THE ADDICATION and TORNED. The band was barely founded, or two drummers are already counted as ex-members. Anno 2011, ASTRALION put out a 3-track demo, “Roadside Rose”. None of the songs survived for the debut full-length, “Astralion”, which was preceded by the single “At The Edge Of The World” in 2012.
The full-length was released on the 14th November 2014 by Limb Music, which also released OLYMPOS MONS’s debut album, “Conquistador”, in 2004. I did check out that album at the time, but found it too light for my taste. “Astralion” contains eleven songs and a good hour of melodic Metal pleasure.
It all begins with “Mysterious & Victorious”, which offers uptempo Power Metal in vein of SABATON, KALEDON, et cetera. Full melodic power comes out in the chorus and here it’s easy to think of bands like STRATOVARIUS, SONATA ARCTICA, RHAPSODY (OF FIRE), … As is custom in this genre and with Finnish Power Metal: clean vocals all the way, on all tracks. This first track is a bombastic one, by the book, but also well done. “The Oracle” begins with an atmospheric intro, building onwards with hymnic leads. It’s a midtempo song with a focus on heavy guitars, while keyboards faintly operate from the back. It’s also a straight-forward song, but with a catchy chorus. No complaints from my part. (more…) More info at http://www.astralion.org/
Band:UNDER NIGHT'S COVER Title:The March Of Avernus Genre:Heavy / Power Metal Year:2014 Label:Self-release Sunday, February 15, 2015 : 0 Comments
UNDER NIGHT’S COVER is an Australian Heavy / Power Metal band, formed a few years ago (2009). Last year they released their first EP: “The March Of Avernus”. This EP should have seen the light of day back in 2012, but circumstances weren’t favourable, also due to line-up changes. But with renewed force the band continued their hard work, which did make the release happen last year.
“The March Of Avernus” contains six tracks, including an intro, and has a playtime of a good 34 minutes. It all begins with the intro “Ambush”, which sounds exactly like that: war, shootings, commands or speeches being uttered in the back, … Not exactly a bird and bees kind of track. The violent Metal attack of “Yesterday… When The Peace Ended” kicks in instantly with powerful guitars and thundering drums. Johnny’s clean vocals contrast nicely with the music, yet give the songs also a more epic touch, in my opinion. Straight-forward verses link with the blastbeats of the pre-chorus and so into the Thrashy (or Speed Metal) chorus itself. Awesome and catchy stuff! The obligatory solos are reserved for the end, at which point the music also changes a few times to keep the listening experience attractive enough. (more…) More info at https://www.facebook.com/UnderNightsCover
Band:BLOODBOUND Title:Stormborn Genre:Heavy/Power Metal Year:2014 Label:AFM Records Wednesday, January 21, 2015 : 0 Comments
BLOODBOUND, the Swedish Heavy / Power Metal band, has been around for a long time. Last year, in 2014, they celebrated their tenth anniversary. But it wasn’t until 2006 that a first album would see the light of day: “Nosferatu”. This and the following albums were all in all good albums. And that series came to an end with the solid “Unholy Cross” from 2011. You can read my review here.
One year later, anno 2012, “In The Name Of Metal” came out. I didn’t check out the album at all, because back then I was already fed up with all those songs about Metal, about how great the music is (compared to Pop and other genres), about what a great community is brings together, blablabla. Such songs have been writing since Metal was branded Metal. No need to repeat it all the time, we all know that Metal (in its various forms) is a great music genre.
Two years after that commercial step, “Stormborn” came out and this in November 2014. Eleven tracks, including an intro. It all begins with the mysterious and dark “Bloodtale”. A speech is added to make it more lively. “Satanic Panic” – oh, it rhymes – kicks in next with catchy leadwork and uptempo Power Metal. Screaming vocals instead of regular singing: not bad, but it sounds overdone, as if Patrik is exceeding his limits. A hymnic bridge connects with a sing-along, midtempo chorus in vein of GRAVE DIGGER, POWERWOLF, NIGHTMARE, … Later on, after the solo, all Metal stops and you get only a choir and an organ for the chorus. Well, this sounds quite like POWERWOLF, no? Afterwards it’s back to business as usual. All in all, a good song to start with. (more…) More info at http://www.bloodbound.se/