Emerald Shine – ‘Misty Tales’   Leave a comment

Emerald Shine, from Northern Moravia, Czech Republic, are a fantasy metal band, blending power metal with string instruments, including harps and woodwind, including both recorders and tin whistles. Combining this with 3 vocal styles and some prog aspects makes for an eclectic and authentic sound.

Founded by lead vocalist and songwriter Leena, ES was formed as a means of narrating folk tales, through music, in a style blending heaviness and atmospherics. The band began in 2013 and has been honing its signature, as a folk metal band, ever since.

ES has so far received much positive acclaim on the live circuit. The 12 track ‘Misty Tales’ (2018) follows 2 CD’s, a demo EP, ‘Beneath The Stars’ (2016) and numerous music videos, with ‘Rainy Night’ proving most popular. They’ve also acquired fame as one of 12 finalists of 2018, in a music video chart on Czech channel ‘TV Rebel‘. Whilst producing new material, for the next album, ES are generally performing around Czechia, Poland and Slovakia.

The main aim of ‘MT’ was to narrate a fan fiction tale of Tolkien’s Elves and how they would perceive our current world.

Intro – Enchanting intro, strongly Celtic, enhanced by the string section. Brief, but very affecting.

Autumn Mists – Choral intro, harp accompanying, supported by strings. Soprano recorder adding a charming zest. Stronger vocal harmonies speed up, as the instruments do the same. Evolving into a new rhythm and melody, beautifully harmonised, this really is the stuff of Celtic dreams. Powerfully folky, the drums really hit home and are more noticeable for their strategic positioning. Ending on that heavenly recorder, it’s just stunning.

Silver Riders – Recorder intro, accompanied by keyboards, drums and deep strong riffs. Great combo of masculine and feminine vocals, blending with sheer precision. Enthralling speed, the narrative theme works well here. Liking the soprano recorder solo. Gloriously medieval, it’s a thunderous blend of sounds, filled with real power and energy.

The Elven King – Deeply calming choral intro, suddenly speeding up, into a fun, involved melody, well supported by thundering drums. There’s a real fun Celtic element to this, highly energised and passionately delivered. Gaining more and more speed and momentum, it’s reminiscent of all your favourite fantasy films, combined.

Where Life’s Been Ruined – Fabulous strummed steel string intro, with the soprano coming in soon after and then the drums entering, hitting those beats so hard and finally, some fine electric riffage and blended male and female vocals. So powerful, it’s astounding. Loving that strength and passion in that melody! Hugely rhythmic and engaging, the combo of strings, woodwind, mixed guitars and vocals just makes this something really special.

A Lake Far Away – Beautifully melancholic intro, soon lightening up, with that incredible instrumental/vocal combo. The story unfolds, as the accompaniments intensify. The legend and mythology just pulls you in. An outstanding quality shines through, as the sheer power of the delivery overcomes you. Retaining that exhilarating rhythm, throughout, this is something else and it hits hard.

Voice Of The Muse – Opening cautiously, with mystical sounds and mysterious spoken vocals, the cymbals coming in, carefully, in singular tones. An explosion of light and melody follows. Keeping the mystery, the gentle feminine vocals are well matched with this track. Once more, the soprano and strings take their place and the riffs gather pace, pulling the track along. Increasing the tension and power, as it continues, ending on a perfect combination of vocals and accompaniments.

The Song Of Fallen Leaves – Haunting acoustic intro, sombre and poignant. Perfectly matching vocal tones join in. Beautifully executed, velvet riffs follow. Exploding into a full bodied melody, then alternating between thoughtful, quiescent and heavily powerful sections. Contemplative sounds and physically palpable full accompaniments interweave. Stunningly beautiful vocals. Those melting riffs close. Incredible.

The Only One – Exciting riffs intro, quickly followed by equally energetic accompaniments and vocals. A real freshness infuses this. Liking the masculine/feminine vocal blend. Such a strong Celtic folk flavour permeates and it’s just delightful. Highly catchy material, with a natural feel for rhythm. Very high octane production, with extremely impressive sound values. A truly perfected blend of instruments makes this a thing of true beauty. Totally convincing and hugely enjoyable.

The Time Has Come – Genuinely magical ambient intro. Gentle light harp, a pure, brief instrumental.

We’ll Be Back – Opening on more light percussion, rapidly bursting into a vivid light show of fully powered accompaniments and vocals, including that glorious Celtic soprano recorder, for added emphasis. Very traditional, in nature and such plausible joy in the performance. You can’t fail to get involved. Just massively catchy and even a few jigs in there, in such a rocked up delivery. Beautifully entrancing recorder outro.

Rainy Night – Rain and thunder intro’s, joined by a heavy deep bass and a lightly electronic touch, combining with the traditional sections and now, some vocal death growls, inter-playing with the melodious vocals. A truly mesmerising marriage of old world and blackened sounds, brought together by modern new wave flairs and rocky backdrops. Ending on more rain and thunder.

Overall – Spectacular. No other word for it. ‘Misty Tales’ is in a class of its own. This is the most enthralling album, outstanding in its genre and absolutely stunning, on every level. From the astoundingly powerful performance, to the high-class audio production, it’s just incredible and delivers a sound unlike any other, captivating, from start to finish. True perfection.

10/10 **********

For fans of Epica, Within Temptation, Evanescence, Delain, Leaves Eyes, Middnatsol, Liholesie, Aonia, Marius Danielsen, Silent Winter, Nocturnalia, SuidAkra, Shadowpath, Tragul, Nyades, Frost Giant.


Posted February 16, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Kadeem Ward – ‘Dilemma Of Dispersal Ageing Or A Continuum To Departure’   Leave a comment

Introducing 3rd 5 track album from The Kadeem Ward Project, ‘Dilemma Of Dispersal Ageing Or A Continuum To Departure’.

Twilight (Vision II) – Random percussive intro. Experimental, from the outset. Showcasing a combination of gentle acoustic riffs, stringed instruments and repetitive melody, picked out in a plucky fashion. Quite jazzy, in some respects and tricky to pin down and categorise as strictly one thing or another. Lots of wah wah use. Could do with greater development, though it does gain slightly more intensity, in places. Competent performance, but more variation needed. Could pass for trance music. The psychedelic tone grows more prominent, towards the end, as a slight funk element becomes audible. It’s overlong, though and wanders into the ambient mood music arena. A track this length needs a lot more pitch and rhythm alternations. Musicality wise, it’s very capable and clearly technically proficient, just over-extensive, stretching out the sameness, to the death, resembling a never-ending ‘Pink Panther’ theme.

Separation Destiny – (Vision II) – Opening with a low bass tone and some cymbal action. Again, very mesmeric. Running along much the same lines as the previous track. Slight Latino tinge to it. A bit of a continental flavour, with the same sense of endlessness. Yes, it’s ably delivered, but it just takes forever, with very little deviation from the same rhythm, tone and melody. Staying largely in that down-tuned key, a little more cymbal work enters the equation, but that bass note must have holes worn in it, by now. The riffs lift a bit, playing with the possibility of raising the mood, before moving into a raindrop effect. Longer than most prog tracks, put together. A bit more wah later on …. much later on. Could have done with that touch of colourful riffage much earlier. Unfortunately, it comes far too late and it’s just interminable, reverting back to the agonising bass note and a random 2 chord strums ending.

Glaciated Sama-Bajau Beacon (Vision II) – Introing on a more colourful wobble section. A distant sense of detachment enters here. The horizon is visible. (If seemingly unreachable). A strange rhythmic arrangement permeates this. There’s perhaps more funk feel to it and a lighter tone, but it’s still very samey. A drum presence adds a stronger beat, but once again, it becomes mesmerically trance-like. Some higher pitched riffs play over the top, seeming a bit mis-placed. Those tones just don’t gel with the ambient mood and may have been better alone. Evolving, briefly, into a Portishead-esque sound, they seem to be playing a different track altogether. Again, they’re musically well capable. Just better suited to another background accompaniment. The riffs are going off in a totally different direction to the rest and would perhaps be better as a solo instrument.

Entropy (Vision II) – Opening with a catchy beat and a funkier, more upbeat riff tone. A trippier track, with a stronger psychedelic theme. More tolerable and uplifting, but still echoing that chant-like hypnotic surrealism. Slightly more freestyle, experimentalism comes to the fore. Like being trapped on a vividly hallucinogenic helter-skelter, indefinitely. Still, it confirms my earlier suspicions, on the riff angle. Definitely better as the main focus. Fading out on more of the same riffage.

Gloat (Vision II) – A slightly tighter, more mysterious intro. Combining funky beats with a lot of wah and some cymbals, in amongst the lighter riffs. Something of an improvisation feel to this, with a jam atmosphere. Still not deviating much from the same repetitive melody, even the lighter tones considered, it’s a bit of a chore. Skilled artistry taken into account, it really is vastly overstretched. Merging psychedelia with prog, it travels off in no particular direction. Just going its own hazy way. Pleasant atmospherics aside, this just stretches on, into infinity and beyond. Too much, even for the most ardent fan.

Overall – Stretching way beyond the limits of all human endurance, this has to be the longest 5 track album in existence. Pathologically intense, the level of repetition and focused monotony is extraordinary and the track lengths, interminable. Whilst the musical proficiency and stamina are commendable, as is the inventive improvisation, this production is tedious, beyond description and intolerably long.

4/10 ****

For fans of The Eden Project

http://www.musicbykadeemward.bandcamp.com/album/dilemma-of-dispersal-aging-or-a-continuum-to-departure (Free Download).

Posted February 12, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Gent – ‘Silence Of A Gun’   Leave a comment

Presenting Gent’s new release, ‘Silence Of A Gun’. The track’s origins lie in the desire to convey the way in which relationship splits can hit in a silent, but deadly manner. This was visually conveyed within the video, by Andy (front man and Gent founder) being chased by a horse, with a gun. In an almost synchronistic way, events took a turn towards the bizarre, during the shoot, in that the aims of the physical sequences ended in the opposite aims happening. So all the different faces of the Gent were compelled to do the opposite of their planned moves. On this occasion, a female Gent was employed and again, her originally planned lead role was forced, by necessity of events, as they unfolded, to evolve into something else.

Shot in Peterborough, the inclement weather conditions on the day necessitated a re-shoot, in King’s Lynn, 2 days on. Ever think Gent are plagued by fate?

‘SOAG’ follows ‘Warning Sign’, the previous release. Both videos were produced by Tembo Visuals.

Silence Of A Gun – Video – Introing with a combo of live band shots and images of a character in a horses head mask, beside a woman in a park. Cutting to Andy walking alone, through the park and then being chased by both those characters, with toy water pistols, representing guns. Eventually, mindlessly turning on each other, as Andy is driven against a wall, with nowhere to go. A fun, but revealing demonstration of how real-life events can unfold. Fits the music well.

‘SOAG’ audio track – Laid-back intro, with a soft rock essence and a plucky feel. Effortlessly capable and something of a film soundtrack about it. Light touch on the guitars. Gently rocky vocals, pleasingly melodic. Still carrying that sense of mysterious intrigue familiar to Gent. Ending smoothly and steadily, it’s a mid-paced number, loosely delivered, in a freestyle technique. Pleasant listen, with relaxed tones and a well honed air. Gent have clearly built their sound, to a tighter, yet easily conveyed signature.

7/10 *******

For fans of The Clash, The Stranglers, The Velvet Underground, The Stereophonics.


Posted February 11, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Cryptids – ‘Self Titled’   Leave a comment

Introducing Cryptids’ new self titled debut EP release.

Messin’ With My Mind – Heavy stuff! Hard rock intro, revealing a strong form to Cryptids’ music, instantly. Easy rhythmic flow to the catchy sharp melody. Well structured percussion elements. Classic arrangement, with well suited vocals. It’s got a powerful 90’s vibe to it and it delivers with genuine rockiness. Very tasty track, accessible and visual. It’s just got ‘that thing’ and it bears plenty of replays.

Death Bed – Sexy riffage introing. Straight into the feel. Vocals really hitting their stride here, with an edge of a more sophisticated Oasis. Great hooky pace and groove to the rocky melody. Involving and engaging, with stacks of catch.

Escape Reality – Right in there, with a powerful sound again. High-class audio, with a huge nostalgic thread. Striking production and pure cohesion, throughout. Audible passion invested and everything’s in sync. Great thunderous drum sound, giving it its solid backbone. Built around a fabulous rocky structure, it’s another ace.

Drown – Opening with the sexiest, deepest, grungiest riffs, bringing that 90’s sound once more. This just works. Imagine a heavier, classier Oasis and you’re there. Especially in the riffage around the mid-section. Making good use of vocal effects there, whilst demonstrating perfectly, that they’re not needed, except as an added boost, as these vocals are just divine, with natural ability and flow. Drums beating harder, powering the close. Impressive stuff.

Slave – Awesome twang to that intro riff! That’s how to leave a strong impression. This is another deftly executed track, stacked with sensuality. Plausibly vocalised, filled to the brim with fiery passion and groove soaked melody, to die for. Great closer, that’ll never leave you.

Overall – This is one impressive beast and that’s an understatement. Stacked to the nines with groove infused, sexy melodies, rocky to their core. Brilliantly crafted production, flawless audio values, consistently powerful, throughout. It’s a sound that’ll capture a whole cachet of fans, from grunge enthusiasts, to groove and blues nuts, right through to the hardest of rockers and beyond. Check this out and leave it on replay.

10/10 **********

For fans of Duff Mckagan, Slash, Oasis.

‘Death Bed’ video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFiMv2hOqP0

Posted February 9, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Dead Earth – ‘Truth Hammer’   Leave a comment

Dead Earth was founded by ex-Hemi Devils vocalist Jack Sabolich, in January 2018. Presently, ‘DE’ are a 6 piece band. Largely riff-centred, their music is more trad than most, with seasonal inspirations, on the darker side.

‘Truth Hammer’ is their 2nd release, following their debut EP, ‘Pollution’ (August 2018). ‘TH’ is a full-length album, comprising 7 new tracks and 6 re-mixes from ‘Pollution’.

Both productions were prepared at Brainchild Studios. Amassing over 40 gigs so far, both inter and out-of-state, including 2 years running at the Cleveland Metal Holiday Show, DE have also performed alongside the likes of Destructor, Nunslaughter, Midnight and more.

Forever honing their signature sound, DE’s main ambition is to keep doing what they’re doing and keep the flame of hard rock and heavy metal alive, for current and future generations.

Rock & Roll Machines – Enormous thumping intro! That’s what you call unmistakably rock! Very AC/DC-esque. Only even heavier. Packed with plenty of great riffs and loud, anthemic vocals, to get off on. Everything about this just screams hard rock and roll. Flawless sound values. Consistent beats. Moreish melodies. It ticks every box.

Endless Ruins – Opening on an initially muffled riff, exploding into a firework fest of metal. Just filled with heavy drums, sparky riffs and rolling, thunderous vocals. Well timed. Lively. Loud as hell. Everything you want in a rock song.

Steel Coffins – Banging intro. Straight into its stride. Moving, naturally, into a sexy, red hot sound. Real classic rock lyrics. Powerful screams. Riffs hotting up and speeding along, with the palpably steel drums. Never compromising on the strength of that sound, for a minute. It’s got it all.

Green Earth – Another powerful intro, coming in, with no hesitation. Very trad approach here. Vocals filled with hard-lined passion. Inventive riff melodies. Just generally, a real hard-core sound. Addictive stuff.

Voodoo Queen – Drums beating an intro stacked with old school metal crunchy flavour. Truly plausible vocals suit these punchy rhythms. It suddenly gets a little Joan Jett-esque, around the mid-section, while still carrying huge echoes of Trucker Diablo’s ‘Voodoo’. This is thoroughly male and sexy as fuck. Slight reminders of a heavied up Shoctopus. Just chunky and strong and incredibly heavy.

Death Ride – Hard as hell again. Right into a rock ‘n’ roll narrative theme. It gets a bit theatrical now, in a Coyote Ugly manner. Clear echoes of ‘Devil Went Down To Georgia’ in here, but of course, those guitar licks are thoroughly unique and they really stand out. Great choice of guitar, creating a truly individual sound. Ending on a glorious shout. It just beams rays of metallic glory.

Truth Hammer – Speed riffs open up, taking it into real catchy territory. Rhythms to die for. Startling effect. It’s a proper rock ‘n’ roll train. Couldn’t get much heavier than this. Always keeping that anthemic thread and the hard as steel essence. Enough to blow your brains out and still have you begging for more. Getting faster and heavier and finally, closing on the hardest, most gravel-soaked vocals you’ve ever heard! That’s immense!

I Am Rock – A new direction now, introing with steel string riffs and a solo voice, shouting it out, for all its worth, before segueing into yet another astoundingly strong metal-entrenched melody. True transportation to the land of metal). Those drums provide the perfect foundation for this rhythm, working in complete tandem with the riffs and humongously impassioned vocals. Still retaining that AC/DC feel. Airbourne fans’ll obviously dig this, too. Alternating the rhythm, to the guise of a chugging rock ‘n’ roll train, at the close).

Kingsbury Run – Kicking off with another rhythmic drum roll. Setting the scene for more of the same. Eye-poppingly migrainous metal heaven! Clear mosh pit fun to be had here. It’s just a hit and this entire album is clearly all killer, no filler. Get lost in this and thrash it out, to your heart’s content. Insanely good).

Stand – Right in there, with more blistering metal epicness. A feast for the senses. Not wasting a single second or a single opportunity to showcase their utter devotion to and heartfelt passion for the craft and catharsis that is metal. So damn catchy and contagious, it’s untrue. Some fabulous twiddly para-diddles in there, destined to take you higher. Closing on a staggeringly powered roar.

Pollution – Rapid-fire drum roll opening. Riffs firing their way in there, like a deadly machine-gun attack. Climbing up to another level of aceness, we have here, metallic gold. Once again, we hear those AC/DC-esque echoes and it’s just glorious. No other word for it, but powerful and that’s a massive understatement. Those vocal roars are something else. The whole thing’s incredible and reels you in.

Kingdom Of Lies – Introing on a really catchy riff, sliding into the skid. Proper hard-core party rock. Sleek, slick breakdowns, taking it fully into mosh pit metal territory. Blistering finger-picking going on there, screaming with high-class melodies and a siren-like edge. Razor sharp vocals, harder than hell accompaniments and all you need, to take you to metal paradise.

Overall – Stone the god damn crows, it’s rare you’ll ever hear anything this heavy, this powerful or with this level of stamina. This is the kind of album exceeding all your wildest expectations and it keeps on delivering. Truly earth-shattering stuff.

10/10 **********

For fans of AC/DC, Airbourne, Kyrbgrinder, KLOGR, Line Of Fire, Trucker Diablo, GraviL, Motorhead.



Posted February 7, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Battering Ram – ‘Self Titled’   Leave a comment

Swedish hard rockers Battering Ram formed in autumn 2017. Having played various places in north and south Sweden, they’ve been compared to the likes of Corroded and Mustasch, etc. To date, they’ve launched 6 singles and their self titled debut album was released in January 2020.

Currently a quartet, they aim to keep on growing their fan base and bringing more metal to the masses.

Taking My Time – Very smooth, impressive intro there! Crunchy guitars, heavy drums and able vocals, if slightly softer than expected. He does have a unique voice, though. A little more Europe/Toto than anticipated, but still great bands to be compared to and it’s well delivered, with great steady rhythms and workable melodies. Faultless production values. Interesting fade-out, throwing you off course a bit, with its stop-start phenomenon, but they do it very well and it works.

The Sign – Powered drums opening, with a harder riff and vocal following. Well timed anthemic harmony. Grit now entering the equation, with more of a catchy heavy melody. More relaxed passion here. Bringing it up and down in just the right places, it rolls over nicely. Liking the increased vocal aggression. Some fab riffage going on in there and a well sustained anthemic vocal section returning, now and then. Well held notes. Ending on a perfectly honed, definitive riff.

Stronger Forever – Gradual fade in, focused more around effects, then moving into a smooth vocal. Drums ably supporting. This is built around a decent structural frame. Slightly Whitesnake-esque, with a very classic vibe to this track. Easily memorable catch to this melody. Great riff basis and it’s got a natural flow. Echoing ‘Give Me All Your Love’, with a new twist and twang. Solid.

Will Come Alone – Punchy rock ‘n’ roll sound to this. A bouncy feel to the rhythm and a big fun, party rock element within it. Good momentum. It builds well, with a sound structure again. Once more, it’s impressively produced, with ideal audio values. The melody works and the stronger riffs are well-placed. It’s just powerful rock, through and through.

Chase The Fire – Hard beating drum intro, with something of a GUN essence about it. Again, there’s an instant fun element to this and a great action aspect entering into the riffs. Slightly Anthrax-esque, in places, with some echoes of ‘The Essential Collection’. It’s just a powerful combo of classic old school and new wave rock, bound to strike chords with many. The gravel returns to the vocals, solidifying that trad/modern combo. It’s the pace which works best here and it closes aptly abruptly, with a grit-soaked vocal.

Scared For My Life – Fab intro! So confident and capable). Just effortless. This has got stand-out hit track written all over it. True quality. Catchy’s the word to sum this up. Destined to hit the must have lists of all true rockers and metalheads. Hugely involving and immensely enjoyable. For the top of your collection.

Coming My Way – Slowly coming in, with an altogether darker, heavier beat. Love it already! True metal therapy, from the start. Massively melodic, falling into a natural rhythm and even a crunchy feel to the background atmosphere too. All male). This is one damn sexy track! Should work well for all Trucker Diablo fans. Moving up and down the scales, in all the right places, precision timing and just a huge sound. One of those tracks that just pulls you into its embrace and never lets go. Incredibly satisfying).

Wanted Man – Easing into a bluesy groovy riff, before exploding into a major drum assault. This just gets better and even better. The catch is there, from the beginning. Melodies to kill, fantastically paced rhythms and a big sense of passion. That heavy crunch just makes it, as the heaviness grows, building till the end. Engaging, to the max.

Cut In Two – Picking up the pace now, this is an action movie chase sequence soundtrack, if ever I heard one. Racing blizzard of riffage and chasing drumbeats follow. You’re bound to get this insanely catchy rhythm stuck in your head forever. Such a strong sound, with an inexplicably catchy feel. You’ll just want more. It moves so smoothly along, with complete ease and intuitive flow, coming to a sexy, defined end.

Overall – What I like best about this is that it starts off as one thing, then builds, till it’s something else altogether. Beginning as an already impressively classic sound, it grows into a stronger and stronger sound, that hooks you in and keeps you there. That says all it needs to and it’s a sound that should be on everyone’s bucket list. You need this in your life.

10/10 **********

For fans of Line Of Fire, Trucker Diablo, Gun, Europe, Toto, Whitesnake, Anthrax, SoiL.


Posted February 6, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Mother Mersy – ‘Girl With Ocean Eyes’   Leave a comment

Mother Mersy, from Sweden, formed in 2015. Their sound is one of modern rock ‘n’ roll, with harmonic grooves and a light-hearted feel.

This new single, ‘Girl With Ocean Eyes’ moves into shadier aspects of sound, incorporating choral structures and a combo of psychedelia and heavy riffs and bass lines.

Girl With Ocean Eyes – Dark, ominous intro, fading in gradually, with a building intensity. Very old school groove to it. Smooth, silken vocals. Melodic, with a strong psychedelic tinge. Mesmeric rhythms and easy, effortless riffs. Powerful scream, pitch perfect, with a hard-core edge. Ending on those same screams, there’s a cool flow to this track and that’s its USP. An exacting performance, with clear direction and evident feel for the music. Strategic use of stop-start sections, in the appropriate places and a seamless synchronicity, throughout. Impressive track, with chill-out qualities.

8/10 ********

For fans of Blue Oyster Cult, The Doors, Suede, Deep Purple.


Posted February 5, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized