Archive for April 2019

Zephyra – ‘Fall, Rise, Conquer’   Leave a comment

Released on April 17th, 2019, ‘Fall, Rise, Conquer’, from Sweden’s Zephyra is available to buy on all digital platforms. ‘FRC’ is their 3rd album, recorded and produced by Mikael Anderson, at SOUNDPORT, mixed and mastered by Christian Donaldson and the cover art’s by Make North. A quartet from Sweden’s Boras region, Zephyra are a metal band, mainly based on thrash and melo-death, but utilising many strands of metal.

Forming in 2011, their background consists of gigs throughout Sweden and Europe, live radio sets and global airplay. So far, they’ve also played support for The Agonist and The Raven Age.

Their 1st album, ‘Mental Absolution’ launched in 2014, by Wormhole Death Records. The next one, ‘As The World Collapses’, was launched on Inverse Records, in 2016 (mixed and mastered by Christian Donaldson, at The Grid, Montréal, Canada. This was when their sound and technique started to grow.

September 2017 saw Zephyra make a new track, ‘The Darkest Black’, on Inverse Records again, connecting their 2nd album with the creation of the 3rd.

Since March 1st, 2019, Zephyra has been touring, to promote the 3rd album, ‘Fall, Rise, Conquer’. They’ve become known for their stage presence and professional delivery.

Dreams Denied – Very unique intro there, opening with synths/keyboards, before exploding into metallic life. Powerful feminine vocals, surprisingly deathy, in places. Great heavy melody, well delivered, with a vocal edge to match any male vocalist. Keeping an impressive momentum, with a darkened feel throughout, the atmosphere’s just right. Generally, well balanced and very rhythmic.

Fange i Frihet – Drums intro now, beating a path to a wilderness forest in your mind. It’s highly visual and extremely competently handled. A good blend of melody, dark lyrics and atmospheric accompaniments. Slightly shorter track, but definitely no less powerful.

Waiting For Nothing – Opening on an electronic section, soon getting into an arresting vocal, evocative of the likes of Nightwish, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil. Even replicating Arch Enemy’s vocal ways, at times. Really easy to get involved with, there’s a big catch to this. A real battery of instrumental force. Fading out onto another electronic section, surprisingly apt for the track.

Nothing Else Matters – Crackling forest fire intro’s this instantly mesmerically beautiful Metallica tribute). A refreshingly vivid portrayal and dare I say it? They’ve well and truly pulled off what I’d ordinarily class as the impossible. Spine-tingling. Nothing more to say.

Paper Crown – A hauntingly melodic sense of déjà vu intro’s, moving seamlessly into a Delain-esque sound, interspersed with more Arch Enemy echoes. It’s a very big sound, filled with visual imagery and stagecraft of high theatrical calibre. This would make a very fitting Halloween track, but would be equally at home as a fantasy film soundtrack. Immersive and enchanting.

After The Meltdown – Mysterious percussive opening, setting the scene for another vision fest. She reaches down to the depths of her diaphragm, for those notes, flitting easily between blackened and softer sections and always keeping that melody uppermost. Stunning power emanates from those vocals, more than ably assisted by the strong accompaniments. Hitting a sharp, yet thudding conclusion, it ends on a clear, assertive outro.

Svart Smarta – Highly electronic intro here, unexpected within metal, yet it leads really well into a notably strong, blackened metal section. Again, it screams power, with more of an industrial, techno sound, this time. It does all gel well, though. A gorgeous guitar riff breaks up the darkness, bridging the earlier and latter sections, adding the chink of light it needs to blast it further into the stratosphere. The rhythm’s always central and a brief spoken section forms the outro.

A Letter For You – Now the tone drops, to match the more intense lyrics. Still, it’s beautiful, though and the melody hits you. Artistically timed, there’s a slightly more relaxed sense to this. Especially prevalent in the chorus, on which, it ends. Just another very beautiful track.

My Pain – Organ intro, albeit very brief, segueing immediately into a thunderously heavy sound. Very satisfying, the quality’s stunning. It’s a much briefer track, but it’s strength certainly makes a statement. It’s almost like a stamp of recognition.

Man Chooses, Slaves Obey – Opening quietly, on an acoustic riff and a slight ticker-tape like background echo, bringing in a twin guitar, creating a beguiling effect. Instantly, the blackened vocals enter. Becoming melodic once more and taking the tone up, soaring with the heightened mood. Again, the vocals play with an interplay of darkness and light. Growing catchier, leading into a sinister riff, matching the prophetic lyrics. A very involved track, with a good mix of techniques and styles. Getting heavier, towards the end, before returning to the poignantly quiescent thread again. Quite magical.

Overall – ‘Fall, Rise, Conquer’ does just what its title says. It’s an astonishingly adept and beautiful album, filled with the audio equivalent of a visual light show, of conceptual brilliance and outstanding artistry. If this is the future of metal, then it’s heading in the right direction. Spectacular.

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

For fans of Nightwish, Within Temptation, Delain, Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy, Aonia, Liholesie, Shahyd Legacy.

http://www.zephyra.se
https://open.spotify.com/artist/43r2pvVeKLhhAXoTcq19F2?si=h_peshl2Tb6UxqOV8f-vqA
http://www.facebook.com/zephyraofficial
http://www.youtube.com/zephyravideos
http://www.instagram.com/zephyraofficial

Merch Store – http://zephyramerch.qbutik.se/

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Posted April 28, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Black Thorn Halo – ‘The Horde’   2 comments

Formed in 2010, Black Thorn Halo hail from Austin, Texas. (With the exception of Rafa, bassist, from Costa Rica). Two albums in, the line-up changed, adding a second guitarist, as well as Rafa replacing Jack, making them a 5 piece.

From the latter end of 2017, BTH’s sound evolved into one similar to Priest or Kreator. Several live gigs ensued. Following this, their current album, ‘The Horde’, was produced. The band feels that this reflects their aimed destination, far more effectively. They summarise it as being simultaneously heavy, thrashy and melodic, with nods to Testament and Slayer, yet containing their own up-to-date signature.

The Rising – Slightly unusual build-up to the intro, but then getting straight into a classically new wave melodic thrash sound and it’s very listenable. Enlivening from the start, with a clearly catchy thread. I’d say they’ve achieved their aim of combining thrash, heaviness and melody, equally. It’s a good sound. Quite a big speed element to it, this is the sound of a capable, well-placed band, with stacks of passion. Great sharp, definitive ending.

Kill The Pain – Awesome drum roll intro and it’s very Testament-esque. ‘Days Of Darkness’ fans will dig this. Right into the flow. All the right ingredients. A real mosh fest number. Well handled riffs, practiced vocals, just the right side of heavy thrash. Some proper riffage going on there, with heaps of melody and even a hint of Vai-esque territory, amongst the thrash. Liking the catchy ‘KTP’ chorus and its rhythm. Not a note out of place or a beat missed anywhere.

The Horde – Banging, acute intro, setting the scene immediately. Some strategically arranged higher riff pitches, adding an extra edge, enhanced even further by the gorgeously performed vibrato. There’s a notable emphasis on space here, which just adds to their signature, showing real awareness of how, when and where to let a song breathe. Again, it’s very Testament-esque and very likeable.

Into The Unknown (On The Razor’s Edge) – Another banging intro, going straight to town. It’s got a really comforting heaviness and capability to it, just chilling you out instantly. Great riff delivery, again, utilising the vibrato just sparsely enough to make it stand out. Even throwing in a hint of wah, with the same approach. Cleverly structured and coming to a well integrated end. It’s the sound of safe metallic hands.

The Swarming – Crushing, theatrical intro, sparking visions of Valhalla. Right down to business, with the speed and power angles, whilst keeping it heavy and never losing the thrash edge. Very metal lyrics, plausibly conveyed. Always retaining the hardened side of the thrash vibe, but still not neglecting the melody. Effectively vocalised, it’s liable to stay with you.

Wargasm – Bang! Thunder and lightning intro, covering the earth in darkness. Carefully arranged, particularly in terms of pitch. Slight ‘Twilight Of The Thunder Gods’ essence to this. It’s strong, it’s a decent length and the ending’s aptly mysterious and memorable.

Cenote Sacred – Once more, it blasts into life, throwing down a Kyrbgrinder-esque tone. Real heaviness, emphasising the steel. They really go to town on this one. Immense riffing centres and grounds the song, feeding its heavy thrumming feel, further. Yet again, it’s a mosh fest, bringing everything colliding to a rock hard halt at the close, impressing the addictive quality, more.

Dare You To Live – Wow! That’s some electrifying intro! Loving this unmistakable metal fest, right from the off. Bowling along, on the thrashiest vibe. You can’t help but love it. A good closer, the catchiness is ratcheted up, as the riffs and the rhythm bring it to life. Slowing things down for that beautifully melodic mid-section, before heating things up and picking up the pace again, with sheer metallic force. Coming to a crackling crescendo, with a concrete slab of an ending.

Overall – Magnificent. No two ways about it. ‘TH’ has gone down a storm and it’s sure to rock your metal senses to the ground. Faultless, driven and perfected throughout. This is one mightily metallic album and it’s hugely impressive.

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

For fans of Testament, Wreck-Defy, Steve Vai, Kyrbgrinder, Boltthrower, Amon Amarth, Sabaton.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackThornHaloATX

Posted April 27, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Euphoria – ‘Nanotech’   Leave a comment

Thrash metal from Detroit, MI, Euphoria have existed since January 2016. However, the material was in the planning since 2012. Founding member and vocalist Justin Kelter began forming Euphoria in 2015. Drummer Louie Badalament and bassist George Ford joined from the ashes of crust/thrash band Axe Ripper. Inspired by numerous bands, including Death, Vektor, Slayer, Megadeth, Pantera, etc, a multitude of genres, such as thrash, heavy metal and punk also went into the notion of Euphoria.

Their debut appearance in March 2016 was at New Dodge Lounge, Hamtramck, MI, Louie’s place of work. Performing alongside Witchaven, Steel Bearing Hand and Nuke, to an audience of 200, it was a sold-out show. Following that gig, Euphoria recorded their debut production, ‘Operation: Genesis’, at Mount Doom Studios, Warren, MI. (See https://jennytate.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/euphoria-operation-genesis/).

‘Operation: Genesis’, a 50 minute concept EP, is themed around a superior race of otherworldly entities, constructing Earth, as an experiment to develop an elite race. (Yes, it does sound a tad Nazi-esque). As the human race is observed to go backwards, the elite beings deploy robots known as ‘nano-bots’ to destroy it. (More Nazi-esque by the minute). In an ultimate bid to prevent the human world from continuing, they then overheat the centre of the earth, in an attempt to implode it. (A combination of World War II and current ozone layer destruction reflected there).

The ‘OG’ EP was launched at a release show, on June 10th 2016. After that, they played another sold-out show, at that same venue, in Hamtramck, MI, sharing the Stage with Lich King, Goblet, SNAFU and Straight Six. Their track, ‘Cyberschizophrenia’ was aired on Detroit’s hard rock heavy metal radio station 101.1 WRIF, securing more album sales.

August 2016 saw Euphoria commence their first US tour, independently arranged. That tour continued right through to spring 2017.

In autumn 2017, they became a 4 piece, touring Europe, playing support for Italian thrash crew Game Over. Their next EP, ‘The Omega Void’, was also launched then, via EvilEye Records, in silver disc, deluxe digipak format, with a bonus disc of the now sold-out debut album. (See https://jennytate.wordpress.com/2017/12/16/euphoria-the-omega-void/).

Electro Hypnosis – Introing on a very sci-fi-esque, alien sound, spewing out weird otherworldly commands, it then thankfully merges into thrash metal territory. Raw, aggressive lyrics form a physicality, ably assisted by beating drums and crazed riffing, throwing in carefully placed melodies. It’s a very technical track, displaying intense focus and edging on proggy formats.

ReSpawn – Wobble board sounds and a mysterious alien voice opening. The thrash hits earlier, seeming to reach its stride quickly. Very riff-based, heavier and a bigger drum presence here. The melody heats up, hitting shrieking pitches, followed by a power section closing. Well honed material.

Labyrinth Online – Intense heavy drum hits intro. Straight away, it’s a big sound, with a faster pace, centring around the speed. Again, the vocals are very raw and edgy. Great riffing creates and builds a winning melody around the techy aspects and solid drums. Fading out on a lively combo of energised sounds, it’s certainly capable and alive.

Mechanical Carnivore – Sinister oration introing, reflective of today’s political climate. Speeding up the thrash element, throwing out looser, freer vocals, with a message. Slowing the pace, to an accessible rhythm, before speeding it back up again. The anger’s definitely audible. Again, it’s a large sound, building in lots of heavy, intricate thrash riffing. Closing on a fading vocal echo, its technical focus is clear.

Neon Dreams – Opening slowly, on a more contemplative, downbeat tone. Still such gorgeous melody. Moving into a soaring section, with a teasing stop start bit, before exploding back into life again. This is where the vocals really come out, as the riffs open up, onto a world of colour. Some fabulous rhythms in there. Making the most out of the vibrant melodies. Ending on a collective riff crescendo, of mounting power and life. Just a great feel.

Brainstorm – Scientific sound introing. Quickly moving into a real speed section of raging thrash. Here, the vocals really go for it, giving it all they’ve got. Drums coming down into a rhythm echoing a very slight reflection of Radiohead’s ‘Okay Computer’. Happily for this, though, the other accompaniments keep it much more upbeat and interesting than where the dangerous territory of Radiohead might otherwise have taken it. Bringing it up to a steadily climbing finale, it’s intense, complex and precise.

Overall – ‘Nanotech’ is an accurately precise album, with a flair for technical intricacy and complex concepts. Considerately arranged, its structure displays a perfectionist streak, demonstrated through the intensity of techniques delivered throughout. As a thrash album, it does lose out, in terms of catch, memorable hooks and general accessibility, so not the most relaxing listen, but what it loses in relatability, it compensates for with polished craftsmanship. An impressively produced, intelligent piece of work.

8/10 ********

For fans of Zeit, Bullriff Stampede, Devilspeak, Ben Blutzukker, Sotz, prog, sci-fi and psychedelia.

http://www.facebook.com/euphoriadetroit
http://www.euphoriadetroit.bandcamp.com/

Posted April 21, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Necrofilia – ‘rHELLigion’   Leave a comment

San Marino’s only remaining active metal band, Necrofilia have 20 years experience behind them, having formed in February 1996. As ever, there’ve been line-up changes, throughout this time. Their debut demo was aired in 1998. The 1st album, ‘Lost In Chaos’, (2000) was well received by music press, including Metal Shock and Metal Hammer.
Following their win at Italian music contest, ‘Suona con il Mito’, they opened for Paul Di ‘anno, in Rome, in October 2001. More local gigs followed. A crucial event was opening for Crackdown and Behemoth.
Their 2nd independent production was the album release, ‘Crush Test’ (2006). Numerous shows in Italy preceded the recording of the 3rd album, ‘rHELLigion’, in 2016, released in March 2019.

Till Die – Straight in there, with a smoking hot, steel laden intro! Creating an instantly powerful impression, the lyrics are curious, but it’s heavy stuff, with a hardened industrial edge. Lots of acute, electrifying riffage and a very involved sound, experimenting with variable pace. It’s got that crushing steamroller effect, throughout. Very auspicious start.

Path – Just as intense and overwhelmingly metallic. Speeding things up slightly, injecting a grinding aspect. Imagine a rougher, younger Anthrax. You’re there. Getting stronger and faster, it’s entertaining and comes to a confident, unhesitant ending. Lots of life and loaded with energy and pizzazz.

Ballad Of Death – Good strong drum intro. Getting right down to intense riffing and heavily metallic sounds. A lot of aggression and discernible passion. Very heavy stuff here. Evoking images of super-sized industrial machinery, warring in a scrapyard, in the dead of night. Raging on till the end, with consistent demolition imagery. It works.

Welcome To The Show – Another banging explosive intro, with a party metal atmosphere, sounding more like Anthrax with every moment. Affective and deliciously heavy, with thrash and melody, in equal measure. Definitely an infectious angle to this. Riff scales audible at just the right point, approximately 3/4 in and clearly a stand out track, destined for repeated replays around music venues, internationally. Coming to a sexily shuddering halt, it’s a beast of a track and again, it does it for me.

Dead Sun – Opening with a strong, powerful drum roll, like the jaws of a mammoth opening up, to eat its prey. A hint of roaring, but happily, more melody and audibly fun lyrics. Always great to pick up the passion of a band and that’s what this is about. Very catchy and the rhythms do it every time. A very easy number to get into and never losing the heaviness, for a single moment. Closing on a very Metallica-esque crescendo, it’s an impressive and steamy track.

rHELLigion – Wow! That’s some drum intro! A drum solo worthy of being allied with the greats of rock and metal history. Really involved, meaty track, running like the hounds of hell are on its tail. Introing a battery of drums and keeping it metal, some powerful riffage does its thing. Burning its way to a blistering finale, it’s gone in no time and it thrashes hard.

Follow Down – Bang and it’s off back down the road of solid metal intent. Now, the lyrics get a bit more roary and screamy, like a pissed off gargoyle. Some delicious riffage again, demoing some shriller pitches. Running on till the drum led ending, it’s heavy with anticipation.

Old Man – A single drum hit intro’s, onto a blazing riff and an awesomely hooky melody. Guaranteed catch value. Brilliant vibrato section, growing faster and catchier by the second. The pace and melody combined are what makes this. Performed amidst a gloriously heavy backdrop. That’s the way it continues, right till the end. Love it.

Against – Another blaze of metal glory opens. So accessible, visually, it’s immediate, forming easy mosh pit material. The riffs really come to the fore here, as does the infectious melody. It’s just not long enough!

Son Of Beer – Really upbeat, playful drum intro. Gorgeously masculinely throaty vocals, the melody bites once more and doesn’t let go. So well paced, this is a really fun filled frolic, sure to pull you in. What is it with blokes and burps? What a way to end.

Reflection – Beautiful riff intro, unfolding onto a scene of addictive heaviness. Loving the melody in here. Especially as it proves just how carefully considered and beautifully intricate metal is. Really giving it some on the drums, bleeding out the riffs for the finale, leaving their echo behind.

Black Metal (Bonus Track) – Intense thrash riffing intro’s. Sounding much like a playful parody of black metal, this’d definitely make a good party piece. Like Gollum, throwing a temper tantrum, as Rumpelstiltskin dances a crazed jig around him, it’s just fun all the way and actually, it’s a great way to end).

Overall – A streamlined, evocative performance of everything contained within the best of metal. Appealing, affecting and addictive, ‘rHELLigion’ is a great album, whose infectious delivery entices you in and keeps you enthralled. A definite go to for uplifting sounds and a sound choice of jukebox metal. Dive in and get some.

9/10 *********

For fans of Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth, Hammerstroke, Angelfall, Bloodfield, Reign Of Fury, Spreading The Disease, Obzidian.

https://www.facebook.com/zazzinecrofilia
https://necrofilia666.bandcamp.com

Posted April 20, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Infamous Demise – ‘Infamous Demise’   Leave a comment

A quartet from Page, Arizona, Infamous Demise are a heavy metal band, founded in 2015, with one simple goal in mind – bringing the metal to the masses.

Their self titled debut album was launched on March 18th 2019, via the digital platform, CD Baby.

Infamous Demise – Perfect intro of screeching guitar, employing immediate vibrato, with seasoned drum hits supporting. Classic new wave vocals, straight away, it’s evident that ID know what they’re doing. Throwing in every tactic you’d expect in a new heavy-metal track, it’s a sound that takes you back to the 90’s heyday of metal and wouldn’t be out of place on a metal publication album.

Violation Of Truth – Opening with a fairly gentle, but still clearly rocky drum roll. Moving right into a real power metal vocal, with all the right rhythms. Great accurately pitched power screams, brilliantly accompanying riffs fitting right in. It’s just a smooth, effortless performance, closing definitively, on an acute vocal.

No Shields – Drum rolls introing onto a great melody. Already, it’s got that indefinable edge and it’s shaping up well. Catchy, effectively paced and ringing with the sound of truth. It’s got a way of keeping the mood up, whilst still portraying the darkness associated with decent metal. Well maintained riff momentum and it all just fits together, succinctly.

Primeval Oath – Opening on a sombre acoustic note, accompanied by solo vocals. A pressing feel of profundity pervades. Exploding into electric fury, alternating with more quiescent tones. Building to a skilled crescendo, playing out a classically metallic arrangement, these guys already have many of the right ingredients. Bringing it to a sharply defined end, creating a very positive impression.

Break The Stream – Introing on an exciting, lively riff, drums falling in with it and vocals following suit. Such ease of delivery. Good solid rhythms. Verging on thrash, it’s a great example of metal structures. Fans of old school thrash and power metal should get on well with this. Real synchronicity shines through this, along with the passion with which, it’s played. This track almost crosses a line, taking them into different territory, from straight out metal to heavy thrash. Yes, it’s one of those that has me wracking my metallically medicated brain cells for that elusive riff it reminds me of, but meantime, it’ll do nicely and it takes things up a gear.

Floodgates – Coming in on a bit of bass now, then sliding in with the screaming riffs. If anything, it gets even more comfortable and proficient now. Cymbals well timed, drums keeping the pace expertly, vocals intermingling melody and power screams, the full set’s there. Beautiful steel string section, reflecting their skill for gentility, where necessary. Heating things up, to that well-known galloping horse pace, linked with so many successful metal tracks. If nothing else, what’s glaringly obvious here is ID’s sheer versatility. It’s a great sign for it to show so early on. Building to its heavy end, it does the job well.

The Flame – Banging, well synchronised intro. This one’s easy to get lost in, carrying streaks of both heavier and lighter melodies. Nice bit of classic action movie bass, breaking things up, between sections. It’s a visually effective bridge. Vocal pitch peaking there, just before the well timed looser riff ending.

Punishment – Explosive intro! Here’s a proper hard rock, heavy metal sound, holding potential for all angles and elements of both. A valuable talent to have at this point. More aggression in the lyrics, a heavy surrounding structure, with a bluesy edge. Heavily rhythmic. Another catchy one, easy to get involved with. Good bit of wah there, too. Gathering pace, till the end, closing on a solid, strong finale.

Overall – Given that ‘ID’ is a debut album, it’s already got a lot going for it. It’s strong and confident, with an ease of delivery, it shows a genuine skill, with metal performance and a natural metallic inclination, that can’t be taught. For a first album, it’s impressive and definitely worthy of recommendation. A few more years building a signature sound and ID could really go places. Give it a spin.

9/10 *********

For fans of all old school hard rock/heavy metal, NWOBHM and thrash, power and speed metal.

Posted April 19, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Fallen Stars – ‘Trials’   Leave a comment

A female fronted hard rock pop metal band, from Vancouver, BC, Fallen Stars was created from a collection of bands, locally to Vancouver. They’ve since made numerous live appearances, opening for established bands like Iron Kingdom, Road Rash, Bone State Rebellion, etc.

Their debut single, ‘My Heart’, received airplay, internationally. At this point, FS are promoting their current EP, ‘This House’, aswell as touring and performing several gigs throughout the year. In addition to all this, they’re launching both a 2nd EP and a live, 2 track EP, entitled ‘Trials’.

Run – Very heavy, crunchy bass and riff intro, moving into a punky style, with metal edge. Plenty of cymbal action and clearly enthused vocals. Well timed drum hits, executed with lots of energy and the riffs come into their own, as the song progresses. It could actually do with more lyrics and a little more vocal invention, to reset the balance, currently leaning more heavily towards the accompaniments, but otherwise, it’s a well performed track, if slightly rushed.

Trial By Fire – Liking the classic ‘rolling’ intro and the following click of the drumsticks. Now, the vocals are overcompensating a bit. Surrounding instrumentals pleasantly rockily melodic. Keeping a good steady rhythm and fading out nicely, on a corresponding riff and drum hit. The passion’s definitely there, collectively. The vocals just need to strike a better balance between under and over performing. Catchy, though.

Overall – ‘Trials’ is undoubtedly a good sound, with many of the right ingredients. Its strengths weigh heaviest in the instrumentals and it’s effectively paced, with plenty of melody. There does need to be more lyrical opportunity, though and where it’s struggling is in vocal confidence. This is evident in the disparity between tracks, in terms of underwhelm, versus overdrive. Correcting this, over time, though, with the more assured accompaniments supporting would bring it up a level. That aside, it’s a fair general standard.

6/10 ******

For fans of Love Stricken Demise, No Doubt.

http://www.fallenstarband.com
http://www.facebook.com/fallenstarvancouver

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjegEfVN6DA   (Music Video for ‘Trial By Fire’).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Posted April 14, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Gasoline Outlaws – ‘Light Up The World’   Leave a comment

Presenting Gasoline Outlaws, with the brand new album, ‘Light Up The World’, released 10th May 2019.

Founded in Belfast, in 2014, GO launched their debut album, ‘No Rules, No Laws, No Regrets’, in 2015. Receiving high acclaim, it led to support slots for such high-profile bands as The Answer and Trucker Diablo. By 2018, they’d performed at Planet Rock’s Winter’s End Fest and Rockstock.

‘LUTW’, their 2nd album, produced by Frankie McClay, at Einstein Studios, Northern Ireland, features songwriting contributions from Cormac Neeson (The Answer) and guest vocals from Amy Montgomery. Well esteemed session musician John McCullough (The Waterboys, Van Morrison, etc) plays piano and Hammond organ.

The album includes everything from heavy, riff-based tracks, to basic acoustic songs, plus an orchestral piece. Aiming to hit a wide audience, ‘LUTW’ is thematically centred around global conflict through the generations and the healing power of love.

It was a Pledge Music campaign which brought ‘LUTW’ this far, but sadly, despite its rapid success, the present situation at Pledge has meant that the originally planned date of release, along with the money to fund it, has fallen through. This has set the release back to May.

With the band taking the initiative to overcome a very unfortunate situation and cover the pledges themselves, their touring and promo funds have now been consumed by CD and merch costs. They are, of course, now reassessing the best way forward.

Light Up The World – Good solid drum beat intro. Something about it reminds me of Free’s ‘All Right Now’. Getting straight into a real rock ‘n’ roll sound, the vocals are perhaps a little softer than expected, but no less impacting for it. Generally, it’s catchy, with a pop rock essence and well synchronised accompaniments. Effective start.

Livin’ This Way – Opening on a slight Trucker Diablo echo, it’s straight rock ‘n’ roll, easily performed, in a relaxed style. There’s definitely a natural flow to it, always good to hear. It’s consistent and rocky, with some notably good guitar riffs. The ascent and descent of the scales is audible and the vocals do a skilled job of keeping the momentum and holding the notes well. A comfortable, pleasant, chilled out track, with bluesy hints.

Better Days Coming – Fabulous ‘Communication Breakdown’ style intro! Determined lyrics, carrying an echo of Fleetwood Mac and demonstrating natural chemistry. This has got a really enjoyable feel and sound about it and the emotion’s unmistakable. Very catchy, hit material, walking that fine line between hard and soft rock and always a joyful listening experience.

Where We Started – Introing on a single strummed chord and instantly bringing a melancholic sadness, still holding a chink of light and hope. Soulful. Truly soulful. Highly proficient, not just musically, but emotively. This is real. Beautiful melodies, groove laden and exactly the right pace to make it full and enjoyable. Bringing everyone together, for the finale and ending on a gorgeous piano outro, leaving the memory imprinted on your soul.

Psycho – Hotting things back up again now, with a harder rock intro and a hint of the Wild West atmosphere. Faster paced, proving their chops within both heavier and lighter sounds and styles. Very catchy chorus, throwing in some brilliant wah wah sections and timing things immaculately. Showcasing the great breadth of vocal talent, within various shades and tones and ending definitively, it works, taking it into a heavier sphere.

The System Is A Lie – Well blended riff intro, moving into a very bluesy track and handling it well. Rhythmic, catchy once again and filled with hooks. Heating things up, with more involved riffing, making the most of every note and killing it all the way. This one’ll sweep you away.

Fight For One More Day – Immediate heavy drum hit intro, followed by a classic rock riff arrangement. Those vocals enter and soar, once more, bringing the lyrics to life with genuine passion. So easy to just get right into it and ending on an assertive exhortation that’ll stay with you. Brilliant delivery.

Executed – Opening now on a soft, gentle ballad, combining acoustic guitar and vocals, with piano and featuring additional feminine vocals, working well. Okay, so this one’s a little too emotional for me, but it’s unquestionably beautiful. Conveyed with pure feeling, till the end.

Breathe Again – Straight out rock intro here! That’s better). Back onto safe territory. If nothing else, GO are definitely versatile and well able to swing between heavier and softer rock, without skipping a beat. This one’s a groove fest, filled with hard rock atmosphere. Great number to throw in, at this point. Infectious stuff, for sure.

Hard Times – Now the mood is taken down again, but less emotionally. It’s more of a folky feel, this time. There’s a very tasty twang to it. Just as real and just as profound, but much more listenable than the balladry of ‘Executed’. Some great drum strokes in there, fitting well with the theme and style and all arrangements just work together, in sync. Loving the tones in here and there’s a clear air of contagion. Perfectly placed, as the closing track. Instrumentals pulling back at just the right point, to bring the vocals forward, entrenching that gorgeous grit in your mind, as it ends.

Overall – ‘LUTW’ is an absolute pleasure ride of blues rock grooves and melody throughout. The production’s consistent and flawless, the atmosphere strong and the feelings, evocative. Skilful, natural musicianship and real, honest sincerity shows through every word. It’s only right that this band succeed and given the depth of emotional honesty and genuine talent that have created ‘LUTW’, GO deserve to shine.

9/10 *********

For fans of Fleetwood Mac, Def Leppard, Free, Boston, Venus Rising, Blue Oyster Cult.

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Posted April 13, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized