Archive for November 2019

Uzziel – ‘This Fear’   Leave a comment

Formed in Austria, in 2010, by Mex, Uzziel have been performing live, globally, ever since. Assisted by their manager, Michael Berger, (Metal&Youth-Club, All Stars Events), they’ve built up a loyal fan base.

‘This Fear’ is their second studio album. Previous releases include: the demo ‘Brocken’ (2011) and album ‘Torn Apart’ (2014). Numerous videos have also been created.

Amongst their live achievements are: twice playing alongside Sepultura, at Rise Up Festival School Break (July 2018) and in August 2018, supporting Caliban, Six Feet Under, Eisregen, Milking The Goat Machine, Debauchery, Dark Tranquillity, The Sorrow, Sonic Syndicate, Chelsea Grin, etc and performing at Donauinselfest, Kaltenbach Open Air, Feel The Noise Fest, Metal Outbreak and Metal Night Outbreak.

Beyond The Funfair – Unexpectedly unusual bluesy, jazzed up intro, presenting an actual intro to a funfair. Like W.A.S.P.’s ‘Welcome To The Electric Circus’ intro, slowed down and played backwards, on downers.

Acid Rain – Very AC/DC-esque riff intro there! Drums coming straight in and an upbeat melody surrounds a combo of growly and melodic vocals. A bit like a metal rollercoaster, coasting, climbing higher and coming down to straight ground again, before lifting back up again and flying skywards. Lots of melodic focus and a general uplifting air.

Dark Moments – Solid, heavy drum intro, with a strong driving beat, taking it into the darkness, with light still shining through. That pummelling riff’s quite Ozzy-esque, echoing ‘The Essential’ era. Vocal growls paint the picture, before the bass heavy riffs entrench the next section in low, down tuned sounds. Bringing it back up again, with higher riff pitches and thunderous rolling drums, fading out with steady, cool, rhythmic tones.

This Fear – Gorgeous opening riff. Warm and engaging. A battle-esque drumming section takes over, with heartfelt vocals sung, in combo with backing growls. A simple, yet contagious riff embodies the mood. Growing bigger and more involved, the riffs are very much the centre of this track. Ascending and descending, in turn, as the drums rumble on and smoke trails from the riffs, a careful, cymbal driven fade-out closes, with the final riffs.

Final Solution – Searing riff intro! Heavy and gloriously so. Immediately involving and that passion really is palpable. Slight echoes of Amon Amarth’s ‘Twilight Of The Thunder Gods’. Hugely steel laden and a perfect demonstration of why metal is so catchy and so contagious. Drums pounding so hard, against that colourful, vivid melody. Like metal rain from heaven)! I defy you not to get totally engrossed in and carried away by this. Insanely good.

Fading – Introing on a low, feedback screech, building it up to a melodic rhythm. A classic car chase scene, worthy of ‘Top Gear’ (with the original line-up, of course). Getting faster, louder, heavier and again, growlier, in an Amon Amarth sense. It still has fading melodic background vocals and the drums never lose that rhythm. A delightfully vibrant track, closing with the dichotomous irony of the fading vocals suddenly increasing in volume, alongside a beautifully velvet smooth riff.

Dead End Evolution – Instant hit of massively powered drumming, racing riffage and vocal aggression. Notching the power up, several decibels, pitching forward, with a fabulous guitar solo, before the rage overtakes again. A stunning display of metallic strength.

Dementia – Crushing intro! Loving those first few riff tones). This is some heavy stuff. Now introing a feminine sounding vocal, much in the vein of the late Dolores O’ Riordan, on ‘Zombie’. Great warring riffs, with a very strong backbeat and a lighter, softer melody entering, before turning it back up again, with more crashing of drums and accompanying riffs and vocal growls, later combining with those lilting, Celtic vocals of before. A wonderfully dizzying array of sounds and lightscapes, escaping from the speakers).

Your Death – Thunderously heavy drums intro. Speeding riffage joins it. Very snazzy, edgy melody, with plenty of visual accessibility. It just grows harder and heavier and more energetic. Throwing in some light cymbal touches, bridging the other sections, before the end. Definite and nowhere to go, that fade-out says it all.

On My Own – Faster paced drumming intro, straight into the feel again. Another gorgeously colourful melody hits the spot, surrounded by pure heaviness. Keeping the vibe high and the mood up, once more, showcasing just how beautifully uplifting heavy metal is. A truly engaging track, with an unexpected piano outro, accentuating the light, encased within dark heaviness.

Overall – ‘This Fear’ is a stunner of an album. Showing a consistent, passionate display of what can be done within metal and just how much light, colour and vibrancy can be found, within its heaviness. A real joy to listen to, loaded with gleaming metallic jewels.

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

For fans of Amon Amarth, W.A.S.P., Ozzy Osbourne, The Cranberries, Powervice, Farseer, AC/DC, Motorhead.

Posted November 29, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Space Parasites – ‘Raw And Violent’   Leave a comment

An aggressive female fronted metal band, from Berlin, Space Parasites were formed in 2017. Playing straight out, no holds barred heavy metal, their inspirations all come from thrash metal, including: Kreator, Megadeth, Slayer, Judas Priest, Exodus and Holy Moses. SP are a quartet.

Children Of The Witch – Introing with a sharp, electrifying riff and a voice-over, narrating something clearly horrific, segueing into a rhythmic riff melody. Quite gory, lots of nifty timing, fast, but carefully paced. Nice bit of slide hidden in there too. It’s very old school Halloween themed). Evoking powerful visuals, this was clearly a lot of fun to make). It’d work well as a soundtrack to the recent ‘Hansel And Gretel’ film. Lively and unforgettable.

Riding The Storm – Opening with a blistering riff section and more of those stunningly raw vocals. Again, it’s a lot of fun, with a slight Offspring echo. Definitely a very catchy number, with a contagious pace. Very throaty lyrics make it so memorable, well supported by strong melodic hooks. It’s tight, energised and delivered with maximum impact.

Behind The Moon – A gorgeously smooth, yet still energetic riff opens, with an acoustic riff in the background. That blistering vocal enters, ably backed by the rhythm section. It’s just so visual and refreshing. Awesome speed riffage and wild drum attack builds the image. She tackles those screams with such relish and sheer abandon. Fairly short, but unarguably memorable.

Death Is Just A Word – Heavy drum hits intro, with a shockingly electrifying guitar riff. Again, right into the fray. Good catchy beat. Vocals coming in next, with exactly the same zeal and vicious edge. So great to hear a vocalist sing and scream with so much passion. She makes a very plausible fairy tale witch and performs with absolute tenacity.

Spidora – Good strong solid drum beats intro, accompanied by more of that impeccably timed riffage. It’s just a feast of immense vocal precision and catch. Some alternations in pace and rhythm, working in perfect sync with the vocals. Ending acutely, on a final coruscating shout, backed by a short riff and cymbal hit.

Mutant Killer Lice – Killer riff opening! Similar killer qualities to the drumming. The novelty of this is such a winning one. Violent vocals return, with a sound equivalent to shredding. Like a grater down the throat. It’s bloody and delightful. Rapid end, with no messing about and no time wasted.

I Wanna Be A Spacewolf – Bang! Only way to describe that drum intro. A werewolf’s howl and some snazzy sci-fi sound effects, very brief, but effective. Vocal shredding once more takes its place, in the centre and gives all it’s got. Powerful lyrics end it, with that now familiar, cuttingly abrupt, definitive timing.

A Lesson In Hate – Solid ‘Jaws’-esque intro, getting right into its stride, with a speeding rhythm. The sharpened vocal viciousness hits again. Brilliantly accompanied by the rapidly ascending and descending riff scales, powering the melody. It’s just so much fun. Everything gels so well and once again, it’s a quick, slicing exit.

Dripping Death – Another solid, but more riff entrenched intro, with a hint of Maiden’s ‘Fear Of The Dark’ era. Here’s where the riffs showcase themselves well, in that ‘Afraid To Shoot Strangers’-esque section. Vocals hitting their peak, with complete ease and flow. Over in a flash.

Run With The Pack – Cymbal hits intro, as more red hot riffs follow, at lightning speed, backed by unhesitant drumming. Vocals piercing the air, the pace intensifies, as the riffs shine and the drums reverberate around your brain. Just fab. It may be brief, but it’s power holds no bounds.

Space Stripper – A radio announcement intro’s, infectious enough to make me miss radio all the more. Highly catchy, engaging riff centred track, with a perfect marriage between vocals and riffs. An absolute barrel of fun. Oh, got to love that riff magic! Stratospheric contagion. A meaty number, long enough to savour, with a classic edge and yet, still so highly unique. Ending on an electrifying, slide riff).

Voodoo Heartbeat – Crashing drums open, with climbing riffs and another fun melody. Rhythmically sensational, vocally corrosive, with a hint of Courtney Love, on ‘Ultraviolent’. Riffage turning a bit Ozzy-esque (always a good thing), echoing ‘Over The Mountains’, slightly, as she screams her heart out. The most infectious tones and moods just shine, throughout.

Thrash Doctor Of Blood Island – Getting straight in there, with instantly accessible riff melodies and catchy timing. Vocals still shredding for all they’re worth. Courtney Love, with twice as much energy. Racing riffs direct the flow, throwing in so much energy, it’s unreal. Closing with a final shout.

Call Of The Wild – A wild drum roll intro’s. Speed riffage powers its way through the searing, raging rhythm. Coarsened, acute vocals follow. Melting into an affecting catch, it’s energy never dies. A very decent mosh section brings it to the finale.

Overall – Wow! ‘Raw And Violent’ has blown my mind! This has got it all, in spades and its sounds are so infectious. Guaranteed, these tracks will stay with you and the witchy theme really drives it forward. The extraordinary, lacerating vocals are its prize catch and its USP, but collectively, it’s so energetically delivered, there’s not a single thing I dislike about it. ‘Raw And Violent’ is just that and it shines with gloriously metallic malevolence.

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

For fans of Hole, Arapacis’s ‘Paradox Of Denial’, Zeit, Dizastra, Cybernetic Witch Cult, Obiisss, Electric Vengeance.


Posted November 27, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Oceanica – ‘OneDark’   Leave a comment

An ambient prog rock/metal solo project, from Enochian Theory front man Ben Harris-Hayes, Oceanica has been positively acclaimed, in the global press, including by Bruce Dickinson and Stephen Wilson.

The first of a series of solo albums, ‘OneDark’ is almost entirely created, performed and recorded by Ben. It contains 13 tracks, including a brief instrumental and a spoken word intro to the instrumental.

Officially released on October 25th, 2019, on Progressive Gears Records, it’s available digitally and physically, with a free digital copy of the 4 track acoustic ‘Percipience’ EP, available to pre-order.

Youth – Unexpected light percussion intro. Gradually descending into a shimmering fade-out. Very brief, but intriguing.

Overcome – Following the same chorus as the intro, now exploding into a melody, alternating between soft and heavier. A very melancholic track, with a surprising degree of sentimentality. A range of accompaniments contributes to the proggy sound and atmosphere. Well produced, ending on a piano section and the instrumentals form a greater proportion of the song. The space between the notes is contemplative and profound.

All The Cool Kidz R’ Doin’ It – Fresh, zesty intro, upbeat and fast-paced. Definitely a higher energy to this. Slight Paul Young echoes, in places, with some nods to Phil Collins, in between the rare vocal growls. Quite sci-fi-esque, in its nature, with some tech aspects. A mainly quiescent track, fading out evenly, on a light keyboard and bass section.

Amounting To Nothing – Mid-paced vocal and riff intro, calming feel, moving into a heavier, bass led section. Quite harmonic. Melodically centred. Good progression, from lighter to heavier tempos and rhythms, flowing well, till the end, incorporating woodwind elements.

Start From The Start – Mystery sound effects intro. Fading into a background crowd noise, then giving way, to a united vocal. Still some vague crowd sounds, behind the vocals. Fairly sentimental, with some melodic riffs, climbing into a poignant crescendo, on which it fades out.

Oubliette – Triangle and cymbal intro, with other mysterious elements, followed by meaningful vocals and a neutral melody. Here’s where the riffs come into their own, building it up, into a stronger sound. Soaring skywards, scattering colourful melodies, as they go, opening the way for another shimmering fade-out, with carefully picked, technical bass notes.

Got A Feeling – Combining lighter and heavier percussion, melody entering soon after. Again, there’s a strong sentiment attached. Notably careful strategic timing. Good spacing between verses. It’s another brief one, leaving just enough time to retain its melody.

Towards The Sun – Feminine vocals intro. A darker, initially colder melody, gaining warmth from the piano inclusion. Still, something slightly chilling, almost haunting about this melody. Verging on hypnotic, in its brief, but constant tonal repetition. Powerful, in its own way, but just a little bit sinister.

8 – Brief pause, before the stronger masculine vocal intro’s, with surrounding riffage and drumming, taking the melody back up. Now, an easier rhythm dictates the flow. It’s a more accessible track, melodically. A distant thread to the vocals pervades, adding extra atmosphere, as the instrumental power builds. Fading out on a gentle riff.

Reverence – Very gentle intro. More of an electronic basis to this. Combining that with heavier riff sections. Alternating that with soft vocals. Embodying its title well. Throwing in some tighter, plucky riffs and upping the beat. Still a strong sense of melancholia. Quick riff fade-out.

The Rose, Abloom – Similar to the last, but slightly more upbeat. Different placing of the softer percussion, slowing the track down, in places, before the more uplifting melodies and faster rhythms take over. A bit more technical stuff going on here. Reintroducing the piano, before speeding it back up again. Good accompanying crescendo. Ending on a palpably low piano section.

The Entangled Roots Of….. – Spoken word narration, over as soon as it begins.

The Oblivion Tree – Light tinkling piano intro, with a mysterious essence surrounding it. Quite a low tone to this emotional instrumental. Dare I say it? It’s a little bit muzak-esque! Floaty and airy, in places, but the downbeat mood’s getting a bit much now. Ending on rain like ivory tinkling.

Overall – Aptly titled, ‘OneDark’ certainly reflects a lot of darkness and shade. Although well produced, with unarguably inventive ranges of accompaniments used and clearly intelligently paced, ‘OD’ strays just a little too far onto the dark side and is ultimately, downbeat, ruining the effects, by overdosing on the melancholia. The musicianship and sound quality, though, are superb.

7/10 *******

For fans of Porcupine Tree, Paul Young, Phil Collins.

(Lyrics and track listing accessible on the above link).

Posted November 24, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

‘The Planet Rock All-Stars Charity Single’   1 comment

‘The Planet Rock All-Stars Single’ is a charity collaboration between DJ Wyatt Wendels and Toby Jepson (Wayward Sons/Little Angels), featuring many famous rock stars, to raise funds for mental health charity MIND. Amongst its featured stars are: Alice Cooper, Joe Elliott, Lzzy Hale, Chris Robertson, Todd Kerns, etc.

A heavier version of the 1986 John Farnham hit track ‘You’re The Voice’ was produced at Vale Studios, Worcester, by The Planet Rock All-Stars Band. Chosen for its powerful lyrics and their connection to mental health, the track is available to pre-order, with new stock due to be obtained shortly, as the initial batch sold out in 10 minutes.

CDs can also be bought from WW directly, during his Road To Rockstock 2 Cycle Ride, which began yesterday, from which, he aims to beat his last £70,000 figure raised, from his first RTR Cycle Ride, in 2016, by an extra £5000. This year, he’ll cycle 2000 miles in a fortnight, marking landmarks and renowned music venues, in his bid to raise £75,000.

All monies raised go directly to the charity.

The P.R.A.S. band consists of:

Sam Wood (Wayward Sons – Guitars);
Dave Kemp (Wayward Sons – Keyboards);
Wyatt Wendels (Drums);
Nick Fyffe (The Temperance Movement – Bass);
Toby Jepson (Vocals and Percussion).

Released Friday, 6th December 2019. Pre-order link:

Sponsoring and Donations site:

MIND official site:

Posted November 23, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Hellrazer – ‘Bonecrusher’   Leave a comment

Founded in Calgary, Alberta, in 2003, Hellrazer are known as ‘the Canadian Judas Priest’. Following the launch of their 3 track demo, the debut self titled album arrived, in 2007. 2010 saw the launch of ‘Prisoner Of The Mind’, which got them signed to now no more German label Dust On The Track Records, with a global distribution deal with Sony, for 3rd album, ‘Operation Overlord’. (Mastered by famous producer/engineer Michael Wagener – Ozzy Osbourne and Dokken), in 2013. It was chosen for a Western Canadian Music award. ‘OO’ was also listed in the top 20 of 2014’s Earshot Loud charts and was positively acclaimed, worldwide.

This, their 3rd album, ‘Bonecrusher’, available internationally, since June 2019, includes guest contributor Ralph Scheepers (Gamma Ray, Primal Fear), on lead vocals, on ‘Metal Heavy’. ‘Bonecrusher’ is also well esteemed.

Hellrazer are a quartet, consisting of Gerald Zamponi (lead vocals, guitars), Shikegi Tsutsui (drums) – both founders, Jim Rogers (guitars) and Simon Hirota (bass). ‘Bonecrusher’ is available on iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp.

‘Bonecrusher’ was recorded at Alchemy Studios, Calgary, mixed and mastered by Dan Rogers, with cover art by Anestis Goudas.

Capture Or Kill – Massive technical drum and riff intro and straight away, the Priest influence is audible. Very ‘Nightcrawler’-esque. Very classic basis, yet the individual twist is definitely there. A hint of Cooper-esque vocals in there, too, but it’s just slamming, hard-hitting metal, at its best. Screaming guitars, hard as fuck drumming and volume turned up to the max. Really strong, powerful sound Rob Halford himself would be proud of. Straight out, no-nonsense, heavy as hell metal, with steel toe capped reinforcements. Solid job.

Spitting Venom – Gorgeously electrifying riff intro, leading right into a firework explosion of metallic strength. Truly classic Halford-esque vocals. Brilliantly paced, drum centred heaviness, with a real old school flavour, delivered in a fresh modern performance. Strong echoes of Priest’s ‘Judas Is Rising’, executed in a thunderously heavy way.

Ancient Fire – Bang! Right in there, with zero hesitation. This dude’s like Halford the 2nd! Enormous sound, absolutely stacked with steel power. Complete band cohesion, as every segment gels together, perfectly. Just a burning fire of metal energy. Even a slight Viking-esque sound in there, towards the end. Racing on, at a rate of knots, as the sheer physicality sears into your brain. Immense.

Revolt – Stunningly steel-laden intro! Very resonant lyrics, for many, in the current socio-political climate. The sheer level of volume, power and passion within this is startling. Such an impressive display of metal conviction and courage. It’s got balls and big ones, at that. A lightning storm rages through those riffs, backed by the thunderous drums. Rare vocal skills are audible here, too and the absolute assurance is crystal clear. My head’s beginning to pulsate, but it’s pulsating in unison with the themes, aswell as the stark solidity of the melody, so that’s always a good thing.

Gutsucker – Power in bucket loads! That’s one enlivening intro. More voluminous steel-edged melody and again, you’d think Halford was singing. Acuity well expressed, along with the evil laugh. Always a catchy, hard-lined rhythm, beaten out, by the drums and a real sense of contagion and relatability to the whole track. Fiery, extravagant riffs, complete confidence in those lyrics and just a glorious feast of epic metal, throughout.

Bonecrusher – Title track opening with a space for breath. That mysterious tunnel-esque vacuum of sound gives way to a sinister melody, leading to another battering ram of metal, with a Cooper-esque edge to the largely Halford-esque vocals. Drums beating a path to melodic hooks and frenetic riffs, displaying their wares, with some gorgeously sexy solos and accompaniments, screaming with metallic mania. Never losing the pace or rhythm, for a moment. Almost dragging you into a mesmeric place, before the end, with that hypnotic melodic chant. Closing on a definitive drum roll.

Metal Heavy – Fast, frenetic, fevered riffs intro. Straight into another fest of epic metal, with a strong Priest flavour, once more. Great lyrical sentiment, with such vocal similarity, within RS’s voice. This is a strong candidate for the most anthemic track of all. It’s definitely moshing material. Like being covered by a blanket of metal thunder. Fabulous vocal harmonies, cementing its memorability and ending on a deeply Priest-esque power scream and equally powerful accompaniment.

Necropolis – Instant solid drum and riff intro, getting into its stride immediately. Just growing stronger and heavier, all the time, there’s a level of power and volume incomparable with most. The steel force is just astounding. Building an impressively creative atmosphere, with memorable lyrics, surrounded by indescribably heavy reinforcing accompaniments and a gathering pace to match any. It truly is an incredible sound. Building and building that tension, till you feel the castle’s foundations shake and the barriers go up, right to the end. A sleek, rapid and definitive end.

Killroom – A battery of vicious drumming opens. Riffs following close behind, with the same level of violence, as the empowered, impassioned vocals. To say this is powerful doesn’t even begin to do it justice. That line, ‘I will take your soul’ is very plausible. Like being caught up in a hail of imaginary bullets and stoned, as you try to escape. Chilling, but solid ending.

End Of Days – A loose riff intro’s, alternating then, between tighter and looser sections, as the incessant drum pace comes hot on their heels. You’ll think Rob Halford’s just entered the room. You’ve got to wonder about the inspiration behind this and the previous track and no doubt, some will relate…. It’s just so powerfully dark and so much heavier than most, it seeps into your soul and sears its memory onto your mind. Picking up the pace and really going for it, with that beautifully inventive, melodic riffage. Beating a path to the end, there’s just no sense of fade-out at all, within this sound. It may slow down, a touch, right at the end, but it burns, rather than fades.

Overall – ‘Bonecrusher’ is heavy, on a different level altogether and is like nothing I’ve heard, this year. This takes things to a new extreme, maintaining the power, energy and volume, consistently, throughout. Stunningly dark and revealing lyrics meet with a steel force rarely heard. Shaking you, to your core, ‘Bonecrusher’ is beyond impressive and impossibly metallic.

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

For fans of Judas Priest, Alice Cooper, Kyrbgrinder, Boltthrower, Die No More, Silent Winter, Blaze Bayley.

Posted November 22, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Zarraza – ‘Rotten Remains’   Leave a comment

Extreme metal, from Kazakhstan, Zarraza (Russian translation, ‘infection’ or ‘unbearable person’) were founded in 2012. Starting with the ‘Bullets & Beliefs’ demo, they’re now at the forefront of metal in central Asia. Zarraza have already featured in Metal Hammer mag’s ‘United Nations’ series and been reviewed by Asking Alexandria.

Rated amongst Central Asia’s top 5 best bands, by, they’re the 1st to have completed an independent tour of the area, during 2013, to promote their ‘Cutting Meat. Fast & Loud’ EP. Since then, they’ve gone from strength to strength.

Back in 2014, Zarraza toured alongside Austrian grind core band VxPxOxAxAxWxAxMxC. The outcome of that, aside from gigs within Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan, was opening slots for Tyr, Rotting Christ and Arkona, touring alongside Ektomorf (2018) and legendary band Sepultura (2019). They’ve since opened for HAIL!

Zarraza’s hard work and determination matches the themes of their songs, in terms of utilising your own anguish to fight against oppression, in all its forms. Their debut album, ‘Necroshiva’, arrived by 2018. Mixed in Moscow, by Arkadiy Navajo (Katalepsy, Siberian Meat Grinder), recorded in Almaty (Kazakhstan). It was launched in May 2019, within China, through MusicDish, with cover art by Vladimir Shebakov, featuring in the book Heavy Metal Artwork Masterpieces, 2018.

‘Rotten Remains’ is their new EP, self released on 29.11.19. ‘RR’ is actually a compilation of old material, on the previous releases, re-jigged, with new energy. It’s also a tribute to all who’ve participated in the process of creating the music. Zarrazar are a quintet.

Guest contributors on ‘RR’ include: – Anar Kassymova and Azim Abdulaev.
Guitars and vocals recorded at the band’s home studio, between March and May 2019.
Drums recorded at ID Sound Studio, September 2018 and February 2019.

Zombie Kids – Instant brutality hits! Hard as stone and alive with passionate energy. A blistering battering ram of drumming merges with sharp, tight riffs and death style vocals. It’s a monster, no doubt about it. Slight cymbal action, here and there, but mainly, a full on metal attack. Still throwing in some melody and measured spacing of riffs, with some technical sections, though it’s just a beast. Ending on a patently aggressive shout.

The Grudge – A few light cymbal hits and a string instrument intro, with a creeping darkness surrounding them, before exploding into short lived bursts of controlled metal, sustained between the inventive lighter sections. A strong cultural thread pervades this, with a mysterious, jungle-esque pattern of sound, from a strategically placed outback didgeridoo and possibly a vague bit of wobble board. Highly innovative stuff.

If I Was Satan – Solid drum hit intro. Rapidly chased by raging riffage and monster vocals soon after. You wouldn’t want this beast chasing after you, on a dark night. This one’s a rapid paced frenzied attack of furious steel. Moving into a catchier rhythm, around the mid-point. Coming to an unexpectedly abrupt, but acute ending.

Bulldozer – Opening on hypnotic low whispers and tribal-esque drumming. Then climbing down, into raging vocals and thunderously heavy percussion. Beating out a speeding drum pace. Breaking it down, into a mixed bag of action, throwing it all into the mix and closing on a loud roar.

Failed Apocalypse – A deeply dark, profound, but much softer intro, with a hint of mystery eventually gives way to another powerful roar. More melodic accompaniments battle it out in a war of metallic proportions. Relentless, driven, high-energy fuelled territory. Gradually, slowing down, to a close, returning to the original vacuum format. Such intelligent and complex arrangements.

Bullets & Belief – Massive power fuels and energises that drum intro. A battery of incensed fury. Zesty, sharpened riffs electrify the atmosphere, as the vocals bludgeon you to death. A raging cesspit of aggression swirls around a frenzy of ferocious accompaniments. Ending on several powered drum hits. A full frontal metallic assault.

Wrong Song – Wow! Fast-paced banjo playing intro’s, just before being overtaken by those satanic sounds. It’s still there, in the background, though, even amongst all the chaos and cacophony of blackened metal and that’s one unique memorable impression. Sliding up and down the fretboard, like a demon possessed, till the abrupt, definitive end.

Overall – Highly original, filled with inventive sounds, showcasing the successful marriage of extremity and light, ‘RR’ shines out, amongst many, for its inclusion of rare and unusual instruments and atmospherics and its sheer, unstoppable energy, placing a new slant on the possibilities within extreme metal.

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

For fans of Carcass, Skeletonwitch, Zeit and Testament’s deathier tracks.

Posted November 21, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Follow No-One – ‘Coming Home’   Leave a comment

Follow No-One is a hugely successful military band and rock duo, consisting of Pedro Murino Almeida and Rich Hall. (Not the comedian). Merging the best aspects from rock’s past and present, they’ve moulded the result into a unique signature sound.

Their debut EP, ‘5’, in 2017, launched their careers, catapulting them into the popular band they are today. The reputation they’ve earned has culminated in them securing the Award For Best Rock Act, 2019, at the JMA Awards, Nashville. (The biggest global industry music awards).

Pedro comes from a classical background, being trained in composition, at Sheffield University and is featured in various films and videos and recognised as a guitar virtuoso. He’s also pursued other solo projects.

An American singer/songwriter and multi-talented musician, Rich started off in theatre, eventually moving on, to a music career, beginning at just 13 years old. His first album was recorded at 15. The vocal style Rich employs works well with Pedro’s sensational riffage.

‘Coming Home’ is their new, previously unreleased single. Written in homage to war veterans, known and unknown, their families and of course, in memorial of the fallen, following Rich’s largely hitherto undisclosed military service in the gulf war and that of his relatives past.

Coming Home – Introing with a piano section and a surprisingly emotional vocal, with impressively effortless guitar riffs accompanying. This has got a haunting echo of ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’, with the riffs really standing out the most. It’s a brief, but very touching track, filled with sentiment and also harks back to ‘Parisienne Walkways’ and ‘Live And Let Die’, in its style and melody. Impossible not to be affected by it. A clear melding technique between vocals and riffs is audible, showing obvious chemistry, as it dips and soars, before ending on a solemn piano outro. Melancholic, beautiful and affecting. Whilst potentially mood lowering, there’s exceptional craftsmanship within it.

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

For fans of Paul McCartney, George Harrison, ‘Parisienne Walkways’ era Thin Lizzy, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani.

Posted November 20, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Nocturnalia – ‘III Winter’   Leave a comment

Weaving a seductive combination of classic and tribal rock, eerie and enchanting narratives, aural sagas and melodic evocations, set against the stunning backdrop of magical Scandinavia, the 5 piece dark rock band Nocturnalia bring their brand of music.

Principally influenced by the quiescent, wintry landscape of home, coupled with the inevitable human conflicts arising from it, Nocturnalia have interwoven traditional natural world folk, with old school metal, for instance, Rainbow, Black Widow and Hammerheart era Bathory. This range of inspirations has resulted in a sound at once, recognisable, distant and uncharted.

A strong emphasis is placed on natural freedom of expression, free association and accessing heightened spiritual dimensions, within Nocturnalia’s music.

The original concept for Nocturnalia was born in late 2011, within the debut 7″ single, Until The Morning Light’, then 12″ single, ‘Night Rainbow’, prior to the debut album, ‘s/t’, 2013, via  Gaphals Records. A European tour and some line-up changes later, Nocturnalia’s music got even deeper and more contemplative. The next album was ‘Above Below Within’ (2015), again on Gaphals Records.

Nocturnalia then took a break, to pursue other projects. Drummer Dennis Skogland joined Night, for 2 years, plus becoming a live session musician, in Forndom And Dragurinn. Guitarist Linus Lundgren still plays in occult rock pioneers Year Of The Goat and vocalist Linus Ekermo plays bass in Oblivion.

The start of 2018 saw Nocturnalia regroup and return to songwriting, recording their 3rd album, ‘III: Winter’, now available, via The Sign Records.

The Calling – Opening on a touch of feedback and a haunting riff tone. Equally distant, melancholic vocals follow. It’s a clearly original sound, right from the start. An evocative, wintry atmosphere pervades and there’s certainly an ethereal, shadowy sense to it. Almost like the wild west of the Scandinavian outback. Vocals are very freestyle, leaving space for imagination and the drums enter, just as the tension rises, adding that vital edge to the riffs. Lots of breathing space within this track, leaving the mind free, to wander. You can’t help wondering if this is how The Eagles would have evolved, in the same environment.

Spell Of The Night – Introing on an old school drum roll and riff, then segueing into a similarly atmospheric, but slightly lighter vocal melody. This has got more of a vibe to it, though its general sound still harks back to another era. It’s very rhythmic, with lots of melodic focus. Ending on a strong collective section.

By Nature – Good slide riff intro! Taking it into a sexier area now). Very Sting-esque vocals here. The mood audibly lifts here and something about the atmosphere of the sound echoes Toto’s ‘Africa’. The melody truly comes into its own, at this point. Drums beating stronger, then hanging back and lightening their touch, at just the right points. So far, this is definitely the standout. Much more accessible and a more upbeat flavour and now I’m disappointed that it’s over. A certain twangy blues edge to this makes it well worthy of repeated listens.

Come Alive – A gentle acoustic riff opens, with an equally soft vocal. A slight folky, old world atmosphere to this. Again, that Sting-esque sound to the vocals suits the mood well. A very thoughtful arrangement evolves into an increasingly fulsome melody. Whilst there’s definitely still a wintry feel to it, it’s a much lighter track, in which, the mood lifting quality’s physically palpable. Well titled and joyfully rhythmic, with a very fitting closing vocal harmony. Beautiful.

Forsaken – Strong drum beat intro. Faster pace, bringing in a tribal streak. So powerful. The bleak landscape’s still audible, but it’s so driven. Moving into a calmer rhythm, around 3/4 in, employing a bit of bottleneck slide, before picking the speed back up again and then disappearing, into sudden blackness. Again, very visually evocative.

Beyond The White – A darker, but catchier drum and riff intro. The twang’s back again, adding to the appeal. An unusual, almost elusive quality to these vocals makes them that bit more recognisable and unique. Now, the drumming’s getting increasingly catchy, as is the riffage. Gorgeous melody just hitting its peak, just after the mid-section. Plenty of time to savour the flavour. Here, the vocals join in with that growing catchiness, just before their quick and definitive end.

Winter Hymn – Cymbals gradually intro, leading into a heavier, doom-filled drum and riff section, fairly Sab-esque, in feel. The vocals contribute their own bleakness, as the wind swirls around them and the pace and physicality fringe the borders of gothic territory. A much briefer track, but clear and un-hesitant, in its heavy darkness.

The Son – Gentle finger-picking acoustic riffage intro’s, moving, steadily, into a profound melody. A hint of Celtic folk enters, as the looser riffs alternate with tighter sections. Vocals lifting the song, where necessary and bringing it back down to earth, elsewhere. Increasing the catch, as it soars, returning to low lands and playing with the middle ground, between the two. Notably precise riffing. Lightening the atmosphere again, towards the end. Closing on an easier, looser rhythm and pace. Flowing outwards, into a distant rumble of thunder.

Overall – Magical, entrancing and enchanting. ‘III Winter’ delivers, at every point and is everything it claims to be and more. A truly vivid and beautiful portrayal of the Scandinavian wilderness and all the mystery and intrigue that comes from it. So precise and astutely composed. True ambient mood music, for thoughtful listeners.

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

For fans of Liholesie, Sting, Toto, Frost Giant, Farseer’s ‘Chthonic Visions’, Latitudes, Dark Ocean Society, Nyades.

Posted November 19, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

One More Weekend – ‘Listen’   Leave a comment

Taken from the well esteemed ‘We Used To’ album, ‘Listen’ is the newly released single and video from Aussie alt rockers One More Weekend. Both are available on Sliptrick Records now.

OMW have been perfecting their art since 2015, when they were founded, in Melbourne. Their debut live gig, at Healesville’s Grind ‘n’ Groove Club, was followed the next night, by a slot at Battle Of The Bands, initially meant as a last-minute substitution, which resulted in them getting through to the finals and securing a day recording at Wedgetail Records. (Hosts of BOTB).

This success led to many more live appearances and later winning ‘best act’ in the Knox Big Break Fest and being approached to perform at Dweebfest, in Mt Gambier.

Soon after, OMW supported Brisbane’s Skies Collide, on an east coast tour, appeared alongside several other known Aussie bands and so far, they’ve played more than 140 successful gigs.

Their 12 track album, ‘WUT’ came next. Engineered and mixed by renowned Melbourne producer David Carr (Kisschasy – Antiskeptic), at Rangemaster Studios. Mastered by Martin Pullen (Deep Purple), at Edensound Mastering.

Now in possession of a Toyota tour bus, nicknamed ‘Mr Fibble’, plus 2 videos and 3 more planned, OMW aim to cover most of Australia on tour and anticipate recording their next album later this year.

Listen – Introing with a fresh drum sound and an alt pop rock atmosphere. Very poppy vocals and lots of melody, with high vibes. Some well-placed electrified riffage, good timing and plenty of musicality, but it’s definitely leaning much more towards the pop end of the spectrum. A brief and pleasant, but lighter than anticipated, chart-esque listen. A track well suited to 90’s era ‘Top Of The Pops’.

5/10 *****

For fans of Deacon Blue.

Posted November 18, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Gengis Khan – ‘Self Titled’   Leave a comment

A classic heavy metal band, formed in 2012, Gengis Khan launched their debut album, ‘Gengis Khan Was A Rocker’, that year. European tours followed, then the ‘Total Metal Attack’ tour through the Old Continent, on which, they were invited, to support Vanderbuyst, Skull Fist and Enforcer. They later supported Anvil, in Holland. The drummer Fabio Alesanddrini, then left, to join Annihilator.

During this time, singer/songwriter Frank Leone continued touring and recording albums, for various artists, including: Michael Vescera (Loudness, Malmsteen), (Vescera’s ‘Beyond The Fight’), Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns) and David Reese (ex-Accept). That latter vocalist is the reason FL re-formed GK, with an all-new line-up. (Giannantonio Lassi – drums and Michele Petrone – guitars). New material was produced and the current 5 track ‘Self Titled’ EP +2 video clips, is ready to go.

The Striker – Electrified riffage opening, with a stunningly powerful drum roll and an aptly striking vocal, both anthemic and harmonic. Very Enforcer-esque, stacked with high-energy speed metal and atmosphere. A really classic sound screams from this and it may be brief, but here sings the voice of experience.

Breaking The Chains – Right into a classic rock intro, riff heavy and highly melodic. Gritty vocals, more of a sinister tone, in places and pitch perfect Enforcer-esque power screams. Like entering a traditional old school metal venue and feeling instantly at home. Screams moving into Halford-esque territory now. Riffage pulling out all the stops and getting the catchy hooks down, with precision. Slight Priest-esque ‘Deliverin’ The Goods’ echo, here and there. Throwing in a bit of late night car chase action movie sequences, always staying heavy and thoroughly metallic. Hitting a faster pace and proving their mettle, 100 times over). Gloriously tasty speed riffs make the track, with just a hint of classic Whitesnake in there, too. Fading out on that incredibly catchy riffage.

Death – Okay, that’s a bit bizarre, as all that’s there is a single shout and drum hit! Maybe that’s the point, though. Rapid and unexpected….

Mongolia – Steady riff intro, rhythmic and leading into an aggressively gravelly vocal. Not quite as melodic, in places, but the shouts are well executed and it builds atmosphere effectively. Timing perfected, every time and a sharp bit of Malmsteen-esque stuff in there, with that neo-classical edge. Very involved, ending on a confident shout.

Sleeping In The Fire – Opening on a carefully timed riff and steady drum section, it’s getting darker again, with throatier vocals and no, it’s not a W.A.S.P. cover. Unless of course, it’s taken a dramatically darker turn! This is a totally different sound, with much heavier tones and a more complex arrangement. Slightly repetitive and a little detached. Something of a sci-fi feel to it, with a little more hardness to the vocals than seems necessary.

Overall – A bit of an unusual one, which started out well, got a bit lost in the middle, then picked it back up again, before going downhill, at the end. Tracks 1, 2 and 4 are definitely the standouts. They worked. The rest didn’t. It’s clear that GK have a lot to offer. They just need to focus on the speed/power angles and soften the harsher vocals, on the shoutier tracks. Ultimately, balance it out a bit and the clear technical precision and passion’ll shine even stronger.

For fans of Farseer, Enforcer, Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen.

Posted November 17, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized