Archive for February 2020

Rich Kid Express – ‘Bubblegum Radio’   Leave a comment

Solo project of Rob Richardson, Rich Kid Express is a laid-back, groove driven homage to the classic eras of rock, inspired by bands such as KISS, AC/DC, WASP, Sweet, Joan Jett and generally 60s’/70’s bubblegum rock, right through to 80’s hair metal.

From this glorious concoction, Rob’s sound was created. He started playing (drums) just after leaving school. Evolving into a pattern of performing in various bands, during the 90’s and 2000’s, after launching 2 CD’s with HEAVENS SAKE, Rob eventually founded his own record label (Squib Kick Records) and built his own recording studio, from scratch.

‘Bubblegum Radio’ was released on February 21st, 2020, as a production covering the genres of Glam, AOR, rock and hard rock. The 5 track EP, produced between August and December 2019, is the RKE debut, composed, performed and recorded entirely by Rob. Mastering by Dave Harris, at Studio B Mastering, Charlotte, New York City. Artwork by David Norman.

‘BR’ is a purely digital release, though a small number of limited edition CD’s are available.

Distributors – CD Baby and affiliate companies. Accessible from Bandcamp and Squib Kick Records sites. Available to stream or download, from all main platforms. Inviting licensing.

You Went Too Far – Instant classic touch to that intro. Seasoned vocals, accompaniments in sync. Carefully, but catchily arranged structure. Very much an old school feel. Effortless, flawless performance, echoing the typical Leppard sound. Fading out smoothly, it’s upbeat and good quality, with a memorable tinge.

The Way She Rolls – Strong pumping bass intro. Moving, seamlessly, into an uplifting melody. Classic trad rock lyrics, with that Leppard echo again. Well timed groove and rhythm. Powerful, natural rock vocals, tastefully offset, by that high-energy atmosphere. A skilled delivery, both passionate and plausible.

Bubblegum Radio – Low bass intro, with cymbal action thrown in. Narrative lyrical slant. Rhythmic standard rock ‘n’ roll fayre. An earlier sense to this one. Simpler beats and more focus on the repetitive factor. Background cheering, with the groove. Good, consistent quality to the performance, if a little too repetitious.

Just A Dog – Drum hits intro, launching into a scene-setting Cooper-esque atmosphere. Hard and heavy, in all the right places. Very focused and breaking it down, at just the right point, into a more metallic sound. Could do with a little more lyrical variation, but the general sense is palpable and visceral. Very Cooper-esque Poison era. That, in itself, gives it a certain draw.

Steamroller – Well spaced out drum hits opening. Quickly followed by more classic rock vocals. Well structured timing, with a catchy beat. Again, it transports you back to all the old school bands of the day. Mid-paced number, with an easy, loose flow. Fading out, on a carefully timed drum and cymbal hit.

Overall – A capable, confident performance, delivered with loosely executed grooves and lots of rhythm, with a classic old school, traditional rock emphasis. Whiles away half an hour, in a suitably rocky way.

8/10 ********

For fans of Def Leppard, Alice Cooper, WASP, Poison.
Spotify – TBA

Posted February 29, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Demonik – ‘Demon’   Leave a comment

Presenting Demonik’s recent album, ‘Demon’.

Art – Violence – Crushing steel drum intro. It gets straight into the metal force. A battery of drum hits combined with lighter cymbal touches. Heavy riffs sing with metallic energy. A hint of brutality pervades this, reinforced by the steady, but insistent rhythm. Good intro.

Demon – Energised tweaky riff intro, backed up by reliably heavy drum beats and background cymbal hits. Vocally strong, with hints of Hetfield, amongst death growl sections. It all gels together well. Speeding up, lots of melodic riffage and a Metallica-esque air. Gathering more speed, there’s a great momentum about this. Alternating pace, tempo and key, proving well capable of handling those changes, fading out, on a solid set of drum beats.

Where The Demons Guide Me – Right in there, with full power metal. An instantly clear electrifying theme to this. It knows just where it’s going. Exciting, fast-paced and upbeat. Even with that floor-penetrating bass line, it’s still uplifting and melodic. The metal equivalent of a fast march, to the beat. Speeding up, it’s flying along now. Ending on a refreshingly catchy tone.

W.M.D. – Immediate, frenzied riffing. Very accessibly rhythmic. Vocals swap between melodic and deathy. More emphasis to the growls. Growing faster and faster, like a chase scene. Again, keeping great momentum. Fading out on a final roar and mid-key riff.

The Dark Light – Chugging riff intro. Already demonstrating the title well. A notable edge to those vocals. Almost an audible tang. Very powerful. Imagine a metalled up version of the late David Bowie. Effective narrative theme to these lyrics. Very central to the track. Strong accompaniments, conveying clear messages. Liking that gorgeous bit of speed riffage. Very tasty delivery. Quite an affecting depth to the closing riff.

Revolution – Bass intro, low and creeping, leading into a seamlessly smooth riff and drum section, with clear melody. Vocals entering soon after. Stacked with loads of delicious riffage. Artfully handled drum rolls and an effective building tension to the vocals. That riffing gets more and more melodic, faster and plays out with such precision. Complete cohesion, in the vocal finale.

La Fin Absolute Du Mondo – Sound effects intro, moving into a strong breakdown of heavy, hard-line instrumentals, soon joined by passionate vocals. Cymbals emerging more powerfully here. Very Metallica-esque. Highly rhythmic. A positive battering ram of drum hits. Getting in plenty of opportunity to showcase that fabulous dexterous, melodic riffage. Great stop-start section, bridging the rest. A lot of skill shows within this. Returning to the sound effects, at the end.

Confrontation – Gradually emerging intro, soon evolving into a rapidly paced number. Here, the drumming really comes into its own, with plenty of high-calibre, lightning quick rolls, amongst those fresh, tangy vocals. A visually evocative track, performed with skill, precision and impassioned authority. Lots of blazing riffage, hitting the notes with absolute acuity. Gaining in speed and vocal emphasis, hitting its stride, as it ends, on a final harmonised shout.

Overall – A heightened level of production and craftsmanship, showcasing real skill and acute edge to each component, every aspect gets its day here. Alive with electricity, energy and acuity, ‘Demon’ packs an impressive punch.

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

For fans of Metallica, Megadeth, Warpath.

Posted February 27, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Demonik – ‘Ashes Of The Earth’   Leave a comment

Introducing Demonik’s latest album, ‘Ashes Of The Earth’.

My Wrath – Instant hit of power metal. Rhythmic, old school and catchy. Anthemic vocals, capable and sleek. Effective delivery. Slightly Pantheon-esque, vocally and as such, more shouty than melodic, but the fiery accompaniments compensate, to a degree. Speed and agility play out well, within the performance and the delivery’s smooth. Doesn’t quite light me up, inside, but it’s deft and impressive, still. The drums provide an ideal backbone.

Vision – Slightly darker and deeper intro, this time, adding an exciting flair of whammy, vibrato and melody. Again, it’s very Pantheon-esque. The fire does come across. It’s just missing the spark, for me, but an absolutely flawless, energetic track. Good structure to the riffage. Growing more melodic, in sections and no quarrel at all with the output here. This is a hard-working band, with undeniable talents and even, it seems, a knack for insertion of Pantera-esque riffs, as in that ‘Cemetery Gates’-esque section. Hammering drumming closes.

Bullet After Bullet – Straight into a standard power metal intro, with a darker edge and a traditional spin. A fast-paced number, with a slight edge and some death growls interacting with the lead vocals. Very defined and assertive delivery, with clear direction. Some very inventive riffage thrown in there, towards the end, of virtuoso quality. It’s a good mix of genres, covering power, speed, psych, death and traditional melodic metal. No easy feat and they pull it off well.

Codex – Opening on a mysterious solo vocal, then bursting into life. Steady rhythm, with slight tech metal tendencies and again, that Pantheon-esque echo. Built around quite a complex, but very workable structure. Breaking down into a catchy riff melody, well supported by the drums. Well able fretwork, building up into a fulsome riff section, making the guitar sing, briefly. Creating visuals, with the lyrics, the atmosphere powers it further, as it trundles down the track, fading out, steadily.

Cult To War – Heavy solid drum beats intro, with light cymbal hits and a powered riff. Now bunching up, to a rolling drum section, it’s a slightly faster pace, with Warrior Viking vocals inserted. Gathering steam, like a racing speed train, chucking out shards of metal encrusted shrapnel. Good demonstration of well worked use of versatile sounds and complex, interwoven structures, all riven with a strong metallic touch. Those para-diddles are its USP. Taking it up, to neo-classical level, yet never losing the heavy metal feel. Growing stronger, as it flows, it’s another faultless delivery.

Storm – A barrage of drumming opens. Rapid fire pace, complete cohesion and conviction. This is the catchiest yet. Great vocal anthemic harmonies. Getting very power metal, around the mid-section. One thing can be said for Demonik and that’s that they’re incredibly versatile and well up to the task of experimentation. Throwing so many styles and sounds into a track, they’re certainly no one trick ponies. Ending on a sleek bit of riffage, ‘Storm’ is bound to prove a hit.

To Exist – Doom riff intro. Very Gothic, building the atmosphere immediately. Nice touches on the cymbals, in amongst the ominous tones and the creepy visual imagery. Just further proof of Demonik’s seasoned ability to handle performance. Spreading out the composition well, again, there’s a slight Viking element. Brilliant riff melodies, bringing it up again, to another level. Impressively structured sections slot together, seamlessly and it fades out, fluidly.

In The Darkness – Great drum intro. Straight into a speed section, riffing into the feeling. Once more, those Pantheon-esque vocals hit, with just as much fire and that same passion. Well arranged structure, again. Very plausible vocals, sung with conviction and clear aggression. A drumming assault, like a punch machine, on speed. Flowing on, with a tangy melody, more impressive riffage and a generally, high octane quality. Now, it moves, effortlessly, back into pure power metal mode, with even more fabulous whammy and vibrato. Rolling drums match the vocal pace and timbre, getting harder, heavier and deathier, as it ends.

Overall – A fiery, inventive, versatile album, arranged and performed with impressive confidence and absolute conviction. Whilst less melodic than it could be, in places, the melody’s well utilised, where it does appear. Faultless presentation, through which, vivacity shines, as does diligence and perfectionism.

8/10 ********

For fans of Pantheon, Pantera, Yngwie Malmsteen.

Posted February 26, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Scott Beckett – ‘It’s Gonna Be Alright’   Leave a comment

Introducing solo artist Scott Beckett’s latest track, ‘It’s Gonna Be All Right’, featured on his 2nd EP, ‘The Ferris Wheel’. Anticipated release date in March.

The track title speaks for itself, as this ballad is meant as a hopeful message of reassurance, concerning any and all difficult life scenarios.

Stemming from folk inspirations, the gentle acoustic sound and lyrics bring light to any situation, reinforced by the sincerity of the vocals.

Becoming known for the emotional tone to his music, Scott plays acoustic pop rock, with very real lyrics.

Soundalike comparisons are Noel Gallagher, Bob Dylan and The Beatles.

Scott’s based in Liverpool, UK.

It’s Gonna Be Alright – Gradual intro, soon displaying heartfelt vocals and a clear beat to the melody. Pleasant sound, but it does need rocking up. That Oasis influence is definitely audible, in the vocals, only this is obviously a much softer delivery. It’s got a good rhythm and the notes are held well, though it ends too abruptly, cutting the closing lyrics off, in mid-flow. An okay track, if limited in its range of audience resonance and it’s definitely too poppy. Needs to lighten up, to catch a wider audience.

4/10 ****

For fans of Enrique Iglesias, James Blunt, The Kooks.

Posted February 24, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Martial Law – ‘Blatant Disregard For Human Life’   Leave a comment

Returning to the fold, after a 4-year hiatus, Martial Law now present their EP, ‘Blatant Disregard For Human Life’.

Thick Skull – Brutal battering ram intro! That’s what you call heavy. Aggression’s an understatement. No word would do justice to the level of evil anger in here. Slabs of steel riffs, pounding drums, thrumming bass and screamo vocals, raging for the whole metal establishment. A touch of feedback and audibly slicing into his fingers, with those riffs. Venom-esque brutality crunches the gears, with wild intent.

The Agenda – Drums strike a huge impacting intro. Vocals taken down a gear here, but still reverting to the wildness of before, in places. Riffage to floor the best and blazing lyrics blitz through this demon of a track. This is heaviness beyond heaviness. Solid production. Shit hot sound values. Rabid intensity, ending on some pointed cymbal hits.

Injustice System! – Steamrollering in there, with a drumming machine gun assault. Bringing in some anthemic group vocals now, alongside the leading screams. Full on attack, with absolute conviction. A brief, but insanely heavy track, with bald aggression throughout.

Subservient – Another crushing intro, this time, built around more of a slide/bottleneck emphasis. Still every bit as chunky, though and keeping that focused white hot aggression, to power it along. A battle-esque round of savage drum rolls brings it to an end.

Data Master – Ice pick riff intro! Severe blasts of heaviness, with no holds barred and just a touch of old school bass backing. Again, those sharply honed drum hits retain the momentum, as the riffs scream, in a metalled up Hendrix-esque ‘Foxy Lady’ style. Melodically screamo pitched vocals finish it, with true definition.

Corrosive Decisions – Blazing intro, with a slight ‘UYI’ era Axl Rose-esque vocal. Only edgier, with a greater capacity. More of a rhythmic slant to this, but still intently focused on every other aspect of acuity. Pure murderous intent. You wouldn’t want to piss these guys off. Cymbals hitting the last note again.

Nothing Changes – Steaming in once more, with a huge molten slab of steel. To call those vocals sharp doesn’t even cover it. A visible, wild-eyed red hot flame of incensed rage permeates them. Everything in sync, matching like-for-like, raging on, like a metal hurricane. Inexplicably powerful.

Transparency – Once again, that crazed battering ram of aggro-fuelled drumming opens. Riffs soon joining in, with a blitzkrieg of power. Visuals evoked of those wild eyes, burning with intense driven rage. The riffage hits its stride, as it barrels towards the end, as smoke trails after it.

Overall – Only one word. Brutal. No other means of description would suffice. Like the wroth of Satan, fuelled by all the fires of hell.

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

For fans of Venom, Exodus, Slayer.

Posted February 23, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

MIWA – ‘Hell Is Real’   Leave a comment

An American heavy metal band, with female vocals, named after its Japanese vocalist, MIWA also features Billy Sheehan on bass, Sean Lee and Mitch Perry, on guitars and Sean Elg, on drums. The debut album featured Chris Slade (AC/DC), on drums and Bjoern Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen), on bass.

An LA-based band, so heavy, it verges on death metal, MIWA have already received positive acclaim, from fans.

The Darker Of The Darkest Of The Dark – Launching straight into a classic metal intro, powered by confident, heavy riffs and thundering drums. That voice is instantly memorable, with its razor blade sharp acuity and grit-soaked gravel, all the more memorable, for coming from a woman. Echoing Space Parasites slightly, but there’s a rawness to those riffs, complete with a unique edge, delivered with total fluidity. Melodically strong, harmonising towards the end. Drumming driving it along, to a clear, definitive end.

Devil’s Avocation – Drum intro, breaking things down, into a rolling hook of a track. Those cheese grater riven vocals are really edgy. This one just rolls along, with darkened intent and a classic old school atmosphere. Smoking riffs and a nostalgic rhythm and melody. Speed rocks it hard, as it pounds along. Almost animalistic, in its delivery. Raw and bloody.

Hell Is Real – Slide electric riff intro, moving into a new, smooth, feminine vocal. Fast-paced rhythm, riven with catch and still, there’s an edge to the vocals. Drums completing the steady reliability and drive of the rhythm. Growing harder, heavier and wilder, as it rolls on. This has a unique stamp on it and this is one band with real chemistry.

Anything For Love – Powerful mighty riff opening. Back into those crackle glass vocals. There’s a real catchy sexiness to this pace. It drags you along with it, in the heightened atmosphere of rock ‘n’ roll excess. Such a 90’s hair metal touch to it. Just delicious. A real full-bodied sound, just filled with metallic passion.

One Single Bullet – Skidding into that intro steer, it hits its stride instantly, again. So much edge in those vocals, gleaming with metal spirit. Drums gaining heavier volume, bringing slabs of molten steel. Loving the electrified riffage, adding the precision and feeling. Closing with vocal definition, once more.

No Smoke Without Fire – Steering slide riffage intro’s. Vocals coming straight in, without missing a beat. Slight echoes here of Action City Blackout’s ‘Down In Flames’. So sexy and stacked with genuine metal ecstasy. Sirens trace the line in the mid-section, before the rock ‘n’ roll emphasis makes its mark, in a seamless ending.

Born In Bondage – Full on heaviness introing! Immediate rhythmic catch. Classic metal lyrics, completing the visual imagery. It’s smooth, sensuous and delightful. Get lost in that melody, as the riffs make their mark on your heart. Coming to a cohesive, harmonised end.

Cage Of Domination – More of that awesomely powerful sexy riffage intro’s. Right into the theme! Heavily sexy lyrics, delivered with feeling. Brave stuff to bring to the fore and bound to prove a hit. The title speaks for itself). This one just drives itself, effortlessly.

Cursed Without Warning – Drum intro, pounding out the rhythm, from the start, setting the scene well. Smoother vocals again here. Great to hear that passion and don’t be fooled by the smoothness, cos it gets raw, edgy and gravelly, all over again. Similar lyrical themes to the last. Fabulous pace, very much dictated by the drums. Palpable stuff and lots of visual evocations. Glorious darkness cloaks this track in blackness. All achieved with melodic consistency and vocal shades. Coming to a shuddering halt.

The Devil’s Fingerprints – Sharp riffage building an instant picture. Moving into another furied rhythm. Catchy drumming, sexily paced. Vocals doing their thing, again, with impassioned gore, while the riffs heat up and the melody hits you, with a palpable edge. Blood-drenched lyrics, fitting the sound, like a glove. Fast-paced number, executed with absolute razor-sharp precision. Closing on a vicious scream.

Overall – Pure metal fury, in glorious overdrive. Passionate performance, hitting its pace, from start to end. Sexy, driven and metallically wild. The quality and style of vocal rawness will stay with you and the stratospherically powered accompaniments will rage in your brain, forever.

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

For fans of Space Parasites, Zeit, Action City Blackout, Carcass.


Posted February 20, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Matt Springfield – ‘Things I’ve Said’   Leave a comment

‘Things I’ve Said’ is the new release from singer-songwriter, composer Matt Springfield. Inspired by an online relationship, ‘TIS’ was written with reference to the object of his affections.

Matt’s musical influences include: U2, Bon Jovi, Muse and The Killers, plus the solo work of Brandon Flowers, their lead singer. His music harks back to the 80’s, with more modern twists added in.

Produced by Greg Haver (Tom Jones, Manic Street Preachers, Mel C.) and mastered by Ryan Smith. Recorded at Modern World Studios, Tetbury, UK. Launched via crowdfunding, on akamusic. The 9 track EP, ‘Erase All Data’, on which, ‘TIS’ features, was also fan-funded, again, recorded by Greg Haver.

Things I’ve Said – Smooth riff intro, with steady drum beats following. Straight away, the 80’s vocals are audible. Fairly pop rock, very capable vocals, with a distinctive edge. Well structured track. Decent production. Something of a catchy vibe to it, definitely leaning towards the softer end of the rock genre, it’s a pleasant enough listen, if a tad generic.

7/10 *******

For fans of Erasure, Level 42, other 80’s pop rock and synth pop.

Posted February 19, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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 (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