Archive for March 2020

Holden – ‘Ursa Minor’   Leave a comment

Titled after Judge Holden, in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian, Holden now offer up their debut 5 track, ‘Ursa Minor’.

A complex fusion of post-metal and doom, with various other elements entwined within it, Holden’s sound showcases their creative expertise, especially in groove terms.

Lots of visual references are contained in ‘UM’. It stands as an effective symbol of its themes.

‘UM’ is the outcome of a year’s work and the 2nd album is currently in progress. This trio have a lot to give and deliver it with a solid punch.

After The Fact – Cautiously delivered cymbal intro, soon joined by a funereal drum and riff segment. Sludgy tones and doomy rhythms. Dalek-like death vocals, morphing into darkly melodic sounds, interweaving with the menacing Daleks. Mysterious aspects to the arrangements, with fuzzy riffs and lingering omens. Fading out, without much change.

Sparks Between Teeth – Deep, solid drum sound introing. Fading vocals, interlinking with aggressive roars. Just very sludgy and doom entrenched, with a constant low rumble of boulder like drums, bearing down on you, like a 100 tonne lead weight. It has to be said, it does consume you with a vast sense of hopelessness, from which there appears to be no prospect of escape.

However Small, However Hidden – A slight sense of light relief accompanies this breathier intro, scattered with lighter tones. It soon gets percussively depressive, though. Still slightly livelier than the previous track, speeding up, into a visually evocative endless circle of weighted psychedelia. So glumly heavy, it’s how I imagine the tail end of an acid trip to be. On the plus side, it’s certainly rhythmic, even if the groove does appear to have fallen down a steep, black hole. It’s pretty decent, production-wise and its sound values are consistent. It’s just that the melody’s making me beg for relief. As is the over-extended track length. No quarrel with musical technicalities, which are, in themselves, quite superior. The bleak mood it swamps you in just gets a bit much.

Emperor Of Maladies – Can this get any gloomier? Opening on a darkly atmospheric sound, it continues in much the same vein. A slight scratchiness to this, it combines blackened growls with lead-heavy accompaniments. Getting some speed up, around the mid-section, then slowing back down again, to deathly doom. The speed rises once more, as it crawls on, to the end, amongst the deadly ominous riff tones and drum fills, to a final cymbal hit.

The Way It Was And Will Be – Upping the mood, very slightly, with streaky riffs, performed with a bit of wobble and an airier sense to the percussion. Like a cruel joke, this, being the most tolerable track, is the shortest. Throwing in the trick of manoeuvring the sound in and out, just before the fade out, it then fades out, fully, on the same sliding riff.

Overall – Musically skilled, but ultimately bleak. Whilst much of the essence of doom is exactly that, you can overdo the gloom factor, as ‘Ursa Minor’ does. Technically proficient, but too depressive to bear further listens.

4/10 ****

For fans of Bludy Gyres, Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf, Electric Wizard, Witchcraft, Kyuss.

Released May 8th, 2020.

Posted March 31, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Night – ‘7 “‘   Leave a comment

After 3 years of radio silence, Night return, with their next release, the 2 track ‘7 “‘, following 2017’s ‘Raft Of The World’. Revealing a fresh sound, ‘7 “‘ is a live studio production, featuring new drummer Linus Fritzson (Ambush).

Originally known as R.O.C.K., this Swedish-based band began by reflecting their main influences, Judas Priest and Saxon. 2012 brought their debut release, since when, their sound has grown to a traditional old school rock and metal combo. They’re now developing their sounds, into more diverse arenas.

With this new release, Night move more intensively, back to the 70’s, 80’s and disco eras, which was what the live production aimed to capture.

A new album is anticipated this autumn. Now returning to working with original ‘ROTW’ producer Ola Ersfjord, (Primordial, Dead Lord, Imperial State Electric), ‘7 “‘ precedes the forthcoming album and it’s hoped it’ll whet fans appetites for more.

Feeling It Everywhere – Eerie sci-fi-esque intro gives way to a pop rock sound, with echoes of early soft rock influences. Certainly plenty of rhythm here and it’s melodically strong, building the mood up, to gradually stronger beats and unusually melancholic atmospherics, becoming lighter, as it progresses. A brief track, with a rapid pace, a bouncy beat and an abrupt end.

Kings Of The Night – Darker, yet more hopeful, uplifting intro. Very drum focused, striking riffs and a clearer power angle. Surer vocals, still haunting melodies, but with lighter arrangements. Going for it, with more involved riffs, around the mid-section. Moving between shades of light and dark, alternating the pace, here and there, growing more confident, towards the end. There’s a definite tang about it, blending power metal feel, with sci-fi-esque, tech metal and early old school influences. It’s an acquired sound, with a complex aspect.

Overall – Progressively speaking, ‘7 “‘ is a definite departure away from ‘ROTW’. Clearly heading in a new direction altogether, there’s a much more spacey element to this. Good musicianship, with intriguingly unusual tones, it’s somewhat of an acquired sound.

6/10 ******

For fans of Solitary, ‘War Of The Worlds’, Dark Ocean Society, Dark Years From Now, Dead Happy Electric Six, Chaos Over Cosmos.

Released 3rd April 2020, on The Sign Records. Available digitally and on 7 ” vinyl.

Posted March 30, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

League Of Corruption – ‘Something In The Water’   Leave a comment

Southern groove metal band League Of Corruption have been around for 15 years, on and off, yet their debut album, ‘Something In The Water’, is only just being released this June. However, the band features founding member, vocalist and guitarist Chris Barlow (formerly of Mecha Messiah) and Canada’s own renowned Brian Langley (of Aggression and ex-Infernal Majesty), on guitar and backing vocals. The other 2 members are Drewski (bass and backing vocals) and Paul Trounce (drums).

Significantly influenced by Zakk Wylde, (BL fronts a Zakk Wylde tribute band), Lynyrd Skynyrd, Down and Corrosion Of Conformity, LOC deliver a classic heavy crunch, complete with  powerful ignition, a strong bass emphasis and melodic groove. ‘SITW’ is 6 tracks of cool, bad to the bone, old school rock and metal.

Save The Church – Deep doomy drum beats intro, with a screaming riff and a red hot sexy gritty vocal. A tribal-esque atmosphere shrouds this track instantly, along with a catchy melody, workable in its simplicity. Very much trucker metal! That groove’s integral to every note and it blends doom, with southern groove and unforgettable melody, in a perfect marriage. A low, thumping beat characterises the track, from start to end and it fades out on that same steady dark rhythm.

Leave Me Be – Sharp, electric riffs open. Straight into a heavy, manly, Clutch-like rhythm. Gravel-encrusted vocals make this sound what it is, along with the Electric Wizard-esque melodic doom. Loaded with hooks, running right through it. Applying, lowering and heightening the tension in all the ideal places. A very visual one, with more of an artistically muffled, sludgy drum sound, working perfectly for this style of metal. Stacked with vocal conviction, this is a track with definite staying power.

Not Your Friend – More crushing cohesive intro here and a brief screaming central riff. Light percussion enters, keeping that rhythm well. Again, that deep down gravel throated vocal consumes the track. Plenty of great, well timed drum fills and some vivid riffs, with a tangy edge. Covering a wide spectrum of soundalikes, this should work for anyone enamoured of doom, sludge, southern groove and straight out R&R. It’s got that stomping sound beloved of most styles befitting those genres. Just a little more acuity needed on that outro.

Something In The Water – Another heavy riff intro. Very Sabbath-esque stuff. Still maintaining that solid boom and crushing sound. Drums getting faster and more involved. The riffs follow. The doom’s central to the structure, but they’re still careful to keep it melodic. The drumming here’s evolved into symbolic machine-gun fire. Shorter than expected and less unique, as the title track, but still a consistent level of expression.

Want Me Gone – A more isolated, spaced out drum round intro’s, followed by a notably velvet riff. Quite beautiful and hitting that slide section so sexily. There’s a cautious deliberation to this track’s arrangement. Very catchy lyrics. Decent melody. Definitely a smoothness audible in here, marking it out more starkly. Really feeling it now. The groove is what this is all about. Very tasty riffage screams through the latter section, fading out on an echoic tone.

Where’s Your Saviour Now – Firm Sab-esque drum beat, echoing the opening beats to ‘Iron Man’. Even stronger gravel-throated emphasis. Now morphing and mutating into a soundalike medley of ‘Helter-Skelter’ and Judas Priest’s ‘Revolution’, hybridised with Sab’s ‘War Pigs’. Whilst it is sounding somewhat derivative, it’s still a skilled, catchy delivery, with a few well conceived original spins.

Overall – Generally, a great album, with a lot of crunch, ‘Something In The Water’ certainly shows its wares, in its carefully cultivated combination of southern rock groove, doom, stoner, sludge and straight out heavy metal. The only points to work on are the lack of outstanding features in the title track and slight lack of originality in the finale. Otherwise, it’s a dependably solid production, with a highly catchy sound, sex appeal, in spades and genuine gravitas.

8/10 ********

For fans of Electric Wizard, Orange Goblin, Grand Magus, Line Of Fire, Baleful Creed, Down, Corrosion Of Conformity, Witchcraft, Kyuss, Black Stone Cherry, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rifflord, Dizastra, Smoking Martha, Tommy Stewart’s Dyerwulf, I Am The Law, Cybernetic Witch Cult, Clutch.

Released 12th June 2020

Posted March 29, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Baleful Creed – ‘The Lowdown’   1 comment

Already having built widespread global acclaim, Baleful Creed now present their 3rd album, ‘The Lowdown’.

Formed 2009, the Belfast-based band began with cover songs and rapidly evolved, into an originals outfit. Inspirations include Black Sabbath, Danzig and Fireball Ministry. That same year, their debut EP, ‘Killing Time’ landed.

Following a change of recording studio, next came the bigger sounds of ‘Buried Beneath’ (2011) and ‘III’ (2012), both of which were produced by Neal Calderwood, at Manor Park. This EP trio was at that point, available exclusively from the band’s Bandcamp Page.

The final 2 EP’s were eventually combined, re-mixed and mastered into a complete debut album, aptly self titled, introducing the world to the hard stoner rock sound that is Baleful Creed. This time, echoes of A.I.C., Kyuss and Soundgarden were thrown into the mix. ‘Baleful Creed’ was launched on 29.12.13.

The following year, the band’s base was updated and 2015 saw BC writing and recording new material, continuing throughout 2016. On 6 June 2017, their next album, ‘Seismic Shifter’ hit our shores. Produced back at Manor Park Studios, ‘SS’ shows a more ingrained, solid sound.

Bringing things up-to-date, this upcoming album, ‘The Lowdown’, showcases BC, at their finest, evolving into more creative arenas.

Amongst their achievements so far are: playing support for Firebird, Praying Mantis, Massive Wagons, Stone Broken, Those Damn Crows, Jex Throth, Void Moon and Dio tribute band Rising; appearances at Winterstorm, Loverocks, Crazy Cowboy 4, Wildfire, Rockwich and ComMUNIon Of Rock Fests, explosive sets on tour, featuring on Planet Rock and 5 x chart-topping tracks on Hard Rock Hell Radio.

As ‘TL’ launches, this year, it’s set to be a big hitter, especially amongst their army of fans in what’s known as ‘BC Global Family’. Recently tagged, at their debut London show as ‘band of the day, crowd of the day’, BC are primed to blow your ears off, with the long-awaited album, ‘TL’.

Mr Grim – Opening with that unmistakably heavy drum stoner riff sound typical of BC). Straight away, there’s an even stronger edge to these vocals, pouring grit into the mix. That easily rolling rhythm gets into you, without missing a beat. Catchy melody to the chorus, it’s a tight, cohesive track, delivered with effortless craftsmanship.

The Phoenix – Boom! Even heavier intro. Getting right into the stoner vibe. Mid-paced rhythm, just rocking along, with plenty of vocal gravel. That drum beat stands out here and an easy relaxed flow moves through the track, till the tight, concise ending.

Pilot My Head – Solid beat introing, this is a looser feel. More of a light-hearted vibe. Still got that effortless presentation about it. A lot of consistency in those vocals, never losing that gritty sound. It’s got a great groove to it and it ends so heavily, with a bluesy, gravel soaked vocal). Effective, melodic, crunchy and very Line Of Fire-esque.

Riled Up – Taking it up, instantly, into higher territory, the upbeat feel works perfectly, with the faster paced rhythm. The immediacy just gets you and you just couldn’t fail to be uplifted by this dizzying track. The ideal backing track to a car chase movie. Coming to a skidding halt, stacked with energy, this has got to be a standout track.

Tramalapam – Sliding in, on a sleek, bluesy riff, backed by a powerful stoner essence. Relatable lyrics (for some). A strong Kyuss atmosphere, with a hint of Down and a touch of Corrosion Of Conformity. You’ll get into that chorus, before you know it. Sailing along, on a free, laid-back arrangement. Bringing that riff up and down the scales, gorgeously, in that bluesy stoner way, it rocks along, so sexily, till the cool ease of the fade-out. Buzzing with rocky thrills.

Confused – A lighter, but still well timed touch on the drums, it’s a seamless intro. Don’t be fooled by that, though, cos this track racks up the heaviness factor, in no time). Here’s where the heavier blues angle lies. Just going for it, with flawless exhilaration. The fun factor’s just as audible, even through the fuzzy section surrounding the finale, where keys blend with the rest.

One Shot – Mysterious film script opens, before moving, smoothly, into a deep groove and catchy melody, bound to get you humming along. A real strength sings out in this. Another hook-loaded track, filled with huge stoner blues rock emphasis. Fading out idyllically, on a bass buzz. Again, very C.O.C.-esque, memorable and catchy as hell.

End Game – Huge heavy intro, massive determination in those lyrics. Great narrative themes. Like a shot of adrenaline, it’s an energy packed track, screaming with authenticity and maximum crunch. A briefer, but incredibly powerful track.

Line Of Trouble – Beautifully smooth bass intro, taking it straight into more contemplative territory. So cathartic, it’s a sound that’ll get into your soul. That melody’s to die for. Very intriguing lyrics, with such conviction within them. Slight touch of wah-wah and the track soars. Over too soon, this is one addictive track, with a well-defined ending.

Southgate Of Heaven – Kicking it off with a solid drum hit. Segueing into a really bluesy sound, with a raunchy edge. Accessible rhythm, with great blues piano sections incorporated into it. There’s a real kick to this track and it lifts the mood, immediately. Fabulous harmonica section in there. So catchy, huge blues essence and a massive swing to the groove. Flying on, to a propeller-like outro, this is a perfect finale.

Overall – ‘The Lowdown’ is everything I expected it to be and more. A clear sign of Baleful Creed’s ever-growing ease with their own sound and another line, marking their progression, to even more versatile arenas. It’s got blues, stoner, hard/heavy rock and groove-laden melodies to kill. BC’s star has just risen higher. ‘TL”s the ideal mood lifter, to unwind with and forget all the bullshit. Grab a copy now.

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

For fans of Down, Corrosion Of Conformity, Kyuss, Line Of Fire, Danzig, Trucker Diablo, Black Stone Cherry, Alice In Chains.

Posted March 27, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Stolen Apple – ‘Wagon Songs’   Leave a comment

Stolen Apple, an alternative rock band, combining proto-punk with gritty 90’s American rock, with sonic traits, originate from Firenze and all over the globe. Composed of ex-members of Stout, Malastrana, Nest, Subterraneans and Valvolus, ‘Wagon Songs’ is their first album in 3 years.

Following on from ‘Trenches’ (released on Audioglobe and Clearspot), ‘WS’ is a natural progression for the band, whilst retaining their original signature. Symbolising forward movement, to greater awareness, ‘WS’ aims to illustrate the continued existence of the underground creative arena and how people have largely lost sight of it. ‘WS’ was released on 21st February 2020.

Suicide – Seamless intro. Easing into the rhythm, it’s a laid-back track, with a loose structure and a relaxed vocal style. Stylistically, echoing Duff Mckagan’s ‘Loaded’. Quite bluesy, in its way, with that alt rock, indie twist. Stays consistent, throughout. A good chill-out track, with an easy vibe.

Renegade Sun (Brexit) – Faster, more upbeat stuff. More flamboyant vocals. Clear punky emphasis. This one rolls along just as easily and with a bolder feel. Good cohesion, tight band chemistry and it’s a very open-hearted, free sort of track, just sailing on, smoothly, till the end.

It’s Up Your Mind – Coming in effortlessly. Echoes of 90’s Brit rock, with an alt flavour. Instant indie vibe, spoken word elements dominating. Quite a distracting style, the beat stays the same. Backing vocals entering, later in the track, it’s mostly told in a narrative form. Perhaps a little repetitive, but it’s well performed and confidently delivered, in a continued nonchalant manner.

Masturbation – Stronger, twangy riff intro, (forgive the pun), slightly enigmatic lyrical style. More involved riffs, slightly fuller accompaniments, a brief, but demonstrative track. Enough said.

Out Of Fashion – Deeper, but gentler riff intro, bringing in a gradual drum beat and another mysterious vocal aspect. Nirvana-esque hints and an emerging psychedelic ambience. Rocking it up a bit, before disappearing into an enveloping format and then returning to the rockier sounds and the alt themes. The rhythm moves in and out, continuously folding into and out of itself, flowing on, in that way, till the end.

A Looking Behind Kid – Warm, soft intro, with distant shore waves integral. Harmonica and acoustic riffs inter-play, with the softer vocals, in a Dylan-esque form. Slower beat, with a profound sense to the track. A quiescent beauty threads its way through the sounds, in an almost spiritual way. Inviting you to slow down and stop a while, it’s a respite, of sorts.

Tattoo – Picking things back up again, a disco mood permeates this. Faster pace, Arctic Monkeys-esque stuff, strongly echoing ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dance Floor’, it’s a short, but punchy track, with superficial overtones, further emphasised by the stop-start sections.

Passion – Plucky opening riffs, feeling their way in. Ominously creepy vocals. A bit more overtly psychedelic, in tone and form. The narrative thread returns, before bursting into life, with a full on electric section, echoing the flower power theme. More stop-start stuff and it’s starting to sound a tad leerily suggestive). Everyone joins in with the vocals, as the rhythmic melody soaks up the rest of the track. Coming to a sudden end.

Easier – Simply strummed chords intro, before it moves into a sinister melody, with a quicker pace. Affecting atmospherics, I feel like I’m being stalked. Gaining ground, as it speeds up, slightly, more involving cymbal hits do their thing. More rhythmic than anything else. A complex labyrinth of flash-points and meandering routes, it’s a symbolic song, demonstrating the intricacy of life well. Eventually, slowing down, into a looser groove, very lounge rock, in essence. The bass underlining the finale.

Overall – Ever wondered what a florid LSD trip, at Woodstock, back in the 60’s was like? So have I. Well wonder no more, cos you’re about to find out. ‘Wagon Songs’ is possibly, the closest approximation to such an experience. It’s a flowy, psychedelic album, with tinges of deep groove, alternative aspects and indie shades and all the time, a pervading sense of being pulled, continually, in and out of a game of consequences. Mysteriously enigmatic and intriguingly experimental.

7/10 *******

For fans of Dan Reed Network, Lou Reed, Purson, Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, Kaiser Chiefs, Duff Mckagan, Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, The Kooks.

Posted March 24, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Velvet Insane – ‘Time Will Tell’   Leave a comment

Introducing Velvet Insane’s new track, ‘Time Will Tell’, a charity single, inspired by Christoffer Hjalmarsson’s award-winning documentary, ’36 Days On The Street’.

All proceeds go to Sweden City Mission. Further fundraisers are anticipated, later this year.

Time Will Tell – Gentle acoustic intro, with equally soft vocals following. Profound, meaningful lyrics, very emotional. Carefully paced drums, adding to the space between the notes, aswell as the meaning of the melancholia. Patently sentimental vocals, bearing out the lyrics well. An easily visually evocative track, of the kind that might work in a tear-jerking film. Smoothly continuous mid-paced rhythm. Beautiful, in its way, but as a weepy ballad type track, one to be wary of, during low moods and sensitive phases. Still, it tells the story well.

7/10 *******

For fans of Radiohead, Jamie Cullum, Enrique Iglesias, The Calling, Suede.

Posted March 22, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Gates Of Paradox – ‘Gates Of Paradox’   Leave a comment

Gates Of Paradox was founded in 2015. Deviating from the norms and carving out their own niche, GOP concentrated their sound on melody and musical craftsmanship. To this end, they’ve built a unique angle on power metal, blending old and new structures, with nods to their various inspirations. Having spent some time planning and prepping material, a few years on, their debut independent self titled album has arrived. It was launched in 2019.

Opening The Gate – Opening with a mixture of busy sounds, a synth and group vocal harmonies, performed in an epic fantasy style. Moving into a solo power vocal, ending on a perfectly timed scream. Very Silent Winter-esque.

End Of Time – Instant hard-hitting speed riff intro. Vocals blending with the sound and style, with cut glass precision. Hitting some impressive notes, a real strength characterises these vocals. Classic ‘Heavy Metal Killers’ stuff here. Theatrically delivered, in a metallic narrative style. Fresh energy typifies this sound and the power’s ever-present. Gaining ground and upping the tension, till the closing crescendo.

Cursed Eternity – Introing on a markedly slanted, sinister riff, backed up by heavy metal drums. Always retaining that momentum, the vocals introduce some differing styles, hitting the power screams, with impressive accuracy and energy. Again, that saga sound enters and boldly continues, throughout. It’s powerfully neo-classical, in parts, echoing Yngwie Malmsteen, to quite a stunning degree and melody’s very much the watchword. The sheer speed, intricacy and consistency of those lightning fast riffs is hugely admirable, in itself. Ending on a Dio-esque breeze of whirling gale.

Dissonance – Strong drum hit and riff intro. Straight into a pointed vocal, edgy and sharp. Riffs sliding in there, with an open fingered style. Changing down a gear, into alternating rhythms. Notably good melodies, filling the space with uplifting, catchy vibes. Hitting some peaks there, with freestyle, passionate compulsion. Telling a story, with all the emotion inherent. Huge narrative element to this. Ending on a beautifully blended riff and vocal.

Hatred Within – Powerful drum intro. Very militaristic. Climbing down the riff scales, before speeding up, into light filled explosions of sound. Searing power screams, very Farseer-esque and touching on Enforcer territory. The sheer effortless precision just astounds. That vocal quality is something else. Throwing in some deathy, background growls, which are fortunately, short lived, the melody’s very much where it’s at. Reaching the heights of ecstatic delivery, it’s just astonishing.

Revolution Overthrown – Bass intro, low down and creeping, back up to higher melodies. Very much guitar virtuoso stuff, executing the riffs with a cutting edge. Once more, that theatrical angle’s audible. Blown up, into true epic saga narratives. Again, that bass comes back in, for more cat and mouse games, before being overtaken by the riffs. Some complex arrangements in there. Returning to the creeping bass, towards the end, mixing it up with shrill riffs. Then building it back up, to a Viking-esque volume and format. Narrating an involving tale of epic battles, the level of strength within this sound is inexplicable. Back to seagulls and chains, at the outro.

The Voyage To Shore – A gentler, softer acoustic section opens. Beautifully melodic and as it speeds up, you’re transported to a land of wonder and awe. Electric riffs entering there and splitting, into more neo-classical sections, alternated with a heavier, steel emphasis. Gorgeous melodic delivery. True skill and versatility. This is how to make a guitar sing. Speeding it up up, to frenetic levels, then taking it back down and up again. Bringing it up and down, spectacularly. Closing on shore line sounds.

Cast Into The Sea Of Oblivion – Unexpectedly abrupt intro, but no less powerful. Now bringing in keys/synths, briefly, then quickly, returning to happy melodies. Strikingly masculine, Viking-esque vocals and riffs, peppered with hammering strength. A jolly pace combines with harder sections, bearing out the narrative, through the instrumental sounds and styles. Taking it up, to bigger, fuller sounds, with a few traditional ‘whoa-whoa’ lyrics, amongst the rest. Joining together, in harmony, creating a huge vastness of sound, then returning to joyous riffs and solo vocals, continuing to tell the story of fates and reality. Gorgeously catchy fade-out melody.

Sand Of The Hourglass – Sombre tones intro, with a pure guitar riff. That vocal is suddenly so striking and filled with real grit-soaked passion. Actually, very Baleful Creed-esque, in that section. More riff maestro stuff and so much emotion’s poured into this, it’ll just floor you. Stand-out track, for certain. Handled with such ease, accomplishment and absolute star quality. Deft delivery and it’s the perfect merging of vocals and accompaniments. Very much a one-off.

Into The Unknown – Gentle, smooth, careful riff intro, melting into the track, falling back, amongst equally executed vocal harmonies. A sinister omen of suspense follows. The end.

Inside The Temple – Silence for most of this finale, right up until the closing chants. A bit of a surprising end to a spectacular album.

Overall – An epically superior album, stacked high with striking, impressive features and complex, fulsome sounds. Combining all the right elements, to create a magnificently intricate, fantastical saga, of monumental stature. ‘Gates Of Paradox’ is a diamond album, of the highest quality.

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

For fans of Enforcer, Farseer, Ice Sword, Marius Danielsen, Silent Winter, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dark Forest, Shahyd Legacy, Dragonforce.

Posted March 22, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Andre Comeau – ‘Wrong Within’   Leave a comment

Ex Reigndance vocalist Andre Comeau now presents his latest EP, ‘Wrong Within’, via EMP Label Group. The 5 track hard rock offering will land on March 27th 2020.

Known as the ‘rocker-guy’, from MTV’s reality show, ‘The Real World’, WW is performed entirely by Andre.

Coming from a musical Detroit-based family, he’s been surrounded by music his whole life and has it inside him.

Andre’s former band Reigndance, featuring members of QOTSA and The Dead Weather, was where it all began, during the 90’s. Soon moving to New York, Andre was then selected for ‘The Real World’. This proved a hit and was instrumental in securing exposure, for the band. Following 3 releases and multiple tours, the band finally split, in 1997.

Fast forward, to another move, to Los Angeles and by the noughties, Andre went back to his musical roots, amongst the folk scene. River Rouge was the result. Several positively acclaimed albums followed. After making a success in LA, that band went their separate ways, in 2016.

Come 2019, Andre linked up with EMP Label Group, co-headed by David Ellefson (Megadeth) and Thom Hazaert. The outcome of this is a new direction, into his original hard rock passions, which is what you can hear on ‘WW’.

Firebird – Straight into a slick riff intro. Equally sleek vocals accompanying. Classic feel to the track and a clear hard rock sound. Natural sense of rhythm. Lots of catch and oozing sex appeal. This has got instant hard hitter written all over it. Heaps of melody. Bound to prove commercially successful, it’s a smooth delivery, throughout.

Son Of A Gun – A deeper, darker, looser intro. Great laid-back drawl to this notably bluesy rock number. It’s got all the right ingredients and it’s comfortably mid-paced. Lots of sexy riffage in here. Classic gruff hard rock vocals, easily handling the track, showcasing complete ease with the material. Good fade-out. This is for the old school rockers).

Out Of Control – Carefully plucked riff intro, very blues rock, with a stoner edge. Dropping, easily, into softer, but no less sexy vocals. Even more so, if anything. Everything comes in, with precision timing. Very traditional lyrics and with each track, we’re transported to classic rock atmospherics and visuals to kill. A gorgeously sensual rhythm gets into your blood and carries you away. Sublime.

Killing Milkweed – Opening on a rougher, but snappier vocal. Again, it’s just as catchy and just as fun. The rapid pace takes it in a new direction, without deviating from the mood. Tasty rhythmic accompaniments. So upbeat and high energy. Just a great melodic rock out fest, from start to finish.

Clairvoyant – Drums capably and confidently leading to another laid-back, loosened rhythm, with a lovely bit of tremolo hidden in the midst of those divine riffs. Hotting up now, on the riffs and going for it some more, that solo’s just sumptuous. Once more, those eager vocals lead the flow, as the guitar break gives it all it’s got. This is just the cream. Building up to a final drum outro.

Overall – A sexy, rocky, flawless slice of groove entrenched masculinity, to heighten your senses and pull you into its lair. ‘Wrong Within’ will make you it’s willing hostage and ensnare you, for ever, in its irresistible world.

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

For fans of Kickin’ Valentina, Cryptids, Free, Blue Oyster Cult, Ram Jam, Live, Bad Company, Gentleman’s Pistols, Kikamora.

‘Son Of A Gun’ video –

Posted March 19, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

SickOnes – ‘Agility’   Leave a comment

Bristol rock band SickOnes now release their new track, ‘Agility’. Already premiered on BBC 6 Radio, this new single represents a progressive move forward for SO.

Founded 2016, SO became rapidly known within the punk scene, with 3 EP’s and a global collaboration to their names. During this time, they performed multiple gigs, throughout the UK, Europe and the East Coast of America.

They’ve toured with The Dead Kennedys and Cancer Bats and have received widespread positive media acclaim. With their energised, captivating live appearances, their socially aware lyrics and down-to-earth approach, they capture their fans attention, on a major scale.

A couple of line-up changes have ensured some new and innovative aspects, adding to their already enlivening qualities.

The recent track, ‘Agility’ stems from those very changes, symbolising their movement, from 80’s enraged punk, to 90’s grunge, with a Beastie Boys flavour.

Produced and engineered by Kurt Fagan, at The Ranch Production House, ‘Agility’ breaks new ground, still incorporating alternative and hard-core sounds, with vivacious vocals.

Agility – High quality hard-core intro. Screaming vocals and razor sharp riffs. This is true passion. Going against the grain of generic punk and into higher realms of heaviness and acuity. Real instrumental skill, giving everything a chance to shine, it’s a short, sharp blast of sophisticated rage, echoing Electric Vengeance and especially EV’s current cut-throat sound. ‘Agility’ engages and impresses.

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

For fans of Electric Vengeance

Available, to stream, on:

Posted March 18, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Dark Forest – ‘Oak, Ash & Thorn’   Leave a comment

Introducing the return of UK metallers Dark Forest, with their new 9 track album of legendary power and metallic glory. ‘Oak, Ash & Thorn’, their first studio album in 4 years, is a narrative of myths and legends.

This 5th album is inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s 1906 fantasy, ‘Puck Of Pooks Hill’ and its central aspects of magic and folklore, which resonate strongly with the band. The album title, ‘Oak, Ash & Thorn’ refers to the 3 sacred trees of England. This album, especially, symbolises the plight of the eternal outsider, something also close to Dark Forest’s hearts.

DF were founded in 2002. ‘O, A & T’ was produced in August 2019, at Hellfire Studios, near Burton-upon-Trent and is considered their best work yet. It’s an album showing progression, whilst retaining their signature style. The melody remains and if anything, is even more impassioned, in its delivery.

This particular album took an epic amount of work to produce, with collective Herculean efforts. The cover was illustrated by renowned artist Duncan Storr. Its concept evolved, from its initial basis on the hollow hill and the legendary abodes of the fairies, to the 3 central spirits representing 3 specific historical ages.

‘O, A & T’ is an enchanting, enrapturing album, well worth the time and energy invested in it.

AElfscyne – Natural sounds of a fountain flowing intro, with medieval style acoustic riffs accompanying. Birds sing in the background. A pleasant bit of tremolo involved, as it fades out.

Wayfarer’s Eve – Louder, twangy riffs intro, electrically zapping their way through this blitzkrieg of a track. Beautifully timed drums provide a solid backbone. Gentle, yet heartfelt vocals, edged with energetic light. Very Farseer-esque, stylistically. Mid-paced, with well held rhythm and loaded with vivid colourful imagery. Closing on a cleverly synchronised drum and riff crescendo.

The Midnight Folk – Heavy drum intro! Very forceful, flying straight into another gorgeous melody. Catchy lyrics and huge memorability here. Definitely one that carries you away with it. Confident, passionate vocals. So uplifting and colourful. Such an intensely happy vibe just sings through it. Racing on, till the end and marking it with another powerful outro.

Relics – Intense riffage opening, onto a scene of light and melody. Again, the vocals are hugely catchy. Faster paced, with some minimal cymbal action, backing the heavier drumming. Taking it upwards, to metal paradise, you just never want this to end. Impressively held notes, that latter tone, in particular and a pitter patter rhythm works in perfect conjunction. Gliding on, to an idyllic end.

Avalon Rising – Opening on some softer open fingered fretwork, then fizzing into life, with more energised melodies. Good narrative style, from the start. Something of a musical theatre expression to the vocals. Celtic feel to the whole track, just riven with power. Complete cohesion. Solid self-assurance. It’s a highly upbeat track, so chock full of light and brilliance. Even a slight Dickinson-esque slant to those vocals. Actually, it does hold a bit of a Maiden-esque flavour, as a whole. Fading out on carefully plucked, gently executed riffs.

Oak, Ash & Thorn – Very Dickinson-esque vocal solo intro’s! A true storyteller, in action. Hopeful lyrical thread, gradually bringing in the accompaniments, growing stronger, by the minute). Really powerful visual depiction and delivery. A massive collective effort shines through, so clearly. Again, that strong Celtic atmosphere. So melodic and meaty. Timing spot on and this fulsome track works incredibly well, showcasing total band synchronicity. Alternating rhythms, towards the end, to work with the deeper vocal sections. The story unfolds, in front of your eyes. It’s just gloriously traditional, in a modern telling. The mood is so well conveyed and that crashing crescendo just fits, succinctly.

The Woodlander – Back to blitzingly fast rhythms and soaring melodies. An instant hitter. Bringing another story to the fore, this is a more traditionally based Maiden. The melody and style of The Irons, with the steel force and legendary narratives of Grand Magus. An explosion of melodic light and hope hits hard. Coming to another sensational end.

Eadric’s Return – Opening with a now increasingly ubiquitous sound of oars, moving through water, before exploding into powerful images again. There’s a stunning amount of energy in this track. A world of colour and life. It just rolls along, on a tide of crackling vocals and naturally intuitive accompaniments. The flow’s just astonishing and only a heart of stone could fail to be moved by this incredible sound. True chemistry and passion rules. Ending on a final drum blast.

Heart Of The Rose – A full and involved sound intro’s. Setting the scene, with a blast of thunder and riffs, delivered like the four horsemen of the apocalypse, galloping into battle. Gathering pace, the general sound’s now moving into a battleground scene. Only one with beautiful music surrounding it. Growing stronger and stronger, as it continues, that’s what you call a powerfully defined finale.

Overall – To say that ‘Oak, Ash & Thorn’ is a spectacular album, of astonishing quality and mind blowing beauty doesn’t even begin to do it justice. There simply aren’t words to express the sheer magnitude of power behind this album, or the height of enlivening energy inherent within it. It’s literally too good for words. ‘O, A & T’ was well worth the 4 year wait.

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

For fans of Farseer, Iron Maiden, Celtic Legacy, Voltax, Grand Magus, Emerald Shine, SuidAkrA, Silent Winter, Marius Danielsen, Ice Sword, Dragonforce.

Order links:  (LP)  (Black Vinyl, A2 Poster, Insert and Download Card, CD).

Released on 24th April 2020, on Cruz Del Sur Music.

Posted March 16, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized