Archive for May 2020

Deified – ‘Apotheosis/Rebirth’   Leave a comment

New track ‘Apotheosis/Rebirth’ and its associated lyric video, from Liverpool metal band Deified is now here. The next album ‘Anthrobscene’ is also out now.

‘A/R’ revolves around the current global Covid 19 pandemic, the artificial intelligence response to it and where this leads us, as a society.

Preceding ‘A/R’, ‘Anthrobscene’ explores similar issues, including the social outcomes of the digital revolution.

Deified won Bloodstock Metal To The Masses, 2015. Hailed as their strongest work yet, ‘Anthrobscene’ was produced entirely by the band’s own guitarist Matthew Pike (MSc).

‘A/R is accessible’, via stream and download, via Deified’s bandcamp and website.

Apotheosis/Rebirth – Crashing heavy-metal intro, ominous riffs and monster lyrics. Rapid drum hits and a catchy pace. Quite a raw sound, very thrashy, enough melody to keep it just on the cusp of extreme. That vocal aggression’s definitely audible and well matched by the heavy accompaniments. Slight Gothic horror edge, in places. A sense of a glimpse of life, through a telescope lens, growing angrier, towards the end. Fading out on a warning drum rumble. Certainly an impassioned performance. Doesn’t quite hit home, but much to be said for its consistent expression and decent production.

7/10 *******

For fans of Skreamer, Obzidian, Exodus, Chugger, Krysthla, Zeit, Carcass, Bullriff Stampede, The More I See.




Watch ‘Apotheosis/Rebirth’ lyric video here:

Posted May 31, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Leading Light – ‘It Hurts’   Leave a comment

Swedish metal quartet Leading Light was founded in 2012. Their debut EP ‘Hymn Of The Pearl’ was released soon after. They performed throughout Sweden, before launching the 2014 debut album, ‘Protect The Sinner’. ‘Dolore’ came next, in 2016, followed by a European tour, in 2017, including 8 countries. The most recent album, ‘Shards Of Broken Reflection’ landed in 2018. During 2019, LL played more shows and concentrated on preparing new material for another album. At present, the band are promoting a new single, released this month, entitled ‘It Hurts’. ‘IH’ was recorded at Obsidian Recording Studios.

It Hurts – Gradual emergence of sound opens, into a seemingly incongruent, but skilled extreme and alternative combo. Both deathy and melodic, with a melancholic tinge. Well produced, heavy performance. Enough aggression and melodic balance to fit various sub-genres, including melo-death, hard-core, alt, metal core, industrial and grind core. Perhaps a little too downbeat, it doesn’t really hit home. A technically proficient track, with plenty of well timed riffage, but a bit too much morosity and just decidedly average.

5/10 *****

For fans of Death Blooms, Centrilia, Medusa.

Posted May 30, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Yriel – ‘In Retrospect’   Leave a comment

‘In Retrospect’ is the new 6 track EP from Yriel, prog metal band, based in Estonia. Formed in 2017.

Launched on May 7th, 2020, ‘IR’ follows 2 earlier singles, released in April.

This new material has formed into a new project, more fitting for this sound than the former music.

It’s a diverse sound, with many soundalike comparisons. Deep and contemplative, ‘IR’ takes a philosophical stance, covering both inter-and intra-personal themes. The unpredictable, versatile nature of the tracks makes for an intriguing listen.

‘IR’ was produced by Risto Virkhausen and designed by Fengarm. It features founding member and guitarist Ivo Laanelind (ex-Tankist), bassist Margus Traumann (also ex-Tankist and Loits), vocalist Kris Kirs and drummer Tanel Palmroos.

Extra contributors: – Henry Torm (guest solo, track 4), Hains Tooming (violin, track 6), Ruslan Petrov (cello, track 6).

Available internationally, on all digital platforms.

Pagan Bishop – Crushing intro! That’s one heavy sound. Darkly deep metallic vocals. Just a very full, steel sound. The blackness is audible. Still, it’s melodic, but very forceful. Some slightly lighter riff sections, growing more intricate. Massive metal mayhem. A bit like a much heavier Stiltskin.

Traitor – Rapid fire riff intro. A huge burst of metal. Imagine a mash up of Metallica and Kyrbgrinder. That’s how this sounds. Lots of motion within it, like a fast, chugging speed train, chasing a gigantic boulder, in its path. Interesting vocals. Quite versatile, in their own way. A bit of death roaring accompanies the rest, as it races to a halt. Just an intensely palpable experience.

Hypothesis – A surprisingly gentle change of direction now, with soft, classical acoustic riffs, played quite beautifully, in a pure instrumental.

The Final Crescendo – Chaotic sounds intro, like a night-time street chase. Soon moving into a speeding pace. Very intense lyrics, throwing in some unexpected, impressively hit screams. Again, a lot of darkness. There’s something unique about this sound. Slight sense of a more metallic Nick Cave. Very real. More melody in here, but never losing that hardened form. Ending on screeching feedback riffs.

Close To Home – Cymbal action opening, onto a gentler sound, but it does move back into the same darkness again. Just a little more light within the structure. As before, it still doesn’t lose that fulsome, chunky steel emphasis. A cacophony of voices assails you, before the aptly placed steel string riffs take over, yielding to pleasant vocal harmonies. Very slightly ominous, still, it’s definitely heavier and more emphatic than most prog. Sharpened riffs end it.

Sated – Opening on clearly ominous Gothic riffs, then giving way, to a glimmer of light. A vague feel of a metalled up Crash Test Dummies here. Always a polished edge to those riffs. Though the general emphasis is lighter, it still retains a modicum of sinister atmosphere. The death growls return, between the more melodic sections. Vocals holding that last note well.

Overall – A very unusual sound, with a real physicality to the arrangements, ‘IR’ is more intense than you might expect. Though still versatile enough to showcase lighter aspects, it’s generally, quite a dark EP, with a palpably crushing delivery. Complex, in places, it’s as unpredictable as claimed, taking you on an enlightening journey.

8/10 ********

For fans of Stiltskin, Kyrbgrinder, Metallica, SAEPHE, Crash Test Dummies, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Chugger.

Posted May 29, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Wintereve – ‘October Dark’   Leave a comment

A female fronted Gothic doom metal band, from France, Wintereve have been around since 2013. Their music is a creative form of catharsis, aiming to convey the light within the darkest emotions. Wintereve are inspired by many bands, including Tiamat, Paradise Lost, Dead Can Dance, Draconian, Katatonia and Dark Sanctuary. They perform a unique art form, in that all vocals are solely Mary’s (except for occasional live backing vocals). ‘OD’ is a collaborative project, between Wintereve and Dan Swano, who mastered the album, at Unisound Studio, March 2020. It was independently released on April 25th, 2020, on Digipack CD.

Wintereve consists of Mary (vocals), Armand (guitars, bass, piano, keyboards) and Seeklone (session drums). Sebastian Ferrari contributes guest backing vocals and spoken word vocals.

This is their 3rd production, following 2014’s ‘Premiere Dance Macabre’ EP and ‘This Winter Will Never End’ 2017 CD.

Olima – Poignantly dark intro, exploding into life, with real sincerity. Brilliantly paced drums join the emotional riffs, as it drifts on, like a drowning survivor, clinging to a life raft. Beautifully ethereal vocals, with death roars following. Moving into a fluid rhythm of gothic sounds, slowing down and filling the space with so much feeling. The roars return, between the soft feminine pleas, with powerful accompaniments taking over, till the end. All operatic metal fans will get on well with this.

Sea Of Suffering – Strong, zesty intro, with a Celtic edge. Viking-esque, in its way. Taking you into the gloom, the mood’s contagious. Again, those drums are so notable, for their spacing, through which, you can feel the breath. Occasional masculine roars again, amongst the evocative darkened atmosphere. The fragile feminine vocals are very Nightwish and Epica-esque. Performing a duet now, with the roars, like a dance of sensuality. Becoming a classic operatic metal sound, with invigorating keyboard sections accompanying. Growing stronger, in its sound, it draws to an exquisite close.

The Quiet Desperation – Low piano notes open, in a dirge-like form, before bursting into exhilarating life. Once more, the drums add that unique sense of space and perfect timing. Hauntingly delicate vocals, melodic riffs and aggressive raw growls interlink. Piano segments entering at precisely intuitive points. Returning, from built-up chaos, to fragile beauty and back to tearing anguish. Complete cohesion. Drums beating harder, as the sense of ennui engulfs you. The tang entering those riffs adds the apt edge, just before the building finale.

October Dark – Gorgeous riff intro. Slightly reminiscent of G’N’R’s ‘Civil War’. Those preciously performed vocals add an air of sentiment, as they unite, as one. Heightening the tension and volume, like a constant crescendo. Moving, smoothly, through the track, with sheer instinctive beauty, the vocals are outstanding. Injecting riff melodies at exactly the right point. Quiescent sounds interlace with crashingly heavy sections. Coming to a natural end.

Call Of The Void – Perfected intro. Timing just as precise as before. Now bringing in a very slight sense of omen, cemented by dramatic, desperate, masculine pleas, roared out, before gentle, feminine vocals respond, with the same hint of fear and dread. You really do feel this. Building up the accompanying sounds, to a strong crescendo, then converting it, to a new direction. The dread fear returns, ending on a ghostly note.

Forgotten – Softer intro, via gorgeous riffs, evoking Celtic imaginings again. Exploding, with light, once more, as rainbows of melody hit. A catchy tone and pace to the vocals. This time, the roars are accompanied by lighter tones, building it up, into a structured melody. It’s a truly beautiful track, with greater riff centrality. Those vocal tones are impressive, adding more strength to the track, as it ends, on more of the gentler riffage with which it began.

To Die In Your Arms – Piercing riff intro, drums close behind, beating a darker tone. Immediately, a more macabre melancholia enters. Vocals displaying the maudlin mood, beautifully. Sharp riffs, collective cohesion plays out well. The tension ramps up, so intuitively. Such warmth in those vocals, whilst conveying coldness of atmospherics. Closing on a haunting note.

Down The Path To Perdition – Opening on singular riffs, surrounded by bleakness. Very intense greyness, accentuated by the timing. Then bursting into a full complement of sounds, encircling that darkness. The insanity of the masculine rage growls its feeling into the track. As the melody lifts, the soft feminine vocals join in, transporting the track, to a lighter place. It soars skywards, as it goes on. Still, there’s acute poignancy within it, but it combines with light and hope, as the track progresses. A classic thunderstorm comes next, with funeral bells ringing out, as once more, the light and dark of masculine and feminine combine, taking the track higher. Coming to an exceptionally well merged finale.

Overall – An exquisitely beautiful album, full of magic and seduction, ‘OD’ is a truly outstanding production, of phenomenal quality and sensational talent.

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

For fans of Epica, Nightwish, Delain, Leaves Eyes, Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation, Aonia.

Posted May 28, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Ellefson – ‘Over Now’   Leave a comment

Ellefson, solo band of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson now present their newly released cover of Post Malone track, ‘Over Now’. Currently available digitally, the album will be provisionally launched in October.

Co-produced by Ellefson, Tom Hazaert and Andy Martongelli, Alessio Garavello, Richard Easterling and Matt La Plant (Nonpoint, Skindred) were all involved in the engineering and mixing. Cover art is by Melody Myers (Altitudes And Attitudes, Escape The Fate). ‘ON’ is a heavier version of the original R&B tinged track.

Co-writer Tommy Lee, drumming by Paolo Caridi, featuring renowned ex-G’N’R’ guitarist, Asia vocalist and sometime Ellefson/Hazaert collaborator Ron Bumblefoot Thal. The 2019 debut ‘Sleeping Giants’ compilation also featured Bumblefoot.

Ellefson’s latest single ‘Simple Truth’ formed part of a Bandcamp exclusive EP, featuring 2 live tracks and a remix by Max Norman (Megadeth, Ozzy Osbourne). It was recorded on the 2019 More Live With Deth Tour, in Milan, Italy.

‘ON’, for Ellefson, has been a way of blending different genres and highlighting the unique sounds that approach can create.

Over Now – Straight into a classic, expertly timed, bouncy metallic riff, smoothly executed vocals, both gritty and melodic. That’s a sound that gets into you, from the start. Deliciously old school and flawlessly capable. Unsurprising, given the artist, but there’s a great blend of aggression, poignancy and passion, all delivered so melodically, with gorgeous power riffs, throughout. That rage hits immediately and it melds fabulously, with the melodic sections. Drums intuitively timed. Slightly resonant of Hostile’s ‘No Salvation’. Harmonised to perfection, first-class production, fading out gently and fittingly.

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

For fans of Hostile, Megadeth, Def Leppard, Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold.

Official teaser video for ‘Over Now’:

Posted May 27, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

American Terror – ‘Influencer’   Leave a comment

Founded early 2019, by Brad Cox, American Terror was created as a combination of metal, hard rock and punk, featuring an aggressive theme. A quintet consisting of Brad Cox (vocals), Pat Valley (guitars), Rob Hammersmith (Skid Row), Murphy Karges (bass – Sugar Ray) and DJ Soulman (Phunk Junkeez), AT are still perfecting their signature sound.

After approaching renowned G’N’R’, Megadeth, Metallica producer Mike Clink, to assist with the launch, Brad was introduced to Tom Hazaert (EMP Label Group, co-founded with Megadeth’s David Ellefson). They were signed, shortly after. Their debut EP appeared in summer 2019, with a succession of singles following, this year. Large-scale digital coverage resulted.

During Covid 19 lockdown, the band have been using the time to write new songs and polish their sound. The future awaits!

Judgement – Instant battery of drumming intro’s, like a battering ram. Full on raw, aggressive vocals, with a clear RATM-esque edge. Pure spitting venom. This is true hard-lined punk, with a sharp metal lining. Gorgeous riffs in there, screaming unadulterated rage. Explicit lyrics, in a very G’N’R’-esque way. Ending on a defiant drum section, with blood-soaked vocals driving the point home.

Denial – Heavy cymbal action intro’s and straight into another raging vocal. Melodic singing accompanies the enraged shouts now, with a rhythmic pace. It just rocks along, with full blast, convincing shouts. Stamina ain’t the word. Streamlined, consistent cohesion, all the way.

How Do You Like Me Now – More edgy drum hits open, with a pace like a speeding train. Sinister lyrics, plausibly executed. A barrel load of rage screams in your face, between the more ominous sections. Heavy sounds doesn’t even begin to cover it. Just a murderous bloodbath of cutting words, with rhythmic accompaniments surrounding.

Retribution – Coming in on a rhythmic set of drum hits and melodic riffs, as Rose-esque vocals spew their hateful intent. Acute, precise, polished production. Relentlessly flowing, from darkened, low-key lyrics, to screaming, hate filled intent, that never lets up. Ending on raging shouts.

People – Instant riffage, edged with steel. Faster paced, there’s a rhyming sense to this. More of a narrative vocal thread here. It’s certainly lyrically convincing and highly believable. Lots of melody and a fun, party metal strand, throughout. Built around a basic structure, delivered with absolute singular drive.

She’s A Bitch – Heavy drums intro, with a lower keyed thread. Rapidly joined by higher pitched vocals, delivered through classic lyrics, 100% plausible. Old school flavour to the feel. Feminine spoken vocals interject, setting up a vague call and response section. Very much like G’N’R’s ‘Back Off Bitch’, but with more of a punky, fun vibe.

The Threat – Pure drum attack, like an alien being, with killer tendencies, bursting onto the scene. Typically metallic anti-authority lyrics, passionately conveyed. Again, very Tom Morello, RATM-esque stuff. Every aspect’s just full on, full throttle metal assault. Deliciously angry, growing more and more enraged, by the second. Ending on a continued verbal volley of defiance. Fabulous).

Prophet For Profit – Hard edged, catchy drum beats and melodic riffs intro. Powerfully felt vocals, sung from the heart and soul. Loving those animalistic sensual roars. Very real lyrics and very relatable. One thing this can be said to be is passionate. Especially the narrative sections, though the depth of passion always remains. That chorus is so catchy and everything just hangs off those hooks. Closing with true definition, sealed by drums.

Break Free – Opening on a low rumble of melody and another passionate narrative. A bestial tone to it, entrenching the feel some more. A truly sexy track, that pulls you in and doesn’t let go. Compelling and compulsive, stacked with rhythm. So much talent in the natural way those vocals flow, so easily, from low toned teases, to full power screams and everything in between.

PC Me – Screeching feedback and vocals like a public announcement, driving the message in, with nails. Even more of those scrummy deep roars. Slightly Offspring-esque, in places. Always unmistakably hard and edgy. Everything ramped up, to the max. Complete confidence and zeal, throughout. Full powered performance.

Overall – A shocker of immediate full-scale, high octane power, from start to end, ‘Influencer’ says it all and more. Performed with relentless verve and sharp energy, throughout, matched by the A1 production. A flawless, cutting-edge, kick in the face, with acutely delivered, steel toe-capped metal.

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

For fans of RATM, G’N’R’, The Offspring, Electric Vengeance, Skid Row.

Official ‘Judgement’ lyric video:

Posted May 26, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Molitoth – ‘The Tribunal’   Leave a comment

Molitoth is the solo project of Kyle Brandt. June 26th 2020 sees the release of his debut LP, ‘The Tribunal’.

A singer/songwriter/producer, from Kansas City, Missouri, USA, Kyle’s achievements include a 3-part diary series, with A Light Within and a collaboration with post-metal band Sisters Of … etc.

Having received vocal coaching from Daniel Tompkins, Kyle’s sound offers a unique individual touch, with contemplative, yet down-to-earth lyrical themes.

A history of regrets and cause and effects, leading to complex loss and bereavement, ‘The Tribunal’ analyses, musically, deep meditative strategies, to assist with healing the stress and anguish associated with recriminations and compulsory confinement.

Soon available physically and digitally, ‘TT’ is the first in a planned series of similarly thematic releases.

Meditation (Transcendental) – Unusually ambient intro. A little like a guided visualisation, with tinkling sounds in the background. Gentle feminine spoken word vocals accompany gradually growing sounds, before drawing to a close.

Confessional Lock – Instant power metal sounds intro, very Pink Floyd-esque, with the tinkling still in the background. Masculine vocals enter, conveying very proggy style sounds. A very breathy track, opening out, expansively. Well spaced out instrumentals, strongly echoing ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’. Carefully timed, with the vocals impressively demonstrating the motion of mood cycles. Alternating from one stage to another, while the softer accompaniments continue playing, consistently, alongside the louder percussion. It’s a very flowy track, characterising the nature of the movement of sound.

Interrogation Frames – Opening very slowly, emerging, as if from darkness, to light. An electronic angle hits now, combining with stronger drum sections and pop, 80’s style vocals. Powerful beats and rhythms are central. Vocally melancholic. It’s a sound incorporating everything from light electronic pop, to heavier prog rock and space rock. Could work for many style camps.

The Departing – Tinkling keys and loud, powerful drum hits intro, at once. Immediately, more synth and keyboard focused, there’s a darkly contemplative melancholy to the vocals, played out against lighter accompaniments. A sense of emergence and constant motion gives way to a gradually lightening sound. Here, the riffs are more integral to the feel. A merging of the senses comes forward, as the sounds blend into each other. Again, the moods are in a continuous flow, showcased by the alternating volumes and textures of the accompaniments, alongside the vocals. Eventually, coming to a heavy halt, by a falling tombstone sound.

Self Reflection – Careful, tentative piano intro, exploring the darkness and light of sound. More of a free-form vocal style here, injecting a hint of lyrical intrigue. Actually, quite simplistic lyrics, but with real emphasis. A shorter, but still emphatic track.

Meditation – (Mindfulness) – Another gradual emergence of sound. Female spoken word narration guides you through an actual meditative process, as the instrumental ambience accompanies. Basic, but profound words.

Verdict Cope – Stronger drum beats and piano keys intro, followed by stronger male vocals. Again, the sound’s emphasis constantly moves through itself, in continuous flux. Quite contemplative threads again, as the drums become hypnotic, verging on ritualistic. The vocals grow bigger and more powerful, as the accompaniments do the same, with more colourful, abstract riffs coming to the fore. A freer sense to the tribal-esque vocals becomes evident, as the drums still provide the backbone, adding cymbal action, till the electronic aspect returns, as it fades out, the feminine vocals instructing you to ‘focus on the breath’.

Send Me An Angel – Dull bass lines intro, with a greyer sound, enhanced by the vocal themes. The melody’s essentially drab and maudlin, further entrenched by the texture of the rhythms. Notationally, it works, without fault, but it needs to lighten up.

Acknowledgement – Drastic hit to the sense of that intro, like fragile objects being dropped. Well rhythmically regulated, if a bit grey again. A cacophony of voices threatens to tear your mind apart, as the sharp sounds take over, before retreating, back into the shadows, while the lighter touches return. It ends there.

Meditation (Guided) – The bong of a drum opens, as the softly floating female spoken word vocals return, guiding you back through the meditation process again. Counting down, as the constancy of sound surrounds you. There, it ends.

Incarceration – Brighter flutters of sound open, with beautifully gentle acoustic riffs playing. A relaxing rhythm transports you through the track. This is actually the most enjoyable melody yet, with amplified riffs merging well, with the acoustics. Here, the vocals seem to move with the music. There’s even a folky strand to this, bringing it into escapist realms. The sound emerges, through a gradually lighter melody. Here’s where you feel the physical process of the journey. The melody grows increasingly vibrant, lighter and more colourful, as you feel yourself move through the process and emerge with it, out of the other side. A final couple of drum hits close.

Overall – Created as a meditative album, ‘The Tribunal’ achieves that. At every point, it’s deep and thought enhancing, delivered in a very physical way, transporting you, directly, to that mindset. On an entertainment level, it doesn’t necessarily work and has much ground to cover, in that sense, but it does what it’s intended to do and it does it well. A boundary stretching debut.

8/10 ********

For fans of Pink Floyd, Dark Years From Now, David Bowie, Latitudes, Kadeem Ward, Ian Blurton, Chaos Over Cosmos, Liholesie, Becoming The Lion, Dirge, Knifesex, Dark Ocean Society, Wykan.

Posted May 23, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Shane Steward – ‘Manic’   1 comment

Presenting ‘Manic’, latest solo album from Vancouver-based metal artist Shane Steward. His work combines original material and covers. You can find his songs on spotify and YouTube.

Manic Panic – Shockingly heavy grating intro, rapidly growing, into a brilliantly metallic sound. That’s one catchy riff chorus. Heavenly melodic stuff). Got to fit straight into the speed metal camp and those guitar breaks end it magically.

Time Has Come – Energised drum hits intro, quickly followed by gorgeous power riffs. Notably metal vocals, with strong melodies and top-notch sound production. A strikingly Queen-esque riff section in there and this just barrels along, at a cracking pace. Really powerful catch, throughout. Fantastical and consistently tangy, till the end.

Where Do We Go – Strong lightning effect intro. High octane riffs, creating a clear edge, stacked with hooks. Truly uplifting. Slight Cranberries sound in there, with a stronger drum background and the vocals are well sustained, keeping that tone in fitting with the accompaniments. Rattling pace, throughout.

Evil Or Good – Changing down the pitch now, with a poignant narrative. Gaining gradual volume and rhythm. A few flats in there, but it’s a tricky tone and it’s generally well retained. There’s always a carefully cultivated air of intrigue in here and well-placed speakerphone effect, just before the bridge. Great back-and-forth, call and response instrumental, towards the end. An ever-growing sound, with a real power within it.

Endless Cycle – Heavier drum and riff intro, laying down a darker thread. Vocals slotting right in. This is quite mysterious, in its way. Always an eerie underlying sense of mystique. Riffs becoming more complex and intricate, drums growing heavier and boosting those darkening riffs. A distinctive track, with a darker heart.

This Game Called Life – Instant, banging intro! A bit more cymbal action in here and again, that contemplative aspect to the vocals, but the tone lifts, from there. Clearly power, speed sounds own and rule this track. Racing on, with free abandon, you can easily get lost in it. It’s another fantasy epic feel and it gets stronger and heavier, till the close.

Time Goes By – Palpably tangy riff intro, with softer accompaniments. Vocals matching that tone. A slight flatness to some of the vocals, but again, mainly well hit. Once more, that Queen-esque shadow comes to the fore. A strong chorus, like a surrounding army. Interweaving complex and simple riffage well, with melody always key. Ending on a gathering strength of united sounds.

Sunrise – Gentle acoustic riffs intro, followed by similarly soft vocals. A melancholic lyrical theme. Taking it up, from there, into a brighter sound. Verging on ambient mood music, an enchanting quality enters, fading out, on an emerging tunnel of light. Brief, but emphatic.

Overall – A definite upturn from previous material, ‘Manic’ is immediate, engaging and memorably metallic. The softer elements are minimal, in ratio to the heavier emphasis, maintaining melody and uplifting hooks, throughout. It’s a delight, worth replays, powerfully illuminating a positive change of direction for Shane.

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

For fans of Dragonforce, Ice Sword, Dark Forest, Dragonmetal.

Posted May 19, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Chasin’ The Train – ‘Dead Man’s Handle’   Leave a comment

This Scottish blues rock quintet have been around for 6 years. Combining unique tributes with original material, their sound has a highly energised kick to it. Chasin’ The Train are now well-established on the live scene.

Their debut 4 track EP, ‘Off The Rails’ (2016), initially meant as a limited edition, only available at live shows, rapidly sold out, bringing them global airplay. A 2 track digital single followed (April 2018). Since then, the media acclaim has continued, including phone interviews. The debut album ‘Dead Man’s Handle’ launched on Friday 3rd April 2020. Accessible physically and digitally, for both download and streaming, it features 2 bonus tracks, plus a 12 page lyric booklet.

The track ‘Temporary Man’ appeared on Jock’s Juke Joint Volume 4 album, released November 2018. Centred around a fictional Scottish venue, its contents cover a wide variety of blues-based sounds.

Originating from Dumfries, Scotland, CTT are quickly gathering a strong and faithful following. Amassing a significant amount of exposure thus far, aside from frequent shows throughout Scotland and Cumbria, their appearances so far include: Rock The Loch, The Beltie Beer Fest, The Big Burns Supper Fest, The Maryport Blues Fest and Maryport Live! In addition, they coordinated and promoted the sold-out Rockin’ At The Royal Show, at The Theatre Royal, Dumfries (October 2018), played support for Edinburgh’s Black Cat Bone, at Kirkpatrick Durham (April 2019) and performed on the Cloven Hoof stage, at Call Of The Wild Fest, Lincoln (May 2019).

Beat Up Ford – Engine roar intro and straight into a classic early blues melody. Along the lines of ‘Johnny B Good’. Colourful, capable riffage and a lively swing to the sound. The harmonica works well and it’s very visual. Quick paced, brief, but jazzy track.

FWPB – Tasty velvet riffage opens, with more sensuality to the following harmonica. The vocals add emphasis, the rhythm’s good and it’s just a very natural performance. Well timed arrangements and a clear blues feel. Very lounge-esque. Simple structures and cohesive melodies win the day here.

Temporary Man – Very cool slide riff intro, very ‘Little Red Rooster’-esque. Breaking up into lively drum rolls and mature vocals blend nicely, with light-hearted rhythms. Fabulous guitar break in there, stepping up the intensity. Just classically blues. Especially lyrically. Convincingly delivered. Intuitively skilled production and very Stones-esque. Audio perfection.

Down Home – Starting gently, with acoustic riffs and a timid harmonica. Slightly Dylan-esque, now. Quite poignant, then bursting into energetic life. Electric riffs pick up the sound, with the harmonica increasing the volume. Traditional lyrics. Another atmospheric one. Growing hook to the rhythm. A definite candidate for what might be called ‘mood music’. Light cymbal touches blend with stronger, spaced out drums. The timing is key in this track. Longer track, ending with slower, lower keyed drum hits.

Whisky Bottle – Really bluesy, anticipatory teasing intro). Evoking instant visual imagery. Very decent harmonica sections, adding a lot to the bouncy feel of this. Those riffs are sharp and bluesy, all at once. Always a hint of recognisable familiarity in these tones. A well-defined ending here.

Too Much Sugar – Introing on a bouncy, upbeat drum kick and old school blues hit. Again, it’s the basic nature that makes it effective and memorable. An easy, loose thread to the delivery transports you back to previous eras. Brief, but succinct.

Exit Wounds – Gradual drum intro, once more, evolving into an old school blues number. Slightly, early Doors-esque material here. These vocals lend themselves well to that sound. Another naturally skilled execution just swings it along easily. Deeply melodic and tuneful, slowing things down, to a relaxing beat. These guys are born to this and it shows. Holding that last note impressively well.

No Blues – Big, loud, noticeable intro! Taking the pace up, to a faster beat. Very vivid and lively. A strong uplifting atmosphere lies within. It’s just carried away, by the powerful beat. A short, but memorable track.

Don’t You Lie To Me – Smooth riff and harmonica intro. Gentle acoustics follow, with strong drum beats, occasionally, growing in volume and frequency. A softer feel and rhythm to this. Like waves of emotion, heightening and lowering, with changing complex alternations in between. Very catchy riffage, with another hauntingly old school blues melody, peaking, from time to time. Riffs growing more velvet, with the vocal peaks. Fading out, with precision timing.

Overall – If you’re after a chill-out Sunday blues album, you’ve come to the right place. ‘DMH’ unites and reignites all the old classics, adding unique flourishes, with genuine expert handling. It’s a new, but experienced perspective on an old school, traditional blues sound. Perfect wind down material.

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

For fans of The Stones, Bob Dylan, Muddy Moonshine, Elvis, The Doors, Band Of Gold, Fractured Lens, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters.

Digital Single Links:

Posted May 17, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized

Thirteen Stars – ‘Give It Good’   Leave a comment

Taken from their soon-to-be-released album, ‘Finest Ramshackle Jam’, Cumbrian southern rock band Thirteen Stars now unleash their sensational new video of the track ‘Give It Good’. Released on 30th April 2020, on Rock People Records.

‘GIG’ takes a look back at 70’s funk rock, paying tribute to their favoured bands of that era, including Trapeze and Deep Purple. It’s a catchy track, with of course, TS’s own trademark sound, for maximum engagement. Colourfully vivid, it’s bound to strike a note.

Intended as a fun source of escapism from current global issues, ‘GIG’ delivers the goods.

‘FRJ’ launches on 19th June, also on RPR (part of the rock people management group).

Give It Good – Awesome blues kick to that intro! Could be The Quireboys, in finest form. Strong, raw, passionate vocals. Great funky riffs and careful, measured drums. So sexy and catchy, with that clear southern rock tinge, turning those rhythms over, perfectly, with absolute smoothness. Sleek melody, engaging and addictive. Classic tones, blended, succinctly with funk and groove, with a modern twist. Just so gloriously sensual. Fabulous track altogether. Ending coolly and definitively.

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

For fans of The Quireboys, The Black Crowes, Black Country Communion, Black Stone Cherry, Heaven’s Basement.

Give It Good YouTube video – Great kaleidoscope visual effect. Cleverly integrating synchronised representations of all 4 band members. The shades of colours are a real draw, melding psychedelia and kaleidoscopic visions, naturally and accessibly. Very easy on the eyes and a joy to watch. A case in which visuals and audio match, completely, sliding in and out of each other, so easily. Perfectly suited track for this video.

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


Official YouTube video for ‘Give It Good’:

Posted May 16, 2020 by jennytate in Uncategorized