Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mick Priestley - Green River Project (CD Review)

01.Dig Your Grave
02.No Return
03.Out Of The Dark Below
04.Flight Of The Bumblebee
05.Nowhere To Run
06.Summer-Presto
07.The Storm

Andy Law - Vocals
Mick Priestley - Guitar/Bass
Alex Martin - Drums

Guest Musicians:
Andy Brook - Keyboard Programming
Adrian Erlandsson - Drums (Dig Your Grave)



Starting off with a slow almost bluesy intro 'Dig Your Grave' then kicks into just about the best damn metal track you'll hear in a long time. Powerfull and anthemic with amazing guitar work that out does that cold lifeless Dragonforce stuff anyday, Mick plays with a real passion and a technical proficiency that is in a masterclass of its own.

Melody and power are the two keywords here for 'No Return', Law delivers an awesome vocal performance whilst the guitar prowess of Mick delivers note perfect with speed and precision unrivaled in british rock today. The song kicks like Motley Crue jamming with Rising Force!

'Out Of The Dark Below' has a slow haunting intro with a catchy little guitar riff mixed in with some vocal sampling. Coming over to my ears like a hybrid of Gothic Power metal, beautiful melodic guitarwork with a strong vocal and superb drumming. The sweeping solo is so fast sounds like mick has 7 fingers on his hand!

'Flight Of The Bumblebee' is an orchestral interlude written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov for his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan, composed in 1899. Mick gives it his own personal twist with a frantic pace played up to tempo, with nearly uninterrupted runs of chromatic sixteenth notes!

'Nowhere To Run' is catchy as hell with great vocals, reminding me of wednesday 13 on a tech metal trip!

'Summer Presto' is an instrumental which gives Mick another chance to show that he is one of this countrys best guitarists (Herman who??) but, and yes i say it again, with a real passion and understanding that technical ability is only worth listening to when played with passion and that passion comes through the speakers and is as smooth and deadly as a glass of absinthe laced with Laudanum.

The final track 'The Storm' has a classical styled intro with acoustic guitar and keyboard harmony. as to be expected (if not Demanded!) it moves into more energy fuelled fret work. This instrumental again serves as a testament to Micks unrivaled abilities as a true guitar hero.

Stu

Rating: 10/10 

For Fans Of: Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Dragonforce, Symphony X, Paul Gilbert.

Official Website:
www.mickpriestley.net

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Aeternum (UK) - Through Death We Ascend EP (CD Review)


01.Beyond The Valley
02.As The Last Kingdom Burns
03.Non Serviam
04.Sons Of The Fading Dusk
05.The Light Bearer
06.Invocation

Elliot Beaver (Vocals)
Adam Vom Grima (Guitar)
Zurab Melua (Guitar)
James Patterson (Bass)
Jesel Gohil (Drums)





Formed in early 2011 by a group of experienced young musicians, Aeternum are a five piece Blackened Death Metal band based in London featuring members of 'Phyrexia' and 'Reaping Havoc'.

Brought together by their shared influences of Dissection, Behemoth, Necrophobic and Belphegor as well as a love of classic Black and Death Metal, they create a sound based on a combination of both genres’ hallmarks; ethereal melodies woven into crushing guitars, driven by pounding drums and inhuman growls and screams.

Currently gearing up for live shows and this impending first release.

Dark and doom laden cello and funeral drum makes up the intro 'Beyond The Valley' which leads into something much heavier 'As The Last Kingdom Burns'.

Superb musicianship and what a production, in particular the screaming evil vocal attack would make a certain Mr Davy shit his goth pants!

'Non Serviam' keeps up the pace, with a dark, rythmic and brooding nightmare of classic british Black Metal, fuck sake the drums absolutley destroy the speakers (Mind you they are set on 100!!!!) the melody that the guitarists manage to put throughout this song is outstanding.

Oh and again some superb acoustic guitar leads into 'Sons Of The Fading Dusk' the bass riff behind it helps build to that screaming creshendo that you know is coming, and fuck me does it come with all the daemons of hell armed to the teeth with armageddon in mind.
Seriously the delivery on this just scream power and musical precision on a world class level.I tell you this that acoustic breakdown half way through the song is placed just right and long enough to take a breath!

'The Light Bearer' has a riff not a million miles away from Maidens 'The Trooper' but apart from that there are no more comparisons to Harry's band.
Riff madness, hyper speed and satans vocal coach giving it his all.
Some great powerchording giving this a headbanging quality, tho perhaps a free neckbrace at gigs for the front 2 rows??

Finally another awesome riff kicking off another awesome song,'Invocation' is a power laced monster that has a great rhythm running throughout and again a touch of Maiden in the guitarwork but retaining brutality and power.
Nice weird guitar sounding riffage half way through giving this one another dimension.

That music of this standard is being made by Aeternum, people who are prepared to work hard at creating original, entertaining, well crafted and expertley executed "Metal", is something to be very proud of.





Rating: 10/10
For Fans Of: Behemoth, Anaal Nathrakh, Dimmu Borgir, Akercocke, Meads Of Asphodel

FACEBOOK : www.facebook.com/aeternumuk

Naglfar - Teras (CD Review)


01.Téras
02.Pale Horse
03.III: Death Dimension Phantasma
04.The Monolith
05.An Extension Of His Arm And Will
06.Bring Out Your Dead
07.Come Perdition
08.Invoc(H)ate
09.The Dying Flame Of Existence

Kristoffer Olivius (vocals)
Andreas Nilsson (Guitars)
Marcus E. Norman (Guitars/Bass/Keyboards)
Dirk Verbeuren (Drums)


A blizzard is brewing up in the far north of Sweden. This fierce storm has been eagerly awaited by Black Metal fans all over the world. It marks the triumphant return of NAGLFAR after several years of absence and it shall be known by the name of “Téras".

"We took a creative break", is the laconic comment of frontman Kristoffer Olivius on the question of his band's long absence from the studio since their fifth album "Harvest” was released in 2007 and adds: "We also took all the time it needed to record the most powerful album possible."

These are no empty words. NAGLFAR return with a vitriolic onslaught reminding the listener that the band from Umeå belongs to the pioneers and foremost protagonists of Sweden’s black scene.

Their sixth full-length remains true to the formula they helped to establish along legendary DISSECTION and that saw dedicated acts like WATAIN or FUNERAL MIST rising in their musical footsteps during recent years.

In contrast to their contemporaries like MARDUK or DARK FUNERAL, who were promoting the truly black Swedish sound, NAGLFAR combine the harsh bleakness of early Black Metal with the technical prowess and high-speed assault of Death Metal. Their debut "Vittra" (1995) soon became a classic of its genre and remains highly acclaimed to this day. Icy harmonies and epic melodies swirl like a swarm of angry hornets from the fingers of string wizards Andreas Nilsson and Marcus E. Norman. To this musical maelstrom Kristoffer W. Olivius adds his characteristic venomous vocals and misanthropic lyrics ever since founding member and first singer Jens Rydén departed for Stockholm in 2004. Kristoffer’s transfer from bass to microphone was a natural decision for the band since he had already proven his vocal merits with Black Metal extremists SETHERIAL.

Now NAGLFAR decided to reduce their line-up to a three piece by demanding full dedication and creative input from all their members. As a result the drums were recorded by a session musician this time. Yet the Swedes did not leave their heartbeat to just anyone, but enlisted the formidable aid of Dirk Verbeuren. The Belgian is best known for his work with SOILWORK and SCARVE, which makes this choice less obvious at first glance. "Dirk stood at the first place of our wish-list", remarks Kristoffer. "His style is ideally suited for our new songs as he has a wicked groove and a great personality as well."

The career of NAGLFAR has at no point been straightforward. They took nearly three years to release a follow-up of "Vittra". "Diabolical" (1998) put more emphasis on the Death Metal parts.
Despite a successful tour as co-headliner with Deicide the Swedes went into hibernation again. Four years later NAGLFAR returned with the MCD "Ex Inferis" (2002), which introduced Bewitched guitarist Marcus E. Norman to their line-up. In spring 2003 "Sheol" added a dose of Black Thrash and drew attention by its catchy riffing and return to darker sounds. This trend was continued by "Pariah" (2005), which recaptured more of NAGLFAR's early spirit and "Harvest" (2007) may be seen as taking the troupe from Umeå full circle with all their experience of later years added to the sound.

Never content with their achievements NAGLFAR now demonstrate clearly with "Téras" that their classic sound easily projects into the future. If it ever needed a reminder that these wolves from the North are amongst the elite of Swedish Black Metal, well here it is.

From its dark and doomy opening lulling you into this false sense of security that they have slowed down the second track and onwards its a total technical black metal onslaught of demonic vocals, immense riffs and high powered drumming that destroys all in ite blackend wake!!!!
But that wonderful doom sound returns for 'The Monolith' with a vengeance.

Rating: 9/10
For Fans Of: Dark Funeral, Marduk, Dissection, Watain, Bathory

STU

Outloud - More Catastrophe EP (CD Review)


01.Saints On Fire
02.Cross The Line
03.Mr. Long Gone
04.Last Days Of December
05.Falling Rain (Flamenco Version)
06.We Run (for Piano and Vocals)


Chandler Mogel (Vocals)
Bob Katsionis (Guitars/Keyboards)
Tony Kash (Guitar)
Sverd T.Soth (Bass)
Mark Cross (Drums)


OUTLOUD began with Greek guitar player Tony Kash taking lessons from Firewind's Bob Katsionis. They started to write songs together and in late 2007/ early 2008, and solidified these ideas into an album format and eventually got in touch with NYC-based singer Chandler Mogel, who Bob had met previously on a Firewind tour of the States.

Chandler was flown to Athens and Tony contracted his friend Jason Mercury to play bass, and in turn Bob brought on board Mark Cross, also from the band Firewind at the time, to play drums.

The five of them started to jam over the existing ideas and added the final arrangements and finishing touch to Outloud’s music and in September 2008 the band entered Basement Studio in Athens and recorded their debut album. Mixed and mastered by none other than Tommy Hansen (Helloween, TNT, Pretty Maids), the album was described by the press as "a mixture of Riot’s Fire Down Under, Skid Row's debut album and TNT’s Tell No Tales with some Foreigner melodic elements."

The album was released in August 2009 to rave reviews worldwide and ended up on many top ten lists by year's end, and the album was voted "Best Album of the Year" in BW&BK/Bravewords.com. Sverd T. Soth (Bare Infinity) replaced Jason Mercury on bass shortly after the release.

Both video clips of their singles We Run and Tonite (2010), which together have since garnered well over 100,000 views on Youtube, were directed by Bob. "We Run" ranked #3 in Greek Metal Hammer's 2009 reader's polls in the BEST VIDEO CLIP category as well as being in regular rotation on MTV in Greece. It also ended up getting a spot on the esteemed German Metal Hammer Magazine DVD compilation. The song landed “Track of the Day” on Classic Rock Magazine’s website on June 26th, 2009, and was also included on a handful of notable CD compilations such as MelodicRock.com and Rock Hard.

Outloud made a successful headline tour of Greece in December '09 (sponsored by Jack Daniels) and a companion national Greek TV appearance in front of more than 1 million viewers. 2010 saw the band playing more live shows in their native country and returning to the studio to record their sophomore album.

The band inked a brand new deal with AOR Heaven for their second release, which was recorded in Athens, Greece during the summer of 2010 and once again produced by Bob and mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen.

The band released it's second effort, Love Catastrophe, in July of 2011. Much like it's predecessor, it received rave reviews from the press and was mixed and mastered by Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Pretty Maids, TNT). The band released a video for the single, Waiting For Your Love, opened for rock legends Twisted Sister in Athens during this time and the song "We Came To Rock" landed a spot on the July issue of Classic Rock presents AOR - Raised on Radio compilation. Additionally, the band was featured on the front cover of Greek Metal Hammer Magazine in August. As 2011 came to a close, the band released via the internet a surprise single, an original Christmas song entitled "The Last Days of December".

Now as 2012 begins, the band announces the release of More Catastrophe, a six-song EP which contains three brand new songs plus the aforementioned Christmas single, and a Flamenco version of the song “Falling Rain” and a piano & vocals version of the track “We Run”. The EP will be available at their upcoming shows in Greece, as well as in stores and digitally across Europe via AOR Heaven. Says Chandler, "We wanted to give the fans a little something extra this time around. These songs pick up where the last album left off and at the same time serve as a road sign as to where we're going. Hopefully this will hold everyone over until the third album is ready, which we're currently beginning to work on."

The EP will also be available via the band's official website,



Rating: 7/10
For fans Of: Firewind, Helloween, Mercy House, Achilla, Bon Jovi

STU

Eklipse - A Night In Strings (CD Review)


01.WONDERFUL LIFE
02.IN THE END
03.NEW MOON-THEME
04.HOME
05.CRY ME A RIVER
06.CLOUDBUSTING
07.PAPARAZZI
08.RUN
09.MUMBAI-THEME
10.CLOCKS

Helena (Cello)
Viola (Viola)
Miss E. (Violin)
Scarlett (Violin)



Okay this is what the record company say:

Attractive, sexy and damn talented. Four female musicians in their early 20’s joined forces in 2012, to conquer the world with their classical interpretations of contemporary pop, rock, gothic and soundtrack scores. The name Eklipse, describes music that needs no words, a melancholic music to accompany the listener through to the end of night: an eclipse, symbolizing opposites: night and day, moon and sun, power and tenderness.
Eklipse are four ladies like it dangerous and mysterious. So it’s not surprising that very little is known about the background of this German string quartet, having chosen to mask their true identities in secrecy. Some of the musicians attended university, while others practiced until their fingers bled. Eklipse found each other at the White Nights Festival in faraway St. Petersburg, Russia. Like a moth to a flame, the strangers were immediately drawn to each other by an indescribable connection, knowing that they were destined to do something magical.

What Eklipse does choose to show speaks for itself: the magic of their music. Their interpretations of chart topping hits from bands such as Linkin Park, David Bowie and Kate Bush, are sensual, fragile, delicate and seductive- accompanied by a string quartet whose look conveys nostalgia, romance and desire. For Eklipse, music is like a language without words that they speak to perfection. This perfection does come with a price. While the ladies do take time to enjoy the excess and ecstasy of the big city life, they know they must spend hours upon hours honing their skills to achieve the perfection that makes their sound so beautiful and unique. This is something that is apparent when listening to Eklipse. Their fingers glide unified over their instruments, sonically creating a fantasy soundscape with their melancholic versions of „Clocks“ (Coldplay), „Home“ (Depeche Mode) and „Wonderful Life“ (Hurts). The mythical scores of „New Moon Theme“ and „Mumbai Theme“ soothingly implants the soundtrack in your mind, while the upbeat cover of Lady Gaga’s „Paparazzi“ show Eklipse’s more optimistic side and „Cry Me A River“ (Justin Timberlake) is the perfect soundtrack to end a long night out on the town.
The four attractive girls in Eklipse make no secret that music and style are important to them. Eroticism and sex appeal go hand in hand with a certain austerity and elegance. Combining the no holds barred attitude of pop music with the grace and beauty of classical music to create something new, something to call their very own. Eklipse sometimes perform blindfolded but not only for the fashion aspect, but say it symbolizes their concentration, which is necessary for this kind of music, and helps them become one with the sound. It has been hinted that the girls are paying homage to the Bondage scene, but if you ask them they just smile and continue playing.

Eklipse’s debut album „A Night In Strings“ was recorded in Berlin and the Ruhr area of Germany, together with different producers, showcasing ten instrumental scores that were carefully designed, arranged and hand-picked by Eklipse themselves. Whether Eklipse choose to continue to produce renditions of other artists and remain instrumental is up for debate, but the quartet choose to live for the moment and don’t want to speculate on the future. Eklipse enjoyed diving deep into these pieces and emerging with their versions of these great songs. Given the outcome, the remarkable skill, sex appeal and great discipline of these four young ladies, the future looks extremely promising - either way.

MY TURN:
Its records like this that make you wonder "why", this is bland, boring, unoriginal and very average, its the kind of music that wouldnt even cut it on X Factor.

It lacks the pop sensabilities of Vanessa Mae or Bond, it has no rock credentials like Apocalyptica or Rondellus and no quirkeness of Emille Autumn.

So how does this even get released? is it because they are four "Sexy" women? is that it is this just playing the sex sells game, good looking and no talent which pretty much sums up the pop charts and most of Kerrangs content.

Really this is a disgrace and when there is real talent out there you have to question the real motive behind this release oh and somehow they have grabbed the support to Nightwish in europe.

Rating: 0/10
For Fans Of: Elevator Music, Watching Paint Dry, Coldplay

STU

Kissin Dynamite - Money, Sex & Power (CD Review)


01.Money, Sex & Power
02.I Will Be King
03.Operation Supernova
04.Sex Is War
05.Club 27
06.Dinosaurs Are Still Alive
07.She´s A Killer
08.Sleaze Deluxe
09.Ego-Shooter
10.Six Feet Under

Hannes Braun (Vocals)
Jim Müller (Guitar)
Ande Braun (Guitar)
Steffen Haile (Bass)
Andreas Schnitzer (Drums)



Hailing from the German region known as Swabia, these glam rockers are considered as THE great hope of the German Hard 'N' Heavy scene, with many so called "experts" seeing a huge potential in this young band, and their third album released soon, will undoubtedly give them a great shot at becoming an international major player.

The experiences of recent years have shaped the band and increased their
professionalism in every department.
The new album is still catchy and, even though the classic metal influences are
still there, they now more consistently than ever before display their very own
brand of sleazy heavy rock.

"For us it is a great honour to play at festivals such as ‘Bang Your Head," says
singer Hannes Braun. “We are especially proud that we have a mixed audience
and appeal to both young and older fans. If KISSIN’ DYNAMITE are in town,
definitely go to the party! Everyone is welcome to rock out with us!”

"Our debut album" Steel Of Swabia” was released in Germany/Austria/Switzerland, as well as in Finland and Japan" Hannes continues. "For our second album, "Addicted To Metal", we had the opportunity to release worldwide for the first time – not just in Germany, as AFM Records was covering all other territories. The collaboration with AFM worked so well
that we decided, now, to work with them worldwide and at home as well.”

In July 2008 "Steel Of Swabia” was released; a debut album of teenagers with their singer just 16 years old! What puzzled everyone though was how much this "teen band" rocked; just as good as the greats: Mötley Crue, Whitesnake, AC/DC, Guns'n'Roses! No wonder this first-class debut album was released on the major label EMI!

The quality of this young group was only too obvious and also so enjoyable was that the prominence of metal was so thrilled as well, so in fact legendary Udo Dirkschneider (ex-
Accept/U.D.O.) contributed vocals to the title track of the second album "Addicted To Metal" in 2010.

You know its always nice to be surprised and this one did just that, i was expecting typical tired sleeze by numbers, instead i got very well thought out mature rock.

Superb vocal delivery, great music, all very well produced and played with some skill.
At times they sound like they have more in common with the Scorpions than GNR, in some ways there image does not do them justice, this is quality euro metal!!

Must mention the track 'Operation Supernova', an anthemic rocker that has "Hit" written all over it.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of: Scorpions, Bullet, WASP, Accept, Motley Crue, Queensryche.

STU

Sunday, 1 April 2012

April Gig Flyers