Saturday, 29 June 2013

Mahogany Head Grenade - Return To The Point Of Departure (CD Review)

01.Return To The Point Of Departure
02.Trouble For Trouble
04.Etude War Machine
05.Venetian Bricks

Dan Hyer (Guitar)
Mike Pritchett (Drums)
James Falcon (Bass)

Texas based Mahogany Head Grenade are a Progressive Instrumental trio formed circa 2011, this is their first release.

The recording was tracked live, recorded & engineered by Sterling Winfield (Pantera, Damageplan, Hellyeah) at Valve Studios in Dallas.  Mastered by Maor Appelbaum (Cynic, Halford, Sepultura) at Maor's studio in California, USA.

Guitarist Dan states that "Return, combines historical audio samples with a 20th century classical approach to melodies, themes, and song structure.  All the while, we stay true to our Texas Metal roots."

Anyone who knows me or have read reviews on this site will know that i do not like this style of rock music, for me the technical Satriani/Vai genre is clever but lacks soul, so when i recieved this ep i wasnt exactley looking forward to hitting play.

But i hit play anyway and was slightly surprised by what i heard, the opening track 'Return To The Point Of Departure' has an amazing intro using samples from movies over some nice synth playing, very reminicent of classic Rob Zombie, when the music kicks in, there is a vibrancy to the music and the production is top notch.
Unfortunatley the clever riff heavy guitar work doesnt sit comfortabley with my ears, if it had vocals i think it would work better.
However the use of movie samples throughout the track does break it up enough to make you want to listen to the track all the way through.

'Trouble For Trouble' starts in the same manner but with some great bass work and a nice moody guitar riff all held together by solid, rhythmic drumming.

Okay so now a patter is emerging as again it starts with movie samples and then moves into the same structure.
This one has some nice timing changes and some jazz guitarwork, reminds me of some of Zappa's later work.

For sure its more of the same with 'Etude War Machine' but this one has some balls with some heavy guitarwork.

Fuck i thought this was going to be a cover of Al B Damned's 'Lust For Death' the opening is identical! but 'Venetian Bricks' is original!

Okay so like i said not my style of rock music, that said this is a good ep and has more to offer than a lot of other musicians output.

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of: Frank Zappa, Malmsteen/Vai/Satriani, Dragonforce.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Gogol Bordello - Pura Vida Conspiracy (CD Review)

Gypsy punk band from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, formed in 1999, "Gogol" comes from Nikolai Gogol, an influential writer in Ukrainian and Russian literature. He serves as an ideological influence for the band because he "smuggled" Ukrainian culture into Russian society, which Gogol Bordello intends to do with Gypsy/ East-European music in the English-speaking world."Bordello," in Italian, refers to a brothel or a "gentleman's club." The band was originally titled Hütz and the Béla Bartóks, but Eugene Hütz says that they decided to change the name because "nobody knows who the hell Béla Bartók is in the United States."

They hit the big time in 2006 with the single 'Start Wearing Purple' then toured the world with everyone from Primus to Flogging Molly.
Such is the appeal of thier music that they have played over 70 festivals from indie, punk, folk and world music to heavy metal.

The band has appeared in a number of popular films, most notably in 2005's Everything Is Illuminated in which the lead singer, Eugene Hütz, co-starred with Elijah Wood in a dramedy and adventure story about the Nazi purges in Ukraine. The entire group was present for one shot in which they played a brass band in a set that included the Star Spangled Banner. They also played the traditional Yiddish tune "Bublitschki". Gogol Bordello contributed the song "Start Wearing Purple" to the film's score.

The album’s title is derived from a Spanish slang phrase for “pure life,” which is a theme that resonates throughout the new material. The disc’s opener, “We Rise Again,” introduces the album’s limitless, all-embracing themes instantly, centered on a chorus of “Borders are scars on face of the planet.” The new songs are infused with ideas rooted in Eastern philosophy but also search for a means of joining fragmented parts and persons, and of creating a worldwide consciousness.

“For me music is a way to explore human potential,” Hutz says. “And that’s my main interest in life – human potential. Everyone knows there’s something inside of us that we’re not using. How do we get it? How do we reach it? Every single person knows that there’s something and nobody knows what it is. So at one point I said to myself, I’m gonna get down and get it.”

"For the love of u, for the love of me
For the love of everyone who's yet to be free
Borders are scars on face of the planet."

A great and diverse album with traditional gypsy music, folk and rock sometimes all mixed in together sometimes not.

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of : Turisas, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Flogging Molly

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sister Sin - Dance Of The Wicked (CD Review)

Since 2002, SISTER SIN has worked hard to earn their position at the top of the metal scene and with a third album release on the way, they are clearly here to stay. The blueprints for Sweden's dirty metal cartel SISTER SIN were traced nearly ten years ago. Former bassist, Chris Martensson and current drummer Dave Sunderberg became fast friends, recognizing their mutual interest in 80's metal and their yearning to play the music unconventional to their home country. The pair quickly formed a band of their own in hopes to assault all ears around the world.

The search for the perfect front man began and they soon discovered vocalist Liv Jagrell. Although a female part wasn't their original idea, they decided to give her a shot and Dave explains, "It turned out she could sing better and had more balls than any of the other guys who tried out for the gig." With Liv on board, there was only one link missing: a guitarist.

Without hesitation, Dave phoned an old high school friend, Jimmy Hitula, who was known as the "best extreme metal guitar player around." With Jimmy's acceptance, everything was finally in place. The group finally began to craft their sound by fusing raw punk-rock energy with the power of classic metal. With their unique sound and line-up solidified, SISTER SIN gained widespread success in Europe and soon reached out to US based label Victory Records. The foursome signed to the label in 2008 and has since been able to successfully deliver their powerful sound to the US.

Four years and two Victory releases later, SISTER SIN has announced their highly anticipated third full -length album, Now and Forever, set to be released on October 22, 2012. Along with the most recent addition of bassist Strandh, the furious bunch is on a mission to continue to deliver rock through their capitvating vocals, electrifying guitar riffs and an overall hard-hitting metallic forcer.

SISTER SIN has completed several full tours throughout the United States and European regions. Amongst the many stages played, SISTER SIN has been able to share the spotlight with monumental acts such as MOTORHEAD, ALICE COOPER, DOOR, ILL INO, OTEP and more. With a fully packed schedule to accompany the release of Now and Forever, SISTER SIN plans to continue to tour throughout Sweden this summer, followed by a yet another full US tour this winter.

This band is not into retro, retread hype; this is a serious testament to the raucous spirit of true 80's heavy metal and Rock 'n' Roll. If you're into rebellious, unapologetic, intense music then you're sure to become a fan of SISTER SIN and check out their new third full-length album, Now and Forever. This may quite possibly be the REAL metal album of 2012.

"We want to make you all bang your head, spit your beer and leave the gig with a big smile and a good wry neck!" - Liv.
 Still one of the better female fronted metal bands around, the addition of the demos and cover with Doro make this a worthwhile cd to own!
Rating 9/10
For Fans Of : Warlock, Doro, Girlschool, WASP

Mindless Self Indulgence - How I learned To Stop Giving A Shit (CD Review)

Mindless Self Indulgence (MSI) is an inflammatory band mixing influences of punk rock, hip hop and driving electronic music together to create an unrestrained sound. Since 1997, this band has developed a rabid following of hardcore fans in its wake with its music and the cult classic albums Tight, Frankenstein Girls Will Seem Strangely Sexy, You’ll Rebel To Anything, and If.

As a matter of fact, if there is one certainty in this world, it’s that MSI’s fans are devoted to an almost fanatical level. Which is why Mindless Self Indulgence was able to hold it’s own album hostage with a hugely successful kickstarter. Once the demands were met, the shadowy exchanges arranged, SWAT Teams were told to stand down, and Mindless Self Indulgence delivered the goods.

With all of that out of the way, MSI now returns to Metropolis Records with the new album, How I Learned to Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence. Chock full of trademark MSI goodness, the new record proves once again that Mindless Self Indulgence is the best, fuck everybody else.

Techno rhythms and offensive lyrics, all in all typical MSI, melodic, catchy and full of hooks!

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of : Marilyn Manson, In This Moment

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Queensryche - Queensryche (CD Review)

02.Where Dreams Go To Die
04.In This Light
07.Midnight Lullaby
08.A World Without
09.Don't Look Back
11.Open Road

Todd La Torre (Vocals)
Michael Wilton (Guitar)
Eddie Jackson (Bass)
Scott Rockenfield (Drums/Orchestrations)
Parker Lundgren (Guitar)

“This gets said often by a lot of bands, but we believe we have recorded some of our finest music in years. The collaborative effort of everyone on this album is something we are extremely proud of. Working with James “Jimbo” Barton (Producer 'Operation: Mindcrime' and 'Empire') and the addition of Todd has revitalized the band in ways we never knew until we heard the final results. We know you have to wait a little longer but are excited for all of our fans to hear it. QUEENSRŸCHE wouldn’t be in this position if not for your unwavering support,” exclaims drummer Scott Rockenfield.

In 2012, the band welcomed a new vocalist for the first time since founding in 1981 back when guitarist Michael Wilton and drummer Scott Rockenfield were just high school buddies. Joining Wilton, Rockenfield, original bassist Eddie Jackson, and guitarist Parker Lundgren, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Todd LaTorre entered the fold and immediately galvanized the veteran group.While attending the annual NAMM Convention in Anaheim, Wilton serendipitously met LaTorre and exchanged email addresses. It might seem random or convenient, but nothing in the QUEENSRŸCHE universe is.
After they parted ways with singer Geoff Tate, Wilton reached out about the open spot, and LaTorre humbly obliged, accepting his invitation. Instantly, the musicians harnessed a raw vitality they hadn't felt in years.

'X2' is just an atmospheric intro thats goes straight into 'Where Dreams Go To Die' after a bit of a slow start the song builds a little but never quite explodes the way you expect it to, very melodic and sounding like an post 7 keys Helloween album.
Pretty much stays that way, melodic prog tinged hard rock and a few ballads.

Overall not a bad album, nt sure how Tate fans will take to the new vocalist but he does a great job and isnt trying to sound like the other guy.

Its not Mindcrime, but then they could never re-capture that genius and they dont have too anyway.

Rating 7/10

For Fans Of : Dream Theatre, Iron Maiden, Tesla, Helloween

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Kemakil - Kemakil (CD Review)

01.Cause Of All War
02.Iram Of The 'Ad
03.Hell Patrol
04.Free To Obey
05.Chemical Attack
07.The Vile, The Bad & The Ugly
08.Nightmare Existence
09.Nuclear Proliferation
10.Persecution Of The Hmong

Rob Durrant (Guitar/Vocals)
Chris Stockdale (Guitar)
Tim Franklin (Bass)
Aaron Boast (Drums)
Haydn Morgans (Bass: Tracks 5 - 10)

Suffolk thrashers formed back in 1988 by Rob and Chris, however it wasn't until 2007 that a solid line up was put together and an album's worth of material was recorded at Rob's house and became the demo 'Gondolas On The Styx'.

In 2008 Aaron and Haydn Morgans joined and after successful shows in Ipswich and London,the 'Blood Removal Machines' EP was recorded at Punch Studios in 2009.

For the next 2 years the band gigged throughout the UK playing support to bands like Virus, Shrapnel, savage Messiah and Bonded By Blood.

2012 Haydn leaves the band but is featured on the new album recorded at HVR Studios just outside Ipswich, his replacement is Tim from 'Fallen Humanity'.

Sound effects and melodic guitar lead you into a false sense of calm as the opening track 'Cause Of All War' blasts at high speed through the speakers.

The pace changes slightly between doomy guitar work and full on thrash assault for 'Iram Of The 'Ad' with a bit of maidenesque guitar work thrown in for good measure.
This mix of styles remains for the next few songs, each perfectly executed with screaming vocals, very fast drumming blended with solid bass work and epic guitar solos.

Always a favourite song 'Illuminati' delivers extreme power just as it does live, this is a mosh pit masterpiece, agressive, evil, fast as fuck!!

'The Vile, The Bad & The Ugly' is one of those brooding thrash songs, has a touch of Judas Priest's 'Exciter' about it.

'Nightmare Existence' harkens back to the early days, its short, fast and has a great guitar solo, and that pedal work punches through the speakers.

The final song 'Persecution Of The Hmong' is another mid tempo rocker, full of timing changes, some almost bluesy guitar work and all held together by an array of punishment to the drum skins.

I said it before and i will say it again "a mosh pit masterpiece, agressive, evil, fast as fuck!!"

Rating 10/10

For Fans Of: Evile, Savage Messiah, Kreator, Municiple Waste.