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MessageSujet: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 8:54


MANOWAR


The Lord Of Steel


(iTunes download)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.0



The Kings Of Metal’s latest ten song offering is available
as digital-only download, available exclusively from Itunes, the band’s
Kingdom of Steel website (Manowar.com) or the Hammer Edition, a tie-in
with the UK magazine. No buxom, half-naked maidens on the album cover?
Die-hards will be disappointed (many of whom are still into vinyl and
only begrudgingly will take a CD. Now what?). Good news, the first note
heard is guitar, not grandiose (some say overblown) intros that
characterized their last, entirely new, studio effort, Gods Of War. This
kick-off is kick ass, a speedster of an ode to their god, “The Lord Of
Steel”
, complete with prominent bass. ‘Manowarriors’ is a simplistic
sing-song anthem written for the live crowd, with the tag line “In heavy
metal we believe. If you don’t like it, time to leave,” before the
final 70 seconds repeat “Manowarriors raise your hands”. You can
envision the in-concert fists thrust aloft! The mood changes from there,
going into a bit of a shell. The mid-tempo, clap along, ‘Born In A
Grave’ see the powerful pipes of Eric Adams kept in check, reduced to
whispers at the start. ‘Righteous Glory’ is a ballad. By contrast,
‘Touch The Sky’
has an easy-going, (surprisingly) almost pop sensibility
to it. Drummer Donnie Hamzik can finally be heard again, on the
instrumental, first two and a half minutes of the otherwise sludgey
‘Black List’, aided by more thumping bass from head honcho Joey DeMaio.
The galloping ‘Expendable’ locks into that classic Manowar groove,
albeit a little short, over in 3:05. ‘El Gringo’ is a a like-minded
paean to 60s Spaghetti Westerns (Eastwood, Van Cleef, etc.) complete
with tolling bell. ‘Annihilation’ keeps things lively, the first trio of
songs to sport a similar tempo/feel. The closing title, ‘Hail, Kill And
Die’ is lifted from the back catalog, as are the lyrics, which utilize
all of Manowar’s album titles in its first line. Not the strongest
finale. Definitely a couple of worthy additions to the live set, namely
the title track, ‘El Gringo’, ‘Annihilation’ and given its name, the
almost guaranteed to be there, ‘Manowarriors’. Hail!


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 8:56


HAIDUK


Spellbook


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.5



Earlier this year, we reviewed HAIDUK’s Plagueswept and
were impressed with the melodic death/black intensity of it all, all the
great riffs, the only problem really being the nasty sounding drum
machine this one-man Albertan project employed. And on this 32-minute
follow-up (smart keeping it short and sweet) that problem is fixed,
automatically bumping the rating up a point from last effort’s 7.0. And
let’s add another half mark on there for the pure professionalism of
this, and the addition of heavy thrash energy that permeates tracks like
‘Maelstrom’ and the awesome ‘Tremor’; yes, the riff majesty has gotten
even better since last album. And the variety is still here: ‘Stormcall’
shows the chugging death metal side of the project well, while the next
cut, ‘Black Wind’, brings the black. I just love how much the
production sound has improved here, the whole thing sounding big, full,
and ominous, the riffs just crashing out of the realm of indie and into
the big leagues, all modern Testament by way of Vader, filtered through
black influences. I still want to see this guy get a full band involved
and see what new places the chemistry takes the music. Until then, this
excellent release will do just fine.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 8:57


BARONESS


Yellow & Green


(Relapse)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 9.0



Yellow & Green is the record that draws a very drastic
line in the sand for Savannah, Georgia's BARONESS, the group
reinventing itself in such stark ways that, at first, you wonder why the
band's members even kept the Baroness name around. No longer writing
MASTODON's next album for it, Baroness has truly assumed its own
identity on Yellow & Green, even if this is undoubtedly not what the
group's most dedicated fanbase ever imagined the 'real' Baroness might
sound like. Now writing in the grey dirges of post-punk, FUGAZI, THIN
LIZZY
at its most despondent, and, unbelievably, KATATONIA, Baroness has
let its ambition get the better of it and let's thank the gods in
charge of unbridled creativity for that, as Yellow & Green is
layered, esoteric, genuinely cathartic and epic in understated ways, the
type of album a band writes once in its career, if it's lucky. Trying
to understand the psychology behind such a radical change is one of the
challenges of listening to Yellow & Green, but as the record plays
the 'why'd they change?' factor becomes absolutely void, this album
bringing colour and splendour to that particular staring-back-at-you
abyss. Though double albums are usually pretentious and mired in wholly
unnecessary filler, Yellow & Green rarely feels bloated or without
reason, as its genetic makeup is, at its core, filled with the types of
tracks that are genuine representation of human sadness, frustration,
confusion, frailty, and rage, Baroness sixth-sensing entirely with the
type of rain that made JOY DIVISION and THE CHURCH (circa 'Reptile') so
compelling, even if those two bands aren't explicitly referenced here
and are instead used as foundational principles. It's difficult to
express the affecting and gorgeous quality that this record exerts, and
it's the type of art that deserves to stand on its own merits instead of
uselessly being compared to the back catalogue, as diehards are so apt
to do when bands they love pull monumental, and unexpected, left turns
into locales that don't include the city's metal venues. One sincerely
salutes Baroness for such a bold shift of identity, but Yellow &
Green's ease with itself hints at the fact that Baroness knew it was
capable of this all along. It was the rest of us who were unbelievers.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 8:58


TITANS EVE


Life Apocalypse


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



Vancouver’s TITANS EVE have really hit a sweet spot with
their second album. This concept disc (don’t worry, it’s an economic 38
minutes) is all power and thrash but way more thrash than power, coming
across totally aggressive but with a sense of drama and purpose usually
reserved for the sit-down-to-pee-metal of ye olde frilly shirt variety.
But the catch is this: when someone’s hollering iambic pentameter at
you, using bullshit words like “whilst” while singing in a falsetto, it
gets hard to take seriously, right? Right. Here, we’re not even sure
what words are being used because they’re just being forced down your
throat, in a manner that recalls the best of Combat Records-era thrash,
all huge riffs that mean business, double-bass pounding relentlessly,
all gruff and no melodies and no nonsense and you better believe there
are no wimps, poseurs, or girls in the hall. Man, even the production on
this one is better than you’d think for an indie release, making this a
very pleasant surprise indeed. I love the illusion: musically, it’s 90%
straight-laced thrash-’til-death stuff, but because of this sense of
importance and the 10% ambitious stuff, I couldn’t help but mention
power metal way back in the second sentence even though this is way too
scary for power metal playlists. Well played, Titans Eve.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 8:58


KATANA


Storms Of War


(Listenable)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.0



Blatant hero worship/rip-off or retro greatness? Sweden’s
answer to Robert Sweet (STRYPER) fronting JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN or
Bruce Dickinson
’s solo material, circa Accident Of Birth (see ‘Land Of
The Sun’), walk the fine line between the two camps. Camp being an
accurate description! Gotta love it. Traditional metal fans, especially
old-timers who lament about the lack of “good new bands” (read those
that stick to the 70s-80s model: twin guitars, high pitched singer, lack
of ballads), will find plenty to like about KATANA, named for the
ritual Samurai sword. The trademark gallop of Maiden’s Murray/Smith
tandem is evident throughout. The lyrics aren’t anything to write home
about, Kubilia Khan, Japan and ‘City On The Edge Of Forever’ manages to
make the final titular word three exaggerated syllables: “for – e –ver!”
The musical equivalent of comfort food: probably not the best thing for
you, but an enjoyable flavor that will put a smile on your face
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 8:59


TINNITUS


Gehenna


(To Live A Lie)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.5



This 7” from this Boston power violence band is ultra
limited, so head over to To Live A Lie’s site now to check it (and many
other excellent releases) out now. The band here take 12 minutes of your
life to lay down audio love letters to legends like DESPISE YOU (hail)
and SPAZZ, combining bass-heavy punk, no-nonsense grind, and
near-comical “angry congested muppet” vox that together hit that sweet,
sweet spot that anyone who is familiar with power violence will
immediately go gonzo over. But any longhair disciples into anything
grindy will definitely want to check out this excellent EP; it’ll be
your gateway drug into one of grind’s coolest subgenres, and TINNITUS
here prove they’re as good as any of the legends of the genre are at the
sound, which is impressive. Recommended.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 9:00


NACHTMYSTIUM


Silencing Machine


(Century Media)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 8.0



When NACHTMYSTIUM founder Blake Judd disgustedly described
the ironic, unmetal crowd at a 2006 show as "nigel hipsters," his
denunciation made metal headlines for its perfect seizing of the moment.
For reasons that remain unclear (apart from the sudden embracing of
metal at a very prominent indie-rock site), circa '06 the people who had
once criticized and mocked metal fervently and consistently were,
suddenly, "rocking black metal" while sporting brand new DARKTHRONE
shirts and buying BORIS and SUNN O))) vinyl with the kind of zeal
reserved for only those who will be on to something new in 18 months.
Though one supposes that the hipster 'fascination' with metal couldn't
really be scorned because it brought more people to shows and increased
metal's exposure generally, hipsterdom's obsession with
I-was-there-first! self-righteousness is what had the rest of us
teetering at the edge of annoyance: when you walked into a record store
and got told by a stupid-ass clerk that indie-rock fans had "always"
been into black metal because EARTH was signed to Sub Pop, you were
forced to shake your head in dismay at how the ironic hipster infection
had infiltrated even our world. Ergo, Judd's impatience and revulsion
with the hipsters at his show was a rallying cry, one that has been
reprised on the return to black metal that is latest record Silencing
Machine (yes, it's a NINE INCH NAILS reference, even if the album has
nothing to do with Trent and co.). Nachtmystium has always been the
torchbearer when it comes to pushing black metal's boundaries to
unthinkable, un-forest locales and while 2008's Assassins: Black Meddle
Part I and 2010's Addicts: Black Meddle Part II were impressive bouts of
exploratory surgeries, it is Silencing Machine that is the true
follow-up to Nachtmystium catalogue highlight Instinct: Decay (whose
most sublime moment, 'A Seed For Suffering', is mythical in these parts,
though Eulogy IV's 'My Vengeance' occupies similar spaces). Which isn't
to say that Silencing Machine is better than Assassins or Addicts,
because it's not. 'Ghosts Of Grace,' 'Your True Enemy,' 'No Funeral,'
'High On Hate'
and especially 'Ruined Life Continuum' from the
aforementioned Black Meddle duo ensure those albums' prominence over
Silencing Machine but, in 2012, it is immensely comforting to know that
Judd has returned to his original black circle and re-embraced Oslo and
Bergen's winter of discontent of '91. When 'I Wait In Hell,' ‘The Lepers
of Destitution’ or Silencing Machine's title track dissertate with
their jagged and caustic purpose, one feels as though a completion of
the burning pentagram is taking place, and taking place boldly: though
the experimentation of 2008 and 2010 is what helped facilitate
Nachtmytium's ultra-respected boundary pusher status, the fact that the
band now has a third piece in the Demise and Instinct: Decay trinity of
frozen (carpathian) forests warms even the ice of immortal blashyrkhs.
Don't understand that last sentence? Then go back to your SLEIGH BELLS
record, asshole.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 9:00


SLEDGE LEATHER


Imagine Me Alive


(Metal Up Records)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 5.0



From the “whatever happened to” file, comes former
CHASTAIN
female vocalist Leather Leone (later fronting her own outfit,
LEATHER, for one late 80s album, Shockwaves). Former RAINBOW/DIO bassist
Jimmy Bain is included here, as well as Leone’s former RUDE GIRL
drummer Sandy Sledge and Bain’s touring keyboard companion Scott Warren.
Time might have passed but Leone still possesses that hoarse rasp of a
throat. Musically, this isn’t too far removed from what one would expect
from scene vets, traditional hard rock/metal, although a bit too
prominent on the keys (at the expense of the guitar, in the mix). Of the
eleven inclusions, half are not even real songs! Talk about running
before you can even crawl. ‘Torch’ is a mere throwaway, just 93-second
sound effect/foreign tongue spoken respite. There’s the 1:39 classical
piano reprise to ‘Her Father’s Daughter’, while 54 seconds of classical
acoustic guitar comprises ‘Illusions Opus 1’. ‘Fast Forgiveness’ lives
up to its name, less than a half minute of speed drumming and shred
guitar, and the orchestral voiceover ‘Sisyphus’ finale lasts 1:14. The
gritty sludge of ‘Her Father’s Daughter’ finally dispenses with the
annoying synthesized bells and lets the guitar crank. ‘A Taste Of The
Night’ is a mid-tempo anthem with plenty of guitar. ‘One Glimpse’ a
ballad that seems to be the culmination (even though it appears eighth
in the running order), utilizing much of what’s already been aired
(piano, nearly a cappella vocals, fuzztone/echo effect, etc.). Without
all the goofiness, there’s the nucleus of a good rock album here. Shame
they jumped the gun and released it as a collection of ideas, rather
than a coherent piece. Hopefully future endeavors will be more thought
out.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 9:01


WEST OF HELL


Spiral Empire


(Reversed Records)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



How refreshing is it to listen to a modern CD that is
thrash but brings bands like SACRED REICH to mind instead of, say,
SLAYER? Very. Vancouver’s WEST OF HELL got it down pat here: the huge
riffs, big grooves, fat production, soaring hairy and hoary metal-dude
vocals… it’s mainly about the whole package here, as it’s not like the
songwriting is amazingly memorable or the riffs are astounding, but put
it all together and there’s just nothing to complain about within each
song. The band, featuring Zimmers Hole vocalist Chris Valagao, certainly
have their thrash chops down, the years of studious nerding out obvious
on every riff, the love of even lower-level thrash from the ’80s coming
through with every second here. And it’s not all speedy fast either,
the band spending lots of time in mid-tempo turf, exploring a more trad
metal groove and chug than most modern thrashers. Fun album, although
the sum total is a bit long in the tooth at 53 minutes.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 5 Aoû - 9:02


STRIKER


Armed To The Teeth


(Napalm)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.0



The young, retro-minded Canucks have issued their
sophomore effort. Ran into them last year, in Germany, where they were
performing as part of the Headbangers Open Air after-party. Trilling,
high-pitched vocals, traditional heavy metal is the name of the game: no
keyboards, no ballads, as the marketing slogan used to say. While not
the first band to borrow the album title, haven’t seen one in a couple
dozen years, which is squarely (the headspace) where these guys come
from, despite their age. ‘Let It Burn’ positively smokes! ‘It Could Be
Worse’ is an ode for the age, making the best out of what you’ve got,
diametrically opposed to the neysaying 90s shoegazer mentality, complete
with some vintage JUDAS PRIEST approved riffs. DRAGONFORCE speed kicks
off ‘Wolf Gang’. As the titles ‘Feel The Fire’ and ‘All The Way’
suggest, the name of the game is speed, although at times there’s an
element of more commercial 80s sounds. While I still prefer numerous
like-minded Swedish retro acts ahead of this (BULLET, WOLF, PORTRAIT,
ENFORCER, STEELWING
, etc.) good to see someone new/young on this side of
the pond getting recognition (signed!) for plying a long lost trade.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 7 Aoû - 22:43

Johnny Van Zant Round Two
CANDY138 / There's no getting away from it, the name Van Zant carries
an awful lot of cache in the world of rock. It's a crown worn proudly by
three men, namely Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie, .38 Special's Donnie and.
Johnny, who fronted his own band prior to stepping into the shoes of his
late brother Ronnie in the irrepressible Skynyrd. Johnny's first
introduction to the spotlight was through the Johnny Van Zant Band's
debut album, 'No More Dirty Deals', a rough and tumble southern rock
blowout that helped to establish him - and his band - as serious
contenders. Getting back into the ring, this second album, titled 'Round
Two', was originally released in 1982 and was produced by Skynyrd's
live soundman Kevin Elson. The sound and material takes its cue from the
great southern rock records of the 70s, turbo-charged with a solid dose
of contemporary melody, bringing to mind the best work of .38 Special.
Of course, Johnny's vocals are immediately recognisable and massively
impressive but a doff of the cap must be reserved for the guitar work of
Erik Leif Lundgren and Robbie Gay, two men intent on delivering
firecracker riffs and stinging twin lead guitar. Also featuring
contributions from Journey's Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain, 'Round Two'
remains a lip smacking slice of the southern rock pie.






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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 7 Aoû - 22:46

Johnny Van Zant The Last Of The Wild OneS
CANDY139 / IT HAS been said that the commercial demise of southern rock
began with Lynyrd Skynyrd's tragic airplane crash in 1977, which killed
three members of the band, including frontman Ronnie Van Zant. It was a
sad time for the genre for sure, but a handful of acts kept the
confederate flag flying, refusing to succumb to such desolate times.
Best news of all was that two other members of the Van Zant family rose
to the challenge by firing up some of their best work; namely .38
Special's Donnie Van Zant and little bro' Johnny, he of the self
monikered Johnny Van Zant Band. 'Last Of The Wild Ones', originally
issued in 1982, was the JVZ Band's third studio album and finds them
returning to a more authentic sound, a style in keeping with their
highly praised debut album, paying less heed to commerciality and more
attention to traditional 70s style southern rock. It also marked the
return of veteran producer Al Kooper, a man who not only discovered,
signed and produced Skynyrd but also sat behind the recording desk of
the debut JVZ Band album. Sharper, more concise and rougher around the
edges than their second album, 'Last Of The Wild Ones' takes no
prisoners, leaping out of the speakers all riffles blazing. With brother
Donnie co-writing half the album, this is truly a joining of forces and
a serious statement of intent.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 7 Aoû - 22:48

Lionheart


S/T' CANDY151 / The new Wave Of British Heavy Metal was a term coined
to group together a rather disparate bunch of rock bands that were
connected more by what they were not, rather than what they were. In
1979 punk and its limper cousin, new wave, dominated the British musical
landscape. But for every action there tends to be a reaction and so it
proved when hard rock and heavy metal bands of all shapes and hues
suddenly started to re-emerge. London based Lionheart were one such
band. Regarded as something of a mini supergroup at the time, featuring
ex Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton and former Liar guitarist (and
future Michael Schenker Group member) Steve Mann, Lionheart burst on to
the scene in a flash of excitement, and were snapped up by industry
powerhouse CBS Records.
Recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Kevin Beamish (REO Speedwagon,
Jefferson Starship), 'Hot Tonight' is a juicy slice of melodic hard rock
from a band keen to promote catchy hooks and a superior glossy sound to
rival the best of the biggest selling American AOR bands. Originally
issued in 1985, it was an album that impressed fans and critics alike,
offering up a brace of superlative tracks, including 'Wait For The
Night', the title track and the album highlight 'Towers Of Silver', a
song to rival the best work of Journey and Styx.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 7 Aoû - 23:01

Joanna Dean Jacobs

Possessing
a voice once described as having the capability to shake the
foundations of the very tallest of buildings, Georgia born Joanna Dean Jacobs arrived on the world stage in the summer of 1988 following the release of her debut album 'Misbehavin''.
A delicious combination of Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt and Maggie Bell,
Joanna's voice and the southern bluesy hard rock approach of her songs
made more than a few people stand up and take a lot of notice. Issued by
Polydor, 'Misbehavin'' is as kick ass a bluesy hard rock record as they
come and led to a great deal of critical acclaim.
Undeterred by this set back, Joanna eventually found a new home for her
talents when Polydor came calling. The 'Misbehavin'' album was promptly
cut at Ardent Studios in Memphis with producer Eli Ball at the helm.
After the showcase appearances in Europe (where, in addition to the
London Marquee gig the group also played in Odense, Denmark and a
"pretty crazy" club in Dublin), Joanna and friends returned to the
States where they toured for the rest of the summer.
Yesterrock with the help of Universal Music Germany now is re-releasing this rare album in a re-mastered version July 17.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 8 Aoû - 16:04


TESTAMENT


Dark Roots Of Earth


(Nuclear Blast)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.5



If a Big Five of thrash existed, Bay Area’s TESTAMENT (or
possibly EXODUS) would be included on the list. They were an important
piece of the puzzle in the burgeoning thrash scene of the early
eighties. 2008’s The Formation of Damnation (the band’s first release in
almost 10 years with four-fifths of the original lineup) was one of the
greatest comeback albums of all time. On its tenth release, Dark Roots
of Earth, the band is brimming with confidence once again. They’ve
managed to step it up a notch with its brand of aggression meets melody
while retaining the tried and true Testament sound. It’s a mixture of
Practice What You Preach, Souls of Black and Low, but with a modern
melodic twang all rolled into one. The nine tracks are loaded with tons
of variety, well-executed melodies, tasty Skolnick (and even Peterson!)
guitar solos, and the throaty bellows of vocalist Chuck Billy are also
spot-on. An added bonus is that powerhouse drummer Gene Hoglan is back
in the band. At this point in the game, Testament doesn’t even have to
think about what it is that makes up its classic thrash sound, it just
develops naturally. The new material is melodic, cohesive and really
packs a wallop. It’s just so damn enjoyable to listen to. Hail the new
Testament!

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 8 Aoû - 16:05


MORTILLERY


Murder Death Kill


(Napalm)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



Far from the usual Napalm Records fare, this debut from
Edmonton’s MORTILLERY looks set to deliver raging thrash, and, yup, that
it does. But here’s the rub, and for old dudes it’s a very delightful
rub: the vocals are full-on air-raid siren, like, beyond Bruce and
towards Russ, if you follow me. And if you do, great, read on: this band
is definitely rooted in old-school thrash, but there’s enough mid-tempo
melodies here to bring back lots of pleasant ’80’s flashbacks, enough
trad leanings to think of some great forgotten second-tier band that
shoulda been and coulda been (the guitar solo on the amazingly titled
‘Despised By Blood’ alone is worth the price of admission here). But
this is mainly more thrashback than flashback, full speed ahead, take
the gallop and run, past the piles of silverfish-infested VIO-LENCE LPs,
right into some kinda glorious alternate reality where shit like this
really, really matters, where it matters as much as it does to the dudes
in Mortillery. Listening to this, you can tell this stuff really does
matter to them, which is why they matter to us.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 8 Aoû - 16:06


DIRGE ETERNAL


Under The Spell


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



On this new EP, which follows the band’s debut EP from
2010, Finnish power/trad metallers DIRGE ETERNAL have added ex-TURISAS
bassist Hannes Horma to the mix, and, you know, I think someone
somewhere is excited about that. Here, the band shows off their tight
chops, opener ‘The Slaughterhouse’ being a meaty and choppy piece of
symphonic, soaring mid-tempo heavy metal. It’s not flighty enough to be
full-on power, but not quite gritty enough to be tried and true trad, so
instead it’s in the middle, like a slick, castrated KING DIAMOND. The
title track is up next, and the mid-tempo atmospheric metal has got that
Witchery ‘Midnight At The Graveyard’ feel to it, which is impressive as
that was a really, really good fucking song. Closer ‘Within The Dark’
steps up the balls/vice factor, and with that, steps up the pure metal
factor. The melodic singing and slick axe work bring to mind ’80’s
sounds in the best of ways. While trad or retro fans might find this to
be a bit too polished and power (and I worry that power fans will find
it a bit too trad), for someone who likes the loftiness of power but
could leave the pomp at the prom, this is perfect.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 8 Aoû - 16:06


PERIPHERY


Periphery II


(Sumerian)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 7.5



PERIPHERY's infamy is a product of the group being caught
at the centre of the djent debate of 2011 (the details of which are
entirely made up of geeky sub-genre analysis - enter at your own peril)
and, as a result of all the djent talk, Periphery's primary influences -
MESHUGGAH, DREAM THEATER
and COHEED AND CAMBRIA - are easy to spot if
you're over 25, which the majority of this group's fanbase is not.
Despite the blatant copyright infringement that goes on during II's
entirety, Periphery has managed to tread off the beaten path and
dissertate with dynamic, precision and a flowing listenability,
especially on impressive record opener 'Have A Blast'. While the fact
that this record unbelievably debuted at number 44 at Billboard in the
U.S. is testament to its skinny-jeans trendiness, the metal critic still
attempts a fair and impartial assessment and realizes that, despite
Periphery's nondescript look that is no doubt meticulously created, this
band is made to attract attention, as it stretches its component,
influenced parts into other genres entirely and then retracts them back,
creating a modern, history-referencing record that appeals, no doubt,
to fans who think CATTLE DECAPITATION or the so-goddamn-underrated ARSIS
are old-school classics. There are epic qualities to be found on II,
which is not a surprise given the clear Dream Theater patterns and manic
Meshuggah-isms, and it's precisely this ambition that makes Periphery
more than just a djent-isn't-a-subgenre-you-asshole oddity. That said,
Periphery is clearly a product of its time, which leads to this record's
weakest moments but, hey, if I had started a band in 1999, I would have
written every dual-lead this side of IN FLAMES, y'know? Periphery's
ambitious scope and meticulous execution elevates the band beyond the
confines so many of its tour-as-life colleagues are locked in and all
Periphery is truly missing is perspective and reflected-back wisdom.
It'll come with time.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 8 Aoû - 16:10
















THE COMPANY BAND


Pros & Cons


(Weathermaker Music)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 7.5




THE COMPANY BAND
's five-track EP, Pros & Cons, is a
ginormous dose of “put up your dukes” rock 'n’ roll. Vocalist Neil
Fallon
(CLUTCH), bassist Brad Davis (FU MANCHU), drummer Jess Margera
(CKY), guitarist Jim Rota (FIREBALL MINISTRY) and guitarist Dave Bone
create some straight-ahead ’70s rock swagger on ts third release. In
2007, TCB released its first EP, followed by its eponymous full-length
debut in 2009. CD opener 'House of Capricorn' is equipped with a solid
riff complete with a fat, face-smakin’ snare drum sound with enough blue
collar gusto that would make Randy Bachman proud. CD finalé 'El Dorado'
is based on a churning, powerful riff decorated with enticing vocal
harmonies and a short but sweet lead guitar lick. At only five songs,
Pros & Cons will leave you yearning for more of TCB’s old-time bad
ass rock ‘n’ roll.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 14 Aoû - 17:36


RITA RAE ROXX


Once Upon A Rock Star


(Arbor Oak Books)


Reviewed by : Aaron Small

Rating : 7.0



Sex sells, but who’s buying? Author Rita Rae Roxx was the
Pamela Des Barres of the ‘80s. Half Japanese and half Czechoslovakian,
Rita resided in Omaha, Nebraska – and at age 15 lost her virginity to
BILLY SQUIER on his tour bus! At age 16, Rita road-tripped to Los
Angeles, where she bumped into VAN HALEN frontman David Lee Roth at The
Troubadour. He subsequently took her back to his condo, taught her how
to roll a joint, and made love to her multiple times – an evening she
refers to as “one of the happiest nights of my whole life.” Admittedly
this all sounds unbelievable as Rita was still in high school, living at
Mommy and Daddy’s house. Yet she designed and sewed her own revealing
outfits, and certainly wasn’t shy – “who could turn down a cute girl
with a pocketful of cocaine?” Yes, this is a true story. Drugs were the
key to getting backstage, which led to after-show parties, which led to
hotels and x-rated adventures. Naively, Rita believed “her encounters
would be more than a one-night stand.” Undeterred by being nothing more
than a notch on the bedpost, and finally turning 18, Rita did the
horizontal boogie with Phil Collen from DEF LEPPARD. Much to Rita’s
surprise, Rudy Sarzo of QUIET RIOT refused her advances. Trying to sound
moralistic, Rita states, “It wasn’t like I would sleep with anyone;”
and to her credit she said no to both Dee Snider of TWISTED SISTER and
Gene Simmons from KISS. Taking the high road even further, Rita says, “I
would never touch a married man.” However, she did the nasty with BON
JOVI bassist Alec John Such and JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Glenn Tipton.
Fully admitting that “the conquest became an addiction,” Rita went on to
lay Adrian Smith of IRON MAIDEN and Bret Michaels of POISON. While the
dirty details are few and far between, Rita does reveal that RATT’s
Stephen Pearcy “had the biggest balls of any guy I ever slept with.” And
Pearcy’s bassist Juan Croucier was the first to penetrate her anally.
However, Rita’s “best sex ever” was courtesy of Ozzy guitarist Jake E.
Lee. A vicarious throwback to the ‘80s, Once Upon A Rock Star is 200
pages of risqué romanticizing with a bevy of black and white photos
thrown in for good measure. Currently Rita is “a hard-working Mom,
active in her church.”

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 14 Aoû - 17:37


FORTE


Unholy War


(Tribunal Records)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



Tribunal’s sister label, Divebomb, specializes in
reissuing obscure and almost forgotten thrash and hardcore albums, and
for that, we salute them. So confused was I going into this that I
thought this fifth offering from Oklahoma’s FORTE was actually a reissue
of some unheard album from the mid-’90s. But this is on Tribunal, not
Divebomb, and this is a brand new studio disc from this long-suffering
group of thrashing mad power/trad metallers. Forte never really got into
the upper echelon of metal bands back in the ’90s, but they were
certainly talented enough to. The problem always lay in the defiance of
categorization, the tunes operating in a middle ground between balls-out
traditional metal, soaring power metal, and slightly technical,
barbed-wire thrash attacks. Here, it’s the same ol’, with the band
totally capably and without any red cheeks doing what they do best, all
these years later, still sounding incredibly tight and razor-blade
vicious, and still fighting off that slight fatigue that sometimes comes
with operating in a vague space between genres. But, overall, a good
release that can easily give most o
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 14 Aoû - 17:37


DUST BOLT


Violent Demolition


(Napalm)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.0



This debut disc from Munich-based thrashers DUST BOLT is
certainly an impressive enough way to get the career going. Following up
2010’s Chaos Possession EP, this album is chock full of SLAYER and mild
KREATOR worship, filtered through a vaguely Canadian sensibility… but
way more RAZOR than SACRIFICE, if you catch my drift. I love the guitar
work, even the leads (see ‘Toxic Attack’) having a certain classiness to
them that really helps this band stand out from today’s thrash masses.
And while much of the album’s guitar work has a certain Teutonic barbed
edge to it, the feel is more like second-rate Slayer (not a bad thing)
mixed with, like I say, this kind of vague Canadian soft rub around the
edges/vicious ANNIHILATOR/Razor guitar-centric carpal tunnel riff attack
which is relentless throughout the disc’s enjoyable 42 minutes
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 14 Aoû - 17:38


VINDICATOR


United We Fall


(Slaney Records)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.5



Ohio youngsters know how to thrash, old-school! This is
their third full length, the brother Stown (Vic on guitars/vocals and
drummer Jesse) having recruited former HOLY GRAIL/WHITE WIZZARD
stringbender James J. LaRue to join the fold, which makes for wicked
solos amongst the hair flying, head nodding. ‘Man Undone’, which warns
about government oversight/intervention, begins with a particularly
furious shuffling riff (think NUCLEAR ASSAULT), elsewhere there’s paeans
to MEGADETH, circa Countdown To Distinction: a little more polished, in
terms of production and playing. A chugging ‘Hail To The Thief’ rips
politicians, via some widdly fretwork. Like the good old days, there are
“news” voiceovers to preface some of the songs, although ‘End
Dependence’ is a short instrumental. ‘Divided We Stand, United We Fall’
recounts the financial crisis in the USA, as a backdrop for involvement
in overseas military conflicts. It features an elongated, restrained,
almost acoustic, mid-section. Actually a dual acoustic instrumental,
‘Obsoletion’ closes the (42 minutes) dozen tracks. Throughout, vocals
are of the shouted, sometimes off-kilter variety, but nothing too harsh,
nor unintelligible and ‘Nationwide Ruination’ has a strong sense of
melody. Live, they’re even better!

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 14 Aoû - 17:39


IN THIS MOMENT


Blood


Kelley Simms


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 6.5



IN THIS MOMENT’s forte used to be the combination of
aggression and melody, but on its fourth full-length release, Blood,
methinks the California metalcore band has taken a turn for the worse.
Their last album, A Star-Crossed Wasteland, hinted at a change in
direction with some of its sampled buzz sounds and electronic/industrial
beats, but on Blood, there’s nary a metallic edge present at all.
Instead, there’s industrialized, sampled beeps, buzzes, squeals,
stutters and scratches; synchronized, electronic drums; plodding synth
intros and techno dance beats — making the CD excruciatingly painful to
listen to. I for one just don’t mix my metal with techno-anything.
Maria’s aggressive yet pop-ish vocals on “Adrenalize” makes her sound
more like an angry Cher. It has a catchy chorus, but the pulsating dance
beats (are those even real drums?) ruins it. On “Whore,” Maria contorts
her voice to sound ... well, ethnic, or like a pseudo Christina
Aguilera. “You’re Gonna Listen” is driven by Maria’s trademark screams
like the ones we’ve come to know and love, but that annoying stuttering
synth sound is back. “Comanche” shows promise with a steamy bass line
and an angry anthemic gang chant chorus, but with its nü metal vibe and
Maria’s repetitive scream, it gets old quick. I have a hard time
accepting the band’s drastic change in its sound compared to A
Star-Crossed Wasteland. Of course, if you’re a fan of these types of
elements mixed with your metal, then I can only assume that you’ll find
Blood charming.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 14 Aoû - 17:39


MOTIVE


I Am Today


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



This Arizona-based band has been around for a while,
logging in three full-lengths in the '00s and now following up their
self-titled EP from four years back with this new EP. Somehow I love
that title, the confidence found all over this six-song affair displayed
loud and proud in those three words. The band lay down a bass-heavy
thumping thrashing thwomp here, threatening to enter that PANTERA
bar-band turf but keeping it simultaneously heavier (I'm thinking Crash
Records circa mid-'90s here), tunes like 'Color Blind Rain' (love that
title too, actually) grooving but never in a cheap, cloying way. 'Lost
On 89' brings to mind ANTHRAX at their most frantic, which is actually
pretty refreshing. The main thing working against MOTIVE is the
forgettable throaty, yelled vocals, but in the world of metal, there are
certainly worse vocalists out there. A nice little EP bringing modern
thrash and groove metal an extreme edge, displaying good songwriting
skills and a nice love of all things heavy
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