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 Chroniques Albums

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 1 Mai - 17:37


DUST


Hard Attack/Dust


(Sony/Legacy)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 9.0



Brooklyn-based DUST is an overlooked gem from the late
sixties/early seventies. They followed the musical path of SABBATH,
ZEPPELIN, MOUNTAIN, BLUE CHEER
and CREAM. Dubbed as one of the first
American proto-metal bands, Dust never flourished like they should have.
After two albums, Dust fizzled out and faded away, with each member
moving on to more esteemed and lucrative musical endeavors. Marc Bell
took up the drum throne for the RAMONES, bassist Kenny Aaronson played
with RICK DERRINGER, SAMMY HAGAR, JOAN JETT and others while
guitarist/vocalist Richie Wise went on to co-produce the first two KISS
albums as well as many others. Dust’s two cult classic albums, 1971’s
self-titled debut and 1972’s Hard Attack, long since out of print, have
both been remastered and reissued by Sony/Legacy as one CD. Dust’s love
and passion for rock might have outweighed their ability and talent at
the time, but they sure knew how to rock. Heavy compositions such as
‘Suicide,’ their definitive song, and ‘Love Me Hard’ are chugging
rockers. ‘Stone Woman’ and ‘From A Dry Camel’ display some well-placed
grooves. Melodic ditties such as ‘I Been Thinking’ and ‘Walk in the Soft
Rain’ show the band’s versatility while numbers such as ‘Goin’ Easy’
and ‘How Many Horses’ display a laid-back, bluesy swagger. The retro
rock resurgence is at an all-time high right now, and if you haven’t yet
discovered Dust, don’t let these guys slip by twice.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 1 Mai - 17:38


AMORPHIS


Circle


(Nuclear Blast)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.5



Masterful stroke, adding gruff vocalist Tomi Joutsen. The
fact his death metal background allows these Finns to not only relive
their early glory years, but turn out some surprisingly mellow/tuneful
psychedelic tinged material at the same time, is nothing short of
amazing. Opening ‘Shades Of Grey’ belches forcefully forth, threatening
to make more easy listening fans temporarily swear off AMORPHIS, but
fret not, as the instrumental magic wonders through the AMON MARTH
styled bravado. A more metered, mid-tempo ‘Mission’ follows, building to
a speedier and damn catchy conclusion. At times, they verge on pop
sensabilities (strong melodies, rudimentary musicianship), but then
there’s a guttural tone or wild flight of guitar/keyboard fancy. The
music can be enjoyed by oldtimers, without alienating “the children”.
Elsehwere, the infectious ‘Narrowpath’ commences with a lilting, Celtic
(?) sounding jig. Countrymen NIGHTWISH scored a minor hit with their
rendition of GARY MOORE’s ‘Over The Hills And Far Away’, so I can see
this one going down a storm in Suomi. ‘Nightbird’s Song’ juxtaposes
beautifully airy flute/pipe and heavy handed death growl. Somehow it all
works, magnificently. Piano kicks off the bouncy ‘Into The Abyss’,
while the stylized start of ‘Hopeless Days’ threatens to unleash
DIMMU-ish black metal. It never materializes, Joutsen employing his
clean voice on a smooth jangly number. Expect, no, relish the
unexpected!

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 1 Mai - 17:38


INEBRIATION


20 Years And Drinking


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 6.5



This is an insanely no-budget release from death-metal
dudes INEBRIATION, who are so under-the-radar this is either a reissue
of a 1991 demo or a new release recorded on their old boombox. So for
the average human being—even for the average death metal fan—this is
going to be a very tough sell. But underneath the unlistenable
production “qualities” lurks some good playing (especially the drumming,
which manages to shine through the murk here) and some up-to-par death
metal songwriting skills. Really, what this one showcases more than
anything is the spirit of death metal, the true love and passion that
these lugnuts from anywhere dished out in their garage, or basement, or
underwater, or wherever this was recorded. It shines through in every
riff that, yes, you've heard before, and heard better, but, really, that
doesn't matter. Bands like this—releases like this, even—need to exist
in some strange way, proving that there are countless faceless death
metal soldiers out there, and there always shall be. Doesn't mean you
need to buy this, but, you know, it's a comforting thought.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 1 Mai - 17:40


ROCKY SHADES’ WILDSIDE RIOT


No Second Take


(Livewire Records)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 4.0



At the dawn of the 80s, Rocky Shades fronted the
over-the-top antics of UK’s WRATHCHILD: leather/studs, big platinum-dyed
hair and bigger nails/spikes. Imagine a sleaze/glam VENOM. Like the
contemporary Newscastle trio, there was no way to tell if they were
dangerous, or disastrous: a trainwreck waiting for the wheel to fall
off. Given the recent glam resurrection, centered in Sweden, the likes
of LIPSTIXX N BULLETS, CRASHDIET and CRAZY LIXX all owe a debt to their
English elder statesman. However, do we want aged glamsters singing “sho
nuff” to a musical backdrop of slap bass and whaka-whaka guitar (‘Angel
On My Back’)? Hell, no! Like an aged drag queen who still dresses the
part, oblivious to the original intent (shock, fun, other), Shades seems
to just be going through the motions, slo-mo at that. Where’s the high
energy tales of debauchery, drink or dames? Sadly missing, as is any
sense of urgency/intensity. The signature tune comes closest and ‘That’s
What Sunday Mornings Are For’ has a little bang for the buck. I doubt
he ever passed his O Level exams, but the lyrics are sophomoric and
would never have risen above third division, back in the day. While the
cover art announces the title as No Second Take, the digitally encoded
info says All Hail The Wasted, which is also the lead track.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 1 Mai - 17:41


THE OCEAN


Pelagial


(Metal Blade Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 9.0



Germany’s post-hardcore/progressive metal band THE OCEAN’s
sixth studio album, Pelagial, is a magnificent musical journey. The
title itself means “Of, or pertaining to the sea,” and each of the 11
tracks were written and recorded as one single 53-minute piece of music,
separated by interludes of underwater sounds. The songs are layered
with massive amounts of catchy hooks, while the musical variation and
transitions between the unexpected faster passages and the softer, more
melodic interludes, are quite stellar. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME,
BARONESS and MASTODON influences creep up often, but the Ocean is not
afraid to experiment, take chances or think outside the box all on their
own. The album as a whole is well-paced; the first half of the disc
starts off with lighter hues, beginning with intro 'Epipelagic', with
its piano/orchestral melodies reminiscent of PINK FLOYD, then adds a
touch of THE WHO’s 'Love Reign O’er Me'. Emotions and gloomier melodies
are mixed throughout the disc with darker and heavier riffs, giving it a
good balance. There’s also a great blend of melodic, emotive clean
vocals and harsher, more aggressive barks. The band knows when to hold
back and when to let loose, and they do it flawlessly. This is a
surprisingly exceptional release full of twists and turns, and if you’ve
somehow overlooked The Ocean in the past for whatever reason, now is
the time to get introduced to them.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 1 Mai - 17:41


HOWIE ABRAMS AND SACHA JENKINS


The Merciless Book Of Metal Lists


(Abrams Books)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 9.0



Here's why this book is tons of fun: it's filled with tons
of fun lists, about metal. When the authors do things like rate the
best guitar tones ever (Tony IoWE KNOW), the eyes glaze over. But when
this book, which is laid out in a fun, enjoyable manner, does things
like get BRUTAL TRUTH bassist Danny Lilker to list the top five worst
all-time trends in metal or when the authors lay down the top 25 most
fucked-up song titles by Cannibal Corpse it's totally great. And this
thing is filled with hilarious lists like that. The number six thing
"people say to start a conversation with me" by Scott Ian of Anthrax: "I
used to listen to you." The list of "70 metal songs about metal" would
make the best iTunes playlist ever. "10 reasons Anthrax should never be
associated with hardcore" by a dude from Madball? Classic. Plus, thanks
to this book, I now know that Goo Goo Dolls and Cannibal Corpse have
played shows together. Weird (actually, the whole "Top 10 obscure Metal
Blade Records facts" is wildly interesting). Also thanks to this book,
I've seen the most insane metal logo of all time (belonging to the
insanely named KORGONTHURUS) and I've read a list of the best Paul
Baloff stage banter of all time. The afterward from one Phil Anselmo is
surprisingly touching, and appropriately nerdy: "Slayer were definitely
pushing the satanic shtick full throttle, and in my heart, I wished they
would take a cue from Metallica’s guitar sounds," he says. Yes,
metalheads, you pretty much need to own The Merciless Book Of Metal
Lists. (Perhaps the most hilarious list on here is the list of "very
best qualities of Metallica's Load and Reload albums," but I'm not
spoiling it here.)

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 1 Mai - 17:42


RAPED APE


Land Of Broken Promises


(Divebomb)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



Remember RAPED APE? Known entirely for their insane band
name being printed in Metal Maniacs back in the day, they changed their
name to PAINGOD (remember Paingod? No?) and put out one album on Century
Media back in 1997. Raped Ape (haha, say it out loud, it's insane!)
never put out a proper full-length, but did record enough decent
material for the very cool Divebomb Records to put out this exhaustive
double CD. And if early thrash is yer bag, check it: 'Return To Nothing'
is METALLICA-level dramatic thrash, while cuts like 'Shrouded In
Darkness' just firmly establish what everyone suspected but never
bothered to investigate all along: these guys are good, solid,
second-tier thrash. Sure, they were in need of a producer to tell them
to make the songs a bit shorter and catchier, but aside from that, this
is quite good stuff. The biggest reference point might be SACRED REICH,
which is the first time I've ever said that, but tracks like
'Hypothermia' bear more than a little resemblance to those masters of
the second tier. Raped Ape are more like the American XENTRIX, though.
No matter how good they are, there's this certain something hanging over
the tunes preventing any kind of mass pop culture awakening or even
minor thrash metal rippling to ever really happen. Still, I'm happy this
collection exists, and thrash completists will be, too. Just be warned:
this thing is as long as the day (and the worse the recording quality,
the less enjoyable it is to listen to), so take it in a few sittings.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 1 Mai - 17:45


VICIOUS RUMORS


Electric Punishment


(SPV)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.5



Nine originals and a closing cover of KISS’ ‘Strange Ways’
comprise the eleventh studio album from mainstay guitarist Geoff Thorpe
(the double LP features a pair of live bonus cuts; ‘Murderball’ and
‘Abandoned’). Former ANVIL CHORUS six-stringer Thaen Rasmussen has
rejoined the band and NIGHT RANGER guitarist Brad Gillis guests on a
trio of tunes. Thorpe compares this album to Word Of Mouth, conceding
that the previous outing (Razorback Killers) was heavy throughout (and
thereby forgetting some of VR’s key components, like melody and
sing-along choruses). ‘D Block’ approaches the shredding speed of that
last record, but without the loss of harmonies. The title track is a
ploddingly heavy slow grinder, while the opening ‘I Am The Gun’, speedy
‘Black X List’ and the lengthy instrumental section within ‘Thirst For A
Kill’ recall the days on Atlantic Records. Soft, ballad ‘Escape (From
Hell)’ sees Brian Allen alter between normal, high pitched range and
gruff vocalizations, until 3 ½ minutes in, when it takes a decidedly
more frenzied pace, ultimately ending much as it began, a near acoustic,
slightly psychedelic meander. ‘Together We Unite’ is another slice of
AOR rock fodder. Punishment? No, more like guilty pleasure.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Jeu 2 Mai - 18:47


SUICIDAL TENDENCIES


13


(Suicidal Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 7.0



Cyco Mike Muir and SUICIDAL TENDENCIES (ST) is back with
its ninth studio release, 13, which marks the band’s 30th anniversary.
It’s also their first new album in over 13 years and it was produced by
Muir and Paul Northfield (RUSH, QUEENSRŸCHE, OZZY). How do we know that
ST is really back? Because Muir repeatedly shouts, ”Suicidal’s back!”
more than a few hundred times throughout the disc. Rejoining the ST
posse as a guest-guitarist on four songs is Mike Clark; “Now take them
on home, Brother Clark!” (’Send Me Your Money’ anyone?). Current
guitarist Dean Pleasants (INFECTIOUS GROOVES, UGLY KID JOE, GEORGE
CLINTON) took over for Rocky George in 1997 and fits in well with the ST
sound, and his solos are pretty ripping as well. Maybe age has
something to do with it, or maybe it’s the decade we live in now, but 13
just doesn’t have the same kind of urgency or rebellion the band
displayed back in the day. This ain’t ‘Institutionalized,’ or ’Trip At
The Brain’ for that matter, but 13 hints at some of the band’s early to
mid-period material. Opener ‘Shake It Out’ and ‘Till My Last Breath’ has
a late-eighties/early nineties feel and features the ST trademark
quiet, melodic intros that the band does so well, while ’This World’ is
right up there with ‘Which Way to Free’ or ‘Asleep at the Wheel’ from
The Art of Rebellion. This album was many years in the making and though
it’s not a true return to form for ST, it’s definitely better than
their last few releases.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 3 Mai - 14:07


STORM OF PERFECTION


Into The Sun


(Tru-b-Dor/Fontana)


Reviewed by : Mitch Lafon

Rating : 7.5



Perhaps this is the first time you hear about Arizona’s
STORM OF PERFECTION,
however, it won’t be your last. The band’s career
opening salvo is the wonderfully crafted album, Into The Sun. Molded by
legendary GUNS N' ROSES producer, Alan Niven, the songs deliver a sense
of urgency and angst while maintaining a balance of fine craftsmanship
and European metal excess. Musicianship is a priority for Storm Of
Perception and each song is painted on a large canvas with many colors.
Depths Of Euphoria winds it’s way slowly from a lonely instrument crying
out and grows into an old school QUEENSRŸCHE-y screamer. While In Light
Of My Solitude crackles with the sound of an old vinyl record before
leaping into a battle between power metal and classical piano. Half Moon
starts in the middle ages musically before trotting into a full metal
assault. Overall, the album juxtaposes beauty and harshness both
musically and lyrically. Storm Of Perception’s Into The Sun is a smartly
constructed album in a day when album’s are quite often and
afterthought
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 6 Mai - 19:07


QUEENSRŸCHE


Frequency Unknown


(Cleopatra)


Reviewed by : Martin Popoff

Rating : 8.0



Ha ha, well, as the story goes, the least metallically
inclined guy in the band, Geoff Tate, but also the leader, sort of uses
his front position to take the band unsuccessfully non-metal, and then
goes even more pop as a solo artist. Well, now that he’s in bitter
competition with the other QUEENSRŸCHE (more valid of course, just by
the math), Tate realizes that making a dance record would be stepping
into a trap. So Frequency Unknown is pretty rockin’ and more
impressively, creatively front-edge, especially ‘Dare’ and ‘Slave’ and
from a slant-eye, ‘In The Hands Of God’ each serving along with, yes,
the few but always edgy mellow tracks, to create a smart album and one
with an identity, sort of sinister, modern, a bit grungy, but actually
quite creative down a Rage For Order path, specifically. Oh just to fan
the flames, and I suppose I actually believe this, a vocalist and
lyricist and writer like Tate is approximately half the band, so let the
war continue. And here he is, applying that trademark twang to the
point where, frankly, it would take a real deep music guy to think
t’other Queensrÿche is going to sound more like Queensrÿche than this
one. Sure the crack band is/was/will still be, journeymen, but they are
of course super-talented as well, and what they’ve cooked up is a
tempered yet proggy album, intellectually arranged, heavy to the edge of
heaviness, but never over the top, again, Rage For Order in fecund
origami permutation, but also atmospheric like Q2K and American Soldier.
Hey, I know, I wanted to hate it too, but I’m super surprised, frankly,
these guys could put together such a complicated and visionary album of
almost a new type of metal, so quickly, and with so many bad vibes one
would think draining batteries all around. And the controversy over the
mix? Sounds good to me now, with bright, raucous drums, everything clear
and correct. But sure, crunchy combative drums seems to have been a
deliberate goal. Verdict: there’s a lot of Tate in this, but
circumstances have kicked his ass as well, and the guy’s responded with
fight.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 6 Mai - 19:08


TOM KEIFER


The Way Life Goes


(Merovee Records)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.5



He’s inherited more than just the lips and chicken strut
stage antics from Mick Jagger, as single ‘Solid Ground’, the opening
track from the CINDERELLA frontman/founder/guitarist’s initial (and long
overdue) solo foray demonstrates. In fact, several tracks, with
smatterings of acoustic/slide guitars, female backing vocals, harmonica,
saxophone and piano owe a debt to ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Wild Horses’ or ‘Some
Girls’, as well as THE SMALL FACES. The 14 songs herein would not be
considered “rock” by most Bravewords.com fans, yet theoretically one
could hear the Cinder-fellas doing revved up versions of some
(aforementioned single, short 3:03 ‘It’s Not Enough’ or ‘Cold Day In
Hell’), although most range far afield of Keifer’s previous output. As
it should be, this being a solo effort. Depending upon where one came
aboard the CINDERELLA train will probably dictate the enjoyment level.
Personally, as a fan of their club days, prior to being signed and the
suits polishing things up for Night Songs (including turning ‘Nobody’s
Fool’ into a full blown ballad, dropping the frenetic guitars that
originally dominated after the first break, on the pre-release 45
vinyl), I can imagine the now middle aged 80s fans, circa Heartbreak
Station, will find plenty of these singer-songwriter meets country
sounds (Keifer has lived in Nashville for the last couple of decades)to
their liking. Wonder if he realizes how (sub?) consciously he’s been
indoctrinated by the 70s Philly radio stations of his (our) youth? With a
pair of classic rock stations (before the format even existed)
dominated by a restrictive few British acts (STONES, ZEPPELIN, FLYOD,
GENESIS w/ Gabriel, etc.), at the expense of multi-platinum sellers of
the day (read: KISS, ALICE COOPER, NUGENT), amazing the Galaxy and
Empire scenes not only formed, but flourished. Those FM influences are
strongly eveident throughout The Way Life Goes. The jangly guitar led ‘A
Different Light’ and 'Fools Paradise' could be later day TOM PETTY
(another Philly fave), especially the way the verses are delivered, in a
nearly talked through fashion. Acoustic tinged, slide guitar and
shuffle drumming, ‘The Flower Song’ revisits the STONES and (for later
day music fans) BLACK CROWES. There’s even the LOU REED-ish begun title
cut, while ‘Mood Elevator’ is the most aggressive number, with an
unconvincing nod towards modern metal. The concluding ‘Babylon’ is
really the only thing that could be considered a CINDERELLA outtake. Not
an instant appeal, given the disjointed flow resulting from diverse
styles, but with repeated listens and suspension of expectations, it
becomes a relatively strong outing.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Jeu 9 Mai - 15:39


MIKE TRAMP


Cobblestone Street


(Deadline/Cleopatra)


Reviewed by : Aaron Small

Rating : 7.0



The voice of WHITE LION, MIKE TRAMP’s new solo album
Cobblestone Street is an acoustic, almost folky affair. Beginning with
the title track and ‘Caught In The Storm’, Tramp displays incredible
songwriting and storytelling ability, enrapturing the listener first in
his childhood memories of Copenhagen, Denmark, and then the story of a
sailor’s lost love; truly a pair of beautiful songs. Recorded in a week,
with producer/engineer Soren Andersen providing backing instrumentation
such as piano, drums, and harmonica, this ten track disc is intimate,
raw and heartfelt. ‘New Day’ is a little too happy-go-lucky, then ‘Ain’t
The Life I Asked For’ and ‘We’ll Be Alright’ see Tramp lamenting over
days gone by; kind of depressing actually. ‘Angel Or Devil’ is
comparable to EXTREME’s ‘Hole Hearted’, yet ‘Find It In Your Heart’ is
another sad soliloquy. Unfortunately ‘What Are You Gonna Do’ employs
damn near every country and western cliché in the book: “No food in the
cupboard or money in the bank, the car has two flat tires and not a drop
of gas,” the misery continues with a leaky roof and broken windows. If
ever a pick-me-up was needed, now is the time; but that’s not what
follows. Tramp looks back on his musical career in ‘Once’ and actually
questions his talent: “Did I make it or did I fake it? Was I any good or
just a loser?” Somebody please prescribe this man some Prozac!
Depending on the region of release, Cobblestone Street comes with
different bonus tracks. In Europe it includes re-workings of ‘More To
Life Than This’ and ‘92’ (originally done by Tramp’s FREAK OF NATURE),
while North America gets a 2013 acoustic version of the White Lion
classic ‘When The Children Cry’; a nice flashback but the original was
pretty perfect and didn’t need rearranging.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Jeu 9 Mai - 15:40


TEAR OUT THE HEART


Violence


(Victory Records)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 5.0



This debut from St. Louis metalcore dudes TEAR OUT THE
HEART
is an ambitious slab of what makes the kids today tick, kick, and
shed a tear or two. Sure, it relies on metalcore cliches that will only
appeal to the genre diehard in 2013, so let's be clear here: this is
only for metalcore diehards. Still, tunes like 'Infamous Last Words'
(wow, has no one used that as a song title until now?) get viciously
heavy without being cloying in a slam-metal kinda way. Although, boy,
come clean-chorus time, those sensitive-prick vocals are going to rub
EVERYBODY the wrong way. There's tons of insane breakdowns—some of which
resemble MESHUGGAH gone horribly and kinda wonderfully metalcore—as
well as string-bending heaviness (oh, wait, that's Meshuggah again), and
ludicrously triggered drums up the butt. Add in the electronic
flourishes and radio-friendly choruses, and, man, there's just lots of
stuff up the butt here. Depends on if you like things up the butt or
not: if you do, these guys do heavy as heavy as anyone who also like to
suddenly sound like a pop star during their choruses, often to a
surprisingly enjoyable and sonically crushing degree when they're
bringing the noise. But the sung choruses? Those things just don't work
anymore.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Jeu 9 Mai - 15:40


WARBEAST


Destroy


(Housecore Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.0



Texas thrashers WARBEAST unleash their sophomore release
Destroy fresh off the heels of their split EP, War of the Gargantuas,
with PHILIP ANSELMO. Destroy was produced by Anselmo, who also owns
Housecore Records, and it sports a modern production with a crushing,
old-school sound. It’s a great mix of various metal sub-genres. Vocalist
Bruce Corbitt is a pioneer of the early ’80s underground FTW thrash
scene as the former frontman of RIGOR MORTIS. The nine furious tracks
are relentless aural assaults that never let up from start to finish.
Loaded with blistering double bass beats, furious tempos, gigantic
grooves, chaotic guitar leads and chugging riffs. The band destroys (pun
intended) at a maniacal pace. Corbitt’s concise barking vocals are
powerful and easily understandable. He belts out verses with great
conviction while the choruses beg for sing-alongs. Comparisons to RIGOR
MORTIS and PANTERA are not that far off-base. “Blood Moon” has a
punk/metal crossover flavor similar to DRI. “Nightmares in the Sky” is
laced with a chaotic VOIVOD-esque guitar riff, while “Egotistical
Bastard” and “Nobody” is decorated with slow-chugging PANTERA-laden
grooves. Warbeast is currently on tour supporting GWAR, and I can only
imagine these new songs will most certainly slay in the live setting.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Jeu 9 Mai - 15:41


GAMMA RAY


Master Of Confusion


(earMUSIC)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.5



While just two new songs, this bodes well for the full
length, scheduled to appear later this year. There’s also a pair of
cover tunes and a half dozen live tracks (55 minutes total), recorded
for the Skeletons & Majesties DVD (in Bochum, Germany), but not
included on the CD accompanying that visual package. So this disc is a
worthy purchase, if only a couple of previously unheard songs. The
opening ‘Empire Of The Undead’ comes screaming out of the speakers,
faster and heavier than GAMMA RAY has been in decades. Wow! All the more
impressive given the acoustic re-workings and odds & sods releases
of late. No way the forthcoming album can be THIS metal, end-to-end. The
title cut is easily identified as sing-song Kai Hansen: big choruses
around infectious harmonies. Good stuff. HOLOCAUST’s ‘Death & Glory’
has a staccato heaviness that belies its NWOBHM origins, while SWEET’s
‘Lost Angels’ (complete with attempt at “helium highs”) doesn’t fare as
well, though I wouldn’t mind if the earlier option shows up in future
live sets. Speaking of onstage, the material recorded in Germany is
first rate (believing it might ultimately end up on DVD), although as
mentioned in a review of the DVD, not sure how many times I’ll be
pulling out the acoustic version of ‘Farewell’, given the Rays are a
good time party. ‘Time To Break Free’, with former HELLOWEEN / current
UNISONIC bandmate Michael Kiske is fun and the speedy, twin guitars on
‘Wings Of Destiny’ is about as good as power metal gets. So pumped for
Empire Of The Undead CD!



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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:41


CAULDRON


Tomorrow's Lost





Reviewed by : Nick Balazs

Rating : 7.5



Canada’s traditional metal act CAULDRON is back with their
third full-length and strongest to date. The album starts with a speedy
up-tempo cooker in ‘End Of Time’ and sets the pace for the rest of the
journey. Cauldron is at its best when firing away with fast riffs and
tracks like ‘Nitebreaker’, ‘Burning Fortune’ (the title of their second
album), and ‘Fight For Day’ make for enjoyable, neckbreaking listens.
‘Nitebreaker’ stands out with its rushing, catchy chorus and flowing
leads from Ian Chains. The axeman puts on a strong performance with his
solos and channels in his inner IRON MAIDEN with the melodic lead in
‘Fight For Day’. Other standouts are ‘Born To Struggle’ and the title
track. The former possesses an ascending riff which will stick in your
head for days and will warrant repeated listens. 'Tomorrow's Lost'
starts with an acoustic bit and then lifts off to hard-hitting guitars
with thrash metal qualities and the desperation in Jason Decay’s voice
with his verse lines and pleading chorus end the album on a bright note.
The only real weak track is ‘Summoned To Succumb’. With a brighter
production, this track could have passed as an eighties KISS song, but
not one of the better ones. A track with good potential is ‘Relentless
Temptress’ as it musically shines, especially when the song speeds up in
the middle, but weak vocal lines and a disjointed chorus prevent it
from greatness. With that said, this is still a strong record, so don’t
be afraid to feast on the Cauldron’s brew.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:42


REX BROWN


Official Truth 101 Proof


(DaCapo Press)


Reviewed by : Aaron Small

Rating : 8.0



“You’ve seen the movie Some Kind Of Monster? What happened
to METALLICA was not dissimilar to what happened in PANTERA,” explains
bassist Rex Brown in his new book. The 260-page hardcover was
co-authored with Mark Eglinton (who wrote James Hetfield: The Wolf At
Metallica’s Door), and features a forward by Dug Pinnick of KING’S X.
Also contributing passages throughout are: Rex’s sister, original
Pantera singer Terry Glaze, the late Dimebag Darrell’s girlfriend Rita
Haney, former managers Walter O’Brien, Guy Sykes and Kim Zide Davis, as
well as producer Terry Date, among others. This all-encompassing memoir
begins with Rex’s childhood, in which he had grade nine algebra class
with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul, and was selling drugs out of the
Fotomat kiosk at age 17; a self-described “fucking hoodlum.” Pantera
released their debut, Metal Magic, in 1983, and when Rex looks back at
that period in time, he comes across rather cocky: “I didn’t really need
to practice. The only reason I was there was for everyone else’s
benefit.” The extent to which Rex speaks disparagingly of the Abbott
brothers is rather upsetting: “Vinnie was… a complete liability.” “Dime
wasn’t the most intelligent of guys.” “Vinnie didn’t have any kind of
style or sense of class, none whatsoever.” “Dime pissed me off so many
times I can’t even count.” “It was so awkward watching Vinnie’s pathetic
attempts to get laid.” And that’s just a small example of the barbs
constantly being thrown. Vocalist Phil Anselmo is not immune to the
mudslinging either: “Phil is 20% brilliance / 80% nonsense.” That being
said, there is a particularly hilarious story of Rex trying to teach
Vinnie and Phil how to ski in the Swiss Alps. Rex also fesses up about
his substance abuse: “The problem with weed is that it really fucks with
your whiskey drinking.” He later admits, “A lot of my alcohol
dependency can be traced back to when relations in Pantera became very
stressful.” Ultimately Rex was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and had
his gallbladder removed. And of course – December 8th 2004 – the night
Dime was murdered on stage by a deranged fan is dealt with. “It shook me
profoundly,” states Rex. “All the petty bullshit that had plagued us
seemed completely meaningless… Life got harder after Darrell’s death. I
still think about him every single day. If my words have been critical, I
do have a lot of empathy for his brother.” Rex’s tenure in REBEL MEETS
REBEL, DOWN, and his current band KILL DEVIL HILL are also discussed.
Completing the package is 16 glossy pages of black and white photos. In
closing, Rex admits, “I’m not a saint, nor have I ever aspired to be
one. I’ve simply tried to shine some perspective and insight onto my
life so far.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:42


REMNANTS OF THE FALLEN


Perpetual Immaturity


(Dope Records)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



Quality melodic death metal here from Korea's REMNANTS OF
THE FALLEN,
who not only lay down a (probably unintentionally) hilarious
album title which totally betrays the dead-serious razor-wire melodeath
on display here but also lay down some surprisingly great melodeath.
Production is clear as can be, all treble and cutting and nothing
getting muddled up, the double-bass leading the way, the riffing
stealing the show in a way that reminds me of the greatest of the
Gothen-bands, back when that sound was a fresh and fun idea. Sometimes
they start to skirt a bit too much towards a less interesting, more
BLACK DAHLIA MURDER sort of zone (see 'Sea Beast'), but for the most
part, these guys got dynamics, they've got melodies but they don't make
'em too predictable, and they've got aggression. Sure, melodic death
metal is a totally dull proposition in 2013, but if you must, this is
about as good as it gets.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:43


A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH


Lay My Soul To Waste


(Steamhammer/SPV)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.0



Drummer Sal Abruscato (ex-TYPE O NEGATIVE, LIFE OF AGONY)
is onto something here with his own band, A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH.
Abruscato continues to show his diversity and creativity on its
sophomore release, Lay My Soul To Waste, by once again writing, singing
and playing guitar. It’s a blend of doom, stoner and grunge rock with
slight goth-like influences in the vein of TYPE-O NEGATIVE, BRONX CASKET
CO., ROB ZOMBIE and ALICE IN CHAINS. A dark and melancholic, yet
uplifting mood runs through its 11 tracks; imagine your ray of sunshine
just got smothered by a big, black cloud. It’s almost enjoyable being
doomed and gloomed out for just a little while. The solemn melodies and
layered vocal harmonies add some zest to the slow, sludgy, grungy riffs
and heavy drum fills. Abruscato’s soulful and raspy voice is the perfect
pitch for this type of music. He was pretty close to Pete Steele during
his tenure in Type O, so something must have rubbed off on him, if not
for Steel’s deep-growling croon, but for his overall gothic tone and
melancholic delivery; ‘Shallow Grave’ and ‘Day Of the Storm’ boasts this
Type O Negative formula and overall vibe. If you thought A Pale Horse
Named Death’s debut was dark and sombre, wait till you sink your teeth
into Lay My Soul To Waste. It’s a winner, folks
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:43


WOE


Withdrawal


(Candlelight)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 8.0



In the pantheon of post-second wave black metal done very,
very right, Philadelphia's WOE is among the elite, this band quietly
and undramatically creating a catalogue that is vastly underrated, in
spite of a world that unconditionally accepts and praises the vapidity
that comes from sources like LITURGY's Hunter Hunt-Hendrix. 2010's 'The
Road From Recovery' featured one of that year's most effective and
affecting riffs, and the track should be considered amongst the top 50
black metal songs ever written, Woe putting forth a version of the art
form that re-affirms its central tenet in its ability to reflect the
abyss back to you. Latest album Withdrawal continues where 'The Road
From Recovery' left off and Woe has maintained it standard of
excellence, the collective putting forth a record that understands where
black metal has been and how it will authentically expand, all the
while creating art that is absolutely and consistently engaging. The
opening duo of 'This Is The End Of The Story' and 'Carried By Waves To
Remorseless Shores Of The Truth' are audacious and filled with purpose,
and when the latter, at 1:10, reveals Woe's greatest riff since 'The
Road From Recovery', you smile at the knowledge that there are still
bands that create black metal with all the caustic, jagged edges it
deserves.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:44


IRON REAGAN


Worse Than Dead


(Magic Bullet Records/A389 Records)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



With two dudes from MUNICIPAL WASTE involved and a name
like IRON REAGAN, it should become pretty clear pretty quick what this
one's all about: pure '80s old-school crossover love. With nary a melody
in sight, this one brings to mind, pretty fast and furious, the greats:
D.R.I. and on the metal side of things, NUCLEAR ASSAULT during their
more hardcore moments. The band also features in their ranks two guys
who used to do time in metallic hardcore trailblazers DARKEST HOUR, so
the chops are there, and it shows, every song being solid and sturdy,
played well, with lots of competence and a good sense of fun, tempos
ranging from hysterical to even more hysterical, stopping now and again
to break it down to a mosh-ready groove before stepping back up to
triple-time. The only conundrum is clear, and it's kinda like the thrash
revival bands: do we need new material like this or do we just pull out
the classics when we need our fix? Depends on what kinda lugnut you
are, but if you live and die for crossover (and I know those people
exist), this one's gonna be a ton of fun for you.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:44


COMPLETE FAILURE


The Art Gospel Of Aggravated Assault


(Season Of Mist Records)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.5



One of my favourite things about this group of grinding,
punk-y, power violence-y, bass-heavy crust dudes from Pittsburgh is
their insane production sound, all bass and all grime, here on album
three as horrible and ugly as ever, showcasing the drums, as it should:
this guy smokes. The playing on 'Head Hanger To Be' is seriously worth
checking out, all frantic and ahead of the beat and just insane all
around, especially come mid-song breakdown time. But there's more than
crazed drumming here, there's a band that admirably lives on the edge of
grind and sludge, two genres that share little in common musically but
much in common in spirit, and (using d-beat hardcore as the bridge)
COMPLETE FAILURE embrace both genres with much care, love, and spirit,
delivering an almost unbearable amount of sonic intensity in an economic
22 minutes. How does it compare to their last two? That's like asking
how the last time you stubbed your toe compared to to the two times
before that. It's all pain. Sweet, sweet pain.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:45


ACCUSER


Diabolic


(Red Shift Music)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.0



The phrase “better late than never” has never rang so true
in the case of Siegen, Germany’s groove/thrash band ACCUSER. Forming in
1986, they’ve finally hit upon a winner with its ninth full-length
release, Diabolic. It’s a nice mix of Bay Area and Teutonic thrash,
taking its cue from early-era TESTAMENT and METALLICA, as well as fellow
countrymen SODOM, DESTRUCTION and KREATOR. All ten tracks are epically
long, with the shortest song clocking in at 5:08. But loads of variation
and transitional riffs guarantee to keep the flow and pace chugging
along nicely. They aren’t absolutely original, but they are well-placed
within the structure of each track. Vocalist Frank Thomas sounds like a
cross between VADER’s Piotr Wiwczarek and ex-SEPULTURA vocalist Max
Cavalera. His monotone growl with little variation in pitch or tempo can
become a bit monotonous, and his English is a bit broken, too. But what
he lacks in authentication, he makes up for with passion, enthusiasm
and aggression. This disc is a grower; the more I play it, the more I
love it.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 24 Mai - 18:46


KYLESA


Ultraviolet


(Season Of Mist)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 8.0



KYLESA has achieved improbable amounts of success for a
band that was once considered a scrappy underdog in a Georgia scene
dominated by MASTODON and BARONESS, but Kylesa has reached its current
stature through a combination of hard work and writing highly
interesting and engaging records that are as inspired by post-punk and
FUGAZI as much as they are by metal's usual paradigms. Ultraviolet sees
Kylesa exploring its component parts to their logical endpoints, as
‘We’re Taking This’ backs up the bravado of its title with one of the
group’s heaviest riffs while ‘Unspoken’, ‘Low Tide’ and ‘Vulture’s
Landing’ could be on JOY DIVISION or DINOSAUR JR. records if the songs
weren’t so caustic and, at times, disorienting. Kylesa is cleary is at
peace and at ease with travelling well outside delineated boxes and it’s
exactly that adherence to doing whatever it wants that makes this
collective so fascinating record after record.
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