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 Chroniques Albums

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 5 Juil - 12:28

TANK

Breath Of The Pit
(4Worlds Media)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 7.5

THIS, boys and girls, is the real TANK! Original (gravel throated) vocalist/bassist Algy Ward is side-lined no longer, offering up another war obsessed platter of heavy metal that earned him the 80s moniker of MOTORHEAD’s little brother. Unlike the “other” TANK making the rounds (now fronted by Doogie White), this is a collection of ten, down and dirty, noisy military paeans (with only three failing to crack the five minute mark). Filth Hounds Of Hades, indeed. ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ is a gritty little bass rumbler that recalls the classic 80s albums: plenty of instrumental space and short on lyrics, predominately consisting of the titular phrase. Apparently Mr. Ward handled everything this time around. ‘Retribution’ is another rafter shaking, snare bashing old school number, seemingly directed at a certain “other” band. The closing ‘Circle Of Willis’ is an atypical meandering bass-led, bluesy instrumental jam, heavy on the fuzztones and wah wah pedal. Admittedly an acquired taste, but for those of us who grew up with Algy Ward penned TANK, this is the only one.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 5 Juil - 12:30

BURNING RAIN
Epic Obsession
(Frontiers)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 8.0

When not hanging around with WHITESNAKE guitarist Doug Aldrich has his own four piece hard rocking band, which includes vocalist Keith St. John (post-millennial/final incarnation of MONTROSE), one-time QUITE RIOT/current DOKKEN bassist Sean McNabb and pinch-hitter Matt Starr on drums (stints w/ ACE FREHLEY, LOVE/HATE and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES). A dozen songs, although there are editions available with bonus tracks, including a cover of LED ZEPPELIn’s ‘Kashmir’ and assorted acoustic renditions of tunes found elsewhere on Epic Obsession. Third “solo” album for Aldrich overall, albeit the first since 2000. Guess the time’s right, with WHITESNAKE adding to the blond sixtsringer’s recognition factor. With a widdling guitar solo, the album kicks off, jumping right into ‘Sweet Little Baby Thing’. There’s a bluesy, almost country swagger to some of the material, similar to BADLANDS. The running order sort of alternates between slower/acoustic fare and ripping guitar dominated late 70s rockers. Needless to say, the later contingent offers the better material: especially a smoking ‘Till You Die’, ‘Pray Out Loud’ and ‘Ride The Monkey’ which could have been a ‘SNAKE outtake. That being said, the slow building, acoustic tinged ‘Our Time Is Gonna Come’ owes a nod to Plant & Page. Flashback, without being dated, good stuff.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 5 Juil - 12:30

HOWL

Bloodlines
(Relapse)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 7.0

If LEMMY had begun his statement of purpose two decades later, MOTÖRHEAD might sound like Rhode Island’s HOWL, if only because Howl is embedded with the same level of candour and malignant attitude as Lem’s motley crew, even if Howl is a far more caustic version of the being. Combining the Motorhead-isms with surefire doses of death, doom, traditional moments and, overwhelmingly, the sort of anti-anomie that propels HIGH ON FIRE, Bloodlines is a record that lives up to its “I am everything you fear!” promise in ‘Demonic’, as Howl has mastered the art of drawing in the listener with its inescapable riffs but then slitting your bloodlines at will, mercilessly. This is the sort of record that seamlessly and interchangeably is played in an entire plethora of scenes, without complaint: as we’ve seen time again, metal’s fractured subgenres will always stand united in support of this type of long-live-the-loud! proclamation.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 9 Juil - 18:58

HOWL

Bloodlines
(Relapse)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 7.0

If LEMMY had begun his statement of purpose two decades later, MOTÖRHEAD might sound like Rhode Island’s HOWL, if only because Howl is embedded with the same level of candour and malignant attitude as Lem’s motley crew, even if Howl is a far more caustic version of the being. Combining the Motorhead-isms with surefire doses of death, doom, traditional moments and, overwhelmingly, the sort of anti-anomie that propels HIGH ON FIRE, Bloodlines is a record that lives up to its “I am everything you fear!” promise in ‘Demonic’, as Howl has mastered the art of drawing in the listener with its inescapable riffs but then slitting your bloodlines at will, mercilessly. This is the sort of record that seamlessly and interchangeably is played in an entire plethora of scenes, without complaint: as we’ve seen time again, metal’s fractured subgenres will always stand united in support of this type of long-live-the-loud! proclamation.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mar 9 Juil - 19:01

DEATH DEALER

War Master
(Steel Cartel Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 8.5

Ex-MANOWAR guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman has teamed up with Halford-like screamer Sean Peck (CAGE), guitarist Stu Marshall (EMPIRES OF EDEN), bassist Mike Davis (HALFORD, LIZZY BORDEN) and drummer Kenny Earl “Rhino” Edwards (ex-Manowar) to create a new, big league supergroup, DEATH DEALER. The thing that sets Death Dealer apart from other US power metal bands is the singing, songwriting and overall experience and professionalism of the musicians involved. The drums are thick, the bass is solid, the guitars cut through like lightning and Peck’s piercing wails resonate magnificently. Peck isn’t called “the man of a thousand voices” for nothing, as he hits the highs, the lows, and everything in between with power and precision. His range is impeccable. Australian shredder Marshall is no slouch either, as he seamlessly trades off solos with Friedman. Ironically, Friedman and Rhino have never played together as the guitarist left the loin-clothed ones a few years before Rhino joined the band. Peck’s uncanny KING DIAMOND-like falsettos and lower growls come to the surface on ‘Curse of the Heretic.’ It captures an evil and majestic mood with haunting melodies and some blistering trade-off guitar solos. CD opener ‘Death Dealer’ is a rousing rocker in true ‘Painkiller’ fashion. It’s a bombardment of pummeling double kick drums, scorching riffs, menacing vocals and fiery guitar solos. The chant-able chorus of ‘War Master’ gets comfortably stuck in your head while the SCORPS-esque whistling pattern on ‘Children Of Flames’ proves to be catchy and hummable. Death Dealer has a really great thing going here and I just hope these guys can manage to stick together. Well done.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:18

SCORPION CHILD

Scorpion Child
(Nuclear Blast)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 7.5

Austin-based quintet SCORPION CHILD is blessed with a sound that harkens back to classic ’70s rock with a modern zest. With influences as diversified as LED ZEPPELIN, FREE and AEROSMITH, combined with ’80s thrash metal and old-school southern blues rock, Scorpion Child is a true hybrid of genres. Fronted by the charismatic crooning of vocalist Aryn Jonathan Black, whose soaring voice is reminiscent of a young Robert Plant at times, while the band’s sound takes on a funkified Zeppelin/BLACK CROWES combo. On tracks ‘Liquor’ and ‘Red Blood (The River Flows), the band’s Zep influence comes to the forefront, with the latter sounding like a cross between ‘Rain Song’ and ‘Celebration Day.’ Bluesy riffs and groovy baselines and drum beats make up ’Salvation Slave.’ The soulful, uplifting melody of ‘Antioch’ and the hard-charging rocker ‘Paradigm’ really shows off Scorpion Child’s musical diversity. Solid classic rock with a bluesy swagger
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:19

GORGUTS

Colored Sands
(Season Of Mist)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 8.0

Back in 2003 when the self-titled VOIVOD record was on the verge of being released, Jason Newsted told the metal press that a world that appreciated, embraced and understood SYSTEM OF A DOWN was a world that was finally catching up to VOIVOD’s vision, a vision that seemed expansively ahead of its time and lunatic-fringe forward-thinking during the early-to-mid ‘80s. The same idea can be applied to GORGUTS, an equally ahead of its time group that never really attained the attention nor credit it deserved circa ‘98’s Obscura and ‘01’ From Wisdom To Hate, two records that are now revered as the seminal classics that they’ve always been. Greg Pratt tells the story of mentioning Gorguts and its legacy to a bunch of clueless, BORN OF OSIRIS-obsessed guys in their early 20s, and it’s precisely this patently ignorant Osiris demographic that owes so much to Gorguts, CRYPTOPSY and the aforementioned Voivod; let’s hope the release of Colored Sands, and the interest it will generate, will change all of that. Anchored by founder/technical death legend Luc Lemay and boasting a lineup that includes Colin Marston (KRALLICE, DYSRYTHMIA, BEHOLD THE ARCTOPUS), John Longstreth (ORIGIN, DIM MAK) and Kevin Hufnagel (DYSRYTHMIA), Gorguts is now a veritable strength-on-strength of creativity and dissonance, Colored Sands taking the collective to the type of dimension hatross even Obscura couldn’t conceptualize. Colored Sands is the celebration of a band that was ahead of its time 15 years ago, but now finds itself standing toe to toe with its disciples, and when the whirlwind that is ‘Absconders’ or the caustic, staring-at-the-abyss of ‘Enemies Of Compassion’ show the scope of their propositions, one is certain that now is the time for the world to catch up to Gorguts’ vision.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:19

SCOURGE

Clarity
(Independent)

Reviewed by : Greg Pratt
Rating : 7.0

Boston-based heavies SCOURGE manage to do that sort of faceless, heavy-side-of-PANTERA thing that so many indie bands across North America do, but, luckily, they give their own twist on it. Opener 'Moment Of Impending Doom' is actually a great way to get things started: ominous, heavy, and sludge-y, it makes the listener think a heavy doom opus is upon them, which makes the thrashing 'I Will Burn' come across as heavy as death, without the blasts. 'Senseless' has a mid-song Pantera breakdown that is almost too much to handle, but, man, these guys do it with authority, and with just enough recklessness to make it sound dangerous. Ditto for that ragged production, which could definitely use some cleaning up, but I do like how the bass sticks out, how everything sounds separated just enough to give it a loose, rough and tumble identity. They definitely have a ways to go to really get noticed outside of their local area, but the overall feel of ambition and passion for metal these guys have on display here is admirable, and worthy of at least a cursory listen, and when they do the occasional something different, like some late-album melodic guitar work, it definitely works in their favour.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:20

KRÖWNN
Hyborian Age
(PRC Music)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 8.0

Doom laden Italian trio features females on bass and drums! This is their debut, having formed less than a year ago. Apparently England isn’t the only place experiencing a psychedelic flashback! Fuzztone guitars, grooving bass rumble and a smattering of every big name (oxymoron?) stoner/doom outfit of the last thirty years goes into the half dozen tracks (‘Stormborn’ being an instrumental), although if forced to pick just one, early KYUSS would be an apt comparison. Hints of DANZIG (the cowbell tinged ‘At The Cromlech’) and early 90s NJ hardcore outfit LIFE OF AGONY (‘For The Throes Of Fire’ as well as the pedestrian closer ‘The Melnibonean’) are evident in guitarist Michele el Lello Carnielli‘s voice. Pleasant surprise, especially from a fledgling act.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:20

AUTOPSY

The Headless Ritual
(Peaceville)

Reviewed by : Greg Pratt
Rating : 9.0

Really, AUTOPSY are one of the great gaggles of weirdos of death metal, everything from the truly chilling production/resulting atmosphere of their third album (thanks for traumatizing me in '92, guys), to the also-traumatizing cover art of their fourth album (you know the one... if you don't, you might want to keep it that way); from their sewer-grade appreciation of sludge, doom, and punk to their pedigree and hiatus-filled existence, making the sprawling bar graph/spreadsheet of death metal that clogs up my brain and makes me forget things like the date I got married on that much more haywire, difficult to navigate and filled with potty humour. Yessir, these California cretins are a unique entity for sure, and one that came back in a big way with 2011's Macabre Eternal (featuring some of the best death metal cover art of all time, seriously), and now, with this latest platter of splatter, solidifying the liquid waste that was a "comeback" (liquid waste = a good thing; work with me here, these extended metaphors ain't easy) to prove that this pile of shit... ugh, yeah, can't make that work anymore. Anyway, this rules: opening cut 'Slaughter At Beast House' going so far gone into doom and sludge that it comes out the other end, almost sounding Sabbatherian for a brief moment of clarity. 'Mangled Far Below' follows up the killer opening track with a shorter punk blast that flirts with some southern metal riffing, filtered through the sewage pipes, as always. 'Coffin Crawlers' is chaotic, fast, and raw death metal; 'When Hammer Meets Bone' and 'Flesh Turns To Dust' is classic Autopsy terror, a truly creepy death metal vibe permeating the proceedings like only these DM legends can conjure up. The closing instrumental title track ends it all off with a monumental and dramatic closing, a great way to end it all off. And, when it's all over, a classic song title emerges from the clatter: 'Running From The Goathead'.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:21

REVOCATION

Revocation
(Relapse Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 7.5

Boston has always had a rich musical history; from classic rock delivered by bands such as AEROSMITH and BOSTON, to brutal hardcore of GANG GREEN and CONVERGE to melodic metalcore from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and SHADOWS FALL. Technical thrashers REVOCATION, led by Berklee College of Music grad vocalist/guitarist David Davidson, bring a bit of innovative zest within its vast musical landscape. Revocation’s self-titled fourth full-length release is their latest calling card, and it's loaded with melodic, rhythmic extremities and ferocious riffs.
From the bee-swarm swirling riffs of CD opener ‘The Hive’ to the infectious, funkified instrumental of ’Spastic’ to the surprisingly-innovative banjo segment on ‘Invidious, the band’s various musical influences and experimentation gives it a different flair that other bands in this genre just don’t have. It’s a good mix of thrash, hardcore, jazz fusion and metalcore. Davidson is very much a metal guitar player but he’s heavily influenced by jazz guitar players and he constantly displays this with his intricate phrasings within his riffs and solos.
However, Davidson’s vocals don’t quite match up to his exceptional guitar skills. They are too monotone with not a lot of varying pitch; sounding too much like standard New England metalcore fare. However, on “Invidious’ he deploys a cleaner growl, which adds a bit more of a melodic element. Some songs are a bit too generic and lead to nowhere, while others flow gradually, such as ‘Arch Fiend.’ Overall, the band has progressed from album to album while their lineup has remained solid the past couple of years. A good, solid, seven and a half.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:22

NORDHEIM

Refill
(Maple Metal Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 7.0

Canadian epic folk metallers NORDHEIM unleash its sophomore album, Refill, recorded at Badass Studio in Montreal and produced by Jef Fortin (BLACKGUARD, UNEXPECT, YOUR LAST WISH). Its nine epic folk metal anthems about drinking, fighting and humping girls takes on a Neanderthalish-yet-humorous slant and party-like atmosphere as bands such as KORPIKLAANI, ENSIFERUM and TURISAS. Vocalist Warraxe does a good Alexi Laiho impersonation with his scratchy bark while he’s backed up by a choir of inspirational and infectious gang chants. While the music is a concoction of metal sub-genres such as Celtic, folk, black, and thrash metal. On ‘Mask of the Banned One,’ thrashy riffs are accented by keyboards reminiscent of CHILDREN OF BODOM. The thin and cold black metalesque tremolo riffs combined with orchestrated melodies creates an epic journey on ’The Grief’ while the majestic, folky melodies of ‘Watch the Raven Die’ sound like the best parts of TYR. The band’s party atmosphere vibrantly shines through on ‘Get Drunk or Die Tryin’’ with it’s playful melodies and infectious gang chants come chorus time. While this style of folk metal has been done many times before and Nordheim isn’t offering anything necessarily new or original, Refill is a diverse and fun album nonetheless.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:22

EXHUMED

Necrocracy
(Relapse)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 9.0

EXHUMED has always been an underrated proposition, this San Jose band known for its ransacking of the CARCASS catalogue to the point of infringement but never entirely being heralded on its own merits. And that’s a shame, because 2000’s ‘Decrepit Crescendo’ and 2003’s ‘The Matter Of The Splatter’ might just be two of extreme metal’s most memorable choruses, both tracks acting as slicing (no pun) prequels to the surgical steel that is Necrocracy. Though Exhumed 2011’s comeback album All Guts, No Glory was an impressive return and amongst the best of that year, Necrocracy is where the band has taken its visceral operating-room-without-anesthetics to new levels of pain and sickness, Necrocracy the type of raging record that happens only once in a career (or twice, if you’re IMPALED). Indeed, Necrocracy’s smartest weapon of choice is its impressive song-writing, these tracks executed with profane ferocity and then surrounded with the type of clinical, Heartwork-esque production that is just appropriateness personified in so many multitudes. In a year that is, literally, overflowing with highlight reel LPs from some of metal’s most important bands, Exhumed has crafted and executed what will surely be amongst the top 1 percent of 2013, Necrocracy setting coins upon eyes and then twisting the scalpel (slowly) to maximum effect. When ‘Dysmorphic’ (the best song of Exhumed’s career), ‘Sickened’ and the eye wink that is ‘The Shape Of Death To Come’ hit their respective peaks with no valleys, one realises that the metal gods have finally seen to it that Exhumed’s legacy will reek of putrefaction in perpetuity.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:23

AEROSMITH

Rock For The Rising Sun
(Eagle Vision)

Reviewed by : Aaron Small
Rating : 8.0

In March 2011, Japan was devastated by the largest earthquake and subsequent tsunami ever to hit the island nation. As a result, 15,000 people were killed, and the Fukushima nuclear plant suffered a core meltdown, spreading radiation – and fear – across the country. Despite warnings to stay away, AEROSMITH travelled to Japan in November and December that same year for a series of eight shows. This 105-minute DVD/Blu-Ray chronicles Aerosmith’s triumphant return to a ravaged Japan after a seven-year absence. Rather than showcasing one concert from start to finish, director and editor Casey Patrick Tebo has compiled 16 songs, two bonus tracks and a Joey Kramer drum solo from throughout this special leg of the Back On The Road Tour. While ‘Hangman Jury’ and ‘Movin’ Out’ were filmed in black and white, both sounding somewhat muddy; the rest of the set is a full-colour, bang-on blast. Guitarist Joe Perry wails away in fine form on ‘No More No More’; hard to believe he’s been doing this for 40 years now. With 13 albums of original material under their belt at this point, vocalist Steven Tyler could have sung all night! While excellent renditions of older and newer classics including ‘Love In An Elevator’, ‘Toys In The Attic’, and ‘Walk This Way’ are performed; several big hits are conspicuously absent, namely ‘Dream On’, ‘Rag Doll’ and ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’. Interspersed between the songs are interviews with both the band and their fans, footage shot backstage and en route from one gig to the next, in addition to a visit to the Hiroshima Museum, and a trip to Tokyo Disneyland where we’re reminded, It’s A Small World.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 12 Aoû - 16:23

TOBY KNAPP

Static Warfare
(Shredguy Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 7.0

On Static Warfare, guitarist TOBY KNAPP composed, performed and produced its nine instrumental tracks. The disc consists of very guitar-driven songs that build and progress like a story that’s told through well-placed transitional riffs and leads with a driving rhythm section. Knapp is not a flashy player per se, but he can pull off many styles and techniques. He’s also very capable of shredding when he has to. He’s able to perform in many genre styles such as neoclassical, progressive, thrash, black, death and traditional metal with aplomb. He fuses these metal styles seamlessly without the songs becoming too cluttered. With each track, there’s always something surprising lurking around the corner. From the thrashy riffs of the title track to the heavy, proggy-death metal chugging of ‘X-Class-Flare’ to the funkified country thrashing of ‘Plasma Spheroid,’ there’s something on Static Warfare for every metal fan.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 6 Oct - 19:20

SLASH

Nothing Left To Fear
(Anchor Bay / Slasher)

Reviewed by : Aaron Small
Rating : 8.5

Guitar icon SLASH, who made a name for himself with GUNS N’ ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER, and then as a solo artist, has launched his own horror movie production company, Slasher Films, and Nothing Left To Fear is their first endeavour. To be clear, Slash does not star in the movie; he co-produced the 100-minute feature, and co-wrote the musical score. Directed by Anthony Leonardi III, Nothing Left To Fear was inspired by the legend of Stull, Kansas - one of the Seven Gates of Hell. The story centers on a pastor relocating his family from the big city to a small town, where unbeknownst to them, the locals are not what they seem. After moving into their new house, his eldest teenage daughter experiences gruesome nightmares, but a fate far worse befalls her sister – demonic possession. Whilst paying tribute to traditional elements of the genre, Nothing Left To Fear also employs a few new twists, resulting in a truly gripping ride. Despite a lengthy beginning which serves to establish the characters, the spook-you moments are genuine and not forced. Then when the carnage is unleashed, it’s done incredibly well. While blood is spilled, it’s not graphic or gory, making the viewer realize this “fictional story” could actually be fact. Filmed on location in Louisiana, Nothing Left To Fear combines superb casting, an excellent script, and terrific cinematography. Ultimately this is a killer piece, and simultaneously comes to a conclusive ending, while presenting the opportunity for a sequel. Finally, don’t leave the theater, or press stop at home, before the credits roll. Cause if you do, you’ll miss the brand new song, titled ‘Nothing Left To Fear’, from Slash and Myles Kennedy.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 6 Oct - 19:21

DOUBLE CRUSH SYNDROME

The You Filter
(DCS 01)

Reviewed by : Carl Begai
Rating : 9.0

With a library of albums under his belt - from SODOM in the early '90s to POWERGOD, THE TRACEELORDS, and a few solo outings since then - vocalist/guitarist/producer Andy Brings seems to have finally found a place to call home. DOUBLE CRUSH SYNDROME is his new lease on musical life, a three-piece band hinting of everything from THE RAMONES to Baz-era SKID ROW to THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS. Yep, pretty basic three chord punch on the surface but big on the singalong hooks, with tracks ‘Yeah! Pain!’ and ‘She’s A Pistol’ sucking you in from the start even though you might be of a mind to dismiss it as pap. The You Filter is in fact a reminder that the Keep It Simple Stupid formula does work. ‘Blood On My Shirt’ and ‘Fuck You IS My Answer’ see DCS channeling Skid Row – ‘Get The Fuck Out’ and ‘Riot Act’ come to mind - while ‘I'm In Love With You’ and ‘With Me’ go in the opposite direction as two ‘60s cheese-flavoured tracks that deftly (thankfully) avoid the Travolta / Newton John Grease trap. An impressive collection of garage-band-with-skills songs, middle finger anthem ‘Die For Rock N’ Roll’, ‘We Cannot Be Ruled’ and ‘Blood On My Shirt’ coming in as the faves of the moments, all shred and attitude served up old school with a choruses that stick.
Credit where it’s due, the presence of bassist Aurora Steffens is what elevates The You Filter from mere quality to outstanding. Never mind the eye candy; you simply don't expect to hear actual moving basslines behind three chord rock, but they're all over the album. Interesting how she turns ‘I’m In Love With You’ and ‘With Me’ into songs suited to D-A-D's catalogue of hits and near misses. On top of that, Steffens’ backing vocals are in your face at every turn, welcome harmonies and contrast to Brings’ Andi Deris-ish (HELLOWEEN) delivery.
It’s interesting to note the album is sequenced in what would be a killer setlist. That said, the closing track ‘Tonight’ is the perfect ending to a 30-minute blood, sweat and beers stage-wrecking romp as Double Crush Syndrome pull out all the stops for one final kick in the teeth.
Thank you and good night.
For more on Double Crush Syndrome go to this location.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 6 Oct - 19:21

CULT OF LUNA

Vertikal II
(Indie)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 9.0

In the strictest of terms, Vertikal II isn’t truly a sequel to its predecessor, Vertikal, which appeared earlier this year. The 36 minutes of dystopia that comprise Vertikal II were actually written during the Vertikal sessions, but this latest record was released separately in an alpha-and-omega move the brings CULT OF LUNA’s 2013 output to a full circle, literally. Exploring the same themes of urban alienation as Vertikal did, Vertikal II is poisoned porcelain, an effort that reflects both the unperceived oppression of rat races, but also the exhaustion of the easy life that those mazes afford (as DARKTHRONE’ Fenriz has alluded to in public spaces). Vertikal reached new plateaus not only for the already highly regarded Cult Of Luna but for post-metal in general, as the rote repetition of so many shoegazes we’ve been asked to endure was instead replaced by an album that actually felt and felt genuinely, Vertikal an adept summation of what is possible when alienation and song-writing (and editing!) acumen meet. Vertikal II follows the footsteps of its older sibling and continues Cult Of Luna’s ascendance to post-metal’s throne of the galvanized, this Swedish band having accomplished what 99 percent of its post-metal peers are unable to: an engaging LP. Vertikal II is a record that is unafraid to aspire to its intended places, and when those themes revolve around the human condition, that means we’re talking in epic proportions, indeed. Vertikal and Vertikal II stand as experiments in sound , but also as evidence of life, living, lives led and lives to be led, and while, anecdotally, Vertikal came to me in periods of intensity marked by grief, Vertikal II arrives in periods of intensity marked by cautious optimism (we can only hope). Long live the human condition. With an emphasis on ‘live’.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 6 Oct - 19:22

STORMLORD

Hesperia
(Trollzorn Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 7.5

Six-headed Italian epic metal band STORMLORD’s fifth full-length release, Hesperia, is a concept album inspired by the Aeneid, the Latin epic poem written by Roman poet Virgil between 29 and 19 BC. At the time, Italy was referred to as Hesperia (“Western Land”) by the Greeks because to them its territory was far west. The band’s sound is a cross-pollination of black, death, gothic, folk, symphonic and epic power metal, all rolled into to one complete package. Keyboard-driven melodies mixed with dense riffs and majestically-crafted guitar solos in the vein of CRADLE OF FILTH, DIMMU BORGIR and BATHORY make up the eight battle hymns on Hesperia. Some parts are sung in various languages, including English, Italian and ancient Latin, as is the case of the latter on CD-opener, ’Aeneas.’ Stormlord tends to get overlooked while mentioning Italian metal bands due to the fact that you can’t really place them neatly into a definite metal-genre box. It’s also hard to believe they’ve been around for 20 years. Vocalist Cristiano Borchi’s harsh, blackish screeches mixed with guitarist Gianpaolo Caprino’s “cleaner” growls blend surprisingly well with the band’s blackened symphonic power metal style. Stormlord keeps things interesting on Hesperia with loads of musical peaks and valleys splendidly interwoven with various metal sub-genres.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 6 Oct - 19:22

CRAVEN IDOL

Towards Eschaton
(Dark Descent)

Reviewed by : Greg Pratt
Rating : 7.0

The first minute of the first tune gets you a bit worried that this is going to be something a bit too morose and serious, but then, outta nowhere, there's the DISMEMBER tempo, a quick Tom Warrior deathgrunt, and we're in! This London-based death crew has a nice thrash overtone to their tunes, things not being too bass-drenched and oppressive, the beats lively, the guitar work classy (see opener 'To Summon Mayrion', stop laughing at the album and song titles), even when things get grindy and blasting, it doesn't last, and the near-black-tinged thrash wins out over the death (see 'Sworn Upon The Styx', which reminds me of the insanely underrated SINISTER), bringing to mind hatecrews like NIFELHEIM, while cuts like 'Left To Die' have a nod to the old school trad, proto-blackened-thrash gaggle like SODOM. Solid stuff here, killer for a debut album, and it did not go unnoticed that the last tune also contains deathgrunts, bookending this one with nods to the legends, always a classy move. Nothing much new to see here, sure, but there are many worse ways to spend 33 minutes than banging heads to this fun album.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 6 Oct - 19:23

ASKA

Fire Eater
(Pure Steel)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 8.0

Been six years since the Texas traditional metallers released an album. During that time, their profile grew, thanks in part to numerous energetic festival gigs (on both sides of the Atlantic) and singer/guitarist/founder George Call moonlighting in / adding vocals to the likes of OMEN and BANSHEE. As with the five earlier entries in the ASKA catalog (dating back two decades!), there’s a mix of blazing, IRON MAIDEN inspired numbers, standing alongside infectious, mid-tempo songs that serve to highlight Call’s smooth voice, plus the odd ballad or cover tune. Lyrics tend to the historical and this time around, more in-studio ear candy embellishments are evident. ‘Everyone Dies’ kicks things off, speeding out of the starting blocks, but it’s songs like ‘Dead Again’, ‘Harlot Of Eden’ and ‘Son Of A God’, built around that distinctive ASKA riff, that really stand out. Acoustic guitar and military cadence snare drumming (courtesy of George’s brother Damon, while Danny White continues to handle the live duties) begin the ‘Angela’ ballad. They completely deconstruct JUDAS PRIEST’s ‘The Ripper’: exaggerated pace, yet intriguing. The progressive, keyboard laced ‘Red Cell’ is politically charged, while the synth heavy, Broadway style ‘Year Of Jewbilee’ will probably be misconstrued as Born Again rhetoric. ‘The Last Message’ is a two-minute sci-fi voice-over/sound effects exercise (no music at all). Just when you fear there won’t be another racer, ASKA end with ‘Eye Of The Serpent’, a collaboration with Swiss outfit EMERALD (who Call guested with in 2012, albeit a different version of this same tune). Personally, would have made a few edits and could have used yet another barn burner, but this still kickin’ my ASKA!
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 6 Oct - 19:24

ROBERT DAHLQVIST

Solo
(Despotz)

Reviewed by : David Perri
Rating : 6.0

Former THE HELLACOPTERS guitar player Robert "Strings" Dahlqvist has kept himself busy with a variety of projects since The Hellacopters' unfortunate demise in 2008, but the appropriately titled Solo acts as the first solo offering of his career. Those expecting the loud, attitude-obsessed rock-on-rock of the 'Copters will be disappointed by Solo, as this record is a breezy, low-key, and, at times, beautiful LP whose priorities are seemingly contemplative drives on the highway or the reflective moments that just don't seem to happen enough anymore. And while Solo possesses its own charm and is obviously the product of a lifetime of passion for music, the album lacks immediacy and memorability, a real drawback in an era of now!-now!-now! gratification. Is Solo an album outside of its surrounding context, the unfortunate victim of a society on overdrive, all the time? Maybe. But I never felt any sort of wandering eyes or strained attention spans while 'The Devil Stole The Beat From The Lord', 'Truckloads Of Nothin'', 'Pride' or 'Murder On My Mind' respected the rock as much as they did back when The Hellacopters were still in mid-air.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 6 Oct - 19:24

TÝR

Valkyrja
(Metal Blade Records)

Reviewed by : Kelley Simms
Rating : 8.0

Valkyrja is the seventh full-length album from Faroese Viking metal band, TÝR. It’s a concept album based loosely around an anonymous Viking warrior who leaves his woman to eagerly impress the Valkyrie on the battlefield so that she may bring him to Valhalla. It consists of 13 (minus two cover tunes) battle-ready folk/power metal anthems soaked in a hardy Scandinavian flavor. Frontman and founder Heri Joensen has one of the most distinctive and charismatic voices in metal and you’ll find it hard to resist the chant-able and infectious singalong choruses. From the charging JUDAS PRIEST meets GAMMA RAY pure power metal riffs of CD-opener ‘Blood Of Heroes’ to the IRON MAIDEN-ish galloping melodies of ‘Hel Hath No Fury,’ Valkyrja displays the likable trademark qualities of Tyr; great drinking tunes decorated with huge melodic hooks and twin guitar leads. Liv Kristine of LEAVE’S EYES makes a guest appearance on ‘The Lay Of Our Love.’ Although the two singers give a good performance, it’s a bit predictable as far as ballad-esque duets go. Tyr closes the album with two excellent cover tunes: IRON MAIDEN’s ‘Where Eagles Dare’ and PANTERA’s ‘Cemetery Gates.’ With the former, it doesn’t have the same punch as the original and seems to be a half step behind in tempo, but the added vocal harmonies gives the song a new dynamic. On the latter, despite Joensen’s and Anselmo’s voices being completely on the opposite ends of the vocal spectrum, the song works well. The length of the album is on the longish side, but the songs are more rocking and less folky than the band’s previous material. Valkyrja begins strong, slags a bit in the middle before ending on a high note.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 11 Nov - 20:40

AYREON

The Theory Of Everything
(InsideOut Music)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 7.0

Despite sounding like a bizarre George Costanza reference on Seinfeld, this is the latest, guest star-studded musical venture by guitarist/ prog-rock opera mastermind Arjen Lucassen (ex-BODINE, anyone remember that early 80s Dutch band that issued three albums?). Not only are there member of legends like ASIA, YES, GENESIS and ELP, but contemporary vocalists from NIGHTWISH, KAMELOT, LACUNA COIL and GRAND MAGUS, as well as ex-GOREFEST drummer Ed Warby. The two-album set is subdivided into four, 20+ minute pieces of music, each broken into smaller sections. All total, there are 42 titled inclusions, several less than 60 seconds in length, although none exceed four minutes. There is a full-blown story running throughout, something about human experimentation, with a boy who has been surreptitiously drugged, loves the effect and attempts to get a rival to recreate the situation, for a (personal) price.
Earlier in his career, Arjen surrounded himself with several heavyweight metal vocalists, for the The Universal Migrator / Flight Of The Migrator dual concept albums, but it would be a mistake to call most of this outing “metal,” even with today’s multi-dimensional sub-genres. Beginning with keyboards and flute, part one (of three) to the title cut, recalls JETHRO TULL. Acoustic guitars and a carefree, Celtic jig influenced melody waft throughout the initial (eleven part) quarter, entitled Singularity. ‘Mirror Of Dreams’ could be something off a BLACKMORE’S NIGHT record. Otherwise, its mellow, flowing (floating?) 70s style prog, akin to that his big name guests created, back in their (hey)day.
Various formats of the dual disc set also include a DVD, which has 90 minutes of interviews with the various participants and another 48 minutes for a “making of” Theory segment, as well as a deluxe book edition that includes a second set of audio discs (the entire album, instrumentally). Ambitious.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Lun 11 Nov - 20:41

METAL CHURCH

Generation Nothing
(Rat Pak)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 7.5

Reunited, sort of, as it’s the same line-up that recorded the last METAL CHURCH album (2008’s This Present Wasteland), both of which feature only guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof as original member. There’s a little familiarity in these ten songs, albeit not as one might expect. First, singer Ronnie Munroe, now on his fourth Church platter, channels OVER KILL shrill/gravel-throated vocalist Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, on more than one occasion. Check out the chorus on the punky, high energy lead track, ‘Bulletproof’. ‘Dead City’ kicks off with a patented JUDAS PRIEST riff, but that’s the end of any such comparison. Believe it or not, the military cadence snare and haunting, clean guitar notes to start to the almost 9 minute ‘Noises In The Wall’ recall the progressive ‘Cygnus X-1’ RUSH era, before ending with a solitary, repetitive heartbeat. Again, just a passing highlight, not an entirely aped tune. Good old school riff in gritty ‘Suiciety’. Pre-release single ‘Scream’ is the heaviest number, with a hint of The Dark lurking around. Lyrically, the title track is a hard hitting attack on the video-game generation, wasting their life, or worse, getting off by turning online murder obsessions into reality. ‘Close To The Bone’ could be the soundtrack for all those suffering economically. The rather exaggerated entitled closer ‘The Media Horse’ (say it slowly!) is a rather restrained number, especially to cap the record off. Reports of a rejuvenated live show give this release added importance, since they’ll undoubtedly get Vanderhoof out of the studio, at least for a few gigs!
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