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 Chroniques Albums

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 30 Déc - 21:32


THOUSAND YEAR RAIN


Prelude To The End Time


(TOH Media)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



Album number three here for this one-man project of North
Carolina's Thomas Sankt and it's back to being all instrumental after
some vocal experimentations on the second disc, 2011's Witchery And
Bloodshed. Sankt has decided to make this the final THOUSAND YEAR RAIN
disc, but hopefully he'll continue playing music in some form or
another: the beefed-up groove metal of opener 'Gate Opens' rocks despite
its demo-level production struggles, and also adds in that element of
Sankt's work that I like so much and that separates it from most “groove
metal”, which, obviously, stinks: the atmospheric, goth-tinged guitar
work. Like a clandestine lover of '80s goth/new wave, he manages to
sneak in vibey guitar lines that most bands wouldn't think to add in
metal, and it works. Elsewhere, like 'In Darkness', 'Spitting Thorns'
and 'The Rapture', the shredfests commence. Bonus track 'Remember' shows
off his love of '80s hard rock balladeering, and it totally works. I
also dig that these eight songs are completely instrumental, but never
drag or get boring (let's be honest: would indie-metal-guy vocals
actually ADD anything?). It's a shame about the production on this one, a
bit too computer-y and processed and just generally demo-quality, which
distracts from the tunes, which rock like KARMA TO BURN meeting
ANNIHILATOR, with less of the death metal influence from last time.
Sankt is a talented dude; here's hoping he can get a full band situation
happening, get some better production sounds, and show the metal world
what he's capable of.


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 4 Jan - 22:17


HAMMERFALL


Gates Of Dalhalla


(Nuclear Blast)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.0



Special guest laden, 25-song, career spanning live
retrospective, captured on Blu-Ray, as well a pair of audio discs, from
the Swedish outfit who single-handedly (and not without significant
opposition, remember vocalist Joacim Cans getting slashed in his
hometown bar?) resurrected traditional metal in the dark days of grunge
and nu-metal. On July 28, 2012, the Hammers invaded the open-air stage
Dalhalla (the title a play on the site of Viking afterlife), which is
housed in an old quarry near the village Rättvik. Thus all the song
introductions and stage banter is in their native tongue.
Original/former members of HAMMERFALL, including guitarists Stefan
Elmgren (who left to become a commercial pilot) and Jesper Stromblad
(ex-IN FLAMES), as well as DARK TRANQUILLITY singer Mikael Stanne were
onhand and appear on several cuts throughout. Elmgren is brought out for
a trio of consecutive songs: ‘Blood Bound’, ‘Last Man Standing’ and
‘Fury Of The Wild’, while the other get one each: Stromblad, ‘The Dragon
Lies Bleeding’, while Stanne adds his gruff lead vocals to ‘Steel Meets
Steel’. The ‘Hearts On Fire’ finale sees everyone onstage
simultaneously.
Opening with ‘Patient Zero’ off the most recent release (Infected),
there’s something from each of their eight studio efforts, yet no cover
tunes. Odd, given the Swedes always toyed with such, even before
releasing 2008’s Masterpieces, an entire album worth of other people’s
material. Actually, ‘När Vindarna Viskar Mitt Namn’ is performed with
Roger Pontare, the Swedish representative who sang it during the 2000
Eurovision song contest (televised international Idol styled competition
amongst European nations), but that hardly counts as a real cover, in
my book. Sort of a countrymen shout out, meaning little outside their
homeland. Newbies ‘B.Y.H.’, a punky ‘Let’s Get It On’ and ‘One More
Time’, each fair well on their (non-bootleg) live debut, demonstrating
the heavier, rejuvenated HammerFall evident on Infected. Although the
band issued a live disc nine years ago (One Crimson Night), only ten
tracks are repeated here and somewhat surprisingly, that includes just
four off the debut and only a pair from the sophomore outing! The
acoustic begun ‘Always Will Be’ has moments recalling Bowie’s ‘Space
Oddity’ and Cans gets the crowd to sing most of ‘Let The Hammer Fall’,
which precedes a tedious three-song arch (broken up nicely by the
all-out guitar run instrumental ‘Something For All Ages’, before the
triumphant encore to the end (punctuated by ‘Glory To The Brave’ and
their signature tune). Enjoy it, as they’re on hiatus from live shows
throughout 2013, as founder Oscar Dronjak relaxes and writes his memoirs
(Ha, I know the guy. He’s too wired to just kick back and do nothing!).


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 4 Jan - 22:19


MELDRUM


Lifer


(Reversed Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 8.0



The late Michelle Meldrum, former guitarist of the
all-female rockers PHANTOM BLUE, is affectionately remembered in the
afterlife by many friends and family who have kept her name alive. This
is especially true from her musical compadres who finally have recorded
and released this living tribute to her life, MELDRUM’s Lifer, four
years after her passing. On Lifer, Meldrum lets her inner thrash metal
persona loose and proves that she is a highly-qualified, versatile
guitarist. Every minute detail of this recording was well-thought out,
even down to the production job by Rob Shallcross (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD,
GWAR, ZIMMERS HOLE). Drummer Gene Hoglan (EVERYONE), vocalist Michele
Madden (TOURETTE’S, SAINT CECILIA) and bassist Laura Christine (WARFACE)
complete the band. “A Toast to Romance” begins with a spelling lesson
from Madden by spelling out the C word, used as a term of endearment,
she states. The song is decorated with a sludgy, punky riff with some
angry barks and squeals. With an in-your-face start like this, you just
know the album’s going to be killer. The fast-paced rhythm and luring
vocals of Madden on “Money Shot,” which she declares in a catchy tone,
‘Hanging at the Rainbow drinking Jack with Lemmy,’ makes it a fun song.
Lifer is not only a tribute to a fallen friend, but it’s also some bad
ass rock ‘n’ roll.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 4 Jan - 22:21


VANDERBUYST


The Flying Dutchman


(Ván)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.5



Was already a fan of their In Dutch sophomore effort (made
my Best Of 2011 list), but after witnessing the Netherlands (see any
themes in the album titles?) trio at Bang Your Head, was thrilled to
hear they could pull it off live. Even more than the past, VANDERBUYST
revel in 70s hard rock, an era of three to four minute songs, with blues
guitar (including solos) fully on display. Appears to be what labels
are signing these days, given the varied sounds of acts like GYPSYHAWK,
GRAVEYARD, CASTLE, WITCHCRAFT, ORCHID, etc. ‘Frivolous Franny’ opens the
disc, the tale of a good hearted soul in a corrupt world, just enough
punch to get the head bobbing, guitar solo placed prominently. The
simplistic, upbeat ‘Waiting In The Wings’ follows, seemingly built
around the extended, double-tracked break. An acoustic starts ‘Give Me
One More Shot’. No, it’s not about booze, but rather a guy pleading with
his (ex?) girlfriend. The blues influence comes to the fore during
lyrics like “before you decide to cut me off, appease my needs.” Not
some whiny song though, as the tempo fluctuates from pained to anger. By
contract, ‘The Butcher’s Knife’ (despite the subject matter) is a
bouncy little number, an almost commercial rock sound. ‘Tears Won’t
Rinse’ is the kind of jam Vanderbuyst do so well. Make that guitar talk!
Old school guitar tones introduce the blast-from-the-past known as
‘Never Be Clever’. ‘In Dutch’ (shouldn’t that have been on the last
album?) is a squeakily voiced ditty that leads into a pedestrian ‘Johnny
Got Lucky’, a two-song stretch of boredom that’s quickly forgotten, as
the album heads for its glorious conclusion. The lyrics to a Lenny
Kravitz sounding ‘Lecherous’ are directed at a prime and proper
political figure, regarding his daughter’s behavior with the band.
Wonder if it’s fact or fiction. The title cut (and comical video/single)
serves to highlight their music, as well as tongue-in-cheek
self-deprecating sense of humor. ‘Welcome To The Night’ is the last of
the eleven song, kicking off with rolling drum fills, before settling
into a bouncy backbeat, with infectious, sing-along chorus. Vanderbuyst
make music fun again.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 4 Jan - 22:22


OSHIEGO


The Heretic Priests Of Amon


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.5



Wow, it's refreshing to see an EP in this day and age of
more, more, more. And it works wonders for the craziness of Singapore's
OSHIEGO, who here lay down three songs of raw (love that snare sound...
just love it) blackened war/death with classic Teutonic thrash
overtones. That's a damn good mix for you metallic scholars out there
taking notes, combining as it does a wild and unruly take on many
different aspects of our beloved extreme music. The title track in
particular gets my blood boiling in all the best of ways, like a more
spontaneous BEHEMOTH stuck opening for IMPIETY at a cancelled HELLHAMMER
gig in some alternate reality. If this was a full-length, I might have
given it an 8.0, but as is, it just leaves you wanting—needing—more.
Still, definitely worth keeping tabs on these guys to see what they come
up with when it comes time for their second full-length (they've
released one full-length and another EP). Hopefully they keep it raw,
they keep the unhinged vibe intact, and they keep taking all the best
aspects of death, war, black, and heavy thrash to use for their own
devious needs. Whatever they do, you can bet it'll be on a label of good
repute (Hells Headbangers, you reading this?).
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Sam 12 Jan - 18:10


KOTIPELTO AND LIIMATAINEN


Blackoustic


(EarMusic)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.5



So what do Finnish rock stars do between albums and tours?
Why, hang out in bars and play a bunch of their songs acoustically. So
began the partnership between STRATOVARIUS singer Timo Kotipelto and
former SONATA ARCTICA guitarist Jani Liimatainen, who previously paired
up in CAIN’s OFFERING, ultimately leading to this compilation of cover
tunes. Originally self-financed and sold only at gigs, EarMusic has
since picked it up for international release. Make no mistake, these are
not just ballads. In fact, most are given the unplugged treatment for
the first time. Amongst the 14 selections are four STRATOVARIUS numbers,
a trio from the singer’s solo material, one SONATA track (‘My Selene’)
and a slower, duet penned by Jani; ‘Where My Rainbow Ends’, the lone
original of the bunch. Speaking of rainbows, they include DIO’s ‘Rainbow
Eyes’ ballad, a rather gutsy move. Timo’s accent is evident on GARY
MOORE’
s ‘Out In The Fields’, as there is nothing other than acoustic
guitar on all the material. DEEP PURPLE (‘Perfect Strangers’) and THE
WHO
(‘Behind Blue Eyes’) are other classic rock staples covered,
Kotipelto struggling a bit on the former. Odd hearing STRATO speedsters
like ‘Black Diamond’, ‘Speed Of Light’ and ‘Hunting High & Low’
without the double bass drumming and all the bombastics, while the
traditional Finnish tune ‘Karjalan Kunnailla’ is delivered in the native
tongue. A nice change of pace though, laying bare both individual’s
talents.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Sam 12 Jan - 18:12


MARTIN POPOFF With IOANNIS


Fade To Black: Hard Rock Cover Art Of The Vinyl Age


(Sterling)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 9.0



Just take a gander at this gorgeous coffee-table book
filled with cover art from 1965-1990 and it's hard to not drool over
that super nice leather-bound cover (it's actually rubber!). Vet metal
journalist Martin Popoff (a fellow Brave Words writer) knows his trivia
like no one else, especially when it comes to the classic stuff, so to
hear him wax on about these album covers is priceless, which is what he
does here, picking a ton of albums and giving quick thoughts about their
art, along with trivia and quotes from those involved (here, legendary
album cover artist Ioannis helps him pick which covers should be
included). What I like the most about looking back on these classic
covers is discovering just how tossed off so many of them were. We tend
to think back and imagine them as being brilliant collaborative works of
art, when half the time it was clueless band dudes taking a pic by
accident or the label using some shot without even telling the band, or
just something like that... it ain't genius, it's a product of time,
nostalgia, and being attached to what ended up being, for one reason or
another, a classic album to some factions of the longhair militia. It's
great to find out amazing stories behind album covers like the ones for,
say, THIN LIZZY's Johnny The Fox or ALICE COOPER's Greatest Hits. It's
also amazing to know that some of the people behind some of these
classic covers have ended up in some odd and unfortunate places: at
least one suicide and at least one person completely vanished for over
25 years, whereabouts unknown to even his family (as to what covers they
drew, you'll have to read the book to find out). What I don't like is
the seemingly haphazard decisions in regard to which album covers get
blown up huge on the page or placed a bit smaller, off to the side a bit
(I know squares are tough), the varying lengths of the write-ups...
unfortunately, more words on the page equal less space for cover art, so
the more Popoff has to say about it, the less you as a reader can
really examine the art on the page. Eh, small complaints though: this
one is a total blast and I was genuinely upset when I reached the end.


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 20 Jan - 13:35


MICHAEL SCHENKER


Temple Of Rock: Live In Europe


(Inakustik)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.5



Purchased the MSG One Night At Budokan double vinyl thirty
years ago, just two studio albums into the former UFO/SCORPIONS
guitarist’s solo career. Those thirteen tunes offered a glimpse of the
past, with an eye to the future, This latest two-disc retrospective sees
Herr Schenker comfortable with his legacy, reprising a half dozen of
those same songs (including the classic ‘Doctor Doctor’ finale). But
that’s not the only UFO material herein, as ‘Lights Out’, ‘Rock Bottom’,
‘Let It Roll’
and ‘Shoot Shoot’ are also showcased. When it comes to
THE SCORPS, the outfit where his brother Rudolph has played guitar since
’72, there’s no less than six Teutonic compositions (mostly from
Lovedrive), although, quixotically, Michael didn’t play on all of them:
witness the 80s sensations, ‘Blackout’ and ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’.
Ex-SCORPS Francis Bucholz (bass) and drummer Herman Rarebell were part
of his band at the May 2012 Tillburg (Netherlands) concert which forms
the backbone of this DVD/double CD package, his brother showing at
England’s High Voltage festival for ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’,
‘Hanging On’ and ‘Doctor Doctor’, which also featured Jeff Scott Soto
and UFO bassist Pete Way joining singer Doogie White (TANK/ex- RAINBOW).
The instrumentals are still great, but sort of strange, hearing “new”
versions of songs that have been ingrained in the subconscious over
three decades (almost four, with some of the UFO stuff) and White
possesses a thick accent, both delivering corny one-liner intros and in
song, particularly noticeable on his rather weak attempt at
‘…Hurricane’, incapable of the nasal twang, nor highs of Klaus Meine.
Perhaps that’s why he freely admits, prior to the rather naked
‘Holiday’, “Each night I attempt to sing this song.” Much more of a band
record than solo (pun intended) Schenker show-off, perhaps due to the
ex-SCORPS within the mix. Collection is available in several elaborate
formats, with loads of visual extras.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 20 Jan - 13:35


SITTIN' IDOL


Landmark


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



Man, I dig that technology has finally got to the point
where the indie bands can throw out releases that sound totally pro:
just dig the drum sound on this SITTIN' IDOL disc, and bask in the
glory. This Calgary band is on album three, and it shows in their chops
and songwriting skills. At first, those vocals are too
post-grunge/modern Hetfield for my liking, but as far as that stuff
goes, they are way less offensive than lots of bands. The sleazy, lazy,
ZZ Top meets COC lite of 'I Am Consumption' by far beats out the more
mopey, post-grunge sounds on here, although 'Unwound' is like one of
those great ALICE IN CHAINS acoustic/depresso/sludge jams that are way
better than I care to admit. 'The Mountain Walks' inexplicably reminds
me of WARRANT or L.A. GUNS at their prime, doing some 'experimental
ballad that's not about love and instead is about settlers' or
something; oddly, it works, as well. I love how the album threatens to
become forgettable mid-tier rock but always gets saved, KINGS OF THE
SUN-style, by the manic and panicked drumming performance (see 'Slider',
or any other song). The epic two-part 'Take Me Home' is a great
near-closer, although the 51-minute run time starts to wear ya down
right around then, too.


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Dim 20 Jan - 13:36


ANGER AS ART


Hubris Inc.


(Old School Metal Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 7.5



California thrashers ANGER AS ART present 14 rage-infused
tracks of thrash/speed metal done the old-school way on its fourth
full-length release, Hubris Inc. The band consists of veterans of the
’80s metal scene resurrected from revered L.A. underground acts such as
BITCH, ABATTOIR and HERETIC. Vocalist/guitarist Steve Gaines leads the
band with ferocious thrashing, fast-paced blast beats, fuzz-laden,
distorted guitar riffs and explosive dual harmony leads. Special guest
appearance by current bandmate Betsy Bitch turns up the heat on “Rage
and Retribution” with some classic sounding ’80s thrash. “Speed Kills”
was actually written for Abattoir back in 1984 and is performed by all
Abattoir members, featuring Mark Caro on lead guitar. It’s the first
“new” song by the band in many years. The only downfall about the disc
is that there are too many songs (14) and the bass is somewhat low in
the mix. But the production is loud and raw with the guitars out front
making Hubris Inc. a full-frontal, thrashtastic aural assault.
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 25 Jan - 14:32


HOLY GRAIL


Ride The Void


(Prosthetic)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.0



Not sure who was responsible for the track sequencing of
the long awaited (and more mature) sophomore effort from HOLY GRAIL
(Crisis In Utopia was released back in ‘10), but they didn’t do these
rising youngsters any favors. The best material is at the end of the
eleven songs (an instrumental ‘Archeus’ opens the album and another
voiceless composition, the orchestral strings accompanied ‘Wake Me When
It’s Over’ appears next to last). While the beginning of ‘Bestia
Triumphans’ (the longest track, eclipsing six minutes) adheres to the
speedy neo-classical traditional metal of its predecessor, there’s a
disturbing trend found here, and elsewhere on Ride The Void, modern
American staccato rhythms and aggressive/death vocals. While the second
voice is usually in concert with James Paul Luna’s Dio/Rivera inspired
approach, it’s unnecessary. Will be interested to see how this
translates to the stage, as the band (who tour relentlessly) is already
heavier in concert. Snippets of barked lyrics are evident on
‘Crosswinds’ and ‘The Great Artifice’, which also contains some
modulated vocals from Luna. First single, ‘Dark Passenger’ never tops
third gear and might have been better situated amongst the “old school”
numbers found on the latter half (side B in the vinyl era), any one of
which is more indicative of the true Holy Grail sound. ‘Bleeding Stone’
is another adequate mid-tempo song, but given the groundwork laid on the
debut (chiefly ‘Immortal Man’, ‘Fight To Kill’, ‘Cherish Disdain’ and
‘Call Of Valhalla’) still not quite up to snuff. The title track, which
kicks off with a short acoustic burst, then falls into that
clickety-clack pattern, is the first great song on the album, at slot
#5. A punky ‘Too Decayed To Wait’ follows, getting the velocity quotient
close to optimal. Mellow intonations and military cadence snare
drumming intimate ‘Sleep Of Virtue’ might be a ballad, but in a short
neo-classical run, it climbs comfortably into the Grail’s skin. ‘Silence
The Scream’ finally sees the tempo meet earlier standards, but not
without the odd break. Certainly not as immediately gratifying as the
last album, but also more varied. A grower!


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 25 Jan - 14:33


VOIVOD


Target Earth


(Century Media)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 8.5



VOIVOD's winding and wound path is the stuff of legends,
the band indelibly impacting the Canadian and global metal scenes and
receiving the type of reverence that is reserved for only the impossibly
special few. After the death of Voivod architect Denis "Piggy" D'Amour
in 2005, the group's future was very much up in the air, right at a time
when the Montreal torchbearers had resuscitated their dimension hatross
through the self-titled 2003 record that featured ex-METALLICA bass
player Jason Newsted as well as the subsequent Ozzfest appearances that
introduced Voivod to a generation of fans weaned on the likes of Voivod
disciples TOOL and SYSTEM OF A DOWN. Piggy's death was a
way-too-premature tragedy, and the band soldiered on in his wake with
2006's Katorz and 2009's Infini, records that were constructed based on
riffs and demos Piggy had left on his computer's hard drive: the
completion of Katorz and Infini were feats that were no doubt
emotionally draining and a testament to Voivod's will to carry on and
spread the gospel of Piggy in the face of even extreme adversity and
anguish. Having toured since 2008 with original bass player Blacky and
Dan Mongrain
(MARTYR) in Piggy's spot, Voivod resurrected itself,
literally, and brought to life its roaring killing technology, an
essence that is a fundamental pillar in, like, seven different metal
subgenres. 2013 brings us Target Earth, the first Voivod album with
Mongrain at the guitar helm, and to describe it as classic Voivod is a
monumental understatement. Essentially the exact mid-point between
Dimension Hatross and Nothingface, Target Earth is both a late-'80s
progressive thrash fascination street and a timeless ode to Piggy's
dissonance, even if those riffs and structures are being channeled
through Mongrain's impressively capable and authentic playing. Even the
drums have a certain late-'80s aura about them, the big snare and
menacing toms the perfect compliment to Blacky's classic 'blower bass'
sound, a tone that is as distorted and caustic as Snake's punk snarl.
When 'The Mechanical Mind' was released as a 7" single back during the
autumn it only hinted at the signals and subdivisions that were coming
our way, as Target Earth is Voivod returning to form in the truest sense
of the term. Which is not to say the Jason Newsted and Eric Forrest
eras weren't valid Voivodian tales because they were, as the spirit of
Negatron, Phobos, Voivod, Katorz and Infini can certainly be felt here
on Target Earth; when Away says that every Voivod fan will feel at home
during Target Earth he's not exaggerating (Target Earth will also feel
especially home-like for Canadians, as the record features Voivod's
first ever French-language track, 'Corps Étranger). Long live these
warriors of ice
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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Sam 2 Fév - 22:52


SEARCHING FOR REASON


Inward


(Within The Mind)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



This Phoenix, Arizona-based instrumental progressive metal
band formed in 2011 and then at the end of calendar year 2012 go and
release this debut album, which is stunning in its maturity and skill.
And it doesn't sound like three dudes jerking each other's fretboards
for forty minutes. The classic rock riffing of 'Mal De Muchos, Consuelo
De Tontos', the killer experimental sax playing in 'My Heart, My Head
(They Both Want Me Dead)'... this is far-reaching, forward-thinking,
and, surprise, fun stuff to listen to. I could live without the “frantic
flamenco” stuff (that never works in metal, and I wish bands would stop
trying), but then tunes like 'You Didn't Fail' whisper sweet, lush
nothings into my ear, seducing me like FREHLEY'S COMET at their best,
and all is blissfully forgiven (um, is this review almost over? Because I
really gotta go.). Amazingly, this is nowhere near as lame and faceless
as most of the big-league accounting-firm-name supergroups (if I may
borrow a phrase from fellow Bravewordian Martin Popoff) that make up
this genre always, frustratingly and baffingly, end up being. Kinda hard
to give it more than an 8 just because there are so many limitations
here (no vocals, lots of noodly near-overplaying, forgettable band name,
no girls in sight), but if yer a geek, go 8.5 for sure.


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Sam 2 Fév - 22:53


THE GODZ


From The Vault Volume 1, Volume 2


FnA Records


Reviewed by : Martin Popoff

Rating : 8.0



Hard to rate odds ‘n’ soddsers like this, but these
records sure get you thinking about life and the choices we make.
Legendary Columbus, Ohio biker rocker Eric Moore is best known for his
two records on Casablanca subsidiary Millennium, namely ‘78’s The Godz
and ‘79’s Nothing Is Sacred. The latter record showed Moore’s penchant
for traditional old time rock ‘n’ roll in an almost wistful southern
rock direction. Much of Volume 1 is a continuation of that, this
professional package revealing to us the tapes from an unreleased 1980
album by Eric Moore and the Marauders. Again, the style is an almost
punky mix of ‘50s rock and southern rock, topped by Eric’s very cool,
gritty voice welling up somewhere between Peter Criss, Ace Frehley and
George Thorogood. Things get heavier for some unreleased material from
the ’84 Godz album I’ll Get You Rockin’, after which it’s a grab-bag of
like-minded meat and potatoes metal from a bunch of eras. Recordings
vary, cohesion suffers, but fortunately origins are dutifully explained
in the booklet, which also offers a trivia-stuffed band history. Nice
touch with some radio spots and interview material at the end, Eric
shooting out the zingers as usual—the guy’s an inspiration, a machine,
machine, machine... Volume 2 leans toward newer rarities, ‘Lonely
Tonight’ being a snarling, Dictators-like rocker, ‘Foolin’ Yourself’
even more Ted Nugent-raucous, ‘Island’ a haunting acoustic love song.
And man, Eric’s vocals on ‘We’re All Crazy’ and ‘White Line’ are biker
rock egregiously personified—the guy’s just a great singer with an set
of pipes that are whiskey-soaked to perfection. Toward the end of this
18-selection slab of party metal madness are more commercials and
interview bits, but that’s not before a swaggered drinking classic
called ‘Wastin’’ and a wobbly live take of The Godz’ tallest classic,
‘Gotta Keep a Runnin’’ from 1990 (worth it for the history lesson!),
sadly, from the same legendary Columbus bar where Dime was killed. This
is working man’s music, and if you’re a working man whose wages don’t
reach to the end of the week, at least scrape together enough to get
Volume 2. For more info on these limited treasures, these slices of Ohio
bad boy rock history, go to Thegodz.us.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Sam 2 Fév - 22:54


AUDREY HORNE


Youngblood


(Napalm)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 7.0



Named for the Sherilyn Fenn character in Twin Peaks,
AUDREY HORNE is a straight ahead riff rock act from Norway, unlikely
formed by black metal veterans Ice Dale (guitar, ENSLAVED/I) and King Ov
Hell (bass, GOD SEED/ex-GORGOROTH). Almost as quixotic as the TV show
from whence the moniker was lifted! While only the six-stringer remains
on this, their fourth release (Ep and three albums), the ten tracks keep
to a winning formula: catchy, guitar dominated melodies, simple,
repetitive lyrics, with clean vocals. About as far afield as they could
get from their day jobs. ‘Straight Into Your Grave’ has a chugging,
British 70s vibe akin to something by Robin Trower. Thanks to the
backing keys, the jazz influenced title track rolls by effortlessly,
like some lost lost Prog pioneer, while ‘There Goes A Lady’ sounds like
something left off one of the first two KISS albums, anthemic, with a
slice of guitar. ‘Cards With The Devil’ pays homage to VAN HALEN and
their song with the Underworld’s boss also in the title. ‘The Open Sea’
kicks off with Hammond organ and ‘Pretty Little Sunshine’ is just an
excuse to go hog wild on the guitar throughout. Ditto ‘This Ends Here’,
which jumps from the speakers on note #1. Fun diversion!



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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Sam 2 Fév - 22:55


DOOMSDAY


Doomsday


(Disorder)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



Impressive offering for a debut EP here, but that's no
surprise, considering this band is made up of dudes who are or have been
in NACHTMYSTIUM, USURPER, GOATWHORE, and THE GATES OF SLUMBER, amongst
other extreme death, black, and grinders. So when the crusting
black-rock of opener 'She Will Be The One' mixes up CELTIC FROST with a
little bit of each of those four bands listed above and a dash of Lemmy
worship on top, it all makes sense, it all sounds good. I love the
galloping punk of 'The Punishment'; this band is definitely most
enjoyable to listen to when the punk/hardcore influence shines through
(the intro to 'Bring Down The Knife' is pure TRAGEDY). But the more
blackened tunes, like 'Empty Vessel', are no slouches either, and,
honestly, are way more enjoyable and fun to listen to than dour
ultra-serious black metal bands (kinda like how Goatwhore is just
infinitely more enjoyable to listen to than the true-til-death black
bands). Really, if the production was loosened up a touch it'd make this
one even more killer to listen to, the tunes and vibe deserving of
something that sounds suitably rag-tag and chaotic. This one is tons of
fun in all the right ways.


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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Sam 2 Fév - 22:55


DEHUMANIZED


Controlled Elite


(Comatose)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.0



New York death metal crew DEHUMANIZED have gone through a
lot of split-ups and reformations to get where they are today, which is
album two, Controlled Elite, as solid a death metal slamfest as I've
ever heard. Seriously, this sounds like a wall. A New York back-alley
wall, of course, one that often gets tons of burly bald dudes thrown
against it in fits of aggression. And they manage to groove while they
do it, too, the blasting and grinding death metal only taking moments of
reprieve to enter territory grooving enough to make DYING FETUS fans
stand up and take notice, right before getting back into the guttural,
NY-style SUFFOCATION-worshipping no-bones American death. The thick
production helps hammer home the point that these guys are pretty much
absolutely no nonsense, as does that excellent cover art and
'80's-thrash-forever album title.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 6 Fév - 23:18


CIRCLE II CIRCLE


Seasons Will Fall


(Armoury Records)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 7.5



Seasons Will Fall is the sixth studio album by US power
metal band CIRCLE II CIRCLE, led by former SAVATAGE vocalist Zak
Stevens.
It’s a fusion of “Savatage-style metal” with melodic and hard
rock influences. The comparisons between the two bands are still obvious
and they will always be there. On the 12 tracks, Stevens’ sensational
vocals brings back memories of his glory days while in Savatage. From
the scorching Hall Of The Mountain King riff/lead of CD opener 'Diamond
Blade' to the opera-esque call and response segment of 'Killing Death',
which is hauntingly similar to Savatage’s 'Chance' from Handful Of Rain,
to the pleasing vocal harmonies of the title track, the album is loaded
with powerful, hook-laden songs. The CD drags a bit toward the end, due
to too many ballads in succession, but at least they go out fittingly
on finale 'Only Yesterday'. With a new label, a new album, a new band
and a new lease on life, Stevens and CIIC is still trying to carve out
its own identity. It still treads in the Savatage territory, but one
can’t deny one’s past.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 6 Fév - 23:19


HATEBREED


The Divinity of Purpose


(Razor & Tie)


Reviewed by : David Perri

Rating : 8.0



“Who’s got more heart than you? No one!” screams HATEBREED
vocalist Jamey Jasta as ‘Own Your World’ begins, and that essentially
sums up the band for the uninitiated: Hatebreed’s wide-eyed wonder in
the face of life’s most challenging abysses is the group’s truly
important attribute and characteristic, Hatebreed forging a legacy of
self-help and therapy for those who probably need it most. Though
Hatebreed will never top career highlight Perseverance (a record that,
literally, has saved lives), The Divinity of Purpose is the group’s best
album since Perseverance, this record is a straight-hate testament to
the loud, the fast and the venomous, and truly in line with the band’s
pre-release “all pit, no shit” description as the riffs and
song-structures here are invigorating, impressive and full of only
adrenaline-on-adrenaline aural hijacking. The lyrics are, as always,
admirable in their dedication to only the most noble of positives
including, but not limited to: living life fully; hard work; carpe diem;
only doing what’s right; and, most importantly, never, ever giving up
in the face of any adversity. These messages are what make Hatebreed a
social force as opposed to just a band, and if global governments were
paying attention they would award Hatebreed some sort of acknowledgement
for the public service the group so boldly and effectively renders.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 6 Fév - 23:20


L.A. GUNS


Live In Concert


(Deadline Music)


Reviewed by : Aaron Small

Rating : 7.0



Filmed on May 12, 2012 as part of the M3 Rock Festival in
Columbia, Maryland, L.A. GUNS perform a nine song, mid-day set to a less
than enthusiastic crowd at the Merriweather Post Pavilion. Seeing how
Phil Lewis’ vocal level is initially far too low in opener ‘Sex Action’,
and quickly gets adjusted to a proper volume, there’s no doubt that
this DVD’s definitely done live, as it happened that afternoon. Unlike
the old days when LAG was a five-piece, Phil plays rhythm guitar for the
first four songs; and unfortunately that hinders his singing. Come
‘Revolution’, from the highly under-rated Waking The Dead album, Lewis
drops the six-string, thereby regaining his swagger and signature style.
The band finally hit full-stride in ‘Sleazy Come, Easy Go’ and
‘Electric Gypsy’. An attempted audience sing-along in ‘The Ballad Of
Jayne’ falls short, but a successful recovery is made with closer ‘Rip
N’ Tear’.
Bonus material comes in the form of The Making Of Hollywood Forever –
L.A. Guns
’ 2012 studio album. A total of ten mini-segments take viewers
behind the scenes during the recording sessions with producer Andy Johns
(LED ZEPPELIN, THE ROLLING STONES). Individual one-on-one interviews
with Phil, guitarist Stacey Blades, and bassist Scotty Griffin reveal
that the band felt a lot of pressure as this marked their first new
material in seven years. Also included are the three Hollywood Forever
promo videos: ‘You Better Not Love Me’, ‘Arana Negra (Black Spider)’,
and ‘Requiem (Hollywood Forever)’. Adding value to the sticker price is
the inclusion of a second disc – a CD containing the complete audio from
the M3 concert; truthfully it sounds like a really good bootleg as
opposed to an official live album, but often that’s the case with
festival appearances as opposed to headlining shows.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 6 Fév - 23:20


MORTOR


Shoot 'Em Up


(Independent)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 7.5



This Quebec group goes for the throat, relentlessly, here
on their second disc. Key word is relentless: this is super-produced,
groove-laden, thrash with a hint of death and tons of double-bass-driven
FEAR FACTORY influence. The monotony of the vocals and the no-fun riff
assault is pretty tiring, even if the occasional excellently placed solo
helps lifts things up near an opening-for-NEURAXIS kinda vibe. Taking
individually, songs like 'The Bonesaw' are great: slow, sludgey death
metal that sounds like something OBITUARY would toss off. It's just that
together, a whole album worth of this intensity needs some dimension or
a bit more personality to keep things interesting. Probably great live,
I'd say a great EP band, and I'd also say I'm convinced they can put
out an awesome full-length, if they loosened up their production sound a
bit (“super-produced” isn't always a good thing) and mixed things up a
bit more, or at least made it so the listener felt like something other
than pure hate was being spat at them for the duration of the album.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 6 Fév - 23:21


CHAPEL OF DISEASE


Summoning Black Gods


(FDA Rekotz)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.5



Hard to believe this is this German death metal band's
debut; good on FDA Rekotz (Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! It's not too late to change
that name!) for scooping them up, shows a great ear on the label head
there for finding a death band in 2012 that has enough personality but
also enough of a love for the history of the genre to create a fully
enjoyable full-length listen. In the case of CHAPEL OF DISEASE, they
favour the grimy, sludge-y, and mid-tempo kind of death metal; it never
gets tech and rarely goes blasting, instead going low and slow, like
'Descend To The Tomb', which gets so low and slow in the intro that it
eventually collapses to a mid-tempo OBITUARY slug and sludge. Meanwhile,
'Evocation Of The Father' gets almost death rock, then funeral rock,
great guitar solos blazing, man, my head is banging hard by this
point... who are these guys? Cool closer 'The Loved Dead' goes deep
sludge for the first couple minutes before the double bass kicks in,
rounding out a wholly excellent death metal experience. I'd say they
should make the clean production grimier and dirtier to go with their
sound, then, file next to Asphyx and Autopsy and Obituary and all kinds
of guttural gross-out death metal legends.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Mer 6 Fév - 23:22


ALPHA TIGER


Beneath The Surface


(Century Media)


Reviewed by : Mark Gromen

Rating : 8.5



Spandex, high pitched vocals, animal prints, Japanese
characters and youthful exuberance… Is it the 80s? No, just the second
coming, in the form of this German outfit’s sophomore effort (albeit a
Century Media debut). Sadly, it will only be available domestically as a
digital download. Since there are no well-tattooed bald guys grunting,
apparently the powers that be felt North Americans would have no
interest. CDs and vinyl (if ever there releases that need to complete
bypass MP3s, nostalgia seekers like ALPHA TIGER would be the ones) for
those overseas, so check out your local import shops (or the CM online
distro, who claims to have those formats). Beginning with a short
acoustic intro of heartbeat and heavy breathing (seemingly more akin to
their Man Or Machine debut), it’s just a false front on an otherwise
upbeat disc. Rather than entirely focus on a retro-NWOBHM sound (speedy
‘From Outer Space’ and ‘The Alliance’), there’s more than a hint of Jon
Arch in ALPHA TIGER singer Stephan “Heiko” Dietrich, although the music
is nowhere as adventurous as early FATES WARNING. That said, check out
‘Along The Rising Sun’, a wildly time-changing ‘Eden Lies In Ruin’ and
the acoustic tinged ‘Crescent Moon’ as the most glorious examples,
although the vocal similarities are evident throughout. As with the
unnamed intro which kicks off the album, ‘Waiting For A Sign’ begins as
if an acoustic ballad, but quickly gives way to a more metallic mode,
same for the subdued ‘Rain’. Employing piano, it’s the closest the
Germans get to a full-blown ballad, while the title cut is a headbanging
rifferama! Love the stripes of this Tiger.

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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:07


NYLON MAIDEN


Nylon Maiden


(Blacklake / Yellowdog)


Reviewed by : Kelley Simms

Rating : 7.5



Dutch classical guitarist Thomas Zwijsen has given a
unique spin to classic IRON MAIDEN songs. Zwijsen is the six-stringer in
BLAZE BAYLEY and last played on his 2012 The King of metal alum. But
here, he strips down one of the biggest bands in the world classic songs
in acoustic form. He tackles a variety of technical compositions in a
lighthearted manner and gives the songs a makeover. A powerful version
of “The Clansman,” featuring Zwijsen’s Blaze bandmate and namesake Blaze
Bayley, is every bit as dramatic and poignant as the original. “Aces
High,” minus the Churchill intro speech, begins with furious picking and
plucking with a playful zest. Zwijsen gives a dueling-guns Spanish
quality to “The Trooper” with Flamenco-style picking. Zwijsen is
accompanied by drummer Nathanael Taekema on “Dance of Death,” adding a
folky and Medieval touch. “Wasting Love,” from Fear of the Dark, gets a
worthy makeover complimented by the violin melody of Anne Bakker and
enthusiastic hand claps. “Can I Play With Madness” has a whimsical
flavor with wonderful harmonies and innovative percussion elements.
“Blood Brothers” gets the best treatment in this format as the original
intro is basically acoustically-driven anyway. All the songs are good
choices and they are all varied in composition and song structure.
However, while playing the CD as background music, you’ll often forget
Zwijsen’s performing actual Maiden songs. Zwijsen delivers a new way to
listen to these Maiden classics, but when you want the real deal,
nothing beats the originals.



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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Ven 22 Fév - 10:08


DEFEATED SANITY


Passages Into Deformity


(Willowtip)


Reviewed by : Greg Pratt

Rating : 8.5



Have I raised an ale lately to German death metal? Not
sure, but I actually just did (which was kind of embarrassing) to make
up for any lack of froth-hoisting I've done in recent months towards our
comrades overseas who are keeping it sick, such as DEFEATED SANITY, who
here get it right on their fourth full length, from the technical
death/grind to the looming slow-motion sludge/death (the excellent
'Naraka' just shreds). All tech all the time has destroyed all of our
senses, and these guys know that, blowing minds then stopping for a pee
break while they play some simple and stoopid DM riff that lulls us to
sleep in the best of ways. And wart's this? A snare drum that actually
has nuance and subtleties to it? It's... not... triggered. And it's the
best production move I've heard in ages, the different whips and cracks
and slaps that come out of this guy's grinding keeping things lively,
while, elsewhere, the bass runs threaten to steal the show, which isn't
something I've typed too many times in my life. Definitely worth
checking out for the death-grinders out there.




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MessageSujet: Re: Chroniques Albums   Aujourd'hui à 14:16

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