Album Reviews



Operation: Mindcrime – ‘The New Reality’ (Review)

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If metal could be tied down to a number of iconic soundbites or phrases, “Operation: Mindcrime” would most certainly be high on the list after the seminal Queensryche rock-opera of the same title. Recently such a phrase has found yet again its prevalence in the corridors of rock with the emergence of ex-Queensryche vocalist Geoff Tate and his concept project Operation: Mindcrime, whose third studio album ‘The New Reality’ is set to hit the market on December 1, 2017. The album Continue reading

Book Review: BRUCE DICKINSON – ‘What Does This Button Do?’

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Bruce Dickinson

What Does This Button Do?

Dey St. Books

Iron Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson was raised in a household where a strong work ethic was the most valued of all virtues, and “the only sin was not trying hard.” This minor revelation on page two of his autobiography What Does This Button Do? offers a clear and simple explanation as to how and why Dickinson became one of rock and roll’s true renaissance men. For most folks, being the multi-millionaire lead singer of a world-famous, well-respected, multi-platinum metal band would be enough; for Dickinson, it’s just one of his many pursuits (and it doesn’t even particularly seem to be his favorite). He’s also a commercial pilot, a world-class fencer, a novelist, a screenwriter, a brewer, a radio host, a motivational speaker, and an airline entrepreneur. What Does This Button Do? is a well-written and fast paced look at a few of the past adventures of The Most Interesting Man in the World of Metal.

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Review: IRON GRIFFIN – ‘S/T’ [Album Stream]

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Iron Griffin is a one man band from Finnish drummer Oskari Räsänen (of the band “Mausoleum Gate”) who recently signed a contract with Gates of Hell Records (a Cruz Del Sur Music imprint). Razanez stated: “IRON GRIFFIN is a new project which started about a year ago as a one-man band mostly to improve myself at playing different instruments and writing music. Session vocals are done by my friend and spectacular singer Toni Pentikäinen. “The future of this project is living right now. I will continue working with new material and try to search for players to form a ‘real band,’ maybe. But this EP is a good start for me and the journey continues in one way or another.” Okari handled almost every single aspect of this album, the lyrics, all instruments, recording, mixing and even the artwork was done by Okari himself. The few outside contributions were from session lead vocals by Toni Pentikäinen (Madwill), intro by F.F. Nieminen, and mastered by Wiched Iscanius. The album released on August 23, 2017. Continue reading

Album Review: HONEYBOMBS ‘Wet Girls And Other Funny Tales’ [Track Stream & Download]

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“Let’s do the Time Warp again!” You don’t even know how much I love stumbling on these new bands that sound like they’re from a generation I really wish I hadn’t missed. HoneyBombs sound like a mix of all of the best 80’s hair metal bands and it’s the reason I enjoyed listening to their album straight away.

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Review: MALET GRACE – ‘Malsanity’ [Official Videos]

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Malet Grace formed in 2014 in Italy. The band formed based on the idea of ​​the singer / guitarist Giampaolo Polidoro, who developed the plan after an encounter with guitarist Alessandro Toselli. After the first session of composition, where the first version of “Egopathy” was perfected, they contacted guitarist Andrea Paglierini who decided to devote himself entirely to the instrument of the bass. The newly formed neo-band develops the idea of ​​a concept album based on the disintegration of the ego and its opening to the apocryphal patterns of the human intellect and the consequent immorality of the contrasting debate between good and evil. The term “Malet Grace” shares both idiosyncratic shapes of the fragile art of existence.  The band recorded their demo in late 2014, but afterwards the drummer left the band. In December 2015, drummer Andrea Giovanetti joined the line-up of the band. The first full-length recordings are scheduled for June 2016. The band has now released ‘Malsanity’ that includes a unique blend of varying influences and styles. It’s not often a band can cross genres on one single song but somehow they manage to be the masters of doing just that.

 

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Review: GRANT NATIONAL – ‘Double Black’ [Album Stream]

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Grant National come to us from Germany and claim they have been “Making juices flow since 1973”. You can certainly hear some old school influence in their sound, but they are by no means stuck in that era and there are tons of modern influence in their music as well. The band is comprised of Gaylord Goldmann (Vocals, Bass, Guitar), Earo Sheppert (Guitars), and new member N.D. Sheppert (Drums). With influences ranging from James Brown to The Melvins the band somehow manages to cohesively mold all these differing influences into one well flowing style. The bands last release was ‘Volume II’ in 2013 and prior to that the band released ‘Sheer Beauty’ in 2011. The band has now unleashed their newest creative force with ‘Double Black’ on October 20th, 2017. Grant National took a little longer between records this time around and I believe it certainly shows in the progression of their sound. ‘Double Black’ was recorded with German Noiserock popes Guido Lucas & Ralf J. Rock at their Stöhrsound Studio during the 1st half of 2017 and the album was released via Bluenoise Records.

 

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Album Review: OBLIVION “The Path Towards…’ [Partial Album Stream + Video Stream]

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It’s been over 3 years since the release of Oblivions critically acclaimed debut ‘Called To Rise’, and now their highly anticipated follow-up release is ready to be unleashed. ‘The Path Towards’ is the next exciting chapter for Oblivion in their odyssey of musical mastery, with internationally acclaimed composer (and Antagony founder) Dr. Nick Vasallo at the helm. Boasting not only an impeccable line-up itself*, ‘The Path Towards’ also features an all-star line-up of guest artists that include Karl Sanders (Nile, guest songwriter), Eddie Hermida (Suicide Silence/All Shall Perish, guest vocals), Enrico H. Di Lorenzo (Hideous Divinity, guest vocals), and Carlos Saldana (Connoisseur, guest vocals). This album also marks the return of Ben Orum (All Shall Perish and Antagony founder) and Nick Vasallo collaborating on music since Antagony’s debut album in 2001. ‘The Path Towards…’ is out November 17th via Unique Leader Records and is available to order here.

A follow-up is always a hard feat for many an artist, but with 2013’s debut having been crowned “the must-own album of 2013” by Metal Injection, and comments such as “the band’s eleven song display of nothing more than pure aggression with more musical depth than many bands can find in their entire discography” from Sputnik Music; Oblivion had already set the bar extremely high and left fans and media outlets alike with a burning desire for their sophomore release. Vasallos talents as an accomplished composer certainly bring a whole new dimension to the music, with this record giving off an overwhelming experience of boundary crossing metal at its finest. This release is arguably the most exciting death metal release of the year, giving off a lasting impression that we are listening to veterans in the death metal scene (despite in real terms only being early on in their career.) Continue reading

Ice Age’s “Breaking the Ice”: Debut, 30 Years in the Making

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Ice Age is:

Sabrina Kihlstrand – Lead vocals

Linnea Landstedt – Guitars

Viktoria Larsson – Bass

Andre Holmqvist – Drums

Remember that Big 4 show (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax) back in the day in Sweden where the show was dedicated to a band called Ice Age? I do and vaguely recall looking the band up, only to find a few songs floating around with a few demo bootlegs available. I dug them, but didn’t expend too much more effort once I heard the limited amount of what was available here in the US. Since then, the name has come up in passing a few times in the “whatever happened to…” context and I always wondered myself. Surprise! They’re back, and with a damned vengeance…

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Sparzanza is “Announcing the End”

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Sparzanza is:

Fredrik Weileby – Vocals
Calle Johannesson – Guitar
Magnus Eronen – Guitar
Anders Åberg – Drums
Johan Carlsson – Bass

 

Spawned in Karlstad, Sweden, Hard Rock/Metal outfit Sparzanza was formed by guitarists Calle and David Johannesson along with drummer Anders Aberg back in 1996. Soon after its inception, bass player Johan Carsson and vocalist Fedrik Wileby were added, allowing the band to release a number of demos, singles and EPs. By 2003, Sparzanza had two albums under their belts, “Angels of Vengeance” and “Into the Sewers” under the production of Rikard Löfgren, who becomes the honorary sixth member of the growing band. As their fan base grew, Banisher of the Light was released in 2007 and followed two years later with In Voodoo Veritas, just before replacing David Johannesson with guitarist Magnus Eronen. By 2012, Finland seized on Sparzanza’s musical offerings, allowing the band to relentlessly tour the country and earned a high frequency of spins on Finnish Rock radio. After releasing Folie à Cinq and Death is Certain, Life is Not in 2012 and “Circle” in 2014, Sparzanza began producing a number of well-received videos on their own YouTube channel and are allowed to play in China for the first time. After touring the world for some twenty years, Sparzanza released their first live album, Twenty Years of Sin in 2016.

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Review: BLUES PILLS – ‘Lady In Gold Live In Paris’ [Official Live Video]

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Formed in 2011 Blues Pills originally founded by  half-brothers Zack Anderson (bass) and Cory Berry (drums), formerly of Radio Moscow. The brothers then added powerful blues vocalist Elin Larsson and then adding then 16-year-old guitarist Dorian Sorriaux. Cory has since left the band and was replaced by current drummer André Kvarnström. In July 2013, Blues Pills signed a contract with Nuclear Blast and released their ‘Devil Man’ EP. In total the band has released 3 EP’s, 2 studio albums and now 2 live albums. Now the Sweden based blues rockers Blues Pills have announced the release of their first ever DVD/Blu Ray, entitled ‘Lady In Gold Live In Paris’, on November 3, 2017. The release features the band’s sold out performance at Le Trianon in Paris, France on October 30, 2016 in front of 1.200 euphoric fans.

Commented the band: “We are stoked to share with you that we will release a live record/ DVD which was recorded and filmed during our show in Paris at le Trianon last October on the ‘Lady in Gold Tour’. We decided to do this because we want to share our live experience with all our fans and also those fans who might have never had the chance to see us live. The live interpretation of our songs differs a lot from the studio record versions. We would call it a bit more rock ‘n roll, more heavy, more jam parts, more psychedelic parts simply another experience . Playing live is what we’ve always enjoyed most. In no other situation can you connect as deep with your fans. We tried to catch the magical moments and emotions of the live atmosphere on DVD/ record for your living rooms, cars and wherever you will rock out to it. Paris was chosen because it means a lot to us to play in this beautiful city and also ‘Le Trianon’ is one of the most beautiful venues in Europe, this needed to get shared with you. Continue reading