Album Reviews



Review: WOODHAWK – ‘Beyond The Sun’

Artwork by Mark Kowalchuk

Just this Friday, Calgary, Alberta band Woodhawk released ‘Beyond the Sun’ independently. They dropped their first EP in 2014 and are now here with their first album. With slamming, groovy riffs, the band’s first full length record brings you back to the early 70s rock n roll sound with several different lyrical themes to keep it interesting. The trio recorded this album at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver BC. It was mixed by Jesse Gander, mastered by Brad Boatright, and produced by Gander and the band. The album artwork was created by Mark Kowalchuk. You can purchase ‘Beyond the Sun’ on Bandcamp or stream it below.

‘Beyond the Sun’ leads us in with a relaxed intro from the title track before taking off into a space-like dimension of riffs to prepare us for what is in store for the rest of the record. “The High Priest” (music video below) is a hard rock anthem filled with remarkable instrumentals and catchy choruses from Turner Midzain. Woodhawk continues to pack a huge punch in their sound with the thunderous “Living in the Sand”. This track features guest vocals from Kevin Keegan (Dead Quiet, ex-Mountain Dust, ex-Barn Burner). It’s a six minute epic with a full dose of 70s hard rock storming into your door with power and emotion overflooding your stereo.  “Magnetic North” is a slow tempo, bluesy with booming bass from Mike Badmington and is plentiful of riffs that will put the listener into a trance. The album picks its pace back up with “Lawless” shredding through with that classic rock sound with a psychedelic edge. “Quest For Clarity” has an marvelous bass intro before exploding into another musical adventure with splendid work behind the drum kit from Kevin Nelson. The more relaxed guitar solo near the end is a beautiful work of art and builds tension before roaring back into the chorus. “A New Hope” has a  neat guitar echo effect and obviously rotates around the theme of Star Wars. It doesn’t get much better than rock’n’roll about Star Wars! “Foresee the Future” is a slick two-minute instrumental with a desert-like tone to set the mood for the final song on the record. “Chrononaut” is definitely the most rifftastic song on the album with these huge sounds rushing to you at the speed of light. It takes a more mid-tempo turn towards the middle before closing out in dramatic fashion. Woodhawk has released a killer 9-track debut record not to be forgotten soon by fans of stoner rock. Make sure to follow Woodhawk on Facebook at the link below.

‘Beyond the Sun’ Tracklist
1. Beyond The Sun (3:57)
2. The High Priest (4:46)
3. Living In The Sand (6:03)
4. Magnetic North (4:13)
5. Lawless (3:06)
6. Quest For Clarity (4:14)
7. A New Hope (4:49)
8. Foresee The Future (2:12)
9. Chrononaut (5:19)

Woodhawk is:
Turner Midzain – Vocals/Guitar
Mike Badmington – Bass/Vocals
Kevin Nelson – Drums

 

Review: THREE LANE ROAD – S/T [Single Streaming]

Three Lane Road don’t care if you call them a classic rock, an 80’s band or hair metal. They aren’t worried about labels at all. The Texas based rockers are happy with their sound and want to spread it to the masses. The band formed in 2015 and have been chugging along ever since. Melodic vocal lines sang by Wayne Brito coupled together with tastefully driven guitar leads with both Allan Davis and Wayne Brito bring to life a nostalgic rock feel. It certainly drives home the old school feel of rock and the goose bumps are included at no additional charge. The bottom end rhythm section of bassist Steve Musket and drummer Chuck Geisel sear together the sound that is Three Lane Road collectively. The band draws inspiration from bands like Journey, Dokken and Skid Row. Like their influences the band doesn’t only create amazing music, but they capture your soul with their lyrics. Three Lane Road have released their self-titled debut. Recorded at Empire Sound Recording Studio in Carrollton, Texas and was produced by Alex Gerst. It was mastered by Derek Taylor at Milo Studio. Continue reading

Review: ENTERPRISE EARTH – ‘Embodiment’ [Official Video]

Photo Credits: Through It All Photography

Enterprise Earth got its name after researching the Illuminati and conspiracy theories. It got researched by the band’s frontman named Dan Watson. He was the former vocalist of one of the most brutal bands we know, Infant Annihilator. Byron Sampson plays the guitar as well as Yusef Johnsen, Gordon McPherson does bass and Aaron O’Toole is the drummer. After the band was finished with the vocalist of Attila they moved to his record label Stay Sick Recordings, leaving former label We Are Triumphant behind. ‘’XXIII’’ is the name of their first ever EP which has been a big hit. As stated by the band itself “Spread like wild fire on the internet and quickly became very talked about”. 1 year later they released their first album ‘’Patient 0’’. On the 14th of April they spit out this massive chunk of heaviness we know as ‘’Embodiment”, mixed/produced and mastered by Buster at Impact Studios.

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Review: CUSTOM BLACK – ‘Smoke Shall Rise’ [Album Stream]

Custom Black is a heavy doom rock trio from the plains of Kansas City. One thing that instantly let’s you know a band is good is when artist David Paul Seymour is involved. The renowned artist created the bands logo. He has done album art or logos for various bands like Wofat, Bastard Lord, Clouds Taste Satanic, and Stone Machine Electric. This of course puts their artwork in competition with some well known bands in the realm of stoner and doom music. Although often times the artwork is enough to entice you to purchase the album, Custom Black have something much greater inside the packaging. On February 21st the band released their debut album ‘Smoke Shall Rise’. The album which was self-released was recorded and mixed by Justin Mantooth at Westend Recording Studios and mastered by Mike Nolte at Eureka Mastering. Their style is full of mouth watering riffs, copiousness amounts of groove and classic breathtaking doom vocal tones.  Continue reading

EARTH WITCH – Out Of The Shallow LP Review (+Stream!)

Normally, I don’t cover music that is local to my region of central Illinois. BUT now is a very necessary exception, as Champaign’s Earth Witch (finally!) dropped their debut LP last month, entitled Out Of The Shallow. The trio of Ivan Catron (vocals, guitars), Derrin Coad (bass), and Nathan Landolt (drums) do more than harness the heavy on the album, delivering an untainted showcase of raw doom rock in all its riffing glory. Featuring percussive, bass grooves and powerful, gritty vocals – Out Of The Shallow is a must-listen for the blues rock enthusiast in 2017! Continue reading

Review: DIMMU BORGIR – ‘Forces Of The Northern Night’ [DVD]

Almost thought about clubbing Dimmu Borgir along the likes of Tool ? You know what I did there, don’t you ? But fret not anymore. After seven long years, Norwegian flag bearers of symphonic black metal are ready to thwack your ass with a double DVD, titled, ‘Forces Of The Northern Night’, releasing on 28th of April via Nuclear Blast. Yes that is damn right, a double DVD that features their live rituals from Oslo and Wacken Open Air accompanied by an orchestra and a choir. Sounds colossal doesn’t it ?

Now, Dimmu Borgir has been around for a very long time, 24 whopping years to be precise and has been performing their rituals all over the globe, each time robing in more fans to their ever increasing infantry. It’s remarkable to witness them as a dynamic band who’s sound has changed a lot since their inception. Although, that very fact has been the hotbed of criticism and have made Dimmu Borgir receive some flak from the black metal purists, nonetheless, it still holds true that they have carved a rightful niche in the hearts of many metalheads. This DVD release is a testimony of this very fact and of their musicianship despite many hurdles. Continue reading

Review: SILENT PLANET – ‘Everything Was Sound’

Silent Planet is a metalcore band from Azusa, California and are currently signed with Solid State Records. They formed in 2009 and recorded their first album, ‘Come Wind, Come Weather’ in 2011 with Matt Goldman in Atlanta, Georgia. Their second album, ‘Everything Was Sound’, was released in July of 2016.‘Everything Was Sound’, is exactly what you’re looking for if what you’re looking for is darkness. In their sophomore album you’ll find haunting music and brutally honest lyrics that feel very personal. Vocalist/lyricist Garrett Russell is quoted, “So many people feel completely alone. This album was inspired by the people I’ve interacted with who feel like nobody can or wants to understand them.” With each song you, as the listener, are taken on a journey of pain and emptiness. A descent into the nothingness that the disenfranchised call home. Utilizing a surprising mix of orchestral melodies, driving guitar, thundering drums, and screaming vocals, they’ve created something pretty damn good. Think Linkin Park if they were really angry and had something relevant to say. Continue reading

Moonlight Prophecy Set to Release “Eternal Oblivion” on April 17th!

Moonlight Prophecy is:

Lawrence Wallace: All instruments and composing
Mika Mage: bass

Being that we are covering the great state of Pennsylvania in our State of the Art series this month and it being International Guitar Month, I ran into a band in my search for talented, lesser known gems that I instantly fell in love with that needed to be covered outside of the normal Monday cycle and they have a brand new release set to drop on April 15th. From Philadelphia comes Moonlight Prophecy to abuse your ear drums with the, much anticipated, release of Eternal Oblivion!

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Review: FUNERAL FOR THE MASSES – ‘Pitch Black’ [Official Video]

 

When we are talking about brutal Finnish death metal we are talking about Funeral For The Masses. This band is currently unsigned but has been rising higher and higher, so watch out! They are from the northern city of Oulu, Finland and I can tell you that this is a band you can add to the good Finnish bands. The band was founded in the winter of 2014 by Eemeli Bodde & Teemu Halmetoja. They have one vocalist, Teemu Halmetoja, guitarists Eemeli Bodde and Juho Näppä, bassist  Aleksi Statsevich and on the drums we have Niko Väärälä.They recorded and produced everything themselves, it got mixed & mastered by Timfy James (Hacktavist, Old School Studios). They have done some tours in the past with one of the biggest metal festivals in Finland. The last years they have been busy finding their sound and this EP shows what they are trying to create, a brutal mix of dark vocals with a feeling of revenge and terror. If you are a fan of their 2 EP’s before this, ‘’Deal With The Devil’’ or ‘’Blood Donation’’, you will be running for this one.

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ANEWRAGE Redefines Themselves With “Life-Related Symptoms”

ANEWRAGE is:

Axel Capurro Vocals/Guitars
Manuel Sanfilippo – Guitars/Backing Vocals
Simone Martin – Bass
Alessandro Ferrarese – Drums/Backing Vocals

Like our experiences with outstanding bands coming out of Greece comes yet another killer band out of Italy. Hailing from Milan, ANEWRAGE is a long standing band that describes themselves as a “powerful mix of Alternative Metal and PostGrunge”. While this may give a general feel for what they are after, I definitely hear influences of Progressive and djent throughout as well; giving them a broad sound that is completely identifiable as their own. In 2014, ANEWRAGE released ANR which vaulted them above the fray and allowed them to play with international, bucket-list bands like Gamma Ray, Freak Kitchen, Dreamshad, Destrage, among others. The teaser for album alone also left them finalists for the SXSW Design Award in Austin, TX for inclusion in projects like Pacific Rim, The Lego Movie, The Last of Us, etc. Their radio friendly sound has also earned them spots in the rotation for RockTV Italy and A One Ukrainian Rock TV Channel, where their singles “Ape’s Legacy” and “Nina” are still being played. After all of the aforementioned attention, ANEWRAGE was picked up by Scarlet Records last year where they recorded “Nina”, produced by Matteo Magni (Rhyme, Audrey, Mellowtoy) and included on the “ANRDeluxe Edition” re-release. Joining forces again with Metteo, ANEWRAGE is set to release their new album LifeRelated Symptoms on April 7th, 2017 (be sure to check out the band release of the entire album on their Spotify channel linked at the bottom!).

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