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Friday, January 31, 2014

Supercharger sing about broken hearts and fallaparts


Danish hard rock band Supercharger released their 3rd album "Broken hearts and fallaparts" on Jan 29th. Check out a teaser video at:

Qui - Life, water, living


Qui - Life, water, living (2014) ORG Music
Produced by Toshi Kasai / Dale Crover
EXPERIMENTAL ROCK
Tracks : 1.Kicked out of Mime college 2.Life, water, living 3.Mucho sex in America 4.Awkward human interest 5.You´re a girl 6.Boogie down disappointment 7.Whateryadoin´ 8.Songbirds 9.Proof of bass 10.The kind of Jazz this is 11.Ham spray
www.facebook.com/quiband
3 out of 5

Imagine being inside Stanley Kubrick´s head while he´s watching a painting by Andy Warhol, that´s how it feels like listening to Qui´s new album "Life, water, living".
Their sound is made up of a crossover of genres such as radical rock and art-punk, where the influences very well could be Talking Heads and Frank Zappa. Qui has released two albums earlier with The Jesus Lizard singer David Yow on the 2007 album "Love´s miracle", but reunited with The Jesus Lizard in 2010 so Paul Christensen - Drums/Vocals and Matt Crank - Guitar/Vocals are back as a duo just like the first album "Baby kisses" (2003).
I wasn´t much of a fan of their new album at first but I truly dig this band´s non compromising style, it helps to be a fan of bands like Devo and Green Jelly.
Best track - Mucho sex in America.

Carpark North - Phoenix


Carpark North - Phoenix (2014) Copenhagen Records
Produced by Carpark North
ELECTRO ROCK
Tracks : 1.Intro 2.Phoenix 3.32 4.Renegade 5.Just like me 6.You´re my fire 7.Better off alone 8.I walk on 9.Copenhagen 10.Army of open arms 11.One to breathe for 12.Brothers
www.carparknorth.com
4 out of 5

This is torture from Danish electro rockers Carpark North to let us keep waiting almost 6 years for a new studio album, "Phoenix" is the first album to contain all new songs since "Grateful" from 2008. I sure do love their remix album "Lost" and the greatest hits/live album "Best days" from 2010 but in the end, all we want is new music and here we are.
This time around, Carpark North turned to Michael Ilbert to mix their new album for a trendy sound that will work in 2014. Michael has worked with Katy Perry, Tyler Swift, Ke$ha etc so you get the idea in what direction these Danes wanted to take their new album.
But don´t worry if you´re a huge fan of their previous work, because they´re still kings of electro rock and they line up the choruses in an Olympic style. It´s just "You´re my fire" with rap from Nik & Jay that I don´t fancy that much, songs like "Copenhagen", "Phoenix", "Army of open arms" and "32" will make their fans sleep well at night from now on.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Taste those bloody arms, you might like it


French hardcore/metal band Those Bloody Arms releases their debut album worldwide in February, check out the album track "Apathy slaves" at:
http://thosebloodyarms.bandcamp.com/track/apathy-slaves



Beneath move forward with their classic thrashmetal


Beneath is a Swedish thrashmetal band, formed in 1994. Their new album "Antidote" will be out March 7th and will appeal to fans of Sepultura, Testament and Anthrax.
http://www.beneath.se/


Young French men make you jump between stoner, noise and post rock


The French post rock band Dot Legacy posted their first single "Kennedy", from their new self titled album at:
https://soundcloud.com/tom-brumpton-pr/dot-legacy-kennedy
If you want to hear more from this cool band, listen to their new single "Days of the weak" here:
http://www.dotlegacyband.com/


The Android Meme to release new album in 3 parts


Toronto based progmetal band The Android Meme will release their new album in 3 parts over the next year with 3-4 songs within each part, check out the new song "So vile" at the link and get an appetizer of what´s to come.
Their debut album "Ordo Ab Chao" was released on Magna Carta Records in 2011.

http://www.reverbnation.com/theandroidmeme/song/19869522-so-vile

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Midrone - My kingdom



Midrone - My kingdom (2014) Independent
Produced by Paul J.No
SYNTH POP
Tracks : 1.Addicted to you 2.Blood on your hands 3.The best day of your life 4.Another land 5.Ghosts 6.The real good one 7.Just a state of mind 8.My kingdom 9.Little by little 10.Flight number 741.812 11.The last bottle of sadness
www.facebook.com/midrone
3,5 out of 5

Paul J.No aka Midrone, mixed 70´s pop with 80´s synth on his previous album "Foreverness" from 2013. But he´s going all in with the synth pop flavored sound on his new album "My kingdom" and something that makes this album better, are the Nik Kershaw-like harmonies on top of all the sequencers and synthesizers. Paul J.No might not be the greatest singer I´ve heard but his voice works out ok with these fine, fine songs. He´s really great at writing cool chord changes and beautiful melodies, think Howard Jones with a touch of David Gilmour and you´ll get "My kingdom".
The 80´s always puts a big smile on my face and so do Midrone´s new album, my favorite tracks are "Addicted to you", "The best day of your life" and "Ghosts".

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nest - Hadal


Nest - Hadal (2014) Broken Circle Records
Produced by Nest
INDIE ROCK
Tracks : 1.Father Adder 2.A moving swamp 3.Stairs, stares 4.Larnia 5.Hands in a hole
www.facebook.com/nesttn
3,5 out of 5

The odds can´t be high for a band from Nashville, to be influenced by country music but the members of Nest went against all odds and took their biggest inspiration from a band all the way from Denmark. Namely, Mew. But also American alternative rock bands such as Brand New and Balance & Composure. I haven´t heard their debut EP from 2012 but I find their new "Hadal" EP very interesting and quite colorful, listening to these songs can be described as being in a bright cave and hear the water drop from the cave ceiling spikes.
Nest are a bit artsy and I like it, this is the kind of atmospheric rock I can´t get enough of.

Interview with Carfax Abbey


Philadelphia based goth rock band Carfax Abbey should be playing arenas around the world if there is any justice in this world, their biggest hit is an awesome rendition of the superb Lost Boys OST song "Cry little sister" and the band has delivered 4 really cool albums where the latest "Caustic revolution" shows the band from a new side soundwise.
Frontman Gary Billings was kind enough to give the readers of Palace of Rock a look at the up´s and down´s of the band, his personal life with rehab and the time when the father of "Cry little sister", Gerard McMann contacted Gary for a possible collaboration.


Hi Gary, can you tell me a bit of the line up of Carfax Abbey. Who are the members?

G: John Ruszin III on guitar, Noel Conklin on bass, David Giuffre on keybords/synthesizers and sequencing, myself on vocals.


Have the line up been intact since the formation in the late 90´s?

G: The current line-up is as close to the original as it has been in over nine years. David Giuffre, John Ruszin III, and I are three of the founding members. David rejoined a few years ago, and John just officially rejoined this month.


Are you the main songwriter in the band?

G: No, we all contribute. My primary focus usually is lyrical content, but, David contributes in that area, as well. Our latest recording, “Caustic Revolution” was written by Noel, David and I. I think collaboratively, it is our best recording.


American gothic (1999) is the title of the first demo album from CA, and it´s also the name of one of my favorite TV series from 1995 by Sam Raimi.
Did you get the name from the CBS series?

G: I actually had to ask our guitarist this question, because until a few weeks ago, even I didn’t know the answer. Apparently, John felt that a lot of “Gothic” music originated from the UK, so he didn’t want listeners to be confused. He wanted people to know that Carfax Abbey and the recording itself were all made right here in the states.


Two of the songs were re-recorded for the official debut a few years later, "Spitshine" and "Ketamine", and I like the menacing sound on "American gothic" which is typical for CA.
Dark, suggestive and electronic based rock that sounds like it´s handmade for the Underworld Soundtrack albums. How do you feel about your first album today?

G: I can wholeheartedly say that I couldn’t be more proud of that album. It was a time when we were extremely raw. We didn’t get caught up in the “flow” of the industry; we weren’t jaded by record labels, and we wrote songs to please us and us alone.

The official debut Second skin came out 2004 and on this album, I think the true sound of CA came alive and you really nailed the cover of the Lost Boys classic "Cry little sister".
In my review at melodic.net, I mentioned influences like Depeche Mode, Stabbing Westward and NIN. Most artists have a special bond to their official debut album, what are your thoughts about Second skin a decade later?

G: “Second Skin” is still one of our most well received releases. I’m constantly talking to people who tell me how much they love that album. It definitely captures the cohesiveness of the band. That was about the time that we all started coming into our own.


It screams disease from 2007 is the band´s first commercially distributed album on Dancing Ferret Records where you decided to include Gerard McMann´s "Cry little sister" again.
Have you ever been in touch with Gerard and has he heard your brilliant cover?

G: Gerard reached out to me a few years ago in reference to possibly collaborating with him to record another version of the song. Somewhat of a duet, if you will. Within our discussion he told me that he truly admires and appreciates our version of his song. He told me at that time that he has yet to hear a better version. Needless to say, that was flattering. Unfortunately, the collaboration between him and I never came to fruition, but we’ll most definitely take the compliment.


I think It screams disease is your best album that puts CA in fine company with great gothic rock bands such as The Anix, Orgy and Deadsy.
For someone who hasn´t listened to CA, I believe It screams disease is the most logical choice to introduce someone to this band. Is it a fan favorite?

G: Good, bad, or indifferent, I don’t believe it is. As I’ve previously stated, “Second Skin” appears to be the fan favorite. Noel contributed to a few of the songs musically, and I wrote the lyrics to some of the songs but, “It Screams Disease” was primarily written by one individual who is no longer in the band. I believe that any Carfax Abbey album that has primarily been molded by the hands of one member isn’t truly a Carfax Abbey album. It might as well just be a solo album. It was also a time when my active alcoholism/drug addiction was at its peak. I was no good to anyone, especially this band. This is just my bias; I feel that those were contributing factors to an album that could have been so much more.

Your latest release, "Caustic revolution" was released in 2012. Why did it take so long to make a new album?

G: There are a few reasons; the biggest one being the time it took for me to get sober. Shortly after “It Screams Disease” was released, I was on a steady decline surrounding my drug addiction/alcoholism. I went into a long term rehab in late spring of 2008. It was during that time that band was on an indefinite hiatus. We didn’t start entertaining the idea of getting back together for another year. It took some more time and some line-up changes before we decided to start writing and recording “Caustic Revolution”. I can safely say that the time it took to finally start writing and recording again was well worth it.


I really like this album where the song "Are we the only ones" makes you feel like you´re the last person on Earth. But another one of my favorite songs is "Dyatlov" where my thoughts go to Pink Floyd. Can you tell me a bit more about the story of this concept album?

G: Well, first off, thank you. Pink Floyd are a huge influence to David, Noel and I. Anytime we are in the same company as them, things are good. I heard a story about the Dyatlov Pass Incident, which occurred in Russia, during the 1950’s. A group of people went on an expedition into the mountains of Russia. Two weeks later they were supposed to return. They never did. A search party went to look for them, when they came to the campsite of the group, everyone was dead. The truly weird thing is that most of their wounds were internal, there were no external wounds, and most of them were found with hair that mysteriously turned white. Their tents were torn from the inside out and some of them had abnormal amounts of radiation. After hearing this story and doing some research of my own, I felt that a concept album which was influenced by the “End Times” was something I couldn’t walk away from. The album starts with Dyatlov, takes you on a journey of emotions, eventually taking you to the last track, Atypical. This album is one of my all time favorites.


How does the future look for CA, will there be any more albums to look forward to?

G: The future looks like it has a ton of opportunity waiting for us. Having John and David back (two of the founding members), as well as Noel, who has been in the band for 11 years, I am truly looking forward to writing, recording, and performing in 2014. There will definitely be a new album in Carfax Abbey’s future.

Your acoustic solo album "Grey skies" from 2008 is a bit different compared your band´s industrial sound. Are these songs that didn´t fit CA?

G: Actually, the song “Stay” is a song I wrote and recorded for “It Screams Disease”. I decided to use it on Grey Skies. I thought the song was moody enough and showed the same type of emotion that I was looking for on Grey Skies.


Fans of CA of course recognize your unique voice on "Grey skies" but it feels like you wanted to show another side of the songwriter Gary Billings, am I right?

G: Absolutely. Keep in mind, ”Grey Skies” was recorded shortly after I got sober. There was a lot that I was feeling, emotions that I never dealt with before without some sort of substance in me. Coincidentally, it was the same time that David Giuffre re-entered my life. Prior to this, I hadn’t spoken to David since 2004. He came out to see me perform some acoustic songs in 2008, he then offered me the opportunity to record Grey Skies at his studio, Studio Auroviral, which is where “American Gothic”, some of “Second Skin”, and all of “Caustic Revolution” were recorded. He and I now have a standing joke. At that point he played synth on two songs for Grey Skies. Since then, we decided to collaborate further on the acoustic project, calling it “God Shaped Void”. We wrote more songs, performed them at various locations, and even started recording some of them. He made the decision shortly afterward to rejoin Carfax Abbey. We then decided to write and record Caustic Revolution. Now with John Ruszin III back in the band, David and I will look at each other and say, “two songs”. It was two songs that he played synth for me on Grey Skies. At that time, we thought that would be the extent of his involvement…boy, were we wrong.


Do you have any regrets in the history of the band?

G: I believe in destiny, I believe in fate. I believe that we all have a course charted out for us well before we are even conceived. That being said, I believe we have a part to play in how much we alter that course. I can safely say that having John Ruszin III, David Giuffre, and Noel Conklin in this band at this very moment leaves me with no regrets. We all had to make the tough choices, bad decisions, and learn the numerous life lessons that we had to learn in order to get right here, right now. I wouldn’t be where and who I am without that history.


If you could only pick 3 albums to bring to a desert island, which ones would you pick?

G: Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here, Tool – Aenema, Jeff Buckley – So Real

I think it´s a mystery why your band isn´t bigger, do you feel it´s a constant struggle to get your music out to the public?

G: Struggle is a state of mind. I don’t see it as a struggle; I see it as a challenge. It’s obvious that how we listen to music as a public has changed tremendously over the past ten years. I get why people would rather download their music for free than purchase it. It’s pretty simple to me, because they can. We started Carfax Abbey because we wanted to make music the way we wanted to make music. We’ve done that, and we still are. All we ever wanted was to be heard. Sure, I would love more of the world to know Carfax Abbey, but I also believe that the final chapter to Carfax Abbey has yet to be written…until then.

Download Free for free with South American hard rock band Agents


Agents is a Hard Rock band from Santiago, Chile, formed in 2009 by their two founders members Ale Solar y Fernando Elizalde. 
Agents recorded and produced their debut record with Michael "Elvis" Baskette (Alter Bridge, STP, Incubus, Chevelle) in his studio in Orlando, USA. the first single Free is already out and the album will be released in May 2014
Download the new single "Free" for free at the link below the bandpic.




Download here:
http://www.reverbnation.com/agents4/songs

A momentum for Oklahoma rockers Trust Tree


Trust tree is a group playing modern rock from Tulsa, OK. Their latest release, "momentum", captures the modern rock ethos with a classic twist. The band skillfully mixes their influences, from Green Day to U2 to Kings of Leon, into a unique product of hard edged rock with pop sensibilities.
Their new album is available at:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/trusttree2


Ethersens - Your wandering ghost


Ethersens - Your wandering ghost (2014) Scarlet Records
Produced by Julien Soula
ALTERNATIVE METAL
Tracks : 1.Two for one mind 2.Same goodbye 3.This is where you and I part ways 4.Livin´ memory 5.Mourning light 6.Reflect 7.Waking disorder 8.To live is to forget
www.facebook.com/Ethersens
4 out of 5

Mayday, mayday! The Earth is out of orbit and on a collision course with the sun, a space ark has been built the save a remnant of all animals and then leave for the nearest solar system.
Well, let´s hope this will only stay at fiction but the French avantgarde metal band Ethersens has created an album that sounds like the soundtrack to this epic adventure.
They deliver a wall of sound with clever guitar riffs and above all, excellent musicianship. "Your wandering ghost" is filled with so much depth and interesting songstructures, that fans of Tool and Karnivool will be more than pleased to sink their teeth into it.
I love all 8 tracks but at this moment, the songs "Two for one mind" and "Livin´ memory" are a little more dear to me.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ulrik Arturén - Watch my show


Ulrik Arturén - Watch my show (2014) Paraply Records
Produced by Ulrik Arturén
POMP / WESTCOAST
Tracks : 1.Watch my show 2.Sand in your hand 3.Is it love you´re after 4.Welcome my friend
www.paraplyrecords.se
4 out of 5

I must say that it´s rare these days to stumble on a new release within pomp oriented westcoast music but Swedish artist Ulrik Arturén has created an impressive EP of 70´s pomp and 80´s westcoast.
Ulrik has performed with artists like Tommy Nilsson, Magnus Uggla, Jerry Williams, Jan Johansen and many more. But at the age of 50, he wanted to stand on his own feet and record "Watch my show" that is inspired by his favorite artists. And what a great result it is, the pompous title track bring thoughts to Kerry Livgren´s A.D while "Sand in your hand" and "Is it love you´re after" are classy westcoast songs in the same vein as Diamond in the Rough and T´Bell.
The ballad "Welcome my friend" sounds like it could´ve been featured on an album with Frank Ådahl, I like the gospel vibe of this beautiful song.
I hope Ulrik doesn´t settle with just this EP and instead give us a LP soon.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Drawers - Drawers


Drawers - Drawers (2014) Kaotoxin Records
Produced by Drawers
HARDCORE / METAL
Tracks : 1.Once and for all 2.Mourning 3.It´s all about love 4.Bleak 5.Take stock 6.Shadow dancers 7.Words 8.Detour
www.facebook.com/drawerskvlt
3 out of 5

When I see the name Toulouse I come to think of the punk classic "Goodbye Toulouse" by The Stranglers, but Toulouse is also the hometown for brutal metal band Drawers.
These French men are going totally berserk on their new self titled album, but it´s a controlled chaos.
Drawers are like an unstoppable force, filling up every hole in the street with cement of metal, punk and hardcore. Imagine Helmet meets Motorhead, well something like that.
This is the kind of music that you can scare impolite kids with, Justin Bieber would probably be shitting his pants from songs like "Mourning" and "Shadow dancers".
Also available : This is oil (2008), All is one (2011)

Alaya take thrones with their debut album


Chicago based ALAYA stand apart from many Progressive Metal artists today, fusing punishing technical rhythm with a genre defying melodic style. 

For it's three founding members the decision was clear when committing to raw and innovative songwriting, ignoring the distraction of traditional debut release ethics.
Two years of composing and self-recording culminated with thirteen songs carving their respective places into the full length track list of the band's first album, 'THRONES', to be released on March 17th.
Watch the video of the new single "Sleep" here:

Katey Sagal - Covered


Katey Sagal - Covered (2014) Membran Music
Produced by Bob Thiele Jr
ROCK / COUNTRY / BLUES
Tracks : 1.Free fallin´ 2.Goodbye 3.I love you but I don´t know what to say 4.Follow the river 5.Gonna take a miracle 6.Orphan girl 7.For free 8.Secret heart 9.Roses and cigarettes 10.For a dancer
www.kateysagal.net
3 out of 5

Katey Sagal is not only a great actress, widely known for her roles in Sons of Anarchy and Married with Children as Peggy Bundy. She is also a wonderful singer with 3 albums released, the debut "Well" in 1994 that was followed by "Room" in 2004 and now the brand new album "Covered".
Katey has also been a back-up singer for Bob Dylan and Bette Midler, which is understandable when you hear her sing. Her 3rd album is the first to contain covers of some of her favorite artists like Tom Petty, Ryan Adams, Joni Mitchell, Steve Earle, Ron Sexsmith and many more. One of the highlights is "Goodbye" where she is joined by Jackson Browne in a lovely duet, but Katey´s version of "Free fallin´" is even better than Tom Petty´s original song. "Covered" is a nice album that feels rather comfy but it gets a little too laid back sometimes.
But what a great voice!

The Rockies deliver sweet rock and roll


The Rockies, ex. The Malibu Knights call British Columbia their home, but are rarely there for long. They have been devotedly touring across Canada for the last 5 years, bringing their brand of honest rock and roll music to fans everywhere. Taking time off only to get back in the studio to write and record more tunes. The Knights have released two full length LPs thus far, 2008’s “...Since Happy Hour” and 2010’s self titled album "The Malibu Knights". 
The Rockies recently completed their new album for a release soon, their new single "Hotel beds" is out on iTunes now.
https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/hotel-beds-single/id802683895


Left in this world at the end of September


End of September are a Swedish melodic metal band, fronted by Elin Redin and guitarist/songwriter Erik Tordsson. Their debut album is available now, check out the new single "Left in this world" here:
http://ulteriumrecords.bandcamp.com/track/left-in-this-world


Crawling Chaos - Repellent gastronomy


Crawling Chaos - Repellent gastronomy (2013) Memorial Records
Produced by Simone Mularoni
METAL
Tracks : 1.Rue D´Auseil 2.Blind fiends of the ancient evil 3.From the unsafe shrines cometh the abyss 4.Plate XII 5.Encephalitic cyst 6.Let the vultures sing our deeds 7.Closing the gates 8.Premature burial 9.Visceral breeding army 10.Promised unheaven 11.The sleep of Inhanna 12.Manifest of chaos 13.Glory to my enemy
www.facebook.com/crawlingchaosit
2,5 out of 5

"Repellent gastronomy" is the debut album from Italian death metal band Crawling Chaos, they are inspired by bands like Lamb of God, Death, Cannibal Corpse and Behemoth.
This 49 minute album contains 13 tracks of old school death metal mixed with modern and more sharp metal, I think they pull off some earthshaking riffs in "Promised unheaven" and "Closing the gates" got a great groove. The best track is the explosive "Plate XII" where the band has managed to create a cool and moving song. It´s a well produced album but also a bit uneven, I have a hard time getting into the old school thing of the album´s deathmetal sound. It´s the more modern parts that I embrace, like the closing track "Glory to my enemy" for example but in the end.......I just feel like I was runover by a truck and with an overdose of growls.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Maria Solheim - In the deep


Maria Solheim - In the deep (2014) Membran Music
Produced by Nick Terry
ALTERNATIVE POP
Tracks : 1.Sally song 2.Run away 3.When Grace left town 4.Home is where the heart is 5.Song of forgotten songs 6.The break up 7.In the deep 8.Can I see you again 9.Dance with me 10.Be well 11.The hill
www.mariasolheim.de
3,5 out of 5

Maria Solheim is a musical flower from Norway, she goes out in bloom on her 3rd album "In the deep" that takes the listener through a journey of songs in the singer/songwriter style, indie rock and pop.
Maria has an irresistable voice that works for the best in acoustic songs like "The break up", "Can I see you again" and "Sally song". I can´t stop to think of Nina Persson and A Camp which is meant as a huge compliment to Maria, but we also get Patti Smith-like rock in "Song of forgotten songs" that I dig a lot.
The highlight however is the upbeat "Run away", we´re talking Britpop-euphoria here. Great song.
The catchy "Dance with me" should be released as a single, this one gets stuck like superglue in the head.
Me like!

Epic rock from Cambridge, here´s Lonely The Brave


The hype has just started about U.K rockers Lonely The Brave and many critics say 2014 will be their breakthrough, their first EP "Backroads" was released in October last year and here´s the new video of "Trick of the light".

Some details around Only Rivals


Only Rivals are an alternative rock band from Dublin, Ireland. Their debut "Details" EP will be out around February/March, the band recently released their new single "History" on iTunes.
https://itunes.apple.com/se/album/history-single/id779523984?affId=2051914&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Their video of the first single "Borders" can be viewed here:

More vampires everywhere so don´t turn around


The Killing Lights is a new rock band featuring Michael Vampire from Vampires Everywhere, they are working on their debut album now for Century Media Records.
Listen to the demo track "Don´t turn around" at:
https://soundcloud.com/centurymedia/the-killing-lights-dont-turn



Friday, January 24, 2014

Ryan Star - Angels + Animals


Ryan Star - Angels + Animals (2014) Independent
Produced by Ryan Star
MODERN POP
Tracks : 1.Sailing on 2.Spaceman fugitive 3.World I used to know 4.Impossible 5.We were kings 6.Fxckn up 7.I will survive 8.My life 9.Gone to heaven 10.Bullet 11.Where the island ends 12.Impossible (animals redux)
www.rstar.net
4 out of 5

A decade ago, one of the most underrated albums of the modern rock genre was released. The self titled album from Stage on Maverick Records, fronted by an unknown Ryan Star.
But we who loved that album, knew what a great talent he was and 10 years later the world also found about his songwriting skills with solo albums like "Songs from the eye of an elephant" (2005) and the Atlantic Records debut "11:59" (2010).
Ryan is like a magician with melodies, he makes magic with chords and harmonies and the new album "Angels + Animals" is no exception. I was worried that he would take the mainstream pop lane after I heard the new single "Impossible" but there´s only top quality here.
Ryan has the artsy side of Matthew Good, combined with the arena pop of OneRepublic and some muscles of rock on the side. Songs like "Sailing on" and "Spaceman fugitive" gives me goosebumps.
Hooray Hooray!

U.K quintet offers up a year´s worth of blood, sweat and tears on their new mini album


Blending jagged post-hardcore guitars with layers of shimmering atmospherics and ambient interludes that hark fondly back to Thrice's 'Alchemy Index' masterstrokes, A World Defined are perhaps most, ahem, defined by the inimitable vocals of frontman Liam Reeves. Part impassioned, soulful howl, part haunting drawl, Reeves’ vocals bridge the tonal chasm between alternative and indie rarely explored by bands of either persuasion, granting the band’s enveloping, winding songwriting a unique and compelling edge.
Their new album "In absence" will be out March 24.
https://www.facebook.com/aworlddefined/app_178091127385


Intimate Dream - Wonderful thing


Intimate Dream - Wonderful thing (2013) Independent
Produced by Intimate Dream
CLASSIC ROCK
Tracks : 1.Wonderful thing 2.In your head 3.Mine alone 4.Space girl 5.Slow down 6.Wonderful thing (A capella)
www.reverbnation.com/intimatedream
2,5 out of 5

Intimate Dream is a classic rock band from Minneapolis where I find traces of many different artists in their sound, it´s like making a musical soup of Huey Lewis, Dave Edmunds, Roxy Music and even 60´s Motown.
Their new "Wonderful thing" EP is a bit uneven but I do enjoy the soft AOR of "Mine alone" and the really cool A capella version of "Wonderful thing". The chorus of "In your head" is quite good too but I don´t fancy the rocknroll tune "Slow down", we also get a dose of 70´s glam in the charming "Space girl".
Some good, some less good pretty much sums up the album.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Solar Halos - Solar Halos


Solar Halos - Solar Halos (2014) Devouter Records
Produced by Nick Petersen
PSYCHEDELIC ROCK / METAL
Tracks : 1.The vast white plains 2.Tunnels 3.Migration 4.Frost 5.Wilderness 6.Resonance
www.facebook.com/SolarHalos
3 out of 5

Imagine yourself being inside a pitch black room and hearing the thunderstorm in the horizon, just waiting it to hit your house. The electricity´s gone and you´re not really in an uplifting mood but still feeling a bit excited. That´s how it feels like listening to the debut from North Carolina based Solar Halos, I´m not sure but I think it´s the first time I hear a female fronted doom metal band. They sound a bit like Trouble meets Truckfighters but with a more psychedelic touch to it.
The music´s not easy to soak in but the album grows for each time I hear it so don´t give up the first time you listen, "Wilderness" is a really beautiful song.
Good stuff.

Whitney Steele goes beyond these four walls


Whitney Steele´s first christian album "Beyond these four walls" is now available, Whitney has shared the stage with artists like Kenny Loggins, Amy Grant, Gin Blossoms, Eddie Money and Lisa Loeb.
She has also been nominated for the best pop single at the Hollywood F.A.M.E awards in 2007, her latest album "Any thoughts on that?" was released in 2009.
Purchase the new album "Beyond these four walls" here:
http://www.whitneysteele.com/music-store

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Adrian and The Sickness - Be your own saviour


Adrian and The Sickness - Be your own saviour (2014) Independent
Produced by Adrian Conner
ROCK
Tracks : 1.Blue space 2.We got it all 3.Take the world 4.Tightropes ´n taboos final 5.Dark force 6.Hold please 7.We were good 8.Can´t breathe 9.In my hands 10.Turn off your TV
http://adrianconner.com/
3,5 out of 5

Adrian and The Sickness is a powertrio fronted by Texas rocker Adrian Conner on lead guitar and vocals, she is also the lead guitarist in the AC/DC tribute band Hell´s Belles.
Adrian is hardly a newcomer when it comes to releasing albums, "Be your saviour" is her 5th full length album and she knows how to rock.
But what I like more about her new album is the fact that she deliver her songs with a crossover of genres such as pop, 90´s alternative rock and classic rock. Among her influences we find AC/DC of course, but also The Donnas, Led Zeppelin and Prince.
Adrian is like a female Danko Jones, we´re talking no frills rocknroll here that also bring thoughts to 4 Non Blondes and Sammy Hagar. I get only positive vibes from hearing this album and love her songwriting, just listen to songs like "Take the world", "We got it all" or "In my hands" and you´ll be a fan too.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Skintrade - Refueled


Skintrade - Refueled (2014) AOR Heaven
Produced by Oscar Ammer / Skintrade
ROCK / METAL
Tracks : 1.Monster 2.Liar 3.Pay in blood 4.Hardcore MF heartattack 5.Close my eyes 6.Getting away with murder 7.Mountain 8.Been to the bottom 9.Worse than wasted 10.Dying in your arms 11.Wild one 12.Look me in the eye
www.facebook.com/skintradesweden
3,5 out of 5

Who would´ve expected the return of Swedish hardrock band Skintrade? two decades after their last studio album "Roach powder" in 1995. But here they are with the brand new album "Refueled" and they do sound refueled to me because they rock!
I was a big fan of their self titled debut album from 1993 with the killer single "One by one" and has always loved Matti Alfonzetti´s voice, so it´s with open arms I welcome these boys back into rocknroll business.
I was a bit disappointed with Alfonzetti´s last solo album "Here comes the night" from 2011 but on "Refueled", he has the right songs to put his amazing and powerful voice on. The first single "Monster" sets the standard and the album continues in the same fine tradition of modern hardrock, another highlight is the tasty riffrocker "Mountain". I´ve been listening to this album a lot lately and I can´t see how I´m gonna get tired of their glowing rock. Next single? The melodic "Dying in your arms" maybe, I would go for it.

Darkyra Black - Dragon tears


Darkyra Black - Dragon tears (2014) Independent
Produced by Darkyra Black / Garry King / George Boussounis
SYMPHONIC METAL / GOTH ROCK
Tracks : 1.Madoka´s lament 2.Lullaby of death 3.Eyes wide shut 4.Japanese Frankenstein 5.Slither 6.Before I wither 7.Cold cold stone 8.Never know 9.Tears by candlelight 10.Kiss of the dragon 11.Dragon tears 12.Dragon tears story
www.facebook.com/DarkyraBlack
2 out of 5

Darkyra Black is a new artist from Australia, influenced by several genres like oriental music, opera, gothrock, symphonic metal and artpop. Behind this mysterious lady is also a band featuring Garry King - Drums, Colin Haynes - Bass, Paul Jupe - Guitar, Fab Jablonski - Keyboards and Betovani - Guitar.
Their debut album "Dragon tears" opens really interesting with J-rock vibes on the track "Madoka´s lament", the following "Lullaby of death" sounds like a 2nd division Nightwish and I get bored real quickly. Darkyra sings with a similar vibrato as Sal Solo of Classix Nouveaux which can get a bit annoying after a few songs. The moving "Eyes wide shut" is better, it´s well arranged and a lot more quality in the melodies too. There are some really great moments in the 8 minute long "Never know" but it´s just too long and overambitious, pretty much like the entire album.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The beloved I killed the prom queen are back


Australian metalcore predecessors, I Killed The Prom Queen, have reunited and are thrilled to be back to share their first new album in 6 years. Beloved is to be released on February 18, 2014 on Epitaph Records in the US; February 14 in Australia.
IKTPQ entered the studio in 2013 in Gothenburg, Sweden with Fredrik Nordström (Bring Me The Horizon, At The Gates, In Flames, Dimmu Brogir, Architects UK) to record Beloved, their much-anticipated third album of epic proportions.
Watch the video of the new single "Thirty one and sevens" at:

Foreigner release first ever ballads album


Just in time for Valentine’s Day earMUSIC releases “I Want To Know What Love Is – The Ballads,“ 14 tracks previously never released on one album of FOREIGNER’s best and most timeless ballads. Embracing over thirty years of award winning creativity, “I Want To Know What Love Is – The Ballads“ will be released on January 31st, 2014 in two different editions: as a standard jewel case, and as a 2CD Special Edition-digipak.

CD 1: Track Listing
“I Want To Know What Love Is – The Ballads“

1. I Want To Know What Love Is 
2. In Pieces 
3. Waiting For A Girl Like You 
4. When It Comes To Love 
5. Feels Like The First Time
6. Say You Will  
7. The Flame Still Burns 
8. Save Me 
9. I Can´t Give Up 
10. Fool For You Anyway 
11. As Long As I Live 
12. I´ll Be Home Tonight 
13. Double Vision 
14. Long, Long Way from Home 

CD 2 - Track Listing 
“An Acoustic Evening with Foreigner” 
(Special Edition Digipak)

1. Double Vision
2. Long, Long Way From Home
3. Say You Will
4. When It Comes To Love
5. Waiting For A Girl Like You
6. Dirty White Boy
7. That’s All Right
8. Fool For You Anyway
9. Feels Like The First Time
10. Juke Box Hero
11. I Want To Know What Love Is
12. Hot Blooded

Primal Fear - Delivering the black


Primal Fear - Delivering the black (2014) Frontiers Records
Produced by Mat Sinner
HEAVY METAL
Tracks : 1.King for a day 2.Rebel faction 3.When death comes knocking 4.Alive and on fire 5.Delivering the black 6.Road to asylum 7.One night in December 8.Never pray for justice 9.Born with a broken heart 10.Inseminoid
www.primalfear.de
3 out of 5

The word black must be one of the most used words in the heavy metal genre and it´s the 2nd time German metallers Primal Fear goes for black in the album title. The first time was "Black sun" from 2002, they continue to deliver bombastic heavy metal on their 10th album "Delivering the black" and the fans will be more than pleased.
Singer Ralf Scheepers says it´s their strongest album so far, you´ve heard it before now don´t you?
Well, this is a good album with the classic Primal Fear sound but it´s hardly a masterpiece nor an album that should be overlooked.
They truly put the pedal to the metal on tracks like the 9 minute long "One night in December" and the epic "Rebel faction", not to mention the new single "When death comes knocking" which is a highlight on "Delivering the black".
And I do enjoy a fine dose of metal that sounds like they´re firing those cannons on a king´s birthday.

Ring of Fire - Battle of Leningrad


Ring of Fire - Battle of Leningrad (2014) Frontiers Records
Produced by Ring of Fire
POWER METAL
Tracks : 1.Mother Russia 2.They´re calling your name 3.Empire 4.Land of frozen tears 5.Firewind 6.Where angels play 7.Battle of Leningrad 8.No way out 9.Our world 10.Rain
www.markboalsmusic.com
2 out of 5

The 9 year hiatus for Mark Boals powermetal band Ring of Fire is over, during this time he was the frontman for Royal Hunt that resulted in two albums and also released an album with his new band Seven The Hard Way plus a countless of guest appearances on other albums.
The line up of Ring of Fire in 2014 feature Mark Boals - Vocals, Tony McAlpine - Guitar, Vitalij Kuprij - Keyboards, Timo Tolkki - Bass and Jami Huovinen - Drums.
The story of the album is about the siege of Leningrad during World War II and soundwise, it´s pretty much the same stuff as earlier from ROF. Lots of cliche´s but what strikes me is the low budget production. This is the downside of recording digitally, especially the drumsound is rather poor here.
I miss the time when bands headed into big room studios to record their albums but it´s expensive and since the recordsales are going down the drain, we just have to get used to the fact that people are satisfied with compressed mp3´s on Spotify and iTunes.
"Empire" is a great track though, true pomp and stance!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Deathpoint - Sinister


Deathpoint - Sinister (2013) STM Records
Produced by Thomas Ireland / Rob McKurcher
METAL
Tracks : 1.For your eyes only 2.Between the lines 3.Sinister 4.Sick sick sick 5.Remission 6.Entitled to nothing 7.Condemned to suffer 8.Lost haven 9.Thirty stitches
www.facebook.com/deathpoint.metal
3 out of 5

When you get up to work early in the morning, you need to start the engines and the music to get going. That´s where Ontario based trio Deathpoint´s new album "Sinister" comes in, this is a tight band that aren´t ashamed of going full force with their commercial metal in the same vein as In Flames, Soilwork and Killswitch Engage.
We get the whole package here with growls, razorsharp riffs and melodic choruses. I have no problem with Deathpoint sounding quite average because the songs are good and the performance is topnotch.
Just play it loud but start with a coffee first before you head out to work, and if you want to hear more from this band - also check out their debut album "Fixation" from 2010 and the "Suffer" EP from 2011.
Highlights : Lost haven, For your eyes only

Semi Precious Weapons look to the stars


New York City based rock band Semi Precious Weapons will release their 3rd album "Aviation" in early 2014 on Epic Records, their new single "Look to the stars" is available on iTunes next week.
Watch the video at: