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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Boogie Boyler: ALBUM REVIEW:SLASH WORLD ON FIRE.

The Boogie Boyler: ALBUM REVIEW:SLASH WORLD ON FIRE.: Myles Kennedy is a lucky man,being able to jump between Alter Bridge and Slash with such ease and maintain critical acclaim,is the wo...

Saturday, 27 September 2014

ALBUM REVIEW:SLASH WORLD ON FIRE.


Myles Kennedy is a lucky man,being able to jump between Alter Bridge and Slash with such ease and maintain critical acclaim,is the work of one talented boy.  Mr Hudson clearly knows he has a winning formula with the Washington native, now on their second outing, with the follow up to 2012's Apocalyptic Love.

Title track,World On Fire, kicks the album off with a merciless bolt of lightning, no frills here, just a balls out rocker.  The stop start of Shadow Life loses momentum a bit after the anarchic beginning but Automatic Overdrive quickly regains speed with it's punk-esque vibe.

Slash gets his A game out for the first time on Wicked Stone,a menacingly melodic gem, the highlight of the album so far.  The wonderfully melancholy Bent To Fly lets you draw breathe a little, but not for long, as Stone Blind with it's deceptively slow start quickly  detonates with explosive fury.  Beneath The Savage Sun bears all the hallmarks of  Black Sabbath, a riff laden epic with an air of doom throughout.
The wonderful guitar swagger of Withered Delilah showcases Kennedy's gold label vocal range, while Battleground, with more than a hint of Starlight about it, is a brilliant wave your cell phone moment.  Dirty Girl is as close to Aerosmith's Rag Doll as you could get, but doesn't quite deliver in the same fashion as Mr Tyler and Co.

The album gets a well needed kick up the ass with Avalon, a real roll the top down and cruise tune, and then goes up a gear with The Dissident.  Though probably more Alter Bridge than Slash, it's infectious chorus is irresistible, probably my favourite on the album.  The Unholy finishes things up on a dark but majestic note, it wouldn't be out of place on an early Soundgarden album, with it's moody grunge feel, but maintains it's rock roots with a trademark Slash solo.

So clocking in at 77 minutes and 17 songs long, there's a hell of a lot to get your ears around, and will takes a few spins to truly grow on you.  But without doubt, it's a worthy successor to Apocalyptic Love, and the majority of this album will work even better in a live setting.  Which is where Slash, Kennedy and The Conspirators truly set the world on fire.

The Boogie Boyler: DRAGONFORCE,CONJURING FATE,WHELANS DUBLIN,21st SEP...

The Boogie Boyler: DRAGONFORCE,CONJURING FATE,WHELANS DUBLIN,21st SEP...: Marc Hudson of Dragonforce It's a good job the foundations of this great old Dublin venue are sound, because when Dragonforce and...

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Boogie Boyler: DRAGONFORCE,CONJURING FATE,WHELANS DUBLIN,21st SEP...

The Boogie Boyler: DRAGONFORCE,CONJURING FATE,WHELANS DUBLIN,21st SEP...: Marc Hudson of Dragonforce It's a good job the foundations of this great old Dublin venue are sound, because when Dragonforce and...

DRAGONFORCE,CONJURING FATE,WHELANS DUBLIN,21st SEPTEMBER.

Marc Hudson of Dragonforce
It's a good job the foundations of this great old Dublin venue are sound, because when Dragonforce and County Antrim metallers, Conjuring Fate, came to town, it's durability was tested to its limits.
When you're just given a half hour support slot, you have to go for the audiences throat straightaway.  And that's exactly what Conjuring Fate did. There's a lot of buzz with this band at the moment, and judging by this sublime performance, rightly so.
This was 30 minutes of relentless metal, performed by a band who sound and look the real deal.  Lead vocalist, Tommy Daly, is an imposing looking character, and he performs like a man who could command any concert situation, whether it be a club, arena or a stadium.
Phil Horner (left)and Tommy Daly of Conjuring Fate
Ripping through proper metal tracks like Mirror Mirror and Trust No One, they had the crowd eating out of their hands right from the off.  I can't recommend their EP, House On Haunted Hill, enough.  I must mention the Spinal Tap moment myself and guitarist Phil Horner shared. When he went on a mid set walkabout, he had the misfortune to have his guitar caught in my jacket, thankfully he saw the funny side.


Herman Li of Dragonforce
The crowd barely had time to draw breath when it was time for Dragonforce. Billed as the This Time It's Personal tour, you couldn't get more personal than this. Massive power metal performed in an intimate setting.
Launching into a ferocious Defenders,off new album Maximum Overload, vocalist Marc Hudson  immediately got the crowd fist pumping with intent.  Guitar wizards Herman Li and Sam Totman once again displaying their genius,as they tore through DF favourites like Fury Of The Storm, Heroes Of Our Time and Cry Thunder.

Not even early technical problems could deter the atmosphere here tonight as the band were regularly having their name chanted between songs. And judging by the look on the bands faces, it was genuinely appreciated. This is a band with a very loyal following, new material  like Three Hammers, The Game, Tomorrow's Kings and an totally unrecognisable but stonking version of Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire,were applauded like classics. And a classic is what we got at the end as Through The Fire And Flames rounded off the crowds weekend perfectly.  If you were witnessing power metal for the first time tonight,you witnessed the best.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

THE OTHER DEEP PURPLE:

Deep Purple Mark III
Lets get it out of the way, Deep Purple Mk2, Gillan, Blackmore, Lord, Paice and Glover, the most iconic line up in the bands illustrious history.  Smoke On The Water, Black Night, In Rock, Machine Head, Made In Japan, all legendary titles that continue to resonate around the world.  Their standing as one of the most influential bands of all time will never be challenged.
But in 1973, after a continuous cycle of album - tour - album - tour, the band faced an uncertain future.  Ian Gillan quit amid tension with Blackmore, and Roger Glover was fired, for reasons he is bemused about to this day.  However, the band didn't hang around and quickly appointed Trapeze bassist Glenn Hughes and an unknown vocalist from Yorkshire, David Coverdale. Mk3 was formed.
Two albums were recorded Burn and Stormbringer.  But where do these albums stand in Purple's history ?  Do they deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the Mk2 classics.
The Burn album came first, and on the opening title track, Coverdale and Hughes introduce themselves with a combined vocal masterclass.  This explosive fast paced gem, played almost like a statement, that the band weren't going to go through the motions.  It  more than matches Highway Star for an opening track impact.  Blackmore's arresting riff is constantly in your face and Ian Paice's drumming is as impeccable as always.
Lead off single Might Just Take Your Life goes down a more melodic route,but at the same time, retains a lot of Purple's trademarks with organist Jon Lord closing the song with a virtuoso solo. As with virtually all the album, Coverdale and Hughes trade lead vocals, and they combine brilliantly on the suggestive and gritty Lay Down, Stay Down, while Sail Away and You Fool No One send the album down a uncharacteristically funk route.
However, they are back on familiar ground with a bit of bar room boogie with  What's Goin' On Here, while penultimate track, Mistreated has Coverdale baring his soul with a perfectly executed blues vocal.  Blackmore's genial expressive solo is quite simply majestic.
In comparison to Burn, the Stormbringer album was a bit of a let down.They were slowly losing touch with their hard rock sound, and drifting even further down a more blues/funk path.As with Burn, the title track is the standout moment.  Blackmore's hovering guitar riff and the perfectly knitted verses fuse toward a thunderous chorus.  Love Don't Mean A Thing, with it's funk vibe tries it's best but doesn't really go anywhere. It doesn't really improve a great deal after that, bar Lady Double Dealer and High Ball Shooter, these are nailed on proper Purple rockers.
Holy Man, Hold On and You Can't Do It Right are decent, but a tad lethargic for a band of Purple's pedigree.  Haunting ballad Soldier Of Fortune, ends the album on a high note, for what is a disappointingly lacklustre collection.  It's standing alongside Purple's classic albums, is weak I'm afraid, but it's predecessor Burn, deserves to rub shoulders with heavyweights Machine Head and In Rock.  Though not as memorable, it far eclipses the likes of the Fireball and Who Do We Think We Are albums.
And if your starting your Deep Purple collection, and like a bit of funk, soul and blues blended with your rock, you'll probably get more out of Stormbringer than I did.

Friday, 12 September 2014

EP REVIEW:SKID ROW, RISE OF THE DAMNATION ARMY-UNITED WORLD REBELLION CHAPTER TWO

The second instalment in the United World Rebellion EP series, and without doubt, their best work in years.  Kicking off with We Are The Damned, it's a throwback to the Slave To The Grind days, a snarling anthem with attitude written all over it. Skid Row have never hid their punk influences, Give It The Gun, is a prime example of that.  A no nonsense hell raiser that is relentless from start to finish.

Catch Your Fall, the compulsory ballad, disappoints, especially after the bruising opening tracks.  I've never been a big fan of Skid Row ballads.  I never thought they looked comfortable, or believable, compared to the likes of their 80's counterparts, Bon Jovi or Cinderella.

Thankfully normality is resumed on Damnation Army, a full on metal rampage with Bolan's assaulting bass riff and Sabo & Hill playing like men possessed.  You've got to take your hat off to Johnny Sollinger, putting up with constant rumours of a reunion with original singer Sebastian Bach, he keeps his head down a delivers every time.  And on Zero Day, he sings with a menacing growl that is a match for anything his predecessor can do.

For bonus tracks, the boys do brave, but brilliant versions of Queen's Sheer Heart Attack and Aerosmith's Rats In The Cellar.  So if releasing quality EP's like this is the way we get new Skid Row music in the future,then bring it on.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

ALBUM REVIEW:ACCEPT BLIND RAGE

Back with their 14th studio album, and their third with vocalist Mark Tornillo, Accept have always been masters of their craft.  Blind Rage is a ferocious reminder of that.  As openers go, they don't come much better than Stampede, it's five minutes of brain shaking anarchy with Tornillo warning "he'll pulverise your bones", and pulverise he does.  Dying Breed delivers like a ceremonial chant to the metal faithful, while Dark Side Of My Heart proves Accept aren't all about bone shattering metal, and have an ear for melody. 

After a pulsating opening, Fall Of The Empire takes the pace down a bit, but still maintains fist pumping verses and a rousing chorus.  Normal service is resumed on Trail Of Tears, with Stefan Schwarzmann drumming like a man possessed. Wanna Be Free, with it's social awareness content and infectious chorus, is sure to be become an Accept classic, and a live favourite. You can't help but get emotionally involved, and a tad angry, when listening to this, it's that powerful.  

Bloodbath Mastermind is classic Accept, no nonsense guitars from Wolf Hoffman and Herman Frank, and perfectly executed harmonised vocals. From The Ashes We Rise doesn't really live up to the rest of the album and has a bit of a filler feel about it.  The Curse is a statuesque, guitar driven gem, while closing track, Final Journey, finishes the album in a majestic and blistering fashion.
Accept have always lived in the shadow of fellow German rockers Scorpians, but when their in this form, they are more than a match for Klaus Meine and co. Once again with Andy Sneap in the cockpit, they have, without a shadow of a doubt, found a winning formula.  And Mark Tornillo, on his 3rd outing with the band, has cemented his place as the main man in Accept.  

Although not as good as 2010's  Blood Of The Nations, it leaves previous opus Stalingrad in the shade.  Blind Rage is a masterclass in every sense of the word, and proves that Accept are the high kings of power metal.