Tag Archives: California

Ross The Boss hits The Road

He’s back! Legendary Manowar co-founder and guitarist Ross “The Boss” Friedman has just embarked on a European tour with his Ross The Boss band.  The current line-up features another former member of Manowar drummer, Kenny “Rhino” Earl, as well as Marc Lopes of Meliah Rage (vocals) and Symphony X‘s Mike LePond on bass.

Here’s the full list of dates:
16th March: Barcelona, Spain
17th March: Zaragoza, Spain
18th March: Erandio, Spain
19th March: Madrid, Spain
20th March: Cangas do Morrazo, Spain
21st March: Lisbon, Portugal
24th March: Brescia, Italy
25th March: Torino, Italy
26th March: Prato, Italy
28th March: Diest, Belgium
30th March: London, UK
31st March: Evesham, UK
1st April: Swansea, UK
2nd April: Dublin, Ireland
4th April: Glasgow, UK
5th April: Edinburgh, UK
6th April: Milton Keynes, UK

To celebrate the tour kickoff, the band has released a cover version of the Manowar classic song Blood Of My Enemies:

 

Brujeria – Pocho Aztlan

Nuclear Blast

Review by Rick Ossian

Rick takes his life into his hands to review “Mexican” gangster Death Metal band, Brujeria‘s fourth album, Pocho Aztlan. May the gods have mercy on his soul

Brujeria (“Witchcraft“) are an extremely militant Grindcore Death Metal outfit from Los Angeles, Mexico, according to their bio.  They are on their fourth full-length album with their latest, Pocho Aztlan (“Wasted Promised Land“) and they are seriously, severely Spanish, as you might have surmised by now.  Their members are as follows: Juan Brujo voz  (I’m betting he’s a vocalist of some stature).  Garganta Fantasma is also listed as a vocalist.  On guitarra, the Infernal HongoHongo Jr. – Bateria Pinche (perhaps a battery of some sort..? Maybe he plays a drum machine, not sure!).  Peach does Voices del mal Pititis, and Concubina del Inferno helps out there, Sangron is the voz Mal d Tarika (another vocalist, I’m betting), and Baby Bruja Guero III must be a bassist or another percussionist, perhaps… I may be a bit out of my depth here.

In any case, if you are about to listen to these fine upstanding Spanish heroes, then BE PREPARED, dear reader.  You are in for some seriously severe stuff!  The title track features some considerable chanting (in Español, of course), FX, slamming, Spanish growling (Señor Cookie Monster), and some serious bass playing as well.brujeriagroupshot

Let’s go track by track, as is traditional…

No Aceptan Imitaciones (pretty self-explanatory, I’m going to go with the most obvious translation, as in we DON’T accept imitations) is up next, and it is about the heaviest fucking thing I’ve heard in some time.  It is probably going to tear your head off when you hear it!

Profecia del Anticristo ( again, I think we’re all pretty sure where were going with this one – I’d say our old friend Jack Scratch is the main man behind this tune) (The Prophecy of the Antichrist).  It is extremely heavy, as it should be.

Angel De la Frontera is our next tune on board, and for now I believe I will dispense with the translations.  Suffice it to say that there is a revolucion in the works!  There is plenty more slamming involved here, and even a bit of Spanish spoken word!

Plata ol Plomo (Silver or Lead) features more of the same, particularly in the intro.

Satongo is more growling and slamming… I sense a pattern developing here.

Isla de La Fantasia (Fantasy Island) is a short slam, but worthy of a listen nonetheless.

Bruja (Witch) features a feedback-laden intro, along with plenty of heavy riffing and chanting en Español (of course).

Mexico Campeon (Champion) is a super short slam, but again worthy.

Culpan La Mujer (They Blame Woman) features more of the same.

Codigos (Code) has more of the Spanish and FX stuff in the intro, but again is worth a listen.  It is the single longest number on board, somewhere between five-and-a-half and six minutes.  Most of the other number are 3-4 minutes or less.  When I indicate a ‘short slam’, that could be even as little as 2 minutes.

The final track is California Uber Aztlan, and by now you will be able to guess what is involved.

To sum up, let me be brief.  If you enjoy your Metal VERY growly, very militant, and severely extreme, and en Español, then Brujeria may very well be right up your proverbial alley.  Check them out!

Verdict: 7/10

The Agonist announce new album release

The Agonist have announced they will release their new album Five on 30th September through their new label, Napalm Records.  They also released the first official video from Five, called The Moment.

Watch it here:

About making the video, singer Vicky Psarakis stated:

The Moment was probably the most exciting and demanding video I’ve had to shoot so far. Chris (bassist/FTB Visuals director) came up to me with the idea to create a “storyline” with a close up of just my face singing the lyrics underwater. And we achieved it by building a box with a plexiglas panel that fit my head, while the rest of my body was standing and perfectly dry. I guess you could say it was scary and awkward to have just your head submerged underwater and a bit dangerous to have to perform the entire song in that position, but honestly, I wouldn’t mind doing the whole thing all over again!”

If that’s not enough for you, here’s the lyric video for the first song released from the album, The Chain:

Five was produced by Mike Plotnikoff at West Valley Studios.  Mike has engineered and produced such artists as Buckcherry, Flyleaf, My Chemical Romance, Apocalyptica, P.O.D, Halestorm, Skillet, Seether, Three Days Grace, Aerosmith, and Kiss.

Maor Appelbaum handled the mastering at Maor Appelbaum Mastering studios.  Maor has had the pleasure of mastering recordings for major international acts such as: Faith No More, Yes, Starset, Ill Nino, Dokken, Fates Warning, Sepultura, Yngwie “More is more” Malmsteen, Armored Saint, Lita Ford, Butcher Babies, and more.

Five Track Listing:
1. The Moment
2. The Chain
3. The Anchor And The Sail
4. The Game
5. The Ocean
6. The Hunt
7. The Raven Eyes
8. The Wake
9. The Resurrection
10. The Villain
11. The Pursuit Of Emptiness
12. The Man Who Fell To Earth
13. The Trial
14. Take Me To Church (Hozier cover) (Bonus Edition Only)

Just to put the proverbial tin hat on it, and get their moneysworth out of Napalm’s PR team (hello Andy and Will!) the band have also announced a slew of tour dates across the world with various bands:

European Tour:
27.09.2016 – Fryshuset Klubben- Stockholm, Sweden
28.09.2016 – Sticky Fingers – Gothenburg, Sweden
30.09.2016 – Tube – Dusseldorf, Germany
01.10.2016 – Epic Metal Fest – Tilburg, Netherlands
02.10.2016 – De Kreun – Kortrijk, Belgium
04.10.2016 – Opera Concert Hall – St. Petersburg, Russia
05.10.2016 – Клуб Театръ – Moscow, Russia
07.10.2016 – Sala Becool – Barcelona, Spain
08.10.2016 – Sala la Burbuja – Castellon, Spain
09.10.2016 – Sala Maladar – Seville, Spain
11.10.2016 – Sala tbc – Lisboa, Portugal
12.10.2016 – Sala Lemon – Madrid, Spain
13.10.2016 – Sala Azkena – Bilbao, Spain

Canadian Tour with Xandria, Epica and Fleshgod Apocalypse:
04.11.2016: Quebec City, QC @ Imperial Theater
05.11.2016: Montreal, QC @ Corona
06.11.2016: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Hall

American Tour with Arkona, Epica and Fleshgod Apocalypse:
08.11.2016: Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
09.11.2016: Minneapolis. MN @ Cabooze
11.11.2016: Saskatoon, SK @ Saskatoon Event Center
12.11.2016: Calgary, AB @ Marquee
13.11.2016: Edmonton, AB @ The Ranch
15.11.2016: Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre
16.11.2016: Seattle, WA @ Studio 7
18.11.2016: San Francisco, CA @ Social Hall
19.11.2016: Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
20.11.2016: Las Vegas, NV @ Vinyl at Hard Rock Hotel
22.11.2016: Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall
23.11.2016: Lawrence, KS @ Granada Theater
25.11.2016: Dallas. TX @ Gas Monkey Live
26.11.2016: Austin, TX @ Empire Control Room
28.11.2016: St. Petersburg, FL @ State Theater
29.11.2016: Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
01.12.2016: Baltimore, MD @ Soundstage
02.12.2016: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
03.12.2016: Worcester, MA @ The Palladium

Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Genting Arena, Birmingham, 25/06/16

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Review: That lucky, lucky bastard, Tom Mead.

When Ritchie Blackmore announced he was forming a new incarnation of Rainbow for three shows, his first Hard Rock performances for over 20 years, he admitted it was primarily for the fans’ benefit; while he’s made a happy career out of playing Rennaissance-folk rock with his wife Candice Night in Blackmore’s Night, his status as a Rock Legend is primarily based on his genre-defining work as a founding member of both Deep Purple and Rainbow.  Fans have come to Birmingham tonight from all over the world though (the other two shows last week were both in Germany), so this can’t afford to be just another tired nostalgia show.

Consisting of Jens Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen/Stratovarius) on keyboards, David Keith and Bob Nouveau (both of Blackmore’s Night) on drums and bass respectively, and relative unknown Ronnie Romero (originally from Chile, he fronts the Spanish band Lords of Black) on lead vocals, this incarnation displays a chemistry that you’d expect of musicians who’ve been together for years, rather than for just a handful of shows. They position themselves compactly on stage (à la the cover of Deep Purple’s seminal live album Made in Japan) and no one moves around much throughout the show; now aged 71, Ritchie Blackmore opts to perform far fewer Pete Townshend-esque acrobatics than he did in his earlier days! This hardly matters though, nor does the lack of video screens; the five men on stage (plus two female backing singers, including Candice Night) might look like dots from the back of the cavernous Genting Arena but the classic Rainbow arch lighting rig, a much welcomed nod to previous Rainbow shows, provides an impressive visual spectacle nonetheless.

While it’s no doubt an obvious move for promotional/marketing reasons, a look at tonight’s setlist (see below) does make you wonder why the “Rainbow” name was chosen for the band; Deep Purple songs outnumber those by Blackmore’s other band.  It does mean that those fans who were expecting more of their favourite Rainbow songs (there are plenty of calls for Kill the King from Long Live Rock & Roll for instance) might be somewhat disappointed.  In practice though, songs by both bands are perfectly performed and enthusiastically received, with seemingly every single one of the 10,000-plus fans here tonight in fine voice; Ronnie Romero doesn’t even need to bother singing much of Child in Time at all, as he is thoroughly drowned out in what is undoubtedly one of the most memorable live music moments I’ve ever experienced. The bits where the crowd does his job for him aside though, Romero’s performance tonight must be singled out for particular praise.  He has the task of handling the work of five respected, but very different, singers but luckily he has the vocal range and stamina to pull it off with ease. Whether it’s David Coverdale-style chest-bursting on Burn or soulful Ronnie James Dio-esque crooning on Catch the Rainbow, Ronnie Romero’s rich tenor voice is well-suited to the task. Ritchie Blackmore said that, when he announced Romero as Rainbow’s latest singer, he hoped he could introduce a new star to the world; based on tonight’s performance, he’s done just that.

I only really have a couple of small pieces of criticism to make about this show.  Blackmore only ever intended to form this incarnation of Rainbow for these 3 shows; this is not a well-oiled production and that does show in places.  While the sound quality in the Genting Arena is excellent, Blackmore’s guitar does not come through clearly at times; maybe decades of concentrating on acoustic, rather than electric, music has something to do with this?  Moreover, while the band manages to cram a lot into 2 hours tonight, they could have trimmed a bit of time off the title track from Difficult to Cure (the instrumental one that’s essentially a rock version of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy).  If the solo section in the middle was a bit shorter, they could have found space for another song or two.  But hey, tonight’s all about reliving the glory days of 70’s and 80’s Arena Rock; if you can’t have a gratuitous instrumental section, what’s the bloody point!?

As the end notes of Smoke on the Water are still ringing throughout the arena, I doubt anyone’s left tonight with any real disappointment.  We came to see one of rock’s greatest musicians and most enigmatic characters play timeless songs to loyal fans, and no one can say that neither Ritchie Blackmore nor the rest of the band failed to deliver.  It remains to be seen whether more shows (or maybe a new album?) will follow tonight but the signs are promising if they do.  The rainbow has risen again, shining as bright as ever.

Verdict: 9/10

Setlist

  1. Over the Rainbow
  2. Highway Star
  3. Spotlight Kid
  4. Mistreated
  5. Since You Been Gone
  6. Man on the Silver Mountain
  7. Soldier of Fortune
  8. Difficult to Cure (with Drum, Bass and Keyboard solos)
  9. Catch the Rainbow
  10. Perfect Strangers
  11. Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll
  12. Child in Time
  13. Stargazer
  14. Black Night (with Woman From Tokyo excerpt)

Encore

  1. Burn
  2. Smoke on the Water

Aktaion – The Parade of Nature

Bandcamp

Review by Rick Ossian

amazon_badgeThose of you who regularly read my missives will recognize the Scandinavian outfit Aktaion from Halmstad.  You may remember my review of their previous recording, Throne.  If nothing else they’ve at least scaled those lofty heights again.  Aktaion are Jonas Snackmark (vocals), Francis Larsson (guitars), Axel Crone (bass), Jonatan Ney (guitars, vocals) and Oskar Johnsen Rydh (drums).  They can jam or gel or even pull off the occasional Metal/mental cacophony whilst they are jamming.  This is no mean feat, reader.  Read on if you dare!

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As the Hope Collapses starts things off in fine form, although the tune is only just shy of three minutes in length, there are some serious busy goings-on involved.  There is first off, a sweet riffy intro with creepiness and a mixture of clean and growl where the vocals are concerned.  It is kind of Blues but super fucking bad-ass heavy at the same time.  I was blown away, and for an opener to do that is considerable.

Candid Flow of the Shrapnel Dust is winner of the work for cool song title award.  I believe at least 10 cool points are in order for title alone.  So, what is the tune itself made of?  There is a heavy opening with some serious riffage to begin with, amidst a  barrage of growls from Mr Snackmark.  The drums sound as if they are off to a Heavy Metal march.  There is a lead guitar break at the six-minute mark, and some blues at around four minutes in, but safe to say this was a full-on seven-minute mindblower!

Seven boasts another heavy-as-hell intro, and there are more growly vocals.  There are also moments of metal madness, if you will.  There are times when the vocalist(s), as well as the rest of the band, sounds as if they may be possessed by some sort of demon! There is a super heavy shift at the four-minute mark, and more Metal/mental anguish at the close.  If you are clinically depressed you may want to take your happy pills before listening…just saying!

The Walrus March is another seven-minute plus behemoth, featuring growls mixed with clean vocals.  The opening sequence is a sort of metal ambience, if that’s even possible.  Listen and hear.  The lyrics are nothing if not pointedly prophetic: “If you should burn/ I should do the same”.  There is a lead guitar bit at about three minutes in, which gives way to a super fucking heavy shift in the proceedings.  This is followed by what I could safely say is the tearing of vocal chords (3:30-4:00), kind of makes me wonder what they look like on the inside!  Another big shift at the five-minute mark gives way to more breakdowns, both instrumental and vocal.  This is some serious Metal/mental anguish here, folks.  Dig in.  This is another seven-minute arse-kicker, and for whatever reason at the close we get a taste of some late night jazzy horns… what the hell?  Not sure, but it’s still kind of cool.

The title track is up next, and features Christopher Amott (Arch Enemy, Armageddon) as a special guest.  This begins life as what sounds like a vinyl haunted house, very creepy, fuzzy, scratchy and cool all at once!  Simultaneous psych, if you will.  There are also elements of Prog and Blues here, people, but don’t be musically shy!  You’ll never get anywhere with that attitude!  At 4:45 we get a nice long shredding solo that takes us to the close.

Stones Into Sand also features a member of Armageddon, Mr. Joey Concepcion.  No doubt he is responsible for some of the heavy riffing going on here.  It is at the intro and at the end, and throughout the main part of the tune.  There are growls aplenty and lots of speedy shredding as well.  The main spots to keep an ear out for here at at the 3 and 4-minute points.

Death Coloured Gold (again featuring Chris Amott) includes a super heavy duty opening with lots of instruments banging around, and even a burst of blasting lead guitar at about 30 seconds in.  More growling and lead guitar parts (2:20 and 3:40), and some neat playing around/jamming at the close.

Gold Coloured Dreams begins life with an introspective guitar piece and some particularly anguished vocals.  These are, again, mainly of the growl variety, but there are some clean parts mixed in.  At the two-minute mark there is a breakdown and a shift at the same time. This is eerie as all fucking hell, and there is a Blues Metal attack of sorts as well.  At 3:20 we return to Riff City (twice, even!), and one can’t help but wonder if this is riffing for the sake of riffing?  Who cares?  We love the wicked riffs, right?  Of course we do!  Another creepy close, like a Metal haunted house, takes us into the next number, but I must ad that though this track was a powerful, solid mover, it did bog down in the doom and gloom side of the street for a bit.  No matter…moving right along, then!

For All Things basically is another super heavy riffer, with a lead guitar bit at about one minute in, and a Metal cacophony from four minutes in to the close (about a minute later).  Good stuff, again a bit growly for my tastes, but it fits.

The Silent Song is another that features fellow Halmstad special guests, this time Chris Amott again and John Anderberg.  It has one of those creepy cool vocal/guitar intros, mainly clean vocals operating here.  At 1:30 things kick in, which I immediately revelled in as I thought they were going to mellow out or slow down or something… whew!  The instrumental breakdown at three minutes in again almost slows things to a crawl.  It’s still Heavy, and still very good, but is a bit mellow and Bluesy at times.  Again, there are elements of Prog at work as well.  At 3:20 there is a Heavy Psych/Blues/Metal cacophony of horror.  The vocals finally cut through the mix at 3:50, and we get a “wow!” moment at the close.  Some excellent work here.

The closer, Silence, has a cool guitar intro, but is mainly just a leftover blurb from the sounds of it.  I would say this – it could be more, if it were fleshed out a bit.  In this state it is more of a structural skeleton of a tune.

One thing keeps coming to mind here, readers.  This is not just a good Metal album.  This is a great Metal album from a great band.  I am looking forward to their next outing!

Verdict: 8/10

New Projekt F Video: Unbegun

projekt f

Montreal industrial act Projekt F have posted a new video Unbegun in support of their recently released EP The Butterfly Effect. The EP is their loudest release to date featuring seven pinnacle tracks for your auditory senses discussing the torrid relationship between man and God to continue their thematic discography Skins (2013) and Under The Skin (2014).

Vocalist Jonh M. Miller had this to say:

”We consider The Butterfly Effect to be an extremely raw and honest EP. Early in the process of making it, we knew that we would not be making a music video for it. However, we thought it was important to give something to our fans. So we decided to make a video that would show a side of Projekt F that hasn’t been seen before. Like the EP, a raw and honest one. Many of you have seen our on stage persona before, but with this video that we have made for our single, Unbegun, we are sharing a different side of ourselves.”

As always, let us know what you think in the comments.

Tales Along The Old Corpse Road to get a second series!

With Old Corpse Road finally getting their second album, Of Campfires And Evening Mists onto the shelves of all reputable record shops, even the dead will once more no longer be at rest when Dr Jim goes out travelling with his camera! So he thought he’d make a quick preview of what to expect…

Death Angel Release New Video

As part of the warm-up for the release of San Francisco Bay Area thrash legends Death Angel‘s new album The Evil Divide on 27th May via Nuclear Blast, the band have released a video for the track Hatred United / United Hate

The video was directed and edited by Tommy Jones for Videohammer Studios during the band’s recording sessions for The Evil Divide and features renowned tattoo artist Bob Tyrrell and includes a special guest guitar solo from Andreas Kisser (Sepultura).

Skunk Anansie – Anarchytecture

V2

Review by Nathan Lagden

amazon_badgeSkunk Anansie have been around for over 20 years now (albeit with a fairly lengthy hiatus throughout most of the 00’s), yet nowadays it seems as though their career is somewhat on the wane, with none of the big album successes or festival headline performances which marked them out as such an important act.  Increasingly it seems as though the alternative rock quartet are confined to the 90’s in many people’s minds, but Anarchytecture, their sixth studio album (and third since their 2009 reformation), shows that they do still have plenty to offer, even if the album lacks a lot of what made Skunk Anansie such a big name.

The album opens with its leading single Love Someone Else, which is in a way quite an odd choice as its methodical nature is not really what would be expected from an opener of a band so heavily influenced by Punk and Heavy Metal.  On the other hand though, the song is to a large extent a perfect summary of an album which certainly has its merits, but just doesn’t seem to get going in the way you feel it ought to.  The opening bass-driven intro does certainly ease the listener into the record and the song progresses very nicely through many layers to a chorus where lead singer Skin gives a trademark vocal performance.  But overall, it is a bit of a surprise when the song ends just as you felt it was about to really take off.

It then moves on to Victim which is very similar in its melodic progressions, but also just doesn’t have the same energy and drive that we are so used to with Skunk Anansie.  The lyrical themes and melancholic vocals are certainly aspects of the band that we’ve seen before, but nevertheless it does seem very odd for a Skunk Anansie record to be two tracks in and not heard a song you can go completely mental to.  Victim even teases a big build before the final chorus, but falls back into the same understated pattern as the rest of the song.

Things do then pick up considerably with the next track Beauty Is Your Curse.  This is the first time you really hear guitarist Ace‘s simple yet effective riffs come to the fore and the tempo picks up to a deliver a song much more rooted in the band’s Punk inspirations than the first two songs.  It still is lacking a certain anger that fans may be used to, but the energy is definitely back for this song and not at the expense of the “quiet-loud” effect which summed up so much 90’s Alt Rock.

Death To The Lovers slows things down again, though this time with a much more emotional impact as Skin‘s vocals take centre-stage in this heartfelt personal ballad.  The other three instruments are really only there for support and the intended effect of playing to Skin‘s strengths, both in terms of vocals and lyrics, is definitely achieved.  As impactful as the song is when listening to it however, it just doesn’t seem to quite have enough depth to be as memorable as it should be.

The carefully constructed build of In The Back Room then follows again with a similar theme of providing all the hallmarks of a song working its way to a big in your face crescendo without actually getting there.  Again, there are merits to this song in the form of a catchy drum beat and interesting bass line culminating in a much more pop-based chorus than anything we’ve heard thus far. It’s no bad thing per se, but certainly the impression I had by this almost half-way point on my first listen was that I’d yet to hear a song that would really stick with me.

This does change slightly with Bullets however.  Its distorted bass introduction builds to an excellent guitar-driven chorus and a fantastic vocal melody which definitely does stick with you.  This is Skunk Anansie‘s writing at its best – something which which does not overcomplicate anything, but keeps it simple for maximum effect.  Again, nothing of their former angrier selves here, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good song.

The next song That Sinking Feeling is another terrific example of what this band is also about.  Catchy drum-beats, Punky guitar riffs and distinctive vocals building through a great tempo to a chorus that is great for jumping around to.  Now that we’re at this stage of the album it does make you realise that Skunk Anansie do still have a lot to offer and can still kick up an upbeat guitar-based rocking tracks when the mood strikes them.

It is all over too soon however as we slow right back down again for Without You.  This is another song however, where the raw emotion of Skin‘s performance is used to great effect.  You always get the feeling that she deeply means what she sings, and this is especially true when her vocals become the focal-point of any song, such as with this one.  So even though it does mean the album reverts to again another safer and more melodic track, this time it is not to its detriment.

Suckers! is up next. A 1:22 instrumental track which ironically has the best riff on the album and so, as good a listen as it is, it really is actually quite disappointing that they didn’t decide to make a proper song out of it.

You could almost be forgiven though, for thinking that it’s just the intro to We Are The Flames, as it starts in a very similar fashion before Skin‘s distinctive vocals kick back in for a toned-down verse.  This is yet another song which teases an epic build but instead drops off as it reaches the chorus.  It’s not as if it’s a bad chorus, or even a bad song.  It’s just that once again we’re left with the feeling that it there could have been a lot more to it and that would have made it just that little bit better.

They did save the best for last however. I’ll Let You Down very much hits home with very personal lyrics and an incredible performance from Skin. In fact, the song actually feels a lot closer to her solo work than Skunk Anansie, but you won’t hear any complaints from me on that front.  The song is a beautifully haunting melody which send shivers up the spine.  Despite the title of the closing track and despite my criticisms, I do not feel let down by this album.  It very much follows along the same lines as Black Traffic and the rest of Skunk Anansie‘s post-reunion work.

I suppose one cannot expect a band who did have quite a lot of success for being angry and angsty to remain angry and angsty without it sounding forced.  And it really isn’t even as if there is a bad song on Anarchytecture, it’s just that it doesn’t live up to what you would expect from the name and provide the energy that you would want from a band who made a name for themselves as a “clit-rock” act.  Nor have they replaced this old dynamism with anything else particularly, which for me is the greatest disappointment.  The whole album just feels a little bit like they’re playing it safe, with the melodic tracks which used to be a pause for breath between an album of fast-paced kilers now being the norm.  Ultimately, there is nothing majorly wrong with Anarchytecture, but it will not be remembered as a classic either.

Verdict 6/10

Bloodthirst – Glorious Sinners

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Pagan Records

Review by Rick Ossian

This is Bloodthirst’s 4th LP for the folks at Pagan Records, and  it is a mini-album of 5 brand new tracks. They are proudly self-pigeonholed as “Hateful Antichristian Thrash”, which should really please all the parental units out there!  Their recording/touring personnel are Rambo on guitars and vocals, Gregor on guitar and vocals, Rybosh on bass and Mnt on drums.  They hail from The Goat City of Poznan in Poland.  They got rolling about 1999 or so, and have been recording and touring ever since.  Normally I don’t go in for this sort of thing, but I made an exception here because I liked what I heard.  True, there are some problems with the vocals; I prefer mainly clean vocals, and can endure some screaming and shouting, but I tend to shy away from the vocals of the ‘Cookie Monster‘ variety.  Most of you regular readers will no doubt know this by now.  I do not apologize for this.  Normally, I embrace change.  That’s what I am doing today.  These guys are actually pretty good.  I am glad that I gave them a listen.

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First up is The Viper’s Nest.  This is a riff-fest, for the most part.  There is some really nice pounding at the beginning, then SLAM!  The next thing you know, speed metal is kicking your arse.  Just before the one-minute mark, the vocals come in, and the boys switch riffs in mid-slam.  The vocals may be partially indiscernible, but they are powerful.  Just tough as nails.  At the two-minute mark, there is another shift.  Sort of a guitar-slam, breakdown, if you will.  Then they go back to the main riff.  This is guttural at best, but it still commands a bit of respect.

The Reign of the Antichrist is more speedy, in-your-face instrumentation, plenty of wicked riffs, and the mix is much better than you might expect.  At 1:25, there is a full stop, then a shift to evil, big fat chords.  At 1:55 there is a neat lead guitar solo, plenty of speedy shred.  I’m wondering if maybe they just slowed down a bit…nah!  These boys are hell-bent on the finish line, and they can rest when they get there!

The Masterpiece of Lie is a six-minute monster.  There are some excellent opening riffs, and the main riff is a sweet one.  This is bluesy black metal, if you will.  The production values are good enough to where you can hear everything, which is refreshing because usually thrashy stuff doesn’t really do that.  There are lots of slamming guitars here, and you may as well throw your speedometer in the thrash – this one is about triple-time at its SLOWEST.  This is heavy fucking duty stuff, forceful and powerful, especially at the close.  The shift at four minutes in is noteworthy as well.

No God Shall Stand Before Pope is another riff-fest.  The guitar solo at 1:45 is super speedy shred.  Good stuff.

Sacco di Roma (Sacking of Rome) is another track that features more heavy slamming.  This is a no-holds-barred tune, with plenty of riffing, shifting, slamming, playing, and the vocals may be guttural but at least they are partially discernible.  The boys are, again, hell-bent on finishing, it seems.  But no matter.  There is a nice fadeout loaded with feedback at the end, too!

Verdict: 7/10