Tag Archives: Rob Halford

Judas Priest announce US tour dates

Metal legends Judas Priest have announced a tour of North America, kicking off in March 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.

Support for the trek will be provided by Yorkshire’s finest, Saxon and Black Star Riders. The tour will be in support of their highly-anticipated new studio album Firepower, the title of which was revealed on Monday.

Since we mentioned new albums, Saxon have just finished mixing theirs. It’s going to be called Thunderbolt and is probably due for release in January 2018, just in time for you to learn the songs before they hit the road with Priest. The album will feature a tribute to the late, great and sadly missed Lemmy Kilmister and Motörhead, entitled They Played Rock And Roll

Here’s the dates for those of you over there in the USA:
Mar. 13 – Wilkes Barre, PA – Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Mar. 15 – Youngstown, OH – Covelli Centre
Mar. 17 – Uniondale, NY – Nassau Coliseum
Mar. 18 – Washington, DC – The Anthem
Mar. 20 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
Mar. 22 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
Mar. 25 – Ottawa, ON – The Arena at TD Place
Mar. 27 – London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
Mar. 28 – Oshawa, ON – Tribute Communities Centre
Mar. 30 – Orillia, ON – Casino Rama
Mar. 31 – Detroit, MI – Detroit Masonic Temple
Apr. 03 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater
Apr. 05 – Green Bay, WI – Resch Center
Apr. 08 – Bloomington, IL – Grossinger Motors Arena
Apr. 10 – Casper, WY – Casper Events Center
Apr. 11 – Loveland, CO – Budweiser Events Center
Apr. 15 – Kent, WA – ShoWare Center
Apr. 17 – Portland, OR – Veterans Memorial Coliseum
Apr. 19 – San Francisco – The Warfield
Apr. 22 – Los Angeles, CA – Microsoft Theater
Apr. 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Comerica Theatre
Apr. 26 – Tulsa, OK – BOK Center
Apr. 28 – Dallas, TX – The Bomb Factory
Apr. 29 – Sugarland, TX – Smart Financial Centre
May 01 – San Antonio, TX – Freeman Coliseum

Following the tour of the US, Priest will be playing Wacken OA and of course headlining the Friday night at the Wyrd Ways Rock Show’s favourite outdoor festival, Bloodstock.

HELL BENT FOR LEATHER: AN ART EXHIBITION

Legendary Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford will attend the private view on Thursday, 27th April at Parliament Tattoo in London.

PARLIAMENT TATTOO STUDIO have joined forces with the iconic metal band JUDAS PRIEST to bring you HELL BENT FOR LEATHER: an exhibition of hand painted leather biker jackets inspired by the band’s albums and song titles by some of the worlds greatest tattoo artists.

The first exhibition of its kind featuring tattooing nobility such as Grime, Jondix, Scott Move, Gregory Whitehead, Xam, and more, the landmark exhibition is set to make waves in both the music and tattoo art communities. Each artist taking part in the exhibition has selected their favourite Judas Priest song or album title from which to create their artwork – painting directly onto the back of biker jackets using specially designed acrylic leather paint – each piece represents hours of meticulous work resulting in some of the most exciting heavy metal artwork ever produced.

Rob Halford

Kicking off with a bang, Metal God Rob Halford will take time out of the studio where he is working with Judas Priest on their new album, to open an exclusive showcase exhibiting the leather jackets to press, influencers and celebrities.

Hosted at Parliament Tattoo in London, guests of the private view will also have the opportunity to take home a piece of artwork of their own that will last a lifetime – a tattoo by one of Parliament’s resident artists. The studio will release Judas Priest themed tattoo flash, which guests can select from should they wish to make the ultimate homage to the legendary band.

Following the private view, the one off pieces will be displayed publicly in London this May, at a free exhibition in the heart of Camden. A drinks reception will launch the week long event on Friday 5th May at the Provender Building, right in the subculture epicenter that is the Stables Market.

Moving on from its stint in London, the jackets will head south to the prestigious Brighton Tattoo Convention on 13th & 14th May where they will exhibit alongside more than 300 world class tattooists, including several of the artists participating in the Hell Bent for Leather exhibition.

Charity Auction

Following the events, the jackets will be auctioned off online to benefit both The Teenage Cancer Trust and the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund; both extremely worthy causes close to the hearts of Judas Priest. The exhibition hopes to raise as much money as possible for the two charities.

FULL LIST OF PARTICIPATING ARTISTS


Abby Drielsma (AUS), Elliot Wells (UK), Gregory Whitehead (USA), Grime (USA), Joao Bosco (BR), Jondix (UK). Kelly Violet (UK), Liam Sparkes (UK), Rafel Delalande (FR), Robert Borbas (HU), Scott Move (UK), Tamara Santibanez (USA), Tas Danazoglou (CY), Tony Hundahl (USA), Uncle Allan (DE), Wendy Pham (DE), Xam (UK). 

DATES FOR THE DIARY 

PRIVATE VIEW (Invitation Only) 27th April 2017 Times: 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Location: Parliament Tattoo

Unit D Leeds Place London
N4 3RF

PUBLIC EXHIBITION

5th – 10th May 2017 

Opening Party: 5th May, Times TBC
Location: Provender Building

The Brighton Tattoo Convention
13th & 14th May 2017 Location: The Brighton Centre

Kings Road
Brighton, BN1 2GR
For more Information visit www.brightontattoo.com

The Stables Market

Chalk Farm Road

London

NW1 8AH

 

About Parliament Tattoo: 

Parliament Tattoo is a private, appointment only tattoo studio with an impressive line up of internationally acclaimed artists. Having opened up shop in an old dress making factory just 2 years ago, the unique tattoo studio has quickly established itself as one the most distinguished tattoo shops in Europe. With a combined social following pushing into the millions, Parliament Tattoo is at the forefront of modern tattooing with premier artwork being produced daily by artists such as Scott Move, Kelly Violet, Rebecca Vincent, Emily Alice Johnston, Adam Ruff, Andrew John Smith, Duncan X, and more. Enquiries to info@nullparliamenttattoo.com .

Palace of the King – White Bird/Burn the Sky

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Listenable Records(EU/UK)/Devil’s Music Records

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Review by Rick Ossian

Upon first listening to this recording, I marvelled at the fact that it is, indeed, a debut.  I was sceptical at first, as I am upon hearing most debuts.  How dare they?, I find myself asking – how dare they be THIS good on their first time out?  How is it possible?  Trust me, dear readers – it is not only possible – it is nigh on likely that you won’t hear a better debut this year.  If you like music that rocks, then this is the debut for you.  If you like music that is dance-floor, back-alley club funky, then this may just be the funkiest cuppa you’ve heard/drank all year!  I know I sound enthusiastic, and anybody who is used to reading my drivel can tell you that I get pretty excited when I hear something I like it.  Hell, I’d be the first one to admit it.  I am not only enthused by this group, I am going to champion them every chance I get!

Every track within is not only funky, it is HEAVY.  So, if you are into the heavy funk, then this is a must-hear for you.  Take the opener, Take Your Medicine, for example.  Maybe you like the bass guitar, you say?  Then you NEED to hear this tune.  It is old-school 70’s style heavy metal boogie.  Imagine some early Foghat or Savoy Brown tail-gating The Answer to a fireworks stand and arriving simultaneously with a blast of Faces or Beggars Banquet-era Rolling Stones!  If you can somehow summon a picture like that, then you’re getting close!

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Most of the tracks herein can be described with equal enthusiasm.  If you dig the funk from up above, then the track Another Thing Coming (NOT a Judas Priest cover, by the by) should titillate and fascinate in equal measures.  This tune features a driving, pumping , THUMPING solid beat – a total funk metal groove.  Though it is not the Priest cover that I was fully expecting, it is every bit as good.  Throw in the obligatory guitar solo (2:30) and you’ve got the rock song in a nice neat little package.  Albeit of Ramones-style length (2:47 overall), it is short AND sweet. If you can imagine a funky wicked synth groove with a kick, then this is what you’re about to hear!

I should probably put something in about your lovely lads before I go any further.  These Melbourne chaps are Tim Henwood (vocals, percussion), Leigh Maden and Matthew Harrison on guitar(s), Andrew Gilpin (VERY funky bass guitar), Anthony Troiano (drums) and Sean Johnston on keyboards.  As I mentioned earlier, this is, believe it or not, their debut LP.  Their bio says they are “steeped in bluesy swagger and riff-heavy psychedelia, this is rock and roll that leaves a trail of denim-clad soldiers and converted non-believers in its wake“.  Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Burn My Bridges brought the inherent excitement back to the fore again.  This is thumpity funking heavy again, this time almost grumpy, grungy, even doom and gloomy.  Kind of like a Sabbath/P-Funk slam at the intersection.  Nice riffs and a sweet, superfunky 60’s/70’s groove.  “I ain’t takin’ no more shit from you!“, bellows Tim.  We get the distinct impression that he means business.  This is some definitely Stoner-y stuff, too, featuring a psych breaking with a lead guitar solo AT THE SAME TIME!!  There is also a psych fade-out with feedback.  I would be willing to bet that you haven’t heard THAT for a while!

White Bird (Bring Your Armies Against Me) is another tune with a way cool riff intro and a solid rhythm pocket that keeps on kicking.  This track features a super-human stonking funky groove (AGAIN!), not to mention vocal and instrumental breakdowns and lead guitar solos – one even includes a marching drum roll (wow) at the same time.  About five minutes in they actually bring in a new riff after the breakdown, with another lead thrown in for good measure right towards the end.  What a great track!

Ain’t Got Nobody to Blame But Myself is yet another nut-busting, funkified power blast of a heavy metal groove.  I know, broken record Rick (right?), but I can’t think of a better way to describe it.  There is also some serious bad-assery going on in the bass guitar department, and oh yeah can’t forget the intro! If you like the old feel of a Hammond B3 organ ala Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep) or Jon Lord (Deep Purple), then you will absolutely dig this number!

Leave Me Behind is more of the same, only I would probably describe this as a mosh of several styles.  Namely, blues, rock, pop and heavy metal.  All at once, you might ask? Indeed, I would respond.  Tim keeps going on about how “I’ll be here in your rear view mirror“, but other than that lyrically not much to digest.  At 1:55 we get a brief saxophone solo, but we all need a little brass in our lives, right?

Devil’s Daughter is another super funky romp through some old heavy metal stylings.  This one also features nice and tight vocal harmonies (I was reminded of a track title in particular here, just for the overall feel of the tune – Good Rockin’ Tonight!).  This is bluesy rock with funky riffs, and also includes an instrumental breakdown about two minutes in.  Live, this track would be an absolute showcase for the bass guitar and the keyboards.  There is a lovely guitar solo at 2:30.  I was reminded of several acts here – the Answer in particular (again), Cry of Love and Tangier.

Get Back Up (Burn the Sky) is another healthy, funked-up riffy number.  There is a bluesy metal harmonica on board this one, and I noted to myself how this one would be another great showcase for the keyboards were it to be played live in concert.  Another funkified rock number very much in the blues/funk of the 60’s and 70’s.

If It Ain’t Broke featured a sort of back-alley beat/sweet intro à la Humble Pie or an updated Faces swagger (again I was reminded of The Answer as well).  “Don’t change a thing/why would you mess that up?” Tim asks us. Indeed, why?  One lead guitar solo (2:40) and an instrumental breakdown – mainly guitar – later, and we are almost finished.  This is a blues, barroom boogie style number, with the keys and the bass to the fore again.  We get to hear everybody jam on the fade out, which is a cool trick if you can pull it off.

No Chance In Hell struck me as an interesting tune – not only is it another funk-heavy beat boogie, it is about something we ALL go through during our primary years…I know I did when I was in junior high and high school.  This is about the one that got away, the one that we thought was out of our league…get the picture?  The models, the wannabe actresses, the ones they always feature in the underwear ads!  It is a heavy slammer, and I was reminded of Status Quo for some reason.  Probably the boogie aspect!  We get an instrumental breakdown again (of course), and the obligatory guitar solo (2:50), but that is beside the point!  What we get with this set of tracks is far beyond anything that I could tell you about – even as excited as I am- in a simple review.  This is one of those missives that BEGS to be heard – to be listened to!  Please do so, and you will NOT be disappointed! Enjoy!

*****/5

Judas Priest – Redeemer Of Souls

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Sony Music Entertainment

Buy the CD here and the MP3 here

Review by Carl “DJ ThunderGod” Pickles

Let’s have it right: although it had good moments, Nostradamus wasn’t a good album. Not one memorable song, or even much in the way of riffs. For Priest, that wasn’t a welcome departure. Not exactly the blaze of glory you’d want KK Downing to bow out on.

The rest of the band, though, were not ready to get on their Harleys and ride off into the sunset. After recruiting Ritchie Faulkner, the band that arguably set the template for the likes of Thrash, Speed and Power Metal set about recording a new album.

To say I was looking forward to hearing this one was something of an understatement.  The two pre-release tracks I’d heard, Dragonaut and the title track, Redeemer Of Souls were something of a return to form after the previous album.  But it was with a little trepidation I clicked this one into place on the CD player and pressed the “Play” button on the remote once I’d got back to my seat.

The question those of you who haven’t heard it yet are asking is: “Is it any good?”

The answer is a solid, but not quite resounding “Yes“.

Redeemer Of Souls sits comfortably amongst Priest’s classic early 80’s albums such as Screaming For Vengeance and Defenders Of The Faith.  It’s definitely better than Point Of Entry and Ram It Down, but doesn’t reach the heights of British Steel.  But then again, what does?

Right from the start, it’s obvious there’s something new going on here.  There’s a definite urgency to every track.  Dragonaut being a prime example of that.  The driving riff, the sneered vocals delivered in a way only The Metal God himself can and proper use of stereo!  Solos coming through different speakers!

The title track feels like a comfortable pair of (leather, studded!) slippers.  Familiar.  When the Halford Scream™ makes it’s first appearance, you know you’re home.  That’s where new boy Richie Faulkner‘s influence on the writing really does show.  This album moves like a PROPER Judas Priest album.  It also has room for a little experimentation.  Sword Of Damocles, for example.

March Of The Damned is another muscular, lyrically defiant statement of intent.  Hell & Back and Crossfire are a couple of mid-paced monsters with grooves you could powerslide a bus down and rather tasty solos.  Battle Cry is the sort of song Priest are rightly famous for.  No-one does this sort of thing better than them.

It’s somewhat unfortunate, then, that they end the album with Beginning Of The End.  Bit of a downer, this one, especially after Battle Cry.

What about the bonus tracks on the Deluxe version, then?  Well, Snakebite is a proper throwback.  As are the rest, really.  Many of these songs feel like outtakes and leftovers from various 80’s albums.

The final closer, Never Forget, is… somewhat hokey.  It’s a real lighters-in-the-air song, complete with heartfelt solos (played under a spotlight on a darkened stage with a wind machine ruffling Glenn or Richie’s hair).

I hesitate to call this one a “return to form”… no, actually I WILL call it a return to form, because that’s exactly what it is.  OK, it’s not Painkiller, but no other Slayer albums are Reign In Blood, either.  What Priest have managed to do with Redeemer Of Souls is take us and them back to what they do best: make good, solid, classy Heavy Metal albums.  I read a comment somewhere on the internet that sneeringly called this album “generic”… well, if you’re Judas Priest, you’re allowed to be “generic”, since YOU INVENTED THE GENRE, and as I said, nobody does it better than Priest.

****/5

Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your Life

 

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Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund/Rhino Records

Buy the CD here or the MP3 here

Review by Rick Ossian

 

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There are many ways a person could attack this particular review.  One could start by listing the veritable myriad of stars/musicians on board just for sheer weight, or you could conversely talk about it track by track, as is the norm for myself, at least.

Then again, you could start with the Dio Disciples‘ involvement on their tracks, or the album as tribute itself.  As Carl mentioned in last week’s show, this one actually has Dio on it — an admittedly sparing track, at least instrumentally — it also happens to be the title track of this adventurous disc.  It is a plaintive, emotional ballad, a forum most likely rare for most Dio devotees. Yet here it is, in all it’s glory. I love the line “this is your here/this is your now/make it magical”.  It is not something were accustomed to hearing from Ronnie.  Normally, we are, by contrast, inundated with rock guitar, bass and drums, and even keyboards at times.

Not here.

Ronnie‘s only accompaniment on this track is Scott Warren on piano/string arrangements.  This is the only track on board of this nature.  Everything else is, to put it quite plainly, straight forward hard rock/heavy metal.

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For example, my favourite track of the batch is a torrid rendition of “Straight Through The Heart” by Halestorm.  Normally I wouldn’t imagine a woman doing a Dio track, but the first time I heard Lzzy & Co. covering it, I had to take notice… it was, after all, the first track I heard from this aggregation of tunes.  The reason it is my favourite is because it is not only a faithful rendering of the song — it also enhances the original, if you will.  It is most likely also many other fans’ favourite, and time will tell that it will remain so.  It has the stamina of the original, it has the guts, and, most importantly, it has Lzzy.  She has the pipes to prove that women can also do Dio.  I began listening to Halestorm a couple of years ago, as my wife has become something of a fan.  She has actually even purchased 2 or 3 of their cd’s.  Yes, this is the same wife that is also a big fan of 3 Days Grace and Pink.  For whatever reason, Halestorm really does it for her.  I whole-heartedly concur.

Unfortunately, the other female on here doesn’t quite live up to her legendary status.  I speak, of course, of Doro Pesch, who covers “Egypt (The Chains Are On)”.  It is sadly lacking when compared to her previous work, and also lacking when put up against her fellow coverers.  I think I’ve just invented a new word, according to Spell Check!  Evidently coverers was not previously covered.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bagging on the lovely warrior princess — I guess I was just expecting a bit more.

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Next up is my next fave, of course – yes, I’ve discovered a different way of reviewing.  I’m going good track/bad track, instead of going from beginning to end, or vice versa.  I speak of ” Starstruck”, which features WWRS faves Motörhead & Saxon’s leader Biff Byford.  Strangely enough, Lemmy is credited with vocals but NOT bass on this track.  Perhaps this was just an editing faux pas.  It’s unfortunate at best, as we all know how incredible of a bass player Mr. Kilmister is.  I also found it a bit odd that Lemmy didn’t sing the lead – but then, of course, they did have Biff on board.  After all, somebody needs to hit those high notes that only Ronnie could hit.  According to rock urban legend, that’s the main reason Lemmy sang the lead on Hawkwind’s “Silver Machine” – because he COULD.  And Biff definitely CAN, if need be.  A bit more throaty, perhaps, but good nonetheless.

My next favourite track is most likely a toss-up between Killswitch Engage‘s version of “Holy Diver” and Anthrax‘s rendition of “Neon Knights“.  Aside from the occasional growl and blast beat on the former, it is, again, a faithful rendering of the tune.  “Neon Knights” also sounds like it could have been lifted from the original tracks.  Joey Belladonna (Anthrax) does his best RJD impersonation, it would seem, and does a damn fine job of sounding, erm, like Ronnie did back then.  WAY back then.

Next on my list would most likely be Adrenaline Mob‘s “The Mob Rules“, and who better?  They do a wonderful job on this number, but then that could most likely be said for every track on offer here.  There are a couple of exceptions…The Scorpions version of “The Temple of the King” is well done, but, to these ears at least, falls a bit short.  Klaus Meine does his best at vocalizing what Ronnie could probably do in one or two takes, but it sounds almost TOO much like the Scorpions, at least vocally.  Not that that would normally be a BAD thing, but I think the point here was to PAY tribute to the master, as it were.  That was not necessarily done in that particular instance.  On we go!

Up next is Glenn Hughes (with various Dio Disciples) and their take on “Catch the Rainbow“.  It is good, but it’s mostly just Glenn showing off his vocal range.  “I” is particularly well done, in my opinion, and features Oni Logan (of Lynch Mob fame) on vocals.  Oni is joined by renowned bassist Jimmy Bain (a member of Rainbow and MANY others), AMAZING drummer Brian Tichy and Rowan Robertson on guitars.  This is a skillful rendering of the Black Sabbath (Dehumanizer) track, and an overlooked gem in the normal canon of Ronnie’s catalogue.

I would probably rate Metallica‘s “Ronnie Rising Medley” (featuring A Light in the Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer and Kill the King) as next best.  It is well done, and features one of my favourite Rainbow tracks (Kill the King).  It is, however, Metallica, and they may have lost some of their lustre/bluster in recent years.  Again, this is MY opinion, and we all have one – of course, we all have assholes, too!

Corey Taylor and his crew do “Rainbow In the Dark“, and again, they do a fine job, but as a single track, it is NOT a standout.  Nice try, CoreyRob Halford and more Disciples of Dio do a passing stab at “Man on the Silver Mountain”, but again, I expected SO much more.  Perhaps I recall the Halford of Sad Wings of Destiny and Sin After Sin days a bit too much.  I realize Halford is an elder statesman, but I KNOW his voice is better than that.  At least I thought I knew…

Last, but certainly not least, is probably the most compromised of all the tracks on offer here, and that is Tenacious D‘s rendering of “The Last in Line“.  Though some may deem this a ridiculous attempt at a bonafide rock classic, the D had Ronnie’s approval before (“Tribute“), and he, by all accounts, thoroughly enjoyed working with them.  Of course, when a classic guitar solo is rendered by recorder INSTEAD of guitar, a few heads may wag in the wrong direction!  There you have it, then, my lovely wonderful punters!  Fourteen tracks all told, and only a few duds.  For the most part, this is a solid tribute, and it’s purchase will entail donations to Ronnie/Wendy‘s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund.  THAT alone is worthy of the purchase price.  Enjoy!

***/5

If you like this, try these:

Dio – Holy Diver

Black Sabbath – Heaven & Hell

Heaven & Hell – Devil You Know

Rainbow – Rising

Rainbow – Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll

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Rob Halford: "New Judas Priest album is absolutely finished"

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Metal legends JUDAS PRIEST have completed work on their brand new studio album, to be released later in the year.

Speaking to Artisan News on Monday, (17th March) at the VIP listening party for the forthcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute albumThis Is Your Life at the Avalon in Hollywood, the PRIEST frontman said: “The record is finished; it’s absolutely finished as of today.  It’s a relief. It’s a relief because whenever PRIEST makes an album, like any band, you put your heart and soul into it; it is that typical ‘blood, sweat and tears.’ It’s not an easy thing to do 40 years later. But Priest have always been up for the challenge of that, and it’s one of things that we love to do more than anything else as we move on through our metal years. So this is a great time for Priest: 40th anniversary, a brand new record. Life couldn’t be better.”

The new album will be the first with KK Downing‘s replacement, Richie Faulkner, following the founder member’s retirement in April 2011.

He added: “[Richie] went through the ritual on [the Epitaph] tour, did great work on stage, the fans embraced him, so it’s now time to see what we’re capable of, the writing trio of Glenn [Tipton] and Richie and myself.”

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Wyrd Ways Rock Show CCLXVIII – Review Of 2013: Contributors’ Choice I

Welcome to the second  Wyrd Ways Rock Show Review Of 2013.

In this week’s show, you will hear what Cat, Rick and Dr Jim thought were the best albums of this last year.

Next week, it’s the turn of Suzi, Amy and myself, as well as the overall Top 10, as voted for by the people who write and interview for The Wyrd Ways Rock Show.

Check it out at www.wyrdwaysrs.com, if you’re not there already.

Playlist:

Writer

Number

Band

Album

Track

Cat

10

Until Dawn Horizon The Trial
Cat

9

Tribune Tales Vengeance
Cat

8

Amon Amarth Deceiver of the Gods As Loke Falls
Cat

7

Five Finger Death Punch The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Vol 1 Lift Me Up
Cat

6

Scar The Martyr Scar The Martyr My Retribution
Cat

5

Amorphis Circle Into the Abyss
Cat

4

Devildriver Winter Kills The Appetite
Cat

3

American Head Charge Shoot Writhe
Cat

2

Killswitch Engage Disarm the Descent You don’t bleed for me
Cat

1

Five Finger Death Punch The Wrong Side Of Heaven And The Righteous Side Of Hell, Vol 2 Weight Beneath My Sin
Rick

10

Haken The Mountain Cockroach King
Rick

9

Joe Bonamassa & Beth Hart See Saw Nutbush City Limits
Rick

8

Monster Magnet Last Patrol Hallelujah
Rick

7

Dream Theater Dream Theater Illumination Theory
Rick

6

Pearl Jam Lightning Bolt Let The Records Play
Rick

5

Black Star Riders All Hell Breaks Loose Blues Ain’t So Bad
Rick

4

Deep Purple Now What?! Hell to Pay
Rick

3

Black Sabbath 13 Loner
Rick

2

Gary Clarke Jnr Black And Blue Ain’t Messin’ Round
Rick

1

Prog Collective Epilogue Adding Fuel to the Fire
Jim

6

Hiidenhauta Surma Saapuu Suota Myöten Varjot
Jim

5

Falkenbach Asa Ufirstanan Folk
Jim

4

Ereb Altor Fire Meets Ice Fire Meets Ice
Jim

3

Fyrdsman Omen In The Sky Woven Fate
Jim

2

Appalachian Winter Ghosts Of The Mountains The Cemetery Where Slaves Lie Buried
Jim

1

Thyrfing De Ödeslösa Relik
Clutch Earth Rocker Earth Rocker
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Five Finger Death Punch – The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell – Volume 1

Prospect Park

Review by Cat Andrews

Five Finger Death Punch (5fdp) are one of those bands that are like Marmite; you either love them or you hate them. They also happen to be rather successful at the moment, which pretty much guarantees the cries of “mainstream” and “sellout”.

The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell is a little unusual in that it is a double album being released in two volumes. Apparently the band approached the record company with the idea of a double album and got refused, so sent them what they have deemed their best material to date and asked the company to choose what to drop. This is a double album. Also worth noting as you scan the track listing is the number of guest vocalists who appear.

Lift Me Up starts off with the almost signature Death Punch sound that involves insane drumming and chugging rhythm from Zoltan Bathory, and even though it sounds very similar to some of their previous tracks it is forgivable, particularly when none other than Rob Halford comes in with a stunning guest performance on a song that will quite possibly get stuck in your head for at least a few hours.

From this point on, for me at least, things got a little bit strange. The tracks are good, and I enjoy listening to them. It’s all exactly what is expected of one of the most successful metal bands at the moment but there is a sense that I’ve heard them somewhere before, with that somewhere being a dancefloor around 2005. It’s not as if they’ve directly ripped off riffs, but on more than one occasion I found my attention drifting while I tried to figure out just who it was that it sounded like. The influences behind the music are in places blindingly obvious, but it doesn’t come across as a straight rip and manages to maintain their own distinctive sound.

Watch You Bleed is a lot more electronic than I would have expected from 5fdp, but once the mild surprise had worn off I found myself singing along, before nodding my head along to You. It is the title track which mellows the tone, a heartfelt, powerful ballad that showcases Ivan Moody’s vocals in a similar way to Crossing Over.

Just when things have calmed down Burn MF (you can guess what the MF stands for) blasts out. This song is a three and a half minute non-stop rage that makes up for it’s lack of meaningful lyrics with pure enthusiasm. It’s the type of song that will instantly spark circle pits at a Death Punch gig and have the Knuckleheads going insane.

The pattern of two heavy, angry songs followed by a more melodic vocal repeats, this time featuring Maria Brink from In This Moment on Anywhere But Here. There are two versions of this on the album, and the duet works wonderfully. End This Way is another that seems to speak of the writer’s personal flaws and the breakdown of a relationship, and quite possibly the album could have ended there.

Unfortunately it continues with the chosen cover version – 5fdp have previously done splendid accounts of Bad Company and From Out Of Nowhere – is a rather disappointing choice in my eyes. LL Cool J’s Mama Said Knock You Out has been made a lot more brutal, and features the guest vocals of Tech N9ne, but in all honesty I just wanted to press the skip button.

Diary of a Deadman seems to be Wrong Side of Heaven’s answer to Canto 34, but instead of being merely instrumental it contains spoken word parts, forming something of a showcase for the band members’ talents with lots of changes of style and tempo. Jason Hook’s lead guitar really does come into it’s own here.

The rest of the playing time is taken up by repeats of earlier songs including those guest vocalists I was talking about earlier. With names like Max Cavalera (Soulfly)  and Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed), it seems a shame that these are tagged on the end almost as an aside as opposed to taking prime position.

It might be a sign of the times that this album seems to be a CD of separate tracks with very little flow. The transitions between thundering fight music and lamentation of a tormented soul feel a bit too sharp at times but this is still a very listenable offering. There is a decent mix of heavier, aggressive sounds alongside radio friendly songs that you wouldn’t feel too guilty about playing in front of the non-metalhead family.

Overall this is a solid Five Finger Death Punch album. It doesn’t break the mould, and I’m not sure that Volume 1 shows any real maturation or progression from their previous offerings. In some places the solos feel a little forced, as if they’re only there because “we should put a solo in”. If you like 5fdp already, the chances are that you will like this album, if you don’t then I doubt there is anything on here to convince you otherwise. I’m looking forward to what Volume 2 will bring.

Rating:  ***½ / 5

PRIMITAI’S NEW ALBUM ‘RISE AGAIN’ TO FEATURE GUEST APPEARANCE FROM JUDAS PRIEST GUITARIST RICHIE FAULKNER!

Primitai 2

 

British metal heroes Primitai release their brand new single ’Scream When You See Us’ on September 9th and the band are excited to confirm that it features none other than Richie Faulkner from Judas Priest!

The track is a powerful blast of melodic metal but one that never loses sight of the rich heritage of bands like Priest and Maiden and having the dextrous six string skills of Faulkner adds a whole new level of intensity!

PRIMITAI’S NEW ALBUM ‘RISE AGAIN’ TO FEATURE GUEST APPEARANCE FROM JUDAS PRIEST GUITARIST RICHIE FAULKNER!

Primitai 2

 

British metal heroes Primitai release their brand new single ’Scream When You See Us’ on September 9th and the band are excited to confirm that it features none other than Richie Faulkner from Judas Priest!

The track is a powerful blast of melodic metal but one that never loses sight of the rich heritage of bands like Priest and Maiden and having the dextrous six string skills of Faulkner adds a whole new level of intensity!