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Ravenheart Music: Album Reviews

Guy Band Reviews

RAVENHEART MUSIC is a tool to promote female fronted rock and metal music. However, we here on occasion receive music to review from male fronted bands. If a band or their label takes the trouble to send us music from within the UK or anywhere else, the least we can do is to try and review it!

Archived Guy Band reviews can be found here.

RED ELEVEN…’COLLECT YOUR SCARS’

(Lifeforce Records) Reviewed 29th January 2016

Let there be R-O-C-K! When the Finns got together in 2009 this was everything they were thinking of. Since then, RED ELEVEN quickly developed a vital and accessible style of their own, while following their deep-rooted preference for sanguine alternative sounds, full of catchy choruses and compelling hooklines. Sure, listening to this album you will be most likely reminded of FAITH NO MORE – but this is mostly due to the timbre of Tony Kaikkonen’s voice. And who wouldn’t like to be compared to that great rock act?! Eleven tracks here of compelling modern anthemic hard rock to blow away the winter blues. This is damn good stuff, heavy, tuneful and you can play it nice and loud, well why not? But the band do have a tender side, check out the pen ultimate acoustic based ‘Too Much To Ask’. And let us not forget to mention the epic 6 minute plus ‘And So I Took His Life’, what a corker! With 'Collect Your Scars', the quintet fulfils its heartfelt wish to play epic R-O-C-K hymns with self-assurance and a courageous approach. Released March 18th and well worth checking out – well they are from the land of Rock & Metal - Finland!...9/10 (Dave)

INNERWISH...'INNERWISH'

(Ulterium Records) Reviewed 21st January 2016

InnerWish hail from Greece and this is their 5th full length album having released their first, 'Waiting For The Dawn' in 1998. This six piece base their lyrical themes on Christianity, and this album released six years after their previous LP, offers 13 songs and 67 minutes of prime time Melodic Metal, with the powerhouse vocals of George Eikosipentakis the driving force behind the music. A nice variety of music in-fact being full of energy, power and emotion. The album was mixed at Studio Fredman [In Flames, Dimmu Borgir, Hammerfall] and mastered by Peter In De Betou [Arch Enemy, Opeth, Amon Amarth]. Cover artwork by Felipe Machado Franco [Blind Guardian, Rhapsody of Fire, Xandria] and design by Jan Yrlund [Delain, Apocalyptica, Korpiklaani]. A flippin' good release if you like your metal powerful but tuneful - release date March 18th... 9/10 (The Nugget)

THORNBRIDGE…’WHAT WILL PREVAIL’

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 18th January 2016

Jörg "Mo" Naneder and Patrick "Pat" Rogalski formed the German band Thornbridge in 2008, and completed the line-up with the addition of Maximilian "Lucky" Glück and Patrick "Burghi" Burghard in 2012. They developed a first live set, which was presented while playing shows with bands like Orden Ogan, Sinbreed and MessengeR. This live set was also the foundation of this their debut album, and with the might of Massacre Records behind them, they want to take on the world. And with this bombastic release, that possibility looks increasingly likely. Armed with fast and epic songs, THORNBRIDGE stride through the magic world of the Dark Ages. We have hymn-like choirs and polyphonic guitar melodies captivating the listener, bringing Power Metal of the "good old days" back on stage. And in keeping with what we by and large like here, there is a glorious helping of melody within the music the band throws at the listener. This record is certainly one for the metalheads out in metal land, with epic tunes like ’Blow Up The Gates Of Hell’, ’Coachman’s Curse’, ‘Neverwinter Nights’ and the ultra catchy ‘Tower Of Lies‘. The album will hit the stores on Feb 19th and is well worth checking out…. 8.75/10 (Dave)

DARK MOOR…’PROJECT X’

(Scarlet Records) Reviewed 16th January 2016

Dark Moor is a Spanish Neo-Classical Metal and Symphonic Power Metal band from Madrid. Formed in 1993, they produced three full-length albums before undergoing a line-up change in which three members left the band to form their own project, Dreamaker. Afterwards, the band continued under the same name, recruiting suitable replacements in time for their eponymous 2003 album. Since 2002, guitarist Enrik Garcia has been the band's sole remaining founding member, this being the band's tenth full length release. And what 'Project X' tends to do is ditch the Power Metal for a more modern Melodic Progressive Rock sound. Indeed, the word 'ditch' is quite appropriate as that is where the Power Metal sound has been left. A concept album about space and aliens, Queen influences spring to mind in-fact - just listen to the melodic 'Beyond The Stars' as just one example. Then there are ballads, ‘I Want To Believe’ with gospel choral influences, being a totally awesome tune. Everything on this album is good, it is extremely melodic, has catchy choruses, and I would even go as far as to say that it even flirts with AOR territory on the odd occasion. ’Imperial Earth’ however, does up the ante, one of the heaviest more bombastic numbers on the cd, possibly the one track that exhibits Power Metal traits, while closing track ‘Something In The Skies’ is a 7 minute plus epic. Dark Moor fans of old may not be too sure, but this is worth checking out… 9/10 (Dave)

OZONE...'SELF DEFENCE'

(Escape Music) Reviewed 15th January 2016

Chris Ousey has had an excellent singing career that goes way back to the times of 'Monroe', 'Virginia Wolf', the fantastic 'Heartland' an outstanding solo recording and more recently 'Snakecharmer'. Steve Overland is a legend in his own lifetime. Is there anyone out there who is not familiar with his name? His first major recording was with the band 'Wildlife' in 1980. After the demise of 'Wildlife' Steve went on to form the cult British melodic rock band 'FM', a band that released many great albums throughout the eighties and nineties and right up to 2015. Steve has also fronted many great bands in recent years, such as 'The Ladder', 'Shadowman' and of course he has recorded three fine solo albums. And with a little help from their friends including Mike Slamer (City Boy, Streets, and Seventh Key) doing just about everything else (well almost), the two O's have produced one helluva Melodic Rock album, but with their pedigree, that should not be of any surprise. If 80s sounding Melodic Rock that has been dragged into the 21st century by the short and curlies tickles your fancy or whatever, then check this one out. Released late last year and readily available at all the usual outlets...8.75/10 (The Nugget)

ELEVENTH HOUR…’MEMORY OF A LIFETIME JOURNEY’

(Bakerteam Records) Reviewed 13th January 2016

Eleventh Hour was born in 2014 out of guitarist Aldo Turini's need to express some musical ideas that have been kept in a drawer for years. Aldo arranged all the songs and wrote the orchestral parts with Giuseppe Carella, whose background was so distant from Symphonic Metal that the final result was very peculiar and musically challenging. In November 2014 the band's line-up had finally been confirmed and included Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Revolution Saints, Edge Of Forever) on vocals, who also co-wrote most of the songs with Aldo and Giuseppe, Luca Mazzucconi (N.F.D, Lahannya) on drums, GianMaria "Black Jin" Godani on bass and Alberto Sonzogni (The Black Phoenix, Timesword) on keyboards. Vocals also include soprano Susanna Carboni on the tracks, the rather nice and well orchestrated 'Sleeping In My Dreams' and the brooding 'Here Alone'. There is a melodic and cinematographic orchestral flavour to the compositions that are on this release, well showcased within the 10 tracks, ’Jerusalem’ and the beautiful power ballad ’Back To You’ being just two awesome examples. This release is a real stunner, well worth checking out… 9/10 (Dave)

AVANTASIA...'GHOSTLIGHTS'

(Nuclear Blast) Reviewed 12th January 2016

Avantasia is a German Symphonic Power Metal supergroup project created by Tobias Sammet, vocalist of the band Edguy. It has been characterised as a rock opera, as it features various vocalists and musicians and it consists of concept albums. The project can be divided into three periods of activity. The first, 1999-2002, saw the release of a self-titled single and two full-length albums with the subtitle 'The Metal Opera'. The second, 2005-2011, consists of the EPs 'Lost in Space Part I & II' and The Wicked Trilogy, composed of the albums 'The Scarecrow', 'The Wicked Symphony' and 'Angel of Babylon'. The third period, 2013-2016, begins with the album 'The Mystery of Time' and ends with this release 'Ghostlights'. This album as with the other Avantasia releases has to be put into the "awesome" category, featuring yet another all-star Metal cast, including the likes of Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Geoff Tate (ex-Queensryche), Marco Hietala (Nightwish), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation), Michael Kiske (Ex-Helloween), Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Bob Catley (Magnum), Jorn Lande, Bruce Kulick (ex-Kiss), Robert Mason (ex-Lynch Mob). No fillers here people within the thirteen gold nuggets on offer, just quality overflowing with bombastic hooks and pure melody. For you female music lovers, which you will be one will assume, by virtue of the fact you are on this site, Sharon Den Adel pops up on the number ‘Isle of Evermore’. "The album's concept deals with time and how science tries to manipulate and speed up people's perception of time to align society's pace… I'm taking a look at this, presuming that time is the key to being aware of the spiritual side of our existence," explains Tobi. "The "story" is set in the 18th century… In England of course…" And a footnote, we understand that Avantasia have been asked by their label if they would be willing to take part in the German preliminary round for the Eurovision Song Contest. Tobias states that his mother's gonna be proud, or is she he says?. Back to this record, this is a great album, and it hits the stores in various editions 29th January... 9.5/10 (The Nugget)

BRAINDANCE...'MASTER OF DISGUISE'

(Dr.Music Records) Reviewed 12th January 2016

After more than ten years, it is finally happening: New York's BRAINDANCE is about to release a conceptual album 'Master Of Disguise', which sees the light of day on 29th January via Dr.Music Records. – and it is well worth the wait. The Progressive Darkwave veterans return with an enormous, artful epic about ancient times, which virtually catapults its audience into a parallel world similar to the age of ancient Egyptians and Mayas. The band's main vocalist Sebastian Elliot’s distinctive vocals mingled with dark beats make the perfect mysterious sound backdrop for this extraordinary story. He is ably supported by his partner in crime Vora Vor, who takes care of female backing vocals together with Guitar, Keyboard, Programming & Orchestration. 15 energetic and elaborate songs tell the story of a ruler of this world, who makes contact with the netherworld ('Eye Of The Storm'). This encounter, however, entails serious consequences ('The Silence', 'The Game'), whereupon the monarch is forced to begin to search for his own identity ('Master Of Disguise'). At all times he is haunted by his past and insecure about what the future holds ('Lost', 'More Than A Moment'). The record itself is awesome and at times almost touches film score proportions, with pinpointed atmospheric instrumental passages rounding off and completing this epic album. While awaiting the release date, how about viewing a video to a track of the album here, that track being 'LOST'... 8.75/10 (The Nugget)

SHAKRA…’HIGH NOON’

(AFM Records) Reviewed 7th January 2015

Finally there’s official news from the SHAKRA camp: The fox is on the run again - singer Mark Fox is back together with SHAKRA! Mark has had his share of controversy - the video to the song 'Chain of Temptation' from the album 'Fall' showed singer Fox giving himself a heroin injection (oh dear!!!!). Anyway, Chris von Rohr (Swiss rock musician, record producer, author, columnist, radio and television presenter) said the following after former singer John Prakesh left the band in early 2014: “Let’s bring back together what belongs together”. That being said, it took a while till the early disputes had been put aside, but in late summer of 2014 it was clear to everyone that it’s time to do it again! Since that point of time, the whole band shed blood, sweat and tears to finish this their new album, which will be out on January 29th 2016. This is an album chock full of melodic metal songs, with more hooks than a well stocked fishing tackle shop, and choruses that are hideously catchy. No standouts as the tracks are all standout cuts. If you like your metal catchy and melodic, this album from this Swiss band is well worth checking out, proving that the Swiss are not just good at making watches... 9.5/10 (Dave)

CHALCEDONY...'CHAPTER III'

(Rusalka Records) Reviewed 9th December 2015

Eveshka, formerly known as Dano, started the band around 2005. The first album, Chapter One, was released in 2007. Originally a classical pianist and the drummer for a UK band, Confusion, he decided to take matters into his own hands by combining his love for classical music and film scores with the energy and drive of rock and metal. He thus became 'Chalcedony' and has not looked back since. His brother, Chris Wilson, former front man of Confusion, accompanies Chalcedony (who takes care of drums, piano and of course vocals) on this album, with his superior guitar skills, giving it that gritty rock edge that the music needs. Chalcedony communicates his story through dramatic means, venturing through the complexity of Progressive Rock, Celtic and horror, coupled with plenty of melody. It is a tale of agoraphobia through his own eyes, battling through adventures of love, hate, failure and success. As a result, we get 12 tracks and 68 minutes of awesome and at times emotionally charged music, just listen to 'The Old Convent' and ‘Left Side Of The Pier as just two awesome examples, while 'Mother Gaia' and 'Fifth Conquest' highlights the instrumental skills of Eveshka. At least five years in the making, Chapter III was produced in a loft-conversion studio in Chalcedony's home entirely, and mastered by Kevin Paul, who has worked with well known artists such as Nick Cave and Depeche Mode - and it comes well recommended from the Ravenheart team. Check facebook out here... 9/10 (Dave)

PHEDORA…’THE HOUSE OF INK’

(Self Released) Reviewed 6th December 2015

Phedora come from Poland and have a sound that would send the Americans into raptures. With influences from bands such as Breaking Benjamin, RED, Pain of Salvation, Bring Me The Horizon, Fair to Midland and Linkin Park, one can see where this band is coming from. Although Polish, there is very little sign of any European accent, as the band belt out winner after winner on this thirteen track record. A review shorter than the skirt I am wearing at present, but if the above bands tickle your doo dah, then check this lot out… 8.5/10 (The Nugget)

SYNAXARIA…’SADNESS OF MEMORIES’

(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd December 2015

Formed in 2010, Synaxaria is using their own words a romantic Rock/Metal band. They come from Belarus and is fronted by the mainly clean vocals of Dzmitry and the backing vocals of Natallia. There so happens to be some rather good bands filtering out of eastern Europe at the moment, and Synaxaria is no exception to that rule, offering the listener 10 tracks of catchy Rock/Metal music. As previously mentioned, it seems that main vocal duties are the domain of Dzmitry, Natallia offering backing vox, but this is a consistent release across the 10 numbers, with stand out cuts being the catchy and quirky 6 minute plus E.M.I.D.A.Y., the rather cool ‘Love Gives Eternity’, the ballad ‘Ghosts Of Our Past’ and the bouncy ultra catchy tune ‘Our Summer Is Gone’. Furthermore, the final gem ‘Angel’ is sung by Natallia in her native tongue - lovely. This is a very good album with a strong melodic sensibility, well worth looking into further and totally enjoyable. The band’s Facebook is here… 8.75/10 (The Nugget)

SHOTGUN RODEO…’WORLD WIDE GENOCIDE’

(Self Release) Reviewed 3rd December 2015

Shotgun Rodeo hail from Norway and they are fronted by Nino Escopeta, and if you want to listen to an album that represents what Metal should sound like today in the 21st century, then check these guys and this record out. There are some great metal anthems here on this 13 track album, like the addictive and pounding ‘The Silver Tongued Devils’ with its great chorus, the Power Metal sounding ‘Saving Myself’ that drives along like a Japanese bullet train, the fist pumping ‘Scavenger of Death’ and 'Skin Crawl' with its Death Metalish vocals. They can also slow it down too, the two tracks that provide an oasis of calm within a cacophony of Metal being the power ballad ‘Rust’ and the acoustic 'Dying Inside'. The band describe their style as notorious Heavy Metal, but whatever you wanna call it, this is by and large a relentless Metal assault and as a consequence, a solid and consistent release. Shotgun Rodeo has been known to promote heavy drinking, mosh pits and ass kicking, so keep away from old people (oh dear, does that include me?) and children at all costs! Anyway, if this may be your cuppa tea (or pint of beer), well worth checking out if I may say so! Meanwhile, the lyric video to the track 'Scavenger of Death' can be seen here, while the number 'Withered Earth' can be listened too here... 8/10 (Dave)

SERGEANT STEEL...'RIDERS OF THE WORM'

(Boyz Tyme Records) Reviewed 16th November 2015

Sergeant Steel fronted by Phil Vanderkill, is Austria's no. 1 hard rock band! 'Riders Of The Worm' is their third release and features guest appearances from Mark Slaughter (Slaughter, Vinnie Vincent Invasion) and Kane Roberts (Alice Cooper). The band offers up catchy arena rock hymns, where powerful hooks meet blasting melodies in the vein of Aerosmith, Ratt and early Bon Jovi! The kinda music that the USA would fall in love with. There are 14 tracks here (track 14 being a cd only hidden track) of bouncy melodic hard rock, like the Alice Cooper sounding 'Silver Spoon' (feat Kane Roberts), the hard rocking and catchy 'Only Good Girls (Love A Rock n Roll Boy)' and the awesome fist pumping 'Hot Widow' - these are just three from a handful of gems. And let us not forget the ballads like 'Where My Heart Is' and the acoustic ‘Promised Land‘, and I do honestly believe that no one can do ballads better than bands from this genre. Mixed and mastered by producer & legend Michael Wagener (Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Skid Row, etc.), this is well worth checking out. So why don't you ride the worm to the band's website which is at www.sergeant-steel.com - released Nov 27th.. 8.5/10 (Dave)

FROM ASHES TO NEW…’DOWNFALL’ EP

(Better Noise/Eleven Seven Music) Reviewed 9th November 2015

Rock music for a new generation! This is the music that From Ashes To New throw at the listener., not too dissimilar to that of Linkin Park really. From Lancaster, Pennsylvania, United States, this band is really good! This is their 2nd EP featuring four tracks of melodic Nu Metal, each track a sure fire winner. They put into the musical blender Rap, Rock, Metal and Electro and you get tracks like ‘Lost And Alone’ as just one golden nugget from an EP of gems. Good? this isn’t good, this is frikin’ awesome! 9/10 (The Nugget)

RAVEN SKY…’ONCE ABOVE THE OLD SKIES’

(Self Released) Reviewed 9th November 2015

Raven Sky is a metal band of five childhood friends, who draw a musical landscape from powerful and symphonic melodies as well as heavy and rhythmic elements of modern metal music. The band was born in 1996 in Hausjärvi, Southern Finland – was deceased in 2005 and reanimated for a weekend in 2011 and has remained undead ever since. The heaviness of the band’s music is mostly based on the oppressiveness of the guitar riffs, various rhythmic elements and metallic singing (mainly of the more deathy variety) – as well as powerful and voluminous orchestrated melodies coupled at times with a choral back drop. And this is well showcased within the eleven tracks here, that offer up some powerful, melodic and bombastic music. You won’t find any soppy ballads here with favourite tracks including ’Reroll’ and ‘6 Years of Silence’. Raven Sky is comprised of Tomi Aaltonen (bass), Oskari Kettinen (vocals, keyboards), Esa Mäkinen (guitar), Atte Tahvanainen (drums), Ville Virtanen (guitar), and you will find the band's face book here. The only downside, is I do find the vocals across the whole album a little shall we say overpowering (that could just be me), but well worth checking out if you feel this may be your cuppa tea..7/10 (The Nugget)

DEF LEPPARD…S/T

(EarMusic) Reviewed November 3rd 2015

Oh yes! Okay, Def Leppard are one of my fave bands, more particularly with their earlier stuff, and this is their first album since the 2008 record ‘Songs From The Sparkle Lounge’. Def Leppard has sold over 100 million albums since their conception, and although this new one may not quite reach the heights of their earlier material, this sure has that classic Leppard feel, while at the same time appealing to a more modern and perhaps younger rock audience. The classic Def Leppard sound is sure there in the opening salvo of ‘Let’s Go’ and ‘Dangerous’, the latter in particular surely sending old school fans into raptures of delight - marvellous! Third up ‘Man Enough’ has a kinda Queen ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ feel to it - great bass line. And the awesomeness continues….’We Belong’ is the first ballad from the album, a great number and a chart smash if ever there was one, while the bouncy ‘Invincible’ proves how invincible this band is! There are other greats within the 14 jewels here, including the rocking tracks ‘Sea Of Love’ (great chorus) and ‘Broken N Brokenhearted’, the acoustic ballad ‘Last Dance’ and the classic sound of ‘Wings of an Angel‘. This is a damn fine album from this awesome British band who certainly are the biz…enough said…9.5/10 (Dave)

ABSOLVA…’NEVER A GOOD DAY TO DIE’

(Rocksector Records) Reviewed 20th October 2015

ABSOLVA is a British metal band (from Manchester), and offers an inspired & modern take on the proud traditions of this genre. Formed in May 2012 by Chris Appleton (lead vocals) & Martin McNee (drums), both of Fury UK, this is the band's latest effort having been co-written by Luke Appleton (Iced Earth), brother of Chris. We have 11 tracks of traditional hard rock and metal played how we are all used to hearing it. And there are highlights galore on the album. If you thought the pounding opener 'Disguise' was good, then next up 'Killer Within' with its catchy chorus will have you screaming for more. And more you get - 'No One Escapes' is a thumping rocker with a fist pumping chorus as is ‘The Light’. The title track maintains the awesome momentum that the record so far has gathered, although the epic and rather cool power ballad ‘How Black Is My Heart’ slows things down a bit, until half way through the tune when the ante sure is upped, a great number and a fave of mine from the cd. ‘Transform’ cranks it up again and that is how it continues until the awesome closing number ‘All Alone’. This is a massive and enjoyable release from the band– great musicianship from all the musicians involved and well recommended to rock and metal lovers out there. Absolva’s website is here… 9/10 (Dave)

SCREAMING EAGLES...'STAND UP AND BE COUNTED'

(Off Yer Rocka Recordings) Reviewed 15th October 2015

The Screaming Eagles come from Northern Ireland, and this is a ten track album of hard rock as if the 80s had not gone away. Fronted by the powerful voice of Chris Fry and backed by a totally awesome bunch of musicians, including guitarist Adrian McAleenan who sure knows how to shred it, this album is monumental and certainly will give the UK rock scene a good old kick up the proverbial ass. There are some pulsating rock numbers here on this the band’s debut, and if this record is anything to go by, we here cannot wait for the next one. The title track has an AC/DC swagger to it, then there is the pumping sound of ‘Bow Down To The Blues’, the rampant closing track ’27 Club’. Overall, this is good and if you listen to this LP and you are able to keep still, then you have a serious medical issue! By and large, the tracks on this record will bulldoze their way into your head with the power of a Russian missile and will not go away. Screaming Eagles has a Facebook page here - recommended.. 8.75/10 (Dave)

MY REFUGE...'A MATTER OF SUPREMACY'

(Bakerteam Records) Reviewed 5th October 2015

This is the debut full length release from Italian Power Metal Band My Refuge. And it ain't bad, rather good actually! Fronted by Davide Vella, this band deliver to the unsuspecting listener 10 tracks of Melodic Power Metal, which is rather pleasing to the ear. There is a twin guitar assault from Mauro Paietta and Simone Dettore, with bass duties taken by Salvatore Chimenti not forgetting Valerio Ferrari on Drums. Needless to say these musicians combine to produce some massive tracks like 'The Cage (Oh Demon In My Eyes)' with it's melodic chorus, the regal and fist pumping 'Calling Of The Wind', the balladic 'Endless Night', the pounding 'Living In Anger' where vocalist Davide lets rip, the near folk vibe of 'The Raven' and the catchy closing foot stomping number ’Somewhere’. And lets us not forget the further ballad, the dynamic 'Empty Room’ that bring a little calm to these rather awesome proceedings. Overall, this record is good, it is powerful, melodic, anthemic stuff and is well recommended by us here... 8.5/10 (Dave)

C.O.P…’STATE OF ROCK’

(AOR Heaven) Reviewed 1st October 2015

I stole this review from Dave as I do kinda like this Melodic/AOR style of music. Boasting Grand Illusion’s Peter Sundell, together with his younger brother Christian, Swedish band C.O.P play 80s style Melodic Rock as if the 80s had not gone away. There is some blistering stuff on this album, imagine those warm summer days, car roof down, music playing loud, I just wish (for the car I mean). This is kool! Only a brief review, but fans of Journey, FM and the like, take note, this ain’t ‘arf bad so check it out,..8.5/10 (The Nugget)

W.A.S.P….’GOLGOTHA’

(Napalm Records) Reviewed 17th September 2015

On ‘Golgotha‘, W.A.S.P. are staying true to the biblical horror stories they employed on ‘Babylon’ (2009): the name-giving place of skulls is the hill Jesus Christ was crucified upon. Faithful Blackie Lawless fans had to wait for new material for six years – and this 9 track album is damn well worth the wait! ‘Golgotha’ follows the path that was established with ‘Babylon’ and ‘Dominator’ and is soaring to new heights with highly melodic and pounding metal anthems like opener ‘Scream’, third track in ’Shotgun’, the catchy ’Fallen Under’ and the mammoth ‘Slaves of the New World‘. We also have balladesque moments like the epic tunes ’Miss You’ and the closing title track, real corkers in their own right, and both running in at over 7 minutes. Overall, this is a timeless slab of music that proves once more how important W.A.S.P. are to our music scene! Released 2nd Oct (9th USA), this is epic and a must buy for any half decent Rock and Metal fan - well recommended…. 9.25/10 (The Nugget)

ELECTRIC DEATHBEAT...'DEAD ECHO PARANOIA'

(Music Kickup Distribution ) Reviewed 15th September 2015

Electric Deathbeat hail from Northern Finland and their music using the band's words is a combination of Industrial, Gothic and even deathish elements. And those words are technically par for the course. There are 11 tracks here of some rather catchy but strongly industrially tinged and consistently good tracks, with immediate comparisons to bands like Deathstars and Dope Stars Inc. Fronted by JV, this band has the stage image to go with the music and I bet they are good live too. No particular faves here as the tracks are all good, but 'Oceans Above, Haven Below' is beginning to shade it for me upon repeated listens - sounds great through headphones! This band if given the right push in the proper directions could well break the Premier League of this style of music. If they do, you read it here first. Check out the band's website here... 8.75/10 (Dave)

WEAK...'DARK DESIRES'

(Woodhouse Records) Reviewed 4th September 2015

While German band WEAK fronted by Quim has published several EPs in the recent years and played lots of concerts and festivals, WOODHOUSE Records is now finally releasing their debut full-length album, 'Dark Desires'. Basically this is a very good album revealing many facets of the band's musical personalities, the Goth Rock, the heavier and the melodic, the atmospheric, the industrial and the glamorous. Great attitude coupled with up-tempo songs and catchy choruses, will take hold of you from beginning to the very last second. Favourite numbers include the melodic opener 'Wolfmoon', the pounding 'Jede Nacht' featuring a female operatic voice, 'The Safety Dance' (Men Without Hats cover), 'The Art Is Mine' and closing track 'My World'. Due digitally on Sept 11th and physically October 9th, WEAK stands for cutting guitar riffs, atmospheric keys, grooving beats, and expressive and emotional vocals, and therefore we well recommended this. View the first video from the album here..9.25/10 (The Nugget)

UNIVERSAL THEORY…’THE MOST ATTRACTIVE FORCE’

(Metal Hell Records/Self-Production) Reviewed 3rd September 2015

Universal Theory come from Spain and feature Jesus Pinilla; Guitars, Programming, clean Male Vocals and Majo Martos; Female Vocals. They class their music as Atmospheric-Gothic-Rock & Metal, Doom, Ambient, Dark, Romantic etc etc, so there is quite a bit thrown into the pot of musical delights. There are nine tracks on this release that starts with a punch, the short and bouncy ‘Before Sunrise’, a time of day that is not very well known to myself I must admit :) The pace continues with ‘Somewhere Else’ a slightly doomier song admittedly, featuring just the vocals of Mr Pinilla (as many of the tracks here do), while the slow to mid tempo ‘Unfinished Desire’ ups the tempo in the chorus. The title track is one of my favourites from the cd, a brooding, atmospheric but pounding tune, with further faves from the record being ‘Romance Pt 1’ and ‘Romance Pt 2’. This is good, it is doomy, it is heavy, it possesses a fair dosage of melody and we like it. The band’s Facebook is here… 8.5/10 (The Nugget)

MY DECEPTION…’SINFUL TWILIGHT’

(Ethereal Sound Works) Reviewed 28th August 2015

My Deception come from Portugal. Although basically a guy fronted band, there are at least two tracks that feature a backing female vocalist (Catia Kate Machado). This is catchy, thumping Gothic Metal with clean ‘gothy’male vocals and I must say it is rather good! Opener ‘Daylight Deception’ featuring Catia on backing vox sets the scene quite nicely, and this melodic and pounding Gothic Metal style continues into the 2nd track ‘Nothing Inside’. And it carries on…. ‘Infernal Temptation’ is an awesome bombastic tune while ‘Cold Life’ together with its chilling intro (wind, thunder and chiming bells) features the aforementioned Catia on backing vox once again – a totally magical and melodic number reminding me of HIM! There are further highlights all over the place on this 9 track album such as the pulsating tracks ‘Ode To Nothingness’ and the closing number ‘Sacrifice’. Actually, everything here is so catchy, so melodic and so gothy! Check them out on Spotify – well recommended especially if you prefer bands like HIM, Charon etc! 9.5/10 (The Nugget)

AWAKE BY DESIGN...'CARVE THE SUN'

(LMC Records) Reviewed 27th August 2015

Awake By Design from the UK (Midlands) is very pleased to announce that their second album 'Carve The Sun', is now available, and has been for a few weeks now and furthermore, we have the pleasure of reviewing what is a very good album! The cd features 10 brand new tracks, including the singles, the pounding ‘Tired Of Angels’ and the power ballad ‘Falling On Me’. I have to be honest and say that I liked their impressive debut offering 'Sentiment', but this release does up the ante somewhat, propelling this band towards the Premier League if they are not now already there. Adrian Powell's vocals are top class, and I have to say that this record has totally blown me away. There are further awesome cuts in addition to the two singles mentioned above, including the power ballads 'Yesterday's Rain' and 'Surface', and the rocking 'Moments Of Fame'. This so happens to be a Melodic Metal masterpiece throughout the 10 numbers, and that alone must surely get the band a wider recognition across not just the UK, but across Europe and maybe beyond. Check out the band's website at www.awakebydesign.co.uk/. Using Mr Bon Jovi's words, "Keep the faith" guys, this is damn awesome!.. 9.25/10 (Dave)

A TEAR BEYOND…’MAZE OF ANTIPODES’

(House of Ashes Production) Reviewed 24th August

A Tear Beyond from Italy gives to their audience not a simple performance, but a quite unique show full of emotions and meaning. Their repertoire goes from industrial and electronic sounds to gothic metal arrangements. Theatre is the main theme of their live performances, involving the audience in a new reality that oversteps the sound, merging disguises, entertainers, lighting effects, set designs and Venetian masks. Fronted by Claude Arcano, this album offers up seven tracks of Industrial/Gothic Metal, mixed in with some Theatric Metal (is there such a style? - there is now!). After an instrumental intro track, the album (the band’s second) gets going good and proper with the bombastic (using one of Dave's fave words) 'Flies and Raven's', a metallic and melodic track with subtle touches of gothy sounding electronica. Rather kool if I may say so, this track then being followed by ‘The Human Zoo’, a mid tempo pounding track that to be honest has blown my mind, who needs drugs when music like this can give you that high! All seven tracks here are highlights in their own right, heavy, gothy, melodic and theatrical, listen to ‘Forgiveness’ and ‘The Colors Of Sky and Earth’ (with operatic female vocals popping up) as further examples from this very good record. This album is a little on the short side, but it is a no filler all killer cd. The band’s website is here…9/10 (The Nugget)

BEDPAN FIGHT...EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 17th August 2015

Bedpan Fight hail from Brooklyn NY and this is a 4 track EP that came our way back in June. This four piece consist of Brandon Bujnowski (Producer, Songwriter, Guitar, Vocals), Tim Van Rosenberg (Songwriter, Guitar, Vocals), Allison Betus (Bass, Vocals) and Chris Barreto (Drums). They offer up the classic punk rock sound, four tracks under three mins with one running in at just under 2 minutes, so get the drift? To be honest this is good with the track 'Brooklyn Baby' being one of my faves from this little EP. The bands Facebook is here and the video to the closing track 'Final Breakdown' can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgJIl08FUQQ. This is classic Punk and it is rather good! 8/10 (The Nugget)

SUNSHADOWS...'RED HERRING'

(Fromtape Records) Reviewed 17th August 2015

Sunshadows come from France and they remind me of music from the early 90s (still remember the grunge era?). They also throw into the mix an element of electronics that go well with the metallic sounding guitars. The music is rather dark, but the songs are totally melodic which is absolutely fine to my ears. There are 11 numbers here with some powerful nuggets too. I myself do rather like the track 'Lied To Myself' throwing in a bit of subtle rap - yay! This is a band with promise and well recommended to anyone into this style of music, Deftones and Limp Bizkit being two bands that spring to mind as a comparison - website is at www.sunshadows.fr.. 8.5/10 (The Nugget)

NACHTGESCHREI…’STAUD UND SCATTEN’

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 10th August 2015

Nachtgeschrei (translates to English as "screams of the night") hail from Germany, and have released an album of some awesome Folk infused Metal on this their 5th full length cd. Although this was sent to me as an album that includes male and female vocals, I can hear no female vocals on this album, so hence this appears in our guy bands section. The numbers here sung in German, feature clean male vocals and is a very catchy and melodic album that will have you tapping your feet in no time at all. Folk Metal seems to be very much in vogue at the moment and I can see no fault in that. Having just been released on one of the biggie labels (7th Aug), this cd should be easy to obtain. Recommended, so buy and enjoy as let's face it, music is the language of life!… 8.5/10 (The Nugget)

DEATHSTARS...'THE PERFECT CULT'

(Nuclear Blast) Reviewed 6th August 2015

Deathstars latest was released around a year ago, but I felt it good enough to stick a review on this site, before I take myself off to work this afternoon - better late than never as they say. Deathstars come from Sweden and are frikin' cool! This album piles at the unsuspecting listener 13 awesome tracks, the band taking on board electronic, industrial, gothic and metal influences. Couple that little lot with some hideously infectious tunes, and you have one helluva hook laden album! Well worth checking out, so go out and get it if you have not already done so!...9/10 (The Nugget)

ASTORIAN STIGMATA...'BONES and MEMORIES'

(Standby Records) Reviewed 6th August 2015

I was born in 1984 and grew up with parents that loved the Rock and Metal music scene. So I know about many bands including some of the well established bands that my Dad used to listen too (and still does). So I know about the band Rush. What you are asking is, what has Rush to do with this band from the USA? Well nothing really as far as I know, but vocalist Dennis Condusta does sound a little like Geddy Lee, well to my ears anyway, and that cannot be a bad thing. Astorian Stigmata offers up dissonant synth driven sounds of early hard rock, blending musical influences from bands like The Cure and H.I.M, and with an attitude and unique fashion sense, the band has created a world all their own. It all started in 2009 as a solo project by front man Dennis in a place called Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. After years of touring and line up changes the band finalized in 2013 with DJ Laury (guitar), Kyle Drevenik (Bass), and Matt Gobbler (drums). There are 13 tracks on this impressive just released album, their 3rd full length by all accounts, offering up some rather commercial, radio friendly and very catchy Rock music, and they have the image to boot as well. I must say that this is a pleasant surprise as I was not totally sure what to expect. But you have 13 golden cuts of rockers and ballads, so I would suggest checking this one out, as there is a hidden gem in those parts of Pennsylvania waiting to take on the world! Their website is at www.astorianstigmata.com/home/...9/10 (The Nugget)

THE DREAMING...'RISE AGAIN'

(Metropolis Records) Reviewed 6th August 2015

The Dreaming is an American rock band founded in the Hollywood area in 2002 by Johnny Haro and Christopher Hall, who is the former lead singer of the band Stabbing Westward. This I understand is their 3rd full length album and this is a corking release from this US band, and right up my alleyway as well, that being the reason why I bought it :) Basically, there are 10 tracks of Modern Alternative Rock with powerful electronics that drive this record along - songs that get stuck in your head and refuse to go away. Just check out tracks like 'Painkillers', the pounding and very catchy 'Empty Promises', the anthemic 'Blink Of An Eye' and the melodic 'Still Believe' as classic examples of what I am ratting on about. Then we have the ballad 'Throw It Away' - magical! In summary: If you are a fan of The Dreaming’s previous albums or Stabbing Westward, this album I am confidently sure will grab your attention and will not disappoint... 8.75/10 (The Nugget)

DEVIL'S DICE...'LIBERTARIAN'

(D-Force Records) Reviewed 27th July 2015

Birmingham UK to be perfectly honest is the heartland of British Rock and Metal. And it continues into the 21st century and if band's like Devil's Dice are anything to go by, then it is going to continue a lot longer too. Having been in the recording process for a wee while now, what we have here are 11 tracks of pounding Rock music that will set the heartland and beyond a rockin' Fronted by Matt Gore, who is known as the front man in fellow Birmingham rockers THE MIGHTY WRAITH (of whom I have seen live more than once), Devil's Dice serve up a massive helping of hard rock. There are some massive sounding numbers here... 'Passive Resistance' takes you on a journey back to the rockin' 70 and 80s, while the catchy and anthemic 'I Walk Alone' is simply awesome! Then there is the bouncy ballad 'Forbidden Memory', totally majestic! There are further awesome cuts including the pounding title track and closing number 'Matter Of Faith', and that faith we need to keep. To summarise, this is an album that reminds us of the style of music that originally put England and the UK as a whole on the Rock and Metal map back in the late 70s/early 80s. This album will hopefully keep us there for a lot longer - the bands website is here... 8.5/10 (Dave)

TEN...'ISLA DE MUERTA'

(Rocktopia) Reviewed 17th July 2015

I like Ten, I have always liked Ten, I have seen them live more than once, the first time way back in 1993 in Manchester. They have released an array of albums since then, this one being the band's latest to hit the shelves. Fronted by Gary Hughes, Ten is basically a UK based Melodic Hard Rock band, their music rather inoffensive, you could even play it to your Granny and she may even like it :) (as I mentioned in a previous review). Isla de Muerta is the fabled “island of the dead” in pirate folklore, and Gary Hughes and his bunch of pirates deliver ten tracks on this recording that I have and it is all rather good. Indeed, while writing this and coincidentally, Natalie 'The Nugget' emailed me to say "what a voice Gary Hughes has". How true! I shall not delve into the tracks individually, but if you like melodic rock from one of the UK's best bands within that field, coupled with the customary ballad or two, then check this album out. 'Isla De Muerta' is good old inoffensive melodic rock, although perhaps not as good as some of Ten's previous efforts, still however well recommended... 8.75/10 (Dave)

BOREALIS...'PURGATORY'

(AFM Records) Reviewed July 17th 2015

Canada is not really a country that springs to mind when it comes to high-class melodic metal. This could possibly change a bit now with BOREALIS (fronted by Matt Marinelli) from Ontario. So far this young and extremely talented band may mostly be known to insiders and to a smaller devoted fanbase, but this their new (3rd) album 'Purgatory' proves that BOREALIS could be one of the best metal bands to emerge in recent years on to the international scene via a top label, AFM Records. There are 12 tracks here of some rather classy melodic metal and I do hear female vocals compliments of Sarah Dee, on the track 'From The Ashes'. The opening cut 'Past The Veil' comes blasting out of the speakers, while the second track, the previously mentioned 'From The Ashes' maintains the blistering pace! There are further jaw dropping numbers including 'The Chosen One' with its great chorus, the classy acoustic string driven ballad 'Darkest Sin', the power ballad 'Rest My Child' and the melodic closer 'Revelation'. Already released in Europe (June 19th) and due in North America July 21st, this is an essential 12 track listening experience for any melodic metal music fan!.. 9/10 (The Nugget)

DREAMBLEED...'BEAUTIFUL SICKNESS'

(Self Release) Reviewed 14th July 2015

Dreambleed is a Symphonic/Modern Metal band from Greece. Formed in 2009 by Manolis the lead singer, this is a rather interesting debut that features both Mark Jansen From EPICA, John LeCompt from We Are The Fallen (ex EVANESCENCE) and Christiana from ELYSION. Listening to this album, the Symphonic and Modern Metal influences are there for all to hear. And this record is also a very listenable experience, packing loadsa melody into the 13 tracks as well, coupled with some electro elements and two or three rather nice ballads to boot. 'I Will Forget' is a rather cool catchy opener while 2nd track 'Hopeless' features the unmistakable Mr Jansen. There are other coolio numbers here including the ballad 'Underneath My Mask' (feat Mr LeCompt), the bouncy & melodic 'Alone With Myself', another nice power ballad 'Hide and Sick' (feat Elysion's Christiana) and the Symphonic 'Hopeless'. Dreambleed's Facebook is here..the album is well worth checking out if this style of music floats your boat... 8.75/10 (The Nugget)

TO/DIE/FOR...'CULT'

(Massacre Records) Reviewed 14th July 2015

To/Die/For (often abbreviated TDF) fronted by Jape Perätalo is a Gothic Metal band from the town of Kouvola in southeast of Finland, assembled in 1993 as a hard rock band under the name Mary-Ann. In 1999, they decided to change their musical style to Gothic Metal, changing their band name as well. To be frank, they are a fave band of mine, hence me having the task of reviewing this their latest opus. If guy fronted melodic Gothic Metal is up your alleyway, then you are more than likely already aware of To/Die/For. And of course, they are from Finland and that wins brownie points before we even start :) Does anything musically that comes out of that country hit the button that says 'Crap'?. Needless to say, this is good. Opener 'In Black' gets things underway, a catchy opener and that catchy feel continues throughout the 8 tracks and 38 minutes of music. This is a 'safe & inoffensive' record that has commercial appeal, and even female backing vocals pop up on the recognisable Paula Abdul cover (yep, Paula Abdul!) 'Straight Up'. Released via Massacre, this album should be easy to get your grubby paws on...8.5/10 (The Nugget)

ANURYZM...'ALL IS NOT FOR ALL'

(Melodic Revolution Records) Reviewed 29th June 2015

Coming from the U.A.E this is a very interesting release we have here at Ravenheart Music. Anuryzm is a Progressive Metal quintet fronted by Nadeem Michael Bibby. They was formed in Lebanon in 2003 and now reside in Abu Dhabi. And they have a pedigree too, having shared the stage with the likes of Black Sabbath, The Scorpions, Epica and Nightwish among others. The album is divided into two sections, SEQUENCE I and SEQUENCE II with the songs according to the band spanning a variety of topics including humbleness, nanotechnology, illness, astral projection, extraterrestrial encounters, love, longing and remorse to name just a few. And it will be of no surprise that Dream Theater is one band that offers clear influences within Anuryzm's music. This is an intense release combining elements of Power Metal, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Prog and even a little of the symphonic on the intro to the blistering title track, and it all keeps your ears glued to the cd player until the end. There are some awesome guest collaborations here including Michael Lepond (Symphony X) and interestingly the son of Charlie Chaplin, Christopher Chaplin who plays the cello on the laid back and rather nice instrumental track 'Oceans Apart'. Being a fan myself of Dream Theater and UK Prog Metal masters Threshold among others, I do rather like this Progtastic release (with its nice artwork too) as should anybody out there that is into this style of music, so check the band out here and give them your support... 8.75/10 (Dave)

REAL:DEAD: LOVE...'VENICE FALLING'

(Self Release) Reviewed 18th Jun 2015

Tell you something: Finnish band HIM has a lot to answer for, with all these 'Goth Jovi' type bands springing up all over the place. But do not get me wrong, this type of music is the kind of stuff I really like. REAL: DEAD: LOVE come from Germany and ply their trade to the listener by way of 11 tracks of catchy, melodic Gothy Metal. Fronted by the vocals of Mr Blacksleaze (great name btw :)) the music here is rather cool. And I do love their very gothy and dark version of 'Nights In White Satin'. And for anybody who has been living under a stone for centuries, that was a hit by the Moody Blues way back in time, long before I was born. I must recommend this album if you love catchy Gothic Metal - check them out here...8.75/10 (The Nugget)

CHILD OF CAESAR...'LOVE IN BLACK'

(Inverse Records) Reviewed 16th June 2015

We have another rather good guy fronted Gothic Band to get our teeth into. And as I said in a previous review, these people that send us this music sure know we have an ear for melody. The band this time is Child of Caesar (www.childofcaesar.bandpage.com/) who come from Germany, and within this cd are 9 tracks of prime time melodic Gothic Metal for the listener to take a glorious romp through. Fronted by Daniel Mitchell from the USA, it all kicks into gear with 'Defector' and there are another 8 golden nuggets to follow the awesome opener. Second track in 'Red Sun' is as equally as good as the opener, and so is the rest. If you like your Metal Gothic and very melodic, my advice - buy this! Bloody marvelous!... 9/10 (The Nugget)

VOODOMA...'SECRET CIRCLE'

(Echozone) Reviewed 12th June 2015

Voodoma hail from Germany and they so happen to be a rather good Melodic Gothic/Dark Rock band. Fronted by a guy called Micha, this album is good! There are 10 tracks of Melodic Metal with some Gothic goodness from the darkside thrown into the mix. This is apparently obvious in opener 'Sanctus Domine', a great thumping opener with a Vatican like chorus :) And next up which so happens to be the title track is a tuneful Gothy blockbuster, rather good so I must say! The people that send us this music must know our taste buds like oudles of melody, and this album has just that. 'Abyss' is another pounding corker of a number and is one of my favourite tracks from this recording. There are other goodies including numbers like 'Faded Memory', 'Blood For Blood' and the nice power ballad 'One Last Goodbye', featuring the vocals of a lass called Amy Faye, and to be honest, throughout the 10 tracks there is not a filler to be found! This to my ears as a consequence is a very good cd and is highly recommended by myself and the team.. 9/10 (The Nugget)

SPEARFISH...'IN THE MEANTIME'

(Lion Music) Reviewed 8th June 2015

Sweden's classic rock underground heroes Spearfish fronted by bassist Thomas Thulin return with a hot new album ...'In the MeanTime'. SpearFish is also the backing band of 80-ies melodic rock legend Jon English, with who they have preformed several times at major festivals such as Sweden Rock. Spearfish have also toured as support act for Uriah Heep. This twelve track album is a real stunner, try to imagine Geddy Lee (Rush) fronting an AOR/Melodic Rock band! First track in 'Quicksilver Lining' reminds me a little of Asia in the intro, while 'South' is the album's first ballad - great guitar sound! There are some cool goodies amongst other goodies here including another ballad 'Gazing At The Moon', the intense 'Hawks Of War', the bluesy 'Gangsta City Blues' and 'Time Will Come' (listen to the lyrics - how true) . The cd overall is sound release and a very enjoyable listen for you music bods out there. Check the band out here - album released 19th June... 8.5/10 (The Nugget)

MYRAH...'UNTIL THE END OF TIME'

(Art Gates Records) Reviewed 4th June 2015

Myrah (www.myrahband.com) fronted by Patrik Essman come from Sweden - their journey began in 2005 in the cold mountains of Sweden, and since then Myrah has released three EP’s and two full-length albums; 'Six Feet Down' (2010) and 'My Deliverance' (2012), both receiving great reviews worldwide. Now in 2015, the band offers us with this latest release 11 tracks of rather catchy Gothic Metal. The catchiness is immediately apparent in the opening tunes 'Taken', 'My Angel' and 'I Lied', these numbers being a sure fire way to start an album. Yay, this is bloomin' good. And it continues throughout with further corking numbers including 'Into Oblivion', the awesome 'She Rides The Night', and the epic 'The Storm'. Myrah embellishes their Rock/Metal music with a Gothic feeling, giving the listener great melodies and emotions that engage the mind, and linger there for a long time. This recording is good and well recommended from the Ravenheart team.. 8.5/10 (The Nugget)

KONG...'ENTER THE MANESJ' EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 4th June 2015

Kong come from Norway and have recently released this 4 track EP. If you like old school hard rock/heavy metal, being influenced by 70’s and 80’s hard rock/Heavy metal acts like KISS, Iron Maiden, Metallica and the like, then this should be right up your alleyway. All four tracks from this popular band rock with that aforementioned 70/80s attitude, screaming all the while for your attention. Scandinavia has this habit of giving us some decent rock bands, add Kong to that list. The band's website is at www.kongrocks.com/, Kong is King!!... 8/10 (Dave)

LOFFT...'FOLLOW TO SURVIVE'

(Make Big Records/Believe Digital/Soulfood!) Reviewed 19th May 2015

Call it what you flippin' well like - "Modern Rock", "Alternative Rock" - LOFFT from Hamburg, Germany celebrate Rock, that old four-letter-word. Their songs are totally energizing and straight to the point - and you're welcome whether you want to headbang or dance. Songs like 'All I Ever Wanted', 'Count On Me' or 'Inferior' practise the riffs somewhere between CREED, PUDDLE OF MUDD and VOLBEAT. LOFFT's real strength however, is the ability to write great ballads. If the tracks 'Power To Destroy' (great guitar solo) or 'Talented To Hurt' don't melt your heart, then you simply do not have one, period!. This is a great album, 12 tracks of rock solid songs with stax of melody. Check the band's Facebook out here - gets released 12th June - frikin' good!... 8.75/10 (The Nugget)

CAPTAIN HORIZON...'IMITATION SUN'

(Rocksector Records) Reviewed 19th May 2015

Like the previous review I have just done (Carl Grocutt-Clarke), I have known the Captain Horizon guys for a wee while now, having seen them live on a couple of occasions, and this is their debut full length offering. The band has previously released 3 EPs, followed by a debut album 'The Lights Of Distorted Science' which was re-released as a digital-only bonus edition when they signed with Rocksector Records in 2014. The Birmingham (UK) guys give us here 10 tracks of Rock music similar I suppose to that of U2 and the like. Melodic, tuneful, radio friendly and totally inoffensive. This is an energetic and articulate release with passionate vocals from Steve 'Whitty' Whittington, backed up by an able bunch of musicians. Of the tracks on offer that are all consistently good, I am beginning to like the title track, 4+ minutes of total magic! Captain Horizon will be performing 2 sets at SOS fest this summer acoustic and electric. SOS fest is over three days this year 17th, 18th and 19th July @ Radcliffe Civic Hall, North Manchester. For a taster, check out some of their music here - recommended... 8.5/10 (Dave)

CARL GROCUTT-CLARKE...'THE VIEW' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 19th May 2015

Carl is an awesome singer songwriter who I have known for some while now. He has performed all over the UK and in Europe, fronting NWBHMB Cloven Hoof, rock band Undue and hard rock band RIP TYDE. Carl has many years experience performing live and enjoys writing music. Carl's Solo work however, differs greatly from the hard hitting Rock Bands he has been part of over the past years. This new and rather nice 6 track EP has overall a more atmospheric feel, more in keeping perhaps with acts like REM and James Blunt. I do like this, being radio friendly, catchy and something you could place onto the CD player when you have your Grandmother around for a cuppa! :) The album will be available early June 2015 on all good online stores worldwide, so well worth checking out! His soundcloud site is here, so have a listen and get a taster of the guy's music - recommended... 8.5/10 (Dave)

HINDER...'WHEN THE SMOKE CLEARS'

(The End Records) Reviewed 15th May 2015

Hinder is a massive band that were formed in 2001, they come from Oklahoma City, and this album will do no harm towards their cause of conquering the world. Featuring new vocalist Marshal Dutton (who in-fact has been a part of the Hinder family one way or another since 2009) as their lead singer, there are ten tracks here that range from rowdy rock to subtle country influences to memorable pop hooks, all of which retain the DNA-distinct spirit of Hinder. Some potentially massive anthemic hits on this album like 'Hit The Ground', where we are told that the lyrical content is "so genuine", the massive sounding 'Wasted Life', the melodic 'Dead To Me', and the awesome number 'Letting Go'. With their new vocalist who has breathed a new sound and new air into this ever-evolving band, after previous vocalist Austin Winkler departed (substance issues being cited as one problem - he is now clean we believe), this is a great album, like their others I hasten to add, ten tracks that are well worth the purchase price... 9/10 (The Nugget)

BEAUVOIR/FREE...'AMERICAN TRASH'

(Frontiers Records) Reviewed 14th May 2015

Do you remember Crown of Thorns?, an American AOR band that issued a totally awesome S/T album on Now & Then Records in the UK back in the early 90s. They continued to release further albums that although very good, never quite hit the quality that made the debut the awesome release it was. Anyway, the two stalwarts of that band have come together again - Jean Beauvoir (Lead and background Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Keyboards, Drums) and Micki Free (Lead Guitars, Rhythm And Acoustic Guitars) to give us an album of killer guitar riffs and major melodic choruses, to have you hopping around your living room in no time whatsoever. Eleven tracks of Melodic Rock heaven. In brief, this is an all killer no filler album that is up there with the best of them, including the Crown of Thorns debut. Quite simply buy - gets released 5th June... 9.25/10 (The Nugget)

HOUSE OF LORDS...'INDESTRUCTIBLE'

(Frontiers Records) Reviewed 12th May 2015

House of Lords debuted in 1989 (when I was just five!) with the release of their self-titled album, a monumental Arena Hard Rock release. Now 26 years on, the new House of Lords album (their tenth studio effort) has just dropped in from Frontiers, and Dave has asked me to review what is a rather good album from these American hotshots. The cd features eleven brand new songs, which masterfully combine the best of Heavy and Melodic Hard Rock incorporating powerful and heavy songs, with major hooks & melodies, coupled with grandiose arrangements that House Of Lords are famous for. It is a belter of an album if you like this style of music with favourite tracks a plenty, all dovetailing together very well indeed. Check out the rather nice 'Pillar Of Salt', the thumping '100mph' the melodic 'Call My Bluff', the ballad 'We Will Always Be One' and the effervescent 'Another Dawn', as prime examples from a very good record. Featuring the soaring vocals of founder member James Christian, this is trademark Arena Rock so get it in June when released! .. 9/10 (The Nugget)

FASTER RED...'84 @ 13'

(Self Release) Reviewed 29th April 2015

FASTER RED is an Italian rock band formed in Turin (Italy) in 1984, being active until 1990. In 2011 however, the group gets back together for a series of concerts. And on this, their recently released newie, Faster Red offer the listener ten tracks of catchy alternative rock, with a subtle progressive undercurrent, this style being well demonstrated on tracks like 'Don't Waste Your Life', while on the atmospheric sounding 'Dance In The Rain' they sound a little like Pink Floyd, to my ears anyway, and that is not a bad thing! And there are some mid paced melodic tunes too like the near 7 minute 'I've Made A Mistake' and the foot tapping 'Tonight I'm A Loser', while 'Lonely' is by and large the album's ballad. Overall, this is a rather decent release with some great musicanship, inoffensive rock music that you can play, even with your Grandmother in the room doing her knitting! The band's website is at www.fasterred.com/... 8/10 (The Nugget)

Archived Guy Band reviews can be found here.