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Ravenheart Music: Album Reviews

Guy Band Reviews

RAVENHEART MUSIC is and always will be a tool to promote female fronted rock and metal music. However, I am on the odd occasion receiving cds to review from male fronted bands. No matter what genre the music, male or female fronted, the musicians (in a scene that at times can be very intimidating), work damn hard. Therefore, we here at Ravenheart Towers will review on this page, any male fronted music that is sent our way. We are not changing our stance regards our beloved female fronted genre, we just feel that if any band takes the trouble to send us a cd from within the UK or anywhere else, the least we can do is review it!


REIGN OF SIRIUS...'MIRROR FIGURES'

(Self Release) Reviewed 20th June 2014

The Symphonic Metal genre seems to be dominated to a large degree by female fronted acts, so to be honest, it comes as a refreshing change to find a band from the UK fronted by a guy. Manchester based Reign Of Sirius is fronted by Alex Blaikie but with guest vocals from Jennifer Douglas as listed in the credits. This basically is a huge 8 track slice of Melodic Symphonic Metal with choruses to die for, and after the brief spoken intro, this is proven with second track in, the 8 minute plus 'Dice of Fate' - damn awesome! The momentum continues with the pulsating 'Rook and the Feather', and the vocals at times kinda remind me of Geddy Lee (Rush). An amazing start to the record together with a massive production. And it continues with the thumping 'Clockwork Creation' and the Symphonic, very melodic and quirky 7 minute plus title track, both with their catchy trademark choruses and both totally rip roaring stuff. 'Theatre of Masks' is a slower number also featuring female operatic backing vocals, while the the ante is upped again with 'Devil In The Maze'. 'The Last Lullaby' is the number that closes what is to my ears a very good album, and I am very glad that I have come across this amazing Manchester band. Their Facebook is here, check them out... 9/10 (Dave)

The EXPLODING BOY...'FOUR'

(Drakkar) Reviewed 18th December 2013

Very occasionally, I pick up on an all guy band, and this time, The Exploding Boy from Sweden has burst onto the Ravenheart scene. Indeed, they were sent my way by Anna Christina, vocalist with London based band LILYGUN, and to be honest, this record, the band's fourth full length effort is rather good. The first four numbers are pounding keyboard driven Gothic Rock songs that have sent a female member of the Ravenheart team into orgasmic spasms (LOL). Then we have a rather good power ballad titled 'Runaways' that keeps the quality top notch. The second half of the album perhaps drops the tempo very slightly at times, but maintains a rather good quality shown on the first five tracks of the record. This is Gothic Rock with Punk influences coupled with dark Pop/Rock hooks maybe with a subtle 80's synth feel. The band's Facebook is here, this is rather good and worthy of an 8/10 (Dave)

RIP TYDE...'NEW HORIZON'

(Self Release) Reviewed 15th July 2013

Dave knows Midlands based UK band Rip Tyde, more especially Carl Grocutt who fronts the band, Carl having once fronted a band called Undue. For fear of being a little bias towards the four tracks that make up this little EP, Dave asked me to review it, as I have some time on my hands before I start my new job in two weeks time. I must graciously say that if Dave comes across this type of music on a regular basis, female fronted or not, then I want more of it. This is good with the songs reminding me of The Foo Fighters and Velvet Revolver amongst many others that I can fail to think of at the moment. All four numbers are corking and to be honest, the band has to be looking at bigger things if a label of any significance picked up on this. To summarise, if Rip Tyde recorded a long player with songs of this quality, then the UK has a force to be reckoned with. Get down and dirty and check out Rip Tyde here, then go get the EP from iTunes - 8/10 (Rachel Miller)

PRETTY MAIDS...'MOTHERLAND'

(Frontiers) Reviewed 18th March 2013

Okay, The Pretty Maids may suggest an all girl band, but they are a well established Danish Melodic Metal band, and I am reviewing here their latest release. This band has been around for somewhile now, with a whole host of releases under their belt, many of which grace my CD collection. 'Motherland' will see the light of day later in March, and there are 13 tracks of awesome Melodic Metal and dynamic Power Ballads to please the ear of many a melodic rock fan. There are powerful and very catchy tracks like the opener 'Mother Of Lies', 'The Iceman' that sure packs a punch, the melodic 'Sad To See You Suffer', 'I See Ghosts' and the pounding 'Who What Where When Why'. And then we have the ballads, and some awesome ones too including 'Infinity' and 'Wasted'. If you like your rock music melodic, catchy but still with some serious ooommmppphhh!, then check this album out. Every track here is a sure fire winner, awesome stuff... 9/10 (Dave)

DARK VICTORY...'ATTACK OF THE SHEEPEOPLE' EP

(Digital self release) Reviewed 6th July 2012

Dark Victory is a UK technology based alternative Heavy Metal project with Simon Bell as it's main man. The band's previous release 'Dystopia' (see somewhere below) was recorded with Paul Trevithic on vocals, but in August 2011, Simon and Paul parted ways. Now having re located to Birmingham, Simon has been joined by Rick Willock (formerly of Snakebite) on vocals. This EP is a three track affair that was released onto the digital platform last month. Rick's vocals kinda give the music a 'punk vibe' reminding me a little of Pete Shelley from the Buzzcocks. So if you think Buzzcocks go metal, then this may give you an indication as to what is on offer. Kicking off with the pounding 'Plutonomy', this track is not a bad effort, while 'Fade' maintains the momentum started by the opener. Closer 'Sensuous Touch' as the title suggests is a slower more emotional number. Keep hard at it guys, I am sure fame will beckon. Their myspace is here, and also check out their Facebook. 7.75/10 (Dave)

DARK STARES..'TELL YOUR FRIENDS' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 9th March 2012

Dark Stares hail from St Albans in Hertfordshire here in the UK, and after having sat on the 4 track EP for a while now, I have finally got around to reviewing this little epic. My apologies to the band for the rather lengthy delay with the review, but what I must say is that this is good!! Opener 'Whisky' is a hard rock song that has been given a 21st century makeover, while second track in 'Long Live The King' is one of those songs that when you hear it after the first time, it sticks to you like glue - awesome! The "King theme" continues with third track in 'We Are The Kings Tonight', which is a slightly slower acoustic based number, while closer 'Invaders' returns to the hard rock theme. It is very hard for any rock/metal band to make it in the current musical climate, but if Dark Stares become the preverbial pain in the back side and start to pester some of the labels out there, someone just may sit up and take notice. Good stuff - check the band out here.. 8.5/10 (Dave)

ANGER MANAGEMENT..'OUTSIDE THE ASYLUM'

(Self Release) Reviewed 18th November 2011

I am always interested in music that comes my way, and here is another little gem. This band is called Anger Management and come from Kent. They offer up 5 tracks of music with attitude - Punk Rock to be precise. I have always liked the Punk scene with bands like The Sex Pistols and The Ramones striking a chord with me. Some hideously catchy stuff on this recording, with some interesting and thought provoking lyrics...'APATHY' for example - "IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM THAT YOU'RE STARVED WITH NO MONEY, GO GET A FUCKING JOB YOU USELESS LAZY SLOB". Come on guys & gals, have we not looked around at some of the dossers that roam our streets and thought just that, I know I have. That is in-fact a fave track of mine. The acoustic driven 'The Pursuit of Happiness (Leads To Sadness)' and 'And Then There Were 3' are other goodies. This EP is damn cool and will appeal most certainly to the bods out there that are into the Punk Rock scene. Their Myspace is here - recommended! 8.25/10 (Dave)


UNDUE..'BADTOWN' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 6th Sept 2011

Sometimes, a cd comes along and blows you away. This EP by West Midlands (UK) based Undue fronted by Carl Grocutt is one such record. The band was formed in late 2009 and offers up a kinda Melodic Hard Rock style, with a modern twist and a slight bluesy vibe. This 5 track EP showcases their style of music very well, and I know for a fact the disc is now picking up internet radio airplay Stateside. All the tracks here are masterful, but the highlight for me is the power ballad 'A Million Ways', with one of those guitar solos that send shivers down the spine. This track by the way dedicated to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation. I would certainly suggest checking this band out here. A recommended album and I would also like to add, that this band kick ass live! 8.75/10 (Dave)

CAPTAIN HORIZON..'RADIOSTASIS' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 22nd June 2011

Birmingham based Captain Horizon I suppose you would class as a Melodic Rock Band. The type of Americana style rock music that the record labels were throwing all their bucks at in the 80's, before grunge came along and ruined it! I have seen this band live and I must say that that in itself is an experience. Vocalist Steve "Whitty" Whittington moves all over the place, and I am sure if you had a stage as big as Wembley Stadium, it would not be big enough for Steve. Anyway, the music on offer should grace any self respecting rock fan's cd player. Whitty's vocals offer a cool gravelly style that suits the music well. All four cuts on the EP are good melodic cuts, but the fave to my ears are 'Anxiety Breaks Us All' and the title track. Anybody into the Melodic Rock/AOR scene will do themselves no harm in checking this band and their music out. Their Facebook is here. Throw down the sunroof, hit the highway and play Captain Horizon, loud. 8.5/10 (Dave)

PLAN THREE..'SCREAMING OUR SINS'

(Ninetone Records) Reviewed 26th May 2011

We review the occasional male offerings here at Ravenheart Music, and I must say that this band sure has captured one's interest here at the Towers. Plan Three is Swedish, and they play the type of music that would send Americans crazy. A kinda post Grunge sound, similar to an extent to Creed, The Calling or a more upbeat Radford. I admit to not having heard of this band until a track of theirs 'Brush It Off', was played on the mighty Kerrang Radio. Indeed, I must say that Kerrang now seems to be playing some decent rock/metal music again, steering away from the Indie Rock that used to be so common on that station not too long ago. Back to Plan Three, I love this band, with the vocals of Jacob certainly suiting this type of music - the quiet verse powerful chorus style. Some awesome offerings here, the powerful and catchy 'Still Broken' one such track amongst a goldmine of music. But the highlight amongst the 11 tracks has to be the single, the power ballad 'Brush It Off'. Mind blowingly good. This is post grunge Americana/Modern Melodic Rock at it's best and they are well worth checking out! 9.5/10 (Dave)

DARK VICTORY..'DYSTOPIA'

(Self Release) Reviewed 8th March 2011

Guitar based rock music from the East Midlands. That part of the Midlands seems to be a hot bed of melodic metal at the moment. A four track EP here from Dark Victory (fronted I understand by Paul Trevithick) that I am reviewing, with openener 'All I See' exploding out of the speakers in a wall of sound. Next up 'The Manufactured Truth' chugs along and is a fave of mine and to my ears in the strongest track on the EP. 'Memories of Amnesia' you do find yourself sub conciously tapping your feet too, whilst closer 'Mortal Coil' keeps the standard up. My only gripe, it sounds rather trebly to my ears and could do with a tad more bass. Would be interesting though to see this band live. Anyway, check them out at Dark Victory - Myspace. Not a bad effort at all... 7.75/10 (Dave)

IMPERIAL CIRCUS..'ABOVE THE DEEP'

(Self Release) Reviewed 19th February 2011

Here we have a blast of alternative Metal to wake up the neighbours, this five piece from Nottingham proves to me yet again the quality of unsigned talent out there no matter what genre you listen too. Shades of grunge here aswell on this, their debut offering. The intrumental 'Nykur' kicks things off, with the almighty 'In Stitches' following, coupling Leigh Dickens clean vocals with occasional demonic screams. The vocals are one of the plus points on this album as a matter of fact. Vocally, Leigh can do almost anything, backed by a totally competent bunch of musicians. Ballads, forget it as this album is an in yer face aural assault from all concerned. 'A Bitter Pill' and 'Fall From View' are fave tracks of mine on this album, the latter offering an almost progressive feel at times. An impressive debut here and the band is worth checking out at their reverbnation site. A good effort..8.25/10 (Dave)

VEGA..'KISS OF LIFE'

(Frontiers Records) Reviewed 3rd February 2011

Our first guy band review :) We will do the occasional few and this is the first. Vega features vocalist Nick Workman (ex UK Rockers Kick), together with the successful and respected song writing partnership of Tom and James Martin (guitar and keys) and drummer Dan Chantrey. And this Band has produced an album chock full of rather infectious tunes with more hooks than a Japanese Whaling Fleet. Some cool melodic rockers that occasionally remind me of Swiss Rockers Gotthard (Steve Lee RIP), 'One of a Kind' is one such track, and some rather tasty power ballads too,'Too Young For Wings' as an example. Bon Jovi influences shine through, listen to 'Headlights', while one of my fave tracks has to be the title track, but to be frank, this is an awesome release throughout. This kinda music may not be the stuff Kerrang FM would fall over backwards to air, but nonetheless, if you are a lover of Gotthard, Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, you will love this. And with production by John Greatwood (engineer for Tom Lord Alge of QUEEN fame) and mastered by the one and only Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69), on this showing, Vega may well spark a Melodic Rock revival...9.5/10 (Dave)