The Outfit

The Outfit-The Outfit Review

The Outfit hail from Chicago, a city known for its blues, its soul and its jazz, but rarely its rock. Each member of the band from the Nawara brothers, to Mike Gorman and Andy Mitchell are professional musicians who’ve got decades in the music game. With a love of classic rock and good melodies, they’ve come together to form The Outfit.

From the get-go, it is quite clear where The Outfit takes their influences from. Songs like the Wire, Lucky one and TKO bring a sense of clear melody with hard thumping rock and roll to the centre of the listener’s attention. Soldier Boy has that infectious groove that would make people at the rock gig, or the disco-are they still a thing?- start dancing and moving. There’s a hint of the Foo Fighters about Soldier Boy and Unfolds in that they start either quickly, or slowly, but still have that oomph factor that makes all rock songs great.

Just as One, Miracle, No Lights On and Hot Love close up a stellar album that delivers on its promises, and brings either haunting melodies to the fore or straight up rockers. There is a diversity on this album that can only come from having experience in the game. It is a simply superb collection of songs that would make for a fun listen live.

The Outfit’s debut album will be available everywhere on 2nd February.

EmpiresFall

Empiresfall Interview

Bandpic_EMPIRESFALL

I had the pleasure of interviewing Empiresfall this week, we talked about the band’s name, their influences and the new album check it out below:

 

 

  1. What’s behind the name, and what were your influences?

Thats the most asked question. 🙂 Well….. As I started the band I was looking for a bandname that sounds powerfull and tragic at the same time. There were many words or names. But Empires Fall was actually my favorite.                 And the reason why its written as one word is …. It looks way better. 😀             So its just for aesthetic reasons.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Where do you get inspiration for song ideas and lyrics?

Thats hard to tell. When it comes to Guitar Riffs, sometimes they just come by.And sometimes I have a melody in my mind and try it to transpose it on guitar. Lyrics are sometimes like a jigsaw puzzle or simetimes I have a story in my mind and try to write it down. I actually write a lot. I have many boxes at home with lyric sheets. 😀 Its good to be prepared.

 

 

 

  1. Is there a theme linking the songs in A Piece For The Blind?

If there is one …than its the theme of the betrayed, Manipulated, restrained, controlled and blind humanity. I guess its a reflection of everything I`ve seen in the past.Cruel governments and politicians who are totally blinded by making profits. Dont care about life or death. The static growing hate, anger and especiallity the lust for war. There was no plan at all to make it a concept album. Of course the songs should fit together by sound and riffing. Lyricly it just happened that way. Its totally different like the previous record.

 

 

 

 

  1. What plans have you got for the future?

After the release( Februar 16.2018 ) date we try to doing shows as much as we can. We also  have a Music Video in the making. And also prepare for the next record. But thats in the future 😉

 

 

 

Thank you so much for the interview and for your support.

Cheers and way more beers

  Franky C.

Orphaned Land

Orphaned Land-Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs Review

Orphaned Land is a band that has a rich cultural and musical heritage, hailing from Israel, and the Middle East, their music has often been cited as a healing balm for a land that is often divided and at war with itself. Their music is always topical and relevant to the specific time period within which they are operating, and their new album Unsung Prophets and Dead Messiahs comes at a time when things are even more uncertain.

Songs such as The Cave, We Do Not Resist and Propaganda highlights the aggression as well as the melody that the band is so very well versed in. They also highlight the uncertain times within which we live, and the possibility for a difficult time for those within the Middle East Especially. All Knowing Eye, Yedidi and Chains Fall To Gravity show off the band’s brilliant musicianship which has been honed through almost three decades of playing and expert crafting of techniques. The vocals of Kobe are flawless throughout the album.

Like Orpheus Features a collaboration with Hansi Kursch from Blind Guardian, and the melody and drive of the song are simply perfect, both Hansi and Kobe play off of one another really well, bringing a song to peak perfection. This continues throughout the album, making this perhaps one of the best and most refined albums Orphaned Land has produced, which given their extensive and brilliant catalogue is saying something.

Orphaned Land has got a great collection of songs here. Each song plays off the previous one incredibly well, forming the narrative of a land, a people and a time that seems quite chaotic, and unlike any time since World War 2. I believe that this is an album that any definitive metalhead must check out and purchase, when it comes out on 26th January.

 

 

Anvil

Anvil-Pounding The Pavement Review

Anvil, the name itself invokes heavy metal, the band who belong to that name, -or is the name that belongs to the band?- have been doing solidly since 1981, when they first broke ground. They are the band that got Anthrax started, that provided the influence for countless metal and rock bands throughout the decades, and they are the band, who despite fortune being a bitch, and countless other things, have kept going. Persevering when the world told them to stop, they stuck the middle finger up and kept going.  And now, they’re back, Pounding the Pavement is their newest release and boy is it a blinder.

From the get-go, there is a real solid feel to the album. Bitch In The Box seems like a commentary on the issues with Siri and other such technological innovations and is a humorous rocker for an opener. Ego, continues the trend, bringing the thrash to the record, a headbanger that is sure to get people going when played live. Doing What I Want has echoes of another ‘fuck the mainstream’ band Motorhead, and that is a high compliment, vocalist Lips is on fire throughout the song.

The fire and energy continues in Smash Your Face, the title track Pounding The Pavement, Rock That Shit and Let It Go. With the entire band sounding on fire, brimming with energy that would put a lot of younger bands to shame. Then there’s Nanook Of The North, Black Smoke and World of Tomorrow, delivering slabs of fist pounding metal for mass consumption. Warming Up and bonus track Don’t Tell Me bring an absolute belter of an album to a close.

Anvil, they are band that continue to persevere regardless of what others tell them. They never give up, and they never give in. And with Pounding The Pavement, their spirit shows in fine mettle. Do yourself a favour, when this album comes on 19th January, buy it. You won’t regret it.

EmpiresFall

EmpiresFall- A Piece To The Blind Review

EmpiresFall hail from Hamburg, Germany, the home of a great many metal bands, and since their formation have produced a highly praised EP and a highly praised debut album. Now, they’re back with their second album, and with many metal albums have got the perfect cover for the message they are trying to convey.

With songs like Betrayers, In Decay and Blood From The Sky, the band are setting a new benchmark, bringing with them solid chops, and a proper vocal melody. And this carries on in songs such as Bloodshed and Chaos and Wasteland, with Wasteland containing an element of Alone in the Dark by Testament.

Enemy of Mine and a Piece for the Blind demonstrate the heavy and melodic sides equally for EmpiresFall bringing the album to a superb conclusion. And making it evidently clear that EmpiresFall are a band that has the right cards in place to truly create something special.

The album is out on 16th February, be sure to make your purchase.

Sacred Leather

Sacred Leather-Ultimate Force Review

Sacred Leather has been described as a return to roots, rock and roll. A band who wouldn’t be out of place in the 1980s or 1970s. And as singer Dee Wrathchild himself has said: “Since the incarnation of SACRED LEATHER, it has been this band’s mission to return the true essence of heavy metal to the masses.”  Their album Ultimate Force will show whether or not they maintain this standard.

With songs like Ultimate Force and Master Is Calling, Sacred Leather are showing off their chops, honed over the years in bars and in rehearsal spaces. Dee’s vocals are something else entirely, unique in the metal world and purely uncontested. The guitars are finely honed, the rhythms accurate to the point. It is atmospheric and dynamic, something that is lacking in modern mainstream music. Truly with songs such as Power Thrust and Watcher, one would be forgiven for thinking that they were in the 1970s and the dawn of the metal movement.

Sacred Leather is onto something golden here, they have found a niche within the metal market, and are slowly making it their own. I suspect that great things are within their future, especially if they continue down their current path. Ultimate Force is out 23rd February via Cruz Del Sur Music.

 

Apostle Of Solitude

Apostle Of Solitude-From Gold To Ash Review

Doom metal, inspired by Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer originally, has now got countless influences reigning through it. It is a genre that has brought great joy to many, and terrified parents and authority figures alike. Apostle of Solitude is a band that has a special place in the movement, having got a neat trick of releasing an album every four years, their fourth album From Gold To Ash comes four years after their third album Of Woe and Wounds. A highly anticipated album for fans of the band and the doom metal scene, it is the first record the band has done for Italian Label Cruz Del Sur Music.

From the off, with the opening number Overlord, it becomes clear that there is something fresh about the band. They aren’t going to be treading down the usual tropes that so often haunt doom metal. This is proven correct by the next track Autumn Moon, which is melodic and haunting, the perfect movement into the hard-hitting Ruination Be Thy Name. After such a stellar introduction, many doom bands would be tempted to repeat the formula, but Apostle does something different.  They move into epic territory with the epic Monochrome, then shift into overdrive by Keeping The  Lighthouse.

The music as with all good music has the backing of solid vocals, brilliant guitars, and pounding drums. I believe, that this album will be the album that takes Apostle Of Solitude out of the underground and into the mainstream metal wise. Be sure to buy it when it comes out on 23rd February.

Dead Man's Whiskey

Dead Man’s Whiskey Interview

Image may contain: 1 person

On Sunday, I had the absolute privilege of interviewing James and Elliott from Dead Man’s Whiskey. We talked about the band, the album and their influences and more:

 

  1. Could you take us through what inspired the name of the band and what your influences are?

 

Elliott “How we got to the name of the band is kind of complicated. So some of the guys were in a band called Whiskey Chasers beforehand, and when that ended we wanted to use that name, but were told we couldn’t. Then we came to Dead Man’s Hand, but found that there were a lot of bands using that name, so we stopped using that, then we decided to merge the two names and that’s how we came to Dead Man’s Whiskey.”

 

James “ As for influences, it’s quite varied, be it Guns N Roses, Black Stone Cherry, Alter Bridge, Maiden, Prince. It’s a mix between what our parents got us into and what bands we discovered ourselves.”

 

  1. Could you talk us through the process of writing your album Under the Gun and what the inspirations were for it?

 

James: “Some of the songs on the record are older than people realise. Live, Loud and Ready and Rooster Crows were written by myself and Billy when we were living in some shitty apartment. As for inspiration it’s mainly about the struggle you go through trying to make it, and the love of playing music. That’s definitely embodied in songs like My Year, Make You Proud.”

 

Elliott: “Then there’s Hoe Street, which is quite tongue in cheek.”

 

James: “Yeah, Hoe Street’s about this place where myself and Billy live, which is quite I guess famous for certain things. Nico came down and he couldn’t believe a lot of what he saw and heard, so he wrote this song filled with double entendres and it’s very tongue in cheek.”

 

  1. What was it like being able to play alongside a band as iconic as Diamond Head?

 

James: “We played alongside them for the Islington show, and it was great, they were really down to earth, humble guys. Who were more than willing to talk to us and share advice about the industry. I remember mentioning to Brian Tatler that I loved the song ‘Sucking My Love’ and he was amazed.”

 

Elliott: “It was great, they’re really nice guys and they don’t have any ego whatsoever, they’re really easy to talk to as well. And they had awesome riders.”

 

  1. What plans have you got for the future?

 

Elliott: “We’re going to be quite busy. Our tour starts in February and runs until May, going to be booking a few festivals soon as well. We’re heading into the studio to record two new singles as well. Maybe do some extra stuff for the first record, and we’re also writing new material as well.”

James: “We’re also honing our live show, getting a new box of tricks. Something that we learned watching Diamond Head play.”

 

Vojd

Vojd Interview

I had the pleasure of interviewing Peter from Vojd, here we discuss the band’s history and the new record:

1. What was the inspiration behind the name of the band, and what are your influences?
 I went through a thousand names before I came up with Vojd. To be safe from other bands with similar name I choose the spelling with the J.
We all in the band has different influences. That’s what make our sound I guess.
My influences when I write music varies all the time. But this last year I’ve been listening a lot to bands like Roky Erickson, ZZ top, Motörhead, Alice cooper and Hurriganes, to name a few. One influence I’ve always had since this band started is The hand of doom. A great band from Germany that only released one album called Poisonoise back in 1979. Check it out.
2. How do you think your career has progressed over time? Is there anything you would change?
We have become better songwriters and more tight as a band. We’re moving more in the same direction now I think. And that’s a great thing.
3. The material on the new album is incredibly diverse, was that a deliberate choice? What was the process behind writing the songs?
It was not deliberate. The thing is that even if you’re not aware, you’re always getting new influences and ideas that take the songs in a new direction. Me and Joseph has a lot of different ideas when we write songs. So I guess that’s what makes it so diverse.
4. What plans do you have for the future?
Come out and play more live and promote the album. Maybe recording some cool 7″. I like that a lot.
Accuser

Accuser-The Mastery Review

Accuser are legends, on the same plain as Kreator, when it comes to being the founding fathers of German Thrash Metal, and Thrash Metal in general. Their catalogue needs no introduction but simply put, they have never delivered a bad album, in this writer’s humble opinion.  Two years since their last release, The Forlorn Divide, they are back, with a new album entitled The Mastery.

Opening track Mission:Missile really sets the tone for the record, as any good opening song should. It starts with sirens wailing and the guitars and drums beating in time together-think Hit The Lights- before moving into the pulsating rhythms that Accuser are known for. The Real World is lyrical heaviness, with melodies thrown in for good measure. Two songs in it is clear that Accuser are not going to be skimping on the heaviness. For good measure, Solace In Sorrow is thrown in to reinforce this.

Time for Silence and My Skin whilst not being slow songs by any means are definitely more reflective-if that is the right word- than the previous numbers, and as such deliver all the more bite because of that. Really, the band sounds in fighting form here, and that means these songs will translate well when played live. Harmonies abound on later songs, demonstrating the skills of guitarists Dennis and Frank.

The Mastery, is a good record to use to introduce someone to the quality that is Thrash Metal, and would serve as a useful springboard into the band’s catalogue as well. As a new record, it is clear that the songs here come from the heart and symbolise a band in their element.