Category Cd Reviews


Med mer än 10 miljoner sålda skivor och flertalet gigantiska scenproduktioner, är Trans-Siberian Orchestra från Amerika utan tvekan den största rockoperan som fyller arenor efter arenor till sista plats. De är så stora att de aldrig någonsin agerat förband eller haft et förband med sig på en föreställning. I samband med att de skall göra en påkostad Europa-turné i Januari, passar de på att släppa en fin samlings-cd fullproppad med oförglömliga klassiker.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra är ett mycket speciellt band. Egentligen är det lite fel att kalla dem för ett band då de består av en gigantisk skara musiker och körer. Över 100 personer har medverkat i Trans-Siberian Orchestra (kör inräknat) live och på CD...

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Helldorado – Bones in the closet

Helldorado was formed in the spring of 2001 in Stavanger, Norway. Most of the members had been playing in local band The Tramps for several years, and had considerable live and studio experience with that band. They where looking for a much darker and broader musical landscape than they could find in The Tramps, and got together playing punked up surf covers with their new band Helldorado.

So in short what we have here is Mexican surf rock from Norway! It sounds like a bizarre combination, but the results are amazingly good – check out the video below to see what I mean.

The trumpets add much of the Mexican feel to the album, and the guitars and drums give the rock base...

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Counting Crows – Echoes of the outlaw roadshow

I must admit to being surprised that Counting Crows have chosen to release this live album. After all, it’s only a couple of years since their last live album (August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall). With the last studio album – ’Underwater Sunshine (Or What We Did On Our Summer Vacation)’ having been a collection of covers, I’d expected them to follow it up with a studio album of new material given that it’s been five years since their last album of new material.
Having said that, the band are touring and are about to hit the UK and the rest of Europe, so a live album to coincide with that does make sense, especially given the band’s reputation as a great live band.

The songs on the live album include four from the Underwater sunshine album along with tracks from their other al...

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„What we see around us is a world made of lies. Reality is rarely experienced it is escaped! Gashes of unbelief rattle our earthly path as we try to keep our illusions intact. Our human instict kills our creed and eats our brains. Yes, we prey on the living. You cant escape the truth! You will soon awake in the savage playground..” -states the introduction by the band, as a kind of explanation of the abstract context of the 4th Crashdiet album’s wild dream. The Savage Playground was one of the first rock productions released this past January, providing almost a full hour of totally crazy, orgasmic bliss for the rocking audience. The savage playground is THE SLEAZE ALBUM of today, written with capital letters, for all who have at least a tiny bit of sleazy feelings in their lives...

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Shannon: Circus of Lost Souls

Mad Association/MusicBuyMail/Sound Pollution

French surprise band strikes from nowhere featuring some true talents in the vocals department. Prior to 2013 I had never heard of SHANNON. The band formed in 1998 with Patrice Louis on guitars and Thierry Dagnicourt on keyboards. They soon found Olivier Del Valle (ex.JANNYLEE) on vocals, bassist Claude Thill (ex. DER KAISER) and drummer Maxence Pilo (ex. HEAVENLY) and convinced them of joining.

The band album debuted in 2003 with their own brand of classic US melodic rock and Europeanized NWOBHM style. Prior to this album they changed brhythm section and in came Philippe Sassard (SQUARE) and Jean-Marc Anzil...

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Raven Lord: Descent to the Underworld


Newcomes RAVEN LORD boosts one of the more interesting lineups of 2013. Front man Csaba Zvekan of KILLING MACHINE has joined forces with guitar hero Joe Stump, ex. TONY MARTIN bass player Jamie Mallender, drummer Lawrence “Larry” Paterson (ex. BLAZE BAILEY), guitarist George Karafotis and keyboard player Alessandro Duo. The combo sets out to find diehard devotees and fresh young disciples with their DIO/YNGWIE/PRIEST/SABBATH-tinged classic metal.

Opener “The Rebel” leaves little more to be wished for if you´re into the classics. Joe has an YNGWIE-like presence and tone and the US melodic heavy metal with European refrains sits nicely. Their “Atilla the Hun” will work most audiences on a drunken night, without quite reaching the opener´s magic...

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Heavatar: Opus I – All My Kingdoms

Napalm Records/Sound Pollution

VAN CANTO mastermind Stefan Schmidt is behind this one, enlisting the aid of classic drummer Jörg Michael and a bunch of classical composers. Modern, undoubtedly German, power metal meets classical music in various doses. The BLIND GUARDIAN choir is here in part, the same goes for Stefan´s friends in VAN CANTO. Everything for true lovers of metal is said to be here, can this project be that complete?

First up, to avoid taking up page after page I steer clear of enlisting every classical movement that is used on this disc. When I first heard “Replica” Everything felt familiar at once, even the refrain. It was so well-packed together and so aimed at what may have become the heart of power metal...

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Mortillery: Origin of Extinction

Napalm/Sound Pollution

The info sheet tells of universal praise, all hell breaking loose and the next league of thrash. Canadians MOTRILLERY has created a buzz, but they may not be filling those shoes today.

It is a matter of taste, as they have a female vocalist on the verge of cracking her voice, some punk thrown in and all the trademarks of old school thrash that many ask for. I personally was around when the old school reigned, and I think they are well up to par with many an underground act. The sheer frenzy of songs like “No Way Out”, “Feed the Fire” and “F.O.A.D.” (yes, acronyms ruled back then) are sure enough to have people speaking about a new wave. But there is no need for the album to sound as it was made back then, and I think there are a few fillers in here...

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Damnation Angels: Bringer of Light

Massacre/Sound Pollution

UK newcomers DAMNATION ANGELS show more than the term “newcomer” hints at. The lineup of main man, guitarist, orchestrator and backing vocalist William Graney (CRADLE OF FILTH orchestrator), vocalist Per Fredrik Asly (PELLE K for short as an artist), drummer John Graney, bassist Steven Averill and pianist Dawn Trigg have been around since 2006, and debuted with their first EP “Shadow Symphony” in 2009. The critics were nice and a lot of touring followed. The band then felt ready for their debut. This album was released in Japan in 2012 and the video for “Pride (The Warrior´s Way) has been viewed a lot on YouTube. What could stop them now?

Maybe not a lot...

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Various – Way to blue – the songs of Nick Drake

Producer Joe Boyd has brought together a group of artists to create a tribute album for Nick Drake. Nick Drake died at the age of just 26, still relatively unknown, but his songs have grown in popularity since his death. What is unusual about this album is that although each song is recorded with different singers or musicians, these weren’t recorded separately – instead Joe Boyd got everyone together in one place to record together. The artists chosen had to have one quality – they had to sound unlike Nick Drake.

So what we have here is a collection of 15 of Nick Drake’s songs, recorded with quite different styles with very different sounding vocalists. There’s a mix of male and female vocals, with all being at a high level of quality...

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