Monthly Archives november 2012

Ballast through the looking glass

A review of Motorfinger’s Black Mirror

By Amanda Beadman

If we accept a linear interpretation of the way the loudest, heaviest music came to be – first there was rock, then hard rock, then heavy metal – then all the variants of metal splintered off, each vying for a new place in the evolution of powerful, intense musical genres.
If bands didn’t diversify their style and move away from metal as they evolved, they necessarily became heavier, darker, scarier, louder, angrier – or they just became Nickelback.
But some bands find what they like, work out how to do it well, and then they stick to it.
This is the case with Norwegian hard rock outfit Motorfinger.
You won’t find anything new here, but that won’t necessarily bother any listener who fondly remembers the era of Soundgarden, Al...

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Red Lamb: S/T

Hänsel & Gretel/MIG Music

ANTHRAX guitar slinger Dan Spitz returns from the world of clocks with a new band and a new album in league with Dave Mustaine of MEGADETH. Apart from guitarist Spitz and co-lyricist/producer Mustaine the band consists of vocalist Don Chaffin, drummer Patrick Johansson (YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, WASP), and Chris Vrenna of NINE INCH NAILS and MARILYN MANSON fame supplies synthesizers and programming.

MEGADETH sure has lent and arm and a leg to the overall sound of this album. Vocalist Don has a more than slight resemblance to Dave, and the overall sound is that of MEGADETH in the nineties. There are a few differences in song openings, Dan sure knows how to create riffs and quite a few guitar patterns are very enjoyable...

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Sinister: The Carnage Ending

Massacre/Sound Pollution

SINISTER has seen a lot of upheaval in the ranks. Since 2011 the band is spearheaded by Adrie Kloosterwaard, who has recruited guitarists Bas Brussaard and Dennis Hartog, bassist Mathijs Brussard and drummer Toep Duin. They also form the project band ABSURD UNIVERSE. The rest of the SINISTER of old are gone. But is the sound gone? NAPALM DEATH has survived in spirit with no founding members left. Proof of either this or that come in the shape of a 2 disc album, a full disc of new material, and a bonus disc of cover of the likes of WHIPLASH, POSSESSED and CELTIC FROST.

One intro later the churning refrain of “Unheavenly Domain” says that SINISTER has survived...

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The Graviators: Evil Deeds

Napalm Records/Sound Pollution

Back in 2010 I had the pleasure of listening to THE GRAVIATORS for the first time. Their debut was filled with doom, but also with a wee bit of stoner too much. Impressive nevertheless. But this time around they are on a bigger record company and have a more flashy info sheet. I hope for the best in doom and 70-ies of cause.

First up, THE GRAVIATORS have made some small adjustments, and will be a contender for heavenly 70-ies doom in 2012. Just don´t get too worked up about the somewhat lackluster opener “Soulstealer”. The title track should have been in its place, and all would have been swell. The cool refrain has something psychedelic about it and all is well...

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Gamma Ray – Skeletons & Majesties live

German metal legends Gamma Ray are releasing a new live album – ”Skeletons & Majesties Live”. The album was recorded at the band’s show at the Z7 venue in Pratteln, Switzerland from April 29th, 2011. ”Skeletons & Majesties Live” is being released on 2CD, Blu-ray and DVD. The DVD and Blu-ray feature additional bonus tracks, lots of behind the scenes bonus material, rare archive material and interviews with the band.
The double CD includes a total of 18 songs (plus intro & interlude). The DVD and Blu-ray versions feature six additional bonus tracks with alternative versions of ‘The Spirit,’ ‘Wings Of Destiny,’ ‘Farewell,’ ‘Gamma Ray,’ ‘Time To Break Free’ and ‘Insurrection,’ all recorded at another show at the Zeche in Bochum, the day before the Pratteln show ...

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Kotipelto & Liimatainen – Blackoustic

Stratovarius frontman Timo Kotipelto has joined with Jani Liimatainen (ex Sonata Arctica) to record an acoustic album. The duo has been working together and playing acoustic shows for some time and were regularly told by fans that they should do an album, so they’ve given the fans what they want.

There are thirteen cover versions plus one orignal track. Most of the songs were chosen from the duo’s live set-list, including Stratovarius covers like ”Black Diamond” and ”Hunting High and Low”, and also songs like ”Serenity” and ”Sleep Well” from Kotipelto’s solo albums. There are also cover versions of Pete Townshend’s “Behind Blue Eyes” and Deep Purple´s classic “Perfect Strangers” as well as the Gary Moore/Phil Lynott hit ”Out in the fields”.
The new track, ”Where my rainbow en...

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Taking a lift somewhere darker

A review of Purple Nail’s ‘Blood Tonight’ and ‘Turn to Dust’
By Amanda Beadman

Everything in life has its place – and the place for the latest two releases from Swedish goth-lite band Purple Nail is firmly within the newly established sub-genre of Elevator-Emo.
If an Evanescence fan wants to catch an elevator from the first floor to the 10th to enact a tortured break-up with their self-mutilating beloved – this is the soundtrack for their upward journey.
Both ‘Blood Tonight’ and ‘Turn to Dust’ offer half-committed vocals wrapped around darkly romantic lyrics, watered down power ballad-esque background compositions and shaky operatic bridges wedded together by a kind of musical Fugue state.
This is music that is bereft of highs or lows, a tranquilised thing with sleep...

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DENMARK’S COOLEST rockers, Volbeat, are confirmed to appear at the Download Festival 2013, set to take place June 14th – 16th at its usual stomping ground of Donington Park.
The last VB appearance at Download (2010) saw them serving up a blistering set of slicked-back rock ‘n’ roll – a feat they duplicated in style at Sonisphere 2011; since then, the band – led into action by vocalist / guitarist Michael Poulsen – have continued to enjoy ever-growing international success, playing major headline shows around the world and selling well in excess of half-a-million copies of latest studio album, ‘Beyond Hell/Above Heaven’.
Tickets for Download 2013 are available here:
Volbeat look set to release a brand new studio album in 2013.

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Jettblack live dates


UK ROCKERS, Jettblack, have been announced as main support to Thin Lizzy at the O2 Academy, Leeds; the show, on December 16th, will be a one-off opening slot as part of Thin Lizzy’s November / December UK tour.

Tickets can be purchased here:

Jettblack – recently back from a major gig in Toulouse as main support to French glam rockers, Black Rain – have also been announced to play the first ever HRH AOR Festival 2013; the event will take place on April 6th & 7th at Magna, Rotherham.

To buy tickets, go to or ring 08700 110034.

In addition, Jettblack frontman, Will...

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UK metallers HELL announce special one-off UK show for 2013!

UK metal legends HELL are putting on one hell of a show, to celebrate the start of the recording of album two.

This special performance coined as ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’, will be filled with “fire, brimstone and pyrotechnical madness”, with support coming from the epic ‘Winterfylleth’ and ‘A Thousand Enemies’. The show will also be filmed live and mixed in 5.1 for a special DVD release, later in 2013. Next year, on February 23rd, the UK will see HELL stage their full ’Church Of Hell’ at Derby Assembly Rooms, Darwin Suite.

”Over the last year and a half with HELL, we’ve always put on as much of a show as possible, but with limitations due to festival billings, Health and Safety and venue size”, says guitarist Andy Sneap...

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