Dienstag, 29. August 2017

OVERKILL - "THE GRINDING WHEEL" (2017)

OVERKILL - "THE GRINDING WHEEL"
(Running time: 64:10 minutes; 11 songs)
("Nuclear Blast Records"; 2017; CD):
Hey guys, here's the next one coming for you and like (yesterday) announced it is finally again a new record review on a new 2017 album and in this case we will now have a detailed look on OVERKILL's "THE GRINDING WHEEL" released this yery year via the german "NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS" label. OVERKILL were one of the very first Metal bands that "went beyond Heavy Metal" that I far way back then came in contact with and I fell promptly in love with them, and if the world would be an anyhow/anyway just place, only a very little bit, OVERKILL would definitely occupy safely their place in the ranks of the so called "Big 4" of Thrash Metal but anyhow. Over the last decade I lost them a little bit out of sight and so "THE GRINDING WHEEL" is their first album to make its way into the ranks and onto the shelfs of my collection since their "KILLBOX 13" masterpiece from sort of one and a half decade ago or so. The albums since then I know, some more and some less, but somehow none of them made its way into my home, why ever, but this finally changed again with "THE GRINDING WHEEL". Reading first reviews on it back when it was released at the beginning of this year of 2017 made me damn curious on/about it and so I went and bought it finally one beautiful day and oh hell yeahr how it should conquer me, damn it!!! OVERKILL's "THE GRINDING WHEEL" is, in my perception, a mixture out of their very hymnal and anthemic early days and records when they played a very strongly Heavy Metallic sort of Thrash Metal and of their phenomenal stunning intense and heavy yet still very diverse atmospheric mid to late 1990's phase and especially their absolute masterpiece and my all time favorite of them "THE KILLING KIND" comes to my mind (and its also just fantastic successor album "FROM THE UNDERGROUND AND BELOW", too), and I would say that when you add sort of an epic approach to it all you may get a pretty good impression or imagination of what "THE GRINDING WHEEL" is all about, and just by the way "THE GRINDING WHEEL" is OVERKILL's 18th full length album and it's so incredible fresh, play- and joyful, delivered with so much heart, passion, soul, and energy like the most and biggest majority of today's oh so much celebrated newcomers and young ones in (Thrash) Metal not a single bit get it done, yes, and this says a lot (if not everything). The energy level is all the time shifted to/on "high octane full throttle" mode and it's just fantastic that OVERKILL so easily manage to work into the surely mostly by mid paced tempo dominated songs one hell of an incredible big dynamic and a lot of surprising elements and parts, atmospheric and emotionally intense tones, as well as just purely exciting twists and turns, massive slamming grooves, top notch changes of the tempo and the pace of the songs, massive sing along anthemic and hymnal parts and "hooky" refrains, just pure damn crushing heavyness, and one hell of a strong and great inner diversity of the songs, all marked by an amazing compositorial work and just absolutely shining arrangements. It's just, yes, damn fucking outstanding amazing, period. The harsh and heavy yet just highly diverse and rich-on-variations as well as just fucking intense and atmospheric guitars really shine with their brilliant rhythmic work and their "godlike" melody lines, leads, and solos. Blitz' vocals, that are backed up by top notch loud crew back up chantings, just totally shine in their still very own extremity and with their very own unique identity and character and also with a huge load of fantastic melodies worked into the lead singing performance. The absolutely top notch rhythm section then finally is sort of the "crowning point" of/to it all. The songs are nothing but epic or at very least "epicly done" with no song being shorter than five or six minutes and yet they are so exciting and grapping over all the time and just so diverse and varying and just "valuable'n'rich" that their flow is definitely nothing but highly-to-highest impressive. And with so much to offer and so many absolutely rousing, grapping, and exciting force in it all "THE GRINDING WHEEL" is just one hell of an intense and great ride. That these fine gentlemen are also high skilled musicians should be clear anyhow. If you ask for my personal favorites then I would name you "MEAN, GREEN KILLING MACHINE", "GODDAMN TROUBLE", "SHINE ON", "THE LONG ROAD", "LET'S ALL GO TO HADES", "RED, WHITE AND BLUE", and the larger than life bombastic and epic titletrack "THE GRINDING WHEEL" itself. The bonus song "EMERALD" is also a fantastic piece and a true gem and with its very strong melodic and hymnal, pure Heavy Metal character it is also one of my absolute favorites on this one here. But also the not mentioned ones are anyhow pure Gold as well. Absolutely first class lyrics, a beautiful artwork, and a top notch production sound we get on top of it all. So, yes, here we have a through and through pure and true force of an album that's nothing but incredible great and comes damn close to being a through and through perfect album. Okay, I think I've said enough, closing time up here right now again, yes, so my final words are: Amazing, get "THE GRINDING WHEEL" as soon as possible if you still don't have it in your collection. And now, of course, cheers and good night.
(9 of 10 points)
http://wreckingcrew.com/Ironbound/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)







OVERKILL - "SHINE ON" (2017, "THE GRINDING WHEEL")


















Montag, 28. August 2017

AXEL RUDI PELL - "GAME OF SINS" (2016)

AXEL RUDI PELL - "GAME OF SINS"
(Running time: 64:21 minutes; 11 songs)
("Steamhammer" & "SPV"; 2016; CD):
So guys, back again, doing what I use to do up here, yes, and so next post, next record review, and next... okay, okay, okay... I'm about to trick you with this one because before a next new 2017 album will be reviewed by me for you up here I'll anyhow do a review on another 2016 album "just" because, yes, damn it, I have this one now already sort of one-and-a-half year and I finally want to get the review on it done and after this month is sort of an "unofficial-official" (Hard) Rock/(Heavy) Metal month (more or less...) up here this certain or particular album is also a perfect match to the current "monthly theme", and, yes, so here we go again (-but you can be sure about that the next review up here the coming days will be one on a 2017 album, definitely, trust me): Here now comes my review on the 2016 full length release "GAME OF SINS" by the german legend(s) AXEL RUDI PELL for you, okay, it was released @ the 15th of January of 2016 via "STEAMHAMMER" and "SPV", yes, and for all what I know it's still the current proper full length album of/by AXEL RUDI PELL because since "GAME OF SINS" so far 'only' a sort of a compilation (?) album titled "THE BALLADS" was released more or less recently this very year, yes, and so you see that there's still anyhow enough of justification to still do a review on it up here for you anyhow anyway. So, okay, with this 'general-information-talking' out of the way let us now have some more precise and intense looks and 'listens' on and in AXEL RUDI PELL's "GAME OF SINS", the 16th full length album in sort of over 25 years. AXEL RUDI PELL and 'his crew' deliver here on and with "GAME OF SINS" again a 'brilliantly' done heavy and stunning as well as also a 'larger than life' very hymnal and melodic/symphonic Hard Rock (or Heavy Rock) album close to the border of/to Heavy Metal and it's crossing this thin border more than just one time. A very unique and 'stunningly' hard and heavy yet 'fantasticaly' melodic and symphonic guitar work with a strong (very) own character to it all and pretty much sort of highest skilled done, yes, rich on variations, very diverse and working in a 'compositorial-damn-great-way' a lot of different and varying moods, emotions, and tones/tonings into the songs as well as also great 'twists-and-turn' and smart changes; and, yes, I'm pretty sure you guessed it already so far and if you did/do so you would (have) be(en) right with thinking, saying, and stating that the guitar work is the definite keyelement of the music and songs of/by AXEL RUDI PELL and so also on "GAME OF SINS" and this (one more time again) in a very impressive way the guitars are delivering a just outstanding strong and also nicely diverse and varying rhythm work full of grapping arrangements and rousing a massive load of tension all the way, yes, and then above all shine the truly larger than life guitar leads and guitar solos and they are also adding to the very own and pretty or very unique character of AXEL RUDI PELL's music and this in a massive way. Also adding up to this all and also doing this in a massive way are the phenomenal strong lead vocals that also shine in a very self-contained/independently (bright) light and have a very own tone/toning and so also a very own character and are also just done 'impressively' strong. The rhythm section is then the final precious gem that "GAME OF SINS" offers to us all, yes, and the harsh and definitely stunning, dustdry, and bonecracking heavy and very tight and consequent to the point played yet very dynamic and diverse performance of bass and drums really "just" conquer and this in an absolutely impressive and massive, yes, 'simply' totally conquering way and style. The atmospheric arranged and working keyboard also is 'just' absolutely pure gold. That the "musical delivery" is 'just' absolutely top notch and definitely highest skilled should need no further explanations and so I won't babble on and on about it. To or about the songwriting I more or less said some lines above (when I was praising the outstanding "trademark-guitar-work") quite a bit and so I will here and now just say that it is nothing but grapping and exciting, intense and emotional'n'atmospheric, very tight and also very dynamic, yes, and definitely also very diverse and varying, pretty multi-layered and offering a lot of (very) precious treasures to discover while the level of power and energy is always very high, no matter if we get soulful ballads, heavy rockin' stompers, epic masterpieces, catchy anthemic hymns, or hard slashers, yes, so for sure the quality as well as the intensity is always very high. A big load of great lyrics, a fantastic beautiful artwork, and a first class production sound finally round it all succesfully up. The whole album is a damn great piece of art and music and so I am really not so sure if listing my favorite songs here and now for you as sort of "informations-where-to-start-your-journey-to-discover" the "GAME OF SINS" by AXEL RUDI PELL but if you're really interested in it then I'll name you the (al)mighty "FIRE", "SONS IN THE NIGHT", "GAME OF SINS", "LOST IN LOVE", "THE KING OF FOOLS", "BREAKING THE RULES", and the breath-taking and amazing cover version of BOB DYLAN's almighty "ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER" (the bonus on the limited (?) digi pack version of the album, that I thankfully call my own), so maybe start your "discovering journey" of AXEL RUDI PELL's "GAME OF SINS" maybe first with the here mentioned songs, yes, all true and pure great ones. Any fans of AXEL RUDI PELL definitely (so I am very sure) have (and love) "GAME OF SINS" already for quite a while since it was released one or one and a half year ago and so I don't need to praise it anymore to you, yes, but to any Hard Rock (or Heavy Rock) and also Heavy Metal fans out there that maybe still don't have or even know AXEL RUDI PELL's "GAME OF SINS" I can only highly recommend this truly great album and so you best go out and get your hands finally on a copy of it as soon as possible, yes, because otherwise you would really miss out on one hell of a top notch release; so, yes, now just go and get it. And I'm already stoked and pretty excited for the new AXEL RUDI PELL album  to finally be released and maybe I'll also finally grab a copy of "THE BALLADS" album that I've mentioned above one (soon) day, yes, and maybe you should do so, too.
(9 of 10 points)
https://www.axel-rudi-pell.de/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)






AXEL RUDI PELL - "FIRE" /live\ (2016, "GAME OF SINS")























Sonntag, 27. August 2017

ANTHRAX - "FOR ALL KINGS" (2016)

ANTHRAX - "FOR ALL KINGS"
(Running time: 59:39 minutes; 13 songs)
("Nuclear Blast Records"; 2016; CD):
Hey guys, next one is coming up online already today (or at least I'll try to). After last time (which means two hours ago or so) we went back in time, "review-wise", and landed again in 2015 (after yesterday we finally reached 2017 again) we now start to move ahead in time, "review-wise", again and this time we will have a close look on a 2016 album, yes, before we will then hit 2017 again with the next post (but that probably won't happen still today). So, yes, 2016 is now in the centre of our interest up here respectively a 2016 album that I will review right here and now for you, okay, this 2016 album is no other than ANTHRAX' last year "FOR ALL KINGS" longplayer that was released via the german "NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS" label. ANTHRAX returned with "FOR ALL KINGS" to carry on the legacy that they've created so far already with "WE'VE COME FOR YOU ALL" (an almighty masterpiece) and "WORSHIP MUSIC" (a damn strong one) so you can expect and prepare yourself for thrashing Modern Metal or modern Thrash Metal (I guess that depends on your own favorite perspective) and all with some good doses of some heavy hitting & sharp cutting Modern Rock in it, too; with a clear and damn strong focus on crushing grooves and a very forceful and charismatic rhythm work and with also a big focus on slashing mid tempo pace and just pretty cool and stunning as well as more or less often surprising and always strong rhythmic and "guitarwise" gadgetries. What I personally like very much is the fact that ANTHRAX play it all very fresh and independently, not copying anything or anyone and even not them-/theirselves. For sure, "FOR ALL KINGS" carries forth what they've started with the two above mentioned albums, no doubt about it, but "FOR ALL KINGS" really stands for it own and it definitely stands and holds its very own ground and this also in the ANTHRAX discography, well, and if you really desperately want to compare "FOR ALL KINGS" to any other ANTHRAX album then imagine a very unique and independently, self-contained mixture out of "WE'VE COME FOR YOU ALL" and "PERSISTENCE OF TIME" and you maybe get a pretty good imagination of what "FOR ALL KINGS" is all about. Make sure that you are well prepared for an impressive guitar work that shines damn bright in the rhythm department but that also carries huge loads of fantastic melodic lines, leads, and solos; for really fantastic lead vocals that absolutely excel on the whole album no matter what the conditions to master are (and that are nicely backed up here and there in a beefy way); and for a just forceful, stunning, tight, and to the point played rhythm section. It's all surely top notch stuff. ANTHRAX deliver that all on a very high skilled level and melt it all together via energetic and dynamic, intense and also pretty atmospehric and nicely varying songwriting, and all is on point. The whole album is also marked by a pretty cool and powerful "catchyness" and the songs are very melodic as well as "crushingly" in a rockin'n'groovin' way and showcase also a lot of hymnal/anthemic potential, as well as a lot of rousing and grapping moments and elements so that a lot of tension is caused. That the delivery is all the time on point should be clear and should need no further mentioning, and so it is here just mentioned for "reasons of completeness". Strong and good, also pretty diverse and socially aware/politically outspoken lyrics, a highly beautiful artwork, and a fat "bombing" powerful production sound then round it all up, yes, and this in a fine way. My personal favorites are "YOU GOTTA BELIEVE", "MONSTER AT THE END", the title track and über-anthem "FOR ALL KINGS", the absolutely brilliant "SUZERAIN", "ALL OF THEM THIEVES", and "THIS BATTLE CHOSE US". But the not mentioned songs don't fall off (much) anyway anyhow - beside the incredible boring and sort of "just" too "blocky" (in an annoying, negative way) "DEFEND/AVENGE" - even I would here and there wish for sort of a little bit more "fresh excitement" or how else you may call it other/better, hm, but maybe that's just me and so anyhow. At the end of the day I can calmly and clearly recommend ANTHRAX' "FOR ALL KINGS" to any fan of the "new" ANTHRAX and fans of modern Thrash Metal and hymnal thrashing Modern Metal as well as surely also fans of heavy hitting Modern Rock, yes, because it's simply a really strong and also a damn good album that you definitely should have in your collection, yes, and so in case you really don't have or even know it so far you just finally should get your ass off, go out, and get a copy of it, hell yeahr, because it's for sure a strong and a truly damn good album, point and fact. And now, yes, I guess that's it so far and so now I just wish you a nice evening tonight and we will read us sooner or later again the next days, cheers.
(8 of 10 points)
http://anthrax.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)






ANTHRAX - "SUZERAIN" (2016, "FOR ALL KINGS")













DEF LEPPARD - "DEF LEPPARD" (2015)

DEF LEPPARD - "DEF LEPPARD"
(Running time: 54:33 minutes; 14 songs)
("Bludgeon Riffola Ltd." & "Edel Germany GmbH"; 2015; CD):
Hi folks, I'm finally (or so) one more time back @ it again, doing some new stuff up here, heading into the final week of the (if you want so) solely (or more or less solely) Rock and Metal month up here, and we will do this with this review on the 2015 self-titled full length album by the british grandmasters of Rock, yes, no one else than the (al)mighty DEF LEPPARD. When this album came out back then two years ago in 2015 I've read a lot of very enthusiastic reviews saying that this is sort of a comeback for this fine gentlemen with stating that DEF LEPPARD released with "DEF LEPPARD" their best album since/in 28 years, their best since their immortal and larger than life classic "HYSTERIA". Hm, I won't go into this simply because back then when "HYSTERIA" first came out I was like six years old or so and so anyhow I don't think I would be the or just a right one to judge this, no, but what I can judge and what I will say is simply that DEF LEPPARD's "DEF LEPPARD" was and damn sure still fucking is one damn amazing hell of an album; and I'm pretty sure it will continue to be and stay exactly this for many, many years to come, point and fact. DEF LEPPARD celebrate on this one highest skilled, playful and colourful, very passioante and heartfelt, honest and just really big AOR on one damn incredible high level of quality with totally unexpected youthful-fresh energy and all is highly dynamic and filled to the max with varying and diverse arranegments rich on varaitions and high on adrenaline, this is truly nothing but absolutely top notch first class Melodic Rock with a lot of Pop Appeal and some slight Hard Rock impressions in it all with a classic but yet very youthful and fresh approach to it all. All is filled with a very multi-layered and just rich guitar work that excels with just amazing melody lines and sensitive leads and just very symphonic solos as well as a totally overwhelming and just massively conquering soulful rhythmic work; and for sure the guitars are the most marking trademark on/of "DEF LEPPARD" and they just shine in an incredible bright light and are full of emotions and just a through and through heartfelt authenticity, creating many larger than life moments again and again. Then there is a just "stunningly" cool and nicely present absolutely high skilled bass work that manages to commute "brilliantly" between clever and laid back restraint on the one side and sheer force and cool "walking" grooves that mark the songs strongly on the other side. The very sensitive and yet still nicely with some power delivered keyboard playing enriches the songs in a very strong way, like the powerful "punching" drumming creates the right loadable foundament of the songs to be build further on with a lot of tension created through an impressive strong compositorial work. The melodic, clear, and yet with a lot of force delivered lead vocals, that are also joining forces with some nice backings here and there, then finally put the crown on it all. All is delivered by high skilled musicians on a very high level of musical quality and this all via one hell of an outstanding songwriting that rouses a lot of tension, that is filled with grapping and exciting moments and surprises all along the ride (like for example the smart tribute to Psychedelia in form of the masterpiece track titled "SEA OF LOVE"), and with just a lot of awesome arrangements. This is an exciting ride from start to to finish, and it is one outstanding piece of just really great and impressive masterpiece Rock music, and it is also fantastic how hymnal and anthemic this whole album is and this all combined with a very cool attitude and an intense and emotional (and this means "emotional-diverse", but all the time honest and real) atmosphere, and from (powerful) ballads to just cool and hard rockin' and harder groovin' Rockers we get here it all. Strong and intersting, pretty often also strongly "uplifting" lyrics, a transparent and clean, yet still warm and nicely powerful production sound, and a first class artwork we finally get on top of it all as well. My personal favorites are "LET'S GO", "DANGEROUS", "MAN ENOUGH" (sort of the coolest walking bass I've listened to in a long while), "WE BELONG" (incredible beautiful), "INVINCIBLE" (my absolute personal favorite), "SEA OF LOVE", "ENERGIZED" ('the-name-is-programm') "ALL TIME HIGH", "FOREVER YOUNG", and "LAST DANCE", so maybe start your journey to discover DEF LEPPARD's self-titled "DEF LEPPARD" masterpiece, but be sure that the not mentioned songs are definitely no weak stuff. Only "BLIND FAITH" and I don't really come together, hm, but however... What I also really like, no, not like but honestly love is the fact that this album is incredible powerful and lifts you up in a massive way while listening to it; and so, yes, it's no wonder that it's one of my current favorites respectively (to say it better and more precise) currently in my current Situation one more time again one of my favorites. So, okay, I think so far I've said it all what there was to say, so yes, DEF LEPPARD's "DEF LEPPARD" I can only highly recommend to you if you are into AOR, Rock and/or (still very melodic) Hard Rock and so if you really still don't know it then make sure to change this best right now. An amazing album, still today, point and fact.
(9 of 10 points)
http://www.defleppard.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)





DEF LEPPARD - "INVINCIBLE" /my.personal.favorite-and.it.gives.me.especially.currently.a.lot.of.power.all.the.time\ (2015, "DEF LEPPARD")











Samstag, 26. August 2017

COUNTERFEIT - "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER" (2017)

COUNTERFEIT - "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER"
(Running time: 32:32 minutes; 10 Songs)
("Xtra Mile Recordings Ltd."; 2017; CD):
Hey guys, finally back straight into the action again and so here now comes a new post which means in this case (again) a new record review for you, and this time we finally will have some good close looks and even closer listens to a new 2017 release, and this means in particular here and now that the "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER" album of the young, british/english Modern Punkrockers COUNTERFEIT from the city of London is in the centre of the interest; okay, yes, and so here we go: This album was a birthday present from my beloved sister, and before I got it this band and album were totally and completly unknown to me. I'm glad that this finally changed simply because this is nothing but a really damn good band, COUNTERFEIT, that had delivered this year  here with "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER" a truly strong piece of up-to-date "modernised" Punk/Punkrock with some strong Modern Rock/Modern Metal and huge Melodic Hardcore influences in it and that will please fans of like (only for example) RISE AGAINST definitely and also fans of (again for example) late/later BLINK 182 and +44 will surely like if not love COUNTERFEIT and will surely enthusiastically cheer up to "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER" (even you should keep in mind that COUNTERFEIT play it all definitely much heavier and with strong Modern Rock/Modern Metal marks in it and also with a lot of up-to-date "corey" elements to enrich it all, and the play it pretty self-contained after all), and it's something that I would best describe as Modern Punkrock and, even far more important than how I would or in fact do describe it, it is something- and especially in this particular case of COUNTERFEIT with "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER"- that I really fucking like and celebrate hard, period. The frontman and lead singer, Jamie Campbell Bower, is also known from the cinematic screen and from movies like the great "HARRY POTTER" saga and also the ridiculius bullshit farce that is "TWILIGHT", but that all is just to be mentioned as a side note, now back to the really important topic, the music of/by COUNTERFEIT delivered here on/with "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER". It's a very high energetic and a damn highly dynamic 'cory'n'punky' stunning rockin' musical cocktail with rousing and stunning changes in pace and rhythm of the songs, full of fast speeding pogo parts, crushing "slammy" grooves, and a lot of cool nice surprises and some damn grapping unexpected twists and turns along the ride. All delivered by really heavy and yet very melodic and nicely diverse-varying guitars (that deliver strong bulky rhythms as well as a great melodic work with their leads'n'stuff); powerful and strong, pretty charismatic and snotty lead vocals; some strong chanted crew back ups; and a massively asskicking rhythm section. The songs offer huge sing a long potential and shine very often in an impressive hymnal and anthemic light. The songwriting is "grappingly" varying and also above all pretty intense and creates a tight and already pretty unique atmosphere with its somehow sinister-and-yet-still-gladiatorial'n'uplifting-attitude to it all. All in all COUNTERFEIT's "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER" is maybe or surely not yet a through'n'through masterpiece of an album, but it is a very good and a damn strong asskicker that I simply and clearly can and will calmly recommend to you all outta there with a faible for modern Punkrock/Core/Rock/Metal with a big heavy hitting intensity and a very intense melody work as well and a simply exciting approach and style to it all. COUNTERFEIT are definitely a band to look out for; and with saying this I now will close this review and you better make sure to get your hands on a copy of "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER" - and don't get a wrong impression because of the lame and dull boring artwork, and beside this we also get (thankfully) interesting and diverse lyrics and a first class production sound. So, yes, that's it, so now go out and get it.
(8 of 10 points)
http://therealcounterfeit.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)








COUNTERFEIT - "LOST EVERYTHING" /my.personal.favorite (also lyricwise, sort of pretty exact my current situation... again... or so...)\ (2017, "TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER")


















Mittwoch, 23. August 2017

ERIC CLAPTON - "I STILL DO" (2016)

ERIC CLAPTON - "I STILL DO"
(Running time: 54:16 minutes; 12 songs)
("Polydor Records"; 2016; CD):
And here comes the next one, and again, next post, next record-review, but finally leaving 2015 again for now with now hitting 2016 before more or less soon then next up will be finally again a new 2017 release be reviewed up here by me for you. And after I declared this whole month yesterday to a Rock and Metal month up here I thought today that a little bit of good old Blues won't spoil anything this month (as if some good old Blues could spoil anything "at-any-time") and also somehow matches pretty good to the schedule up here this month so far, yes, and so now here we go: Here now comes my record review on ERIC CLAPTON's 2016 full length album "I STILL DO", released, of course, in 2016 via "POLYDOR RECORDS". "I STILL DO" is sort of a very personal album, at least so in my perception while listening (enthusiastically) to it (but, yes, as if any good Blues record wouldn't be anyhow anyway a "personal affair"), and it features a well mixed combination out of new own Slow Hand masterpieces and a bunch of "good cover versions", and it is/was produced by or together with Glyn Johns who also done the recording of ERIC CLAPTON's classic "SLOW HAND" back then all the way back in 1977. The album title, "I STILL DO", is or was inspired by some "private-famous" or maybe also "last" words of ERIC CLAPTON's aunt who died at the age of 89 and who, so the story goes, used this "slogan" very often and it finally (should) become/became the name of the album: "I STILL DO" (what adds to my perception of the very "personal character" of the whole album). The whole record/album is a very intense and reduced, "down-to-earth", honest and authentic, pretty fresh intoned Blues album with some (slight) Rock and Soul infuences in it as well as it is peaked with some surprsingly fresh marks in it like for example healthy doses of Folk and some few Gospel music notes that enrich it all. Soulful and playful, very emotional and intense guitars, building a strong and grapping tension as well as creating a very tight and rousing atmosphere and the intense songs inherit a inner strength that's just impressive, not to talk about the strong own identity and the own character that mark them as well, too. ERIC CLAPTON delivers on and with "I STILL DO" fantastic guitars that are played full of heart and soul and passion and deliver a wide diversity of tones/tonings and moods and just shine bright with all their class and intensity, and he gives us a heartfelt lead singing performance that only add strongly to the very emotional approach of the whole album, the reduced and basic rhythm section gives us dustdry and yet boneshaking strong rhythms, adding a solid and loadable backbone to the songs. Strong "second-voice-singings" (in parts female, in parts done and delivered by "prominent co-singers") and a lot of fresh ideas and just a sympathic spirit and a authentic attitude then make it all complete, and for example great piano parts just make it all only stronger at the end of the day. My personal favorites are "ALABAMA WOMAN BLUES", the "strong force" that is "CAN'T LET YOU DO IT", the incredible beautiful "I WILL BE THERE", "LITTLE MAN, YOU HAD A BUSY DAY", the traditional "I'LL BE ALRIGHT", and "CATCH THE BLUES", yes, that are my favorites on "I STILL DO", an album that also delivers very interesting and good lyrics, a very cool artwork, and a totally warm and earthy and also "sympathic" dirty production sound. ERIC CLAPTON and Blues in general fans should really call this one their own, you will enthusiastically cheer up to it, trust me, because it's "simply" an emotional and passionate and a truly damn good album that I here and now can "only" calmly recommend to you. Yes, I think that's it so far, now you know what's up and what you best should do promptly, yes, so now I wish you a nice evening and a good night and then soon or so more, again.
(8 of 10 points)
http://www.ericclapton.com/LiveInSD?ref=https://www.bing.com/ (-the link to Slow Hand's very own homepage, check it out)







ERIC CLAPTON - "I WILL BE THERE" /feat. ED SHEERAN\ (2016, "I STILL DO")











SAXON - "BATTERING RAM" (2015)

SAXON - "BATTERING RAM"
(Running time: 50:21 minutes; 11 songs)
("UDR"; 2015; CD/limited digibook Edition):
Hey guys, back on track again, next post, next record-review, next 2015 release in the focus, and after paying respect to a lot of great 2015 releases especially over the last days now we will have a look on one of my personal favorites and top ten albums of 2015 and so now here comes my review on SAXON's "BATTERING RAM" for you. Okay, so here we go: "BATTERING RAM" is the 21st studio/full-length-album by the Heavy Metal/NWOBHM legends SAXON in their impressive career that's already ongoing since 1979, and this alone already means or says something. But what really says and means something and "something-a-lot" is the stunning and breathtaking quality of "BATTERING RAM", an album that from start to finish lives up to the promise of its name. We get hard hitting, sharp cutting, and hymnal stomping, nicely varying and incredible fresh delivered and strong done Heavy Metal/NWOBHM full of "playfullness" and to the peak packed with forceful energy and energized dynamics and shining bright with fresh ideas, cool surprises, and a strong and especially hard (or "hard'n'heavy") rocking'n'rolling approach to it all and that also not shies away from massive stunning groovy rhythms. Sharp cutting, definitely harsh and powerful yet pretty to very melodic and especially very charismatic lead vocals; brilliant and very, very forceful as well as diverse done guitars that shine with very strong rhythmic work(s) and with "earthy" and "organic" grooves and all delivered highest skilled and also damn fucking very fresh and exciting, yes, and all heavily defining the music and the songs, while the first class top notch melodic lines and also the very "out-standing" leads and the exciting killer solos that are nothing else than a pure "joyride" full of "hellish joy" enrich it all massively and also truly pretty unique; varying and all the time damn "crushingly" heavy and just very, very bulky and to the point played, delivered, and done drumming in combination with an asskicking bass work culminate in an over the top rhythm section: this are the ingredients of "BATTERING RAM" and SAXON melt it all "uniquely" together by fresh and alive/lively songwriting full of great ideas, a bunch of nice surprises, outstanding strong verses and just "mighty-to-almighty" athemic refrains that turn song after song in one hymn followed by the next, the passionate play with different tonings in combination with a wide palette of moods and emotions, with strong tension building via impactful arrangements and an intense "dramaturgy" and a tight atmospheric "composition-work" to it all. "BATTERING RAM" is an intense and a forceful and an exciting, a through-and-through powerful and thrilling, and very unique as well, yes, a true stand-alone album and this also to date with now being already two years old; and in short it's in my book one of the very, very best SAXON albums ever and maybe my favorite one of them since their almighty "UNLEASH THE BEAST" masterpiece from back then in the glory days of my youth that were the 1990's. My personal favorites are the crushing "BATTERING RAM" itself, the hard rocking AC/DC inspired anthem "THREE SHEETS TO THE WIND", the "breath-takingly" intense "KINGDOM OF THE CROSS", my personal anthemic über-hit "TO THE END", the sinister and stoic smasher "QUEEN OF HEARTS", the "loud'n'proud" asskicker that is "HARD AND FAST", and the larger-than-life "TOP OF THE WORLD". All is finally enriched by very strong lyrics that also really had and still has a lot to say, a just "stunningly" beauty of an artwork, and a sheer massive wall of (production-) sound as well. For every SAXON maniac and every Heavy Metal and NWOBHM fan, yes, you now here get nothing but my highest recommendation, and I think that all you Hard Rock fans outta there will also nothing but love this out-standing masterpiece that is SAXON's "BATTERING RAM"; and so, in case you really don't know/have it so far, shame on you, go and get it as soon as possible. This is just amazing, it's awesome, and it's a fantastic masterpiece that's since two years now on my heavy rotation schedule, and trust me, that should tell you all about it. I just truly love the "BATTERING RAM", it's one of those (few) perfect albums out there.
(10 of 10 points)
http://saxon747.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)





SAXON - "TO THE END" (2015, "BATTERING RAM")







SAXON - "KINGDOM OF THE CROSS" (2015, "BATTERING RAM")

















Dienstag, 22. August 2017

HELLOWEEN - "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" (2015)

HELLOWEEN - "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT"
(Running time: 61:20 minutes; 13 songs)
("Nuclear Blast Records"; 2015; CD):
And on we go, still remaining for a while "ongoingly" in the year of 2015 and remaining still in the Metal and Rock department also with this very one here (and I think I'll probably make out of this whole month finally a complete and "through-and-through" Rock/Metal month up here, even this wasn't anyhow planned but so far it's exactly that and so I think I will stick to/with it this month), and here's my review on the mighty HELLOWEEN's 2015 full length album "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" released via the german "NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS" label and it's still so far and for all what I know the current/actual release of/by the legendary HELLOWEEN and so there's anyhow more than enough justification to still do a review on it up here even it's already two years old now. HELLOWEEN are true Metal legends from Germany and they mean a lot to me, even my personal favorites of/by them are all offspring(s) of their still very strong today going (hm... anyway... you know what I want to say ;-) ...) Andi Deris era and my all time favorite HELLOWEEN album is definitely their unrivaled "MASTER OF THE RINGS" masterpiece, yes, and what shall I say: "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" comes incredible damn close to "MASTER OF THE RINGS" in the sense of its quality and its approach, too, with its fantastic cocktail of top notch melodic Heavy Metal, speedfilled Power Metal respectively powerful Speed Metal marks and doses in it, and with a big stunning load of massively hard rocking and heavy grooving Heavy Rock ingredients, all melted together by larger than life melodies, a over the top hymnal/anthemic potential/approach, a first class tight and to the point as well as diverse and multi-layered/rich-on-variations-and-surprises songwriting, and a just sheer fantastic highest skilled guitar work and all is crowned by Andi Deris' stunning and very charismatic vocals. The songs or better the writing and the arrangements and the composition of the songs cover a damn wide palette of different approaches (from gloomy stompers to huge dramatic tension-builders to hard rockin' and groovin' anthems and then to speedy power monsters we find everything on "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT", and this all also on the highest levels of quality), and all is also done very, very intense and each song truly shines with its very own strong atmosphere and pretty unique character, yes, with its very special flavor to it, painting a rich and diverse picture with overwhelming impressive varied different colorful tonings and moods that are mirrowed in the very multiple/diverse "musical work" on "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" and this painted "musical picture" is just nothing than fascinating, grapping, interesting, rousing, and just "stunningly" awesome and it offers so much, so many different surprises and fresh ideas and is also so uplifting and rousing, soulful and playful, all done with so much passion and diversity to it, yes, this is just a totally amazing piece of music of the very highest quality, period. Prepare yourself for brilliant powerful, melodic, rocking, grooving, symphonic, high skilled, diverse, and just fantastic guitars delivering massive rhythm work, bright shining leads, and strongest solos; for above all shining amazing charismatic lead vocals that are also often nicely backed up by hymnal backings; for a sheer full force rhythm section played in a diverse way all the time to the point; for stunning verses and anthemic refrains; and prepare yourself for all this done in a brilliant way, point and fact. A big bunch of very good and pretty cool lyrics we get on top of it, as well as a typical, very cool HELLOWEEN artwork, and a first class transparent and also powerful production sound. My personal favorite songs are "HEROES", "STAY CRAZY", "LOST IN AMERICA", "RUSSIAN ROULÉ", "THE SWING OF A FALLEN WORLD", "CREATURES IN HEAVEN", "LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE", "IF GOD LOVES ROCK & ROLL", and "CLAWS", but don't make the mistake and think that the other here and now not mentioned songs would be anyhow weak or something like this, because hell no, that they are definitely not. The only song that I can't really "follow" is the finishing song "YOU, STILL OF WAR", an epic and I'm pretty sure also an anyhow pretty strong song but I simply somehow can't relate to it. Anyhow, I'm pretty sure that's just a matter of me and my personal taste and not of the general musical quality of this particular song. Yes, I'm very sure about/on this. Something that I haven't mentioned in a clearly "outpointed" manner so far is how impressed I am by the constantly very fresh and grapping dynamics and the also constantly very high energy levels of the whole album, just fantastic and, like already said, very impressive. Okay, I think that's it so far, and if you love some impressive and fresh up-to-date yet real and just honest and fantastic Heavy Metal and if you really still should not know or have HELLOWEEN's "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT" then by any means make sure to finally change this and best do this right now, this is a nearly perfect album that I can only highly recommend to you even now two years after it first saw the light of day.
(9 of 10 points)
https://www.helloween.org/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)





HELLOWEEN - "LOST IN AMERICA" /live\ (2015, "MY GOD GIVEN RIGHT")















Montag, 21. August 2017

BLIND GUARDIAN - "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" (2015)

BLIND GUARDIAN - "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR"
(Running time: 71:14 minutes; 11 songs)
("Nuclear Blast Records"; 2015; limited digi-book CD release):
Hey guys, here's the next one coming for you. And also or still right now we'll currently linger on in the year 2015 with this very post here and now, my record-review on BLIND GUARDIAN's 2015 and so far still current full-length-album "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR", and this was a pretty strong surprise for me. But okay, one step after another and now also a few steps back, starting this one here with a view or look on BLIND GUARDIAN's discography (in parts) so far. The predecessor "AT THE EDGE OF TIME" was released in 2010 and so five full years lay in between "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" and its mentioned predecessor; the predecessor is so far still pretty unknown to me like more or less all albums of this german legends since their 1998's "NIGHTFALL IN MIDDLE EARTH". I guess you may could say that I was simply not in the targetgroup of BLIND GUARDIAN from then on anymore. Not that I ever said the albums would suck or BLIND GUARDIAN turned to crap and especially never said that BLIND GUARDIAN would sort of suck since then because they developed and refused to record their old albums forever on. No, from then on BLIND GUARDIAN or their records were or became simply sort of too overloaded in a musical-sense for me and my personal taste (back then). Long talking, short saying: The pretty controversial but also interesting reviews on "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" finally really made me damn curious and so I decided to give it a fair try, to give BLIND GUARDIAN finally a fair try again... and that's where my surprise starts to happen or to become reality, because you know what, damn it, this is damn strong one, nah, this is a great one, and it's probably BLIND GUARDIAN's so far most complex, "artistic", and "richest" album to date, full of (three) real (!) choirs and orchestras, incredible dissolute and sweeping bombastic and dramatic arrangements and structures, inspirations taken from operas, and just sheer diverse and rampantly sprawling symphonic and epic compositions and I would go even so far to ennoble BLIND GUARDIAN with "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" to sort of the today's QUEEN of Heavy Metal, for sure, yes, and even when you really have sort of a "demanding-but-damn-enjoyable" time to work yourself into "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" but when you invest your curious open-minded interest into it (and that's something that the album definitely demands from/of you) and allow the album to grow on you, then you'll really find one damn impressive and rousing, one damn great album that will give you uncountable hours of big enjoyment for a very long, long while. This is symphonic and epic, (pretty often) still surely speedfilled and (all the time) very powerful, top notch up-to-date Heavy Metal with a bombastic and orchestral and "operatic" as well as sort of a "proggy" approach to it all shining with a very non-conform demanding songwriting that's (absolutely) sticking "out of the ordinary"and that's of "high-artistic-quality" delivered by for sure very high skilled musicians, filled with impressive and charismatic lead vocals shining above all and strong back up choirs and mighty multi-layered forceful guitars, a sheer force like rhythm section, yes, and then with all the above already mentioned "other" ingredients and trademarks to it all. Work yourself into this little/big masterpiece and best ignore the "nostalgic" haters and naysayers of "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR" and just allow and let yourself to be carried away by BLIND GUARDIAN and sink with joy and pleasure and fascination into this very own and incredible intense and atmospheric and very and highly unique world that they've created here with and on "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR"; something that, at least in my book, they haven't managed that intense and overwhelming since my personal all-time-favorite of/by them: "IMAGINATIONS FROM THE OTHER SIDE" from 1995. And it's also a very brave album and (for example) to place a 9:28 minutes song like "THE NINTH WAVE" as the opener of the album is an impressive statement of its very own, especially because it also works perfect(ly) out. Great lyrics and a incredible beautiful artwork as well as a forceful production sound we get on top of it all. I only sort of dislike a bit somehow "MIRACLE MACHINE", why the hell ever, it's for sure not that it would be anyhow bad or weak or something like this but this particular song and me, myself, and I somehow just don't really connect, like I've already said: why the hell ever; but beside this we only get here pure gold. Okay, I close this review here and now because I could go on and on but I would still feel like not doing justice to this album, and so I'll leave it and you here and now with saying that I can only highly recommend this to any fan of symphonic, artistically, epic, and metallic surely larger-than-life and unique music full of tension, intensity, and atmosphere, and in case you really don't have or know or if you haven't given it a fair chance so far then change this very soon and discover this incredible album. Highly recommended.
(9 of 10 points)
http://www.blind-guardian.com/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)




BLIND GUARDIAN - "THE NINTH WAVE" (2015, "BEYOND THE RED MIRROR")















Samstag, 19. August 2017

MAGNUM - "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES" (2015)

MAGNUM - "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES"
(Running time: 54:26 minutes; 10 songs)
("Steamhammer"/"SPV"; 2015; CD+DVD limited version):
Next one's coming in and we'll remain a little bit in the year 2015 with this record review being again a record review on a 2015 album and here and now we will have a closer look on the 2015 MAGNUM album "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES", the 19th regular full length album by this British Grandmasters of Rock/Hard Rock music (live and compilation albums not counted here and now) in a now 45 years spanning career, and it's also for all what I know their current regular full length album to date with having released since then just a "THE BALLADS" or so titled compilation album more or less recently this year, I guess. I knew MAGNUM before this one, to be honest, not really at all (I know, shame on me), some of their "hits" (I guess) were known to me but beside this bunch of songs not much else. When I then read two years ago a lot of very interesting and positive reviews on "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES" I got curious and when I finally saw it in the local media store I grabbed it, bought it and took it with me, and it convinced me pretty much right from the start. This is just damn fresh and intersting, exciting and from start to finish grapping, very heavy and yet symphonic-melodic Hard Rock of the premium kind and with some nice strong Rock/AOR marks in it all, and it is also very self-contained/independently done with a huge own identity and a pretty unique own character, with big bombastic elements/arrangements and all delivered with overwhelming playfulness. The songwriting is pretty diverse and all the time high skilled, covering a wide area or stretch/distance of truly wide emotions, tones/tonings, and moods, not to talk about all the majestic changes of the paces and in the rhythmic architecture and the arrangements of the songs as well as in the dramaturgy of the strong tension building and atmospehric close songs. This is really high skilled stuff the premium way and it's a really grapping album, very intense and it really stands out even still today with already being two years old now. It's an exciting musical roller coaster ride and a, if you want so, pure "joyride" for sure with a lot of little, huge surprises in it all. Gorgeous, diverse, sensitive and melodic yet stunningly heavy guitars mark and carry the songs in combination with the fantastic piano/keyboard playing and the bright shining melodic and still pretty heavy or maybe better strong done clear lead vocals with that charismatic tone to it, and the fantastic tight, precise, diverse, and to the point played rhythm section is then backing everything up in a beefy and bulky way and is so giving the songs the/their final heavy punch, and all done highest skilled. First class expressive lyrics, a brilliant and gorgeous artwork, and a warm yet bonedry and heavy production sound are then rounding everything just beautifully up. My personal favorites are the title track and opener "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES", "PRINCESS IN RAGS (THE CULT)", "AFRAID OF THE NIGHT", "A FORGOTTEN CONVERSATION", "QUIET RHAPSODY", and "DON'T CRY BABY" and that are purest gems you simply need to know, period. And in my book the only really weak or at least weaker song is the personally for me just too corny ballad "YOUR DREAMS WON'T DIE" that I skip more or less always, but that's at the end just a matter of personal taste and says pretty much nothing about the musical quality of this particular song. So, with all this said, with "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES" the mighty MAGNUM delivered us one hell of a great album and to every Rock/Hard Rock fan out there I can only highly recommend it and this also still today with now being already two years old. The bonus DVD is also pretty nice stuff and offers us also three strong bonus songs that are more than worth listening. Okay, so I guess you know what you should do now in case you still don't have  or know it. So, yes, with having said everything I am signing out for today and so I wish you all a nice saturday, enjoy your weekend, I'll try it as well... and you read from me again more or less soon or so. Bye.
(9 of 10 points)
http://www.magnumonline.co.uk/ (-the link to the homepage of the band)





MAGNUM - "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES" (2015, "SACRED BLOOD 'DIVINE' LIES")