Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Xroadie Files



Gin Lady – Electric Earth
Magnus Kamebro – Vocals / Joakim Karlsson – Guitar, Vocals
Anthon Johansson -  Bass, Vocals/ Fredrik Normark - Drums

This band may be from now but one listen and Flower People takes you back to the great music of the late 60’s early 70’s.  This song is very bluesy and soulful.  I’m Your Friend is a cross between the Allman Brothers and Tom Petty.  Excellent music to just kick back with a few friends and have a cold one.  Badger Boogie continues the trip through the glory days of music as some people think great bluesy rock.  The Things You Used to Do sounds like something that could have been played at Woodstock.  Excellent to sing along to.  Mercy has some great soulful acoustic guitar playing and is another one that sounds like Grand Funk could have done it.  Brothers of the Canyon takes you back again to a combination of Crosby Stills Nash and Young and the Allman Brothers.  Some excellent heartfelt guitar work on this one.  Rolling Thunder has more of a Rolling Stones feel mixed with some southern rock.  Water and Sunshine sounds like it is very Beatles influenced with some blues thrown in.  Wasted years continues the trip through the late 60’s early 70’s great song to sing along with.  Running No More ends this great collection of songs each one a trip down memory lane.  

   
Gross Reality - Escaping Reality 
Daniel Powell – Bass, Vocals / Roland Arthur – Guitar/ Jason Wheeler – Drums

Dimensional slowly builds then kicks in with some excellent drums and guitar then into full blown speed metal.  Excellent Bass intro then back and forth between drums and bass then the guitars kick in and a very spacey speed metal feel surrounds you.  An excellent song with lots of feeling.  Zero Day kicks in overdrive from the very start and has sort of a speed meets thrash punk feel to it that reminds me of Raven.  The Incomplete is another speed thrash song that still has lots of emotion to the music.  Also some great tempo changes.  Invitation starts with a very ethereal guitar slowly building as the drums and bass meld in then a great mid-tempo riff starts to churn about with some very space rock vocals.  Soul Worn Thin is an excellent speed thrash song with a great riff to mosh to. Into The Vault may be the heaviest song on the album great in the style of Testament and Annihilator.  Escaping Gravity also starts with some amazing bass playing then the rest of the band slowly works their way into the song.  Kind of a spacy Hawkwind style of song.


Gutslit – Amputheatre
Gurdip Singh Narang- Bass / Kaushal LS – Vocals / Prateek  Ragajopal – Guitar / Aaron Pinto – Drums

Hailing from India Gutslit are a Brutal Death Metal / Grind band. The title songs start’s the grind fest off with the sounds of a battle.  Then Brazen Bull kicks in with all the might of a sledgehammer to the face and vocals from a pissed off demon.  From One Ear to Another is next continuing the assault of your senses like a worm boring into one ear and out the other.  Necktie Party is yet another in your face brutal assault like getting punched in the face.  Blood Eagle is slightly slower and plodding then like a hammer to the back it just annihilates you.  Brodequin grabs you by the throat and continues to hammer your head against the wall.  Maraschino Eyeballs is like having you eyes pulled out and stomped right in front of you sheer terror.  Schapism continues the blastbeats   riffing guitars and rhythms from the depths of hades.  Death Hammer ends this onslaught of grind core terror with a slow plodding Pantera style riff then kicks into overdrive like being kicked in the face until you finally submit.


-Xroadie

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

OBITUARY Share “Sentence Day” 4K Music Video

Obituary Ester Segarra


Photo Credit: Ester Segarra

Tampa Bay Florida Death Metal Godfathers OBITUARY have shared the official live video accompanying “Sentence Day” off the band’s self-titled full-length album. The video was filmed in stunning 4k by Magnetar Studios at several locations on the band’s headlining tour with Gruesome earlier this year. Watch OBITUARY perform “Sentence Day” via YouTube HERE.

OBITUARY commented on the video: "We are super excited to bring you guys another music video from the new album. This video was extra fun for the band as we invited James to ride along with us for a couple shows and get onstage/offstage. His entire crew met up with us and filmed a show with multi-camera angles. "Sentence Day" is one of our favorite songs on the album and definitely a fan favorite so we are proud to bring you guys this video. Enjoy!"

OBITUARY return to the states and collide with Bay Area Thrash Metal Kings EXODUS for another epic Battle of the Bays this Fall! The co-headlining tour kicks off September 14 in Durham, NC and ends on October 15 in Baton Rouge, LA. Support will be provided by POWER TRIP and DUST BOLT. Tickets are on sale now and a complete listing of tour dates is available below.

OBITUARY’s latest, self-titled album is out now on CD/LP/Digital via Relapse Records. Physical packages and digital order are available via Relapse.com HERE and Bandcamp HERE. The animated music video for “Ten Thousand Ways To Die” which recently surpassed 1 million views can be viewed HERE.
OBITUARY Tour Dates:

--- All Dates Sep 14 to Oct 15 w/ Exodus, Power Trip and Dust Bolt  ---

Sep 14 Durham, NC Motorco Music Hall
Sep 15 Virginia Beach, VA Shakas Live
Sep 16 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Soundstage
Sep 17 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
Sep 19 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
Sep 20 Worcester, MA The Palladium (Downstairs)
Sep 21 Burlington, VT Higher Ground
Sep 22 Quebec City, QC Imperial Ball
Sep 23 Ottawa, ON Bronson Centre
Sep 24 London, ON London Music Hall
Sep 26 Grand Rapids, MI The Intersection
Sep 27 Columbus, OH Park Street Saloon
Sep 28 Indianapolis, IN Deluxe @ Old National Center
Sep 29 Joliet, IL The Forge
Sep 30 Minneapolis, MN Skyway Theatre
Oct 01 St. Louis, MO The Ready Room
Oct 03 Lawrence, KS Granada Theater
Oct 04 Ft. Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
Oct 06 Sacramento, CA Ace Of Spades
Oct 07 Los Angeles, CA Teragram Ballroom
Oct 08 San Diego, CA The Observatory North Park
Oct 10 Tucson, AZ The Rock
Oct 11 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theater
Oct 12 El Paso, TX Tricky Falls
Oct 14 San Antonio, TX Paper Tiger +
Oct 15 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theater +

+ Obituary, Dust Bolt ONLY
ObituarySelfTitled
Cover Art: Andreas Marschall
OBITUARY BIO:

One of the most influential, revered and best-selling death metal bands of all time, OBITUARY formed in the swamplands of South Florida in 1986 after switching their name from Xecutioner.  the band signed to Roadracer Records, a now defunct division of Roadrunner, for the recording of their debut album, the immense and immeasurably heavy Slowly We Rot (1989). The album was engineered by the legendary Scott Burns at Morrisound Studio, which would come to be the most sought after facility for production of albums during the rise of death metal in the 1990s. Unlike much death metal preceding it, the album had a sludgy feel and integrated devastatingly slow passages along with obliterating overtures that reached far beyond any point of mayhem that metal had yet to reach. The result was a carnal pleasure for doom, death and thrash fans alike coupling the adrenaline of a speedball with the slow, degrading measures of a sewer at dusk. OBITUARY were unlike anything anyone had heard before and would change the shape of heavy music forever.

OBITUARY followed up Slowly We Rot with Cause of Death (1990), perhaps the band’s most hailed album and an even more chaotic, bass heavy mix of the band’s signature groove, manic guitar solos and crashing drums. The album’s defining feature, however, was vocalist John Tardy’s disarmingly horrific, gargling style, that created guttural chasms of dread which, though often mimicked, have been achieved by no one else. Drastically shifting tempos and Tardy’s unique vocal style became the band’s trademark, which clearly distinguished them from the rest of the burgeoning US death metal scene.

OBITUARY spent the next two decades releasing some of the finest death metal ever put to tape with classics like The End Complete (1992), World Demise (1994), and Frozen in Time (2005) solidifying them as one of the genre’s most important bands of all time. Fast forward to 2014, when after a five year gap between albums, OBITUARY successfully crowdfunded their new album and subsequently partnered with Relapse Records for it’s release. Reinvigorated with a new lineup featuring the additions of legendary bassist Terry Butler (Death, Massacre, Six Feet Under) and lead guitarist Ken Andrews. The result was Inked In Blood (2014) which immediately took the world by storm.  The next couple years revolved around an extensive world tour schedule that took them to sold-out venues across the globe including tours with Cannibal Corpse, Carcass and Exodus and multiple mainstage festival appearances including 7000 Tons of Metal, Maryland Deathfest, Hellfest, Obscene Extreme, Full Terror Assault, Neurotic Deathfest, Graspop Metal Meeting, and the band’s own inaugural Florida Metal Fest.

To end 2016, OBITUARY released a surprise, live EP, Ten Thousand Ways to Die, featuring two brand new songs plus twelve classics and fan favorites recorded across eleven different cities during the Inked In Blood world tour. The EP left die-hard fans craving more, unbeknownst that it was just the beginning.

Now in 2017, OBITUARY return with their self-titled, 10th studio album, further cementing their legacy as one of the most important metal bands of all time! Picking up where Inked In Blood left off, OBITUARY show no signs of slowing down as they continue to reign as Kings of death metal. Recorded at their home studio in Tampa, FL, Obituary is a 10 track tour-de-force of bone-pulverising death metal that is as heavy, uncompromising and infectious as anything they've released in their historic, nearly 30-year career!

OBITUARY are:
John Tardy – Vocals
Trevor Peres – Guitar
Ken Andrews Jr. – Guitar
Terry Butler – Bass
Donald Tardy – Drums

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Xroadie Files




Devangelic – Phlegethon
Comatose Music
Paolo Chiti – Vocals / Mario Di Giambattista – Guitar
Damiano  Bracci – Bass / Marco Coghe - Drums

Plagued by Obscurity starts the album and slowly builds like its working its way into your soul then the blast beats and extremely growling vocals kick in and it seems as if this song wants to tear you apart from the inside Mutation Above Salvation is next and the onslaught continues feeling as if you have been run over and they are backing up to do it all over again.  Maggotts and Disease has a slower plodding start but then kicks in to continue the annihilation of your senses.  Malus and Invictus feels as if a worm is boring thru your brain making you lose all control.  The album continues to assault the senses with Abominated Impurity of the Oppressed and Condemned to Dismemberment. Wretched Incantations is an instrumental with some very evil sounds.  Manifestation of Agony goes right back to the blast beats and vocals that seems to come from a very pissed off demon.  Decaying Suffering and Ashpyxiation upon Phlegethon end the sounds the album with something like the sounds of hell being released on earth.  This album is only for true fans of extreme death metal. 


Ironflame – Lightning Strikes The Crown
Andrew DCagna – Vocals, Bass, Drums
Guitars – Jim Dofka, Aaron Carey, Justin Wood, Johnathan Crow
Divebomb Records

Fans of true power metal need to check out this album Firestorm begins the festival of true metal magic.  Excellent guitar riffs and soaring vocals and screaming guitars complete the melding of sounds.  Marching On has you head banging from the very first note for the ages.  The Gorgon is more of a power speed metal song with some excellent tempo changes.  Fans of bands like Gamma Ray and Helloween will totally get into Heavy Metal Warriors just pure fist pumping metal for all. Eternal Night is very Iron Maiden influenced with a galloping rhythm and soaring vocals.  Fallen Glory is another great fist in the air head banging song that will have the entire crowd moving in unison.  What We’ve Sown has an excellent dual lead harmony guitar and almost speed metal tempo to it along with more excellent vocals.  Shadow Queen takes back to the olden days of classic Judas priest like heavy metal with a riff that makes it impossible to not start head banging and foot tapping to it.  Kingdom Come is another Iron Maiden Influenced song along with a taste of Hammerfall this song makes you want to take the world by the tail and make all your dreams come true.  Fighting Onward ends this excellent album it slowly builds this song has some great vocal harmonies and lead guitar.  This band and album is definitely for fans of power metal give it a listen.


EINARINDRA – Unravel
Moller Records
Einarinda – all electronic instruments

The song Ripples starts of this album of electronica from Iceland imagine a mix of old Pink Floyd and Tangerine Dream and that is what this sounds like.  This is music to sit down relax and just flow with the music.  I'm Not the One starts with some strange kind of flowing music and weird word sequences.  Take Me Down ends the ep with more very ethereal music and words.  This is music for a select few that enjoy this style.


-Xroadie

Monday, August 28, 2017

IMMORTAL SYNN - Machine Men



Self-released

This five piece metal band from Denver, CO has shared the stage with: Lynch Mob, Wildside, Loudness, Great White, Warrant, Winger, L.A. Guns, Firehouse, Hammerfall, Delain, BulletBoys, Ratt, and The Relapse Symphony in the past. The band consists of Chase McClellan (lead vocals), Tony Z (founder, rhythm/lead guitar, vocals), Miguel Ruíz (lead guitar, backup vocals), Andrew Cope (bass, vocals), Axel Berrios (official drummer, but is currently attending school in Mexico and is set to return by the end of 2017), Ryan Alexander Bloom (fill-in drummer during Axel's absence).

The band has a mix of traditional metal blended with a touch of thrash and hard rock and does a pretty good job of it. You get eleven songs full of power and raw emotion that you just have to hit the replay after it’s over just to get that rush that occurred on first listen. The songs are pure metal, no alternative, no gloss, just a kick in the groin and a punch in the head of killer riffs, and choruses that will have you shouting along to. The guitar playing is fantastic with solos and riffs bouncing around your ears non-stop, the pounding drums and bass form a perfect union, and the vocals switch from being gruff to up in the higher reaches and make for a noise that’s filled with aggression, but not bland lyrics, these guys are a lot more thoughtful than the average metal band. As I listened to the album, I just got drawn into it deeper and deeper, enjoying it more than I thought I would. The band did a great job with the production and the song length, being not too long and making you want to hear more from them.

I put this on thinking that I might enjoy some of it, but came away loving it and now they have a fan in me. The band proves that hard work, talent and the right mix of people can become a juggernaut.

-RICK ECKER



Sunday, August 27, 2017

Latest Releases from Ripple Music and Come Join the Waveriders Unite Forum!!

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The buzz for this album seems to grow everyday! Drawing on inspirations in mythology, religion, fantastical tales from European literature and an obsession for classic horror cinema, The Necromancers are perhaps one of the more exciting bands to emerge in ages. Experimenting with progressive rock, heavy psych and the 70s pagan/proto-metal of bands like Black Sabbath and Coven, they take these influences, throw in the urgency of NWOBHM and douse the entire lot in lysergic illusions. All with a mind to create a debut album for the ages.​  Already being hailed as one of the best debut albums of the year, the limited edition version shown is limited to 100 copies.  www.ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products
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The last album by retro-rockers The Judge completely sold out on vinyl and had to be repressed on CD.  Now, we have their long awaited follow up!  Tell it to the Judge is another smash of 70's infused riffs and rhythm all fused with The Judge's classic vocals and knack for a fine melody.  Every bit as amazing as their debut.  "Prison Blues" limited vinyl is limited to 100 copies pressed. Black vinyl and CD too.  www.ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products.
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The Flying Eyes have been huge in Europe for some time, now they finally have a North American label to call home!!  We'll be releasing their latest album this September, but in the meantime, you can taste their particular brand of heavy psychedelic fuzz on this split with Lazlo Lee and the Motherless Children,  co-released with H42 Records.  The Ripple edition on white vinyl is limited to 50 copies, so you may want to hurry.  www.ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products
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Fans of Ripple are called the Waveriders, and you now have your own forum.  Come join us at Waveriders Unite on Facebook.  The conversation is all about the music we love and not limited to Ripple.  Anything heavy, band-related, touring, gigging and just conversation is fair game.   Over 700 folks have jumped in just over a month, so don't miss out.   Find us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1891271971138989/?ref=br_rs&sw_fnr_id=3997038987&fnr_t=0

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Evolution Of Progressive Rock




In the mid to late 70’s while the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was well underway, there was a strong push towards more progressive and subversive sounds in rock music. To keep this in perspective, by 1975 the Grateful Dead were already on hiatus after a rigorous and nearly fatal decade of touring. Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath had unleashed two landmark albums in 1973 with Houses Of The Holy and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath respectively. With that being said let’s move backwards two years. In 1971 progressive music was still very much an underground phenomenon and didn’t have a lot of mainstream appeal. Bands like LA’s Captain Beyond were starting to experiment with things like odd time signatures and conceptual lyrics which would later become staples of progressive music. However, their 1971 debut didn’t draw enough attention to this new genre because no one really knew what to do with it at the time. Concept albums weren’t yet a common thing in rock until September of that year when Yes went into the studio to begin work on their fourth record.

Arguably one of the greatest progressive rock bands in history, Yes had some of the best players on the scene at the time who would eventually become some of the most influential and revolutionary the genre has ever seen. The first album to feature keyboardist Rick Wakeman, Fragile is nothing short of a masterpiece. Bringing together flavors of classical, jazz, pop and rock, Yes fashions a unique and original listening experience the likes of which had not yet really been seen before. Concept albums and albums designed to be listened to in sequence didn’t truly take off until this point. Fragile, since it’s release, has gone platinum twice in the US and reached No. 4 on the chart when it came out. Therefore it goes without saying this record was a critical and commercial success both in the US and overseas.

Utilizing an electric piano, various types of synthesizers and a harpsichord, Yes managed to really expand upon a sound that was already multidimensional. Unlike most bands of their era, Yes was experimenting heavily with multiple time signatures. Most rock music of the day followed a simple 4/4 pace and maybe slowed down or sped up the tempo for good measure. Yes was one of the first bands of their day to really experiment with multiple time signatures in one song. For example Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” stays relatively uniform throughout whereas Yes’s “Heart of The Sunrises” utilizes four separate time signatures over its nearly 11-minute run time. So much of what makes this album great is of course Bill Bruford’s exceptional drumming and Chris Squire’s electrifying bass playing, but also Jon Anderson’s soaring vocals. Creating angelic harmonies and complex vocal melodies on songs like “We Have Heaven” and “Roundabout”, his voice flies brilliantly in front of the music behind it.

Throughout the entire thing, there are moments of mastery provided by each member of the band. For example Steve Howe’s subtle yet definitive guitar playing shines bright on “South Side of the Sky” with his consistent yet intricate riffing. Balanced, extremely well-thought out and expertly produced, Fragile is a must listen when it comes to progressive music. It’s complicated yet accessible to even the most casual of fans, which at the time was important. Part of what made progressive music almost primitive in the early ‘70s was people’s inability to understand what was going on. It’s not easy to keep up with and certainly an acquired taste, which makes Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s sophomore release something of a challenge for most fans of the decade. In January of 1971 Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer went into the studio to begin recording their second album to be released in the coming summer. Following the success of their 1970 debut, ELP was ready to work out some new material. The opening track, “Tarkus” is a seven-part epic chronicling the story of the birth of a character of the same name in a volcanic eruption before recorded history. The exact creation of this character and nature are left out in the open by Keith Emerson himself, whose idea “Tarkus” was.

The first movement “Eruption” -- for lack of a better word -- erupts with a flood of notes provided by the keyboards in a sweeping 10/8 time signature followed by a corresponding drum part. This pushes the song forward into the second movement entitled “Stones of Years” which contains one of three vocal pieces throughout the whole thing. The following four movements are said to represent the enemies the character meets along its journey. Represented in both the artwork and by the various religious references in the lyrics, the character’s journey takes up the entire first half of the album. The name and monstrous sound represents the name’s meaning, “the futility of war, a man made mess with symbols of mutated destruction.” However, the song itself is anything but messy. It’s incredibly tight and brilliantly executed. It’s a lot to swallow which is part of why it received some mixed reviews when it came out. It reached number one in the UK and only peaked at number nine in the US but stayed on the charts for a total of 17 weeks.

Though it was a lot to ask of listeners, Tarkus made it known E.L.P was a progressive force to be reckoned with. From front to back Tarkus showcases some of the best each player has to offer. Greg Lake’s exceptional guitar playing and voice blends perfectly with Carl Palmer’s exuberant, vibrant and heart pounding drumming and Keith Emerson’s singular, energetic and enrapturing keyboard playing. Pushing progressive music to a new level, Emerson, Lake & Palmer were one of a handful of bands that set a new standard for what was possible musically. It wasn't until the Spring of 1973, however, that this new genre would soar to never before seen heights.

Again, to keep everything in perspective by the Summer of 1972 the Grateful Dead were home, Captain Beyond, Sir Lord Baltimore and others had records out and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal was beginning to take shape. Between June 1972 and January 1973, England’s Pink Floyd went into Abbey Road studios in London to start working on their eighth record. Pink Floyd had already made a name for themselves in the psychedelic and acid rock scene but when vocalist and founding member, Syd Barrett, left in 1968 things began to change. He was replaced by guitarist and singer David Gilmour, who brought more of a typical “classic rock” sound to the table as opposed to Barrett’s quintessential psychedelic sound. Gilmour’s first record with the band is one of their best and one of rock’s greatest compositions; it was called The Dark Side of The Moon. It was released in March 1973 and almost instantaneously changed the landscape of the scene.

Exploring themes surrounding the passage of time, death, conflict, greed and insanity, each side of the record is a continuous piece of music. Designed to be listened to in sequence each song explores a different aspect of the human experience starting and ending with a beating heart. Recorded on the same tape and in the same studio as the Beatles’ classic Abbey Road, Pink Floyd utilized every element of the recording studio allowing them to create an almost modern sound. Because of the revolutionary and innovative production value, beyond stellar songwriting and stunning musicianship The Dark Side of the Moon became the band’s most successful album up until that point. Featuring the classic lineup of guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour, bassist and vocalist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright, Pink Floyd crafted an enchanting listening experience that grasps the attention of the listener from start to finish. The fluid harmonies of “Breathe (In The Air)” balanced against the chaos of “Us and Them” truly take the listener through the character's life in a way music had never done before.

One of the many things The Dark Side of the Moon did besides becoming an instant classic was it brought progressive music to the mainstream and allowed for other bands to follow in their footsteps. Although it wouldn’t be so easy for a lot of the bands that followed including one that would become one of the greatest, most prolific bands in history. Jumping forward two years to 1975 progressive music was still moving forward in a lot of ways. Pink Floyd released Wish You Were Here and Led Zeppelin had come out with Physical Graffiti. At the same time in Toronto, Canada RUSH went into the studio to work on their follow up album with new drummer Neil Peart.

In February 1975, Fly By Night came out on Anthem Records. With John Rutsey now out of the band due a diabetes diagnosis, Peart took the reigns behind the drums as well as the songwriting duties. Continuing to experiment with new sounds and techniques, RUSH managed somehow to create an enormous sound with only three members. Geddy Lee was not only an incredible and unique singer, but an outstanding bass and keyboard player. Much like guitarist Alex Lifeson, he managed to move swarms of notes and harmonies through the air in unimaginable ways. As a lyricist Peart created stories riddled with philosophical messages and fantasy inspired images. As a drummer Peart seemed able to do anything and built the perfect foundation for the rest of the group to stand on. Fly By Night peaked a No. 9 on the chart in the US but RUSH wouldn’t reach the cult status they’ve achieved today if it were not for the album they came out with the next year.

Without much help from the mainstream media or the record company, RUSH’s 2112 came out in April 1976. The album didn’t perform well on the chart and for the most part was a critical and commercial flop. Like the Grateful Dead who came before them RUSH built their fanbase from the ground up by touring constantly. They opened for KISS and AC/DC during early parts of their career and did what was necessary to get their music heard. What was originally considered nothing but noise by the media, the band who told the story of an intergalactic war in space began to develop a significant and dedicated following. With musicianship well ahead of their time RUSH made a name for themselves by becoming incredibly proficient live as well as in the studio releasing a number of landmark albums over the course of a career spanning nearly five decades.

On one end of the progressive spectrum there’s the complex and intricate; a sound bands like RUSH and Pink Floyd perfected. On the other end there’s the avant, funky and provocative. Between 2112’s release in 1976 and the end of the decade coming around the corner, Led Zeppelin’s reign was beginning to end and bands like RUSH, Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult and others were taking their place. During this time a young guitar player from Maryland called Frank Zappa was paving a new path in various arenas in the rock universe with his other-worldly guitar sound. Debuting a decade earlier with The Mother’s Of Invention, Zappa took the rule book and threw it out the window. Each record was something new and featured endless amounts of some of the best musicians on the scene.

In the fall of 1979 he released a three part rock opera entitled Joe’s Garage which told a convoluted story relating to themes of the dangers of a large government, sexuality and individualism. Criticized heavily upon release for the lyrics, the musicianship is truly what shines the brightest on Joe’s Garage. One of the best albums in Zappa’s catalog it features some of the most technically advanced and skilled players in music. From Ike Willis on vocals to Arthur Barrow on bass to the great Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Zappa out did himself with this lineup. Combining flavors of jazz, funk, synth pop, rock, and more Joe’s Garage is a never-ending sea of various sounds all coming together to create an undeniable and remarkable listening experience. Truly an experience in every sense Joe’s Garage is funny, sexy, dirty, intense, scary, and so much more than that. Encapsulating a wide range of talents from a variety of different players and styles, Joe’s Garage is an ironically inclusive listening excursion -- if given a chance.

Part of why progressive music was so “unnoticed” by the mainstream was because it was hard for most average people to open up to it. Most often however Zappa and the over 30 musicians he took the stage with are hailed as some of the best to ever do it. Considered in large part to be “musicians musicians” the same way Al Pacino is called an “actor’s actor”, Zappa and his peers, created a new platform for experimentation, innovation and improvisation. Frank Zappa’s influence runs deep in various places in rock music but none more so in groups that were going to attempt to revive a new form of progressive music years later.

Jumping forward 14 years to 1993 progressive music wasn’t as fun as it was when it began. Part of what made bands like RUSH, Yes and others so appealing to young people on the fringe was how fun the music was. There were stories about mythical creatures, war and peace, good and evil and the outer reaches of the universe paired with these endlessly bountiful and intriguing sounds that were never explored before. By the early 90’s the alt-rock and grunge movements were already in full swing and progressive music was again something of an anomaly. In April of that year, Primus released its third record and it looked as though the “mainstream” had caught up with them but there was so much more to Pork Soda than that. “My Name Is Mud”, one of the band’s most successful tracks, has one of the most infectious and unflinching grooves the band has ever produced.

Pork Soda became one of the band’s most successful records and it was due in large part to the inviting and friendly nature of Les Claypool’s voice as well as his unmistakable bass playing capabilities. From start to finish Pork Soda is a record with a lot of dimension and there are a lot of layers to it, making for a fun and humorous yet intense and involved listening experience. One of the big similarities between Zappa’s work, specifically Joe’s Garage and Primus is the vocalizations Claypool uses on songs like “Welcome To This World”. Zappa used to put on different “voices” so to speak and it would provide a nice dose of humor to an otherwise not so humorous piece of work. Claypool does the same type of thing, making Primus’ music all the more humorous and irreverent. The long and short of what Primus did was they made progressive music fun again -- the way it was supposed to be.

-Hannah Wolfe

Friday, August 25, 2017

Two From Xroadie




Affliktor – Affliktor

Tony Knapp – Guitars, Vocals, Drums, Bass
Transcending Obscurity Records

Guitar legend Toby Knapp is back with another dose of metal mayhem from his newest band.  The album starts with Storms of Demogorgon with blast beats from hell shredding guitar and growls that would make any demon proud this album starts off by grabbing you by the throat and not letting go. Next up is Born to the Breeder with an excellent fist pumping metal riff followed by Backwards into Hell.  This song sounds like it was written and recorded in Hell.  Fans of extreme death metal will love this song and album Chaos Magick has some excellent metal riffs and shredding leads along with the blast beat drums Burn the Earth takes hold of your brain and makes you head bang until it hurts.  The Singularity just runs your ass over with all of its might and force.  Planet Rogue is another great metal riff in the style of Annihilator.  Nothing Shall Arise is an excellent mosh pit song with its driving riffs and beats. Pazuzu Invokes ends the album with some strange guitar sounds that pierce into your brain.


 
Clockwork – Kill In Time  
Lou Cebello – Vocals, Tommy Vetterli – Guitar, Peter J Waelty – Bass, Peter Haas – Drums

The album starts off with Push a metal industrial sounding song that has a very infectious rhythm. Next is Perfect Victim this is more of a thrash speed metal song and would be great to mosh to.  Many Faced has more of a classic metal feel to the guitar riffs alternating back and forth from thrash to more classic metal.  Killing Time is like a machine gun shooting riffs at you with a very solid beat it also has some slower melodic twists and turns.  Peacemaker has more of a groove beat and almost a blues metal guitar sound mixed with some industrial.  Stronzo is a great metal song with a riff that just makes you want to mosh.  Rape The Dinosaurs reminds me of Suicidal Tendencies with an excellent groove rhythm.  The Fog begins with a Bass riff then the rest of the band kicks in with a slow plodding rhythm.  This album has many influences but is well worth checking out and deciding for yourself .



-Xroadie

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Mogg/Way – Chocolate Box



In 1999, with a decade, a century, and a millenium drawing to an end, veteran rockers Phil Mogg and Pete Way released this album, their second under the Mogg/Way moniker. If you follow along with classic rock, these names might be familiar to you as members and founders of the mighty UFO. With turmoil swirling around their main gig, including the possibility of not being able to use the band name that they created, they pulled together a lineup including long time UFO mate Paul Raymond, along with Jeff Kollman on lead guitar and Simon Wright on drums, and created this lost jewel of an album.

I have been a fan of Phil Mogg as a vocalist and lyricist for as long as I can remember hearing UFO's songs. He has a distinctive voice that is instantly recognizable, and he has a way with lyrics and phrasing that really set him apart. His songs are not always about fast cars, faster women, and wild parties, and the way he uses words is very unique. The lyrics he writes are not always straightforward stories, and he will use a word or a phrase that, on the surface, may not seem to fit or even make sense if you simply look at them as words on a page, yet his lyrics have a feel to them that evokes something within the listener and draws one into the mood he is setting. He is definitely a lyricist that I really appreciate.

Then there's Pete Way, a man who certainly lived his rock n roll life to the fullest. He freely admits, in his memoirs, that he indulged in every bit of the rock star lifestyle, including imbibing and ingesting whatever was put in front of him. He is a great “feel” bass player. He's not a technical player, but he's always right there with a solid bass line, and as with many musicians like him, you realize that he's a lot better than you think when you try to play as he does. He's also a very good songwriter.

It should come as no surprise, then, that there are some fantastic songs on this album and some very good songs, but no duds at all. If you are looking for UFO by another name, you probably won't find that, but this is a fine specimen of straight ahead rock. The first three songs on the album, “Muddy's Gold”, “Jerusalem”, and “Too Close To The Sun”, stand up to anything these guys did with their main band. “Too Close To The Sun”, especially, is a great example of Phil Mogg's way with words. I love the lyrics to this one. “Muddy's Gold” leaps out of the starting blocks with a driving beat and some really nice guitar playing.

The band is very tight throughout the album and it is definitely the work of professionals who take pride in their craft. Although it may seem like a contradiction to that last sentence, there is also just the right amount of looseness in their playing as well. They leave enough space for the songs to breathe and be what they want to be. My only small quibble with the album is the guitar leads tend to spiral off into directions that don't always fit the songs in the best way, but Mr. Kollman is certainly an impressive player and I'm sure in the intervening years he has learned to make things fit.

If you are a fan of UFO, this one should most certainly be in your collection, but even if you were never really impressed by that band, you should give these guys, and this release a shot. There is always room in my collection for another good rock album and this one fills the bill in a big way.

-ODIN



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The BANG Story: From the Basement to the Bright Lights Has Been Unleashed!



http://sunburypress.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/tbs_fc_z-199x300.jpg

In  the summer of 1971, BANG, a trio from the Philadelphia area, decided to take a road trip to Florida to try their fortune. While buying some rolling papers in the Sunshine State, they learned about a Small Faces and Deep Purple concert nearby in Orlando. They showed up at the venue and brazenly declared they were ready to go on stage.  The concert organizer asked them to set up and play for him. After a couple songs, he told them they were opening for Rod Stewart and Small Faces. Before they knew it, BANG was playing with Bachman Turner Overdrive, Deep Purple, Three Dog Night, Fleetwood Mac, Ike and Tina Turner, The Doobie Brothers, and even Black Sabbath. Capitol Records signed them, and three LPs were released. Join Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, and Frankie Gilcken, as they recall their rapid rise to fame, playing with numerous Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

Excerpts:

“Those were the days when everything was experimental,” said Karl Richardson, the engineer. “We were looking for something more reverberant. We didn’t want BANG to sound like everybody else. In those days, records were more like paintings, than photographs. The studio was a palette, and we were always thinking about art—not just taking a picture.”

“As the raucous sounds of rock band music slammed across a broad meadow on the tree-lined peninsula, hundreds of youths openly smoked marijuana and drank beer and wine. Some of the drug-sickened youths had injected directly into their bloodstreams bleach crystals they had purchased at the festival site in the belief they were amphetamines. Medical personnel were treating youths suffering drug overdoses on the average of one every five minutes. A man, about 30, stood on the platform for several hours warning fans that the ‘green and blue acid is bad—but the sugar cubes are good.’”  — account from the Erie Canal “Soda” Pop Festival

OZZY Cheesesteak anecdote …

ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 1972, BANG was back in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to play with Black Sabbath, who was in the midst of their Master of Reality Tour. Wild Turkey was to open this evening, followed by the boys from Philly.

That afternoon, the band was hanging out with Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath. They offered to introduce them to cheesesteaks, having discovered a sandwich shop in town that was attempting to replicate their favorite Philadelphia cuisine.

“I’ve never had a bloody cheesesteak,” admitted Ozzy.

And so BANG introduced the Prince of Darkness to the delicacy. After chomping on a few bites, he asked, “I have another question for you. What do the fans mean when they are making the “V” signs with their fingers? For our Churchill, it meant victory.”

“To them it means one of two things,” answered Frankie. “It either means peace or boogie.”
After that, Ozzy would often be seen on stage flashing dual V-signs to all of his audiences, as captured on the cover of their next album Vol. 4.

The BANG Story: From the Basement to the Bright Lights

Written by Lawrence Knorr, Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, and Frankie Gilcken

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dark Temple - Dark Temple



I suppose I could write something like; on a hazy moonlit night a dark temple slowly emerged out of the depths of the Australian terrain and beamed its ethereal melodies like a prism to all corners of the universe for all to hear.  The truth of the matter is, a couple of guys from Melbourne, one in particular named Ryan Brown on a mission to start a stoner rock band, came together to jam and within one year had recorded an incredibly decent Sci-Fi Stoner album under the name Dark Temple.

Self-titled and released on bandcamp July 22nd, Dark Temple have laced our atmosphere with their very special blend of 70’s style progressive rock, old school synthesizers all with that stoner rock vibe that I know you love. It’s spacey without being overdone, mildly apocalyptic, and more importantly full of riffs that send your brainwaves to thoughts of classic Australian rock traditions and how all these things have come together so smoothly and seamlessly.  With just five tracks, Dark Temple made a fan girl out of me.

‘Gods of the Sky’ is the opener and quickly builds into a good feeling with its marching beat and fat fuzzy bass lines that dominate the track more than actual riffs.  Brown’s vocals are friendly and easy to listen to as he introduces the interstellar beings that have landed to reign over us.  The strong, but not over powering, synthesizers are one of the biggest elements in the song and carry the track wonderfully.  One of my favorites is ‘No Return’, a groove heavy multi-component jam that forces you to come to the realization that Dark Temple know what they’re doing.  The first half of the song is catchy with easy to follows lyrics.  Then it changes into a smoky break down of slow crushing synths with vaporizing riffs and picks itself up and continues marching towards its relentless mission. 

‘False Prophets’ is the main jam on the record, the mission itself.  It’s the mothership, airborne and radiating high levels of space rock offering spiritual and musical refuge from our self-inflicted doom.  With a pleasantly pulsating rhythm it hovers and takes over like an anthem.  It finishes grounded, like the occupants have traded in their cosmic gear for motorbikes and are now heading down the highway on a Space Truckin’ enterprise.  Next is ‘Hell’s Closing In’, your favorite thanks to the no-bull-shitting-around riffs that immediately want me to crack a beer and lovingly remind myself that Bon Scott’s spirit is still with us all.  It’s the stoner rock cut on the record and is a fantastic demonstration of what Dark Temple can offer us now and in the future. 

Finally we have ‘Black Planet’, initially a dense organ heavy finale that quickly retracts the record back to where it came from; a spectacularly churning black hole of sparkling synthesizers, percussion and riffs.  Dark Temple clearly have a great time in the studio and bring the goods in peace.  I reached out to Brown who told me in the not too distant future a new EP will be recorded, meanwhile the boys will be going interstate with shows and I’m more than happy to follow their moves on Facebook. 

Dark Temple’s debut is a 32 minute ride to the stars and back.  Were it an actual strain it’d be a euphoric sativa stimulating your imagination and have you wiggling with groove.  Buy it on bandcamp.

-Miss Melissa


Monday, August 21, 2017

THE HAUNTED Debut "Preachers Of Death" Music Video





Acclaimed Swedish thrash metallers THE HAUNTED are unleashing their ninth studio album entitled “Strength In Numbers” next week, August 25, worldwide via CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS. The band have unveiled the album's latest single, "Preachers Of Death", which you can check out in the below music video produced by Oscar Dziedziela (OD Visual) or streaming on Spotify HERE.

THE HAUNTED collectively revealed:
"‘Preachers Of Death’ is the third video from our new album “Strength In Numbers”. It’s a stomping number with all the elements of a true THE HAUNTED song. Turn it up and stretch your neck, 'cause this is a banger.”

THE HAUNTED - Preachers Of Death (Official Video)


Recorded at Parlour Studios in the UK with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Dimmu Borgir, The Exploited), “Strength In Numbers” comes with artwork by THE HAUNTED’s longtime designer Andreas Pettersson. Take a behind-the-scenes look at the band during the recording session here: https://youtu.be/sWHJnmXxfFY.

“Strength In Numbers” Track List:
1. Fill The Darkness With Black
2. Brute Force
3. Spark
4. Preachers Of Death
5. Strength In Numbers
6. Tighten The Noose
7. This Is The End
8. The Fall
9. Means To An End
10. Monuments

The album’s limited edition Mediabook CD version will additionally include the bonus tracks “Illusions” and “Sinister”, expanded layouts as well as 3 stickers. “Strength In Numbers” will also be available on 180 gram vinyl in various editions: Black LP (Unlimited), Silver LP (200x copies / Sweden) and Clear LP (300x Copies / USA).

And last but not least, a strictly limited “Guitarist Edition” Deluxe LP package of THE HAUNTED’s “Strength In Numbers” release will be available from CM Distro / CM Webshop in Europe. This very special edition of the new album is limited to 500x copies on exclusive transparent red 180 gr. vinyl and comes with a printed guitar tablature book of 28 pages in LP booklet format, a poster, a set of 3x THE HAUNTED guitar-picks and the entire album on CD as bonus.


Watch an unpacking video by guitarist Ola Englund for this special edition here: https://youtu.be/JvqGVfkkaWc

Pre-order the album in its various physical formats from CM Distro here:

THE HAUNTED TOUR DATES
8/31    Oslo, NO - Bla
9/1    Stavenger, NO - Folken
9/2    Bergen, NO - Hulen
9/8    Orebro, SE - Frimis Salonger *
9/9    Linköping, SE - Pitchers/The Crypt *
9/15    Borlange, SE - Liljan
9/16    Sundsvall, SE - Club Destroyer
9/21    Gothenburg, SE - Pustervik *
9/22    Stockholm, SE - Debaser Strand *
9/23    Malmo, SE - KB *
9/29    Hultsfred, SE - Mörkasted Smaland Festival
9/30    Eskilstuna, SE - Lokomotivet
10/7    Hoogeveen, NL - Graveland Fest
11/3    Tampere, FI - Olympia-Kortteli
11/4    Helsinki, FI - Nosturi
11/5    Turku, FI - Gong
2/14/18 Vigo, ES - Sala
2/15/18 Bilbao, ES - Stage Live
2/16/18 Zaragoza, ES - Sala Lopez
2/17/18 Madrid, ES - Sala Nazca
2/18/18 Lisboa, PT - RCA Club
4/26/18 Baltic Sea - Rock The Boat Cruise
More dates coming soon...

THE HAUNTED line-up:
Marco Aro - Vocals
Jensen - Guitars
Ola Englund - Guitars
Jonas Björler - Bass
Adrian Erlandsson - Drums

THE HAUNTED online:

Century Media online:

Century Media Webshop:
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