Archive for Hard rock

Autograph – Get Off Your Ass

Posted in CD, Rock with tags , on 22nd September 2017 by izaforestspirit

Autograph
Get Off Your Ass
Released 6th October 2017
Hard Rock
Released via EMP Group

Image result for autograPH GET OFF cover

‘Get Off Your Ass’ is the new album from the American hard rock band Autograph. The band was originally formed back in the 1980s. They disbanded in 1989 and have remained inactive until some of the founding members got together in 2013, and decided to re-activate the band. Sadly their original vocalist Steve Plunkett was unavailable for the reunion, so they enlisted the former Jailhouse singer Simon Daniels instead. With this new line-up they released an EP last year, and now a full album.

The album title seems appropriate for a band who has recently re-formed after a long hiatus. The title track acts as the perfect opening song – energetic, catchy with a positive vibes oozing from the guitars and bluesy-hard rock vocals. Meet Me Halfway caught my attention due to the rocking and swinging guitar tunes and the super catchy chorus. Like the opening track, this one also has a positive feel to it, putting the listener in a good mood. “Can’t you see, it’s your lucky day!” It’s time to sing, dance, swing or possibly even jump along to the chorus…

As with most good hard rock albums, you get some radio-friendly slow ballads – in this case the somewhat melancholic-sounding All On My Own. Unlike its predecessors, this track reflects a more glam rock style and it is easily the most melodic song on here. Personally I preferred the more energetic tunes such as All Emotions, where the guitars really take to the spotlight. Last but not least, we get a live version of one their classics – Turn Up the Radio.

Overall, ‘Get Off Your Ass’ is a fine piece of classic hard rock. Band re-unions are very much in vogue these days but not all are successful. In Autograph’s case they seem have a rekindled an old flame and shot it up into the sky. Rock on!

4/5

Iza Raittila

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Blue Cheer – Live At Rockpalast – Bonn 2008

Posted in Gig, Live, Rock with tags , , , on 9th September 2017 by Paul Macmillan

Blue Cheer

Live At Rockpalast – Bonn 2008 (double live CD & DVD)

Hard rock/Blues

Released 31st March 2017 via M.I.G.

 

Blue Cheer might ring a bell, but I’d be lying if I said I thought they were a household name. This is certainly the first time I’ve actively sat down and listened to them, or rather, watched, as is the case here. Not for the first time, I wish I’d paid more attention. This is some badass old-school riffing, with an incredible level of energy for doomy blues/metal, especially doomy blues/metal churned out by three fairly haggard looking old dudes.

The video itself is a little odd. The footage is great; nice angles, every member gets some screen time, and the quality is nice. It’s more a case of the setting. It’s a little like a cross between a music college theatre and The Old Grey Whistle Test stage. From the start, you can spot bar maids carrying crates (not trays) of empty glasses, and punters making their way to and from the toilet. It is nice, up close, and personal, but there’s something about it which seems at odds with the massive sound coming from the stage.

And it is massive! This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, though. If my German is correct, the announcer tells us at the start that they once claimed the title of ‘loudest band in the world’. Sharing that part of rock and roll which saw the likes of Cream, Sabbath, and Motorhead at their most basically visceral, this is absolutely a band who were part of the melange which gave birth to what we now know as heavy metal. There are all the best characteristics of what made that movement in the beginning. Suzzed out, aggressive blues. Post-Vietnam punk energy. UK power trio riffs. It’s all there.

Sadly, founder and frontman, Dickie Peterson, is no longer with us, otherwise this band may still be giving the young ones a run for their money. If you, like me, hadn’t given Blue Cheer a proper day in court, and you want to dig deeper into the (pre-) history of stoner doom, give this a spin. It’s a great performance, featuring some surprisingly recognisable musical moments which may or may not have been pinched by a number of our heroes down the line. I’m looking at you, Clutch and Alice In Chains.

4/5

Paul Macmillan

Wraith – Revelation

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , on 2nd August 2017 by izaforestspirit

Wraith
Revelation
Released 4th August 2017
Hard Rock/Melodic Heavy Metal
Released via Ice Rain Records/Cargo Records

Wraith is a British hard rock band that has been around since the late ’80s. They were most active in the ’90s, after which they had a long break between albums. It’s now been a decade since their last studio album was released and now Wraith are back with a new line-up and a new album called ‘Revelation’. This is also their first work to feature the new vocalist Ryan Coggin.

Ten years is a long time to wait for a new album. This is my first encounter with Wraith so I can’t really comment on how their style has evolved over the years. Rather than commenting on how this compares to their past albums, I will just focus on ‘Revelation’. Here we have ten tracks which range from Bon Jovi -esque melodic hard rock to NWBHM-style heavy metal. An example of the former is the slow ballad ‘Leaving Me Again‘ and the latter ‘No Respect‘ – an energetic, guitar-driven song. The vocals on it aren’t half bad either.

Then there’s the catchy, somewhat sleaze rock inspired ‘Human Hater‘ which reminded me of Mötley Crüe for some reason. This is probably one of the simplest songs in terms of lyrics, but who cares? After all, who needs profound lyrical themes when you can just enjoy a catchy chorus and headbang along to the twin guitar melodies?

In summary, ‘Revelation’ embodies the saying “..good things come to those who wait”. It’s been ten years, but now Wraith are back with a strong album that’s bound to please both classic heavy metal and hard rock fans.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Alice Cooper reveals new album details

Posted in Misc., News, Rock with tags , , , on 18th July 2017 by izaforestspirit

The legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper has announced that his new album, the first studio release in six years, will be called ‘Paranormal’. It will feature guest performances from U2’s Larry Mullen Jr., ZZ TOP’s Billy Gibbons and Deep Purple’s Roger Glover.

Here is what the singer had to say about it:

“I love that title, ‘Paranormal’, but it’s not really a scary record. There’s a couple of scary songs on it, but [it is] ‘paranormal,’ meaning ‘other than normal.’ This is not a normal Alice record. Bob [Erzin] and I decided, ‘No theme this time. We’re gonna make a record of things that just get us off, songs that we like. And it might go in a lot of different directions, but these are just songs that get us off.”

‘Paranormal’ is expected to hit the shops on 28th July 2017 via earMusic and it will be available in the following formats: 2CD digipack, limited edition box set and digital download.

You can check out the cover art below:

He has also released a lyric video for the title track.

For further information visit:

http://www.alicecooper.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AliceCooper/

 

Epitaph – A Night At The Old Station

Posted in CD, Gig, Live, Rock with tags , , on 23rd May 2017 by izaforestspirit

Epitaph
A Night at The Old Station
Released 28th April 2017
Hard Rock/Prog-rock with jazz elements
Released via M.I.G Music GmbH

A Night At The Old Station’ is an acoustic live album from the German hard rock band Epitaph. It was recorded at the Old Station in Anderten, near Hanover, Germany. The set features a mixture of old and new material played using mostly acoustic instruments. Although full concert recording is available as a 2CD &DVD box-set, this review will focus of the promo CD version which features six tracks plus two enhanced live videos.

Two keys words – “live” and “acoustic”, are a good indication of the what you can expect from this release. I’ve never been to an Epitaph show but the live videos offer the next best thing. The use of acoustic instruments gives the songs a relaxed, more melodic feel which is only enhanced by the additional cellos, piano, keyboards and violin on some of the tracks. Take Looking For A Friend for example, it has that chilled out vibe to it. Then they speed things up a notch with One of These Days, a catchy hard rock ballad with a memorable chorus .

I recognized Love Child, having previously heard it as a bonus track on their most recent studio album ‘Fire From The Soul’. The acoustic version is far more laid back but it definitely has its charms. Then if you’re looking for a good tune to dance to then look no further than Ain’t No Liar, the longest but also the most catchy song on the CD.

Overall, this is clearly more for the die-hard Epitaph fans who wish to add this release to their existing collection. As with any live album, it’s no match for the real live show experience but it gives the offers the listener/viewer the next best thing.

3.5/5

Iza Raittila

Rock Goddess – It’s More Than Rock and Roll EP

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , on 25th April 2017 by izaforestspirit

Rock Goddess
It’s More Than Rock And Roll EP
Released 19th May 2017
Heavy Metal/ Hard Rock
Released via Bite You to Death Records

‘It’s More Than Rock And Roll’ is the new EP from the London-based hard rock trio Rock Goddess. The band originally started out in the 1980s during the NWOBHM movement in The U.K. They were on a long hiatus in the mid-90s before reforming again with the original line-up in 2013.

This is a short EP, just three songs but it is enough to give an idea of what Rock Goddess is all about. The title track is an anthem, or manifesto if you like, stating what these ladies trying to achieve with their music. Their message is simple: they play good, old-school hard rock full of catchy guitar melodies and sing-along choruses. This is what they have always done and what they do best. Back Off is all about the guitar riffs while the closing track We’re All Metal sounds like a homage to the band’s roots with some honorable mentions of the famous bands from within both the hard rock and heavy metal scene.

In summary, ‘It’s More Than Rock And Roll’ serves as an (re-)introduction to Rock Goddess. It’s bound to please their old fans as well attracting some new ones, myself included. I can’t wait to hear more. Rock on, ladies!

4/5

Iza Raittila

Jupiter Falls – Faces In The Sand Part One

Posted in CD, Metal, Rock with tags , on 3rd April 2017 by izaforestspirit

Jupiter Falls
Faces In The Sand Part One
Released 24th March 2017
Melodic Hard Rock
Released via Broken Road Records

Image result for jupiter falls faces in the sand

Faces In The Sand Part One’ is the third album from the British hard rock band Jupiter Falls. The band was formed in 2013 and they have released two albums and one EP prior to this.

I’m not entirely sure what the tag ‘melodic hard rock’ actually means. For me hard rock has always referred to music that is heavier than classic rock but not quite “heavy” or aggressive enough to be considered metal. On the whole it tends to be more radio-friendly and tends to appeal to a larger audience. As far as the genre classifications go, there is a very wide spectrum of bands that have been labeled “hard rock”. Jupiter Falls’s influences range from Guns’N’Roses and Metallica to Bullet For My Valentine so that doesn’t really narrow it down to any specific category.

After the first few songs it soon becomes apparent that these guys don’t really stick to just one specific style. Their music is very guitar-orientated and relies heavily on the use of twin-guitar harmonies. But as far as genre goes, what we have here is an amalgamation of various styles within both rock and metal. On the heavier, more metal end, we get tracks like Its Your Problem Now and Sickened in which you can hear the groove-metal tones in the guitars and particularly the bass. Then we have the classic rock -style, power ballads Call Me and Follow You representing the band’s more melodic side. The vocals on these two reminded me of the early works of an American post-grunge/hard rock band Creed. If there is one track that really shows off the skill of the guitarists and proves just how well the twin-guitar harmonies can work, it’s Voices. That song is by far the most guitar-centered as well as being one of the heaviest tracks on the album.

In summary, ‘Faces In The Sand Part One’ is a fine example of modern hard rock. I’m not a guitarist so I can’t comment too much on the intricacies of the riff work, but I can tell that these guys are really skilled musicians. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock power ballads, modern metal or hard rock there will be something on this album that appeals to you.

4/5

Iza Raittila