Archive for live album

Orange Goblin – Rough & Ready, Live & Loud… 25 Years of British Rock and Heavy Metal

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 10th May 2020 by mickbirchy

Orange Goblin
Rough & Ready, Live & Loud
Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Stoner Rock
Released: 1st May 2020
via Orange Goblin Music / Rise Above Records

It’s hard to put into words how much I love the band Orange Goblin and how much their music reached me. Let me take you back to 2012 and the release of their album A Eulogy For The Damned. This was an album that immediately captured my consciousness and reached me on a level that I don’t think many metal bands have done. It wasn’t an overly complex record from a musical standpoint.  It adhered to a standard, verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure with riffs to carry the general tune of the song and they used some brilliant guitar work to give their music some extra life. After listening to that album I was immediately fascinated with them, their riffs always caught me, hook line and sinker and I hunted down their previous albums to see if they gave the same feeling. Very luckily, they did. In particular Thieving from the House of God, which still to this day is one of my all-time favourite metal albums.

Once I had discovered their music I made it a mission to see them live in concert. I got my chance time and time again as Orange Goblin are touring machines, I’ve managed to watch them live at least 12 times now. Now, how do I describe their live shows? They’re one of the most charismatic and fun bands to watch live. They just have this imposing presence to their shows, it’s something you can really feel as an audience member, no matter how many times I see them perform I still get chills when they get certain parts of their sets. There are some staple tunes that the band will just play and the crowd goes nuts, like “Saruman’s Wish” and “Some You Win, Some You Lose”, when they hit those songs you can feel the crowd twist and shift and come to life. It’s such an awesome feeling. They do such a good job of making a set-list that will keep their fans happy. I mean all bands have to release new material and I think deciding what old songs to keep and what new songs to add is an art form unto itself. They always seem to get that balance of rocking the old school tunes and promoting the new material. So, it’s great to hear a set-list unfold itself over the course of a night.

Now they have been rocking for 25 solid years, Orange Goblin wanted to do something for the fans to celebrate this milestone in their career. However, with the UK being in lock-down due to the world health crisis at the time of writing this review, it wasn’t like they could just hit the road at their leisure. So, the next best thing was to give their fans a live album. Rough & Ready, Live & Loud is a collection of live recordings from their gigs. The songs were taken from their sets at Sylak Open Air Festival 2016, KOKO in London 2016 and at the Fuzz Club in Athens in 2019. It’s a well-rounded album with lots of great songs to rock out to. It also gives some love to some of their, let’s say underrated, classics like “Time Traveling Blues” and “Made of Rats”. So in that sense, it’s not a greatest hits album per se, more of a collection to give the listener the feeling of hearing the band live and enjoying the show. Which is cool and a good way to put their stamp on 25 years as a band. Also, included with the album on Bandcamp is a digital booklet filled with fan-submitted memories of the band. Which made this feel like an all-inclusive experience with their fans. In addition to this the Bandcamp edition of the album features the extra track of “Your World Will Hate This” from the album Coup de Grace. Which is a pretty damn good cap on the album. I mean it’s a short tune but it has that fierce energy and packs that little extra punch.

Although I can’t pretend that I have been a fan since the start (you know since I was only three years old when they started, so the only music I liked was the intro to Thomas the Tank Engine). I feel like they were definitely a cornerstone in developing my taste in heavy metal and hard rock. Still to this day I gravitate to music with heavy riffs and fuzzy solos more than any other styling. Their live shows have always been something to look forward to for me because I know they’re going to give it their all and they enjoy every moment of being on stage. This was a nice treat as a fan of the band and something that I’ve enjoyed listening to. So… here’s to 25 years of Orange Goblin and hopefully another 25 years of hard rock and heavy metal.

10/10

Mick Birchall

Get the album for yourself here – https://orangegoblinofficial.bandcamp.com

Planet of Zeus – Live in Athens

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on 13th November 2018 by mickbirchy

Planet of Zeus

Live in Athens

Stoner Rock, Groove Metal, Southern Rock

Released: 30th October 2018

via ihaveadrum Records

There are two peaks in a bands career. Two heights of artistic achievement that they can wear like a badge of honour. One is the concept album, the other… The “live” album. Nothing really says “We’ve made it” like selling out a venue, recording the show and selling that show for all to hear. For me, one of the best live acts I have ever seen would have to be, Planet of Zeus. They are a force to be reckoned with on the stage. Their music is so anthemic and powerful, it can connect with pretty much any audience member at any show. All I can say is if you haven’t taken yourself to a show from them. Treat yourself the next time they’re in town. After their most recent record Loyal To The Pack, the band played their home countries capital city, Athens, to a ravenous crowd, giving birth to the bands first ever live album: Live In Athens (I know, such an original title).

I will say that this record sounds excellent all the way through. It captures that feeling of a Planet of Zeus show to an extent. From the heavy riffs to the excellent and gut-busting solos this album sounds so damn good. When Stelios Provis busts out the solos, the rest of the band create a tight foundation from which he’ll just let loose and create magic with the guitar. The set-list for this show was a solid one as it’s completely filled with energy, good vibes and their unique atmosphere that they bring to the show. You even hear those little echoes and refrains that you only hear in a live setting. When Babis Papanikolaou roars out the lyrics to songs like “A Girl Named Greed”, “Loyal To The Pack” or “Macho Libre” I can feel it right down in my gut. It’s the kind of voice that you take notice of. The production as a whole is wonderful.

The record is beautifully balanced and well mixed, I can only imagine what some of these songs felt like in the gig itself. If there’s anything that Planet of Zeus is known for it’s their riffs and they packed this setlist with their finest. Songs like “Leftovers”, “Devil Calls My Name” and “Little Deceiver” are definitely the moments that grab your attention. As their riffs just have that way of getting in your head and sticking around. It’s that great balance of groove, rock n roll and balls-to-the-wall heavy that makes Planet of Zeus such a compelling band to listen to.

However, I think there’s something that can be lost on a live record. Some things from the gig itself don’t always translate quite as well to the album version. This is the only downside I can think of to this record, yet, it’s more of a failure of the medium. Some bands can really transcend it and make you feel like you’re at the gig from the live album alone. Here, I don’t think Planet of Zeus has quite pulled that off. Although, it’s a great recording and there’s all of the unfiltered crowd banter, as well as the audience chanting for the band. The recording of the crowd is great too. You hear their chants as clear as a bell and their interaction with the band is great. It must’ve been quite the crowd to be a part of night itself. Yet, there’s just something missing from it that stops it being an amazing live album. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a great listening experience but it’s not a great “live album”.

This is a fun record to listen to. A must buy if you’re any sort of stoner rock or groove metal fan. If you’ve never listened to Planet of Zeus I would say that this is a great album to get you started. Not only did they provide some of their best material but you get a small sample of what it would be like to listen to them live. Which is a treat! I adore Planet of Zeus (if I haven’t made that obvious) and having missed the Loyal To The Pack Tour, this was awesome for me to listen to. They are simply one of the best bands going today in my opinion and this live record should be more than proof to anyone who denies that sentiment.

4.5/5

Mick Birchall

Epitaph – A Night At The Old Station

Posted in Gig, Live, Review 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

Pentagram to release “When The Screams Come” on vinyl

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on 5th April 2015 by Pieni

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In 2011, Pentagram released a live DVD recorded at Sonar, during the Maryland Deathfest VIII, at the end of the Liebling / Griffin reunion. Named after one of their most popular and oldest tracks, “When The Screams Come” will now (17th April, via Metal Blade Records) be released in vinyl, in three different versions – 180 g black, clear/blue splatter and red. All of them include a free poster.

The concert was too long to fit in just one record, but not long enough to fill two. So the B-side of record no. 2 features five bonus track, recorded at Heavy Halloween Show last October, Arts Riot, Burlington. The full tracklist is as follows:

Side A:
Day Of Reckoning
Forever My Queen
Ask No More
Run My Course
You’re Lost, I’m Free
Review Your Choices

Side B:
Petrified
Relentless
All Your Sins
Total

Side C:
20 Buck Spin
Sign Of The Wolf
When The Screams Come

Side D:
Death Row
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood (cover)
Vampyre Love
Nothing Left
Relentless Reprise

Pre-order your copies at EMP or Metal Blade‘s EBAY-STORE.

In May, Pentragram will be playing live in central Europe:
May 21 – Antwerpen, Belgium
May 22 – Rock Hard Festival, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
May 23 – Backstage Halle, Munich, Germany
May 24 – Club Vaudeville, Lindau, Germany
May 25 – Arena, Vienna, Austria
May 27 – UT Connewitz, Leipzig, Germany
May 28 – SO36, Berlin, Germany
May 29 – Klubsen, Hamburg, Germany

https://www.facebook.com/pentagramusa
http://pentagramusa.com

Finntroll to release first live album

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on 18th May 2014 by Pieni

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“Natten Med De Levande Finntroll” (Night with the living Finntroll) is the title chosen for the upcoming debut live album of the Finnish folk masters. Recorded at the famous Melkweg in Amsterdam and mixed & mastered by the even more famous duo Mikko Karmila and Mika Jussila, this album gathers 19 anthems of Finntroll‘s “unholy hybrid style” and proves that is “onstage and in the raw” that they function best.

Scheduled for release on the 16th June via Spinefarm Records, the track list is as follows:

1. Kitteldags
2. Slaget vid Blodsälv
3. Blodnatt
4. Nedgång
5. Nattfödd
6. Ursvamp
7. Eliytres
8. Aldhissla
9. Jaktens Tid
10. Rivfader
11. Korpens Saga
12. Trollhammaren
13. Fiskarens Fiende
14. Svartberg
15. Försvinn Du Som Lyser
16. Midnattens Widunder
17. En Mäktig Här
18. Det Iskalla Trollblodet
19. Segersång

www.finntroll-music.com
www.facebook.com/officialfinntroll
twitter.com/finntrollmusic

Kreator – Dying Alive

Posted in Review with tags , on 4th October 2013 by izaforestspirit

Kreator
Dying Alive
Released 30th August 2013
Thrash Metal
Released via Nuclear Blast

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‘Dying Alive’ is the new live album from the legendary German thrash metal band Kreator. It was recorded on 22 December, 2012 at Turbinenhalle in Oberhausen, Germany. It is available in multiple formats including a stand-alone, limited edition CD, DVD and CD combo and Blue Ray and CD combo. This review is for the limited 2CD edition which includes a few bonus tracks.

After a brief intro complete with the songs of cheering crowds chanting the bands name, it’s straight into the first song, the title track from their latest album Phatom Antichrist. I’m assuming that Kreator fans know exactly what to expect from their idols but for small number of you unfamiliar with the band, here’s a short description of their signature sound: it’s basically fast, energetic old school thrash metal with guitar riffs ripping their way through each track plus powerful drumming along with the occasional melodic guitar solo and shouting-style vocals.

As with any live CD, it’s always interesting to hear the band as they talk to the crowd. It’s times like this when I wish I could have been there as it must have been a great show. As their charismatic singer Mille Petrozza shouts at the crowds, you’re almost tempted to stick your hands in the air and wave whilst head-banging in an attempt to replicate the live show experience in your own living room. Just close your eyes and envision yourself near the front of the crowd staring at the stage. Anyway back to the music…There’s a healthy mix of old and new Kreator tracks with some old favourites such as the ultra catchy Phobia (from their 1997 album ‘Outcast’) and Endless Pain (the title track from their debut album) played alongside newer songs such as Hordes of Chaos and the mosh-pit favourite Death To The World. Other noteworthy tracks include Extreme Aggressions and People of The Lie which have that old thrash metal sound to it thanks to the emphasis on the guitar solos. They have also added a handful of intros inbetween the tracks providing a break for both the band and their fans.

Overall I have to say that although I’m not the biggest fan of live albums this is one of the best ones I’ve heard in years. Kreator fans won’t need any more convincing to buy this release, new fans of the band are probably better off checking out ‘Phatom Antichrist’ or the one of their compilation albums first.

4/5

Iza Raittila