Κυριακή, 18 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - No Cross No Crown (2018)

Whenever CORROSION OF CONFORMITY releases a new album, folks take notice. But their latest is a true event. It’s been a dozen years since C.O.C. recorded new material with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan at the helm. In that time, there have been rumors, whispers and outright allegations that the legendary Southern rock outfit would reunite to blow the doors off the whole damn scene again. In 2014, after nearly a straight decade traversing the globe as a guitarist with New Orleans supergroup DOWN, Keenan reconnected with the core C.O.C. trio of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin to hit the road hard. “Reed called me and mentioned maybe playing a couple shows,” Keenan recalls. “I said, ‘Let’s just go to Europe and see if it works.’ So we went to Europe and then ended up going back four times in one year. Then Nuclear Blast gave us an offer and we didn’t even think about going anywhere else. We ended up touring for a year and then started tracking about ten or 11 months ago.”

Ladies and gentlemen, the long wait is over. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY have returned with »No Cross No Crown« - an album that somehow sounds as though no time has passed between 2005’s »In The Arms Of God« and today. Some of these new jams sound like could’ve easily been on »Wiseblood« or »Deliverance,« two of C.O.C.’s most revered records. “Yeah, that was kind of intentional,” Keenan nods. “We weren’t trying to manipulate it to sound like other records, but that type of songwriting is what we do. It was important that we made an album - I didn’t want to write ten or twelve songs in the same key with the same guitar tone or some shit. We took each song on its own and tracked ’em completely individually.

Recording in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer, C.O.C. cut »No Cross No Crown« in about 40 days over the course of a year. “We took our time and didn’t put any pressure on ourselves,” Keenan says. “I’d go up from New Orleans and we’d do four or five days at a time, just hacking away at it. It was fun because we did it like a demo, but in a studio. We were writing and putting it on tape at the same time. We took what parts we thought were great from the old days and weren’t scared to go backwards. It kinda wrote itself that way.”

The first song the rejuvenated foursome wrote together was 'Wolf Named Crow,' a hard-knocking rocker with that classic C.O.C. swing. “I had a crazy-looking black dog with blue eyes named Crow,” Keenan explains. “I was walking him through the hood where I live in New Orleans and this young kid was tripping on my dog, going, ‘Damn! Is that a wolf?’ I said yeah. Then he goes, ‘What’s his name?’ And I said, ‘Crow.’ And he goes, ‘Damn! He got a wolf named Crow!’ Then he ran off telling his buddies and shit. And I was like, ding! So I took that idea and manipulated it into a song about being hunted.”

Of course, the band recognized that any new C.O.C. album with Keenan out front would be analyzed, scrutinized and held up for comparison with aforementioned gems like »Deliverance« and »Wiseblood«. “That was in the back of my mind the whole time,” Keenan acknowledges. “The big thing for me was trying to write songs that have the same attitude and caliber that we were used to doing. I didn’t wanna get out there like some 50-year old dude making a mediocre record.”

On »No Cross No Crown,« beefy Southern stompers like 'The Luddite,' 'Little Man' and 'Forgive Me' are interspersed with melancholy guitar interludes like 'No Cross,' 'Matre’s Diem' and 'Sacred Isolation' - just like SABBATH used to do in the ’70s. “We started doing that on »Deliverance,«” Keenan points out. “My theory on that is that if you’re trying to make a record flow, you need to break it up a little. When you need a breather, write an interlude. I like writing those mellow pieces just to space things out and make the next thing come in heavier.”

The album’s iconic title comes from a recent tour stop in England. “We were playing this old church from like the 1700s that had been turned into a performing arts center,” Keenan recalls. “The dressing room had stained glass windows and one of them showed this poor fella being persecuted. Underneath it said, ‘No cross no crown.’ So I just took that idea. We’re not trying to be on a soapbox, but we used it as a catalyst to write songs around.”

Which is to say that »No Cross No Crown« has a lot less to do with politics or religion than its title implies. “I think everyone needs to get away from that mindset in general,” Keenan offers. “It just seems to be a mess out there nowadays. We need to get back to being humans and taking care of each other and simple things like that. For us, the terminology ‘No cross no crown’ is a theme. It’s mentioned in like three songs throughout the album. We just weaved it through as we went.”

Of course, C.O.C. with Pepper Keenan is a very different proposition than the three-piece C.O.C. that recorded 2012’s self-titled album and 2014’s »IX« in his absence. “It’s two different animals, which is a weird position to be in because we’re not doing those songs when I’m playing with them,” Keenan says. “We’ve got so much ammunition from the records that I did, so we’ve always kinda stuck to that.”

“It’s a strange rock n’ roll conundrum, but it could be worse,” he adds. “It could be the David Gilmour/Roger Waters thing, where they go separate ways with two different bands. That’s not worth it. When you see bands do that, you think, ‘Dude, just bury the hatchet and jam. It’s not that hard.’”

Not that C.O.C. ever really had a hatchet to bury. “It just kinda fizzled out,” Keenan says of his involvement with the band back in the day. “The record label fell apart after »In The Arms Of God« and I moved back to New Orleans and went straight to DOWN. It’s just another chapter in how this shit works. But how you overcome it and get back together is how you’ll be judged.”

»No Cross No Crown« stands as irrefutable proof of C.O.C.’s ability to overcome. “C.O.C. and the prior records I’ve done with them didn’t just go away,” Keenan observes. “It’s an honor to be back out there and have an opportunity to do it again in a real way and not some washed-up reunion thing. Even before we wrote the record, we were out there for a year seeing there was a demand for it and that there was a void that we could fill. That’s been C.O.C.’s deal from day one. We’re not chasing anybody around. We’re not gonna worry about what the new trends are. C.O.C. is C.O.C.”

Line up:
Pepper Keenan | guitars, vocalsWoody Weatherman | guitarsMike Dean | bassReed Mullin | drums

Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons - The Age Of Absurdity (2018)

PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS features MOTÖRHEAD guitarist Phil Campbell alongside his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla, plus vocalist Neil Starr.
The birth of PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS was at the legendary Wacken Festival in Germany, August 2016. Since then, the band have released a self-titled EP, played many headline shows and festivals around Europe and have completed 2 separate tours with SAXON throughout November/December 2016 and GUNS N’ ROSES in June 2017 where the band performed in front of hundreds of thousands of fans in some of the largest stadiums in Europe!
Alongside some other appearances at Hellfest, Sweden Rock, Download Spain and others the band spent the remainder of Summer 2017 recording their debut album. Titled »The Age Of Absurdity«, the album was recorded at Rockfield Studios and Longwave Studios in Wales and produced, engineered, and mixed by Romesh Dodangoda. The record was then passed over to the acclaimed Abbey Road Studios in London for mastering.
The album will feature eleven songs and one bonus track and will be released on January 26, 2018 via Nuclear Blast. The first single ‘Ringleader’ is a hard hitting track, another blistering riff you would associate with Phil Campbell. The bonus track on the album is ‘Silver Machine’, a cover of the HAWKWIND track. The band even enlisted the guitars and vocals of Dave Brock from the legendary HAWKWIND.
Phil Campbell said: "I am really excited for the fans to hear our debut record. Every part of the process was done in Wales, from the writing, to the recording and even the artwork!”

Phil Campbell | Guitar
Todd Campbell | Guitar
Dane Campbell | Drums
Tyla Campbell | Bass
Neil Starr | Vocals

1. Ringleader  4:04
2. Freak Show  3:41
3. Skin and Bones  3:49
4. Gypsy Kiss  2:22
5. Welcome To Hell  3:06
6. Dark Days  4:44
7. Dropping The Needle  1:50
8. Step Into The Fire  3:32
9. Get On Your Knees  3:28
10. High Rule  3:55
11. Into The Dark  6:37


Σάββατο, 17 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Innfight - Black Dog (2018)

RELEASE 13 April 2018

The story of INNFIGHT started at the end of the year 2013 in Mannheim, Germany with a line-up consisting of Sascha Wagner (guitar),
Michael Heck (keys) und Frank Widderson (vocals). About a year later and after writing songs together they began to record their debut CD „Boulevard Of Pain“ in Rolf Munkes’ Empire Studios in Bensheim (Hessia), Germany.
INNFIGHT later on were joined by the new members Udo Boppré (drums), Eugen Leonhardt (lead guitar) and Thomas Klesius (bass). After they were complete, they began to play live to bring INNFIGHT and the album into the focus of their fans.
In October 2017, INNFIGHT started to record their second album „Black Dog“ which is now set for a release on Pride & Joy Music on April 13th, 2018. During the recordings, bass player Thomas Klesius died due to serious illness. Tommy Schmitt, bass player of RED CIRCUIT, stepped in to help in these hard times and completed the bass recordings.
Impulsive rhythms, loaded with energetic guitar riffs, combined with spherical keyboard melodies and the distinctive voice of
Frank Widderson are the major trademarks of the band’s Alternative Rock/Metal sound – always with their own kind of interpretation.The songs themselves deal with emotions, experiences, impressions and topics such as human interaction and the daily struggle with the world both around and within us. “Black Dog” was once again produced by Rolf Munkes at Empire Studios.

Line-Up: Sascha Wagner (guitar), Michael Heck (keys), Frank Widderson (vocals), Udo Boppré (drums), Eugen Leonhardt (lead guitar)


Πέμπτη, 15 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Protecting Paradise - Memories of a Boken Heart (2017)

Protecting Paradise is a five-piece Metalcore band from southern Germany founded in the spring of 2017. The band is made up of members of various projects who have a tremendous live experience. So some of the members have been to major festivals like Rock am Ring and Rock in the Park, as well as tour support for scene greats like Caliban, Hatebreed, Sevendust, Emil Bulls, Eskimo Callboy, We Butter The Bread With Butter, Times of Grace and The Sorrow. Stylistically, the band moves in the Metalcore area although some hardcore elements can be found and the use of synthesizer leads to some epic refrains. Here and there are also electronic sounds to recognize. That makes it hard to compare Protecting Paradise to other bands, most likely to be a mixture of Asking Alexandria, Killswitch Engage, Architects and Bullet for my Valentine too.

If you want to get your own taste of Protecting Paradise, you can do so on all known digital platforms. The first CD "Memories of a Boken Heart" is completely self-produced and was released on 10.11.2017.

Band Members
Max Laßmann - Vocals
Philipp Wrba - Guitar & Synthesizer
Thomas Arnold - Guitar
Andreas Küpper - Bass
Tino Clambach - Drums

Website: www.Protecting-Paradise.com
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4KD0OEPtCkEexj7gAQkpNY
Youtube Links:

Δευτέρα, 12 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Through Infinity - The Life (2017)

The most recent music release by Through Infinity titled ‘The Life’  will offer listeners a phenomenal look into the worlds of instrumental and ambient genres of music. Delivering symphonic sounds with a modern electronic edge and notable rock flair, Through Infinity introduces an illuminating style that is unequivocally unique, mentally soothing and wholeheartedly entertaining.

Venturing into the sounds on ‘The Life’, we will examine the elements of the album’s 11 tracks which will likely resonate with music fans. As noted, the album contains 11 different cuts which are all incredibly unique. While the art of music is always open to interpretation, the opinions below are simply our own take on the body of work. Check out our take on Through Infinity ‘The Life’ below….

Finding Hope...

The first song on ‘The Life’ is “Try To Find The Hope” which is a soothing instrumental track with inspiring melodies and addictive percussion. The track has a moving electronic performance which is complimented well with all of the other instruments, creating a gorgeous synergistic effect. “Try To Find The Hope” is an uplifting performance that exudes positive energy.

“Sight Of An Eagle” quickly garners attention with a dramatic piano introduction. The chords are alluring, drawing fans into what will be a remarkable performance. “Sight of An Eagle” starts off with a slower tempo in comparison to “Try To Find The Hope” but it is just as motivational in terms of its performance and ability to soothe the mind. Subtle instrumentals often give way to more charging thus illustrating the textured layerings of the musicians’ unique sounds while creating a dynamic listening experience. “Sight of An Eagle” is a sonic track that is theatrical in nature. The performance if flawlessly produced and organically awe-inspiring.

A lingering sequence of chords indicate the introduction to “Freedom”. Through the opening of the track, delicate melodies reveal themselves between deep and somewhat dark distorted electronic elements. For over a minute and 24 seconds, Through Infinity sets the stage for what is to come. Slowly building upon each layer of sound, “Freedom” slowly emerges with a synth-heavy tune accented by lush instrumentals and finally a vigorous finish.

Beyond Freedom...

The title track of the album “The Life” is a modern sounding performance with a refreshing vibe. The upbeat instrumentals are filled with vitality as soulful rhythms, bright melodies and rock nuances captivate listeners. Another version of the track credited  as “Diamond’s Rendition” on the album consists of an emotional piano solo. “The Life” (Diamond’s Rendition) is undoubtedly compelling and fascinating. Through Infinity delivers to fans an array of sound which is not only multifaceted but remarkably entertaining as well.

Another notable instrumental on the album is “Aural Spectrum”. “Aural Spectrum” has a unique approach and offers a different contrast to the album compared to the previous tracks.The production consists of driving bass, percussion that is filled with intensity and edgy electric guitar chords. While the instrumental is sonically smooth, it does deliver a grittier feel while still interweaving addictive melodies and futuristic synths. “Aural Spectrum” is an enjoyable listen with a hip vibe. The song introduces a blend that is rock and electronic-infused.

If you fancy soothing laid-back energy, you will enjoy the sounds of “Eliza” a melodic performance with a calming spirit. “Eliza” is a stunning display of warm instrumental layers and easy listening. A balmy guitar performance, soft drums, and jazzy chords make “Eliza” an unforgettable track with soulful appeal. “Eliza” has a loungey feel and could easily be the soundtrack to a relaxing evening out.

Storytelling through music.

Much like “Eliza”, “Our Feeling” is also a moody track with suave vibrations. “Our Feeling” does have a quicker tempo and is punctuated by expressive chords which vary in terms of intensity. The waves which gently roll in on “Our Feeling” are subtle, yet appealing whereby listeners are treated to a myriad of pitches and tempo changes. The instrumental is largely guitar driven and the guitar is expressed in such a way that it almost sounds like it is singing in harmony with the musical accompaniment.

Through Infinity ventures down a newer sounding avenue on ‘Shine’ a spirited jam which features distinct guitars, trendy bass and catchy percussion and lively instrumentals dancing about. ‘Shine’ delivers its share of tonal highs and lows, creating a progressive experience that transitions throughout the entire performance. Embedded within ‘Shine’ are a multitude of influences likely borrowed from each band member’s diverse scope of experience. ‘Shine’ offers not only a rich ambient listening experience, but one that is decorated in noticeable rock conventions.

Winding Down.

‘The Life’ starts to wind down with “Godly Energy”, an instrumental that is reminiscent to a call and response of sorts but without the vocals. “Godly Energy” is dark, intense, and heavy on the bass. Through Infinity deliver another series of future sounds, blending together frantic waves, ambient layers and alternative rhythms. “Godly Energy” is an assertive performance that casts Through Infinity as a band that is able to morph their sound effortlessly.

Rounding out the album is “Holy Streams”, a soothing ambient instrumental highlighted by magnificent wind instruments. The production is an extraordinary finish to ‘The Life’ which visits many different realms over the course of the album’s play. “Holy Streams”, with its expressive flutes seems to carry listeners away to another world, perhaps showcasing the wide range of influences each member of the brand brings to the band with their respective crafts. Listen to the sounds of Through Infinity now...

Listen to Through Infinity ‘The Life’
‘The Life’ is a marvelous production that is unblemished robust with musical prowess. The album introduces a diverse range of sounds that both complement and contrast each other. Each performance on the album offers a rare quality that is not often seen. If you appreciate the sounds of orchestra music, electronic music and progressive rock, you will enjoy the sounds of Through Infinity. As the band’s name suggests,Through Infinity’s music is poised to transcend time.

Through Infinity, a multinational progressive rock and electronic music band formed in 2017.  Members of Through Infinity include: Josip Pešut (guitars and electronics), Tomo Bačurin (Producer & owner of Longplay Studio in Zagreb, keyboards) and Tomislav Lacković (bass). The band took on even more members as recording of the album progressed to include: Damir Šomen (drums), Antony Reynaert (guitars) and Safiudin Alimoski and daughter Đulijana Alimoski (traditional instruments and woodwinds). The band was founded by Josip Pešut, a Croatian guitarist, songwriter and composer. Pešut has been considered the catalyst of the band’s debut album ‘The Life’.

“The Life” consists of songs that were in development long before it’s October 2017 release, some as early as 8 years in the past. 11 songs on the album feature the electric guitar, piano and flute performances whereby each track represents “diverse emotional states and life experiences authors have gone on” (throughinfinityband.net). Through Infinity intends to release a visual statement which will consist of storylined music videos for several of their track releases.

Πέμπτη, 8 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

On Ithenfal's Wing - Key to Then (2018)

On Ithenfal's Wing is a progressive rock band with certain metal qualities. Their debut semi-conceptual album, Key to Then, will be released by the end of February. A Fine Light Snow, their second album, will be released very soon after. They both follow the state of mind of mystical being, Ithenfal, just days before death from uncompromising causes.

You never know what you’re going to get from a Prog Rock band. On Ithenfal’s Wing certainly delivered the unexpected with their new track Key to Then which takes you through a journey of time and leaves you questioning the year. The track is a 7-minute marathon courtesy of a nostalgic and talented collective of artists from the US influenced by artists such as Opeth, Radiohead, Pink Floyd and Metallica. They must be the first band in history to infuse all of those sounds together to create a cocktail of archaic madness.
It wouldn’t sound out of place on a Game of Thrones soundtrack even though the vocals did remind me of Robert Smith from The Cure. Typical of any Prog Rock band, there’s heavy emphasis on the instrumentals which flow with ease.
The band's semi-conceptual album, Key to Then, will come out by the end of February, so jump on the hype and check out Key to Then.


Τετάρτη, 7 Φεβρουαρίου 2018

Staring Into Nothing - Power (2017)

Staring Into Nothing's "Power" is a dark, artistic exploration of corruption, abuse, and oppression. Step into the mind of visionary Steve Rogers, who in tandem with Savannah Rogers and Kurt Barabas, delivers an intricate and dynamic performance. Moody and dichotomous, "Power" is sure to catch the attention of fans of prog rock legends and anyone that appreciates good, politically conscious rock and roll.

STARING INTO NOTHING recorded Power in 2017 with the help of legendary producer/mixer Mark Needham, as well as musicians Matt Chamberlain on drums, David Levita on guitars, and Pop Levi and Andrea Meli on backing vocals. Videos for Heads or Tails and Big Brother have been released in conjunction with the album. STARING INTO NOTHING are currently fashioning their two forthcoming follow-up albums, Love and War.

Staring Into Nothing Band Members:
Steve Rogers: Piano, Keyboards, Lead and Backing Vocals
Savannah Rogers: Guitar, Lead and Backing Vocals
Kurt Barabas: Bass and Guitars

Additional Musicians:
Matt Chamberlain: Drums
David Levita: Guitars
Jamie Muhoberac: Keyboards
Pop Levi: Backing Vocals
Andrea Meli: Backing Vocals

Produced and Mixed by Mark Needham at Red Oak Studio's
Audio Engineering by Ben O'Neill
Assistant Mix Engineering by Tyler Spratt
Mastering by Nick Townsend

The trio Staring Into Nothing combines the stark social commentary of Steve Rogers on keyboards, splitting lead vocal duties with guitarist, Savannah Rogers, and Kurt Barabas on bass and guitar. The three partners have already crafted more than 30 songs together, all delving deeply into dark themes that include the abuse of power, the struggle of romantic relationships, and the devastation of war. Staring Into Nothing is an exploration of mind, music and boundaries; fusing rock artistry with brazen meaning.

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/staringinto
Bandcamp: https://staringintonothing.bandcamp.com/
Lyric Video for Puritans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taMtXK55P40
Web Site: www.staringintonothing.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StaringIntoNothing/

OVERHUNG - Moving Ahead

Test Your Metal Records is proud to announce the North American re-release of "Moving Ahead" on February 16, 2018 for their latest signing Mumbai rock 'n rollers OVERHUNG. The full length is an electrifying 10 tracks ready to blast from the stereo speakers and give fans that classic glam rock n' roll feel of the 70's and 80's.  In their native country of India, the Mumbai rock band has been garnering praise along with their straight to the point lyrics about sex and more sex that they feel is still a topic too taboo to be spoken of.

The band comments:

"Overhung has always been the one band that I've been a part of that has always had the good fortune or ability to overcome. From our vocalist leaving the city and the country, to no support for indie rock, to people disassociating because we sing about sex, these and a hundred more obstacles can't slow us down. We are ready to take on North America first and with the help of Test Your Metal records, the world next!"

Track Listing:
1. Sex Machine (3:42)
2. Insane (6:38)
3. Waiting (5:10)
4. I Don’t Believe Her (6:08)
5. Through The Slime (5:01)
6. Waste (5:44)
7. I Am I (6:02)
8. Must Drink (4:15)
9. Casual Bitch (5:06)
10. You Think You’re So Cool (2:20)
Album Length: 50:08

Album and Live Band Line Up:
Sujit Kumar – Vocals
Howard Pereira – Guitars
Crosby Fernandes – Bass
Sheldon Dixon – Drums

The band is streaming their first single "Sex Machine" at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqRB3D9kRAY 

"Moving Ahead" is available for pre-order at the following link: https://overhungofficial.bandcamp.com 


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