Zeal & Ardor – Live In London

For many people a live album is hardly worth bothering with. The performances can vary from being exact replicas of the studio recordings to blandly and barely played. However, a great live album is a thing of beauty, and any naysayers of the format are hard pressed to deny the electricity that jumps out of one’s speakers or headphones. Think of how enthralling Slipknot’s live material sounds, or how well crafted an Iron Maiden set-list can be and you’ll find the value in live recordings. Continue reading

New Model Army – Night Of A Thousand Voices

Being in the business since, oh, 1980 is both a blessing and a challenge. On the one hand, you’ve got lots of great material to compile a set list with. On the other, what gets left in, and what gets left out?

No such issue faces post-Punk/Folk mutants New Model Army, as their new live album A Night of A Thousand Voices (Attack Attack Records) shows. Continue reading

Skunk Anansie – 25Live@25

I must confess, writing about Skunk Anansie’s 25Live@25 (Republic of Music) is mega hard. I keep jumping up and dancing about the flat, singing loudly and off-key. I’ve been listening to Skunk Anansie since 1995 with the song ‘Selling Jesus’. They haven’t disappointed. They don’t disappoint with this live retrospective either. If you are a major Skunk-head, you are going to flat-out love this album. If you are a newbie, welcome! You are going to love this album.  Continue reading

Bowling For Soup – Older, Fatter, Still The Greatest Ever

There’s a bit of a misconception about Bowling For Soup outside of their committed fanbase. Maybe it’s their look, the fact that they’re not über (or even always semi) serious, or maybe it’s the ubiquity of several of the tracks from their Drunk Enough To Dance (Jive Records) smash-hit album that littered our music TV lives throughout the first decade of the twenty-first century, but BFS are rarely given the credit for their song-writing that several of their contemporaries get. Whether you like it or not ‘The Bitch Song’, ‘Punk Rock 101’, ‘Emily’, ‘1985’ and ‘Girl All The Bad Guys Want’ are all bonafide bangers, and an integral part of a pop-Punk soundtrack to our lives. Continue reading

Accept – Symphonic Terror: Live At Wacken 2017

Playing to a packed out Wacken Festival, German Metal legends Accept pulled out all the stops last year by performing a two-hour long set of purest classic teutonic Metal. Split into three separate acts, the band tore through a collection of greatest hits and instrumental surprises for the gathered long-haired faithful Continue reading

Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm

It’s hard to believe that Amon Amarth has been a band for over twenty-five years. The incredible arc of their journey from a suburban bunch of guys from nearby Stockholm, Sweden with a dream to world dominating metal force majeure is nothing short of astounding. As much as I have followed their career as closely as possible, there were definite gaps in my knowledge. In the incredible new documentary/concert film Amon Amarth – The Pursuit Of Vikings: 25 Years In The Eye Of The Storm (Metal Blade) certainly illuminates the backstory of one of the greatest modern metal bands today. It definitely didn’t happen overnight and there were many missteps that could have ensured they never succeeded. However, the Amon Amarth story is about perseverance and the strength to achieve what your mind desires. Continue reading

Lacuna Coil – The 119 Show Live In London (DVD)

Lacuna Coil celebrated twenty years by filming The 119 ShowLive in London (Century Media) in that bastion of musicality, London Town. The more than two-hour show showcases all that’s good about Lacuna Coil and features amazing performances by Incandescence Circus Theatre Company. From the freaky circus backdrop to the band taking the stage in unsettling white face paint, The 119 Show is a mélange of American Horror Story Season 4, a wicked Lacuna Coil show, and amateurish editing. Continue reading