ALBUM REVIEW: Black Stone Cherry – The Human Condition

 

After the bluesy Southern Rock of 2018s rollicking Family Tree and the two blues covers EPs Back to Blues comes The Human Condition (Mascot Records) – out and out hard rock upon which they built their career. Like Clutch, Black Stone Cherry do not make bad albums and this new one – their seventh – is another example of this.

Continue reading

Black Stone Cherry – Family Tree

 

The snow has melted away, the evenings are brighter and lighter, and over here in the good old UK we’ve even had a couple of days without rain. suggesting the summer is well and truly on its way. So, there couldn’t be a more perfect time for Kentucky quartet Black Stone Cherry to lazily unfurl their sun-kissed sixth album Family Tree (Mascot).

Continue reading

News: Anvil Releasing Anvil is Anvil In February, Euro Tour with UDO

anvil 2016

Canadian metallers Anvil is releasing their new album Anvil is Anvil on February 26, 2016 via Steamhammer/SPV. This marks the debut of new bassist Chris Robertson.

anvil anvil is anvil

Track Listing:
1. Daggers And Rum 5:26
2. Up, Down, Sideways 3:19
3. Gun Control 4:22
4. Die For A Lie 3:17
5. Runaway Train 3:40
6. Zombie Apocalypse 4:22
7. Its Your Move 3:30
8. Ambushed 3:22
9. Fire On The Highway 4:35
10. Run Like Hell 3:07
11. Forgive Don`t Forget 2:40
12. Never Going To Stop 4:12 (bonus track digipak)

The band will be supporting Udo Dirkschneider on an upcoming European tour.

udo anvil euro tour 2016

ANVIL as special guest with DIRKSCHNEIDER

Feb 19: Folken -Stavanger (NO)
Feb 20: Byscenen – Haugesund (NO)
Feb 21: Rick`s – Bergen (NO)
Feb 24: Train – Aarhus (DK)
Feb 25: KB – Malmö (SE)
Feb 26: Trädgarn – Gothenburg (SE)
Feb 27: Folket Hus – Sundsvall (SE)
Feb 28: Fryshuset Klubben – Stockholm (SE)
Mar 01: Tavastia – Helsinki (FI)
Mar 04: Lutakko – Jyväskylä (FI)
Mar 05: Rantasipi – Vaasa (FI)
Mar 11: Hellraiser – Leipzig (DE)
Mar 12: Music Hall – Markneukirchen (DE)
Mar 13: Rockfabrik – Ludwigsburg (DE)
Mar 22: Essigfabrik – Cologne (DE)
Mar 23: Zeche – Bochum (DE)
Mar 25: Garage – Ostrava (CZ)
Mar 26: Masters Of Rock Café – Zlin (CZ)
Mar 27: Meet Factory – Prague (CZ)
Mar 31: Backstage – Munich (DE)
Apr 01: VAZ – Burglengenfeld (DE)
Apr 02: Kaminwerk – Memmingen (DE)
Apr 03: Z7 – Pratteln (SI)
Apr 05: La Riviera – Madrid (ES)
Apr 06: Sala Totem – Pamplona (ES)
Apr 07: Razzmatazz 2 – Barcelona (ES)
Apr 21: Markthalle – Hamburg (DE)
Apr 23: MusicHall – Geiselwind (DE)
Apr 24: Postbahnhof – Berlin (DE)

Sons of Texas – Baptized In The Rio Grande

11755887_883455738371043_502157328686790946_n

Predictability is as underrated as a comfy old of pair of trainers for moochin’ around in, and if we were gambling peeps round Ghost Cult Towers even before picking up Sons Of Texas début Baptized In The Rio Grande we’d have had some pretty strong suspicions as to whether or not it would carry the expected Southern flavours of the Lone Star State.

And a seam of a Southern groove does indeed hit the back of the throat as strong as a slug of straight-up Bourbon from the outset, and is the underlying theme of each of the eleven songs. The initial impression is that Sons of Texas are a Face Off mixture of Down and Black Stone Cherry with Zakk Wylde picking up the tab, particularly on the opening and title tracks. Mark Morales manages to incorporate elements of both Anselmo and Chris Robertson to his delivery representing the band by mixing aggression where it’s needed (but without spilling over and losing the melody) with some quality choruses and hooks, in particular when things kick back during ‘Breathing Through My Wounds’ and ‘September’, two powerful, rocky balladic reflective moments that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Stone Sour album

Elsewhere there are touches of Disturbed or Shinedown, and ‘The Vestryman’ has NOLA (Elektra) etched into its’ spine, but these are mentioned more as pointers of where the band sit sound-wise and stylistically. Clearly receiving the backing of Razor & Tie, Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, All That Remains) is behind the production desk, bringing forth a full, thick and expertly balanced sound, it isn’t long before you embrace the appealing, honest enjoyability of Sons of Texas and accept Baptized In The Rio Grande in its’ own right as fine, Southern, hard rock album imbued with a song-writing maturity beyond the years of the contributing members all while retaining the requisite youthful energy to put the songs over.

You can rest assured, predictability isn’t the only thing that is welcome – giving people the big, stompin’ rock songs that put a grin on the face and an involuntary bob in the neck are too, and Sons of Texas have those in spades.

7.0/10

STEVE TOVEY

 

Potergeist – Crocodile Tears

Crocodile Tears Artwork resize

Bands seem to be randomly making up sub-genres to make themselves stand out from the crowd, and Potergeistare no exception to the rule. Describing themselves as “swamp metal”, the Athens-based quintet are back with their fourth full-length record, Crocodile Tears (Garden of Dreams). They have not always been so into crocodiles though: they began as a southern metal band in 2004, formed in the vein of Kylesa and Down.

Despite the crocodile-themed song names, it is hard to understand what exactly ‘swamp metal’ is, or what it is supposed to be. If you played this album to anyone without telling them who the band was, they would simply say that it is metal music. Impressive metal music, yes, but it is difficult to understand what makes Potergeist attempt to create a subgenre. Whether the crocodile theme is a gimmick or a unique selling point it is unclear, however, that does not detract anything from the actual music.

One of the easiest ways to describe Potergeist would be like Black Stone Cherry, but heavier. Alex S Wamp’s vocals are of a similar style to Chris Robertson’s, which makes the band sound closer to their southern metal origin. Opening track Crocodile Tears makes an instant impact on the listener: the heavy riffs and hard-hitting vocals are of an extremely high standard. It is easy to tell from the first song alone that this is not just another cheesy metal band, but that Potergeist are extremely talented musicians.

Although the themed persona of the band may put off many potential listeners, you should never judge a book by its cover… or a band by their love of crocodiles. If you are looking for a bunch of crazy songs then you are mistaken, but if you enjoy listening to fresh metal or even rock music, then Crocodile Tears is the album for you.

 

7.0/10

JULIA CONOPO