While it’s damn near time to call a moratorium on the “bands affected by the pandemic” introduction to review pieces, it does seem particularly prevalent to do so in reference to Halestorm, for whom life on the road seems such an integral and core part of who and what they are. That isn’t to say that a fifth album wouldn’t have been coming around now, just that the circumstances and unplanned quiet time wouldn’t have dictated the methods of its creation.Continue reading
Explosions (Music For Nations), the new cut from Canadian alternative rock heroes Three Days Grace is quite the banger.Continue reading
Whether you fully believe the story of the inspiration for the third album from Dorothy, the band fronted by vocal powerhouse Dorothy Martin, that a member of the band’s crew came back to life as she prayed over his lifeless body for his recovery from an overdose, or not, the uplifting country blues soft rocker that serves as the title-track and final song leaves an overriding tone for act’s third album Gifts From The Holy Ghost (Spinefarm Records / Roc Nation) in the mind: “leaving all your fear behind… we’ve been lost, we are gifts from the holy ghost”.
Those who stumble across the hallowed pages of Ghost Cult with any degree of regularity, or have had the misfortune to know me and feel obliged to read my writings on any recurring basis, will know that I am not a fan of writers breaking the fourth wall. However, honesty is such a core tenet of Marillion that I feel that starting this review off with full disclosure is not only the best option, but probably the only one.
Ten years and two albums on from their farewell tour the Scorpions are still going, sharing a similar confusion about farewell tours as KISS, Motley Crue and Status Quo. The second of those post retirement albums is Rock Believer (Spinefarm Records), the German rockers 19th offering of big riffed, anthemic Classic Rock.
Fifty years into their career and Birmingham hard rockers Magnum are still pumping out the hits on this, their twenty-second full length studio release. Aside from a five-year period during the nineties when the band was put on hiatus, Magnum has been rocking for longer than some of us have been alive, churning out album after quality album like clockwork every two to three years.
We have all missed shows and big tours this past year, but as we turn a promising corner, it’s only appropriate to have some fresh stadium-style Rock to accompany our reemergence.
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.
As last year wound down, 2020 was looking bright for music, with tours galore and a litany of reunions. Nashville’s rock ‘n rollers Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown were looking forward to building on their busy 2019, which included tours and festivals across the US and Europe, most notably with Stone Temple Pilots, Rival Sons, Clutch, Sevendust, Blackstone Cherry, and Airbourne, among others, and the release of their critically-acclaimed album, Truth and Lies. But as 2020’s landscape changed, big plans did too. Some artists went on hiatus, while others decided to take the time to reflect and write. In this case, guitarist/vocalist Tyler Bryant, drummer Caleb Crosby, and guitarist Graham Whitford did not slow down, took on the latter approach, and hunkered down in Bryant’s home studio to craft some of their best work with the help of co-producer/engineer Roger Alan Nichols. Aptly titled Pressure (out October 16th on Snakefarm/Spinefarm Records), the album takes listeners on a journey through the emotional and tumultuous year. Coincidentally, many of the songs began to take shape before Nashville faced a destructive tornado, COVID, and racial justice rallies. However, the release could not have been timed better, as it offers up 13 tracks to headbang and air guitar away the trials and tribulations of the last seven months and beyond. With a multitude of moods and tempos, and a collage of rock, blues, roots, and country stylings, Pressure follows the roller coaster that is 2020 life. Continue reading