ALBUM REVIEW: Pistols At Dawn – Ascension


 

Hot on the heels of last year’s four-track EP Nocturnal Youth, comes Pistols At Dawn’s latest album Ascension (JFL Entertainment). The Atlanta-based quintet’s sound is alternative-influenced hard rock, and their newest one Ascension is a promising if patchy, display of heavy grooves and soaring choruses with a brooding atmosphere. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Pale Waves – Unwanted


 

Making it clear from the outset that vibrancy (and guitars) are a key element of their third album, Pale Waves kick off Unwanted (Dirty Hit) hurtling straight into a vocal and guitar-strummed combo two-line tease of what is to come throughout the album. While opening track ‘Lies’ may spend most of its run-time stripped down to a funking bass and drum pattern playing under Heather Baron-Gracie’s catchy vocal lines, it flashes enough of a smile to let us know the six-string grin is back. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Def Leppard – Diamond Star Halos


Seven years after their previous, eponymously titled, album Def Leppard are back with Diamond Star Halos (UMG). It is a long gap between records and right from the off their trademark arena-ready hard rock is in full swing in ‘Take What You Want’ – with it’s crunching chords and touches of On Through The Night. The first three tracks conform to their trademark sound, with the seventies-inspired, glam stomper ‘Kick’ one of the highlights – they have compensated for the familiarity by stuffing it full of hooks. ‘Fire It Up’ is a hard rocker with a slinky little riff and daft and hackneyed lyrics designed purely for a singalong.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Halestorm – Back From The Dead



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


ALBUM REVIEW: Dorothy – Gifts From The Holy Ghost


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”.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Marillion – An Hour Before It’s Dark


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.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Scorpions – Rock Believer


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.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Magnum – The Monster Roars


 

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.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Diamante – American Dream


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.

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