Classic rock legend and iconic lead guitarist Leslie West of Mountain has died. He was 75 years old. Leslie had suffered from health issues the last few years of his life, but suffered a heart attack earlier this week, ultimately passing away from cardiac arrest, according to his publicist. The news was broken by Dean Guitars over social media. West was endorsed by Dean for several years. “With a heavy heart, we are saddened to hear about the passing of #Dean Artist and part of the Dean family, Leslie West,” the statement read. “Legendary and one of a kind. Rest In Peace.” West got his start in music in Long Island, New York in the 1960s with the band The Vagrants, a rock, RnB, and soul band. Rising to prominence in the late 1960s, West with Mountain, work with Jack Bruce and bandmate Corky Laing in a trio, and in his solo material played a headlining slot at the original Woodstock festival in 1969, his hit song “Mississippi Queen” which was covered by Bachman Turner Overdrive, Ozzy Osbourne, Joyous Wolf, Sam Kinison, Amanda Ayla, recently Foo Fighters and others, and his countless albums and tours celebrating his incredible love of the blues through his amazing playing. He even married his wife Jenni at Woodstock 2009 under an archway of guitars. A true rock original, he will be deeply missed. The rock world has already taken to social media to comment on West’s passing. Continue reading
For our 100th Episode of the Ghost Cult Podcast, Keefy interviewed Bobby Blitz (Overkill) and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance, also interviewed in podcast #2) about their new band BPMD, and their debut album of covers American Made out now on Napalm Records. We talked to the guys about how the new supergroup, also featuring Mike Portnoy and Phil Demmel came together, why they chose to cover only American bands, how they chose deep cuts over popular songs, how BPMD is different than other bands that come together to create covers, what the music industry might look like after the coronavirus, whether the band will ever perform live or not and more! You can buy American Made at this link and hear our chat right now!
Named after the four members, Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, Mike Portnoy, Mark Menghi, and Phil Demmel, supergroup BPMD is here with their debut release, a covers album by the name of American Made (Napalm Records). As the title suggests, every cut on the record was originally recorded by an American artist, and each revitalised track sounds nothing short of tremendous.Continue reading
A lot of bands do covers, but few slay them as well Joyous Wolf did on their cover of Mountain track ‘Mississippi Queen’! The track comes off of their recently released single with original cut ‘Slow Hand’, and the band has been on the road playing with Royal Bliss, Messer and a one-off gig with Slash. The band recently signed to Roadrunner for their new album due in 2019. Watch the video now! Continue reading
Rising rockers Joyous Wolf have signed with Roadrunner Records for their new full-length album, expected in 2019. The band has dropped two new songs: a cover of classic rock staple ‘Mississippi Queen’ by Mountain and a new song, ‘Slow Hand’. With great songs and an explosive stage show, the band is on tour with Royal Bliss and Messer and has a one-off gig with Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators this week at The Paramount In Huntington, New York.Continue reading
Ghost Cult once again brings you “End Of Year” lists, memories, and other shenanigans from our favorite bands, partners, music industry peers, and other folks we respect across the world. Kenny Sehgal Of Mirror Queen shares his list of Top 10 New York City Rock Bands of All Time!Continue reading
Much of the time music comes across the desk here at Ghost Cult HQ that is very pretentious, over-wrought and generally trying too hard to fit in with a scene or a sub-genre. A lot of the music business is actually geared that way, to drive bands to conform and cling hard to that approach in an attempt to get a foothold in the ears of fans. Then there’s Scattered Hamlet: no frills rock and metal with a simple approach to kick ass much ass, take names, and just have as much fun as possible. These are the kinds of albums we only hear a few times per year, but always appreciate as reviewers. Continue reading
You’d be forgiven for thinking The Dagger, a band featuring former members of Grave and Dismember, might be a bit scuzzy. A bit riffy. A bit, denim-jackety. And, well, a bit Death Metally. You’d be forgiven, but you’d be very wrong. The Dagger (Century Media) swims in a different pool of influences to the past escapades of its protagonists, swinging its pants at Classic Rock and proto-NWOBHM with plenty of Deep Purple, Sin After Sin era Priest and The Who prevalent in the sound.
The first thing to note is the astonishing attention to detail. The Dagger doesn’t just reference these bands or that period, it has been painstakingly crafted to sound like it was recorded in the 70’s, finding those classic warm Fender guitar tones, that fuzzy bass groove and that thick Ian Paice pound and tickle on the skins. Vocalist Jani Kataja could well be singing on Very ‘eavy… Very ‘umble both in terms of his own delivery, but also in terms of the meticulously recreated rock sound playing around him.
But life is not all aesthetics, and while The Dagger has the tones, does it have the tunes? Opener ‘Ahead Of You All’ suggests so, as does the Mott The Hoople inspired ‘1978’ with its tales of weekend warriors and the Iommi worshipping Mob Rules of ‘Dogs Of Warning’. Elsewhere ‘Electric Dawn’ could have been one of the songs Iron Maiden left behind at the Ruskin Arms as they strode towards a recording contract, and ‘Call Of 9’ is all Blackmore stomp and swagger.
But for all the smiles it induces, for all that it is an enjoyable way to spend 45 minutes, you can’t but think that while the sounds can be replicated, for all the homage being paid, one thing that can’t be copied or magicked out of nowhere is greatness. Where are the distinctive, iconic riffs, and timeless choruses of the Purples, Rainbows, Mountains? The Dagger are a good band, losing the listener in a bygone age, but this album holds no ‘Speed King’, let alone a ‘Child In Time’. (Try and) sound like the true legends and you will invariable come off the worse for the comparison.
But, when the twin guitars bring in ‘Inside The Monolithic Dome’ like Saxon’s ‘Strangers In The Night’, or ‘The Dark Cloud’ dances like it belongs on a Di’Anno era Maiden album, The Dagger can be forgiven their indulgences in paying reverence to their forebears.