Tenebra – Moongazer (New Heavy Sounds / Seeing Red)
There is something evocative about the retro / occult rock of Italian quartet Tenebra that is encapsulated in a most vigorous way on the third track of Moongazer, ‘Black Lace’. A steady, spacious build from jangled, careful chords that takes its time gives room for the powerful smoke-and-whiskey vocals of Silvia to take centre stage, before a Zeppelin-esque vocal-led coda closes things out. It is not the only, nor possibly even the best, song to do this, but as a drawing together of the best elements of the Tenebra sound perhaps serves as their best showpiece. Continue reading →
It is always refreshing when metalheads are not afraid to show their appreciation for genres other than Metal – especially if it means expanding their songwriting chops into entirely new territories. Formed by Kvelertak guitarist and bassist Vidar Landa and Marvin Nygaard, Norwegian Power Pop and Indie band Beachheads are more than meets the ear with their sophomore album, Beachheads II (Fysisk Format).
Not content to just let the sludgy boi/spooky girl pairings have all the fun with multi-artist collaborations in Doom, A Story Of Darkness And Light (Stickman Records)features the coming together of Elder and Kadavar as Eldovar (I don’t know where that ‘o’ comes from either). The two groups certainly make for interesting bedfellows; while both are arguably rooted in Seventies Rock traditions, Elder has evolved to Heavy Prog splendor while Kadavar largely subsists on off-the-cuff Stoner Blues. However, their shared interest in various genre experiments as well as established track records of high quality material gives plenty of fertile ground for such a union.
It’s been over thirty years since Liverpudlian grindcore bastards Carcass left people gagging to the gloriously gory cover of debut album Reek of Putrefaction (Earache) and reeling to the twenty-two charmingly immature blasts of vomitous noise dripping inside. Symphonies of Sickness delivered improved musicianship and longer songs, Necroticism – Descanting the Insalubrious and its divisive follow up, Heartwork, continued that trend but the run ended in 1996 with the rather lacklustre Swansong. Rebooted and reinvigorated (but sadly minus drummer Ken Owen due to health issues), Carcass returned with a bang in 2013 with Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast Records) and now, after a gap of eight years, they’re back. Again.
With no less than twenty-two studio albums behind them, NWOBHM legends Saxon are back again but with something a little different this time. Instead of just rummaging around in the attic for an old live recording, or throwing together a contractually obliged “Best Of…”, Barnsley’s finest have taken their time during lockdown to produce something a little more imaginative. Looking to the past, the band has recorded Inspirations (Silver Lining Music/Militia Guard), a collection of songs by artists who made an impact on them at the start of their musical journey. Continue reading →
Corey Taylor is celebrating his 47th birthday today with the release of a new animated lyric video for his single, “Everybody Dies On My Birthday.” The title refers to the deaths of John Lennon of The Beatles and Dimebag Darrell of Pantera who both died on this day. Corey has also shared a new coffee and limited edition merch drop! Corey’s solo album CMFT is out now via Roadrunner Records.
When I first heard Four Stroke Baron, I had no idea they were going to be one of my favorite finds of the year. “What kind of a name is that?” I thought, bracing for the worst. Man, was I floored by what I found. A pummeling barrage of progressive metal with crushing riffs and a blazing 1980’s synth crescendos that just don’t quit, yet really lit my fire was the vocals. Bucking the metal cliche of trying to come off as heavy and bröötal as possible, vocalist Kirk Witt delivers powerful lyrics in a meek and almost anxious style that puts you on edge and adds a sense of forlorn urgency to many of the tracks.
Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, Neal Morse Band, Flying Circus, ex Dream Theater) has been a busy guy during the coronavirus quarantine. He just shared his contribution to an as-yet to be unreleased acapella cover of The Beatles classic “Because” from Abby Road. The final track will include his Sons of Apolla bandmates Jeff Scott Soto, and Bumblefoot!
Arguably the architect of the Rock music genre that spawned Rock N Roll as a cultural phenomenon, Little Richard, has passed away. He was 87 years old. The musician’s son, Danny Penniman, confirmed the pioneer’s death to Rolling Stone but said the cause of death was unknown. Born Richard Wayne Penniman in Macon, Georgia in 1932, Richard’s incredible songwriting, unmatchable singing voice, and flamboyant androgynous, yet taboo-shattering mix of sexual energy and religious music in his personality became the playbook for all young rockers to follow. Rolling Stone Magazine eloquently said his “fervent shrieks, flamboyant garb, and joyful, gender-bending persona embodied the spirit and sound of that new art form.” His influence can be felt from The Beatles, to The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Elton John, Billy Joel, Keith Emerson, KISS, Motörhead, MotörheadLed Zeppelin, Tom Jones, Van Morrison, as far back as Elvis, and even into the early stages of Heavy Metal with Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, and Pentagram, his musical touch will be eternal. Starting a string of hits to start his career with ‘Tutti Frutti’, ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘Rip It Up’ all in 1956,’Lucille’, ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ those early hits shaped generations of fans. We send out sympathy to Little Richard’s family, friends, and fans at this time.
It’s hard to believe it has been a decade since Peter Steele passed away in 2010. His death has left a gaping wound in the soul of the music world that can never be repaired. Peter’s memory lives on in his music and the iconic moments that he created with Type O Negative and Carnivore. We created a detailed memorial post last year, which you can read below. Jam some of Peter’s music today in his honor. Rest in Power Peter! Continue reading →