ALBUM REVIEW: Getsemane – Viimaa


 

Part experimental jazz, part progressive, part sultry but all Getsemane – the newest work of art they’ve created for Svart Records is entitled Viimaa. There is a darkness to the sound, like mushrooms and the mycelial network dark. It’s taking the Hobbits to Isengard black. It’s underground clubs in New York City and Frankfurt, the ones with the brick on the inside; smokey, dense, hot.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Poly-math – Zenith


 

Trippy, dippy, and totally mind-bendy are the first things I think of when I hear the new release from Poly-math entitled Zenith (Nice Weather For Airstrikes). The opening track and the title track have this bombastic, slightly discordant saxophone that blends beat poetry, jazz, and psychedelia. Poly-math reminds me of the jazz fusion jam bands of the seventies and eighties; think Dixie Dregs, but with saxophones. Chris Olsen kills it on saxophone, by the way. Every song is elevated by his playing. If you play saxophone in a band, Olsen’s playing on this album is where you want to end up in your playing.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Tuk Smith and The Restless Hearts – Ballad of a Misspent Youth


 

The opening strains of Ballad of a Misspent Youth (MRG Records) by Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts reminds me of old KISS. It’s the sound of the guitars. There is a bit of The Black Crowes thrown in for good measure. It’s hard driving and pop-ish with a punk tinge. The guitars are simple yet sonically pleasing. The album continues this stylistic choice with savage awesomeness. Be prepared, Ballad of a Misspent Youth is solid from start to finish with plenty of songs that will get stuck on constant rotation.

 

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ALBUM REVIEW: Black Space Riders – We’ve Been Here Before


 

Black Space Riders’ new album is entitled We’ve Been Here Before (Cargo Records). It’s got what you’ve come to expect from Black Space Riders: multi-layered sounds, a deep and grounded ambiance that gets you into feelings, amazing guitar and bass work, and best of all, it’s a cosmic assault to your senses. The alchemy that went into creating We’ve Been Here Before coalesced and oozed into something that is gob-smacking.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Queensryche – Digital Noise Alliance


When you think of bands that have an iconic sound, Queensryche immediately springs to mind. Queensryche are known for intelligent lyrics, expansive “world building” in terms of concepts for albums, a futuristic metal sound, and strong almost operatic vocals.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Kings of Mercia – Kings of Mercia


 

One of the things that was great about growing up in the seventies was the soothing, grounded music. There was an earthiness to some of the music that just made the listener feel good. The songs weren’t too complex, nor were they too simple; they just existed to make the listener get in tune with their surroundings. Fast forward fifty years and life is just more complex and frenetic. This is reflected in some genres of music. It can be a struggle to find earthy music that makes you feel good.

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ALBUM REVIEWS ROUND-UP: ft. No Devotion – Sumerlands – Smith, Kotzen – Snow Coats – Voyager


 

No Devotion – No Oblivion (Equal Vision)

With an understated class that is a prevalent trait that underpins the second album from No Devotion, a collective featuring Geoff Rickly (Thursday) and Lee Gaze and Stu Richardson (ex-lostprophets), ‘Starlings’ is the gentle breath of life that ushers the album in; lush swathes of synths underpinning an emotive and earnest chorus that could have been taken from the Deftones more reflective moments. Rickly sets a stall out espousing vulnerable confidence and exceptional quality from the outset, before second track ‘No Oblivion’ shows the other side of the bands arsenal with synth motifs dancing around guitars and quasi-industrial beats, and nods to Nine Inch Nails in one of the more abrasive tunes. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: A-Z – A-Z


From the opening strains of guitar riffage, I feel like I’ve been transported back to my teenage years (the eighties / early nineties). Then I’m like, is that a cowbell? Surely not? But ZOMG, I’m having flashbacks. The hair. The jeans. My Samik bass. By two minutes in, I’m singing the refrain from ‘Trial By Fire’. This is an instant in the feelings. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: My Sleeping Karma – Atma


 

My Sleeping Karma proffers a heady instrumental in Atma (Napalm Records). The six tracks on Atma are ripe for playing over and over and over again and, at times, are mesmerizing to the point of feeling insensate. As this is a fully instrumental album, it’s up to the listener to provide sense and meaning to the aural sensations. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Monolith Zero – Monolith Zero


 

Here comes summer.

From the opening strains of Monolith Zero’s Monolith Zero (Noise Machine), ‘Seeker (Noise Machine)’ it feels like a drive up Route 1 with the breeze in your hair, the Pacific to your left and mountains to the right. It’s open and airy, full of swirling shades of blue. Monolith Zero has a forward galloping momentum that is infectious. The album gives you itchy feet, you just want to get out and drive (or run, or ride a horse really fast)!

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