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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ALBUM REVIEW: Grey Daze – The Phoenix


 

For those not in the know, Grey Daze is not a new band. It was Chester Bennington’s band before Linkin Park.The Phoenix (Loma Vista Recordings) is a re-imaging of songs of unreleased material Chester and Grey Daze intended to released, including his bandmates and friends such as Sean Dowdell, Mace Beyers, and Cristian Davis with help from Dave Navarro, Richard Patrick, and Bennington’s children. Bennington himself wanted to release the music before he died, bringing it to a wider audience. The band did just that using Bennington’s original vocals.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Crobot – Feel This


Throwback Thursday can now be every day if you believe hard enough. With Crobot’s latest release Feel This (Mascot Label Group), you can headbang and air guitar like it was the 1990s, early aught’s all over again.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Evergrey – A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament)


Good story telling is key to engaging a listener. Everygrey captures the listener with both words and music with their newest album A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) (Napalm Records). The lyrics tell a coherent story that is augmented by the composition; both what is played and in the silence in between. The album runs like a play; it has a first, second, and third act clearly delineated. There is rising action, a climax, falling action, and a denouement; a tragedy in 10 parts. Everygrey’s A Heartless Portrait (The Orphean Testament) creates an impression of being an open love letter to Vittorio de Sica.

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EP REVIEW: Ritual – Enigma


Ritual’s Enigma (Self-Released) is an insanely tight EP that boats some of the best names in the music business; all of whom are renowned composers and songwriters. Joining Mike Lewin, Terry Knight, Franco Necros, and James Marinos are Devin Townsend, soprano Dianne van Giersbergen, and jazz harpist Amanda Whiting. The result is a strong release is Enigma that puts a smile on the face of the listener.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Udo Dirkschneider – My Way


When one thinks of that classic heavy metal voice, the musings often land on the great Mr. Udo Dirkschneider. His is that voice: the sandpaper over rusted metal, the two-pack-a-day unfiltered Pal Mal smoker of the 1940s, the male version of Mama in Throw Mama From the Train; to wit, Udo Dirkschneider is sultry. So it is with delicious aplomb that Mr. Dirkschneider has graced the metal community with a new album. My Way (Atomic Fire Records) is one hour and five minutes of lovingly crafted cover toons in which that voice croons and barks and puts nails on a chalkboard through classic metal, pop, and yes, even classic standards from 1968 and 1969. I would be remiss if I did not mention forthwith that I have been enamored with Udo Dirkschneider since his Accept days and many of the songs and artists he covers are among my favourite.

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EP REVIEW: Cosmic Ninja – Dissident Transmission


 

Cosmic Ninja has a new EP coming out called Dissident Transmission (Self-Released). Its first track, ‘By Design’ is a wonderful disco-inspired danceable tome. It’s a song ABBA could have done either in the 1970s or now. My favourite lyric is, “…wake up, enough’s enough! kill your masters…” The lyrics of ‘By Design’ and the rest of Dissident Transmission are a strong stand against the corruption of government entities. Dissident Transmission is a wake-up call to those who are angry about how the government is deliberately misleading the citizenry. The lyrics are heavy and in-your-face but the music itself is pop punkish with a new wave feel. Continue reading


ALBUM REVIEW: Night Demon – Year of the Demon


Night Demon did us a solid by putting together a compilation of all the out-of-print 2020 singles into one scorching album, Year of the Demon (Century Media Records). A huge, “Thank You!” to Jarvis Leatherby, Dusty Squires, and Armand John Anthony; “Y’all got our backs and we grateful!” If you were one of the legions of Night Demon fans that missed out on one or more of the 7” singles in coloured vinyl format, then go forth and buy this compilation album. If you’ve no bloody idea who Night Demon are and why this is awesome sauce, go forth and buy this compilation album. If you just like wicked heavy metal, go forth and buy this compilation album. Should you buy this compilation album? Yes, yes you bloody well should go forth and buy this compilation album.

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ALBUM REVIEW: 8 Kalacas – Fronteras


From the opening shred and bombastic drumming, the listener knows 8 Kalacas’ Fronteras (Atomic Fire Records) is going to be epic. If you aren’t familiar with the 8 Kalacas, be prepared. It’s not straight up punk or metal. The songs veer stunningly off the tracks with the insertion of a ska sound that immediately puts one in the mind of the old Batman and Robin television series with Adam West and Burt Ward. The album is frenetic, wild, and just plain fun! Fronteras is part ska, part punk, part metal, part schlock, and all amazing. If you are a fan of Russkaja, then 8 Kalacas is your band. It’s like that, but in Spanish.

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Last Vinci – The Revolution is Made Together


Alex Vinci, Brasko, and Conal Murphy of The Last Vinci have released a lovely album in The Revolution is Made Together (Narrow Door). The album is like happiness flying through the clouds. The songs on The Revolution is Made Together have a pleasant, even keeled feel.

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