Friday, March 6, 2015

CD Review: New Metal Music In March From Sacral Rage And The Kahless Clone

The latest release from the Cruz Del Sur Music label is from the Greek heavy metal band Sacral Rage. They have combined all of the influences, like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Megadeth, and created an outstanding new metal album with a classic feel. The new nine-song album entitled "Illusions In Infinite Void" has it all, the thrash metal of "En Cima Del Mal," the high piercing vocals of "Lost Chapter E. Sutratma" and the tempo changes of "Panic Of Urals (Burning Skies)." The five-minute instrumental "Into Mental East," showcases the great musicianship within the band, before closing with the prog-metal feel of "Lost Chapter E. Amarna's Reign." To find out more about Sacral Rage and their latest release "Illusions In Infinite Void," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/SacralRage.
Also coming in March is the debut EP from Chicago progressive-metal band The Kahless Clone. Their s0und places the dark tones of metal on a musical landscape that takes you on an emotional journey of post-rock music.  This five-piece band creates these journeys through sound that you need to explore, especially with headphones as you get lost in the music of the moment of "I Can Feel Them, But I Can't Remember Them" and "A Somber Reflection." To find out more about The Kahless Clone and their latest release "An Endless Loop," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/TheKahlessClone.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

CD Review: Rising Metal Bands ShadowIcon, Full Devil Jacket, Prong And Crowbar Release Iconic Albums

First, from Slovenia comes the latest release from the symphonic metal band ShadowIcon. The new EP entitled "Smoke & Mirrors" was released back in December of 2014, but is beginning to gain attention here in the U.S. The quick-hitting six-song album begins with the guitar driven "(Now I See) Through A Mirror Darkly" as vocalist Ana Prijatelj Pelhan brings the band to another level with her voice amongst a backdrop of amazing musicianship. The music and chorus of "If I Was The One" gives the song a bigger sound, while "The Edge" has the widest appeal with it's mainstream rock sound. The album finishes with the steady rocker "My Plea" and the intense reprise of the opening song "(Now I See) Through A Mirror Darkly." To find out more about ShadowIcon and their latest release "Smoke & Mirrors," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/shadowicon.

At the end of the month will see a few new release from the eOne Music record label. Beginning with the return of Full Devil Jacket and their new album "Valley Of Bones." After high profile tours and shows in the late-nineties, Full Devil Jacket were soon to be crowned the next big metal band, that was until lead singer Josh Brown almost died from a drug overdose. Now they return with unfinished business, beginning with dark metal tones of the album opener "Killers." The band still has that hard rock edge as displayed in the title song, while still keeping alive the nineties vibe with "The Moment." The highlight of the album is the adrenaline-fueled "We Got The Love," which will definitely put this band back on the map as a hard rock force to be reckon with. To find out more about Full Devil Jacket and their latest release "Valley Of Bones," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/FullDevilJacket.
 
Next up is the latest release from the metal trio, Prong with a set of new covers entitled "Songs From The Black Hole." The band takes on everything from their influences (Black Flag, Bad Brains) to exploring other avenues for their music with songs from Neil Young and the Butthole Surfers. The album comes blasting out of the gates with the aggressive nature of Discharge's song "Doomsday." They turn the Butthole Surfers song "Goofy's Concern" into a thunderous explosion of drums and classic metal guitars, while showcasing their skills during the five-plus minutes of "Kids Of The Black Hole," originally by the Adolescents. They add some heavy metal aspects to the Husker Du song "Don't Want To Know If You Are Lonely," but the biggest make-over is the closer, "Cortez The Killer." Neil Young's original gets beefed up, while Prong sound nothing like their former selves. To find out more about Prong and their new release "Songs From The Black Hole," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/prongmusic.
 
Finally we get to the fifteenth anniversary reissue of Crowbar's sixth album "Equilibrium," originally released back in 2000. It will be available on March 31st and showcases the early days of the band, dealing with the revolving door of musicians that have come and gone, while still making a quality hardcore metal album. The music reflects the band's sludge metal sound that many of today's metal artists have named Crowbar as an influence. The album also contains one of the best metal cover songs of Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver." To stay up to date with the latest happenings of Crowbar, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/crowbarmusic.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CD Review: Great New Music From A Couple Of Ladies From The Windy City

From Chicago comes one of the most unlikeliest singers to come out of the windy city. Her name is Pearls Mahone and her band of rockabilly swing has very classic country sound that you would think came from the heart of Texas, instead of up north in Chicago. Her latest album "Echoes From The Prairie" sounds like it was recorded with the likes of Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn. The new eleven-song release begins with the western swing of "Blow Your Top" as her sound becomes very infectious with its rockabilly rhythm. She injects a country twang into her cover of "All Of Me" as her voice is the sweetest thing you've ever heard. She gets a little grungy with the guitar of "Hard Luck" which gives her sound an edge, but she quickly returns to the sweetness of "I Had Someone Else." The album closes with the wonderful harmonizing of the acapella "Go To Sleep Little Baby" and the gentle touch of "Long Way Home" to finish this great career defining album. To find out more about Pearls Mahone and her latest album "Echoes From The Prairie," please visit pearlsmahone.com.

Also from Chicago comes the latest release from Linda Marie Smith entitled "Mearra - Selkie From The Sea." The music moves along like the gentle flow of water as Linda's vocals are soulful and pure. The new eleven-song release begins with the Americana/folk style of "Ian's Song" as you are easily swept up by the music. At times Linda's vocals reflect those of singer, Jewel as in "Mearra" and "Seals Of Silver And Gold," while the music of "Water Green - Blue Sky" transport you to a simpler time when everything works together in unison. She picks up the tempo with the mainstream folk/pop of "Heaven Knows," but her heart lies in the beauty of the calming tone of "One More Kiss" and the Celtic, folk storytelling of the album closer "To Be With You." In support of the album, Linda Marie Smith performed a multimedia concert experience that incorporates a full-orchestra performing along side new animations for all of the songs, bringing the story of "Mearra" to life. It will be shown on television on March 7th, but only on the local Chicago station PBS-WYCC. To find out more about Linda Marie Smith and her new release "Mearra - Selkie From The Sea," please visit lindamsmith.com.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CD Review: Rob Zombie's "Spookshow" Tour Gets Its Own New Live Release

On February 24th, shock-rocker Rob Zombie released his second live album entitled "Spookshow International Live" through T-Boy Records in association with the Universal Music Group. The album was recorded over the course of his tour last year in support of his most recent studio album "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor." Of the nineteen songs that appear on the release, only four are from the new album, the rest are a scattering of hits from his solo catalog as well as his days with White Zombie and a couple of cover songs thrown in for good measure.
 
Guitarist John 5 handles the introduction of the show with the lead-in solo of "Teenage Nosferatu Pussy" as the signature Zombie groove is present, but the energy doesn't fully kick in until a few songs later with "Living Dead Girl." The intensity of the live recording comes blasting out of your speakers with a blazing, hellacious version of "More Human Than Human," before bringing the horror music to life in "House Of 1000 Corpses." One of the highlights is the blistering cover of The Ramones' "Blitzkreig Bop," which leads into a nine-minute version of "Thunder Kiss '65" featuring the amazing guitar wizardry of John 5. The marching chorus of "Jesus Frankenstein" sends you into the second cover of the show, a Zombiefied version of Grand Funk Railroad's "We're An American Band." The show closes with the heavy metal thunder of "Demonoid Phenomenon" and a new song "Ging Gang Gong De Do Gong De Laga Raga" that just has a great chorus to sing along to.
 
Rob Zombie will be hitting the road again in June with a month of live dates, before heading over to Europe to play some festivals. To find out more about his new live album "Spookshow International Live," please visit robzombie.com.

Monday, March 2, 2015

CD Review: New Independent Music From Mimes On Rollercoasters, The Shams And The Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet

First, from Chicago comes the third album from progressive pop rockers Mimes On Rollercoasters telling the adventures of Marcel and Mimi Mime. The band's latest concept album continues the story of these two young mimes, but its the music that is what catches your attention. Their latest ten-song release begins with "Labor Of Life" as the music flows between synth-heavy eighties pop and early, heavy prog-rock. They have a wider sound with "Sunshine" as the music's up-tempo rhythm becomes very infectious. Their music on this release carries a very modern rock vibe with the occasional overuse of keyboards and synthesizers, but it also gives songs like "Painting On Sad Eyes" and "I Walk Alone" a mainstream appeal that is geared toward adult contemporary radio. The new album will be available on March 21st. To find out more about Mimes On Rollercoasters, please visit mimesonrollercoasters.com.
 
Next, from San Francisco, CA comes the latest album from The Shams entitled "One And All." The six-song EP was released on February 24th and displays the band's Irish infused rock. Beginning with "Sunset Paddy's" the band gets things moving quickly with this guitar driven rocker as the chorus showcases their love for Ireland. Their music places you in the pubs with a pint in your had during the sing-along of "Go On Home Boys" and "One And All." The Shams showcase their Irish influences in the closer "Sick To Death" as they inject punk into the song's Celtic melody. To find more about The Shams and their latest release "One And All," please visit theshamsmusic.com.
 
On a different note, comes the latest release from the Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet entitled "Come To Me." The quartet features drummer/composer Asaf Sirkis, singer/composer Sylwia Bialas, bassist Patrick Bettison and pianist Frank Harrison. Both Sirkis and Bialas have been featured in other bands, but this is their first collaboration. The new release starts out with the eight-minute gentle glide of "Come To Me" as Bialas' angelic voice soothes your worries. The band takes on a more leading role in "Dreams Dreams," before picking up the tempo for the smooth jazz feel of "Vortex." Bialas uses her voice as an instrument as displayed in "A Hymn," while Bettison's harmonica leads the way on "Mandragora," before his duties change over to his bass. The album closes with the rhythm heavy eight-minute "Orgon" as you notice the bond between Sirkis and Bialas. To find out more about the Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com.