Tuesday, June 28, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Black Crown Initiate, Silvertung, (hed) p.e. & Austin John

American progressive metal band Black Crown Initiate will be releasing their second album on the eOne Music label on July 22nd. The new album titled "Selves We Cannot Forgive" features eight tracks of epic, intense music that is sure to take you on a sonic journey. Beginning with the nearly seven-minute, thunderous delivery of "For Red Cloud," which will blow you away with its powerfully exciting musicianship and howling vocals. They welcome you with the mainstream prog-metal piece "Again," before delivering the nine-minute aggressive epic story of "Belie The Machine." The slow build up of the title song, "Selves We Cannot Forgive" displays the band's softer side before finishing the album with the high-powered energy of the "Matriarch" and the dark, moody tones of "Vicious Lives." To find out more about Black Crown Initiate and their latest release "Selves We Cannot Forgive," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/BlackCrownInitiate.

From Maryland comes the latest release titled "Out Of The Box" from heavy metal band Silvertung. The new album will be released on July 8th through Pavement Entertainment and features six new tracks. Beginning with "Face The Music," the band have taken the strength of their live act and certainly incorporated into this latest release. The music is intense, as lead singer, Speed's vocals bring out the energy of their overall sound. They pull back the reigns on the rhythmic delivery of "Never Too Late," before picking up the pace again on the aggressive flavor of "Devil's Advocate." The short album closes with the metal ballad "You & Me." To find out more about Silvertung and their latest release "Out Of The Box," please visit silvertung.com.

Veteran rock band (hed) p.e. will be releasing their tenth studio album "Forever!" on July 22nd through Pavement Entertainment. Their unique brand of music finds it hard to place them in one music genre and this new thirteen-song album continues that trend. Beginning with the hardcore, nu-metal sounds of "Live" and the rapcore of "Pay Me," (hed) p.e. still carry that chip on their shoulder to prove they are one of the premier metal bands in the world. They infuse reggae into the monstrous metal guitar riffs of "Closer" and bash away any doubt on the punk fury of "Waste." They begin "One Of A Kind" with a reggae groove before its gets taken over by a hardcore metal chorus, then repeat the formula for "Shawdowridge." The album finishes up with the hip-hop flow of "Always" and the island flavor of "Ganja." To find out more about (hed) p.e. and their latest release "Forever!," please visit hedperocks.com.

Former Hinder lead singer Austin John Winkler is returning after a three year absence with a new album titled "Love Sick Radio." He has toned down his heavy metal sound to develop a new country sound that artists like Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker have helped bring to the mainstream. The new six-song release begins with the country/pop beats of "Clique 2 Follow" that have a great up-tempo, addictive rhythm that should easily find it's way to country radio. Winkler gets a little help on his new album from pop artist Sophie Summers and rising country star Jessie James Decker. Summers lends her angelic voice to the chorus of "The Plague" and Decker duets with Winkler on the emotional delivery of "Howlin'." The album finishes with the reggae-pop of "Road To Paradise" and the countrified, hip-hop/pop tones of "Hate That I'm Loving It." To find out more about Austin John and his latest release, "Love Sick Radio," please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/AustinJohnWinkler.

Monday, June 27, 2016

CD Review: Metal Blade Records Releases New Albums From White Chapel And Denner/Shermann

American hardcore metal band Whitechapel have become one of the premier bands in the genre. Since their beginnings in 2006, the band has continued to grow in popularity which saw their 2014 album "Our Endless War" crack the top 10 on the Billboard album chart. On June 24th, Whitechapel released their sixth studio album titled "Mark Of The Blade." It features eleven tracks that showcase the growth and maturity in their deathcore sound. Beginning with "The Void," Whitechapel come blasting out of the gate with the quick-pace of this exciting hardcore aggressive style. They stay in the same vein with the pounding rhythm of the title song "Mark Of The Blade." The band slows things down for the intense, dark emotions of "Bring Me Home," before grinding out the west coast heavy metal feel of "Tremors." They throw all their energy into the screams of "Tormented," then showcase their musicianship in the instrumental "Brotherhood," before closing the album with the six-minute death metal epic piece "Decennium." To find out more about Whitechapel and their latest release "Mark Of The Blade," please visit whitechapelband.com. 
 
Also released on June 24th is the latest full-length album from Mercyful Fate guitarists Michael Denner and Hank Shermann titled "Masters Of Evil." The duo's 2015 EP "Satan's Tomb" laid the groundwork for this new eight-song release. Beginning with "Angel's Blood," the dual guitar attack is supported by the great rhythm work of Snowy Shaw on drums and Marc Garbowski on bass. Lead singer Sean Peck powers the song, "Son Of Satan" with his soprano vocals as he lets out his heavy metal screams. The band carries a classic Black Sabbath vibe into "The Wolf Feeds At Night" and keep the metal mysticism of "Servants Of Dagon." The album closes with the seven-minute progressive-metal piece, "The Baroness." Denner/Shermann will be performing at this year's Metal Magic Festival and Headbangers Open Air Festival in July. To find out more about their new album "Masters Of Evil," please visit dennershermann.com.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Reissues Classic Albums From The Rave-Ups And From Kate & Anna McGarrigle

American rock band The Rave-Ups found success in the mid-eighties with the hit singles "Respectfully King Of Rain" and "Positively Lost Me." They also made an appearance in the movie "Pretty In Pink" and on the hit TV series "Beverly Hills 90210." But, their flame was quickly extinguished with legal battles over the rights of their music. On July 8th, Omnivore Recordings is reminding us how good The Rave-Ups were with the re-issue of their 1985 album "Town + Country."

The original ten-song release showcases the band still on their climb to stardom. Leading off the album was the college-radio hit single "Positively Lost Me," which established The Rave-Ups as one of alternative rock's bands leading this new revolution in music. The band's accessible sound is easy to welcome with songs like "Better World" and "Radio," while they also showcases their youthful energy in the post-punk attitude of "By The Way" and in their cover of Bob Dylan's "You Ain't Goin Nowhere."

This new re-issue tacks on 11 bonus tracks featuring live takes and early versions of songs that did not appear on the original album. Most of the bonus songs were recorded following the release of the "Town + Country" album for their next release, but due to the legal battles between record labels, the songs were never released until now. To find out more about this new re-issue of The Rave-Ups album "Town + Country," please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Sister-du0, Kate & Anna McGarrigle were one of the premier folk acts to appear from Canada in the mid-seventies. Their songs have been covered by artists like Linda Ronstandt, Emmylou Harris and Billy Bragg to name a few. Their first two albums received accolades, including "album of the year" honors in the U.K. music polls and they have been re-issued numerous times, but their third album "Pronto Monto" has sat dormant for almost four decades.

The album was originally released in 1978 and added a more pop feel to their wonderfully harmonizing folk charm. On July 1st, Omnivore Recordings will be re-releasing the album for the first time on CD. The album has been newly remastered by Grammy-winner Michael Graves and gives the proper treatment to these memorable songs. For those who may have missed the first time around for this and other releases from the McGarrigle sisters, should invest their time into this album. It showcases their vocal talents in songs like "Oh My Heart" and "Stella By Artois," while accessing the light-hearted pop sound with a cover of "Trying To Get To You." To find out more about the newly re-issued album "Pronto Monto" from Kate & Anna McGarrigle, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Vinyl Review: Lost Josh White Album "Josh At Midnight" Gets Proper Vinyl Release

South Carolina blues artist Josh White is receiving his due recognition with the vinyl-only reissue of his 1956 seminal album "Josh At Midnight." White performed on Broadway, in film and radio and was the first African-American to give a White House Command Performance. He never received  the success and fame he deserved during his lifetime, but he was named by artists like Bob Dylan and Nat "King" Cole as an early influence.

The original album was recorded with a single microphone in a converted Manhattan church by Elecktra founder Jac Holzman. It features White, with only an acoustic guitar performing a dozen blues classics, including many public domain songs. The album begins with the traditional "St. James Infirmary" as White injects his emotions into his performance. White receives help from jazz bassist Al Hall and vocalist Sam Gary on the up-tempo swing of "Raise A Rukus" and the storied blues/folk of "Scandalize My Name." White sinks himself into the full-on blues during the six-minute delivery of "Jelly, Jelly!" and tells the story of "One Meat Ball" with such power and grace. The album closes with the quick two-minute hop of "Peter" and the slow-jaunt of "Takin' Names" as White's vocals seem a little too clean for the blues. To find out more about the new reissue of Josh White's "Josh At Midnight," please visit horizonrecords.net.

Friday, June 24, 2016

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music Arriving From Third Ion, Tyfon's Doom And Warfather

Canadian progressive metal band Third Ion return with their second album in as many years titled "Biolith." Their first album paid tribute to the history of home video games, but this new release has a more intense, mature sound. Beginning with "State Of Flux," the new eight-song release features Dave Padden (Annihilator) on vocals following the departure of Tyler Gilbert following the release of their debut album "13/8 Bit." The technique and musicianship are on full-display during "Cosmic Delusion," while the energy of "Biolith" will get your blood pumping with it's hardcore metal sound. The music gets a little jazzy on the low-key tones of "Status Undetermined," before wrapping up the album with the buzzing tempo changes of the seven-minute "Temporal Divide" and the atmospheric soundscape of "Corpus Solaris." To find out more about Third Ion and their latest release "Biolith," please visit thirdion.com. 
 
Finnish heavy metal band Tyfon's Doom will be releasing their debut album "Yeth Hound" on July 8th through Gates of Hell Records (a Cruz Del Sur Music sub-label). While the songs may be new, their sound has a very nostalgic feel as they look to mirror their sound after their influences. The short five song EP begins with the title-song "Yeth Hound" as guitars electrify the songs European metal sound. The energy picks up with the growling vocals of "Still Here," before the mysticism of the prog-metal juggernaut "Gates To New Realty" take you on a journey. This new release also tacks on four bonus tracks taken from the band's 2015 demo. To find out more about Tyfon's Doom and their latest release "Yeth Hound," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/tyfonsdoom.
 
Finally we arrive at the new album from death metal band Warfather titled "The Grey Eminence." It will be released in September and was produced by death metal icon Erik Rutan (Morbid Angel). The new album contains nine tracks, beginning with the six-minute adventure of "Orders Of The Horde" as the band stretch out their songs giving them a progressive metal feel. The thunderous rhythm of "Headless Men Can No Longer Speak" and the screeching guitars of "Judgment, The Hammer" put you right in their path of sonic destruction. The album finishes with the nearly seven-minutes of intense music of "Carnage Of The Pious" and the shear force of the "Fair And Final Warning." To find out more about Warfather and their latest release "The Grey Eminence," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/WarFather.