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MAD MAX - THUNDER, STORM AND PASSION

Steamhammer/SPV

Review by Stefan

 

I was about twenty years old when Münster, Germany based Hard Rock band Mad Max released its second album “Rollin’ Thunder” through Metal Mind Productions. Back in the days, they were total strangers to me, I even didn’t know Mad Max released a debut album called “Mad Max” shortly after they were formed in 1982. I still remember “Rollin’ Thunder” as a real good oiled melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal cut, damn right we had a great time banging our heads to songs like ‘Fly Fly Away’, ‘Shout and Cry’, ‘Evil Message’ a.o. And I also never will forget that beautiful ballad ‘Thoughts Of A Dying Man’ !

 

In 1985, Mad Max were back with album number three, “Stormchild”, released by Axe Killer Records. Not as strong as its predecessor, still a very good effort. Compositions like ‘Never Say Never’, ‘Run For The Night’, ‘Rollin’ The Dice’ and ‘Heroes Die Lonely’ still bring good memories from the good old, high and mighty 80s to my mind. The band’s fourth album “Night Of Passion” saw daybreak in 1987 via Metal Mind Metal Mind Productions, not bad at all, although I have to admit that the songs could captivate me less more compared with Mad Max’s previous records. In some ways, I had the feeling they lost control with regard to their straight forward Hard Rock/Heavy Metal songs used to know from the early years of existence. My faith for the band’s prospective musical career got a firm dent. The sad, somewhat predictable news about the end of Mad Max reached my ears with regard to they were no longer active.

 

Ten years later, original members Michael Voss (vocals/guitar) and guitarist Jürgen Breforth reunited to release the “Never Say Never” album followed by a few other ones like “Nights Of White Rock”, White Sands”, “Here We Go” a.o. In 2012, Mad Max teamed up with legendary Germany based SPV Records and put out “Another Night Of Passion” and “Interceptor”, two outstanding pieces which stir up my faith in the band again after their ‘weak’ 1999-2010 era. Especially “Interceptor” was able to thrill me in a way they did a long time ago. I got the feeling that Mad Max was back with a vengeance.

 

For Europe: on August 28th, 2015 - for USA/Canada: September 4th, 2015 Steamhammer/SPV Records will release the very appropriately titled double CD “Thunder, Storm And Passion”, fulfilled with nothing but reworked versions of their almighty classic songs taken from (for me best albums ever) “Rollin’ Thunder”, “Stormchild” and “Night Of Passion”.

 

The first silver disc is a studio recording, relive the band’s live performance at the 2014 edition of Bang Your Head Festival on the second CD… chills running up and down my spine as I’m listening to all those great ‘reborn classics’! The Live CD ends with a cover from UK fabled seventies Glam Rockers called The Sweet and its classic ‘Fox On The Run’. Mad Max deliver the goods but can’t really thrill me while bringing the cover track! Many words of respect goes out to all of the players, especially producer, singer and guitarist Michael Voss earns all of my appreciation for his long service of outstanding Rock and Metal music. Don’t forget all the precious collaborations with other bands like Wolfpakk, Silver, Casanova, Demon Drive, MSG, Temple Of Rock,… always working his fingers to the bone for one cause; to spoil us, enthusiasts sof Hard Rock and Metal music !

 

The song list for “Thunder, Storm And Passion” looks as follows: *Disc One: Fly Fly Away – Losing You – Rolling Thunder – Thoughts Of A Dying Man – Never Say Never – Lonely Is The Hunter – Stormchild – Heroes Die Lonely – Burning The Stage – Wait For The Night – Night Of Passion – Hearts On Fire *Disc Two (Live at Bang Your Head Festival 2014): Burning The Stage – Night Of Passion – Rolling Thunder – Wait For The Night – Lonely Is The Hunter – Never Say Never – Thoughts Of A Dying Man – Fox On The Run

 

The remanufactured studio recordings are masterfully worked out but in my opinion, they aren’t able to beat the originals. It must not have been the band’s intention to do better than before, with this new double album Mad Max have proven they are far from being depreciated. The live disc is the living proof they’re still skilled to the teeth musicians and when you ask for my opinion, I’m quite sure that Mad Max will be back with a new record featuring brand new songs only soon enough. With a commander like Michael Voss in charge, you’d better watch out. The entire career of MM includes trial and error so far but you know, only the strong survive as they never give up the fight and faith in their own style of music… the band’s undying courage throughout 3+ decades led them to a glorious victory !

 

The overall packaging looks awesome and the booklet came with nice, full coloured pictures and song texts… as mentioned before, the production of both studio and live recordings sounds brilliant to me. Fans of melodic Hard Rock/Heavy Metal music in the vein of early Stryper/Scorpions, Leatherwolf (“Street Ready” era), Vandenberg (“Heading For A Storm” and “Alibi” albums), Viva (“What The Hell Is Going On” period) are urged to order this 2-CD jewelcase via: https://www.facebook.com/MadMaxOfficialWebsite / http://www.madmaxofficial.de/ / http://www.spv.de/portfolio/steamhammer/

 

My rating: 89/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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MAGNUM - ESCAPE FROM THE SHADOW GARDEN LIVE 2014

(SPV/Steamhammer)

Review by Stefan

 

I remember Magnum as the founders of the UK Melodic Progressive (Hard) Rock movement formed back in 1972 as a four piece unity featuring songwriter Tony Clarkin (guitars), Bob Catley (vocals), drummer Kex Gorin and bassist Bob Doyle. At the very beginning of their musical career, they only played cover songs on a regular basis at the Rum Runner Club in their hometown Birmingham. Like many other bands, also Magnum had to deal with several line up changes, finally the inseparable musical trio Clarkin/Catley/Stanway remained untouched.

 

Magnum dropped their first bomb back in 1978, Jet Records offered them a deal and “Kingdom Of Madness” came out and achieved a high rating of press, media and melodic rock fans all over the world. The name Magnum got more and more fame, each time a new album was released. Between the release of their records, the band toured with greats like David Coverdale’s Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Blue Oyster Cult, Bon Jovi, ZZ Top, Metallica … they also played at the BIG Reading Festival (1983) and Monsters Of Rock (Castle Donington) in 1985!

 

Over the years, Magnum has released a long list of great albums, among these the almighty, legendary “Chase The Dragon”, officially released in 1982. Songs like ‘The Spirit’, ‘Sacred Hour’, ‘Soldier Of The Line’, ‘The Lights Burned Out’ and ‘Walking The Straight Line’ still enchant my inner soul… songs for life ! Due to my burning and everlasting passion for Metal music, the progressive way of Rock music, in a way like Magnum delivered, deserves my appreciation as well. Did I became a pure fan of this genre during the next following years, well actually I didn’t. Even though I came in touch with other equivalent acts throughout the next couple of decades, some of them were (or still are) awesome. About the musical career of Magnum you can write a book but that’s not the point at this own moment, right?

 

The band deserves total respect for their longtime service of outstanding melodic rock, they still make good albums like the seventeenth in row entitled “Escape From The Shadow Garden”, officially released through SPV/Steamhammer in 2014, including eleven tracks. To me an album not that strong as a few of their older albums, yet reached a value far above the average.

 

Under the same title, Magnum will release its ninth live cut very soon, again via Steamhammer/SPV. Available as jewel case CD and a double gatefold vinyl edition, both editions have (the same) twelve songs on board. Fans of the early Magnum days are well catered and the same goes for fans of the newer work, the tracklist contains compositions taken from 7 of their 18 released albums. There is something to enjoy for everyone, so much going on this Live recording there is no doubt about the fact Magnum still rules the world of Progressive Melodic Rock with great distinction.

 

So many years later on now and it feels good to hear that Bob Catley’s throat still in perfect condition, always been a great performer… one of my all time favourite frontmen for sure. Songwriter/producer in the band Tony Clarkin proves his craftsmanship when it comes to awesome, melodic riff and lead delivery. Beautifully groomed guitar tactics which put me nearly in a comfortable position, he’s the right man on the right place, Tony’s a bringer of musical purity right from Magnum’s first days of existence! These words of praise I also like to speak out regarding Mark Stanway’s top-notch keyboard actions which brings the true identity of a world class musical to top. Bass and drum lines are perfectly aligned, vendors in service Harry James and Al Barrow earn their place in this world renowned band!

 

I want to end this discussion with a lot of credit, this live recording entitled “Escape From The Shadow Garden” underlines yet again the quality of top notch band delivering outstanding melodic ProgRock with a distinct nod to AOR for decades. The story of an ordinary cover band that became an iconic formation as time passed by, Magnum’s still one of my favourite, all time Rock acts. This whole issue of “EFTSG” exudes nothing but pure professionalism (beast strong production, full coloured booklet featuring exclusive pictures) so let nothing stop you to force a purchase, you won’t regret at all people! Place your order via Magnum’s official homepage at: http://www.magnumonline.co.uk/index.html A re-experience of a wonderful concert happened on a swirling evening last year, a brilliant live recording to cherish. One last remark - Magnum's 19th. studio album entitled "Sacred Blood Divine Lies" is set for release somewhere in 2016, through SPV Records!

 

My rating: 89/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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MASTERS OF DISGUISE - THE SAVAGE AND THE GRACE

(Limb Music Records)

Review by Sloof

 

Referring to their first output, I decided to check my review on their debut album ‘Back With A Vengeance’ once again. It’s always good to have a kind of reminder, a refreshment and mnemonic, so I witnessed that Masters Of Disguise were rated with only 78/100. We grew two years older now, and it seems like the band isn’t a mayfly, a gimmick or temporary hype but an outfit that wants to bang heads and glorify the good old 80ies where US metal reigned! Savage Grace is the Holy Grail for this German band and after their cooperation with Chris Logue and European touring they decided to compose and record new material, with this final product as result!

 

‘The Savage And The Grace’ continues the chosen path, but the main difference between this album and the debut album is quality. My critics on the debut were mainly that quality wasn’t present all the time, which is completely different now! The members of Masters Of Disguise took a few efforts and boosted the level upwards! The Power/Speed Metal of this German quartet is furious and exuberant and that reflects to the songs! The production is awesome, the vocals of Mr. Stahl are breathtaking and the music is extremely enjoyable! If you listen to the second half of ‘Knutson II: (Only A Mother’s) Love Is Forever’, that’s giving me goose bumps all over! Great vocals, great lyrics with a deeper meaning and all in balance with the music!

 

Traditionally there is also a Savage Grace cover present, and this time they recorded ‘Sins Of The Damned’ (originally on the ‘Master Of Disguise’ album) and to give it all a little extra they also recorded a Flotsam and Jetsam classic: Hammerhead. This track is the bonus song on this new album, and proves once again how brilliant F&J were at that time! The guys of Masters of Disguise paid a lot of homage to the original and this is probably the best cover version that I have heard in years. What a song, what a slab of metal in your face!

 

As the band is touring with Omen within short time, I guess that I will be attending their gig at the Hammer Damage Tour with the likes of Ostrogoth, Omen, FireForce and Masters Of Disguise!

 

My rating: 86/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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MASTERS OF DISGUISE - MASTERS OF DISGUISE

(Limb Music)

Review by Sloof

 

Masters Of Disguise are totally unknown and new to me, but when I played this album for the very first time, I immediately noticed that there was a link with the grandiose and sublime US masters Savage Grace. I played their album ‘Master Of Disguise’ and ‘After The Fall From Grace’ countless times in my radio show Overdrive that existed for almost 30 years. And out of the blue comes this release that opens exactly like the original masterpieces, even the front cover artwork is comparable as the it seems like the bad police officer is back with a vengeance.

 

Opener ‘Back With A Vengeance’ is as mean and vicious as the original ‘Lions Roar’, and the next track is probably the best one of the whole album! ‘Never Surrender’ has all the typical ingredients of Savage Grace, but only with a time difference of almost 30 years. The reason why this band is so close to Savage Grace is rather simple. When Savage Grace frontman Chris Logue came to Europe for some Festival appearances, he needed a band that was capable to bring the original tracks the best way possible. The original members didn’t show interest, so the search continued and focused on European soil.

 

The German band Roxxcalibur teamed up with Chris and they toured with Omen and played on Bang Your Head and Keep It True Festival. The same story fits to Griffin as well, as Roxxcalibur also played with original Griffin vocalist Rodrick McKay at the Keep It True Festival. In normal conditions, Chris Logue wrote already new material for the next Savage Grace album, but once he left Europe, he seems to be vanished until today. The members of Roxxcalibur decided that it was time to change their name and continue the chosen path. The new name became Masters Of Disguise, named after the debut album of Savage Grace, and they also refer to their idols in the logo and album cover with the image of Knutson, the police officer who serves the wrong side of the law.

 

Some songs on this album are outstanding, but the only negative comment, that need to be told is, the quality isn’t of the same standard throughout the whole album. Some songs incline to ennui and lead to boredom and that’s a pity considering that the best songs on this release are egregious and excellently well done. Fans of Savage Grace will gush about the original and might consider this band as a cheap copycat, and that’s probably not the fairest point of view.

 

My rating: 78/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)

 

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MELIAH RAGE - BEFORE THE KILL

(Metal On Metal Records)

Review by Stefan

 

In 2014, the last Meliah Rage effort “Warrior” saw the light of day thanks to Metal On Metal Records. It was a good album in my opinion, but I have to admit that the level of their first few albums (“Kill To Survive”, “Live Kill” and “Solitary Solitude”) was not reached. Formed in 1987 by guitarist/songwriter Anthony Nichols, by now Meliah Rage have seven albums under their belts. This band belongs to my all time favorite American outfits, and when their first three albums came out, we had a really good time banging our heads to songs like ‘Beginning Of The End’, ‘Bates Motel’, ‘The Pack’, ‘Solitary Solitude, ‘The Witching’, ‘Lost Life’ or ‘Razor Ribbon’, among others. Meliah Rage brought us some neck stiffness but we didn’t give a damn, these were nights out I’ll never forget!

 

It’s not a secret that Metal On Metal Records is all about releasing great Metal albums, but the label took me completely by surprise with a new album from these Boston-based power-thrashing veterans. This new release, entitled “Before The Kill”, is loaded with tracks only from the band’s very early days of existence, so it's a compilation of very rare stuff and a collectors item. You will get to hear these guys like you never did before during a running time of 70 minutes.

 

Prick up your ears and enjoy Meliah Rage as they were rehearsing back in 1986, 8 songs of which 4 were never recorded again. Also, a very interesting fact, there's another vocalist named Mark Mastroianni on these songs. These rehearsal songs show a different face of the band (at that time they actually didn't have a name yet) and Mark had a very clear throat, much in the vein of Riot’s Guy Speranza. His vocals totally differ from those of Mike Munro, whom we all know as THE frontman of the band. You can’t compare the pre-Meliah Rage ‘rehearsal’ period with what came out later on. I'm a defender of 80s US Metal, and these rehearsal songs have made a big impression on me. Music wise, it feels like a meeting between very early Abattoir, Heretic and early Metal Church, as well as Attacker and Steel Assassin, whom I got to know from the good old Metal Massacre compilation albums, released through Metal Blade Records during the 80s. With all due respect for the contemporary Metal movement, those days most of the bands played with a lot more energy and self-confidence, it seems they also had more fun and more mutual respect for each other! Conclusion of the first half of Meliah Rage “Before The Kill” CD: The sound quality might be somewhat weak, but it's still enjoyable and a must have for all those into outstanding classic Metal music!

 

On the other half of this compilation we welcome Mike Munro as vocalist on Meliah Rage’s very first demo recorded in 1987. All of the 4 songs sound familiar to my ears but it’s nice to hear them in another, ‘unpolished demo’ version this time. When Mike joined the ranks he brought a more thrashy character to the overall MR style. Also here the production is rather moderate but I don’t care about that at all. When I listen to this demo unforgettable moments come crossing my memory. This is purebred, unadulterated US Power/Thrash Metal the way it should be.

 

Then it’s time for three live tracks from a show the band played in 1988. Really authentic stuff and absolutely a pleasure to my ears when ‘Bates Motel’, ‘Meliah Rage’ and ‘Deadly Existence’ come through my speakers at high volume! The last song on the CD is called ‘Kill To Survive’, and it's taken from their second demo, recorded in 1987. Great to hear but I was hoping to hear the rest of the tracks as well - then I found out that the other two songs from that demo ended up as such on the band's debut album!

 

“Before The Kill” can be ordered at: http://metal-on-metal.com/shop/#!/MELIAH-RAGE-“Before-the-Kill”-CD/p/53446138/category=2707104

 

Purchase on the double and hear Meliah Rage like you never did before, enjoy the rare and previously unreleased songs, all digitally remastered. The packaging is made, as usual, in a very professional way, and it includes an exclusive in-depth interview with founder Anthony Nichols about the band's early years of existence, nice archival images and a killer cover artwork done by Jowita Kaminska herself. The sound quality is not the best, but what the hell, it just reflects the Metal scene as it was almost three decades ago and the young band, full of enthusiasm and energy, playing their very first songs.

Meliah Rage Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MeliahRage

 

“Before The Kill” track listing as Pre-Meliah Rage during a rehearsal in Boston 1986:

1-Misunderstood 2-Beginning of the End 3-The Eagle 4-Stand Up 5-Warrior Lord 6-Enter the Darkness 7-Fight 8-The Pack

Line-up: *Anthony Nichols (guitars) – *Jim Koury (guitars) – *Mark Mastroianni (vocals) – *Paul Spagnolia (bass) – *Bruce Black (drums)

“Before The Kill” track listing as Meliah Rage:

9-Beginning of the End (1st demo '87) 10-The Pack (1st demo '87) 11-Enter the Darkness (1st demo '87) 12-Kill to Survive (1st demo '87) 13-Bates Motel (live '88) 14-Meliah Rage (live '88) 15-Deadly Existence (live '88) 16-Kill to Survive (taken from the 2nd demo '87)

Line-up: *Anthony Nichols (guitars) – *Jim Koury (guitars) – *Mike Munro (vocals) – *Jesse Johnson (bass) – *Stuart Dowie (Drums)

 

My rating: 89/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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MELTED SPACE - THE GREAT LIE

(Sensory Records/The Laser's Edge)

Review by Stefan

 

Melted Space is the showpiece of French pianist/composer Pierre Le Pape, established in 2007 as instrumental project. Back in the days, PLP was honoured with a master degree in classical music and film music and was loaded with the ambition creating his own Metal opera. Melted Space’s self-produced debut album “There’s A Place” saw daylight in 2009, it was a fully instrumental album which served as the foundation for the rest of his career.

 

Plans for a new album were made, Pierre would make an appeal to a whole bunch of guest musicians, mostly male and female singers from renowned bands. After having done some searches on the Internet I came to the conclusion that the end result must have been very good. The EP “Between”, featuring well known female singers Live Kristine (Leave’s Eyes) and Ashmedi (Meleches) and was next output in line, Pierre composed the piece which came out in May 2013 through Season Of Mist/Plastichead delivering both French and European distribution.

 

Melted space gained more international fame as time progressed, PLP hired 5 well skilled musicians to Tour with as support for The Old Dead Tree. Melted Space wasn’t an unknown band any longer, many festivals and venue gigs they handled with glory and a brand new album came into view, one step at the time. Meanwhile Melted Space’s newest cut “The Great Lie” was released by Sensory Records, a sub division of The Laser’s Edge.

 

Under the guidance of The City Of Prague Philarmonic Orchestra, loads of guest musicians lent their expertise to Melted Space, among them we welcome renowned vocalists like M. Demurtas (Tristania), C. Delaunay (Serenity), M. Munoz (The Old Dead Tree), G. Bideau (Mnemic), D. Vincent (Morbid Angel), S. Coudret (Soilwork), A. Gimenez (Sirenia), K. Farhi (Orphaned Land), M. Stanne (Dark Tranquillity), … I am convinced that this Metal opera will be well received by the fans of this specific genre where a hodgepodge of dark, theatrical, symphonic and bombastic soundscapes be reduced to a pleasant show.

 

‘Listen To The Song Of Despair’ was given the honour to open the album followed by ‘Called By The Queen’, both songs to start with violins and quite simple song structures sung by both male and female singers. Working with various singers with regards to one single song, there must be a mutual musical click. Concerning these first two tracks, the so-called ‘click’ does not occur to me. More violins to expect with the song called ’No Need To Fear’ where Tristania’s Mariangela Demurtas voice sounds very mature and also the ‘grunts’ added to this song seems to work contagious. The haunting melodies and the nice bridge halfway through the song bring the first few minutes of joy to my eardrums.

 

Fact that Melted Space is also able to make fast songs is proven with ‘Terrible Fight’, a symphonic Black Metal esque composition featuring both clean and death grunt vocals, every musical detail observed a well done performance. A fragile and highly sensitive song you get with the piano-led ballad ‘A God Is Dead’. Manuel Munoz (The Old Dead Tree) was the only chosen singer to bring a song of this nature to a successful end. The combination of the male and female singers with regards to ‘Glass Castle’s Beast’ seems to be not processing as it should thus the quality of this ‘quiet one’ leads to an MIA status. ‘Hopeless Power’ is one of my favourite songs, bombastic powers and a nice, hot scorching guitar solo I welcome with the most convenience.

 

Dutch instrumental hero Arjen Lucassen was invited to deliver the guitar, synth and dulcimer solo’s concerning the song called ‘The One Who Lost The Faith’. The overall outcome of this cinematic composition is atmospheric and charming, in order to keep it short - incontestably good. Singers from Dark Tranquillity, Sirenia and Mnemic joined forces for the recordings of second last one called ‘Titania’. The musical fondness turns out quite well, symphonic all over but I'm not really convinced. Along with the final track ‘Lost Souls From The Other Side’, Melted Space’s new album “The Great Lie” comes to an end. Every guest singer was allowed to be a part of the entire composition so expect something special, something fully symphonic, something vary varied basically.

 

I have tried to describe the album as objective as possible and have to admit the fact I’m not really into Metal Opera type of music. For all I care concerning Melted Space there is no possible doubt I got to do with a very talented bunch of musicians, unfortunately not playing my style of music. Master in command Pierre Le Pape’s earns a standing ovation because of his drive and determination to realize his ideals, making this impressive Metal Opera featuring nothing but respectable musicians including the Philarmonic Orchestra !

 

My rating: 80/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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MEXICAN APE-LORD - THE LATE HEAVY BOMBARDMENT

(Unable Records)

Review by Nathan McLeod

 

'Mexican Ape-Lord'. What a trip! Every so often you come across material that's 'different'. Sometimes a bit outa 'left field' or 'completely' outa the 'ballpark'. I did get quite a KICK outa this 'Boston' quartet's debut of 'The Late Heavy Bombardment'. A bit 'comical' at times, but in a 'good' way. And yes, a bit left of center 'Mexican Ape-Lord' are, different, at times, a bit 'priceless' on 'The Late Heavy Bombardment'.

 

Since about late-2014 I'd come across several 'Mexican Ape-Lord' reviews from other site's. 'All' of which had nothing but 'great' things to say about 'The Late Heavy Bombardment'. Seem to be a lot of mention to 'Meliah Rage' guitarist 'Anthony Nichols' in these review's. Another band that had been around since '1987', & truthfully had not heard of til approximately 5yrs or so ago. Anyhow, that "bit outa 'left field' or 'completely' outa the 'ballpark'" caught me by 'surprise' with 'Mexican Ape-Lord'!

 

From the 'intro' of 'The Misadventures Of Black Jesus', sounded A LOT like 'Skitzo's - Krystal's Death Horizon' onto 'King Diamond's - Abigail' CD, (musically), with this 'Les Claypool/Maynard Keenan' style of vocals, & a 'Les Claypool'-type approach with 'Jon Hardy's' bass-playing. Some 'crazy' 'Ministry' song 'structures', (less the Industrial-metal sound). 'Off the wall' & 'obscure'! 'Most' of the track titles are just 'Off the wall' & 'obscure'! 'Revolutionary Nuns?!' 'Goat Rope & Chunder'?! Track titles ya may see 'appearing' on a 'Ministry' CD. A 'For Whom The Bells Toll' intro to 'What Number Is Your Pain?'. 'Crunchy' riffs on 'Rat King'. 'Black Hole Sun'-type intro to 'Idiots'.

 

There's A LOT of a VERY 'Judas Priest' 'power-metal' 'riffs/structures', (no Ripper or Rob vocals). 'Heavier' machine-gun 'bursts' of riffing on 'Super inga'. 'Deep Purple - Machine Head' sounding 'keyboards' appearing on 'Blood Ledge', enter in the sounds of 'Dio's - Holy Diver & The Last In Line' / 'Dream Theater's - Pull Me Under' 'sounds & structure's'. 'Heavier, thrashier, & hardcore' approach with 'Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms'.

 

Not too many 'guitar' solo's thru out 'The Late Heavy Bombardment', but the one's that do appear are 'impeccable'! And NOT so much needed with 'Mexican Ape-Lord'. I 'honestly' have NOT heard a CD of this 'multi-talented, 'foot-stomping', vast 'musically'-'induced'-'influences', as 'inspired' (that was so WELL put together) of this 'caliber' in quite a long time!

 

'Mexican Ape-Lord' is quite HEAVY & 'obtuse'. "Extremely diverse!". 'Production' is perfect! Hats off to 'Pete Rutcho'! Upon searching data on 'Mexican Ape-Lord', 'pictures' reminding of something strait outa 'STP's - Interstate Love Song' video, with an 'almost' 90's 'Monster Magnet' LSD-type trip video shoot! 'The Late Heavy Bombardment' CD cover VERY much reminded me of 'UFO's - Phenomenon' album. These guys just have what it takes to 'wrap-up' an 'astronomical' amount of musical styles/influences & sound "original"!

 

My rating: 95/100 (Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)

 

'Mexican Ape-Lord' personal:

*Jon Hardy: Vocals/Bass

*Anthony Nichols: Guitar

*Dan Dykes: Guitar

*Steve Fry: Drums/Guitar

'Guest' appearances by:

*Pete Rutcho: Keyboard

*Margaret Nichols: Violin

*Randolph Nichols: Keyboard

'The Late Heavy Bombardment' track info:

1) The Misadventures Of Black Jesus, 2) What Number Is Your Pain?, 3) Revolutionary Nuns, 4) Rat King, 5) Goat Rope & Chunder, 7) Super Inga, 8) Idiots, 9) Blood Ledge, 10) Kraut Line, 11) Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms; total run-time 46:51

Produced, mixed, & mastered by Pete Rutcho. Guitar recorded by Dan Dykes. Drums & bass recorded by Pete Rutcho. Vocals recorded by Jen Morrison at Bang-A-Song Studios - Gloucester, MA. Cover layout by Steve Fry.

For more 'Mexican Ape-Lord' news & info:

*Website: www.mexicanapelord.com

*Website: www.unabledistributi​on.com

*E-mail: mike@unablerecords.com

Additional:

*MySpace: www.myspace.com/mexicanape-lord

*YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCKGyKltz5eWPip11DlraAzw

*Metal Archives: www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mexican_Ape-Lord/3540376757

*CD Baby: www.unablerecords.com/cds__audio/mexican_ape_lord_the_late_heavy_bombardment_cd_999__mp3_899

*Facebook: www.facebook.com/mexicanapelord

 

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MIKE TRAMP - NOMAD

(Target Records)

Review by Stefan

 

Who has never heard of Mike Tramp definitely comes from another planet ! All the highly acclaimed albums this Danish singer has given throughout several decades still speak to the imagination of everyone who is attracted to the Hard Rock and Metal genre.

 

Mike Tramp’s musical quest began as he joined force with Pop artists Mabel in 1977, a band with whom he has released five albums, they even represented Denmark at the 1978 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song called ‘Boom Boom’. Due to unknown reasons to me, the existence of Mabel came to an end, Mike teamed up with another band called Studs before his most beautiful career with White Lion started. From 1985 until 2008, the discography of White Lion looks quite impressive, in my opinion the most remarkable ones are: “Fight To Survive”, “Pride”, “Big Game “ and “Mane Attraction”. I will always remember these as highlighted pieces I still listen at when the time is right.

 

During the history of White Lion, Mike Tramp was also the frontman in a band called Freak Of Nature and their well-known “Freak Of Nature” (1993), “Gathering Of Freaks” (1994) albums. Many years later now and I don’t know what happened with both White Lion and Freak Of Nature, fact is that Mike Tramp started a solo career a few years ago to record some kind of a trilogy on his musical journey throughout so many years. “Cobblestone Street” was cut number one followed by second solo album “Museum”, on August 28th. third one “Nomad” comes out by Danish label Target.

 

In Mike’s own words: “Without the no compromise on “Cobblestone” Street” and “Museum”, I would never have found my way home to “Nomad”. Each previous album gave me the freedom to follow the songs wherever they wanted to go, and with “Nomad” my vision was clear as a bell, once again I just had to be who I am”.

 

I have already heard the new album for several times by now and come to the conclusion that this man has lost nothing of his qualities, a natural born Rock star he really was, still is and probably will stay forevermore ! His charismatic voice still sounds very unique, a vessel filled with tons of emotions overpowering your ears while listening to “Nomad” is what you can get. Fact is that all of Mike’s solo albums have noting to do with Hard Rock or Metal music, it does not even come close. Just like “Cobblestone Street” and “Museum”, also the new “Nomad” effort is recommended for all those into singer/songwriter stuff and we all know what that means, right? Easy on the ear songs with lyrics based on Mike Tramp’s lifetime experiences and, from time to time, I can sit back, relax and enjoy for a while. Mike’s style on “Nomad” feels like a meeting of Southern/Classic and bits and pieces of Country Rock. Artists come across my mind while listening to “Nomad” are: late Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimmy Van Zant, early Richie Sambora solo era and for some reason, slices of Gov’t Mule.

 

The sound quality is very good, perfection is nearby and actually I did not expect anything else when you see who was responsible for the production duties. Soren Andersen (also on guitar) & Mike Tramp himself delivered a high level product with this “Nomad” cut. Two superb producers/instrumentalists now surrounded by Morten Bucholz (Hammond B-3 organ), Jesper Haugaard (bass) and Morten Hellborn on drums have nothing left to chance… the end result is delightful ! “Nomad” became a successful album which I personally listen to when I'm in need of some quiet moments in this disrupted/stressy world. The lyrics play an important role and I’m ready to let my imagination run free throughout most of the songs.

 

Mike also stated: “With this album I have done and said it all, I am going nowhere”. Wise words of a man who knows of which he speaks ! Additional info and more at: Who has never heard of Mike Tramp should come, without any doubt, from another planet. All the highly acclaimed albums this Danish singer has given throughout several decades still speak to the imagination of everyone who is attracted to the Hard Rock and Metal genre.

 

Mike Tramp’s musical quest began as he joined force with Pop artists Mabel in 1977, a band with whom he has released five albums, they even represented Denmark at the 1978 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song called ‘Boom Boom’. Due to unknown reasons to me, the existence of Mabel came to an end, Mike teamed up with another band called Studs before his most beautiful career with White Lion started. From 1985 until 2008, the discography of White Lion looks quite impressive, in my opinion the most remarkable ones are: “Fight To Survive”, “Pride”, “Big Game “ and “Mane Attraction”. I will always remember these as highlighted pieces I still listen at when the time is right.

 

During the history of White Lion, Mike Tramp was also the frontman in a band called Freak Of Nature and their well-known “Freak Of Nature” (1993), “Gathering Of Freaks” (1994) albums. Many years later now and I don’t know what happened with both White Lion and Freak Of Nature, fact is that Mike Tramp started a solo career a few years ago to record some kind of a trilogy on his musical journey throughout so many years. “Cobblestone Street” was cut number one followed by second solo album “Museum”, on August 28th. third one “Nomad” comes out by Danish label Target.

 

In Mike’s own words: “Without the no compromise on “Cobblestone” Street” and “Museum”, I would never have found my way home to “Nomad”. Each previous album gave me the freedom to follow the songs wherever they wanted to go, and with “Nomad” my vision was clear as a bell, once again I just had to be who I am”.

 

I have already heard the new album for several times by now and come to the conclusion that this man has lost nothing of his qualities, a natural born Rock star he really was, still is and probably will stay forevermore ! His charismatic voice still sounds very unique, a vessel filled with tons of emotions overpowering your ears while listening to “Nomad” is what you can get. Fact is that all of Mike’s solo albums have noting to do with Hard Rock or Metal music, it does not even come close. Just like “Cobblestone Street” and “Museum”, also the new “Nomad” effort is recommended for all those into singer/songwriter stuff and we all know what that means, right? Easy on the ear songs with lyrics based on Mike Tramp’s lifetime experiences and, from time to time, I can sit back, relax and enjoy for a while. Mike’s style on “Nomad” feels like a meeting of Southern/Classic and bits and pieces of Country Rock. Artists come across my mind while listening to “Nomad” are: late Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jimmy Van Zant, early Richie Sambora solo era and for some reason, slices of Gov’t Mule.

 

The sound quality is very good, perfection is nearby and actually I did not expect anything else when you see who was responsible for the production duties. Soren Andersen (also on guitar) & Mike Tramp himself delivered a high level product with this “Nomad” cut. Two superb producers/instrumentalists now surrounded by Morten Bucholz (Hammond B-3 organ), Jesper Haugaard (bass) and Morten Hellborn on drums have nothing left to chance… the end result is delightful ! “Nomad” became a successful album which I personally listen to when I'm in need of some quiet moments in this disrupted/stressy world. The lyrics play an important role and I’m ready to let my imagination run free throughout most of the songs.

 

Mike also stated: “With this album I have done and said it all, I am going nowhere”. Wise words of a man who knows of which he speaks ! Additional info and more at: http://miketramp.dk/home / https://www.facebook.com/MikeTrampOfficial / www.targetgroup.dk

 

My Points: 82/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

 

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MIKE TRAMP - MUSEUM

(Target/ Mighty Music Records)

Review by Sloof

 

Mighty Mike Tramp delivered already so many beautiful moments with his previous bands Mabel, White Lion and Freak Of Nature as he is blessed with a very soulful voice that is capable to put a lot of emotion into his lyrics. Remember hit singles like ‘When The Children Cry’, ‘Cry For Freedom’, ‘Broken Heart’ and ‘Fight To Survive’, and you will agree that this musician has the skills to cause emotions! Together with guitar player Vito Bratta, he conquered the world and many woman were excited by his presence. Most people might think that Mike is an American vocalist, but he was born in Denmark, moved to Spain and some later to the East Coast of the U.S.A. to start his career in New York City.

 

About a year ago, he released his first semi-acoustic album ‘Cobblestone Street’, on which we could hear a different direction of the artist. It seems like Mike is now focusing on a singer-songwriter career without the electrifying elements. His new album ‘Museum’ is set to have a mid-August release by Mighty Music/Target Records. Mike Tramp entered the Medley Studios in Copenhagen (Denmark) and together with producer Soren Andersen they finished this new album. Mike states ‘This is not a job I had to finish to move on, but another page in the diary of Mike Tramp. This is another day in a new year, and where the previous left off, the present continues’. As we know from the past, the lyrics of the songs have only one aim: hit you straight in your heart, and this time it’s not different. All songs handle about truth, heart and soul, topics he fully masters.

 

All songs on the ‘Museum’ album have nice guitar playing, but this album is only recommended for those that are into the singer-songwriter scene. If you like Neil Young , Bruce ‘The Boss’ and Bob Dylan, you will be delighted with the material on this new album, but if prefer a little heaviness, you will be left distraught.

 

A first single was already released and the video for ‘Trust In Yourself’ was directed by Dylan Tramp, who’s is the son of Mike, and perhaps this is the perfect appetizer to find out if the new Mike Tramp album appeals to your personal favorite taste.

 

My rating: 79/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)

 

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MINDLESS SINNER - THE NEW MESSIAH

(Pure Steel Records)

Review by Sloof

 

Remember Heavy Load? I do, as I still cherish their albums “Metal Conquest”, “Death Or Glory” and “Stronger Than Evil”, although they were released as vinyl albums in the early eighties. Mindless Sinner is not only from the same area as Heavy Load, but they were found in the same epoch, 1982 to be precise. It took a few years and a few different names (Purple Haze, Genocide, Mindless and at the end Mindless Sinner) to get to the year 2015, but this second full length release consolidates their quality. Mindless Sinner took an intermission of 29 years but this hiatus results in an album that will stand the test of time. The band is ready for their next youth and the songs underline their quality once more.

 

Influences from Iron Maiden (‘Follow Your Path’), Savatage (‘Dance Of The Devil’), Vicious Rumors (‘We’re The Ones’) are present but that’s only an indication of their style. Mindless Sinner proves that they have the right for their own spot on the Metal platform as they deliver quality and craftsmanship. All songs on this second album contain the same quality and impact, and that’s rather rare these days. On the contrary I understand that they didn’t add fillers on their second release, as they had plenty of time to refine the songs, to finish them to the smallest detail! And so they did, which makes this album as one of the highlights in 2015!

 

‘Men Of Steel’ is the first track on this album and this Heavy Metal anthem presents the band in the best possible way! The vocals of Christer Goransson can be considered as legendary, as he’s going really high like the good old days of Queensryche, Toxik and Agent Steel. Besides outstanding vocals, we also get a bunch of well gifted musicians. The axes of Jerker Edman and Magnus Danneblad attack constantly and that results in songs that you will all need to hear. Heavy Metal is still alive and kicking, and that’s for sure when the next track reveals: ‘Where Worlds Collide’ opens totally different, but after a short intro the high screams of Christer make a switch!

 

The album takes about 45 minutes and contains 10 songs that all deserve their laurel! Next mission for the band is to convince people as much as possible at live occasions. Try to get on a tour and play the European soil as much as possible. People are waiting for a band like Mindless Sinner, and the only way to spread the name of the band is by playing constantly. Until then, I have to get my satisfaction with this new album, but I’m sure that people demand more, so hit the road! https://www.facebook.com/mindlesssinnerofficial/

 

My rating: 90/100 (Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)

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MONSTER MAGNET - POWERTRIP

(A&M Records)

Review by Nathan McLeod

 

The '1990's'. Well, '1998' to be exact when 'Monster Magnet' released 'Powertrip'!!! Hard to believe 17yrs & a 'lifetime' ago this was released. The 90's sure did 'breed' an 'extremely' different era of music with the 'Grunge-metal' scene, which had already come & gone, 'short-lived', basically died itself with the death of 'Kurt Cobain'. (Rest In Peace) ...

 

The 90's were a 'timultuous' time & era with what had been life living 'in excess' & 'uncertainty'. It very much had been for myself personally. The 'stoner-metal'-'stoner-rock' scene had been evolving for some time with 'Monster Magnet', 'Kyuss', & 'Fu Manchu' to name a few. Had been 'grasping' for straws at anything that sounded good during this 'time frame' & well after the 'explosion' of 'Bay Area' 'thrash-metal' had 'abruptly' ended / was dead & gone itself.

 

'Monster Magnet' had carried me thru the 90's in many ways. Now going back to the 'early-90's' when I had first heard 'Spine Of God' & 'Superjudge'. I was in 'awe' at the sound(s) 'Ed Mundell' was getting out of his guitar! Wasn't long before I picked up copies of 'Tab' & 'Monster Magnet'. Then moving onto the 'mid-90's' with their 'Dopes To Infinity' CD. Was very much taken 'aback' with the 'extraordinary' guitar work from 'John McBain' & 'Ed Mundell'.

 

Additionally I had not heard anything remotely close to 'Dave Wyndorf's' song writing since the alcohol induced talent's of 'Alice Cooper' / mescaline induced talent's of the late 'Jim Morrison'. (Rest In Peace) What a 'deadly' combination! (No pun intended) ... By this time I had already caught 'Monster Magnet' live several times & was just 'blown-the-fuck-away' with 'Joe Callandra's' bass playing that had much resembled that of 'Geezer Butler' & the late 'John Entwistle'! (Rest In Peace) ...

 

By the time 'Powertrip' had been released, catching 'Monster Magnet' live, was just completely 'stunned' with their live performance! Their 'abilities' to duplicate from CD to live!!! 'Ed Mundell' seeming to know 'exactly' what type of guitar to use to 'generate' different sounds, whether it be a 'Les Paul', 'Strat', or 'SG'. Shortly after 'Powertrip' was released, enter 'Phil Caivano' on guitar.

 

What does & has 'always' caught my attention at this point was 'Monster Magnet's' live opener with 'Atomic Clock'! "Ladies & gentlemen, you CANNOT make this type of shit up even if one were to try" with the 'blistering' guitar-solo 'duo-duel' of 'Ed Mundell' & 'Phil Caivano' caught here live in '1999': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQIq58K3PXk ...

 

And 'listen' as you may, with that of the 'outstanding' rhythm section carried out with this 'Ginger Baker/Blind Faith-Cream' drumming of 'Jon Kleiman' as 'Joe Callandra' is to 'Jack Bruce'! 'Overall' 'Monster Magnet's' live performance back then was 'second to none'! The viewer's of this review may be 'far' too 'young' to remember WTF was going on in the 90's much less the 80's for that matter, (in A LOT of ways I'd say you're lucky as I simultaneously say wake the fuck up!).

 

The video's shot for 'Powertrip', (before & aft), 9x outa 10 had the 'appearance' of some 'beautiful'-'perfect 10'-'NASDAQ stock' ladies: "Shake you asses, bang your head's"... *Spacelord: https://youtu.be/dscfeQOMuGw

*Powertrip: https://youtu.be/jE7Zv6d-HUA

 

My rating: 98/100 (95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !)

'Monster Magnet':

*Dave Wyndorf: Vocals/Guitar

*Ed Mundell: Guitar

*Joe Callandra: Bass/Backing Vocals

*Jon Kleiman: Drums

*Phil Caivano: Guitar

'Powertrip' track info:

1) Crop Circle, 2) Powertrip, 3) Spacelord, 4) Temple Of Your Dreams, 5) Bummer, 6) Baby Gotterdamerung, 7) 19 Witches, 8) 3rd Eye Landslide, 9) See You In Hell, 10) Tractor, 11) Atomic Clock, 12) Goliath & The Vampires, 13) Your Lies Become You; run-time 1:00:42.

*Website: www.zodiaclung.com

*ReverbNation: www.reverbnation.com/monstermagnet

*MySpace: https://myspace.com/monstermagnet

*Forum: http://monstermagnet.yuku.com/forums/1/Monster-Magnet-Forum/Monster-Magnet-Forum#.VZYl1MLbLL8

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MÔRGLBL - TEA TIME FOR PUNKS

(Laser's Edge Records)

Review by Sloof

 

Instrumental albums are most of the time a self-aggrandizement of the musicians involved, and only few manage to get into the bigger picture. It’s easy to place yourself in the spotlights, but people demand a perfect finish, instead of a selfish showcase.

 

I must admit that Morglbl succeeds in this mission as they bring their songs with an unaffectedly attitude, with uncurbed and licentious behavior. It’s like it is, and the material breathes a vibe of unbend and relaxing time. Only three musicians succeed in combining courage, boldness and conspicuousness into songs that invite to enjoy.

 

Aurel (drums), Ivan (Bass) and Christophe (Guitar) present a musical rollercoaster in opener ‘Banjovi’, and the good news is, while most trips of a rollercoaster take about 2 minutes, you get a full version of pleasure on this disc with a playing time of nearly 1 hour. The next track is called ‘Rood’ and this one has some Dream Theater influences and sounds pretty heavy, but ends with a Beatles – ‘Yellow Submarine’ twist. When the title track starts, we hear very modest playing in a staccato style, and again guitar player Christophe Godin is demanding his spot to accentuate his six strings monster. All in a sudden, the pace increases and the song is continuing in full speed! Some songs have a Joe Satriani layer while Carlos Santana isn’t that far away as well. Being a trio results in limitations, but the members of Mörglbl succeed in their musical adventure and escapee. There are also some vocals on this album, like the track ‘Mariachi’s Burger’ where a spoken word gives little extra information with a humoristic touch.

 

Those that demand an unusual album, a quest for quality and a musical limitless band might be pleased by Mörglbl. Others that prefer straightforward metal need to skip. Mörglbl is a perfect example of adventure and thinking out of the box all poured in a new structure! http://www.morglbl.com/

 

My rating: 77/100 (Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing)

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MORTICIAN - SHOUT FOR HEAVY METAL

(Pure Underground Records)

Review by George Falconer

 

Mortician is a band from Austria which I sadly had never heard of. What a discovery! Austria doesn't seem to be the most straight forward Heavy Metal country, but these guys are a truly hidden gem! Considered a cult band in their home country, to me they were unknown. Glad I found out about their new record "Shout For Heavy Metal", released in November 2014 on Pure Underground Records, a division of Pure Steel Records, giving these kind of gems a chance to get widely known across the globe. The band was founded back in '83 and released their first EP in '87. Time for me to check out the previous releases ...

 

Why? Because this is pure Heavy Metal that you will shout for. Reminds me of the old school Heavy Metal bands which brought us an honest version of true Heavy Metal. Just the way I like it. Far from being original, they give us mature, dark and heavy steel. Being a classic quintet they bring it the traditional way. Clean vocals with heavy fast and slow riffing and piercing drumming are the perfect ingredients for this blink to the 80s. Shout for Heavy Metal sounds far from being a recent released record. A fact that I can only encourage.

 

Pure traditional Heavy Metal done the right way. Classic steel you'll find here. 80s Metal lover or Heavy Metal maniac? This is the record for you! https://www.facebook.com/MORTICIAN.Austria

 

My rating: 89/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

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MUDFACE - ANTI

(Independent)

Review by Nathan Mcleod

 

Well, well, well. You will 'definitely' hear a 'vast' array of 'different' genre's of METAL on 'Mudface's - Anti-' CD! 'Thrash', 'power', 'speed', 'groove', & of course 'heavy metal'. And the 'tempo' change of metal genre's can & does or is all over the place thru out 'Anti-'. This is really a damn great CD from these 'Frisco' natives. It's really 'heavy' & 'aggressive'.

 

I've never really been too fond of 'keyboards' in metal, but the keyboard 'addition' in 'Mudface's' sound on 'Anti-' is perfect IMHO. It's in NO way or 'fashion' overdone or overheard 'drowning' out the other 'instruments'. In fact, the 'keyboards' are barely noticeable. Or better put: 'recognizable'. Blends in 'perfectly'.

 

'Production' on 'Anti-' is done up 'nicely' with 'Tim Narducci' of 'Systematic', 'ex-Tyrranicide' at the helm, whom also did the 'production' on 'Forbidden's - Omega Wave' CD. Hats off to you 'Tim'.

 

One thing you will not hear on 'Anti-' is a 'bunch' of 'intricate' 'guitar solo's', 'bass leads', or some really 'off' the wall 'drumming', & no 'obnoxious' 'keyboards'. And the more I listen to 'Anti-', none of this is needed. The listener will 'receive' a VERY 'steady', 'heavy' & 'non-stop' dose of 'metal' from 'Mudface'. For the most part, VERY 'clean' , 'crisp', & 'precise' performances overall.

 

There is a 'tad' bit here & there of some 'crunchier' & 'heavier' vibe within 'Mudface' & 'Anti-', especially with 'To Wander Where One Should Not'. A bit more with 'Killshot', (which is my favourite track), & is really 'dark'. Love 'Chris Dinsmore's' vocals upon 'Killshot'!! Other track I really dig A LOT is 'Anti-' & 'Puppets Of Wrong'!

 

You can take a listen to 'Killshot' on 'SoundCloud': https://soundcloud.com/mudfaceofficial/killshot-2 & other 'Mudface' tracks. I recently saw 'Mudface' live at 'The Knitting Factory' in 'Reno, NV', which can be read about here from 'Metal To Infinity': http://metaltoinfinity.be/LIVE%20REPORTS-2/mudface_liveattheknittingfactory2015.html &, can take a look at their 'Knuckles' video on 'YouTube' here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8Bt8LStFvs ...

 

Musically in 'Mudface', I can hear some 'definite' BAY AREA 'sound & influence'! Some parts I can hear some 'Exodus - Fabulous Disaster', 'Death Angel - Act III', 'Testament - Practice What You Preach'. But can also hear some 'mellower' metal such as some 'Godsmack - Awake' or 'Soundgarden - Down On The Upside'. People may 'disagree'?

My rating: 87/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

'Anti-' tracks:

1) Anti, 2) Head Without Face, 3) Killshot, 4) Puppets Of Wrong, 5) Knuckles, 6) Warbeast, 7) I Am The Temple, 8) 1969, 9) Ghosts Of Desolation, 10) To Wander Where One Should Not; total run-time 43:37.

'Mudface':

*Chris Dinsmore: Vocals

*Rich Pia: Guitar

*Brett Crane: Keys/Backing Vocals

*Hugo Calderon: Bass

*Pete Bostaph: Drums

Produced by Tim Narducci & Mudface. Recorded at Sonic Room Studios - Livermore, CA. Mastered by David Donnelly at DNA Mastering - Glendale, CA. Art direction by Mudface.

'Mudface' contact info:

*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mudface/85044

*CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Mudface

*ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/mudface

*Website: http://www.mudfacemetal.us/

*Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mudfaceus

*E-mail: booking@mudface.us or contact@mudface.us

 

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MUDFACE - MUDFACE

(Independent)

Review by Nathan McLeod

 

Not a bad 'debut' CDEP release from the 'SF Bay Area's Mudface'. Released in 2008, there are some differences between 'Mudface's - Anti-' CD & their debut. But suppose one would have to 'possibly' have seen or listened to 'Mudface' when they were called 'S1ft': http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/S1ft/85057 (from 1998-2005) to notice some differences? Basically different band member's & different era's IMO.

 

What is the 'most' noticeable to me from CD to CD are the more 'notable' bass leads present on 'Mudface'. 'Chris Dinsmore's' vocals are not as 'dark' as they are on their 'Anti-' CD. Still though, the vocals are still 'perfected' on 'Mudface' & kick ass!!!

 

Production here is 'good' & 'great', not 'superb', as well not 'bad'. Think maybe the 'worst' part of this CD is it's 'too short' in length. Don't get me wrong, with each track an 'average' time of 4:30 or so, (a perfect track length IMO), I think a 5th or 6th track at that length could have pushed this release a bit over the top & farther. This is still a 'great' release though.

 

A recent 'Metal To Infinity' review of their 'Anti-' CD can be read here: http://metaltoinfinity.be/CDREVIEWS_MNOP/mudface_anti.html - And a 'Metal To Infinity' live review of 'Mudface' @ 'The Knitting Factory' in 'Reno, NV' can be also read right here: http://metaltoinfinity.be/LIVE%20REPORTS-2/mudface_liveattheknittingfactory2015.html

 

My rating: 81/100 (Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)

'Mudface' track listing:'

I) Year Of The Pig II) Blessing Is A Curse III) The Sword IV) We Refuse : total run-time 18:51.

'Mudface' line-up:

*Chris Dinsmore - Vocals

*Rich Pia - Guitar

*Ron Pitchford - Bass

*Mike Carlington - Drums

Produced by Don Budd & Mudface @ Tone Freq Studios - San Jose, CA. Mastered by Mike Wells @ Mike Wells Mastering - SF, CA. Photos by Monica Perras & Spyder. CD Design & layout by Nivea Sa.

'Mudface' contact info:

*Metal Archives: http://www.metal-archives.com/bands/Mudface/85044

*CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/Mudface

*ReverbNation: https://www.reverbnation.com/mudface

*Website: http://www.mudfacemetal.us/

*Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mudfaceus

*E-mail: booking@mudface.us & or contact@mudface.us