Rush – “A Farewell To Kings – 40th Anniversary”

Rush – “A Farewell To Kings – 40th Anniversary” 3CD / 4LP/ Blu-ray (UMC/Mercury/Anthem/ole Records) Released back in 1977, this 5th album by Rush built on the success of “2112” and went further in widening their sound through increasing prog elements as well as the use of synthesizers, classical guitars and tubular bells. Becoming Rush’s first US gold-selling album, it would eventually reach platinum and as most Rush fans know, remains a staple in their collection. Now, some 40 years later (!), comes this extensive and lavish expanded addition available in 4 distinct configurations – well, you know it’s Rush … Continue reading

Tarja – “from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a dark Christmas)”

Tarja – “from Spirits and Ghosts (Score for a dark Christmas)” (earMUSIC) Christmas – dontcha just love it? Well for many people, that certainly isn’t the case, especially for those who are lonely or missing loved ones and where the joy and blinking lights may seem even more jaded and depressive. Clearly sensing this, award winning ex Nightwish soprano singer songwriter Tarja Turunen has decided to put together this dark operatic interpretation of famous Christmas classics and carols – and jingle it certainly isn’t! Renowned for her class and professionalism, this is no mere Xmas cash in but as with all … Continue reading

Down ‘N Outz – “The Further Live Adventures Of…”

Down ‘N Outz – “The Further Live Adventures Of…” 2CD/DVD/Blu-Ray (Frontiers Music) Back in 2009, when 70s Brit glam gods Mott The Hoople decided to play a series of reunion shows a certain Joe Elliott of Def Leppard fame (and noted Mott disciple) got the call to participate in some capacity. Stepping up also to the plate were some of The Quireboys in Paul Guerin (guitar), Guy Griffin (guitar) and Keith Weir (keyboards), all being Mott fans themselves, along with bassist Ronnie Garrity (Raw Glory) and drummer Phil Martini (Spear Of Destiny, ex The Quireboys). And lo the Down ‘N … Continue reading

Autopsy – “Puncturing The Grotesque”

Autopsy – “Puncturing The Grotesque” (Peaceville Records) Forever hallowed in the bloodied halls of death metal’s valhalla is Autopsy, the deformed bastard offspring of famed drummer / vocalist Chris Reifert, who of course was Death’s original drummer! Often cited as one of the originators of the genre (along with Possessed and Death), Autopsy sadly never grew bigger as either of those bands, but became champions of the underground until they ground to a halt in 1995 after 4 albums. However, some 14 years on, the band almost immediately reformed and in recent years, Reifert has returned to the scene with … Continue reading

AETHERIAL ”The Still Waters Of Oblivion”’

AETHERIAL ”The Still Waters Of Oblivion”’ (Truth Inc Records) More than 2 years in the making! This gotta be one hell of an album have they worked on it for so long. I don’t know what I really expected from this album but I can say that whatever it was it wasn’t what I got. This Australian band have a sound that is best described as modern metal. My initial reaction what that this was in the vein of The Agonist but I am not entirely sure that that is a totally correct description. But whatever bands it is that … Continue reading

AKSAYA ”Kepler”

AKSAYA ”Kepler” (Satanath) Johannes Kepler was a German astronomer, physicist and mysticist that lived in the lived in the 16th and 17th centuries. The reason I came to think of him it that this French band has named their latest album “Kepler”. How much they actually thought of the German dude I don’t know but that was what my mind came up with reading the title and looking at the album art work. Musically this is like a mix of death metal and black metal, or more accurately blackened death metal. If there is such a thing as atmospheric blackened … Continue reading

ALMYRKVI ”Umbra”

ALMYRKVI ”Umbra” (Ván Records) I really shouldn’t be that surprised that there are so many cool metal bands on the island of Iceland. Hell, there are a bunch of really cool bands in my hometown and the population is even smaller here than on Iceland. What really should amaze is how they all seem to carve their own niche. As far as I can tell not one single metal band sound like the other on Iceland. And as amazing as that might be it also makes it hard to speak of an Icelandic sound. ALMYRKVI could with some shoe horning … Continue reading

ATHLANTIS ”Metalmorphosis”

ATHLANTIS ”Metalmorphosis” (Diamonds Prod) Italian power metal. Three words that should have it water in any metal fan’s mouth. So much great power metal has come from the Italian scene over the years. I am familiar with the name ATHLANTIS but I cannot decide if it is from just reading about them or if it is actually from having heard them before. Since I cannot decide I will treat this as my first encounter with the band. For power metal to be really great you have to have a vocalist that is not of this world. If not there is … Continue reading

CULT OF THE HORNS ”Chapter 1 – Domination”

CULT OF THE HORNS ”Chapter 1 – Domination” (Symbol Of Domination) CULT OF THE HORNS is another French death metal band. It seems that this week is full of cool French metal. And being somewhat of a Francophile I don’t mind. This has all the makings of being more of a blast than AKSAYA was. Or at least that is what I hope it will be. To my ears the first few notes made me think of Polish death metal like Decapitated, Hate or even latter day Behemoth. There are even traces of black metal in this. Throw in some … Continue reading

DETEST “The End of All Ends”

DETEST “The End of All Ends” (Stormspell Records) I thought that with a name like DETEST I would be in for a thrash metal ride but apparently I am not. This is much more heavy metal than anything else. There is an edge to this but that only makes it harder and heavier heavy metal than anything else. I know that DETEST are being described as a power/thrash metal band but I don’t really hear it. These are not new songs. They are in fact songs written between 1986-95. I am a bit ashamed that I have never heard of … Continue reading