As You Drown – “Rat King”

As You Drown
“Rat King”
(Metal Blade Records)

On the face of it the town of Boras in Sweden might represent an idyllic one: rich in culture, natural beauty and happy folk. But there are exceptions. As You Drown clearly represent the alternative: heavily tattooed morose lads with plenty of angst in their faces. And “Rat King” sez it all – modern death core is probably how best I’d describe songs like ‘Conqueror’, ‘Rabid Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing’ and ‘Slaves to the Kingdom of Fear’. Continue reading

Almah – “Motion”

Almah
“Motion”
(AFM Records)

Well, with reference to their biblical name, they ain’t no virgins LOL! Fronted by none other than Angra’s vocalist Edu Falschi, this is the next Brazilian metal monster to be unleashed and what a chundering beast it is too – at times the riffs are on par with Sepultura!! Given the number of high quality musicians that have guested with Edu, I often wondered where he would take this solo project. Continue reading

Gary John Barden – “Eleventh Hour”

Gary John Barden
“Eleventh Hour”
(Escape Music)

Legend. Gary Barden was – and still is – the voice of MSG (Michael Schenker Group). I shall never forget him for saving in my opinion their Reading Festival performance in 1982 following Graham Bonnet’s sacking, who in turn had replaced him! Much more than that though, he almost symbolized the definitive voice and persona of British hard rock: a down to earth lad with a rough n ready voice, he was almost one of us in the crowd, not some fuckin pretentious rock god y’know? Continue reading

3 – “The Ghost You Gave to Me”

3
“The Ghost You Gave to Me”
(Metal Blade Records)

It seems almost fitting that 3 were formed in Woodstock back in the 90s. In so many ways they encompass the hippy offshoots of rock from prog to psychedelia to power pop to modern alternative rock – hell, I’m sure I also heard some Spanish guitar chucked in there somewhere too LOL! Continue reading

BRAND NEW SIN “United State”

BRAND NEW SIN
“United State”
(Goomba)
Brand New Sin as a band name doesn’t say too much about the music they play. They could be death metal, thrash metal or even black metal. The truth is something totally different. This has more in common with Corrosion of Conformity’s southern tinged hardrock/metal. Continue reading

SHY “S/T”

SHY
“Shy”
(Escape)
I’m old enough to remember Shy’s debut album “Once Bitten… Twice Shy”. Not that I remember too much of it but I still have memories of it. That was in the early 80s. Now it is 2011. Is Shy still relevant even to an modern hardrock audience? Continue reading