Saturday, December 10, 2016

CD REVIEW: THE SEVENTH CYCLE OF ETERNITY by Blindstone




THE SEVENTH CYCLE OF ETERNITY by Blindstone
(Grooveyard Records)

The mighty Danish based blues rock trio known as Blindstone are back with their highly anticipated new release, 'The Seventh Cycle Of Eternity'. For those new to Blindstone, they are a guitar-driven blues rock trio strongly influenced by 60’s/70’s era artists like Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Black Sabbath and Mountain. The trio's latest outing touches all their familiar bases and then some. It's a work of remarkable variety and maturity which never loses sight of the band's classic rock roots. Proceedings start with a bang, the rocking "Dead Man's Blues"given one mighty turbo charge by Marten Anderson's blistering guitar work. "Rolling" keeps the pedal to the metal whilst other highlights include, "Rebel In Black", the slow burning, "Looking Back", and a amazing take on the Jimi Hendrix penned, "Power Of Soul". While on the instrumental "By The Suns Of Warvan, You Shall Be Avenged", the trio exhibit their air tight chemistry and flex their musical prowess.  What sets Blindstone apart from the crowd is that while they adhere to many of the tropes of the genre they have an ability to mix it up a bit with strong songs, which no doubt can be extended for the odd jam, but on this record they don't overstay their welcome. This therefore puts a premium on their song-writing ability as they have to ensure that there is sufficient variety in the tracks to make this album worth listening to. In this regard the trio succeed hands down. Blindstone have won over a loyal fan base with the sheer power and class of their previous releases. 'The Seventh Cycle Of Eternity', is about to illuminate legions more music fans with its sheer quality. 
really.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, December 9, 2016

CD REVIEW: BLUE PEARL UNION by Freerock Saints




BLUE PEARL UNION by Freerock Saints
(Grooveyard Records)

Greece based, Freerock Saints is a female fronted project playing blues infused classic rock. Featuring the amazing vocal talents of Areti Valavanopoulou and Stavros Papadopoulos (Super Vintage) on guitar. The duo's debut release, 'Blue Pearl Union' ticks every box on my get go list, great musicianship, a real bluesy, soul tinged sound, and songs which stand up better after several listens than they did when I was first heard them. Sound checks to Black Crowes, Heart and Saint Jude are clearly evident, but it all melds together in such a tight smooth way. Areti Valavanopoulou, has a delivery that bags of power and confidence. The opening track "From The Ashes"is absolutely top drawer. It's like a modern take on great seventies rock, without ripping anybody off or sounding like an inferior version of all those great seventies bands. Valavanopoulou's voice is excellent and combined with the great riffs and hook in the chorus, I was immediately impressed. "Game Of Pain", "Roll With The Wind"and "Shot Down In Flames" are just as good, before the pace slows a bit with "Blue Pearl" and "Still Bleeding". Things cranks right back up with the fiery "Take It" from there on its a mix of high energy blues rock. Sure the influences are pretty near the surface but, hey, The Stones, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin etc. alll cast long shadows. Their influences are to be celebrated but Freerock Saints also bring their own undeniable passion and commitment both of which ooze through on each track. Sometimes you need to listen to an album a couple of times to like it - not this one.
really.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

CD REVIEW: 21st CENTURY BLUES by Van Wilks




21st CENTURY BLUES by Van Wilks
(Texas ’51 Records)

Texas-based guitarist Van Wilks is back with his first studio album in ten years, '21st Century Blues'. This album is a stunning mix of blues and rock. Featuring twelve blistering tracks from the veteran Texas Blues-Rocker, except one track all originals.  From the opening salvo of "Strange Girl", Van Wilks leaves you in no doubt what to expect from this album, race-tuned blues of the sort people used to play when "guitar hero" was a compliment rather than a put-down. From there Van Wilks serves up a variety of moods and tracks, where he showcases his talent for playing well-structured songs and stupefying guitar solos. His playing is tasteful, dynamic, blindingly virtuosic and above all else, soulful in every sense of the word. As you can hear and feel on, "Drive By Lover", "Who's Foolin' Who", the laid back groove of, "Just Walk Away", "Golddiger", the smoking title track and "She Makes Me Crazy". The album also features amazing guest performances from Grammy-winner Christopher Cross and Austin vocal hero Malford Milligan, both of whom appear on “She Makes Me Crazy,” a song written by Cross (who also plays guitar on the track) with Milligan adding his trademark dynamic voice. Also featured  on the album is the legendary Billy F. Gibbons, who co-wrote “Drive by Lover” with Wilks, a song that made its initial appearance on an earlier ZZ Top album. The solid performance from the rest of the band keeps every track consistently fresh and interesting. Hands down a welcome return for Van Wilks and '21st Century Blues' is a genius piece of work by a genius of a guitarist. It is so difficult to describe this man and his talent. Genius with feel is about it really.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, December 2, 2016

CD REVIEW: THE BLACKENED HEART by Enbound




THE BLACKENED HEART by Enbound
(Inner Wound Recordings)

Swedish based melodic prog rockers, Enbound are back with their sophomore release, 'The Blackened Heart', following up their strong 2011 debut 'A She Says Gold'. Lee Hunter (Lars Säfsund - Work of Art) on vocals,  Martin Flowberg on guitar, Swede on bass, and Mike Cameron Force drums. Enbound definitely want to prove they were not a flash in the pan the first time around, there is something very special here indeed. From the moment, "Falling", blasted out of my speakers, the band had my undivided attention. A powerful melodic progressive gem that builds and draws you into a false sense of security and then just cranks up the power as the band launch into their stride. Then track two "Give Me Light", hits you like a sledge hammer but leaves you craving for more. The band continue to amaze, with a powerful mix of tracks, "Crossroad", "Get Ready For", "Twelve", "Hio" and "You Make Me So Unreal".  Each band member has done themselves proud. Martin Flowberg on guitars, a immensely talented player who has the ability to serve up great riffs and solos, but allows the music to breathe, the intense and strong drumming of Mike Cameron Force the supremely talented bassist Swede. Last but not least, Lee Hunter aka Lars Säfsund of Work of Art on vocals. Also featured are, vocalist Linnéa Wikström [Kamelot, Therion] on "Falling" and Mike LePond [Symphony X] is responsible for the first of two bass solos on "Feed My Flame". It's clear from the very first note to the very last, Enbound wanted to make a strong impression the second time around and I believe they've achieved that. The whole album works coherently to give something special. Overall, 'The Blackened Heart' gets better every time you listen to it.  A thoroughly enjoyable listening experience!
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

CD REVIEW: PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS by Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons




PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS, Ep
by Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons
(Motörhead Music))

Motörhead guitarist, Phil Campbell,  teams up with his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla, plus vocalist Neil Starr, to unleash their self-titled 5-song debut Ep. Being a fan of Phil's work with Motorhead, I was eager to hear what he and his sons would bring to the table. Wow! What a first impression. This five song Ep is packed with, attitude and a rock and roll swagger that hits the spot.  The songs all have strong hooks, you will find yourself humming them later or getting stuck in your head. The opening track "Big Mouth" charges like a GTO on fire with the devil behind the wheel. From there the barrage continues with, the attitude induced rockers, "Spiders", "Take Aim", "No Turning Back" then settling things down with the acoustic based charmer, "Life In Space". Neil Starr's vocals carry the very essence of attitude fuelled hard rock a style that proves consistent regardless of the mood or tempo of each track. Phil Campbell guitar oozes attitude while son,  Todd Campbell guitar playing ranges from hard rock riffs to sleaze rock rhythm parts while the majority of solos are well thought and very interesting for the listener. The rhythm section of bassist, Tyla Campbell and brother drummer Dane Campbell fully recreate classic rock rhythm patterns, serving as the foundation for the band's hard rock sound. Granted, this is just an EP, but take nothing away from the quality of rock music this band dishes out. Overall, a strong debut outing from a band I am sure we'll be hearing a lot from for years to come. Tap into the groove, run with the devil, turn on to Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons experience.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

CD REVIEW: TYGERS OF PAN TANG by Tygers Of Pan Tang




TYGERS OF PAN TANG 
by Tygers Of Pan Tang
(Target Music)

NWOBM legends Tygers Of Pan Tang are back with their latest self titled album. Robb Weir (guitar), Jacopo Meille (vocals), Micky Crystal (guitar), Gav Gray (bass) and Craig Ellis (drums, percussion). Wow! The band have put out powerhouse album. This is just pure undiluted hard rock from start to finish. Stong vocals from Jacopo Meille. Rob Weir and Micky Crystal make full use of the term ‘shredding’ with their guitars and the lock-steady rhythm of Gav Gray's bass and Craig Ellis’s drums. The future and the past crash together in a raucous, melodic yet heavy eleven song collection which will surely get your rocks off in no time flat. The songs are catchy enough in particular the opener, "Only The Brave" with its supercharged guitar riffs assault heralding the album’s commencement, gives the listener an instant crack around the chops, while traditionalists will be delighted to hear such a perfect marriage of old, classic Tygers Of Pan Tang with the newer, fresher vibe in such riff powered rockers like, “Dust, "Never Give In", "Do It Again" and a killer take on the Kee Kee Dee classic, "I Got The Music In Me". The new album was recorded and mixed  by Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, Mike Tramp) and mastered by Harry Hess of Harem Scarem.  Overall, a solid hard rock album that pushes no boundaries whatsoever and retains the classic Tygers Of Pan Tang sound. Just like I and most other of their fans like it. 
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

CD REVIEW: WATERDEVILS by Apollo




WATERDEVILS by Apollo
(Escape Music)

Swedish vocalist, Apostolos "Apollo" Papathanasio unveils his debut release, 'Waterdevils', a powerhouse recording that delivers the rock and roll goods in spades!  If name sounds familiar he is currently fronting the hard rock band Spiritual Beggars. There is no easy way to describe this album other than it would definitely fit in that 'Classic Rock' category.  Its not about Apollo merely copying his classic rock influences but a singer making music while wearing his influences on his sleeve. The result, music played with guts, power and skill that captures perfectly the excitement and joy of the shared experience which is rock music. The whole album is great, but there are definitely some stand out tracks. The opening track, "Revolution For The Brave" makes a defining statement for the rest of the album. Packed with great guitar work and a heavy rhythm section grabs you by the short hairs and doesn't let go. "Liberate Yourself", "Buried In A Flame" have the same impact. Other highlights include, "Fallen Endlessly", "Power", "Rise Up" and "I Need Rock N' Roll". Overall, the album buzzes with energy, bristles with power and blows you away in the sheer quality and diversity of music flowing into your ears.  Overall, 'Waterdevils', manages to avoid sounding dated. Ultimately, this is an album of superb quality, and should be a staple album for any genuine rock music fans. Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society