Saturday, October 28, 2017

Review: Ravenscroft Single -The Chase w/ My Dearest One

Review: Ravenscroft- The Chase w/ My Dearest One (Single)

Ravenscroft describes themselves as "a seasoned foursome of musicians whose individual backgrounds and eclectic educations present handsomely delivered melodic alternative rock. With some of the greatest rock performers in their favored list of influences, Ravenscroft synthesizes the monumental sounds of blues/early roots rock, the psychedelic/ acid rock of the late 1960’s, the harder rock and metal impact of the 1970’s and the 1980’s, the 90’s grunge influence of Seattle." 

That may be a mouthful, but nevertheless, they deliver on this mix of sounds on their new single releases, "The Chase" and "My Dearest One". 

"The Chase" is the heavier of the two songs, featuring doomy and grungy guitars. "My Dearest One" is a heartfelt ballad featuring some very soulful vocals and guitar solos. If you miss the ballads of the early 90's by the likes of Guns and Roses and others, then that one is for you. I don't mean that as a complaint by the way, it is my favorite of the songs released, but then again, I've always been a sucker for power ballads (have even written a few myself!)

My Dearest One has a very infectious groove that will stay stuck in your head for days. It straddles the line between the 70's, 80's and modern time just as the band's description states. Overall, I dug both songs, but wanted to note that the band especially stands out because of the vocals, that being the band's secret weapon, Ralph Buso.

His gritty, whisky soaked voice could rival a Myles Kennedy in all their glory, and in this age of wussy clean vocals in the middle of extreme riffs after some extreme vocals (cough "Djent" cough), that usually sound like some bad Backstreet Boys/One Direction castaway meets some lousy pop punk band that plays at the local bar, they deliver! It's very refreshing to hear clean vocals done in a way that recalls vintage Chris Cornell, Rich Robinson, or even the underrated John Corabi in the music scene nowadays. 

Overall, Ravenscroft follow up on the hype in their proclamations. 
Let them continue to fly the banner of Rock!

You can check out Ravenscroft at the following places: 

Twitter: @ravenscroftofcl 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Review: Back To Eden- Twin Flame (Single)

Back to Eden is the solo project of Guitarist/Bassist/Songwriter Edan Hoy from Melbourne, Australia. In collaboration with vocalist Aliz, plus special guest musicians from all over the world; according to their press release, they play 'Old School' Hard Rock/Heavy Metal, similar to that of Metallica, Judas Priest and Dio.
Their new single, Twin Flame, has premiered and it is exactly what they describe it as, maybe with a little bit of Accept and other German sounds thrown in there. Reading the lyrics, now this is an interesting subject matter for a traditional/power metal song. It seems that they are talking about the idea of "Twin Flames" which is related to the ages old concept of "Soulmates" but a bit different and is often associated with a lot of the "New Age" movement. 
The production of Twin Flame is good, pretty much standard, but I would say that it could take a few more chances. That said, I am mixed on a lot of the modern methods of metal production, so it could just be the cynical snarky metal elitist in me that is coming through on that remark. It is clear and cutting and does well to propel the song forward. 
The vocals are clean but slightly gruff, probably why it it reminds me of some of the German bands as they often have this quality (which I like). The leads are good but not overbearing with shred like a lot of bands would do.
The chorus has the gang vocals that recall a lot of the anthemic songs of yesteryear as well.

Overall, Back to Eden remind me a lot of the late Nineties Power/Traditional metal resurgence that bands like Hammerfall or Nocturnal Rites were part of. Do we need more bands like this? Well with the glut of kids not even knowing the roots of metal coming up, and the overabundance of bands playing super downtuned sometimes indistinguishable sub sub sub genres like Djent/math/metalcore/post metal black metal whatever with a thousand breakdowns and tuned to drop Z and totally taking precedence over all that is considered metal, I would say a resounding YES! 

Having new traditional metal bands is never a bad thing to keep things in perspective, and also to kick a lot of metal ass. 

Check out the video to this song (and further links below to check out Back to Eden): 

You can check out Back to Eden by using the following links:

Gene Simmons Is Out Of Touch

Here's another video rant I went on, about Gene Simmons as well as other rock stars recent statements and career moves ("controversial" as always! :) ) 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review: IDEK. EP by IDEK.

It's hard to stand out in an some would say, over-saturated market in music, especially within rock and metal nowadays. Bands need an edge to push them over the top as far as originality.

One such band to emerge that comes close is IDEK (I don't even know?)  a self professed "Experimental" metal band, hailing from the Netherlands. The band says they are mainly influenced by Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, and Katy Perry (!).

 On their 2017 Self-Titled EP, they straddle the line between the Djent and Deathcore bands of today, but with plenty of things that stand out.

One thing is that some of  the clean vocal parts recall vintage Mike Patton at times, something I find refreshing in a a glut of pop punk and emo sounding vocals that populate and can smear otherwise musically invigorating subgenres like the aforementioned Djent (just look at the ruckus over the clean vocal parts on any thread discussing Periphery, for example).

Like the aforementioned bands, they also feature quirky samples and a sense of humor, something that is also refreshing from this sometimes overly serious genre.

Of course, they also feature the screamed extreme vocals that populate this style of music as well. I found the extreme style vocals to be neither bad nor great, I am openly critical of much of the modern approach to extreme vocals, being as I am a fan of classic Death, Death Doom, and Black Metal.

Overall, the extreme vocals were somewhere in the middle with me; I didn't find them to be overly annoying like a lot of the genre has to offer, nor did I find them tantalizingly great like classic David Vincent, to give an example. Then again, as I am not as into the modern approach to extreme vocals, this is to be expected.

IDEK has some cool jazz/swing parts in songs such as A Fools Gold. One thing that was a surpise with the band is how they eschew a lot of shred guitar solos. I was half expecting some sweep arpeggios or other wanky parts, though this can be both a  blessing and a curse some of the time.
Not every song needs a solo to be a great song, after all.
I think a few of the parts could be spiced up with at least some other parts or complementary riffs, even if solos aren't their thing.

The second half of the EP is more to my preferred taste (other than the first song and intro which I did like). The song, Haze, features a more classic metal influenced melody, as well as an epic melody and cool ride cymbal sounds.  Vanitas Vanitatum features a hip hop intro that then goes back to the sound of the earlier songs. Keyboards add to the atmosphere as well as more clean vocals.
The song freshens itself up with more screamed vocals but with an interesting background of dissonant riffs. I would say the more dissonant riffs are welcome, being as I have always liked bands who use them. It can be a great relief to the chugging that unfortunately floods the modern metal subgenres at times.

Ouroboros is probably the most adventurous song as far as the previously mentioned dissonance goes. Probably featuring the heaviest intro section on the EP in some ways I find this approach a lot more to my liking, it features some almost rockabilly riff parts mixed with more modern verses and singing). And lo and behold, a full guitar solo adds to what is likely the best song on the release. I would say all in all, if they continue in the more experimental direction, and find a way to balance the melody, the quirky parts with a willingness to experiment without falling within the constraints and cliches of their chosen metal subgenre, they should go far.

If you are interested in IDEK, by all means check out these links:

Soundcloud EP playlist:
Facebook page:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Fall Of Danzig

As a long time fan, I posed the question- Is Danzig's career in decline? Is anything moving foward going to have the quality of performance, music, and production that was so evident in the past?

Watch this controversial video to find out!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Coming the next week or so! In Defense of Kiss (Video).

In the next week or so (depending) you can expect a fully articulated video (probably using some new software I'm a bit shaky at) that is a defense video of one of the most contentious bands of the past 50 years, Kiss. In it I will argue for their importance in influencing (countless) Hard Rock and Heavy Metal bands over time, as well as dispelling the notion that they are a "gimmick band". Look for it on here SOON!