The Saturday Metal Review

Bad Company

Straight Shooter

Island/Swan Song

Released  in April 1975

At the age of sixteen, you reach that milestone you’ve dreamed so much about: getting your driver’s license. When that age rolled around for me; along with the keys to my first car, I experienced another milestone:  I discovered Bad Company.  The song was “Feel Like Making Love.”  I believe I also heard Free’s “Alright Now” for the first time around that period. What did I feel when I heard these songs?  Free spirited (no pun intended), a feeling no other music had or since then allowed me to feel.

Their simple guitar licks and drum patterns is only scraping the surface of the rich and melodic nature of this band’s music. It is worth mentioning that Paul Rodgers brought guitarist Mick Ralphs and drummer Simon Kiren from Free to form Bad Company. To use some Amazon-ese, those who like Free will also like Bad Company.

Straight Shooter was Bad Company’s sophomore album, only a year behind their debut album Bad Company. In addition to a musical style that effortlessly appeals to anybody, they wrote songs with relevant messages. The decade of the 1970s had more than its fair share of rock legends in the infancy of their influential career, not the least of whom KISS, Heart, and Led Zeppelin. It was also en vogue  to have a song title of the same name of the band. Therefore, two timely songs from Bad Company include “Rock and Roll Fantasy” and “Bad Company.”

Continuing in that relevance vein, Straight Shooter comprises the hits of “Shooting Star” and “Feel Like Making Love.” The former is a powerful autobiographical story of Johnny’s quick rise and fall as a rock star, up to and including his drug-and alcohol-induced (and maybe predictable) death. Nineteen seventies music also had drastic changes in tempo.  “Feel Like Making Love” song is one example, done with easy flow.

Like everyone in my generation, I am ever lamenting great music is a lost art. What I also I miss is finding out what songs on an album will be “hits” or “misses.” If a song became a hit, I loved knowing all the words to the song beforehand. Listening to both Bad Company and Straight Shooter, and doing this retrospective review of the latter, I  find there is a great balance between their “hits” and “misses,” the latter by no means lacking quality.

Here it is, over twenty-five years since those simultaneous personal milestones of mine, and over forty since the release of Straight Shooter-and it seems to me this band is overlooked and understated in what they contributed to 1970s rock music.

Written by Julia Pope

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Spawn of Annihilation

Courtesy of Globmetal Productions

Spawn of Annihilation released new single
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Mexican Technical Brutal Death Metal band Spawn of Annihilation released new single “Absortion for the creation” from the new album “Insurrection” that will be released in summer 2016.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1d9a-31bRg
Spawn of Annihilation was founded in 2009 in Lagos de Moreno, Mexico by three friends – Alf Marquez (guitar), Javier Aguirre (drums) and Rafael Espindola (vocals) . The band released their debut EP “Inquisitor of Lies” in 2013.

spawn metalhttps://spawnofannihilation.bandcamp.com/

The Saturday Metal Review

Lynch Mob

Wicked Sensation

Elektra Records

Released 1990

When Dokken split up at the tail end of the 80’s, guitarist George Lynch had a plan in mind to form a new band that would eclipse all his work done with his former outfit. What resulted was Lynch Mob; a brash, embolden mix of rock/glam/metal, allowing the guitarist to essentially improve upon the template started with Dokken. Coming along for the ride was Dokken drummer ‘Wild’ Mick Brown, bassist Anthony Esposito and the talented vocalist Oni Logan – whose rough, unpolished and blusey vocals anchored the new sound George intended to move forward with; just think a rawer version to Ray Gillen and you get a good picture of the singer’s style/range here.

The album produced two successful singles in “River of Love” and “Wicked Sensation”, climbing to number 19 and number 31 respectively on the billboard’s mainstream rock charts, proving George’s new band was going to be a force to reckon with.

Standout tracks on this release – “Wicked Sensation”, River of Love”, “Hellchild” and “No Bed of Roses”.

I am giving this record a 7.5 out of 10

 

Bordur

BORDUR released their debut video
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Ukrainian Metalcore band BORDUR released their debut video for the single “Who are you?” from the upcoming EP  that is scheduled for release this summer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiT1dyZK5qs

“BORDUR” band was founded by three friends – Serhii Myronchuk (drums), Alexander Matveyev (bass, vocal) and Dmitry Khitry (guitar) in 2015

The Saturday Metal Review

Iron Maiden

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

(EMI Records)

Released April 11, 1988

This is possibly the greatest achievement of Iron Maiden’s career. Their seventh studio album pushes all boundaries of the progressive template, relying heavily on synthesizers and writing a concept record to boot. What I loved about this attempt mostly is how ambitious it was to mount a tour around the mystical aspects of the story – including a dazzling stage show that pulls out all the stops and song lyrics that cover the idea of the number seven through mythology and religion. Bruce was at the top of his game on this album, utilizing his vocals to the fullest extent, while the likes of guitarist Adrian Smith and bassist Steve Harris providing all the progressive musical wizardry to match.

Some consider this the most ‘eighties’ of the band’s musical output, especially with the excessive use of synths, but there is no mistaking the epic melodies and powerful vocals blossoming on every track. The other strengths in regards to this album is the ever increasing homage to writer Scott Orson Card (The Tales of Alvin Maker) – utilizing science fiction and mysticism to help craft an album of crowning achievement.

Standout tracks include: “Infinite Dreams”, “Can I Play with Madness”, “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” and “The Clairvoyant”.

I give this album a 9 out of 10

Devolted

Devolted released new EP
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Irish Heavy/Thrash Metal band Devolted released new EP “Broken Kings”. The new EP is now available on the band Itunes and Spotify.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-dWlBkVT2U

Devolted was found in Dublin, Ireland in 2010. After the big sucsess of their debut EP “The Curious Case” in 2014 the band start to work on new material and released their second EP “Broken Kings” this year.

devolted

Morknatt

Mørknatt  inked a worldwide management deal with GlobMetal Promotions
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Spanish Black Metal band Mørknatt has inked a worldwide management deal with  GlobMetal Promotions.

https://morknatt.bandcamp.com/releases

Mørknatt is a Black Metal band formed in Tarragona, Spain in 2014 by Kongen av Slanger in the lead guitar and Kunstdood in the drums. The band released their debut EP “Witchcraft of Domination” in March 2016.

Kill Ritual review

At the request of music critic Tim Duran, here is a recent review we posted up at the website for the latest release from Kill Ritual.

Kill Ritual

Karma Machine

(eOne Music)

Written by Tim Duran

10 out of 10

I was recently turned on to this band by my friend David Reed Watson who is the vocalist of Sweet Home Alabama (a Lynard Skynyrd tribute band out of Las Vegas) and Kill Ritual. Both bands are demanding on the singer and command different vocal styles. Here, David Watson changes from southern fried rocker to chaotic metal frontman. The music is as brutal as the vocal attack, and every track has its own tick of insanity.

We begin with, “Just a Cut” that slices to the bone from opening riff to closing fade. “Rise” and “The Enemy Inside” take lunacy to new heights with a tinge of vintage Alice in Chains, even getting the manic waver in the vocals like Lane Staley. “The Key” greets you at the door with a nice intro and soothing voice. But the bass soon kicks you in the gut with its distorted sound keeping you pinned to your speakers as the insane sounds of Karma Machine put the finishing moves on your senses.

I can’t help but be blunt when a band puts an instrumental together. That being said, “My Green Room” is one of the most chaotic melodies since “Merciless Onslaught” (Metal Church).  It’s a well thought out plan for revenge with a clean getaway. “Kundalini” will awaken enlightenment in a violent sort of way. So if you think this yoga titled tune will put you to sleep, think again! “Land of the Dead” carries on the thrashing and throws in some zombie vocals in the chorus as well.

Ending too soon is the open aired feeling of “The Camera’s Eye”. It’s a trip to listen to as it leads you into forests and then wrap you up tight in a strait jacket. The classical guitar at the end just seals your fate leaving you drooling in your padded cell.

Downside is that I wish I had heard of these guys before now. Going back to their earlier songs, they really put a dark flair on an already blackened genre. Upside, this is an enjoyable ride through lunacy. Heavy on the metal side with enough progressiveness to keep the nerds like me entertained. The song writing and arrangements keep the record flowing.  Everyone is level in the mix and the solos are impeccable. I enjoy the soft distortion on the bass and the incredible abuse on the drums.

Kill Ritual coverI find myself very fortunate to know first-hand what David Watson can do. He gives new life to the late, great Ronnie Van Zant and really puts his back into the gritty soul of Kill Ritual.  I’m giving Karma Machine a big 10 for simply killing it in the headphones!

Check them out at www.killritual.com and www.Facebook.com/KillRitual

Also check out www.davidreedwatson.com for more info on this amazing vocalist.

 

 

            

 

The Saturday Metal Review

Deathrow

Deception Ignored

(Noise Records)

1988

 

Dr band

The Germans have been making thrash metal for many years and much like the American scene (particularly in the Bay area), many bands flourished during the heyday of the genre. One band that really caught my eye was Deathrow and after coming off the heels of their sophomore release Raging Steel (1987), the band returned with a technical masterpiece entitled: Deception Ignored. Released in 1988; this was arguably their strongest effort in terms of technical achievement with the material on this album becoming deep and complex. The riffs were highly progressive, and perhaps overly ambitious for the style, although I feel this was an underrated thrasher for the time.

Following in the footsteps of other progressive/forward thinkers like Mekong Delta and Watchtower, Deathrow were heard on this release to push the boundaries with a somewhat dry and clinical production, but there was no mistaking the brilliance behind the music.

Standout tracks are: “The Deathwish”, “Triocton” and “N.L.Y.H”.

I’m giving this 8.5 out of 10

Wicked Gardens Press Release

Well folks it is finally here! Rogue Planet Press is proud to present its latest horror anthology Wicked Gardens. HMS art director Richard Leggatt and yours truly have both contributed to the project with the cover done by us and a short short story I contributed to the anthology. The anthology is also edited by Mark Slade (the columnist of From the Grave at HMS), so get your copies while you can!

Here is the official press release:

Description

Wicked Gardens

What a wicked place indeed

Explore it, if you will

Three stories of sheer horror

Each room, another portal to hell

Each occupant, another soul to claim

 

Wicked Gardens an old three story apartment building in an unnamed city.

16 Stories, 2 Poems, and an Audio Play describing the day to day life of characters living in an old three story apartment building that exists in the shadows of psychological horrors, supernatural ecospheres, and far-reaching SF and Fantasy Plains of existence. Edited by Mark Slade and Gavin Chappell, and Featuring:

D.S. SCOTT, E.S. WYNN, GAVIN CHAPPELL, MARK SLADE, EMERIAN RICH, L.A. SYKES, SUZIE LOCKHARTAND BRUCE LOCKHART 2nd, PETE LUTZ, STEPHEN HERNANDEZ, KENNETH GALLANT, TOM PITTS, MARK E. TOMPKINS, JOHN C. ADAMS, THOMAS M. MALAFARINA, JOSEPH J. PATCHEN.

COVER ART BY KENNETH GALLANT AND RICH LEGGATT.

 

 

Wicked Gardens