Tuesday, August 15, 2017

CD Review: New Music From Heavy Metal Artists Psy:code, On Top & American Wrecking Company

There's new heavy metal music arriving this August from Psy:code, On Top and American Wrecking Company. The first Friday of the month saw the Pavement Entertainment debut from Psy:Code titled "Morke." It features 13-tracks of hard-hitting heavy metal, beginning with the screams of "Leech." The music motors through the song while Schou's vocals glide over the top to inject you with adrenaline. The energy picks up with the hardcore assault of "Ghost Of You" and "Riven" as Psy:Code examine the dark side of hardcore metal. They step back from their attack on your ears for the more melodic, goth-like tones of "Paralyzed," before the buzzsaw guitar riffs of "Introspective." They finish up their new release with the hardcore metal blast of "The Monument" and then the emotional-fueled screams of "The Strain" as the music chugs along in the backdrop. To find out more about Psy:Code and their latest release "Morke," please visit psycode.info.

Next up is the new EP from the hardcore rockers from Philadelphia, On Top. Their new album "Top Dollar" will be released on August 18th and features four songs that will certainly grab your attention. Their sound on this latest release grittier than their past releases as they feature a mix between classic Dokken and Rage Against The Machine. They open the album with the up-tempo rocker "Lovin' The Devil" led by guitar wizard Ric Haas' solos. The new release continues with "Walk The Walk" as singer/bassist Jaron Gulino rolls out the lyrics of the song like Zack De La Rocha from Rage Against The Machine. They finish up their new release with "This Way" as drummer Danny Piselli powers the song's intense, hard rock rhythm. To find out more about On Top and their latest release "Top Dollar," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ONTOPOFFICIAL.

Last, but not least we get to the latest album from Washington's premier metal band American Wrecking Company. Their new album titled "Everything And Nothing" rings the alarm in your head with the onslaught of hardcore vocals and the twin guitar attack of Randy Bebich and Ben Reynard on the opening title track. The chugging rhythm of "From Grace" and the blazing speed of "Health For Wealth" will have you raging along with lead singer T.J. Cornelius. Founding member Jeff Bloomfield powers the rhythm of "The Burning" with his bass grooves as drummer Dylan Hickey keeps the pace of the intense delivery of "Enemy." They finish up their new album with the final hardcore blast of "Mad By Design" and "Day Of Shame." To find out more about American Wrecking Company and their latest release "Everything And Nothing," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/americanwreckingcompany.

Monday, August 14, 2017

RJ Podcast: Alex Shillo Talks About Performing Live & Writing New Music For Upcoming Album

Guitarist/singer Alex Shillo talks with us about his new release "Had It All" and about performing at this year's Durham Fair and Norwalk Oyster Festival. Shillo also gives us some insight into his solo band and his Bruce Springsteen tribute band, Badlands.

CD Review: New Music From Metal Blade Records Artists Byzantine, Crimfall And Portrait

Here are a few new albums arriving from Metal Blade Records that you need to know about. First up is the latest release from the muscular, thrash metal band, Byzantine. Their new album titled "The Cicada Tree" was released back in July and features the band's most accessible music to date. The new 11-song release begins with the hard-hitting thrust of "New Ways To Bear Witness" as lead singer/guitarist Chris Ojeda injects a renewed energy into the music. The addition of Matt Bowles on drums adds an extra jolt of youthfulness to band along with bassist Sean Sydnor and lead guitarist Brian Henderson. They continue the new album with the chugging rhythm of "Vile Maxim" and the mystical, Iron Maiden-type epic "Dead As Autumn Leaves." Once again they flex their heavy metal muscle with the hardcore delivery of "Trapjaw" and "Incremental," before finishing their new album with the 9-minute progressive metal feel of "Verses Of Violence" and the classic metal of "Servitude," which gives us a reminder of Byzantine's earlier days. To find out more about Byzantine and their latest release "The Cicada Tree," please visit byzantinemetal.com.
 
Next up is the latest release from the Finnish metal band Crimfall. After six years of preparations, their new album titled "Amain" will finally be released on August 25th. Their new 10-track epic album delivers grand melodies and orchestration that will bring you back to the early Roman days of war among nations. A short two-minute introduction piece titled "Eschaton," leads into the grand delivery of "The Last Stands." The four part "Ten Winters Apart" showcases the depth of this band's songwriting and musicianship as the story plays out over this 15-minute epic piece. Crimfall finish up their new album with the emotion-fueled power ballad "It's A Long Road" and the sonic adventure of the nearly eight-minute closer "Until Falls The Rain." To find out more about Crimfall and their latest release "Amain," please visit crimfall.com.
 
Last, but not least we arrive at the latest album from Portrait titled "Burn The World." It will also be released on August 25th and features 10-tracks, beginning with a short instrumental introduction that leads into the blazing fast extreme metal of the title-song "Burn The World." The thunderous drumming of "Likfassna" and the swift guitar riffs of "Mine To Reap" shows the continuous growth in the band's sound as they continue to capture a classic heavy metal sound with their modern releases. Portrait wrap up their new album with the gentle acoustics of the instrumental "Further She Rode," which leads into the intense, power of "The Sower's Cross" and the epic, prog-metal piece "Pure Of Heart." To find out more about Portrait and their latest release "Burn The World," please visit portraitmetal.com.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

CD Review: Thor Finds Strength "Beyond The Pain Barrier" With A New Album

The self-proclaimed heavy metal god of thunder, Thor returns with a new studio album titled "Beyond The Pain Barrier." The album was released on August 4th through Dead Line Music, a division of Cleopatra Records. Thor will also be hitting the road for a 30-date North American tour.

The new 12-song release begins with the heavy metal motoring of "Tyrant" and the thunderous pounding of "The Calling" as the music will certainly get your adrenaline pumping. Thor muscles through the power ballad "When A Hero Dies," before picking the tempo back up with the chugging guitars of "On Golden Sea" and the thrash metal speed of "Twilight Of The Gods." The new album finishes with the mystical metal of "Deity In The Sky" and the 7-plus minute epic adventure of the "Quest For Valor."

Thor also has a new documentary film being released later this year titled "Return Of The Thunderhawk," which is a sequel to last year's "I Am Thor" documentary. For a complete list of live dates and to find out more about his new album "Beyond The Pain Barrier," please visit thorcentral.net.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

CD Review: Omnivore Recordings Re-Issues Alex Chilton Solo Album

Singer/songwriter Alex Chilton (lead singer of the Box Tops & co-founder of Big Star) had a mildly successful solo career from 1979 to 1999. He released 8 solo albums during that period and Omnivore Recordings is reissuing his 1995 album "A Man Called Destruction" on CD and for the first time on vinyl.

The original 12-song album gets bumped up to 19 songs with the previously unreleased bonus tracks that were added to this new re-issue of the album. Of the 12 original tracks, 6 are penned by Chilton and the other 6 are cover songs, featuring many different genres that Chilton wanted to expand into. The rockabilly opener "Sick And Tired" breathed new life into Chilton's catalog as his vocals fit perfectly into the song's swinging rhythm. He injects energy into the album with the garage rock cover of "Il Ribelle" and the classic sixties style rock instrumental "Boplexity." The original album wrapped up with the blues of "Don't Know Anymore" and the Big Star sounding "Don't Stop."

The 7 bonus tracks added the to this new release, features four songs that were recorded during the same sessions, but did not appear on the album. Songs like "You're My Favorite" has the raw, rocking appeal, while Chilton's cover of "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do" still seems like it's in the early stages of being worked on. The other 3 bonus tracks feature alternate takes and rough mixes that give a glimpse into Alex Chilton's love for making music. To find out more about this new re-issue of Alex Chilton's "A Man Called Destruction" album, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.