The Golden Grass – Absolutely

New York-based psychedelic retro rock power trio The Golden Grass is ready to jam freely on the latest effort “Absolutely” so here is your chance to embrace this catchy retro rock music journey and simply have fun.

“Show Your Hand” immediately feels like a good nostalgic trip as a slightly funky rhythm and lovable bluesy guitars truly have a genuine retro sound and are busy concocting all kinds of good time rock grooves evoking a summer outdoor festival atmosphere.

With impressive and highly entertaining guitar work “Runaway” continues to craft super groovy moments blending variegated melodic classic rock flavors with uncomplicated fluidity and psychedelic accents aptly leading to dazed & confused vibes all over the song.

“Walk Along” starts with rather nostalgic vibes enhanced by bass & guitars phrases and in general holds a highly melodic soul but also offers some psychedelic almost surreal moments before returning to a proper rock party mood.

“The Spell” offers another healthy round of guitar driven grooves screaming retro rock with that particularly enjoyable vintage sound genuinely deprived of fancy modern special effects resulting in a fun & catchy tune embellished by kaleidoscopic guitar melodies.

“Out On The Road” has a charismatic trippy and slightly heavier approach that will ultimately lead to plenty of groovy dynamics focusing on spontaneous guitar driven jams but also features easy ‘sing-along’ choruses and memorable rocking guitar solos.

Channeling full blown retro rock and positive vibes The Golden Grass are always ready to jam with an authentic vintage spirit & sound and it would not be farfetched to believe that “Absolutely” could have been released in the ‘70s.

Kalmah – Palo

Finnish band Kalmah has a lot of history and passion for melodic death metal that mixed with majestic symphonic accents dominates the songwriting style of the latest effort “Palo”.

On “Blood Ran Cold” the major melo-death dynamics are easily recognizable drenched in the beloved Nordic essence that provides the cold heavy tonalities of each instrumental passage as guitars are ready for battle with groovy riffing, fancy soloing and additional melodic splendor surrounded by a fair dosage of graceful orchestrations.

“The Evil Kin” can be rather ferocious when guitars start the song with that irresistible crunchy tone that will influence the primary riffage and symphonic orchestrations offer exquisite darkened & diabolical nuances definitely enhanced by menacing growls yet there is plenty of space dedicated to pleasant melodic crescendos & solos that carry slightly triumphant power metal tonalities.

“Take Me Away” begins with melancholy infused piano melodies and subtle atmospheric layers which will often recur throughout the song’s heavier rhythmic patterns and smoothly introduce a proper Scandinavian melo-death style skillfully built by intense melodic guitars that will reach the rightful acme with polished soothing solos.

With groovy rhythmic textures “Waiting In The Wings” features a frenetic tempo with a particularly strong riffing galore, nevertheless the hellish essence of this song doesn’t sacrifice the more accessible melodic moments that become absolutely entertaining when guitars take the center stage with quite compelling solos and neoclassical accents.

“Erase And Diverge” prepares a heavy sonic assault as thunderous drums and delightfully thick guitar riffing follow an enraging faster tempo showcasing the band’s classic death metal roots accompanied by the expected overdose of massive growls yet despite the primary heavier substance this track still features loads of melodic hooks.

A profound melancholy returns to haunt the melodic essence of “The Stalker” which definitely offers another consistent round of grandiose melodic guitars that will also offer some raw darkened riffing but a slower tempo and a contemplative mood will become a major element with loads of somber arpeggios, soulful guitar acrobatics and refined atmospheric orchestrations.

Despite several line-up changes in their long 26 years career Kalmah returns to the scene with renewed energy and confidence which ultimately leads to the cohesive blend of primordial death metal and symphonic elegance of “Palo”.

 
Palo

Black Moth -Anatomical Venus

With renewed creative energy and higher confidence British rockers Black Moth aim to deliver a raw collection of wild rock tunes drenched in darkness on the third full length “Anatomical Venus”.

Starting with understated melodic elegance “Istra” gradually gains verve when guitar riffs acquire steady retro flavors and a pretty raw sound to craft solid grooves yet subtle melodies continue to emerge throughout the song with subdued contemplative vibes. Of course the band is always flirting audaciously with the hypnotizing realm of psychedelic stoner rock in order to deliver compelling vintage grooves and Harriet Hyde’s sultry vocals clearly match such moody textures.

“Moonbow” goes straight to raw rock dynamics building a nice flow of guitar driven grooves spiced up by Harriet’s charming vocals shifting from soothing delivery to seasoned rocker attitude through layers of fiery fuzzy distortion and a rocking guitar solo.

On “Sisters Of The Stone” the doom heritage is greatly amplified as guitar riffs become heavier yet maintain a retro rock urgency naturally leading to powerful groovy blasts and additional stoner rhythmic variations while Harriet’s voice provide extra witchy vibes

On “Severed Grace” the ‘70s doom/rock nuances are again quite prominent in the midst of rumbling guitar riffs holding subtle sinister vibes which will lead to a particularly addictive chorus relying on memorable chords & seductive vocals followed by a slower almost mystical breakdown that builds suspense to introduce a wilder essence with an entertaining gritty guitar solo.

“A Lovers Hate” picks up speed with sweaty rocking guitars that enthusiastically mix easy melodies and fuzzy loving riffs as the whole instrumentation works together to ensure impactful grooves channeling classic stoner textures and hyper energetic garage rock spontaneity.

“Tourmaline” feels more hypnotizing and surreal focusing on dreamy fluid melodies and softer vocals to create a bewitching soundscape that will eventually offer spacey lead guitar variations and vibrant rhythms without sacrificing the intriguing hazy rock mood.

As “Anatomical Venus” showcases a fair dosage of darkened energy Black Moth are definitely following the right pathway to conquer more acolytes and to establish a charismatic musical identity.

Memoriam – The Silent Vigil

If you paid attention last year you should have not missed the debut album of Memoriam, the new project featuring ex-Bolt Thrower veterans Karl Willets and Andy Whale. One year later, the band is ready to offer another massive round of old school death metal anthems on the new release “The Silent Vigil”.

“Soulless Parasite” truly holds the raw feelings of death metal unleashing traditional thick guitar riffs & bass lines perfectly supported by massive drumming and Karl’s signature vocal style as the whole instrumentation appears to be very focused on the chosen music pathway fully reminiscing the glorious days of death metal in the midst of a doom tinged atmosphere.

“Nothing Remains” further amplifies the band’s death metal roots as guitars acquire a faster punishing attitude matched by a monolithic rhythmic section that confidently ensures high impact and headbanging friendly dynamics but doesn’t refrain from adding diversity with groovy variations.

“As Bridges Burn” immediately channels doom nuances and feelings of desperation through a series of untamed guitar riffing always supported by an intense rhythmic ensemble that draws strength & inspiration from the mournful depths of death metal especially when the whole instrumentation gains extra speed and consequent menacing quality.

“The New Dark Ages” becomes aptly darker with a monochromatic sonic assault meticulously built by hellish guitar riffing and majestic drums but again there are plenty of almost accessible grooves that occasionally slow down the rhythmic ferocity with some melodic accents but certainly maintain a true death metal essence.

“Weaponised Fear” features heavy doom nuances and darkened atmospheres that enrich the classic raw textures of death metal with the addition of haunting guitar melodies and slightly complex rhythmic variations but once again the band stays true to the expected familiar instrumental dynamics.

Conceptually based on themes of loss and dissolution “The Silent Vigil” reveals a somber contemplative side yet Memoriam is committed to deliver absolutely traditional death metal also using a raw underground style production.
The Silent Vigil

Green Druid – Ashen Blood

Denver-based psychedelic stoner doom collective Green Druid is currently celebrating the release of the trippy debut album “Ashen Blood” testing out sixteen strains of weed for eight weeks which is something they call Weed Olympics and it certainly seems like a lot of fun.

It gets dark early on “Pale Blood Sky” as slow and suffocating rhythmic segments are executed in proper arcane doom fashion with a taste for occult rock flowing through the incredibly thick guitar riffs yet the band crafts obscure melodic moments with atmospheric accents that belong to nightmarish soundscapes.

On “Agoraphobia” the painfully slow rhythm is constantly fueled by an uncompromising lust for darkness and naturally evokes an oppressive mood with evident funeral doom tonalities while a psychedelic streak pervades the atmosphere with essential arcane vibes that will simply enrich the monolithic guitar riffs marching fiercely through the absolutely bleak depths of the band’s doom roots.

The hypnotizing darkness of the lengthy “Cursed Blood” seems endless as it completely fills the raw riffing of the agonizing slow heavy rhythmic patterns and the scattered melodic guitar moments evoking a dreamy contemplative mood yet the stoner rock vibes are often dominant and ready to provide groovier dynamics in the midst of several traditional doom monochromatic sections resulting in a strong mixture that might make you feel stoned.

With doomed majesty “Ritual Sacrifice” feels ominously heavy emerging from some forgotten darkened abyss to deliver a wall of gritty guitar riffs that channel also the cosmic flavors of classic stoner rock and the whole instrumentation is always surrounded by a mystical atmosphere that joins forces with spacey guitar melodies to create a profoundly hazy mood.

With the mysterious aura of “Ashen Blood” Green Druid are clearly not trying to sound trendy and gather a wider audience at all costs, instead they focus on an authentic overdose of stoner doom metal further embellished by surreal atmospheric nuances which prove the band’s genuine devotion for such music genre.

Oceans Of Slumber – The Banished Heart

Progressive metal quintet Oceans Of Slumber has certainly gained a lot of attention in the last few years leading to truly high expectations for the long awaited new album “The Banished Heart” which showcases a profoundly darkened essence also inspired by the band’s personal emotional turmoil.

On “The Decay Of Disregard” a mellow melodic piano piece and ambiance layers introduce a series of sharp blackened guitar riffs which will gradually acquire polished technical prog dynamics within an ever-changing rhythmic ensemble that still preserves a whirlwind of authentic emotions expressed through complex melodic passages and Cammie Gilbert’s passionate vocal performance while the whole instrumentation is perennially channeling darkened feelings.

“Fleeting Vigilance” immediately favors melancholic melodies with minimalist slow guitars that will undergo a blackened evolution leading to darker harmonies and significantly heavier rhythmic patterns while Cammie’s spellbinding voice continues to create ethereal emotions and graceful melodic quality in contrast with fierce growls through meticulously elaborate prog inspired tempo & style variations.

The title track favors refined melodic textures with poetic quality as the rhythm gets slower to enhance the emotional intensity of Cammie’s voice in the midst of doom & gloom atmospheric nuances that will acquire the absolute spotlight with the addition of several elegant melodic piano passages evoking heartbreak and pure melancholy that will inevitably move the listeners.

“Etiolation” holds a doom essence that influences every rhythmic pattern providing extra darkened crunchy tones for the primary & heaviest guitar riffs amplified by furious growls and thunderous drumming but the song still fully embraces an understated melodic pathway often embellished by fancy prog accents and technical skills.

With a fierce guitar driven beginning “A Path To Broken Stars” conjures a dark soundscape blending again minimalist doom oriented tonalities and loads of prog twists provided by intriguing guitar work and while there are many heavy segments Cammie’s voice focuses more on the creation of delicate harmonious moments.

With an immensely sorrowful mood “No Color, No Light” will immediately stand out for the exquisite vocal duet between Cammie and Evergrey’s Tom S. Englund that constantly enrich the melancholic fragile guitar melodies and provide extra emotional depth to the doom style desolation of guitar passages and cathartic atmospheric arrangements.

Due to the untamed desire to explore diverse music territories and the consequent predilection for intricate textures “The Banished Heart” is probably not an album for the masses focused on easy melodic hooks nevertheless it is still an accessible music experience and there will be listeners willing to get lost in the unconventional sonic labyrinths and the extraordinary emotional journey skillfully crafted by Oceans Of Slumber.
The Banished Heart

Eyes Set To Kill – Eyes Set To Kill

American trio Eyes Set To Kill worked hard to gain popularity and the catchy melodic alt rock & post-hardcore style of the latest self-titled album will certainly please the fans.

On “Die Trying” the alt rock essence is definitely prominent with loads of raw distorted guitar dynamics that maintain simple rhythmic patterns that will culminate with a super catchy chorus filled of ‘90s rebel vibes.

“Break” immediately feels wilder & heavier as guitar riffs often showcase hardcore elements yet the main focus seems to be an emotional whirlwind clearly palpable in the melodic passages and melancholy infused vocal delivery.

“Survive” relies on heavy stomping grooves mixed with some modern atmospheric layers that surround the accessible melodic chorus while vocals effortlessly shift from raspy screams to tormented emotive delivery.

“Devastated” offers all the elements of a power ballad with mellow atmospheres and extremely melancholic vocals as the bands definitely favor bittersweet melodies and leaves little space for the crunchy guitar riffing.

Starting with softer chords and somber atmospheric layers “Drift Away” proceeds to offer strong melodic moments always matched and further enhanced by a mix of heartfelt and gritty vocals.

“Misery” offers soothing and deeply melancholic vibes again focusing on emotionally charged melodies with scattered heavier guitar driven accents and alt rock vibes in the easy chorus but vocals definitely continue to hold a dominant role fully expressing sincere emotions.

“Who We Used To Be” closes the album with a higher dosage of bouncy hardcore oriented rhythmic blasts and slick guitar riffs yet the recurring melodic textures maintain a primary role in the song’s structure.

Clearly Eyes Set To Kill aims to gather a wide audience rather than crafting innovative or complex songs therefore if you’re looking for radio friendly choruses & melodies you will find plenty on this new album.

Angra – Omni

Angra happens to be one of my favorite bands. Kiko Loureiro’s departure from this band was very hard for me, being that he’s my favorite guitarist, but they couldn’t have found a more suitable replacement for him. Marcelo Barbosa is the closest in playing style that they could have found. He proved that with the Almah material and this new Angra album!

“Light Of Transcendence” Opens the album very powerfully. The “fast” Angra we all know. Speed metal/Thrash riffing. Dual guitar leads. High vocals. Basically what you would expect from them.

“Travelers Of Time” Opens with some cool Brazilian percussion over metal riffing. This track has everything old school Angra fans will want to hear.

“Black Widow’s Web” Has a bit more of a theatrical vibe, combined with modern metal. There’s a really cool combo of harsh vocals here from the singer of Arch Enemy Alissa White-Gluz. It’s definitely a “mean” sounding track. I like that they tried something different with this one

“Insania” All I have to say about this is, it’s all about the verse in this song! Great mix, dynamics, and bass work. There’s great lead work in this song. It’s super memorable. Fabio’s vocals really showcase a warmer side of his voice on this track.

“Caveman” Is a very proggy track. You get some awesome Brazilian vocal chants with cool percussion at the beginning, along with some other changes. The bass playing on the bridge sections is all over the place. There’s some great dual guitar work as well. This song is all over the place.

“Magic Mirror” Is even more proggy, venturing into Dream Theater territory, with synths and what not. Angra tries a bit of everything on this album.

I won’t spoil the rest, but the ending of this album is quite epic. We’ll leave it at that.

Mile Marker Zero – The Fifth Row

The buzz around prog rockers Mile Marker Zero will be certainly amplified by the sophomore full-length concept album “The Fifth Row” lyrically inspired by how technology influenced our lives and filled with modern technical prog nuances.

The song’s structure of “2001” is definitely influenced by decades of prog rock/metal as the band offers a cohesive ensemble of groovy guitar riffs and catchy melodic textures with slick technical accents and tempo variations further embellished by fancy multifaceted guitar work and lovely retro keyboards.

With an intriguing blend of quite accessible bright melodies and powerful rock grooves “Digital Warrior” will immediate capture the listeners’ attention yet this track is also characterized by impressive technical complexity leading to multiple compelling style & tempo changes that will include a more aggressive guitar riffing as well as soothing piano pieces.

“The Architect” features a melodic rock fluidity that will appeal to a wide audience with pleasant vocal delivery and powerful guitar driven grooves but once again there is a lot going on here due to the constant charismatic guitar work and the surrounding understated beauty of melancholic atmospheric layers.

“Building a Machine” could not sound groovier with powerfully tight guitar riffs and a stylish background of futuristic synths well supported by a thick bass & drums combo while the experimental approach expressed by a brief contemplative dreamlike moment will be swiftly followed by interesting prog dynamics.

At times “Propaganda” might showcase a mainstream rock vibe with easy choruses nevertheless guitars often continue to impress with confident prog style prowess and the consequent dazzling intricate melodic textures of the solos marching through strong polychromatic rhythmic patterns.

“Age Of Jason” features absolutely fierce rhythmic dynamics as guitars acquire a bold prog metal attitude leading to big groovy riffs that will eventually give way to pleasantly melodic & luminous solos flowing through syncopated drum blasts and borderline chaotic modern synth layers.

“Collective” instead closes the album with a contemplative melodic approach where minimalist harmonies and soft heartfelt vocals acquire a prominent role accompanied by elegant ambiance style atmospheres evoking surreal soundscapes later interrupted by another round of noteworthy lavish guitar work focused on the creation of multiple memorable solos.

With the energetic rock essence of “The Fifth Row” Mile Marker Zero will inevitably impress the audience with talented musicianship and a refreshing creative force particularly evident in the cleverly variegated instrumental passages.

 

Michael Schenker Fest – Resurrection

Under the moniker Michael Schenker Fest legendary rock guitarist Michael Schenker releases the latest powerful effort “Resurrection” and for this occasion he has gathered the three M.S.G. singers Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet and Robin McAuley, Doogie White (Michael Schenker’s TEMPLE OF ROCK) as well as musicians Steve Mann (guitars, keyboards), Ted McKenna (drums) and Chris Glen (bass) plus guest appearances from Kirk Hammett, Wayne Findlay and Michael Voss-Schoen are included.

“Heart And Soul” ensures a bombastic beginning unleashing tight old school rock/metal guitar riffs slightly embellished by some subtle symphonic accents while vocals also follow a familiar rocker style and through the solid stomping rhythm Schenker is ready to impress the audience with the expected dosage of elegant shredding and killer guitar acrobatics.

“Warrior” starts slower feeling almost like a standard rock ballad and the whole song does maintain a pleasant melodic essence yet there are also some chunky riffage and battle style big choruses to add rhythmic variations which will ultimately lead to a necessary round of charismatic lead guitar work.

On “Everest” guitar riffs skillfully build more frenetic rhythmic patterns properly bearing classic rock flavors and in general guitars take the expected spotlight delivering multiple compelling licks and solo that will certainly please the listeners.

With a faster tempo “Time Knows When It’s Time” offers some turbulent rhythmic segments but the main melodies diligently follow ‘80s melodic rock templates with the addition of easy big choruses and the whole song ultimately relies on the elegantly precise guitar work.

“Anchors Away” becomes more melancholic with a sumptuous atmospheric background on which guitars and vocals will craft classic catchy melodies with remarkable ‘70s nuances and the polished melodic guitar solo definitely matches such mood.

The instrumental track “Salvation” showcases higher complexity starting with soft atmospheres which introduce a series of highly entertaining guitar melodies that effortlessly express somber emotions as well as classic hard rock flavors as Schenker focuses on his renowned style to deliver impressive progressions.

“The Last Supper” offers another compelling moment with a widely accessible mix of melancholia infused melodies and crunchy guitar riffs that hold a nostalgic ‘80s classic rock mood favoring slower rhythms spiced up by a dazzling guitar solo.

It would be hard to describe this album as groundbreaking but undoubtedly “Resurrection” is an explosive collection of songs designed to please Michael Schenker’s devoted fans and in general classic melodic rock lovers as it contains many catchy classic vibes perfectly executed according to Schenker’s signature fancy style.