Travelin Jack – Commencing Countdown

Berlin based rockers Travelin Jack don’t want to be considered a retro rock band despite clearly drawing inspiration from renowned ‘70s rock bands but regardless of obvious influences the latest release “Commencing Countdown” is undeniably packed with explosive hooks.

Listening to “Land Of The River” you know it’s time to put on your glittery makeup and platform boots as guided by Alia Spaceface’s charismatic voice the band confidently engages in groovy guitar driven rhythmic patterns which certainly hold a raw vintage sound and a detailed stylish vision.

“Metropolis” is all shimmering and loud as Alia again unleashes powerful vocals through bluesy rock melodic guitars and fun groovy dynamics that hold some funky vibes leading to a pleasant classic rock guitar solo.

The energetic “Cold Blood” continues to amplify a ‘70s rock essence as the guitar riffing diligently performed according to an upbeat rocker style culminates with a flamboyant guitar solo swiftly followed by a slightly contemplative/trippy breakdown.

Besides the usual retro rhythmic grooves “Galactic Blue” holds a subtle melancholy infused melodic core yet guitars keep a sharp bluesy rock attitude before reaching a deliberate spaced out momentum while Alia delivers another vibrant vocal performance.

On “Time” the band decides to slow down momentarily putting aside any major rock riffing galore as Alia steals the spotlight with passionate vocals soon followed by the familiar rock formula meant to create brighter and more vivacious grooves.

“Journey To The Moon” closes the album with sparkling catchiness as guitars & bass put together an exciting series of classic hard rock grooves calling for good times & party all night, an overall positive feeling particularly enhanced by a rather captivating guitar solo and Alia’s dazzling vocals.

On “Commencing Countdown” there is a lot of potential as Travelin Jack evokes in the right way all the melodic energy and the wicked rock approach typical of an unforgotten music era resulting in a quite entertaining collection of groovy songs.

b.o.s.c.h – Fleischwolf

It seems that the harsh climate of Germany’s North Sea coast had an effect on b.o.s.c.h resulting in the fierce electro metal manifesto of the latest effort “Fleischwolf”.

Immediately the album opener “Schock” is a delicious surprise as b.o.s.c.h skillfully focuses on big stomping grooves embellished by futuristic electro accents that definitely spice up the massive guitar driven rhythmic assault.

“Reiz Mich” seems to channel more aggressive metal dynamics as guitar riffs & drums become quite thick and harsh followed by inflamed vocals while quirky electro layers bring additional stylish variety.

“Blender” might have a less rambunctious start as subtle melodic guitars are ready to introduce a danceable electro atmospheric ensemble followed by exciting upbeat grooves surrounded by multiple industrial oriented arrangements.

The title track demands serious stomping on the dance floor with a dominant super catchy electro driven rhythm that also delivers some creepy accents while guitars continue to keep a sharp metal edge with bold riffing patterns.

“Du” has loads of intense industrial flavors as synths and guitars work together to ensure steady stomping worthy rhythms while vocals stand out in an energetic big chorus yet this track also features slightly somber melodic moments.

“Zu Spät” takes you to the Black Forest and its fairytale realm where bad witches are waiting for you as vocals shift from theatrical storytelling to bold tones following a mix of frenetic guitar driven grooves and spooky electro arrangements.

Overall, “Fleischwolf” relies on a modern fusion of electro/industrial element and primordial metal roots, inevitably a bit reminiscent of mighty Rammstein, as b.o.s.c.h can create absolutely raw energetic metal tunes without necessarily sacrificing a rather catchy essence.


Appice – Sinister

For more than forty year brothers Carmine and Vinny Appice have worked with many renowned artists in the metal scene and the first joint studio album “Sinister” showcases these drummers’ exceptional talent and also features some great guest vocalists/musicians.

Featuring Jim Crean on vocals the title track takes some time to get the groove going as melodic atmospheres prepare the listeners for a more rambunctious rhythm attentively built by crunchy guitars and eclectic drumming.

With Paul Shortino on vocals and Bulletboys guitarist Mick Sweda “Monsters And Heroes” immediately channels groovy hard rock flavors as gritty guitar riffs craft catchy dynamics leading to a big old school chorus while polished guitar leads add flamboyant melodic variety.

“Drum Wars” is a way to impress the audience with the Appice brothers drumming skills and the result is certainly entertaining as it doesn’t just feel like putting together a bunch of drums solos since guitars actively participate to ensure a groovy rock essence.

Featuring guitarist Bumblefoot and vocalist Jim Crean “In The Night” tends to favor inspired melodic tonalities with a majestic guitar work full of several simply outstanding leads/solos and the easy chorus effortlessly enhances the overall hard rock style.

“You Got Me Running” is quite unique as it features Carmine on vocals delivering a true veteran rocker style yet there aren’t incredible surprises in terms of songwriting as, once again, guitars and drums focus on the creation of accessible rocking grooves.

On “War Cry” vocalist Paul Shortino joins forces with Whitesnake stringsman Joel Hoekstra to deliver a full blown classic hard rock rhythmic galore with a mix of raw riffing and fancy melodic guitar leads that inevitably hold a sense of nostalgia but also a solid headbanging friendly groove.

With Jim Crean back on vocals, Erik Turner on guitar and keyboardist Erik Norlander the enjoyable “Sabbath Mash” pays homage to Black Sabbath successfully putting together a diabolically wild medley of “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and “Paranoid”.

“Sinister” stays true to a cohesive classic rock/metal formula packed also with plenty of catchy melodic moments and as expected the drums in each song tend to stand out for ability and passion as the Appice brothers carefully put together a quite entertaining record.

The Fright – Canto V

Fronted by charismatic baritone vocalist Lon Fright German dark rockers The Fright are ready to delight the audience with the fifth full length “Canto V”, a gothic rock manifesto conceptually inspired by Dante’s Inferno and the current political/social crisis.

A flourishing dark mood is immediately palpable on “Bonfire Night” as Lon Fright delivers exquisite gothic tinged vocals (we need more baritone singers in the current rock/metal scene!) in the midst of refined and always extremely catchy melodic guitars that invite you to sing along and provide a certain addictive rock groove that gets stuck in your mind.

Still keeping a very melodic approach “Wander Alone” definitely channels some entertaining goth vibes and again guitars skillfully maintain pleasantly catchy rhythmic patterns inevitably enhanced by Lon’s heartfelt vocal delivery seamlessly shifting from particularly gloomy tones to an edgy rocker style.

“Fade Away” might be mistaken for a simple borderline ballad but its inner gothic charisma should not be dismissed as recurring soft piano melodies contribute to create a rather darkly emotional palette that favors contemplative guitar melodies and inspired vocals.

You will become easily addicted to the understated beauty of the guitar melodies and the malicious dark chorus of “Oblivion” as an accessible bass & guitar combo leads to a captivating steady rock crescendo while Lon’s vocals delightfully pay homage to decades of alluring goth ‘n roll.

Featuring guest vocalist Michelle Darkness of End Of Green “Leave” has a bewitching dark aura channeling magical ‘80s goth & glam flavors, especially in the memorable chorus, and the grave vocals here are simply spellbinding bearing a dark romanticism well supported by loads of catchy melodic guitars and a fancy rocking guitar solo.

“Drowned In Red” continues to evoke the gothic mood that pervades the whole album as slow paced darkened melodies tend to dominate the song’s structure expressing pure melancholy while some crunchy guitar riffs add subtle metal influences but the darkly mesmerizing catchiness of Lon’s vocals will undoubtedly conquer any listener.

The catchy nature of the guitar driven grooves and the enchanting darkened flavors of “Canto V” absolutely deserve a wide audience as The Fright successfully & delightfully channels the best nuances of goth & rock.