And today we check out the latest releases from the Napalm stable – including My Sleeping Karma, Beyond All Recognition and Glowsun.
There are new Frontiers Records issues courtesy of Jeff Lynne and ELO plus the latest effort from extreme metal legends Anaal Nathrakh.
And this week marks the hotly anticipated return of Kiss (pictured) – replete with their Monster new release!
Every Sunday we reveal the identity of the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK. And we round up the BEST OF THE REST.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Genre: Extreme metal
The duo of Dave Hunt and Mick Kenney have spent more than a decade scorching the earth with their venomous fusion of grindcore, industrial and black metal.
And thankfully Vanitas, Anaal Nathrakh’s eighth full length, doesn’t see the boys let up one bit – from the moment opener Pulvis Et Umbra Sumus tears out of your speakers like a rabid hellhound, you know you’re in for 38 minutes, 20 seconds of pure aural Armageddon.
That said, the album isn’t one dimensional: Kenney mixes some impressive melodic guitarwork into his trademark blackened riffery and Hunt tests his vocal chords with some lofty choruses, which give extra depth to the likes of You Can’t Save Me, So Stop Fucking Trying.
Sure, Nathrakh’s acolytes will point to 2001’s The Codex Necro or 2006’s Eschaton as their best work, and Vanitas doesn’t change that. But it does stand several notches above last year’s Passion opus, and is needless to say, absolutely breathtaking in its ferocity.
If the Mayan calendar’s countdown eventually ends with something rather nasty, Anaal Nathrakh will be there to provide the soundtrack. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Annihilating
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Psychedelic/Stoner Rock
Some of the more far out moments on Soma could transport you deep into the Doctor Who archives with Cybermen and Daleks jostling for position with speaker stacks and effects pedals.
It’s a vision of the future rooted in a stoner past and creates some of the most appealing and innovative soundscapes you’ll hear all year.
Making a bold statement with the ambitious opener Pachyclada, this is an album that deals in intricacy, innovation and shimmering sci-fi ideals. It’s different. In a good way. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Soma Over The Rainbow
Beyond All Recognition are on a mission to prove that hardcore can be catchy enough to fill dancefloors and bust charts: Drop=Dead goes halfway to achieving that aim.
Mixing growling lyrics with chunky riffs and bursts of blastbeat electronica this is a tasty smorgasbord of modern metal wrapped in a tortilla of pure aggression.
Edgy vocals, an industrial vibe and the odd nod to thrash metal’s glorious past should appeal to fans of most genres. And if Rammstein are looking for their next opening act then these brazen Swedes could fit the bill. In a frightening way. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Dead Good
Genre: Stoner Rock
The French stoner rock of Glowsun has been giving fans of smoke-fuelled weekends of laid back debate pleasure for 15 years now.
And while Eternal Season doesn’t ever seek to reinvent the Gallic instrumentalists as leaders of a fuzzed-up scene it does prove there’s plenty left in the tank.
Familiar chord progressions, whispering nods to their past and a general feeling of self-satisfaction prevail. But touches of innovation make this a must-listen for the true stoner aficionado.
Hangover music for a lost generation. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 Glow And Behold
Genre: Rock N Roll
It’s been a big month for Jeff Lynne. Talk-show slots, a reappraisal of ELO’s best work on BBC Four and not one but two albums out on the same day. There’s even a blue sky over RUSHONROCK towers right now.
Long Wave is the solo accompaniment to Lynne’s reinterpretation of ELO’s finest works and sees the timeless singer add his unique style to the 60s classics that influenced a generation.
Lynne’s rendition of She is particularly affecting but there’s more where that came from on a succinct and yet richly rewarding record. This is a voice worth treasuring – hearing it deliver new material must be the next logical step. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Lynne-credible
Genre: Rock N Roll
Jeff Lynne has been a busy man: this collection of reworked and re-recorded ELO classics released on the same day as his solo nod to his favourite songs of the 60s.
And while the pre-release blurb talks of a reinvention of stone cold classics the evidence fails to back up that proud boast.
Sure the quality of the original compositions shines as brightly as any blue shy we could care to mention. But there’s simply not enough new here.
A nice collection for ELO completionists but in the age of digital downloads and targeted PR campaigns it’s impossible to view this as anything other than a cash cow. Harsh, maybe, but true. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 5/10 ELO No Not Another Best Of
Genre: Hard Rock
The massive commercial machine that is Kiss opted to deny the majority of reviewers anything more than a brief stream of Monster so truly capturing the essence of this beast of a release has proved difficult. Ensuring that stream expired last month – but demanding reviews didn’t run until October – only added to a sense of extreme control and short-sighted promotion.
Having said all of that from what we did hear of Monster it rocks. In an old-school 70s Kiss kinda way befitting the band’s realisation that it is possible to fuse the future with the past.
Opener Hell Or Hallelujah is a barnstorming signal of intent and Back To The Stone Age is a neat (maybe even ironic) comment on the glorious Kisstory of this legendary band.
And that’s about all we can say given the circumstances. This review could have been so much better (or maybe slightly worse) but middling is the best we can manage. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 Some Kind Of Monster