And today we review and rate the usual diverse mix of music featuring everyone from metal queen Doro to blues legend BB King!
We check out the latest offering from tech metal pioneers Periphery (pictured), the new EP from buzz band Press To Meco and assess Californian rockers Crown Jewel Defense.
Every Sunday we name the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK. And we deliver our verdict on the BEST OF THE REST.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Genre: Progressive Metal
If 2010’s self-titled debut created a djent (sic) in the consciousness of the progressive metal community then Periphery II (complicated album titles are not this band’s forte) has the potential to make an indelible impression on the minds of open-minded music lovers the world over.
Periphery craft the kind of cerebral riffage guaranteed to appeal as much to fans of Mastodon and Rush as Meshuggah and Sikth.
And this is an album surely designed to poke fun at a band name suggesting a career on the fringes: Periphery are ready to come in from the cold.
Scarlett might be one of the more accessible tracks here but it’s still a skilful example of ubiquitous songwriting – tapping into modern metal’s mainstream and nevertheless retaining a punchy progressive edge.
There are times when Periphery II can appear too difficult to comprehend but Misha Mansoor and his men will never be slaves to simplicity. And that’s their greatest appeal. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 II Good To Be True?
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Heavy Metal
The original metal queen and firmly established as hard rock royalty, it’s difficult to find fault with the perennially delightful Doro Pesch.
Quite apart from the fact that the mesmerising former Warlock singer has always looked like a mystical princess from some far flung fantasy world, her immersive music continues to stand the test of time.
This collection might not be the ultimate Doro career retrospective but what it does bring to the table is a thorough examination of her diversity, devotion to metal and a trademark determination to succeed.
Blazing a trail long before the melodic metal scene became dominated by female-fronted bands, Doro has consistently delivered top notch hard rock anthems across four decades.
Songs like blistering opener All We Are and the Dio-esque The Night Of The Warlock scream passion, power and an acute understanding of what the metal fan really craves. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Dorock N Roll
Genre: Alt Rock
Several years spent studying at the Biffy Clyro school of alternative rock have served Press To Meco well.
The ridiculous name, proliferation of angular chord changes and lyrics imagined in a drug-induced haze hint at a big future for these oh-so-conscientious students of Britain’s best-loved festival rockers.
Where PTM differ from Biffy is that they sound a little happier, a touch more optimistic and appear more willing to surrender to a poppier sound.
It’s no bad thing but bound to be frowned upon by those seeking a deeper connection with their indie music of choice.
All The Same could and should be the feelgood hit of the summer – if the summer ever gets started. It’s PTM at their bouncy best and the best way forward for a band with potential. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Im-Press-ive
Were it not for the unwelcome appearance of M**k H***nall this CD/DVD package would be just about perfect.
Why the Simply Red singer is allowed to tread the same hallowed Albert Hall boards as BB King is anyone’s guess. More bizarre still is the fact that he’s given equal billing to fellow ‘special guests’ Slash, Ronnie Wood and Derek Trucks.
Thankfully Hucknall’s cameo is the only downside to an otherwise delicious serving of bittersweet blues rock n roll.
Main man BB mixes mesmerising musicality with a healthy dose of mid-song banter to laugh in the face of his advancing years. An emotive version of I Need You So is utterly spellbinding.
See That My Grave Is Kept Clean – replete with BB’s story behind the song – is another genuine highlight within a set that rarely misses a beat. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 BBBrilliant
Genre: Hard Rock
Crown Jewel Defense are currently traversing the nation bidding to add a British legion to their growing army of fans and so it’s about time we took a closer look at the cute Californians.
The Start Your Engines EP may have been released in 2011 back in the States but the four songs here are still fresh as daisies for those of us in the UK.
And it’s immediately obvious that CJD are on a mission to mix Shinedown’s arena rock with some genuine hair metal melody.
Guns And Run could be Extreme fronted by Brent Smith and Alive Again does a decent job of transforming Def Leppard into Nickelback. It might all sound a little bit generic but it works.
It’s no surprise that a decent cover of GnR’s Nightrain is doing the rounds right now as this is one band that isn’t afraid to wear its primary influences with pride.
But right now there’s a need to refine and focus before the real CJD reveals itself. Then things could get seriously exciting. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 California Dreamers