Another Sunday and another super group dominates with the Guns N Roses meets INXS meets Rolling Stones collaboration The Dead Daisies taking centre stage.
We rate and review new music from Falling Red, Twelve Clay Feet and The Lonesome Southern Comfort Company.
And we check out the latest releases from Avatarium, Satan’s Wrath and Obliteration.
There’s new music from Warmaster, Izegrim and Pestilence. Plus we chart the return of Hell as the original heavy metal heroes unleash a brand new EP.
And we deliver our verdict on The Dirty Feel, Death Remains, Heart Of A Coward (pictured) and Roadside Story.
Every Sunday we reveal the RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK. And we round up the very BEST OF THE REST.
RUSHONROCK RECORD OF THE WEEK
Genre: Classic Rock/Blues Rock
Available for free in the current issue of Classic Rock Magazine, this outstanding collection of heartfelt tunes from a heavyweight line-up is well worth the cover price alone.
And once you’ve delved into the delight that is The Dead Daises don’t forget to catch them opening up for Thin Lizzy offshoot Black Star Riders when Scott Goram and co. kick off the UK leg of their debut headline tour later this month.
What will be fascinating during that meaty 19-date jaunt is how recently integrated live members Richard Fortus, Dizzy Reed, Charley Drayton and Darryl Jones present a debut album recorded by frontman Jon Stevens, fellow Aussie David Lowy and a slew of session musos.
It’s a sensational line-up that oozes experience, excitement and the X-factor required to give standout tunes Lock N Load (Slash features on the studio cut), Washington and Miles In Front Of Me the sonic boost they deserve.
Bringing Bad Company, The Allman Brothers, classic Lizzy and Free back to life, The Dead Daisies are the very epitome of retro rock. It’s been done before but this lot are more than capable of doing it all over again. And doing it well. Simon Rushworth.
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Dead Good
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Hard Rock/Sleaze Rock
Dip in and out of the domestic rock scene and it’s likely you never imagined new British bands like Falling Red actually existed. Taking their fashion lead from Motley Crue, Papa Roach and Stryper and their creative inspiration from Buckcherry, Love/Hate and Shinedown, the northern heroes look and sound like the real deal.
This fan-funded follow-up to 2010’s ballsy Shake The Faith boasts a harder edge and keener focus. The raw allure of Rozey and co. is still a major draw but this time the kick-ass songs kick much, much harder.
Opening up with the call-to-arms fury of Time To Rise, it’s clear Falling Red are no longer content to play second fiddle to the likes of Sebastian Bach and Steel Panther (just two of the acts they’ve opened up for). We Escaped A Cult and We Are Reckless stole the show on last month’s run of UK headline shows and this is a record steeped in sleaze rock quality.
Empire Of The Damned is both assured and aspirational: these are the 11 songs Falling Red needed to tackle the future with a feisty confidence. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Red Alert
Genre: Alt Rock
There’s nothing wrong with reaching for the stars but Twelve Clay Feet’s brazen bid to follow U2, Biffy Clyro and Kings Of Leon into rock music’s enormodomes falls far short of their obviously lofty ambitions.
Twenty months after debut Totem Bells sparked ringing endorsements from those in the know, this is the sound of a band struggling with the infamous second album and trying too hard to push too far, too fast.
Vocally Ian Jeffs could be the bastard son of Bono and Ian Astbury and his voice boasts a unique tone that will appeal to rock fans demanding an edge to their favourite frontmen. On lead single Hailstones Jeffs sparkles but elsewhere he simply comes across as disaffected and dull.
Too much of More Naked Than Obscene is frustratingly forgettable – By The Station Light is big on style but lacking in substance and Wrecking Ball sounds like a different band altogether. Different isn’t always good. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 5/10 Twelve Left Feet
Genre: Alt Rock/Americana
Switzerland is renowned for its neutrality, quality timepieces and Roger Federer. Alt-rock tinged Americana, however, has never been synonymous with a nation where cowbells and Gotthard’s power ballads rule.
The Lonesome Southern Comfort Company sound about as Swiss as Tina Turner but, as their fellow national will surely testify, that’s got to be a good thing. The raucous Retreat is a rousing piece of modern rockabilly and the eight minute-plus 64 Warwick Way confounds expectation.
Featuring broad strokes of pedal steel, banjo and viola – along with the traditional rock armoury – this often stripped down (That 2am Call) but consistently challenging (When He’s Down) album is a revelation.
The Big Hunt is The Lonesome Southern Comfort Company’s third album and their first foray into the UK market. It’s time to catch up quick. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 The Big Release
What is it about heavy rock’s love affair with deeply affecting female vocalists right now? Hot on the heels of Blues Pills’ biting debut EP – featuring the wistful Elin Larsson – comes this dazzling debut from label mates Avatarium boasting the bewitching talents of Jennie-Ann Smith.
Pitched slightly to the left of doom’s lighter side, the eagerly anticipated side-project of Candlemass rhythm king Leif Edling is a magical affair, fusing crushing bass lines with melodic twists to create a sweeping, surreal soundscape.
Opening up with eight minutes of the ethereal Moonhouse is a brave but brilliant tactic. A bludgeoning introduction cedes to Smith’s soaring tones and touching acoustica – the trick repeated to epic effect.
Only one of the seven songs here dares to dip below the six-minute mark and every fresh composition is a colossal triumph for tantalising blues-tinged doom. Brilliant stuff. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Leif Affirming
Genre: Blues Rock
It’s a sad fact that tragedy underpins this terrific debut from Londoners The Dirty Feel: ten years in the making, Truth Be Told is finally here at a time when guitarist Nick Hirsch is no longer with us.
The band’s founding member, primary songwriter, guitarist and vocalist passed away in March 2012 after battling a serious blood disease since his teens.
And as Truth Be Told evolves into a piece of work easily comparable to The Temperance Movement’s top 12 album and The Graveltones’ similarly bombastic debut it would be easy to be overdose on the bitter pill that is crushing irony.
It’s unlikely Hirsch would want it that way. And thanks, in large part, to his ubiquitous talent this record is more about hope and celebration than despair and introspective gloom.
Somewhere In The Romance and opener Far Gone ooze inspired blues goodness and Keep On must be the enduring message to take from a standout debut. Hirsch deserves his legacy to be heard – loud and clear. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Feel Good Factor
Coming hot (as hell) on the heels of 2012’s Galloping Blasphemies, this second effort by Satan’s Wrath is more metal than Iron Man headbanging to Judas Priest in a steelworks: former Electric Wizard drummer Tas Danazoglou and is underworld cohorts have again delivered an album that snarls, spits fire and should come with a free bullet belt.
Is it any good? Well the first pumping opening salvo of Only Satan Is Lord and Die White Witch Die are phenomenal, blood drenched anthems… and the early Slayer vibe of Ecstasies Of Sorcery well get the dandruff a’flying.
Elsewhere, the proto black metal/thrash – with a dash of NWOBHM thrown in – found on Aeons Of Satan’s Reign is enjoyable, but not exactly essential, and lacks the majestic song writing of classic Bathory, Celtic Frost et al.
However, if you’re after some good old fashioned, horn-throwing fun, you could do a lot worse. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6.5/10 Devil Music
Genre: Death Metal
Are Obliteration the saviours of extreme metal? Anyone who witnessed the young band’s 2010 UK tour with Ramesses may well have thought so… and the Norwegians unleash boast more energy, passion and sheer metallic fury than legions of their contemporaries.
Their sound is an old school, filthy racket and proud of it, an infernal mix of death metal, doom , black metal and crust punk – just listen to the stinging leads of Transien, firing over rumbling, distorted bass, and feel the adrenalin pour into your veins… and the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
There’s a haunting quality to the album’s slower moments, such as opener The Dist, while tracks like Sepulchr are pure, mosh-inducing stormers, created for serious pit-action. It all fits together seamlessly.
Granted, to more civilised ears, Obliteration’s DIY production job might be a bit too raw, but any attempt to polish Black Death Horizon would be sacrilege, and rob this opus of its potency. And who would want that? RH
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Pitch Black
Genre: Death Metal
Like Bolt Thrower and Benediction? If you’re into death metal, it’s hard not to. But there are bands out there – Hail Of Bullets being a prime example – who do a much better job of aping their sound than Warmaster (who incidentally, are named after a ‘Thrower album).
Yep, the conflict-themed song titles (Nuclear Warfare, Deadly Artillery), grinding bass and heavy ordnance riffing is all there, but with little inspiration or imagination to back it up. And vocalist Corné Bijlemeer – admittedly hampered by a poor production job – doesn’t exactly help matters with his dire delivery.
The Dutch quintet might work better live – and there’s plenty of oomph to tracks like Lies To Deny – but on record, they’ve got a long way to go before coming to close to classic albums like The Fourth Crusade and Transcend The Rubicon. Disappointing. RH
RUSHONROCK RATED: 3.5/10 Dead End
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
Searing death/thrash is the order of the day on Congress Of The Insane, with Izegrim delivering a taught, expertly played opus that will surely raise their world-wide stock levels.
Vocalist Marloes has a vicious vocal bite, her caustic assault making the likes of Unchallenged Dominance and Decline And Fall sound even more vicious, while sticksman Jeroen will have surely needed a spa break after pounding his way through these 11 tracks.
Ok, Congress Of The Insane won’t make many ‘top ten’ lists come December – it simply doesn’t have the riffs, or song writing nous, to do that – but Izegrim can’t be faulted for effort , or execution. And anyone who’s partial to a bit of Arch Enemy will surely find much to savour here (and before you ask, not because they have a blonde frontwoman). RH
RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 Ize On The Prize
Genre: Death Metal
The third album since Pestilence’s late noughties resurrection sees the tech death outfit on fine form… and giving a few young pretenders a bloody nose.
Vocalist guitarist and founding member Patrick Mameli – along with long term cohort Peter Uterwijk – wield their eight string axes with breathtaking skill, unleashing deep, ground shaking riffs on the likes of Aura Negative and NecroMorph, as well as a slew of fret scorching solos.
Obsideo, though, is not all about standing back, stroking your chin and admiring the band’s musicianship: tracks such as Laniatus boast huge, thick, chunky grooves too – ok, you can’t quite shake your booty to them, but you get the picture.
Another fine effort from the (now semi-Dutch) masters then, and one which slots in very nicely with their classic work. RH
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Spreading The Disease
Genre: Heavy Metal
As a taster for this month’s brand new full-length album, Hell’s tidy four-track heavy metal assault on the senses really does the trick.
Featuring the first single from Curse And Chapter plus three live tracks from this summer’s stunning Bloodstock Festival set, there’s more than enough head banging heritage here to satisfy the sweatiest of mosh pitters.
On Earth As It Is In Hell comes across creepier than ever in front of the baying Bloodstock hordes but seven minutes-plus of Blasphemy And The Masters is the main reason for shelling out here. Simply hellish. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Hell’s Kitsch Uns
It only seems like yesterday that HOAC’s punishing debut Hope And Hindrance caused quite a stir on the global deathcore scene and Severance builds on the momentum as these Brit upstarts truly hit their stride.
Frontman Jamie Graham sounds more angry and unpleasant than ever before as he growls and screams his way across a record built to shake the foundations of the UK’s trad metal heritage.
And there’s a genuine sense of excitement underpinning a remarkably accomplished record: Distance, Deadweight and Desensitise carry the alliterative threat and sonic fury to blast the opposition out of the water.
A downright devilish Download set opened up HOAC to a whole new audience this summer and this terrific album should sustain the buzz. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Heartfelt
Genre: Hard Rock/Sleaze Rock
On opener A Million Voices cocky frontman Makey RS wails ‘Bullshit critics no-one needs your reviews/You don’t know what real music is all about/Why don’t you shut your mouth?’. Ok. If no-one need reviews why bother mailing out promos and pestering said critics with lame press releases?
Tempting as it is to take umbrage at one of the silliest lyrics around it’s the duty of websites like this to prove to Makey and his mates that not every journalist pens bullshit. This is no place for a tit-for-tat spat. So let’s, in the spirit of fairness, focus on the music that we don’t know anything about.
It’s rooted in punk rock attitude, packs a pretty decent punch for a three-piece and is sleazier than a Soho back alley. The Scorpions-esque Demons & Temptations is a killer tune and the album’s best licks are straight from the Slash school of guitar cool. However, Makey clearly sees himself as some kind of latter day Axl Rose as he rolls out a series of cheesy ‘me versus the world’ lines in a faux Hollywood accent.
Finland is home to so many more endearing hard rock heroes right now – Michael Monroe and Olli Hermann to name but two – and Roadside Story’s leader lacks their perspective, professionalism and potential for longevity. But what do we know? SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 5/10 Same Old Story
Genre: Heavy Metal
Tragedy struck Brit wannabes After Death when two members drowned off the coast in Brazil – a country that took the band to its heart long before crowds elsewhere learned to appreciate the bludgeoning sound writ large across debut Stand.Fight.Believe.
Reborn as Death Remains, this album is a nod to a painful past and a glorious affirmation of the future. Opener Work Sleep Repeat offers compelling evidence that US trailblazers Avenged Sevenfold, Killswitch Engage and Trivium can be caught by contenders on this side of the Pond. Death Remains have made a record that suggests they’re in it for the long haul.
Blood Brothers is steeped in raw emotion, Carriers offers a frantic blast of post-metalcore and The Northern Line Massacre suggests there’s more to this band than meets the eye – just at the point Stand.Fight.Believe’s Metallica-esque title track is about to steal the show.
Make no mistake – Death Remains still have it all to do. But this album is the moment they start doing it. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Death March