There’s new music from Romeo’s Daughter, Therapy? (pictured) and Satyricon.
Plus we review and rate the latest offerings from Satan’s Wrath, Chaos Delivery Machine and Gov’t Mule.
We deliver our verdict on As It Is and The Crunch.
And there’s more new music courtesy of Six Feet Under, Kings Destroy and Saturnian Mist.
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: Folk Metal
By Korpiklaani’s standards three years is a significant period between albums but bettering 2012’s RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Manala was always going to require a serious spell in the studio.
Noita is proof positive that it’s been time well spent where the fabulously wacky Finns are concerned. Soaked in folk yet sweating metal, a tried and tested formula has been carefully distilled to such an extent that there’s not a bad tune here.
The first half of Noita flies by as founder Jonne Jarvela wraps his tongue around the short, sharp blasts of folk metal that are Viinamaen Mies, Pilli On Pajusta Tehty and Luontoni.
But Korpiklaani come into their own when their multi-layered music is given room to breath: Mina Nain Vedessa Neidon is remarkable. Simon Rushworth
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Korp In The Act
BEST OF THE REST
Genre: Melodic Rock/AOR
In a recent interview with RUSHONROCK (out later this week), Romeo’s Daughter singer Leigh Matty admitted she still can’t quite understand why she took an 18-year break from doing the job she loves. Neither can we.
But there’s no point dwelling on the past. Enjoying a new lease of life, a second wind and another stab at rock and roll glory, the powerful, impassioned frontwoman exudes confidence on the spectacular Spin.
Buoyed by the reaction to critically acclaimed comeback album Rapture, it seems Matty and her Romeo’s Daughter band-mates are in no mood to let their latest chance slip.
Guitarist and principal songwriter Craig Joiner has crafted a raft of hummable riffs perfectly suited to one of rock’s finest female vocalists and the highlights come thick and fast in the shape of Perfect Plan, Already Gone and Didn’t See It Coming.
If there’s one criticism it’s that standout track Radio – premiered at Hard Rock Hell AOR earlier this year – is a whole six songs in! But it’s well worth the wait. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Spinspired
Genre: Pop Punk
Since their formation a couple of years ago, As It Is have slogged around the country playing shows of all shapes and sizes as they honed their craft and have become the first non-US act to be signed by Fearless Records.
With the average age of the band just 23, this album defies their youth in terms of musical arrangement, with gripping hooks and crowd pleasing, singalong choruses giving the feel of an act that have been doing this for years.
Much like many of the big names in pop punk, As It Is provide a vocal heavy approach with a strong emphasis on drum patterns and energetic chord progressions, which can be seen most prominently in tracks such as Dial Tones and Cheap Shots And Setbacks.
With festival season fast approaching, this is an album that kids all over the country will fall in love with, and will no doubt go down a treat during their afternoon slots at some of the big attractions. Adam Keys
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 After Shock
Genre: Alt Rock/Punk Rock
With one of the finest line ups of punk musicians around, The Crunch have finally landed with their second album, providing an enthralling mix of power pop and punk.
While opening track Lonely Beat Of The Heart gives the impression of one of Springsteen’s more pop numbers, Sulo Karlsson’s vocals give that beautiful dirty feel that override the pop element and make this a real rock tune.
The album’s stand out comes in the form of Neon Madonna, a number with a heavy influence from The Clash, which Terry Chimes will no doubt have played a big role in.
Having been formed from a background of 1978’s finest, The Crunch take a vocal heavy, but melodic approach, with a polished piece of work which perhaps defies their early days and shows their musical maturity, with Solid Rock Steady being the only track that contains that bit of rough and readiness.
While this album is not in your face and filled with anger, it will surely go down well with the punk community as the band pull no pretentions, and have simply put together an easy to listen punk album that is consistent throughout. AK
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Bone Cruncher
Genre: Punk Rock
When they say punk rock isn’t dead, Chaos Delivery Machine are the type of band they are talking about. Even the name is a throwback to when mohawks were the norm and disrespecting your elders was encouraged.
Even though Burn Motherfucker Burn is 20 songs long, its running time is 40 minutes, with the songs being as fast, frantic and anarchic as you’d expect from a band who use profanity like a sixth vowel (excluding Y.)
This album contains everything that is good with punk rock and the whole movement. This is a band having fun creating music and this is a band having fun by sticking two fingers up at the ‘establishment’, whatever that means in their eyes. Like any good punk rocker, Burn Motherfucker Burn contains the type of social commentary that pricks at your conscience and makes you think, even for just a second, about the wider world. Russell Hughes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 First Class Delivery
Genre: Black Metal
Neo-classical metal mash-ups are nothing new but few bands as brutal as Satyricon have been brave enough to break free from a traditionally suffocating genre and hook up with a full operatic choir.
Oslo was the scene for an historic partnership that somehow allowed frontman Satyr’s fury to rise above a soaring vocal collective. The trick with any collaboration on this scale is to nail the mix and neither the metal nor the opera wins out: this is a stirring combination of styles that fuses both extremes of the musical scale with surprising ease.
Now Diabolical sets the bar just two songs into this lengthy set as Satyr establishes an instant, almost instinctive rapport with the Norwegian Opera Choir. This is heavy and dark, ambitious and astute.
Anything less and it’s unlikely Satyricon would have put their reputation on the line. Ultimately Live At The Opera casts the hometown heroes in a vibrant new light. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 Con Artists
Genre: Alt Rock
Few bands posses the balls or the life experience to pen a tune entitled Torment Sorrow Misery Strife. Fewer still successfully avoid any hint of ridicule in doing so. But Therapy? aren’t any old band.
The Northern Irish veterans have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt and the penultimate track on Disquiet is rich in its bitterness, regret and loss of all hope. It’s familiar territory and it’s frighteningly believable.
But here’s the thing. Disquiet is – relatively speaking – the most upbeat, optimistic and accessible Therapy? album for years with Still Hurts and Good News Is No News harking back to their mid-90s commercial heyday.
Consistency, professionalism and endeavour aren’t always associated with the puck rock ethos that underpins these British treasures. But they’re the reason Therapy? remain at the top of their game. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Disquietly Confident
Genre: Progressive Metal
One of the biggest draws at Hammerfest earlier this year, Floridians Kamelot have finally navigated their way through the choppy post-Roy Khan waters and emerged focused on taking a fresh approach to progressive metal.
Perhaps forever saddled with plying their trade in the shadow of fellow Americans Queensryche, new frontman Tommy Karevik at least offers the band an opportunity to explore a more symphonic route. His polished tones and theatrical delivery work well – adding a Broadway sheen to Kamelot’s power metal roots.
Guest vocals from Arch Enemy growler Alissa White-Gluz and Delain’s Charlotte Wessels create extra layers of intrigue as Haven comfortably eclipses 2012’s Silverthorn (Karevik’s debut) – a feat in itself. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Haven Help Us
Genre: Alt Rock/Garage Rock
Surely the biggest rock and roll band that never was, it’s still a mystery why BRMC aren’t in a position to deliver Live At Wembley Stadium by now.
But the band’s swift ascension – followed by an equally dramatic fall from grace – makes their story and their music ever more compelling.
Opening up with a lazy, hazy, shoegazy version of Fire Walker threatens to kill the mood from the off but it’s as brave as it is foolhardy. And of course it ushers in 2013’s Specter At The Feast – a record BRMC go on to play in its entirety and in order.
The second half of the set ups the pace and ups the ante with Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, from 2010’s album of the same name, the start of a career-spanning best-of rollercoaster ride.
Wrapping up with Whatever Happened To My Rock And Roll (Punk Song) is both predictable and necessary. Omitting this 14-year-old classic would have sparked a riot on the streets of Paris. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10 French Connection
Genre: Thrash/Black Metal
Throw Venom , Possessed and Bathory into a blender, add in a pinch of early Slayer and a drizzle of Kreator and you‘ll get Satan’s Wrath’s monstrous third album, an exhilarating, blasphemous, speed-fuelled injection of pure heavy metal.
Mastermind multi-instrumentalist Tas Danazoglou and his cohorts have always hinted that they could conjure this kind of record, but never quite hit the nail on the head. Die Evil, though, is the ultimate manifestation of Danazoglou’s hellish musical vision, crackling throughout with pure energy and imbued with a spirit of hateful malevolence.
Want highlights? Raised on Sabbaths is a frantic opener, a mighty adrenalin kick of quick-fire proto-thrash; Coffin Lust is a punked-up, Venomous onslaught; and the anthemic A Mindless Servant of Satan should surely serve as the band’s Iron Maiden or Ace of Spades. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Put simply, if you have a metal flowing through your veins and any fire in your belly, you’ll be windmilling to Die Evil within seconds of hitting the play button. Lucifer is going to love it…Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8.5/10 Evil Deeds
Genre: Reggae/Blues/Classic Rock
Focused firmly on Gov’t Mule’s fabled collaboration with reggae giant Toots Hibbert, the most illuminating in the 20th anniversary celebration series of archived live releases brings this band’s true versatility to the fore.
Available as a single disc, double vinyl and deluxe (three CDs and a DVD) version, a veritable treasure trove of Mule music awaits: the material featuring Hibbert a true revelation.
54-46 Was My Number introduces the man himself and by the time Toots and the Mule are belting out Reggae Got Soul it’s clear this is an incredibly special partnership thrown together by the musical gods.
It’s not always rock – disc three of the special edition offers fans a bluesier, classic rock-tinged set with Gregg Allman and John Popper making guest appearances – but it’s always a joy.
Having celebrated their first two decades in typically flamboyant style there’s no limit to what Gov’t Mule might achieve another 20 years down the line. SR
RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10 Lovely Dubly
Genre: Black Metal
Yes, there’s plenty of vicious tremolo-picking on this Finnish black metal effort. Plenty of harsh vocals too. But make no mistake, Saturnian Mist plough their own furrow and do much to make their brand of BM an expansive, open-minded one. A distinct Eastern influence permeates tracks like Roof of the Coiled Serpent and The Heart of Shiva, while the use of both a drummer and percussionist sees the band unleashing quasi-tribal rhythms, making the likes of Voodoo Satan all the more potent.
There are dips in momentum, certainly: Evoking God is an unnecessary, pretentious diversion, Yoga, Hate, Fuck an extended jam which brings the album to a close with a whimper. However, at their strongest – The True Law, for instance – Saturnian Mist are tight, focused and utterly compelling, their infectious melodies cutting through a barrage of vicious riffs and pummelling double bass work.
Chaos Magick may only be the sextet’s second full length, but this Tampere-based outfit are a genuinely exciting prospect… and proof that Finland’s rich extreme metal scene is still capable of turning heads. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Otherworldly
Genre: Stoner Rock/Metal
Doom metal meets Helmet? Alt-stoner? However you classify Kings Destroy, you have to admit that Brooklyn boys kick out some seriously cool jams. Perhaps it’s because their backgrounds in the New York hardcore scene allow them to come at the whole downtuned, Sabbathian groove thing from a different angle.
The concrete slab of a riff which kicks of opener Smokey Robinson could have come from the Page Hamilton songbook circa 1992 (nothing wrong with that) and there’s a clarity to Kings Destroy’s music, a simplicity of approach, which allows vocalist Steve Murphy to flex his melodic muscles. Indeed, it’s nice to hear doom/stoner music sung in a less overtly ‘metal’ way than you’d normally experience and Murphy’s style is particularly engaging on the stunning Embers.
Anyone with both Wool and Goatsnake t-shirts in their wardrobe may have found the perfect band in Kings Destroy… and their second album (though a little short) has much to offer rock fans of any persuasion. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 7.5/10 Holding Court
Genre: Death Metal
Six Feet Under – despite myriad line-up changes – have managed to be pretty prolific since the turn of the decade, with Crypt of the Devil coming on the back of 2012’s Undead and 2013’s Unborn pairing. This release sees legendary vocalist Chris Barnes welcome three members of Cannibal Corpse worshipping stoners Cannabis Corpse into the fold… and the result is an opus full of gore drenched, catchy anti-anthems like Open Coffin Orgy and Break the Cross in Half.
Cannabis Corpse’s Phil Hall (also of Municipal Waste) has leant his writing skills to much of this new material, and it has helped to keep Six Feet Under both invigorated and invigorating: this is quality American DM make no mistake, with a rawer, less polished feel than its predecessor and some nice, chewy riffs to get your teeth into, plus a bit of groove too (see Compulsion to Brutalize).
Ok, so Crypt of the Devil doesn’t re-write the rulebook, but we wouldn’t expect it too: Barnes and his cohorts keep making death metal that’s really worthy of the name – and surely that’s all that matters…Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10 Burial Rites