A good collection of new music this week, including a couple of singles and a rather cool animated film for good measure. Granted, some of it involved abject frustration but in this case it's a good thing.
Crowning Glory: "Dead Man's Paradise"
Very Maiden-esque power metal that is both influenced and compelling at the same time. This is not your Maiden clone; but all the elements are there. Whether it be the wonderful solo in the middle or the soaring vocals, it's good stuff that will have you head-banging with the best of 'em.
The track is taken for their excellent and widely acclaimed EP Path to Glory, something all metal heads should seek out soon. Think Maiden tinged with a taste of Dio and some new wave of thrash. "Dead Man's Paradise" is just a wonderful slab of heavy metal glory.
NFD: "When the Sun Dies"
Those miserable goths of NFD are back with a single that perfectly fits the great days of winter. This is lead track of the new album Deeper Visions and will no doubt have the goth heads filling the dance floor at their local club. And, of course, the single has an extreme mix (over 8 minutes) of the track that is even more darkwave and danceable. Having seen them live and enjoyed their last album, this single is great sign of what is to come. And everyone needs a bit of goth in their lives don't they?
Proggy metallic metal that is both catchy and clever. It is no shock then that this lot are in some of the U.S. top universities and this is their side line. Think a good combo of Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, and a dash of Rush; you would be almost there. The additional neat thing about them is that there are no vocals on this track. It's an instrumental that is so good you never even miss 'em. And you all know how rare that is. These guys have the guts and maybe a touch of arrogance to believe they can get away with it; and they do in spades.
This is the perfect music if you need to get something done, but don't want to catch yourself singing along to whatever is on. It's ideal writing, working out, or reading music for the swotty metal-head. This is the anti-Pure Moods CD.
As its an instrumental there are so real standouts as it meshes together into a clever and wonderfully cool soundscape. I would be really rather surprised if some of this lots material does not appear on a movie/TV soundtrack or two. Great stuff that dares to challenge the norm.
Chop Suicide: demo
Young, dumb, and full of cum; I mean that in a good way. Staci T Rat formerly of Red Light Rippers, who got some praise from this reviewer, has hooked up with some bird called Danyell formerly of Pantychrist. This is GNR/LAGuns with female lead vocals. There is oodles of attitude and plenty of catchiness about.
Danyell has a Joan Jett quality to her voice. CS rock like the crap music scene of the 90s never happened. They got attitude to put a smile on your face. On the strength of tracks "Runnin on Empty" expect to hear big things from this lot…and soon.
Die So Fluid: Not Everybody Gets a Happy Ending
I got Grog & Co's latest slab of goth tinged heavy rock the same day as I watched that drug addled talentless bimbo (who seems to spend more time on her makeup than her lyrics) Amy Winehouse deliver her blithering acceptance speech for her Grammys. This was the perfect antidote but it also infuriated. Why this lot have not been signed to a major label and are not off conquering the U.S. is beyond me. Arse-kicking live, with a stunning front woman and oddles of talent to back it up, by rights they should be huge by now.
Needless to say UK majors are too dense to see them for what they are. I was pleased to see this album listed on Amazon.com.
But enough about that what has not happened and let's talk album. This is another cracking collection that features all the aspects of this band's talent whether is Grog's varied vocal abilities (ranging from soaring to downright creepy deathy grunt) or the band's (Al Fletcher, an underrated guitarist extraordinary and Mr. Drew on drums) obvious music talent. Check out the Zeppelin-esque intro to the title track before it all kicks off. I suspect this track will kick live when I see them next week. And finally "The Kiss and then the Kick" has hit single written all over it.
Iron Maiden: Live After Death
I am not sure of the demographics of the readership of this column, but I would suspect that many of you have this on at least one other format if not more. It is one of the best live albums ever recorded, from one of the best live tours any metal band has ever put together and it records a moment in time when at least one genre of metal was born. Oodles of power metallers all over the world list the "Powerslave" tour as the moment they knew what kind of music they played. It was the tour that made the band huge in the U.S. and it set the stage for the stage shows that followed.
This DVD; plus a continuation of "History of Iron Maiden," "Behind the Iron Curtain documentary," "Rock in Rio 85' live gig" and "Ello Texas," is a live testament to the amazing tour that it was. Even if you were in the audience that epic night in LA you will be sucked into the majesty that is Iron Maiden. I saw them in Hollywood, Florida on this tour and was left stunned. You know the songs on the album from the Churchill intro to "Aces High" to the dieing notes of "Sanctuary".
Is this worth owning? Damn straight it is… but can you resist buying tickets to the upcoming full "Powerslave set" tour?
And finally I am sneaking in a DVD that is not music but that my readers might enjoy. It's certainly better than the pile of dinosaur dung that is the latest Turok game
Turok: Son of Stone
A new movie based on the legendary franchise of Turok that has spawned comics and computer games is what you get here. I see this animated feature not only interesting fans of the Turok of old but appealing to those who like a bit of proper anime and animation.
This is nothing like the Cartoon Network or Japanimation that you see on cable during the day. There is no fluffy big-eyed cheap animation on show here. This is far closer in scope, feel, and violence to some of the great anime from Japan. While having a very "Western" feel to the animation, it takes the influence of free flowing anime epics and runs with it.
The artwork of the "lost world" on show is most impressive. It evokes a feeling of ancient savagery that makes Turok; a product of American Indian culture, seem tame by comparison. It's an epic yarn that makes sure to pull you in and involve the viewer; not just relying on the action to keep the pace. No Land of the Lost campness on show here.
Included in the DVD is an informative "making of" documentary that both tells the history of the character and this new interpretation of the myth. Should you be so moved there is a commentary soundtrack that can be turned on.
This is as good as any animated movie package out there and I suspect that one might find oneself viewing this more than once. While not of the caliber of Akira or Ghost in the Shell this does take a good stab at grown-up animation.
Well worth the price of admission methinks.
That is your tasty lot for this week. New or old nothing to bad and quite a lot that is really rather good. Next time I should have a live gig review from the DSF CD launch (my first post-cancer live music outing). As always stay aware, rocking, and safe. Check out live music where ever you can.