The avalanche of review material is slowing down a bit as music business types think about their summer holidays and what festivals they are going to blag their way into. Not that is a bad thing, of course, as I plan to blag my way into at least one. There is one DVD and a great collection of CDs releases.
In fact this is one of those DVD/CD combos (as opposed to the other way round) that is a highlights set of last year's Metalmania event in Poland, its 20th anniversary. Now as you might have gathered from the name Metalmania errs towards the heavy end of the spectrum taking in all those genres therein. As with most of these highlights collections the stuff on hand ranges in quality (if not to be fair quality of sound) from the absolutely freaking stunning Therion represented by three DVD tracks thru the Flyod-esque metal of Anathema to face-painted loons in the form of 1349 back to the quality metal of Moonspell.
It has to be said this an interesting cross section of European metal from the extreme to the more mellow. If you want to know what the "scene" is like on the continent then have a listen.
Circus Diablo: s/t
This is a hard review to write, a bit. Its really rather hard not to consider this VR-Jr. To make matters more muddled Matt Sorum plays drums on this CD (but not live instead its Slunt's Charles Ruggiero). I think the best comparison for this band is that its the LA Guns to Guns n Roses in the late 80s/early 90s. The songwriting is far better and so is the playing, there is more consistency on here than on any LA Guns release. Another reason the comparison works is that the band has its British continent (with Ricky Warwick of The Almighty and Billy Duffy of The Cult).
Alright to the music. Its basically LA rock done with a modern twist. Attitude, angst and a twist of humour gives this a while vibe that is rather hard to hate. Its only let down a bit by a rant (spoken word) in the middle of the CD that kills the flow a bit. There is not a duff track on this CD and you will find yourself listening to this over and over again. Each time its gets better. Its the perfect album for the summer. Yeah the band is a supergroup of sorts with a collection of veteran and talented players…but who gives a shit? Its bloody good, that is all you need to know. Get it.
Manitou: No Signs of Wisdom
Work with me here. This band have backed original Iron Maiden singer Paul Di'Anno on one of this tours. And yes they do a line in Maiden-esque power metal; except not from Di'Anno's time with the band but the later years. To make it even more amusing their leader singer Markku sounds a dead-ringer for Bruce Dickinson. That said this lot play a great line in Maiden-esque metal with all the clever lyrics and playing that is needed to make it sound right.
This is 80s metal is all its glory played by guys who enjoy what they are doing. Not a dud track on here. This is quality metal that deserves your ears. By far their best release to date and one that deserves to go far.
Peter Pan Speedrock: Spread Eagle
They’re Dutch, and this is their first release outside Sweden, and the first song on here is "Cock Teaser." So you would probably not be surprised to hear that this lot play sleaze heavy rock with lot of 'tude and booze. If you like a bit of modern cock rock with all its swagger and angst then this lot might just be for you. "Better off Dead"? Nah, but if you lived life like what they sing about you would be soon. Big, dumb and oodles of fun…what's wrong with that? Beats the navel gazing whinging on the UK charts these days that is for damn sure.
Polish metal heads with a love of everything heavy combining bits of Maiden, Priest and Sabbath. This is a Metal Mind re-issue of the veteran Polish band's second to last release. It has four bonus tracks including Sabbath's 'Neon Nights'. While this ain't exactly essential this is a great example of some of the decent metal that is coming out of Eastern Europe. While some may scoff at its retro-feel, you can not doubt that they have the talent to deliver. And lets face it, old school metal has a certain charm to it you have to admit.
Voices of Rock: MMVII
Take some of the greatest voices in second wave AOR and give em' a bunch of tracks to sing. That is what you got here and the results are quite good. With names like James Christian (House of Lords), Jean Beauvoir (Crown of Thorns), Steve Overland (FM) and Harry Hess (Harem Scarem) amongst others you know the singing quality is going to be right up there.
Unlike many such compilations the songs on here live up to the talent on show. One of the tracks that really caught my ear was "Over and Done" sung by Dan Reed of the Dan Reed Network. The only gripe I have about this is that my review copy had "shortened versions" of the songs which is bloody annoying. Anyway if you are a fan of class AOR and want a good variety for your summer drive then look no further. If only all compilations were this good; well done to Michael Voss and Chris Lausmann for keeping it all together so well.
Well that is your lot for this week. Its an eclectic lot, that's for sure but without a complete turd in the bunch. As always check out live music wherever and whenever you possibly can.Powered by Sidelines