Monday, December 11, 2017
This gem that is 'Heavy Fire' has been out for a while now and like very fine wine, it has aged amazingly well. And that’s the reason why I took my time to write this review. Black Star Riders have been close to my heart from the moment I heard they had formed. After all, Scott Gorham from my favourite band of all time, Thin Lizzy, got the band going with Ricky Warwick from another favourite band, The Almighty, so of course, I would be into them. Even though their first two albums, ‘All Hell Breaks Loose’ and ‘The Killer Instinct’ are very good in their own right, they both show a band trying to find it’s identity, where especially ‘The Killer Instinct’ quickly lost momentum. And that’s why I used the long time frame to put these words on paper. I wanted to give the new wax time to breathe. And it sure as hell paid off. Because on ‘Heavy Fire’ all the pieces have fallen in place and Black Star Riders are finally Black Star Riders with a killer album to match.
The title track catapults opus number three into orbit immediately with it’s hard, razor sharp riffs and super heavy rhythm section. And I think it’s safe to say that the song epitomizes what Black Star Riders are. Every little piece used to form and shape the band is featured and the end-result is fantastic. ‘When The Night Comes’ keeps the pace with a heavy rocking chorus while the verses bring out that punk and diesel attitude The Almighty perfected. And man, Black Star Riders are on fire. Scott Gorham’s past comes out beautifully in ‘Dancing With The Wrong Girl’. The heritage of Thin Lizzy is all over the place, if you ask me. The storytelling, the harmonies, the solos, you name it, making it a brilliant homage to the best band in the world. ‘Who Rides The Tiger’ hits the ground running as the band elegantly rocks hard, real hard pounding the listeners into the ground with a music barrage of unheard of portions. So by the time ‘Cold War Love’ starts it gives you a chance to catch your breath. Being the closest thing to a ballad it allows an old timer like yours truly to ponder one’s ability to keep up with even older guys who kick your ass so easily. Not that I’m complaining but this sad song of longing and despair is the perfect bridge back into heavier rock territories.
A little bit slower but full of mesmerizing twin-axe harmonies and some sweet bluesy solos, ‘Testify Or Say Goodbye’ grabs you immediately and reels you in hook, line and sinker. ‘Thinking About You Could Kill Me’ ups the ante with a thumping bass guitar line leading the way until the song gradually becomes heavier and rockier. Semi-heavy and bluesy in approach which goes back and forth between sombre explicit parts and more in-your-face attitude, ‘True Blue Kid’ has an amazing exchange between guitarists Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson through the solos and harmonies. Beautiful, waveriders, beautiful! A strange yet spellbinding mix of heavy blues, punk - mainly in the vocal and lyric delivery - and soul ‘Ticket To Rise’ confirms even further that Black Star Riders have honed in on their own sound. Up front and personal, the band is on fire, to say the least. Ending with a more punkish song in ‘Letting Go Of Me’, especially in attitude, the guys add sharp riffs as well as melody resulting in a perfect closer.
An album you go back to time and time again, is the perfect sign of greatness. Whether it’s on constant play or sometimes put away only to be frequently revisited, either way is, in my opinion, one of the biggest compliments you can give a record. And ‘Heavy Fire’ falls into this exclusive group, and then some. Black Star Riders has finally reached that place where everything they do is right, which, in turn, means the album(albums) they release are going to have a great lasting effect. A fantastic third recording by a band who deserves the greatest accolades. Don’t miss out, waveriders!
Sunday, December 10, 2017
Two years after their last outing and after a couple of great tours the Roma rockers Black Rainbows are back with a new drummer and an incredible record coming out in spring via Heavy Psych Sounds!!!
Since the release of their debut album, Twilight in the Desert, in 2007, Roma rockers Black Rainbows have become one of the most essential acts in Europe’s heavy underground. As the spearhead of an entire movement of Italian bands, They’ve issued five full-lengths to-date and are on the precipice of their sixth in 2018, with founding guitarist/vocalist Gabriele Fiori and bassist Giuseppe Guglielmino welcoming new drummer Fillippo Ragazzoni to the fold for the first time.
Across albums like 2010’s Carmina Diablo (recently reissued), 2011’s Supermotherfuzzalicious!!, 2015’s Hawkdope and 2016’s Stellar Prophecy, Black Rainbows’ sound has oozed between classic ‘90s-style stoner fuzz and deep-cosmos psychedelia, drawing on the best of hard-driving space rock to conjure a vibe totally tripped-out and all its own. By bringing Ragazzoni on board, the riffs have gotten tighter and are fuzzed as ever, and two years after their last outing, Black Rainbows enter 2018 refreshed and with well-earned veteran status resulting from countless tours, festival appearances, and their track record of absolutely unstoppable energy.
BLACK RAINBOWS are:
Gabriele Fiori - Guitar & Vocals
Giuseppe Guglielmino - Bass
Filippo Ragazzoni - Drums
Heavy Psych Sounds Records&Booking
CLAMFIGHT: New Jersey Quartet To Release III LP Via Argonauta Records In January; Track Debuted At Doomed And Stoned + Preorders Posted
New Jersey sludge crushers CLAMFIGHT present their third album, III, which will see January release through Argonauta Records. Alongside the album's cover art, track listing, and other details, the band and label have teamed up with Doomed And Stoned webzine to premiere the album's first single, "History Of The Earls Of Orkney."
CLAMFIGHT offers, "We're thrilled to be working with Argonauta for the upcoming release of III. We had a few options available to us however we kept going back to Argonauta because Gero seemed so genuine and honest to work with. We're also pretty tight with the lads in Hollow Leg and they had nothing but great things to report regarding their experience with Argonauta. We're excited about the potential that exists with this budding relationship and look forward to broadening our reach across the Atlantic and helping promote the other great bands on the Argonauta roster!"
With their debut of "History Of The Earls Of Orkney," Doomed And Stoned reports in part, "CLAMFIGHT have always offered up a lot of fun with their song titles and especially their lyrics. This go 'round, they're honed in on a theme, of sorts: the small Scottish islands of Orkney... III transports us to another world, one that is less fantasy and more a part of history, which is always twice as fascinating to me."
Stream the new song at THIS LOCATION.
Booming with five massive tracks which total nearly forty-five minutes of groove-laden sludge-soaked stoner rock jams, CLAMFIGHT sounds more victorious in their thunderous mission than ever before on their third full-length release. III was recorded and produced at Gradwell House Studios in New Jersey by Steve Poponi, with additional recording by Davin Sosa and Christopher Skowronski. The album was mastered by Dave Downham at Gradwell House, and completed with photography by Woody Musgrove, and features guest contributions of lead guitar on "Whale Road" by CWolf, lead vocals on "Echoes In Stone" by Jean Saiz and Janette Valentine, and lead guitar and sonic spookery on "Echoes In Stone" and "Whale Road" by Erik Caplan.
CLAMFIGHT's III will see CD and digital release on January 19th through Argonauta Records; find preorders HERE.
A vinyl pressing of III will see release through Elder Magick with a release date to be announced.
III Track Listing:
1. Whale Road
3. Echoes In Stone
5. History Of The Earls Of Orkney
CLAMFIGHT has booked several new shows to break the new year in, beginning with a record release show for III in Philadelphia with Kings Destroy on January 19th. The next week they head south for two shows with Rukut, playing in Frederick January 26th and Charlottesville the 27th.
Watch for additional audio samples, tour dates, and more to be issued in the weeks ahead.
1/19/2018 Century - Philadelphia, PA *Record Release show w/ Kings Destroy
1/26/2018 Guido's Speakeasy - Frederick, MD w/ Rukut
1/27/2018 TBA - Charlottesville, VA with Rukut
The members of CLAMFIGHT, Joel Harris, Louis Koble, Andy Martin, and Sean McKee, are childhood friends turned grown-ass men who are almost as committed to big riffs as they are to each other. Influenced in equal parts by their dads' vinyl, that sketchy older kid from woodshop class' thrash and hardcore tapes as well as touchstone heavy bands like Sleep, Clutch, Neurosis, Eyehategod, and Mastodon, the band has plied its unique brand of suburban working slob metal up and down the East Coast of the United States since 2005. Having issued a debut album, Vol. I, in 2010, and a second album, I vs. The Glacier, in 2013, the quartet is now poised to release its third full length, III, through Argonauta Records.
Saturday, December 9, 2017
As someone who loves exploring new sounds in music there is something incredibly comforting in knowing that you can always go home again. What does that mean? I'm describing a situation in which you discover an artist you enjoy releases a new collection of songs and you know, music unheard, that you're about to listen to tunes that will reconnect you with what made you love music in the first place. Speaking for myself I recently received the new Love Under Fire EP from Dan Miraldi and sure enough, it helped me return to my original musical happy place.
Thanks to my work at The Ripple Effect I was exposed to Dan Miraldi a few years ago. He had put out a fantastic EP, appropriately titled Tease, which I took great pleasure in reviewing. Sonically Mr. Miraldi expertly mines the classic rock/power pop vein that I identify with based off of the music I was regularly exposed to at a young age. Years have passed but anything this young man releases I find captivating. The Love Under Fire EP is no exception.
"The Sweet Sound Of Protest" explodes out of the gate thanks to its tremendous, rollicking guitar riff. "Love Under Fire" brings the tempo down and features drum programming which reminds me of Nine Inch Nails "Closer". "No Words" hearkens back to haunting psychedelic folk rock. "Fear Is A Powerful Drug" is a Simon And Garfunkel-esque melancholy-filled acoustic ditty. Closing out the EP "Name Of Love" and "Kids Are In The Street" ratchet the energy level back to dangerous levels with big, rockin' choruses.
Waveriders, if you have a hankering to hear some exceptional new music built upon the extraordinary foundation of 1960s and 1970s rock 'n' roll this EP is for you! Dan Miraldi is a superb singer/songwriter who has never disappointed me with his music. Pick up your copy of the new Love Under Fire EP today!
Friday, December 8, 2017
Be prepared as Ripple Music takes over Thee Parkside stage for the second RippleFest!
This time, bigger and badder than ever, RippleFest II (a.k.a The Ripple Rager) features 5 (!) Ripple bands including Montreal's The Hazytones as they stop by on their cross North American Tour.
Jam to the heaviness of The Watchers, The Hazytones, ZED, Blackwulf and War Cloud, Saturday night Feb 3, at 8pm at Thee Parkside in San Francisico. Tickets available at the door and can be pre-purchased at :
Here's the facebook event page with more info!
Don't miss one of the Bay Area's premiere heavy events of 2018!
California-based Ripple Music is one of the world's leading purveyors of heavy psych, stoner, doom and heavy rock. All Ripple releases are available in physical and digital formats world-wide, and at the Ripple Music webstore and Bandcamp pages. Check out the Ripple Music website for all news and information.
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Lady Beast – Vicious Breed
Deborah Levine- Vocals, Andy Ramage – Guitar, Chris Tritschler – Guitar, Greg Colaizzi – Bass, Adam Ramage – Drums
Seal The Hex has some great acoustic guitar and orchestration then a Judas Priest style of riff that just gets you fist pumpin' and some dual lead guitars that are great then a speed metal rhythm with some very powerful female vocals that remind me of Zed Yago. The Long Way is just pure metal at its finest, fist pumping head banging metal with soaring vocals and screaming guitars. Lone Hunter will have you doing air guitar or drums and would be awesome live to just rock out to. Always With Me has a riff that sticks in your head for days and an awesome bass and drums that just makes you want to hear more along with the soaring vocals reminding me of Hellion. Get Out is speed metal in all its glory, fast and heavy but still melodic. Every Giant Shall Fall has an Iron Maiden style of rhythm like the sounds of thundering horses and vocals that reach your very soul. Sky Graves slow and melodic guitars and a crash of cymbals then a plodding riff that is very soulful along with some excellent guitar that builds in intensity till the end with scorching guitars. Vicious Breed is Overkill meets Iron Maiden, fast and heavy but with melody and lots of great fist pumping metal riffs.
The Obsessed – The Obsessed (Reissue) with Bonus – Concrete Cancer demo cassette and Live At The Bayou 4/15/1985
Scott Wino Weinreich -Guitar /Vocals, Reid Raley – Bass/Vocals, Brian Costantino – Drums/Vocals
Tombstone Highway is excellent stoner rock originally from 1990 with lots of emotion and it has sort of a Mahogany Rush flavor to it with searing guitars. The Way She Fly dark and dreary with lots of dark emotion and a slow heavy beat. Forever Midnight is very soulful in a Hendrix sort of way with some excellent bluesy guitar and a very solid rhythm section. Ground Out scorching guitar that will have you playing air guitar and a solid heavy pounding riff. Fear Child is a very Sabbath/Zeppelin style of riff with some great twists and turns. Freedom is a Dio era Sabbath style of riff and solid beat with some amazing bass and scorching guitars which turns into an Ozzy style of song. Red Disaster mixes Sabbath with stoner rock and some acid rock and you will have this. Inner Turmoil is slow, steady, and pounding. Get ready to just kick back and drift along with this rhythm. River Of Soul reminds me of some of the older Trouble songs slow and pounding working its way down the road.
Concrete Cancer Demo – Concrete Cancer is excellent stoner Sabbath feeling music that takes your brain on a strange trip. Feelingz has a sort of garage band meets stoner rock meets heavy metal with some feeling like Highway Star by Deep Purple along with some ripping guitar. Mental Kingdom excellent drumming with freak guitar work and a solid bass that rumbles your brain. Sit back and enjoy. Hiding Masque slow melodic acoustic guitar melds it way into your hearing then a riff that catches your attention and stays for a while.
Live At The Bayou (4/15/1985)- Ground Out/Feelingz get ready to check out the Obsessed live and in your face tripping through time and space with some excellent stoner rock. Concrete Cancer will have the entire crowd head banging to the metal riff and fist pumping along. No Blame is a punk meets metal style of song that will leave you wanting more. Mental Kingdom will have you playing air drums and riffing your head off with a Hendrix meets Sabbath feel. Tombstone Highway guitars tuning and a rhythm that just takes you driving down the highway. Iron And Stone is almost speed metal with some amazing guitar and pounding drums that has a bass that just helps keep up the pace. River Of Soul is slow and steady with lots of dark emotions that just tries to steal away your very soul. Sitting on a Grave / I Don’t Care this will have the entire crowd jumping and moving around to the beat. Freedom deep bass that gets the rhythm rolling along with some excellent drums that make you want to air drum. Indestroy/Kill Ugly Naked is thrash speed metal grinding and pounding its way into your very psyche.
Pale Mare – Pale Mare
Eytan Gordan – Guitar Vocals, Tommy Gervais – Bass/Vocals, Luke Roberts – Drums
Carthage fast in your face heavy stoner rock with lots of grinding guitars solid heavy bass and drums dark yelling screaming vocals. Descolada heavy rumbling bass, a fast drum beat and riffing guitars with more dark rough vocals. Hoplite starts slow and steady then kicks in to run you over with thrash/stoner death metal intensity.
Tuskar – Arianrhod
Tylar Hodges – Vocals/Drums, Tim Dimmock- Guitar
Fateweaver guitar feedback, pounding drums and guitars that scream and wail and lots of strange sounds. Where Strides The Colossus slow grinding rough rhythms that slowly push you over the abyss with yelling vocals. Toegrinder heavy pounding ripping guitars and then it slows down then dark gruff vocals. Moon Hooch more feedback and rough riffs slow and steady like being run over by a steam roller. Crimson Skull strange melodic sounds then a pounding beat that just tries to sneak around you and then push you over a cliff.
Bigfoot - Bigfoot
Anthony Ellis – Vocals, Sam Millar – Guitar, Mick McCullagh – Guitar, Matt Avery – Bass, Tom Aspinall - Drums
Karma has a Dream Theater meets Scorpions feel to the riff and some very powerful vocals that are easy to sing along to. The Fear is a great song to drive down the highway to with some emotional vocals and awesome rhythm and soaring guitar. Tell Me A Lie is a fast blues based style of head banging riff that makes you want to fist pump and mover from the very first note. Forever Alone starts with very melodic guitar and very emotional vocals then slowly gets heavier becoming a great power ballad. Eat Your Words more awesome blues based hard rock with a beat that will have your feet a movin and grooving. Prisoner Of War has sort of a southern rock style of guitar reminds me of Blackfoot mixed with Tyketto. Freak Show is a straight ahead hard rock metal song with lots of great rhythm section work and a voice that just seems to send you many places of excellence. I Dare You gets your body to grooving and your feet to tapping with a very catchy riff with an awesome sing along vocal and scorching guitar. The Devil In Me is more southern rock meets hard rock with vocals that just soar and a riff that stays with you almost forever and lead guitar that just sings. Uninvited will have the entire crowd jumpin and fist pumping as well as singing along. Yours slow melodic bass and great heartfelt vocals then a riff that makes you sway and slowly builds to a crescendo.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
AMORIELLO is the project of Philadelphia-born guitarist and children’s picture book author, Thomas Amoriello, who has teamed up with a stellar roster of special guest musicians including former members of Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s Rising Force, and the Michael Schenker Group to bring the 80's inspired metal with a modern feel. The first AMORIELLO release with H42 Records features a power ballad called Flood with Swedish vocalist Göran Edman (Yngwie, John Norum), British bass legend Neil Murray formerly of Whitesnake and Black Sabbath, session ace drummer extraordinaire Atma Anur (Jason Becker, Cacophony, Richie Kotzen) and former Yngwie keysman Michael Troy.
An epic guitar instrumental called Nightmusic MCX with former Ozzy, Ultimate Sin era bassist Phil Soussan, Canadian drum virtuoso Shane Gaalaas (Michael Schenker Group, Uli Jon Roth) rounded out by Michael Troy fills up the B-Side with anthem like, 80's inspired metal.
Amoriello’s books, A Journey to Guitarland with Maestro Armadillo and Ukulele Sam Strums in the Sand, have received favorable reviews in Guitar Player Magazine (USA), Rock Hard Magazine (Germany), Screamer Magazine (Los Angeles) and praise from guitar legends Brian May, Steve Hackett and Jennifer Batten. Amoriello is also a respected music educator in the United States and earned a Master of Music Degree in classical guitar from Shenandoah Conservatory and is the Chair-Elect on the Council for Guitar Education of the National Association for Music Education.