Friday, November 16, 2018

Cleopatra Records Boxes Up Unreleased Live Material For New Rose Tattoo Release

Australian rock legends Rose Tattoo are finally getting the respect they deserve with a new 5-CD box set titled "Scarred For Live." The band quickly followed fellow Australian band, AC/DC into the rock realm in the late 1970's. Rose Tattoo found huge success in their home country of Australia, along with Europe, but failed to make a dent in the U.S., that is until an up-and-coming Los Angeles rock band named Guns N' Roses covered one of their tracks. GN'R sited Rose Tattoo as a major influence and their cover of "Nice Boys," turned Rose Tattoo into an international sensation.

This new five disc live set covers the peak of Rose Tattoo's touring years between 1980 to 1982. Each disc features a different show, with some repetition in the tracks they performed. The one constant throughout this whole set is the energy that the band poured into each performance. Listening to the first disc, recorded January 1, 1980 in Sydney, Australia has the band all fired up, playing some of their classics like "Astra Wally," "The Butcher And Fast Eddy" and of course "Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock 'N' Roll)." They mix-up their set list on the third disc, which is performed at the 1981 Reading Rock Festival in the U.K. to a much larger audience. The energy is still high, as the audience sing along to their famous set closer "Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock 'N' Roll)," which pushes past the eight-minute mark.

Disc four finds Rose Tattoo returning to their Australian roots only two years after the first disc, performing at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. The band crams 16-songs into their set list, as they sound like a more polished machine, while still delivering the energy with "Manzil Madness" and "All The Lessons." They finish up disc five with one of their few recorded shows in the U.S., as they perform in Washington D.C. Rose Tattoo deliver their nine-song set with a certain swagger, as displayed in "We Can't Be Beaten" and "Juice On The Loose." They close with "Scarred For Life," which appeared on the band's best selling studio album.

This five-disc box set was released back in October through Deadline Music, a division of Cleopatra Records. To find out more about Rose Tattoo's "Scarred For Live" box set, please visit cleorecs.com.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Check Out These New Independent Heavy Metal Releases Arriving In November

We have a slew of independent heavy metal releases arriving this month and we begin with the full-length debut release from the Swedish death metal band, Third Storm. Their new album titled "The Grand Manifestation" has been 30 years in the making, and the band came through to delivery on their promise. After forming as teenagers in 1986, the band went their separate ways shortly thereafter. Keeping the fire of the band burning, founding members Heval Bozraslan and Jimmy Eriksson made a second attempt at recording an album. This 8-track release hits you right in the face with the aggressive onslaught of "Prima Mobilae" and the hard-hitting attack of "As The Sun Watched The Birth Of." Third Storm switches gears for the slower, doom metal appeal of "The Third Thought From The Sun," before returning with the thunderous rhythm of "Gorakaathuar" and the swift, reckless aggression of "In The Wraith Enshrouded." To find out more about Third Storm and their latest release "The Grand Manifestation," please visit thirdstorm.nu.

Also arriving earlier this month was the sophomore effort from the Australian metal band Convent Guilt. Their new album titled "Diamond Cut Diamond" was released on November 9th and features seven tracks that carry a classic sound that echoes the early days of the genre. The album kicks off with the solid guitar riffs of "Howling Vengeance" and the more energetic delivery of "Born To Trouble." Convent Guilt build up the steady thrash metal pace of "Bonnie And Clyde," before closing their new album with the nearly 8-minute epic feel of "Foxes Run." To find out more about Convent Guilt and their latest release "Diamond Cut Diamond," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/ConventGuilt.

The latest release from thrash metal band, Septagon also arrived on November 9th. Their sophomore effort titled "Apocalyptic Rhymes" builds upon the band's debut, which was released only two years earlier. After a short spoken-word introduction ("The End"), they dive into their highly addictive metal sound with the album's second-single "The Weight Of The World," which comes from the same vein as Anthrax and Slayer. The album continues with the album's lead single "Home, Sweet Hell," as chugging guitars and a steady backbeat motors the song's energetic sound. Their juggernaut sound rolls on with "Make A Stand" and the classic metal sound of "The Unfathomable Evil," before finishing their new album with high-powered attack of "Nothingness Awaits" and the seven-minute progressive metal appeal of "Sunset Blood." To find out more about Septagon and their latest release "Apocalyptic Rhymes," please visit septagon666.blogspot.com.

Sticking with the November 9th release date is the six-song debut release, "The Waters Of Death" from U.K. heavy metal band, Lethean. This duo is lead by the stellar vocals of Thurmi Paavana and supported entirely by multi-instrumentalist James Ashbey. Their music is epic as you are invited into the realm of the "Idylls Of The King," the group's progressive metal sound becomes undeniably addictive. They mix up the tempo of "Seafarer," as most of the songs on this release push past the seven-minute mark. The shortest song on the album," Across The Grey Waters" is a gentle track that allows you to take notice of Thurmi's voice, before the ten-plus minute wave of music comes crashing back on shore to close out the album with "Devouring Fire." To find out more about Lethean and their latest release "The Waters Of Death," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/letheanuk.

Moving ahead to November 23rd is the debut release from the Sioux Falls, SD band, March In Arms. Their new ten song release kicks off with the pounding rhythm of the "Procession Of The Dead," which leads into the chugging guitars of "The Failure." The band speed things up even more with the high-energy, thrash metal appeal of "Firebreather," before arriving at the nearly eight-minute epic piece "Overlord." March In Arms continue with the highly addictive delivery of "The Knife," as this band should have no problem carving out a spot in the heavy metal community. They wrap up their new release with the aggressive heavy metal onslaught of "Ashes" and the pounding drums of "To An End." To find out more about the new self-titled release from March In Arms, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/marchinarms.

We finish up with the self-released album titled "The Walk" from Russian metal band, Second To Sun. Their new nine-song release wastes no time attack your sense of hearing, with the thunderous rhythm of "We Are Not Alone," quickly followed by the screaming vocals of "Black Lines." Second To Sun continue to showcase their death metal diversity with the dark, doom metal approach of "Home" and the seven-minute aggressive attack of "The Owls." They finish their new concept album with the eerie instrumental track "We Are Alone." To find out more about Second To Sun and their latest release "The Walk," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/secondtosun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New Releases From Metal Blade Records Artists Amon Amarth, Artillery, Skull Pit and Cattle Decapitation

Arriving this Friday is a trio of new releases from Metal Blade Records recording artists Amon Amarth, Artillery and Skull Pit, quickly followed next week by the latest from Cattle Decapitation.

Swedish melodic death metal band, Amon Amarth are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a new live album titled "The Pursuit Of Vikings: Live At Summer Breeze." The new 30-track set features the band's full two-set appearance at last year's Summer Breeze Festival and will be released as a 2-CD set, double-vinyl set, on DVD and on Blu-ray, which also includes a documentary of the band. Amon Amarth covers their entire career, as they perform the tracks "With Oden On Our Side" and the epic "Victorious March" with extra energy and purpose to prove why that are considered one of the top death metal bands of all time. You can almost picture how intense the mosh pits were as they perform the swift hitting "For The Stabwounds In Our Backs" and "Verses The World." Their music continues to ignite energy as Amon Amarth perform some of their more recent songs like "First Kill" and "The Way Of Vikings." They wrap up their new live album with the heavy pounding of "Guardians Of Asgaard" and the neck-breaking speed of "Twilight Of The Thunder." To find out more about Amon Amarth and their anniversary live release "The Pursuit Of Vikings: Live At Summer Breeze," please visit amonamarth.com.

Up next, is the ninth studio album from the Danish metal band, Artillery. Since re-forming almost ten years ago, the band have been on a creative high, producing five studio album, including their latest release "The Face Of Fear." This new 11-track album quickly gets the adrenaline pumping with the high-energy attack of the title-song, "The Face Of Fear" and its follow-up "Crossroads To Conspiracy." The band let up on the gas, slightly, for the mainstream metal appeal of "New Rage," before returning to the intensity of "Sworn Utopia" and "Preaching To The Converted." Artillery wrap up their new album with a couple of re-recorded versions of some of the band's early songs, "Mind Of No Return" and "Doctor Evil." To find out more about Artillery and their latest release "The Face Of Fear," please visit artillery.dk.

We also get the debut release from the heavy metal duo of Mem V. Stein (Exumer) and Tatsu Mikami (Church Of Misery), who are going by the name, Skull Pit. Their new ten-song album jumps right out of your speakers as the energy these two put into their music comes pouring out in the songs "Roller" and "Soul Raiders." Their 80s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal influences are certainly a part of their music as they pound their way through "Blood Titan" and "Marauders." Skull Pit finish up their new album with the buzzing guitar of "The Line" and the thrash metal speed of "All The Lessons." To find out more about the new self-titled release from Skull Pit, please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/skullpitofficial.

The end of the month brings on a new rarities collection from American deathgrind band, Cattle Decapitation. After 22 years and seven studio albums, Cattle Decapitation decided to clean out the vaults and unleash some leftovers that date back to before their first EP "Human Jerky." The new release contains 22-tracks, many of them clocking in at around two-minutes or less. The band seem to get their point across quickly and efficiently as songs like "No Future" and Queso de Cabeza" are short attacks of power. Their original six song demo appears on this release and features Travis Ryan's first appearance on vocals. While this may seem like a collection of leftovers, the final eight tracks of this new release may have been on "hard-to-find" releases, but would have made the perfect recipe for the next studio album from Cattle Decapitation. To find out more about their new compilation "Medium Rarities," please visit the band's Facebook page at facebook.com/cattledecapitation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Go "Around The World" With The New Live 3-CD Set From Jazz/Rock Artist Ben Sidran

American jazz/rock keyboardist Ben Sidran has had an extensive career in music, which dates back to 1970. He has worked along side such artists as Steve Miller, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones just to name a few, all while continuing a solo career. His latest release is a 3-CD compilation titled "Ben There, Done That," which features Ben Sidran's live performances from around the world, between 1975 through 2015. 

This new set features 27 previously unreleased live recordings that brought the music of Ben Sidran to clubs around the world. The set jumps back and forth between dates, beginning with one of the earliest recordings featured on this set, the highly energetic funk/jazz appeal of "Birk's Works." This is quickly followed by his more recent work of "The Groove Is Gonna Get You" (recorded in Paris 2015) and "The Funkasaurus" (recorded in Tokyo 2009), as Ben warms up the audiences with his stellar performances.

The set includes many of Ben's originals, including "On The Road Again," "Let's Make A Deal/Absent Soul" and "Walking With The Blues." But, the some of the highlights come from Ben's many covers, including the uptempo swing of Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge A Book," the quiet, lounge feel of Billy Joel's "New York State Of Mind" and smooth, classic tone of Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up And Fly Right." Most of this set covers his live performances of the last 15 years, but the third disc especially highlights his highly successful 1991 tour of Japan with the addition of jazz fusion numbers "Lip Service" and "Too Hot To Touch."

The new 3-CD set also includes a 24-page booklet that includes brand new essays by NPR's "Jazz Alive!" Becca Pulliam and Zev Feldman from Los Angeles. Also included is a Q&A with Ben Sidran and Mark Ruffin ("Real Jazz" on Sirus XM radio). To find out more about Ben Sidran and his latest release "Ben There, Done That: Ben Sidran Live Around The World (1975-2015)," please visit bensidran.com.

Monday, November 12, 2018

King Crimson "Meltdown" In Mexico With New Four-Disc Box Set Of Live Music

Watching the band, King Crimson perform live and listening to a live recording of the band are two totally different experiences. Luckily, King Crimson's latest live release "Meltdown: King Crimson Live In Mexico" delivers both experiences in a new 3 CD/Blu-ray box set. The three-and-a-half hour audio document is one of the most complete and extensive live releases of the entire King Crimson catalog, delivering 62 songs spread across the four discs.

During the summer of 2017, King Crimson visited Mexico for a handful of special performances at the Teatro Metropolitan, Cuidad de Mexico. One specific show on July 17th was recorded in high-definition, in order to release their first live video document in over six years. This eight-piece band (Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Jakko Jakszyk, Bill Rieflin, Pat Mastelotto, Jeremy Stacey, Gavin Harrison) has been considered to be one of the best line-ups during King Crimson's nearly 50 year career, and this live performance certainly solidifies that statement. The band look and sound outstanding as they transition between songs flawlessly, giving the audience a constant flow of music from start to finish.

The video is taken with strategically placed stationary cameras in order to give the feeling of sitting on stage with the band during their performance. You are rarely even shown the audience and every aspect of the show's performance is captured. The use of split screens tries to show you every aspect of the performance as to not miss a single note. For those that may have never seen King Crimson perform live recently, the performers are very stagnant in their positions, with the three drummers located in front and the rest of the band are on an upper ledge, directly behind them. This definitely make for an easier and much more satisfying way to film the performance and enjoy the heart and soul that King Crimson pours into their performance.

The song line-up varies between the three CDs and the Blu-ray, since the video captures one specific two-and-a-half hour performance and the CDs deliver the best and most complete line-up of all their performances in Mexico. The music is just outstanding as King Crimson certainly has perfected their technique in recording live shows, as the music is crisp, clear and in-your-face, as if you were in the front row of the show. The songs that are performed during those six days look to cover King Crimson's entire catalog as you can hear the reaction of the audience when the band dive into classics like "Epitaph," "Easy Money," "Starless" and "In The Court Of The Crimson King." The set also includes half-a-dozen bonus tracks recorded just this past summer from throughout their tour of Europe, including a delicate performance of the rarely performed "Moonchild" and a quick two-minute "Cool Jam."

As long as King Crimson continue to roll out these magnificent live releases (five in the last three years), then their legacy as one of the best progressive rock bands of all time will live on. To find out more about "Meltdown: King Crimson Live in Mexico," please visit dgmlive.com.