Monday, December 24, 2012

REVIEW: KingBathmat - Truth Button (2013)

From the ominous looking logo to the gorgeous, yet heavy psychedelia that characterizes their core sound, KingBathmat are as good a heir to the early 70's heavy metal throne as any contemporary group I've had the pleasure of knowing in the past: think Black Sabbath colliding with the pop sensibilities of a group like Jellyfish or ELO with the force of a cannon fired, tabasco-studded enchilada. The result is delicious, messy and glorious all at once. 'Dives And Pauper' zips along its Eastern scaled riffage and rolling drum work, beating to the ticking of a clock and some nifty synthwork throughout, whilst opening number 'Behind The Wall' might be the best lead off epic I've heard in years.

Technophobia may be the thematic order of the day here within Truth Button and the tunes that comprise it, but these boys certainly know no fear in studio: the album sounds beautiful, and the mixing is a thing of wonder as well. Furthermore, the songs are mindbendingly magnificent, melodic without an ounce of compromise on weight or intensity: such characteristics almost seem like an endangered species at times, even in today's oft crowded world of modern progressive rock.

2013 is already looking up in many a genre, but this release sits right up there with the best of it. Go get it!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cαndlemαss - Psαlms For The Deαd (2012)

With one weathered hand full of graveyard soil, you squeeze your nails into it's palm til' blood starts dripping down your arm. This record is such a rite in and of itself, full of ravenous tunes that bring glorious little blisters to eardrums aplenty. It is also a corpse ridden-boat being cast off into the great river of closure, a farewell to arms for the band that exemplified the golden age of 80's doom metal. The very least you can do is salute as your speakers spew some glorious riffage from the boys who did it best of all.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tεn - Thε Namε Of Thε Rosε (1996)

Perhaps the best AOR band to come out of the U.K. in the 1990's, Ten is something of a supergroup led by powerhouse singer/songwriter Gary Hughes, a thinking man's Whitesnake if you will.

Layered and unusually sonically diverse for an 80's styled melodic rock record, 1996 sophomore release Thε Namε Of Thε Rosε is considered to be the band's creative apex in a number of ways: Hughes's soaring tenor is put to marvelously good use from start to finish, and the songs vary from insanely catchy mid-tempo and single ready material ('Wait For You', the glammy 'Wildest Dreams') to full-blown epics straight out of the AOR/Progressive Rock crossover sphere ('Through The Fire', 'Goodnight Saigon'), complete with celestial synthesizers and odes to mankind's various follies.

Something like a distant cousin to prog-tinged AOR projects such as the 1990 self-titled by Blue Murder and Out Of The Silence by Dare, this record's got more punch than a party bowl can hold, so come 'n get it!

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