Friday, 19 January 2018

Tribulation `Down Below` Album review


Themes of darkness and the unknown have permeated the rock community since its first rumblings. Whether that was Black Sabbath singing about the figure in black, through to Norway’s Satanic Black Metallers or gothic visuals being extensively used with Paradise Lost, Cradle of Filth or Atrocity. 

As with life itself, the old is replaced with the new, as so will it be with music. 

Enter Swedish trope `Tribulation` Who endeavor to capture the feel of both black metal and Gothic romance in one package, which certainly is a hard task, balancing the brutality of the instruments with the romantic nature of Gothic subjects but does it hold true on new album `Down Below’? 

Read on! 

Beginning with one major point, Tribulation hasn’t exactly appeared too much on my radar, well specifically until this album, so they haven’t yet been able to leave an indelible mark on the psyche. 

Well what can I say; on first run through this is not what I expected at all. The look of the band absolutely screams demonic black metal, yet the band exhibit far more than traditional Black Metal may offer. 

Tribulation appear to be a unique blend of black metal vocals with almost Iron Maiden inspired guitar passages and hints of 70’s rock utilizing piano, keyboard and all other manner of uniquely inspired instruments to create something truly special. Think Iron Maiden meets Cradle of Filth with a helping of Ghost. 

The album opener `The Lament`, which again with the look of Black Metallers might baffle you with the use of clean guitar passages that ring through with clarity, definitely Metallica or Iron Maiden inspired. The song as a whole really is setting up for the album as a whole, black metal inspired vocals that push through the distorted guitars yet it’s not just relentless noise, there’s a tonne of melody in there. There’s also clever use of keyboards in the song, the band are trying to evoke the gothic and it’s done with magnificent exertion. The keyboard section has a definite nod towards Billy Idol’s famous song `White Wedding`. 

The album is also interwoven with a couple of instrumentals in particular `Purgatorio`, this really sets the mood of the band’s concepts and lyrical ideas. It’s very much along the lines of an eerie Gothic tune that would fit in so well as part of a Danny Elfman score for Tim Burton or as a haunting score for a grandiose Gothic inspired horror movie.

The track `The World’ pretty much sums up the band’s ethos of not going overboard with particular elements. For example, the use of Keyboards, the guitar solo are all very melodic and resemble more classic rock or prog from the 70’s, which certainly helps give the songs a huge composing dynamic rather than just slapping bits together. Tribulation, do not seem to just shove any old shit into a song, it all seems laid out and precise but without sounding robotic and sloppy. 

The album as a whole cleverly adds so many different genres into the mix, although to the untrained hand, this could have turned into a complete mess yet Tribulation have created what in my opinion could be a timeless album, a seminal one with their catalog that should really be Tribulation’s stepping stone into the limelight. 

The only real issue, if it even is an issue, is the ability to really pick out stand out songs from the entire album of sheer brilliance.

`Down Below` is a fantastic mix of sub-genres within the metal and gothic worlds, it treads that line so perfectly. It feels like they have constructed the songs in such a way that if it were done by lesser musicians the songs would have sounded messy. Yet, each is composed with exactly the right amount of thought and notes.

9.5/10 – Part Goth, Part Black Metal - Superb as the whole! 

Stand out tracks:
`The Lament`, `Purgatorio’ and `Here Be Dragons’

Track listing: 
1. The Lament
2. Nightbound
3. Lady Death
4. Subterranea
5. Puratorio
6. Cries From The Underworld
7. Lacrimosa
8. The World
9. Here Be Dragons

Tribulation online:

NECROPHOBIC Release First Song 'Mark Of the Necrogram' From Upcoming Album



The title track of NECROPHOBIC’s upcoming studio album “Mark Of The Necrogram” has been released today!

You can listen to the title track here:

“Mark Of The Necrogram”, NECROPHOBIC’s eighth studio album, will be released on 23 February via Century Media Records. The album will be available as standard jewel case CD; deluxe LP (with gatefold sleeve, double-sided poster, 4-page LP insert and 180 gram vinyl); deluxe CD box set (with CD Digipak, five photo cards, a woven patch and a Necrogram metal pendant) and digitally.

Please note that the deluxe CD box is worldwide limited to only 3000 copies!

Pre-order “Mark Of The Necrogram” here:

The LP version is available in the following vinyl colours:
Black vinyl: unlimited
Orange vinyl: limited to 100 copies, exclusively available at CM Distro Europe --- SOLD OUT!
Clear vinyl: limited to 200 copies, available at various online stores
Transparent-red vinyl: limited to 100 copies, exclusively sold by the band
Silver vinyl: limited to 200 copies, exclusively available at Cudgel and Nuclear Blast

The track-list for "Mark Of The Necrogram" is as follows:
Mark Of The Necrogram (4:53)
Odium Caecum (4:25)
Tsar Bomba (5:40)
Lamashtu (5:20)
Sacrosanct (4:38)
Pesta (5:59)
Requiem For A Dying Sun (4:39)
Crown Of Horns (3:59)
From The Great Above To The Great Below (5:53)
Undergången (2:48)

NECROPHOBIC is:
Anders Strokirk – Vocals
Johan Bergebäck – Guitars
Sebastian Ramstedt – Guitars
Alex Friberg – Bass
Joakim Sterner – Drums

NECROPHOBIC online:

Bleed From Within show off video for `Alive` + date for album "Era" UK Shows announced!


BLEED FROM WITHIN are back! Five years in the making, “Era“ marks the return of the Scottish quintet and is set for release on 6th April 2018 via Century Media Records.

The album was recorded at Middle Farm Studios and BLEED FROM WITHIN headquarters between March - September 2017. The drums were produced and engineered by Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood (Periphery, Animals As Leaders and more), who also mixed the album. It is the first release featuring their new guitar player, Steven Jones. The Scottish based producer/songwriter joined the band two years ago and has been an integral part of both writing, and recording.

“Alive” is the first single from their upcoming album. You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/BCCpdwzCHvk

The band will be playing three intimate shows shortly after the album is released:
Wednesday 25th April - Camden Assembly, London
Thursday 26th April - Gullivers, Manchester
Friday 27th April - Saint Luke’s, Glasgow

Tickets are available at http://bleedfromwithin.com

BLEED FROM WITHIN 2018 are:
Scott Kennedy - Vocals
Ali Richardson - Drums
Craig Gowans - Guitar
Davie Provan - Bass
Steven Jones - Guitar

BLEED FROM WITHIN online:

At The Gates - New album! `To Drink From The Night Itself` + Live shows for 2018!


Swedish melodic Death Metal pioneers AT THE GATES have just completed the recording process of their upcoming studio album with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, The Haunted, Dimmu Borgir, etc.) at Parlour Studios in the UK. The album will be entitled “To Drink From The Night Itself” and it follows up 2014’s acclaimed comeback release “At War With Reality”. The worldwide release date will be May 18th, 2018 via Century Media Records.

The band has checked in with the following comment:
"We have wrapped up the recordings of the new record, and we are super psyched! It has been a smooth process, and very creatively fulfilling. All people that we have worked with on this project have stepped up to our vision of the final product, and we are very excited about the result. 

As you might have seen, we have worked with Russ Russel on this one, and he is really a master of getting the most intense takes out of us, and also has an ear for the rawness that we were after for this one. The vocals were recorded with Per Stålberg here in Gothenburg, and he always makes me deliver to a 100%. Right now we are getting the mastering done, and every new song that is bounced to us produces huge grins on our faces. This album sounds hungry and mean. 

The title of our new record will be "To Drink From The Night Itself", and it is, again a conceptual record. More details about the concept will be revealed once the album is more on its way. But it connects with the deep roots of the band, and has connections with some of the themes on "The Red In The Sky Is Ours".

2018, we are ready, let´s do this!" – Tomas Lindberg, Gothenburg, Jan 2018

Check out a few first video reports from the studio here:

AT THE GATES have also announced several more new shows for 2018 including a first club show of the year in Cologne, Germany (with Ultha and Nailed To Obscurity as supports) as well as various high-profile festivals like Pulp Summer Slam (The Philippines), Graspop (Belgium), Hellfest (France), Resurrection (Spain) or Summer Breeze (Germany). The complete list of announced shows so far reads as follows (New additions marked *):

AT THE GATES – Live 2018:
03.03.2018 Cologne (Germany) – Gebäude 9 *
04.03.2018 Tilburg (The Netherlands) – Netherlands Deathfest
31.03.2018 Philadelphia (USA) – Decibel Metal & Beer Fest
05.05.2018 Manila (The Philippines) – Pulp Summer Slam *
21.06.2018 Halden (Norway) – Tons Of Rock Festival
23.06.2018 Dessel (Belgium) – Graspop Metal Meeting *
24.06.2018 Clisson (France) – Hellfest *
30.06.2018 Helsinki (Finland) – Tuska *
12.07.2018 Viveiro (Spain) – Resurrection Fest *
14.07.2018 Gävle (Sweden) – Gefle Metal Fest
28.07.2018 Essen (Germany) – Nord Open Air
11.08.2018 Jaromer (Czech Republic) – Brutal Assault Festival
16.08.2018 Dinkelsbühl (Germany) – Summer Breeze Open Air *
More dates to be announced soon…

Further updates on the upcoming album will be following soon…

AT THE GATES line-up:
(From left to right on photo)
Adrian Erlandsson – Drums
Jonas Björler – Bass
Tomas Lindberg – Vocals
Jonas Stålhammar – Guitar
Martin Larsson – Guitar

AT THE GATES online:

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

DORO announces new studio album!

Photo Credit: Frank Dursthoff / Sugapix

On the 3rd of August 2018, DORO and her band will release their long awaited, as yet untitled new studio album! 

The metal queen unveils: 
"The writing process of the album is complete and we're currently finalising the mixing. This new record is going to be a diverse album with many fast songs and countless metal anthems. To be honest, I believe that one of these songs could become the next 'All We Are'!"

With this hit under her belt and a new album on the way, the unstoppable metal legend and her band are going to celebrate their 35th jubilee throughout a huge world tour, across late summer 2018! 

DORO recently announced an appearance at Bloodstock Festival, Derbyshire on 10th August. Make sure you don’t miss this chance to catch DORO and her band playing their famous hits, as well as some tunes from the new record.


What else can DORO tell us about the upcoming album?
"The first song that I wrote for the new album is a song dedicated to Lemmy. It's called 'Living Life To The Fullest'!"

Following the DORO tradition, there will be a German song included on the album. A mid-tempo track dealing with a deep friendship, just as in 'Für Immer'!

DORO has also announced a string of German and Austrian dates (listed below).

European Tour 2018/19
16.11. DE Bremen - Aladin
18.11. DE Berlin - Astra Kulturhaus
20.11. DE Görlitz - Kulturbrauerei
21.11. AT Wien - Simm City
23.11. DE Memmingen - Kaminwerk
24.11. DE Stuttgart - Im Wizemann
25.11. DE Saarbrücken - Garage
27.11. DE Frankfurt - Batschkapp
28.11. DE Erfurt - Stadtgarten
30.11. DE Köln - Live Music Hall
01.12. DE Bochum – Zeche

More dates due to be announced soon.

More DORO 2018 live dates:
11. - 16.02. USA Miami, FL - Monsters of Rock Cruise
21.06. BE Dessel - Graspop Metal Meeting
12. - 14.07. DE Balingen - Bang Your Head!!!
15.07. CZ Vizovice - Masters of Rock
20.07. DE Fritzlar - Rock am Stück
21.07. DE Wertheim - Burgrock
02. - 04.08. DE Wacken - Wacken Open Air
08. - 11.08. EA Villena - Leyendas del Rock (Warlock)
01.09. DE Hartenholm - Werner Rennen

More info:

Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa - Give It Everything You Got video


Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa

New Track 'Give It Everything You Got' 
Taken from the upcoming album 'Black Coffee'
Out January 26th via Provogue/Mascot Label Group

January 26th via: Provogue (Europe) and J&R Adventures (US & Canada) 

Featuring songs made famous by Edgar Winter, Ray Charles, Etta James, Steve Marriot, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Lucinda Williams, LaVern Baker & more

Check out 'Give It Everything You Got' here:

It has been 4 years since Grammy nominated and number 1 Billboard Blues album Seesaw was released by singer-songwriter and blues-rock powerhouse Beth Hart and guitar hero Joe Bonamassa. Since then, they have both been on fire, both in the studio and live. So, the time was perfect to reunite for another collection of ten soul gems that encompass Hart’s breath-taking vocals and Joe’s masterfully expressive playing. Black Coffee will be released on January 26th , 2018.

With producer extraordinaire Kevin ‘The Caveman’ Shirley (Joe Bonamassa, Led Zeppelin, Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Iron Maiden, Rush) back at the helm, the result digs deep into the soul catalogue where they honour and re-imagine songs from Edgar Winter, Etta, James, Ike & Tina Turner/Steve Marriot, Ella Fitzgerald, Lil’ Green, LaVern Baker, Howlin’ Wolf, Lucinda Williams and Waldeck. 

Recorded in 5 days at Studio at the Palms, Las Vegas in August 2016 they have once again recalled some familiar names in Anton Fig (Drums/Percussion), Ron Dziubla (Saxophone), Lee Thornburg (Horn Arrangements/Trumpet/Trombone) and welcomed in Reese Wynans (Keyboards), Michael Rhodes (Bass), Rob McNelley (Rhythm Guitar), Paulie Cerra (Saxophone), Mahalia Barnes (Backing Vocals), Jade Macrae (Backing Vocals) and Juanita Tippins (Backing vocals).

Talking about the sessions behind Black Coffee, Seesaw, 2011’s Don’t Explain and 2014’s Live in Amsterdam, Shirley gives some insight of what they are looking to achieve; “We’re trying not to dig into a playbook that’s been done many times, which is the old soul classics. We try and find a different spin on it; originally, it was about trying to find some songs that people didn’t know at all and bring them back to people’s attention.”

One such song was Give It Everything You Got, taken from 1971’s Edgar Winter’s White Trash album. With its hard rock meets Stax infused sound, the band delivers a formidable performance. “I don’t think that’s a song a lot of people know; it’s an old soul classic, but it’s not really one you might expect,” says Shirley 

“One of the things Jeff Beck had said to me once that I thought was so wonderful,” explains Hart, was “as soon as you get comfortable, and if you stay there, you’re just gonna start dying as an artist. And I feel that one of the gifts that I’ve got with working with Joe is that I’m always uncomfortable- in a good way. “

Shirley adds about the band, ”those guys just played live and it was incredible to be in the studio when that happens.”

“For me I’m able to explore the kind of music I have always admired from afar,” reveals Bonamassa. “But you don’t want to hear me singing Ella Fitzgerald…” he explained as Beth joins in. “I would never do Ella Fitzgerald without being with Joe, the things I get to do with you are things I grew up always wanting to do, but never believed I could.” 

The gospel flavoured R&B, Saved, originally performed by LaVern Baker, has been covered by Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Billy Fury, Elkie Brooks and The Band, amongst others. It is a full throttle, tongue-in-cheek moment, written from the perspective of someone who had lived a fast, loose life but is then "saved" and is now standing on a corner preaching to the passers-by. They take an altogether different mood on Soul on Fire, paying homage to Baker’s first ever solo release. Sitting On Top of The World is a classic, and it has been recorded by some of the world’s most iconic artists. Lullaby of the Leaves, was originally recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, from 1964’s Hello Dolly.

The sultry punch of Lucinda Williams’ Joy has a totally irresistible groove. “We have tracks like that and I love the energy,” Shirley adds. Addicted is taken from the 2007 trip-hop leaning album by the Austrian trio, Waldeck, which Shirley came across whilst on holiday and “shazamed” it.

Damn Your Eyes is taken from the Etta James 1988 comeback record, Seven Year Itch. Kansas Joe McCoy’s jazz-blues Why Don’t You Do It Right? made its first impact on Lil Green’s 1941 version, before Peggy Lee covered it a year later. 

They harness prime Steve Marriot on his take of Ike & Tina Turner’s Black Coffee. The inspiration came from his live version on the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test in 1973.

“It’s really predicated on the vocals,” Bonamassa explains. “We can’t cut these tunes without Beth singing and once she starts singing, it’s the glue that inspires us to get the extra 10% out of the playing. If we just cut them and sang later, the magic wouldn’t be there.”

“That’s something the two of us stopped doing many years ago,” agrees Hart. “There was all this layering, and then it’s time for you to sing. It’s like you’re not even making music any more. There’s nothing like being able to sit there live and see Joe, seeing the drums, seeing the bass, being able to see Kevin. I can feel the vibrations, it changes the whole thing.”

“Kevin really gets that,” she continues. “It works the best. In the old days, that’s how they did it; bad ass singers and bad ass musicians would have a couple of hours to get a whole record done.”

One of the key aspects of the sessions is to push everyone as much as possible. “They are always out of their comfort zone in the studio; this session especially wasn’t comfortable,” Shirley reveals. “This isn’t a summer in the grass session, just a couple of chords; this is people digging in. Everyone left feeling totally challenged, and at the end of the day, completely enthusiastic.”

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

HOGJAW NEW STUDIO ALBUM, ‘WAY DOWN YONDER’, SET FOR MARCH 16th RELEASE


Hailing from the deserts of Arizona, Hogjaw are four longstanding friends, a band of brothers, delivering “hard hitting southern fried electric guitar rock” with no punches pulled and no whiskey-shot left on the bar, and the band’s latest studio album, ‘Way Down Yonder’, makes this point in style.

Produced by the band & Byron Filson and confirmed for a March 16th release on Snakefarm Records, this 11-track outing – taking in the clean mellow pickin’ of ‘Back Home Today’, the heavy swamp groove of ‘Never Surrender’ and the foot-to-the-floor riffin’ of video track ‘Brown Water’ – proudly taps into the soul and the spirit of Capricorn Records’ legends such as The Allman Brothers, The Marshall Tucker Band and The Outlaws.

One of the foremost things about Southern Rock is that it’s music based on heritage, with real stories told and common values holding sway, and Hogjaw – JB Jones (vocals / guitar), Jimmy Rose (lead guitar), Elvis DD (bass) & Kwall (drums) – are cast in the best traditions of the genre, flying the flag for pure rock from days gone by.

Say Hogjaw: “With hard rockers, some clean pickin’ and singin’, and plenty of that thunderous riffin’ you have come to expect, this new album is guaranteed to bring back that old time rock ‘n’ roll vibe we all loved so much. Just put the music on, pour a cold beverage and clear your schedule!”

Renowned for their ‘take no prisoners’ live performances, Hogjaw recently visited mainland Europe for a gargantuan 40-date / 11 country headline tour, their fourth since launching their ‘Devil In The Details’ debut back in 2008. 

The ’Jaw’s previous studio album, ‘Rise To The Mountains’ (2015), was digitally re-issued via Snakefarm late last year, with a physical, repackaged version being lined up for 2018 along with UK festival and headline shows.

HOGJAW are:
Jonboat Jones – Vocals & Guitar
Jimmy Rose – Lead Guitar
Elvis DD – Bass
Kwall - Drums