Friday, December 9, 2016

CD Review: A Look Back At Uriah Heep With "Your Turn To Remember" Anthology

Music label BMG have recently announced a new extensive reissue program for the British hard rock band, Uriah Heep. The first release is a 31-track 2CD set titled "Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990." Uriah Heep was praised along with Led Zeppelin as the early torchbearers of heavy metal music and this set will help solidify that claim.
 
Beginning with the hard rock guitar blazing, drum-pounding of "Gypsy" from the band's debut album "...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble," Uriah Heep lay down the blueprint for British heavy metal. They switch gears with the quieter, mystical appeal of "Come Away Melinda" and "Lady In Black" as their songwriting and music took on a more progressive feel. Songs like "Look At Yourself" and "Easy Livin," began the comparisons between Uriah Heep and Deep Purple as both features exciting, memorable guitar riffs and electrifying keyboard solos.
 
The popularity of "Sweet Lorraine" and "Stealin'"grew the band's notoriety in the U.S. as their heavy metal sound reached a mainstream level with the Billboard top 100 album "Sweet Freedom." The addition of John Wetton on bass in 1975 gave their sound a more experimental, progressive rock appeal on the songs "Return To Fantasy" and "Weep In Silence." Uriah Heep closed out the seventies with the hard rock romp of "Free 'n' Easy" and the quick-rhythm of "Woman Of The Night."
 
As the band approached the 1980's, their sound contained more synthesizers and a more mainstream pop/rock tone as with "It Ain't Easy" and "Chasing Shadows." Their sound fit perfectly alongside the guitar solo driven, melodic hair metal of the eighties with songs like "The Other Side Of Midnight" and "Voice On My TV Box." The new anthology covers sixteen of Uriah Heep's albums, leaving out their 1985 album "Equator." To find out more about Uriah Heep and their latest release "Your Turn To Remember: The Definitive Anthology 1970-1990," please visit uriah-heep.com.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

CD Review: The Outlaws Cover Their Entire Career With New "Legacy Live" Release

The history of southern/country rock band The Outlaws goes back almost five decades as they topped the country music charts in 1975 with their single "There Goes Another Love Song." The band is also well-known for their nearly ten-minute rocker "Green Grass And High Tides," which was also featured in the video game "Rock Band." Their latest release is the 2CD live album titled "Legacy Live" and became available on November 18th through the Steamhammer/SPV label.

The new twenty-song release touches upon every aspect of their storied career, beginning with the ever-popular "There Goes Another Love Song" and the electrifying rocker "Hurry Sundown." Their voices are strong and memorable on the up-tempo harmonies of "Hidin' Out In Tennessee" and they bring together the classic country sway of "Girl From Ohio" as their sound is as timeless as ever. The Outlaws can still jam as they push "Grey Ghost" past the 11-minute mark, showcasing the amazing musicianship in the band. The progressive build-up of "So Long" and the southern blues/rock flair of "Prisoner" have The Outlaws covering every aspect of the country/rock genre. They also deliver music from their most recent studio album in the form of "It's About Pride," before finishing the show with a fourteen-minute jam of "Green Grass And High Tides" and their masterful delivery of "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky."

The Outlaws still perform over a 150 shows a year, with a couple more lined-up in Florida to close out the year. To find out more about their new live album "Legacy Live," please visit outlawsmusic.com.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

CD Review: New Heavy Metal Music From Entrapment, Gravebreaker & Workhorse III

Death Metal band Entrapment recently released their new album titled "Through Realms Unseen." It features eleven, hard-hitting, aggressive tunes, lead by the group's mastermind Michel Jonker. What began as a one-person recording project has grown into this Swedish death metal juggernaut. Beginning with the solid metal groove of "Omission," the growling vocals of Jonker sets the tone for the rest of the album. The energy remains high on "The Seeker" and "Ruination" as Entrapment motors through the songs driving rhythm. The screaming vocals of "Withering Souls" and the thunderous rhythm of "Isolated Condemnation" will certainly have you banging your head and and fists in praise to this latest release from Entrapment. To find out more about their new album, "Through The Realms Unseen," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/entrapment.
 
Also from Sweden is the debut album, "Sacrifice" from old-school style, heavy metal band, Gravebreaker. The sound on this new ten-song release has a nostalgic feel as it brings you back to the early days of the genre. Gravebreaker brings together elements of Motorhead and Dio in the opener, "Overdrive" as their music contains all the elements that make heavy metal music great. They turn up the energy on the Judas Priest-like sound of "Gravebreaker," then show off their musicianship with "At The Gates Of Hell." Their song "Kill And Kill Again" seem like it came straight from the Megadeth songbook, while the energy of "Pray For Death" gives their music a youthful, hungry sound. To find out more about Gravebreaker and their latest release "Sacrifice," please visit gravebreaker.bandcamp.com. 
 
Arriving December 9th is the third self-released album from Philadelphia rock band Workhorse III. The new album titled "Closer To Relevance" continues to deliver a classic, guitar-driven, riff-fueled, high energy sound on their new set of twelve tracks. Beginning with the quick-hitting "War Torn City," their sound crosses the barriers of thrash and punk as they perform a raw, kick-ass version of Def Leppard's song, "Wasted." A blazing, electrifying guitar riff leads Workhorse III through "Holly Roller" and the punk-like energy of "What's The Point" has a great, addictive sound. The album wraps up with the thunderous power of "Life Of Crime" and the acoustic strumming, sing-along chorus of "I Can't Forget." To find out more about Workhorse III and their latest release "Closer To Relevance," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/THE-WORKHORSE-III.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

CD Review: New Music From Indie-Artists Gramps The Vamp, The Vaudevileins & Peter Joly

From Chicago comes the latest release from Gramps The Vamp. Their new album titled "The Cave Of 10,000 Eyes," combines elements of funk, jazz and psych-rock to create the perfect horror film-type soundtrack. The new ten-song release begins with the horn-infused mystery of "Bats!" and the use of radio airwaves and sonic guitar strums gives the song "The Incident" a jazzy, spooky, hip groove. Their sound becomes huge on the build up of "Krampusnacht," before rocking to the guitar frenzy of "Labyrinth." Gramps The Vamp delivery an eerie lounge vibe with "Shadow Puppets," before closing the album with the wonderful horns of "Pyramid Level." To find out more about Gramps The Vamp and their latest release "The Cave Of 10,000 Eyes," please visit grampsthevamp.com.

Another Chicago band, The Vaudevileins are releasing their second full-length album titled "Magician." It features ten, energetic indie-rock tracks, beginning with the power chords of "Sea Anemone" and the buzzing rock groove of "Sticky." They deliver their youthful post-punk, garage-rock energy in "Chasing Time," before slowing down for the sweeping melody of "Hell Jazz." The album finishes with the guitar-driven rhythm of "Fake Cigarette," the grunge-rock of "Prove It" and the epic, tempo changes of "Devils." To find out more about The Vaudevileins and their latest release "Magician," please visit vaudevileins.com.

Chicago-based singer/songwriter Peter Joly recently released his self-titled debut album. It features members of Iron & Wine, The Hoyle Brother and Ryley Walker helping Joly achieve the Americana sound he desired to deliver on this release. It begins with the build-up of "Heart Of Stone" as the soft, solo acoustics grow to into its full-band sing-along. His music settles down for the emotional ballads "Your Hand In Mine" and "God In Love In June" before delivering the classic waltz of "Lighthouse." Peter wraps up his new 11-song release with the sweet sounds of "Love" and quiet acoustic folk-style of "Secret." To find out more about Peter Joly and his latest release, please visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/peterjjoly.

Monday, December 5, 2016

CD Review: New Music From U.K. Classic Rock Bands, Curved Air And Lucifer's Friend

British progressive rock band Curved Air continue their "Rarities" series with the release of volume 2. It features two discs worth of fifteen new instrumentals that the band has recorded in the studio. The new set titled "Curved Space & Infinity" begins with the launch of "Towards Tomorrow" as the band work together to find the right groove during their jam session. Their sound gets more ambient with "Sea Of Tranquility," before taking you on the intense, 14-minute musical journey of "Baghdad Café/Return To Calvary/Towards Infinity." The tracks are in no need of words as the music becomes so intricate and solo heavy that you find yourself digging deeper into the music. The first disc closes with the exciting guitar driven "Rose."
 
The second disc begins with the 15-minute, up-lifting, solo filled "Elevation." The disc features a different line-up from the first disc, with only Florian Pilkington-Miksa behind the drum kit. The use of keyboards is heard throughout the songs as they carry a different, more experimental tone as in the soft-melody of "Labyrinth" and the space-like journey of "Expansions." The set finishes with exciting, free-form playing of "Megalith" and the 16-minute sonic landscape of "Celestial Dance." To find out more about Curved Air and "Curved Space & Infinity," their latest release in their rarities series, please visit curvedair.com.
 
U.K. rock legends Lucifer's Friend have returned with a brand new studio album "Too Late To Hate," their first in 35 years. After reforming in 2015, Lucifer's Friend received such positive feedback performing as the Sweden Rock Festival, the Rock Of Ages Festival and Loreley Festival, that they decided to enter the studio. Along with core original members John Lawton, Peter Hesslein and Dieter Horns, they were joined by long term members Jogi Wichmann and Stephen Eggert.
 
The new twelve-track album begins with the renewed energy of "Demolition Man" as they pick-up right were they left off in 1981. They continue with the classic heavy metal groove of "Jokers And Fools," before delivering their progressive rock piece, "When Children Cry." They keep the energy flowing with the guitar driven rocker "Tell Me Why" and the slow blues of "This Time." The album finishes with the radio-friendly tones of "Tears" and chugging hard rock rhythm of "Brothers Without A Name." To find out more about Lucifer's Friend and their latest release "Too Late To Hate," please visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/LucifersFriendOfficial.