Wednesday, 30 April 2014

UDO - Steelhammer Live From Moscow (CD Review)

CD 1
03.King Of Mean
04.Future Land
05.Cry Of A Nation
06.Trip To Nowhere
07.They Want War
08.Never Cross My Way
10.Stay True
11.In The Darkness

CD 2
01.No Limits
02.Mean Machine
03.Burning Heat
04.Metal Heart
05.Devil’s Bite
06.Go Back To Hell
09.Metal Heart

Udo Dirkschneider (vocals)
Andrey Smirnov (Guitar)
Kasperi Heikkinen (Guitar)
Fitty Wienhold (Bass)
Francesco Jovino (Drums)

Superb live dvd/cd set celebrating yet another huge tour from one of Germanys greatest heavy metal vocalists of all time.
A real treat for fans, the sound is excellent and as always with live recordings its where metal belongs - Live!

A short press release from the record company:

Russia has a special meaning for Udo Dirkschneider and his band U.D.O.. They were one of the very first international artists to tour the huge country of Russia - and their fans are still very thankful until this day. So recording a LIVE DVD to highlight the “Steelhammer” tour was an opportunity the band didn’t want to miss. It is the first LIVE release of U.D.O.’s new line-up which easily convinced fans and critics alike on recent festivals and headlining gigs. The band comes up with an exceptional setlist, including many classics that haven’t been played for a long time, fan favorites and tracks from the recent success album “Steelhammer”. U.D.O. once again prove why they are hailed as one of the best European live bands. “Steelhammer - Live From Moscow” will be available as DVD/2CD, Bluray/2CD and triple-Vinyl in Russian national colors (tricolor).

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of : Accept, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Grave Digger

Serpentine Path - Emanations (CD Review)

01.Essence Of Heresy
02.House Of Worship
03.Treacherous Waters
05.Disfigured Colossus
06.Systematic Extinction

Tim Bagshaw (Guitar)
Stephen Flam (Guitar)
Jay Newman (Bass)
Darren Verni (Drums)
Ryan Lipynsky (Vocals/Guitar/Synth)

Formed after the demise of 'Unearthly Trance' in 2011 by bassist Jay Newman, drummer Darren Verni and vocalist Ryan Lipynsky, they then recruited guitarist Tim Bagshaw (ex-Ramesses, ex-Electric Wizard) to complete the lineup.
Their crushing, self-titled debut full-length was referred to as "thudding death-doom that will have genre enthusiasts rolling their stoned skulls in graveyard genuflection" by Revolver, and "a contender for doom album of the year" by Decibel.

Now officially augmented by new second guitarist Stephen Flam, the mastermind behind NYC doom/death legends, Winter, this new album is described as their "most demoralizing and anguish-filled slow-motion chaos yet".

We are presented with seven slabs of slow and painful sludge doom, downtuned to perfection with an evil growling vocal.
What surprised me was the length of the songs ranging from 4 to 8 minutes, i was expecting huge 10 minute pieces.

Its hard to pick a fave track as its a genre i like, yet essentially all the songs sound the same (in a good way!).

You either like this stuff or dont, if you do then this is well produced music from musicians who are veterans of the genre.

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of : Electric Wizard, Sunn 0))), Earth, Boris, Primitive Man

Monday, 28 April 2014

Nightmare - The Aftermath (CD Review)

01.The Aftermath (Intro)
02.Bringers Of A No Man’s Land
03.Forbidden Tribe
05.Invoking Demons
06.I Am Immortal
07.Digital DNA
08.Ghost In The Mirror
09.The Bridge Is Burning
10.Mission For Good
11.Alone In The Distance

Jo Amore (Vocals)
Franck Milleliri (Guitar)
Matt Asselberghs (Guitar)
Yves Campion (Bass)
David Amore (Drums)

French band Nightmare were formed in 1979 and became known when opened for Def Leppard at the Alpexpo of Grenoble in 1983,in front of an audience of more than 4000. They signed for the label Ebony Records, which published the album Waiting for the Twilight.  Nightmare replaced singer Christophe Houpert with Jean-Marie Boix to record their second album Power of the Universe. Shortly after, the band terminated its partnership with Ebony Records and the album was reissued in France by Dream Records. Their new label was soon subjected to financial difficulties, which delayed the release of an LP the band was working on. In addition, Jean-Marie Boix was forced to leave the band because of health problems,he was replaced by Scottish singer Tom Jackson (ex- Praying Mantis), hoping that his vocal qualities and his mastery of the English language could help the success of Nightmare on the other side of the Channel.

This incarnation of Nightmare produced a demo with two songs and did a few shows in France and England, with moderate success. However, dissension between the musicians about the musical direction for the band, whose music was veering toward AOR,led to disbandment in 1987, closing for more than a decade the career of Nightmare.
In 1999 they reformed with a revised line-up.Jo Amore, former drummer, took the singer position and left the sticks to his younger brother, David.

The band signed a contract with Adipocere Records and released the mini-album Astral Deliverance, recorded in tribute to Jean-Marie Boix deceased w had recentley passed away.
They released the double-live album Live Deliverance, recorded at the reunion concert held on 30 October 1999 at the Summum of Grenoble, noted as the first double-live album ever made by a French metal band. In 2000, Nightmare performed at the festival of Artifacts in Strasbourg and at the prestigious Wacken Open Air Festival.

At the end of the year, Nightmare formalized their collaboration with Napalm Records and in June 2001 began recording the album Cosmovision at Soundsuite Studio, changing their music to melodic power metal.
The famous French guitarist Patrick Rondat made a guest appearance on the first song "Spirit of the Sunset". The band then left for a short tour with Saxon.

At the end of the tour, Alex Hilbert replaced at the guitar Jean Stripolli, who left the band along with keyboardist Stephane Rabilloud. The following year, Nightmare flew to the United States to participate to the Metal Meltdown Festival, which included in the roster Manowar and Saxon. Back in Europe, they opened for Blind Guardian on the dates of Lyon and Paris and were featured in several festivals, including again the Wacken Open Air.

In 2003, Nightmare returned to Soundsuite Studio to record the concept album Silent Room and started the year 2004 with a European tour supporting After Forever and Dark Moor.At the end of the year, Nicolas De Dominicis, historical member of Nightmare, left the band and was replaced by guitarist Franck Milleliri.
A contract was signed with Regain Records for the album The Dominion Gate, recorded again at Soundsuite Studio with Terje Refnes. A long tour followed in 2006, supporting After Forever, as in the previous one.In August 2008, Alex Hilbert decided to leave the group for "personal reasons" after 6 years of service.He was permanently replaced by JC Jess.

In September 2009 Nightmare released their seventh album, Insurrection, with AFM Records. This album, heavier and more direct than its predecessors, earned the group many good reviews from press and fans. On 31 October 2009 the band held a concert for their 30th anniversary at the Edmond Vigne Hall in Grenoble, where the group originated. The concert was filmed for a DVD released in 2011.The group participated to the 2010 edition of the Wacken Open Air Festival and toured in South America the same year.

The spoken intro (Female voice, dont know who) and a very symphonic backing leads us into 'Bringer Of A No Mans Land', trading typical mid 80's power infused euro heavy metal with a Dio-esque vocal delivery.Have to say that this reminds me of u.s nu-metallers Disturbed.

Keeping the power going with 'Forbidden Tribe' punctuated by some furious double pedal work, this one sticks with a symponic metal sound, huge chorus with backing vocals, powerchords, drum driven and some nice bass fills.

Picking up speed for 'Neuromancer', the main thing you get from this is that you have a superb vocal talent backed by a frantic drummer, it drives the music along.

A touch of Heaven & Hell lurking in 'Invoking Demons', its one of those big "epic" mid tempo numbers, Its one of those head nodding songs that gets stuck in your head.

You know 'I Am Immortal' is just a keyboard away from Dimmu Borgir style symphonic Black Metal, there is some orchestration in the mix, but i dont know by whom (have a word with your pr guy at AFM, the info given is so basic!!!).

Some weird vocal effects on 'Digital DNA' and a few other strange elements thrown in to make this seemingly mainstream metal song stand out.

Moving into technical thrash territory, 'Ghost In The Mirror' has a touch of Kamelot with Shagrath, another hard driving classic from this great album.

'The Bridge Is Burning' is a slow burner, was not too sure to start with but as it goes along it seems to build, some nice piano playing and a stunning little guitar solo help make this one quite a stand out track in the end.

Love the evil voice effect thrown in to make 'Mission For God' a dark edged rocker.
Its another drum driven song, this stuff will be amazing live!

Finally more double pedal work mixed with solid riffs with 'Alone In The Distance', the blend of melody, style, agression all works to perfection.

Wow nothing short of amazing, this is one helluva album, you should own it!

Rating 10/10

For fans Of : Dio, Black Sabbath (Tony Martin era), Kamelot, Judas Priest, Therion

Friday, 25 April 2014

Kemakil - The Shard (EP Review)

01.The Shard
02.Times Up!
03.Dead Wagon
04.Great Minds Destroy

Rob Durrant (Guitar/Vocals)
Chris Stockdale (Guitar)
Tim Franklin (Bass)
Aaron Boast (Drums)

Suffolk thrashers formed back in 1988 by Rob and Chris, however it wasn't until 2007 that a solid line up was put together and an album's worth of material was recorded at Rob's house and became the demo 'Gondolas On The Styx'.

In 2008 Aaron and Haydn Morgans joined and after successful shows in Ipswich and London, the 'Blood Removal Machines' EP was recorded at Punch Studios in 2009.

For the next 2 years the band gigged throughout the UK playing support to bands like Virus, Shrapnel, Savage Messiah and Bonded By Blood.

2012 Haydn leaves the band but is featured on the self titled album released in June 2013. recorded at HVR Studios just outside Ipswich, his replacement is Tim from 'Fallen Humanity'.

Recorded earlier this year comes the first Ep from the new line up and is available as a free download.

No intros just straight into the action! 'The Shard' for some reason reminds me of Celtic Frost in the early days, its full on thrash, high speed stuff, but some dark elements lurk.

The pace slows a little for 'Times Up!', very solid timing changes and a vocal that is punctuated note for note by the drums.
Half way through the agression kicks in followed by a screaming guitar solo, the timing style reminiscent of glory days Slayer.

More frantic drumming greets 'Dead Wagon' complete with another great "shout it out loud muthafucker!' vocal.

The last 2 'Great Minds Destroy' and 'Prejudice' form a 5 minute instrumental work out, i counted at least 7 different timing changes ranging from powerchords to almost blues all wrapped in a thrash patched leather jacket!
Theres something for everybody here (except vocals).

Quite a surprisng little ep of well thought out music, with a nice raw feel, proving that when it comes to thrash we can still produce real original quality.

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of : Elimination, Mutant, Evile, Bonded By Blood, Municipal Waste



Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Castle - Under Siege (CD Review)

01.Distant Attack
02.Be My Ghost
03.A Killing Pace
04.Pyramid Lake
06.Labyrinth Of Death
07.Temple Of The Lost
08.Evil Ways

Liz Blackwell (Vocals/Bass)
Al McCartney (Drums)
Mat Davis (Guitars)

San Francisco heavy metal band formed in 2009, their debut album “In Witch Order” was released in 2011 this earned them “Album of the Year” honors from Metal Hammer Norway, as well as Roadburn Festival’s “Newcomer of the Year.”

Shortly after, the band signed with Prosthetic in North America and released their critically acclaimed sophomore album “Blacklands,” they supported the release playing over 200 shows worldwide alongside acts including The Sword, Intronaut and Witch Mountain in addition to appearing at some of the scene’s largest festivals including Roadburn and the London Desertfest.

Of their latest album Liz Blackwell said, “We wrote this album in Los Angeles, San Francisco and in the mountains of Northern California. It’s a California record. We drew from the heavy sounds of those places to write electric witch hymns of death and doom.”

They are currently on a major european tour, with more dates and festival apearences expected soon.

Right from the off i was surprised, i was expecting doom laden riffs, but 'Distant Attack' reminded me more of old bands like UFO and Heart, pounding yet flowing riffs, nice melodic guitar and smooth vocal delivery.

'Be my Ghost' has a goth feel, but that punchy guitar sound keeps it metal, not unlike the Devils Blood, could be an early 70's band but without sounding dated, same can be said of the next couple of tracks as well.

Some frantic drumming on 'Powersigns' blends with a slow riff, and another solid vocal performance, create an atmospheric rocker.

Doomy feel to 'Labyrinth Of Death' like Dio era Sabbath, superb vocals and some guitarwork to kill for, Hendrix meets Iommi !
Would have liked this one to be a lot longer than the four and a half minutes we are given, this one has 'Epic' written all over it.

This darker vibe continues with 'Temple Of The Lost', but this one is very heavy some dark and evil male vocals are thrown into the mix as are some intresting timing changes.

'The final song 'Evil Ways' continues this dark and heavy mixture as well, this one is almost an instrumental were it not for the low down growl of "evil ways" popping up every now and then.

Rating 8/10

For Fans Of : Devils Blood, Purson, Blood Ceremony, The Sword, The Oath


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Helstar - This Wicked Nest (CD Review)

01.Fall Of Dominion
02.Eternal Black
03.This Wicked Nest
04.Souls Cry
05.Isla De Las Munecas
07.It Has Risen
08.Defy The Swarm

James Rivera (Vocals)
Larry Barragan (Guitar)
Rob Trevino (Guitar)
Mikey Lewis (Drums)

Texas based heavy metal band formed in 1982, they have had a somewhat chequered career, after releasing a brilliant debut album called 'Burning Star' in 1984, they soon split up.Having reformed a year later and another good album they relocated to LA, changed the line up and signed with legendary Metal Blade record label.
In 1989 they released a concept album 'Nosferatu' which should have seen them hit the big time, but it didnt happen, after a few more releases James spend more time with other projects and Helstar vanished, the record company put out a few live albums, but the band was pretty much dead.

It wasnt until 2006 that the band once again reformed and signed with AFM records who put out an album of re-recorded songs and in 2008 a new studio album.
In 2010 a boxed set was released and one further album 'Glory Of Chaos', now four years on the band unleash 'This Wicked Nest'.

Opening with a melodic riff 'Fall Of Dominion' soon bursts into life with a full on thrash assault full of high pitched vocals and pounding drums.In fact this blasts the shit outta many younger so called thrash bands, proving that the old bands are still the best.

'Eternal Black' has a vocal style that reminds me of Snowy Shaw, it has that epic almost symphonic/thrash feel, the music has a riff that stikes a bell somewhere as well, think it might be something by Arch Enemy?

Now cant help but think of Judas Priests 'Painkiller' with this title track, it has the same chord structures and the vocal is pure Halford!

From Priest we move to Megadeth with 'Souls Cry', but then lets remember that this band ARE one of the original first wave of what was once called american power metal, then speed metal and finally thrash.

Awesome riff and some great drumming opens 'Isla De Las Munecas' good timing changes and the double pedal work really punches this one through the speakers.
Like a speeded up take of Black Sabbath's 'Children Of The Grave' this is a really good instrumental.

The longest track on the album at seven and a half minutes comes the moody and atmospheric 'Cursed', a near acoustic almost (Almost) ballad, but the underlining agression keeps it above that most dreaded of rock atrocities!
The pace grows throughout creating a great song.

Speed returns with 'It Has Risen' another driving, screaming assault, the same can be said of 'Defy The Swarm' complete with a little old school Slayer thrown in.

The final track complete with weird title is 'Magormissabib' yeh i dunno what it means but the song fucking slays!

Rating 9/10
For Fans Of : Judas Priest, Exciter, Exodus, Slayer, Megadeth

Monday, 14 April 2014

Elvenking - The Pagan Manifesto (CD Review)

01.The Manifesto
02.King Of The Elves
04.The Druid Ritual Of Oak
05.Moonbeam Stone Circle
06.The Solitaire
07.Towards The Shores
08.Pagan Revolution
09.Grandier’s Funeral Pyre
10.Twilight Of Magic
11.Black Roses For The Wicked One
12.Witches Gather

Damna (vocals)
Aydan (Guitar)
Rafahel (Guitar)
Lethien (Violin)
Jakob (Bass)
Symohn (Drums)

Guest Vocalist :
Amanda Sommerville (King Of The Elves)

Italian folk/power metal formed in 1997, had to wait until 2000 before they put out their first demo, but it was a solid demo and soon got them signed to AFM records, who have just released album number eight.

Starting with an intro 'The Manifesto' sets the mood as we plunge into 'King Of The Elves' full on classic power metal influenced folk metal.
What stops this 13 minute epic from being too generic is the way the breakdowns work, bringing different elements to the piece, from acoustic, full on metal, soulful violin playing, great vocals and the female backing works well.
About 9 minutes in we get treated to more of Amanda's vocals for a very traditional folk rendition.

'Elvenlegions' and the next 2 stick to the traditional folk metal formula, then 'The Solitaire' has elements of symphonic black metal and pop thrown in to make a great song.

Pure folk stylings with 'Towards The Shores' make for a nice interlude and then a huge sound with 'Pagan Revolution' great harmonic backing vocals rain out over a hyper drum beat and uptempo violin playing, creating this kind of Jig/Mosh hybrid!

Echoes of Skyclad with 'Grandiers Funeral Pyre' another one that borders on black metal/folk crossover.

After more of the same (Good stuff, not much point in saying the same thing about each track), we arrive at 'Witches Gather' this one at 8 minutes is another one that mixes many styles, hell even a hint of Trash Metal in there.

See this is good stuff, it doesnt stick to the same tired cliche or formula, it is well put together creative and fun.

Rating 8/10
For fans Of : Skyclad, Turisas, Within Temptation, Moonsorrow

21Octayne - Into The Open (CD Review)

01.She’s Killing Me
02.Dear Friend
03.Turn The World
04.Don’t Turn Away
05.My Teddy Bear
06.Into The Open
07.Me Myself And I
08.The Heart (Save Me)
09.Your Life
10.I Will Always Be Right There
11.Leave My Head
12.Come Alive

Hagen Grohe (vocals)
Marco Wriedt (Guitars)
Andrew “Bullet” Lauer (Bass)
Alex Landenburg (Drums)

A supergroup (of sorts) formed in Germany in august 2010, more as a jamming group but soon formed a more permanent idea.
So who do we have, well Hagen is the vocalist with the Joe Perry Project (Perry being the guy from Aerosmith), Marco is the guitarist with Axxis, Andrew plays bass with Paul Gilbert and Alex is from Rhapsody, so expect rock ballads mixed with classic rock.

Not quite what i was expecting i must say, starting with 'Shes Killing Me' its a surprisingly "american" sounding song, atouch of Audioslave meeting a mature sounding Motley Crue.Yes it ahs that euro metal sounding guitarwork but not bad.

The next one 'Dear Friend' borders on a naff rock ballad but the drums give it a bit of edge, a bit power metally in places.

Next one that grabs my attention is 'My Teddy Bear', come on cool title! But the music has a funk feel like Extreme used to have.The drum and riff is very heavy, really drives this one along.

The next few tracks come and go, same style nothing to get excited about, then it arrives the "Bloody awful acoustic rock ballad as Copywrited by Bon Jovi, Aersosmith, Mr Big" etc etc, why the fuck do bands feel the need to put out this kind of crap, i swear every damn album that calls itself "Classic Rock" does it yet they all claim to not want to follow the Cliche, well guess what you embrace the cliche when you do this crap!

After that it returns to form, but again nothing special, cant help but wonder why this stuff gets released, if they were not known musicians this wouldnt get passed the demo or free download stage.

Rating 5/10
For fans Of : Extreme, Mr Big, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Check Em Before You Wreck Em (CD Review)

01.Do It Now
02.2 Tonne Fuckboot
03.Captain Merryweather
04.Running From Home
05.Happiness Begins
06.Shaker Your Head
07.Dont Hear It..Fear It!
09.The Thicker The Better
10.Late Night Mornings

Johnny Gorilla (Guitar/Vocals)
Louis Comfort-Wigget (Bass)
Bill Darlington (Drums)

Hastings psych/hard rockers formed in 2008, they take their name from a British naval officer from the late 17th century.
The official record company blurb says that they are the last of a dying breed of grease bastard rock!
Clearly the last 30 years have not existed for this trio as their music is straight out of the late 60's detroit rock scene and the early 70's underground music of Crushed Butler and the Pink Fairies.

'Do It Now' is a skuzzed up rocker definatley a Pink Fairies vibe, perhaps not surprising as they had a song called 'Do It' the sound they create is pure 70's rock, and it doesnt come over as some sort of lame tribute, this is the real thing, the guitar sound is pure, the mix and production captures every element to perfection.

The delightfully titled '2 Tonne Fuckboot' has a stop/start Zeppelin feel, but when the vocals kick in its more May Blitz meets Jesse Hector.

I was expecting something intresting with 'Captain Merryweather' and i wasnt dissapointed, i wondered if it was a nod to Mama Lion guitarist Neil Merryweather who released a number of solo albums in the 70's including one called Space Rangers (One to own if you can find it) its a psychedelic work out coming in at 8 minutes, the kind of thing Monster Magnet used to do,only better.
Great vocals and the guitar playing is outstanding, four minutes in and the song takes a slower even more psychedelic approach before storming into guitar nirvana!

Some awesome drumming on 'Running From Home' keeps this one at driving speed, then comes the guitar solo and its time to open that throttle!

The next track 'Happiness Begins' is a full on rocker, sounds familliar but cant place the riff, lurking somewhere in my old vinyl pile no doubt.Could be Ten Years After or even early Quo?

'Shaker Your Head', elements of The Who and Free can be detected in this upbeat blues-ish rocker.

Just realised that the vocalist reminds me of Rory Gallagher in his Taste days, and thats quite a good comparison for this song 'Dont Hear It..Fear It!'

Yet again i wonder if this could be a nod to another 70's classic rock group, this time the song 'Bulletproof' and the band in question were called Hard Stuff.

Another riff half remembered from the old days, 'The Thicker The Better' is another faced paced rocker.

With a title like 'Late Night Mornings' i was expecting a layed back tune and this is to start with then the pace picks up with some great blues playing and it comes in at 7 epic minutes.

Rating 10/10
For fans Of : Crushed Butler, Blue Cheer, Pink Fairies, Steppenwolf, Heavy Metal Kids

Death - Leprosy (3 Disc Re-Issue Review)

02.Born Dead
03.Forgotten Past
04.Left to Die
05.Pull the Plug
06.Open Casket
07.Primitive Ways
08.Choke on It

01.Open Casket (23/09/87)
02.Choke On It (23/09/87)
03.Left To Die (23/09/87)
04.Left To Die - Take Two (23/09/87)
05.Left To Die (05/12/87)
06.Open Casket (05/12/87)
07.Pull The Plug (05/12/87)
08.Choke On It (05/12/87)
09.Born Dead (05/12/87)
10.Forgotten Past (05/12/87)

02.Open Casket
03.Zombie Ritual
04.Pull The Plug
05.Left To Die
07.Forgotten Past
08.Born Dead
09.Denial Of Life
10.Primitive Ways
11.Infernal Death
13.Pull The Plug
14.Forgotten Past
15.Primitive Ways

Chuck Schuldiner (Guitar/vocals)
Rick Rozz (Guitar)
Terry Butler (Bass)
Bill Andrews (Drums)

Im sure you wont need the back history to this band or indeed this album originally released in november 1988.

In fact this was the first time i had ever heard the band, after Radio 1 DJ John Peel played a track off it called 'Pull The Plug' i went out the next day and purchased a copy on good old vinyl!

This album was later voted number 1 as the most important Death Metal album of all time, and its influence continues to this day.

It was re-issued in 2008 with 5 live tracks, but this one is quite something, no less than 3 discs, the original album, a disc of rehersals and then a huge live collection.
Available in  a digi pack cd set with booklet and coloured vinyl.

This really gives the fans what they want, most re-issues just dont cut it, this does!

Now normally id do a track by track review, what can i say that has nt already been said its still top of the class, unrivialed in brutality, yet retaining melody and quality musicanship.Every track is brilliant but for me its still 'Pull The Plug' loved it when i heard it all those years ago and loved it when i played it just now.

As for the bonus discs, the rehearsal stuff is intresting, you can hear how the band worked hard to create the songs and with the three versions of 'Left To Die' you can see how a song can develop to perfection.

The live stuff, well come on, even more agressive, screaming guitars, furious drums and a vocal style often copied but never bettered.

Just go buy it!

Rating 10/10
For Fans Of : Morbid Angel, Slayer, Obituary

Dario Mars & The Guillotines - Black Soul (CD Review)

01.Cold Sun
02.Death Is Dead
03.How The Story Goes
04.The Day I Died
05.The Jailer
06.Black Soul
07.Ombra E Polvere
08.Soul Sucker
09.Your Own Page
10.Somebody Else Inside
11.Banned From Ever
12.Forks On The Bird Cage

Renaud Mayeur (Guitar/Vocals)
David Kostman (Bass/Piano)
Vincenzo Capizzi (Drums)
Bineta Saware (Vocals/Percussion)

Dario Mars & The Guillotines were formed in March 2013 after multi-instrumentalist and composer Renaud Mayeur wrote and recorded more than 20 songs in his home studio. Together with Polish multi-instrumentalist David Kostman he started to arrange the songs. In Bineta Saware he found the perfect soulful voice for his compositions and with Vincenzo Capizzi the right man on drums.

Together they re-recorded 12 tracks which Mayeur produced and mixed himself. The albums was mastered by Marcel van De Vondervoort (Torture Garden Studio).

Renaud Mayeur is a unique talent in the Belgian music scene. In the 90's he started his career in underground punk-rock and metal bands and became more known due to his membership of the infamous garage-shock band La Muerte from Bruxelles.

After La Muerte, he founded his own rock 'n roll monster HULK with whom he recorded 2 albums, the second of which, "Cowboy Coffee & Burned Knives", was recorded in the illustrious Rancho De la Luna Studio in Palm Springs Desert, California - best known for hosting Josh Homme's Desert Sessions recordings - with guests Chriss Goss (Masters of Reality), Jesse Hughes (EODM), Brant Bjork (Vista Chino, ex-Kyuss,) and Dave Catching (EODM, Ex-QOTSA).

Mayeur wrote the score for the road movie 'El Dorado' from Bouli Lanners which won a Golden Palm on the film festival in Cannes, and won the annual 'Margritte Award' (Belgian award) for Best Movie Soundtrack for 'Mobil Home"(directed by Francois Pirot) in the same year his soundtrack for "Torpedo" directed by Mathieu Donck was also nominated for a best soundtrack award. More recently Mayeur made his first steps into mainstream French cinema, writing the score for "Dans Tes Bras" by Hubert Gillet with Michele Laroque.

Their music is described as "black and white music for black and white souls",attempting to created a film noir written by Edgar Allen Poe in musicial form.

From the opening guitar on 'Cold Sun' you get this dark, swamp, rock n roll vibe, somewhere between a soundtrack for Win Wenders 'Paris, Texas' and Robert Rodriguez 'From Dusk Till Dawn'.

A little more soulful rock n roll sound for 'Death Is Dead' a very 60's vocal delivery reminiscent of Marsh Hunt or Madeline Bell, with some stunning rock n roll riffs.

The next couple of tracks are more of the same until we get to the soul/blues hybrid of 'The Jailer' very atmospheric.

The mood gets even darker with 'Black Soul' but the ambience created is ruined by the next song 'Ombra' with its horrible twangy guitar and banjo sounds.

Then 'Soul Sucker' comes in with this upbeat funky little sound and all is well again, and remains so to the end of the album.

Well i didnt get the film noir or Poe bit that was in the bio blurb, this is rockabilly with a dark soulful edge, you can tell that Mayeur has worked with ex Kyuss/QOTSA guys and works on film soundtracks, all in all a good solid album.

Rating 8/10
For Fans Of : Nick Cave, Queens Of The Stone Age, Tito & Tarantula, Ry Cooder