Cue the heavy metal and holiday music! Because that's what this week has given us for music releases. It seems about right as well considering Friday is Halloween and companies are looking for any excuse to try and bring in the festivities just a few days/weeks earlier. Those profit margins aren't gonna push themselves you know!
So yeah there are a couple gems I have been waiting for on this list. At The Gates returns with the first new album in over nineteen years! That's crazy! I have also been looking forward to some of the heavier stuff such as Black Veil Brides, Unearth (whom I just recently did a live photo review for), Devin Townsend's Z², and of course some older rockers such as The Who and Jerry Lee Lewis. Overall, I think my week will be zipping by with the help of these albums.
Live and Crowe Brothers will be my new additions to the mix. It's been forever since listening to Live and now with a new singer (founding member Ed Kowalczyk exited the group after 23+ years including a 2 year hiatus) I am interested to see if the new singer injects some motivation into the band. I know I'd sure like to hear another hit album like "Throwing Copper". Crowe Brothers are brand new to me so the bluegrass/country vibe will keep the distortion at bay (haha).
So like usual folks. This site may not make money but the albums we promote does! So be a doll and show some love for these artists. Pay the $10 for the physical copy at your local record shop, or grab it from an online retailer or trusted digital source. Cheers and have a great week discovering!
(Jerry Lee Lewis - Rock & Roll Time)
Because this is an album from a man of such reputation there is no room for faltering and so the record’s short running time and exemplary sequencing are two of the album’s greatest strengths. “Sick and Tired” is equal to “Keep Me in Mind” in greatness as are “Blues Like Midnight” (an excellent turn from Robertson again) and Lynne’s chance to shine, “Here Comes That Rainbow Again”.
It hardly seems possible to consider that Jerry Lee Lewis would put anything less than his best foot forward, but we know the tales of wildness and excess but what gets lost in all the rubbernecking and footnotes as the years past and his visibility is sometimes less than it once was is how great a musician he is and how lucky we are to still have him. -Pop Matters
(Crowe Brothers - Forty Years Old)
*No reviews at this time
(The Who - Hits 50!)
*No reviews at this time
(Live - The Turn)
So yeah, while it isn’t perfect, there are some songs I don’t quite gel with, it’s impossible to say they are bad songs, they just don’t quite work for me. But the ones that do, really do – Sirens, Don’t Run to Wait, Rodgerton, By Design, Strength, Need Tonight, Open the Door, Devil and Came Around … I can see myself listening to these songs for a very, very long time.
Overall, Live, take a bow. I have been a fan since I was 6 years old, through the best of times and the worst, and I’ve technically been waiting 14 years for the band to write together again as an actual unit and I can honestly say that I do not feel disappointed at all. I feel thoroughly satisfied and like it was worth the wait. Welcome back! -Traces of Waste
(Nick Oliveri's Uncontrollable - Leave Me Alone)
This album is far from a one trick pony either. Take the classic rock feel of Luv Is Fiction, or the acoustic, instrumental title track Leave Me Alone. Then there’s the desert rock Robot Man (complete with police sirens, radio and helicopter – perhaps a tongue in cheek reference to his run in with a SWAT team a few years ago) or the storming album closer Death Leads The Way. This is an album with real diversity in sound.
With so many guests and such variation in styles you’d perhaps be worried that the album doesn’t ‘flow’ together as a whole. If you’re thinking this, please rest assured, Oliveri’s punk attitude flows throughout each and every song, and this helps to mesh everything together into one cohesive record. -Pure Rawk
(Rancid - ...Honor Is All We Know)
At times Armstrong’s vocals can sound a bit gassed on tracks like on “Now We’re Through”, whether for effect or not it can be a bit distracting, but for a punk band late into their career to create a disk this potent sounding, forgiving a few mis-breaths is easy.
From the gritty raw punk of “Already Dead” to the more rockcentric “Malfunction” the band are comfortably in a groove, writing and recording songs that fit their quality high level. While maybe not to their high-water mark …And Out Come The Wolves you can still safely add …Honor Is All We Know to the groups amazing back catalog as Rancid once again deliver. -Glide Magazine
(Lagwagon - Hang)
Hang is not the same record as Resolve, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Where the latter was a combination of raw emotion and somewhat reactionary, Hang is the product of a very experienced and talented band carefully crafting a set of songs. And they’re damn good. Add to the mix (no pun intended) the amazing production from Bill Stevenson and the Blasting Room and the final product is what any fan of the band will immediately love. If you disagree, take a few more listens, you’ll come around. -Punk News
(Devin Townsend - Z²)
'Dark Matters' is, without question, completely mental. The militaristic March Of The Poozers is the most epic piece Townsend has ever penned, the hammy narration is second-to-none and there's no end of quotable lines. While packing less depth than 'Sky Blue', it delivers fun and an unbridled lack of self-consciousness, making 'Z²' one of Townsend's most accomplished, deliriously juxtaposed works to date. Prepare yourself, human. -Stereoboard
(Black Veil Brides - Black Veil Brides)
Musically, it sounds a natural progression but also a more accomplished work while keeping the album dynamic, very melodic specially on the stand out tracks The Shattered God and Crown of Thorns. There are more vocal nuances that fit with music perfectly. Love the harmony (vocals/guitars) on The Shattered God.
All in all, IV is their best work to date. They redefine the genre rock/heavy metal and they do with an unmistakable honesty and a convincing enthusiasm that captivates the listeners. -Evigshed
(Unearth - Watchers of the Rule)
Watchers of Rule may not re-invent the wheel, but at this stage in the band’s firmly established career, that seems far from the point.
Unearth have fashioned a fully kick-ass album overflowing with hi-speed thunderous riffage that comfortably straddles the line between thrash and metalcore, deep soulful breakdowns that you can’t help but bang your head to, powerful vocals that sit perfectly atop all sorts of triumphant guitar leads, and a precise, hard-hitting rhythm section fantastically helmed by somewhat recent addition drummer Nick Pierce. -Metal Sucks
(Sister Sin - Black Lotus)
I do not want to call Sister Sin a throwback band, but their sound definitely sends me looking for my old Warlock cassettes. Vocalist Liv Jagrell has obviously been influenced by the great Doro Pesch in her style and delivery. This carries over to the rest of the band, and you can hear it in their music.
They have the hooks, the looks, and attitude to be at that level. Is it because they are on a label whose roster is more known for hardcore, death metal, and metalcore? I hope not, because “Black Lotus” has everything Sister Sin needs to get to the next level. It is not that I listen to the radio very often, but when I do, it would be nice to hear some Sister Sin on there. -This Is Not A Scene
(At The Gates - At War With Reality)
At War With Reality is neither pointless or disappointing. Yes, it’s not quite as good as Slaughter of the Soul, but it’s worthy follow-up considering the hurdles it had to clear. At War With Reality is distinctly slower and moodier and seems to flirt with the hardcore sound of frontman Tomas Lindberg’s criminally-underrated Disfear.
With At War With Reality, At the Gates have effectively solidified Slaughter of the Soul’s reputation as untouchable. However, At the Gates has at least proved that they’re more dynamic songwriters than they were in the early 90s. Although it has been panned as such, At War With Reality isn’t a mere income opportunity for At the Gates and is a worthy addition to any metal fan’s record collection. -Empty Lighthouse
(Minus The Bear - Planet of Ice)
The band tries to slip into prog territory, but it never sacrifices musicality for technical display, and its melodies stay intact. But even on this side of prog, those passages can feel inhibited, modulating aimlessly and petering out. It's on this song that their sense of humor disappears most completely, and the song's two second-handclap part (the one part that sounds like it was made by humans) is too good and over too fast. Next time Minus the Bear should rely less on safety, more on fortune. -Pitchfork
(As Blood Runs Black - Ground Zero)
"Regardless if we hit our goal or not we are still going to record & put out a new record this winter. We owe it to you guys to figure out a way. How well or how far it goes depends on you. Our goal will bless us with the ability to record, mix and master the new album with the engineer we want, buy & fix our trailer, create flexibility for pre production, tour areas never before, replace stolen gear, & give us a place to finish writing & rehearsing the new album." -ABRB
(Darius Rucker - Home For The Holidays)
We wanted to make one of those records that a fan of R&B music would put it on and go, ‘That’s a good Christmas record!’ And a fan of Country music would put it on and go, ‘That’s a good Christmas record. And a fan of pop music would put it on and go, ‘That’s a pretty cool Christmas record!’ I’m hoping it’s one of those records that people just love. I want fans to love it and play it for their kids. I’m hoping that there’s some kid who is two years old today, and when he’s 14 and they ask him what reminds him of Christmas, he says, ‘The Darius Rucker Christmas record.’ That would be awesome! -Rucker
(Celtic Thunder - Holiday Symphony)
For the group's first symphony orchestra tour, Celtic Thunder will depart from their large scale set productions to perform seasonal music from Holiday Symphony, joined in each market by prestigious local orchestras including the Dallas Pops, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Nashville Symphony Orchestra, among others. The new Celtic Thunder touring production will spotlight holiday favorites ranging from carols to contemporary classics as well as signature Celtic Thunder hit songs and traditional Irish numbers. Celtic Thunder will perform a mixture of solo, duets and ensemble number in a spectacular concert experience. -PR News Wire