(Rockest Records - 2016)

Wit that sort of same, you could  swear some sort of irreverently-styled ska outfit were coming your way, as opposed to the part prog parts something else that Pervy Perkin turn out. Then again the Spanish have always been an interesting bunch.

This bizarre foursome sound might not necessarily be everyone's cup of tea and in quite a few spots struggles to be mine, due to the frequent use and abuse  of synth sounds. There is some pleasant prog in the Fates Warning/Yes/Dream Theater vein to listen with the usual great technical aplomb and as always welcome is the conceptual thread.

The one major offending aspect comes in the shape of adlibbed dialogue parts, that seem set in segregation era deep south,  and at times sound totally dropped in, notably on ill-fitting  'KountryK*ntClub'. Pretty consistent at times but plenty irritating at a lot of others, Pervy Perkin haven't had the worst of ideas by far but assembling the formula could have done with a lot more time.


By Dave Attrill

PLANISTRY - Threeless
(S/R - 2016)

As with the rest of Scandinavia turf, everything is still very much musically 'go' in Finland these days....as established by Lappeenranta fivesome Planistry and this fiery debut album of theirs.

Slick twin guitar hard rock for a modern age melds several core subgenres together, giving us an already appreciated  alternative / hard rock / pop metal mix. 'Bring Me Trust' burns off the line with loud blues guitar engines switching on mid track, while 'Pitfalls and Delusions' sets in a direct punkish imprint. 'Flow' follows up, coming across Jam -like in its fast beat, fretting backdrop.  'Join The Show' steals it for me with these lads - a superb modern melodic tune with a massive building chorus.

'They Say' is a pulsating ballad-cut number with slightly ambient atmosphere, whereas 'Mile After Mile' is another mighty pogo-er of a tune with a chorus scarily reminiscent of 'Don't Fear The Reaper'. Another slice of evidence that our Scamdinavian friends can simply not sit down for just a day....and serious respect for that yet again here.

Planistry unleash a monster first time out and with a second long player in the pipeline, their teeth are looking dangerously sharpened.


By Dave Attrill


The Phoenix – My Turn To Deal (E.P.)
(Demon Doll Records – 2016)

Brash, polished and really together female rock quartet who can play real well and singer just as good too that hail all the way from San Marino and Rimini, Italy.

They put me in mind of Joan Jett, Lita Ford, Girlschool and they wanna ‘Party Hard’ because ‘You Can’t Stop The Rock ‘N’ Roll’. ‘Dangerous Girls’ I kid you not! A pleaaurable four tracker is this ‘ere cd and it’s ‘My Time To Deal’ and what a cracking one it is too!

Promising stuff for the future indeed!


By Glenn Milligan

The Powwow Rock Orchestra - Everybody Powwow!
(Spiderhawk Records – 2015)

A concept album spread over two cds that concerns finding the fatherland, falling in love with a Sioux girl and this all leading to tragic overall consequences placed together by Composer/Lyricist, Simon Webb.

The majority of lead vocals are handled by Robert Hart (Bad Company/The Jones Gang/Manfred Mann Earth Band) plus Emma Pears and Stella Betton handling a couple too. Among the many people featured are Guitarists, Gary Grainger of Rod Stewart fame and Bernie Marsden, the well known ex-Whitesnake man and the fabulous Kick Horns (The Who, David Gilmour & The Rolling Stones).

There’s so much happening here and very hard to pin down the best songs though opener ‘Dream Overture’; ‘Amerikaye; ‘Shine On’; ‘Live The Life’ from CD 1 and ‘Crazy Horse’; ‘Everybody Powwow!’ and Chase The Sun (Reprise)’ are pretty damn spectacular.

Well worth playing!


By Glenn Milligan


(Membran/RecordJet - 2015)

Austrian songstress Sonja seems on a record for the largest backing band a solo metal vocalist can boast of.

Obviously not all play on any one single of these ten scrumptiously symphonic rock numbers, except her herself and her roof-lifting lushness of a voice. That said, Tom Shevchuk does seem to be the name stealing up the credits, although Sheffield-based favourite John Slater also appears prominently on the list, and for more than just one glorious reason. Not wishing to miss the point, Miss Perenda powers up the place with a pure delivery of vocal voltage.

You could take away all the instruments numbers like 'Call of Freedom', 'The Player', 'Victim of a Miracle', 'You Had it All', 'Time Has Come' and 'Winter Eyes' and still be mesmerised the ay you would by most other high profile melodic metal acts on the continent - just imagine if you will, the strings and her vocal chords acting as one, strummed by each sonorous breath taken. Fantastic work with a huge live experience looking set to await you, this young lady seriously needs to be listened to - we would however appreciate a little more sleeve info next time, Sonja. 



By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Mostly Autumn, Sirenia, Heart, Kamelot

Buford Pope – Sticks In The Throat
(Unchained Records – 2014)

A very versatile sounding guitarist from Gotland, an Island of Sweden in the Baltic Sea who has a husky voice and can delivery really well in this11 tracker.

He plays a mass of country, rock, blues and folk and various points that mix those styles. Take the opening rocker ‘Don’t Take It Out On Me’ that reminds of AC/DC’s ‘Live Wire’ main riff; the jangly ‘Go Your Own Way’; the country- blues of ‘Highway’ that’s real southern with plenty of banjo to be found.

Then there’s the steel guitar sounds on the balladeering Civil War drums of ‘You’re the Drug I Like To Use’ or the closing deep echoing guitar filled ‘What Will Mama Say’ that has a ton of guts in it.



By Glenn Milligan


Ritchie Dave Porter – Acoustic Blues E.P.
(S/R – 2015)

Like it says in the title, acoustic blues – just 1 man and his unplugged geetar who cranks out 7 ditties in just over 20 minutes from Birmingham, UK.

Recorded live in Ritchies kitchen on two microphones by Producer Michael Tingle it was conceived in just one day. If only other albums were as quick as that right? It has some really nice stuff on here with the opener ‘When The Sun Don’t Shine’ putting me in mind of the West Coast of the USA in the late 60’s.

Then there’s the trad. 12-bar ‘I Got No Money’ or the instrumental ‘Spanish Tear’. In fact it’s all finely sounding set of songs.



By Glenn Milligan

Purpura Ink – Breakin’ Chains
(Voice Music – 2015)

What struck me about these Brazilian Boys was just how much they sound like Europe both musically and vocally in the first song ‘Breakin’ but there’s a bit more to them than that.

It’s very 1980’s to say the least throughout the album which works for yours truly with standouts being the fast-paced ‘Enemy’; ‘Flyin’ Away’; ‘Bitter Wishes’ with its cool guitar urps and the up-tempo excellent, positive closer ‘Something To Believe’.

Worth checking out.


By Glenn Milligan

PUSH - Friction
(Flying Girl Records - 2015)

Not to confuse with the Danish hard rock act, this Baltimore-based foursome might appeal to fans of the same who appreciate a little more ferocity laid on top.

'Take Away' pulls no punches, shoving the gearstick up to the top for all of its two-minutes-fifty and telling us how this lot might well tend to do things. Sabbath influences surprisingly appear evident on 'Do What You Want', contrasting with the previous track plus grungy upbeat rocker 'Flying Girl' which follows. Six minute semi-ballad 'The Place' places this outfit in yet another light, taking a Pink Floyd/Marillion turn on the way in before becoming a Seattle-shaped brute for the chorus part.

The powerful versatility of lead guitarist/vocalist Geo flexes its muscles further through the fiercley Kiss-a-like 'Run Through The Fire' and the blueish seventies sass of 'Stranger'. 'Angel of Mercy' moves out from a familiar-feeling metal kick-off into a punk flavoured hard rocker with a good old-fashioned repeating chorus hookline, propelled by a pumping, classic metal rhythm.

Muscular closer 'Do What You Want' introduces their friend, and established artist Jade Cadaver alongside Geo at the mike for a mighty duet that delves heavily into latterday Metallica but leaves you with your mouth open in optimism of what may follow with track nine...oops, there's only eight on this one.

Neatly executed, modern hard rock with balls and bite from the beginning to end and after thirty five and a half minutes, I'm begging for more of it but sadly don't get (well there's always the repeat button, Dave). Vitriolic fare from a very talented foursome, Push push all the right buttons here and hold most of them down.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Velvet Revolver, Foo Fighters, The Answer & G’N’R

NET: www.pushkicksass.com

March 2015

(S/R - 2014)

German metal newcomers Premortal Breath have been through some interesting line up fluctuations in their few years together, with two different bassists in turn having become guitarists.

Sandwiched amidst the slices of ferocity that are founding members, singer Tommy Greulich and drummer Potti Pettrich, their sharp fingered melodic hardcore assault takes on more than one rein, rubbing sounds of Corrosion of Conformity and Machine Head, at their more subtle end, together and topping it with a tone of, dare I mention them... Metallica.

Avoiding sticking to a thrash diet, this one is more about driving modern metal, mid paced, lower paced or what ever may come as flavour of the moment, doing them huge levels of credit. Teutonic mastery at its, well masterful, as usual.


By Dave Attrill

NET: www.facebook.com/premortalbreath


(Concreto Records - 2014)

Mexico have become a busy country metal-wise recently, although like,ever other nation not everything they produce is great.

Paalthal Aninnaki's name for instance is the only inspiring thing about them. Hidden beneath the hugely artistic inner sleeve is just tedious spewing death metal with only the littlest of the prog influence promised on the promo.

One is kept listening forty-five minutes for anything of excitement but apart from the surprsingly jazz like intro to 'Alphas Draconis' only the die hard genre fans are too likely to forage any of that from this effort.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Decapitated & Morbid Angel.

THE PARLOTONES - Stand Like Giants
(Ear Music 2014)

South African foursome The Parlotones seem to have already achieved two firsts on the go, one being playing on a passenger jet, the other recording this spanker of an album, that isn't actually their first but a frigging belter whichever way you roll it.

Tight, upbeat indie rock that sounds questionable on a Metalliville page, jumpy little gems such as 'Sleepwalker', 'Slow Assassination', 'Spellbound', 'Never Stand Alone', 'Lazy Sunny Days', 'Sympathise With The Cost', 'Hollow Men' and 'Chinese Vase' should open ears across each and every corner of the spectrum.

Lead vocalist Kahn Morbee's sharp, clean voice cuts across with a strong mid nineties shine, not dirtied by any devation from their normal thread. Deeper than a lot of outfits seen clogging up the charts in its heyday, this high-spirited Johannesburg combo come armed with ammunition and no blanks to spare.

Recommended indeed.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Coldplay & Depeche Mode.

NET: www.theparlotones.net


THE PASS OUTS - Dead Technology
(S/R -2013)

Sporting a neat Star Wars character art theme on the cover both back to front, it would have been understandable for some to expect a heavier sounding machine beneath.

That said, the disturbance in the force is only slight but not sinister as these three Aussie lads let their swish pop rock out rom its masters lead. Driving, dancy chords and strong Nickelback chorus string together into a sturdy rope holding all ten parts of this high speed machine together as one.

Nifty solos you can spring up and down to on the floor you stand on amidst hooklines that refuse to...erm... sling their hooks, spell out satisfaction from tracks like 'New With You', 'Show Me What It's Like', ' Start A Fire', 'Glorified Caveman', 'Your Side', 'Float Away' and 'Fragile Life'. A fast and fantastic first taste from this trio with elements as familiar as you'd expect but delivered solid, it rides.

Seek out.


By Dave Attrill

NET: www.thepassouts.com

March/April 2014

PAX ROMANA - Let All Men Know This Is Sacred Ground
(Presence Records - 2013)

Finnish proggies Pax Romana may well have a surname sounding like a brand of stuffing mix but they roast it together with the right ingredients on this third album of theirs.

Swish, pedigree-based ambience with actual songs to speak of fills the air as 'Screaming Hrads' opens and 'Blind Eye' ends. Singer/guitarist Matti Inkinen impresses with a strongly matured voice that sets about the echoes of the seventies household names their inspirations are fuelled from. Mighty guitar lines and smooth, everlasting keyboard pieces paralell each other alng each of these portions of prog excellence with ambient tact.

Taking sax player Kalle Falt on as a full time player adds to the attraction of the mix without trying to show off excessvely and gels the songs together with an everlasting glaze. Superb,.pristine Pink Floyd inspired fayre that flourishes and leaves you finding a fragrantic after effect round your sound system, if not your entire living room.

Let all men - with taste - know this one is worth it.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Spock's Beard, Flower Kings & Transatlantic.

NET: www.runningmoose.fi

(S/R - 2013)

As the off kilter name probably gives away its a Japanese band we're dealing with here.

Regretfully, this one that may have got lost in the letters and end up at Metalliville by accident. Aside from a few dainty ambient progressive moments, scarce little exists to recommend this to any rock or metal fan reading. Guitars do feature on and off on an acoustic premise and the drummer knows his tricks so not all negative, in fact pleasantly listenable in one or two respects.

Listening to the vocals sung in the band's native lingo however, while not always torture, still tends to be a burden when the songs already become difficult to absorb on first listen , you often find yourself resting your hand on the skip button. Not wishing to sound nasty, but sweet as I find the sound of vocalist Hatsune Miku, this one scarcely manages to gel.

Listen and make up your own mind.


By Dave Attrill

PEPPERDOME - False Words About Large Days
(S/R - 2013)

Bizarre as their name maybe, its the sound that scores the most on this three-piece's meter.

Any band whose vocalist hits home like a hybrid of Phil Anselmo and Eddie Vedder will, I gurarantee you, have listeners sitting up going 'what the eff?' Like Pepperdome are...well, effed. They set out trying not to be pigeonholed and succeed without touching a button.

'Picture Box', 'Impotent Hypocrite', 'Sunshine Lighting', 'Stand Tall', 'Death by Mediocrity' and 'Calling For Help' are brilliant, catchy tunes, banal, puerile or plain off-kilter as they may be, mainly coming across as a crazy alt rock/hardcore hybrid. Driving but never dragging, their angry guitars are also versatile and accessibly mixed in against the vocals and all twelve tunes digest at first attempt.

Try if you dare hear something different.


By Dave Attrill


NET: www.pepperdomeband.com

PERSONA GRATA - Reaching Places High Above
(S/R - 2013)

I often find six track albums somewhat handy for a quick listen....only that out of these six, four are of lengths spanning between 7 and 14 minutes.

Saying that, these Bratislava boys are in the habit of peddling prog rock as it is meant to be played, deep and inventive. Having a singer who at times sounds dangerously like Eddie Vedder doesn't disappoint on the latter. Running about amidst ambient acoustic balladry and sprightly seventies rock with feel and passion, Persona Grata have carved a deservedly respectable niche in their fifteen years.

Speed metal interludes on instrumental 'Orient Express' enjoy a nice lively duel against the pianos and pipes and with a variation of tempos and turns, seems not to outstay its welcome. Might just suffice to say if you enjoy Yes, Procul Harum and Porcupine Tree in a tangy fusion - as I suppose I might do also - your cup of tea awaits at your table.

Milk and sugars still advisable.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE : Dream Theater, Magellan, Spock's Beard, The Flower Kings & Jethro Tull.

NET: www.personagrata.sk

Phase II Phase – Origin
(Rock CD Records – 2013)

Melodic Hard Rock band from Madrid with plenty of outlandish keyboards, happy sounding vocals, clear positive guitar riffery etc that you get from many bands of this calibre.

This album ticks all the boxes in that Journey, Asia, Foreigner kinda range that’ll please fans of those genres with an array of good songs like the opening ‘Yesterday’s Life’; ‘Living It Up’; ‘Right Between The Eyes’ and the closing ‘Wild Horses’. You’ve heard it all before but it’s done really well as it’s packed full of pacey rockers that are all very radio friendly.

Classic AOR that’s pure 80’s.


By Glenn Milligan

Pleaser – One Night In Paradise
(Hitman Records – 2014)

Hard Rockin’ Sleaze band who kicked it off in 2005 – think Sunset Strip in the 80’s and your somewhere in the right regions.

It’s clichéd with some dodgy sounding vocals in ‘I Can’t Get Enough’ and some really bad notes guitar notes in ‘Raise’ though opener ‘’Take It Off’. Francis needs some lessons on keeping in tune vocally I have to say although closer ‘Don’t Let It get You Down’ drags it up a notch until the soloing spoils it.

Not great.


By Glenn Milligan

POLARITY SIX – Solarians
(S/R - 2013)

I'd say this band have two polarities acting for and frankly against them.

For the interested, they are a part Japanese, part French, part German experimental metal act (and my, that IS interesting.) However, the art of hiding a load of lumpen, generic deathcore beyond descriptive bloggery has been long done and dusted for the gullible, and I almost fell for it again, once more now. Angry, rhythm-less din does not make great music and in fact Polarity Six's probably makes their unlikely multitude of nationalities the only interesting thing about them.

Apart from track 8, 'Monument' taking an unexpectedly subtle direction, the promise of blending a different variety of musical genres otherwise seems seriously lost in the translation. Admittedly, there are plenty of death metal diehards this album won't disappoint but apart from the occasional acoustic interludes, this stuff comes best in doses.

Very small doses.


By Dave Attrill

PROXILLIAN - But Sorrow Remains
(S/R - 2013)

Germany - rather familiar name on the metal map. Proxillian, rather familiar sound ( to say the least).

Taking off in a very Helloween direction, the opening cut from this fiery fivesomes debut does its melodic metal cred huge but the heavy likeness to 'I Want Out' takes some serious sticks to scrape aside. From following number 'Saviour' however it is very much this band's own brand that we bear witness with. Thick and thrifty twin guitars and strong progressive weight take you across the album without jarring and hook-lines quickly hit in.

Pumping bass lines as standard support their fast flying verse straight up to each soaring chorus. 'I Just Wanna Keep My Dreams', 'When Two Worlds Collide', 'Traveller In Time, 'Silent Tears', 'Battlefield' and 'In My Time Of Sadness' retain enough rippling solos and speedy metal anthems to keep them in touch with their Teutonic forebears but it’s best when served fried like this.

Sticking in some occasional acoustic and keyboard moments for measure helps for space to breath it all in, but this is still one I'd recommend you hunt down.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Iron Maiden, H****w**n, Primal Fear, Sonata Antartica, Dragon Force, Kamelot, Dream Theater & Saga.

NET: www.facebook.com/proxillian


(Green Crush Records - 2013)

PermaCrush peddle very summery rock in their trolley. Doing an eerie entry turn with alternative-flavoured twingings, the steady dissolve into a sound more likely of their native California coops all twelve of these numbers together.

These San Diego lads have scooped a fanbase up by way of four preceding albums plus tours with Faster Pussycat and as you get your ice lolly-drenched teeth into tunes like 'Punchdrunk', '100 Girls', 'Something to Prove', 'Wanderlust' and 'Invisible Me' the testimony speaks certifiable good-time volumes. The vocals stay safely similar to Eddie Vedder without offending the genre yet casual crossovers seem more the acceptable thing at both ends nowadays.

Straying the line only once, the weary industrial drag of Undertow (The Shark) outstays its five and a quarter minutes by at least half its distance. So no, you cant have it all your way today but Permacrush still put on a show for your pennies.

Say listen to my ad-Vice and try this out for long hot nights on the steps.


By Dave Attrill

NET: www.permacrush.com

Platinum Brunette – Irritable Vowel Syndrome
(King Oath Records – 2013)

A female (hang on they are male but dress like chicks) trio that fire out 80’s Heavy Metal & Thrash Metal in a punky kinda way who don’t mind throwing in an f-bomb or two throughout the half an hours playing on this ‘ere album.

It's real tongue in cheek at times with some of the funniest titled songs I've heard in a while - 'Beeg Curtains' anyone? - thought so! Or what about the opening 'Antipasto Superstar' or crazy as hell 'Stepmother Of Doom'. You can't take 'em serious and I don't think you are meant to. It wouldn't surprise me if they are really members of some main-league metal bands out there who are doing this as a laugh from their day job. It's a 'One Way Ticket' to fun and the music scene most definately needs a band like this for sure.

Good Sh*t!


By Glenn Milligan


The Prowlers - Point Of No Return
(Perris Records - 2013)

Power Metal from Italy that kicks up from the opening instrumental 'Touchy Too' and doesn't let up from thereon in.

One big highlight from start to finish with stand-outs being 'Face To Face'; the ballad that goes by the name of 'The Death Of Me'; 'Warriors Of The Wasteland'; the Rush like opening on 'The Attraction Law' and the closing 'Time To Go' - now that's an apt. title right there for the closing number.

An all round decent album.


By Glenn Milligan

January 2013

Paradise Lost – Tragic Idol
(Century Media - 2012)

Paradise Lost are Nick Holmes (Vocals), Gregor Mackintosh (Guitar), Aaron Aedy (Guitar), Steve Edmonson (Bass) and Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates, The Haunted, Cradle Of Filth, Skitsystem) (Drums).

Paradise Lost, are one of those bands that are branded with the title of ‘Gothic Doom Metal’ alongside other bands such as My Dying Bride. This title or genre of the metal scene gives the band a great deal of historical value to live up to. Nearly twenty five years into their illustrious career, Paradise Lost demonstrate that they are still one of the finest bands in this genre and this is proven in album number thirteen ‘Tragic Idol’ and has proved not to be an unlucky number for them. Many long-time fans have been alienated with Paradise Lost’s offerings with albums such as ‘One Second’ and ‘Host’ providing the band with a new sound, but despite this, the band have attracted a new batch of fans with their shift from gothic/doom metal to goth rock and dance beats.

I have always been a fan of Paradise Lost, and this albums ranks very highly in their top five albums of all time alongside such classics as ‘Draconian Times’, ‘In Requiem’, ‘Paradise Lost’ and of course the ageless ‘Icon’. ‘Tragic Idol’ kicks off pretty much where the previous album ‘Faith Divides Us-Death Unites Us’ ends. Track 1 ‘Solitary One’ is haunting enough, but the more aggressive and spellbinding second track ‘Crucify’ follows, with several other at least as impressive tracks throughout. ‘Tragic Idol’ follows a similar pattern as 2009's ‘Faith Divides Us — Death Unites Us’, getting better with each listen.

It's not that the records sound the same, but they share a dexterity that moves the performances between bouts of intensely catchy, driving rock and gloom, and a more fundamental fusion of melody and extreme metal. As much as Nick Holmes represents the easily recognizable face and voice of Paradise Lost, it's the guitar work, especially Gregor Mackintosh's leads, that's at the core of the songs' siren irresistibility. Those leads interweave with, and against, Holmes's gruff vocals and the rest of the band's deep rhythmic support until, every so often, the frequencies tap into something primal.

Track 3 ‘Fear Of Impending Hell’, is a lyrically depressing and powerful tune, whilst the fourth track ‘Honesty In Death’ is the latest release as a single/video and offers a strong sense of Tragic Idol's dark, melodic groove and themes, but the music only gets better as you dig deeper. Track five ‘Theories From Another World’ contains heavy and up tempo openings and could easily been a part of the ‘Faith Divides Us-Death Unites Us’ album. The sixth track ‘In This We Dwell’ kicks off with the hallmark Paradise Lost doom and gloom riff, and kicks in with Nick Holmes’ gravelly vocals, and thundering bass lines and powerful fast drumming all in typical Paradise Lost style. The lengthy doom section of track seven ‘To the Darkness’ is a perfect example of Paradise Lost’s heritage, is as heavy as hell, and probably exactly what every Paradise Lost fan wants to hear. However, it’s also completely disingenuous, coming from a band that sounded exactly like Sisters of Mercy not that long ago.

The eighth and title track ‘Tragic Idol’ is again a lyrically depressing and powerful tune, which invokes memories of the classic track ‘Forever Failure’. Track nine ‘Worth Fighting For’ is another gem on this album containing harmonic and melodic vocals you don’t expect from Nick Holmes, but he pulls it off superbly and the track really slows the album down for a while. However, the best might be saved for last with the tenth and final track ‘The Glorious End’. This is a track that showcases all of the bands finest elements. Have no fear, the electronics are still mostly absent while the music and lyrics are appropriately cheerless and doomy. Paradise Lost has had a nice run over the last four albums, and ‘Tragic Idol’ stands proudly as another excellent and solid effort. Fans of the band and doom/goth metal fans in general should have no reservations about grabbing this one.

As with the last few Paradise Lost albums there is the same problem of the sound, producer/mixer Jens Bogren (of Opeth ‘Ghost Reveries’ fame) has proved over the years that he is more than capable of making great sounding albums, but Paradise Lost is one of those bands that’s needs dynamics in their mix, with some peaks and lows to help out the flows of the songs. This has never been Jens Bogren’s thing, this album is a gigantic album, but it lacks the atmosphere necessary to make it a Paradise Lost masterpiece. But overall this is well worth any metal fan parting with their hard earned cash and blasting it out of their stereo and really pissing off the neighbours.

That’s pretty much what I did.


By Andy Turner

Net: http://www.paradiselost.co.uk/ http://www.myspace.com/paradiselostuk
https://www.facebook.com/paradiselostofficial http://www.last.fm/music/Paradise+Lost http://www.reverbnation.com/paradiselostband

The Peckham Cowboys - Flog It!
(Livewire/Cargo Records - 2010)

The debut album from a band that at the time featured frontman, Marc Eden & Guitarists Dale Hodginson and Guy Bailey (of 'Quireboys' fame) alongside Alric Guyler, Simon Hanson and Ben Gibson.

Rootsy sounding ferociously raw demos released just as they were when cut to tape so it keeps all the emotion and realism intact from start to finish on the album that is filled with bluesy 'n' earthy rock sounds. It's a 'South London Thing' indeed so don't try and be a 'Rock 'N' Roll Star' or you'll end up with the 'Crackhouse Blues' and 'With The Good Lord's Permission' 'She Do The Twist & Twirl', that 'Baby Girl' without the need of any 'Painkillers'. Well that's one way of hinting out the highlights on here.

F*ck*n' brilliant (said in a cockney accent of course). Now go see 'em live when they come back around this March at a venue with great musical taste near you.


By Glenn Milligan

Picture Me Broken - Wide Awake
(Megaforce Records - 2010)

Female fronted band with the well-voiced Brooklyn taking the microphone who sings like an angel and growls like something from the depths of hell.

San Francisco based this quintet are a sheer force of fresh-faced new sounding metal energy that that young kids are bound to love for certain and then some.... Highlights include the opening 'Dearest (I'm So Sorry) that sets the level from the outset; the acoustic meets orchestral ballad 'Forevermore'; the amazingly vocalled 'Nerds & Cigarettes' and the epic 'If I Never Wake Again'.

Glad I discovered these at The Whisky A Go-Go one mid-week November's night.


By Glenn Milligan

Prong – Carved Into Stone
(13th Planet - 2012)

‘Carved Into Stone’ is the kind of album that feels like it’s been brewing inside of Tommy Victor for some time.

Without a doubt it’s the best Prong album in years, and I’d go as far to say that it’s their best since ‘Cleansing’. I understand what kind of statement that is, but ‘Carved Into Stone’ is really that good. While ‘Scorpio Rising’ and ‘Power Of The Damager’ both had their moments, they were missing that special combination of anger, power riffs and the catchy hooks that seem to emanate from the classic Prong tunes that we all know and love. It contains eleven tracks full of big fat angry riffs that are what Prong are renowned for producing.

Prong has a long reputation for blending various elements of heavy with a carousel of different musical influences, be it the crossover punk of its origins or the industrial/electronica that was prevalent on later releases. But whether it was ‘Beg To Differ’ or ‘Rude Awakening’, there was always something preternatural in the heart of those songs that identified the sound as unquestionably being Prong. And every one of these new tracks shares that quality.

The album launches with a very heavy tracks, in the form of ‘Eternal Heat’, ‘Keep On Living In Pain’, and ‘Ammunition’, each song offering up a wallop of that bottom heavy, super compressed guitar tone with hooky choruses. But its tracks like ‘Path Of Least Resistance’, ‘Put Myself To Sleep’, and the exceptional ‘Revenge Served Cold’ that really make me love this album. Some of the best that Tommy Victor’s ever written, they strike that perfect balance between being commercially appealing without sacrificing an ounce of integrity or heaviness in the process.

Rounding out the current line-up is ex-3 Inches of Blood drummer Alexei Rodriguez and bassist Tony Campos (ex-Static X, current Ministry). Which, if I have any bad points about ‘Carved Into Stone’ at all, it’s that Tony Campos sounds a bit underused. The guy’s a powerhouse bass player, but outside of a few tracks like ‘State Of Rebellion’ he doesn’t get a whole lot of face time. I’d love to hear what kind of dynamic that he could add on stage, especially with older material.

The production on the album is spot on; the highs are high, the lows are low, allowing you to appreciate all of the musical nuances at play, which there are indeed plenty of. Victor’s fretwork sounds reinvigorated with some impressive arrangements and lead work, but the guy really sounds like he’s having a good time.

I can’t say enough good things about ‘Carved Into Stone’. Beyond being a great album for Prong, it’s one of the most consistent and enjoyable metal albums period that I’ve heard in a while. It’s a great introduction for new fans that may only be familiar with the classic singles, and it’s a great reintroduction for older fans that may have been lost along the way. ‘Carved Into Stone’ is available now through SPV/Long Branch.


By Andy Turner

Net: www.prongmusic.com www.myspace.com/prong

PSM - The Invasion (E.P.)
(S/R - 2012)

PSM, aka Pure Star Movement are a progressive/alternative/industrial outfit or at least something that sounds a sterling imitation.

Whats important is it sounds sodding good as well. Largely melodic, containing swish soulful harmonies that support an AOR arc to most of this six-tracker, the invasion is most likely the soul, funk and unusually involved electr-voiced snippets. Still all such alien musical ships soon become welcome on this surface as the songs thenselves catapult you to pretty outer-stellar turfs.

'Light It Up', 'I Won't Leave You', 'Just Live' and 'Never Surrender' are robustly unique cuts, showcasing the impact their 2010 debut album had in their native US of A, even Hollywood giant Jamie Foxx showing enough interest to allow them airspace on his own radio station.

Nice melodic rock. music, made strictly 21st century style, lusciously loose-held harmonies to the calibre of these should still bewhat rock n' roll is about today.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Living Colour, Dan Reed Network, Kings X, Genesis & Spock's Beard.

NET: www.purestarmovement.com


PAIDARION - Behind The Curtains
(S/R - 2011)

Moe fins doing what they do finest – fine, Finnishly-crafted prog rock with finely-finished vocal and instrumental workouts all the way across.

Listen to Paidarion frontwoman Elina Hautakowski’s sweet, deep rich pipes, savour Jaan Jaanon’s wonderful electric and acoustic widdle-a-tronics, smell the irresistible musical aroma of Kimmo Tappainen’s keyboard produced boudoirs and adore of course the addition on top of all, of succulent saxophones as proficiently supplied by Risto Salmi. A writer for Kerrang or Metal Hammer might well have ripped, rubbished and ridiculed the rest of the way through to the scathing grade at the bottom by this stage but not here at Metalliville, proceeding as I will to respect an experimental rock album on its own laurels. Sticking as they do to a tentatively familiar format, the suave sextet completed by drummer Kimmo Porsti and bassist Tan-Olof Strandberg give their own flavours a seat on top of the established grounds.

Delving and dipping in every progressive and palpable musical water, the melodies are sometimes slowed up by coplmex rhythmical interludes in the Dream Theater vein but Paidarion do keep it accessible at a mix of lengths more short/average than epic. The guitar solos Jaanson treats you to are sleek and thoroughly expert though more seventies hard rock than prog rock whislt Elina’s sultry, gusty range would get her even more of a career in a sixties-themed soul bar.

Riveting stuff, from another super Scandinavian discovery. Please discover Paidarion yourselves as well, people.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Yes, Genesis, Nightwish, Mostly Autumn & Styx.

NET: ww.paidarion.com

PASTEL JACK - Trojan Horse
(S/R - 2012)

It has been over a year and a half since Brit foursome Pastel Jack impressed most and sundry with their six-track debut mini album ‘Ghost In The Machine’, question now is, are they able to do as same on this first full-length platter?

From the sound of speedy opening title number ‘Trojan Horse’, yes, they sure inde-e-e-ed are. This old-school thrasher is a strong placeholder laid by the Hull quartet to be filled time and time over by the eleven numbers that follow. Neil Bailey’s alternative-favouring voice solders this song, ‘Cold Light Of Day’ and ‘The Gentle Art of Combustion’ together with angst-hardened acetylene brutality and smoothness into one solid bar. The suspiciously Megadeth-moulded opening of ‘The Sacred Self’ salutes Messrs Delaney and Copes tightness as a machine on guitar and drums together, setting your mind to wonder as how this act were not actually born out of the Bay Area once upon a day in the eight-O’s instead.

Advancing fast in the chorus standard stakes, ‘Down To The Sunless Sea’ continues the commercial metal thread, ‘Day LikeYou’ also a hot instant to the sing-a-long pot, with Pete Delaney’s solos succulently tailored to the sound. ‘Part One (The Ghost Within)’ and ‘Part 2 (Your Sick Machine)’ are a magnificently blended duo. The first is a ‘Remember Tomorrow’ –influenced ballad, the latter blasting its way straight from the Slayer/Testament/Metallica book, leaving the pages ripped behind but sizzles with streamlined catchiness you would struggled to hear twenty fiver years back down the line. Just when the surprise elements seem to have departed the room, pogoing cruncher ‘Flatline’ is amongst my instant premier picks, stomping at ferocity into a superbly pop-cultivated chorus then back round the start for the verse that follows.

Pete’s shredding gymnastics shoot high across the vaulting horse, and trash the trampoline behind, into ‘Methematic’ whilst ‘Synergy’ follows up the smart but with distinct progressive gusto. ‘Swan Dive’ is a purely alt-rock track, laid back, quieter and subdued but surely not because the band are knackered due to the hour of thrashing round that preceded.- demonstrating instead, the comparatively moderated, deep thinking moments that you can still find in them. Meaning to go on as they start, pastel uphold the Jack in the Box approach of fast, jittery metal that almost took your face off through ‘Ghost….’, making Trojan Horse’ a sure fire winner for music’s most deadly new toy this year.

And to mention deadly, failure to invest might see these lads round to harm something a little more delicate than your computers vital bits.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Anthrax, Alter Bridge, Machine Head & Forbidden.

NET: www.pastel-jack.co.uk

(ZAAR Records - 2012)

A name that sounds sinisterly like old Swedish favourites Psycore, though sadly not as on par musically, this inventive fivesome almost manage to ruin a good thing here. Grabbing all the great elements of a decent modern alt metal record together, all seems good at first.

Then scream core vocals arrive then and about half these dozen or so tracks disappear swiftly in the direction of their own back-ends. Some things are still good and stay good about Psyphen’s debut album, with grindy rhythms, solos worthy of a classic metal album and deep-sinking goth rasps from singer Craig Zahn to name the foremost three.

How can they just go on to tarnish it straight away with trend-grovelling gargles when their own brand of original songwriting would already have done nicely – some things just never make sense in this world, do they kiddies? Not a album I’d ever think to apply an ‘avoid’ sticker to just be careful what you wish for with Psyphen.. for something else might come true instead.


By Dave Attrill

NET: www.psyphen.com


Kris Pohlmann Band - One For Sorrow
(Rock Werl Records - 2011)

Kick Ass Blues 3 peice from Germany who dabble in a variety of styles incorporating traditional electric old school blues to poppyness and funk as well.

They have got big in their home country and supported the likes of Nine Below Zero and Eric Gales and furthermore are two-time German Rock & Pop Award Winners as well as WDR2 Newcomer Award Winners. They set the standard from the start on here with the trad blues of 'SoulShaker'; smooch and cruise out with 'The Blues Inside' or the gutsy 'n' groovin' 'Believe' that has a Cream meets funked out ZZ Top feel to it.

Then there's the crunchin' riffery of 'Don't Make A Fool Of Me'; the deep tribute to Gary Moore that is the title track instrumental 'One For Sorrow' that has Gary's guitar tones throughout before finishing on 'Heavy On My Soul' that mellows and rounds off the album real well and reminds me of the Mathews Southern Comfort version of 'Woodstock' that pumps up with some brightness a bit like Pink Floyd used to do and goes on for nearly 11 minutes.

Brilliant Blues Release.


By Glenn Milligan


PRISMA - You Name It
(Loudville Records - 2012)

Prisma are not only Swiss – of all things that entice this listener forth – but also on occasion, scarcely similar to legendary countrymen Young Gods.

Setting their progressive rock sound into an alternative mould, the music is made to a very handsome shape indeed. Driving guitar grooves and gritty deep emotive vocals together on a metal engine, the complexity of their songs isn’t instantly notable but it is still nice to sit on straight-built arrangements of verse-chorus-verse anyday. Michael Luginbughl’s hard-reaching harmonies sometimes over-decorated as they may be by industrial distortion, are dynamic and versatile enough to spread across any of the numerous different genres that slither into their produce.

Set to the crunchy, contemporary riffs vended by Valentin Grendelmeier throughout each and every impressive cut, tunes like ‘Epigone’, ‘Alpha Flasko’, ‘123 Part 1’, ‘Broker’, ‘The Loyal’, ‘Armada Insanity’, and ‘Trigger Architect’ don’t require pretentious keyboard parpings and over-piled samples to succeed. (pronounceable song titles might help though guys - how do you refer to a song called ‘ - ’ exactly?). This foursome just rub in their mixture using raw integrity and natural ideas created as they compose for a sound that sells well regardless in todays industry.

And so it should be, for Prisma, on what I’m further uplifted to understand is their second album as opposed to debut, deliver fireworks that even many great seventies names aplenty would still lush the opportunity to light the fuse on once again. Nice music indeed lads, setting the bar high for the modern progressive marathon to rise to and a mighty Olympic run will be required in this case.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Porcupine Tree, Smashing Pumpkins, Coheed and Cambria, Nirvana & Led Zeppelin.

NET: http://prismaband.com www.myspace.com/105939517


Kelly Padrick - Soulmate
(S/R - 2012)

Soulful, funilly enough female vocalist who falls into the more electronic style of artist and dare I say pop - but not to the point of crass and throwaway like more corporate artists I ain't gonna mention.

She comes from Rhode Island and moved onto New York with this album holding a good gem or two such as the haunting 'Here I Am' (not a cover of the Skid Row Classic); 'Au Contraire' and the closing title track 'Soulmate' itself. . It's a bit too ballad and samey after a while though and gets skippableway too much unfortunately.

Not enough oomph in it to keep you interested.


By Glenn Milligan

K. PAGE & SLEEPWALKER’S PARADE - Between The Bridges
(S/R - 2011)

Names get only more interesting as time goes by… bear in mind the music needs to with it.

This female-led New york foursome pretty much fulfil the obligation. As avant as their promo detail advertises, the eight tunes certainly do not intend sticking to doing just the one thing. Progressive, alternative and retro rock sounds swing the needle about in haywire proportions. Front woman K’s voice is at its worst downright right irritating with her attempts at being punk but at best, which thankfully takes up the better half of the record, as brilliantly sweet as can be expected, specially on them ore subtle, goth -oriented cuts.

Catchy business with brilliant hooks ..when you can find them, KP&SP’s style is acquired fayre but adventurous and beckons trying more than avoiding.


By Dave Attrill

NET: www.myspace.com/kpagesleepwalkersparade

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Siouxie ands the Banshees, Tura Santana & Toyah Wilcox.

January 2012

JOHN PRATT - Turn The Page
(B4J Music - 2011)

AOR Veteran John Pratt is always a good voice to see around even if it’s the first time for 10 years from this side of the pond.

His excellent Firefly project sadly ended without a trace after only three discs and then seemingly nothing but then this beauty explodes onto the shot, and boy do we get generously hit. Had it not been for the creation of promo sheets, I could have so easily misled myself and the unknowing Metalliville public into thinking this was a collection of newly penned Pratt standards. It is t but these are thirteen first-time released ditties that have taken in dust on JP’s shelves across two decades. O…kay so the production style may give it away on top of the outstretched eighties harmonies but when has Mr Pratt delivered anything less?

The goods come sliding off the back of the van here, unpacking the best dozen from a hundred he has written in his time, plus the staggering several thousand other mostly film and television contributions he has played part in/of. FF fans are going to be blameless in treating this as a fourth album, with ‘Take me There’, ‘, ‘Turn the Page’, ‘Never say Goodbye’, ‘Naivette’s Ball’, ‘Forgive Me’, ‘If What it Takes’, ‘One Silent Voice’, ‘Hold Me’ and the Extreme-like ‘I Will You Won’t’ serving up sweet and modern re-polished American radio rock of the sort we were starting to hear again aplenty during the swelling late nineties underground scene.

Ex-bandmate, John Thomas contributes services again - by jut mere coincidence - and its back in business as they bring an trove of untold AOR delights to a new audience. Pratt’s voice in strong operation like it were only yesterday they played, the melodies are sun-drenched Californian soul as you should expect to hear from this incredible throat while three further Firefly alumni also appear in the line up, drummer Ron Wikso most notable with his CV pages listing Greg Rolie, The Storm and Cher to past credit. It may not be new in every sense of the word but it is very much that to us both as an album and another very strong selection from one of melodic rock’s best inked-up pens.

Proof that making a Pratt of yourself is never all bad.


By Dave Attrill

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Survivor, Journey, Foreigner, Firefly, Toto, Tyketto & Extreme.

NET: www.JohnPrattTurnthePage.com


Pale Fire Union - Liberation Inc.
(S/R - 2011)

Very rootsy album of Americana and then various other styles too including reggae even from a dude called Kelvin Wetherill from Toronto and his band known as Pale Fire Union that gets you interested straight away.

Love 'Brother Jack' and Root Matter with some awesome harp; the acoustic 'Knock Knock' that he heard in a song that reminds me Neil Diamond almost or the slow but lyrically interesting 'Killing The Thought' that's rather Southern with some harp in there too or the epic almost Pink Floydy 'Car 301'.

Be nice to see these guys hit the UK some time in one form or another.


By Glenn Milligan


Perpetuate – S/T
(S/R - 2011)

The Ontario band, fronted by keyboardist Kim McInnis, combine classical music with heavy guitar riffs, slamming drums and powerful vocals.

Kim’s soprano vocals add a more sophisticated feel to the album, but she can be aggressive when she needs to be! Considering that they have only been formed for just over a year, Perpetuate’s self titled album is simply incredible. The first track, “Above and Beyond” features a chorus-like interlude that works well with the rest of the song.

With melodic vocals and powerful instrumentals, the Windsorites have created a fantastic album. They even feature a cover of Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper”, borrowing Betrayer’s Jeff Klingbeil’s vocals, that would do the Maiden boys proud!


By Sam Hutchinson

(S/R - 2011)

Another female vocal talent comes across our path, as if we’d be fooled to think there isn’t a massive revival in the happening at late.

This delectable diva is no jumper on the teen-female-wannabe-today-gone-tomorrow bandwagon however; Miss Potter both is, and is in a class of her own, dealing in sweet acoustic-based melodic pop rock that is made for relaxing to and not for converting how crappy one’s booze and drug-riddled life has been since you turned 13. Harmonies both in guitar and vocal are addictive , the latter taking the show away as he velvety deep throat soars over the speakers and floats with the winter feel of the album as a whole.

‘Again’, ‘Cruel Mystery’, ‘Divide’, ‘Slippin’ Away’, ‘I Should’ve Known’, ‘Taking The world By Storm’, ‘I Have Survived’ and ‘Tears In my Eyes’ are tracks thoroughly deserving of huge things to come for this woman who herself deserves it more than many out there this last fifteen years.

One certainly worth becoming Potty over.


By Dave Attrill

NET: www.lauriejpottermusic.com


POMPEI NIGHTS - Rather Die Than Livin’ In Boundaries
(Underground Records - 2011)

The Swedish hair metal revival roars its way well further into town and these lads are going to take some time leaving, if they ever do.

Pompei Night’s purer, more subdued melodic hard rock approach takes a more reserved pass at the Sunset Strip side of the crossroads. Get used to a strongly contemporary take on the scene also gets you ready to love numbers like ’midnight Mistress’, ’Shaded’, ‘Out of Bounds‘, ‘Mistreated‘, ’Leave it All Up’, ’High on Adrenaline’ and ‘Painful Heartbeat’as much as you would ’Girls Girls Girls’ and ’Gypsy Road’, while ‘She’s Stuck’ also gets away with a chorus melody illegally close to The Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’.

The major difference to deal with is of course is their vocalist who decorates all ten with his contrastable gusty delivery instead of the Vince-style squawk and puts reputable likeness to AOR legends Harem Scarem into operation. Upheld by twin guitars making a lovely solo-friendly noise beneath it, and true solid hard rock is the order of the day again completed.

Excellent, and deserved of some huge transatlantic support… you’d rather die than leave this one on the shelf.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Danger Danger, Crazy Lixx, Steel Panther, Nickelback & Emerald Rain.

NET: www.myspace.com/pompeinights

(Mascot Records - 2011)

While everybody who was everybody in Bay Area and LA were occupied with being loud, brutally heavy and fast, one band in Holland were kept busy doing…well just the same really but rather well with it.

At least Pestilence can still get away with it in one form or another 25 years into their career. The sound that the Enschede vets return with is modernised in quite the same way Exodus have come round the ride but recreate the old flavour with ingredients still leftover in abundance, stirring it in with a fresh spoon. ‘Amgod’, ‘Salvation’, ‘Dissolve’, ‘Sinister’, ‘Divinity’ and ‘Malignant’ are what the scene wants in this day and decade as much as it was ever, back circa 1987 and earn every right to sit along with their original produce as iconic thrash material.

Guitarist Patrick Mameli, today also the man behind the mouth brings that updated air to the outfit’s sound alongside the riveting rhythm and lead contributions made to crush you flatter than weeds under a steamroller. Bruising sonic and soul-shredding heavy, European speed metal’s no1 masters return with something deadlier than vengeance.

Seek this beast advisably, before they seek that possibly on you.


By Dave Atttrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Testament, Evile, Slayer, Vio-lence, Malevolent Creation & Megadeth

NET: www.myspace.com/pestilenceofficial www.pestilence.nl


PICTURES OF PAIN - The Reckoning
(Pitch Black Records - 2010)

Scandinavia have got the extreme metal genre spot on, that being in that they know how to play it a way that's actually enjoyable to listen to, unlike the bulk of their British and US contemporaries.

Norwegian melodic deathsters Pictures of Pain probably don’t rip off the sleeve pic from Priest’s ‘Painkiller’ Lp for nothing -frontman Hans’s voice spends a good share of its album time in Halford mode while at most other times a typically perfect scream machine. Also a soulful chap with a clean gothic range also to use, the sound goes with it, Rune and Arne’s loveably darkened twin guitar sound diverting from aggression to progression and come the middle of the second track ‘Far Beyond’ you feel you have a different band on from the one you hear in opener ‘Betrayal’.

Being a measly eight tracks long leaves little to pick the best from but ’Eternal Rage’, ’The Reckoning’ and ’Final State’ are four of the more instant, one or two unexpectedly blues lead bursts blagging their way in through the middle for extra inspired measure. Superbly fast -paced soloing and riffs, as mentioned , aren’t absent from the mixture for those becoming worried but take a break from the task of making this already decent album artificially cool. Excellent piece of metal from another European promise, Pain paint their picture with surprisingly vividness, applying extra colours round the trim.

Nice one!


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE : Emperor, Mercyful Fate*, Fear Factory, Testament, Slayer, Kamelot & In Flames.

FACT: * Coincidentally, mastering of the disc was handled by ex King Diamond guitarist, Andy La Rocque

NET: www.picturesofpain.com www.myspace.com

March 2011

PAST MD - Circles
(TuneUp Records - 2010)

One of Germany’s hottest discoveries of late, the earth cannot hold Past MD down any more as they scorch their way up through to the surface.

The foursome’s unique style, or fusion of them, for they apply literally a bit of everything all at the same time is a straight winner from ignition. Ironically a song about a space mission, opening tune ‘The Journey’ is a powerful metal epic that pummels its way along at headbangable pace, though this is just possibly serving to warn of the chugging rhythm guitar line that will frighten during ‘Contagious’ to skull crippling extent. The rest of the album upholds the standards strongly and we are placed right to see what the fuss is all about as PMD continue as the mean to go on, making pure metal with room for prongs.

Other personal faves ‘Devil in Me’, ’Anybody There’, ’Satellite’s Calling’ and ’Nevermore’ please for all sorts of reasons, mostly related to sounding like seventy five percent of fellow native scene giants while the others please with plenty of classic metal anger and strong playing. ’Far Away’ though an acoustic ballad is big inclusion in the list with a powerful lyrical feel that reaches you as you listen while ’Hazardous Freight’ has a faint blues trace across its windows.

Frontman Josh’s nasal range is probably what sets the sound apart, echoing a mutation of Rob Halford and early Hetfield, and meanwhile DP doesn’t let being the band’s sole axe-slinger dishearten him from firing out those solos, showing some drilling form at the start of ’Anybody There’ in particular. An immensely fiery release, sent to our door - and probably having melted the letterbox on its way though - Past MD’s third lp is white hot trad metal intensity that no water would even start to extinguish.

Brilliantly played with hooks abundant throughout all eleven tunes and brutal live show in the promising.


By Dave Attrill

Gamma Ray, Iron Saviour, Primal Fear, Judas Priest, Metallica, Anthrax, Iron Maiden & Blaze.

NET: www.myspace.com/pastMD


PASTEL JACK - Ghost In The Machine
(S/P - 2010)

Though Hull four-piece Pastel Jack are billed on the promo papers as a thrash outfit, the title of opener ‘Condemned from the Start’ spells as much ass the style we are actually graced with.

Then ,not as easily offended as most pedantic purists of the metal faithful tend to be, I openly welcome their mostly melodic punk tinged metal as it is a refreshing contrast to most fledgling outfits seemingly intent on being one thing or the other purely for safety.

‘Day Like You’, ‘Hopeless Unity’ and ‘Rational Lies’ are sharply performed numbers with the promised speed metal approach actually happening yet they serve up a commercial twist that makes them worthy of time from fans across the spectrum, rather than resting on the Megadeth / Anthrax side and opposed by other genres.

If you like your metal fresh and done with a difference, let these six impressive cuts serve as your beginners pack.


By Dave Attrill

NET: Myspace.com/pasteljack

Phophets Of Addiction - Babylon Boulevard
(S/R - 2010)

New outfit from the ex-Pretty Boy Floyd bassist, Lesli Sanders who also fronts the Prophets' too. It's straight up sleazey glam stuff that fits fits somewhere between New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks and Dogs D'Amour at times.

Highlights include the opening 'Hang Me Up that sets the scene of the sound and style of whats to come, the kicking 'Kick It In' (sorry couldn't resist that), the excellent countrylike that starts up acoustic 'Mistress Addiction and the closing power ballad 'Where R U Now'.

This material really flows well and easily matches if not exceeds that from the previous band I heard of his called 'City Girls Boys' a good few years ago.


By Glenn Milligan

Net: http://www.prophetsofaddiction.com

PURIFICATION - Banging The Drums of War
(Self True Records - 2010)

Italian deathsters Purification are that by name and by nature. Well the ‘Pure’ bit to be exact, for they do what’s expected of them and nothing more.

Pity is we could have hoped form more than what appears to be just piss-predictable extreme metal for the ensuing 10 tracks although by the third number, ’Reinforced’ things improve, proving me wrong just in time. The riffs set right in and the bold bay area vibes creep around the side and get in. ‘Afraid of this World’ and ‘Holy War’ are perfect thrash numbers, mixing speed and stomp-oriented rhythm lines Testament would die to sue them for and possess a fantastic wavy lead at places while Ordinary Life In an Occupied Land', a more progressive outing sneakily tiptoes in with its speed element almost unnoticed until its too late to escape the moshpit.

‘Lament for A Fallen Soldier’ is decent but dissolves into the rest a bit too precariously. The two bonus tracks sound like a totally different outfit in their more industrialised approach and get off to a catchy start but stumble on an indecipherable mess area come the chorus part. Still the damage is not what it could have been and the album has been mainly quite fun in the end.

Better live all the same, the impact this disc promises will be unleashed for real.


By Dave Attrill

Slayer, Evile, Earth Crisis, Forbidden, Sepultura

NET: Myspace.com/purification


Primal Age - The Gearwheels Of Time
(Deadlight Entertainment – 2010)

Primal Age from France have been going since 1997 and have kept within the hardcore metal scene of Europe.

As the band hits the speakers with ‘The Gearwheels of Time’, the only contribution I can make is that it’s nothing new on the scene. It’s been done, the T-shirts have been purchased and the shoes have been worn.

On close reflection, the band sound similar to Trigger the Bloodshed, with the power aggressive vocals and young lively attitude. As Primal Age rumble through their 13 track release, one track merges into the next and the next and before I knew it they had all been played in the same tone, style and speed.

An exciting disc for the hardcore fans who love this style of metal but very predictable.


By Tony Watson


PHANTOM X - This Is War
(Perris - 2010)

No stopping these chaps. The almighty Phantoms return with another superb slice of old school sweetness and once again don’t disappoint in bringing the goods.

The Texans may be on their third album now but they still keep progression and predictability in full balance. During the thirteen tracks, the typical power metal hallmarks come by the plentiful fist load and Kevin Goocher’s tones remain Dio-like as ever but there are surprises hovering beneath the waves - pop rock moments, all-out thrash assaults and vague industrial turns come along on the package with under-pretentious solo breaks but all as natural product of the outfit’s creativity..

If you enjoy good old fashioned fun like ‘This is War’, ‘Forever Midnight’, ‘Chaos in Paradise’, ‘Into Battle We Ride’,’Lord Of The Sword’, ‘Blood of Eden’ and the frighteningly Megadeth-esque ‘Cries in The Night’, it is well advised to add this disc to your collection. Planning a tour for late 2010, dates on the continent and particularly the UK are likely to be appreciated by fans of this band.

X-ellent stuff once again, boys.


By Dave Attrill

Helloween, Dragonforce, Hammerfall, Dio, Megadeth, Annihilator, Iron Maiden

NET: www.Phantom-X.net myspace.com/PhantomXMetal

Phoenix – Phoenix/In Full View
(Renaissance Records – 2009)

Old 70’s albums making themselves heard again on CD – not that many probably heard them the 1st time around – unless they support some big act on a UK or USA Tour way back when. They do feature a well know guy in the band though who goes by the name of John Verity.

It’s rather out there at times with high echoey vocals, early keyboard string sounds and bottomless sounding drums. Highlights on ‘Phoenix’ from 1976 include ‘Easy’; ‘From The Ashes’; ‘Winnebago’ the Pink Floyd like ‘A Woman Like You’ and the funky bluesy ‘Honey’.

In Full View’ comes from 1980 and features Russ Ballard & Rod Agent with a few highlights including ‘Into Your Blood’; the rather rockingly good ‘Don’t Fool Me’; ‘Strong Love’ and the closing ballad ‘Angel’.

A band that grows on you after a while.


By Glenn Milligan


Phase Reverse - Phase Reverse
(X-Art-ICI – 2009)

A power trio band with a Southern American rock touch who have a passion for rock and roll. Phase Reverse are a heavy, explosive riff band with a rhythmic dynamic interpretation of solid rock and metal.

In terms of their style Phase Reverse are Creed, Alter Bridge and Black Stone Cherry all rolled into one. This 11 track collaboration reaches the heights of the above mentioned bands as they roll through ‘Cross To Bear’, ‘Crash N Burn’ and ‘Long Gone’ to create catchy tunes, power riffs, with a force to drive a tank.

An excellent debut CD with a watering in the mouth for the next chapter.


By Tony Watson

January 2010

P.A.I.N. Management - Lobotomy
(STF Records – 2009)

A very unique metal with its power, aggression and atmospheric undertones. P.A.I.N. Management release a fresh feel to metal as they drive you into a sense of belief. Listening to Lobotomy in the back ground reminded me slightly of Misery Loves Company with their musical and vocal expression with a twist of atmospheric keyboards.

An 11 track CD that grabs you by the balls and shakes you about for a bit before the boredom sets in. The tone, the concept and the vocal content stays on the same level that doesn't give you the full expression of the band. I feel this band sounds different live than on CD and it may be worth seeing them life to feel the difference. Lobotomy is a very aggressive CD without the final punch which I believe has been lost within the production, which is a damn shame as I can see where it needs to be.

Overall P.A.I.N. Management have released a CD that lacks the final punch that you got with the opening track 'I Disagree', if this song was constantly played within the clubs, the CD would fly off the shelves to a disappointing ending.


By Tony Watson

Glenn Patrick – Nuthin’ But A Thang
(Shakehouse Records – 2009)

Old school electric blues from this Kansas City dude but done this year – it’s really nothing new but it sounds so well and there’s jazz influences in there too such as the opener ‘Don’t Call Me Daddy’.

Other highlights include the closing number – the funky ‘Other Side Of Town’; his own reworking of ‘Kansas City’ the emotive voodoo like ‘One More Day’ and the cool as hell funktified ‘Thang Thang’.

One to chill out to for defo.


By Glenn Milligan

Preacher Stone – S/T
(S/R – 2009)

A 1st class Southern Rock Band from Charlotte, North Carolina that are very much the real deal who have stylings of Lynyrd Skynyrd and freshness of acts like Black Stone Cherry.

Hot rockin’ songs with meaty vocals and lived through and experienced it lyrics with highlights including ‘Old Fashioned Ass Whoopin’ Sum Bitch’; about the male family tree; the revenfe-laden ‘Not Today’; the Zak Wylde’ish ‘Tractor Pull’ about the missis – she just loves to pull his chain & ‘Southern Hospitality’ about where they come from.

If only we had bands like this in the UK – I can keep dreaming!!


By Glenn Milligan

The Passive Aggressive - Conflict Resolution
(S/R – 2009)

The Passive Aggressive are a band from California, who have been put in the same realms of Primus, Heart and Evanescence.

Personally The Passive Aggressive are nowhere near the talents of the above mentioned bands. Yes they are bass driven and yes they do have sweet sounding melodies, but the vocal content of Keren is about as exciting as watching a brick wall. Conflict Resolution is a collection of boring rock music, I have listened to better pub bands who have more excitement and enthusiasm than these four guys.

We have a 15 track CD that drones from one track to another, which produces 56 minutes of pure hell to the ears. They also have done a cover of ‘Happy Together’ which has been killed on a big scale with the cat screeching vocals with a dull male vocal undertone.

I personally this band would be better departing and leaving the music business.


By Tony Watson

Ana Popopvic – Blind For Love
(Eclecto Groove Records – 2009)

Awesome female, axe slinging blues rocker from Amsterdam who’ll get you interested as soon as you slip the cd into play mode. Her voice kinda reminds me of a European version of Anastasia – really sexy, sultry voice but more mid ranged and drier.

Every song is a gem especially the opening ‘Nothing Personal’; the delta acoustic ‘Wrong Woman’ that both have great backing vocals; the funky ‘Get Back Home To You’ & ‘Lives That Don’t Exist’; the poppy like ‘Need Your Love’ and the closing slow ‘Blues For M’

Proof that there’s more to get excited apart from the windmills in the Netherlands.


By Glenn Milligan

Product Recall - Liquor In The Front Poker Round The Back
(Romulus X Records – 2009)

Originally from Surrey England, the band are now based in Leicester and produce a sound that is close to early punk mixed with the B52’s, Misfits and the Mac Ladds.

Although the title of the CD is quite amusing the CD is a bit of a let down, the production is raw, the drums are too tinny, the guitars are lost and the vocals are a little too upfront for this style of music. Product Recall I feel are going to miss their chance as their audience is a minority, which is a shame, as I recall great bands such as Bomb Disneyland and AOD, who too created a good following but soon disappeared as the novelty wore off.

This 12 track and 45 minutes failed to keep me interested apart from their rendition of Twinkle Twinkle, as it progressed through several nursery rhymes with a big f*ck off attitude. Apart from that, Product recall have got a long way to go.


By Tony Watson

Profuna Ocean - Watching The Closing Sky
(FARR Records – 2009)

Profuna Ocean are melodic progressive rock with a slight twist. Their debut Watching the Closing Sky is not what I expected from the Netherlands. Their distinctive style spans across Genesis, Rush and Marillion with a hint of Tool and Hawkwind.

Can we class this as an album or an EP? Who knows, we only have 4 tracks that gives us 37 minutes of thought out, atmospheric mood music.

A very gentle approach has been taken to this CD with an undertone of deep bass that brings the tunes into a different place. Probably like a lot of Prog Rock bands, you either have to be in the mood or on drugs to really appreciate what they are trying to do.

The surprise is the last track, S.C.I.T.S. which goes on for 14.25 minutes and goes through every style of rock you can think of and at the same time reminded me of Yes.

Only for those who appreciate Prog Rock, which is a shame, as you know these guys have a lot to offer.


By Tony Watson

Perspective XIV - Shadow of Doubt
(Nightmare Records – 2009)

Perspective XIV are a band with many musical talents, ranging from guitar playing, keyboards and of course drums, but within their talents we also have a collaboration of Fatar midi and Moog Taurus pedals, electronic and Latin percussion, mandolin, dulcimer and banjo.

Shadow of Doubt has expressed all these musical instruments through a collection of Progressive Rock, Jazz, Reggae and other musical influences such as Rush, Yes and Dream Theatre to release a passion of expression through a musical whirlwind of pleasure and joy.

This 9 track 58 minute explosion of musical excellence brings prog rock back into the 21st century by showing all those pop wannabes how instruments are enjoyed and played. Throughout the 9 tracks Perspective XIV have not wondered off the road of good solid rock showing that there is still a call for long playing CDs with minimal tracks that allows the listener to get close to the band by understanding and appreciating the hard work and effort that goes into making a perfect musical CD

Shadow of Doubt is a must for all classical and prog rock fans.


By Tony Watson

PEGATAUR - Eternal Flight
(For Once Records - 2009)

While I haven’t quite come across a prehistoric creature of such name before, this band are indeed of a rare enough species themselves.

The Oakland two-piece introduce themselves with familiar enough sounds as they fuse stoner metal grind with gutsy grunge attitude but funnily enough the vocals we wait for never come.

Taking commercial forms of metal into the instrumental format is a seldom pulled stunt but these two young men do it quite beautifully and the near-progressive structure of their often melodic rhythm harmonies keeps it largely free from tedium.

Strange it may sound but this totally works throughout even though it does have its edgy moments a plenty and is certainly worth a strand and a half of your time to have a listen.

Interesting work.


By Dave Attrill

Pride & Glory – S/T
(Armoury Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment – 2009)

Ok it’s a re-release but I wanted to hear this CD’s since I borrowed it on tape from a buddy in 1994 or 1995.

H/L’s include bango hard stompin’ southern rocker ‘Losing your mind’; the gorgious ballad coming complete with mandolin & harmionica soloing that is ‘lovin woman’; the gorgious piano balled & string ballad ‘Sweet Jesus’; the rock it out ‘Toe’n the line’ & the pure redknecked ‘Hate Your Guts’ that’s an acoustic Dixie closer at it’s finest.

Real pity this band never released any more albums as there’s no doubt a big demand for ‘em.


By Glenn Milligan

PAINCRAZE – Hellbound
(S/R - 2009)

Scandinavian Metallers Paincraze may have taken since 2007 to have got this album to us but it was worth the waiting as these chaps have potential in giant slabfuls.

Fusing the old school metal grit of Metallica circa Black album plus elements of ‘Death Magnetic’ with the melodic angst-core snarls of Disturbed placed on top, the resulting combination is awesome and delivered really strongly.

Though likely to be overviewed as a true contemporary breed act, they do bridge themselves with the old school side of the chasm with classy solos that have an occasionally bluesy turn. Strength of the material falls across all nine tunes though ‘Napalm’, ‘Vow Of Silence’, ‘Secret Society’ ‘Hurt’’, ‘Im Grateful’ and ‘So Be it’ are about the most selectable six.

Not without its vaguely draggy moments, ’Hellbound’ is a pounding effort from another lethal Swedish machine and I am hoping there is likelihood of live action over here, from these guys sometime in the near future.


By Dave Attrill

Paindivision - One Path
(Riot! - 2009)

An Australian power metal band rips up the oceans to deliver a tsunami of terror to the English shores. We gave them our criminals and they pay us back with metal at its best. Paindivision is a collection of Arch Enemy, Mortal Sin and Entombed rolled together in a cage of chaos and spat out through a ball of flames.

We have gone back to the late eighties with good solid metal, speed and thrash that has more guitar riffs than Megadeth and a growl deeper than Lars Göran Petrov of Entombed.

The ten track CD has more punches to the balls than 22 football players kicking the wind out of a spherical object. A pitiful 37 minutes have been released through this CD but never mind the memory of one listen is enough to get you hooked.

One Path is an exciting collection of metal that is buried deep in Sydney harbour with a twist of European speed. Very enjoyable.


By Tony Watson

Persona - Dead Make Up
(Bcore – 2008)

This is the third episode from Spanish band Persona, who encapsulates the style of The Jesus Lizard, Kyuss and Quicksand to bring the sound of the early nineties back on our door steps.

Dead Make up is a collection of what was good about the nineties with the grunge feel from Seattle but with a different feel which may be due to their Spanish roots.

A twelve track CD that resolves all the wonders of the world to release a new life in the twenty first century with a fresh sound and fresh energy.

This 43-minute masterpiece hit the parts of rock that grunge failed to hit, but at the same time captures the wonders of Queen of the Stone age and mixes the feel with love and passion for the sound they create.

A different sound that takes a while to get use to but when you do there is so much going on that keeps you hooked.


By Tony Watson

Powder – Nothing
(Goldielocks & Xman Productions Inc. – 2008)

Fresh, Tight and Zesty LA based band that are a real cut above many such as Avril Lavigne, Pink and all that lot. Kinda remind me of a ballsier version Alanis Morrisette with a backing band that Amy Lee would be jelous of.

Ninette Terhart & Phil X really have an album here that needs to be heard by all around the world – it’s got so much going for it take the powerful opener ‘I’m Alive’; the electronica pychedelicified deep hearted slow but rockin ‘Nothing’; the angst-filled ‘Watch Me Fly’that gives many an upstart a run for their money.

Then there’s atmospheric number with the great singalong chorus that is ‘Funny Girl’ that reminds me of Enuff Znuff in their Beatlesque mode. I really think that ‘Wonderful World’ is one hell of a lovely tune too – kinda has that balladeering Hendrix feel to it with those silvy high sweet vocals of Ninette’s.

Absolutely super CD that even comes complete with a DVD that Ninette edited herself that shows the making of this glorious album and also what to expect if you get a chance to see this incredible band live as they are double up as an acrobatic almost circus act too with sychronised exotic dancing (yes they do keep their clothes on – well just about) – seeing is believing and that’s gotta be done – even if it means an air ticket to LA for the priviledge.



By Glenn Milligan

February 2009
Parallel or 90 Degrees - A Can Of Worms
(Prog Rock Records/SPV – 2009)

This a compilation of songs created over the years from 1996 to 2001 have been taken from the five albums made when the band were a five piece act. A Can Of Worms is like a best of for the band, but an additional disc has been made with unknown material on it for all you avid fans.

Po90 are a Prog-rock act who rely heavily on keyboard intervention of Andy Tillison and Sam Baine. Some of the tracks throughout the compilation come across as Hawkwindy or even a Marillion or Genesis influence.

Although the band Po90 are less well known than his current band The Tangent, Po90 pull out all the Prog-rock accolades providing the listener with a true insight to 90’s Prog-rock.

Highly entertaining.


By Tony Watson

The Pussybats - Famous Last Song
(Black Rain Records – 2009)

Emo, Rock, Indie, Gothic who knows! These four guys are from Stuttgart with influences of Placebo, Johnny Cash, Backyard Babies and Motorhead but don’t let this put you off. The Pussybats have their own unique emotional style which delves more on the goth side of rock.

Famous Last Song sounds a little too deep to take on board, if I had played this to my daughter I think she would have slit her wrist or hung herself from the bedroom light. These guys are so bloody miserable I had to listen to Type ‘0’ Negative to cheer me up.

As they claim the vocals will haunt your dreams as the 11 tracks push you through a sense of happiness through to a good kick in the balls with all the emotions in between.

I do feel the emo’s will love this one and I do believe The Pussybats will be among the big emo bands this year and good luck to them.


By Tony Watson


Axel Rudi Pell - Tales of The Crown
(SPV - 2008)

10 Tracks of Majestic Hard Rock from one of Germany's finest outfits that’s especially for those of you who like big sounding instruments and powerful, prominent vocal deliveries Johnny Gioeli. It's dark but also uplifting - think Rainbow and Dio for good examples of what to expect. This is Axel's 17th release to date in the last 19 years and well worth getting into your cd player.

Highlights on here include the opener 'Higher'; 'Angel Eyes'; the excellent instrumental 'Emotional Echoes', the killer title track 'Tales Of The Clown' and the ferocious title track 'Buried Alive'. It's all masterfully done in every way and you guarantee on seeing them play some of the numbers like at W:O:A in 2009 as well so buy your ticket now.

The sort of artist & band that we are desperately lacking in the UK on a major label.


By Glenn Milligan

Randy Piper’s Animal – Virus
(Locomotive Records – 2008)

This is very much like a WASP album with firing hooks and even the vocalist Rich Lewis sounds like Blackie Lawless.

Randy Piper was the lead guitarist in the above mentioned band for a while and this be the 2nd album from his band Animal. There’s 9 original numbers on here with highlights including rockers like ‘Can’t Stop’; the ballad ‘Don’t Wanna Die’; the heavyweighting ‘Judgement Day’ and the heartwrenching ‘Cardiac Arrest'. Oh and there’s also a cover of ‘Zombie’ by The Cranberries that’s been metallised up to a load – if only the original sounded as good as this.

This is one of the best albums that I have reviewed this year by far and one for lovers of WASP and beyond! I just knew this would be a damn fine album as soon as I took it out the envelope.

To be played loud !!


By Glenn Milligan


Stephen Pearcy - Under My Skin
(Evangeline Records / Fuel 2000 Records -2008)

Well this is a pleasant surprise receiving the Rattman's latest release as I remember him telling us about this after the gig at Corporation, Sheffield a couple of months since.

This album pure partivilian all the way through and reminds me of Ratt and Alice Cooper at their absolute fun-time best - an album that nails everything that I and many more you out there love about classic 80's rock a la sunset strip.

It's f*c*n' superb with regard to songs, musicianship, vocal performance and studio production and there's' just so much that'll get you excited over on here with notable highlights being the opener 'You're a lot like me'; 'Big Nothin'; 'Under My Skin'; 'Are you ready' and the closing Ratt classic 'Round & Round' that features The Donnas'.

Top marks for the President of Top Fuel Records. Hope a new Ratt album is as good as this baby!


By Glenn Milligan

POMBAGIRA - The Crooked Path
(Black Axis Records - 2008)

What? Two discs for five songs? I remember Alice In Chains’ Jar of Flies EP - another double cd consisting of only an ep’s worth of tunes. Whatever this trio are up to here certainly is nothing similar or frankly great however.

Stretching five slabs of death metal dirge that could have easily been done in 4-5 minutes a time to fit spaces of 10-20, this is a serious case of quantity before quality. While the temptation to verge on the epic shouldn’t always resisted, these guys have got a bit heavy handed with it.

The likely appeal that ‘T.C.P’ should still hold for those more die-hard of scene fans as well as some occasional half-decent Cavalera-esque vocal turns keep it a couple of points higher than it would have otherwise earned but I personally would struggle to endure this one a second time


By Dave Attrill

POWER QUEST - Master Of Illusion
(Napalm Records - 2007)

A band always welcomed on our pages- and in the world of true classic metal itself - Powerquest arrive with another delivery of their sought after melodic metal cargo.

The Southampton sextet’s newest release is more of what they are best at - keyboard-topped twin guitar hard rock with balls and the full metal edge that mullet-clad headbangers the world over still crave for in 2008. Take on board the Helloween-influenced opening belter ‘Cemetary Gates’ and ‘Human Machine’ with its brief but enjoyable middle eight solos. The keys, as aforementioned don’t exactly miss out on the ride and the intro to ‘Civilised’ establishes that they are with us all the way along, like it or lump it.

‘Kings Of Eternity’ is the first fastie of today and a strong demonstration of current singer Alessio Garavello’s range in action though the voice-over interrupts rudely to almost ruin things. The keys switch to Greg Giuffria mode, soundwise in heralding the start of ‘Master of Illusion’ while the tune itself goes in an unarguably more AOR direction than any of the preceding four, and in synchrony bloke’s voice resembles Shotgun Symphony’s Tracy White - if only they would think of reforming again someday.

‘The Vigil ‘ is one of the very best tracks with shrill soloing and vocals both working as a team and the chorus melody is made to please, the backing vocals being chequered with Garavello’s lone moments, for perfect contrast. Our resident clap-your-hands-along moment is ‘Save The World’ with the vocal structure housing a bouncy stutter that goes like a glove around the rhythm.

One thing that annoys me with these guys is that your are just getting used to their solos and then they switch guitarist or throw in the ivories on top, and then when you’re absorbing these, its back to the chorus again. - at least they repeat it again more than once, and with the octaves upped for the last time round, which is a treat with this guy’s throat at the mic. ‘Hearts and Voices’ and ‘I don’t Believe in Friends Forever’ are typical Power Quest….erm…power, and summarise all their strengths of past cuts and that warms up suitably for closer ‘Never Again’ where a suitable luxury awaits up with the Last Tribe-like hook that ‘Never Again’ has in store, or is it Alessio himself that does? Just hope that title doesn’t apply here.

A satisfying six-string ripple closes the show for another time - sounds like I’m reviewing a gig here doesn’t it- and sadly another two-three years wait looms ahead, and with albums as good as Power Quest construct, you know that’s too long a wait. Scandinavia and Germany may possess the upper hand in melodic metal but Blighty has more than just Dragonforce to rely on to put up the competition. These lads are one of the most lethal machines operating within the scene today- twiddle their wires at your own risk entirely.



By Dave Attrill

Helloween, Primal Fear, Stratovarious, Dragonforce, Kamelot, Last Tribe, Pan Ram*, Dream Theater,

Visit www.napalmrecords.com for more info.

* PAN RAM were a German-based melodic prog metal act, with a sound like Dream Theater, Queensryche, Dio and Helloween combined. They toured supporting Deep Purple in Europe and the UK in 1996. Though since disbanded, their page can still be found on MySpace.

Poppy & The Usual Suspects – Celestial Love Jones
(PopnMad records – 2006)

These guys were a great blues-rock band with tons of originality and charisma from Phoenix, Arizona, I say that because they have sadly since then broke up – dammit!

There’s some crackin riffs, melodies and guitar-work on here with standouts being the big f*ck you that is ‘Mr. Boss Man’; the brilliant blues wailing found on the title track ‘Celestial Love Jones’; the positively danceable ‘Be My Girl’; and the possibly autobiographical ‘Trouble’.

A CD that’s well worth checking out.


By Glenn Milligan

January 2008
PARADOX - Electrify
(AFM - 2007)

Another long-running European act brought back to notice by Metal’s no1 underground label, German act Paradox at least make an attempt to sound anything but that.

Billed back in their eighties days as the new Metallica, you know why, straight away, if you’ve never heard these chaps before, both on the vocal and instrumental front of things. Genetically mutate them with Judas Priest’s prime-time produce and the result matches - frontman Charly Steinhauer manages to juggle both Halford and Hetfield ranges together, rhythm guitar also putting in a decent potential duel with the latter.

A refreshing change from the usual Teutonic offerings within the scene, Paradox do seem strained within their consistency muscles more than a smidgen but overall it is pretty fist to the sky material, indicating Mr. Exley’s attempts to send me a poor disc have failed once more.


By Dave Attrill

(AFM – 2008)

President Evil’s debut offering, the gloriously titled ‘Trash n’ Roll *sshole Show’ was one of the very first CDs I reviewed for Mike Exley’s AFM label and signified quite a departure for their associated roster.

While there was something lacking in spaces on ‘Trash n ‘roll’, the Bremen quintet’s rackety brand of Sick of it All – a like punk metal was quite good fun at the same time, after a second spin. ‘H.I.A.B.’ picks up quite literally where we left off in 06 but polishes off more than just a few specks and resultantly we find a slightly more commercialised edge this time round.

While they like it fast, they now enjoy things a little less down on the tempo too and show more of a preference for pogo-oriented twin chord vs drum stomp –lines that enable these numbers to be separated by more than a title, a little easier than before. Fans earned by their existing sound needn’t fret, as everything else these guys delivered from last time is there and ready for the rumble. Here simply is ‘Trash n’ Rolls’ younger but little more mature brother.

Safe to turn up loud and see your paint strip without touching.


By Dave Attrill

Axel Rudi Pell – Diamonds Unlocked
(SPV – 2007)

A full on covers album with a variety of different artists overall that include the likes of U2 (Beautiful Day), Free (Heartbreaker), Phil Collins (In the Air Tonight) and The Mission (Like A Child Again) that are all done in full on Rock style.

Axel has most definitely put his mark on them and pulled them off amazingly – especially that incredible version of Kiss’s ‘Love Gun’ that has been given the acoustic treatment as well as the tempo being slowed down – in fact you don’t recognise it in its first few seconds until it kicks in properly. The version of The Who’s ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ is actually better than the original, especially in the vocals dept, thanks to the supreme larynx talents of Johnny Gioeli.

So what is featured on the album – simply buy it and find out – I tell you one sure thing though – you are going to be very impressed.


By Glenn Milligan

Psychic TV - PTV3 ~ Hell Is Invincible…Heaven Is Here
(Cargo Records – 2007)

This is like experimental Hawkwind after a comedown from a trip of f*ck*d up, bad acid – nothing like I’ve ever heard before. Disturbing songs await the ear – be warned as these sounds are not for the faint hearted or the unsound of minds.

How weird can you get – take the paranoic, schizophrenic craziness of ‘In Thee Body’; the sinister but beautiful ‘New York Story’ that could have been lifted from a Velvet Underground album and has a reminiscence of ‘Venus In Furs’ to it; the ambient starting‘Hookah Chalice’ with its waves and police sirens in the background that turns into a new wave punk number a la MC5 or something of that nature. The closing number ‘Milk Baba’ is a folky affair with ambience, sitar and guitar with a vocal basically humming this counter melody – different.

Odd stuff but very likeable – don’t blame me if you end up with psychiatric mental problems after repeated plays though.


By Glenn Milligan

Hanna Pakarinen – Lovers
(Sony/BMG-Finland – 2007)

Here’s a very talented lady that I took an interest in – she was the Finnish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2007, so I had to hear more than the ‘Leave Me Alone’ number and I wasn’t disappointed.

It’s rather versatile and the music varies from Pop to Hard Metal Orchestral Industrial sounds like ‘Leave Me Alone’. Hanna is kinda like Pink crossed with Gwen Stefani with more balls (in the performance sense – lol) with ‘Go Go’ being a good example.

Other highlights include the Aerosmith like ballad ‘Tell me what to do’; the great melodic hookiness of ‘It Ain’t Gonna Happen’ that is totally USA Radio Friendly; the crunchy, pacey last track ‘Lovers’ and the countrified ballad ‘Hard Luck Woman’.

A Happy ‘n’ Sad Album that’s full of realism.


By Glenn Milligan


(Potential Music/BMI)

Once upon a time, the words Thrash and San Francisco were almost dictionary definitions of each other. After the Bay Area boom, the mid-late nineties became quite a more sporadic period for the scene with only Machine Head and Skinlab emerging to much notice.

Onto 2007 and while many of the eighties institutions have hit the road again to show how it’s done, at least three bright young pupils have left school at the end of the day. Potential Threat may have possibly swotted up a little harder than they need do or they wouldn’t have turned the clocks as they turned on the style like this.

Under no circumstances let being a three piece put you off these guys, they deliver classic Californian speed aggression as if the grunge and nu-metal scene had been wiped from earth’s memory permanently. If you appreciate the high speed and still relatively melodic guitar attacks of Testament, Exodus and Forbidden at their prime, you’ve got quite a treat on your hands with these four tunes. Threatening stuff indeed and brimming with potential, let’s hope there’s more on the way - like an album.

You’re getting a darn sight more than 2.0 for this one boys.


By Dave Attrill

THE POODLES - Metal Will Stand Tall
(AFM Records - 2006)

In the early days of Metalliville, when I was reviewing quite a lot of releases and gigs associated with the European melodic rock scene and labels like Z Records in particular, Swedish guitar fave Pontus Norgren’s name popped up on more than three or four occasions. The ex-Great-King Rat/Talisman shredder was last heard of about five years ago with his guest appearance on Jeff Scott Soto’s slot at the Gods ’02 fest in Bradford but since then, seemingly not a whisker.

Until now when he shows up in this dodgily named vehicle with former Jekyll and Hyde frontman Jakob Samuel, another prolific name on his country’s scene for quite some time, playing some thankfully very un-dodgy rock music. If current day Nordic titans like Damned Nation, Seven Wishes and Snakes In Paradise are to your taste this might be your ticket but with a vague slither of punk/glitter glam attitude though not enough to justify a moniker like theirs.

Samuel still has a strong range today and it is good to hear his titanium tones running alongside Norgren’s powerhouse melodies which together roll these numbers out almost naturally. They have not, however, done all the songwriting themselves as I begin to get the drift through the swings in style during the album and the sleeve notes mention contributions from Holly Knight who has credits on Kiss and Aerosmith hits in the past but that matters not one iota.

These twelve numbers are all belters and I hope they can tack some UK dates onto the end of the European trek they are doing this year. They only lose half a point for their tag and their choice of title - ‘Metal Will Stand Tall’ will work wonders on the front of a Manowar sleeve, lads but not on this one - and nothing for the music.

Nice one, Pont’, me old mate, just please don’t vanish for another five years again,they don’t make ‘em like this often enough.


By Dave Attrill

Axel Rudi Pell – Mystica
(SPV – 2006)

Latest offering from Axel Rudi Pell and his band that has ex-Harline member Johnny Gioeli on vocals, Mike Terrana on drums, Ferdy Dorernberg on Keyboards and Volker Krawczak.

Melodic Hard Rock is to be found here that’s extremely recommendable with many a highlight including ‘Valley of Sin’; ‘Mystica’; ‘Losing The Game’; ‘Rock the Nation’ and the classically based ‘Haunted Castle Serenade’.

It’s all good.


By Glenn Milligan

JIM PETERIK - Above The Storm
(Frontiers - 2006)

Ever in demand of further great produce –at least by Frontiers anyway - ex-Survivor legend Jim Peterik seems to have something out every year with his name plastered on the sleeve in all its glory. Either it must have been his appearance with Two Fires at the Gods 2000 fest or his phenomenal debut Pride Of Lions CD which did the trick.

Whichever way you look at it, J.P is royalty in the AOR kingdom so we should expect that of him at all times. Well, we get it in most areas in this new solo effort from our bespectacled friend, with his vocals in particularly powerful fix for a 58-year old and the instrumentation is as unworthy of complaint as always, but as for the songs….. Er, yes there are a few, just a few mind you, that I have to admit are frankly average. (James, that will not do) and slow the pace towards the end even though the style you’d expect from the guy stays in the game.

The tunes worth topping the vol’ for however are ‘Live Life’, ‘Burning With A Reason’, ‘Above The Storm’, ‘Stand And Be Counted’, ‘This Time Of Night’ and ‘Secrets Of A Woman’ but unfortunately almost everything on the latter half of the disc fails to excite on a drastic scale though it all remains listenable. Fun for way more than fifty percent of its running time, Peterik’s latest outing is just a little brother to the ‘Pride Of Lions’ stuff but those who can’t get enough of this guy can treat this as compulsory.


By Dave Attrill

POD – Testify

We seem to have been without another great rap-metal machine to shout about, from on the mountains, for quite some time now. But just as you thought all had gone flat since Limp Bizkit,….. POD seem to have been fuelled by some lethal initiatives indeed because this is one of the genres strongest examples since the days of Rage-Against-The-you-know-who’s legendary debut.

Throwing in allsorts with the guitars - metal, funk, hard rock, blues, reggae - you rarely get two songs that are significantly alike back to back here with only the vocals to link, and as a bonus a couple of songs diverge and wade into Pearl Jam/Alice In Chains territory. People expecting/dreading another ‘heard one song, heard all twelve’ effort (there’s thirteen here actually, Dave) will be immensely surprised/disappointed – d.a.a.

This is rap rock with attitude by the coachload, pulled off to sterling form and while a couple of numbers did still of course grate a bit, this outfit make a very big mark on the map.

One that will leave names like Lost Prophets and Dog Eat Dog just barely discernible.


By Dave Attrill

PARADISE LOST – Paradise Lost
(Zomba Music - 2005)

The sound of this album is reassuringly similar to their previous album ‘Symbol of Life’ with the vocals from Nick Holmes being instantly recognisable to fans. For those of you unfamiliar with this band I would best describe them as alternative doom-metal.

The dark and moody sound is well balanced with emotion and the album opens with ‘Don’t Belong’ a typical alienation/isolation theme for the band but still working to great effect showing at least Greg Mackintosh hasn’t yet run out of ideas musically.

The band seems to create atmosphere with ease using keyboards and string arrangements to great effect throughout this album in tracks such as ‘Red Shift’ and ‘Over The Madness’. ‘Forever After’ also offers so much with rousing choral voices adding to an already well-layered melodic medley. The track shimmers with strong guitar chords and riffs and is a real highlight. ‘Shine’ is another favourite that I thought worked particularly well incorporating guitar waves in the chorus that majestically build, ebb and flow.

In fact I got the impression that Mackintosh allowed himself far more freedom on lead guitar to come to the forefront throughout this album putting in notably strong performances in ‘Accept the Pain’ and at the end of ‘All You Leave Behind’. This can only be a good thing in my opinion as both rhythm and lead guitar are continually well composed and executed.

This is a great release and I’m delighted that PL is still producing albums of great quality.


By Al Hoath

Stephen Pearcy - Rat Attack
(Mausoleum Records - 2005/Perris Records - 2006)

This is exactly what you'd assume from the title of the album - a hefty splattering of newly recorded versions of Ratt classics where Stephen has got in the likes of George Lynch and Tracii Guns to take care of the Axe Bizniz for a few of the ditties.

No album like this would be complete without epics of such high calibre as 'Round and Round'; 'Lay it down'; 'Back For More' and of course 'You're in Love'; Back for More' and 'Lack of Communication' and yes - they are all here - as if they wouldn't be !

Worth noting is that this 17-strong cd also houses numbers from the 1st incarnation of Ratt, back when they were called 'Mickey Ratt', these being 'Dr, Rock' and 'Drivin' On E' that features ex-Dokken man, George Lynch on lead guitar. Original Micky Ratt bassist also plays on the tunes and even engineered all album sessions as well.

Let us not forget the Rat B*st*rds being ignored either (Pearcy's band) who do a tremendous job throughout.

Now the European release has come out that omits the Ratt covers and makes the way for 3 new tracks ‘Red Licorice’, ‘Novocaine’ & ‘Underworld’ giving you a good reason to buy it again or alternatively pick up the US version for the Ratt tracks if you are in Europe.

Get your arses to the UK soon - it's been too f*ck*n'long man !!


By Glenn Milligan

PHANTOM-X – Rise Of The Phantom
(Mausoleum Records 2005)

You’ll need a double take when you realise this is a relatively new release because this is an album that could have easily been released twenty plus years ago. Phantom-X’s old style Power Metal holds true to all those winning formulas used in the past … except that maybe they should have kept the clothes, haircuts and finger jewellery in storage.

This album only started warming up for me with the title track that showed some promising riffs along with ‘Plenty Evil’. An unexpected treat on the album was the love ballad ‘Enchanted’ that showed some good song writing skills and acoustic guitar.

Other tracks that stood out from the rest were ‘Edge of the Earth’, ‘Blood on the Moon’ (with Robert Lowe) and the instrumental ‘Discovery’.
‘Metal Warrior (Tribute to Dimebag)’ was actually written in 1982 and was disappointing except an excellent guitar solo half way through.

In summary there is nothing here that will come close to putting a crack in the mould but there are some good power metal tunes, strong vocals on offer here.


By Al Hoath

PRAYER - Wrong Address

Seldom do we receive the opportunity to review Escape-signed discs here at Metalliville HQ but when we do occasionally get to it, it’s no vain wait. Prayer are a six-piece from Finland peddling the kind of pomp-oriented AOR that is outlawed in today’s criminally fashion-commanded climate though I am always ready to plug this material more than once in a while.

Though pretty trademark stuff that can’t be seen of too much appeal to many people below 35 years of age (sadly), the accumulation of Mark Stanway-fuelled keyboardery and a voice that more than advisably resembles Honeymoon Suite’s Johnnie Dee, makes for a keen listen along with this silky smooth stringwork from the two lads on guitars.

There are a few less than gripping moments to be encountered although hookier selections such as ‘Secrets Of The Night’, ‘Anyone With A Broken Heart’, ‘End Of Time’, ‘Who Wants To Be Free Again’ and ‘Main Attraction’ lead the stronger majority of this pack. With another sterling act, Urban Tale, recently clipped to its laurels, Finland look set to proudly place another flag on European melodic rock’s map.

One disc that definitely came to the right address. Lovely stuff, boys.


By Dave Attrill

PRESIDENT EVIL - Thrash n’ Roll Asshole Show
(AFM Records - 2006)

Quite likely to be advertising some brand of bolshy garage rock fodder, I end up having quite a…. well I wouldn’t say nasty… susprise. I was quite partial to a bit of Hardcore in my teens and Sick Of It All were one of my fave acts so the similarity between Johnny Holze’s voice and the aforementioned act’s Lou Koller keeps the play button on all the way through.

Whatever the New Yorkers can do, the Germans can perhaps do better and Holze’s voice is noticeably gruffer P.E.’s native land also boasting a healthy H.C scene These guys do things THEIR way though, let’s not forget that, throwing garage, punk, and metal all into the mix and that they don’t restrict all their tunes to 2 minutes or less allows them to spread their ideas out to full appreciation.

A few hooks do also come in the package along with some wild - and some downright dodgy – titles , most of which your typical HC act would never even think about printing on a CD sleeve but these guys things their way… didn’t I just say that.

President Evil’s way is one possibly worth going.


By Dave Attrill

Sick Of It All

Prey – The Hunter
(Mauseleum Record – 2005)

I opened up the cd booklet and thought, ‘Hey, I know that guy ‘Patrick Johannson’ – as he’s also the drummer for Yngwie J. Malmsteen, which was a good enough reason to check out the album. I wasn’t disappointed either because this was power metal and hard melodic rock throughout with accessible singalong vocals thanks to Thomas Nystroem).

Love the opening number ‘Fault Line’ – class power metal as is ‘Turn Around’. Other highlights include the stomping arena size belter ‘I Am’ that’s very Rainbow meets AOR; the in-your-face Liar’; the Purple riff-like ‘Coming Home’ with some weird and string robot sounds (nice chorus as well lads).

The closing number makes the album well worth buying alone – a beautiful ballad duet with the incredibly gifted female ‘Frederica’ – an instant hit if ever I heard one.


By Glenn Milligan

(Unsigned - 2005)

The young Sheffield trio are back again barely two seconds after I last…. er dealt with them in relation to recorded material of their own composition.

Frankly, ‘Turn Around’ is little more different from their previous piece but their power pop, whilst unadvisably akin to fellow scene dealings still has its catch factor. Three of these five new numbers are good and two are…. OK, to keep it short and their live sets to come will benefit from inclusion of this material.

One major problem is that in many cases, it just dissolves too much amongst the other numbers so for first time P.T.S. gig goers, identifying newer tunes by style will be less than feasible.

Still pleasant stuff though.


By Dave Attrill


Among the various acts who visit Sheffield’s fabled Classic Rock Bar, P.T.S are becoming one of the most talked-about at the mo’. Time for me to explore.

There’s no need fro a machete to reach these guys, they are almost instantly accessible without effort, their melodic nu-breed servings fairly akin to a fair share of Wind-Up/Artenzia signings doing the rounds. Their sound not be as freaky as that noseless face on the inside of the sleeve but it is still a little difficult to file, due to the addition of a few bursts of hardcore growlings along the course.

No crack in their armour, these fellows aren’t ruled out as being full time superstars sometime in the near future. Catch ‘em if you can.


By Dave Attrill

MICHAEL PINELLA - Enter By The Twelfth Gate
(SPV/Inside Out – 2004)

I get a sort of sensation of the less than impressive offering from Chroma Key that I’ve just had to sit…. I mean sleep my way through, but this fellow’s talents beyond a keyboard justify the non-use of vocals and keeping the songs short do him a few more favours too.

Still an acquired taste as instrumental albums are, Pinella keeps things interesting for the larger fraction of its three-quarter-hour playing time, especially so for those budding Jordan Rudessess and Andre Anderssons who may be listening to this, as some of those harmonies are likely association with certain bands I might mention.

Listening carefully enough, a few books from the Jim Peterik department also seem on loan on more than one of these cuts which shows the guy’s multi-directional side and make this album a perfect lesson for rookie ivory-whackers the world around. One I’ll also perhaps spin again before too long.


By Dave Attrill

PULSE - Worlds Apart
(MTM - 2005)

Playing in Bob Catley’s backing band can be quite known to garner some notice in the British melodic hard rock scene these days. Ask guitarist Vince o’Regan whose own band Pulse’s debut album, packed with plasterin’ anthems like ‘Lady’, ‘Inspiration’ and ‘Talkin’ About Love’ probably single-handedly earned them that slot at the Gods 2002 fest - though they were minus the incredible vocal talents of the suddenly departed Simon Abbots on that day.

Three years later and the classic line-up of o’Regan, Abbots and bassist Paul Barrow return with an album to match such description. Though they have come a way since that last disc, ‘Pulse’ was a winner itself as previously mentioned, but Vince has progressed with panache while keeping observant of the style that tagged their followers onto them in the beginning. Including more of o’Regan’s meaty mainstream harmonies with strong layerings of keyboards - also by Vince, Abbots’ ever-so-slightly Coverdale-like tones seem stronger and more soulful with each number, especially towards the back half of the album.

Take your pick of faves with this baby but to narrow it down if at all possible, ‘Nothin’ I Can Do About It’, ‘Worlds Apart’, ‘Price Of Loving You’, ‘Lost Without You’, ‘Do It All Again’ and ‘No Turning Back’ would probably class as the top six although the other five numbers all deserve a listen. Only occasionally throughout do the odd one or two less noteworthy moments abound plus the legally dubious similarity between ‘Price Of Loving You’ and the Bonfire tune of the same title but little at all off this album’s overall credibility level.

A blinding continuation and boost to their already top form, Pulse should not leave it another three years before their next album sees the light of day, as people - like fans - do tend to move on. Then again , ‘Worlds Apart’ is one, undoubtedly stopping back for.


By Dave Attrill

Whitesnake, Heartland, Magnum, … and of course Pulse’s first album.

Dec. 2004
Axel Rudi Pell - The Ballads III
(SPV - 2004)

As the title states, this is a bunch of ballads from Mr. Pell that all feature Hardline's 'Johnny Gioli' on vocals.

Beautiful soaring orchestral like numbers throughout that include 'All the rest of my life'; 'Forever Angel (New Acoustic Version)'; 'Heartbreaker' and many more including a cover of Rainbow's 'The Temple of the King'

German Hard Rock meets British and American Hard Rock.


By Glenn Milligan

The Plastix - No Class Youth
(TB Records - 2002)

Crazy, punky rockers who have a good old glint of glam to their sound. They've become something of a residence in Sheffield of late - at the Classic Rock Bar to be exact.

It's aggressive, good sound which is what is needed at times to spark up the party a wee bit. Bawly, bounding songs await with Dogs B*ll*ck highlights including the title track 'No Class Youth; the humourous 'Joke'; 'World U Made' and the rather witty 'Uncle Sam'.

Stu, Gee and Justin prove that you can afford not to take yourselves and your songs too seriously because this playing is second to none and to witness them live is the very proof of the pudding (Nottinghamshire Pudding in this case).


By Glenn Milligan

PAIL - Blue Man On The Sun
(Moderate Roger Records - 2004)

There was actually another band called Pail many years ago - they appeared on the ITV Chart Show with a vid shot inside a public loo (yeah, lovely) and also, quite coincidentally, they were s**t. This lot aren't exactly the most incredible act I've come across in my time but they serve up better helpings than the sub-Madness offerings their aforementioned and thankfully defunct aforementioned namesakes managed.

Absolutely contemporary in orientation, this lot fuse together rap, industrial, thrash and alternative into a demented concoction and the whole thing is a pretty approachable platter, especially for those who like metal acts fronted by people who sound a few tents short of a campsite stopping short of blowing their gasket.

An impressive set of sanity-bereft rock n' roll toons, this CD might not have its own release over here at the mo but mailing their label (see below) for info and possibility of hearing samples, if they're that generous, should hopefully point you in the right direction.


By Dave Attrill

Something that sounds like Devin Townsend doing a Rage Against The Machine, Coal Chamber and a Korn covers session.

LOG ON TO www.moderaterogerrecords.com


POWERQUEST - Neverworld
(Frontiers/Now & Then 2004)

Having already read through more than my fair share of stonking reviews concerning this release from one of N&T's hottest properties of late, my quite highly-rigged expectations peaked as a copy of this rumoured masterpiece from the multi-national power metal quintet landed in my palms. Finally I accurately but very quickly deciphered the reason behind all the fuss as my anticipations were answered though it took until the third track on the first listen to completely absorb myself into what 'Neverworld' is all about.

Here ladies and gentlemen is everything everyone needs to know about melodic metal in one easy hour-long lesson. Huge slabs of guitar and vocal craftsmanship on the respective quarters of messrs Garavello and Martognelli dominate not one less than all nine of these pristine quality tracks. Keeping modes varied they try everything from symphonic metal octane to sunshine-laden AOR and all in between, and perhaps any combinations of the aforementioned.

Smooth-as-cream keyboarding from Steve Williams too, to keep it in touch with the preferences of the perfection-demanding following. An unbelieveable trip, some may say already taken or attempted by other acts of alike type, Powerquest stuff most efforts others, even those leading the league, over the last two years have made, good and proper. Even Last Tribe's '02 blinder 'Witchdance' struggles to fight this one off.


By Dave Attrill


Axel Rudi Pell - Kings and Queens
(SPV - 2004)

The 10th release from the German riff miester, Axel Rudi Pell who has Hardline's Johnny Gioeli to front his band - one of Rocks best vocalists around in the world today. Compacted with compelling solos, Blackmore like melodies (but not all the time) with the line-up completed by drummer Mike Terrana; bassist Krawczak and keyboardist Ferdy Doernbery.

It's actually the first full length studio album I've heard from Axel and after this I think I will invest in the others - needless to say, it's rather good, especially the song 'Strong as a Rock'; the dark Ronnie James Dio era Sabbath like 'Legions of Hell' with a baas-line that's virtually identical to 'Heaven and Hell'; the uplifting 'Only the strong survive' about warriors in battle that features the title of the album in the opening lines of the song - it really is a belter with Malmsteen like rhythm in a Blackmore way. Another gem worth mentioning is 'Take The Crown' made amazing by Johnny's shining soulful tenor vocals.

Traditional Heavy Metal just doesn't get any better than this.


By Glenn Milligan

PINK CREAM 69 - Thunderdome
(SPV/Inside Out - 2004)

Formed about 2 years after Bonfire, Pink Cream 69 have always walked in the shadow of their German rivals in the melodic hard rock march. Through the years though, they have continuously grown tightrer as a live and recoding act. Current frontman David Readman has now been with the band for a decade, original screamer Andi Deris having since then fronted metal legends Helloween.

Guitarist Alfred Kofler, the only German member still left in the group has done especially well to get this album together given he now suffers from Focal Dystonia, a physical disability to the hand. No songwriting disabilities in the suffering here though as the foursome, completed by drummer Kosta Zafiriou and bassist and now also producer - Dennis Ward, deliver another monster.

The trudgy title track might not get things off to the most promising of starts but there's always top rate rockers like 'Gods Come Together', 'Here I Am', 'That Was Yesterday', 'Shelter', 'As Deep AS I Am', 'Anopther Wrong Makes Right', 'See Your FAce' and a belting cover of The Knacks 'My Sharona' to whip that wallet out for. Dynamic work by Readman and particularly by Koffler, considering his problems, make this a further reason as to why we should hear more, than we do, from PC69, preferably on stages, on British shores too.

Another sweet cream to stick on the pudding.


By Dave Attrill

Hardline, Tyketto or Scorpions but a tad more metal oriented and experimental.

Primal Fear - Devil's Ground
(Nuclear Blast - 2004)

Classically Priestified Manowar Metal from Germany that's brilliant in every way possible. Vocally it's phenomenal and full of mid and high notes with musical side being pristine and lock-tight.

Primal Fear are having a good laugh or taking themselves extremely seriously especially when the album opens up with the high-pitched squealing of 'Metal is Forever' or the throbbing 'In Metal'.

This band, like label-mates EDGUY are a true metal purists ultimate with Halford-sqawk-like tunes such as 'Suicide and Mania'; the glowing epical acoustic starting 'The Healer'; the brutal 'Soulchaser' or the spoken-word 'Devil's Ground' that funnily enough concerns life in hell.


By Glenn Milligan

Probot - S/T
(Roswell / Southern Lord- 2004)

I can't believe that I am about to write this!

I'll bet you don't believe me. You're saying to yourself "How could the drummer for Nirvana, the group that single-handedly pushed Metal off of commercial radio and back into the underground in the early 1990s possibly accomplish such a coup de tat? How could the front man of alt radio darlings Foo Fighters release a REAL metal album? Surely this is another trendy marketing gimmick crafted to trick metalheads out of their hard earned dollars (or Euros). No way is Dave Grohl metal, let alone TRUE metal!"


How is this for credibility? Eleven of Metal's all-time greatest vocalists. Cronos. Snake. Lemmy. Wino. Max. King Diamond. Lee Dorrian. Tom G. Warrior. Eric Wagner. Mike Dean. Kurt Brecht. Eleven killer vocalists singing their own words to hard hitting, well written tracks (penned by Grohl) that equal and in some cases surpass the vocalists actual groups! Awesome packaging with art by Michael Langevin (Voivod's AWAY)! Each individual vocalist's lyrics included in their entirety. To top it off, Grohl released this project on a small Indy doom label, California's Southern Lord Records. Need more proof?

The record kicks off with "Centuries of Sin". Cronos has never sounded so good and his band Venom never enjoyed this type of quality production. Grohl proves from this first track that he IS a great heavy metal drummer, infusing the track with powerful beats and precision rolls and fills. "Red War" provides the evidence as to why Max Caverlera should stop jerking around with Soulfly and reunite with Sepultura. This track features some of the best vocals Caverlera has done in ages. The first single and video, "Shake Your Blood" showcases Lemmy. Close your eyes. Can you tell this isn't Motorhead? (Kudos to the guys for featuring the Suicide Girls in the vid clip. Metal dudes really dig that kind of quality entertainment). C.O.C. was once the leaders of the metal/punk crossover charge and if their early efforts sounded as great as "Access Babylon", Dean would probably still be the lead singer. This tune sounds as if it were lifted straight from Animosity. Lee Dorrian has been one of the most overlooked vocalists in Metal for quite some time. His work with Cathedral has been innovative, original and inspiring. You can find one of his most solid efforts right here in "Ice Cold Man". Wino of the legendary St Vitus delivers a command performance on "The Emerald Law", a song which includes some of the record's most well penned lyrics. For me it was a complete surprise that this track would be one of Probot's best. Tom G. Warrior was worshipped by vast legions of metal maniacs during his early Celtic Frost days. This track sounds nothing like Warriors former work which was somewhat of a letdown. However, herein lays the secret of Probot. THIS TRACK SOUNDS LIKE ULTRA HEAVY NIRVANA! And Warrior and Grohl pull it off fantastically, the both of them proving that you can be a diverse musician and still do those diverse styles well. "Big Sky" is the greatest surprise of the album. If only Warrior could get something as cool as this going for himself today. OK, between the artwork and "Dictatosaurus", I simply cannot tell that this is not some rare, unearthed Voivod track circa Nothingface. Snake sounds the best he ever has here. I always enjoy his thoughtful and imaginative lyrical stylings and the delivery is top notch. No offense to Jason Newsted, but Grohl writes a better Voivod song, hands down. Far from the timid "We Carry On" from that band's newest effort, this is the real metal deal. "My Tortured Soul" featuring Eric Wagner of legendary doomsters Trouble takes a page from that amazing ensemble's self titled release. A compelling and captivating effort from start to finish, this is my personal favorite track, as I have been a long time Trouble fan. The record finishes off with none other than the mighty King Diamond, pipes in superior form on the track "Sweet Dreams", which is much more akin to the King's Merciful Fate material than his solo efforts. Any fan of Kim Peterson's work would list this as amongst his best. There is a hidden track, but I won't spoil it for you here…

I have a newfound sense of respect for Dave Grohl. His choice of talent to deliver this excellent package is fantastic. His drumming and guitar work shows that his love for metal is true and his performance is unbelievable. This record is a must own for any long time fan of metal and a fantastic primer for new devotees. Many of these vocalist's original bands never had an opportunity to get such great production quality, and it is a shame that most of these bands are not enjoying such quality of production today. It is undeniable that Probot is a key moment in Metal history. In an age where too many vocalists suffer from the dreaded Cookie Monster syndrome and Headbanger's Ball thinks Screamo is real metal, this effort is a call to arms for metalheads everywhere to unite so that REAL metal may regain its former standing as King of the world of music.

By Star (from Detroit)

Playground - S/T
(Midnight Music - 1996)

Debut from prototype band who have elements of Faith No More meets Galactic Cowboys who have devoured a healthy diet of Black Sabbath.

Featuring Blue Cheer guitarist Andrew 'Duck' McDonald and Bob Hoffman on vocals (a mate of mine in Orlando, Fl.). This album is sweet and full of songs in harsh minor keys with meaningful lyrical qualities such as 'Open your mind'; the strong 'Watch me bleed' with its firing guitar squealing; the classical instrumental 'Summer Place' and the epic 'Prejudice' that's kinda 'Alice In Chains' meets 'Type O Negative'.


By Glenn Milligan

Playground - And the gods, they play
(DMZ Productions/Midnight Music - 1998)

More aggressive than the debut and far more attitude at times as well with 'Reward' being an excellent example. They came on a bit with '…the gods….' And best cuts are 'Animal' - not it's not the song by WASP or Def Leppard but more of a Sabbathy ballad with Yes-like vocal harmonies.

Some of the material sees Bob Hoffman straining in the vocal department which kills some of the melodies like in 'LIAR' and 'Dead are the weak'. There's a nice bit of acoustic guitar work from Andrew 'Duck' McDonald on 'Midnight' though.

This is an average album and agree with Andrew that the debut has the edge on it.


By Glenn Milligan

Pretty Boy Floyd - Tonight belongs to the young
(Perris Records - 2004)

Now this album should have seen the light of day years ago but the evils of all the majors sucking up to grunge soured that one completely - I think 'Workin' for the MCA' - well that's the big bossmen for you. Fortunately Steve Summers and the boys saw that they were sitting on a glam goldmine - especially since Pretty Boy Floyd have become so popular over here in the UK.

Now the demos for that aborted second album finally see the light of day - it's one of the best glam albums that I've heard in years - if not the best - it easily matches the Leather Boyz debut and dare I say it, betters it. It has it all - the feel-good vibe, a full-on party atmosphere and most importantly the songs are electric.

The title track itself is a salute to feeling young and 'Hands off my radio' is an epic that sates that no-one can take away our rock 'n' roll; 'Til the real things comes along' sees the 'Floyd get more serious on us and is concerned with the state of a relationship turning sour but hanging onto it until you find one that's perfect. 'Stray Bullet' is a corker of a number that mixes in elements of Skid Row's '18 & Life' with Aerosmith's 'Dream On' and 'Heaven must be missing an angel' is a soulful rockin' hit if ever I heard one.

This album cannot be bettered.


By Glenn Milligan

PYREXIA - Cruelty Beyond Submission
(Rex Records - 2004)

Walking the trail of preposterously named metal acts once again, our latest call is at Pyrexia. Little do these long-running New York deathsters know that over here, Pyrex are our top make of cookware crockery. What roasts in this lot's ovens, as I discover here for the very first time is actually a tasty serving of Obituary-meets-Strife marinated metalcore with (90's) classic extreme metal chugging and shredding stringage, topped by more sharp-ended growls, a la Madball et al, provided by angel faced frontman Eric Shute (nice chest tattoo, by the way).

Verse-chorus-verse arrangements aren't exactly a speciality of these acts as we've probably grasped over the last two decades but the lyrical slant towards political and topical subjects generates meaning through all of these tunes - though I would appreciate knowing why only the lyrics to the first three numbers have been printed. A band as relentless as they are purposeful in the meaning of their music, Pyrexia's fourth album is their first as a known quantity to Metalliville's ears, but the first of many, hopefully. Just be warned, don't play this while cooking the dinner - your erm… oven dishes might sustain a few cracks.


By Dave Attrill

POVERTY'S NO CRIME - The Chemical Chaos
(SPV/Inside Out - 2003)

This latest release form German prog-metal rockers is absolutely fantastic. The 'Chemical Chaos' is a combination powerful, bombastic and melodic sounds that are creatively mixed together to produce something that really delivers.

It's been two years since their last release with, One In A Million, and it seem that they've used that time wisely, fine tuning every detail of this incredible follow-up. Their impressive, stylistic sound isn't unlike other prog-metal bands but is unique enough to stand way out in the crowd.


By Steve Windle

Jan. 2004
Praying Mantis - The Journey Goes On
(Frontiers - 2003)

A gorgeous and inventive slice of conceptual AOR from a band who feature ex-Iron Maiden guitarist, Dennis Stratton. The vocal duties are taken care of by John Sloman and current Yngwie Malmsteen frontman, Doogie White that sees him bring out his mellower side.

Highlights include the bright opener 'Tonight' with John Sloman on vocals; hard edged 'Silent War'; 'The Journey goes on' with its choral poppy AOR; the bouncy poptastic AOR of 'Hold for love' with Doogie White taking the lead and the closer 'The Voice'.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

PURE SWEET HELL - The Voyeurs Of Utter Destruction As Beauty


This may be indie, and some call it a demo, but fact is, this collaboration between Nevermore drummer Van Williams and his buddy from back in New York Christ Eichhorn is a fully fleshed, highly technical, expertly crafted batch of avant-garde metal wonder tracks.

Think Emperor (Ihsahn's vision for it) crossed with Nevermore, Arcturus, Dimmu, Dragonlord, even slow, circuitous US death. Van is actually the vocalist too (Jim Colson contributes as well), offering a variety of singing and speaking styles along with his battery of drum batteries.

Eichhorn massages in programming and samples here and there, and his riffs are ladder-like, but the main vibe is one of relentless cold textures, sour melodies like any number of frosty Norwegian experiments. It all coalesces into a sort of harrowing drama, the classy graphics and emotional, real, yet oblique lyrics adding to the sculptured mass of the thing.


By Martin Popoff

Axel Rudi Pell - Knights Live

(Live at Zeche Bochum, Germany, May 5th 2002)

(SPV - 2003)

He's the German equivalent of Ritchie Blackmore and plays DIO likened material (think mid 70's to mid 80's Metal of the dark bombastic the - you know that Malmsteen feel).

Caught live with his band that includes Johnny Gioeli (of Hardline) on vocals and virtuoso drummer Mike Terrana (who punches out a harder faster solo like in the days of old). The Germans are really into this stuff and it's a pity it hardly ever reaches the UK apart from the odd gig down London - The Pell outfit certainly blind any the current breed of today's 'here today, gone tomorrow' bandwagon crap.

It's all good and the many highlights include the medley of 'Masquerade, Casbah, Drum solo' that also includes a snippet of Rainbow's 'Stargazer'. Then there's the thumpin' Dio'esque 'Warrior'; the Rainbowy 'Carousel' that includes the wondrous keyboard solo from Ferdy Doernberg and the blazin' thunderous 'Edge of the World'.

Rainbow may have gone way beyond the pot of gold but Axel Rudi Pell is one that you'll take a cream strat liking to.

Also on DVD.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS


(Frontiers/N&T 2003)

A bit of fun you can have with these newly formed melodic rock acts on this label is spotting familiar names - most have at least one. Kelly Hansen of Hurricane fame is on the line-up with this project, also featuring current Dokken guitarist Alex De Rosso.

Before you go in, be warned that this has next to zilch to do with Don and boy's sweet sounds, past or present, going for the laid back matured forty-something associated sound. (Well I'm 26, so b*ll*cks). Sweet melodies occupy every solitary minute if not second of the hour on show as do the tunes that own them. 'Here With Me', 'Just like A Pill', 'Between You And Me', 'Out of Bounds', 'You'll Be gone', 'Do You Love' and 'Overnight Sensation' (sadly not a rendition of the Firehouse belter) are my choices but most should appreciate the remaining cuts.

Another old hand welcomely refusing to wither.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Hurricane, Journey, Alfonzetti (1st album), Mitch Malloy, Tyketto, Vaughn and Bon Jovi

(Frontiers/Now & Then)

Jim Peterik is a man who not for one moment fails to understand what's expected and required of him in the melodic rock scene. Having kept his profile at the top over the last few years with his appearance at the Gods with Two Fires, and the 'Mecca' and 'World Stage - Live' CD's, he is undoubtedly regarded as more than just merely a survivor (tee-bleedin'-hee) of the industry. He is a true icon and Toby Hitchcock should be more honoured than most to be working alongside this legend and on such an incredible album as this.

As soon as 'It's Criminal' bursts its way in through the speakers, you know of what's to come. 'Interrupted Melody' and' Prideland' are what Survivor would sound like if they were around today whilst 'Gone' and 'Sounds of Home', the album's two strongest songs are worth your wallet alone.

'Turn to Me', 'Madness of Love' and 'Last Safe place' are also amongst the most replayable. Peterik's skills on guitar and keys are par excellence as per usual (at 56, you've got no excuse, James) and his contrasting vocal interactions with Hitchcock make for an interesting listen - this other chap's got something of a voice himself. 'P.O.L' is passion, melody, power, emotion and feel, acting together as one all the way through. To Jim Peterik, he needs not one bit of coaching with this; it comes naturally all the time.



By Dave Attrill

Surv-you know who, Journey, Dream Theater, Biloxi, Street Talk, Honeymoon Suite, Norway

Psycho Squad - 2 Track Sampler

Recently the 'Squad supported Motorhead at Sherwood Forest - their frontman/guitarist Todd being the son of Motorhead Guitarist, Phil Campbell.

This two tracker features 'Dress like you' which is a sure as hell hit if promoted properly - the song is an attack at Nu-Metal bands 'Why does everybody dress like you' - yeah, it's something I'd like to know the answer to as well.

'Harold Bishop' - track number two about that guy from 'Neighbours'. It's ballsy, brash and concerns a guy who's peoples names he can't recall.

Looking forward to a full length album from the 'Squad some time in the future.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

PRONG - Scorpio Rising
(Locomotive Records - 2003)

Maintaining a staunch profile throughout their career, New York's Prong remain a fully checked and running machine to this very day. The proud inaugurators of one of the 90's top metal anthems, 'Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck', Tommy Victor and troops have taken the liberty of progressing through the years since, newer styles slowly trying to lure them from the brand of Size 12 boot-meets-head hardcore thrash metal that developed their first sets of teeth to full growth, 12-15 years back.

'Scorpio Rising' summarises the distance they have walked, and the path between, latterday vibes of pop, punk, alternative and soulful feel chequered into a pattern with pummelling metal of the sort still in demand of them now as always was. Of course, there would have to be at least one song in the 'Snap Your Fingers' shape of things - we'll leave you to find it, yourself - amongst the many others meanwhile serving to present the case for Prong's claims against sameness allegations, should they be facing any.

Tommy boy done good once more, and I sense more breakages to necks and fingers to follow.


By Dave Attrill

PRO-PAIN - Run For Cover
(Spitfire - 2003)

Once upon a time, I was, believe it or not, into the hardcore/punk metal scene. Be it quite a bygone era for me but not totally so, my respect for these bands remains to this day. The last I'd heard from New York's Pro-Pain was 94's 'Truth Hurts' and having lost track through the intervening years and subsequent albums leaves me trying to find the way back in again.

I catch up with them today (wait up, lads, I'm here) by way of a covers album which homages a selection of acts that have inspired or aided Mr Meskill and mates on their musical paths. Not the best help for someone who's trying to catch up with the last half of the band's career, but I'll have to find time fro that in a bit. Pro-Pain do actually deserve a chance at this as they show through their effort in keeping the songs true to their original form instead of butchering them into something that sounds like a blasphemous re-use of the lyrics from the older tune.

Motorhead's 'Iron Fist', 'Agnostic Front's 'Your Mistake' Life Of Agony's 'Weeds', Slayer institution 'South Of Heaven' and also 'Just Sit There' from Gary Meskill's early days act Crumbsuckers get given a punishing revitalisation here and the rendition of Seps' 'Refuse/Resist' is so near identical to the Brazilian legends original that it almost doubles as a handy back-up if your copy of Cavalera and Co's 'Chaos AD' album goes walkabouts.

Hardly the handy reintroduction I'd sought to Pro-Pain's ever-unrelenting brand of street metal noise, but I still caught them on a high. This compilation tells quite accurately how far they've come and how they first got to the start.


By Dave Attrill

PRIDE - Signs of Purity
(Point Music - 2003)

Tailing onto the convoy of deserving new British talent on the melodic hard rock highway, are Brighton six-piece Pride. This is actually their second album and hailing from the same town as established AOR heavyweight Steve Newman should make them at least quite familiar with the gauntlet cast before them. Pride however, take pride (Very.. Effin'..Funny!) in their work and their show-stealin' Gods '03 set warmed me up for what 'S.O.P' was about to offer. .

Opening trio 'Could You Believe', 'Somewhere Someday' and 'Story Of Our Lives' are pure molten lumps of Mitch Malloy-meets-Harem Scarem coated rock with the outfits own sound still prominent nonetheless. Stridin' on further through the field, the next brace of three or four numbers gives us chance to hear on a clearer level where Pride are coming from - like where that vocal verse harmony on 'No Reasons Why', is (Queensryche's 'Walk The Thin Line', namely). 'Say You're not Lonely' is a song I've already acquainted myself with over the preceding three months, courtesy of a sampler off the Fireworks mag, and is ever the excellent song it was the first time spun.

'Learn To Fly' and 'I.O.U.' make huge live numbers, and closing ballad 'Still Raining' sees good use of the seven minutes allocated to its cause with a chorus that hits you hard and haunts you at the same time, and leaves the plot wide open for another album. Which is what I hope we get because Pride have done the British contingent a damn good amount of it.

If you're a ..Malloy, ..Scarem, Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams, Danger Danger or Adrian Gale fan, then that'll make you a Pride one as well. Corking vocals and guitar work non-stop throughout the whole period for which it lasts. This country's not had it this good for a long time.


By Dave Attrill

Pretty Boy Floyd - Vault II
(Perris Records - 2003)

Just when you thought that the Floyd basement was empty, Vault II compiles more gems out of the cobwebs from everyone's favourite LA Glitzers.

There's a variety of songs - some which you may recognise such as the 60's hit 'It's still rock 'n' roll to me' and the recently played live 'Seven days in heaven' (a live version of it as well); an alternate take of 'Shut up' and much more such as the Christmas song 'We're a happy family' where Steve Summers states that 'Momma is a Porno Queen and Daddy likes men!!' - f*ck 'We wish you a merry christmas' and 'Silent Night' - this ditty throws them to the wall.

This album will give the Floyd chance to work on an all new studio album - so until then enjoy this that has many other Glam numbers like the unheard anthem 'We've got rock 'n'roll'; the roadworthy 'Take you for a ride' complete with dodgy drum machine and the GNR meets Skid Row pace 'n' attitude of 'No respect for the law'.

Put your make-up on and get yourself down the L.A. Boulevard right now.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

July 2003
PABLO - The Story Of Love And Hate
(Music For Nations - 2003)

In Metal these days anything goes, including what Scots trio Pablo have popped up with to show us here which is another pretty hearable combination of styles. Best described as 'industro-indie' with a hint of stoner and some startlingly Beatles-moulded vocals from frontman Paul Fyfe, it is quite a deal of déjà vu to play immediately after hearing the Sludgefeast sinlge, but up the ladder a step, in the way that the synth effects are a bit more reserved on this occasion.

'Y Byron', 'You F***ed A Friend Of Mine', 'Lofepramine' and 'On The Roll' are amongst the more prominent numbers here, and the title track gives away any secrets that at least one of the members is a Black Sabbath fan of some degree. Despite being about the oddest choice of material to be released on a label that houses Magnum and Tyketto discs amongst its catalogue, Pablo have read the do's and don'ts page of the guide book a little more carefully and the result is quite satisfying to them and listener alike.

With live work over the last couple of years including a European tour supporting Tool and a recent London slot with currently acclaimed retro-rock upstarts The Darkness, plus a commendation in national rag The Independent to their credit, Pablo should just about be getting the all clear to give up their day jobs at this stage


By Dave Attrill

Passenger - S/T
(Century Media - 2003)

A band whose embryo was fertilised back in 95/96 between In-Flames vocalist Anders Friden, Gardemon Guitarist 'Niclas Engelin' and Transport Leagues Drummer, 'Patrick J Sten' alongside bassist Hakon Skoger.

It's kinda Metal gone poppy - but not too poppy - I don't want to put you off, now do I? It's real hard to put your finger on who and what it sounds like but you won't wanna turn it off, that's for sure. If you wanna break fee from some head battering music then this band is the right choice I guarantee.

From 'In Reverse' to 'Eyes of my Mind' it's an articulate joy of musical fulfilment.
Highlights include the melodic industrial 'Just the same'; the phasey 'Circles' and 'Used' that's rhythmic and elegant in an eclectic way.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Pretty Boy Floyd - Leather Boyz in Electric Toyz
(Perris Records - 2003)

At last, it's been released on CD along with bonus tracks. The Glamtastic 1989 album has got those essential cuts like the title track itself; 'Rock 'n' Roll (is gonna set the night on fire)'; '48 Hours (to Rock)' and the slush 'I wanna be with you' and off course the epic 'Last Kiss' which needs no introduction.

Support Steve Summers and his boys when they go sleazin' it up and bang on like it's hairspray LA all over again.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Pre-July 2003
Pharoah - After the Fire
(Cruz Del Sur Music - 2003)

Quite simply Power Metal of the usual Helloween variety - need I say anymore - but not from Sweden, in fact it's from Philadelphia, USA. It's well seriously well played material with gruff vocals but just how much of this stuff can you take before it becomes wallpaper.

Journey your way from 'Unum' to 'Solar Fight' and through to the end of 'Slaves' and you'll agree that it blows your mind for a while but then gets boring - there's only so much chegga dugga you can take and this goes over the top.

For Lovers of Power Metal only.


by Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

(Self-Produced Demo)

A nice 4-tracker from a strong French band who sound like an Amalgamation of Mariyln Manson and NIN. Frances answer to Industrial Goth Metal. The best tracks are 'Soft Machine/Porn Machine' that's got a really mad electronic twist and very 'Radio Ga Ga' and 'The Free' which is real negative but likeable in a peculiar kinda way.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Pablo - Y-Byron
(Music-For-Nations - 2002)

These guys formed in London and it's taken from their forthcoming debut, 'The Story of Love and Hate'. Those of you in Europe may have seen them supporting Tool This song is kind of sitting on the borderline between Indie and Stoner and to be honest it's completely forgettable - Why Pablo? more-like - they must have better stuff than this on the album.

Their cover of Kiss' 'She' is a different kettle of fish altogether - now this should have been the single - not 'Y-Byron'.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Peter Panka's Jane - Live 2002
(SPV - 2002)

German Prog-Rockers from the late 70's who sound like a classic Pink Floyd. This captures them live at The Capital, Hanover, Germany on May 13th 2002. Musically it's extremely atmospheric and is enhanced even further with the halls echo - 'All my friends is a brilliant example of this.

This music works best late at night with the light off when you are in that sleepy drifting off mode because it's just so tranquil and relaxing - hence the reference to the 'Floyd. There are a lot of highlights on here such as 'Out in the Rain' that reminds me of 'With a little help from my friends' - Joe Cocker style', 'Way to flow Paradise'; the medley 'Try to find/Wind/River/Energy' and the gorgeous closer, 'Beautiful Lady'.

Must be one of Europe's best kept secrets.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS


The thing is when you receive material from unknown bands on unknown record labels is that you never know what to expect! And this is exactly what I thought with The Postman Syndrome landed on my doormat. A CD wrapped in its cover within a plastic sleeve, with no info to who they are or where they come from.

To my surprise this band is full of energy with new ideas and a CD that will not get the credit it deserves. Terraforming is an array of thrash, new age metal with its melodic interludes thrown in.

The Postman Syndrome reminds me a lot of Number One Son, with a hint of System of a Down, and a fading in and out of Incubus, with a glittering touch of Faith no More but at the same time they try to be original with the way they come across and with a mixture of tracks like 'Amputees make bad swimmers', 'Hedgehog's dilemma', 'Schizorabbit and the face parade' and 'Volume fact', Terraforming is an exciting eight track twelve chapter CD that will become irresistible to play and I hope you get the chance to.


By Tony Watson


As you thought Prong had disappeared into the realms of the industrial and thrash metal archives to be only played once a year, they appear five years later with an awesome live CD recorded during there tour with the one and only Danzig.

This 14 track single CD is full of the classics of Prong from 'Rude Awakening' to 'Initiation' through 'Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck' to 'Prove Me Wrong' to finish off with 'Unconditional' that will have any avid Prong fan bouncing with unused energy that fills the soul full of delight and anticipation of a new studio album.

Prong were and are one of the original industrial/thrash metal bands to ever emerge from the music industry, which comes out as clear and as raw as can be throughout the intense assault of their live performance. An unforgettable and at the same time appreciated reminder of the one and only PRONG.


By Tony Watson

PYRAMID - Gaudi's Legacy
(Locomotive Records - 2002)

Not so long ago did I review an album by another excellent Spanish outfit, which were of course, melodic rock newcomers 91 suite. Before we known it, they've dropped another one on us in the form of five lads under the collective moniker of Pyramid, who appear to know their stuff only more so, albeit preferring a bit more Dream Theater than Danger Danger to their musical flavours. I actually wonder if James LaBrie and his lawyers are visiting the area around now because Pyramid's likeliness to the US legends is dangerously OTT in places.

That said, the album is still quite obviously a great one and their own input can be found in the composition corner, plus a vague similarity at times to the Tomas Bodin material - I'm reviewing this album immediately after the Flower Kings mainman's stunning solo disc, quite coincidentally. Strong likeliness to sadly defunct Z act Scuderio also go without saying in the vocals of frontman Javier Cespedes and guitarist Tony Valles is just as much a forever oiled cog in this hardworking musical machine. Add to this that it's a concept album so these lads have done their homework in researching a good progressive rock album's recommended ingredients.

The disc centres round the life and works of renowned Spanish painter Antonio Gaudi, seemingly as artistic as the musicianship of this act who evidently worship him as a god. Pyramid are where it stands, a prog rock act who despite matching the main product of others before them more than is advised, also level up with the quality, if not more so.

Any chance of a visit to the UK, boys?


By Dave Attrill

Jim Peterik - Rock America - Smash Hits Live
(Frontiers/Now & Then Records - 2002)

A live selection of songs that were recorded at the Morris Centre, St. Charles, Illinois in January 2000 which evolve around muso/lyrical ace, Jim Peterik alongside artists he's written for and with in the past few decades.

Much of the material is AOR radio-friendly and virtually unknown outside the USA (bar the famous Survivor hit, 'Eye of the Tiger' and 'Rockin' into the Night'). Don't put off by that because what is on offer is exceptional and will no doubt see a large interest into artists like 38 Special, Two Fires and Night Ranger.

Quite a few famous names walk the stage such as Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon) on the rockin' ballad Between Two Fires', the Blues God that is Buddy Guy on the astounding 'Vehicle' or Kelly Keagey of Night Ranger performing 'Sister Christie'. You can't forget the gutsy rock of 'Heavy Metal' that Jim wrote alongside 'Sammy Hagar' for the title track of the film. The sound quality is simply gorgeous and the audience is extremely appreciative throughout the event.

The music has not all been taken from the live event though as 5 bonus tracks have been added that include 'The Day America cried' that's beautifully sung by the 2nd lead voice of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Van Zant about Sept. 11th. Also worth a mention is the ballad dedicated to a three year old boy called Raleigh Crouch who died of cancer entitled, '?' performed by Jim Peterik and Kevin Chalfont of The Storm - it really is touching stuff.

Brilliant Music performed by the people of a Brilliant Nation - God Bless America.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

POLAK - Rubbernecking
(One Little Indian - 2002)

When it comes to bands of styles rarely or never stumbled across before, the opening line of a review does take some thinking……. SOD IT! Polak are…. Well I'm sort of stuck as to what they are supposed to be actually, but they're very good whatever they are, that's what matters.

They issue forth some sort of laid-back indie/grunge -type substance with traces of classic British seventies/eighties punk vibes and just a smidgen of Seattle-ism showing up through the light. On occasion, there's even a few ideas that The Police wouldn't have minded owning the rights to, and the vocalist does indeed have a Sting in his tonsular regions.

Although a slow slidey-sounding album at many times, there is a direct ratio with upper-tempo matter and the melodies are excellent throughout. Hence, the line between this and the typical two-chorded pop drivel - fans of which I recommend checking this out if they are capable of listening to anything decent - is swiftly drawn. 'Love lies', 'Joyrider', 'Bar Angel' and 'Come Down' are all hits in the making that deserve be and also to come from a band who could bring alternative rock into much higher repute than it has been for nearly the last decade.

Many of my fellow AOR/Glam followers, of which I have a considerable amount, may resent my praise for this disc, given the scene it leans towards most, but when you judge a record FOR WHAT IT IS, it all makes sense.


By Dave Attrill

Poley/Pichler - Big
(Z-Record - 2002)

The same two guys (Ted Poley and Gerhard Pichler) who were in Melodica but have now jumped the label pond to Z Records. Musically it's more laid back than that of Melodica - with a production that's real strong and full.

As you may have guessed it, it is lyrically romantically based and major highlights include the salute to Rock Legend Reg Dwight or 'Elton John' as the name and songtitle goes, the bangin' 'Let me out', the laid back 'Stuck On You' or 'Better of Dead' - previously heard on the Melodica album 'USAcoustica'. Oh yeah - can't forget to mention the splendid 'Don't Spread Your Lies'.

It's a definite album to get your girl in the mood - for what you may ask !!!


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Pretty Boy Floyd - The Vault
(Perris Records - 2002)

OK, so a 5-track sampler isn't much to go on - but it looks the full-length album is gonna be a glam gem from hairspray heaven. Vault is a collection of 19 unreleased demo's including some of the first ones that Pretty Boy Floyd ever recorded. If only the follow up to 'Leather Boyz with Electric Toys' had been released as many of the songs on here may have appeared on it

The liner notes come from original giutarist Kristy Majors who has left the band just recently - so what treasures are in store in the music trove you may ask - well there's the demo for 'Good girl gone bad' for a start that appeared in its finished form on the e.p.'A Tale of Sex', and unheard masterpieces like 'Some kind of Voodoo' and 'Slam Dunk' plus many classics that you'll remember from the legendary debut like 'The Last Kiss', '48 hours' and 'Rock and Roll Outlaws' plus the unforgettable 'Leather Boys' itself.

A milestone - can't wait to hear the full album.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Playground - D-Evilution
(Coda Records -2002)

I found out about these guys when I was having a few drinks in the Celebrity Lounge in Orlando, Florida (a small hotel bar, located downtown, next to a Best Western Hotel. It was here that while placing a few dollars into the jukebox I got chatting to Bob Hofmann, the bands lead vocalist.

Playground are similar in style to Tool but way more advances vocally. Bob has that certain something that enables him to rawp like Rob Flynn (Machine Head) or Burton C. Bell (ex-Fear Factory) but also has the vocal hight of Michael Kiste (Helloween) or Klause Mein (Scorpions) and even pocesses the gutsy warbling quality of the late Alice in Chains vocalist, Layne Stayley. Also present in the band is Andrew 'Duck' McDonald on lead guitar, formerly of Blue Cheer.

It's a mighty beast of an album especially the heavily toxic rendition of Led Zeppelin's 'Heartbreaker'; the powerful 'As I Rise' and other negatively realistic cuts like 'Isn't that easy' and 'Rot and Chain'

If this band manages to ink the right deal then they are dead set on making it big - they have everything that today's kids are looking for like ferocious melodics, hard-edged no-bull attitude not to mention honest lyrical affairs.

Tool fans will die for a copy of this.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Pornorphans - Beyond Good & Evil
(State of Decay Records - 2002)

What can I say about Pornorphans? Not a right lot really apart from boring, tame and text book. A bunch of Courtney Love wanna-be's. Every song starts the same -quiet and loud.

The song, 'Stalker' has something going for it because it has a bit of personality to it. I'd like to give this band an 'F.P' which stands for 'Female Papa Roach'.

I'm still waiting for a band that is musically abstract and stands out from everything else.


By Simon Moorhouse

(Frontiers/Now & Then - 2002)

Working or playing together with a principal member of Magnum should on most occasions herald the beginning of a somewhat successful career in the British melodic rock industry. So it looks like being for guitarist Vince o'Regan and bassist Al Barrow, who've toured as backing musicians for Bob Catley for the last couple of years. In the latter's case it has certainly turned out more fruitful than first predicted - he is actually now in MAGNUM. Barrow, along with drummer brother Paul had also worked in Catley and Clarkin's short-lived late-90's act Hard Rain so there's a slightly more impressive CV for the lad. Al also had time to put together this little act, with o'Regan and they actually managed to get a slot at last year's Gods festival and from what I've learnt, they went down quite a treat with most of the punters in attendance.

Magnum/Hard Rain/Catley -ites are warned however that apart from the seldom hint here or there, that what they will hear from this disc is something sounding like a pub brawl between Van Halen and Terra Nova, which Heartland do their best to try and break up, whilst Emerald Rain smash the odd window too just for joining-in's sake. Hence, interesting style contrasts evident but the whole mix itself guarantees happy listening for the hard rock lover of today.

One of Britain's biggest scoops of the past year.


By Dave Attrill

February 2002

Pretty Boy Floyd - Live at the Pretty Ugly Club
(Perris Records - 2001)

Straight down to CD from Taime Downe's 'Pretty Ugly Club' sees Steve Summers and his chums kick out their first ever live album that includes favourites from the classic debut, 'Leather Boyz with Electric Toys' like the superb 'Rock 'n' Roll Outlaws. Kristy Majors sounds rather out of tune though on 'Good girl gone bad' from the e.p. 'A Tale Of Sex' - but what the hell.

'Shut Up' sounds well. Steve Summers comes across oozing with confidence and appears to be enjoying every bit of it. 'Rock 'n' Roll is gonna set the night on Fire' really does on this gig' sounding brilliant. Other class pretty ditties that take the roof off include 'Rock 'n' Roll Outlaws', '48 Hours' and 'Junkie Girl' - this is f*cking awesome stuff - it's what all gigs should be like.

The two new studio tracks 'Don't save your love' come across really vibrant and fresh especially the future anthem 'It's still Rock 'n' Roll to me'.

Hopefully there will be a new album out this year - Hope you caught them on tour with Faster Pussycat !!!


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

January 2002

Papa Roach - Infest


Upon hearing 'Last Resort' for the first time I thought its not all that it was a fair song but had 'C' for 'Commercial' written all over it. It wasn't bad by any means but general over exposure made it grow very tired, very quickly. They say you should never judge a book by its cover and this is definitely true of judging this album by its single. The album is much less commercial than 'Last Resort' makes out. It has a mixture of catchy riffs and equally catchy lyrics. Cody Dick is a man with his issues and he's not afraid to make his personal demons public. To describe him as not a happy bunny would be the understatement - to be honest I wouldn't class anything on this album as vaguely happy or upbeat... but in its own dark moody and very much p*ssed off fashion, its clever!!

Papa Roach aren't a kids band though at first impression they seem more 'kiddie' metal than stick on tattoo's and patches on a school bag. But they're smart and set out to sell an album, spread their message. I wouldn't recommend this album to anyone who had a perfect childhood or anyone with suicidal tendencies, because you'll either not get what he's so upset about or top yourself.

Okay - it's not new, but its a good slice of nu-metal that has attitude, combining good music, clever advertising and very angry men...


By Caroline Landrygan

Placebo - Black Market Music.


'Refusing to be pigeon-holed or labelled, their music combines sweeping hedonistic highs with haunting, heart wrenching beauty. Songs that can make you ache inside, yet never depressed'. This is how placebo music is described on one of the many web sites dedicated to the English trio. But in reality they have been labelled, everything from 'Glam rock' to 'dark guitar rock'- they've had it all. Main man Brian Molko's undefined sexuality and over enthusiasm when it comes to makeup and women's clothes, do nothing but add to the bands indefinable personality.

Image aside, black market music is very much a step up from the early releases of without you I'm nothing and the self titled debut. It incorporates all the original properties, catchy lyrics and Molko's high almost whining singing voice, but songs such as 'Spite', 'Malice' and 'Haemoglobin' see a darkness not before seen. Don't get me wrong, Placebos version of dark isn't exactly from the pits of hell, more a fluffy black sheep, but still for the most it works, and you can't ask much more than that. Placebo have always had divided opinion, and this will do nothing but the same. Fans will find a more aggressive self conscious Placebo in most of the album, yet there's 'old' Placebo charm in songs such as 'Black Eyed' and 'Special K' but still enough of Molkos angst ridden lyrics and black eyeliner to make you sick.

If you liked the old Placebo or like your music lyrically in a state of despair and musically in their own world of either relentlessly thrashing riffs of pop like cheese or a combination, hey you'll probably enjoy it. If not steer clear they'll only get on your nerves and possible drive you to drink!

If you like Nancy Boy Glam Rock 8/10 if not it may reach a dubious 4.

By Caroline Landrygan


After 'Dark Side Of The Moon', 'The Wall' has to be Pink Floyd's most famous album. It stands alone as one of the all time classics of rock music as a whole - no questions asked whatsoever. If you haven't got it then you probably know someone who has, as it was more than just a monster of an album. It also spawned Floyd's most successful single 'Another Brick in the Wall'.

Although it may be, to Floyd nuts like myself, 'The Wall' isn't actually considered as much a Pink Floyd album but more of a Roger Waters solo project. Partly autobiographical on Waters' part, it centralises round a rock star called Pink for whom past events in his life cause him to isolate himself from the rest of the outside world, locking himself into a decaying nightmare of his own creation. This isn't one for a sunny afternoon, more for the suicidal. It's a mix of despair, isolation, anger, venom and self-bitterness masterly contrived and constructed into this incredible concept album.

Waters' lyrics are all most poetic, in a style that reflects the pre-war sentiment and ideologies. Education that is taught through fear and the suppression of creative expression. Traits of a society still trying to hold back its own progression, while emulating the despair of Pink, a once legendary but now burnt out rock star.

Musically, this album is absolutely f*** all short of genius. Powerful and foreboding. Soft harmonies coupled with the heavy guitar work of Gilmour's quality playing really captures the feeling of what the Floyd boys set out to achieve; a sense of mind that continues to sink further into darkness. All in all, it's just a fantastic prog rock record, full stop.


By Steve Windle

(Spitfire Records SPITCD108 - 2001)

Was this the same Pissing Razors I remembered from years ago, I could recall them being similar to Machinehead, but this CD also had something slightly different, was it the influence of early Fear Factory without the samples I could hear, or was it the slight hint of Slayer and Pantera that rattled the bones in my ears, whatever it was, you cannot ignore the fact that this has got the makings of a brilliant thrash CD.

If you are a big fan of thrash metal then this is definitely worth more than a listen, you get the powerful thrashing power chords and the double base drum riffs that could only be produced by ex Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo or Raymond Herrera of Fear Factory, that give you the feeling of so much anger that it could only be released through starting your own personal slam pit and using the nearest wall to smash your head into. Once you have come back round from your unconscious state, you are then attacked by Jason Bragg's verbal abuse from what one can only describe as the pain of having your nuts crushed in a grinder (male or female).

With excellent tracks like 'Burning Bridges', 'Vengeance is mine', 'I've tried', 'Keep to myself', 'Crushed' and 'Opportunidad' what more could a thrash addict ask for. Great pleasure and pain will be taken on board at the same time with this well produced CD. Well-done lads.



Tony Watson

(EPITAPH 6600-2A - (2001))

On the first listen I thought I've heard something similar before, it reminds me of someone else, who was it? I wasn't quite sure, and then it hit me while it was blasting out from the car CD player, The Offspring 'Ignition' and 'Smash' CDs rolled into one.

It's the raw new age American punk sound that's not too commercial, which makes this CD so enjoyable to listen too. You get that hard hitting beats of the drums with the basic crunching guitar riffs and catchy choruses that will be in your head when you first get up in the morning until you go to bed at night.

The CD rips into action with an excellent starter 'Time Marches On', which then proceeds into the title track 'Land Of The Free', by this time you have worn yourself out with slam dancing, but there is something in the music that keeps you on your toes. With tracks like 'F**K Authority', 'Enemy', 'My God', 'Who's On Your Side' and 'W.T.O. Fight Song' who would want to stop?

If you enjoy the early sounds of The Offspring and you haven't heard any Pennywise before, you will love this magnificent compilation of 14 tracks that is full of attitude and aggression. This CD is worth more than a copy off a friend, it's worth the money just for the attitude in your life.


Tony Watson

PODSTAR - Podstar

(Noisome Records)

Basic stripped to the bone raw acoustic and electric gutairs, to produce an
album of 12 sincere rock and roll dittys. Podstar are a US four piece full of
promise, with three different sounding vocalists. They probably sound just the
same live due to the shamelessly under-produced studio production.

The opening track is called "Too Damn Loud", thankfully they aren't, and
deliver easy to listen to "Offspring" style punk. No standout wannabe singles
tracks however and references to Green Day don't go amiss either. Not a bad
attempt and Ive heard a lot worse "wannabe Offspring" style bands. To be fair
this band do sound as though they are trying to create their own voice within
this limited strained style.


By David Roberts, BA Hons FS

Name Your Poison - A Tribute to Poison
(Perris Records - 2001)

Now what could be as good as a best of from Poison - well what about a sleazy tribute album where you'll hear top glam/cock-rocker, Steve Summers (from Pretty Boy Floyd) provide lead vocals for the gorgeous ballad 'I won't forget you' the kick-ass rocker 'Talk dirty to me' and the dirtiness of 'Fallen Angel'.

The vocal dynamics of Derek St. Holme's (from Ted Nugent's band) are unbelievably incredible on 'Something to believe in' - man this guy can sing so well - he hits all the high notes perfectly. In fact, it's as though the song was written for him!! My personal faves have got to be 'Every Rose has it's thorn' which is brought to us beautifully by Rick Ruhl of 'Every Mother's Nightmare' (who also salutes 'No. 1 Bad Boy') and 'Nothin' but a good time' (with lead vocals courtesy of Wes Kimball from Cherry St).

There are so many other highlights on this tribute album like Steevi Jaimz
(ex-Tigertailz) delivering an awesome rendition of 'Cry Tough', a ground-shaking take of 'Look what the cat dragged in' from Stevie Rachelle (Tuff) who has changed the odd word here and there. Also, I can't forget to mention the full-on sexually charged number 'I want action!' featuring the lead larynx of Erotic Suicide front-man 'Mike Pierce' - the man is guaranteed action after this great spectacle!!

Featuring a musical entourage of Drummer, Kris Beaver (Every Mothers Nightmare); with Bass duties provided by Jaime Scott (Tyketto/Vaughn /Cherry St.), Troy Fleming (Every Mother's Nightmare) and Alex Michael (Shameless). Whereas Paul Lidel (Dirty Looks/Broken Teeth) cracks out all the rhythm guitar work and the lead guitar solo's coming courtesy of Keri Kelli (Slash's Snakepit/Pretty Boy Floyd/Ratt), Steve Fister (Lita Ford) and Tom Mathers (Cherry St.). It's a glam-slam paradise from where I'm standing.

Like 'Welcome to the Aerosmithsonian - A tribute to Aerosmith' there's a free CD that features samples of sleaze from the likes of Cherry St, Shameless, Erotic Suicide, Pretty Boy Floyd, Steevi Jaimz and Every Mothers Nightmare - that gives you a top-notch indication of other priceless albums available on this magnificent label.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

(Z Records - 2001)

This Swedish group's sophomore platter has arrived like lightning on us, barely a year after the last - then again, Ten's first three albums were only separated by nine-month gaps. I can't actually figure out the straight line-up of the band. The sleeve notes list respected guitarist Tommy Denander and some other geezer called Ricky B. Delin on keyboards, drums, bass etc, as the bands too mainstays, plus two lead singers, Pierre Wensberg and Geri Ronning seemingly set apart as guest musicians here.

The material picks up where the other album left off, more or less, in the 2nd-album-era Winger style albeit again, two different voices share the mike. As before, the passion and melodies are there and sweet as ever, though the Dokken comparisons still remain unaccounted for by the musical direction, and a few numbers do drag on a bit on initial hearing, and this is not cured by a concerning lack of up tempo material. A point is also forfeited for the most evil of crimes - having a cover of a Britney Spears tune on a hard rock album. Well performed it may be by Tommy and co, but this is not the time nor place. It should have been a bonus track on the end.

The others of which are actually decent and should have been amongst the mainstay selections, then there would have been a chance for people who bought later copies of the album to avoid it but sadly this wasn't the case. In summary, and worthy listen but remember to hit that skip button when track ten begins.


By Dave Attrill

Prophet - Prophet

(Z Records - 2001)

It's back to the Z headquarters where an old nineties melodic hard rock fave is given a fresh lease of life on the British music store shelves, hot on the trail of 21 Guns' long delayed (over here) 'Nothing's Real'.

This album has been sought after for quite some time over here, by most of the people who still have the common decency to care about this sort of music, that is. Singer Scott Metaxas does remind one of Norway's lead singer somewhat and although I haven't got a full listing for the line-up whoever that is on guitar evidently knows his strings and whoever that is on the keys 'who do you think you are? Gregg Giuffria?' This is top rung AOR ivoryism there for all to enjoy on most of the nine songs plugged here by the cult New Jersey act. 'Slow Down' is the first song I've heard of this title where it actually does so, and hence the routine ballad sessions take place.

Ted Poley apparently lends a hand in writing on 'Listen To Ya' and behind the mike too, by the sound of it. All said, this is a rather paint-by-numbers affair in the world of pomp metal, and some numbers did have a vague cheesiness in their sound but that's something most bands grin and bear on record. People who still worship this sect in the melodic scene over here and other countries to whom this album's just become available, will find the wait's been, well... worth it anyway.

7/10 By Dave Attrill

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