Quick Plays: THEN JERICO, WALKING WITH KINGS, STORMZONE

Audio Porn – Jezebel’s Kiss (JK Records)

Audio Porn is the Hard-Rock project formed by singer / songwriter Azriel St. Michael and drummer Byron Black, both former Jezebels Kiss members, and Hydrogyn guitarist/producer Jeff Westlake.

The songs are melodic, but it doesn’t grab you by the throat.  Some of the work has enough of a modern rock sound to get some radio airplay (“Butterfly”, “Let me go”), but the album does not inspire one to push that play button again.

A good album, but not “audio porn”.  The closest thing to porn on this work is the album cover…

***

Nick van der Meulen

Walking With Kings – Walking With Kings

Walking With Kings is a Christian melodic metal outfit that released this work online for free download.  This is their debut release.

The album is well produced, with the musicians all performing sterling work to produce a work which is meaty, melodic power metal with more than a little classic rock undertones.  There isn’t a duff song on this album, with an uplifting feel to the work leaving the listener satisfied.

This is a fine piece of work and, if you haven’t downloaded it already, get cracking!  I look forward to hearing WWK’s future endeavours…

****1/2

Nick van der Meulen

Stormzone – Zero to rage (SPV)

Stormzone is a relatively new outfit, forming in 2005 and releasing their first album, “Caught in the act” in 2007.  “Death Dealer” followed in 2009 and, after some extensive touring, Stormzone delivers their third release, “Zero to rage”.

This is good melodic power metal from the Irish band, without a poor song on offer.  It does take more than one sitting for the music to take hold, so a bit of patience is required. John Harbinson has a great voice, but I don’t feel that he uses it effectively, “dive bombing” his voice at the end of many a line and tossing in a few growls that don’t suit his clear, well-modulated voice.

A fine album worth investigating.

****

Nick van der Meulen

Then Jerico – The Big Area (Rhino/Warner)

Then Jerico is a pop rock outfit hailing from the 80’s and “The Big Area”, the band’s second album, is one of the fastest selling albums on the day of its release (1989), moving 100000 copies in 40 minutes!  The band has reunited and plans to play the album on tour in its entirety…

The album has been difficult to obtain for a number of years and it finally sees a re-release.  It still sounds remarkable and is well worth listening to, 23 years later.  Sadly, with all the Deluxe Editions hitting the shelves, it is disappointing not to see “The Big Area” get similar treatment…

Still a fine album and one which the younger generation should pick up and listen to.

****1/4

Nick van der Meulen

Obsession – Order of chaos (Inner Wound Recordings)

Obsession was known to have been the stepping stone for Mike Vescera, the metal band that powered to prominence in the 80’s.  Vescera fronted several projects, most notably providing vocals for Yngwie Malmsteen in the mid-90’s.  Obsession reunited in 2004, releasing “Carnival of lies”, with “Order of chaos” being their second offering following their reunion.

Vescera again performs well on this melodic metal piece, with the sound tight and production slick.  Sadly, in today’s day and age with the volume of music being released, there isn’t anything that makes Obsession stand head and shoulders above other bands in the genre.  The songs are good, but they don’t grab you by the throat and make you sit up and take notice.

A good album, but could have been so much more.

****

Nick van der Meulen

And One – S.T.O.P. (Synthetic Symphony)

And One is a German alternative pop outfit that has a cult following, being in the business for over two decades.

Listening to “S.T.O.P”, it is easy to determine why they have the staunch following in their home country.  This is well defined pop, with a distinctive 80’s feel with a heavy Depeche Mode influence, mixed with a bit of Rammstein (sans guitars) and Bowie.  It is not upbeat pop (it’s actually rather dark), but instead one that requires repeated listens.

An unusual, yet pleasant, listening experience.

****1/4

Nick van der Meulen


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Power Plays w/c 17 April 2017


MOLLIE MARRIOTT Control (indie)
BLACKWATER CONSPIRACY Hanging Tree (indie)
THE BLUE HORIZON Zero Hour Contract (indie)
BIG WOLF BAND Heaven’s Got The Blues (Indie)


Featured Albums w/c 17 April 2017 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 LITTLE RIVER BAND Revisited (from “The Big Box”) (Store For Music)
12:00-13:00 ECLIPSE Monumentum (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 LYNNE HANSON Uneven Ground (Continental Song City)



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