Quick plays: CREMATORY, SONJA KRISTINA, SECTION A, SEB BACH, OVERLAND

Crematory - Antiserum

CREMATORY – Antiserum SPV www.spv.de [Release date 24.02.14]

Crematory have a been around awhile starting out as a death metal band with gothic leanings and gradually steering more away from the death metal sound to a more industrial/gothic sound. This album is also the first for their new label SPV.

The opening trio of songs on here are really rather good, in particular ‘Until The End’. They feature mix of growls and clean vocals backed by Paradise Lost approved riffs and synths – not unlike Rammstein.

However, when it is just the growls of the giant frontman Felix then my attention spans waivers and what is it with the Euro-pop synths? I love keyboards/synths but the ‘happy’ tone of the synths on here is at odds with the menacing vocals and tone of the music.

Not sure if this will please existing fans at it seems they hanker after the more death metal influence on their previous albums and the industrial light metal sound is unlikely to win many new fans I fear.  ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

SONJA KRISTINA – S/t Angel Air www.angelair.co.uk

Sonja Kristina is most famous for fronting Curved Air whose big 1970’s hit was ‘Backstreet Luv’. This is her solo album from 1980 given a re-issue by Angel Air. The album features a few names rock fans may recognise like fellow Curved Air member Darryl Way, Colin Towns (Gillan) and Liam Genockey (Gillan/Steeleye Span).

The music is a mix of folk tunes like ‘Man He Colour’ (very Steeleye Span sounding) and ‘Colder Than A Rose In Snow’ through to some real 80’s led synth pop on ‘Breaking Out In Smiles’ (love the synths on this!). Mind you songs like ‘Mr. Skin’ have not aged so well…

Fans of Sonja Kristina’s vocals will want this I am sure; however it is more a curio and listeners might be better served checking out Curved Air.  ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

SECTION A – The Seventh Sign Lion Music www.lionmusic.com

Lion Music re-released the prog rock outfit’s debut album, originally released in 2003…

Section A is the brainchild of Danish guitarist Torben Enevoldsen after he decided to create an album containing vocals, having released instrumental albums previously.  Enter Lion’s Share vocalist Andy Engberg and the stage was set. The rhythm laid down on this work is hypnotic and what you get is a strong mix of melodic hard rock and prog metal.

The re-release contains an instrumental bonus track and is limited to only 500 copies.  If you see it, it’s worthwhile having.  ****

Review by Nick van der Meulen

SHAMELESS – Beautiful Disaster RSR Music

Shameless is a German hard rock/glam band which was originally formed in 1989, but the initial lineup only lasted until 1991.  Alexx Michael, founder of the band, resurrected Shameless in 1998 and releasing albums with a star-studded cast of hired guns.   While the band has settled with a group of permanent members, they continue to bring in guest performers.

“Beautiful disaster” is the outfit’s sixth album and manages a feat in pulling Cherie Currie (of The Runaways fame) out of retirement!  The album is 80’s style party rock, with the band even covering Marc Bolan’s “Life’s a gas”. They perform an extraordinary version of Alice Cooper’s “Eighteen” and, along with the moody “You’re not coming home” adds an extra dimension to the work.

Yes, Shameless is just that: shamelessly 80’s, shamelessly rocking, but also shamelessly touching and poignant.  This is not your superficial sleaze/glam album, instead it has more depth than you bargained for.  A surprising and joyous release.  ****1/2

Review by Nick van der Meulen

SIGNUM REGIS – Exodus Ulterium Records

Signum Regis was formed in 2007, with founder Ronnie König roping in Göran Edman as vocalist for the project.  The band released two critically acclaimed albums, before releasing “Exodus”…

The sound is bombastic neoclassical metal, consisting of not just Edman on vocals, but guests such as Lance King, Mark Boals, Michael Vescera, etc.  It is a concept album based on the Israelites escaping slavery from the Egyptians and the result is powerful: heavy, melodic…with more of a power metal sound than neoclassical metal.

A great concept album and a most enjoyable listen.  ****

Review by Nick van der Meulen

OVERLAND – Epic Escape Records www.escape-music.com

Steve Overland returns with another solo release after recently being heavily involved with releases from FM and Shadowman.

Overland delivers what Steve Overland releases are renowned for: warm and fuzzy melodic rock, gorgeous guitar solos and the unmistakable voice of the man sailing over soaring melodies.  The music ranges between AOR, melodic rock and features more than a touch of Westcoast angst, but the result is spectacular.

This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, as the hard rockers will want a harder and heavier album, but you’d be foolish not to investigate this.  A superb release.  ****1/2

Review by Nick van der Meulen

SEBASTIAN BACH – Abachalypse Now!  Frontiers www.frontiers.it

Mr Bach returns with his first live solo release consisting of two CD’s, as well as a DVD.  The quality of the show is not bad at all, with Bach’s voice carrying over well and the band sounding pretty tight.

The show is not a classic, but definitely a fine listen for fans that have not yet been fortunate enough to see him live.  ***

Review by Nick van der Meulen

BOB DEE with PETRO – Burning Rain www.bobdeewithpetro.com/

Bob Dee has been writing and recording music for a number of years now and this album sees him joined by Petro, basically the rhythm section of bassist Brian Bauers and drummer Scott Campbell. His debut CD was released on Perris Records and this new album is on Melodic Revolution Records.

Bob Dee has that early Bon Jovi sound about his vocals and songs, along with hints of Enuff Z Nuff and Cheap Trick especially on ‘Outta My Face’, the pick of the twenty songs on here. It’s all passable stuff, although bar the aforementioned ‘Outta My Face’ and the lead single ‘Obsession’, nothing really grabs you. Worth a listen via his website or YouTube.  ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

GIULIO GARGHENTINI – Believe

Tanzan Music www.giuliogarghentini.com

Italian vocalist Giulio Garghentini gives the game away on the CD cover with his tousled locks and shades, yes ladies and gents he fronts a Bon Jovi tribute band called Dream Company. Aldo involved is Mario Percudani on guitars/songwriting/production who has worked with artists like Mitch Malloy and Axe in the past.

He’s got a decent set of pipes on him, from the Hammond led groove on ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’ with a killer chorus, then you have the 70’s AOR feel on ‘Believe’ (check out the Steely Dan approved guitar on this one).

If you like the 80’s Bon Jovi era do give this a go as you will doubtless enjoy it, also if like me you hanker after that classic Bon Jovi sound can I also point you towards Johnny Lima’s latest album!

***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie



On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)

Featured Albums w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)



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