Quick Plays: HUMBUCKER, DIESEL, MORNING DWELL, AZORIA

DIESEL – Into The Fire

Escape Music www.escape-music.com [Out now]

Diesel is a new, British rock outfit touted to play solid traditional rock in the manner of Bad Company, with firm roots in the classic vein of British hard Rock with a blues element.  The Bad Company slant could be due to the presence of Robert Hart, who provides the voice to this work.

The album features fine, well-crafted AOR, with a hint of an edge to it preventing it from being branded Westcoast, indicating the input from Jim Kirkpatrick (guitar) of FM fame.  Hart is in fine fettle: delicate if necessary, but generally his vocals heart wrenchingly delivered.  An additional 70’s flavour is featured on “What you see is what you get”, particularly with the Hammond and wah/voicebox delivery on the guitar, adding to the variety of the album.  Steve Overland guests with some backing vocals and guitar to the work too – another indication of what one can expect to hear.

This is a great new project producing an excellent album.  Let’s hope that this is a permanent venture and that we hear more of Diesel in future. ****1/2

Review by Nick van der Meulen

AZORIA – Seasons Change

Doolittle Group

Azoria was founded in early 2013 by bandleader and guitarist, Alexander Oriz.  Oriz has featured prominently in recent years as producer, songwriter and as guitarist in ReinXeed and Oriz.

The work produced is fine melodic/power metal, with a host of guest vocalists.  The songs feature soaring vocals, fine melodies, dueling guitars and crunchy rhythm guitars where required.  While there are only nine tracks clocking in at under 40 minutes, leaving one slightly disappointed, it has you panting for more…particularly after the mind-blowing closer, “Peace of mind”.

The Doolittle Group is becoming well-known for quality power metal releases and this album is no exception.  Well worthy of your attention.****1/4

Review by Nick van der Meulen

HUMBUCKER – The King Of The World
Humbucker

Humbucker returns with their follow-up to the brilliant “R.O.C.K.S.” and it follows on where they left off…

While the band is Norwegian, this is not your run-of-the-mill Scandi rock: it is in-your-face and hits hard with attitude and dirty, crunching guitar, BUT: it is as bombastic and melodic as any of the finest Scandi rock releases.  “Self-made son of a b***h” opens proceedings and swaggers with attitude a la Motorhead but, while it is an ideal opener for the album, it is also the weakest song with the least melody.  It picks up from there, producing head-nodding, foot-stomping, fist-pumping anthemic rock.  As one can expect, there is a ballad to show the soft side of the band (“Gone fishing”), with acoustic touches and a soulful guitar solo.  To top it off, they perform a wonderful cover version of Whitesnake’s “Wine, Women An’ Song”!

If you enjoy melodic rock with crunchy guitars and anthemic melodies, this album will be one of your highlights for 2014. ****1/2

Review by Nick van der Meulen

Morning Dwell – S/T

Doolittle Group

Petter Hjerpe discovered the world of power metal as a teenager and was so overwhelmed with it that he began writing and recording songs sporadically over the years.  Ten years after writing his first work, he recorded demos of his songs and sent them to a few recording studios on a whim.  It was a matter of days before Christian Liljegren (who else?) contacted him and signed a deal…

result is “Morning Dwell”, with band members featuring childhood friends and the drummer from Golden Resurrection, Alfred Fridhagen.  While Hjerpe doesn’t cite them as an influence, there is definitely a TSO influence with the work’s heavy dramatic interludes, but it is early Helloween-era that features prominently, including a Kiske-esque vocal wailing “follow the sign” in “The story never ends”.  “Strongest of them all” brings a more mid-tempo, along with some acoustic, feel to the table; a highlight of the album and a route the band should investigate further in future.

It’s been 25 years since Helloween’s career-defining albums “Keeper of the seven keys part 1 and 2” and it’s an era that paved the way for power metal.  While Morning Dwell barely conceals their musical influence, this is no bad thing.  Enjoy the album for what it is: fine power metal. ****

Review by Nick van der Meulen


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Power Plays w/c 14 October (Mon-Fri)

SANGUINE Ignite (Odyssey Music)
GOODBYE JUNE Switchblade Heart (Earache)
SAINTS OF SIN Nasty Love (indie)
SCARLET REBELS Heal (indie)
FLYING COLORS The Loss Inside (Mascot)
KEYWEST C’est La Vie (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 14 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 DANGER ZONE Don’t Count On Heroes (Pride & Joy Music)
12:00-13:00 ECLIPSE Paradigm (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 GALLAGHER & LYLE Live at De Montfort Hall, 1977 (The Store For Music)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

ROBIN TROWER In The Line Of Fire (1990)



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