Quick plays: GAMMA RAY, FASSINE, SUSAN AQUILA, SHELOOM

GAMMA RAY Lust For Live (Anniversary Edition)

GAMMA RAY Lust For Live (Anniversary Edition)
earMUSIC [Release date 06.05.16]

earMUSIC’s Gamma Ray back catalogue re-issues series continues with this live album, previously only available on video on its original release back in 1993. The show was recorded at Hamburg Docks on 25 September 1993 and marked one of the final shows to feature vocalist Ralf Scheepers.

An interesting set list as the band had just released their third album, ‘Insanity and Genius’ and they only played two songs from their debut album, with one, ‘Heading For Tomorrow’, seguing into ‘Dream Healer’. It is a fast and frantic paced show, with the Helloween medley a stand out.

Not essential unless you are a die-hard fan, although it does provide a live taste of the band’s days fronted by Scheepers before Kai Hansen took over vocal duties. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

GAMMA RAY Insanity and Genius (Anniversary Edition)

earMUSIC [Release date 06.05.16]

Album number three from Gamma Ray and the last to feature vocalist Ralf Scheepers, this was originally released in 1993. It also marked the recording debut of a new rhythm section – bassist Jan Rubach and drummer Thomas Nack.

Possibly the weakest of their albums as it was such a mixed musical bag, from the all out Helloween-like metal of ‘No Return’ and the cover of ‘Gamma Ray’, a song which is in extended form on the bonus disc. ‘Future Madhouse’ was the single of the album and does sound like Queen on speed as Kai Hansen classed it. You can pick out bits of Brian May playing in the mix and an AC/DC riff! The album does fall down though on the pedestrian metal of ’18 Years’.

The bonus disc has two songs recorded live in 2016 in err Chameleon Studios. I guess they mean live take as opposed to live show. An excellent version of the Judas Priest classic ‘Exciter’ is included on the bonus disc.

A decent album by many power metal bands standards, however not one that is any way essential unless you are an avid fan. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

FASSINE Dialectik Defiant Collective Records [Release date 02.05.16]

Fassine are a London based trio and this is their debut album.They have already had a fair bit of hype from various media including The Guardian and Q magazine.

The music is cinematic and the ethereal vocals of Sarah Palmer add to this. ‘Headlong’ and ‘Sunshine’ one could imagine being used on one of those moody Scandinavian noir crime series, whilst ‘Englander’ with its spoken word and swooping synths reminded me of Public Service Broadcasting.

An album that does grow on the listener after each listen, although for me a little more variety in some of the soundscapes would have made it more appealing. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

SUSAN AQUILA Miss Behaviour

I looked backed on the GRTR! archive and found that I had reviewed her last release. Back then I mentioned the vocals as a sticking point and sorry but again these put me off. Plus this time the production is not overly great in places – on ‘Gris Gris Woman’ not only does it sound like she is holding her nose on the chorus, but she is playing her violin in another room altogether. Shame as this is a decent tune.

Fair play as she has garnered some good reviews around this release but not from this reviewer I am afraid… **

Review by Jason Ritchie

SHELOOM The Baron of The Fjord www.sheloom.com

A three piece band consisting of Filippo Gaetani, Jordo Zadorozny and Eric Matthews, who perform and wrote all the music on here. It starts off with a few quirky pop numbers, recalling perhaps XTC on ‘It Takes A Wrecking Ball’ and the pop hook on ‘Corridors’ brings the listener back for repeated plays. Later in the album it all goes a bit prog and losses its way a bit. Almost like two bands on the one album.

Worth a listen and certainly the first six numbers on the album are enjoyable. ***

Review by Jason Ritchie


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Power Plays w/c 2 September (Mon-Fri)

BAD WOLVES Killing Me Slowly (Eleven Seven Music)
THE DEAD DAISIES Righteous Days (SPV)
DEEP DEEP WATER Something In The Water (indie)
MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST Sleeping With The Light On (Nuclear Blast)
GHOSTS OF MEN Crooked Back (Regent Street Records)
ANNIE HASLAM Blood And Water (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 2 September (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 MICK DEVINE Here Now (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 MOB RULES Beast Over Europe (SPV)
14:00-16:00 THE PORTRAITS For Our Times (indie)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

STACKRIDGE A Victory For Common Sense (2009)



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