MISHAPED PEARLS Shivelight [Release date 25.05.18]
Mishaped Pearls latest album’s title Shivelight comes from a word created by the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. The word describes the lances of sunshine that pierce through a woodland canopy. An apt description as Mishaped Pearls have produced an album of gentle, yet beguiling tunes that wander through the fields of folk, pop, world and country.
Ged Flood wrote most of the songs on the album, bar a couple of traditional songs one of which ‘Queen May’ has a hint of Clannad about it, as does ‘Johnny’s War’.
Manuela Schuette has a wonderfully soothing vocal that soars effortlessly above the music. She adds a operatic vocal to ‘Jesus’s Shadow’, a wonderful piece of music full of atmosphere – something you could imagine Dead Can Dance doing.
The environmental warning on ‘Fishes’ features breath-taking violin playing by Laurel Pardue.
Mishaped Pearls have been rightfully gaining plaudits from Tom Robinson and the Guardian amongst others. Thought provoking and enjoyable music at the same time, Mishaped Pearls are a rising star in the music world make no mistake. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
LORDS OF BLACK Icons Of The New Day Frontiers [Release date 11.05.18]
Lords Of Black have been out on the road quite a bit in the past year or so, plus vocalist Ronnie Romero has been fronting Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow for their live shows last summer. This new album sees a new bassist Dani Craido join the band, although Tony Hernando recorded the bass parts on the album. Materplan’s Roland Grapow is co-producer along with Hernando and Victor Diez guests on piano on a couple of songs.
Lords Of Black are also one of Frontiers New Breed of rock bands, a move by the label to promote newer rock and metal bands, for which they should be applauded as it is a very crowded marketplace and band’s need all the help they can get to become heard.
Plenty of chest thumping metal anthems on here, be it the Dio-like ‘When A Hero Takes A Fall’ or the riff heavy title track. Ronnie Romero has a fantastic vocal range and shame there is only one slow song, ‘The Way I’ll Remember’, to show off his mellower singing.
Album number three from Lords Of Black is their best to date, even the eleven minute epic ‘All I Have Left’ works as previously they seemed to lose their way in the longer songs. Backed by more touring and as part of their label’s New Breed promotion, Lords Of Black’s star will be on the ascendance. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
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WARM RAIN Here Comes The Rain Again (Rain Recordings)
DARWIN Cosmic Rays (indie)
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12:00-13:00 WHITESNAKE Flesh & Blood (Frontiers)
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