DESTINIA Metal Souls Frontiers [Release date 13.07.18]
Destinia is the new project featuring Japanese shred merchant Nozomu Wakai, who has released two albums to date under his own name – ‘Requiem For A Scream’ (2014) and ‘Anecdote Of The Queens’ (2015). On ‘Metal Souls’ he wrote all the lyrics and composed the music, enlisting the talented vocalist Ronnie Romero (Rainbow, Lords Of Black), plus the experienced rhythm section of Marco Mendoza (The Dead Daisies) and Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake).
It will come as no surprise that fast guitar solos are a staple if each song, backed by the solid rhythm section. He even does a song called ‘Ready For Rock’, which sums up the album aptly with plenty of metal and Ronnie Romero’s vocals match the music perfectly. ‘Be A Hero’ and ‘Take Me Home’ are the pick of the bunch, with an air guitarist’s dream solo on ‘Be A Hero’.
Shredding guitarists really had their heyday in the 80′s with the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen and Chris Impellitteri (who has a new album due this year on Frontiers), and Nozomu Wakai certainly recalls that golden era. If you like melodic metal with plenty of shred this will be right up your street. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
THE RADIO SUN Beautiful Strange Pride & Joy Music [Release date 24.08.18]
Album number five by the Radio Sun, mixed by Paul Laine and mastered by Bruno Ravel (Danger Danger and band mate in the Defiants with Laine), sees the band go for broke on the melodic rock scale. Unlike many of their melodic rock contemporaries the Radio Sun are out and playing live as much as they can, including becoming a favourite at HRH AOR each year.
Vocalist Jase Old and guitarist Stevie Janevski have certainly worked hard on the song craft on this album, be it the subtle guitar solos on ‘As Long As You Want Me’ or the band’s trademark harmony vocals set to ‘stun’ on ‘Should Have Listened To My Heart’. The latter certainly has shades of the Defiants about it in the big chorus and fast pace of the song, as does ‘Standing Tall United’, with its topical lyric.
Plenty of riff-tastic action to be had on ‘Hearts On Fire’, whilst the title track allows Steve Janevski a chance to play some tasty riffs and play a smoking solo. Then there is the chorus…one of their best full of blissful vocal harmonies.
I was concerned the band may have hit a buffer as regards to penning their trademark hook filled melodic rockers with three albums in as many years, however it proved unfounded as they have hit the spot again. Melodic rock bliss awaits within… ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
RAT SCABIES P.H.D (Prison, Hospital, Debt) Cleopatra Records
“P.H.D (Prison, Hospital, Debt)” is the debut solo album from co-founder and drummer of The Damned, Rat Scabies. Featuring 12 tracks that he has recorded himself over the years, and also played most of the instruments on the album, with just the odd spot of assistance here and there.
Most of the tracks are originals, with the exception being the Louis Prima cover “Sing, Sing , Sing”, a song I can best describe as an instrumental that encompasses the feel of both swing and big band at times. The rest of the album is a mix of styles and inspirations, from the ‘70’s glam style of “Chew On You” and “Un Noveau Balai (A New Broom)” to the frantic Pistols like instrumental that is “My Wrists Hurt” and the slow, bluesy country guitar of “Benni’s Song”.
Then we have the more influenced numbers in the Who like “Dazy Bones” and the Beatles meets the Clash style instrumental “Shivers” or the dub feel of “Floating”. The most surprising track on the album however is “Rat’s Opus”, a Phantom of The Opera like theatrical affair. The album closes out with a couple of slower, almost melancholy, songs “Glad You Could Make It” and “It Feels Like Sunday”.
“P.H.D” is the culmination of years of work and showcases the many sides of Mr Scabies musical talent. ***
Review by Nikk Gunns
THE ROLLING STONES From The Vault: No Security San Jose ‘99 Eagle [Release date 20.07.18]
The latest release in the Rolling Stones “From The Vault” collection brings us their 1999 show from San Jose. Following the highly successful “Bridges to Babylon” album and tour, the Stones continued this on into the “No Security” tour (and, of course, subsequent live album), a five month run through North America and Europe. Although the tour was booked into smaller venues than the huge stadiums of its predecessor, the show was still recorded in front of 30,000 eager fans.
The set list is a good mix of career spanning songs from the massive hits of the 60’s right up to tracks from the recent “Bridges to Babylon”. “Respectable”, “I Got The Blues” and “Some Girls” are not songs that often make the set and so it is good to hear these, as is Keith Richards singing “Before They Make Me Run”. Other highlights, for me, include “Out Of Control”, “Tumbling Dice”, “Paint It Black” and “You Got Me Rocking”. The rest of the show heavily features the usual suspects, but boy do they sound good.
The Rolling Stones are still a good live show in 2018 but go back 20 years and they were unstoppable. *****
Review by Nikk Gunns
CENTURY THIRTEEN S/T
Scottish punk/pop four-piece Century Thirteen have just released their self-titled debut album, and whilst comparisons to Green Day are inevitable, they are unfair as this band has more depth to them than that.
The band are more American sounding then their native Glasgow and deliver punk edged songs that are packed with hooks and catchy choruses. Whether it be the old-style punk of “Ours” or “The Last” or the more pop end of things with “What Went Wrong”, this is a band that sound way beyond the handful of years that they have been together.
“Dark Descent”, the bass driven “From This Hell”, “Get Off” and the bombastic “Blow Up The Open World” are all great songs. But the band don’t stop there, the album also contains two bonus tracks, the first being an orchestral version of “Get Off”- a bold move for a young band on their debut album, but it does work. The second is the massive sounding “Break (Lights In September Skies)”.
“Century Thirteen” is a solid debut album and the band are certainly one to keep an eye on. ****
Review by Nikk Gunns
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