Quick plays: JAILBIRDS, TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON, CHAOS MAGIC

JAILBIRDS - The Great Escape

JAILBIRDS The Great Escape Golden Robot Records [Released date 05.07.19]

Jailbirds are an Australian/Irish hard rock band based in Dublin, Ireland and ‘The Great Escape’ is their debut album. The band is composed of Axel McDonald (vocals, lead guitar), Jay McDonald (drums), Ed Orr (rhythm guitarist) and Jamie Trimble (bass). Given the McDonald brothers hail from Australia the Jailbirds tip their musical hat to AC/DC, Rose Tattoo and Thin Lizzy – possibly like the less energetic cousin of Airbourne.

They have made a decent impression ‘Nothing Good Lasts Forever’, with a distinctive AC/DC riff and the rough ‘n ready vocals of Axel McDonald. One of the songs of the year in my book. Elsewhere we have a little Aerosmith vibe on ‘Shadow Of Love’, whilst ‘The Pilot’ fair cracks along and like the other songs, not only features a smoking guitar solo, but harmony vocals on the choruses, great stuff.

Jailbirds look set to have a good future ahead if they can land a few choice support slots, as judging by this album they have a decent set of songs crying out to be performed live. ****

Review by Jason Ritchie

TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON - Return To Eden

TIMO TOLKKI’S AVALON Return To Eden Frontiers [Release date 14.06.19]

Former Stratovarious guitarist Timo Tolkki returns with the final part of his Aavalon trilogy and after a patchy second instalment, it is good to see the album recalling the debut’s power and prog metal delights. There are a number of guest vocalists including Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering), Zak Stevens (ex-Savatage), Todd Michael Hall (Riot V), Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania, Ardours), and Eduard Hovinga (ex-Elegy).

Anneke Van Giersbergen provides one of the album highlights on the melodic metal of ‘Hear My Call’. She has a wonderfully emotive vocal and suits the less metal bombast, more melody approach of this song. ‘Return To Eden’ taps into a tasty Celtic beat and features a trio of vocalists – Mariangela Demurtas, Zac Stevens and Todd Michael Hall. They work well together with Stevens and Hall giving the metal wails, whilst Demurtas provides the more melodic links.

Not as good overall as say the Avantasia album released earlier this year, however it is one of the better prog/power metal releases this year. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

CHAOS MAGIC Reborn Frontiers [Release date 14.06.19]

Chaos Magic was formed around Chilean vocalist Caterina Nix, who worked with Timo Tolkki on the debut Chaos Magic album and on this album she collaborates with fellow Chilean producer, singer and musician Nasson. They have roped in a series of guests including current Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow vocalist Ronnie Romero and keyboards wizard Mistheria pops up on ‘Beware Of Silent Waters’.

It is pretty standard prog/melodic metal, nothing overly exciting or indeed memorable, bar the stand out title track that sees Nix duet with Evergrey’s Tom Englund. This one is worth downloading, as Nix and Englund produce a powerful duet and the guitars are set to Evergrey on this one too.

In such a crowded field Chaos Magic perhaps should have spent longer honing the songs to make it a more satisfying listen. **1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)

Power Plays w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

MILES NIELSEN AND THE RUSTED HEARTS Hands Up (indie)
THE FARGO RAILROAD COMPANY Something In The Water (indie)
THE DARK ELEMENT If I Had A Heart (Frontiers)
LIBERTY LIES A Thousand People (indie)
DIRTY SHIRLEY Here Comes The King (Frontiers)
CARRY THE CROWN Runaway (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 WORK OF ART Exhibits (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SIGN X Like A Fire (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 JACK BROADBENT Moonshine Blue (Creature Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)



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