Saturday, 14 September 2013

ROCK N' ROLL SINNERS VOLUME II by Neil Daniels - OUT NOW!

Ever wanted to get inside the head of music journalists like me and my demented kind? Check out the ROCK N' ROLL SINNERS books from acclaimed rock scribe Neil Daniels, packed with interviews with some of the best rock journalists in the world! Check out volume 2, out now, and get ready for volume 3, which contains an interview with me. These books are excellent. Check out the press release below.

ROCK N'ROLL SINNERS - VOLUME II
BY NEIL DANIELS 
PUBLISHED BY CREATESPACE 
OUT NOW! 

Rock Scribes On The Rock Press, Rock Music & Rock Stars... 

“In this book, Neil Daniels turns the tables and asks us some searching questions for once. Not because we are failed rock stars, but because we are successful rock journalists. So is the pen actually mightier than the guitar? Possibly not.” - Mick Wall from his foreword 

Rock 'N' Roll Sinners is the second chapter in a trilogy of books featuring insightful and highly entertaining interviews with some of the world's most successful and respected rock and metal scribes. Ever wondered what it takes to be a rock journalist? In this extensive collection of interviews, seasoned rock author Neil Daniels has interviewed 68 rock and metal journalists from around the world. 

With a foreword by the revered British author and journalist Mick Wall, Rock 'N' Roll Sinners – Volume II is a worthy historical document for the serious enthusiast and can be used as a handy reference guide for the aspiring rock and metal writer. This hefty collection, which was previously published as the critically acclaimed All Pens Blazing - Volume II, makes essential reading for rock and metal heads the world over. Volume II features interviews with Phil Alexander, Mick Wall, Dave Thompson, Jaan Uhelszki and Bernard Doe et al. 

Volume I features interviews with Dave Ling, Malcolme Dome, Dave Reynolds, Derek Oliver, Mark Day, Geoff Barton and Dave Dickson et al. This book is 632 pages and available from Amazon. Volume II will be the final book in the series and feature previously unpublished interviews thus completing the trilogy with almost 200 interviews in total. OUT NOW! 

Click here to buy your copy from Amazon!


Friday, 13 September 2013

Review: REVAMP - “WILD CARD”


REVAMP
“WILD CARD”
GENRE: METAL
NUCLEAR BLAST

Listeners who have come to the work of vocal icon Floor Jansen through her current tenure fronting the mighty NIGHTWISH are going to be very surprised by this album. Hell, long-term fans of Floor will also be surprised too, but in a very good way. To be quite frank, this album is nothing short of a masterpiece of modern melodic metal.

Much, MUCH heavier than the debut, “Wild Card” sees Floor bring out some astonishing vocal work the likes of which we've not heard from her before. Her incredible range of melodic and operatic styles are there, but now she has included growling to her arsenal of talents, and she does it damn well.

A lot of the time, growled vocals in female-fronted metal sound out of place, but here they work perfectly. I'm not sure if that's down to the fact that both the clean and harsh vocals come from the same throat or if it's more down to the insanely high quality of the songwriting, but I suspect it may be a mixture of both.


From the second the album starts with “Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown: On The Sideline” (the first in a trilogy of similarly titled songs), you know this is a different beast. Heavier. Darker. Faster. Harder. However, none of the refined elegance of the debut or indeed Floor's performance has been lost in the transition.

Following a turbulent time in her life, it's incredible to hear the catharsis she has laid down on this album, and the band really stepped up to the mark and delivered some truly brilliant modern melodic – and not so melodic – metal.

The title track itself is one of the greatest symphonic metal songs recoded since Nightwish brought us “Ghost Love Score” on “Once”. The album is luxurious in its depth and deeply impressive in just how ferociously heavy some of it becomes.

“Precibus”, “Nothing” and “I Can Become” are all highlights, but for me the most jaw-dropping piece is “Misery's No Crime”, which not only sums up the whole album perfectly, it pretty much reinvents the sub-genre. If Nightwish decide not to take Floor on as permanent vocalist, then she will always have a fanbase around the world to enjoy her own creations. And it's easy to hear just why that fanbase continues to grow, from the After Forever days to ReVamp, to Nightwish and beyond.

10/10
Andrew Hawnt

Review: HUNTRESS - “STARBOUND BEAST”


HUNTRESS
“STARBOUND BEAST”
GENRE: METAL
NAPALM RECORDS 

The second full length album from US-based occult metal sensations HUNTRESS has been out a little while now, and I finally got mine a few weeks ago directly from the band (with a signed card from powerhouse vocalist JILL JANUS – get yours from their store!). It's sunk in properly now and thus here's my review. I didn't get to cover this one for the magazine and wanted to offer my own take.

In a nutshell, while their debut album “SPELL EATER” was fantastic, “STARBOUND BEAST” absolutely blows it out of the water. A bit more of a classic hard rock edge has found its way into their traditional metal/thrash onslaught, along with some more stoner vibes.

The songwriting and musicianship have been taken to a new level of intensity, and Jill is using her voice in some new and interesting ways, including a more powerful mid-range and some harsh elements here and there too.

Highlights include the perfect metal anthems “Blood Sisters”, “Destroy Your Life” and “Zenith”, which is the basis of the album's first (and utterly demented) video. A special mention must go to the delightfully titled “I Want To Fuck You To Death”, which features lyrics by a certain Lemmy Kiliminster, which explains the title a bit.

A sci-fi/alien phenomena theme has found its way in amidst the occult shenanigans the band is known for, giving the album a different feel to the debut but very much in keeping with the Huntress sound. This album is raw, dirty and brilliant.

9/10
Andrew Hawnt