Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Inside The Hole-Impressions

Logic(ic)illogic Records
2014

Inside The Hole is a Sicilian power-trio lead by vocalist/guitarist Roy Zappia. Formed in late 2009 this hard rock/blues rock band released the self-produced album "Beer! Sex!..and Fuckin' Roll" in 2011. "Impressions" is "Beer! Sex!..and Fuckin' Roll" after it was "touched up some". Apparently Roy Zappia and his band-mates (bassist Emanuele Cutrona and drummer Alessio Runfola) came to the attention of Logic(ic)illogic Records in late 2013 and after meeting with the label both parties decided that the lyrics and vocals on "Beer! Sex!..and Fuckin' Roll" needed to be improved. "Impressions", which was mixed and mastered at Atomic Stuff Studio by Oscar Burato, is the end result. Whatever it was that Inside The Hole (or rather front-man Roy Zappia) tweaked when it went back in the studio must have worked seeing as the ten-track "Impressions" is a damn fine thing! Self-describing their sound as "Hard 'n' Blues" and with influences ranging from Ted Nugent to Iron Maiden (something that really does work within an album like "Impressions"!) Inside The Hole captured the spirit of a working-man's barroom band on their "debut album" while firmly showcases a style that these three musicians were born to perform! "We'll Be Free" opens "Impressions" and the very first thing that one notices about Inside The Hole is the gruff voice of guitarist Roy Zappia. Whiskey-soaked and enjoyably rough this skilled guitarist gives "Impressions" an overall everyman feel and on a song like "I Pay For You" (a fave moment of mine which sounds like George Thorogood & The Destroyers teaming up with Motörhead!) he helps his band achieve a nice balance between all things hard & heavy and fundamentally-sound/authentic as hell bare-cheated blues! And it's that exact balance that makes "Impressions" such a fun listen! Musically this Sicilian band takes the best parts of Motörhead, Ted Nugent, Deep Purple and Foghat and then fuses it all together with the fanatical guitar playing that recalls Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Johnny Winter! For this Sicilian power-trio it's all fair game and when Inside The Hole let's everything roll nice and loose (check out "Mary, The Dream" and "Love Me Baby"!) that's one cool kicker, but it's even better when the trio gets HEAVY! The title cut actually looks towards Rainbow and Motörhead for inspiration while "Beer! Sex!..and Fuckin' Roll" slimes it's way across the stage like the Motor City Madman doing shots of whiskey with Lemmy! By the time "Begins The Blues" finally wraps this album up it's been a hell of a ride and the temptation to do it all again compels you to hit play "just one more time"*!

*Just one more time lead to an afternoon spent listening to this album again and again!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Inside-The-Hole/175154769186932

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Monday, July 28, 2014

The Fireflies-The Fireflies




Self-Release/Independent
2014

Harry Shearer (lead vocals, guitars) and Luca Serino (guitars) are The Fireflies and this charming London-based duo might just represents one of pop rocks best-kept secrets. That might sound like a bold proclamation to make, but this poetic EP more then backs up that claim thanks to it's soulful take on pop rock and roll. Having first sampled the track "Silver Leaflets" (the lead off single from this delightful EP) I jumped at the chance to hear more music from this dynamite new act. Especially seeing as Harry Shearer's great voice channels the spirit of James Taylor! Needless to say I was not disappointed! With "Silver Leaflets" The Fireflies offer up a blissful take on (radio-worthy) modern day adult contemporary rock/alternative rock. Meanwhile those wonderful James Taylor-like vocals give extra charm to the number  "Leaving Home" which, besides featuring some wonderful interplay between voice and guitar, is folk-rock for today's enthusiastic youth! More folk-leanings come into play on refreshing cuts like "Rise and Fall", "She Walks" and "Stop Running" although each and every number on this EP appears as if plenty of attention was paid to pop rock sensibilities. The Fireflies excel at creating meaningful songs that are soft and sensible and if I was to make a judgement call as to what party in particular would benefit the most from this near-perfect collection I would have to point towards casual, everyday folks who enjoy great conversation and a nice glass of wine at the evening's end!

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Sunken Monkey-Party Scars

Bumface Records
2014

Self-described as "pop punk/alternative/rock" and first formed in the early "noughties" (something which makes a tad more sense once you've danced around a bit to the music of these foul-mouth rockers!) we have Lancashire, England's Sunken Monkey and their upcoming new album, "Party Scars". Serving as the group's sophomore outing, "Party Scars" is the the follow-up to a 2009, self-titled release and for a band (guitars/vocals-Spindle, guitars-Rob, bass-Adam and drums- Hendy) which has apparently had more then it's fair share of line-up changes since first coming together there is a remarkable sense of consistency flowing through these gritty numbers. And speaking of numbers, "Party Scars" (with it's run-time of the 38 minutes) comes packaged with 13 songs. Since 13 has always been a favorite number of mine (what can I say friends other then I'm dark!!) I was delighted to see an album that filled that particular quota! But what of the actual music I hear you asking? How is it other then gritty and (as referenced above) danceable? Well, despite the "alternative rock" bit that came with the e-mail promoting the new album "Party Scars" is more about one heartfelt band drawing upon their influences (in this case NOFX, The Menzingers, Rise Against and Four Year Strong) and then transferring all of the energy from said bands into a band of their own making that is part classic punk rock and part classic (heavy) pop-punk. Vibe-wise we're talking about one band that has the whole old-school appeal down flat while the catchy music that makes up the bulk of "Party Scars" comes across as genuine and sincere. It's no wonder then that England's Sunken Monkey has developed a loyal local following! Whether or not the group's last release is as good as this one is the question (or at least my question as this release, so far so good, is all that I've jammed out to so far), but either way "Party Scars" comes recommend.
 
www.sunkenmonkey.co.uk
 
www.facebook.com/sunkenmonkey
 
www.twitter.com/Sunken_Monkey

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Ear Danger-Warrior Soul

Emanes Metal Records
2014

When it comes to my love of Dutch heavy metal band Ear Danger and their new sophomore recording I feel the need to thank a fellow blogger and friend for guiding me their way. That individual happens to have a sensation site which everyone should check out here:  http://strappadometalblog.blogspot.com/#axzz37jnrjpa8. Of course that is AFTER you read through this brief write-up on Ear Danger's powerhouse of a release! And when I say powerhouse that is exactly what you get with "Warrior Soul"! For a band whose origins trace back to the early part of the eighties and whose founding members (bass guitarist Matt Verschoor and drummer Dick Vijgen) are (likely) old enough now to be grandfathers this new release isn't just "loud and proud" it's EPIC! With vocalist/guitarist Leon Lohmann (Schraapstaal, Blackbird (Nld), ex-Knights of Insanity) and guitarist Ivo Metz on board the two founding members cranked things up a notch or two and with a renewed sense of youthful energy laid ten power metal tracks down on tape. Of the ten tracks found on "Warrior Soul" eight are brand new while the remaining two tracks look to be re-recordings of older numbers ("Bound by the Law (Of Heavy Metal)" comes from 2007's "Shock and Awe" demo while "City of Fire" appeared on Ear Danger's "Demo 3" from 1983). All ten numbers gel together seamlessly and with the group obviously focused on improving their songwriting fans will be treated to track after track of majestic rockers! This one starts off with the title cut and from that point forward it is on with new cuts like "I Am Your Enemy", "On The Run", "Crusader" and "To Live Is To Fight" making me fall in love with this classic heavy metal band all over again! I first covered this Dutch outfit back in 2011 with their last album "Full Blast At Last" (http://metalmark.blogspot.com/search?q=Ear+Danger-Full+Blast+At+Last) and on "Warrior Soul" it's the same great band only better! The metal on display here is relentless with lead solos that simply rip the fabric of time and space in half! I can't say enough good things about Ear Danger's new disc as this album perfectly represents everything that I love about heavy/power metal. The vocals are gripping and the guitars really do fizzle. And naturally the rhythm section is tight. With those two fine veterans (Matt Verschoor and Dick Vijgen) not only anchoring everything in perfect fashion, but providing a HEAVY backdrop to this whole affair an album like "Warrior Soul" should find plenty of respect and admiration with the metal community. For Ear Danger it's all suddenly becoming a reality and for this band who were criminality overlooked the first time around "Warrior Soul" is a full-on statement that you're never to old to start over! "Warrior Soul" is available to purchase here: http://www.emanesmetalrecords.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=7590 and for more information on Ear Danger be sure to head here:  http://www.facebook.com/eardanger

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gautama-All Is Silence

Bigsound-NC
2014

Independently released at the tale end of October of last year (which sure makes it look as if the band has since been picked up by Bigsound-NC), "All Is Silence" is the full-length debut album from New Caledonia-based Gautama. Influenced by the likes of Sepultura, Lamb Of God and Pantera (and, thank the devil down below himself(!), really sounding for all the world like a rage-filled, underground/garage metal version of those three previously-mentioned influences mashed together into a gooey paste!) this female-fronted heavy thrash/death metal act was formed in 2008 with this (cool as shit) Christophe Planche-produced LP serving as their proper introduction to the ever-expanding metal universe. With a grand total of 7 tracks (of which we're talking about raw primal metal of the headbanging to hell variety!!) this is as good a first recording as they come and it definitely leaves you with an overall favorable impression of this young act. Besides playing guitar alongside equally capable bandmate Alexandre Verdier, with Bruno Fontebasso (bass) and Colin Soriano (drums) rounding out the lethal rhythm section quite nicely, Cloé Soriano takes care of the vocal duties in Gautama and she does it in a very unapologetic, in-your-face with my spike-laden fists of fury, no-holds barred kind of way! This fierce front-woman/warrior also leaves a favorable impression when it's all said and done and for Gautama it's a good selling point. From the way in which these four death thrashers come together here on "All Is Silence" there is little doubt as to what this young band is all about! "All Is Silence" was an important first-step out into the world of metal and, being that it is the band's first piece of recorded history and what not, it's a real nice "How do you do? Would you care to bang your head like a fucking madman?" kind of platter. The downside of all of this? It's only 7-tracks of  worthwhile chaos and by the time this band starts to fall into a dirty groove it's all done. More would have been nice. That should come though sooner or later as this lot offers so much promise that their take on heavy thrash/death metal just screams out to be expanded and further explored! It would be hard NOT to cheer the fuck out for a group like this and recommended them to fellow lovers of all things extreme! Gautama is worth taking a chance on if early Sepultura is your thing or if you get giddy over the though of a deadlier Lamb Of God! Digitally at least, "All Is Silence" can be found on both iTunes and Amazon and for more information on these four metal maniacs be sure to head on over to their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/GAUTAMA.NC

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Seven Sisters-The Warden


Self-Release/Independent
2014

The answer is obvious enough, but when the magic and the mystery of N.W.O.B.H.M. movement still swirls around your hometown then is it any wonder that (time and time again) we (the heavy metal community at large serving as both critics and fans) are treated to new favorite bands like Seven Sisters? Maybe I am getting ahead of myself here, but for the members of Seven Sisters it's almost as if time stopped around 1983 or 1984. How else are we to explain the marvelous, near golden-oldie kids, vibe that lies at the heart of this four-track demo? Yes, state of the scene being what it is and all has produced handful upon handful of traditional heavy metal/N.W.O.B.H.M. inspired & infused bands in the UK and here in the states. Few feel as authentic as this 4-track demo though. Just released this month, with band co-founder/guitarist (and for this recording at least) bassist Kyle McNeill actively involved with the demo's recording and mixing, "The Warden" sparkles with such heat and passion that one could easily pull a bait and switch and pass these songs off as rare singles from a bygone age. This release might have well been a dusted over gem  from the heydays of the scene (or specifically heavy metal coming from everyone from Satan and Witchfinder General to Tokyo Blade, Jaguar, Savage and Blitzkrieg) as it is (nostalgically-speaking) that thick in texture and rich in flavor! Of course one big thing that helps this lot out is the presence of Josh Winnard  (Dark Forest, ex-Wytch Hazel) on lead vocals. Having long-loved his work in both of those bands one could argue that it was a predetermined idea that I was going to love this project. Fair enough, but the thing is Seven Sisters originally started out as a writing project between Kyle McNeill and Graeme Farmer (guitar) with Josh simply providing the necessary 'touch-ups" if you will. With "The Warden" it's the two string-men that really make this short EP COOK especially as they went and presented a fantastic background upon which Josh Winnard could come in and lay down his cool voice. Opening strong with the title cut, which is one fave number where bands such as Witchfinder General, Angel Witch and Jaguar come out to play(!), "The Warden" strongly recalls the classic British metal scene as a whole, but this demo does take time out from the party to rock another familiar beat. As hinted at above this one might come from a "modern" metal act, but it is an eighties metal release which means that in addition to all the previously-mentioned acts the listener is served up fistfuls of 80's metal! Take a listen to "Onwards They Ride" for example. Here Seven Sisters draws upon the U.S. metal scene (think early speed metal bands who were simply not quite at the point of playing full-fledged thrash) along with bands like Ravage and the result is nothing short of phenomenon! So, while it's N.W.O.B.H.M. or bust for this bunch there are other influences carving out a niche in this London band's sound! In the end this demo smashes and bashes it's way through four "Ready or not here I come!" cuts of pure metal fury and it does so at it's own tried and true pace never once taking it's foot off of the peddle! With all of these various eighties influences making their way into "The Warden" the band, who interestingly enough list their extracurricular-activities as Excessive drinking, satanic rituals, beauty pageants, makes heavy metal for lovers of true heavy metal. The three members of Seven Sisters know what they are doing and given time this can evolve into something absolutely essential! As only a limited number of cassette tapes were issued for "The Warden" the band did the next best thing and put this demo on Youtube and then offered it as a digital download on Bandcamp. And speaking of the digital download, "The Warden" is available for a mere dollar and some change (U.S. conversion rates being what they are) making it a MUST OWN for those who still worship the N.W.O.B.H.M. movement and/or love classic heavy metal! You simply cannot go wrong with this one friends!You can listen to and download the demo here:http://sevensistersuk.bandcamp.com/album/the-warden-demo and follow the group here: https://www.facebook.com/sevensistersuk. Also, Seven Sisters are in search of a bass player and drummer so all interested parties would do well to contact the band and get on-board while the opportunity presents itself!

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Nothgard-Age Of Pandora

Trollzorn Records
2014

It has it's perks. Being a writer for this blog that is. Here we have Germany's Nothgard who are another new (as in new to me) band for which I have a PR friend to thank. This tech-minded, Deggendorf, Bavaria-based band crossed my path thanks to Markus Eck (http://www.metalmessage.de/) and while I am highly-impressed by their upcoming sophomore release I will admit that I am at a lose as to how to properly describe their sound in full. We'll get to that point in a second, but for now let's do a role-call to see who it is we are set to chat about and how it is that they got from point A (their formation) to point B (this stellar work of EPIC metal!). Founded in 2008 by singer and lead-guitarist Dom R. Crey (Equilibrium, Wolfchant) and former drummer Tonie this German band first started out under the name of Nordavind before changing to their current moniker in 2009. Along the way there would be line-up changes to go along with the name change as well as some experimentation with sound and style (by all accounts it appears as if the band's original aim was to combine symphonic metal with death metal, folk metal, traditional heavy metal and power metal). There would be a 2009, 3-track demo released followed by the well-received debut album, "Warhorns of Midgard", in 2011. Now here it is three years later and we find that this well-oiled machine of a band, which, besides skilled vocalist/lead guitarist Dom R. Crey, currently consists of Vik S. (Bass), Daniel K. (Rhythm Guitar), D. Ziegler (Drums) and Skaahl (Rhythm Guitar), is truly blessed with a high-class style all their own! On paper it's either spelled out as epic melodic death metal or melodic death/pagan metal,but the truth of the matter is it's all of that and then some! First off the use of three guitars gives Nothgard a technical skill-level all their own! We're talking double lead guitars here and the way in which they are fused together so perfectly is nothing short of amazing! Having previously read up on this band for research purposes (that is prior to being able to actually sit down and listen to this album for myself-long story short, but with family in town until this very morning it proved to be a difficult challenge (downloading promo material and then cranking it loud and proud!) finding time to be alone) I was really not expecting these German metalheads to be as well-rounded and polished as they were! Or for that matter as mature and graceful either! And yet that's pretty much what we are looking at when it comes to Nothgard's 2nd full-length release. Overall the high-class music packed within "Age Of Pandora" comes across as if it is has been orchestrated with greatness in mind. Have no fear though. As stylistic and classy as Nothgard appears to be here they are equally as heavy and aggressive! The band's insanely epic sound is still ground in METAL after-all and that comes screaming across the sky by way of those previously mentioned double-leads (one's which are fiercely speed metal-tinged at times!), sharp (as in flesh-cutting!) rhythm guitar, POUNDING bass and drums and, last but CERTAINLY not least, Dom's demonic voice! His sinister delivery is the icing on top of this prized cake and come mid-September Nothgard should be riding high atop the success of this rampaging release! While you wait for that drop-date be sure to check out Nothgard's back catalog and like their Facebook page so that you can keep track of this pagan band and their daily festivities!

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SouLost-"Without Me" Single (Sneak peak of the EP "The Way I Feel Pt. 2")


I've always said that when it comes to writing for this blog I'm very fortunate in the fact that I get to hear a lot of cool up and coming new bands. And it certainly helps that I have a wonderful group of friends who work within the industry. I actually have Lizzie from Quite Great PR to thank for turning me onto this London, UK electronic (heavy) rock project. And when it comes to SouLost I like the name, I like the image and I like the sound! That's three out of three my friends! Now, as this is a relatively young act there isn't much of a bio going on, but regardless here it is: "Together since late 2013, Stef, Law and Ceira have brought their different personalities into the studio and developed a fresh and unique sound which draws influences from modern rock and electronica. The deep sense of not belonging and disenchantment in our lyrics finds perfect match in the powerful, yet melodic sound of the band. We share the same passion for music and we love to perform live and connect with people. In fact we believe that one of our strengths lies in the bond that we have established with our fans.". The single that was sent my way ("Without Me") comes from the group's upcoming new EP, "The Way I Feel Pt. 2", and now with the addition of a new member* to help boost the band's sound(!), SouLost does look as it is poised to make 2014 their year of conquest! Having played a bit of the old "rewind and check out the band's earlier recordings" I will say that when it comes to the potential of the new EP the first part of that equation, "The Way I Feel Pt.1", was good, but based upon what I heard from the new single this London collective sure sounds as if it has gone out of it's way to PUMP UP THE VOLUME and (thanks to some improved song-writing and natural development as a band) ROCK THE FREAK OUT! Ceira (vocals), Stef G (guitar / synths) and Law (drums / percussion) started something special when they first joined together and now this heavy rock-based electronic outfit is stepping it up with a sound that I'd suggest is a little bit Evanensense in places only with the added spitfire and flair of Paramore! That's not to say that this London band has anything but an original sound and style going for. Far from it! Up front I'd say that Ceira is ever bit the vocalist as Amy Lee and Hayley Williams (Evanensense and Paramore lead vocalists respectively) and the band as a whole is stylistic and creative! They play as if they are a tight-nit collective and for a band that already been featured on the Best Of British Unsigned playlist and has been gaining airplay in 16 countries(!) the sky really is the limit! Hopefully come Sept 1st (when the new EP is reported to be released) I'll have had a chance to cover more from this fantastic act. In the meantime you can find out more about SouLost and hear some of their cool electronic rock at their official website here:
http://www.soulost.com/

*From the group's Facebook page the new member looks to be bassist Lux.

https://www.facebook.com/soulostofficial/info 

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Deceptic-The Artifact

Dead End Exit Records
2014

Their Facebook page describes their own sound as  "Modern Melodic Progressive Metal". That's sort of a catch all description right? That's Göteborg, Sweden's Deceptic for you. What began in the "early and cold coast of Gothenburg" in the year of 2011 has slowly transformed into the band that stands before you now. That band currently features the following members:

William Gustafsson - Vocals
Tony Gullquist - Guitars
Dennis Svensson - Drums
 

Otto Halling - Bass
Martin Carlenfors - Guitars







 





The only thing is both Otto Halling and Martin Carlenfors came on-board after the recording of "The Artifact". And speaking of "The Artifact" it sounds as if this (long worked on) album was a self-produced/self-recorded project that then benefited greater from having Tue Madsen From Ant Farm Studios (famous for working with bands like The Haunted, Dir En Grey, Mnemic, Dark Tranquility etc.) mix and master the recordings when they were all wrapped up. Oh, and then there is the fact that it was only AFTER the band had the masters of "The Artifact" in their hands that they went out and looked for a record label! So, in a very real way this is a D.I.Y. project. While there was a 2011 EP released from the band it featured a different line-up then the one we see today. And besides, "The Artifact" is what we are talking about today and for the band Deceptic all of the hard work and patience sure seems to have paid off! Deceptic's "The Artifact" practically jumps out of the speakers with opener "Heart Of The Swarm" and (fair warning here so pay heed!) it rarely lets up even as this Swedish band explores other genre elements such as melodic hardcore, alternative metal and even metalcore. Vocally-speaking William Gustafsson excels at both singing and doing the whole heavy screaming thing (there's even some near death metal growls going on here!) and his (studio) brother's in arms (Tony Gullquist and Dennis Svensson) play with such fury and energy that you'd swear that there was a full-fledged backing band in play the whole time! Deceptic has a lot going for them and based on this LP, their first-full length endeavor and an album that I let soak in spin after glorious spin, they have the talent and enthusiasm to really make a go for it! This one will drop in late August although it sounds as if a single from "The Artifact" will be made available before that time as a bit of a teaser! You can find out more about Deceptic here: https://www.facebook.com/Deceptic/timeline

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Black Rain-Water Shape

Atomic Stuff Records
2014

Pure energy. No, we're not talking about that oft-repeated bit from Information Society's catchy "What's On Your Mind". Instead we're going to talk about the Italian band The Black Rain who, despite being born in Bologna in 2002, didn't grow into a proper band until 2010. The thing is by that point the band, which is categorically heads and shoulders above plenty of like-minded bands both in their native country and here is the U.S. (and that's before we even address their top-tier front-man Mirko Greco!), was well on their way towards setting fire to the playing field (or if you will the heavy rock and roll/hard rock scene) by way of well-thought out and (more often then not) heartfelt material. With a 2010 EP entitled "Hot for a Night" having served as the group's debut and then the late 2012 full-length album, "Night Tales", having helped to establish their name the stage was all set for this four-piece to come out swinging and really set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd with their sophomore output. To that end along comes the well-crafted/well-executed "Water Shape" which should do wonders for the ever-growing legacy of this band in their home country as well as serve as a pretty good introduction for the American audiences. From the way in which this disc opens strong with "Shadows" and then hits with "Mesmerize" you'd swear that this was going to end up being one of 2014's better hard rock platters! And that was before the album's first single "Rock 'n' Roll Guy" even kicked in! The track is righteously dedicated to those who still live their lives the rock 'n roll way and if any number is going to put The Black Rain on the charts it's this rocker!With both "Shadows" and "Mesmerize" (two rock and roll laced hard crunchers) grabbing hold of me hook, line and sinker (and by "hook" I mean the gnarly guitar playing of Eugenio Bonifazi and the strong presence of lead singer Mirko Greco) there was absolutely no way in heaven that I could have possibly been expected to see a number like "Rock 'n' Roll Guy" coming. And yet there it was. "Rock 'n' Roll Guy" is the sound of late eighties/early nineties hard rock/hair metal only the difference here is there is none of the long locks associated with said genres or any of the silly lipstick and lace! Instead we get the pleasure of four leather-clad musicians (including the rock-solid rhythm section of  bass player Marco Molteni and drummer Raffaele Marchesini) making magic for heavy rock/hard rock lovers! By the end of "Rock 'n' Roll Guy" I was close to ranking this album as one of the best rock and roll LPs of the last few years! "(S)He's So Amazing", which features Francesco Grandi (former lead singer of Rain) as a guest, did little to stop the enthusiasm I had for "Water Shape" and neither did the somewhat bluesy "Robert Johnson". Five numbers in and I was completely digging these Italian hard rockers whose sound hinted at a wide variety of influences such as (or rather as diverse as!) Collective Soul, Black Label Society, Soundgarden/Audioslave (In fact front-man Mirko Greco comes about as close as he can to being a rustic Italian version of Chris Cornell!), AC/DC, Santana, Billy Idol, Jimi Hendrix, Candlebox, The Black Crowes and even U2 ("King Of Stones" coming across as a hard and heavy version of said Irish rock band!). The versatility on display here is nothing to sleep on. The title of this 11-track album refers to the structure-free status of water and after just one listen to this recently-released album you'll understand the meaning behind that message! The way in which the rest of the disc plays out (check out "Without love" which reminded me of both solo Chris Cornell and solo Rob Thomas!) there really is an amazing amount of variety going on hence the title! The Black Rain probably did not go into the studio with the goal of crafting a Top-10 kind of rock and roll platter, but it's hard to pinpoint a moment that doesn't strive for that vision on "Water Shape"! With that said, "Water Shape" does offer plenty of heavier moments for the hard rock crowd. This one has guitar solos that go out of their way to be wicked as possible (it certainly looks as if they (the almighty riffs that rage on this disc!) are just aching for a good fight and then there are those dynamite rhythms that keep the beat steady, but are anything but restrained! And yes, the band does play as if they are dead set on taking over hard rock/rock and roll or at the very least taking a real chunk out of the scene by way of atomic leads, kick-ass bass and forceful singing that reminds you all at once of the glory of rock and roll as well as rock's dirty underbelly! Simply put this album (as smooth as it can be) feels like a band going a long way towards jam-packed rock/hard rock with slick licks that are (occasionally) disguised as commercial rock. "Water Shape" shakes, rattles and rolls and even offers a few surprises along the way  (no spoilers friends as you need to hear this one ALL THE WAY through in order to reap the full benefits of this particular party! How it is that Atomic Stuff Records can keep finding gems like this band is any one's guess. Somehow/someway the label picks up the scent of cool rock stars in waiting and then snags and bags them before anyone knows what the hell happened! It all seems so unlikely at times that bands like this are still out there. And yet here we are looking at another band with more talent between the four members than anyone can rightly be expected to contain. The Black Rain are a really good find on the part of Atomic Stuff Records and it just goes to show that when this label is tasked with finding their next new and exciting (dare we even say sensational?) act they know how to pick em! Although let's face it friends, that kind of task is much easier when you've got a band who can pair up good hooks with good looks!


So, if you find yourself looking for the next cool thing in hard rock/heavy rock and roll then look no further! Sure, the fine folks over at Atomic Stuff Records will likely get there hands on even more killer acts that happen to reside in Italy. The Black Rain should be leading the way though and doing it with plenty of sizzling guitar riffs and one of the better new front-men out there! You can find these guys online at http://www.blackrainrock.com/   and http://www.atomicstuff.com/ as well as on their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Black-Rain/137533619623054 

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