Album Review: Redd Barron- The Barron’s Here To Rock

 

 

So many bands over the past decades have been lost to the sands of time with their numerous demo’s and unreleased songs being forever lost and unknown to would be fans. Redd Barron are a perfect case as their early 1990 demo’s could be found with a search on the internet but never given a proper release. For a long time I suppose they were just another Chicago band lost in time. I had heard of these guys roughly around a year ago after a long night researching long time Chicago acts and found their brand of melodic Hard Rock very enjoyable and catchy. Minus the rough production, these guys could well Rock! However, we finally see with their announcement of a reunion at this years Legions Of Metal, a proper release of all their material compiled into one album via the terrific Heaven & Hell Records.

 

Opening with the title track, right away you can get the exact sound these guys were going for. That melodic Hard Rock sound that, in 1984, could’ve catapulted these guys to an actual album deal.  The album overall is very consistent sticking with the same style throughout and many catchy songs. Songs like “Living Our Life For Rock” I could have seen on MTV in the early 80’s easily. Another favorite early on is “Dow Jones” which has some very heavy guitar melodies that carry the song through and make for a nice gem of a tune. “Blind Date” also has some nice aggressive yet simplistic guitar playing as well. Vocalist Brian Lee really completes the band and his vocals coupled with the simplistic mid paced Hard Rocking instrumentation almost give off like a working man version of Dokken. Essentially without all the flash, that is what these guys remind me of which isn’t uncommon as a lot of the bands from that time sounded similar. “Burning Cities” is where the band go more into a straight Heavy Metal mode and play it off well. This is another song that again if it were ever given a chance with a more sleek production, it would be massive sounding.  This is also the track where the album is in it’s other batch of demo’s but besides production being a bit more rough, these tracks work well enough with the original six tracks. Tracks like “Shadows” and “Search For Love” definitely show the band really had chops and rightfully deserved a spot in the scene. Finally we see the finale of “Kill Or Be Killed” which is one of the most anthemic songs on the album and one I can’t wait to hear live as well.

Overall, while the music isn’t completely original nor complex, this is a fantastic collection of catchy written melodic Hard Rock that I guarantee a lot of Heavy Metal/Hard Rock fans haven’t heard. It is also a great album to have for anyone interested in the Chicago metal scene as well. Redd Barron have taken flight once more and it is great to see their music properly see the light of day!

“British Steel- The Rising Force of British Heavy Metal” compilation to be released in September

 

As a heavy metal fan, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal will always be one of the most important movements in the genre’s history. However in the modern day we see yet another legion of young and hungry bands coming from Britain and that is exactly what this compilation is all about. Featuring some of the best up and coming acts such as Seven Sisters, Amulet, Wytch Hazel and many many more, this album will be an amazing representation of the return of British Traditional Heavy Metal in all it’s glory. I am excited for this release personally as the NWOBHM gave me some of my favorite artists of all time and this feels like my generations answer to that. The album will be released September 22nd, 2017 through Dissonance Productions and Back On Black records.

Track listing

01. Amulet – Highwayman

02. Aggressive Perfector – Harlot’s Spell

03. Eliminator – Lost To The Void

04. Dungeon – Queen Of Sin

05. Dark Forest – Where The Arrow Falls

06. Toledo Steel – Rock Nights

07. Vuil – Iron Witch

08. Seven Sisters – The Witch’s Eye

09. Insurgency – Destined For Death

10. Neuronspoiler – Slay The Beast

11. Wytch Hazel – Freedom Battle

 

Vescera release new video “In The Night”

 

 

Well here is something pretty cool for you melodic metal fans! Heavy Metal group Vescera led by acclaimed singer Michael Vescera have released a new video for their song “In The Night” off their barnburning new album “Beyond The Fight” released April 7th with the vinyl edition coming soon this month. I definitely think they chose a good song off the album for this video as it shows the whole bands versatility and the interesting sound they managed to create with a lot of melodic edge but very big hooks that alot of US power metal bands utilize. The album is definitely one to check out but don’t take it from me, listen below and see what you think! I would love to see these guys come to Chicago some day and definitely think their debut is a strong record to tour on over here.

 

Order the album here!

http://www.puresteel-shop.com/VESCERA-Beyond-The-Fight_1

Album Review: DUEL- Witchbanger

 

“Witchbanger” is the second full length album from Texas Heavy/Stoner Rock band DUEL and was released on April 28th, 2017. After last years stellar “Fears Of The Dead” this Texas quartet returns to offer up another slab of 70’s inspired heavy metal. I can’t believe it has taken this long to get to talking about this album, but finally here we are. So lets see if DUEL were able to expand on the first album or if they fall into the dreaded sophomore slump.

 

Track Rundown

1.Devil-Opening with the sound a guitar plugging right into a simplisitic dirty blues based riff and Tom Franks’ heavy and very powerful vocals, the song has this almost “power-doom” vibe to it that makes it heavy but singable to with a catchy and very rock solid chorus. I really like the production it is very much like their first album but the vocalist seem to pop a bit more and have a bit more grain to them. The soling is smooth and faithful to the genre with a lot of groove being the main focal point. This is a great opener and shows the band being even more up front than they were on the first album.

2.Witchbanger-This is one of the most grooving tunes on the album with the  main riff in the verses following the melody of the vocals. One thing that Duel manages to capture is their ability to sound really tight but be really loose in their style at the same time where it feels like they are jamming in a garage somewhere. The chorus riff always gets stuck in my head but the weird vocal melody before that riff hits is a little weird, it just feels a bit out of place. The song is definitely a good number and one that would work very well live if I had a chance to catch these guys.

3.The Snake Queen- This tune has this almost classic rock aka early KISS feel until the hazy vocals come in which do work very well. The vocal melodies I think help the band establish more of a signified sound for themselves and gives the song more of it’s doom vibe as well. The song is a bit more laid back but the chorus really hits hard as it comes more up front with a more straightforward riff sludging all the way through. The song does eventually hit that more grooving tempo DUEL like to use in a lot of their songs and even though it is a shorter part, it works quite well and gives the track some extra flavor.

4.Astro Gypsy- One of my favorites on the album for sure. It has that Sabbathy Jazzy feel to it with some wah’ed out guitar riffing going on the slower bits. This is a tune that shows the more creative feeling of the band and has a very ZZ Top vibe as well. Definitely a highlight on the album.

5.Heart Of The Sun- I almost get a Witchfinder General feeling from this tune, it has a very melodic presence especially in its composure and it really works against the heavier songs on the album. It also shows bits of the progression within the bands songwriting capabilities also. Thus song also has one of the best solos on the album as well.

6.Bed Of Nails-This tune has an interesting riff to it as you think the melody is going to go one way, but the band tweaks it a bit and it works. However, as this song does have some of those melodic moments as the last track did, I don’t feel like it is as strong as “Heart Of The Sun” but still has some good qualities about it with some tasty solo guitar work throughout.

7.Cat’s Eye- This is another tune that has a mores simplistic approach to it with a heavy chugging riff through the verses and the chorus as well. As far as a straight forward heavy doom/rock song it works quite well. The solo is one of the heaviest on the album as well as it kicks in right after a break on the song. It is pretty short but it works for what it is.

8.Tigers and Rainbows- This song has a groove that works very well and sports one of the strongest choruses throughout as well. This song takes alot more turns than the last few do similar to the last track on their debut with the softer mid section in the song. The song does end with this more psychedelic heavy jam which works but also feels like the half of two songs combined into one it just feels a bit disjointed but isn’t a bad closer either.

Overall, I give the album a fair 7 out of 10. While this album does have a few problems with some of the songs being a but too simple or disjointed, the songs that are good are really freakin good. DUEL have definitely expanded their songwriting with added melody and more intricate sections within their songs. While their are things that this album do better than their first , the first does some things better than this one does. However, this album I still would give a spin as it definitely has sustainability in any collection of the lovers of heavy rock or doom metal.

Album Review: Shokker-III

Shokker

“III” is the debut album by Chicago traditional Heavy Metal group Shokker and was released on May 9th, 2017. Now Shokker have been on a list of newer Chicago bands such as Spillage, Scars Of Armageddon and others that are definitely have chops when it comes to their original sound retrospectively. Finally Shokker have released their full length and it’s time to delve into hopefully a great start for these Chicago mainstays.

Track Rundown

1.III-Opening with some really raw sounding chugging guitars into a more old school Heavy Metal beat with some more hard rock feeling , this tune has a really cool groove with Rachl Quinn’s vocals punching through super hard. She is definitely a powerhouse of a vocalist and it shows with this tune. Overall, this is a good opener with a good groove to it all around.

2.Hammerhead- This song has a very Y&T feel to it and is definitely one that I imagine works very well live. This tune also sports one of my favorite choruses on the album as well it really hits you hard and has a good hook to it. Casey Tremont really lets loose on his solo on this song and is a very solid guitarist, I just wish his solo’s were a tad higher in the mix. One of the heaviest tunes on the album.

3.Snake Eyes- This is another good tune in the vein of that early 80’s american metal vibe. It has a good simple straight forward beat to it that almost has a Dio-esque feel to it. The evil sounding background vocals are definitely a nice touch and the chorus is pretty strong as well and retains a more hard rock feel to it. A very straight forward but very fun song.

4.Life & Despair-The vocals on this song are some of my favorite on the album as they really seem very up front and with the infectious and simple hard driving riff it makes for a good song with a timeless sound. The chorus is one of my favorites as well with the shouting backup vocals. However, I do wish they were a bit higher in the mix so they could pop more. Overall, it is a good oldschool heavy metal tune done faithfully.

5.Adrenaline-This tune is probably the fastest on the album and is definitely my favorite for the power it packs. From the very strong vocal deliveries to the very on point guitar soloing, this is a tune that I would show everyone when being introduced to this band. This is definitely a prime example of a song that is made to be played live.

6.Blessed Be-This tune opens with some very shimmery flanged guitars and even though it is a more somber opening than the last few songs, it still has a catch to it that sets it apart from being a ballad. It soon enough kicks into a more Priest-esque riff and is done quite well. Shokker I think would have faired well in the 80’s with the very big hooks that their songs I could just see them turning up on MTV in 82-83. The chorus for this tune is possibly the strongest on the album for me and really hits hard. Overall, this is another song that has a solid structure to it that doesn’t feel monotonous especially this far into the album.

7.Turn Around And Run-That fucking scream that opens this song always gets me going even on my eighth listen, it still catches me by surprise. The song is yet another offering of that Heavy Metal/Hard Rock feel and at this point in the album I’d like to see these guys get to the size of Halestorm or bands like that because I honestly think they pack as much power for that size of an audience, possibly even better. Especially with how solid of an album this is seven songs in, this band is definitely one of the most solid I’ve heard from the Chicago area in recent times.

8.Midnight Sun-This tune has a major Thin Lizzy “Thunder and Lightning” era feel to it from the Sykes feeling riff to the very melodic backup vocals in the chorus that are a very nice touch as well. This is one of those songs that you play over and over just to hear the chorus again and again the band just hits the nail on the head really well with this one.

9.Hello-This song is definitely the most ballad-like track on the album and has a lot more of a melodic tone to it than any other song and is definitely the highlight of the the album vocally as Quinn really gives it all she has. It isn’t a bad tune at all as it does break up the pace a bit and the more raw production does tend to help this song as the guitars seem to pop a bit more during the clean parts. Overall, not a bad tune but it is kind of short for my liking

10.Justified-This is a decent closer as it is one of the more straightforward tunes on the album but does feel a bit lacking as every time I hear it, it just kind of ends. I feel like a bit more time would have made this song just be an epic raging closer. It does end on a weaker note compared to the quality of songs earlier on the album.

Overall, I give the album a good 7.5 out of 10. Shokker definitely managed to create a raw good heavy metal record with some hard rock ideas mix about and it shows in the songs. While the production can be a bit muddy and the band are definitely not reinventing the wheel, the charisma in how these songs are performed on record are more than enough to show that this band has good things to come. Hopefully this record gets around enough for them to branch out further and get people interested. Definitely if you are into that Y&T/Krokus sound or early American metal kind of sound, Pick this one up for sure it is a good time.

Album Review: Stallion- From The Dead

STALLION-From-the-Dead-LP-BLACK

“From The Dead” is the second full length album from Traditional Heavy Metal group Stallion and is to be released June 30th, 2017. Stallion have been slowly on the rise since their mini album “Mounting The World” released in 2013. Since then, they played Keep It True, released their first full length entitled “Rise and Ride” and are gearing up fpr their most ambitious release yet. Personally I have not been extremely familiar with the band but I know from a lot of others that they definitely are a band to check out. So does this band pass with flying colors or do they get mixed with the hundreds of other Traditional Metal bands out today?

 

Track Rundown

 

1.Underground Society- The opening track on the album and wow, this is honestly one of the openers I have heard all year. The band absolutely rips into this number in absolute classic speed metal fashion with a very echoed production akin to how alot of bands sounded back in the day, and it is done faithfully here. It really captures the raw sound of the band. The vocals are something I have always loved from Stallion as they really have a grit to them but have that classic 80’s traditional metal style which I really like. Overall this opener packs that classic speed metal such as bands like Exciter and done in a faithful and strong way.

2.Down And Out- This song packs more of a mid tempo to it with a really infectious riff and vocals that you can’t help but sing to. It really is a catchy and heavy tune that has become one of my favorites on the album. This is a tune that shows Stallion are bound to get bigger and bigger. The middle of the solo goes more into a frantic tempo showing the capabilities of the band and just how tight they play as well.

3.Hold The Line- This sounds exactly like a tune that Priest never released around 83-84. This is 1005 pure fist pumping heavy metal that could have put Stallion on the top back in the day. These guys would have been huge in the 80’s especially with the power they pack in their songs and their abilities to create big powerful hooks. Overall, this is a simple fun heavy metal tune executed brilliantly.

4.Waiting For A Sign-This tune has a very Dokken “Dream Warriors” feel to it I mean can’t you see this tune in the credits to a Night On Elm Street movie? I can especially with the keyboards that really are an awesome touch, they add more power to the song and are used sparingly during the chorus to give it a bigger sound. This tune even though it has a more 80’s ballad feel packs a lot of power and is one I could listen to over and over. However, around the three minute mark it speeds up into a full speed metal assault. It really catches you off guard but adds a lot more substance to an already fine written song but it just adds an extra layer which I really dig. It does flow back into the more mid paced section of the song and works quite well.

5.From The Dead-I love the acoustic guitar opening to this track it just has a very shimmery and emotional feel to it. The song goes immediately into a break neck speed pace with some cool starts and stops and a lot of different riffs but the  main riff against the verses is just so lethal. The chorus on this track is also one of the best on the album as well. This song has more of a classic thrash feel to it in some areas as well especially in the bridge to the chorus. Easily one of the most epic tracks on the album, definitely worth repeat listens.

6.Kill Fascists-Stallion pulled an SOD here, with a very short song with a tasty riff…all that needs to be said

7.Lord Of The Trenches- The band are yet again on fire with this one and once again proves how these guys would have been huge during the golden age of 1980’s heavy metal with powerful soaring vocals all over the place that could easily get a crowd to sing along to them. In fact Pauly’s vocals honestly are some of the strongest I have heard in years and really push the band over the top.

8.Blackbox-This song has a very NWOBHM sounding riff to it and with the tempo as well. The bridge almost has a frantic hard rock pace to it as well. Overall, this is another strong heavy hitter that is definitely worth multiple listens!

9.Step Aside-This track keeps the album flowing along with the classic speed metal formula in hand however this is definitely one of the fastest tunes on the album with a very Jaguar (i.e speed for speeds sake) feel to it and I really like it, the band just goes as hard as they can here. Another favorite of mine(hell I cant diss one song on this album honestly).

10.Awake The Night-Opening with a more bruding heavy riff going more into a classic mid to fast tempo traditional heavy metal riff, this song possibly is where the band puts most of their progressive tendencies on the album. Their are some more interesting riffs on this tune like in the chorus and some cool melodic moments all throughout as well with the drums doing a lot of different tempo’s. I also like the Manowar ish mid section with the guitars slowing down and the low epic vocals, it just screams epic metal. I also really like how in one section the guitar goes faster and faster with some palm muted strumming like a clock before going into one of the wildest solo’s on the album. This is one hell of a closer on definitely one of the most quality heavy metal albums I have heard all year.

 

Overall, From The Dead gets a strong, very strong 9 out 10. Like I mentioned how Night Demon got their sound absolutely as close to the vintage NWOBHM sound, Stallion did that with the classic 80’s speed metal sound but adding small influences here and there to make this record entirely faithful and shows a band that is really hungry and definitely knows how to handle the sound they have created. Stallion definitely are one of the top bands on my list especially from this year and are one that proves the future of metal is in the right hands.

Headbanging Highlight of the Week: Pounding Metal-A Tribute to Exciter

ExciterPoundingMetal

This weeks Headbanging Highlight on Glistening Metal comes from the awesome Skol records label entitled Pounding Metal: A Tribute to Exciter. Being an Exciter fan, I was excited for this release for quite a long time. Now when it comes to tribute albums, they can be either really good or really bad. Knowing producer Bart Gabriel’s history with tributes (He did a RIOT and Anvil disc for both groups) I knew this was in good hands. He got some of the best in the scene including Attacker, Ram, Crystal Viper, Savage Master, October 31 and plenty more. all of these bands do very faithful covers with not too many changes to the songs other than perhaps production values. If you are an Exciter fan this is a great disc to hear some very faithful tributes done by a lot of bands you may not know about, which will introduce you to some great new music as well. This is also a  great disc to introduce new Exciter fans as well and all around is a fun time. Some of my favorite tracks are Attacker’s “Cry of The Banshee”, Savage Master’s “Saxons Of The Fire”, Ironsword’s “Death Revenge” and plenty more it is hard to pick as every band does every song justice. Highly recommend any fan of heavy metal to pick this up. Hear some great new and older acts tear up some great immortal speed metal tunes. Long live Exciter!!!