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Monday, September 25, 2006

NEWS

RIP – Bassist BOZ BURELL (BAD COMPANY/KING CRIMSON)

Armored Saint bassist Joey Vera has released a solo album. The project is called Chinese Fire drill, while the record is titled 'Circles'. Get a copy from www.joeyvera.com

Escape Music have announced the signing of Final Frontier for the release of the album Freelight. Featuring lead vocalist Rob Moratti alingside Von Groove's Mladen who handles guitar, bass and keyboard duties the album also features Lawrence Falconer on Lead Guitars and a special guest appearance by drummer Kevin Howley. The music on 'Freelight' is very similar to previous Final Frontier albums and yet much stronger. 'Freelight' will be released on 17th November 2006 with the following track listing:
Freelight, Dynamo, Foolish Pride, Only The Lonely, I Hope You Don't Mind, Someone's Watching You, All The Way, Nothing Is Easy, Lion's Den, The Witches Mask plus two bonus tracks in the shape of Half Way Home and Delia which be feature on the limited edition first pressings of the album.

Machine Head are continuing work on its sixth studio album, "The Blackening", which is tentatively scheduled for release in early 2007. The group is recording the new CD at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, CA, with frontman Robert Flynn returning to the producer's chair, and Mark Keaton once again handling engineering duties. Potential song titles set for inclusion onfor "The Blackening" include "Clenching the Fists of Dissent", "Aesthetics of Hate", "Halo", "The Beautiful Mourning", "Now I Lay Thee Down", "Slanderous Love", "Wolves" and "A Farewell to Arms".

W.A.S.P. have inked a deal with Steamhammer/SPV for the release of their new studio album, 'Dominator' ,scheduled to hit the streets on November 13th.

Patrick Simonsen (ex-HUSH) is the new vocalist in S.I.N.


PRESS RELEASES

Fields Of The Nephilim

***'Genesis & Revelation' 2xCD + 1xDVD set released October 23rd, NFD Live in London Oct. 6th***

A 3-disc set of unreleased Fields of the Nephilim audio & visual rarities, 'Genesis & Revelation', is to be released on October 23rd on Jungle. It includes some of their earliest studio recordings as well as early and their most recent live shows.

Disc 1 contains studio recordings from 1985, 1986 & 1997, comprising never-before-heard early demos, remixes and an alternate mix from their 'Power' session, plus the only evidence of an ill-fated original line-up reunion. Disc 2 is a live set from a rare live show, Roskilde Festival in Denmark in 2000. The DVD, Disc 3, features fascinating excerpts of two early live shows in 1986; a new video promo for 'Power'; the last live Nephilim gig in 2000 at a huge German festival; plus an interview.

Fields of the Nephilim gained a huge following in the late 80's with three acclaimed albums 'Dawnrazor', 'The Nephilim' & 'Elysium' on Beggars Banquet, but following two sold-out nights at the London Forum vocalist Carl McCoy split from the band at their peak in 1991. After subsequent projects The Nefilim and Rubicon ended, an aborted full reunion turned into collaboration between McCoy & bassist Tony Pettitt, resulting in the album 'Fallen' in 2002.

The reclusive Carl McCoy, who’s earned his mysterious and maverick reputation through various disappearing acts, recently released a new album 'Mourning Sun' as Fields of the Nephilim. Tony Pettitt's new outfit NFD gig regularly and have just released a well-received second album 'Dead Pool Rising'. Original drummer & guitarist brothers Nod & Paul Wright have issued two albums as Last Rites, recently issuing 'The Many Forms'.

DISC 1: Studio rarities Power (Powered Up mix); Secrets (Cloak & Dagger mix); The Tower ('86 O'Higgins mix); Dawnrazor; Secrets; Power (all 1985 demos); Power (Power Surge mix); Deeper Deepest Dub (1997 reunion). DISC 2: Live at Roskilde Festival, 2000 Intro (The Harmonica Man); Preacher Man; Moonchild; For Her Light; Love Under Will;

Shine; Zoon (Pt 3 - Wake World); Xodus; Dawnrazor; Psychonaut.

DISC 3 - DVD: Video-Promo: Power; Brighton Zap Club 1986: Laura, Trees Come Down; Croydon Underground 1986: Dawnrazor; Mera Luna Festival 2000: Moonchild, For Her Light, Love Under Will, Psychonaut; Bonus Feature: 1998 interview with Carl & Tony.

Cat. No. FREUDCD086

Links: www.fields-of-the-nephilim.com www.lastrites.org www.nfd.web.com


GIG NEWS

GLENN HUGHES
Oct 28 JB's, Dudley, England
Oct 29 Shepherd's Bush, London, England
Nov 02 Salle Kursaal, Limbourg, Belgium
Nov 03 Plato, Helmond, Netherlands
Nov 04 De Kade, Zaandam, Netherlands


REVIEWS

ZENO ‘Runway to the Gods’ MTM Music (2006) www.mtm-music.com

Eight years since the last studio release ‘Listen to the Light’ and no Michael Flexig on vocals, instead step forward Jaded Heart’s Michael Bormann. The album starts well with ‘Fanfare of Love’, a typical Zeno number with epic production, catchy chorus and some great guitar playing, as too is ‘Land of Illusion’. But as good a vocalist Michael Bormann (although I find Jaded heart a tad too generic in their sound) is you really do miss the almost operatic voice of Flexig and the harmonies have been toned down slightly as well. Aside from these two songs ‘Refugees’ hits the mark but ‘Shades of Blue’ and the title track never really get going. Some instrumentals to allow Zeno Roth to take centre stage and these are well constructed and stand up to repeated plays.

You can’t fault the songs and certainly not Zeno Roth’s playing which is as impressive as ever, however for me I would have much preferred Michael Flexig on vocals and more harmonies which the earlier Zeno albums were noted for. Certainly give the album a try if you’re an existing fan as many will doubtless enjoy Bormann’s voice.

Jason Ritchie
***

SEPULTURA - "THE BEST OF SEPULTURA" ROADRUNNER RECORDS (2006)

It's funny to think how the same band that has released albums of unique underground nature such as "Morbid Visions" and "Schizophrenia" has ended up becoming one of the most legendary extreme metal acts ever. Yes, Sepultura have quite deservedly received a legendary status within the metal community, especially by bringing to life albums of colossal musical strength such as "Beneath the Remains", "Arise" and Chaos A.D" - albums that continue to sell like hot potatoes. What we have here is a "best of" release issued by the band's former label Roadrunner Records - let's see if this is an album worth buying...

For someone like me who owns all of the band's studio releases, a Sepultura collection will have to contain something really special and rare so as to convince them to invest in it. I am afraid that, even though this thirteen track CD contains some of the band's best compositions to date, with the exception of "Biotech Is Godzilla" (New Model Army cover), it is one of the poorest collections that I have ever come across!

The songs that are featured here cover the band's most successful period, that between 1987 and 1996, so you are spared from samples of meaningless releases such as "Against" and "Nation", but that is not enough of a motivation as far as I'm concerned. You see, even in terms of general presentation, the label could have bothered to provide us with a richer booklet, or with a few nice pictures and an analytical bio - but, the only thing that we have here is a three page presentation by Don Kaye (Guitar World, Revolver, Kerrang), which is not even sufficient to inform the band’s youngest fans of their rich and important past.

Something tells me that this collection will end up receiving the same treatment as the label's 2002 release "Under A Pale Grey Sky" - an album that was never recognised by Sepultura as part of their discography, and rightly so. It is very obvious that what Roadrunner is trying to make easy money from a CD that has no place whatsoever in your collection. Stay away and go get the band's studio albums instead!

John Stefanis
**

Leverage – Tides (Elements Music)

Seems like 2006 is the year of melodic metal, making a comeback of sorts.
The forthcoming Winger album, the much highly praised Brother Firetribe album and now, Leverage.
Hailing, from Finland, yet another band to appear from out of nowhere and come out with all guns blazing!

Leverage also share the golden voice of Brother Firetribe singer, Pekka Heino, a singer who could sing the phone book and make it sound interesting. Here his voice is about as versatile as you’ll hear anywhere.
All this would be pointless without great songs, and ‘Tides’, has ten of them!
Where Brother Firetribe is more AOR, than anything really, Leverage are all about driving guitars, catch melodies galore.
While the keyboards do provide some of the musical melodies, they aren’t over reliant on, Leverage are all about rocking your socks off.
‘Tides’, is not an immediate album, like, BFT, ‘False Metal’ is. Many plays are required to get through the many layers and only then are you able to fully appreciate this great album of work.

Highlights? Well all ten songs are top notch, not a dud to be found, no fast forwarding here, press play, sit back, relax and get hooked by Leverage’s brand of turbo charged melodic metal.
For years, there has been many over hyped bands from this genre that promise much and ultimately deliver nothing.
Leverage is definitely the real deal and this is a strong release that will make the melodic rock world stand up and take notice.
It’s a flip of a coin for this years top release for me, Brother Firetribe or Leverage ?

Let’s just call it a draw and enjoy both!

*****
Graham Boyle

BOB SEGER ‘Face The Promise’ Capitol (2006) www.bobseger.com

Bob Seger returns, minus the Silver Bullet Band, for his first new material in over eight years. Starting off with a no frills rocker ‘Wreck This Heart’ sets the album off nicely, whilst the title track keeps the rock quota up. ‘No Matter Who You Are’ is a Seger classic – mid-tempo, allowing his vocals and lyrics of the everyday man to shine through. ‘Simplicity’ is an attempt to add some variety with its horn and modern backing but sadly it fails to stay in the listener’s mind. That is the problem with a few songs on here they are fine to play and listen to but they don’t really entice you back for more plays unlike previous Seger albums.

There are two duets on this album, first off is a bar room stomp with Kid Rock on ‘Real Mean Bottle’, great fun. Patty Loveless duets on ‘The Answer’s in the Question’ although personally I find Loveless’s voice a tad to whiny for my liking.

Not a bad album but when you stack it against his previous work it is not one of his best. There is also a bonus DVD with live footage from 1978 and a ‘making of’ on this new album.

***1/2
Jason Ritchie

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