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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Reviews

Blasdead “Ground Flare” Majestic Rock Records (Cat No MAJCD094)

Tokyo based Blasdead are part of a growing scene in Japan, similar to what happened in the UK in the early ‘80’s, there are a growing number of home bred heavy metal bands emerging. “Ground Flare” contains 10 tracks- the guitars and drums are reminiscent of early Metallica or Megadeth, mixed with Dio like vocals. The highlights include “We Go The Way”, “Behind The Mask” and “Envy”.

Tracks to Burn? “We Go The Way”, “Behind The Mask” and “Envy”.
Why Buy? Fans of early Metallica and the like will love this CD.

Nikk Gunns. 2 out of 5

Chris Poland “Return To Metalopolis- Live” Lion Music (Cat No LMC206).

Former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland originally released “Return To Metalopolis” shortly after leaving the band, in 1987, and the album has been re-issued a number of times over the years. This live CD was recorded in 1991 on the short-lived tour in support of the album. What we get here is 6 live tracks, all of which are instrumentals- except a cover of Megadeth’s “Wake Up Dead”, all of which highlight Poland’s dexterity and abilities as a guitarist.
In addition to the live tracks, there are also 2 studio tracks on the CD. The first, “Pandora” is a more melodic number, which is an unreleased studio demo from the early ‘90’s. The second, “Tin Man”, is again more melodic than the live material and has an almost jazzy feel to it, at times- this track is a B-Side from Chris’s first OHM album in 2003. Finally, there is an enhanced video which features OHM playing the “Metalopolis” track “Alexandria”, live in 2003.

Tracks to Burn? “Return To Metalopolis”, “Nightmare Hall” and “Wake Up Dead”.
Why Buy? Fans of Poland’s work since, and with, Megadeth will no doubt enjoy this disc, the bonus tracks add to the value.

Nikk Gunns. 2 out of 5

Middle Age “Different View”

Swedish band Middle Age, recorded the 9 track “Different View” album is just 3 days. What they have produced is modern sounding, heavy- yet melodic, rock that could sit easily along side bands such as Linkin Park and POD.
However, their real strength on this CD lies in the slower numbers like “Fire” and “Someone To Reach For”- two tracks that could see the band on to a major label. Other highlights include “Different View” and “Afraid”. Certainly a band to keep an eye on.

Tracks to Burn? “Fire”, “Someone To Reach For”, “Different View” and “Afraid”.
Why Buy? See for yourself at www.myspace.com/middleage

Nikk Gunns. 3 out of 5.

Razor Ball “Razor Ball” Mascot Records (Cat No M72122)

Featuring Bowie guitarist Reeves Gabrels and former Slash’s Snakepit singer Rod Jackson, Razor Ball have released an album that, at times, reminds me of The Black Crowes (“Sure Won’t Hurt You”, “2 Busy Livin”, “End Of The Line”) and at other times the Red Hot Chili Peppers (“Where Your Lucky”, “All Waiting 4U”). Jackson’s powerful and bluesy vocals work well for this band, particularly on the rockier numbers, such as “Decadence” and “”What Do U Want From U”. One thing that does detract from the quality of the song writing, however, is the tendency to over play the guitar at times, and I can imagine that this could be an issue if the band tour the album.

Tracks to Burn? “Sure Won’t Hurt You”, “Dirt To Dust”, “Decadence” and “”What Do U Want From U”
Why Buy? A good album, guaranteed to get your feet moving.

Nikk Gunns. 3 out of 5

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