Walkway – Top Shelf Content

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Walkway – Top Shelf Content

Running Time 51:57

Released December 2012

Independent

Album Review by Rick Tilley

9/10

Walkway are a Classic Rock band whose name has been cropping up on my radar regularly over the last few months, with some very positive comments, so there was a good level of anticipation when loading their debut album ‘Top Shelf Content’ into my CD player for the first time! So the question is have they justified all the hype? My answer is unequivocally yes! Formed in Diss, United Kingdom in 2008, and influenced by bands such as Van Halen, Aerosmith & AC/DC they have literally not stopped since, gigging almost constantly and building a great live reputation on the way, including supporting ‘The Darkness & Black Stone Cherry in 2012. This album is a culmination of all that hard work and hopefully a springboard to launch Walkway, deservedly, to much bigger and better things.

‘Top Shelf Content’ kicks off with ‘One Touch Too Much’ and straight away you are hit by the quality of musicianship and catchiness of the song, something that doesn’t let up for the whole album. Musically the influence of the above named bands is recognisable, but I would like to add a few more to the table. Imagine Tyketto, Little Angels, Giant & Tesla mashed together and that would be a good start. Bass player Alex Rosedale & drummer Joe Evans make a great rhythm section, holding everything together nicely and powering the songs along. However, vocalist and rhythm guitarist Chris Ready and brother lead guitarist James Ready have to take credit for elevating this band above the norm. Chris has a great voice with just the right amount of gravel, but that can be as smooth as silk when needed. As for James, well his guitar solos are seriously impressive and remind me very much of Giant’s Dan Huff in places. Tracks such as ‘Overrated’, ‘Life Is Looking Good (To Me)’, ‘Rise’ and ‘More Than Enough’ have enough hooks to reel you in completely and believe me the air guitar and drums take a good battering when listening to this. There are also several quieter songs which hit the mark. ‘Thank You’ will have you raising your lighter and waving your arms high. Production is also very well handled, although for the type of rock that Walkway play, I did think the mix was a little bit too clean. A bit more rawness next time round would be welcomed, although of course that is just my opinion.

Another band that are criminally unsigned, Walkway have delivered a fantastic debut album that really should make people sit up and take notice. There is no way ‘Top Shelf Content’ is going to stay on the top shelf (or any other shelf) for that matter as I suspect many places will be sold out before long.

 

TRACKLIST

  • 1. One Touch Too Much
  • 2. More Than Enough
  • 3. On And On
  • 4. Overrated
  • 5. Life Is Looking Good (To Me)
  • 6. In And Out Of Love
  • 7. Take A Back Seat
  • 8. All I Want
  • 9. Wasted Time
  • 10. Get Out
  • 11. Rise
  • 12. Thank You

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

 

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Brutiful Metal Radio. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Brutiful Metal Radio

Originally written for Brutiful Metal Radio in 2013

DGM – Momentum

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DGM – Momentum (2013)

Running Time 56:04

Release Date 26-03-2013

Scarlet Records

Album Review By Rick Tilley

10/10

Question! When is a very good album NOT a very good album?

Answer! When it’s so bloody brilliant as to render that description completely useless!

DGM’s eighth album ‘Momentum’ has quite literally sprung from nowhere to go straight to the top of my list of best albums for 2013 and it is going to take something of seismic proportions to knock it off that spot. Considering the amount and variety of music I’ve reviewed and listened to already this year, that is really quite a statement, but this is sheer quality and class from start to finish. I’m already on about my twelfth listen, it gets better each time and the goose bumps are ever present.

What makes it so special? Well firstly it’s not just a case of ‘Momentum’ being ‘all killer and no filler’ but every song from opener ‘Reason’ to album closer ‘Blame’ is so utterly stunning that a new word for killer needs to be thought of! To my ears every note is nigh on in perfectly the right place. Vocals, melodies, choruses, solos (keyboard and guitar), tempo, time changes; bass & drums, absolutely everything has been given the Midas touch! Sometimes, the stars align with my eardrums and that is what has happened here. Mark Basile (vocals), Simone Mularoni (guitars), Andrea Arcangeli (bass), Emanuele Casali (keyboards) and Fabio Costantino (drums) have quite simply created a masterpiece and you cannot get the smile off of my face when listening to ‘Momentum’.

DGM have long been regarded as one of the best Prog Metal bands around, although they have never reached the same level of success as Symphony X or Pagan’s Mind. Those bands better watch out though because, whilst the previous albums of DGM that I’ve heard have been very good, ‘Momentum’ takes it into the stratosphere. In fact they couldn’t have picked a better name for the album. As if to prove that those two bands are sitting up and taking notice ‘Russell Allen’ (Symphony X/Adrenaline Mob) and ‘Jorn Viggo Lofstad’ (Pagan’s Mind) make stunning guest appearances on this album to add an even further layer of brilliance. Those of you that read my reviews on Brutiful or elsewhere know that I do not heap praise on an album lightly! I also don’t give scores at this site, but if I did, and to quote an often used line from Spinal Tap, “This one goes up to eleven”!

Note – Added 11/06/2017

As you know I now give scores and I’ve somewhat shot myself in the foot by saying above that I’d give this album an eleven, however, I have absolutely no problem with giving it full marks because, even four years on, ‘Momentum’ absolutely kills! I shall also be reviewing their recently released live album ‘Passing Stages, Live In Milan And Atlanta’ very soon!

TRACKLIST

  • 1. Reason
  • 2. Trust
  • 3. Universe
  • 4. Numb
  • 5. Pages
  • 6. Repay
  • 7. Chaos
  • 8. Remembrance
  • 9. Overlord
  • 10. Void
  • 11. Blame

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Brutiful Metal Radio. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Brutiful Metal Radio

Originally written for Brutiful Metal Radio in 2013

Lifer – Cursing Them Out

03c Cursing Them Out Cover

Lifer – Cursing Them Out (2011)

Running Time 46:57

Release Date 01-03-2011

Independent/House Of Doom

Album Review by Rick Tilley

9/10

Do you love Down, Pantera, Clutch & Sabbath? Do you live for Thrash, Groove & Southern Metal with a dash of Hardcore, Punk & Death? If the answer to any of these is yes, indeed if you just love Heavy ‘fucking’ Metal then you need Lifer! If you’ve yet to hear this band, who come from South Wales (no they aren’t from the States, although you wouldn’t know that from listening to them), then be prepared because they will be hunting you down and bludgeoning you until your face bleeds.

Originally released in 2011 ‘Cursing You Out’, Lifer’s debut album is one huge beast, which actually strains not to escape from your stereo as you play it. From the first notes and scream of opener ‘Curse You Out’ you know you are listening to something special. Every song is filled with enough hooks to make ‘Hellraiser’ look like a kids film, the vocals and lyrics of lead singer ‘Scriv’ demand attention from the off (Anselmo really does have some serious competition with this guy), everything is beautifully produced (the quality is amazing for an independent), there is some fabulous guitar work and drumming on offer, it’s heavy as lead, but with melody and emotion in abundance. Lifer are a product of their collective upbringings and that knowledge has stood them in good stead when writing these songs. There are no standout tracks because the whole album is full of them, ‘Bring It Down’, ‘Loss’, ‘Long Time Dead’, ‘Broken Bones’ & ‘Goathead’. Once you hear these they will be firmly embedded in your withered skull!

Lifer gig relentlessly in the UK, also playing on some major festival bills including Hammerfest and have recently supported Orange Goblin to excellent pres. They have many more shows in the pipeline as well as getting ready to release album number two. I know how good these guys are live because I witnessed them destroy Bloodstock Festival’s ‘New Blood Tent’ in 2011, and I’m very much looking forward to seeing them again next month. 2013 is going to be a big year for Lifer. Any doubters should quickly retreat. I may not be the first person to review this but I’ll be on the front line shouting “I told you so” when this band take off. Simply immense!

TRACKLIST

  • 1. Curse Them Out
  • 2. Nothing Left To Lose
  • 3. Bring It Down
  • 4. Reach
  • 5. Loss
  • 6. Broken Bones
  • 7. Goathead
  • 8. Long Time Dead
  • 9. Raging Waters
  • 10. Embrace The Madness

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Brutiful Metal Radio. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Brutiful Metal Radio

Originally written for Brutiful Metal Radio in 2013

Eclipse Prophecy – Days of Judgement

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Eclipse Prophecy – Days of Judgement (2013)

Maple Metal Records          Running Time 49:35

Album Review By Rick Tilley

7/10

Even though Eclipse Prophecy have apparently been around since 2003, ‘Days of Judgement’ is their debut album. Formed in Montreal, Canada by lead vocalist/guitarist David McGregor and keyboard player Frederik Dufresne they are, at their core, a power metal band although there are elements of folk and symphonic metal as well. This diversity in their sound has led them to support the likes of Epica, Stratovarius, Gamma Ray, Pagan’s Mind and Sabaton in the Montreal area as well as some of the more well known Canadian bands such as Kemilon & Blackguard on the Quebec circuit.

This is my first brush with Eclipse Prophecy, and on the whole it’s not a bad listen. If you add some elements of Maiden, Priest and Dragonforce to the above mentioned bands then you’ll have a fair idea of their sound. For anyone who listens to the power metal genre on a regular basis you will know that it is a very over populated one and to make your mark a band has to have a certain something special to stand out. Unfortunately for Eclipse Prophecy the first six tracks on the album, whilst being adequate, don’t really do that. They are well played, sung and produced (also by David McGregor), but are missing that vital final piece of the jigsaw. However, from track seven (the title track) onwards, it’s like listening to a different band. More passionate, focussed and assured, the last four songs raise the bar considerably. I did think that a few more listens might change my mind, but every time these songs stand out as by far the best on the album. Had they been released on their own as an EP it would have been fantastic but as it stands the quality of those tracks is somewhat diluted by the average feel of the rest. There is much talent within the ranks of Eclipse Prophecy and they have shown that they can write several very good tracks, however they will need more of that on album number two if they want to regard themselves as a player in the power metal genre.

TRACKLIST

  • 1. Animus Ara
  • 2. Under Shadow’s Veil
  • 3. Through The Storm
  • 4. Circle Of Torments
  • 5. A Dying World
  • 6. Labyrinth Of Sanity
  • 7. Days Of Judgement
  • 8. Legions Of The Cross
  • 9. Inferno
  • 10. The Shattered Mirror

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Brutiful Metal Radio. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Brutiful Metal Radio

 

Neverworld – Welcome To…Neverworld EP

01a Welcome To Neverworld Cover

Neverworld – Welcome To…Neverworld EP (2010)

Self Released                                                                                                     Running Time 16:40

EP Review By Rick Tilley

9/10

In recent years the resurgence of metal and rock acts with a more traditional sound has been a revelation, taking me back to those far flung days of my youth when Maiden, Priest and Saxon ruled the airwaves. I first became aware of UK based band Neverworld about two years ago after reading an excellent magazine review but thanks to a ridiculously long list of bands to check out it wasn’t until six months ago that I finally had the pleasure of listening to their debut EP, and what a pleasure it was! Originally released in 2010 the three tracks on ‘Welcome To…Neverworld’ (financed and recorded by themselves) showcase a band absolutely on fire and intent on bludgeoning you until you bow down into submission! It was only right, therefore, that I took the time to write this review and spread the word further.

Kicking off with the classic quote “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I’m all out of bubblegum” from John Carpenter’s film ‘They Live’ they launch into the massive first track, the aptly named ‘They Live (We Sleep) with a riff and scream that might even have Rob Halford quaking in his boots and the EP never lets up. Far from being a straight retread of what has gone before though, Neverworld mix up their influences superbly. From the more traditional leanings of the first song, almost Dragonforce feel of ‘Into the Heart of Chaos and the quietly building, but still extremely powerful ‘This Fire’ there is a huge progressive feel to Neverworld’s music. The quality of musicianship on offer is outstanding, with the guitars and keyboards deserving special mention, but they manage to infuse that with fantastic emotion, making this EP so much more enjoyable to listen to, and in vocalist/guitarist Ben Colton they have a star in the making. He has excellent range in his voice and you can clearly hear what he is singing about. Believe me I love a good grunted vocal but this makes a pleasant change.

It is not easy to pigeonhole Neverworld into a particular genre, which is great because they have found a unique sound, but if you were to take the above mentioned bands and mix them with the power metal sounds of say Iced Earth and Blind Guardian, then further add some early Dream Theater and Pagan’s Mind you’ll be somewhere near. They are currently putting the finishing touches to their debut album ‘Visions Of Another World’ which will be released this year. With so many bands around these days, talent sometimes isn’t enough to propel you to the next level (you only have to switch on the TV to see countless examples of untalented rubbish).Neverworld not only have serious talent but they work damn hard too (check out the fabulous cover artwork and booklet for more proof of this). There is no doubt in my mind that they thoroughly deserve to be snapped up by a label and soon. If they aren’t there really is no justice! Either way Traditional Metal is in safe hands with bands of Neverworld’s quality at the helm.

TRACKLIST

  • 1. They Live(We Sleep)
  • 2. Into The Heart of Chaos
  • 3. This Fire

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

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Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Richard Tilley and Brutiful Metal Radio. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Reproduced here with kind permission from Brutiful Metal Radio