Praying Mantis – Gravity

Gravity Cover

Praying Mantis – Gravity
Frontiers Music
Running Time: 58:00
Release Date: 11/05/2018
Review by Chris White
5/10

Praying Mantis are, by all accounts (ok, their PR Company’s account), one of the most influential bands from the NWOBHM period! I’m geared up for tight leather trousers, warbling vocals and twin guitar harmonies, colliding with big, thunderous bass riffs.

This record is also featuring a new vocalist and drummer in conjunction with the original members, so it seems that the band have achieved a good level of momentum since their last release in 2015.

In kicks the first song, ‘Keep It Alive’ and all is not going to plan. Heavy layered vocal harmonies guide us into a forgettable verse and an improved chorus that at least has a slightly catchy feel to it. My first impression is that the singer is trying too hard to outperform Graham Bonnet in the ‘louder and higher’ singing repertoire, but at least he sounds like he is having fun.

The second track, ‘Mantis Anthem’, features a retro Bontempi-sounding intro and as things go on, I wonder if this is more AOR than NWOBHM? It sounds a bit desperate as it goes on. Anthems are about waving that lighter in the air at the live gig, but I fear that if you were waving a cigarette lighter in the crowd to this song, you would most likely suffer narcolepsy and accidentally set fire to yourself.

Without wishing to dissect each song individually from here on in, my notes contain phrases such as ‘a bit like a testicle-equipped version of Vixen without the Richard Marx songs’, ‘plods along a bit’ and ‘acoustic guitar with yet more full-on helium fuelled singing’.

Finally, the album finished with the song ‘Final Destination’, complete with a wailed “dessssssteena-shunnnnnnnn” outburst from the vocalist, as if to prove a point. The point was clearly that after 5 minutes 16 seconds, it made me wish I was heading towards my final destination as well.

TRACKLISTING:
01 Keep It Alive
02 Mantis Anthem
03 Time Can Heal
04 39 Years
05 Gravity
06 Ghosts Of The Past
07 Destiny In Motion
08 The Last Summer
09 Foreign Affair
10 Shadow Of Love
11 Final Destination

LINKS:
http://www.prayingmantis.rocks/
https://www.facebook.com/PrayingMantisUKRockMetal/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9mgPe1jTBoyfVZs2wRidsQ

 

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

Johnny Gioeli- One Voice

One Voice Cover

Johnny Gioeli- One Voice
Frontiers Music
Running Time: 40:25
Release Date 07/12/2018
Review by Tsarina Wilson
8.5/10

On hearing the first track of “One Voice” I thought I had pressed play on a Jon Bon Jovi track by accident. I checked but it was definitely Johnny Gioeli, so I carried on and just had to listen to it all.

Johnny has been around the music industry for a few years (25 I think, sorry Johnny) but his sound is so fresh and new-sounding. Johnny has been in Hardline, Crush 40 and played with Axel Rudi Pell but he decided it was now time to do something on his own.

Ok, he is not totally on his own as his band consists of himself on vocals, Eric Gadrix on guitars, Nik Mazzucconi on bass, Marco Di Salvia on drums and Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards. But Johnny woke up one day and thought “I just wanna do this, I’ve always been so faithful to the groups I’m in and I remain that way, but I just thought it was time to do something on my own and see how it goes, for the creativity and the freedom to express myself.” “One Voice” is the outcome and we are very grateful he decided to do it.

A big portion of the money raised for this album, through a crowd funding campaign, is going directly to help a young man named Joe Barber. Joe needs help to recover from an accident last year that left him paralyzed, and if I didn’t like Johnny already because of his sound, I like him even more now. I am humbled by this action and he has my total respect.

This whole album has a feelgood factor from the first track to the last. It’s rare you get a whole album that you can dance around to, yet chill to at the same time but this one is that album. It gives you guitar rock with some pop undertones, along with some great melodic rock.

The track ‘Deeper’ is a softer ballad but it still has that rock hint to it and ‘Let Me Know’ has a chorus that you just have to sing along too. Mind you, that’s pretty much the whole album! It has an up-lifting vibe all the way through. Its solid rock songs which Johnny’s voice easily adapts to, from the rockiest tracks to the ballads.

But also, let’s not take anything away from the guys he has with him. They are a great band which compliment him so well. There is a drum beat that has your foot tapping more than once, especially on ‘Hit Me Once, I’ll Hit Ya Twice’ and guitar solos which just melt you! What more could you ask for?

The emotional ride on this album is one that takes you from totally bouncing around to back down to earth with gripping ballads like ‘Price We Pay’, and with lines like “how much is life gonna cost you” it is talking about the fictional lives people live these days, which get you nowhere in the end.

Johnny has an amazing knack of writing catchy songs, whether this is a fast rock track, or a heartfelt ballad and these songs will get stuck in your head. It’s rare that someone is the whole package, to be writing such great tracks and sounding so good singing them too, but this album proves it can be done.

It’s a solid album of pure rock songs, heart-warming lyrics but delivered with a rocky punch. If this is the first solo album I am genuinely hoping there will be more to come.

TRACKLISTING:
1-Drive
2-It
3- One Voice
4-Mind Melt
5-Running
6-Deeper
7-Let Me Know
8-Hit Me Once, Hit Ya Twice
9-Price We Pay
10-Out Of Here
11-Oh Fathers

LINKS:
http://www.facebook.com/JohnnyGioeli
http://www.instagram.com/johnnygioeli

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYfSqXOkH2U4eFUqO0h19LQ

 

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

Doomsday Outlaw – Hard Times

Hard Times Cover

Doomsday Outlaw – Hard Times
Frontiers Music
Running time: 57:00
Released Date 11/05/2018
Review by Vikkie Richmond
8/10

Northern five piece rockers Doomsday Outlaw are gaining a hard and fast reputation as a band to be reckoned with, as well as a proper solid fan base across the country and beyond…

“Hard Times” is their second album and quite simply, it’s a bit of a banger. The opening title track has a familiar, memorable lick to open with and the guitars and percussion are solid all the way through. Phil Poole’s vocals are wide ranging, but not strained and it definitely isn’t one to sit still to.

I particularly like the repetitive chorus of ‘Spirit That Made Me’ and the way the instrumental builds up around it to finish on a funky fade out. Talking of funky, ‘Bring It On Home’ couldn’t get much more groovy if it tried; I just love the harmonies on the chorus and the infectious riff running through the song.

Other favourite tracks are the soulful, toned down, ‘Will You Wait’, which is a little bit of a ballad, but also has a big, rocking instrumental mid-section and some nicely picked guitar chords; the very southern sounding ‘Break Through’ (although I wasn’t a massive fan of the vocals) and the raunchy ‘Too Far Left To Fall’.

I’m also a sucker for a band that can do a good ballad; if you’re a soft and fluffy ‘all the feels’ type, then check out ‘Into The Light’, a simple, stunning affair that had me transfixed for the duration. Great vocals and great instrumental.

The production is a little muffled in places, but overall, this album is a cracker; certainly if you’re looking for a harder southern edge than some of the tamer bands that are around at the moment, Doomsday Outlaw have it by the bucket load. Is it ground-breaking? Well probably not, but it’ll get you up and moving and it’s the sort of album that will kick start any party. I really liked it and I’m getting notoriously harder to please with each year that passes. Triumphant!

TRACKLISTING:
01 Hard Times
02 Over And Over
03 Spirit That Made Me
04 Into The Light
05 Bring It On Home
06 Days Since I Saw The Sun
07 Will You Wait
08 Break You
09 Come My Way
10 Were You Ever Mine
11 Too Far Left To Fall

LINKS:
https://doomsdayoutlaw.com/
https://www.facebook.com/DoomsdayOutlaw

https://www.instagram.com/doomsdayoutlaw/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrrbrE8gbYijwLTOuUn6

 

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

Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate – All You Need Is Soul

All You Need Is Soul Cover

Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate – All You Need Is Soul
Frontiers Music
Running time: 45:29
Release date: 11/05/2018
Review by Chris White
5/10

The first thing I noticed on this release was the poor quality of the guitar sounds, which didn’t improve after a change of monitors and a second set of headphones. Darren Householder is a good player but this sort of production lets down the overall quality of the release.

The title track has signature harmony vocals that could relay the listener straight back to “Wasted in America” but the material on this album doesn’t hit the same lofty levels of sing-along choruses and frenetic guitar solos on the previous album releases.

The tracks disappear into the background a bit until you get to “When The Devil Comes” which raises the excitement a notch, but then the final tracks push the listener back to wondering if the songs couldn’t have been somewhat improved.

The overall album does have a sort of demo/B-side vibe to it, with less polished production than the Love/Hate releases of yesteryear but this release doesn’t feel like it has the capability of keeping the listener’s interest for more than a couple of plays.

Jizzys voice is still remarkable and is definitely the highlight on what comes across as a fairly forgettable album.

TRACKLIST
01. You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone
02. Comin’ Home To The Bone
03. High For An Eye
04. All You Need Is Soul
05. House Of Sin
06. Mortified
07. Frustrated
08. When The Devil Comes
09. You Don’t Know What It’s Like
10. It Doesn’t Matter
11. Little Treasures
12. Mr Jimmy

SOCIAL MEDIA
http://jizzypearl.com/
https://www.facebook.com/JizzyPearlsLoveHate/

 

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

Airrace – Untold Stories

untold stories cover

Airrace – Untold Stories
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 10/08/2018
Running Time: 44:04
Review by Chris Galea
9/10

Although over the years the band has been active intermittently, the roots of Airrace go back quite a while. The band was formed around 1982 by Laurie Mansworth, former guitarist of More (who incidentally are expected to release a comeback album this year). Airrace was also the first recording band of Jason Bonham, son of John…late Led Zeppelin drummer. Although Jason has long since left Airrace, some elements of Led Zeppelin’s music still find their way into this album. For example the riff from ‘Different But The Same’ is strongly reminiscent of Zep’s ‘Black Dog’.

Pop music, Rock and Blues all blend together with excellent results. ‘Summer Rain’ has some choir vocals that work particularly well with the song. ‘Innocent’ struck me as a song Mr Big might have recorded. ‘Here it Comes’ is an infectious mood-brightener. You get the idea. Sharp musicianship all around but all band members are serving the song…and playing those very songs with a vibrant passion.

So don’t expect originality with “Untold Stories” but do expect finely crafted songs with a plentiful supply of hooks. I’m surprised it took me so long to notice this band.

TRACKLISTING:
1. Running Out Of Time
2. Innocent
3. Eyes Like Ice
4. Different But The Same
5. New Skin
6. Lost
7. Love Is Love
8. Men From The Boys
9. Summer Rain
10. Come With Us
11. Here It Comes

LINE-UP:
Adam Payne – vocals
Laurie Mansworth – guitar
Rocky Newton – bass
Dhani Mansworth- drums
Linda Kelsey Foster- keys

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/Airraceofficial/

https://www.frontiers.shop/search?sSearch=airrace
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrqKcEj9w7E (‘Eyes Like Ice’ – Official Lyric Video)

 

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

Amanda Somerville’s Trillium – Tectonic

Tectonic Cover

Amanda Somerville’s Trillium – Tectonic
Frontiers Music srl
Running time: 44:04
Release Date 08/06/2018
Review by Lotty Whittingham
8/10

No introduction required here. Amanda Somerville is a prominent figure in the metal community. Her impeccable vocal technique has seen her collaborate with some of metal’s household names. EPICA, KAMELOT, AVANTASIA and AFTER FOREVER are just a few that she has worked alongside. There was also her unforgettable partnership with HELLOWEEN’s Michael Kiske. She has now released a new album by her project TRILLIUM.

Somerville is very well known for her versatile vocal range and diverse ability to fit in with a lot of musical styles. TRILLIUM is rooted within the metal genre and their second studio album “Tectonic” shows this within the opening song ‘Time To Shine’. This empowering track moves the listener forward and helps them feel uplifted.

“Tectonic” is a versatile portfolio of brilliant melodies. These all consist of great guitar work, wonderful vocals and sweeping beats. If you are used to the excellent calibre of Somerville’s vocal work, this album may seem a bit tame and mediocre, almost just a mesh of tracks sounding similar to each other!

On second listen however, it’s a different story. You begin to scratch the surface and learn to appreciate music in all it’s different forms. Each track shows you varying vocal abilities and range. You might come across a vocal technique that you haven’t heard Somerville perform before.

A good example of the unheard vocal work can be found in the booming track ‘Full Speed Ahead’. It highlights the lower end of Somerville’s vocal range, a surprise, particularly when you are used to hearing her hit those high notes. This impounding track hits you like a tonne of bricks and it doesn’t plan on taking prisoners. The blasting guitar work and thunderous drums provide the perfect allies for a powerful voice.

The sweeping beats and melody of ‘Nocturna’ are stunning. If you decide within the first few moments that it’s going to provide a huge impact, you’d be correct. From the amazing guitar riffs and orchestral melodies emphasising the song to the beautiful vocals then this track is a definite highlight of the album.

‘Shards’ is a brilliant hard rock track that provides inspiration and power. The song has a fabulous melody and ambience that draws you in. The chorus is a dominant one that ensures you are still listening and paying attention to the track throughout. The track name ‘Shards’ is also perfect for what this track portrays with the music giving off an icy ambience, one that is powerful.

“Tectonic” ends on a beautiful note with the track ‘Eternal Spring’, it’s the ballad of the album stripped down to just a piano and vocals. You know those tracks that just make you stop what you are doing and listen to the song? ‘Eternal Spring’ does just that. Like EPICA’s ‘Tides Of Time’, it provides a stunning melody showing us the best of the vocal work.

To sum this up, this album is a great portfolio of work. The production is already dominant, but considering the calibre of Somerville’s vocals I was expecting it to be even grander. I can only imagine how it would sound if it had received even more nurturing and care? The production could be huge. Despite that Amanda Somerville’s TRILLIUM is a force to be reckoned with!

TRACKLIST:
01 Time To Shine
02 Stand Up
03 Full Speed Ahead
04 Hit Me
05 Fighting Fate
06 Nocturna
07 Fatal Mistake
08 Shards
09 Cliché Freak Show
10 Eternal Spring

LINKS:
http://www.amandasomerville.com/
https://www.facebook.com/amandasomervilleofficial

https://www.instagram.com/amandasomervillemusic/

Promo Pic1

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

 

 

Mr Big – Live From Milan

Live From Milan Cover

MR. BIG – Live From Milan
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 13/07/2018
Running time: 1:50:00
Review by Chris White
7/10

MR.BIG is the sort of band that highly talented and technical musicians form when they decide to focus on their songwriting output, rather than instrumental virtuosity. Having been around for the best part of 30 years, I had the luck to see them live in London around the time this release was recorded; at the peak of their (radio) popularity in the early 90’s plus individual performances at guitar exhibitions during that period and every time they never failed to deliver the goods to an excited audience.

I make no excuses in saying that, at various times on this record, the intros to songs feel rushed compared to older releases like ‘Live Like Sushi II’ and sometimes Eric’s vocals take a lower, safer note than some of the helium induced notes of yesteryear’s releases, but it doesn’t seem to detract from the quality of the performance given. Plus, the mix of songs is nicely balanced between contemporary and older material, which I think makes a change for bands with a long back catalogue who are forever eager to push newer material.

One of the saddest elements of this release is that drummer extraordinaire, Pat Torpey passed away from Parkinson’s complications not long after this was recorded. He did however prominently feature alongside Matt Starr on drums and provided backing vocals on stage as frequently as possible, which the audience in Milan clearly appreciated as much as the rest of the venues on the tour.

I can’t but help wonder how much pace and power he would have added to the 10 minute version of ‘Addicted To That Rush’, featured on track 18.

Although the big hair, MTV videos, neon guitars and tight jeans are no longer present with MR.BIG, you do still quite rightly get the obligatory solo performances from Billy and Paul on this record, where they unleash a mayhem of shredding. But then if Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan can’t let rip for a few minutes on guitar and bass respectively, who can?

Overall, an enjoyable release from a band producing new, quality songs, playing some of the older numbers and generally pleasing crowds across the globe with a great, live night out.

 
TRACKLIST:
CD 1
01 Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy
02 American Beauty
03 Undertow
04 Alive And Kickin’
05 Temperamental
06 Just Take My Heart
07 Take Cover
08 Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
09 Everybody Needs A Little Trouble
10 Price You Gotta Pay
11 Paul’s Solo
12 Open Your Eyes
13 Wild World
14 Damn I’m In Love Again

CD 2
15 Rock And Roll Over
16 Around The World
17 Billy’s Solo
18 Addicted To That Rush
19 To Be With You
20 1992
21 Colorado Bulldog
22 Defying Gravity

 
SOCIAL MEDIA
http://www.mrbigsite.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mrbigmusic/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMKoGNPOfhxwTc-7XcNuBMw

 

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