Entombed – Live Clandestine

Live Clandestine Cover

Entombed – Live Clandestine
Threeman Records
Release Date: 17/05/2019
Running Time: 54:00
Review by: Alun Jones
8/10

Live albums, as I’ve stated before, are something of an issue for me. They should be devoured ravenously, but sometimes, like vegetable pizza, they just don’t live up to expectations.

Too often, live albums suffer with poor sound, ruining the immersive experience. Other times, they’re just a cynical cash-in to milk fans of more money, when there’s no new product to flog.

Occasionally, a live recording will deliver the goods – and even I have to admit that this album from Entombed is pretty damn impressive.

What we have here is Entombed celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their classic “Clandestine” album with a performance of the work in full, from start to finish. Original members Nicke Andersson (drums), Uffe Cederlund (guitar) and Alex Hellid (guitar) are joined by Robert Andersson (vocals) and Edvin Aftonfalk (bass) – both from Morbus Chron. These five musicians recreate a mighty masterpiece which is both exciting and vital.

“Clandestine” was Entombed’s second album, and followed in the footsteps of its predecessor to help breathe life into Death Metal. With this concert performance, the sound is great – those buzzsaw guitars really attack the senses – showing the band are on top form. Audience noise is present, but not intrusive, actually helping put the record in context nicely.

The songs are still just as savage, just as brutal – serving as a fine reminder of just how great “Clandestine” was. Or is! All of the tracks are meticulously recreated, but it sounds as intended – as a tribute and celebration, not a cash in. “Left Hand Path” (from the debut album), tagged on at the end, makes the listener crave more.

Great live recordings should enable the listener to feel like they were actually there. The performance and sound must be both representative of the studio material, yet also have the power to immerse the listener in the experience. Entombed have succeeded in capturing a great performance and atmosphere with “Live Clandestine”. Fans will be rabid for this; for the uninitiated it’s well worth investigating.

Still, I can only award 8 out of 10 – because as good as this is, I can’t help wishing we had new material from Entombed to gorge on.

Fun live album fact: if you play Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death” backwards, you’ll hear Bruce Dickinson rehearsing voice-overs for Lucozade adverts. FACT!

TRACKLISTING:
01. INTRO
02. LIVING DEAD
03. SINNERS BLEED
04. EVILYN
05. BLESSED BE
06. STRANGER AEONS
07. CHAOS BREED
08. CRAWL
09. SEVERE BURNS
10. THROUGH THE COLONNADES
11. LEFT HAND PATH

LINKS:
http://entombed.org
https://www.facebook.com/entombedclandestine/

http://www.youtube.com/theentombed

 

Promo Pic1

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Alun Jones 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.

Devin Townsend Project – Ocean Machine: Live At The Ancient Roman Theatre, Plovdiv

ocean machine, live at the ancient roman theatre plovdiv cover

Devin Townsend Project
Ocean Machine:Live At The Ancient Roman Theatre, Plovdiv
InsideOut Music
Release Date: 06/07/2018
Running Time: 157:43
Review by Beth Jones
10/10

Before I start this review, I will let you all know that I am incredibly biased about DTP as I think that Devin Townsend is something of a god amongst men. I am a huge fan of anything and everything he creates.

Disclaimers aside, I was so looking forward to the release of this live album. The recording for this was carried out at a special performance on 22nd September 2017 at Plovdiv Roman Amphitheatre, Bulgaria. A friend of mine was at this gig and had said that the whole thing, in the setting it was, had moved him to tears it was so mind blowing, and he is not a crier, so I knew it was going to be something pretty special.

I was not disappointed!

You know when Devin is involved, you are going to get a good show, and listening to this album I found myself imagining how magnificent it must have been to listen to all these spectacular tracks being played in such a dramatic setting. The first section of the album is a selection of classics, requested by the fans, and accompanied by the Orchestra and Choir of the Plovdiv State Opera, then the second section is the iconic “Ocean Machine” album, in its entirety, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release! What’s not to like!

“Ocean Machine” is, for me, one of the best albums Devin has ever made, and this performance of it was something very special. Devin himself said about the performance:

Plovdiv and this live package represents a lot to me, it signifies the end of one era, and the celebration of another. Amidst a gruelling touring year, this show came together with much blood, sweat, and tears, and the result is the culmination of many aspects of my work on one stage.

Ocean Machine was released 20 years ago, and though Marty (drums) is no longer with us, I was able to finally perform the album in its entirety with the original bassist John ‘Squid’ Harder on this night. On a cold evening in an old city in the ancient theatre, many lifelong milestones came to a conclusion on this night and I’m exceptionally proud of it.”

And so he should be. This album is epic in many ways, not least its length. The main thing that bowled me over is the sound – it is immense – so full of dynamics and power, it is amazing that the amphitheatre is still standing – but also so full of serenity, so rich and impeccably balanced that nothing sounded wrong or out of place. On a live album, this is masterful.

The passion and perfection that Devin brings to all his music transposes so well to a live setting that you sometimes forget that this is a live album. The artists he chooses to work with are also some of the finest musicians currently, and they really get Devin’s vision and help him interpret it stunningly, and the sustained energy throughout this epic performance was astonishing, invigorating and tangibly electric.

It totally blew my mind and all I could do was sit and listen in awe to this most beautiful and inspiring music. You cannot help but let it in to your soul – stunning track after stunning track executed with flawless magnificence. I would have given all my limbs to have been there and experienced that. Everything, even down to the album artwork, is exquisite. If you don’t listen to anything else ever, listen to this album. Trust me on this, you will not regret it.

It is very sad that DTP has come to an end, and that fact made this performance almost bittersweet, with an air of nostalgic melancholy, but as always with Devin, this is just the end of one chapter and the start of the next. Empath, Devin’s next solo project, is due for release at the end of March 2019 and will see him work with some more absolute greats. I have it pre-ordered already! I cannot wait to see where he takes things next. This man is my absolute idol.

I wanted to turn the scoring up to 11 on this, because this album is so worth more than a 10/10, but Rick is a hard man to bargain with, so I had to stick to the 10!

(This album is also available on DVD/Blu-Ray)

TRACK LIST
By Request Set with Orchestra
01. Truth
02. Stormbending
03. Om
04. Failure
05. By Your Command
06. Gaia
07. Deadhead
08. Canada
09. Bad Devil
10. Higher
11. A Simple Lullaby
12. Deep Peace

Ocean Machine
01. Seventh Wave
02. Life
03. Night
04. Hide Nowhere
05. Sister
06. 3 A.M.
07. Voices in the Fan
08. Greetings
09. Regulator
10. Funeral
11. Bastard
12. The Death of Music
13. Truth

LINKS
https://www.hevydevy.com/
https://www.facebook.com/dvntownsend

https://www.instagram.com/dvntownsend/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8KIhclVaK0Des9uMrJlt1w

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones 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.

Twisted Illusion – I Have Music, I Have Life (Live Album)

 

I Have Music, I Have Live Cover

Twisted Illusion – I Have Music, I Have Life (Live Album)
Self-Released
Release Date: 21/12/2018
Running time: 41:02
Review By Beth Jones
6/10

I’m slightly frustrated today, listening to the new live release by the fabulous Twisted Illusion, and I will tell you why.

For those of you who have not come across Twisted Illusion, they are a bunch of uber-talented guys who create a very unique brand of Prog Metal. Front man Matt Jones is a big character, and they have excellent stage presence live, and brilliant musicality recorded. They work hard and live for their art.

Their new release “I Have Music, I Have Life” was recorded live at a recent gig in Norwich. This is where my frustration comes in. Musically, they are as always superb; complex rhythms, outstanding vocals, and ripping guitar solos. Unfortunately for the first three or four songs, you can’t hear anything properly apart from the vocals, as the live mix was not great at all. First niggle. It does improve after about ten minutes, but it is still missing a bit of volume on the Bass for me and is still a bit hit and miss with some of the vocal levels in comparison with everything else.

Once the sound becomes more equal, it is much easier to hear the guitar wizardry of Steve Revier, who was appearing with them for this performance. He has great tone and it works really well, complimenting Matt’s vocals and guitar and adding an extra element to the sound.

The set is a very lively one, full of a whole roster of cracking tunes, which makes it move on a pace whilst the music is playing, but here is my beef number two; Too much rabbiting between songs. I don’t mind a bit of banter, and it is a good thing to be connected with your audience, but I think on a live album, it is difficult to stay connected when you can’t hear some of what the crowd or other band members are saying and responding to. It forces you to lose interest a little. I also have to say that, whilst I am no prude, there is rather gratuitous use of the word c**t at the beginning of the album, and because the album is recorded as one long track, rather than multiple tracks, you can’t skip it! Now, I can get over this because I know that good music is coming, but a lot would have an issue with it and would turn the album off before a single note had been played and that would be a travesty and completely counter – productive to what the band are trying to achieve. It is unnecessary. The music is awesome and can speak for itself, so let it!

Whilst this has got me doing my teacher face a little, there are many, many good elements – the actual performance from a playing point of view is difficult to fault, the vocals are huge, the complexity of the compositions is warped but insanely brilliant and these things combined make Twisted Illusion instantly identifiable, whether it is a live recording or a studio album, and this release is definitely one to have for TI fans old and new. However, I can’t help feeling that maybe it would have been better to take more time over releasing it – maybe recording it at a different gig and making sure that the recorded sound mix was spot on before putting it out there. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m too picky. Maybe I am in a bad mood. I still love Twisted Illusion and hope that they can continue making great music for a long time.

TRACKLIST:
01 TI Live at Norwich

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

https://www.instagram.com/twistedillusion__official/
https://twistedillusion.bandcamp.com/
https://twistedillusion.bigcartel.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK0IxAnfXG7ibOx4HUyOHQQ

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones 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.