Imperial State Electric – Anywhere Loud

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Imperial State Electric – Anywhere Loud
Psychout Records
Release date: 16/02/2018
Running Time: 74:58
Review by: Alun Jones
7/10

Live albums, eh? I’m not a huge fan. A lot of the time they’re just cynical exercises in fleecing fans, getting them to pay again for songs they’ve already got, and usually poorer quality, due to being in a ‘live’ setting.

There are exceptions to the rule, of course. Back in my days with KISS, the boys were struggling to step up to the mega bucks level after their first few albums. I proposed that they record a live album, in order to try and capture their incredible live show. That was what they were good at, see? The studio albums were good, but live – wow, those kids could rock. So eventually the four prima donnas came round to my suggestion, released “KISS – Alive” – and their superstar status was assured. Bang! Mega platinum seller, through the roof, KISS had arrived.

Thanks to me.

Which brings me to this live release from Imperial State Electric? Although it’s called “Anywhere Loud”, it could’ve been another KISS live album. It’s big, bold and brash in a very Seventies Rock kinda way. It’s almost like we’ve stepped into a time machine and arrived back in 1976. Not that I’m complaining – these guys are all about fun, over the top Rock’n’Roll – just how it used to be.

A whopping 23 songs, the album certainly doesn’t scrimp on the tunes. There are plenty of them, and the sound is reassuringly good throughout. Snippets of audience noise and banter, applause and well performed improvisations help keep the energy – and authenticity – pushing the meters to overload.

Outstanding tracks in this collection include the catchy riffs of “Apologize”, “Reptile Brain” and “Uh Huh” – plus there’s a hint of their punkier side with a blinding version of The Dead Boys’ “Sonic Reducer”. If you’re a fan of KISS, Cheap Trick and Blue Oyster Cult then “Anywhere Loud” is for you. If, however, you’re not a worshipper of Seventies Rock like those aforementioned bands, this release probably won’t change your mind.

Which brings me back to KISS? Of course the masks were my idea. Though originally, I’d planned on Peter, the drummer, wearing a samurai style number. So, you’d have had the Star Child, the Demon, the Space Ace and the Samurai. Pretty good, yeah? Except Peter changed his mind last minute and decided to be a cat, for fuck’s sake. And just look how that worked out!

TRACKLISTING:
01. It Ain’t What You Think (It’s What You Do)
02. Empire Of Fire
03. Déjà vu
04. All Through The Night
05. Anywhere Loud
06. Deride And Conquer
07. Apologize
08. Break It Down
09. More Than Enough Of Your Love
10. Just Let Me Know
11. Faustian Bargains
12. Holiday From My Vacation
13. Down In The Bunker
14. Can’t Seem To Shake It Off My Mind
15. Stay The Night
16. Redemption’s Gone
17. Uh Huh
18. Reptile Brain
19. All Over My Head
20. Sonic Reducer
21. I’ll Let You Down
22. This Is Rock ‘n Roll
23. Throwing Stones

LINKS:

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.

Circus Maximus – Havoc in Oslo

Havoc In Oslo Cover

Circus Maximus – Havoc In Oslo
Frontiers Music SRL
Release Date: 04/08/2017
Running Time: CD1: 43:19 / CD2: 41:55
Review by Tsarina Wilson
9.5/10

These Norwegian metallers celebrated their fourth studio album, Havoc, on the 4th February 2016 at the Rockerfeller Club in Oslo, with an explosive gig, complete with pyro, sparks, and a massive lighting rig, to make sure the show was as amazing as their songs. They, then, decided they wanted to give some of this atmosphere to those less fortunate who weren’t there by releasing this live album of the gig. Close your eyes, draw the curtains, put this on loud and you are there in the venue with them.

The band, Michael Eriksen on vocals, Mats Haugen on guitar, Glen Mollen on bass, Truls Haugen on drums and, finally, Lase Fribraten on keyboards, have moulded together so amazingly. The guitar riffs, that change from ice clean to pure metal, are a refreshing change and the keyboards leave you wondering if there are other instruments. It really is so good to listen to as it makes you stop and listen intently.

Ever since the band released “Live in Japan” via YouTube, they have wanted to put together a live release in physical format for us all to listen to. With this album, they have got a giant pot, added amazing musicians, clear crisp metal vocals, rock, metal some maturity, strength and love, given it a stir around and this is the result. The vocals by Michael are gritty, mesmerizing but epic and guitars are almost hypnotic.

This band leaves no stone unturned in their expression of music but don’t let the softer songs lead you into a false sense of security. These guys mean business and pack a mighty punch and the synth playing is seriously good listening.

My favourite track is ‘Arrival of Love.’ It’s a ‘sing at the top of your voice song’ (ok maybe that’s just me then!) but I love the guitar riff and the synths in it keep you wanting more. ‘The Abyss’ is just ‘BOOOOM we’re off’ and does not stop from start to finish. It’s just brilliant, although a lot grittier than some of the other tracks.

This album is just raw pleasure from start to finish and they have definitely gained another fan.

TRACKLISTING:
CD1:
01. Forging
02. Namaste
03. The One
04. The Weight
05. Highest Bitter
06. Architect of Fortune
07. Arrival of Love
08. Loved Ones

CD2:
01. Sin
02. Havoc
03. Pages
04. Abyss
05. I Am
06. Chivalry
07. Game of Life

LINKS:

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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 do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.