Bastian – Grimorio

Grimorio Cover

Bastian – Grimorio
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 31/07/2018
Running Time: 59:30
Review by Chris Galea
9/10

Before delving into “Grimorio”, Bastian were a new proposition to me but I decided against looking for any information about the band until I actually listened to this album. That way, I reckoned, I could form an opinion based on the music alone. Speaking of which…

Candlemass seem to have been a strong influence on “Grimorio”. The lead vocals are incredibly good…very solid with powerful screams. In fact, the overall level of musicianship is quite high and the sound really brings the best out of these songs. So far so good.

Despite the candour of its influences, the music in “Grimorio” has its own character and that’s quite an achievement for a style that revels in traditional Metal. For example ‘The Time Has Come’ has some tasty Blues Rock undertones and ‘Epiphany’s Voodoo’ is an instrumental that kicks off with a delightfully funky vibe using hand percussion and Hammond sounds. ‘Infinite Love’, on the other hand, is a melancholic song with Prog Rock traits. And all the while, throughout the album, the listener never doubts that this is essentially a Metal album.

OK, there were a couple of songs that I wasn’t too enthusiastic about but by and large, the band/album was a welcome discovery.

Incidentally, afterwards I did seek more info about Bastian. The band is the brainchild of Italian guitarist Sebastiano Conti (‘Bastian’ being a diminutive of ‘Sebastiano’), who here recruits the talents of bassist Federico Paulovich (Destrage), drummer James Lomenzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Black Label Society) and Danish singer Nicklas Sonne (Defecto, Theory).

“Grimorio” was released back in July but I’m glad it dropped in late rather than never.

TRACKLIST:
1. Pale Figure
2. Sly Ghost
3. The Trip
4. Infinite Love
5. It’s Just A Lie
6. Southern Tradition
7. The Time Has Come
8. Epiphany’s Voodoo (instrumental)
9. Black Wood
10. Fallen Gods

LINE-UP:
Sebastiano Conti – guitar
Nicklas Sonne – vocals
James Lomenzo – bass
Federico Paulovich – drum

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

https://sliptrickrecords.com/bastian/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJibyblJK1JAPUgwKR9XEtQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK9kGUV10Qw It’s Just A Lie (Official Video)

Promo Pic1

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.

Machine Gun Kelly – No Easy Way Out

No Easy Way Out Cover

Machine Gun Kelly – No Easy Way Out
Sliptrick Records
Release Date 30/01/2018
Running time: 38:00
Review by Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ Richmond
6/10

I was perplexed when I searched for Machine Gun Kelly online and I got results back for an American rapper who has over 5m likes on Facebook. Further research revealed that there is also an Italian rock band of the same name, with a somewhat more modest 3,500 likes (not too shabby). I’m no copyright expert, but I expect to see some sort of a legal battle occurring at some point in the future … interestingly, it appears that the Italians may have had the name first.

This Machine Gun Kelly are not rappers, indeed they are a band of four rockers who have apparently been in existence since the year 2000, but ‘No Easy Way Out’ is only their third full length offering, one demo and one EP notwithstanding. This album is the first to feature new guitarist/bassist Manfre.

I’ve never really understood why bands include an intro on an album; this one is no exception, it’s called ‘Broadcast Humanity’ and it’s basically snippets of radio broadcasts, but… well, it’s so short, what is the point? I suppose it could be because the first track proper was a chuggy, riff laden beast of a song, titled ‘Broadcast King’. I quite liked it until the vocals kicked in. As with many European artists I have listened to lately, the musicality of the record is there, but in my opinion the vocals let it down. That’s not to say that Mikke has a bad voice, it’s just not to my taste.

There are some great tracks on this album, although I have to say sadly the vocals weren’t really my cup of tea on any of them. ‘Eye of the Storm’ featured a great, slide guitar sound at the start before morphing into a fast, somewhat repetitive refrain.

The simple drum and guitar intro to ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ was promising; the song had a big, brash sound to it with a catchy lick (it was going around my head for hours after I’d listened to it). The ballad like opening to ‘Hard Times’ was interesting, and there was a cheeky little riff going on at about 3 and a half minutes in.

If I had to pick a ‘favourite’ track, I suppose it would probably be ‘Take What You Need’, purely for the vaguely dirty feel to it, however, at times the guitars sounded a little discordant and jarring.

The production isn’t sparkling on this album, but there is evidence of some talented musicians here and it’s a bit of a rip-roaring, semi-classic yet somewhat dated outing for the Italians. You could do worse than give it a listen; I wish I’d liked it more, but it just wasn’t my bag. I would imagine that MGK are probably really good live as the songs have that raw, untamed edge that would translate well into the live environment.

TRACKLIST:
Intro (Broadcasted Humanity)
Broadcast King
Aileen
Eye Of The Storm
Nothing Ever Changes
Hard Times
Stand Or Fall
No Easy Way Out
Take What You Need
The Boogeyman

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://machinegunkellyitaly.com/
https://www.facebook.com/MgkSv/

https://www.youtube.com/user/MachineGunChannel

 

Promo Live Pic1

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie ‘Queen of Rock’ 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.

 

Alphastate – The Grind

 

The Grind Cover

Alphastate – The Grind
Sliptrick Records
Release Date: 03/04/2018
Running Time: 37:28
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
7/10

Alphastate are a Greek metal band, formed in 2013 as a personal project of Pete Breaker (guitars). Vocalist Manos Xanthakis joined in in 2015 and the line up was complete in 2016 with the additions of Dimitris Tsounakis on bass and Fivos Andriopoulos on the drums. They released their first album “Out of the Black” in 2015 and received excellent and positive press globally.

Says the band: “we wanted to combine modern metal with 80’s and 90’s influences such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne, Pantera and Nevermore to create a very personal and extreme style with no boundaries.”

So, what genre of metal are Alphastate? To pigeonhole them into one category would be wrong and do them a severe injustice. They play heavy metal that is heavier than normal, but they have thrown in a bit of power too, with just a hint of doom (think Sabbath, Candlemass and Trouble), and this gives them an almost unique sound.

I always think the vocals make any band and am always on the lookout for bands that have distinctive and different singers. If I am totally honest, on the first run through of the album, I didn’t actually like Manos’s vocals but after listening a few times, I realised I really didn’t give him much credit. His vocals are deep, and unmistakably Greek, which is by no means a bad thing. He could quite easily fit into a band such as Firewind if they were ever on the lookout.

I must admit that I hadn’t listened to the band’s first album before listening to this one, but the promo notes that came with the album stated that they wanted to take a more modern and aggressive approach musically with this new album. They wanted “very loud and distinctive guitars, a more modern production that had the vocals pushed up front and drums that punched through the sound.”

I think they were successful on all three counts. Take the guitars out of this album and they would slot straight into a Pantera album, the drums are strong and tight, and I have already mentioned the vocals above.

This album includes a lot more of the band’s own thoughts and experiences making it the most personal release so far, and sonically it is their best. They have made an album that is “pure aggression with the best songs they have ever written.”

One thing that I wasn’t overly keen on with this album, was the lack of variation. Each song seemed to sound much like the last, and I am not sure if this is due to unfamiliarity with the tracks. Maybe with a few more listens through, the songs may start to separate a bit.

But this doesn’t take away from the fact, that this is a solid album, and for a band that has only really been together properly since 2016, it’s a good sign of things to come.
Give these guys a go……and they may just surprise you!

 

TRACK LIST
01. Trapped
02. Phantom Desires
03. Speak Your Mind
04. Theater Of Lies
05. The Grind
06. Forevermore
07. Behind The Dark
08. Heaven’s World
09. Man Made God

 

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/AlphastateMetal/
https://www.instagram.com/alphastate_official/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCngyPMt1FVY2fdGJ0pbmc4g
https://sliptrickrecords.com/alphastate/

 

Alphastate

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King 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.