Gallows Pole – This Is Rock

This Is Rock Cover

Gallows Pole – This Is Rock
Pure Rock Records
Release Date: 30/08/2019
Running Time: 40:43
Review by Chris Galea
5/10

With such a gory-sounding moniker and an artwork vaguely reminiscent of Judas Priest’s “Sin After Sin” I expected to hear something heavy and ferocious. I couldn’t have been more mistaken.

The album’s genre could broadly be described as Hard Rock but occasionally sets foot in Country Rock and Stoner Doom territory. More importantly though, overall “This Is Rock” feels bereft of passion and is characterised by half-assed drumming and disinterested (male) vocals.

In some songs – such as ‘You Got Me’ and ‘Point of no Return’ – I did find some gratifying moments but still not enough to get me hooked.

Until I heard “This Is Rock”, Gallows Pole was an unknown entity to me…whereas in fact this Austrian band has been around for several decades. So it pains me to say that the album sounds more like something you’d expect from a pub band.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Summerdays
02. Heaven Knows
03. Midnight Gambler
04. Point Of No Return
05. You Got Me
06. Daylight
07. When I Sleep
08. Move On Out
09. When You Love

LINE-UP:
Alois Martin Binder – vocals, guitars, bass
Dina Höblinger – vocals
Harald Prikasky – guitars
Harry El Fischer – guitars, vocals
Andy Wagner – drums

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/GALLOWS-POLE-174803492598152/

 

Bandpic

 

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.

 

Duel – Valley Of Shadows

Valley Of Shadows Cover

Duel – Valley Of Shadows
Heavy Psych Sounds
Release Date: 17/05/2019
Running Time: 38:00
Review by Alun Jones
8/10

Duel have been on my radar for quite a while. Despite hearing a few tracks via the band’s social media, I’d never sat down, ear-goggles locked in place, to listen to a full album. So, I was pretty stoked to have the opportunity to review their latest album: “Valley Of Shadows”, released recently by Heavy Psych Sounds.

Hailing from Austin, Texas, these four fiends are responsible for an almighty stoner doom racket; full on heavy rifferama with psychedelic and classic metal references. In case that description alone doesn’t grab you like a graveyard ghoul on the way to an unholy shindig, their whole aesthetic is tripped out in the sort of late-night, B-movie gore that’s lurid enough to make your eyes pop.

It’s like Dracula Has Risen from the Grave sound-tracked by a bunch of longhair ne’er-do-wells, and that’s just how I like it.

‘Black Magic Summer’ opens up the proceedings with some appropriate rain-soaked sound effects, before launching into the heavy-as-a-crypt-door attack. There’s a brilliantly melodic middle section too, adding some light to the gloom.

Second track ‘Red Moon Forming’ has a direct, driving pace that’s infectious and purposely concocted to inspire the raising of horns. ‘Drifting Alone’ has a real classic desert rock vibe, with a cool head shaker riff.

‘Strike And Disappear’ comes on like the vampire Western that Tarantino needs to make. A slower, bluesy pace with a dusty feel, it’s the first taste we get of a very different – and effective – approach. It melts into a ferocious, face pummelling section that screams blood and violence.

Songs like ‘Tyrant On The Throne’ have a classic metal, almost (gasp!) Iron Maiden feel to them. Otherwise, the sound explores more of the head-banging, smoke induced groove of bands like Trouble and The Obsessed.

But just like the best stoner metal movers and shakers, there’s always room for some ZZ Top-style boogie, which particularly comes to the fore in the final track, ‘The Bleeding Heart’.

As always, my sound comparisons are only meant as genuine compliments. Duel manage to create an album full of their own spirit and character, and it’s one hell of a fun ride. At turns hypnotic, fist pummelling, and sombre; “Valley of the Shadows” pulls the stake out of the stoner doom corpse and brings it back to bloody life again.

The last time I actually was involved in a duel, it was a case of duelling banjos. I was on a canoeing trip with some buddies out in the Appalachian back country. We ran into some unsavoury redneck types, one of whom challenged me to a banjo showdown. Of course, I threw in some licks that my old mentor Jimi Hendrix had shown me, and the creepy little weirdo had no chance: I was victorious.

Unfortunately, the locals weren’t too happy and we had a bit of a run-in of sorts with ‘em later. It was all fun and games really, and we were on our way home soon enough. But I tell you: just whatever you do, don’t mention piggies to my buddy Bobby!

TRACKLISTING:
01. Black Magic Summer
02. Red Moon Forming
03. Drifting Alone
04. Strike And Disappear
05. Broken Mirror
06. Tyrant On The Throne
07. I Feel No Pain
08. The Bleeding Heart

BAND LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/DUELTEXAS/
https://www.instagram.com/dueltexas/
https://duel3.bandcamp.com/

RECORD LABEL LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/HEAVYPSYCHSOUNDS/
https://www.heavypsychsounds.com/
https://heavypsychsoundsrecords.bandcamp.com/

 

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.