Graham Bonnet Band – Live In Tokyo 2017

Live In Tokyo 2017 Cover

Graham Bonnet Band – Live In Tokyo 2017
Frontiers Music s.r.l
Release Date: 12/07/2019
Running Time: 72:15
Review by ‘Dark Juan’
10/10

Good evening, my flock of the disaffected, the vain, wall eyed and insane. Tonight you are going to witness a man totally lose his shit about a woman. Possibly..!

It is well known I am not a fan of live albums, because the live experience requires a visual component. Thankfully, Graham had this covered for me and has kindly provided me with the footage that goes along with this record, so I hereby offer my thanks and salutations to this mighty and puissant stalwart of metal. The man is a fucking legend…
So, yeah, this is a live recording of Graham and the guys (and gal. Oh, Beth-Ami, be mine. Even your name is perfect. My twisted, shrivelled black heart beats only for you, my proud beauty… sigh) playing some of the more unusual and rare tunes from his days with Alcatrazz, MSG, Impellitteri and Rainbow as well as his stuff with the Graham Bonnet Band. And fuck me crossways, this is good…

I’d even go as far as to say this is fucking classic. This is how metal should sound in the live setting. Alright it’s as Trad Metal as it gets, but nothing touches Trad Metal for riffs and hooks and anthemic choruses. Metal’s most famous accountant’s haircut has assembled a band of uncommonly high talent and it shows through in every single sublime guitar lick from Conrado Pesinato (complete with array of highly amusing guitar solo faces), in Mark Benquchea’s ultra-metronomic drumming (complete with array of highly amusing focused drummer faces) and the legendary Jimmy Waldo hitting the keys like a man possessed (I really don’t want to talk about his face). At the front of it all there’s the Skeggy Boy. A man in command of himself, and his audience! A living legend at the fucking greatest, mightiest height of his powers! A man that makes Corey Taylor look like an amateurish fucking chancer who shouts a lot! A man who demands your attention and your loyalty, and does it so effortlessly you don’t even notice yourself falling to your knees and offering supplication in the form of opening your own veins and spilling your lifeblood at his impeccably shod feet…

And then there is the fragrant, beautiful, heart stopping Beth-Ami Heavenstone. A woman so perfect my heart breaks every time I even look at her. Dark Juan lost his soul to her years ago, but she never even noticed such is the level of her perfection. An angel on Earth with a bass guitar and a smile that makes this hellpriest nearly believe in God. A woman of such magnificence, she makes every other woman within 500 yards of her utterly insignificant. I am not worthy of her attention… No one is, so how did that Lincolnshire howler do it? The absolute bastard! I’ll find out. I will fucking find out and then I’ll bottle it and go and find her…

Sorry, I might have slightly digressed. Yes, the record. Oh my fucking god, the record. This is the best live album I have ever heard. There is not a dropped note in the entire performance and Graham is absolutely at the peak of his powers, effortlessly soaring through his vocal range and reminding us all just what a mighty influence he has been for decades. He looks and sounds like he is enjoying the fuck out of what he is doing and that is infectious. Even I, a notoriously hard and critical man to please with music, have been caterwauling along with every single chorus of every single song. Hodgson Fartpants (one of Dark Juan’s Hellhounds. So named because I could make a fortune out of renting him to dodgy Middle Eastern regimes for chemical warfare purposes…) immediately showed his displeasure with my off key shrieking by fucking off upstairs and going to sleep on my pillows. Plus, the man is a genius level songwriter. Not so much for content, but for the ease with which he crafts such exquisite choruses. You only have to hear Night Games or Samurai once to understand what I’m talking about. And another thing while I am frothing with such incredible enthusiasm… the backing vocals! The harmonies! Oh, the motherfucking harmonies. They hit you at the base of your spine.

And the utterly desirable and simply jawdropping Beth-Ami Heavenstone (have I told you how amazing she is yet? No? How remiss of me) has a gutwrenchingly sweet alto that reduced me to a quivering mass of pathetically lovestruck goo within seconds of her singing the backing vocal to the chorus of S.O.S. There are some voices that give you goosebumps. She has one, on top of all her other sublime qualities. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE YOU NOTICE YOUR MOST ARDENT ADMIRER, BETH-AMI? TELL ME, TELL ME, I IMPLORE! NOTICE ME, SENPAI, NOTICE ME!

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need to take a cold shower in Antarctica after this one, boys and girls.

…As we wrench ourselves back into the business of actually being useful to you readers and telling you about the record, then. The production and sound quality are far beyond adequate. Every instrument and cymbal is easily heard and the lead vocal, although to the fore of the mix, is not overpowering the rest of the music. The backing vocals are similarly high in the mix but again are not blanketing the instruments. The song choices for this gig are equally inspired. Everything from the ultra-classic Since You’ve Been Gone through to MSG’s Dancer through to the absolute highlight of the record – an extraordinarily sleazy, sexual, filthily orgasmic rendition of All Night Long! The record ends, somewhat bizarrely, with an alternate lyric studio version of The Crying Chair, which, although interesting and a damned fine rock and roll record, jars somewhat with the fucking awesome night we have just had listening to Graham fucking Bonnet live. Yes, I know I am swearing a lot. No, I don’t care. I am expressing joy. Fuck you. It seems like it was almost bunged on there as an afterthought, you know? Kind of like that last sentence!

Ladies, gentlemen and people of all other genders (I’m nothing if not inclusive. I hate everyone equally) we have on our hands here a perfect storm of a live album – superbly played by the musicians, sublime lead vocals from a living metal legend, well produced, well mixed, with inspired song choices, the biggest ever choruses in metal, and Beth-Ami Heavenstone. Have I told you how much she turns me into a quivering schoolboy every time I set eyes on her? How my heart does little flip flops as I gaze at her magnificent bass playing prowess? How I wish those long, elegant fingers were touching me and her cool gaze and tinkling laugh were for my eyes and ears only? No? We could be here for some time, then….

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is cross-eyed with desire right now and actually really needs to take a shower in liquid nitrogen, but has struggled manfully on to award the Graham Bonnet Band 10/10 for an utterly fucking brilliant live record. It really should be like 150/10. It is the finest live album I have ever heard. And Graham Bonnet is a musical hero of mine. And Beth-Ami, I adore you.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Eyes Of The World
02. California Air
03. S.O.S.
04. Night Games
05. Stand In Line
06. Into The Night
07. Love’s No Friend
08. Dancer
09. Samurai
10. Desert Song
11. Rider
12. Since You’ve Been Gone
13. Assault Attack
14. All Night Long
15. Lost In Hollywood
16. The Crying Chair (Intended Lyric Version)

LINE-UP:
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Conrado Pesinato – Guitar
Beth-Ami Heavenstone – Bass (You’re going to be hearing quite a lot about her. Sorry, not sorry.)
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards
Mark Benquchea – Drums

LINKS:
https://www.alcatrazzofficial.com/
https://www.facebook.com/grahambonnetmusic/



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

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan 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.

The Three Tremors – The Three Tremors

the three tremors cover

The Three Tremors – The Three Tremors
Steel Cartel
Release Date: 18/01/2019
Running Time: 58:41
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
10/10

I don’t tend to hand out 10 out of 10’s when I am reviewing all that often and there have only been a handful since I first started. Many albums make it to 9 but, for me, an album must have just that little something extra to push it to a 10!

This album certainly has that!

The Three Tremors harnesses three of Earth’s mightiest and relentless voices in heavy metal together as one, producing “one of the all-time great power metal albums” as said by Knac.com

So, who are these three magnificent voices? Well, they are, none other, than Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Dio’s Disciples), Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck (Cage, Denner & Shermann, Death Dealer) and Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (Jag Panzer, Satan’s Host, Titan Force) and already being massive fans of a lot of their previous bands, I knew I was going to enjoy this one.

The band also features a group of mighty metal veterans from San Diego, the talents of guitarist Dave “Conan” Garcia, with Casey “The Sentinel” Trask as second guitarist and bassist Alex Pickard and drummer Sean Elg completing the line-up.

Sean and Tim originally met in San Diego when Sean’s band Cage opened for Judas Priest on the Jugulator tour and when Sean wanted to resurrect a 2018 version of a vision he had from long ago, Tim agreed straight away, and Harry quickly joined next.

Says Sean: “it took a long time to put together, create the right songs, and get it properly arranged, but the results are beyond my wildest expectations. I think the fans are really going to freak out on what we have done with this record, and live it’s going to be almighty, I assure you!

So, what of the album? Well, according to the press notes it is “12 new tracks that depict monumental stories of time honoured heavy metal themes!” and the artwork has been designed by renowned artist Marc Sasso (Dio, Halford, Adrenaline Mob, Death Dealer, Cage) to “showcase an apocalyptic battle between demonic hyper-wolves and The Three Tremors, who marched into an underworld overshadowed by evil forces only armed with bullets powered by heavy metal sorcery to reclaim the dystopian lands.

In essence, this is a power metal album, with a huge chunk of traditional and heavy metal thrown in, and what an album!

Mixing together three of metal’s finest vocalists into one mighty sonic power might have seemed a bit of a risky move. How would they work together? Would one overpower the others? Would they all fight for supremacy?

The answer was a resounding success. All three singers feature on every track and they all work so well together. One minute you think you are listening to Judas Priest, the next Cage or Death Dealer. The multiple vocalists give the songs depth, almost bringing them to life. There are no egos with the singers either. Each one is a fantastic singer in his own right, the breadth of each of their history’s testament to that, but one voice is not trying to fight to be above the others and each singer is on par with the rest.

But a band wouldn’t be a band without the musicians. Based on the Cage line-up, these guys are immense. The two guitarists play well together, and with riffs and solos galore, they are easily the hidden gems of the band. The rhythm section of the bass and drums are tight, and they do their job to perfection, although the drumming is insane at times!!

For a group of musicians who have really only been together for such a short period of time, they shouldn’t be as good as they are!! Bands that have been together for longer do not sound as polished and finished as these guys do!

I said at the start of this review that to get a 10 from me a band needed that little bit extra, and I think what gives this album that oomph is the experience the band members have. But, please, do not take my word for it. Go and get yourself a copy of this awesome album and see for yourself. If you are not blown away by it, then I will eat my hat!

I can’t wait for these guys to tour and once they do, I hope they venture to this side of the Atlantic!

“Three times louder than a sonic boom, three fingers on the hand of doom.”

TRACK LISTING:
1. Invaders From The Sky
2. Bullets For The Damned
3. When The Last Scream Fades
4. Wrath Of Asgard
5. The Cause
6. King Of The Monsters
7. The Pit Shows No Mercy
8. Sonic Suicide
9. Fly Or Die
10. Lust Of The Blade
11. Speed To Burn
12. The Three Tremors (bonus track)

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/thethreetremors/
http://thethreetremors.com/

https://instagram.com/thethreetremors
promo pic1

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.

 

Krull – The Black Coast

Krull The Black Coast Cover

Krull – The Black Coast
Iron Shield Records
Release date: 27/04/2018
Running Time: 42.32
Review by: Alun Jones
6/10

KRULL! Did you ever see the movie? It’s GREAT! On the ancient world of Krull, Prince Colwyn brings together a band of scoundrels to help him rescue Princess Lyssa from the clutches of the evil Beast, who threatens to conquer the planet. It’s a sci-fi fantasy adventure with a Cyclops, cool weapons, vile baddies, Tucker Jenkins and Lysette Anthony. I mean seriously, you need to see this film. How metal does it sound? Even the bad guys are called “Slayers”!

The band Krull occupy a musical space which is openly very inspired by fantasy, battles and all things sword and sorcery. And right from the off, it’s a whole lot of fun. The atmospheric intro “In the Woods” grabs the listener and plunges them into the ethereal world that Krull have concocted, and it’s pretty much full on from there.

Pace-wise, “The Black Coast” is like riding shotgun in a barbarian’s chariot, charging an army of Orcs. Stand out tracks for me included “By Steel” and “The King and the Sword”, but the whole album is energetic traditional metal. If you’re a fan of Priest, Maiden and the mighty Manowar you’ll find something to enjoy here. Only midway track “Valhalla” slows things down a little, otherwise it’s a fast and brutal campaign.

So why only 6 out of 10? Well there are lots of plus points with this album. The vocals are suitably bonkers, ranging from powerful cries, deep growls to a high pitched, witchy cacophony. The musicianship is great, and the rhythm section successfully keep the march relentless. The songs are fast and filled with          fantastic tales of battles and bravery.

But the guitar tone was just off for me. I like something with more crunch; more skull smashing intensity. After the cool intro, first track “The Witch”, whilst a great song, suffers from a languid guitar sound that slices the records               hamstrings before the fight is really on.

Don’t misunderstand me, the playing is great – it’s the production that’s slightly lacking. The guitars should be much more axe in the face, blood and brains       everywhere.

There’s still a lot to recommend Krull’s “The Black Coast” though. Especially if you dig your metal as a soundtrack to a rampaging berserker, attacking a horde of evil ghouls.

Oh, and get down to your local Blockbuster and rent the Krull video. You won’t regret it. It makes Lord of the Rings look like a bad Dungeons and Dragons game in a crack den…!

TRACK LISTING
1. In the Woods – Intro
2. The Witch
3. By Steel
4. Marching to Mountains
5. Valhalla
6. The King and the Sword
7. Immortals
8. Stand fight to Kill
9. The Black Coast

SOCIAL MEDIA
https://www.facebook.com/krullheavymetal/
https://krullofficial.bandcamp.com/
https://www.instagram.com/krull.official/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdgPwJVIKdkOcphCcdQSBBA

Krull 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.