Archive for the metal Category

Albums of the Year 2017

Posted in Albums of the Year, AOR, Folk, Folk rock, hard rock, indie, Melodic rock, metal, pop, Pop rock, Power metal, Power pop, Prog metal, Progressive rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

1  CATS IN SPACE Scarecrow
Their debut was pretty damn fine, so high expectations and they delivered! A marvellous mix of 70s’ rock, pomp, pop and more melodies than you can shake a stick at.

2  THRESHOLD Legends of the Shires
Returning vocalist Glynn Morgan helps the band to make one of the finest albums to date. A real return to form.

3  LONELY ROBOT The Big Dream
Part two of the trilogy and another fine set of musical adventures. No name guests this time as John Mitchell does it all bar the drums and some backing vocals.

4  BOULEVARD IV
Finally we get a new album from Boulevard. Fantastic tunes and production, deserves a place in every melodic rock/AOR fans collection.

5  THE YOUNG ‘UNS Strangers
Folk acapella from this talented three piece. Each song is based on a true story and the songs are all positive and uplifting.

STEVE WALSH Black Butterfly former Kansas vocalist returns with an album chock full of melodic rock treats.

7 SONS OF APOLLO supergroup featuring Jeff Scott Soto, Mike Portnoy, Derek Sherinan and Billy Sheenhan. Fantastic joining of music talents and the music lives up to expectations.

8 LIONHEART only 20 odd years since their last album…with Lee Small (Shy/Phenomena) on vocals, Lionheart deserve a place in any melodic rock fans collection.

9 IT Home thought provoking and timely progressive rock backed by oodles of melody.

10= H.E.A.T. Into The Great Unknown they have changed their sound a bit which may upset some fans, but for me they are heading onwards and upwards.

10= PUGWASH Silverlake the power pop album of the year. If you like ELO, Duckworth Lewis grab a copy of this.

Honorable mentions…

HAREM SCAREM United they keep on churning out classy melodic hard rock and long may that continue.

THE BITERS plenty of retro on this one, with the T Rex sounding songs

JEFF SCOTT SOTO Retribution not as instant but stick with it

BIGFOOT one of the debuts of the year. Modern hard rock and the singer doesn’t half sound like Tyketto’s Danny Vaughn at times!

THE NIGHTS more classy Scandi melodic rock with hook filled choruses big enough to land a whale.

THE NEW ROSES One More For The Road good time hard rock, no frills and plenty of riffs.

NIGHT RANGER Don’t Let Up they show no sign of letting up quality wise, another ‘must have’ for fans.

DANKO JONES Wild Cat if you like 70’s rock, Thin Lizzy and foot tapping tunes look no further.

THE NIGHT FLIGHT ORCHESTRA Amber Galactic like Brother Firetribe their ‘day bands’ are heavy yet here they show their love of 80’s melodic rock and AOR.

Fellow GRTR! reviewers choices can be found here

Rockin’ Chair forum

Posted in Books, Classic albums, Classic rock, Melodic rock, metal, News, pop, theatre, theatre royal hanley on September 1, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

New faces always welcome over on the Rockin’ Chair forum – a place for music and books, plus a board dedicated to memories of the Theatre Royal, Hanley.

Fifty Gigs In A Day

Posted in Fundraising, gigs, indie, Melodic rock, metal, Modern rock, pop, Pop rock, rock n roll with tags , , , , on June 16, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I am doing a different idea for my fiftieth birthday next year, combining my loves of music, books & fundraising. You can find out more here

Music for 2016: POWER QUEST are back!

Posted in Get Ready To Rock!, metal, Music for 2016, News, Power metal with tags , , , , , on April 1, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Oh yes one of my favorite bands are back…Power Quest!

The band split-up back in 2013 and founding member Steve Williams was in Eden’s Curse, who he has recently left to start Power Quest off again.

The line-up features Steve Williams joined by three members from the band’s last line-up, namely guitarist Gavin Owen, bass player Paul Finnie and drummer Rich Smith. The two new members are Dan Owen on guitars and Ashley Edison on vocals, who also fronts the rather good Dendera.

The band headline a comeback show at the Underworld, Camden on September 10th.

The Quest must go on!

Mix tape: ANDY DOWLING (LORD)

Posted in Classic rock, hard rock, Melodic rock, metal, Mix tape, Music for 2016 with tags , , , , , , , on March 6, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

A slightly different spin. When moving from Brisbane to Sydney 10 years ago to play in LORD, I found myself leaning on a large dosage of Australian rock from the 80s and 90s. Whilst it might seem like an unusual choice for many, it certainly provided me with inspiration reassurance.

These are a few of many songs that were the soundtrack to my first few years in Sydney, where I was trying to find my feet and carve out my own place in a big city on my own.

lord

SIDE A
 
1. John Farnham – Reasons

– You can knock Farnsy all you want or say his only good song is ‘You’re the Voice’, but I’ll tell you with ease that John Farnham is the greatest vocalist of all time. Is this crazy talk? Maybe, but I believe it. I referenced this song in the liner notes of our ‘Ascendence’ album back in 2009, quoting ‘I’m pointing my feet in the right direction’. This track specifically was the fuel I needed to keep on a path that many  felt was a little too outside-of-the-box. Fantastic song and still a great go to track for inspiration. 
 
2. Dragon – Dreams of Ordinary Men 

– Breaking the rules immediately, I’m going with an adopted Australian band from New Zealand (us Aussies tend to do this often!). Many people prefer their 70s output, but the mid to late 80s era of the band was absolutely unstoppable. These guys were the soundtrack to many a night in Sydney and Wollongong, driving between rehearsal rooms, backs of venues and the like. Highly recommend the albums ‘Body and the Beat’, ‘Dreams of Ordinary Men’ and ‘Bondi Road’. 
 

3. 1927 – You’ll Never Know

– I became obsessed with the first two albums of 1927 for quite a lengthy period of time, especially the debut ‘…ish’. This song, like the rest of the album, is down to earth and raw. Every song is wrapped around everyday experiences which was the reassurance I needed in those moments of doubt. Their debut was highly successful in Australia, and I believe that the genuine human approach lyrically was a large part of that success. “You’ll never know. Know which choice to make. Take or break a hold. Which way to go. Say what you will. What you’re willing to give. Give or take control. Will we ever know.”
 
4. Ian Moss – Out of the Fire

– Women. They make and break you. No matter how shit a break up can be and how much you think that you’ll struggle to find someone as good as the last, someone better always comes around. This song is all about moving on, which I went through a number of times and in hindsight very happy that I did. Use this song as strength, not as a depressant! 
5. Southern Sons – Something More

– The reality of being a musician is balancing it with earning a living. Working an office job was certainly a challenge and was very difficult at times to keep a positive frame of mind when those around you do not have the same outlook on life that you have. This song kept me pushing forward. A highly overlooked and underrated song that deserves far more attention. In some of my most difficult struggles, this track got me through. 
 
SIDE B
 
1. Jimmy Barnes – Driving Wheels

– Not that I have ever racked up the mileage of a truck driver, but I always loved this song as I cruised up and down the Princes Highway between Sydney and Wollongong each Thursday night for rehearsals. Between an hour and an hour and a half each way with traffic. This was my weekly routine for a number of years and this track provided a somewhat soundtrack to it. Over the last 10 years I’ve certainly racked up a lot of kilometres across this large country and have grown a real love for being on the road and behind the wheel.
 
2. Roxus – Rock n Roll Nights 

– This song is nothing but a reminder of very big, messy and late nights in Sydney. Partying in Kings Cross, Surry Hills, and the Inner West. Roxus was the perfect compliment as I bar/pub hopped across the city in the early hours of the morning (or those long walks home when you couldn’t get a taxi!).
 
3. Icehouse – Touch the Fire

–  Late 80s Icehouse was out of this world. Man of Colours especially is one of my all time favourite albums, but Touch the Fire just seemed to get constant rotation, whether it be cassette, vinyl, CD or mp3 (yes I have it on all formats). A great guitar riff, sax solo and an open invitation to hook city. Delicious song. 
 
4. Noiseworks – No Lies

– Seen Noiseworks soooo many times over the years. One of Australia’s best fronted by a New Zealander (remember, we adopt Kiwi’s when we like them!). Their self titled album is one of their best and No Lies is a reminder of fun, and often intoxicating, times seeing them in pubs and clubs with very rough and questionable middle-aged fans. I lost a bit of interest after their follow up album Touch, but you can’t deny those first two.  
 
5.  John Farnham – Break the Ice 

– You start your mix tape with Farnsy, you finish with Farnsy. That’s my rule, anyway! Unless you’re an AOR/80s rock fan, you might not know this track. Featured on the RAD soundtrack, this is one of the best fist pumping songs out there. This one certainly got you in the mood before a big night out in the city.
H

How was 2015 for you musically?

From a band perspective, we released a highly successful EP entitled ‘What Tomorrow Brings’ which received great feedback from people all over the world (you can watch the video trailer HERE – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMpF-tjlzHw) and lead to a fun end of year tour across Australia. Personally, I came to the realisation that Australian music at present has never been better. From a metal perspective, we have never had so many bands making huge impacts on the international front and it only appears to be getting better and better. It’s great fuel and inspiration for us and no doubt many others.

What have you got planned for 2016 and beyond?

For LORD, we have a very busy year. Whilst we’re taking a break from most touring, we will be appearing at the ProgPower USA Festival in Atlanta in September of this year. This will be our first ever US appearance, so we’re very excited to finally play to a lot of fans who have been patiently waiting for us to come over for many many years. In addition to that, we have just secured our new drummer, Darryl Murphy (video announcement here – https://youtu.be/VYtRQQZJBt0) after a long two year search (and many session drummers). Finally, we’re in the process of finalising another new release and planning for the next couple of releases over the coming 12 months. The biggest thing for us is to keep the momentum moving and we’re certainly ensuring that we stay busy.

Message for your fans…

A huge thank you for sticking with us, sharing our music amongst your friends, buying our mechandise and coming out to shows! The best thing personally for me is to see the feedback and thoughts from those who listen. While we do this for ourselves, we also take great pride in knowing that others get something out of it as well. You all keep us going and we wouldn’t be able to live our dreams without you supporting us.

Looking back and reflecting on the songs I chose for this mix tape leaves me with a great feeling of accomplishment. All of those times of doubt when I leant on some of Australia’s best song writers helped me get to where I am today. I am forever in debt to those who have and continue to inspire me, as well as those who have directly impacted the success of LORD. Thank you!

Andy Dowling 

(LORD/The Andy Social Podcast) 
Po Box 3019
Wollongong, NSW 2520
AUSTRALIA

http://www.lord.net.au
http://www.andysocial.net

ROCK ON GREEN FESTIVAL 2016

Posted in festivals, gigs, metal, News with tags , , , , on March 4, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Tarja Turunen and Amaranthe Confirmed To Co-Headline Brand New One-Day Metal Festival At London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town On 4th June

Divergent Concerts have announced the launch of a brand new one-day London metal festival for summer 2016.  The inaugural Rock On Green festival, which will be taking over the O2 Forum Kentish Town from 4pm onwards on Saturday 4th June, is set to present a packed bill of established names and rising stars from the realms of symphonic, power and gothic metal.

The first acts to be announced for this exciting new event are legendary Finnish soprano and former Nightwish frontwoman Tarja Turunen, who will play her first UK show for more than two years at Rock On Green, and the Swedish power metal/metalcore juggernaut Amaranthe.

Tarja Turunen is one of the most striking, and instantly recognisable vocalists in metal.  Rising to fame as the stunning, classically trained voice of symphonic metallers Nightwish, whom she fronted for 9 years, Tarja launched her hugely successful solo career in 2006.  An artist of incredible range, her solo catalogue includes both classical and symphonic rock releases, which have been awarded gold and platinum in multiple countries. Her adoring British fanbase can expect to hear her showcasing cuts from her forthcoming, as-yet-untitled fourth solo album for the first time when she comes to Rock On Green in June. Tarja comments, “I am super happy to start my new heavy/rock album tour in UK!! I miss the Brits.  Can’t wait to rock with you soon!

Check out www.tarjaturunen.com for more info.

Amaranthe are a genre-transcending, forward looking, and daringly innovative sextet from Gothenberg, noted for their three lead singers, who mix clean vocals with death growls, and melodic death metal elements with big hooks. Their third album, ‘Massive Addictive’ instantly charted in six countries on release in 2014, even reaching number one on the US Billboard heatseekers charts. The tremendous reception to the album led to an extensive world tour, including several coast-to-coast tours of the USA, a tour all round Europe and Japan, let alone numerous one-off shows. They’re currently working on a follow up, to be released at some point in 2016. Check out http://amaranthe.se for more info.

Further acts are due to be announced soon. Tickets are on sale now priced at £35 for downstairs standing, and £40 for upstairs unreserved seating/standing; the link is:- www.ticketweb.co.uk/event/gdp0406?camefrom=AMG_FORUM_rogf&brand=o2for

Radio show for fans of classic rock…

Posted in Classic albums, Classic rock, Melodic rock, metal, News with tags , , , , , , , on February 29, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

https://www.mixcloud.com/discover/bill-leslie/

There are loads of online radio shows out there, but this weekly one hour shows presented by rock fan Bill Leslie is well worth a listen. The show is called ‘Rock That Time Forgot’, it broadcasts on Astro Radio and covers new and old songs across the rock and metal genres. He also takes requests and if you are a fan of Thunder he did a highly recommended one hour special on them a fortnight ago.