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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Reviews: Stone Sour, Glory Hammer, Warbeast

Stone Sour: House Of Gold & Bones Part 2 (Roadrunner)

So the second part of Corey Taylor and co.’s two part concept opus and I was impressed with the first part http://musipediaofmetal.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/reviews-stone-sour-triaxis-doogie-white.html. And I continue to be impressed with this second part, the record opens with a funeral doom-like dirge in the shape of Red City which sees Taylor singing and then reverting to Slipknot mode with his guttural scream. Next up is the heavy metal riffage of Black John which is classic Stone Sour with big riffs and Taylor's intelligent lyrics. The solos from the first part are still firmly in place with Jim Root and Josh Rand both showing off in great style. The introspective Sadist follows which starts off with a clean arpeggio before the heaviness kicks in with a vengeance. The dark, brooding side to Stone Sour seems to be the one on display most on this record, all of the songs have a bad atmosphere around them and most stick to this style throughout, Peckinpah (which is not about the director) again starts at a moody pace and then picks up the tempo for the bridge, what I also noticed on this album is the usage of keys and pianos to add atmosphere, even on the faster paced tracks like Stalemate they are still featured as well as the electronic pulses on '82 and also the haunting electronic Blue Smoke before it breaks into the heavy industrial barrage of Do Me A Favour. On its own this is another good album but one that shows the more conceptual nature of this project. Part 1 was a collection of songs; part 2 is a lot more like a thematic soundtrack. It is when this album is played with part 1 that it really shines through, they are two parts of one whole and together they build to one great album. 8/10

Glory Hammer: Songs From The Kingdom Of Fife (Napalm Records)

Chris Bowes is the mastermind (or is that Captain?) of Pirate metal band Alestorm however this is his new side project on which he only plays keyboards letting Thomas Winkler handle the vocals. Winkler does a very good job having that classic power metal voice. The rest of the band too are excellent with bass and drums of James Cartwright and Ben Turk galloping throughout and the guitar of Paul Templing providing the riffs and the stirring solos. Bowes' keys are obviously quite prominent to providing the orchestral back drop to this concept album. Ah yes I forgot to mention this is a concept album about the alternate history of Fife, focusing on magic, swords and sorcery. It makes for a very entertaining and slightly cheesy listen and means they share a lot of audible similarities (as well as a name) with power metal legends Hammerfall with the big keyboards of Swede conquers Sabaton. The conceptual and swords and sorcery style also means that they can get away with titles such as The Unicorn Invasion Of Dundee, Silent Tears Of Frozen Princess and the ten minute The Epic Rage Of Furious Thunder. This is not music to be taken seriously with a po face, its music that will give you a shit eating grin and make you raise your fist (sword/shield/mace delete where applicable) in the air! Chris Bowes has set himself up nicely for when he inevitably runs out of songs about rum. 7/10

Warbeast: Destroy (Housecore Records)

Phillip Anselmo's protégés have released their second album off the back of their split EP with the man himself. Warbeast are a traditional thrash band that sound like Slayer, Exodus et al. After the very Slayer-like instrumental of Cryogenic Thawout it’s on the second track Nightmare In The Sky that the riffs begin to fly like ninja death stars. The song is propelled by some light speed drumming as well as the aforementioned guitar blitz of Bobby Tilloston and Scott Shelby. The songs move from pit forming thrash, face smashing hardcore and head crushing doom, but for the most part this is angry violent old school thrash metal full of snarling riffs and the scarred shouted vocals of frontman Bruce Corbitt. The album is produced by Phil Anselmo and he keeps it old school having the very analogue 'live in the studio' feel to the record meaning that you will either love it or hate it. The band have some serious riffs and songs but on the whole they are a run of the mill thrash band. Those who still rock the high tops will lap this up however everyone else will play once and then only again at parties. 6/10


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