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Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Reviews: Motorhead, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Red Fang

Motorhead: Aftershock (UDR)

21 albums into their career and you know kind of what to expect with Motorhead and that is hyper-speed rock and roll and that is what you get on Aftershock from the opening bars of Heartbreaker through the heavy blues of Lost Woman Blues and End Of Time which does a good job of ripping off the Ace Of Spades! As usual Mikkey Dee continually smashes the hell out of his drums on every track as Phil riffs and solo's like a man possessed and Lemmy himself beats up his bass and sounds in fine fettle as he growls every line, now as I said most of the album is your normal Motorhead fireworks but the band do mix I up a bit on this album with the almost psychedelic Dust And Glass which features Lemmy singing (!?) and has a hell of a guitar solo from Phil but as you relax your head is again smashed by Going To Mexico (which conjures up images of Lemmy in a sombrero). After 21 albums and nearly 50 years Motorhead are still one of the most distinguishable bands in rock and metal, yes they have had a few duff albums (Lemmy will admit that) but since 2004's Inferno the band have hit somewhat of a purple patch, yes they will always sound like Motorhead but that's part of the appeal, no nonsense rock n roll played with more gusto than bands a third of their age! Aftershock is yet another quality addition to the Motorhead catalogue. 8/10     

Fleshgod Apocalypse: Labyrinth (Nuclear Blast)

Italian's Fleshgod Apocalypse are now onto their third album and from the opening track Kingborn you can see why the band are being hailed as one of the leaders in their genre. The band have some massive classical piano runs, operatic backing vocals from soprano Veronica Bordacchini that wouldn't seem out of place in a Puccini opera but they counteract this with light-speed wall of sound riffage, some chain gun blast beating, face melting soloing and growls that come straight from the bowels of hell! The album is based on the legend of the labyrinth of  Knossos and is conceptually played out like and opera, could this be the first tech-metal opera? Anyway as I said the playing is simply amazing, the drums of Francesco Paoli could level a building and are up their Mario Duplantier in terms of pure gut churning brutality, the dual guitar attack of Christiano Trionfera and Tommaso Riccardi is breath taking in places full of laser guided ferocity and precision, enhanced by Riccardi's vocals demonic vocals, which he shares with bassist Paolo Rossi. The band's real power comes from their orchestral backing which is present throughout and swells the band’s sound to something more than your normal technical death metal fodder, they are a musical tour-de-force and through the 11 tracks on this album you are taken on a journey with no let-up that leaves you gasping for air at the end and that's exactly what an album should do. There is a lot to absorb on first listen but after you have been aurally abused a few times you realise that this album is nothing short of amazing. 10/10 

Red Fang: Whales And Leeches (Relapse)

Red Fang are now on their third album and they still are treading the same down and dirty stoner furrow they have been in since their debut. They are very reminiscent of touring buddies Mastodon with some heavy down tuned bass from Aaron Beam, fuzzy guitars from Bryan Giles and David Sullivan as well as some powerhouse drumming from John Sherman who tries to rattle your brain cells. The band have the great line between shit kicking punk-metal on Blood Like Cream and No Hope and head melting stoner rock on Dawn Rising and Failure the band are very like Mastodon in terms of presentation they even have the dual vocal with both Beam and Giles contributing shouts and howls to the album, however the band also have elements of The Sword on tracks like Behind The Light. This is yet another good album from Red Fang who have really stepped up their came in terms of song-writing the arrangements are in places complex and in others straight to the point jugular, a good album. 7/10

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