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Saturday, 14 June 2014

Reviews: Winger, Shores Of Null, Pentakill

Winger: Better Days Comin' (Frontiers Records)

Winger have always had a bit of a hard time due to the fact that they around in the hair metal era and that Beavis And Butthead used them as a butt for many jokes. So yes Kip Winger was always a pretty boy but he and the rest of the band were all amazing musicians so they always had my respect. So when they announced they were working on their sixth album and that it featured the original members of Reb Beach on guitar and Rod Morgenstein on drums I got a little excited to say the least. With the police sirens kicking off Better Days Comin' the first song Midnight Driver Of A Love Machine gets things rocking from the start with it's steam train chug and Reb Beach's supreme soloing. Things go back to the early days on the Queen Babylon which is a little funky and has a lot of hip shaking boogie as well as heavy riffage; a theme that continues on the pedal to the metal rampage of Rat Race. It's here that I want to mention the band Morgenstein's drums are great, John Roth and Reb Beach's guitars soar, sear and solo with aplomb (this could be why Beach was picked by Mr Coverdale for his band) and Winger's voice is absolutely excellent with a bluesy drawl (see the title track) and a husky singing voice that puts you in mind of Chris Cornell in parts, obviously as usual  Mr Winger provides the bass and acoustic guitars, keyboards as well as producing and engineering the album. The songs are not all full on rockers though the serious Tin Soldiers is a triumph of songwriting and as usual there is the obligatory ballad and this one is Ever Wonder which is an amazing love and loss filled song, Storm In Me is one of the heaviest tracks on it the record and leads into the more mellow final two tracks. This is great album from the glam metal survivors and brings them into the modern era as well as harking back to their glory days! Better Days Coming Indeed!! 8/10   

Shores Of Null: Quiescence (Candlelight)

With bands like Katatonia and Anathema being the front runners for dark, doomy, post metal it is always hard for a new band to break into their style of music without being compared to the top two bands in their genre. So Italy's Shores Of Null have thrown their hat into the ring in the doom stakes and from the kick off they do a bang up job with some rampaging metal on the Kings Of Null coming on full throttle but with the down tuned, melodic but with the somber mood that Katatonia provide. The vocals of Davide are excellent he has a sonorous croon in the clean passages and also a rumbling growl similar to Jonas Renske's. With tracks like Night Will Come the melancholic Ruin's Alive and the head nodding Quiescent. When the band are in their slow moving doom mode they still have the relentless riffage from Raffaele Colace and Gabriele Giaccari which seems to be present throughout the, the album is very heavy but also melodic and it does indeed reach for and ascend to the heights of Katatonia, meaning that fans will certainly enjoy this release. For a debut release this is very strong indeed full of killer, melodic black/doom metal that will destroy live, go and seek it out, you will not be disappointed I promise. 8/10

Pentakill: Smite And Ignite (Self Released/Riot Games)

Pentakill are a fake band, let me explain they are a band from the PC game League Of Legends, made up of characters from the game. Now the band's name stems from when a player kills five players at once and all of the songs are naturally about the game. Now the album as you would think is prime power metal with lots of keyboards , guitar solos and songs about might and magic. As far as information on the band I just have the characters of Sona (Keys), Olaf (Drums), Yorick (Bass), Mordekaiser (Guitar) but the vocals of Karthus are shared between real life singers, Jorn Lande and ZP Threat. As far as songs go the first two tracks are heavy power metal, with third track Ohmwrecker is a electronic filled, djent track with Last Whisper is a big, melodic song that just fits ZP Threat's vocals perfectly. This is the kind of album that would be played in the game world itself, heavy, industrial and very metal. A great little curio that has two great vocalists on it, plus it's free!! Winning!! 7/10 

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