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Saturday, 9 May 2015

Reviews: Kiske/Somerville, Palace Of The King, Klogr

Kiske/Somerville: City Of Heroes (Frontiers)

Second album from the Kiske/Somerville project, brings to the table all of the talent that both these singers posses and backed by a collection of the finest musicians Power Metal has to offer, nearly all of the songs are written by bassist Mat Sinner, the hardest working man in the metal scene and his partner in crime guitarist Magnus Karlsson. Now Mr Hewitt reviewed the first album many moons ago but he found it to be a bit of a mixed bag. Since then everything seems to have clicked a bit, as the title track kings things off we have the same kind of Teutonic metal Helloween, Primal Fear (of whom Sinner & Karlsson are both members) are known for, the unmistakeable vocals of Michael Kiske start things off before Amanda gets involved matching Kiske for power and intensity. From speedy metal to more melodic rock feel as the emotive Walk On Water brings a symphonic element making the sound more in the Nightwish camp especially with the huge drum sound of Veronika Lukesova which is bolstered by production legend Jacob Hansen's amazing mix. This album still has the mix of ballads and rockers meaning and it's an even split however there are a lot more symphonic elements this time around making it more accustomed to Somerville's operatic vocals see Salvation but there is enough metallic grit for Kiske to snarl and scream like the good old days. As I've said these songs are all very well written with Breaking Neptune being a guaranteed single to my ears; weirdly it was written by After Forever guitarist Sanders Gommans (and Somerville, who is Gommans wife) a man more accustomed to heavier works, yet this song is very like Amaranthe in it's poppy electro-backed style. This will appeal to fans of everyone involved as well as anyone that loves quality power metal. 8/10      

Palace Of The King: White Bird/Burn The Sky (Listenable)

Palace Of The King have been lauded by Airbourne's Joel O'Keefe  as "six-stringing, soul singing, stomping Rock’n’Roll! They are the real deal!" and he's right. The band play riff filled, blues based hard rock and roll favoured by Rival Suns, Crobot and fellow countrymen Wolfmother. This Aussie band spent their formative years touring every corner of Australia and by doing that they Have honed their craft so they can play guitar slinging hard rock with a stomping blues inflection and a whole heap of psychedelia coming from the organs and keys. As with many bands of this ilk they owe a lot to the legends like, Aerosmith, Zep (Take Your Medicine) and Purple, they even have a track; Another Thing Coming, that does half inch Smoke On The Water but what is music without a little homage. Luckily their own stuff is as good as any of the masters with the huge hip swinging riffs of Maden and Harrison forcing your head to nod along while the rhythm section of Gilpin and Troiano as good as JPJ and Bonzo ever where see the chaotic White Bird (Bring Your Armies Against Me) for this where it all goes a bit trippy in the middle driven by Troiano's drumming. As I said the band have created some storming tracks filled with huge riffs, Sean Johnston's swirling organs and Tim Henwood's classic shirt ripping rock vocals that are part Axel Rose part Robert Plant, Got Nobody To Blame But Myself has slabs of guitars, Leave Me Behind is a shimmying sleazy track that would be right at home on an album by The Answer, (with a sax break mid-section) as well as the blistering hard rock of No Chance In Hell which is a real old school rocker. The band are the newest in a long line of retro styled hard rockers previously mentioned but they have the talent and the songs to rise above the froth and really go somewhere, a huge amount of promise trading on some well worn grooves but as their song says If It Ain't Broke. 9/10    

Klogr: Make Your Stand (Zeta Factory)

Italian alt-metallers Klogr ranked up there with one of the best albums of last year in my opinion so when I recieved this EP I got a little spike of excitement. This EP is a one that has three new studio tracks and then a live album too, the album starts off with Breaking Down which has the bands big thrashy riffs, mixed with some chunky groove and Rusty's scarred vocals. The band merge influences perfectly deep in the grunge vein and 1990's Metallica with Make Your Stand having the same kind of riffage that Mr Tremonti is known for. The first two tracks on this album are heavy ballsy rockers but Breathing Heart is a slower moment with a a bit more gravitas meaning it can;t really be called a ballad. So the three album tracks all bode well for another album as this band do seem to have a knack for coming up with great songs. So onto the live part of the album and this again shows off the bands older material perfectly in the live arena, the tracks sound a little rawer but still sparkle. A great little stopgap that looks forward to a good future for these Italians. 7/10  

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