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Tuesday 5 July 2016

Reviews: Candlemass, Copper Bones, Doomsday Outlaw

Candlemass: Death Thy Lover (Napalm) [Review By Paul]

If you like Candlemass, one of the forefathers of doom metal, then this tasty morsel of an EP will leave you desperate for more. With a relatively stable line up in place since 2012, Death Thy Lover has been written to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the legendary Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, Leif Edling and co have provided four tracks which make a mockery of Edling’s statements about no new music from the band. Death Thy Lover is full of crashing riffs, darkness and doom with Iommi style fretwork cascading all over the place. As you’d expect from Sweden’s all-time favourite metal outfit, the crushing power which has always been a hallmark of their sound is here is full force; Edling’s thunderous bass and Jan Lindh’s huge drum sound combine with Mats Mappe Bjorkman’s rhythm guitar to anchor the razor sharp lead work of Lars Johansson. The brilliant vocals of Mats Leven always stand out and this is no exception with Sleeping Giant possibly the pick. A full album may not be beyond the realms of possibility. Yes, please. 8/10

Copper Bones: Exhibit A (Self Released)

Calling your debut record Exhibit A is a savvy move as Copper Bones' first record is a very in depth example of what they do, the band has gone through numerous changes in their short turbulent history as they have risen from the ashes of My Hotel Year. Frontman Ryan Fleming got together with some old band mates to put on a show among them was Greg Blachstein who stuck around so the two could write some songs that are now committed to vinyl on this record. Copper Bones had been previously been a four piece band but now it is just Fleming on bass (treated with effects for six string sounds) and vocals with Blachstein behind the drumkit, the now duo found time to record with Zach Swain (formerly of the four piece version) and the result is this monolithic slab of fuzzy desert rock that has a distinct punk edge to it. Obviously comparisons with Royal Blood, The White Stripes and Death From Above 1979 are going to be dime a dozen due to the 'power duo' nature of the band; but Copper Bones are so much more with a distinct post hardcore-alt metal vein drawing it's cues from Helmet, Quicksand, Fugazi and the more direct side of QOTSA. Monolithic riffs and bone shattering drumming is the order of the day as the band power through the 10 tracks on this record that does sound so much better when played loud as the bass-centric riffs move your internal organs as the drums hit you with a concussive blasts with Fleming booming on top of the noise. Exhibit A is a noisy, ballsy, heavyweight record for those that like their bands abrasive but bottomed out with a groove. 7/10       

Doomsday Outlaw: Suffer More (Self Released)

Doomsday Outlaw is an apt name for the Midlands based band, with the right amount Southern flavour to a doomy, modern heavy rock sound the Doomsday Outlaw's second record is full of swaggering riffs, a huge rhythm section and some soulful vocals that mean that the record is equal parts Black Stone Cherry and Alter Bridge with a distinct British hard rock sound cutting through the Kentucky fancying Southern rock mire. At 15 songs the record is a bit of monster but the first 10 all shoot by with Walk On Water having a chunky swagger, Fallback sounding like Alter Bridge, bolstered by the vocals of Phil that echo Myles and Toseland, a sound that continues on the punky Pandemonium. It's only after repeated listens you can sort the wheat from the chaff, one of my favourites is All That I Have which has a massive chorus and the Southern flavour I talked of before as the dual guitars of Steve and Gav add an acoustically laden backing to the heavy rock as does I've Been Found which even plays with some organs on top of Indy and John's throbbing rhythm section, there's even a banjo on the showstopping Blues For A Phantom Limb. With the heavy rock abound on this album the band can slow the pace with the beautiful title track which is massive, arms in the air muscular ballad. Suffer More is a great album with a modern American rock vibe totally opposite to to the bands Midlands roots, If you love your music honest, true and delivered with a handful of grit then Suffer More will be on your player for a good while to come. 7/10

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