The Murder Of My Sweet: Echoes Of The Aftermath (Frontiers)
Daniel Flores needs all the kudos you can give as he is the heart of The Murder Of My Sweet, he is not only the drummer of the band but also handles the keys/orchestrations and the production. With the cinematic sound of this band that's a lot of pressure for one man but he does a spectacular job at all three, the drums rampage, the orchestrations are lush and the production is crisp and clear he is the main writer of the band too and on this record they have taken a more straightforward approach than on their previous semi-Wagnerian concept album Beth Out Of Hell.
There are still symphonic elements of course with a Nordic melodic metal backing that lay down a solid foundation for Angelica to unleash her mighty vocals, with touches of Queen, ELO melding with the heavier modern metal riffs TMOMS are a band that have never been dull, their albums rumble along at a fair old pace occasionally stopping for a ballad of movie score proportions.
Echoes Of The Aftermath is no exception taking it's lyrical modern day problems rather than the exclusively story-driven previous record, it means that they can deviate from the formula a bit for a more cohesive song driven album. With top level performances abound and strong songwriting Echoes Of The Aftermath is another quality addition to the bands discography. 8/10
Psychedelic Witchcraft: Magik Rites And Spells (Soulseller Records)
We always like a cover here at the MoM although it is usually a bonus track on an album but Italian doom/occult/psych rockers Psychedelic Witchcraft have stuck their spacey rendition of Blue Oyster Cult's Godzilla as the second song on this record, it's a good cover and fits right in compared to rest of the record which is filled with proto-metal riffage, mind-altering grooves, frantic drumming and the bewitching vocals of frontwoman Virginia Morti.
She casts the occult spells atop of the smoldering, fuzzy riffs that draw from the darkness of the blues and the earliest metal acts for a beguiling trip through this cults world vision, it's an album that marries the music of the lost 70's generation with the visuals of Dario Argento. There are so many of these bands around now but Psychedelic Witchcraft have been doing the rounds for a long time and their occult rock is still some of the most definitive. 7/10
Chrome Molly: Hoodoo Voodoo (earMusic)
Chrome Molly are one of the bands from the NWOBHM that did the familiar thing of breaking up as grunge hit only to reform in 2009 and try all over again. Since 2009 they have only released 2013's Gunpowder Diplomacy and now they have followed it up with Hoodoo Voodoo and really this is run of the mill generic British hard rock with touches of metal.
The band are competent enough but the songs on this record range from dull to downright awful, Pillars Of Creation (Albion) and Now That Those Days Have Gone being the worst offenders as the first is bargain basement Judas Priest riff with terrible lyrics that name check the British bands that created the genre, while Now That... is a simply staggeringly bad ballad.
Much of my criticism for this record stems from the vocals of Steve Hawkins whose voice is not good at all if I'm honest, maybe it's me but they just grate and after about five songs I found myself reaching for the off switch on my stereo. I appreciate that Chrome Molly have been around for a long time, they were there at the beginning of the British metal boom but some things are best left in the past and unfortunately this Leicester band are one. 4/10