Danko Jones: Wild Cat (AFM)
Danko Jones is a man that bleeds rock n roll, it's his reason for getting up in the morning over the course of his career and 8 albums he may not have gained arena level status but he has what a lot of top level musicians lack, honesty, making music is more than just his bread and butter it's his life force and you can hear that coming out in every song he writes. Wild Cat is his eighth album and once again along with his partner in crime bassist John Calabrese and drummer Rich Knox it's 11 slabs of fast and furious, attitude filled proper rock n roll.
If you've never heard Danko Jones or can't picture proper rock n roll then imagine AC/DC and The Ramones jamming Chuck Berry songs on a speeding train. From track 1 to track 11 it's non stop riffs and naughtiness, the lyrics rarely change, rebellion, loving and rocking are the main factors but that's no matter Danko as usual has a party going on and everyone's invited. Take a track like My Little RNR it's filthy, flirty but also romantic in a horny teenage way coupled with the garage rock riffs it's a prime indicator of what Wild Cat is about.
Occasionally though he does shift the musical influences Let's Start Dancing teams funk with rockabilly fury and You Are My Woman stands out as a favourite on the record due to it's smooth Thin Lizzy-like vibe, yes it still rocks, hard, but Jones channels Mr Lynnott with some spoken word vocals in the middle of the track. Wild Cat doesn't do anything drastic but it does once again show that this trio bring the party and hard. 8/10
The Charm The Fury: The Sick, Dumb & Happy (Arising Empire)
There has been a lot of talk surrounding The Charm The Fury, a lot of press has been garnered and this sophomore album has been advertised for a while now. I actually had never heard of the band until I saw the press for this record, after a bit of searching I found that the band are based in Amsterdam and have released an EP and a full length before this album, they are characterised as a metalcore band and after the first listen to this record I can clearly hear the influence of Killswitch Engage et al as the songs are full of chugging groove filled riffs, there are nods to Lamb Of God on opener Down On The Ropes which sees frontwoman Caroline growling as well as Mr Blythe commanding the microphone with her aggressive snarl.
However later in the album on Blood And Salt she displays her cleaner delivery. As this record progressed I felt like The Sick, Dumb & Happy was similar in sound to much of the In This Moment early albums, it's aggressive and powerful but features a melodic touch on tracks such as Silent War that shows a lot of maturity. Metalcore is not usually my bag and at points during this record I did find myself getting a little distracted, but if you like razor-sharp modern metal with ferocious riffs and savage vocals you'll love this pit-inciting record. 7/10
Lux Perpetua: The Curse Of The Iron King (Underground Symphony)
Lux Perpetua used to be called Sentinel and after numerous line up changes finally they have settled on the name Lux Perpetua (Perpetual Light - Latin Ed), a steady line up and they have finally recorded their debut album. If you couldn't tell from the band name, album title or cover image Lux Perpetua are a power metal band, they hail from Poland and they share a name with the third book in a historical fantasy trilogy by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski (as well as a mass). They also share a narrative influence with the book, this album deals with historical fantasy with tales of and Iron King, an old Bard and a Werewolf, coupled with the intensely symphonic, heavy metal The Curse Of The Iron King could easily played in the same marathon gaming session as Blind Guardian or Rhapsody (Of Fire or otherwise).
The record opens with the triumphant instrumental Celebration before the title track starts the album properly with Paweł "Kaplic" Zasadzki drumming like crazy, he rarely drops from 100mph turning the normal power metal gallop into a sprint, Krzysztof "Kormak" Rutkowski ably aides him with the bass riffs. Tomasz "Tommy" Sałaciński and Mateusz Uściłowski are the axemen of the band and they ramp up the metal with dual leads see Army Of Salvation giving the traditional power metal sound. While other tracks such as The Legend super fast rhythm licks and supersonic solos. They also take on a Blind Guardian-like folk ballad on Eversong which sits neatly in the middle of the Claymore wielding battle themes.
Artur Rosinski delivers each line with a gruff power he really hits his stride on the progressive An Old Bard however the band really stand out due to the incredible keys of Magdalena "Meg" Tararuj who adds the symphonic elements to the tracks such as a church organ to The Werewolf, cinematics to Desert Of Destiny, a Templar clarion call to the title track. Lux Perpetua have taken a long time over this debut album and it shows, the record is full of power metal anthems, turn it up loud and raise a fist to the sky. 9/10