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Thursday, 12 October 2017

Reviews: Supersonic Blues Machine, Radio Moscow, Egonaut, The Face Of Ruin

Supersonic Blues Machine: Californisoul (Mascot Records)

Start up the engines, the machine is ready to roll again, the core trio of Lance Lopez (guitars/vocals), Fabrizio Grossi (bass/producer) and Kenny Aronoff (drums) are back for another journey through the belly of the blues bringing the soul back to this music and grabbing some special guests along the way, this isn't an orchestrated thing though, the guests on this record are friends of the players which means that this record is almost a tantalising look at some of the most talented blues players around jamming some tunes. This time it's Steve Lukather (Toto) on Hard Times, Robben Ford  adds some soulful guitar to Somebody’s Fool, Walter Trout is as ever the blues master on What’s Wrong, while returning from the debut are Eric Gales on the soulful reggae-tinged Elevate and the Reverend Willy G adds a smouldering solo and writes the gospel blues of Broken Heart.

I played the first SBM record to death and it looks like I'm going to do the same with this record as well, Fabrizio Grossi is the bands glue he's the reason everyone is jamming these songs his bass holds everything together and his production/music industry experience gives the record it's slickness and warmth. Lance Lopez's vocals carry so much soul the Devil wants some of them back and his guitar playing slides in with ease against the blues rock legends that feature while Kenny Aronoff displays his session skills behind the kit It's top class blues rock with a soulful streak making The One and Hard Times slow and slink their way out of your speakers with Aronoff's drums and Alessandro Alessandroni Jr.'s keys giving their all, but every song on this record is packed with modern blues rock, Supersonic Blues Machine    

Radio Moscow: New Beginnings (Century Media)

Retro- rock jams are what you get from this Southern Californian power trio, Parker Griggs has the wild shirtless riffs of Grand Funk's Mark Farner and the gruff vocals of Steppenwolf's John Kay with Paul Marrone hurting his drum kit and Anthony Meier ramping up the groove with some finger-style four stringing. Radio Moscow are unabashedly retro, reverbed guitars and bell bottom jeans are the ethos and their psychedelic streak bring to mind the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, Blue Cheer or Atomic Rooster, the Hendrix comparisons can be heard in the way Griggs makes his guitar cry on the wah drenched Deceiver or on the Eastern flavoured instrumental Woodrose Morning. Every song brings another familiar sound played by some young guns. No One Knows Where They've Been is built on some funk staccato that builds into a wild guitar freak out. The psychedelic vibes carry through the whole of this record with Griggs on fire on every track his guitar playing is mesmerising but it's always anchored by the solid rhythm section. Swirling riffs and electrifying retro rock are what Radio Moscow bring to the table and it's good enough to eat! 8/10

Egonaut: The Omega (Mighty Music)

The fourth album from Sweden's Egonaut is a satisfying slab of organ drenched dark heavy metal that owes a lot to Paradise Lost and also countrymen Ghost, massive doomy riffs come from Fredrick Jordanius (guitar) and Dennis Zielinski (keys) whose Gothic keys are the main element of this record. It's good stuff, melancholic hard rock with a metal edge, since their last record Jordanius has stepped down as vocalist focusing just on guitar letting new vocalist Emil Kryk give his deep croon a flex on the fist pumping Alienati but getting more melodic but grittier on Totentanz. The Omega is a good album of darkened heavy metal, there's a gloom hanging over the record which means that you can't help nodding your head along as they change between monolithic doom riffs and classic metal rocking on Deathsworn a song built on Rainbow-like keys. If I'm honest the keys make this record what it is, there are so many times that it could become just another doom metal band but the orchestrations and bubbling organs keep it fresh. I'd never heard of Egonaut before but they impressed me with their fourth release, a solid record of heavy music. 7/10

The Face Of Ruin: S/T (Self Released)

Apparently The Face Of Ruin are a sexy melodic death metal from Warwickshire, well they seem sexier than the Swedish long-hairs that usually play the genre but musically they stick to their Gothenburg-sound guns playing the razor sharp, harmonised riffs made famous by At The Gates, Dark Tranquillity and In Flames, this three song EP is a violent tornado of riffs, flurries of blast beat drumming and vocals that move from bowl clenching growls to piercing screams, they bring some frenzied shredding to Beyond Life which features a big beatdown guaranteed to cause some damage in the pit. The three tracks on this record give an overview of The Face Of Ruin technically precise, modern melo-death, this is the new face of the music I expect big things. 7/10

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