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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Reviews: Houston, The Mighty Wraith, Kinjiru, Sounds Of Insane Music (Reviews By Stief)

Houston: III (Cargo Records)

A pure slice of the 80's here in the late noughties, Houston's third album is a fun, lighter-waving experience that epitomises the AOR feel with a slight pop tinge. It ranges from the emotional Lights Out to the wonderfully cheesy with lyrics such as "This is my twelve step programme/for getting over you." (Twelve-Step). Bear in mind, I'm not saying anything negative against the band, as this is the sort of stuff I live for when it comes to AOR. Hank Erix's emotional vocals are backed up by equally emotion playing by Victor Lundberg on the keyboard, as well as the guitars of Calle Hammer, the drumming of Soufjan Ma'Aoui and the bass of Oscar Lundström. If you're a fan of bands such as Work Of Art, or any of the ballad-playing bands from the 80's, Houston is definitely a band for you. 8/10

The Mighty Wraith: Dragonheart (Independent)

Generic but great power metal. As soon as you see the title of the EP, you know exactly what you're getting from this 4-piece from Birmingham. Matt Gore's vocals are perfect for power metal, working extremely well with Azza Potter's melodic guitarwork. Overall there's not much that pulls The Mighty Wraith out of the vast amount of power metal bands that are out there, but this EP is still a great listen. 7/10

Kinjiru: 4D EP (Independent)

A one-piece from Edinburgh, Kinjiru is a delightfully mental piece of music, as if Rob Zombie met Mindless Self Indulgence at a J-pop rave. Consisting of only 4 songs, it still gives a good taste of what Roger B is capable of, each song a brilliant mixture of frenetic synths. blast beats, vicious growling and bouncing drums. The guitar work is brilliant, and each song is a tight composition that gives the listener an insane ride. It probably won't be to everyone's taste, but if you enjoy industrial metal with a bit more oomph, or if you're a fan of the aforementioned bands, this might be worth a look! 8/10

Sounds Of Insane Music: The Mask (Independent)

Another one-piece a bit closer to home, from Neath here in Wales. However, it is slightly disappointing, as while the guitar playing is pretty decent, the quality as a whole is brought down through the use of midi-level background synths and drums. There's a broad mixture of styles, which showcases Elliot Cadmore, the sole member's range and it's apparent there's something there. According to the SOIM facebook page, there is a call out for other band members, which I feel is what this project needs. I mean nothing against Cadmore as a person, but it feels that with a band to support in the background, he could focus more on the guitar-playing and often brutal growling he is obviously capable of. 5/10

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