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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Reviews: The Bad Flowers, Feed The Rhino, Black Wizard, Vojd (Reviews By Paul)

The Bad Flowers: Starting Gun (Self Released)

Formed in 2014 in the Black Country, the debut album from The Bad Flowers will hit all the right notes for fans of Led Zeppelin, Rival Sons and even The Cult. Soaked in a hard rock heavy blues style, the band make hell of a noise for a trio. Tom Leighton whose Ian Astbury style vocals catch the ear early, also plays a mean fuzzy guitar with some heavy riffs. The raw power of the band has been honed by extensive touring which allow bassist Dale Tonks and drummer Karl Selickis to thunder and pummel throughout. Leighton has a swagger which is really appealing, confident to the point of arrogant is good at times on tracks such as Be Your Man and opener Thunder Child. There isn’t a bad tune on this debut and on occasion it is scintillatingly good. With several tours under their belt, The Bad Flowers will undoubtedly go from strength to strength, in no small part to their radio friendly delivery. Well worth checking out. 7/10

Feed The Rhino: The Silence (Century Media Records)

Metalcore has never excited me. Kent’s Feed The Rhino have been around since 2008 and The Silence is their fourth release. I’m unfamiliar with their previous work so have based my opinion solely on this album. To be fair, it’s a lot more melodic in places than I expected with a sound akin to the Deftones in places. It’s still got that snarly shouty vocal style that grates with me in places but when Lee Tobin hits the smoother clean vocals, such as on 68 then it isn’t bad. However, when it does get shouty then it really does become hard work. All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy case in point. I’m sure the yoof will love this and pack out the halls with their ferocious pits. It’s listenable, but I wouldn’t part with any cash for it. 6/10

Black Wizard: Livin’ Oblivion (Listenable Records)

Vancouver metal merchants Black Wizard may have some stoner elements to them, but this album contains some fine heads down heavy metal of the highest order. Feast And Famine may be one of the most intense, rampaging and ferocious tracks I’ve heard for years and the crushing acceleration that blasts you through the windscreen on Portraits is a joy to listen to. James Wolfe slows the pace right down, a megalodon of a track, crushing riffs and thunderously ominous drums whilst the psychedelia of Cascadia sets you up nicely for a trip. Adam Grant’s vocals are honest and grizzly, with his and Danny Stokes dual guitar work providing some neat interplay, such as the Maiden-like Poisoned Again. Black Wizard hit the UK for some dates in March; a random selection that includes Glasgow, Falmouth, Coventry and London. If you are stuck for an evening you could do far worse than stick your noses in on these guys. It’s decent stuff. 7/10

VOJD: The Outer Ocean (Playground Music Scandinavia)

Unsurprisingly VOJD hail from Stockholm. Their sound is traditional heavy metal with a psychedelic twist. The Outer Ocean is their debut release and it combines some classic old school sounds with a fresh new approach. Vocalist Joseph Tholl has a voice which has shades of Demon’s Dave Hill at his peak which is no bad thing. There’s a definite stoner sound to a number of their songs, such as the opener Break Out and Delusions In The Sky, both which get the foot tapping quickly. Secular Wire slows the pace slightly although the vibe which surges through this album quickly ups the tempo once more. There’s a right fuzzy blues sound which also throbs through the heart of this impressive album, and some very neat guitar work, such as Vindicated Blues and the trippy Dream Machine, complete with some soaring harmonica. Overall a rather stellar release. 8/10

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