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Sunday, 11 March 2018

Reviews: Turbonegro, Neverdawn, Wicked Wizzard, Shakma, On Thorns I Lay (Reviews By Paul)

Turbonegro: Rock N Roll Machine (Mercury Records)

Album number 10 from the Norwegian punk rockers and it’s a fine release. A melding of numerous influences, from Monster Magnet to The Who, this gets the foot tapping from the start. The aggro of Skinhead Rock n’ Roll, the anthemic Hot For Nietzsche and the comedic John Carpenter Power Ballad all fit superbly. The tinkling keyboards of Haakon-Marius Pettersen, who makes his Turbo debut on this release fit neatly whilst the quickfire speed of the tracks disguises the quality of the rest of the band. I’m by no-way a keen fan of this band but I really enjoyed this release, the first since 2012’s Sexual Harassment. Well worth a listen. 8/10

Neverdawn: Just Business (Self Released)

Basing their sound very much on the classic Megadeth/Metallica/Maiden style, Just Business is a decent enough slab of tunes albeit with little to get extra enthused about. For a debut album it certainly has promise, with the old school sound hitting a couple of decent pitches throughout the 47 minutes. The Country rock of Drifter contrasts with the Megadeth feel of opener Blinded. My main problem is the limitations of Tristan Woodruff’s vocals which work around 50% of the time but at other parts become more of a challenge to listen to. Compact, neat and confident, this is a promising debut which transports the listener to an older, more leather sweating time.  6/10

Wicked Wizzard: Self Titled (Self Released)

Coming at you from Mungia in the Basque Country, Wicked Wizzard are a stoner rock trio who punch hard and play loud. The challenge with all genres but especially with the stoner sound is to make it sound a bit different whilst still retaining that fuzzy, hard rock edge which defines who the band is. Wicked Wizzard’s debut release manages that to a certain extent and is a 40+ minute journey through swampy territory, interspersed with some storming guitar work from Unal Minguez. Sin City drives hard, Swamp takes a more measured, drifting approach whilst The Wizzard is a seven-minute meander that encapsulates all the best of the band. An enjoyable release which is worth pinning the lug holes back for. 7/10

Shakma: House Of Possession (Self Released)

No prizes for guessing that Shakma’s main influence is Slayer circa 1985. This really is old school thrash with a production quality that echoes those halcyon days when Kerry King had hair and Tom Araya didn’t need Just For Men. Hailing from Haugesund, Norway, Shakma nail their colours to the mast with 40 minutes of heads down dandruff shaking. It really is homage stuff, with nothing original but to be fair, Shakma do old school thrash as competently as any of the challengers around these days. Clipped passages, rampaging drumming and sinister evil vocal delivery are all here in the thrash by numbers release. If you want to transport yourself back to 1985 and Hell Awaits, then grab a copy of House Of Possession and take the trip. 6/10

On Thorns I Lay: Aegean Sorrow (Alone Records)

One of the joys of writing for the Musipedia is the exposure to bands you may otherwise never have heard of. This isn’t always a positive experience; for example, having to review anything by The Dead Daises invariably involves lots of alcohol and some element of self-harm to the eardrums as well as a feeling of violation for several days afterwards. However, discovering the Greek/Romanian death/doom/gothic outfit who have been in existence for over 20 years is a much better feeling as their 8th full length release is simply stunning.

The crushingly slow title track, at just under 9 minutes in length is an impressive statement, huge in style and sound with the menacing death growl of Stefanos Kintzoglou contrasting with the delicate piano ending on Aegean Sorrow and the string sections which gently permeate Erevos. With an intense, sombre atmosphere flooding their sound, this is an intense release which deserves a wider audience. From the skull crushing riffs on Olethros Part I to the gentle piano piece Skotos with its Opeth-like haunting subtleties which concludes the album, On Thorns I Lay may be the discovery of the year, albeit 20 years too late! 9/10

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