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Thursday 19 September 2013

Reviews: Avenged Sevenfold, Trouble, Jettblack

Avenged Sevenfold: Hail To The King (Warner Bros.)

A7X return with their second album since the death of their drummer Jimmy 'The Rev' Sullivan and this one is not the tribute that Nightmare was this is a band finding their sound again. From the bell tolling, Sabbath-like intro to Shepard Of The Fire which bursts into a riff that Metallica would be proud of, this then moves into the first single Hail To The King which is classic A7X with some tasty guitar work from Zacky Vengeance and Synyster Gates. These similarities can be forgiven if it was one or two tracks however it does become abundantly clear that it is every track yes this is an album is full of well written metal tracks well played however it does all sound very familiar, like I said the first two tracks are Metallica, Doing Time is a G'N'R track from the Appetite For Destruction era, and the album continues in this way with This Means War being Sad But True under another name. They have the obligatory ballad in Crimson Day which is Sweet Child 'O Mine I'm afraid. So yes this has been hailed as A7X best album and it did go to number one however this might be because the album is essentially a covers album bringing together Metallica and G'N'R tracks but with different lyrics. If it was a homage I could deal with it however this seems to be an outright rip off of classic bands work. 5/10 

Trouble: The Distortion Field (FRW Records)

Doom metal veterans Trouble return with their first album of new material since 2007's Simple Mind Condition. It also sees a new vocalist at the for front long gone is the original doom monger Eric Wagner and also his ill-advised replacement Warrior Soul's Kory Clarke; in their place is former Exhorder, Alabama Thunderpussy and Trouble live vocalist Kyle Thomas who brings his burly Anselmo-esque singing to the 'White Metal' attack. So what is the first Trouble release without Wagner at the helm like? Well musically it's big doomy, Sabbath worshiping riffs that kick off with When The Sky Comes Down and move swiftly into the swinging Paranoia Conspiracy. The guitars of Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin bring the down dirty doom riffs and Thomas does a great job on this album, I've always loved his voice and I actually prefer it Anselmo's, he brings a real Southern style to the quicker tracks like Sink Or Swim and also the mega doom monsters like One Life. Yes there are many bands doing the doom at the moment but Trouble are up there as legends of the genre. At 13 tracks you get a lot of Trouble for your money and even for fans that are late to the party this album is a notable addition to the Trouble catalogue and shows they still have it. 7/10 

Jettblack: Black Gold (Spinefarm Records)

British macho rock exponents Jettblack have released this album based around a song from their last album Raining Rock usually this would be a stopgap E.P however this album has 13 tracks made up of unreleased tracks, covers and acoustic versions two of these are versions of the song Black Gold one is the full length version and the other is an edited version that featuring Damon Johnson from Black Star Riders, if I'm honest the full version is better however the rest of the album has some real highlights. Feel The Love and Weapon are both full power electric Jettblack songs that are full of the macho almost chauvinistic lyrics that Jettblack are known for. Feel The Love has a special guest in the shape of Deep Purple's Ian Paice who provides the skins for the song, which makes it sound like Fireball. The acoustic versions of their songs are all very good as they all translate very well to the acoustic style with Not Even Love still having the emotional power of the electric version. The covers are a slightly patchier story, Let Me Put My Love Into You (AC/DC) has been previously released and is a good fit for Will Stapleton's voice as is Name In Vain (Motorhead) too which they bring the punk power of Lemmy and co, on the other hand their cover of Barracuda is well played turning it metallic but neither Will or Tom's vocals will be able to match Ann Wilson but they put their own spin on it I suppose. A good stop gap, that is a money making exercise yes, but one that will keep fans happy. 7/10 

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