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Sunday 16 February 2014

Out Of The Beyond 31

Royal Southern Brotherhood: S/T (Ruf 2012)

What do you get if you form a band the features the son of an Allman Brother with a Neville Brother? Well you get 12 tracks of soulful blues rock from the smooth opening phrasing of New Horizon, the Santana-like funk of Fired Up! which has Cyril Neville's percussion all over it, as well as his soul drenched vocal delivery, the band then move through the blues balladry of Left My Heart In Memphis on which Neville shows off his excellent pipes again. This isn't a one man show however with both Devon Allman (son of the great Gregg) and Mike Zito providing the six string heroism with lots of slide guitar and good old fashion blues rocking, Yonrico Scott on the drums providing a foil for Neville and Charlie Wooton on bass, who is at his most prevalent on the funky almost reggae style of Fire On The Mountain. The band look to the past and also the future by using the classic blues phrasing and lots of rock, funk, soul and also country (Nowhere To Hide) and creating some modern blues rock in the process. The album is obviously a testament to the heritage and the skills of the contributors, all of them play excellently providing the album with a free-flowing live-in-the-studio feel and a silky segue of every track into the next ensures that this album oozes with groove and knowing confidence of a band that do what they do drawing from their heritage and pumping out some top quality blues rock. 8/10

Myrath: Desert Call (XIII Bis Records 2010)

Desert Call is the best band to come out of Tunisia's second album and it affirms just how good they are from the off with Forever And A Day opening with the Middle Eastern flavour and the downtuned riffage. The band have a lot in common with Orphaned Land mixing metal with lots of Eastern promise, however unlike OL the band have no growls or death vocals and favour a more progressive symphonic/power metal style than many in the genre. The album moves from Forever And A Day into the very heavy Tempests Of Sorrow which has some crushing riffs designed to level buildings. The band have some amazing sounds with Malek Ben Arbia's guitars powering the main bulk of the songs but that's not to dismiss the amazing keyboards and orchestrations of Elyes Bouchoucha who along with Zaher Zorgati's vocals give the band their sound, as Zorgati has a real eastern feel to his vocals which sit somewhere between chanting and crooning. The rhythm section of Saif Louhibi's drums and Anis Jouini's bass too are excellent and provide the band with some amazing technical playing, Jouini even gets a bass solo on the title track! (Lucky guy!). The band show off there technical ability and their progressive tendencies with the Dream Theater/Symphony X like Silent Cries which clocks in at just over 10 minutes, features several changes of pace and tone and ends the first half of the record brilliantly, this style is also most prevalent on Empty World and Shockwave The song reaches it's pinnacle with Zorgati's awesome vocals, this guy can sing excellently, the song also features keys out of the Jordan Rudress school of ivory-tinkling. A great album from one of the bands at the forefront of the 'oriental metal' genre (blame Metal Hammer) a cacophony of metal, Arabic sounds and musicianship of the highest order, find this album and then work your way through the bands other two and you will find that Myrath are more than just a label. 9/10  

Malison Rogue: S/T (Inner Wound Records 2011)

Malison Rogue are a metal band from Sweden and from the opening chords of Friend Or Foe? one name came rushing to my head and that was Queensryche, Malison Rogue sound an awful lot like the Washington natives with every track having that progressive punch that Queensryche bring to their works. The riffs of Bjoerkborg come thick and fast with both speed metal tendencies on tracks like The Pain You Cause but also the 'ryche's melodic power rock on songs like I Grieve which is straight off the Empire album with its pulsing bassline of Pete Fury and the marching drums of Doc, all of which is topped off with the powerful vocals of Zeb who doesn't hit the highs of Geoff Tate but he certainly has the crooning power of the man himself, these songs have power on We're All Born Sinners, emotion on the mega ballad My Mistakes and also heaps of musicality, see the orchestral Scars which features choirs and keys orchestrated by in demand vocalist Mats Leven who also provides backing vocals. This is a great album if you like Queensryche or bands of their ilk then you will really get a kick out of this! 7/10     

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