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Wednesday 9 September 2015

Reviews: Uncle Acid, Dead Lord, Black Trip

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats: The Night Creeper (Rise Above)

The mysterious Cambridge band once again return from the shadows with their 4th album The Night Creeper, Uncle Acid are a rare breed of band that manage to do retro perfectly capturing a time period but not letting it move into a pastiche. Previous albums were chock full of Sabbath worshipping doom riffs and fuzz, The Night Creeper continues this love of Iommi and co on tracks such as Waiting For BloodDowntown and Pusher Man which have that fusion of reverbed fuzz riffs along with the almost other worldly vocals of K.R Starrs and could have been off cuts from Masters Of Reality, this is drug infused occult loving 60's rock at it's most ominous, as well as the Sabbath style songs the band also bring in elements of The Beatles on Melody Lane, the title track and in fact throughout, with the layered vocals, permeating organs and mellotron all being contributing factors. Take heed though as when I say sound like The Beatles, I mean of course they sound like The Beatles if they ate LSD like Smarties and worshipped Charlie Manson, but still that melodic pop edge is still present throughout. With the Fab Four taken care of the band widen their scope with Inside which has a nod to the King Of Schlock himself Alice Cooper in his first incarnation (I mean the band). The band also have added a huge layer of psych to their sound on the instrumental Yellow Moon and the ideally named Slow Death which washes over you in a dreamy haze, the analogue record hiss audibly present in the background lending authenticity to the bands retro sound, they also know how to climax as the acoustic driven Neil Young-meets-Donavan via a heap of Quaalude's, Black Motorcade has a snaking synth behind it leaving you with a upsetting feeling, which suits this music to a tee. The Night Creeper is the culmination of Uncle Acid's past few years of high profile touring and mastering their craft, they have enlarged their repertoire drawing in more influences to their sound meaning that The Night Creeper is Uncle Acids most diverse offering yet. 8/10

Dead Lord: Head Held High (Century Media)

Sometimes I do wonder what's in the water in Sweden, in the last few years we have seen The Blues Pills, Graveyard, Free Fall, Witchcraft, Horisont and of course Ghost all throwing their hat into the ring to lay claim to the nostalgic style of rock and roll placing themselves firmly in the late 60's to mid 70's vein of British hard rock. Dead Lord too then are Swedes and yet again they are jump straight on to the classic rock band wagon with a second album of music that evokes those hazy days of bell bottoms, tight shirts and sweaty clubs filled with bikers. As with many bands there is always somewhere that you can trace their main influence to and in Dead Lords case it is those Irish Vagabonds Of The Western World Thin Lizzy, Dead Lord flawlessly ape the dual guitars of Gorham and Robertson with stabs of rhythm on Farewell, the twin leads on the bluesy Mindless and the shameless copying of No Regrets which has Gary Moore's fingerprint all over it. The rhythm section has the percussive beat of Downey with Adam Lindmark firing on all cylinders throughout casting shadows and flaring up when needed. Martin Nordin's bass thumps along underpinning the sliding leads of Olle Hedenstrom and Hakim Krim who play with fire and passion unafraid to rock out on the Celtic seasoned When History Repeats Itself but also quite happy to slow things down on the smoky, bluesy Cold Hearted Madness and The Bold Move which slithers along at a deliberate pace. Yes Dead Lord have Lizzyisms spread out all over this record most importantly with Hakim's vocals which bridge the gap between Phil and Gary having that booming croon which has a pronounced European diction. Sweden yet again delivers the goods, another hard rock band of high quality, Dead Lord have exquisitely harked back to boogie filled rock laced with twin guitar harmonies and some grit, if you love Mr Lynott and co then Dead Lord will become your new favourite band. 8/10  

Black Trip: Shadowline (SPV)

Once again we catch up with the band that is an off shoot from Swedish speed metal freaks Enforcer, Black Trip features Enforcer guitarist Joseph Tholl taking up the mic and Enforcer drummer Jonas Wikistrand who once again takes up the sticks and also the organ(?) But anyway with the bookkeeping taken care of, Black Trip return again with their second album, now Enforcer deal in super fast speed metal but Black Trip are not exactly slower but deal more in the music of the early days of NWOBHM, thrusting guitars, punchy bass driven riffs and a pinch of punk. As I said in the review I did of their debut album Black Trip sound a lot like DiAnno fronted Maiden with Tholl having a similar snarl to the original singer of the Irons. Lyrically the band deal in the occult, horror, love and evil on these 12 tracks with songs such as Die With Me, Subvisual Sleep and Over The Worldly Walls. They all feature some cracking guitar work from the two guitarists who intertwine perfectly harking back to the Stratton Murray partnership of the past. This album does show a bit more progression with the title track being a bit more modern and indeed progressive, Berlin Model 32 is a punkier track but for the most part this is NWOBHM inspired metal with clear guitar melodies, galloping rhythms and passionate vocals. Black Trip are an enjoyable look back at metals past but really if you want to hear these men in full flight then you're better seeking out Enforcer but for completests and those that felt Maiden and their ilk sold out in 1982 Shadowline will be the soundtrack to your next Friday Night Rock Show. 6/10

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