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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Reviews: Crobot, Tyketto, Desert Near The End

Crobot: Welcome To Fat City (Wind -Up Records)

Once again letting their freak flag fly. Pennsylvania psychedelic heavy rockers return with their second full length and as the title track kicks off the record you hear that very little has changed musically. The colossal groove of the Figueroa brothers bass and drums lay down funky, pumping beat on songs such as Easy Money, which also has some parping Blues harp on it with the harmonica reappearing on Steal The Show.

The hip shaking rhythm section is the anchor for Chris' guitar which can riff like crazy on the frantic rockers such as Temple In The Sky but also he flutters over the the more sparse, trippy songs such as Moment Of Truth as well as switching between two styles on Hold On For Dear Life that shifts from stomping doom to ethereal psych. Crobot's sound is bolstered by the versatile vocals of Brandon who hollers and croons adding to the loud soft dynamic and conducting the freak outs that take place at every turn of this album. 

They say the second album is the difficult one, well not for Crobot, they have come back with a storming second shot and one that will see them really establish themselves as a potent force on record as they are on stage. 8/10

Tyketto: Reach (Frontiers)

Danny Vaughn and co return with their first record since 2012's Dig In Deep and it's normal service resumed with a mix of massive AOR hooks, country flavour and funky rockers such as Big Money and I Need It Now both showcase hip shaking swagger. Tyketto have always been a lot different to many of the 80's groups, I've always found them to be in the same category as Tesla, a band with a hardcore fanbase, a few big hits over the pond but one that are overlooked. 

Like Tesla they have a strong blues base that shows through on the smoky Remember My Name. Vaughn's vocals are excellent throughout adding grit to Kick Like A Mule but also packing soul on the acoustically driven Circle The Wagons. Reach is nothing new for Tyketto, the harder songs are good but like with a lot of bands of their ilk the over reliance on mid paced and slow balladeering gets a bit wearisome. For fans it's great but it won't win round any new fans for the band. 6/10

Desert Near The End: Theater Of War (Total Metal Record)

Theater Of War kicks you in head from minute one and doesn't let up pairing power metal technically and death metal ferocity, think early Iced Earth playing with Kreator, adding in a touch Behemoth and you'll see why these Greeks are an impressive prospect. The record is the third by the band and continues their concept based around the existentialist storyline that "tells the story of a man who awakes by the sea with no memory and wanders inland, in search of the sun, and himself."

The furious blastbeats take centre stage on Faces In The Dark, like a Bofors cannon pumping 40mm shells into your earholes. The drummer is a machine but he backs a band that all play with intensity from the raspy, baritone vocals and the inflammatory guitar playing the shred with force breaking out of the riffs for severe solo sections and crushing breakdowns at the end of Point Of No Return, moving to pure death/black metal on the ferocious Under Blackened Skies and adding more of the Iced Earth progressive touches to the speed metal barrage. The strong end to the record comes with At The Shores which slows the pace and displays the cleaner vocal passages, it sounds exactly like John Schaffer and co in full flight. 

Theater Of War has encouraged me to seek out the previous albums from Desert Near The End (who's odd name also comes from their concept) it's an intense listening experience that will appeal to a wide audience due to its breadth of metal sound. 9/10

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