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Saturday, 14 January 2017

Reviews: Gotthard, Cellador, Deaf Radio

Gotthard: Silver (Musikvertrieb)

Swiss rockers Gotthard have now been playing across the world and releasing music for 25 years, so Silver is a nod to the anniversary associated with that many years, the band have overcome tragedy and are still a going concern with guitarist Leo Leoni triumphantly leading the band into their 25th year of rocking. Silver is the third record with vocalist Nic Maeder who took the mic after founder Steve Lee's untimely and tragic death in 2010.

They are still going very strongly though, as this record is evidence, it opens with the piledriving Purple-esque Silver River which pairs huge organ-riffs with the soulful vocals, Gotthard have always utilized the keys to great effect bolstering the slinky guitars of Leoni and Freddy Scherner that team up for the swaggering riffs and each put their own stamp with the solos.

Gotthard have always owed a lot to Whitesnake and on tracks like Stay With Me which is laced with orchestral touches and acoustic guitars they also have touches of Mr Jovi that continues to show that Gotthard have real knack for ballads. It's a case of Silver being as valuable as gold as this record is another classy hard rock album from the Swiss supermen. 7/10   

Cellador: Off The Grid (Scarlet Records)

Well this is a blast from the past! I saw Cellador supporting Trivium shortly after the release of their debut album Enter Deception in 2006. They were one of the bands at the re-insurgence of power metal along with Dragonforce amongst others, an enjoyable band live and on record, after a bit of a fuss was made by the metal press (dubbing them the 'Kings of American Power Metal') the band seemed to be stuck in the USA meaning much of the European press dropped away.

They went on hiatus in 2009 with most of the band quitting, leaving guitarist/songwriter Chris Petersen pretty much by himself, he set about finding a new band, released some demos in 2011 and now finally after bringing in a new line up and re-honing their skills live in support of Amaranthe, Havok, Into Eternity and Helloween, Cellador have returned with their second album.

This version of the band sees Petersen take the role of vocalist along with guitarist, songwriter and producer and the band also add a synth player which is key to developing their infectious, bouncy power metal as it blends with the aggressive, technical dual lead guitar playing. There are nods to Gamma Ray, Dragonforce, Mob Rules and several other Euro power metal acts as the band speed through the the songs at lightspeed, with technical prowess that puts them near the apex of the power metal heap, Cellador are back with a vengeance, stick around guys I for one am very pleased you've returned. 8/10

Deaf Radio: Alarm (Self Released)

Back in 2002 Queens Of The Stone Age released their seminal Songs For The Deaf album, well Deaf Radio are clearly taking this album to heart as they have an entire radio for the deaf. They play cerebral alternative rock and come from Athens, their music has an overarching sound of QOTSA permeating the songs. This influence is at it's most audible on Aggravation which has thumping bass, jangly guitars and erratic vocals. The songs on this record are off kilter, left of centre rockers that mix hazy psych sounds (Vultures & Killers) with blasting alt rock, heavy bass lines and lots of snare and harsh guitar tone that cuts through are the order of the day.

It's a noisy record that revels in its discord the sort of band that would go down a storm in support of Royal Blood or one of Josh Homme's projects. Vocally too they are a dead ringer for the QOTSA frontman which adds to the influence heard on this record. A strong debut record from the Athenians, in places it can be too much of a carbon copy of the QOTSA but if you love psych drenched, fuzzy rock then Deaf Radio could be your new groove thang. 7/10


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