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Thursday, 25 April 2019

Reviews: Chastain, Ramblin Roze, Lazy Bones, The Fallen State (Pascal)

Chastain: 1319 (Self Released)

Chastain’s 1319 album takes tracks from the second era with the original singer  Leather Leone. If you don’t know her, I don’t blame you as it’s pretty hard to keep up with David Chastain’s discography. Between the lengthy hiatuses and numerous projects it’s hard to follow. Personally I got introduced to his work in the 80’s through CJSS on two albums which I really liked at the time. Then I followed him out of loyalty more than anything else. I think the reason why Chastain has never really managed to take off is that while his power/speed/heavy metal is attractive the songs don’t really stick. I bought a few of his albums earlier this year and I realized that I liked more the idea of liking Chastain than his actual work. 1319 is a good album, it's powerful, riff oriented and may appeal to a large section of the metal community besides the old nostalgics of the 80’s.

That said after listening to the album I am incapable of naming one song title which would be better than another one. Don’t get me wrong its cohesive and tight and way above the average. I like the powerful intro of Deep Down In The Darkness, the backing vocals on All Hail Kings and obviously the guitar work from the main man on I Live For Today. I would also give a special mention to the closing track Search Time a heavy tune with a slow tempo but strong riffage. But is this album a must buy? No is the answer and to be honest unless you want to support the US Heavy Metal underground scene. It’s a pity because I would love to finally see Chastain playing in Europe. 6/10

Ramblin’ Roze: EP (Self Released)

Chinese blues hard rock’ n’ roll with a sprinkle of punk for good measure. So before we go any further let’s agree to park our unconscious bias mindset for a minute. The East is not overly well known for producing international acts but when they do export them they are pretty good. Hailing from Beijing, those guys threw Black Sabbath, Exploited, Rory Gallagher and Lynyrd Skynyrd in a pot, stirred the whole thing and are now serving us some strong Wok’ N’ Roll (sorry about that one).

This 5 track EP is more than just a curiosity. Down By The River could have easily featured on an early Judas Priest, the harmonica on Burn It Away is an ideal add on for a feverish hard blues track while Born To Be Your Lover has a strong punkish flavour (GNR Style) which I quite like. Overall a lot of obvious influences transpire thru this short recording effort but you know what? It’s only rock n roll and I like it. 7/10

Lazy Bonez: Kiss Of The Night (EXR Records)

The press pack introduces the band as a classic metal outfit and classic metal it is for Lazy Bonez. The Finnish band has often been described as the ultimate 80’s tribute band. Tommi Salmela is a talented vocalist influenced by the likes of Coverdale, Dio, Gillian etc and his band mates are efficient musicians. Slaves Of The Dark reminds me of Sinner at times, Fire could be a b-side on a Treat single but most of the titles lack in originality and knack to make them memorable. Follow Me the closing mid tempo track could probably be seen as an invitation to explore their music further but I don’t honestly think they will manage to export their craft beyond their provincial Finnish. Only for die hard fans of the genre. 5/10

The Fallen State: A Deadset Endeavour (Last Man Music)

After a couple of EP’s that helped solidifying a decent following in the UK, The Fallen State is finally producing a full length called A Deadset Endeavour. I cannot deny that Ben Stenning has a great voice nor that Jon Price the lead guitarist has that little extra in terms of emotive dexterity however the 10 songs on this album leave me cold. It’s very well produced and American Made the atmospheric title is probably the stronger in terms of artistic intent but it gives me the feeling that the band substance has not materialized on the digital support. Maybe it's a generational thing as it does not speak to me at all, sound wise it’s close to the average pop side of Trapt ( a band who has also gone through the motions lately). 5/10

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