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Tuesday 1 November 2022

Reviews: Burn The Sun, Bazooka, Charons Claw, Dynamite 4 (Reviews By Matt Bladen)

Burn The Sun - Le Roi Soleil (Sliptrick Records)

Comparing Greek heavy rockers to and like Opeth may be overstretching things a little but there is definitely a sound if bands such as Mastodon and Alice In Chains along with fellow Greek bands such as Phase Reverse, SixForNine, Calcyes all of whom rely on riffs to make their point but also bring some atmospherics to make their style broader. Having been a band since 2018, this album has been in the work since then and they have captured the sound they talk about in their press release. Atmospheric and ethereal while also being heavy as bag of hammers, the AIC riffs powering A Fist Of Crows, the American heavy rock influence a major factor as Stamatis Spyropoulos and Fotis Maragkos' guitars are down tuned and growling, moving into lighter, soaring lead breaks, while the drums of Aggelos Spyropoulos not only brings power and pace but augments the anode atmospheric sections. 

For just a trio they carry a lot of weight to their music the production of Alex Ketenjian (Planet of Zeus, Vodka Juniors, Puta Volcano) and mastering of Maor Appelbaum (Faith No More, Yes, Meatloaf, Starset, Eric Gales) meaning that things have the right scope. As choppy, psych drenched Fool's Gold moves into the anthemic Severance and the candlelight ballad of This Crawling Flame, changing the tone of the record before the riffs come back on Tidal Waves. These previous two displaying the vocals of Stamatis Spyropoulos well as This Calm Before is another acoustic opening leading into the raging Siren's Call. Richly fixed into the American sound of heavy rock, Le Roi Soleil though does add more creativity especially with the sprawling 12+ minute finale Torch The Skies which goes into a strong stoner/Mastodon vibe. This is strong debut from these Greek riffers, can't wait for more. 8/10

Bazooka - Kapou Allou (Somewhere Elsewhere) (Inner Ear Records)

Calling themselves basement psych-punk Athens based (but Volos originated) band Bazooka, return to kick out the jams on their fourth album Somewhere Elsewhere. All of the members have been deeply ingrained in the psych-punk scene in their native Greece for a while now so it's no wonder that they deliver the songs here with snarl, a sneer and a tonne of fuzzy reverb. Imagine a heavier Thee Oh Sees, or a lighter All Them Witches with a bit of The Pixies, The Jam, some MC5 and their countryman Bailsda too, the Balkan flavours coming on Krifto (Hide and Seek). It's all very no nonsense built on classic sounds but damn it's entertaining. 

Even for a non Greek speaker you'll find lots going on here, the often repeated choruses will have you singing along (and probably butchering the Greek language like me) as D.I.Y no frills riffs peel out the album across 10 fiery tracks, that are born from the underground but so often float into space with some Hawkwind-like psych rocking. The title track has some surf rock as does To Oniro Ton Palavon (The Dream Of Fools) which has some some more surf rock guitar dreaminess as the punk power comes in on Katarameni Anthropi (Damned People), though Jazzooka takes the biggest risk with a lounge jazz refrain. Bazooka have focused on making this album try to reflect what they do live and they've managed to record that incendiary performance on their most accomplished album yet. 7/10

Charons Claw - Streets of Calimport (MetalFighters)

Formed in 2015 Loukas Liato (drums) and Tolis Pappas (guitar) Charons Claw are a NWOTHM from Athens. Similar to the massive amount of bands from Scandinavia and America that draw from the British NWOBHM scene, the Greek scene also has a pretty strong link with 'true' metal so on Streets Of Calimport, their debut album Charons Claw lay their claim to being part of that group of, often excellent bands. With some thrashy riffs on the title track they start strong and stay strong recruiting Jon Soti currently of Floating Worlds, though he's done a turn in most of Greece's premier classic/true/power/prog bands. 

The prog power sound too is one that Charons Claw use well with the changing riff of the title track reminding me of Annihilator's way of varying the guitars in just one song. Soti's vocals are a little like Biff Byford of Saxon fame, but as the thrash sound makes Log Out more towards Megadeth and Annihilator again, this song about internet addiction being one of the few socio-political lyrics on the record, though Gilgamesh and Yharaskrik (The Mind Flayer) both come from the realms of historical/fantasy. Streets Of Calimport put Charons Claw at the heavier end of the trad metal style but with enough Megadeth, Judas Priest and a power metal sounds to appeal to anyone that likes the classic metal sounds. A strong debut. 8/10

Cyanide 4 - AmaΛgamA (Perris Records)

When I saw the words 80's glam era my heart did jump in to my throat however the Greek rockers owe more to W.A.S.P, Ratt and Dokken than their poodle hair sporting brethren. They also have a many similarities to the new Scandinavian melodic rock bands like H.E.A.T and Eclipse. AmaΛgamA is their third album and doesn't change a winning formula. Perfect Sensation encapsulates what they do best, a mid paced rocker with some decent heavily Americanised vocals from G.A Sinn (probably not his birth name), he's also the rhythm guitarist in the band locking in with bassist Nasty George for the melodic rock riffs on Tragic Flaw and Alter Ego where Joxnyy Slut adds lead guitar. Not A Perfect Circle brings the major ballad of the record; Alex Rated's drums getting chance to take it easier. AmaΛgamA is melodic rock with slightly heavier sound at times, still though I'm sure Frontiers will be calling. 6/10

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