The League of One: Dispatch

This band from Regina, SK Canada was formed back in 2003 when founding member Will Maeder (guitars/vocals) teamed up with Tracy Gerlach (bass/vocals) and Eric Gherasim (drums). Murray Sokoloski “The Rev” (bass/vocals) replaced Tracy in 2005 and Bill Grant (drums) came aboard in 2009. The lineup has remained static since. Playing hard rock/heavy metal, the band has been getting more and more press as they put out more music.

Singer and guitarist Will Maeder put a lot of emotion into the songs and you can really hear the love that he has for these songs. The rest of the band plays tight and with a thick sound that is also quite catchy with lots of riffs that will keep the air guitarists happy, great bass lines and a pounding drumbeat that never gets carried away. The songs are of a high quality and will have you head-banging and singing along. Starting with the blazing “Wax Museum,” the band gets right into the business of showing you that they can rock out with the best of them. The crowning achievement to this album is the longest track at over nine minutes long, “Koolaid And Bug Burgers.” The track is quiet, heavy, loud has elements of the Doors and even “Earache My Eye” by Cheech and Chong in the guitar playing. I love this track and had to hit the replay a couple of times.

If you are looking for something that hearkens back to classic rock and metal, this is what you need to get in your hands and into your ear holes. I am looking forward to hearing more from my fellow countrymen in the future.

https://www.facebook.com/lileverecords/

https://www.theleagueofone.com/

https://www.facebook.com/theleagueofone/

https://theleagueofone.bandcamp.com/

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VAJRA: The Mirror: Single

vajra

This band from New York plays a mix of what they call Gypsy Metal, and also contains East Indian sounds, Hard Rock, Psychedelic, Metal, and Progressive all mixed together. They have just released a new single from their forthcoming CD, Irkalla (released Fall 2017) which is the first in a series of three EPs called the Trilogy Series.

The song has a few gentle parts that get harder and heavier, and then there are parts that are completely bombastic and just blow your hair back. The mix of the different music styles, including the East Indian sounds really work together to create a unique sound. The playing is exemplary, with a tight arrangement, great production, thick bass, driving drums, blistering guitar playing and such amazing vocals that I had to hit repeat a few times. The song is catchy, and very memorable, a very good sign for their upcoming EPs.

Take a look at their cool video for the song, then go and buy it and play the hell out of it. Get ready for something great from this band, they have the talent and with quality of this high standard, they are going to keep rising.

http://www.thevajratemple.com/

http://www.facebook.com/vajratemple

https://vajratemple.bandcamp.com/

SAINT BLASPHEMER: Theotokos

This band from Santa Ana, CA is comprised of Thomas Monroe (vocals), John Castellon (guitar), Steve Shell (bass), and Steve Ybarra (drums). They’ve been playing shows since February 2016 and have two releases out now with Theotokos being the newest.

The band has a ‘90s alternative sound to them, but not enough to make them sound retro or tired, more like familiar, which is good since being a new band, having that sound, makes you think that you’ve known them a long time. They have a very sexy and cool swagger to their music, kind of walking in and knowing that they’re right and about what they’re doing, not that stupid “swag” that kids think is hip nowadays. The band is tight, the vocals are clear, crisp and full of energy and don’t overpower the music, matter of fact, everything is mixed perfectly and has more than enough juice to light up a city, not to mention your ears. The mix of alternative and metal work together far better on here than on most of the other albums that I’ve heard try to mix it up; usually, it becomes a battle of which one takes over the song/album, but these guys temper the mix perfectly. The more that I listened to this album, the more that they reminded me of Jane’s Addiction, mostly in the music, not the vocals so much, but not to the point of being copyists.

If you have a soft spot for ‘90s music, or just want to hear a band that has their shit together and can play the hell out of their instruments with feeling and conviction, then you need to grab this one. If they keep on this path, there is no doubt that people will catch on and they will become powerhouses.

http://www.saintblasphemer.com/

https://www.facebook.com/saintblasphemer/

https://saintblasphemer.bandcamp.com/

Also posted on:

http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/06/saint-blasphemer-theotokos.html

TOKYO BLADE: Knights Of The Blade: 4 Disc Box Set

tokyo-blade-box

Tokyo Blade originally formed in 1982, releasing their self-titled debut in 1983. They formed around guitarist Andy Boulton, he was joined on their debut by Alan Marsh on lead vocals, John Wiggins on guitar, Andy Robbins on bass and Steve Pierce on drums, making a significant impact on the burgeoning NWOBHM scene that had been popularized by Iron Maiden, Saxon, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Def Leppard, as well as finding support in the pages of Kerrang! magazine. This release consists of a four Disc box set of their first three albums, many rare EPs, singles and non-album cuts from the early 1980s, including tracks from “The Cave Sessions”, “Undercover Honeymoon” 12”, “Midnight Rendezvous” EP and “Madame Guillotine” EP. Featuring lengthy and detailed liner notes from note NWOBHM and Tokyo Blade expert John Tucker

Tokyo Blade issued their debut recording in 1983, which was self-titled in the United Kingdom, and titled Midnight Rendezvous everywhere else. The album is classic metal with high-pitched vocals that aren’t too far into the stratosphere like some bands, they are a nice mix of highs and mid-level, the guitar rips throughout the album, the drumming is powerful, and the bass is heavy. The band really sounds like they were having a great time n the studio making this album, with youthful exuberance just dripping from the songs. The songs are catchy and should have been playing out of everyone’s speakers loud. I really liked “Powergame,” “Break The Chains, ” Killer City,” “Liar,” and “Sunrise In Tokyo.” For a first album, you don’t get much better than this.

The Night Of The Blade album arrived a year later, Andy Wrighton having replaced Robbins while Marsh had also left the band. The band was trying to find a new singer for their tour and got lucky with what was supposed to be the temporary throat of Vicki James Wright, but they decided to keep him as singer for the next album. His vocals were a bit more commercial sounding, but the songs were still hard and heavy. Again, the band played tight and really matured since their first album. Songs “Someone To Love,” “Night Of The Blade,” the killer “Rock Me To The Limit,” “Love Struck,” and the more commercial sounding “Lightning Strikes (Straight Through the Heart),” stand out after all of these years.

Blackhearts & Jaded Spades retains the power and singer from the previous album and sounds a bit more polished, but not wimpy. You could hear the band moving towards the huge American market with the added keyboards and more melody than on previous albums. Who can blame them? The market in America was something that pretty much every band wanted to break in and tour and be played on MTV during this period. The hard and heavy stuff was more on underground radio and bands knew where the money was; playing more melodic, adding a touch of keyboards and making the band more in tune with the big bands at the time like Iron Maiden, and Motley Crue. “Dirty Faced Angels,” “Make It Through The Night,” “Always,” are a trio of killer songs, “Loving You Is An Easy Thing To Do” is a blues based track that has a fantastic groove and should have been huge on the radio, “Undercover Honeymoon” gets things back a little heavier, then you get the power ballad “You Are The Heart,” which I could see being thrown in the mix at a high school dance back then, “Blackhearts And Jaded Spades,” “Tough Guys Tumble” get the hard rocking going again, until you come to another power ballad, “Dancing In Blue Moonlight,” which now starts to be a little much, and happily, they end the album with two blistering songs “Playroom Of Poison Dreams,” and “Monkeys Blood.” Not perfect, but still a great album that has more than enough metal to make you happy.

The fourth CD is a nineteen track collection of the band’s singles and EPs.  All of these songs were previously issued on the band’s various reissues, and it’s great to have them all together on a separate disc. This ably illustrates the musical evolution Tokyo Blade underwent from the start of the career, until their third album. Going from a harder sounding band to a more slick and commercial sound, while still retaining the great songs and playing that made you pick up the first album.

With the great liner notes, replica album sleeves and the fantastic music on the four discs, you really can’t go wrong with this purchase. The band definitely is on fire on these albums and even though they still are putting out albums now, the young, hard-edged sound of their hunger is a treasure to behold.

https://www.facebook.com/TokyoBladeOfficialFanPage/

http://www.tokyoblade.com/

https://www.cherryred.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

DANIEL LIONEYE: Vol III

 

Daniel Lioneye was formed in 2001 and originally consisted of HIM members Ville Valo on drums, Mige on bass and Linde on guitar and vocals. They released one album that year called The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which was only released in Finland and Germany. The title track ended up being the theme song for Bam Margera’s TV show, “Viva La Bam.” In 2008, Linde felt the need to do another Daniel Lioneye album and wanted it to be completely different from the last, and put out VOL II. After 8 years Daniel Lioneye is now back with a third album Vol. III.

The album is a mix of heavy metal, black metal and progressive rock that works perfectly together. With all of these different styles on here, there is a song for everyone and the beauty of it is that the music flows so well between the styles of music. No style takes over, no style swamps the senses, it just seems to be a collection of great songs that they came up with. The playing is impeccable, tight, emotional and the songs are catchy, not in a pop music way, but they latch onto you, get stuck in your ears and become a part of you. The guitar playing has got to be heard with riffs coming at you at every turn and being some of the slickest playing I’ve heard in a long time. The entire band sounds like they are playing their hearts out and really tried to give the listener something different from past albums, and they’ve really accomplished that task with the intricate playing and arrangements on the album. They also have a new version of VOL II’s “Neolithic Way” that takes the song into a different place with the new arrangement.

This album is balanced between the cleaner, and harmonic and the crazed music that you are used to from this band and the production is more rounded out, with depth that adds to the experience. An album that has this much going for it shouldn’t just be considered a side project, it should be thought of as a full-fledged band that can stand shoulder to shoulder with any band.

https://www.facebook.com/daniellioneye/

https://www.facebook.com/theendrecords/

http://theendrecords.com/

HELIX: Long Way To Heaven

Long Way to Heaven is the fifth studio album by Canadian heavy metal band Helix. This album was their third for Capitol Records, and the first single was “Deep Cuts The Knife.” The song received heavy airplay in the U.S., and in Canada it was added to heavy video play on Much Music. The second single released from the album was “The Kids Are All Shakin’,”a song inspired by a fan letter from Poland. This is the remastered re-release from Culture Factory.

Helix came out with this album and there were bigger expectations from the band after the success of the previous Walkin’ The Razor’s Edge (featuring the hit “Rock You”). The band was playing harder and this time they tried to fit in with the more commercially accepted metal bands with a ballad, “Deep Cuts The Knife,” that never really grabbed me then and still doesn’t do it for me. The good thing is that they had a lot of kick-ass songs on here to more than make up for that bump. The songs that I hit replay are; “Don’t Touch The Merchandise.” “The Kids Are All Shakin’,” “Ride The Rocket,” and “House On Fire.” Don’t think the other songs aren’t good, they are, but these are the ones I come back to a little more often. The album is another tightly played collection that now has the clean sound from Culture Factory and their crisp sounding remaster.

The band was riding a high and this is another rockin’ album for your collection and will still get your juices pumping after all these years. Grab a copy and relive your youth with the album turned up and a beer or three in you.

https://www.facebook.com/brian.vollmer.39

http://planethelix.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/

HELIX: No Rest For The Wicked

No Rest For The Wicked is Canadian heavy metal band, Helix’s third studio album, and was also their major label debut on Capitol Records. Released in 1983, it features two of the band’s biggest singles, “Heavy Metal Love” and “Never Want To Lose You.” This is the newly remastered version from Culture Factory that makes it look like the original vinyl release and greatly improves the sound.

With this album, the band went from playing more blues based hard rock, to toughening up their image and getting into leather and playing harder edged music and becoming a big time metal band with videos getting heavy rotation on Much Music, and tons of radio play. The album is tight with not one note wasted, and still as catchy as an old nickel whore with syphilis. Song after song will get you playing the air guitar and singing along to the chorus, and wishing metal was this much fun today. Of course you get the two big singles; “Heavy Metal Love” and “Never Want To Lose You,” but the album could have had more singles like “Let’s All Do It Tonight,” “No Rest for the Wicked,” and “Ain’t No High Like Rock ‘n Roll.” The band plays with conviction and he good vibes jump off the album and get burned into your ears. This is the kind of album that you would take with you on a car ride and roll the windows down, and crank it up. The remastering job has cleaned up the tracks and given them a clarity that helps bring out the raw talent and emotion that is laid down here.

An album that stands up today as good as it did over thirty years ago and makes me yearn for the days when you could turn on the radio and hear music like this coming out fresh. I’m going to take this one for a spin in the car and see if I can forget what year it is.

https://www.facebook.com/brian.vollmer.39

http://planethelix.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Culture-Factory-USA-161614307253980/

http://culturefactoryusa.com/