WINTER CALLING: Faces

Formed in Florida in 2013, the band began as a side project between Wayne Hoefle (percussion, piano, and keys), who was composing film scores at the time, and guitarist Ian Medhurst who was touring with national recording artist John Wesley. They soon recruited Texas-bred bassist Tim Gilbreath, and finally to Los Angeles-based vocalist Chris Hodges. They have released two albums and some new videos for their latest album Faces.

This progressive metal band has a powerful sound that I couldn’t get enough of and had to listen to “Not Like You” over and over again. The song is tight, full of emotion and vocals so strong, Superman couldn’t stop them if he tried his best. Chock full of energy and a chorus that got stuck in my head, I listened to the song at least four times before continuing. “Follow Me Down” has more subtle moments in it, a quieter moment here and there, but not wimping out, just not as in your face, and is another amazing track that makes you amazed at the talent in this band and the ability to create such blistering sounds. “A New Me, A Few Me” has whispered vocals mixed in with growling, angry vocals and it adds a sense of menace to the song that carries onto the music which is played both heavy and more subtle in parts. The song has a creepiness to it that is both scary and sends the hairs on your arms on end with the beauty of it. The whole album is great with so many songs that are sure to become favorites, but these are the ones with videos out and ones that you would be able to listen to first and get an idea of the album, which is a treat to listen to.

This band just became one that I will be playing in my car over and over again, especially now that the weather is nice, I will be rolling down the windows and cranking this up loud. I suggest that you grab a copy and do the same.

http://www.wintercalling.com

https://www.facebook.com/wintercalling

MATT CHANWAY: Self-titled

Coming from the death metal band Assimilation, Vancouver, BC’s Matt Chanway has his debut self-titled solo record out now that has hints of his day-job band in it. The one major difference between the two projects is that this solo album is all instrumental.

I will be honest, instrumental albums are far from my favorite things to listen to, mostly because I love hearing vocals, something to grab a hold of and keep my interest throughout, but with that said, I did still enjoy this album. This is a bit more in the progressive sound, but still straight up metal, no Pink Floyd noodling here, plus no guitar wankering like Malmsteen. Each track on here ranges from roughly six to eight minutes in length and has enough changes in the songs to keep things sounding fresh and interesting. The added drums (drum machine) and bass really help to keep things flowing and giving the album a depth and thickness. All of the playing is tight and extremely focused with the songs not going on for too long or becoming boring. You can hear the love of playing the guitar that emanates from the fingers of this extremely talented player with song after song of thrills and heavy shredding. I actually liked all the songs the same on this release, mostly because they were tight, heavy, interesting and energetic, and without a vocalist that sometimes can ruin a good album with weak or over-the-top histrionics.

Yes, I did enjoy an instrumental album, luckily the technicality wasn’t overbearing, the songs were engrossing, and the guitar was played with heart and pure talent. This is not an album just for shredders, it’s for anyone who wants an album of great metal that will get your head banging and wear your air guitar out.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/03/matt-chanway-self-titled.html

https://www.facebook.com/mattchanway/

http://mattchanwayguitar.com/

https://mattchanway.bandcamp.com/releases

THE BRAINIAC 5: Journey To X

Emerging in the mid-70s out of the UK’s isolated yet thriving South-Western scene, the Brainiac 5 relocated to London, where their Mushy Doubt EP had already caused a stir. Sharing stages with the likes of The Soft Boys and The Barracudas and finding fans in John Peel and Alex Chilton, they split before their debut album World Inside was released through celebrated psych label Reckless.

If you are thinking that this is going to be a punk album, you’re wrong,  if you think that it’s a prog album, you’d still be wrong, it’s got rock, prog, punk, psych and a touch of freak out all mixed together…yeah I know…what the hell, but it works. It has songs as short as “Endless River pt.1,” at only  01:05, songs as long as “The Human Scapegoat,” which clocks in at a staggering 12:10! Starting with “Endless River pt.1,” the band gives us an opener that is very much a ’60s sound that you would think that you picked up the wrong album, but it actually makes sense since the light psych of the song leads into “The Human Scapegoat,” which goes from psych to punk/noise, into a gentle almost lullaby, then back to the psych/prog sound and it’s an epic track to say the least since it flows so well. “Laura Riding” is my favourite song on here with its nod to the glam sound of Bowie and Roxy Music. “At Noon” is a straight forward pop song that has a great chilled out feel to it. “The World Inside” has a smooth jazz sound with the amazing vocals by Jessie Pie, and some terrific guitar playing. “Some Things” has cool harmonica playing and a tougher rock sound like Bowie’s “Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps).” Last song “Kill It” keeps that sound and feel going with a tight groove and more of that great guitar playing.

For a band that has been doing music on and off for around forty years, this is as fresh sounding as a new band, and it’s great to hear them taking chances and doing things that other bands could never emulate. I need to go hunt down their older music now, while I’m doing that, you go out and get this one…and play it a lot.

https://www.facebook.com/TheBrainiac5/

http://www.brainiac5.co.uk/

https://brainiac5.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/RecklessRecords/

https://reckless.com/

RAHM: Between The Lines

Rahm is the creation of Israeli prog rock composer and multi-instrumentalist Rahm, and this is his five-song debut EP. He plays a mix of progressive rock the brings to mind Pink FLoyd and old Genesis, more of a mellow and flowing sound than the bombastic sounds of these bands.

Pink Floyd is the starting point, but then everything just goes into its own areas, taking them as just a jumping off point. The EP begins with “You Are Not Alone,” which has acoustic guitar, soaring melodies and vocals and vocal harmonies that you will want to play over and over again. “Between The Lines” is a beautiful song with male and female vocals that flow together, and you get a whistle solo too.”Always On The Run” is a ballad that keeps the mood of the previous song going and makes you drift along. “Coming Home” starts of with birds chirping and is a gentle and softly rolling song that has male and female vocals that are sweet and the guitar slides in and in so sinewy and slick that you just swoon. “Fool For You” is the last song and the birds are back, and this is the most peppy of the songs on the EP, but still not rocking out too hard. The female vocals are perfect in this song, adding so much texture and feeling to the song. The whole thing has a strong David Gilmour guitar sound, but that’s ok since he is an amazing player, but so is the playing on here, with the sound being so precisely laid out that you can hear everything going on, as the way that the vocals are perfectly suited for the songs.

If someone would say that this was an older prog rock album, I would believe them, but that’s not an insult, it’s praise. This sounds familiar, which will make it easier to get people to listen, but the talent and the beauty of this EP will get them to stay.

https://www.facebook.com/rahm.music

https://rahm.bandcamp.com/

http://www.rahm-official.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5lup2iKX4yCqLNAvEGztPw

SECURITY PROJECT: Live 2

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Continuing on where they left off with their previous album Live 1, but with a bit more crowd noise and a deeper catalog of Gabriel’s songs, the band plays with all of the heart and talent of that first set.This group features original Peter Gabriel drummer Jerry Marotta, former King Crimson guitarist Trey Gunn, ex-Shriekback guitarist Michael Cozzi, keyboardist David Jameson, and vocalist Brian Cummins.

Being a fan of Peter Gabriel, but not a fanatic that knows his catalog inside out is a good thing because this album gives me a chance to sample songs that I would probably not have listened to in the first place. Yes, I’m more of a popular songs kind of guy when it comes to him, but this collection has drawn me in and turned me onto his deeper tracks. As I listen to this album, it hits me the same way that the first one did, i have goosebumps, and become emotional, with my eyes watering up while I close my eyes and let the sounds flow over me. The pure talent that this musicians have is staggering and I am in awe of just how much I find myself playing this over and over, not just for me, but for anyone and everyone who I can get to listen to it. While the audience is mixed a bit louder in the beginning and end of the songs, it’s not obtrusive at all, it reminds you that this is a live band, not some studio band tweaking everything before you get to hear it, this is a raw and exciting group that blows me away. While I thought the entire album was excellent, the final three songs, “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway,” “Fly On A Windshield,” and “On The Air” were the highlights for me. Cummins used the crowd to sing along and the interaction made this a real treat.

You would think that the second of this project would not far as well as the first, but that would be a terrible conclusion, this is every bit as good as the first album and actually has a touch more warmth to it. As I said before, I’m a fan of Gabriel’s hits, but this band is turning me into a fan of all of his work. This is a special group of people who are doing something that means a lot to them, and it’s exciting for their fans as well.

https://www.facebook.com/The-Security-Project-217444415042065/home

http://music.securityprojectband.com/album/live-2

http://securityprojectband.com/go/

http://www.7dmedia.com/

CURE FOR GRAVITY: S/T

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Cure for Gravity is Chris Gamper (drums), Joe Markert (vocals, keys, guitars) and Dave Walcott (guitars, vocals), and with Dan Feiszli on bass. Hailing from Berkeley, CA this trio delivers an entrancing amalgam of atmospheric synth/alt rock that is reminiscent of later Tears For Fears in sound and vocals.

I put on this six song album and after hitting play, I was transported back to the late ’80s, early ’90s when bands were still melodic and used keyboards with finesse, before the grunge bands came in and knocked this kind of music out of the charts and out of people’s radar. These guys bring those days back, but still manage to sound modern and exciting with catchy songs with soulful vocals that pull you in and get trapped in your ears. With atmospheric songs like “Tonight,” this band really takes you on a trip that makes you close your eyes and lifts you up out of your plane of existence and carries you to another place that almost puts a tear in your eye with its beauty. To be honest, I really loved every song on here and played it over and over again because I could not get enough of these songs. First single “Black Metal” has a chiming guitar, a smooth groove and fantastic vocals that will grab you.

Coming into this review, I had no idea or preconceived thoughts about this band, and now I am a follower and will be keeping an eye out for them. Funny how you can find your new favorite band this way.

https://www.facebook.com/CureforGravityBand/

https://cureforgravity.bandcamp.com/

http://www.cureforgravity.net/

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/