Album Review- Blame Zeus – Seethe

Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, renown for its port wine, piri-piri chicken and surfing. Although established Portuguese bands who had begun their careers during the 1980s and 1990s are still around, much like in other European and Anglo-American countries, the rise of hip-hop, dance music and more pop-oriented acts predominate the current music scene. So, it is quite an accomplishment for BLAME ZEUS, a female-lead rock/alternative band from Oporto, Portugal to make a name for themselves on the international scene. With their third album titled “Seethe” set for release November 8 on Rockshots Records, BLAME ZEUS is breaking into the North American market with their first single “The Warden” available on all music streaming services.

“Seethe” is a ten-track album produced by Ricardo Fernandes. Featuring Sandra Oliveira on vocals,
Paulo Silva and Tiago Lascasas on guitar, Celso Oliveira on bass and Ricardo Silveira on drums, Seethe provides a mix of raw, edgy songs with melodic choruses, harmonies and two ballads. Sandra Oliveira’s spectrum of notes is evident starting with the album’s opening track “How to successfully implode” and carrying through to “Down to our bones” as she, along with her brother Celso on bass, played with synchronistic harmony and flow. The fourth song “White” and the ninth “The Warden” were ballads that are playable for Rock Radio and Easy Alternative music playlists, respectively. Songs like “Bloodstained Hands” and “No” had melodic choruses reminiscent of 1990’s alt-rock music.

Lyrically, “Seethe” deals with traditional alternative music issues such as pain, unexpressed anger and encouragement to express your opinions, voice and identity. Musically, “Seethe” provides a darker, edgier sound then past BLAME ZEUS albums with crisp riffs from Silva and Lascasas set to intense rhythms by Oliveira and Silveira. With influences that range from blues to metal, their music can be described as an intense and heavy rock, but also with intimate and nostalgic ballads.

Since forming in 2010, the band’s two previous releases “Identity’ (2014) (Raising Legends Records) and “Theory of Perception” (2017) have garnered much praise in their home country along with securing opening slots with bands Lacuna Coil, Moonspell, Cradle of Filth, Cellar Darling, R.A.M.P. among many others established acts. In 2018, they were invited to perform at Vagos Metal Fest, one of Portugal’s biggest heavy festivals. Follow them on social media for North American appearances to support “Seethe”.

Motorhead – 1979 Boxed Set Review

In a here-today gone-tomorrow music industry utilising streaming and social media as platforms to reach an audience, it is getting more difficult to remember a time where bands made a name for themselves through recording quality albums. And it is even more difficult to keep a band together for over four decades. Mick Jagger has done it with the Rolling Stones – Bono with U2 is another. And so has Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister. Although MOTORHEAD has had alternating members, Lemmy is synonymous with the name MOTORHEAD equally as Jagger and Bono are with theirs.

So almost four years after the tragic demise of Lemmy, MOTORHEAD and BMG have released the “1979” boxed-set, consisting of Both the original Overkill and Bomber albums half-speed mastered and pressed on 180 gram vinyl created from the original master tapes, Two double-live albums of previously unheard concert material from the ’79 tours, The Rest of ’79 Vinyl, featuring B-sides, outtakes and rare tracks, A 40-page period-accurate “music magazine” featuring unseen photos and fresh interviews regarding the era amongst other goodies and surprises from the vault.

As the majority of the MOTORHEAD catalogue is available on music streaming and video services nowadays, the advantages to box sets nowadays isn’t the compilation of all MOTORHEAD’s hits, but the availability of all the music and video in a consistent and high-quality audio and video formats. The “1979” boxed set was compiled with “the assistance of key people who were part of their ’79 circle of friends, crew, and accomplices”. Available on the MOTORHEAD website, these releases have been created with the full cooperation and involvement of the estates of Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, “Fast” Eddie Clarke and Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. The “1979” Boxed set will be available October 25, 2019.

Track Listings
Disc: 1
1. Overkill
2. Stay Clean
3. (I Won’t) Pay Your Price
4. I’ll Be Your Sister
5. Capricorn

Disc: 2
1. No Class
2. Tear Ya Down
3. Limb from Limb

Disc: 3
1. Overkill (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
2. Stay Clean (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
3. Keep Us On the Road (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
4. No Class (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
5. Leaving Here (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)

Disc: 4
1. Iron Horse / Born to Lose (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
2. Metropolis (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
3. The Watcher (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
4. Damage Case (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)

Disc: 5
1. (I Won’t) Pay Your Price [Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979]
2. Capricorn (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
3. Too Late, Too Late (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
4. I’ll Be Your Sister (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)

Disc: 6
1. I’m Your Witchdoctor (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
2. Train Kept A-Rollin’ (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
3. Limb from Limb (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
4. White Line Fever (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)
5. Motörhead (Live at Aylesbury Friars, 31st March 1979)

Disc: 7
1. Dead Men Tell No Tales
2. Lawman
3. Sweet Revenge
4. Sharpshooter
5. Poison

Disc: 8
1. Stone Dead Forever
2. All the Aces
3. Step Down
4. Talking Head
5. Bomber

Disc: 9
1. Overkill (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
2. Stay Clean (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
3. No Class (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
4. Metropolis (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)

Disc: 10
1. All the Aces (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
2. Dead Men Tell No Tales (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
3. I’ll Be Your Sister (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
4. Lawman (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
5. Too Late, Too Late (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)

Disc: 11
1. Poison (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
2. (I Won’t) Pay Your Price [Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979]
3. Sharpshooter (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
4. Capricorn (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
5. Train Kept A-Rollin’ (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)

Disc: 12
1. Bomber (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
2. Limb from Limb (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
3. White Line Fever (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)
4. Motörhead (Live at Le Mans, 3rd November 1979)

Disc: 13
1. Too Late Too Late
2. Like a Nightmare (B-Side – “No Class” Single)
3. Over the Top (7” Single B-Side)
4. Stone Dead Forever (Alternate Version)
5. Sharpshooter (Alternate Version)

Disc: 14
1. Bomber (Alternate Version)
2. Step Down (Alternate Version)
3. Fun On the Farm (Bomber Outtake)
4. Treat Me Nice (Bomber Outtake)
5. You Ain’t Gonna Live Forever (Bomber Outtake)

Disc: 15
1. No Class

Disc: 16
1. Like a Nightmare (B-Side – “No Class” Single)

Disc: 17
1. Like a Nightmare (Demo)

Disc: 18
1. Poison (Demo)

Album Review- Grim Reaper -At The Gates

There is an old expression that if you put 10000 hours into something, you are an expert. Therefore, after 40 years of experience, perhaps you can be considered a legend. Despite the fact that Grim Reaper have been active for over four decades and were part of the wave of British heavy metal with the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, they still remain below the radar of popularity behind their counterparts. Nevertheless, led by Steve Grimmett, Grim Reaper continues to tour and record with a new lineup consisting of bassist Julian Hill and drummer Mark Pullin, alongside Steve and his long-term collaborator, guitarist Ian Nash. Which brings us to their new album scheduled for release October 25, 2019 titled “At The Gates”.

As with all bands with a new lineup and 40 years of experience under the belt, Grim Reaper is a different band since their beginnings in 1979 and their new album reflects that. At The Gates provides the listener with a mature and emotional experience centered around classic Heavy Metal riffs from the days of yore. This is evident straight from the album-titled, opening track and carries through the albums first ten tracks. Guitarist Nash leads each song with trademark lead riff and only “What Lies Beneath” opens with a more classic late ‘70’s hammering sound found in heavy metal music of it’s time. The final track “Shadows of the Dark” provides a different sound compared to the rest of the CD with an opening sound of chanting before a lyrical story of personal inflection begins.

Lyrically, this album is different then many heavy metal albums but is relatable to the audience who have followed Grim Reaper over the decades. At The Gates deals with the difficulties of life of people who have experienced times of despair and uncertainty. Recorded after the tragic health situations of Steve Grimmett, the feelings expressed within the CD touch an emotional nerve with those who have experienced similar situations themselves or those of someone they have loved.

At The Gates is a quality British Heavy Metal album filled with solid musical leads and riffs equal to their iron Maiden and Judas priest counterparts. It is also a different album then previous Grim Reaper albums with Steve Grimmett’s timeless vocals being the primary link between past and present. Hill and Pulin play solid rhythm’s with Nash’s riffs being strong and scintillating throughout the album. As with all bands who have undergone personnel changes, new members bring new concepts providing At The Gates with a sound with a more modern edge then albums past and sometimes, change is good.

Please see their official website for the details  at http://www.facebook.com/grimreaperofficial

Live Review – RATT, Warrant, FireHouse & Kix at Tag’s Summer Stage

Big Flats, NY-Its mid-September, a few weeks after Labor Day, kids are in school and the leaves are changing colors. Fall is in the air but summer is not over at the annual Tag’s Summer Stage in Big Flats, NY. This year’s event featured a bill of the top bands from the 1980’s – Ratt, Warrant, Kix band and Firehouse. The sold out crowd was hot and ready for the evening, and not just because of the unseasonably warm 86 degree weather outside. With an evening containing over a combined 50 top 40 hits and tens of millions of albums sold, summer was clearly not over just yet.

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Opening up the evening, but hardly an opening band, Kix the band played all their hits. The Boys from Baltimore came out in full force with lead singer Steve Whiteman strutting and performing with the same energy and enthusiasm he has since the beginning of the band. The crowd sang enthusiastically, knowing all the lyrics to their hits from their platinum selling Blow My Fuse album and their successful follow up, Hot Wire. Kix concluded their 45 minute set to applause as they thanked the people for supporting them over the years .

20190921_190116The next act was American Music Award Winning band from Virginia, Firehouse. The band reached stardom during the early 1990s with hit singles like “Reach for the Sky”, “Don’t Treat Me Bad” and “All She Wrote”, as well as their signature power ballad “Love of a Lifetime”, which had fans slow dancing on stage during the performance. Firehouse, who still tour extensively overseas, played a seamless set befitting a band who has been together for over 20 years.

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As the sun began to set, Warrant came in to light up the night. The Down Boys from California tore into the crowd, playing all their rocking hits and ballads from their platinum selling albums D.R.F.S.R. and Cherry Pie. Front man Robert Mason has cemented himself as Warrant’s lead singer since the unfortunate passing of Jani Lane and he also sung the title song of their 2017 album “Louder, Harder, Faster” which had the crowd singing aloud. He performed with an energy and style that has epitomized Warrant since the days of the sunset strip and is part of why Warrant is still touring extensively.
Closing the evening were one of the creators of the 80’s hair rock bands sound, RATT. Party arena rock anthems were their trademark and lead singer Stephen Pearcy showed the crowd why by playing in a traditional 80’s sequined outfit, arousing cheers from the women in the crowd. Original member Juan Croucier led the band, consisting of new members Jordan Ziff, Chris Sanders and Pete Holmes as the group performed classic RATT choreographed performances complete with twirls and leg kicks. The set concluded, naturally, with their biggest hit, Round and Round which had the crowd dancing until the end of the show. Pearcy thanked everyone for the party RATT has enjoyed over the years and here is hoping there are a few more parties to come.

POP Evil review – Watertown NY – Sept 15, 2019

Watertown , NY-The air was thick with anticipation and heat from a summerlike day in Watertown, NY as a packed house at the Exhibition Hall was ready for an intimate early evening Sunday rock show headlined by POP Evil.  And the boys from Muskegon, Michigan (and lady from London) did not disappoint as they rocked a full 2 hour set with an energy that POP Evil have made a trademark of all their performances.

Pop Evil live on stage
Pop Evil live on stage

POP Evil played their full setlist of hits spanning over the last two decades and included a few special fan requests such as PURPLE from their War of Angels album and When We Were Young from their latest self-titled album.  Frontman Leigh Kakaty’s vocals were in full effect with Matt DiRito and Hayley Cramer’s pounding percussions keeping fists in the air.  Dave Grahs and Nick Fuelling rhythms kept the rock hungry crowd going.  Breaks between the songs were short and showcased the humility and gratitude that has earned POP Evil respect worldwide by thanking everyone for coming out and supporting Rock acknowledging that it’s music for the people and appreciating everyone for coming out.

Pop Evil on Stage
Pop Evil on Stage
Pop Evil on Stage
Pop Evil on Stage

Opening act Royal Tusk were perfect in setting the tone for the evening.  Riding high on the rock radio success of their first single AFTERMATH off their Royal Tusk II album, the band from Edmonton, Alberta Canada showed why they are considered one of today’s up-and-coming groups.  This was the second time they have toured with POP Evil, the first one being part of the Canadian leg of POP Evil’s tour in 2018.  With this exposure in the United States, Royal Tusk is a band sure to be heard by everyone soon enough.

Warming up the evening was BRKN Love, a young band from Toronto, Canada who have just released their first single Shot Down on Spotify.  With a sound blending classic 90’s alternative rock with modern day heavy riffs, this is a band soon to be heard on rock radio.