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BLEEDING EYES
Gammy
Go Down Records

Our first impression of Bleeding Eyes came from their stunning album art. Gammy is their third full album and strikes as more metal with elements of psych and stoner. After several listens, the combination of their sinister, chaotic, and psychedelic come into clear focus. Several tracks stand out as exotic and masterfully arranged. Opening track “La Chiave” crafts a ballad-like atmosphere allowing each instrument its own introduction and makes way for an ethereal entrance before a cavalcade of amplification. Tuning in to the universe comes “Amaro Tez (O.O.D.)” in a fuzzed out haze of marching time signatures and punk vocals. The guitars whine and pull as the rhythm section bows under the dense weight of it all. “Lacrime Fiume Sangue Dolore” is a glorious tribute to Pink Floyd with screeching guitars and industrial elements while “Full Fledged” is sludgy metal. “Demon Haze” picks up pieces of Dream Theater with a brilliant mid-section that is melodically organic using layered guitars to create texture and movement.

Hailing from northern Italy means that all the lyrics are sung in their native language making the vocals a melodic component of the music. As a six-piece, there is a surprising amount of room for each to move about within the composition. “Ama-Rosa” is a song that takes full advantage of the band’s ability of push and pull maintaining just the right amount of tension. The nine-minute title track “Gammy” is the full expression of the group’s ebb and flow. Using a sound bite of the ‘80s (“Brain on Drugs”) add, the tune twists and turns into a full-on psych-fest with cosmic wanderings over vocal babbling. A more structured piece is “Kevin’s Space” as it follows a bass grind with the guitars buzzing at full volume on both channels. The shamisen (Japanese banjo) intro of “A Fistful of Dynamite” makes for a cleaver segue into a glorious hard rocker that is as addictive as it is beautiful. And for Motörhead fans, put on “Keep Calm and Fail” for a heavy romp through industrial madness.

Website: Bleeding Eyes, Go Down Records

CRAIG ERICKSON
Sky Train Galaxy
Grooveyard Records

Guitarist Craig Erickson continues to impress with his latest outing Sky Train Galaxy. Since first coming into the spotlight with an impressive solo debut Roadhouse Stomp! (1992), the midwest native has expanded his stylistic repertoire to not only include blues, rock and jazz but funk, fusion and reggae. Sky Train Galaxy is more of a psychedelic affaire with a vibrant mixture of ‘70s blues rock. Erickson’s triple-threat talent is fully on display with an overload of guitar, bass and vocals, which keeps the disc’s 11 tracks tight and energetic. “The Comeback” is the perfect opener as a barrel-load of roadhouse blues comes pouring out of the speakers. Erickson’s bottleneck slide and soulful voice echoes years of experience retold in the lyrics with passionate conviction. The heavy chug of the rhythm gives the song just enough menace to keep it dangerous while the solo shards fly in with razor-sharp precision. The album’s title track “Sky Train” has a similar vibe with an injection of the devil’s riffing over a monstrous bass thump and pounding drum. The layered backing vocals give the track an added dose of outlaw character.

Personal favorite, “Mojo in Memphis” is quoted in the album’s liner notes, yet it’s the intoxicating groove that captures full attention. Though rooted in the blues, the swagger of the track is undeniable, dripping with bump-and-grind sensuality played over a sizzling hot lick. The same rise in temperature heats up the hip-shakin’ “Boogie for Love” and the R&B-tinged “Mercy”. Erickson struts his classic rock roots paying homage to Deep Purple’s Come Taste the Band in “Getting’ Tighter/Ode to T”. His reverence for Tommy Bolin is messaged into every note while his vocal inflections and bass line stay true to Glen Hughes. The catchy hook in “Blinded by Love” gives the track an easy path to FM radio while “Illusions of the World” and “Time (Never Enough)” use their mid-tempo edge to showcase Erickson’s SRV/Hendrix chops. Bringing the record to a close, the beauty of “Morning Glory” is found in its laidback and emotional approach to intricately crafted scale runs. Incredible playing and the strength of the compositions make Sky Train Galaxy one of this year’s best!

Website: Craig Erickson, Grooveyard Records

BRYCE JANEY
Delta Road
Grooveyard Records

There is a lot of history in the guitar playing of Bryce Janey. The guitarist is the son of the legendary Billy Lee Janey whose ‘70s group Truth and Janey recorded the 1976 No Rest for the Wicked, an album that has become an underground classic among heavy rock aficionados. Delta Road is the 10th release from Bryce who follows in his father’s footsteps playing electric blues that leans more toward the heavy than traditional. Joined by long-time associates bassist Dan “DJ” Johnson and drummer Eric Douglas, the trio lock in as they explore the eclectic crossroads that make up the eleven tracks on Delta Road. “This Old Guitar” was the first to sink its teeth in after repeated listens. A clever lyric that presses fond memories, the song makes a fitting tribute to the instrument that has been Janey’s constant companion since forming a trio with his parents at the age of 13. The guitar tone is sharp and edgy, dancing along like a trusted lover as Janey sings, “I still remember when I first picked her up, she still feels like a worn out glove.”

It’s with that guitar that Janey and band unleash a series of foot stompin’ music that “Shake the Wall.” They even have a song of the same title, which calls to mind elements of Skynyrd, Ram Jam and Humble Pie. Opening number “Keep Marchin’ On” throws in some psychedelic funk while deep cuts “Same Old Thang” and “Feel like a Stranger” walk the thin line between rock and blues with dynamic playing and roll lickin’ attitude. Title track “Delta Road” is a Southern-fried jam that tells the aged tale of making a deal with the devil for musical prowess. The rhythm section drops in the pocket behind a slippery lick to give the song a kick-ass groove made all the better with a splash of Harmonica courtesy of Perry Welsh. Rory Gallagher’s “Lonesome Highway” shines as a cover tapping into a cross between homage and individual interpretation while “Better Off With The Blues” and “World Of Trouble” get down and dirty with loads of feedback and some of the album’s best playing. The band slow for the mournful eulogy of a fallen friend in the emotional “Time Doesn’t Wait” giving Janey full freedom to let the notes linger in the air. The disc appropriately ends with a riveting version of Robert Johnson’s “Hellhound on My Trail”

Website: Bryce Janey, Grooveyard Records

JAY JESSE JOHNSON
Set The Blues On Fire
Grooveyard Records

Jay Jesse Johnson first came to our attention in 1983 when we flipped over the cover of Arc Angel’s debut LP for Portrait/CBS and read his name as the guitarist. At the time, JJJ sounded like a young Barry Goudreau (Boston) giving Arc Angel a beautiful guitar polish custom built to make him a star. He next appeared as a member of East Coast band Cryer, then Deadringer where he penned rockers “Balls Out”, “Bring on the Night” and “Unsung Heroes”. By the turn of the millennium Johnson had returned to his Indiana blues roots and was recording with the Blindside Blues Band. Since joining Grooveyard records, Johnson has focused on his solo career. Set the Blues on Fire continuing his tradition of combining the heavy rock sounds of Foghat and Humble Pie with his own power-blues signature. “Hell Or High Water” gets the 12-track disc moving with a rapid-fire riff followed closely by the pulsating rhythm section of Reed Bogart (bass) and Jeff “Smokey” Donaldson (drums). Not to be lost in a flurry of shredding notes is the undercurrent of keyboardist Lee Evans.

Having worked with hit songwriter Jeff Cannata, Johnson knows a thing or two about writing a catchy tune – and this new disc is full of them. From “Ghost in Texas” to “Wheelhouse Boogie” and “Ace in the Hole” Johnson not only proves his guitar prowess but whips up a healthy dose of toe-tapping groove that makes each song a memorable treasure. On the other side of the note scale, he is also a firm proponent of the “less is more” philosophy when it comes to songs like the Gary Moore-inspired “Since My Baby’s Gone”, the slow grinder “If I Knew Then”, and the moody “Rios De Los Suenos (River Of Dreams)”. Foraging through the gold mine of nuggets, the title track “Set the Blues on Fire” joins “Midnight Dream” and “Grinding Blues” as some of the best riff rockers of JJJ’s extensive career. Layering his soulful baritone over crafted melodies with an added blues edge and swinging beat are what makes the ordinary extraordinary. Yet, it’s the flamenco picking of “Voodoo Woman” as it rolls into a 12-bar shuffle where we find JJJ most at home with his fresh compositions – newly inspired and fully on fire!

Website: Jay Jesse Johnson, Grooveyard Records

MOTÖRGUN
MotörGun
Grooveyard Records

Brazilian power trio MotörGun storm on to the scene with old school hard rock and metal. Imagine Southern ‘70s band, Point Blank meeting up with NWOBHM band More to see a Black Sabbath concert – then you’re getting close. As the band plug in and light up their amps, the reverberating rumble is distinct, sonic thunder. ‘Heading for Tomorrow’ has its own video on YouTube and is the best place to start when cranking to these boys. The vocals of Bebeto Daroz are thick and powerful, while his guitar playing shreds and squeals. Bassist Edinho bares it all in his deep grooves and dense fiber as drummer Leo Mello pours the foundation with enough rattle, boom and shack to rival any seismic quake. Brash and cocky fueled, ‘Beyond the Black’ hits hard, with an open chord riff and smoking engine. ‘Whiskey, Women and a Whole Lot of Blues’ borrows from AC/DC as the chorus wails, the drums beat, and the guitar echoes.

Loaded with texture is the seven-minute ‘Hellhounds’ with its Sabbath dirge and Tank-like guitar matching the lyrics, “The hellhounds are coming / there’s nothing you can do or say.” Guaranteed this is no throwback to basement ‘80s brain killers. MotörGun is packed with vibrant energy and classy songwriting. ‘Rebel Souls’ merges might and muscle with melody and hooks. ‘Call Me a Loser’ is dirty blues with turbo guitar and grinding rhythm while ‘Back To Ashes’ takes a chugging Motörhead drive and laces it with killer guitar leads. The psychedelic cyclone ‘Deliverance’ draws from ‘90’s giants Soundgarden and Monster Magnet to create the album’s signature masterpiece. For a three-piece, this is a huge jam complete with epic passages and beastly beats. ‘Going Home’ leaves a lasting impression as the album closes with over seven minutes of metal riffing, pulsating drums and surging bass, A dramatic pause mid-song lasts just long enough for a drum refrain – then back to the lions. When it comes to modern heavy rock, these guys mean it!

Website: Grooveyard Records

SNAKE HEAD RITUAL
Ceremonial Thunder
Grooveyard Records

Ceremonial Thunder is the second release from this Ohio-based five-piece and comes fully stocked with 10 cherry-picked hard rock, heavy blues classics. Showcasing equal doses of Skynyrd, Sammy Hagar and The Outlaws, Snake Head Ritual celebrate the glorious return of loud guitars, growling bass and thunderous drums. Check out ‘Ain't Got Time for the Blues’ and ‘Gone When I Get Home’ for a double dose of red-neck American rock. They put it all together in fifth track, ‘The Golden Age Of Rock N’ Roll’ where the combination of lead guitarist Bill McCullough and rhythm guitarist Matt Vogel merge together (acoustic and electric) like the Doobie Brothers on steroids. Vocalist Kevin Chez, a natural-born rock singer, bellows, “Give me back those glory days in the age of rock’n’roll / When the music was pure and strong and played with heart and soul” while the engine room of bassist Chris Graham and drummer Tim Swartz hammer out a rumbling foundation. The band’s songwriting is at peak level balancing driving riffs with hook phrasing and lyrical storytelling.

“Strange World” jumps out as a major league contender with FM single written all over it. Just enough .38 Special influence keeps it rockin’ hot with a catchy chorus and razor-sharp lead guitar break. Like Toronto’s Monster Truck, Snake Head Ritual use the blues as the core structure for their heavy rock. A prime example is the album opener “Mama” built on a grinding power chord and dry kick drum. They then add stellar vocals and surging bass to make it the ultimate arena anthem. It worked in the ‘70s and, in the capable hands of SHR, it’s enjoying a full renaissance. The Hendrix-inspired epic ‘What Your Mama Says...Your Daddy Does’ moves the band to a whole new level piecing together a massive heavy guitar jam on par with Mahogany Rush and Robin Trower. ‘Sweet Molina / She's so Reckless’ adds a bit of danger in its staccato riffing, snake-winding bass and defining drumming. Other standouts include the bump-and-grind ‘These Blues’, heart-pounding ‘3:19’ and eight-minute groove machine ‘The Chase’.

Website: Grooveyard Records

TOM GUERRA
Trampling Out the Vintage
Casa Del Soul Records

Guitar aficionado Tom Guerra returns with his second solo release Trampling out the Vintage, a title he nicked from the ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ making reference to the old guitars and amps used in the recording process. The CD cover indicates Mister Guerra warms up his cherry-red Fender through a Vox amp to capture the warmth of old school rock and roll reminiscent of Rory Gallagher’s Photo-Finish (1978). Second track, “Dr Nick and Elvis” even tributes Gallagher with its axe-grinding blues riff and hell-hammer backbeat. Lending a hand on this opus is legendary bassist Kenny Aaronson (Dust, Stories, Yardbirds), keyboardist Morgan Fisher (Mott the Hoople, Queen), drummer Mike Kosacek and Hammond player Matt Zeiner (Dickey Betts Band). The texture and color of the record’s ten tracks give the listener a musical thrill ride starting with the slick pop of ‘All Purpose Song’ with a dose of Tom Petty twang and Cheap Trick boogie. It then transitions to a ‘60s Brill polish with a cover of Barry Mann’s ‘Make Your Own Kind Of Music’.

Guerra’s guitar tone is his signature. “BYOB” lays heavily on his strumming technique like an old Smithereens favorite while ‘Love Will Forget You’ has this great ‘70s Sly and the Family Stone funk propelled by Aaronson’s bass and Tom’s fierce guitar lick. The band cover Bob Dylan’s ‘Pay in Blood’ and give it a bit more snarl than the original. Tom’s solo is jubilant while doing his best Dylan vocal. The organ/piano combo give the compositions an added depth. “Supermoon” takes on the haunting psychedelic ‘60s inspired by the rare celestial blood moon. Guerra used Howlin’ Wolf’s ’63 Strat (on loan to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame) to give the song its authentic creep and shivers. The lighter pop flavored ‘Tell the World’ sings about the end of days with a tambourine and flower power harmonies in under two and a half minutes. Record closer, “Hard to Love” finds Guerra using a melancholy melody, a mixture of organ and piano with an energetic guitar lead to take a sad song and make it better. Deliciously crafted!

Website: Tom Guerra

BLINDSIDE BLUES BAND
Journey to the Stars
Grooveyard Records

Mike Onesko and his Blindside Blues Band deliver another energy-charged winner with their tenth opus Journey to the Stars. It’s incredible the amount of high-quality music this band has generated over the past twenty-five years, yet they still continue to up their game with each release. Joining Onesko is axe-master Martin J Andersen, badass bassist Steve Evans, and legendary drummer Jeff Martin. From the cosmic opening of title track ‘Journey to the Stars’ to the slow-grinding eight-minute ‘.79 Cent Blues’ the disc is packed with top-notch playing full of passion and emotion. The biographical ‘Rock N’ Roll Is My Life’ brings this 11-track set into focus as Onesko describes his journey as a musician from early days in California to becoming an international star. He sings, “1972 I knew I had to go / Packed up my guitar / Then I hit the road / California is the place I had to see…” Other road/train songs include the Steppenwolf-like ‘Rolling down the Highway’, the drum-fed “Freight Train’ and the soul-shaking ‘Calling My Name’ where Onesko does his best BB King vocal.

Three tracks in and ‘Smokehouse Row’ is a major ass kicker. Onesko winds up and lets the dirt fly with one of the disc’s best riffs. Right next to him is Andersen wailing line-by-line. Martin joins just in time beating the crap out of his drum kit while Evans lays down a whopping bass line. A monster if ever there was one. The metallic ‘Fly on High’ is the heaviest track with layered guitars and Martin’s Priest-like drumming. Its mid-section opens up to a tasty guitar solo with the drums and bass pounding out a tribal beat. “I’m On Fire” is a full band workout complete with twin-guitar runs, piercing solos and a hammer backbeat. Onesko’s Lemmy-like vocals take the track one step closer to Motörhead territory.  Guitar enthusiasts unite with deep cut ‘Shadow in My Dreams’ a six-string axe-wielding mainline shredder. Slowing down “Sign of the Times” allows the band the lock into a weighty Sabbath dirge with an apocalyptic vocal. “Ten thousand years /So many tears,” sings Onesko as the guitars swirl and the drum marches. Another slab of brilliance!

Website: Grooveyard Records

BLACK MOUNTAIN PROPHET
Tales from the South
Grooveyard Records

As big fans of the band’s last release Notorious Sinner (2013) we were eager for the release of Tales from the South – and are pleased to announce, it does not disappoint. Right off the bat, this is a killer disc! Jarrod England has one the best voices in rock ‘n” roll with guitar talent ‘o’ plenty. Assisted by Bob Watkins (lead and rhythm guitar), Brian Witty (bass) and Chris Hardesty (drums) the band bring to life guitar rock that is sophisticated, folksy and steeped in tradition. It’s also incredible heavy, instrumentally and lyrically, and woven deeply into the fabric of Americana rock. The album is captivating from the countdown into ‘Feel Good Mama’ to the distorted feedback of ‘Milk Skin Woman’ to the dusty blues of ‘Mercy’. Produced with a nod to old ‘78s the disc rolls out with timeworn authenticity and electric static that touches on every aural neuron. ‘Front Porch Company’ lends itself as an all-encompassing summary to the record with a laidback ‘70s Allman Brothers vibe, a roots groove and an emotional vocal.

‘Whiskey Don’t Make Me Cry’ rocks it up into Skynyrd territory as the drum taps out a marching dirge and the band gathers ‘round for a howling chorus. The lead break cuts through the dense rhythm and hazy guitar making room for some damn fine storytelling. Then there’s the badass open chord riffing of ‘Lay That Bottle Down’ that brings the rock up front and center chasing ‘That Smell’ with warnings of that ‘ol brown liquor’ and the danger that it brings. There are moments England conjures up the ghost of Frankie Miller as in the moody “My Babe Don’t Love Me’ and the aforementioned title track ‘Feel Good Mama’ with its rogue narrative and slick lick. In the slide-grinder ‘Alone in the World’ it’s the instrumental layers that build the house, while the funky-shake of “Bad Woman” celebrates the band’s diversity and true appreciation for Sly and the Family Stone. Most of the songs are about drinkin’ and women  (like most good rock ‘n’ roll) but they dig down deep with the retro-picking ‘Brandy’ and the Free-like ‘Where’s My Woman” as the crowning jewels of this package.

Website: Grooveyard Records

BRETT ELLIS
The Warriors before Me
Grooveyard Records

San Diego native and all around guitar extraordinaire, Brett Ellis packs a wallop with the passionate The Warriors before Me. As the title indicates, this is Mr. Ellis pulling back the pages of time and exploring his roots or as he says in the liner notes, “exploring the inspiration and supreme significance the music my developing years had on me”. Fifteen songs parade through 70-plus minutes of music with Ellis scorching through his favorite tunes including highlights ‘Ezy Ryder’ (Hendrix), ‘Supernaut’ (Black Sabbath) and ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ (ACDC). Rhythm section Rick Nash (bass) and Calvin Lakin (drums) stoke the fires of the engine room giving Ellis plenty of bedrock as he roars through the FM dial. Deep cuts from Rock God’s Blackmore, Schenker and Page are given full attention as the power-trio harvest deep tracks seldom covered. Though unpredictable, the song selection allows Ellis to take interesting musical twists and turns putting his own stamp on them with authority and class.

Starting the disc with explosive Stratocaster covers from ‘Ezy Ryder’ (Hendrix) to the passionate ‘Twice Removed from Yesterday’ (Robin Trower), the band land squarely on the riff-o-mania that is ‘Tryin’ Anyway’ were they capture the full eruption of the Mahogany Rush cult classic. A taste of old school German metal comes with “Living and Dying’ (Scorpions) and ‘Ain’t No Baby’ (UFO) celebrating the proper note bending techniques of Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker. For rapid-note overload, look no further than ‘Outta Love Again’ (Van Halen) and the killer ‘Bad News’ (Gary Moore) where the guitarist is absolutely on fire. Yet, it’s the barnstorming boogie of ‘Neighbor Neighbor’ (ZZ Top), ‘Bad Luck Situation’ (Johnny Winter) and ‘Road Fever’ (Foghat) that fit the band perfectly. Ellis’ big and beefy guitar tone nails the grittiness of electric blues with bass and drums pushing sonic thunder. Top the whole thing off with an eleven-minute Zeppelin jam ‘We’re Gonna Groove’ and you have one of the best, most original cover albums out there. A guitar monster!!!

Website: Grooveyard Records

SUPER VINTAGE
Welcome To Mojo Land
Grooveyard Records

Greek-based Heavy Southern Rock aficionados, Super Vintage are relatively new to us. Having blazed a trail with two previous long players, Welcome to Mojo Land marks their third LP since forming in 2012. Led by guitar sensation Stavros Papadopoulos, the twin-guitar set up includes second guitarist Panagiotis Zabourlis, bassist Jim Moralis and drummer Lazaros Simitsis. Lead off track ‘Southern Moon Rising’ sets the pace for the new disc as the band build an epic slice of primo delta swagger with background vocals by FreeRock Saints singer Areti Valavanopoulou. Stavros P’s vocals land somewhere between Bryan Adams, Bob Seger and Gregg Allman complete with maturity and prowess. The band as a whole call to mind ‘80s groups Tattoo Rodeo, Shark Island and Tangier as purveyors of blues-injected hard rock. Second track ‘Delta Mud’ and third ‘Son of Pain’ solidify their effort to keep the music full of dirt and grit with a lethal dose of soul and blues in the mix.

If the hair rises up off your arm, then you know the band is on to something. ‘Mojo Land’, ‘Rock N’ Roll Revolution’ and quintessential road song ‘Living like a Gypsy’ do just that. Embracing all the elements of a truly great song, they have impeccable song craft complete with signature riffs and memorable hooks over a heart-pounding bottom end. Stavros P. is a rising star among the new breed of axe-heroes. His use of tone and agility is mind-blowing as is his composition and solo skills. Panagiotis Z is an excellent player in his own right and provides support, layering and a signature style. When the two merge together on “Kiss Your Bad Feelings Goodbye” they create the magic chemistry of early Bad Company, Foghat and tougher Allman Bros. Strat workout ‘Let Me Be What I Want to be’ adds a thick keyboard (organ) texture over some killer Hendrix-like leads. Whereas the acoustic ‘River Of Love’ is a bayou ballad that ignites into a rumbling rocker. Closer ‘Light upon My Soul’ is a beautiful ballad that echoes the best of early Whitesnake.

Website: Grooveyard Records

FREEROCK SAINTS
Blue Pearl Union
Grooveyard Records

FreeRock Saints are a female-fronted, hard rock band that hail from Greece. The four-piece are an incredible vehicle that showcase vocalist Areti Valavanopoulou. Situated between Sass Jordan and Lee Aaron with the edginess of Blues Pills, the band prove they can handle the nuances of hammering out a robust selection of 13 heavy rock classics. Songwriter and guitarist Stavros Papadopoulos (Super Vintage) leads the compositions ranging from straight-up rock to grinding blues while bassist Dinos Maltezos and drummer Lazaros Simitsis (Super Vintage) lock down a tight and pounding rhythm section. Opening track ‘From The Ashes’ offers a refreshing flashback to when “guitar rock” ruled the airwaves with Areti’s distinctive voice powerfully mature and equally aggressive. However, it’s ‘Game of Pain’ where the real guts of the band lay claim. A strident blues rocker, the song takes the swagger of the Black Crowes mixes it with the classic R&B nature of the Rolling Stone to create an original spine-tingler.

Title track ‘Blue Pearl’ is the slower paced Allman Brother-like ode to Southern Rock. The song is gorgeously put together with melodic guitar intro and swelling keyboards before the drum and bass kick in. A hook chorus seals the deal with several tasty guitar solos sewing it all together. Both ‘Shot down in Flames’ and ‘Saints and Sinners’ have a similar vibe with bolstered guitars and a slight country twang. The solo work on ‘Saints and Sinners’ brings Stavros into the spotlight as a major guitar slinger whereas ‘Roll with the Wind’ and ‘All I Need’ showcase Areti scorching pipes and incredible range. Personal favorites ‘Take It’ and ‘Never Lost My Faith’ keep the riff aggressive, the vocals soulful and feet stomping to a catchy beat. Slightly outside the box is the radio-friendly ‘Touch the Sky’, the good-time shake of ‘Funk Boogie Train’ and the delicate Fleetwood Mac-ish ballad ‘Goodbye’ that add color and texture to a well balanced offering.

Website: Grooveyard Records

BLINDSTONE
The Seventh Cycle of Eternity
Grooveyard Records

Danish band Blindstone return with their seventh disc to date. The guitar-driven trio conjure up the spirit of Hendrix, Trower and Frank Marion in a whirlwind of eleven artful and mind-altering compositions that grace The Seventh Cycle of Eternity. With its incredible Hawkwind-like cover the new disc digs deep to offer the heaviest collection of songs the band has produced. It was a thrill to hear ‘Dead Man’ Blues’ burst from the speaker with a cosmic guitar lead that drove straight into an inspiring rhythmic groove. Guitar/vocalist Martin J. Andersen is on fire as he unleashes a quiver-full of notes backed by his baritone howl. Long-time bassist Jesper Bunk and new drummer Siguard Jøhnk-Jensen are a force to be reckoned with as they forge a bond of unearthly bombastic thunder. Riff monsters ‘Rolling’, ‘Thunder from the North’ and ‘Once You See the Signs’ define the record as they push the boundaries of heavy rock into uncharted territories while still keeping the compositions structured.

‘Rebel in Black’ moves closer to Black Sabbath with a beefy guitar tone while opening up for the verse and chorus. The shear power of the drums and bass are clearly evident as the song hammers its way into your brain. The tribal beat continues with the ferocious ‘Stonesnake’, a blazing staccato guitar with Andersen defiantly singing, “Call me your worst desire… “I’m the man that you can’t break.” The guitarist then unleashes a six-string fury as the bass gallops along. The thundering axe then slows in the lumbering ‘Looking Back’ as the lyrics and mood spiral to a deeper place. Spirits take flight with note-bending ‘On My Way’ a radio-ready custom-made single complete with hook chorus. Another game-changer is the mythically titled ‘By the Suns of Warvan, You Shall Be Avenged’, a cinematic instrumental masterpiece reminiscent of Gary Moore’s “Over the Hills’ with shades of Satriani. Andersen often returns to his love of Hendrix and ‘A Love Manifesto’ and the Jimi cover ‘Power of Soul’ make for an inspiring tribute.

Website: Grooveyard Records