Havok is one of those bands that manage to revive the spirit of 80's Thrash by releasing albums that capture some of the feeling and atmosphere of Thrash of that era. This is their third album so far, and although not far from their previous works, has some significant differences that show that the band evolves, without sacrificing what they like to do. First let's say that this one hell of a Thrash album again. With no buts, no less good moments, no weak parts, all things are top class and put into place for creating a maximum result. The album starts with a blast to the ears, with some of the finest Thrash music, with the music instantly become a a hit. I can't imagine what the result will be, when this new material will be performed live. I can assure you though that it's as catchy and as groovy as their previous works, and will make you move your head with their frenzy rhythm from the start. The vocals are excellent, definitely as retro as could be, but always well performed and fitting with the music. Another strong point of the music is the guitars who are overproducing high quality riffs, full of energy and aggression, but also creating some fine melodies and complex solos. And last, but not least, comes the sound of the drums, which were recorded on a theater according to the band, something that gives a more spectacular feeling. The songs are very good, well arranged and perfectly performed, with the band trying to preserve the old school feeling of the music, but also trying to add with a bit more complex elements showing that their songwriting is maturing as well. The production is also very good, clear enough but carefully preserving the atmosphere and the feeling of the album. As a sweet addition comes a cover of Black Sabbath's Children Of The Grave, which is not Thrash but is a good opportunity for the band to show their skills. As with their previous two releases, this one took me back a log way in time. When we were kids, and ice cold beers, some smokes, a stereo and a couple of quality Thrash LPs, was all we wanted for having a party. And as I often miss this time, whenever a band manages to capture the same spirit it makes the experience even more welcome.
There is no need for further introduction of an artist of a caliber of Udo, not only because of his past and his contribution in the music we all love, for his influence of so many Metal bands, but also for his ability to continue creating music that sounds fresh and interesting, without recycling his past. The departure of Stefan Kaufmann marked the end of an era, and as Udo states, a turn back to their roots, something that the listener understands from the first minute. The music here, bears all the trademarks of the U.D.O. sound, yet it sometimes has a retro feeling, which I found really cool and interesting. Banging our ears with the furious opener title song, with it's super catchy riffs, the steady Teutonic rhythm section, and the well known vocals of Udo Dirkschneider, create the dream-come-true of any fan of the band. With a rhythm that sticks into your mind, vocals from an Udo that sounds as young and full of energy as he was when he started, and some remarkable guitar performance for the new guitar players, this album is a sure bet. As with any of their albums I can remember, there is also variety here, fast and groovy tracks, up-tempo songs, and some more melodic moments, with Udo giving a great performance, only to come back on the next song, more furious and aggressive than before. Another strong point of the album in the rather old fashioned atmosphere the music and the performance has, an atmosphere that reminds of 80's, but all this in a modern shinny package. The songs are very good, well written, groovy and catchy enough, and have this certain thing that makes you wanna bang your head and sing along, something that assures that this will also become another milestone in their career. The production is also very good, shinny and heavy, exactly the kind of production such an album needs. Although replacing Stefan Kaufmann would be a tough job, the new guitarists are doing a stunning job. Pretty much you know what to expect from an U.D.O. album, groovy music to bang with and make you feel like young again.
This Spanish band has always been a favorite, although many of my friends blamed them for being too predictable and cliche. Nevertheless, I enjoyed any of their previous works I could lay my hands on, but missed some releases, so when this came to my hands, it's like listening to a new band. Dark Moor is playing the same Neoclassical Power Metal, and continue to do it with the same passion and talent as I remember. A bit anxious about the vocals, but when the vocalist Alfred Romero started, all my fears have gone. He has done such an incredible work, that often enough I caught myself being amazed and listening each song over and over again. His performance is not the typical high pitched Melodic Metal one, but is much closer to Opera singing, warm in the mellow moments, and more powerful when the rhythm demands, shifting it's style accordingly. Another strong point is the melodies, created by either guitars or keyboards, plenty of them and in various shapes and forms, from the typical furious bombastic Power Metal ones, to the Symphonic parts and the melodic solos of songs like Gara And Jonay. The songs are very good, catchy and groovy enough, and have a variety that helps this album to avoid being boring or repeat itself. There are enough ideas, although the band is choosing to stay on the safe side, but also implements enough complex moments such as Orchestral parts, creating a result that is always well worked and interesting. The songs are full of various emotions, sometimes uplifting, other times more sorrow but it's really hard not to get touched by this music, and even harder not to participate and sing along while listening to it. Top class musicianship from each of the band members, from the magnificent vocals to the guitar solos and melodies and the steady and well worked rhythm section, hardly a couple of moments where things could have been done better and music that speaks directly to your heart and sticks into your mind. Get your hands on this album, sit back, and give it a careful listen, and you won't regret.
It's that certain something that makes you like this band, it's the music they play, the atmosphere, and the way they do it. The band is from Argentina, and their debut album consists on 12 alcohol soaked tunes, that makes it an instant hit. It's not that their music is original or innovative, cause it's not. It's a mixture of ACDC, Airbourne, ZZ-TOP and various other bands, but it contains what we call soul. From the first moment, you start banging your head with the rhythm and you don't stop until the music is over, you sing along, tap your feet with the grooves, and in general you make all those movements that tag an album as catchy and groovy. The vocals are good, a bit ACDC-like, but fitting with the music, and the atmosphere they create in this album is very good also. Another strong point is the guitar works, and some of the solos sometimes are simply amazing, showing that the band has the skills to create even better things in the future. The songwriting is good, if you don't mind the originality of the material, but the atmosphere and the party feeling the music has, is more than a generous reward. The production is also good, clear and rough enough, exactly the kind of production such an album should have. Songs talking about women, booze, and partying, this album is the ideal companion while driving or having some drinks with friends at a bar. It shows that the band has the spirit, and is talented enough to write material for having a good time. After all, that's what Rock n Roll really is, fun.