Album Review – Motorjesus / Electric Revelation (2014)

In Hard Rock We Trust.

Rating4

Motorjesus_Electric RevelationWhen you put together heavy music, beer, Jägermeister and talented musicians, the result is usually pretty good, and that’s what happens with German Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Motorjesus. They used to be The Shitheadz until 2006, when they had to change their name due to censorship, but it doesn’t seem they ended up chosen a name less controversial than “Shitheadz”. Anyway, their new “concept” album, Electric Revelation, is a really good alternative for fans of Anthrax, Pantera, Motörhead and any other bands perfect for motorbikers and beer drinkers.

And I’m not kidding when I call this a concept album, even if it’s extremely hard to imagine this type of band trying to add a storyline to their album: how about all songs and the amazing album art being inspired by the story of a fictitious (or not) character called Motorjesus? If you’re a religious person that enjoys Heavy Metal you shouldn’t be mad at the band for doing this. Consider this a tribute Motorjesus is paying to the religious figure of Jesus Christ (it even sounds like White Metal sometimes), but with the mighty power that comes from Heavy Metal amps.

What other name could have been given to the motorized intro if not The Arrival? Got it now? Anyway, the first real song of the album, the amazing Trouble in Motor City,  seems to be totally inspired by the great classics from Motörhead and Anthrax, especially those Hard Rock riffs we all love so much, while the next track, The Run, has some damn heavy bass lines and is pure Stoner Rock. And pay attention to the lyrics, you’ll enjoy them a lot (“Raise your dead from the sleep / There’s a sacrament to keep / After all dead and gone / There’s an army of one…”).

Honestly, I’ve never heard a song with “beast” in its name that’s not badass, as for example Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast”, Exodus’ “Strike of the Beast”, Cradle of Filth’s “Beast of Extermination”, Rob Zombie’s “Superbeast” and so on, and the same can be said about Speed of the Beast, a very fast tune tailored for hitting the road with some excellent guitar solos. Then we have Back in the Action Car with its “Long Live Rock N’ Roll” type of riff and a very 80’s Heavy Metal approach, and the semi-ballad Rust, an average song that’s not memorable at all.

MotorjesusThe “ceremony” goes on with 100.000 Volt Survivor, which despite having another good classic riff, falls flat after a while, and the awesome title-track Electric Revelation, one of the best tracks of the album with highlights to the pretty cool bass intro from Roman Jasiczak. Midnight Rider, a heavy song that will please all fans for sure, sounds inspired by some old Anthrax tracks, and The Warning is another good example of how traditional Hard Rock should be done.

In my opinion, the last three tracks of the album are the ones with the most creative and interesting lyrics: Ressurection Man could be easily turned into a true religious song if all the heavy riffs and drums were removed from it; Dead Army offers a little more of that Motörhead sonority, with a great job done by singer Chris “Howling” Birx; and The Right Hand of the Devil was made for banging our fuckin’ heads while listening to the important “message” in it.

To sum up, another excellent album that comes from Germany in 2014, but this time with a total American Hard Rock approach instead of that traditional German Power Metal we all know, making it an excellent alternative for hard rockers searching for new music. If you think Rock is dead, bands like this one are here to prove you wrong. Because while Jesus saves, Motorjesus rock.

Best moments of the album: Trouble in Motor City, The Run, Speed of the Beast and Electric Revelation.

Worst moments of the album: Rust and 100.000 Volt Survivor.

Released in 2014 Drakkar Records

Track listing
1. The Arrival (Intro) 0:40
2. Trouble in Motor City 3:35
3. The Run 4:06
4. Speed of the Beast 4:03
5. Back in the Action Car 3:10
6. Rust 4:52
7. 100.000 Volt Survivor 5:12
8. Electric Revelation 4:03
9. Midnight Rider 4:08
10. The Warning 3:21
11. Ressurection Man 4:20
12. Dead Army 3:52
13. The Right Hand of the Devil 4:01

Band members
Chris Birx – vocals
Guido Reuss – guitar
Andreas Peters – guitar
Roman Jasiczak – bass
Oliver Beck – drums

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Restaurant Review – WVRST (Toronto, Canada)

Premium sausages and good quality beer for a reasonable price in the heart of Toronto.

Rating3

IMG_0240Everybody knows North America is famous for its hot dogs. Some even say the sausages are better here in Canada and in the US than in more traditional countries such as Germany, Poland and Hungary, and if you visit a place like WVRST you’ll agree with that for sure. I’ve recently been to Germany and Poland, and although the sausages I had there were really good, I couldn’t find a single one better than any of the options available at this “sausage hall” located at King Street West, which became part of my “weekend menu” at least once every two months.

But what does this have to do with Heavy Metal?, you can ask. In theory, absolutely nothing: WVRST is not a Heavy Metal pub at all. The music there is more indie/alternative, mixed with some classic and modern Rock, and they even have some DJ’s playing there once a week. However, we headbangers have to eat, and if you ask us about our favorite types of foods and drinks, I can guarantee hot dogs and beer will be on top of the list. They’re on top of mine at least, especially beer, the “official beverage” of every person that truly loves listening to heavy riffs, crazy solos and pounding drums at the speed of light!

IMG_0245Now let’s focus on what really matters at WVRST, in other words, the sausages and the beer. Take a look at the FOOD MENU and you’ll be able to check all their sausage types, divided in four main groups: Traditional, Vegetarian, Poultry and Game. As you can see there are options for any person, even for those who do not eat meat. I would recommend any sausage from the Game group, especially pheasant, venison, elk and kangaroo (and before you ask, yes, I’ve already had all of those). If you don’t want to be so radical, you can try something more common like the chorizo or the bratwvrst, and I believe until the end of October this last one is called Oktoberfest and has beer as an ingredient instead of wine. You also choose if you want to have your sausage on a bun with some toppings (I personally don’t add any of the toppings available, as I enjoy tasting the sausage itself), or a currywvrst, which is sliced with some curry sauce. And don’t forget to order some fries with a dipping sauce as a side dish, they go really well with any sausage! Regarding the beer, they have a surprisingly good BEER LIST for such a small restaurant. I prefer draft beer, so my suggestions would be either a good Paulaner or a Weihenstephaner, but you can have whichever one you feel more comfortable drinking with food. As long as you have a beer, nothing can go wrong.

IMG_0244Not only the food and beer are delicious, but also the ambiance is very pleasant. I would say it’s a mix of a traditional German beer garden, with those huge benches for everybody, with the cleanliness and colors of a fast food chain such as McDonald’s. Because of that friendly and casual atmosphere, you can basically wear anything you want there: from a suit and a tie, to a pair of old jeans and that dirty Megadeth T-shirt you’ve had for over 20 years.

The price is OK in my opinion, but if you think that spending around $20 for a sausage, a beer and some fries is too much, you can always go to some food truck and have a regular hot dog for a cheaper price. Just remember that although the price varies between $6 and $9 at WVRST, their sausages are premium, while at the same time a regular hot dog isn’t much cheaper than that, costing around $4 or $5, and doesn’t have anything unique or special in it. Anyway, it’s up to you and your pocket.

To sum up, I consider WVRST a nice option for all Torontonians, tourists, families, couples and friends. It’s a place to eat, drink and chat during a happy hour or on a Saturday afternoon, and you can even organize an event there. The only thing missing in their menu for me is something more Canadian, even though they have venison and elk: why the hell don’t they have a “moose sausage” in their menu?

Opening hours
Monday 11:30am – 11pm
Tuesday 11:30am – 11pm
Wednesday 11:30am – 11pm
Thursday 11:30am – midnight (with resident DJ’s starting at 8pm)
Friday 11:30am – 1am
Saturday 11:30am – 1am
Sunday 11:30am – 11pm

Contact info & location
WVRST
609 King St W
Toronto, ON M5V 1M5 ‎
(416) 703-7775
eat@wvrst.com
http://www.wvrst.com/

Beverage Review – Iron Maiden’s Trooper Beer

An excellent choice for beer lovers, but not for heavy drinkers.

Rating4

IMG_0948I’ve been looking for the Trooper Beer here in Canada for weeks, since the band started advertising it everywhere, including that funny moment at Rock In Rio V where Bruce complained about the festival beer (Heineken) and said he had to take his own to Brazil. Well, yesterday I was finally able to taste it for the first time, and here is my review about it.

First of all, if you’re one of those headbangers that enjoy getting pissed drunk with the cheapest beer available, forget about Trooper. This is not a beer such as Coors Light, Moosehead or Rolling Rock: Trooper is an ale beer, bitterer and darker than any regular one, and it’s not recommended at all for a baseball game at the stadium or for getting drunk at the door of a venue before a Metal concert.

IMG_0954Instead, I would say Trooper is an excellent choice for dinner, especially if you’re having a juicy steak or a veal parmigiana, and also a very good option if you’re not a heavy drinker, but likes to have a beer or two at a pub with your friends while eating some chicken wings. Or maybe you just want to stay home and watch Maiden’s Rock In Rio III, Flight 666 or En Vivo! while enjoying a couple of Troopers! That’s an awesome option for a Friday night! Regarding the price, at least here in Ontario it is very reasonable if compared to the other options in the market: only $4.60 per 500mL bottle. It’s not as cheap as a 750mL can of Coors Light, of course, but as I said the idea here is not drinking too much, but enjoying the beer.

As I’m not a beer expert (yet), I decided to add to this post the information found at the back label of the Trooper Beer, which pretty much summarizes what this beer really is with some extra “marketing” details, of course:

IMG_0950“ONWARD, ONWARD
RODE THE 600…

The Charge of the Light Brigade, which inspired the Iron Maiden song The Trooper, took place at the Battle of Balaclava (1854) during the Crimean War when 600 British cavalry courageously charged the massed Russian artillery. This gallant but foolhardy assault resulted in a massive loss of life and came about due to a misunderstanding of an order given by the Commanding Officer, Lord Raglan.

Trooper is a premium British beer inspired by Iron Maiden and handcrafted at Robinsons brewery in Cheshire, UK. Being a real ale enthusiast, vocalist Bruce Dickinson has developed a beer which has true depth of character. Malt flavours and citric notes from a unique blend of Bobec, Goldings and Cascade hops dominate this deep golden ale with a subtle hint of lemon.”

IMG_0942If you search for the Trooper Beer on the LCBO website, you’ll find its profile page. However, not every LCBO store has it yet, so first of all you’ll need to do a quick research on their inventory position and then go buy it wherever it’s available. I unintentionally found it yesterday at the King & Spadina store (415 King Street West) while walking around Toronto, which means if you live near that area you can go there and grab yourself some Troopers today.

In short, Iron Maiden together with Robinsons brewery created a very good quality product not only for metalheads, but for anybody that enjoys a pint or two of a traditional British beer. It’s not the best beer in the world, but it’s the coolest one for sure. A beer dedicated to one the the top Heavy Metal classics of all time couldn’t be bad at all, don’t you agree? Or as Bruce would say, don’t waste your time searching for those wasted beers… Go get some Troopers instead!

Beer details
Type: Premium English bitter ale
Packaging: 500mL bottle
Alcohol content: 4.7% alc./vol.
Where to buy it: Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO)
Price: 4.60 Canadian Dollars per bottle