Album Review – Magick Touch / Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire (2018)

A “magickal” music journey to the golden years of rock and metal, reminding us all why we love those electrifying sounds so much.

In these times where trends seem to come and go on an almost monthly basis, sometimes it’s never more satisfying than to simply sit back and rock out. And that’s exactly what Norwegian Hard Rock/Rock N’ Roll power trio Magick Touch will make you do with their highly anticipated second full-length album, entitled Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire, a beyond exciting follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut endeavor Electrick Sorcery, released in 2015. In other words, there are no tricks, no special effects nor any other type of shenanigans in Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire, just three skillful musicians declaring all their passion for classic rock and metal through their music.

Formed in 2014 in Bergen, a southwestern coastal town in Norway, Magick Touch are HK Rein on guitar and vocals, Christer Ottesen on bass and vocals, and Bård Nordvik on drums, blending in their music several elements from the most classic forms of Heavy Metal and Rock N’ Roll with a strong focus on the synchronicity between their vocal lines and the slashing power of their guitar riffs. This Norwegian trinity of rock will take you on a journey to the golden years of rock music through the 10 electrifying tunes featured in Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire, always reminding you why you love the gripping sounds of rock so much in your life.

And the Rock N’ Roll running through their veins becomes latent in the opening track, the upbeat Under The Gun, bringing the purest form of rockin’ riffs and the high-pitched, electrified vocals by HK, with the bass punches by Christer knocking us out within seconds, and keep banging your freakin’ heads nonstop and raising your beers to the soulful guitar lines by HK in The Great Escape, while Bård keeps pounding his drum kit mercilessly. Following such electrified start to the album we have Midnite Sadusa and its Cat Scratch Fever-inspired main riff, an ode to 70’s and 80’s Rock N’ Roll where Christer and Bård are responsible for creating a massive wave of rumbling tones perfect for the classic vocals by HK. Put differently, this is one of those songs that would have been an all-time classic if written 30 years ago.

Leaning towards more contemporary Hard Rock with hints of the sonority by bands like Nickelback and Breaking Benjamin (but also showcasing the band’s old school core essence), Believe In Magick is a song tailored for dancing together with your boyfriend or girlfriend at a rock n’ roll party; whereas the roaring bass by Christer takes the lead in this potent fusion of Southern Rock, Stoner Metal and Hard Rock titled Polonium Blues, which will certainly please all fans of the golden years of Southern Rock. In Siren Song we’re treated to a thrilling intro that keeps growing in intensity until groovy Rock N’ Roll fills our ears, presenting sharp guitar lines with psychedelic elements while the vocal lines sound hard and heavy just the way we all love in rock music. And speeding up their pace, Magick Touch deliver a flammable rockin’ chant named Lost With All Hands, with its guitar and bass slashing our brains while the beats by Bård don’t let us stop dancing for a single second.

Slowing down again and bringing elements from Blues Rock to their sonority, the band offers us After The Fire, a radio-friendly composition with a solid drumming and a catchy rhythm, despite losing its grip after a while, followed by Electrick Sorcery, the second to last Hard Rock comet by Magick Touch and, more important than that, their personal tribute to 70’s and 80’s Rock N’ Roll and Heavy Metal, showcasing amazing performances by all band members (especially HK with his passionate vocals and spot-on riffs), and with its backing vocals adding an extra touch of awesomeness to the overall result. Furthermore, the last part of the song is absolutely fantastic, with the band paying homage to KISS, Judas Priest, AC/DC, Dio, Motörhead and other rock and metal idols through the song’s clever lyrics. At long last we have a song which name could have been easily used by Manowar in one of their songs, the title-track Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire, a mid-tempo heavy-as-hell hybrid of pure Rock N’ Roll with the most rumbling form of Southern Rock and Metal, also displaying an amazing chorus accompanied by the lowering bass by Christer and the slow, steady and fierce beast by Bård, even presenting some Iron Maiden-ish moments effectively inserted throughout its faster and more complex passages.

I guess I don’t need to say you should definitely let your rockin’ heart be touched by the electrifying and magical waves crafted by Magick Touch in Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire, and in order to do that simply go visit their Facebook page, YouTube channel, Spotify and SoundCloud for news, tour dates, videos and, above all that, first-class Rock N’ Roll. Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire, which is already on sale through several online stores such as the band’s own BandCamp page, the Edged Circle Productions’ webstore (in CD or LP format) and the Season of Mist’s webstore, as well as on Amazon, on iTunes or at Discogs, doesn’t aim at revolutionizing rock and metal music. Quite the contrary, Magick Touch’s main goal with their new album is simply to remind the whole world how awesome our good old Rock N’ Roll is and will always be, and the band not only nailed it, but they also provided us all a “magick” soundtrack to our days and moments on the road, at work, at school or anywhere else good music is needed.

Best moments of the album: Under The Gun, Midnite Sadusa and Electrick Sorcery.

Worst moments of the album: After The Fire.

Released in 2018 Edged Circle Productions

Track listing
1. Under The Gun 2:53
2. The Great Escape 2:56
3. Midnite Sadusa 3:39
4. Believe In Magick 3:36
5. Polonium Blues 4:17
6. Siren Song 4:30
7. Lost With All Hands 3:13
8. After The Fire 4:10
9. Electrick Sorcery 4:26
10. Blades, Chains, Whips & Fire 6:18

Band members
HK Rein – guitar, vocals
Christer Ottesen – bass, vocals
Bård Nordvik – drums, vocals


Album Review – Bouquet of Dead Crows / Of The Night (2015)

Take a good listen at this classy rock album by a very talented British quartet and you might be able to understand what a “bouquet of dead crows” is all about.


bodc_of the nightAlthough it might be a bit tough for most of us to imagine how a “bouquet of dead crows” would look like, a group of talented rockers hailing from Cambridge, UK can definitely help us in turning this difficult task into a pleasant Rock N’ Roll party, especially if you’re a fan of female-fronted bands. This is what you’ll find in the smooth and trenchant Of The Night, the brand new album by British Alternative Rock/Metal act Bouquet of Dead Crows.

Formed in 2013, Bouquet of Dead Crows truly know how to combine big riffs with big melodies, presenting a sequence of very consistent and rousing compositions led by lead singer Antoinette Cooper and guitarist Neil Bruce. Featuring an exquisite artwork by Stewart Harris Designs, Of The Night is perfect for a day on the road by yourself or with your significant other, a relaxing Sunday afternoon or any other situation where you need to soothe your spirit without giving up the electricity we all love in Pop Rock.

Instruments begin to arise from an acoustic intro in the opening track Everything Is Temporary until the beautiful voice by Antoinette Cooper fills your ears with passion and melancholy, followed by Epicentre, showcasing strong bass lines by Graeme Clarke and heavier guitar riffs by Neil to counterbalance with Antoinette’s voice. In other words, this nice tune proves how romantic and metallic the band can sound at the same time, which is also valid for Just A Little More, another great display of Alternative Rock/Metal with some progressive elements added to boost its pleasant rhythm. When this song is over, I’m sure you’ll be eager for more of it.

Graeme kicks off Without You with his resonant bass before it becomes a gentle ballad, focused on its touching lyrics about what true love is (“Hold me close, don’t let me go, because I just can’t go on without you…”). In my humble opinion, this charming song has all it takes to become a radio hit, it’s just a matter of it getting in the hands of the right people. The next song, Drownout, which by the way is another excellent choice for a rock n’ roll radio playlist, provides some “mystery” to the listener due to its elaborate bass lines and guitar solo, including a thoughtful chorus perfect for singing along with the band in a moment of reflection (“Rising up through the current / Must break free / Peaceful water laps at our skin / Letting us be”).

bodc_live 2015Then we have The Fundamental Flaw Of Solitude, a modern Rock N’ Roll chant with hints of Blues Rock and electric performances by Antoinette and Neil; and The Silent Path (Time Goes By), a minimalist but very effective song tailored for lovers of ballads with Folk Rock influences. And adding a good amount of horsepower to their musicality, Bouquet of Dead Crows fire pure Rock N’ Roll the way we love in Don’t Panic!, with the whole band providing Antoinette what’s needed for her to shine and turn this into one of the best songs of the album (if not the best), not to mention another great guitar solo by Neil.

Before Of The Night is over (and showing how well they master the art of switching between high-octane rock music and beautiful ballads), this talented British quartet still delivers the touching Like A Flower, with its poetic lyrics flawlessly declaimed by Antoinette (“The shadows fall away / Lost in the tranquility of the night / The sun warms the face / Tilted up like a flower / Sending the angst astray”), and Endless, a 7-minute rock journey with awesome guitar lines by Neil and another charge of catchy lyrics to sing together with the band, until it reaches its end on a high note.

In case alternative rock music is your cup of tea, you can get in touch with Bouquet of Dead Crows through their Facebook page, and obviously listen to Of The Night and purchase it at the official German Shepherd Records BandCamp page. Perhaps after taking a good listen to the entire album, all by yourself or together with someone you love, you might be able to create a good depiction of a “bouquet of dead crows” inside your mind to the sound of this classy rock band from the UK.

Best moments of the album: Drownout, Don’t Panic! and Like A Flower.

Worst moments of the album: Everything Is Temporary.

Released in 2015 German Shepherd Records

Track listing
1. Everything Is Temporary 3:29
2. Epicentre 3:08
3. Just A Little More 2:56
4. Without You 4:44
5. Drownout 3:47
6. The Fundamental Flaw Of Solitude 4:06
7. The Silent Path (Time Goes By) 2:51
8. Don’t Panic! 3:02
9. Like A Flower 3:50
10. Endless 7:04

Band members
Antoinette Cooper – vocals
Neil Bruce – guitars, ukulele
Graeme Clarke – bass, acoustic guitar
Andrew Coxall – drums, percussion, programming

Album Review – Motörhead / Bad Magic (2015)

And here comes God doing his awesome magic once again.


Motorhead_Bad MagicBritish Rock N’ Roll veterans Motörhead can be compared to an unstoppable monster truck. While drummer Mikkey Dee provides all the necessary horsepower, guitarist Philip “Phil” Campbell makes sure there’s a smooth and effective transition between gears, and the unparalleled commander Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister, of course, keeps breathing smoke and fire through his vocals and bass guitar, smashing every living creature that dares to stand in their way. And it looks like Motörhead’s sonic machine doesn’t really care about its total mileage so far, as it keeps rolling perfecetly in the excellent Bad Magic, the 22nd studio album (impressive, isn’t it?) in their extensive career.

As “they’re Motörhead and they play Rock N’ Roll”, this time I decided to review the album on the road and not sitting in front of a computer, because this is how true and honest Rock N’ Roll is supposed to be enjoyed. Well, that was indeed the best decision I could have possibly made, because not only it kept me awake and watchful while driving due to its high intensity, but it also helped me absorb the music in a more organic way. Anyway, Bad Magic might not be a masterpiece, and do not expect to find anything different from their latest releases (for instance, it’s very similar to their previous album, the also good Aftershock), but it surely lives up to the band’s reputation and will definitely add a few extra razing tunes to your rock collection.

Enough said, it’s time to let the Rock N’ Roll party begin with Victory or Die, featuring those classic riffs by Phil while Mikkey keeps pounding his drums like there’s no tomorrow, and it’s amazing how even after 40 years on the road they’re still capable of crafting such kick-ass music. The same can be said about the thunderous newborn classic anthem Thunder & Lightning, where there isn’t a single second that’s boring or out of place, and besides, its official video is a beautiful tribute to all “motörheads” in the world and complements the music flawlessly. Every single fan that appeared on the video is 100% sure Lemmy is God, period. And you know what? They’re damn right about that.

The slower but flammable Fire Storm Hotel is another amazing composition by Lemmy and his crew that reminds why we  all love them so much. In addition, the story told in its lyrics is really cool and adds a lot of value to this already excellent tune (“So wait and I will tell you what happened here / The hotel burned, no lessons learned, only ghosts got clear / They say the rooms are empty but I know they’re not / The way things are in the hotel bar, the devil buys the shots”). In Shoot Out All of Your Lights, Mikkey gives an outstanding lesson in groove and rhythm, supported by Phil’s raspy guitar lines and by the inebriate voice by Lemmy, keeping the ball rolling at an amazing level of quality; whereas The Devil, which sounds like an ode to Lemmy’s arch nemesis (or maybe his best friend, who knows?), is a well-paced and melodic tune guided by Lemmy’s vocals, with highlights to its badass chorus (“The Devil knows you now / The Devil will break your neck / Nobody will hear your call / Go, stare into the face of death”).

Electricity is (guess what?) an electric display of Rock N’ Roll played at full speed, showing that Lemmy still got it despite all his health issues and that his electric soul will never stop firing awesome rock songs like this one, followed by another traditional tune entitled Evil Eye, which will please most fans of the band mainly due to the great job done by Phil with his dirty and soulful riffs, and the superb rock hymn Teach Them How to Bleed, which I would love to see them playing live. When Motörhead speed things up they always deliver the best Rock N’ Roll you can think of, in special with Mikkey playing on his “ beast mode”. Till the End is a melancholic ballad that albeit good it sounds a little out of place amidst so many fast tunes. It’s still very enjoyable and might be a good break for fans who cannot bang their heads for a long period of time, but it’s below average in Bad Magic. Fortunately, Tell Me Who to Kill puts the album back on track with its traditional punch, lots of feeling and Lemmy excelling once again with both his rough vocals and his vicious bass lines. This was born to be a classic, obviously enhanced by its fun lyrics (“Stand up right keep your fingers still / Pretty sure I think I know you now / I just got to know, so whisper sweet and low / Speak the name, tell me who to kill”).

Motorhead 2015I’m not sure what happened to Lemmy’s voice in Choking on Your Screams, maybe he was trying to sound as if he was actually being choked, but anyway it didn’t work as expected. However, although it’s by far the weakest of all songs, it doesn’t make any harm to the overall result of the album (you just need to skip it if you agree with my opinion). When the Sky Comes Looking for You offers a magnificent blend of Blues Rock, Hard Rock and Rock N’ Roll all backed up by Motörhead’s trademark. While listening to it in my car I realized this is one of the best songs to hit the road I can think of, with kudos to Phil for his amazing guitar solos and to Lemmy just for being who he is. But that’s not the end of Bad Magic, as the band still delivers an interesting tribute to a band that’s probably the only active one in the world older than Motörhead, The Rolling Stones’ all-time classic Sympathy for the Devil. And what’s even more interesting is the fact that Phil was the one responsible for the piano parts, which in my opinion is beyond awesome.

In short, another solid album by Motörhead (you can listen to it in its entirety on their YouTube channel), and another beautiful proof of how much Lemmy, Phil and Mikkey love Rock N’ Roll and will never give up, not even when it seems they’re getting “too old for this shit” and people start saying they need to retire. Always keep in mind that Lemmy is God, so we shouldn’t be too worried about the fact his health hasn’t been the best lately. Actually, he’s probably just “sick” of people who, instead of sharing some cold beers with their friends and listening to rock music, are destroying the world he created. Let’s just hope he’s strong enough to keep crafting his Rock N’ Roll magic for many years to come, otherwise, the world we live in becomes meaningless.

Best moments of the album: Thunder & Lightning, Fire Storm Hotel, Teach Them How to Bleed and Tell Me Who to Kill.

Worst moments of the album: Till the End and Choking on Your Screams.

Released in 2015 UDR

Track listing
1. Victory or Die 3:09
2. Thunder & Lightning 3:06
3. Fire Storm Hotel 3:35
4. Shoot Out All of Your Lights 3:15
5. The Devil 2:54
6. Electricity 2:17
7. Evil Eye 2:20
8. Teach Them How to Bleed 3:13
9. Till the End 4:05
10. Tell Me Who to Kill 2:57
11. Choking on Your Screams 3:33
12. When the Sky Comes Looking for You 2:58
13. Sympathy for the Devil (The Rolling Stones cover) 5:35

Band members
Lemmy Kilmister – vocals, bass
Philip Campbell – guitar, piano on “Sympathy for the Devil”
Mikkey Dee – drums

Concert Review – Van Halen (Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON, 08/07/2015)

How to almost ruin what was supposed to be a memorable night in Toronto, by David Lee Roth.

OPENING ACT: Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band

van halen 2015Although American guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band members (Noah Hunt, Chris Layton, Riley Osbourn and Scott Nelson) are undeniably talented, I don’t think they were the best option to open the night for Van Halen at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. I might be wrong, but the Blues Rock played by this good band from Shreveport, Louisiana was not exactly what fans of the electrifying Hard Rock played by Mr. Edward Lodewijk Van Halen & Co. really wanted to see as an opening act, cooling down the temperature among the fans on a perfect night in Toronto.

Anyway, as I said before, their music was solid enough to get a positive reaction from the crowd even if they had opened for Slayer or Cannibal Corpse, and their concert was short and sweet to avoid any signs of boredom among the Van Halen fans. You can check their setlist HERE, and if Blues Rock is your cup of tea or if you are a guitarist you should definitely go after the music by Mr. Shepherd, in case you haven’t done so already.


IMG_0492Aging is not a curse, but an essential part of life. If we do not age, there’s nothing to accomplish, there’s no adrenaline to make our own lives more interesting, to keep us moving forward until the inevitable end comes. We all grow old, and although we might not have the same energy as when we were in our 20’s we still have a lot to offer to the world. During the North America Summer/Fall 2015 tour by Hard Rock heroes Van Halen you’ll be able to see how growing old is not a bad thing and how to keep kicking ass through the years (Eddie and Alex Van Halen), and how trying to be the same person you were 30 years ago is not a good idea (David Lee Roth).

In other words, if you attended or is planning to attend any of the concerts from the current Van Halen tour, you’ll witness how David Lee Roth is unfortunately capable of destroying almost all the electricity and atmosphere brought forth by the other members of the band. Don’t get me wrong, I love Diamond Dave and I believe he’s one of those guys that truly revolutionized rock music with his unique charisma and voice, but his performance nowadays is getting to a point it’s better if he call it quits and Eddie brings back even the tedious Gary Cherone to be the frontman of the band.

The setlist was quite lengthy (25 songs in total), which is not an issue if you have guys like Bruce Dickinson, Rob Halford or Dave Mustaine to entertain you, but David Lee Roth can’t keep it up with Eddie, Alex and Wolfgang anymore even during their biggest classics such as Runnin’ With the Devil, Hot for Teacher and Jump. For instance, Hot for Teacher is by far my favorite Van Halen anthem of all time and the speed they played the song here in Toronto, especially Alex who was beautifully smashing his drums as if he was playing some Thrash Metal tune (by the way, his drum solo a few songs before that was also fuckin’ awesome), was outstanding, but I was yawning during most of the song because Dave “forgot” to sing it properly and decided to do some weird screams instead. He was not even trying to sing the chorus.

Of course fans got more into the concert after they started playing Unchained, mainly because the following songs were all classics and we got a PERFECT guitar solo by Eddie, but before that it felt like people were about to fall asleep and never return to consciousness so bored everyone seemed to be. No one was dancing during Dance the Night Away, can you believe that? I guess that says it all. And what were all those lame “speeches” Dave insisted on giving every two minutes, most of the time in the middle of a song, including a boring story about a bicycle he had when he lived in New York City? Van Halen doesn’t need that type of shit, they have one of the best guitar players in the world, and one of the most charismatic frontmen on earth, why not focusing on the MUSIC itself instead?

In summary, what was supposed to be a memorable night for all Van Halen fans that attended the concert this Friday in Toronto became a sad letdown, thanks to the once mesmerizing but now disappointing performance by David Lee Roth. I enjoyed the show as much as I could (and so did lots of other fans), getting thrilled with every single riff and solo fired by the guitar god Eddie, banging my head to the precise beats by Alex, and enjoying Wolfgang’s increasing consistence with his bass lines, but you know it’s not perfect without the magic crafted by Diamond Dave in front of the band. Let’s just hope he finally learns how to age soon, and then we will surely get back the real Van Halen we all love so much.

1. Light Up the Sky
2. Runnin’ With the Devil
3. Romeo Delight
4. Everybody Wants Some!!
5. Drop Dead Legs
6. Feel Your Love Tonight
7. Somebody Get Me a Doctor
8.She’s the Woman
9. China Town
10. I’ll Wait
11. Drum Solo
12. Little Guitars
13. Dance the Night Away
14. Beautiful Girls
15. Women in Love
16. Hot for Teacher
17. In a Simple Rhyme
18. “Dirty Movies”
19. Ice Cream Man (John Brim cover)
20. Unchained
21. Ain’t Talkin’ ’Bout Love
22. Guitar Solo
23. You Really Got Me (The Kinks cover)
24. Panama
25. Jump

Band members
David Lee Roth – lead vocals
Eddie Van Halen – guitar, backing vocals
Wolfgang Van Halen – bass guitar, backing vocals
Alex Van Halen – drums

Album Review – Cherry White / Staring at the Sun EP (2015)

Sit down, relax and enjoy this beautiful display of Blues Rock by an emerging British band destined to conquer the world with their elegant music.


cherry white_staring at the sunSometimes we all must slow down a bit in our hectic lives, relaxing our minds before we go nuts with all the wildness surrounding us. In order to achieve that desired level of peacefulness, there’s nothing better than enjoying some soft and passionate Rock N’ Roll, and the music crafted by British Contemporary Rock band Cherry White has exactly what it takes to help soothe our weary spirits. However, do not think the music you’ll find in their brand new EP entitled Staring at the Sun lacks excitement. Quite the contrary, the EP emanates electricity, gripping your attention even during its smoothest passages.

Insired by life in London during its austerity era, encompassed by the greed of the wealthy, the six tracks in Staring at the Sun circle around an aspiration for this London-based four-piece band to reach higher and achieve their goals in the music industry and beyond. Blending the Soft Rock by Fleetwood Mac with the Blues Rock from bands like The Raconteurs, Cherry White seem to be in the right path to accomplish their mission, offering their fans high-quality rock music that sounds incredibly authentic and original, making you feel good while listening to it.

Despite never getting truly heavy, the opening tack Drifter can still be considered badass Southern Rock, starting in a groovy and catchy way with frontwoman Donata Sounds needing only a few seconds to show her exceptional skills as a singer. In addition, it’s when the rest of the instruments hit the music (especially the power of the harmonica) that things get really exciting without exaggerating on the dosage, making it the perfect example for the famous expression “less is more”. The next tune, Do It Better, sounds a lot more commercial, a mix of Alternative Rock and Pop Rock that could be played on any radio station in the world, with highlights to guitarist Russell Jones and drummer Felipe Drago for their superb job building the atmosphere for Donata to deliver her gorgeous vocal lines.

cherry whiteAngel is a smooth Rock N’ Roll ballad that will unquestionably become a fan favorite, and although the main focus is on Donata’s voice there’s room for all band members to shine. Pay good attention to the strong bass lines by Ralph Beeby in the background and you’ll see what I’m talking about, and also don’t forget to enjoy the melancholy in the last part of the song as it will touch your heart in a lovely way. Following that gentle music exhibit, we have the modern but at the same time very old school rock song 7 Days, where the dirty and exciting riffs sound totally inspired by the music from the 70’s, and there’s no way you won’t get thrilled with the song’s amazing guitar solo and chorus.

Then it’s time for Cherry White to sing the Blues in Blue Eyes, an introspective tune where all instruments sound so clean and polished to the point that, by just closing you eyes, you can perfectly imagine a scene at a first-class pub with Donata’s sexy performance in the spotlight while the rest of the band is wearing black suits and playing in the shadows. Moreover, some passages remind me of the classic ballads by Faith No More, and if you know how much I like Mike Patton and his crew you can have an idea of my joy while listening to this song. And closing the EP we have another delicate and progressive rock tune brought forth by these talented musicians, the title-track Staring At The Sun, a song full of passion and sorrow with a short but very enjoyable rockin’ ending that could work as a bridge or connection to their next release, if they haven’t thought about that already.

Cheery White can be found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and SoundCloud, and if you’re a fan of softer and lively rock music and want to grab your copy of Staring at the Sun, simply go to their BandCamp page to do so. Now please excuse me because it’s time to relax and enjoy this beautiful display of Blues Rock by Cherry White, an emerging band from the UK that will soon conquer the entire world with their elegant music, no doubt about that.

Best moments of the album: Drifter and Blue Eyes.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2015 Independent

Track listing
1. Drifter 3:39
2. Do It Better 3:11
3. Angel 7:06
4. 7 Days 3:25
5. Blue Eyes 4:42
6. Staring At The Sun 6:16

Band members
Donata Sounds – lead vocals
Russell Jones – guitars, vocals
Ralph Beeby – bass guitars, piano, organ, harmonica, vocals
Felipe Drago – drums

Album Review – BlackWolf / The Hunt (2014)

If you think Rock N’ Roll is dead, think again. At least in the United Kingdom it is not only alive, but also stronger than ever.


blackwolf_the huntDo you know that sad and annoying feeling when the specialized media insists on saying that Rock N’ Roll is dead, which gets even worse when we turn on the radio and realize the great majority of bands being played in Rock N’ Roll stations are too pop or commercial, not depicting at all the true essence of rock music? Well, if you’ve been suffering from that horrible “illness” lately and don’t know what to do, I have the perfect “remedy” for you: The Hunt, the awesome new album by British Hard Rock band BlackWolf.

It’s simply amazing how many excellent bands and albums are coming from the UK in the past few months, which is also true for this Bristol-based “Soulful Hard Rock N’ Roll” band as they like to call themselves. Mixing some great elements from classic bands such as Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath and Aerosmith, with a more contemporary sonority from Airbourne and Avenged Sevenfold, they were able to create “music from the 70’s” without sounding outdated or nostalgic, all thanks to the professionalism and creativity from all band members.

Their influence from the 70’s/80’s Hard Rock is evident from the very first notes of Mr. Maker, a song that could have been easily recorded by a band like Velvet Revolver, with highlights to its strong vocal work, or in the brilliant Keep Moving On, a song that was born to be a Rock N’ Roll radio hit due to its catchy chorus (you’ll start singing it without even noticing), lots of feeling and an excellent guitar solo. The groovy Moving Mountains, with its old school Black Sabbath riffs and an excellent work done by bassist Ben Webb and drummer Tom Lennox-Brown, will just make you more addicted to this album without any doubt and eager for what’s next.

And what comes after that is, of course, also very pleasant: Faith In Me is a kind of ballad with many elements used by bands like Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with singer Scott Sharp elevating the overall quality of the song with a great performance, while the fast and heavy Trouble, which is absolutely perfect for a road trip, presents a band entirely on fire. Moreover, it’s quite impossible not to get pumped up with this song and its awesome guitar solo. Things slow down a little with Only Said In Silence, a semi-acoustic ballad showcasing a more modern Hard Rock (with another powerful guitar solo by the end of it), but the band quickly gets back in full force with House of Emerald Wine, another memorable tune with an outstanding  touch of Blues Rock added to it.

blackwolfIf after all that awesomeness you still agree with the “specialists” that say Rock N’ Roll is dead, simply listen to Raised On the Sun and you’ll change your mind. this song is classic Stoner Rock at its best, with vocalist Scott Sharp killing it once again. Or maybe you should take a listen at the fast beats and awesome riffs from Black Hole Friend, another above-average Hard Rock track? But wait, there’s still more Rock N’ Roll to come with the very traditional approach and lots of feeling found in Dragging Ghosts and Relief, the latter being a very good proof that this band never gets tired of playing true rock music.

There are two more songs to go in The Hunt, the first called Sleepwalking, a ballad that will please most fans of that pure classic Rock N’ Roll, and Sea of Mercy, a high-end track that sounds more like a tribute to the 70’s than just a regular song. Besides that, the nice album art also seems totally inspired by some of the old Black Sabbath albums, such as the classic Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

In short, all I can say about this album is that if BlackWolf were born let’s say about 30 or 40 years ago, they would be for sure one of the greatest Rock N’ Roll bands of all time, a reference in traditional Hard Rock, and we would see lots of grown-ups and kids wearing their T-shirts on the streets today. And if you got excited with this review and, more important than that, with BlackWolf’s thrilling and passionate music, you can purchase The Hunt as a shrink-wrapped 4 panel Digipack packaging with CD or as a digital copy on iTunes. It’s because of bands like BlackWolf that we can joyfully ignore the media and rest assured Rock N’ Roll will never die.

Best moments of the album: Keep Moving On, Trouble and House of Emerald Wine.

Worst moments of the album: Only Said In Silence and Dragging Ghosts.

Released in 2014 Independent

Track listing
1. Mr. Maker 4:00
2. Keep Moving On 4:10
3. Moving Mountains 3:28
4. Faith In Me 4:35
5. Trouble 3:16
6. Only Said In Silence 4:40
7. House of Emerald Wine 3:28
8. Raised On the Sun 4:48
9. Black Hole Friend 3:22
10. Dragging Ghosts 4:47
11. Relief 4:05
12. Sleepwalking 4:10
13. Sea of Mercy 4:50

Band members
Scott Sharp – vocals
John Greenhill – guitars
Jason Cronin – guitars
Ben Webb – bass
Tom Lennox-Brown – drums