reviews roundup 2019-01

Slug Comparison - When You Were Living Here

Cranston II Sunrise Auranaut - InserterThe Essential Claudio DelgiftD'Ercole - Made To BurnAt the moment many reviews are coming in. And we also see more and more radio shows including our releases. Thank you all for that.

Here some quotes and links to the reviews:

  • Glory Daze Music gave Cranston an 8.5 and admit quite liking the effort
  • German site Musik Reviews gave Sunrise Auranaut 10/15 and think they have a full Eastern flair and a clear space sound
  • Heavy Paradise were among the first to review Slug Comparison, crediting the album with a 8/10 saying: ” I have to say that is a quite interesting ride all the way through Doug Harrison‘s music world. It includes some excellent melodies, solid arrangements, deep and with meaning lyrics and very good performances”
  • Fireworks writer Paul Woodward discussed D’Ercole‘s fifth album Made To Burn and calls it “another quality release involving Vincent and it’s one I highly recommend
  • Next we have Progressive Rock Fanatics writer Stephen Conrad. His first review featured involves Claudio Delgift and his compilation The Essential. Stephen says “Claudio is a prolific musician, and these tracks serve as a good introduction into the breadth and quality of his work so far.”
  • The second Conrad review is about Slug Comparison. In one word he calls it “Superb”!
  • In Canada’s The Georgia Straight, Slug Comparison is named Album Of The Week by writer Mike Usinger!
  • Get Ready To Rock writer Jason Ritchie says “With Cranston both Phil Vincent and Paul Sabu have made musical chemistry and I am already looking forward to hearing what these two come up with next.” 4/5 stars
  • and last but certainly not least is a thrilling review for Slug Comparison by The Ringmaster. Pete says “When You Were Living Here is simply intimate splendour with melodic nobility sure to be deserving of every ounce of attention and acclaim it will inevitably garner.”

Welcome to Stamina!

stamina live*** BREAKING NEWS ***

Rock Company are very happy to welcome Italian melodic power / progressive metal band STAMINA to the family!
We will work with them to release their LIVE CD + DVD (!) Live In The City Of Power in the coming months.
This is an exciting new chapter for us all, and we are looking forward to present it to you!

Stay tuned for details, thanks for your support!

Cheers Peter

Slug Comparison know Exactly What To Do

Slug Comparison is the solo project of Fen vocalist/guitarist Doug Harrison. Known for blending darkness and light, acoustic and electric, Harrison first deepened his exploration of these elements with a 2014 solo album that felt like a Part II to Fen’s acclaimed album Trails Out Of Gloom.
In 2017, Harrison started recording and releasing EP’s. After four of them—IIa, b, c and d—Rock Company got in touch and convinced him to bundle these EP’s, add a few extra tracks and release them as the successor to his solo debut.

So here is Slug Comparison’s second album: When You Were Living Here. The title track and “beings far away” are dedicated to the memory of Eric Rose—Harrison’s former roommate, friend, and creative accomplice. To whet your appetite here the opening track Exactly What To Do.
Album releases January 16, 2019 and pre order starts on January 1!

End Of Year SALE

rock company end of year sale#EndOfYearSale
 
It finally happened: we have gone bonkers, mad as a hatter! We are cleaning out the closet, we need to make room for new additions, we are slashing the prices, deals deals deals, we are cutting up the prices, it’s our biggest sale ever, grab them while they’re hot, incredible deals, a one in a lifetime opportunity, you do not want to miss this, mega sale, big discounts, it’s sale time, super sale, black Friday deals (and it isn’t even Friday yet), gone is gone.
 
Yes it is the GRANDE End Of Year SALE at Rock Company. For a limited time we have lowered pricing on almost ALL of our catalogue. Including distribution titles!
Help those poor musicians get through the winter and stock up!
 
Visit https://rockcompany.nl/shop/ to start exploring. International orders over 50€ ship for free (NL orders 40€)!

More Reviews

fred mika - withdrawal symptomsCranston IIsouls of deaf - fortune favors the bold

sky empire - the dark tower

D'Ercole - Made To BurnOk, halfway through the month it is time to point you to some more reviews! Let’s first start with Mr. H. from Zeitgeist / The Rocker, writing about Fred Mika. Alas no direct link to the review (it was posted November 23) so here his words:

FRED MIKA
Withdrawal Symptons
Rock Company

It’s the one fans are all waiting for. You know, The announcement that the drummer is doing a solo album.

So fans of Brazilian band Sunroad must have been besides themselves with joy when this appeared. Turns out said band have punted out half a dozen albums over the last twenty years or so. Nope, me neither. But it explains how Mr Mika has cajoled a host of Brazilian rock singers to appear here. See it’s one of those where a different singer is on each tune. Mind you, it’s as much an Andre Adonis record as he co-writes, plays guitars, bass and keyboards and does some singing as well. And he’s in Sunroad. Which just confuses me.

Never having heard Sunroad I don’t know how much this differs from their records but I’m hazarding a guess that this collection of old school, melodic hard rock won’t be a million miles away. And there are a few good tunes along for the ride. The best two are right in the middle when the class of Carl Dixon and Michael Voss help lift the songs on ‘Wired In’ and ‘Artwork Nightmare’ respectively.

There are nods to classic Deep Purple in a few places when the keyboards are a wee bit more prominent but there just aren’t enough to push the record from good to great. There are some jazzy and instrumental interludes which don’t help the flow so even though I quite enjoyed it but I won’t be rushing back.

Thank you mr. H.!

****

Another one I cannot point you to is for the latest Cranston album. And it is getting quite the praise:

To be released tomorrow, the simply titled “II” is indeed the second album from CRANSTON, the band formed three years go by vocalist / multi-instrumentalist Phil Vincent, his former band mate in D’Ercole drummer B.F. D’Ercole, and the legendary Paul Sabu on guitar.
What isn’t ‘simply’ for sure is the material on offer here; a strong bunch of classic melodic hard rockers full of bounce and displaying the best Sabu’s guitar work / songwriting in years.

While CranstoN first album was a good one, this second effort blow it out of the water on all aspects: all songs are good, arrangements & production better, and Sabu’s guitar playing is on fire.
Paul Sabu’s last solo album from some years ado resulted ‘cold’ in my humble opinion, then on CranstoN’s self-titled debut his work was fine however with not much room to shine, but here the talented guitarist seems to have re-captured his essence delivering some truly awesome riffs and solos to boot.

CranstoN “II” has the ‘good songs’ you need to success – well written and catchy tunes – Vincent has proven his talents and skills over the years, but what really takes this CD to another level is Sabu’s work.
His sweet riffs on the melodic rock tunes”Always on the Run”, “What’s it Gonna Take” or the AORish “Wrong Side of Town” bringing to mind Paul’s early albums.

Nicely, “II” is not circumscribed to only one genre, and they suddenly drop a poppy melodious song worthy of massive attention in the form of “Wish I Had More Time” (with Sabu performing cool acoustics as well). Here, as happens on some songs on the CD, Vincent sings with a vocal tone reminiscent of Night Ranger’s Keally Keagy which I like a lot and fits the material.

Then, the band change course to insight the hard rock intensity of the groovy “Throwin’ Down”, the Night Ranger circa mid-Nineties “Tables Turning”, and the pretty killer closing number “Dead & Gone”, a punchy cut again with a solid guitar work.

As said previously, while the first CranstoN album was good, I resulted pleasantly surprised with “II”, a very good melodic hard rock album with an early ’90s feeling.
I wasn’t expecting this Sabu return to form but the man delivers some of his magic again, add to that better songs and a more polished production, and we have here a very solid new album from CranstoN.
Highly Recommended

01. Always on the Run
02. What’s It Gonna Take
03. Wrong Side of Town
04. Soul Crusher
05. Tables Turning
06. Wish I Had More Time
07. One Track Mind
08. Throwin’ Down
09. Sad Truth
10. Take Me
11. Dead & Gone

Phil Vincent – vocals, bass, keyboards
Paul Sabu – guitar, vocals, keyboards
B.F. D’Ercole – drums

*****

Next are Souls Of Deaf. Writer Steven Reid from Sea Of Tranquility gives it 3 stars. Considering they focus on prog and this is a bit more of a metal record, not bad. He does not call it a perfectly decent record for nothing! Thanks Steven.

****

Your Music Blog tell you why (providing you love prog metal) you should buy The Dark Tower from Sky Empire. And some time before the blog wrote about D’Ercole’s Made to Burn.

****

And closing for the moment is Dmitry Epstein from DMME. He always weaves magic words and finds himself pretty impressed with D’Ercole’s latest offering Made To Burn and hands it a 4/13 out of 5 stars! Thank you Dmitry!

 

Pre-order Claudio Delgift – The Essential

*** breaking news ***

The new album from Claudio Delgift, The Essential, is available for pre order now! Starting with the bandcamp page. 

A must for his fans, or anyone into quality prog from the sympathetic guitar wizard from Argentina! Now also on www.rockcompany.nl. For a limited time with a reduced prize!  Shipping starts next week and the official release date is December 28, 2018.

Check the video with samples from several tracks:

Recent reviews!

sky empire - the dark towerstill living - ymmij  souls of deaf - fortune favors the bold age-of-aquariusmarenna - livin no regretsSunrise Auranaut - Inserter

 

 

 

 

It is about time to give you an overview of reviews for our releases!

  • Musipedia of Metal gives Sky Empire a 7/10 and calls it a fairly impressive chunk of prog that will certainly entertain fans of the genre
  • DMME gives 3 4/5 stars to Still Living’s Ymmij album and likes the band best in the heavier songs
  • Rockportaal really enjoy the Souls Of Deaf album and call it a damn fine album with catchy and fast metal
  • Dmitry from  DMME also had some nice things to say about last years Age Of Aquarius release and adds several new genre descriptions to the varied sound of the album
  • Zeitgeist / the Rocker have lots of praise for the Marenna live album and state that Melodic hard rock fans should definitely be giving it a listen
  • Belgian Metal Shredder found several favourites on the Souls Of Deaf album and describe it as an old-school album that aims to bring some of that classic Motörhead vibe to you but with a typically Dutch flavor
  • Metal Temple are very impressed by the Sky Empire album and give a 10 for songwriting and a 9 for originality!

And in Empire 127 Martin Dambeck wrote several impressions. For Chinawhite, Souls Of Deaf and Sunrise Auranaut. Read in the next documents:

Empire_127_PREVIEW 56-57

Empire_127_PREVIEW 59

 

chinawhite - differentAnd last but not least the kind words of Mr. H. for Chinawhite:

CHINAWHITE
Different
Rock Company

Another release from the men who never sleep. Yes, Peter Cox (not that one) and Phil Vincent have made another record to go with all their CranstoN / Forest Field endeavours.

Chinawhite, though, is all about the songs of Peter Cox. With all the vocals taken care of by Vincent and the drums coming from Praying Mantis man Hans in´t Zandt they’ve certainly put together a quality product. It’s mainly eighties styled melodic hard rock but they’ve also thrown in a few prog elements as well. It would be no surprise to find some mid-period Asia albums in the collection of Mr Cox.

They kick things off with one of the album highlights – ‘Kiss Of Fire’ – which is as hard rock as they get. The prog starts to arrive with ‘Hello To The World’ and from then on they mix and match as they please. When it works, it’s really enjoyable, although a couple of songs just miss. And just to reinforce the prog credentials the album closes with an eight minute instrumental. Hey! It’s my album and I’ll do what I like. A good one.

Pre- Order Cranston II available now!

Cranston IIThe second hammer album from Cranston is arriving!

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Phil Vincent, AOR God Paul Sabu, D’Ercole drummer B.F. D’Ercole, together form CRANSTON. Their new album “II” defies any easy pigeonhole. By turns, they perform melodic rock to accompany a throbbing backline as in “What’s it Gonna Take” and “Always on the Run”, singing about life, love, and everything surrounding it. Then suddenly dropping a pop song worthy of massive attention in the form of “Wish I Had More Time”. Then changing course to insight the metal fury of “Throwin’ Down”, “Dead & Gone” and “Tables Turning”. CRANSTON “II” checks all the boxes. They top it all off with a massive production on par with the most successful albums of our time– This, all skilfully blended into a seamless flow.

The album is available for pre-order now on Bandcamp and iTunes. Or buy the limited edition CD straight from us. And until release day for a reduced price!

Check the awesome video for What’s It Gonna Take:

Update Special Offer Cellar Dwellers

cellar dwellers - special offerSince the Junkyard Chronicles are now complete with the release of part 4, it is also time to update the special Cellar Dwellers offer!

An EP is 5€ each. Yet the special offer goes like this:

  • 1 EP = 5
  • 2 EP = 9
  • 3 EP = 12
  • 4 EP = 15

This offer excludes shipping, which is 5€ in The Netherlands and 9€ rest of the world, or 15 if you want the shipping registered (preferred if your country does not have reliable postal delivery).

You can pay using PayPal with the amount to this link. Please mention which EP’s you want if you do not order all 4!

Reviews Reviews Reviews!

chinawhite - different fred mika - withdrawal symptoms marenna - livin no regrets Sunrise Auranaut - Insertersouls of deaf - fortune favors the bold

 

 

 

 

The reviews keep coming in! And most of them we are very happy to share with you:

Brian from The Midlands Rocks wrote about Chinawhite and Fred Mika here. Lots of positives, so thank you Brian for you kind words.

DMME / Let It Rock also published very kind reviews on Chinawhite and Fred Mika. Dmitry has a great way with words, you should definitely check these! Thanks again Dmitry.

Next up is Italian site Giornale Metal! They honoured Marenna with 8/10, and Sunrise Auranaut and Fred Mika with a 7/10. The site is obviously in Italian, but Google can translate automatically for you. Thank you Bob, Silvio and Angelica.

To move on we have Dutch site Rock Portaal. Lots of good things about Souls of Deaf. Thank you Filip.

The same applies to LiveReviewer.com. Also lots of praise for the Souls Of Deaf album. Thank you Winston.

French site Metal Integral gave Chinawhite a 4.5/5 stars! Thank you Noctus.

To conclude this gathering, I present a beautiful one published in French magazine Highlands #92, about the Inserter album by Sunrise Auranaut:

For his first title, The Flight Continues, SUNRISE AURANAUT remains in his comfort zone by using what he knows best: a rhythmic Progressive feeling good 70s, with keyboards also retro futuristic. We always hear the programmed battery, limit drum machine, which can annoy by its sound.
In The Old House is more imaginative: varied and articulate on an intriguing Glockenspiel, it establishes a well marked atmosphere in just four minutes.
The rhythm is both more present and better used, serving keyboards from the Moog from the 70s to the 80s. Vitaly KISELEV skilfully slides guitar parts for a more energetic and relevant overall rendering. Keeper Of The Castle Forest push INSERTER in this way, in equal quality.
Based on a very nice guitar part freely inspired by Steve HACKETT, this title is part of a very good balance between guitar-keyboards-drums.
SUNRISE AURANAUT knows his classics and he never hesitates to refer to them, for the good cause. Identification Man (Psychedelic Inserter) could be his sequel: the Hammond organ always holds a place of choice, for a very progressive piece, in the spirit of In The Old House.
Rhythm breaks and other tempo changes are part of the journey and thanks to the contribution of MALAKHOV, KISELEV can refine the programming and the guitar playing, forming a solid and always interesting. The pair works perfectly, which allows him to offer the short but beautiful Fog. This time, we hear the contribution and influences of the Classic claimed by SUNRISE AURANAUT. With his guitar evoking the harpsichord, the keyboard can play its sweet and ethereal part that makes us enjoy a different and pleasant music.
Auspicious before the trilogy The Saga Of The Discovers.

The first two are grouped on the same title and this choice is judicious: it allows us to focus on his six beautiful minutes; SUNRISE AURANAUT is more ambitious than ever and this is reflected in his arrangements: the rhythm section seems more and more natural, serving at best this powerful Progressive rock, in the wake of a romanticism at GENESIS and Steve HACKETT.
The duo makes us take advantage of their great range of sounds, by packing this piece which finds its climax in an excellent third final part.

Taking advantage of the change of track to rest with a soothing introduction, this Saga resumes its cruising pace by finishing as well as it started.
A flawless for this suite that marks his imprint album. The World Of Light keeps in itself the aesthetics of its predecessors, without taking all its strength: the piece is good but with less strength of conviction. The strange One Strange Morning will bring another atmosphere, between Dany ELFMAN and that of a haunted mansion.

Despite an electronic drum too present, we revel in this title lighter, tinged with irony, in a state of mind finally very Russian. Hello, Star Man is very honorably closing the set: even if it does not reach the height of the saga, it returns without complex to a progressive progressive pleasant, without surprise but effective.

By diversifying with the contribution of a musician for this fifth album, Vitaly KISELEV was able to reinvent itself in his style, making INSERTER an excellent record if this is the best of SUNRISE AURANAUT.

In addition to the programmed battery that can displease, the whole is very homogeneous, creative, always located in the Progressive referenced period 70 but not without brilliance and panache. He even surprised us, like The Saga Of The Discoverers, brilliant.
Lovers of instrumental rock, listen to this endearing album. (*** ¾)

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