At the moment the reviews keep coming! So for the people who are still pondering on how to spend their cash, maybe here some motivation to support our artists. As usual follow the links to read the full story (few exceptions below):
- DMME give Sky Empire a 4/5 stars for The Dark Tower. Dmitry says “British progressive metallurgists debut on a large scale – with no reason to cut it down” and is sure that while they’ve set the bar high for themselves, they will be able to rise to the challenge
- Sea Of Tranquility writer Steven Reid hands Chinawhite’s Different album 3.5/5 stars claiming “Hopefully Different finds Chinawhite fighting fit and reinvigorated, because having to wait nine years between albums isn’t ideal. That said, it has been worth the wait”
- Next up is Rock Hard (SK). Writer Erik Nadudvari shows his appreciation for the Different album from Chinawhite with a 4/5 star review, saying “we have a vibrant new album with pounding guitars and dense bass, plus even more guitars and keyboards to enhance the mood of the entire collection”
- That same Erik and Rock Hard give D’Ercole’s Made To Burn a 3.5/5 star rating. Lots of positives vibes on this one!
- Mr. H from UK site The Rocker writes about Cranston – II:The first CranstoN record saw Phil Vincent team up with Paul Sabu and I reckoned “If you’re the kind of persons who yearns for the likes of classic Aerosmith and Foreigner, albeit with a harder edged sound then this is the record for you. Now I’m not going to claim it’s up there with the classics but it is a very good album.”Which saves me the bother of writing a new review for the follow up album as exactly the same applies to this one. There are a couple of variations on the theme with some boogie licks on ‘Always On The Run’ and a more metal tinge to ‘Throwin’ Down’. There are a couple of fillers weighing down the middle of the record (say hello to ‘One Track Mind’) but given the sheer number of releases that Phil Vincent and company punt out every year there’s bound to be some slips in quality control.Strange to say, this time around, the best track is slightly anomalous as it moves away from the early eighties melodic rock into more seventies fey territory. ‘Wish I Had More Time’ is the tune in question, a lovely slice of acoustic pop which would have seen some US chart action circa 1976. Pound for pound I think this just shades the debut and is well worth a listen for fans of the genre.
- Heavy Paradise rate the latest solo album Hypocrite by Phil Vincent with an 8/10 and tells us that “Hypocrite is yet another strong sample of his really admirable career. Some killer tunes in it, great guitars, an overall tight sound with the necessary modern vibe and some Winger ‘pinches’ here and there makes “Hypocrite” a must ‘listen’ for all the fans of the modern hard rock scene (…and not only)”
- Next one for Hypocrite comes from Dangerdog. Another 4/5 rating. Craig says “Needless to say, Hypocrite finds the multi-talented Phil Vincent in fine form delivering another solid album of his melodic hard and heavy rock. Recommended.”
- One of those awful illegal download sites calls that same album “Strong, varied and interesting”
- Next one from The Rocker is for Slug Comparison:Some Canadian prog via the Netherlands as a Dutch record label brings us the latest offering from vocalist/guitarist Doug Harrison of Canadian progressive rockers Fen. Truly it’s a global village.Now I’ve never heard of Fen or Doug Harrison. He has released a previous solo album and EP and this one sees him collaborating with the likes of guitarist Sam Levin (Fen), bassist Mike Young (The Devin Townsend Band), Randall Stoll (Congenital Fixation, KD Lang), Jeff Caron (Fen), Nando Polesel (Fen) and, Dave Young (Devin Townsend). So that’s a lot of Fen and a lot of Devin Townsend. But not a lot of prog.It’s proggish in the way that King’s X were (and are) proggish. But it has just as much in common with mainstream modern rock bands and post-grunge outfits. Which doesn’t really float my boat. Steven Wilson fans will probably take to it though and as there are a helluva lot more of them than there are of me, then this could do well for him. If they get past the awful band name. He has got a great voice which really comes to the fore when he aims for the jugular with the modern day version of a power ballad. Which is why ‘Fine With It’ is utterly magnificent. It has space to breathe, an impassioned vocal and some glittering guitar. A gem.
A couple more like that and he would have had me. But this is a sound that is hugely attractive to modern ears. If they get to hear it this could be big.
- Next Jason Ritchie from Get Ready To Rock, also on Phil Vincent’s Hypocrite album. A very decent 3.5/5 stars because “not as instant as many of Phil Vincent’s solo albums, ‘Hypocrite’ certainly holds its own musically and is another enjoyable melodic hard rock album”
- Next one is for Cranston – II, this time from German Metal zine Crossfire: an 8/10 rating placing the album somewhere between Giant and Thunder with praise for the compositions!
- GloryDazeMusic rate Hypocrite with a 7/10 and applaud it’s diversity even though writer George does not think every song is of the same high calibre
- then on to the first review of the coming Stamina live CD/ DVD Live In The City Of Power. Metalwinds give it a mesmerising 90/100 rating! No shortage of superlatives in the review
- the next ultra fresh review is for the coming release of Legion; Rising. GloryDazeMusic writer George is pretty happy with the return of the band and rates the album with 8.5/10!
- then on to Spain and This is Rock and their March 2019 edition. First one is for Claudio Delgift – the Essential. Translated:I can’t think of a better way to get into the work of this exceptional Argentine guitarist than through this compilation. With such exquisite class and taste, each song is an ode to Progressive Rock with Blues and melodic influences. He’s in charge of all of the instruments except drums. He has the ability to create great expectation with his music. That can be seen in the unfolding of the songs, which instead of boring us to death with solos and technical parts, it makes us keep our attention on, asking to ourselves if the next section will be just as good as the previous one. “The World As A Whole” sums the album up perfectly. A portent of guitarist and songwriter that will be a big surprise for you.Enrique Gallardo
- Second one is for Cranston – II:Behind this pretty much warrior-like name hides a duet of prolific Hard Rock artists: Paul Sabu and Phil Vincent. Style-wise it reminds us of Sabu’s “In Dreams,” so if you liked that record, this one won’t disappoint you. The first three tracks are spectacular. “Always On The Run” is catchy and powerful. “What’s It Gonna Take” is reminiscent of Sammy Hagar’s best solo moments. And “Wrong Side Of Town” has a distinctive Celtic touch in its chorus that makes your ears prick. The rest maintains the level, though the impact isn’t as immediate. “I Wish I Had More Time” sounds a bit like Southern Rock and “One Track Mind” distils Sleaze Rock, while “Throwin’ Down” is built around a mastodon riff. They still make quality Rock.Enrique Gallardo
- And we end this time with Dutch site Lords Of METAL:
* a 72/100 for Slug Comparison
* a 60/100 for Claudio Delgift
* and a 70/100 for Cranston!