Browsing articles tagged with " officially"
Apr 18, 2012
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Bitch – “Be My Slave & Damnation Alley” (1982/1983)

Label : Metal Blade Records

Review by Tony Cannella

The band Bitch, led by Betsy (Weiss) Bitch were one of the few female fronted metal bands that existed in the early 80s, they were also one of the more polarizing. Some people loved their straight-forward, in-your-face approach, while others were turned off by their overt references to s & m and sexual innuendo, never mind the fact that the band manage to deliver much of the material with tongue firmly planted in cheek – that went over a lot of people’s heads (Tipper Gore for example). But almost 30 years later there is no denying that Bitch were pioneers to the Femme Metal genre, okay maybe there is some deniability since it didn’t really catch on until much, much, much later, but still Bitch were one of the first to feature a dominant female vocalist and along the way they developed a devout cult following that exists to this day. Now the bands label Metal Blade has re-re-issued their 1982 EP “Damnation Alley” together on one disc with their 1983 debut full-length “Be My Slave” , remastered by Bill Metoyer and a bonus DVD featuring some live footage and other cool stuff for a new generation of Femme Metal fans to discover and enjoy. The first 10-songs are from 1983’s “Be My Slave”. By this time Bitch had a demo and an EP under their belt so the songs are more confident and the sound is more focused. “Right from the Start” gets the party started and is followed by what was to become a Bitch classic, “Be My Slave”. There is no lack of abrasiveness here in both music and lyrical subject matter as the band tears through songs like “Leatherbound”, “Heavy Metal Breakdown”, “In Heat” and “Make It Real (Make It Rock)”, which is a bitch repetitive but still a monster of a track. The majority of the material is very raw and tough – Betsy definitely had the tough girl, ‘I am in control’ attitude going. The last 5-songs are taken from the “Damnation Alley” EP, which spawned another Bitch classic “Live for the Whip” which still gets the audiences going to this day. “Let’s Go” concludes over one hour of music, this was never released before to my knowledge, so it is a cool way to end things. Bitch went on to release two more full-lengths and one EP before fading into obscurity for many years. In recent years however, Betsy has returned once again with Bitch as the band continues to deliver kick ass shows in both the U.S. and on the European festival circuit. Listening to these albums is like being revisited by an old friend. It’s been so long since I’ve heard them, and maybe the sound is a little dated (okay a lot dated), but the heart and spirit behind the music remains to same. It remains to be seen if Bitch will ever record again, even if they don’t at least they have left an enduring legacy – much to Tipper Gore’s chagrin.

Rating – 83/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Right from the Start
  2. Be My Slave
  3. Leatherbound
  4. Riding in Thunder
  5. Save You from the World
  6. Heavy Metal Breakdown
  7. Gimme a Kiss
  8. In Heat
  9. Make It Real (Make It Rock)
  10. World War III
  11. Saturdays
  12. Never Come Home
  13. Damnation Alley
  14. He’s Gone
  15. Live for the Whip
  16. Let’s Go

 

Line Up

  • Betsy Bitch – Vocals
  • David Carruth – Guitar
  • Richard Zusman – Bass on the “Damnation Alley” EP
  • Marc Anthony Webb - Bass on the “Damnation Alley” EP and “Be My Slave”
  • Robby Settles – Drums

 

Links

MySpace * Site

Apr 8, 2012
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Hammers of Misfortune – “Fields/Church of Broken Glass” (2008)

Label : Metal Blade Records

Review by Tony Cannella

The fourth and final of the Hammers of Misfortune re-issues by Metal Blade is “Fields/Church of Broken Glass”, originally released in 2008. This San Francisco based band has really perfected their Avant-Garde/Progressive Metal sound, and with this album their progression continues. The organ heavy opening track, “Agriculture” gets things off to an excellent start. Right away, the organ on this track reminds me a bit of Ken Hensley’s work in early Uriah Heep. This track is a great opener and a good way to begin things. Next is “Fields”, this track features only the female lead vocals. The third track, “Motorcade” quickly became my favorite. This song features an infectious melody, a cool riff and excellent vocals. Other highlights include: the 8-minute, “Almost (Left Without You)”, the 11-minute “Butchertown” and “The Gulls”. The end result of “Fields/Church of Broken Glass” is quite a monumental opus. It has been cool to see how Hammers of Misfortune has progressed from album-to-album. The band is currently working on their debut for Metal Blade which should be out in 2011. Until then, these four re-issues will have to hold us over.

Rating – 91/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Agriculture
  2. Fields
  3. Motorcade
  4. Haruspex
  5. Rats Assembly
  6. Always Looking Down
  7. Too Soon
  8. Almost (Left Without You)
  9. Butchertown
  10. The Gulls
  11. Church of Broken Glass
  12. Train

 

Line Up

  • Jesse Quattro – Vocals
  • Patrick Goodwin – Guitar, Vocals
  • John Cobbett – Guitar
  • Sigrid Sheie – Organ, Piano, Vocals, Flute
  • Ron Nichols – Bass
  • Chewy Marzolo – Drums

 

Links

MySpace * Facebook * Twitter * Site

Apr 6, 2012
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Cornerstone – “Head Over Heels” (2008)

Label : ATOM Records

Review by Tony Cannella

Cornerstone is a melodic hard rock band from Austria. There one and only (so far) album was originally released in 2008, but has recently been re-issued. Throughout the course of this 13-song, 55-minute album, the listener is treated to some jaw dropping, infectious melodic music. I have to admit that I will always have time for a band like Cornerstone. Their music is so catchy, well written and fun, that I find it impossible not to be cheerful after listening to “Head Over Heels”. The tempo and mood is set with the bouncy opener “Something to Say”. This song immediately became a huge highlight for me and it definitely piqued my interest over what was to follow. I was not disappointed, as the next two songs “Regret” and “Leave” also became favorites. Cornerstone has a definite AOR quality to them, like on the songs “Ready to Go”, the pretty piano ballad “Crises” and “Something in the Way”. Sadly, Cornerstone has undergone some line-up changes in the singer and drummer positions since this album was released. “Head Over Heels” is snapshot of what this talented Austrian band is capable of. Cornerstone is currently working on new music with their new singer Patricia Hillinger and new drummer Florian Zipser. I, for one, look forward to seeing what Cornerstone has in store for 2011 and beyond.

Rating – 85/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Something to Say
  2. Regret
  3. Leave
  4. Ready to Go
  5. Crises
  6. Better Than You
  7. I Can’t Even Say No
  8. Changed
  9. Something in the Way
  10. Fade Away
  11. Stefania
  12. Regret (U.S. Radio Version)
  13. Fade Away (U.S. Radio Version) 

Line Up

  • Anja Schirmer –Vocals
  • Michael Wachelhofer – Bass, Keyboards and Vocals
  • Stefan Wachelhofer – Guitars and Vocals
  • Hannah Wachter – Drums and Percussion

 

Links

MySpace * ReverbNationFacebook * Twitter * Site

Mar 23, 2012
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Omit – “Repose” PROMO (2010)

Independent Release

Review by Tony Cannella

Omit are a melodic doom metal band from Norway. Their debut album titled, “Repose” features only 5-songs, and over 80-minutes worth of music spread out over 2-discs. This is definitely an ambitiously crafted debut. Throughout the duration of “Repose”, Omit know only two speeds, slow and slower. The riffs only get heavier and heavier. The opening song, “Scars” is a great way to begin things track, clocking in at over 16-minutes long. The vocals of Cecilie are well done and fit in very nice with the music. “Fatigue” and “Dissolve”, both over 14-minutes conclude the first disc. The second disc is only comprised of 2-songs, yet lasts almost 40-minutes. The first of which is the over 14-minute “Constriction” and the final track “Insolence” is over 25-minutes long and brings this debut to a close. Wow, the band certainly crams a lot into only 5-songs, and you have to give them props for their chosen direction. When all is said-and-done, Omit has delivered a very potent addition to the Doom Metal genre.  The songs are melancholic and mournful. “Repose” surely may not appeal to everyone, but the Doom Metal crowd should appreciate this debut from Omit. I look forward to seeing what this band has planned for the future.

Rating – 73/100

 

Tracklist

Disc 1

  1. Scars
  2. Fatigue
  3. Dissolve

Disc 2

  1. Constriction
  2. Insolence

 

Line Up

  • Cecilie Langlie – Vocals
  • Tom Simonsen – Guitars and Bass
  • Kjetil Ottersen – Guitars & Keyboards
  • Bert Nummelin – Drums

 

Links

MySpace * ReverbNation * Facebook * Twitter * Site

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