Buffalo Revisited, Volcanic Rock Live (Ripple Music 2022)

Australian metal pioneers Buffalo, performing as Buffalo Revisited, release their first live album, called Volcanic Rock Live, to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the studio original.

Buffalo is a band a lot of fans today never came across but I am convinced they would be happy to hear them if they got a chance. The Australians released five full-length albums back in the 1970s, the most well-remembered being Volcanic Rock (1973). Founder and front man Dave Tice has been performing in recent years as Buffalo Revisited, playing songs from the early albums. Interestingly, Buffalo never released a live album. Until now.

Recorded on June 6, 2018 at The Bald Faced Stag Hotel in Sydney, Buffalo Revisited plays the entire Volcanic Rock album. Troy Scerri (guitar), Steve Lorkin (Bass), and Marcus Fraser (drums) joined Dave Tice to make it happen.

Some of my all-time favorite music was created in the 1970s, so I figured I was going to be on board with this one, too. I had heard Volcanic Rock before, and a couple other Buffalo albums, so I was ready.

What you realize immediately about this music is it’s a great stoner record. Laid back riffs and weathered lead guitar work seep easily into your readied head. By the second song, “Freedom,” I had settled in. I remember having a fleeting thought hoping the album was playing on a loop because I did not want to get up. Tice sounds great, and he and the other musicians celebrate the 45th anniversary of the classic album in style.

Whether you have heard of Buffalo before or not, you should listen to this album. If you are a fan of the Ripple Music catalogue, then this is for you. It fits right in. Highly recommended.

Volcanic Rock Live is out now from Ripple Music and available at Bandcamp or through the label’s on-line store.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/album/volcanic-rock-live

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/buffalorevisited

Ripple Music, https://www.ripple-music.com/

Buffalo Revisited, Volcanic Rock Live (Ripple Music 2022)

Out Of This World, Out Of This World (Atomic Fire 2022)

The new music from Out Of this World will spark memories and regenerate a blazing fire.

The band is comprised of certified music veterans Kee Marcello (Europe), Tommy Heart (Fair Warning), Ken Sandin (Alien), and Darby Todd (Devin Townsend). They came together to create new music in the way that works best for them, and the result is an explosion of energetic melodic hard rock which has not been given this complete a treatment for years.

The opening track does have a decided Europe feel to it, with big keys and tall guitar riffs. Catchy hooks wind in to set up the clear hard rock vocals and carry the song on. That’s “Twilight,” and the glimpse it offers signals the rest of the album accurately. The tone throughout is melodic, but there are enough edges in there to satisfy your need for creative guitar work. Certainly, the lead guitar performances are very impressive. The compositions are designed to have broad appeal and they score high marks on that account.

Over the course of the ten tracks there is enough hair metal nostalgia to raise the dead. I listened to so much of this kind of music back at its beginning that I didn’t think I would ever hear something that sounded new, but here it is. The familiarity is there, and yet these songs have a sparkling born-on date. There is a dip into the power ballad arena from time to time, and there are stadium anthems, too. This set roves the planes of 80s heavy rock with wide-ranging aplomb. If you are a fan of this kind of music, you are going to like the new Out Of This World efforts. They take the music seriously and put on a great show. Recommended.

Out Of This World invades your airspace on Friday, January 14th through Atomic Fire Records. Check out the label store at the link below.

Links.

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/OOTWtheband

Atomic Fire Records, https://visionmerch.com/atomicfire/

Out Of This World, Out Of This World (Atomic Fire 2022)

Axe, The Albums 1979 – 1983 (Cleopatra 2021)

The axe swings again with a new four-CD set of the first albums from iconic metal band AXE.

I remember buying those early Axe (often stylized as AXE) albums in the 1970s and early 1980s. It is entirely possible that I bought the first one on the strength of the cover art alone – I was young. What you heard when you listened to the music was something that was very different from other contemporary bands. Melodic vocals and keyboards, which might make you think of bands like Styx or even Kansas, but with surprisingly sharp guitars. That’s what I remember most about Axe, those big guitar riffs that were so prominent in the mix.

The original Axe line-up (emerging after the demise of the band Babyface) was Bobby Barth (guitar, vocals), Edgar Riley, Jr. (keys), Mike Turpin (bass), Teddy Mueller (drums), and Michael Osborne (guitar). At the beginning, many band members traded off on vocals, but eventually the singing focused on Barth. Axe was growing in popularity with each passing year, and sales of their albums were increasing. They were well known as an energetic touring band and it looked like the sky was the limit. Tragedy struck in 1983 when Michael Osbourne died in a car accident that also badly injured Bobby Barth, and the band broke up immediately after. Axe did reform in the 1990s and have released several albums since. It is those first four that are stuck in my head, though, and they are the ones in the new set.

The clamshell box the new CDs are issued in hold individual sleeves with the original album artwork for all four releases: Axe (1979), Living On The Edge (1980), Offering (1982), and Nemesis (1983). The Offering CD has six bonus live tracks, and there is a 16-page booklet with an essay about the band by Dave Thompson, and liner notes. Lots of photos as well.

The new set is out now on the Dead Line imprint of Cleopatra Records. I am a big Axe fan so it was an easy choice for me. Listen to a few tracks at Bandcamp or Spotify if you want to test the waters before taking the plunge, but it is a solid bet the physical products won’t be available for long. Get them while you can. Recommended.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://therealrockaxe.bandcamp.com/album/the-albums-1979-1983

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/axeband1979

Cleopatra Records, https://cleorecs.com/store/shop/axe-the-albums-1979-1983-4cd/

Axe, The Albums 1979 – 1983 (Cleopatra 2021)

Clutch, State Theatre, Portland, Maine, October 3, 2021

Clutch is out right now on their usual year end tour. I hope you’re there now. Here are some shots from their State Theatre performance in October. Happy New Year!

All photos by Wayne Edwards.

Links.

Website, http://www.pro-rock.com/

Spotify, https://open.spotify.com/artist/6tqGMedAtDADU5mJulYhSj

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialClutch

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Clutchband

Clutch, State Theatre, Portland, Maine, October 3, 2021

Warzaw, Black Magic Satellite (2021)

Norwegian metalheads Warzaw release their second album of 2021, Black Magic Satellite.

At the beginning of this year, Warzaw unleashed Werewolves On Wheels, a full-length 1980s-metal-inspired album that brought an enormous amount of heavy metal joy. Now they are back to close the year out with an all new long-player, Black Magic Satellite. Points for diligence and hard work. More importantly, the new one branches out a little more than Werewolves did while staying in the broad lane of banging heavy metal. The musicians who make up Warzaw are Daniel Rønning (vocals), Håvard Alvarez (guitar), Trond Jullumstrø (guitar and bass), and Mats Sødahl (drums).

“Santa Mira” gets things going on this eleven track set. It crackles with energy and pace, and offers up an satisfyingly digestible chorus. The melody takes hold of you with hot hands and stands you up for the excellent lead break. This song rips. “Fierce Attitude” comes next, and it is also speedy, plus a little more grizzly. The tempo shifts slightly on the third track, “Send My Regards,” toward the center lane, retaining the heaviness of its predecessors while mixing things up a bit. The lyrics here are rougher, the lead break more raw; a flexing juxtaposition.

Throughout the album, the standard hard rock set-up frames the compositions and deploys that reliable familiarity. The surety of this position allows the band to rub confidently its own scent in every crease and crevice of each song. Other stand-out tracks for me are “Circular Talk” and the closer, “Sabres of Flesh and Blood.” There is not a weak one in the bunch.

This album is every bit as good as Werewolves, and it pledges a bright future for the next one. I really like this band. Recommended.

Black Magic Satellite is out tomorrow, December 31st. Listen to it on Spotify or search the ether for a place to buy the digital album.

Links.

Spotify, https://open.spotify.com/artist/2pJZWxMzv2TwO99Y3HIDFb

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/warzawband

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZxg45Ijq7UkZQ-37lc0jxQ

FFMB Werewolves On Wheels review, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2021/02/11/warzaw-werewolves-on-wheels-2021/

Warzaw, Black Magic Satellite (2021)

Age Of Wolves, Age Of Wolves (Pitch Black Records 2021)

Veteran metallers come together on a new band and release their debut album: Age Of Wolves.

Canadian musicians Michael Edwards (vocals), Al “Yeti” Bones (guitar), Ray Solomon (bass), and Dwayne LaFramboise (drums) established Age of Wolves two short years ago. Focusing on traditional metal starting points, their music expands and circulates to fold in contemporary insights into formidable established frameworks. The result is slamming rock and roll that will get your head banging.

There are eight cracking tracks on the self-titled record. “Lil’ Burner” starts the fire with a Thin Lizzy lick, a heavy bass line, and an engagingly gravely vocal. The lead break pushes the edge of tone and the rhythm holds firm the place in time. “Avernus” comes next and hits at a darting clip then soon down shifts into a relaxed bluesy posture. Whiskey drinking music. “Grease Monkey and the Monkey Wrench” has a Clutch feel to it in my ears, and that is always a good thing. It is a strange little story with a spritely vamp that pushes the narrative along. Side one ends on “Temple Bar,” a beautifully executed, soulful-sounding song that resonates with rich guitar renderings.

The back half almost sounds like a different album at first. “Overlord” presents an epic face while “We Rise” has a much more street-level approach to its maneuvering. The guitar is still there in each case, and it is clearly revealed as the through-line. “My Love Ends All” has a power-balladesque structure at the beginning and also has a ripping lead break that challenges your idea of what this song is all about. The closer is “Endless Tides,” and it is a delightfully heavy rambler with an esoteric outro. It is a great choice for the set closer. The album was not what I expected but, after hearing it all the way through, I’m definitely on board with Age of Wolves. Recommended.

Age Of Wolves is out now through Pitch Black Records on CD and digital.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://pitchblackrecords.bandcamp.com/album/age-of-wolves

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/AgeOfWolves

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-7a39qy_Qw532NCP6DRgA

Pitch Black Records, https://www.pitchblackrecords.com/

Age Of Wolves, Age Of Wolves (Pitch Black Records 2021)

AC/DC Back In Black Redux ~ The Best Of AC/DC Redux (Magnetic Eye 2021)

Two new AC/DC tribute albums are out from the venerable Magnetic Eye Records.

Magnetic Eye Records continues its Redux series with a couple of tribute albums celebrating the iconic Australian band AC/DC. I grew up listening to AC/DC, and their albums were drinking music for me. I love them front to back, all the way through Back In Black, and I have continuing abiding affection for the ones after that, too. A tribute album (or two) makes sense because of the legions of fans.

We all know the songs from Back In Black, right? OK. So, with that as a baseline, how are things different on the tribute album? First up: Red Fang has a completely shifted take on “Hells Bells.” It is a sour twist and very different. It would take you a minute to recognize it if you just heard it playing the in the background. It shook me a little. Howling Giant is a bit more linear with “Shoot To Thrill,” rubbing a little stank on it while circling the goal posts. Supersuckers wag a bluesy rendition of “What Do You Do For Money Honey” and Smoking Lightning doom down “Giving The Dog A Bone.” AC/DC’s beautiful ballad “Let Me Put My Love Into You” is given a tender treatment by Heavy Temple.

Side 2. Besvärjelsen gets the title track. Their version made me want to listen to the original. Jakethehawk offers up a psilocybin take on “You Shook Me All Night Long.” Unexpected. “Have A Drink On Me” is slowed down to a crawl by Whores. My favorite track from the album is Early Man’s “Shake A Leg.” This one slaps. The closer was never my favorite song from the original Back In Black, but I do really like the Earthride version of “Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution.” With this tribute, well, you’ll like it more if you weren’t counting on faithful reproductions. All the bands infused a good deal of themselves into these classic metal tunes, and a tribute was offered by all.

The set list was fixed for Back In Black, but for The Best of AC/DC Redux, the producers could have picked anything from the catalogue. Most of the songs come from the Bon Scott era with just a couple later entries, and a few of them are real surprises. Here is the list. “Sin City,” Witchskull; “It’s A Long Way To The Top,” Kal-El; “What’s Next To The Moon,” Bob Balch & Tony Reed; “Bad Boy Boogie,” Kryptograf; “Walk All Over You,” Blue Heron; “Overdose,” Supersuckers; “For Those About To Rock,” Riff Lord; “Whole Lotta Rosie,” Solace; “If You Want Blood,” Red Mesa; “The Razor’s Edge,” Ghost Ship Ritual; “Dog Eat Dog,” Caustic Casanova; “High Voltage,” Electric Frankenstein; and “Night Prowler,” Domkraft.

I’ll just mention a couple of the new renditions of my favorite originals. Witchskull absolutely kills it on “Sin City.” I have always loved this song and the new version smokes. One of my all-time favorite AC/DC songs is “Whole Lotta Rosie.” I only saw AC/DC play this song live once, and I’ll never forget it. God damn. The new Solace version does right by the legend. Electric Frankenstein tears down the house with “High Voltage” and Domkraft walks “Night Prowler” into the doomlands, but it was right next door, anyway – an exceptional interpretation.

I am a big AC/DC fan and I like both these tribute albums. If I had to pick only one, The Best of AC/DC Redux has the edge. Recommended.

Links.

Magnetic Eye Records, https://us.merhq.spkr.media/

Bandcamp, https://reduxrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-best-of-ac-dc-redux

AC/DC Back In Black Redux ~ The Best Of AC/DC Redux (Magnetic Eye 2021)

Gods Of Decay, Collective Psychosis (Sliptrick Records 2021)

Tokyo-based metal band Gods of Decay release their first full-length album, Collective Psychosis.

The musicians in the band are listed as Anna (vocals), Frost (guitar), and Yorke (bass). Regarding the new album, Anna remarks: “On this album we scattered a myriad of shards of meaningfulness lost in the abyss of absurdity of our day and age. We hid them with metaphors and double entendre and we hope that our listeners enjoy the ‘treasure hunt’ on their journey through the mesmerizingly sinister spaces that make up the world of Gods Of Decay. Seek, and ye shall find.” That tells you a little something about the band, too. The music is a modern metal amalgam.

Listening to these songs in order is like walking down the aisles of a flea market in an aging armory – there are all sorts here. “Self-Castigation” is a club music intro. In “Collective Psychosis” you can really feel the mental state fray as the song progresses. The vocal harmony, which gets regular use on the album, is a deep enhancement. “Metamorphosis” has a great groovy riff and a somewhat squealy vocal. There’s that harmony again in there, too. “Plague” starts on a rolly-polly riff with a sting plus a shock vocal. After the bracer, clean vocals propel the story on. And then the very next track is something else entirely, and on and on.

Different looks; different takes. According to the band, that is the conscious intention. Some of the music reminds me of a smoother version of the Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black but with considerably more polish and far greater detail in its assertions. There is a center to all of this that the galactic material orbits. You can hear it in every song. No matter how different one is to the next, you can feel that gravitational pull towards the essence of the band. That is where the cohesion comes from and why I recommend this album. It is heavy and delightfully variegated throughout.

Collective Psychosis is out now from Sliptrick Records. Give it a spin.

Links.

Website, https://www.godsofdecay.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/godsofdecay

Sliptrick Records, https://sliptrickrecords.com/gods-of-decay/

Gods Of Decay, Collective Psychosis (Sliptrick Records 2021)

Splintered Reality, Blue Ridge Rock Festival, September 12, 2021

This band is a high-energy amalgam of rock, thrash, groove, and a whole lot more. Jump in with them and shake it up.

All photos by Wayne Edwards

Links.

Website, http://splinteredrealitymusic.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/splinteredreality

YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZs23_O7VwG3ZyOyCy-V6_A

Blue Ridge Rock Festival coverage at Ryze-Up magazinehttps://www.ryze-up.com/music-2/blue-ridge-rock-festival-2021/

Splintered Reality, Blue Ridge Rock Festival, September 12, 2021

I Prevail ~ Frame 42 ~ Inner Image Photo Gallery

Here is another cache of three bands I took a few photos of grouped together for an eclectic rock gallery. I Prevail at Blue Ridge Rock Festival (Danville, Virginia), Frame 42 at Higher Ground (Burlington, Vermont), and Inner Image, also from Blue Ridge Rock Festival.

Here we go. The musical styles of these bands range far and wide, and they all gave us fantastic music to listen to in 2021.

All photos by Wayne Edwards

I Prevail
I Prevail
I Prevail
Frame 42
Frame 42
Frame 42
Inner Image
Inner Image

Links.

I Prevail, https://iprevailband.com/

Frame 42, https://www.frame42.com/

Inner Image, https://www.innerimagemusic.com/

Blue Ridge Rock Festival coverage at Ryze-Up magazinehttps://www.ryze-up.com/music-2/blue-ridge-rock-festival-2021/

I Prevail ~ Frame 42 ~ Inner Image Photo Gallery