January/February 2016

Orange Outlaw – Desert Wolf
(The White Label – 2015)

A killer rock band from Amsterdam who have so many styles that you can’t get bored with them which is saying a lot in this day and age.

Some good stuff on offer from this four piece that include the Kings X like opener ‘Charger’, ‘Glam On The Street’ that puts me in mind of majestic Queen meets Think Lizzy & ‘Nobody Wants Me Tonight’ that’s very Extreme gone Gospel.

Then there’s the Spanish instrumental like ‘El Blanco’; ‘To Me You’re Done’ that is Hard 80’s Rock sounds meets Alterbridge and also the Hair Metalness ‘Getting Paronoid’

I dig ‘em.


By Glenn Milligan

Orymus – Miracles
(S/R – 2015)

Imagine a Swiss equivalent of Queensyche who have elements of Helloween and Led Zeppelin at times with a vocalist in Danu Bronnimann who is not unlike Axl Rose and sounding like he has been schooled by Geoff Tate.

The numbers that definitely hit me on here were the opening ‘End Of The World’ with its old-school mate choir start; the Led Zep like ‘Testament Of A Simple Man’; the instrumental ‘One Last Breath’ or the epic power ballad ‘Fountain Of Youth’. It’s their second album and only 18 months after their debut ‘Escape To Reality’ and has been produced by Yann Rouiller (Nazareth & Core 22) and sounds exquisitely dynamic.

Very likeable!


By Glenn Milligan


OHMWORK – Shadowtech
(S/R - 2015)

More Swedish genius sneaks into our grasp.Peppery threesome Ohmwork are not the industrial experimentalists you might expect judging the CD by its cover.

Experimenting with the different number of classic metal acts you can cram into 38 minutes is still a handsome stunt. ‘From ‘Burning Question' to ‘Veil Of Sanity' and the seven spammers in between, nitrogen is burned up faster than the engines can fill as they fly across everything from Iron Maiden, Sabbath to Slayer back and forth.Frontman/guitarist Anders Rasmussen adds mightily to the mix with his authentic seventies British metal range, not to mention his mighty blues soloing as notable on ‘The Raven Is You're - also be prepared to listen out for a quick, stolenIommi-ism at the end of said tune.

The choruses are mostly instant as well which we struggle to hear on an album that lends itself heavily to riffs for a lot of its duration. Nevertheless spaced nicely, between speed and grind with a good couple of stompers in the middle, this CD is a very pleasant early Christmas present for the real metal faithful.

If you're not convinced by the above, you certainly need to do your Ohmwork.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Metallica, Electric Wizard & Trouble.

NET: Ohmworktromso.com

(S/R - 2015)

One Day Waiting are a US-based four-piece, spurred on by the likes of Disturbed, Shinedown and Drowning Pool but to name several.

Listening to their favourite bands too often in a day does tend as it probably has here to lead astray, yet these New Yorkers seem to have made an effort to fuse it together for an end result. Tight, growly grunge vocals and driving, heavy chords slide up and down together wrecking all in their way but thankfully not denting these seven tracks too much. 

Jumpy rhythms and sudden vocal switches certainly slide it towards the contemporary end, and  despite my diminutive interest in screamcore, closer 'Worse Than Death' very surprisingly turns out the top track here.

Impressive first attempt by these talented young men - let's hear more before long.


By Dave Attrill

NET: www.facebook.com/onedaywaiting

OSUKARU – Transition
(City Of Lights Records - 2015)

Not as Japanese as you'd deduce from the name, Swedish multi-instrumentalist Oz Osukaru will at least be guaranteed delicious sales in rising sun country with this little AOR beauty.

Although a mini-album made up of newbies and rerecorded oldies, sampling Osukaru's stuff for the first time touches me with an electrifying first impression. 'Arrows' opens, striding on with a strong two-way onslaught between vocalists Frederik Warner (also guitarist) and Cecilia Camuii who steals the mic, especially with the final verse. Survivor flavoured 'Strangled Emotions' show cases Werner somewhat more focally, also allowing the saxophones to show they are part of the Osukaru machine. 'Edge Of A Broken Heart' is huge, Saturday night in the city stuff, full of raunch and a fearsomely classy chorus set to steal your heart...as long as it's still in one piece by that time (lol).

Finding a space for some instrumental relaxation, 'Play' witnesses Osukaru and Werner whack it out between them with fiery blues-based speed soling and a splattering of sax thrown at them from both sides. Becoming momentarily heavier, 'Blind Eyes' starts with a very Harem Scarem - 'No Justice' stroke of grinding guitar going to a quiet verse background and dissolves into a delectable ride out. DJ Roxy, a character from previous album 'Triumphant' reappears to herald the second half of the disc, a few re-recordings of past Osukaru faves.

Though having not heard the previous versions of 'Tell Me To Stay' I vehemently look forward to I they are anything like this Survivor-meets-Bon Jovi sizzler of a number. 'Out of Touch' is a titanium-clad eighties hard rocker with blistering lead bends between verses from Mr Werner. The style is maintained with more aggression on 'Mafia Rules' as Cecilia makes her return in a riveting duel with Werner and some sassy saxophone to back up the attitude while ex White Widdow man Jules Millis guests on the chorus parts.

Cecilia leads 'Promised Land', another fiery hard rocker, rippling with keyboard s and rich harmonies start to send. Tying things up is 'City Lights' (reimagined), a seventies disco departure that sounds almost out of place here but still an infectious number in waiting.  A gargantuan piece of melodic rock that despite having been intended as an odds n'sods offering of sorts sets the bar high enough for even the best of their Swedish conterparts, Heat, WET and Work of Art included to take a run before leaping.



By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Journey, Heart, Hardline, Winger, Vixen, Johnny Lima & From The Fire.

NET:   Facebook.com/osukarumusic


OVERLOUD - Altered Ego
(Rock CD Records - 2015)

Spain have displayed a distinctively upper hand in recent years regarding the hard rock art.
Overloud give the hand with fingers bunched hard into a fist - take no prisoners eighties heavy metal with a huge leaning to the LA sunset strip side of the junction.

Knock-down attitude rock n'rollers such as 'Passport To Paradise', 'Lock em Up', 'Devil In Me', 'Desert Law', 'Girl Of Misery', 'Running Fast Tonite' and 'Heaven' are the sort of tunes sassy strip bars would belt out like they were on a loop. They will bringing a smile to the face of any Faster Pussycat, Little Caesar or Dogs D'amour fan nearby enough to reach the 'Play' button with one hand, while reaching the whisky cabinet handle with the other. R

idden with classy blues solos and choruses bigger than Brian Blessed's waistline, 'Altered Ego' is, in summary, Espana's way of saying 'sod off, California, you've your turn' to the world of sleazy hard rock with attitude. Due to involve the UK in upcoming European live jaunts, this fourteen track attack will be fearsome at full volume.


By Dave Attrill

VERY RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: GNR, Motley Crue, Crashdiet & Adam Bomb.

NET: www.overloud.org


ODIN'S COURT - Turtles All The Way Down
(D2C Studios/ProgRock Records - 2015)

Odin's Court are a three piece from Maryland although reading on the multi-instrumental creditage of certain members the live line up might somehow be larger.

Recently having recruited new vocalist Dimetrius to the fold, the band's sound is bold and beautiful as symphonic prog metal acts expect to get with 61 minutes to play at. Tunes such as 'And The Answer Is...', 'Insomnia' and 'The Warmth of Mediocrity' are tipped amiably towards the AOR side of the boat, but the paddles are seldom if at all strained. Despite an alarming ratio of instrumental cuts, Odin's Court's seventh album benefits from the usual brisk-as-f**k playing of its scene with superb solos and timing while the live appeal should go largely without saying.

Great to be reminded once again that the USA still love this sort of thing.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: DREAM Theater, Helloween, Kamelot, Iron Maiden, Threshold & Queensryche.

NET: www.odinscourtband.com

ORPHAN - Borneo - To Mell And Back
(S/R - 2014)

US prog veterans Orphan pay a somewhat belated but well crafted respect to deceased six-stringer Mellon Terpos with this seven track selection featuring lines laid down by the late guitarist before his passing in '06.

Still fronted by his brother, bassist/vocalist Louis, ‘Borneo...' still sounds and feels like a proper Orphan release with strong Jethro-Tull-meets-Pink Floyd sensibilities plus a peppering of Simon & Garfunkel on ‘Nothing Left To Prove'. My personal pick is ‘The Dreamer' richly steeped in emotion both lyrically and musically.

A project that actually began over thirty years ago with an incarnation called Mercy. Richie Sambora began his days with this act, before bumping into a bloke called Jon. This mini album has not come to happening in the happiest of circumstances but it showcases the sadly departed sibling's immense talents on electric and acoustic strings apiece. Hoping Louis can stillborn on to further musical ventures, Orphan or otherwise, this one leaves a welcoming spirit behind.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Procul Harum, Porcupine Tree & Jadis.


OMINOUS - You Created Tragedy
(Born Of Chaos Records - 2014)

New Jersey is a place that seems to have laid dormant on the metal scene since msinstream names Skid Row and Bon Jovi shot up and on to bigger and better things.

Flowering at the opposite side of the rockular spectrum, Pompton Plains threesome Ominous make a familiarly uncommercial cacaphony of extreme metal. Layered by occasional prog edges, the single guitar approach makes for a soothing approach to a seemingly otherwise tedious noise.

Speed is not quite the name of the game solidly throughout as gargantuan rhythms stomp through the floorboards and slower songs like 'The Other Me', 'Last Kiss' and 'Forget' (featuring Obituary/Testament/Death legend James Murphy) make the journey a little more easy.

Aggressive solos from frontman Vic Gonzalez give zest as does a small pinch of piano and the acoustic departure of closer 'New Beginning', almost sounding for seconds like a swing into 'Tallica's 'Nothing Else Matters'.

An approachable album but a lot of take or leave moments may also trip the cautious metal listener up on appeal.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Decapitated & Morbid Angel.

NET: facebook.com/ominousnation

OPUS DORIA - A Day On Earth
(S/R - 2014)

An equal halves male/female French six-piece, Opus Doria describe themselves in two parts at that, by name.

The Dorian part is plied in reference to the classical mode of their melodic metal compositions, and quite magnificent ones too. Operatically trained frontwoman Christel Lindstat takes every track of the seven and shapes it up from the floor herself, floating with only the most basic guidance from guitarist Bruno Rodrigues.

Shove in an abundance of super-exquisite keyboard harmonies, solos that don't stay over their allowance and every part of every tune is a magical tale on its own. No tracklistibg at my disposal, I have to go on the numbers but 2, 3, 5 and 7 stick closest to my head as I hit the 'play' button for the second trip round.

Tres delicieux, Opus Doria peoples.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Mostly Autumn, Anathema, Jethro Tull, Dream Theater & Skyclad

NET: opusdoria.net


Oliver Dawson Saxon – Blood And Thunder Live
(Angel Air – 2014)

A concert that took place in Germany in the year of 2013 that features mainly old classic from golden age of Saxon with a line-up that now features Brian Shaughnessy on lead vocals (also of Barnsley, UK band, Seventh Son) and Graham’s Son, Paul Oliver on drums.

Highlights on here include new number ‘Past The Point’ from current studio album ‘Motorbiker’ and standards like ‘Crusader’; ‘Dallas 1PM’’ ‘Motorcycle Man’ and classics you never hear much these days from Saxon (Biff’s Band) like Rock ‘n’ Roll Gypsy’ and ‘Everybody Up’.

My only real qualm about this show is that it does not feature much in the way of newer material and concentrates on songs from well over 20 years ago (though can’t decide if that fact is a good or bad thing to be honest).

Decent gig on CD.


By Glenn Milligan

April 2014

Mike Odiorne – At Home
(S/R – 2014)

A laid back affair from a guy who quite literally had been in coer bands over the last 30 years and recorded a batch of his own songs, naming the album after his studio.

He’s fron Elkhart, IN and takes care of Drums, Keyboards, Bass Guitar, Lead Guitar – basically everything with highlights on here including the happy opener ‘All Night’; the Southern styled ‘Home’; the great moderate, tempo poppy tune that is ‘Left Alone’ or ‘Flying High’ that has a ‘Livin On An Island’ beauty about it.

Nice album.


By Glenn Milligan

January 2013

October Rage - Outrage
(S/R - 2011)

A post-grundge sounding Metal band at times who are damn good at what they do and vocally Nick Roberts reminds me of James Hetfield mixed with Chad Kroeger of Nickelback.

They hail from New South Wales though and not from the USA as I imagined - I ain't right all the time. There are some great songs on the album that include the powerful racing 'Wayside'; the brightly lit 'Home' and the chugger-chugging 'Eastern Road' with it's very strong chorus. Another song that really stands out from the rest is the Southern Rock of 'Reign Of Fire' that is like their equivalent of Freebird or 'Highway Song' and then there's the closing orchestral and paino closer 'Under The Wind.



By Glenn Milligan


OLD IRONSIDES - The Path Of Madness
(TSM - 2012)

Named after a old warship in the Boston harbour, having the word ’Iron’ in your name nonetheless is appropriate as it comes, for a band who have effectively listened to every single NWOBHM record in their dads cupboard countless times more than is advised.

Not that that is the most heinous of musical sins, someone told these five lads it was a good idea to hollow out old heavy metal’s trunk one more time for this surprisingly appetising album. A conceptual piece, it keeps to a straight-structured verse-chorus-verse path for most of its trek through the woods while still adding loads of polished soloing and seventies vocal production - enough in fact to mislead over its actual date.

‘Breaking Loose’, ‘These Eyes’, ‘Hours of Everyday’ , ‘Dancing In Gobblers Gulch’, ‘Path Of Madness’ plus the climatic three-part ’March To War’ epic cull the cream of heyday British metal acts straight together and add a strong dip in the Dio, Asia and Dream Theater - flavoured spreads for taste. Taking their time to place the hooks, they arent all too long in hiding but the hard-biting classic rhythms and grooves of guitarists Alex and Ryan give you them planted right in the delicate parts.



By Dave Attrill


Iron Maiden (Di’anno era), Diamond Head, Samson, Savatage, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple & Metallica.

NET: myspace.com/oldironsidesmusic


Oliver/Dawson's Saxon - Motorbiker
(Angel Air - 2012)

Let's face it - the title is terrible and a lot of the vocals are rawped and are rather hurtful to the ears.

Musically it's not too bad with good songs including 'Whipping Boy' if you can get past those vocals; the serious ballad 'Just Another Suicide'; hang on what's this 'Enter Sandman' - oh it's O/D Saxon again - a song called 'Sinternet' - skip!! 'Nevada Beach' has an awesome chorus but the rest of it dirges along sadly. If you lose your originality you can always put some nursery rhymes together, metal them up and call them 'Nursery Crimes' - actually a cool number - total Spinal Tap - well they are the original Spinal Tap anyway - lol.

Not the best release so far this year to say the least.


By Glenn Milligan

January 2012

(S/R - 2011)

Scandinavia, ever a nation of female -fronted talent tips another gift our way.

Norwegian fivesome Orpheus are not one of the usual silky-smooth melodic goth outift a-plenty but a totally straight off down the rails metal wagon. Needing a truly compatible locomotive for their load, these eight tunes are full of goods desperate to be delivered. ‘F**k Me Over’, ‘Constructing’, ‘Mr Manipulative’, ‘Repay’, ‘Bloodflow’ and ‘The Plan’ are largely basic but brisk workouts that work much efficiently under Ingrid Gadriel’s often punk-like yell.

Swish Irons inspired soloing from twin stringsters Kristan and Sivert and a collection of Iommi -matched rhythm lines on 'Bygones' don’t let you leave the speakers while sole epic ‘Peepin’ Tom’ doesn’t enter by abusing its seven -and-a-half minute space allowance slowly but mightily metalling its way through like the rest.

Excellent work from another European talent likely aimed for the top, Orpheus’s sound doesn’t exactly come with the word 'original' tagged to its bottom but pure metal is there on the side somewhere, I’d think.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Warlock & Stratovarius.

NET: www.myspace.com/orphmo


Oz Knozz - True Believer
(S/R - 2011)

Nice to see these guys back as I enjoyed their album last year. Kinda like a progressive rock version of Journey mixed in with Styx who come from Houston, Tx.

Big high voices, loads of keyboards and of a gratuous standard indeed from beginning to end with highlights including 'Far Away' with some slamming guitarwork that works so well with the drums and vocal arrangements. They have that magical, musical majesticness that you'd associate with artists of the top realm calibre like Yngwie J. Malmsteen or Rush as their songs are so solidly performed and put together so magnificientlly with notable numbers being 'Here Comes The Night' & 'Fox Paws'.

'Visitor' reminds me of Humble Pie gone prog and has plenty of cowbell and awesome guitar riffery thoughout and what about the title track, 'True Believer' with the monster voice and wailing guitar solo alongside throbbing rhythm playing.

You need to hear these guys if you haven't already done so.


By Glenn Milligan


(S/R - 2011)

Nothing in name that be related to a crappy Ford vehicle vacating its parking space, Orion’s Departure are a prog outfit from New York.

An audacious of places to start such an outfit with LaBrie, Petrucci and the lads still holding the mantle aloft after twenty-odd glorious years and going strong, the Big apple always has immense slab loads of talent to throw our way. These lads don’t at all let the description down, coming in strong and staying that way, powerful musical dynamics solidly accounting for the full nine-song span. ‘Shiver‘, ‘Andromeda’, ‘Tearing at The Seams’, ‘Nebula, and ‘Epilogue’ plus the closing three-part title cut don’t rely as much on the modern techno-prog approach of the mighty Theater themselves as more 1975-80 bred inspirations.

Very partial to his acoustics, Spencer Rowell lays a pristine blanket alongside the pianos of mellow harmony and rarely loud riff-driven rock. The near sci-fi -esque distortions are stabilised along side the rest of the album’s majestic frame by the exquisite voice of resident keysman Taylor Chadwick who, though with vague resounds of Nickleback’s Chad Kroeger to his tones is a feature piece adding a convenient psychedelic air into the tunnel.



By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Spock’s Beard, Flower Kings, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis (Gabriel era) Procul Harum, Grateful Dead & Magnum.

NET: www.facebook.com/orionsdeparture


Michael On Fire – Always Yes
(Real Eyes Productions - 2011)

An excellent rootsy album of country, contemporary and rockin’ bluesy material from Californian Michael On Fire. A great songwriter and husky whiskey soaked voiced too that adds to his style of music an awful lot.

Every number is a hot gem of either past, present or future tense with some heartfelt songs in ‘Chief Redbird’s Violin’; ‘Marlboro Country’; the blues of ‘Look Me In The Eyes’; ‘Apache Wind’ with the killer harp playing; the gutsy guitarwork ‘Breathing Of The Sun’ or the atmospheric closer ‘Watch The Show’ that has a real native American vibe flowing through it.

Articulate Americana!


By Glenn Milligan


OGEN - Black Metal Unbound (EP)
(Kolony Records - 2011)

Thankfully not ‘Black Metal Uninteresting‘ as for once, this outfit, a practical one-man band masterminded by Multi-instrumentalist Hartagga would have actually enticed me with a full length album instead of five numbers.

’BMU’ does the scene some justice through some quite unlikely mainstream guitar pieces that would at times even work their stuff on an alternative rock disc. Surprisingly versatile speeds and accessible arrangements throughout the 24 minutes confinement, the individual tracks are more progressive and distinctive with melodic vocal parts slipping in on and off for good measure. Fast and flawlessly proficient, this is however the way properly carved forward for extreme metal bands to reach the audience they want and win more permanent interest.

More Ogen, please guys - sorry I mean guy!


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Emperor, In The Woods & Opeth
NET: www.kolonyrecords.com

OPENSIGHT - The Voice Of Nothing
(S/R - 2011)

Spaniards Opensight are widely influenced by a spectrum of established names spanning across from Iron Maiden to Devin Townsend.

I would just like to ask how Fear Factory came to be excluded from this list ( the intro to ’Only When’ will get you sued, lads).. Aside from the little ticking-off there, this and the other four tracks forming this impressive mini album are excellent melodic metal workouts full of depth and experiment in non-excessive portions.

Think thrash, progressive and acoustic in varied supplies underneath a seasoned Mustaine-esque gurn from frontman Ivan and it should cement the combination. Catchy moments come about with hooks and licks both, but it is an interesting sound overall and on this, their second CD, yearns to be properly sampled.

Very good.


By Dave Attrill

NET: www.myspace.com/opensight

(Rising Records - 2011)

The inescapable whiff of Italian metal talent reeks its way through another window recklessly left open… not that I ever intended shutting it, obviously.

Prog metal impresarios Opposite Ends, arriving here on their second full-lengther make it difficult to believe they had originally been a death metal band. Evidence of the past stays intact to trace via the in and out thrash line of ‘Leave Me alone’ and ’Lost Inside’, the latter a pure old-school thrasher in its own right. Elsewhere the down-to-business polished prog metal of ’Still Feel You’; ’Save Me’; ’My Spleen’; ’Electric Breath’ and ‘It’s up To You’ allow for additional flavourings with frequent extreme vocal interceptions amidst frontman Massimo’s finely laced LaBrie range.

With ‘Kill Me Everyday’ dropping in an unexpectedly bouncy grunge-oriented chorus, the audacity of these European combos seems bereft of boundaries even if the almost irritating synth distortions do need some placing in front at times. The strong Metallica feel of ’My Spleen’ makes its way through the wall just in time on that track in particular as well as making it one of the at-first unlikely best tracks on the disc. As musically magnificent as expected, nonetheless, with multi-faceted guitar showings, especially on the rhythm element, here is the sound of another technical metal masterwork guaranteed to send you flying against the opposite end of the room in its power.

Another of Italy’s better exports recently.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Dream Theater, Kamelot & Megadeth.

NET: www.myspace.com/oppositesides

OUR VINYL VOWS - The Demon Within (Single)
(S/R - 2011)

Wows to what…. be found on not just the net or cd but also a good old fashioned black vinyl object of some 7” in diameter?

Appropriately the singers voice also almost just like something you’d heard fronting most above decent eighties hard rock acts. Coming at quite a Clash-like angle into the first of these two numbers, ‘Demon Within’ the guitars are pleasantly punk-trained. The other half of the sampler, ’Gone’ is an also upbeat number of similar retro ilk but the Minnie -the moocher style interlude towards the end irritates more than entertains. Sounds interesting nonetheless, chaps.



By Dave Attrill


NET: www.myspace.com/myvinylvows

May 2011

The Orphans - Unlocked (E.P.)
(S/T - 2011)

A self released effort from a Sheffield outfit who have since split up coming across like a Sleazy type bunch.
Two of the songs are decent which are 'Come Home With Me' & 'Cut Me To Pieces' which have got some potential to them - more like this yes please. Sadly though, the other stuff ain't too great to be honest and in comparison sound like stocking filler.

A band who really needed to work on those backing vocals and there's some really bad guitar notes at times that stand out like a sore thumb. Not to mention some bad throatal lead vocals that are strained like a poor mans Taime Down - sorry but that's the truth.

With better songs and a good tightening up they could have been a strong band who could have the stamina and power of Stoke's Headrush with some elements of Pussycat and pre-Appetite GNR. Would like to hear what some of their ex-members are doing in a year or 2 from now as members like Dani Jagla have plenty more in them to succeed in the hard world of the music biz.

I really wanted to be impressed by these defunct local heroes but unfortunately I wasn't.


By Glenn Milligan

February 2010

OCTOBER SKY - Hell Isn’t My Home
(S/R - 2010)

Yet another hot undiscovered Canadian machine arising from the steam October Sky are a goth/industrial /progressive outfit from Montreal.

Obviously I have the inevitable picture of what to expect from this such musical combination, but as they clearly gel their emphasis on the latter two categories, they simultaneously become instantly accessible for it. All ten of these numbers are melodic and dripping in atmosphere you can actually feel yourself standing in. Pulsating beats have their normal place but it seems tucked in amongst standard hard rock rhythms and traditional lead solos.

Mood -moving anthems including ,’Sacrifice’, ’Hell Isn’t My Home’, ‘Black To Blue‘, ‘Hit The Ground‘ and ’Into Their Memories’ do also boast a strong on-off likeness to Tears for Fears and Duran Duran - hoping I’m allowed to say that in a metal webzine review, most possibly down to frontman Karl Raymond’s soaring vocal range.

Impressive with an addictive smoothness throughout, these October chaps play music guaranteed to brighten up the Sky all year around. -though it’d be especially handy for that month…plus November til about February, if you don’t mind, boys.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Dream Theater, Threshhold & Spock’s Beard.
NET: myspace.com/octoberskyrock

Michael Olivieri - Goodbye Rain
(Olivejar Publishing - 2009)

Solo outing from the singer of Soul Sign, who used to front the Metal Band, Leatherwolf that features some great professional styles and songs throughout the album. It's a really warmly produced album that sees Michael himself play a variety of keyed and stringed instruments, oh and drums too at various points of the CD.

Highlights include the addictive positive, gospel-like opening title track 'Goodbye Rain'; the poppy 'Good Thing Better' that has southern elements to it as well; the excellent countried and bluesed up 'Brand New Life' with kick ass female bv's or the incredible 'Back To Start' that reminds me of Jeff Scott Soto and Lenny Kravitz rolled into one.

Mr. Olivieri even covers Pink Floyd's 'Brick In The Wall' splendidly too, putting his own modernised stamp on it - now that makes a change to other numbers found on that 1979 classic release. It closes with the beautiful 'All That You could give me' that has the right notes to end on as it's one hell of an epic. This will definately impress all listeners who give it a whirl or several for that matter as it's so damn good.

An essential purchase.


By Glenn Milligan


On-Off - Ribcrasher
(S/R - 2010)

AC/DC like sounding band from Italy with clean vocals - nothing more, nothing less. Meat and potatoe Rock of the slipper stomping order of goodness.

Plenty of cracking songs here such as 'Rockin' Blood'; 'It's Hard To Break Me' with the cool walking bassline and crushing rhythm - well thats all the songs. Hang on a minute, 'Nasty Rhythm' is 'Beating Around The Bush' meets 'Riff Raff' - hahaha - sounds killer though all the same.The drums are just pure Phil Rudd as well with all the hits in the right places.

Or what about the brilliant answering guitarwork in the meaner and sinister 'I'm A Shooter' that has a pumping singalong chorus and the slower 'Steamroller Blues' that's even got those deep growly Angus Young like backing vocals. The album closes with the deep bluesin' with the harp goin' 'Let Me Play My Stuff' - Millionaire Down Payments anyone?

I like it a lot and all hard rockheads will too!


By Glenn Milligan


OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE - Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams
(Vociferous Records - 2010)

With so many hopeful young British metal acts appearing from nowhere every year only to end up another flash in the proverbial cooking implement , I was less than expecting to find these guys… and gal… still reigning strong, despite that excellent 6-track back in 2007.

As not was the case with so many other girl-fronted outfits that have turned out to be mere hobby-grade wannabes, notably Kettering bores Defenestration, Obsessive Compulsive bear the solidity and substance that rightly promote them to full time working hours. Fun part over, the more serious question remains - three years down the line, does the Mancunian foursome’s first full length offering match up to their adopted form. To put things frankly, a few tracks do come without the same instantness this time but on the whole front of it there is no major sign of a total plunge into the anticlimactic pool.

Adhering totally to the punk metal aspect of their assault this time round, the diversity needle still swings across , landing on the prog and pop punk marks briefly but rarely stopping before shooting back to the left. Grindy and competent grunge rhythms make guitar more than just a layer of noise partnering the bass and drums beneath Kelli’s tormented angst attacks on sturdy cuts such as ‘Man Vs Machine’, ‘’The Decay Of Hope’, ‘A Cocktail of Toxins’, ‘Virago’, ‘ Future Closing In’ and ‘ Exit’.

Likely to bear a sharper zest live than on disc, ‘Dreams of Death….‘ may probably require than more than one spin for a full impact but as the ads for a certain popular brand of hair products usually go, they’re worth it.


By Dave Attrill

Skunk Anansie, Tura Satana, McQueen, Hole

NET: www.myspace.com/obsessivecompulsive


One Soul Thrust -1st
(Jaguar Productions – 2010)

One Soul Thrust is a four piece band from Canada with a debut release 1st, which is quite appropriate. Some journalists have said they are ‘Canada’s best kept secret’ but I would like to disagree.

One Soul Thrust has a female vocalist by the name of Salem Jones who has a screeching voice that cut through the air like a wailing banshee, not sure if they found her in a pub corner somewhere miming to her favourite tune but I wish they had left her there.

1st is a 12 track CD with some great rocking tunes and a guest appearance from Glenn Hughes on ‘Go Home and Melt’ but apart from that I found it difficult to concentrate on the CD due to the vocal content.

One Soul Thrust have the talent but lack the passion and creativity to produce a cracking CD. Some old timers may disagree as it could be one for them but all I have to say is bring the Canadian metal queen Lee Aaron on the front stage and the CD may be worth the listen.


By Tony Watson

Esther O’Connor - Right Here
(S/R – 2009)

What we have here is the new Sheryl Crow, if you put these two fabulous artists together in a room, any anyone who isn’t watching them would not know the difference.

Esther O’Connor has the charisma, the talent and the looks to make it big. Right Here is a relaxing, collection of soft rock and ballads with a country style feel. This refreshing 11 track CD engulfs you in a 40 minute romance of love, hate and life, that makes any listener feel good about themselves and life, providing a warm wrap for that added comfort.

As Right Here works its way through ‘Hold On’, ‘Saturday Man’ and ‘Chasing Rainbows’ you know at the end of the CD you will put it straight back on due to the time less feel. One of the best things I have heard this year


By Tony Watson

Omega Lithium - Dreams In Formaline
(Drakkar Records – 2009)

Like most European metal bands, there seems to be some sort of style they all take on, but Omega Lithium I think have broken the shell and have ventured out with one foot to produce a speed/thrash/death/gothic style sound from the darkest realms of Umag in Croatia.

If I had to say what are they like, I would say a mixture of Evanescence, Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy and a slight intake of Children Of Bodom. With their keyboard style and thrashy sound, Omega Lithium release a new energy that wraps you in a ball of gothic clothing and keeps you warm with a cloak of hate.

Dreams In Formaline, is an 11 track masterpiece that opens its doors to the gates of hell to burn their awaiting listeners with ‘Infest’, ‘Stigmata’ and ‘My Haunted Self’ to then push you in to a pain of unforeseen pleasure through ‘Hollow March’, ‘Factor: Misery’ and ‘Angel’s Holocaust’ to end the pain with ‘Point Blank’ to release an energy of pure fulfilment.

For a debut CD with a difference Omega lithium have pulled out all the stops to make a big black mark on the world.



By Tony Watson

OMT (Our Malevolent Tyranny…!) - Anamantium
(Rising Records – 2009)

OMT are a hardcore metal band with melodic riffs that bring an average metal band to life.

Anamantium is their debut release containing a powerful metal back ground with a soft undertone that brings us back to the 80’s. OMT are nothing new and throughout the CD I felt there was something missing, like some passion, some aggression, some bond between the band, but at the same time I felt the production of this CD let it down a bit, the vocals were fine, the bass and drums had like dissolved in the back ground giving the CD a very tinny sound and no soul.

Overall this 11 track release isn’t too bad but a few minor adjustments would have made it better.


By Tony Watson

Optimystical – Distant Encounter
(Avenue Of Allies Music – 2009)

Bright and brilliant hard edged melodic rockers from Sweden that comprises of about 11 members in total on the album!! Some of the material dates fromm about 17 years ago whixch explains a lot.

12 tracks in total with a ton of highlights that include the opener ‘Sunburst In The Midnight’; ‘Startide Rising’; ‘Lost Horizon’; ‘The Unexpected’ and the closer, ‘I Go Blind’. To be honest it’s a dam fine album of this genre and keeps you entertained throughout.

Check them out via www.myspace.com/optimysticalsweden


By Glenn Milligan

Odin – Best Of
(Perris Records – 2009)

A rather sispicious title if you ask me as they weren’t exactly renowned for their hit singles, therefore it actually means their best output.

It sounds rather dated it does too – but it is from the mid 80’s when all is said and done when it was cool to be an American version of Spinal Tap for real with cheesy hilarious riffing songs (that are very NWOBHM in style on occasions) with interstellar high ‘n’ screechy vocals a la Taime Down and Stephen Pearcy.

You gotta hand it to ‘em for having the guts to release some of this material again and in the first place with coolest nunbers including the opener, ‘The Writer’ (from 1985’s ‘Don’t Take No For An Answer’); a classic sex song called ‘Push’; the legendary ’12 O’Clock High’; the medieval-like ballad ‘Modern Day King’ that metals out part way in (all taken taken ‘Fight For Your Life’ that came out in 1986).

Then there’s the awesome ‘Little Gypsy’ – one of my all time faves as featured in ‘The Decline of Western Civilisation Part 2: The Metal Years' & the bouncy Poison like ‘She Needs My Love’ that are both grabbed from ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’; not to mention the more recent ‘Let The Show Begin’ from 2007.

If you like cheesey sleaze then this ‘Best Of’ will have you on your knees.


By Glenn Milligan

Ooh La La – Free At Last
(Bad Reputation – 2009)

Well the titles above are memorable album names in their own right and the band Ooh La La have late 60’s/early 70’s rock stamped all over them. Led Zeppelin meets The Answer crossed with a bit of Ocean Colour Scene and elements of Kula Shaker as well.

Not a bad song or a filler in site – these Sydney Boys have got it sorted and even got to support Bon Jovi last year - little wonder. This is energetic, meaningful retro-rock it and it comes across immediately that Ooh La La are definitely extremely passionate about their musical and vocal visions.

Highlights on here include the title track ‘Free At Last’; ‘You Gotta Move’; ‘Lovin’ Hand; ‘Yeah People’ and the closer ‘Chop The Mutha Down’.

Damn fine stuff – wonder if they’ll tour ole blighty one day.


By Glenn Milligan

Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens – Play My Game
(SPV – 2009)

1st ever solo album from the Singing & Screaming Heavy Metal Man, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens who as many know is now the frontman for Yngwie Malmsteen.

He now proves he can be there in his own right as well with a star studded lineup of musicians that include Billy Sheehan, Simon Wrightt Doug Aldrich, Chris Caffery & Bob Kulick.

It’s a decent album of metal and holds highlights such as ‘No Good Goodbyes’; the hard but balladeering ‘TheWorld Is Blind’; ‘Death Race’ (which must be a distant cousin to ‘Red Devil’ on Yngwie’s ‘Perpetual Flame’ album.

Damn Fine Album and even better live.


By Glenn Milligan

Oz Knozz – 10,000 Days & Nights
(S/R – 2008)

A really cool band who have got back together again – how come I’d never heard of them the 1st time around. Prog meets 70’s AOR – imagine Rick Wakeman hanging out with REO Speedwagon or summat mad like that.

Some really great songs on the 8 track CD that include the opener ‘Telephone’; the closing ‘S/M Woman’ with the classic choir section – as camp as hell! And the singalong ‘Midnight Mambo’.

Brilliant and full production.


By Glenn Milligan

February 2009
Out Of Enemies - Into The Darkness
(Rising Records – 2009)

What we have here is a bunch of young lads from Exeter who are dedicated to making musing and love the life of playing music, without the attitude of lets make lots of money or lets change the world.

Out Of Enemies are a mixture between Killswitch Engage, Lamb Of God and In Flames, so with this in mind you know exactly what you are going to get.

‘Into The Darkness’ is nine tracks of heavy, thrash, screamcore with 43 minutes of pleasure. From the start of ‘Dark Desire’ through ‘Blackened’, ‘Confide In This’ and ‘Now It Dies’ fills the room with so much aggression and pain, it makes you feel as though you are in the film ‘Hellraiser’. The CD finishes of with ‘This Last Hope’, which is a nice end to such a wonderful compilation of track.

If this is the start of a career in music then this CD is a great stepping-stone in the right direction.

Absolutely Brilliant.


By Tony Watson

Octane Gypsy – Tough Luck Mile (EP)
(S/R – 2008)

A 2 piece outfit consisting of Eleanor Goldfield on Lead Vocals and Brian Swede on Lead Guitar with a little help from their friends to sort out some of the other Bass & Drum parts – these being German Briseno & Derek Smith respectively.

They met via a mutual friend on Sunset Strip and started making perfect music together. With the gutsy guitar-work of Brian and the Snazzy, Raw, Sexy Voice of Eleanor this turned into a visual and listening paradise.

4 tracks here show exactly what they are capable of – be it a cover of The Rolling Stones ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ the in your face rockin’ Save Me’; the southern likeness of ‘Double Shift’ or the hot and sweatiness of closer ‘Rebel’s Highway’ you know right way that this band has got it and deserve a lot of attention.

Can’t wait to hear a full length album.


By Glenn Milligan

OHGR - Devils In My Details
(SPV - 2008)

As an industrial metal band goes, I think Nivek Ogre and Mark Walk have taken it a little too far.

I have got nothing against industrial metal such as Ministry, NIN, Die Krupps and claw finger to name but a few, but when the music and the vocals don’t make sense and all you have is a continual barrage of weird sounds and vocals that were taken from one of the Apollo missions, it’s time to turn the CD off and put something else on that doesn’t need drugs to understand it.

This 11 track 42 minute CD needs an acquired taste like Marmite, you are either going to love it or you are going to hate it. I’m afraid to me it’s that horrible Marmite taste which stays with you for the rest of the day.

I won’t encourage drug taking but something has to be taken for this to make sense.


By Tony Watson


OLD 97s - Blame It On Gravity
(New West Records - 2008)

Old 97’s are a four-piece alt-rock at from the good ol’ town of Dallas, Texas who apparently turn out to have been round the block, a considerable lap or two, already.

Their sound is quite similar to something you expect to have heard quite a lot of in the year between 96 and 98. This their seventh album is for me a good first taste of these lads and their wares (remember, reviews are personal opinion-based, guys) sounding alarmingly Breitish throughout, there are moments of good laid back American summertime guitar music and plenty of snippets of various other tested and loved formulas find their way in to the mix somewhere.

There’s also a catchy garage guitar element to be found, sprinkled in and out on some of the songs and this put together with some cheerful hooklines makes the whole thing good fun. 13 pleasant chunks of pop made for summertime listening, hope these guys are going to stick around a little longer.


By Dave Attrill

Order of Nine - A Means To Know End
(Nightmare Records - 2008)

Order Of Nine are a band that are tight and solid from start to finish. The band are a mixture of Savatage, Sabbat, Sacred Reich, Ice Earth, Testament and Dragon Force.

'A Means To Know End' is a power metal bolt of lightning hurling it’s way through the sands of time and out the other side into oblivion to provide a fast and furious epic that leaves the airwaves with a full bodied sound.

From the start of ‘Single Shot’ through ‘An offered Hand’, ‘Gods of War’ to ‘Last Dance’, Order of Nine mean business and no one is going to stop them. An entertaining CD and a joy to listen to, with its thrashing guitars, belting drums and a voice that would nearly put Geoff Tate to shame.


By Tony Watson

May 2008

Open The Skies – S/T

I'll be frank, it's been a while since I last came across a band that made me want to rip off my own ears and feed them to wild dogs, but Surrey based cry babies Open The Skies are just the band one needs to get some serious self mutilation done.

Formed in 2006, the quintet have quickly built up an army of loyal fans throughout the UK and Europe. Now with their debut album firmly in the can, OTS look set to dispense their coma-inducing Screamo drivel to poor unsuspecting crowds the world over.

Now you might think I'm being a tad harsh, but come on, when a band labels themselves as “melodic post hardcore screamo” they're simply asking for trouble. Still think I'm being harsh? How about the exaggerated samples of ‘Intro’, slowly giving way to some typical, 3rd rate BMTH-esque chugging, or ‘A Silent Decade's’ bombardment of strangled, 2nd rate Fightstar melodies, atop the kind of stop-start riffage that gave American bedwetters The Bled their 10 minutes of fame. Top this off with the over-dramatic chant along choruses of ‘He Spoke Of Success’ and, low and behold, we're left with another album from another group of miserable, broken-hearted bell ends, destined to be huge when the kids find out about them.

Simply put, there aren't any redeeming features about Open The Skies. And given that the world is currently largely over populated by this kind of sh*te, you shouldn't need any more reason to avoid this band like the f*ck*ng plague.

Take heed and move on.


By Tom Brumpton

Overloaded – Regeneration
(S/R – 2007)

These guys appear to have changed a wee bit and gone rather stoner edged to what they were previously doing that was more in-your-face heavy a la 80’s style.

Love ‘Feeling Overlaoded’ especially when Chris Gillen goes for it on the vocals. ‘Ride That Feeling’ is a strong number and reminds me of ‘Kill ‘Em All’ with it’s riffage and drums high up in the mix.

It’s a good album but I feel that they have tried to jump onto that Sabbath bandwagon too much at times as opposed to being themselves - the album suffers as a result of this because there are too many bands doing this already – plus from having their 1st album, I know they are better than this. At least ‘Try This On For Size’ strives back into the right direction somewhat.



By Glenn Milligan

Orange Goblin – Healing Through Fire
(Mayon Records – 2007)

Stoner band still as much as when they started – they even played the Download Festival at Donington Park this year – just a pity I missed them..

Growling away with their slabby heavy stomping Sabbath like riffs all over the place not to mention the gargantuan voicings.

Highlights on here are the opener ‘The Ballad of a Soloman Eagle’; ‘The Ale House Braves’ & the acoustic and classical ‘Mort Lake (Dead Water) that adds a different contrast to the loud offerings on here.


By Glenn Milligan


Girl-fronted outfits are becoming a regular growth in the fields of Brit metal crops at current. Fascinating as quite a few are, and some turn out less quite so, these noe-gothsters are proudly accounted for by the former.

A smoother, and deeper driving (and not to mention better) version of Evanescence would not be hard to imagine listening to this mini-album’s six deeply penetrating numbers which blend soulful flowing grooves with modern-day power metal feel for an end result that should take them right to the top of the table especially if they maintain this impressing form.

I don’t know if your local HMV has got hold of any copies of but checking their website (see below) may equip you with info on how. Info I’d recommend using too.


By Dave Atttrill

Arch Enemy, Anathema (albeit heavier), Drain


(Nuclear Blast - 2007)

Subjects before – possibly of Metalliville attention, this Scandi quintet are sure of that this time with their refreshing approach on a scene that has taken in some frankly average contributors in recent times.

There may have been a time of course when O.M.A.A.T.U.Q.’s own brand of pleasantly subdued old school thrash was about ten to the proverbial pence itself but these chaps roll it off so well it’s practically unreal. Relying not totally on speed selection, their stomping twin guitar hammerings add juice not only to the likeliness of the band’s persona having grown up spinning discs from various Bay Area acts but also Brit lions of the time such as Venom and Tysondog in particular.

Scarcely one in eight extreme metal outfits emerging from the works nowadays make such fearless use of soloing abilities as One Man Army’s resident shredder Mikael Lagerblad (I like the name mate), but already unashamedly unfashionable music should wallow in its merits to the fullest extent. ‘Error...’ is the band’s second full length release, which testifies that plenty enough liked their debut to keep them in the business a little bit longer.

On that note, mind staying round for a third one, lads - we’d like a bit more ass this one’s a blinder!


By Dave Attrill

OPEN NIGHTMARE - Pinks Of The Vintage
(Vegas Records - 2006)

Open Nightmare are a band I last heard from about three years ago, though unfortunately courtesy of some tedious poor-man’s-Boy Sets Fire-like melodic metalcore drivel.

And what do they do? In probable revenge for the 4/10 review I gave previous album ‘Sliced By A Turbo Machine’, dunk another fifteen piles of it down in front of me and expect me to stay awake for the whole half-hour-plus of it again. Except that I do as this time these guys have seemingly found their feet - this album does have a few substantial numbers which show that they’ve sat down for a bit longer than they did for ‘Sliced…’ and instilled a bit more thought into what they are creating.

Still plenty of room for improvement yet, that should be noted, we could have survived without what seems like a hideous mauling of Depeche Mode’s ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’ but O.N. look to be recovering from a false start. The future promises a killer disc but this is nowhere near as close to a nightmare as that previous offering mentioned hereinto.

Turbo machine operators, your slicing duties are no longer required….. for now anyway.


By Dave Attrill

Overloaded – Hail The Kingdom (E.P.)
(No Deal Records – 2005)

Monstrous ballsy rockin’ metal band from Detroit, MI with a fabulous raunchy vocalist on this 7 tracker that is just what the Doctor ordered – with the opening serious yet tongue in cheek humour of ‘Beaver Fever’; then there’s the too many chicked up nights of ‘Feeling Overloaded; the well crafted ‘Where are you running to?’. ‘Sick’ is a real interesting one too and love those vocals on the chorus.

They are starting to receive press in the USA and it’s little wonder why –can see ‘em supporting some big metal band over in the UK in the next year or so.

Looking forward to hearing more.


By Glenn Milligan

Jan - April 2006
ORDER OF NINE – Season Of Reign

The first thing that strikes you about Order Of Nine is Michael DeGrena’s vocals – he sounds remarkably like Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche) with a bit of Warrel Dane (Nevermore) thrown in for good measure. In fact Order of Nine were formerly called ‘Templar’ featuring on the Queensrÿche tribute album ‘Rebellion’ and their rich, heavy sound confirms this influence.

Being a Queensÿche fan this album appealed in many ways such as moody, atmospheric tracks like ‘Some Sort Of God’ and ‘Somnia Requiem’ but I must stress Order of Nine does possess a sound identity all their own. This is demonstrated by ‘Bloodline’ with a change to powerful, chugging guitar/bass and the aptly titled ‘Bull Run’ with predictably aggressive, high-tempo riffing.

For me though the better tracks on this album are the more melodic ones such as ‘Moment Of Weakness’ and ‘Betrayal’ that both build extremely well to heavy, tune-laden crescendos. I would have liked to hear more guitar solos on this album because I thought the brief glimpses you get during ‘The End’, ‘Matter Of Pride’ and ‘Somnia Requiem’ were done very well. At the end of the CD is a simple little melodic ballad without a track number entitled ‘Nameless’ that was catchy and perhaps hints there will be more of this come - I certainly hope so.

This is a great album and is most definitely worth a listen.


By Al Hoath

OVERGARVEN - Promo 2005

Overgarven hail from Greece, a country with, I believe, quite a flag on the extreme metal map of late, the pride of which is obviously established scene giants Rotting Christ.

Their brand of melodic death metal is pretty grabbing from the beginning and their guitarists sound like they’ve had a serious listen to Metallica, My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost in their youth.

Adding some intermediating female guest vocals on three of the five tracks, amongst the growling of their own singer, does favours but his voice itself is fairly decipherable sometimes. Altogether quite impressive stuff.

Send more if you want.


By Dave Attrill

Visit www.overgarven.com

Overloaded – Hellfire E.P.

What a loud, high, harsh, big f*ck*n’ voice this guy has – Chris Gillen is the name he goes by who fronts this band from Detroit, Michigan alongside Guitarists Erik Kluiber & John Sullens; Bassist Michael Massie and Drummer Lorenzo Gonzalez.

They travel on their ‘Crazy Horses’ looking for ‘Zygote’ heading for the ‘Shotgun City’ on the ‘Heavy Metal Highway’ and along the way supporting many a band such as Skid Row, Krokus and Tuff. They guarantee to give your ears an overloaded drum full of hard rock.

If you only hear a handful of bands this year make sure that this is one of them.

Check out www.overloadedmusic.com


By Glenn Milligan

ORDER OF NINE – Season Of Reign

The first thing that strikes you about Order Of Nine is Michael DeGrena’s vocals – he sounds remarkably like Geoff Tate (Queensrÿche) with a bit of Warrel Dane (Nevermore) thrown in for good measure. In fact Order of Nine were formerly called ‘Templar’ featuring on the Queensrÿche tribute album ‘Rebellion’ and their rich, heavy sound confirms this influence.

Being a Queensÿche fan this album appealed in many ways such as moody, atmospheric tracks like ‘Some Sort Of God’ and ‘Somnia Requiem’ but I must stress Order of Nine does possess a sound identity all their own. This is demonstrated by ‘Bloodline’ with a change to powerful, chugging guitar/bass and the aptly titled ‘Bull Run’ with predictably aggressive, high-tempo riffing.

For me though the better tracks on this album are the more melodic ones such as ‘Moment Of Weakness’ and ‘Betrayal’ that both build extremely well to heavy, tune-laden crescendos. I would have liked to hear more guitar solos on this album because I thought the brief glimpses you get during ‘The End’, ‘Matter Of Pride’ and ‘Somnia Requiem’ were done very well.

At the end of the CD is a simple little melodic ballad without a track number entitled ‘Nameless’ that was catchy and perhaps hints there will be more of this come. I certainly hope so, this is a great album and is most definitely worth a listen.


By Al Hoath

OUTLAND - Long Way Home
(Melodic Symphony - 2005)

Imagine a world devoid of Danger Danger or Van Halen…. Well guitarists Jeff Prentice and Rob Nishida would rather not go there. The US duo plant and cultivate a glorious hybrid of two of melodic rock’s greatest specimens that not only blossom in summer but will still be in bloom come winter.

Though a relatively unknown twosome, frontman, Prentice and talented multi-instrumentalist Nishida are joined by a familiar face at the kit in the form of ex-Mr Big chappie, Pat Torpey for the ride and the chemistry for today is complete. The result, ten slabs of AOR songwriting drenched to its hair in true-to-form class and while not too less than formulaic, Prentice and Nishida’s performances on guitars and keys mark another rising talent phoenix prepared to light the scene’s sky.

Winner all the way, effectively with just a few slightly so-so moments perhaps, this is apparently not their first release, so I can only hope their label’s interested in releasing their previous offerings too if only to learn where this stunning album followed on from.

It might also be interesting to know that Frontiers are handling distribution duties on this one…. a handy lot to get the name Outland acquainted with a little bit better.


By Dave Attrill

RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE Danger Danger (circa 1st album), Van Halen, Pulse, Melodica, Bon Jovi, Westworld

Overlorde - Return of the Snow Giant
(Sonic Age Records - 2004)

This is real metal the sort of stuff you'd expect from Juad Priest - in fact the vocals are akin to the likes of Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden.

Strong, powerful melodies with plenty of interstellar screaming. Some brilliant gear here like 'Starcastle'; 'Ogre Wizard'; 'Snow Giant' and 'Trapped by Magic'.

Just let 'em take over and you'll think your back at high school in the 80's metal days of old.


By Glenn Milligan

OPEN NIGHTMARE - Sliced By A Turbo Machine
(Vegas - 2004)

About the only thing of interest to me here is the prettily collaged picture of the American flag on the back of the sleeve and perhaps one or two good tunes but otherwise I couldn't find much to get excited about, here.

A random romp through ten lumps of directionless hardcore-directed punk n' roll, that sounds at best like Sick Of It All on a very bad day, or at worst a not-so good version of one or all of the various Swedish acts doing this sort of thing, is the best guidance I can offer on this occasion. I'm quite glad albums of this kind are as short as 33 minutes -thee is little that stuck out like a thumb at all on this album.

One mostly for the pre-converted or obsessed, I'm afraid this may not give me nightmares but is still nothing I'm going to sacrifice sleep to listen to.


By Dave Attrill

(Frontiers - 2004)

A project mentioned in the Frontiers pipeline for some considerable time hitherto, Mickey Thomas's star-studded Over The Edge project finally emerges from the fiery depths. So what do we get for the time we've waited, is the usual question. And a rather silly one too, because the answer as quite expected is ten helpings of mouth-watering melodic rock by some of the scene's greatest songwriters.

Opener 'Over The Edge' is one that Stan Bush must have forgotten about during a night on the razz, though it is interesting to notice Jack Blades's name in the credits - alright, yes there are one or two distinct Ranger-isms in the tune as well. 'One World' is an absolutely stunning tune - just listen to how Thomas takes on that chorus - and musical participations by one Mr Schon make absolutely sure of that. 'Thief' and 'Surrender' are laden with hooks that form almost the full appeal of the album alone, the latter, like 'O.W.' being another Schon/Blades co-write.

As if having one member of Journey on board didn't spoil the listener enough, Jonathan Cain also noticed the boat mooring at the dock and enjoyed the cruise enough as to write a number as pleasant as 'Eyes Wide Open', although listening to some of the melody selections within, I can't help but think that Jim Peterik was a deck hand on this craft, and stopped by whilst on break to offer a bit of help. 'Forest For The trees' is probably the most fascinating if not most diverse number of the lot. Kicking off with an appetising piece of widdling for an intro, a vaguely ..wait for it..Megadeth (circa Youthinasia/Cryptic Writings era) - like verse harmony, it travels via a bridge that could have come straight from any Blink 182, Offspring, etc record and then into a chorus you might expect when Kevin Chalfant bumps into Pink Cream 69 in a doctor's waiting room.

Ironically, 'Man In Between' and 'Cover Me' are Storm/Two Fires-meets Survivor matter that despite a catchy chorus on both units, begin to delve into the averageness department, especially the former - a shame since Alias's Freddy Curci is involved in said composition. 'Turn Away' turns us back right on track again - a number that will keep many tided over til the Tyketto reunion in late '04. 'Glory Day', another Blades-penned tune, this time assisted by prolific Italian scenester Farizio Grossi is another laid-back seaside-flavoured cut, ink formed almost purely again by Night Ranger-ous and Survivor-ous substances. At the end of the day, another good d. several month' work by this 'team' and one hell of a team at that, too, with Thomas's voice impressing many, alone. Hopefully not the first or last time this one'll happen but I can only ponder however who'll be in this act's live line-up.


By Dave Attrill

June 2004
Orange Goblin - Thieving from the House of God
(Rise Above Records - 2004)

A brash heavy laden stoner band from Soho, London who've stood the test of time and are now key holders of the big jean wearing crown in hardcare fuzzed out wah-wah hippydom (if that makes any sense to you - it did to me when I wrote it!!)

I remember seeig this band about '96 at Sheffield Corporation and they've still got as much blastin' Sabbatheque styling and bawly vocals as before but with a Texan twist at times - singing about drinkin' whiskey in 'One Room, One Axe, One Outcome' and even go Motorhead on us on 'Hard Luck' that has touches of The Allman Brothers guitar-work as well.

Nice to see that ZZ Top have had an effect on this band and their version of 'Just Got Paid' is the dogs testicles. If you fancy some gorgeous Southern styled stuuf complete with female backing vocals then' Black Egg' is perfect for you.

A solid album with a scorchin' hammering of killer hot riffery.


By Glenn Milligan


OHGR - Sunnypsyop
(Spitfire Records- 2003)

Having had enough of discussing predictability in particular areas of the rock spectrum, it's time we looked at a genre which is anything but that. The multi-direction world of industrial rock/metal is always responsible for discs that leave you guessing til you press the play button. Ohgr's name baffles me
for starters as far as trying to find out how exactly to pronounce the poxy thing goes.

What about the music though? The result we come back with this time, class, is more of the dance-oriented form, synth arrangements substituting strings - apart from bass - almost right throughout. That mentioned, it's performed with the same punishing angst of Germany's Funkervogt who impressed me earlier this year with their efforts. Add to the mix some decent sounding drum beat, - in production/recording context as well as in style - and the occasional smidgen of the ol' geetar here and there towards the end and for forty-two minutes you can hear this stuff bopping its way through your body like a pacemaker gone beserk.

A welcome souvenir of a scene, that rarely fails to impress.


By Dave Attrill

On The Rise - S/T
(Frontiers/Now & Then - 2003)

Only two months after having my palm crossed with the short but sweet sampler from Norwegian newcomers On The Rise, I find myself the lucky owner of a copy of their much mouthed-off-about debut record. And were we all talking about the same album? Oh, I'd think so. As I pretty much expected, the excellent 'Beat Of Your Heart' begins the order, one of THE best melodic rock tunes of 2003 without question. Such opinion is maintained but higher for 'Lift You Up' a superb opening solo leading to an assortment of vocal melodies of the sort that House Of Shakira have quite prided themselves on over the years.

The following five tracks, notably 'World Of Change', 'Leaps And Bounds' and 'Running In The Night' are molten lumps of melodic rock sweetness, each an anthem and following it up are 'Keep Our Love Alive' and 'Stay Away' both possessive of that modern day vibe that Kick take their cue from. 'Sadness Hits Like A Stone' is a groove laden rock n' roller quite in the 24K vein, turning the album style in a further direction.

'Two Young Hearts' has both the title and the style of another excellent melodic rock tune written not that long ago. Now brace yourself but does 'Could Have Been The Last Time' sound ever so vaguely like recent Leps single 'Long way To Go' ? Nice solos, though. 'Stranded' is good old fashioned AOR with bite, and closing ballad 'The Moment' is amongst the ropiest of the disc's running, backing vox used almost non-stop, throughout, working well on this occasion.

If truth be told, this album is totally flawless. This is the best record that Mitch Malloy, Bon Jovi, Von Groove, Survivor, Naro, Hardline and Survivor forgot to do, and is a pristine example of why melodic rock deserve to reinstate its recognition in the commercial mainstream market. All the more reason why pulling out of their Gods 03 slot devastated me.


By Dave Attrill

OSI - Office of Strategic Influence
(Inside Out - 2003)

Mad metal prog Rock that's like Dream Theatre gone Nu-metal at times with spacey effects - in fact Mike Portnoy (D.T. Drummer) and their ex-keyboardist Kevin Moore are well involved in the project.

This is eclectic material and very broad based and will no doubt entertain a wide variety of listeners from Metal to Jazz fans

Best tracks include the Nine Inch Nails'y 'Head'; the acoustically built 'Hello Helicopter' and the opening US Parliamentary piece entitled 'The New Math' or the title-track 'OSI' that's like Hawkwind gone techno.

Hearing is believing.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Pre-July 2003
OLD MAN'S CHILD - In Defiance Of Existence
(Century Media - 2003)

Delving once again into the deep murky musical waters known otherwise as Black Metal, we find another act wanting to draw ideas from the subtle end of the genre by way of a lush keyboard arrangement layered into the structure. Scandi' symphonic bruisers Old Man's Child have established themselves their prominence on the scene through their four previous pressings and though this is the first time I've encountered their material, this latest addition to their catalogue is a potential boost to their following.

By way of style, it is quite similar to Brit legends Venom through the bulk of the play length and as almost 8 out of 10 death/black metal bands today still cite the Tyneside trio amongst inspirations, you can only take your hat off to them.

Fast songs dominate the album as you might expect but don't totally wall everything else out so speed and style changes do find themselves a few empty parking spaces on all storeys, driven in by expert guitar and drum performance. Nice work, chaps.


By Dave Attrill

Ryo Okumoto - Coming Through
(Inside Out - 2002)

A new name for you who's from a well known band - that being Spocks Beard - Ryo is their keyboard/pianist.

This album is jammed full with a who's who in Rock as muso's like Steve Lukather (Toto), Neil Morse (ex-specks Beard) and super-session drummer Simon Phillips who's played with the like of The Who, Santana and Stevie Winwood. Bobby Kimball rocks out on the bluesy 'Slippin' Down' that sounds like it could be about gambling, prostitution or immigrants - who knows. Next thing you know Glenn Hughes wails onto the groove as only he can in the funky rock of 'Highway Roller'.

Elsewhere, you get that Jazz-fusion Rock stuff like 'Godzilla vs King Ghidarah'' 'Free Fall'; the funky groggy 'Close Enough' or the relaxing piano led 'The Imperial'. It's one of those albums to chill out to on Saturday afternoon while reading a good book or magazine.

It comes complete with a CD-Rom about the making of the album.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

ON THE RISE - Beat Of Your Heart
(Frontiers/Now & Then - 2002)

Probably the shortest review I've ever typed in the pages of Metalliville, this is probably about the shortest disc I've had to review as it is just a promotional sampler consisting of one full-length track and three 1min30 excerpts from tunes off this Norwegian act's debut album.

Let's not bicker - quality, not quantity remember - it's a sure fire appetite wetter for what's around the corner. When you mix Mitch Malloy, Hugo, 24K, Naro and Magnum elements together, which are all clearly audible here at several stages, like this, you know to expect little short of excellent, and you don't see me disappointed. Another act promising big, big things and those promises are very unlikely to be broken when I hear that album.


By Dave Attrill


Being hooked on Opeth since last years 'Blackwater Park' CD, I now own everything from Opeth and to have 'Deliverance' land on my doorstep from the kind people of MFN, I can only say what a blessing this has bought to me in the dark nights of our cold winter.

This is another six-track epic that will enlighten any one who has ears. Opeth have done it again, where do these guys get the time for their inspiration? What does inspire them? Where in hell does the intense energy come from? But what ever these guys are on, they need to stay on it! With most bands you get the odd sh*t track or you end up with a couple of sh*t albums but no, not with Opeth, they just grow and grow and grow with new ideas new rhythms and new techniques that will astound even the sheep within the pop industry.

Again guys you have enthralled me with your musical talents. Keep it up


By Tony Watson


It's nice to know that kids in Britain can do what Americans can do but better, Opiate are a British band from a small place called Annan near Carlisle. These four guys have a taste of good metal by being inspired by Helmet, Tool and Deftones, which has counted for a positive impact on the way Opiate have formed.

'Distinctive smile' will remind you of several bands throughout the twelve-track CD like Deftones, Life of Agony, Number One Son and even Lost Prophets. From the start of 'Disfunction' to 'Your Time' through 'Suck the Truth' and the nine-minute track 'Scared', Opiate will enthral you with their distinctive UK style of raw grunge, which is rather pleasant to hear from a British band.

Overall this is a classic CD for anyone and it's one that will be hard to put down, well done lads, British bands will once again rule the way forward.


By Tony Watson


KillBox 13 is the thirteenth album from the boys of Jersey, these 80's thrashers have never gone for the commercial side of metal, which isn't a bad thing when they can write and produce whatever they want and it's always the hard fast tornado speed thrash metal that hits the ears.

Overkill have hit the decks with another thrash metal masterpiece that will be placed as one of their best yet, with tracks like 'Devil by the tail', 'Damned', 'The one', 'Crystal clear' and 'Until I die', Overkill have shown through their music that they will not move from what they enjoy doing best.

Killbox 13 furiously pounds the air waves with the shape of a new Overkill in a new century with their quality, head splitting metal and the ability to look into the future of metal without being afraid of what's round the corner and with this in mind Overkill are here to stay.


By Tony Watson

(METEOR CITY MCY-022 - 2002)

Never heard of Orquesta del Desierto, well you may have heard of Alfredo Hernandez of 'Kyuss' and 'Queens of the Stone Age', Pete Stahl 'Goatsnake' and 'The Earthlings' plus Mario Lalli 'Fatso Jetson' and Steve Brown 'Hermano' who are the musical geniuses behind this soulful, spacious and mellow combination of rhythmic tracks.

This self-titled CD will have any avid rock fan freaking out to it's enormous influence that grabs you like a warm sunny Sunday afternoon as you chill out after eating your Sunday dinner and drinking the glass of wine that wash it down, this 10 track hypnotic CD is full of inspiration for any young instrumentalist as it's power takes over the space you invade.

There aren't many CD's that you can honestly say 'I have been inspired', forget about your 'Slipknot's' and 'Offspring's' for the time being, just sit down and chill with the flow of the 41 minute colourful ambience that engulfs your mind and releases the stress of the world.

Having an open mind to this style of talent will fill you with so much enjoyment for years to come, once your hooked, this CD will be hard to put down.


By Tony Watson


(SPV 315-74352 DCD - 2002)

As with most compilation CD's you either love them or hate them, with this 2 CD masterpiece, all our favourite tracks are here and much more.

This twenty four-track compilation contains over 100 minutes of classics, live material, cover versions and not forgetting the new stuff. Hello From The Gutter releases the pure energy that has kept Overkill and their fans alive for over 20 years and this it self shows how they have achieved such high status within the thrash scene.

Overkill show you what they are made of when your ears are hit by a tornado of friendly violent moshing fun through the tracks of 'Hello From The Gutter', 'God Like', 'The Rip N' Tear', 'Fuck You', 'Thunderhead', 'Rotten To The Core' and many more, as with Overkill, what you see is what you get and this is nothing to be afraid of.

If you are not familiar with the works of Overkill this is the CD to get. Thrash that head that does not thrash, Overkill or here to pollute the world once more.


By Tony Watson


Who would believe that Overkill have been on the thrash metal circuit for 20 years, started in 1982 by vocalist Bobby 'Blitz' Ellsworth and bassist DD Verni. Overkill release a definitive snapshot of a live performance, which was recorded in their hometown of New Jersey.

This selection of live tracks that spans over their 20-year carrier, captures the blood and sweat as their enthusiasm reaches boiling point with the energy that has been created throughout the gig. From the pounding raging guitars and drums of the intro track 'Necrosshine' to 'Thunderhead' into 'Evil Never Dies', 'I Hate You', 'Shred' and 'In Union We Stand', Overkill with this 13 track CD make you feel that you are actually their in New Jersey.

If you think that Iron Maiden or Metallica can release wonderful compelling live CD's, then think again, Overkill can do the same. The production of this CD is marvellous; it's not too sharp and it definitely not a bootleg, which also shows how professional these gays are and how serious these gays, should be taken.


By Tony Watson

Onward - Reawaken
(Century Media - 2002)

Malmsteeny Power Metal that comes across very Spinal Tap these days. Here's another dose of the predictable Pounding drums, digga digga speed guitar riffs that you've heard a million times already from bands like Hammerfall, Helloween and Iron Maiden even.

Saying that though, it's done stinkingly well though and the baritone register of vocalist Michael Grant makes a refreshing change to top tenor razor thin vocals that have become too much of a firm staple to the power metal genre.

A lot of the credit goes to the band founder Tony Knapp who started playing guitar at the age of 10 after being brought up listening to such icons as Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore. He initially got his deal in '91 with Shrapnel Records and later signed up with Century Media. You realise why he deserved the attention when you sit back and take in the musical arrangements of 'The Seven Tides of Labyrinthine' or 'In Due Time' (a number I'd like hear live one day). The closing epic 'The Next Triumph' is awesome - part 1 'Rememberance' is classical acoustic stuff and part 2 'Reawakening' is moderate tempo metal.

It's a decent deal of a release for Power Metal-heads Worldwide.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS



All is quite as a single note gets loader and loader, when all of a sudden the vocals of Mikael Akerfeldt roars out like one p*ssed off bear 'We entered winter once again naked, freezing from my breath, neath the lid all limbs tucked away, this coffin is your abode from now and onwards'. 'The Leper Affinity', what more can you ask for with lyrics like these, a ten minute track that has the making of being one worlds excellent death metal anthems, it doesn't finish there as the song fades away then rips into 'Bleak'.

The CD is full of surprises; one minute your eardrums are being battered to death with black, death and thrash metal then suddenly changes to classical and acoustic folk music. Weird? No, highly entertaining, I have never heard of a band doing a combination of the above mentioned and what a change it makes to hear something so exciting and so original.

With the other tracks like 'Harvest', 'The Drapery Falls', 'Dirge For November', 'The Funeral Portrait', Patterns in the Ivy' and the title track 'Blackwater Park' as well as the other two mentioned, this CD has been well thought out and very well produced by Opeth as well as Steven Wilson.

The 8 track CD with over 67 minutes of pure brilliance has something for everyone with it's thrash, folk and classical openings, middles and endings and vocals that one minute hits you deep in the chest then rises above the intensity of the anger to leave you with piece love and harmony. Although each individual track last quite along time, the excitement throughout the CD keeps you held onto every note and the more the CD is played the more enjoyment you get from it. What a wonderful masterpiece.


By Tony Watson

(Epic Records - 2001)

Six years down the line and several hundred updates in various rock magazines of the nation, later, the grand old man of metal returns with his eighth studio piece. The manic Midlander makes another crushing comeback, to practically pair with that by Iron Maiden last year with their incredible 'Brave New World' opus - a 10/10 in the first issue of the Metalliville paper fanzine in October 2000. Alright so I admit it's a rung or two down the ladder from the effort by his rival Brit act, but Oz is still the Wonderful Wizard of Metal, and fans old and new should find something they like amongst the assortment here.

The bulk of the delivery is probably weighed in as influences of his previous album 'Ozzmosis' with further contemporary additions. Ozzy starts trying out a few industrial sounds for size, as did the Wildhearts on their previous album, but without spoiling the day for everyone listening, and undamaged souvenirs of his earlier solo years are still for sale here. At least five of the eleven tunes seem to be formed from guitar lines that could have been left in Randy Rhoad's grave with a sign saying - 'Do not dig up for 19 years'. Zakk Wylde still looks like the sort of chap in whose hands you can trust such sacred riffage.

The rhythm section from 1996 onwards has been retained with ex-Suicidal Tendencies bassist, Rob Trujilo and Faith No More drummer, Mike Bordin putting in top performances all round. Old Ozzy, eh, he may have given up the drugs, but he sure ain't given up writing decent songs. Back 'Down To Earth' he comes but with a cheer rather than a thud.


by Dave Attrill

Odin - Fight for you life
(1988 re-released by Perris Records 2001)

Cast your mind back to the cult rock documentary called 'The Decline of Western Civilisation - Part 2 (The Metal Years)' to the bit where the 1987 Gazzari Girl Dance contest has taken place. What then follows is Bill Gazzarri (The Godfather of Rock 'n Roll) informing the packed crowd about the band he strongly believes in and even gets last year's winner to chant the bands name to the crowd - and that name is 'ODIN'. The band perform a knockout version of the album opener 'Twelve O Clock High' plus a ditty called 'Little Gypsy'.

Anyway, that's the last I heard of them until now - the original album has just been re-released on CD by Perris Records. With dirty squawkin' lead vocals of Randy O, bashing drums of Sharon Duncan, pumpin' bass of Aaron Samson and electrifying 6-string attacking of Jeff Duncan - Odin meant business.

Their image was pure big hair glamour - they could play extremely well - take the medieval styled numbers - the acoustic 'Serenade to the Court' and the electric 'Modern Day' coming complete with a blistering guitar solo from Mr. O.

Elsewhere, there's plenty of good ole sleazy soundz (with a good comparison being 'Bang Tango' meets 'Faster Pussycat' and Vain). Odin knocked out some ass-kickin' songs like 'Time and Time Again' 'I'm gonna get you' and 'Push' then there's the title track 'Fight for your life' with its medieval opening dialogue introduction.

Grow your hair big and reminisce about the good ole days of the late 80's.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

Graham Oliver - End of an Era
(Angel Air - 2001)

The newie from the founder of Saxon and Son of a Bitch, Graham Oliver who
presents to us a collection of sounds that include the Saxon classics 'Born
to Rock 'n' Roll' (his tribute to Jimi Hendrix) and 'Never Surrender' that
both feature the raw vocal talent of co-Saxon member Fasker Johnson (also of
Bailey's Comet). Fasker is no Biff Byford but he gives it all he's got all
the same.

Great versions of Hendrix numbers like the proggy 'Can you see me?', 'Love
Over Confusion' and the unreleased 'Sippin' Wine' are also covered in an
exemplary fashion that will most definitely bring a smile to the face of the
afro bearing legend wherever he happens to be.

What is odd about the album are the inclusions of tracks by Bullrush
(featuring Paul Oliver on drums - Graham's son) - who you may remember from
the BBC special about 'The National Centre of Popular Music' because they
band mimed one of their songs on it's roof-top. It's a great opportunity for
fans of Saxon, Graham Oliver and Son of a Bitch to see what the mans
offspring is up to. The tracks included are 'Standing in the Rain',
'Goodbye to Yesterday' and 'Sonic' which are of an Indie-Rock style as
opposed to Heavy Metal style associated with Graham Oliver and Saxon.

'End of an Era' is a great title track alone - imagine crossing Oasis'
'Don't look back in Anger' with Mott the Hoople's 'All the Young Dudes' and
you'll start to understand the musical picture.


By Glenn Milligan, BA Hons CS

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