Category: Popular

Dream Theater – ‘Distance Over Time’ (InsideOut Music)

There can be no doubt about it: we think we can quite safely say that Dream Theater are THE pioneers of the modern progressive metal sound. Their iconic debut, ‘When Day And Dream Unite’ – an album which, at the time of writing, is just a few weeks short of celebrating its 30th anniversary – merged prog rock values with those of classic rock and thrash, combining power, speed and, above all, melody in a way which a few artists had attempted but had so far failed to achieve to such a gloriously successful degree.

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Death Tribe – ‘Beyond Pain and Pleasure: A Desert Experiment’ (Self-Released)

2018 was a massive year for Lebanese black metal heroes Kaoteon. Not only did they release a stunning second album in ‘Damnatio Memoriae’, but the band managed to bag an award at Metal Hammer’s Golden Gods awards and Anthony Kaoteon finally joined Walid Wolflust in the Netherlands to ensure the band could pursue their ambitions as a full-time concern. Yet, even with all of this going on, Anthony has managed to find time to spawn his own solo project – the band Death Tribe, described in their bio as “a project inspired by the suffering of warfare, spirit breaking oppression and the refusal to submit to either”.

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Overkill – ‘The Wings Of War’ (Nuclear Blast)

When a band who are regarded as pioneers of the genre in which they ply their trade release a new album, there quite rightly is a high degree of expectation, as well as the inevitable questioning as to whether or not the act in question can still deliver the goods. Fortunately, in the case of this, the 19th studio offering (a remarkable achievement in its own right) from the thrash wrecking crew that is Overkill, the expectations are more than fulfilled and the latter question is answered with an extremely affirmative “hell fuckin’ yes” as, like a good wine, Messrs Ellsworth, Verni et al just seem to get better with age.

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Electric Mary – ‘Mother’ (Listenable)

We don’t know what they’re putting in the beer in Australia, but it certainly seems to have got the creative juices flowing in the land down under, as a plethora of hot, talented new rock ‘n’ roll bands have been emerging on a virtually weekly basis over the past year or so. Now, you can add the name of Electric Mary to that ever-growing list, as they seek to develop their equally expanding reputation with this, their fourth studio album in their ten years.

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Beth Blade and the Beautiful Disasters – ‘Show Me Your Teeth’ (Self-Released)

Having seen BBATB several times around South Wales over the past few years and bought the previous album as a fan, it was only right that David O’Neill had the opportunity to review the new release, ‘Show Me Your Teeth’, for ÜR. He had been following last year’s journey with interest and highlights such as the Kiss Kruise, hobnobbing with rock royalty such as Marco Mendoza and performing backing vocals on Thunders’ ‘Miracle Man’ have only served to strengthen the band’s presence in the current music arena.

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Ashtones – ‘Who Are The Leper Messiahs?’ (Antitune Records)

Despite this being their fourth album, Monk has to admit that he had never heard of Lille street punks Ashtones until this CD landed on the doormat at ÜRHQ over the recent holiday break (despite having being released a whack of weeks previously), complete with a nice handwritten note, penned on a piece of graph paper, from vocalist Gé, asking if we’d mind reviewing it. Hey, he even threw in an early Christmas present, in the form of a split album featuring two other bands from their label’s roster… And, like most people, we’re partial to the odd freebie now again – as well as open to a spot of bribery.

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The Big Über Rock Interview – Jean-Paul Gaster (Clutch)

Easily one of rock’s most reliable bands, Clutch have racked up a fervent following over a 27-year, 12-album career. With a sound that has traversed the disparate realms of hardcore, blues, stoner and good ol’ fashioned rock n roll, they have deftly navigated the transformation over the rock scene over the past couple of decades, managing to put out records which earned both critical acclaim and fan adoration in the likes of ‘Blast Tyrant’, ‘Pure Rock Fury’ and (most recently) ‘Earth Rocker and Psychic Warfare’. Bigger than ever and coming on bold with the release of ‘Book of Bad Decisions’ (ÜR’s album of the year, no less), a record which nods to the many varied styles of Clutch’s past records whilst still confidently striding towards the future. We caught up with drummer Jean-Paul Gaster at the tail end the band’s recent December trek to chat everything from longevity to the particulars of how they go about choosing setlists from their diverse career…

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