Category: Album Reviews

The Commoners ‘Restless’ (Gypsy Soul Records)

This is the second album from Canadian roots rockers The Commoners. The first one, ‘Find A Better Way’ found its way onto a regular rotation on David O’s work journey since he saw them supporting Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton on the ‘Deathwish Blues’ tour earlier this year. Did the follow-up have a similar impact? There’s only one way to find out…

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Arka’n Asrafokor ‘Dzikkuh’ (Reigning Phoenix Music)

We know Jonny B is a sucker for metal with a bit of a twist to keep him excited, and in particular he’s been getting really into bands with folk music influences. It started with the classic Finnish/Nordic folk metal but then branched out into folk metal from other cultures with a recent obsession being the fantastic Bloodywood. So when the opportunity to check out an African metal band who weave traditional folk elements into their music there was no way JB would pass that up. He may have had a terrible time trying to spell it, but he’s keen to get involved with Arka’n Asrafokor’s ‘Dzikkuh’.

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Robert Jon & The Wreck ‘Red Moon Rising’ (Journeyman Records)

In the week of the 50th anniversary of the archetypal southern rock single ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ being released by Lynyrd Skynyrd, California rockers Robert Jon & The Wreck release their latest album, ‘Red Moon Rising’. Unlyke Skynyrd (sic), no members of RJ&TW are from any of the southern states of America.  However, this doesn’t prevent the band grabbing hold of the genre and making it their own and yet still include everything expected in a surrrn rawk song. Having been one of the many bitten by this style of music (among many others) all those years ago, it tends to be one of my staple listens. Any music from The Cadillac Three to Black Stone Cherry and these guys will always get David O’s attention at some point.

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Joe Bonamassa ‘Live At The Hollywood Bowl’ (J&R Adventures)

The blues maestro strikes again! Sometimes David O wonders how much time some people have in their day! Having only just reviewed the latest release from Black Country Communion he then got a link to another album release from one of the main protagonists – aka Mr Joe Bonamassa. Only this time it is a live album recording featuring a full orchestra support from his debut performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 2023: Yes, you read that right – his DEBUT performance at the Hollywood Bowl in 2023! Can you believe he had never played there before?

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Kati Rán ‘SÁLA’ (Svart Records)

The title of this album translates from old Norse as both “sun” and “soul” and as such it is an extremely appropriate description of this latest solo album from one of the most incisive artists on the European neo-folk scene, as it shines the former’s light into the darkest recesses of the latter in a way in which is enervating, enlightening, enrapturing and also densely introspective and retrospective in its tonal simulacra.

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Split Iris ‘Bloodred Dusk’ (Seek & Strike)

Hailing from Rauma, Finland, Split Iris have rapidly made a name for themselves with their exciting new blend of Djent and modern metal. Brimming with intricate guitar riffs, and explosive vocal performances, fans of the genre will surely be delighted with what ‘Bloodred Dusk’ has to offer. Moreover, the record tells a compelling story exploring themes such as the loss, and rediscovery of hope, demonstrating that the quintet can craft narratives as captivating as their instrumentals, as debutante reviewer and birthday boy Josh B finds out….

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Black Country Communion ‘BCC V’ (J&R Adventures)

The first time David O heard Glenn Hughes sing was around 50 years ago when Deep Purple III released ‘Burn’ in 1974! As a wet-behind-the-ears 14-year old he and a friend were blasting ‘Burn’ before they took a trip to London to see the third incarnation of Deep Purple in the Lewisham Odeon. No mean feat for two teenagers from the valleys of south east Wales.

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Gurt ‘Satan ETC’ (When Worlds Collide)

Love doom music but have too much energy and love to party? Well Gurt has curved out a very specific niche just for you… You may have heard of party thrash, but have you party doom yet? Coming hot on the heels of the fantastically named ‘Bongs of Praise’ comes this latest effort from London’s Gurt in the form of ‘Satan ETC’. And while the name of the album doesn’t have quite the same attention grabbing nature this time, I don’t think it needs to because the draw is all there in the music!

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