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CD Reviews Archives - Über Röck

Category: CD Reviews

Heilung – ‘Drif’ (Season Of Mist)

Bona P was delighted to receive Heilung’s latest album for review as he has to admit he is a bit of a fan. Heilung, in our resident pagan’s opinion, are something special on the music scene, an opinion that was reinforced when he had the opportunity to see them live at The Barbican in York, just prior to lockdown.

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Prosper Or Perish – ‘Shroud of Serpents’ (Jobson Productions)

It’s been a rough few weeks, and Jonny B feels like he’s got a bit out of touch with music – which, frankly, sucks serious ass. As a result, he feels like he needs to get back to his roots a bit and really ground himself in something that he can really blast out and get in the groove with. So, he was hoping that the latest album from Prosper or Perish manages to tick those boxes – he already had a good feeling about this one so, without further ado, let’s get going!

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Ithaca – ‘They Fear Us’ (Hassle Records)

Rarely does a band suddenly get talked about so much in Jase W’s social circles so quickly like Ithaca has. He’s known of these guys for a reasonable length of time, but the lead up to the new album ‘They Fear Us’ has somehow managed being the subject of so many of his friends’ lips that it’s actually pretty amazing. Not only that but seeing posters for this forthcoming release splattered all over multiple festival walls in the lead up was also very noticeable.

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The Babys – ‘Anthology’ (Chrysalis)

Every now and then an album drops in your lap by an old band you know about, and you know you’d like, but just never got around to actually hearing them. Such is the case for Jim R with The Babys. The album in question is a rather fine vinyl reissue of ‘Anthology’, originally released in 1981 just after the band’s demise the previous year.

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Ronald Bühlmann – ‘Emnalóc’ (Self-Released)

Language, by it’s very nature, is an invention which has helped mankind communicate with one another. it can be corrupted and pure. It can be interpreted – and misinterpreted in equal measure. It has been invented and re-invented many times over. Many people have created their own languages: L. L. Zamenhof, for example, with Esperanto; J. R. R. Tolkien with elvish; Gene Roddenberry with Klingon… We could go on… But, what has this got to do with an album review, we hear you ask. Well, Monk will tell you…

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TCOMAS – ‘Trust No Leaders’ (Self-Released)

The full name of this band – The Chronicles Of Manimal And Samara – may sound like the title of an arcane children’s TV animation, in vein of ‘Masters Of The Universe’, ‘Battle Of The Planets’ or ‘Thundercats’, but there is definitely nothing cartoonish about this sophomore album from the London-based avant-garde duo, even if their sound is a pastiche of various genres stuck together with double-sided sticky tape.

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Jack Starr’s Burning Starr – ‘Souls Of The Innocent’ (Global Rock Records)

For the past four decades or so, Jack Starr has been one of the leading lights (sic) of what can perhaps best be described as the ÜS traditional heavy metal scene, first as the six-string shredder with the much-maligned and under-rated Virgin Steele and more latterly with his own Burning Starr project, which has just produced this, the tenth album and the first with new vocalist Alexx Panza (they seem to have a thing for double consonants in their names, these boys).

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Egres – ‘Introspection’ (Self-Released)

Finland is on record as having more heavy metal bands per head of population than any other country in the Überverse – and if they keep on producing them at the rate they have been doing then virtually every Finn between school and retirement ages will be churning out riffs with the sort of gay abandon that would make Errol Flynn blush with envy. The latest export from the easternmost side of the Scandinavian peninsula are these self-styled cinematic progressive metallers, centred around the creative force of bassist and composer Pekka Virtanen and now departed vocalist Veera Hänninen.

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Michael McDermott – ‘St Paul’s Boulevard’ (Pauper Sky Records)

Despite hailing from the bleak back streets of the ‘Windy City’, Chicago troubadour Michael McDermott plays the sort of ebullient country and folk-infused Americana more associated with the deep south of the USofA, drawing on influences such as Steve Earle, Tom Petty and Marc Cohn as much as he does the blue-collar rock ‘n’ roll heritage of the likes of ‘The Boss’, with heavy measures of Dylan and Young thrown in for good measure.

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Wax On Water – ‘The Drip’ (Howling Tempest Records)

It’s always interesting to come across an act on their sophomore release. If you really enjoy it, you can look back on their previous work and maybe guess where they’re going in the future. Add in a fully reimagined cover of a classic soul track and a rather eclectic array of influences and it was clear from the first listen-through that the avant-garde nature of the work may not be the easiest to listen to. This first impression, however, was quite wrong, as DJ Astrocreep discovered…

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Various Artists – ‘Ziggy Stardust: 50 Years Later’ (Pale Wizard Records)

In case you hadn’t realised by now, David Bowie’s iconic 1972 classic ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars’ is fifty years old this year. Following on from last year’s ‘50 Years Later’ tribute to Alice Cooper’s ‘Killer’, Pale Wizard Records have given ‘Ziggy’ a similar makeover, assembling a cast of underground hard rock, stoner and psych artists to give it their best shot at taking on each of the album’s 11 sacred songs, plus a few bonuses for good measure.

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Frank Black And The Catholics – ‘The Complete Studio Albums’ (Demon)

Frank Black (or Black Francis) is of course best known for his pioneering work with the hugely influential Pixies. Outside of the Pixies, Black has a sizable back catalogue of solo albums under his belt, including the six albums recorded under the ‘Frank Black & the Catholics’ moniker between 1998 and 2003. For almost two decades, the Catholics’ studio albums have been out of print or unavailable on vinyl. Now, Demon Records releases ‘The Complete Studio Albums’ boxset featuring all six original releases, three of which are receiving a first ever vinyl release.

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