Red Tide Rising – The Rising

The Rising Album Cover

Red Tide Rising are:

Matthew Whiteman – Lead vocals
Andrew Whiteman – Guitars
Sean Verity – Bass
Matt Guerin – Drums, Percussion

The band have released a couple of singles prior to recording this album and previewed this album with 3 singles to show the different intensities of the band. They are a young bunch of guys with some members still in their teens. The album was recorded in 2013 with the help of Mike McAree (In This Moment’s engineer) and Jeff Kanan (Kelly Clarkson, Madonna, Staind, Rick Rubin and others).

I have to admit that I didn’t read any of the blurb about the band prior to listening to the album for first time and with the sort of prog rock cover, I was expecting something quite different from the modern post-grunge alt rock meets prog metal that I heard. OK, regular readers will have guessed by now that these guys have their work cut out to impress me with this type of music.

After the doomy opening of piano led instrumental "Rising Tides" we’re off into the land of modern alt rock meets alt metal where to my ears songs tend of merge together into a sonic barrage with individual songs having little to differentiate them. Apart from "Scars" about half way through, nothing really sticks in my head until we get the title track at the end of the album which seems to a more mature composition, despite the unnecessary swearing. Earlier in their career, a portion of the proceeds from their first single release, "Finding Home", was donated to a suicide prevention organisation, so they aren’t singing about ‘partying all night long’.

I guess what I’m saying is that if you are into bands like "In This Moment" or "Five Finger Death Punch", then this will be of interest, but melodic rock fans who favour retro hard rock should approach with caution. OK to dip into for a couple of songs occasionally.

Crowned By Fire – Prone To Destroy

CBF promo1

 

The album grabs you by the throat on opening track, "I Spit On Your Curse", and for the most part doesn’t let go. Think Rob Zombie, Black Sabbath and Metallic with a doom/stoner layer on top and you have the picture. I’m reminded of Motorhead as the album has that raw no nonsense vibe to it, however this is Motorhead without the ‘melody’ (assuming you think Motorhead have a sense of melody in the first place).

The onslaught is endless and by the end of the album I’m suffering from ‘heaviness’ fatigue. The exception is the mildly Southern styled "Black Moon Shine" where if you try really hard you can convince yourself that you can hear hints of Molly Hatchet going on.

You will need to be in the mood for some serious heaviness to enjoy this.

More info at www.crownedbyfire.com

SLP – Perception

slp

This is a project created by cellist Sebastian Lepine. He has got together with a bunch rock/fusion musicians to explore a musical direction which deviates from his normal classical repertoire.

I’ve got to say right at the start that the melancholy sounding cello isn’t an instrument that I particularly enjoy listening to on a regular basis. The closest thing I have in my collection is Ed Alleyne-Johnston and I haven’t listened to that in ages.

This album is a strange combination of jazz-fusion meets progressive metal, with the cello adding a classical feel. Most of the time there is a lot going on in the tracks, making them seem claustrophobic and I found listening to them becoming more of an endurance test, rather than a pleasurable experience.

If you like classical music and a slightly discordant sound, then this might be for you, but I found it hard going. The playing is pretty amazing and I’m in awe on that front, but it is an album that I found I could only listen to in small doses.

Jeff Scott Soto – Live At FireFest 2008

I’m a bit mystified by this release as it is very similar to the “Live in Madrid” that was released in 2009. In fact, the set listing is pretty much identical.

He is a confident sod and he likes his funk as much as he likes his rock. Therefore his concerts tend to combine the two, so your tastes better not be restricted to rock only With plenty of material to draw upon, JSS frequently does medleys of songs, rather than straight versions of individual songs. In the live setting these work well, but sitting at home you can find youself wanting a complete version of one of your favourite songs, rather than just a snippet. However, the funky medley which finishes the show is an example of a medley working out well.

JSS is a great singer, who maybe gets a bit carried away on the funk/medley side of things. If you are a long time fan, that won’t worry you too much, but then this won’t be of much interest as you probably already have “Live in Madrid“.