The Fat Dukes Of Fuck: Honey From The Lips Of An Angel

The creators of new album Honey From The Lips Of An Angel is a band revelling in subtlety and warm tender moments to fill the heart with emotion and reassurance… yeah and we always wear pink tutus and Doc Martens when reviewing music. Well the latter might have some truth to its but one thing you can never accuse The Fat Dukes Of Fuck of being is sensitive or worried about appearing PC. You can though throw accusations of creating riotously fun, fully infectious, quality dirty rock n roll at the band and they will stick firmly.  Honey From The Lips Of An Angel is a glorious and irreverent slap around the senses brought with mightily addictive sounds and a mischievousness which only pulls one willingly and eagerly into its heart.

The album is an aggressive crash upon the senses brought through an excellent brew of punk, metal, and filth lined rock n roll. The tracks rampage through and toy with the ear like a riot instigated by the combined aural profanity of Suicidal Tendencies, Trucker Diablo, The Damned, Clutch, ZZ Top and the Melvins. You can add some early Beastie Boys and Sabbath too, their sound expansive in invention and contagious in its recognisable seeds and maniacal interpretation. The Fat Dukes Of Fuck is a band where having fun and taking the piss is instinct ran wild but musically they leave nothing floundering in mediocrity or flabby imagination, these guys know how to brew impressive and inciteful rock n roll to recruit the passions.

Consisting of founders vocalist Brent Lynch and guitarist Jarrod Miller alongside bassist Jason Lamb and drummer Jeremy Brenton (also in doom metalers Demon Lung), the Vegas based quartet immediately drop a cluster bomb of funk dripping grooves and punked up energy upon the ear through opener The Mighty Bulge. The vocals are caustically twisting whilst the guitar splices the air with scorched and venomous mischief. Hyperactive and brilliantly impossible to guess its next move, the track easily fires up the strongest greedy reactions, the blatant lyrical content as sure to open ear to ear grins as the sounds, especially the hungry bass gnawing, are going to trigger open adoration.

   Sorry About Your Dick with its taunting groove and vocal pointing lifts the senses even higher, a blistering onslaught of ravenous energy and spiralling vocals with that mentioned tightly wound groove a wanton hussy, which ignites even bigger flames of pleasure. Uncomplicated, to the point, and the instigator of primal lustful intentions, the song and album are aural locker-room pornography and insatiably pleasing.

With Oral Agenda stepping up next one could almost assume it was turning into a concept album of sorts, but the fiery track is just the step to greater sins and delights starting with the Prelude to the Greatest Night of Your Life, a heavy rub upon the ear with sonic vocal squalls and bridging melodic incursions from within the steady nibbling riffing. It has a classic rock breath to its restrained stomp which is linked to further funk swaggering, imagine early Red Hot Chili Peppers in a bruising encounter with Red Fang and Melvins and you get a taste of the sonic tonguing in the ear going on.

    Honey From The Lips Of An Angel is magnificent with its best moment coming in the outstanding Step Aside and Let That Fucker Dance. The track mesmerises and enchants whilst exposing our natural irreverence through simply hilarious lyrics and inspirational multi directional musical invention. Dancing through the ear like a dad at a wedding, coordination awry and discord deliciously toning every chant, the song is immensely contagious and sheer brilliance.

Tracks like the punk driven Cigarette, the rhythmically teasing I Killed a Small Child with its abrasive vaunt, and the southern fried melodic cruising Let My People Grow, just pile on more unbridled unruly behaviour and sounds to spawn only deeper need and satisfaction. The closing title track ensures a final slice of raucous provocation, its impure heart and carnivalesque stroll like dark music hall, well if created and produced by Mike Patton, The Cardiacs, and 6:33.

    Honey From The Lips Of An Angel is definitely one the best albums to emerge this year whilst The Fat Dukes Of Fuck isthat out of control, crude, irrepressibly funny, best friend you always wanted to riot with.

RingMaster 24/09/2012

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Hotel Diablo: The Return To Psycho, California

With a deliciously evocative name, Hotel Diablo still had a little work ahead to inspire as much enthusiasm with their music as their style in hard rock is not a flavour which generally lights too many fierce fires of anticipation within our personal preferences. The Californian quartet though had little problem in leaving a satisfied and enthused listener in the wake of their debut album The Return To Psycho, California, a fine release of melodic and muscular rock n roll. As said the band has a sound rooted in hard and melodic rock but there is a strong and impressive metal pulse which results in a meaty and formidable release, even the slower more reserved songs having a steel to capture as much imagination as the well crafted melodic breath. The album admittedly does not wear away existing boundaries to set new parameters or sounds for rock but it certainly brings a fresh and feisty appealing presence to the genre which is impossible not to reap plenty of pleasure from.

The band formed in 2011 when vocalist Rick Stitch and guitarist Alex Grossi returned home from a world tour with Adler’s Appetite, the band of original Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler. Departing the band the pair set about looking for a fresh project to get their teeth into and when they played a one off show with bassist Mike Duda and drummer Mike Dupke (the rhythm section of W.A.S.P.) the unmistakable chemistry and excitement generated led the four to writing songs and the formation of Hotel Diablo. Entering the studio with Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses, Rockstar Supernova) as producer, the band unleashed a collection of dark true stories experienced by the artists, twisting them into compulsive and captivating songs which make up the album. With further production by underground LA producer Matt Starr, The Return To Psycho, California taps into the Hollywood shadows with incisive skill and magnetic energy making for an album to thrill and get the blood pumping faster whilst treating the ear to enterprising rock n roll.

Released via Scarlet Records, the album rampages with mischief from the off with opener Taken. The song grinds at the ear with tight riffs within seconds with hard rapping rhythms forcing the issue further. The growl of the track is constant; continually gnawing away at the senses whilst the great melodic tones of Stitch coaxes deeper attention and the guitar play of Grossi leaves sizzling spires of sonics through the air. The persistent groove of the song is addictive and offers a good bite to the smoother flowing harmonies and energy. It is a catchy yet riotous start which sets the rest of the album up perfectly.

The following All These Years and What You Do To Me are less forceful but still retain an intimidating snarl through the excellent bass of Duda. They are easy on the ear melodic weaves which only impress with the again sharp and slightly acidic melodic play of the guitar and impossible not to admire vocals. Though neither triggers deep passions as the first they only leave one relishing hearing more.

The heart of the album begins with Psycho California, a tasty brew of wicked intent, chopping riffs, and anthemic energies and vocals. From this point things on the album explode with even greater quality and triumph. Twisting one around its teasing grooved finger the song is an infectious surge of acutely styled yet rampant rock music. Bury You goes even better, its slow intense first breath expanding into a stunning wave of passion and shadowed emotive caresses. With more than a whisper of Soundgarden to it, the track is easily the best on the album and one of the best songs heard this year anywhere. The melodies sizzle on the senses whilst the rhythms insistently jab to add extra energy to the drive of the song.  The lead song on the release, it alone will ensure mass attention the way of the album and band.

Songs like the stirring Set It Off and the impassioned Wicked Lines continue the great imagination and sounds leaving one fully engrossed in the release. There is the inclusion of a cover of Wonderwall which we will swiftly skate over, not because the track is poor in any way but just because personally Oasis and that song are like aural lime upon the senses, and no band could make it sound passable for these ears.

Ending with enjoyable alternative versions of What You Do To Me and Bury You, the album is a thoroughly satisfying release to spend plenty of rewarding time with, and Hotel Diablo a band one wants to hear so much more form.

Ringmaster 24/09/2012

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Thy Majestie: ShiHuangDi

ShiHuangDi the new album from Italian veteran power metallers Thy Majestie, is one you have to feel let alone hear to appreciate its expansive presence and depths, so that means bringing it close to the senses and at full volume. To be honest that applies to all metal and rock music but with ShiHuangDi it really does open up the grandeur of the creativity and release. It is still an album which depending on your preference to the genre will satisfy in varying degrees but the quality and craft involved is unmistakable and impressive.

The fifth album from Thy Majestie is a concept album based on the life of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC. It is a towering presence of epic atmospheres and enveloping ambiences brought with a symphonic breath to the trademark giant power metal sound of the band. Following on from 2009 album Dawn, the eleven tracks continue in the style of previous acclaimed releases The Lasting Power (2000) and Hastings 1066 (2002). Since being formed in 1998 by Guiseppe Bondi (keyboards) and Claudio Diprima (drums) the band has lit up the genre with attention catching and impressively created releases and though ShiHuangDi may not arguably improve upon earlier albums it is easily on a par and delivers all the things which make the Palermo quintet so compulsive to so many. No one can deny the quality of the songwriting, music, and musicianship of the band with the current line-up of Diprima, guitarist Simone Campione, bassist Dario D’alessandro, Giuseppe Carrubba on keys, and newest member vocalist Alessio Taormina, continuing their renowned and now expected strength.

Released through Scarlet Records, ShiHuangDi opens with the stunning atmospheric instrumental Zhoongguo, a piece of music which wraps slowly around the senses and thoughts, its brewing soundscape a dramatic and enveloping emergence of vast emotions and ever expanding depths. If someone is still not ready to be taken on the epic journey of wonderfully realised old worlds after this track then nothing could draw them in, such its irresistible power and inciteful aural imagery.

The following Seven Reigns takes over to immediate addictive effect, its artillery driven riffs and warm weaves of keys the awakening to further attentive appetites. With orchestral surges to ignite the senses further as well as sky blistering vocals of the highest quality from Taormina and the combined operatic/symphonic harmonies alongside, the track rampages through the ear with precise power and giving thought. The guitar of Campione is masterful and that is underplaying his presence, whilst the rhythm of the song is a riotous ribcage to the song without ever over powering the invention within.

The mouth watering quality continues with more onslaughts of feisty beauty within Harbringer Of A New Dawn and the excellent Siblings of Tian. Both bruise with sheer muscle brought alongside care and welcoming heated arms of sonic mastery. The vocals soar higher across the skies of the songs with a blistering breath to match the burning solos with the keys bringing a melodic salve to the welcome smouldering left in their immense wake. The second of the pair also offers a wonderful jazz/folk whispering throughout its field of expressive sounds which only deepens the pleasure.

It has to be said on the surface some songs have a similar presence which only delving deeper puts in actual context, but if power metal is a genre which lights the passions it is not an issue as instantly one cuts deeper into a song anyway. Songs like Under The Same Sky with its triumphant rhythms and stunning opening female vocal flames, the emotive and stirring Farewell with again exceptional opening sky lighting female voices, and the magnetic Ephemeral with its charged riffing, all leave lasting satisfaction upon thoughts and emotions.

The first half of the album probably has the edge to be honest with its more unexpected elements and melodic ferocity, but overall with further songs like End Of The Days featuring Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire, Vision Divine, Kamelot) to leave only breathless pleasure, ShiHuangDi is an album which will excite all power/classic metal fans. Thy Majestie have returned to again stand to the fore of epic melodic metal.

RingMaster 24/09/2012

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Hollow Haze: Poison In Black

Italian symphonic power metalers Hollow Haze is a band which has felt on the verge of big things across their previous albums but now with the release of Poison In Black it is hard to see anything other than the quintet crossing into a worldwide recognition. The album is a massive and powerful creation of stirring melodic enterprise and acutely shaped muscular intensity, that union a heated and flowing source of enveloping atmospheres and blistering sonic invention.

Hollow Haze has tapped into an impressive well of imaginative craft and mature songwriting with Poison In Black so that putting preferences aside even if the genre they frequent does not light up as much eagerness as others for many like us it is impossible not to be captivated at times by the skill and mastery on show from the band. Released via Bakerteam Records, the collection of twelve vibrant and generally rampaging tracks just win over the ear from their relentless persistence and fine artistry, and though probably not destined to be a regular partner in crime for the ear, any time spent alongside its energised heart is rewarding at the very least.

The excellent atmospheric intro Rise Above starts things off. As it plays you just feel and hear the shadows and clouds in its skies brewing, drawing together to create an epic backdrop for what is to come. This kind of start is a regular choice on albums of big metallic grandeur but it is hard to recall many as effective as by Hollow Haze here.

The following Tears Of Pain rushes through the ear with a keen and sharp intent to light up every corner of the senses with incendiary melodic play from the keys of Simon Giorgini and subsequently the guitar play of Nick Savio, though he is already rifling the senses through driven riffs which only fire up the passions. Because of personal tastes the vocal style of Ramon Sonato leave less inspired reactions though he is obviously a fine vocalist with an excellent range to leave many others in his wake.

The more reserved Never Turn Back allows a breath to be taken before the outstanding Haunting the Sinner unleashes its heavy metal heart. With mighty riffs which like accurate artillery crumble all defences before them, the song ebbs and flows with fiery melodic strokes and harsh combative intent, the track never less than challenging and inciteful h. The drums of Dave Cestaro  cage the senses skilfully to barrack them throughout whilst bassist Camillo Colleluori  prowls like a watching beast, his shadowed growls unfortunately held back by the production somewhat but there ready to take a bite.

As Poison In Black makes its way through the vast soundscapes of songs, the likes of Hit in Time which is simply an easily digestible and classy slab of rock n roll, the progressively coated Pray For You, and the immense Remorse leave nothing less than captivation behind their powerful presence. Each varied yet safely within the overall power metal brief of the band.

Taking top honours on the album is Voodoo Rites a song which is an almost seamless continuation of Remorse initially but evolves into a venom dripping and intrusive joy. It has sturdiness arguably absent elsewhere with the darker side of the band reaping its chance to explore and gnaw on the ear; even the vocal diversity encapsulates the shows at times to shuffle things up for great satisfaction.

Closing with a strong cover of the Black Sabbath track Headless Cross, easily Poison In Black is an album to light up the hearts of any power and symphonic metal fans, its accomplished skill and craft enthralling if not innovative. Even for us less enamoured with the genre Hollow Haze give more than a few pleasing moments to make them worth an investigation.

Ringmaster 24/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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