ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED TESS
WHEN LEGENDS RISE TRACKLISTING
When Legends Rise
Every Part Of Me
Take It To The Edge
Under Your Scars
Just One Time
Say My Name
Let It Out
Eye Of The Storm
Reviewed by Megan Milner
Two decades together and over 20 million albums sold has secured Godsmack as a staple in the heavy music world. The unmistakable vocal style of front man, Sully Erna at the helm, has been a fearless and devoted captain since their inception. Fans have been waiting eagerly for a follow up to 2014s effort 1000hp and although heavy consistency runs strong throughout their catalogue we see Godsmack venture to new waters on their seventh studio album, ‘When Legends Rise’.
Erna explains “I think we want to get away from being lumped into the metal crowd. I think we’re coming a lot more back to our roots now, so on the new record, I think we’re going to try to mix things up and get to a place where we’re not going to hurt the integrity of the band but maybe go in a more rock ‘n’ roll direction.”
The album kicks off in a huge way with the title track and second released single When Legends Rise. If this is any indication of the direction of the album fans will not be able to wipe the grin off their faces! Big choruses forged to be sung in front of live audiences remain a strong staple within this track. An audio excerpt from the movie ‘Tombstone’ creates a perfect build up to some explosive drumming from Shannon Larkin.
Once listeners have only just whipped their heads back from rocking out to the title track, we are thrown into the first single Bulletproof. This was the first song on the album recorded with producer Erik Ron (Panic at the Disco, Motionless in White, Attila). The band were so happy with the way this song turned out they chose to work with Ron for the entire album. There’s no mistaking why they were so happy with the Californian producer, this song is so beautifully put together that it will have you singing by the last chorus. There’s a Director’s Cut video online which shows they still enjoy themselves as a band while not taking anything too seriously.
The big choruses continue through Unforgettable with enough “woah oh’s” to get any crowd chanting at the top of their lungs.
When I first saw the name of the next track, Every Part of Me I was prepared for a ballad. Although I was pleasantly surprised, and happens to be my favourite track of the album. The way Erna twists his voice from grit to clean is what has made him an unmistakable vocalist. We hear a little more from guitarist Tony Rombola, whilst the song could’ve easily got away with a beefier guitar solo we get a taste of the potential.
Godsmack have always had a knack of making music that would be perfect for a football replay, a wrestling intro or any sporting match that involves one hell of a motivating soundtrack. (lets face it, all sports!) This rings true in Take It To the Edge. Enough hard rock attitude to inspire the listener time and time again. Erna’s vocals seem to work in perfect synchronisation with Larkin’s drumming, which is only grown through being band mates for well over a decade.
I may been mistaken previously anticipating a ballad, the time has finally come. Under Your Scars flows effortlessly from the opening verse. The addition of strings and piano complement the track beautifully, especially during the guitar solo which has to be a stand out on the album. These are lyrics we have all heard before, based on love, reaching out for answers to loves questions of feeling needed.
The palate cleanser Someday kicks in and it somewhat removes the previous track from your memory. The album is back on the incline!
The intro to Just One More Time instantly gave me the mental image of Rombolla and bassist Robbie Merrill front and centre counting in the track. The sheer amount of catchy riffs in this album is extremely impressive. As much as I tried to fight it, the chorus reminded me far too much of In This Moment’s Black Wedding featuring Rob Halford. I believe this track is going to be a big contender for the stand out track for a lot of listeners!
Although they agreed they would take on a hard rock edge to this album, Say My Name is extremely evident of their original flare. The guitar work behind the vocals throughout the chorus gives the track a heavier feel than most. As Erna drawls out ‘down, down, down’ you just know the crowd will be up and off their feet!
Coming to the end of the album, it’s only natural to feel as though it will begin to wind down. Let It Out yells right in your face that the Massachusetts boys are not done yet! This track screams out that it will be a potential next single. The hooks within the chorus and bridge capture a damn fine hard rock track.
Eye Of The Storm rounds out the 11 tracks and kicks off strong! The kind of rock track that makes your top lip curl into a snarl and the head cannot deny rocking along. Although by this point I am feeling confused as to which chorus is which, it’s no doubt they have a formula in which they stick to. Larkin, Rombola and Merrill drive this album home as the track fades to thunder.
Godsmack sure as hell know how to write a catchy rock track. Whether you know the band from seminal tracks such as I Stand Alone or Awake, their sound has remained consistent and that alone deserves merit. I feel as though a large portion of this album was made to be played live. We haven’t seen them on our shores since Soundwave Festival 2015 where they were almost blown off the stage by an incoming storm in Sydney! There’s not a doubt in my mind that fans will rush to absorb the new material and whilst the album doesn’t necessarily harness any huge surprises, they should be rest assured they will receive an unmistakable Godsmack album with all the fixings!
‘When Legends Rise’ drops April 27th through Spinefarm Records!
Hot off their sold-out UK and European Tour in support of their latest album “Burn It Down”, The Dead Daisies are announcing a full UK & EU Summer Tour which sees them perform at a mix of festivals, headline dates as well as shows with The Scorpions, Guns n Roses and Joe Satriani. Casper caught up with Deen Castronovo to find out how things are going with the new album BURN IT DOWN.
“BURN IT DOWN” has entered the charts around the world! Led by a #6 in the US Billboard Heatseekers Chart, a #10 in the prestigious German Media Control Charts, #12 in the US Hard Music Charts, #14 in the UK Sales Charts, #15 in both Switzerland and Austria as well as
numerous other chart entries around the world, the album very much delivered on the promise of
“Burning down everything in its path”!
At radio, the single “Rise Up” has been added to massive playlists worldwide. The track is climbing the US-airplay charts (currently #46 at Active Rock), is on huge stations in Germany, Italy, France, Sweden and Spain as well as UK’s prestigious Planet Rock Radio adding both the
single and the teaser track “Resurrected” to their A-Playlist.
Before the band return to Europe in July, they will go back to Japan to play three packed headline shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
The Dead Daisies are: Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio), John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream), Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy), Deen Castronovo (Bad English, Journey) and David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink).
Rock is indeed alive and well!!!
Mahalia Barnes + The Soul Mates are releasing their third album, Hard Expectations, recorded, produced and mixed by fellow Soul Mate, Benjamin Rodgers, this Friday, 13 April 2018 and Casper had a great chat with Mahlia about the process.
Mahalia Barnes + The Soul Mates are releasing their third album, Hard Expectations, recorded, produced and mixed by fellow Soul Mate, Benjamin Rodgers, this Friday, 13 April 2018
Mahalia Barnes has been in and around music her entire life. Throughout her childhood years she was exposed to everything from Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett to Ike + Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder, all of which helped shape her into the powerhouse soul and blues vocalist that has jaws dropping every time she picks up a mic.
Hard Expectations was recorded at Freight Train Studios in Botany and mixed at Apple Street Studios in Berrima and features US guitarist Kirk Fletcher (The Fabulous Thunderbirds) playing on all tracks and blues/rock powerhouse, Joe Bonamassa, taking the guitar solo on Move On.
The title track, Hard Expectations, was written by Cold Chisel’s Don Walker and has already been added to national ABC Local Radio playlists.
The album features 9 original songs written by members of The Soul Mates, as well as the title track, Hard Expectations, and covers of Curtis Mayfield’s Hard Times and The Pointer Sisters’ You Gotta Believe.
Mahalia said today, “I am excited for people to hear this record. I really feel like the album has captured the spirit and energy of The Soul Mates, we experimented a bit more and really let loose in the studio this time, and to have Kirk Fletcher on the record with us was such a privilege. We had a lot of fun. The end result is a journey through love, loss, heartache and happiness. It’s raw and it’s all heart”
In addition to Mahalia on vocals and tambourine and Bonamassa and Fletcher on guitar, the album features The Soul Mates players: Franco Raggatt (guitar), Clayton Doley (organ, piano), Lachlan Doley (clav, organ), Benjamin Rodgers (bass), David Hibbard (drums), and backing vocalists Jade MacRae, Juanita Tippins, Prinnie Stevens and Joy Yates.
Hard Expectations by Mahalia Barnes + The Soul Mates is available for pre-order now on iTunes and is released on Friday, 13 April 2018.
Hard Expectations Tracklisting:
Love is Fleeting
Ain’t Nobody Else
Shake Things Up
Loneliness is Cold
Walk All Over Me
Three Times + I’m Gone
I am More
You Gotta Believe
The American sledgehammer stoner metal giants RED FANG are returning to Australia next month and Casper had a great chat with Bassist Bryan Giles about everything touring!
American sledgehammer stoner metal giants RED FANG are returning to Australia, so hold onto your beard, because things are going to get messy!
RED FANG, in its own nutty fashion, turn distortion rock into an imperious form of Rock Theatre, at times with its tongue rammed as far as its cheek muscles will contain it.
Joining the tour, will be local rockers DRUNK MUMS and you’d be hard pressed to find someone that’s into rock and roll that doesn’t get lost in one of their live shows.
Prepare for a stoner sludge avalanche in all its Rock-n-Roll glory. The RED FANG live show is jagged mother of nitro rock and it’s “akin to a landslide ploughing into bystanders who are more than eager to be swept away by their corpulent arsenal. Ever teetering on the edge of apocalyptic rumble and good-time groove, the mammoth fuzz just keeps on coming “– Metal Hammer
Tickets go on sale Thursday 8 February, 9am local
Thursday 10 May – The Brightside, Brisbane – 18+
Friday 11 May – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle – 18+
Saturday 12 May – Manning Bar, Sydney – 18+
Sunday 13 May – Corner Hotel, Melbourne – 18+
Tuesday 15 May – The Barwon Club, Geelong – 18+
Wednesday 16 May – Fowlers Live, Adelaide – 18+
BATTLE SCARS TRACKLISTING
Into The Fray
Coat Tail Rider
Last Day Alive
Reviewed by Casper of Rohan
With mere days to wait until Rose Carleo and her troupe of hard rockin’ troubadours release their much anticipated EP Battle Scars it is high time we batten down the hatches, bubble wrap the good china, cover the children’s ears and give this beauty a thorough lap or two around the aural track.
The band consist of Mick Adkins on guitars and backing vocals, Steve King on Bass Guitar, the mighty Mick O’Shea giving the kit a thorough pummelling and the voice that brings our rocking rabble into line and the tunes together, our rose clad Les Paul welding mistress of musical mayhem herself, Rose Carleo.
From the opening notes of Into the Fray, a hooky riff within twenty seconds and a screech of ‘c’mon’ from Rose, we are launched into what we are already assured will be a blues infused, rock sensation with a little smack on the ass of country appeal. The first element waving itself high and with all the ‘look at me’ of a topless shoulder surfer at a festival is the live show allure the band have managed to cram into this killer collection. With minimal outside production intervention the band have ‘bottled’ the elusive aural appeal of the in person performance, albeit with the finest sound system I’ve ever witnessed, but you get the idea.
With all band members wearing their aussie rock heritage out, tanned and proud just like…well…a…Faded Tattoo this track smacks me right in the chest. Having just spent a very emotive couple of hours with Angry Anderson and Mark Evans, coupled with my preparations to accompany the lads through a few shows of the Blood Brothers Tour, this dedication to the late greats Pete Wells and Mick Cocks will tug at the heart strings of any aussie rock aficionado, but is a solid performer in its own right. It’s entirely possible I’m biased but I thoroughly enjoy this Rose Tattoo esque number.
Battle Scars and Coat Tail Rider are both written by the entire band with the other offerings being penned by the traditional team of Rose and Mick. The former expands our exploration of the bands tremendous capability, skill and experience with every element and instrument, shining in equal measures. Alright Mick…maybe the killer riff edges ahead a little. Thoroughly rocking but with a slightly softer side to roses delivery. It is brilliantly constructed with the temptation for any element to run off unchecked resisted and a perfect balance is maintained.
But while highlighting band tremendous sound appeal, get your ears around Coat Tail Rider and try to pinpoint where you have heard the elements before. This is no copy of anything else, but its littered with elements of appeal that ranges from what sounds initially like Gary Glitter’s Rock n Roll on ‘roids to a soaring heavy blues classic with more hooks than Geoff himself. And all of this sensational sound on an EP? Damn.
Last Day Alive is fairly self-explanatory but the manner in which it is delivered actually lifts your spirits phenomenally and has you singing along, nodding to the sensational drum beat , swaying to the sensational rhythm and giving the ‘riffage’ all the air guitar you can muster. You’ll be rocking this like it’s your last day alive, but don’t do it at the red light like yours truly, lest ye too be met with inquiries as to your state of mental welfare.
This EP is an absolute cracker, crammed with rock appeal and oozing melodic magnetism, sequenced to perfection because you are looking for another ten tracks trying to will it into an album. Oh well…press play again and keep fingers crossed. Perhaps we will be blessed soon by a full length installment from this fantastic band.
THE DEAN WEEN GROUP
ALL PHOTOS CONTRIBUTED SHANE HENDERSON
SINK THE SHIP deliver an energetic, bold and bright post-hardcore and pop-punk infused blend of metalcore. They release their new album ‘Persevere’ on April 27th through Sharptone records. Casper spoke with vocalist Colton Ulery regarding the process and to get to know SINK THE SHIP!
Just about anyone who has ever encountered adversity can tell you they have their own method of coping. Some people turn to their friends, some people turn to alcohol – or even more potent drugs of abuse – but despite the multitude of choices, almost everyone will tell you that when the going gets tough, they turn to music. Most people have that go-to album that lifts their spirits when they’re at their lowest, and with SINK THE SHIP’s forthcoming release, most people now have another release to bolster their mood. Taking classic, punchy and powerful easycore and infusing it with renewed energy and a penchant for heaviness, SINK THE SHIP’s name might sound like a downer, but their music is an upper more potent than any chemical money can buy.
SINK THE SHIP erupted into the underground heavy music scene with their energetic, bold and bright post-hardcore and pop-punk infused blend of metalcore in 2012 – and since then, they’ve been sailing stronger and stronger with each passing year. Within two years’ time, the band would release their debut effort, Reflections, a riveting – albeit rough around the edges – EP that spoke volumes to the band’s dedication to creating music true to themselves and worth its weight in powerful, emotive passion. In the years since, SINK THE SHIP have played alongside bands from every nook and cranny of the heavy music spectrum, including THE PLOT IN YOU, IWRESTLEDABEARONCE and the United Kingdom’s ARCHITECTS. 2018 sees the band preparing to unveil a masterful blend of melody, metallic aggression and brazen, bold honesty in the form of their debut full-length record in a partnership with SharpTone Records. With tales of adversity, animosity and inspiration aplenty, SINK THE SHIP are a prominent, powerhouse of a band making monstrous waves in the coming year.
Sabrina Benaim is a writer, performance & teaching artist, whose home base is Toronto. She was a member of the Canadian championship-winning 2014 Toronto Poetry Slam team, & in 2015, she represented Toronto at the Women Of The World Poetry Slam. She is currently the coach of the 2016 TPS team. Sabrina loves talking about breaking down stigma, women who help women……Casper got to have an amazing chat with her which you can listen to below.
SABRINA BENAIM is one of the most viewed performance poets of all time whose poem “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” has become a cultural phenomenon with over 70,000,000 views. And for the first ever she will be touring Australia this May!
The debut book for SABRINA BENAIM is titled ‘Depression & Other Magic Tricks’ which explores themes of mental health, love, and family. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of daily life and of living. Sabrina loves talking about breaking down stigma, women who help women and will also accept any invitation to dance…oh and she was recently nominated for Goodreads Best Poetry 2017 Choice Awards.
Sabrina Benaim – “Explaining My Depression to My Mother” – Click below to watch
SABRINA BENAIM are on sale NOW
Friday 11 May – The Brightside, Brisbane – 18+
Saturday 12 May, Oxford Art Factory – Sydney – 18+
Sunday 13 May – Howler, Melbourne – 18+