Sunday, 13 May 2018

Movie Review: JUSTICE LEAGUE (2017)

Justice League


Since DC have tried to create a movie universe to compete with the phenomenally successful Marvel one, they've had disappointment after disappointment. Since the painfully boring Man of Steel, I think the only movie they have made which I've really enjoyed was Wonder Woman. 2016's Batman v Superman should have been a monstrous triumph, with DC's two biggest characters in a film together for the first time, but it sucked harder than one of Harvey Weinstein's house guests. Speaking of which, Ben Affleck's association with that grubby cretin has seen his popularity plummet, and this has no doubt put his future as Batman into question. It arguably had an impact on this movie when it hit cinemas late last year too.

Aside from the beacon of hope that is Wonder Woman, I'm sure the big bosses at DC were in panic mode when putting this movie together. I can imagine them discussing how to make a character as lame as Aquaman, with his bleach blonde hair and skin-tight green leggings, appeal to the general public. I bet one of them said "Fuck it. Let's just make him Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones! Everyone loves Khal Drogo. We'll even keep the tattoos!"

Ironically, the DC TV series have been really good. Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl etc have all been very enjoyable, and far superior to the movies. For this reason, I'm glad they didn't copy Marvel and try to merge the universes, and I was OK with them re-casting The Flash. As long as they leave the TV show the fuck alone, I'm good.

All of the above, along with stories of large re-shoots, all contributed to me giving Justice League a miss when it came out at the cinema. Now it's out on Blu-Ray, I thought it was time to take the plunge and give it a chance.

(Spoilers ahead)

I'll cut to the chase. I actually quite enjoyed Justice League. It's more light-hearted in tone than the previous DC Universe movies and there's plenty of humour mixed in with the over the top action. The powers that be clearly learnt from The Avengers movies and adapted accordingly. Maybe a little too much! The story involves a heavily CGI'd bad-guy called Steppenwolf, who is an almost unstoppable conqueror, being released from something or other and is now going to bring about the end of days. No, it's not the storyline of Thor: Ragnarok. It's completely different. Honest! Before he can annihilate mankind, he has to find the three 'Mother Boxes' which are super-powerful cubes and are nothing like the Tesseract in the Marvel movies! Anyway, Batman puts a team together to fight Steppenwolf and his crew, and he also uses the power of one of these boxes to bring Superman back to life. This in itself should be a major spoiler. However, the geniuses at Warner put Superman on most of the DVD/Blu-Ray covers and posters so it wasn't exactly a surprise.

Justice League was good fun and certainly a step in the right direction for DC, but I felt that I'd already seen it before. There are so many better story avenues they could have gone down, instead of the one they chose, that I felt a little short-changed. The actors all did the characters 'justice', and the special effects were excellent. They could have done with a more charismatic and interesting villain though.

I believe that Justice League performed well enough at the box office, so I'm sure a sequel and more related movies will see the light of day over the next few years. It'll certainly be interesting to see where they go next.


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Friday, 11 May 2018

Album Review: BULLET - Dust To Gold

Bullet - Dust To Gold


01. Speed and Attack
02. Ain't Enough
03. Rogue Soldier
04. Fuel the Fire
05. One More Round
06. Highway Love
07. Wildfire
08. Screams in the Night
09. Forever Rise
10. The Prophecy
11. Hollow Grounds
12. Dust to Gold

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Thursday, 10 May 2018

Album Review: THIRTY SECONDS TO MARS - America

Thirty Seconds To Mars - America

01. Walk On Water
02. Dangerous Night
03. Rescue Me
04. One Track Mind (feat. A$AP Rocky)
05. Monolith
06. Love Is Madness (feat. Halsey)
07. Great Wide Open
08. Hail To The Victor
09. Dawn Will Rise
10. Remedy
11. Live Like A Dream
12. Rider

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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Album Review: ANDREW W.K. - You're Not Alone

Andrew W.K. - You're Not Alone

01. The Power Of Partying
02. Music Is Worth Living For
03. Ever Again
04. I Don't Know Anything
05. The Feeling Of Being Alive
06. Party Mindset
07. The Party Never Dies
08. Give Up On You
09. Keep On Going
10. In Your Darkest Moments
11. The Devil's On Your Side
12. Break The Curse
13. Total Freedom
14. Beyond Oblivion
15. Confusion And Clarity
16. You're Not Alone

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Saturday, 21 April 2018

Movie Review: DAYS OF DARKNESS (2007)

Days of Darkness 2007

Low budget Horror movies usually come in one of two categories. Entertaining genius or unwatchable dogshit. Days of Darkness is an anomaly in that respect as it has enough entertaining qualities to avoid being considered as the latter. I was given this to watch by a work colleague, but it turned out that it was a joke, as it was considered to be dreadful, and its proud owner was on a mission to see how many people he could actually get to watch it. Since handing it back, I've told its next victim that it's actually really good, and when you get stuck in, it's on a par with The Walking Dead. Naturally, I was as full of shit as the DVD case, and this movie is continuing to do the rounds.

(Spoilers ahead)

Days of Darkness is a low budget American zombie movie which starts with a young couple camping in the Californian hills. The following day, they're driving down the mountain and have to stop the car, as someone who appears undead is in the middle of the road. A struggle breaks out and the guy is bitten before getting back in the car, They're saved by a stranger who despatches the zombie and leads them off to a secure compound. They're introduced to a number of other characters who have gathered there for safety from the hordes of the undead, which have seemingly sprung out of nowhere. These characters include a car salesman called Slasher, a religious nutcase, and an ex-porn star whose only purpose in the film is to make crude one liners including "You're worse than some of the animals I've fucked", and some comment about fucking a horse. Ironically, it's the ex-porn star's daughter who is the only character to get her tits out in the film. Normally, low-budget Horror's are full of gratuitous sex scenes, but Days of Darkness avoids going down that avenue, and instead provides us with an array of mutilated and alien genitals instead. Er... thanks for that!

It transpires that the zombies are created by people breathing in spores that have arrived on Earth via a recent comet. These spores combine with human DNA, sucking the life out of the host and making them into flesh craving zombies. The male zombies' dicks and balls drop off and are replaced by weird alien sacks containing a foetus. Non-zombie female virgins also get mysteriously pregnant due to the spores and are host to things that look like giant cockroaches covered in spaghetti.

Days of Darkness does suffer from its low budget. The zombies all look shit for a start. Most of them look like the director's mates he's picked up from the nearest pub and has given them a bit of fake blood around their mouths. The film lacks gore too. We have some pretty grim scenes showing a missing cock and balls, but there isn't the splatter-gore one would expect from a film like this.

It does have some redeeming features though. Some of the dialogue is quite funny, which is an absolute must for a film like this. Some of the special effects, especially with the aliens, are actually pretty good. Some of the acting is to a professional standard too. I also like how they've tried to add a different spin to a zombie movie with the alien stuff, as opposed to going for the generic approach as seen in countless movies.

Most importantly of all, Days of Darkness makes for an entertaining watch. It's not the best low-budget Horror film in the world, but to be fair to it, it's far from the worst. The end scene with the couple realising that the alien hates alcohol, and them staggering around drunk shooting zombies with shotguns, sums the movie up nicely. Remember kids, guns and booze fix everything!

If you're easily pleased, and enjoy the occasional dodgy Horror movie, this one is worth watching. Well, once anyway.


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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Gig Review: GIRLS ROCK! At Eleven, Stoke-on-Trent (UK) 14/04/2018



Today was the first Girls Rock! festival, which featured a line-up consisting of some of the finest female-fronted Rock bands in the UK. The show was in aid of Refuge, the domestic violence charity, and it was put together by Carl from FireRock. With a line-up as strong as this, the event being close to home, and a few of the bands being friends of mine, there was absolutely no way I was going to miss this. It was my first time at Eleven too, and it's a fantastic venue with a decent sized stage, loads of lights, and most importantly, a great sound. Having seen a few of these bands in tiny pubs in the past, it was really nice to see them in a superb venue like Eleven where they can really shine.

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Saturday, 14 April 2018

Album Review: LIGHT THE TORCH - Revival

Light The Torch - Revival

01. Die Alone
02. The God I Deserve
03. Calm Before The Storm
04. Raise The Dead
05. The Safety Of Disbelief
06. Virus
07. The Great Divide
08. The Bitter End
09. Lost In The Fire
10. The Sound Of Violence
11. Pull My Heart Out
12. Judas Convention

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Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Album Review: MEGARA - Aquí Todos Estamos Locos

Megara - Aquí Todos Estamos Locos

01. Más Que Una Leyenda (More Than A Legend)
02. Enredados (Tangled)
03. Bienvenido Al Desastre (Welcome To The Disaster)
04. Almas (Souls)
05. Arrástrame Al Infierno (Drag Me To Hell)
06. El Hombre De Arena (The Sandman)
07. Involución (Involution)
08. Cuenta Atrás (Countdown)
09. Esclava Del Aire (Air Slave)
10. Billie Jean [Michael Jackson cover]

I've been following Megara since I saw them play live in Barcelona in 2016 (see the review here). After playing their fantastic debut album Siete many times (click here to read the review), I've been looking forward to hearing what they would do for their follow-up.

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Monday, 9 April 2018

TV Series Review: MARVEL'S JESSICA JONES (Season 2)

Jessica Jones Season 2

After an amazing first season, and her appearance in the slighly underwhelming Marvel TV team-up The Defenders, Jessica Jones is back with this second season released on International Women's Day via Netflix.
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Sunday, 8 April 2018

Album Review: GOST - Possessor

GosT - Possessor

01. Possessor
02. Garruth
03. The Prowler
04. Sigil
05. Loudas Deceit
06. Beliar
07. Legion
08. 16 A.M.
09. Shiloh's Lament
10. Malum
11. Commandment
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Sunday, 1 April 2018

Album Review: W.E.T. - Earthrage

W.E.T. - Earthrage

01. Watch The Fire
02. Burn
03. Kings On Thunder Road
04. Elegantly Wasted
05. Urgent
06. Dangerous
07. Calling Out Your Name
08. Heart Is On The Line
09. I Don't Wanna Play That Game
10. The Burning Pain Of Love
11. The Never-Ending Retraceable Dream
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Saturday, 31 March 2018

Movie Review: BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT (2018)

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight

Sometimes being a little out of touch with the DC Universe is a good thing, as I had no idea that this movie was being made until I saw it in a shop the other day. I have the one-shot graphic novel of Gotham by Gaslight which came out in 1989. It was the first in the Elseworlds series which took well known characters such as Batman and Superman, and put them in alternative settings, with a different backstory. It'd been a long time since I'd read it, but I remember really enjoying it, so I was quite excited to see Gotham by Gaslight retold as an animation.

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Thursday, 29 March 2018

Album Review: MONSTER MAGNET - Mindfucker

Monster Magnet - Mindfucker

01. Rocket Freak
02. Soul
03. Mindfucker
04. I'm God
05. Drowning
06. Ejection (Hawkwind cover)
07. Want Some
08. Brainwashed
09. All Day Midnight
10. When The Hammer Comes Down

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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Gig Review: SUMO CYCO + SKARLETT RIOT at the Asylum 2, Birmingham (UK) 24/03/2018

Sumo Cyco 2018 UK Tour Poster


After their awesome show at Rebellion in Manchester last year (see my review here), I was really excited to see Sumo Cyco again. Last year, I'd only heard a couple of singles from their new album Opus Mar (I picked up a CD at the gig - read my review here), so it was cool to get the opportunity to see them live again, now I'm familiar with both of their records.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Album Review: MORS SUBITA - Into The Pitch Black

Mors Subita - Into The Pitch Black

01. Path To The Abyss
02. As Humanity Weeps
03. Dead Sun
04. Defeat
05. Into The Pitch Black
06. Alas
07. I, God
08. Vultures
09. Fear Is Just The Beginning
10. Shadows
11. The Void

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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Album Review: STONE TEMPLE PILOTS - Stone Temple Pilots (2018)

Stone Temple Pilots (2018)

01. Middle of Nowhere
02. Guilty
03. Meadow
04. Just a Little Lie
05. Six Eight
06. Thought She'd Be Mine
07. Roll Me Under
08. Never Enough
09. The Art of Letting Go
10. Finest Hour
11. Good Shoes
12. Reds & Blues 

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Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Album Review: MYLES KENNEDY - Year Of The Tiger

Myles Kennedy - Year Of The Tiger


01. Year Of The Tiger
02. The Great Beyond
03. Blind Faith
04. Devil On The Wall
05. Ghost of Shangri La
06. Turning Stones
07. Haunted By Design
08. Mother
09. Nothing But A Name
10. Love Can Only Heal
11. Songbird
12. One Fine Day

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Monday, 19 March 2018

Album Review: BLACK MOTH - Anatomical Venus


01. Istra
02. Moonbow
03. Sisters Of The Stone
04. Buried Hoards
05. Severed Grace
06. A Lovers Hate
07. Screen Queen
08. Tourmaline
09. A Thousand Arrows
10. Pig Man

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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Album Review: MICHAEL SCHENKER FEST - Resurrection

Michael Schenker Fest - Resurrection

01. Heart and Soul (feat. Robin McAuley & Kirk Hammett)
02. Warrior (feat. Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley & Doogie White)
03. Take Me To The Church (feat. Doogie White)
04. Night Moods (feat. Graham Bonnet)
05. The Girl With The Stars in Her Eyes (feat. Doogie White)
06. Everest (feat. Graham Bonnet)
07. Messin’ Around (feat. Graham Bonnet)
08. Time Knows When It’s Time (feat. Robin McAuley)
09. Anchors (feat. Doogie White)
10. Salvation
11. Livin’ a Life Worth Livin’ (feat. Gary Barden)
12. The Last Supper (feat. Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley & Doogie White)

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Saturday, 17 March 2018

Album Review: MGT - Gemini Nyte

MGT - Gemini Nyte


01. All The Broken Things
02. Every Little Dream
03. Dystopia (Feat. Burton C. Bell)
04. Trading Faces
05. Everything Undone
06. The Reaping (Reprise)
07. Say Hello Wave Goodbye (Soft Cell cover)
08. The Assembly Line
09. Armageddon's Sideshow
10. Tear The Sun
11. Waiting For A Sign
12. Hide Your Secret
13. Atlanta (Stone Temple Pilots cover)

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Friday, 16 March 2018

Album Review: JUDAS PRIEST - Firepower

Judas Priest - Firepower


01. Firepower
02. Lightning Strike
03. Evil Never Dies
04. Never The Heroes
05. Necromancer
06. Children of the Sun
07. Guardians
08. Rising From Ruins
09. Flame Thrower
10. Spectre
11. Traitors Gate
12. No Surrender
13. Lone Wolf
14. Sea Of Red

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Thursday, 15 March 2018

Album Review: MINISTRY - Amerikkkant

Ministry - AmeriKKKant

01. I Know Words
02. Twilight Zone
03. Victims of a Clown
04. TV5/4Chan
05. We're Tired of It
06. Wargasm
07. Antifa
08. Game Over
09. AmeriKKKa
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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

EP Review: SUICIDAL TENDENCIES - Get Your Fight On

Suicidal Tendencies - Get Your Fight On

01. Nothing To Lose
02. Get United
03. iAuthority
04. Ain't Mess'n Around
05. S.E.D
06. I Got A Right (Stooges cover)
07. Get Your Right On!
08. Get Your Bass On!
09. Get Your Shred On!
10. Get Your Fight On!
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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Album Review: TURBONEGRO - RockNRoll Machine

Turbonegro - RockNRoll Machine


01. Chrome Ozone Creation (The Rock And Roll Machine Suite Part I)
02. Part II: Well Hello
03. Part III: RockNRoll Machine
04. Hurry Up & Die
05. Fist City
06. Skinhead Rock & Roll
07. Hot For Nietzsche
08. On the Rag
09. Let the Punishment Fit the Behind
10. John Carpenter Powder Ballad
11. Special Education

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Hot Sauce Review: CJ WILDHEART'S DEVILSPIT: MOJO! / ORIGINAL / EXTREME

I thought I'd step out of my comfort zone of music, movies and gigs, and write about something a little different.
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Monday, 5 March 2018

EP Review: ALICE COOPER - The Sound Of A

Alice Cooper - The Sound Of A

01. The Sound of A
02. The Black Widow (Live In Columbus)
03. Public Animal #9 (Live In Columbus)
04. Is It My Body (Live In Columbus)
05. Cold Ethyl (Live In Columbus)

The Sound of A is taken from Alice's Paranormal album which came out last year (see my review here). Apparently, it was the first song Alice ever wrote, and dates back to 1967. It certainly has a trippy Pink Floyd vibe, and the modern production gives it a subtle contemporary vibe. It's a great track and one of the highlights from Paranormal.

This release features four previously unreleased live tracks. Alice has stated many times that he believes his live band to be the best in the world. I agree in the respect that they're all top-notch musicians and the best talent available. If there was anyone out there better, Alice would hire them too. Naturally, the live songs all sound amazing. However, there's so much Alice Cooper live material available that this release is far from essential if you already have a couple of his live albums. However, if you're a superfan, a completest, or new to Alice, The Sound of A should be on your shopping list.

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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Album Review: FU MANCHU - Clone Of The Universe


01. Intelligent Worship
02. (I've Been) Hexed
03. Don't Panic
04. Slower Than Light
05. Nowhere Left To Hide
06. Clone Of The Universe
07. Il Mostro Atomico (featuring Alex Lifeson)

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Thursday, 1 March 2018

Album Review: LOUDNESS - Rise To Glory

Loudness - Rise To Glory


01. 8118 (instrumental)
02. Soul on Fire
03. I'm Still Alive
04. Go for Broke
05. Until I See the Light
06. The Voice
07. Massive Tornado
08. Kama Sutra (instrumental)
09. Rise to Glory
10. Why and For Whom
11. No Limits
12. Rain
13. Let's All Rock (Bonus Track)
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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Movie Review: HAPPY DEATH DAY (2017)

Happy Death Day
I have a soft spot for American teen slasher movies. I love the witty and juvenile dialogue, the actors playing teenagers who are blatantly around 30, and most of all, the death scenes that usually involve thoroughly unpleasant, yet relatable characters getting despatched in various savage ways. When my attention was drawn to the trailer, I knew I'd enjoy Happy Death Day.

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Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Album Review: POP EVIL – Pop Evil

Pop Evil - Pop Evil

01. Waking Lions
02. Colors Bleed
03. Ex Machina
04. Art Of War
05. Be Legendary
06. Nothing But Thieves
07. A Crime To Remember
08. God's Dam
09. When We Were Young
10. Birds Of Prey
11. Rewind

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Monday, 19 February 2018

Movie Review: HELLRAISER: JUDGMENT (2018)

Hellraiser Judgment

If you read my review of the previous Hellraiser movie, Revelations (if not, click here), you'll know that my opinions of every movie after the fourth (Bloodline, range from disappointment to outright loathing. However, I've read about the passion and enthusiasm towards the franchise from director Gary J. Tunnicliffe (who was a special make-up effects artist on Hellraiser III), and actor Paul T. Taylor (who plays Pinhead for the first time), and it made me quite excited about this new release. It's common knowledge that Dimension keep making these low-budget Hellraiser films now and again so that they can retain the rights to the movie franchise, but with the right people involved in this film, a little budget can go a long way.

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Sunday, 18 February 2018

Movie Review: JEEPERS CREEPERS 3 (2017)

Jeepers Creepers 3

I loved the first Jeepers Creepers movie when it came out. I love monster movies, and I found this one to be creepy and scary at times, while maintaining plenty of suspense and oozing character. I enjoyed the second one, but not so much. The monster had been revealed at the end of the first film, so a lot of the intrigue had gone, and we were left with a fairly cool, enjoyable horror movie.

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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Movie Review: THE OPEN HOUSE (2018)

The Open House

The Open House is an original Netflix Horror / Thriller movie that came out in January 2018. I saw the trailer and it looked really creepy, so I thought I'd give it a watch.

The movie is about a mother and her son who are struggling financially since the death of her partner. She agrees to move into her sister's house, which happens to be on sale, with the arrangement that they leave the property during the day for potential buyers to come in and view it. Naturally, weird shit starts to happen like things going missing, switching on and off, and the elderly neighbour saying strange things. The son becomes convinced that someone or something is lurking in the house.

Firstly, the cinematography is amazing, and the movie is visually stunning throughout. The actors are excellent, making the viewer feel like they are with them in the situation, bringing the story to life.

(Spoilers from here:)
The Open House keeps you guessing. Initially, I wasn't sure if it was going to be a ghost story, or at least have some supernatural element, or be a home invasion movie like The Strangers. I was drawn towards the former for the majority of the film, especially with the red herrings of seeing someone in the house that the occupants don't notice or even hear at the time. Another way the writers trick the viewer is with the character of the lady who lives next door, who becomes increasingly creepier throughout the film. One minute she's telling everyone that her husband has died, and the next, she says he's at home, alive and well. Towards the end it's revealed that she has dementia, and has nothing to do with what's going on in the property. At one point, I was considering that the house may be going back in time or some huge twist like that, but no. There's no small-town, pagan village conspiracy like in The Wicker Man either, and the shop owner turns out to simply be a shop owner.

So, with all of these possibilities running through my head, and me trying to work out what's going on Sherlock Holmes style, it turns out that it's just some creepy, murderous dude who is hiding in the property. The final scene shows him arriving at another open house, suggesting that he targets open houses. He obviously enjoys making his life difficult!

I really enjoyed The Open House for the most part, but the ending didn't provide the pay-offs I was hoping for, and I felt a little short-changed. Oh, is that it? He just kills them, which he could have done ages ago, then fucks off? Seriously.

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Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Album Review: PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS - The Age Of Absurdity

PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS - The Age Of Absurdity

01. Ringleader
02. Freak Show
03. Skin and Bones
04. Gypsy Kiss
05. Welcome to Hell
06. Dark Days
07. Dropping the Needle
08. Step into the Fire
09. Get on your Knees
10. High Rule
11. Into The Dark
12. Silver Machine (Hawkwind cover) [Bonus track]

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Monday, 12 February 2018

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Gig Review: WHILE SHE SLEEPS + COUNTERFEIT + BLOOD YOUTH at The O2 Ritz, Manchester (UK) 10/02/2018

While She Sleeps at The Ritz 2018

First up were Blood Youth. I'd checked them out on YouTube before the gig, and they're a pretty decent Hardcore band. To my ears, they sound like a mix of Sick Of It All and Cancer Bats, but with the occassional melodic vocal thrown in. I was pleased to see them in a live setting in front of a decent crowd, as the band was clearly in their element. They put on a great show, which was full of the energy you'd expect from a band like this, and seemed to go down really well with the crowd.

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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Album Review: SAXON - Thunderbolt

Saxon - Thunderbolt


01. Olympus Rising
02. Thunderbolt
03. The Secret of Flight
04. Nosferatu (The Vampire's Waltz)
05. They Played Rock and Roll
06. Predator
07. Sons of Odin
08. Sniper
09. A Wizard's Tale
10. Speed Merchants
11. Roadies' Song
12. Nosferatu (Raw Version)

Thunderbolt is Saxon's 22nd studio album. Wow! I've been following them since I was a teenager, have most of their studio albums, and have seen them play live many times. Whilst their albums are all fairly consistent, some have been better than others, and I'm pleased to say that Thunderbolt is a really good one.

After the intro Olympus Rising, opener Thunderbolt is a strong metal song and easily identifiable as Saxon. My only issue was that it sounds a little 'by numbers'. I wouldn't expect Saxon to deviate from their classic, traditional Heavy Metal sound, but I was hoping that the first single would be something really killer, as opposed to being just another really good Saxon song. Fortunately, I was worrying about nothing, as the next track The Secret of Flight is a magnificent slice of Heavy Metal, and got me genuinely excited about hearing the rest of the album.

This jump upwards in song writing quality is matched again by the mid-paced, operatic, epic Nosferatu (The Vampire's Waltz), and is then matched by the uptempo rocker, a nice tribute to Motorhead, They Played Rock and Roll.

Predator is a dark grooving beast, where Biff Byford's regular vocal style is complimented by some Extreme Metal growls. It's not what I'd have expected to hear on a Saxon record but works really well, and these subtle changes in style keep the album sounding fresh and interesting.

Thunderbolt is packed with great songs. Other highlights include the fast-paced Sniper and the fun Hard Rocker Roadie's Song.

After all these years, Saxon are still one of the best Heavy Metal bands in the world, and Thunderbolt is one of their strongest albums in years. I'd go as far as to say that it's their best since their 1997 masterpiece Unleash The Beast.

Producer Andy Sneap is key to that amazing 'classic yet contemporary' sound that makes Saxon still sound so relevant and vital. Biff Byford's voice is in great shape, and he sounds re-vitalised on this album. In fact, the whole band have brought their A-game, and have released something way beyond my expectations.

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