Tag Archives: Radio Broadcasts

New Releases – 2nd December 2016

Well, this won’t take long. It’s pretty slim pickings today but there are a still a couple of releases worth getting into a big flap about.

Various Artists – Speed Kills VII

Not content with coming back from the dead, the re-animated Music for Nations label has also decided to resurrect the classic compilation series Speed Kills with this long-overdue seventh instalment. The devils! This is going to be an absolute rager. The highlights for me are the first official releases of new songs from The King is Blind, Akercocke and Voices. Fucking YES. And then there’s a track from the very promising Formicarius, a recent Acid Reign track… and if the other stuff here is considered equal in quality to that lot then this is sure to be totally essential. Liner notes from Malcolm Dome too! What’s not to like about all of this?

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Trivium – Ember To Inferno: Ab Initio

Was never a massive fan of Matt Heafy and co. but, as the shouty verse/catchy chorus genre goes, they’ve definitely had their moments. Here’s a new reissue of their now hard-to-find debut album Embers to Inferno, which I’ve never heard. There are vanilla versions on CD and vinyl but the smart money should go on the deluxe versions (also on CD and vinyl and sub-titled Ab Initio) which will come with 13 pre-album demo tracks. I’ve not followed Trivium’s recent career since 2008’s Shogun but this look at their early days is intriguing.

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KISS – Buenos Aires 1994: The Argentinian Broadcast

There’s quite a few of these radio broadcast CDs out today. Unofficial releases featuring the usual suspects like Rush, Cheap Trick and this one from KISS: a 2CD set of an excellent Revenge-era show. The band headlining a Monsters of Rock festival and pulling out a crowd-pleasing 70s-heavy set. Great sound quality and some absolutely storming renditions of tracks like I Stole Your Love and Parasite. Bootleg-hunters will have this already but I’m late to that game so I’m quite happy to get this on CD.

And that’s us! Not a great deal happening but the Speed Kills VII and Trivium reissue are both strong releases. And there’s the new Stones album but, if that’s your thing, you don’t need me to tell you about it.

As always, let me know what I’ve missed (there must have been something this week, surely?) and happy hunting!

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New Releases – 4th November 2016

It’s Christmas! Well not really, but you’d think it was for all the Christmas albums clogging up the new release schedule today. But I’m going to assume that you’re not feeling overly festive yet, so let’s take a gawp at today’s rock and metal highlights instead. Less Santa, more Satan.

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Haw. Listen to me. I’m not over-compensating for ANYTHING!

Vader – The Empire

We had Testament last week and, once more, today’s big metal release is a thrasher. Albeit a growly deathy one. Vader are a Polish institution but I’m honestly not overly familiar with their career. This album was preceded by an EP Iron Times earlier in 2016 and I thought that was good fun with great riffs so I’ll definitely be looking into this. And I noticed there’s a 2CD version of The Empire on the band’s website with the Iron Times disc as a bonus. So that’s a cheap way to get both if you haven’t picked the EP up already.

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It’s life Jim…

Dark Tranquility – Atoma

Another long-running band that I’ve never got into. I have sampled their stuff but I’ve just never heard anything of theirs that floated my boat. A listen to their new track Forward Momentum didn’t change my mind either. Obviously, if you love this band and the Swedish melodeath thing then just ignore grumpy old me. There’s a deluxe edition of this with an extra disc and extra songs so go for that one and get yer money’s worth.

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I’ve been going postively Ga-Ga trying to think of a caption for this. Stumped. Any ideas?

Queen – Queen on Air: The Complete BBC Sessions

Very welcome set of Queen’s Beeb performances. Lots of the good, good early stuff in here which makes this as metal as any other album out this week. Fucking Ogre Battle! There’s a 2CD set and a 3LP set but if you’re a complete saddo there’s also a 6CD set which has another disc of live tracks (including HMO favourite Father to Son) and three CDs of archival interviews. THREE WHOLE CDs! That’s a bit much really but… I’m a complete saddo. I pre-ordered this ages ago.

Ouch! This is sharp... I could hurt someone with this!
Ouch! This is sharp… I could hurt someone with this!

Cirith Ungol – Paradise Lost

An exciting day for Cirith Ungol devotees. The trad metallers’ long-lost fourth album is back: the masters have been found and given a spit and polish by good old Metal Blade. The album has a reputation as being a bit ropey, but we are assured that it deserves a reappraisal. Well, if you fancy giving this some reappraisal…ing then now is the time. Got to be worth having for that Elric cover alone, surely?

Punch the one in the middle Rock!
Just hit the one in the middle, Rock!

Glenn Hughes – Resonate

I used to be all about Glenn Hughes’ solo work but I started to drift away around the time where he started doing Black Country Communion and never really got back on board after that. But now he’s solo again I’m a wee bit curious to hear what he’s up to. I’ve probably got enough Hughes albums to scratch this particular itch but new track Too Long Gone was pretty decent so I’ll give this a few listens on Spotify and see if it… uhh… resonates.

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Fucking magic scales? I asked for one of them gun chairs!!

HammerFall – Built to Last

Unlike their beloved cheese, HammerFall are built to last: ten albums and nearly twenty years under their leather belts. Given that I lean firmly Manowar-d I should probably like HammerFall but it’s all a bit too by-the-numbers for my liking.

Elsewhere, we have the return of poor Bon Jovi with This House is Not for Sale. The band still rudderless without their spiritual leader, Alec John Such. I managed to kick my problematic Jovi addiction a few albums back and I doubt this new album will change that. Bring back Alec! And there’s even more classic rawk from the Graham Bonnet Band with The Book and Motley Crue, who are giving themselves a grand send off with the live DVD/CD The End. Bye bye. And to round things off, the Nuclear War Now! label release Evil Shall Prevail, a plush collection of Black Witchery’s brutal black metal demos and early releases. The press release promises that listeners will find themselves “completely surrounded by the molten sea of the apocalypse.” Ah, so I did manage to fit in something Christmassy after all! I’m off for a Gingerbread muffin then. See you next week.

Reissue News: Virgin Steele, Bad Company, Rainbow and… Death!

Here’s news about some upcoming reissues that have got me all hot and ready.

Epic
Epic

Virgin Steele -House of Atreus Act I and Act II (3CD Digi – Out May 20th 2016)

Yes! “Blood drenched glory and murderous majesty” YES. I just bought 10 CDs of Virgin Steele stuff at Xmas, all from their impressive series of reissues. And here’s another one coming up. The two House of Atreus albums, the Magick Fire Music EP and a whole wedge of the usual bonusy stuff. Equal parts barbaric and romantic. A bit like going on a date with me actually!

Warning: Drum Solos
Warning: Drum Solos

Bad Company – Live 1977 & 1979 (2CD – Out Apr 29th)

My Bad Company fandom has been mainly limited to enjoying their first two albums a lot. In fact, the recent deluxe reissues of those went down very well indeed. Now Swan Song/Rhino have decided to follow those up with a release of two live concert recordings. There have been plenty of latter-day Bad Company live albums but I’m not sure there has been much, if any, live stuff released from their classic days. So I’m pretty up for this. It looks like a great companion set to those deluxes.

Nice hat Rog
Nice hat Rog

Rainbow – Monsters of Rock: Live at Donington 1980 (CD/DVD – Out Apr 22nd)

Been lots of Rainbow live archive stuff out lately and I don’t always go for it. But this one is historically interesting (Graham Bonnet era and the first Donington headline set!) and is also pretty cheap for an album and DVD. Go on, twist my arm then.

Heavy zombie bevvy
Heavy zombie bevvy

Death – Scream Bloody Gore (2CD/3CD/Vinyl – Out May 20th)

At last! Relapse continue their excellent series of Death reissues with the band’s seminal and primitive debut. Can’t wait to get this, it’s been a great series. It comes in various versions with various combos of rehearsal recordings and stuff and if you’re a total Death maniac and/or have way more cash than you’ll ever need… there’s also a Scream Bloody Gore bobblehead. Exactly what you wanted! A BOBBLEHEAD. Edgy stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

This is great isn't it
This is great isn’t it

 

Saxon – BBC in Concert (23rd August 1986 – Review)

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Only a year had passed since Saxon’s 1985 Hammersmith show was broadcast on BBC Radio but Saxon invaded the UK’s airwaves yet again as their headlining slot at 1986’s Reading Festival was recorded for broadcast on the BBC Friday Rock Show. The band were touring to promote the imminent release of the Rock the Nations album  and, while that patchy album found them losing their Midas touch in the studio, on BBC in Concert (23rd August 1986) it sounds like they were losing none of their knack as a live act.

Sadly, the BBC didn’t air the whole set and cherry-picked just 9 songs for broadcast. Much of the broadcast has since been available on Saxon’s BBC Sessions album but this album download (available on Amazon/iTunes etc…) now presents the complete 9 song, 51 min broadcast as it was originally aired. It’s fairly heavy on the classic material and if you didn’t know what year it was from you could be forgiven for thinking this was the band in their NWOBHM pomp. Only two new songs give the game away: an excellent version of Rock the Nations that fits right in with the older material and a performance of Waiting for the Night which… doesn’t. It’s actually a pretty good version of the track but its pop rock breaks the spell cast by glorious versions of metal powerhouses like 747 (Strangers in the Night) and Wheels of Steel. On the bonus side it’s the song here that gets played least often so it’s good to hear and own a live version of it.

A bit of a mixed bag then!
A bit of a mixed bag then!

That one hiccup aside, the rest of the performance is impressive. The band is on winning form and the crowd sound like they’re lapping it all right up. While new bassist Paul Johnson didn’t command the stage like Steve Dawson he acquits himself well musically. Never Surrender and 20,000ft give the classic The Eagle Has Landed live album versions a run for their money and an excellent Strong Arm of the Law climaxes with a wailing Graham Oliver solo (with some Sabs and Hendrix thrown in for good measure). The real highlight, though, is a captivating The Eagle Has Landed which puts its studio counterpart firmly in the shade.

The vintage quality of this performance must have been heartening stuff for fans troubled by the recent studio albums but any hopes for a return to form would soon be dashed. The Rock the Nations album proved disappointing and, frustrated by the way the band was being managed, Nigel Glockler would leave the band at the end of the tour to join GTR. And Saxon’s next, and last, studio album for EMI would be a desparate gamble that would test the patience and loyalty of their fans more than any other yet.

HMO Rating: 3.5 out of 5

[Saxon – Waiting for the Night Live at Reading]

Saxon – BBC In Concert (18th September 1985 – Review)

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“Did you listen to the radio every Friday night?” asked Saxon in their classic track Denim and Leather. If you did back in the 80s you might have heard this excellent live recording of Saxon’s show at the Hammersmith Odeon. Broadcast on Radio 1’s Friday Rock Show, BBC In Concert (18th September 1985) captures a difficult and interesting time in Saxon’s career as they toured to promote their controversial new album Innocence Is No Excuse.

Only a selection of the concert’s songs were broadcast so only four Innocence tracks appear here. Of those, Broken Heroes and Devil Rides Out fare best in the live setting, sitting comfortably alongside the band’s established repertoire. However, the moody Rockin’ Again is badly placed and struggles as the first encore tune. And while the catchy and upbeat Back on the Streets kicks off the broadcast well, its worth is put into question by the absolutely spine-tingling performance of Dallas 1PM that follows it.

On one hand the Innocence era tracks weaken the set but their lesser-heard nature adds to the interest for long-time Saxon fans. The rest of the broadcast is taken up by their radio-friendly classics which, with the possible exception of a tired-sounding Strong Arm of the Law, sound fresh and lively. Some of the performances here are exciting enough to make you feel like you’re hearing these songs for the first time. The versions of Dallas 1PM and Power and the Glory might be the best I’ve heard yet and older material like Wheels of Steel and Princess of the Night serve as strong reminders that this is the same band that recorded The Eagle Has Landed three years previously.

Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson
Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson

But they wouldn’t be for much longer. This would be the band’s last tour with bassist Steve Dawson. Disagreements with the band and management saw him fired before sessions began for their next studio album. It was a risky decision: Steve’s playing, performance and writing had played a crucial role in the band’s career and success.

But the problems behind the scenes are not evident in this live recording. It’s not an essential purchase but Saxon devotees are sure to get a good kick out of this. It’s an exciting and atmospheric time capsule of classic 80s Saxon out to prove their worth at a challenging time in their career. They certainly seem to have won over Hammersmith on 18th September 1985 but, with a key member gone and a couple of spotty studio albums behind them, the challenging times would continue.

This recording is available as part of the EMI Years [1985-1988] box set and also available separately as a download through iTunes, Amazon etc…

HMO Rating: 4 out of 5

[Saxon – Back on the Streets live at Hammermith]

Saxon's Emi Years 1985 - 1988 Box
Saxon’s Emi Years 1985 – 1988 Box