Shrewsbury’s The Devil In Faust mix up a world of rock-based influences on their debut EP, ‘Come Apart’. Three of the four featured songs centre around a genuine punch, and whether attempting something borne of faster alt-metal elements or tackling something a little meatier, there are some great riffs to be heard. These are riffs that, for the most part, sound a hundred times better with the volume cranked, thanks in no small way to producer Tue Madsen – a man best known for his work with Meshuggah, Sick of it All and Dir En Grey. The end results aren’t perfect, since the actual song writing can be a touch wobbly, but there’s certainly some enjoyment to be had from this uneven musical ride.
Formed in 2010, Helsinki based rockers Damage Limit spent six years plying their trade on the live circuit and released a couple of demo EPs before taking the plunge and entering the studio to record their first professional release. The years of stage toil and sweat shows, too, since ‘Crank’ has an edge that very much sounds like the work of a hard-driving live act. Throughout the seven tracks, the riffs come thick and fast – aided by a reasonable crunch, too – and some of the hooks not only feel like they’ve been honed not just in front of an audience, but created very much with that audience in mind; a more than reasonable translation from stage to disc.
Jim Peterik is a legend. His work on various Survivor albums cements his place in the melodic rock history books, regardless of anything he has written or recorded since the 80s. Tracks like ‘American Heartbeat’, ‘Jackie Don’t Go’, ‘I Can’t Hold Back’ and ‘Poor Man’s Son’ are stone cold classics…and of course, it would take a hard heart not to be amused by the ‘Eye of The Tiger’ video with Survivor attempting to look tough whilst stomping through a warehouse.
Peterik’s post-Survivor projects have, understandably, been less high profile. After all, how can you follow a million selling rock band, radio play and worldwide number one singles?
Despite claiming to draw influences from early Queen, ELO and Genesis, on their 2015 LP ‘Beth Out of Hell‘, The Murder of My Sweet came across as a really overbearing, second rate Nightwish. The album introduced listeners to a concept about a love affair between good and evil; a theatrical narrative made the material harder to digest than it already would have been…and in terms of both good taste and sanity, a children’s choir was the final straw. In short, ‘Beth Out of Hell’ was an egotistical, bloated effort that once heard (and once was enough) had the potential to cause long term mental trauma.
Although marketing themselves as a blues rock band, Ritual King don’t always play much in the way of anything too bluesy on most of their debut EP, ‘Elixir’. Their sound is very much of a late 70s rock persuasion, occasionally injected with a very slight bluesy swagger – a sound that, although fairly solid, too often lacks that special something needed to distinguish them from so many other UK bands at the time of release.