In the summer of 2020, thrash/rap metal/crossover legends made their long overdue return with the ‘Violition’ EP. The band’s first new studio release since 1992, at least two of it’s songs were “classic” Mordred, heavy on the riffs, but even bigger on the grooves.
Vocalist Herbie Langhans is one of those people who keeps himself more than busy. He spent most of the 90s and 00’s as frontman with power metal band Seventh Avenue, but after that band’s split, he found work as vocalist with a succession of other acts, eventually landing the job as frontman with melodic metallers Firewind. His performances on their self-titled 2020 release more than showed him to be a good fit for the band. With Sonic Haven – his new project for 2021 – he approaches a selection of power metal tunes, a whole world of trad 80s metal and, in one case, something that sounds like an overspill from his melodic rock band Radiant, to create the kind of debut that often feels like a culmination of all of the music he’s helped create so far. In trad metal terms, the best tunes certainly wouldn’t feel too out of place on one of Saxon’s later albums, but with a much bigger sound and a strong power metal undercurrent, ‘Vagabond’ isn’t just an easy trad metal rehash – there are times it feels larger than life.
Singer songwriter Chessi O’Dowd has teamed up with Jack Blackman to record a new cover of the Joan Osborne track ‘Pensacola’. O’Dowd, a young performer from Warwickshire, cites Osborne’s 1995 album ‘Relish’ as an important influence, and by teaming up with Blackman – a performer who can count the legendary ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris among his fans – she hopes to bring one of the album’s best tracks to a new audience.
As part of the ongoing promotion for the 2021 EP, US stoner metal band Sea of Snakes have shared a new video clip for ‘Ride The Line’. Although the clip is merely made up from various bits of stock footage, it’s still an effective promotional tool in that it has the potential to attract people who might not typically care for reviews.
There has never been a more exciting – or expensive – time to be a Neil Young fan. The global pandemic has given Young plenty of time for reflection and for going through the archives. The past year has seen release of his ‘Homegrown’ solo album from 1974, a ‘Greendale’ live set, a CD and DVD of an early show (‘Young Shakespeare’), some classic live material with Crazy Horse (‘Way Down In The Rust Bucket’ and the appearance of his long-awaited ‘Archives II’ ten CD set.