Throughout 2022, Ronnie Romero continued his very prolific streak of releasing new material. The year brought four new albums: another studio recording with the brilliant Sunstorm, an album with The Ferrymen, a solo disc featuring some well chosen cover tunes and, not least of all, a titanic piece of metal reuniting the hard working singer with his band Lords of Black. With just two albums released in 2023, it was a quiet year by Romero’s usual standards, but you still have to ask: at what point does having a ridiculous work ethic start to look like a man on a musical treadmill at the behest of his record company?
When Yngwie Malmsteen left Alcatrazz in 1984, the heavy metal titans found themselves in the position of having to find a new guitarist capable of filling some incredibly huge boots. Just as importantly, if reports are to be believed, they were looking for someone much less likely to punch vocalist Graham Bonnet in the face. A few hopefuls auditioned for the difficult role, one of which was a massively talented young man from Connecticut.
His name was Chris Impellitteri. Graham was rather keen to give Chris the job, but as history has shown, he was outvoted in favour of the now legendary Steve Vai. Impellitteri, in turn, formed his own eponymously named band, and with huge input from vocalist and songwriter Rob Rock, self-released a debut EP in 1987.
Welcome back to the Real Gone Singles Bar, the place where we explore the various individual mp3s that have landed in our inbox over the previous few weeks. This has become a popular feature for the site, and its disregard for genre restraints has ensured that a variety has kept it interesting. This week, we bring you a new track that unites a cult rock hero with a busy power pop figure; some great pop from a Scottish singer songwriter, and some massive metal sounds from Greece. As always, if you discover anything new you’ve enjoyed, come and tell us – we always value your feedback. Submissions for the Singles Bar are coming in by the dozen, but if you have something you think might work for us, don’t be afraid to get in touch.
With their slow and uncompromisingly heavy sound, Slomatics have become one of the best-loved bands from the UK sludge metal scene. They’ve faced stiff competition from the likes of Morag Tong and Conan, but the Slomatics brand has remained the most interesting. They can do heavy, but unlike some of their peers, they can also serve up great, dark atmospheres that sound lighter musically, but convey just as much doom. In short, if you want intense riffs, the Slomatics will rarely let you down.
On their earliest albums, Mexican thrashers Strike Master conveyed a great energy, but their material was often hampered by a thin production sound. In some ways, this made them no different to many of their musical heroes; after all, a lot of the second division thrash albums released in the late 80s sounded pretty cheap, and it was often the bands’ energies in the live field that secured them a fan base. By the time Strike Master released their self titled album in 2017, there was obviously an increased budget, as well as a bigger bass sound driving their material, but there was still a nagging feeling that this talented trio were capable of producing something even better.