Back in 2013 Magnus Karlsson released an album entitled ‘Free Fall‘, a disc of hard rock collaborations with various guest vocalists that yielded mixed results. Mixed, maybe, but when those collaborations worked, in terms of classic hard rock, they hit the spot.
Benedictum’s third album ‘Dominion’ (released in 2010) presented a huge step forward for the US power metal outfit. Their first release for Frontiers Records afforded the band a bigger budget than their previous and Benedictum seemed to relish this new beginning. While the lyrics left much to be desired, musically it wasn’t a complete loss, including some impressive riffs throughout, bolstered by more than a few chunky drum parts. ‘Dominion’ wasn’t an especially great record, but by comparison, 2013’s ‘Obey’ is a crushing disappointment.
Tony ‘The Cat’ Martin rarely gets any credit for his time in Black Sabbath between 1987-90/1993-97. That’s a pity, since he always did his absolute best with the given material, while tackling a job that – in rock terms – was the epitome of “dead man’s shoes”. Maybe those six studio records would now be better respected if they’d been issued under a different band name? We’ll never really know for sure. In many ways, this fourth release from Italian guitar maestro Aldo Giuntini – the third to feature Martin – is similar to those largely unloved Sabbath records in that many of the tunes come at a stomping mid-pace with a gritty guitar sound – perfect in many ways for Martin’s vocal range. While it’s a record with no real relevance at the time of its release [and certainly a far cry from the “breath of fresh air” promised in the press materials – what were they thinking?], it certainly would be unfair to suggest that ‘IV’ doesn’t have a good stab at providing some old school entertainment.