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Check 'Em Before You Wreck 'EmThe Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are the last of a dying breed of Grease Rock Bastard musicians who somehow, despite and in spite of the last 3 decades trying their best to kill off balls out, non-bullshit rock'n'roll music, somehow, against all the fucking odds, still exist, surviving on a steady diet of God sent gigs, hire vans, broken down amps, split drum skins, greasy spoon fry ups, patched up jeans, roll-ups, cheap leather jackets, booze, weed and bathtub speed.
Spare them your sympathy - no-one made the silly bastards do it. They just NEED to!! Right??
Facts to face - the Shovell are named after a 17th century English naval commander; Bill Darlington plays drums, Louis Comfort-Wiggett plays bass and Johnny Gorilla plays guitar and sings, they have been together as a band since 2008.
Their debut 2011 Rise Above 7, Return To Zero'/'Day After Day, sold out instantly and now commands £100 plus a copy; their 2012 debut long-player DON'T HEAR IT FEAR IT received unilateral rave reviews and was described pretty accurately by one scribe as 'the aural equivalent of stumbling into an 18 year-old male's bedsit in 1973 - the kind of greasy hard-rock thrills rarely heard in this climate of blind nostalgia and misjudged authenticity. It's hard 'n' heavy, without the marshmallow; it's old-fashioned yet so NOW that it hurts!''
They've toured and played with the likes of Orange Goblin, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Incredible Hog, Gentlemans Pistols, Graveyard, Gonga and countless more, toured Europe and had chief Groundhog Tony McPhee playing on their first LP!
On their new LP CHECK 'EM BEFORE YOU WRECK 'EM the Shovell somehow carry on the lineage of the truly golden age of British heavy rock whose dog shit stained road was paved by the likes of Budgie, Sabbath, early Motorhead, Quo, Lizzy, The Groundhogs, Stray etc. Chuck in a healthy chunk of U.S. and Aussie proto metallurgists Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust, Bang, The Litter and Buffalo, as well as a healthy Vertigo 'Swirl' of dew picked mushrooms bad trip psych.
The Shovell thinks the world could do with another slice of no-nonsense re-gressive proto-rock 'n'metal - one that you don't need a Degree in doom-rock or a Masters in metal to appreciate - just a love of when music was F U N !!!!
Remember kids - CHECK 'EM BEFORE YOU WRECK 'EM!!!1. Do It Now
2. 2 Tonne F*ckboot
3. Captain Merryweather
4. Running From Home
5. Happiness Begins
6. Shaker Your Head
7. Don't Hear It ... Fear It!
9. The Thicker The Better
10. Late Night Mornings$16.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Garage IncFor many years, Metallica's 1987 EP Garage Days Re-Revisited was the most sought-after item in their catalog; it was constantly bootlegged in the '90s, and often supplemented by a host of covers Metallica had released on singles and compilations throughout the years. By 1998, the band had understandably grown frustrated with this situation and decided to confront the problem head-on by reissuing all these rarities. Savvy businessmen that they are, they also realized they needed to give hardcore fans who already owned all the covers a reason to purchase the new set -- hence, the expansion of the Garage Days EP to the double-disc blowout Garage, Inc. The second disc's rarities are balanced by the first disc's new covers, the bulk of which were recorded following the Reload tour. It shouldn't come as a surprise that these covers recall the blooze 'n' boogie heavy rock of the Loads, but what is a surprise is that Metallica seems to have found their footing in this style through other people's songs. Whether it's Bob Seger, Blue Öyster Cult, Thin Lizzy, Nick Cave, or the all-star jam on Lynyrd Skynyrd's Tuesday's Gone, the band effortlessly makes the songs seem like their own, through a bizarre mix of respect and ballsy irreverence. ... And if raw is what you want, the equally diverse disc two provides all the thrills you could hope for. At one time, it might have seemed a little odd that Metallica would cover Budgie, Diamond Head, the Misfits, and Queen, but if Garage, Inc. proves anything, it's that the group's musical instincts, risks, and sense of humor have made them the greatest metal band of the '80s and '90s.
- Stephen Thomas Erlewine (All Music)LP1
1. Free Speech For The Dumb
2. It's Electric
3. Sabra Cadabra
4. Turn The Page
5. Die, Die My Darling
7. Mercyful Fate
2 Whiskey In The Jar
3 Tuesday's Gone
4 The More I See
6 The Small Hours
7 The Wait
8 Crash Course In Brain Surgery
9 Last Caress/Green Hell
1. Am I Evil?
4. The Prince
5. Stone Cold Crazy
6. So What
7. Killing Time
9. Damage Case
10. Stone Dead Forever
11. Too Late Too Late$49.99Vinyl LP - 3 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Sorceress (Black Vinyl)Pressed On Black Vinyl
There are few bands that can or will match Sweden's Opeth. Since forming in the tiny Stockholm suburb of Bandhagen in 1990, the Swedes have eclipsed convention, defiantly crushed the odds, and, most importantly, crafted 12 stunningly beautiful, become one of the best bands on the planet; on album or on stage. Ask any Opeth fan. Enquire with any band that's shared the proverbial pine with the Swedes. Or, get a label representative to talk Opeth. They'll all tell you the same thing: Opeth are peerless. And they're only getting better.
Opeth's new album, Sorceress, their first for Nuclear Blast via the band's imprint label Moderbolaget Records, is proof chief architect Mikael Åkerfeldt has a near-endless well of greatness inside. From the album's opener "Persephone" to "The Wilde Flowers" and "Strange Brew" to the album's counterpart title tracks "Sorceress" and "Sorceress II", Opeth's twelfth full-length is an unparalleled adventure, where visions cleverly and secretly change, colours mute as if weathered by time, and sounds challenge profoundly. Sorceress is, by definition, moored in Åkerfeldt's impressive record collection-his one true vice-but, as always, there's more invention than appropriation at play.
"This time around I didn't think about what I wanted to do," Åkerfeldt reveals. "I was forced to write. But once I started, it was easy. This record, like the last record, didn't take long to write. Like five or six months. The thoughts behind this record developed as I was writing. The only thing I was thinking about with this record was to write that songs didn't musically connect. I made sure if I had a song that was new sounding for this record, I'd make the next song completely different. I think the songs are very different from one another. It's very diverse."
Certainly, every Opeth record has had diversity. In 1995, Orchid reset the rules of death metal. Six years later, Blackwater Park hit the high note for musicality in a genre generally devoid of it. Damnation, in 2003, was the work of a band determined to upend the norm. Five years after that, Watershed closed Opeth's chapter on death metal by visiting its darkest corners and holding its native brutality aloft. And in 2014, Pale Communion officially bridged the progressive music gap by twisting the intrepid sounds of '60s, '70s, and '80s into contemporary brilliance. So, really, what's so different about Sorceress?
"My music taste got a little wider," grins Åkerfeldt. "I started listening to jazz. I bought a lot of Coltrane records. I never really thought Coltrane would be for me because I like 'dinner jazz.' I like comfortable, soft, nice, and lovely jazz. Like Miles Davis' '50s stuff. Porgy and Bess, for example. I guess Dave Brubeck fits in there, too. So, that's the only new influx of musical inspiration for me. Other than that, I've been buying the same type of records I always have. Prog, symphonic rock, singer/songwriter, metal, hard rock But there wasn't anything that set me off like The Zombies or Scott Walker. Nothing got me going this time."
Actually, that's not entirely true. Åkerfeldt's always mining for progressive gold. Good, rare music is particularly good at getting his motor running. He found double-gold in one-off Italian outfit Il Paese dei Balocchi and Bobak, Jons, Malone's ultra-obscure Motherlight album. To wit, get Åkerfeldt talking about either and he's all too pleased to discuss the finer points of Il Paese dei Balocchi's string-based darkness or how he fan-boyed Malone via email to get the famed British orchestrator and one-time Iron Maiden producer to contribute to Sorceress.
"I absolutely love Il Paese dei Balocchi," Åkerfeldt professes. "They did one album. It's insanely good. It has everything I love about progressive rock in it. This album is so orchestrated and epic. It's got lots of string sections. It's very moody, dark, and sad. It's a mystery they didn't do any more. As for Will Malone, he did the strings and stuff for the Sabbath records-Sabotage and Never Say Die! But now he does strings for pop artists like Joss Stone, The Verve, Depeche Mode. I looked him up, mostly because he was the house engineer for Morgan Studios in the '60s. He was also in a few bands. Like Orange Bicycle and played on the Motherlight album. He also had a solo record, which is also amazing and superbly rare. It's orchestral. The bulk of it is strings. It's kind of like Nick Drake."
Åkerfeldt's quick to point out, however, his newfound progressive music loves didn't directly inspire him to write Sorceress. The majority of the album was penned in Opeth's rehearsal space, where, nestled comfortably in a corner, a computer, a keyboard, and a microphone sit ready for the next Opeth epic. It isn't plush, but it's exactly the type of environment the frontman needs to focus his creative self into song.
"When I'm in a writing mode, I have tunnel vision," says Åkerfeldt. "I have a really good work ethic. I go down to the studio everyday early in the morning and I work. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. It's much easier now, too. I write complete demos. I sequence the songs in the order I want them to be on the record. I do mixing. I do overdubs. Once I'm done, I give copies to the guys so they can listen to the album. They practice to it on their own. When it's time to go into the studio, everybody does their own thing. It obviously works."
For Sorceress, Opeth returned to Rockfield Studios in Wales, where the Swedes had tracked Pale Communion in 2014 with Tom Dalgety. The experience was so positive and historical-the countryside studio was also home to pivotal Budgie, Queen, Rush, Judas Priest, and Mike Oldfield recordings-there really was no other option for Opeth and crew. Rockfield Studios or bust! The studio, with Dalgety yet again in tow, provided the necessary isolation, the right bucolic atmosphere, the best gear, and three square meals a day for Sorceress to come out the other end spitting fire. All in 12 bittersweet days, too.
"There was a time when I came out of our recordings a wreck," Åkerfeldt bemoans. "But now I come out with a wish. I wish it wouldn't have gone so quickly. There's emptiness after I leave the studio. I love writing and recording in the studio. It's lovely at Rockfield. It's in the sticks. It's got horses and cows. There's lots of sheep in Wales. But the studio is just a studio. It's so beautiful there. So quiet. It's a residential studio as well, so we live there while we're recording. We have chefs for us, too. So, we can just be there, playing, recording, and hanging out."
If life is like a Peter Max poster, the lyrics to Sorceress aren't. There's color, but they've been treated, corrupted, and befouled. That is to say, they're much darker. Some of bleak lyrical tones stem from Åkerfeldt's personal life-and are thusly contorted beyond recognition-while others touch grimly on topics like love and what happens to people on the other side of it. In fact, some of the lyrical ideas are similar to what was happening on Blackwater Park.
"I made sure to write good lyrics," Åkerfeldt laughs. "This sounds very old-fashioned black metal to say, but the lyrics are misanthropic. It's not a concept record, so there's no theme running through the record. Most of the record deals with love. The negative aspects of love. The jealously, the bitterness, the paranoia, and the mind games of love. So, it's a love record. Love songs. Love can be like a disease or a spell."
Luckily, for Åkerfeldt and crew-bassist Martín MÉndez, drummer Martin Axenrot, guitarist Fredrik Åkesson, and keyboardist Joakim Svalberg-the lineup doesn't have to deal with Sorceress' main theme. They've been together since Heritage was completed, and according to Åkerfeldt he's not been in a better band situation before. Not since Orchid. Not since Still Life. Not since Ghost Reveries.
"It's the best band situation I've ever had. Fans will look at our eras and have their favorite lineup, but this is the best. Even the happiest days of the first and second lineups aren't comparable to what I have now. We never fight. It's like a good work team. We know each other professionally and personally. As much as we're a band, we're also friends. We hang out when we're not doing Opeth."
A core team is a good thing, when Opeth's credibility is in full view of fans and critics. Åkerfeldt's very aware of what the masses have had to say about Opeth since Watershed. While some disliked the musical shift on Heritage, most have applauded it. They've come to expect something new from Opeth. True to form, Sorceress will give long-time fans and weary critics reason to re-think Opeth and what it takes to be musically fearless.
"I hope they'll like the record," posits Åkerfeldt. "I can only talk from my perspective and taste here, but we offer diversity that's not really present in the scene today. Whatever genre. We've always been a special band. We've gotten a lot of shit for being different. We still do. Our time will come, I think. It comes down to perseverance. It comes down to not giving up or giving in to public opinion. Music is about doing your own thing or going your own way."1. Persephone
3. The Wilde Flowers
4. Will O The Wisp
6. Sorceress 2
7. The Seventh Sojourn
8. Strange Brew
9. A Fleeting Glance
11. Persephone (Slight Return)
12. The Ward
13. Spring MCMLXXIV$29.99Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
Double DiamondIncludes Bonus 7 LP
Founding member of Carcass and former Napalm Death guitarist Bill Steer is back with the latest offering from his main passion Firebird. Double Diamond, the bands sixth studio album, is by far the most hard-hitting yet.
Moving on from the Humble Pie/Small Faces inspired blues and boogie rock of previous outings, Double Diamond takes in more classic metal elements bringing to mind the likes of Thin Lizzy, Budgie and Diamond Head. Certainly their heaviest outing to date; theres no stopping Mr. Steer when it comes to effortlessly delivering the goods in true organic style!1.Soul Saviour
4.For Crying Out Loud
6.A Wing & A Prayer
7.Pound Of Flesh
9.Lose Your Delusions
10. Pantomime$32.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Die ScreamingSomething sinister is looming in the mist - a ghastly three-headed apparition, equal parts riffage & rancour and fuelled by a steady diet of garage rock 7-inches played at 33RPM and horror movies watched at 5AM, the primeval force of Satan's Satyrs is returned to the earth to lay waste to everything in its path.
Rising from the primordial ooze of Herndon, Virginia Satan's Satyrs hit the metal underground like a tidal wave of sulphur with their debut proper, 2012's Wild Beyond Belief. This almighty assault, almost entirely the work of chief Satyr Clayton Burgess, was a harrowing blast of fuzz-drenched aggro - a clash of Venom-esque metalpunk squalor and in-the-red garage-rock dementia.
With Jarrett Nettnin soon joining the fray on guitar and Stephen Fairfield on drums, the power-trio were soon invited by Electric Wizard to 2013's Roadburn Festival, which they graced with two scorching sets, one being entirely comprised of cuts by their heinous heroes Blue Cheer. Yet the three-piece, despite being barely into their twenties, weren't about to rest on their laurels. What's more, the result of their onward march into grisly pastures new is the more mature yet no less malicious new opus, 'Die Screaming' which sees it's European release via Bad Omen Records in 2014.
This time around, the band set about expanding their sound, maintaining their trash-obsessed aesthetic whilst sharpening their songcraft to produce an album possessed of both mighty heaviosity and incisive hooks. Bolstered by roaring Hammond and percussive ornamentation that bring still more Hammer Horror atmosphere to the fray, 'Die Screaming' transcends the band's Black Sabbath, Stooges and Black Flag influences to arrive at a relentlessly gory and gung-ho assault on the senses. One minute, this terror-troupe are dishing out the rotten rock n'roll of 'One By One (They Die) and Curse Of The Corpse, which stalk the Earth like the reanimated corpses of Budgie and Blue Oyster Cult records past. The next, on the jaw-dropping title-track, they're throwing Death SS, the Alice Cooper of Sick Things and Scott Reagers-era Saint Vitus into a bubbling cauldron and standing well back. Yet at all times Satan's Satyrs' gonzo attack is authentically red in both tooth and claw.
Rising high above the overkill of self-styled occult rock that lurks in the underground at present. Satan's Satyrs are blazing a trail through a nightmarish world of battered VHS videos, overheated ampstacks and dog-eared vinyl, and are a band fit to set the pulse of any self-respecting trash connoisseur racing. With 'Die Screaming', they're set to carry out the Devil's bidding across the globe with uniquely sordid and salacious style.1. Thumper's Theme
2. Instruments of Hellfire
3. Curse of the Corpse
4. Black Souls
5. Show Me Your Skull
6. One By One
7. Lucifer Lives
8. Die Screaming$32.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Cloven Hoof (Awaiting Repress)Includes A Full-Color Insert Featuring Several Previously-Unpublished Photos From The Original 1983 Album Photo Shoot As Well As Full Lyrics
Extensive Liner Notes By Bassist And Founding Member, Lee Payne
Album Has Been Restored From Original Masters And Remastered By Anders Peterson @ GS Mastering & Post, Sweden
For the first time since its original release in 1984, Wax Maniax is very proud to bring the essential debut album from NWOBHM cult-metal legends CLOVEN HOOF back to vinyl!
Originally formed in the heart of the industrial West Midlands, England in 1979, CLOVEN HOOF went through various line up changes until Spring 1982 when the band line up consisted of Lee Payne bass guitar, David Potter vocals, Steve Rounds lead guitar and Kevin Pountney drums. The band's first demo tape was given the thumbs up from no lesser than Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) who took a copy of the tape into national Radio One, and Rob Halford (Judas Priest) who got it played on a radio station in Phoenix, Arizona. The band self-released "The Opening Ritual", a four track mini album in July of 1982, and the EP stayed in the "Sounds" and "Kerrang!" heavy metal charts for six weeks peaking at number 18. Articles in "Kerrang!" and "Noise" magazine were followed by renkown Sounds writer and Kerrang! Magazine founder Geoff Barton putting the band atop his prestigious "Breaking through in '82" feature and play list.
"The Opening Ritual" attained extensive radio air play worldwide but it wasn't until Tommy Vance played tracks off the EP on his legendary "Friday Rock Show" program on Radio One in the UK that interest in Cloven Hoof began to soar. 1983 saw Cloven Hoof touring throughout the United Kingdom, earning themselves a sizeable underground cult following. Soon afterwards the group were taken under the wing of ex-Judas Priest manager David Hemmings and an offer to sign the band from CBS Records soon followed.
Personality conflicts within the band, followed by the untimely death of manager David Hemmings put a strain on relations with CBS and the offer was withdrawn. In order to keep the momentum built by the band's live appearances and radio play going, the band instead looked to leading UK independent heavy metal label Neat Records where a deal was quickly struck. The band entered the label's Impulse Studio with reknown producer Keith Nichol (Venom, Satan, Raven, etc..) to record their self-titled debut album which was met with great adulation by the heavy metal press. Shortly thereafter, frontman Dave Potter left the band to join French metal unit "H-Bomb". Cloven Hoof soldiered on, releasing a live album in 1986 with new frontman Rob Kendrick (Trapeze, Budgie) followed by a second studio album in 1988 featuring an all-new lineup including Russ North of post-Budgie group Tredegar on vocals. Three more full-length studio albums would follow, the most recent released in 2014. The band continues to soldier on to this day with Lee Payne at the helm, enjoying a strong cult following both young and old, ushered in by the internet age that has seen their 1984 debut album topping lists of the best and most influential heavy metal albums of all time.1. Cloven Hoof
3. March of the Damned
4. The Gates of Gehenna
5. Crack the Whip
6. Laying Down the Law
7. Return of the Passover$22.99Vinyl LP - Sealed AWAITING REPRESS Buy Now