Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
This week, we travel from the UK to America and even into Norway in search of the best sounds just released. It’s a mixed bag indeed. Something hopefully for everyone.
Words: Malcolm Dome
Vicious Rumors have been on the scene for over two decades. Their shot at the big time has long gone, but they continue to turn out decent power metal style albums. So, it’s little surprise that Razorback Killers (SPV/Steamhammer) is an enjoyable piece of the usual Vicious stuff. Nothing new, but what they do has a definite stamp of class. See them live at The Underworld in London on May 24.
Equally as venerable, actually even more so, are Tokyo Blade. They’ve hovered on the edge of the NWOBHM legend for 30 years. Never big time, nonetheless the band have also maintained a worthwhile musical status. And Thousand Men Strong (Fastball) is one of their best albums. Produced by Chris Tsangarides, it has an energy and zest that’s somewhat surprising for a band going this long without ever having had major success. The music’s uplifting and the passion is obvious. Good job all round.
Italians Opposite Sides come on like a latterday Voivod on Lost Inside (Rising). This is prog metal, with some very clever touches. Just as you think that perhaps they’ve lost their way musically, suddenly there’s a blaze of glorious brutality. It works.
To suggest Anthony Phillips is the forgotten man of Genesis is a tad unfair. But the guitarist is rarely mentioned when discussions turn to the great musicians in that band. Still, he was on Trespass before leaving, and he has an extensive solo repertoire. Private Parts And Pieces IX & X (Voiceprint) brings together two albums, namely 1996’s Dragonfly Dreams and Soiree (from 1999). It’s the usual Phillips collection of beautifully understated guitar and piano pieces. Honestly, the man is a master of this type of music.
Terrorvision really seem to have gotten into their stride with Super Delux (Townsend Records). It’s their first new studio album in a decade, and there’s a real sense of Brit party pop-rock. No agendas, no illusions, just some fun, frolicsome fandangos. It puts a smile on your face.
Napalm Death have three long-deleted albums packaged together by Earache in a three CD box set. These are Diatribes, Greed Killing and Bootlegged In Japan. It’s a pack full of the riotous fury which has become the hallmark of Napalm down the years.
Darkthrone have been paart of the Norwegian black metal scene for a quarter-of-a-century, and the reissue of their 1996 album Total Death (Peaceville) allows us to savour of their best albums. Full of fire and ire, it also has surprisingly sophisticated musicianship in places.
Finally, you’re into T. Rex, check out the new compilation Get It On (Universal). Not all the choices are obvious, but they add up to a list of songs that proves Marc Bolan’s enduring legacy.