Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
It’s that time of the week again. When we get to grips with the new releases and reissues. It’s a mixed bag as ver. But that’s what we like at Classic Rock – you never know what’s gonna turn up.
Words: Malcolm Dome
If anyone ever wondered why Frank Sinatra is so revered, then the Sin-Atra (Armoury) compilation does the job. It features the likes of Glenn Hughes, Geoff Tate, Dee Snider and Joey Belladonna rocking up some of Ole Blue Eyes’ most famous songs. You know what, they’re all competent, but lack the class, charm and charisma of the real deal. Sorry, but some things are best left untouched.
At lest you know what to expect from Woods Of Ypres. You get a black metal approach to doom all the way courtesy of the Canadians on W4: The Green Album (Earache). And this is rather convincing stuff. Maybe they should tackle the Sinatra catalogue – there again, perhaps not.
Danish thrashers Artillery are in top form on My Blood (Metal Mind) It’s one of the band’s best releases, combining musical sophistication with muscle and power. Cult heroes for so long, Artillery now sound world class.
The Nice seem to be everywhere at the moment. Well, not quite, but having mentioned recently their double live CD Diamond Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon, now there’s Diary Of An Empty Day: The Nice Collection (Repertoire). It features 15 studio songs, all of which are previously released but are nonetheless worth hearing again – and again. Among the best sounds of the late 60s.
Soundgarden’s Live On 15 (A&M) might be 15 years old, but still has a lustre and lustiness that proves how incredible the band always were. If they can reach these sort of heights again live then their reputation will remain intact.
Pierre Moerlen’s Gong is a part of the history of Gong that’s so often overlooked. But the drummer took control of the band in the late 1970s, leading them into a fruitful era that was far jazzier in approach. Esoteric Records has just reissued the Live album from 1980 and the studio record Leave It Open from the next year. Both hold the attention, as Moerlen clearly enjoys the opportunity to take the Gong mythos into fresh areas. Some might decry what he did, but these albums are proof that this is a valid part of the Gong universe.
Two decades are they first formed, Midlands band Agincourt have finally got their debut album ready to go. Angels Of Mons (Agincourt Music) is very much couched in the more melodic end of NWOBHM, and has some neat touches as well as a selection of good songs. A little understated to really win through, it’s still a worthy first effort from a band who split up in 1997, and then reunited 11 years later.