Classic Rock’s New Releases Round-Up
For the first round-up of 2012, we’ve got the new song from a reunited mega band, reissues from NWOBHM stalwarts and prog legends, plus a new album from the band who invented black metal.
Words: Malcolm Dome
So, the wait is over. A new Van Halen song. Tattoo (Interscope) is the new single, and it’s already divided opinion. Some love it, others hate. Personally, I feel it’s a complete let down. A highly disappointing and ultimately failed attempt to recapture the glory days of the Diamond Dave era. Let’s hope there’s much better to come from the album A Different Kind Of Truth. Oh, and doesn’t this unreleased song from 1977 remind you of Tattoo?
More were one of the NWOBHM era bands who never quite made the expected impact. They did feature one-time Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Mario Day on their 1981 debut Warhead (Rock Candy). Now reissued, if anything it’s got better with age. A real master blaster.
The late John Du Cann was always an underrated guitarist. His work with the equally undervalued Atomic Rooster in the early 1970s was highly impressive. The Many Sides Of: 1967-1980 (Angel Air) is a compilation is his work not just with the Rooster but before and after his stint with them. The likes of late 60s band Andromeda come across well, but it’s still the Atomic stuff that holds up best. Du Cann himself put this together just prior to his death.
The first Genesis album has always stuck out as being almost completely at odds with what was to come. The reissue of From Genesis To Revelation (Repertoire) does nothing to persuade you that it really should be taken seriously as a prog classic. Produced by Jonathan King and originally released in 1969, it comes across as an album from a band still finding their mark and direction. There are hints at what was to follow, but mostly it’s psychedelically tinged pop.
Crippled Black Phoenix are a band featuring musicians associated with Electric Wizard, Iron Monkey and Mogwai. But as they show on new album (Mankind) The Crafty Ape (Cool Green) they owe so much to the heritage of Pink Floyd. At time they stray across the line between influence and mimickry, but that rarely happens. Most of the time, this double CD offers intelligent, sophisticated yet accessible music that has a 1970s pulse, but definitely a contemporary spine.
Released at the end of last year, Imaginaerum (Nuclear Blast) is the most ambitious album yet from Nightwish. It has a sweeping, epic power, and the band haven’t been afraid to overload the senses. In a strange way, this is Abba but with everything turned up to beyond OTT.
Venom revert to a tried and trusted approach for Fallen Angels (Spinefarm). This is old school Venom and all the better for it. The riffs are dark, the songs are imaginative yet sparse and the overall impact is of a band proving they are still more than capable of living up to their stature as true metal pioneers.
Finally, Black Rain offer some convincing trash ‘n’ roll on Lethal Dose Of… (SPV). It’s hard to believe they’re French, because that country has no pedigree with this sort of music. But these Black boys really do swing with a Crue/Hanoi grip. They’re on tour in the UK next month. Check ’em out if this is to your lipsmackin’ taste.
Tags: Andromeda, Atomic Rooster, Black Rain, Criippled Black Phoenix, Electric Wizard, Genesis, Hanoi Rocks, Iron Maiden, Iron Monkey, John Du Cann, Mogwai, More, Motley Crue, Nightwish, Paul Mario Day, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, Venom