Reviews roundup – Upon The Devil’s Request vs. Iron Bastards vs. Haven

51tjvb216kl-_ss280UPON THE DEVIL’S REQUEST
Nightblind
Spinning Inside

If only this band had called themselves Little Rock Arkansas, then I could have used up my stock of out of date Jim Dandy jokes, and freed up some cupboard space.  Although, to the credit of Little Rock, it did manage to put Messrs Grand Funk and Railroad in a haze.

Turns out that the various members of Upon The Devil’s Request, namely Jerry Cordova, Derek Reed, Logan Kennedy, and Ryan Cook, have performed together in the past, but after ten years apart decided to return and give to the world their brand of modern prog.

So it’s Tool and Steven Wilson rather than Yes and ELP, but it’s still rather good.  They’ve got all the musical twists and turns requisite in this style of music, and have lyrical and musical concepts galore, which soar right above my ill-educated head.  However, those of you who have an actual brain, and a tendency towards Porcupine Tree will find a lot to enjoy on music such as ‘Walking Through Walls’, ‘Soon Enough’ and ‘In My Dreams’.

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61-js8sd9yl-_ss280IRON BASTARDS
Boogie Woogie Violence
Black’n’Purple Records

Now see that’s a proper name for a band, and a proper name for an album.  Amazingly enough, it comes from France, a country that is to metal, as vegetarians are to a carvery.  Trust, being the exception that proves the rule.

And coming so shortly after the passing of Sir Lemmy, it was strange to be regaled by a band so obviously in thrall to the late, lamented Motorhead.  But it’s not a complete rip off,and they’re no tribute band.  No, they use the MH sound as a template, then proceed to rock like, um, bastards.

It’s the late seventies / early eighties sound that they’re going for.  Either that or they recorded it on Kev Heybournes toilet.  You know, the one he recorded the first Angel Witch album in.  regardless, when they get their guitars cranked up, to bang out tunes like ‘Jungle Speed’ and ‘Rock This Place’, then it’s all to the good.  It is overlong, though, and could have done without the “bonus” live tracks.  Otherwise, a goodie.

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51xvwbuft7lHAVEN
Shut Up And Listen
Code 7 – Roar! Rock Of Angels

Off to Sweden now, and they are three choices.  Gothenburg metal, sleaze rock or melodic metal.  And it’s the latter path that Haven are following, with the follow up to their debut album “Asylum” which came out in 2012.

It’s another good one as well, as they follow on from the eighties stylings of bands like the Scorpions and fellow Swedes Europe.  They’re certainly capable, which will be why they’ve opened for bands like the Quireboys and Megadeth, and if you’re a fan of the genre, then this is one you should be checking out.

They’ve got the riffs, the melodies and the harmonies to make songs like ‘Land of Desolation’, ‘Gone’ and ‘Shot From Behind’ (oo-err missus) worthy of your attention, even if the vocals may be a bit out there for everyone.  But get to grips with that, and you’ll have a fine time.

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