Reviews roundup – Onslaught vs. Cathuria vs. Orymus vs. Hominido vs. Brothers Brown
Live At The Slaughterhouse
Blimey! Onslaught. That took back to my teen years. ‘Let There Be Rock’ and all that. Unbeknownst to me, they’ve back together for quite some time, with founder member Nige Rockett still there, alongside early doors vocalist Sy Keeler, who has obviously forgiven him for turfing him out come eighties major label deal.
These days, they’ve gone back to their roots, so forget all about their late eighties attempt to become Metal Church. These days it’s all about their thrash origins, and this live album, recorded at two UK shows in Bristol and London, certainly gets a satanic two horns of approval.
The current line-up is on absolute fire, as they blast through raging renditions of ‘Killing Peace’, ‘Let There Be Death’ and a none more evil rendition of ’66 Fucking 6′, which is ridiculously awesome.
They do revisit ‘In Search of Sanity’, probably their best song, albeit from the Steve Grimmett era, but it’s given a good working over here. If the DVD that comes with it, is half as good as this, then thrashers of all ages are in for a real treat.
Off to Arkansas now for some progressive metal, courtesy of Cathuria. It’s the debut album from the six piece band, and they seem to taking their pointers from the likes of Opeth and Mastodon, which is the route de jour for prog metallers these days.
However, they’ve got the chops to try and make their mark in the genre, and even if it isn’t quite the finished article, there are plenty of reasons on this offering to suggest that they could end up as more than a footnote in the prog metal encyclopedia.
Oddly enough, the first two tracks are billed as “radio mixes”, which suggests either a blithe ignorance of the world of radio, or a fabulous sense of humour, but once they gird their loins and hit the thirteen minutes of ‘The Tides Roll In’, then you can hear the promise they have.
Album number two from the five-piece from Bern in Switzerland. I missed the first one, but if it’s as enjoyable as this one, then it’s probably well worth tracking down. Especially, if like me, you like your hard rock to have it’s roots in the seventies, replete with melody and crunching guitars.
Orymus have that in spades. It’s almost as if they cherry picked their favourite bits from classic rock, prog rock and even a bit of Allmans, then put it all into one tasty mix. Granted, not every song is an out and out winner, but topped off by the excellent vocals of Daniel Brönnimann, there is usually enough there to keep you keeping on.
There are plenty of good songs here, but if you need three to convince you that is worth checking out, then try ‘End of the World’, ‘Carried Away’ and ‘Fountain of Youth’, any of which should be enough to pique your interest.
Progressive jazz prog metal fusion from Chile! Nice. No, I’m not making up, it’s all true. Hominido have an interesting approach to their music, which is largely unlike anything else your’e going to hear, as they take familiar Latin rhythms ala Santana and mix them up with Shakti type fusion and some prog metal guitars.
It’s a heady brew if you like a wee bit of adventure in your music and straight from the opening ‘Simún’ you can tell that you’re in the company of something a bit specials. It’s expertly arranged with strings and brass brought into to liven things up a bit, as and when needed. The vocals complement rather than lead the music, and the whole thing is pure class.
Whether you plug into ‘Ciudades de Piedra’ or ‘Insano Devenir’, you are pretty much guaranteed a musical ride you won’t forget in a hurry.
That’s just cheating that is. Because they’re not brothers. Gits. No, the two Paul Browns aren’t related, apart from in musical pedigree, which they have in abundance.
One is a double Grammy winning producer, guitarist, singer and songwriter from Los Angeles. The other is a Grammy nominated producer, keyboardist and songwriter based in Nashville. Together they have put together a gumbo of Amnerican roots and blues music, which is quite delicious. A modern day Little Feat, if you will.
They’ve brought in a dream team rhythm section with bassist David Santos (Billy Joel, John Fogerty etc) and drummer Peter Young (Loretta Lynn, Burrito Brothers etc) to round out their sound, and the whole thing is an absolute treat. They mix up blues, rock, country and even some jazz on quality songs like ‘California’, ‘Cup Of Tea’ and ‘The River’, which instantly sound like songs you’ve known your whole life. A great album you really should hear.