Reviews roundup – Delain vs. April Wine vs. Rebecca Newman vs. Wonderworld

71oclav3afl-_sl1200_DELAIN
Lunar Prelude
Napalm

An inbetween EP stopgap from female-fronted symphonic metal act Delain, “Lunar Prelude” sees two brand new songs with the featured uptempo number, ‘Suckerpunch‘ and the contrasting ‘Turn The Lights Out‘. There’s a new version of ‘Don`t Let Go‘ (taken from 2014`s “The Human Contradiction”), some live tunes and an orchestral reprise of ‘Suckerpunch‘).

So plenty of music to keep fans of their harder than Within Temptation / less bombastic than Nightwish sound.  And it’s all good.  I like the band anyway, and their fans will enjoy this.  It’s unlikely to bring in any new fans but that’s probably not the idea.  They’re at the top of their game right now, so those of us who’re waiting impatiently for the next album can sate our desires for now.

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51pp26l9d7lAPRIL WINE
Classic Album Set
Caroline

Now don’t ask me why, but I’ve got a hige soft spot for April Wine.  Heck, their original Greatest Hits album of pre Capitol, mushy wimphem is one of my most played late night treats.  And when they decided they wanted to be a proper hard rock band come the major label deal.  Well, they weren’t.

But that doesn’t stop me loving this box set, as behind the dullest cover in history, lurks their Capitol era albums from “First Glance” through to “Animal Grace”.  I mean, there was no real reason to buy it, but I just couldn’t help myself.  It comes with a new set of liner notes in the booklet, and they’ve thrown in the Reading 1980 live show which the BBC recorded. but I had every note already.  But…

For some reason, in amongst the vanilla releases, they’ve put an expanded version of “The Nature Of The Beast”, with ‘Roller’ and ‘ I Like To Rock’ live at Hammersmith, but there is nothing unreleased.  If you’re looking for a best of, you’re probably better off with the amusingly titled “Hard And Heavy Collection”, but for me, this is a six album box of bliss.

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newman_zpsujyzhlhrREBECCA NEWMAN
Dream Away
independent

An odd release from Rebecca Newman, ‘The People’s Soprano’.  Mainly because you can’t actually buy it.  It was a special fan, preorder only CD and now that it has been sent out into the world, it is no no longer available.

“Dare to Dream”, her 2014 album got to number one in the UK Classical Artist Albums Chart, but that was actually her sixth album, with a career stretching back over a decade.  And she is an excellent singer. In fact, I’m surprised there was no follow up to that number 1 record, but it’s a strange old world, and Ms Newman keeps herself very busy on the live circuit.

It’s the usual mix of well known classical pieces and show tunes, performed in intimate style, something that particualrly suits ‘Think Of Me’, ‘Abide With Me’ and ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’.  As I mentioned, you can’t actually buy it, but the fans who snapped it up will be enraptured prior to her upcoming UK tour in June.

http://www.rebeccanewman.co.uk

61qwlelxkfl-_ss280WONDERWORLD
II
Key Music

Why didn’t I know about this?  After all, it’s album number two from Wonderworld, and I’m just hearing of them.  Turns out that Wonderworld’s three members are, also, currently the permanent backing band for Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), which certainly explains the name.

And they’ve certainly got their seventies chops down pat, with some tremendous performances and some really good songs.  Tunes like ‘Forever Is A Lie’, ‘Remember My Words’ and ‘Evil In Disguise’ are top notch tunes that sould go down a treat with fans of the harder side of seventies rock.

In fact, I’m hard pushed to find anything I didn’t like about this record, which has some fantastic vocals, courtesy of Roberto Tiranti, a great production and a warm vibe that reminds you of why you liked music in the first place.  Buy it.

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