Reviews roundup – Phil Campbell vs. I Am Man I Am Monster vs. Pymlico

51cdqkpsiwlPHIL CAMPBELL and the Bastard Sons
self titled
UDR

What do you do when you’ve spent over 30 years riffing away in Motörhead and then Motörhead are no more? Well, you kick your sons out of their beds, tell them they’re in your new band and you set about riffing with your Bastard Sons.

That would be Todd, Dane and Tyla, along with vocalist Neil Starr, and this is their debut self-titled 5-track EP which was produced by Todd Campbell and mixed by Motörhead’s producer Cameron Webb.

It’s a bit of an odd cove because unless Phil Campbell has been bottling up his desire to be in a grunge band then it would seem that the Bastard Sons have had a large input into this.  That’s most obvious on “Big Mouth” and “Take Aim” so they don’t really float my boat, but when the riffs pump out on the swagger filled “Spiders” or on the so Motörhead “No Turning Back” then all is well in the world.  Things close with the acoustic “Life in Space” on what is a welcome return from Phil Campbell.

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61du62bqgf9l-_ss500I AM MAN I AM MONSTER
Transmutation
Nemesis Media

Off to Texas now for some progressive melodic death metal.  Now I’m an old fella and when I grew up there was only heavy metal so I struggle with the masses of categorisations nowadays but what I’m hearing is Swedish influenced death metal.

So what you’re getting are fast rhythms, widdly solos and gruff vocals allied to songs called “Cranium Vs Crowbar”, “Skulls for Trophies” and “Flesh Hounds”.  So it doesn’t get much more metal than that.  Fans of death metal will definitely enjoy this as the rampage through eleven solid tracks.

Those of you who crave the sounds of Dark Tranquility and early In Flames could do a lot worse than sample some of this.

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61f42qc6lsl-_sl1200_PYMLICO
Meeting Point
Apollon

I used to live in Pimlico and I don’t recall it being a hotbed of Norwegian prog rock but maybe I was just drinking in the wrong places.  Because this Pymlico is an instrumental band from Oslo, Norway, led by composer and drummer Arild Brøter.

And they’re very good.  It’s all instrumental but it’s one of those rare occasions when I don’t actually miss a voice.  Along with his brother Oyvind Broter on keyboards and some excellent guitar work from Stephan Hvinden the tunes just sparkle.  They’re also very fond of a saxophone which is officially A Good Thing.

It’s powerful prog which in places errs on the side of rock but no matter which groove you drop your needle into, tunes like “Crab Key” and “Broken Glass” could be used in a master class on progressive rock.  The closing “Erised” is a lengthy treat which pulls all their strands into a a mighty musical masterpiece.  Well played!

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