Reviews September/05

Anubis Gate / A Perfect Forever / LM189CD


Anubis Gate - Danish Dynamite! Tracklisting:Sanctified; Kingdom Come; Future without Past; Curfew; Children of the Pauper King; Approaching Inner Circle; The Wanton Blades of Lust; Epitome of Delusion; Endless Grief; A perfect Forever.

Anubis Gate is a band formed in Aalborg, Denmark by former Invocator bassist Jesper M. Jensen and former Geronimo drummer Morten Sörensen. They recruited former Prophet of Doom/Northern Empire vocalist Torben Askholm.
On their debut album "Purification" from 2004 the band formed a friendship with producer Jacob Hansen (also known from Invocator) and recorded the album in his studios and on this record they joined forces with Kim Olsen on guitars and keyboards and Henrik Fevre on harmony vocals. On this new album "A perfect Forever" these two are incorporated as permanent members of the band. The inspiration for this record is a bit away from the thrash genre from their common past, and hails bands with a more melodic but also epic approach - like Queensr˙che, Savatage, Iron Maiden but especially Crimson Glory. The band themselves describe it as "epic power metal with beautiful soundscapes, cool riffing and a clear powerful vocal performance" again with a grand production from Jacob Hansen.
This album is filled with listenable tracks - some of my favorites are the epic "Curfew" which is a semi-acustic track (like i.e. Metallica's "One") and some very interesting fretwork in the outro. But also the mellow "Endless Grief" is very welcome as a teaser between some hard pumped tracks like "Approaching inner Circle" and other in the epic/melodic but speedy genre. The speed and general approach goes very well together with the bands name, as Anubis was the God in ancient Egyptian mythology with the body of a jackal whose task it is to lead the misguided souls through the underworld and into the kingdom of Osiris.
Anubis Gate is now hooked up with the Danish Intromental Management and signed by the German/Spanish label Locomotive Music for a release in Europe and Northern America! Besides that the cover artwork for this release is (again) done by the magnificent Mattias Norén. It can't go that wrong.

L.A. Guns / Tales from the Strip / M 7171 2


L.A. Guns - Back with a vengeance! Tracklisting:It don't mean nothing; Electric Neon Sunset; Gypsy Soul; Original Sin; Vampire; Hollywood's burning; 6.9. Earthshake; Rox Baby Girl; Crazy Motorcycle; Skin; Shame; Resurrection; Amanecer; (Can't give you) Anything better than Love.

I have always had a thing for L.A. Guns records since "Cocked and loaded", i think - for all the same reasons other critics hate them - their punkish attitude, their not very political correctness, Phil Lewis' un-polished vocals and thir speedy guitars. Once played by Tracii Guns - now taken over by Stacey Blades! Besides Lewis and Blades L.A. Guns is drummer Steve Riley and bass player Adam Hamilton.
A I already said, L.A. Guns records has always been very un-polished - some more than other, and "Tales from the Strip" is no exception - and then again... This time around the band has teamed up with good old time producer Andy Johns. And believe me, there are a lot of great intros and up tempo rockers on this album. Like the very "classic" song "Gypsy Soul" not to forget the opener "It don't mean nothing", the aggressive "Crazy Motorcycle" and the riff-strong "Original sin" which are my favorites. Like always there is left space for a ballad here, too. The track "Vampire" has an almost 80's hair-band-style towards it - great! If you thought that L.A. Guns has made the album by using well-known tecniques - , riffs and attitude you are absolutely right! But a track like the semi-acustic instrumental "Amanecer" will stand out. But for the rest of the album it is maybe not the bands most inspired moments caught on CD - but it sounds real and there are really no hoax her... Like the danish based band D.A.D one said: "Good clean family entertainment you can trust" - so is this one! You can rely on L.A. Guns, anytime!

Travers & Appice / Live at the House of Blues / EMUS20032


Travers & Appice featuring T.M. Stevens - Live at the House of Blues! Tracklisting:Taken; Better from a Distance; I don't care; Crash and burn; Living alone; Gotta have you; Turm me on; Can't escape the Fire/La la Love; Evil; Do ya think i'm sexy; Boom boom; Keep on rocking (bonustrack).

Pat Travers & Carmine Appice (and T.M. Stevens) has teamed up again after last years album "It takes a lot of Balls" and made an excellent live album - just like they made those albums in the mid 70's. It kindda reminds me of classic recordings with i.e. Deep Purple! Almost 80 minutes of blues rock - great.
Like the line-up indicates the live experience from these three musicians are outstanding - Carmine Appice played with Camel, Vanilla Fudge, Rod Stewart, Ozzy Osbourne and King Kobra, Pat Travers has played the blues since the early 40's ;-) and finally T.M. Stevens who played with Steve Vai, Joe Cocker, Tina Turner and Mothers Finest. And all this joy for music and smoothness towards the genre is put into this 80 minutes long rock anthem - finished up with an in-your-face production which allows all three to perform their best - with a lot of soloes during the set. Just listen to the bass intro to "Gotta have you"...
There are a lot of hummable tunes and enjoyable riffs here - like the hard kicking "Living alone", the great "Better from a distance" and the funky "Turn me on" - not to forget the groovy version of the Appice/Stewart penned "Do ya think i'm sexy" - great!
So if you're into good old fashioned blues rock with "a lot of balls", heavy riffs and thundering drums, this live recording is right up your alley!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2005