Wednesday, 30 November 2016




VANT
& Guests

Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast
Monday 27th February 2017
Doors 7pm
14+ Show
Tickets £12.50 + Booking Fee

UK indie-rock act VANT announce Belfast headline show at the Oh Yeah Centre on February 27th 2017. The band's most recent EP 'Karma Seeker' was released on 5th August 2016.
Tickets on sale Thursday 01st December 2016 @ 10am from www.shine.netwww.ticketmaster.ie, Katy's Bar & Ticketmaster outlets nationwide. Northern Ireland customers 0844 277 44 55 & Republic of Ireland customers 0818 719 300.


VANT aren’t just a band, they’re a war cry. A statement, a revolt, the new generation’s charge to the socio-political barricades. As much as their music demands moshpit bedlam, their lyrics demand discussion, on Syria, environmentalism, sexual assault, inequality, racism, religion, social media isolation, and the all-out self-destruction of mankind. Make no mistake, Vant vent.

Singer and centrepoint Mattie Vant well knows that if you want things to happen, you have to make them. Born in the North-East town of Seaham, he was dismissed by teachers as lacking the musical talent to learn guitar at the age of seven. At the age of thirteen, he resorted to begging his parents for a cheap Argos electric and strong-armed a local community band project into his songs, which were inspired by The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, QOTSA and an intense love of The Vines. Having followed his mates in Tigercub and Demob Happy to Brighton, he moved to London in 2012 and took a job in the bar at Birthdays in Dalston just as the club became the new cult hangout. It was a pivotal year for Vant.

A stint of depression in Brighton had landed Mattie in a musical rut, struggling to put together insular, self-obsessed songs. What poured out over the next three months were around 30 dazzling punk rock songs wracked with political discontent, trying to make sense of a disintegrating world. Mattie had found his calling and VANT was born, bawling about the injustice, hypocrisy and self-destructive idiocy of humanity. Concerns that had been festering since he’d watched Zeitgeist in his hallucinogenic teens and started searching for clarity and meaning in our post-God age.

VANT cohered surprising quickly, under its own creative and ideological gravity. Bassist Billy Morris was Birthdays’ mohawked pot washer with whom Mattie had bonded over the bar’s musical playlist; another bar worker played in a band with a “more theoretical, practical” guitarist called Henry Eastham. Billy’s boss pulled in a favour with ex-Clor drummer Harry Bennett to help Mattie record his first five songs late in 2013, but when it came to playing live, Mattie convinced his Swedish friend Martin Söderin to move to London to join. United by a shared vision and mutual values, VANT played a handful of shows during 2014, before a broken leg confined Mattie to the studio, recording seven more songs in five days at Willesden’s Fish Factory studio. His injury also forced him to make a 2015 New Year resolution to change his life.

Right on cue- a call from his manager one Friday night in early January. The video for ‘Parasite’, an eighty-three-second blues-mocking firestorm about nematodes, had come to the attention of Parlophone Records. By Monday morning virtually every label in the country was on the phone, but VANT felt Parlophone best understood their plan to “make a statement and do something important.” VANT slowly inched their vision into the public eye. ‘Parasite’ made for a tongue-scorching taster on their own Dumb Blood label in April, alongside its autobiographical new wave garage AA-side ‘Do You Know Me?’, a catalogue of Mattie’s soul-crushing jobs in telesales and bartending. It wasn’t until their second AA-single ‘Parking Lot/The Answer’ in September that their harder hitting blows began to land. The deceptively upbeat Americana of ‘Parking Lot’ disguises a dissection of sexual boundaries and the rape culture of the US college system. ‘The Answer’, meanwhile, was Mattie’s brooding, forthright reaction to the chemical attacks and Western invasion of Syria. Replacing drummer Martin with David ‘Greenie’ Green over the course of a hectic summer of festival shows, tours with the likes of Royal Blood and The Big Moon and further recording, VANT upped their game by 2016.

February’s release of the sassy, ramalama ‘Fly-By Alien’, featuring a middle-eight written in a naked animalistic frenzy inspired by Lucien Freud, had him imagining himself as an extra-terrestrial observer deciding “that species is a waste of space… can I zap my laser?” Then the summer’s ‘Karma Seeker’ cued up the debut album ‘DUMB BLOOD’, an opinionated garage pop firecracker that chews up a vast array of contemporary issues and spits them melodically in your face. ‘Peace & Love’ bewails inequality and the off-hand dismissal of the sixties counterculture ideals in the Brexit age. ‘Lampoon’s’ chorus cry of “everything is dumb with this generation” acts as the album’s de facto title track, challenging the way that social media mob rule mutes our increasingly clued-up youth. Elsewhere, ‘I Don’t Believe In God’ is Mattie’s atheist anthem revelling in mortality, while the likes of ‘Headed For The Sun’ and the album’s summary song ‘Time And Money’ call time on the human race. If there’s to be any hope, Mattie knows we have to make it. That’s why he’s leading the new alt-rock charge to stand up, start conversations, change minds, make a difference. And he’s already seeing the silent generation opening up to VANT. You know the war cry.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Immediate Press Release:

Australian hard rockers DELLACOMA have released a new music video for 'Time Falls Away', a signature song from their debut album, "South of Everything". The video was shot on the historic streets of Boston by Red 13 Media and directed by Jim Foster. This video combines a raw and unvarnished glimpse of a day in the life of Dellacoma and serves as a great backdrop to some hard-hitting performance visuals that capture the essence of the song. The video can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/rU1LBHlQpFc



DELLACOMA
 recently announced AustralianEuropean and International tour dates:
December 2016
Dec 08 Musicland, Fawkner, Australia
Dec 09 Barwon Club, Geelong, Australia
Dec 10 The Croxton Bandroom, Melbourne, Australia
Dec 16 Musicman, Bendigo, Australia
Dec 17 The Basement, Belconnen, Australia
Dec 18 Frankie's, Lewisham, Australia
Dec 22 The Loft, Warrnambool, Australia
Dec 23 Crown and Anchor, Adelaide, Australia
Dec 29 Torquay Hotel, Torquay Vic, Australia
March 2017
Mar 01 YO-TALO, Tampere, Finland w/ Soto (Jeff Scott Soto)
Mar 03 On The Rocks, Helsinki, Finland w/ Soto (Jeff Scott Soto)
Mar 04 WS Arena, Vaasa, Finland w/ Soto (Jeff Scott Soto)
Mar 05 Kulturens hus, Lulea, Sweden w/ Soto (Jeff Scott Soto)
Mar 08 Gota Kallare, Stockholm, Sweden w/ Soto (Jeff Scott Soto)
Mar 10 Hard Rock Hell, North Wales, United Kingdom
Mar 11 Stagebar MC Heracles, Retie, Belgium
Mar 17 La Cueva del Jazz, Zamora, Spain
Mar 21 Cowboy und Indianer, Hamburg, Germany
Mar 23 Pitcher, Düsseldorf, Germany
Mar 24 Exil, Gottingen, Germany
Mar 25 Gibson, Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
Mar 30 Rockschicht, Viersen, Germany
April 2017
Apr 01 The Greyhound, Beeston, United Kingdom
Apr 04 Crooked Rail, East Northport, NY, USA
June 2017
Jun 02 Herman's Hideaway, Denver, CO, USA
DELLACOMA is a brash, explosive and hard hitting rock n roll band working tirelessly to blaze a trail thru the current cookie-cutter world of mainstream music. With a relevant yet familiar sound, a relentless work ethic and an exotic yet somehow natural formation (with 2 members hailing from Australia and 2 from Texas); this 4 piece outfit is primed and ready for action. Having already shared the stage with a slew of major acts (including Def LeppardSkid RowBlack Label Society and Winger) and graced main stages at major festivals (including Rock USARocklahomaRockin the Rivers and Rock Fest) they are pummelling their way around the world and gaining new fans along the way with their honest, raw and powerful songs and stage presence.

Band:
Dellacoma Rio - vocals
Rick Reynolds - bass
Art Struck - guitar
Matt Cook - drums

LIVE REVIEW: Combustible class from Raveneye's Diamond performance with emerging quality from Safire

THE music is always at the heart of everything in rock and metal but on stage too many acts forgo the art of the performance. It is a show, the music and the visuals combining to make evenings special. No-one could accuse Raveneye of forgoing the performance...

When they once again descended on Ahoghill's Diamond Rock Club on Saturday, November 26th Oli and Co proved that even when only adorned with a check shirt the performance is almost as entertaining as the music.

Opening for the band were Northern Ireland rockers Safire, who are riding high since the release of their EP 'Under My Skin'. Saffron is a confident singer with an impressive range, and it is the totality of the band's show that makes it a set that elevates their time on stage.

Title track of the EP is an impressive opener, and there wasn't any fillers in the 11-song set. Tim tears his way through the set with fluid playing, however it is the tight bond between Dean (bass) and Cozy (drums) that means there is a solidity to what they do.

'Sunshine', 'Fallen Angel' and closer 'Heartbreaker' are among the songs that shine in the live environment and a sign that Safire will continue their rise.

With Raveneye, you know what to expect, but their recent tour slots across continents and the release of 'Nova' seem to have taken the band to a place where their set feels ever more composed and balanced despite the usual antics of Oli.

His manic energy could be a distraction from the music, but this is a three-piece that are tight, with a tautness to their songs that only comes from three-musicians who sweat through every pore to make sure that the audience leaves a venue exhausted and happy.

'Come With Me' is an astonishing opener in their hard rockin' blues storm. Adam on drums plays with an energy that makes it seem as if he wants to bouncing around the stage with Oli and Aaron.

But make no mistake - Aaron and Adam are not just backing musicians to Oli's tremendous guitar work. This is, in every sense a band performance. With the songs from 'Nova' now well road-tested now they ooze quality with every note, every bass run and every drum fill.

Fan favourite such as 'Wanna Feel You' and closer 'Hey Hea Yeah' litter a set and songs such as 'No Bodies Soul' have an inspired purpose in delivering the music on a platter for the audience to aurally dine upon.

The entire time the band are on stage the 'performance' is executed with music and visuals combined offering an evening of delight that takes what is well trodden path and supercharges the journey along that path.

Yes, as expected Oli mounts the bass drum, yes, he goes into the crowd, and yes, we've seen all it before. And, there was no-one who cared that they had seen Oli do this before. As evidenced on the sizeable Stage Two at Download they are the trimmings to the rock meal; they are welcome trimmings to the musical main course.

Raveneye understand that when you part with your hard-earned admittance money and beer tokens you are there to be entertained on all possible levels.

Review by Jonathan Traynor
Pictures by Lizzie Torbitt







NEWS: Green Day to play Belfast with Rancid

POP punk royalty Green Day are set to play Belfast as part of their Revolution Radio tour, with a June 28th show in Ormeau Park. Support comes from Rancid.

Both bands have played the city previously, include the by-now legendary début show by Green Day, which despite being attended by a few dozen many hundreds now claim to have been there.

Since those heady days Billy Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool have sold more than 75 million albums, challenged the mainstream and recorded anthems for the soundtrack of many people such as 'American Idiot' and 'Misery' 'Basket Case'.

Despite being Grammy Award winners five times, being inducted into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 2015 and playing to massive crowds across the world they have never given up casting a critical eye on society.

Tickets, priced £45 (+booking fee) go on sale this Friday at 9am from all usual outlets.


EDEN’S CURSE @ THE CATHOUSE, GLASGOW @ THE UNDERWORLD PLUS ALBUM REVIEW

EDEN’S CURSE – THE UNDERWORLD – 27.11.16

Naomi Jeremiah
I was lucky enough to be able to go and see EDEN’S CURSE at The Underworld, Camden yesterday, the last of their seven date tour of the U.K.
I shall admit that I have only recently ‘discovered’ EDEN’S CURSE and am quite disappointed to be so late to what has so far been a ten year party!!
Touring on the back of their fifth studio album ‘Cardinal’, which was released on 14th October this year, I caught up with Paul Logue, EDEN’S CURSE Bass player and Manager, prior to the explosive final set of their tour.
Upon enquiring as to the heavier and more technical aspects of ‘Cardinal’ in comparison to their previous albums, Paul said he felt it was a natural progression for EDEN’S CURSE. As a band they have always been into heavier music, and melodic tracks with heavy guitars, and John Clelland (Drums) and Thorsten Koehne (Guitars) are very technical players,  so technical aspects will always feature. As a band they have dabbled with these concepts in previous albums but thought that they would try and take some new songs further in this direction, whilst trying not to alienate their fan base at the same time. Judging by the reviews and comments on their new album that I have read myself, I think they have managed to achieve this. EDEN’S CURSE are known for strong melodies and hook lines being ever present in their music, and with the bands second vocalist Nikola Mijic at the helm, he brought a very different sound with him to what the band had previously had, and so they felt safe to try something different. They write so many different songs for a new album, that they try not to ‘push’ things too hard, instead opting to allow musical creativity to flow naturally, and just see where they end up. He said that things couldn’t be forced at this stage in the game, but obviously they still had to create something that would stand out amongst the crowd due to the competition in the music industry, and it’s something that they work very hard at doing because they care very deeply about what songs they put out, as always want to ensure quality over quantity. After previously touring Europe they had appreciated a lot of the heavier songs that they had done live, and so that had an influence upon the song writing and track choosing for ‘Cardinal’. Although this new album has been very well received, Paul was unsure whether this is a direction that EDEN’S CURSE will continue to take, saying they have been described as being Melodic Rock, AOR and Prog, but he likes to consider them as just ‘Us’. They love the diversity that they have as a band, and that with a quick switch up of some of their songs, they can be placed on a stage at a rock or a metal festival. Paul seems proud that the band can’t be pigeon holed, and told me that his motto is to ‘Just write music for ourselves’. I think that’s a good motto to have! It keeps the music fresh, interesting and it will always retain a raw and very real quality about it, but mostly it will retain the passion from the place in which it came, which for me is paramount to good music. So it’s a good thing that they do what they ‘like’ first and foremost, and the band feel blessed that a lot of people embrace their way of working.
Being fascinated with the whole song writing process generally, I just had to ask how this works within a multinational band. Paul is the primary writer but always encourages the ideas and input of his fellow band members. They all have great relationships with each other and play to one another’s strengths. Paul said he could come up with an idea, which he would then send across to Thorsten, who would write the guitar parts, and give Paul some riffs to work with along with some lyrics. However the main point seemed to be that there were no rules. It was a collaboration. Once they get the skeleton tracks down, every member has the chance to put their own stamp upon it. Being a multinational band seemed to broaden their horizons and with the age of the internet it made song writing from all four corners of the world a simple task.
Asking what’s next for EDEN’S CURSE, Paul said that they were all looking forward to a break over Christmas, and then will reconvene in January. After two years of writing for ‘Cardinal’, they are mentally and physically in need of some time to rest, and don’t plan on writing anything new for the next six months at least. To rejuvenate their musical creativity, they will get as far away from music as they can, and for Paul this will mean spending time with his beloved family, and enjoying long walks in the countryside with his dog. He added that he knew when it would be time to write again and that enough rest had been had, as ideas would continue to flow once more.
Out of the new tracks featured on ‘Cardinal’, and their favourite to perform live, is ‘Jericho’. It is definitely a big epic song that is slightly more progressive in approach, and in Paul’s words, is cool to actually play. If you listen to it you will hear a Black Sabbath and Dream Theatre influence, so I am sure you can imagine how ‘big’ this song sounds.
The London show was an opportunity for EDEN’S CURSE to sign off in style, and boy did they do that! The power and passion that these guys individually bring to the mix is absolutely explosive when combined on a stage! My first time seeing them live, and I can promise it won’t be my last! They’re exciting! They ignite your whole being into a rocking, melodic, power metal frenzy! Bursting onto the stage and straight into ‘Prophets Of Doom’, the crowd go with it straight away, cheering, jumping and dancing. I love the atmosphere in the venue when EDEN’S CURSE are playing. These guys are virtuosos and an absolute joy to watch! Watching Thorsten rock out his guitar solos was astounding, he knows his weapon of choice like the back of his hand! John was like a well oiled machine on that drum kit, the kit almost an extension of himself, effortless! ‘Chrism’ on Keyboards and backing vocals was just awesome and faultless. Paul is fun to watch on stage, he has such a confidence about him and you can clearly see he loves what he does, an excellent bass player and talented song writer. Last but not least, Nikola. I adore his vocals. His power and range are incredible. He knows his capabilities and he isn’t afraid to push them to the max. The chemistry that he also brings to the duet on stage with guest vocalist Helen Hurd for song ‘Unconditional’ is beautiful to witness. This just adds to the ‘love story’ within the song. On the album itself this female vocal is sung by Liv Kristine ex ‘Leaves Eyes’ vocalist. Both recorded and live versions excellent in their own right. The guys take their audience on a journey through songs new and old, and all are very welcomed. EDEN’S CURSEhave a loyal fan base and although I am ‘new’ to the party, I can see why. They’re pure quality.
Although EDEN’S CURSE say they are sad to see the tour come to an end, they are excited for what 2017 and beyond will bring, but for now, they are in need of a much deserved rest!
Check out our review of EDEN’S CURSE latest album ‘Cardinal’!
Eden’s Curse @ The Cathouse, Glasgow
On the back of their amazing new release, Cardinal, Eden’s Curse head out on the road for a full UK tour and where better to start than Glasgow?
The first band I caught tonight were C.O.P. UK and it was the Sheffield lads first time in Glasgow. I think it was safe to say not too many people here tonight had heard of the band before and that normally makes for a tough shift in this city but after just one song they had the crowd on their side.
One look at the band and especially lead singer Dale Radcliffe and you could be mistaken to thinking you are in for some serious hair metal but you would be wrong. This band has managed to meld a number of genres within their sound and tonight due to the headliners they focus on the symphonic metal part of their artillery and it paid off perfectly.
They opened with “The Core” the lead track from the brilliant “No Place For Heaven” album which was bought that night on the basis of the bands performance(and it has been played constantly). The song leans strongly on Henning Wanner on Keyboards. This drew the crowd in and with Dale’s antics, swaying hair and bulging forearms we were all transfixed. The man harkens back to the MTV error of actually playing music videos and where you could see the likes of Dave Lee Roth strutting, hick kicking and playing up for the camera. To be fair I would say Dale spent far too much time in front of this channel but it makes for a brilliant visual experience.
The stage was a bit crowded with the six members but who the hell cares as they used every inch and performed out of their skin. With songs like “Catch Me If You Can” and “One In A Million” you are in for a treat live.
I thoroughly enjoyed these guys, They were solid, entertaining and a whole lot of fun. Make sure you check them out, they would be a perfect addition to any festival so I hope to catch them again next year.
Glasgow is always treated like a hometown gig for Eden’s Curse, with two members living here and with Paul Logue ever present at gigs throughout the year due to his role in Shock City Productions it is more often than not I see him mulling around out front rather than on the stage so it was good to see him and the whole band perform again as it seemed like ages since the last show.
Glasgow is getting the full treatment tonight with the five gorgeous ladies from the cover of Cardinal taking the stage in full album cover attire prior to the band blasting into the opening track from the album “ Prophets Of Doom”. There is no messing around here, go straight for the new songs and it sounded blistering live, so much faster and a whole lot heavier. There was a lot of buzz tonight about how the new material would be live, how much would they do and the most popular question would they do Jericho. It is safe to say that Cardinal has went down a storm with the fans. It is another step up for the band, the sound is huge and it throws some new directions but most of all it is mature, it is an album that has cemented Nikola Mijic as THE front man. His performance on the album is outstanding and tonight he brought that to the stage in spades.
If you have any questions about the progression of this band you just need to look at the set list and realise it leans heavily on the most recent releases. I have seen this band many times with a lot of line up changes but tonight’s show was very special. The new tracks were knocked out of the park. The big surprise for me was ”Sell Your Soul” live, it is a bit more poppy and probably my least favourite track on the album but live it was amazing. It got the whole crowd singing and dancing, it also saw the Cardinal ladies back on stage dancing in office attire…very sexy.
That said “Jericho” stole the show for me on the new track front. This is my album favourite and I was delighted this was aired as I did doubt whether they would play it due to the track length and the complexities but it was stunning. If you rip up this band and take the individuals on merit alone you are hard pressed to find equals. The quiet man Thorsten Koehne is just a wizard on the frets. He may not strut around the stage but you can get lost watching his fretwork. John Clelland sits behind his beautiful Cardinal drum kit and drives the whole band. New boy Chrism has given the band a new lease of life and although he is tucked away at the side of the stage on tracks like Jericho he comes into his own. Founding member Paul Logue on Bass likes to get about and as this is his crowd he is going to enjoy himself. He is on fire and has some mean Popeye impressions.
Another highlight of the night is “Unconditional” a track recorded with Liv Kristine but the band have a brilliant replacement tonight in Barbara Clelland( from Holocaust fame). She brought the song to life and the rapport between her and Nikola was eye catching. This was an excellent inclusion that would normally be dropped due to having no female singer. I hope this stays in the set for a long time to come.
It is not all about new tracks tonight though as we have a parting run of fan favourite “Evil and Devine” and the encore of “Symphony Of Sin” and the only track to leave on in “Angels And Demons”. As I said earlier the boys played out of their skin and tonight’s performance even outshone the one recorded for their live album.
It amazes me how good this band is live as they do not get the chance to play together that often due to being splintered across the 4 corners of the globe…just imagine how amazing they would be if they toured constantly, able to bond properly and fit all the pieces together through night after night on the stage. That is unlikely to happen and the fans have accepted that so when we get the chance to see them it is a celebration.
Local heroes and musical geniuses one and all and now all I need to do is take a deep breath and wait for the next gig (sigh).
Images and review Ritchie Birnie

EDEN’S CURSE – CARDINAL

DAVID LYDIARD
Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been slow in getting to the party that is Eden’s Curse. A very good friend recommended them and I’ve finally gotten around to taking a listen. So, first off, who are they? Formed in 2006, they have released five studio albums and one double live album. They have had a few line-up changes but the band currently consists of long-time members Paul Logue (Bass) and Thorsten Koehne (Guitars) alongside Nikola Mijic (Vocals), John Clelland (Drums) & Christian Pulkkinen (Keyboards).
They’ve released a new album in October called Cardinal which marks the first time Clelland and Pulkkinen appear on an Eden’s Curse studio album. Let’s check it out.
“Prophets of Doom” starts us off, full of pomp and polished writing which buries itself into your brain and has, my favourite, a catchy chorus! After a short intro build up the song kicks into gear with its double bass attack and crunchy riffing, add to that the hook-laden vocals and layered keyboards and it’s a strong start to what I found to be a fantastic album. It’s Eden’s Curse signalling their intent from the off, and how cool is “Prophets of Doom” as a title in the first place?
“Sell Your Soul” is the first single and is amongst the albums highlights for sure. It is an uplifting track, very upbeat. Strong keyboards and superb guitar playing throughout with lots of melodic hooks and again a really slick AOR polish. It has an 80s Journey sound to it and there is some deep sexy bass going on thanks to Mr Paul Logue. Mid-way through though it changes into a slightly slower direction and the dual solos of guitars and keyboards take the song into a powerful conclusion.
“The Great Pretender” continues in the same vein: catchy hooks galore and has a Bon Jovi feel about it. The track starts off with colossal riffs and has this massive instrumental intro. There are Symphonic Metal elements at play here. Vocalist Nikola Mijic possesses some epic pipes and this song gives him a chance to show off his outstanding range and the guitar work of Thorsten Koehne showcases what he can do also. “Messiah Complex” comes in a bit harder than the previous tracks with a cool riff and Mijic’s vocals containing more of an edge, before once again breaking out his upper range with vocals that remind me of DragonForce. Another song and another catchy chorus. There is an energy throughout as the song builds up the momentum. Possibly the albums heaviest song overall and it features another cracking solo.
“Find My Way” sees Eden’s Curse slow it down with a ballad. As you’d expect, the music is very powerful and grandiose and the song, epic. We’re in full Journey/AOR Power Ballad mode here with the Symphonic/Hard Rock edge. Whilst I can see why some people wouldn’t enjoy this song, I am quite partial to belting out power ballads now and then and this fit right into that for me. This track has it all really, cheesy keyboards, subtle piano, huge rhythms, Orchestral strings, passionate vocals and crushing guitars. An anthemic tour de force. Get those hands in the air.
Oh sorry, my playlist skipped to the Chili Peppers…oh no wait, this funk slap bass is “Kingdom of Solitude” – my mistake! Another piece of brilliance from Logue. It’s a bit of a stylistic change from all that comes before but it quickly settles back into full on rock territory with a killer riff. There is aggression mixed with some electronic elements. The band wanted to get a bit more heavy and technical on Cardinal and this is a song that I think showcases that for sure. “Utopian Dreams” starts off with some glorious lead keyboard riffery with its Symphony X/Dream Theater stylings. This is a song on speed. There is such a manic, hyper intensity about it, like they had one take and 5 minutes to nail it and they just blew through it. Power Metal levels turned to 100 on this one.
On first listen “This Is Our Moment” seemed to lack something to me and this is probably down to the fact that it has to follow the bonkers, ADHD affected track “Utopian Dreams”BUT that’s not to say that the song is bad, because its not. It rocks hard, it has fantastic keyboard and guitar work throughout and once again Nikola’s vocals are spot on. On subsequent listens it actually grabbed me the way it should have first time. It is an uplifting song and I would recommend it. I would advise that if you feel it lacks something on your first listen, to not fully dismiss it. “Rome’s on Fire”continues in the same vein with its Hard Rock/AOR sound and soaring chorus. I really enjoyed this track, it bounces around and the band are on point here. The galloping double bass drumming throughout gives it that extra punch and it’s very hard not to be singing along by the end of the song.
On “Unconditional” the band collaborate with ex-Leaves Eyes vocalist Liv Kristine. This is a classic 80s rock ballad right here and very radio friendly. The way Mijic’s and Kristine’s vocals weave around each other works really well. The contrast between the two is just superb.  It is slow and mellow and features a gorgeous bluesy rock solo in the middle before shifting gears into more of a shred whilst still retaining the melody. It’s sugary, it’s sweet but it’s certainly not bad for you. Again, if you have a penchant for the old power ballad, then you will enjoy this. However, if you pressed skip, you’ll be taken instantly to “Saints & Sinners” which goes back into double bass drums, monstrous riffing and takes us back into Power Metal territory.
“Jericho” closes the album out and at 7 minutes 50 seconds is the albums longest track. The song is based on the Biblical tale of the battle of Jericho. The keyboard and guitar work on display here is out of this world. Koehne and Christian Pulkkinen on top form here, as they are throughout the entirety of Cardinal to be fair. There is a long instrumental section, epic lyrics that outline the entire battle itself and the song musically shifts dynamics taking in multiple styles. One word. Epic. Actually two words! Epic Greatness!!
Going in, I hadn’t heard any previous material from Eden’s Curse other than “Sell Your Soul” but coming out ofCardinal I will be checking out everything and hope to catch them live very soon. If you like your bands with a bit of Power Metal, a dash of Symphonic Metal, a pinch of Hard Rock and a sprinkle of AOR then Eden’s Curse will be the band for you. Heavy instrumentation with soaring, powerful vocals singing catchy melodies. What more could you want?
More hooks than a pirate convention, catchier than a bout of crabs. You need Cardinal and Eden’s Curse in your life!

SOIL @ THE CATHOUSE, GLASGOW


Soil @ The Cathouse, Glasgow
It has been a while but Soil bring their massive 2016 European tour to Glasgow as the tour winds down. I know a few people were disappointed that the band Saliva pulled out but after seeing the three bands tonight that was left behind.
Unfortunately I missed most of Liberty Lies set tonight but what I did see was totally enthralling. They brought the brutality and kicked the party off in style. The room was already packed and they made the most of the time given and hopefully with the amount of gigs on this tour they will pick up a lot of new fans, I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for the.
When you look at the name Sons Of Texas as a band and you had not heard them you could make a seriously misjudged stab at their sound. Forget your cozy, porch based easy going blues tinged rock. This was the bands first visit to these shores and I am glad to say I was there to witness their chaos.
The band are only five years old and the members in their 20s but based on tonight’s live performance and the unbelievably awesome debut” Baptised In The Rio Grande” they are going to be huge. For me it is all about how a band perform live, I do not care how good your album is. I have been attending gigs for more than 35 years and it is the be all and end all. Good material will take you so far but you need to get a crowds blood pumping, heads banging and basically people need to lose their shit. Tonight all those boxes and more were ticked, ticked with a bloody lip and punch drunk stupor.
The band are proud of where they come from and they say back home if something is big be it sound, a car or your football team they have to be Texas sized and each and every track on that debut is most definitely that and more. I am more than happy to state they are the best thing I have seen come out of Texas since Pantera. That my friends is no throwaway comment, that is fact, these guys impressed me so much.
They were a whirlwind on that stage, Mark Morales is hung low over the monitor most of the night and Mike Villarreal is strutting his stuff like a badass Daniel LaRusso(bass on, bass off). I was desperate to see how songs like “Never Bury The Hatchet” and “Baptised In The Rio Grande” would go down live but I could not have expected it to be so good, so fucking heavy and brutalising.
Their set was definitely pushed to the heavier side due to the headliners they are appearing with, this was evident when the band ask do you want some Texas Blues or some Texas metal. It is a Soil gig and as much as I was screaming like an idiot for Blues I was drowned out and who cares when they pull out a blistering rendition of Pantera’s I’m Broken…a song dedicated to Dimebag. We also got a cracking version of Buckcherry’s “Slammin With The Lights Off”.
Tonight I witnessed one of the most electrifying performances of a support band this year. They are at home on that stage and they owned the crowd, now get your asses back over here for a headline tour as this short set was like one beer to an alcoholic…it didn’t touch the sides.
Little did I know on the way here tonight I wasn’t just going to a metal show but a comedy festival as well. I maybe should have got an inkling when I saw the best sign ever at a merch stand” Please talk slowly, I am American”.
As well as putting on a cracking show Soil (or to be fair the crowd) had me in stitches. Do not get me wrong it stated off with a bang as the band walked onto an almost pitch black stage and burst into “Wide open” a song that has not been aired live in a long time. It got the crowd rocking from the off and for a lot of people it made their night. It wasn’t until the song was over and Ryan McCombs informs us he had Haggis earlier that day. That got a cheer but it was the following statement that started everything off, “ After that I reckon I am ready for anything that you can throw at me Glasgow”…oh, oh, wrong move good sir, what happened next was a brutal barrage of abuse, swear words and seriously heavy Scottish dialect the best of which was “ I love nipples”. This seemed to perplex Ryan but the next volley of “ But just the right ones” broke him. He burst into laughter and a load of nipples chants flew around the room, yes, we had settled on tonight’s theme.
In between every song was some mention of that part of anatomy under all differing names and it took us an incredible amount of time to get from one song to the next, so much so that Adam Zadel gave up and just broke into the next song over the top of any talking. I always wondered how many gigs a band remembers but I am sure tonight’s will go down as a bit of Soil history.
Another surprise tonight was the inclusion of “Lesser Man” and “Give It Up”, two songs that were recorded whilst Ryan was absent from the band. This was another great choice and I wonder if this was due to the fact that they are touring with no new material, something that is very rare these days. Next year it will be four years since they have released anything and we are all hoping that this long tour turns into a long break with a whole heap of recording time.
Apart from the above surprises it is back to business for Soil and they ripped through some classics but it was the finale of “Halo” and a brilliant rendition of “Black Betty” that laid waste to this crowd.
This band are long in the tooth and purveyors of perfection on a stage, they do not need lights, gimmicks or backing tracks…they are old school rockers who as the saying goes….they came, they saw, they kicked our ass.
Images and Review Ritchie Birnie