Aktaion – Throne





Review by Rick Ossian

When I first listened to Aktaion’s Throne, I was promptly put back in my chair on numerous occasions just from the sheer force of the tunes.  One thing I DO know for sure – to lump these blokes into a group with the veritable myriad of Swedish metal outfits would be a profound mistake.  They DO thrash ( and do so rather well, I might add) – they can also shred, vocally as well as instrumentally.  They also know where Riff City is – it must be on a map there in Sweden, possibly nearby their home of Halmstad.  This particular metal outfit comes to us from the folks at Dewar, and is beyond heavy as most of us may know it.

They were masterminded/founded by guitarist Francis Larsson in 2010, and though I noticed that no drummer was listed, the bio also stated that ‘literally everything was done by Aktaion’, so let us for now assume that the group did the drumming.  Other personnel on board are vocalist Jonas Snackmark, who careens wildly from straight vocals to full-on power shredding, sounding as if his vocal chords are about to explode.  His cohorts are Jonatan Ney (guitars, keyboards,vocals) and Axel Crone (bass).  They are a force to be reckoned with.  I also noticed that the bio referred to this outing as their first full-length recording, but the bio listed it as an EP.

One more note from the bio, and then we will charge blindly into some tunes.  This is listed as being ‘for fans of Soilwork, Killswitch Engage, and progressive metal‘.  Take these words as you will, dear readers, but know that Rick has your back as well, and would never steer you in the wrong direction.  If you are a fan of full-on heaviness – we’re talking mosh pit heaviness – then Aktaion are definitely for you.  Save for a spot or two of mellow introspection among the seriously heavily instrumentation and vocals, this group does NOT let up – their assault on your senses is a continuous, pummelling affair.  Please listen at your own peril!


First up is M.A.D. – Ass of a Catfish (how’s THAT for a title?), and it is pretty basic heavy-as-hell thrash mixed with a bit of punk attitude.  Some seriously heavy riffing and growling-at-your-granny vocals are involved here, and though there is some slight shifting into slower introspection, as mentioned above, it is for the most part brain-fryingly heavy!

We should probably also note here that the shortest tracks are at the 5-minute mark, which may lead one to wonder what happened to the shorties here.  Perhaps Aktaion are a bit of progressive metal after all…though, to be honest, I didn’t often get the PM vibe here.  Track number two, Prison Walls, gets off to a wonderfully heavy start, pounding and thrashing away like mad.  I suspect my speakers on my PC are taking a beating, as I was forced to turn the volume up a bit on this one.  There are, again, some positively node-shattering vocals here, but also some straight stuff.  This being a regular thing on these tracks leads me to the inevitable question: if Jonas can do the straight stuff, then why do the growling?  I believe the answer lies partially in the intensity of the delivery, if you will.  There are times when you can just sing like a regular singer, but there are also times when you just have to LET RIP!!

For All the Things That We Are! starts life out with a pretty cool keyboard intro, then gets heavy-as-fuck before you can utter any resistance.  There is some sweet, pedal-to-the metal heavy riffing here.  They even do a shift into super fucking heavy at about the 1:45 mark.  Again, straight vocals are interspersed with the growling, but I believe I’m already getting used to that.  I would most likely submit the intensity theory again here, for reasoning alone.  Perhaps I should do as Curtis suggests, and interview the blokes for answers…I also got the impression that this track could even be a thrash metal anthem, if you will (even a possible radio/podcast track).  There was a shift to PM briefly, but mainly heaviness throughout.  The scream at the end almost hurt my throat, by the way – just a side note!

The Cure begins a spate of longer tracks (seven minutes plus), which includes the next two numbers.  With the Cure we have another super-mellow intro – almost like a different band is operating the instruments.  Fair warning, folks – it doesn’t last!  The heaviness arrives in due time, and it is heavy indeed, with excellent instrumentation, leads on top of riffs, and the main riff is a stomper!  About half-way in we do get a PM downshift, but we are back to Riff City in record time.  This track is very representative of that moving back and forth between introspective and slamming.

The Disease is another fairly long slammer, almost seven minutes again.  It starts out with a heavy main riff and more straight vocals.  At the 2-minute mark I noticed that all elements of the tune were remarkable – vocals, music, instrumentation in general – all very well done.  The positively pummelling nature of the beat will have you at the back of your seat, as it did with me.  “SAVE YOURSELF!!” bellows Jonas, a warning which we should all heed, by the way.  At the 6-minute mark there is a blood-curdling growl/scream, again my throat was ghost sore just from hearing it!

Track Six, an interesting take on Ulver’s Blinded by Blood, is titled Thousands, and is the longest of these recordings at 9-and-a-half-minutes plus.  The intro and the close are both notable for the use of accordion, if nothing else.  I think the only time I normally recall hearing an accordion is that rare occasion when I find myself drinking beer(s) at a local Oktoberfest-themed gathering…but I digress.  This is followed by a decidedly mellow section.  The main riff kicks in at a minute in, and we also get some excellent vocal shredding shortly afterward.  The two-minute mark finds the boys downshifting to an almost lullaby-style section, but the return to full-on heaviness lies directly ahead.  There is another introspective moment or two within, particularly at 3:15 and 4:40, the latter of which contains an absolutely spooky piano solo, worth the ride alone for this track.  There are also a couple of nifty little guitar pieces.  The keyboards play a pretty big role here, but this is the only track where that really happens.

Sense of Throne, the closer, is another heavy slammer with bloody, bloody vocal chords shredding and heavy-as-hell riffing.  At this point I was almost breathless just from trying to keep up.  So, as mentioned before and above, if the heavy factor is what draws you in to your tunes, then definitely check out Aktaion‘s Throne EP! Top marks!  Also, due in 2016, the Parade of Nature coming soon!


Queensrÿche – Condition Hüman

Queensryche - Condition Human

Century Media

Review by Rick Ossian





Ever since the Queensrÿche bust-up in April 2012 (following a backstage altercation before a show in Sao Paulo), there has been a LOT of internet hate for former Queensrÿche singer Geoff Tate (he of Operation: Mindcrime).  He was replaced with former Crimson Glory vocalist Todd LaTorre.  A temporary court injunction allowed both parties to use the name of the band, but in 2014 a settlement was reached with members Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson winning the rights to use the name.  In the interim, of course, the Tate camp released their universally panned Frequency Unknown (2013), and the others released an eponymous debut, if you will, two months later.  Both outfits toured, and both survived.  Having recently listened to and reviewed the Tate camp’s latest (Operation: Mindcrime’s debut, The Key), I have to say I’m inclined to agree with the judge.  These bands are two separate entities, granted – but only one has the right to say that they are actually Queensrÿche.  In this case, the majority ruled.  In my humble opinion, the release that we are currently dealing with is the better of the two.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, Chris DeGarmo left in 1997. His most current replacement is one Parker Lundgren, who is, along with Michael Wilton, a guitarist in the band.  Bass man Eddie Jackson and drummer Scott Rockenfield, of course, remain in the engine room, and the aforementioned Mr. LaTorre is the man with the pipes.  One devastatingly accurate pair of pipes, it should be noted, particularly if he was making an attempt to sound like Geoff Tate.  He is a dead ringer vocally for their former singer, and more power to him if he is able to pull that off, because of course there will be many punters who have no idea that the singer is another bloke.


Arrow of Time, the lead-off track, is a hard-charging rocker in the vein of just about any other Queensrÿche album that you may care to mention.  Critics will probably immediately note the similarity between the voices.  Anyone who can’t hear it may as well hang it up. If we were doing a comparison/contrast study (which DOES sometimes happen), I think we would find that they compare favourably.  As with most of the tracks herein, there are at least a pair or so of lead guitar bits on this salvo.  Save for the ballad Just Us and the title track, all or most of the tunes are also radio-friendly in length.  The way FM programming is going nowadays, if you’re not pop or country or classic rock, there are few formats willing to take a risk on new material, but with such vocal/guitar heavy treats, who knows?  A bit of airplay may indeed be in order…

Guardian finds Mr. La Torre once again emulating the man he ousted from the fold, but that may not be entirely to his disadvantage.  As I mentioned before, when one does a festival, it DOES somewhat behoove you to sound like the band that you’re in!  Guardian is another feet-first rocker with plenty of guitar work and engine room pyrotechnics.  Punters may also note that there are the occasional vocal FX inserted, reminding us once again of our heroes of old.  The phrase ‘revolution calling‘ is repeated at key points of this track – what’s THAT about?

Hellfire reminds us that Messrs. Wilton and Lundgren are NOT just background fodder.  Their work comes to the fore with astonishing regularity throughout this recording.  Plus, if you listen closely, you can hear LaTorre doing his skybound vocal impressions consistently.  The guitar figure at the end of this track is also interesteing, as is the guitar work as a whole on this entire recording.

Toxic Remedy also features some very pretty guitar work, and some chugging riffs to boot.  The vocals are positively haunting, and the rhythms are absolutely infectious.  There is more energy here as well, and the potential to be actual heavy metal and/or hard rock, depending on which term(s) you prefer.  I submit to you that the two CAN be interchangeable, but with HM you are more likely to hear screaming, pounding, hammering and more extreme musical moments overall.

Selfish Lives contains a ghostly guitar intro, vocal FX and some fairly standard riffing.  Again, the main vocal is a dead ringer for the voice of the original pipe-master, but as mentioned before, you kind of NEED to do that to a certain extent to retain any kind of credibility.  After all, without a killer set of pipes, how would you perform Queen of the Reich?  Let alone a veritable slew of others.  I submit to you that is can be a good thing to emulate your forebears.  There are times on this recording where one would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

Eye9 features a beautiful bass intro, compliments of Mr. Jackson.  Nice job, Eddie!  There are more vocal FX on board here, as well as some nice riffing on the main refrain.  Lyrically, “lost in the labyrinth of life/stuck in the middle of the two” struck me as somewhat prophetic, and it stood out.  Good writing and phrasing seem to be the order of the day with most of the tracks.

Bulletproof contains a faint keyboard intro, and more cool lyrics; “the cleanse of surrender has freed me/no longer a victim of change”.  I also really dug the instrumental cacophony at the close, and the lead guitar work was remarkable.

Hourglass is bluesy but still very good, and sounds great, sonically speaking, overall.  There is some beautiful acoustic strumming at the ending.  There is also some serious riffing and some nice lead guitar work.

The six-minute ballad-style piece, Just Us, actually sort of shimmers a bit, which we can stand if it doesn’t occur too often, right?  The vocals are top-notch, and there is some excellent acoustic strumming.  There are also several brilliant guitar bits electrically.  At the 3-minute mark, one can hear both players integrating lead (solos).  Instrumental breakdowns abound, which is par for the course.

All There Was is another interesting piece with some sweet riffing and some excellent guitar work at the intro.  The engine room is on board with this bit, as well.  I particularly enjoy a good tune when the bass guitar and the drums come to the fore.  This is another high-energy tune with an excellent fading out of sorts at the end.

The Aftermath is apparently an interlude of sorts that sets up the title track, which is also, appropriately, our closer.  Condition Human is an absolute behemoth, and at 7:45, is the longest track by far on this set.  The intro is a bit shimmery and strumming acoustics again, but if you can get past that, you can hear the majesty of this track for yourself.  Another haunting tune, and just in time for All Hallow’s Eve, too!  This is a very powerful piece, and actually enters Riff City mode (2:25).  There is a chugging, energetic tempo here, and we are headed somewhere, even lyrically; “Shake the species overtime/moralities collapse”, hollers LaTorre, and once again we also hear some vocal FX, which we should probably come to expect now, at least with this particular band.  Whenever we hear echo or whispering in conjunction with vocals, many of us think Queensrÿche almost immediately!  An excellent track, and a very good recording overall.


Operation Mindcrime – The Key


Frontiers Music

Review by Rick Ossian





Being a HUGE fan of the old Queensrÿche stuff, I thought for sure that I would positively adore this latest missive from the mind/voice himself, Geoff Tate.  After a couple of listens, not so much.  While I did enjoy the punchy hard rock of such numbers as Ready to Fly, The Stranger and Hearing Voices, I was kind of put off by the majority of the tracks.  There are good, even great, vocals on nearly every track, but there are also weird FX and voices on almost everything put down here.  I mean, we understand that there is a concept at work here – they key, the code, the system – OK, we get it!  The media, the government, whoever, is trying to take over our lives, THEY are always in control, and they have the cure, but they don’t know whether they want to just give it to us or sell it for a profit, or just get rid of it!  It appears that the Big Brother theory is still well at work, at least in Tate’s mind, and in some ways this is just an extension of Queensrÿche‘s album of the same name…

But let’s get down to the meat of the work here.  First of all, the players.  We know who Geoff Tate is, at least most of us probably do.  I’ve been a fan of the ‘Rÿche for well on close to 30 years now, but didn’t really take notice until Mindcrime and Empire came into my life.  John Moyer (bass) is probably best known for his work with the nu-metal outfit Disturbed.  He has also done time with The Union Underground and Soak.  Simon Wright (drums) has worked with a veritable plethora of heavy rock and metal acts, including AC/DC, Dio, UFO, Michael Schenker and Rhino Bucket Kelly Gray, producer and musician, began playing guitar with Myth (along with Tate and Randy Gane) and has produced records from Queensrÿche, Candlebox, Dokken, Nevermore, Brother Cane and Second Coming.  He was also on board for Damon Johnson‘s (Brother Cane, Black Star Riders, Alice Cooper) Slave to the System project.  Keyboardist Randy Gane has also worked with Queensrÿche, Sweet Sister Sam, Sweaty Nipples and CandleboxScott Moughton (guitar) has been in the business for some 45 years, mainly as a studio musician, and worked previously with Tate in 1999 on his first solo album.  Also on board at times, apparently, are drum whiz Brian Tichy (Whitesnake, David Lee Roth, among others), and the Sarzo brothers, Rudy and Robert.  Whew!  Everybody still paying attention?  Right then, on to the tunes!


Choices is an eerie, creepy intro with FX and voices.  The vocals are mostly just disjointed words, talk of the future, etc.  It is a throwaway in my opinion.  Burn starts off with more of the same, although there is some pretty good guitar work.  There is a solo about midway through, but nothing really too incredible to speak of.

Re-Inventing the Future starts off life with even MORE FX and voices, and is the lead-off single.  This is a bit more like it, and has some fairly rousing bass work.  Perhaps it does have a shot at radio.  It IS a bit more FM-friendly than a lot of tracks I’ve heard here.  Some shredding lead rounds out what could have been even better given a bit more balls and length, perhaps.

Ready to Fly features some good jamming, even metallic riffing at some points.  It again has that creepy vibe and some weird FX and voices.  Some excellent bass work, but barring that, not much extraordinary work going on.  There is also a keyboard solo, which I thought a bit strange, but hey – why not throw a cog in the wheel every now and then to jazz up what would otherwise prove a boring formula?

Discussions in a Smoke Filled Room is a musical interlude of sorts, with some vaguely disturbing piano and MORE FX and MORE VOICES…another throway, methinks.

Life or Death doesn’t sound like it’s a Tate vehicle; I’m thinking one of the other blokes must have taken on lead vocal duties with this one, perhaps Kelly Gray, as he did that for a track or two on the Slave to the System CD.  There is some heavy riffing at the outset, and some sky-bound, atmospheric guitar work.  There is some fairly decent lead guitar work as well.

The Stranger is more of the same, and I’m starting to wonder if maybe some of these lyrics couldn’t just be transposed on to one or more of the other tunes.  Damn, I’m starting to sound cynical as hell here!  I guess that is what comes with being a reviewer.  I hesitate to call myself a critic because normally I’m not QUITE so critical!

Hearing Voices is finally just an out and out jam, for the most part.  NO FX or VOICES to speak of, just good heavy jamming, which is refreshing.  There are a couple of guitar solos also.

With On Queue we find ourselves back into the world of the concept LP, with plenty of FX and voices.  OK, guys, we get it – concept album – right!  “The program won’t work without the sequence.”  Again a couple of nice guitar pieces, and even a sax solo from about the 4-minute mark until the end of the song.

An Ambush of Sadness is another of the pair of musical interludes, if you will.  There are some cool FX – some finger-tapping on the guitar and some neat percussion.  Otherwise, another throwaway.  Sorry, guys, it’s just not working for me.

Kicking in the Door is a bit of a resurrection, with plenty of cool keys and sky-bound guitar work.  I also liked some of the lyrics: ” I don’t know the right thing to do/Tell me what’s the right thing to say/When they come kicking in the door”.  We see our protagonist as the main man also, as he notes that “the code and the key are safe with me”.

The Fall is a pretty big closer, just over six minutes in length, and has some nice guitar riffing at the outset.  However, unfortunately, this is just not enough to save this collection.  Again, some nice keyboard work, some vaguely thrilling guitar, and more saxophone.  I must say that overall, this is not NEARLY what I had anticipated from Tate and his cohorts.  It is about mid-level, and probably for completists only.


Better Late – Paul Davy

Paul Davy


Review by Mabh Savage

Welcome to the mellow corner, where we take a wee break from rocking out and listen to something more chilled while we have a cup of tea or something equally rock ‘n’ roll.

Sitting in my inbox is the link to Paul Davy‘s album, Better Late, which refers to the time elapsed between song writing sessions; thirty years in this case. At first glance, I can see this is a folk album in the truest sense of the word: music about and for the people. Davy has allegedly been influenced (upset) by the UK Tory party’s idea of Big Society and how it leaves people behind. As well as folk influences though, there are threads of blues and rock that weave a lively tapestry upon which poignant words are embroidered.

The first track, Karen, is a sad tale of homelessness in the city. This starts the album in a slightly morose manner, but with a surprisingly sing-a-long chorus. The tune and vocal reminds me intensely of Neil Young, circa Harvest Moon. The chord sequence bounces along, belying the despair in the lyric:

A life all battered and bruised.
Condemned, ignored and abused.
Give her the way to make it all go away.

The words hold a combination of observational detachment and a plea for compassion from the listener. A touch of strings only adds to the sense of melancholy.

Woman on the Track is an odd ditty with a refrain that will no doubt have a whole pub singing along (presuming Davy is gigging?). I’m not sure if the woman is just drunk, or if she has simply had enough, but she’s on the track and in danger, of that we are sure. I wasn’t sure if the refrain was clever or simply repetitive at first, but I’ve had it stuck in my head for two days now so well done sir, well done.

The next track gives us our first hit of blues. One Chain Road is a catchy, funky tune, with my only complaint being that it’s a little neat and tidy for a blues tune. I like my blues a little less produced; a little rougher around the edges. Also, this track needs a blues harp solo. Needs it. Lovely slide guitar though.

Tale of our Times harks back to the awful events of Morecambe Bay, 2004. For those that don’t know, 23 people died whilst picking cockles in Morecambe Bay. The workers were all Chinese, were illegally employed and had no clue about local geography including the tides. They were cut off by the tide and subsequently drowned. Davy’s aim isn’t just to relay this sad tale to us though. He points out that the gangs that deal in people trafficking have no compassion towards these human losses. Underlining this point, Davy bitterly sings

There’s plenty more fish in the sea.

The melody to Look Around and Turn Away reminds me of Horslips in their gentler moments, while the instrumentation is closer to some modern American folk music, with just a touch of country. The whole album is produce by Nigel Stonier who is classed as an ‘A-List’ producer, having many of the tracks he has produced played on mainstream radio. More impressively (for me) he has worked with Fairport Convention, one of my all-time favourite folk bands. Davy has bagged a real powerhouse of talent with this producer, and I hope he hangs on to him!

Nigel also helps with the musical input, as does Thea Gilmore, a British folk-rock icon with a distinctive and gorgeous voice.

The album goes all bluesy with When the Train Comes Along, and then we are taken on a trip around London on a Tuesday night. The Sandpiper calls to me of the shore, quiet evenings in Whitby and dusk on a wave swept beach.

Davy is good at painting little snapshots of life. He takes a moment and brings it to life for you, so you can see straight through the eyes of his memory.

My yearning for the blues harp is satisfied by Same Thing Every Year, while the following track, Take me Down that Path follows a melody that speaks to me loudly of my beloved Fairport Convention. Many brownie points are awarded for these two tracks.

You’ll be Fine starts with a gorgeous fiddle riff, followed by a lyric that seems to come from either a leaving lover or a passing relative. This song epitomises the ‘sweet sorrow’ of parting, with the singer reassuring the protagonist that they have no need to worry.

In the finest tradition of folk, the album ends with a lullaby, sung directly to a child; a baby, in this instance. A sweet ending to the album, but not the strongest song on here.

I was impressed by the diverse mix of topics Davy puts his pen to; from topical observation to deeply compassionate and personal ditties. His voice carries the words clearly and true, and the production of the album lets this really shine.

The album is available on bandcamp, and handily each track has the lyric attached so you can peruse Davy’s words about the world in case you miss the detail whilst enjoying the music.

I sincerely hope there isn’t another 30 year wait for another album from Mr Paul Davy. A fine first album, from a songwriter who shows a real potential to make a mark in the modern folk and protest scene. 4 stars from me.


Slayer – Repentless


Nuclear Blast

Review by Rick Ossian





Upon first hearing of this latest, I was duly impressed.  In particular, the introductory salvo, Delusions of Savior.  It is a metal instrumental, and from the sounds of it, hopefully a musical image of what is to come for these fellows from California.  This is their first album from Nuclear Blast, after being a part of the stables at Metal Blade, Geffen and Def Jam/American.  These blokes have been around for over 30 years, and unfortunately recently lost one of their long-time cohorts, one Jeff Hanneman (R.I.P.), due to liver failure.  At one point the future of the band was apparently in doubt, as leader Tom Araya likened any continuation to be “just like starting over, especially after 30 years with Jeff”Exodus guitar-slinger Gary Holt has climbed aboard and things seem to be moving along just fine.  Of course, those of you who know will note that Paul Bostaph is the skin-pounder, and who could forget Kerry King — the ‘other’ guitar player!  Anybody who misses Dave Lombardo on the drums (still) will just have to get over it.

The title track is up next, and one gets the feeling that there are going to be no holds barred here.  This is HEAVY duty stuff here.  They are not screwing around, and they have hit on a mix of hardcore punk and metal.  There is a double-edged sword of a guitar solo about a minute-and-a-half in, one that needs to be heard to be believed.  It is part thrash, part riff, part shred.  Very good work.  “What you get is what you see!”, bellows Araya, and from the sounds of things, this is very exciting stuff indeed.  Anybody who is not enjoying themselves at this point best check their pulse!

Take Control is another forceful number, ready to blow your head off at the slightest impulse.  When listening to Slayer, one must remember that they are faced with one of the ‘Big 4′.  The world of metal has been an exciting place of late, what with the new Maiden release and all, but how often do you get a release from one of the Big 4 nowadays?  The last was Anthrax, I believe (Worship Music).  Can’t offhand recall the most recent Metallica or Megadeth CD’s.  I know that they are in the collection, but something tells me that this is the most strident of the recent crop when it comes to thrash metal.  We get more shredding herein, by the way.  Guitar solos seem to be the order of the day, at least for the present, and this one (1:40 is just loaded with FX – some serious shred, infused with wah) is just one of several.

Vices is up next, and offers up some excellent riffing at the outset.  “A little violence is the ultimate drug/Let’s get high!”screams Araya, then another solo is cut loose.  This one sounds like it features both six-string wizards (Holt and King).  I find it interesting when the solo section is obviously shared by both guitarists.   “So fuckin high!”  Awesome stuff.


Cast the First Stone is the next track on this platter, and the intro is a bit doom-and-gloom, but do not worry, dear readers – the speed resumes shortly after proceedings begin.  Paul (drummer) is very busy, as well – he can deploy the double-bass attack as well as the next!  More guitar heroics ensue at the two-minute mark, and there is some shred as well as some psychedelic-sounding blues.

When the Stillness Comes features a simple enough beginning to start, but one gets the feeling that the boys are just getting warmed up.  This is an evil blues intro, but as one might imagine, they get riff-happy pretty quick.  There are some positively powerful drums on this track, and the guitar is not far behind.  If there is such a thing as metal blues, then this is it.  Positively evil-sounding vocals, speaking of ‘visceral hate‘ and the ‘last thing you see are my eyes’.  I like the imagery of ‘blood falling from the sky like rain’.  Not sure why, but ‘blood from above‘ seems unduly apocalyptic, for some reason.  Of course, when Tom is vocalizing it, it sounds even more horrible!

Chasing Death finds its way to the fore next, and is another slamming, pounding assault to the senses.  Vocally, instrumentally, as a whole, everything is here!  Anybody who is snoring now is simply missing out, and how could you, I would ask?  Sometimes rock/metal is maudlin’, we’ve all heard when a band is obviously just treading the veritable hamster wheel – I submit to you that Slayer do NOT do that!  Those of you who are still mourning the loss of Mr. Hanneman need to just celebrate his life instead, and move on with the rest of the band.  Just listen to that guitar, and those drums!  What more do you need?  Obviously, there is a time for mourning – if you have seen him live, you know even more what he was capable of.  However, I would submit (again) that Mr. Holt is a worthy substitute, if that is even possible.

Implode is next, which was evidently debuted at 2014’s Revolver’s Golden God Awards.  It starts out life with another slamming guitar-and-drum salvo, musically preparing us for the impending doom of Araya’s vocals.  ‘I can’t wait to see it all go down!‘, he screams.  Sometimes a song is not just a song – sometimes it is a testimony.  There is also much more shredding and thrashing about, which is what we’ve come to expect from this lot, so no surprises there.

Piano Wire begins with a nice chugging riff, right on the edge of your seat you should be by this point.  Everything about this band just brims with excitement and metal fury.  I absolutely defy anyone to be yawning or waffling at this point.  If you don’t like this latest collection of tracks from the thrash kings of old, then there is something seriously wrong with your taste buds – musically speaking, that is.

Atrocity Vendor starts out with another heavy-as-hell, in your face riff.  Paul lets everyone know that the drums want to be a BIG part of the tune straight off, and I say more power to him.  One thing I noticed about this track was that I had a picture of an AV in my head from the very start.  More wah/crybaby infused soloing, more hammering drums, more evil vocals, and unfortunately a very short track.  If I do have one complaint, it is the same old whiny, bitching Fish-Man complaint – the tracks are too short.  Almost Ramones-style short, in fact!  I guess that comes from listening to all of the prog stuff, right?

You Against You is, mercifully, a bit longer. The opening/main riff could be straight out of old school metal, but once the drums and the vocal ferocity kick in, we are reminded that we are, indeed, listening to Slayer.  Lest one forget, there is going to be incredibly savage vocals, HAMMERING drums, and guitar-from-hell. Did I mention the bass?  Tom seems to mirror Paul when they are in the engine room, and it didn’t really even occur to me until now that they are one of the most wicked rhythm sections I’ve heard in some time.  Apparently, metal DOES need to have a bit of rhythm…although I cannot recall the last time I’ve seen folks actually DANCING to metal, I can recall a mosh pit or two from my younger days.  This track is designed for that!  More serious widdling at the 2:30 mark, and both guitarists are at it again.  This hell is just for you!Tom intones – perhaps it is a warning for us to sit up and take notice -as if we weren’t already!  Another shredding lead occupies the closing, which is just fine with me!

Pride in Prejudice, speaking of closing, is our last track.  Paul starts this one out with an absolutely pounding intro, and then the others boys join in in short order.  Tom positively assaults us with his vocals AND lyrics, which by now should be obvious! ‘Don’t give me that power bullshit!’, he virtually screams at us.  ‘One gunshot sets the precedence‘.  When one contemplates the severity of Slayer lyrics, there isn’t really much that we NEED to understand.  We just NEED to listen.  Listen to that guitar!  Holy crap!  I absolutely need to listen to this again!  Top marks!


Iron Maiden – The Book of Souls

IM Book of Soulsironmaidencovershottwo

Released 04 September 2015

Parlophone UK

Review by Suzi Horsley and Rick Ossian

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Iron Maiden.

I *love* Iron Maiden. Probably more than any other band ever- seeing them at Sonisphere last year was one of the highlights of my life, and the picture of me screaming my head off to Fear of The Dark remains one of my most loved pictures of me everThey were my gateway into Heavy Metal. When I was 17 or thereabouts, (I’ve told this story way too many times on here) I nicked my housemate’s copy of Best of the Beast (It might have been Number of The Beast, I can’t remember these days) and was enthralled. I walked around the house snarling “666! The Number of The Beaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaast” for months. From then on, it was a slow descent to my current eclectic tastes which are slowly widening to include Metal of the Black and Death variety. Anyway, Iron Maiden hold a very, very special place in my heart for a multitude of reasons, and I am rather firmly of the belief that it is actually impossible for them to put out a bad album.

However, that being said I didn’t think was possible for Linkin Park to put out a bad album (remember that horror?  Or this one?) or for Lacuna Coil to put out a bad album or…well you get the idea. In the last few years I’ve been let down by some of my trusty favourites, so before I gave The Book of Souls (announced on my birthday this year don’tcha know – thanks for the present, guys!) it’s inaugural listening in the southern tower of Castle Wyrd Ways I was somewhat apprehensive.  Could a band who have been steadily churning out killer albums for the last 40 years do it again? It’s been five years since we had an Iron Maiden release – what if they’d all forgotten how to play, or something?

Well, I’m very pleased to say that is not the case. I’ll spare you the summation of my feelings and give you a track by track breakdown and as a Wyrd Ways Rocks Show Special and (to save fights) my colleague, the esteemed Rick Ossian, also known as WWRS’s King Of Prog And AOR and Senior Reviewer will be joining me.

Hello Maiden fans and freaks worldwide – Rick here, your favorite Fish-Man, with a few words (or so) to add to my fellow WWRS cohort Suzi’s.  Apparently, track listing(s) vary from one continent to the next, so what we shall have here is a Transcontinental Twisted Review with a shared authorship of sorts.  Now, normally when I do a review I do a pretty technical breakdown and try to map things out for the listener.  I will try to refrain from that to a certain extent here and just get down to brass tacks.  Like Suzi, I have become an ardent admirer of the Irons (Up the Irons!) since they appeared in my musical orbit — only difference being that I may have become more aware of them much earlier than Suzi.  Then again, the only REAL reason for that is because I am much older.  Also, there isn’t going to be a lot of objectivity involved here…let us be clear, this is a completely biased review.

When I first began listening to Maiden, I was a MUCH younger man than I am now.  I also have one concert experience to covet, and I can’t even begin to tell you about it, because the memories just aren’t there.  I DO recall that Guns N’ Roses bowed out as the support band (supposedly because their star was on the rise and Axl didn’t think it ‘proper’ that G N’ R should open for somebody else at the time). Another American outfit, Hurricane, did the honours instead, and I remember not much else except for Dickinson‘s regular requests for us to “SCREAM FOR ME, OMAHA!!”

Since I’m the boss (or T’Gaffer, to use Yorkshire slang), and Maiden were the band that single-handedly got me into this whole Heavy Metal thing, if you two think you’ll get away without at least the odd interjection, you’ve got another thing coming!

So let’s get to it.  Damn straight.

The album is Maiden’s first studio double album (though I have a digital copy from Groove Music) and comes in at a whopping 92 minutes. It has  their longest ever track on it, which comes in at 18.01 minutes long and knocks Rime of The Ancient Mariner down to being Maiden‘s second longest track. It is *not* a concept album, although I rather feel it should be, but it quite thematic on the subjects of death and hell and other cheerful things like that.

If Eternity Should Fail  is our introduction which kicks off with some weird Spaghetti Western-esque “do-do-dooooooo” stuff before Bruce gives the most beautiful, ethereal standalone kick off to a vocal introduction to an album I think I’ve ever heard. What you then get is gloriously classic Maiden – all the things that make Maiden great – with something that’s new.  It’s old Maiden enough that no one is going to be upset, but new Maiden enough that it isn’t boring either.  And the lyrics are mind blowing.  It’s also instantly catchy.  I’m only on my third listening and singing along already.  At the end it has some really creepy spoken word stuff which gives you some flavour (and freaks you out).

As an opening track, this one sets the stall out well.  The intro is a bit… interesting.  Very 80’s synths (remember this band telling us in their sleeve notes that Metal and keyboards should never mix?  How times have changed!) backing a mournful verse, with Bruce showing another, Blues-y, side to his voice.  Then the rest of the band comes in and we’re in familiar territory.  This is Maiden.  A good one to start with.

If Eternity Should Fail follows The Red and The Black (more on that later) as track 5 in the States, and I was agog at the intro, a purely spacey, Egyptian-style intro that recalled some of the tracks from Powerslave, for me at least.  The requisite galloping and guitar-soloing are there, and at the five-minute mark there is a brief bass/drum takeover, of all things.  Bruce‘s vocal power is just that, an extraordinary display of an extraordinary man’s talents.  The voicing(s) at the end may be these blokes’ way of getting all philosophical on us, but who cares?  It SOUNDS cool!

Track 2 here in the UK is the previously released single Speed of Light which is *deep breath* the closest I think Maiden have ever come to releasing a Pop Song. It’s not bad, please do not misunderstand me for a single second, it’s just a bit poppy in a way I can’t put my finger on. It’s my least favourite track from the album, but it’s still good. From any other band I’d think it was perfectly acceptable. Anyway, it’s a bit boppy, and I want Maiden to make me scream and then displace bits of my spinal column head-banging. This track doesn’t do that. I do still find myself bouncing along in my desk chair signing the chorus though so, yeah…

Oh, give over, Elfie!  This one’s a cracker!  The song gallops along on sheer joy and showcases a band that are enjoying themselves.  After the last couple of albums, I’d begun to fear that Maiden had lost the ability to write quick songs.  This one proves me wrong, and does it in fine style.  Nicko even uses his cowbell!

Speed of Light, the track that first became available to us, is the last track to appear, ironically enough, on the US version.  Though it may sound tepid by some standards, it is a truly remarkable piece of work as well.  

The Great Unknown starts with all the guitars doing cunning understated things, and is almost stripped back for a Maiden guitar line. The Bruce comes in with some restrained vocals and then you get some keyboards I think, and the track just slowly builds up for well over a minute until finally around the 1 and a half minute mark Nicko gets unleashed on the drums and then the guitars kick into Maiden style and you get hit full on in the face with the glories of a full Maiden line up doing what they do best, while Bruce shows off all that opera singer training he had. Also, epic guitar solos.  I can see the crowds going nuts, with horns up screaming this one back in the middle of a festival already.

This one is an example of what Iron Maiden have been experts at for the last thirty years.  Slowburning, epic songs that build from quiet and thoughtful to full speed gallops, before returning to quiet, without feeling forced.  One thing that you can’t help but notice is the sheer quality of the guitar work from original member Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Janick Gers (the former White Spirit and Gillan six-stringer who has now been with Maiden for something like a quarter of a century, but still feels like the new boy!), all underpinned and anchored by Steve Harris’s throbbing, galloping bass.

The Great Unknown comes in as the second track on this side of The Pond, and Steve begins this number in rather regal bass fashion.  The urgency is there, the in-your-face delivery is there – in fact, it’s ALL there, folks.  All we need to do is listen!  It occurred to me during my first listen of this track that NOBODY screams/yells at you/us like Bruce.  About 5 minutes in there is a contemplative shift of sorts, and …Unknown begins to sound like a different song, hell, even a different band, up to the fade-out. “And the world has fallen/And we stand alone” – kind of prophetic lyrics, but then they do that occasionally, don’t they?

Up next is my favourite track from the album – The Red and The Black. Kicks off with Spanish-style guitars and then kicks into a high octane, thumping, thrumming wall of glorious, multi-coloured sound. Seriously, it is an aural orgasm. You know how Maiden have a back catalogue full of songs that you can just jump and down to, singing “woaoh ah ohhh oh!” along with a slamming guitar line and drums that are just right where it’s at (Lars Ulrich can piss off, Nicko is king FOREVER) THIS IS THAT TRACK. It’s just perfection. I can’t even begin to tell you how perfect it is – it jumps to being my number three favourite Maiden track (Fear of the Dark and Number of The Beast are at 1 and 2. Incidentally Can I Play With Madness is fourth). It’s also a glorious 13 minutes long. There’s always a risk with long tracks that they’ll get boring halfway through. Not so, with this one. It’s 13.33 minutes of sheer perfection.

The Red and the Black is up fourth here in the expanse that is Nebraska too, and I don’t know that a bigger track has been heard (at least not to these ears) in quite some time.  Steve begins the proceedings again, I believe, though these ears MAY be a bit untrained.  Any bass players out there that would be willing to express their opinion(s) would be more than welcome!  Emotions and guitar solos are running high on this track as well, and at about the ten-minute mark things shift to a more uptempo rendering.  At ten-and-a-half the repetition, though oh-so-subtle, is the only thing that takes away from the track.  Repetition CAN be cool, methinks.  Perhaps in another world, repetition is all the rage!  At twelve minutes in we do another shift to that world-famous, globe-trotting gallop, and then Steve ends things, kind of like he did at the beginning – you remember, back at the beginning of this track?

There’s some very interesting guitar work on this one, acting as a mirror to Bruce’s melody line, playing along to his singing, matching him note-for-note.  The wash of keyboards in the background adds colour and depth without overwhelming anything else.  Probably the most striking thing is that, four songs in, with nothing clocking in at less than five minutes (most either pushing or exceeding 10 minutes) none of these have overstayed their welcome or sounded forced.  It’s really looking like Iron Maiden have completed their transformation from meat-and-potatoes NWOBHM to a fully-fledged Prog Metal band of the type the likes of Dream Theater can only dream of being.  The Red And The Black is just one of the tracks that reinforces that.  Then there’s the gear shift at around nine minutes in that just makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

When The River Runs Deep should then be an instant disappointment, following such an epic little adventure. However it isn’t. The Red and The Black has a peaceful finish to it and then When The River Runs Deep slams right into your face with a full-on start, and no build up. It’s “only” 5:52 long (there’s only one track shorter than 5 minutes on the whole album and it comes in at 4:58), and I’m sure there’s some cowbell in it. Just the right amount, it doesn’t need more. We’ve got Her Majesty’s Right Royal Air Raid Siren, Bruce Dickinson after all.

When The River Runs Deep is one of those classic Iron Maiden songs.  Unmistakeable.  Riffs, vocals and solos… all perfectly weighted and placed.

I found myself immensely enjoying US track 7, When the River Runs Deep, which in Maiden World is short but sweet at only about six minutes, but still an excellent track, with a super fucking bad-ass main riff and some soloing featuring one of those wah/crybaby pedals (I’m thinking probably Janick there).  The solos abound on this and all of the tracks.

The Book of Souls is the last track of Disc One for those with a physical copy here in the UK and track 6 for those with a digital version. It’s a 10 minute long epic, and it’s best listened to by sitting back and closing your eyes and letting it wash over you.  While you headbang, obviously.

Now then.  The title track.  The Book Of Souls.  Is it epic?  Yes.  Somewhat surprisingly, the keyboards are a lot further forward in the mix than you’d expect.  Again, that raises a wry smile, but it turns the song into something huge.  Then the pedal goes down at the halfway point and the goosebumps are back.  The soloing again is incredible.  Guitar afficianados bang on about Vai, Satriani, Friedman and Malmsteen… but if you want guitar heroics that actually serve the song, you really can’t do any better than Murray, Smith and Gers.  The energy and imagination in this track alone put bands twenty years younger to shame.  THIS is how you do Prog Metal.  Yes, you can do all the Proggy twiddly bits, but you remember the Metal.  

The title track, which you will find in penultimate position Stateside, begins life as it ends, with some positively heavenly acoustic guitar work.  Since when do these guys deploy such subtle weaponry?  I haven’t heard it on any tracks since, oh, say the last album?  All kidding aside, dear readers, The Book of Souls is a piece of work that needs to be heard to be believed.  It is incredible – it is fantastic.  It is, as Bruce intones, the “food of all the gods“.  Their are many sweet solos, and the crybaby pedal is broken out again.

Disc 2 kicks off with Death Or Glory and is an instantly upbeat faster paced (and shorter) track than The Book of Souls. It’s fairly punchy, with memorable lyrics, and is again, bound to be a crowd pleaser, but I got distracted listening to it and forgot to write anything. (Elfie! – T’Gaffer)

Death or Glory, which occupies the eighth slot here, features another big rock intro, complete with more wicked vocals and even a couple of paradiddles (getting a bit technical there, Rick! – T’Gaffer) from Nicko.  We get the full package here, folks, with no less than three guitar solos to boot!

Now this is what an album opener should sound like.  Yet Death Or Glory could be classed as the opener for “Side 2”.  This one’s got the Maiden swagger all over it.  This really is the sound of Iron Maiden in full flight, and it is truly majestic.  The goosebumps are back again as soon as they get to the bridge.  If you don’t get the urge to get out your air guitar about three minutes in, you have no soul.  On any other album, this would be the highlight track… but as my colleagues have already mentioned, this album is something special…

Shadows Of The Valley follows Death Or Glory in the UK, and again it’s fairly fast paced. Disc One may be all slow build up songs that then smack you in the face, Disc Two is full of boiling over tracks who have already reached a full head of steam by the time they start. I can’t put my finger on which previous release this track puts me in mind of, but whichever one it is, they’ve done it before. This seems to be a subtle re-working than an entirely new track. Still, bloody good though.

Unlike the UK version,  Shadows of the Valley is the album opener on the Stateside version.  I can hear Steve REALLY well, and of course that classic Maiden gallop is there.  Nicko’s drumwork is wonderful, I might add, and I can hear that beautiful ting ting ting of his cymbal(s).  Bruce is in wonderful form, considering his recent bout (Bruce wins!) with cancer, and there are plenty of guitar solos to go around.  “Into the valley of death“, Bruce intones, which we should realize takes on a completely different perspective, again considering Dickinson’s brush with the Reaper.

They’re at it again on Shadows Of The Valley!  Another slab of classic Maiden.  Bruce is singing out of his skin… which is truly amazing when you consider that, when this was recorded, he had a tumour “the size of a golfball” on his tongue.  There’s the hint of an Eastern influence on the riffing.  Those solos… as I type this, the song is playing and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end.  This one is going to go down a storm at the live shows.

Tears of a Clown is the albums shortest track coming in at a mere 4.58. It’s also (apparently) based on Robin Williams’ death in 2014. The opening guitars don’t quite ring right for me – they’re a little off beat somehow, but then it improves.  The opening lyrics:

All along in a crowded room
He tries to force a smile
The smile it beamed or so it seemed
But never reached the eyes, disguise
Masquerading as the funny man do they despise

…are absolutely heartbreaking and a very poignant reminder of the complexities of mental health. It is, a solid tribute both to Robin Williams (assuming the story is true) and to those battling mental health stigma everywhere. Never let it be said that Maiden are scared to tackle the hard subjects. And unlike a lot of bands they manage to do it in a non-sensationalist way as well.

It’s absolutely spot-on.  Despite the somewhat cliched title, the song itself is pretty much perfect.  Lyrically poignant… and that guitar work.  I know, I keep coming back to it, but this triple attack from Messrs Gers, Murray and Smith is truly awe inspiring, and there’s no hyperbole in that.  Each and every time, the soloing is incredible.

Tears of a Clown is the shortest track on board here, at just under five minutes, but it is no less cooler than the remainder of the tracks.  It features a wickedly cool intro, and is probably a perfect example of the stop-start, proggy time signature freak-outs that our parents warned us would screw up our ears and the rhythm of our hearts!  More of the wah-pedal being stepped on, which I ALWAYS enjoy, as well.

The Man of Sorrows isn’t any more cheerful and is the penultimate track of the album which also is seemingly based on a mental health theme. It’s probably the most haunting track on the album, and has  slower paced verses and vocals that really let Bruce’s range go to work. Like all Maiden tracks there’s a fairly long vocal free intermission in the middle. Always a pleasure to listen to musicians who are skilled at what they do making some melodies work their asses off.

The Man of Sorrows has a sweet guitar opening, weighing in as track 6 in the US, and an extremely cool ending as well, with a slamming pounder of a riff (1:30), more galloping (2:00), and more guitar solos (4:00/4:30).

Finally, the album comes ot a glorious close with The Empire Of The Clouds. Written solely by Bruce (as was If Eternity Should Fail), it boots Rime of The Ancient Mariner from the longest Maiden track slot, being as Rime is a mere 13 minutes long, and Clouds comes in at 18.01. It also features Bruce on the piano and begins with a distinctly unMaidenish piano intro. This is not a headbanger, this a Lie Back And Enjoy It. And it’s beautiful. There’s even a violin. Or something with strings at any rate. Anyway, it’s a gloriously fitting closer to an album that has been a long time in the making.

Empire of the Clouds (US track 3!) pretty much sums up the definition of epic, and even when faced with other standard side-long prog tracks, it does NOT lack whatsoever.  There is plenty of pomp and circumstance, Stürm und Drang, as it were, and you know it’s going to be an absolute monster when there are keys and strings involved!  The introduction features a beautiful piano piece, and about a minute in we get some gorgeous violin work.  Two minutes in, we get some powerful vocals.  You don’t really hear your first taste of guitar until about three-and-a-half minutes in!  At the four-minute mark, things get decidedly heavier.  This one is positively hair-raising – I literally had gooseflesh during my first listening to it!  Again, plenty of lead guitar work to go around, and the big Nicko shift (7 minutes in) is interesting to say the least.  If one were to look in Webster’s (or the Oxford English Dictionary for those of us on this side of The Pond! – T’Gaffer) under ‘vocal prowess’, then there would be a big picture of Bruce there with this track!  There are transitions a-plenty as well, and at fifteen minutes in, you would swear we were listening to a different track again!  Towards the end, at about 17 minutes in, as the track begins to fade out, we get more of that ‘grand’ piano stuff.  This track in particular kind of says it all, and could even be indicative of a Maiden ‘formula’, if there were one!

So after 1600-odd words of my waffling at you, what do I think of The Book of Souls? Well, frankly I think it’s a continuation of a 40 year long career standard. There’s not many bands who can consistently turn out excellent albums. Iron Maiden are one of those bands. Longterm fans won’t be disappointed and new fans will be left wanting more. I’m rating this album 5/5 but only because Carl won’t let me rate it as an 11. (Just this once, I might let you do that, Suzi – T’Gaffer)

It’s been five years since The Final Frontier (which I have to admit was something of a disappointment).  The question that has to be asked is, “Has it been worth the wait?”  The answer has to be, and can only be in the affirmative.  If you’re going to call this a “comeback” album, it’s been the best return since Osiris.  This is a band that, even after nearly 40 years, are capable of working magic.  Not content with nostalgia trips, this is a band that is pushing forward and pushing forward hard.  It’s likely we will never see the like of Iron Maiden again, and the credit for that lies firmly in the hands of Steve “Bomber” Harris.  He put this band together.  He’s the lynchpin that holds this band together.  His drive, determination and sheer ability to pick exactly the right musicians to fit his vision have absolutely come to full fruition with The Book Of Souls.  Every single note played on this incredible record just proves that Iron Maiden are the greatest Heavy Metal band in the world.  Ever.

If you disagree, you’re wrong.  It’s as simple as that.  Full marks.  Album of the fucking DECADE.  UP THE IRONS!

For those of you whose musical orbit does not land in Maiden Land, this may NOT be for you.  However, for those of you who are about to Rock, as we all do from time to time, this is the stuff right here!  I am in complete agreement with my cohort, Suzi – at the very least, highest marks with two thumbs straight the hell up!

(P.S Maiden for Bloodstock 2016 alright? Please don’t let them Download, I don’t want to deal with the tweenagers)



Resin – Persecution Complex



Review by: Cat A

It’s been a while since I wrote a review, so when I put a call out on social media for a review suggestion I got my hands on Resin’s upcoming EP Persecution Complex.

You may have heard of Resin from the 2014 Metal 2 the Masses competition to play that year’s Bloodstock, and for very good reason as they won the thing and treated the New Blood Stage to a fantastic show, then went and totally owned the Jagermeister stage with an acoustic set. With tea and biscuits. There was a single release, there were some gigs, and then there was an awful announcement that the band was to be no more, even following all the success of the year.

But you’re writing about a new EP!” I hear you cry, and yes indeed I am. The vacancies were filled and a new look Resin were announced in February. More gigs, festivals and then the eagerly-awaited new music from the revamped band followed.

Okay, okay I’ll talk about the music now.  Persecution Complex opens with an irritatingly catchy riff (ie it’s got stuck in my head) as the introduction to Open Heart Trauma. It’s bluesy, it’s grungy, it’s one you can actually dance to. There is something about this track that gives me goosebumps with harmonies that get right to the heart (no pun intended). In fact I have just put it on again. For the fourth time in a row. You can have a listen to a bit of it yourself in the teaser below.

Following that is something of a darker feel . Printing Money sounds to me like something that should be played over a melancholic movie montage, when everything has gone awry for the protagonist and they’re sat in a bar wallowing.  Angel, the final track of Persecution Complex, is powerful. If you want a description, it’s like the best of 90s grunge. Again there are shivers and goosebumps as the lyrics “what have you turned me into?” are sung out in a gravelly tone that takes me right back to my college years. There’s a dark beauty to the song that can stir up emotion, so maybe it’s not one to listen to before a night out, but it sure as hell is one that I want to hear live.

Should you buy this EP? Well I would. Then I would make sure I’m at the front for one of their gigs, and then I’d go and buy a shirt or two. Music doesn’t have to be melt-your-face brutal to totally rock, and Resin in their latest incarnation are stepping up to the plate to show the rock and metal world that great things can come from what seems to be a dreadful situation. It’s difficult to believe that in the space of 6 months a lineup can come together and create an EP with as much power as Persecution Complex. Well played Resin, keep it up.