Annihilator—One to Kill (official lyric video)

Canada’s Annihilator was among one of the first thrash band I got into back in the 1980s. I loved their first two albums, Alice in Hell (1989) and Never, Neverland (1990).

I’m delighted to see that their 16th album For The Demented (2017) will be released early next month, on Friday 3 November.

I kind of lost touch with Annihilator with 1994’s King of the Kill. This track certainly makes me want to check them out again and dig a little deeper into their now not inconsiderable back catalogue.

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Martin Eric Ain (1967–2017) RIP

I felt so sad today learning of the untimely and sudden death yesterday of Martin Eric Ain, the former bassist of Celtic Frost and Hellhammer. He was only 50 years old, and reportedly died of a heart attack.

Celtic Frost were arguably the first metal band that I really got into as a teenager. Every time I visited a record store I would always, always look for something from Celtic Frost. In part to try to find something rare (I never did), but in part to determine the quality of the store: if they had any Celtic Frost albums then I judged it to be a good store.

Twenty-two years after getting into them, I finally got to see Celtic Frost play live in Glasgow in 2007, they were co-headlining with Kreator. It was a year before they split up again. That was one of the most memorable concerts that I’ve been to. It was an event.

I feel honoured to have seen Ain play live, to have seen Celtic Frost play live.

There was clearly a complex relationship between Tom G Warrior and Martin Eric Ain through the years. A push-pull relationship. Something that came up again recently in a post on Thomas Gabriel Fischer’s blog, “Mammon’s inexorable temptation” where he lamented what Ain was doing with Celtic Frost’s heritage, selling off old kit on a Facebook page.

I was sad when Celtic Frost ended. Monotheist was a brutal album. It was very different from their 80s albums—it was more raw, darker, more nihilistic. And it didn’t feature their famous sounds-like-a-vacuum-cleaner guitar tone. I was hoping for more new music.

No new music ever came from the Fischer/Ain partnership, although I have loved what Thomas Gabriel Fischer went on to create with Triptykon.

Rest in peace Martin.

PREVIEW: Klogr—Keystone (2017)

Klogr—Keystone (2017)

Klogr—Keystone (2017)

About

KLOGR release their third studio album ‘Keystone’ (mixed by Grammy winning producer David Bottrill (Stone Sour, Muse, Rush, Tool and more) on Friday 6 October 2017 via Zeta Factory (distributed in the UK/Europe by PHD).

The artwork is a piece of a painting by renowned Italian artist, Andrea Saltini.

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Band

  • Gabriele “Rusty” Rustichelli—Vocals/Guitar
  • Pietro Quilichini “PQ”—Guitar/Backing Vocals
  • Roberto Galli—Bass
  • Maicol Morgotti—Drums

Tracks

  1. Sleeping through the seasons
  2. Prison of light
  3. Technocracy
  4. The echoes of sin
  5. Pride before the fall
  6. Something’s in the air
  7. Drag you back
  8. Sirens’ song
  9. Dark tides
  10. Silent witness
  11. Enigmatic smile
  12. The wall of illusion

Review

Keystone is the third album from Italian-American band Klogr (pronounced Kay-logger). A band that I’d never heard of until now, but isn’t that the joy of this project.

Musically, the band sits somewhere between alternative rock and alternative metal. The album is very nicely produced and mixed. It has a warm, full sound that suits the melodic arrangements. The guitars are heavy without sounding harsh.

When you listen to album for the first few listens, if you’re anything like me then you’ll try to reach for comparisons. The album reminds me in part of Stone Sour fused with Freak Kitchen with a little Seven7 thrown in for good measure.

The album opens with what sounds like the start of the Star Trek theme tune, but accompanied by a children’s plinky piano. (“Sleeping through the seasons”, track 1) Then the guitars introduce a chug-chug-chug-chug riff. It’s catchy and melodic.

And so the album continues. “Prison of light” (track 2) features a nice ascending riff; “Technocracy” (track 3) is a fast-paced track with a twisting-turning riff; “The echoes of sin” (track 4) has a Dream Theater vibe to it; “Pride before the fall” (track 5) sounds a bit like a slowed-down “Technocracy”.

For me, the stand-out track is “Something’s in the air” (track 6). It’s a mid-paced, chugging rock track with a beautifully heavy, slide-y riff. I could listen to it all day. It’s heavy, it’s melodic, it’s interesting and varied. Brilliant stuff!

Klogr lurking in the shadows

Klogr lurking in the shadows

“Drag you back” (track 7) is built around a fluttering riff; “Sirens’ song” (track 8) is a short track that sounds like it was recorded underwater, and leads beautifully into “Dark tides” (track 9) which has an ’80s metal ballad feel to it.

“Silent witness” (track 10) opens with a bass riff that gives way to a complex guitar riff, that changes directions. Every. Few seconds. “Enigmatic smile” probably has the most metal riff on the album but gives way to a melodic rock track.

The album plays out to “The wall of illusion” which probably encompasses everything that Klogr have thrown at us so far in this album.

And then it ends.

Quite abruptly.

Conclusion

To be honest, there is little to criticize the album for. Some of the songs do begin to sound a little bit same-y as you progress through the album, but that would only really become a problem if the songs weren’t great. And these are really good songs. There is more than a little prog influence contained in the tracks on this album, and that is also a good thing. The songs have dynamics, and a shape, that each tell a musical story.

I really like this album. I can see myself returning to it again and again.

What more could you ask for from a piece of music?

Review score: 85%