Author: Mat Davies

Visigoth – The Revenant King

Do you remember heavy metal? I mean, real, proper heavy metal, with pounding drums, wailing guitars and fantastical tales of derring do, battles fought and won, heroes forged and evil vanquished? Yes, THAT kind of heavy metal- the heavy metal of my now all too distant youth. Well, blow me down with a 4/4 beat, Visigoth also remember heavy metal and here they are practising it as if it were the most natural thing in the world. “The Revenant King,” the latest opus from this Salt Lake City outfit is not going to win any prizes with any hipsters...

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Rebecca Downes – Back to the Start

I suspect that blues singer songwriter Rebecca Downes is not traditional material for readers of TINAS. She sits squarely as part of the growing tsunami of modern blues singers who are taking traditional song structures and melodies and bringing a fresh perspective to a familiar genre. This self-published debut album is nicely put together with a range of influences across the musical spectrum: blues obviously dominates but equally you can tell that Ms Downes has a liking for, and knowledge of, jazz, soul and rock, albeit rock from the middle of the proverbial road. Her publicists want to tell...

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Bloody Hammers – Under Satan’s Sun

“Under Satan’s Sun”, the latest release from North Carolina’s Bloody Hammers is veritable aural feast for those of us¬†obsessed with Hammer House of Horror movies, Blue Oyster Cult melodies and satanic tales of yore. That will be all of us, then. Channeling their best Black Sabbath riff appreciation society meeting for most of this record, “Under Satan’s Sun” has an organic, almost primal feel to it. At one level, you could probably see these Americans as the non-theatrical antidote to Ghost BC.¬†As a live proposition you certainly get none of the staged posturing beloved of the Swedes- this is...

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Rich Robinson – The Ceaseless Sight

The Black Crowes don’t make it easy for their fans, do they? Again on an unspecified hiatus and with new material as rare as rocking horse droppings, those ranks of fans are left grasping at the odd live performance or bootleg CD . Thank heavens then for the creative restlessness of Crowes guitarist Rich Robinson. This third album of solo compositions is rich (no pun intended) in rock, soul and folk influences and is probably his most coherent and compelling work to date. The mood and vibe are immediately established with the brilliant opener, ‘I Know You’ which has...

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Messenger – Illusory Blues

If music is the soundtrack to our lives, evoking memories of people and place then the debut album from UK progressive act Messenger, the enigmatically entitled “Illusory Blues” will, to these ears, forever be associated with the south eastern corner of Sicily where I first became enchanted with this eclectic, ambitious and often beautiful record. This is the sort of record that people who know about these sorts of things will use phrases like “gossamer light” or “sonic cathedral” to describe the charms on offer on this most polite yet often startling of debuts. As you may have gathered...

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