Reign of Fury / World Detonation

Reign of Fury (Wikipedia) is a British Thrash Metal band formed around 2006-2009 in in Cheltenham. Their style is deeply rooted in 1980s Thrash Metal and also takes quite a chunk from the old school NWOBHM. It’s this band that made me rediscover thrash metal a couple of years ago (after listening mostly to either Symphonic Metal or more extreme styles like Black and Death Metal).

Their first full album was released in 2012 and is called “World Detonation”. It features great album art and eight equally great songs that are worth a listen if you are into any kind of Heavy Metal. The following video clip contains the full “World Detonation” album. Usually I do not link to full album clips, but since the band itself has linked to this very video on facebook I think it is ok to share it.

Reign of Fury has released two other amazing studio albums: “Death Be Thy Shepherd” (2015) and “Exorcise Reality” (2019). Both are worth a listen too.

Guano Apes – This Time (Live)

Guano Apes is a German alternative rock / nu metal band formed in 1994. In central Europe they soon became popular with their tracks “Open Your Eyes” and especially “Lords of the Boards” during the mid 1990s.

Since 1997 they have released an album every couple of years, the last in 2014. While there have been no new album releases in recent years, the band is still touring with the same lineup as in the 1990s.

Bonus track: They also did a great cover of “Lose yourself” by Eminem.

Enchant – Nighttime Sky

I have recommended the 1993 album “A Blueprint of the World” by Enchant before. Since then seven years have passed and still the album takes me back to a lovely place in the mid 90s. It takes me back to a time that I have fond memories of. Back to a city that has moved on since then and a me that has moved on even more – for better or worse.

Listening to it I must admit that the album by todays standards has a somewhat stale sound at times. Yet the songs are pure Prog Rock / Metal gold, even tody. Here is another track called “Nighttime Sky” from the “Blueprint of the World” album:

Judas Priest – Blood Red Skies (live)

Judas Priest is along with Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Manowar and Metallica one of my earliest Heavy Metal Influences. Back in the late 1980s they released “Turbo” (1986) and “Ram it Down” (1988). I think both albums aren’t among the Judas Priest fan favourites, but to me there are still some gems on this releases.

Exhibit: Blood Red Skies
The original track has been released on the 1988 album “Ram it Down” and I already loved it back then. It’s great. Period. I have fond memories of Judas Priest performing this track on their 2011/2012 Epitaph tour along with all the other classics.

Dear Mother – 12 Years in Exile

Dear Mother is a new Dutch metal band featuring the amazing Merel Bechtold who was one of the lead Guitarists in Delain in recent years. As sad I am that Delain has disbanded recently, this first track from Dear Mother is really promising.

The album is expected to be available summer of 2021. So far this seems to be first good news in 2021. 😉

The Gathering – Heroes for Ghosts (live)

“That trumpet is amazing…” are some of the words I thought I would never utter.

Yet here we are listening once again to the amazing The Gathering from the Netherlands. This time with Silje Wergeland as leading vocalist who in my opinion is doing a great job.

With over nine minutes this is a long song but I think it is a lovely somehwat trippy voyage that needs more exposure.

Gamma Ray – Skeletons & Majesties Live

The “Skeletons & Majesties” set has been recorded in 2011 during a concert in Pratteln (Switzerland). It was released on DVD in November 2012 and uploaded to Youtube in 2020 by earMUSIC.

You’ll find links to the individual tracks of the DVD at the bottom. All of these are earMUSIC uploads so I expect them to stay for the time to come. The track featured here is Gamma Ray covering the song “Gamma Ray” by the krautrock band Birth Control.

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Morcheeba – Live at Rockpalast

You all have seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer about 20 years ago, right? I’m not sure why I actually remember this but the only time I previously came across Morcheeba was a little bit in one of the episodes of that show (“Passion” S2E7 for what it’s worth).

Somehow youtube -in all it’s wisdom- decided to present me the video below for tonight. It happens to be a full 90 minute live set of Morcheeba recorded by Rockpalast in Germany. Very relaxing and very chill… have fun!

2020

Preface

What a year this has been so far! I won’t go into politics and I don’t wan’t to talk about Covid-19. Let’s just hope we all get through this situation and stay healthy.

Concerts

It’s hard to imagine that the last concert I have been to has been almost 10 months ago. I still have the pile of tickets for the concerts I planned on going to throughout this year (Judas Priest, Nightwish, Iron Maiden, etc.). Everything is cancelled or postponed and I am not sure when we can go to concerts again.

It seems this year quite a number of bands and labels have decided to release older live concerts (complete DVDs) on youtube. I’ll post a few links to some nice performances soon.

Guitars

Compared to other years I didn’t try many different new guitars. More or less by accident I found a new favourite guitar, a Rock’n’Roll Relics Heartbreaker. It’s fairly light and has a dry earthy tone suited very well for hard rock and high gain.

Throughout the last months I had a couple of guitars checked and set up by a local luthier. I found it’s money well spent having a professional do all the work on the guitars. This will remain an ongoing “project” as there are some more guitars that need all some more TLC.

While meeting up with the luthier we often talked about what a custom guitar for me could be. It took quite a few iterations but finally we ended up with a custom design based on a Telecaster. I’ll add some info later on as the build of the guitar is already in progress.