Thursday 27 February 2020

Album Review: OZZY OSBOURNE - Ordinary Man

OZZY OSBOURNE - Ordinary Man

01. Straight To Hell (featuring Slash)
02. All My Life
03. Goodbye
04. Ordinary Man (featuring Elton John)
05. Under The Graveyard
06. Eat Me
07. Today Is The End
08. Scary Little Green Men
09. Holy For Tonight
10. It's A Raid (featuring Post Malone)
11. Take What You Want  [Bonus Track: Post Malone (featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott)]

A new Ozzy album was long overdue, but Ordinary Man is a strange one. After Ozzy guested on rapper Post Malone's hit Take What You Want (included on here as a bonus track), the producer, Andrew Watt, clearly hit it off with Ozzy and they decided to do a full album together. 

Andrew Watt handled guitar duties and brought in Duff McKagan from Guns N' Roses on bass and Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on drums. That's a seriously good team to make a record with. It' also a breath of fresh air to hear Ozzy working with a different set of people.

Most of the songs have reflective lyrics, which make me think that when it was recorded, Ozzy was in the mind-set that this would be his last record. His recent revelation that he has been suffering with Parkinson's disease since 2003 and recent tour cancellations certainly back up this theory. Opener Straight To Hell is a decent rocker, and is blatantly about drug addiction. Under The Graveyard documents one of the darkest points of Ozzy's life, and the superbly acted and poignant music video complements the song perfectly. It also has some nice Sabbath style riffing, making it one of the stronger tracks on here.

The title track, which features Elton John, is probably the best ballad Ozzy has ever put his name to. Continuing the theme of looking back at his life, Ordinary Man is a beautiful duet which has a melancholy mix of both celebration and sadness.

There is also a lot of fun on this album. Eat Me is a catchy number with a cannibalistic theme. I have no idea what it's about really, it's just daft entertainment. Scary Little Green Men seems to be about aliens living among us. Again, it's escapism and a welcome break from the lyrical epitaphs that are in abundance on the rest of the record. Scary Little Green Men is also, along with the title track, my favourite song on the album. The chorus is an earworm and Ozzy's character brings some real magic to it.

Ordinary Man is, in my opinion, Ozzy's best album since the classic No More Tears. If it turns out to be his last, he will have gone out with a solid 'Goodbye'. However, I can't shake the feeling that Ozzy will be continuing to make records for as long as his health allows. One thing is certain though, we'll all miss him when he's gone.


Sunday 23 February 2020

Album Review: SEPULTURA - Quadra

01. Isolation
02. Means To An End
03. Last Time
04. Capital Enslavement
05. Ali
06. Raging Void
07. Guardians Of Earth
08. The Pentagram
09. Autem
10. Quadra
11. Agony Of Defeat
12. Fear; Pain; Chaos; Suffering

Thursday 20 February 2020

Album Review: GREEN DAY - Father Of All Motherfuckers

Green Day - Father Of All Motherfuckers

01. Father Of All...
02. Fire, Ready, Aim
03. Oh Yeah!
04. Meet Me On The Roof
05. I Was A Teenage Teenager
06. Stab You In The Heart
07. Sugar Youth
08. Junkies On A High
09. Take The Money And Crawl
10. Graffitia


Saturday 8 February 2020

Album Review: LOVEBITES - Electric Pentagram

Lovebites - Electric Pentagram

01. Thunder Vengeance
02. Holy War
03. Golden Destination
04. Raise Some Hell
05. Today Is The Day
06. When Destinies Align
07. A Frozen Serenade
08. Dancing With The Devil
09. Signs Of Deliverance
10. Set The World On Fire
11. The Unbroken
12. Swan Song


Friday 7 February 2020

Album Review: ANNIHILATOR - Ballistic, Sadistic

Annihilator - Ballistic, Sadistic

01. Armed To The Teeth
02. The Attitude
03. Psycho Ward
04. I Am Warfare
05. Out With The Garbage
06. Dressed Up For Evil
07. Riot
08. One Wrong Move
09. Lip Service
10. The End Of The Lie


Sunday 2 February 2020

Gig Review: TWIN TEMPLE + THE VIOLENT HEARTS at The Deaf Institute, Manchester (UK) 27/01/2020

Twin Temple UK tour 2020

I only discovered Twin Temple a couple of weeks before this show after a chance encounter on my Facebook feed. They looked rather awesome so I went down the rabbit hole, watching YouTube videos and reading up on them. There's something wonderfully exciting about discovering a new band you really like and immersing yourself in their art.

The core of the band is a real-life Satanic married couple, singer Alexandra and guitarist Zachary James. Their music is a blend of 50's and 60's Rock n' Roll, but with occult lyrical themes, which they call Satanic Doo-Wop. I can see how on an initial listen, they may seem like an evil version of Amy Winehouse, but there's so much more to this act than that. They tap into the timelessness of classic Rock n' Roll, giving it a contemporary spin, yet managing to retain the vintage aspect of the music in both terms of performance and production.

Being such a genuinely interesting and unique act, I couldn't miss out on the chance to catch them live. The retro-looking Deaf Institute in Manchester was the ideal venue for such an experience.

The support band, The Violent Hearts, reminded me a bit of that evil band from the movie Jennifer's Body. Seriously though, they were actually pretty cool. Imagine a mix of The Smiths, The Cure and Creeper and you'll be somewhere close. They seemed to go down well with the audience too, so I'm sure they chalked this gig up as a success.

The Violent Hearts at The Deaf Institute, Manchester Jan 2020
The Violent Hearts
The Violent Hearts at The Deaf Institute, Manchester Jan 2020
The Violent Hearts

Twin Temple began their set with a Satanic ritual, involving a skull, ceremonial swords and the denouncing of sexism, racism, prejudice etc. It's as theatrical as it is empowering, and the positive messages and passion are lapped up by the audience. The band then broke into The Devil (Didn't Make Me Do It), and the whole room simply sizzled with energy. It was a truly euphoric start to the show, and the audience was clearly captivated.

As far as I'm aware, they played every song they've released so far. That's everything off the debut and the two new songs, I Am A Witch and Satan's A Woman, from their 7 inch.  All of these, with the occasional ritual thrown in, lasted over an hour, and every minute was engaging. Twin Temple really is a great band. The performance was slick and, dare I say it, perfect. It's also been a long time since I've seen a band with a saxophonist on stage too, which I enjoyed a lot. Alexandra's voice is mesmerising, and on the same level as any international mega-stars in this genre one could mention.

Finishing up with an extended version of the brilliant I'm Wicked, they left a lasting impression. Tonight's show was nothing short of superb, and I'll be keeping a close eye on where the band goes from here.

Waiting for Twin Temple at The Deaf Institute, Manchester Jan 2020
Waiting for Twin Temple
Twin Temple at The Deaf Institute, Manchester Jan 2020
Twin Temple starting their show with a ritual
Twin Temple at The Deaf Institute, Manchester Jan 2020
Twin Temple
Twin Temple at The Deaf Institute, Manchester Jan 2020
Twin Temple

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