EMIL’S HIGH ANXIETY: My most played albums in the month of November 2018
BECK, BOGERT & APPICE – Beck, Bogert & Appice
1973, 2016 reissue, SACD, Sony/Epic, EICP-10002
A short lived act (1972-1974), hard-rock supergroup and power trio, Beck, Bogert & Appice, as the name itself suggests, was formed by legendary musicians: guitarist Jeff Beck, bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice. All three musicians sharing vocal duties. This self-titled album was the debut and only studio album released by the extraordinary trio, and was available (at the time of release) in both conventional 2- channel stereo and 4-channel quadraphonic LP versions (the 2016 Japanese SACD reissue contains both, the stereo mix and the quadraphonic mix as multi-channel surround). Among the original songs, the album also contains two very well executed renditions: “Superstition” (Stevie Wonder) and “I’m So Proud” (Curtis Mayfield). After releasing an additional live album, “Live in Japan”, the power trio disbanded in 1974.
KING KING – Standing in the Shadows
2013, CD, Manhaton Records, HATMAN 2031
“Standing in the Shadows” is King King’s second full-length release. The blues-rock band was formed in the summer of 2008 in Lincoln (UK) by Alan Nimmo (guitar/vocals) and Lindsay Coulson (bass). After relentless UK touring, and including regular visits to Europe, the band released the album, in March 2013, to very positive reactions from audiences and the press. At the 2014 British Blues Awards, King King won five awards including the Best Band and Best Album Awards. The band continued to tour in support of their album in 2014, when they embarked on a 34-date tour of the UK supporting blues legend, John Mayall. Glaswegian Alan Nimmo wearing a kilt on stage, one of the trademarks of King King’s stage show, is a tradition which continues to this day. The band has released four studio albums and one live album to date. Side note: In September 2018, King King toured the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe as guests of the Swedish hard-rock band, Europe. The tour included a date at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
EXTREME – Take Us Alive – Boston 2009
2010, 2xCD, Frontiers Records, FR CD 456
The seventeen tracks on Boston’s live album, “Take Us Alive”, is the entire set featured at the final concert on the East Meets West Tour (co-headlining with Ratt), recorded at House of Blues in their hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, on August 8, 2009, and was released the following year as a double CD and DVD video. Unchanged since 2007, when Extreme resurfaced, the band’s lineup, Gary Cherone (vocals), Nuno Bettencourt (guitars), Pat Badger (bass) and Kevin Figueiredo (drums), displays incredible stage chemistry on this live recording. The funk-metal/hard-rock legendary outfit went thru a setlist mostly composed of their older, popular tracks and some songs from their 2008 effort “Saudades de Rock”, with the energy that the audiences came to expect from an Extreme live show. Guitarist Nuno Bettencourt said of the recording: “We wanted to do something really special for our hometown fans that were there for us since the beginning… the club days. It was the last night of the tour and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than by bringing it back to where it all started … Boston.”
WITHERFALL – Nocturnes and Requiems
2017, LP, limited edition, self-release, NOCREQ001VIN
In anticipation of the band’s new album, “A prelude to Sorrow”, their previous, debut LP, “Nocturnes and Requiems”, spent quite some time on my turntable’s platter, during the month of November. Witherfall formed in Los Angeles in 2013. Released in 2017, “Nocturnes and Requiems” was written and recorded during the final months, before the untimely death of Adam Paul Sagan (R.I.P.), the band’s original drummer, whom lost his battle with cancer, while the album was in its final stage of production, in 2016. The highest level of musicianship is on display here, resulting into an absolutely majestic dark metal album. At the time of recording the band’s lineup also included: Joseph Michael (Sanctuary), one of the best contemporary heavy-metal singers, with extraordinary vocal range, tone and spectacular delivery, Jake Dreyer (Iced Earth), a very flamboyant guitarist, yet with poise and out-of-this-world chops, and bassist Anthony Crawford, with his astonishing fluidity and note-per-note distinction. Adam Sagan drumming on “Nocturnes and Requiems” is a testament to the world of music, which lost not only an extraordinary musician, but also an extraordinary human. Fuck cancer! The album’s superb engineering, production and audiophile quality mastering is on absolute par with the quality songwriting.
CRISIX – The Menace
2011, CD, Kaiowas Records, 38354
Formed in Barcelona, Spain in 2008, as Crysys, the band plays classic, fast-paced thrashmetal based on the (San Francisco) Bay Area style. Recorded during 2010, “The Menace” is the band’s debut full-length. A few months before the release of the album, the band received a complaint from Sony, were the corporation had already released a video game with the same name, therefore the band changed its name to Crisix. In February 2011, the band reached a contract with Kaiowas Records, which debuted the album in September, that same year. The very intense, fast paced debut album, is a riffology display of epic magnitude, with to die for guitars tone and attitude, and outstanding precision. An absolute sonic assault on the senses. The band recorded since, three additional albums and continues to tour relentlessly. Among others, Crisix shared the stage with: Onslaught, Dark Tranquility, Legion of the Damned, Artillery, Necrodeath, Bonded by Blood, Gama Bomb, Fueled by Fire, Lazarus AD and EvilDead.