Cloak – The Burning Dawn (Season Of Mist)

I have often wondered why we need categorization of the music we are listening to and reviewing. I can agree that, sometimes, all is needed is to know if the music is good or not, but, on the other hand, even if listening to music is a deeply personal experience (headbanging among thousands of maniacs..

DOCTORS OF MADNESS – DARK TIMES (Cherry Bomb Records)

(The album) is quite magnificent in its cowl of self-enforced bleakness. Okay, first thing to start off with here is a little history lesson I think, as not everyone will be aware of the strange wonder which is/was the Doctors Of Madness. Formed in 1974 by vocalist/guitarist Richard 'Kid' Strange, and featuring the distinctive violin..

Helloween – United Alive In Madrid (Nuclear Blast)

Pumpkins Reunited: Michael Kiske, Andi Deris & Kai Hansen There should be a constant reminder as to what Germans Helloween have brought to metal. With their beginnings as a speed metal Iron Maiden gallop and complete with Kai Hansen’s raspy vocals, the band made an auspicious start but it was when Kai felt that he..

Chris Rea – One Fine Day (Rhino)

One Fine Day provides an intriguing snapshot of an artist at a pivotal moment in his career. Chris Rea first emerged in 1978 thanks mostly to the US hit single Fool If You Think It’s Over from his debut album. Eventually he would go on to hit the big time in the mid-late 80s with..

Danny Bryant – Means of Escape (Jazzhaus Records)

I’ve recently reviewed Danny and his band playing live in Chesterfield (see Live Reviews section, 14 October). Danny has been around for over 15 years, constantly performing live and being feted by Planet Rock and Classic Rock as a rare talent. Danny’s studio albums have simply got better and better (from a strong base), last..

Mirrorplain – Lost In Paradise (Fastball Music)

"A German quintet on the path of salvation" was one description of this new alternative rock /metal band when they launched their debut album in the summer of 2017 – largely because the album was called Path of Salvation! This was a well-produced mixture of classic rock/hardrock/metal tracks with strong melodies and good vocals –..

WALLY – MARTYRS AND COWBOYS 1974-75 (Esoteric)

A fine collection of a band who might well have slipped under your radar There are a lot of natural combinations of musical genres through the years which have endured and proven ever-popular. There’s jazz and rock, of course. There’s prog and metal. There’s jazz and funk, folk and rock and certainly rock and blues...

JAN AKKERMAN – CLOSE BEAUTY (Mascot)

... if you like hearing musical virtuosos in action, you’ll enjoy what’s included here When the lists of the top guitarists of the 60’s and 70’s are compiled, the familiar names are always included - Clapton, Beck, Page, etc - with a few others following in their slipstream, such as Peter Green, Eddie van Halen..