WOLFNAUT – to release Return Of The Asteroid

Heavy doom/metal trio WOLFNAUT, hail from Norway, and this will be the band’s 4th album, though the 2nd under their altered name from Wolfgang. Return Of The Asteroid is a good album start to finish, with some cool different sounding songs, aside from the heavy rockin’ cuts which stand out like the opener “Brother Of The Badlands”, “My Orbit Is Mine”, the faster paced “G.T.R.”, and “Something More Than Night” (something in that guitar break reminds me of Thin Lizzy). Best cut here tho’ is the slow haunting ballad “Arrows”; pretty unique atmospheric track. 9 tracks in all, ending with the 10-minute+ slow, dark epic “Wolfnaut’s Lament”.

*Return of the Asteroid will be released on black vinyl, limited colored vinyl, CD and digital on April 21st through Ripple Music. For more info, check out the band bio / press release below.

WOLFNAUT (formerly known as Wolfgang) started life in the mid-1990s in the town of Elverum, a two-hour drive northeast of the Norwegian capital Oslo. Their energetic live shows and debut album, ‘Welcome to the Cactus Mountains’, went down a storm in their hometown, and the album even garnered a solid review in Kerrang! WOLFNAUT reformed again in 2013, and the band released its second album, ‘Castle in the Woods’, to raving reviews in 2016. The band’s aptly titled third album “III” was released in 2022. “III” brought the Norwegian trio’s blend of catchy tunes and heavy stoner riffs to a larger international audience. For their fourth album, WOLFNAUT has teamed up with US-based label Ripple Music to spread the word even further.

“Return of the Asteroid” is the slightly darker and doomier cousin of “III”. Wolfnaut’s penchant for writing catchy rockers is still very much alive and well on songs like “Brother of the Badlands”, “My Orbit Is Mine” and “G.T.R.”, but “Return of the Asteroid” also sees the band developing their love for more dynamic songs. There is more of both light and shade on Wolfnaut’s fourth long-player, which can clearly be heard on offerings like “The Mighty Pawns”, “Crates of Doom” and “Wolfnaut’s Lament”. The album even introduces a first for the band: a ballad! “Arrows” was originally released on “Castle in the Woods” in 2016, but the band didn’t feel that the hard rock approach on the original recording did the song justice. Stripped down to its core elements, the song now has a new lease on life.

“Return of the Asteroid” was recorded at Audioskop studio, Sofiemyr, Norway. Production was handled by the band, with invaluable help from engineer extraordinaire Bjørn Barstad. Swedish sound wizard Karl Daniel Lidén (Greenleaf, Lowrider, Dozer, Demon Cleaner) was enlisted to mix, master, and put the finishing touches to the album. Eminent graphic designer Mirko Masala created the visuals. With a career now spanning 25 years, four albums and countless live shows, WOLFNAUT is ready to spread the word of Norwegian stoner rock to an even wider international audience. Now part of the Ripple Music family, expect to see the band somewhere on the road in the not-so-distant future.

1.    Brother of the Badlands 
2.    My Orbit Is Mine
3.    The Mighty Pawns
4.    Crash Yer Asteroid
5.    Arrows
6.    G.T.R.
7.    Something More Than Night
8.    Crates of Doom
9.    Wolfnaut’s Lament

Tor Erik Hagen – Bass
Ronny «Ronster» Kristiansen – Drums & Percussion
Kjetil Sæter – Guitars, Vocals & Piano


Album of the Day: BAD BOY’s debut – The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous

Years back I got The Best Of Bad Boy CD, and over the years I’ve picked up the band’s LP when I see them locally – which is scarce, since they were on a small label and not all of them got released outside of the US. However, the band’s first album is from 1977 with the interesting title of The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous, showing a camera with a photo of the band in front of the city’s welcoming sign. Recently I pulled this out, and it’s a really good late 70s American hard rock album! What’s notable is the presence of Steve Hunter (special guest) on guitar. Bad Boy (which evolved from Crossover) consisted of Steve Grimm and Joe Luchessi – both guitars/keys/vocals, as well as John Marcelli (bass) and Lars Hansen (drums), with this album being produced by Bob Brown, who’s credits included names such as Ray Manzarek (The Doors) and Alice Cooper (Welcome To My Nightmare). Interesting also that for being a local band, they were taken to California to record this at Warner Brothers Studios.

The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous highlights included “Disco”, a catchy funky rock tune, this was a single, and it should’ve been the album’s big hit. As well the heavy instrumental “Overture”, which strangely is the 2nd track on the album, it features a cool quiet built up organ intro and then some heavy cool guitar melodies. “I Gotta Move” is another good rock track with a bit of funk; this one and “Disco” both kinda feeling like they could fit on a Teaze album (Canadian band from the same late ’70s era). There’s a number of excellent songs, and lots of variance here from the opener “Last Rock And Roller” (that guitar solo reminding me of ‘Skynyrd), the acoustic rock of “Mindless Babbling”, the single (and more AOR-ish “Thinking Of You”, and straight ahead rock of “Shake Me Up”. If you’re into the likes of Teaze, Harlequin, Y & T, and Charlie, check this album out. And for whatever reason, none of the tracks here are included on the band’s 1998 Best Of release.

BAD BOY -The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous, United Artists UALA781G. This quartet of regional musicians has amassed a sizable legion of fans in Milwaukee. The music ranges from mainstream pop to driving rock sound enhanced by the presence of guitarist Steve Hunter. Best cuts: “I Gotta Move, “Machines,” “Thinking Of You, “Mindless Babbling.” – Billboard

THE BAND THAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS – Bad Boy, United Artists – UA-LA781-G – Producer: Bob Brown – It won’t be long before the rest of the world knows what Milwaukee is already aware of. From the city that brought you all that great beer comes this band of polished rockers with high energy and talent plugged directly into their amps. A guest appearance by guitar standout Steve Hunter is an added bonus in a package that features well -written arrangements and superior vocal treatments. An album that is accessible enough for pop and sophisticated enough for AOR. – CashBox




Album of the Day: ALVIN LEE’s RX5

Alvin Lee’s 1981 album RX5 was the follow up to 1980’s Free Fall (which was released as The Alvin Lee Band), with the same players. I wasn’t (still not) familiar with all of Alvin Lee’s work, so not sure what I expected when I picked this up more recently. First thing I noticed was the Derek Riggs’ cover art! Not much like his more famous Iron Maiden works, but definitely interesting, kinda looks like a Star Wars character with a guitar, and well the album title is odd. RX5 is less of a blues-rock record, and more of a mainstream rock album, with memorable tunes and great performances. Nothing overly heavy, but most of this rocks. Lee shares songwriting and vocals with Steve Gould (ex Rare Bird, Runner) , Gould also plays guitar, as well there’s Mickey Feat on bass (ex Streetwalkers, Van Morrison, Runner), Tom Compton on drums (Ten Years Later), and keyboards by Chris Stainton (Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, Boxer).

Steve Gould comes up with more of the material here, notably favorites like “Lady Luck” and album closer “High Times”. Lee’s “Can’t Stop” is an excellent track here, love the drums and Lee’s guitar soloing as it plays out, reminds me mid ’70s Fleetwood Mac in some ways. There’s also a fine cover of Tina Turner’s “Nutbush City Limits” and another outside track – “Wrong Side Of The Law”, which is a cool upbeat guitar rocker, ala Foreigner. I’ve read some mixed reviews of this album, but I gotta say there’s not a bum track here, so I’ll be revisiting for some time to come. *CD reissue contains the blues/fusion instrumental “Shuffle It”.

The last album was long on riffs, but short on songs. This time around Alvin has the package he needs–great graphics, and two especially airworthy trax. Listen to “Can’t Stop”, and my favorite, “Lady Luck”. – FMQB

ALVIN LEE -RX5, Atlantic SD19306. No producer credited. Less than 10 years after Ten Years After, Alvin Lee is still proving he knows how to rock and roll. Guitar -playing, on which Lee receives an assist from Steve Gould, is outstanding. The energy level remains high from first cut to last. A strong effort. Best cuts: All. – Billboard




Album of the Day: PHIL LANZON’s If You Think I’m Crazy

Well, being Phil Lanzon’s birthday I thought to pull this one out, from Uriah Heep’s keyboard player and a major songwriter. It is an album I never tire of! Phil’s first solo album, from 2017, From the eye-catching cover art courtesy of Michael Cheval through all 10 tracks – this album really has it all with catchy swinging pop rock like “Lover’s Highway”, to heavy keyboard prog in “Step Overture”, to acoustic tale-telling ballads like “I Saw Two Englands” and heavy Heep-like prog-rock of “The Bells”. Really an entertaining and amazing package, especially the 2LP vinyl (which I have on this am).

Phil sings some lead vocals, as does John Mitchell (Lonely Robot), Andy Makin (Psycho Motel) and Andy Caine. Aided by Simon Hanhart (co-producer), Laurence Cottle (Black Sabbath), Richard Cottle (co-producer, orchestrations). as well as violin players, cello players choirs, pedal steel guitar (Sarah Joy), etc… *If you’ve not heard this, I highly recommend it! Phil followed If You Think I’m Crazy! up with 2019′ excellent 48 Seconds.




ALICE COOPER – Billion Dollar Babies @ 50

Billion Dollar Babies was Alice Cooper’s peak, as a band, massively huge at the time, and still (arguably) the most important in the AC catalogue (band or solo!). Released in March of 1973, it would be a #1 album in the US, the UK, and Finland, as well as #2 in Canada, and top 10 in a few others. The band’s previous album, School’s Out had given the #1 hit and most famous AC track ever – “School’s Out”, and the album was a big seller, but there were no further singles. The band reworked the song “Reflected”, from their 1968 debut Pretties For You in time for the 1972 presidential election, even making a promotional film out of it, though that featured more of the chimp than bandmembers (aside from Alice). “Elected” would be the first of 4 hit singles from Billion Dollar Babies, released September 13 of 1972., months ahead of the album. Credited to the entire band, “Elected” gave Alice Cooper their 2nd Top 10 hit in the UK, as well as being Top 10 in a number of European countries, And reaching #26 in the US the week of the election! The song would remain in Alice’s live set, post-original band, often being used as an encore. The song also picks up radio play every election year.

Record World, Sept 23, ’72 Amidst a continually broadening sphere of activities, Alice Cooper has not neglected this election year, and has just released a new single, “Elected.” The music and lyrics of the song were written by all five members of the group. “Elect-ed” took ten days to record, with basic tracks recorded at the Cooper Estate in Greenwich, Connecticut. To add authenticity to the sound of “Elected,” Alice makes use of Will Jordan’s impersonation of Walter Winchell, as well as recorded portions of the Democratic Convention in Miami. Also, the record ends with Alice giving a campaign speech. In keeping with the laws pertaining to full disclosure of campaign funds and expenses, Alice wishes to note that the recording costs of “Elected” were $10,000, inclusive. Warner Brothers has initiated a national campaign for “Warner Bros. Elected Alice Cooper Days” September 18th and 19th, which will consist of promo men dressed as Uncle Sam along with two models in red, white, and blue outfits to present the record to program directors at each station. (Robert Feiden)

Alice S -elected
With Alice Cooper’s latest record “Elected,” racing through the country, Louis Araiza, a student at the University of Houston took the lyric seriously. It seems he found a loophole in the bylaws governing the Student Union at the university and had Alice Cooper elected homecoming “queen.” It was never specified in the bylaws as to what sex a homecoming queen has to be Araiza explained. Alice Cooper, the male, lead -singer of the rock group bearing the same name may be cancelling a portion of his upcoming European tour to fly to Houston on November 11 to accept a loving cup during the half-time, coronation festivities in Dome Stadium, the 49,000 capacity home of the University of Houston Cougars.

So, tracks for Billion Dollar Babies were recorded over a 5 month period. A second single was released prior to the album – “Hello Hooray” , in January of ’73. The song was picked for use as the album’s and the live show’s opener. “Hello Hooray” was written by Canadian Rolf Kempf (thus qualifying AC’s single as CanCon), and originally recorded by folk singer Judy Collins for her 1968 album Who Knows Where The Time Goes (featuring Stephen Stills on guitar throughout the album). The AC single would reach top 10 in the UK and the Netherlands, top 20 in other countries, and #35 in the US. Further versions of the song included American folk singer Meg Christian (1974), UK industrial/alternative act PIG (1992), and Rolf Kempf, himself, released a version of his song on his 1993 CD Woodstock Album. “Hello Hooray” was also used for years as the opener to Toronto’s Q107 Radio’s Psychedelic Sunday program.

 “That song was presented to us. I still have the reel to reel tape with the original song on it; I guess Judy Collins did a version of it just before we did, so. We didn’t normally do someone else’s material because we were such avid writers, ourselves, but for the beginning of the album, Billion Dollar Babies, and for the beginning of the Billion Dollar Babies show it seemed to be perfect!” – Neal Smith (2014)

Side one of Billion Dollar Babies could be seen more as the ‘singles’ side, while Side 2 would be more of the ghoulish side. Aside from the first 2 singles, the first side also featured the album’s 4th single, the title track. The song, “Billion Dollar Babies” was based around that classic drum intro from Neal Smith, while the song is co-credited to Alice, himself, Michael Bruce, and Rockin’ Reggie Vincent (Vinson). It is another that has remained in Alice’s live show ever since. As a single, was released in July, charting in Germany (#30) and the US (#57).

 “Rockin Reggie was a friend of our’s, used to hang out with the band; he was from Detroit originally. We would party with him a lot, and when we moved to Connecticut he would come and hang out with us. He was a good friend of Glen’s, and he was a guitar player and a singer, with kind of a Nashville influence. And he had a song, and it eventually evolved in to the song Billion Dollar Babies. So that is why he (Reginald Vincent) has a writing credit on Billion Dollar Babies. So, we worked on it at our mansion house, in Greenwich, and I had always loved the Rolling Stones intro from Charlie Watts to the song ‘[Hey You] Get Off Of My Cloud’. I thought that was very cool, and as a drummer I always used to like to write songs for drummers, because people listen to songs and think ‘that’s cool’, but if I was a drummer listening to an Alice Cooper song – what would be cool about it? And I always tried to have something special in there that would get someone’s interest. ” – NS (2014)

“Raped And Freezin”, a tale co-written by Alice and Michael Bruce was the second track on side one, and is straight up memorable rocker, with a title/subject matter that may not fly today. An interesting twist though. This is one of my favorites here.

Side one closes out with “Unfinished Sweet”, credited to Bruce, Cooper, and Neal Smith. It tells the horror of going to the dentist for some painful gum work, complete with sounds of a drill and Alice moaning in pain.

Of the many outside players and guests on the album were guitarists Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner, who’d appeared on previous AC recordings, as well as fellow Phoenix player Mick Mashbir. Mashbir would eventually go on to play live on the band’s next couple of tours. Bob Dolin would play keyboards (as well as live), and numerous other guests appeared, notably Donovan Leitch swapping vocals on the title track. That Donovan vocal was recorded during sessions at Morgan Studios in London, England, which rumored to have included numerous others via a jam session. The press did report that a Marc Bolan guitar solo made it on to “Hello Hooray”, but most involved only confirm that the Donovan vocal was the Only guest appearance used from those sessions. Billion Dollar Babies also would be the last ‘band’ album produced by Bob Ezrin.

Mick Mashbir on recording on Billion Dollar Babies – “It was actually Mike Bruce that made that happen. GB was basically on strike. He didn’t want to be in the same room as Michael or Bob Ezrin and they were rehearsing for the next record, B$B. ….
I played on every track except “Elected” “Sick Things” and “Generation Landslide”. My favourite song was “No Mister Nice Guy”. I was happy with all my parts, GB was around as little as possible. We were recording in the band’s mansion and he didn’t bother to come downstairs.

The album’s third single – “No More Mr Nice Guy” opens side 2. Credited to Cooper & Bruce. In his book No More Mr Nice Guy, Michael Bruce recalls that the song had been started back around the time of making the Killer album, and that most of the song had been written by him. But lyrically it’s been fixed up to suit Alice. The track was chosen to be rush-released as a single in time for the beginning of the band’s massive tour. It would , a top 10 hit in the UK, #1 in Holland, a top 20 in a few European countries, as well as hitting #25 in the US. The song would be covered by a number of acts, notably Megadeth and Pat Boone, as well as used in a few tv shows, such as Family Guy and The Simpsons, and in the movie Dazed & Confused. I love the production on this track, the backing harmony vocals are a classic touch. From The Best Of Alice Cooper CD notes, Alice stated – “I wrote the lyrics out of anger because of how my parents were treated by some of the press. It was particularly hard because of my dad being a minister. Fact is, my parents were the only ones who knew I was a nice guy.”

All Alice Cooper singles should be up tempo and should break fast, if they are going to break at all. Therefore, we advised their management to rush out ‘No More Mr. Nice Guy'” from the album, which they are doing. – Kal Rudman, Record World.

“Sick Things” and “I Love The Dead” were the darker side of the album, with producer Bob Ezrin getting a co-writing credit on both, Both songs being slower, darker, and spookier, would be a major feature in Alice’s live show, with “I Love The Dead” being used at the show’s climax with Alice’s execution. Both tracks feature great guitar solos, and I think “I Love The Dead” is a superb ending to the album, though I am less enthused about “Sick Things”. The album’s finale was written about necrophilia, and though credited to Cooper & Ezrin, Dick Wagner would also co-write on this, without credit – “The first song we wrote together was ‘I Love The Dead’ for the Billion Dollar Babies album, but I got no credit on that either because I was told they were going to have only Alice’s name on the album and that was it, so I sold out my share of that song to them. That’s what you do when you need money, right?” -Dick Wagner (Brave Words, 2006)

Sick Things was just such a great song for us to lead in to I Love The Dead, where of course we’d cut Alice’s head off with the guillotine. And I still have the same guillotine to this day. Sick Things was just talking about necrophilia, tearing people apart and having sex with dead people.” – NS (2014)

The latter 2 tracks were connected via the piano ballad “Mary-Ann”. I think the inclusion of “Mary-Ann” wasn’t a favorable one by the entire band, with most preferring something heavier, as well as something that would be a ‘band’ song, as “Mary-Ann” was simply Alice with piano accompaniment (from someone outside the band). It would be the lone song from the album not to be featured on the ensuring tour.

“Four of us did not want “Mary Ann” on our album.   We had some killer rock songs and the best one of them should have been where ‘Mary Ann’ was. Betraying our long proven rule was a major problem, and damaging.”Dennis Dunaway (2012 Interview)

The last song recorded for Billion Dollar Babies was “Generation Landslide”. Needing one more song for the album, the band flew to the Canary Island’s and stayed at an unfinished hotel where they worked on this song as The band. It would be credited to the entire band, and featured Glen Buxton, who’s participation elsewhere on Billion Dollar Babies was said to be minimal. Alice would re-record the song for his 1981 album Special Forces, and American metal band Lizzy Borden would record an excellent version of this song on their Deal With The Devil album in 2000.

“The Alice Cooper group wrote “Generation Landslide” together from scratch.   It proved that Alice Cooper was still at our best when we were left alone.”DD

Billion Dollar Babies came in a green snake-skin wallet looking cover, a gatefold, with an inner sleeve with lyrics and band photo, as well as tear away cards of the bandmembers, which many felt the urge to tear off as the credits were on the inner gatefold behind them! Designed by Pacific Eye & Ear ( Ernie Cefalu). The package also contained a large folded ‘Billion dollar bill’ featuring the band in the middle. It was the inner sleeve photo (other side of lyrics) which would cause controversy for the band, as would be illegal to include photos of US currency –

FEDS NIX ALICE SPREAD: The Treasury Department and -the Secret Service have told Alice Cooper that it is illegal to use pictures of currency, thereby holding up plans to use a picture of Alice amid $1 million in cash on the new album `Billion Dollar Babies.” Shep Gordon, meanwhile, winged into Washington (D.C.) with a phalanx of lawyers to appeal, vowing the picture would be used. Alice’s canceled Palace Theater show, by the way, will be going on the road shortly. It’s titled after the new album. – By JOHN GIBSON

The band would go on to the biggest rock tour at the time (see below). The tour would eventually give fans the movie Good To See You Again Alice Cooper, which made a brief theatre appearance, as well as the Billion Dollar Babies Live recording, from Houston, which was included on the 2001 2CD deluxe version, as well as the 2019 Record Store Day vinyl issue.

“The biggest tour in the history of rock and roll with “The Alice Cooper Show” playing to an audience of over 820,000 people in 56 cities.” – Cash Box

Alice Cooper’s “Billion Dollar Babies.” This brand new release has exploded in cites such as Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. because it is a fantastic album. They opened their record -breaking national tour last Thursday and Friday at the Spectrum in Philadelphia before 20,000 people each night. We introduced them from the stage, and I am now known as the Sixth Alice Cooper. This tour will gross 4.6 million dollars, and the second biggest tour in the history of show business, the last Rolling Stones tour, grossed 3.2 million dollars. Because of the unprecedented public demand, more shows and more cities are being added according to Ashley, and their manager, Shep Gordon (astute industry observers tell us that Shep Gordon now has to be rated as the best manager in the business, and he is spoken of in the same breath as the legendary Col. Tom Parker of Elvis Presley fame). As of now, they are booked into 60 sold -out shows in 56 cities and they will play before 820,000 people. Obviously, a tour of this magnitude deserves media attention of unprecedented magnitude and a train load of 60 press people came to Philadelphia from New York City to cover the events. Warner Brothers’ Ray Milanese and Joe Fiorentino rented a Delaware River showboat for an incredible party after the show . . – Kal Rudman, Record World

-New Alice Cooper album, “Billion Dollar Babies” is going to make believers of all who think the group is all gimmick and little talent. It’s their finest album to date, and it’s very solid, too. This is the one we’ve all been waiting for . . . – CashBox, March 17, 1973

BILLION DOLLAR BABIES – Alice Cooper – Warner Bros. BS 2685
Every time an Alice Cooper LP comes out, we claim in these pages that it’s the best they’ve done yet. And so must we still declare. Lyrically, the set is as strong as ever … “You tell me where to bite, you whet my appetite” being only one choice line. Musically, the package is clearly superior-both in melodic impact (yes, we said melodic) and arrangements. In addition to their current “Hello Hurray” and their recent “Elected,” the album contains a strong single in “No More Mr. Nice Guy.” Worth every penny of it, baby!




Album Of The Day: BADFINGER’s Wish You Were Here

The last Badfinger album released while the original band were all still alive. Wish You Were Here was the band’s 7th album, and their best, IMO. A Vast improvement to the band’s 1973 self-titled album, both in songs and production. With money from the band’s label (Warner Bros) unaccounted for (courtesy of their manager), the album was quickly pulled from the shelves and taken out of print. A shame as Wish You Were Here could’ve been huge! Sadly that missing money and the album being pulled, lead to the band’s eventual break-up and the tragic death of Pete Ham. But, it remains a classic from 1974, still sounding fresh and energetic, with favorite tracks like “Dennis”, “No One Knows”, “Just A Chance”, and “In The Meantime / Some Other Time”.

*A 2019 compilation titled So Fine (The Warner Bros Rarities) was issued on 2 LP red vinyl, which included alternate mixes of Wish You Were Here tracks on 1 LP, with (previously unreleased “Queen Of Darkness” subbed in for “King Of The Load”

WISH YOU WERE HERE – Badfinger –
Producer: Chris Thomas – Warner Bros. BS 2827
One of the most demonstrative British groups to take the country by storm, Badfinger continues its string of unique and challenging LP’s
with this dynamic collection of tunes guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and raise your spirits. Impeccable harmonies, crisp arrangements and excellent selection of material earmark this LP as a sure-fire winner. We like “Just a Chance,” “Meanwhile Back At The Ranch,” “Got To Get Out Of Here” and “Should I Smoke.”
CashBox, 10/26/74


The Dramatic Conclusion of Badfinger… And the Lost Album You’ve Never Heard



OCEANLORD – Australian doom metal band to release debut ‘Kingdom Cold’

Australia’s OCEANLORD are ready to release their debut album Kingdom Cold on May 26. The heavy doom trio have recorded 6 tracks, full of haunting tales, thick guitars, slower tempos, with melodies and solid vocals and production. Check out the first single/video “2340” (and read the story behind it). Six massively heavy and cool songs, including favorites “Isle Of The Dead” and “Come Home”.

*Available for pre-order on CD and translucent blue vinyl. Check out the press release and links below!

Behold! Hark! From the dark depths of the southern oceans, Australian doom trio OCEANLORD have conjured an eldritch monster of an album with their tentacled debut “Kingdom Cold”.

Frying guitars with an extra helping of thick fuzz and a crusty top deliver a tasty doom sound. Songs that range from very slow via slow to mid-tempo with occasional outbursts of energy also stand firmly on the rock solid ground of this classic metal genre. OCEANLORD display traces of the American, British and Swedish schools of thought with the clean vocals slightly tilting towards the latter.

Yet below the surface of all the time-honoured elements traditionally associated with doom, there is an extra layer of darkness lurking in these tracks. A foreboding sense of dread, madness, and unspeakable horrors is creeping in to replace the well-worn theme of melancholia usually accompanying the style. This sets OCEANLORD clearly apart from most of their peers. This is no accident, as the Australians are very openly inspired by the horror genre and the writings of New England author Howard Phillips Lovecraft in particular.

OCEANLORD came into being in Melbourne in 2019 when bass-player Jason Ker joined guitarist and singer Peter Willmott for a serious drink to ponder work, family, mortality, and the hellscape of corporate existence. When the conversation turned to music,  the connoisseur of black, death, and progressive metal, Peter, found common ground with Jason, an acolyte of alt-rock and grunge in early heavy metal and doom. Jon May, with his history of punk and rockabilly in Perth followed by country-folk and swamp-blues in Melbourne, did not appear the most obvious choice for the drum-stool, but he brought a secret passion for everything slow and heavy, not to mention a van and good gear.

In the rehearsal room, the initial sound was primal and ponderous, with a glimpse of melody under thick, sludgy riffs. Stoner doom was the answer to save their souls from the slow soul-death of the modern corporate drone. Basement writing sessions began, riffs started flowing, and in 2020, the trio released a demo that caused a stir throughout the doom-underground.

During Melbourne’s dramatic 263 days of pandemic lockdown, Peter built a home studio and in 2022, OCEANLORD tracked their debut release. So beware of this monstrous record: “Kingdom Cold” takes doom to even darker depths than ever explored before!

1. Kingdom
2. 2340
3. Siren
4. Isle of the Dead
5. So Cold
6. Come Home

Peter Willmott – guitar, vocals
Jason Ker – bass
Jon May – drums

Recording by Peter Willmott at Studio R’lyeh, Melbourne, Australia
Mix & Mastering by Esben Willems at Studio Berserk, Gothenburg, Sweden

*Artwork by Gabby Willmott





CATEGORY VI – Canadian metal band releases third album Firecry

Canada’s CATEGORY VI are releasing their 3rd album Firecry this week. For those who like heavy metal produced with big sounding guitars up front , solid production, powerful vocals, melodies, and songs that are lyrically and musically interesting – think Judas Priest, Saxon, Dio, and some NWOBHM influences. Best tracks include “Valkyrie”, “Heavy Is The Crown”, “The Cradle Will Fall”, and the title track . There’s also a lively version of Heart’s classic “Barracuda” to end this 9 track set, which rocks aggressively full-on from beginning to end, with only a few brief intros that let up on the gas. Aside from the band’s official videos (below), also check out the band’s track by track promo videos, hosted by singer Amanda Jackman. Cool cover art by Ivan Radnic

*For more info, check out the press release, bio, and links below!

“Firecry” is their third album and most accomplished release to date “Firecry”. From the initial flickering flame of “Firecry” to the final cinders of the absolutely combustible cover of HEART’s classic “Barracuda”, CATEGORY VI delivers true and classic 80’s heavy metal with utter perfection. “Firecry” boasts a crisp, clear, and scorching modern production that does not distract from the band’s true 80’s metal sound.

Lyrically crafted around themes of personal pride and triumph (Valkyrie, Heavy is the Crown), witchcraft persecution (Firecry), women’s strength (She Runs With Wolves) & their excellent live performances (Coven), these concepts are boldly and powerfully delivered by the soaring vocal excellence of Amanda Jackman. Bolstered and fueled by the powerful stainless steel riffs and catchy melodies of guitarist Geoff Waye, the pounding anvil bass of Keith Jackman, and the thunderous steadfast drumming of Brian Downton, CATEGORY VI brings classy and classic 1980s power – Traditional Heavy Metal into the 21st century with blazing glory.

To close out one of the best heavy metal albums of the decade, CATEGORY VI delivers an immaculate true metal, yet the radio-friendly cover of the chart-topping Heart classic “Barracuda”. With “Firecry”, CATEGORY VI unleashes a global scale climate-changing metal cyclone that just may melt the North American frozen tundra with its blazing power metal.

Track Listing:
1. Firecry
2. Valkyrie
3. The Vultures Never Came
4. She Runs With Wolves
5. Heavy is the Crown
6. Coven
7. The Cradle Will Fall
8. Burning Bridges
9. Barracuda (Heart)

Band Line Up (album):
Amanda Marie Jackman: vocals
Geoff Waye: guitar
Keith Jackman: bass
Brian Downton: Additional drums
Jason Williams: session drums

Band Bio:

Hailing from the misty shores of the northeast Avalon, Category VI formed in early 2010. The band brings something new to the local Newfoundland metal scene as they are the only female-fronted melodic metal band in the province! Category VI has performed live in St. John’s actively since 2010 with other local hard rock and metal bands as well as with touring bands Including NAIL and ANVIL and to date has released two full-length albums.

The band self-released their first full album “Fireborn“ in January 2014. The album received plenty of praise and great reviews on both the local and international levels. Two music videos (“Reborn“ and “Silence befalls the crowd“) were produced for the album. “Silence befalls the crowd“ has been released 4/28/2017 on the DVD “Kill For Metal Vol. I“, a compilation of videos of label-mates on the KILLER METAL RECORDS label. The band has performed regularly for over 7 years at many venues.

Not long after the release of “Fireborn“, CATEGORY VI signed to Killer Metal Records. The band spent most of 2015 writing and perfecting material for their second album “War is Hell”. Recordings for the album took place throughout 2016 and wrapped up in June 2016 at Redhouse Recording in St. John’s, NL. Album mixing was done in the summer/fall of 2016 and mastering was completed in early January 2017 by Lacquer Channel Mastering in Toronto, Ontario. “War is hell” has been released globally as of June 9, 2017. The album was nominated for hard album of the year for Music NL and was favourably reviewed by several press outlets.

The band played several shows in 2017-2018 until pausing to write the 3rd album. Then, without a permanent drummer, and with the pandemic, the band was in hibernation. The band has now emerged from the shadows with a new drummer and with the third album FIRECRY ready to be released in 2023 via Moribund Records.







SAXON release single/video for cover of “Razamanaz”

British Heavy Metal legends SAXON unleash the high-octane second single, “Razamanaz”, from More Inspirations – out this Friday, March 24th via Silver Lining Music.

Following the release of Inspirations in 2021, More Inspirations is the second ‘deep dish’ serving of the influences which have fed the mighty Saxon’s immensely successful 40+ year career. The second single is a striking take on Nazareth’s “Razamanaz”.

Frontman Biff Byford comments “In the seventies we’d go and see Nazareth they were one of the premier touring hard rock bands. We were lucky to tour with them in 1980, they used to open the show with this song, it’s about the audience performed to an audience… brilliant stuff!”

Watch/Listen to the recently released “The Faith Healer”, the “making of” video directed by Jay Shredder,  at this location

Whether unveiling a sensational take on The Sensational Alex Harvey Band’s “The Faith Healer” (in the process showing the direct lineage from teenage turntables to international glory), getting feral with The Animal’s “We’ve Gotta Get Out Of This Place”, letting loose a high-octane take on Alice Cooper’s “From The Inside”, or laying down a ferocious tribute to KISS’ “Detroit Rock City”, More Inspirations is a joyous trip into the sounds which galvanized the Barnsley boys and continue to get spun on home stereos and tour buses.

Produced by vocalist/co-founder Biff Byford, with Seb Byford helping record the music alongside mixing engineer Jacky Lehmann, More Inspirations also includes enthusiastic takes on Alice Cooper, Rainbow, ZZ Top and Cream, as well as a thunderous “Razamanaz” by Nazareth, a tasty take on The Who’s “Substitute”, and a thick groove take on Uriah Heep’s “Gypsy”.

Whether this is your first dance with such classic songs, or you’ve come to see where Saxon were born, More Inspirations delivers the goods and then some.

Pre-order More Inspirations here



URIAH HEEP’s Phil Lanzon: Chaos & Colour interview

URIAH HEEP”s Chaos & Colour has been out for some time now, and has been received enthusiastically and with great reviews from fans. Phil Lanzon, has been a major part of the Heep songwriting team since he joined the band as keyboard player. On Chaos & Colour Phil, along with founder/guitarist Mick Box, have delivered 6 awesome new Heep tracks. In this exchange Phil answers my questions pertaining to the band’s latest album, as well as what else he is up to. *Check out the links below!

With the pandemic and time away from each other and stage, was there more songwriting going on prior to recording Chaos & Colour?  Was there an abundance of songs & ideas to choose from this time around? 

Yes there was plenty of that. Mick and I wrote songs remotely during the pandemic. It was unusual but worked really well. There are songs and ideas left over, maybe for the next album, who knows.

You worked again with Jay Ruston. Was that an easy decision?

Yes it was easy. Our working relationship worked really well with Living the Dream so we wanted that to continue with Chaos.

Russell & Simon Pinto contributed 4 songs to Chaos & Colour. Was there some tough decisions in cutting down the number of songs?

Well there is always tough decisions when choosing the final songs. Especially as others band members are contributing; which we all feel has made for a great combination of material.

Chaos & Colour is a great follow up to Living The Dream, but I think a bit of a step up with more varied tracks trhoughout. Was there any deliberate move to try and include more progressive moments or ballads? 

I personally always feel that there should be a prog section within a Heep album, specifically to keep variety in the material and also take the listener on a journey. It is a Heep feature that makes an appearance on many Heep albums from the early days to today.

Can you give me a bit of insight into some of the tracks- lyrically or recall on how it all came together… 

I’ll keep it short. We always keep a strict eye on our lyrics that they don’t stray into the ‘norm,’ which is a pitfall of many artists, so we use the basic premise of positivity and the knowledge that there is good everywhere. You just gotta find it!

You seem to have a few new keyboard sounds on this album, such as on “Fly Like An Eagle”. I get a bit of Dream Theatre feel in there. Can you touch on any new sounds, approaches or equipment? 

Not a great deal of new sounds, I was just messing around with a mini-moog style sound and decided it worked for the track.

“Age of Changes” is a fantastic track (my early favorite). Can you touch on this song? 

I wrote this lyric based on my first childhood sweetheart. A story I’m sure will resonate with so many. We go through so many changes in our lives but the first real awakening to that fact hits most of us in the school yard.

You guys recently completed the 50th anniversary tour. How did You enjoy the shows? Any highlights or favorite moments in the set for you? 

We all enjoyed the tour, it was a huge success as far as we are concerned and made a whole lot of Heepies very happy. The acoustic show was well received and was a joy to perform. 

Phil, in your time awaiting the next Heep tour – might you be working on another solo project, book, or any guest appearances anywhere?

I am at the moment trying to sell my Musical, I mean, musical theatre. It is a full length musical about Ellis Island New York in 1917. The script is with an American producer as I write.

What are you listening to these days? Any current (new) favorites?

Nothing new at the moment. I am immersed in my artwork right now. Check out my Instagram.





*UH live photos courtesy of Markusheavymusicblog , from Hamburg, Germany, September 2022. See more HERE.

Rock, reviews, news, interviews, & more.

%d bloggers like this: