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  • Eclectic Vibes

    by Andrew Frey

    Reviews From: International
    Putumayo Presents - Acoustic Arabia

    Putumayo Presents - Acoustic Arabia

    Putumayo Presents
    Acoustic Arabia
    Label: Putumayo World Music

    Sandstorm powered acoustic grooves delight the senses and take us on subtle, laid back journeys through distant lands with a variety of Middle Eastern and North African artists including Les Orientales, Jamal Porto, and Zein Al-Jundi.

    Putumayo Presents Website

    Crematory - Pray

    Crematory - Pray

    Crematory
    Pray
    Label: Blistering Records

    These mighty and powerful German gothic doom wizards have conjured another “very now” offering. Blasting a full spectrum of darkened metal including a multi tonal vocal attack plus some electronic elements expounds upon their prior 15 year catalogue of success

    Crematory WebsiteCrematory Wiki

    Jorn - Lonely Are The Brave

    Jorn - Lonely Are The Brave

    Jorn
    Lonely Are The Brave
    Label: Blistering Records

    Built around Norwegian Jorn Lande who is touted as being an extraordinary vocalist. Upon listening however, I was struck by how ordinary and blaze’ the music and most of the vocals are. Surprisingly average overall.

    Jorn WebsiteJorn Wiki

    Kraak & Smaak - Plastic People

    Kraak & Smaak - Plastic People

    Kraak & Smaak
    Plastic People
    Label: Ultra Records

    This club friendly concoction conjoins disparate musical rhythms and beats into highly contagious cohesive danceable rhythms. Quite a clever musical aptitude. The spaced out and mystical cover of “Man of Constant Sorrow” is worth reverence alone!

    Kraak & Smaak WebsiteKraak & Smaak Wiki

    Uriah Heep - Wake The Sleeper

    Uriah Heep - Wake The Sleeper

    Uriah Heep
    Wake The Sleeper
    Label: Sanctuary Records

    Updating but not abandoning their classic 80s synth rock approach, this release shows the band as strong and musically alluring as ever.

    Uriah Heep WebsiteUriah Heep Wiki

    Apocalyptica - Worlds Collide

    Apocalyptica - Worlds Collide

    Apocalyptica
    Worlds Collide
    Label: 20 20/ Jive Records

    Cellos and heavy metal may be an unlikely combination, but these fine Finnish folks have successfully been kicking out variants on their theme over the years. With several guest vocalists and a couple radio ready singles, this release is a smoking’ mix of their symphonic metal and thrashin’ ragers.

    Apocalyptica WebsiteApocalyptica Wiki

    Exciter - Thrash Speed Burn

    Exciter - Thrash Speed Burn

    Exciter
    Thrash Speed Burn
    Label: Blistering Records

    Refusing to give up or modify their style, these Canadian thrashers have charged up their neck muscles for another go around. Their creative recipe remains mostly unchanged from days gone by: aggressive lyrics taunted by various “evils”  backed with anthemia choruses played over stereotypical thrash grooves.

    Exciter WebsiteExciter Wiki

    We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year - We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year

    We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year - We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year

    We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year
    We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year
    Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment

    12 classic holiday tracks respun into riffed up xmas anthems by select metal all stars from bands including Anthrax, Judas Priest, Toto, Styx, Ratt, Dio and Black Sabbath. Something is both heartening and horrible as Lemmy gargles the lyrics to “Run Rudolph Run” and Geoff Tate warbles out “Silver Bells” while Chuck Billy growls a decidedly NOT “Silent Night.”

    We Wish You A Metal Xmas And A Headbanging New Year Website

    ZU - Carboniferous

    ZU - Carboniferous

    ZU
    Carboniferous
    Label: Ipecac Recordings

    Cantankerous jazzy punk and experi-metal rife with overtones, harmonics and indifferent dissonance. This non-vocal trio from Rome breathes new visions of inspired avante art rock with every song penned and every blurry bass note they fondle.

    ZU Website

    Almah - Fragile Equality

    Almah - Fragile Equality

    Almah
    Fragile Equality
    Label: Blistering Records

    Well flavored and maturely tempered power metal featuring former Angra members. Robust guitar solos are intertwined with pulsating rhythms and urgent vocals justifying the quality and caliber of this melodic power metal fury.

    Almah WebsiteAlmah Wiki

    La Otra Banda - Cuatro Tunes

    La Otra Banda - Cuatro Tunes

    La Otra Banda
    Cuatro Tunes
    Label: Sanjonero records

    A trio of musicians originally from Venezuela, now slowly transplanting to Madison, bring us a teaser of their world beat amalgamation of South American melodies purposely infected with global influences.

    La Otra Banda Website

    Laura Reed & Deep Pocket - Live At Tree Sound Studios

    Laura Reed & Deep Pocket - Live At Tree Sound Studios

    Laura Reed & Deep Pocket
    Live At Tree Sound Studios
    Label: Treeleaf Music

    Recorded live for Pandora’s Music Genome Project, this soulful high energy crew, lead by energetic South African born female vocalist, blasts their way through a saucy selection of material, displaying their song talents plus banter and anecdotes to round out the experience.

    Laura Reed & Deep Pocket Website

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