• ROLAND VAN CAMPENHOUT - Wonderful Human Beings (Meyer records)

    Roland has found a new breath and home in terms of recordings at Meyer Records, a German label that searches for authentic roots music with a contemporary twist. 'Wonderful Human Beings' is his fourth release for Meyer and includes recordings made between 1995 and 2020. Roland combines his own blues style on a couple of songs with big name from literature and poetry (Bukowski, Dylan Thomas, Van Ostayen). His deep weathered desert voice, the combination of sounds and traditional instruments and his collaboration with musical greats deliver a great album that we consider Tom Waits-worthy. Roland has sucked up a mass of world music and fused it with his blues feeling. It makes an intriguing record that we like to put on replay. Meyer releases are available on cd and vinyl. Especially the latter format is recommended because of the impressive artwork and the excellent pressings.

    (Geert Ryssen)

    Roland Van Campenhout (guitar, vocals, samples, omnichord, plastic record players, proteus strings), Bart De Nolf (double bass), PJDS (drums, vocals, guitar), Steven De Bruyn (harp), Tony Gyselinck (drums, percussion), Jeroen Stevens (drums, percussion), Carl Ludwig Hübsch (vocals), Ad Cominotto (synthesizer), Teun Verbruggen (sound effects), Kobe Proesmans (drums, percussion), Rony Verbiest (accordeon), Mirko Banovic (bas, guitar), Frank Vanderlinden (guitar)

  • THANATEROS - On Fragile Wings (Echozone)

    Thanateros is a German gothic rock band with some folky touches due to the presence of violin player Christof Uhlmann. The band released four albums between 2001 and 2009 and split in 2010. In 2019 singer Ben Richter reformed the band with all new musicians and a fifth album was released. New album 'On Fragile Wings' is its first on Echozone and sounds superb. The band manages to combine that dark melancholic feel with a powerfull sound, good songs and strong arrangements with an interesting bonus because of the presence of the violin. It gives the band a great sound and blends well with the power of the rock section. Frontman Ben Richter is a seasoned vocalist who knows exactly what a band like this requires in the vocal department: deep, dark and melodic singing. New drummer Markus Felber is a real powerhouse drummer who's perfectly captured in the production. Great album!

    (Geert Ryssen)

    Ben Richter - vocals
    Christian "Chrys" Ryll - bass
    Chris Lang - guitars
    Christof Uhlmann - violin
    Markus Felber - drums

  • SUNRUNNER - Sacred Arts Of Navigation (Fastball Music)

    This is the fifth studio album by American progressive metal band Sunrunner. It took us some time to get into this as the band has a complete individual style with a rough production and musical influences that go from Greek Mediterian music to stonerrock and some subtle neo-prog sounds in between. With every spin the band reveals more of it's qualities. They have well constructed songs with little references to what we've heard before in this cross-over metal. Bruno Neves is a fine singer and guitarist Joe Martignetti has more than one trick up his sleeve. Subtle passages alternate with heavy riffing. One thing one can say about Sunrunner is that it is a very individual and original band that makes authentic heavy progressive music. Fans of Manilla Road will also like this we think. Pure music, without compromise, not polished, lyrics that make sense! Interesting band!

    (Geert Ryssen)

    Joe Martignetti - guitars, bouzouki, backing vocals
    Ted MacInnes - drums, percussion, bakcing vocals
    David Joy - bass, bakcing vocals
    Bruno Neves - lead vocals

    Guests on two tracks:
    Marcus Jidell - slide guitar, bakcing vocals
    Frank Navarro - bass

  • THE MOTHERS FILMORE EAST - JUNE 1971 (Zappa Records)

    In June 1971, Frank Zappa and The Mothers recorded four shows at the Fillmore East (New York). In many ways it was a first as they were recorded on 16 track analog tape and originally edited a conceptual live album. The recordings were released in 1971 on a single album, which of course omitted big parts of the concerts. Now the best recordings of each performance have been chosen to restore the whole concert. The result is a triple album (on vinyl) that includes the appearance of John Lennon & Yoko Ono (some of these recordings were previously released on John & Yoko's album 'Sometime In New York City'). All recordings have been remastered with the original album on record 1. Record 2 has the John & Yoko set and a great performance of 'King Kong - Solo's'. Record 3 is taken by 'Billy The Mountain'. Some of these recordings have been released before, but never in this form. This is the perfect way to experience what these concerts were all about. Today they still stand as top Frank Zappa, recorded with a shortlived but essential line-up of The Mothers Of Invention. It lasted for only two years, but the combination of The Turtles' singers with the weirdness of The Mothers worked perfectly.

    (Geert Ryssen)

    Frank Zappa - Guitar & Dialog
    Mark Volman - Lead Vocals & Dialog
    Howard Kaylan - Lead Vocals & Dialog
    Ian Underwood - Winds & Keyboards & Vocals
    Aynsley Dunbar - Drums
    Jim Pons - Bass & Vocals & Dialog
    Bob Harris - 2nd Keyboard & Vocals
    Don Preston - Mini-Moog

  • FRANK ZAPPA & THE MOTHERS - RAINBOW DECEMBER 10 1971 (Zappa Records)

    In November/ December 1971, Frank Zappa & The Mothers undertook a European tour that was interupted because of the fire at the Montreux Casino where Zappa was giving a concert. All their gear was destroyed and they had to cancel the rest of the tour until December 10 and 11, when tey resumed at the London Rainbow. The band played on all new gear and lots of things weren't working properly. Nevertheless the shows were recorded and they turned out to be great and the audience was in heaven. Until a "fan" jumped on stage and pushed Frank off stage with several injuries as a result. That was just after the encore, so it didn't affect the show, but the consequences for Frank were serious. He spend most of the following year in a wheelchair! Of course the "fan" was arrested but it also meant the end of this great line-up. Except for 'King Kong' this triple vinyl album has no doubles with the Fillmore set and sound and performance are great. Lots of these recordings have been released before on the 'You Can't Do That On Stage' series and the 'Playground Psychotics' cd (1992), but this is the real McCoy with a complete concert in runnig order. Essential Zappa!

    (Geert Ryssen)

    Frank Zappa - Guitar, Vocals
    Mark Volman - Vocals
    Howard Kaylan - Vocals
    Ian Underwood - Keyboards, Alto Sax
    Aynsley Dunbar - Drums
    Jim Pons - Bass, Vocals
    Don Preston - Keyboards, Electronics

  • THE RISEN DREAD - Night Hag (Independent release)

    Once in a while one is triggered outside its comfort zone. Singing with forced throat sounds is usually a no-go for yours truly. Nevertheless, the Irish The Risen Dread knows how to strike a chord. The eleven songs are all part of a thematic album about mental illness. This debut makes an explosive statement. Let's hope that the singer knows what he is doing with his voice because we don't think you can keep this up for long. What makes the record strong is the instrumental accompaniment that pops out of the speakers in a clenched and aggressive way. This group has mastered its trick perfectly. The help of Sepultura guitarist Andreas Kisser on 'White Night' adds to the credibility. This fires from start to finish, super tight with splitting riffs, roaring drums and thundering rhythms. We take the vocal primal screams along with it.

    (Geert Ryssen)

OPENSIGHT - Mondo Fiction (Independent release)

I have this cd in my possession for some time now, and it took me only one spin to like it, but it took me a lot more time to write a review about it, because this band has really an original approach and is hard to classify. Hard rock, art rock, cinematic rock, epic rock, conceptual rock, progressive rock- and metal, ...,  the list of musical influences is endless. The band is led by London based Colombian Ivan Amaya who writes the music and is the singer, guitar- and keyboard player. 'Mondo Fiction' is bathing in an atmosphere of suspense by creating a very visual sound. The final track is a somewhat twisted interpretation of the James Bond related classic 'Thunderball'. The start of the album makes you expect a melodic contemporary heavy metal album, but that changes into a collection of songs with a lot of light and shade, well composed and and wonderfully arranged. The instrumental support of the foursome is full of intrigue and different colors, even with Western-related passages. If you can imagine a cross-over between The Darkness (the flamboyance) and Ghost (with the dark side replaced by suspense), you may have an idea how Mondo Fiction sounds like. This is one of the most interesting metal-influenced albums I heard for some time. A recommended listen! Originality still exists!

About the band:

The band has an interesting history. Ivan Amaya started the band in his homeland Colombia where one album was released ('Prosthetic Soul' - 2008) and a couple of its songs were featured on compilation albums. In 2012 Ivan moved to Londen where he gave Opensight a new start. After two EP's ('The Voice Of Nothing' - 2011 and 'ulterior Motives' - 2015) this first UK-based full album 'Mondo Fiction' was released on February 4th 2022. 

Line-up:

Ivan Amaya - Vocals/Guitar/keyboards

Neil McLaughlin - Guitar

Duncan Arkley, Bass

Redd Reddington, Drums

(Geert Ryssen)

Link: https://www.opensightband.com