The Sixx Pack…

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Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene – The Future Looks Clear (2018)  

Independent

I’ve been hearing people rave about this band for ages, so even though the albums near on a year old, I decided it was high time I check it out.  Stoner riffs and lengthy jams throughout the album bring Kyuss to mind.  The crunch on Lost Your Mind is huge, while the near 10 minute epic, Rain, deserves to be heard by everyone!

Fuck the Fitzroy Doom Scene provide plenty of riffs, excellent vocals and perfect rhythms throughout the record, but on the lengthier tracks, they really become special.  Great album!

8/10

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Living Louder – Corsair (2018)

LL Music

Hailing from São Paulo, Brazil, Living Louder play a style of rock that is modern, by way of vintage influences.  Vocalist, Ricardo Cagliari’s accent really shines through in his vocals, which wouldn’t be a problem if the vocals weren’t too high in the mix.

Songs like the title track, Sweet Spot, Raw Meat and My Private Wallowtown all show great potential, and only suffer for the production or lack there of.

6/10

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Amyl and the Sniffers – Self Titled (2019)

Flightless Records

Bold and brash punk rock from Melbourne, Amyl and the Sniffers is high octane DIY punk rock music at its finest – even the cover art looks like it was made on a home printer and handed out after a huge night at CBGB’s.  The biggest appeal here is that it’s viscous music, played very well (biggest props given for the guitars), and it’s absolutely dripping with attitude.

Tracks like Gacked on Anger, GFY and Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled) are absolute highlights – furious middle fingers delivered to society, and I fucking love it!

8/10

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Neal Morse – Jesus Christ The Exorcist (2019)

Radiant Records

This is a pretty ambitious project.  A progressive rock musical, written and arranged by Neal Morse.  At almost 2 hours in length, it’s a big commitment to listen to front to back, but it’s spectacular.  The musicianship is second to none, the arrangements are brilliant.  The vocals are sublime.  The over all storyline element is very well executed – but the quality of the music is the real star.

There are a multitude of styles and instruments utilised to give depth and character to the piece.  Ranging from prog to metal to orchestral, it really covers all bases, and I can’t do it justice in a short review.  Listen to it yourself, and be blown away.

9/10

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Savage Messiah – Demons (2019)

Century Media Records

Savage Messiah clearly embrace their influences, and as you can hear on the bands fifth album, Demons, they take those influences and give them a 2019 update. Galloping rhythms, vocals that are refreshingly crystal clear, and excellent melodies inform the overall sound.

Tracks such as Heretic in the Modern World, Under No Illusions and Rise Then Fall provide the highlights to a very well rounded and solid heavy metal album.

8/10

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Santana – Africa Speaks (2019)

Concord Records

25 studio albums into a five decade long career, Santana releases the Rick Rubin produced Africa Speaks.  It’s a concept album that pays tribute to the African continent – utilising all manor of tribal instrumentation, making for a varied and interesting listening experience.

It’s a Carlos Santana Record, so of course, the guitar is the star.  At the age of 72, Santana is still every bit of a guitar legend.  He truly makes his guitar speak – I could listen to him play all day long.  On Africa Speaks, he plays as only he can, but he plays around the rest of the music, ensuring that it gets its time to shine.  It’s fantastic stuff.

8/10

Reviews by Shayne McGowan

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