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Music to mosh to – but equally to mellow out! There’s nothing particularly standout about this young Finnish mello core band other than what they do, they do well ...

Well known in Texan circles, this Austin band have been going since 2003 when they had 2 chicks in the band, one of whom was Erika Tandy (ex Autumn Tears) whose vocal talents were widely regarded. Ignitor would record 2 releases before the departure of both ladies, whereupon the remaining members scored an absolute hit in recruiting legendary frontman Jason McMaster (Watchtower, Dangerous Toys) who’s remained with them ever since and now onto album no 5. Well, if you grew up during the early 80s when records by Judas Priest, Black Sabbath and Kiss would sit comfortably alongside those of Iron Maiden, Accept and Anthrax, then “Haunted By Rock & Roll” will indeed have you in headbanger heaven harking back to those glory days when heavy metal was just what it said on the tin! Commendably mixing catchy melodies and hooks while keeping the material molten hot, the 9 tracks here don’t disappoint and McMaster’s delivers an outstanding performance with his shredding highs while injecting soul whenever its needed. Opening with an absolute monster in ‘To Brave The War’, prepare yourself as monster grooves clash with razor riffing and some very cool rhyming lyrics to make for a swanky, swaggering number as the solos pile in along with piston drumming to drive you into a frenzy. Crashing in with even more intensity on ‘Nomad’ the deafening volume of the song is only tempered by McMasters teasing vocals (between his screams!) and the Maiden-esque proggy melodies along with Steve Harris twanging bass, while the more technical side of the band is showcased in some dexterous weaving guitar melodies and solos, before some double bass drumming closes off the number in fine style. Ending in glorious OTT fashion and in a true nod to their inspirations, the band cover Raven’s ‘Hung, Drawn and Quartered’ – no mean feat considering the ‘athletic rock’ tag of Britain’s fearsome power metal trio. Led by McMasters, who is remarkably close to John Gallagher’s unique vocal shrills, there is no let up in the pace whatsoever from the rest of the band who keep to precision but hyper speed delivery formula while overflowing with their own obvious energy and enthusiasm. And that’s just it, “Haunted By Rock & Roll” isn’t going for any awards but just to give you one helluva ride – so just hit the switch for instant detonation!

This evolution in Rise Against’s identity came against the backdrop of other changes for the band. For 11 years, they had worked closely with producer Bill Stevenson, of the Descendents and Black Flag fame. With Descendents on tour and Stevenson tied up, Rise Against stepped out of their comfort zone and began working with Nick Raskulinecz, the Grammy-winning producer who has partnered with Foo Fighters, Alice in Chains, and Deftones.

So for The Storm, Tech N9ne wanted to revisit and build upon his musical foundation. “I knew if I named it The Storm, it would push me to do the best music I’ve ever done,” Tech N9ne explains. “I’m coming off of Special Effects, which featured songs with Eminem, Krizz Kaliko, 2 Chainz, and . But it’s not just the features. It was a big record, period. I just couldn’t come with a title that wasn’t going to push me. It actually pushed me to do some damn good music, man.”

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