Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 11

Welcome to Beyond You Radio’s Album Review Saturdays 2024 Episode 11.  This weekend we are definitely all in for the rock genres.  The first is a super group made from the likes of progressive rock and progressive metal rock bands that you may know, but the name and the throwdown here definitely leaves their prior works at the door.  The next band up is not very well known, but has the alternative rock chops and 90s sound to certainly percolate the attention of a very wide rock crowd, and their name is attention grabbing, too!  Finally, we take the second trip down solo lane with one of the most unique and cause-worthy vocalists in the rock to see what he’s cooked up this time away from one of Australia’s worldwide known bands.  We love to do this each and every weekend, and this is no exception!  Don’t forget that Album Review Saturdays are always done on our YouTube channel, featuring an extended review and addition reviews!  This weekend especially, don’t miss another superstar rock band frontman that sold more albums in the 90s than any other band!  See you over at YouTube after you devour these reviews!

 

LINK TO OUR YOUTUBE VERSION
[Mark Kuligowski & Panelist DAHM discuss these (3) albums + adds three (3) more reviews!]

 

 

Whom Gods DestroysInsanium

Ok, the name of the band is an over-indulgent name, right?  I immediately think that there is no way they are going to live up to the name, even if the band consists of keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Planet X), guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (Sons of the Apollo, Guns n’ Roses), and vocalist Dino Jelusick (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Whitesnake).  Wait, they also add a rhythm section of bassist Yas Nomura and drummer Bruno Valverde (Angra), so maybe there’s a chance.  Ears crossed, headphone engaged (thought about duct taping them on for safety) and mind set to possibly being left insane in the music membrane.

And, it starts with a rather cheesy horror keyboard/piano entry beneath Sherinian scope?!  Don’t fear…well maybe you were supposed to fear, but it doesn’t take long before we’re hoisted into the progressive metal blender and hard rock splendor that is to become the first album of Whom Gods Destroy.  Everything familiar becomes evident and when Jelusick’s voice comes in and commands your Sammy Hagar meets David Coverdale attention in an all-in dark, blues rock tone the seal is complete.  We know exactly where we are musically, and probably where we are going, and if the first track ‘In the Name of War’ is any indication we’re going to be neck deep in it for a good fifty minutes.

Now while I don’t feel that the album was building toward something, I do feel that we were working up to the title track.  After all, it is placed at the end, and it is the demonstratively longest song on the list at over eight minutes.  The guitar work, progressive keyboard entries, and the bass had their places in and out of the songs to showcase one or the other, or in some cases even multiple instruments showing off, making it a gripping recording, but not completely hitting that progressive length in nature and scope.  ‘Crucifier’ in just past or at the middle did showcase the hardest rock and pace, and kind of really elevated the pace from where it was, which was excellent placement.  Which lead me to wondering, with all this musicianship power, when were we going to hear something that was strictly instrumental?  I did have that feeling that there was going to be, even if the song list was shorter than expected.  Sure enough, ‘Hypernova 158’ brought it out, giving us a little spacy groove while knocking our ears off with virtuosity from the supergroup as expected!

Finally we reach the end, ‘Insanium.’  And what we believe would be fitting, is actually the most progressive of the songs, reaching two bridges within, changing and exfoliating like an alternative chemical bomb, spreading out over the track in a variety of ways, while still maintaining the pace, hard rock delivery, and metal qualities that had been soloing in and out of the record, defining the guitar god from the keyboard demigod.  The shifting momentum of guitar work, modulating vocal, and return of the progressive nature from the beginning is all the ‘Insanium’ required to put a lid on Whom Gods Destroy for the time being.  However, you take your super groups, you will have to give this one heavy rotation and respect, especially for their ability to truly encompass each of the contributors, as well as make it all work very cohesively within the confines of the rock, metal and progressive structure they laid out.  Now, back to that name of the band.  Did they pull off being as demonstrative as Whom Gods Destroy?  I’ll leave that up to you for now, but I do know they’ve put together an album that will be remembered this year for sure, when it comes to lists in their progressive metal rock genre (for sure).

The Band

  • Derek Sherinian – Keyboards/Piano/Synthasizer
  • Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal – Guitars
  • Dino Jelusick – Vocals
  • Yas Numora – Bass
  • Bruno Valverde – Drums

Insanium Tracklisting

  1. In the Name of War
  2. Over Again
  3. The Decision
  4. Crawl
  5. Find My Way Back
  6. Crucifier
  7. Keeper of the Gates
  8. Hypernova 158
  9. Insanium

 

 

 

Kitsa – Dead By Dawn

Port Orchard, Washington, just 13 miles from Seattle, and a lovely, kind of quiet town (if you will) nestled in a four season environment with lake front drives, properties and a seemingly beautiful personae, if an area can have one (especially that near the rainy bustling city of Seattle).  This is the town that gave us radio personality, Delilah, Karolyn Grimes the sweet loving ‘Mary’ from It’s A Wonderful Life, and the contemporary rock vocal of Jason Wade of Lifehouse.  So there!  Yeah, so how the hell did this area grow Kitsa, a grunge, stoner hard rock, angsted band?  Is there some dark element wrestling for control over this quaint town?  Is, Dead By Dawn, the reminders, anxiety, and underbelly lurking in the modest shadows and back-lake of this supposed pleasing geographical location in the Western United States?  Well, if this good, let’s hope it is (did I just say that?).

When this first hits your ears you certainly are reminded of the heavier scene of the 90s grunge-metal era.  The angst and blue-hot-under the collar youth of Alice In Chains, Screaming Trees, and maybe Elder with a sliver of Silverchair.  The lyrics are definitive in their nature of being struggle of common place youth and trying to determine your path, reaching out, reaching past, and surviving enough to rise above it all, and in this case that’s rising — apparently — above the possibility of being, well, dead.  It is obvious that the band, or the lead singer, know what they are, or at least how they are perceived in the context of the lyrics, especially that of the title track (second track in)“I’m a liar, I’m a cheater.  The sun won’t shine on me.”  Dark words spoken in the wake of bodies piled up, which I’m hoping are not on the particular shores of Port Orchard (bad for business probably, unless you’re filming the next Quiet Place).

The music.  It’s riff-tastic, and falls right in line with the vocal delivery of Skot Davis.  There’s a hint of southern in some of the guitar workings here and there that gives it a different feel from the standard Seattle heavy grunge, which is the slightly refreshing part.  As for a debut, at least our first foray into the band, they knew exactly how to deliver their sound in groove and flow along with the grunge riffs, and they melded an excellent thirty plus minutes to capture our attention.  In fact, multiple listens, as we worked our way through the lyrical quality, we found a real rock style lying quietly at the surface, which came out in ‘Koi’ (the only instrumental on the album, which if you’re listening without paying attention is moreso a lead into the song, Hate).

Kitsa has our attention now!  So does Port Orchard for that matter, as we’re going to keep a close eye out there (just in case).  You should keep an ear out for this grunge alt-rock straight ahead stoner banger!  If this is their first album, we are very interested (if they’re not dead by next dawn, or the dawn after that…) to see what comes next.  After all, the journey of a thousand miles begins with just a single — listen!  Look out Delilah!

The Band

  • Skot Davis – Lead Vocals
  • Chris Pound – Guitar, Vocals
  • Randy Fort – Drums
  • Jeremy Deede – Bass

Dead By Dawn Tracklisting

  1. Seed of Famine
  2. Dead By Dawn
  3. Downhill
  4. Wasteland
  5. Koi
  6. Hate
  7. Journeyman
  8. She

 

 

 

 

Peter GarrettThe True North

If you’ve never heard of Midnight Oil, you need stop now.  That’s right!  Do not read any further.  This is not your jump off point.  Trust me.  This man’s vocals, statements, and pride in his craft begins with the great Australian band, Midnight Oil, that found its way to every shore, every concert venue in the world between the years of 1987-1996 (this is not the timeline of the band, as they started back in 1977 and just released an album in 2022).  So, come back to us, when you’ve listened to Diesel and Dust, Blue Sky Mining, and Redneck Wonderland.  For those of you that know, let’s take a dive into Peter Garrett (iconic, unique, lead vocalist of Midnight Oil) second solo record, The True North.

They say no one is Island.  For sure, and Peter Garrett is the embodiment of the selfless, aware, singer-songwriter with a propensity for seeking harmony.  Not only in his lyrics and music, but also in his daily life and the life of the world in which he engages in.  It’s been this way ever since the start of Midnight Oil.  Now, I can’t testify to whether it is only genuine in the creative process, but let’s face it, with the world being the way it is, we would have known he was a fake by now.  So, let’s move to the genuine vocal and pursuit that is, The True North.  ‘Human Playground’ is that perfect statement of song that resides within him.  “Push yourself so hard it hurts. Put the damage in reverse.”  What a beautiful path he states, and this is the kind of hope and delivery that governs Peter Garrett’s second solo album, and he pushes himself to — overdrive.

While this recording has one of the members of Midnight Oil in the band, it holds mostly away from the harder deliveries and rock statements.  However, there’s still that blazen harmonica, and that one-of-a-kind vocal that can never be unheard from the lines of ‘Beds Are Burning.’  In fact, you might even hear it ‘Meltdown.’  Mr. Garrett’s vocals and lyrics here showcase his connection to the art of songwriting, and the ability for his words to be melded within a variety of musical landscapes that allow for variety of piano affection, the beauty of the harp and simple rhythm patterns from bass and cello, as well as in the heart-pulling moments, like that of ‘Everybody,’ that timbre off to allow his tone the spotlight and striking storytelling (whether he choses a whisper or belting scream).  This album is a peaceful resolution to the masses that want more Midnight Oil, and to the music multiverse that just wants to hear his uniqueness in his chosen context.  And, for those that went through this without doing as I instructed!  It’s never too late, as Garrett states in ‘Innocence Part 1 & 2’ — so go back and do as I suggested and check out those albums!  You can curse or thank me later, depending on your foreknowledge of consequence (yeah what Peter said).

The Band

  • Peter Garrett – Vocals, harp
  • Grace Garrett – Background vocals
  • May Garrett – Background vocals
  • Rowan Lane – Bass
  • Freya Schack-Arnott – Cello
  • Evan Mannell – Drums
  • Martin Rotsey – Guitar
  • Heather Shannon – Keyboards, piano
  • Ollie Thorpe – Pedal steel guitar
  • Tony Buchen – Synthesizer

The True North Tracklisting

  1. The True North
  2. Paddo
  3. Innocence Part 1 & 2
  4. Hey Archetype
  5. Permaglow
  6. Human Playground
  7. Currowan
  8. Meltdown
  9. Everybody
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *