Author Archives: Neil Mach

RAMzine Senior Writer - With a career spanning 30 years author / journalist Neil Mach is an expert on the music business and is a reliable guide. He especially loves heavy metal, prog & blues.

Indica – Shine/Akvaario

Finnish all-girl group Indica was founded in 2001 by school-chums Jonsu (lead vocals, violin, guitar & keyboards) and Heini (bass & backing vox). Sirkku (keys & vocals,) Jenny (guitars & vocals) and Laura (drums) later joined the outfit. With two tours (with Nightwish) under their gold-plated belts, plus a horde of fast-selling discs (in Finland) as well as numerous accolades, ...

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Jizzy Pearl – Crucified

Jizzy Pearl is a rock icon in the truest sense. A founding member of Los Angeles-based band Love / Hate (1985) he has also been lead singer of LA Guns, Ratt, Adlers Appetite and (most recently) Quiet Riot. Now we were able to get our paws on the new “love/hate” album titled ‘Crucified’ (out January 2014). For the purists out ...

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Interview with Biff from Saxon

English heavy metal band Saxon are considered to be one of the front-runners of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. The band had eight UK Top 40 albums in the 1980’s including four UK Top 10 albums and two Top 5 albums. Between 1980 and 1987 Saxon established themselves as one of Europe’s biggest metal acts. They are still ...

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Saxon ‘Unplugged and Strung’

‘Unplugged and Strung Up’ is a bunch of new, ferocious interpretations of old Saxon classics. When I first read the title on the album – especially the ‘Unplugged’ bit – my heart sunk. Why unplug these immense and powerful songs? But don’t despair – it’s only the last four tracks that are properly ‘unplugged’ – and even these are as ...

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Interview with Arjen Anthony Lucassen of Ayreon

The Dutch composer and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon) writes and produces complex “rock operas” with disconcerting and intriguing story-lines. These invariably include a series of interesting characters, each one of which is represented by an individual singer. Lucassen plays many of the instruments in each of his works, but he also encourages other guest musicians to participate. Ayreon’s music ...

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Touchstone and Von Hertzen Brothers at Robin 2, Bilston

Von Hertzen Brothers Way back in the high-days of prog-rock history – the crowds at “Yes”concerts always used to roar with excitement when the band finally played “Roundabout” from their ‘Fragile’ album. I have always been struck by the fact that those dedicated progressive rock fans may well have enjoyed all of the fancy concepts, the de-constructed metaphors, the spiritual ...

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Ayreon ‘The Theory Of Everything’

Ayreon is the flagship musical project by Dutch composer and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen. As with every Ayreon album, ‘The Theory Of Everything’ is a concept album with each character being portrayed by one singer. Singers on this project include former King Crimson and current Asia member John Wetton, Marco Hietala of Nightwish and Tarot, Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, ...

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Blues Pills ‘Devil Man’

In 2011 Swedish lead singer Elin Larsson, with drummer Cory Berry and bass player Zack Anderson – all just in their early Twenties – formed up with French guitar player Dorian Sorriaux to create Blues Pills – a blues-rock group which may well become one of the most acclaimed and interesting bands of the decade. They have just released their ...

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Jonny Cola & The A-Grades ‘Spitfire’

Hark! Is that a Rolls-Royce engine that I can hear puffing away beyond those branches? Perhaps it is. Is that a Beano annual that I have found under my bed? So it is. Is that a Chinnichap riff filling the track ‘In The Woods’ by Jonny Cola and the A-Grades. Yes, it seems so. I must therefore assume that I ...

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Tigertailz ‘Knives’

Tigers are known to have relatively little stamina. Normally they hide for hours – days if necessary – before they are ready to pounce. So if you’re a fan of these charismatic beasts, you have to be patient. Very patient. To see them at work. The giants of Welsh glam metal, Tigertailz from Cardiff – are very similar. Their most ...

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