Author Archives: Paul H Birch

RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

Houston ‘II’

Swedish AOR act Houston debuted to general acclaim as a duo featuring Hank Erix on vocals and Freddie Allen drums back in 2010. Producer and keyboard player Rick Delin has now officially joined their number for their aptly named follow-up released on Livewire/Cargo Records and additional personnel have been pulled in to play additional keyboards, guitars and bass, and practically ...

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bellx1 chopchop

Bell XI ‘Chop Chop’

A gentle piano refrain plays wistfully across Starlings over Brighton Pier the first single from Bell XI’s latest album Chop Chop, as in comes a rooted bass line accompanying brushed drums over which Paul Noonan’s vocals casually question the gathering of birds into a single formation and their subsequent decision to take a new direction; offering as it does a ...

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Liquid Casing

Liquid Casing – A Separate/Divide

Names like Mogwai and The Mars Volta are offered as musical signposts for the aural outpourings from Houston, Texas four-piece collective Liquid Casing and there’s certainly an experimental progressive flow at work on A Separate/Divide, albeit jazzier like the waves of a tide ebbing to and fro, sometimes gently splashing collectively towards the shore at other crashing violently against each ...

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eye ra haze

Eye Ra Haze – Eye of the Storm

New York five-piece Eye Ra Haze weave their way into your aural consciousness with rumbling hypnotic near-minimalist melodies and more haunting foreground vocals. Part art- rock, some indy shoe-gazing, an all-in-black emo-come-Goth stance, there’s also an element of old school progressive rock at work. Produced by Chris Harris (Killswitch Engage, Soulfly, Eye of the Storm is a three song cycle ...

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de la cruz

De La Cruz – Street Level

It’s more than a stretch in the ocean from the Sunset Strip to Bondi Beach but when the sounds of Van Halen got a six string razor shave and a glam rock makeover to form the sleazy street rock of bands as disparate as Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses it seemingly made a belated impact down under too. New ...

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Neuronspoiler – Emergence

With collective feet grounded in the New Wave of Heavy Metal sounds of the 80s and their guitarists’ fingers itching to play out the neo-classical power metal game, Neuronspoiler are a multi-national UK-based band whose debut album has been produced Guillermo Maya (The Answer, Adrian Smith etc). In this day and age you have to dazzle from the outset to ...

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code of silence

Code of Silence – Dark Skies Over Babylon

Torn flag held firm in hand a crusader reaches towards what could well be the fabled sword Excalibur in a classy comic book styled cover for Code of Silence’s debut album Dark Skies Over Babylon – it offers a suitable foretaste for the melodic metal offered aurally by this promising new rock band. Formed in Scotland by the band’s main ...

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Awaken – Awaken

“One of the quintessential metal bands of our time” was how Kerrang! magazine once described American band Lazarus, before they were finally laid to rest, but three members have risen from their ashes under the name of Awaken: Glenn DaGrossa (vocals/guitar), Nick D’Alessandro (drums) and Freddy Villano (who also played bass with Quiet Riot and Widowmaker) form the core of ...

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Corsair ‘Ghosts of Proxima Centauri’

Somewhere out in space a dwarf star implodes, crumbling witlessly into oblivion while a million light years away a wolf howls at an unearthly moon: From this scuzzed-out barrage of sound two guitars surface, emitting acid-tinged phrases that call out to each other, begin to dance side by side then argue; shrieking in emotive stoner-blues rock fury. ‘Wolfrider’ is the ...

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Avantasia ‘The Mystery of Time’

“So take the time to follow me into a small old English town during the Victorian era and join a young agnostic scientist by the name of Aaron Blackwell as he is forced to explore the coherencies of time, God and science; torn between beliefs in his professional conviction, his spiritual intuition, love and a lodge of scientific occultists.” Thus ...

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