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.

James LaBrie – I Will Not Break EP

Recorded music has come such a long way in such a relatively short time: where it ensures quality sound reproduction that’s great, when it enters the marketing minefield it all becomes a lot more subjective. Once upon a time a single was a 7” piece of vinyl played on a gramophone at 45 revolutions per minute (rpm) with a song ...

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Epica – The Quantum Enigma

Fifth album in from Epica the symphonic metal band who hail from Holland, but the first I’ve had the opportunity to listen to. Increasingly I’m hearing bands, and predominantly European ones, whose albums tend to be what you might term concept orientated, that is to say there’s an overall story or theme behind them. Each of the five digi-pak versions ...

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Doro – Powerful Passionate Favorites

Celebrating German metal siren Doro Pesch’s career with the Raise Your Fist 30Years Anniversary-Edition, record label Nuclear Blast have included a bonus CD of rare, new and previously unreleased material under the title ‘Powerful Passionate Favorites’ and much as the American misspelling of Favourites aggravates me endlessly, I find quite a few guilty pleasures to be heard on the actual ...

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Foreigner, Europe & FM Live at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Tuesday 15th April

Review by Paul H Birch, Photos by Lisa Billingham Tonight there’s a good vibe in Wolverhampton and inside its Civic Theatre FM kick off promptly, giving us the one-two punch of Tough Love and I Belong To the Night as Steve Overland’s voice echoes outside to be heard by those yet to be let in. Don’t Stop rocks out with ...

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No Sinner – Work Song

Vancouver-based rock ‘n’ blues quartet, No Sinner, have released a brand new single from their debut album Boo Hoo Hoo, a version of Nina Simone’s Work Song. Boo Hoo Hoo has already caused a stir in Europe, bolstered by the video to its title track, and is set for release on June 24th in North America via Noisey/Vice. Fronted by ...

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DVD Review: The Rise And Fall of The Clash

Documentary showing the moving story of The Clash “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness and others have greatness thrust upon them.” Thus with a quote from Shakespeare this DVD begins giving way to the sound of helicopters hovering over a huge auditorium in the States, then cutting to ground level as The Clash stroll ...

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Foreigner – I Want To Know What Love Is (And All The Ballads)

When Foreigner’s I Want To Know What Love Is stormed the singles charts worldwide I viewed it as a gushing overwrought take on their previous hit ballad Waiting For A Girl Like You; that it sold even more dumbfounded me. Neither had that really special something, as far as I was concerned, but everyone else and their mother seemed to ...

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New Rival Sons Album For Summer

Two years after charting across Europe with their Head Down album; Rival Sons are back with a highly anticipated follow-up, Great Western Valkyrie available from Earache Records this June. The winners of Classic Rock magazine’s 2012 Breakthrough Artist, Great Western Valkyrie will be the Long Beach, California band’s fourth full-length album and word has it that it is “Packed full of irresistible ...

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Sonata Artica – Pariah’s Child

Fifteen years into a career, with eight full albums now released, Finland’s Sonata Artica deliver Pariah’s Child, a melodic power metal operatic odyssey in all but name. If, like me, you’ve only heard the band’s music fleetingly before, there’s much that reminds one of Styx and early Queen, not least because of the band’s use of harmony vocals; and even ...

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The Vintage Caravan – Voyage

Hailing from the Greater Reykjavik region in Iceland, a land more in tune with its forbears’ Scandinavian folklore than even those residing on mainland Europe, so much so that they actually reroute main roads to avoid disrupting elves’ homes, come The Vintage Caravan. Musical travellers exploring forgotten byways and roads less travelled during the 60s blues boom and 70s exploration ...

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