All Access Rating: B
|Whitesnake - The Purple Album 2015|
Retaining all the bluster and roiling energy of the original, a full-throttle – albeit relatively straightforward – take classic "Burn" hits the gas and never lets up, and neither does the muscular, hard-charging "Lady Double Dealer," although they suck every bit of bluesy soulfulness from "Mistreated," turning into a leaden lump. That's not the case with the smoldering "You Keep On Moving," with its sultry organ and Coverdale's slinky phrasing. Amid the spare, haunting atmosphere of "Soldier of Fortune" there is lush acoustic strum and picking accompanying the lonely protagonist, while "Might Just Take Your Life" turns heavy and raucous after unraveling a nest of burnished slide guitar. It's not exactly clear why Whitesnake is doing this. Too often, it's hard to tell any difference between past versions and these new ones. That said, if nothing else, The Purple Album showcases the power and glory of a period in Deep Purple history begging to be re-evaluated.
CD Review: Faith No More – Sol Invictus
All Access Rating: A
|Faith No More - Sol Invictus 2015|
Made of expansive choruses, earth-scorching guitar riffs, a dizzying array of crazed vocal treatments, cascading piano and heavy, urgent rhythms, "Superhero" bristles with live-wire energy before giving way to spacious, orgasmic release. The almost unbearable tension of "Separation Anxiety" simmers and builds, as a dark, menacing bass groove relentlessly paces like an agitated predator smelling blood and prowling an eerie soundscape. An "Old West" vibe pervades "Cone of Shame," with its martial drums, before exploding into a thrash-metal frenzy, but on "Matador" and "From The Dead," Faith No More wants nothing more than to craft interesting and memorable pop songs. "Rise of the Fall" is a charming slice of bouncy experimental dub, while Mike Patton briefly showcases his soulful, R&B crooning in an otherwise epic "Sunny Side Up," emblematic of the LP's stylistic shape-shifting modus operandi. Laced with sardonic humor and delivered with Patton's gruff narration, "Motherfucker" is a combination of Ween's wacky word play and Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled storytelling, although some may toss it aside as an exercise in self-indulgence. While not entirely flawless, Sol Invictus is playfully ambitious, willing to take risks and it rewards repeated listens with new discoveries – rare traits in this day and age. Dig through its layers of instrumentation, some of Patton's most diverse and ferocious vocalizations, and unpredictable arrangements that are veritable minefields of musical pleasures and fall in love with Faith No More all over again. Album of the year, indeed.
All Access Rating: B+
|Coal Chamber - Rivals 2015|
– Peter Lindblad