Last Temptation, Butcho Vukovic, Peter Scheithauer, Stet Howland and Steve Unger, continues their ascent, after a riveting set at Hellfest Main Stage One this summer the band continues to add more and more successes to their collection. The opening track ‘I Win I Lose’ almost seems misleading with all the wins they have racked up recently, signing a worldwide deal with Ear Music, releasing a heavy hitting album with the raw energy of old school Rock and Metal -featuring amazing guests like: Don Airey (Deep Purple, Rainbow) on Keyboards, Vinny Appice (Did, Heaven and Hell) on drums, Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore) on bass, James Lomenzo (BLS, Snakepite) on bass as well as Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake, Quiet Riot) and more. Raw riffs, hard driving percussion and stadium ready vocals all combine on the eponym album ‘Last Temptation’ released September 27 2019. The live feel and tangible energy felt on the LP can be witnessed by fans far and wide in the near future as Last Temptation plans a US and European tour as well as festivals in the upcoming months. The powerhouse is the brainchild of guitarist Peter Scheithauer (Killing Machine, Belladonna, Temple Of Brutality) and singer Butcho Vukovic (Watcha, Showtime) who teamed up with talented friends Steve Unger (Metal Church) and STET Howland (WASP, Lita Ford) , their classic Metal sound is infused with the core energy of earlier times and amalgamated with the present feel of today. Shredding on ‘Blow A Fuse’ is transcendent, the sway and swagger of ‘Lock Into Myself” is almost visual, the gritty groove and trudging drum beat is hypnotic simultaneously invigorating. The aesthetic is akin to legendary bands with ominous imagery, dark tone, and lucid lyrics – all present on ‘Nobody Is Free’ and ‘Coming For You’. Last Temptation keeps the spirit and energy of classic Metal alive with their latest release and only show that there is much more to come from this band that is on a war path to an absolute take over.
Somber, haunting and rhythmic all describe the opening track to Karl McCann’s ‘Kxi’ album. ‘Good Things Will Rest’ sets the tone with a ghost-like vocal delivery over a raw guitar melody and rugged drums. ‘Ask For Forgiveness’ keeps the momentum going while slightly brightening up the tone the rough vocals add personality to the recording, similar to the idiosyncratic cover art- original, unique, sparse and complex all in one. ‘Kxi’ sonically translates to a beautifully mysterious painting, a consistent color palette and deep dark depth in the few colors used. Stripped down and raw Karl McCann delivers an honest album packed with character. ‘Just Another Shot’ upbeat in sound but dark in content- another interesting mesh in a painting of combined complimentary colors. ‘Kxi’ is an outstanding album with consistency and familiarity welded together with range and risk, the distorted acoustic beginning of ‘So Save Yourself’ coupled with the crisp programmed drum sounds creates a unique sound for Karl McCann. McCann has an LP that can be played from start to finish with depth enough for an immediate restart leaving the listener wanting to re-experience ‘Kxi’ right away.
Right out the gate Salloum’s ‘Energy & Rhythm’ begins with a spark of the metaphysical, the intro track ‘Gamebreaker’ is full of audio clips of interviews about otherworldly topics. Accompanied by a full website http://energyandrhythm.com/ ‘Energy & Rhythm’ is a project that details a level of depth easily forgotten today. ‘Join Us’, the first track, is a mission statement and call to arms, a spiritual anthem enveloped in passion. ‘Heart Of The City’ is a triumphant autobiographical banger, with an instrumental with a haunting piano loop, heavy drums and blended synths on the hook. ‘Reagan’s United Nations (interlude)’ ties in the political with the conspiratorial a chilling segue into ‘End Of The Road’ a track with a slight Hip-Hop meets Nu-Metal mellow alternative aesthetic. Famed comedian George Carlin has his own interlude again emphasizing the possible extraterrestrial influence on our society. ‘The Setup’ has a ghastly instrumental and even more altering lyrics, exposing the esoteric to the listener. Epic, enlightening, intoxicating and energetic all describe ‘Energy & Rhythm’ at title alone with more depth than what is immediate, Salloum delivers a Hip-Hop album that is a wealth of knowledge, an LP that can be studied like an ancient book holding the mysteries of time.
Expanding from the atmospheric ‘Emotional Transit Way’ continuously evolves but remains confined as instrumentation envelopes this vast sonic landscape. Angelic horns sweep in as a triumphant alarm for some otherworldly anticipated appearance. Bubbling underneath all this is an ever-present oscillating spacious augmented synth, keeping the omnipresent ambience as this particular transit avoids the rocky road of percussion. Owl Glance keeps the trance-inducing mood throughout this whole sonic journey where the only exit is the sudden realization of reality when the track ends. ‘Emotional Transit Way’ is a great journey worth endless plays.
Immediately when playing Datastar’s ‘Dont Panic’ EP the listener is thrust into the expansively beautiful ambient electronic cosmos. ‘Blackheart’ is both futuristic and tribal, a convergence of the sounds of a far reaching future and the innate rhythms of our distant past, pulsating with heavy bass and oscillating alien keys that weave in and out between fuzzed synth sounds the EP starts off in an era where sound is almost finished evolving to it’s highest heights. The melodic keys on Nardo reel the listener back to the confines of regular reality, with upbeat drums and a dance-able rhythm still placing you in a trance-like groove. The title track ‘Don’t Panic’ has elements of 80s electro-funk with robotic futuristic orders chanted military-style as commands in a society dedicated to dance as opposed to dystopia. ‘Just Like That’ closes out the experience, a lucid dream lounge,a funky float tank, and another out-of-body groove further expanding the trip that is ‘Don’t Panic’.