LESS-RECENT/OLDER REVIEWS – O

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ORANGE OUTLAW – DESERT WOLF (Independent)

Review by Sloof

After opening the package with some new promotional material, the name Orange Outlaw drew my attention. Not that the cover is sublime (rather average), or that I’m familiar with this band (never heard of them yet), but their name had a special reference. Orange refers to William I, Prince of Orange and until today, the color orange creates a feeling of belonging to the people from Holland. Perhaps it sounds strange that a color leads into a general state of ecstasy, but that’s the way it is. Outsiders might be asking questions with this, surely strange name, but that’s only the outside of the band. What you will hear on the disc is beyond every expectation, and you can count me in as a fan of Orange Outlaw!

Orange Outlaw started in 2011, by Bass player Jeffrey Bryan Rijnsburger and Dirkjan de Wit (Lead Guitars). Shortly after, they completed the lineup with Sven Cornelissen (Vocals and Rhythm Guitar) and Mark van Grieken (Drums). A first demo was recorded (“First Shot” – 2012), followed by a video clip for the track ‘Getting Paranoid’, which also feature on the debut album ‘Desert Wolf’. Since September 2015, the first full length album is available, and as it is an independent release, I would suggest to order your copy at the homepage of the band : www.orangeoutlaw.nl

The album starts with a wonderful riff, and from the very first seconds, I knew that beautiful things were going to happen. The vocals of Sven Cornellisen are very pleasant to listen to and the songs in general have many layers so boredom won’t appear. All tracks on this debut album have the perfect ingredients to deliver great moments of joy and fun. The members of the band dominate their instruments and every track has a little gem to explore. What I do like about this band is their approach. They add so many solos, breaks and hooks in their songs that you will surprised about every track in general.

Some songs are pretty fast (“Glam On The Streets”, “Fast And Deadly”, “Your Game Is Killing Me”), while other have a totally different approach (“El Blanco” with some acoustic guitars), which results in a lot of variety while listening to the album. When the song “To Me You’re Done” starts, you will be drowned in an emotional feeling where magical moments are going to happen. After increasing some speed and working towards the chorus, you will hear nice riffing by Lead Guitar player Dirkjan de Wit. What happens in the second half of the song is outstanding! First you will get a drumming exposure from Mark van Grieken, followed by the guitars that are placed in the middle now and we get a blistering solo that really gives me goosebumps!

Fans of Y&T should take some time to get to know this band, although they are less American sounding. I think that this is the best song on this album, but that can change the upcoming days, as there are so many highlights to discover! You will agree that this is music from the heart, music with passion, music from a band that has an own face! They took me by surprise and it’s wonderful how they manage to take my attention for the full 53:16 minutes! My score is perfectly in relation with the quality of the songs!

My rating: 88/100 (Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it)


OSTROGOTH – LAST TRIBE STANDING (Empire Records)

Review by Stefan

By the death of Rudy ‘WhiteShark’ Vercruysse, Belgium loses one of its Classic Heavy Metal figureheads – he was the first guitarist of Ghent based Ostrogoth fame and during the last few years, he was a member of cover band Wolfgang as well. Rudy lost the fight against the incurable disease, liver cancer and will be missed for sure. Even in his battle against this bizarre illness, Rudy continued to perform live until the last of his strength. The last show dated from December 6th. where Rudy and Ostrogoth played for the very last time together as one big family ! The venue located in Wippelgem was totally sold out – it was a night the present Ostrogoth fans won’t soon forget.

WhiteShark has always known that, when the connection with Ostrogoth would go down due to unpredictable conditions, his replacer must be Geert Annijs. Back in the days, Geert was the guitar player in bands like Thunderfire, Stainless Steel and Universe. A significant fact and FYI, he also participated in the recordings of the Mystery’s debut album. Mystery was a Belgian Melodic Hard Rock band featuring Peter De Wint (ex-Crossfire).

Since established back in the early 80s, my respect and dignity to Ostrogoth has always been warmly, that’s why I feel excited spreading the word of their brand new effort entitled “Last Tribe Standing”. The release is planned for January 23th. 2015 and the cut will be produced by second axeman Dario Frodo (also active in 23 Acez and Gemini Season) and mixing master Pete Musch. Jacob Hansen (Pretty Maids, Volbeat, Evergrey, Epica,…) took the mastering duties for his account. The fact that this is their first album since 1987 makes “The Last Tribe” even more special, be prepared for 4 new songs and four live recordings of their masterful, legendary EP called “Full Moon’s Eyes”, officially unleashed in 1983 through Mausoleum Records. The live songs have been recording during the last few years, with new line-up basically. A reflection, a remembrance, actually an homage to the good old days of Belgian Heavy Metal… Ostrogoth still rules with an iron hand !

“Last Tribe Standing” introduces the new guys Josey Hindrix on vocals, bassist Stripe and guitarist Dario ‘Mister’ Frodo. These new players are surrounded by original veterans Mario ‘Grizzly’ Pauwels on drums and of course the deplored Heavy Metal hero, Rudy Vercruysse … the end result of “Last Tribe Standing” is phenomenal !

Ostrogoth’s good old style Heavy Metal has remained as it was back in the 80s, the new songs are in the line of “Full Moon’s Eyes” / “Ecstacy And Danger” albums. The nowadays vocalist of Ostrogoth does reminds me of the first Tokyo Blade singer named Alan Marsh or even Blackie Lawless during the early days of WASP. The slightly vibrating vocal use of Ostrogoth’s new frontman fits perfectly with the overall package, great job Josey ! Also the new guitar player Dario Frodo delivers the best of the best, riffing and soloing all the way out and the melodic togetherness with Rudy Vercruysse to work out contagious.

Opener ‘No Risk Taken’ has a dark character and give the perfect picture of Ostrogoth anno 2015. Heavy guitars including technical leads, great original vocals, killer bass lines and deafening, hard-hitting drums. The magic, widely coveted ‘Heroes Museum’, family to us from the Full Moon’s Eyes cut, gets a successor by the title of ‘Return Of The Heroes Museum’. The early Iron Maiden influences and fast guitar rhythms still grab me by the throat, Ostrogoth has made a good decision to give this legendary number a second life, it exudes pure class ! The guitar riff on ‘Clouds’ make me blazing enthusiast, for some reason I’d like to compare with Dave Mustaine’s legendary riffage on the song ‘My Last Words’ (album: ‘Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying” – 1986). The title track displays the ideal exemplary of a mighty good band which, after the release of their last album in 1987, proves that they still belong to the absolutely greats of Heavy Metal music. What a beautiful song to close out the series of new songs.

To conclude I can only speak with much praise and appreciation about Ostrogoth’s new effort “Last Tribe Standing”. A hot burning fusion of both old and brand new compositions… trust me on my word of honour, the end result is vertiginous good ! We unfortunately have to say goodbye to a much appreciated musician named Rudy ‘WhiteShark’ Vercruysse and despite the grief of all band members, Ostrogoth announced that they will be back soon to spoil us with more authentic, brilliant Heavy Metal music born and elated in Ghent-Belgium!

CD release of “Last Tribe Standing” is planned for March 7th. 2015 at a venue called De Kreun, Kortrijk where they will lead the bill of Up The Belgians! Fest, a great initiative of Alcatraz Metal Festival. Check out the other bands and more info at: http://www.alcatraz.be/nl/clubshows

Order your own “Last Tribe Standing” CD/LP via: https://www.facebook.com/empirerecordsbe. Ostrogoth’s official homepage can be viewed at: http://www.ostrogothofficial.com/ , Facebookers check out THIS link. A strong album that’ll get high ranking in my own 2015 Top 20 album list, that’s for sure. A big welcome back to one of the greatest bands in the history of Belgian Heavy Metal, OSTROGOTH !

My rating: 92/100 (Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan)