Review: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody (dir. Bryan Singer Dexter Fletcher, 2018) – In 1970, Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon take the stage by storm with the formation of Queen.

Verdict

Bohemian Rhapsody pays tribute not just to Freddie Mercury but Queen and their music, keeping the spirit of the legendary band alive.

5/5

Review

Bohemian Rhapsody could have gone the obvious direction, massively drawing upon the darker recesses of Freddie Mercury’s arduous life. But he deserves better. Defined by much more than his personal tragedies, the Queen frontman was ultimately the legend who changed the lives of many with his immortal music and inspiring tenacity.

Writer Anthony McCarten and director Dexter Fletcher (shall we all refuse to acknowledge Singer) fortunately recognised this. While never avoiding Mercury’s struggle with the pressure of his celebrity and sexuality, they neither dwelt on nor exploited it. Instead, the limelight rightfully falls on his many triumphs, be it in his defiance against Queen’s detractors or his inspired penning of the titular magnum opus.

Continue reading “Review: Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)”

Advertisements

Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2017

2017 saw our unexpected loss of some fine musicians, including Tom Petty, Chuck Berry, Chris Cornell, Malcolm Young, and Chester Bennington. Nevertheless, it remained an exceptional year for music in other ways.

To think ten years ago, getting to attend a small rock gig here was considered a stroke of luck. Seeing Guns N’ Roses live this year was absolutely unforgettable. As was experiencing the spectacular concerts of Wolfmother, Tyler Bryant, Megadeth (third time’s the charm), Richie Kotzen, Hats Off to Led Zeppelin, and Sick of It All.

2017 releases also charmed audiophiles, as old favourites make strong comebacks and young bands break the mould. There goes the falsehood that the new generation has ruined music. Far from it, as this list would prove – in two pages and no particular order:

15. Santa Cruz – Bad Blood Rising

Flashy outfits and pop-oriented hooks are surefire ways to invite scorn in the rock/metal scene. Not that these guys give a damn. Drawing comparisons to Mötley Crüe and Skid Row, Santa Cruz has the looks to match withal. But even as they wear their influences on their sleeves, the Finnish band finds their own sound with this polished release.

Musically, Bad Blood Rising thrives on the same attitude and zest that has earned them their previous fans, who will not be disappointed. Going for energetic solos and anthemic choruses, they capture the infectious rhythm of the genre neatly, and never once forget the fun of it.

Continue reading “Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2017”

Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2016 Vol. 2

We are now five months into 2017, where I have had the chance to listen to more albums released last year. And so I have come to realise that my list of favourite 2016 rock/metal albums was woefully incomplete. 

Thankfully, there is no hard and fast rule that forbids a very belated follow-up post. Not for me, anyway. If there is anything I’ve learnt from Marvel’s raging success, it is that a Volume 2 fixes everything. What better way to kick it off than some new noise? 

Starting with:

10. Dorothy – ROCKISDEAD

The title ROCKISDEAD is a pure fib. Not that we mind at all. From the stompin’ proclamation of Raise Hell, to the southern echoes in Gun in My Hand, Dorothy‘s debut album impresses like few others can, leaving us ravenous for more.

Goodbye naysayers. Long live rock n’ roll, thanks to this hell-raising headbanger and self-confessed snack devourer. Newcomer Dorothy Martin has reignited the rock n’ roll scene in a big way, with her fervent powerhouse vocals tailor-made for modern blues.

Continue reading “Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2016 Vol. 2”

Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2016

In 2016 alone, we lost Prince, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Scotty Moore, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, and a great many music legends. For a time, this really seems like the year that music died.

Still, we look at the bright side, for the year has been good to audiophiles too. The rock releases this year have been nothing but stunning, be it from new or veteran bands. As 2016 comes to a close, I review my overworked Spotify app and list ten of my favourite new albums, out of at least a good twenty. Rock is dead? I think not, Gene Simmons.

Enjoy the read, and listen:

10. Jessikill – Metal Knights

Far from her X-Factor days, Jessica Marie Espinoza has long since traded her pop hits for heavier originals in Hessler. Yet it is in young metal quartet Jessikill, where her powerhouse vocals finds her rightful place. With echoes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, Metal Knights gives her talent adequate room to shine. The band does more than well to accompany.

Bassist Arturo Alvarado and drummer Alan Cisneros lay down bold notes and powerful rhythms, as guitar virtuoso Jyro Alejo leads a stunning shred fest atop like no other. That is, except perhaps for his former Immortal Guardian band mate Gabriel Guardian, who shreds on guitar and keyboards. At the same time.

What a legend.

Continue reading “Favourite Rock and Metal Albums of 2016”

Download Festival: Heavy Metal Mecca

Friday, 10 June 2016

Wear wellies, alliterated advice fell on stubborn deaf ears as we lived to regret the mud that will seep into our fortunately waterproof* boots.

This was not how the day started. Earlier that morning, throngs of black-clad metalheads had happily settled on stretches of dry ground and green grass at Donington Park.

Then, torrents of rain poured in the way only British weather could. Soon, we were wading to the Lemmy stage through wet, thick soil, unprecedented in my twenty-five years of city life…

And it was worth it.

* Note: Alysa insists on clarifying that mud did not seep through our boots, but had entered from the open top, ergo, Columbia delivered on its waterproof promise. Choose Columbia.

Continue reading “Download Festival: Heavy Metal Mecca”