Pulse Shots | August 2015
By Tine Roycroft
Upon first listen to Alexx Calise’s sophomore album In Avanti, you will immediately download it to your IPOD or IPhone and save all of her songs under the title “Kick Butt Extreme Work-Out Mix.” This chick rocks so hard your treadmill won’t know what hit it.
Alexx Calise, who is endorsed by several clothing/ gear manufacturers and has appeared in national TV commercials, brings a guitar with more than bite ~ it has big rocktronica jaws that will snap and break anything that crosses its path. And her passionate voice brings to mind a mix of Alanis Morrissette, Amy Lee of Evanescence and Haley Williams of Paramore. There’s a rawness, an energy, that is not rabid, just extraordinarily intense.
In Avanti consists of 9 tracks perfect for dancing, gyming it, or rocking out hardcore where no one can see you. In the album’s shout-along anthem “Get Used to It,” we’ve got a piece that would make trancemaster BT proud. “Out of Site” is like a smooth ride with a jolt of “friggin sharp curves ahead.” Calise’s voice can be elegantly soft and lovely until she brings the thunderous vocal ferocity and makes it all about the gorgeous passionate delivery of lyrics.
Finally, we have one stripped-back track from Calise, “See You Again,” and it’s not to be missed. She bares her red heart in this one, with no electronica to hide behind, and what the listener finds is true and honest talent.
For more info, go to www.alexxcalise.net/fr_news.cfm.
By Katey Khaos
Mix Saturday morning cartoons and speed metal and you get none other than Boston’s own Power Glove. Power Glove, who take their name from a less-than-popular NES gaming accessory ~ offer up a fresh spin to some of your favorite childhood themes with their second album, Saturday Morning Apocalypse.
The album begins with the “X-Men” theme song, plunging the listener into shredding guitar chords and thunderous drum beats ~ but that’s just the beginning! Just when you think your ears about to give out from the power cords and double bass pedals, Power Glove mixes it up and throws in some smooth acoustic guitar and synth.
The album also features covers of the theme songs for “Inspector Gadget,” “The Flintstones,” and “The Simpsons.” The album goes out with a bang with “Gotta Catch ‘Em All,” aka the Pokemon theme, featuring vocals by Tony Kakko of Sonata Arctica! Sure, these aren’t the exact theme songs you grew up with, but they do offer up a great twist on some nostalgic faves.
Power Glove is great for rockers, geeks or anyone looking to relive their childhood without feeling too silly about blasting the “X-Men” theme song on their way to work!
By Jillian Locke
Consider Darkest Era the newest, freshest name in Irish metal. Embodying the ancient tones and soul of the land, The Last Caress of Light, the band’s Metal Blade debut, translates eons of emotion, reflection and homage into eight seamless tracks that energize one another as effortlessly as a dedicated band of Celtic warriors.
What is curious about the album is the continuity; try listening from another room. From a distance, the songs seem to flow into one continuous offering, the same driving beat present throughout the collection. Come closer, and the deviations become more apparent, breathing texture, variation and even story-telling into the epic, creating a sort of musical stream of consciousness.
The vocals are hypnotizing, guiding the band to ethereal heights and depths with serene, almost enchanting sounds that permeate the aural atmosphere without a trace of hostile, aggressive growling. The incessant percussion and lyrical guitar work reign supreme, as Maiden-esque gallops give way to two guitars working in harmonious unison, like brethren plunging into a long anticipated battle…
Tracks like “The Morrigan,” “An Ancient Fire Burns,” and “Heathen Burial” represent the modern metal face of Darkest Era, whereas later tracks “Poem to the Gael” and “Last Caress of Light Before Dark” harken back to Celtic folk roots by taking on a more acoustic feel, bringing the album full circle with the past, present and future of Irish metal.