Lee Speaks About Music… #199

Arteries –  Omnerod


After a couple of years, the band from Belgium Omnerod are back with a new EP entitled Construction. It’s the first I’ve really heard from them since the release of their 2nd album Arteries that was released back in 2019. Back then the band were more or less a two-piece outfit that used other session players to make that album and was trying to expand the band so that they could take their music out on the road and try and attract more attention to their music so to speak.

Judging by the video that the band posted on their Facebook wall a few days ago you can see that it appears that the band have now expanded to a four-piece outfit and I have to say they even look and sound like a GREAT! live act.

The two original band members Romain Jeuniaux (Vocals/Guitar) and Pablo Schwilden Diaz (Drums) have added the Growl Vocalist Anthony Deneyer who appeared as a session player on their previous album to the lineup. He also plays the guitar here too. Taking care of the bass duties is André Six who produced and recorded their previous album and it appears that they did not have to look that far to get the band ready to take it on the road.

For those who are not familiar with Omnerod, they are very much a Prog/Metal outfit that not only DJENT! but have added melodic structure to their music so it also sits in with the PROG! side of things which is more suited to my own personal taste. This is a band that will also incorporate death metal into the melting pot which is suited to Deneyer’s “Growl Voice” and as a rule, I am not into that at all. However, his grunts and growls work extremely well with Jeuniaux’s normal voice and that is one of the things that drew my attention to their second album Arteries. The same combination continues to work its way very much into the new material we have here too.

You might like to check out my review of Arteries and it is an album I certainly would recommend and has given me some GREAT! pleasure over the past couple of years. You can find it here: https://leespeaksoutaboutmusic.wordpress.com/2019/06/26/lee-speaks-about-music-118/

I’ve also noticed it’s now been made available on CD as well. For now, let’s get back to the EP in question but before we do let’s take a look at the packaging and artwork.

Packaging & Artwork…

The bands latest offering has been made available in the form of a Digital Download only which is the sensible thing to do especially has it comes with a “Name Your Price” price tag. So technically you can get it for nothing though I certainly think it’s worth chucking something there way to show some support for all the hard work that has been put into it.

The cover design was done by Intuitive Designs and judging by the album cover it does tend to bear more relation to the world of PROG! rather than Metal. Its sort of like Led Zeppelin meets Pink Floyd on the brighter side of the moon so to speak. I think that artwork is OK though I would not say that it’s that apt to title of the EP.

The EP In Review…

Omnerod’s latest offering Construction is a 4 track EP of new and revamped old material and has a playing time of 23 minutes, 22 seconds. However the band decided on an “Extended Edition” for the release and it includes 3 live (or supposedly live) tracks making the total playing time 48 minutes, 44 seconds. It’s now more like a lengthy album rather than an EP.

All of the new material the band have worked on was done over the last couple of years and each track was composed, produced and recorded working with various processes, gear and people. It was in 2020 that the band announced their new four-man lineup though due to Covid restrictions the band have had very little to do regarding playing live.

However, the band did get to play at the Festival above last month and that was one of two times they actually have played live. They also have a few more session players onboard with them for the newer material and have been making the odd work in progress video to which they have posted from time to time on Youtube as in this example below.

Company Accepted” is one of the newer songs and here you can see how they have programmed the keyboard parts and also how Jeuniaux also uses a guitar synth to play some of the parts besides all the other guitar parts that have been put into the track. It looks pretty impressive watching both Romain and André work together. So let’s now take a look and the musicians and credits.

Musicians & Credits…

All music Written & Arranged by Omnerod except track 3 Arranged by Omnerod written by Courage Umaigba, Daniel Griffiths & Darius Keeler. Produced by André Six. Co-Producers Romain Jeuniaux (tracks 2, 3 and 4), Pablo Schwilden Diaz (tracks 5, 6 and 7), Julien Huyssens (track 3) and Anthony Deneyer (track 4). Mixing Engineers Julien Huyssens (tracks 3-7), André Six (track 1) and Chris Coulter (track 2). Mastered by Tony Lindgren (track 1), Chris Coulter (track 2), Lucas de la Rosa (track 3), Rémi Salvador (track 4). Visuals: Intuitive Designs.

Romain Jeuniaux: Normal Vocals/Guitars/Samples, Synths & Effects.
Pablo Schwilden Diaz: Drums/Percussion/Samples, Synths & Effects.
Anthony Deneyer: Growl Vocals (tracks 1,3,4,5,6). Guitar (tracks 4,5,6,7).
André Six: Bass (tracks 2 – 7).

Additional Musicians:
Eerik Maurage: Classical Guitar (track 3).
Jørgen Munkeby: Saxophone (track 3).
Nicolas Draps: Electric Violin (track 3).
Thomas Clément: Bass (track 1).
Sara Handerveyden & Elisa Malki Vocals (track 2).

The EP Tracks In Review…

If you have been following the band the Construction EP does not really give you anything new because the band have already released each track individually over the last couple of years. However, as they mentioned by sticking all the tracks together this way is more of a cohesive package and was constructed to bridge the gap whilst working on their third album. That’s also most likely how they arrived at the title for the EP. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at the 4 studio tracks first and I shall go further into the live material at the end.

Track 1. Lines (Vocal Version).

The first of the songs is actually now a song and originally it was an instrumental track that appeared on the bands second album Arteries. It also has the original bass player Thomas Clément so regarding the musical side of things nothing has been touched. Jeuniaux penned the new lyrics for the song and both he and Deneyer have done a GRAND! job of putting them across and I have to say they fit in with the music like a glove.

As an instrumental piece “Lines” had quite a bit of power but with lyrics and the vocals it hits you with a lot more than a ton of bricks and its power now is perhaps more equivalent to the weight of the Empire State building. I really like what they have done here and prefer this version to the original instrumental version.

Track 2. Company Accepted.

This next song is one of the new ones and like most of the songs on this EP they were released as singles earlier on in the year. The song itself is quite ambient and keyboard-driven and is structured around the keyboard. There is no GROWL! vocals here and Jeuniaux gets to sing this one solely on his own apart from the background vocals to which Sara Handerveyden & Elisa Malki do a GRAND! job in the haunting choral sections of the song.

As you will hear in the video above it shows you how the song worked out and I would also say that this is perhaps different to the norm or the material you will find on Arteries but nevertheless, there is some quite impressive guitar work put into it all and they all do a GRAND! job on it.

Track 3. You Make Me Feel.

This next song is a cover of a song that was written by Courage Umaigba, Daniel Griffiths & Darius Keeler of the band Archive. To be honest I have never heard of them or the song before and I did take the liberty of giving the original version a blast and to be honest it’s not really my cup of tea. I thought I would post both versions here so you can hear for yourself.

The original version has more of a modern-day pop/rock approach to it and the female vocals do not really have the edge to make the song rock in the first place. It perhaps gives it a sweeter vibe against all the dirt so to speak. I would even go as far as to say that the lyrical content is child’s play and nothing to write home about. But then again that’s really typical of most pop songs.

Omnerod on the other hand has given the song a totally different approach and added real balls to the song which is more suited to my taste. Their version is in a different ballpark completely and it’s far from a carbon copy of the original. They have obviously adapted it to their own style and it works pretty well for them doing so. It is without doubt along with “Lines” a very heavy and powerful track.

The song also features Jørgen Munkeby on saxophone and Nicolas Draps on electric violin and the murderous job they do on them blends in very well with the mayhem that the band have instilled into the song. I am pretty sure Archive would be well happy that they covered their song as well.

Track 4. Sandglass.

This is the only song on the EP that you did not really get the chance to hear beforehand and they only put it out the day before the release of the EP. It’s very much a ballad of a song that tries to build up with the progression it contains throughout, although personally, I feel it does not get there. To be honest I do feel they could have done more to it and built it up a lot better for it to explode into action.

I would also say that even though the song does tend to drag its way along surprisingly it does seem to be all over in no time at all even though it’s the longest track out of the four studio tracks. It does however round off and put the studio side of the EP to bed quite well and to be honest the 23 minutes and 22 seconds of studio material is perhaps more suited to the time slot of a CD EP.

Extended Live Content.

Tracks 5 – 7. Ascaris (Live). Company Accepted (Live). Nothing Was Vain (Live).

The extra live content you get is actually longer than the studio content and at 25 minutes, 22 seconds it is perhaps more like a mini-album. You may have noticed earlier that I stated that it was supposedly live and I did have my reasons for that because the live performance of these three tracks was not from a live concert and was made in a studio with lighting and cameras. It was also made for The Progspace Online Festival in a way of promoting the EP and was put out on that Tube Channel last month on the 20th of November.

The good thing about it all though is that you do get to see all 4 band members working as a unit and they are also to a degree playing live though it’s more of a studio process that has been given to the end product. Omnerod’s music in general can be quite overproduced and more of a studio product and even has a 4-piece band there is no way they could play everything that is contained in the original recording like you are hearing on these live tracks. What would help is for them to bring in a keyboard player to play for them at their live shows.

I will say that the band have made all three numbers you get here sound live to a degree especially “Company Accepted” where André Six’s bass has more of a spring to its step in the way it’s punctuated and the snappy springy sound coming from it. Around the 2:49 mark you will also notice a different fill by Pablo Schwilden Diaz’s drums and the burst on the guitar that leads it in. No doubt it’s being played live even if there is no audience here.

The same can be said for both “Ascaris” and “Nothing Was Vain” and these couple of GREAT! songs are most welcome here. Both tracks from the album Arteries are a couple of strong contenders for the albums TOP SPOT! that I pointed out in my review of the album. As I mentioned earlier as a live act Omnerod certainly look the part and you can catch the live session right here: 00:36:18

Summary & Conclusion…

To sum up and conclude my review of the EP Construction by Omnerod. The material we have here was really put out for the band to try and still keep in contention and the biggest majority of it does not really give you a real account of what this band is capable of doing I feel. The way the 4 studio tracks have been put together does not really show you them working as a band either and Anthony Deneyer got perhaps the wrong end of the straw with how little he was involved.

To be perfectly honest it’s a shame really because what really hindered the bands progress was Covid 19 and with that popping up on the eve of their last album Arteries did not really give the band a chance to showcase the material live and pick up more attention. It’s a very strong album as well and the opening track “Lines” is my personal highlight on this EP along with the three live tracks and they really show exactly what they are capable of doing as a band.

Having watched an interview recently with Romain Jeuniaux on Progtalks! that was put out last month on the Tube. It appears the band are working on new material for a new album that should be hitting the shelves sometime in the summer of next year. What I personally would like to see is a bit more fire and the band working more as a unit as I know they are well capable of doing.

Construction may offer the listener something that bit extra to whet your appetite to fill the gap between what is to come. Whether it’s enough is really down to your own preferential taste. I would say the EP is pretty much a solid piece of work and it’s perhaps only really “Sandglass” that is the weak link in the chain for my liking. But one cannot really complain after all it’s not as if the band are really asking for any money for it. You can see that quite a strong body of work has been put into it which is why I recommend bunging in a few bucks.

You can listen or even download the Construction EP for Free from the following link: https://omnerod.bandcamp.com/album/construction-extended-edition

Offers Much More Than Extended Play…

The EP tracklisting is as follows:
01. Lines (Vocal Version). 5:57.
02. Company Accepted. 5:15.
03. You Make Me Feel. 5:38.
04. Sandglass. 6:32.
05. Ascaris (Live). 8:35.
06. Company Accepted (Live). 5:14.
07. Nothing Was Vain (Live). 11:33.

Price Point Rating Score. 10/10.
EP Rating Score. 8/10.

Lee Speaks About Music… #198

Medusas Head – Heartscore


Dirk Radloff is back yet again with his project of Heartscore, which is very much a project where the music is written on the staff before a note has been played hence the name he gave to his project. Medusas Head is his 9th studio album to date and 3rd album to feature Giacomo Rossi on vocals. One of the good things is that at least we have some newly written material this time around unlike the previous album he put out last year which was a remake of his 2002 debut album Sculptures.

According to Radloff Medusas Head is an album that runs along with the likes of bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Manowar and so on and that sort of melodic power or heavy metal he intended to make for this new album so to speak. I personally would not say this new album contains the metal power we saw on his previous albums Black Rider’s (Parts One & Two). However, I do feel that more of a rock or heavy rock approach that’s been given to the new material that fits more in line with Rossi’s voice and in some ways it may very well have been moulded or shaped that way intentionally.

One thing I will say is that Rossi’s rock voice is well suited here and to be perfectly honest since having him onboard over the last few years I’ve expected to see a rise in new listeners and in the popularity stakes. However, for some reason, things do appear to be on the decline and for the life of me, I cannot see why simply because I do feel that Heartscore is much stronger now with Rossi’s GREAT! voice and it’s the perfect accompaniment to Radloff’s music.

Radloff has always paid particular attention to the marketing side and the various ways of getting his music out there to a wider audience despite the more recent decline. Over the last year, one of the ways of trying to attract more attention is with the use of his Youtube channel in which he’s tried to keep things on the go by doing the odd video here and there on more of a regular basis.

There seems to be no end to his creativeness as you can see by this video he created on the spare of the moment using a new Moog Subharmonicon and DFam he purchased earlier this year.

Self Optimization” is a far cry from anything Radloff does regarding his Heartscore project and is more of a modern-day pop song sort of thing. But nevertheless it shows just how creative he can be in any genre just as the many other videos he made on the spare of the moment with the use of the Moog Subharmonicon, DFAM vocals, guitar, violin and other percussion.

One of the other ways that Radloff is particular about marketing his music is in the formats he releases his albums. To be perfectly honest the way he can go about things often has me worried half the time simply because I don’t believe music should be for free especially when you have put a lot of time, effort and money into making it. So let’s now take a look at how he’s gone about putting this latest album out.

Packaging & Artwork…

The CD comes in a gatefold cardboard DigSleeve with a Die-Cut pocket to hold the CD in place. It does not come with a booklet or any additional information but it does contain all the lyrics to which have been printed on the inside of the gatefold sleeve. The linear notes and credits are printed on the back and overall it’s a very tidy and neat quality package.

I purchased my copy from Bandcamp for €9 plus €3.70 p+p making a total of €12.70. £11.37 here in the UK which is quite a bargain considering it was from Germany. Even more amazing is that it only took 2 days to arrive. and it has to be the fastest anything has arrived here from Germany.

The graphic design and layout were done by Radloff himself and the actual artwork was done by Atelier Sommerland who is a German Graphic designer and artist who mostly does work for Authors as seen in the publication below.

Although he has also done artwork for several album covers in the past and no doubt his work is quite eyecatching. I can see what Radloff saw in this artwork of his and it’s very well detailed. I quite like not only the album cover but the green colour layout which I feel works very well in a contrasting way.

Format Releases.
In the past, Radloff as always perhaps gone a bit over the top in the way he puts out his music. For any artist who is not in the limelight or does not sell music in any great quantities, the Digital Download is the best and cheapest way of getting your music out there plus you’re not going to be left with copies cluttering up your garage if they do not sell as you would with a physical product.

However, physical media is an expensive game and unless you are selling your music in large quantities and are having 100 to 300 copies pressed. That is really the only viable way to keep the cost down and the more you have made the less expensive it will cost per unit.

In the past sometimes Radloff has shunned away from CD’s for this reason. However, he has tried his hand at almost all formats and even gone as far as Cassettes, Vinyl and even tried selling a Deluxe package that comes with a book besides. The one thing he is not bothered about is making a profit and to him getting his music out there is more important. Though it would be nice if he could break even every now and then though I honestly cannot see him doing that especially when it comes to having smaller amounts of CD’s and Vinyl pressed which is more of an expensive game.

You can purchase the album for €7 (Euro) or £5.96 (UK) and that is quite a respectable price and in my opinion perhaps the only format he should have used to release the album. The CD is priced at only a couple of Euro more at €9 (Euro) or £7.69 (UK). The very fact that he only had a short run of 25 pressed means that he will be lucky to make his money back.

Like he has done in the past with a couple of releases he is also intending to release a vinyl release though they will be extremely limited and only about 3 copies will be up for sale with him only having around 5 copies pressed. As you can imagine they will also be well expensive to purchase as well which means his chances of selling any are very slim.

Regarding making any sort of profit I think it’s plain to see that Radloff is fighting a losing battle but as I mentioned that is not important to him and what is more important is getting his music heard. The fact that his popularity is also on the decline does not really help and to be perfectly honest it should not be the case because his music speaks much better than that and should appeal to many. So let’s now take a look at the album and see how it all shapes up.

The Album In Review…

Medusas Head by Heartscore was released on the 1st of December 2021. The album itself contains 8 tracks spread over an overall playing time of 33 minutes, 47 seconds and is the shortest album in the Heartscore CAMP! Although I am pretty sure the reason for this was to fit it onto vinyl and even though I feel he could have squeezed in another track or two my guess is that the reason he stuck with 8 tracks was down to cost. However, shorter time slots like this I have no problem with and I prefer the old album time slot of 30 – 40 minutes as it was back in the 60’s and 70’s.

I am pretty sure that Radloff would have come up with the idea for the new album back in March earlier this year (it could have been sooner) and started writing the new material up until around September (or even October). I do know he originally intended it for a November release, but down to the delay on the physical media side of things, he decided to put the release date a month further down the line.

We’ve already seen what Radloff has been doing over the past few months so what of Giacomo Rossi? Well, he’s been a bit busy with his band P.O.E. (Philosophy Of Evil) and they put out a new single a couple of months back entitled “Bury A Pink Elephant” which is a bit of a mishmash of a cover and tribute to Billie Eilish (“Bury A Friend“) and the Disney movie Dumbo (“Pink Elephants On Parade“).

As you can see by the quality of the video this is a band that has not only studied the musical side of things but also the acting side with the THEATRICS! P.O.E. really are a GREAT! band and I highly recommend and suggest you check out their debut album Of Humanity And Other Odd Things. You can check out my review of the album here: https://leespeaksoutaboutmusic.wordpress.com/2020/02/06/lee-speaks-about-music-142/

Medusas Head is an album that is built up of equal strength regarding the vocal and musical side of things and both Radloff and Rossi have their own techniques when it comes to delivering the power that is necessary to pull off an album such as this. It’s also an album that Radloff in particular makes heavy use of his Schecter KM-6 MK III electric guitar.

Radloff’s main instruments are violin and guitar and on this album, his violin has taken a back seat. More recently he has also taken up the drums but they are very much programmed on this album though he may have included a few of his own fills from his drum kit along the way.

Musicians & Credits…

All songs and lyrics were written, composed and arranged by Dirk Radloff. Recorded in Germany and Italy sometime between March – September 2021. Mixed & Mastered by Dirk Radloff. Cover Design by Dirk Radloff. Cover Art by Atelier Sommerland (Licensed with Shutterstock).

Dirk Radloff: All Instruments.
Giacomo Rossi: Vocals.

The Album Tracks In Review…

I am sure for those who have followed Radloff’s project of Heartscore over the years they will be well aware that has a rule he sets his music to the words of the 20th Century or even later American Poets such as the likes of Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, E.A. Robinson, Stephen Crane and so on. For this latest album, he’s decided to write his own lyrics and for the biggest majority of the songs, he’s sort of gone about injecting some of the evil that could be found in Crane’s poems.

To be perfectly honest I thought Stephen Crane’s poetry was well suited to the genre of Metal and they worked very well with Heartscore’s sixth and seventh albums Black Rider’s (Part One & Two). This is not the first time Radloff has written his own lyrics and back in 2009 he also penned the lyrics to his fourth studio album Touch Me.

However, Touch Me is an album that Radloff himself chooses not to feature in his own discography and tends to shun away from it. To be honest I have only ever heard a couple of tracks off it that he posted on Soundcloud a good few years ago and it did not appeal to me and it is the only album I do not have from his discography.

From what I can gather it’s more of a personal or sentimental album of love songs that he wrote for his other half and is more along the lines of pop music which is most likely why he shuns it away from his discography and he has done for some time now.

The lyrics Radloff has written for this latest album are a different kettle of fish. Although there are a couple of love songs amongst the album tracks the words are perhaps not as LOVEY-DOVEY! sort of thing. Most of the album is based on historical themes and one of the songs was also inspired by the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

It all sounds quite interesting and should give me something to talk about. So let’s now take a closer look at the album and see how it all turns out as I take you through all 8 tracks.

Track 1. Medusa’s Head.

The album kicks off with its self-titled album track and it’s certainly off to a well good rocking start. It’s very much a metal driven stomping song that’s structured around a metal guitar riff and Radloff’s own description of it being resounding to bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Manowar I would go along with and it’s quite a powerful track and GREAT! way to open up the album.

The title and lyrical content are based on Greek mythology and Medusa also known as “Gorgo” was one of the three monstrous Gorgons, generally described as winged human females with living venomous snakes in place of hair. It’s said that the slayer of monsters Perseus chopped off Medusa’s head and used it as a weapon to turn people to stone until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. Looking at Radloff’s lyrics I would say that he’s put them very well into context to the mythical story and Rossi has the right VENOM! to deliver the words.

Radloff put together quite a good video of the song way back in April this year and made a single release of it. Although personally I would have waited much later and put it out more near the release of the album in a way of promoting it.

I have to admit singles are not really my bag and when I look at how Abba released their last couple of singles from their new album on vinyl with no B-Sides. I would honestly say it was a waste of vinyl and those who brought it were well ripped off.

Medusas Head” if anything is a song that is short, razor-sharp and straight to the point over its 3 minutes. It’s perhaps not the song I would have chosen for a single release but I do feel it fits into that niche market as well. It has a nice little guitar solo and along with Rossi’s voice, those elements give it that rock presence that works particularly well with its metal rhythm.

Track 2. King George Will Fall.

Judging by the lyrical content of this next song it appears that Radloff as quite a bit of fetish regarding decapitation and to be honest although there are many George’s in the English Royal Monarchy I have no idea which one he is referring to here. Mind you having collaborated with him in the past I know that he likes a good bit of horror and GORE! like myself and these lyrics certainly have that.

Musically this gives Rossi a chance to stretch his vocal cords especially in the chorus which is in the higher screaming regions. The very TASTY! lead break puts me in mind of Rainbow with songs like “The Gates Of Babylon” whilst the rhythm is also very interesting with how it drives the song along and it’s like a car engine that switches gear every now and then.

Track 3. How I Should Make Love To You.

Next up we have the first of a couple of love songs and although this has more of a commercial rock sound about it, it is one of my personal favourite tracks on the album. I also think this song would have been the better choice for the single release from the album simply because it has more of a hook to it. To be perfectly honest I am not usually one for commercial sounding rock songs but this is one of the better ones methinks.

It’s a song where the vocal line makes up part of its melodic structure and besides its rhythmic chord structure on the guitar, the bass plays a pivotal part of driving it along and its as if its spring-loaded or the strings are made of rubber with how it reverberates and pulsates its way along.

I don’t know what it is about this song but for some reason it has me thinking of the chorus of Black Sabbath’sMegalomania” and Judas Priest’sBetter By You, Better Than Me” even though its nothing remotely like those two songs. Whatever it is it certainly jointly merits the albums TOP SPOT AWARD! for my liking and is a really GREAT! song and well worth checking out.

Track 4. Geronimo.

This is perhaps the oddball track on the album however I am certainly not complaining and I like a bit of history from the wild west and especially regarding how in reality the Cowboys were the bad guys for stealing the land from the Red Indians. One of my personal favourite songs on the subject appeared on Elton John’s Madman Across The Water album back in 1971 with a song entitled “Indian Sunset” and his lyric writer Bernie Taupin loved to write about the wild west.

However, perhaps one of the most prolific composers of western theme music for movies was without doubt Ennio Morricone and has he only passed away last year Radloff thought he would pay homage to him by including this song in a way of a tribute to the GREAT! man.

The musical structure of this song is quite simple and with the drumbeat and the single downstrokes played on the acoustic guitar it puts me in mind of the opening of “Apache” by The Shadows minus the lead guitar. What makes this song work so well is the lyrical story and the way that Rossi expresses the vocal line which is taking on the lead role and I quite like it.

Track 5. Kill All The Danes.

The lyrical content behind this next song is about a little known event in English history known as the St Brice’s Day massacre. It happened during the reign of King Aethelred back in the 11th Century a king who was given the nickname of Aethelred the Unready (or ill-advised). The actual event of the massacre took place on the 13th of November 1002 and was brought on by the repeated Viking raids that had savaged the lands of England since the first attack in 792AD.

Although little was known about the event it is quite a significant event and it was on that day that King Aethelred had basically had enough and decided to massacre all the Danes to put an end to it all. Nobody is sure how many Danes perished in the St Brice’s Day massacre. However, it is clear that Gunhilde, the sister of the Danish King Sweyn Forkbeard perished in the attack.

To accompany the event Radloff has come up with a very powerful song that thunders its way along at quite a pace with hammering power chords of metallic structure, hard-hit marching drums and he even unleashes a razor-sharp attack lead break that bursts into the action. The adrenalin is quite high here and Rossi really delivers the song with his GREAT! voice.

To be honest when looking at the lyrics without listening to the song they look as if they were written from a book and it’s like reading a book or an article in a newspaper. It’s not until you hear Rossi deliver them that you get to see that they were put into context to make the song we have here.

Track 6. Bodo League.

The adrenalin is still pumping and this next song has quite a catchy chorus that’s perhaps almost sung in the way of an anthem, it even has me singing along to it. Although this is a league that you would not want to join or support unless you are some sort of masochist that is. Once again the subject matter that Radloff has chosen for the lyrical content is about another massacre and one that was on much of a bigger scale and took place at a different time back in 1950 during the Korean war.

The Bodo League was a group of activists that was set out to fight against Communism and was set up by South Korean President Syngman Rhee who organised a National Rehabilitation and Guidance League to try and re-educate people. Though his methods of rehabilitation turned out to be quite barbaric which resulted in him and a few other cronies from Japan and America executing the alleged communist prisoners, along with many of the Bodo League members. It’s estimated that 60,000 – 200,000 people were killed including women and children.

The “Bodo League” is a very powerful song and although it’s being delivered like an anthem or even in the sense of black comedy to fit in with the metal genre. It’s also there to remind us about such tragic historical events and how such evil still exists today. Much of the words here are very well put into context and they depict some of the truth that went behind the scenes that they tried to hide. Most of the truth has come out and many of those responsible were done for war crimes.

Track 7. Greta.

The shortest track on the album is quite a bouncy and heavy metal chugging little number that was inspired by the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg caused quite a stir in her youth about the need to take heed of climate change and appeared on many International news channels in 2019 voicing her concern for the planet. Her sudden rise to world fame made her both a leader in the activist community and a target for critics, especially due to her youth. She received numerous honours and awards, including an honorary Fellowship of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

She was included in the Times 100 most influential people, being the youngest Time Person of the Year, and also included in the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2019), and nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

It’s very much a song that hammers itself along at quite a fast pace and Rossi delivers the words with quite an attitude that is perhaps along the lines of punk Rock and well apt to it all. For such a short song it has a lot to say and no doubt Radloff has done very well with the lyrics and got straight to the point with how he’s put them into context.

The world is sinking deep and deeper
The climate’s still waiting for a keeper
Greta points to the human stain, but all her attempts are in vain

The thing is with many protests (including songs) such as this, is that it really is all in vain as the lyrics point out above in the song’s chorus. Both Radloff and Rossi have done quite a STELLA! job on this one and it really is a GREAT! song that has RAW POWER!

Track 8. Your Tell-Tale Eyes.

The final song happens to be the longest track and the second love song on the album. Though I will say this is more of a PROGMATIC! affair or treat and strangely enough just like the other love song it jointly merits the TOP SPOT AWARD! It’s very much a powerful ballad that gives Rossi the chance for some of the sweeter refinements of his voice to reflect. Being both acoustic and electric it also has the power for him to raise the game as well.

Personally, for me, this is more of a welcoming return to PROG! from Radloff and he really has well crafted the music here. The one thing I have always loved about the acoustic is when it’s utilised with a fine melody line and oddly enough this one reminds me of the last collaborative song I ever did with Radloff entitled “In Love With A Rotting Corpse“.

Besides the acoustic side of the song, it also has the power to rock and the electric guitar is not only utilised very well for the powerful rhythm section but he also incorporates a very TASTY! lead break into the song. This video shows you, Radloff, demonstrating the lead break on his Schecter KM-6 MK III.

The guitar solo as you can see from the video is far from anything easy and has been very well structured and the video really captures his fingers doing the business. “Your Tell-Tale Eyes” is truly a great GREAT! album track and the perfect way to wrap up what can only be a very good album indeed.

Summary & Conclusion…

To sum up and conclude my review of Medusas Head by Heartscore. I would say as an album it has the power to deliver and it’s a very well put together bunch of songs that make it up. The material is quite strong and even though it’s leaning towards the metal genre personally it comes across to me as more of a heavy rock album which is more suited to Giacomo Rossi’s voice. It is also an album that has a certain amount of variety too and that works very well and so too does the track placement in making it feel like a good album that one can put on and enjoy.

Looking at some of the subject matter that Dirk Radloff chose to write about. It would not surprise me if some of the inspiration to write about historical massacres came from Gordon Midgley of Napier’s Bones. Especially from the bands 6th album The Fields that was released earlier this year. Though I will say considering Radloff does not as a rule write lyrics he’s done a very good job of them and put them well into context. But then again he as always came across to me as a person who is very well educated and quite intelligent.

I personally don’t think Medusas Head offers anything new on the musical side of things but if like myself you are into metal and heavy rock and are into bands like Judas Priest, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and many more GREAT! rock bands. This is very much an album that should appeal to your taste and is quite a solid body of work. It’s also been very well produced and is an album I would certainly recommend and my personal highlights from it are as follows: “Your Tell-Tale Eyes“. “How I Should Make Love To You“. and “Medusas Head“.

You can listen to Medusas Head for free or purchase the album from Bandcamp from the following link: https://heartscore.bandcamp.com/

Get It On & Rock It Out…

The album tracklisting is as follows:

01. Medusas Head. 3:06.
02. King George Will Fall. 4:35.
03. How I Should Make Love To You. 5:46.
04. Geronimo. 4:01.
05. Kill All The Danes. 4:18.
06. Bodo League. 3:15.
07. Greta. 2:25.
08. Your Tell-Tale Eyes. 6:21.

Package Rating 10/10.
Price Point Rating Score. 10/10.
Album Rating Score. 8/10.