Lake of the Lion embodies embody emotive sounds and textures

Lake of the Lion is the brand name and moniker for Luxembourg music composer and producer, Daniel Kohnen, who is steadily building up his catalog and increasing his fan-base with regular new releases. In recent years, ambient instrumental and soundtrack scores have been following a certain trend. Composers seem to have this motif of creating overblown pieces with harsh lead instruments blasting out from the blue and background strings creating suspense with their melodies. Sure it was fun for a while, but within that little span of time listeners were just begging for it to stop because composers had this

Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” speaks the language of the ordinary person

A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself. The

MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

TRVP HIPPI3Z: “On Lock” – no lack of muscular skill-flexing!

TRVP HIPPI3Z is a Canadian rap duo who just dropped their latest single entitled, “On Lock”.  Listeners beware. This product has been known to blow up and cause fires in a variety of stereo systems, due to the super-hot fire provided by this crew. TRVP HIPPI3Z is a team-up that has risen as great exemplars of righteous chaos. Their supersonic sound and hard-nosed imagery gives them a mysterious sheen, but the duo have grounded themselves via booming production, and a sonorous verbal presence, coupled with their willingness to fuck you up. Their chest-beating bravado is explosive on “IDGAF (Prod. THZ)”,

Eddy Mann: “Simple Things” will leave you breathless and in a state of euphoria

At first as a musician, I created music, then as an A&R executive I challenged it, now as a music reviewer, I explore it.  Of the three, the latter is the most difficult. Criticizing or appraising somebody else’s creation is no easy task. Enjoying it is one thing, understanding it another, and translating it is even more arduous. The funny thing is, I’ve always hated describing music. It’s such a volatile and subjective art, that nobody should really have the authority or the presumptuous audacity to judge the level of enjoyment or emotion any one piece of music is capable

Kitson Lau: “Be By Your Side” – an expressive paean to love’s transformative powers

Kitson Lau wears many hats – a musician, songwriter, singer and graphic designer, he is also a medical graduate. Initially without any musical background, Kitson became inspired by Norwegian record producer and DJ, Alan Walker. This passion drove him to learn music and song production. And soon, with dedication and focus Kitson Lau hit the top of the China Kanjian ING 10 Charts with his Mandopop albums. Since signing to Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, Kitson has been encouraged to record English songs, so now he is making his official debut via Sony, with the song “Be By Your Side”, which

Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – multi-faceted emotions

Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed

Wayland: “Rinse & Repeat” – Boasting explosive choruses and a sense of high drama

Michigan-based rockers Wayland released their debut full length album with Mighty Loud / InGrooves called “Rinse & Repeat” on September 22nd.  Wayland, who since 2010, have released an album, an EP and various singles, consists of Mitch Arnold (vocals), Phillip Vilenski (guitars), Dean Pizzazz (bass) and Nigel Dupree (drums). “Rinse & Repeat” is pure hard melodic rock ear candy. Arnold is an amazing vocalist and the rest of the musicians in the band are really good. This album and this band’s music will make you remember why you love this genre, which has all but disappeared from the radar. Yet in a presumably dire moment for the genre, Wayland have taken their single, “Through The Fire” straight onto the Billboard Mainstream Rock Charts. No mean feat, considering the modern mainstream tendencies toward corporate rock.

There are moments of almost orgasmic brilliance on this album, and then there are no fillers.  Right from the opening track ‘Ghost’, there’s no mistaking the band’s stadium-sized ambitions as they plunge into the thunderous riffing and percussion. With Vilenski’s guitar elements very much to the fore and Arnold’s perfectly-phrased vocals and anthemic choruses reminiscent of big hair and outrageous outfits, Wayland ramp up energy note after note.

‘Through The Fire’ with its huge riffing and ecstatic vocals is guaranteed to lodge itself inside your cranium for days on end. Boasting an explosive chorus and a sense of high drama, ‘Come Back To Me’ emphasizes the melodic elements to grand effect, whilst the bluesy shuffle of the verses provide a welcome counterpoint to the kitchen-sink style production of the big choruses.

With a marching production that sounds like a million dollars and a vocal performance that impresses, “All Rise” is an anthem that is sure to form a centerpiece to the band’s live set. Next up, is a full-blooded mid-tempo rocker with a melody to die for and plenty of spicy guitar work.

‘All We Had’ opens upon an unexpectedly theatrical note, all strings and placid vocals before rising to the sort of epic crescendo that bands simply don’t write anymore.  Part Dream Theater bombast, part Bon Jovi epic, ‘Revival’ is a huge, ambitious track that speaks volumes about the band’s self-confidence. Lest things become too pretentious and syrupy, ‘Shopping For A Savior’ is a more straight-forward blues-infused rocker complete with whimsical keys and daring subject matter.

For those who hanker after the flamboyance of the melodic rock era, this album brings that epoch vividly to life. Ultimately, Wayland are a technically proficient band who follow their muse with considerable joy, and it’s difficult to fault such an irrepressible and colorful sonic assault.

Larger than life with a production job that sparkles like the band’s individual performances, songs like “Back To Life” and “Brave Don’t Run” is a window into a sound that serves as an antidote to the increasingly depressing corporate rock that seems to have become the norm these days.

Vibrant and varied, “Rinse & Repeat” – which also contains a couple of acoustic tunes and a pair of bonus tracks – will be adored by all those who remember a time when ROCK was much more than a just a genre, or simply a four letter word to attach three chords to!

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