BLACK ORCHID EMPIRE – TEMPUS VERITAS – ALBUM REVIEW
Black Orchid Empire have been quietly assembling a formidable back catalogue and now they are back to further showcase themselves as a creative force with their fourth album, ‘Tempus Veritas’.
Once again packed full of killer riffs, driving rhythm and soaring vocals this is another stunning collection of songs from a band who have certainly mastered their sound.
There is something for everyone across these eleven tracks with elements of hard rock, melodic pop rock and radio friendly choruses all bound by their ferocious technical hooks. Whether you are after a rocker to sing-a-long to or something with a little more substance, Black Orchid Empire have you covered on ‘Tempus Veritas’.
The likes of ‘The Raven’, ‘Deny the Sun’ and ‘Glory to the King’ are massive but realistically there isn’t a song on here to drops below the high standards that the band has already set for themselves.
At around 37 minutes, the album just flies by which feels so refreshing having just reviewed the new Metallica album! As with that record, the quality is well and truly here but this one doesn’t feel like a slog to get from start to finish. In fact once the album does finish, your first instinct is the hit play again, which is always the best sign that an album is a winner.
Don’t sleep on this band, whilst criminally underappreciated they are one of the finest rock bands currently plying their craft!
Up next are Skindred who also have a new album, ‘Smile’, on the way August 4th.
This week saw the group reveal a new autumn tour which will see the band joined by Blackgold.
Regarding the tour drummer Arya Goggin says, “There is a lot to Smile about when it comes to this TOUR! We are taking out an amazing new band called BlackGold too. They are bringing “Nu Metal” back and I think ‘Dred fans will love them. Go check ‘em out!”
The Cult have announced three special summer shows in Cardiff, Halifax and Scarborough alongside a full EU Tour.
Accompanying the tour announcement is the release of The Cult’s fiery, expressionistic new video for ‘Vendetta X’, the third single from ‘Under The Midnight Sun’.
As The Cult return to the stage to launch the next chapter of ‘Under The Midnight Sun’, Ian Astbury hopes that the album’s new dimensions provoke reactions both primal and sublime in listeners’ consciousness – echoing what he himself experienced during its creation.
“At the core of it all, music contains the vibrational frequency of how we once communicated before we could even speak,” Astbury says. “Bird songs, animal calls, string theory, quantum physics, psychedelics… The record ultimately becomes about discovering and celebrating anew the beauty from those strangely natural moments that surround and inspire us.”
Our other festival announcement comes from 110 Above presents OTHR Festival!
The slightly scaled back version of 110 Above will feature Circa Waves, Jack Garratt, Twin Atlantic, Black Honey, Lauran Hibberd, Fatherson, King No-One, Coach Party, Courting, Chappaqua Wrestling and many more.
We move on now to the best new releases from the past week and up first are When Rivers Meet you have shared their brand new single, ‘Play My Game’.
You can listen to the track above, which will feature on upcoming new album, ‘Aces Are High’, which arrives late summer.
Regarding the forthcoming album the duo say, “As our music is progressing, we’re finding our sound even more. When we went in the studio this time, we’ve never been so sure on what we wanted to create—we had a really clear vision and have stuck to it.
“Before we held back on being too rocky, but this time we allowed ourselves to create what we wanted to hear, without restricting ourselves. We also allowed ourselves to express the different colours to our music with tracks like ‘Golden’ and ‘By Your Side’, so this album has more extremes. We still call upon our influences from all the years but remain true to ourselves to create music we love.”
A new project next as our News Report brings you How We End. Featuring Jen Majura (Ex-Evanescence) on guitar and Diva Satanica (Ex-Nervosa) on vocals, How We End promises to be an exciting new chapter.
Rounding out the group are Jake E (Cyhra, Ex-Amaranthe) on vocals, Tom Naumann (Primal Fear) on guitar, Mitch Kunz (bass) and Adde Larsson (drums).
This week saw the group arrive with their single, ‘My Fighting Heart’, which you can check out above.
Dead Man’s Whiskey have this week shared their latest single, ‘Masquerade’, which you can check out above!
The single is the first track to be taken from a forthcoming new studio album, ‘In The Storm’, due out September 29th.
Vocalist Nico Rogers says, “’This song has been a bit of a journey for us. In its earliest form we’ve had this song for a couple of years, although it’s grown a lot.
It’s brimming with a kind of dissatisfied energy we all had while we wrote it, in a way I think a lot of people will feel too. It’s a rallying cry against what’s happened to music right now, the three ringed circus of algorithmically generated hits that keep turning up. We know how far we are from those perfect cookie cutter artists and this song is about that dichotomy. We don’t want to conform, we make the music we love.
I think that shows in the sound too, not just on this track, but on the album as a whole. It’s heavier, darker. Like we got a little older, found a new gear, and now we’re going full throttle in it.”
Norwegian metalcore act Fixation are now gearing up for their debut album with the release of a brand new single ‘Ignore the Disarray’.
About the new track the band states: “This song is about those with a desire to control other people. It’s not about religion itself, but about those who use religion or their perception of reality to justify oppression, hate and control.”
DEADLETTER – ‘The Snitching Hour’
DEADLETTER share new single ‘The Snitching Hour’.
Lead singer Zac Lawrence comments: “Are we slowly but surely being tacitly tempted into a culture of casual betrayal? The messages we are fed, on the outside, might be read as being solely in the interest of public safety – but take a closer look, and perhaps there’s a more insidious undertone to it all…”
The Throwaway Scene – ‘Fake Death’
Sheffield emo rock outfit, The Throwaway Scene have released their brand new single ‘Fake Death’.
“This track is a slight departure from my previous lyrical stylings/choices with a view of exploring narrative that was less self-centered. I think vocally it just “feels” different too ‘cos the delivery of the lines is a lot more direct than before. Due to life’s unfortunate timing we were recording vocals on the day we found out a family member had passed so Fake Death will always be quite a personal song.” – Vocalist, Oliver.
We continue the festival announcements in our News Report with Bearded Theory who this week announced a stunning line-up topped by Interpol and Primal Scream.
Also on tap will be Gogol Bordello, Flogging Molly, Gary Numan, Yard Act, The Mysterines, Pigs x7, The Undertones, Beans On Toast, Skinny Lister, Holy Moly And The Crackers, Coach Party, Pet Needs and many more!
Another festival dropping their initial line-up for next year is Standon Calling. The event will be topped by Years & Years, Self Esteem, Bloc Party and The Human League.
Also on the bill are the likes of Squid, KT Tunstall, Bob Vylan, Lynks and Stone.
Festival Founder and Director Alex Trenchard says: “2022 was an incredibly special year for all of us at Standon Calling. It’s given us so much excitement to look forward to 2023, in what is shaping up to be the greatest Standon Calling to date.
We’re so proud of this year’s progress in booking a gender-balanced headline bill and are certainly in for a good time. Couldn’t be happier to bring Self Esteem back and in an even bigger slot, alongside Bloc Party, an all time favourite of ours and one of the greatest modern alternative indie rock bands around. With more iconic names like Years & Years, The Human League and many more, we’ve booked some of the best live acts going, including future superstars ready to take over 2023 and much more – this announcement really captures everything important about Standon Calling.
We can’t wait to see everyone next July, and we’ve got a LOT more surprises to come – so stay tuned!”
We move our News Report onwards now to the best tour announcements from the past week and get the ball rolling with the news that The Weeknd will bring the ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ global stadium tour to the UK.
A Manchester date in June will be followed by two dates at London Stadium in July.
The Blue Stones have announced a return to the UK and Europe for Spring 2023. The band will include three UK shows in Manchester, Nottingham and London.
The Blue Stones vocalist/guitarist, Tarek Jafar, had this to say about the tour, “when we release new music, we immediately think about how it will be received in Europe and the UK. We feel such a connection to those places, and our fans there have been incredibly supportive. We wanted to provide an album that stays with them forever, and a show they’d never forget. No one should miss these shows, because it’s a side of us that you’ve never seen before.”
Black Star Riders share new single ‘Riding Out the Storm’
Next we take our News Report to the best new releases from the past week and we get started with Black Star Riders.
It was a big news week for the band as they both shared their new single and revealed their new guitarist. Yes, Wayward Sons guitarist Sam Wood joins the group and you can check out new single, ‘Riding Out the Storm’ above!
Ricky Warwick “I first saw Sam back in 2019 when Wayward Sons were guests to Black Star Riders and I was absolutely blown away! I had Sam join me for some Fighting Hearts dates a few months back and knew he was the guy for us. If ever there was a new GUITAR HERO waiting in the wings, then it’s Sam! Black Star Riders have had some of the World’s finest guitar players in their ranks and Sam is truly up there as one of them. We couldn’t be happier!”
The single comes from forthcoming new album, ‘Wrong Side of Paradise’, and Warwick comments:
“As we get older, sadly we start to lose the ones around us who we love, having lost both my parents and some dear friends in the last few years I’ve started to question and look at my feelings on my own mortality and morality.I’ve come to realise that death is a part of life and even in the darkest days (that we all get sometimes), I’ve come to understand that every aspect of life should be an intensified experience and never taken for granted.”
He continues: “The video was shot in downtown Los Angeles and directed by Tony Aguilera. I love the cinematography and different camera filters that Tony used during the shoot. I think it complements the essence of the song, which conveys reflections of mortality and consequences of choice. Life must end eventually, but love doesn’t.”
Hundred Reasons also had new music on offer this week and you can listen to new single, ‘New Glasses’, above.
Vocalist Colin Doran had the following to say about the themes behind the track:
“The lyrics for this song are really about a person I used to work with that spent lots of time treating people badly to cover up their own inadequacies. They were not good at their job but, due to their massive ego and how they wished to be perceived by others, preferred to make others feel deficient. The song describes how I came to realise this. The amusing thing is that it was a working title as when we started writing it, Larry had actually got new glasses that day but the name stuck.”
The song comes from upcoming album, ‘Glorious Sunset’, which is out February 24th.
This week saw Bury Tomorrow share their new single, ‘Boltcutter’, which you can listen to above.
The tracks features on upcoming new album, ‘The Seventh Sun’, released March 31st.
Speaking of the track, guitarist Kristan Dawson shares, “from the second we put the finishing touches to Boltcutter, we knew it had to be a single. Whilst it is a fundamental Bury Tomorrow track, being both loud and heavy, it also emphasises the new era of our band.”
“Specifically, it highlights influences we haven’t necessarily channelled through Bury Tomorrow before, and it’s a pleasure to continue to expand the possibilities of our music. It began its existence through Tom crafting the foundations, with an ambient and electronic soundscape, before the rest of the band provided their usual expertise.”
“Considering its weighty riffs and catchy dual vocal hooks, we also knew that Boltcutter was going to be an undeniable addition to future setlists. And for those who have attended recent shows on our tour, they will have already had a sneak preview. We’ve loved being able to preview a single release like this with our fans, and it seems that it has already made an impact with teamBT and we can’t wait for the rest of our wonderful community to hear it.”
Finally for our News Report and setting off into a new era, metal greats Delain have announced that they will release new album, ‘Dark Waters’ on February 10th.
You can check out new single, ‘Beneath’, above!
Martijn Westerholt on ‘Beneath‘:
“’Beneath’ is a perfect ambassador of the album and Delain as a whole because it encapsulates almost all of the recognizable Delain elements you will find on the album.”
“This album captures all elements Delain is known for – our distinctive heavy guitar riffs, massive orchestral parts, both heavy metal and pop vocals, rock opera vibes along with 80s synth sounds. In short, this is definitely a recognizable Delain album that contains classic ‘Delain elements’ while also moving forward with fresh influences.”
UK rockers Little Triggers share their new single, ‘Personality Crisis’.
The track takes a swipe at social media influencers and the millions of young people who follow them. Tom remarks: “I don’t feel any connection to this sort of instant gratification online culture. The minds of these digital influencers are a closed book to me. I just don’t get why so many people think they have something meaningful to say.” Hamilton goes on to elaborate: “The personality crisis of the song title is both my alienation from this virtual world and also that of the individuals who think their online musings really matter. To them and their followers, I say get a life – a real life!”
MOSKITO – ‘517’
Fearless UK band MOSKITO are back with their new single, ‘517’, taken from upcoming mixtape, ‘Bad Love’ out January 27th.
“517 is a song which allows you to find yourself lost in the chaos, conjuring any emotion in which you allow yourself, this is your page…. What would you write? After all we all just architects of our own downfall! It’s like a letter to your ex. Full of optimism, pride, resentment, confusion, jealousy, loathing & a desperation to prove them wrong. 517 is the ultimate revenge bod.” – Frontman Jake Rudd.
MYNK – ‘Boundaries’
London trio MYNK share their debut single, ‘Boundaries’.
Bex Morrison comments:
“The track is about the boundaries we set in order to function in different situations / relationships; the crossing of sacrifice and habit meets somewhere in the middle to maintain a connection. It’s about the relatable internal questioning of ‘do I/don’t I?’ and where that takes you, and how you can lose yourself in it.”
This week was a big news week for The Raven Age. Firstly, the band revealed December tour dates including a date at Powerhaus in London. Tickets can be found here.
Secondly, the band announced that their new album, ‘Exile’ will be released on September 17th, with new single ‘No Man’s Land’ out now. Pre-order the album here.
Finally the band will play a special livestream event, ‘The Year The World Stood Still’, on Thursday 16th September. The band will be joined by a string quartet and pianist and the night will include a live Q&A with The Raven Age. Tickets available here.
The fantastic Music Venue Trust continue to work tirelessly to #ReviveLive music. This week the line-up for their special run of shows in combination with The National Lottery got bigger. One act set for a run of shows is Rews who will play five shows in September.
Reading & Leeds Festivals announces headliner change and new additions
In our sole News Report piece of festival news this week, Reading & Leeds Festivals have updated their line-up ahead of the events next month. The BBC Introducing stage is back and will feature sets from the likes of Lauran Hibberd, Calva Louise and some special guests.
There has also been a rejig of the line-up with a number of acts no longer able to appear due to logistical reasons. They sadly include headliners Queens of the Stone Age. The good news however is that Biffy Clyro will be stepping in to once again headline the double event.
Finally this week, Valeras have released another new track, ‘The Other Side’. More information from the band here.
This song also leads the latest additions to our ‘Discover’ New Music Playlist on Spotify. Also added this week are ‘Candyland’ from Unprocessed and ‘damn’ from Ada Lea! Listen, follow and discover your next favourite act here.