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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Hounds of Hasselvander

Ancient Rocks

Review by Gary Hill

These guys really have a handle on an old school hard rock sound. There musical mayhem has a lot of metal and hard rock in the mix. I suppose you could call these guys stoner rock, but honestly this is more mainstream than that. If you like stuff like Deep Purple, Kiss, Captain Beyond and more, you'll find plenty to enjoy here. This Massachusetts act sure knows how to breathe new life into this old musical form and make it work. In fact, they make it work really well. This is a great album.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at
Track by Track Review
Trial of the Dead

This is a strange introduction with an announcer on stage.

Strange Movies
Powering out with a cool rock and roll meets metal vibe, this makes me think of Rob Zombie just a bit as the vocals enter. The ending section includes the sounds of a woman experience some form of ecstasy.
I'm in Trouble Again
The last track made me think of Rob Zombie a bit, but this one has a different reference point. It's still a hard rocker. This time around I'm reminded of a cross between Kiss and Motorhead.
Midnight to Six Man
There is more of a classic rock sound here. The vocals make me think of Lemmy, but the music is a bit more lighthearted than Motorhead in some ways. There is almost a psychedelic rock edge to this.
Idealist Realist
This one comes in with a riff that's almost metal. I suppose you could say that there is also more of that Kiss element at play in some ways. This has a lot of classic rock built into the sound, really. Yet, the vocals are more Lemmy like. Still, there is a bit of a psychedelic rock edge here, too. I can make out some early Black Sabbath on this.
Juke It
The organ brings a retro angle here, but there is a definite Kiss vibe going on, too. It's another killer hard rocking number. There are things about this that make me think of Captain Beyond quite a bit.
Primitive Man
Now, this smoking hot cut is definitely metal. It's also one that fits under the "stoner rock" heading. The vocals again make me think of Motorhead, but this is slow and very heavy. It's also tastefully noisy. They take it out into a full on prog rock jam for a bit mid-track and punctuate it with some seriously hard rock. the Captain Beyond reference point is very valid on that section of the tune.
Teachin' Blues
The organ is back and featured prominently here. This short rocker is straight ahead and quite effective.
Combine old school Black Sabbath with Captain Beyond and you might be near to the sound of this hot rocker. The jam mid track not only cooks (appropriately) but brings some real metal to the piece. The mellower bit after that section makes me think of Cream. They take it back to the song proper from there.
Sex Machine Intro
This is a commercial for a club. It's very much a 60s thing.
Come and Get It
I'm certainly reminded of Blue Cheer on this noisy screamer.
One Eyed Trouser Snake Rumba
This bluesy rocking grind makes me think of Nazareth a bit. It's another effective tune for sure.
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