Posts Tagged “Robot Hive Exodus”

Tag-team collaborators Rick Ritzler and Paul Jones have been knocking duffs around the underground with a MOTORHEAD-meets-eighties power metal attack under the guise of ROBOT LORDS OF TOKYO. Primarily a two-man operation, Ritzler (drums and guitar) and Neil Fallon acolyte, Jones (vocals and guitar) have supplemented their albums with loads of guests to host a couple of cheery metal parties in the past. Stand by, though, because their latest romp, “Virtue & Vice”, changes rules of thumb.

Their goofball hijacking of KISS“Love Gun” cover art on “Virtue & Vice” would lead most to believe an old school knuckle-drag mentality serves as the new album’s principal theme. To some extent, yes, but this time, ROBOT LORDS OF TOKYO swings a bit more of PANTERA and DOWN and in spots, METALLICA into their swampy, CLUTCH-grooved motif. Even the title “Virtue & Vice” is nicked in tribute to CLUTCH‘s “10001110101” from the latter’s “Robot Hive/Exodus” album. Straight down to a little cowbell rapping on “Great Escape”, there’s going to be a lion’s share of CLUTCH mirroring (“Chicken Little” might as well be one of the elephant riders’ B-sides), even though Ritzler and Jones shift enough gears to avoid becoming wholesale carbon copy.

On “Virtue & Vice”, the ROBOT LORDS bring aboard former MEGADETH shredder Chris Poland for a guest lead on “Hell Will Have to Wait”, DIO‘s Tracy G on “Great Escape” and “Broken”, Wayne Findlay from the MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP on “Voice Inside”, plus other guests. As on past ROBOT LORDS projects, Joe Viers (BOBAFLEX) handles bass throughout the album, while DEFLAGRATION‘s Beau Vanbibber and AMERICAN DOG‘s Steve Theado lay six string down on many of the tracks.

Without their talented guest list, Ritzler and Jones would be left to make do with archetype riffing and sledgehammer beat structures, which they have down pat. Rick Ritzler is an animal on the kit, wielding some of the underground’s sturdiest licks and crashes. While Jones has more to his repertoire than mere shades of Fallon (Jones‘ growls are totally badass), there’s no denying Jones has been completely moved and morphed by the man. Still, the undeniable fact is the palettes and touches graced by the duo’s guests make all the difference in the end product.

For the most part, “Virtue & Vice” steps forward from the days of rad, even when taking time to light a torch for the old guard on a chunky cover of CINDERELLA‘s “Night Songs”. There’s not a lot of propulsion beyond mid-tempo unlike the cagey self-titled debut from 2006 as well as 2008’s “Whiskey, Blood & Napalm”. “Virtue & Vice” caters less to the group’s stoner, power metal and fuzz rock origins, seeking instead to court the agro metal and heavy blues rock sanctions with scores of decorative solos. The best of these comes from ORDER OF NINE‘s Steve Pollick on the nine-minute prog-punched closing number, “Through Perdition’s Flames”.

Obviously a case of saving the best for last. By the time this stellar and detailed track arrives, the rest of the album has maintained a largely settled feel to it that “Through Perdition’s Flames” sounds off like an alienated stepchild. Why ROBOT LORDS OF TOKYO put so much effort into this track while simply letting the rest of them ride is a bit befuddling. If held to the same standard through the rest of the album, then “Virtue & Vice” would’ve been with the reaches of magnum opus. Unfortunately, the SABBATH and DOWN-touched “Hell Will Have to Wait” sets a tone of ordinary that seems beyond these guys if we’re to judge “Through Perdition’s Flames” accordingly. “Hell Will Have to Wait” is a dependable headbanger, sure, and “Keepers of the Night” is gnarly in its own right. Yet the explosive complexity of “Through Perdition’s Flames” is a one shot of outstanding craftsmanship that makes this album more of a tease than a flat-out payoff.

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“Crucial Velocity”, the new Aisha Tyler-directed video from Maryland rockers CLUTCH, can be seen below. The song comes off the band’s latest album, “Earth Rocker”, which sold 22,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at position No. 15 on The Billboard 200 chart.

Released via CLUTCH‘s own Weathermaker Music label, “Earth Rocker” entered the German Media Control chart at No. 71. In the U.K., the CD landed at No. 50 on the regular chart, No. 3 on the Rock/Metal Albums chart and No. 11 on the Independent Albums chart.

Produced by Machine (LAMB OF GOD, FOUR YEAR STRONG, FALL OUT BOY) at the Machine Shop studio in Belleville, New Jersey, “Earth Rocker” was described by CLUTCH vocalist Neil Fallon in a recent interview with DCHeavyMetal.com as “probably faster than most of our recent albums. Maybe compared to some other bands, it’s not the fastest thing on planet Earth. For us it was definitely a step up in the tempo. And I think the other thing that kind of stands out about this one is the blues influences that we’ve been flirting with over the past couple records is more or less absent in this record, which didn’t really happen intentionally until we looked back at it. As a whole, it’s just much more of a straight-up rock and roll record.”

The artwork for “Earth Rocker” was created by Nick Lakiotes, longtime CLUTCH art director, who has worked on previous efforts, including “Robot Hive/Exodus” and “Strange Cousins From The West”.

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Drummer Jean-Paul Gaster of Maryland rockers CLUTCH recently gave U.K.’s Rhythm magazine some rudiment tips. Check out the four-minute clip below.

CLUTCH‘s new album, “Earth Rocker”, sold 22,000 copies in its first week of release to debut at position No. 15 on The Billboard 200 chart.

Released via CLUTCH‘s own Weathermaker Music label, “Earth Rocker” entered the German Media Control chart at No. 71. In the U.K., the CD landed at No. 50 on the regular chart, No. 3 on the Rock/Metal Albums chart and No. 11 on the Independent Albums chart.

Produced by Machine (LAMB OF GOD, FOUR YEAR STRONG, FALL OUT BOY) at the Machine Shop studio in Belleville, New Jersey, “Earth Rocker” was described by CLUTCH vocalist Neil Fallon in a recent interview with DCHeavyMetal.com as “probably faster than most of our recent albums. Maybe compared to some other bands, it’s not the fastest thing on planet Earth. For us it was definitely a step up in the tempo. And I think the other thing that kind of stands out about this one is the blues influences that we’ve been flirting with over the past couple records is more or less absent in this record, which didn’t really happen intentionally until we looked back at it. As a whole, it’s just much more of a straight-up rock and roll record.”

The artwork for “Earth Rocker” was created by Nick Lakiotes, longtime CLUTCH art director, who has worked on previous efforts, including “Robot Hive/Exodus” and “Strange Cousins From The West”.

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Following the proper re-releases of “From Beale Street to Oblivion” and “Robot Hive/Exodus”, Weathermaker Music is proud to announce our third re-issue of a classic Clutch album! The expanded 2CD…

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CLUTCH have announced the track listing for the expanded-dual disc edition re-issue of Robot Hive/Exodus which will be released worldwide on September 28th through Weathermaker Music. Currently out…

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Maryland hard rock band CLUTCH has announced the track listing for the expanded, two-disc-edition reissue of “Robot Hive/Exodus”, due on September 28 through Weathermaker Music. Currently…

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Maryland hard rock band CLUTCH has announced the track listing for the expanded, two-disc-edition reissue of “Robot Hive/Exodus”, due on September 28 through Weathermaker Music.

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