[Live Review] Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Ziggo Dome, Amsterdam

nick-cave-concert-tour-europeFour years after playing Heineken Music Hall, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds make a triumphant return to Amsterdam last friday. This time bigger, bolder and, most importantly, better. We were there. Continue reading

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Sounds from the Dark Side top albums of 2017 (until now)

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Time flies when you’re having fun so let’s saw 2017 into half…

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Amy Macdonald – Under Stars

The year started out with what might be Amy Macdonald’s best and most mature album so far. Under Stars shows the Scottish singer/songwriter has all grown up and is relevant far beyond This Is The Life. (RP – SftDS review).


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Ryan Adams – Prisoner

Prisoner was an unexpectedly good album fueled by Adams’ divorce from singer Mandy Moore. The album has a nice pace and flows along very naturally. Don’t worry about us Ryan, we still love you (WRM).
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Avatarium – Hurricanes and Halos

With Hurricanes and Halos, Avatarium moves further away still from Leif Edling’s Candlemass-infused doom roots and sounds tighter and more convinced than ever (RP). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Necks – Unfold

Balancing on the verges of jazz, avant-garde rock and classical The Necks take you down a very deep rabbit hole. Unfold is a perfect album to get lost in, and only ends when you feel that the end is there. (WRM – SftDS review).
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Ex Deo – The Immortal Wars

Early this year Ex Deo returned to the fray to deliver a concept album about the exploits of Hannibal. Not the one from The A-Team or the beloved cannibal, but the Elephant Man. Or something. An unbelievably tight death metal record straight out of Ancient Rome. (RP – SftDS review).  


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Scott H. Biram – The Bad Testament

The Bad Testament is a songbook made of a lifetime of bad decisions. Outlaw blues and brutally honest lyrics FTW, so you better believe it Roger Waters! (WRM – SftDS review).
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Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want?

I’ve no idea if this is the life I really want, but Roger Waters’ new album has been a long time in the making and does not disappoint yet. A very strong contender to top the list at the end of this year. (RP – SftDS review).


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Thundercat – Drunk

Goofy R&B fusion that comes in pints. Thats enough reason to get one right? It’s nice enough to put on as background music but is far more enjoyable when you’re able to understand Bruner’s honesty and heartache as dark humor (WRM – SftDS review).
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Deep Purple – Infinite

Deep Purple is saying goodbye with a presumably last tour and album, and there are far worse ways to close off a career than with an album as strong as Infinite. A fine classic rock album and one of the better ones from latter day Purple (RP – SftDS review). 
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Arca – Arca

Arca’s search for some form of identity is intriguing. At times it is bombastic but it also comes to a standstill at the right moments.  It’s punishing, yet beautiful. (WRM – SftDS review).

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That’s it for now boys and girls. Be sure to check in every now and then and enjoy your summer holidays.

Wander Meulemans & Ralph Plug – 300617

Further surfing:

W’s Sounds from the Dark Side on Spotify

Album Year List (2016)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

Although it’s hard not to jump on the bandwagon when talking about 2016 we still wish you a pleasant year’s end and a cheer for the new year. However, before we start the days that lay ahead with champagne and fireworks we counted our blessings which of course, also resulted in these two illustrious album year lists.

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[Live review] PJ Harvey – Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam

pjheutour2016

Hi there! If you have been following us around lately you might remember that PJ Harvey most recent record got a mixed review here. It’s not that we don’t like Polly Jean anymore, on the contrary, we still think she is one of the best singer-songwriters around and couldn’t be happier she touched down in Amsterdam yesterday.

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Sounds from the Dark Side top albums of 2016 (until now)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

As you might have guessed last solstice was reason enough for us to draw up a list with our best albums of 2016 until this day. Here goes!

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hinds-leave me alone_frontHinds – Leave Me Alone

Hinds delivers a stable fundament, a catchy upbeatness and a strong no-nonsense sentiment on their first studio album. A splendid achievement of a group of young friends who again prove that the future belongs to the young (WRM – SftDS review).


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Iron Savior - TitancraftIron Savior – Titancraft

After an excellent, old school comeback, German metal machine Iron Savior shows that lightning can indeed strike twice. An excellent power metal album, with a host of varied and pumping tunes (RP).
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Channel the Spirits - The Comet Is Coming_FRONTChannel the Spirits – The Comet Is Coming

Channel the Spirits breaks through the traditional jazz swing and brings very danceable jazz funk. The ensemble taps into the work of free jazz pioneers such John Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra. Highly recommended (WRM). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blood Ceremony - Lord of MisruleBlood Ceremony – Lord of Misrule

Getting slightly less dark and more retro rocking with each new release, this American band is still a standout in the barrage of retro bands kicking about at the moment. Less heavy, but a little more mature than before (RP).
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The Heliocentrics - From The Deep FrontThe Heliocentrics – From The Deep

Finally The Heliocentrics definitely found their niche by bringing together all experience they have gathered around them in recent years. From The Deep is raw and conceptually challenging but moreover. It’s a piece of work to turn inside out over and over again (WRM – SftDS review).  


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Rotting-Christ-Rituals-2016-300x300Rotting Christ – Rituals

The brothers Tolis return with another collection of their own particular brand of ethnic-upped black-ish metal. Which is something you’d not read on the back of the box very soon. Ethnic-upped probably isn’t even a thing. Still, a great album (RP – SftDS review).
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Jameszoo - Fool_FRONTJameszoo – Fool

Dutch musician Jameszoo combines Hip hop, jazz, dubstep, R&B and Brazilian music and also is inspired by the medieval painter Hieronymus Bosch. Jameszoo himself calls his debut album Fool a collection of “naive, computer jazz”. I fully agree, so I pitty the fool who doesn’t pick up on this album soon… (WRM – SftDS review).


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fleshgod-apocalypse-kingFleshgod Apocalypse – King

King is the culmination of years of work for this Italian band, finally marrying classical music and black metal like a Rhapsody of Fire steroids. A triumph for Fleshgod Apocalypse, and an album to keep coming back to (RP).
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thao & the-get-down-stay-down - a man alive_FRONTThao & The Get Down Stay Down – A Man Alive

A Man Alive is an adventurous album and offers listeners a record that is simply full of plain old fun and at the same time is interesting enough to keep playing throughout 2016. Outstanding job Thao (WRM – SftDS review)!  
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David Bowie - BlackstarDavid Bowie – Blackstar

Almost half a year in, Blackstar is still the most intruiging, mysterious and downright fascinating record out there. Bowie’s last album is a masterpiece of jazz fusion and its dark as night itself, both musically as well as lyrically. Unsettling and brilliant (RP – SftDS review).

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Indeed, jazz fusion, free jazz and jazz funk are gaining terrain. How about that!? Perhaps it has something to do with age, who knows. Anyway, have a nice summer and see you on the other side. 

Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 290616

Further surfing:

W’s Sounds from the Dark Side on Spotify

Album Year List (2015)

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Happy belated non-denominational winter holiday of your choice, everyone! We’re back with another tombola filled with musical endeavours of our choosing. Round and round it goes, where it stops, no-one knows. Except we do, and here are what we thought were the best albums of 2015. Enjoy.

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Sounds from the Dark Side top albums of 2015 (until now)

the_dark_side_of_the_moon toplist 2014

Summer, summer, summertime…‘ Yep, we’re both huge fans of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Especially at this time of the year. For that exact reason these are our best releases of 2015 until today.

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Blind Guardian - Beyond the Red MirrorBlind Guardian – Beyond the Red Mirror

An absolute triumph of intricate, song-writing makes this the band’s most ambitious record. With two choirs and two orchestras in tow, the Blind Guardian never forgets that it’s a metal band first, and delivers on all promises. A true power metal masterpiece (RP – SftDS review).
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viet-cong-album-cover-300x300Viet Cong – Viet Cong

Viet Cong made this January a month to remember by throwing down the gloves with some sharp edged post-punk. And developing a record in while touring in front of live audiences is kind of experimental though? You better believe the hype. If not, that’s your bad (WRM – SftDS review).
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Therapy – DisquietTherapy? – Disquiet

Ireland’s noisiest trio return to their catchier brand of songwriting on a fun and accessible albums which immediately reminds of their Troublegum heydays. Great fun all in all. (RP).
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little-wings-explains_coverLittle Wings – Explains

An empty living or a stuffy bedroom still is the best place to listen to Little Wings.  Frontman Fields waywardly plays around breaking the conventions of alt-country.  A close listen to Explains therefore is mandatory for everyone who’s enjoys progressive music (WRM – SftDS review).
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Virgin Steele – Nocturnes of Hellfire and DamnationVirgin Steele – Nocturnes of Hellfire & Damnation

David DeFeis strikes again with a daunting collection of epic songs, once again combining classical influences with the rawness of rock and metal. (RP).
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Alamo-Race-Track-Hawks-300x300

Alamo Race Track – Hawks

For the fourth time now Alamo Race Track changed its sound to a new adagium but without losing their touch for high quality and well thought out indie pop song structuring. Did they found true place in the universe? I’d like to think so (WRM – SftDS review).

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Paradise Lost – The Plague WithinParadise Lost – The Plague Within

Paradise Lost’s much awaited return to their death/doom metal roots pays off on a varied and intensely moody album, which might be their best since their early Icon-days (RP).
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kamasi_FRONTKamasi Washington – The Epic

I didn’t get the chance to review this 172-minute, three-volume jazz set that includes a 32-piece orchestra, a 20-person choir, and 17 songs overlaid with a compositional score. But trust me, I’ll get back to that later. For now you will have settle with my comment that the titles says it al (WRM).
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Battle Beast – Unholy SaviorBattle Beast – Unholy Savior

A keytar-fuelled cheesefest if there ever was one, but Battle Beast third outing hugely profits from the amazing vocals of head-banshee Noora Louhimo and some immensely catchy songs (RP).
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Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just SitCourtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett or Tobias Jesso Jr? That’s a Devil’s choice. I think I’ll go for Courtney. Why? Well, it’s an ideal mix for some good old fashioned spirit lifting and at the same time is nice enough to play as background music (WRM – SftDS review).
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There you go, something for everyone huh. So altough temperatures are rising high at the moment we’re still keen to push things foward for the rest of 2015.

Ralph Plug & Wander Meulemans – 010715

Further surfing:
W’s Sounds from the Dark Side on Spotify