Friday, April 4, 2008
Review by Nightwatcher
'The Newz', the first new studio album from Scottish heavy rock legends Nazareth in nearly a decade, shows these hard rockers still have some life in them, long after most have written them off. Containing 13 tracks, the album as a whole is much better than probably it should be, with vocalist Dan McCafferty still showing the whiskey soaked, gravelly pipes which were a huge influence on Guns N' Roses' Axl Rose, to be fairly intact. Even after 40 years in the biz, the band has still more than enough rock n roll grit to please long time fans and possibly bring in some new ones in the process.
If one were expecting the Nazareth of 'Hair Of The Dog', the band's 1975 classic, that would be pushing things. But what you will find is some of the finest songs put down by these grizzled vets in many a year. The lead off track, "Goin' Loco" commences with frenetic fret work before settling into a funky hard rock groove which is a fine way to start things off. Along the way we encounter more heaviness than the group has showcased on an album in ages, and more importantly, they've come up with songs which are memorable to boot. Even the ballads, such as "Enough Love" are a sight better than the band's fairly mediocre 80's output, which was unfortunately pretty unforgettable.
There's been a lot of effort put into the songwriting, musical performances and production this time around, and on what must be called the album's centerpiece, even coming towards the end, "The Gathering treads upon Zeppelin territory, with its epic, slow building climax, McCafferty sounding not a day over 30, this will prove to be a treat for all fans of hard edged classic rock. Be sure to stick around after the last track "Dying Breed" fades out, as the band has stuck on what must be the strangest composition of their long running career, the heavy, almost industrial metal sounding "The Goblin King". A parody of bad metal, you probably won't stick around for it after the first listen, but it does show that the band does still have a sense of humor.
Summing up, as this album is several cuts above their 80's pop rock based output, it arguably could be stated that this is the best studio album since 1979's 'No Mean City'. While it might not reach the heights of their peak 70's material, it's certainly close enough for rock n' roll. 8/10 http://www.nazarethdirect.co.uk/
Posted by Nightwatcher at 7:39 PM