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'Raise A Glass'
(Filthpipe Records)
Out Now

scott adams


Queenslanders Brimstone know a thing or two about the riff. After just one listen to their new album – the appropriately titled 'Raise A Glass' – that much is evident.

But luckily they know more than just one or two things about songwriting too, and in guitarist Peter Black they would appear to have something of a latterday guitar hero too, meaning this album should make it on to your "must-haves" lists as we approach the Yuletide shopping season.

It's not all good news for the band – they do sometimes dip a bit into unnecessary eighties balladising (especially on the tortured 'Level Ground', which, despite having some neat aspects just sounds too laboured for its own good), dissipating what otherwise is an extremely momentumful record.

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The band (rounded out in the studio simply by vocalist drummer Boris Billing) are at their best when they hit that groove and just set the riffs to destroy on songs such as 'Oxygen Thief' and the fabulously catchy 'Hit The Steel' or the grinding, Orange Goblin lite of 'Viking Lord', both songs being also excellent vehicles for the incendiary lead work of Black – I honestly don't remember enjoying someone's playing at first hearing as this man in a long time.

Penultimate track 'Words Of War', whilst clearly a sincere tribute to Australia's Armed Forces, just drags a little at seven minutes in length and again damages the momentum the band has worked so hard to build up, but a closing cover of Led Zeppelin chestnut 'Communication Breakdown' restores normal service and allows the band to end proceedings on another high.

Not at all bad then, with the highlights easily outnumbering the brickbats; On 'Raise A Glass' Brimstone do more than enough to establish their credentials as the latest in Australia's production line of high-octane first division hard rock bands, leaving the listener salivating at the prospect of hearing what they get up to next. Nice work.

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