Metal To Infinity

My first acquaintance with The Loving Tongue was around 2003, when they mailed me a package which included their second album ‘Distant Thunder’.  The band got airplay in my metal radio show OVERDRIVE, and it seemed like people where into the musical style of these Australians.  It took a few more years to hear some new material, but it was more than worth the wait. The new album of The Loving Tongue is called ‘Shadows Of Innocence’ and contains 14 tracks with a total duration of 76 minutes!  We were already spoiled by this band as their album ‘Distant Dreams’ was a double album divided in a part called “When Angels Sing…” and a second part “…Warriors Cry”. Now, they are back with new material, and it was a real pleasure to go through the songs.  If you want an original sound and voice, you definitely need to check these guys.  Some influences remind me to the Uriah Heep songs like ‘Lady In Black’, ‘Bird Of Prey’ and ‘Look At Yourself’. There is a special vibe going on when you listen to the tracks on ‘Shadows Of Innocence’.  The musical approach is unusual, compared with nowadays rock bands, and the vocals of Jimmy Petkoff have a Uli Jon Roth style, and it fits perfect to the tracks of The Loving Tongue.  Jimmy’s brother Big Tom Petkoff is taking care of the lyrics in the track ‘Look Out Jack’, and his voice is less high but he can’t deny that they are brothers.   

The album starts with ‘Tears Of A Unicorn’, and the tone is set immediately!  This track has a good rhythm, great vocals and a melody line that is direct and original!  This band is also capable to add yelling, shouting backing vocals and every time they add this to a track, it’s an extra which lifts the track to a higher level.  I wonder how they manage this live on a stage… ?  In some tracks I had to think on ‘Child In Time’ of Deep Purple. The high pitched vocals were amazing in that period of time, well; The Loving Tongue is coming real close to the same effect and power.   

I have been looking and listening to find a point of critic, but so far, I didn’t succeed.  I have to admit that this is a very honest release of a band that is having fun to make music, to create art, to fulfill their dreams.  Last year, they played a couple of gigs in Germany and I’m sure that they had a hell of a time!  This is metal for a huge crowd; this is music with passion and dedication.  Don’t look for progressive, technical delights, as there are none. This is pure rock with a heart for hard!  Fans of Black Sabbath will be enjoyed by the ‘Heaven And Hell’ version that’s also on this album.  They really convinced me with this cover, and the only thing or issue that can be arranged better in the future is the sound of the product. It sounds acceptable, but a better studio, producer, engineer can lift this band even higher.  I suppose that this is only a matter of money, which is understandable.  I am into another round of enjoyment, so let’s push the play button once more and go through songs like ‘Temple Of Love’, ‘She Drinks The Darkness’ and ‘Lady Of All Seasons’. 

Besides this album, I also received a demo of the band Raven Black Night.  This one track disc is called ‘Lips Of Desire’, and the front cover artwork is a suggestive reference to this title track.  Why did they add this demo in the package of The Loving Tongue?  Well, it’s quite simple as Jimmy Petkoff is the guitar player in both bands! He’s also taking care of the vocals, under the moniker of The White Knight. This demo is the precursor of the new album due out during the barbarian winter, as the band announces themselves. The track “Lips Of Desire” is a slow tune that keeps on repeating the same lyrical lines, and that’s exactly the strength of this song. It’s in your head for hours and hours. It has an hypnotic effect (Sweet Lips Of Desire, setting my soul on fire, …. and so on… ). So, this one track demo made me really curious for the upcoming new material!  I don’t know if this band, Raven Black Night, is focusing on a slower rhythm, or is it just a one track event?  We’ll see what the future will bring, and if the arrangements of the songs will be as strong as ‘Lips Of Desire’, we’ll welcome another great band! / / 

My rating: The Loving Tongue – ‘Shadows Of Innocence’: 92 / 100  Raven Black Night – 1 track demo ‘Lips Of Desire’: 9 / 10 (Review by Patrick De Sloover)