Starting January 13th, GUNS N’ ROSES will embark on a North American tour in support of their Chinese Democracy album. Axl Rose will be joined by Frank Ferrer, Tommy Stinson, Richard Fortus, Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal, Dizzy Reed, D.J. Ashba and Chris Pitman, on this run of dates.
Jan. 13 – Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre
Jan. 16 – Calgary, AB @ Pengrowth Saddledome
Jan. 17 – Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
Jan. 19 – Saskatoon, SK @ Credit Union Centre
Jan. 20 – Regina, SK @ Brandt Centre
Jan. 24 – Hamilton, ON @ Copps Coliseum
Jan. 25 – London, ON @ John Labatt Centre
Jan. 27 – Montreal, PQ @ Bell Centre
Jan. 28 – Toronto, ON@ Air Canada Centre
Jan. 31 – Ottawa, ON @ Scotiabank Place
Feb. 1 – Quebec City, PQ @ Colisee Pepsi
Feb. 3 – Moncton, NB @ Moncton Coliseum
Feb. 4 – Halifax, NS @ Metro Centre
Gotthard is back with their 9th studio release Need To Believe, and one of Switzerland’s finest exports does not disappoint. Since the release of their self-titled debut in 1992 Gotthard, which consist of Steve Lee (Vocals), Leo Leoni (Guitars), Freddy Scherer (Guitars), Marc Lynn (Bass), and Hena Habegger (Drums), has built a reputation as one of the finest and most popular hard rock bands in Europe and around the world, but they are virtually unknown here is the U.S.. Fans of blues based, Zeppelin/Whitesnake/Deep Purple influenced hard rock should be lining up to get their copy of not only Need To Believe but Gotthard’s entire catalog.
“Shangri-La” kicks Need To Believe off with a Eastern Asia flavored intro before kicking into the song. Lee’s vocals sound great as do the background vocals, and the band’s Zeppelin influence really shines through on the entire song but especially on the solo, a great way to get the album rolling. “Unspoken Words” is a rocker with stadium written all over it, Leoni and Scherer make a great guitar tandem and Marc Lynn’s thumping bass gives the song a full sound. “Need To Believe” is a dark and slow building song until it kicks in a the chorus again it is filled with some great vocals by Lee and even though the song is dark it is still very much a sing along song and Leoni has another nice solo maybe the best so far. “Unconditional Faith” is a foot tapping mid-tempo number with some mandolin added to give the song a fuller sound with the band’s Whitesnake influence starting to raise it’s head a little, but on “I Don’t Mind”, David Coverdale’s influence is shining its brightest on this rocker from the guitar intro to Lee’s vocals and the rhythm section of Lynn/Habegger sound phenomenal we even get treated with a little COW BELL. I would definitely love to hear this song in a live setting guaranteed to get the crowd going.
Another song custom built for the stadium and bic lighters is “Break Away” an epic feeling mid tempo number with Lee’s vocals shining through once again, I could see this song being played with an orchestra and it would make “Break Away” even better than it already is. “Don’t Let Me Down” is a classic sounding power ballad that back in the day would have everyone knowing who Gotthard was because it would have been all over radio. Excellent acoustic opening that is joined by some nice piano before the band kicks in at the chorus. “Right From Wrong” is a modern sounding rocker that goes for the throat and once it grabs hold it doesn’t let go, the band as a whole sounds great on this track. “Rebel Soul” and the bonus track “Ain’t Enough” are two more straight up rockers built for a stadium show.
Any fan of hard rock should have Need To Believe and pretty much any of Gotthard’s albums in their collection, as they are without a doubt one of the best hard rock bands around today.
Rating: Out of 10
02. Unspoken Words
03. Need To Believe
04. Unconditional Faith
05. I Don’t Mind
06. Break Away
07. Don’t Let Me Know
08. Right From Wrong
09. I Know, You Know
10. Rebel Soul
11. Tears To Cry
12. Ain’t Enough
Steve Lee – vocals
Leo Leoni – guitars
Freddy Scherer – guitars
Marc Lynn – bass guitar
Hena Habegger – drums and percussion
Crown of Thorns has released a new video, “Rock Ready” in support of their new album, Faith that was released on June 9th. Check out the clip below!