From the LA Times:
Van Halen is back — withDavid Lee Roth
The band will launch its first tour with its original singer in 20 years this spring.
The mercurial Roth, who officially left Van Halen on April Fool’s Day in 1985, will reportedly reunite with his old band mates for a tour that kicks off in North Carolina in early May and includes June stops in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, according to sources in the concert industry.
The band has been planning a splashy press conference in Los Angeles to announce the news, but word leaked out today. There had been intense speculation that the reunion might happen after the announcement this month that the band would be inducted into the Hall of Fame in New York on March 12. That induction ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel could be a study in awkward stage politics now considering that Hagar, the on-again-off-again replacement for Roth is being inducted as well.
Hagar sang with the band on their lucrative tour dates in 2004 and 2005 and told The Times a few weeks ago that he hoped the ceremony would be a good-spirited celebration of the band’s legacy. Now, he faces the prospect of playing the rock bridesmaid at the public celebration of his band’s rekindled first marriage.
Hagar and Roth have feuded publicly and in 2002 when they turned their public animus into a tour of strange bedfellows, the venture dipped into soap opera almost daily.
It’s not technically Roth’s first return to the band; he appeared on stage with the band – which is guitar hero Eddie Van Halen, drummer Alex Van Halen and bassist Michael Anthony – at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996. They recorded a few songs but then it was all off again.
Roth’s return will be met with exultation for fans of the band’s edgier and raunchier Sunset Strip metal roots and their remarkable six-album rise the top of rock stardom, which began with “Van Halen” in 1979, an album that has shipped more than 10 million copies to stores, according to Recording Industry Assn. of America.
Hagar’s entry into the lineup in 1985 marked a step toward a less aggressive edge and more mainstream sound. Fans have long debated which line-up truly rules and now Roth will get a chance to present his argument on stage for the first time since the Reagan administration.
The 9th Day of Jorn brings us to the dueling singers of Russell Allen (Symphony X) and Jorn Lande. Last Tribers Magnus Karlsson handles the bass, guitar and keyboards, while his band mate, Jaime Salazar provides the drums.
Another Battle is a very melodic progressive rock anthem. This is the first track where you realize how much Russel Allen’s voice compliments Jorn Lande.
Magnus Karlsson starts the guitar riffs firing quickly on the hard yet melodic Hunter’s Night. Russell Allen handles the vocals on this track.
Wish For A Miracle starts out with a cool progressive heaviness that blends into a purely melodic rocker that is a pure joy to listen to.
Reach A Little Longer is a beautiful solo ballad by Jorn. Come Alive starts off with an awesome metal riff that would make Zakk Wylde proud, and settles into another exceptional melodic track.
Truth About Our Time is an uptempo rocker featuring both, Jorn and Russell on vocals. Jorn Lande sings solo and sounds a lot like Steve Perry on the superb track My Own Way Home. Not to be out done, Russell Allen takes over the lead vocals on the first-rate AOR track Ask You Anyway.
Silent Rage is infectious as hell and Where Have the Angels Goneis another great AOR song in the vein of Journey. Russell Allenshows his impressive range on Whitesnake like rocker, Universe of Light. Forgotten, Ones closes this disc with a pure AOR piano driven track with the excellent dueling vocals of Lande and Allen. What a fitting way to end this disc!
This amazing disc is for all hard rock, Symphony X, Jorn Lande, and Last Tribe fans. Fantatstic vocals, amazing guitar work, and well written melodic songs make The Battle one of the top discs of 2005. You need to buy this!
Here are a couple of track from the Battle. Enjoy!
Where Have the Angels Gone
Wish For a Miracle
Rating:Out of 10
- Another Battle
- Hunter’s Night
- Wish For A Miracle
- Reach A Little Longer
- Come Alive
- Truth About Our Time
- My Own Way Home
- Ask You Anyway
- Silent Rage
- Where Have the Angels Gone
- Universe of Light
- Forgotten, Ones
Exclusive: Van Halen Reuniting With Roth For Tour
Van Halen’s original lineup in the early 1980s
January 24, 2007, 4:20 PM ET
Ray Waddell, Nashville
Sources tell Billboard.com a contract could be signed as soon as today for Live Nation to produce a 40-date amphitheatre tour by Van Halen this summer, with original frontman David Lee Roth back in the fold for the first time in more than 20 years.
As previously reported, guitarist Eddie Van Halen’s 15-year-old son Wolfgang has stepped in for original bassist Michael Anthony in the new incarnation of the group, which also features drummer Alex Van Halen.
Van Halen last toured in 2004 with vocalist Sammy Hagar, grossing nearly $40 million, according to Billboard Boxscore. Hagar refused to collaborate further with Eddie and Alex Van Halen after the tour’s completion (“I don’t get along with Eddie anymore, and that’s all there is to it,” he told Billboard.com in August 2005), although he has consistently played live with Anthony in recent years. The warring factions may wind up meeting in public in March when Van Halen is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“I see it absolutely as an inevitability,” Roth told Billboard.com last May of a potential reunion with his ex-bandmates. “To me, it’s not rocket surgery. It’s very simple to put together. And as far as hurt feelings and water under the dam, like what’s-her-name says to what’s-her-name at the end of the movie ‘Chicago’ — ‘So what? It’s showbiz!’ So I definitely see it happening.”
Hagar recently told Billboard.com he was concerned Eddie Van Halen was asking too much of his son to have him join the band and promptly perform in front of thousands of people every night.
“That’s a lot of pressure for Wolfie. Just ’cause he’s Eddie’s son doesn’t mean he can go out and play in arenas and perform and entertain an audience for two hours,” he said. “I would love to see Eddie and Alex get behind Wolfie, with a kid of his age singing, and produce the record for him and help him launch a career. I’d rather see it go that way than come out and say ‘Wolfie’s the bass player in Van Halen and maybe singing, too.’ Van Halen’s got way too much history to have that put on him.”
More Megadeth News from Dave Mustaine
Megadeth will do a 45 minute opening set on the Heaven and Hell tour.
You can see a video for the Gears of War track off the up and coming United Abominations below.
United Abominations will be released on May 8th, 2007 by Roadrunner records.
Tracks titles include:
- Gears of War
- United Abominations
- Burnt Ice
- Never Walk Alone
QUIET RIOT frontman Kevin Dubrow has revealed that bad interpersonal relationships were largely to blame for the breakup of the band’s classic lineup. In an interview with “The Classic Metal Show” (which can be heard at this location), DuBrow lashes out at QUIET RIOT‘s former bassist Rudy Sarzo (also DIO, ex-OZZY OSBOURNE), while also admitting that the last few years of the classic lineup’s existence were riddled with disagreements, ultimately causing the group virtually split in two. An excerpt from the interview follows:
The Classic Metal Show: I know you have a certain affection for the ’60s and ’70s stuff, as [is evident on] your solo album. You seem to be going in that direction now because it is you and Frankie [Banali, drums], and you have a good working relationship as well as a friendship. You two seemed to be able to agree on that (direction).
Kevin Dubrow: “Exactly. The thing is, with the old band, I got along great with Carlos [Cavazo, guitar]. Frankie and him didn’t even speak. The less said about Rudy the better. Obviously, we were not friends and we did not enjoy each other’s company musically or personally. So, when you are in a band like that, the productivity is going to be somewhat limited.”
The Classic Metal Show: Sure, well now that you two have control…
Kevin Dubrow: “Yeah. We don’t have the distraction of people that have their own agendas. We did ask Carlos to rejoin, but he wasn’t interested unless it was with Rudy. That’s…that’s…That’s pretty much like asking me about Spencer [Proffer, ex-QUIET RIOT producer]. That would happen the day that hell does freeze over!”
QUIET RIOT‘s latest album, “Rehab”, was issued in the United States in early October via Chavis Records. The European release was handled by the U.K.-based Demolition Records.
For the new recordings, Kevin DuBrow and Frankie Banali were joined by Tony Franklin on bass (ex-THE FIRM and BLUE MURDER), session guitarist Neil Citron, and the voice of rock, Glenn Hughes (ex-DEEP PURPLE and BLACK SABBATH), who performed a vocal duet with Kevin DuBrow on the classic 1969 SPOOKY TOOTH song “Evil Woman” and also contributed the bass track for that song as well.
QUIET RIOT original members DuBrow and Banali recently reunited with Alex Grossi and Chuck Wright (bass) to tour worldwide in support of the “Rehab” release.
Former VINNIE VINCENT INVASION singer Robert Fleischman will release a new solo album, “Look at the Dream”, in March through Spirt Box Music. For those who don’t want to wait, the CD will be available on iTunes next month.
Fleischman first came to prominence in the late 1970s as the original lead vocalist for multi-platinum rock band JOURNEY. His powerful singing voice and his undeniable songwriting talent helped the band make the transition from a rock-fusion band to the commercial success that they enjoyed from that point on. He wrote their first hit single, “Wheel in the Sky”, as well as other familiar JOURNEY songs. From there, Robert went for something totally out of character and joined former KISS guitarist Vinnie Vincent in the VINNIE VINCENT INVASION. Since then, Robert has been focused more on his songwriting than performing skills, having worked as a staff songwriter at Almo Irving Publishing and then as a composer of musical scores for TV and film projects. His solo performing career has been successful starting with the Jimmy Iovine-produced “Perfect Stranger” album on Arista which featured former JOURNEY bandmate Neal Schon on guitar. He has also recorded for Epic with his band, CHANNEL, and has released a variety of albums in a variety of genres — all of which are testament to the broad range of Robert‘s talent.
You can see the Robert Fleischman video from VVI below:
Day 8 in the 10 Days of Jorn brings the sophomore effort, Aeronautics by the Jorn Lande led, power metal group Masterplan.
I love CD’s that are easy to review and Aeronautics is one of those. This disc is far more melodic than the debut, and does not fail to deliver at any point throughout the disc.
Crimson Rider will hook you immediately with is upbeat drumming and amazing guitar work by Roland Grapow.
Back For My Life is an impressive song that should have been a huge hit in the U.S.
Masterplan turns back to its power metal roots by cranking up the tempo on the anthemic Wounds. I’m Not Afraidis a majestic rocker that continues to amaze me every time I listen to it. Headbanger’s Ballroom is melodic yet very heavy. I have replayed this one several times.
After This War is a mid tempo number with excellent vocals by Jorn, and more flying fretwork by Roland Grapow. Into The Arenais another classic Jorn Lande Anthem at its best! The guitar riff on Dark For the Dying is quite infectious. Falling Sparrowfeatures another killer vocal by Jorn.
Black in the Burn is an awesome epic track clocking in just shy of 10 minutes. This song will take you through great melodies, and incredible guitar solos before finishing with a heaviness that will kick you in the ass. This is the most impressive song I have ever heard to close out a disc. My copy of Aeronautics came with a limited edition track Treasure World, which is a cool track itself.
Aeronautics is easily one of the top 5 metal CD’s of 2005. You owe it to yourself to pick this one up!
Back For My Life
Rating:Out of 10
- Crimson Rider
- Back For My Life
- I’m Not Afraid
- Headbanger’s Ballroom
- After This War
- Into the Arena
- Dark For the Dying
- Falling Sparrow
- Black Is the Burn
- Treasure World* (Limited Edition Bonus Track)
Check it out Here!
Day 7 of the 10 Days of Jorn, brings us to the third solo disc by Jorn Lande, Out to Every Nation.
This disc features a new lineup of musicians includingJorn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind) on Guitar, Magnus Rosen (Hammerfall) on Bass and Stian Kristoffersen (Pagan’s Mind) on Drums.
Out to Every Nation is not my favorite disc in my Jorn Lande collection. After the stellar release Worldchanger, this disc did not live up to my expectations. I kept looking for a track that jumped out at me like Christine or Sunset Station, and it just never materialized.
With that being said, this is still an above average disc, and an above average disc from Jorn is usually ten times better than anything else out there.
There are a few noteworthy moments on Out to Every Nation worth mentioning.
Young Forever is a scorching hot track to start this disc off with. The title track Out to Every Nation is another cool song in the vein of Whitensnake. Something Real features some excellent guitar work by Jorn Viggo.
Living With Wolves reminds me of a cross between DIO and Dream Theater which is very cool. The Jorn Viggo guitar solo on Vision Eyes is superb.
The Whitesnakish Rock Spirit and the awesome guitars on Through Day and Night are growing on me each time I hear them.
The Japanese bonus track Big is awesome! This track sounds like it was a left over from Worldchanger.
This is the type of disc that needs to grown on you with a few listens. It gets progressively better with each spin. Jorn Lande sounds great, as does the band backing him up. This is a disc that may get over looked over time, but there is enough decent material on Out to Every Nation making this a disc worth picking up. I recommend the Japanese version that comes with the bonus track and the video below!
Check out the video below for Living With Wolves!
Living With Wolves
Rating: Out of 10
- Young Forever
- Out To Every Nation
- Something Else
- Living With Wolves
- Vision Eyes
- One Day We Will Put Out the Sun
- Behind the Clown
- Rock Spirit
- Through Day and Night
- When Angel Wings Were White
- Big (Japanese Bonus Track)
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Magnus Rosén – Bass
Jörn Viggo Lofstad – Guitars
Stian Kristoffersen – Drums
Ronny Tegner – Keyboards
David Coverdale called into the Eddie Trunk Live show on XM41, The Boneyard tonight. David is working with current Whitesnake Lead Guitarist, Doug Aldrich on new material for the upcoming album tentatively titled, Good to be Bad. David sounds pretty inspired to be working on new tunes with Doug. We could have a monster Whitesnake album on our hands come summertime.
On a side note. Coverdale and company is interested in touring the United States this June and July, but the tour promoters are wanting to lump them together with a bunch of other 80′s hard rock bands. Coverdale has no interest in doing that. He thinks Whitesnake is a headliner, and I do not disagree with that notion at all. They headline shows that book 100,000 people in the UK. When will the U.S. tour promoters and record companies get a clue?
David also mentioned that the DVD – Live In the Still of the Night has almost gone Gold (50,000 units sold) in the Unites States without any promotion.
According to a posting on BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi‘s official web site, MEGADETH and DOWN have been officially confirmed as the support acts on HEAVEN AND HELL‘s previously announced Canadian tour. The trek will feature 11 Canadian shows, along with an exciting one-night-only performance at one of the most prestigious venues in the world, New York’s Radio City Music Hall. HEAVEN AND HELL reunites Iommi with Ronnie James Dio (vocals), Geezer Butler (bass) and Vinny Appice (drums) for the first time in 15 years.
Currently there are 12 scheduled stops, starting on March 11 in Vancouver and ending on March 30 in New York City. The HEAVEN AND HELL world tour will continue until the end of the year with shows in the U.S., Asia and Europe. Additional dates will be announced shortly.
HEAVEN AND HELL North American tour dates:
Mar. 11 – Vancouver, BC @ Pacific Coliseum
Mar. 13 – Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place
Mar. 14 – Calgary, AB @ Saddledome
Mar. 16 – Regina, SK @ Brandt Centre
Mar. 18 – Winnipeg, MB @ MTS Centre
Mar. 20 – Sault St. Marie, ON @ Steelback Centre
Mar. 22 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
Mar. 24 – London, ON @ John Labatt Centre
Mar. 26 – Montreal, PQ @ Bell Centre
Mar. 27 – Quebec City, PQ @ Colisee Pepsi Arena
Mar. 28 – Ottawa, ON @ Civic Centre
Mar. 30 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall ( Goes on Sale Friday 1/26/07 )
Despite rumors of a forthcoming RATT reunion tour with original vocalist Stephen Pearcy, DiMartini answered “no” when asked if there are RATT tour plans for 2007.
KROKUS vocalist Marc Storace recently spoke with “The Hairball John Radio Show” about the group’s new release, “Hellraiser”. Storace also spoke about a possible U.S. tour this summer.
Said Storace: “Our people are working on it right now. I don’t want to mention any names at this state, because I don’t want to disappoint anybody if it doesn’t work out. But it looks like a great tour. It would be a package tour and we would be able to reach a hell of a lot of our old fans as well as new ones.”
The entire conversation with Marc Storace is available in full streaming audio at the home site of “The Hairball John Radio Show”.
KROKUS‘s latest album, “Hellraiser”, entered the Swiss album chart at position No. 2. The CD, which was recorded with producer Dennis Ward (PINK CREAM 69), has already been certified “gold” in the band’s home country.
The KROKUS single “Angel of My Dreams” has been made available for download at this location.
KROKUS‘s current lineup is completed by Stefan Schwarzmann (drums), Tony Castell (bass), Mandy Meyer (guitar) and Dominique Fave (guitar).
Frontiers salutes the multi-platinum metal artists Dokken with From Conception Live 1981 – A CD of an unreleased concert with 3 previously unreleased tracks.
Los Angeles rockers Dokken ruled the charts and airwaves in the 80s with a trio of platinum albums powered by an unforgettable mix of Metal and melody. With the band headed in the studio in January to record their ninth album Lighting Strikes Again due out summer 2007 Frontiers Records revisits the quartet’s early days with a Live CD from 1981, packed with unreleased material.
From Conception finds singer Don Dokken guitarist George Lynch, drummer Mick Brown and bassist Jeff Pilson ripping through 10 unreleased live performances of several songs that were eventually recorded for the band’s debut album, Breaking The Chains, including Live To Rock (Rock To Live), Knightrider, the title track, Paris Is Burning plus a showcase for Lynch’s formidable guitar heroics. The live disc also contains three previously unreleased tracks that didn’t make it onto the debut album because the label did not feel they were commercial enough at the time – Goin Down, Hit And Run and You’re a Liar.
Day 6 of the 10 Days of JORN brings us to the project of guitarist Nikolo Kotzev, Brazen Abbot.
Guilty as Sin features a triumvirate of singers including, Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow), Goran Edman (Street Talk, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Jorn Lande. Brazen Abbot also features current Europe bandmates Mic Michaeli on keyboards,John Leven on bass and Ian Haughland on drums.
Guilty as Sin blasts out of the gate with an awesome Rainbow like track sung by Joe Lynn Turner.
Eyes on the Horizon is the first Brazen Abbot track Jorn Lande has ever sung on, and it is a great one. This song has a sound similar to that of Deep Purple.
I’ll Be Free almost seems out of place after the first two power tracks. This is a slow ballad sung by Goran Edman. It is a descent song, but its placement here seems odd to me.
Slip Away is another great rocker sung by Joe Lynn Turner. Jorn Lande astonishes all with his powerful voice on Mr. Earthman. Goran Edman shows that he can rock hard too on the very cool Like Jonah.
Jorn Lande sounds just like David Coverdale on Bring the Colors Home. This low tempo track would not have sounded out of place on any of the last few Whitesnake albums. This song has hit written all over it!
Goran Edman takes over the microphone on Fool’s Confession. This is another cool track, that could have easily been a hit.
Its no surprise that Joe Lynn Turner sounds great on Supernatural. This is another track in the vein of Rainbow.
Eve is another slow paced number by Goran Edman. I didn’t care for this track too much. It is too light as compared to the rest of the tracks on this disc, and seems out of place.
After that last clunker Eve, Jorn sounds like he is shot out of a cannon on A Whole Lotta Woman. This is another excellent rocker in the vein of Whitesnake!
Guilty As Sin closes out this disc with another low to mid tempo rocker by Joe Lynn Turner. This is another superb track, and a great way to close out this disc.
Joe Lynn Turner and Jorn Landesound like they are in competition on this disc. They both sing their hearts out, and sound fantastic. The Goran Edman led tracks are not in the same ballpark as the JLT and JL tracks, and are the only weak point on Guity As Sin. Guitarist Nikolo Kotzev is obviously a very talented guitarist as his amazing fretwork can be heard all throughout this disc. The Europetrio of Michaeli, Leven and Haugland do an excellent job as well. This disc is essential for Turner and Lande fans. This may appeal to fans of Rainbow, Europe and Whitesnake as well.
You can check out three of the Jorn Lande tracks below! Enjoy!
Eyes on the Horizon
A Whole Lotta Woman
Rating: Out of 10
- One Life to Live
- Eyes on the Horizon
- I’ll Be Free
- Slip Away
- Mr. Earthman
- Like Jonah
- Bring the Colors Home
- Fools Confession
- A Whole Lotta Woman
- Guilty As Sin
Day 5 of the 10 Days of Jorn, brings us the debut disc by the power metal group Masterplan.
Masterplan has a supergroup type roster for their debut effort including Jorn Lande on Vocals, Roland Grapow (Helloween) on Guitars, Uli Kusch (Gamma Ray, Helloween) on Drums, Jan-S. Eckert (Iron Saviour) on Bass and Axel Mackenrott on Keyboards.
The one thing I really enjoy about this Masterplan disc is, it sounds different from all of Jorn’s past work, while staying familiar enough to appeal to all of his fans.
Masterplan starts out with 4 blistering tracks right out of the gate. Spirit Never Dies claims hold of you very quickly with its crashing double bass drums, awesome melodies, and its impressive guitar work. Enlighten Me was released as a single off of this disc (in the UK). This bang-up song is one of my favorites on this CD.
Kind Hearted Light is another melodic powerhouse of a song. This song has a good mix of keyboards and guitars. Jorn’s vocals shine here. Crystal Night is another excellent (neckbrace optional) heavy rocker.
Soulburn is the first track to bring the tempo down from the first four lightspeed paced rockers. It took me a couple of listens before I really got into this track. I started recognizing some Black Sabbath and DIO like elements with this track after a few listens.
Heroes cranks the pace back up to 10. I could not get into this song, but its not bad. Sail On continues that pace, but I believe this is a better written song between the two.
Into the Light is the track that I was waiting for. Masterplan slows it down and Jorn’s powerful voice takes over. Great song!
This must be the horror fan in me taking over, but I really like the heavy track Crawling From Hell. How can you deny a lyric like “Monsters and Demons Crawling From Hell“?
The bass heavy Bleeding Eyes has some moments to it, but it fails to deliver. On the otherhand, When Love Comes Close is centered around the acoustic guitar, and is a one of my favorite tracks here.
Through Thick and Thin could have easily been a Whitesnake track. It seems that their wasn’t enough focus on the chorus on this track. With a little bit of reworking, this track could have been a hit.
Jorn sound a lot like Coverdale on The Kid Rocks On. This is a very good song to close out this disc with.
As a whole, this is a very solid power metal offering from Masterplan. Jorn Lande’s vocals are a highlight on every track. A little better writing, and these guys could be an unstoppable force in the heavy metal scene. This is a very good disc that should appeal to Jorn Lande, Helloween, and power metal fans.
Check out the videos below. If you like the tracks below, you will definitely want to pick this up!
Spirit Never Dies (Live)
Kind Hearted Light
When Love Comes Close
Rating: Out of 10
- Spirit Never Dies
- Enlighten Me
- Kind Hearted Light
- Crystal Night
- Sail On
- Into the Light
- Crawling from Hell
- Bleeding Eyes
- When Love Comes Close
- Through Thick and Then
- The Kid Rocks On
Day 4 of the 10 Days of JORN brings us to Jorn Lande’s 2nd disc as a solo artist, Worldchanger.
Worldchanger also features Tore Moren (Rain) on Guitars, Sid Ringsby (TNT) on Bass, and Jan Aksel “Hellhammer” (Mayhem) on Drums.
To me, Worldchanger is the finest piece of music Jorn Lande has ever recorded. This CD is one of my all time favorite discs and gets regular play to this day.
Worldchanger moves Jorn one step closer to mainstream acceptability while maintaining the heaviness and progressive feel that Jorn Lande has become known for. I don’t find it surprising at all that Jorn chose to re-release 6 of the tracks from Worldchanger on the January 2007 disc, The Gathering.
One word describes this disc, stellar!
I could give you a song by song breakdown of Worldchanger, but this is one instance where I will let the music speak for itself. I have included 3 videos from Worldchanger below. Go check them out, and then go buy this! You can thank me later!
This disc is essential for all hard rock and Jorn Lande Fans. It will appeal to most Whitesnake fans as well. This is the only disc that I have reviewed that has received a perfect score from me. Yes, it is that good!
Bless the Child
House of Cards
Rating:Out of 10
- Tungur Knivur
- Sunset Station
- Glow In the Dark
- House of Cards
- Bless the Child
- Bridges Will Burn
Some crafty fellow made a pretty solid video for one of the demo tracks off of the upcoming Chinese Democracy CD.
Take a listen to the video below and let me know what you think.
There is the Time
Day 3 of the 10 Days of Jorn, brings the 2nd disc, Burn The Sun, by the progressive metal group, Ark.
Ark’s already amazing roster grew for their sophomore effort. The bass playing virtuoso Randy Coven (Holy Mother, Steve Vai, Blues Saraceno) and longtime Yngwie Malmsteen keyboardist Mats Olausson, joined guitarist Tore Ostby, drummer John Macaluso, and lead vocalist extraordinaire Jorn Lande .
Not only did the band lineup improve, so did the production on Burn the Sun. The muddy production that hurt the over all sound on the debut disc is gone. Former Victory guitar player Tommy Newton came in to produce this disc and did a hell of a job. The sound quality on Burn the Sun is nothing short of superb.
It seems that everything about Burn the Sun improved over the debut. This disc has better production, writing, and songs. Jorn Lande’s singing has improved over the first disc as well.
Heal the Waters is an amazing song to start this disc off with. Jorn Lande sings this song in a lower register, before breaking out in his powerful raspy goodness. It doesn’t take long for newcomers Randy Coven and Mats Olausson to bust out and show the power of this enhanced Ark lineup.
Everytime I listen to Torn I hear something different. The ghost like guitars of Tore Ostby swirls between your speakers. Randy Coven’s bass sounds amazing here.
Burn The Sun is a very cool track. Jorn sings in a lower register on this track. When Coven’s heavy bass matches Jorn’s lower range, this track takes on a Black Sabbath like feel to it. Nonetheless, this track could have been huge in the U.S., had any radio stations picked up on it.
Jorn shows off his impressive range on Resurrection. This song has a bunch of cool tempo changes, and Tore really tears it up this track. Very cool!
Absolute Zero is kind of an odd track to me. The bass and drumming is fast but light, and Jorn’s vocals seem to be at a slower pace. For some reason, this doesn’t mix together well for me. When the song picks up, it sounds great, but in the slow places it is a little weak.
Tore Ostby breaks out the Spanish Guitar on Just A Little. Jorn sounds great on this song, but I couldn’t really get into it. Its just a little too jangly for my tastes.
Waking Hour shows the world why Jorn Lande has one of the most amazing voices in rock today. Musically, this track has a Rush like sound, before moving into a harder edged direction. Once the tempo shifts, Jorn brings down the house with his incredible vocal range.
The composition of Noose is amazing. The crushing bass on Noose sounds very much in the vein of Dream Theater. Jorn’s voice on Noose sways between David Coverdale and Robert Plant. Tore Ostby smokes on the guitar. Mats Olausson keyboards remind me of Yes on this track. This is a killer progressive track, but needs a couple of listens to be fully appreciated.
Feed The Fire has Jorn singing in a range and style that I don’t think he has ever covered anywhere else. He sounds a whole lot like Steve Perry from Journey, and just about hits the range of Sting on this track. This track is a radio worthy hit!
Jorn breaks out his best David Coverdale like voice on I Bleed. Tore Ostby sounds great on this track.
Missing You ventures back into the Pink Floyd like territory of Can’t Let Go from the Ark debut. This track clocks in at over 9 minutes in length. I can almost see the laser light show while listening to the howling guitars of Tore Ostby. This is a very moody song, but it has an excellent sound quality to it, and the guitars are pristine on the track.
The Japanese Bonus Track, Silent Is the Rain is a quiet track in comparision to the other 11 on Burn the Sun. Jorn sings in a low register on this track. It is an interesting listen, but it is not good enough to merit spending a bunch of extra cash to get it.
Burn the Sun is much better than the debut by Ark, but a couple of weaker songs in the middle of the disc keeps it from being perfect. This disc is essential to Jorn Lande fans. Progressive rock fans need to get this too!
Rating: Out of 10
- Heal the Waters
- Burn the Sun
- Absolute Zero
- Just A Little
- Waking Hour
- Feed the Fire
- I Bleed
- Missing You
- Silent is the Rain (Japanese Bonus Track)
Day 2 of the 10 days of Jorn introduces the debut of Jorn Lande as a solo artist.
With ten songs, five of which are cover songs, one might think Jorn has no song writing skills, or doesn’t have the talent to back up a solo career.
I would have to say wrong on both counts. Most of the covers songs on this discs, are not well known tracks by the average person. After hearing Jorn rearrange these tracks, one will forget that they are cover tunes very quickly. I bet many people will break out their discs by the original artists to discover Jorn’s versions far superior.
Starfire is a brilliantly produced CD, with a good mix of Metal and AOR tracks, all featuring the powerful vocals of Jorn.
How do the songs stack up? Fantastic. Jorn enlisted the help of some amazing, all-star caliber musicians on this disc. You can tell by the quality of each track, that he was trying to put out an excellent disc for his fans.
The title track, Starfire starts this disc off with pure AOR goodness. This track is melodic, yet it exudes such power. There are not enough tracks that come out today that sounds this good.
Edge of the Blade is a cover of the Journey track from the 1983 disc Frontiers. This song features the very Neal Schon like guitar work of Millenium’s Ralph Santolla. I think Jorn’s vocal is definite improvement over Steve Perry on this track.
Whether you remember, the Foreigner track Break it Up from the 1981 disc 4, you will recognize the music styling almost immediately. This is a very good cover by Jorn Lande featuring Millenium’s Shane French on guitar. This group has the Foreigner down to a science. (Now If Jorn would only sing, Dirty White Boy, that would be something extemely cool to hear.)
I did not realize The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a cover by City Boy. That band may have been before my time, but nonetheless I found this track very enjoyable. This is another pure AOR track featuring the flying fret work of TNT’s Ronni Lé Tekrø
Ark band mate Tore Ostby andJorn absolutely smoke on the Deep Purple cover Burn. This is one hell of a cover, that sounds as good, if not better than the original. You will hear this track again on a new cover album coming out in 2007. (Hint, Hint)
I had a hard time getting into End Come Easy, but I have listened to this multiple times and it has grown on me somewhat. This track has an experimental Led Zeppelin orAerosmith kind of feel to it. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it exactly. It has a Middle Eastern style about it.
The Jefferson Starship track, Just the Same from the 1979 release Freedom at Point Zero is well covered by Jorn and his all-star group featuringTore Ostby (Ark) on guitar, and TNT band members Jon Macaluso on drums and Dag Stokke on keyboards.This track features an awesome bass groove, and has melodic keyboards that are empowered by Jorn’s commanding vocals.
If Zakk Wylde were to play with Jorn Lande, it would sound just like Abyss of Evil. After the other AOR tracks on Starfire, Abyss of Evil kicks you in the head with its excellent 80′s style hard rock heaviness. Abyss of Evil is my favorite track on Starfire, and luckily this track will also show up on a new Jorn disc in 2007.
After the heaviness of the previous track, Forever Yoursalmost seems out of place. This is an acoustic driven number on which Jorn sounds a lot like Jeff Scott Soto. It is a beautiful song, but it seems out of place sandwiched between Abyss of Evil and the monster closing track Gate of Tears.
Jorn breaks out his best Ronnie James Dio voice for Gate of Tears. This monster of a track sounds like it could have been on a Dio era Black Sabbath disc. This is an awesome heavy track, and killer one to close out Starfire. I don’t find it surprising at all that this will be the 3rd track from Starfire to show up on The Gathering!
Bottomline, Starfire is an awesome disc, with a good mixtures of AOR, metal and Hard Rock. This disc gives you a good taste of the amazing talent of Jorn, and should be in everyone’s music collection!
Rating: Out of 10
- Edge of the Blade
- Break It Up
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire
- End Come Easy
- Just the Same
- Abyss of Evil
- Forever Yours
- Gate of Tears
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Tore Ostby – Guitar, Bass
John Macaluso – Drums
Dag Stokke – Keyboards
Ralph Santolla – Guitar
Ronni Le Tekrø – Guitar on track 4
Tore Moren – Guitar
Willy Bendiksen – Drums
Jon A. Narum – Drums, Guitar, Bass, Sampling, Melotrone
Day 1 of the 10 days of Jorn starts with the self titled debut by the progressive metal band Ark. This is the disc where people really started noticing Jorn Lande. He did have prior releases with the Snakes, and Vagabond ( very hard to find discs, that get big dollars on EBay and GEMMto name a few), but this is the disc where Jorn started perfecting his craft. The end result is a classic progressive metal disc that is still a very good listening experience in 2007.
Ark also features the amazing playing of Tore Ostby (Conception) on guitars and progressive rhythm master John Macaluso(TNT and Yngwie Malmsteen) on drums.
Burning Downestablishes the tone and pace of this CD immediately. Jorn’s amazing voice takes hold of you quickly. The tempo changes and power of this track will kick you in the ass, and Tore Ostby’s flying fretwork will set your hair on fire.
Where the Winds Blowis a progressive masterpiece by any standards. This is one of the many tracks that Jorn chose to rework for his new release, the Gathering.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a track that is hard to describe. It has parts with Spanish guitar and jazz like piano. It is an interesting track but not my favorite by any means.
Singer’s at the World’s Dawnis a heavy prog rocker, with excellent guitars and Deep Purple like keyboards. Jorn really belts this song out. The power and raspiness of Lande’s voice on this track is amazing.
The bass drumming by John Macaluso on Mother Love will amaze you. The track is what I would consider another progressive masterpiece. There lots of timing changes, killer drumming, great keyboards, and more amazing fretwork by Tore Ostby.
Center Avenue was an odd track to me. It starts off sounding like a Dream Theater track, but the pacing of the music doesn’t seem to fit the vocals to me. It was the lone track on this disc, that for some reason did not really work well for me. The guitar parts are pretty cool, but lyrically it didn’t seem to fit together right.
Can’t Let Go on the other hand has oodles of redeeming qualities. This 9 plus minute track has a Pink Floyd like sound to it, and is an awesome track to end this disc with. The epic track needs to be heard to be appreciated.
This is a very solid debut Ark. The musicianship on these songs is superb. The production quality sounds a little muddy at times, but it does not distract from the power of the music. Jorn Lande’s powerhouse vocals are worth the price of admission. This is a disc that progressive rock and Jorn Lande fans can’t afford to miss.
Rating:Out of 10
The video below is Ark performing Burning Down at a rare U.S. appearance at the Prog Power U.S.A. festival in Atlanta, Georgia. The sound is kind of muddy on the video, but you will still be able to hear the power of Jorn Lande’s voice. This video doesn’t capture the power of the studio track, but its still worth watching.
- Burning Down
- Where the Wind Blows
- Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Singer’s At the World’s Dawn
- Mother Love
- Center Avenue
- Can’t Let Go
For the Next 10 Days I will be posting new reviews on releases from Jorn Lande’s Discography, leading up to the reviews of the hot new January releases, Unlocking the Past and the Gathering. I am going to cover a lot of different material, so stay tuned to the Hard Rock Hideout and check back daily for more reviews, videos and music worth listening to!
Day 1 has now been posted. Check out the review for Ark’s Self Titled Debut from 1999 here.
Day 2 has now been posted. Check out the review for Jorn’s debut as a solo artist, Starfire.
Day 3 has been posted. Check out the review for Ark’s 2nd disc, Burn the Sun!
Day 4 has now been posted. There are some awesome videos to go along with this next review. Be sure to check back and check out the review for JORN – Worldchanger
Day 5 is up! Check out the review for debut by Masterplan!
Day 6 is now up! Check out the review for Jorn’s work on the Brazen Abbot disc, Guilty As Sin.
Day 7 has been posted! Check out the review for the Junior Solo Effort by Jorn, Out To Every Nation
Day 8 is up! Check out the 2nd Amazing Disc by Masterplan – Aeronautics.
Day 9 is here! Check out the incredible release Allen / Lande – The Battle.
Tomorrow night is the Grand Finale to the 10 Days of Jorn!! Be Here for not one but two new Jorn Lande reviews! Until then, check out the top 26 songs by Jorn Lande on Last FM here.
I hope you all enjoyed this segment! I hope to do more things like this in the future at the Hard Rock Hideout!
This is a pretty good disc that sounds like a cross between Accept and AC/DC. This is a straight forward 80′s style hard rock disc.
Frontman Leon Goewie does a great job belting these tunes out, while Peter Bourbon dishes out the killer guitar hooks.
There are a bunch of excellent songs on this CD. The tracks start off with the title track, Back In the Ring. This rocking track is going to be in my playlist for a long time. No Mercy is exactly the kind of track that I am afraid to play while driving. This is a pedal to the medal, jamming rock track!
Plenty of chugging guitars and crashing drums can be found on Captain Moonlight, Holy Water. Bad Attitude is a head banging delight.
Just when you think a wimpy power ballad is on the way, Had Enough comes along and hits you upside the head with another loud rocker.
Now & Then is a fun party rock song with keyboards added in giving this song a sound similar to old of Autograph.
Cowboy Style may be the silliest songs I have heard in a while, but it comes across sounding like Party Rock. As silly as it may be, but this would go over well live. A few beers and the whole audience would sing around with this one. Who can deny the lyrics, “Shut the Fuck Up, Do it Cowboy Style“!
This disc ends in good fashion with a fun rocker, Rip It Off. This track has a hidden bonus track at the end of it.
80′s Hard Rock fans will love this CD. Back In the Ring is a fun disc, and is a blast to listen to. It makes this listener happy that there are some bands out there that still know how to rock out in 2007! Buy this disc!!
Rating:Out of 10
- Back In the Ring
- No Mercy
- Mind Over Matter
- Captain Moonlight
- Holy Water
- Bad Attitude
- Had Enuff
- Now & Then
- Cowboy Style
- Rip It Off
The Riot, Reckless Breed Remastered disc is like getting two discs in one. On this reissue, there are 6 tracks that originally appeared on the long out of print Riot Live EP.
This disc features the debut (1982) of the late, great Riot frontman Rhett Forrester. The cool thing about this remastered disc is not only do you get the studio tracks, but you get hear most of them performed live by Forrester. The live tracks really captures the energy of Riot.
As far as the studio tracks on Restless Breed, this disc was the beginning of a new sound for Riot. They were progressing towards a NWOBHM sound on this disc. Quite a few of the tracks sound in the vein of 70′s era Judas Priest musically. This is one of those killer hard rock discs from the early 80′s that often gets overlooked.
Loanshark is an explosive high tempo track that you will find the need to crank up the volume on.
Loved By You is a solid rock track. Showdown shows that Forrester can slow it down and still sound great.
There are some filler tracks on Restless Breed, but the addition of the live tracks have increased my rating over the original disc.
Rhett Forrester shows that he is one hell of a front man on this disc, and Mark Reale’s awesome playing shows that he is one very under rated guitar player.
This disc is essential for all of Rhett Forrester’s fans. Riot and Hard Rock fans in general ought to pick this up.
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the Video for Restless Breed Live!
- Hard Lovin’ Man
- Restless Breed
- When I Was Young
- Loved By You
- Over To You
- Dream Away
- Violent Crimes
- Hard Lovin’ Man Live
- Showdown Live
- Loved By You Live
- Loanshark Live
- Restless Breed Live
- Swords & Tequila Live
OZZY OSBOURNE: New Album Is In The Same League As ‘Blizzard Of Ozz’, ‘Diary Of A Madman’
Ozzy Osbourne has told Dan Epstein of Revolver magazine (web site) that he has finally found the perfect setting for making records: the newly soundproofed guest house behind his Beverly Hills mansion, which he’s outfitted with a mixing desk and a ProTools rig.
“When I made records before, I’d have to get up, get in a cab or car, go to the studio, and wait for everyone to turn up,” Osbourne explained. “If you’re already inspired before you leave for the studio, you’re fucked by the time you get there! But now I have the luxury of working in my own home. I can play the music on my own sound system, and I can lie down in my room and watch my flat-screen TV whenever I like.”
Unlike 2001′s slickly produced “Down to Earth”, the last album of original Ozzy material, the new disc promises to be a rawer and heavier affair. Recorded with the same band that backed Osbourne on his scattered 2006 Ozzfest dates — Zakk Wylde on guitar, Mike Bordin on drums, and former ROB ZOMBIE bassist Rob “Blasko” Nicholson — the album has no official producer, although longtime Mutt Lange protégé Kevin Churko is serving as the engineer.
“Kevin‘s working the machines and helping me with the songwriting,” said Osbourne. “He really knows what he’s doing with the ProTools, which is good because I can’t work the fucking thing. I can barely work a light switch!”
“We just went in and jammed out the riffs, just like how they made ‘Back in Black’ and all the SABBATH record,” said Wylde. “I don’t need Bob Rock there to tell me what to do, like that ‘Vagina Monologues’ band METALLICA. When you know where you’re going, you don’t need to ask for fucking directions! It sounds like classic Ozzy — there’s piano ballads, there’s an acoustic thing, and then there’s the heavy shit. From the beginning, Oz kept saying to me, ‘Zakk, we need another ‘No More Tears’ — we’ve gotta piss all over that fuckin’ record. This thing’s gotta be able to hang with ‘Diary of a Madman’!’”
“I always try to make a great album,” says Osbourne. “It’s not like I go in there and go, ‘You know what? I’ve had a great run — I’m gonna do a piece of shit for my next album!’ But to be perfectly truthful to you, ‘Down to Earth’ was just a filler album to me. It did well, and some people liked it, and I loved the ballad on it ['Dreamer']. But this album I put in the same league as ‘No More Tears’, ‘Blizzard of Ozz’, and ‘Diary’. It’s definitely my influence of SABBATH coming out, here and there. But then again, I would have liked to see SABBATH put out an album like this at this stage of the game.”
For more on Ozzy Osbourne‘s new solo album, pick up the March 2007 issue of Revolver magazine, set to hit newsstands this coming Monday, January 15. More information is available at www.revolvermag.com.
Former Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot singer Paul Shortino has a new CD coming out from his new band called The SideFX.
This band features Ira Black (Vicious Rumours) on guitar, Uriah Duffy (Whitesnake), and Patrick Johannson (Yngwie Malmsteen) on drums.
You can listen to a new track, Voice In Your Head, off their forthcoming disc here.
House of Lords are on tour with Bang Tango have dates scheduled in the following cities:
|Tue||01/16/07||Hartford, CT||Webster Theatre / Underground|
|Wed||01/17/07||Worcester, MA||Lucky Dog Music Hall|
|Fri||01/19/07||Newport, RI||Newport Blues Cafe|
|Sat||01/20/07||Springfield, VA||Jaxx, Springfield, VA|
|Sun||01/21/07||Farmingdale, NY||Crazy Donkey|
|Wed||01/24/07||Warren, MI||The Ritz|
|Sat||01/27/07||Sharonville, OH||Rhinos Live|
Frank Hannon from Tesla is opening for Winger in support of his solo CD, Guitarz from Mars.
Dates are scheduled as follows:
The Descent is the second major film directed by Neil Marshall. If Neil keeps directing films like this one, he will be on his way to Hollywood’s A-List.
The Descent features an unknown cast:
Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Jackson Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring, Nora-Jane Noone. Does that stop this from being a great film? Not at all.
The Descent is one of those movies that will make you jump (and does so quickly), and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The premise of the story is this: A bunch of female friends reunite for extreme adventures each year. The focus in the Descent is their spelunking trip into an unnamed, unmapped cave system. Without giving away too much. Lets just say that they find a lot more adventure(hehehe) than they bargained for.
This movie surprised me greatly. It has been a long time since a movie has made me jump. The Descent does this easily, and unexpectedly.
Horror Fans need to rent this one quick. It is very good!
Rating:Out of 5
Back in the late 90′s when most of the Big Hair bands went into hiding, and fans of the genre were struggling trying to find new music to listen to, one band from Germany, PC69, threw caution to the wind and released a killer Hair Metal CD, Electrified.
Sadly, this went largely unnoticed in the United States, as interest in this music just wasn’t there at the time.
Pink Cream 69 as they are known as in Germany consists of David Readman on vocals, Alfred Koffler on guitars, Dennis Ward on bass and Kosta Zafiriou on Drums.
Readman has a voice that sounds like a cross between Kip Winger and David Coverdale. Judging from this disc, Alfred Koffler is an amazing yet very under rated guitarist.
Electrified has several stand out tracks including Shame, Stranger In Time, Break the Silence, Electrified, Over the Fire and Burn Your Soul.
This album rocks hard until you get all the way to Rocket Ride, which is the album’s lone power ballad.
This disc is a nice little gem in my collection. When I play this disc for my friends who into the old hair metal scene, their initial reaction is usually, “Oh My God, Who is this band?!”
You can find most of the Pink Cream 69 releases on ITunes now. I have included some videos below so you can hear how good this band is for yourself!
Rating:Out of 10
Over the Fire
Stranger in Time
- Stranger In Time
- Break the Silence
- Over the Fire
- Losing My Faith
- Higher Kind of Love
- Burn Your Soul
- Rocket Ride
- Best For You
- Gone Again
I recently read some good things about the Lizards so I decided to check them out myself to see what they were like.
The Lizards features former Riot, and current Masterplan singer Mike DiMeo on vocals, and former Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult Drummer Bobbi Rondinelli.
I enjoyed Mike’s vocals on the last couple of Riot albums, but that didn’t prepare for me what I was about to hear on Against All Odds.
This disc is more like a 70′s classic rock disc than the progressive, power metal of Riot. The cool thing about this disc is, it sounds great but not too dated. This is a very polished and well produced disc. Mike DiMeo’s voice sounds better here than I have ever heard him anywhere else. He shows more style and range than he has on anything else I have heard him on. Rondinelli’s drums are heavy and very thick. I forgot how good of a sound he had behind the skins. Patrick Klein’s guitars have a sound not unlike Ritchie Blackmore. Randy Pratt has such a good bass grove combined with Rondinelli’s drums, you would think these guys have been playing together for decades.
I’m the One features an almost David Coverdale like vocal by DiMeo. Randy Pratt’s fat bass sound is mixed really well with DiMeo’s vocals.
Can’t Fool Myself is a 9 minute classic that ventures into Deep Purple like territory. This is a very up tempo track with some killer guitar work by Patrick Klein, and super fast bass licks by Randy Pratt. Words can not tell you how cool this track is.
On A Wire is a funky song that features a killer duet with Mike DiMeo and Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath).
Planck Time is an instrumental track that strangely enough has a Dave Matthews blues harp sound to it, with guitars by Klein that rock once more.
Ariel is a short instrumental track with DiMeo on the harpsichord and Klein’s howling guitars, with a brief vocal by DiMeo. This track leads into the next track My Dark Angel, seemlessly.
When I heard My Dark Angel the first time, I was pretty astounded. This is an amazing song that starts off slow and builds into this monster rock track with a heavy bass rhythm. DiMeo’s vocals here are amazing. He is approaching Jorn Lande territory in this song. Rondinelli’s drums sound so damn good here, and Randy Pratt is playing the bass like a demon possessed by the need to set the strings on fire. This is a killer track that you play again and again. Excellent!
Bad Luck Is Come To Town is a short and funky rock track. DiMeo shows the soulfulness of his voice here. This is another track where Rondinelli’s drums absolutely rock.
Revelation #9 features another duet with the howling vocals of Glenn Hughes and Mike DiMeo. This Piano driven track almost has a Beatlesque feel to it, before moving into a heavier guitar driven sound.
Take the Fall is another funky track that could easily have sounded at home on any Deep Purple disc. This track has the third duet with Hughes and DiMeo. This is lengthy rocker that clocks in just shy of 9 minutes. The middle of this track has a heavy jam session done The Lizards way.
Up The Stairs features the 4th and final duet between Glenn Hughes and Mike Dimeo. This song almost has a funky disco feel to it, with much heavier over tones. There are lots of horns and heavy guitars on this track, but this one does not work for me.
Eleven is a keyboard driven ballad, with a funky bass lick by Randy Pratt. This track is just OK to me.
The Arrival of Lyla finishes off Against All Odds with an upbeat track with Patrick Klein’s howling guitar licks.
From beginning to end, Against All Odds is a very well crafted disc. The sound is extremely deep on every track while, each track offers something sonically different. The Lizards pull this music off in a effortless Hard Rock flair that is sonically pleasing and leaves you wanting more. This is a new classic rock disc for the masses and is nothing short of a musical masterpiece. Not too many discs come across my player as good as this one.
Deep Purple fans and Classic Rock fans both need to pick this up! You can hear more of these tracks at the Lizard myspace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
- I’m No Good
- Can’t Fool Myself
- On A Wire
- Planck Time
- My Dark Angel
- Bad Luck Is Come to Town
- Revelation #9
- Take the Fall
- Up the Stairs
- The Arrival of Lyla
I hesitated picking up Winger – IV based on some other comments I have read regarding this disc. I have always like Kip Winger’s voice and Reb Beach’s guitars, so I figured I may as well give this a chance.
If you pick up IV thinking you are going to hear songs similar to Seventeen, and Madalaine, you will be greatly disappointed. This release is a more modern sounding rock record. The bubblegum pop metal goodness of past Winger releases is gone. This a more of a more melodic/AOR rock album.
This disc starts off with a heavy yet melodic track Right Up Ahead. I have listened to this track a few times and have grown to like it more. Blue Suede Shoes is an acoustic driven track with a great vocal by Kip. This is one of those songs that needs to grow on you. Four Leaf Clover is a more upbeat modern rock style track. I am not crazy about this song.
I expected a song with a name like M16 to blow me away. The rhythm to this track is unmistakably Winger. I have grown to like this track with time.
Your Great Escape is an upbeat rocker. Reb’s guitars shine on this track. This is my favorite track from this disc.
Disappear is an interesting track with a moody sounding keyboard synthesizer to start the track off with, but flows into a sound that is more reminiscent of, In the Heart of the Young Era Winger. I like this track alot.
On A Day Like Today is a low tempo number. Kip’s vocals sound good, but this is a track that doesn’t stick with you for very long.
Living Just to Die is a heavier up tempo number. This is another track that has grown on me quite a bit. Short Flight to Mexico continues on a heavy pace, and is another enjoyable track.
Generica is one of those tracks that grow on you with time. I didn’t like this track the first couple of times that I heard it, and have grown to like this one too.
Can’t Take it Back is a low to mid tempo number that sounds better LOUD!
You can hear some of the songs at Winger’s my space page at www.myspace.com/wingertheband.
I have updated my review as of 2/14/07. Hearing some of these songs live has changed my perspective completely. I don’t think my initial review was fair, so I made some updates.
Rating: Out of 10
- Right Up Ahead
- Blue Suede Shoes
- Four Leaf Clover
- Your Great Escape
- On A Day Like Today
- Living Just To Die
- Short Flight to Mexico
- Can’t Take it Back
Judging from the strength of The Erotics 4th release, Rock N Roll Killing Machine, they will be a band to watch in 2007.
This is a short release. 7 tracks, 1 cover tune, 1 song is a clean version of the same song (probably made for radio). This is a hard rock release that oozes punk, glam and sleaze, and just rocks the house. The Erotics remind me of early L.A. Guns and maybe a little bit of old Motley Crue. Their lead singer Mike Trash has a sound similar to Alice Cooper at times, but his delivery is much quicker paced giving the Erotics a totally unique sound.
The songs on RNRKM are all pretty solid. Rock N Roll Killing Machine is a great rocking track that has to translate well live. I Like It The Way That You Hate Me oozes sleaze, and is catchy enough to sing along with it. Drop the Bomb is another energetic track that I find myself playing over and over. Drink, Fight and Fuck is a great rock anthem, and is easily the best song on this disc. You will not get this song out of your head…..Ever!! Only A Fool shows that the Erotics can slow it down a little bit, and still sound great. I Wanna Be Somebody is a cover of the W.A.S.P. track. The Erotics make this version a fusion of Punk and Metal. I think I like their version better.
Rock N Roll Killing Machine is a tasty appetizer that will have you wanting more. The good news is the Erotics next disc, 30 Seconds Over You, is coming out in 2007.
You can grab this very reasonably at ITunes and at CDBaby. CDBaby has it set up so you can listen to all of the tracks here:Rock N Roll Killing Machine. You can also listen to some of their new tracks at their MySpace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
- Rock N Roll Killing Machine
- I Like It The Way That You Hate Me
- Drop the Bomb
- Drink, Fight and Fuck
- Only A Fool
- I Wanna Be Somebody
- Drink, Fight and F*ck (clean version)
Hi Guys and Girls,
Here is my Playlist for the Week Ending 1/13/07.
Winger – IV
The Answer – Rise (This is an amazing CD and group.)
Vicious Rumours – Warball
Kid Ego – Ignite the Tide
Army of Anyone – S/T
Dream Evil – United
Sweet F.A. – Stick To Your Guns
Its been a long time since there has been any new material by Leatherwolf. 1989 to be exact.
This lineup is missing original vocalist Mike Olivieri who decided to leave the band in 2000.
The vocals on World Asylum were filled by former Crimson Glory and Seven Witches singer, Wade Black. Drummer, Dean Roberts and Guitarist, Geoff Gayer are the lone holdouts from original Leatherwolf lineup. Rounding out this quintet are Riot bassist, Pete Perez and former Helstar guitarist, Eric Halpern.
There are a few quality metal tracks on World Asylum that are worth hearing. I Am the Law, King of the Ward, Behind the Gun. At this point in the record, the songs start sounding the same to me. It is solid well sung and well played Power Metal, but I keep looking for a track or two to grab me the way several tracks did on Dream Evil’s United release, and it never seems to happen.
I have given this disc multiple listens over the last 3 weeks, and each time I find that I have a hard time making it through the whole disc in the same sitting.
I liked the initial releases by Leatherwolf, but I just couldn’t get into this disc. Some hardcore metal fans may find this disc more enjoyable than I did. I would suggesting listening to some tracks first before picking this one up.
Singer Wade Black has left the band since this disc has come out, so maybe he didn’t get into it either.
Rating: Out of 10
- I Am the Law
- King of the Ward
- Behind the Gun
- Live or Die
- Dr. Wicked (Rx O.D.)
- The Grail
- Never Again
Quite possibly one of the best discs of 2005 is Lipservice, the 10th release by Swedish rockers Gotthard. Gotthard is well known in the UK and Europe, but continue to go unnoticed in the United States. It is really a shame, because a record this good should really be heard by the masses.
“Lipservice” has gone Double Platinum in Switzerland and continues to sell well everywhere but in the United States.
Gotthard has a sound that falls somewhere between Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, but”Lipservice” is a stronger release than either of those bands have put out in years.
Whether you want some rocking pop metal songs or some power ballads, “Lip Service” has it all.
“All We Are”, and “Dream On” start this disc off right by rocking. “Lift You Up”, should have been a massive hit here. “Everything I Want“, is an awesome Def Leppard like power ballad, and “Cupid’s Arrow” sounds a lot like a Whitesnake track musically.
“I’m Alive” is an excellent heavy track with a killer vocal by Steve Lee. “Stay For the Night” and “Anytime Anywhere” could have both been radio hits. Both tracks have a sound that is similar to House of Lords.
“Said and Done” is another quality rock track with excellent guitars of Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer.
“Nothing Left At All” is an acoustic guitar, piano based ballad that could have been another big hit.
There is a lot to like on Lip Service. This is a very upbeat and clean sounding record. It has a good mix of excellent vocals, and great sounding guitars, crafting one of the best Hard Rock/Melodic metal discs I have ever heard. Fans of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and the Scorpions are going to like this disc a lot. All other should at least give this a listen too.
Here are a couple of videos from Lip Service for you to check out!
Lift You Up
- All We Are
- Dream On
- Lift You Up
- Everything I Want
- Cupid’s Arrow
- I Wonder
- I’m Alive
- I’ve Seen An Angel Cry
- Stay For the Night
- Anytime Anywhere
- Said and Done
- The Other Side of Me
- Nothing Left At All
- And Then Goodbye
Steve Lee – vocals
Leo Leoni – guitars
Mandy Meyer – guitars
Marc Lynn – bass guitar
Hena Habegger – drums
DC4 is hard at work on their new CD EXPLODE. They have posted a new demo track called Long Hard Road to Lost. You can listen to it here.
Frontiers Records is very pleased to announce the release of two separate JORN records entitled “Unlocking The Past” and “The Gathering” on January 27th 2007.
The concept behind this dual release is to encounter the fans’ request for more material and to make some of Jorn’s earlier work more available.
“With “The Gathering”", Jorn says, “I’m removing dust from some of my earlier recordings because I believe some of these songs deserve a second chance in history”. “Some tracks have been rerecorded from scratch, simply because I felt they would sound better with new arrangements and approach” continues the Norwegian singer, adding “Others have been remixed and have this way been given a “face lift” due to the fact that the original recordings didn’t sound that great productionwise. All songs have been digitally mastered by my good friend Tommy Hansen and I hope that this album will please my old as well as my newer fans”.
“Unlocking the Past” includes some previously unreleased cover songs that were originally considered to be “leftovers” or additional bonus tracks for previous JORN albums. Many of them were never included on any official release. Some brand new covers were also recorded specifically for this release. Dust has been brushed from these recordings; the remix of “Burn”, “The day the earth caught fire” (which originally appeared on Jorn’s solo debut album “Starfire”), and the remastered version of “On and On” (which was supposed to appear on a Millennium covers album a few years back), complete the tracklisting of the album.
“I’m very excited about releasing these songs from the treasure chest” Jorn says and surely this is nothing less than a nice present for the numerous fans of one of the greatest Rock singers today.
The new Masterplan CD MII featuring former Riot singer Mike DiMeo, and ex-Axel Rudi Pell, and Artension drummer Mike Terrana will be released on February 23.
One of the many bands lost in the shuffle of the grunge movement of the early 90′s was Indianapolis natives Sweet F.A.
I had the pleasure of seeing these guys live a few times before they broke up, and they always put on a good show.
Stick To Your Guns is the debut disc by this 5 piece unit of Steven David DeLong on vocals, Jon “Lightning” Huffman and James Thunder on guitars, Jim Quick on bass and Tricki Lane on drums.
This band has a great sound, which is a cross of sleaze metal and a dash of southern rock. They seemed ripe to make it big back in the early 90s but they never seemed to get the marketing push they needed by MCA to get them over the hump. They had the look, the swagger, the sound to get them there, but MCA didn’t really know how to market Hard Rock artists very well, and their success was cut short, way too early.
There are some excellent tunes on this disc that still hold up pretty well today. Prince of the City is a great high energy track to start this disc off with. Nothin’ For Nothin’ is another sleazy rocker that reminds me of the Bullet Boys quite a bit. The beat and groove of Rhythm of Action is killer. Whiskey River is a powerful rocker in the vein of Skid Row. The acoustic power ballad Heart of Gold is easily as good as anything you heard from the more successful bands of the era (Warrant, Poison, Cinderella). This disc ends with the acoustic track Southern Comfort. This is a very cool song to end this disc with.
This is one of those CD’s that 80′s hard rock fans can break out at any time and still enjoy. Great vocals, and musicianship by the Sweet F.A. guys. This is one of those discs that is out of print and is becoming harder to find, so pick one of these up if you can get your hands on it!
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the video for Rhythm of Action:
- Prince of the City
- Nothin’ for Nothin’
- Rhythm of Action
- Do A Little Drivin’
- Daily Grind
- Stick To Your Guns
- Whiskey River
- I Love Women
- Breakin’ The Law
- Heart of Gold
- Devil’s Road
- Southern Comfort
Sweet F.A. is:
Steven David DeLong – vocals
Jon “Lightning” Huffman – guitars
James Thunder – guitars
Jim Quick – bass
Tricki Lane – drums