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
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)
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
I passed by the Dream Evil’s United disc in my local record shop several times over the last few weeks. Each time, the cover on this disc would catch my eye, but I haven’t ever heard a single track by this band in my life, so I wasn’t will to lay the bucks to check it out. My local store has a demo copy sitting out, and let me listen to the first couple of songs. This CD went home shortly thereafter. The real bonus is, I picked up one of the first pressings of this disc, that comes with a second CD, with 5 extra songs (at the same price).
What does Dream Evil sound like? If there was a 2nd New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Dream Evil would be one of the bands leading the pack. This is very much in the same vein as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, without sounding like either of those two bands. This isn’t power metal or progressive rock, this is heavy metal, the way it is supposed to be done!!
Lead Singer Niklas Isfeldt has the pipes to really belt out these tunes, and drive them home. At times he hits notes in the Rob Halford range, which is really cool to hear. Dream Evil has a fiery axe attack of Mark Black on lead, and Frederick Nordstrom on rhythm guitars. The heaviness of this guitar duo reminds me quite a bit of Accept, but the intensity of Peter Stalfors bass really gives this band a different sound. The commanding double bass drums of Pat Power tops off Dream Evil’s powerful yet melodic sound.
United is a very heavy disc, with no filler tracks. There are plenty of stand out tracks:
Fire! Battle! In Metal! is as good as metal anthems come. United, Evilution, Let Me Out, Higher on Fire and Back From the Dead are all impressive. When the band slows it down on Love is Blind, I was blown away. This is one killer heavy track that has to be heard to be appreciated.
Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the video and the 3 mp3′s below, and discover this awesome band for yourself. Fans of British Heavy Metal would be crazy not to pick this up! If I had heard this disc in 2006, it would have cracked my 2006 Heavy metal Top 5 list for sure.
Rating:Out of 10
Fire! Battle! In Metal!
Let Me Out
Back From the Dead
- Fire! Battle! In Metal!
- Blind Evil
- Let Me Out
- Higher On Fire
- Kingdom At War
- Love Is Blind
- Back From the Dead
- My Number One
- Calling Your Name
- Into the Unknown
- I Will Never
Very few bands in 2007 surprise me. One listen to a couple of tracks by The Answer, not only was I surprised, but my jaw dropped. This is the kind of CD that takes an unknown band and makes them superstars. Yes, its really that good!
The Answer is a 4 piece act hailing form Northern Ireland. This amazing band isn’t afraid to show their influences in their music. Name a 70′s rock act, and they have them listed as an influence.
Putting a finger on their music, and comparing them to another group really wouldn’t be fair, but I would say a cross between the Black Crows, and a heavy dose of (old) Aerosmith, and maybe a dash of AC/DC. I honestly don’t think the Black Crowes or Aerosmith have released a disc as strong as this one in a long time. This is a pure hard rock CD from beginning to end.
Usually, you will at least get some filler material with new rock acts, but this is a CD that is truly kick ass from beginning to end.
Singer Cormac Neeson, has a raspy Chris Robinson voice, with the melodic range of Robert Plant. The vocals are great here, but I have to give credit where credit is due. It isn’t just the vocals that make this music so great. The band backing up Neeson is pretty damn good too. Paul Mahon has some wicked skills on the guitar. Throughout Rise, the guitars are all amazing. You can hear hints of southern rock, blues and some slide guitar as well. The rhythm section of Michael Waters on Bass, and James Heatley on Drums would do most bands proud.
There are some definite stand out tracks on Rise. Under the Sky, Come Follow Me, Into the Gutter and Leavin’ Today are great songs that rock out.
Bottom line: If you want to hear a new band with a classic rock sound, that contains great vocals and music, you need to get this. You can hear some of their new songs at The Answer Myspace page. If you are looking to pick this up quickly, can you find on ITunes.
I have also included the video below:
Under the Sky
Come Follow Me
You can also see the new video for Never Too LateHere!
Rating:Out of 10
- Under the Sky
- Never Too Late
- Come Follow Me
- Be What You Want
- Memphis Water
- No Questions Asked
- Into the Gutter
- Sometimes Your Love
- Leavin’ Today
- Always On My Mind
Former Savatage vocalist Zak Stevens and company returns with their 3rd release, Burden of Truth.
This band seems to get better with each new disc, and Burden of Truth is no exception.
Burden of Truth features the hard driving guitar tandem of Andy Lee and Evan Christopher. The Savatage like keyboards are all but gone on Burden of truth. This is more of a heavy guitar driven album. The sound is much better than the bands sophomore effort, the Middle of Nowhere.
One listen to this disc, and you will realize quickly that you are hearing some absolute classic Metal songs.
Heal You is one of the best tracks that I have heard within the last year. Great Stuff!
The Black is a classic metal track that will go down as a band favorite for years to come.
The guitar shredding and double bass drumming on Messiah is very cool.
The title track, Burden of Truth, has to be heard to be appreciated. This is one of those well written and performed songs that people will break out their lighters (or cell phones with today’s concert goers) it they see this played live in concert.
Bottom line, this is an excellent Metal CD, and very worth picking up. Zac Stevens has a killer voice, and he lays down excellent vocals on every track on Burden of Truth. His voice alone, merits a purchase of this disc.
Those looking for a Savatage sound-a-like CD, may do better with the new Jon Oliva’s Pain release Maniacal Renderings.
Rating:Out of 10
- Who Am I To Be?
- A Matter of Time
- Heal You
- Your Reality
- The Black
- Burden of Truth
- Live As One
Desperado is the band that Dee Snider put together after Twisted Sister broke up back in 1988.
Elektra Records wanted a new disc, and strangely shelved this disc before it ever seen the light of day.
This was finally released under the moniker, Bloodied, But Unbowed in 1996. Poor sales sent this disc back to the closet it came out of. Luckily, Cleopatra Records released Ace in its original format as it was intended for release in 1990.
Desperado features the unmistakable vocals of Dee Snider, the guitars of former Ozzy guitarist Bernie Torme, Marc Russell (Widowmaker) and former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr. Three of these guys are well known musicians that could have propelled this disc on their own.
Why Elektra buried this is a mystery. It could have been the grunge movement (shudder) or the lack of a huge hit. Bernie Torme was quoted as saying “Well, it took years out of all our lives, though for me 99.9% was pure pleasure. It was a great album, great singer, great band, but unfortunately for us, a shit record company. Hey, its just my opinion. “
How good are the tunes here? Read on!
Immediately, one would think to compare this band to Twisted Sister, but Desperado sounds nothing like Twisted Sister at all. Sure, its Dee Snider singing, but that is where the comparison ends.
Desperado is a more strait forward hard rock offering than the hair metal releases of Twisted Sister. Quite a few of these songs have a western hard rock flair, that brings something new to the table. Dee Snider sings more often than he screams on this disc, and the sound and production is surprisingly good.
Ace starts off with Hang ‘Em High which has an Aerosmith kind of flair to it. Each time I listen to this track it gets a little better. Gone Bad is a quick head banging rocker with some excellent guitar work by Torme.
Run Wild Run Free (The Maverick) has a twinge of southern rock going for it. Snider puts down a great vocal here.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter clocks in at over 7 minutes in length. This is a low to mid tempo track that takes a few listens to appreciate. Torme’s guitar has a bluesy flair here, and really shines. This is one of those songs that you hear at first and you don’t really get into, but slowly creeps up on you and sucks you back in.
Calling For You is a mid tempo track that could have been a hit, if it was released back in the early 90′s when this disc was originally intended for release.
More amazing fretwork can be found by Torme in See You At Sunrise, another song that is a gem on Ace.
Something about parts of There’s No Angels Here sounds like a cross between a Poison and Van Halen song, but as a whole, it is a very good track.
Made for Trouble is a radio ready track that is in the vein of Tesla.
Probably the best track on the disc is Emaheeval (I’m I evil). This is a hard driving catchy rocker that is just an amazing song to close this disc with.
It is a shame that this disc didn’t see the light of day back in the earlier 90′s. It could have spawned 2 or 3 hits, and kept this band together for another release. This disc is a no brainer for Dee Snider fans. Hard Rock fans ought to give this a look!
Rating: Out of 10
- Hang ‘Em High
- Gone Bad
- Run Wild Run Free (The Maverick)
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
- Calling For You
- See You At Sunrise
- There’s No Angels Here
- Made For Trouble
- Ride Through the Storm
- Son of a Gun
Bang Tango returned with another solid rocking disc in 2006 with From The Hip.
The opening track It’s All Ok, is better than Ok. It is an upbeat jamming rocker that will get your blood pumping. This track sets the stage high for the rest of the up and coming tracks .
Ain’t Nothin’ Better sounds like a cross between AC/DC and Guns ‘N’ Roses, and keeps the pace going nicely. Go, Go, Go is another killer track that has more of that AC/DC feel to it.
Carry Me Up is a slower song that almost seems out of place after the punch and delivery of the first three tracks. Mother Mary on the other hand, has a pretty cool bass groove, and is a catchy song to boot.
Get Use To It fails to deliver and feels like filler to me. I’m the One is a punchy track oozing with sleaze and ventures into Faster Pussycat territory.
Simple is sonically pleasing and vocally revolting all at the same time. One More Spin reminds me of old school Bang Tango. It has a crunching bass lick that is infectious as hell.
Angel Devil finishes this disc with an acoustic number that sounds out of place here.
From the Hip rarely sounds like older Bang Tango material and may repel some fans of the band’s earlier work. Joe Lesté’s voice is one you will either love or hate. Many times throughout this disc, his voice sounds raspier than ever. On some songs it works, others it does not. The music on most of the tracks are top notch, and makes this worthy of a listen. While this disc may not be essential to your collection, I enjoyed it, and I am sure those of you with an open mind will too!
You can hear some of the new tracks at Bang Tango’s Myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
- It’s All Ok
- Ain’t Nothin’ Better
- Go, Go, Go
- Carry Me Up
- Mother Mary
- Get Use To It
- I’m the One
- One More Spin
- Angel Devil
Take one listen to Brother Firetribe’s False Metal and you will likely start to reminisce of a time when popular 80′s hard rock acts had catchy songs, with fun sing along choruses, and great keyboard/guitar driven rock.
Elements of this CD reminds me of Journey, Bon Jovi, Survivor, Diving for Pears, and Blue Tears. On False Metal, you will find the excellent vocals of Pekka Ansio Heino, the Neal Schon like guitars of Emppu Vuorinen, and the melodic Van Halenish keyboards of Tomppa Nikulainen.
The first track Break Out is a hard Journeyesque melodic track that screams radio hit. Valerie sounds like it could have been at home on any Survivor disc. I’m On Fire has that big AOR sound of Blue Tears. Love Goes Down is another track that has radio potential. Devil’s Daughter could have been a much bigger track if the guitar sound was beefed up a little bit. The keyboards are way too over powering on this track.
Midnight Queen and One Single Breath could be potential hits as well. Lover Tonight is a little heavier number. This is a pretty good song. Spanish Eyes is a nice melodic track, but it is a bit boring to me.
Kill City Kid is the heaviest track on this disc. This song treads down the Survivor road again. It is one better tracks on False Metal, and is a good way to close out this disc.
Brother Firetribe is the most AOR friendly rock I have ever reviewed at the Hard Rock Hideout. This is very upbeat, happy music. Whether you will enjoy this or not truly depends for your tastes in AOR keyboard driven rock. Fans of bands like Journey and Survivor will eat this up.
Here is a video I found from the False Metal CD. This will give a taste of the Brother Firetribe sound.
One Single Breath Video
Rating: Out of 10
- Break Out
- I’m on Fire
- Love Goes Down
- Devil’s Daughter
- Midnight Queen
- One Single Breath
- Lover Tonight
- Spanish Eyes
- Kill City Kid
Big Cock features former Lynch Mob, and Cry of Love vocalist Robert Mason, and former King Kobra guitarist Dave Henzerling a.k.a. David Michael-Philips.
Sonically, this music reminds me of a cross between Lynch Mob and Mr. Big, with a dash of sleaze thrown in for good measure.
There are quite a few catchy numbers on this somewhat short disc. 12 songs and a 25 second filler track to close this disc for a total run time of under 36 minutes.
Bad Motherfucker is immediately infectious and will set your hopes high for the rest of the disc. I Want It All has a very Lynch Mob feel to it. I like this track a lot.
Cinnamon grates on my nerves every time I hear it. I do not like the lyrics at all. I usually skip to King of Cool which is a (no pun intended) a very cool track.
Carrie’s In Love slows it down, and sound a lot like a Mr.Big track. I never cared for that band much, but I do like this track pretty well.
Mean Street Machine kicks it into gear. This is a great track.
I had to look at the credits to see if George Lynch was playing on Take It Off. The layered guitars on this song sound exactly like an older Lynch Mob track.
Dynamite rocks pretty heavy, but lyrically could have been a little better.
My first reaction when hearing Hard To Swallow was wtf is this crap. It sounds like a fusion of 50′s music, and Mr. Big. I still skip this track.
Thank God, Old No. 7 didn’t follow the pattern of the last track. It is a pretty good song, but no where near as good as You Suck the Love Out of Me. Some of the vocals remind me of Axl Rose’s growliness on a old G N R track.
Year of the Cock closes this disc with a mid tempo rock song. It is an ok song, but certainly not classic.
As a whole, this is a pretty decent debut effort from these hard rock veterans.
Both Big Cock discs are getting released to wider distribution in January, so you should be able to find these in more retailers soon.
- Bad Motherfucker
- I Want It All
- King of Cool
- Carrie’s In Love
- Mean Street Machine
- Take It Off
- Hard To Swallow
- Old No. 7
- You Suck the Love out of Me
- Year of the Cock
- Thank You, Good Night
It has been a long time since I have heard any new material from former MSG lead singer, Robin McAuley. I enjoyed the MSG albums he sang on, so I was kind of excited about this release.
The first thing I noticed is how short this CD is. Only 8 tracks, under 35 minutes in length.
Luckily, this CD does out perform quite a few other 2006 releases with more tracks.
There are quite a few solid tracks. Movin On sounds like a very heavy MSG track, and is the best track by far. Let’s Dance and Gonna Get It are both pretty good as well. Gonna Get it has very Schenker like guitars on it. Let’s Dance cranks the tempo up with driving guitars and drums to match. This is a fun track.
Victoria also sounds like that a track that could have been left off of an MSG album. This is 80′s pop/metal that is as good as it gets. I love the guitars on Promise, and We Belong.
Won’t Let It Go is my least favorite track here. I don’t know if it is McAuley’s vocals or the lyrics that do not work for me here, but I just couldn’t get into this song.
Freedom is another decent track that sounds like it could have been at home in the late 80′s.
Sadly, Robin McAuley has left Demon Angels to go sing for Survivor. I am sure its a higher paying gig, but he left a potential band on the rise. Its a shame based on this hard rocking release. This band has loads of potential. I can only hope that Demon Angels can find a new singer as talented as McAuley and put out a follow up release to this excellent hard rocking disc.
Here is the lone video from Time of Confusion:
Rating:Out of 10
- Gonna Get It
- Movin’ On
- Let’s Dance
- We Be Long
- Won’t Let It Go
I think most hard rock fans are going to find something to like about Gillan’s Inn. This is a great guitar rock album, and Ian Gillan sounds like he just started singing for Deep Purple yesterday. The production quality on this disc is nothing short of superb!
Unchain Your Brain , Hang Me Out to Dry and Speed King features the lightning quick Joe Satriani on Guitars. Simply Amazing!!
When A Blind Man Cries features Jeff Healey on guitars. This guy may be blind, but he is one hell of a guitar player! GREAT STUFF!
Sugar Plum has this guitar riff that is just infectious. Trashed features the heavy guitar of Tony Iommi.
Smoke on the Water…sure you have heard it a thousand times, but this one includes Steve Morse on guitars and the Violin of Sim Jones. You have to hear it to appreciate how good this sounds.
Men of War and Loving On Borrowed time also features the excellent guitar work of Steve Morse.
The Bonus track I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight with Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott to me is the weakest track on the disc.
As whole, every song is well produced and sounds great. The Dual Disc CD features a DVD side with the making of this disc. There are some cool videos and some bootleg Deep Purple material on here. The DVD also includes the whole album in 5.1 surround sound and stereo.
If you are a fan of Deep Purple, Ian Gillan or hard rock in general, you need to get this!
Rating:Out of 10
- Unchain Your Brain
- Bluesy Blue Sea
- Day Late and a Dollar Short
- Hang Me Out to Dry
- Men of War
- When A Blind Man Cries
- Sugar Plum
- No Worries
- Demon’s Eye
- Smoke on the Water
- No Laughing In Heaven
- Speed King
- Loving on Borrowed Time
- I’ll Be your Baby Tonight (Bonus Track)
I only discovered Huntington, West Virginia’s Hydrogyn yesterday. After reading that Michael Wagener produced this disc, I knew that I had to get this in my CD player quickly. Michael Wagener has produced more platinum acts than I can remember including Motley Crue, Skid Row, Metallica, Ozzy, Poison and the list goes on and on. He thinks Hydrogyn is going to be huge.
Judging from the first two tracks, he may be right.
Lead Singer Julie has a delivery that is similar to Pat Benatar, however I think she sings at a lower octave than Pat. The songs on “Bombshell” are mostly hard hock and maybe a touch of heavy metal at times.
Vespers Song starts the pace off right, and Blind is a kick ass rock song. Breaking Me Down reminds me a whole lot of Evanescense, except its a bit heavier with better guitar work. I’ve Been Waiting was on OK track. Confession is a pretty good song.
Look Away S.P. is heavier song, and is another great track.
Love Spoke reminds me of a country song with more heavier guitars. I didn’t care for this track.
Depending on which version of Bombshell you picking up, track 8 will be either a cover of AC/DC’s Back in Black, or Skid Row’s 18 and Life. My copy has Back in Black, and is a faithful cover of the original. I had to buy the 18 and Life cover from Hydrogyn’s website after hearing it on their myspace page. Both tracks are great!
The Sand is another cool track similar to Evanescense metallic style, but once again, it has a heavier feel to it.
Whisper slows it down acoustically, but picks up the pace about midway through. For some reason, this song also strikes me as a country song with heavier guitars in parts. I don’t really care for this track.
Circle picks it back up again mid tempo. I didn’t like this one very much either.
Book of Names is another good heavy track.
Come Back To Me goes back in the acoustic direction. This isn’t my cup of tea. Skip.
Mutilated Mind ends this disc with another heavy rock song. I don’t know what they did when they mixed the vocals on this track, but it has this multi layered sound about it, that I didn’t really care for. The song isn’t too bad though. It was good to hear this disc end on an upbeat note.
Similar to Doro’s – Warrior Soul there are really 5 or 6 stand out tracks here. The rest aren’t enough to keep me excited. Hydrogyn is one of those bands that could break out and be huge, if the writing was just a little more solid. It is a decent debut effort from a state that is not known to be a hotbed for Hard Rock Music.
I don’t think the ultra hot Julie will be unseating Doro Pesch anytime soon, but maybe we can have a hard rock and a metal queen.
The videos below will give you a taste of Hydrogyn.
- Vespers Song
- Breaking Me Down
- I’ve Been Waiting
- Look Away S.P.
- Love Spoke
- Back In Black
- The Sand
- Book of Names
- Come Back To Me
- Mutilated Mind
I must admit that Doro fell off my musical radar since her days in Warlock. Why that is, I don’t really know. The cover of this disc really caught my attention, so I had to give this a chance.
I am glad I did. This sounds just like the Warlock songs I used to remember back in the late 80′s.
Doro shows why she will continue by the reigning Metal queen for quite some time. I don’t think too many metal fans will have a hard time liking the majority of this disc.
You’re My Family starts the pace off right with a heavy rocking number. Haunted Heart sounds like it could have been on Judas Priest’s Angel of Retribution disc. Strangers Yesterday is an OK track.
Thunderspell kind of sounds like a heavy Pat Benatar song. I love this track. Warrior Soul is a low tempo almost haunting number. I didn’t really care for this song too much. Creep In My Brain is another very cool track.
At this point I start losing interest in the rest of the songs. The tempo slows down, on Above the Ashes and I think Doro’s voice works best on the faster numbers. My Majesty is an more upbeat rocker, and is a better song, but its not one of my favorites here.
There are also a couple of songs that are in German(In Liebe Und Freundschaft and Ungebrochen. They sound nice, but the only German words I understand is Farfegnuugen, weinerschnitzel and bier.
Shine on was just an average song to me, and not a very memorable way to end this disc.
There are certainly some moments of greatness on Warrior Soul, but the disc seems to fall off about midway through. It may not be the best disc you will buy all year, but it definitely wont be the worst.
Rating: Out of 10
- You’re My Family
- Haunted Heart
- Strangers Yesterday
- Warrior Soul
- Heaven I See
- Creep Into My Brain
- Above the Ashes
- My Majesty
- In Liebe Und Freundschaft
- Shine On
Wow…this is a pretty tough CD to review. Fans of late 80′s and early 90′s Europe may find this release a little shocking.
Secret Society has a similar sound to Start From the Dark. There are a few modern rock almost Nu-metal sounding songs.
A couple of times, I had to check the credits to see if Joey Tempest was singing. His powerhouse vocals were so toned down, it didn’t sound like the same singer. At times he sings, what seems like, an octave lower than normal.
Personally, I think Joey is one of the the best singers out there. Why would they want to mess with his voice? It is a powerful instrument that they seemed to tone down this time around.
So how are the songs? If you can get past the initial shock of an almost 180 in sound from the late 80′s and 90′s version of Europe, you might actually like this. I am actually liking it more with each listen. John Norum plays like a madman on this disc. I always new he was a good guitarist, but he picked it up big time on Secret Society.
Here is a breakdown of the tracks:
Secret Society is the first track that may make you say….wtf?! Toned down vocals but excellent guitar work. It doesn’t sound like the Europe I was most familiar with, but its a good song. Norum starts slinging his axe around quickly and sets the tempo for this record.
Joey Tempest starts to sound like himself more on Always the Pretenders. This song still has the modern rock, heavy bass feel to it. It is a pretty good track. I could see this as being a hit in the United States, if they ever would play real rock on the radio.
The Getaway Plan is a more of the modern rock, heavy bass again. This song nearly ventures into the Soundgarden territory, then jumps back out of it again, as soon as Norum starts playing. It is my least favorite track so far, but it isn’t a bad song by any means.
The pace slows down with Wish I Could Believe. This song is really growing on me. This is a well written song. Tempest and Norum both sound great.
Let the Children Play is an interesting track that almost ventures into the Nu Metal area. This is another well written and Tempest sounds pretty decent here. The song finishes with kids singing the Chorus with Tempest. It sounds better than I can describe it. You have to listen to this song to understand it.
Human After All is another mid tempo modern rocker. There is plenty of noodling by Norum here. At this point, this song is starting to sound too much like some of the others on the disc. It isn’t a stand out track to me by any means.
Ah yes………Love is Not the Enemy picks up the tempo. I really like the groove to this song. This is a great track!
A Mother’s Son starts with some piano playing, and ventures into a low tempo modern rock song. This isn’t my cup of tea, but I can see that some people may like this track. It isn’t a bad song, but it is one that I will probably skip while playing this disc.
Forever Travelling is another mid tempo song. It is just an ok track.
Brave and Beautiful Soul almost comes across sounding like a U2 track. I like U2, but I am not sure if I like Europe sounding like U2. Another track that I am not crazy about.
I was hoping that Europe would close this disc with a powerful and high tempo rocker. Devil Sings the Blues is that same mid tempo modern rock formula that the rest of the songs on this disc have. Once again, it isn’t a bad track, but it isn’t great either.
If you are looking for the Final Countdown 2006 style, you aren’t going to hear it on this record. If you can listen to Secret Society with an open mind, you may enjoy it. This is one of those CD that is pretty good through the first half and kind falls off about midway through the disc. Nonetheless, it is another solid effort from Europe.
Rating:Out of 10
- Secret Society
- Always the Pretenders
- The Getaway Plan
- Wish I could Believe
- Let the Children Play
- Human After All
- Love is not the Enemy
- Mother’s Son
- Forever Travelling
- Brave and Beautiful Soul
- Devil Sings the Blues
This video will give you a minor taste of the Europe 2006 sound.
The Carmine Appice Project is a CD that I absolutely had to hear.
All of the songs on this disc are written by Kelly Keeling and Carmen Appice with Tony Franklin on Bass, Appice on Drums and Keeling on vocals. All 3 are former members of Blue Murder. I hold that band in high regard. As you can probably tell by the front cover, each song has a different guitarist.
There is a stupid amount of talent on this CD. How do the songs stack up? Let me continue……….This CD isn’t what I expected at all. A few of the songs sound like well orchestrated Jam Sessions. It may appeal to some people, but I think I prefer a more concise musical effort but a solid 4 or 5 piece outfit. The mixing on the CD is horrible. Tony Franklin’s bass overpowers the rest of the music on just about every song. I am not impressed with the song writing either.
Days are Nights with Ted Nugent comes across as one of those Jam Sessions. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either.
Nobody Knew with Brian May was kind of boring to me.
Stash with Stevie Salas was just noise to me everytime I tried to listen to it. I skip this track every time now.
Where You Belong is a piano based number with Slash. I did not care for this song, I thought this was a poor use of Slash’s talent.
4 Miles High with Steve Morse has a good groove to it, but I did not care for the vocals on this song.
Gonna Rain with Richie Sambora is an almost Modern Rock song. There is a pretty good solo by Richie but as a whole this song is filler. I did not like this song.
This Time Around features Yngvie Malmsteen and Doug Pinnick. Awesome fretwork by Malmsteen, but this is just an odd combination. Pinnick’s vocals do not go with Yngvie’s high speed noodling.
Killing Time with Ty Tabor. More Filler. Skip!
Doin Fine with Vivian Campbell. This is a slower paced number. Did Vivian show up for this track? I can hear Tony Franklin. Oh wait….there he is….he showed up midway in this track. Did he phone this in?…..more crap!
Under the Moon and Sun with Edwar Winter on vocals and Mick Mars on Guitar. Edgar shines vocally on this track. Mick sounds pretty decent to. This is the best song on this CD.
Code 19 with Zakk Wylde. Zakk sounds great but this is a poor song.
Out of Mind with Neil Schon. Neil’s time is better spent in Journey, or Soul Sirkus, or cutting the grass (in the desert). Yawn!
Do You Think I’m Sexy with Pat Travers. Yes, its the Rod Stewart song with Carmen Appice on vocals. Oh my god, just when I thought this CD was bad, it gets worse. This is total crap.
G Z Blues is a bluesy number with Seymour Duncan and Steven Seagal (how the heck did he get on there?). This is pure instrumental and after the aforementioned tracks above, it was rather pleasing.
It has been a long time since a CD has actually pissed me off. This one has!. I doubt I will give this another listen. If you feel the need to buy this, I will sell you my copy!
Rating: Out of 10
Thank you James Christian for returning House of Lords to its classic sound!
You can almost tell from the CD cover and the majestic intro Mask of Eternity, what kind of record you are going to get with World Upside Down.
Still after the lackluster effort Power and the Myth I was a little leery of what I would hear. It didn’t take long to put my fears aside.
This record takes the bull by the horns. There are powerful vocals by James Christian, Great guitars by House of Lords newcomer Jimi Bell. The rhythm section of B.J. Zampa and Jeff Kent are excellent as well.
There are a lot of songs to like on World Upside Down, with my favorites being These Are the Times, I am Free, Rock Bottom, Your Eyes, and My Generation.
If you are an old House of Lords fan, or a fan of melodic hard rock in the vein of Journey, this is a CD that you must own! This is one of the best Melodic Hard Rock records of 2006. Great Stuff!
Rating: Out of 10
- Mask of Eternity
- These Are the Times
- All the Way to Heaven
- Field of Shattered Dreams
- I Am Free
- All The Pieces Falling
- Rock Bottom
- Million Miles
- Your Eyes
- Ghost of Time
- My Generation
- World Upside Down
House of Lords is:
James Christian – Vocals
Jimi Bell – Lead Guitar
BJ Zampa – Drums
Jeff Kent – Bass, Keyboards and Background Vocals
I heard “Crazy Bitch” on the Boneyard (XM Radio 41) several months ago before this CD was released in the United States. To me, “Crazy Bitch” is the catchiest song I have heard in years. I finally decided to give this CD a chance to see how the rest of the material stacks up.
Is Buckcherry a one hit wonder? Read On.
Let me start by saying, “WOW, THIS IS A GREAT CD“!!!
This has to be the easiest thing I have ever reviewed on my blog! I like just about every song on the CD. That is rarity for sure.
There are plenty of good rockers on this album. “Out of Line”, “Onset”, “Sunshine”, and the kickass, nasty rockers, “Crazy Bitch” and “So Far”. It doesn’t end there though, the Rockabilly flavored “Next To You”, the Bluesy “Brooklyn”, and the AC/DC styled tune “Broken Glass”. “Everything” screams hit, and ought to be the next single.”Sorry” is one of the better ballads I have heard in a while.
The only song that I didn’t care for much is the country twinged “Carousel”, and even it isn’t that horrible.
This CD is so good, I went searching for the videos so you could have a taste of what this CD sounds like.
“Next To You”
“Crazy Bitch” [ PG Version]
If you like these songs, you will likely the rest on this Disc! This is one of the best hard rock CD’s in 2006. Highly recommended!
- So Far
- Next 2 You
- Out of Line
- Crazy Bitch
- Broken Glass
Josh Todd – lead vocals
Keith Nelson – guitar
Stevie D. – guitar
Xavier Muriel – drums, percussion
Jimmy Ashhurst – bass guitar
This release snuck by me, and probably quite a few other people too.
I paid a visit to Sebastian Bach’s myspace page after watching that Supergroup show he was in, on MTV, and found out about this one.
This is Sebastian Bach singing vocals for a Progressive Metal group.
Apparently, this is a concept album, ala Operation Mindcrime, but I haven’t dug into far enough to find out what the actual story is.
Amazingly, this is the best that Sebastian has sounded since the Skid Row CD – Slave to the Grind. This gives me hope that some new Skid Row sounding material could be on the horizon, if Bas ever gets around to doing it. This CD sounds nothing like Skid Row however.
This is Progressive Metal and will likely appeal more to fans of Dream Theater, Spock’s Beard, Vanden Plas, and Angra than it will Skid Row.
I don’t think the average listener is going to get into this on the first listen. This is one of those CD’s that take a couple of listens to grab you and pull you in.
After a few listens, there a certainly some stand out tracks:
Human Grain is probably the easiest listen. Just One More, and Miseducation are halfway decent prog rockers. Push the Button is growing on me. How Long Can I Resist is pretty good.
With this being a concept album, some of the songs get a bit too long, clocking in at over 9 minutes in length. As a whole, I find it hard to listen to the whole CD in one sitting, the initial three tracks are good, but then the pacing starts to slow down and it looses my attention. There are enough decent tracks on here worth giving this a spin or two.
This is definitely a CD for the Progressive Metal fans out there. Sebastian Bach fans may enjoy this too.
Rating :Out of 10
- Human Grain
- Just One More
- I Killed You
- This is Gonna to Hurt
- Push the Button
- In an Empty Room
- How Long Can I Resist
- When I Look Into My Eyes
- What Kind of Animal
It is hard for me to review a CD like this, as I am clearly not a fan of bands who follow the corporate main stream rock formula, especially in the Nu-Metal category.
At first listen, I was thinking awww man, not another Nu-metal group. Haven’t we had enough of Linkin Park? That may be an unfair comparison, as I think Godhead may be better than that.
I have not ever heard any music by Godhead before, so I do not have a frame of reference to know how this stands up to their past material. I did realize a few things after a repeated listen.
Vocalist Jason Miller has a strong voice. The music does not overpower his voice. Occasionally, you can hear an actual undistorted guitar playing, but its not often enough for my tastes. There are some cool drum beats on a couple of tracks.
My biggest problem with Godhead is after a listen or two, every song ends up sounding roughly the same. It is that same Industrial sounding guitar/bass combination that every mainstream band in the 90′s have used. It is overdone, and a bit boring to me now.
I can see where this CD would appeal to the younger generation of metal heads who grew up listening to this distortion rock. They may even think this is a great CD.
Personally, I prefer some hard rock with a little more teeth and a lot more guitar playing.
Hopefully, this band will evolve into something better than this. Jason Miller’s voice is too good to waste away behind music like this.
- Trapped In Your Lies
- Hey You
- Fall Down
- Another Day
- Once Before
- Through the Cracks
- Your End of Days
- Inside Your World
Out of all singers I have discovered on TV, Bo Bice is the best of them all, hands down.
He has the best voice, and to me is still the best new talent to come off the TV screen.
Does the Real Thing reflect this? Yes and no. First off, RCA forced Bo to do songs in this Pop/Rock style.
Bo Bice would be better suited for a Skynyrd style rock album than a bunch of pop tunes. The amazing thing is, on The Real Thing it works, it just isn’t what you would expect from a southern rocker like Bice.
So The Real Thing is mainly a collection of Pop Rock tunes. There are no bad song on this disc, but some are certainly better than others. Personally, I think the title track, The Real Thing is kind of lame. RCA released this as a single, along with a lame video. What the hell were they thinking. Its not even close to being, one of the better songs on the disc.
You’re Everything was written by Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger. I like this track a lot.
The Jon Bon Jovi/Richie Sambora track Nothing Without You is also pretty good.
Lie…It’s Alright has a pretty good groove and is kind of cool.
Valley of Angels, Whiskey Women and Time, Cinnamon and Novocaine are Bice penned tracks, and shows off his writing skills. All 3 are great tracks, and show what kind of CD Bo would have made, if not overpower by RCA’s strong-arm. Sadly, 2 of these are only available on the DVD side of The Real Thing Dual Disc CD/DVD, so most people never got the chance to hear these.
Even though I would not consider this music hard rock by any means, I like this CD. There isn’t a track on this CD, where the music overpowers Bo’s voice, and that says what kind of talent Bo Bice really is. I can only hope that CD #2 will be more in the Southern/hard rock vain I would expect.
Rating: out of 10
- The Real Thing
- You’re Everything
- U Make Me Better
- Nothing Without You
- My World
- Remember Me
- Hold On To Me
- Lie…It’s Alright
- It’s My Life
- Willing To Try
- Valley of Angels
- Whiskey, Women and Time (Dual Disc only)
- Sinner in a Sin (Dual Disc only)
- Cinnamon and Novocaine (Dual Disc only)
Chris Daughtry was my hands down pick to win the last season of American Idol. Obviously, he didn’t win, but RCA was quick to sign him to a record deal.
Does this CD live up to my expectations? Yes and no.
Chris is a decent singer, with a good voice, but some of the tracks on this CD sound so very familiar to me.
2 or 3 of these tracks could easily have been on a Nickleback CD.
There are, however a couple of stand out heavy tracks (What I Want featuring Slash, and There and Back Again). I like these tracks pretty well. I also like the guitars on It’s Not Over.
My biggest problem with this CD is, there are no songs that stick in my head and can’t wait to hear again. None of the songs are particularly bad. Most of them are above average but they are not very memorable.
A couple of tracks bother me. The song Breakdown was originally recorded by Chris’ band Absent Element, and to me, their version of this track was far better. The version on this CD is too over produced.
Zac Maloy from the Nixons’ song, Used to was also used. I think his version may have also been a tad bit better.
Even though I am not impressed by all of the tracks on this CD, quite a few are radio ready, and if all goes well, Chris could have a couple of hits on his hands.
I do not think that this CD is going to appeal to the rockers that prefer their music on the harder side. If the Nickleback fans out there give this a chance, it may sell well.
Definitely listen to this before you buy it.
Rating: out of 10
- It’s Not Over
- Used To
- Over You
- Feels Like Tonight
- What I Want (Featuring Slash)
- There and Back Again
- All These Lives
- What About Now
How does Zakk Wylde do it? Each year he chugs out another quality CD.
Shot to Hell is no exception in the quality dept.
This CD sounds like it could be Mafia part 2 in many cases, with the exception that it has more slower tracks than its predecessor. Aside from that, Zakk’s vocals and guitar style is virtually unchanged, and that is a good thing. I guess if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. The BLS formula seems to work.
Several quality tracks and a only a 2 or 3 that I would consider fillers. If you liked Mafia, chances are you will enjoy Shot to Hell as well. Fans needing a heavy yet melodic hard rock CD should give this one a look. For Black Label Society fans, its a no brainer, pick this up!
- Concrete Jungle*
- Black Mass Reverends*
- Blacked Out World
- The Last Goodbye*
- Give Yourself to Me
- Nothing is the Same
- Hell is High
- New Religion*
- Sick of it All
- Faith is Blind
- Blood is Thicker that Water*
- Devil’s Dime
- Lead Me to Your Door
Black Label Society is:
Zakk Wylde – Vocals, Lead Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, Piano, Keyboards
John DeServio – Bass Guitars
Craig Nunenmacher – Drums
Nick Catanese – Rhythm Guitars
I find myself gravitating towards this CD more often lately, so I thought I would give my 2 cents on it.
Zakk Wylde’s voice used to annoy the crap out of me, and thanks to my mp3 player, I have grown to like it after a few spins.
Listening to Mafia, the Black Sabbath and Ozzy influences run rapid throughout the CD. Not only does Zakk approach his vocals in a similar method to Ozzy, sometimes his guitars seem to have that dark, Iommi/Black Sabbath approach.
Even when Zakk slows it down, he crafts some great songs. Mafia has quite a few stand out tracks! Fire It Up, Suicide Messiah, In this River (written for Zakk’s buddy Dimebag Darrell) are my personal favorites. There are quite a few decent tracks on Mafia worth spinning this disc for.
It may take a couple of listens to really get into this CD, but I believe this is one of the top Metal releases of 2005.
Rating:Out of 10
- Fire it Up*
- What’s in You
- Suicide Messiah*
- Forever Down*
- In This River*
- You Must Be Blind
- Death March
- Dr. Octavia
- Say What you Will
- Too Tough to Die
- Electric HellFire*
- Spread Your Wings
- Been A Long Time*
- Dirt On the Grave*
- I Never Dreamed
Black Label Society is:
James LoMenzo – Bass, Vocals
Craig Nunenmacher – Drums, Shaker
Zakk Wylde – Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Vocals
Black Stone Cherry is quite simply at the top of my list for best new band in 2006. I discovered these guys only because I saw they were opening for Black Label Society. I found their website, listened to two songs and went out and bought the CD immediately.
The only way I can describe these Kentucky rockers is a cross between Skynyrd and Metallica. They are definitely harder and faster than Skynyrd for those that are wondering.
There are so many great tracks on this CD, I don’t even know where to begin.
My favorites change from day to day, but currently, they are Lonely Train, Violator Girl and Hell or High Water.
This is head banging, heavy southern rock! This CD is so damn good, you need to sign off the net now and get to your local CD shop and pick this up!
Rating: Out of 10
- Rain Wizard
- Backwoods Gold*
- Lonely Train*
- Maybe Someday*
- When the Weight Comes Down*
- Crosstown Woman
- Shooting Star
- Hell and High Water
- Shapes of Things
- Violator Girl*
- Tired of the Rain
- Rollin On
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chris Robertson – (vocals/guitar)
Ben Wells – (guitar/vocals)
Jon Lawhon – (bass/vocals)
John Fred Young – (drums/vocals)