Typically, I don’t like cover discs, and I usually I like tribute CD’s even less. In most cases songs are often watered down, and rarely live up the originals. For this reason, I missed “Welcome To the Nightmare – An All Star Salute To Alice Cooper” when it was released back in 2005. As luck has it, I stumbled across this lost gem by accident, which I heard the Vince Neil and Mick Mars cover of “Cold Ethyl”. After hearing this song, I had to see this CD out. Man oh mercy, am I glad I did!
To say that this CD has an All Star cast is probably the understatement of the year. The sheer amount of talent on this CD is absolutely insane. On vocals you will find Ronnie James Dio, Bruce Dickinson, Phil Lewis, Dee Snider, Joe Elliott, Roger Daltrey, Vince Neil, Don Dokken, Dave Mustaine, and Glen Hughes. On guitar you will find, Marty Friedman, George Lynch, Mick Mars, John Norum, Zakk Wylde, Phil Collen, Adrian Smith, Slash, Paul Gilbert and Billy Duffy. Iced Earth, and Icarus Witch also complement this roster with their full band versions of the Alice Cooper classics. Amazingly, this is only a portion of the incredible talent on this disc.
What does all of this talent add up to? One cool cover CD, with some great songs that possibly one up, the iconic shock rocker they are meant to be a tribute to. The Vince Neil/Mick Mars version of “Cold Ethyl”, could easily work as a Motley Crue cover. This kick ass tune is far from the lone highlight on the CD though.
Dio howls on “Welcome to My Nightmare”, Phil Lewis and George Lynch knocks “Billion Dollar Babies” out of the park. The Joe Elliott/Phil Collen version of “Under My Wheels” could have easily been on the Def Leppard cover CD, “Yeah!”. It is better than some of the songs they released on that disc. The Icarus Witch version of “Roses on White Lace” was far better than I expected it to be. The only major disappoint to me on this disc, was Children of Bodom’s version of “Bed of Nails” that I found a little too screechy for my tastes.
As a whole, this CD rocks and I keep hitting replay, which is the sign of a great CD! “Welcome To the Nightmare” has give me all new respect for these Alice Cooper classics.
All of this great music was cool enough, but as a bonus, my copy came in a really cool, blood red, textured digipak. Very cool indeed!
You can snag copies of this CD, dirt cheap at this link. If you are an Alice Cooper fan, I highly recommend it. All others rockers ought to give this one shot. You will love it! Highly Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Welcome to My Nightmare – Ronnie James Dio/Steve Lukather
2. Dead Babies – Iced Earth
3. School’s Out – Dave Mustaine/Marty Friedman
4. Black Widow – Bruce Dickinson/Adrian Smith/Tony Franklin/Tommy Aldridge
5. Bed of Nails – Children Of Bodom
6. Go to Hell – Dee Snider/Zakk Wylde/Rudy Sarzo/Frankie Banali
7. Roses on White Lace – Icarus Witch
8. Cold Ethyl – Vince Neil/Mick Mars
9. Under My Wheels – Joe Elliott/Phil Collen
10. Elected – Steve Jones/Billy Duffy/Duff McKagan/Matt Sorum
11. No More Mr. Nice Guy – Roger Daltrey/Slash
12. Billion Dollar Babies – Phil Lewis/George Lynch
13. Eighteen – Don Dokken/John Norum
14. Only Women Bleed – Glenn Hughes/Paul Gilbert
Doro’s back with some hard rocking, heavy metal, head banging tunes guaranteed to satisfy your inner metal demon. This German vixen, former lead singer of Warlock, proves that she still has what it takes to rock, delivering her old school style of delicious 80s metal, ushering it into 2009 with her latest release, Fear No Evil. It sounds as great today as it did more than twenty years ago.
Fear No Evil starts off with “Night of the Warlock”, which could be seen as a small shout out to her former band. The album begins with a thunder crack and a satanic voice from beyond claiming how there’s no running away and the time is now. Cue the evil laughter which breaks into the pound of (former Britny Fox drummer) Johnny Dee’s drums and Joe Taylor’s guitar riffs. Doro is back and she’s here to deliver. Night of the Warlock is an excellent opening track and a great way to reconnect with a long lost friend in the form of a heavy metal vixen. This song sets the stage for what’s to come and is a killer introduction to Fear No Evil.
“Celebrate” is hands down the best song on the entire disc and could fight for best song of the summer. This is a highway cruising, top down, fist in the air, bang your head, metal infused, joy fest of a song! The simple back beat with choppy guitar riffs and a chanted chorus of “we celebrate our love for rock and metal…” just makes this a fun song. And that’s why it is so great; it’s so much fun to listen to and to sing along with.
While “Celebrate” is the best song on the disc, “Caught in a Battle” may be the worst. Perhaps it is hard to follow the amazing song that preceded it, but this tune just falls apart from the opening note.
Things fix themselves with “Herzblut“, a nifty little song that finds Doro singing in her native German tongue. While I’m not exactly sure what she is singing about, or saying, the tune is catchy. A slow building intro that leads into the crashing metal sounds of drums and guitars with just the right amount of keyboards and bass, this is a modern day power ballad on steroids.
What makes Fear No Evil so exceptional is the exquisite supporting cast that Doro surrounds herself with. We all know that Doro can sing like no other heavy metal woman, but when her vocals are blended with the amazing guitar work of Joe Taylor and the time is kept perfectly by Johnny Dee, the music is raised to heights that seldom can achieve.
Doro still has the talent and the ability to sing like no other woman in the metal world. If you’re a fan of 80s rock, heavy metal, and/or women who rock, you’ll want to get your hands on a copy of Fear No Evil. It’s rock done right by a woman who has rocked for many years and can still bring the goods.
Rating: Out of 10
- Night of the Warlock
- Running from the Devil
- Caught In a Battle
- On the Run
- Walking With the Angels
- I Lay My Head upon My Sword
- It Kills Me
- Long Lost For Love
- 25 Years
Doro Pesch – Vocals
Joe Taylor – Guitar
Nick Douglas – Bass
Oliver Palotai – guitar/keys
Johnny Dee – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Cheap Trick is a band that needs no introduction and there should be no argument that they are legends, who deserve a place in the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. They have sold millions of records not only in the U.S. but worldwide and they have influenced countless bands. Unlike a lot of the bands that came out around the same time, Rockford, IL finest are not content resting on their achievements and just touring off their catalog. In fact I think the guys have gotten better since their so-called “heyday”. With their newest release simply titled “the Latest” one listen is all it takes to realize the British Invasion and the Beatles were a huge influence, more so than on any other previous albums, and that influence has given Cheap Trick their best album in the last 20 years.
After a short intro titled “Sleep Forever” Robin Zander and the guys kick into “When The Lights Are Out” which is a good time fun song filled with melodies galore, a great groove and sing along chorus that should put a smile on your face unless you are legally dead. “Miss Tomorrow” is up next which reminds me of the late George Harrison when he was working with Jeff Lynne with the acoustic guitars, strings, and Zander’s absolutely perfect vocals. The album’s first single “Sick Man of Europe” is one of the heavier songs on the album with a Kinks feel to it. For all you useless trivia buffs Sick Man of Europe was also a band name used by Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson before they finally decided on Cheap Trick. “These Days” is a classic Cheap Trick type of ballad, which should get major airplay at the very least on the classic rock stations. John Lennon’s influence is all over “Miracle” an absolutely great song. “Everyday You Make Me Crazy” may only be a minute and twenty seven seconds long but the guys make the most of it. “California Girl” is another song that sounds heavily influenced by both the Kinks and the Beatles, this stomper is a perfect song for summer. “Alive” is another stomper in the classic Cheap Trick fashion, unlike a lot of guitarists Rick Nielsen does not need a flashy solo every song to show the world how great he is and his playing on “Alive” is a prime example of that.
With 13 songs on “the Latest” Cheap Trick makes sure everyone gets their money’s worth delivering a fantastic album filled with layer upon layer of hooks, melodies, and catchy well written and played songs, one hell of a great summertime album.
Rating: Out of 10
- Sleep Forever
- When The Lights Are Out
- Miss Tomorrow
- Sick Man of Europe
- These Days
- Everyday You Make Me Crazy
- California Girl
- Everybody Knows
- Times of Our Lives
- Closer, The Ballad of Burt and Linda
Cheap Trick is:
Robin Zander – vocals, guitar
Rick Nielsen – guitar, vocals
Tom Petersson – 12-string bass, vocals
Bun E. Carlos – drums, percussion
In 2009, Indianapolis based Eonian Records has unleashed a bunch of classic hard rock acts on the unsuspecting public. Judging from my first couple of spins of High Noon’s “No Turning Back”, I am going to want to hear a lot more of the music that Eonian has to offer.
Hign Noon’s “No Turning Back” is packed with a bunch of catchy tunes that no hair metal fan is going to be able to resist. Why on earth these guys didn’t get signed is beyond me. Their music is easily comparable to a bunch of stuff that I enjoyed in the early nineties (i.e. Roxy Blue, Tora Tora, Sweet F.A. etc.).
Singer Jim Zappa has a pretty good range, that reminds me a lot of Whitfield Crane (from Ugly Kid Joe). Ken Hitsman dishes out some pretty tasty guitar licks on this disc. Some of my favorite cuts are “High Noon”, “Bad Moon Risin”, “Just Like A Woman” and “When the Night Comes”.
If I would have heard this CD back in the day, I would have bought it in a heartbeat, and I am glad to have it in my collection now. I recommend it to all fans of the big hair era of rock.
Rating :Out of 10
1. High Noon
2. Bad Moon Risin’
3. Rude Boy
4. Don’t Come Runnin’
5. Have My Heart
6. Skatin’ On Thin Ice
7. When The Night Calls
8. Just Like A Woman
9. Who Do You Think You Are?
10. Around Midnight
11. Faith Hope And Love
12. Bed Of Lies
13. Weight Of The World
14. House Of Glass
High Noon is:
Jim Zappa – Lead & Backing Vocals
Ken Hitsman – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Sam Persons – Bass & Backing Vocals
Mike Patterson – Drums
Jaime Harris – Drums on Bed of Lies, & Weight of the World
Ken Hitsman – Guitars , Bass & Drum Sequencing on House of Glass
Arriving from the vaults of hair metal resurgence, Gynger Lynn’s self titled debut record is finally seeing the light of day, thanks to Eonian Records. While they never quite made it out of the Chicago music scene back in the late 80s, Gynger Lynn did manage to gain the interest of quite a few record executives. Unfortunately, they never signed a deal and thus were never thrust into the spotlight. Now, thanks to the resurrection and demand of hair metal music, Gynger Lynn is available for your listening pleasure.
Gynger Lynn’s self titled debut kicks off with a less than memorable song, Dirty. As an introduction to the band, this song does not deliver, and set the stage for disappointment. Fortunately, the band is able to recover from this less than stellar first track.
The second track, Reasons Why, is a soft ballad in typical hair metal fashion. It’s a solid track, but I was surprised that it came so early on the disc. The acoustic guitar is a nice (albeit cliché) touch and the guitar work on this ballad is enjoyable and well played.
Tell The World is hands down the best song. It’s a catchy, infectious tune that gets into your ear and doesn’t leave. A guaranteed sing along by the third listen, Tell The World is a foot tapping, fist pumping, head banging good time meant to be played while cruising the streets on a hot summer night.
On My Way sounds like it could have been placed right on Skid Row’s debut album. It resembles a morph between Big Guns and Sweet Little Sister. The song is catchy in its own right, but the nonstop resemblance to Skid Row makes me think less of this song, because it’s lacking in originality.
Wanna Be Your Lover is another strong song that sings about love and romance. The guitar riffs are catchy with solid hooks. The song starts with a fun yowl from lead singer Dean Pressley. This is another song about love and romance, typical of the late 80s music scene. The basic back beat pattern of quarter note time helps this riff get stuck in your head and makes for an enjoyable music experience.
Arms Around You is another excellent song that battles for the spot of best song on the disc. The guitar solo is spot on, 1988-era. This is a fun song about young lovers never wanting to let go of each other. This song brought me back to the late 80s, hanging out on a summer night, just holding your best girlfriend and never wanting time to move. A fantastic and fun-filled tune.
Lead guitarist Will Hair does a decent job throughout the record. The guitars are sharp and tight, and his note playing is clean and memorable. While sometimes simplistic in nature, the guitar work is right for the songs and Will really shines on the power ballads, of which there are several.
Dean Pressley’s voice is typical 80s hair metal lead vocalist falsetto. His style is similar to Sebastian Bach, Mark Slaughter, and Steve Whiteman. While limited in range, Dean has a good voice and sings well on Gynger Lynn. His voice stands out on the ballads and while lacking in strength for the rockers, he can carry the tunes well enough.
Even though they never made the big time during hair metal’s peak years, Gynger Lynn is still worth picking up and getting to know now. The music is classic 80s and the songs hold up over time. Packed with memorable, fun hits, and more than a few power ballads, Gynger Lynn is definitely worthy of your time and your money, especially if you are searching for a new band to help you embrace the past.
For more information on Gynger Lynn, check out the band’s official myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
- Reasons Why
- One and Only
- My, My Lisa
- Why Is It Over
- On My Way
- Tell The World
- In My Heart
- Wanna Be Your Lover
- I Love The Lights
- Arms Around You
Gynger Lynn is:
Dean Pressley – Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitars
Will Hair – Lead Guitars
Jim Stuppy – Bass Guitar
Frank Paul – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Finally, one of the most anticipated albums of the year is here with the release of Chickenfoot’s self titled debut album. Chickenfoot is a supergroup in every since of the word with all members of the band being huge names in the music industry by themselves.
In case you have spent the last year in a cave with no electricity or internet, Chickenfoot is made up of Sammy Hagar (vocals), Joe Satriani (Guitars), Ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Chad Smith (Drums), if anybody would seem out of place with the music Chickenfoot plays it would be Smith but his drum playing is awesome front to back on this album. I have to admit I am a huge Sammy Hagar fan and it is no secret he has one of the most recognizable voices in music and when you throw Michael Anthony into the mix there are bound to be endless Chickenfoot/Van Halen comparisions. Yes, this album does sound like a mix of Van Halen and Hagar’s post Van Halen solo albums, but the difference is Chickenfoot is better than any album Hagar did with Van Halen and when you add Hagar’s “Cabo Wabo Party Atmosphere” to the music you get a fun, rockin, filler free album. Satriani’s playing on this album is unbelievable, he is able to accomplish everything on guitar within the framework of the songs instead of going off on a tangent just for a solo like other well known guitarists are prone to do.
“Avenida Revolucion” kicks everything off, it is a heavy song with a pretty serious subject, Satriani absolutely shines on this song with some amazing playing but then again you wouldn’t expect anything less from him. “Soap On A Rope” and “Down the Drain” are both in the same vein with party jam vibe, which I imagine Satriani will just go crazy on in a live situation. Hagar’s vocals still sound great at 62 years old when most other singers have lost the power in their voice long before 62. “Sexy Little Thing” is a great catchy song filled with hooks galore, the way Hagar sings this song so laid back and relaxed you would think the man has absolutely no stress whatsoever in his life. I can definitely see this song getting tons of airplay. “Oh Yeah” has party tune written all over it much like Hagar’s “Mas Tequila”, “Shag”, or “Shaka Doobie (The Limit)”. “Runnin’ Out” has a bluesy vibe to it with some great gang vocals and some awesome bass lines from Michael Anthony.
“Get It Up” fall into the same catagory as “Oh Yeah” with more outstanding playing from Satriani and Anthony. Without a doubt “My Kinda Girl” is the catchiest song on the album, the kind of song you can’t help but to crank up and sing along with, another Chickenfoot song I can see getting tons of airplay. I’m not sure if “Learning To Fall” could be classified as a ballad but it is still a great song with some excellent background vocals. “Turnin’ Left” is another heavy jam song that sounds like Michael Anthony beat his bass to death recording this song. Clocking in at almost 7 minutes “Future In The Past” wraps the album up that starts out almost acoustic before it kicks in with a bluesy vibe with a honky tonk piano and harmonica thrown in, great way to close the album.
Unlike supergroups in the past that sound like they were thrown together at the last minute to record an album, Chickenfoot sounds like a band, tight and in sync with each other but more importantly they sound like everyone in the band actually wants to be there and that is a great thing because it could mean more albums to come and I for one am definitely looking forward to hearing what else these guys can bring us.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Avenida Revolution
2. Soap On A Rope
3. Sexy Little Thing
4. Oh Yeah
5. Runnin’ Out
6. Get It Up
7. Down The Drain
8. My Kinda Girl
9. Learning To Fall
10. Turnin’ Left
11. Future Is The Past
Sammy Hagar – Vocals
Joe Satriani – Guitars
Michael Anthony – Bass
Chad Stewart – Drums
Like your music fast, loud, proud, and heavy on the rock? Then Bullet is the band for you. Hailing from Sweden (where all the great metal bands seem to come from lately), Bullet is a kick in the balls, fast rocking, take no prisoners, all out assault metal band. With a lead singer whose vocals could be the love offspring of Blackie Lawless and Jessie James Dupree, with a sprinkle of Joel O’Keeffe, Bullet rocks hard, fast, and heavy.
Bite The Bullet kicks off with “Pay The Price” which sets the tone for the album and this band, hard rocking in the vein of old school metal. The track starts off with soft guitars that gradually build then lead singer Hell Hofer launches into a siren scream, and Pay The Price is off and running. An AC/DC tempo rocker, this is a nice lead off single that will bring you back for more.
“Road King” kicks the disc into the next gear and leaves it there for a while. An upbeat, fast tempo, hard rocking good time, Road King is sure to have feet tapping and fists pumping in no time. Complete with motor bike sound effects, this song makes you want to hit the highway, roll down the windows, romp on the gas, and move. The guitar solo sounds like a high speed chase on the interstate, and is punctuated with excellent riffs and a heavy drum beat to keep the pace. Without a doubt one of the best tracks on the disc and bound to have you singing along in no time.
“Dusk Til Dawn” keeps the record on track, opening with slamming drums and a mini scream from Hell. The 1-2 boogie beat in this song is more AC/DC (or Airbourne) than anything else, but still with the unique flavor that makes Bullet original. Another excellent track, “Dusk Til Dawn” fights hard for the honor of best song on the disc.
“Nailed To The Ground” keeps the music traveling at the lightning pace this band likes to work at, and includes even more slick guitar playing from Hampus Klang and Erik Almstrom. Their combination assault on the senses helps launch this record to the next stratosphere and keep it there without fear of falling on their face. Talent and dedication are the trademarks of this CD.
Hell Hofer’s vocals are a unique experience and definitely add to the flavor of Bite The Bullet. A unique blend of former metal singers serve his pipes well, comparable to a high pitch Lemmy, that can hit the Bruce Dickinson siren-like notes, listening to him sing is a pleasurable experience.
Bullet is a party band that has brought the party to their music. It translates well on Bite The Bullet, which is an excellent CD, chock full of little nuggets of greatness. If you’re looking for some new rock that stands apart from the mass marketed, mainstream music that saturates the airwaves, give Bite The Bullet a try. You’ll be glad that you did.
Rating: Out of 10
- Pay The Price
- Road King
- Bite The Bullet
- Dusk Til Dawn
- Nailed To The Ground
- City Of Sins
- Waste My Time
- Rock N Roll Remedy
- Rock Us Tonight
- Wheels Keep On Turning
- The Rebels Return
Hell Hofer – Vocals
Hampus Klang – Guitar
Erik Almstrom – Guitar
Gustav Hjortsjo – Drums
Adam Hector – Bass
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
From Eonian Records comes Charlemagne’s self titled, this four piece first formed in 1987 when Raymond Barrett Jr. – Lead Vocals and Scott Oliver – Lead & Rhythm Guitars met Lee Bryan – Bass and Ken Kowalski – Drums after moving to Hollywood for Scott to attend Musicians Institute’s GIT.Even though the band became a regular on the Sunset Strip club scene they were never able to get the major label record deal like so many of the other bands at the time. Thanks to Eonian the world is finally getting to hear Charlemagne in all their glory, and any fan of 80’s Sunset Strip hard rock will find plenty to like about Charlemagne’s music as it is filled with soaring vocals, screaming solos, and gang vocals galore.
“Secret Romeo” is the first track on the album and this song could have easily stood along side any song released by Poison, Danger Danger, or any of the other big bands at the time. Great chorus and solo with some excellent vocals both lead and background you can easily find yourself tapping your foot and singing along. “I Don’t Wanna Lie” takes a little heavier approach without losing any of the melody before the chorus breaks out. Oliver pulls off another very good solo. “She’s Only Young” stays on the heavy path while tackling a very serious subject in child abuse. “So Far Away” is a catchy mid tempo rocker as Barrett wraps his soaring vocals around these lyrics nicely. “Is It Ever Easy” and “I’ve Got You” are both ballads although “Is It Ever Easy” has a nice funk touch added to it. On “Chances Calling” Scott Oliver has a nice intro before the song kicks in and pulls off another stylish solo, he definitely made me a fan of his playing with this record. “Last Chance” is a very nice instrumental piece where the whole band gets a chance to shine but especially Kowalski’s drumming.
Charlemagne would not have started any new musical trends, but had they been given a chance they definitely could have had a nice run on the charts. Sadly though like so many other talented bands on Sunset Strip at the time they were lost in the shuffle before grunge completely killed the hard rock scene in the early 90’s. Any fans of guitar players will find plenty of reasons to pick this album up if only because of Scott Oliver’s excellent playing throughout. You can check out Charlemagne at myspace.com/officialcharlemagnepage.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Secret Romeo
2. I Don’t Wanna Lie
3. She’s Only Young
4. So Far Away
5. Is It Ever Easy
6. I’ve Got You
7. Chance is Calling
8. Last Chance
9. Wait And See
10. I’m Not That Easy
11. I Wish I Knew
Raymond Barrett Jr. – Lead Vocals
Scott Oliver – Lead & Rhythm Guitars
Lee Bryan – Bass Guitar
Ken Kowalski – Drums
Black Sabbath, or Heaven and Hell if you prefer is back with their first CD with Ronnie James Dio since 1992’s Dehumanizer. Seventeen years is a hell of a long wait for new material from any band, but the gentlemen of Heaven & Hell made it worth the wait. They have delivered another disc of quality heavy rock.
I can only use one word to describe Ronnie James Dio….incredible! How is it possible for RJD to sound this good at this stage in his career? His vocals continue to astound me on “The Devil You Know”. He continues to sing better than just about anyone out there in hard rock today. With no surprise, Tony Iommi dishes out some awesome guitar work on this disc. His guitar solos on this album are brilliant to say the least. Listen to his incredible riffs on “Bible Black” or “The Turn of the Screw” and I guarantee you will come back for more.
Geezer Butler is still laying down the deepest doom laden bass licks I have ever heard, and Vinnie Appice just kills it on the drums.
Does The Devil You Know live up to Heaven & Hell, Mob Rules or even Dehumanizer? Probably not. This album is not without its problems. A couple of the songs on this disc could be better. While some of the tunes don’t work for me, even the worst songs on “The Devil You Know” are only a minor distraction. The music speaks for itself and does so loudly. Two of the better cuts, “Bible Black” and “Eating the Cannibals” could go down as some of the best Heaven & Hell tunes ever.
The Bottom Line: I have listened to this CD a couple of times now, and it seems to get better with each play. The elder statesmen of heavy metal can still get it done in 2009. Black Sabbath and Dio fans will likely enjoy this disc as much as I have. Buy this!!
1. Atom And Evil
3. Bible Black
4. Double The Pain
5. Rock And Roll Angel
6. The Turn Of The Screw
7. Eating The Cannibals
8. Follow The Tears
10. Breaking Into Heaven
Heaven & Hell is:
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals
Tonny Iommi – Guitars
Geezer Butler – Bass
Vinnie Appice – Drums
If you were a fan of the 1987 album by Whitesnake, you should be familiar with the awesome guitar work of John Sykes. Blue Murder is the band started up by Sykes after his departure from Whitesnake. Needless to say, the songs from Blue Murder have a definite Whitesnake like vibe about them, but they stand out on their own merit.
It didn’t hurt his cause that he got two amazing musicians to join him in Blue Murder. The Firm’s fretless bass wonder Tony Franklin and former Ozzy Osbourne drummer Carmine Appice flesh out would could be one of the best hard rock three piece acts of the eighties.
Blue Murder has it all. Great vocals, fantastic guitar work and killer songs. This CD has been one of my favorites over the last 20 years. I still play this one regularly today. I became a fan of John Sykes because of the infamous 1987 Whitesnake album, but it was the Blue Murder disc that solidified him as one of my favorite guitarists of all time.
The Bottom line: Every hard rock and metal fan on the planet ought to own this excellent CD. You can grab your own copy of this disc, at this link.
2. Sex Child
3. Valley Of The Kings
4. Jelly Roll
5. Blue Murder
6. Out Of Love
9. Black-Hearted Woman
Blue Murder is:
John Sykes – Vocals & Lead Guitar
Tony Franklin – Bass
Carmine Appice – Drums
Black Label Society has released their new greatest hits package, Skullage. This CD/DVD set is a killer combination of Black Label Society’s best songs, as well as an awesome DVD that collects footage from their Boozed, Broozed and Broken-Boned DVD from 2003, as well as some of Black Label Society’s music videos and acoustic live footage.
Is this collection worth picking up? If you want the acoustic versions of songs like “The Blessed Hellride” and “Stillborn” you need to grab this. The music videos on the DVD are worth the price of admission all by themselves in my opinion. I would have liked to have all of their videos (yes, there are some that are missing) but I am happy to finally have a copy of these on DVD. I must point out though, that there is a video in this collection “New Religion” that I have not see before, and that was a nice bonus.
The Welcome To the Compound is a new segment filmed inside Zakk Wylde’s home. This part of the DVD shows off Wylde’s off the wall sense of humor. Zakk gives you an explanation on what the lyrics are about on several of the songs on Skullage. There is a brief part where Wylde talks about the song “In This River” written about Dimebag Darrell Abbott. In this clip there is some old footage with Dimebag. It was unexpected and yet very cool.
If you have all of Black Label Society’s CD’s (as I do), and you don’t need a greatest hits CD, Black Label Society has given you have the option to purchase the DVD separately. Skullage is available as a CD, DVD or a CD/DVD set.
If you have never picked up any of Black Label Society’s music before, Skullage is an awesome way to acquainted with one of the better metal bands of the last decade. Overall, this is a pretty good collection of music and video, and is definitely worth purchasing!
Check out Black Label Society on the web, at this link.
1. Machine Gun Man
2. Dead As Yesterday
3. All For You
4. 13 Years Of Grief
5. Bleed For Me
6. Doomsday Jesus
8. Won’t Find It Here
9. Suicide Messiah
10. In This River
11. Fire It Up
12. New Religion
“Slightly Amped” (Live in Lehigh Valley)
13. Instrumental Intro (acoustic)
14. The Blessed Hellride (acoustic)
15. Spoke In The Wheel (acoustic)
16. Stillborn (acoustic)
1. All For You (From Boozed, Broozed & Broken-Boned DVD)
2. 13 Years Of Grief (From Boozed, Broozed & Broken-Boned DVD)
3. Bleed For Me (From Boozed, Broozed & Broken-Boned DVD)
4. Stillborn video
5. Suicide Messiah video
6. In This River video
7. Fire It Up video
8. New Religion video
9. Welcome To The Compound New Footage
10. Instrumental Intro – Live in Lehigh Valley
11.The Blessed Hellride – Live in Lehigh Valley
12. Spoke In The Wheel – Live in Lehigh Valley
13. We Live No More – Live in Lehigh Valley
14. Stillborn – Live in Lehigh Valley
Once upon a time I thought the band Black Tide had the market cornered as the youngest hard rock band out there. Suddenly there have been a few new entries to check out including Drive A, and Tulsa, OK rockers Crooked X.
The four members of Crooked X have an average age of……..wait for it……FOURTEEN. These young lads caught the watchful eye of Spencer Proffer and Doc McGhee when they submitted a video into the CBS “The Early Show” segment called “Living Room Live”. As they say, the rest is history.
Typically, I probably wouldn’t have given this CD a second look, but when I heard that former Motley Crue manager Doc McGhee was involved, I couldn’t resist checking out this band.
Even more surprising than than the band members’ ages is their debut CD that was recently released by MPM/EMI/Capitol. These four teenagers rock as hard as many of their modern rock counterparts.
The opening cut “Gone” is quite an addictive rocker that will have you singing/screaming along on the first listen. The good songs don’t end there. “Adrenaline” is a surprisingly good rocker with a lot of heavy, grungy guitar work. Singer Forrest French sings in a deep tone that I didn’t think was possible for a person his age.
“Rock and Roll Dream” is practically a hair metal song, and I love it. The falsetto in French’s voice on this tune reminds me a lot of Andrew Elt from the Sleeze Beez, which is pretty cool in my opinion.
“Nightmare” is the first song ever written by Crooked X. This tune was written by the band when they were a mere 11 years old! This is a pretty tasty number with some really cool guitar tones to start the song off. The song then morphs into a hard rocking number with some crunching guitar riffs. Good stuff!
Overall, I am pretty impressed with Crooked X. This CD is a pretty good start for these young Oklahoma rockers. It will be interesting to see how their career develops from here, but with Doc McGhee in their corner, they are in good hands.
Rating: Out of 10
3. Time Is Now
4. Rock And Roll Dream
7. Nail In the Coffin
9. Death of Me
10. Lost Control
Crooked X is:
Forrest French – Vocals, Guitar
Jesse Cooper – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Josh McDowell – Bass
Boomer Simpson – Drums
“No Regrets” is the long awaited follow-up to Dope’s ’05 release “American Apathy” and the Dope Army have reason to rejoice. The band which is now made up of guitarist Virus, Tripp on bass, Angel on drums, and the mastermind of it all, Edsel Dope on vocals haven’t changed their sound but are definitely working to perfect it. “No Regrets” takes the best parts of the band’s four previous albums and combine them into a sleazy, heavy, hook-laden homage to sex, drugs, “Violence”, and rock-n-roll that will have you moshing and singing along at the same time.
After a 38 second intro called “Flatline” Edsel and the guys get down to business right from the start with the thrasher “6 6 Sick”. Angel beat the drums on this track like his life depended on it while Virus lays down some thick heavy guitar. For track #2 “Addiction” Edsel enlisted some guy named Zakk Wylde to play lead guitar and for his efforts he got the catchiest song not only on the album but the catchiest Dope song I have heard in a long time. “Addiction” should definitely be getting some major radio airplay.
“No Regrets” and “We Are” are two more heavy songs that have Edsel and the guys raging from start to finish. “My Funeral” and “Dirty World” are both great catchy songs with “Dirty World” being the heaviest of the two. Other stand out tracks include “Best For Me” and “Scorn”. You can also get a bonus tracks edition of “No Regrets” which has an awesome cover of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell”, which the band released a few years ago as a website download. There is also a live track called “Die Boom Bang” which is three songs in one and one more new song “Nothing For Me Here” with a damn good solo from Virus.
One thing I have always liked about Dope is the fact they don’t give the listener time to get bored listening to a 6 or 7 minute opus. Edsel gets in your face says what he has to say and moves on to the next subject. The same holds true with “No Regrets” all of the songs and in the 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 minute range with the title track being the longest clocking in at 3:32 but the energy the guys put into that short time span is amazing, they go from 0 to 150 and never let up til the very end.
Dope will not revolutionize the music world but I don’t think that is Edsel or the band’s intentions. What they will do is give the world some heavy and catchy music that will leave you wanting more and more and who said Dope isn’t addictive?
Rating: Out of 10
1. Flat Line
4. No Regrets
5. My Funeral
6. We Are
7. Dirty World
10. Best For Me
13. Rebel Yell
14. I Don’t Give A…
15. Die Boom Bang Burn Fuck
16. Nothing For Me Here
Edsel Dope – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Virus – Guitars/Vocals
Tripp “Lee” Tribbett – Bass/Vocals
Angel Bartolotta – Drums
The Answer has returned with their sophomore effort “Everyday Demons”. If you are a regular visitor to Hard Rock Hideout, you have read my prattling about these awesome Irish Rockers for a while now. I have been extremely excited to hear this album, and after a couple of spins, I couldn’t be more overjoyed.
“Everyday Demons” is The Answer’s full length debut in the United States. As good as The Answer’s first album “Rise” was, I believe “Everyday Demons” has managed to top The Answer’s European debut.
I love it when a band brings their “A” game to the studio. You can tell that The Answer put a lot of heart into this disc.
I had the pleasure of hearing some of these songs prior to receiving a copy of the CD. “On and On” first showed up on Yahoo Music last month, and I loved this track on the first play. Getting to hear it on a real stereo system, gives me a whole new appreciation for the song. It just explodes out of the speakers just a like a stadium anthem should.
“On and On” isn’t the lone highlight on this disc. There are in fact many great songs to absorb.
“Demon Eyes” is a killer opening track with monster riffs that will get your blood pumping quickly. This song sets the stage for “Everyday Demons”.
“Too Far Gone” sees The Answer channeling their inner Zeppelin. James Heatley’s drums just explode on this track. The Zeppelinesque riff blended with Neeson’s howling vocals really drive this song home. Awesome!
After three upbeat rockers, The Answer drops the tempo down on the song “Cry Out”. This song is not one of my favorites on this disc. I just can’t seem to get into the riff on this song. It isn’t bad, but after the first three tunes, this one falls flat for me.
On the other hand, the song “Why’d You Change Your Mind” is much more to my liking. The music on this tunes oscillates between a moody low tempo number and explodes into an upbeat rocker, before heading back to its original slow pace. This is a cool tune that takes a few listens to fully appreciate.
“Pride” ought to be released as a single off of Everyday Demons. Cormac Neeson’s voice soars on this tune. This one has hit written all over it.
“Walkin’ Mat” is another tune that sees The Answer tap into their inner Zeppelin. You can’t deny the influence on this song, but it doesn’t come out sounding like a rip off aka Kingdom Come either. This is another song that I could hear getting some airplay before long. Good Stuff!
“Tonight” is the type of tune that you want to roll your car windows down and crank up loud. This song has a Thin Lizzy like vibe to it, but is a very happy, upbeat song.
“Dead of the Night” is one of my favorite tunes off “Everyday Demons”. This song is very catchy and gets in your head. This is another hit worthy tune.
“Comfort Zone” is another low to mid tempo song that needs a few listens to grow on you. I like the chorus on this tune, but it seems like it takes a while to get going.
“Evil Man” is the third song on Everyday Demons that has a Led Zeppelin like sound about it. This is a rocking tune that Paul Mahon and Mickey Waters take advantage of with their heavy riffs.
If you haven’t listened to The Answer before, “Everyday Demons” is a great place to start. If you are a fan of classic 70’s hard rock, you will enjoy this disc. The Answer has delivered another impressive release in 2009. Grab it!
Rating: Out of 10
- Demon Eyes
- Too Far Gone
- On and On
- Cry Out
- Why’d You Change Your Mind
- Walkin’ Mat
- Dead of the Night
- Comfort Zone
- Evil Man
The Answer is:
Cormac Neeson – Vocals
Paul Mahon – Guitar
Micky Waters – Bass Guitar
James Heatley – Drums
On this CD, the band gets a little help by Crash Diet’s Martin Sweet. Sweet plays guitar on the tracks “Scream 4 Me”, “Stay With Me”, and the title track “Sex Drugs Anarchy”. The Crash Diet influence plays heavily on the songs on this disc, so much so in fact, that I believe that “Sex Drugs Anarchy” tops the last Crash Diet disc, “The Unattractive Revolution”, and could possibly rival their excellent debut, “Rest In Sleaze”.
In my opinion, the best songs on this disc, are “I Am Hollow”, “Scream 4 Me”, the title track “Sex, Drugs, Anarchy”, “Lay Your Money Down” and “Blood on the Bricks”.
The song “Something’s Gonna Give” kind of bugs me. There is a part of this song that is almost exactly the same as Cinderella’s “Somebody Save Me“. The lyrics may be different, but there are parts of the song where the music, and timing is practically the same. Every time I listen to this song, I want to sing:
“Put your money in a big house
Get yourself a pretty wife
She’ll collect your life insurance
When she connects you with a knife”.
Try it, the lyrics fit with the music almost perfectly. The rest of the song is different, but the similar parts are uncanny. There are guitar parts on this tune that would do Warren DeMartini proud, so I guess it is a toss up on this one.
The song “Stay With Me” is a pretty cool song, but the fade at the end of the song is completely annoying in my opinion. Even with these minor issues, “Sex Drugs Anarchy” is a pretty enjoyable hard rock disc. These Swedish sleaze merchants have a hot record on their hands. The band is making plenty of waves in Europe, it would be great to see them get some support in the U.S. as well.
If you are a fan of hard rock/sleaze and hair metal, you have to check these guys out.
You can find Gemini Five on the web at this link. You can buy “Sex Drugs Anarchy” at this link.
Gemini Five has made a couple of these songs available for a free download through their website. You can right click on the highlighted songs below to download these tunes.
1. Thunder & Lightning
2. I Am Hollow
3. Scream 4 Me
4. Here’s Looking at You Kid
5. All Pistols
6. Sex Drugs Anarchy
7. Lay Your Money Down
8. Here 2Day Gone 2Mrw
9. Something’s Gonna Give
10. Blood on the Bricks
11. We Do Not Come in Peace
12. Stay With Me
Gemini Five is:
Dany “Dee Dee” Douglas – Lead Guitars & Backing Vocals
Tin Star – Guitars and Lead Vocals
Hot Rod – Bass & Backing Vocals
Slim Pete – Drums
Back in 2007, Helix released their CD “The Power of Rock and Roll”. Those that had their 2006 disc, ” Get Up” complained that this release was nothing more than a mere reissue since it has seven of the same songs on that disc. If you don’t own “Get Up”, you will definitely want to check out “The Power of Rock and Roll” as it definitely rocks hard.
This isn’t a terribly long CD. The whole thing clocks in at 33 minutes. The bonus track is a reworking of the band’s 1983 hit “Heavy Metal Love”. I have always like this song, and this version sounds as good as the original.
A quick listen to this disc, and I am quite surprised that Vollmer can still sing at this level after 35 years. He sounds great as does the band backing him up. While Brian Vollmer may be the only original member of this band, the classic hard rock sound of Helix is in good hands with these guys.
“Fill Your Head With Rock” (what a great idea =0 ), ” The Past is Back (To Kick Your Ass) ” and “Baby Likes To Ride” are amongst my favorites on this disc. This CD may not have the most original rock and roll you have ever heard, but it is another solid effort by Helix.
If you enjoy bands like Krokus, and AC/DC, you ought to give Helix a look. “The Power of Rock and Roll” has me looking forward to seeing the band perform at Rock Gone Wild in August. You can check out these songs and more at Planet Helix. You can purchase this CD, at this link. Check it out. You will be glad you did.
1. Fill Your Head With Rock
2. Get Up!
3. Nickles and Dimes
4. The Past is Back (To Kick Your Ass)
5. Eat My Dust
6. Baby Likes to Ride
7. Boomerang Lover
8. Cyberspace Girl
9. Living Life Large
10. The Power of Rock and Roll
11. Heavy Metal Love
Brian Vollmer – Vocals
Steve Georgakopoulos- Guitar
Jeff Fountain – Bass
Rob MacEachern – Drums
Great White seems to live by the old addage “If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It” and after 27 years, 12 original studio albums, and countless live and compilation albums it has worked, but sometimes even if it doesn’t need fixed a little tweaking can do wonders. On their newest release “Rising” the guys could have definitely used a little tweaking. Now don’t get me wrong “Rising” rocks it just doesn’t rock hard enough at least on a consistent basis.”Rising” starts out promising enough as the first three tracks “Situation”, “All Or Nothin'”, and “I Don’t Mind” are absolutely vintage Great White. Jack Russell’s voice is still one of the best in the business and doesn’t sound like it has lost in power over the years as some singers are prone to do. Newcomer, bassist, Scott Snyder makes his presence known right from the start with a great foot tapping bass line on “Situation” and follows it up with another great performance on “All Or Nothin'”. The rest of the band, guitarist, Mark Kendall, who is still one of the most underrated players in the music business, guitarist/keyboard Michael Lardie, and drummer Audie Desbrow are all outstanding and give solid performances from start to finish.
The problem I have with “Rising” are the songs themselves. They seem to be stuck in the mid-tempo range and rarely break out into full fledged rockers I have come to expect from Great White, with “Danger Zone” being the one exception, and to be completely honest they just aren’t very memorable. Of the 12 tracks on this album there are 4 songs I would consider standout tracks as I said before “Situation”, “All Or Nothin'”, and “I Don’t Mind” are all vintage Great White and you can add the ballad “Only You Can Do” to that list also. “Loveless” is almost there but it is missing that little something extra to make it special. It would not surprise me at all if a country artist ended up covering “Is It Enough” or “the Last Chance”, even the versions on “Rising” could get airplay on today’s country stations. The rest of the songs are just there more like background music than anything you would crank the stereo up too.
I’m sure for the fans just discovering Great White “Rising” will fill their cup, but for lifelong fans, like myself, “Rising” will definitely leave you feeling a little deflated. “Rising” is a prime example of the pieces being better than the whole.
02. All Or Nothin’
03. I Don’t Mind
06. It Is Enough
07. Last Chance
08. Danger Zone
09. Down On The Level
10. Only You Can Do
11. My Sanctaury
12. Let’s Spend The Night Together
Great White is:
Jack Russell – vocals
Michael Lardie – guitars, keyboards
Mark Kendall – guitars
Scott Snyder – bass
Audie Desbrow – drums
If you caught Steve Grimmett’s last release, “Personal Crisis” (shame on you, if you didn’t) you already know how good that disc is. Quite frankly, I think Grimmstine’s debut release is even better. The opening instrumental cut “Memory” gives you the false sense that disc is going to be a tame one. Such is not the case, as the next fourteen tracks nearly pound your senses into oblivion. Ok, maybe that is overstating it a little bit, but damn this is a fun CD. The songs on this disc range from classic heavy metal to some solid melodic rock. I couldn’t find a bad song in the bunch.
Steve Grimmett’s voice seemingly has gotten better with age. He still has incredible range, but doesn’t over do it.
I wouldn’t consider Fargo, North Dakota a hot bed of metal talent, but Mr. Grimmett has found one amazing band in this Northern U.S. city. Steve Stine blows me away with six string superiority. Where in the hell has this guy been? His playing on this CD is fantastic.
The rhythm section of Hat on bass, and Dave Johnson on drums is quite good. It sounds as if Johnson and Hat have been playing together for quite a while. Johnson busts out the double bass drumming at break neck speed and Hat keeps up the pace with his heavy bass.
The music from Grimmstine isn’t just high speed metal. The band slows it down on a few numbers and produce some amazingly good numbers that will appeal to melodic rock fans.
Some of my favorite cuts on this disc are “911”, “Supernatural”, “To Catch A Killer” and the Whitesnake like “This Don’t Look Like Love To Me”.
Good tunes and solid production and over an hour of music add up to one excellent metal CD. This is a disc that will appeal to fans of metal acts like Judas Priest, Saxon and of course, Grim Reaper, as well as a few melodic rock fans.
4. Got Nothing But Time
5. To Catch A Killer
6. You’ll Never Know
7. It’s Over
9. You Give Me Love
10. Straight As An Arrow
11. ‘Til They Take My Wings
12. Take This Air
13. Afraid Of The Dark
14. This Don’t Look Like Love To Me
15. To Sing A Lullabye (Immy’s Song)
Steve Grimmett – Vocals
Steve Stine – Guitars
Dave Johnson – Drums
Hat – Bass
Do you like gang vocals? With the band Bang Camaro that is all you are going to get? Instead of having one lead singer, they often employ from 10 to 20 singers for every live show. Either this band is crazy for using this concept, or they are extremely creative.
These darlings of Guitar Hero have returned with another album filled with rocking guitar tunes to get your blood pumping.
I admit that I liked Bang Camaro’s first album. I thought the gang vocal ideal was a novel concept, if not a unique one. I can’t think of another hard rock act that has tried anything like this.
On album # 2, I thought gang vocals were a hindrance, instead of a help to the band. There is no doubt in my mind that this band has some decent musicians, but at this stage in the game, I think it is time for them to find one talented singer instead of the 10 – 20 they use today. Are there good songs on Bang Camaro II? Yes, there are a couple of them that are pretty good. The album is full of 80’s style hair metal that will be sure to please some old school rock fans. The music is surprisingly solid, but the vocals are a problem for me. I just couldn’t get into the music as much because the vocals proved to be more of a distraction. Some of the song writing is pretty weak as well. “I Know You Like My Band” is a perfect example of a song that never should have seen the light of day. Did a high school kid write this song?
I am sure there are some folks that will love this album, but I believe this Camaro is headed for the wrecking ball.
You can check out Bang Camaro on myspace at this link.
1. Blood Red Rock
2. Night Lies
4. She’s Gone (Critical)
5. Miss Illusion
6. I Know You Like My Band
8. Can’t Stop The Night
9. The Hit
10. Life Is Hard On The Road
Bang Camaro is:
Alex Necochea – Guitar
Bryn Bennett – Guitar
Dave ‘Doz’ Riley – Bass
Peter McCarthy – Drums
Rodrigo Van Stoli – Vocals
Morgan Brown – Vocals
Nick Given – Vocals
Richie Hoss – Vocals
Glen Fant – Vocals
Steve Trombley – Vocals
Zach Given – Vocals
Jake Given – Vocals
Jay Clifford – Vocals
J. David Nugent – Vocals
James Fant – Vocals
Justin Buckley – Vocals
Do you know who Alex Beyrodt is? His name may not ring a bell with most hard rock fans, but it probably should. This criminally under rated guitar player has been playing in the bands Sinner and Silent Force for years. His neo-classical style of play is quite similar to guitar god, Yngwie Malmsteen.
When I first got word of his new side project with David Readman from Pink Cream 69, I knew I would have to check it out. I have been a fan of Readman’s for years, so picking this CD up was pretty much a no-brainer. Alex Beyrodt’s Voodoo Circle is fleshed out with Beyrodt’s band mate from Sinner, Matt Sinner on bass, keyboardist Jimmy Kresic, and Mel Gaynor (Simple Minds) on drums.
If you have ever listened to Pink Cream 69 (shame on you, if you haven’t), you know that David Readman is one of those singers that could sing the phone book and make it sound good. His vocals augment the music from a very talented group of musicians on this disc.
Alex Beyrodt is the true star on this disc. His masterful six string work is the driving force behind these fantastic tunes. There are guitar parts in these songs that are so good, that they will raise the hairs on your arms. Yes, they really are that good. Thanks to the keyboards of Jimmy Kresic, Voodoo Circle’s sound has a classic 80’s metal feel, in the vein of such acts Whitesnake & Rainbow.
There really isn’t a bad song on this disc, and guitar fans like myself will certainly eat it up!
You can preview songs from this CD at the Voodoo Circle website, and the band’s myspace page. If you like what you hear, you can purchase a copy of this CD, at this link. Check it out. You will be glad you did.
1. Spewing Lies
2. Desperate Heart
3. Kingdom of the Blind
4. Man and Machine
5. Master of Illusion
6. We’ll Never Learn
7. Dream of Eden
8. Heaven Can Wait
9. Angels Will Cry
10. Enter My World of Darkness
11. White Lady Requiem
Voodoo Circle is:
Alex Beyrodt – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
David Readman – Vocals
Matt Sinner – Bass
Jimmy Kresic – Keyboards
Mel Gaynor – Drums
Hydrogyn is back with their sophomore effort, “Deadly Passions”. I enjoyed their debut “Bombshell” and was looking forward to what these Kentucky based rockers had in store for us for release number two.
From the opening cut “Rejection”, my guess is that Hydrogyn is trying to take a heavier approach to their music, and applaud them for doing so. “Bombshell” had a few tracks that I would consider a little too soft or light for the average hard rocker.
“Deadly Passions” starts off with the face melting tune “Rejection”. If the opening guitar riffs don’t get you interested in Hydrogyn’s music, you ought to hang around for Julie Westlake’s vocals. Much like Hydrogyn’s debut, Westlake’s vocals on this disc remind me a lot of Pat Benatar.
Craig Goldy’s brief tenure in the band must have been a good influence on guitarist Jeff Westlake, as he plays harder and heavier than ever before.
“On and On” teeters between a mid tempo melodic rocker, and a high tempo metallic rocker with some background screams thrown in from Chris Sammons for good measure. It isn’t the perfect tune, but I will get some replay value of this one.
“Deadly Passion” has a really cool upbeat groove, and is easily my favorite song on this disc.
“You Oughta Know” is a cover of the 1995 Alanis Morissette hit tune. This version is harder than the original, but not quite as good. This isn’t the first cover song Hydrogyn has recorded, but the other ones they have done are better than this. As popular as “You Oughta Know” was in the nineties, this version should have slayed the original, but it unfortunately does not.
“Candles Light Your Way” has been growing on me quite a bit. This is a catchy tune with some very good background vocals.
“Deadly Passions” has a good balance of 80’s hard rock and today’s modern hard rock sounds. In some places it works, and in others it doesn’t. I think “Deadly Passions” is a little better than Hydrogyn’s debut, but I don’t think we have heard the best piece of music from this band as of yet.
Julie Westlake – Vocals
Jeff Westlake – Guitars and Keyboards
Chris Sammons – Bass and Background Vocals
Josh Kitchen – Drums & Percussion
Steve Riley – Keyboards & Piano
Sometimes an album is like a punch in the gut to me the very first time I hear it and I have to pick myself up off the floor afterwards. But then other times it takes an album a while before it finally hits me, which was the case with Eden’s Curse “Second Coming”. I love their debut album, I still think it is a pretty amazing album so I was definitely stoked about getting “Second Coming” when it was released. But after getting the album and several listens I was disappointed because it didn’t hit me like their debut, in fact it took almost 4 months before “Second Coming” hit me, but once it did WOW!!! What an amazing album this turned out to be it is filled with excellent well written songs. I already knew vocalist Michael Eden is a phenomenal singer from the debut but he really kicked it up a couple of notches on “Second Coming”. The band which also consist of guitarist Thorsten Koehne, keyboards from Ferdy Doernberg, bassist Paul Logue, and drummer Pete Newdeck are all exceptional musicians but Koehne in particular puts on a guitar playing showcase on this album which is absolutely jaw dropping.
After a short intro titled “Reign of Terror” everything is kicked off by “Masquerade Ball” and right out of the gates there is no holding Koehne back who absolutely blisters this song with his playing along with Newdeck on drums. If there was ever a song to practice your air guitar to or maybe your best metal singer stance while lip syncing with a hair brush this would be the song, absolutely awesome.
“Angels & Demons” follows and it is a duet with Pamela Moore (A.K.A. Sister Mary from Operation: Mindcrime) and it definitely lives up to the album’s pre-release hype. One again there is no holding Koehne or Newdeck back, but truth be told everyone absolutely shines on this song. Eden and Moore are terrific trading lyrics back and forth, I don’t understand how Pamela Moore is not a better known name on her own as she more than holds her own with Eden.
“Just Like Judas” has a heavy thumping groove to it that makes it impossible not to tap your foot along. It also has a great sing a long chorus where Eden’s vocals really shine as once again so does Koehne’s guitar.
“Sail On” is a mid tempo rocker that was my first punch in the gut for “Second Coming”. Awesome song that will have lighters and cell phones around the world lighting up when it is played live. Ferdy Doernberg’s keyboards really set this song off without overpowering it. Definitely my favorite song on this album.
“Lost in Wonderland” was my second punch in the gut and this heavy rocker is another awesome example of the band’s songwriting skills and a great groove from the rhythm section of Newdeck and Logue.
With 13 tracks on this album there is not one song I would consider filler material but some of the other stand out tracks on “Second Coming” are the ballad “Man Against The World”, a mid tempo rockers “West Wind Blows” and “Lost Soul”, and definitely the album’s closer “Ride The Storm”.
I have always heard good things come to those that wait, I am glad I waited for that first punch from Eden’s Curse “Second Coming” it is definitely worth the wait.
When 2009 wraps up this album will be on my best of list and I really wouldn’t be surprised if it was my album of the year. Any hard rock fan out there should have this album in their collection.
1. Reign Of Terror (Intro)
2. Masquerade Ball
3. Angels & Demons
4. Just Like Judas
5. Sail On
6. Lost In Wonderland
7. West Wind Blows
8. Signs Of Your Life
9. Man Against The World
10. Raven’s Revenge
11. Lost Soul
12. Games People Play
13. Ride The Storm
Eden’s Curse is:
Michael Eden – Vocals
Thorsten Koehne – Guitars
Paul Logue – Bass
Ferdy Doernberg – Keyboards
Pete Newdeck – Drums
In 2008, Italian rockers, Bruno Rock signed a new deal with new German label, 7HARD. I haven’t heard any songs from Bruno Rock prior to this release, and I must admit, it is kind of odd to start out with a live record from a new band, but I do like what I hear on this disc.
“Live on Fire” is guitar oriented melodic rock album in the vein of Journey and a few other bands of the genre. It is melodic rock with solid guitar work and a very cool Deep Purple like keyboard style. With some Italian bands, I find that the singer’s accents are so strong that it is distracting. This is not the case with Bruno Rock singer, Bruno Kraler. His vocals are clean and are a definite strong suit for this band. The song “La Fonte Dei Sogni” is sung in Italian, which Kraler also sings very well.
For a live CD, this disc is a crisp and clear recording that is almost studio quality. I don’t know if this recording was cleaned up in a studio, but the sound is great, and captures Bruno Rock at the top of their game.
In 2009, Bruno Rock has a new studio album coming out called “War Maniacs”. Judging from the sound of “Live on Fire” I will definitely be picking that one up. “Live on Fire” is a solid record that fans of melodic rock and AOR should check out.
You can find your own copy of “Live on Fire” at CDBaby at this link.
For more information on Bruno Rock, check out the band’s myspace page. You can also check out a couple of song samples by clicking on the song titles below.
- It’s All Been Done For Me
- Now Dies The Truth
- Pray 4 The Rain
- No More Promises
- La Fonte Dei Sogni
- Two Hearts One Weapon
- Take The Trophy
- Hard Working Day
- Born Winner
- Let Me Be The One
- Time To Run *
- Julia *
Bruno Rock is:
Bruno Kraler – Lead Vocals
Bobby Altvater – Guitars
Dominik Huelshorst – Drums
Holger Schulten – Bass
This band seems to have embraced the NWOBHM era of metal, and have reproduced a sound that will have most metal fans, young and old banging their heads.
At times I have found singer Olaf Wikstrand’s vocals a little pitchy, but the music is so good on “Into The Night”, all if forgiven quickly. Enforcer taps into the awesome early 80’s metal sounds of Metallica and Iron Maiden to deliver a crushingly cool metal feast for your ears.
“Into the Night” isn’t a long listening experience. This CD clocks in at a tick over 35 minutes. It is so good though, I am guessing you will want to keep playing this one over and over. This disc isn’t breaking any new ground musically, but if you are fan of early 80’s thrash, you are sure to love this disc. I love the passion and the energy that comes out in the songs. It might be old school 80’s metal riffs that drives the music here, but I could care less. My only regret is that I didn’t get a copy of this CD sooner.
Heavy Artillery has a great new band on their hands. You should check them out on myspace at this link.
- Black Angel
- Mistress from Hell
- Into the Night
- Speed Queen
- On the Loose
- City Lights
- Scream of the Savage
- Curse the Light
- Evil Attacker
Olof Wikstrand – Lead Vocals
Adam Zaars – Lead Guitars
Jonas Wikstrand – Drums
Joseph Tholl – Bass
In my opinion, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry are the Yin and Yang of Aerosmith. The band can not succeed without both members. Joe Perry is one of the best rock guitarists of all time, and Steven Tyler is one of the best singers to grace hard rock music.
With that being said, the early eighties was a dark period for Aerosmith, and the band forged ahead without Joe Perry or Brad Whitford (although Whitford did play on “Lighting Strikes”). The rhythm section of Aerosmith was securely in tact for this album, as Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton were still in the band. “Rock In A Hard Place” still has quite a bit of that Aerosmith groove, but this disc is far from the band’s best effort.
When it comes right down to it, the great thing about Aerosmith is their vast collection of great hard rock songs. When I dusted this disc off to give it another chance, I hoped to find a couple of classic Aerosmith tunes on this disc. After two or three plays, none of these song stick with me very much. It isn’t that they are band, they just aren’t very memorable. The best cuts are “Jailbait”, “Lightning Strikes”, and the title track “Rock and In A Hard Place (Cheshire Cat)”. While I like the music, even the best tunes don’t live up to Aerosmith’s past works.
“Rock In A Hard Place” isn’t the worst Aerosmith album, but in my opinion it is just an o.k. disc, and one for the Aerosmith diehard fans only.
2. Lightning Strikes
3. Bitch’s Brew
4. Bolivian Ragamuffin
5. Cry Me A River
6. Prelude To Joanie
7. Joanie’s Butterfly
8. Rock In A Hard Place
9. Jig Is Up
10. Push Comes To Shove
Steven Tyler – Vocals
Jimmy Crespo – Lead Guitar
Tom Hamilton – Bass
Joey Kramer – Drums
Rick Dufay – Guitar
Brad Whitford – Rhythm Guitar on Lightning Strikes
Paul Harris – Piano – Push Comes to Shove
John Turi – Sax – Rock In A Hard Place
Richard Struab – Violins on Joanie’s Butterfly
John Lievano – Guitar O.D. on Joanie’s Butterfly
Jack Douglas – Percussion
I have listened to bands from all over the globe, but I don’t recall any coming from Austria. In the case of alt rockers Cornerstone, that would be a
first. Their new CD “Head Over Heels” falls somewhere between alternative, and 80’s style AOR. I could easily hear the more alternative numbers getting played in Starbucks across the U.S., as well some alternative and pop radio stations.
Some of the songs such as “Ready to Go” (my personal favorite) have a more melodic hard edge to them, but the majority of the songs here fall closer to acts like The Cranberries or maybe even REM. Singer Anja Schirmer has a very good voice. I wish she would take a few more chances vocally on these songs, but overall she is very pleasing to listen to. Stefan Wachelhofer provides just enough hard edged guitar licks to make these songs palatable to this hard core hard rocker. Michael Wachelhofer, who doubles as the band’s bass and keyboard player, provides a layer of keyboards that enhances but does not overpower Cornerstone’s music.
This CD also comes with a couple of radio edit tracks, “Regret” and “Fade Away” which are shortened versions of the original songs. You can check out “Fade Away” in the links below.
In 2008, Cornerstone signed a deal with Atom Records which could be the big break the band was looking for. They now have their eyes set on the U.S., and “Head Over Heels” ought to open a lot of new doors for the band. Cornerstone was winner of Alternative Addiction’s Next Big Thing contest, and are already getting airplay on several U.S. stations as a result.
If you like what you hear, you can purchase “Head Over Heels” through the HRH storefront at this link.
- Something To Say
- Ready To Go
- Better Than You
- I Can’t Even Say No
- Something In The way
- Fade Away
- Regret (U.S. Radio Version)
- Fade Away (U.S. Radio Version)
Anja Schirmer – Vocals
Michael Wachelhofer – Bass, Keyboards & Vocals
Stefan Wachelhofer – Guitars, and Vocals
Hannah Wachter – Drums & Percussion
Since this past summer when I started writing reviews here at HRH there has been so much good music that it became impossible to keep up with everything that was being released. Now I am going to try and catch up with some of the albums I missed. I can not think of a better band to start with than H.E.A.T. of course they are another kick ass Swedish band, but where the majority of Swedish bands are following the sleaze glam route H.E.A.T. decided to follow a different path from their counter-parts. This six man band from Stockholm decided to take a more melodic approach to their music in the vein of such bands as Europe, Giant, Unruly Child, Bangalore Choir, and Hardline. There are 13 tracks but 12 actual songs on this album and every one of them are stellar.
Vocalist Kenny Leckremo reminds me a lot of former Unruly Child vocalist Mark Free mixed with Bangalore Choir’s David Reece thrown in with his approach and delivery of the songs. His voice is powerful without being overbearing to the music, I don’t think he has even began to test the limits of his vocal range. The twin guitar attack of Dave Dalone and Eric Rivers also stand out both could stand their own ground against many players both from today and the past. Keyboardist Jona Tee probably made the best impression on me out of anyone in the band simply because he playing is outstanding and it enhances the songs instead of overpowering them which tends to happen quite a lot with melodic rock. Bassist Jimmy Jay and drummer Crash round out the band and are an extremely capable rhythm section that keep everyone else tight and in line.
After a short intro everything gets started with “There For You” which is a great song to kick off the album, as it is a prime example of what H.E.A.T. has in store for the listeners on this album. Straight up perfect arena rock anthem, a great solo from Dave Dalone, and a very solid performance from the rhythm section that will have you tapping your feet and bobbing your head as you sing along. Second track “Never Let Go” follows the same recipe with the same great results.
If H.E.A.T. are able to hit the arenas here in the States “Keep On Dreaming” will have everyone flicking their Bics and lighting up their cell phones for this outstanding anthem. “Follow Me” slows things down a bit with it nice piano entrance before it picks up at the chrous with soaring vocals both lead and background “Straight For Your Heart” is another kick ass song with a great performance from the entire band but drummer Crash really stands out with his playing. “Cry” and “Feel It Again” are two more outstanding songs “Cry” is mid tempo while “Feel It Again” is a more rocking song. “Straight Up” starts out with a slow burning bluesy groove to it before it kicks in at the chrous. “Bring The Stars” besides being my favorite song on the album is another arena ready anthem with a great performance from both Jimmy Jay and Jona Tee.
“You’re Lying” and “Feel The Heat” finish up the album on a very strong note. For any fans of the bands mentioned above this album is an absolute must have but for fans of just straight up arena ready melodic rock you can’t go wrong with purchasing this album either. I got H.E.A.T. to late for them to be included on my best of ’08 but they will definitely be on my best of ’09 list.
2. There For You
3. Never Let Go
4. Late Night Lady
5. Keep On Dreaming
6. Follow Me
7. Straight For Your Heart
9. Feel It Again
10. Straight Up
11. Bring The Stars
12. You’re Lying
13. Feel The Heat
Kenny Leckremo – Vocals
Dave Dalone – Guitars
Eric Rivers – Guitars
Jona Tee – Keyboards
Jimmy Jay – Bass
Crash – Drums
Dusk is the third and final album by Badlands. This disc was recorded in 1992 before the death of singer Ray Gillen. According to drummer Jeff Martin, the songs on “Dusk” were demos for the third Badlands album. Atlantic Records didn’t like the direction of the songs and later dropped Badlands. The incredible thing about this album is that the songs were recorded in one take. They haven’t been touched up for this disc. For this album to be captured in this fashion, it sounds really good.
I don’t think the songs on “Dusk” are quite as strong as first couple of Badlands records. The music has more of a raw feel to it than some of their earlier stuff. I also think the songs might be a tad bit heavier on this disc.
When Ray Gillen uses the upper range of his voice, it sends shivers down my spine. Gillen was an amazing singer who never got the recognition he deserved. His vocals on this disc are spot on all the way through “Dusk”.
I have always enjoyed the guitar work of Jake E. Lee. His playing is exactly what you would expect. It is awesome as always. Because of the raw feel of the music, some songs feel like a Jake E. Lee jam session. Some people will love it, others will want a little more structure to their songs. I think it sounds pretty cool.
It isn’t very often when you actually hear a bass player play his instrument instead of just trying to keep the rhythm with the drummer. You can hear Greg Chaisson cutting loose on the bass all over “Dusk”.
Some of the highlights are the rocking tune “Healer” and “Sun Red Sun”, the Hendrix like “Fat Cat”, the bluesy “Lord Knows”. “Ride the Jack” sounds like it could have been a very good left over track from the debut disc.
As a whole, I am a fan of Badlands. They always seemed to create some cool bluesy metal that seemed to be well beyond its time. “Dusk” carries on where the first two albums left off. If you are a fan of Badlands, you should certainly pick this up.
You can find “Dusk” at NEH Records at this link.
Ray Gillen – Vocals
Jake E. Lee – Guitar
Greg Chaisson – Bass
Jeff Martin – Drums
When word came out that Honeymoon Suite would be releasing a new album in 2008, lead singer Johnnie Dee was quoted as saying the new album would be a return to the bands roots and was he ever right. If I didn’t know better it would be easy to think the band’s latest release “Clifton Hill” was released between “the Big Prize” and “Racing After Midnight”, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because in my opinion those are Honeymoon Suite’s two best releases. The band announced the return of the original line up in 2007 and brought producer Tom Tremuth, producer of their debut album, back on board for “Clifton Hill” and the results couldn’t have turned out any better for the band. While they did have a few songs make the charts in the U.S. the band was never a household name which is unfortunate because these Canadians write some very good AOR in the same vein as Journey and fellow Canadians Loverboy.
“She Ain’t Alright” is a great way to start “Clifton Hill” off, this rocker has everything an AOR fan wants to hear. Derry Grehan inspires some great air guitar on this song and Dee’s vocals and the rest of the band sound as great as ever.
“Tired of Waiting” follows the same recipe as “She Ain’t Alright” although it is a little more radio friendly nevertheless it amounts to another solid song. Drummer Dave Betts plays this song like his life depended on it.
“Riffola” isn’t the best song on the album but it is still good, a little heavier than the first two songs. Grehan puts on another great performance and the whole band sounds just like a band that has been playing together for some 20 odd years, tight and in sync with one another.
“Ordinary” is a mid tempo song that starts off with some nice keyboards by Ray Coburn before it kicks in on the second verse.
Dave Betts is at it again, playing like his life depended on it in the opening of “the House” and the band as a whole gets back to rocking while Dee takes a stroll down memory lane thinking about growing up and how it has affected him today.
“Why Should I”, “That’s All You Got” and “Restless” are three more songs that really stand out and exemplify Honeymoon Suite.
In one fell swoop on “Clifton Hill” Honeymoon Suite were able to get back to their roots, while not dating themselves and were able to make themselves a viable band once again in today’s music scene. Hopefully this time around they will be able to make a dent in the U.S. and get the credit they deserve as a great rock band.
- She Ain’t Alright
- Tired O’ Waitin’
- The House
- Why Should I?
- Down To Business
- Sunday Morning
- That’s All I Got
- Separate Lives
Honeymoon Suite is:
Johnnie Dee – Vocals
Derry Grehan – Guitars
Dave Betts – Drums
Gary Lalonde – Bass
Ray Cockburn – Keyboards
Question? Is it possible to be legends and still nobody knows who you are? In this instance I am going to say yes because that is exactly what D-A-D are, though I still prefer to call them by their original name Disneyland After Dark just to piss off the mouse company. This Danish band has been recording and releasing records for over 22 years and are considered superstars and legends in Europe and Asia. But with the exception of two albums “No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims” and “Riskin It All” that were released by Warner Bros. D-A-D has been pretty much ignored here in the states which is an outright shame. Unfortunately with their 10th studio release “Monster Philosophy” I don’t see that changing. As great as “Monster Philosophy” is, it doesn’t fit into any of the catagories Americans like to put bands in. D-A-D does have two things most bands wish they could have, an instantly recognizable singer in Jesper Binzer and an instantly recognizable and original sound. In case you haven’t heard D-A-D before the best way to describe the sound is AC/DC meets cowpunk.
“Monster Philosophy” kicks off with “Revolution” after a short intro it blasts off into a foot stompin’, head banging feast with a very cool solo from guitarist Jacob “Cobber” Binzer, all the while letting the listener sing right along with the band.
“Nightmares in the Daytime” is the second track and though it starts off as a mid tempo song it kicks in at the chorus with another great solo from Cobber and excellent performance from drummer Laust Sonne.
“Too Deep For Me” is another mid tempo song but unlike the previously mentioned “Nightmares” it stays mid tempo with a jazzy guitar sound and really good bass from co-founder Stig Pedersen.
“Beautiful Together” gets the band back to the foot stomping rock-n-roll. I think it would hard to find a band that sounds tighter than D-A-D does on this track. It seems like everything fell in place when it was recorded, great vocals and playing throughout.
The title track “Monster Philosophy” is up next and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear this song remixed and playing in dance clubs around the world. Definitely a different sound for the guys.
“Milk & Honey” follows and it more of the classic D-A-D sound reminding me of past songs like “Hate To Say I Told You So” & “Down A Dusty 3rd World Road”
The rest of “Monster Philosophy” is filled with great songs “You Won’t Change”, “You Had A Head”, and “Money Always Takes The Place of Life” really stand out no just on the latter part of the album but the album as a whole.
In all honesty you simply can not go wrong with “Monster Philosophy” if you are already a fan listening to this album is like seeing a old friend you haven’t seen in years and if you are checking out D-A-D for the first time it is a great introduction to the band before you go back to check out the rest of their catalog.
22 years and 10 studio albums and D-A-D have never disappointed me, I just hope that someday the U.S. gives this band the respect that they deserve.
You can preview songs from “Monster Philosophy” at the D-A-D myspace page.
2. Nightmares In The Daytime
3. Too Deep For Me
4. Beautiful Together
5. Monster Philosophy
6. Milk And Honey
7. You Won’t Change
8. You Had A Head
9. I Am The River
11. Money Always Takes The Place Of Life
13. If I Succeed
Jesper Binzer – Vocals
Jacob Binzer – Guitars
Stig Pedersen – Bass
Laust Sonne – Drums