Recently, a friend of mine let me borrow a copy of his Chastain CD, In Dementia. I have always enjoyed David T. Chastain’s guitar work, but I have not checked out his latest music.
The one thing that surprised me about this Chastain disc, was the razor sharp vocals of Kate French. There are some exceptions to the rule, (i.e. Doro Pesch, Lita Ford, etc.) but I usually don’t care for female lead singers in most hard rock or heavy metal bands.
Kate French has made me rethink this once more. You would not expect a metal style voice to come out of this blonde bombshell, but she delivers the goods. Her Mustaine like snarls seems to be tailor made for David T. Chastain’s virtuoso style of guitar playing.
Chastain’s playing on this record seems to be a good balance of chugging heavy riffs, and melodic fret work that he has always been known for.
I am not sure how In Dementia compares to other Chastain releases, but I thought this was a pretty solid metal record. If anything, this disc put Kate French on my radar. Kate recorded one more CD, after this with Chastain before moving on to the band Vainglory. I will be checking out those releases as a result of hearing this disc.
If you are looking for some good metal to add to your collection, give In Dementia a look. You can hear samples of this record at Amazon.com.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Human Sacrifice
4. Sick Puppy
6. In Dementia
7. House of Stone
Kate French – Lead and backing vocals
Kevin Kekes – Bass
Dennis Lesh – Drums
David T. Chastain – Lead guitars and keyboards
I must admit that I have not heard of the band, Bomb Child until only recently. Their debut, Nothing Lasts Forever was recently recommended to me, so I decided to check them out.
Man oh mercy, am I ever glad I did. Nothing Lasts Forever blasts out of your speakers at cannonball speed, and offers listeners a ferocious feast of killer hard rock.
Bomb Child has a style that reminds me of Buckcherry, but mixed with a more modern overtone that might better resemble A7X. Nonetheless, this disc rocks out and rocks hard. It is chock full of angry tunes about life, love and broken relationships.
Nothing Lasts Forever isn’t a terribly long listening experience. The ten songs on this disc clock in just shy of 34 minutes. There really isn’t a band song in the bunch.
My only disappointment is that I didn’t hear about these guys, when they were out promoting this album. I don’t think Bomb Child is together any longer, and it is a real shame, as they were a very talented three piece.
You can find copies of Bomb Child’s CD, Nothing Lasts Forever on Amazon.com for next to nothing. It is worth the small price of admission. Go get it at this link!
You can also hear a couple of the songs on the band’s myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. I Believe
2. Empty Hands
3. Make It Up To You
4. Say Goodbye
5. More I Think About It
6. How My Life Goes
7. Outta My Mind
8. Save You
9. Love The Way You Make Me Feel
10. The Story Of My Life
Bomb Child is:
TAKA – Vocals & Guitar
ARI – Bass
Canadian, Danko Jones has been putting new music out since 1998, but it is still largely unknown in the United States.
We Sweat Blood, is Jones’ second full length release (they now have four ). The beauty of Danko Jones music is in its simplicity. This Toronto trio isn’t breaking any new ground with their music, but they can certainly craft some catchy tunes.
Most tunes are focused around a funky bass groove and an upbeat drum rhythm, and Danko Jones unique vocals. Throw in some basic AC/DC, guitar riffs, and you can pretty much figure out the basic sound of this band.
Danko Jones vocal style sounds like a blend of Jimi Hendrix and Lenny Kravitz pureed in a blender full of punk rock.
The tunes on We Sweat Blood have a funky groove and the kind of energy that would translate well when the band performs the songs live. Some of my favorite cuts are Forget My Name, Hot Damn Woman and I Want You.
If you are looking for some new upbeat tunes to get your summer rocking, give We Sweat Blood a look. You can get copies of this disc for very little money, off of Amazon.com.
For more information on this band, check out their website, DankoJones.com
Rating:Out of 10
1. Forget My Name
3. Dance On The Ruins
4. I Love Living in the City
5. I Want You
6. Sound Of Love
7. Heatbreak’s A Blessing
8. Wait a Minute
10. Home To Hell
11. Hot Damn Woman
12. The Cross
13. Love Travel
14. We Sweat Blood
Danko Jones is:
Danko Jones – Vocals/Guitar
John Calabrese – Bass
Dan Cornelius – Drums
Back in 1989, When Black ‘N Blue broke up, current KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer was looking for a new band/project to join. His associate producer from the Black ‘N Blue Album, In Heat, Pat Regan had recently signed singer/songwriter Teresa Straley.
Thayer agreed to play the guitar on this new group which would become Harlow. Most of the songs were already written by the time Thayer came in, but his guitar work certainly helped to improve the songs on this disc.
Harlow recently announced that they were reuniting and will be playing at Rocklahoma. I had to scramble to find a copy of this record. I originally owned this on cassette back in the 90’s but did not replace it until now. I recalled liking this band, but couldn’t remember much about the songs or the music.
What is even funny, is that I found out after the fact that this is NOT the Harlow that will be playing on the Retrospect Records stage at Rocklahoma. There was a second band with the same name from Kansas City, that will be reuniting for this gig (and I thought this band was obscure).
Much to my surprise, the most powerful instrument in Harlow is not Thayer’s guitar, but is the voice of Teresa Straley. Her style reminds me of a cross between Lita Ford and Heart’s Nancy Wilson. She has the ability to let loose with a powerful metal screams, and then sing with a very clean sounding voice. Thayer’s guitar work shines on this record, but he definitely takes a back seat to Straley on this disc.
The music on this disc fluctuates between early 90’s hair metal and AOR, but it is highly listenable. Some of the best songs on this disc are Chain Reaction, Empty, Cry Murder, Beyond Control (which was dedicated the family and friends of Pan Am Flight 103) and Pictures.
This disc can be found for very little cash at Amazon.com, and is worth grabbing if you are a fan of early 90’s rock.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Chain Reaction
3. Don’t Say We’re Over
5. When You Love Someone
6. Cry Murder
7. No Escape
8. Beyond Control
10. Edge of Love
Teresa Straley – vocals
Tommy Thayer – guitars
Pat Regan – keyboards
Todd Jensen – bass
Steven Klong – drums
It has been 26 long years since Canadian musician, Aldo Nova, released his first album. His 1982 debut feature material put together almost entirely by himself, with a little bit of help with some studio musicians. On the strength of his hit single Fantasy, this album went all the way to # 8 on the Billboard charts. This album would eventually go multi platinum in the United States.
The sound of this record is pretty common for the early 80’s. It is a keyboard laded pop metal, that reminds me a lot of the early sound of Bon Jovi. Aldo Nova proves to be a very good guitar player. When you hear him cut loose on the guitar, you will wonder where he has been hiding, and why you haven’t heard more about him over the years.
For this listener, Fantasy is the hardest song on this album, and one of the few songs I still enjoy. The rest of the material is more in the line of AOR than hard rock.
Yes, there are some heavy guitar riffs here and there, but I have heard a lot of better material than this over the years. If you are looking for a copy of the tune Fantasy, this is place to get it. While this release may have been somewhat influential to the hair metal scene, It is only slightly above average to my ears.
This CD has been out of print for a while, but was recently remastered and reissued in April 2008. AOR and melodic rock fans may want to check this disc out.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Hot Love
3. It’s Too Late
4. Ball And Chain
5. Heart To Heart
6. Foolin’ Yourself
7. Under The Gun
8. You’re My Love
9. Can’t Stop Lovin’ You
10. See The Light
Aldo Nova is:
Aldo Nova – Vocals, Guitars and Keyboards
Michel Pelo – Bass Guitar
Michel Lachapelle – Drums
What happens when a bunch of veteran punk rockers join forces to play Elvis tunes? Well, you will have to listen to the new CD, Back From the Dead to find out.
I haven’t heard an Elvis Pressley song in quite some time, and I don’t recall any recent covers of his music.
I never expected to like new variations of his music but I must admit that these new punked out versions breathe some new life into the King’s music.
The King might roll over in his grave after hearing this, and the die hard Elvis fans will cry sacrilege, but its o.k. Now there is a new Elvis CD, for rock fans to check out.
Back From the Dead is a fun, party starter type of CD that will certainly be a definite conversation starter.
Rating:Out of 10 (Those are Peanut Butter and and nanner sandwiches, in case you were wondering!)
1. Intro/That’s All Right Mama
2. Viva Las Vegas
3. In The Ghetto
4. Don’t Cry Daddy
5. Suspicious Minds
6. Burning Love
7. Blue Suede Shoes
8. Devil In Disguise
9. A Little Less Conversation
10. Little Sister
11. Wonder Of You
12. Love Me Tender
13. My Way/Outro
G.G. Elvis and the TCP Band is:
Elvis of Nazareth – Tony Cortez – guitarist from Ill Repute – Guitar
Little Sister – Sara – Backup Vocals
Elvis 56 – Horhay – Guitarist from the Bad Samaritans – Bass
Elvis Vicious – Dave Casillas – Guitarist from NOFX – Lead Guitar
Has Been Elvis – Larry White – Drummer from Agression & Stalag 13 – Drums
G.G. Elvis – Eric Lara – Singer from the Bad Samaritans – Vocals
Clusterhead is a 4 piece band from Regensburg, Germany. After 3 EP’s, the band has finally released their first full length CD, in 2008.
Times of No Trust starts off with a heavy, melodic tune Tears I’ve Cried, that sounds like a cross between Gotthard and the Scorpions. This is first tune that I have heard by Clusterhead, and it only made me hungry to hear more.
The title track, Times of No Trust, has a lot of loud, crunching guitars. I like the writing in the song, but for some reason the music doesn’t flow very well for me.
Rene Brandt really cuts loose with his Halford like screams on the track, Made of Stone. The heavy guitars really get you headbanging, and the keyboards give this song a semi-creepy edge to it. Cool stuff!
Clusterhead slows it down with the melodic tune, Ghosts. This mid tempo track screams hit, if a few radio stations pick this song up. I hear elements in this song that reminds me of both Queensryche, and Dokken. This is a very good tune.
The Human Factor is NOT a Metal Church cover tune, but maybe it should be. I replayed this song a few times, but I just could not get into it. It needed a little more variety in the guitar work to kick it in to gear.
Poisoned is another melodic number that I thought needed something. At times, I thought this song was overpowered by the keyboard melodies. The deep background vocals did not help out either.
Deep in the Night is jumpstarted by the double bass drumming of Reudiger Tonn. After hearing this, I wondered why Clusterhead chose to wait until this late in the album to inject the heavy machine gun rhythms into a song. Either way, I like this song a lot.
The opening guitar riffs on Prediction of a Night steers Clusterhead into an almost W.A.S.P. Like territory. Solid musicianship, cool bass riffs, and more Halford like screams enhance this tune. Good stuff!
Your Confession started out strong enough, with its heavy progressive rhythms, but this song is missing something, and some of the vocal parts didn’t really work for me.
If Dead Faint doesn’t get you singing fiiiiire, you headphones must be broke. This is one of the catchier songs by Clusterhead.
Hole In My Heart has some parts that bring Whitesnake’s Still of the Night to mind. While this song is not to that level, it is a pretty good tune, and a very solid way to close out this album.
Times of No Trust invokes memories of a lot of hard rock bands that I enjoyed from the 80’s, but only in parts. Clusterhead is a pretty good band with solid musicianship. I think on some songs they rely too much on the hard crunching guitars instead of letting Frank Stadbauer guitar work shine the way I believe it could. There are some pretty good songs on this album, and there are some that are fairly average.
If you are willing to take your time with this disc, I think you will find some good metal music you can enjoy.
For more information on Clusterhead, check out the band’s myspace page.
1. Tears I’ve Cried
2. Times Of No Trust
3. Made Of Stone
5. The Human Factor
7. Deep In The Night
8. Prediction Of A Fight
9. Your Confession
10. Dead Faint
11. Hole In My Heart
Rene Brandt – Vocals
Reudiger Tonn – Drums
Andreas Meyer – Bass
Frank Stadbauer – Guitar
Another young San Francisco band has set out to return 80’s style thrash metal to the masses.
The band has a style that blends the early metal style of Metallica and Slayer. Yes, their work is nothing unique. It sounds like the band is heavily influenced by Metallica’s early work, and I am ok with that.
Even if the music is derivative of Hatchet’s idols, it most certainly rocks, and rocks hard. Awaiting Evil offers plenty of thrash metal punch for this 80’s thrash metal fan. Julz Ramos and Sterling Bailey are solid axe men who show an amazing amount of potential. Marcus Kirchen has a look that reminds me of Ripper Owens. His voice vascillates between a strong clean metal vocal, and a coarse growly style of singing. He isn’t a cookie monster style of singer, and for that, I am grateful. I have heard enough of those type of singers to last me a lifetime.
The nine songs on Awaiting Evil clock in just shy of 42 minutes. On this record you will hear plenty of high speed drumming, tons of guitar noodling and enough solid trash metal to give you whiplash.
Metal Blade has found an excellent new band to carry on the torch for thrash metal. To hear more songs, and find more information on the band, check out the Hatchet myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Darkening Skies
2. Frailty Of The Flesh
3. Sealed Fate
4. Frozen Hell
5. Attack Imminent
6. Morlocks Tomb
7. Storm The Gates
8. The Dead Will March
9. Awaiting Evil
Marcus (Tormentor) Kirchen- Vocals
Julz Ramos – Lead Guitars
Sterling (McFly) Bailey – Guitars
Slave – Drums
Dan (Destroyer) Voight – Bass
From the opening air raid sirens of the title track, Indestructible, you almost know you are going to hear something cool. The title track starts off in awesome fashion. It is a very good track to open this disc up with.
Disturbed already has # 1 radio hit with the song, Inside the Fire, and their are several tracks that could follow this one on to radio.
Deceiver is one of the heavier songs I have heard Disturbed record. This track has plenty of double bass drumming, and some very heavy guitar licks. This is easily my favorite tune on this CD. This song is going to be massive for Disturbed.
The Night has that awesome rhythm that so many Disturbed songs are known for. The driving drums and bass will definitely get the head bangers going. Dan Donegan has some tasty guitar licks in this song as well.
Perfect Insanity is another one of those tunes where David Draiman does his typical vocal chant. Listen to this one once, and repeat after David…..Losing My Mind. This song gets in your head.
At this point, Indestructible needs a song to break it up from being too repetitious. Haunted takes it down between mid to high tempo, but aside from some semi creepy parts, it is too much like everything else on this record. It isn’t a band song, but I needed to hear something to break this album up.
The cool thing about the song Enough is Draiman sings more than he chants. His voice shines on this track, while Mike Wengren serves up some extremely cool drum beats.
The Curse is another tune that will ignite your inner head banger. The music on this song is pretty cool. I thought the chorus was kind of weak, but it isn’t the worst Disturbed has ever done.
Torn is another song that I had trouble getting into. Dan Donegan has some cool guitar parts on Torn, but as a whole, their isn’t anything that makes me want to replay this song.
Divide is more like it. This is the kind of stadium anthem that will have people singing along with the band in no time. Cool Tune!
Those thinking that Disturbed have gotten a little lighter over their last couple of releases will be happy to know that Indestructible is a return to the heavy sound that made Disturbed one of the more popular metal bands over the last ten years. This is easily their heaviest record yet, and quite possibly their best effort to date. If you are a fan of Disturbed, don’t even hesitate to pick this one up. Indestructible hits stores June 3rd, 2008!
Rating:Out of 10
David Draiman – Vocals
Dan Donegan – Guitar
Mike Wengren – Drums
John Moyer – Bass
What happens when former Jefferson Starship members set off on their own, to make their own music? More boring AOR? No, not at all.
In fact, the four members of Big Bad Wolf have crafted a CD that hair metal fans will want to get on their hands as soon as possible.
Big Bad Wolf has a sound that I would describe as Firehouse with Def Leppard style backup vocals. If you are a fan of either of these bands, you will probably enjoy the music on this CD.
Big Bad Wolf had toured with Sammy Hagar, and had some label interest, but their sound was already nearly 10 years past its prime. Guitarist Craig Chaquico hit the solo trail, and spelled the bands’ impending doom.
The band only recorded one album, but it is a might fine piece of hair metal that is worth seeking out. You can find this one on Amazon.com and Ebay. Happy Hunting!
You can preview a couple of the songs below. Enjoy!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Midnight Angel
3. I Can’t Get Over You
4. Walk Don’t Run
6. Shot Down by Love
7. Cutting Edge
8. Three Chords of Steel
9. Light on for You
10. Blame It on Rock
11. Don’t Say Good Bye
Big Bad Wolf is:
Rolf Hartley – Vocals, Keyboard, Acoustic Guitar
Brett Bloomfield – Bass, Vocals
Craig Chaquico – Lead, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitars
Kenny Stavropoulos – Drums, Vocals
I don’t know what is happening in the Bluegrass state, but I am starting to see a trend where more and more good hard rock and metal acts are coming from the state of Kentucky.
Dead Child doesn’t follow the trend of newer metal acts. They don’t employ cookie monster as a singer. They are not a death metal or hardcore band, they are straight up heavy metal.
If I were to compare Dead Child to existing metal acts, I would describe them as a blend of Metal Church, Suicidal Tendencies and maybe a dabble of Metallica. They aren’t a dead ringer for any band that is out there today. One thing is for certain, they flat out rock.
Dead Child dishes up several cuts that will instigate headbanging all over the planet. The galloping guitars Michael McMahan, and David Christian Pajo, and the crunching rhythm of Todd Cook and Tony Bailey will certainly appeal to the majority of metal heads out there.
My listening habits have been leaning towards the heavy metal side of the fence as of late, and I have been enjoying Attack a great deal. I think a bunch of you will too!
For more information on Dead Child, and to preview some of their songs, check out the band’s myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Sweet Chariot
2. Never Bet The Devil Your Head
3. Twitch of The Death Nerve
4. Screaming Skull
5. Rattlesnake Chalice
6. Eye To The Brain
7. Armies Up Ahead
8. The Coldest Hands
9. Angel of The Odd
10. Wasp Riot
11. Black Halo Rider
Dead Child is:
Tony Bailey – drums
Todd Cook – bass
Dahm – vocals
Michael McMahan – guitar
David Christian Pajo- guitar
With the release of their debut album, Keep Telling Myself It’s Alright coming on April 8th, ASHES dIVIDE have released a widget that features the brand new video for “The Stone.” The clip was directed by PR Brown who is known for his work with Smashing Pumpkins and Death Cab For Cutie among many others.
ASHES dIVIDE will be taking the stage on Saturday May 17th, 2008, at the Rock On The Range Music Festival, in Columbus, Ohio.
After coming off of the Ozzy Osbourne, Ultimate Sin tour, Jake E. Lee, formed Badlands with singer Ray Gillen.
If you were a fan of Jake E. Lee’s awesome metal guitar licks on Ozzy disc, The Ultimate Sin, then you may have found his work on Badlands a surprise, as on this disc, he moved in a more bluesy, hard rock direction.
As much as I enjoyed Lee’s work with Ozzy, it wasn’t until his work with Badlands where he truly shined. Jake E. Lee’s awesome guitar licks, combined with Ray Gillen’s incredible voice is one potent combination, and it shows on the brilliant debut record from Badlands.
This record didn’t chart as high as some of other hair metal acts at the time, but Badlands sound nothing like the majority of the acts from the 80’s. If anything their music was ahead of its time. It is excellent, bluesy hard rock that still sounds incredible to this day. I still consider this one of my top ten records of all time.
Sadly, this record is out of print, and prices for it are starting to soar on the internet. Hopefully, this record will get reissued, as music this good needs to be heard by rock fans who would like to check it out. Grab this if you can find it! Happy Hunting!
Rating: Out 0f 10
1. High Wire
2. Dreams In The Dark
3. Jade’s Song
4. Winter’s Call
5. Dancing On The Edge
6. Streets Cry Freedom
7. Hard Driver
8. Rumblin’ Train
9. Devil’s Stomp
11. Ball & Chain
Ray Gillen – Vocals
Jake E. Lee – Guitars
Eric Singer – Drums
Greg Chaisson – Bass
Many of the artists who were highly successful in the 80’s have tried reigniting their careers with sounds that take listeners back to their heyday. Whitesnake, Def Leppard and House of Lords have all released discs that their fans should be pleased with. Dokken tries to recapture the lightning, or sound that once made them famous as well.
George Lynch and Jeff Pilson have long been absent from the band. In fact, the current lineup of Dokken, Brown, Sparks and Levin, is one of the longest running for Dokken, since the bands’ most successful discs from the mid to late 80’s. It is ironic that this lineup, tries to emulate the sound of the Lynch/Pilson era. Jon Levin does a damn good George Lynch imitation, and he really cuts loose on this record. Don Dokken recruited none other than Jeff Scott Soto to sing back up vocals on this record, and it really does make a difference. That unfortunately is where the good ends and the bad begins.
In 2008, Don Dokken has very limited range with his vocals. He doesn’t take the chances that he used to in the 80’s, and that is what made their music interesting, and exciting. I am assuming that Don can’t hit the high notes anymore, as he doesn’t bother to try on Lightning Strikes Again. He stays within his own comfort zone, and as a result, the songs on this disc lack the fire of the band’s earlier material. On certain songs, Don sounds like he strains to hit the notes that he use to hit with ease.
As much as I wanted to enjoy this record, I found the songs limp and uninspiring. There are three or four songs on this disc that are above average, but the majority of the material is sub par in my opinion. The music sounds close to their original stuff from the 80’s, but without the powerful vocals that these songs deserve, they come out sounding somewhat below average. After three lackluster albums since the year 2000, I believe it is time for the band Dokken to hang it up. Lightning did not strike again for this listener.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Standing On The Outside
2. Give Me A Reason
3. Heart To Stone
5. How I Miss Your Smile
7. Point Of No Return
8. I Remember
9. Judgment Day
10. It Means
11. Release Me
12. This Fire
Don Dokken – vocals
Mick Brown – drums
Jon Levin – guitar
Barry Sparks – bass
Def Leppard hasn’t been known for hard rock in over two decades. The band moved more towards a pop rock sound ages ago. Fans have been longing for the band to return to the sound that made them famous in the early 80’s. Songs From the Sparkle Lounge isn’t a Pyromania or Hysteria part two, but this album does have some of the heaviest tracks that the band has done in quite a while. The songwriting on this record took a more simplistic approach. Most cuts on Songs From the Sparkle Lounge have an anthemic quality about it. As a result, the lyrics are easy to remember, easy to sing along with, and the band could have their first hit record with new material since 1993’s Retroactive. Yes, the band has had Gold Albums since then, but none of their releases, aside from their Greatest hit compilations, have sold more than a million copies since 1993’s Retroactive.
Those of you fearing that Def Leppard is going to tread down the road that Bon Jovi went down, I can gladly say, they did not. This album has a couple of heavy cuts. Just listen to the first track Go, and you will understand how much of a difference the sound is over the past few records. This is the first album where I have heard Vivian Campbell cut loose on a Def Leppard album, and all I can say is, ITS ABOUT TIME! The band has not jettisoned their pop rock sound on this disc, so the fans of the NWOBHM Def Leppard albums, probably won’t enjoy this record as much. Those of you looking for a disc full of good pop songs, will probably be quite happy with this disc. Songs from the Sparkle Lounge probably has more in common with Adrenalize than any of Def Leppard’s prior work.
Yes, Tim McGraw sings the intro on Nine Lives. His involvement with the song adds absolutely nothing to the song or the record. It is easily a quick marketing grab for Def Leppard, who could draw a few fans from the music buying Country Music audience. Either way it is probably a smart move for the band, especially when most bands are struggling to sell records in 2008.
Like most Def Leppard albums, Songs From the Sparkle Lounge has a power ballad, called Love. This song has more syrup than IHOP. This song has a center part that gives it a Queen like feel to it.
So far my favorite cuts are Go, Cruise Control, Hallucinate and Bad Actress.
Songs From the Sparkle Lounge isn’t a terribly long affair. It clocks in just shy of 40 minutes. This isn’t Def Leppard’s best work, but it is far from their worst. Will this new album be enough to garner new success for Def Leppard? It just might. I had low expectations for this record, and as a result I enjoyed it. I think most of you will too.
You can listen to samples of this album at the Sparkle Lounge Micro site.
Def Leppard is:
Joe Elliott – Vocals
Phil Collen – Guitars
Vivian Campbell – Guitars
Rick Allen – Drums
Rick Savage – Bass
2008 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Alcatrazz debut album, No Parole From Rock ‘N’ Roll.
This disc features the vocal talents of former Rainbow and MSG singer, Graham Bonnet, and none other than Yngwie Malmsteen on Guitar.
Alcatrazz had a fair amount of success in Japan, and even with a solid amount of airplay on MTV, with their video for Island In the Sun, the band did not much success in the United States.
Malmsteen’s neo classical style of guitar playing is present on this record, but not as overbearing as it is on his solo releases. I am guessing that the music on No Parole From Rock ‘N’ Roll is influenced by Bonnet’s early work in Rainbow, as there are a few similar elements, especially with the 70’s style keyboards of former New Englander Jimmy Waldo.
Yngwie Malmsteen’s awesome guitar playing is takes this record to the next level. Without his guitar work, I doubt that I would have cared much about the songs on this record, but his amazing fret work is always something that I enjoy hearing, especially with his varied styles from song to song this disc.
Sadly, this disc has been out of print in the United States for a long time now. You can still find import copies, but the high prices on those will scare away most hard rock fans. No Parole For Rock ‘N’ Roll is definitely a must own disc for Malmsteen fans everywhere.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Island In The Sun
2. General Hospital
3. Jet To Jet
4. Hiroshima Mon Amour
5. Kree Nakoorie
7. Too Young To Die, Too Drunk To Live
8. Big Foot
9. Starcarr Lane
10. Suffer Me
Graham Bonnet – Vocals
Yngwie Malmsteen – Guitars
Gary Shea – Bass
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards
Jan Uvena – Drums
If you are a fan of 80’s style thrash metal, a release that you may have missed the first time around is Believer’s Sanity Obscure.
Singer Kurt Bachman sings like a growling mad Dave Mustaine, after a pack of cigarettes, and fifth of whiskey to wash them down. His vocals take some getting used to, but this will not be a problem for the many thrash metal fans out there.
I have listened to plenty of thrash metal in my time, and still do on occasion, but I never heard of Believer until only recently. What blows my mind is how technically proficient each member of this band is.
Dave Baddorf ‘s guitar riffs are off the hook on this record. Joey Daub’s pounding drum beats keeps the band in time, but assures that their will be headbanging-a-plenty.
If you are a fan of late 80’s thrash, such as early Megadeth, Metallica, Exodus and Slayer, Believer will definitely make a Believer out of you. This CD has been out of print, and was recently re-issued by Metal Mind. Without question, this CD will sell out! Don’t miss getting you copy of a CD, that deserves to be well known in thrash metal history.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Sanity Obscure
2. Wisdom’s Call
4. Idols of Ignorance
5. Stop the Madness
6. Dies Irae (Day of Wrath)
7. Dust to Dust
8. Like a Song
I must admit that I am long overdue in checking out Cinder Road. The band has been growing in popularity, and opening for likes of Daughtry and Tesla, hasn’t hurt their cause one bit.
I recently caught Cinder Road live. My wife and I enjoyed their show, so I had to check out their new CD, Superhuman.
Much like Stonerider, whose album I reviewed on Monday, Cinder Road is a 2nd debut by this 5 piece band from Lutherville, Maryland. The band already has a couple of albums to their credit under the moniker, Plunge. I haven’t heard any of those songs, but thank god they changed that awful name!
Cinder Road has a sound that is probably closer to Butch Walker’s Marvelous 3, than anything remotely hard rock. Their songs have a hard edge, which make the songs easily palatable for main stream music and hard rock fans alike.
I prefer the harder cuts on Superhuman. My favorite songs on this record are, I’m So Sorry, Should’ve Known Better, and Get In Get Out.
Superhuman is a solid effort by Cinder Road, and one that should garner some mainstream success for the band. The music is a little lighter than those usually reviewed at HRH, but Superhuman is certainly a disc worth exploring!
You can check out more of their songs, at the band’s myspace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
1. I’m So Sorry
2. Bad Excuse
3. Back Home To You
4. Should’ve Known Better
5. Get In Get Out
6. Learning To Love
7. Feels So Good
10. Drift Away
11. Don’t Be Scared
Cinder Road is:
Mike Ruocco – vocals
Chris Shucosky – guitar
Pat Patrick – guitar
Nat Doegen – bass
Mac Calvaresi – drums
Miami, Florida-based hard rock band BLACK TIDE has sold 11,400 copies of its debut album, “Light from Above”, in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 73 on The Billboard 200 chart.
After months of anticipation, BLACK TIDE has finally unveiled the video for its blazing single “Shockwave”. The Travis Kopach-directed (BUCKCHERRY, PANIC! AT THE DISCO) directed clip finds the group turning a non-descript suburban home into a frenzy of moshing fans and skateboarders pulling tricks on a half-pipe! The motocross bad boys of the Metal Mulisha also make an appearance making this video a throwback to the glory days of ’80s metal!
Watch the clip at MTV.com.
“Light from Above” was released on March 18 via Interscope Records. The CD was recorded with producer Johnny K, who has previously worked with DISTURBED, MACHINE HEAD and SOIL, among others.
BLACK TIDE burst onto the metal scene with a month-long stint opening up the main stage of Ozzfest. According to a press release, the band “not only embrace the charisma, character and unwavering attitude of those who shredded before them, but they do so in a manner that would make the virtuosos that inspired them proud. The results are a renegade metallic assault that America hasn’t encountered since METALLICA killed ‘em all in ’83. BLACK TIDE are not only bringing music back from the dead, but they’re returning the power to metal. The meltdown is long overdue…”
If the 4 song EP, Unbecoming by Dallas Perkins give any indication what the future holds for this talented guitarist, then I expect big things for him in the near future.
This four song EP includes the guitar wizadry and vocals of Dallas Perkins, the bass of Aaron Samson (ODIN), and the drums of David Moreno (Love/Hate). Unbecoming was edited, mixed and produced by Neil Citron.
Dallas Perkins has a cool, soulful quality about his voice, that is unlike anyone that I have listened to recently. Unbecoming has a mixture of styles that includes pop, rock and metal. Each time I spin this I hear something different but one track always seems to draw me in is Kurukshetra. This is the hardest and my favorite tune on this disc. This song shows the most potential of Dallas. I hope he continues down this path for future recordings.
Unbecoming offers a nice appetizer of tunes by Dallas Perkins. I found myself wanting to hear more after this. I think you will too!
For more information on Dallas, and to get your own copy of Unbecoming, check out his website!
Rating: Out of 10
- Taken Alive
- Get It Right
If Lemmy Kilmeister from Motorhead sang for AC/DC, it would have to sound some like Philadelphia’s, American Speedway.
Singer Michael Thursby Speedway has the same style of hard edged course vocals as Lemmy. The one difference I have found on this rocking set of tunes, is that punk vibe that they give off. American Speedway seems to have one foot in hard rock, and the other in the punk world. Either way, it seems to work for them.
Speedway’s coarse voice may not be for everyone, but if you like Motorhead, chances are you will probably like American Speedway as well. Ship of Fools is a short set (less than 30 minutes in length) of high energy, bar room rock. It isn’t original, but it definitely rocks. This is the kind of music, that no matter how hard you resist you will find yourself tapping your foot, and ready to crack open a cold one.
You can check some of American Speedway’s tunes at their myspace page here. For you Vinyl fans, if you act quick enough, you an get a copy of Ship of Fools on LP, that comes with a copy of the CD at the same price. Get it now from SeeofSound.com!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Ship Of Fools
2. American Speedway
3. One Foot In, One Foot Out
4. Far Behind
5. Drinkin’ And Drivin’
7. Don’t Tread On Me
8. Make Some Noise
9. No Control
10. Same Old, Same Old
American Speedway is:
Michael Thursby Speedway – Lead vocals, guitars
Johnny Griswold – Guitars, backing vocals
Billy Angry – Bass, backing vocals
Chris Callahan – Drums
The folks at Metal Mind have reissued a classic NWOBHM disc that is one that metal fans will certainly need to check out.
If you haven’t heard of Diamond Head before, what you should know is this is the band that heavily influenced the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, and several more hard rock and metal acts over the years.
Metallica has covered a few of their songs over the years, including their massive anthem, Am I Evil? The amazing thing about Diamond Head, is how so many thrash acts were influenced by this group, that is grounded more in early heavy metal, than anything remotely close to thrash. Diamond Head’s style reminds me a whole lot of the American (and very under rated) band Riot, whose popularity was growing at the same time.
The guitar tone on In The Heat of the Night reminds me a great deal of early Def Leppard. This song seems to get better with every listen.
To Heaven from Hell starts off mid-tempo and seems to be a fairly average tune, then about mid way through goes through a time change that cranks the speed and the guitar solos up to ten! This song will have you breaking out the air guitar for sure.
Call Me is a balladesque tune that mains a raw but heavy feel. This is another cool tune that continues to grow on me.
Lightning to the Nations is another raw rocker that has a Def Leppard meets Iron Maiden style about it.
The title track Borrowed Time is easily my favorite song on this disc. Lots of guitar solos, and good sing along style of lyrics can be found in this classic tune.
Don’t You Ever Leave Me is probably my least favorite song on this record. This song tends to linger on, as it clocks in at close to eight minutes. The guitar work is solid. In fact, the guitar solos are the best part of the song. I think a shorter song would have worked better here. It is a nice jam session, and I can see how many acts tried to emulate the guitar tones here.
Am I Evil? needs on introduction. Metallica made this song famous. The Diamond Head is not as heavy as the Metallica version, but it is every bit as good, just a little different from that version.
The CD was previously unavailable in the United States, and this limited edition (2000 copies) reissue is certainly one worth grabbing, before they are all gone!
This reissue comes with six bonus tracks, and a 13 minute interview to close the CD. Most of the bonus tracks are live cuts. They are a nice addition, and only add to the listening experience Borrowed Time brings.
Borrowed Time is like opening up a hard rock time capsule. It is a very influential piece of music on many of the 80’s bigger metal acts. It is an interesting and very good hard record that is worth discovering again in 2008! You can get a copy of this disc here!
Rating:Out of 10
1. In the Heat of the Night
2. To Heaven from Hell
3. Call Me
4. Lightning to the Nations
5. Borrowed Time
6. Don’t You Ever Leave Me
7. Am I Evil?
8. Trick or Treat
9. Dead Reckoning
10. Shoot out the Lights
11. In the Heat of the Night
12. Play It Loud [Live]
13. Sweet and Innocent [Live]
14. Interwiev with Sean Harris and Colin Kimberley by Tommy Vance Recorded
Diamond Head is:
Sean Harris – Voice, Backing Vocals, Percussion, Vocoder
Brian Tatler – Guitars, Backing Vocals
Colin Kimberley – Bass, Tarus Bass Pedals, Backing Vocals
Duncan Scott – Drums, Percussion
Today marks the return of the Rocklahoma Review Series (2008 Edition). For the next 17 Saturdays, I will be reviewing CD’s by some of the bands that are on the Rocklahoma 2008 roster. There are over 84 bands this year, so their are plenty to choose from. Hopefully this experience will be as eye opening for everyone as it was for me this week. You see, I have not played the debut CD by Beautiful Creatures in two or three years. This band fell off of my radar for a while until the recent Rocklahoma announcement. I decided to give this CD a spin, and was pleasantly surprised with what I found here.
Beautiful Creatures is the band led by Bang Tango singer Joe Leste and Sixx A.M. guitar player DJ Ashba. I guess with Joe Leste as the front man for Beautiful Creatures, I expected this band to be some kind of a Bang Tango clone. I do here some small similarites to Bang Tango, but this CD reminds me a whole lot of the 1994 Motley Crue CD with John Corabi. Quite a few of the songs on this disc, would not have sounded out of place on that record. The tunes on this record, probably have more in common with 90’s grunge, than they do with 80’s glam, but the hard rocking guitar solos are unmistakably 80’s.
My favorite cuts on this disc are Wasted, Ride, Kick Out, and Kickin’ For Days. This is an album that doesn’t really have any filler cuts, although some songs are stronger than others. Most importanly, this disc rocks hard and does it well. After hearing these songs again for the first time in years, I would bet that they would translate well live. This should be a treat to hear for those that will be in attendance for the Sunday afternoon show at Rocklahoma. If you aren’t familiar with Beautiful Creatures music, be sure to watch their videos below, and check out their myspace page!
Rating:Out of 10
1. 1 A.M.
3. Step Back
6. Kick Out
8. Kickin For Days
9. Time And Time Again
10. Goin Off
11. New Orleans
12. I Got It All
Beautiful Creatures are:
Joe LeSte – vocals;
Dj Ashba – guitar, background vocals
Anthony Focx – guitar, background vocals
Kenny Kweens bass, background vocals
Glen Sobel – drums, background vocals
Sleaze metal is a genre of rock that wont ever be forgotten, and will certainly not die.
New bands from all over the globe are putting out new releases all of the time. Case in point is France’s Aesthesia.
France isn’t known for its sleaze metal, but Aesthesia could change that soon.
One listen to Serious Conspiracy, and you will quickly find a band that is heavily influenced by Guns N’ Roses. Singer Nico Marlyn has a vocal style that is similar to Axl Rose. It isn’t exact, and his French accent makes him sound similar to some of the sleaze/glam singers coming out of Sweden.
Aesthesia lacks the swagger of G ‘N R, but they are still pretty good. Some of the songs on Serious Conspiracy are a little on the repetitive side, but I have found a tracks that I like quite well.
The best songs on this record are Cold Case, 11:00 One Way Express, Bad N’Pretty and Hungry Dog.
Aesthesia is a very promising band, and hopefully more rock acts from the land of wine, art and fashion will follow their path. For more information on Aesthesia, and to get your own copy of Serious Conspiracey, check out their website, Aesthesia Rocks!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Cold Case
2. 11:00 One Way Express
4. Poison Dice
5. Hit A Snag
6. Burned Macadam Road
7. Your Snazzy Side
8. Bad N’ Pretty
9. No Flowers From My Friend
10. Hungry Dog
11. One Way Step Ahead
12. Too Bad Too Sad
Nico Marlyn – lead vocals
Julien Gatter – Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
Voodoo – Rhythm Guitar and Backing Vocals
Dim Obolensky – Bass and Backing Vocals
Mike Marcia – Drums
Make no bones about it! There is a new rock revival coming from Ireland. The land that brought us acts like Van Morrison and Thin Lizzy, is at it again with groups like The Answer, Million Dollar Reload, and Glyder.
Glyder is often compared to their countrymen, Thin Lizzy. This isn’t without reason as Glyder’s singer, Tony Cullen has a style similar to the late, great Phil Lynott. Nonetheless, Glyder is not without their own merits, and Playground For Life is one fine hard rock album.
Playground for Life is an album that didn’t hit me immediately. It took several listens before this one grew on me. The one thing that did hit me right away, was the excellent guitar playing of Bat Kinane and Pete Fisher.
The first two cuts are Gambler’s Blues, and Sweets are quite heavy, and much to my liking. After the first two songs, Glyder tends to move into more of a classic rock direction. The tunes are less heavy, but are still quite solid. The title track, Playground for Life is quite good, and the tune Over and Over is also quite cool.
As a whole, Playground for Life is very good album that will please most classic rock, and hard rock fans. For more information on Glyder, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Gambler’s Blues
3. Puppet Queen
4. Playground For Life
5. For Your Skin
6. Walking My Own Ground
7. Dark Meets Light
8. Sleeping Gun
9. Over and over
10. The Merrygoround
Tony Cullen – Vocals and Bass
Bat Kinane – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Pete Fisher – Guitars
Davy Ryan – Drums
Fastway is the band started up by former Motorhead guitarist “Fast” Eddie Clark and ex-UFO bass player Pete Way.
I used to like Fastway fairly well, but it has been a long time since I have given their self titled debut any plays. I thought I would dust the cobwebs off this disc, and see what I think about it in 2008.
There are two must play songs on this disc, Easy Livin’ and Say What you Will. Say What You Will is easily Fastway’s biggest hit. This hard rock anthem was a staple on the radio for many years, and is still favorite of mine.
Digging deeper into this record, and you can easily hear the influence of Led Zeppelin in the music. There are several heavy tunes with that same style of Zeppelinesque groove.
While the music isn’t very original, it is a very good piece of 80’s metal.
Dave King has a very unique voice which is well suited to the music. “Fast” Eddie Clark plays some wicked guitar riffs all over this album. Pete Way’s heavy bass on this record is unmistakable.
Some additional tracks that I like on this disc are Feel Me, Touch Me, Heft!, and Give It All You Got.
This isn’t a perfect album by any means, but still deserves a few spins from time to time. It is a solid disc and is one that I still think is worth having in my collection. You can check out the video for the tune, Say What You Will below!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Easy Livin’
2. Feel Me, Touch Me (Do Anything You Want)
3. All I Need Is Your Love
4. Another Day
6. We Become One
7. Give It All You Got
8. Say What You Will
9. You Got Me Runnin’
10. Give It Some Action
11. Far Far From Home
Fast Eddie Clark – Guitars
Dave King – Vocals
Pete Way – Bass (uncredited)
Jerry Shirley – Drums
I still remember the day when I heard Pull Me Under on the radio for the first time. I was out of town for business in Detroit. The DJ didn’t say who it was, but I was immediately blown away. I had to know who this was, and quickly.
Images and Words was the release that opened up the world of progressive metal for this listener. At the time of this album’s release, glam metal was on the decline. Progressive metal offered listeners something new, and Images and Words, quickly put Dream Theater on top of the progressive metal scene.
Images and Words is Dream Theater’s second release, and the first for singer James Labrie. The first CD, When Dream and Day Unite, didn’t take off, and the band’s singer Charlie Dominici was fired. The band didn’t start gaining success until James Labrie joined the group.
I did not start paying attention to this genre of metal until I heard this album. Images and Words offers a somewhat unique style that was certainly ground breaking to me, and many others. The musicianship on this record is nothing short of stellar. John Petrucci showcases his awesome guitar skills, and Mike Portnoy proves to be one of the best drummers out there. James Labrie’s great voice ties it all together for one nice package.
There are a few songs that blend well with mainstream metal including Pull Me Under, Another Day, and Take the Time. It isn’t until later in the album where you find gems like Metropolis Part 1, a nine minute monster of a song that seems to fly by. Dream Theater can craft heavy tunes, and turn on a dime, and create music that is AOR quality. They back up their tunes with incredible live performances. For this listener, Images and Words is still an extraordinary listening experience. This release is essential for all progressive rock and metal fans.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Pull Me Under
2. Another Day
3. Take The Time
5. Metropolis – Part 1 “The Miracle And The Sleeper”
6. Under A Glass Moon
7. Wait For Sleep
8. Learning To Live
Dream Theater is:
James LaBrie – vocals
John Myung – bass
John Petrucci – guitars, vocals
Mike Portnoy – drums, percussion, vocals
Kevin Moore – keyboards
A four piece sleaze metal band, Erotic Suicide from Oklahoma released their debut CD in 1994. Sleaze Metal
was already dealt its crushing blow from the release of grunge music. Rock music of the glam/sleaze genre released after 1993 is largely unknown by most hard rock fans.
Sadly, Abusement Park is one of the CD’s that was released way too late in the game. If this CD, was released 5 years earlier, this band could have easily been a household name in the hair metal scene.
Erotic Suicide has a sound that I describe as Faster Pussycat meets Poison. It is a sound that was quite common in the late 80’s, and early 90’s. Although the band’s sound is nothing original, it is a disc that I still enjoy from time to time.
This CD is one of the more rare ones in my collection. Finding this one is virtually impossible
withough paying high dollars on EBay. Is it worth the hunt? If you like this style of music, it most certainly is. My favorite cuts on this disc are Can’t Remember, Goin Down and Sweet Summer Nights.
Check out the video below for Can’t Remember and decide for yourself! Happy Hunting!
Rating:Out of 10
2. Can’t Remember
3. Goin’ Down
4. Comes Around Goes Around
5. Mean Sex Machine
6. You’re So Cool
7. Ties Me Up
8. You Get What You Pay For
9. Wait a Minute
10. Sweet Summer Nights
Erotic Suicide is:
Rachal Rose – Vocals
Kyle St. Clair – Guitar
Leslie Kane Blak – Bass
DD Rose – Drums
If you are going stir crazy, waiting for the new Judas Priest, Nostrodamus CD to come out, never fear.
Rob Halford is opening up his archives, to give you a release with some demos and previously unreleased tunes from his stint in his band, Fight.
Chances are, if you are a Fight fan, you may have most of the songs on this disc. If you don’t, this is disc worth grabbing.
Into the Pit, and Nailed to the Gun are awesome tunes. If you haven’t picked up a Fight disc, those tunes are a must own for metal fans. The new songs, Now You Die, Forbidden, Down, Beast Denies, and Dead Men Talk are all solid tunes.
Some of the demo cuts are in fairly raw form complete with errors, which make this an interesting, if not essential listen. Rob Halford fans will be quick to grab this one. All others ought to give this one a look.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Into the Pit
2. Nailed To the Gun
3. Now You Die
4. Life In Black
5. Kill It
8. War Of Words
9. Psycho Suicide
12. Beast Denies
13. Laid To Rest
14. Jesus Saves
15. Dead Men Talk
16. For All Eternity
Rob Halford – Vocals
Brian Tilse – Guitars
Russ Parrish – Guitars
Jay Jay – Bass
Scott Travis – Drums
Quite possibly one of the biggest hard rock anthems of the 1980’s came from Autograph’s Sign In Please. The tune Turn Up The Radio, was a top 30 hit, and helped push the album Sign in Please to Platinum level status.
It has been a while since I revisited this disc, but I always had fond memories of Autograph, so I decided to dust this one off and give it a few more spins.
Listening to this disc in 2008, I have the tendency to want to rip on this disc. The material here definitely sounds dated, and the song writing is pure cheese. With that being said, I still enjoy this record somewhat, maybe not as much as I did 24 years ago, but it is still listenable.
The cuts Send Her To Me, Turn Up The Radio, Nine Teen & Non Stop, and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Isn’t Me are certainly catchy. This disc does have a few filler tracks, but nothing is absolutely terrible.
Sign in Please is quite a bit more pop than it is metal, but is still worth giving a spin every once in a while.
If you haven’t tired of the song Turn Up The Radio, it is almost worth the price of admission, when you pick up Sign in Please.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Send Her To Me
2. Turn Up The Radio
3. Night Teen & Non-Stop
4. Cloud 10
5. Deep End
6. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Isn’t Me
7. Thrill Of Love
9. In The Night
10. All I’m Gonna Take
Steve Plunkett – Lead Vocals and Guitar
Steve Lynch – Guitars
Randy Rand – Bass & Vocals
Keni Richards – Drums
Steven Isham – Keyboards & Vocals