I must admit that after hearing the opening track, “Growin’ Up In California,” from the latest Night Ranger disc, I was a little disappointed. It appears that Night Ranger was listening to Motley Crue’s Saints Of Los Angeles a little too much before hitting the studio to record Somewhere In California. Their history of Hollywood and playing the early clubs is a clear rip off of the Crue’s “Down At The Whiskey”. It’s unfortunate, because the rest of Somewhere In California is classic Night Ranger and a boatload of fun.
The overall sound on Somewhere In California is vintage, mid-80s Night Ranger. The band was able to travel to their best known period of work and conjure up the golden sound from back in the day. With themes of women, good times, and rock and roll Somewhere In California harkens back to the carefree, easy days of the 80s that most people may have forgotten.
At the heart of the vocals on Somewhere In California is Jack Blades, still singing his ass off after all these years. And while Blades’ voice may sound a little older, it doesn’t take away from what Night Ranger set out to accomplish. Older doesn’t mean worse; it just means aged, like a fine wine. Blades’ voice is in exceptional form, it just lacks the power that was there 20 years ago, and that should be expected.
Guitarist Brad Gillis can still play guitar at a very high level and the solos on songs like “Growing Up In California” and “Say It With Love” prove that. Gillis and guitarist Joel Hoekstra play off each other well, and the addition of Eric Levy’s keyboards acting as a third guitar at times, blends the music together beautifully. Not many bands know how to integrate the keyboard sound into their rock songs, but Night Ranger pulls it off effortlessly and effectively.
If you were a fan of Seven Wishes or Big Life, you are going to fall in love with Somewhere In California. This is classic Night Ranger the way we remember them and the way they were meant to sound. The high flying fun stands out throughout the album and while there is the expected (and almost required) ballad of the album, for the most part, Night Ranger has decided that it is better to rock out. And since they do it so well, who are we to argue? If you’re searching for that 80s sound that will have you reaching for your Aqua Net and acid washed jeans, get yourself a copy of Somewhere In California.
Notable Tracks: Bye, Bye Baby (Not Tonight), Follow Your Heart, Say It With Love
Rating: Out of 10
- Growin’ Up In California
- Lay It On Me
- Bye Bye Baby (Not Tonight)
- Follow Your Heart
- Time Of Our Lives
- No Time To Lose Ya
- Live For Today
- It’s Not Over
- End Of The Day
- Rock N Roll Tonite
- Say It With Love
Night Ranger Is:
Jack Blades – Lead Vocals, Bass Guitar
Kelly Keagy – Drums, Vocals
Brad Gillis – Guitars
Joel Hoekstra – Guitars
Eric Levy – Keyboards
I have been a fan of Paul Shortino since his Rough Cutt days. When I heard he was taking over the vocals duties for the King Kobra reunion, I couldn’t have been happier. I was hopeful that his vocals would help propel King Kobra to new heights. I can happily that say that Shortino’s voice is stronger than ever. His vocals are a good match for King Kobra.
In my opinion, King Kobra’s music has been hit or miss over the years. Their debut album Ready To Strike is still my de facto favorite. The latest effort from King Kobra, doesn’t surpass the debut album, but it is still pretty good. In all reality, it might not be fair to compare this version of King Kobra to the original version as Shortino’s vocals are much different from those of Mark/Marcie Free. If I were to compare this CD to the original releases of Rough Cutt, Shortino’s former band, it stands out extremely well.
“Rock the House” opens the album in fine fashion with a cool party rock anthem. “Turn Up the Good Times” helps deliver that one-two punch. This heavy rocker is the perfect complement to “Rock the House”. King Kobra came firing out of the gate for this CD.
The pace slows down for the song “Live Forever”. The funny thing about “Live Forever” is, if this song was released twenty years ago, it could have been a hit for King Kobra. It might just be the perfect melodic rock tune.
“Tear Down The Walls” was always just a clichéd title from the 80’s. I remember a lot of bands taking a lot of crap for this song title. Nonetheless, King Kobra’s “Tear Down the Walls” does rock.
“Midnight Woman” is a great sing-along tune that won’t get out of my head.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love the drumming of Carmine Appice. His drum fills on “We Got a Fever” remind me so much of the way he played on the Blue Murder debut. His excellent drumming combined with the awesome riffs from Mick Sweda and David Michael-Phillips make this one enjoyable tune.
It was a minor disappoint to me that the song “Monsters & Heroes” was not on this CD. This is a really cool King Kobra tune that was released last winter. It got quite a bit of play on the Hard Rock Hideout radio show.
Personally, I am quite happy to see these guys back in action. I have been listening to King Kobra, and all of the bands the members of King Kobra have been in for years. From Blue Murder, to W.A.S.P., to Bulletboys, to Rough Cutt, and Big Cock. There are so many great bands that the collective members of King Kobra went on to form. I think it is cool that they all got back together to give us another cool set of tunes to enjoy.
Overall, this is a solid album for King Kobra. I think the band’s long time fans will enjoy it.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rock This House
2. Turn Up The Good Times
3. Live Forever
4. Tear Down The Walls
5. This Is How We Roll
6. Midnight Woman
7. We Got A Fever
8. Top of the World
9. You Make It Easy
10. Cryin’ Turns To Rain
11. Screamin’ For More
12. Fade Away
Carmine Appice – Drums
David Michael Philips – Guitar
Johnny Rod – Bass
Paul Shortino – Lead Vocals
Mick Sweda – Guitar
Their time has come! The classic gems of modern day Iron Maiden are finally being collected on a late era only, 2-disc compilation. Donning their hits from 1990 – 2010, Iron Maiden has released a 2-disc set of powerful songs tilted From Fear To Eternity. The title is a nice word play off two of Iron Maiden’s better known hits from the early 90s. From Fear To Eternity is a great tribute to latter day Iron Maiden songs that seem too often to be ignored.
Obviously the fans love the classic material. If you’re seeking a collection of Maiden’s 80s hits, Somewhere Back In Time was released in 2008 and can be easily found. However, if you’ve been wondering what the band has been up to lately, but haven’t picked up any of their newer albums, this is the collection for you.
Not since 2005’s Essential Iron Maiden set have this many post modern Maiden tunes been available in one collection. Combining classics like “Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter” with modern smashes like “These Colours Don’t Run” is excellent work. And while there are some key tracks that have been excluded (most notably “Futureal” from Virtual IX), the songs that are included pack quite the wallop.
Some of the key moments on this 2-disc collection of hits come from the past decade of Maiden greatness. “Coming Home,” “For The Greater Good Of God,” and “Paschendale” all show the brilliance that Maiden has recently crafted. If you haven’t given the newer music a chance, then this is a fantastic way to reintroduce yourself to the band. The last four Iron Maiden studio albums have all been brilliant and some of the best tracks from each of those discs are captured on From Fear To Eternity.
Another nice inclusion is the rare B-side “Man On The Edge” live with Bruce Dickinson singing lead vocals. I’m not sure what tour this was recorded during, but it was nice to hear Dickinson’s take on the song. However, the decision to not include any songs that Blaze Bayley sang on comes as quite a disappointment. His rendition of “Afraid To Shoot Strangers” is exceptional and it would have been nice to see a few songs with his vocals featured on this set. As it is though, the band opted to only include the Bruce Dickinson versions of all the tracks.
As happens with any greatest hits package, there are bound to be debates over the songs that were not included in the final cut. Both “Wildest Dreams” and “The Final Frontier” are surprising absences on From Fear To Eternity. Other missed opportunities include: “From Here To Eternity,” “The Angel And The Gambler,” and “Journeyman,” just to name a few.
Overall From Fear To Eternity is a great collection of repackaged material. It you own the entire Maiden catalog, feel free to skip over this set. If you’ve missed out on some of the latter material though, then this is the perfect album to catch you up.
U.S. fans can get free downloads of the songs, “The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg, and “The Wicker Man” at this link. Check it out!!
Rating: Out of 10
- The Wicker Man
- Holy Smoke
- El Dorado
- Different World
- Man On The Edge (Live)
- The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
- Blood Brothers
- Rain Maker
- Sign Of The Cross (Live)
- Brave New World
- Fear Of The Dark (Live)
- Be Quick Or Be Dead
- No More Lies
- Coming Home
- The Clansman (Live)
- For The Greater Good Of God
- These Colours Don’t Run
- Bring Your Daughter…To The Slaughter
- Afraid To Shoot Strangers
- Dance Of Death
- When The Wind Blows
Iron Maiden Is:
Bruce Dickinson – Vocals
Steve Harris – Bass
Janick Gers – Guitar
Dave Murray – Guitar
Adrian Smith – Guitar
Nicko McBrain – Drums
Nazareth is back with the 22nd (gasp!) effort Big Dogz, and their first since 2008’s excellent, The Newz.
It blows my mind that Nazareth has been rockin’ since 1968. Dan McCafferty and company proves there is plenty of fire left in this awesome rock n’ roll band.
The Big Dogz that are Nazareth start howling right out of the gate with the song, “Big Dogs Gonna Howl”. This rocker gets better every time I listen to it. (It sounds great when blasted loudly on a car stereo I might add.)
McCafferty’s whiskey stained vocals really drive home the tune “No Mean Monster”. This is the type of rockin’ tune I have grown to expect from Nazareth over the years.
“When Jesus Comes to Save the World Again” starts off as a slow acoustic number that wouldn’t sound out-of-place in your local coffee shop. The song eventually breaks into a hard as nails number that eventually reverts back to its acoustic beginning. This a well written tune, and a an enjoyable listen in my opinion.
I would expect that my favorites off of Big Dogz would be one of the heavier numbers, but I absolutely love the song “Radio”. ‘Radio” is a very catchy mid-tempo number that could be an honest hit for Nazareth, if the boneheaded DJ’s of radio today still played their songs.
“Time and Tide” and its main lyric “Where does the time go” makes a lot of sense for a band that has been rocking as long as Nazareth. The older we get, the years just seem to disappear faster and faster. That lyric can pretty much apply to anyone at anytime, and it certainly makes you think, each time you hear it. I can just picture Dan McCafferty and Pete Agnew sitting around with a cocktail in their hands, reminiscing about the good old days .
“The Toast” is a fun, upbeat rocker, with a tongue in cheek ending, that is worth a lot of repeat plays.
“Butterfly” is a sad, but memorable piano based number that tells the tale of a lost loved one. It is a real tear-jerker, but a very powerful and emotional tune. This is song is one of the highlights of Big Dogz.
Big Dogz ends in an a great fashion with the upbeat rocker “Sleeptalker”. This is an infectious number that could easily become a fan favorite.
Overall, I have found Big Dogz to be an enjoyable record. It isn’t perfect by any means, and if you are expecting a repeat of Hair of the Dog, or No Mean City, you won’t find it here. If you are a Nazareth fan, and you enjoyed the band’s comeback effort, The Newz, you ought to check out Big Dogz. I think you will enjoy it!
Rating: Out of 10
- Big Dog’s Gonna Howl
- No Mean Monster
- When Jesus Comes to Save the World Again
- Time and Tide
- The Toast
- Watch Your Back
Dan McCafferty – Vocals
Pete Agnew – Bass, backing vocals
Jimmy Murrison – Guitars
Lee Agnew – Drums
When Faster Pussycat released their 2006 CD, The Power and the Glory Hole, I was less than impressed by the band’s move to their industrial twinged sleaze. Judging from the sounds on Priscilla’s latest effort, Eight Lives Gone, Faster Pussycat could have learned a thing or two from Priscilla. They simply do it better.
Singer Brad Slitt has composed an album full of sleazy good rockers, that are a lot of fun to listen to.
One of my favorites is the hard rockin’ title track, “Eight Lives Gone”. I can only imagine the electricity the band brings to the stage with this tune.
I can imagine the lighters swaying back and forth on the hair ballad “Fade Away”. While this song is good, the drum track kind of takes away what could have been one of the finer moments on this CD.
Powered by kick ass tunes like “High Tonight”, “High Fashion” and “Six Six Sex”, Eight Lives Gone offers up a guttural attack on the senses that I won’t soon forget.
The production qualities of Eight Lives Gone could have been a lot better, but this is still a pretty good CD overall. Ohio may not be a hot bed for sleaze rock, but Priscilla certainly gives me hope for a rekindled music scene that is long overdue for some new excitement. Check out Eight Lives Gone for some sleazy good rock!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Satanic Panic / Lord of The Flies
02. High Tonight
03. Eight Lives Gone
04. Generation Exploitation
05. High Fashion
07. Like a Tattoo
08. Six Six Sex
09. Twilight Alley
10. Hiroshima Shake
11. Fade Away
12. Kill Kult Kids
13. Zinc Alloy
Former Hanoi Rocks front man Michael Monroe is back with his sixth solo album, Sensory Overdrive.
On his latest CD, Michael has assembled an all-star band to help craft his new tunes. The lineup on this CD features Ginger from the Wildhearts on Guitar, Sammi Yaffa from Hanoi Rocks, Jetboy and the New York Dolls on bass, and Steve Conte from the New York Dolls on guitar. He also has a couple of cool guest stars with Lucinda Williams and Lemmy Kilmister adding some vocals too.
Sensory Overdrive is a little short in length. The eleven songs on Sensory Overdrive clock in just shy of 33 minutes. For most releases that would be a problem, but on this CD you get a bunch of short rockin’ tunes that never fail to entertain.
I don’t if Ginger’s song writing help inspire Michael Monroe on this album, but the songs on this CD are mostly upbeat, and overall, a lot of fun to listen to.
Chances are you have heard the first single “’78” by now. (If not check it out in the video below). This song is an extremely catchy number that is going please the legion of Michael Monroe & Hanoi Rocks fans out there.
I don’t know what it is about “Got Blood?” that makes me think it would be a good T.V. Show theme song. It is a good tune, but it has that kind of vibe.
“Superpowered Superfly” sounds pretty ridiculous lyrically, but this song is pretty infectious.
“Modern Day Miracle” with its chorus, “Shut up, Stop Talking, Shut up, Stop Talking, You’re Giving Me A Headache” is such a fun tune. I would love to sing this song to some people I know. :)
“Gone Baby Gone” with Lucinda Williams has a country rock feel to it, in the vein of the Eagles. This song works well, and is one of the many highlights on Sensory Overdrive
You would think Michael Monroe’s punk edge rock would be a very good fit for Lemmy Kilmister’s voice, but the marriage of Michael Monroe’s voice with Lemmy’s on “Debauchery As a Fine Art” just doesn’t work for me. It isn’t a bad tune, it is actually pretty fun, but it is nowhere near as good as the rest of the material on Sensory Overdrive.
I have been blasting Sensory Overdrive in my car for nearly a month before writing this review, and it was all I could do to get myself to pull it out of my player. I have been enjoying this disc immensely! This CD will be one of the mainstays of my play list all summer long.
Sensory Overdrive is easily one of the best releases of 2011, and should be sought out by everyone.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Trick Of The Wrist
3. Got Blood?
4. Superpowered Superfly
5. Modern Day Miracle
6. Bombs Away
7. All You Need
8. Later Won’t Wait
9. Gone Baby Gone
10. Center Of Your Heart
11. Debauchery As A Fine Art
Michael Monroe – Vocals
Ginger – Guitars
Steve Conte – Guitars
Sami Yaffa – Bass
Karl Rockfist – Drums
When I first saw the old school metal logo for Malison Rogue, I immediately thought this would be another band with a late 80’s hard rock sound.
The talent pool in Sweden runs deep, and it seems there is no end to list of cool new bands that call Sweden their home. The music that has been coming from over there has been excellent as of late. Malison Rogue’s music is no exception.
What I didn’t expect about Malison Rogue’s was their sound. I figured they might be another glam or sleaze act, and I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This band was formerly known as Ashes, and changed their name to Malison Rogue when they signed with Inner Wound Recordings. To me their new moniker is much more memorable, as is their sound. They are a band with a sound that reminds me a lot of classic Queensryche, and Fates Warning. The bands that even remotely sound like either one of those acts in 2011 is a very short list. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed with the tight musicianship found on this disc.
On Malison Rogue’s self titled debut, you will find great vocals, well composed songs, and music that will appeal to many hard rock and metal fans!
After giving the song “Friend or Foe” a spin, I was immediately hooked on this band. This is a killer metal tune that will have you signing along in no time. The rest of the songs on this CD are packed with more traditionally styled metal tunes that make my ears happy. I am thankful that are some new bands out there that are keeping the killer 80’s metal sound alive. Malison Rogue joins a new list of bands like Enforcer, Steelwing, and Holy Grail that are trying to bring the classic metal back.
My only disappointment with this CD is, it is a little too short. With eight songs clocking in just shy of 40 minutes, I felt like this CD could have used another song or two. With that being said, this is a very solid debut, for Malison Rogue, and this disc left me wanting to hear more.
Lead Singer Zeb has the potential to become one of the great metal singers of the 21st century. His voice is that good! Don’t believe me, check out Malison Rogue on myspace, and find out for yourself! You will be glad you did!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Friend or Foe?
02. The Pain You Cause
03. The Griever
04. My Mistakes
05. This Lonely Road
07. We’re All Born Sinners
08. Everything Fades
Zeb – Vocals
Bjoerkborg – Guitar
Pete Fury – Bass Guitar
Doc – Drums
In 1992, on Motörhead’s 10th album, March or Die, Lemmy Kilmister took Motörhead in a different direction, and attempted the mainstream approach with the band. Many long time Motörhead fans were disappointed with this direction and unhappy with this album. The heavy punk edged feel of Motörhead is definitely missing on some of the songs on March or Die, but this album is not the stinker that many folks make it out to be. It is just different.
On this disc, you have a few of guest stars. Ozzy and Slash join Lemmy on the song “I Ain’t No Nice Guy”. Slash also adds some guitars on the song “You Better Run”. Tommy Aldridge from Whitesnake handles most of the drums on this disc.
“Hellraiser” first showed up on the Ozzy Osbourne disc No More Tears in 1991. Lemmy had a partial writing credit on this song and rightfully used this song here. I like the more raw feel of the Motörhead version of the song.
Lemmy does a solid job covering the Ted Nugent classic, “Cat Scratch Fever”. The Motörhead version doesn’t surpass the original, but it isn’t bad either.
The songs “Stand”, “Bad Religion”, “Jack the Ripper”, “Too Good To Be True” and “Name in Vain” all rock hard, and are amongst my favorites on the CD!
Overall, March or Die is a solid album, and worth another look, if you haven’t listened to it in a long time. If you haven’t picked this one up, you should definitely do so. You can pick this CD up for next to nothing at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Cat Scratch Fever
3. Bad Religion
4. Jack the Ripper
5. I Ain’t No Nice Guy
7. Asylum Choir
8. Too Good to Be True
9. You Better Run
10. Name in Vain
11. March Ör Die
Lemmy Kilmister – bass, lead vocals, cello arrangements
Phil Campbell (billed as Zööm) – guitar
Würzel – guitar
Tommy Aldridge – drums
Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor – drums on “I Ain’t No Nice Guy”
Mikkey Dee – drums on “Hellraiser”
Peter Solley – keyboards, cello arrangements
Slash – guitar solo on “I Ain’t No Nice Guy” and additional guitar on “You Better Run”
Ozzy Osbourne – additional vocals on “I Ain’t No Nice Guy”
Mean Streak ‘s latest disc, Declaration Of War, is just what the title proclaims. Filled with war themed songs, boot-stomping anthems, and powerful music that explodes in your eardrums like a well tossed hand grenade, Declaration Of War is a praiseworthy, intense, hard rock album. Declaration Of War is this Swedish metal band’s second release, and although I am not familiar with their first album, I may just have to seek it out after hearing this disc.
If Jim Gillette from Nitro joined Manowar to form a band, Mean Streak is exactly what the band would sound like. Talented guitarist, David Andersson gives Nitro’s Michael Angelo Batio a run for his money as one of the best guitarists in thrash/speed/doom metal. At one time it was claimed that Batio was the fastest guitarist in all the metal world. After hearing Declaration Of War, I can guarantee that Andersson could outplay him.
David Andersson has a talent not found in many guitarists. He plays fast. He plays heavy. He plays clean. That last comment is the most important. Most guitarists that play fast or heavy tend to distort their sound or blend it in with special effects, whammy bars, etc. Not Andersson. When he shreds the guitar on songs like “As You Sow You Shall Reap” and “In For The Kill,” you can hear every note as clearly as the ringing of a bell. Andersson is an amazing talent and truly helps Mean Streak stand out from the rest of the pack.
However, great guitar work isn’t the only wonderful thing about Mean Streak. They also come equipped with one of the greatest lead vocalists since the dawn of Bruce Dickinson. Lead singer Andy La Guerin is a talent that needs to be heard. A more prominent howler than Dickinson in his prime, La Guerin can give a rock scream/metal yodel like none that has ever been heard. His voice is intense and mighty, and compliments Andersson’s guitar work beautifully. Together, the two are a supreme talent.
Mean Streak is a complete band. They have a phenomenal vocalist in La Guerin and one of the greatest guitar players on the metal scene in Andersson. For most bands, that would be enough, but Mean Streak pushes it to the next level by composing complex, progressive songs in the vein of newer Iron Maiden. Each song on Declaration Of War builds up over time and develops into something more than what it starts as. The intricate details in each track will demand multiple listens for many months to come. Layered guitar work by both Andersson and Patrick Gardberg accompanied by Peter Andersson’s galloping bass lines cement the music firmly in greatness. If you’re a fan of progressive, thrash metal, you are going to love Declaration Of War.
Another notable band to hail from Sweden, Mean Streak is definitely worth checking out. Declaration Of War is an amazing album and one that should catapult Mean Streak into the next stratosphere of metal greatness. If you want to treat yourself to some great music that is simply irresistible, pick up a copy of Declaration Of War.
Notable Tracks: “In For The Kill,” “No Man’s Land,” “Sons Of Metal”
Check out Mean Streak on MySpace!
Rating: Out of 10
- Declaration Of War
- In For The Kill
- Crimson Sky
- The End Of The Rainbow
- As You Sow You Shall Reap
- No Mans Land
- Brothers Til The End
- Sons Of Metal
- Sign In The Sky
- History Of Lies
- The Oblation
Andy La Guerin – Vocals
Peter Andersson – Bass
Jonas Kallsback – Drums
David Andersson – Lead Guitar
Patrick Gardberg – Guitar
If you were a fan of hard rock in the late 80s, then you are most likely familiar with Kingdom Come. When their self titled debut was released in 1988, Kingdom Come was all over the radio. Unfortunately for the band, too many people thought that Led Zeppelin had reunited. It was a joke that still haunts the band to this day. It also takes away from the quality of their first two albums (Kingdom Come and In Your Face) which are two of the greatest hard rock albums released in the late 80s.
There is a huge problem with Kingdom Come’s latest release, Rendered Waters, and it has nothing to do with the way the disc sounds. The music is quite incredible and long time fans will enjoy this album. However, the problem that stems from Rendered Waters is the band’s decision to re-record tracks from previous albums and then add in some new songs. If the band wanted to release a greatest hits album, then they should have done it the proper way, by releasing the original versions of these classic songs.
To me, this decision is just plain lazy. A greatest hits album by Kingdom Come would be a welcome treat. A new album by Kingdom Come would be a welcome treat (especially after hearing the new tracks on Rendered Waters). However, the decision to re-record songs and release them now shows a lackadaisical attitude toward the fans.
As for the songs themselves, they are terrific. While I still prefer the original versions of songs like “Pushing Hard” and “Seventeen” the re-worked versions have a nice ring to them. Lenny Wolf is no longer the screamer from the 80s; his voice has mellowed with time. This provides new insight to the songs and adds some harmony that was not present on the original versions. That’s not to say the new versions are better (or worse for that matter) they are just different takes on classic songs.
On “Pushing Hard” it’s all too evident that Wolf can no longer hit the high notes like he did during his heyday. That doesn’t mean the revamped version of this track sounds awful, because that is not true. However, if fans already own the earlier version, this reworked track does not add anything in the way of musical depth. The band would have been better served to just leave well enough alone.
The new tracks on the album are solid and only leaving you wanting more.”Blue Tree”s is classic rock done in the modern style that sounds amazing. From the opening drum beats to the intense guitar work of Eric Foerster, this is a great song that shows the direction Kingdom Come’s music is heading in. That direction is a welcome one. Wolf’s voice is strong on this track and makes it obvious that the man is still an exceptional singer.
“Is It Fair” starts with a cool riff from Foerster that bleeds into the entire track. Foerster and Wolf show they are a great guitar tandem on this cut. The solo is intense and overall, “Is It Fair” is an enjoyable song. While the basic back beat of the tune is simple in structure, the overall combination of the band’s ability to play great music with Wolf’s vocals sounding as sweet as ever, make this a solid new song.
“Don’t Remember” proves to be the shortest of all the songs on Rendered Waters, but that doesn’t make it the weakest. A slow, melodic, powerful ballad, “Don’t Remember” is another great new song added to Rendered Waters. Foerster’s solo is an amazing treat and really ties the entire song together while showing off his incredible guitar playing ability. “Don’t Remember” is a song that fans are bound to fall in love with.
Rendered Waters is like a visit with an old friend. The memories that you share are the same in theme, but the stories get a little longer and little more embellished, as is the case when any old friends get together. Hopefully for their next album, Kingdom Come will move forward and provide us with a full album of new material. That would be a true gift from an old friend.
- Can’t Deny
- The Wind
- Blue Trees
- Should I
- I’ve Been Trying
- Pushing Hard
- Is It Fair
- Living Out Of Touch
- Don’t Remember
- Break Down The Wall
Kingdom Come Is:
Lenny Wolf – Vocals/Guitar
Frank Binke – Bass
Eric Foerster – Guitar
Nader Rahy – Drums
When a band lists their influences as Accept, Twisted Sister, Motley Crue,Motorhead, Thin Lizzy, Loudness, Dokken, Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, that is more than enough to pique my curiosity. Hello Suckers is the sophomore effort from this band of Italian rockers, and I have to say, that Nasty Tendency has avoided the sophomore slump. Hello Suckers rocks hard all the way through!
I absolutely love the music on this CD, however, there are some spots where Mark Bonavita’s vocals are somewhat hard to understand. This is by no means the fault of the singer. I have found with many Italian rock singers that their accent plays a heavy effect on their vocals. Bonavita’s vocals are no exception. While his accent is strong, his vocals are still decent.
Some of the strongest songs on the CD are ‘Stay Heavy”, “Switchblade Serenade”, “Burn Baby Burn”, and “Metal Strikes Again”. If you are you looking for a dose of new heavy rock to listen to, you could do a lot worse than Hello Suckers.
01. Stay Heavy
03. Rocket Woman
04. Love Is Over
05. Gimme the Nite
06. Switchblade Serenade
07. Burn Baby Burn
08. Metal Strikes Again
09. Play Out Loud
10. One More Round
11. Dead On Arrival
Nasty Tendency is:
Mark “Ash” Bonavita – Vocals
Johnny “Vodka” Curly – Guitars
Mise – Drums
Lehmann – Bass
Luke “Nasty Kid” – Guitar
I recently received the new 6 song EP from Memnoir. When this CD came in the mail, I must admit I have never heard of the band, and had no knowledge of their sound what so ever. The front sticker said recommended if you like Stabbing Westward, Breaking Benjamin, NIN, Evanescence etc. That was good enough for me to check them out.
All of the songs music and lyrics were written by Memnoir (Just Memnoir) with the exception of “The One” ( which was penned by Kristy Bailey.
Memnoir used a ton of musicians to flesh out this project including the guitars of Jesse James, Ola Englund, Butch Price, Arto Toropainen and Keigo Yoshida, the bass of Evan Harris, the drums of Ross Morgan and Christian Nativo, and the piano of Toussaint Hunt. That seems like a heck of a lot of musicians to put together six songs. Usually when so many musicians partake in a musical project, it sounds a little disjointed. In the case of Canto Vol. I, it simply does not. The music is surprisingly solid, and much like the sticker on the front cover suggests, if you are a fan of any of the bands I mentioned above, you will probably like Canto Vol. I.
The music on this CD is dark, moody, sometimes heavy, but always interesting. If you are looking for some new tunes to explore, you could do a lot worse than Memnoir’s Canto Vol. I.
You can score a couple of the songs for free, by visiting the Memnoir website, and joining the mail list. Check them out!
1. The One
2. Demons and Friends
4. Soundtrack For A Nightmare
6. Empy Strings
There are two types of hard rock fans in the world. Those who love Motörhead, and everyone else! The thing I love about Motörhead is you always know what you are going to get with each and every release. Motörhead always deliver with short, heavy songs that rock. and that is exactly what you are going to find on Motörhead’s 20th release, The Wörld is Yours. What amazes me about Motörhead, or more importantly, Lemmy Kilmister, is they show no sign of slowing down. Lemmy celebrated his 65th birthday in December, but he still rocks with the best of them. To my ears The Wörld is Yours is one of the strongest Motörhead albums in several years! Lemmy will probably never win an award for vocalist of the year, but if you like Lemmy’s vocals, you will be proud to know that Mr. Kilmister hasn’t lost a thing in 2011. His coarse vocals haven’t changed one bit!
The album starts off with a lot of promise, with the opening song “Born to Lose”, Mikkey Dee sounds like he is going to pound his drums into the floor! This is a great, yet dangerous song to play while driving! You may find yourself speeding down the road, rocking to the high speed rhythm of this tune!
I am a sucker for a cool riff, and long time Motörhead axeman Phil Campbell dishes out a pretty cool one, on “Devil’s In My Head”. This is a good catchy rocker that will sound great live! “Rock ‘N’ Roll Music” is more of a bluesy rocker, that brings AC/DC to mind every time I hear it.
Mikkey Dee takes the song “Outlaw” to the next level for me. His awesome drumming really takes this song up a notch.
If you aren’t head banging after the first minute of “I Know What You Need”, then you need to turn in hard rock fan membership card. This song flat out rocks!
Overall, the strongest tracks on The Wörld is Yours are “Born To Lose”, “The Devil’s In My Head”, “Outlaw”and “I Know What You Need”. There isn’t one song on this CD that doesn’t rock hard. If you are a fan of Motörhead, you will definitely enjoy The Wörld is Yours. If you aren’t a fan, go back to listening to your Lady Ga Ga CD’s. Lemmy and company will keep the rest of us rocking happily!
1. Born To Lose
2. I Know How To Die
3. Get Back In Line
4. Devil’s In My Head
5. Rock ‘N’ Roll Music
6. Waiting For The Snake
7. Brotherhood Of Man
9. I Know What You Need
10. Bye Bye Bitch Bye Bye
Lemmy Kilmister – bass guitar, vocals
Phil Campbell – guitar
Mikkey Dee – drums
The lineup on this EP is a hard rock fan’s dream. Paul Shortino, Ron Keel, Eddie Ojeda, Philip Bardowell,Tony Palacias, Terry Ilous, Jeff Paris, Richard Kendrick,Donnie Vie, JK Northrup, Benny Mardones, John Pine and Bill Leverty have joined forces to create five new songs with a purpose.
With the Chasing A Cure EP, Liberty N’ Justice is trying to create awareness of epilepsy and raise money for research to find a cure. The disease hits very close to home for Liberty N’ Justice founder, Justin Murr. Justin’s oldest daughter, Trinity Paige Murr, was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 7. For the past five years she has battled through daily medication, hospital stays, cluster seizures, induced comas, three weeks in the ICU — and finally brain surgery.
Chasing a Cure is available through the Liberty N’ Justice website. 100% of the proceeds are being donated to the Epilepsy Foundation in Trinity’s name.
This EP is only available to those who donate through the Liberty N’ Justice website. It is not on sale in stores or online anywhere else.
So how is the music? It is easily the best melodic rock I have heard in 2011. I have been a fan of Paul Shortino and Ron Keel for a long time, and have been anxiously awaiting the release of the new King Kobra CD that Paul is singing on. Shortino and Keel’s voice blend together nicely for one rockin’ tune with “Say Uncle”.
“Paige’s Song” with Philip Bardowell and Tony Palacios reminds me a lot of a Mr. Big tune. It is a slower number, but the music is very good. Bardowell’s vocals are terrific, and Tony Palacios guitar licks truly enhance this song.
I always enjoy hearing new stuff from Donnie Vie. In my opinion, Enuff Z’nuff’s music is amongst the most under rated tunes in the late 80’s and 90’s. If you are an Enuff Z’nuff fan you need the song “Throwing Stones”. It does not disappoint!
Terry Ilous is one of those singers that could sing the phone book and sound good. Needless to say, his vocals here are terrific. Of course he has a little help from Jeff Paris (who has written more hit rock tunes than you can imagine), and Richard Kendrick from the Steve Blaze fronted Near Life Experience.
Remember Benny Mardones from the song “Into the Night“? I always though Mardones has a voice that was similar to ex-Journey front man Steve Perry. Ironically, the song “Chasing A Cure” sounds as if it could have been a left over Journey track.
The bottom line, if you are melodic rock fan, or of the musicians involved in this project, you are going to enjoy Chasing a Cure. When you donate money for this EP, you can feel good about your money going to a good cause, and get some great tunes in return! You can get Chasing a Cure, from the Liberty N’ Justice website at this location!
- Say Uncle (Paul Shortino of Rough Cutt/Quiet Riot/King Kobra, Ron Keel of Keel, and Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister)
- Throwing Stones (Donnie Vie of Enuff Z’ Nuff and JK Northrup)
- Paige’s Song (Philip Bardowell of MAGDALEN/Unruly Child/The Beach Boys and Tony Palacios of Guardian)
- Playing God (Terry Ilous of XYZ, Jeff Paris and Richard Kendrick of Near Life Experience)
- Chasing A Cure (Benny Mardones, John Pine and Bill Leverty of Firehouse)
The album cover really says it all. It depicts a flying pig, which indicates when fans thought that a fully reunited Mr. Big would release a new record. Much to their surprise, the band did reunite with all of the original members, and returned with one rocking record. What If… is the first album with all of the original bandmates since 1996. That’s quite a lot of time gone by. Mr. Big makes up for it in a big, big way, with a solid release that is ear pleasing and juice squeezing!
One point of amazement is how solid and sharp Eric Martin’s voice still sounds. Even after rocking the scene for more than three decades, his vocal prowess would put most (younger) modern rock singers to shame. Martin’s ability with his pipes is clearly evident and decorates What If… with class, making it a noteworthy record, not some lame reunion rehash that tends to happen when 80s hair metal bands “reunite”.
Slapping the bass like it’s the late 80s all over again, Billy Sheehan still has a unique, undeniable style. His funk-o-matic, slap bass, party sound is still going strong and even more enjoyable than can be remembered. What If… gives Sheehan a chance to really show off his talent while not stealing the spotlight entirely. That is a big part of what makes Mr. Big’s latest album so enjoyable.
Paul Gilbert is definitely back at home with Mr. Big. His guitar work never sounded better and his tantalizing solos were all crafted with an elegance meant to compliment Billy Sheehan’s bass playing like no other guitarist can. It’s a true win for the fans to see these wizards back in action again. The finger picking exchange and solo trade off, follow the leader, of guitar and bass on “Around The World” make this album worth the money spent to own it. It’s an amazing moment of musical record and one that demands repeat listens. Without a doubt the best track on What If… and one of the best songs in Mr. Big’s career.
While What If… may not contain a monster hit like “To Be With You” or “Green Tinted Sixties Mind” what is apparent is the fact that Mr. Big has released a record of solid tracks that all have merit. What If… is an album that not only feels right mixed in with the other glam bands, it also fits in with mainstream radio and modern rock releases. The album was well thought out, well performed, and well recorded. Mr. Big has a big hit in What If… as long as they can get a little bit of promotion behind the record. Long time fans are going to love this record. For those of us that may have forgotten all about Mr. Big, it’s time to pay them another visit.
Key Tracks: Stranger In My Life, As Far As I Can See, Around The World
- American Beauty
- Stranger In My Life
- Nobody Left To Blame
- Still Ain’t Enough For Me
- Once Upon A Time
- As Far As I Can See
- All The Way Up
- I Won’t Get In My Way
- Around The World
- I Get The Feeling
Mr Big Is:
Eric Martin – Vocals
Paul Gilbert – Guitars
Billy Sheehan – Bass
Pat Torpey – Drums
Back in 2003 when Metallica’s St. Anger was released, I read what other reviewers said about this disc. I can still remember one comment as if it were yesterday “If Metallica continues to release music this bad, they won’t have to worry about people downloading their songs on Napster”. That was enough for me to skip this Metallica CD, until now.
Having a completist mentality, I like to have all of the discographies of the bands that I follow. I decided that if I were to pick up St. Anger, it would have to be really cheap, or someone would have to give it to me.
The other day, I found this CD in my local Half Price Books store for a whopping $2.00. It couldn’t possibly be THAT bad could it? Yes it CAN! After listening to this disc a couple of times, I would have to say that this is the worst $2.00 I have ever spent.
St. Anger has so many issues, I don’t know where to begin. The songs sound like demo tracks. I don’t know if it was too much for Bob Rock to produce and play bass on one project, but in my opinion the production is terrible. The production quality on this CD, sounds as if it was recorded in a garage. If they were trying to do Garage Days Revisited again, they accomplished this task.
The guitar solos are non-existent. Did Kirk Hammett have one arm tied behind his back while this was recorded?
Lars Ulrich sounds like he is playing the drums on a set of garbage cans. In an interview of Lars Ulrich, I read that he turned off his snare drum while recording, St. Anger. For what it is worth, the drum sound on St. Anger is an epic fail. It makes the CD practically unlistenable!
The only song that I found that had mile replay value was “Sweet Amber”, and even that is reaching.
Even if you are a diehard Metallica fan, you are going have a hard time liking this CD.
I classify this disc as the worst Metallica CD, and probably the worst release of 2003. Avoid this one at all costs!
- St. Anger
- Some Kind Of Monster
- Dirty Window
- Invisible Kid
- My World
- Shoot Me Again
- Sweet Amber
- Unnamed Feeling
- All Within My Hands
James Hetfield – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Kirk Hammett – lead guitar
Lars Ulrich – drums, percussion
Robert Trujillo – bass (Robert did not play on St. Anger)
Tragic City Symphony is the 5th album from Alabama rockers Lynam. I can’t believe that I have had Lynam’s Tragic City Symphony for a couple of years now, and haven’t given it a proper review. I recall the CD being fairly hard to find when I first picked it up. Since then, it has been re-released in 2009 via Mascot/Megaforce Records, and is now available in most retail outlets.
To me Lynam’s sound has always been a mix of classic & modern rock. On Tragic City Symphony the band leans even more to the modern rock side. The band has always been able to craft some pretty catchy rockers, and they have done so again on Tragic City Symphony.
Tragic City Symphony starts off the album with a catchy rocker “Is This A Heartbreak or A Loaded Gun”. The background vocals on this song kind of give the song a modernized Def Leppard like feel to it.
Tom Keifer plays the slide guitar on “Enemy”, and the guys from Hinder adds in some gang vocals. Nothing against Hinder, but I would have rather had Keifer add in some vocals on this song. “Enemy” is one of the best songs on the CD.
“Lindsay Says” is a modern rock tune that seems to be tailor-made for FM radio. To me, the song is just on the average song. It just doesn’t stick with me.
Lynam slows it down somewhat for the song “Just Say Anything”. Much like “Lindsay Says”, this song isn’t very memorable. I am not saying it is a bad tune, it just isn’t for me.
“Save My Soul” is a little heavier than the previous two songs, and in my opinion is one of the better tunes on Tragic City Symphony.
Before My Darkest Days had “Pornstar Dancing”, Lynam had “Pornstar”. Both songs are pretty catchy, and I like Lynam’s “Pornstar” a lot. I can see why Lynam has had some moderate success with this song. It is a very catchy tune.
Jacob Lynam plays some heavier riffs on “Can’t Do Anything”. This might not have the hooks of Lynam’s other songs, but I like it anyway.
“Make It Alright” does a pretty good breaking up the pace between the rather mundane “If You Leave”, and “White Trash Superstar”.
There are parts of “White Trash Superstar” that almost has a new country feel to it. Luckily some heavier guitars kick in some parts of the song. I don’t know if this was Lynam’s attempt at a Southern Rock Song, but It wasn’t one of my favorites on the CD.
Overall, I have enjoyed Lynam’s Tragic City Symphony. If you have enjoyed the recent releases from Bad City & My Darkest Days, you will probably enjoy Lynam’s Tragic City Symphony as well.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Is This A Heartbreak Or A Loaded Gun?
3. Lindsay Says
4. Just Say Anything
5. Save My Soul
6. Porn Star
7. Can’t Do Anything
8. If You Leave
9. Make It Alright
10. White Trash Superstar
11. A Million Ways
Jacob Lynam – vocals, guitar
Mark Lynam – bass
David Lynam – drums
The competition for best new band of 2010 is heating up quickly. UK rockers Jettblack are making a strong statement with their new album, Get Your Hands Dirty. The band has already played the Download festival, opened for Whitesnake, and the UK stop of Ozzfest. It will be interesting to see what else 2010 has in store for Jettblack. The band’s new CD seems to be opening up doors for them wherever they go!
Get Your Hands Dirty is packed full of late 80’s/early 90’s style of hard rock. Some rock fans may call Jettblack’s sound retro, but Jettblack is easily as good as the bands that inspired them. This CD is packed with big guitar riffs, catchy lyrics, and music that will have you throwing your horns in the air in no time. You will be hard pressed to find a bad song on this CD. From the opening number “Slip it On”, Jettblack doesn’t give you a chance to catch your breath until the mid-tempo number “Not Even Love”. Every single song rocks! Yes, every one of them!
I was pleasantly surprised by this CD, and can’t wait to see the band play live. If you want to hear revival rock done right, look no further than Jettblack’s Get Your Hands Dirty!
Get Your Hands Dirty hasn’t had an official release date in the U.S., but you still purchase a copy of the CD at this link. Don’t miss this!!
Rating: Out of 10
- Slip It On
- Two Hot Girls
- When It Comes To Lovin’
- Fooled By A Rose
- War Between Us
- Get Your Hands Dirty
- Not Even Love
- Mother Fucker
- Innocence Is Mine
Jett Black is:
Will Stapleton – Vocals and Guitars
Jon Dow – Vocals and Guitars
Matt Oliver – Drums
Tom Wright – Bass
Iron Maiden is back with their follow-up record to 2006’s excellent, A Matter of Life and Death. How does the band’s latest opus The Final Frontier stack up? Read on!
The Final Frontier is one long album. It may only be ten songs, but it over seventy minutes of music crammed on to this CD. The opening track “Satellite 15….The Final Frontier” is pretty much two songs in one, and I don’t know why Iron Maiden didn’t break this up into two pieces. The first half provides a build up for the album, but is a little excessive in my opinion. The drums sound like they were recorded in a live setting, not in a studio. I could have done without the first half all together. The second half is more of a classic sounding Maiden tune. The second half is what you will hear as the radio edit single, “The Final Frontier:. While this song isn’t bad, I question why Iron Maiden chose to use this as the album opener. There is much stronger material to be found on The Final Frontier that would have made a better intro.
Chances are you have heard the first single, “El Dorado” by now, if not, you can get a free download of the song here! I have been listening to “El Dorado” for a few weeks now, and I must admit that I like it a lot. I keep finding myself turning the volume up each time this one comes on. An album just doesn’t seem like an Iron Maiden album without the galloping bass, and heavy riffs. This song has them both.
“Mother of Mercy” is one of the songs that I didn’t care for at first. After multiple listens, I have to now ask myself why. “Mother of Mercy” is a mid-tempo number that has all of the makings of a radio single. The lyrics are written from the perspective of a soldier at war. It is a well written and interesting tune, that will resonate with a lot of people.
“Isle of Avalon” is a monster of a tune on The Final Frontier. The song starts off a little slow, but builds into a truly classic tune albeit a very long one! “Isle of Avalon” might just be the most memorable moment on The Final Frontier.
Overall, casual fans will probably not be very happy with the lack of shorter, radio worthy tunes. Iron Maiden’s long time fans will probably love this, and appreciate the band trying to push the boundaries of their sound. The Final Frontier won’t be considered Iron Maiden’s best effort. Quite honestly, I don’t think this would make their top three. With that being said, it is still a far better disc than most of the stuff that is being released today. The Final Frontier is a grower of an album, and if you give this one multiple spins, you will grow to appreciate this disc as much as I have.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Satellite 15….The Final Frontier
2. El Dorado
3. Mother Of Mercy
4. Coming Home
5. The Alchemist
6. Isle Of Avalon
8. The Talisman
9. The Man Who Would Be King
10. When The Wild Wind Blows
Iron Maiden is:
Bruce Dickinson – Vocals
Dave Murray – Guitars
Adrian Smith – Guitars
Janick Gers – Guitars
Steve Harris – Bass & Keyboards
Nicko McBrain – Drums
Sweden has been a hot bed for talented new hard rock bands. One of the best new Swedish acts that I have heard in 2010, is the band Mama Kin. Mama Kin, who take their name from the classic Aerosmith tune, is a straight forward hard rock band with a vocalist who sounds a lot like Paul Stanley from KISS. Their debut CD, In The City is cram packed full of catchy rockers that most rock fans are going to love.
If you are looking for flashy guitar solos, you aren’t going to find on In the City. What the band lacks in guitar prowess, they more than make up with songs that will get in your head. From “Badge and a Gun” to “Champagne, Chicks & Rock N’ Roll” you will have a hard time finding a bad song in the bunch. The songs are written with easy to remember choruses, that will have you singing along in no time. Some of my favorites include the band’s first single, “Superman”, “Higher and Higher” and the super catchy anthem, “Champagne, Chicks & Rock N’ Roll”.
Mama Kin signed with Jamsync Music in 2010 and released In the City in the U.S in June. Mama Kin has been touring all over the United States, making new fans in each town they visit. I have had the pleasure of seeing the band play live, and enjoyed their set quite a bit. I am already looking forward to seeing them again, and anxious for album #2. If I have any complaints, In the City is a little on the short side. (It clocks in just a little over 35 minutes.) I will take a great, short CD over a bad long one any day of the week. In the City is a lot of fun to listen to and will likely make my Top 10 list of 2010. If you want to end your summer with a bunch of fun rocking tunes, look no further than Mama Kin’s In the City.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Badge And A Gun
2. In The City
3. You Belong To Me
4. Mrs. Operator
5. Higher & Higher
6. Too Much
7. Fortune & Fame
10. Champagne, Chicks & Rock N’ Roll
Mama Kin is:
Ward – Vocals & Guitar
Elias – Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
Jon – Bass & Backing Vocals
Edwin – Drums & Backing Vocals
When I first posted the press release about JORN’s new CD Dio, my first thought was, why on earth is JORN trying to cash in on Ronnie James Dio’s death. I thought it was out of character for him, and wondered what was up with that. Then shortly thereafter a video was released, and I knew immediately that this CD was in the works long before Ronnie’s death. Jorn Lande quickly released his own statement and all was well. New visitor’s to Hard Rock Hideout might not be familiar with the powerhouse vocalist Jorn Lande, and if you aren’t, you really ought to take a chance and explore some of JORN’s previous releases. He is a criminally under rated, monster talent that has not gotten the exposure that he has deserved.
I have always described Lande’s voice as a combination of Ronnie James Dio, and David Coverdale. I found it very fitting that he did a tribute to the singer that influenced him so greatly. Very few people could cover the mighty voice of Ronnie James Dio, and Jorn Lande does it with a lot of passion and dignity on this new CD Dio.
The first time I heard “Song For Ronnie James” it put a tear in my eye. It really hit home for me that Dio has passed on. It is a very fitting tribute to RJD. I thought it was cool that the band picked some of the lesser known tunes from Dio and included them here. “Invisible” is a song off of the ultimate DIO album, Holy Diver. Quite honestly, I always thought this song got lost behind the monster tracks “Rainbow in the Dark” and “Stand Up and Shout”. JORN’s version of this song is totally kick ass. “Shame on the Night” is another song from Holy Diver. JORN’s version could easily be released as a single in 2010.
I honestly believe Tore Moren could give Vivian Campbell a run for his money on “Stand Up and Shout” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers”. His guitar work is flawless on these songs. I actually got goose bumps off of “Don’t Talk To Strangers”. What an awesome cover!
“Lord of the Last Day” had me scrambling to find my Magica CD from DIO. I didn’t remember this song being THIS good. The original is great, as is this version.
JORN didn’t just cover the Dream Evil classic “Night People”, they turned the tempo up a notch, and possibly made it even heavier, and added some new guitar licks while doing so. Do I dare say this is better than the original?
JORN ‘s cover of “Lonely is the Word/Letters From Earth” was originally on the JORN cover CD, Unlocking the Past. You get two killer Black Sabbath tunes in one on this version. I loved this first time I heard it, and I still do.
Overall, JORN’s Dio is an incredible collection of covers that pays respect to the legend that is Ronnie James Dio. In my opinion, “Song for Ronnie James” is worth the price of admission by itself, but the cover versions on this album are equally fantastic. If you are a fan of Ronnie James Dio, you need to get this!
Rating: Out of 10
- Song For Ronnie James
- Shame On The Night
- Stand Up And Shout
- Don’t Talk To Strangers
- Lord Of The Last Day
- Night People
- Sacred Heart
- Sunset Superman
- Lonely Is The Word / Letters From Earth
- Kill The King
- Straight Through The Heart (Live)
Jorn Lande: Lead Vocals
Willy Bendiksen: drums
Tore Moren: guitars
Jgor Gianola: guitars
Tor Erik Myhre: guitars
Nic Angileri: Bass
NAZARETH “THE NEWZ” – CLASSIC HARD ROCK FROM 2008 NEVER SOUNDED SO GOOD!
Back in 1971, Nazareth, a bluesy Rockin’ band from Dunfermline, Scotland, released their self-titled debut album on Warner Bros. Records. Fast forward to 2008 and Nazareth is still going strong, with their Classic Rock colliding with Hard Rock and mixed with a blues influence that so pronounces their musical style. The Newz was released on March 31, 2008, on Demolition Records. There are many great albums that have been released in the last few years, “The Newz” is a great Hard Rock album, one that needs to be re-introduced to our loyal Hard Rock Hideout following! As I write this, I am jumping up and down and stomping my feet in Classic Hard Rock glee, that’s how emphatic I am about Nazareth and “The Newz”. Alright, I might not be stomping my feet.
Ten years removed from the last Nazareth studio album, (1998’s “Boogaloo”), “The Newz” reinstates that this band still has a full tank of Rock ‘N’ Roll gas and enough Old School vibe to shake and stir the Classic Rock Gods from their slumber. With original members Dan McCafferty on lead vocals and Pete Agnew on bass, along with longtime member Jimmy Murrison on guitars and Lee Agnew on drums, this is Nazareth… present day, circa 2008 and they don’t stray from their bluesy-Hard Rock ways. Lee Agnew is Pete Agnew’s son, (Lee replaced original drummer Darrell Sweet upon his passing away in 1999). 2008 was a year which in which Nazareth celebrated their 40th Anniversary of Rock ‘N’ Roll, as truest and revered a milestone any band in the land could ever hope for.
Onto the songs heard on “The Newz”… “Goin’ Loco” kicks off this Nazareth Rock party with all the free-spirited energy that this legendary band has been so famous for. To say this song is groovy is an understatement, the guitar licks from Jimmy are stuff that would make Prince himself proud and any guitarist out there knows that’s a compliment. “Goin’ Loco” is a perfect opener for “The Newz”, establishing that Nazareth still maintains and glorifies that Classic Rock attitude and sound.
“A Day At The Beach” just might be the most happy song I’ve ever heard from Nazareth, alongside “May The Sunshine” from their iconic 1979 album – “No Mean City”. Truth be told, I listened to “A Day At The Beach” while driving in many snowstorms the past couple of years… and this song literally made me feel like Summer was just a day away and everything really was alright. A fun, melodic and instantly memorable song that is supposed to lift one’s spirits. Oh… this song Rocks too.
From “Goin’ Loco” straight through to “Dying Breed”, I applaud and raise my horns to the air for the vocals of Dan McCafferty. In my most honest opinion, Dan has NOT lost a single step in his voice, making each song trademark Nazareth, just due to his vocals alone. “Liar” is easily the heaviest song on “The Newz”, with Jimmy delivering the Heavy Metal riffs coupled with some funky laden leads. With Pete and Lee pumping up the beats on the rhythm section, I find myself “banging thy head” to “Liar” without any sense of control.
“Warning” takes over where “Liar” left off. Whoa… this song could have been a hit in ANY decade of Nazareth Rock ‘N’ Roll. “Warning” should be played on mainstream FM just to highlight what REAL Hard Rock sounds like, Old School and brandishing all the Hard guitar goodness that this genre was built upon. Jimmy ignites “Warning” at the closing with an impressive guitar solo that leaves me wanting more of that cool stuff. “Loggin’ On” is a catchy Hard Rock song that lyrically puts a reality check on the world of the internet and how people can waste their life away by “Loggin’ On”.
Overall, it is very difficult for me to choose a “favorite” song on “The Newz”. This dilemma only deepens when “Mean Streets” gets it’s Hard, Heavy and Funky Groovin’ sound cranked up to the maximum level. Yes Virginia, there is some consistent Funk in that guitar of Jimmy’s. “Mean Streets” title may fool you, however, it is a song that can be enjoyed loud while doing a psyche-out dance by yourself, with no witnesses… of course. “Dying Breed” is a haunting, Hard & Heavy epic, clocking in at 13:23, don’t think for one second Nazareth has lost their flare for some sinister Rock ‘N’ Roll! Just when you think this song has neared its end… keep this CD playing… for “Dying Breed” is a creeper and a keeper!
“The Newz” carries it weight with the utmost musical integrity of its songs. “Road Trip”, “The Gathering”, “Warning” and “Liar” are the heavyweights, with “Gloria” being the ultra-cool and reflective ballad and “A Day At The Beach” reinstating the “fun-side” to Hard Rock. Mix in the underrated guitar play of Jimmy Murrison and the astute drumming of Lee Agnew, coupled with the legendary Pete Agnew on bass and the sandpapered vocals of Dan McCafferty… and you have one ultra solid, Classic Hard Rock album, one that rises from the pack for this lifetime Nazareth fan and Rock ‘N’ Rollaholic.
Setting any Nazareth fan bias I may bestow aside, “The Newz” should not disappoint those looking for a quality album of songs. This is a Hard Rock album that is a throwback to those days when creating songs really did matter, days when those overly glorified radio hits were just a shot in the dark.
Rating: Out of 10
- Goin’ Loco
- Day At The Beach
- See Me
- Enough Love
- Mean Streets
- Road Trip
- Keep On Travellin’
- Loggin’ On
- The Gathering
- Dying Breed
Dan McCafferty – lead vocals
Pete Agnew – bass guitar, backing vocals
Jimmy Murrison – guitars
Lee Agnew – drums
Masterplan is back with their fourth full length effort Time to Be King. On this new release, Masterplan’s original singer Jorn Lande returns to the band. Quite honestly, I couldn’t have been more excited when I found out that Jorn Lande was returning to Masterplan. I did enjoy their MKII CD with Mike DiMeo on vocals, however Jorn Lande has been one of my favorite singers for a long time. The Masterplan releases with Jorn Lande on vocals are great, and I was hoping for more of the same.
I recall one of the reasons why Jorn Lande left Masterplan in the first place is, he wanted to make a more melodic record the next time around, while Roland Grapow wanted to go in a heavier direction like their debut. With Time To Be King, Masterplan both succeeds in being heavy, and melodic.Time To Be King starts off on the right note with a high-speed rocker “Fiddle of Time”. This song is pure power metal perfection. If there were any doubts that Masterplan would not return to form, “Fiddle of Time” threw that notion out of the window. In fact, the first four songs on Time To Be King are amongst the best that Masterplan has ever recorded. They are that good!
On the song, “The Dark Road” there are moments where Jorn Lande sounds exactly like David Coverdale. I did a double take the first time I listened to this song. This is a mid tempo number that ought to be getting airplay everywhere. This is an awesome tune.
Masterplan sounds better than ever on Time To Be King. Roland Grapow’s guitar work is excellent, and the rhythm section of Mike Terrana and Jan S. Eckert is as good as you will hear in any power metal band. Make no mistake about it, Jorn Lande’s voice is the most powerful instrument in Masterplan, and Jorn is singing at the top of his game. I find myself hitting repeat on this CD often, and the songs that I didn’t immediately gravitate to have grown on me quite a bit. I don’t believe Time To Be King is as strong as Masterplan’s debut, but it is a very solid album, and a must own disc for all Masterplan and Jorn Lande fans.
Check out Masterplan online at this link.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Fiddle Of Time
2. Blow Your Winds
3. Far From The End Of The World
4. Time To Be King
5. Lonely Winds Of War
6. The Dark Road
7. The Sun Is In Your Hands
8. The Black One
9. Blue Europa
10. Under The Moon
Jørn Lande – lead vocals
Roland Grapow – guitars
Jan S. Eckert – bass, backing vocals
Mike Terrana – drums
Axel Mackenrott – keyboards
Holy $%^T! That was my initial reaction when I heard the latest Ozzy album, “Scream,” for the first time. I’ll admit I didn’t have high expectations out of the gate, but holy hell, what a record! Ozzy has proven that he still has it and maybe never lost it to begin with. “Scream” is an album that renews faith in the current state of rock and roll and solidifies Ozzy’s status as a rock god. Make no mistake, “Scream” rocks hard and rocks right.
“Scream” opens with the dark, heavy, and so enjoyable song, “Let It Die.” This dark heavy track opens the album with a boom and sets the tone for all that is to follow. Ozzy’s vocals are sharp and tough and the guitar playing by new Ozzy guitarist Gus G is blistering and emotional. Sure, everyone is going to miss Zak Wylde, but Gus G is a healthy replacement that quickly poses the question “Zak who?”
“Let Me Hear You Scream” picks up right where “Let It Die” left off and a better track could not have been chosen for the album’s first single. “Let Me Hear You Scream” is classic Ozzy at his best. This fast tempo rocker will have you pumping your fist in the air and singing along in a matter of seconds. With a chorus of “go hard or go home” Ozzy delivers on this mantra. “Let Me Hear You Scream” does rock hard and it’s a track that will most likely have the repeat button being hit multiple times.
“Soul Sucker” is the darkest song on the disc. With a heavy, Tony Iommi guitar and doctored reverb Ozzy vocals, “Soul Sucker” could be something off the latest Black Sabbath effort. The song draws deep on Ozzy’s roots of demonic music and blends perfectly with his newer pop subjects of love and lost love. The end result is one of the best Osbourne songs ever recorded.
“Life Won’t Wait” the requisite power ballad slows things down, but not in a negative way. This song still rocks hard, even for a ballad, and once again Gus G has the opportunity to show off his chops and skills as Ozzy’s latest, greatest guitarist. Drawing from the “No More Tears” period, “Life Won’t Wait” is certain to be a radio hit in the next few months. It’s a lovely ballad that shows the softer side of Ozzy and even includes a meaningful message of going after what you want now as opposed to later.
The heavy, hard rocking hits continue. “Diggin’ Me Down”, “Crucify”, and “Fearless” are all hard rocking mavens that please the ear in ways that most songs can’t. Full of grit, shredding guitar, and signature Ozzy vocals, these tracks are monster rock songs that help shape and solidify “Scream.”
Overall, Ozzy has really returned with his latest album. “Scream” is an unexpected masterpiece and front-runner for hard rock album of the year. Ozzy should consider playing a lot off material off this disc during his upcoming tour, because the fans deserve to hear it, and Mr. Osbourne should be very proud of what he has accomplished on “Scream.” This disc will make you scream… for joy!
Rating: Out of 10
- Let It Die
- Let Me Hear You Scream
- Soul Sucker
- Life Won’t Wait
- Diggin’ Me Down
- I Want It More
- Latimer’s Mercy
- I Love You All
Ozzy Osbourne Band Is:
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
Gus G. – Guitars
Rob “Blasko” Nicholson – Bass
Adam Wakerman – Keyboards
Tommy Clufetos – Drums
During the late 90’s, the L.A. Guns were in a constant state of change. When Phil Lewis refused to reunite with L.A. Guns, the band employed the help of current Steel Panther front man Ralph Saenz (aka Michael Starr). This little known EP features four new songs, a redo of the L.A. Guns hit, “Ballad of Jayne”, and a cover of the KISS classic, “Cold Gin”.
I have mixed feelings about this EP. For me, Phil Lewis is THE VOICE of L.A. Guns. End of story. In the years when Phil wasn’t singing in the band, L.A. Guns tried several singers, but none ever really lived up to Phil Lewis. With that being said, Ralph Saenz sounds pretty good on this EP. None of the songs on this CD are earth shattering, but it is still interesting to hear Tracii Guns play with Saenz on vocals. Tracii’s guitar work is great as always. He especially shines on the song, “Forgiving Eyes”.
The band’s redone version of “Ballad of Jayne” is a lot better than I expected it to be. It sounds like Tracii tuned his guitar down a little for this version of song. This version is slightly different, but cool nonetheless. Saenz does a pretty good job on the vocals on this L.A. Guns classic.
The cover of the Kiss song “Cold Gin” is better than I expected it to be. Saenz cuts loose with some 80’s hard rock screams on this song. Instead of trying to do a Gene Simmons impersonation, he adds his own flair to this cover.
This CD is out of print and very hard to find. I wouldn’t consider Wasted essential, but it is an in interesting glimpse into the history of L.A. Guns. This CD is probably for Die hard L.A. Guns fans only!
Rating: Out of 10
2. Well Spent
3. Heavy Head
4. Forgiving Eyes
5. Jayne 98
6. Cold Gin
L.A. Guns is:
Ralph Saenz – vocals
Tracii Guns – guitars and vocals
Johnny Crypt – bass and vocals
Steve Riley – drums
I was first introduced to the band Kissin’ Dynamite, when Brian Basher played a track off of the band’s 2008 debut, Steel of Swabia on Hard Rock Hideout Radio. I liked the song I heard, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that the band’s new album, Addicted to Metal would be THIS good!
Addicted to Metal starts off with the kick ass title track, that features former Accept front man Udo Dirkschneider. If the band was trying to make a statement, with an opening song, this was the way to do it. This is a great song that has already gotten quite a bit of airplay on Hard Rock Hideout Radio.
The opening riffs of “Run For Your Life” reminds me a lot of Whitesnake. This song is extremely catchy, and is the first song that Johannes Braun truly made an impression on me. This guy is one hell of a singer.
“Supersonic Killer” is a rifftastic rocker that is going to appeal to a lot of metal heads. When Johannes Braun cuts loose with the metal screams on “Supersonic Killer” he sounds like a young Don Dokken. Ande Braun and Jim Müller cut loose with some killer riffs.
‘High Enough” is a kick ass cover of the Damn Yankees tune. Johannes Braun does a great job on the vocals, and the band does a pretty good job putting their spin on the song.
“Hysteria” is an interesting tune. Braun’s bombastic vocals on this song push it towards the power metal side of the fence, and yet, the band pulls the reigns in to keep it on the hard rock/ metal side of the fence. The opening of this song reminds me of Foreigner’s “Juke Box Hero”, but it becomes something completely different. Check it out in the clip below.
Just when you think Kissin’ Dynamite is going to slow it down, they pull out another killer tune with “In the Name of the Iron Fist”. The song starts off slow, and builds into a killer power metal tune that would make Gamma Ray or Primal Fear proud! Great stuff.
Sooner or later, I knew a ballad would show up on this CD. I didn’t expect one as good as “Why Can’t You Hear Me” would be on here. This song is an arena ready tune, with massive hit potential.
Overall, I am very impressed with Addicted to Metal. I wouldn’t expect a young band like Kissin’ Dynamite to put out such a quality release. Addicted to Metal is going to turn a lot of heads, and surprise the hell out of a lot of metalheads out there. Germany has another fine band on their hands!
There is no official release date in the U.S. for Addicted to Metal as of yet, but you can score a copy of this CD at this link.
For more information on Kissin’ Dynamite, check out the band’s myspace page. Don’t miss out on Addicted to Metal!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Addicted To Metal
2. Run For Your Life
3. Supersonic Killer
4. High Enough
5. Love Me Hate Me
7. All Against All
8. In the Name of the Iron Fist
9. Assassins of Love
10. Why Can’t You Hear Me
11. We Want More
12. Metal Nation
Kissin’ Dynamite is:
Johannes Braun – Vocals
Ande Braun – Guitar
Andreas Schnitzer – Drums
Jim Müller – Guitar
Steffen Haile – Bass
VINCE NEIL – “TATTOOS & TEQUILA” IS A ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RIDE TO TAKE!
By now, anyone who is unfamiliar with Vince Neil should put on their long sleeve turtleneck shirt and head out to their chess club tournament. Motley Crue can boast having the flamboyant, colorful and yes, vocally talented Vince Neil fronting their band going on three decades strong. So what is Vince Neil to do, since he has more than likely seen, heard and tasted it all? Make another solo album of course! After two previous solo studio albums and one live release, Vince Neil is not out to reinvent the Rock ‘N’ Roll wheel with Tattoos & Tequila… instead he is presenting an album to us, the fans, that is chock full of songs that apparently have influenced Vince Neil over his storied Hard Rockin’ career.
Vince Neil sounds as flamboyant and spirited as ever on his new album, exercising the knack for making these cover songs come to life in a fun and good times way. Cover songs can sometimes lead to the land of yawn… not quite so with Tattoos & Tequila, (to be released on Frontiers Records, June 22, 2010). Then again, what more could I have expected from Vince Neil? His voice alone sets the tone that I’m listening to some real deal Hard Rock, as only an Old School legend could deliver. Tattoos & Tequila may not go down as being the best album of 2010, still I will have it nailed down as one of the most fun and cool albums to listen to this year.
If life is about song and song is about life, then Vince Neil is telling his story, his way, through Tattoos & Tequila. A Rock ‘N’ Roll lifestyle that covers thirty years can be quite the impressive and roller coaster story, Vince Neil gives his fans a peek into his, through songs that may actually surprise you. “Viva Las Vegas” is one song I never gave a second thought to when it comes to Hard Rock or Heavy Metal and obviously Vince Neil has! Originally recorded by the late and ever legendary Elvis Presley, “Viva Las Vegas” is taken to harder and heavier heights like never before.
“Bitch Is Back” Rocks period… for Elton John intended so. Vince Neil just adds his trademark vocals and with a scorching band behind him, “Bitch Is Back” is just that… back! “Who Will Stop The Rain” is a Creedence Clearwater Revival classic of classics. Vince Neil sings this song with convincing reverence, I can’t help but salute the way this great song has been covered by Vince and his band. I will readily admit, that Jeff “Blando” Bland on guitar is a treat to listen to throughout this entire album. Dana Strum on bass and Zoltan Chaney on drums more than add the utmost credibility to every song on this album.
If there is to be that one cover song on Tattoos & Tequila that just explodes with instant relevance and pumped up Hard Rock thunder, it’s “Long Cool Woman”. Vince Neil gives The Hollies the greatest compliment for their song, by adding to it more raw emotion and just making it a hit once again. I wonder aloud to myself, at just how important it is to have a musical mind like Jack Blades at your side in producing an album of any Rock genre. Vince Neil and Jack Blades obviously clicked together, in making songs like “Long Cool Woman” very cool again in 2010.
Tattoos & Tequila uncoils twelve songs, ten covers and two new tracks. The two new songs are “Tattoos & Tequila” and “Another Bad Day”. “Tattoos & Tequila” is by far, the heaviest song on this album, with a large dose of Hard Rock relevance, Vince Neil impresses with his vocals, as so too his band. “Another Bad Day” is an up-tempo power ballad that radiates hints of Motley Crue from every angle and glistens with all the specialness of late 1980’s Arena Rock splendor. In my Metal opinion, “Another Bad Day” is a hit, a song that I have admittedly hit the repeat play button for numerous times over.
Originally written by Nikki Sixx, “Another Bad Day” just missed the cut for making it onto the Motley Crue album – “New Tattoo”, released in 2000. Vince Neil definitely made the right Rock ‘N’ Roll move to bring this song to light a decade later and deliver it to the fans… straight from the heart.
After repeated listens to Tattoos & Tequila, it would have been great if Vince Neil had added a couple more new songs to this album. With that said, it is apparent that there is some motivation within Vince Neil to come up with new solo material, let’s hope the future may dictate a full length studio album of just that, from this Heavy Music icon.
Life long Motley Crue fans, Hair Metal, Hard Rock and 1980’s mainstream Heavy Metal fans should easily absorb their ears into Tattoos & Tequila and walk away with a big grin on their face. It would not surprise me in the least, if Vince Neil recruits many new fans to his music and persona due to Tattoos & Tequila. This is an album that tantalizes with new material and dominates with enticing cover songs… while making the loud impression that Vince Neil is a true fan of Rock Music’s roots.
Rating: Out of 10
- Tattoos & Tequila
- He’s A Whore
- Nobody’s Fault
- Another Bad Day
- No Feelings
- Long Cool Woman
- Another Piece Of Meat
- Who Will Stop The Rain
- Viva Las Vegas
- Bitch Is Back
Vince Neil Band is:
Vince Neil – Vocals
Dana Strum – Bass
Jeff Blando – Guitars
Zoltan Chaney – Drums
PUH-POW!! After seven long years, Jackyl is back with a brand new CD, “When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide”. This new disc sees Jesse James Dupree & company, sticking to their roots and delivering a CD full of kick ass hard rock tunes.
Like a Harley Davidson roaring down the highway, “Loads of Fun” blows past you like a carnivorous beast of chrome & steel, and quickly proves that Jackyl is here to rock! This is a song that you will want to crank up and annoy your neighbors!
I have a feeling that “I Can’t Stop” is going to be another of those fist pumping anthems that will be a staple in Jackyl’s live set.
“She’s Not A Drug” is the first single off of the CD, and I am not sure how to describe this song. There are times when I can not tell what Jesse James Dupree is singing. It doesn’t really matter though. This song itself is ridiculously catchy, and I like it. This song will likely be a new stripper anthem in seedy clubs across America.
A few months ago, Jackyl unleashed “My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaines Ass” on myspace, and I am damn glad to find it on this CD. This song is a rocker, and while it may never achieve hit status, I will always look forward to hearing this tune, and seeing the band perform it.
The title track, “When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide” is a near perfect southern rocker. As one of the lyrics suggest, “Let’s Crank Some AC/DC and throw down ’til we’re blind”. Who can argue with that logic?
Jackyl is a band that typically visits Cincinnati every year, when most bands forgot that “The Queen City” still exists on the map. I have seen them countless times, and one song you can almost always count on Jackyl doing live, is the Janis Joplin classic “Mercedes Benz”. This song usually works in a live setting, but on this CD, it sounds like a hot mess. I love Jesse James Dupree, but his voice is not strong enough to sing a capella as he does on this cover. I am sure a few fans have been clamoring for this JJD version of the song, but it just doesn’t translate well. Luckily, this is the only real weak moment on this CD.
When Moonshine and Dynamite Collide flat out rocks, and is easily in the top three of all Jackyl releases. Jesse James Dupree and company are still cranking out some of the best biker rock on this side of the Mississippi. If you are a Jackyl fan, you won’t want to miss this.
Rating: Out of 10
- Loads Of Fun
- I Can’t Stop
- She’s Not A Drug
- My Moonshine Kicks Your Cocaines Ass
- Get Mad At It
- The Overflow Of Love
- When Moonshine And Dynamite Collide
- Just Like A Negro
- Deeper In Darkness
- Freight Train
- Mercedes Benz
- Full Throttle
Jesse James Dupree – Vocals and Guitar
Roman Glick – Bass
Jeff Worley – Guitars
Chris Worley – Drums
Part of the new wave of Swedish heavy metal, Outshine has released their latest hard rocking effort, Until We Are Dead. This album definitely has a heavy feel to it. Not glam rock, and certainly not modern rock, Until We Are Dead has its own unique sound that is hard to categorize. That’s always the sign of an original band. Outshine are their own type of music, heavy as it is.
Lead singer Erlend Jegstad has an incredible voice that is showcased all over this disc. His high vocals are the perfect contrast to the dark music, creating an incredible wall of enjoyable sound. Jegstad’s voice is a breath of fresh air in the world of heavy metal. As unique as his band, Jegstad can’t be classified. What he does is sing his ass off and put exceptional vocal tracks on Until We Are Dead.
Until We Are Dead is filled with chord and tempo changes that would make Rush proud. Constantly evolving and never repeating, each song on this album is a unique experience. Without any ballads or filler, Outshine has put together 10 tracks of hardcore, hard rock. If you’re a fan of banging your head hard to progressive, dark metal, Until We Are Dead is the album for you.
Guitarist Jimmy Norberg gets to show off his shredding skills frequently. On the opening notes of Viva Shevegas, Norberg’s guitar kicks off the song in style. His work on “One For The Nerves” and “Ain’t Life Grand” is stellar. Norberg shows his talent throughout the record and his talent is enormous. Excellent guitar work is really what helps Until We Are Dead stand out from the rest of the pack.
Packed with themes of drinking, death, darkness, murder, and confusion, Until We Are Dead is a heavy album that metal fans are bound to love. Stand out tracks on the disc include “Ain’t Life Grand”, “Viva Shevegas”, and “Riot”. All exceptionally crafted, these songs are the strongest showcase of Outshine’s ability as a band.
Until We Are Dead is a solid album that metal fans are sure to love. Heavy guitars, pounding drums (with exceptional rhythm), anger filled vocals, and energetic rock music complete this disc and make it a worthwhile investment. If you’ve been searching for that summer album where you can roll down the windows of your car, crank the music, pump your fist in the air, and bang your head while driving 70, look no further. Until We Are Dead is the goal that you seek.
If you like to purchase your music via download, you can pick up Until We Are Dead at this link. By doing so, you will get also get Outshine’s cover of the Billy Idol classic, “White Wedding”. Check it out!!
Rating: Out of 10
- One For The Nerves
- Love For The Music
- Ain’t Life Grand
- Viva Shevegas
- Until I’m Dead
- I’m Sorry
- Save Me
Jimmy Norberg – Guitars
Erlend Jegstad – Vocals
Fredrik Kretz –Drums
Per Stenbeck – Bass
If Jon Oliva has proven one thing throughout his music career, it’s that he is never at a loss for storytelling through song. Jon Oliva’s Pain is just another amazing band that he has nurtured and built to stand the test of time. Festival is the newest release from Jon Oliva’s Pain, (released on April 13, 2010 in the U.S.). Festival is just that… a festival of songs that embody horror, nightmarish stories and the human experience.
If you are hankering for a new Heavy Metal album, that touches on some diverse musical material, while lending some dark themes lyrically, Festival should satisfy your palette. Need not worry though, this album delivers the hard and heavy that has grown on me considerably, which should do the same for any Jon Oliva’s Pain or Heavy Metal fan, in all likelihood. Jon Oliva is no stranger to atmospherics and chilling sound effects… Jon Oliva’s Pain delivers such mentioned on the opening track Festival. The chilling and carnival like sound effects open Festival, with spine curdling thunder storm atmospherics that explodes the creep-out meter.
“Death Rides A Black Horse” is a superior listen into a nightmare that engages with its epic and haunting keyboards. Without question, I cannot get “Death Rides A Black Horse” out of my mind ever since I first heard it, the atmospheric keyboards are what has captivated me so incredibly. This very easily can be the highlight song, that is played at the culmination of an epic horror film. “Eyes of hell burn in his eyes” are just a sampling of the lyrical content this song bestows… the grim reaper rides again through Jon Oliva’s Pain!
The one word that comes to mind while listening to Festival, is that these songs embody the integrity and substance of a man who knows how to write the utmost credible music and lyrics. Now has the sound and flavor of late 1970’s Electric Light Orchestra, while never leaving the threads of Jon Oliva’s Pain far behind.”Lies” upholds a Power Metal meets Traditional Heavy Metal union. Jon Oliva’s vocals on “Lies” reminds me of just how Heavy Metal vocals can pierce through a song with uncanny resonance.
“Looking For Nothing” has a Beatle-esque coating, the music speaks tranquility, all the while brandishing a 1970’s Classic Rock sword. “Living On The Edge” jumps out at me as a psyche-you-out song that straddles dark lyrics with an electrifying hardness. This dramatic song finds its incredible balance within its memorable melodies, caught between the speed and paced heaviness of the music itself.
To comment on the totality of musicianship I hear on Festival, the only way I can describe the credibility of this Jon Oliva’s Pain lineup, is to state, please take the time to buy Festival and listen for yourself… honestly, these guys are that great at what they do. If there is that one song on Festival, that exemplifies what I honestly mean here, it is “Winter Haven”. This song distinguishes itself amongst Festival as raising the music bar… and Jon Oliva’s Pain have succeeded in doing just that, in my Metal opinion.
Layered and textured are the songs throughout Festival, the ingredients and arrangements from a music mastermind in Jon Oliva comes through with heavy and soft results. I find both the heavy and soft sides of Festival, to be quite delectable for my music palette. This is a return to Old School form for Jon Oliva’s Pain, only it is presented with admirable conscientious care. If Jon Oliva set out to celebrate his interpretation of Heavy Metal, he has done so with Jon Oliva’s Pain and Festival… and I’m on board for this celebration.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Lies 6:18
02. Death Rides A Black Horse 5:28
03. Festival 4:22
04. Afterglow 6:50
05. Living On The Edge 5:10
06. Looking For Nothing 2:42
07. The Evil Within 4:36
08. Winter Haven 7:38
09. I Fear You 5:11
10. Now 3:51
Jon Oliva’s Pain is:
Jon Oliva – vocals, keyboards
Matt LaPorte – guitars
Tom McDyne – guitars
Kevin Rothney – bass
Christopher Kinder – drums