This CD was recorded live during Jorn’s first concert in the USA, at the ProgPower VII Festival in Atlanta, where he performed as headliner on September 16th, 2006.
For those of you that have never checked out Jorn Lande before, Live in America is as good of a place, as any to begin. This double CD set features the incredible vocals of Jorn Lande, and the amazing guitar work of Tore Moren and Jörn Viggo Lofstad (The tandem from the superb 2006 release The Duke) , and also Steinar Krokmo on bass and Willy Bendiksen on drums.
During this set, Jorn covers songs from his releases: The Duke, Unlocking the Past, Out To Every Nation, as well as songs that he did with Beyond Twighlight, and Masterplan plus covers of songs by Deep Purple, Dio, and Whitesnake.
The only downfall with this disc, is its length. The live tunes with solos only last 75 minutes, and with the vast amount of music Jorn has put out over the years, this set could have been well over 2 hours long. There are a couple of nice bonuses however.
There are three studio tracks, the 2007 version of Out to Every Nation, the Black Sabbath cover Lonely Is The Word/Letters From Earth and Sacrificial Feelings (which was only available previously as a bonus track.) This is nice bonus to a great disc.
The sound quality on Live on America is superb, and the music is excellent. One listen to this set and you will quickly realize the amazing musicians Jorn Lande has in his band. The excellent musicianship plus the amazing vocals of Jorn Lande makes this a live collection that should appeal to most 80’s hard rock fans. (Jorn Lande fans probably already own this). If you are a fan of live hard rock music, DO NOT MISS Live in America!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Godless And Wicked
4. Perfect Strangers
5. Gonna Find The Sun
6. Whitesnake Medley: Come On/Sweet Talker/Crying In The Rain/Here I Go Again/Give Me All Your Love
7. Out To Every Nation (2007 Version Studio Track)
8. Lonely Is The Word/Letters From Earth (Studio Track)
9. Sacrificial Feelings (Bonus Studio Track)
British Steel is Judas Priest’s sixth studio effort, and is often consider the band’s best album.
I don’t know if I would call this my favorite Judas Priest disc or not. I have several that I enjoy. One thing is for sure though, British Steel is a must hear, must own Metal record, and was certainly one of the best in the early 80’s.
There isn’t a bad song on the disc, but the stand outs are the Judas Priest anthems, Breaking the Law, Metal Gods, Living After Midnight and Steeler.
United, Breaking the Law, and Living After Midnight were all released as singles. The latter two are still some of the biggest songs that Judas Priest have ever recorded. The band had similar metal anthems, on Hell Bent for Leather, but British Steel is the first record that was pure metal all the way through.
My copy of this disc is remastered, and adds the tracks Red, White and Blue and Grinder Live! as it was performed on the 1980 British Steel tour. Neither song is essential, but are nice additions to this disc, if you haven’t picked up a copy of it yet.
This disc is still a career defining landmark release Judas Priest, and one that needs to be in the collection of every metalhead on the planet. You can find new and used copies of this disc for very reasonable prices on Amazon.com.
Don’t miss out on this Classic Metal disc!
1. Rapid Fire
2. Metal Gods
3. Breaking the Law
6. You Don’t Have to Be Old To Be Wise
7. Living After Midnight
8. The Rage
10. Red, White & Blue
11. Grinder (Live)
I first heard about these guys, as they were on the road with Hard Rock Hideout favorite, Black Stone Cherry.
Once I heard the debut single and title track Soulcrusher, I was immediately hooked. Singer Johnny Strong has a powerful set of pipes, and has a style quite similar to former Soundgarden front man, Chris Cornell.
I am sure even mentioning the name Soundgarden will send a lot of 80’s hard rock fans scurrying away from this release, but you really ought to give Operator a chance. This isn’t a grunge band, nor is this music even remotely in the grunge style. This is an excellent L.A. 5 piece band that totally kicks ass. This is a release that sounds nothing like the newer bands that are on the radio today. This isn’t nu-metal, nor is this a Nickelback sound-a-like band. One listen to Soulcrusher, and I think you will be hooked.
The sound on this record is greatly augmented by a two axe attack of Paul Phillips (ex-Puddle of Mudd) and Rikki Lixx. Johnny Strong’s voice is an impressive instrument all by itself. The rest of band is rounded out by a solid rhythm section of Wade Carpenter on bass, and Dorman Pantfoeder (Love Arcade) on drums.
Soulcrusher has a good mix of heavy head banging tunes, and dynamic, soulful rockers.
I’ve listened to this a few times now, and each time my reaction is pretty much the same…..”Wow, this record is f***ing great!” I will go so far as saying that Operator is the best new band that I have heard in 2007. Soulcrusher ought to make Operator a household name!
Soulcrusher will find itself amongst my top releases in 2007. DO NOT miss out on this excellent, must own record!
If the first three songs haven’t made you a fan, head to your nearest drugstore and buy a replacement battery for your Miracle Ear. You can check out Operator at their website, and at their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
I hesitated picking this disc up for a long time, as I didn’t hear too many good things about it. When I stumbled upon a used copy of this disc recently, the completest in me had to have it. Luckily, I tracked a copy of this down for a mere $4.00, and at that price I couldn’t pass it up.
How do the songs stack up? Chances are you have heard Poison’s cover of the Who’s “Squeeze Box“on the new disc, Poison’d. I will pass on that cover every time. This disc is no Flesh and Blood. Not even close. There are however, a few decent songs on this disc. Get Ya Some, Devil Woman, Wasteland and Rockstar are ok, but not excellent songs.
The songs sung by CC Deville, “Emperor’s New Clothes“, “Livin’ In the Now” and “Home (C.C’s Story)” are particularly bad, and I can’t listen to them a second time. If CC wants to sing, I think he needs to do it in his side project, Samantha 7. His vocals are far too different from Bret’s, and contrast the other songs on Hollyweird greatly.
To me, Bret Michaels IS the voice of Poison, and it needs to stay that way. I love Poison, but I think they can do much better than this.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Squeeze Box
3. Shooting Star
4. Wishful Thinkin’
5. Get Ya Some
6. Emperor’s New Clothes
7. Devil Woman
9. Livin’ In The Now
10. Stupid, Stoned & Dumb
11. Home (Bret’s Story)
12. Home (C.C.’s Story)
Bret Michaels – Vocals
CC Deville – Guitars
Bobby Dahl – Bass
Ricky Rockett – Drums
For some reason, I feel compelled to keep buying the latest releases by Yngwie Malmsteen. Luckily, I scored this disc for a whopping $3.00, so I figured it was worth the risk, in case I didn’t enjoy it.
Attack features the former voice of Rainbow, Doogie White, former Dream Theater keyboardist Derek Sherinian, and longtime drummer Patrick Johansson.
As much as I try to get into Attack!!, I have trouble doing so. There is no question, that Yngwie Malmsteen is an extremely talented guitar player, but as a song writer, I think he may be a little lacking. Attack!! features plenty of neo-classical guitar noodling, and light speed double bass drumming, but the songs lack heart, or anything that make you want to listen to them a second time. Most of these songs are just a high speed jam sessions with lyrics thrown in for good measure.
If you heard one Malmsteen song on Attack!!, you have heard them all. If you have to listen to this disc, check out the track Stronghold. This song has some Dio era Black Sabbath like elements to it, and is this CD’s sole redeeming track.
This isn’t a disc that I will not be recommending to anyone, except the die hard fans of Yngwie. Now, I know why I was able to pick this up for $3.00.
1. Razor Eater
2. Rise Up
3. Valley of Kings
4. Ship of Fools
6. Baroque & Roll (Instrumental)
7. Stronghold 4:17
8. Mad Dog 3:24
9. In the Name of God
10. Freedom Isn’t Free
11. Majestic Blue (Instrumental)
13. Iron Clad
14. Air (Instrumental)
15. Battlefield (Previously Unreleased)
16. Dreaming (Live)
Today’s post is by Metal Mark from Heavy Metal Time Machine. Be sure to stop by and check out Metal Mark’s site.
Lita Ford-Out for blood/Dancin’ on the edge
The kind people at BGO (Beat goes on) records recently re-mastered Lita Ford’s first two releases and stuck them on one disc. I used to have both titles on cassette back in the 1980’s, but have not heard either since the early 90’s. Ultimately it seems that her debut is not quite as good as I remembered it while the sophomore effort is perhaps even better than I recalled it being. Out for blood sounds a little like Ford’s previous band the Runaways at times. So it was even slightly dated for 1983 and it’s more rock with hard rock undertones. It’s decent, but a little clunk y at times as the band seems to be reaching to establish a style and the slightly fuzzy production also makes it sound a little amateurish. Still it’s lively and energetic for the most part.
Dancin’ on the edge (originally released in 1984) is the real prize here though. It’s obvious that someone with some say wanted Lita to go in a more hard rock direction and she does with some proficiency. The production values are much stronger than the debut with a more professional sound. Also Lita’s vocals are way more focused and powerful here. I think she also manages to somewhat establish her own guitar style as well. Unfortunately she didn’t really follow up on this guitar style on her later albums. As far as the level of heaviness I would say the overall sound might be comparable to what Ratt or KISS were doing at the same time. The one thing that maybe really makes this album is that the band manages to keep the songs interesting by having new riffs interjected down the stretch. This is done on several songs and it keeps the music from being too repetitious which is a trap that too many hard rock artists fell into. This version is re-mastered and overall sounds fine. There are no bonus tracks, but there is a thick booklet with some history about what Lita Ford did between the end of the Runaways and when she finally did these these two albums. It runs about $21-23 so that’s not bad for two complete albums.
Here’s a track listing with Out for blood being tracks 1-10 and Dancin’ on the edge is 11-19.
1. Out for Blood
2. Stay with Me Baby
3. Just a Feeling
4. Ready, Willing and Able
5. Die for Me Only (Black Widow)
6. Rock ‘N Roll Made Me What I Am Today
7. If You Can’t Live with It
8. On the Run
9. Any Way That You Want Me
10. I Can’t Stand It
11. Gotta Let Go
12. Dancin’ on the Edge
13. Dressed to Kill
14. Hit ‘N Run
15. Lady Killer
16. Still Waitin’
17. Fire in My Heart
18. Don’t Let Me Down Tonight
19. Run with the $
This debut by Montrose launched the career of the Red Rocker, Sammy Hagar. Even as far back as ’73, Sammy had great pipes. His excellent vocals are practically indistinguishable from his newer stuff today.
Ronnie Montrose’s guitar licks are heavily influenced by Jeff Beck on this album. His exceptional playing on this record easily carried on that same tradition, by influencing future guitar virtuosos well into the 80’s and beyond.
This album may not be the most commercially successful disc of all time, but it still deserves mentioning in 2007. There are plenty of songs on this disc that still sound great without being dated. Check out Rock the Nation, Bad Motor Scooter and Rock Candy.
This disc is still a gem in my collection, that I need to play from time to time. It is essential listening for all hard rock, and Sammy Hagar fans! It can be picked up from Amazon.com for less than 10 bucks. It is worth the price!
1. Rock The Nation
2. Bad Motor Scooter
3. Space Station
4. I Don’t Want It
5. Good Rockin’ Tonight
6. Rock Candy
7. One Thing On My Mind
8. Make It Last
This Michael Wagener produced disc features Ron Keel on vocals, Marc Ferrari and Brian Jay on guitar, Kenny Chaisson on bass, and Dwain Miller on drums.
This is a another disc that I have owned on multiple formats. I wore my cassette tape of this out years ago, and was quick to pick it up on CD once that happened.
This disc has a bunch of excellent hard rock tunes and a solid power ballad, Calm Before the Storm. My favorite songs are Somebody’s Waiting, Cherry Lane, King of the Rock and I Said the Wrong Thing to the Right Girl.
If I had to compare Keel to other bands from the same time period, I would say that they are closest to Dokken. Ron Keel belts the vocals out with his melodic screams, and Marc Ferrari has many impressive guitar solos throughout this release.
It should be a crime, that a CD this good is out of print. The only way you are going to find this one now is through EBay, Gemm, or some expensive used copies through Amazon.com.
You can preview a couple of the songs below. Don’t miss out on this disc, if you don’t own it.
Rating: Out of 10
1. United Nations
2. Somebody’s Waiting
3. Cherry Lane
4. Calm Before the Storm
5. King of the Rock
6. It’s a Jungle Out There
7.I Said the Wrong Thing to the Right Girl
8. Don’t Say You Love Me
9. If Love Is a Crime (I Wanna Be Convicted)
10. 4th of July
I am probably one of a small group of people that was looking forward to the new disc, Waters Rising by Lillian Axe. I have been a fan of this band since I heard their self titled debut back in 1988. I fear that I may be a little more critical of this release than most.
Much like a lot of the bands from the late 80’s and early 90’s, Lillian Axe has had its fair share of membership changes. In 2007, lead guitarist Steve Blaze finds himself the lone original member of Lillian Axe. The band has a new singer, Derrick LeFevre, and three additional new members, Sam Poitevent on guitar, Eric Morris on bass, and Ken Koudelka on bass.
The band’s sound is a little more mature, but still very close to that on the previous releases. Derrick LeFevre doesn’t have the range of former L.A. singer, Ron Taylor, however with the back up vocals of Steve Blaze, its a minor difference.
I have listened to this CD a few times now. On the first listen, I was disappointed. Each time I spin this disc, it seems to get a little better.
With so many new members in the band, I believe it was critical for Lillian Axe to establish their sound quickly on the first track. Luckily, the title track, Waters Rising starts the disc off nicely with a sound that all Lillian Axe fans are going to flock to. Antarctica is a heavy song that keeps the pace going. I didn’t care for this song at first, but its definitely growing on. Steve Blaze has some very good guitar work on this track.
It is hard for me not to like Become a Monster. This song has a killer groove. The song could have been shortened up a little bit, and it would have been a bit better. It is still a solid song.
The guitars on Quarantine takes this song down a heavy path, that twists and winds itself around a classic rock type of sound. It is almost like two songs in one. Very cool!
I Have to Die, Goodbye starts off with a guitar sound that reminds me of the beginning of Queensryche’s Silent Lucidity. This song mixes both acoustic and electric guitars. Between the mix of guitar sounds, and the extremely deep voiced back up vocals, I just could not get into this tune.
Fear of Time is a heavier tune that captures the classic sound of Lillian Axe perfectly. This is my early favorite on the record.
Until the End of the World is an extremely cool song that almost approaches progressive metal, but some how stays grounded with a base in 80’s style hard rock. This song is another favorite of mine.
I have an issue with Fields of Yesterday, and Deep in the Black. Both of these songs are way too long. Both songs clock in at 8:30. After five minutes, I am ready to move on to another song. To me, it messed up the pacing of the record.
Thirst and The 2nd of May are solid numbers, but not essential.
5 closes out this disc with a heavy instrumental that is nearly thrash metal. I don’t usually get into instrumentals very much, but this is very cool.
I have listened to Waters Rising several times now, and I will admit that this is my least favorite Lillian Axe disc out of the bunch. It isn’t bad, but I find myself getting a little bored at the last third of the album. Each listener may feel differently, and I am sure the Lillian Axe diehards will be happy with this effort. I just don’t think it is as strong as some of their prior releases.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Waters Rising
3. Become a Monster
5. I Have To Die, Goodbye
6. Fear Of Time
7. Until the End of the World
8. Fields Of Yesterday
10. The 2nd Of May
11. Deep In the Black
Whether it was over saturation of the hair metal music market, or the introduction of grunge, Jesse Strange’s self titled debut is a release that vanished off the face of the earth almost as quickly as it got released. I was finally able to replace my old cassette with a shiny new CD, so I decided to give this one a few spins this week.
Fans of 80’s hard rock should eat up these tunes that I would describe a cross between Great White, Kix and Steelheart.
This is a solid debut by this four piece band featuring Grant Tibor on Lead Vocals, Scott Migone on Guitar, Paul Trust on Drums and Keyboards, and Danny Lullie on Bass.
This is a fun disc, full of fat guitar riffs, sing along choruses, and overall very good pop metal tunes. It is almost comical how this CD falls into that typical late 8o’s formula of two big rockers and a ballad. Raise A Little Hell, and Love on the Telephone are quite good, and the power ballad Make a Wish, should have made this band a household name. This song was penned by Jesse Harms (Sammy Hagar, Eddie Money, REO Speedwagon). Strangely enough, Beau Nasty did this song as well, but this version is better.
After the first three tracks, I found myself starting to lose interest, so I decided to spin the disc again later to be fair.
On the second pass, I liked Silver Screen a lot more. The guitar work of Scott Migone is superb on this track. Weekend Tonight is another fun sing songy tune. This reminds me a lot of some of Poison’s earlier tracks. I couldn’t really get into Coyote Morning, but I do like Down and Dirty. This song kind of reminds me of Heaven’s Edge a little bit.
Living Without Your Love could have been a better song with a little work, but after hearing this a second time, it sounds kind of generic. Dancing with Strangers didn’t work for me either. This song was good until it got to the chorus, and it went down hill from there.
The Last Goodbye closes this disc with a piano based power ballad. This is another song that needed a little more polish. It is very good musically, but the lyrics should have been arranged so that it was more of a sing along type song. Instead, singer Grant Tabor gets a few Steve Whiteman like screeches in.
A big name producer could have taken this album and rearranged some parts, and improved this album greatly. This debut was produced by the band, and some of the songs lack the punch they needed. As a whole, there are certainly some good songs on this release, which makes it a disc for hair metal fans to seek out.
The band released a new CD in 2006, with all of their unreleased material called Looking For Some Strange. The band is not currently together. Grant Tibor has turned up in a new band called The Blackstone Project, while Scott Migone is a Florida based band called Philth.
You can pick up used copies of this out of print disc for less than $10.00 off of Amazon.com and EBay. At that price, it is hard to pass this one up.
To hear more songs off this disc, click on the highlighted songs below, or visit the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
Usually, I know most of the new bands that are being introduced, but strangely enough not Priestess. This Canadian quartet are one of the many bands that are pioneering the Retro Rock movement. I have heard a few people call this stoner rock, but I don’t know if I completely agree with that assessment.
There are some definite stoner like elements in the band’s music, but Hello Master sounds like a brand new classic rock/metal CD. I can hear the influence of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath in the band’s music, but they are not a copycat act by any means.
This 4 piece band is led by Mike Heppner on vocals, Dan Watchorn on guitar, Mike Dyball on bass, and Vince Nudo on drums. It took me a while to put my finger on it, but Mike Heppner’s vocals remind me of Glenn Danzig.
The songs Lay Down, Run Home, and Talk To Her are among my favorites and good selections for videos.
Talk To Her
Hello Master appears to be one of those CD’s that grows on you with repeated listens. The songs, Time Will Cut You Down, I am the Night, Colour Me Black, and Blood have grown on me quite a bit.
This CD is one that classic rock fans, and quite a few hard rock fans are going to enjoy. Priestess will certainly be a band worth keeping an eye on in 2007. For information on Priestess, check out the band’s website here, or their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. I Am The Night, Colour Me Black
2. Lay Down
3. Run Home
4. Two Kids
5. Talk To Her
6. Time Will Cut You Down
7. Everything That You Are
8. The Shakes
10. Living Like A Dog
11. No Real Pain
Tonight at 11:30, on July 13th 2007, Poison hits the stage as the Headlining Band on Day 2 of the Rocklahoma Music Festival.
Luckily, I saw Poison play live a few weeks ago, so I am not as broken up about missing them play live as I am some of the other bands on the Rocklahoma Music Festival. When they hit Cincinnati, they put on one of the best live shows, that I have ever seen them do, and would gladly go to see them play live again. Until that day happens, I have a copy of Poison’s 1991 2 CD Set, Swallow This Live.
Some people don’t like live CD’s. I used to dislike them at one point in time, but I enjoy them now more than ever. There is nothing better than capturing the energy of a live show on CD. Swallow This Live does a very good job and capturing a live Poison show while they were in their prime.
Amazingly, Poison still sounded this good when I saw them live a few short weeks ago. The CD includes a drum solo by Rikki Rockett and a guitar solo by CC Deville, so it really gives you the feel of being at a live show. The collection also includes a few bonus studio tracks, So Tell Me Why, Souls on Fire, Only Time Will Tell, and No More Lookin’ Back. This doesn’t enhance the live experience, but it is nice to have a few studio tracks that weren’t available anywhere else.
After listening to Swallow This Live from beginning to end, it only made me envy those lucky folks heading to Rocklahoma today. They are bound to see a great show from Poison tonight when they close out the 2nd day of festivities.
If you don’t own Swallow This Live, pick it up! It is essential for all Poison fans.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Look What The Cat Dragged In
3. Look But You Can’t Touch
4. Let It Play
5. Good Love
6. Life Goes On
7. Ride The Wind
8. I Want Action
9. Drum Solo
10. Something To Believe In
11. Poor Boy Blues
12. Unskinny Bop
1. Love On The Rocks
2. Guitar Solo
3. Every Rose Has Its Thorn
4. Fallen Angel
5. You Mama Don’t Dance
6. Nothin’ But A Good Time
7. Talk Dirty To Me
8. So Tell Me Why
9. Souls On Fire
10. Only Time Will Tell
11. No More Lookin’ Back (Poison Jazz)
At 3 P.M. Thursday, July 12, The First Annual Rocklahoma Music Festival Begins! The Thursday shows were added as an added bonus for those individuals that purchased the three day ticket (Friday through Sunday).
Lillian Axe was a last minute replacement for Tigertailz, who were unable to travel due to Pepsi Tate’s ongoing cancer treatments.
I am disappointed that I could not attend, as it has been years since I have been able to see Lillian Axe play live. Lucky for me, I have a handy copy of the Lillian Axe release, Live 2002. It may not be as good as being there live, but I get more songs this way. 21 to be exact, for over 90 minutes of music.
This live collection has just about all of the Lillian Axe tunes you can use prior to their new, Waters Rising disc. Live 2002 captures Lillian Axe in fine form! The band lineup on this disc is Steve Blaze on Lead Guitar & Vocals, Ron Taylor on Vocals, Darrin DeLatte on Bass Guitar, Sam Poitevent on Guitar and Vocals, and Ken Koudelka on Drums.
The sound on this disc is very good for being a live collection. It isn’t studio quality, but it is damn close. If you are fan of this band, you need to check this out.
You can pick up Live 2002 very reasonably at Amazon.com. It is a must own for Lillian Axe and 80’s hard rock fans.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Misery Loves Company
2. All’s Fair In Love + War
4. The World Stopped Turning
5. Letters In The Rain
6. Waiting In The Dark
8. Pullin’ The Rats Out
9. Ghost Of Winter
10. Fool’s Paradise
2. Nobody Knows
3. Sign Of The Times
5. Show A Little Love
6. Voices In My Walls
7. The Day I Met You
8. Those Who Prey
9. Dream Of A Lifetime
10. Become A Monster
11. True Believer
On Live for Tomorrow, Marco handles the vocals and the bass, and has a pretty stellar lineup of axe slingers helping him out, including Richie Kotzen (Poison), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), Ted Nugent, Steve Lukather (Toto). Tommy Aldridge (Whitesnake) and Brian Tichy (Pride and Glory) handle the drumming.
Marco Mendoza has a vocal style that is a blend between David Coverdale and Paul Rodgers. This record is a bluesy, hard rocking affair that is going to appeal to a lot of rock fans. Marco’s influences don’t stray far from the bands that he has played in, and the guitar work on this disc is superb. Some of the stand out tracks are, I Want You, Let the Sun Shine, In My Face, Broken and the title Track Live For Tomorrow.
Don’t Miss This! You are going to love it!
Rating: Out of 10
Mustasch is a heavy metal band, that started in 1988 with members Ralf Gyllenhammar on vocals and lead guitar, Hannes Hansson on rhythm guitar, Mats Hansson on bass and Mats Johansson on drums. In 2007, this Swedish metal band has released their 4th full studio disc, Latest Version of the Truth.
I haven’t heard anything from this band before 2007, but one listen and I was hooked. Ralf Gyllenhammar sounds a lot like Ian Astbury from the Cult, however this disc is a lot heavier than anything from the combined might of Astbury and Duffy.
Watch the video for Double Nature one time. I bet that you will want to find more tunes by this band immediately.
The Heckler starts off with the swirling guitars of Gyllenhammar and Hansson. Gyllenhammar’s vocals were a little rough as first, reminding me of Lemmy from Motorhead, but after a few more guitar licks he settles back into his own sound. Cool song!
The Heavy Bass and tribal drum beats of I Wanna Be Loved is extremely cool. I don’t think I have heard a song with this cool of a metal rhythm since the first Phil Anselmo led Pantera disc.
Spreading the Worst is a song that I could hear making the transition to U.S. rock radio if given a chance. This song has a heavy Black Sabbath like bass rhythm, and a jangly guitar riff that is slow enough to show off Ralf Gyllenhammar’s great voice.
Bring Me Everyone is a super-cool,head-banger that changes the sound up between heavy guitar and bass riffs, and to acoustic guitar parts. This song has a definite Sabbath influence on it, and is one of my favorites on this disc.
Forever Begins Today is kind of a bizarre track for me. For some reason, this song has the feel that it should be in a James Bond Movie. It has this keyboard part that brings memories of the 007 flicks, but it has this really cool drum rhythm that helps the song out immensely. It is the least heavy track on this disc (not counting the Scyphozoa instrumental piece), but is still worth listening to.
Once again, Mats Johansson has me playing the air drums on I Am Not Aggressive. Gyllenhammar’s voice jumps out at me a few times, and cracks a few smiles on this reviewer’s face.
The End was a throw away track for me. It completely lacks the cohesion the other songs have and feels like a waste of time. It is just weird, and mixes all of the other songs together with a bunch of odd sound effects before revealing a piano based number six minutes later. This is a very strange way to close a disc. One more good song could have pushed this disc up a couple of notches and The End isn’t it. I probably will not listen to this song again, and it is too bad.
As a whole Latest Version of the Truth is a very solid Hard Rock/Metal offering, and one that I hope people will check out. This is one of the first bands I have heard out of Sweden that wasn’t a glam metal band, and just a straight up hard rock group.
Rating: Out of 10
1. In The Night
2. Double Nature
3. Falling Down
5. I Wanna Be Loved
7. Spreading The Worst
8. Bring Me Everyone
9. Forever Begins Today
10. I Am Not Aggressive
11. The End
Ralf Gyllenhammar – Vocals, Guitar
Hannes Hansson – Guitar
Mats Johansson – Bass
Mats Hansson – Drums
On this disc, he had a helping hand by guitarist Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), Robbie Crane (RATT, Arcade) bass, Dave Marshall (Fiona), guitar and Vik Foxx (Enuff Z’nuff) on drums.
Exposed is a very solid effort by Vince Neil and company. I have read where many people have thought that Exposed is the disc that Motley Crue should have released after Dr. Feelgood. I don’t know if I agree with that opinion or not, but the music on Exposed will certainly appeal to some Crue fans out there.
My favorite tracks from this release are Sister of Pain, You’re Invited, Forever, and You’re Invited.
Steve Stevens is an incredible guitarist, and lets loose somewhat on the tracks The Edge and Fine, Fine Wine.
There is only one song on this disc that I didn’t care for, and this is Living in Luxury, everything else is pretty good, and very similar to Motley Crue musically.
Sister of Pain
The song You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come) was originally recorded for the Encino Man Soundtrack. The version on Exposed was re-recorded with Steve Stevens on guitar and is a little heavier than the one in the video.
You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)
Can’t Change Me
Can’t Have Your Cake
There are rumors swirling around that Nikki Sixx may perform live with Vince at the Rocklahoma Music Festival. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen. Vince is currently on the road with Dana Strum and Jeff Blando from Slaughter, and drummer Will Hunt. You are guaranteed to hear some songs off of Exposed as well as his sophomore release Carved In Stone when he performs live. He will be in Cincinnati tonight, and I will be there. I will bring you a full report on the live show tomorrow.
If you don’t own Exposed, pick it up. You can get this disc for next to nothing and it is worth picking up.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Look In Her Eyes
2. Sister Of Pain
3. Can’t Have Your Cake
4. Fine, Fine Wine
5. The Edge
6. Can’t Change Me
7. Set Me Free
8. Living Is A Luxury
9. You’re Invited (But Your Friend Can’t Come)
10. Gettin’ Hard
Their 8th release, The 8th Sin, this is more of progressive rock disc, than power metal. The songs range from heavy rockers to great ballads.
Nocturnal Rites features the outstanding vocals of Jonny Lindkvist ,the excellent tandem of Fredrik Mannberg on rhythm guitar, and Nils Norberg on lead guitar, Nils Eriksson on bass, Owe Lingvall on drums, and Henrik Kjellberg on the keyboards.
The 8th Sin does not have a bad song on the disc, but the songs I enjoyed the most are the hard rocking songs Call Out to the World, Never Again, Tell Me, Not Like You, and the beautiful piano ballad, Me.
After listening to this CD, I must once again say that Swedish metal kicks ass! The 8th Sin is a great disc, and worthy of owning. You can hear more of Nocturnal Rites at their myspace page and can find their new CD on sale at Impulse Music. Go Buy It!!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Call out to the World
2. Never Again
3. Not the Only
4. Tell Me
5. Not Like You
6. Leave Me Alone
7. Till I Come Alive
8. Strong Enough
10. Pain & Pleasure
11. Fools Parade
If the new CD sounds anything like this EP, sign me up for a copy now! Ripper Owens voice sounds stronger than ever, and the 4 songs on this disc absolutely rock! The guitars of Jon Schaffer and Tim Mills are tight as can be, and Brent Smedley’s Machine Gun style doublen bass drumming is awesome!
Overture of the Wicked is tasty appetizer for Iced Earth’s up and coming CD. Based on what I have heard here, Iced Earth is going to be a band to watch in 2007. They are about to have a breakout year!
If you have enjoyed any of Ripper Owens vocals in the past, you need to get this! You can hear the track Ten Thousand Years below.
Rating: Out of 10
- Ten Thousand Strong
- Birth of the Wicked
- The Coming Curse
On this disc she is joined by Gregg Bissonette on drums (David Lee Roth), Tony Franklin on bass (The Firm, Blue Murder), Erik Norlander on keyboards , Mark McCrite (Rocket Scientists) on guitar and Novi Novog on viola.
Other notable guests on this disc include Arjen Lucassen, Nick D’Virgilio and Neil Citron.
If you haven’t ever heard Lana Lane before, she is an excellent singer who has a sound quite similar to Ann Wilson of Heart. The songs on this disc were largely chosen from requests by fans and friends over the years, and the ultimate criterion for their inclusion was that they were all extremely melodic and memorable tracks.
There are some very cool covers on this disc including TNT’s Northern Lights, Scorpions Still Loving You, Giant’s I’ll See You in My Dreams, and Rainbow’s Stargazer.
The music on all of the songs on Covers Collection is very good. It is very interesting to hear Lana’s take on songs that were originally sung by male vocalists.
Still Lovin’ You
This disc has a huge asking price on Amazon.com, but can sometimes be found on EBay for a much more reasonable sum. It is an interesting listen, and a worthy one as far as cover albums go.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Wall (Kansas)
2. Kashmir (Led Zeppelin)
3. Soaring (Aviary)
4. Hold Your Head Up (Argent)
5. Innocence (Enuff Znuff)
6. I’ll See You in My Dreams (Giant)
7. Don’t Try So Hard (Queen)
8. Northern Lights (TNT)
9. Still Lovin’ You (Scorpions)
10. Weep in Silence (Uriah Heep)
11. Stargazer (Rainbow)
When I read about Poison’d, a few months ago, I decided that I was not going to purchase this disc. I had a change of heart, as I thought it was important to support the bands that I care about, even though the release may not be what I would front from them.
The problem I have with Poison’d, is that 5 out of 13 songs are previously released. If you own the entire Poison discology, you don’t need the majority of these songs a second time.
Problem # 2, 13 songs clocking at 43 minutes, and of the 43 minutes, only 28 is new material? COME ON! Is studio time really that expensive? Sad!
On to the new cover songs……
1) Little Willy – This is a perfect song for Poison to cover. The whole glam connection to Sweet is perfect, and the Poison remake is pretty good.
2) Suffragette City – This song has been remade again and again. I wish they would have picked something else to cover. I do like this version better than Warrant’s.
3) I Never Cry – I honestly have not heard the Alice Cooper version of this song. This sounds like a 90’s Poison ballad. It is ok, but not great.
4) I Need to Know – I like Tom Petty, and Poison does a good job of this song. I don’t remember this song ending in less than 3 minutes ( I checked, it does…lol), but it is solid.
5) Can’t You See – This version does not compare to the original. Yawn!
6) What I Like About You – This is the best out of the new songs! I am glad they made a video for this one.
7) Dead Flowers – There are about 30 great Rolling Stones songs worth covering. Dead Flowers is not one of them. Enough said there.
8 ) Just What I Needed – I was really hoping that Poison would improve upon this song, but this is nothing more than a faithful remake of the original Cars song.
I am a Poison fan, but I would like to point out, that Poison has not released a new (full) studio disc with brand new material since 2002’s Hollyweird.
I am disappointed that after 5 years of rehashed material and greatest hits discs, that this is the best the band has to offer.
There are a bunch of hard rock cover discs on the market today. Poison’d is not one of the better ones in my opinion.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Little Willy (originally performed by Sweet)
2. Suffragette City (originally performed by David Bowie)
3. I Never Cry (originally performed by Alice Cooper)
4. I Need to Know (originally performed by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers)
5. Can’t You See (originally performed by The Marshall Tucker Band)
6. What I Like About You (originally performed by The Romantics)
7. Dead Flowers (originally performed by The Rolling Stones)
8. Just What I Needed (originally performed by The Cars)
9. Rock and Roll All Nite (originally performed by KISS)
10. Squeeze Box (originally performed by The Who)
11. You Don’t Mess Around With Jim (originally performed by Jim Croce)
12. Your Mama Don’t Dance (originally performed by Loggins & Messina)
13. We’re An American Band (originally performed by Grand Funk Railroad)
Typically, I do not like cover albums at all. When I first read that Jorn Lande was releasing an album full of covers, my initial reaction was, “Oh Hell, here we go again.” One look at the material that Jorn is covering on Unlocking the Past, and it has to whet the appetite of any fan of late 70’s classic Rock.
It took about 30 seconds of the MSG track On and On for me to know that this was going to be one killer disc. This track is easily as good, if not better than the original.
Two of the tracks here (Burn and The Day the Earth Caught Fire) were carried over from Jorn’s debut solo disc, Starfire. Both of those tracks were awesome the first time I heard them so their inclusion here is great, especially for those that do not already own the Starfire disc.
For those of you that still think Lande doesn’t sound like David Coverdale. Take one listen to the track Fool For your Loving. Jorn stays true to the original song, and sounds as good as Coverdale ever has.
Cold Sweat is one hell of a cool cover. Metalhead’s can rejoice that this track, while true to its original, is even heavier than than the Thin Lizzy version.
After the excellent double shot Lonely is the Word / Letters from Earth, Jorn Lande gets my vote if Black Sabbath decide to look for another new singer.
Feel Like Making Love is a nice cover with a solid vocal by Jorn.
Kill the King is damn near jaw dropping. This is great stuff, even for a cover!
Perfect Strangers is one of my favorite Deep Purple tracks, so it was important to me that this song if any was done properly. Not only was this well done, Jorn knocked this one out of the park with his spot on vocals!
I must admit that I wasn’t familar with the KISS song, Naked City. This is such a different sounding track, it almost didn’t fit in with all of the hard rock classics above, but Jorn is such an amazing vocalist, he made it work here.
Unlocking the Past is undoubtedly one of the best cover albums you will ever hear. This well produced disc handles the classic rock tracks with care, all featuring the superb vocals by Jorn Lande that we have all come to love. This is one of the best discs released in 2007 so far! You have to get this!
Enjoy the track Cold Sweat below!
Rating:Out of 10
- On And On (MSG)
- Fool For Your Loving (Whitesnake
- Cold Sweat (Thin Lizzy)
- Lonely is the Word/Letters From Earth (Black Sabbath)
- Burn (Deep Purple)
- Feel Like Making Love (Bad Company)
- Kill the King (Rainbow)
- Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple)
- Naked City (KISS)
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire (City Boy)
The list of guest stars on this disc is huge and includes: Joe Lynn Turner, Jeff Scott Soto, Sebastian Bach, Mark Slaughter, Jeff Pilson, Edgar Winter, Leslie West, Vinnie Appice, Phil Soussan, Bob Kulick, Paul Dianno, Tony Franklin, Marco Mendoza, and quite a few others.
I have seen a bunch of poor reviews on this disc, but you wont find one here. I have gotten quite a bit of enjoyment out of this disc. To me, this is a covers disc, that doesn’t feel like one. It could be because the only constant is Michael Schenker on guitar.
Michael Schenker’s guitar playing smokes on all of these tracks. I have always been a fan of his, and this disc shows that he can sound good, no matter who the front man of his group is.
There are quite a few stand out tracks on Heavy Hitters. Doctor, Doctor is near perfection, and JSS on vocals is very cool. I love hearing Ripper Owens wail on War Pigs. That brings a smile to my face every time.
Out in the Fields with Gary Barden is great. Schenker’s guitars really howl on this song. Money with Tommy Shaw is pretty good as well.
You could spin your money in much worse way, while in your music store. Heavy Hitters is a solid listen from beginning to end.
Rating: Out of 10
1. All Shook Up with Joe Lynn Turner on vocals (Elvis Presley)
2. Blood Of The Sun with Leslie West from Mountain on vocals(Mountain)
3. Doctor Doctor with Jeff Scott Soto on vocals(UFO)
4. War Pigs with Ripper Owens on vocals(Black Sabbath)
5. I’m Not Talking with Mark Slaughter on vocals (Yarbirds/Mose Allison)
6. Money w/ Tommy Shaw on vocals and Edgar Winter on the Saxophone( Pink Floyd)
7. I Don’t Live Today with Sebastian Bach on vocals (Jimi Hendrix)
8. Hair Of The Dog with Paul Dianno on vocals, and Vinnie Appice on Drums(Nazareth)
9. Out In The Fields with Gary Barden on vocals (Gary Moore)
10. Politician with Jeff Pilson on vocals (Cream)
The Ozzman Coverth…….and not very well!
I often wonder why established artists like Ozzy Osbourne subject themselves to full cover albums. Does Ozzy really need the money that badly? Ozzy’s Under Cover CD only left me scratching my head.
Most of these tracks were previously released in the Prince of Darkness box set.
I have nothing against Ozzy. I think he is a hard rock/ heavy metal legend. With that being said, this is not the kind of material that I would expect to hear from. Most of the tracks on this CD are performed better by the original artists.
There are a couple of stand out tracks on this CD ( Mississippi Queen, 21st Century Schizoid Man), but most of the material on this CD is pointless.
Two decent tracks out of thirteen, and dismal track listing at that. This is a CD for those trying fill their Ozzy collections and nothing more. I doubt you will spin it twice.
Rating:Out of 10
- Rocky Mountain Way (Joe Walsh)
- In My Life (The Beatles)
- Mississippi Queen (Mountain)
- Go Now (The Moody Blues)
- Woman (John Lennon)
- 21st Century Schizoid Man (King Crimson)
- All of the Young Dudes (Moot The Hoople)
- For What its Worth (Buffalo Springfield)
- Good Times (Eric Burdon)
- Sunshine of Your Love (Cream)
- Fire (The Crazy World of Arthur Brown)
- Working Class Hero (John Lennon)
- Sympathy For the Devil ( The Rolling Stones)
In 1998, Metallica released Garage, Inc., a two disc set of songs that were all cover tunes. The second disc were cover songs from their previous releases, and the first disc was all new covers by the band.
Out of all of the covers discs that have been released, this one is still amongst my favorites. Quite a few of the tracks in this set, I had no idea they were covers the first time I heard them.
I never listened to the Misfits, Budgie or Diamond Head, so the tracks Metallica covered by these groups were brand new songs to me. The Metallica versions of these songs were so good, that it did not matter to me once I knew they were covers.
One of my favorites has always been Metallica’s cover of Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy.
As far as cover discs go, this collection has the most bang for the buck for in 2007. This is probably the best collection of cover tunes by any hard rock band to date.
Die Die My Darling
Am I Evil?
Stone Cold Crazy
Turn the Page
Whiskey in the Jar
Rating: Out of 10
1. Free Speech For The Dumb – (originally recorded by Discharge)
2. It’s Electric – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
3. Sabbra Cadabra – (originally recorded by Black Sabbath)
4. Turn The Page – (originally recorded by Bob Seger)
5. Die Die My Darling – (originally recorded by the Misfits)
6. Loverman – (originally recorded by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds)
7. Mercyful Fate – featuring Evil, Curse of the Pharaohs, Satan’s
8. Astronomy – (originally recorded by Blue Oyster Cult)
9. Whiskey In The Jar – (originally recorded by Thin Lizzy)
10. Tuesday’s Gone – (originally recorded by Lynyrd Skynyrd)
11. The More I See – (originally recorded by Discharge)
1. Helpless – (originally recorded by Diamond Head
2. The Small Hours – (originally recorded by Holocaust)
3. The Wait – (originally recorded by Killing Joke)
4. Last Caress/Green Hell – (originally recorded by The Misfits)
5. Am I Evil? – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
6. Blitzkrieg – (originally recorded by Blitzkrieg)
7. Breadfan – (originally recorded by Budgie)
8. The Prince – (originally recorded by Diamond Head)
9. Stone Cold Crazy – (originally recorded by Queen)
10. So What – (originally recorded by the Anti-Nowhere League)
11. Killing Time – (originally recorded by Sweet Savage)
12. Overkill – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
13. Damage Case – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
14. Stone Dead Forever – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
15. Too Late Too Late – (originally recorded by Motorhead)
16. Crash Course in Brain Surgery (originally recorded by Budgie)
His band mates this time around are Zakk Wylde on guitar, Rob “Blasko” Nicholson (Rob Zombie) on bass, and Mike Bordin (Faith No More) on drums.
I must admit that my first impression with Black Rain, is that this is the heaviest Ozzy disc in years. Zakk Wylde has been wanting to something heavy with Ozzy for a long time, and was pretty disgusted with the writing on Down to Earth. On that record, Zakk Wylde played on all of the songs, but did not have any writing credits. Zakk Wylde co-wrote eight of the 10 tunes on Black Rain. The end result is a far heavier disc, and probably the closest thing to Ozzy’s 1995 disc, Ozzmosis.
The first track, Not Going Away starts off with a monstrous, Black Sabbath type of riff. This track gets better with each listen.
The track, I Don’t Wanna Stop is getting airplay just about every where now, and Ozzy is playing this live in various TV programs, in an effort to promote Black Rain. I agree with what seems to be the majority opinion on this song. I love this track!
The title track, Black Rain is a mid tempo track with a heavy bass sound; and a cool song that is nearly a throw back to early 80’s Ozzy. I can see this track being a hit on the radio, easily.
A nice change of pace is the number Lay Your World on Me on which Ozzy’s voice is the most powerful instrument. On this low tempo track, Blasko’s bass is mixed louder than Zakk’s guitar 95% of the time, but it comes across sounding very cool.
The Almighty Dollar is kind of weird to me. This sounds like Ozzy trying to do a Nine Inch Nails song. Its not all bad, but it has some strange music elements to it. I like the heavy parts, but when this song gets a little bouncy, it doesn’t work. At least not for me.
11 Silver is an extremely upbeat sounding song, but is different from anything I recall Ozzy doing in the past. The bass groove is extremely springy, and Zakk Wylde’s guitar solo in the center is great! I didn’t like this song at first, but its growing on me with every listen. In 2007, its hard to make Ozzy sound fresh, but this is pretty damn good attempt to do so.
Civilize the Universe reminds me a lot of the sound Rob Zombie’s band has. Blasko really shows his influence in this song. This is another good, foot-stomping, rock and roll hit.
Here for You is a piano based ballad that is actually very good. I have heard Ozzy do these type of songs before, but I think this one is one of the better ones in a long time.
Something about Coundown’s Begun reminds me quite a bit of Lynch era Dokken. The whole guitar and heavy bass riff is very Dokken like. Zakk Wylde and Blasko reproduce a sound that is very complimentary of one of the best metal tandem’s of 80’s style hard rock (Lynch and Pilson). Very cool!
Trapdoor is probably my 2nd most favorite song on Black Rain. Zakk Wylde’s riff on this track has a real mean sound to it. This is the kind of song that could make me go to Ozzfest, so I can see it live. The whole bass and drum sound in the center of the track are cool as hell. What an amazing way to close out this record!
On my first listen to this disc, I wasn’t extremely impressed with this disc. Successive listens have changed my mind. I keep hearing and noticing different things each time I listen to it. Ozzy Osbourne sings his ass off on this disc, and sounds great all throughout Black Rain. The Zakk Wylde neigh sayers will be happy to know that, Zakk does not over use the pinch harmonics on this record. Zakk’s playing is stellar, end of story. Blasko and Mike Bordin are not fill in musicians. They are excellent additions to Ozzy’s band, and truly add to the music on this record. I hope this group stays together for another record. Until then, I will enjoy this record repeatedly. Hopefully Ozzy wont make us wait six more years for another one.
Don’t even hesitate to pick this disc up! If you are an Ozzy fan, it is required listening!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Not Going Away
2. I Don’t Wanna Stop
3. Black Rain
4. Lay Your World on Me
5. Almighty Dollar
6. 11 Silver
7. Civilize the Universe
8. Here for You
9. Countdown’s Begun
10. Trap Door
Ozzy Osbourne band is:
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
Zakk Wylde – Guitars
Blasko – Bass
Mike Bordin – Drums
The band you will see live is not the same group that recorded this CD, but is the Tracii Guns version of L.A. Guns with Paul Black on vocals (Paul Black was the singer in L.A. Guns prior to Phil Lewis), Chad Stewart on Drums, and Jeremy Guns on bass. Which one you prefer to see live probably depends on which singer or guitarist you prefer, but at Rocklahoma, you aren’t going to get that choice. Drummer Steve Riley owns 50% of the L.A. Guns name, and Tracii Guns the other 50%. As a result of this, you get two bands with the same name.
This live CD however features the Phil Lewis lead L.A. Guns, and shows off the talents of band still recording under the this name (actually Tracii Guns, L.A. Guns is now recording under this name too, what a ball of confusion), and the vocalist that most L.A. Guns fans are familiar with.
This L.A. Guns line up features singer Phil Lewis, guitarist Stacey Blades (Roxx Gang), drummer Steve Riley and bassist Scott Griffin.
So how does this version of L.A. Guns sound? Pretty damn good. Phil Lewis sounds great on vocals, and Stacey Blades does a damn good job on guitar. Just listen to the solo on the track on Nothing Better to Do, and you will be sold on the new L.A. Guns axeman! This group sounds as good as the initial band that recorded the self titled debut, back in 1988, and this disc shows that they can still kick ass live in 2006! Their biggest hits are well represented on Loud and Dangerous, plus you get a couple of videos to boot. If you like your hard rock live, this disc is almost as good as being there.
Sadly, You won’t experience this version of the band at Rocklahoma. I can only hope that the Tracii Guns version of the band can reproduce the kind of energy heard on this disc live. You can hear Tracii’s L.A. Guns at their myspace page here , for the Phil Lewis lead L.A. Guns, visit the following link.
The videos below will give you a taste of Phil Lewis and Stacey Blades live. Great Stuff!
Rating: Out of 10
1. No Mercy
2. Sex Action
3. Never Enough
4. Over the Edge
5. Rock N’ Roll Outlaw
6. Nothing Better to Do
7. Hellraisers Ball
8. One More Reason
9. Electric Gypsy
10. Ballad of Jayne
11. Rip and Tear
12. Don’t Look at Me That Way
13. Hollywood’s Burning [DVD]
14. It Don’t Mean Nothing [DVD]
The mighty Megadeth returns in 2007 with their eleventh studio album, United Abominations!
There has been plenty of hype about this disc over the last several months, so the major question is does it live up to the hype?
This first track assaults your ears and senses immediately and sets the stage for what is going to be an amazing listen. Sleepwalker takes Megadeth back to their thrash roots. This heavy track could have easily been on the Rust In Peace album. This is one of my early favorites! I love it!
Washington is Next gets better each time I hear it. This track is a heavy high speed number that the wimpy rock radio stations wont come close to touching. I have listened to this track several times, and I seem to like it more each time.
Man oh man, the guitars howl on Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms. I love this song for the guitar work alone, but the song structure is very cool. This song is heavy, but has radio potential.
After my first listen, I did not care for United Abominations. Multiple listens later, the song has now grown on me, and I can see some radio potential with this song. It is good, but far from the best track on this disc.
I heard a rough demo of Gears of War a few months ago, and have been looking forward to this one. The polished track is nice and heavy, and features more stellar guitar work by Dave Mustaine and Glen Drover.
My least favorite track off of U.A. so far is Blessed are the Dead. It is the least memorable track after a couple of listens.
Play for Blood has an awesome groove and will have most ‘deth fans head banging for sure. GREAT Stuff!!
The track that is already getting plenty of radio airplay is the reworked version of À Tout La Monde that was originally on the 1994 disc, Youthanasia. This new version features the vocals of Dave Mustaine and Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. I like this version as well as the original, and the video for the song is kind of cool.
I am not crazy about Amerikhastan. I know Dave Mustaine is passionate about politics, but hearing him chant about it in a song, is not what I am looking for in a Megadeth song. Sorry Dave, but this song doesn’t work for me.
Your Dead is heavy, guitar-shredding, monster of a track. The best thing about this one is the guitar work.
Burnt Ice is an insane guitar noodling festival of Metal. I get tired just trying to play the air guitar along with this one. Crazy!
So the bottom line, does United Abominations live up to the hype, Yes and No. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a Megadeth album. United Abominations is heavier that some of the bands’ more recent offerings, and less mainstream, that what a lot of the newer fans may be used to. For me, I enjoyed this disc, as it is heavier than the last few, and guitar work is superb. Is this the best Megadeth CD I have ever listened to? No it isnt. You don’t hear too many new metal discs sounding this good today. Long time Megadeth fans should certainly pick this up. Metal fans will love United Abominations.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Washington Is Next!
3. Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms
4. United Abominations
5. Gears Of War
6. Blessed Are The Dead
7. Play For Blood
8. À Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)
10. You’re Dead
11. Burnt Ice
Dave Mustaine – Vocals and Guitars
Glen Drover – Guitars
James Lomenzo – Bass
Shawn Drover – Drums
Cryptic Writings is the 7th studio disc by Megadeth. Cryptic Writings features the same band roster as Countdown to Extinction, but even with four top 20 radio hits, Trust, Almost Honest, Use the Man, and A Secret Place, the most success this album could muster was a gold album (over 500K units sold). I am sure the lack of sales had to leave Dave Mustaine scratching his head, as Cryptic Writings is nearly solid all the way through.
From the initial tribal drum beats of Nick Menza, I knew almost immediately that I was going to like this disc. The first three tracks, Trust, Almost Honest and Use the Man are solid mid temp rockers with heavy elements, and start off Cryptic Writings well. I don’t think disc falters until you hit the jangly track Mastermind. I didn’t care for that one much.
The Disintegrators is one of the heavier tracks on this disc, and this is classic Megadeth. This is something for the fans wanting a little more thrash in their music.
I’ll Get Even is more mainstream and hopelessly catchy. You will find yourself singing along with this track. Sin can’t seem decide if it wants to go mainstream rock or thrash. I couldn’t get into this track until the last minute of it or so, in which it picks up a heavy drum and bass rhythm.
A Secret Place is another radio friendly track that is a pretty good listen. This is one of least heavy Megadeth tracks I think I have ever heard, but it works.
Have Cool, Will Travel was just an average track to me. I go back and forth between liking this one, and not liking it.
If there were more tracks like She-Wolf on Cryptic Writings, I am sure that this disc would have sold a lot more copies. This is the first true high tempo offering with that classic guitar chugging, Megadeth speed metal. Vortex keeps that pace going well. There is plenty of guitar noodling on this track, but it is a little too late to push this disc over the edge.
FFF (Fight For Freedom) ends this disc with a heavy almost punk sounding track. It is an OK track but nothing essential.
Cryptic Writings may not live up to Countdown to Extinction or Youthanasia, but its another solid effort by Dave Mustaine, Marty Friedman, David Ellefson and Nick Menza. This CD is not as heavy as many in the Megadeth discology, and probably alienated a few fans along the way. It still has enough great mainstream songs to make it worthy of a pickup!
Rating:Out of 10
2. Almost Honest
3. Use The Man
5. The Disintegrators
6. I’ll Get Even
8. A Secret Place
9. Have Cool, Will Travel
Quite possibly my favorite Megadeth CDs of all time is the 1992 release Countdown to Extinction. This disc has three top 40 radio hits off it including Symphony of Destruction, Sweating Bullets and Foreclosure of a Dream.
Megadeth followed Metallica’s formula of shorter less complicated songs and hit major mainstream success with this disc. To date, Countdown to Extinction is is Megadeth’s only multi-platinum disc to date (over 2 million sold).
From the opening riffs of Skin O’ My Teeth you just knew this disc would be classic.
Symphony of Destruction is my all time favorite Megadeth song. I never get sick of hearing this one.
I still get a charge out of Architecture Of Aggression. Mustaine and Friedman’s awesome solos and the pounding rhythm of Dave Ellefson’s bass and Nick Menza’s drumming makes this song a headbanger’s delight.
Foreclosure of a dream is an absolute classic Megadeth song. No collection should be without this track.
I always found the track, Sweating Bullets kind of silly, but I have to admit it is catchy. The solos in the middle of the track is what makes it so great. The video is pretty cool too.
It has been a while since I listened to This Was My Life, and I had to listen to it a second time, as it is another great song on Coundown to Extinction. The chugging bass of Dave Ellefson is so cool on this track. Great!!
Usually by this time you start find a little bit of filler material, but not here. The title track Countdown to Extinction is a very mainstream hard rock song, and a damn good one at that. I found a home made video featuring Godzilla for this one. Cool Stuff!
There are more great guitar solos between Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman on High Speed Dirt. I like this track a lot.
Psychotron is infectious as hell. Listen to this song once, and I bet you will find yourself singing along. SciFi fans will love the video below!
Captive Honour is another excellent hard driving tune, that often gets over looked on Countdown to Extinction. There is plenty of guitar noodling and cool drum beats on this one.
Ashes In Your Mouth closes out Countdown to Extinction with a good heavy track with more chugging guitars, guitar solos and Mustaine’s signature snarls. Its a perfect way to close out this excellent set of tunes.
Out of the entire Megadeth discology, you will have a hard time finding a stronger set of tunes than the ones on Countdown to Extinction. This disc is one of my all time favorite metal discs. It should be essential to every hard rock music fan!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Skin O’ My Teeth
2. Symphony Of Destruction
3. Architecture Of Aggression
4. Foreclosure Of A Dream
5. Sweating Bullets
6. This Was My Life
7. Countdown To Extinction
8. High Speed Dirt
10. Captive Honour
11. Ashes In Your Mouth
No Sweat features Paul Quinn on vocals, Dave Gooding on guitar, Jim Phillips on guitar, Jon Angel on bass, Paul J. Smith on Keyboards, and Ray Fean on drums.
This disc actually features the drumming of former Kingdom Come member James Kottak(before Ray Fean was in the band), and also enlisted a couple of guest stars in Saga’s Michael Sadler and James Crichton.
No Sweat has a sound that reminds me quite a bit of Tyketto, and much like that band, No Sweat didn’t earn the fame they deserved. This is another one of those great hard rock CD’s from the early 90’s, that by all means should have made this band a household name. They did have a semi hit with their video for Heart and Soul on MTV for a while, and was getting plenty of play back on the nationally syndicated Z-Rock Hard Rock Radio Station.
Heart and Soul
There really isn’t a bad song on this disc, and all of the tunes have a very polished sound. The guitars are clean, the bass isn’t over powering, and the keyboards are mixed well. Paul Quinn’s delivery of his vocals remind me quite a bit of Danny Vaughn’s style, but he has a sound all his own.
My favorite tracks are Heart and Soul, Shake, On the Edge, Tear Down the Walls, and Generation.
You can still grab a used copy of this CD for next to nothing off of Amazon.com. It is a damn fine disc, and still worth picking up.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Heart And Soul
4. On The Edge
5. Waters Flow
6. Tear Down The Walls
8. Lean On Me