Megadeth has returned with their fourteenth album Super Collider. On their latest effort, the band has taken the tempo down, and have crafted another solid hard rock/metal album. Megadeth’s thrash metal fans will probably throw their arms up in the air in disbelief after listening to this album. After three heavy, aggressive albums in a row (United Abominations, Endgame and Thirteen), Super Collider may seem like a bit of departure for Megadeth. Super Collider leans more towards the hard rock side of the fence than metal on this album. Megadeth may truly have “A House Divided” after this record.
This isn’t Megadeth’s first foray in hard rock by any means. Is it a really a far stretch from the metal they usually create?! Sure the tempo may be a little slower, but the music may not be quite as heavy, but is still very enjoyable. One of my favorite Megadeth albums, Countdown to Extinction was more of a hard rock effort, and to this day, I still think it is one of the band’s best albums.
Super Collider isn’t without its thrashy moments however. “Kingmaker” is one the heavier songs on the album, and it is pretty damn cool! “Built For War” also teeters on the edge of thrash. I can see this song being a staple in Megadeth’s live sets for sure! “Off the Edge” is a catchy rocker that fits my mindset every time I leave the office. “Don’t Turn Your Back” is another tune that will definitely get your blood pumping!
“Cold Sweat” is one of my favorite Thin Lizzy songs, so I was excited to hear Megadeth’s version of this song. It certainly does not disappoint (although JORN’s version is still my favorite). I still have to tip my hat to Dave Mustaine & company for putting a cool heavy spin on such a killer, classic tune.
Overall, Super Collider is a bit of a grower. While this isn’t Megadeth’s best album, it is far from their worst, and it does continue to get better with multiple plays. There is some filler on this album, but the good tunes far outweigh the bad ones. Give Super Collider a chance, and I think you will like it as much as I do!
Rating: Out of 10
02. Super Collider
04. Build For war
05. Off the Edge
06. Dance In The Rain
07. Beginning of Sorrow
08. The Blackest Crow
09. Forget To Remember
10. Don’t Turn Your Back
11. Cold Sweat
12. All I Want (Bonus Track)
13. A House Divided (Bonus Track)
14. Countdown To Extinction (Live)
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Lead, rhythm, slide & acoustic guitars
Chris Broderick – Lead, rhythm, acoustic guitars & background vocals
David Ellefson – Bass Guitar & background vocals
Shawn Drover – Drums, percussion & background vocals
Adjectives that can be used to describe Onyx: heavy, different, solid, fantastic, amazing. After a few spins it is easy to state that Onyx is the best Pop Evil album to date. And while that may seem like a bold statement, it is a true statement. Fans expecting to hear “Monster You Made,” or “100 In A 55,” will not find that here. That doesn’t mean those fans will be disappointed, because Pop Evil has still delivered greatness. Acoustic guitars may be absent, and ballads may be few and far between (technically only one ballad appears on Onyx), but phenomenal music is definitely present and accounted for. Here now is Hard Rock Hideout’s track by track breakdown of the latest LP from Pop Evil.
Goodbye My Friend
Opening track, “Goodbye My Friend,” is a solid, hard rocking, modern blast. The addition of Nick Fueling (lead guitar) and Chaci Riot (drums) are felt immediately. And while the absence of Tony Greve and Dylan Allison is noticeable, the new players are taking Pop Evil in a whole different direction. “Goodbye My Friend” sets the tone for what the rest of Onyx is going to sound like: a fast, hard hitting masterpiece. The solos in this song are outstanding and vocalist Leigh Kakaty reaches down and pushes out a growling, gravelly voice that has not been heard previously.
Deal With The Devil
“Deal With The Devil” is a fast song with a hard and heavy beat. This song hit hard right out of the gate and quickly became an instant favorite. I didn’t think that there was a song that I would enjoy more than “Trenches” on this record, but I was wrong. There are multiple songs that are better than “Trenches” and “Deal With The Devil” is one of them. Crunching guitars from Nick Fueling and Dave Grahs dominate this song and turn it into a gem. Add to that Kakaty’s voice in peak form, and there’s high chance for “Deal With The Devil” to become a huge hit.
“Trenches” was the first single released for Onyx and for a while I really thought it was the best song on the record. That is no longer the case (as you will see). Yet, “Trenches” is one of the best Pop Evil songs to date. Crunching, heavy guitars open the track and are immediately followed by the pounding drums of Riot. The powerful vocals that Kakaty nails throughout along with the urgency that the song is sung in makes this one of the most powerful anthems to come out of the Pop Evil camp.
Torn To Pieces
This is easily the weakest song on the album. That’s not to say it’s a horrendous song, it’s just not as strong as the other tracks. The subject matter is very touching (Leigh Kakaty wrote it as a tribute after his father passed away), and the song is heartfelt, but “Torn To Pieces” lacks the power that all other Pop Evil ballads have contained. And considering this is the only true ballad on Onyx, it was quite surprising. Heading into the disc, I thought “Torn To Pieces” was going to be a song that I constantly played. However, it looks like it will be just the opposite. I seem to hit skip a lot to get to the next track.
“Divide” is another strong, hard hitting, modern rock gem that only Pop Evil can deliver. This is also another song that defines the new direction Pop Evil is heading in. There would never be a song like “Divide” on the band’s previous two albums because they hadn’t emerged to that state in their career yet. With “Divide” the band has embraced the modern rock sound that they seemed to be keeping at bay on previous records. Here, they embrace the sound and turned in a strong, enjoyable song.
“Beautiful” is a mid-tempo piece that is quite enjoyable. The subject matter is exceptional, as the message in the music is we are all beautiful to someone in our own way. Regardless of sexual orientation, the color of our skin, personal interests, or anything else, we are all beautiful today and everyday for the rest of our lives. “Beautiful” is a very uplifting song and one that I believe has the potential to be absolutely astonishing in concert. Personally, I can’t wait to hear this song performed live.
Silence & Scars
Another ballad is delivered in the form of “Silence & Scars.” The song emerges with a strange, yet cool, attention grabbing guitar riff. It sets the stage for the rest of the song. Once again, Kakaty’s voice is strong and smooth and while it’s not a true ballad, “Silence & Scars” is up there with “Monster You Made” for one of the best ballads in the Pop Evil catalog. I expect that this will be a chart topping hit in the very near future.
This is the heaviest song that Pop Evil has ever done. It sounds like a mash up of Marilyn Manson, Rage Against The Machine, and some darker modern rock bands. After the first couple of listens, I didn’t think that I was going to like this song at all. Then, after a few more spins, it started to grow on me. Now, “Sick Sense” is one of my favorite tracks on the record. It clearly shows the evolution of Pop Evil and the deep influence that Fueling and Riot had on the band for the recording of this record. Three years ago, I wouldn’t even consider “Sick Sense” a Pop Evil song. Now, part of me is hoping this is the direction the band heads in over the next couple of albums.
“Fly Away” is a return to the Pop Evil sound that fans have come to know over the years. Hard rocking, clean, and a whole lot of fun, “Fly Away” is one of the strongest Pop Evil songs recorded. This is destined to be a sing along classic in almost no time. “Fly Away” is another song that I am anxious to see the band perform in concert. There is so much raw power and potential for this song to be a climactic moment during their concert. And while the song structure is very simple, the delivery is impeccable, and it is what pushes “Fly Away” over the top.
Behind Closed Doors
This is another song that took a few listens to grow on me. At first, I wasn’t quite sure that I liked this song, but after a few plays, I realized how grand of a song “Behind Closed Doors” is. Starting off slow and then building into a hurried frenzy, “Behind Closed Doors” is a song that has a lot to offer. The song is rich, layered, and deep, which may be why it took so long to grow on me. There is a lot happening within “Behind Closed Doors” and it takes several listens to truly appreciate all of the great music that is being played back at the listener.
Welcome To Reality
Another quick, simple, and highly enjoyable song, “Welcome To Reality” is standard Pop Evil flair. Filled with high energy and strong vocals from Kakaty, “Welcome To Reality” is a song that delivers. If “Trenches” has a sibling, it would be “welcome To Reality.” This is a strong song that serves as a great reminder that music can sometimes just be straight out fun.
“Flawed” is an odd song that I haven’t quite decided how I feel about. I love the opening guitar riff from Nick Fueling and I love how the drums come crashing in behind the riff. Yet, there is something about the song that keeps it from standing out as all of the other tracks have. I am unable to identify exactly what is holding this song back, but the simple fact remains that “Flawed” isn’t as grand as 10 of the other Onyx tracks. Maybe it’s due to the fact that it is the last song on the record? I have no idea. What I do know is that it will take several more listens to determine if “Flawed” is one of the better Pop Evil catalog songs.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Goodbye My Friend
02. Deal With The Devil
04. Torn To Pieces
07. Silence & Scars
08. Sick Sense
09. Fly Away
10. Behind Closed Doors
11. Welcome To Reality
Pop Evil Is:
Leigh Kakaty – Vocals
Matt DiRito – Bass
Dave Grahs – Rhythm Guitar
Nick Fueling – Lead Guitar
Chachi Riot – Drums
If Nikki Sixx puts his stamp of approval on something, 10 times out of 10, I’m going to at least check it out. So when he decides to hand-pick a band, produce their album and throw them on the opening slot for a Motley Crue tour, I listen and I listen well. Nikki certainly didn’t disappoint with The Last Vegas. I was hooked as soon as their 2009 release, Whatever Gets You Off, hit my ears. Last year, the Chicago quintet followed that album up with Bad Decisions, a raucous, loud, sleazy rock and roll album that leaves you begging for more.
I got my first taste of this album last year when I saw The Last Vegas open for Theory of a Deadman. “Evil Eyes” really stood out for me that night from the instant I heard the crunchy, nasty guitars. And with its addictive groove, “Other Side” was certainly a crowd favorite with its chant worthy chorus: “Whoa, yeah, boy you better be ready/ Last chance, ‘cuz the rumors ain’t lies/ God damn, fucking bitch goes crazy/ You ain’t ever coming back from the other side.”
The dark, brooding bass that opens “Beat to Hell” followed by raunchy guitars and Chad Cherry’s rock and roll scream, certainly sets the tone for the entire album: you’re about to get your ass kicked and it’s going to be a lot of fun. And as if there was any doubt, the title track reassures us that with The Last Vegas, we can do what rock and roll always intended for us all to do…”have a good time making bad decisions.”
Can we talk about Chad Cherry for just a moment? In a sea of monotonous, bland rock singers, Cherry’s voice stands out above them like a stripper in church. You know exactly who it is when his voice screeches out in a song. It grabs you by the balls and makes you pay attention. I think that’s something that can’t be said for a lot of artists today. His stage presence gives off the same kind of attitude, which makes him a force to be reckoned with during their live shows. And if you want to try to grab some of that attitude, then check out his badass, up-cycled, one of kind clothing designs in his Etsy store.
This album just goes from one kick ass song to the next, with seedy guitars and in your face solos that make you want to grab a bottle of Jack and guzzle it. As much as I’d like to sit here and tell you about the rest of the songs on the album, it would get redundant and you’d get tired of reading how awesome each song is. Like Cherry’s clothing line, The Last Vegas are up-cycling some good, old-fashioned rock and roll. They’re taking some great formulas and adding their own touch, their own tastes and making it better. Bad Decisions is quite possibly the best bad decision I’ve made in a long time.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Beat To Hell
02. Other Side
03. Bad Decisions
04. Evil Eyes
05. Don’t Take It So Hard
06. She’s My Confusion
07. It Ain’t Easy
08. My Way Forever
10. Devil In You
11. You Are The One
12. Good Night
The Last Vegas is:
Chad Cherry – vocals
Adam Arling – guitar
Johnny Wator – guitar
Danny Smash – bass
Nate Arling – drums
Reviewed by Christine Sixx
When I first caught wind of Tom Keifer working on a solo album , I was excited that new tunes would be coming from the Cinderella front man. That was four years ago! Mr. Keifer has been working on They Way Life Goes for a long time. I can gladly say that good things come to those who wait. The Way Life Goes is one of Tom’s most brilliant pieces of work, and possibly his best song writing since Cinderella’s Long Cold Winter. It really is that good.
The Way Life Goes is NOT a hard rock record by any means. It is an honest to goodness rock record, with elements of blues, a little bit of country, and some hard rock moments as well. I was fortunate enough to experience some of the songs on this record live on Tom’s tour a couple of months ago, and I really enjoyed what I heard. I knew then that this album may be something special, but I wasn’t expecting it to be THIS good. This CD has been on constant repeat since I picked it up a week ago.
There are so many good songs on The Way Life Goes, it is hard for me to pinpoint a favorite, but “Thick and Thin” and “Ask Me Yesterday” are songs that really get me thinking. I love the harder rocking moments of the songs “Solid Ground”, “Mood Elevator” and “Welcome To My Mind”. “The Flower Song” is a terrific song to put the convertible top down on a sunny afternoon and enjoy the day. “You Showed Me” has a bit of a Beatle-esque quality to it. This is another tremendous song that deserves a ton of airplay. “Ain’t That A Bitch” is a cool bluesy rocker that has a 70′s type of feel to it.
The fact is, there is NOT one bad song on this CD. The songs on The Way Life Goes are arranged in a way that keeps the album flowing and interesting.
Fantastic song writing, and outstanding playing fill The Way Life Goes and Tom Keifer’s voice has never sounded better! If you buy one CD in 2013, this is the one to get!
I can’t recommend this enough! This is easily one of the best releases of the year! Don’t miss this!!
Rating: Out of 10
l. Solid Ground
2. A Different Light
3. It’s Not Enough
4. Cold Day In Hell
5. Thick And Thin
6. Ask Me Yesterday
7. Fools Paradise
8. The Flower Song
9. Mood Elevator
10. Welcome To My Mind
11. You Showed Me
12. Ain’t That A Bitch
13. The Way Life Goes
Tom Keifer – Vocals, Background Vocals, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar, Keyboards
Greg Morrow – Drums & Percussion
Michael Rhodes – Bass
Tony Harnell – Piano, B3, Wurlitzer, Clavinet
Background Vocals – Etta Britt, Crystal Taliaferro, Savannah Keifer,Vicki Carraco, Kent Agee, Chuck Turner
Additional Guitars – Ron Wallace, Pat Buchanan, Jeff Labar
Saxophone -Bobby Keys, Jim Horne
Midi Programming & Strings – Mitch Goldfarb, Blair Daly
Jorn Lande’s latest output Symphonic started as a spontaneous idea to hear how JORN songs sounded with a classical orchestra arrangement. Jorn Lande didn’t want this album to come across as a typical greatest hits album, so Symphonic features some deeper cuts from the JORN catalog. Sometimes spontaneous ideas are the best ones, as Symphonic shows just how powerful JORN’s metal music is. The orchestral arrangement on this album gives JORN’s songs a heavier feel than the original versions. I didn’t think the songs could be improved upon, but I stand corrected. I love this unique mix to JORN’s songs.
I liked the song choices Jorn made for Symphonic, and thought it was enhanced by the cover songs included in the track listing. There are two killer covers on this album, DIO’s “Rock and Roll Children” and Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules”. Both of these songs came out sounding cooler than ever.
Symphonic is a tremendous listen, and a true feast for the ears. Jorn Lande’s voice is the most powerful instrument on Symphonic, but his voice truly shines with this orchestral arrangement. I enjoyed Symphonic and I think you will too! Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
- I Came To Rock
- Rock And Roll Children
- The World I See
- Burn Your Flame
- Man Of The Dark
- My Road
- Time To Be King
- Black Morning
- Like Stone In Water
- Vision Eyes
- War Of The World
- Behind The Clown
- A Thousand Cuts
- The Mob Rules
Jorn Lande – vocals
Willy Bendiksen – drums
Nic Angileri – bass
Tore Moren – guitars
Jimmy Iversen – guitars
Orchestral arrangements Lasse Jensen
I have to admit that the first couple of times that I listened to Jackyl’s latest effort Best in Show, I wasn’t that impressed. I thought a band that I have often compared to Jackyl, SNEW, out did Jackyl on their latest effort.
I do love the song “Screwdriver”, but I thought the rest of the CD was hit & miss. Last Friday night (at The Inner Circle), I saw the band perform several of the songs live, and my opinion changed 100%. You see, a few of the songs on Best in Show translate better live than they do in the studio. After seeing the band perform the songs live, I have grown to appreciate Best in Show much more than I did originally.
The album starts off with a real face melting rocker with “Best In Show”. This is one of the many songs that translate better live, although I like the version on the CD a lot.
“Screwdriver” and “Better Than Chicken” are a couple of tongue-in-cheek tracks that borrows from the Steel Panther playbook. Jesse James Dupree and company truly deliver these songs live. These may not be the type of songs you want to play around your young children, but I doubt you play Jackyl around your kids anyway.
Jackyl has crafted an almost perfect stripper pole anthem with their song “Encore”. This song came as completely unexpected when I heard it the first time but this one is a real party starter in Jackyl’s live set. I am sure this song will find its way into Gentemen’s clubs nationwide soon.
“Horns Up” is a fun little rocker that has a little Nazareth influence on it. I absolutely love the groove on the song “Golden Spookytooth”. This is quickly becoming one of my Jackyl favorites.
“Walk My Mile” is the longest track on Best in Show, and shows Jackyl taking a more serious approach to their music. This is a heavy tune, and a good one at that.
“Open Invitation” would have had a lot more impact, if it would have been released before Bin Laden’s death. While the man will be hated forever, this song was obviously written before he was killed.
The only band that has successfully pulled off the rap/rock thing was Aerosmith in my opinion. Needless to say, I still question why Jackyl covered “It’s Tricky” on this album. I am not a fan of the rap/rock hybrid, and I thought this cover was silly at best. For me that song ended the album on a down note. Nonetheless, Jackyl has delivered another solid album.
Best in Show is exactly what you would expect from a Jackyl CD. It is raw, raunchy and anything but subtle. Most importantly, it is a hell of a lot
of fun to listen to. The more I have listened to Best in Show, the more I have enjoyed it. It isn’t a perfect CD, but I think it is easily the band’s best effort since their 1992 self titled debut. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Best in Show
3. Screw Driver
4. Horns Up
5. Golden Spookytooth
6. Cover of the Rolling Stone
7. Walk My Mile
8. Favorite Sin
9. Better Than Chicken
10. Don’t Lay Down On Me
12. What I Do
13. Open Invitation
14. It’s Tricky
Jesse James Dupree- Vocals & Chainsaw
Roman Glick- Bass
Chris Worley- Drums
Jeff Worley- Guitars
If you have never had the opportunity to see Kix live in concert, then you are missing out on one of the greatest live acts in the history of hard rock music. Kix is a dynamic, amazing, intensely entertaining live band that is worth seeing multiple times. Fortunately for those fans who have never witnessed Kix in all of their phenomenal live glory, the band recently released a new live album, Live In Baltimore.
Live In Baltimore is Kix’s first live album in 20 years and it captures the sound of the band as they are now. Recorded at Rams Head in Baltimore, Maryland, Kix captured the experience of a live night with the band. And while the disc doesn’t tell the complete story of a KIx concert, it manages to capture the essence of what a Kix show is all about.
It is during the crowd interaction on “Cold Blood,” that the feeling of a Kix concert really comes together. Lead singer Steve Whiteman hams it up as he does best and getting the crowd involved in the song and the show. Part comedian, part front man, total legend, Steve Whiteman is at his best when he has a microphone in his hand and an audience to interact with. He would be enjoyable at a poetry reading.
There are only 12 songs featured on Live In Baltimore, but it’s enough to really whet the appetite and help fans who have seen the band in concert remember how great a live band Kix really is. With powerful renditions of classic Kix tunes including “Lie Like A Rug,” “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” “Cold Blood,” and “Girl Money,” the extraordinary fun and live energy is manifested on each track. By the end of “Cold Blood,” if you aren’t dying to run out and see Kix live, then you may not be a fan of rock music. Kix gives it their all singing a fantastic version of one of their signature songs and involves the crowd in a great sing-along as only Steve Whiteman can do.
The fun continues throughout the record and comes to a climax during “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” one of Kix’s most notorious songs and possible their best live interaction song. Whiteman leads the crowd through key parts of the song and tells his story of women hunting in his best “nice boy loses out again” voice. Whiteman plays the part of a ticked off guy who just missed out on another opportunity for a great night of fun and he plays it perfectly. Even after 30 years in the business, Whiteman is still believable as the guy who failed. It is probably why so many fans relate to and love him.
Live In Baltimore is not a substitution for the real thing, but if you are looking for something to hold you over until the next time Kix comes to your town, this will do nicely. If you have never seen the band live before, then this will provide a nice sampling of what it is like. If you are a long time fan of the band, you will simply love this record. Live In Baltimore is highly recommended to be added to the collection.
Rating: Out of 10
01. No Ring Around Rosie
02. Atomic Bombs
03. Lie Like A Rug
04. Don’t Close Your Eyes
05. Girl Money
06. Cold Blood
07. Cold Shower
08. She Dropped Me The Bomb
09. Blow My Fuse
10. Kix Are For Kids
11. Midnite Dynamite
12. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
Steve Whiteman – Vocals
Brian Forsythe – Guitars
Jimmy Chalfant – Drums
Ronnie Younkins – Guitars
Mark Schenker – Bass
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
You wanted the best, you got the best! The hottest band in the world! Kiss! Kiss is back with their 20th studio album, Monster, the follow up to 2009’s fabulous Sonic Boom. Can Kiss repeat their spectacular performance from their last album, or will Monster fall flat on its face? That is a question that many die hard Kiss fans were wondering. Do these aging rockers still have what it takes to produce a record that fans are going to want to listen to over and over again?
If the album were judged solely on the strength of the first single (and first track), “Hell Or Hallelujah,” then the answer is no. “Hell Or Hallelujah” is not a strong song. It’s not a terrible piece of music, it is just plain, which is not something that one would expect from Kiss. Fortunately for fans all over the world, Monster contains more than just the lead track.
Monster is armed with typical Kiss themes of girls, music, girls, parties, girls, rock and roll, and girls. And even though they are aging rockers, they still make singing about girls and rock music a whole lot of fun. Kiss has delivered a phenomenal package of rock music that both long time fans and newcomers alike are going to love. After nearly 40 years in the business, Kiss still has what it takes to make a significant rock record that music lovers will want to hear.
“Wall Of Sound” is a terrific, hard rocker featuring lead vocals by Gene Simmons. Thankfully, this is not a self-centered Gene Simmons song about sleeping with thousands of women, or being the greatest human being alive. On “Wall Of Sound,” Gene reached a little deeper to not flaunt himself, but to sing about rock and roll and the wall of sound that makes fans excited. “Wall Of Sound,” can also be used as a metaphor for life, showing how the harder you try at something, the better you are going to be. It all comes down to the amount of effort a person is willing to put in. With slick solos by Tommy Thayer, and beautiful musical arrangements and chord changes, “Wall Of Sound” is one of the better songs to be found on Monster.
Tommy Thayer takes over lead vocals for the tantalizing “Outta This World.” This is a superb song with terrific solos, excellent changes, and a great beat. Hearing Tommy sing lead vocals is a real treat as well and left me wanting to hear Thayer sing lead on more songs. Thayer has a solid voice, is adept at crafting a song, and creates al highly enjoyable experience for the listener. I would much rather see Tommy Thayer perform “Outta This World” live, instead of “Shock Me.” Let’s hope that Kiss let’s Tommy’s original songs speak for themselves on the next tour.
“Long Way Down” is a nice melodic rocker composed and sung by Paul Stanley. The harmony vocals from Tommy Thayer add a nice touch and provide a pleasing balance with Paul’s voice. “Long Way Down,” is another of those great Kiss rock and roll songs, telling stories about the crowd, the music business, and continuing to make a significant contribution in rock and roll after many years. It’s always enjoyable when Paul writes from the heart, and “Long Way Down” feels like a song that Stanley really put all of his emotions into as a thank you to the fans.
“Take Me Down,” is one of the best tracks that Monster has to offer. Not surprisingly, this is a song about loving women and the sexual escapades that can only happen to a member of a rock band. What makes “Take Me Down” so grand is the depth provided in the music. While the lyrics are playful and light, the musical composition is deep and meaningful. It’s quite obvious that the addition of Tommy Thayer to the band has had a profound effect on Kiss. The extra layers of depth and creativity that Thayer provides has not gone unnoticed. He has been able to elevate Kiss to continue to make significant music.
“All For The Love Of Rock & Roll” finds Eric Singer on lead vocals, doing a fine job. While his voice is reminiscent of Peter Criss, Singer provides enough of his own personality to help “All For The Love Of Rock & Roll” stand out as his own song. Singing about performing the music for love, not for fame or girls, is a tired theme that has been revisited countless times by endless bands, but hearing Eric Singer give his take on the theme is still a treat for the ears. This is another song that I hope Kiss will consider performing in concert.
Once again, Kiss has delivered another high quality record. Monster is better than Sonic Boom, better than Psycho Circus, and rivals their albums of the 70s for greatest Kiss albums ever. Once again, Kiss has recorded music for the masses that already has fans wondering when they will release more. Because when something is this good, you just can’t get enough!
Rating: Out of 10
- Hell Or Hallelujah
- Wall Of Sound
- Back To The Stone
- Shout Mercy
- Eat Your Heart Out
- Long Way Down
- The Devil Is Me
- Outta This World
- Take Me Down
- All For The Love Of Rock & Roll
- Last Chance
Gene Simmons – Vocals, Bass Guitar
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Tommy Thayer – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Eric Singer – Drums, Vocals
Heavy, powerful, dominate: all are good adjectives to describe Eve To Dawn, the latest record from Japan’s Loudness. This album is like a fresh kick to the groin in a world of stagnant metal. This is Iron Maiden meets Anthrax turned up to eleven! Even though they have been rocking the masses since 1981, Loudness proves that they still know how to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up while blowing out your eardrums in style.
If you haven’t followed Loudness in a while, Eve To Dawn is a good record to get you back into the band. If you’ve never listened to Loudness, Eve To Dawn is a great record to get you interested in the band (you may even seek out their back catalog after listening to this record). Innovation and style paint this disc in a musical landscape that is amazing to the ears of even the most seasoned heavy metal lover.
Songs like “Gonna Do It My Way” showcase how superb Eve To Dawn is. With smart lyrics, exceptional guitar solos, and gritty vocals from lead singer Minoru Niihara, “Gonna Do It My Way” reminds us all how much fun hard rock music can be. Blistering solos and fantastic finger work on “Hang Tough” are reminiscent of Nuno Bettencourt in his prime. “Hang Tough” is a hard and heavy rocker complete with some great rock screams, dark riffs, and mesmerizing guitar solos.
Guitarist Akira Takasaki provides chops that would put most modern guitar players to shame. The lead guitar work is some of the best that I’ve heard on any album released in 2012. Takasaki’s fret work is simply astonishing. If you are a fan of guitars, guitar solos, and a crisp thrash metal sound, Eve To Dawn should be added to your “must own” list.
The instrumental track, “Emotions” may be one of the best overall tracks on Eve To Dawn. Once again, it is Akira Takasaki’s guitar work that makes this song stand out. His playing is simply mind blowing on “Emotions.” Throughout Eve To Dawn, I continued to be amazed at the ability of Takasaki as a guitar player. The guitar work, changes, and musical prowess really helps solidify Eve To Dawn and raise it from mediocre levels to outstanding.
Eve To Dawn is a terrific record that I highly recommend for any fans of the hard rock/sleaze metal genre. It could be the biggest surprise of 2012. Just as I was blown away by the band’s M3 performance, I am once again blown away by their latest CD release. Hard rock has been made fun again thanks to Loudness and Eve To Dawn.
Rating: Out of 10
- A Light In The Dark
- The Power Of Truth
- Come Alive Again
- Keep You Burning
- Gonna Do It My Way
- Hang Tough
- Comes The Dawn
- Crazy! Crazy! Crazy!
Masayoshi Yamashita – Bass
Akira Takasaki – Guitar
Minoru Niihara – Vocals
Masayuki Suzuki – Drums
In this Moment is a band that I believe has potential to be a major force in the heavy metal world. The band has been on the cusp of being the next big metal band. The band has a very strong fan base, and I have always felt that they need one more successful album to push them up the METAL ladder. If their latest album Blood doesn’t get them there, it is going to take them a little bit closer.
Maria Brink is a super talented vocalist, and on Blood, her vocals takes the music of In this Moment to new heights. Blood is easily the band’s most creative output to date. The band is stretching its wings past its metalcore roots. I hear a lot of different musical elements and influences in the music, including Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, and maybe even a little bit of Nine Inch Nails. Many of the songs sound very mainstream radio ready, but this isn’t paint-by-numbers metal.
There are songs on Blood where Maria Brink’s voice seem to come from the depths of hell, and on others, she delights the auditory senses with her uncanny vocal ability. This is the first album without In the Moment founders Jeff Fabb and Blake Bunzel. I thought In This Moment’s sound might suffer from a shift in the lineup, but quite frankly the addition of Randy Weitzel, Travis Johnson, and Tom Hane have been an upgrade to In This Moment’s sound. Chris Howarth’s blazing guitars are still very present in Blood, but don’t expect a face melting solo in every song.
It took me a few spins to truly get into Blood, but I seem to like this album more with every listen. Some of the stand out tracks include “Adrenalize”, “You’re Gonna Listen”, the hit worthy “From the Ashes” and “The Blood Legion”. I am not a fan of the effects packed into the first single and title track “Blood”. I think this is a much better song live than the version that is on the album.
Overall, Blood is a very interesting and creative album from In This Moment. It isn’t a perfect album by any means, but it is entertaining, and that is why I listen to music.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rise with Me
5. You’re Gonna’ Listen
6. It Is Written
10. From The Ashes
11. Beast Within
13. The Blood Legion
In This Moment is:
Maria Brink – Vocals
Chris Howorth – Lead Guitar
Travis Johnson – Bass
Randy Weitzel – Guitar
Tom Hane – Drums
I have been a fan of Irish rockers Million Dollar Reload since I first heard their debut album, Anthems for a Degeneration four long years ago! Their debut album was killer, and their latest effort, A Sinner’s Saint is no sophomore slump by any means.
I have described Million Dollar Reload in the past as a cross between Buckcherry and AC/DC, and their sound is still very much the same, and I couldn’t be happier. Phil Conalane is a tremendous vocalist, and it is his vocals that really make Million Dollar Reload’s music a step above so many other bands in this vein.
The opening cuts “Fight The System” and “Bullets in the Sky” deliver that one, two punch that will make you listen to the rest of
A Sinner’s Saint to see what other gems the band has in store for you. The album has plenty of more cool cuts that you will definitely want to check out.
The song “Broken” is a slower tune that ought to be a massive hit for the band. “I Am The Rapture”, “Smoke ‘N Mirrors” and “Headrush” are also amongst my favorites. There really isn’t a bad song in the bunch. All of the songs on “A Sinner’s Saint” would sound great in a live setting. I am hopeful that “A Sinner’s Saint” will bring Million Dollar Reload back to the U.S. to tour. Until then, I will be cranking up this CD, and you should be too!
If you like straight forward classic rock, you are going to love A Sinner’s Saint. Check it out!
You can purchase A Sinner’s Saint from Amazon.com. I highly recommend it!
Rating: Out of 10
A Sinner’s Saint Track Listing:
1. Fight The System
2. Bullets In The Sky
3. Blow Me Away
4. Can’t Tie Me Down
6. I Am The Rapture
8. Smoke ‘N Mirrors
10. Pretty People
11. It Ain’t Over
Million Dollar Reload is:
Phil Conlon : Lead Vocals
Andy Mackle: Guitars
Brian Mallon: Guitars
Kie McMurray: Bass
Sean McKernan: Drums
I am always overjoyed when metal bands from the 80s are still taking the time and effort to record new music. It’s nice to know that they are still dedicated to their craft and don’t want to just fall back on their old hit records, touring only behind those songs, or worse, re-record their old hits (something that I’ve never understood). So, when I learned that Lita Ford had a new record out (Living Like A Runaway), I was excited. I was looking forward to listening what Lita had been up to recently. Then I heard the record. My excitement dissipated like the morning fog.
It’s not that Like A Runaway is a terrible record, it’s just not a very exciting album. There are few songs to rally behind and give multiple listens. Most of the album is rather pedestrian and boring. Sometimes that’s worse than putting out a horrendous record. Ford’s vocals are subpar and lack energy, on the songs where she actually sings (as opposed to talking through the vocals).
Lead track, “Branded,” and the follow up song “Hate,” are very weak introductions to the record and it isn’t until the title track (fourth on the album) that things pick up. Again, these songs aren’t terrible, but none of the first three tracks do anything to excite me. None of them make me want to sing along, or get stuck in my head. They all hang in the air and then quickly fade into the oblivion of forgotten.
“Love 2 Hate U” was a song that showed potential early on, but suffered from clichés and weak vocals by both Lita Ford and duet partner Gary Hoey. Add into the mix some lame lyrics (I gave you lovin/your first real lovin/in the backseat/on the night I bought your first real car). Ugh. There is almost no thought in those lyrics. And while the music is somewhat catchy and the guitar riffs rock hard, the terrible vocals and lyrics can’t be overcome.
There are some high points on Living Like A Runaway. A lot of the guitar work is above average, and some of the solos really rock hard. The title track of the album, “Like A Runaway” is a great, nostalgic song that harkens back to Ford’s earliest days as a rock musician in her former band The Runaways. The song has a nice arrangement and overall is quite enjoyable. Ford has a tendency to speak through rather than sing out on the song, which is a recurring problem on most of the album, but otherwise “Like A Runaway” is a solid tune. I expect that it will sell well as a single.
Recent news is that Lita has been getting together with old Runaways band mates, discussing the possibility of a reunion. And maybe there is a reason for that. If she continues to put out lackluster albums like Living Like A Runaway, there won’t be much of a solo career for Lita Ford to fall back on.
Rating: Out of 10
- The Mask
- Like A Runaway
- Devil In My Head
- Love To Hate You
- A Song To Slit Your Wrists By
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Rock veterans Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio) and Rex Brown (Pantera) have formed a stupendous band named Kill Devil Hill. Named after the town in North Carolina that was famous for pirating way back when, Kill Devil Hill has released their self-titled debut album. With a seasoned veteran like Appice at the helm, there is no doubt that Kill Devil Hill is going to be one amazing hard rock ride.
I really like vocalist Dewey Bragg’s voice on this record. Little is known (or at least, little is revealed) about his background and past musical accomplishments, but however his band mates found him, they should be proud of themselves. Dewey Bragg sings like a seasoned champion. He has a deep, dark voice that fits the melodies of 90s grunge (think Alice In Chains). His vocals are sharp and clear, and his voice adds plenty of depth to the great rhythms played by the rest of the band.
The overall mood on Kill Devil Hill is dark and eerie, yet highly enjoyable. It is doom and gloom meets modern rock minus all the filler. There are only choice cuts of hearty music to be had on this exciting debut record. Imagine a hybrid of Blue Murder and Alice In Chains and that will give you the best idea of what Kill Devil Hill sounds like. This music is fantastic!
With an infectious groove and sultry vocals from Bragg, “Voodoo Doll” is one of the strongest tracks on Kill Devil Hill. The song launches with a superb guitar solo from Mark Zavon (most recently a guitarist for WASP). It then kicks into overdrive as Bragg sings some of his best work on the record. Filled with exceptional time changes, powerful vocals, and incredible melodies, “Voodoo Doll” is a song that everyone is bound to fall in love with.
“We’re All Gonna Die” is another solid song that showcases not only Bragg’s ability, but also the intensity of rhythm section Vinny Appice (on drums) and Rex Brown (on bass guitar). Launching with a roaring drum beat then sliding into dark vocals from Bragg, “We’re All Gonna Die,” is a heavy, grunge-tinged song, very reminiscent of 90-s rock. This could be Appice’s best work on the record, as the drums are extraordinary. Rex Brown keeps pace with some superb bass playing and all tied together “We’re All Gonna Die” is an excellent song.
“Old Man” is a song that plays like a perfect session of love making. Fast and furious leads into slow and caring, then speeds up again before hitting the climax. The tune starts hard and heavy, like most sessions do, building to a rhythmic pace of excellence. When the hook comes, the song slows down, becoming melodic and deep. Then it’s back to the fast paced verse. The pacing of “Old Man” is the biggest part of what makes it such an attractive song. Kill Devil Hill could have a real hit on their hands if they were to release “Old Man” as a single.
With a great rhythm section, an astonishing lead singer, and some wicked guitars, Kill Devil Hill is a solid record that hard rock fans should add to their collection. If your ears hunger to hear some innovative, solid rock music, then grab a copy of Kill Devil Hill and let it play. You’re guaranteed some fantastic music created by some of the best in the business.
- War Machine
- Voodoo Doll
- Gates Of Hell
- Rise From The Shadows
- We’re All Gonna Die
- Time & Time Again
- Old Man
- Mysterious Ways
- Up In Flames
Kill Devil Hill Is:
Rex Brown – Bass
Vinny Appice – Drums
Mark Zavon – Guitar
Dewey Bragg – Vocals
Buy your copy of Kill Devil Hill’s CD at Amazon.com at this link!
It is a good thing that I don’t review CD’s after one listen. After I listened to L.A. Guns new CD, Hollywood Forever the first time, I didn’t like it very much. Maybe I expected this album to be another Cocked & Loaded, or maybe I was just too tired when I listened to it. Needless to say, my opinion has done a complete 180 since then, I can’t get this CD out of player. Hollywood Forever may not be Cocked & Loaded, but it is clearly their best album L.A. Guns have released since Hollywood Vampires.
L.A. Guns has managed to recapture their former sound and this is due mainly to the killer guitar work of Stacey Blades. . Hollywood Forever oozes that awesome 80′s sleazy sound, and that is due mainly to Stacey’s playing on this album.
L.A. Guns most powerful instrument has always been the voice of Phil Lewis. Phil proves that he still has one of the best voices in the business on Hollywood Forever.
The album starts off with the ripping title track “Hollywood Forever”. This is the way to start out a rock album. This heavy rocker could go down as one of L.A. Guns best yet.
The best songs on the album are ‘Hollywood Forever”, “You Better Not Love Me”, “Sweet Mystery” and “I Won’t Play”, but there are several more that will grow on you with every listen. “Eel Pie” is one of those tracks that I keep finding myself replaying. “Vine Street Shimmy” is another song that I keep gravitating too. I hope this one finds its way into L.A. Guns live set some time soon. This is a fun and upbeat rocker that L.A. Guns fans are going to love.
I thought the inclusion of the cover song Arana Negra was pretty clever, even though it is in Spanish. I understand the lyrics “Hola coma estas”, but my Spanish is pretty weak after that. It is a catchy song, even if I don’t know all of the words that Phil Lewis is singing.
Overall, this is a very strong effort from L.A. Guns, and one that every fan should pick up. I love this album, and I think you will too!
You can purchase Hollywood Forever from Amazon.com at this link. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Hollywood Forever
02. You Better Not Love Me
03. Eel Pie
04. Sweet Mystery
06. Vine St. Shimmy
07. Dirty Black Night
08. Underneath The Sun
10. Crazy Tango
11. Venus Bomb
12. I Won’t Play
13. Requiem (Hollywood Forever)
14. Arana Negra (Black Spider)
L.A. Guns are:
Phil Lewis – vocals
Stacey Blades – guitar
Scotty Griffin – bass
Steve Riley – drums
Kelly Nickels – bass and backing vocals
German rockers, Kissin’ Dynamite released their third CD, Money, Sex and Power in 2012. Their previous effort Addicted to Metal was my number one album of 2010, needless to say, I have been looking forward to this CD for months.
Money, Sex & Power picks up where Addicted to Metalleft off with more 80′s influenced retro rock. Jim Müller and Andre Braun dish out more killer guitar riffs, and Hannes Braun offers up another tremendous vocal performance. He is quickly becoming one of my favorite German hard rock singers.
I love the fact that Kissin’ Dynamite is keeping the rock music I enjoy alive, and they deliver with another batch of cool tunes on Money, Sex and Power. The CD isn’t without some pure cheese, (i.e. “Dinosaurs Are Still Alive”) but while some songs fail, others are too good to miss. “Sex Is War”, “She’s A Killer” and “I Will Be King” are amongst Kissin’ Dynamite’s best songs ever.
“Six Feet Under” is also a very cool tune, that could easily be released as a single on U.S. rock radio.
I don’t think Money, Sex & Power is better than Addicted to Metal, but it is still pretty good, and is a step above many of the hard rock releases of 2012.
If you enjoy 80′s style hard rock & hair metal, you need to check out Kissin’ Dynamite. They have delivered another fun CD, and I think you will enjoy it as much as I have.
You can grab a copy of Money, Sex and Power from Amazon.com at this link. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Money, Sex & Power
02. I Will Be King
03. Operation Supernova
04. Sex Is War
05. Club 27
06. Dinosaurs Are Still Alive
07. She’s A Killer
08. Sleaze Deluxe
10. Six Feet Under
Kissin’ Dynamite is:
Hannes Braun – vocals
Ande Braun – guitar
Jim Muller – guitar
Steffen Haile – bass
Andreas Schnitzer – drums
The musicians in Overkill are angry….. METAL Thrashin’ Angry. At least that is what
I have gathered from listening to Overkill’s newest release, The Electric Age. What is stoking the band’s fire? I don’t know. What I do know is, the music on The Electric Age is easily some of the best that Overkill has ever recorded.
From the thundering bass of D.D. Verni on the opening cut, “Come and Get It”, to the final notes of “Good Night”,Overkill have recorded what I consider, one of the best thrash metal albums of the last decade.
Dave Linsk has delivered some of the best guitar work of his career. From the high-speed riffs of “Come and Get It” to the semi slower paced, Testament like tune “Black Daze”, The Electric Age is packed full killer riffs that classic thrash fans are going to love. On the album closer Good Night, Linsk sounds as if he is channeling Dave Mustaine. Awesome! The furious growls and vocals of Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth have never sounded better.
There is no need to give you a song by song breakdown. You are going to want to hear all of the songs on this CD! Some of my personal favorites are “Electric Rattlesnake”, “Wish You Were Dead” “Black Daze” and “Drop the Hammer Down”
In my opinion, Overkill has recorded an album that not surpasses their previous effort, Ironbound, but also surpasses the recent offerings from Metallica, and Megadeth.
In the illustrious words of Mr. Ellsworth, The Electric Age is “More than you can take, make no mistake”. Don’t miss out on one of the best metal albums of 2012 so far! To my ears, Overkill has recorded a true thrashterpeace with The Electric Age. I can’t stop listening to this!
Highly recommended! Buy The Electric Age here!
Rating: Out of 10
- Come And Get It
- Electric Rattlesnake
- Wish You Were Dead
- Black Daze
- Save Yourself
- Drop The Hammer
- 21st Century Man
- Old Wounds, New Scars
- All Over but the Shouting
- Good Night
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth – Vocals
D.D. Verni – Bass, Backing vocals
Derek “The Skull” Tailer – Rhythm guitar, Backing vocals
Dave Linsk – Lead guitar, Backing vocals
Ron Lipnicki – Drums
Jack Blades is back with his second solo CD, and to my ears, one of the greatest surprises of 2012. I have been a fan of Jack Blades for a long time, but to be honest, I didn’t expect his solo CD to be much. I can gladly say, I was wrong. Rock ‘N Roll Ride is a stronger album, in my opinion, than the latest Night Ranger CD, Somewhere in California. This CD has a good collection of classic rock numbers, with a few hard rock numbers sprinkled in for good measure.
For you hard rockers out there, Rock ‘N Roll Ride has plenty of music for you to check out.
The hardest numbers are “Back In The Game”, “Rock ‘N Roll Ride”, “Love Life”, “Say You Will” and “Rise and Shine”. All of these songs are excellent.”Love Life” sounds like it could have been a left over Night Ranger song. I like this better than anything off of Night Ranger’s recent album, Somewhere in California.
“Hardest Word To Say” is an acoustic guitar based number that gets better and better with every listen. This is another great song!
When I first heard “West Hollywood” I did a double take. Jack Blades almost sounds like Tom Petty in parts of this song. I thought the same thing about the song “Don’t Give Up” as well. They both have that classic Tom Petty style. The music is great, and Jack’s voice has never sounded better.
“Rise and Shine” might just be the catchiest song on Rock ‘N Roll Ride. I wish I could use this song as an alarm on my alarm clock every morning.
The album closes out with the song “Hey Now”. This song has a cool Rolling Stones type of vibe to it. This is one of my favorites on Rock ‘N Roll Ride.
Overall, Rock ‘N Roll Ride has been one of 2012′s great surprises. I love this album, and I think you will too!
You can pick up Rock ‘N Roll Ride at this link. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Back in the Game
02. Rock N Roll Ride
03. Hardest Word To Say
04. Anything For You
05. Love Life
06. West Hollywood
07. Born For This
08. Don’t Give Up
09. Say You Will
10. Rise and Shine
11. Hey Now
Jack Blades: Bass, guitar, acoustic guitar, lead and background vocals
Joel Hoekstra: Guitars and solos
Will Evankovich: Acoustic guitars, mandolin, add. guitars, Coral Sitar guitar, background vocals
Kelly Keagy and Brian Tichy: Drums
Eric Levy and Christian Matthew Cullen: Keyboards
From Yngwie Malmsteen, Talisman, Eyes & even Skrapp Mettle, I have been listening to Jeff Scott Soto for what seems like forever. I have enjoyed every musical project and band he has been involved with. One thing is for certain, Mr. Soto doesn’t know how to put out a bad release. Needless to say, it was almost predestined that I would enjoy Jeff’s latest effort, Damage Control.
On Damage Control, Jeff Scott Soto doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and he doesn’t need to. Soto delivers his excellent and severely underrated vocals to another batch of great melodi, hard rock tunes. Chances are if you have enjoyed the music of JSS in the past, you are going to like Damage Control a lot. The CD is 100 % quality rock and roll, and it does not disappoint.
I prefer the harder edged numbers on the CD, “Krazy World”, “Afterworld”, and “Damage Control”. These songs are good, but they are not the best songs on Damage Control.
The opening song “Give a Little More” has a pretty good message, and is a great song too. “How To Love Again” is as close to melodic rock perfection as it gets. This song is easily one Jeff Scott Soto’s best tunes.
“Bonafide” is a massive ballad that should get tons of airplay everywhere. “Look Inside Your Heart” is another excellent song (see video below) that has been getting a ton of replays from me.
Overall, Damage Control is another outstanding album from Jeff Scott Soto that is going to please the majority of his fans. You should make a point to check it out, when it is released on March 27th.
If you buy any version of this CD, make sure you get the Deluxe Edition, which had three extra bonus tracks (“Afraid to Die”, “Take U Down”, and “Elena”) which are not on the standard version. You can pre-order Damage Control at this link!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Give A Little More
02. Damage Control
03. Look Inside Your Heart
04. Die A Little
05. Take U Down
06. If I Never Let Her Go
07. Tears That I Cry
10. Krazy World
11. How To Love Again
13. NeverEnding War
14. Afraid to Die (Bonus Track)
Mad Max might not be a familiar name amongst most U.S. rock fans, but maybe they should be. This band has been releasing new music since 1982! They haven’t made a major impact on the U.S. rock scene, but their music is very good, and they are a band worth checking out. I enjoyed Michael Voss’ vocals on the recent Michael Schenker album, Temple of Rock, so I have been looking forward to checking out his band, Mad Max. On their latest album, Another Night of Passion, the band has reunited with their 1987 lineup, to release an album that 80′s hard rock fans are sure to love.
If the Rocklahoma music festival ever needed a theme song, Mad Max has taken care of that with their song “Rocklahoma”. Fans of the music festival need to give this song a listen, you are sure to love it!
Another Night of Passion is packed full of catchy songs with plenty of hooks. Give the songs “40 Rock”, “You Decide” and “Welcome to Rock Bottom” a listen. You will likely be as hooked as I am.
If that is not enough to pique your curiosity, there are also a couple of excellent rockers with the songs, “Metal Edge” and “Back and Alive”. The album closes out on a strong note. with an excellent instrumental track, “True Blue”.
I have been enjoying Another Night of Passion, and I think you will too. Another Night of Passion will be released on March 26th, 2012. You can pre-order it at this link. Don’t miss out on one of the better releases of 2012!
Rating: Out of 10
2. 40 Rock
3. Metal Edge
4. You Decide
5. Welcome To Rock Bottom
6. Fallen From Grace
7. Black Swan
8. Back And Alive
9. The Chant
10. Fever Of Love
11. True Blue
Mad Max is:
Michael Voss – lead vocals, lead guitars
Jürgen Breforth – rhythm guitars
Roland Bergmann – bass, vocals
Axel Kruse – drums
Reach deep into the memory banks and recall such classic Survivor hits as “The Search Is Over” and “Burning Heart.” Once that image/sound is conjured into the cerebrum, the brain will be in tune with the sound of Mecca. Mecca is a strong band that performs Album Oriented Rock (AOR) and was considered to be one of the best in the business when their debut album was released in 2002.
Mecca is a melody waiting to erupt. Keyboard driven rock with blistering guitars serve as the footprint for Undeniable. There is a lot of passion to be felt on the songs contained within Undeniable. Strong vocals combined with solid guitars and layers of keyboards are what make Mecca’s Undeniable an enjoyable album. What’s most enjoyable about this disc is the positive, uplifting hope that the lyrics and melody provide.
Opening track, “Perfect World,” sets the stage for the good vibes that can be felt throughout the record. Lead singer Joey Vana sings of how a perfect world would contain harmony and bliss. There would be no war, no crime, and no anger. In a perfect world there would be no need for money or time, because everyone would have all that they need. The message in the song is clear—if we all try hard enough, we can live in this peaceful, perfect world.
“From The Start” is decidedly the best song on Undeniable and the real gem of the record. Vana’s voice sounds exceptional and the guitar work from both Vana and Mark Alano provides an incredible musical backdrop. The song can transport the listener back to the days of youth, when getting over a heartbreak was the worst thing in the world. If I were a lovesick teenager once again, “From The Start,” would be at the top of my playlist. A passionate song sung with power and feeling, dealing with heartache and loss, “From The Start,” is an incredible song that has “hit” written all over it.
It is absolutely clear that Joey Vana has a solid voice. His strong vocals and high octave range are worthy of a melodic rock lead singer and may even leave other singers in the genre a little jealous. Vana’s vocal chords deliver the goods in a most enjoyable way. Basically, the man can sing with the best of them. While it may have taken Mecca nine years to record and release this album, it was well worth the wait. Vana’s vocals never falter, the guitar solos are blistering and fantastic, and the keyboards/synthesizers tie the melodies together in perfect harmony. What more could you ask for in a record?
If you are a fan of the heavier side of rock (speed metal, thrash), then Undeniable is probably not for you. However, if you are looking to discover some darned good music from a band that you may not be familiar with, then you should definitely give Mecca’s Undeniable a try. It’s a solid record that will bring your ears some joy.
Rating: Out of 10
- Perfect World
- Closing Time
- Ten Lifetimes
- Life’s Too Short
- I Know
- Did It For Love
- From The Start
- Deceptive Cadence
- As I Walk Alone
Joey Vana – Vocals and Guitars
Brian Moritz – Keyboards
Paul Pisciotto – Synthesizers
Wally Hustin – Bass
Rick Vitek – Drums
Mark Alano – Guitars
I have been a fan of Tony Martin since he first joined Black Sabbath back in 1987, and I have picked up several of his lesser known releases (Empire, Phenomena) along the way. Somehow, I have missed the CD’s he has put out with Dario Mollo.
Judging from the sounds on the latest Mollo Martin CD, The Third Cage, I need to rectify that situation soon.
Tony Martin is by far the least heralded of Black Sabbath’s singers. That is a shame as he delivered some great vocals for Black Sabbath, and continues to do so for Mollo / Martin.
The Third Cage comes out of the gate firing with the hard rocker, “Wicked World”. “Wicked World” pushes Tony Martin to his vocal peak, and Dario Mollo delivers some heavy licks that leave me wanting to hear more!
“Cirque Du Freak” has this odd keyboard/synthesizer that gives the beginning of the song, an industrial feel. Luckily this doesn’t plague the song, as Martin delivers what could be his best vocal on this album.
“Oh My Soul” is a song that seems tailor made for rock radio. On this slow brooding tune, Tony Martin practically sounds like Ronnie James Dio (R.I.P.) on this song, and that is pretty good company to be in, in my opinion. “Oh My Soul” is definitely one of the highlights on The Third Cage.
“One of the Few” falls into the AOR/Melodic Rock territory. Meldodic rock fans are going to eat this tune up. This catchy tune has it all…. great guitar work from Dario Mallo, and another outstanding vocal from Tony Martin.
“Still In Love With You” is another heavy rocker in the vein of Dio era Black Sabbath. This song is heavy, dark, and powerful. Mollo’s guitar riffs in this song are crazy good!
I have mixed feelings about the song “Can’t Stay Here”. The vocals are great, the guitar work is solid, but this song needed a little bit of something to take it over the top. It isn’t filler, but it could be much better.
“Wardance” is a bit of a grower. This metal anthem takes a couple of spins to fully appreciate. I can see this song being done in a live setting with thousands of fans screaming War…..Dance!
“Don’t Know What It is About You” is a melodic rock song that has parts that remind me of a heavy Enuff Z’nuff song. The background vocals on this song are kind of weak, and that brings the song down in my opinion.
“Blind Fury” is another Metal Anthem that is catchy as hell. This is another highlight on The Third Cage.
Tony Martin’s voice on “Violet Moon” reminds me a lot Oni Logan, and as a result, this song kind of sounds like a Lynch Mob tune. This is a cool song to close out The Third Cage with.
Overall I enjoyed this CD quite a bit. This is another strong effort from Dario Mollo and Tony Martin. If you are a Dio, Black Sabbath, or Tony Martin fan, you gotta check out The Third Cage. I think you are going to love it. I recommended it!
You can purchase a copy of The Third Cage at this link. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
01. Wicked World
02. Cirque Du Freak
03. Oh My Soul
04. One Of The Few
05. Still In Love With You
06. Can’t Stay Here
08. Don’t Know What It Is About You
09. Blind Fury
10. Violet Moon
Mollo / Martin is:
Dario Mollo- Guitars, Bass, Keyboards
Tony Martin– Vocals
Roberto Gualdi – Drums
Fulvio Gaslini – Bass
Dario Patti / Brian War – Keyboards
Later this month (January 20th in Europe, January 24th in the U.S.), Heavy Metal band Primal Fear will be releasing their 9th studio album, Unbreakable. If you are a metal head, you need to mark this date on your calendar, as Primal Fear has crafted a metal album that no fan should be without.
Unbreakable is packed with great vocals, blazing guitar solos, thundering drums and crank-worthy metal anthems that will blow your mind.
The album starts off with a majestic intro Unbreakable (part 1) that doesn’t come close to preparing you for the next eleven tunes that will fill your head with metal happiness.
“Strike” is a fist-pumping, heavy metal anthem that ought to be a staple in Primal Fear’s live set. What a great tune!
Chances are you may have heard the first single “Bad Guys Wear Black” (see video below). While this is a great tune, it isn’t the best song on Unbreakable. To my ears, the best song is the powerful number “Where Angels Die”. This is an eight minute tune that is arranged with amazing guitar work, excellent keyboards, and the powerful vocals that Ralf Scheepers is known for. This is an amazing tune that needs to be played multiple times to be fully appreciated.
I thought “Metal Nation” would be another blazing rocker in the vein of Primal Fear’s song “Metal is Forever”. Much to my surprise, this is a mid tempo rocker, but another great tune, and a radio worthy rocker at that.
When many people thought heavy metal was deal, Primal Fear continued to fly the Metal flag, and have been doing so for over a decade. The band seems to get better with each album it releases, and Unbreakable is no exception. If Primal Fear’s Unbreakable is a reflection for all of the music that will be released in 2012, this will be a great year for hard rock & metal. It may be too early in 2012 to tell, but I would be surprised if Unbreakable didn’t make a lot of Top 10 lists at the end of the year. Don’t miss this!
For more information on Primal Fear, please visit the band’s website.
Rating: Out of 10
01. Unbreakable (Part 1)
03. Give Em Hell
04. Bad Guys Wear Black
05. And There Was Silence
06. Metal Nation
07. Where Angels Die
08. Unbreakable (Part 2)
09. Marching Again
10. Born Again
11. Blaze of Glory
Primal Fear is:
Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Magnus Karlsson – Guitar, Keyboards
Randy Black – Guitars
Mat Sinner – Bass & Vocals
Canada’s über successful rock band, Nickelback is back with their seventh album, Here and Now. With two great albums back to back in All The Right Reasons and Dark Horse, Nickelback is making it harder and harder on themselves to top their previous works.
When I first heard the single “When We Stand Together”, I thought it was a pretty cool tune, but I was kind of fearful, that Here and Now may be a little more on the mellow side. As it turns out, the album is pretty well-balanced with some heavy rockers, and a few mellow numbers. The album is a little on the short side, as it clocks in just shy of 40 minutes.
The album starts off right with an excellent heavy rocker “This Means War”. This is easily one of the best songs on Here and Now. “Bottoms Up” on the other hand, didn’t really do anything for me. This party anthem is a little too grungy for my taste.
“Midnight Queen” is a crunchy up tempo rocker that does not disappoint. This catchy tune might be one of my all time favorite Nickelback tunes.
You won’t need too many guesses to know what the song “Gotta Get Me Some” is about. This sleazy number has some cool riffs, but I don’t care for this song very much.
“Lullaby” starts off with a keyboard sound that is more akin to U2 than Nickelback. This mellow tune will likely get tons of plays on the radio, but it isn’t my cup of tea.
“Kiss It Goodbye” is another rocker that didn’t really excite me very much. It is just an o.k. tune that is a little too grungy in my opinion.
“Trying Not To Love You” is another slower tune, but unlike “Lullaby”, this one is pretty good. I like this one a lot better, and I think it has “hit” written all over it. “Holding On To Heaven” is a low to mid tempo number that is growing on me after multiple plays. This song could be a possible sleeper hit for Nickelback.
Here and Now desperately needed a cool rocker at this stage of the game. “Everything I Wanna Do” is a mid tempo tune that has some big riffs, but just falls flat.
I was hopeful that the album close out strong, and while the song “Don’t Ever Let it End” is a good tune, I was hoping for a little more.
Does Here and Now surpass Dark Horse or All The Right Reasons? No, not by a longshot. It is definitely above average, and is a CD most Nickelback fans will enjoy. You can purchase Here and Now at this link.
Best Songs: “This Means War”, “When We Stand Together” and “Midnight Queen”
Rating: Out of 10
01. This Means War
02. Bottoms Up
03. When We Stand Together
04. Midnight Queen
05. Gotta Get Me Some
07. Kiss It Goodbye
08. Trying Not To Love You
09. Holding On To Heaven
10. Everything I Wanna Do
11. Don’t Ever Let It End
Chad Kroeger – Vocals, Lead and Rhythm Guitar
Ryan Peake – Guitars, background vocals
Mike Kroeger – Bass
Daniel Adair – Drums, backing vocals
Any time a new album is released that causes fists to fly in the crisp night air, legs to pump at Olympic athletic speed, and rock screams to unleash in howling yowls, it has to be grand. Megadeth’s latest album Th1rt3en is exactly that. Once again, Dave Mustaine and company came to the party and showed all the other so-called metal bands how heavy metal is meant to played. It’s just one of the many reasons why Megadeth is as high in the hard rocking ranks as bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, and WASP.
Th1rt3en is an amazing collection of blistering metal songs for those who love to bang their heads, or just feel the energy that heavy metal music brings. With bassist Dave Ellefson providing a signature classic sound to the bass lines, Megadeth has taken their music creation to the next level. Galloping bass lines dominate Thirt3en and provide a steady backdrop along with Shawn Drover’s incredible drums, keeping the rhythm section sturdy.
Overlaying the phenomenal combination of bass and drums is some stellar guitar work by both Dave Mustaine and Chris Broderick. Broderick and Mustaine not only remind us what guitar solos are, they also remind us why we love them so much. Songs like “New World Order” and “Fast Lane” feature blazing solos that scream magnificence. It would be pure pleasure to see these amazing solos performed in concert. The wizardry that Mustaine and Broderick highlight in their effective finger picking mastery is nothing short of astonishing. If every guitarist focused this much time and effort into their song crafting, the metal world would be a much better place.
What’s most interesting about Megadeth’s Th1rt3en is how the second half of the album is so much greater than the first. Upon spinning the first five songs of the record, I was worried that we had a dud on our hands. It’s not that the opening five tracks are horrible (except maybe “Guns, Drugs, & Money” – which is a bad song), but they aren’t up to the excellence that comes later. The beginning of the album had me concerned. Fortunately, Megadeth showed that they still know how to rock like no one else’s business beginning with the sixth cut of the record, “Never Dead.”
Themes of fast, muscle cars tearing down the highway, women destroying the well made niche of man, and the over-involvement of government in the daily life of citizens all run rampant throughout the record. Constructed as only the genius of Megadeth could, the band has compiled lyrics on topics that make the listener think and perhaps want to learn a little bit more about their country and their place in politics. If that wasn’t enough for the average fan, the band threw in some songs about hot babes and slick driving machines. All walks of life are covered and all parties get to go home happy.
Thirt3en is one of Megadeth’s strongest albums to date. At this stage of their career, the band could have phoned it in, released a record of re-recorded material, or decided to try some experimental path, but they didn’t. They instead decided to focus and produce an album worthy of the fans and the band’s moniker. Make no mistake about it— Th1rt3en is a lucky number if you are a Megadeth fan.
Rating: Out of 10
Notable Tracks: New World Order, Fast Lane, 13
- Sudden Death
- Public Enemy No. 1
- Whose Life (Is It Anyways?)
- We The People
- Guns, Drugs, & Money
- Never Dead
- New World Order
- Fast Lane
- Black Swan
- Millennium Of The Blind
- Deadly Nightshade
Dave Mustaine – Lead Vocals, Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Chris Broderick – Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Dave Ellefson – Bass Guitar
Shawn Drover – Drums
Canada’s most famous metal band Anvil is back with their fourteenth slab of metal. The band’s latest opus, Juggernaut of Justice was produced by Bob Marlette (Alice Cooper, Airbourne, Black Stone Cherry). I was extremely impressed with Marlette’s recent reunion effort with Alice Cooper, so I was interested to see what he could do with my favorite Canadian rockers, Anvil. Mr. Marlette has the uncanny ability to bring the best out in a band, and that is exactly what he did with Anvil on Juggernaut of Justice.
First and foremost, the production on Juggernaut of Justice is as good as it gets. I can’t remember the last time that Anvil sounded so vibrant and polished. To my ears, the music on this CD is above and beyond anything on Anvil’s recent releases. The guitar work of Lips on this CD is superb. I can’t remember the last time I heard him or the whole band play this good. It is almost as if Anvil somehow imbued the energy of Motorhead and used that to record this album. Whatever they did, it works, as Juggernaut of Justice is one of the better metal albums of 2011! Not only does Lips do an outstanding job, but Rob Reiner and Glenn Five are absolutely smoking on this disc. The rhythm is fast, furious and outstanding.
The title track and album opener “Juggernaut of Justice” is a beast of a metal anthem. This is a great tune that will win over even the most skeptical metal fans.
“On Fire”, “Fuken Eh!”, “Turn It Up”, “This Ride” and “Not Afraid” might be the best quintet of metal tunes I have heard all year. These songs have a ton of energy and flat-out rock. The tempo finally drops down somewhat for the song “Conspiracy” but this song still rocks.
The song is followed by another facemelting track “Running”. The down-tuned guitars of “Paranormal” gives this song a creepy Black Sabbath like feel to it. Very cool stuff!
“New Orleans Voodoo” reminds me a lot of the song “This is Thirteen”, although I like the lyrics better for this tune.
The instrumental track “Swing Thing” closes out the album in fine fashion. This might be the best metal instrumental I have heard in 2011. The horns from Lisa Joy Pimentel (Bob Marlette’s wife) were a nice touch.
If you have never listened to Anvil before, you should definitely give Juggernaut of Justice a chance. It is easily one of my favorite CD’s of 2011.
01. Juggernaut Of Justice
02. When Hell Breaks Loose
03. New Orleans Voodoo
04. On Fire
05. Fuken Eh!
06. Turn It Up
07. The Ride
08. Not Afraid
12. Swing Thing
Steve “Lips” Kudlow – Vocals & Guitar
Robb Reiner – Drums
Glenn Five – Bass
Pop Evil has released their follow up effort to their 2008 debut Lipstick in a Mirror. While I thought Lipstick in a Mirror was good, the band has improved, and War of Angels is definitely a step above the debut. Luckily, I have been able to hear the band perform a few of the songs from War of Angels live prior to purchasing the CD, and I already knew that I liked the tunes I have heard.
War of Angels seems like a more balanced effort. Some songs like “Last Man Standing” and “Boss’s Daughter” are heavy, while the song “Let It Go” is more of a pop/power ballad, that has huge radio potential.
Leigh Kakaty’s voice surprised me on this CD, as I thought his voice sounded higher than it did when I have seen him live. He sounds great, as does the rest of Pop Evil.
I have to admit that I am not a fan of too many modern rock bands, however, Pop Evil has won me over with their energetic live shows. Judging from the tunes on War of Angels, Pop Evil is clearly one of the better new bands out there. I would compare their sound to Shinedown’s at this stage in their career, and that is not a bad place to be in my opinion.
I have enjoyed War of Angels much more than I expected to, and definitely believe it is worth picking up.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Last Man Standing
3. Broken and Betrayed
4. Monster You Made
5. Let it Go
6. Boss’s Daughter
7. Daisy Chain
9. Black & Blue
10. Next Life
11. Save the World
Pop Evil is:
Leigh Kakaty – lead vocals
Tony Greve – lead guitar
Dave Grahs – rhythm guitar
Matt DiRito – bass
Dylan Allison – drums
Jeff Healey is on the growing list of talented musicians who left God’s green earth, long before his time. His legacy left behind some incredible music for us to enjoy. In the case of the recently released Live at Grossmans, this may be as close to musical perfection as one can get! If you are a fan of killer bluesy guitar playing, you will not want to miss this CD.
The sonic quality of Live at Grossmans may the best I have ever heard on a live CD. I am not kidding!! Put this CD in your stereo and let this CD take you back to 1994, when Mr. Healey and band put on one amazing performance. The audio quality of this CD is so good, you will feel like you are there. After hearing this music, I wish I could have been. Jeff Healey’s performance is stunning, and his band is damn good as well. One might complain that the material on this CD isn’t his, but it is so well performed I could care less. Mr. Healey and company cover Albert King, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Johnson and more. You will be hard pressed to find another CD with blues rock performed as well as the songs here. The fact that Jeff Healey can play like this, without the gift of sight is truly astonishing.
I am a sucker for the blues, but I unfortunately never had the chance to see Jeff Healey perform live. I am grateful that Jeff Healey left behind such an amazing live recording for all to hear. This CD is worth every penny you spend on it, and is highly recommended for all fans of rockin’ blues music.
You can listen to the songs from Live at Grossmans at this link. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. I’m Going Home
2. Killing Floor
3. As The Years Go Passing By
4. Ain’t That Just Like A Woman
5. Yer Blues
6. Who’s Been Talking
8. Dust My Broom
9. All Along The Watchtower
Jeff Healey Band is:
Jeff Healey – guitars and vocaqls
Joe Rockman – bass
Tom Stephen – drums
Pat Rush – Guitars
Michael Pickett – Harmonica
Don’t judge a CD by its cover. Lets face it, the CD cover for Manraze’s sophomore effort, PunkFunkRootsRock is pretty darn ugly. Don’t let the ugly cover stop you for checking this CD out, as the music is good…..damn good in fact.
I have been looking forward to this CD, ever since Phil Collen told Hard Hock Hideout about it back in May. I liked Manraze’s debut Surreal a lot, so picking this one up was a no brainer for this hard rock fan. I can gladly say, this is no sophomore slump for Manraze. PunkFunkRootsRock is every bit as good as its predecessor, if not better.
The album starts off with a very Def Leppard like tune “Over My Dead Body”. This is a great song, and an instant hit in my opinion.
“I C U in Everything” also has a Def Leppard like feel, but Phil sings in a lower register that reminds me of (dare I say) Marilyn Manson. He doesn’t sing this way for the whole song, and I think it gives the tune a very cool vibe.
“All I Wanna Do” has a cool 70′s like feel to it. This pop/rock tune is pretty darn catchy.
The CD takes an unexpected reggae-like twist with the song “Closer To Me “. I like reggae every now and then, and I must admit that I like “Closer To Me ” quite a bit. You wouldn’t think a song like this would work on a CD like this, but it does.
“Lies” is a another great rocker. This is an infectious tune that sounds great cranked at maximum volume.
When I first read that Manraze was covering Jimi Hendrix, I was fearful that this cover might blow. Hendrix is such a hard act to cover. Few bands have pulled it off very well. Needless to say, Manraze knocked their cover of “Fire” out of the park. This is an extremely cool version of this song. I love it!
Phil Collen shows that he has plenty of rock left in him with the song, “I, Superbiker”. Hearing a song like this, gives me hope that Def Leppard can one day return to its hard rockin’ roots. Phil shreds on this track. This is killer stuff!!
If Phil Collen, Simon Laffy and Paul Cook keep making CD’s like this, they are going to be in high demand as a live act. This is really good stuff, and there isn’t a bad song in the bunch.
If you liked the first Manraze album, Surreal, then you should definitely check out PunkFunkRootsRock. I think you will enjoy it.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Over My Dead Body
2. I C U In Everything
3. All I Wanna Do
4. Closer To Me
6. Get Action
7. Edge Of The World
10. I, Superbiker
Phil Collen -vocals, guitar
Simon Laffy – bass, background vocals
Paul Cook – drums, background vocals
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