I didn’t think I would hear too many new quality releases to close out 2006, but I could not have been more wrong. Jon Oliva’s Pain, is one Heavy Metal release that took me by surprise.
This disc starts off with a very strong track, Through the Eyes of the King, which is unmistakably Savatage in style! This track is one of the best metal songs I have heard all year.
The title track Maniacal Renderings is a progressive number that stretches past 7 minutes. Parts of this song remind of Queensryche, in a good way.
The Evil Beside You starts off slow and kind of reminds me a little of Queen in style, but then breaks into another Savatage style rocker. Time to Die turns up the heaviness, and at times sounds like Black Label Society backing up Oliva. ( At this point, this reviewer has a big evil grin on his face ).
Push It To the Limit cranks the tempo way the hell up. I can see people in a mosh pit, slamming to this song. The bass rhythm on this song reminds me of Anthrax at times.
Who’s Playing God returns to more of a Progressive Metal style. This almost reminds me of a heavy Queen song. Timeless Flight also starts off with that Queen styling, but in a very heavy sense. This is one of those progressive tracks that is technically brilliant. It is one of those songs that make you wonder if you are hearing a CD that may one day be considered classic.
Holes is another heavy track that could easily fit on any Savatage CD. Lots of heavy guitars, rhythm and bass. At first I didn’t like this track, but I had to give it a couple of listens. You have to hear the way this song ends. Awesome!!
End of Times is another prog rocker with plenty of crunching guitars and heavy bass. This is another decent song with excellent guitar work. I didn’t care for this song too much.
Still I Prey For You Now is a slow short number that fails to excite me. I was hoping for something a little more powerful at this place in the record.
The Bonus track features 2 tracks in 1. Reality’s Fool is another slow tempo number that almost seems out of place. A few seconds later another instrumental track continues the fantastic solo work of the late, great Chris Oliva.
As a whole, this is a very strong effort from Jon Oliva’s Pain. Savatage fans should be rushing to pick this up. Progressive Metal fans will likely enjoy this too. If you don’t like either of those, this disc may not appeal to you. I have always liked Savatage, and felt they were very under rated. This disc stands up to any of the Savatage records out there, and is one of the best new releases of 2006.
Rating:Out of 10
Below are a couple of live videos of songs that are from the Maniacal Renderings CD. If you like these, you are going to love this CD!
Evil Beside You
- Through the Eyes of the King
- Maniacal Renderings
- The Evil Beside You
- Time To Die
- Push It To the Limit
- Who’s Playing God
- Timeless Flight
- End Times
- Still I Pray for You Now
- Reality’s Fool (Bonus Track)
Here is an excellent hard rocking release that came out in January of 2006. I stumbled on this by accident when I was looking for some Twisted Sister news.
I heard a couple of songs on myspace, and had to pick this up.
Axes 2 Axes starts out with a heavy number Tonight, sung by Ronnie James Dio, and followed up with a blistering instrumental, Axes 2 Axes. Please Remember is a pretty good rock number sung by Eddie.
Dee Snider does a good job covering the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby, with some backing vocals by Terry llous from XYZ. This is a far superior cover than the torrid, Leader of the Pack, cover from Twisted Sister’s Come Out and Play album.
Evil Duz is a pretty heavy track where Eddie just about sounds like Lemmy from Motorhead on this track. (Well sort of, maybe not as gravelly) .
Crosstown is another kick ass instrumental from Eddie.
Senorita Knows is a mid tempo track. It is my least favorite track, but it isn’t a bad song by any means. Love Power is a funky track with some slap bass playing by Rudy Sarzo. Eddie sounds like he is having fun on this song.
Funky Monkey is the third instrumental track on this CD. It is another great track. Eddie really struts his guitar work here.
The Reason is the sole ballad on this disc, and a good one at that.
Axes 2 Axes closes out with another great vocal by Joe Lynn Turner on Living Free.
Overall, Axes 2 Axes is a pretty quick disc to listen to. It clocks in under 39 minutes long. If you want to discover a good rock CD, and an excellent guitar player that deserves more credit than what he gets, check this disc out! The Dio and Dee Snider tracks almost make this disc worth picking up just by themselves.
Rating: Out of 10
- Axes 2 Axes
- Please Remember
- Eleanor Rigby
- Evil Duz (What Evil Knows)
- Senorita Knows
- Love Power
- Funky Monkey
- The Reason
- Living Free
The Metal God has returned to Judas Priest, and we can all be thankful of that!
I was beginning to lose interest in Judas Priest. I did not enjoy the Ripper Owens releases, so I was quite happy to see that Rob Halford returned to front JP.
Judas Priest Angel of Retribution seems to take off where Painkiller left off, and that is a great thing. Judas Priest shows no sign of slowing down with age.
This CD is full of excellent guitars aka Glen Tipton and KK Downing, and pounding double bass drums ala Scott Travis, and of course the excellent vocals of Rob Halford.
There are some great tracks on this CD. The heavy Judas Rising, the crunching guitars of Deal with the Devil, the wailing Halford on Revolution, the rocking Wheels of Fire. Hellrider sounds like it could be the cousin to Nightcrawler. Even the slower numbers on this CD, Angel and Worth Fighting For are very good. It is hard not to find something to love on this CD.
This is a very strong release from Judas Priest. If you haven’t picked this up, you need to get this today!! One of the best Metal CD’s to come along for a while!
Rating: Out of 10
- Judas Rising
- Deal With the Devil
- Worth Fighting For
- Wheels of Fire
It is always great when you can pop a new CD into your player and know immediately that you are going to love it.
Krokus’ latest CD Hellraiser is one of those kind of CD’s.
The first song kicks it up, and the whole CD doesn’t let up. Suprisingly, this CD stands up to anything Krokus has ever done, and actually may a bit better from some of their older stuff.
This CD sounds like it could have been written in the middle of the 80′s hard rock scene, and personally, I could not be happier. It reminds me of AC/DC in a sense, but it is better than the last couple of discs those guys put out, and definitely more melodic.
Plenty of sing along lyrics, kick ass drums, and guitar solos in just about every song. This is what made 80 hard rock great, and Krokus Hellraiser one of the best new Hard Rock CD’s in 2006.
My current favorite tracks are Hellraiser, Too Wired to Sleep, Spirit of the Night, and Midnight Fantasy.
I love this Disc!! Absolutely great stuff!! Buy It!!
Rating:Out of 10
- Too Wired to Sleep
- Angel of My Dreams
- Fight On
- So Long
- Spirit of the Night
- Midnight Fantasy
- No Risk No Gain
- Turnin’ Inside Out
- Luv Will Survive
- Rocks Off!
- Walking in the Spirit (Bonus Track)
Thank you Dave Mustaine!! After listening to a few CD’s that ventured away from the Hard Rock category, this CD was extremely pleasing to hear!!
Strangely, I did not pick this CD up when it first came out. I found it at a bargain on in my local CD shop last night.
This CD is going to make a lot of Megadeth fans happy. It is heavy driving metal right from the first track, and doesn’t let up. If Mustaine has nerve damage, you sure as heck can’t hear it here.
There are quite a few good tracks here with my favorites being: Die Dead Enough, Kick the Chair, Tears In a Vial
The tracks I would consider filler are so rocking with Mustaine’s blazing guitar, I even like those.
While not perfect, you aren’t going to find too many Hard Rock/Metal CD’s better than this.
This makes me look forward to the new Megadeth CD coming in 2007!!
Pick this one up, if you haven’t already!!
Rating:Out of 10.
- Blackmail the Universe
- Die Dead Enough
- Kick the Chair
- Tears In a Vial
- I Know Jack
- Back In The Day
- Something That I Am Not
- Truth Be Told
- Of Mice and Men
- Shadow of Deth
- My Kingdom
Damn it! I was really looking forward to this CD, and what I ended up with is a major disappointment.
The title of this CD is Michael Schenker Group Twenty-Five Years Celebration.
The sticker on the front says Featuring: All Original MSG Singers. (Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Robin McAuley, Leif Sundin, Kelly Kelling, Chris Logan, Jari Tiura)
What you really get is 12 tracks sung by Tiura, which is arguably the worst singer in the mix. Two Tracks from Kelly Keeling, and 1 each from Logan, Sundin, Bonnet and McAuley.
My question is this: How the hell is this a 25 year celebration when over 50% of the songs are by one singer? Sad!
Schenker sounds awesome. His playing is excellent as always. The vocals from Tiura just do not work for me at all. The writing on this CD seems kind of weak to me as well. I am having trouble finding a song that doesn’t sound like one of the others on this CD. The lone highlights to me, are Rock ‘N’ Roll (not the Zepplin song by the same name) sung by Graham Bonnet, and Tell a Story sung by Robin McAuley.2 standout tracks out of 19? Sad by any means.
Tread at your own risk with this one. For MSG diehards only.
- Setting Sun
- Angel of Avalon
- Dreams Inside
- Dust to Dust
- Voice of My Heart
- Journey Man
- Big Deal
- St. Ann
- Shadow Lady
- Love Trade
- Human Child
- Bitter Sweet
- Blind Alley
- Life Vacation
- Rock ‘N’ Roll
- Tell A Story
- Life Goes On (Instrumental)
Bruce Dickinson proves that he still has plenty of vocal chops to please the masses. This CD stands up to any of Maiden’s past works and that really says something.
Don’t expect to listen to this CD quickly! 7 songs clock over 7 minutes long. You wont mind once you start hearing the almost, progressive rockers chocked full of guitar solos.
This is what a rock CD is supposed to sound like! “A Matter of Life and Death” is easily one of the best CD’s of 2006!
Pick up the special edition if you can. It includes a Bonus DVD with the Making of, a Video for Benjamin Breeg and more!
- Different World
- These Colours Don’t Run
- Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
- The Pilgrim
- The Longest Day
- Out of the Shadows
- The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
- For the Greater Good of God
- Lord of Light
- The Legacy
Iron Maiden is:
Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Janick Gers – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar and backing vocals, guitar synth on “Brighter than a Thousand Suns”
Steve Harris – bass guitar, backing vocals, keyboard
Nicko McBrain – drums
What a great find this CD was! This CD features former Whitesnake members Rudy Sarzo on bass, Tommy Aldridge on Drums, Adrian Vandenberg on guitars, and Little Caeser singer Ron Young.
If you were to put Whitesnake in a blender with a dash of Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn, you may get a sound that resembles Manic Eden. It is a kick ass CD, that has been largely unheard of.
James Christian from House of Lords was briefly involved in this band, before Ron Young took over on vocals. Nonetheless, Ron sounds great singing with the former Whitesnake band mates.
Listen to the tune below, and see what you think. This is a very good blues rock effort, and worth picking up.
Rating:Out of 10
- Can you Feel it
- Gimme a Shot
- Fire in my Soul
- Do Angels Die
- Pushing Me
- Dark Shade of Grey
- Keep it Coming
- When the Hammer comes down
- Ride the Storm
- Can’t hold it
Manic Eden is:
Ron Young – Vocals
Adrian Vandenberg – Guitars
Rudy Sarzo – Bass
Tommy Aldridge – Drums