Chris Daughtry was my hands down pick to win the last season of American Idol. Obviously, he didn’t win, but RCA was quick to sign him to a record deal.
Does this CD live up to my expectations? Yes and no.
Chris is a decent singer, with a good voice, but some of the tracks on this CD sound so very familiar to me.
2 or 3 of these tracks could easily have been on a Nickleback CD.
There are, however a couple of stand out heavy tracks (What I Want featuring Slash, and There and Back Again). I like these tracks pretty well. I also like the guitars on It’s Not Over.
My biggest problem with this CD is, there are no songs that stick in my head and can’t wait to hear again. None of the songs are particularly bad. Most of them are above average but they are not very memorable.
A couple of tracks bother me. The song Breakdown was originally recorded by Chris’ band Absent Element, and to me, their version of this track was far better. The version on this CD is too over produced.
Zac Maloy from the Nixons’ song, Used to was also used. I think his version may have also been a tad bit better.
Even though I am not impressed by all of the tracks on this CD, quite a few are radio ready, and if all goes well, Chris could have a couple of hits on his hands.
I do not think that this CD is going to appeal to the rockers that prefer their music on the harder side. If the Nickleback fans out there give this a chance, it may sell well.
Definitely listen to this before you buy it.
Rating: out of 10
- It’s Not Over
- Used To
- Over You
- Feels Like Tonight
- What I Want (Featuring Slash)
- There and Back Again
- All These Lives
- What About Now
Slave to the System is one of the better CD’s released in 2006.
This group consists of Damon Johnson, and Roman Glick from Brother Cane, and Scott Rockenfeld and Kelly Gray of Queensryche.
I have always liked both bands, but I must admit that I haven’t been very fond of the Kelly Gray, Queensryche years.
After hearing this CD, I wonder how much Geoff Tate has been holding back Kelly, as he kicks ass on this CD. Damon Johnson and the rest of the guys are great as well. Some songs lean towards more album oriented radio friendly rock, others are a little harder. The slower tracks took two or three listens to digest, and have really grown on me. The CD does a good job of mixing the two up.
As a whole, this is a killer CD with no filler tracks. This is straight up hard rock all the way through. If you like either of the two bands, I mentioned above, you are going to like this. It may take you a couple of listens to get into this, but if you give this a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised.
This CD is one of my top picks in 2006.
For more information on Slave to the System, check out their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Ruby Wednesday
- Slave to the System*
- Live this Life
- Cruze out of Control*
- Gone Today*
- Will You Be There
- Walk the Line
Slave to the System is:
Damon Johnson – Vocals and Guitar
Roman Glick – Bass
Kelly Gray – Guitar
Scott Rockenfeld – Drums
How does Zakk Wylde do it? Each year he chugs out another quality CD.
Shot to Hell is no exception in the quality dept.
This CD sounds like it could be Mafia part 2 in many cases, with the exception that it has more slower tracks than its predecessor. Aside from that, Zakk’s vocals and guitar style is virtually unchanged, and that is a good thing. I guess if it isn’t broke don’t fix it. The BLS formula seems to work.
Several quality tracks and a only a 2 or 3 that I would consider fillers. If you liked Mafia, chances are you will enjoy Shot to Hell as well. Fans needing a heavy yet melodic hard rock CD should give this one a look. For Black Label Society fans, its a no brainer, pick this up!
- Concrete Jungle*
- Black Mass Reverends*
- Blacked Out World
- The Last Goodbye*
- Give Yourself to Me
- Nothing is the Same
- Hell is High
- New Religion*
- Sick of it All
- Faith is Blind
- Blood is Thicker that Water*
- Devil’s Dime
- Lead Me to Your Door
Black Label Society is:
Zakk Wylde – Vocals, Lead Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, Piano, Keyboards
John DeServio – Bass Guitars
Craig Nunenmacher – Drums
Nick Catanese – Rhythm Guitars
I find myself gravitating towards this CD more often lately, so I thought I would give my 2 cents on it.
Zakk Wylde’s voice used to annoy the crap out of me, and thanks to my mp3 player, I have grown to like it after a few spins.
Listening to Mafia, the Black Sabbath and Ozzy influences run rapid throughout the CD. Not only does Zakk approach his vocals in a similar method to Ozzy, sometimes his guitars seem to have that dark, Iommi/Black Sabbath approach.
Even when Zakk slows it down, he crafts some great songs. Mafia has quite a few stand out tracks! Fire It Up, Suicide Messiah, In this River (written for Zakk’s buddy Dimebag Darrell) are my personal favorites. There are quite a few decent tracks on Mafia worth spinning this disc for.
It may take a couple of listens to really get into this CD, but I believe this is one of the top Metal releases of 2005.
Rating:Out of 10
- Fire it Up*
- What’s in You
- Suicide Messiah*
- Forever Down*
- In This River*
- You Must Be Blind
- Death March
- Dr. Octavia
- Say What you Will
- Too Tough to Die
- Electric HellFire*
- Spread Your Wings
- Been A Long Time*
- Dirt On the Grave*
- I Never Dreamed
Black Label Society is:
James LoMenzo – Bass, Vocals
Craig Nunenmacher – Drums, Shaker
Zakk Wylde – Electric and Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Vocals
Occasionally, I will stumble across a CD that surprises me. Stone Sour’s Come What (ever) May is one of these.
For those of you that don’t know this, Stone Sour is a side project of Slipknot singer Corey Taylor & Jim Root.
This CD is somewhat of a departure from the Slipknot style of music. I have had trouble classifying this one, whether you want to call this Numetal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal or whatever, there is certainly a mix of styles on here that will appeal to the masses.
The major difference over Slipknot, is the often clean vocals. Corey Taylor shows that he has a good singing voice. The songs are heavy. Some heavier than others. At first this reminded me of Linkin Park, but that is an unfair comparison. This might be a bit better than that.
There are some amazing songs on this CD, 2 of which, you would never expect to hear out of Slipknot’s front man.
Through Glass and Zzyzx Road are great songs, but sound more like corporate mainstream rock. Nonetheless, they are great.
The rest of the songs you will find heavy, crunchy tunes, many of which are laden with explicit lyrics.
If you like your music heavy, but listenable, you could do worse than Stone Sour. Check it out!!
Rating:Out of 10
- Come What(ever)May
- Hell & Consequences
- Made of Scars
- Your God
- Through Glass
- 1st Person
- Zzyzx Road
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)
For some reason I missed this group’s release not once but twice. This CD was originally released in 1989 and then remastered by Spitfire records in 2001.
I stumbled on this one in the used bin at the local record store and decided to give it a spin.
This is a pretty good Southern Rock Record. Heavier than ZZTop or Skynyrd, but not by much. If you enjoy those groups you will probably like this.
I prefer the harder numbers on this CD, so the stand out tracks are Don’t Dog Me, Get off my Jollies, and Bent for Silver.
It is a relatively short listen, 11 tracks clocking in just a little over 37 minutes. This CD may not set everyones world on fire, but it is definitely a necessity for the Southern Rock fans out there!
- Don’t Dog Me
- Sorry’s all I got
- Waiting for the Potion
- Get off my Jollies
- Shiny Mama
- Bent for Silver
- Love Comes Loose
- Dig a Hole
- San Loco
Why hasn’t this CD been heard in the United States???
This is the best thing Slash has done since leaving Guns and Roses, and in some instances far superior to Velvet Revolver.
Singer Rod Jackson should have been a household name after this release. He sounds great on this CD.
Slash’s guitar work is simply awesome throughout most of the tracks. The stand out tracks are Been There Lately, Shine and Life’s Sweet Drug. Guns and Roses fans are going to love this!
- Been There Lately*
- Just Like Anything
- Mean Bone
- Back to the Moment
- Life’s Sweet Drug*
- Serial Killer
- The Truth
- Ain’t Life Grand
- Speed Parade
- The Alien
* Best Tracks
Black Stone Cherry is quite simply at the top of my list for best new band in 2006. I discovered these guys only because I saw they were opening for Black Label Society. I found their website, listened to two songs and went out and bought the CD immediately.
The only way I can describe these Kentucky rockers is a cross between Skynyrd and Metallica. They are definitely harder and faster than Skynyrd for those that are wondering.
There are so many great tracks on this CD, I don’t even know where to begin.
My favorites change from day to day, but currently, they are Lonely Train, Violator Girl and Hell or High Water.
This is head banging, heavy southern rock! This CD is so damn good, you need to sign off the net now and get to your local CD shop and pick this up!
Rating: Out of 10
- Rain Wizard
- Backwoods Gold*
- Lonely Train*
- Maybe Someday*
- When the Weight Comes Down*
- Crosstown Woman
- Shooting Star
- Hell and High Water
- Shapes of Things
- Violator Girl*
- Tired of the Rain
- Rollin On
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chris Robertson – (vocals/guitar)
Ben Wells – (guitar/vocals)
Jon Lawhon – (bass/vocals)
John Fred Young – (drums/vocals)
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