Quite possibly my favorite Megadeth CDs of all time is the 1992 release Countdown to Extinction. This disc has three top 40 radio hits off it including Symphony of Destruction, Sweating Bullets and Foreclosure of a Dream.
Megadeth followed Metallica’s formula of shorter less complicated songs and hit major mainstream success with this disc. To date, Countdown to Extinction is is Megadeth’s only multi-platinum disc to date (over 2 million sold).
From the opening riffs of Skin O’ My Teeth you just knew this disc would be classic.
Symphony of Destruction is my all time favorite Megadeth song. I never get sick of hearing this one.
I still get a charge out of Architecture Of Aggression. Mustaine and Friedman’s awesome solos and the pounding rhythm of Dave Ellefson’s bass and Nick Menza’s drumming makes this song a headbanger’s delight.
Foreclosure of a dream is an absolute classic Megadeth song. No collection should be without this track.
I always found the track, Sweating Bullets kind of silly, but I have to admit it is catchy. The solos in the middle of the track is what makes it so great. The video is pretty cool too.
It has been a while since I listened to This Was My Life, and I had to listen to it a second time, as it is another great song on Coundown to Extinction. The chugging bass of Dave Ellefson is so cool on this track. Great!!
Usually by this time you start find a little bit of filler material, but not here. The title track Countdown to Extinction is a very mainstream hard rock song, and a damn good one at that. I found a home made video featuring Godzilla for this one. Cool Stuff!
There are more great guitar solos between Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman on High Speed Dirt. I like this track a lot.
Psychotron is infectious as hell. Listen to this song once, and I bet you will find yourself singing along. SciFi fans will love the video below!
Captive Honour is another excellent hard driving tune, that often gets over looked on Countdown to Extinction. There is plenty of guitar noodling and cool drum beats on this one.
Ashes In Your Mouth closes out Countdown to Extinction with a good heavy track with more chugging guitars, guitar solos and Mustaine’s signature snarls. Its a perfect way to close out this excellent set of tunes.
Out of the entire Megadeth discology, you will have a hard time finding a stronger set of tunes than the ones on Countdown to Extinction. This disc is one of my all time favorite metal discs. It should be essential to every hard rock music fan!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Skin O’ My Teeth
2. Symphony Of Destruction
3. Architecture Of Aggression
4. Foreclosure Of A Dream
5. Sweating Bullets
6. This Was My Life
7. Countdown To Extinction
8. High Speed Dirt
10. Captive Honour
11. Ashes In Your Mouth
Bite Down Hard is the third studio disc by Britny Fox, and is the debut by new vocalist Tommy Paris. Very few bands improve with a change of singers, but in the case of Britny Fox, Tommy Paris is a much better singer than original vocalist “Dizzy” Dean Davidson.
I am not knocking the Davidson era of Britny Fox at all though, I enjoyed the discs he sang on, but Paris has more range, and adds more to the songs than “Dizzy” Dean did.
The current band you will see play live, is Tommy Paris on vocals, Greg D’Angelo (ex-White Lion) on drums, Billy Childs on bass, and Tommy Krash on guitar. Johnny Dee and Michael Kelly Smith were unable to tour, so Greg and Tommy are filling in right now.
Chances are, you are going to hear quite a few tunes from Bite Down Hard, and that is a good thing, as this is one kick ass hard rock disc. Bite Down Hard also features guest appearances by Zakk Wylde and Rikki Rockett, but I doubt you will notice any difference on the tunes they are on.
The stand out tracks are Six Guns Loaded, Louder, Close to Your Love, Shot From My Gun and Look My Way. This is a solid hard rock disc, and easily as good as the Britny Fox debut. This disc was reissued by Wounded Bird Records in 2006, so you should have no trouble finding this one. I envy you folks that will get to see Britny Fox perform these tunes live at Rocklahoma. Until they hit my hometown, I will have to settle for the video below.
1. Six Guns Loaded
4. Closer to Your Love
5. Over and Out
6. Shot from My Gun
7. Black and White
8. Look My Way
9. Lonely Too Long
10. Midnight Moses
No Sweat features Paul Quinn on vocals, Dave Gooding on guitar, Jim Phillips on guitar, Jon Angel on bass, Paul J. Smith on Keyboards, and Ray Fean on drums.
This disc actually features the drumming of former Kingdom Come member James Kottak(before Ray Fean was in the band), and also enlisted a couple of guest stars in Saga’s Michael Sadler and James Crichton.
No Sweat has a sound that reminds me quite a bit of Tyketto, and much like that band, No Sweat didn’t earn the fame they deserved. This is another one of those great hard rock CD’s from the early 90′s, that by all means should have made this band a household name. They did have a semi hit with their video for Heart and Soul on MTV for a while, and was getting plenty of play back on the nationally syndicated Z-Rock Hard Rock Radio Station.
Heart and Soul
There really isn’t a bad song on this disc, and all of the tunes have a very polished sound. The guitars are clean, the bass isn’t over powering, and the keyboards are mixed well. Paul Quinn’s delivery of his vocals remind me quite a bit of Danny Vaughn’s style, but he has a sound all his own.
My favorite tracks are Heart and Soul, Shake, On the Edge, Tear Down the Walls, and Generation.
You can still grab a used copy of this CD for next to nothing off of Amazon.com. It is a damn fine disc, and still worth picking up.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Heart And Soul
4. On The Edge
5. Waters Flow
6. Tear Down The Walls
8. Lean On Me
For the first edition of the new review feature, Rare Rock Rewind, I want to introduce you to a band that hit the music scene in the late 80′s. There were a lot of great bands getting signed during this time, but quite a few never got the marketing push by their record labels, and went greatly unnoticed by the public.
China is perfect example of this!
China is a swiss rock/glam band that started back in 1987. This band features Math Shiverow on vocals, Freddy Laurence and Claudio Matteo on Guitars, John Dommen on Drums, and Marc Lynn on bass. This band was signed by Polygram and got a little help from Krokus members Marc Storace and Fernando von Arb. Krokus front man, Marc Storace sang back up on a few tracks and Krokus guitar player Fernando von Arb has the writing credits on the track, “Back to You“.
I was one of many people that never heard of this band back in the day (and I thought I knew them all). I recently heard a track off of this disc on an internet hard rock radio station that I frequently visit. My first reaction was, who in the hell was that?! I liked it enough to seek out a copy. My persistence paid off, and I was finally able to grab a copy of this one off of Ebay.
I am glad to say that this disc is full of killer 80′s big hair style rock. Some songs have a little more keyboards than I would prefer, but as a whole, this disc rocks!
Check out the video’s below for a couple of the bands songs Shout it Out and Rock City. The sound quality isn’t the greatest, but will give you a good taste of China’s style.
Shout it Out
This disc is full of good songs and no filler. All throughout this disc you can hear hard guitar licks mixed with cool keyboard melodies and the great vocals of Math Shiverow. It is harder than typical AOR music and maybe a bit more melodic than some 80′s hard rock groups. I prefer the harder songs on this disc. The stand outs are Shout it Out,Back to You, Rock City, Living on the Stage, and I Need Your Love.
If you can find this disc, I highly recommend picking this one up. Fans of 80′s style hard rock will love this disc!
It has been out of print for a while, so happy hunting!!
China is participating in Switzerland’s SPIRIT OF ROCK Festival in June, so maybe there is hope for new tunes by these guys in the future.
Rating:Out of 10
- Shout It Out
- Back to You
- The Fight is On
- Wild Jealousy
- Rock City
- Hot Lovin’ Night
- Living on the Stage
- I Need Your Love
- One Shot to the Heart
- Staying Alive
- Don’t Look Back* (Bonus Track)
A great new sleaze band is Rockets to Ruin from Atlanta, Georgia. This band has listed their influences as Guns N’ Roses and Motley Crue, and you can certainly hear it in their music. The debut CD by this four piece outfit was produced by Skid Row’s Rachel Bolan.
Lead singer Cleveland Willis has a punk rock type of voice, so you will either love him or hate him. The music is what makes this band stand out.
Love*Drugs*Rebellion starts off with We are the Drugs which is a raw and heavy sounding tune. It isn’t the strongest of lead off songs that I have heard this year but it is solid.
I prefer Take a Ride With me (straight to Hell) over the first track. This is a great song with lots of replay value. This reminds me of some of L.A. Guns early stuff.
Take a Ride With me (straight to Hell)
Each time I hear Devil Girl, I like it more and more. I haven’t heard raw sleaze metal like this in a long time.
The guitar riff on Screamin’ At Me is of the typical 3 chord variety, but the track reminds me of early Motley Crue, and that is a good thing.
Burnin’ starts off like a cannon shot into your gut. A killer riff entails, and there are some excellent solos in this song that remind of me of Guns ‘N Roses in a sense.
1 More Fix is the longest track on Love*Drugs*Rebellion, and the band absolutely jams on this track.
Helpless is a catchy number with a very cool sound. Lots of cowbells in the drumming, and more heavy guitars. This is another tune that grows on me with each listen.
Gotta Go, Gotta Roll is another contagious rocker with a great sing along chorus.
Revolution and Nowhere to Go (no Time to Care) both felt like filler tracks to me. I didn’t care for either one very much. The music is good though, and I am betting that some of these songs translate better live.
Rockets to Ruin probably won’t win any awards for originality, but the music is damn good. It is great to hear new bands carrying on the Sleaze Rock tradition in 2007. Love*Drugs*Rebellion is a solid debut, and one that makes me think that Rockets to Ruin will be a band to keep an eye on in the future. Great things are sure to come from this group!
You can listen to more of the band’s tunes at their myspace page here. You can pick their CD up from CDBaby.com.
Rating: Out of 10
- We Are the Drugs
- Take a Ride With Me (straight to Hell)
- Devil Girl
- Screamin’ At Me
- 1 More Fix
- Gotta Go, Gotta Roll
- Nowhere to Go (no Time to Care)
A killer new hard rock band I recently discovered is Fatal Smile. These Swedish rockers have been together for a while (1995) and Neo Natural Freaks is their 2nd release. I saw recently that they were opening for W.A.S.P. in the UK. I knew W.A.S.P. had to have a quality hard rock act opening up for them, so I had to dig up some information on them. Once I heard a few of the tunes, I knew I had to pick this one up.
They have a sound that reminds me of a cross between Black Sabbath and Dokken (musically, not vocally). Lead Singer, H.B. Anderson has an excellent metal voice. He can handle the heavy and melodic parts perfectly.
Neo Natural Freaks is a blistering hard disc, and is highly listenable. This is 80′s style hard rock with a heavy modern feel.
The title track Neo Natural Freaks starts the disc off with high speed, head banger. This is a great song to start off the disc with, and immediately leaves you wanting more.
Bleeding Kiss starts with a heavy Sabbath like riff, and kind of reminds of an Accept tune, but H.B Anderson uses more of a pure singing voice than the throaty screams of singer UDO Dirkschneider. This track has a heavy bass and guitar riff that will please most hard rock fans out there.
The first two tracks were great prep work for the audio assault that is Crash & Burn. This heavy song is one of my favorite tracks on this disc.
Nothing prepared me for the Skid Row like heaviness of Learn-Love-Hate. The band recorded a video for this ultra cool song. Check it out below!
The deep bass and heavy guitars on Quiet Chaos gives this tune a heavy Black Sabbath feel to it. This is another great track worth hearing!
Practise What You Preach is another heavy track in the vein of Accept .
H.B. Anderson almost sounds like Doug Pinnick of King’s X on Dead Man Walkin. This song seemingly looses cohesion towards the end and loses me. Color Blind keeps the vocal feel of King’s X, but is much better than the track before it.
Common People has more of an 80′s sleaze feel to it. This is another stand out track on Neo Natural Freaks.
11th Hour closes this disc with another good Skid Row like number.
Fatal Smile was a great surprise for me. It is always great to hear new bands that are carrying on that 80′s hard rock sound. I would have loved to had a few more tracks in the vein of Love-Learn-Hate, but as a whole I am quite pleased with this disc. You can listen to and pick up Neo Natural Freaks at CD Baby.com.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Neo Natural Freaks
2. Bleeding Kiss
3. Crash & Burn
4. Learn – Love – Hate
5. Quiet Chaos
6. Practise What You Preach
7. Dead Man Walking
8. Color Blind
9. Common People
10. 11th Hour
Reviews galore including new Hard Rock from Sweden, a new sleaze band from Atlanta, GA, a review for the new Rush disc Snakes & Arrows, a new review segment called Rare Rock Rewind, and another Rocklahoma Band Review.
A bunch of new tunes and videos are heading your way. Stop back daily for the latest and greatest in Hard Rock and all of the latest Hard Rock News!
What you may not know, is the current lineup that Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones has put together, is a supergroup of Hard Rock Veterans, including Kelly Hanson (Hurricane) on vocals, Jason Bonham (Bonham) on drums, and Jeff Pilson (Dokken) on bass.
I had to do some digging and found that they did release a live album with this lineup. Amazingly, you can find this CD in the discounted CD sections at Walmart and Best Buy for a mere $6.00.
How do they sound? Amazing! Just what you would expect from a lineup this great! Kelly Hanson handles the songs like a pro, and sounds very close to former Foreigner vocalist Lou Gramm.
Die hard Foreigner fans may hate the changes, but personally, I think this is an enhancement over the original band. I hope that they will do a studio disc with this lineup.
The songs in this live collection, need no introduction, they are all great Foreigner classics. Take a look at the videos and judge for yourself.
Feels Like the First Time
You can’t beat the price of this live CD. The sound quality on this disc is very good, and will only whet your appetite to see Foreigner live when they hit your town in 2007!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Head Games
2. Cold as Ice
3. Waiting for a Girl Like You
4. Dirty White Boy
6. Feels Like the First Time
8. Juke Box Hero/Whole Lotta Love
9. I Want to Know What Love Is
10. Hot Blooded
Paul has since formed a new four piece band called Adrenaline Factor that features many of the AC/DC like aspects of Broken Teeth, and if anything, this band may be a little better.
Adrenaline Factor is Lee Scott on lead vocals, Paul Lidel on guitar, Steve Sweat on bass, and
Armando Reyes on drums.
Singer Lee Scott sounds like he came from the Bon Scott family. The songs on this disc are not very complex. It is the same three chord style that you are accustomed to hearing from AC/DC. The music will not surprise you, unless you are astounded how close Lee sounds to Bon.
Some of these tracks demand to be heard! The opening track track Ride is a smoking hard track that just kicks your ass right out of the gate.
Boozin’ Susan is the fist in the air, beer swilling rocker that makes you beg for more.
Seven Year Bitch is a foot tapping, catchy song that will have you singing along in no time.
The closing track Goin’ Nowhere is closer to Deep Purple in sound than AC/DC (no, I am not kidding.).
Paul Lidel has been playing similar riffs in Dirty Looks, and Broken Teeth for years, and he has the AC/DC sound down pat. If you are tired of waiting for the new AC/DC disc, as am I, then you could do a lot worse than picking up Adrenaline Factor’s debut. I went back and listened to the last couple of AC/DC discs after this one, and I think is better than anything than AC/DC has done in a while. Do yourself a favor and go check this out!
Rating: out of 10
- Wrong Number
- Boozin’ Susan
- Your Side
- Bad Habit
- Seven Beer Bitch
- No Warning
- Bet Your Life
- Hook Slide
- Goin’ Nowhere
Dangerous Toys is a band that I always thought would be a good poster child for sleaze rock. I have picked up all of their CD’s over the years and I have never been let down by any one of them. I always know that I will get a disc full of hard driving tunes with great vocals.
On Pissed, Jason McMaster delivers the goods once again, and Paul Lidel sounds like he has been playing in the band forever.
There is a lot to like on this disc, and it does not disappoint. The title track Pissed, is a great up tempo number that need to be cranked up to be appreciated.
Paintrain and The Law Is Mine continues the fun with two great in your face rockers back to back.
Promise The Moon is an excellent ballad and something that you wouldn’t expect to hear from the DT guys.
Strange is a heavy track full of sleaze and head banging goodness. Great Stuff! Loser has an AC/DC type of sound, and a great party rock feel to it.
Hard Luck Champion is one of my favorite tracks on this disc, and should be my theme song. :)
Screamin’ for More is an upbeat song that has a less heavier feel that the rest of the tracks on Pissed. There are more acoustic guitars on this song but it has a great sound.
Oh Well, So What! is one of those songs that you would love to crank up and play in your office when you are having a bad day. This is the closest thing to giving someone the bird in audible fashion.
Illustrated Man is a cool song that would make a good theme song for Miami Ink. It is a great way to close out Pissed.
Pissed is a great hard rock record all the way through. There are no filler tracks, and it is a fun party rock record that is a great listen. Sadly, Pissed was released right in the middle of the grunge movement, and got very little attention. It is one of those nice gems in my collection that I like to break out from time to time. You can still find this one online quite often for under $10.00. It is worth picking up!
3. The Law Is Mine
4. Promise The Moon
7. Hard Luck Champion
8. Screamin’ For More
9. Oh Well, So What!
10. Illustrated Man
- Jason McMaster – Vocals
- Mark Geary – Drums
- Scot Dalhover – Guitar
- Paul Lidel – Guitar & Vocals
- Mike Watson – Bass & Vocals
This self titled disc is the 2nd studio release by Big Cock. If you heard the first disc, Year of the Cock, you already probably familiar with this band’s 80′s Hard Rock Sound. The sound has not changed on Big Cock’s sophomore effort. They lyrics may be a little more explicit at times, and some of lyrics are dripping with sexual humor.
There are a few stand out tracks on this disc, including Real Man, Ride on Me, Real Hard, Get Me Up and the straight forward cover of the Tom Jones’ song, She’s A Lady.
Ride on Me
So Easy Bein’ Me has a punk feel to it, and reminds me of when Motley Crue covered Anarchy in the UK.
I could have lived without a couple of the songs, including the 50′s sounding Scottsdale Girls, and country flavored Let’s Make Love. Both of these tracks seem out of place here. The lyrics for Scottsdale Girls are kind of funny, but something about this song has a 50′s, Jimmy Buffett, Beach Boys, bubble gum type of feel about it.
I wonder if Robert Mason is about ready to bust a gut, while trying to keep a straight face singing Every Inch of My Love. The lyrics are pure cheese, but this is still a cool sounding track. This is the closest thing you will get to a power ballad from Big Cock.
Take Me and Booze My Baby are ok tracks, but are nothing special.
As a whole, I tend to like this Big Cock disc, a little more than the debut effort. Big Cock’s sound and delivery are constant on both discs, and are a solid listen. This disc still wont make Robert Mason a household name, but it sounds like he enjoys what he is doing, and that comes across in the music.
Neither one of the Big Cock discs will set your world on fire, but if you like bands with that great 80′s hard rock sound, and are a fan of bands like Lynch Mob, and AC/DC, you will probably want to both of them. If you pick one, I’d say this is the one to get.
- Second Coming
- Fucked Up
- Real Man
- Ride on Me
- Real Hard
- She’s A Lady
- So Easy Bein’ Me
- Every Inch of My Love
- Dirty Girl
- Scottsdale Girls
- Get Me Up
- Take Me
- Booze & My Baby
- Let’s Make Love
Phoenix International Raceway President Bryan R. Sperber has announced that rock superstar Eddie Van Halen will serve as an Honorary Race Official for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at PIR on Saturday, April 21. As an Honorary Race Official, Van Halen will be part of pre-race activities and will join Sperber on the pre-race stage greeting drivers as they are introduced prior to the start of the race.
In addition to his duties as an Honorary Race Official, Van Halen will help to unveil a limited edition Fender Stratocaster Guitar as well as a limited edition EVH brand Frankenstein replica guitar at PIR on Friday, April 20. The Fender guitar, with its unique designs, will be presented to the winner of the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 on Saturday, April 21. The one-of-a-kind PIR Fender Stratocaster Guitar was built by Chris Fleming, Senior Master Builder, in Fender‘s Custom Shop.
“I’m personally delighted that Eddie Van Halen has accepted our invitation to join us as our Honorary Race Official for the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500,” said Sperber. “There is no one who has had the kind of impact on music that he and his band — VAN HALEN — have had. I know it will be a thrill for the drivers and fans to have Eddie at Phoenix International Raceway for the NASCAR weekend.”
A 2007 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Eddie Van Halen is the backbone of one of the most well-known rock and roll bands of all time — VAN HALEN. A legendary rock guitarist, Van Halen and EVH brand guitars, amps and musical products has partnered with the organization for this unique unveiling.
“I am honored on behalf of EVH brand guitars, amps and musical products to be invited to such an exciting and fun event. I feel privileged to be working with such amazing organizations like Phoenix International Raceway, their NASCAR event and Fender,” said Van Halen.
“Rock and roll, fast cars and guitars, I can’t think of a better combination. Fender is proud to partner with our friends, Eddie Van Halen and PIR, for this great occasion.” said Matt Janopaul, President & COO of Fender Musical Instruments Corp.
20 Years ago today, three 80′s Hard Rock Discs were in the Top Ten on The Billboard Charts.
Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet was # 3, Poison’s Look What the Cat Dragged In was # 6 and Europe’s The Final Countdown was # 10.
Here is the video for Bon Jovi’s big hit off of Slippery When Wet, You Give Love A Bad Name.
Check out one of the new Velvet Revolver track, “Let it Roll” from the up and coming disc, Libertad in the video below!
Simply said, this is the state of hard rock music in the United States. Only the die hard rock fans know who this band is. It is a real shame considering the strength of some of their previous releases (Hellfire Club, and Mandrake).
For those of you that don’t know EDGUY, this is a German Power Metal band that began in 1992. Their style has matured over the years into a NWOBHM type of sound that 80′s rock fans are sure to love.
Lead singer Tobias Sammet has a powerful set of pipes, and has a vocal style similar to Bruce Dickenson of Iron Maiden. The band features a dual axe attack of Jens Ludwig on lead guitar, and Dirk Sauer on Rhythm Guitar. Tobias Exxel handles the Bass guitar, and Felix Bohnke is the skin basher.
Rocket Ride is the 8th studio disc for EDGUY, and is a damn good one at that.
This disc starts off with an 8 minute melodic monster Sacrifice. This song is full of great vocals, heavy guitars and harmonic keyboards.
The title track Rocket Ride, is a tremendous rocker that falls somewhere between Judas Priest and Accept in style. There is plenty of guitar noodling and pounding drums in this song. Great stuff!
Wasted Time is a very cool Iron Maiden style tune, with plenty of back up vocals for good measure. Tobias Sammet sounds a lot like Bruce Dickenson on this track.
Matrix should have been a hit for EDGUY. Check out the video below for this track.
Return to the Tribe feels a little too much like filler to me. It is a nice jam session, but not the best of songs.
The Asylum on the other hand is a superb cut off of Rocket Ride. The music and vocals are first-rate on this song.
Save Me is a hellaciously good ballad. This disc needed a break from the mid to high tempo rockers and Save Me comes at the perfect time to break it up a little bit. This is another song that screams hit.
Catch of the Century is a fun headbanger. It kind of reminds me of a heavy Pink Cream 69 song. It is very cool and the music is top notch!
Out of Vogue is an ok high speed rocker. I like the music on the track but the lyrics need a little bit of work.
Superheroes should have been another hit for EDGUY, but once again got shafted by U.S. Radio. Check out the video below for this song!
Trinidad has to be the closest thing to Pop Metal that EDGUY has ever tried. It is a very upbeat and happy sounding song. This is one that grows on you after a while.
You just have to love the title, Fucking With Fire (Hair Force One). This is another song that just rocks. This track is more hard rock than metal, but it very good.
The bonus track, Land Of The Miracle is nothing to get excited about. (How many bonus tracks are?)
Rocket Ride is another great hard rock/metal offering from 2006 that will hopefully find itself in a lot more people’s hands before it disappears into obscurity. If you are a fan of NWOBHM type of music, you need to check out EDGUY’s Rocket Ride. This disc will likely appeal to fans of bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and Accept.
Don’t miss this!
Rating:Out of 10
2. Rocket Ride
3. Wasted Time
5. Return To The Tribe
6. Asylum, The
7. Save Me
8. Catch Of The Century
9. Out Of Vogue
12. Fucking With Fire (Hair Force One)
13. Land Of The Miracle – Live In Brazil (Limited Edition Bonus Track)
How does the sequel compare to the original? Just like most sequels, this one is not as good as the original. The dual guitars of Michael Wilton and Mike Stone don’t quite meet up to the great sound of the former dynamic duo of Wilton and Chris DeGarmo. They do sound very good, but maybe not quite as powerful or melodic as the original guitar tandem.
Once upon a time, Geoff Tate’s voice could reach notes that most rock singers could only dream about imitating. Watch the video below; if you aren’t blown away by his amazing vocals, you are probably reading the wrong website:
In 2006, and beyond Geoff Tate can still sing well, but those amazing high notes has moved out of his vocal ability. With that being said, the last few Queensryche releases have been mostly disappointing to me, so my approach to Mindcrime II was timid at best.
Amazingly, I would consider Mindcrime II is the best disc that the band put out since 1994′s Promised Land. Mindcrime II continues on with the story of Nikki, and the infamous Dr. X. It may take you a couple of times to absorb the story from the music, but I am betting you will want to listen to this a few times anyway.
Some of the highlights of this disc are I’m American.
One Foot in Hell is a very cool, heavy progressive number. Hostage is a dark and heavy track that seems to grow on me more with each listen. The Hands is one of those tracks that you will need to listen to over and over a few times. The guitar work is superb, and sounds pretty close to classic Queensryche.
The Chase, featuring the combined vocals of Geoff Tate and (Dr. X) Ronnie James Dio is one of the better Queensryche tracks I have heard in a while. Tate’s and Dio’s voices sound great together.
Fear City Slide has a killer bass groove, and is a very good listen.
Every time I listen to this disc, I hear something different, and tend to like the songs a little more each time. The first time I listened to this disc, I was disappointed, but my opinion has changed with time. This is one of those sleeper discs that needs to grow on you.
This may not be the stellar effort that Operation Mindcrime is, or the hit cranking machine of Empire, but is a solid listen, and certainly essential to every Queensryche fan.
Rating: Out of 10
- Freiheit Over
- I’m American
- One Foot in Hell
- The Hands
- Speed of Light
- Signs Say Go
- Re-Arrange You
- The Chase
- If I Could Change It All
- An Intentional Confrontation
- A Junkie’s Blues
- Fear City Slide
- All the Promises
Thunderstone is no exception. This is one kick ass Finnish power metal band.
Thunderstone features Pasi Rantanen on vocals, Nino Laurenne on guitar, Titus Hjelm on bass, Kari Tornack on keyboards and Mirka Rantanen on drums.
Pasi Rantanen has a vocal style similar to that of Johnny Gioeli of Hardline, and the band has a sound that reminds me of a heavy Dream Theater. Thunderstone’s Evolution 4.0 is one kick ass, heavy, melodic metal disc.
If you like the music in the two videos below, you are going to love Evolution 4.0. It is an all killer, no filler disc.
Face in the Mirror
This disc is full of great vocals, excellent guitars, kick ass double bass drumming, and is a amazing listen from beginning to end. This disc will be one to compete for the top 10 metal discs of 2007 at the Hard Rock Hideout. Yes, it is that good! Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Evolution 4.0
3. Roots Of Anger
4. 10 000 Ways
5. Holding On To My Pain
7. Down With Me
8. Face In The Mirror
9. Solid Ground
10. The Source
11. Great Man Down
Fast Forward to 2007! Danny Vaughn has experienced mild success with his previous offerings in Waysted, and later Tyketto. 21 Years later, Danny is off on his own and has released a solo disc under his own name. He is joined by his band mates, guitarists Tony Marshall (Contagious) and Pat Heath ( Brave New World), plus Steve McKenna (Ten) on bass and Lee Morris (Paradise Lost) on drums.
If you enjoyed the Tyketto disc, Don’t Come Easy, you may want to give Traveller a listen.
This disc starts off out with a very catchy, Journey like track right out of the gate, Miracle Days. Badlands Rain has a great guitar sound and excellent vocals to boot.
The title track, Traveller is a very positive, upbeat song, and is one of this disc’s highlights.
Restless Blood sounds as if it could have been a leftover Tyketto song, I couldn’t be happier with its sound. This is another great melodic rock song.
Thats What She Says is an acoustic based number that Danny Vaughn shines on vocally. The video below for the song was taken from the acoustic set, where Danny was opening for Journey in London on March 14th, 2007.
The Touch of Your Hand is a low tempo number and to me, Traveller’s first snoozer. Some people may like this song, but it was a bit too slow for my tastes.
Lifted is a good piano based number. This song may be a little too light for some, but it isn’t a bad song by any means. This song comes across to me as a Christian rock tune. That is the vibe I get from this one.
The Warriors Way is much heavier than the last two offerings, and is a much needed change, at this point on Traveller. This is another solid track on Traveller.
The Measure Of A Man has a very country feel about it. Either you like country, or you don’t. I don’t hate it, but I don’t want it on my rock albums either. (HINT HINT BON JOVI!) I usually skip this track.
Think of Me in the Fall made me want to smack the hell out of the person playing the triangle. (At least that is what I believe it to be anyway.) I skip this song as well.
Death by the Tiger and Better By Far failed to excite me and felt like more filler.
Traveller as a whole is not a bad effort by any means. Danny Vaughn still has one of the better voices in the business, and the songs here reflect this. Traveller starts off strong, but about mid way through begins to take a tail slide. A couple more heavy tracks could have helped this disc out quite a bit. It was a bit too light for my tastes in a few places. While not all of the songs appeal to me me, fans of good melodic rock will probably eat this disc up. You can hear more of Danny Vaughn’s tunes at his myspace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Miracle Days
2. Badlands Rain
4. Restless Blood
5. Thats What She Says
6. The Touch Of Your Hand
8. The Warriors Way
9. The Measure Of A Man
10. Think Of Me In The Fall
11. Death Of The Tiger
12. Better By Far
Tyketto was just getting rolling around the time that the grunge movement took over the hard rock scene, and stalled out any progress they were making.
It is a shame as Don’t Come Easy is a very good melodic rock CD. This CD did not give Tyketto the recognition that they deserved.
The opening track Forever Young was a staple on the nationally syndicated Z-Rock hard rock radio station, and was getting airplay on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball back in the day.
Wings was also another semi hit for the band and also had a video on MTV. Danny Vaughn sounds great on this track and is one of my favorites here.
Seasons is an outstanding acoustic guitar based song. This song should have been released as a another single. It really is that good.
Standing Alone is the third single released from Don’t Come Easy. This is a great power ballad from this disc. Check out the video below, if you don’t remember this track.
Lay Your Body Down is pure 80′s cheese metal. The music for this track almost reminds me of RATT in some places. Nonetheless, it is a fun song, and worth checking out.
Walk on Fire starts out acoustically ala Uncle Tom’s Cabin, but then busts out into a much heavier but melodic track.
Nothing But Love is an ok track but is not one of my favorites here, however, this isn’t a filler song by any means.
Danny Vaughn is a fan of the blues and shows it on Strip Me Down as he breaks out the blues harp on the intro and body of the song. This is a funky track and very upbeat.
Sail Away has a Slaughter like bass groove about it, but it is a very cool and upbeat way to close out Don’t Come Easy.
A few things really stand out on this disc. The production is top notch, and the band sounds like a million bucks. Danny Vaughn’s voice is fantastic throughout the whole recording, and the whole band is as solid as ever. If this disc was released a couple of years earlier, it would have had much greater success. If you are a fan of good pop metal and maybe some glam, you ought to check this disc out. If you enjoyed the videos above, then this disc is a no brainer for you. This disc is becoming increasingly harder to find, and is starting to fetch higher dollars on EBay now. If you don’t own this, the time to get it is now!
Rating: Out of 10
- Forever Young
- Burning Down Inside
- Standing Alone
- Lay Your Body Down
- Walk On Fire
- Nothing But Love
- Strip Me Down
- Sail Away
Bo Bice has a new song on the Blades of Glory soundtrack, and has released the following video:
Big Cock has released a video for their track Ride on Me.
Waysted is the hard rock band formed by former UFO bassist, Pete Way. Save Your Prayers is the bands’ fourth studio disc, and first featuring vocalist Danny Vaughn. This is the highest charting release (#185) for Waysted to date.
Save Your Prayers starts with a very good upbeat rocker Walls Fall Down. Black and Blue was a small hit in the U.S.
Former UFO guitarist Paul Chapman cuts loose on Heroes Die Young. His guitar work on this song is superb. If you aren’t singing along with Danny Vaughn before this song is done, you need to have your head examined. This is a lost classic that should have helped Waysted become a household name.
Heaven Tonight may be the song that everyone remembers Waysted for. The band re-recorded this track which originally was on their The Good, The Bad, The Waysted disc from 1985. This is a killer track, and almost makes Save Your Prayers worth picking up for this song alone.
How The Wast Was Won is a very good keyboard/guitar driven rocker that reminds me somewhat of some the hard rocking songs by Journey.
Wild Night is a high-speed, head banging tune. Paul Chapman breaks loose on this track, and drummer Johnny Dee pounds the hell out of his drums and makes himself heard.
Something about Out of Control reminds me a ton of Y&T. Danny Vaughn sounds a lot like Dave Meniketti on this track. It is one of the heavier tracks on Save Your Prayers. It isn’t the best song that I have ever heard, but I like it.
A great power ballad So Long closes this disc. Danny Vaughn’s voice shines on this track. It wouldn’t have listened to this track a second time if it wasn’t for his excellent voice.
After listening to Waysted’s Save Your Prayers again for the first time in a long time, I realized how under rated this band is. Save Your Prayers is a very good melodic hard rock disc, and still a worthy pick up in 2007. This disc was re-released in 2004 by Majestic Records with two bonus tracks, and again in 2006 as a 21st Anniversary collection with a 2nd live disc. Don’t let this one slip past you again. Its well worth your money. Check it Out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Walls Fall Down
2. Black & Blue
3. Singing To The Night
4. Hell Comes Home
5. Heroes Die Young
6. Heaven Tonight
7. How The Wast Was Won
8. Wild Night
9. Out Of Control
10. So Long
German Rockers Pink Cream 69 return in 2007 with their tenth studio disc, In10sity. The name In10sity has more meaning for this disc, as guitarist Uwe Reitenauer, joins the band and compliments the playing of long time guitarist Alfred Koffler. This dual axe attack has given Pink Cream 69 a harder guitar driven sound, and quite frankly this new sound has helped to create what could be their finest release ever.
In10sity is full of some of the best melodic hard rock that I have heard in a very long time.
There are too many good songs on this disc to talk about them all. My current favorites are the Def Leppardish, No Way Out, the excellent pop metal of Crossfire,the very upbeat, I’m Not Afraid, and the kick ass track Wanna Hear You Rock.
In10sity rocks pretty hard until you get all the way down to the short little throw away track Desert Land. The pace immediately picks back up again with Out of This World (another track that I like a lot), and doesn’t stop rocking until you get to the final track, Last Train To Nowhere, which is one of the better power ballads that I have heard in a while.
This disc is my new front runner for best hard rock disc of 2007. Definitely some great stuff here, and a worthy disc to add to your hard rock collection. Check out the videos below, to hear a couple of new tracks, or stop by the bands myspace page. They also have a jukebox on their website which is www.pinkcream69.com
Rating:out of 10
- Children Of The Dawn
- No Way Out
- I’m Not Afraid
- A New Religion
- The Hour Of Freedom
- Stop This Madness
- Desert Land
- Out Of This World
- It’s Just A State Of Mind
- Wanna Hear You Rock
- My Darkest Hour (Bonus Track)
- Last Train To Nowhere
Faith and Fire was formed by Tony Moore and Mike Flyntz, former and current members of RIOT. Faith And Fire also includes Danny Miranda from Blue Oyster Cult on bass and John Miceli from Rainbow on drums.
This disc has more of a hard rock/classic rock feel than the power metal offerings of Tony Moore’s past work on RIOT’s Thundersteel and Privlege of Power.
Ready is one of the better opening tracks that I have listened to lately. Tony Moore proves quickly that he still has plenty of vocal chops in 2007.
Villanelle on the other hand did not do much for me. Everything is one of the better tracks on Accelerator. Mike Flyntz cuts loose on this track. It is an easy song to learn the lyrics to, and sing along with.
I really wanted to like Radio Superstar. This song features more excellent guitar work by Mike Flyntz, but I felt it was a little weak lyrically. Breathe is a cool ballad. The opening riff immediately reminded of Whitesnake. This is another song that will stay in my play list.
Faith and Fire is a semi upbeat number that I was hoping would be a killer song, since it shares the same name with the band. This is another track that fails to deliver the goods. Fallen is one of the heavier tracks on Accelerator, and moves into a near progressive metal territory. The guitar work by Mike Flyntz is great, but the song itself is average at best.
The title track Accelerator has some interesting elements to it and although it starts off strong, it seems to get lost in a wash of a progressive metal jam.
Angel is the second ballad on Accelerator, and is one of the better tracks here. Accelerator closes with a track that fans of Riot’s Thundersteel may be able to get into, America. Tony Moore is singing at a much higher octave on this track. The styling of this song is similar to those found on Thundersteel.
Faith and Fire’s Accelerator is not the classic disc I was hoping for. I began noticing problems with the writing early and found myself struggling to get through a couple of tracks. Accelerator does have a few moments, but there are quiet a few misses as well.
This is a disc that will appeal to some RIOT fans, especially those longing to hear Tony Moore’s voice again. You can listen to more of the tracks at CD Baby.com and the band’s myspace page here. Those looking for a quick music fix can also download the tracks from Accelerator from ITunes.
Rating:Out of 10
- Radio Superstar
- Faith and Fire
- Avenue Z
Check out the new track on the video below:
Thundersteel marked a new era in Riot history, as singer Tony Moore joined the band, and for the first time, Riot moved from a hard rock sound to more of a heavy/power metal outfit. This was the first of two discs featuring a solid lineup of Mark Reale on guitar, Tony Moore on vocals, Don Van Stavern on Bass and Bobby Jarzombek on Drums
Thundersteel should have put Riot on the map in a big way in , but this disc went largely unnoticed by hard rock fans in the U.S. CBS did not promote this, so it crashed and burned quickly. At a time when most labels were promoting their bands with music videos etc, the little band that could, Riot, continued to struggle but move forward.
Thundersteel had all the makings to become a top seller. It has the awesome vocals by Tony Moore and Mark Reale’s over the top guitar playing.
The opening cut Thundersteel is a huge power metal offering that has more in common with the power metal sound in 2007, than the hard rock of 1988. Nonetheless, you can not deny the power of this song, or the soaring vocals of Tony Moore.
Fight or Fall keeps the pace moving with a full out attack of chugging guitars and the pounding drums of Bobby Jarzombek. This is another great head banging track.
Sign of the Crimson Storm takes the tempo down a notch from the first two songs. I like this track a lot. Mark Reale cuts loose and has some great solos on this track. This song mixes well with today’s hard rock and metal and is always a good listen.
Flight of the Warrior cranks it back up again. The chugging bass of Don Van Stavern gives this track a remote Iron Maiden like feel to it. It is another great head banger.
On Wings of Eagles doesn’t let you catch your breath. At this point I was hoping that Riot would throw in a slower track. Mark Reale cuts loose big time on this track. It is a little repetitive after Flight of the Warrior, but it is still a solid track and the guitar work is excellent.
Johnny’s Back is an ultra cool headbanger with ultra fast bass riffs and guitar licks. Tony Moore approaches Tony Harnell octave level on this song. I can’t begin to tell you how cool this song is.
Bloodstreets is the closest thing to a radio friendly hit on Thundersteel. This is another highlight on this album.
Run For Your Life is a solid rocker leading up to the closing track Buried Alive. It isn’t my favorite track here but it is good.
Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart) is the longest song on this disc, clocking in close to nine minutes in length. This song has a heavy Judas Priest feel to it. This song to me is a little too lengthy, but it does have its moments. It features a great melodic intro, and some Halford like screaming by Tony Moore. The song has some creepy Sabbath like elements at times, and Reale’s guitar work shines here. It is an interesting heavy track to close out Thundersteel.
After listening to Thundersteel again in 2007, it is amazing to me that this music was written and played back 1988. Tony Moore’s vocals really help to make this disc shine, and the music by the band is very tight. Thundersteel is a lost metal classic that deserves a few new ears today. You can often find this disc for around 10 dollars today, and is well worth the price. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
- Fight or Fall
- Sign of the Crimson Storm
- Flight of the Warrior
- On Wings of Eagles
- Johnny’s Back
- Run For Your Life
- Buried Alive (Tell Tale Heart)
This disc reached platinum level status and peaked at 18th on the U.S. charts.
Being released around the same time that I went into college, you would think I have would have fond memories of this disc, but in 2007, I rarely play this anymore.
To me, the opening track, Crazy, Crazy Nights was kind of lame. This song was a little bit too bubblegum to me. It was a pretty big hit in the UK but not as big in the U.S. A lot of people like this song, but I can’t get into this one.
I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You is a much better song. It sounds more like classic KISS and features some excellent guitar playing by Bruce Kulick.
Bang Bang You is a solid rock anthem that never reached the hit level status that it deserved.
Bruce Kulick plays like a wildman on No, No, No. This is a heavier track than the previous three, and totally kicks ass.
Hell or High Water also sounds like classic KISS. It is a harder edged anthem that I would love to hear KISS play live. More great guitar work by Kulick on this song. Great stuff!
Paul Stanley’s vocals shine on My Way. This is more of a pop rock keyboard driven effort. Although Kulick does have an awesome solo on this track, it doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other songs on Crazy Nights.
When the Walls Come Down is a pretty good upbeat rocker. There isn’t a whole lot to the lyrics on this song aside from “When the Walls Come Down”, but it is still a solid track.
Reason to Live is the lone power ballad on Crazy Nights, and it is a damn good one at that. Paul Stanley’s vocals are excellent here.
Paul Stanley hands the mic over to Gene Simmons for Good Girl Gone Bad. It is a pretty good song and keeps the flow going well on Crazy Nights.
Turn on Night is the more of a pop oriented track.. This song was co written by Paul Stanley and Dianne Warren. This is not one of my favorite songs on Crazy Nights. It feels like filler to me.
Thief in the Night was originally written and recorded by Wendy O. Williams, WOW album back in 1984. The same disc that was produced by Gene Simmons. The KISS version sounds better but this song isn’t anything special.
This enjoyed listening to this CD far more than I expected. I think I must have confused it with Hot in the Shade, which I didn’t care for at all. I am glad to have been reintroduced to this disc in 2007. I will be keeping this one in my playlist for the indefinite future. Thanks to Steve over at Heavy Metal Addiction for picking this disc this week. If you don’t own this one, you need to give this one another look!
Rating: Out of 10
Check out what the Metal Madness Knights are saying about KISS Crazy Nights at the links below: Heavy Metal Time Machine, Heavy Metal Addiction, and Pulses, Verses and other Flotsam! We hope you enjoyed March Metal Madness as much as we did. Let us know what you thought of it, and as always….keep it Heavy!!
- Crazy, Crazy Nights
- I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You
- Bang Bang You
- No, No, No
- Hell or High Water
- My Way
- When the Walls Come Down
- Reason To Live
- Good Girl Gone Bad
- Turn on the Night
- Thief in the Night
I always used to blame my love for hard rock and heavy metal music on my sister. She would come home from high school and play Judas Priest’s Green Manaleshi, next thing I knew, I would race home from school to watch MTV’s hard rock show that was on at 3 P.M. every day. From that point, I was hooked forever.
The other day, I was in my local record shop ( I don’t think I can ever stop calling them records) and was flipping through the used CD’s and stumbled on Dressed to Kill. I saw 30 years of my life flash before me in an instance. The neighbors that I grew up had an LP of Dressed to Kill back around the time when I was a mere 7 years ago. I remember us playing that record over and over again. I remeber the LP cover like it was yesterday, but had forgotten all about those days of playing the record until seeing this cover again. Strangely enough, I didn’t pick up a copy of this until now.
It is amazing to me how some music is so timeless. In 2007, Dressed to Kill still sounds great. The song writing was simple, and the songs were all pretty short. This disc clocks in shy of 30 minutes for 10 songs. For being a such a short listen, it is still a damn good one.
The song I remember best on this disc is She. We must have played that song a thousand times. It has a killer groove and is one of my favorites. I have heard Rock and Roll All Night more times that I can remember and didn’t realize that it came from this disc. No one can deny that this is the biggest rock anthem of all time. I also recall playing Room Service to death, so much so, that I can almost sing the lyrics. Its interesting what stays in your subconcious.
Another song that we played the hell of on this disc is C’mon and Love Me. This is another great KISS classic.
The acoustic intro Rock Bottom is cool as hell. This is another killer song on this disc.
If you haven’t picked this up yet, you are really missing out on an excellent hard rock classic. After listening to this disc a couple of times, you can easily pick up how KISS influenced so many of the bands that became staples in our music collections in the years to come.
Rating: Out of 10
- Room Service
- Two Timer
- Ladies In Waiting
- Get Away
- Rock Bottom
- C’mon and Love Me
- Anything For My Baby
- Love Her All I Can
- Rock And Roll All Night
Per Metal Blade Records, the 25th Anniversary Edition Series are to commemorate 25 years of the LOUDEST, HARDEST, HEAVIEST and the very best HEAVY METAL on the planet, METAL BLADE RECORDS will re-release seminal Metal albums from artists that have and continue to shape and influence the genre.
Did Lizzy Borden shape and influence the genre? I can’t honestly say. If it wasn’t for some recent mentions of Lizzy Borden over at Metal Mark’s site, I don’t know if I would have picked this up. I can honestly say that before 2007, I have not heard any Lizzy Borden songs. For some reason, this is one of those bands that I passed over back in the day.
Metal Blade sweetened the deal by adding Bonus songs and a DVD, all for the price of a single CD. I stumbled on this on my last trip to the local records shop and decided to give this a shot.
Master of Disguise features some guest stars including David Michael-Phillips from King Kobra, and Big Cock, and Joey Vera from Armored Saint and Fates Warning.
Lead singer, Lizzy Borden reminds of Bruce Dickinson at time, but I think he sings at a higher register than Bruce.
The music itself is somewhat different from the hair metal releases of 1989. This is a harder yet melodic rock release that is almost glam in nature. Lizzy Borden fans call this the Lizzy Borden solo cd and not a true band effort. Either way is a solid hard rock effort that I am glad to have taken a chance on in 2007.
The highlights on this disc are the Iron Maiden like Master of Disguise, Love is a Crime, Sins of the Flesh, Never Too Young, and We Got the Power.
The bonus tracks Vampire’s Kiss and The Orchestra really didn’t add anything to the original release but are a nice pickup if you didn’t own this cd already.
Strangely enough, two videos that I never managed to catch during the 80′s MTV Head Banger’s Ball, were those below:
Love is a Crime
We Got the Power
Master of Disguise is one of those CD’s that gets better with every listen. This disc will appeal to just about everyone that is a fan of 80′s Hard Rock. This disc is a solid intro and may whet your appetite for their new disc coming out this summer. You can find more information on Lizzy Borden at LizzyBorden.com. or at their myspace page here.
- Master of Disguise
- One False Move
- Love is a Crime
- Sins of the Flesh
- Never Too Young
- Be One of Us
- Waiting in the Wings
- Roll Over and Play Dead
- Under the Rose
- We Got the Power
- Vampires Kiss (Bonus Track)
- The Orchestra (Bonus Track)
Lizzy Borden is:
Lizzy Borden – Vocals
David Michael Phillips – Guitars
Ronnie Judge – Guitars
Mychal Davis – Bass
Joey Scott – Drums
My special Tin cover edition of MKII arrived in the mail on Monday. Yea!! The CD and booklet came in a cool tin box (pictured to the left) and the CD came with the video for Lost and Gone (see below.)
I have been anxiously awaiting this new disc by Masterplan. This CD is the 3rd by the band, but the first with former Riot vocalist Mike DiMeo, and Yngwie Malmstee drummer Mike Terrana. Mike DiMeo has some huge shoes to fill, as he is filling the lead vocal position that was vacated by Jorn Lande late in 2006.
MK II starts with a majestic opening called Phoenix Rising, before blasting off with a high speed power metal offering, Warriors Cry. This isn’t my favorite track on this disc by any means, and seems like an odd placement early in the disc.
Lost and Gone on the other hand is a very cool radio ready mid tempo rock song. It is one of my early favorites on MK II.
Keeps Me Burning is a very good upbeat rocker and a nice follow up to Lost and Gone. This could easily be the second single from MKII.
Take Me Over is an great melodic track. DiMeo’s voice shines hear. ( I can almost hear Jorn singing this.) Roland Grapow absolutely flies on the guitar on this track. Great Stuff!
I really could not get into I’m Gonna Win. I did not care for the melody on this song. The song has a good message to it, but I would have preferred a different arrangement all together on this one.
Yes! Now this is what I am talking about! Watching the World is an up tempo rocker with a very cool majestic sounding keyboard by Axel Mackenrot. This is another excellent head banger on MK II.
Call the Gipsy is a very cool mid tempo number. DiMeo sings in a lower register quite a bit on this song, and sounds very much like Jorn Lande here. A short but great track.
I had to listen to Trust In You a couple of times to really gain an opinion. This track stars as slow piano based number, and builds into mid to low tempo guitar driven song. At this point, I think Mike DiMeo could sing the alphabet and sound good, but this song didn’t really grab me. I think as I continue to hear it, it will grow me on me more. The music is superb, but I need more time with this one.
If you are going to name a song after your band, it better be damn good. Masterplan is a full out power metal assault. DiMeo’s vocals are awesome, and the rest of band chants MAS – TER – PLAN! What is not to love? The band sounds like they are ready to blast off on this track. Too cool!
Enemy is the third song on MKII that I could see a possible single being made from. Roland Grapow really kicks it into gear on this song. Mike Terrana keeps the beat going strong and creates the need to break out the air drums. Great!
Heart of Darkness is another track that I could easily hear Jorn singing. DiMeo shows off his powerful voice on this track. I like Axel Mackenrott’s keyboards here a lot. As a whole this a whale of a song. It has multiple tempo changes, killer guitar work, great vocals and keyboards. It is a very good way to close out MKII.
Now the answer to the question that a lot of Masterplan fans are asking, is this CD as good as Aeronautics. For me, it is not. MK II is a solid offering, but it would have taken a lot to surpass Aeronautics. I do believe that this line up of Masterplan has the ability to make some amazing music together, and that the potential for greatness still lies ahead for these guys. There are some signs of pure metal brilliance on MK II. This disc will certainly appeal to Masterplan fans, and will probably make a bunch of new fans as well.
Rating: Out of 10
- Phoenix Rising
- Warriors Cry
- Lost and Gone
- Keeps Me Burning
- Take Me Over
- I’m Gonna Win
- Watching the World
- Call the Gipsy
- Trust In You
- Heart of Darkness
A new surprise contender for best album of 2007 has come from the Norway Metal band Grand Lux. I never heard of these guys before digging up some info on them last month, I heard a couple of songs, and decided to pick up their new disc on a whim. Based on what I have heard on Carved In Stone, I will be buying their back catalog.
Grand Lux states their influences as Dio, Kiss, Ozzy Ozbourne and Judas Priest. The influence of these bands is quite obvious in the music. Lead Singer, Phil Goode sounds like a mix of Michael Sweet and a dash of Rob Halford for good measure. The guitar duo of B.D. Hughes and Kirk Evin, really make this disc a worthy listen. It is a heavy, yet very polished sounding hard rock record.
One of the coolest hard rock videos I have seen in a while is their video for Escaping the Clouds, which you can view below.
If you like the video above, you ought to give Grand Lux a listen. Carved in Stone rocks hard from beginning to end, and there isn’t a bad song in the bunch. I think if you take a chance on this disc you will be pleasantly surprised like I was. You can check out a few of their tunes at their myspace page here!
Rating:Out of 10
- 1000 Paper Cranes
- Fallen Angel
- Escaping the Clouds
- Eye of the Storm
- Through Dirt
- Like Hail From Blue Sky
- Love Reflection
- Never Fall
- Eternity In Fire
- Rainbow’s End
The Legacy is the debut by San Francisco thrash metallers Testament. I must admit that I am not a large fan of Thrash metal, but I have enjoyed songs by the big 4 (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax). I can honestly say that before 2007, I have not heard or listened to the Legacy.
I was first exposted to Testament back in 1990 through the MTV Headbanger’s ball, and specifically their song Souls of Black. I picked up that disc back in the day, but never picked up any of their other discs.
Off the Wall starts this disc off with a hyper speed thrash attack. Louie Clemente sounds like he is going to pound the drums through the floor, and 19 year old Alex Skolnick surprises the world with his incredible heavy guitar playing.
I really like the heavy guitar riff on The Haunting. Chuck Billy’s fast paced vocal delivery on this track can only send the masses into a moshing frenzy.
Burnt Offerings teases you with an Iron Maiden like beginning before blasting off into a high speed assault on the ears. The main guitar riff on this track is quite simplistic in nature, but is still very cool. Skolnick and Peterson shred like crazy on this track.
I immediately felt the need to break out the air guitar on Raging Waters, and I think ended up with whiplash from headbanging to this tune. Thrash metal doesn’t get much better than this.
C.O.T.L.O.D. or Curse of the Legions of Death was more enjoyable for me after I read the lyrics. Its an extemely short track, but a good listen. This track is one that needs to grow on you.
First Strike is Deadly and Do or Die are the kind of thrash songs that I usually don’t like as much. The frantic pace of these songs is so high that I can’t enjoy the guitar work as much as I normally would. First Strike’s saving grace is the awesome guitar solo towards the end of the song. With a few more listen’s Do or Die started growing on me a little more. You can almost sing along with Chuck Billy’s chant on this one.
The beginning guitar work on Alone in Dark sounds so good, it makes me wonder how good Testament could sound if Alex Skolnick slowed his playing down below light speed. This song has grown on me a lot more after several listens.
Apocalyptic City reminds me very much of old Metallica. It starts off slow and builds into a furious, head banging, full speed fret flailing monster. I really like this track a lot. It is a pretty amazing way to end (or in some senses start) The Legacy.
I have found over the last few weeks that this disc mixes well with the other stuff I am listening to a regular basis, and I decided to keep this disc in my playlist. I think a little thrash music is good for the soul from time to time. Thanks to Ray Van Horn Jr. for picking this disc in March Metal Madness!
Rating: Out of 10
- Over the Wall
- The Haunting
- Burnt Offerings
- Raging Waters
- First Strike is Deadly
- Do or Die
- Alone In the Dark
- Apocalyptic City
I found this little nugget on John Sykes page today. The 12 minute video below is John Sykes last show with Whitesnake in Rio back in 1985.
David Coverdale sounds a little rough here, but Sykes is awesome…..its worth viewing. Let me know what you think about this! Check it out!