Extreme’s debut CD hit the hair metal scene in 1989. I always thought their debut CD was a little hit
and miss. There are some good songs, and there are a few tunes that feel like filler material.
The one thing that propels Extreme past many of their peers is the superb guitar work of Nuno Bettencourt. Without Nuno, I often wonder if this band would have been a blip on the musical radar.
Bettencourt adds a funky groove to Extreme’s music that helps seperate them from so many of the bands that oversatured the music scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s. The band broke out in 1989 with several videos on MTV that launched a fairly solid career for Gary Cherone and company.
This self titled debut isn’t the band’s strongest effort by any means, but it is definitely worth a listen. Check out the songs Wind Me Up, Kid Ego, or the Play With Me, and you will certainly have a rocking good time.
This is one of those discs that you have to get out from time to time, if only to hear Bettencourt shred. His guitar work on Play With Me is worth the price of admission, all by itself.
Extreme has reunited in 2007, and will play the first show of their 2008 tour, at the Rocklahoma music festival in July. For more information on Extreme, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Little Girls
2. Wind Me Up
3. Kid Ego
4. Watching, Waiting
5. Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)
6. Teacher’s Pet
7. Big Boys Don’t Cry
8. Smoke Signals
9. Flesh ‘N’ Blood
10. Rock A Bye Bye
11. Play With Me
Gary Cherone – Vocals
Nuno Bettencourt – Guitars
Pat Badger – Bass
Paul Geary – Drums
Quite a few bands have mentioned Watch Tower as one of their influences. Watch Tower’s impact on progressive rock and metal can be heard on their debut record, Energetic Disassembly.
This CD is a fairly short listen, clocking in at under forty minutes, but it is definitely worth the time spent.
Not only did Energetic Disassembly launch the careers of Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys/Broken Teeth) and Billy White., it also influenced the sound of many future progressive metal acts, including Dream Theater.
This Texas quartet’s music is best described as technical thrash. Think early Metallica style thrash with a bunch of progressive style time changes. Those of you who are familiar with Jason McMaster’s work in Dangerous Toys, have never heard him sing like this. Most of his vocals are sung at a higher, ear splitting register. His vocal approach was a lot more common by the speed metal acts of the 80’s.
The musicianship is nothing short of stellar on this disc. Not only does Billy White’s guitar work shine on this disc, but Doug Keyser’s bass work really stands out. Watch Tower’s sound may be a little on the experimental side, but fans of early 80’s thrash, will most certainly like this. If there are any downfalls with this disc, it would be with the production. The production quality is a little on the thin side, but this doesn’t hurt your listening experience.
Those wanting to hear one of the early pioneers of thrash metal music need to seek out Energetic Disassembly. This disc was out of print for quite some time, and was recently reissued by Rockadrome. It can be purchased from CD Baby.com. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Violent Change
3. Tyrants in distress
4. Social Fears
5. Energetic Disassembly
6. Argonne Forest
7. Cimmerian Shadows
Jason McMaster / vocals
Billy White / guitar
Doug Keyser / bass
Rick Colaluca / drums
Clusterhead is a 4 piece band from Regensburg, Germany. After 3 EP’s, the band has finally released their first full length CD, in 2008.
Times of No Trust starts off with a heavy, melodic tune Tears I’ve Cried, that sounds like a cross between Gotthard and the Scorpions. This is first tune that I have heard by Clusterhead, and it only made me hungry to hear more.
The title track, Times of No Trust, has a lot of loud, crunching guitars. I like the writing in the song, but for some reason the music doesn’t flow very well for me.
Rene Brandt really cuts loose with his Halford like screams on the track, Made of Stone. The heavy guitars really get you headbanging, and the keyboards give this song a semi-creepy edge to it. Cool stuff!
Clusterhead slows it down with the melodic tune, Ghosts. This mid tempo track screams hit, if a few radio stations pick this song up. I hear elements in this song that reminds me of both Queensryche, and Dokken. This is a very good tune.
The Human Factor is NOT a Metal Church cover tune, but maybe it should be. I replayed this song a few times, but I just could not get into it. It needed a little more variety in the guitar work to kick it in to gear.
Poisoned is another melodic number that I thought needed something. At times, I thought this song was overpowered by the keyboard melodies. The deep background vocals did not help out either.
Deep in the Night is jumpstarted by the double bass drumming of Reudiger Tonn. After hearing this, I wondered why Clusterhead chose to wait until this late in the album to inject the heavy machine gun rhythms into a song. Either way, I like this song a lot.
The opening guitar riffs on Prediction of a Night steers Clusterhead into an almost W.A.S.P. Like territory. Solid musicianship, cool bass riffs, and more Halford like screams enhance this tune. Good stuff!
Your Confession started out strong enough, with its heavy progressive rhythms, but this song is missing something, and some of the vocal parts didn’t really work for me.
If Dead Faint doesn’t get you singing fiiiiire, you headphones must be broke. This is one of the catchier songs by Clusterhead.
Hole In My Heart has some parts that bring Whitesnake’s Still of the Night to mind. While this song is not to that level, it is a pretty good tune, and a very solid way to close out this album.
Times of No Trust invokes memories of a lot of hard rock bands that I enjoyed from the 80’s, but only in parts. Clusterhead is a pretty good band with solid musicianship. I think on some songs they rely too much on the hard crunching guitars instead of letting Frank Stadbauer guitar work shine the way I believe it could. There are some pretty good songs on this album, and there are some that are fairly average.
If you are willing to take your time with this disc, I think you will find some good metal music you can enjoy.
For more information on Clusterhead, check out the band’s myspace page.
1. Tears I’ve Cried
2. Times Of No Trust
3. Made Of Stone
5. The Human Factor
7. Deep In The Night
8. Prediction Of A Fight
9. Your Confession
10. Dead Faint
11. Hole In My Heart
Rene Brandt – Vocals
Reudiger Tonn – Drums
Andreas Meyer – Bass
Frank Stadbauer – Guitar
Another young San Francisco band has set out to return 80’s style thrash metal to the masses.
The band has a style that blends the early metal style of Metallica and Slayer. Yes, their work is nothing unique. It sounds like the band is heavily influenced by Metallica’s early work, and I am ok with that.
Even if the music is derivative of Hatchet’s idols, it most certainly rocks, and rocks hard. Awaiting Evil offers plenty of thrash metal punch for this 80’s thrash metal fan. Julz Ramos and Sterling Bailey are solid axe men who show an amazing amount of potential. Marcus Kirchen has a look that reminds me of Ripper Owens. His voice vascillates between a strong clean metal vocal, and a coarse growly style of singing. He isn’t a cookie monster style of singer, and for that, I am grateful. I have heard enough of those type of singers to last me a lifetime.
The nine songs on Awaiting Evil clock in just shy of 42 minutes. On this record you will hear plenty of high speed drumming, tons of guitar noodling and enough solid trash metal to give you whiplash.
Metal Blade has found an excellent new band to carry on the torch for thrash metal. To hear more songs, and find more information on the band, check out the Hatchet myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Darkening Skies
2. Frailty Of The Flesh
3. Sealed Fate
4. Frozen Hell
5. Attack Imminent
6. Morlocks Tomb
7. Storm The Gates
8. The Dead Will March
9. Awaiting Evil
Marcus (Tormentor) Kirchen- Vocals
Julz Ramos – Lead Guitars
Sterling (McFly) Bailey – Guitars
Slave – Drums
Dan (Destroyer) Voight – Bass
In January 2007 Classic Rock Magazine hand picked Art of Dying as one of the Top 15 Bands To Watch worldwide. CRM’s recommendation did not fall on deaf ears.
The band has been out on the road with may of today’s biggest hard rock acts including Seether, Saliva, Hinder and Papa Roach. The band is opening up for Disturbed’s 2008. I saw them for the first time last Wednesday night, but has only gotten to know a couple of their songs prior to that show.
Art of Dying is a modern rock band, featuring the awesome vocals of Tony Hetherington. At times Hetherington’s vocals can be velvety smooth, and other other times have a rough edge that drives the harder tunes.
There are several good cuts on this disc including Get Through This, Completely, Inside It’s Raining and Fits of Clarity. Several U.S. stations have picked up the song Get Through This. This song has the potential to be a monster hit for Art of Dying.
The only drawback I can see with AOD, is that their sound is somewhat derivative of the modern hard rock acts of today. Their sound is not original, and as a result, they may get lost amongst the more popular artists out there.
To their credit, the five gentleman making up Art of Dying have crafted a fine hard rock disc, that will be getting a lot of spins from me now. I like this disc, and think a bunch of you will too. If you like bands like Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman, or Daughtry, definitely look into Art of Dying. Their CD is not available in the U.S. except through online retailers like See of Sound.com.
Check out Art of Dying on their myspace page!
1. Get Through This
2. You Don’t Know Me
3. I Will Be There
4. Fits of Clarity
5. Inside It’s Raining
7. Do What You Can
9. Car Crash
11. Build a Wall
12. Dog Is My Copilot
Art of Dying is:
Greg Bradley – Guitar
Flavio Arillo – Drums
Tony Hetherington – Vocals
Matt Rhose – Bass
Chris Witolsi – Guitar
I don’t know what is happening in the Bluegrass state, but I am starting to see a trend where more and more good hard rock and metal acts are coming from the state of Kentucky.
Dead Child doesn’t follow the trend of newer metal acts. They don’t employ cookie monster as a singer. They are not a death metal or hardcore band, they are straight up heavy metal.
If I were to compare Dead Child to existing metal acts, I would describe them as a blend of Metal Church, Suicidal Tendencies and maybe a dabble of Metallica. They aren’t a dead ringer for any band that is out there today. One thing is for certain, they flat out rock.
Dead Child dishes up several cuts that will instigate headbanging all over the planet. The galloping guitars Michael McMahan, and David Christian Pajo, and the crunching rhythm of Todd Cook and Tony Bailey will certainly appeal to the majority of metal heads out there.
My listening habits have been leaning towards the heavy metal side of the fence as of late, and I have been enjoying Attack a great deal. I think a bunch of you will too!
For more information on Dead Child, and to preview some of their songs, check out the band’s myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Sweet Chariot
2. Never Bet The Devil Your Head
3. Twitch of The Death Nerve
4. Screaming Skull
5. Rattlesnake Chalice
6. Eye To The Brain
7. Armies Up Ahead
8. The Coldest Hands
9. Angel of The Odd
10. Wasp Riot
11. Black Halo Rider
Dead Child is:
Tony Bailey – drums
Todd Cook – bass
Dahm – vocals
Michael McMahan – guitar
David Christian Pajo- guitar
I consider myself a fairly big Savatage fan, so when Jon Oliva puts out new music, I am usually one of his loyal consumers.
With Oliva’s new CD, he included more guitar riffs from his late brother Criss, that him and his wife found in an old shoebox. Criss Oliva is credited with 6 songs on this record. Even after his passing, Criss Oliva’s legacy carries on with Global Warning.
Global Warning is a little more experimental than the last JOP release, Maniacal Renderings. As a result, this is the kind of music that requires multiple listens to full absorb.
Those looking for heavy rockers will be happy to hear cuts like Adding the Cost, Before I Hang, Master, and The Ride.
This album’s strengths are also its weaknesses. Some of the cuts are like a psychedelic blend of Pink Floyd, Queen, and Savatage. Die hard fans are going to dig it, but those looking for songs with more structure, and tighter compositions might be disappointed. This isn’t what I would consider Jon Oliva’s best work, but it certainly deserves a listen or two.
You can preview some songs on the Jon Oliva myspace page. Check ‘em out!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Global Warning
2. Look at the World
3. Adding the Cost
4. Before I Hang
7. The Ride
8. O to G
9. Walk Upon the Water
11. Open Up Your Eyes
12. You Never Know
14. No More Saturday Nights
Jon Oliva’s Pain is:
Jon Oliva – Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitars Organ
Matt Laporte – Guitars, Vocals
Christopher Kinder – Drums, Percussions, vocals
Kevin Rothney – Bass, Fretless Bass, and vocals
John Zahner – Keyboards, Organ
In 1994, hard rock was on life support. Unless a band was wearing flannel and sung about how much their life sucked, chances are they didn’t get any airplay.
During this time, Tesla managed to sneak out one of their better releases. Sadly, Bust A Nut fell under the radar for many rock fans.
Bust A Nut, is one of Tesla’s heavier records, but their are plenty of tunes on this disc that are very much in the style that Tesla fans have grown accustomed to.
The first three songs on Bust a Nut have the heaviest guitar riffs, I have ever heard Frank Hannon and Tommy Skeoch record, but Jeff Keith’s raspy voice has a way of keeping Tesla’s music from venturing too far into the metal realm.
Bust a Nut has several hits that Tesla often performs live including Try So Hard, Shine Away, and the excellent Mama’s Fool.
There are some other excellent heavy cuts including Action Talks, Cry and Earth Mover. This album also features the Tesla live staple, A Lot To Lose.
If the album has any faults, it would be the Joe South cover song, Games People Play, which doesn’t really fit the mood of the album, in my opinion. The song is good, but it seems out of place.
Out of the entire Tesla discography, only Mechanical Resonance gets more airplay from me. Bust a Nut is a killer heavy record that should be in the collection of every hard rock fan. You can find copies of this record, for next to nothing at Amazon.com.
Rating:Out of 10
1. The Gate/ Invited
3. Shine Away
4. Try So Hard
5. She Want She Want
6. Need Your Lovin’
7. Action Talks
8. Mama’s Fool
10. Earth Mover
11. A Lot To Lose
13. A Wonderful World
14. Games People Play
Vocals – Jeff Keith
Guitars – Frank Hannon
Guitars – Tommy Skeoch
Bass – Brian Wheat
Drums – Troy Luccketta
Many of the artists who were highly successful in the 80’s have tried reigniting their careers with sounds that take listeners back to their heyday. Whitesnake, Def Leppard and House of Lords have all released discs that their fans should be pleased with. Dokken tries to recapture the lightning, or sound that once made them famous as well.
George Lynch and Jeff Pilson have long been absent from the band. In fact, the current lineup of Dokken, Brown, Sparks and Levin, is one of the longest running for Dokken, since the bands’ most successful discs from the mid to late 80’s. It is ironic that this lineup, tries to emulate the sound of the Lynch/Pilson era. Jon Levin does a damn good George Lynch imitation, and he really cuts loose on this record. Don Dokken recruited none other than Jeff Scott Soto to sing back up vocals on this record, and it really does make a difference. That unfortunately is where the good ends and the bad begins.
In 2008, Don Dokken has very limited range with his vocals. He doesn’t take the chances that he used to in the 80’s, and that is what made their music interesting, and exciting. I am assuming that Don can’t hit the high notes anymore, as he doesn’t bother to try on Lightning Strikes Again. He stays within his own comfort zone, and as a result, the songs on this disc lack the fire of the band’s earlier material. On certain songs, Don sounds like he strains to hit the notes that he use to hit with ease.
As much as I wanted to enjoy this record, I found the songs limp and uninspiring. There are three or four songs on this disc that are above average, but the majority of the material is sub par in my opinion. The music sounds close to their original stuff from the 80’s, but without the powerful vocals that these songs deserve, they come out sounding somewhat below average. After three lackluster albums since the year 2000, I believe it is time for the band Dokken to hang it up. Lightning did not strike again for this listener.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Standing On The Outside
2. Give Me A Reason
3. Heart To Stone
5. How I Miss Your Smile
7. Point Of No Return
8. I Remember
9. Judgment Day
10. It Means
11. Release Me
12. This Fire
Don Dokken – vocals
Mick Brown – drums
Jon Levin – guitar
Barry Sparks – bass
Back in my high school days, I was exposed to the powerful voice that belongs to Doro Pesch. My first experience was with the band Warlock and their release True as Steel. I discovered this band through the magic of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, and was an instant fan. I wore out the cassette of True as Steel years ago, and the high import prices kept me away, as True as Steel has been out of print in the United States for years. Recently, a used copy turned up in the local Rock Shop, and I could not pass it up.
If you haven’t ever heard Warlock before, their brand of metal music is on the harder side of Dokken, and the Scorpions. This is heavy guitar oriented music, that is loaded with
guitar solos and most importanly, excellent musicianship. Make no mistake about it, few female metal singers can hold a candle to Doro Pesch. Her vocals is what makes this disc
stand out. Her potent metal screams on True as Steel made me a fan of hers for life.
This album has plenty of good metal to crank up. Some of the stand out tunes on this record are Mr. Gold, Fight For Rock, Vorwarts, All Right and the title track, True as Steel.
Warlock is a very under rated band, and it is a shame that this group is not around today. Doro Pesch still tours as a solo act, and performs several tunes from Warlock library. You can find more information on Doro at Doro Pesch.com.
True as Steel is one of the better Metal albums of 1986. It is definitely worth picking up if you can find a copy of it.
Rating:Out of 10
- Fight For Rock
- Speed of Sound
- Midnite in China
- Vorwarts, All Right
- True As Steel
- Lady In A Rock ‘n’ Roll Hell
- Love Song
- Igloo on the Moon (Reckless)
Doro Pesch – Vocals
Peter Szigeti – Guitar
Niko Arvanitis – Guitar
Frank Rittel – Bass
Michael Eurich – Drums
The band formerly known as Fight Paris, has a new CD out. This is a 2nd debut of sorts for this Georgia 4 piece. The band parted ways with their original name, singer and sound. Originally, Fight Paris was a hardcore outfit. As Stonerider, they have done a transformation of sorts, chaning their sound to a hard/classic rock type of sound.
Knowing that the Stonerider are on the road with Endeverafter and Airbourne, made their CD, Three Legs of Trouble one that I must check out. After listening to this disc a few times over the last couple of weeks, I can say I am glad that I picked this disc up.
The opening cut Rush Hour, Baby holds a lot of Led Zeppelin like style to it, while maintaining some killer groove. This is an excellent way to start off of a disc, and one of the best new songs I have heard in a while.
Back from the Dead keeps the pace going, and there are more Page-like guitar riffs throughout this tune.
I love the funky groove of Ramble Down. This song has a more Hendrix vibe to it, than Zeppelin. It is a very cool song, and one of the better ones on Three Legs of Trouble.
At this point in the album, the band seems to have a more modern rocking vibe that is somewhere between Buckcherry and Tesla than anything close to the 70’s era of rock.
Juice Man is more of a high octane rocker, while Wild Child is more of a mid-tempo song. Both Juice Man and Wild Child are great hard rocking tunes.
Champ Champagne shows off his bass playing talent in Bad Lovin Never Felt So Good.
I have to admit that I could have done with out the cover of Nazareth’s Hair of the Dog. Far too many bands have covered this Nazareth tune, including, Britny Fox, Guns N’ Roses, Warrant, MSG and countless others. This has to be the most over covered song by rock bands today. The Stonerider’s version isn’t bad. It is actually kind of cool, but I have come to loathe this song, after hearing so many variations of it over the years.
Matt Tanner has a great rock voice. He has a slight raspiness to his voice, which works well with this music. The guitars of Matt Tanner and Neil Warren deliver a very good, hard rocking bluesy type of sound that so few bands today are able to reproduce.
Without question, there is a new player in the resurgence of classic rock. Stonerider is going to be one of bigger new bands out there, if they play their cards right. Their album, Three Legs of Trouble does not disappoint. It is definitely one of the better releases of 2008! Don’t miss this record!
You can preview some of the songs at Stonerider’s myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Rush Hour, Baby
2. Back From the Dead
3. Ramble Down
4. Juice Man
5. Wild Child
6. Bad Lovin Never Felt So Good
7. Hair of the Dog
8. Bite My Tongue
10. Shut My Mouth
Matt Tanner – Vocals, Guitar
Neil Warren (Staxxx) – Guitar
Champ Champagne – Bass guitar, Vocals
Jason Krutzky – Drums
After ODIN slit up in the late 80’s, singer Randy O was able to secure another record deal with Atlantic Records, for his band, Lostboys. Lostboys also included former ODIN guitar player, Jeff Duncan.
Lostboys played a fairly typical brand of hair metal, that was quite common for 1990. At times Randy O sounds quite a bit like, Drew Hannah from the band Wildside. Some of the songs on Lost and Found are hit and miss, but there are a few good tracks including Crying Out, Right on Track and the title track, Lost and Found.
Lostboys sound certainly doesn’t set them apart from so many of the bands of the early 90’s, and are one of the more obscure bands of the era. The guitar work by Jeff Duncan is very good, but Randy O’s vocals can often go from cool to annoying very quickly. With that being said, I am not crazy about this CD. If you like the CD, Under the Influence from Wildside, you might find a few songs that you enjoy here. Some songs are decent, and others are quite bad.
The cost of admission makes this one that might be worth exploring for you. You can find copies of this disc on Amazon.com for less than a dollar. Tread at your own risk!
Rating:Out of 10
1. Cryin’ Out
2. Right on Track
3. Lonely Man
4. Cool Me Down
5. Seaside Lover
6. Lost and Found
7. Flying Free
9. In the Middle
10. Shot Song
Randy O – Vocals
Jeff Duncan – Guitars
Patrick Gainor – Rhythm Guitar
James Tavis – Bass
Dorian Matson – Drums
A four piece sleaze metal band, Erotic Suicide from Oklahoma released their debut CD in 1994. Sleaze Metal
was already dealt its crushing blow from the release of grunge music. Rock music of the glam/sleaze genre released after 1993 is largely unknown by most hard rock fans.
Sadly, Abusement Park is one of the CD’s that was released way too late in the game. If this CD, was released 5 years earlier, this band could have easily been a household name in the hair metal scene.
Erotic Suicide has a sound that I describe as Faster Pussycat meets Poison. It is a sound that was quite common in the late 80’s, and early 90’s. Although the band’s sound is nothing original, it is a disc that I still enjoy from time to time.
This CD is one of the more rare ones in my collection. Finding this one is virtually impossible
withough paying high dollars on EBay. Is it worth the hunt? If you like this style of music, it most certainly is. My favorite cuts on this disc are Can’t Remember, Goin Down and Sweet Summer Nights.
Check out the video below for Can’t Remember and decide for yourself! Happy Hunting!
Rating:Out of 10
2. Can’t Remember
3. Goin’ Down
4. Comes Around Goes Around
5. Mean Sex Machine
6. You’re So Cool
7. Ties Me Up
8. You Get What You Pay For
9. Wait a Minute
10. Sweet Summer Nights
Erotic Suicide is:
Rachal Rose – Vocals
Kyle St. Clair – Guitar
Leslie Kane Blak – Bass
DD Rose – Drums
If you were to ask me what my favorite CD’s of 1984 were, my response would likely be, Van Halen’s 1984, Iron Maiden’s Powerslave, Judas Priest’s Defenders of the Faith, Metallica’s Ride the Lightning, and RATT’s Out of the Cellar. There are probably quite a few others that I am forgetting about. My point is, 1984 was an awesome year for hard rock. In the case of RATT’s Out of the Cellar, this is certainly one of the biggest releases of ’84.
This disc is RATT’s first full length record, and it is a damn good one. With a little help from MTV, the band gained success quickly with their video Round and Round. This song went on to become a hit, and Out of the Cellar ended up with 4 more hits, Wanted Man, Back For More, Lack of Communication and I’m Insane.
Stephen Pearcy’s raspy vocal delivery was unlike anyone at the time, and combined guitar efforts of Warren De Martini and Robbin Crosby were second to none. Whether you have ever liked RATT or not, you can not deny, that Out of the Cellar is the bands’ best release ever.
The band may not be creating new tunes in 2008, but Out of the Cellar stands up well today, and is an instant classic. This CD should be in the hands of every rock fan on the planet.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Wanted Man
2. You’re In Trouble
3. Round And Round
4. In Your Direction
5. She Wants Money
6. Lack Of Communication
7. Back For More
8. The Morning After
9. I’m Insane
10. Scene Of The Crime
Stephen Pearcy – Vocals
Robbin Crosby – Guitars
Warren De Martini – Guitars
Juan Croucier – Bass
Bobby Blotzer – Drums
Quite possibly one of the biggest hard rock anthems of the 1980’s came from Autograph’s Sign In Please. The tune Turn Up The Radio, was a top 30 hit, and helped push the album Sign in Please to Platinum level status.
It has been a while since I revisited this disc, but I always had fond memories of Autograph, so I decided to dust this one off and give it a few more spins.
Listening to this disc in 2008, I have the tendency to want to rip on this disc. The material here definitely sounds dated, and the song writing is pure cheese. With that being said, I still enjoy this record somewhat, maybe not as much as I did 24 years ago, but it is still listenable.
The cuts Send Her To Me, Turn Up The Radio, Nine Teen & Non Stop, and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Isn’t Me are certainly catchy. This disc does have a few filler tracks, but nothing is absolutely terrible.
Sign in Please is quite a bit more pop than it is metal, but is still worth giving a spin every once in a while.
If you haven’t tired of the song Turn Up The Radio, it is almost worth the price of admission, when you pick up Sign in Please.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Send Her To Me
2. Turn Up The Radio
3. Night Teen & Non-Stop
4. Cloud 10
5. Deep End
6. My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend Isn’t Me
7. Thrill Of Love
9. In The Night
10. All I’m Gonna Take
Steve Plunkett – Lead Vocals and Guitar
Steve Lynch – Guitars
Randy Rand – Bass & Vocals
Keni Richards – Drums
Steven Isham – Keyboards & Vocals
In 1997, Judas Priest guitarist, Glenn Tipton released his first solo CD.
While strolling through the used music bin the other day, I managed to find the remastered copy of the disc, that was released by Atlantic in 2006.
The reissue of this disc contains two additional bonus tracks Himalaya and New Breed.
On this album, Tipton handles all of the vocals and guitar work. Glenn gets some help by a star studded cast of musicians on this record including Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Brooks Wackerman (Bad4Good, Bad Religion, KORN), Shannon Larkin (Godsmack), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big), Cozy Powell (R.I.P.), Don Airey (Deep Purple), John Entwistle (The Who) and Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe, Another Animal).
Tipton’s vocals wont set the world on fire, but the guitar work on this record is superb. His vocals are certainly influenced by Rob Halford, but Tipton doesn’t have the same range. All of the tracks were written by Tipton, with the exception of the Rolling Stones cover, Paint It Black. The music on this record doesn’t stray very far from Judas Priest’s style of heavy metal.
If you can get past Tipton’s vocals, you might find Baptizm of Fire to your liking. Baptizm of Fire started growing on me after repeated listens. My favorite cuts on this disc are Hard Core, Extinct, and The Healer.
Judas Priest fans need to check out Baptizm of Fire. If you haven’t heard this one before, it might help tide you over until the new J.P. release, Nostradamus gets here!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Hard Core (Remastered LP Version)
2. Paint It Black (Remastered LP Version)
3. Enter The Storm (Remastered LP Version)
4. Fuel Me Up (Remastered LP Version)
5. Extinct (Remastered LP Version)
6. Baptizm Of Fire (Remastered LP Version)
7. The Healer (Remastered LP Version)
8. Cruise Control (Remastered LP Version)
9. Kill Or Be Killed (Remastered LP Version)
10. Voodoo Brother (Remastered LP Version)
11. Left For Dead (Remastered LP Version)
12. Himalaya (Remastered Promo Single)
13. New Breed (Previously Unreleased)
Baptizm of Fire has the following musicians:
Glen Tipton – Guitars and Vocals
Whitfield Crane – Additional Vocals (Voodoo Brother)
Robert Trujillo – Bass (Hard Core, Paint It Black, Voodoo Brother)
C.J. de Villar – Bass (Enter the Storm, Fuel Me Up, Cruise Control,
Kill or Be Killed, Left For Dead)
Billy Sheehan – Bass (Extinct, Baptizm of Fire)
John Entwistle – Bass (The Healer)
Brooks Wackerman – Drums (Hard Core, Paint It Black, Voodoo Brother)
Shannon Larkin – Drums (Enter the Storm, Fuel Me Up, Cruise Control,
Kill or Be Killed, Left for Dead)
Cozy Powell – Drums (Extinct, Baptiszm of Fire, The Healer)
Don Airey – Organ (Baptizm of Fire)
Catch 22 has a sound that I would describe as a mixture of Judas Priest, Vicious Rumors and Testament. For only being a three piece band, the band has managed to craft some impressively tight songs on Soulreaper Vol. 1.
If your not completely hooked on this band, after listening to the title track Soulreaper, than you can’t be a true heavy metal fan. This is good stuff.
T.J. Berry is a good metal singer/screamer, as well as a very good guitar player.
I have a few favorite cuts off of this disc, including Soulreaper, Atlantis Rising, Crawling, and Never.
The only thing that is holding Catch 22 back is geography at this point. It has to be pretty tough to get noticed in the little town of Marietta, Ohio. If a record label gives this band a chance, they will without question have the potential to be another break out Metal Act. Metal Blade Records are you listening?
Rating: Out of 10
Track Listing: Out of 10
- Atlantis Rising
- Swimming With Sharks
- Dis Con Nec Ted
- Killing Floor
- Summer’s Reign
- Season of the Witch
- Winter’s Call
Catch 22 is:
T.J. Berry – Lead Vocals and Guitars
Andy Brookhart – Drums and Backing Vocals
Mike Allen – Bass and Backing Vocals
Bullet For My Valentine have released their second full length disc, Scream Aim Fire.
I must admit that I don’t usually get into Metalcore bands very much, but the tunes on Scream Aim Fire will most certainly appeal to quite a few heavy metal fans out there.
This disc is full of lighting fast guitar solos, pounding drums beats, and plenty of metal screams that will unleash your inner headbanger.
The first two songs, Scream Aim Fire, and Eye of the Storm are high energy metal screamers. They start off Scream Aim Fire in a very powerful fashion.
The song Hearts Burst Into Fire caught me by surprise. Matt Tuck sings more than he screams on this one, and this tune could be a fairly big radio hit for Bullet For My Valentine.
Waking the Demon blasts into metalcore mode, and I have to admit, that I am not a fan of those metalcore style vocals. This song has both pure singing (good), and the cookie monster screams (bad). It isn’t a bad song though, and it has grown on me after listening to it a few times. The guitar work on this song is pretty impressive.
Disappear leans more to the mainstream, and Deliver Us From Evil is one of the better metal tracks that I have heard this year.
There are elements of Say Goodnight, that reminds me of Pantera’s Cemetary Gates which is very cool.
I can not deny the popularity of metalcore, but I still have problems wrapping my head around metalcore style vocals. I don’t have a problem with heavy metal style screams. I love ‘em. The guitar work on Scream Aim Fire is stellar, but on some songs, the vocals do not work for me very well. This won’t be a problem for fans of the metalcore genre. They will get into this CD far more than I.
Scream Aim Fire will appeal to fans of Atreyu’s last album, Lead Sails Paper Anchor, most heavy metal and metalcore fans. Scream Aim Fire will arrive in stores today, January 29th. Check it Out!
For more information on Bullet For My Valentine, check out the band’s myspace page. I hope you enjoy the video below, for the the first single on the album, Scream Aim Fire.
- Scream Aim Fire
- Eye of the Storm
- Hearts Burst Into Fire
- Waking the Demon
- Deliver Us From Evil
- Take It Out On Me
- Say Goodbye
- End of Days
- Last to Know
- Forever and Always
Bullet For My Valentine is:
Matthew “Matt” Tuck – vocals, guitars
Michael “Padge” Paget – guitars
Michael “Moose” Thomas – drums
Jason “Jay” James – bass
4-3-2-1…Zeros is the band’s debut release on Restless Records. By the time this disc came out, the glam metal scene was on life support, and the Zeros chances of making it to the top were shot.
On 4-3-2-1…Zeros, I hear a lot of 70’s glam, mixed with some 80’s punk rock. This isn’t your typical hair metal band for this time period. Their influences shine through much more than some of their Los Angeles predecessors.
As far as 80’s pop metal goes, I can hear parts of Cheap Trick, a little bit of Motley Crue, and maybe a dash of Poison. The music is light hearted fun, and some of the songs here are tongue in cheek kind of stuff. Some of the tunes have a hard edge, while some tread the pop rock side of the fence. My favorite tunes on this disc are Love’s Not Fair, Sticky Sweet Girls and Too Young.
4-3-2-1….Zeros has been out of print for quite a while. You can still score a copy of this CD through Amazon.com and Ebay. It is worth picking up if you can find a reasonably priced copy. For more information on The Zeros, check out their website at this location.
2. Oh Yeah
3. Love’s Not Fair
4. Sticky Sweet Girls
5. Zero to Mom
6. Death Rock Girl (Did You See?)
7. Rich Chicks
8. Nobody Cares
9. Too Young
11. Wish I Knew
12. Do You Want Some More?
13. Raging Rock & Roll
The Zeros are:
Sammy Serious – Vocals
Joe Normal – Guitars
Danny Dangerous – Bass
Mr. Insane – Drums
While this disc is never considered as popular as their debut, Long Cold Winter offers a the listener a bunch of well crafted tunes with a bluesy rock edge.
Cinderella’s sound started growing away from the hair metal roots, and into a more bluesy sound, that seemed to bridge the gap in the sound difference between Night Songs, and the later release Heartbreak Station. Tom Keifer was developing as a better singer instead of a screamer, which he did more of on the debut.
While I have enjoyed all of Cinderella’s releases so far, Long Cold Winter is by far my favorite of them all. This is one of those rare releases, where there are no filler tracks. I can play this one from beginning to end repeatedly, without finding the need to skip a track.
It took several years after its release, but the RIAA shows this disc along with Night Songs as selling over 3 Million copies now. It is hard to believe that disc is already 20 years old. It is a must own record in my collection, and is one that I would be happy to purchase again today.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Bad Seamstress Blues, Fallin’ Apart At The Seams
2. Gypsy Road
3. Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)
4. The Last Mile
5. Second Wind
6. Long Cold Winter
7. If You Don’t Like It
8. Coming Home
9. Fire And Ice
10. Take Me Back
Tom Keifer – Vocals
Jeff Labar – Guitars
Eric Brittingham – Bass
Fred Coury – Drums
Everyone from AC/DC, to KISS, and even Jetboy have opened up their archives to deliver new collections worth owning. Megadeth is the latest to jump on the band wagon, by releasing their own set called The Warchest, a collection of goodies that not too many Megadeth fans will want to be without for very long.
Chances are you have many of the songs listed in this set, but you don’t have the rare demo cuts of these tunes. Some of which, I like better than the originals due to the rawness of the cuts.
The are several cuts that have never been released in the United States, and several more that have live cuts that have never been released anywhere. Disc 4 of this set captures a live show recorded live at Wembley Stadium in London in 1990. This is the first time you will hear these live versions anywhere.
The real bonus in this set is the DVD. Megadeth is captured live at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, from 1992. Those of you that were not overly impressed with the last Megadeth live DVD, That One Night – Live in Buenos Aires, truly needs to check this one out. This is an extremely tight set by Megadeth. It is a high energy, excellent hair flying experience. It is by far my favorite live DVD from Megadeth without question.
The Megadeth Warchest is a great collection with over five hours of superb heavy metal entertainment. This set is a must own for die hard Megadeth fans.
You have a few more days to get your name in the running for a free copy of this set. You can enter the Hard Rock Hideout Warchest giveaway at this link. The winner will be picked this Friday!
Rating: Out of 10
2. The Skull Beneath The Skin
3. Peace Sells
4. Wake Up Dead
5. Devils Island
6. Set The World Afire
7. Into The Lungs Of Hell
8. Anarchy/Problems [session take]*
9. Hook In Mouth
11.In My Darkest Hour
12.No More Mr. Nice Guy
14.Holy Wars…The Punishment Due [Casey McMackin demo]*
15.Tornado Of Souls [demo]*
16.Five Magics [demo]*
1. “keeping score…”*
2. Symphony Of Destruction
3. Go To Hell
4. Foreclosure Of A Dream
5. Architecture Of Aggression [demo]^
6. Skin O’ My Teeth [live at Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI 5/23/92]
High Speed Dirt [live at Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI 5/23/92]
8. Ashes In Your Mouth [live at the Cow Palace, S.F., CA 12/4/92]
9. Sweating Bullets [live at the Cow Palace, S.F., CA 12/4/92]
10.Breakpoint [session take]*
12.Train Of Consequences
14.New World Order
15.The Killing Road
19.A Tout Le Monde
2. Almost Honest
3. Use The Man
5. A Secret Place [live at Woodstock, NY 7/25/99]
6. One Thing^
7. Duke Nukem
9. Crush ‘Em
10. Kill The King
11. Dread And The Fugitive Mind
12. Never Say Die
13. Moto Psycho
14. 1000 Times Goodbye
15. Coming Home^
16. Kick The Chair
17. Of Mice And Men
All tracks recorded live at Wembley Stadium, London, England 10/16/90
2. Wake Up Dead*
3. Hangar 18*
4. Hook In Mouth*
5. The Skull Beneath The Skin*
6. The Conjuring*
7. In My Darkest Hour*
9. Devils Island*
10.Take No Prisoners*
11. Peace Sells*
12. Black Friday*
13. Holy Wars…The Punishment Due*
14. It’s Electric*
15. Anarchy In The U.K.*
( * previously unreleased ^ previously unreleased in the U.S. )
1. Intro/Holy Wars…ThePunishment Due*
2. Wake up Dead*
3. Hangar 18*
5. Sweating Bullets*
6. In My Darkest Hour*
7. Tornado of Souls*
8. Ashes In Your Mouth*
9. Peace Sells*
10. Anarchy In the U.K.*
This CD gets a lot of play on XMRadio’s The Boneyard, but sadly, is becoming rarer than hen’s teeth. Used copies sell for over $20.00 at Amazon.com and on Ebay.
Is it worth seeking out? Absolutely! The songs Bang Go the Bells, Hammer Swings Down, and the Kid Goes Wild (featuring the late, great Sam Kinision) are worth the price of admission just by themselves.
With three big videos on MTV at the time, it puzzles me why this band didn’t hit the same level of success as some of their late 80’s counterparts.
To me their debut release is their best effort, and is one that will appeal to most 80’s hard rock fans. If you can find it, grab it, you wont be disappointed.
For more information on Babylon A.D., check out their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Bang Go the Bells
2. Hammer Swings Down
3. Caught Up in the Crossfire
5. The Kid Goes Wild
6. Shot O’ Love
8. Back in Babylon
9. Sweet Temptation
10. Sally Danced
Asphalt Ballet’s name comes from a motorcycle crashing at high speed and sliding across the pavement. Their music is no accident, even though the band eventually crashed and burned.
The self title debut from 1991 is a damn good one, by this San Diego five piece unit.
This CD blends the west coast sleaze sound with southern rock. It may sound like a strange combination, but it works.
Asphalt Ballet was a regular on the MTV headbanger’s ball back in the early 90’s. Three videos were released in support of this disc:
Unlucky Mr. Lucky
After this release, the band was pushed to alter their sound to grunge, so they could stay current in the music scene. Needless to say, that decision would spell their demise.
I would have loved to have heard another disc, in the vein of this one, with the original band’s lineup in tact. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.
This CD has several good songs including Hell’s Kitchen, Blood on the Highway, Goodbye Yesterday , and the three songs featured in the videos above.
Singer, Gary Jeffries has been in several bands since Asphalt Ballet, and is currently in a Dayton, Ohio band called Gary Jeffries and the Gator Stew Band. Guitarist Julius Ulrich, and drummer Michael Kiner are in a Hollywood Metal band called 13-A.
This disc has been out of print for a while, and regularly goes for over $20.00 on Ebay right now. This disc will appeal to most sleaze and southern rock fans. I like this one a lot. If you can find it, buy it, you won’t be disappointed.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Hell’s Kitchen
2. Soul Survive
3. Tuesday’s Rain
4. Unlucky Mr. Lucky
5. End of My Rope
6. Heaven Winds Blow
7. Blood on the Highway
8. Goodbye Yesterday
9. Wasted Time
10. Taking a Walk
11. Hangmans Swing
12. Blue Movie
13. Do It All Over Again
Today’s post comes from Tania from the Hard Rock Hideout Forum! Have you checked out the HRH forum lately?
Mike Ireland – vocals
Greg Laikin – bass
Dave Troutman – drums
Brian Bresett – guitars
Pinto – guitars
1. Watch You Bleed
4. Line It Up
5. Salt of the Earth
8. All The Freaks
9. Live Fast
10. Teenage Parasite
11. No Fun City
Producer: Jeff Dawson
Hailing from Canada, Crystal Pistols self titled full length debut starts off promising. The first three tracks are nice little rockers. Singer Mike Ireland has a great sleazy, grimy sounding voice and the first two songs in particular, Watch You Bleed and Rockstar, show off his dirty gritty snarl perfectly.
I’m not really sure what Crystal Pistol are trying to do with the Crystal Pistol band shot rest of the tracks on this CD. Some of it has a punk element to it, some have a rock element, some goth sounding. I guess its “punk rock”, but to me it sounds as if they are trying to put too many different types of musical sounds into each song.
The songs are fast and short, in fact this CD only clocks in at just over 35 minutes. After the third song, the rest of the songs are decent. I’m not saying they are bad, some are catchy but there is nothing really standout after Locomotive. Salt of the Earth is a nice change of pace but it all gets fairly boring and predicable fairly quickly. All in all a mixed bag. Good enough but not great. Check them out at their myspace to get a taste of some Crystal Pistol.
His band mates this time around are Zakk Wylde on guitar, Rob “Blasko” Nicholson (Rob Zombie) on bass, and Mike Bordin (Faith No More) on drums.
I must admit that my first impression with Black Rain, is that this is the heaviest Ozzy disc in years. Zakk Wylde has been wanting to something heavy with Ozzy for a long time, and was pretty disgusted with the writing on Down to Earth. On that record, Zakk Wylde played on all of the songs, but did not have any writing credits. Zakk Wylde co-wrote eight of the 10 tunes on Black Rain. The end result is a far heavier disc, and probably the closest thing to Ozzy’s 1995 disc, Ozzmosis.
The first track, Not Going Away starts off with a monstrous, Black Sabbath type of riff. This track gets better with each listen.
The track, I Don’t Wanna Stop is getting airplay just about every where now, and Ozzy is playing this live in various TV programs, in an effort to promote Black Rain. I agree with what seems to be the majority opinion on this song. I love this track!
The title track, Black Rain is a mid tempo track with a heavy bass sound; and a cool song that is nearly a throw back to early 80’s Ozzy. I can see this track being a hit on the radio, easily.
A nice change of pace is the number Lay Your World on Me on which Ozzy’s voice is the most powerful instrument. On this low tempo track, Blasko’s bass is mixed louder than Zakk’s guitar 95% of the time, but it comes across sounding very cool.
The Almighty Dollar is kind of weird to me. This sounds like Ozzy trying to do a Nine Inch Nails song. Its not all bad, but it has some strange music elements to it. I like the heavy parts, but when this song gets a little bouncy, it doesn’t work. At least not for me.
11 Silver is an extremely upbeat sounding song, but is different from anything I recall Ozzy doing in the past. The bass groove is extremely springy, and Zakk Wylde’s guitar solo in the center is great! I didn’t like this song at first, but its growing on me with every listen. In 2007, its hard to make Ozzy sound fresh, but this is pretty damn good attempt to do so.
Civilize the Universe reminds me a lot of the sound Rob Zombie’s band has. Blasko really shows his influence in this song. This is another good, foot-stomping, rock and roll hit.
Here for You is a piano based ballad that is actually very good. I have heard Ozzy do these type of songs before, but I think this one is one of the better ones in a long time.
Something about Coundown’s Begun reminds me quite a bit of Lynch era Dokken. The whole guitar and heavy bass riff is very Dokken like. Zakk Wylde and Blasko reproduce a sound that is very complimentary of one of the best metal tandem’s of 80’s style hard rock (Lynch and Pilson). Very cool!
Trapdoor is probably my 2nd most favorite song on Black Rain. Zakk Wylde’s riff on this track has a real mean sound to it. This is the kind of song that could make me go to Ozzfest, so I can see it live. The whole bass and drum sound in the center of the track are cool as hell. What an amazing way to close out this record!
On my first listen to this disc, I wasn’t extremely impressed with this disc. Successive listens have changed my mind. I keep hearing and noticing different things each time I listen to it. Ozzy Osbourne sings his ass off on this disc, and sounds great all throughout Black Rain. The Zakk Wylde neigh sayers will be happy to know that, Zakk does not over use the pinch harmonics on this record. Zakk’s playing is stellar, end of story. Blasko and Mike Bordin are not fill in musicians. They are excellent additions to Ozzy’s band, and truly add to the music on this record. I hope this group stays together for another record. Until then, I will enjoy this record repeatedly. Hopefully Ozzy wont make us wait six more years for another one.
Don’t even hesitate to pick this disc up! If you are an Ozzy fan, it is required listening!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Not Going Away
2. I Don’t Wanna Stop
3. Black Rain
4. Lay Your World on Me
5. Almighty Dollar
6. 11 Silver
7. Civilize the Universe
8. Here for You
9. Countdown’s Begun
10. Trap Door
Ozzy Osbourne band is:
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals
Zakk Wylde – Guitars
Blasko – Bass
Mike Bordin – Drums
The cool thing about Private Line is they have a sound that is a cross between 80’s and today’s hard rock. It is a sound that I think would appeal to most hard rock fans from both generations. Not all of the tracks are heavy on this disc. Some fall into an a pop metal/ pop rock vein, while staying more towards the rock side of the fence.
There are plenty of tracks to like here, and very little, if any filler. My current favorite tracks are Evel Knievel Factor, Broken Promised Land, Alive and Billion Star Hotel.
I think this is the kind of disc that will appeal to a lot of people, if they give it a couple of listens. You can find Evel Knievel Factor at NEH Records.com.
Here is the first video from this disc:
Broken Promised Land
Rating: Out of 10
- Prelude for the Daredevils
- Evel Knievel Factor
- Broken Promised Land
- Sound Advice
- The Sindicate
- Prozac Nation
- Gods of Rewind
- Billion Star Hotel
I hesitated picking up Winger – IV based on some other comments I have read regarding this disc. I have always like Kip Winger’s voice and Reb Beach’s guitars, so I figured I may as well give this a chance.
If you pick up IV thinking you are going to hear songs similar to Seventeen, and Madalaine, you will be greatly disappointed. This release is a more modern sounding rock record. The bubblegum pop metal goodness of past Winger releases is gone. This a more of a more melodic/AOR rock album.
This disc starts off with a heavy yet melodic track Right Up Ahead. I have listened to this track a few times and have grown to like it more. Blue Suede Shoes is an acoustic driven track with a great vocal by Kip. This is one of those songs that needs to grow on you. Four Leaf Clover is a more upbeat modern rock style track. I am not crazy about this song.
I expected a song with a name like M16 to blow me away. The rhythm to this track is unmistakably Winger. I have grown to like this track with time.
Your Great Escape is an upbeat rocker. Reb’s guitars shine on this track. This is my favorite track from this disc.
Disappear is an interesting track with a moody sounding keyboard synthesizer to start the track off with, but flows into a sound that is more reminiscent of, In the Heart of the Young Era Winger. I like this track alot.
On A Day Like Today is a low tempo number. Kip’s vocals sound good, but this is a track that doesn’t stick with you for very long.
Living Just to Die is a heavier up tempo number. This is another track that has grown on me quite a bit. Short Flight to Mexico continues on a heavy pace, and is another enjoyable track.
Generica is one of those tracks that grow on you with time. I didn’t like this track the first couple of times that I heard it, and have grown to like this one too.
Can’t Take it Back is a low to mid tempo number that sounds better LOUD!
You can hear some of the songs at Winger’s my space page at www.myspace.com/wingertheband.
I have updated my review as of 2/14/07. Hearing some of these songs live has changed my perspective completely. I don’t think my initial review was fair, so I made some updates.
Rating: Out of 10
- Right Up Ahead
- Blue Suede Shoes
- Four Leaf Clover
- Your Great Escape
- On A Day Like Today
- Living Just To Die
- Short Flight to Mexico
- Can’t Take it Back