Former Savatage vocalist Zak Stevens and company returns with their 3rd release, Burden of Truth.
This band seems to get better with each new disc, and Burden of Truth is no exception.
Burden of Truth features the hard driving guitar tandem of Andy Lee and Evan Christopher. The Savatage like keyboards are all but gone on Burden of truth. This is more of a heavy guitar driven album. The sound is much better than the bands sophomore effort, the Middle of Nowhere.
One listen to this disc, and you will realize quickly that you are hearing some absolute classic Metal songs.
Heal You is one of the best tracks that I have heard within the last year. Great Stuff!
The Black is a classic metal track that will go down as a band favorite for years to come.
The guitar shredding and double bass drumming on Messiah is very cool.
The title track, Burden of Truth, has to be heard to be appreciated. This is one of those well written and performed songs that people will break out their lighters (or cell phones with today’s concert goers) it they see this played live in concert.
Bottom line, this is an excellent Metal CD, and very worth picking up. Zac Stevens has a killer voice, and he lays down excellent vocals on every track on Burden of Truth. His voice alone, merits a purchase of this disc.
Those looking for a Savatage sound-a-like CD, may do better with the new Jon Oliva’s Pain release Maniacal Renderings.
Rating:Out of 10
- Who Am I To Be?
- A Matter of Time
- Heal You
- Your Reality
- The Black
- Burden of Truth
- Live As One
Bang Tango returned with another solid rocking disc in 2006 with From The Hip.
The opening track It’s All Ok, is better than Ok. It is an upbeat jamming rocker that will get your blood pumping. This track sets the stage high for the rest of the up and coming tracks .
Ain’t Nothin’ Better sounds like a cross between AC/DC and Guns ‘N’ Roses, and keeps the pace going nicely. Go, Go, Go is another killer track that has more of that AC/DC feel to it.
Carry Me Up is a slower song that almost seems out of place after the punch and delivery of the first three tracks. Mother Mary on the other hand, has a pretty cool bass groove, and is a catchy song to boot.
Get Use To It fails to deliver and feels like filler to me. I’m the One is a punchy track oozing with sleaze and ventures into Faster Pussycat territory.
Simple is sonically pleasing and vocally revolting all at the same time. One More Spin reminds me of old school Bang Tango. It has a crunching bass lick that is infectious as hell.
Angel Devil finishes this disc with an acoustic number that sounds out of place here.
From the Hip rarely sounds like older Bang Tango material and may repel some fans of the band’s earlier work. Joe Lesté’s voice is one you will either love or hate. Many times throughout this disc, his voice sounds raspier than ever. On some songs it works, others it does not. The music on most of the tracks are top notch, and makes this worthy of a listen. While this disc may not be essential to your collection, I enjoyed it, and I am sure those of you with an open mind will too!
You can hear some of the new tracks at Bang Tango’s Myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
- It’s All Ok
- Ain’t Nothin’ Better
- Go, Go, Go
- Carry Me Up
- Mother Mary
- Get Use To It
- I’m the One
- One More Spin
- Angel Devil
If you want to hear an amazing CD, with awesome vocals, and melodic but heavy metal to match. Run, don’t walk to pick up the Jorn Lande release, The Duke.
For several reasons, the Norwegian Jorn Lande is not very well known in the United States. Lack of promotion, and no radio airplay are a few problems Jorn faces in the U.S. It is really too bad, because most people are missing out on one of the top singers in Metal today.
For those of you who have not been exposed to Jorn Lande, He has a voice that falls somewhere between Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale. If you know how amazing those two singers are, you will know what to expect from Jorn.
Musically and lyrically, the Duke is a superb effort from start to finish! This is melodic metal in its finest form. The guitar tandem of Tore Moren and Jørn Viggo Lofstad do an amazing job on this disc.
Take one listen to the heavy Blacksong which sounds like Lynch era Dokken and you will be hooked.
Another stand out song is Stormcrow, which sounds like a heavy Whitesnake track. The guitars on this song blow me away every time. Awesome!
Duke of Love could have easily been on the Whitesnake, Slide it In Album.
Jorn Lande truly shines on the low to mid tempo Burning Chains. You have to hear it, to appreciate it.
The cover of Thin Lizzy’s Are You Ready may be the best cover song I have heard in 2006. It is very well done here.
The final song, Starfire, is a remake of the same track from his debut disc and sounds even better than the original.
The Duke is certainly one of the top Metal discs of 2006, and a favorite of mine.
If you would like to hear some of the tracks off the Duke, You can listen to a few songs off of this disc at:Jorn Lande’s Website
Rating: Out of 10
- We Brought the Angels Down
- End of Time
- Duke of Love
- Burning Chains
- After the Dying
- Midnight Madness
- Are You Ready
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Jorn Viggo Lofstad – Guitars
Tore Moren – Guitars
Willy Bendiksen – Drums
Morty Black – Bass
Big Cock features former Lynch Mob, and Cry of Love vocalist Robert Mason, and former King Kobra guitarist Dave Henzerling a.k.a. David Michael-Philips.
Sonically, this music reminds me of a cross between Lynch Mob and Mr. Big, with a dash of sleaze thrown in for good measure.
There are quite a few catchy numbers on this somewhat short disc. 12 songs and a 25 second filler track to close this disc for a total run time of under 36 minutes.
Bad Motherfucker is immediately infectious and will set your hopes high for the rest of the disc. I Want It All has a very Lynch Mob feel to it. I like this track a lot.
Cinnamon grates on my nerves every time I hear it. I do not like the lyrics at all. I usually skip to King of Cool which is a (no pun intended) a very cool track.
Carrie’s In Love slows it down, and sound a lot like a Mr.Big track. I never cared for that band much, but I do like this track pretty well.
Mean Street Machine kicks it into gear. This is a great track.
I had to look at the credits to see if George Lynch was playing on Take It Off. The layered guitars on this song sound exactly like an older Lynch Mob track.
Dynamite rocks pretty heavy, but lyrically could have been a little better.
My first reaction when hearing Hard To Swallow was wtf is this crap. It sounds like a fusion of 50′s music, and Mr. Big. I still skip this track.
Thank God, Old No. 7 didn’t follow the pattern of the last track. It is a pretty good song, but no where near as good as You Suck the Love Out of Me. Some of the vocals remind me of Axl Rose’s growliness on a old G N R track.
Year of the Cock closes this disc with a mid tempo rock song. It is an ok song, but certainly not classic.
As a whole, this is a pretty decent debut effort from these hard rock veterans.
Both Big Cock discs are getting released to wider distribution in January, so you should be able to find these in more retailers soon.
- Bad Motherfucker
- I Want It All
- King of Cool
- Carrie’s In Love
- Mean Street Machine
- Take It Off
- Hard To Swallow
- Old No. 7
- You Suck the Love out of Me
- Year of the Cock
- Thank You, Good Night
I didn’t think I would hear too many new quality releases to close out 2006, but I could not have been more wrong. Jon Oliva’s Pain, is one Heavy Metal release that took me by surprise.
This disc starts off with a very strong track, Through the Eyes of the King, which is unmistakably Savatage in style! This track is one of the best metal songs I have heard all year.
The title track Maniacal Renderings is a progressive number that stretches past 7 minutes. Parts of this song remind of Queensryche, in a good way.
The Evil Beside You starts off slow and kind of reminds me a little of Queen in style, but then breaks into another Savatage style rocker. Time to Die turns up the heaviness, and at times sounds like Black Label Society backing up Oliva. ( At this point, this reviewer has a big evil grin on his face ).
Push It To the Limit cranks the tempo way the hell up. I can see people in a mosh pit, slamming to this song. The bass rhythm on this song reminds me of Anthrax at times.
Who’s Playing God returns to more of a Progressive Metal style. This almost reminds me of a heavy Queen song. Timeless Flight also starts off with that Queen styling, but in a very heavy sense. This is one of those progressive tracks that is technically brilliant. It is one of those songs that make you wonder if you are hearing a CD that may one day be considered classic.
Holes is another heavy track that could easily fit on any Savatage CD. Lots of heavy guitars, rhythm and bass. At first I didn’t like this track, but I had to give it a couple of listens. You have to hear the way this song ends. Awesome!!
End of Times is another prog rocker with plenty of crunching guitars and heavy bass. This is another decent song with excellent guitar work. I didn’t care for this song too much.
Still I Prey For You Now is a slow short number that fails to excite me. I was hoping for something a little more powerful at this place in the record.
The Bonus track features 2 tracks in 1. Reality’s Fool is another slow tempo number that almost seems out of place. A few seconds later another instrumental track continues the fantastic solo work of the late, great Chris Oliva.
As a whole, this is a very strong effort from Jon Oliva’s Pain. Savatage fans should be rushing to pick this up. Progressive Metal fans will likely enjoy this too. If you don’t like either of those, this disc may not appeal to you. I have always liked Savatage, and felt they were very under rated. This disc stands up to any of the Savatage records out there, and is one of the best new releases of 2006.
Rating:Out of 10
Below are a couple of live videos of songs that are from the Maniacal Renderings CD. If you like these, you are going to love this CD!
Evil Beside You
- Through the Eyes of the King
- Maniacal Renderings
- The Evil Beside You
- Time To Die
- Push It To the Limit
- Who’s Playing God
- Timeless Flight
- End Times
- Still I Pray for You Now
- Reality’s Fool (Bonus Track)