On their debut CD, Will Wallner & Vivien Vain have recruited some of hard rock’s finest musicians to help craft their songs. The end result is a remarkable hard rock CD that I can’t stop listening to. Will Wallner may not be a guitarist whose name you recognize. One listen to this CD, and I think he could possibly become an overnight sensation. Wallner delivers some of the best hard rock riffs I have heard in 2012, and that includes the recent works from Eddie Van Halen & Vinnie Moore (in UFO). Wallner’s style reminds me of a cross between Randy Rhoads & Jake E. Lee. That is pretty good company to be in, in my opinion.
Vivien Vain, where have you been hiding? Vain is easily one of the best new female hard rock vocalists that I have heard in quite some time. Her powerful pipes are a very good match for Wallner’s heavy riffs. Of course it doesn’t hurt when you attract the likes of Carmen Appice, Tony Franklin, Rudy Sarzo, Vinny Appice, Jimmy Bain, Tony Carey, Brian Tichy and Derek Sherinian to play on your songs. These hard rock legends help to craft some very cool tunes. I can’t begin to tell you how good it is to hear Tony Franklin and Carmine Appice (two-thirds of Blue Murder) playing on some songs together again. This is very cool stuff indeed!
The best songs on the CD are “Dreamstealer”, “Streets of Rage” & “Miles Ahead”, but there really isn’t a bad song in the bunch.
If you are a fan of 80’s hard rock, you ought to check out this CD. You won’t be disappointed!
Rating: Out of 10
- The Dream
- Streets Of Rage
- Fourteen Twenty Eight
- All That I Want
- Miles Ahead
- Soul Monster
Vivien Vain – Vocals
Will Wallner – Guitar
Tony Carey – Keys on Tracks 1, 2, 8, 9
Jimmy Bain – Bass on Track 2
Vinny Appice – Drums on Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6
Carmine Appice – Drums on Tracks 3, 5, 9
Tony Franklin – Bass on Tracks 3, 5, 7, 9
Rudy Sarzo – Bass on Tracks 4, 6
Brian Tichy – Drums on Track 7
Derek Sherinian – Keys on Track 7
Eagle Rock Entertainment has reissued one of the finest live releases from Rainbow, Live in Germany in 1976. Arguably, the most powerful of all of the Rainbow lineups, Live in Germany captures Ronnie James Dio, Ritchie Blackmore, Jimmy Bain, Cozy Powell and Tony Carey at their finest.
Don’t let the few number of tracks in this 2 CD set keep you from picking this up. Live in Germany captures Rainbow in over 90 minutes of hard rock perfection. If you never got the chance to see Rainbow live (like myself), Live in Germany 1976 is a release you will not want to miss.
Ritchie Blackmore’s guitar playing in this concert is absolutely spectacular. You can almost hear the smoke coming off of his guitar strings. The guitar solos that Blackmore plays in this concert have to be heard to believed.
Ronnie James Dio’s vocals have never disappointed me, and his voice is outstanding in this concert.
The audio quality of this reissue is excellent. If you close your eyes, while listening to this, you almost feel like you are back in 1976, with Rainbow bringing the house down with their electric live show.
From Blackmore’s guitar wizardry, to Dio’s amazing vocals, and the outstanding musicianship of Jimmy Bain, Cozy Powell and Tony Carey, Live in Germany 1976 is one Rainbow live offering that is definitely worth catching. I highly recommend it!!
You can pick up Rainbow Live in Germany at this link!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Kill The King (5:25)
2. Mistreated (16:00)
3. Sixteenth Century Greensleeves (7:50)
4. Catch The Rainbow (14:50)
1. Man On Silver Mountain (13:32)
2. Stargazer (17:10)
3. Still I’m Sad (15:00)
4. Do You Close Your Eyes (9:45)
This band features the talent of Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath) on drums, Jimmy Bain (DIO) on bass, Chaz West (Bonham) on vocals and Brian Young (David Lee Roth) on guitars. This disc also features 4 tracks produced by former Dokken bass player Jeff Pilson.
Frozen Summer may be short (only 8 songs, 33 minutes), but it does not lack punch. This may be some of the heaviest music you have ever heard Carlos Cavazo perform on to date. This music is riff and bass heavy. The Black Sabbath influence is very easy to pick up on. Chaz West sings his ass off. I don’t remember him sounding this good with Bonham.
XM41, the Boneyard broke out Frozen Summer a few months ago. I heard this track once, and started looking for this disc. This is a heavy track and very killer stuff!
The band recently released a video for Give and Take Away. I like this track more and more with every listen. The Sabbath style heaviness shows itself well on this track.
Rain on My Parade is a low tempo number where Chaz West’s voice really shines. You have to crank this one up to fully appreciate it.
One Good Reason is one of those excellent metal tracks that ignites your soul and makes you want to throw your fists in the air, with your mano cornuta’s extended for the world to see.
Wasted Life has a little bit of blues fused into the music with Chaz West playing the harmonica. No, this doesn’t sound like a Dave Matthews song. This is some classic metal fused with a little bit of blues. The end result is another whiplash-creating, head-banging tune.
The rhythm section of Appice and Bain really shine on the song, Long Way Back From Hell. This is a mid tempo number that really sounds great.
Man oh mercy, the music on Left for Dead is so good, it is crazy. There are great vocals by Chaz West, and the whole band sounds amazing.
Bring the Hammer Down is the only song on Frozen Summer that I couldn’t really get into.
With Frozen Summer you get quality over quantity. I am a big Black Sabbath fan, and I loved hearing the Sabbath influence in these tunes. I can only hope that these guys get together and do a longer disc at some time in the future. 3 Legged Dogg’s debut totally rocks, and has only left me wanting more. For more info on 3 Legged Dogg, check out the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Frozen Summer
2. Give and Take Away
3. Rain on My Parade
4. One Good Reason
5. Wasted Life
6. Long Way Back from Hell
7. Left for Dead
8. Bring the Hammer Down
3 Legged Dogg is:
Chaz West – Vocals
Vinny Appice – Drums
Jimmy Bain – Bass
Carlos Cavazo – Guitars
Killing the Dragon is the 9th DIO studio disc, and the first to feature current Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich. Craig Goldy was not available for Killing the Dragon as he just recently had gotten married and his wife had a newborn child. Goldy did leave his mark on a few tracks, and has writing credits on Throw away Children, Rock ‘N Roll, and Push.
Doug Aldrich, on the other hand ,had played in quite a few hard rock bands prior to DIO, including Lion, Bad Moon Rising, House of Lords and Hurricane. He was the perfect replacement for Goldy at the time, and his guitar work on Killing the Dragon is awesome.
Killing the Dragon stars this disc off with a high tempo rocker. Doug Aldrich establishes himself quickly by showing off his mad guitar skills. This track sounds like classic DIO to me.
The heaviness continues with Along Comes the Spider. There are plenty of chugging guitars on this track. Sure the title and chorus is kind of silly, but the music is great.
Scream is one of the better tracks on this disc. Its a pretty solid song with some excellent guitar noodling by Aldrich.
Better in the Dark is an excellent upbeat rocker with a cool guitar riff by Aldrich. Dio sounds great here but Aldrich steals the show with some killer guitar solos!
Rock ‘n Roll is one an extremely cool track on Killing the Dragon. This song has an very heavy bass riff. Dio’s voice sounds amazing here. As a whole, this is a very heavy track, and a cool one at that.
Push is probably my favorite track off of Killing the Dragon. Aldrich reminds me of Jake E. Lee on this track. Its a cool song with excellent vocals by Dio. This song may be a little less heavy than some of the other tracks here, but it works.
Guilty would have to be a close 2nd to Push as my favorite on this disc. This is another rocker that kicks ass. This track is also not quite as heavy as some of other tracks on Killing the Dragon.
The guitar work on Throw Away Children is absolutely superb. If it wasn’t for Aldrich’s playing, I would probably skip this track.
Before the Fall has a very Deep Purple sounding keyboard throughout the song, but the guitars are far heavier than any Deep Purple track. Once again, the guitar work is great, but I consider this an average DIO track. It is good, but not great.
The keyboards on Cold Feet give this song a less heavy feel to it. I like this song, but I don’t think I would have placed this as the last song on the disc.
Bottom line, If you want to hear an above average hard rock disc, with amazing vocals and stellar guitar work, you need to pick up Killing the Dragon. There are at least 4 songs on this disc that are mainstays on my play list today. DIO fans should not hesitate picking this up.
Rating: Out of 10
- Killing the Dragon
- Along Comes a Spider
- Better in the Dark
- Rock ‘n Roll
- Throw Away Children
- Before the Fall
- Cold Feet
Ronnie James Dio – vocals
Doug Aldrich – guitar
Jimmy Bain – bass, keyboards
Simon Wright – drums