When Eddie Trunk brought Jake E. Lee on That Metal Show in 2013, I couldn’t have been more excited. Mr. Lee has been noticeably absent from the hard rock world for a few years, and I greatly missed him. When Jake mentioned his new band Red Dragon Cartel, I was ecstatic that Jake was returning to make new music. I have longed to hear him play in a band since the last Badlands CD Dusk from ’98.
Well Red Dragon Cartel is finally here, and I couldn’t be happier. The new music is great, and has me super excited to see the band live later in 2014.
The opening track “Deceiver” is an awesome stadium anthem that easily states that JAKE E. LEE IS BACK! The riffs on this song sound like they could have easily been off of the Ozzy Osbourne Ultimate Sin album. I can’t get enough of this song.
The song “Shout It Out” has more of a modern flair to it, but it a good song, and one of my favorites on the album.
“Feeder” features Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander on vocals, and as always Zander does a terrific job. This guy could sing names out of the phone book and make it sound good. Jake E. Lee’s riffs are pretty awesome too. Something about the intro on this song reminds me of the opening music on the animated series Batman Beyond, but it is very cool.
“Fall From The Sky (Seagull)” is a slower tune that has a cool alternative vibe too it. I really dig this track. It sounds great loud too!
If there is one weak track on the Red Dragon Cartel album, It is “Wasted”. While I like Paul Di’Anno, I don’t think his voice has aged well, and this song to me would have been better with Darren Smith on vocals. I like the music, but the vocals kill it for me.
“Slave” is another cool rocker with some killer riffs from Jake E. Lee. This hard driving tune really gets your blood pumping.
I am sure some folks were shocked when they heard “Big Mouth” with Maria Brink on vocals. This is unlike anything Jake E. Lee has ever done. It is a modern hard rocker, which isn’t too far off from what In This Moment plays. I like In This Moment and Maria Brink so I have really been enjoying this tune. I am hoping In This Moment will play this live at some point.
The song “War Machine” is doom-laden Black Sabbath like metal opus that gets better every time I listen to it. What a cool tune!
I was surprised to find that Jake E. Lee locked in Sass Jordan to sing a song on the album. I love Sass Jordan, especially on her recent release S.U.N. – Something Unto Nothing. She is a powerful bluesy singer. She does a killer job on “Redeem Me”.
“Exquisite Tenderness” is the first song that Jake E. Lee ever wrote. This is a piano based instrumental that shows that Mr. Lee has a great musical talent beyond his guitar (but please don’t give up that six string Jake!).
If you buy the special Best Buy Edition of the Red Dragon Cartel CD, you will get a bonus track “American Dream”. Is it worth it? I think so. This is a cool rocker that should not be missed.
Overall, I have been enjoying Red Dragon Cartel. It has easily been my favorite hard rock CD of 2014 so far. Some of my peers have not been so kind to Red Dragon Cartel singer Darren Smith, but I will go on record that I like his voice a lot. He reminds of a cross between John Corabi and Rod Jackson. I like both of those singers and I like Darren too. I can’t wait to hear him sing these songs live.
Red Dragon Cartel’s debut is a solid album all the way through, and most importantly it brings Jake E. Lee back to the limelight, and live stages all across the world. Welcome back Jake! I am glad you and Red Dragon Cartel are here!
02. Shout It Out
03. Feeder (Robin Zander)
04. Fall From The Sky (Seagull)
05. Wasted (Paul Di’Anno)
07. Big Mouth (Maria Brink)
08. War Machine
09. Redeem Me
10. Exquisite Tenderness
11. American Dream (Bonus Track)
Red Dragon Cartel is:
Jake E. Lee – Guitars
Ronnie Mancuso – Bass
D.J Smith – Vocals
Jonas Fairley – Drums
New Album by Band Comprised of Former Ozzy Osbourne/Badlands Guitar Legend Jake E. Lee, Bassist Ronnie Mancuso, Vocalist D.J. Smith and Drummer Jonas Fairley Set for Release in January
The newest band ready to take aim at the creative void in the hard rock world, Red Dragon Cartel, are set to release their debut album via Frontiers Records. The self-titled debut by the band made up of guitar legend Jake E. Lee, bassist Ronnie Mancuso, singer D.J. Smith and drummer Jonas Fairley is set for release on January 24th in Europe and January 28th in North America.
Jake E. Lee is best known for his work in Badlands and as guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne on Bark at the Moon and The Ultimate Sin albums. Red Dragon Cartel also features various guest appearances from some of music’s most notable faces including legendary Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander, original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di’Anno, Kill Devil Hill/Pantera bassist Rex Brown, Slash’s Conspirators Todd Kearns and Brent Fitz and In This Moment front woman Maria Brink. The album was produced by Ronnie Mancuso and Jake E. Lee and was executive produced, mixed and mastered by Kevin Churko (In This Moment, Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch).
From the opening riff of “Deceived” to final sustained piano chord of “Exquisite Tenderness,” it is clear Red Dragon Cartel has created an album that stands amongst some of the greatest hard rock albums of all time. Infectious songs such as “Shout It Out,” “Wasted” and “Slave” showcase the band’s ability to write memorable hooks and vocal melodies. Robin Zander of Cheap Trick lends his voice to the track “Feeder” and a lyric video for the song can be seen below.
Maria Brink of In This Moment lends her unique vocals to the track “Big Mouth.” Paul Di’Anno and Sass Jordan also lend their talents to the band’s debut. Jake E. Lee’s trademark playing style instantly shines through and picks up right where he left off. The album is available for pre-order on Amazon.com at http://amzn.to/1aYjMng or digitally on iTunes at http://smarturl.it/reddragoncartel that comes with an instant download of “Deceived.”
The track listing for Red Dragon Cartel is:
2. Shout It Out
3. Feeder with Robin Zander
4. Fall From The Sky (Seagull)
5. Wasted with Paul Di’Anno
7. Big Mouth with Maria Brink
8. War Machine
9. Redeem Me with Sass Jordan
10. Exquisite Tenderness
The band will be bringing these new powerhouse songs on the road playing a handful of dates in the US before embarking on a full tour in 2014. Tickets are currently on-sale and all information can be found on the band’s website.
December 12th – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go
December 14th – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theater (Support of Queensryche)
December 15th – San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick
December 20th – Las Vegas, NV – Count’s Vamp’d
Red Dragon Cartel – Official Website: http://reddragoncartel.com
Official Facebook: www.facebook.com/reddragoncartel
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/reddragoncartel
In this Moment is a band that I believe has potential to be a major force in the heavy metal world. The band has been on the cusp of being the next big metal band. The band has a very strong fan base, and I have always felt that they need one more successful album to push them up the METAL ladder. If their latest album Blood doesn’t get them there, it is going to take them a little bit closer.
Maria Brink is a super talented vocalist, and on Blood, her vocals takes the music of In this Moment to new heights. Blood is easily the band’s most creative output to date. The band is stretching its wings past its metalcore roots. I hear a lot of different musical elements and influences in the music, including Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, and maybe even a little bit of Nine Inch Nails. Many of the songs sound very mainstream radio ready, but this isn’t paint-by-numbers metal.
There are songs on Blood where Maria Brink’s voice seem to come from the depths of hell, and on others, she delights the auditory senses with her uncanny vocal ability. This is the first album without In the Moment founders Jeff Fabb and Blake Bunzel. I thought In This Moment’s sound might suffer from a shift in the lineup, but quite frankly the addition of Randy Weitzel, Travis Johnson, and Tom Hane have been an upgrade to In This Moment’s sound. Chris Howarth’s blazing guitars are still very present in Blood, but don’t expect a face melting solo in every song.
It took me a few spins to truly get into Blood, but I seem to like this album more with every listen. Some of the stand out tracks include “Adrenalize”, “You’re Gonna Listen”, the hit worthy “From the Ashes” and “The Blood Legion”. I am not a fan of the effects packed into the first single and title track “Blood”. I think this is a much better song live than the version that is on the album.
Overall, Blood is a very interesting and creative album from In This Moment. It isn’t a perfect album by any means, but it is entertaining, and that is why I listen to music.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Rise with Me
5. You’re Gonna’ Listen
6. It Is Written
10. From The Ashes
11. Beast Within
13. The Blood Legion
In This Moment is:
Maria Brink – Vocals
Chris Howorth – Lead Guitar
Travis Johnson – Bass
Randy Weitzel – Guitar
Tom Hane – Drums
This performance of Mindcrime — which will feature Maria Brink of In This Moment on vocals as “Sister Mary” — will be the band’s first of the album since the Rocklahoma festival in the summer of 2008.
“We’ve always enjoyed performing for our fans in intimate settings and the forthcoming ShipRocked cruise will certainly be one of those occasions,” states Queensryche lead singer Geoff Tate, who returns with the band for their second ShipRocked cruise. “We’re calling this one, ‘Mutiny on the Mindcrime.'”
The special performance of Operation: Mindcrime, covering all fifteen songs from the album including such fan favorites as “Revolution Calling,” “Operation: Mindcrime,” “I Don’t Believe In Love” and the closing track “Eyes Of A Stranger,” will be in addition to a greatest hits performance that will take place on another night of the cruise, which sets sail towards the Mayan Riviera on Monday, November 14th.
Maria Brink is ecstatic about joining Queensryche for the ten-minute song, “Suite Sister Mary.” “I am so excited and grateful for this amazing opportunity to sing with Queensryche on the upcoming ShipRocked cruise! All of us in the band are huge Queensryche fans, and Geoff Tate is one of the best lead singers in the business. Getting to sing ‘Suite Sister Mary’ off the original Mindcrime album is a huge honor. This is going to be a cruise to remember!“
Check out GetShiprocked.com for more info, or to reserve your tickets.