Butchering the Beatles has the biggest collection of 80’s Hard Rock Artists in one place since 1985’s Hear ‘n Aid.
Some of the songs work better than others, but what you basically get are some heavy versions of the Beatles‘ classic songs.
Some of the stand out tracks are Magical Mystery Tour, Day Tripper, I Feel Fine, Taxman and I Saw Her Standing There.
Usually, I hate discs with cover tunes, but I must admit that Butchering the Beatles is a guilty pleasure of mine. Each cut on this disc is a heaver version of the original classic, instead of faithful covers ala Shaw/Blades new disc, Influence. I get a charge out the the faster and harder versions of these tunes, and I bet this will appeal to a bunch of 80’s hard rock fans out there. This is way the cover tunes, SHOULD be done!
Check out the tracks below, and let me know what you think!
I Saw Here Standing There
Rating: Out of 10
1. “Hey Bulldog” – Alice Cooper, vocals; Steve Vai, guitars; Duff McKagen (Velvet Revolver / Guns N Roses), bass; Mikkey Dee (Motorhead), drums
2. “Back In The USSR” – Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), vocals/bass; John5 (Marilyn Manson / Rob Zombie), guitars; Eric Singer (Kiss / Alice Cooper), drums
3. “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” – Geoff Tate (Queensryche), vocals; Michael Wilton (Queensryche), guitar; Craig Goldy (Dio), guitar; Rudy Sarzo (Dio), bass; Simon Wright (Dio), drums; Scott Warren (Dio), keys
4. “Tomorrow Never Knows” – Billy Idol, vocals; Steve Stevens (Billy Idol), guitars; Blasko (Ozzy Osbourne), bass; Brian Tichy (Billy Idol), drums
5. “Magical Mystery Tour” – Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen / Soul Sirkus), vocals; Yngwie Malmsteen (Rising Force / Alcatrazz), lead guitar; Bob Kulick, (Meat Loaf / Paul Stanley Band), rhythm guitar; Jeff Pilson (Dokken / Foreigner), bass; Frankie Banali (Wasp / Quiet Riot), drums
6. “Revolution” – Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), vocals / guitar; Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard), guitar; Mike Porcaro (Toto), bass; Gregg Bisonnette (David Lee Roth / Ringo Starr Band), drums; Joseph Fazzio (Superjoint Ritual), drums
7. “Day Tripper” – Jack Blades (Night Ranger / Damn Yankees), vocals; Tommy Shaw (Styx / Damn Yankees), vocals; Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake / Dio), guitars; Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake / Thin Lizzy), bass; Virgil Donati (Steve Vai / Soul Sirkus / Planet X), drums
8. “I Feel Fine” – John Bush (Anthrax), vocals; Stephen Carpenter (Deftones), guitar; Mike Inez (Ozzy Osbourne / Alice In Chains), bass; John Tempesta (The Cult / Testament), drums
9. “Taxman” – Doug Pinnick (Kings X), vocals; Steve Lukather (Toto), guitar; Tony Levin (John Lennon / Peter Gabriel), bass; Steve Ferrone (Eric Clapton / Tom Petty), drums
10. “I Saw Her Standing There” – John Corabi (Motley Crue), vocals; Phil Campbell (Motorhead), guitar; C.C. Deville (Poison), guitar; Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction), bass; Kenny Aronoff (Smashing Pumpkins / Jon Bon Jovi), drums
11. “Hey Jude” – Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest / Iced Earth), vocals; George Lynch (Dokken / Lynch Mob), guitar; Bob Kulick (Meat Loaf / Paul Stanley Band), rhythm guitar; Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge / Beck / Bogert & Appice), bass; Chris Slade (AC/DC), drums
12. “Drive My Car” – Kip Winger (Winger), vocals; Bruce Kulick (Kiss / Grand Funk), guitar; Tony Franklin (The Firm / Whitesnake), bass; Aynsley Dunbar (Whitesnake / Journey), drums
The 9th Day of Jorn brings us to the dueling singers of Russell Allen (Symphony X) and Jorn Lande. Last Tribers Magnus Karlsson handles the bass, guitar and keyboards, while his band mate, Jaime Salazar provides the drums.
Another Battle is a very melodic progressive rock anthem. This is the first track where you realize how much Russel Allen’s voice compliments Jorn Lande.
Magnus Karlsson starts the guitar riffs firing quickly on the hard yet melodic Hunter’s Night. Russell Allen handles the vocals on this track.
Wish For A Miracle starts out with a cool progressive heaviness that blends into a purely melodic rocker that is a pure joy to listen to.
Reach A Little Longer is a beautiful solo ballad by Jorn. Come Alive starts off with an awesome metal riff that would make Zakk Wylde proud, and settles into another exceptional melodic track.
Truth About Our Time is an uptempo rocker featuring both, Jorn and Russell on vocals. Jorn Lande sings solo and sounds a lot like Steve Perry on the superb track My Own Way Home. Not to be out done, Russell Allen takes over the lead vocals on the first-rate AOR track Ask You Anyway.
Silent Rage is infectious as hell and Where Have the Angels Goneis another great AOR song in the vein of Journey. Russell Allenshows his impressive range on Whitesnake like rocker, Universe of Light. Forgotten, Ones closes this disc with a pure AOR piano driven track with the excellent dueling vocals of Lande and Allen. What a fitting way to end this disc!
This amazing disc is for all hard rock, Symphony X, Jorn Lande, and Last Tribe fans. Fantatstic vocals, amazing guitar work, and well written melodic songs make The Battle one of the top discs of 2005. You need to buy this!
Here are a couple of track from the Battle. Enjoy!
Where Have the Angels Gone
Wish For a Miracle
Rating:Out of 10
- Another Battle
- Hunter’s Night
- Wish For A Miracle
- Reach A Little Longer
- Come Alive
- Truth About Our Time
- My Own Way Home
- Ask You Anyway
- Silent Rage
- Where Have the Angels Gone
- Universe of Light
- Forgotten, Ones
Day 6 of the 10 Days of JORN brings us to the project of guitarist Nikolo Kotzev, Brazen Abbot.
Guilty as Sin features a triumvirate of singers including, Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow), Goran Edman (Street Talk, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Jorn Lande. Brazen Abbot also features current Europe bandmates Mic Michaeli on keyboards,John Leven on bass and Ian Haughland on drums.
Guilty as Sin blasts out of the gate with an awesome Rainbow like track sung by Joe Lynn Turner.
Eyes on the Horizon is the first Brazen Abbot track Jorn Lande has ever sung on, and it is a great one. This song has a sound similar to that of Deep Purple.
I’ll Be Free almost seems out of place after the first two power tracks. This is a slow ballad sung by Goran Edman. It is a descent song, but its placement here seems odd to me.
Slip Away is another great rocker sung by Joe Lynn Turner. Jorn Lande astonishes all with his powerful voice on Mr. Earthman. Goran Edman shows that he can rock hard too on the very cool Like Jonah.
Jorn Lande sounds just like David Coverdale on Bring the Colors Home. This low tempo track would not have sounded out of place on any of the last few Whitesnake albums. This song has hit written all over it!
Goran Edman takes over the microphone on Fool’s Confession. This is another cool track, that could have easily been a hit.
Its no surprise that Joe Lynn Turner sounds great on Supernatural. This is another track in the vein of Rainbow.
Eve is another slow paced number by Goran Edman. I didn’t care for this track too much. It is too light as compared to the rest of the tracks on this disc, and seems out of place.
After that last clunker Eve, Jorn sounds like he is shot out of a cannon on A Whole Lotta Woman. This is another excellent rocker in the vein of Whitesnake!
Guilty As Sin closes out this disc with another low to mid tempo rocker by Joe Lynn Turner. This is another superb track, and a great way to close out this disc.
Joe Lynn Turner and Jorn Landesound like they are in competition on this disc. They both sing their hearts out, and sound fantastic. The Goran Edman led tracks are not in the same ballpark as the JLT and JL tracks, and are the only weak point on Guity As Sin. Guitarist Nikolo Kotzev is obviously a very talented guitarist as his amazing fretwork can be heard all throughout this disc. The Europetrio of Michaeli, Leven and Haugland do an excellent job as well. This disc is essential for Turner and Lande fans. This may appeal to fans of Rainbow, Europe and Whitesnake as well.
You can check out three of the Jorn Lande tracks below! Enjoy!
Eyes on the Horizon
A Whole Lotta Woman
Rating: Out of 10
- One Life to Live
- Eyes on the Horizon
- I’ll Be Free
- Slip Away
- Mr. Earthman
- Like Jonah
- Bring the Colors Home
- Fools Confession
- A Whole Lotta Woman
- Guilty As Sin
Day 3 of the 10 Days of Jorn, brings the 2nd disc, Burn The Sun, by the progressive metal group, Ark.
Ark’s already amazing roster grew for their sophomore effort. The bass playing virtuoso Randy Coven (Holy Mother, Steve Vai, Blues Saraceno) and longtime Yngwie Malmsteen keyboardist Mats Olausson, joined guitarist Tore Ostby, drummer John Macaluso, and lead vocalist extraordinaire Jorn Lande .
Not only did the band lineup improve, so did the production on Burn the Sun. The muddy production that hurt the over all sound on the debut disc is gone. Former Victory guitar player Tommy Newton came in to produce this disc and did a hell of a job. The sound quality on Burn the Sun is nothing short of superb.
It seems that everything about Burn the Sun improved over the debut. This disc has better production, writing, and songs. Jorn Lande’s singing has improved over the first disc as well.
Heal the Waters is an amazing song to start this disc off with. Jorn Lande sings this song in a lower register, before breaking out in his powerful raspy goodness. It doesn’t take long for newcomers Randy Coven and Mats Olausson to bust out and show the power of this enhanced Ark lineup.
Everytime I listen to Torn I hear something different. The ghost like guitars of Tore Ostby swirls between your speakers. Randy Coven’s bass sounds amazing here.
Burn The Sun is a very cool track. Jorn sings in a lower register on this track. When Coven’s heavy bass matches Jorn’s lower range, this track takes on a Black Sabbath like feel to it. Nonetheless, this track could have been huge in the U.S., had any radio stations picked up on it.
Jorn shows off his impressive range on Resurrection. This song has a bunch of cool tempo changes, and Tore really tears it up this track. Very cool!
Absolute Zero is kind of an odd track to me. The bass and drumming is fast but light, and Jorn’s vocals seem to be at a slower pace. For some reason, this doesn’t mix together well for me. When the song picks up, it sounds great, but in the slow places it is a little weak.
Tore Ostby breaks out the Spanish Guitar on Just A Little. Jorn sounds great on this song, but I couldn’t really get into it. Its just a little too jangly for my tastes.
Waking Hour shows the world why Jorn Lande has one of the most amazing voices in rock today. Musically, this track has a Rush like sound, before moving into a harder edged direction. Once the tempo shifts, Jorn brings down the house with his incredible vocal range.
The composition of Noose is amazing. The crushing bass on Noose sounds very much in the vein of Dream Theater. Jorn’s voice on Noose sways between David Coverdale and Robert Plant. Tore Ostby smokes on the guitar. Mats Olausson keyboards remind me of Yes on this track. This is a killer progressive track, but needs a couple of listens to be fully appreciated.
Feed The Fire has Jorn singing in a range and style that I don’t think he has ever covered anywhere else. He sounds a whole lot like Steve Perry from Journey, and just about hits the range of Sting on this track. This track is a radio worthy hit!
Jorn breaks out his best David Coverdale like voice on I Bleed. Tore Ostby sounds great on this track.
Missing You ventures back into the Pink Floyd like territory of Can’t Let Go from the Ark debut. This track clocks in at over 9 minutes in length. I can almost see the laser light show while listening to the howling guitars of Tore Ostby. This is a very moody song, but it has an excellent sound quality to it, and the guitars are pristine on the track.
The Japanese Bonus Track, Silent Is the Rain is a quiet track in comparision to the other 11 on Burn the Sun. Jorn sings in a low register on this track. It is an interesting listen, but it is not good enough to merit spending a bunch of extra cash to get it.
Burn the Sun is much better than the debut by Ark, but a couple of weaker songs in the middle of the disc keeps it from being perfect. This disc is essential to Jorn Lande fans. Progressive rock fans need to get this too!
Rating: Out of 10
- Heal the Waters
- Burn the Sun
- Absolute Zero
- Just A Little
- Waking Hour
- Feed the Fire
- I Bleed
- Missing You
- Silent is the Rain (Japanese Bonus Track)
Day 2 of the 10 days of Jorn introduces the debut of Jorn Lande as a solo artist.
With ten songs, five of which are cover songs, one might think Jorn has no song writing skills, or doesn’t have the talent to back up a solo career.
I would have to say wrong on both counts. Most of the covers songs on this discs, are not well known tracks by the average person. After hearing Jorn rearrange these tracks, one will forget that they are cover tunes very quickly. I bet many people will break out their discs by the original artists to discover Jorn’s versions far superior.
Starfire is a brilliantly produced CD, with a good mix of Metal and AOR tracks, all featuring the powerful vocals of Jorn.
How do the songs stack up? Fantastic. Jorn enlisted the help of some amazing, all-star caliber musicians on this disc. You can tell by the quality of each track, that he was trying to put out an excellent disc for his fans.
The title track, Starfire starts this disc off with pure AOR goodness. This track is melodic, yet it exudes such power. There are not enough tracks that come out today that sounds this good.
Edge of the Blade is a cover of the Journey track from the 1983 disc Frontiers. This song features the very Neal Schon like guitar work of Millenium’s Ralph Santolla. I think Jorn’s vocal is definite improvement over Steve Perry on this track.
Whether you remember, the Foreigner track Break it Up from the 1981 disc 4, you will recognize the music styling almost immediately. This is a very good cover by Jorn Lande featuring Millenium’s Shane French on guitar. This group has the Foreigner down to a science. (Now If Jorn would only sing, Dirty White Boy, that would be something extemely cool to hear.)
I did not realize The Day the Earth Caught Fire was a cover by City Boy. That band may have been before my time, but nonetheless I found this track very enjoyable. This is another pure AOR track featuring the flying fret work of TNT’s Ronni Lé Tekrø
Ark band mate Tore Ostby andJorn absolutely smoke on the Deep Purple cover Burn. This is one hell of a cover, that sounds as good, if not better than the original. You will hear this track again on a new cover album coming out in 2007. (Hint, Hint)
I had a hard time getting into End Come Easy, but I have listened to this multiple times and it has grown on me somewhat. This track has an experimental Led Zeppelin orAerosmith kind of feel to it. I haven’t been able to put my finger on it exactly. It has a Middle Eastern style about it.
The Jefferson Starship track, Just the Same from the 1979 release Freedom at Point Zero is well covered by Jorn and his all-star group featuringTore Ostby (Ark) on guitar, and TNT band members Jon Macaluso on drums and Dag Stokke on keyboards.This track features an awesome bass groove, and has melodic keyboards that are empowered by Jorn’s commanding vocals.
If Zakk Wylde were to play with Jorn Lande, it would sound just like Abyss of Evil. After the other AOR tracks on Starfire, Abyss of Evil kicks you in the head with its excellent 80’s style hard rock heaviness. Abyss of Evil is my favorite track on Starfire, and luckily this track will also show up on a new Jorn disc in 2007.
After the heaviness of the previous track, Forever Yoursalmost seems out of place. This is an acoustic driven number on which Jorn sounds a lot like Jeff Scott Soto. It is a beautiful song, but it seems out of place sandwiched between Abyss of Evil and the monster closing track Gate of Tears.
Jorn breaks out his best Ronnie James Dio voice for Gate of Tears. This monster of a track sounds like it could have been on a Dio era Black Sabbath disc. This is an awesome heavy track, and killer one to close out Starfire. I don’t find it surprising at all that this will be the 3rd track from Starfire to show up on The Gathering!
Bottomline, Starfire is an awesome disc, with a good mixtures of AOR, metal and Hard Rock. This disc gives you a good taste of the amazing talent of Jorn, and should be in everyone’s music collection!
Rating: Out of 10
- Edge of the Blade
- Break It Up
- The Day the Earth Caught Fire
- End Come Easy
- Just the Same
- Abyss of Evil
- Forever Yours
- Gate of Tears
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Tore Ostby – Guitar, Bass
John Macaluso – Drums
Dag Stokke – Keyboards
Ralph Santolla – Guitar
Ronni Le Tekrø – Guitar on track 4
Tore Moren – Guitar
Willy Bendiksen – Drums
Jon A. Narum – Drums, Guitar, Bass, Sampling, Melotrone
Day 1 of the 10 days of Jorn starts with the self titled debut by the progressive metal band Ark. This is the disc where people really started noticing Jorn Lande. He did have prior releases with the Snakes, and Vagabond ( very hard to find discs, that get big dollars on EBay and GEMMto name a few), but this is the disc where Jorn started perfecting his craft. The end result is a classic progressive metal disc that is still a very good listening experience in 2007.
Ark also features the amazing playing of Tore Ostby (Conception) on guitars and progressive rhythm master John Macaluso(TNT and Yngwie Malmsteen) on drums.
Burning Downestablishes the tone and pace of this CD immediately. Jorn’s amazing voice takes hold of you quickly. The tempo changes and power of this track will kick you in the ass, and Tore Ostby’s flying fretwork will set your hair on fire.
Where the Winds Blowis a progressive masterpiece by any standards. This is one of the many tracks that Jorn chose to rework for his new release, the Gathering.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a track that is hard to describe. It has parts with Spanish guitar and jazz like piano. It is an interesting track but not my favorite by any means.
Singer’s at the World’s Dawnis a heavy prog rocker, with excellent guitars and Deep Purple like keyboards. Jorn really belts this song out. The power and raspiness of Lande’s voice on this track is amazing.
The bass drumming by John Macaluso on Mother Love will amaze you. The track is what I would consider another progressive masterpiece. There lots of timing changes, killer drumming, great keyboards, and more amazing fretwork by Tore Ostby.
Center Avenue was an odd track to me. It starts off sounding like a Dream Theater track, but the pacing of the music doesn’t seem to fit the vocals to me. It was the lone track on this disc, that for some reason did not really work well for me. The guitar parts are pretty cool, but lyrically it didn’t seem to fit together right.
Can’t Let Go on the other hand has oodles of redeeming qualities. This 9 plus minute track has a Pink Floyd like sound to it, and is an awesome track to end this disc with. The epic track needs to be heard to be appreciated.
This is a very solid debut Ark. The musicianship on these songs is superb. The production quality sounds a little muddy at times, but it does not distract from the power of the music. Jorn Lande’s powerhouse vocals are worth the price of admission. This is a disc that progressive rock and Jorn Lande fans can’t afford to miss.
Rating:Out of 10
The video below is Ark performing Burning Down at a rare U.S. appearance at the Prog Power U.S.A. festival in Atlanta, Georgia. The sound is kind of muddy on the video, but you will still be able to hear the power of Jorn Lande’s voice. This video doesn’t capture the power of the studio track, but its still worth watching.
- Burning Down
- Where the Wind Blows
- Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Singer’s At the World’s Dawn
- Mother Love
- Center Avenue
- Can’t Let Go
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)
Out of all singers I have discovered on TV, Bo Bice is the best of them all, hands down.
He has the best voice, and to me is still the best new talent to come off the TV screen.
Does the Real Thing reflect this? Yes and no. First off, RCA forced Bo to do songs in this Pop/Rock style.
Bo Bice would be better suited for a Skynyrd style rock album than a bunch of pop tunes. The amazing thing is, on The Real Thing it works, it just isn’t what you would expect from a southern rocker like Bice.
So The Real Thing is mainly a collection of Pop Rock tunes. There are no bad song on this disc, but some are certainly better than others. Personally, I think the title track, The Real Thing is kind of lame. RCA released this as a single, along with a lame video. What the hell were they thinking. Its not even close to being, one of the better songs on the disc.
You’re Everything was written by Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger. I like this track a lot.
The Jon Bon Jovi/Richie Sambora track Nothing Without You is also pretty good.
Lie…It’s Alright has a pretty good groove and is kind of cool.
Valley of Angels, Whiskey Women and Time, Cinnamon and Novocaine are Bice penned tracks, and shows off his writing skills. All 3 are great tracks, and show what kind of CD Bo would have made, if not overpower by RCA’s strong-arm. Sadly, 2 of these are only available on the DVD side of The Real Thing Dual Disc CD/DVD, so most people never got the chance to hear these.
Even though I would not consider this music hard rock by any means, I like this CD. There isn’t a track on this CD, where the music overpowers Bo’s voice, and that says what kind of talent Bo Bice really is. I can only hope that CD #2 will be more in the Southern/hard rock vain I would expect.
Rating: out of 10
- The Real Thing
- You’re Everything
- U Make Me Better
- Nothing Without You
- My World
- Remember Me
- Hold On To Me
- Lie…It’s Alright
- It’s My Life
- Willing To Try
- Valley of Angels
- Whiskey, Women and Time (Dual Disc only)
- Sinner in a Sin (Dual Disc only)
- Cinnamon and Novocaine (Dual Disc only)
Slave to the System is one of the better CD’s released in 2006.
This group consists of Damon Johnson, and Roman Glick from Brother Cane, and Scott Rockenfeld and Kelly Gray of Queensryche.
I have always liked both bands, but I must admit that I haven’t been very fond of the Kelly Gray, Queensryche years.
After hearing this CD, I wonder how much Geoff Tate has been holding back Kelly, as he kicks ass on this CD. Damon Johnson and the rest of the guys are great as well. Some songs lean towards more album oriented radio friendly rock, others are a little harder. The slower tracks took two or three listens to digest, and have really grown on me. The CD does a good job of mixing the two up.
As a whole, this is a killer CD with no filler tracks. This is straight up hard rock all the way through. If you like either of the two bands, I mentioned above, you are going to like this. It may take you a couple of listens to get into this, but if you give this a chance, you will be pleasantly surprised.
This CD is one of my top picks in 2006.
For more information on Slave to the System, check out their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Ruby Wednesday
- Slave to the System*
- Live this Life
- Cruze out of Control*
- Gone Today*
- Will You Be There
- Walk the Line
Slave to the System is:
Damon Johnson – Vocals and Guitar
Roman Glick – Bass
Kelly Gray – Guitar
Scott Rockenfeld – Drums
Black Stone Cherry is quite simply at the top of my list for best new band in 2006. I discovered these guys only because I saw they were opening for Black Label Society. I found their website, listened to two songs and went out and bought the CD immediately.
The only way I can describe these Kentucky rockers is a cross between Skynyrd and Metallica. They are definitely harder and faster than Skynyrd for those that are wondering.
There are so many great tracks on this CD, I don’t even know where to begin.
My favorites change from day to day, but currently, they are Lonely Train, Violator Girl and Hell or High Water.
This is head banging, heavy southern rock! This CD is so damn good, you need to sign off the net now and get to your local CD shop and pick this up!
Rating: Out of 10
- Rain Wizard
- Backwoods Gold*
- Lonely Train*
- Maybe Someday*
- When the Weight Comes Down*
- Crosstown Woman
- Shooting Star
- Hell and High Water
- Shapes of Things
- Violator Girl*
- Tired of the Rain
- Rollin On
Black Stone Cherry is:
Chris Robertson – (vocals/guitar)
Ben Wells – (guitar/vocals)
Jon Lawhon – (bass/vocals)
John Fred Young – (drums/vocals)