Another great find from Finland, is the progressive metal band Leverage. If you are a fan of bands like Dream Theater, I think you are going to like this disc a lot. I would compare this band to a heavy Journey, or a lighter Dream Theater.
Leverage features the excellent vocals of Pekka Heino (Brother Firetribe), Tuomas Heikkinen on guitar, Torsti Spoof on guitar, Pekka Lampinen on bass, Marko Niskala on keys, and Valtteri Revonkorpi on drums.
Every site that I looked into that had any mention of Leverage, was giving their disc, Tides rave reviews, so I had no choice but to check it out myself. I made the rare purchase off of ITunes for this one, as it was available for less than 10 dollars. Tides is a disc full of excellent melodic and progressive metal. The guitars are heavy and chugging, and the keyboards blend well with Pekka Heino’s great voice.
At times Pekka Heino’s voice reminds me of Danny Vaughn from Tyketto. Very Cool!
The live clips below don’t have the greatest of sound, but will give you a very good idea of what you will hear on Tides.
There really isn’t a bad song on this disc, and the sound quality and production on Tides is superb. My favorite tracks are Fifteen Years, Dreamworld, Follow Down that River, and Gone. If you enjoy the hard edged music of Dream Theater, you ought to give Leverage’s Tides a listen. It is a solid effort all the way through, and worth picking up. You can hear more of Leverage’s music, at their myspace here.
Rating:Out of 10
- Fifteen Years
- Follow Down That River
- Marching to War
- Twilight Symphony
A recent poster at another site called Poison “a footnote, albeit a fairly listenable one.” I started thinking about the criticism about Poison and some of the other bands participating in the Rocklahoma Rock Festival, and got the old creative juices flowing. How many of the bands participating in this show are still quality acts in 2007? How many of the acts have such a strong catalog of music that they can put on live shows each year and sell thousands of tickets? The first band that comes to mind is none other than the glam rock band, Poison.
Poison has been touring almost annually, with very little new music to support their touring efforts. The bottom line is, people love Poison, and I am no exception. Any band that has sold more than 25 million albums is more than a mere footnote. They are a 80’s hard rock staple and always will be. The strength of their tunes is what pulls people in to big shows like the Rocklahoma Rock Festival.
Flesh & Blood is one of Poison’s very successful studio discs, and still stands up well in 2007. Flesh & Blood hit #2 on the U.S. charts, and has sold over 3 million copies to date. This disc spawned three gold singles: “Unskinny Bop,” “Ride the Wind,” and the ballad “Something To Believe In.”
The first couple of tracks off of Flesh and Blood are throw aways to me, but this disc picks up steam at Sacrifice (Flesh & Blood) and doesn’t let up from there.
Swampjuice (Soul-O) is nothing more than an acoustical little romp leading up to Unskinny Bop. Unskinny Bop was a huge hit for Poison. The guitar riff was extremely simple, but the song itself was infectious.
Let it Play wasn’t a hit for Poison, but it is a fun, upbeat song and keeps the pace going well on Flesh and Blood.
Life Goes On is one of two, killer ballads on Flesh and Blood.
Come Hell or High Water is one of the heavier tracks on this disc, but is still very listenable. CC Deville unleashes a few more solos throughout this track. You rarely ever hear this one today, but it is a cool Poison song.
Ride the Wind is a very good upbeat rocker that was a modest hit for Poison. The video below does a fairly good capturing the energy from the band’s live shows.
Don’t Give Up An Inch is a catchy up tempo rocker that got lost in the sea of hits on Flesh & Blood.
Something to Believe In needs no introduction. This song is one of the biggest hit songs Poison has ever released. It is a classic power ballad, and one that I still greatly enjoy today.
Ball and Chain is an ok rocker on Flesh and Blood, but doesn’t stand up to some of the other great songs here.
Life Loves a Tragedy is a semi ballad that turns into an upbeat energetic rock track on Flesh & Blood. If this song would have appeared on another Poison disc, it would have been another hit.
Poor Boy Blues closes this disc out with a blues infested number. It is a fun song, and the band sounds like they have a good time with it.
Flesh & Blood is one of three must own discs in the Poison catalog. This disc if full of great hits, and classic Poison songs. The strength of the music on this disc shows why Poison is still able to draw big crowds at huge shows like the Rocklahoma Rock Fest, and proves that they are more than a mere footnote. If you don’t own this in 2007, you ought to grab this, it is great!
Rating: Out of 10
- Strange Days of Uncle Jack
- Valley of Lost Souls
- Sacrifice (Flesh & Blood)
- Swampjuice (Soul-O)
- Unskinny Bop
- Let It Play
- Life Goes On
- Come Hell Or High Water
- Ride The Wind
- Don’t Give Up An Inch
- Something To Believe In
- Ball And Chain
- Life Loves A Tragedy
- Poor Boy Blues
One of my nicer used disc finds over the last couple of weeks is Lynch Mob’s REvolution. My used copy came with a nice slip cover case, complete with a postcard and poster of the band. REvolution marks the return of Robert Mason on lead vocals after more than a decade of absence.
Essentially, what you get on REvolution are some reworked Dokken and Lynch Mob songs. The versions here are far heavier than the originals by either band. Either George Lynch has his guitar tuned down, in a key that I am not use to hearing him play in, or the bass is way heavier in these tracks. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but the end result are some of the heaviest sounding tracks that I have ever heard George Lynch play on.
Some fans are going to love this, and some are going to hate the reworked Dokken songs. I enjoy the new twist and the more heavy metal approach to the songs.
There are a couple of problems which I should point out quickly. There is no new material on REvolution. Nada, Zilch, Zip! A couple of new songs could have helped out this collection greatly, but I think that was outside the scope of George’s vision for this disc.
Problem # 2, I have listened to these songs a few times now, and quite frankly, I do not find any of these versions superior to the originals.
With that being said, if this was the first time I had ever heard any of these songs, I would probably be pretty excited about this disc. All of the songs are still quite good, and still very enjoyable. Robert Mason does a great job putting his own spin on these songs, and George Lynch’s playing is superb as always.
Even though I enjoyed REvolution somewhat, I believe that this disc is probably for the Lynch Mob and George Lynch die hard fans only.
I have included a couple of tracks below for your listening pleasure. I am curious to see what everone else things about these reworked versions. Check these out and let me know what you think about these!
Kiss of Death
Paris is Burning
Rating: Out of 10
- Tooth and Nail
- Tangled in the Web
- All I Want
- Kiss of Death
- She’s Evil But She’s Mine
- Cold Is the Heart
- Breaking the Chains
- When Darkness Calls
- River of Love
- Wicked Sensation
- Paris Is Burning
German Rockers Pink Cream 69 return in 2007 with their tenth studio disc, In10sity. The name In10sity has more meaning for this disc, as guitarist Uwe Reitenauer, joins the band and compliments the playing of long time guitarist Alfred Koffler. This dual axe attack has given Pink Cream 69 a harder guitar driven sound, and quite frankly this new sound has helped to create what could be their finest release ever.
In10sity is full of some of the best melodic hard rock that I have heard in a very long time.
There are too many good songs on this disc to talk about them all. My current favorites are the Def Leppardish, No Way Out, the excellent pop metal of Crossfire,the very upbeat, I’m Not Afraid, and the kick ass track Wanna Hear You Rock.
In10sity rocks pretty hard until you get all the way down to the short little throw away track Desert Land. The pace immediately picks back up again with Out of This World (another track that I like a lot), and doesn’t stop rocking until you get to the final track, Last Train To Nowhere, which is one of the better power ballads that I have heard in a while.
This disc is my new front runner for best hard rock disc of 2007. Definitely some great stuff here, and a worthy disc to add to your hard rock collection. Check out the videos below, to hear a couple of new tracks, or stop by the bands myspace page. They also have a jukebox on their website which is www.pinkcream69.com
Rating:out of 10
- Children Of The Dawn
- No Way Out
- I’m Not Afraid
- A New Religion
- The Hour Of Freedom
- Stop This Madness
- Desert Land
- Out Of This World
- It’s Just A State Of Mind
- Wanna Hear You Rock
- My Darkest Hour (Bonus Track)
- Last Train To Nowhere
This disc reached platinum level status and peaked at 18th on the U.S. charts.
Being released around the same time that I went into college, you would think I have would have fond memories of this disc, but in 2007, I rarely play this anymore.
To me, the opening track, Crazy, Crazy Nights was kind of lame. This song was a little bit too bubblegum to me. It was a pretty big hit in the UK but not as big in the U.S. A lot of people like this song, but I can’t get into this one.
I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You is a much better song. It sounds more like classic KISS and features some excellent guitar playing by Bruce Kulick.
Bang Bang You is a solid rock anthem that never reached the hit level status that it deserved.
Bruce Kulick plays like a wildman on No, No, No. This is a heavier track than the previous three, and totally kicks ass.
Hell or High Water also sounds like classic KISS. It is a harder edged anthem that I would love to hear KISS play live. More great guitar work by Kulick on this song. Great stuff!
Paul Stanley’s vocals shine on My Way. This is more of a pop rock keyboard driven effort. Although Kulick does have an awesome solo on this track, it doesn’t stand out as much as some of the other songs on Crazy Nights.
When the Walls Come Down is a pretty good upbeat rocker. There isn’t a whole lot to the lyrics on this song aside from “When the Walls Come Down”, but it is still a solid track.
Reason to Live is the lone power ballad on Crazy Nights, and it is a damn good one at that. Paul Stanley’s vocals are excellent here.
Paul Stanley hands the mic over to Gene Simmons for Good Girl Gone Bad. It is a pretty good song and keeps the flow going well on Crazy Nights.
Turn on Night is the more of a pop oriented track.. This song was co written by Paul Stanley and Dianne Warren. This is not one of my favorite songs on Crazy Nights. It feels like filler to me.
Thief in the Night was originally written and recorded by Wendy O. Williams, WOW album back in 1984. The same disc that was produced by Gene Simmons. The KISS version sounds better but this song isn’t anything special.
This enjoyed listening to this CD far more than I expected. I think I must have confused it with Hot in the Shade, which I didn’t care for at all. I am glad to have been reintroduced to this disc in 2007. I will be keeping this one in my playlist for the indefinite future. Thanks to Steve over at Heavy Metal Addiction for picking this disc this week. If you don’t own this one, you need to give this one another look!
Rating: Out of 10
Check out what the Metal Madness Knights are saying about KISS Crazy Nights at the links below: Heavy Metal Time Machine, Heavy Metal Addiction, and Pulses, Verses and other Flotsam! We hope you enjoyed March Metal Madness as much as we did. Let us know what you thought of it, and as always….keep it Heavy!!
- Crazy, Crazy Nights
- I’ll Fight Hell to Hold You
- Bang Bang You
- No, No, No
- Hell or High Water
- My Way
- When the Walls Come Down
- Reason To Live
- Good Girl Gone Bad
- Turn on the Night
- Thief in the Night
I always used to blame my love for hard rock and heavy metal music on my sister. She would come home from high school and play Judas Priest’s Green Manaleshi, next thing I knew, I would race home from school to watch MTV’s hard rock show that was on at 3 P.M. every day. From that point, I was hooked forever.
The other day, I was in my local record shop ( I don’t think I can ever stop calling them records) and was flipping through the used CD’s and stumbled on Dressed to Kill. I saw 30 years of my life flash before me in an instance. The neighbors that I grew up had an LP of Dressed to Kill back around the time when I was a mere 7 years ago. I remember us playing that record over and over again. I remeber the LP cover like it was yesterday, but had forgotten all about those days of playing the record until seeing this cover again. Strangely enough, I didn’t pick up a copy of this until now.
It is amazing to me how some music is so timeless. In 2007, Dressed to Kill still sounds great. The song writing was simple, and the songs were all pretty short. This disc clocks in shy of 30 minutes for 10 songs. For being a such a short listen, it is still a damn good one.
The song I remember best on this disc is She. We must have played that song a thousand times. It has a killer groove and is one of my favorites. I have heard Rock and Roll All Night more times that I can remember and didn’t realize that it came from this disc. No one can deny that this is the biggest rock anthem of all time. I also recall playing Room Service to death, so much so, that I can almost sing the lyrics. Its interesting what stays in your subconcious.
Another song that we played the hell of on this disc is C’mon and Love Me. This is another great KISS classic.
The acoustic intro Rock Bottom is cool as hell. This is another killer song on this disc.
If you haven’t picked this up yet, you are really missing out on an excellent hard rock classic. After listening to this disc a couple of times, you can easily pick up how KISS influenced so many of the bands that became staples in our music collections in the years to come.
Rating: Out of 10
- Room Service
- Two Timer
- Ladies In Waiting
- Get Away
- Rock Bottom
- C’mon and Love Me
- Anything For My Baby
- Love Her All I Can
- Rock And Roll All Night
Per Metal Blade Records, the 25th Anniversary Edition Series are to commemorate 25 years of the LOUDEST, HARDEST, HEAVIEST and the very best HEAVY METAL on the planet, METAL BLADE RECORDS will re-release seminal Metal albums from artists that have and continue to shape and influence the genre.
Did Lizzy Borden shape and influence the genre? I can’t honestly say. If it wasn’t for some recent mentions of Lizzy Borden over at Metal Mark’s site, I don’t know if I would have picked this up. I can honestly say that before 2007, I have not heard any Lizzy Borden songs. For some reason, this is one of those bands that I passed over back in the day.
Metal Blade sweetened the deal by adding Bonus songs and a DVD, all for the price of a single CD. I stumbled on this on my last trip to the local records shop and decided to give this a shot.
Master of Disguise features some guest stars including David Michael-Phillips from King Kobra, and Big Cock, and Joey Vera from Armored Saint and Fates Warning.
Lead singer, Lizzy Borden reminds of Bruce Dickinson at time, but I think he sings at a higher register than Bruce.
The music itself is somewhat different from the hair metal releases of 1989. This is a harder yet melodic rock release that is almost glam in nature. Lizzy Borden fans call this the Lizzy Borden solo cd and not a true band effort. Either way is a solid hard rock effort that I am glad to have taken a chance on in 2007.
The highlights on this disc are the Iron Maiden like Master of Disguise, Love is a Crime, Sins of the Flesh, Never Too Young, and We Got the Power.
The bonus tracks Vampire’s Kiss and The Orchestra really didn’t add anything to the original release but are a nice pickup if you didn’t own this cd already.
Strangely enough, two videos that I never managed to catch during the 80’s MTV Head Banger’s Ball, were those below:
Love is a Crime
We Got the Power
Master of Disguise is one of those CD’s that gets better with every listen. This disc will appeal to just about everyone that is a fan of 80’s Hard Rock. This disc is a solid intro and may whet your appetite for their new disc coming out this summer. You can find more information on Lizzy Borden at LizzyBorden.com. or at their myspace page here.
- Master of Disguise
- One False Move
- Love is a Crime
- Sins of the Flesh
- Never Too Young
- Be One of Us
- Waiting in the Wings
- Roll Over and Play Dead
- Under the Rose
- We Got the Power
- Vampires Kiss (Bonus Track)
- The Orchestra (Bonus Track)
Lizzy Borden is:
Lizzy Borden – Vocals
David Michael Phillips – Guitars
Ronnie Judge – Guitars
Mychal Davis – Bass
Joey Scott – Drums
My special Tin cover edition of MKII arrived in the mail on Monday. Yea!! The CD and booklet came in a cool tin box (pictured to the left) and the CD came with the video for Lost and Gone (see below.)
I have been anxiously awaiting this new disc by Masterplan. This CD is the 3rd by the band, but the first with former Riot vocalist Mike DiMeo, and Yngwie Malmstee drummer Mike Terrana. Mike DiMeo has some huge shoes to fill, as he is filling the lead vocal position that was vacated by Jorn Lande late in 2006.
MK II starts with a majestic opening called Phoenix Rising, before blasting off with a high speed power metal offering, Warriors Cry. This isn’t my favorite track on this disc by any means, and seems like an odd placement early in the disc.
Lost and Gone on the other hand is a very cool radio ready mid tempo rock song. It is one of my early favorites on MK II.
Keeps Me Burning is a very good upbeat rocker and a nice follow up to Lost and Gone. This could easily be the second single from MKII.
Take Me Over is an great melodic track. DiMeo’s voice shines hear. ( I can almost hear Jorn singing this.) Roland Grapow absolutely flies on the guitar on this track. Great Stuff!
I really could not get into I’m Gonna Win. I did not care for the melody on this song. The song has a good message to it, but I would have preferred a different arrangement all together on this one.
Yes! Now this is what I am talking about! Watching the World is an up tempo rocker with a very cool majestic sounding keyboard by Axel Mackenrot. This is another excellent head banger on MK II.
Call the Gipsy is a very cool mid tempo number. DiMeo sings in a lower register quite a bit on this song, and sounds very much like Jorn Lande here. A short but great track.
I had to listen to Trust In You a couple of times to really gain an opinion. This track stars as slow piano based number, and builds into mid to low tempo guitar driven song. At this point, I think Mike DiMeo could sing the alphabet and sound good, but this song didn’t really grab me. I think as I continue to hear it, it will grow me on me more. The music is superb, but I need more time with this one.
If you are going to name a song after your band, it better be damn good. Masterplan is a full out power metal assault. DiMeo’s vocals are awesome, and the rest of band chants MAS – TER – PLAN! What is not to love? The band sounds like they are ready to blast off on this track. Too cool!
Enemy is the third song on MKII that I could see a possible single being made from. Roland Grapow really kicks it into gear on this song. Mike Terrana keeps the beat going strong and creates the need to break out the air drums. Great!
Heart of Darkness is another track that I could easily hear Jorn singing. DiMeo shows off his powerful voice on this track. I like Axel Mackenrott’s keyboards here a lot. As a whole this a whale of a song. It has multiple tempo changes, killer guitar work, great vocals and keyboards. It is a very good way to close out MKII.
Now the answer to the question that a lot of Masterplan fans are asking, is this CD as good as Aeronautics. For me, it is not. MK II is a solid offering, but it would have taken a lot to surpass Aeronautics. I do believe that this line up of Masterplan has the ability to make some amazing music together, and that the potential for greatness still lies ahead for these guys. There are some signs of pure metal brilliance on MK II. This disc will certainly appeal to Masterplan fans, and will probably make a bunch of new fans as well.
Rating: Out of 10
- Phoenix Rising
- Warriors Cry
- Lost and Gone
- Keeps Me Burning
- Take Me Over
- I’m Gonna Win
- Watching the World
- Call the Gipsy
- Trust In You
- Heart of Darkness
One of the best unsigned rock bands in Cincinnati, Ohio is Prizoner. I have been fortunate enough to see these guys play live several times around my local area. They have been a staple in the hard rock scene in Cincinnati for 20 years or so. Prizoner like many bands in the early 90’s put out a quality indie CD, trying like hell to get signed by a major label, but sadly never getting any bites.
Cincinnati isn’t exactly the place you want to be when you are a hot young band and trying to get signed to a deal. Geography, and the grunge movement stalled any chance they had to get signed and the band actually broke up for a while as a result. They reformed in 1998 and have been playing live shows around town ever since.
Young and Rejected is their debut release on Strugglebaby, a small indie label in Cincinnati. If you give this disc one listen, I think you will like this a lot. This disc is full of great 80’s hard rock. White Knuckle Ride, God Made Woman, and Little of Everything are prime examples of great rock that should have been heard by the world, just not the Ohio Valley.
Greg Anderson is the kind of front man that most bands would kill to have today. Not only is he an above average singer, he has the charisma and personality that so few singers today possess. Tim Keyes may be one of the best hard rock guitarists in the area, and a solid singer to boot. ( You should hear him sing when they play Judas Priest live…..wow!)
Prizoner has made both their debut CD Young and Rejected and their 1994 follow up Voodoo available for download for FREE directly from their website.
Just go to Prizoner’s website and grab Young and Rejected. If you are a fan of 80’s hard rock, you need to grab this. You can’t beat the price!
Rating:Out of 10
- White Knuckle Ride
- God Made Woman
- Distance Kills
- Sioux City Sue
- Little of Everything
- Where Does She Run To
- Rattle and Shake
- Young and Rejected
- Bet Your Life
- 1000 Years
- Eyes of a Prisoner
- Old King Cold
One of the best unsigned bands I have heard in a very long time, is Overloaded from Detroit, Michigan. This killer hard rock band has the kind of sound that will appeal to most fans of 80’s Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.
Overloaded’s sound is similar to that of Slave to the Grind era Skid Row. Lead Singer, Chris Gillen has a killer voice, and reminds me a whole lot of Sebastian Bach at times.
This disc is a hard hitter right out of the gates. Hellfire, Heavy Metal Highway and Shotgun City will have you busting out the air guitar in no time. Lead Guitarist, Erik Kluiber plays impressive solos all throughout this disc and sounds as good if not better than many of the seasoned veterans in the hard rock scene today.
The amazing thing about this disc is the production is the damn good! Usually that is uncommon for unsigned acts, but this is a big studio quality sound.
Did I mention this whole disc rocks?
Where Are You Running To is one of the coolest new songs I have heard in 2007, and I have heard a bunch.
Beaver Feaver is a much better song than the title suggests. The band sounds like they are going to rip the roof off with this track.
The high energy and chugging guitars on Cyclone will send you into a head banging frenzy.
It is a travesty that this band hasn’t been signed to a major label, and promoted. This band is too good for Detroit to have them all to themselves. If the music gods are kind, we will be hearing big things out of this band in the future. You can hear Overloaded’s music at their myspace page. You can find more information on Overloaded at their website www.overloadedmusic.com. For a paltry sum of $10.00, you can pick up their CD at CD Baby. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up today!
Rating: Out of 10
- Heavy Metal Highway
- Shotgun City
- Feeling Overloaded
- Where Are You Running To?
- Beaver Fever
- War of Worlds
- King of the Landfill
Another forgotten release from 1989 that gets little mention these days, is the debut by Lord Tracy, Deaf Gods of Babylon. After Terrence Lee Glaze’s departure from Pantera, he met up with three transplanted Memphians living in Texas, guitarist Jimmy Rusidoff (Southern Creed), bassist Kinley “Barney” Wolfe and drummer Chris Craig (both of Black Oak Arkansas and Texas band Lightning.)
I have been trying to track down a copy of this out of print disc for a while, and my persistence on EBay finally paid off. Amazingly, this disc is much better than I remembered it to be the first time around. There are several solid tracks and a couple of toungue in cheek ones, showing me that this band didn’t take themselves too seriously, and were having fun making this music.
Stand out tracks are the upbeat rockers ,Out With the Boys, East Coast Rose, She’s A Bitch, Watchadoin, In Your Eyes and a very good ballad Foolish Love. This a good pop metal/ hard rock disc that still sounds pretty damn good today. This is a disc worth seeking out if you are fan of good 80’s hard rock. You can catch a couple of the band’s tunes at their myspace page, or check out the lead track Out With The Boys below.
Out With the Boys
Rating: Out of 10
- Out With the Boys
- East Coast Rose
- Shes a Bitch
- Barney’s Wank
- Chosen Ones
- In Your Eyes
- Rats Motel
- Foolish Love
- She Man Blues
- King of the Nighttime Cowboys
- 3 H.C.
- Ivory Lover
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 hear instances in Kidd Blue’s music, that reminds me of Ratt, XYZ, and some Dokken. Bobby Blue’s vocals fit this band’s music well. The band backing him up, Steve Barton on Guitars, Mark Dubin on drums, and Robert “Sox” Canchola on bass are as good as they come. The production on this disc could have been better, however the CD states that some of the tracks here are 16 years old and were converted from analog tape. I have still heard a lot of discs far worse than this one.
My current favorite tracks are Big Trouble, Restless Eyes, and Rocket Roulette. Fans of 80’s hard rock ought to give this a look. I enjoyed this disc, and I think you will too!
You can hear a few of their tracks on Kidd Blue’s myspace page, or check out the couple of tracks I posted below.
Rating: Out of 10
- Big Trouble
- Crimes of the Heart
- Crystal Tears
- Restless Eyes
- Hold Me
- Rocket Roulette
- Midnight Train
- Feel Your Touch
- Fatal Attraction
Long time friends, Butch Maloney and Tom Lefevre put together a project of the best unknown hard rock and metal bands that the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania could provide, during the height of this music’s popularity.
This area has produced great acts like Poison, Megadeth and Mr. Big, but there were hundreds more that never got the recognition that they deserved. Thanks to Maloney, and Lefevre, we get a stellar, 2 disc, 30 track collection of all of the best glam, sleaze, metal, thrash and progressive rock, that the Lehigh Valley had to offer.
There are far too many stand out tracks to mention in this collection. My current favorites are the Skid Row like Party Hardy, the Poisonish Lickety Split, both Guilty and Alive by Washed and So Long by Dirty Blond. Sweet Tequila’s, “I wont be crying” has a great Cinderella meets AC/DC quality about it. Rage by Uncle Remus is infectious as hell.
This disc reminded me of all the reasons why I came to love this style of music. If you are a fan of the Big Hair era of Rock and Metal, you owe it to yourself to pick this disc up now. It is currently available through CD Baby and at Lehigh Valley Rocks!
Rating: Out of 10
- Teeze – Party Hardy
- Sweet Tequila – I Won’t Be Cryin
- Washed – Guilty
- Destroyer – When Morning Comes
- Shok Graffiti – Push Comes To Shove
- Nasty Nasty – Deception
- Idle Threats – Find A Way
- Omynus- Don’t Every Say Goodbye
- Sapient – Lay Your Love On the Line
- Mizery – Lost Without You
- Dirty Blond – So Long
- Jolly Roger – Lickity Split
- Fantazy – Say Its True
- The Mob – In For the Kill
- Washed – Alone
- The Mob – Angry Young Child
- Vicious Barreka – Second Stage
- Atom West – Perkins Club
- Uncle Remus – Rage
- Rock Haven – Centerfold Fantasy
- Kings Chamber – Whenever I’m Near
- Leviathen – Cry Wolf
- Kraken – The Dark
- End Zone – Think
- Vic Missy – Terror/Cartoon Lady
- Chaser – Leather and Lace
- Red October – Someone
- Apathy – Upon A Cross
- End Zone – Rise
- Slik Helvetika – High On You
I must admit that Pump’s 2006 release, Breakdown to Breakthrough, has about the ugliest cover art that I have seen in quite some time. Luckily, the tunes are much better than the artwork here! Breakdown to Breakthrough is a solid piece of 80’s style metal. After giving this disc a couple of spins, and can hear some Accept,Whitesnake and Victory like influences, as well as a bit of Y&T.
I have to give props where it is due! Hairball John has Breakdown to Breakthrough listed as his #1 disc of 2006. With a recommendation like that, I had to pick it. It took nearly a month to get this imported from Russia, and I began to lose hope that this would show up. Luckily it arrived today, and it hasn’t left my CD player since.
Lead Singer Marcus Jurgens has a vocal style that is a cross between Dave Meniketti (Y&T) and Fernando Garcia (Victory). His excellent vocals mixed with the dynamic duo of shred, Aki Reissmann and Ullrich Simon Hauff are going to bring some joy to the ears of a lot of hard rock fans out there. There isn’t a single track without some killer heavy guitars and great vocals to match. The rhythm section of Stephan Burk on Bass and Achim “Animal” Keller on Drums provide the infectious beats and awesome grooves on this disc.
This is one of those CDs that will immediately appeal to 80’s style hard rock fans. Some of the songs took a couple of listens to truly enjoy, but I really couldn’t find a single track that I didn’t like.
You can also hear more tracks at the band’s my space page, here! Check these guys out! You will be glad you did.
Rating: Out of 10
- Revolution on My Mind
- Blood on the Blade
- Save Me
- I Can’t Deny
- How Does It Feel
- Alright Now
- Heaven High
- Who Made You A Madman
This disc is the debut by the quartet of Shaun Williamson on vocals, Marcus Wolfe on guitars, Todd Ronning on bass, and Rick Fedyk on drums.
Legendary producer Jimmy Johnson said King Karma is the best rock product he has worked on since Lynyrd Skynyrd back in the 70’s. Judging from what I can hear on this disc, he may be right.
King Karma has a bluesy southern hard rock sound. Former Atlanta Rhythm Section and Backbone Slide vocalist, Shaun Williamson has the perfect voice to front this band. After giving this CD a listen for the first time, I thought King Karma is quite similar to Skynyrd in sound. Considering how very few rock bands approach music in this fashion in this day and age, King Karma is a breath of fresh air. Whether its a ballad or a rocker, they play it, and play it well!
There are several stand outs on this disc including Breathe, Into the Everlast, Mama’s Pride, Heavens Burning, I’m Listening, Midnight Sunshine. Great vocals and killer guitar solos are plentiful on this disc. This is a disc for all southern rock fans, and hard rockers alike! Skynyrd fans will eat this up! Check it out!!
Rating:Out of 10
For a brief intro to King Karma, check out the King Karma Press Kit Video below:
- Blue Monday
- Into the Everlast
- Revolution Man
- Mama’s Pride
- Twilight Child
- Heaven’s Burning
- I’m Listening
- Shake My Bones
- Don’t Take the World Out On Me
- Midnight Sunshine
- Devil’s Road
I hesitated picking up the latest disc by Lordi, but I could not pass up the horror theme of this band. I heard about all of the special guests on this disc (Dee Snider, and Jay Jay French from Twisted Sister, Bruce Kullick from KISS, and Udo Dirkschneider from Accept) and I decided that I had to give this one a try. If you can get over the vocals by Lordi, which sounds like a cross between Rob Zombie and Mandy Lion from WWIII, then you may like this disc.
The music is actually quite good on this disc, and there are several stand out tracks including Deadite Girls Gone Wild, Who’s Your Daddy, Chainsaw Buffet, and Hard Rock Halleujah.
I found a bunch of videos for this disc, so I will let the music do the talking for me. If you like good melodic heavy metal. Check this disc out!
Deadite Girls Gone Wild
Who’s Your Daddy
Hard Rock Hallelujah
It Snows In Hell (Live!)
Bringing Back the Balls to Rock
Night of the Loving Dead
- SCG3 Special Report (Intro with Dee Snider)
- The Deadite Girls Gone Wild
- The Kids Who Want to Play With The Dead
- It Snows In Hell
- Who’s Your Daddy
- They Only Come Out At Night
- Chainsaw Buffet
- Good To Be Bad
- Bringing Back the Balls of Rock
- The Night of the Loving Dead
- Hard Rock Hallelujah
- Mr. Lordi – vocals
- Amen – guitar
- OX – bass
- Kita – drums, vocals
- Awa – keyboards, vocals
The last review from the final day of the 10 Days of Jorn, is the new disc JORN, The Gathering. This disc is sort of like a Greatest Hits CD, however some of the tracks have been remastered and reworked to sound better than the originals.
Something Real is a reworking of the Something Else track from Out to Every Nation. I noticed a difference in the guitars pretty quickly. I prefer this track over the original.
I haven’t heard the track Gonna Find the Sun from the Snakes prior to the Gathering. The steep prices on EBay have kept me away from this disc. Judging from this track, I may have to put this higher on my musical needs list.
Jorn beefed up the guitars on Bridges are Burning. This is superior to the Worldchanger version, which was an excellent song to begin with.
Young Forever is one of my favorite tracks off of Out To Every Nation. I missed the Jet taking off in this version, but the song sounds louder and heavier than the original.
One Day We Will Put Out the Sun is heavier than the version off of Out To Every Nation. I like this version better.
I haven’t heard the track Hourglass from Millenium prior to the Gathering. After hearing this, I ordered the Millenium CD. This is one killer song.
Gate of Tears is another track that has been juiced up. The guitars are a bit heavier than theStarfire version. The production is far better on this version.
House of Cards stays true to the Worldchanger version. Sometimes you can’t mess with perfection!
The chameleon like Jorn Lande breaks out his Steve Perry like voice on My Own Way from the 2005 disc, The Battle. This is great stuff!
Abyss of Evil is one of my favorite tracks from Starfire. The one thing I recall was how much the guitars sounded so much like Zakk Wylde. The guitars while heavy as hell here, are missing those Wylde like harmonics that I enjoyed from the original track. Aside from that, this track is still cool as hell, and easily the heaviest track on The Gathering.
Where the Winds Blow far exceeds the version from the Ark Self Titled disc. The production and sound on this version is huge compared to the original.
Christine and Big are true to the originals. I love both of those songs, and this is a great way to close out The Gathering.
Bottom-line, The Gathering is a perfect way for new fans to jump on board. Old fans that are looking for some tracks that they didn’t have or want upgrades of some of their favorites, can’t go wrong by picking this disc up! This is an all killer, no filler disc. Buy It!!
You can listen to the track Big here! Enjoy!!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Something Real (JORN – Out To Every Nation)
2. Gonna Find The Sun (The Snakes’s – Once Bitten)
3. Bridges Will Burn (JORN – Worldchanger)
4. Young Forever (JORN – Out To Every Nation)
5. Tungur Knivur (JORN – Worldchanger)
6. One Day We Will Put Out The Sun (JORN – Out To Every Nation)
7. Sunset Station (JORN – Worldchanger)
8. Hourglass (Millenium – Hourglass)
9. Gate Of Tears (JORN – Starfire)
10. House Of Cards (JORN – Worldchanger)
11. My Own Way (Allen/Lande – The Battle)
12. Worldchanger (JORN – Worldchanger)
13. Abyss Of Evil (JORN – Starfire)
14. Where The Winds Blow (Ark – S/T)
15. Christine (JORN – Worldchanger)
16. Big (JORN – Out To Every Nation* Bonus Track)
Day 8 in the 10 Days of Jorn brings the sophomore effort, Aeronautics by the Jorn Lande led, power metal group Masterplan.
I love CD’s that are easy to review and Aeronautics is one of those. This disc is far more melodic than the debut, and does not fail to deliver at any point throughout the disc.
Crimson Rider will hook you immediately with is upbeat drumming and amazing guitar work by Roland Grapow.
Back For My Life is an impressive song that should have been a huge hit in the U.S.
Masterplan turns back to its power metal roots by cranking up the tempo on the anthemic Wounds. I’m Not Afraidis a majestic rocker that continues to amaze me every time I listen to it. Headbanger’s Ballroom is melodic yet very heavy. I have replayed this one several times.
After This War is a mid tempo number with excellent vocals by Jorn, and more flying fretwork by Roland Grapow. Into The Arenais another classic Jorn Lande Anthem at its best! The guitar riff on Dark For the Dying is quite infectious. Falling Sparrowfeatures another killer vocal by Jorn.
Black in the Burn is an awesome epic track clocking in just shy of 10 minutes. This song will take you through great melodies, and incredible guitar solos before finishing with a heaviness that will kick you in the ass. This is the most impressive song I have ever heard to close out a disc. My copy of Aeronautics came with a limited edition track Treasure World, which is a cool track itself.
Aeronautics is easily one of the top 5 metal CD’s of 2005. You owe it to yourself to pick this one up!
Back For My Life
Rating:Out of 10
- Crimson Rider
- Back For My Life
- I’m Not Afraid
- Headbanger’s Ballroom
- After This War
- Into the Arena
- Dark For the Dying
- Falling Sparrow
- Black Is the Burn
- Treasure World* (Limited Edition Bonus Track)
Day 7 of the 10 Days of Jorn, brings us to the third solo disc by Jorn Lande, Out to Every Nation.
This disc features a new lineup of musicians includingJorn Viggo Lofstad (Pagan’s Mind) on Guitar, Magnus Rosen (Hammerfall) on Bass and Stian Kristoffersen (Pagan’s Mind) on Drums.
Out to Every Nation is not my favorite disc in my Jorn Lande collection. After the stellar release Worldchanger, this disc did not live up to my expectations. I kept looking for a track that jumped out at me like Christine or Sunset Station, and it just never materialized.
With that being said, this is still an above average disc, and an above average disc from Jorn is usually ten times better than anything else out there.
There are a few noteworthy moments on Out to Every Nation worth mentioning.
Young Forever is a scorching hot track to start this disc off with. The title track Out to Every Nation is another cool song in the vein of Whitensnake. Something Real features some excellent guitar work by Jorn Viggo.
Living With Wolves reminds me of a cross between DIO and Dream Theater which is very cool. The Jorn Viggo guitar solo on Vision Eyes is superb.
The Whitesnakish Rock Spirit and the awesome guitars on Through Day and Night are growing on me each time I hear them.
The Japanese bonus track Big is awesome! This track sounds like it was a left over from Worldchanger.
This is the type of disc that needs to grown on you with a few listens. It gets progressively better with each spin. Jorn Lande sounds great, as does the band backing him up. This is a disc that may get over looked over time, but there is enough decent material on Out to Every Nation making this a disc worth picking up. I recommend the Japanese version that comes with the bonus track and the video below!
Check out the video below for Living With Wolves!
Living With Wolves
Rating: Out of 10
- Young Forever
- Out To Every Nation
- Something Else
- Living With Wolves
- Vision Eyes
- One Day We Will Put Out the Sun
- Behind the Clown
- Rock Spirit
- Through Day and Night
- When Angel Wings Were White
- Big (Japanese Bonus Track)
Jorn Lande – Vocals
Magnus Rosén – Bass
Jörn Viggo Lofstad – Guitars
Stian Kristoffersen – Drums
Ronny Tegner – Keyboards
Day 5 of the 10 Days of Jorn, brings us the debut disc by the power metal group Masterplan.
Masterplan has a supergroup type roster for their debut effort including Jorn Lande on Vocals, Roland Grapow (Helloween) on Guitars, Uli Kusch (Gamma Ray, Helloween) on Drums, Jan-S. Eckert (Iron Saviour) on Bass and Axel Mackenrott on Keyboards.
The one thing I really enjoy about this Masterplan disc is, it sounds different from all of Jorn’s past work, while staying familiar enough to appeal to all of his fans.
Masterplan starts out with 4 blistering tracks right out of the gate. Spirit Never Dies claims hold of you very quickly with its crashing double bass drums, awesome melodies, and its impressive guitar work. Enlighten Me was released as a single off of this disc (in the UK). This bang-up song is one of my favorites on this CD.
Kind Hearted Light is another melodic powerhouse of a song. This song has a good mix of keyboards and guitars. Jorn’s vocals shine here. Crystal Night is another excellent (neckbrace optional) heavy rocker.
Soulburn is the first track to bring the tempo down from the first four lightspeed paced rockers. It took me a couple of listens before I really got into this track. I started recognizing some Black Sabbath and DIO like elements with this track after a few listens.
Heroes cranks the pace back up to 10. I could not get into this song, but its not bad. Sail On continues that pace, but I believe this is a better written song between the two.
Into the Light is the track that I was waiting for. Masterplan slows it down and Jorn’s powerful voice takes over. Great song!
This must be the horror fan in me taking over, but I really like the heavy track Crawling From Hell. How can you deny a lyric like “Monsters and Demons Crawling From Hell“?
The bass heavy Bleeding Eyes has some moments to it, but it fails to deliver. On the otherhand, When Love Comes Close is centered around the acoustic guitar, and is a one of my favorite tracks here.
Through Thick and Thin could have easily been a Whitesnake track. It seems that their wasn’t enough focus on the chorus on this track. With a little bit of reworking, this track could have been a hit.
Jorn sound a lot like Coverdale on The Kid Rocks On. This is a very good song to close out this disc with.
As a whole, this is a very solid power metal offering from Masterplan. Jorn Lande’s vocals are a highlight on every track. A little better writing, and these guys could be an unstoppable force in the heavy metal scene. This is a very good disc that should appeal to Jorn Lande, Helloween, and power metal fans.
Check out the videos below. If you like the tracks below, you will definitely want to pick this up!
Spirit Never Dies (Live)
Kind Hearted Light
When Love Comes Close
Rating: Out of 10
- Spirit Never Dies
- Enlighten Me
- Kind Hearted Light
- Crystal Night
- Sail On
- Into the Light
- Crawling from Hell
- Bleeding Eyes
- When Love Comes Close
- Through Thick and Then
- The Kid Rocks On
Day 4 of the 10 Days of JORN brings us to Jorn Lande’s 2nd disc as a solo artist, Worldchanger.
Worldchanger also features Tore Moren (Rain) on Guitars, Sid Ringsby (TNT) on Bass, and Jan Aksel “Hellhammer” (Mayhem) on Drums.
To me, Worldchanger is the finest piece of music Jorn Lande has ever recorded. This CD is one of my all time favorite discs and gets regular play to this day.
Worldchanger moves Jorn one step closer to mainstream acceptability while maintaining the heaviness and progressive feel that Jorn Lande has become known for. I don’t find it surprising at all that Jorn chose to re-release 6 of the tracks from Worldchanger on the January 2007 disc, The Gathering.
One word describes this disc, stellar!
I could give you a song by song breakdown of Worldchanger, but this is one instance where I will let the music speak for itself. I have included 3 videos from Worldchanger below. Go check them out, and then go buy this! You can thank me later!
This disc is essential for all hard rock and Jorn Lande Fans. It will appeal to most Whitesnake fans as well. This is the only disc that I have reviewed that has received a perfect score from me. Yes, it is that good!
Bless the Child
House of Cards
Rating:Out of 10
- Tungur Knivur
- Sunset Station
- Glow In the Dark
- House of Cards
- Bless the Child
- Bridges Will Burn
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
Back in the late 90’s when most of the Big Hair bands went into hiding, and fans of the genre were struggling trying to find new music to listen to, one band from Germany, PC69, threw caution to the wind and released a killer Hair Metal CD, Electrified.
Sadly, this went largely unnoticed in the United States, as interest in this music just wasn’t there at the time.
Pink Cream 69 as they are known as in Germany consists of David Readman on vocals, Alfred Koffler on guitars, Dennis Ward on bass and Kosta Zafiriou on Drums.
Readman has a voice that sounds like a cross between Kip Winger and David Coverdale. Judging from this disc, Alfred Koffler is an amazing yet very under rated guitarist.
Electrified has several stand out tracks including Shame, Stranger In Time, Break the Silence, Electrified, Over the Fire and Burn Your Soul.
This album rocks hard until you get all the way to Rocket Ride, which is the album’s lone power ballad.
This disc is a nice little gem in my collection. When I play this disc for my friends who into the old hair metal scene, their initial reaction is usually, “Oh My God, Who is this band?!”
You can find most of the Pink Cream 69 releases on ITunes now. I have included some videos below so you can hear how good this band is for yourself!
Rating:Out of 10
Over the Fire
Stranger in Time
- Stranger In Time
- Break the Silence
- Over the Fire
- Losing My Faith
- Higher Kind of Love
- Burn Your Soul
- Rocket Ride
- Best For You
- Gone Again
I recently read some good things about the Lizards so I decided to check them out myself to see what they were like.
The Lizards features former Riot, and current Masterplan singer Mike DiMeo on vocals, and former Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult Drummer Bobbi Rondinelli.
I enjoyed Mike’s vocals on the last couple of Riot albums, but that didn’t prepare for me what I was about to hear on Against All Odds.
This disc is more like a 70’s classic rock disc than the progressive, power metal of Riot. The cool thing about this disc is, it sounds great but not too dated. This is a very polished and well produced disc. Mike DiMeo’s voice sounds better here than I have ever heard him anywhere else. He shows more style and range than he has on anything else I have heard him on. Rondinelli’s drums are heavy and very thick. I forgot how good of a sound he had behind the skins. Patrick Klein’s guitars have a sound not unlike Ritchie Blackmore. Randy Pratt has such a good bass grove combined with Rondinelli’s drums, you would think these guys have been playing together for decades.
I’m the One features an almost David Coverdale like vocal by DiMeo. Randy Pratt’s fat bass sound is mixed really well with DiMeo’s vocals.
Can’t Fool Myself is a 9 minute classic that ventures into Deep Purple like territory. This is a very up tempo track with some killer guitar work by Patrick Klein, and super fast bass licks by Randy Pratt. Words can not tell you how cool this track is.
On A Wire is a funky song that features a killer duet with Mike DiMeo and Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath).
Planck Time is an instrumental track that strangely enough has a Dave Matthews blues harp sound to it, with guitars by Klein that rock once more.
Ariel is a short instrumental track with DiMeo on the harpsichord and Klein’s howling guitars, with a brief vocal by DiMeo. This track leads into the next track My Dark Angel, seemlessly.
When I heard My Dark Angel the first time, I was pretty astounded. This is an amazing song that starts off slow and builds into this monster rock track with a heavy bass rhythm. DiMeo’s vocals here are amazing. He is approaching Jorn Lande territory in this song. Rondinelli’s drums sound so damn good here, and Randy Pratt is playing the bass like a demon possessed by the need to set the strings on fire. This is a killer track that you play again and again. Excellent!
Bad Luck Is Come To Town is a short and funky rock track. DiMeo shows the soulfulness of his voice here. This is another track where Rondinelli’s drums absolutely rock.
Revelation #9 features another duet with the howling vocals of Glenn Hughes and Mike DiMeo. This Piano driven track almost has a Beatlesque feel to it, before moving into a heavier guitar driven sound.
Take the Fall is another funky track that could easily have sounded at home on any Deep Purple disc. This track has the third duet with Hughes and DiMeo. This is lengthy rocker that clocks in just shy of 9 minutes. The middle of this track has a heavy jam session done The Lizards way.
Up The Stairs features the 4th and final duet between Glenn Hughes and Mike Dimeo. This song almost has a funky disco feel to it, with much heavier over tones. There are lots of horns and heavy guitars on this track, but this one does not work for me.
Eleven is a keyboard driven ballad, with a funky bass lick by Randy Pratt. This track is just OK to me.
The Arrival of Lyla finishes off Against All Odds with an upbeat track with Patrick Klein’s howling guitar licks.
From beginning to end, Against All Odds is a very well crafted disc. The sound is extremely deep on every track while, each track offers something sonically different. The Lizards pull this music off in a effortless Hard Rock flair that is sonically pleasing and leaves you wanting more. This is a new classic rock disc for the masses and is nothing short of a musical masterpiece. Not too many discs come across my player as good as this one.
Deep Purple fans and Classic Rock fans both need to pick this up! You can hear more of these tracks at the Lizard myspace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
- I’m No Good
- Can’t Fool Myself
- On A Wire
- Planck Time
- My Dark Angel
- Bad Luck Is Come to Town
- Revelation #9
- Take the Fall
- Up the Stairs
- The Arrival of Lyla
Its been a long time since there has been any new material by Leatherwolf. 1989 to be exact.
This lineup is missing original vocalist Mike Olivieri who decided to leave the band in 2000.
The vocals on World Asylum were filled by former Crimson Glory and Seven Witches singer, Wade Black. Drummer, Dean Roberts and Guitarist, Geoff Gayer are the lone holdouts from original Leatherwolf lineup. Rounding out this quintet are Riot bassist, Pete Perez and former Helstar guitarist, Eric Halpern.
There are a few quality metal tracks on World Asylum that are worth hearing. I Am the Law, King of the Ward, Behind the Gun. At this point in the record, the songs start sounding the same to me. It is solid well sung and well played Power Metal, but I keep looking for a track or two to grab me the way several tracks did on Dream Evil’s United release, and it never seems to happen.
I have given this disc multiple listens over the last 3 weeks, and each time I find that I have a hard time making it through the whole disc in the same sitting.
I liked the initial releases by Leatherwolf, but I just couldn’t get into this disc. Some hardcore metal fans may find this disc more enjoyable than I did. I would suggesting listening to some tracks first before picking this one up.
Singer Wade Black has left the band since this disc has come out, so maybe he didn’t get into it either.
Rating: Out of 10
- I Am the Law
- King of the Ward
- Behind the Gun
- Live or Die
- Dr. Wicked (Rx O.D.)
- The Grail
- Never Again
If you like your music full of sleaze, punk and in your face heavy rock and roll, you may want to check out North England Rockers, Kid Ego.
The first three tracks Ignite the Tide, Lady Conniver and Till I Die kick you in the head repeatedly and keep you asking for more. Ignite the Tide starts to loose speed about midway through the disc and picks back up again with the infectious Heartbreak Hooker. Deathrow, Flirtin’ with Suicide, and Long Time Runnin’ will have you break out your air guitar and leave you needing a neck brace.
Ignite the Tide is a powerful debut by Kid Ego. There are elements of their music that reminds me of early Motley Crue, L.A. Guns and a maybe a dash of Bad Religion. It is hard rock with one foot firmly implanted in punk. Kid Ego is a band that you will be hearing about for years to come.
This debut is positively worth your money. I had a hard time tracking this one down, but was able to get it from ITunes. Check it out!!
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the video for Flirtin’ With Suicide
- Ignite the Tide
- Lady Conniver
- Till I Die
- Magic Candy
- Sweet Bectoria
- Heartbreak Hooker
- Flirtin’ with suicide
- Long Time Running
While strolling through my local music store, I found this lost gem that I once had in my collection several years ago. Before, I picked this up again, it had been well over 10 years since I have last heard Loudness, so I didn’t remember their music at all.
Thunder in the East was originally released in 1985 and reissued in 2003. This was the first album released in the U.S. in the english language. After a little digging, I found that this disc peaked at #74 on the Billboard charts. Quite an accomplishment for a virtually unknown Japanese metal band.
How does this music stand up today? Pretty well. This is still a pretty good metal disc. I can hear Stryper and Iron Maiden like elements. (It sounds nuts, but it works for this band.)
The opening track Crazy Nights is a catchy heavy rocker with an excellent guitar riff to open the song.
There are a bunch of other quality tracks on this disc including Like Hell, Heavy Chains, Get Away, and The Lines are Down.
Lead singer, Minoru Niihara does an pretty good job vocally on this disc. Lead Guitarist, Akira Takasaki reminds me of Oz Fox quite a bit, but plays much heavier than that.
I enjoyed this disc quite a bit. This band may look like a 80’s big hair band but they were actually quite heavy for their time. Metal fans who haven’t heard this should certainly give this a look. There are some above average metal tracks that are worth discovering!
Enjoy the videos I found from Thunder in the East! If these don’t take you back 20 years, nothing will.
Rating: Out of 10
- Crazy Nights
- Like Hell
- Heavy Chains
- Get Away
- We Could Be Together
- Run For Your Life
- Clockwork Toy
- No Way Out
- The Lines are Down
- Never Change Your Mind
Put Cinderella, Kix, Britny Fox and dash of Def Leppard in a blender, and you may come out with something that resembles Miss Crazy.
You can easily hear similarities to all of these groups on Miss Crazy’s debut CD.
This a rocking affair that is going to appeal greatly to 80’s Hard Rock Fans! Miss Crazy may not win any awards for being original, but with so few of these bands putting out any quality music today, its nice to find a new group to carry the torch.
No Compromise has elements of all the bands I mentioned above. It is a heavy track which features the very Tom Keifer like vocals of Markus Allen Christopher. The track Billie treads down Kix street with another upbeat rocker.
Hide Island is more more in the vein of Def Leppard. This track features some killer guitar work, and is one of my early favorites.
Dizzy Dean Davidson shows up to sing Life’s Been Gone. Ok, not really, but it sure does sound like it.
You’re Blue sounds like it could have been performed by Night Songs era Cinderella. Scream is reminiscent of Blow My Fuse era Kix.
So Long is another with Britney Fox like song, with a Def Leppard style chorus. Now is another Cinderella like track.
Shut Eyes has elements of AC/DC, Def Leppard and Cinderella. Baby Let’s Go ends this disc on a high note with more Cinderella like elements.
Bottom Line: This is a all killer no filler kind of disc. All of the tracks are mid to high tempo to rockers. This is the kind of music that you want to put into your car CD player and play very LOUD! My only problem with this disc is that it didn’t end up my hands sooner! This is 80’s style hard rock/ hair metal that is as good as it gets today!
If you haven’t heard Miss Crazy yet, pay a visit to the band’s website at www.misscrazymusic.com.
They have a jukebox on their site where you can listen to these tracks.
Warning! You may find yourself running to the record store to pick this up!
Rating:Out of 10
- No Compromise
- Hide Island
- Life’s Been Good
- You’re Blue
- So Long
- Shut Eyes
- Baby Lets Go
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