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)
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 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 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 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 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
This is a pretty good disc that sounds like a cross between Accept and AC/DC. This is a straight forward 80’s style hard rock disc.
Frontman Leon Goewie does a great job belting these tunes out, while Peter Bourbon dishes out the killer guitar hooks.
There are a bunch of excellent songs on this CD. The tracks start off with the title track, Back In the Ring. This rocking track is going to be in my playlist for a long time. No Mercy is exactly the kind of track that I am afraid to play while driving. This is a pedal to the medal, jamming rock track!
Plenty of chugging guitars and crashing drums can be found on Captain Moonlight, Holy Water. Bad Attitude is a head banging delight.
Just when you think a wimpy power ballad is on the way, Had Enough comes along and hits you upside the head with another loud rocker.
Now & Then is a fun party rock song with keyboards added in giving this song a sound similar to old of Autograph.
Cowboy Style may be the silliest songs I have heard in a while, but it comes across sounding like Party Rock. As silly as it may be, but this would go over well live. A few beers and the whole audience would sing around with this one. Who can deny the lyrics, “Shut the Fuck Up, Do it Cowboy Style“!
This disc ends in good fashion with a fun rocker, Rip It Off. This track has a hidden bonus track at the end of it.
80’s Hard Rock fans will love this CD. Back In the Ring is a fun disc, and is a blast to listen to. It makes this listener happy that there are some bands out there that still know how to rock out in 2007! Buy this disc!!
Rating:Out of 10
- Back In the Ring
- No Mercy
- Mind Over Matter
- Captain Moonlight
- Holy Water
- Bad Attitude
- Had Enuff
- Now & Then
- Cowboy Style
- Rip It Off
The Riot, Reckless Breed Remastered disc is like getting two discs in one. On this reissue, there are 6 tracks that originally appeared on the long out of print Riot Live EP.
This disc features the debut (1982) of the late, great Riot frontman Rhett Forrester. The cool thing about this remastered disc is not only do you get the studio tracks, but you get hear most of them performed live by Forrester. The live tracks really captures the energy of Riot.
As far as the studio tracks on Restless Breed, this disc was the beginning of a new sound for Riot. They were progressing towards a NWOBHM sound on this disc. Quite a few of the tracks sound in the vein of 70’s era Judas Priest musically. This is one of those killer hard rock discs from the early 80’s that often gets overlooked.
Loanshark is an explosive high tempo track that you will find the need to crank up the volume on.
Loved By You is a solid rock track. Showdown shows that Forrester can slow it down and still sound great.
There are some filler tracks on Restless Breed, but the addition of the live tracks have increased my rating over the original disc.
Rhett Forrester shows that he is one hell of a front man on this disc, and Mark Reale’s awesome playing shows that he is one very under rated guitar player.
This disc is essential for all of Rhett Forrester’s fans. Riot and Hard Rock fans in general ought to pick this up.
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the Video for Restless Breed Live!
- Hard Lovin’ Man
- Restless Breed
- When I Was Young
- Loved By You
- Over To You
- Dream Away
- Violent Crimes
- Hard Lovin’ Man Live
- Showdown Live
- Loved By You Live
- Loanshark Live
- Restless Breed Live
- Swords & Tequila Live
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
I hesitated picking up Winger – IV based on some other comments I have read regarding this disc. I have always like Kip Winger’s voice and Reb Beach’s guitars, so I figured I may as well give this a chance.
If you pick up IV thinking you are going to hear songs similar to Seventeen, and Madalaine, you will be greatly disappointed. This release is a more modern sounding rock record. The bubblegum pop metal goodness of past Winger releases is gone. This a more of a more melodic/AOR rock album.
This disc starts off with a heavy yet melodic track Right Up Ahead. I have listened to this track a few times and have grown to like it more. Blue Suede Shoes is an acoustic driven track with a great vocal by Kip. This is one of those songs that needs to grow on you. Four Leaf Clover is a more upbeat modern rock style track. I am not crazy about this song.
I expected a song with a name like M16 to blow me away. The rhythm to this track is unmistakably Winger. I have grown to like this track with time.
Your Great Escape is an upbeat rocker. Reb’s guitars shine on this track. This is my favorite track from this disc.
Disappear is an interesting track with a moody sounding keyboard synthesizer to start the track off with, but flows into a sound that is more reminiscent of, In the Heart of the Young Era Winger. I like this track alot.
On A Day Like Today is a low tempo number. Kip’s vocals sound good, but this is a track that doesn’t stick with you for very long.
Living Just to Die is a heavier up tempo number. This is another track that has grown on me quite a bit. Short Flight to Mexico continues on a heavy pace, and is another enjoyable track.
Generica is one of those tracks that grow on you with time. I didn’t like this track the first couple of times that I heard it, and have grown to like this one too.
Can’t Take it Back is a low to mid tempo number that sounds better LOUD!
You can hear some of the songs at Winger’s my space page at www.myspace.com/wingertheband.
I have updated my review as of 2/14/07. Hearing some of these songs live has changed my perspective completely. I don’t think my initial review was fair, so I made some updates.
Rating: Out of 10
- Right Up Ahead
- Blue Suede Shoes
- Four Leaf Clover
- Your Great Escape
- On A Day Like Today
- Living Just To Die
- Short Flight to Mexico
- Can’t Take it Back
Judging from the strength of The Erotics 4th release, Rock N Roll Killing Machine, they will be a band to watch in 2007.
This is a short release. 7 tracks, 1 cover tune, 1 song is a clean version of the same song (probably made for radio). This is a hard rock release that oozes punk, glam and sleaze, and just rocks the house. The Erotics remind me of early L.A. Guns and maybe a little bit of old Motley Crue. Their lead singer Mike Trash has a sound similar to Alice Cooper at times, but his delivery is much quicker paced giving the Erotics a totally unique sound.
The songs on RNRKM are all pretty solid. Rock N Roll Killing Machine is a great rocking track that has to translate well live. I Like It The Way That You Hate Me oozes sleaze, and is catchy enough to sing along with it. Drop the Bomb is another energetic track that I find myself playing over and over. Drink, Fight and Fuck is a great rock anthem, and is easily the best song on this disc. You will not get this song out of your head…..Ever!! Only A Fool shows that the Erotics can slow it down a little bit, and still sound great. I Wanna Be Somebody is a cover of the W.A.S.P. track. The Erotics make this version a fusion of Punk and Metal. I think I like their version better.
Rock N Roll Killing Machine is a tasty appetizer that will have you wanting more. The good news is the Erotics next disc, 30 Seconds Over You, is coming out in 2007.
You can grab this very reasonably at ITunes and at CDBaby. CDBaby has it set up so you can listen to all of the tracks here:Rock N Roll Killing Machine. You can also listen to some of their new tracks at their MySpace page here.
Rating:Out of 10
- Rock N Roll Killing Machine
- I Like It The Way That You Hate Me
- Drop the Bomb
- Drink, Fight and Fuck
- Only A Fool
- I Wanna Be Somebody
- Drink, Fight and F*ck (clean version)
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
Quite possibly one of the best discs of 2005 is Lipservice, the 10th release by Swedish rockers Gotthard. Gotthard is well known in the UK and Europe, but continue to go unnoticed in the United States. It is really a shame, because a record this good should really be heard by the masses.
“Lipservice” has gone Double Platinum in Switzerland and continues to sell well everywhere but in the United States.
Gotthard has a sound that falls somewhere between Def Leppard and Bon Jovi, but”Lipservice” is a stronger release than either of those bands have put out in years.
Whether you want some rocking pop metal songs or some power ballads, “Lip Service” has it all.
“All We Are”, and “Dream On” start this disc off right by rocking. “Lift You Up”, should have been a massive hit here. “Everything I Want“, is an awesome Def Leppard like power ballad, and “Cupid’s Arrow” sounds a lot like a Whitesnake track musically.
“I’m Alive” is an excellent heavy track with a killer vocal by Steve Lee. “Stay For the Night” and “Anytime Anywhere” could have both been radio hits. Both tracks have a sound that is similar to House of Lords.
“Said and Done” is another quality rock track with excellent guitars of Leo Leoni and Freddy Scherer.
“Nothing Left At All” is an acoustic guitar, piano based ballad that could have been another big hit.
There is a lot to like on Lip Service. This is a very upbeat and clean sounding record. It has a good mix of excellent vocals, and great sounding guitars, crafting one of the best Hard Rock/Melodic metal discs I have ever heard. Fans of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and the Scorpions are going to like this disc a lot. All other should at least give this a listen too.
Here are a couple of videos from Lip Service for you to check out!
Lift You Up
- All We Are
- Dream On
- Lift You Up
- Everything I Want
- Cupid’s Arrow
- I Wonder
- I’m Alive
- I’ve Seen An Angel Cry
- Stay For the Night
- Anytime Anywhere
- Said and Done
- The Other Side of Me
- Nothing Left At All
- And Then Goodbye
Steve Lee – vocals
Leo Leoni – guitars
Mandy Meyer – guitars
Marc Lynn – bass guitar
Hena Habegger – drums
One of the many bands lost in the shuffle of the grunge movement of the early 90’s was Indianapolis natives Sweet F.A.
I had the pleasure of seeing these guys live a few times before they broke up, and they always put on a good show.
Stick To Your Guns is the debut disc by this 5 piece unit of Steven David DeLong on vocals, Jon “Lightning” Huffman and James Thunder on guitars, Jim Quick on bass and Tricki Lane on drums.
This band has a great sound, which is a cross of sleaze metal and a dash of southern rock. They seemed ripe to make it big back in the early 90s but they never seemed to get the marketing push they needed by MCA to get them over the hump. They had the look, the swagger, the sound to get them there, but MCA didn’t really know how to market Hard Rock artists very well, and their success was cut short, way too early.
There are some excellent tunes on this disc that still hold up pretty well today. Prince of the City is a great high energy track to start this disc off with. Nothin’ For Nothin’ is another sleazy rocker that reminds me of the Bullet Boys quite a bit. The beat and groove of Rhythm of Action is killer. Whiskey River is a powerful rocker in the vein of Skid Row. The acoustic power ballad Heart of Gold is easily as good as anything you heard from the more successful bands of the era (Warrant, Poison, Cinderella). This disc ends with the acoustic track Southern Comfort. This is a very cool song to end this disc with.
This is one of those CD’s that 80’s hard rock fans can break out at any time and still enjoy. Great vocals, and musicianship by the Sweet F.A. guys. This is one of those discs that is out of print and is becoming harder to find, so pick one of these up if you can get your hands on it!
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the video for Rhythm of Action:
- Prince of the City
- Nothin’ for Nothin’
- Rhythm of Action
- Do A Little Drivin’
- Daily Grind
- Stick To Your Guns
- Whiskey River
- I Love Women
- Breakin’ The Law
- Heart of Gold
- Devil’s Road
- Southern Comfort
Sweet F.A. is:
Steven David DeLong – vocals
Jon “Lightning” Huffman – guitars
James Thunder – guitars
Jim Quick – bass
Tricki Lane – drums
I passed by the Dream Evil’s United disc in my local record shop several times over the last few weeks. Each time, the cover on this disc would catch my eye, but I haven’t ever heard a single track by this band in my life, so I wasn’t will to lay the bucks to check it out. My local store has a demo copy sitting out, and let me listen to the first couple of songs. This CD went home shortly thereafter. The real bonus is, I picked up one of the first pressings of this disc, that comes with a second CD, with 5 extra songs (at the same price).
What does Dream Evil sound like? If there was a 2nd New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Dream Evil would be one of the bands leading the pack. This is very much in the same vein as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, without sounding like either of those two bands. This isn’t power metal or progressive rock, this is heavy metal, the way it is supposed to be done!!
Lead Singer Niklas Isfeldt has the pipes to really belt out these tunes, and drive them home. At times he hits notes in the Rob Halford range, which is really cool to hear. Dream Evil has a fiery axe attack of Mark Black on lead, and Frederick Nordstrom on rhythm guitars. The heaviness of this guitar duo reminds me quite a bit of Accept, but the intensity of Peter Stalfors bass really gives this band a different sound. The commanding double bass drums of Pat Power tops off Dream Evil’s powerful yet melodic sound.
United is a very heavy disc, with no filler tracks. There are plenty of stand out tracks:
Fire! Battle! In Metal! is as good as metal anthems come. United, Evilution, Let Me Out, Higher on Fire and Back From the Dead are all impressive. When the band slows it down on Love is Blind, I was blown away. This is one killer heavy track that has to be heard to be appreciated.
Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the video and the 3 mp3’s below, and discover this awesome band for yourself. Fans of British Heavy Metal would be crazy not to pick this up! If I had heard this disc in 2006, it would have cracked my 2006 Heavy metal Top 5 list for sure.
Rating:Out of 10
Fire! Battle! In Metal!
Let Me Out
Back From the Dead
- Fire! Battle! In Metal!
- Blind Evil
- Let Me Out
- Higher On Fire
- Kingdom At War
- Love Is Blind
- Back From the Dead
- My Number One
- Calling Your Name
- Into the Unknown
- I Will Never
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
Very few bands in 2007 surprise me. One listen to a couple of tracks by The Answer, not only was I surprised, but my jaw dropped. This is the kind of CD that takes an unknown band and makes them superstars. Yes, its really that good!
The Answer is a 4 piece act hailing form Northern Ireland. This amazing band isn’t afraid to show their influences in their music. Name a 70’s rock act, and they have them listed as an influence.
Putting a finger on their music, and comparing them to another group really wouldn’t be fair, but I would say a cross between the Black Crows, and a heavy dose of (old) Aerosmith, and maybe a dash of AC/DC. I honestly don’t think the Black Crowes or Aerosmith have released a disc as strong as this one in a long time. This is a pure hard rock CD from beginning to end.
Usually, you will at least get some filler material with new rock acts, but this is a CD that is truly kick ass from beginning to end.
Singer Cormac Neeson, has a raspy Chris Robinson voice, with the melodic range of Robert Plant. The vocals are great here, but I have to give credit where credit is due. It isn’t just the vocals that make this music so great. The band backing up Neeson is pretty damn good too. Paul Mahon has some wicked skills on the guitar. Throughout Rise, the guitars are all amazing. You can hear hints of southern rock, blues and some slide guitar as well. The rhythm section of Michael Waters on Bass, and James Heatley on Drums would do most bands proud.
There are some definite stand out tracks on Rise. Under the Sky, Come Follow Me, Into the Gutter and Leavin’ Today are great songs that rock out.
Bottom line: If you want to hear a new band with a classic rock sound, that contains great vocals and music, you need to get this. You can hear some of their new songs at The Answer Myspace page. If you are looking to pick this up quickly, can you find on ITunes.
I have also included the video below:
Under the Sky
Come Follow Me
You can also see the new video for Never Too LateHere!
Rating:Out of 10
- Under the Sky
- Never Too Late
- Come Follow Me
- Be What You Want
- Memphis Water
- No Questions Asked
- Into the Gutter
- Sometimes Your Love
- Leavin’ Today
- Always On My Mind
Former Savatage vocalist Zak Stevens and company returns with their 3rd release, Burden of Truth.
This band seems to get better with each new disc, and Burden of Truth is no exception.
Burden of Truth features the hard driving guitar tandem of Andy Lee and Evan Christopher. The Savatage like keyboards are all but gone on Burden of truth. This is more of a heavy guitar driven album. The sound is much better than the bands sophomore effort, the Middle of Nowhere.
One listen to this disc, and you will realize quickly that you are hearing some absolute classic Metal songs.
Heal You is one of the best tracks that I have heard within the last year. Great Stuff!
The Black is a classic metal track that will go down as a band favorite for years to come.
The guitar shredding and double bass drumming on Messiah is very cool.
The title track, Burden of Truth, has to be heard to be appreciated. This is one of those well written and performed songs that people will break out their lighters (or cell phones with today’s concert goers) it they see this played live in concert.
Bottom line, this is an excellent Metal CD, and very worth picking up. Zac Stevens has a killer voice, and he lays down excellent vocals on every track on Burden of Truth. His voice alone, merits a purchase of this disc.
Those looking for a Savatage sound-a-like CD, may do better with the new Jon Oliva’s Pain release Maniacal Renderings.
Rating:Out of 10
- Who Am I To Be?
- A Matter of Time
- Heal You
- Your Reality
- The Black
- Burden of Truth
- Live As One
I just never know what I am going to stumble on when I walk into my local music store. They always have a bunch of great metal offerings, so I never know what I will leave with.
I stumbled on this disc that was released in 2002, WWIII – When Got Turned Away. I had no idea that WWIII released another disc, so I had to give this a listen. Strangely enough, I didn’t really get into their self titled disc in 1990. Mandy Lion’s vocals were too abrasive for my musical taste at the time.
In 2007, my opinion has changed, because Mandy Lion’s voice is exactly what makes this disc work for me. For those of you haven’t heard Mandy Lion before, he had a voice that is somewhere between Udo from Accept, and Blackie Lawless from W.A.S.P, and a dash of Lemmy from Motorhead for good measure. He has a gravelly, alcohol soaked, sometimes growly delivery, but he is not one of those Death Metal grunters, which I personally despise.
The music here reminds me of pre-Painkiller Judas Priest and Accept mixed together. This is air guitar causing, fist in the air, head banging heavy metal. I couldn’t find a track that I didn’t like, and I thought the cover”Fighting for the Earth” from another obscure metal band, Warrior, was very well done.
The last couple of tracks are remixes of Walk With Me and Let the Flesh Rule the Mind. Both tracks come across sounding like WWIII doing Rob Zombie. They are ok, but it is kind of a strange way to end this disc.
When God Turned Away is a strait forward Metal CD. This will likely appeal to Accept and some Judas Priest fans. All others may want to stop by the bands’ MySpace page and give some of these tracks a listen.
Rating:Out of 10
- Walk With Me
- The Last Days of the Empire of Ignorance
- Let the Flesh Rule the Mind
- Fighting For the Earth (Warrior cover)
- Garden of Stone
- The Hard Way
- Kill the Lord of the World
- When God Walked Away
- Walk With Me (Remix)
- Let the Flesh Rule the Mind (Remix)
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
Desperado is the band that Dee Snider put together after Twisted Sister broke up back in 1988.
Elektra Records wanted a new disc, and strangely shelved this disc before it ever seen the light of day.
This was finally released under the moniker, Bloodied, But Unbowed in 1996. Poor sales sent this disc back to the closet it came out of. Luckily, Cleopatra Records released Ace in its original format as it was intended for release in 1990.
Desperado features the unmistakable vocals of Dee Snider, the guitars of former Ozzy guitarist Bernie Torme, Marc Russell (Widowmaker) and former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr. Three of these guys are well known musicians that could have propelled this disc on their own.
Why Elektra buried this is a mystery. It could have been the grunge movement (shudder) or the lack of a huge hit. Bernie Torme was quoted as saying “Well, it took years out of all our lives, though for me 99.9% was pure pleasure. It was a great album, great singer, great band, but unfortunately for us, a shit record company. Hey, its just my opinion. ”
How good are the tunes here? Read on!
Immediately, one would think to compare this band to Twisted Sister, but Desperado sounds nothing like Twisted Sister at all. Sure, its Dee Snider singing, but that is where the comparison ends.
Desperado is a more strait forward hard rock offering than the hair metal releases of Twisted Sister. Quite a few of these songs have a western hard rock flair, that brings something new to the table. Dee Snider sings more often than he screams on this disc, and the sound and production is surprisingly good.
Ace starts off with Hang ‘Em High which has an Aerosmith kind of flair to it. Each time I listen to this track it gets a little better. Gone Bad is a quick head banging rocker with some excellent guitar work by Torme.
Run Wild Run Free (The Maverick) has a twinge of southern rock going for it. Snider puts down a great vocal here.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter clocks in at over 7 minutes in length. This is a low to mid tempo track that takes a few listens to appreciate. Torme’s guitar has a bluesy flair here, and really shines. This is one of those songs that you hear at first and you don’t really get into, but slowly creeps up on you and sucks you back in.
Calling For You is a mid tempo track that could have been a hit, if it was released back in the early 90’s when this disc was originally intended for release.
More amazing fretwork can be found by Torme in See You At Sunrise, another song that is a gem on Ace.
Something about parts of There’s No Angels Here sounds like a cross between a Poison and Van Halen song, but as a whole, it is a very good track.
Made for Trouble is a radio ready track that is in the vein of Tesla.
Probably the best track on the disc is Emaheeval (I’m I evil). This is a hard driving catchy rocker that is just an amazing song to close this disc with.
It is a shame that this disc didn’t see the light of day back in the earlier 90’s. It could have spawned 2 or 3 hits, and kept this band together for another release. This disc is a no brainer for Dee Snider fans. Hard Rock fans ought to give this a look!
Rating: Out of 10
- Hang ‘Em High
- Gone Bad
- Run Wild Run Free (The Maverick)
- The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
- Calling For You
- See You At Sunrise
- There’s No Angels Here
- Made For Trouble
- Ride Through the Storm
- Son of a Gun
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
Take one listen to Brother Firetribe’s False Metal and you will likely start to reminisce of a time when popular 80’s hard rock acts had catchy songs, with fun sing along choruses, and great keyboard/guitar driven rock.
Elements of this CD reminds me of Journey, Bon Jovi, Survivor, Diving for Pears, and Blue Tears. On False Metal, you will find the excellent vocals of Pekka Ansio Heino, the Neal Schon like guitars of Emppu Vuorinen, and the melodic Van Halenish keyboards of Tomppa Nikulainen.
The first track Break Out is a hard Journeyesque melodic track that screams radio hit. Valerie sounds like it could have been at home on any Survivor disc. I’m On Fire has that big AOR sound of Blue Tears. Love Goes Down is another track that has radio potential. Devil’s Daughter could have been a much bigger track if the guitar sound was beefed up a little bit. The keyboards are way too over powering on this track.
Midnight Queen and One Single Breath could be potential hits as well. Lover Tonight is a little heavier number. This is a pretty good song. Spanish Eyes is a nice melodic track, but it is a bit boring to me.
Kill City Kid is the heaviest track on this disc. This song treads down the Survivor road again. It is one better tracks on False Metal, and is a good way to close out this disc.
Brother Firetribe is the most AOR friendly rock I have ever reviewed at the Hard Rock Hideout. This is very upbeat, happy music. Whether you will enjoy this or not truly depends for your tastes in AOR keyboard driven rock. Fans of bands like Journey and Survivor will eat this up.
Here is a video I found from the False Metal CD. This will give a taste of the Brother Firetribe sound.
One Single Breath Video
Rating: Out of 10
- Break Out
- I’m on Fire
- Love Goes Down
- Devil’s Daughter
- Midnight Queen
- One Single Breath
- Lover Tonight
- Spanish Eyes
- Kill City Kid
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