On the way home last night, I was listening to Eddie Trunk on XM41 the Boneyard. Eddie played the first track, As I Am, off of Dream Theater’s 2003 release, Train of Thought. I have always considered myself a Dream Theater fan, even though I do not own all of their discs. After hearing As I Am, I turned the car around and headed back to the local record shop, where I remembered seeing a copy of this in the used bin. As I Am has to be one of the coolest metal tracks I have heard in a long time. This ventures away from the progressive rock side of DT and into a new almost Black Sabbath sounding metal track.
Train of Thought has a low song count…only 7. Those seven songs clock in at well over an hour.
The Dying Soul is the first of 5 tracks clocking in at over 1o minutes in length. This track starts off with a two minute jam before you hear any lyrics at all. This song is a fusion of heavy and progressive metal. Plenty of heavy guitars and double bass drums on this track.
Endless Sacrifice starts as this low tempo melodic number with piano and awesome sounding guitars, and blasts off in short intervals into a heavy track full of distorted guitars and swirling keyboards, before returning back to the slow pace it started with. You really have to hear this track to appreciate it. The music on this track is incredible!
Honor Thy Father is a heavy prog rocker that is about a conflict between a father and son. It is a hate filled number lyrically, and the music seems to fit that perfectly.
Vacant is a short piano based number that seems out of place when combined with the other tracks on Train of Thought.
Stream of Consciousness is a beast of an Instrumental track, clocking in at over 11 minutes.
In the Name of God is the longest track on T.O.T, clocking in at over 14 minutes in length. This is a heavy based track with lyrics that are about violence and war in the name of religion. This is a well written track that you really need to listen to and absorb.
Train of Thought is full of stellar musicianship. If you are the type of hard rock fan that will only listen to KISS style, sing along anthems, you probably aren’t going to like this disc. If you like good progressive, heavy metal, this disc should be a no brainer for you. As I Am may be the only track that you will load into your mp3 player and listen to over and over, but, like many Dream Theater discs, this music has to be experienced soley for the amazing musicianship.
Enjoy the mini concert for Train of Thought below:
As I Am
The Dying Soul Part 1
The Dying Soul Part 2
Honor Thy Father
In the Name of God part 1
In the Name of God part 2
Rating: Out of 10
- As I Am
- The Dying Soul
- Endless Sacrifice
- Honor Thy Father
- Stream of Conciousness
- In the Name of God
Mask of Sanity is the 18th release by the German Metal Band Sinner. I must admit, that before 2007, I have not ever heard of this band before. A few of the online metal shows that I listen to have been giving this disc some spins, so I decided to give this one a look. With a CD cover that Ghost Rider fans (like myself) had to love, my expectations were raised for this disc somewhat.
Lead vocalist Mat Sinner sounds like a cross between Udo Dirkschneider (Accept) and Kevin Dubrow (Quiet Riot). His voice is one that takes some getting used to. He wont go down in history as one of metal’s best singers by any means, but he wont go down as the worst either.
The band backing up Mat Sinner, Tom Naumann on guitar, Frank Rössler on keyboards, Klaus Sperling on drums, and Christof Leim on guitar sound great.
Its obvious that the band has been playing together for a long time, as the music is tight as hell. There are elements of 80’s hard rock, a dash of power metal and sometimes progressive metal mixed in the songs on this disc. The band is so good, I wonder if Mat Sinner is holding them back. A better vocalist could possibly take this band to new heights.
Nonetheless, Mask of Sanity, is a good metal release, and worth checking out.
There are quite a few cuts off Mask of Sanity that I like including, Badlands, Black, Diary of Evil, The Sign, and Baby Please Don’t Go. Check out the videos below
For more information on Sinner, check out Mat Sinner’s myspace page.
Diary of Evil
Rating: Out of 10
- Cant Stand the Heat
- Diary of Evil
- Last Man Standing
- No Return
- The Other Side
- The Sign
- Thunder Roar
- Under the Gun
- Baby Please Don’t Go (Bonus Track)
Another killer heavy metal disc that no rock fans should be without, is the 5th release by Armored Saint, Symbol of Salvation. Armored Saint features Jon Bush (Anthrax), Jeff Duncan (Odin, DC4) and Phil Sandoval on guitars, Joey Vera on bass, and Gonzo Sandoval on drums. Symbol of Salvation is the most successful disc to date by Armored Saint.
This disc has quite a few killer cuts on it including, Reign of Fire, Last Train Home, The Truth Always Hurts, and Symbol of Salvation.
This disc was getting heavy air play on the nationally broadcast Hard Rock station ZRock back in 1991. I don’t hear too many tracks getting played off this disc today, and its a real shame, as this is a classic metal disc. Symbol of Salvation has very little filler, and all of the tracks are head banger ready. If you haven’t picked this up, you ought to give this a look. For more information on Armored Saint, check out the band’s myspace page or their website Armored Saint.com
Rating: Out of 10
Reign of Fire
Last Train Home
- Reign of Fire
- Dropping Like Flies
- Last Train Home
- Tribal Dance
- The Truth Always Hurts
- Half Drawn Bridge
- Another Day
- Symbol of Salvation
- Hanging Judge
- Burning Question
- Tainted Past
Fozzy is the band fronted by WWE wrestler Chris Jericho and Stuck Mojo guitarist Rich Ward. I am not much of a wrestling fan, so I can honestly say that I have never seen Jericho wrestle, but I do know this, he is a good singer and he should be focusing on music, and not wasting his time in wrestling.
All That Remains shows that Fozzy has come along way from their tumultuous beginning as a glorified cover band.
All That Remains blasts off with two awesome hard rock tracks, Nameless and Enemy. Wanderlust is another killer track featuring the heavy guitars of Zakk Wylde. The Title track, All That Remains, maintains the heavy pace of this disc. This track is more subdued, but is a great sounding song.
The Test starts with an ultra heavy guitar riff, and ventures back and forth from a thrash to hard rock sound. This track is growing on me.
Its A Lie is a rap metal fusion featuring rapper Bonecrusher on vocals with Chris Jericho. I have never been a big fan of rap metal, so this track is bascially a throw away to me, but it may appeal to others.
Daze of the Week goes back to the normal Fozzy hard rock formula and kicks ass while doing so. Way I Am is a pretty good headbanger, and Lazarus, which sounds quite similar to Nameless, is one of the better tracks on All That Remains.
Born of Anger ends this disc with a non Fozzy like, Thrash /Death Metal type growler featuring former Megadeth guitarist, Marty Friedman. I did not care for this track at all, and it was a total throw away to me.
As a whole, All That Remains is a great Hard Rock disc that should not be missed. You can check out more Fozzy tracks at Fozzy’s MySpace Page. I have attached the video for Enemy below. Check it Out!
Rating: Out of 10
- All That Remains
- The Test
- It’s A Lie
- Daze of the Week
- The Way I Am
- Born of Anger
Former Steeler axe slinger, Axel Rudi Pell returns with his eleventh disc in 2006, and sixth featuring Hardline singer, Johnny Gioeli. Current Masterplan drummer, Mike Terrana and Pell’s former Steeler band mate, bass player Volker Krawczak, rounds up the rhythm section.
I was re-exposed to Axel Rudi Pell, after hearing Fly to the Moon, on XM41 – The Boneyard. That track is great, so I had to pick this up. How does the rest of the disc sound? It is very good.
Valley of Sin is a great rock track that is similar in style to Lynch era Dokken. Rock the Nation is another good track that keeps the energy of the disc going.
The lenghty title track Mystica, is well sung by Gioeli. Axel Rudi Pell really shines on the guitar here.
Would you belive it? A power ballad in 2006. Yes, that’s right, No Chance to Live is an excellent ballad that would have easily been at home in the 80’s.
Mystica starts rocking again with another great track, Living a Lie, before moving into the epic, The Curse of the Damned that clocks in at nearly 10 minutes in length. This mid tempo song has a Coldplay sounding keyboard pacing the song and eventually blasts off into a high tempo, guitar noodling, Deep Purplish keyboarding monster of a song. It really needs to be heard to be appreciated.
Haunted Castle Serenade is a very cool instrumental piece. Losing the Game closes out Mystica with another good mid tempo rocker.
Don’t miss out on one of the better discs from 2006! You can hear some of the tracks at the band’s myspace page here! This disc is essential for Hardline, and Axel Rudi Pell fans. I think most Hard Rock Fans are going to like this a lot.
There are some great songs on Mystica that should not be missed. Axel Rudi Pell provides some excellent hard rocking 80’s style guitar, and Johnny Gioeli sounds great all throughout Mystica. Check it out!
Rating: Out of 10
- The Mysterious Return (Intro)
- Fly To the Moon
- Valley of Sin
- Rock the Nation
- No Chance To Live
- Living A Lie
- The Curse of the Damned
- Haunted Castle Serenade
- Losing the Game
Race Against Time is a metal masterpiece that very few hard rock fans should be without. Sadly, it has been out of print and is becoming harder to find, and has been capturing bigger bucks on EBay as of late.
Banshee’s music is heavy metal in the vein of Iron Maiden. Tommy Lee Flood’s vocals are kick ass, and the heavy guitars of Terry Dunn are second to none.
Why this band disappeared off the face of the earth remains a mystery, but music this good still deserves to be heard today.
There are quite a few stand outs on Race Against Time, including the anthemic, Shoot Through the Night, the killer All Alone, the excellent title track, Race Against Time, and the hard driving Call of the Wild, just to name a few.
If you can find this disc, I highly recommend picking it up! It will not disappoint you.
Rating:Out of 10
Here is a taste of what you will hear on Race Against Time:
Shoot Down the Night
Race Against Time
- Shoot Down The Night
- All Alone
- Race Against Time
- Circular Flight Of The One Winged Sparrow
- Call Of The Wild
- Precious Metal
- Get It On The Run
- Missing You
- Drive Like Hell
- Desert Moon
There has been a pretty good buzz about the new disc by Rhino Bucket, so I had no choice but to check it out. It has been 12 long years since we have had a new Rhino Bucket disc, and judging from the killer tunes on this disc, I hope we will get a new disc with fresh tunes before another decade passes.
As you probably know, Rhino Bucket is often compared to Bon Scott era AC/DC, and the sound here has not changed. In 2007, AC/DC fans have three choices: they can a) play their old CD’s until they etch grooves into them, b) stick their head in a paper bag and scream loudly, or c) go buy the new Rhino Bucket disc. (I recommend c )
This disc will not disappoint any hard rock fans out there. …And Then It Got Ugly features the kickass vocals of Georg Dolivo, and the excellent rocking guitar of former Kix axe slinger, Brian Forsythe. I have quite a few favorites on this disc including Welcome to Hell, Don’t Bring Her Down, She Rides, Smile and Blood Sweat and Beers.
This is a fine collection of 80’s style hard rock, that will appeal to all AC/DC, Kix and most Hard Rock Fans in general! Don’t miss this one!
Warning! The videos below, may make your credit card jump out of your wallet and order this disc from ITunes immediately.
Rating: Out of 10
Don’t Bring Her Down
- Welcome to Hell
- Dead and Well
- Don’t Bring Her Down
- Monkey Boy Highway
- Hammer and Nail
- She Rides
- Blood Sweat and Beers
- I Was Told
Rhino Bucket is:
Georg Dolivo – Vocals
Brian Forsythe – Guitars
Reeves Downes – Bass
Jackie Inx – Drums
Guitarz from Marz is the 2005 independent release by Tesla Lead Guitarist, Frank Hannon. This is a disc for Hard Rock Guitar lovers everywhere. I picked this disc up at the Winger / Frank Hannon show the other night after hearing Frank perform 3 songs off of this disc live, Chain Reaction, Eye of the Mind, and Electric Warriors. All three songs are damn good, but this isn’t all that is on Guitarz from Marz. Some of my other favorites are RE-Evolution, Stop The War, the Hendrix flavored Angel, and the Stevie Ray Vaughn like Touch of Magic.
Frank Hannon handles the lead vocals and the lead guitar on this disc. He is not as good of a vocalist as he is a guitar player, but he does do an admirable job. I have heard many vocalists far worse than him. The music is so good on Guitarz from Marz, that most hard rock fans are going to love this. This disc is a must own for all Hard Rock , Instrumental Guitar and Tesla fans. Don’t let this disc pass you by.
The only place I am aware that you get this disc is from Frank Hannon.com You can also hear the track Electric Warrior, at Frank’s Myspace page. I have included some videos for Guitarz from Marz below. Check it out!
Guitarz from Marz
Eye of the Mind
Touch of Magic
Rating: Out of 10
- Diamondz in the Sky
- Guitarz from Marz
- Chain Reaction
- Stop the War
- Eye of the Mind
- Touch of Magic
- De’ la Luna Acoustica
- Electric Warriors
- Funk It Up!
- Mobias Flip
I hesitated picking up the new Skid Row disc, Revolutions Per Minute, as I heard some awful things about it. I listened to the song, Shut Up Baby I Love You from the Classic Rock Magazine Sampler CD and I was surprised that it reminded me of Slave to the Grind era Skid Row.
I tend to be a little more open minded than the average music consumer, so I decided to give this CD a try. I like the first disc, Thickskin with Texas native, Johnny Solinger on vocals, so I figured why not.
If you go into this disc expecting to hear tracks like Youth Gone Wild, or 18 and Life, you will greatly be disappointed. This disc is more of a punk flavored disc than anything remotely similar to Sebastian Bach era Skid Row.
I am including a track by track run down so you can get a better feel for the CD.
Disease is a heavy track that could have easily been a left over from Slave to the Grind. This is a solid track and a crank worthy one at that.
Another Dick In the System is a pretty good rocker. I like this track a lot. You can’t deny the catchiness of this track. This is actually better than the first track.
Pulling My Heart Out From Under Me starts moving in the punk direction. It is a mid tempo number, but its not bad.
When God Can’t Wait is the first track that made me say,”what the fuck?” This sounds like a part punk, part country, part Irish Beer swaying kind of song. This song is just bad.
Thank God Shut Up Baby I Love You was the next track after that last filler crap song. This is one of the better tracks on this disc, and reminds me the most of older Skid Row material.
Strength is a cover of an Alarm track. This is a pretty good song. I do not remember the Alarm version of this song, so I can’t tell if this is faithful to the original track or not. This is one of the better tracks on this disc.
White Trash is in the punk vein. I’m not crazy about the music style, but I like the lyrics of this song.
You Lie is a country rock toungue in cheek sort of track. It is hard to take this track seriously, but I bet they have fun playing this live. (I am wondering if this song is about Baz.) This is one of my least favorite tracks on this disc.
Nothing is a pretty good upbeat rocker. I have listened to this track a few times, and it is growing on me more.
Love is Dead is just ok to me. It isn’t bad, but I couldn’t get into it.
Let it Ride is a punk flavored rock track. I couldn’t really get into this song at all. It was just noise to me. I thought this was a poor way to close this disc out.
If you compare this to Skid Row’s early work, you are probably going to hate this disc. If you can honestly listen without comparing the two, you might get something out of this CD. For me personally, I like Thickskin better than this disc. I don’t like the punk elements, and hope this was temporary insanity for the band. I consider them a hard rock band, not a punk band. At first listen, I did not like this disc at all. I decided to spin it a few more times before reviewing, and listening it at higher volumes. It honestly sounds like quite a few of these songs will translate well live. It just isn’t what Skid Row fans will be expecting. You can hear some of Skid Row’s songs at their myspace page.
Rating: Out of 10
- Another Dick in the System
- Pulling My Heart Out from Under Me
- When God Can Wait
- Shut Up Baby I Love You
- White Trash
- You Lie
- Love is Dead
- Let it Ride
Skid Row is:
Johnny Solinger – lead vocals
Scotti Hill – lead guitar
Dave “The Snake” Sabo – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Rachel Bolan – bass guitar, backing vocals
Dave Gara – drums
Saliva is back with their 5th release, Blood Stained Love Story. Saliva has upgraded their sound for this record. This disc has more of a main stream sound than the nu-metal songs of their past. I decided to give this disc a look due to Saliva’s excellent debut at 19th on the Billboard charts. I have liked some of their songs in the past, and “Ladies and Gentleman” is a song that you can not ignore.
I am betting that you will hear quite a few cuts off of this “Blood Stained Love Story” on mainstream rock radio. This reminds me a lot of Stone Temple Pilot at times, but then at times ventures into something completely different.
I tend to lean towards the harder edged tracks like “Ladies and Gentleman”, “King of the Stereo”,”Twister” and “Black Sheep”. The Nickelback like “Starting Over” is also pretty good.
I found the slower tracks some boring, and I didn’t think there was enough to help Saliva stand out from the countless other sound-a-like acts on the radio.
This disc probably will not set fans of big hair hard rock on fire, but if you enjoy some of the groups enjoying main stream rock radio success today like Hinder, Nickelback and Daughtry, you will want to check this disc out. Is this Saliva’s best CD? No, not by a long shot, but those with an open mind will find some tunes to enjoy.
You can listen to some of the bands new tracks here!
- Ladies and Gentleman
- Broken Sunday
- Never Gonna Change
- King of the Stereo
- One More Chance
- Going Under
- Black Sheep
- Starting Over
- Here With You
- Is It You (Bonus Track)
- Write Your Name (Bonus Track)
Josey Scott – Vocals
Wayne Swinny – Guitars
Jon Montoya – Guitars
Dave Novotny – Bass
Paul Crosby – Drums
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
If you want to hear a band that knows how to do 80’s Style Hard Rock right, you need to give Crash Diet’s, Rest In Sleaze a listen. Crashdiet has a sound that is similar to Shotgun Messiah in their prime, and maybe a little bit of Zan Clan. This disc is full of fist-pumping, kick ass rock and roll.
Crashdiet has 4 hit singles in Sweden from this disc, Riot In Everyone, Knokk ‘Em Down, Breakin the Chainz, and It’s a Miracle. This another example of excellent music being released over seas that never gets any attention in the United States!
Sadly, In January 2006, vocalist Dave Lepard committed suicide after being in a deep depression, so will never know how far this band could have gone with this lineup. Judging from this debut effort, they could have been huge globably.
The tunes here speak for themselves. It is great stuff that no hard rock or sleaze metal fan should be without!
You can still pick this up reasonably from CD Inzane. Buy It! You wont be disappointed.
Knokk ‘Em Down
Riot in Everyone
Queen Obscene (69 Shots) – LIVE
Breakin the Chainz
Needle in Your Eye – LIVE
It’s A Miracle
Back on Trakk
Rating:Out of 10
- Knokk ‘Em Down
- Riot In Everyone
- Queen Obscene (69 Shots)
- Breakin’ The Chainz
- Needle in Your Eye
- Out of Line
- It’s A Miracle
- Straight Out of Hell
- Back On Trakk
I enjoyed the new Warrant disc so much, that I decided to see what else I could find from Jamie St. James.
I was hoping that Americanman would be something comparable to Black ‘N Blue or Warrant, but sadly, this is not the case. I can’t put my finger on it, but I could not get into this like I have so many others from Jamie’s discography. I don’t know if it is the writing, or the music style, but this disc just didn’t live up to my expectations.
Don’t get me wrong. Americanman isn’t terrible, by any means, but after listening to Warrant’s Born Again a few times and Nasty Nasty by Black ‘N Blue, this disc doesn’t live up to either of those. I kept waiting for a cool anthem to jump out at me, and it didn’t happen.
This is a disc for the Jamie St. James die hards only!
Rating: Out of 10
- Generation Suicide
- Deaf, Dumb, and Blind
- Hello Halo
- Magical Taxi Cab
- Losing Your Man
- Die Like A Star
- Light of Love
St. James is:
Jaime St. James – vocals
Jimmy Maguire – guitar
Joe Frietchen – bass, backing vocals
Danny Morris – keyboards
Todd Shelley – drums, backing vocals
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
Nightbreaker features everything a hard rock fan could want: great guitar work, excellent vocals, and well written songs.
On this CD, you will find a blistering cover of the Deep Purple track Burn, as well as an amazing reworking of Outlaw, from the classic Riot disc, Fire Down Under. The rest of tracks are all killer hard rock tracks with no filler material, and no sticky sweet ballads. Mark Reale’s guitar playing shines all throughout this disc, as does Mike DiMeo’s vocals.
If you enjoyed Army of One, you ought to give Nightbreaker a look. This is another great disc from Riot. All hard rock and metal fans are going to find something to like on this must own disc. Buy It!!
Rating: Out of 10
Enjoy the video below, for the title track, Nightbreaker.
- In Your Eyes
- Medicine Man
- Silent Scream
- Magic Maker
- I’m on the Run
I don’t think most of the music buying public out there knows that there is a new release by former Guns N’ Roses Guitar player, Izzy Stradlin. This was released on a very limited pressing in 2005 on one of Izzy’s fan sites, and to ITunes in September of 2006.
This disc is a blues infested slab of quality rock and roll. There are quite a few catchy tunes on this disc including, Bomb, Snafu, Hell Song, and Just Don’t Know. The style of guitar playing on this disc reminds quite a bit of Guns and Roses in places, but with Izzy on vocals, the music sounds completely different, but not in a bad way by any means.
I think this disc will appeal to all of the hard rockers out there, as well as old G N’ R fans. Check out the videos below and let me know what you think!
Rating: Out of 10
- Hell Song
- Rollin On
- Just Don’t Know
- Chop Away
- Win U Lose
- On the Run
- Like A Dog
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
The Book of Heavy Metal is the first release by Dream Evil that follows the NWOBH style. I enjoyed the United disc by Dream Evil so much I decided to find the disc that preceeded it. I heard a lot of good things about this disc, and it was not unfounded.
Much like United, this disc starts off with a blistering metal anthem, the title track (The Book of Heavy Metal) that will get in your head and wont leave any time soon. This is a classic heavy metal track in its finest form!
Into the Moonlight keeps the pace going with its heavy riffs and great vocals by Niklas Isfeldt. The Sledge is a cool metal anthem. The writing here isn’t the greatest, but I still like this track a lot.
No Way cranks the tempo way up. This track features excellent guitars by the tandem of Gus G. and Fredrik Nordstrom. This is killer stuff!
Crusader’s Anthem starts off with a Maiden like bass riff, but blasts off into a heavy, melodic Europe like masterpiece with chugging guitars and great solos.
Let’s Make Rock is another major anthem that will have you singing along in no time. Tired M.O.M. (Man or a Mouse) is a track that I get into more each time I listen to it. Sure its has kind of cheesy lyrics, but it is still a fun track to listen to.
The Mirror reminds me a whole lot of Judas Priest. This is another track that will get you head banging in no time.
The guitars on Only For the Night are nothing short of superb, leading into the Book of Heavy Metal’s lone ballad, Unbreakable Chain. After hearing the rest of the tracks on this disc, I was beginning to wonder if this band could slow it down. I can happily say that this track is one of the many highlights on this disc.
There are a couple of tracks that I could not get into on this disc, but for the most part most of the tracks on the Book of Heavy Metal range between good and great. Heavy Metal fans need to give this one a look!
Rating: Out of 10
Here is the video for The Book of Heavy Metal! Enjoy!
- The Book of Heavy Metal
- Into the Moonlight
- The Sledge
- No Way
- Crusader’s Anthem
- Let’s Make Rock
- Chosen Twice
- The Mirror
- Only For the Night
- Unbreakable Chain
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)
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