One of my favorite reissues released in 2010, is the Deluxe Edition of Black Sabbath’s Seventh Star. Seventh Star was originally released in January of 1986. The story behind Seventh Star has been well documented. This was supposed to be a Tony Iommi solo CD, but the record company pressured Iommi to release this a Black Sabbath CD. That is abridged version of the story, but if you check out the booklet that is included in this two CD set, it will tell you the complete details about Seventh Star. There are also some cool pictures of the band as well.
How is the music on Seventh Star? I wouldn’t call it unSabbath like. It isn’t as heavy, or doom laden as most of Black Sabbath’s stuff but it is very good. The bass from Dave Spitz is nowhere near as heavy as that of Geezer Butler, but due to the nature of the music, it works, and works well. Tony Iommi’s riffs are awesome as always, and Glenn Hughes vocals are perfect. While this CD may not be as heavy as other albums in the Black Sabbath discography, it is awesome in its own right.
The song “In For The Kill” is an excellent tune. It is a shame that this tune doesn’t get more airplay. This hard rocking number ought to be up there with Sabbath’s best. “No Stranger to Love” is a powerful slow number. Geoff Nicholls keyboard work on this song brings the classic Sabbath album Heaven and Hell to mind. Eric Singer shows off his mad drum skills on the rocker “Turn To Stone”. Tony Iommi may have been a genius nabbing Glenn Hughes to sing on this CD. His vocals are as good as it gets. I have always been a fan of Glenn Hughes since his Deep Purple days, but I think Iommi’s playing may complement his voice even more. If Black Sabbath doesn’t reunite with Ozzy Osbourne, Glenn Hughes ought to be given a strong look. Needless to say, I have no problem listening to Seventh Star over and over again. It is a very underrated recording in the Sabbath discography.
With the newly reissued Deluxe Edition, you get a really cool fold out digipack case with band pictures, and a nicely put together booklet. The second CD features the late Ray Gillen (Badlands) singing with Black Sabbath Live at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1986. The Live recording isn’t what I would consider pristine, but it something I have looked forward to owning for years. It has only been available in bootleg formats prior to this release. Gillen’s vocals sound fantastic on both the Ozzy Osbourne, Ronnie James Dio, and Glenn Hughes tracks. For my ears, the second CD alone is worth the price of admission. The audio quality isn’t the greatest, but it preserves a piece of Metal history, with a singer who should have been one of Metal’s biggest stars.
If you are a Black Sabbath fan, and have never picked up Seventh Star before. This is the version to own! It may not be the preferred Black Sabbath lineup, and the original recording is somewhat short, but it is still a very solid effort from Tony Iommi and company! Recommended!
1. In for the Kill
2. No Stranger to Love
3. Turn to Stone
4. Sphinx (The Guardian)
5. Seventh Star
6. Danger Zone
7. Heart Like a Wheel
8. Angry Heart
9. In Memory…
10. No Stranger To Love (Alternate Version)*Bonus Track
Black Sabbath is:
Tony Iommi – Guitars
Glenn Hughes – Vocals
Eric Singer – Drums
Dave “The Beast” Spitz – Bass
Geoff Nicholls – Keyboards
Gordon Copley – Bass on “No Stranger To Love”
Ray Gillen – vocals (on – Disc 2)
“The Hottest Band In The Land” Kiss is back with their first new studio album in 11 years. After two very disappointing albums in the late nineties, “Carnival of Souls” and “Psycho Circus”, a lot of fans were left thinking the band was through; with studio albums anyways. But seriously folks, did you really think Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley would let Kiss go out with a huge stinking thud?? I think not! “Sonic Boom” is everything the Kiss Army has been clamoring for years to hear, which is a step back to the sound of such Kiss classics “Destroyer” and “Rock and Roll Over” and the guys do not disappoint in the lest bit.
Admittedly I was not crazy about the album’s lead off “Modern Day Delilah” at first listen or even the second go around, but after a few listens it has started growing on me, which in my opinion is the best way to go. Paul Stanley sounds great, he can still seduce your mom out of her panties and she wouldn’t have a clue it was happening until it was too late. One thing I had forgotten over the years is that Gene Simmons can actually play bass and play it pretty damn good; here he lays down some nice thumping bass lines. After years on the sidelines Tommy Thayer finally gets a little of the spot light to shine on him and he makes the most of it showing the world he is a disciple of Ace Frehley, without stepping all over Ace’s legacy. On “Russian Roulette” Gene takes over the vocals and as usual it is a slow dirty innuendo laden song that Gene sings to perfection, while also laying down more heavy thumping bass lines, classic sing a long chorus, one of the early surprises on the album. “Never Enough” screams single and rightly so as it is one of the best songs Kiss has recorded in years. They could throw this song into the live show and it would fit right in without missing a beat, definitely a new Kiss classic. “Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)” sounds like it could’ve been taken from the “Destroyer” or “Love Gun” recording sessions, great 70’s feel to it, this may actually be the best Gene Simmons song I’ve heard. “Stand” is yet another anthem with a late 80’s/early 90’s feel to it. Not the best song on the album but still better than 90% of the songs bands are releasing today. All I really need to say about “Hot & Cold” is COW-BELL COW-BELL COW-BELL!!! Honestly Gene has really surprised me with how good his vocals sound on this album.
Of Course, I couldn’t get through this review without mentioning Eric Singer and while his drumming is phenomenal throughout the album it is when he steps up to the mike on “All For The Glory” that he really shines, the sound reminds me of “Creatures of the Night” or maybe “Lick It Up”. “Danger Us” and “I’m An Animal” borrow some influence from Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin respectively, but Paul and Gene borrow with style. “When Lightning Strikes” marks the return of the COW-BELL and if you hear a little Black N’ Blue in the song then it should not surprise you that Tommy Thayer has stepped up to the mike and absolutely knocks this song out of the park!! “When Lightning Strikes” goes with “Never Enough” as my two favorite songs off “Sonic Boom”. The album wraps up with “Say Yeah” and with that I can say yeah to quite a few things about “Sonic Boom”. Yeah “Sonic Boom” is a kick ass ride from beginning to end. Yeah Tommy Thayer finally gets some of the attention he has earned and deserved over the years. Yeah “Sonic Boom” is the best Kiss album in years. Yeah it is possible “Sonic Boom” is Kiss’s best album since the mid 70’s. Yeah it definitely deserves a spot alongside “Destroyer”, “Rock and Roll Over”, and “Love Gun” as a Kiss classic, because that is simply what it is.
Rating: Out of 10
- Modern Day Delilah
- Russian Roulette
- Never Enough
- Yes I Know (Nobody’s Perfect)
- Hot And Cold
- All For The Glory
- Danger Us
- I’m An Animal
- When Lightning Strikes
- Say Yeah!
Paul Stanley – Vocals, Rhythm guitar
Gene Simmons – Vocals, Bass guitar
Eric Singer – Vocals, Drums
Tommy Thayer – Vocals, Lead Guitar
Quite honestly, after listening to the Judas Priest debacle called Nostradamus, I was not looking forward to hearing another concept album in 2008. Nonetheless, Alice Cooper has unleashed his latest batch of hard rock horror in the form of a concept album. The difference between this and Nostradamus is quite simple, this album has good songs, and a whole bunch of them to boot.
The songs on Along Came A Spider follow the story of the serial killer named Spider. I wont give up all of the secrets of the story of Spider, but this is pretty good song material. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed an Alice Cooper CD this much.
The sounds on Along Came A Spider is a pretty good balance of 70’s era Alice Cooper mixed with 80’s and 90’s style rock. Kerri Kelli and Jason Hook handle the guitar work, and they do an excellent job. The production quality on this disc is fantastic. Alice also enlists the help of a couple of friends on this disc. Slash cuts loose playing guitar on the track “Vengeance is Mine“. Ozzy Osbourne helped Alice write the tune “Wake The Dead“. Ozzy handles the harmonica solo on this song. There is no mention of Ozzy singing on this album, but If you listen closely enough, you can hear what appears to be his background vocals on this tune.
I must admit that some of Alice Cooper’s releases have always been a bit hit or miss with me. I had low expectations for Along Came A Spider. With that being said, this disc is one of the nice surprises of 2008. This is one of my favorite discs so far this year. I had a lot of fun listening to this, and I think you will too.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Prologue / I Know Where You Live
2. Vengeance Is Mine (Featuring Slash)
3. Wake The Dead
4. Catch Me If You Can
5. (In Touch With) Your Feminine Side
6. Wrapped In Silk
7. Killed By Love
8. I’m Hungry
9. The One That Got Away
11. I Am The Spider / Epilogue
Alice Cooper band is:
Alice Cooper – Vocals
Keri Kelli – Guitar
Jason Hook – Guitar
Chuck Garric – Bass
Eric Singer – Drums
After coming off of the Ozzy Osbourne, Ultimate Sin tour, Jake E. Lee, formed Badlands with singer Ray Gillen.
If you were a fan of Jake E. Lee’s awesome metal guitar licks on Ozzy disc, The Ultimate Sin, then you may have found his work on Badlands a surprise, as on this disc, he moved in a more bluesy, hard rock direction.
As much as I enjoyed Lee’s work with Ozzy, it wasn’t until his work with Badlands where he truly shined. Jake E. Lee’s awesome guitar licks, combined with Ray Gillen’s incredible voice is one potent combination, and it shows on the brilliant debut record from Badlands.
This record didn’t chart as high as some of other hair metal acts at the time, but Badlands sound nothing like the majority of the acts from the 80’s. If anything their music was ahead of its time. It is excellent, bluesy hard rock that still sounds incredible to this day. I still consider this one of my top ten records of all time.
Sadly, this record is out of print, and prices for it are starting to soar on the internet. Hopefully, this record will get reissued, as music this good needs to be heard by rock fans who would like to check it out. Grab this if you can find it! Happy Hunting!
Rating: Out 0f 10
1. High Wire
2. Dreams In The Dark
3. Jade’s Song
4. Winter’s Call
5. Dancing On The Edge
6. Streets Cry Freedom
7. Hard Driver
8. Rumblin’ Train
9. Devil’s Stomp
11. Ball & Chain
Ray Gillen – Vocals
Jake E. Lee – Guitars
Eric Singer – Drums
Greg Chaisson – Bass
Tobias Sammet is back on track with AVANTASIA! After five years of Silence, the EDGUY mastermind decided to reanimate his very own project AVANTASIA and record a follow up to the highly appraised Metal Opera, that Tobi released in 2001 (Part 1) and 2002 (Part 2). For many people, this Metal Opera was the inofficial but worthy successor to Helloweens “Keeper Of The Seven Keys” Pt. 1 and Pt. 2.
His new project, the album “The Scarecrow” is maybe the most ambitious that Tobi ever touched. Just read the list of participants and your knees will tremble: Eric Singer from KISS on drums and vocals, Guest Vocals by Amanda Somverville, Jorn Lande, Alice Cooper, Michael Kiske, Bob Catley and Guest Guitar parts by Rudolf Schenker. A legendary combination!
As an appetizer, two EPs are on their way, before the album will crush the metal world in early 2008. “Lost In Space” is the title track of both EPs, but otherwise the content is completely different and exclusive. Except for one song and title track, none of them will appear on the “The Scarecrow”! Value for money – for sure!
“Lost In Space” is without doubt among the catchiest tunes, that you will get to hear in 2007! A good time rock´n´roll song with a chorus as huge as two continets. Impressive – after the first spin, you will never ever get this song out of your head. And thats good!
With this new era of AVANTASIA, Tobi offers everything from Hard Rock, Stadium Rock, Rock´n´Roll, New Rock to Melodic metal and even Speed Metal – stuff to dream too, stuff to bang your head too.
AVANTASIA will prevail! No doubt about it.