Burn’s style of melodic hard rock sounds like a cross between Whitesnake and Gotthard. The musicianship on Global Warning is second to none.
The first that that impressed me was the guitar playing by Julian Nicholas. Nicholas adds plenty of ear pleasing solos all throughout Global Warning. His fret work is well complimented by the rhythm guitar of Phil Hammond and the keyboards of Barney Stackhouse.
This is the first Burn album that I have heard, and I am extremely impressed with the tunes that I have heard here. This is my first experience hearing Jeff Ogden sing . I believe he has one of the best undiscovered voices rock.
By the time this review is finished, I will be seeking out the band’s first two releases So Far So Bad, and Spark To A Flame.
What Burn has managed to do is craft eleven nearly perfect melodic rock tracks. This is a CD that will be played over and over at the Hard Rock Hideout. Burn joins the likes of Sacred Heart, and Redline with superb rock discs from the United Kingdom in 2007. Don’t miss this!
Rating: Out of 10
- Shadow of the Satellites
- Dangerous Times
- Forgive Me
- Down In Flames
- Made That way
- Pray For Rain
- In Another Lifetime
- Weight of Expectation
- I Don’t Mind
- Give Me Tonight
Jeff Ogden – Vocals
Phil Hammond – Rhythm Guitar
Julian Nicholas – Lead Guitar
Benjy Reid – Drums
Barney Stackhouse – Keyboards
Marc Stackhouse – Bass Guitar
The Heroin Diaries is written in a Daily Journal type of form, with lots of excerpts by a large cast of individuals who were involved in Nikki’s life in 1987.
Everyone helps Nikki fill in the blanks, and no one holds back any punches. Mick Mars, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee, Doc McGhee, Vanity, Slash are just a few of the individuals who help Sixx to recall his life in 1987.
The Heroin Diaries is a very easy read, but can be a book that is hard to put down, once you get started.
1987 was an interesting year for Motley Crue. They embarked on their Girls, Girls, Girls world tour. The management of the band kept the Crue on a grueling tour schedule that helped keep Nikki Sixx on a path of self destruction.
After finishing The Heroin Diaries, It amazes me that Motley Crue is still a band, and Nikki Sixx is still alive and well. This book should be the non-owners manual of the Rich and Famous. Every rocker on the planet ought to read this. It is the perfect example of what NOT to do when you gain success in the music business.
I enjoyed the book. It gave me a a lot of insight on Nikki Sixx’s twisted life. Motley Crue fans need to check it out.
Rating: Out of 5
If you are a fan of the band Creed, then Alter Bridge probably needs no introduction. Alter Bridge consists of 3 former members of platinum recording artist Creed, and ex-Mayfield Four singer, Myles Kennedy.
With the new CD Blackbird, not only has the band crafted their finest work since the breakup of Creed, but they have also created what could be one of the best new hard rock records of 2007. Yes, It really is that good!
Blackbird starts off with a crushing rocker, Ties That Bind. This song sets the stage immediately for what I knew was going to be an incredible listening experience.
Come To Life has a cool groove, a heavy bass line, sing along lyrics, and killer guitar work. GREAT!!
The pace slows down a bit with Brand New Start. Myles Kennedy excellent voice shines almost as much as his guitar work on this track. More Great Stuff!
I have listened to Buried Alive a few times now and this song hasn’t impressed me as much as some of the others. It is slowly growing on me.
Coming Home has a very heavy bass line. This is another headbanging track that has a Tool like feel about it. Cool!
Before Tomorrow Comes will be a monster radio hit! This song is exactly the type of tune that Creed had some hits off. Soaring vocals and sing along lyrics. I love this song!
Rise Today is the first single and video from Blackbird. If you like this song, you are going to love this disc. This was the first song that I heard, and I knew that I had to hear more after listening to this one. Check out the video below:
Blackbird is the longest song on this disc, clocking in at nearly 8 minutes in length. This is like 2 or 3 songs wrapped up in one. At times, it has a stoner rock like feel, but then the music slows down, and Myles Kennedy’s voice takes off. The guitars really howl on this track. This is an extremely cool song that does not feel too long. In fact, you will find yourself replaying this one to pick up on things that you didn’t catch the first time around. Amazing!
The bass riff that starts off on One By One sounds like something that Tony Iommi would write. The song itself has a slightly darker feel to it, but once again the voice of Myles Kennedy powers this song to new heights. This song has some hit potential.
Watch Over You slows the tempo back down again. At this point Myles Kennedy has me saying Scott who? This guy has a killer voice!
Break Me Down is a song that I think could have had much more potential with a little different arrangement on the music. It is still a solid tune though.
White Knuckles is one of the heavier songs on Blackbird. Be prepared to headbang to this one!
Wayward One is a mid tempo, moody sounding song. It is a solid track, but not the strongest one on Blackbird. I probably would have mixed this song higher in the playing order, but that is just my personal taste.
Don’t even hesitate in picking this disc up! Blackbird is nothing short of a brilliant listening experience. You don’t even have to take my word for it! Alter Bridge have launched a special listening party for their fans a chance to check out the album in its entirety. Click this link to listen to Blackbird in its entirety. Warning…..you will be heading to store to purchase this one, if you take the time out to preview it!
1. Ties That Bind
2. Come To Life
3. Brand New Start
4. Buried Alive
5. Coming Home
6. Before Tomorrow Comes
7. Rise Today
10. Watch Over You
11. Break Me Down
12. White Knuckles
13. Wayward One
Alter Bridge is:
Myles Kennedy – Lead Vocals and Guitar
Mark Tremonti – Guitar and Backing Vocals
Brian Marshall – Bass
Scott Phillips – Drums
Canadian rock band Evans Blue does not have a name that would necessarily bring Hard Rock or Heavy Metal to mind. The band has crafted a very good modern hard rock release that sounds like a cross between Tool and Atreyu.
Singer Kevin Matisyn has a strong and very good, clean singing voice. His voice drives the tunes on “The Pursuit” which range from heavy rockers like Red Dress, Shine Your Cadillac and The Pursuit to more mainstream sounding tracks like Q, Kiss the Flag, Pin-Up, and Fear. It is a nice variety of songs that make for a very good listen.
The bands’ sound has matured quite a bit since the debut record, The Melody and the Energetic Nature of Volume. I will be anxious to see how the bands’ sound continues to evolve on the next release.
Until then “The Pursuit Begins When This Portrayal Of Life Ends” is another release that these Canadian rockers can be proud of.
For more info on Evans Blue, check out their myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
1. In a Red Dress And Alone
2. Shine Your Cadillac
3. Q (The Best One Of Our Lives)
4. Kiss the Flag
5. My Damsel: A Confession To an Adversary
7. Caught a Lite Sneeze
9. Dear Lucid, Our Time Is Right Now
11. The Pursuit
This CD gets a lot of play on XMRadio’s The Boneyard, but sadly, is becoming rarer than hen’s teeth. Used copies sell for over $20.00 at Amazon.com and on Ebay.
Is it worth seeking out? Absolutely! The songs Bang Go the Bells, Hammer Swings Down, and the Kid Goes Wild (featuring the late, great Sam Kinision) are worth the price of admission just by themselves.
With three big videos on MTV at the time, it puzzles me why this band didn’t hit the same level of success as some of their late 80’s counterparts.
To me their debut release is their best effort, and is one that will appeal to most 80’s hard rock fans. If you can find it, grab it, you wont be disappointed.
For more information on Babylon A.D., check out their myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Bang Go the Bells
2. Hammer Swings Down
3. Caught Up in the Crossfire
5. The Kid Goes Wild
6. Shot O’ Love
8. Back in Babylon
9. Sweet Temptation
10. Sally Danced
On Through the Night is the mighty metal debut by Def Leppard. It blows my mind that so many newer Def Leppard fans are unaware of the band’s NWOBHM roots, and the excellent metal sound they used to possess. This record rocks hard, and does not sound overly dated in 2007.
On Through the Night is my favorite Def Leppard record. I will pick this one every time over Pyromania and Hysteria. On this record, the band was hungry, they had not achieved the massive success that they would years later. The songs have not been over played on the radio as have so many of the later discs. This is one of the reasons I still find this album so appealing.
Sadly, this record often goes overlooked today. Most fans start off of with Pyromania or Hysteria, and they are missing out on some great records by doing so.
The two axe attack of Pete Willis and Steve Clark, and the pre-accident drumming of Rick Allen gives this band an awesome heavy sound.
Rock Brigade and Hello America deliver the best one, two punch that any Def Leppard records could hope to deliver. Both are hard rocking tunes that truly deliver.
It Could Be You is a song that never achieve hit potential but it is a lost Def Leppard classic, that is still worth checking out.
To me, Wasted is still one of the biggest Def Leppard anthems of all time.
I find a lot of the other not so well songs such as When The Walls Came Tumbling Down, Rocks Off, and It Don’t Matter ultimately satisfying. The songs are more raw, and not overproduced as a lot of the stuff from the newer Def Lep releases.
On Through the Night is another classic metal disc that is available for less than $10.00 at most retailers today. It is much better than a lot of the newer stuff out there today, and is a disc that I still recommend picking up! If you don’t own this, you owe it to yourself to check out this lost Def Leppard classic!
1. Rock Brigade
2. Hello America
3. Sorrow Is A Woman
4. It Could Be You
6. When The Walls Came Tumbling Down
8. Rocks Off
9. It Don’t Matter
10. Answer To The Master
Bang Camaro has a great 80’s style hard rock sound, but the major difference is the band has a choir of twenty lead singers.
With 20 singers at the helm, every track becomes a sing along anthem. It is a unique idea, that I do not recall being done before.
Not only does the band employ an army of singers, but they also have 3 axe slingers at their disposal: Alex Necochea, Bryn Bennett, Maclaine Diemer on Guitars and Keyboards, Dave Riley on Bass, and Andrew Dole on Drums.
The guitar sound on this album is very tight and full of guitar solos. I am not sure if I appreciate the novel idea of a male choir approach, but I do like the music on this record very well. Some of the songs here could have gone from good to great with a very good single male vocalist instead of twenty. This band probably would not have stood out if they didn’t try something new, so kudos to them for trying something different.
A couple of my favorite tunes are Push Push Lady Lightning and Out on the Streets.
Rating:Out of 10
- Push Push Lady Lightning
- Swallow the Razor
- Pleasure (Pleasure)
- Gates of Love
- The Ballad
- Out On The Streets
- You Know I Like My Band
- Nightlife Commando
- Rock of Mages
- Rock Rebellion
- Bang Camaro
Today’s post comes from Tania from the Hard Rock Hideout Forum! Have you checked out the HRH forum lately?
Mike Ireland – vocals
Greg Laikin – bass
Dave Troutman – drums
Brian Bresett – guitars
Pinto – guitars
1. Watch You Bleed
4. Line It Up
5. Salt of the Earth
8. All The Freaks
9. Live Fast
10. Teenage Parasite
11. No Fun City
Producer: Jeff Dawson
Hailing from Canada, Crystal Pistols self titled full length debut starts off promising. The first three tracks are nice little rockers. Singer Mike Ireland has a great sleazy, grimy sounding voice and the first two songs in particular, Watch You Bleed and Rockstar, show off his dirty gritty snarl perfectly.
I’m not really sure what Crystal Pistol are trying to do with the Crystal Pistol band shot rest of the tracks on this CD. Some of it has a punk element to it, some have a rock element, some goth sounding. I guess its “punk rock”, but to me it sounds as if they are trying to put too many different types of musical sounds into each song.
The songs are fast and short, in fact this CD only clocks in at just over 35 minutes. After the third song, the rest of the songs are decent. I’m not saying they are bad, some are catchy but there is nothing really standout after Locomotive. Salt of the Earth is a nice change of pace but it all gets fairly boring and predicable fairly quickly. All in all a mixed bag. Good enough but not great. Check them out at their myspace to get a taste of some Crystal Pistol.
There were a couple of videos on MTV for the songs Shot Gun Sally and Her Monkey, but this release got lost in a sea other big hair rock that was released at the time. Kicked & Klawed is a very solid release that is often over looked.
Lead Singer, Joel Ellis reminds me a lot of a young Vince Neil. Takashi “Jam” O’Hashi proves to be a very solid guitarist. Not surprisingly, the music isn’t too much of a stretch past Motley Crue’s music, but it is a very good listen. My favorite tracks include Shot Gun Sally, Nine Lives, Her Monkey, and Evil Angel.
Shot Gun Sally
Singer Joel Ellis, still maintains catsinboots.com, but is not recording any new music today. Drummer Randy Meers last turned up in band called Trampled Underfoot.
Guitarist Takashi “Jam” O’Hashi has been releasing solo CD’s in Japan.
Kicked and Klawed has been out of print for several years now, and has been pulling down twenty to thirty dollars on Ebay each time it shows. It is a solid sleaze metal disc that is still worth seeking out.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Shot Gun Sally
2. Nine Lives (Save Me)
3. Her Monkey
4. Whip It Out
5. Long, Long Way From Home
6. Coast To Coast
7. Every Sunrise
8. Evil Angel
9. Bad Boys Are Back
10. Judas Kiss
11. Heaven On A Heartbeat
Cats in Boots are:
Joel Ellis – lead vocals and harmonica
Takashi “Jam” O’Hashi – guitar and background vocals
Yasuhiro “Butch” Hatae – bass and background vocals
Randy Meers – drums and background vocals
Whether you like them or not, few band’s have experienced the level of success that AC/DC has achieved. AC/DC’s Back In Black has sold over 42 million units worldwide, making it one of the must successful releases in music history. Most bands would be happy if their entire catalog sold this amount.
After the death of Bon Scott, the band soldiered on. No one knew how this release would turn out. This is the band’s first disc featuring singer Brian Johnson. With Mutt Lange at the helm as producer, the band crafted their most popular release ever.
From the opening bells of Hells Bells, you know this is going to be a classic record. It is rare for me to listen to a whole CD all the way through, and not have a song or two that I don’t like. This is not the the case with Back in Black.
I love all of the songs on this disc, by my absolute favorites are Shoot To Thrill, Back In Black, You Shook Me All Night Long, Have A Drink on Me, and Shake a Leg.
This is a disc that stands up well, and does not sound dated in 2007. I can’t think of one thing I would change on this record.
It is a hard rock/metal landmark release that no collection should be without. If you don’t own this, what are you waiting for. 42 Million people can’t be wrong!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Hells Bells
2. Shoot To Thrill
3. What Do You Do For Money Honey
4. Givin The Dog A Bone
5. Let Me Put My Love Into You
6. Back In Black
7. You Shook Me All Night Long
8. Have A Drink On Me
9. Shake A Leg
10. Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution
This band features former Keel guitar player Marc Ferrari, ex-Wasted guitarist Erik Gamans, bassist Chris McLernon, drummer Anthony White, and singer Rory Cathey.
Break Out is a very solid 80’s style hard rock disc that is often forgotten about. Marc Ferrari’s guitar work on this CD is superb. This disc doesn’t have a band song on it, and even features a writing credit on Four on the Floor by current KISS guitarist Tommy Thayer.
Let’s Make Love Tonight
This disc has it all! A great power ballad in Waiting in Vain, and a bunch of excellent hard rockers: Four on the Floor, Take This Heart of Mine, Let’s Make Love Tonight and Fistful of Money. This disc also has a pretty cover of the Foghat song, I Just Want to Make Love To You.
This long out of print CD often sells for 20 or more dollars on EBay, but can often be found for lesser amounts. It is a disc well worth seeking out if you are a fan of 80’s hard rock and glam metal. Buy Break Out if you can! You will love it!
You can hear more songs at the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Four on the Floor
2. Cryin’ Shame
4. Waiting in Vain
5. Take This Heart of Mine
6. Killing Floor
7. Riviera/Long Way Down
8. Let’s Make Love Tonight
9. Fistful of Money
10. Jump the Gun
11. I Just Want to Make Love To You
ROADRUNNER RECORDS SIGNS AUSTRALIAN ROCKERS AIRBOURNE:
Press Release / New York, NY- Roadrunner Records is proud to announce the signing of Aussie hard rockers, Airbourne. Forming a genuine brand of fist-pumping, beer-slinging rock ‘n’ roll, Airbourne have established a respectable name for themselves in their native country. Although still very young, the band sonically tears pages from the bible of anthemic rock of the 70’s and 80’s, taking us back to a time where music was loud, fiercely genuine and hook laden. Their dynamic and energetic live performances offer a much-needed cure for the downtrodden vibe of popular music. Much like their forefathers, Airbourne offers nothing but a good time! Airbourne is: brothers Joel O’Keeffe (vocals/lead guitar) and Ryan O’Keeffe (drums), David Roads (guitar) and Justin Street (bass).
Forming out of the musical connection of two brothers, Airbourne was conceived by Joel and Ryan O’Keeffe, and was vested in their mutual love for bands such as Rose Tattoo, Van Halen, Motörhead, AC/DC and The Angels. Later joined by David Roads and Justin Street, the quartet set out to make straightforward rock ‘n’ roll, complete with catchy choruses, decadent themes and the driving rhythm to match.
“It’s hard to explain,” vocalist/guitarist Joel O’Keeffe states, “but that’s what I always wanted to hear – straight-ahead Aussie pub rock.” The resulting product was a stripped down approach to rock with song titles to match the party oriented sentiment. Investing time and money for the love of the music, the band spent years working the local circuit, eventually graduating to national tours and exposure. Years of hard work paid off, catching the attention of music fans throughout Australia and the world.
Roadrunner senior VP of A&R, Ron Burman, instantly fell in love with “their brand of anthemic, catchy, hard rock-n-roll.” He states, “I am so excited that we signed Airbourne. They are a young, fists in the air, high energy, in-your-face type of hard rock band. I saw them play a few times in Austin at South By Southwest and they blew me away.”
Sharing national stages with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Motley Crüe and The Living End, the band has honed in on its performance Zen. A live show is sure to include bursting energy, rowdy crowds singing their hearts out and free-flowing beer. “We always go on-stage and try to prove a point,” O’Keeffe directs, “about how GOOD rock ‘n’ roll is!” The band takes on the mission to spread that infectious love of rock, even performing at Australia’s biggest rock festival in 2006, Big Day Out. They are currently playing dates throughout Australia.
In June the band released Runnin’ Wild, a red-blooded collection of rallying rock anthems with undeniable choruses and feel good momentum in Australia. Scheduled to be released in the US and Europe through Roadrunner Records in early 2008, the album channels the endearing qualities of classic rock while breathing new life through modern production and arrangement. Boasting an all-star team, Runnin’ Wild was produced by Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Quiet Riot) and mixed by Andy Wallace (Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Linkin Park). With lead tracks such as “Runnin’ Wild,” “Stand Up For Rock n Roll,” and “Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast,” Runnin’ Wild will be the new soundtrack to all-night partying. Airbourne have risen to the challenge and are ready to bring their authentic brand of power rock to the US in 2008!
WebLinks: www.airbournerock.com / www.myspace.com/airbournerock
You can check out their video for Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast below:
The new CD Vanity is full of great 80’s style hard rock that was found on their 1989 debut CD.
The lineup of American Angel now features Rocco Fury on lead vocals, Dennis Zehrer on guitar, Mike Bisulca on guitar and back up vocals, Jay Druzsba on bass, Marc Ambrosy on drums and Eric Ragno on keyboards.
I have spun this disc a few times now, and the highlights on this disc are Pantomind, Vanity, Don’t Wait Up and the power ballads, Warm Inside, and Another Day.
American Angel isn’t breaking any new musical ground on this disc, but I wasn’t expecting them to. Vanity is a fun throw back in sound to the Big Hair era of music. If you like any of the late 80’s Hard Rock Bands, you are going to love. American Angel’s Vanity. You can hear more tunes at their myspace here.
Rating:Out of 10
1. While I’m Away
4. On The Hunt
6. Warm Inside
7. Don’t Wait Up
9. In Perfection
10. End of the Night
11. Another Day
12. Turns To Grey
13. Permanent Pause
14. Don’t Wait Up (Remix)
The Swedish metal band, Bloodbound returns with their second studio effort, Book of the Dead. This is a band that often gets lumped into the black or death metal category, but to me isn’t fitting of the music they put out. Their lyrics are often dark subject matter, but the songs are highly listenable. I would consider this group’s sound a cross between Iron Maiden and possibly Helloween.
Book of the Dead is the first disc, featuring singer Michael Bormann. Michael is well known in Europe for his time spent in the band Jaded Heart. I have several releases in my collection with Michael as the front man, so I was interested to hear the new Bloodbound CD. It seems like an odd pairing for him to join a band like Bloodbound (Imagine Jon Bon Jovi joining a metal band like Armored Saint as a comparison) but it actually works very well.
Bloodbound has a sound that is very tight and polished. The reason for it is the roster of seasoned musicians in this band. Two Bloodbound members, bass and keyboard player Fredrik Bergh and lead guitarist Tomas Olsson have been playing together for a long time in the band Street Talk. Both Fredrik and Tomas are the primary song writers on all of the 11 songs on this disc.
Sign of the Devil and Book of the Dead are very cool songs that I replay a lot. The Tempter reminds me of something Iron Maiden would do.
Drummer Pell Akerline sets the high speed pace of Bless the Unholy, and Tomas Olsson provides the guitar noodling and Fredrik Bergh adds the haunting back up vocals. It is an interesting track that is growing on me more with every listen.
After reading the lyrics to Lord of the Battle, I liked this song a whole more than I did on the first pass. It is a well written song, but the chorus may be a little too lengthy to drive the song home.
Flames of Purgatory has that monster bass and guitar riff that reminds me of Iron Maiden again. This is another song that was helped out by the lyrics that came with the CD booklet. On the first pass, I didn’t care for this song. Once I could read along with the lyrics, I started liking this song a lot more.
Into Eternity is one of those power metal songs where the band tries to play at a pace that is far too fast. I do not enjoy songs like this. Yes, the musicianship is good, but this is not for me.
Black Heart is a low tempo ballad that has a sound similar to some of the Scorpions low key songs. It is another highlight on Book of the Dead.
Black Shadows is another hard driving track that I found myself repeating. The guitars of Tomas Olsson really kick on this track.
Not even the lyrics could keep me interested in the song, Turn To Stone. I think this song is just a little too out there for me lyrically.
Seven Angels clocks in at over 7 minutes in length. This is another song that borrows from Iron Maiden’s high paced bass riff. It is a little too long to hold my attention.
Book of the Dead offers a few great tracks, and some that are just average. Power Metal fans may find some of the faster paced tracks more enjoyable than I did. As a whole, it is a solid effort by the new band line up. I hope this band can mature, and produce more tunes for another release in the future.
You can listen to more tracks at the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Sign Of The Devil
- The Tempter
- Book Of The Dead
- Bless The Unholy
- Lord of the Battle
- Flames Of Purgatory
- Into Eternity
- Black Heart
- Black Shadows
- Turn To Stone
- Seven Angels
Ok, first off, I am an old school Def Leppard fan. I will take Pyromania and Hysteria over anything else that this band has done. I just don’t think they have done better than those two discs.
With that being said, I wanted to hate this disc. I am pretty tired of cover song albums. I prefer new material over rehashed songs any day. Strangely enough, this disc doesn’t suck.
I honestly think this is most guitar playing I have heard out of Vivian Campbell since he joined the band. Joe Elliott and the rest of the guys sound great.
I must admit some of the songs covered here, I am not familiar with. It is almost like hearing a new track for the first time. That is pretty cool.
Of the tracks I am familiar with, I really like the version of 20th Century Boy on here. I swear I have heard another band cover this tune once before but I can’t recall which band it was. This version is great!
20th Century Boy
I have never liked Rock On when it was on the radio back in the 80’s. Def Leppard’s version is definitely better than the original. No Matter What sounds almost exactly like the original Badfinger tune. Stay With Me is a killer track with Phil Collen on vocals.
Stay With Me
For all the tragedies this band has been through, its nice to see them still putting out quality music. It would be a bigger tragedy to not get another original rock CD from this great band!
Yeah! probably wont set your speakers on fire, but I am sure the Def Leppard fans out there will eat it up.
Its a good CD, and a one of the better ones that I have listened to this week.
Rating: Out of 10
- 20th Century Boy (T.Rex)
- Rock On (David Essex)
- Hangin’ On the Telephone (The Nerves)
- Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks)
- Hellraiser (Sweet)
- 10538 Overture (ELO)
- Street Life (Roxy Music)
- Drive-In Saturday (David Bowie)
- Little Bit of Love (Free)
- The Golden Age of Rock’N’ Roll ( Moot the Hopple)
- No Matter What (Badfinger)
- He’s Gonna Step On You Again (John Kongos)
- Don’t Believe A Word (Thin Lizzy)
- Stay With Me (Faces)
One of the bands that will be taking the stage late Saturday Afternoon during the Rocklahoma Music Festival, is Firehouse. This is one of the bands that I would love to catch live again, as they always put on a good show.
The last disc Firehouse put out, Prime Time, was a far heavier disc than they have released in recent years, and one of my personal favorites.
The first track Prime Time is a heavy funky number that has a very RATT like bass feel to it. Bill Leverty has a great solo in this song.
The first time I heard Door to Door, my first thoughts were Hell Yeah! A hard rock band that wrote a song about NASCAR. I love it when two of my favorite things come together this well. This song was actually sung by drummer, Michael Foster. Great Song!
Perfect Lie is a heavy number that has a keyboard track added in. I love to hear Firehouse rocking out like this! Very Cool!
Bill Leverty takes over the vocals on Holding On. He has a very good Southern Rock style of voice. When paired with this great music, it sounds pretty cool.
Body Language is one of the heaviest, sounding numbers on Prime Time. This is one of my favorite tracks on this disc.
I’m the One features Bill Leverty on vocals and has a very bluesy older Whitesnake feel about it. This song keeps the pace moving nicely, and is quite good.
C.J. Snare takes over the microphone on Take Me Away. This song is a very upbeat, hard track with more great solos by Bill Leverty.
Home Tonight is an up tempo number. To me this is the only song on Prime Time that is average. The pacing of the lyrics is kind of strange at times, but the music kicks ass. I guess its a trade off, but is my least favorite song on this disc.
Let Go is a very nice piano based ballad. I thought it was odd to close the disc out with this track instead of putting it more towards the center of Prime Time.
In Conclusion, Prime Time rocks harder than any recording that Firehouse has released, but stays true to the bands’ sound. Hard rock fans are sure to enjoy this CD and should pick it up. Rocklahoma concert goers are sure to hear some of these kick ass song live in July!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Prime Time
3. Door to Door
4. Perfect Lie
5. Holding On
6. Body Language
7. I’m the One
8. Take Me Away
9. Home Tonight
10. Let Go
The mighty Megadeth returns in 2007 with their eleventh studio album, United Abominations!
There has been plenty of hype about this disc over the last several months, so the major question is does it live up to the hype?
This first track assaults your ears and senses immediately and sets the stage for what is going to be an amazing listen. Sleepwalker takes Megadeth back to their thrash roots. This heavy track could have easily been on the Rust In Peace album. This is one of my early favorites! I love it!
Washington is Next gets better each time I hear it. This track is a heavy high speed number that the wimpy rock radio stations wont come close to touching. I have listened to this track several times, and I seem to like it more each time.
Man oh man, the guitars howl on Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms. I love this song for the guitar work alone, but the song structure is very cool. This song is heavy, but has radio potential.
After my first listen, I did not care for United Abominations. Multiple listens later, the song has now grown on me, and I can see some radio potential with this song. It is good, but far from the best track on this disc.
I heard a rough demo of Gears of War a few months ago, and have been looking forward to this one. The polished track is nice and heavy, and features more stellar guitar work by Dave Mustaine and Glen Drover.
My least favorite track off of U.A. so far is Blessed are the Dead. It is the least memorable track after a couple of listens.
Play for Blood has an awesome groove and will have most ‘deth fans head banging for sure. GREAT Stuff!!
The track that is already getting plenty of radio airplay is the reworked version of À Tout La Monde that was originally on the 1994 disc, Youthanasia. This new version features the vocals of Dave Mustaine and Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil. I like this version as well as the original, and the video for the song is kind of cool.
I am not crazy about Amerikhastan. I know Dave Mustaine is passionate about politics, but hearing him chant about it in a song, is not what I am looking for in a Megadeth song. Sorry Dave, but this song doesn’t work for me.
Your Dead is heavy, guitar-shredding, monster of a track. The best thing about this one is the guitar work.
Burnt Ice is an insane guitar noodling festival of Metal. I get tired just trying to play the air guitar along with this one. Crazy!
So the bottom line, does United Abominations live up to the hype, Yes and No. I guess it depends on what you are looking for in a Megadeth album. United Abominations is heavier that some of the bands’ more recent offerings, and less mainstream, that what a lot of the newer fans may be used to. For me, I enjoyed this disc, as it is heavier than the last few, and guitar work is superb. Is this the best Megadeth CD I have ever listened to? No it isnt. You don’t hear too many new metal discs sounding this good today. Long time Megadeth fans should certainly pick this up. Metal fans will love United Abominations.
Rating:Out of 10
2. Washington Is Next!
3. Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms
4. United Abominations
5. Gears Of War
6. Blessed Are The Dead
7. Play For Blood
8. À Tout Le Monde (Set Me Free)
10. You’re Dead
11. Burnt Ice
Dave Mustaine – Vocals and Guitars
Glen Drover – Guitars
James Lomenzo – Bass
Shawn Drover – Drums
Lead Singer Scotty P. may not have the voice for everyone. His voice is so cigarette and alcohol stained that he could nearly be a Death Metal growler, yet somehow his voice works here.
The Music on Livin’ In the Red is loud and furious. Don’t look for any power ballads by these guys. This is hard as nails, in your face rock and roll.
My biggest problem with Livin’ In the Red, is there are no real stand out tracks. If you hear one song, you pretty much get the same feel and heaviness from the rest of them. I can see that this band has loads of potential, but Livin’ In the Red is not the career defining album for these guys.
If you are a fan of Sleaze, you ought to give them a look on their myspace page to see what you think of them. Livin’ In the Red might be your cup of tea, but it did not do it for me. I found that it was needing two or three great tracks to push it along, and I never could find them.
Rating: Out of 10
1. We Want It All
2. Fueled By A 5th
3. Love Me Like A Suicide
4. Livin’ In The Red
5. Rock ‘n’ Roll Homicide
6. That’s How We Roll
7. Speed Kills
8. Devils Ride
9. Back To Piss You Off
For the first edition of the new review feature, Rare Rock Rewind, I want to introduce you to a band that hit the music scene in the late 80’s. There were a lot of great bands getting signed during this time, but quite a few never got the marketing push by their record labels, and went greatly unnoticed by the public.
China is perfect example of this!
China is a swiss rock/glam band that started back in 1987. This band features Math Shiverow on vocals, Freddy Laurence and Claudio Matteo on Guitars, John Dommen on Drums, and Marc Lynn on bass. This band was signed by Polygram and got a little help from Krokus members Marc Storace and Fernando von Arb. Krokus front man, Marc Storace sang back up on a few tracks and Krokus guitar player Fernando von Arb has the writing credits on the track, “Back to You“.
I was one of many people that never heard of this band back in the day (and I thought I knew them all). I recently heard a track off of this disc on an internet hard rock radio station that I frequently visit. My first reaction was, who in the hell was that?! I liked it enough to seek out a copy. My persistence paid off, and I was finally able to grab a copy of this one off of Ebay.
I am glad to say that this disc is full of killer 80’s big hair style rock. Some songs have a little more keyboards than I would prefer, but as a whole, this disc rocks!
Check out the video’s below for a couple of the bands songs Shout it Out and Rock City. The sound quality isn’t the greatest, but will give you a good taste of China’s style.
Shout it Out
This disc is full of good songs and no filler. All throughout this disc you can hear hard guitar licks mixed with cool keyboard melodies and the great vocals of Math Shiverow. It is harder than typical AOR music and maybe a bit more melodic than some 80’s hard rock groups. I prefer the harder songs on this disc. The stand outs are Shout it Out,Back to You, Rock City, Living on the Stage, and I Need Your Love.
If you can find this disc, I highly recommend picking this one up. Fans of 80’s style hard rock will love this disc!
It has been out of print for a while, so happy hunting!!
China is participating in Switzerland’s SPIRIT OF ROCK Festival in June, so maybe there is hope for new tunes by these guys in the future.
Rating:Out of 10
- Shout It Out
- Back to You
- The Fight is On
- Wild Jealousy
- Rock City
- Hot Lovin’ Night
- Living on the Stage
- I Need Your Love
- One Shot to the Heart
- Staying Alive
- Don’t Look Back* (Bonus Track)
Paul has since formed a new four piece band called Adrenaline Factor that features many of the AC/DC like aspects of Broken Teeth, and if anything, this band may be a little better.
Adrenaline Factor is Lee Scott on lead vocals, Paul Lidel on guitar, Steve Sweat on bass, and
Armando Reyes on drums.
Singer Lee Scott sounds like he came from the Bon Scott family. The songs on this disc are not very complex. It is the same three chord style that you are accustomed to hearing from AC/DC. The music will not surprise you, unless you are astounded how close Lee sounds to Bon.
Some of these tracks demand to be heard! The opening track track Ride is a smoking hard track that just kicks your ass right out of the gate.
Boozin’ Susan is the fist in the air, beer swilling rocker that makes you beg for more.
Seven Year Bitch is a foot tapping, catchy song that will have you singing along in no time.
The closing track Goin’ Nowhere is closer to Deep Purple in sound than AC/DC (no, I am not kidding.).
Paul Lidel has been playing similar riffs in Dirty Looks, and Broken Teeth for years, and he has the AC/DC sound down pat. If you are tired of waiting for the new AC/DC disc, as am I, then you could do a lot worse than picking up Adrenaline Factor’s debut. I went back and listened to the last couple of AC/DC discs after this one, and I think is better than anything than AC/DC has done in a while. Do yourself a favor and go check this out!
Rating: out of 10
- Wrong Number
- Boozin’ Susan
- Your Side
- Bad Habit
- Seven Beer Bitch
- No Warning
- Bet Your Life
- Hook Slide
- Goin’ Nowhere
From the ashes of Dangerous Toys, Jason McMaster and Paul Lidel formed the band Broken Teeth. According to Jason McMaster, “The band started as a joke, as an AC/DC rip off on purpose kind of thing and sort of snowballed. ”
The band may have started as a joke, but the music that this hard rocking five piece outfit is putting out, is not. Guilty Pleasure is the 2nd studio disc by Broken Teeth. This band also features Dangerous Toys alumni, Mike Watson on bass, (ex-Pariah) Jared Tuten on Guitar and Bruce Rivers on Drums on this disc. The sound is definitely a derivative of AC/DC. Jason McMaster’s raspy vocals give these tunes a little more edge, but he does try to use a lot of Bon Scott mannerisms in his vocals. Amazingly, this sounds a lot different than Dangerous Toys. This is less sleaze and more straight forward hard rock.
Paul Lidel has Angus Young’s three chord guitar sound down pat and does a great job.
At first I was disappointed by this disc, as I was expecting Broken Teeth to be a little closer in sound to Dangerous Toys. After successive listens, I got over the whole DT thing, and started getting into this disc a lot more. Guilty Pleasure is full of hard edged AC/DC style party rock.
There are a few stand out tracks on this disc including the title track, Guilty Pleasures, complete with its AC/DC trademark “OY”!
The blistering Crash Landing Affair is a song that will help you get a few speeding tickets. The rhythm section kicks ass, and McMaster does best Bon Scott. Killer Stuff!
Crash Landing Affair
Down to the Fire is a blues infested number that is infectious as hell.
You have to hear High on Danger and Chaingang to appreciate them. Both songs are great.
AC/DC seems to be missing from the musical landscape these days. Thank God there is a band like Broken Teeth to carry on the torch, while they are away! This CD wont win any points for originality, but is full of great hard rock, the way it should be played! You can hear more Broken Teeth songs at the band’s myspace page here.
Rating: Out of 10
- Guilty Pleasure
- Devil Money
- Hangin’ By The Skin
- Crashlanding Affair
- Down To The Fire
- Second Hand
- High On Danger
- She Dances Evil
- Happy End
This self titled disc is the 2nd studio release by Big Cock. If you heard the first disc, Year of the Cock, you already probably familiar with this band’s 80’s Hard Rock Sound. The sound has not changed on Big Cock’s sophomore effort. They lyrics may be a little more explicit at times, and some of lyrics are dripping with sexual humor.
There are a few stand out tracks on this disc, including Real Man, Ride on Me, Real Hard, Get Me Up and the straight forward cover of the Tom Jones’ song, She’s A Lady.
Ride on Me
So Easy Bein’ Me has a punk feel to it, and reminds me of when Motley Crue covered Anarchy in the UK.
I could have lived without a couple of the songs, including the 50’s sounding Scottsdale Girls, and country flavored Let’s Make Love. Both of these tracks seem out of place here. The lyrics for Scottsdale Girls are kind of funny, but something about this song has a 50’s, Jimmy Buffett, Beach Boys, bubble gum type of feel about it.
I wonder if Robert Mason is about ready to bust a gut, while trying to keep a straight face singing Every Inch of My Love. The lyrics are pure cheese, but this is still a cool sounding track. This is the closest thing you will get to a power ballad from Big Cock.
Take Me and Booze My Baby are ok tracks, but are nothing special.
As a whole, I tend to like this Big Cock disc, a little more than the debut effort. Big Cock’s sound and delivery are constant on both discs, and are a solid listen. This disc still wont make Robert Mason a household name, but it sounds like he enjoys what he is doing, and that comes across in the music.
Neither one of the Big Cock discs will set your world on fire, but if you like bands with that great 80’s hard rock sound, and are a fan of bands like Lynch Mob, and AC/DC, you will probably want to both of them. If you pick one, I’d say this is the one to get.
- Second Coming
- Fucked Up
- Real Man
- Ride on Me
- Real Hard
- She’s A Lady
- So Easy Bein’ Me
- Every Inch of My Love
- Dirty Girl
- Scottsdale Girls
- Get Me Up
- Take Me
- Booze & My Baby
- Let’s Make Love
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
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
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 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
For the Next 10 Days I will be posting new reviews on releases from Jorn Lande’s Discography, leading up to the reviews of the hot new January releases, Unlocking the Past and the Gathering. I am going to cover a lot of different material, so stay tuned to the Hard Rock Hideout and check back daily for more reviews, videos and music worth listening to!
Day 1 has now been posted. Check out the review for Ark’s Self Titled Debut from 1999 here.
Day 2 has now been posted. Check out the review for Jorn’s debut as a solo artist, Starfire.
Day 3 has been posted. Check out the review for Ark’s 2nd disc, Burn the Sun!
Day 4 has now been posted. There are some awesome videos to go along with this next review. Be sure to check back and check out the review for JORN – Worldchanger
Day 5 is up! Check out the review for debut by Masterplan!
Day 6 is now up! Check out the review for Jorn’s work on the Brazen Abbot disc, Guilty As Sin.
Day 7 has been posted! Check out the review for the Junior Solo Effort by Jorn, Out To Every Nation
Day 8 is up! Check out the 2nd Amazing Disc by Masterplan – Aeronautics.
Day 9 is here! Check out the incredible release Allen / Lande – The Battle.
Tomorrow night is the Grand Finale to the 10 Days of Jorn!! Be Here for not one but two new Jorn Lande reviews! Until then, check out the top 26 songs by Jorn Lande on Last FM here.
I hope you all enjoyed this segment! I hope to do more things like this in the future at the Hard Rock Hideout!