I have to admit that I am not very familiar with the music of New York rock band Voice of Extreme. They just released their second album Break the Silence in August, and judging from the kick ass tunes on their latest effort, I will soon be in search of the band’s debut Hypocrite.
This Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden) managed band features industry veterans Don Chaffin & John Macaluso (ARK, TNT, Yngwie Malmsteen).
On the opening cut “Damned”, singer Don Chaffin offers up some powerful vocals that bring Robert Plant to my mind. The song has a Sabbath meets Soundgarden kind of vibe to it. The mixture of cool vocals, and kick ass guitar work makes “Damned” one of the many strong points on Break the Silence.
“Tell Me What It Takes” is the closest thing you will find to a power ballad in 2010. This song is pure melodic rock perfection at it’s best.
The great thing about Voices of Extreme is they aren’t afraid to mix it up. They bust out a heavy rocker with “Apocalypse”, and then roll right into the piano filled title track “Break the Silence”. “Apocalypse” is a song that I keep finding myself going back to over and over again. It is a heavy, almost grungy rocker with a very cool, almost danceable rhythm. I absolutely love this tune! “Break the Silence” teases you into thinking the band is going to break out another ballad, but instead it becomes a crafty mid-tempo number. John Macaluso’s drums truly stand out, and get your speakers thumping on this tune.
I have to admit that the song “Numb” didn’t do much for me.Rob Katrikh’s guitars are pretty good, but overall this song is a little too noisy for me. “Did It Again” is a move in the right direction. This song reminds me a of the recent George Lynch band, Souls of We. The major difference in the sound between V.O.X and Souls of We on this tune, are the vocals of Don Chaffin. Chaffin’s vocals are far superior to London LeGrand’s in my opinion.
“Hollow” is another song that for whatever reason, I just couldn’t get into. I guess I prefer the more melodic side of Voices of Extreme. Luckily, they follow this lackluster number with the awesome melodic rocker “Made of Stone”. Chaffin’s vocals are absolutely perfect on this song. AOR and Melodic rock fans ought to eat this up.
“Blown Away” is another metal-fueled, grungy rocker that is going to turn some heads, and some stereo knobs up. I love hearing Chaffin push his voice to the max on this tune.
The CD closes out with a cool rockin’ number “Sorry”. There are some really cool guitar tones in this song that I just can’t get enough of.
Overall, Break the Silence is a pretty cool release, and one that hard rock and melodic fans need to look into. Don’t miss this!
For more information on Voices of Extreme, please visit the V.O.X. website.
Rating: Out of 10
2. Tell Me What It Takes
4. Break the Silence
6. Did It Again
8. Made of Stone
9. Blown Away
Voices of Extreme are:
Don Chaffin-Lead Vocals
Bob Brennan-Bass Guitar
Rob Katrikh – Guitar
Mike Khalilov – Keys
Tony Harnell (TNT, Westworld, Morning Wood), Magnus Karlsson (ALLEN / LANDE and PRIMAL FEAR) and John Macaluso (Malmsteen, TNT, Ark) have wrapped up recording for the much-anticipated new Starbreaker CD entitled “Love’s Dying Wish“.
Written and produced by Harnell and Karlsson, the tracks have now been handed over to respected producer Tommy Hansen (TNT, Jorn) for mixing. Some of the titles include “Unknown Superstar”, “End Of Alone”, “Love’s Dying Wish”, “Evaporate” and “Beautiful Disaster”.
New bassist Jonni Lightfoot (a touring and recording veteran with extensive credits to his name) has added a tasteful aggressive touch to this magnificent piece of work and compliments Macaluso’s flashy drumming perfectly. This is a very special album that leaps forward from where the Starbreaker debut left off. With a fresh diversity that spans from pounding metal, to deep moody passages wrapped in a dark and beautifully melodic package. The stunning talents of Harnell and Karlsson are on display here in spades with electrifying performances and stellar song writing. These two have truly developed a unique and timeless sound together. Release expected this fall.
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