Dutch rockers Vengeance have been rockin’ since 1983. Their lineup has changed many times over the years, but one thing has been constant, the band has been kicking ass on each and every release they have put out. In 2012, the band has released their ninth album, Crystal Eye. The new album features an All Star Lineup for Vengeance. Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper) handles the guitar work, Chris Glen is on bass, and former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade is pounding the skins for Vengeance. While its cool that Leon Goewie has put together a cool new lineup, it is vocals that is the true star of Vengeance. He has a distinct vocal style that falls somewhere between Brian Johnson & Udo Dirkschneider. His excellent vocals and metal growls help to deliver one cool album for Vengeance.
I really enjoyed the songs “Bad To The Bone”, “Shock Me Now”, and “Desperate Women” (“Desperate Women” is easily my favorite). These are just some of Crystal Eye’s highlights.
“Me and You” starts off Crystal Eye right with an upbeat, hard rockin’ anthem that should be a real crowd pleaser.
If you ever needed a theme song for your backyard BBQ, the song “Barbeque” is it. I thought this song was kind of silly at first, but I have to admit that it is pretty catchy.
Former Black Sabbath singer, Tony Martin wrote the song “Whole Lotta Metal” for Vengeance, and this is easily one of the best songs on Crystal Eye.
The album closes with the instrumental track “Jan`s End Piece” which features the last guitar solos recorded by Jan Somers before his unexpected death. ( Jan passed away from a heart attack on January 28th.)
Crystal Eye is easily the best Vengeance album since Back in the Ring. If you are a hard rock fan, you gotta check this one out!
Rating: Out of 10
1. Me And You 04:02
2. Bad To The Bone 04:51
3. Barbeque 03:31
4. Shock Me Now 03:28
5. Five Knuckle Shuffle 04:10
6. Desperate Women 04:03
7. Whole Lotta Metal 04:11
8. Promise Me 03:43
9. Crystal Eye 06:13
10. Missing 04:51
11. Jans End Piece 01:16
Leon Goewie – vocals
Keri Kelli – guitar
Chris Glen – bass
Chris Slade – drums
Guest musicians: Michael Voss – guitar, vocals / Timo Somers (Delain) – guitar
Rumor has it, Alice Cooper and Kerri Kelli will be performing on the American Idol finale tonight. No idea what song they are playing, or who they are performing with. It might be a reason to tune in to AI tonight.
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
Jani Lane’s side project has finally seen the light of day, and has been released by Warrior Records. The timing of this release is kind of odd, with Jani recently reuniting with his former band, Warrant.
Nonetheless, The Saints of the Underground new disc is here, and I believe that this is Jani Lane’s most solid effort since the Warrant CD, Dog Eat Dog from 1992.
On this disc, you get two cover songs and eight original tunes. The first is American Girl by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. SOTU has increased the tempo on this song by a half step or so, and I like their version quite a bit, although it is very true to the original.
The second cover song is Moonlight Mile by the Rolling Stones. I didn’t really care for the Stones’ version of this song, and SOTU didn’t do anything to improve upon it. Their version is o.k. but It seems like an odd song for them to cover, especially when the Rolling Stones have so many great upbeat songs in their catalog.
The opening track, Dead Man Shoes sounds like a lost Warrant hit from the early 90’s. I like this tune a lot. Tomorrow Never Comes is another solid tune, and a good follow up to keep the pace going on this record. Good Times has a decent intro, which gave me high hopes for this song. It is a mid tempo number that came across as semi-average tune. It took a few listens for me to get into this tune more. I wish they would have made this one a little heavier, but it is, what it is.
The song Exit, didn’t really excite me too much. This sounds like an extra tune that was cut off of a Warrant album. Just when I was starting to lose faith in this record, Signs of Life came at exactly the right time. This tune has a heavier edge that some of the other songs on this record are lacking. It is a cool tune.
Bobby Blotzer’s drums stand out a little more to me, on the tune Bruised. I like the music on this tune, a lot more than the lyrics. Jimmy is a solid closer for this album. This song has a guitar lick that reminds me a whole lot of some old Thin Lizzy tunes.
All in All, Saints of the Underground have released a pretty good CD for the most part. Their are a couple of weak spots, but there are great songs here too.
Warrant and Jani Lane fans will eat this record up! For more information on Saints of the Underground, and to preview six of the songs from Love the Sin, Hate the Sinner, please visit the SOTU myspace page.
Rating:Out of 10
Saints of the Underground is:
Jani Lane – Vocals
Bobby Blotzer – Drums
Robby Crane – Bass
Kerri Kelli – Guitars
Saints of the Underground, the hard rock project featuring Jani Lane (Warrant), Robbi Crane (RATT), Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper) and Bobby Blotzer (RATT), is about to see the light of day! The new disc, Love the Sin, Hate the Sinner will be released to retailers on April 22, 2008.
You can preview the new songs below!
You can pre-order the new CD through Warrior Records at this link!
Saints of the Underground will be out in April on Warrior Records!
The project featuring Jani Lane from Warrant, Bobby Blotzer and Robbi Crane from Ratt and Keri Kelli from the Alice Cooper band.