Tuesday, January 27, 2015

STARGAZERY - Stars Aligned (2015)

STARGAZERY - Stars Aligned (2015) full

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We were pleased on the blog three years ago with the debut album from STARGAZERY, the Finnish Hard Rock band fronted by the ex-Michael Schenker Group vocalist Jari Tiura, completed with several ex-members of Burning Point (another talented Finn band).
After that successful CD, Stargazery returns this 2015 with their sophomore effort "Stars Aligned", where the band fell back on the old adage: 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Then added another word of wisdom: 'Go Big or go home'.

In this sense, first, Stargazery has stuck to their formula of classic mid-Eighties (melodic) Hard Rock with an edge. As I said about their debut album, they sound a bit like Whitesnake, '80s Black Sabbath and latter period Rainbow, only with the keyboards at the forefront more often.
To the latter adage, these keyboards seem even more grand and encompassing. The guitar riffs as well, and when put together, "Stars Aligned" has monsterous bombastic sound. Indeed, this record sounds 'Big'.
Yet, groove, melody and vocal harmony are never lost. Everything's just larger - and better in my book.



Good examples of the more ambitious keys and guitar come with "Bring Me The Night", the killer "Missed the Train to Paradise" and "Painted Into A Corner" with its fantastic Hammond organ parts that seems coming out of the classic Uriah Heep repertoire.
Yes, the keyboards have an old school flair all over the album. While this motif abounds throughout, perhaps the best example comes when Stargazery covers Cher's "Dark Lady". They easily trump the Pomp of the original with a terrific delivery.

"Absolution" is in the great '80s Tony Martin / Black Sabbath kind of atmosphere, while "Academy Of Love" is more tagged in the heaviest mood of British AOR of the '90s. Of course, this is a highlight.
In "Angel Of The Dawn" vocalist Jari Tiura sounds like a perfect dead ringer for Rob Rock, and on the fierce "Dim The Halo" he sings similarly to the famous Graham Bonnet, sometimes like a young David Coverdale.
His vocal performance through the whole recording is simply astonishing and flawless, very diverse from high soaring to delicate crooning. The entire classic Hard Rock singing text-book is employed by the singer with taste and class.

STARGAZERY - Stars Aligned (2015) back cover

Stargazery's "Stars Aligned" is a fantastic piece of Classic Hard Rock.
The orthodoxy of the genre is perfectly respected, set in the eternal mode of excellence created by the likes of Ritchie Blackmore, Ronnie James Dio, David Coverdale, Tony Iommi... Stargazery's dedication and their stainless faith is indisputable.
All comes out of the speakers truly engaging, entertaining, and often, seriously over the top and melodic. Add to this an amazing modern production / mix, and you have a winner here.
If the first try was already more than an enjoyable disc, this second effort from Stargazery is one step higher in the satisfaction scale, a pure Classic Hard Rock eargasm.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


01. Voodoo
02. Angel Of The Dawn
03. Missed The Train To Paradise
04. Invisible
05. Absolution
06. Academy Of Love
07. Painted Into A Corner
08. Dim The Halo
09. Bring Me The Night
10. Hiding
11. Warrior's Inn
12. Dark Lady
13. Tumma Nainen (Special Bonus track)

Jari Tiura (ex Michael Schenker Group) - Vocals
Pete Ahonen (Burning Point) - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Jukka Jokikokko (Burning Point) - Bass, Backing Vocals
Marco Sneck (ex Kalmah) - Keyboards
Jussi Ontero (Burning Point, ex Wildcard) - Drums


BUY IT !
www.puresteel-shop.com/STARGAZERY-Stars-Aligned
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CYANIDE - Lethal Dose (2015)

CYANIDE - Lethal Dose (2015) full

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Born in Sin City several years ago, rockers CYANIDE are releasing their debut "Lethal Dose" today, January 27th.
All members in the band are experienced musicians who have been rocking Las Vegas and the Bay Area with various projects, opening for the likes of Skid Row, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, Doro Pesch, Bulletboys, Black 'N Blue, Tuff, and more.

Founded by vocalist Robert Hussey & guitarist Marc Andrews, Cyanide started as a cover band playing in Las Vegas doing classics such as Queensryche's 'Queen of the Reich', Motley Crue's 'Ten Seconds to Love', Warrant's 'Down Boys', etc.
In a city filled with bands that often serve up the same generic rock and metal covers day in day out, Cyanide has managed to stand out largely thanks to a mixture of covers and original material alike.
Soon their own penned songs gained such strength that the band needed to record the stuff and put it on CD.
And this is what we have on "Lethal Dose": 11 originals with a sound that hearkens back to the glorious, sleaziest days of the Sunset Strip.

CYANIDE - Lethal Dose (2015) inside

Yes, "Lethal Dose" is a pure Hair Metal album. The kind of polished, clean, bombastic second half of the Eighties recordings.
If you did not know better, you would swear this album was recorded back in the '80s amidst all of the biggest bands on the day.
The aim was to obtain a sound like a 'Bob Rock produced record', and they have pretty accomplished the task. Everything sounds bright, potent and crisp.
Okay, you know the production is great and this album sounds like a true product of the '80s... but how are the actual songs on the record? You will be relieved to know that these songs are damn good and fit the mood perfectly.
As soon as the album kicks off, you are greeted with "Bitches to Blame", which very well could have been an anthem had it been released back in the day.

With tracks like "Drinkin", "Pump it to Me", the party-ready "Lookin' for a Good Time", first single "What Comes Around Goes Around" or the sleazy album closer "Whole 'Lotta Trouble" (dedicated to the legendary Sherri's Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada), this album perfectly brings back the spirit and attitude of the Hair Metal heyday.
Cyanide really sounds like '80s Ratt, Motley Crue, Kix, Bulletboys, and they even have a track entitled "Nikki Sixx in Disguise" - a blatant and obvious Motley tribute, but that just makes the song all the more amusing and enjoyable!
Of course a Hair Metal record needs a 'slower tune' balance, and the excellent "Groovin’" (one of my favorites) go for an elaborated midtempo pace.
Then the obligatory power ballad: "It's a Long Road" avoids the common place for this kind of songs still including all the classic elements to turn it memorable.

CYANIDE - Lethal Dose (2015) back

Definitely not a parody like Steel Panther, Cyanide brings back the fun, enjoyable party rock of the past with style and quality on all levels.
Great musicianship, a perfect singer for the genre and stupendous production provides to "Lethal Dose" a status of 'a major label lost '80s recording'.
Their 11 song debut album is full of high octane, sex, drugs and rock 'n roll fueled tracks. Yes, there's dirty lyrics too, and should have deserved a 'Explicit Content' sticker on the cover.
The ever present consistent songwriting prove this band has what it takes to drive '80s Hair Metal into the next generation.
And of course, it's a joyful ride for long-time fans of this underestimate genre.
VERY Recommended.


01. Bitches to Blame
02. Drinkin'
03. Pump It to Me
04. Flying Free
05. Nikki Sixx in Disguise
06. Devil Inside Me
07. Groovin'
08. Lookin' for a Good Time
09. What Comes Around Goes Around
10. It's a Long Road
11. Whole Lotta Trouble

Rob Hussey: Vocals
Marc Andrews: Guitar
David Karr: Bass
Ryan Gillan: Drums
Miranda Trenholm: Backing Vocals


BUY IT !
www.cdbaby.com/cd/cyanide12
www.amazon.com/Lethal-Dose-Explicit-Cyanide/dp/B00RF7314I
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Monday, January 26, 2015

SHADOWQUEST - Armoured IV Pain (2015)

SHADOWQUEST - Armoured IV Pain (2015) full

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A new Swedish beast has born: SHADOWQUEST, a supergroup of sorts with its members combining a great amount of experience both past and present in the metal field.
Their strangely titled "Armoured IV Pain" CD debut is being released today (January 26th), what it's not strange at all is the quality delivered through these 11 songs.

ShadowQuest's impressive personnel includes Jari Kainulainen (Masterplan, Devil’s Train, Evergrey) on bass, Kaspar Dahlqvist (former Dionysus, hard rockers Nation) playing keyboards, Patrik Johansson (Bloodbound, Dawn of Silence) helming the lead vocals, Peter Huss (Shining, former Sinergy) / Ragnar Widerberg (Witherscape, Saint Deamon) teaming up on guitars, plus Ronny Milianowicz (Sinergy, Dionysus) holding down the fort on drums.
Together they cook the proven formula for an amazing melodic, groovy power metal band: creative songwriting, stellar vocals, outstanding solos, mood enhancing keyboards, and more hooks than a coat rack.
If you come into ShadowQuest expecting that European melodic metal has now been completely overhauled, you will be sadly disappointed.

What you will find is that elements borrowed from the band members’ past history and those of the greats who came before make “Armoured IV Pain” an incredibly enjoyable, memorable, and exciting debut.
On its face, you may gloss over “Armoured IV Pain” with the thought that it’s all been done before and there aren't enough new ideas brought to the table.
Well, if you dissect the songs carefully, there are clear nuances like beefier grinding riffs that create original heavy atmospheres, fluid natural time changes, and terrific melodic bridges and choruses.
The entire album is bound together by Dahlqvist’s ear popping – but not mega-overpowering - keyboard work, and Johansson’s vocals that transcend any other singer not named Rob Halford.

First off, the outstanding “Where Memories Grow” – with its punchy riff and symphonic power chorus tops the list of the album’s best tracks. “Blood of the Pure” is a perfect opener – providing power and melody that sets the tone for the album.
“We Bring Power” is the heaviest of the lot, showcasing those monster riffs from Huss / Widerberg. “All One” is the prototypical Euro metal tune, borrowing so heavily from Johansson’s Bloodbound that its nearly indistinguishable. His vocals on this track alone are a clinic on effortless delivery, perfect pitch and outstanding range.
Patrik is by far in the upper echelon of metal vocalist both present, past, and likely future.

SHADOWQUEST - Armoured IV Pain (2015) inside

“Live Again” is pretty awesome, representing the band’s tribute to ex-Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki, who had assisted drummer Ronny Milanowicz – also the producer of the album – during the production. Internally, the band calls the track “Anima Mundi, Part II.”
“Where Memories Grow” changes the pace a bit, beginning with a beautiful piano solo to start it off, and is then joined by a more orchestral paralleling introduction with a lighter entry by the rest of the band to accompany the grand entrance. This song has a more tempered 12/8 feel to the time, and carries a poignant sense to the melody and the lyrics.
“Freewheel Burning” is the final song on the digital release of the album, and a cover of the Judas Priest song, a la ShadowQuest style. This version is fairly close to the original, with a slightly updated sound with their own signature approach.
This remake is a worthy homage to the band, especially since ShadowQuest’s sound could be easily compared to that of Judas Priest, so this bonus track is a nice nod to their musical predecessors (and contemporaries).

“Armoured IV Pain” is a stellar debut, with a stellar cast of musicians. While they don’t break many boundaries and stick to the European melodic metal formula, they don’t apologize for it… and pull off incredible performances to boot.
With masterful production by Milanowicz (the crisp sound is awesome), this album easily could rival the last Allen / Lande recording.
Very Recommended for all audiences.


01. Blood Of The Pure
02. Last Farewell
03. All One
04. Live Again
05. Midnight Sun
06. Reach Beyond The Dream
07. We Bring Power
08. Insatiable Soul
09. Take This Life
10. Where Memories Grow
11. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest cover)

Patrik Johansson (Bloodbound) - Vocals
Peter Huss (Shining, ex-Sinergy) - Guitars
Ragnar Widerberg (Witherscape) - Guitars
Jari Kainulainen (Masterplan, Devil's Train) - Bass
Kaspar Dahlqvist (Nation, ex-Dionysus) - Keyboards
Ronny Milianowicz (ex-Dionysus, Sinergy) - Drums


BUY IT !
www.amazon.com/Armoured-IV-Pain-Shadowquest/dp/B00S8A6ISW
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U.D.O. - Decadent (2015)

U.D.O. - Decadent (2015) full

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One of the most unique vocalists in the history of Heavy Metal may also be the most prolific, and yet Udo Dirkschneider gets far less credit for pioneering and defining the genre than he deserves. After two decade plus fronting Accept, Dirkschneider went solo forming his own band U.D.O. and since then has released thirteen studio records and five live albums.
"Decadent" it's U.D.O. brand new album for 2015.

Udo Dirkschneider always will be 'the voice of Accept'. Period.
I love his albums with Accept, which defined a genre, a sound, a style. To be honest, I don't like it much his later work with U.D.O., a quite miss and hit lifeless (for me) metallized mud.
Dirkschneider has the chops, the broken voice, all the experience and he clearly knowns what real headbanger fans want, but somehow (again in my opinion) U.D.O. never worked.
The man just need good songs, a more hard rockin' / hard n' heavy sonic approach and bright production, all things pretty absent on most of his U.D.O. records.

Well, "Decadent" restored my faith in Udo Dirkschneider.
Packing the best songs he has composed in the las 20 years, a cool production job, and a fitting, dynamic band - including bassist Fitty Wienhold (ex-Bullet) and Edge of Forever / Hardline drummer Francesco Jovino - "Decadent" rocks.
Indeed, with these guys with a Hard Rock pedigree in the rhythm section, now U.D.O. sounds much more bouncy, groovy, almost catchy.
Yes, "Decadent" has a pretty Accept feel, and this is what old-school fans want. The twin guitar attack is not as sharp as Accept (but the spirit is there) but this is logical, U.D.O. needs to sound more updated, modern.
And both factors, the old & the new, combined together, work really well in "Decadent".

Each and every track stood out in their own unique way. From the adrenaline fuelled “Untouchable” to the captivating ballad “Secrets In Paradise”, each song had a story to tell and it suited every mood.
Title track is filled with socially accurate lyrics, and then "House of Fake" is no nonsense, take no prisoners classic heavy metal, now called 'classic rock'
"Mystery" sports a bloodcurdling menace, while in "On Pain" Dirkschneider's anger at those who dictate modern society is feverishly evident. A giant middle finger is raised throughout.

U.D.O. - Decadent (2015) inside

Dirkschneider's barbaric bark and Smirnov & Heikkinen‘s melodic riff work, fuse brilliantly on "Breathless". If you suffer from a severe build up of wax in your ears "Under Your Skin", will act as the perfect antidote. This full blooded metal track has the whole band in feral mode, especially drummer Francesco Jovino, who batters his toms with savage gusto and groove.

"Decadent" marks a return for Udo Dirkschneider to classic metal stuff.
The material feels elaborated, some with a complex song structure, meaningful lyrics and chunk heavy riffs in the traditional heavy metal style.
For this record, many of U.D.O. members are new to the fold, and you can hear the difference revitalizing the whole thing.
If you never liked U.D.O. (as me), you should try "Decadent". It's a dynamic, groovy rocking record recapturing some of the magic of Udo Dirkschneider's Accept years.
ROCKS.


1. Speeder
2. Decadent
3. House Of Fake
4. Mystery
5. Pain
6. Secrets In Paradise
7. Meaning Of Life
8. Breathless
9. Let Me Out
10. Under Your Skin
11. Untouchable
12. Shadow Eyes

Udo Dirkschneider - Vocals
Andrey Smirnov - Guitars
Kasperi Heikkinen (ex- Gamma Ray live) - Guitars
Fitty Wienhold (ex- Bullet) - Bass
Francesco Jovino (Edge of Forever, Hardline) - Drums


BUY IT !
shop.afm-records.de/en/u-d-o-en/u-d-o-decadent-en.html
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

THE GRAMMERS - Journey (2015)

THE GRAMMERS - Journey (2015)
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Hailing from Turku, Finland, THE GRAMMERS have been together since 1999. After winning the Finnish Rock Championship in 2002, they relentlessly toured Scandinavia / the Baltics and put out five records, but this freshly 2015 published "Journey" it's their first album released internationally.

The Grammers plays Classic Rock of all time, but with their own spin. This means a typical Scandinavian touch in the melodies.
Influenced by traditional acts from Britain and America, The Grammers infuse to their guitar / keyboard riff driven songs a strong melodic patina and a feel-good vibe all over. There's some traditional Hard Rock pump on several tracks inspired in the classic Seventies, with nice choruses and harmonies.

THE GRAMMERS - Journey (2015)
 inside

All over its 11 tracks, "Journey" showcases in The Grammers a mature band clearly knowing what they do: catchy Classic Rock with a true rock n' roll spirit.
Vocalist Hannu Vainionpää raspy pipes is one of the band's biggest winning cards. The guy owns a powerful yet controlled and clear voice which turns more middle range on harder songs like "Sign of the War" where utilises his entire vocal cord arsenal.
More accessible, easy listening rockers include "Kids", the bluesy "Hey Mama", "U.S. Of A." or "Home Love".
My favorite is opener and title track "Journey" which pretty much represents The Grammers' style and where you can find some of their 'influences'. Check the video-song below.



From a scene dominated by Melodic Hard Rock / Metal acts (at least talking about Rock related) that is the Scandinavian, The Grammers emerge as one of the best current Classic Rock bands from the area.
Feel good, fun songs is what "Journey" has to offer, and deliver the goods. Everything comes out lavish melodic and polished (bright production), genuinely enjoyable indeed.
Very Recommended.


01 - Journey
02 - Brother
03 - Hey Mama
04 - Kids
05 - Glitter & Glow
06 - Sweet Liberation
07 - Sign of the War
08 - U.S. Of A.
09 - Home Love
10 - Flight to Mars
11 - Tsar Bomba

Hannu Vainionpää - vocals
Ville Vesalainen - guitar
Hannu Huitu - guitar
Tuomo Pfaler - keyboards
Saku Kujala - bass
Jussi Vuola - drums


BUY IT !
www.levykauppax.fi/artist/grammers/journey/
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Saturday, January 24, 2015

ULI JON ROTH - Scorpions Revisited Volume 1 (2015)

ULI JON ROTH - Scorpions Revisited Volume 1 (2015) full

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Legendary German guitarist ULI JON ROTH will release a new double album, "Scorpions Revisited - Volume 1", next February 9, 2015.
Roth, one of Scorpion's founder members, has freshly re-recorded songs from the band's early period when he was the lead guitar and composer.

Uli states: "The material we recorded for this project will be released in two stages, beginning with a double CD, which was recorded last year in the same hall near Hanover that we used for the Scorpions rehearsals 1973-1978.
Together with an amazing bunch of very talented young musicians, I revisited my personal favourites from the early Scorpions period, some of which were written in that same hall.
It was an emotional few days and I am very pleased with the results in more ways than one."

He continues: "The idea was to stay truthful to the original spirit of the music, while also putting a new slant on it whenever it felt like the right thing to do. I feel we succeeded in this.
It was a intense journey into the past and I think we really managed to bring the songs back to life with a vengeance. They seem to have a timeless quality and it was easy to revisit this music and fill the old songs with new life."

ULI JON ROTH - Scorpions Revisited Volume 1 (2015) inside

Indeed, these songs from Scorpions' early days from albums like "Fly To The Rainbow", "In Trance", "Virgin Killer" and "Taken By Force", now in perspective, are amazing compositions.
With a strong hard rock foundation, Roth was the key factor to add a wonderful progressive touch to song such as "In Trance", "We'll Burn The Sky", "Catch Your Train" or the awesome "The Sails Of Charon".
These new versions are literally 'reinterpretations': Roth combines technical expertise with soulful sonic landscapes giving to the songs a revitalized feel.

The riffs and solos played with his home-built guitar Sky are more complete than the originals, while what he tickles from his dulcimer with a range of fabulous six octaves, has no equal.
Uli's backing band here is fabulous, including ex- Zeno bass player / backing vocalist Ule W. Ritgen, and terrific British lead singer Nathan James, that sounds like a good mix of Michael Kiske, Tony Martin and Joe Lynn Turner.

ULI JON ROTH - Scorpions Revisited Volume 1 (2015) back cover

"Scorpions Revisited" could easily have become a wallow in nostalgic mud, and sunk under the weight of the originals. But Uli Jon Roth has brought so much joy and style to these early Scorpions songs that they take on a new life.
It's hard to believe that these songs have been composed four decades ago.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.


Disc 1:
1. The Sails Of Charon
2. Longing For Fire
3. Crying Days
4. Virgin Killer
5. In Trance
6. Sun In My Hand
7. Yellow Raven
8. Polar Nights
9. Dark Lady

Disc 2:
1. Catch Your Train
2. Evening Wind
3. All Night Long
4. We'll Burn The Sky
5. Pictured Life
6. Hell-Cat
7. Life's Like A River
8. Drifting Sun
9. Rainbow Dream Prelude
10. Fly To The Rainbow

Nathan James - Vocals
Uli Jon Roth - Guitars, Dulcimer
Niklas Turmann - Guitar, Vocals
Corvin Bahn - Keyboards, Vocals
David Klosinski - Guitar
Ule W. Ritgen - Bass
Jamie Little - Drums


PRE-ORDER:
www.amazon.co.uk/Scorpions-Revisited-Uli-Jon-Roth/dp/B00R6627WA
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Friday, January 23, 2015

CARE OF NIGHT - Connected (2015)

CARE OF NIGHT - Connected (2015) full

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Two years ago at 0dayrox we proudly presented in exclusive the debut EP from CARE OF NIGHT, a new Swedish AOR bringing all the magic from the genre to the new millennium.
After shedding more than seven tears over the split of Seven Tears back in 2009, three of that band’s members initially stuck together (bassist Fredrik Lager subsequently stepped aside) to form Care Of Night and here finally is their debut studio album "Connected", released today through - yes - AOR Heaven Records.

I for one am eternally thankful that these guys stayed together to bring us such fantastic AOR / Melodic Rock, and if you like the classic, keyboard-driven side of the street from the genre then you really do have to get "Connected".
Names as Da Vinci, Dalton and Europe are mentioned as influences, alongside new acts like Work Of Art and Houston, so we know what to expect, we think, but what we get is a surprise.
"Connected" (produced by the Wigelius brothers) doesn't transcend genre clichés, it embraces them, then shapes them into something coherent and totally fresh.
Dynamic songwriting, sharp guitars, bouncy rhythm section, keyboards galore, a classy singer, tons of harmonies and top choruses are the motto of Care Of Night, and I love it.



All the songs in "Connected" indeed switch on you an emotional connection to the comforting warmth of '80s AOR, where it all began. But Care Of Night adds a contemporary feel turning things even more interesting and enjoyable.
The opening cut "Cassandra" is the perfect summary of what this album is all about, bright and bold with a sparkling factor in the catchy melodies in the key of love. If the amazing vocalist Calle Schönberg takes the lead and shares with his superb voice and his positive energy, the other members are more than competent, notably Jonathan Carlemar who provides some first class lead guitar chops in the subtle tradition of Schon & Scholtz (check "Those Words" or "Unify").

CARE OF NIGHT - Connected (2015) inside

The urgent "Contact" (another highlight) is driven by fluffy keyboard melodic line, but without resign muscle and power. A rocker that Loverboy would be proud of, and as with most albums of this much loved genre the themes are mainly about the trials and tribulations of love.
Add to these songs like "Heart Belongs" or the slick, awesome mid-tempo "Say A Prayer" and this album will no doubt be a regular listening partner for me for quite a while to come, it’s easily up there with FM and White Widdow's more recent releases.
"Dividing Lines" with it's beautiful piano led into and verse segues into a heart wrenching chorus complete with lovable harmonies, then on "Please Remember" the backing vocals swell and subside around while the guitars and keyboards race to crescendo, ready to underline an inviting killer hook.

CARE OF NIGHT - Connected (2015) back cover

Sweden seems to be an inexhaustible AOR / Melodic Rock hot bed... "Connected" by Care Of Night is another clear proof and a must have for any rocker with a heart.
Every song is pulled taut, stretched across deceptively simple arrangements, and Care Of Night never let the tension slacken, leavening the mix occasionally with an emotional yell or a suitably snarling guitar.
"Connected" is truly a triumph of passion, a work of genuine flair and accomplishment, rich in melodic detail. The aforementioned Work Of Art and Houston, as well as H.E.A.T, Brother Firetribe and others should take heed. There’s a new kid on the block.
And they are awesome. They are called Care Of Night.
A MUST HAVE.


01 - Cassandra
02 - Hearts Belong
03 - Those Words
04 - Dividing Lines
05 - Say A Prayer
06 - Contact
07 - Please Remember
08 - Unify
09 - Give Me Strength
10 - Say You Will

Calle Schönberg - Lead Vocals
Jonathan Carlemar - Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Kristofer von Wachenfeldt - Keyboards, Vocals
Jonas Rosengren - Bass
Linus Svensson - Drums, Vocals


BUY IT !
www.aorheaven.com/pages/ooze/ooze_sounds.php?3208
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

DEVIL'S TRAIN - II [DigiPak incl. Bonus Track] (2015)

DEVIL'S TRAIN - II [DigiPak incl. Bonus Track] (2015) full

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When we presented here two years ago the selft-titled debut from DEVIL'S TRAIN we were very impressed by the wonderful gut-churning, ball-grabbing, riff-fest set of songs packed on the CD. The band is back with the second album simply entitled "II" to be released tomorrow January 23rd.
All credit, then, that this is more than just a one-off project for ex-members of Stratovarius, Mystic Prophecy and Evergrey. Indeed this is a great assemble consisting of Mystic Prophecy's iconic mastermind and producer RD Liapakis on the mic, drum legend Jörg Michael known to be in his long career for heroes like Rage, Stratovarius, Saxon and more, plus four-string Finn Jari Kainulainen (Masterplan, Evergrey) on bass, and Mystic Prophecy's Lakis Ragazas on guitar.

"II" is just another killer, hot, ripping collection of hard n' heavy songs.
The riffs and catchy songwriting are still in place and this seems to be pitched from the Slash / Myles Kennedy handbook of hard rocking with a modern sound, but inspired in the classic sounds of the genre.
Simple and irresistible hard rockers like the monster opener "Down On You", the Whitesnake-esque "Can You Feel" or "You And Me" rock your socks off. There's a fun old-school feel on the feisty "Hollywood Girl", while "Let's Shake It" adds a lot of groove.
As an album of riff-based raunchy tunes it still takes some beating from the relentless churning of "Mr Jones" and the bluesy "Rock Forever" to the pneumatic (and more modern) "Girl Like You".

At difference with the debut, there's no place for ballads on "II".
Instead, we have two cool covers. The first is the classic "Born To Be Wild" done with a ripping riff as base, smashing drums and raspy lead vocals.
Then the other is a very personal, heavy take on Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song", where the pace has been accelerated a bit for a major impact and the guitar wah-wah rule.

DEVIL'S TRAIN - II [DigiPak incl. Bonus Track] (2015) inside

If this is the new vision of what is Hard N’ Heavy in 2015, I am all in. DEVIL'S TRAIN kick some serious ass with "II"
Nowadays so many bands try to reshape the glorious era of the '80s where Hard N’ Heavy outfits made it to the crown jewels. Sadly, those hungry days are all but gone with only memories and the older versions of the bands that profiled them.
Aside from a few true groups that still follow the old paths, the rest run towards the unknown with nothing more than decent releases that aren’t even close to the past. Some would call it age, but I think that it has nothing to do with it.
Motivation is the key to success following the long standing devotion for the music. If an older band doesn't have it, it won’t work for long or almost every release will end up being a drag.
Well, this is not the case with DEVIL'S TRAIN, a band that can be considered as how old-school, made in modern hands, should exactly sound and feel like.
KILLER CD.


01 - Down On You
02 - Hollywood Girl
03 - Gimme Love
04 - Mr. Jones
05 - Can You Feel
06 - Rock Forever
07 - Let's Shake It
08 - Girl Like You
09 - Born To Be Wild
10 - You And Me
11 - Thunderstorm
12 - Suffocated
13 - Immigrant Song (Bonus Track)

R.D. Liapakis - Vocals (Mystic Prophecy, Valley’s Eve)
Jörg Michael - Drums (ex Running Wild, Saxon, Stratovarius)
Jari Kainulainen - Bass (Masterplan, ex Stratovarius, Evergrey)
Lakis Ragazas - Guitar (Mystic Prophecy)


BUY IT !
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