Saturday, February 16, 2019

DREAM THEATER - Distance Over Time [Special Edition Digipak +1] (2019)

BLACK ACES - Shot In The Dark [European CD version +3] (2016) full

"Distance Over Time" is the band's 14th studio album and debut for InsideOutMusic Music from DREAM THEATER. The influential progressive metal band have sold over 15 million records worldwide and for this record they have approached things a little differently.
For the first time, the bandmates lived, wrote & recorded together at the secluded Yonderbarn studios in Monticello, NY over the course of four months. For the new album the band wanted to return to their roots and produce a more organic record.

Since their genesis in Eighties, masters of the progressive Dream Theater established a brotherhood that they consider as integral to the creation of their music, if not more so, than the harmony of the instruments alone.
During the summer of 2018, a four month period delegated to producing a new record, the band made a conscious decision to touch base with these core values. Removing themselves from the regular intensity of citified structures in favor of more sequestered pastures, Dream Theater wound up tucked away at the secluded, five-acre Yonderbarn studios in Monticello, NY, manning barbecues, enjoying bourbon, as well as writing and recording their new record, ‘Distance Over Time’.
An organic return to roots brought to life by an almost renewed familial chemistry, there is little wonder as to why these legends and their fans grow more excited for its release on February 22nd.

As is often the case with an upcoming Dream Theater album, a curious trepidation is stirred up with regards to what they will deliver next.
While the band do indeed have a trademark sound, ‘Distance Over Time’ proves that in 2019 they remain artistically brave, nurturing this sound once again, aligning it with their current incarnation.
The electrifying “Paralyzed” serves as a vital representation of this. From its opening moments that see guitarist John Petrucci and drummer Mike Mangini bouncing off one another through an alarmingly enjoyable rhythmic interlock, to more large scale moments orchestrated by the versatile vocal delivery of singer James LaBrie, “Paralyzed” is simply ineradicable among this albums best.

To their delight, fans were gifted with a handful of leading singles in the run up to the release of ‘Distance Over Time’. The highly praised “Fall Into The Light” captures the band in their stylistic element.
Though it was the studio play-through of “Untethered Angel” that portrayed Dream Theater at some of their progressive best. As keyboard player Jordan Rudess dances masterfully over his keys, he does so with a technical proficiency that simultaneously inspires while intimidates. As we look on in what can only be described as a jaw dropping giddiness, watching Rudess perform as his fellow band mates both support his moments and quickly pass the torch around the room for their own, quickly shifting the dynamic with ease, there is an evident enjoyment among them reflected in each and every track.
Perhaps none more so than in the unexpected ballad entitled “Out Of Reach”.

Dream Theater are no strangers to flirting with the wistful, musing and melancholic sides of their personalities. “Out Of Reach” is easily deserving of occupying a place among some of their best examples of this. Built primarily around a simple, recurring melody on piano, elevated by the subtle nuances in a rare, stripped back performance by bassist John Myung, there lives an ethereal atmosphere deeply entrenched throughout this beautiful piece.

The opening bars of “Barstool Warrior” present the more familiar progressive side of the band. The doubled guitar and keyboard opening riff, along with the bass and drum coordinated hits, signals the versatility of the songs the band put together in their time at the studio. The increased contributions and involvement of Myung and Mangini are uncovered during the opening segment in which Mangini exhibits his technique and speed with some terrific drumming as a transition to another beautiful melody from the bands guitar master. Petrucci’s lead lines show so much growth and dynamic attention, fans familiar with past songs like “Hell’s Kitchen” will be taken back to a time when these musicians were composing timeless classics.

DREAM THEATER - Distance Over Time [Ltd. Digipack +1] (2019) disc

“Room 137” is a song which clocks in at about 4.5 minutes of really cool heavy guitar riffs and a pounding and steady interaction between drums and heavy distortion guitars, like the kind of sound which is born out of jam sessions with your long time brothers. This song’s prog pedigree comes in the form of a chorus which has a descending chord progression with tight vocal harmonies alternating from the left to the right with an almost sinister tone which becomes very hypnotizing and memorable.

On the following song, “S2N”, the silent man of the band, Myung, gives his signature precision in the opening riff. It has been a long time since his bass has sat so well in the mix and production. The odd time signatures fit right in as the song builds an allows a Petrucci to perform a guitar solo with what sounds like some advanced two-handed tapping technique which only true guitar heroes can master. The song concludes with another deep grooving riff by the rhythm guitar and bass all while Rudess kills another keyboard solo.

Getting its name from Carl Sagan’s book, “Pale Blue Dot” deals with a reflection of how humans are to treat each other on this little planet in the vast cosmos of space. Big and deep thoughts inspired the advanced and intricate instrumentation of this album closer with stuff which past Dream Theater musical masterpieces have brought to the world of Prog Metal.
The satisfaction achieved on this awesome album closer serves as a confirmation that in the landscape of progressive metal, Dream Theater are still the entrenched kings of the genre.
In addition, for good measure, the band channels their inner Deep Purple character on the fun bonus track, “Viper King.”

DREAM THEATER - Distance Over Time [Ltd. Digipack +1] (2019) back

"Distance Over Time" gives a listening experience in which every member shines individually and collectively as a group, resulting in a collection of songs which balance a melodic focus, heavy instrumentation, and unparalleled skill. The sequences of the songs make this an easy and exciting listening adventure from beginning to end.
The mix and production have never been better in presenting a powerful and clear sound. It sounds fun, entertaining, and memorable.
Their unified focus and effort has resulted in their best and most impressive outing in a very long time. There are certainly reminders of all their past albums throughout and it is a terrific accomplishment as they mark 30 years of existence.

But as the band took an non-traditional method in the approach to this project to reconnect with each other, one can say with confidence, "Distance Over Time" definitely marks a new and fresh beginning for Dream Theater.
A record that is wildly invigorating, enchantingly emotive and honors a brotherhood only few have been fortunate enough to know.

01 - Untethered Angel
02 - Paralyzed
03 - Fall Into the Light
04 - Barstool Warrior
05 - Room 137
06 - S2N
07 - At Wit's End
08 - Out Of Reach
09 - Pale Blue Dot
10 - Viper King (Bonus Track)

James LaBrie - Vocals
John Petrucci - Guitars, Vocals
John Myung - Bass
Jordan Rudess - Keyboards, Synths
Mike Mangini - Drums



AVANTASIA - Moonglow [Limited Digipak 2-CD] (2019)

AVANTASIA - Moonglow [Limited Digipak 2-cD] (2019) full

After 2 weeks delayed, the wait is finally over and Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA will release next Friday its new album "Moonglow". The new opus once again features several stellar guest vocalists. This time round, Tobias worked not only with well-known faces such as Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids), Jorn Lande, Eric Martin (Mr Big), Geoff Tate (Operation:Mindcrime), Michael Kiske (Helloween) or Bob Catley (Magnum), but also with new singers for the project like Candice Night, Hansi Kürsch as well as Mille Petrozza.

"Moonglow" is the beginning of Phase Four in the Avantasia series, and all signs indicate that this album is a shift in musical direction for the project, without abandoning the Power Metal flavour that has made it so successful.
Unlike previous Avantasia albums that have focused on telling a complete story throughout the record, "Moonglow" appears to be more of a thematic concept album in the vein of Steven Wilson’s The Raven That Refused To Sing or Ayreon’s The Dream Sequencer Pts 1 & 2.

None of the singers play characters and there is no overarching story with a beginning, middle and end; instead, there is one central character, and each song is a window into his navigation through the "Moonglow" universe.
This makes for a more relaxed listening environment, as the songs are given more breathing room to stand up on their own rather than have the pressure of moving the story forward.

From the very first note, it’s obvious that this is not your typical Avantasia album. Most of the previous records have started with an instrumental build-up, based around either a riff (Like on “Twisted Mind” from Scarecrow or “Mystery of a Blood Red Nose” from Ghostlights) or on an atmospheric symphonic prelude (Like The Metal Opera Pts 1 & 2).
But Moonglow’s opening track “Ghost in The Moon” begins straight away with a subdued vocal from Sammet over a Meat Loaf-esque piano run. As the rest of the band comes in with big bombastic note stabs under Sammet’s passionate melody, the invitation to join the journey is irresistible.

The usage of different dynamics continues strongly throughout the first half of the record. “Book of Shallows” features a balls-to-the wall heavy rhythm, in line with something Petrozza would do with Kreator. However, the verses are shared by Atkins, Lande and Kürsch , who all have a gravelly tone to their voices which contrasts well with Sammet’s smooth wail.

This is followed by the title track, featuring Candice Night. I was expecting a soft ballad more in line with Night’s work in her own band, and the song actually starts out that way, with Sammet subtlety singing over strings, bass drum and piano. As soon as it’s time for Night to start singing, however, the whole band kicks in with a steady beat for her to soar over. The chorus of this song is just catchy and is bound to get stuck in your head after just one listen.

“The Raven Child” is the album’s longest track, so it’s no surprise that it has the most going on in terms of musical variation. The first part of the song features strong medieval Celtic influences; acoustic guitar, harp, bodhran and strings. Above this, Lande, Kürsch and Sammet all share vocals, and there's solid guitar solos from Sascha Paeth combining long vibrato notes with technical shredding.
“Starlight” is quite bombastic, melodic, soft during verses but with a big anthemic chorus and very rocking n' catchy.

More variation is explored on the next two tracks, both of which feature Geoff Tate and form one 10-minute suite. “Invincible” is a soft piano ballad, where Tate is given the chance to show off the subtlety and vibrato that was found in softer Queensrÿche tracks like 'Silent Lucidity'. It segues straight into “Alchemy”, which is a full embracement of symphonic metal tropes. Tate pulls back as the first verse begins, but by the time the chorus kicks in, he’s fully in his element, showcasing the big operatic voice he’s best known for.

“Piper At The Gates Of Dawn” features more singers than any other track on the album, including the long-awaited arrival of Eric Martin and Bob Catley. Unfortunately, this means the singers only sing one or two lines at a time and the end result is a bit of a vocal mess. Don’t get me wrong, the track is just as good as the rest of the album, but with all the different singers trying to outdo themselves, it was very difficult to distinguish them. Fortunately, Catley gets to show off his deep, smooth voice in the next track, “Lavender”, but Eric Martin, who is one of my favourite singers, only has one or two recognizable lines in “Piper”, while the rest of the time he seems to be trying to make his voice gravellier to match the other singers.

The final original song on the album, “Requiem for A Dream” starts with a beautiful choral intro, then there's a powerful performance from Michael Kiske and a bass solo from Sammet, all around super-fast drums and guitar.

AVANTASIA - Moonglow [Limited Digibook] (2019) inside

But Sammet has an encore up his sleeve to finish off "Moonglow" on a musical high – it’s a cover of Michael Sembello’s synthpop staple “Maniac”, reworked in Avantasia style and performed as a duet with Eric Martin. Here he is in his element and easily identifiable. The arrangement is incredibly logical and aurally pleasing, with the guitars and keyboards blended together to breathe new life into the classic song. Martin and Sammet sound like they’re having heaps of fun on this track, and it’s a nice light-hearted surprise to finish off the record.

"Moonglow" is just another very good chapter in Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA history, this time with a welcomed variation not needing to specifically follow a story and working more like a 'song format' release. However, this new opus works better as an 'album' experience, listening to it in full.
The 'metal' factor is still there, but for the most part this is commercial hard rock plenty of hooks, and after the fisrt listen many of the choruses are now stuck in my head.
Highly Recommended to all kind of rock music aficionados

01. Ghost In The Moon

02. Book Of Shallows
(feat. Hansi Kürsch , Ronnie Atkins , Jorn & Mille Petrozza)

03. Moonglow
(feat. Candice Night)

04. The Raven Child
(feat. Hansi Kürsch & Jorn Lande)

05. Starlight
(feat. Ronnie Atkins)

06. Invincible
(feat. Geoff Tate)

07. Alchemy
(feat. Geoff Tate)

08. The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
(feat. R. Atkins, Jorn, Eric Martin, Bob Catley & Geoff Tate)

09. Lavender
(feat. Bob Catley)

10. Requiem For A Dream
(feat. Michael Kiske)

11. Maniac
(feat. Eric Martin)

12. Heart (Bonus Track)

Tobias Sammet – lead vocals, keyboards, bass
Sascha Paeth – guitar, bass
Michael Rodenberg – keyboard, piano, orchestration
Felix Bohnke – drums

Guest vocalists:
Ronnie Atkins (Pretty Maids)
Jorn Lande (Jorn)
Eric Martin (Mr. Big)
Geoff Tate (Operation:Mindcrime)
Michael Kiske (Helloween)
Bob Catley (Magnum)
Candice Night (Blackmore's Night)
Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian)
Mille Petrozza (Kreator)



Friday, February 15, 2019

RED SODA - Decades To Midnight (2019) *Exclusive*

RED SODA - Decades To Midnight (2019) full

From time to time we present here at 0dayrox artists from the Synthwave scene. Dozens of new names appear each month, and we select only the best. Most are 'one-man-band' projects creating home-made music based on synths. But there's also 'real bands' in this genre and this is the case with RED SODA. "Decades To Midnight" is the title of their new album, and believe me, they are better than many current major label acts.

Hailing from France, the core of Red Soda are vocalist Soda Runk and multi-instrumentalist Fred Colombo (keyboards, synths, programming, backing vocals) also main songwriter & producer. However this is a stable group with rotating musicians including a guitar player, bassist and human drummer.

Red Soda got several albums / EP under their belt, and play live regular gigs per month. So we're talkig about a 'real band' here.
Additionally, Red Soda craft each album in a professional way: "Decades To Midnight" has been mixed & mastered by Colombo at Niss'art Studio in Nice. Not your typical Synthwave pro-tools home production.

And what about the music then?
Red Soda are obviously synth based retro-wave, but they sound like a real rock&pop band from the '80s. Not only in its instrumentation, performances and mix, but also production-wise. Forget here the 'low-fi' style (which I love btw) of many Synthwave artists, Red Soda "Decades To Midnight" sounds huge.

Think Kenny Loggins circa 1986 (the track 'Red Alert'), Johnny Hates Jazz ('Tears We Cry') and a-Ha ('Virtually Yours'). Of course several tracks are more synth oriented such as 'The Road to Forever' (akin Magic Dance), or 'Arcade Hero' which title speaks by itself, sounding like if taken from Robocop's soundtrack.

Then Red Soda are different as well due their 'rock pulse': they add real guitar solos to most of the songs, and quite killer if you ask me.
Take as example "Big Child". The song starts pretty synth based, but at the second verse Soda Runk's vocals sounds like a young Chris Ousey, and the song overall pretty much like '80s AOR British bands. But wait, then a kick ass guitar solo explodes in a true Melodic Rock fashion.

Many of the songs feature guitars solos - mostly performed by Matt Hodson, a guy who worked alongside Colombo for the great Lance King (Balance Of Power) last solo album - so expect an axe-man with a metal profile.
Besides, Red Soda make a wise and clever use of saxophone (check 'On-Tape Romance') with punchy effects sounding like a guitar.

RED SODA - Decades To Midnight (2019) inside

I am in love with Red Soda. These guys nailed the true '80s sound & feel like few.
"Decades to Midnight" is pitch-perfect '80s rock&pop with flawless production, first class performances (did I mentioned that Soda Runk is a great vocalist?) and most importantly: great songs!

Seriously, while marketed as part of the Synthwave scene, musically Red Soda are much more expansive than this particular genre, and have crafted here a genuine retro album that sounds like it really was made in the mid-80s.
Do you love the '80s? You can't miss "Decades to Midnight". Believe me.
HIGHLY Recommended

only at 0dayrox

01 - The Road to Forever
02 - Red Alert
03 - Tears We Cry
04 - Virtually Yours (Press Start)
05 - Strobe Love
06 - Arcade Hero
07 - Nightscape
08 - Mom
09 - Big Child
10 - On-Tape Romance
11 - What You Mean to Me
12 - Under the Bridge
13 - Try Again

Lead vocals: Soda Runk
Keyboards, synths, programming, backing vocals: Fred Colombo
Lead vocals on "Nightscape" by Fred Colombo
Guitar solos on "Arcade Hero" & "Big Child" by Matt Hodsdon
Saxophone by Olivier Hoarau
Guitars on "Red Alert" & "Virtually Yours" by Julien Negro
Guitar on "Under The Bridge" by Ryan Leslie



INTERACTION - Warriors [2-CD Anthology] (2019)

INTERACTION - Warriors [2-CD Anthology] (2019) full

Now this is a true rarity: next March 1 will be released "Warriors [2-CD Anthology]", the first ever on CD music from INTERACTION, a pioneer melodic hard rock band from the Swedish scene.
Interaction were one of first Swedish hard rock bands, having been formed in 1979 but also existing under different names since the early Seventies. With a career spanning over 15 years, the group released a series of demos, songs included into 'bands compilations', and an EP.

With the possibilities of today's technology, it was a matter of time until all this material was available for the first time on CD, compiled into this very interesting anthology.
Janne Stark, the well known Swedish guitar player from Grand Design and author of the Swedish Hard Rock & Heavy Metal Encyclopedia, dropped the idea and set the wheels in motion and thanks to him, pretty soon you'll be holding in your hands a double disc deluxe CD reissue featuring almost everything the band has ever recorded.

It's fun and illustrative to hear how Interaction musically evolved over the years.
On Disc 1 we have the early material of the band, consisting of demos and two songs Interaction recorded for a indie bands 3-LP compilation titled 'Rockslaget - 20 Grupper - 40 Låtar', featuring Scandinavian unsigned acts.
It's obvious the NWOBHM influence on these songs from the early '80s, both sound and style, all based in melody. Just check out 'It's Right', 'Stuck in Drugs' or 'Impressions', akin Praying Mantis or Saxon.
Later appear mid-Eighties material and the orientation changed for European flavored hard rock, like on 'Deep in My Soul', 'Heavy Night', ' Turn up the Light' or the catchy 'You Make Me so Wild'.

The last part of Disc 1 showcases Interaction's shift to the melodic hard / AOR trend of 1985/86 due to Europe's success, with synths into the mix. In this vein are 'Girls' (akin Fate), 'Helpless' (somehow reminds me of Virgina Wolf), and there's great synths / harmony / choruses on midtempo 'I Go Crazy' (similar to Airrace).

Disc 2 defintely encompass Interaction's '80s recordings, from the hard rockers 'It's a Game', 'Silver Lady' and the slightly pompy 'Angel', to their selftitled EP released by themselves in 1990. And this is the material I enjoyed so much.
Apart from the very good sound quality (professionally recorded EP), on songs like 'Warrior', 'Go Man Go', 'Pay with Rock', 'Shadows' (check the video-song above) and 'Turn It On', Interaction plays here pure late '80s Scandinavian keyboard driven AOR / Melodic Rock.
You'll love this.

A very, very interesting release from an obscure Swedish band, "Warriors [2-CD Anthology]" is not only a collectors material, but also an entertaining career spanning showcase from a Rock band throughout the '80s and how it morphed all over the years. The sound quality varies - many of these a rough demos - but it doesn't distract the enjoyment.
And for '80s AOR fans, having Interaction's 1990 songs available on CD is an added plus. All these are keyboard-fluffy driven tunes with great hooks and catchy choruses.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Stuck in Drugs
02 - It's Right
03 - Woman in White
04 - Space Jail
05 - Heavy Night
06 - Turn up the Light
07 - You Make Me so Wild
08 - Impressions
09 - I'll Still Be Strong
10 - You've Got to Realize
11 - Strange Situation
12 - Deep in My Soul
13 - Girls
14 - Helpless
15 - I Go Crazy
16 - Take It Easy

01 - Shadows
02 - It's a Game
03 - Silver Lady
04 - Angel
05 - Why Don't You Call Me
06 - Meaning of Life
07 - We Are the Leaders
08 - Woman
09 - Warrior
10 - Go Man Go
11 - Pay with Rock
12 - Shadows (EP Version)
13 - Turn It On

Håkan Windahl - Vocals
Peter Lindskog - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Jim Johnsson - Guitar, Vocals
Johnny Granström - Bass, Vocals
Roger Karlsson - Drums, Vocals
Kenth Eriksson, Tibor Djember - Bass

Pre Order:


FOREIGNER - The Greatest Hits Of Foreigner Live In Concert +1 (2019)

FOREIGNER - The Greatest Hits Of Foreigner Live In Concert +1 (2019) full

Today legendary rockers FOREIGNER are releasing a new live album, "The Greatest Hits Of Foreigner Live In Concert", including as bonus a new studio recording of their hit song "I Want To Know What Love Is".
Question is; we need another live release of Foreigner's current line-up? In this case, answer is yes, because this involves a benefit purpose.

Foreigner is donating the proceeds from "I Want To Know What Love Is - 2019 version" to Shriners Hospitals For Children.
Regarding the live hits, these are new recordings, including an extended version of "Juke Box Hero" (over a 12-minute performance), so for Foreigner fans this is collectors release.
The band sounds tight, and Kelly Hansen at the mic does an admirable job recreating these classic tunes.

01 - Head Games (Live)
02 - Feels Like the First Time (Live)
03 - Cold as Ice (Live)
04 - Hot Blooded (Live)
05 - Double Vision (Live)
06 - Dirty White Boy (Live)
07 - Urgent (Live)
08 - Juke Box Hero (Live)
09 - Waiting for a Girl Like You (Live)
10 - Say You Will (Live)
11 - Long, Long Way from Home (Live)
12 - I Want to Know What Love Is (New Studio Recording)

Kelly Hansen – lead vocals
Mick Jones – keyboards, backing vocals
Jeff Pilson – bass, backing vocals
Michael Bluestein – keyboards, backing vocals
Bruce Watson – guitar
Chris Frazier – drums
Thom Gimbel – sax, flute, keyboards, guitar, backing vocals



ELECTRIC MARY - Mother (2019)

ELECTRIC MARY - Mother (2019) full

Aussie rockers ELECTRIC MARY are ready to release their new album "Mother", their fourth full length, however due to various reasons this is their first LP since 2011. In the middle Spyder has joined on drums, linking up with existing members Rusty Brown (vocals), Pete Robinson (guitar, vocals), Brett Wood (guitar, vocals) and Alex Raunjak (bass).
Given that opening track “Gimmie Love” just starts with absolutely no intro whatsoever, we can assume maybe that there was a real urgency about Electric Mary this time around.

The refreshing thing about Electric Mary is that they don’t want to be an AC/DC clone like some fellow Australian rock bands. Instead they have a sound more in keeping with Bad Company and Free, hook filled hard rock with a bluesy edge.
They’ve got heroes to emulate after all. In their native Australia, they’re a big deal... Whitesnake took them on the road, Judas Priest asked them to support, Deep Purple had them in stadiums. Kiss, Alice Cooper, Motorhead, Def Leppard – they’ve opened for them all.

And I can hear why... they certainly pack a punch in their shorter songs, as "Mother" rocks like the proverbial mutha. Guitarists Robinson and Wood certainly know their way around a tasty riff and nifty solo.
Add in the distinctive vocals of Rusty Brown plus the mighty drumming of new guy Spyder and you have a LP made for playing loud.

The brilliant “Hold On To What You Got” has a classy Free-ish flavor, and the massive groove – when I say massive, then gargantuan is more appropriate – to “How Do You Do It” is ready to shake mountains, but the verse is absolutely bluesy and reflective.

A slow and easy guitar riff ushers in "Sorry Baby", a song that recalls the much missed Brit rockers Skin, both vocally and in sound. It has it all from the impassioned vocals through to a smoking guitar solo midway through, sterling stuff.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” is shorter, sharper and pretty effective. Reminiscent, maybe of the Little Angels, it whips up a real storm.

That is what Electric Mary do. They take from everywhere but build something all their own. Robinson and Wood’s guitars are largely to thank for that, but there is a real class about the whole 5-piece.

ELECTRIC MARY - Mother (2019) inside

This is classic rock / hard rock, and very, very well done. “Mother” is a record that has its roots in a different time, but belongs very much to the here and now. It is vast in scale and it wants it all. Nothing sounds as good as when a guitar comes through a Amp Stack, and that’s basically “Mother” in a nutshell.

Electric Mary can hitch a ride on the current New Wave of Classic Rock acts, despite maybe not being the newest band around and well known outside Down Under. Music to play loud and enjoy.
Highly Recommended

01. Gimme Love
02. Hold Onto What You Got
03. How Do You Do It
04. Sorry Baby
05. The Way You Make Me Feel
06. It’s Alright
07. Long Long Day
08. Woman

Rusty Brown - Lead Vocals
Pete Robinson - Guitar, Vocals
Alex Raunjak - Bass
Brett Wood - Guitar, Vocals
Spyder - Drums

Pre Order:


Thursday, February 14, 2019

BELLICOSE - Love On Ice [Digitally Remastered +7]

BELLICOSE - Love On Ice [Digitally Remastered +7] full

This one was requested some time ago: the remastered reissue of BELLICOSE album "Love On Ice [Digitally Remastered +7]", the Texas band only album from 1989, plus 2 unreleased 1988 songs, and 4 very rare / unpublished demos from 1984.
The CD was released few years ago, numbered / limited to 1,000 copies, now out of print.

Bellicose was founded in Dallas, Texas, in 1983 when members of two local bands joined forces. Joey Darcangelo was lead vocalist for the band Sabotage. Ru Spearman and Michael Laurence were the guitar players for the band Rokker.
Once the line up was completed Bellicose recorded various demos, not released to the public, just with the sole purpose to shop to the major labels. It was a time when US hard rock / metal exploded, with hundred of bands aiming the same.
Unfortunately for the band the deal didn't arrived, but they keep playing the club circuit and composing songs.

A key point to the band’s career was the signing with MKM management, as they proposed to the band record and release their official debut album privately.
The band’s debut “Love On Ice” was recorded at Sound Logic Studio in Dallas, TX and released on CD in 1989.

BELLICOSE - Love On Ice [Digitally Remastered +7] booklet

The sound of Bellicose is pretty unique here; a mix of sharp guitars, glam / hair metal drumming, funky bass lines, and hard rock type of vocals. At places the music is pretty heavy, however melodic and plenty of hooks.
A band that always come to mind while listening to “Love On Ice” is Leatherwolf, but also early Queenryche, and add a pinch of Icon / Fifth Angel and the clean harmony of Heaven's Edge.

There's some amazing vocal performances by Darcangelo, and you have a second to none twin guitar attack from Michael Laurence & Ru Spearman.
Kickin' rockers such as "Torn From The Mold", the hooky title track, "The Blinding", the muscular "Dream Of The Sinner" or "Fight The Fire" are great examples of Bellicose skills; slick, powerful, clean '80s US hard rock with melody.

BELLICOSE - Love On Ice [Digitally Remastered +7] back

Listening to “Love On Ice” one wonders how Bellicose didn't get a major label record deal. Because hearing the 1984 demo presented here as bonus they were already very good, so this isn't a case of 'arrived too late into the scene'.
The album sounds terrific - according to the complete liner notes, full color booklet with rare unseen photos & lyrics - the band spent more than six months mixing & re-recording parts to obtain one of the most polished indie CD's I ever heard. With such quality at hand, this remaster makes wonders.
This is some kind of an '80s lost little gem. Don't miss this album.
HIGHLY Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Love On Ice
02 - Torn From The Mold
03 - The Blinding
04 - Fight The Fire
05 - Run For Cover
06 - If Only
07 - The Mercenary
08 - Dream Of The Sinner
09 - Daniel Lee
10 - Razors Edge (1988 Demo)
11 - Spirit Child (1988 Unreleased Track)
12 - Dayz End (1984 Demo)
13 - Run For Cover (1984 Demo)
14 - Landslide (1984 Demo)
15 - Why Can't We Live (1984 Demo)
16 - Torn From the Mold (1984 Demo)

Joe Darangelo - lead vocals
Michael Laurence - guitar, vocals
Ru Spearman - guitar, vocals
Steven Grillo - bass
Tim Grugle - drums
Staley Rogers - bass (1984 demo)
Mike Gage - drums (1984 demo)
Zak Johnson - bass (1988 tracks)

Out Of Print


VOODOO CIRCLE - Broken Heart Syndrome [Ltd Digipak +1]

VOODOO CIRCLE - Broken Heart Syndrome [Ltd Digipak +1] front

"Broken Heart Syndrome" is the second album from VOODOO CIRCLE, the brainchild of German guitar hero Alex Beyrodt (Silent Force / Primal Fear / Sinner), joined by his former Sinner & Primal Fear colleague Mat Sinner on bass, whilst vocal duties are taken care of by David Readman (Pink Cream 69, Khymera).
The mission of this super group is simple: to evoke the spirit of the late '70s / early '80s classic hard rock acts it holds dear to its heart, such as Deep Purple and Rainbow, with an updated touch.

Beyrodt clearly is heavily influenced by Ritchie Blackmore and this legacy shines throughout this album. The guitar work is top notch, and although his style is reminiscent of the ex Deep Purple legend, he isn't a mere Ritchie clone and has enough of his own style to stamp on each track.
Jimmy Kresic provides some good keyboard work throughout the album, with organ and synth sounds giving some of the tracks a Jon Lord feel to them, adding a touch of that authentic 70's rock sound into the mix.
Drummer Markus Kullmann consistently provides the kind of solid and powerful performance the album needs, and Mat Sinner, you know, he's a guarantee at the bass / harmony vocals.

One influence that you can't fail to notice on this album is not Blackmore himself, but one of his former acquaintances: Mr. David Coverdale. This is largely down to the vocal style of David Readman here, whose rich, powerful and bluesy voice is at times a dead ringer for that of Coverdale.

Indeed, a fair chunk of this album does sound very much in the vein of first half of the '80s Whitesnake, or Snakecharmer. Tracks like the hard rocking opener "No Solution Blues", "King Of Your Dreams" and "Don't Take My Heart" all bare the stamp of the 'Snake, and that's no bad thing folks.
In fact it could be argued that if the current incarnation of Whitesnake came up with material of this quality, they would be hailed as a real return to form.

VOODOO CIRCLE - Broken Heart Syndrome [Ltd Digipak +1] booklet

One of the highlights of the album is the powerful and soulful "Devil's Daughter", where once again the spectre of Coverdale looms, but this time in the guise of his time in Deep Purple. The track has a very strong flavor of the material on the 'Come Taste The Band' album, with 'You Keep On Moving' springing to mind.
Definitely an invitation for Coverdale / Hughes era Purple fans... to come taste this band.

"Broken Heart Syndrome" is an album strong on dynamics. There's plenty of hard rocking moments and plenty of melodic bluesy ones, but there's also some quality laid back, softer moments too. "Blind Man" - another highlight - is a good illustration of this; a bluesy ballad with some very fine Hendrix inspired guitar work, along the lines of 'Angel'.

Meanwhile, the awesome "When Destiny Calls" and "The Heavens Are Burning", both evoke the spirit of Blackmore's Rainbow / Joe Lynn Turner era, and I love it
The same can be said for "I'm In Heaven", which has an almost AOR feel to it.

VOODOO CIRCLE - Broken Heart Syndrome [Ltd Digipak +1] back

Voodoo Circle has made a great job successfully getting back the sound of classic '70s rock on some tracks, however the most part of "Broken Heart Syndrome" is more evocative of the earlier '80s in style, with Whitesnake and Rainbow being obvious reference points. The title track itself is more akin to Deep Purple's 'Perfect Strangers' than 'Machine Head' for example.

This album is a terrific bluesy traditional hard rock little gem, the performances are consistently strong throughout and the production is top class. If, in a parallel universe, Ritchie Blackmore had ended up joining Whitesnake, it may not have sounded a million miles away from this.
For 0dayrox, among the 'Best Of' album list of the year when released.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - No Solution Blues
02 - King Of Your Dreams
03 - Devil's Daughter
04 - This Could Be Paradise
05 - Broken Heart Syndrome
06 - When Destiny Calls
07 - Blind Man
08 - Heal My Pain
09 - The Heavens Are Burning
10 - Don't Take My Heart
11 - I'm In Heaven
12 - Wings Of The Fury
13 - Strangers Lost In Time

David Readman - Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Alex Beyrodt - Guitars
Mat Sinner - Bass, Backing Vocals
Jimmy Kresic - Keyboards
Markus Kullmann - Drums



MEGADETH - The World Needs A Hero / The System Has Failed [remastered + bonus] (2019)

MEGADETH - The World Needs A Hero / The System Has Failed [remastered + bonus] (2019) full

As the band continues work on its 16th studio album, MEGADETH are set to revisit the past tomorrow. The thrash metal legends are releasing remastered reissues of 2001’s 'The World Needs a Hero' and 2004’s 'The System Has Failed' on CD, vinyl, and digital services via BMG. Both albums, originally released by Sanctuary Records, have been out of print on CD for the past five years and neither have been available on vinyl LP in the United States.

'The World Needs A Hero' was touted at the time as Megadeth’s return to their thrashier roots after a few albums that found the band slowing down their sound and aiming for a more mainstream rock audience.
It received positive reviews across the music press and it gained comparison to the bands classic albums Rust In Peace and Countdown To Extinction. It features great guitarist Al Pitrelli (Danger Danger, Alice Cooper) performing solos.
The album has been remastered for this re-release by Ted Jensen (Guns N' Roses) and, on the CD and digital versions, includes “Coming Home”, a bonus track previously only available on the Japanese edition of the record.

That album’s follow up, 'The System Has Failed', followed in its sonic footsteps. Originally intended to be a solo venture for Mustaine, the record was eventually released under Megadeth’s name to fulfill contractual obligations with Sanctuary.
It was also the first album by the group to not feature the bass playing of co-founder David Ellefson. At the time, he and Mustaine were locked in a legal dispute over royalties and the rights to the band’s name. (They’ve since reconciled and Ellefson returned to the band in 2010.)

Instead of putting together a new line up for the band, Mustaine used session musicians for 'The System Has Failed', including talented drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland.
That didn’t dim fans’ interest in the record as 'The System Has Failed' debuted in the Top 20 of Billboard’s album chart and received positive critical notices across the board stating it as vital and solid.
Jensen also took on the new remaster of this one and the CD and digital releases will feature a pair of bonus tracks: live versions of “Time / Use The Man” and “Conjuring.”

The World Needs a Hero (2019 - Remaster)
01 - Disconnect (2019 - Remaster)
02 - The World Needs a Hero (2019 - Remaster)
03 - Moto Psycho (2019 - Remaster)
04 - 1000 Times Goodbye (2019 - Remaster)
05 - Burning Bridges (2019 - Remaster)
06 - Promises (2019 - Remaster)
07 - Recipe for Hate... Warhorse (2019 - Remaster)
08 - Losing My Senses (2019 - Remaster)
09 - Dread and the Fugitive Mind (2019 - Remaster)
10 - Silent Scorn (2019 - Remaster)
11 - Return to Hangar (2019 - Remaster)
12 - When (2019 - Remaster)
13 - Coming Home (original Japan Bonus Track)

Dave Mustaine – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, lead vocals
David Ellefson – bass guitar, backing vocals
Jimmy DeGrasso – drums
Al Pitrelli – lead guitar, rhythm guitar, backing vocal

The System Has Failed (2019 - Remaster)
01 - Blackmail the Universe (2019 - Remaster)
02 - Die Dead Enough (2019 - Remaster)
03 - Kick the Chair (2019 - Remaster)
04 - The Scorpion (2019 - Remaster)
05 - Tears In a Vial (2019 - Remaster)
06 - I Know Jack (2019 - Remaster)
07 - Back In the Day (2019 - Remaster)
08 - Something That I'm Not (2019 - Remaster)
09 - Truth Be Told (2019 - Remaster)
10 - Of Mice and Men (2019 - Remaster)
11 - Shadow of Deth (2019 - Remaster)
12 - My Kingdom (2019 - Remaster)
13 - Time / Use the Man (Live)
14 - Conjuring (Live)

Dave Mustaine – lead and rhythm guitars, lead vocals
Chris Poland – lead guitar
Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass
Vinnie Colaiuta – drums

Pre Order:


EMERALD SABBATH - Ninth Star (2019)

EMERALD SABBATH - Ninth Star (2019) full

To be released tomorrow, "Ninth Star", is the first album from the ambitious epic rock & classical music tribute to Black Sabbath baptized EMERALD SABBATH. Put together by a fan - Michael Suilleabhain, an Irish nuclear construction safety inspector - the recording features no less than 10 ex members of Black Sabbath.

Emerald Sabbath founder/producer, Michael Suilleabhain, talks about ‘Ninth Star’:
"I have been a Black Sabbath fan since 1983, when I heard them for first time. Like a lot of fans it was Black Sabbath’s debut album I heard first, and as they say, the rest is history. Over the years, I have since seen Black Sabbath a total of 82 times with every line-up [except with Ray Gillen].
I also have a great passion for classical music, and in May 2015 I decided to mix both of them.
Adam Wakeman was the first to contribute to the project, with keyboards on ‘Changes’, and then it snowballed into this final product"

"I decided to re-record Black Sabbath tracks and instrumentals with as many as ex-members of Black Sabbath as possible. A lot of the artists also played on the originals (such as Vinny Appice, who joined Sabbath on drums for the Heaven And Hell tour, and The English Chamber Choir on 'Supertzar'). I then brought in a string quartet along with various classical players.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be able to do this, but my persistence paid off. I would like to thank all the ex-Black Sabbath guys for helping me with this, as well as the former Black Sabbath graphic designers, string arrangers and producers. I hope that everyone will enjoy this album.
The ‘Ninth Star’ album is dedicated to Black Sabbath and their Fans Worldwide."

‘Ninth Star’ by Emerald Sabbath features 10 former members of Black Sabbath and much more, including: Adam Wakeman (Black Sabbath / Ozzy Osbourne), Bev Bevan (Black Sabbath / ELO), Neil Murray (Black Sabbath / Whitesnake), Terry Chimes (Black Sabbath / The Clash), Laurence Cottle (Black Sabbath / The Alan Parsons Project), Ron Keel (Black Sabbath / Ron Keel Band), Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath / Heaven & Hell), Dave Walker (Black Sabbath / Fleetwood Mac), Bobby Rondinelli (Black Sabbath / Rainbow), Tony Martin (Black Sabbath / Headless Cross), Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne / Whitesnake) and The English Chamber Choir.

EMERALD SABBATH - Ninth Star (2019) inside

Other Emerald Sabbath contributors include Will Malone and Mike Lewis (Sabotage / Technical Ecstasy) Mike Exeter (Black Sabbath / Judas Priest), Jeremy J. Lewis (Headless Cross), Mike Lewis (She’s Gone) Skaila Kanja (Royal Academy Of Music)
Additionally, Black Sabbath album graphic designers Richard Manning and Colin Elgie (Technical Ecstasy) and Hugh Gilmour (Born Again) created the artwork.

The result is a little hit and miss. While turning Black Sabbath songs into a 'classical', string arrangements feels a bit weird (Apocalyptica did it with Metallica and it worked), what I enjoyed most is the rock / full band versions.

It's a pleasure to listening to Ron Keel singing again, and he performs on 3 tracks. The great Tony Martin delivers a pretty killer version of 'In For The Kill' (sung by Glenn Hughes on ‘Seventh Star’ album) and where Bobby Rondinelli shows his skills.
However, Dave Walker does not feel comfortable singing 'She's Gone'.

Tribute albums sometimes works great, sometines not. "Ninth Star" sails in the middle. The full band rock versions are good, production is fine, and overall it's a respectful homage to one of the greatest Rock bands in history.

Adam Wakeman: Keyboards
Bev Bevan: Percussion
Laurence Cottle: Bass
Anneka Sutcliffe: Violin
Sarah Tobias: Flute/Clarinet

Ron Keel: Vocals
Vinny Appice: Drums
Rudy Sarzo: Bass
DC Cothern: Guitar
Pete Rinaldi: Guitar
Ellen Morgan: Keyboards

Sarah Tobias: Flute/Clarinet
Ardeton String Quartet
Pete Rinaldi: Guitar

Ron Keel: Vocals
Vinny Appice: Drums
Bev Bevan: Percussion
Laurence Cottle: Bass
Pete Rinaldi: Guitar

Adam Wakeman: Keyboards
Laurence Cottle: Bass
Pete Rinaldi: Guitar
Sarah Tobias: Flute

Dave Walker: Vocals
Neill Murray: Bass
Bill Dwyer: Drums
Ardeton String Quartet
Lisa Ljungberg: Backing Vocals

Tony Martin: Vocals
Laurence Cottle: Bass
Bobby Rondinelli: Drums
Pete Rinaldi: Guitars
Adam Wakeman: Keyboards

Neil Murray: Bass
Sarah Tobias: Flute/Clarinet
Ardeton String Quartet
Pete Rinaldi: Guitar

Ron Keel: Vocals
Bobby Rondinelli: Drums
Laurence Cottle: Bass
Pete Rinaldi: Guitar

Michael Suilleabhain: Vocals
Adam Wakeman: Keyboards
Laurence Cottle: Bass
Bev Bevan: Percussion
Queenie May: Backing Vocals
Annela Sutcliffe: Violin
Sarah Tobias: Flute/Clarinet

English Chamber Choir
Adam Wakeman: Keyboards
Terry Chimes: Drums
Laurence Cottle: Bass
Pete Rinaldi: Guitar
Skaila Kanja: Harp
Elen Morgan: Glockenspiel

Pre Order:


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

RAIN OR SHINE - The Darkest Part Of Me (2019) *EXCLUSIVE*

RAIN OR SHINE - The Darkest Part Of Me (2019)  full

Greek Melodic Rockers RAIN OR SHINE have signed a deal with prestigious American label Perris Records for the release of their second album "The Darkest Part Of Me", out next February 15th and presented here at 0dayrox in exclusive.

RAIN OR SHINE is in fact a two-man band, a duo where Andy R. McCormick performs drums & percussion, and Steve S.R. does everything from guitars, bass, keys and producing (he's a sound engineer) - apart from his excellent, accent free lead vocals, everything is perfectly arranged and mixed by these talented musicians.
We already praised HERE Rain Or Shine's first album, a collection of late '80s / early '90 sounding Melodic Rock tunes with Hard Rock / AOR touches, mostly crafted with an European sound in mind.

After the first seconds of opener, title track "The Darkest Part Of Me" you can tell RAIN OR SHINE have incredibly grown as unit. Seriously, from songwriting to sound production design, this new album is a huge step forward for this band. The song is 'big', with lots of guitar layers, synths, clear vocals and pumping rhythm section.

Follower "Top Of The World" is catchier, a modern melodic rocker with a trademark Scandinavian sound all over it and a production approach akin ECLIPSE / Erik Martensson, not 'heavy' but bouncing. A winner.
Then 'New Love" provides another twist, an articulated midtempo melodious rocker with great harmony vocals - think 2000's DEF LEPPARD - and a groove bringing to my mind WIGELIUS. Did I tell you Steve S.R. also play great guitar solos?

Elegant midtempo and with an AOR feel is 'Where Are You Now', modern in production yet still with the '80s as focus. The guys add clean electric guitars and piano to the mix, creating a solid backbone for one of the album highlights.
More variation appears for the summertime sweet melody of 'Around The Corner'; acoustic guitars cleverly arranged and performed alongside the electric for good effect.

"Shot Of Life" is just another song where you can hear RAIN OR SHINE progress; just another huge, big sounding melodic hard rocker with riffs remiscent of COLDSPELL, puchy verses ala HEAT, and a chorus akin BROTHER FIRETRIBE. The guitar solo is simple, but killer.
"We All Back Down" is all about melodic rock fun - think a mix of WHITE WIDDOW and WILD ROSE. Love it.

"Back On Track" slow down things a iittle, not strictly a ballad but a solid melodious rocker in the DA VINCI vein (very good lead vocals), but soon the guys hit your senses again with the ridiculously catchy "Into The Storm", somehow a blend of TASTE and KISSIN' DYNAMITE.
We reach the end - what a pity - with "We Only Live Once", a song composed on acoustic guitar for sure (and I bet it sounds great unplugged) however here RAIN OR SHINE add lots of subtle instrumentation including percussion, synths, and sweet harmonic vocals.

RICHIE KOTZEN - I'm Coming Out (2011)tracks

RAIN OR SHINE really surprised me with "The Darkest Part Of Me". Their first album delivered a bunch of lovely melodic songs and a lot of potential for bigger things. These 'bigger things' appear into this new CD in spades.
Take a look above at the mentioned acts as influence, infuse all of 'em with your own spin, and you got RAIN OR SHINE 2019.

These guys are ready for the major leagues, with clever songwriting - there's not a single 'by numbers' track here, all far from ordinary - slick instrumentation, perfect pitch vocals and a huge production.
I can see why Perris Records signed RAIN OR SHINE, a label with a special talent to add really good bands to their roster.
Highly Recommended

01 - The Darkest Part Of Me
02 - Top Of The World
03 - New Love
04 - Where Are You Now
05 - Around The Corner
06 - Shot Of Life
07 - We All Back Down
08 - Back On Track
09 - Into The Storm
10 - We Only Live Once

Steve S.R. - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Synths
Andy R. McCormick - Drums, Percussion



BLANC FACES - Blanc Faces [Japan Edition +1] Out Of Print

BLANC FACES - Blanc Faces [Japan Edition +1]  full

After new awesome Find Me album appeared yesterday, I think it's time to feature at this blog the essential two BLANC FACES albums. The band's self-titled debut "Blanc Faces" is simply awesome. This Japan Edition includes an exclusive bonus track.
For an AOR / melodic rock lover this type of release is like a dream come true.

Brothers Robbie and Brian LeBlanc go way back as a recording unit as they released an album, which has become something of a cult classic, under the name Fury back in 1985.
It took 20 years for their comeback under the Blanc Faces moniker, but boy... well worth the wait!
"Blanc Faces" was the best AOR album of the year when released, one of the best of the decade, and simply put, one the best in the genre's history.

From songwriting to production sound "Blanc Faces" takes you back to the glory days of Survivor, Foreigner, etc via its wonderful, uplifting sweet melodies and catchy choruses. Credit to Brian and Robbie who between them wrote all the tracks included and across the twelve songs there is seldom a let up in quality and class.
Opener 'Here's To You' already shows what this album is all about: hooks, catchy guitars, swirling keys and Robbie's smooth voice.

That pristine Foreigner 1984 sound is back with 'Edge Of The World', the terrific midtempo AOR of "We'll Make The Best Of It" seems taken off 38 Special 'Strength In Numbers album, while the precious ballad 'Stranger To Love' is an ode to elegance akin Bad English / Alias.
'Turn This World Around' brings to mind 1990 Bad Company / Brian Howe, then 'It's A Little Too Late' send shivers down your spine with guitar / melody bringing to mind The Storm.
You simply can't take off your mind 'Sorry For The Heartache', you'll be humming its chorus all day.

BLANC FACES - Blanc Faces [Japan Edition +1] back

This not easy to find Japanese Edition includes as bonus the non-album track 'When The World Comes Down', a slow, delicious melodic piece.
As said above, "Blanc Faces" is one of the best AOR albums in history, regardless its time of release.
This is AOR of the highest caliber in this modern age, a MUST HAVE in your collection.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Here's To You
02 - Edge Of The World
03 - We'll Make The Best Of It
04 - Stranger To Love
05 - Turn This World Around
06 - It's A Little Too Late
07 - Staying Power
08 - Where Do I Go From Here
09 - Beneath This Heart
10 - Pray For Me
11 - Sorry For The Heartache
12 - We Will Rise
13 - When The World Comes Down

Robbie Lablanc - Vocals, Rhythm Guitars
Brian La Blanc - Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards
Butch Taylor - Lead Guitar
Jeff Batter - Keyboards, Organ, Piano
Kyle Woodring, Tony Archer - Drums

Out Of Print:


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