Thursday, June 21, 2018

BIG CITY - Big City Life + Wintersleep (2018)

BIG CITY - Big City Life + Wintersleep (2018) full

Norwegian melodic hard rock band BIG CITY are releasing tomorrow their second album "Big City Life" as a double CD digipak including their 2013 debut album ‘Wintersleep‘.
Big City members have tons of years of experience in the music industry, featuring members of Scariot, Blood Red Throne, Withem, Maraton, and Memoria Avenue vocalist Jan Le Brandt of whom we have presented here at the blog an exclusive compilation of solo singles.

Big City is the brainchild of guitarist and principal songwriter, Daniel Olaisen (Scariot, Blood Red Throne, ex- Satyricon). His crew includes some talented Scandi musicians including Le Brandt (Memoria Avenue, Northquake), guitarist Frank Orland (ex- Scariot), bassist Miguel Pereira (Withem), and drummer Frank Nordeng Roe (Withem, Maraton).
Apart from the brand new album "Big City Life", the release includes their 2013 debut, 'Wintersleep', previously released in digital format only. A very good reason to get this album: double your money's worth.

Another good reason to buy this album is simply the quality of the music.
Essentially, Big City plays '80s melodic hard rock with some edge, and then wraps both neatly in AOR accessibility. Being a band formed by a guitarist you can expect an emphasis upon sharp riffs, but also twin guitar harmony, and then killer solos.
Vocalist Jan Le Brandt has a strong presence, singing smooth, melodic and clean. He knows his range and sticks to it.

As for the songs, for both sharp and big riffs, and also thrilling guitar solos, listen for title track 'Big City Life', 'Stars Surrounding', and the racing 'Running For Your Life'. Sometimes Big City likes to trip you up at the start of song. For instance, both 'Daemon In The Dark' and 'From This Day' start with vocals over light electric guitar, before ripping into fierce riffage and heavier melodic hard rock.
But even these songs have lighter moments within.

With 'Forgive Me', Big City drops a ballad which turns largely on voice over acoustic guitar, yet still rises as it flows forward. Curiously, it's the only song without a guitar solo. Similar is the closing track, 'Home Again' with more acoustic guitar and voice, yet rising to a stronger hard rock anthem and a slight guitar solo about the three minute mark.

Among the highlights of the bonus disc, the band's first recording, 'Midnight Train' has a riff that immediately grabs the attention and and even more the fine chorus, and 'Innocence Of A Kill' is a killer melodious AOR tune which chorus gets right into your head and stays there.
The title track starts quietly but another great riff soon arrives. 'Fire and Stone' is of the same ilk, slow opening then the big guns kick in for the chorus.
'Too Late' has another strong riff and the staccato guitar playing on this track is rather pleasing, adorned with keyboards in the background.

BIG CITY - Big City Life + Wintersleep (2018) inside

Big City's "Big City Life" is a really strong and entertaining album '80s inspired collection of songs, as it is "Winterleep": very fine AOR / melodic hard rock spiced with some edge here and there.
All the songs are imbued with great riffs, seemingly a band specialty, thanks to guitarists Frank Ørland and Daniel Olaisen whilst vocalist Jan Le Brandt has a strong delivery reminding me of Lance King (of numerous bands including Balance Of Power) and Doogie White at places.
Don't let this one pass by, it's really, really good.

Big City Life (new album 2018)
01 - Big City Life
02 - Cryin' in the Night
03 - Daemon in the Dark
04 - Rocket Man
05 - Stars Surrounding
06 - From This Day
07 - Running for Your Life
08 - Forgive Me Now
09 - Tower of Babylon
10 - Home Again (Bonus Track)

Wintersleep (2018 reissue)
01 - Midnight Train
02 - Innocence Of A Kill
03 - Wintersleep
04 - Fire And Stone
05 - Too Late
06 - The Last Sleep
07 - Iseline
08 - Love Break The Heart
09 - Harbor Of Tears
10 - Will You Be Gone

Jan Le Brandt – Vocals (Memoria Avenue, Northquake)
Daniel Olaisen – Guitars (Scariot, Blood Red Throne)
Frank Ørland – Guitars (ex- Scariot)
Miguel Pereira – Bass (Withem)
Frank Nordeng Røe – Drums (Withem, Maraton)

Pre Order:


VALENSIA - Valensia Gaia [Japan HR/HM 1000 reissue series] (2018)

VALENSIA - Valensia Gaia [Japan HR/HM 1000 reissue series] (2018) full

Universal Music Japan has started this year a curious but more than welcomed campaign: the reissue of long time out of print albums from their catalog titled 'HR/HM 1000', that meaning Hard Rock / Heavy Metal at the price of 1000 Yen = about 9,5 USD.
Into these series, appear the 2 more celebrated (out of print) albums by talent Dutch artist VALENSIA Clarkson. His first solo effort is simply titled Valensia I, however in Japan it was also added "Gaia".

Valensia met Robby Valentine (another Dutch genius) at an airport, as they were both listening to Queen´s Bohemian Rhapsody. After that, Valensia started sending demos to several record companies and producer John Sonneveld noticed him.
Then Valensia signed a record deal with Mercury Records and in 1993 his first album "Valensia" was released in Europe.

Influenced by Kate Bush and Queen, Valensia's self-titled first album (known as "Gaia" in Japan) contained the hit single "Gaia" that, out of nowhere, reached #2 in the Dutch charts nd stayed in the charts for several weeks. "Gaia" had success in other countries too.
The album itself spent almost 20 weeks in the album charts and had excllent reviews. Four singles were released: Gaia, The Sun, Nathalie and Tere.
Valensia become a renowned artist in the Netherlands, but he had an even greater success in Japan.

It's not rare to see Robby Valentine playing all pianos here. "Valensia Gaia" sounds pretty much like Valentine's first albums.
However Robby had a more straight forward Pomp / AOR approach, while Valensia add much more proggy (lite) arrangements and dreamy poppy melodies.

Musically imagine a amalgam of the pomp and circumstance of Queen, add some Nik Kershaw's pop sensibilities, and Robby Valentine's epicness, all rolled into one and that may give you a vague idea of where this guy is coming from.
Totally unique.

VALENSIA - Valensia Gaia [Japan HR/HM 1000 reissue series] (2018) back

As happens with these series, "Valensia Gaia" is not remastered, but this Japanese 2018 reissue sounds fantastic, more punchy and better DR, thanks the new digital transfer technique - which augment the signal / Dynamic Range - so having this for less than ten bucks is a great deal.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Universal Music Japan 【UICY-78636】
H R / H M  1000    SERIES

01 - Tere
02 - The Sun
03 - Scaraboushka
04 - Nathalie
05 - Tango Tamara
06 - T'kylah II
07 - T'kylah
08 - Megalomania
09 - My Heart Is in Your Hands
10 - Mr. 1999
11 - Gaia
12 - 1997

Valensia Clarkson - vocals, all instruments
Robby Valentine - grand piano
Marcel Schimscheimer - bass
Hans Eijkeneer - drums
Juan Van Emmmerloot - drums
Marcel Serierse - drums
Emmy Verhey - violin
Philip Kold - sax
Eddie Conrad - percussion
Pim Koopman (Kayak) - percussion



THE SEA WITHIN - The Sea Within [Special Edition 2CD Digipak] (2018)

THE SEA WITHIN - The Sea Within [Special Edition 2CD Digipak] (2018) full

THE SEA WITHIN is a new super-group formed by Roine Stolt (Transatlantic, The Flower Kings), Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation), Jonas Reingold (Karmakanic, The Tangent), Tom Brislin (Renaissance, Deborah Harry) & Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) which are releasing their self titled debut tomorrow.
This "The Sea Within [Special Edition 2CD Digipak]" includes a bonus disc with extra material.

This musical ship is manned by the most expert navigators – that much is clear. Naturally, the result has been massive fan expectation and the inevitable rife speculation. Well, the ocean can be everything from a fun and frothy surfer’s paradise, to a terrifying, engulfing storm, from a pool of clear coral beauty to a vast abyss of deep darkness, and all that comes in between.
Where do this captain and crew take us? Let’s dive in.

Opener “Ashes of Dawn” is the heaviest song on the album and certainly one of the darkest. Gildenlow’s and Stolt’s vocals are aggressive, anguished. The song is about the world’s economic chaos and is suitably weighty. There are no ‘spring in the meadow’ images here. Stolt and Reingold go out of their way to make the song deep, dark and intimidating – like the bottom of an ocean abyss. The vessel is weighty, laden with cargo, navigating dark waters and exploring familiar but frightening themes.

“They Know My Name” is more pensive and gentle, but no less dark in flavor. The band start to explore other compositional waters here, based on a lurking and pensive Brislin piano intro with an interesting chord progression, the song develops in to a Minnemann-driven chorus pattern with scattered accents, accompanied by Reingold’s huge, lingering bass tone. The chorus has a Classic Rock feel, ending with an anthemic guitar passage.
Calmer waters approach with “The Void”, slow and pensive, but extremely haunting and captivating. One of my favorite on the album.

“An Eye For an Eye” brings matters to a much faster, pounding pace, starting as a full-on rocker in which Minnemann is given full remit to open up his startling chops.Regardless of the trickier Prog fills and time signatures, this one could, strangely enough, have been Thin Lizzy on Prog steroids. For those who like to rock, ‘An Eye For an Eye’ will be a highlight of the live set.
“Goodbye” is, for me, the high watermark of this album. It begins with a quirky, staccato 7/8 Prog bass-riff that is very unusual and immediately entrancing. This intriguing riff remains throughout, but also morphs into a delayed-gratification verse by McPherson, and a glorious chorus.

THE SEA WITHIN - The Sea Within [Special Edition 2CD Digipak] (2018) discs

“Sea Without” is a jagged and discordant instrumental exploration of Crimson-esque progression, with some added sonic magnitude, lasting two minutes. Reingold delivers one of his signature fretless riffs at the end. It is a decent enough meander, but one feels that more could have been done with it.
“Broken Cord” comprises the obligatory 14-minute epic. Various quirky, interesting, ethereal and anthemic passages create an overall result that is excellent I had to listen hard for Jon Anderson’s appearance, which is one of the backing vocals behind McPherson’s and Gildenlöw’s alternating leads, and his Master’s Voice is placed appropriately enough.

Jordan Rudess makes an appearance on ‘The Hiding of Truth’ and one can immediately hear it, because his technique is simply unmistakable. The song is an elliptical pop melody that begins with swirling atmospherics, great Rudess piano work, and Casey McPherson’s outstanding vocals. It develops into a strong pop ballad.

Now there's the 26-minute bonus disc. The first song on Disc 2, 'The Roaring Silence', builds from nothing, through an ethereal opening, into a good, heavy, dark Prog composition that provides the listener with a crisper experience.
'Where are You Going?' builds into a solid enough ballad, with an anguished feel. It is simple but good. “Time” is a compositional collaboration between the five main members. It's moody, midtempo, with expansive vocal arrangements. Filled with grief, the song is very emotive.
Lastly, “Denise” is strange narrative of a man telling his woman that he will not be back because he is in prison, and asking her to remember him by their good times near the river. Filled with regret and remorse, it is reminiscent of a modern Prog take on ‘The Prisoner’s Song.’

THE SEA WITHIN - The Sea Within [Special Edition 2CD Digipak] (2018) back

The Sea Within’s first album is a highly impressive and diverse voyage. Passengers on this ship will experience expansive high sea views, daunting subaqueous emotional depth and even fathomless submerged darkness. But they will also enjoy pleasing coral imagery, aquamarine beams of musical light, frolicking waves of melody, compositional variety and, most certainly, virtuosity of oceanic proportions.
If the album misses the total perfection that its line-up portends, it is only because some of it feels a little more fragmented than it perhaps could have done. But it's an outstanding piece of Prog.
Strongly Recommended

01 - Ashes of Dawn
02 - They Know My Name
03 - The Void
04 - An Eye for an Eye for an Eye
05 - Goodbye
06 - Sea Without
07 - Broken Cord
08 - The Hiding of Truth

Bonus disc:
01 - The Roaring Silence (Bonus Track)
02 - Where Are You Going? (Bonus Track)
03 - Time (Bonus Track)
04 - Denise (Bonus Track)

Daniel Gildenlow (Vocals & add. Guitar)
Jonas Reingold (Bass)
Tom Brislin (Keyboards, Vocals)
Marco Minneman (Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Guitar)
Roine Stolt (Guitars, Vocals, add. Keyboards)
Jon Anderson (guest Vocals)
Jordan Rudess (guest Keyboards)

Pre Order:


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

JOE LYNN TURNER - The Usual Suspects [Japan Edition +2 bonus] Out Of Print

JOE LYNN TURNER - The Usual Suspects [Japan Edition +2 bonus]  full

After the recent Sunstorm album, one of you asked for JOE LYNN TURNER's album "The Usual Suspects", for me, alongside his solo '85 debut, his finest album. This is the Japanese edition (now out of print) including an exclusive bonus track, and to make it more juicy, we have added the exclusive European bonus track as well.

Turner, apart from Rainbow and Deep Purple, has been part of many bands / projects, and recorded many albums with most of them. But Joe also has a solo career, or better said, albums released under his name. That's meaning the last 'JLT' albums sound like a real band.
"The Usual Suspects" is, for me, the best Joe album as 'JOE LYNN TURNER' solo.

Originally released thirteen years ago, "The Usual Suspects" included the first AOR song of Turner in many years, after mostly recording hard rock / melodic hard.
From start to finish, Turner’s dominant and spine-tingling vocals succeed in capturing your attention while leaving you mesmerized and begging for more. Combine these vocals with an incredibly talented band - which includes guitarists Karl Cochran (Ace Frehley / VoodooLand) and especially the always amazing Al Pitrelli - who play on most tracks and his riffs are the other star of this CD.

There's also bassist David Z (Joann Jett), Paul Morris (Rainbow, Doro) on keyboards and John O’Reilly (Trans Siberian Orchestra, Rainbow) behind the skins - and no doubt, you are getting an absolute killer band.
The album starts off with “Power of Love”… but this ain’t no Huey Lewis! It’s a rocking, melodic composition featuring a strong, catchy chorus and delicious riffs.
Other tracks like “Blood Money” and “Devil’s Door” continue on in this vein and are among the heavier tracks on the CD.

JOE LYNN TURNER - The Usual Suspects [Japan Edition +2 bonus] booklet

“Jacknife” is another great track and almost reminds me of the time Joe spent with Yngwie while “Ball & Chain” also has an awesome groove to it and gives Pitrelli his chance to shine.
“Really Loved” is a bit slower, moodier and more soulful flashing back to Turner’s Rainbow era.

Then you have “Rest Of My Life”, what a wonderful AOR tune where we can hear again Turner's smoothness, that sweet whisper that only him is capable to perform. A favorite.
What you can expect from a song titled “Into The Fire”... ? a melodic rocker inspired by the '80s.
“All Alone” blends some really nice guitar fills with a captivating chorus while “Live And Love Again” is an excellent power ballad highlighting some very good keyboard melodies and rounds off the regular release.

There's a rare 'deluxe edition' of this album including as extras the Japanese & European bonus tracks of this album. Well, this is the Japanese, but we added the Euro bonus as well.
Both are great, not fillers at all, a bit harder but still maintain the melodic essence that Turner is famous for.
With its pulsing rhythms, both “Unfinished Bizness” and “What Can I Do” are comparable to something on the lines of Deep Purple’s 'Slaves & Maters'… of course featuring Joe Lynn Turner.

JOE LYNN TURNER - The Usual Suspects [Japan Edition +2 bonus] back

Easily among the best melodic rock / AOR albums appeared during the last decade, "The Usual Suspects" is fantastic. Joe Lynn Turner never has released a bad album, and this one is for me the best under his own full name.
Taken from my personal collection.
A Must

01 - Power Of Love
02 - Devil's Door
03 - Jacknife
04 - Really Loved
05 - Rest Of My Life
06 - Into The Fire
07 - Blood Money
08 - All Alone
09 - Ball And Chain
10 - Life And Love Again
11 - What Can I Do (Japan Bonus Track)
12 - Unfinished Bizness (European Bonus Track)

Joe Lynn Turner: Lead vocals
Al Pitrelli: Guitars
Karl Cochran: Guitars
David Z: Bass
John O'Reilly: Drums
Paul Morris: Keyboards
Andy Burton: Keyboards on 11
Nancy Bender: Backing vocals

Out Of Print:


ANGELES - Test Of Time (2018)

ANGELES - Test Of Time (2018) full
HERE the Real one

"Test Of Time" is the new album by veteran hard rockers ANGELES, one of the most long-lasting indie US rock bands out there. These guys recorded 4 albums, played countless gigs and shared stages with the greats.

All-original rock band ANGELES first started playing Hollywood, CA in the early '80s and has shared the stage with legends such as Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Gun’s N’ Roses, Ratt, Ronnie James Dio, Bon Jovi, Michael Schenker, Dokken, just to name few. The band has played live extensively and hit quite a few milestones.

Angeles received their first Platinum record award in 2014 with their debut “We’re No Angles” (originally released in 1984) that has been played on nationwide radio stations, and play an Annual benefit show Thunder on the lot for children’s charity.
In 2016 Angeles released their “Crazy” CD featuring their single “God Country and King” with over 1 million views on Vevo.
Indie band, but with a strong following.

Listening to "Test Of Time", it's like 1987 again. They still play the Californian clubs circuit, even The Whikey A Go Go. Angeles perform with heart and refuse to give up their love of music. This is melodic glammy hard rock, with some hair metal on it.

ANGELES - Test Of Time (2018) back

From the start with 'Not Here to Play' there's a feel good vibe, this being this an uptempo rocker with some Twisted Sister influences. There's a solid rhythm section with defined bass / drums, fine vocals and cool guitar riffs.

'Hollywood' sounds like a Motley Crue circa Dr. Feelgood, 'Chivalry' adds some heaviness with raw vocals and darker rhythm, then 'Goodbye' is a pure melodic hard rocker with a semi-ballad tempo so common in 1988.
'Trouble' returns to uptempo hard rock with its little Keel riffs, 'We're No Angels' adds a bit of sleazy, 'Nothing Left to Gain' a bluesy atmosphere akin Cinderella, and 'Here We Go Again' (not a Whitesnake cover) is a cool rocker.
'Lonely Road' is an acoustic (with electrics) fine number, not a ballad, but a dusty rocker with nice raspy vocals.

ANGELES - Test Of Time (2018) inside

Angeles still live like if the '80s never ended. They use leather jackets, wigs, wasted boots and play the music they love without a record label interference.
"Test Of Time" is effective, entertaining and very well recorded / produced for an indie. It's classic US glammy hard rock / melodic hard rock with a bit a sleazy, made 2018 but with the feel & sound of the era.
Note there's a digital version flating around, with cuts and noises. This is the real CD version.
Highly Recommended

01 - Not Here to Play
02 - Hollywood
03 - Chivalry
04 - Goodbye
05 - Trouble
06 - We're No Angels
07 - Nothing Left to Gain
08 - Lonely Road
09 - Here We Go Again
10 - Deliver the Goods
11 - Little Bit Faster (Remix)

Vince Thriil - Vocals
Dale Lytle - Guitar
Cal Shelton - Bass
Danny Basulto - Drums



ICE WATER MANSION - Rockin' Thru The 80's [Remastered]

ICE WATER MANSION - Rockin' Thru The 80's [Remastered] full

This is a very nice request by one of you: the remastered reissue on "Rockin' Thru The 80's", by ICE WATER MANSION. While the band never made it big, they existed since the late Seventies and morphed into all the '80s styles: first Pomp Rock, then hair metal, and at the begining of the Nineties Melodic Hard Rock.

"Rockin' Thru The 80's" was originally released on cassette only, in 1984, so expect here a pompy AOR collection of tunes keyboard-driven and catchy choruses.
Think first half of the Eighties Journey, Giuffria, Angel, etc.

I love this kind of stuff plenty of swirling vintage (and new, electronic) synths, embelishing songs with all the magic of an era.
The remaster was handled by some band members (which still play from time to time) and the CD released by themselves. The sound obtained is very good.
A lost - and Highly Recommended - piece of '80s AOR.

ICE WATER MANSION - Rockin' Thru The 80's [Remastered] back

1 - Invasion
2 - Get Lucky
3 - Adrianna
4 - Can't Wait For Love
5 - Rockin Thru The 80's
6 - Midnight Confessions
7 - Drown In My Tears
8 - You're Not Comin' Back

Lead Vocals – Lonny Austin
Guitar – Mark Dewey
Guitar, Vocals – Glenn Thorp
Bass – Pete Worden
Drums – Jim Cacala



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

TWO ARE ONE - A Question Of Time [digitally remasterd +2] (2018)

TWO ARE ONE - A Question Of Time [digitally remastered +2] (2018) full

Ever heard of TWO ARE ONE? I’m pretty sure that many of you don’t. TWO ARE ONE is a German duo that released their only CD "A Question Of Time" back in 1995 via a small label. For years impossible to find and fetching ridiculous prices, this much sought after indie AOR albums is finally available with a refreshed remastered sound plus 2 bonus tracks.

Despite released in the mid-Nineties, this one and only album by Two Are One is inspired by classy 1985-1989 AOR. Just listen to the stunning opener title track “A Question Of Time” that comes along with a huge chorus, rocking guitars and blown keyboards. I promise, that you will love this song. It reminds me very much of Blonde On Blonde meets Queen Of Spades.

“Victim On The Run” is a cool rocker, while “It’s My Way Of Loving You” comes along like a midtempo smooth Westcoast AOR song, with a blend of summer.

“Go Girl” is a powerful keyboard-dominated Hi-tech influenced AOR song with another memorable hookline in the vein of Queen Of Spades. With big pumping keyboards and rocking guitars “No More” brings you right back to pure AOR – wow, what an ultra slick chorus. It totally reminds me of Perfect Crime – a song I can listen to again and again.
“No Mercy” reminds me of Legend while “Stella” is a tasty and light uptempo song.

Production is very good for an indie, with a crystal clear mix and the musicianship is absolutely flawless. Especially the big keys and the blistering guitars rock big time.
And of course female singer Martina Machke has a great powerful, smoky voice, that reminds me of Robin Beck, Darby Mills and Holly Woods.

TWO ARE ONE - A Question Of Time [digitally remastered +2] (2018) back

Very few noticed of Two Are One and “A Question Of Time” when originally released in limited quantities, only available in central Europe. With the years, the album become a collectors item.
Silently reissued by unknown label Minotauro Records, now this is your chance to get the album with an enhanced, clean-up sound plus 2 previously unreleased tracks.
Yeah, the kind of lovely music that only 0dayrox can find for you.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - A Question of Time
02 - Victim on the Run
03 - It's my Way of Loving You
04 - Birds of a Feather
05 - Stand by Me
06 - Rose in the Garden
07 - Go Girl
08 - No More
09 - Ask You Now
10 - No Mercy
11 - I Saw You
12 - Stella
13 - So Cold
14 - Changes
15 - He Broke my Wings on That Christmas Night

Vocals – Martina Maschke
Vocals, Keyboards – Klaus Henatsch
Bass – Hans Dieter Lorenz, Karel Adam, Klaus-Peter Matziol
Drums – Daniel Hafstein, Dirk Schroeter, Lutz Halfter
Guitar – Bernd Voss, Kai Reuter, Peter Jordan
Keyboards – Frank Schroeter
Backing Vocals – Bernd Klose Kalle Bösel



LITTLE RED KINGS - Callous (2018)

LITTLE RED KINGS - Callous (2018) full

"Callous" is the title of the new album by LITTLE RED KINGS, a British 5-piece hailing from Norwich which have been around since 2011.
This is the second album from the band and boy is it a belter! Little Red Kings have their roots in the bluesy British classic rock of Free and there are hints of The Black Crowes, the melodic pop rock sensibilities of Gun, even the commercial feel of The Answer on tracks such as ‘A Lovers Tragedy’.

The band have such a variety of songs on here from the guitar driven 'Said to Me' or the up and at ‘em chorus of ‘Josephine’ (an instant melodic hit on the ears), through to the laid back ‘Southern France’, Little Red Kings know their way around a good melody.
Jason Wick has that soulful singing style that can be silky smooth one minute, then off soaring into the stratosphere, ably demonstrated on ‘Rigor And Roll’, which also features a tasty guitar solo.

‘Chaperone’ builds nicely from the piano / keys intro to a catchy power-pop riff and a rock solid rhythm section. There's great spacey keys midway through before the song kicks off again. One of the instant songs on the album and one that would sound good in a live setting.
Loving album closer ’1967′ a simple yet effective song with Jason Wick’s almost gospel like vocal coupled with a electric guitar.
Harry Wickha manages to sneak in a quick drum solo on ‘No Friend Of Mine’ processed with a flanger effect – not heard this kind of thing since Queen’s Roger Taylor on ‘The Game’ album.

LITTLE RED KINGS - Callous (2018) inside

At sixteen songs sometimes an album can seem perhaps too full, not so here bar maybe opener ‘Prelude’.
With the likes of Inglorious, The Temperance Movement, et all gaining traction and interest, Little Red Kings deserve their time in the limelight based on "Callous".
Yes, you've seen it first here, in exclusive, at 0dayrox
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Prelude
02 - Said to Me
03 - Josephine
04 - Blacken
05 - No Friend of Mine
06 - Chaperone
07 - Meth Mouth Blues
08 - Prize of a Life
09 - Southern France
10 - A Lovers Tragedy
11 - Rigor and Roll
12 - Long Live the Quiet Man
13 - Patience (Losing Sleep)
14 - Propaganda Lie
15 - Till and Toil
16 - 1967

Jason Wick (vocals, guitar)
John Pallister (keys, vocals)
Harry Wickham (drums)
Dougie Archer (guitar)
Ben Beach (bass)




WONDERWORLD - III (2018) full

At the end of last year Norwegian / Italian trio WONDERWORLD started recording their 3rd album, simply to be called "III" - following the numeric theme of the previous releases I and II featured here on the blog.
Formed by the permanent backing band for Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep), the trio consist of Italian shouter Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth) and Norwegians Ken Ingwersen (Street Legal) / Tom Fossheim (Live Fire).

Wonderworld's sound could be best described as traditional hard rock / classic rock. The heaviness comes from the combination of strong assertive riffs with a deep and powerful rhythm section. Yet these are quickly wrapped up in melody and harmony derived from the same guitar lines, but also Tiranti's vocal arrangements.
Ingwersen fills each song with varied and elaborated guitar solos as the bass and drums keep the groove going.

Sometimes, with songs such as 'A Mountain Left To Climb' and 'Brand New Man', it sounds like Wonderworld is working a bluesy groove into the tunes. Alternatively, with 'Rebellion' you get something of psychedelic funk feeling in the rhythm. Yet, at the mid point the song features a calm smooth guitar solo almost akin to Carlos Santana guitar line.
With 'The Last Frontier', something of a ballad, you get a slow moving song with light guitar and voice at the center. But eventually, the vocal layer gives way for the smooth guitar line to continue and then rise to a sharp solo.

Songs like 'Stormy Night' add an interesting little progressive touch akin Rush, then 'Big Word' is another song plenty of catchiness with a busy bass work and guitar bringing to mind The Winery Dogs, and the chorus is almost melodic hard rock.

WONDERWORLD - III (2018) inside

For something straight forward heavy and steady, there's the tough break up song, 'Stay Away From Me'. With the up beat groove of 'There Must Be More', Wonderworld tunes into a catchy AOR, especially heard in the chorus.

Wonderworld gets better and better with each album. "Wonderworld III" should be their most complete album, varied in style yet really cohesive.
An album full of inspired guitar work, strong vocal performances thanks from the very talented Roberto Tiranti, great arrangements and, essentially, good songs.
They don't make records like this anymore. Fans of Winery Dogs, Badlands, Ray Gillen, some vintage Whitesnake and even Mr. Big need to check these guys.
Highly Recommended

01 - Background Noises
02 - Stormy Night
03 - Big Word
04 - Crying out for Freedom
05 - A Mountain Left to Climb
06 - Brand New Man
07 - Rebellion
08 - The Last Frontier
09 - Stay Away from Me
10 - There Must Be More

Roberto Tiranti - Vocals, Bass
Ken Ingwersen - Guitars
Tom Fossheim - Drums



Monday, June 18, 2018

TARA LYNCH - Evil Enough (2018)

TARA LYNCH - Evil Enough (2018) full

"Evil Enough" is the debut album from guitarist / vocalist TARA LYNCH, featuring an all-star lineup of band members and guest performers including Mark Boals, Vinny Appice, Tony MacAlpine, Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper, Hollywood Vampires), Bjorn Englen (Dio Disciples), Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne, Last In Line) and more.
This is a hard rock / classic US melodic metal release, bolstering and impressive, wrapped by a top-shelf production quality.

Very serious about her musicianship and the unending desire to improve, Tara has personally studied guitar with Steve Vai, drums with Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), bass with Björn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine, Dio Disciples) and piano with Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater).
In 2015, Tara accepted the invitation from Geert Fieuw (founder of Beyond The Labyrinth) to write and perform guitar solos on the band's fourth album, The Art Of Resilience.
At the same time, Tara began writing for her own debut, this "Evil Enough".

The disc opens with title track "Evil Enough", featuring Mark Boals on lead vocals, later also on "Trustless". His voice is as crisp and powerful as it has ever been and this will truly be a treat for his longtime fans.
On "Antidote" we hear Tara's vocals, well suited for this kind of material. The song is a midtempo with Dio atmospheres beginning with some heavy drumming by Vinny Appice and is based on a fine riff. The woman certainly can play.
From there we run into the an instrumental (that’s if you discount some background chanting) titled "Exit The Warrior", with drums played by talented 'Glen Sobel'. Strong song.

"Kringeworthy" has more hard rock feeling, even during the chorus it's slightly melodic rock with some Femme Fatale on it. "Banished From My Kingdom" is an intense mid-paced rocker with a darker feel and again fine vocals and tight guitar riffs.
"Gui-Tara Rises" is another instrumental flowing easy and quite entertaining, on the rocking "Unbreakable" Tara's vocals are more 'heavy' for good effect, then "Enigmatic" is the most dynamic instrumental track on the CD, with so well placed guitars that you don't need vocals at all; the six-strings speaks. Here we hear a really good keyboard solo by Tony MacAlpine.

TARA LYNCH - Evil Enough (2018) back

"Evil Enough" is solid and entertaining album, a must for electric guitar lovers and enjoyable for fans of classic '80s hard rock / US melodic metal. Tara play the electric guitar like the best, and she sing well. I would have loved more tracks with Boals, but hey, it's her album.
Production is top notch, with a crisp sonic delivery and overall polish & mix.
Strongly Recommended

01 - Evil Enough
02 - Antidote
03 - Exit the Warrior
04 - Kringeworthy
05 - Banished from My Kingdom
06 - Gui-Tara Rises
07 - Unbreakable
08 - Enigmatic
09 - Trustless
10 - Feckless Lock

Tara Lynch - Guitars, Vocals
Mark Boals - Vocals
Vinny Appice - Drums
Björn Englen - Bass
Tony MacAlpine - Keyboards
Glen Sobel - Drums
Phil Soussan - Bass
Brent Woods - Synthesizers, Background Vocals



MENCHEN (feat. Robert Sweet) - The White Metal Album (2018)

MENCHEN (feat. Robert Sweet) - The White Metal Album (2018) full

"The White Metal Album" is the new CD from Las Vegas based MENCHEN, the band commanded by experienced guitarist Bill Menchen (Titanic, Seventh Power, Final Axe, et all).
This brand new release for 2018 features Martin Andrew up front and center on vocals, Bill Menchen on all stringed instruments, and last but not least the one and only Robert Sweet of Stryper fame handling all the drums.

If fact, all the songs on "The White Metal Album" were composed between the '80s and '90s, and as you see in the album title and Robert Sweet's presence, this is Christian band with, of course, a Stryper flavor.
However, lyrics are not completely religious centered, and musically Menchen has many other influences than Stryper.

"The White Metal Album" can best be described as an album for those into a guitar driven sound of the late '80s, mixing bluesy hard rock with a bit melodic US metal here and there.
Bill Menchen play all guitars and bass, adorning the full length of the album with his mega tight sounding riffs (check out his work on “Dead Men’s Bones” and “Sons Of Thunder”).

Singer David St. Andrew is another strong piece of Menchen's sound, with an intense and gutsy vocal style that sounds like a combination of Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot) and Scott Wenzel (Whitecross). In a current hard rock / metal environment imbued with so many high pitched and classic tenor vocalists – not that that is a bad thing – it is a welcome relief to finally hear a singer add some good old fashioned backbone to his delivery.

And of course Robert Sweet does a great job handling the drums providing varied dynamics to the music, with his trademark fills and snare drum sound.
Among my favorites there's “Shovel The Coal”, a driving hard rocker allowing the band to give full vent to its prodigious energy. The song kicks in to a snarling guitar riff before storming through its verse portions, breaking out in prevailing fashion for a catchy chorus highlighted by a trace of vocal harmonies. Menchen adds to the scene with a stretch fluid lead guitar work. Great song.
“Dead Men’s Bones” is a quite powerful piece, with an avalanche of mega-tight riffs sustaining it from front to back.

“Captain Of The Ship” immediately opens to a driving guitar riff before tapering off to a quietly played guitar line for its first verse. Flowing ahead in a tranquil manner, the song kicks into high gear as the rhythm guitar returns and urges things to an anthemic chorus that comes across gripping in its capacity.
I might describe “Holy Ground” as one of the albums more laid back compositions. A plethora of driving impetus carries this one through its verse portions, the balanced setting upheld for a grave chorus in which a choppy rhythm guitar plays a prominent role. Several seconds of bluesy lead work complements the songs momentous feel.

“Sons Of Thunder” begins to a monstrous wall of rhythm guitar, decelerating upon obtaining its first verse only to pick back up in pace as a chorus of a straightforward but spirited variety is obtained. The tight drumming and varied riffage shoring this one up gives rise to a near mesmerizing feel.
“Wisdom” proves quite the rollicking number that grooves from start to finish, the up-tempo environment upheld as the band again puts forth quite the animated performance.

MENCHEN (feat. Robert Sweet) - The White Metal Album (2018) disc

All in all, what Menchen delivers in "The White Metal Album" is an energetic blend of sharp hard rock that fans of Stryper, Quiet Riot, Whitecross, some '80s Ozzy, etc, will be certain to get into.
In many ways is like a lost '80s white metal' album, with solid production values inspired in that era where the rhythm guitar delivers a mega-huge crunch, and the leads are cleanly mixed. Vocals are powerful but clean, while Sweet's drums project a more than ample amount of punch and power.
Highly Recommended

01 - Captain of the Ship
02 - Dead Mens Bones
03 - Deep Down
04 - Holy Ground
05 - Shovel the Coal
06 - Sons of Thunder
07 - The Sea
08 - Upon the Cross
09 - Wind
10 - Wisdom

David St. Andrew - vocals
Bill Menchen - guitar, bass
Robert Sweet - drums



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